Archive for Melodic death metal

The Antiquity w/Support – Scarborough, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 15th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

The Antiquity, Sea Of Giants & More
Vivaz, Scarborough
13th December 2013

Situated on the east coast of North Yorkshire lies Scarborough, a thriving tourist attraction in the summer. And also apparently a town where wide-eyed fourteen year olds offer you a line of coke. But beyond that lies a virtually unknown – and for a while, non-existent – metal and hardcore scene, one that shows potential and promise.

Photo by Nico Davidson

Photo by Nico DavidsonOpening up the show were a new band known as Avalon, a band that were virtually unknown save to a few people who had seen them at their first show (this one was their second show). Described as “girly-fronted metal” by the show’s organiser, it was apparent that most of the crowd were unsure of what to expect. Fronted by the innocent looking Lottie, Avalon kick started their brief but vividly heavy set with a cover of Flyleaf’s I’m So Sick, which eerily sounded almost like the original song.

Following up from the stunning opening track of their, Avalon went onto make a use of some blistering guitar work and a cumbersome bass sound from Emi and James, as well as Jed’s precision drumming. Lottie’s clean vocals proved to be very versatile throughout the set but it was her banshee-like screams that really grabbed the crowd’s attention.

[4/5]

Photo by Nico DavidsonScarboroughian beasts Bharghest were the second band of the night. Lending their name from the old Yorkshire folklore of a demonic black dog that brings death in its wake, the three piece instrumental death metal unit proved to be a powerful force. With no vocalist and a use of programmed drums, their riffs came down faster than the executioner’s blade, leaving no time for escape from the ensuing ferocious carnage. The guitar passages were sharp and cutting, whereas the bass had all the civility of a sledgehammer being swung into a face. Bharghest ended their set with Legion, a piece that was akin to melodic death metal, only with a darker, more bestial nature. Fortunately, there was no death in their wake but there might be some people left deaf after their performance.

[5/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

The night took a turn from metal and into hardcore punk with local quartet Satanic Malfunctions. The frontman really did open some eyes as he ran around the stage looking like a psychotic murder – minus the axe – whilst unleashing a visceral assault of old school hardcore styled vocals. The music itself was typically aggressive, showing no signs of turning passive or losing the energetic drive, though it was apparently hard for the crowd to get into this as the size of the venue made it hard to whip up an atmosphere. Satanic Malfunctions however did get a rather positive response from the crowd vocally.

[4/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

The main support of the night was Bridlington’s hardcore behemoths Sea Of Giants who made a strong use of grizzly riffs, harsh vocals and heavy drumming. The use of lights throughout their set helped make their performance more exciting, as the crowd that gathered on the dance floor joined together for some synchronised head banging during in the breakdowns. Guitarist Liam’s clean vocals fit the mood of the music perfectly, opposing Mcgougan’s harsher screams brilliantly and vividly. The guitar passages and bass lines were a highlight of their set, paving a path of brutality for the headlining act of the night: The Antiquity.

[4/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

No EP launch show would be complete without the band who is releasing the EP headlining the show and in this case, it was Scarborough’s own The Antiquity though Hull’s metal cowboys were originally booked as the headliners but they pulled out a few nights before the show for valid reasons. From the moment The Antiquity launched their colossal live attack, their vocalist Luther started one pit after another in between his devastating vocal assaults while the rest of the band provided the momentum and energy with a series of venomous riffs and drums heavy enough to shattered teeth. Their titanic wall of sound collided with their live performance, creating a carnivorous atmosphere.

[4.5/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

Scarborough still has a long way to go before its scene is recognised on the national scale but given what this show was like, it will be interesting to see how the scene begins to evolve from here and to see what Scarborough’s bands can bring to the table.

Nico Davidson

 

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Soilwork release lyric video for “Tongue”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 17th October 2013 by Pieni

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“The Living Infinite”, Soilwork‘s much acclaimed double album (read our review here) has produced videos for “Spectrum Of Eternity” and “Rise Above The Sentiment”. Now it’s time for a lyric video for “Tongue”:

The band is about to tour intensively across Europe, with Keep Of Kalessin and Sybreed:

Nov 02 Brewhouse, Goteborg, Sweden
Nov 03 Parkteatret, Oslo, Norway
Nov 04 Klubben Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 05 Dynamo, Norrköping, Sweden
Nov 06 Club 700, Orebro, Sweden
Nov 07 Huskvarna Folkets Park, Huskvarna, Sweden
Nov 08 Aalborg Metal Fest, Aalborg, Denmark
Nov 09 KB, Malmö, Sweden
Nov 10 Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 11 Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Nov 12 Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
Nov 13 Camden Underworld, London, United Kingdom
Nov 15 Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany
Nov 16 Matrix, Bochum, Germany
Nov 17 Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium
Nov 18 Z7 KONZERTFABRIK, Pratteln, Switzerland
Nov 19 Feierwerk, Munich, Germany
Nov 20 Szene, Vienna, Austria
Nov 21 Club 202, Budapest, Hungary
Nov 22 Haus Auensee, Leipzig, Germany
Nov 23 Winter Masters of Rock, Zlin, Czech Republic
Nov 24 Majestic Music Club, Bratislava I, Slovakia
Nov 25 Alibi, Wroclaw, Poland
Nov 26 New York, Vilnius, Lithuania
Nov 27 Rock Cafe, Tallin, Estonia
Nov 28 Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland
Nov 29 Parkkahuone, Tampere, Finland
Nov 30 Rytmikorjaano, Seinajoki, Finland

Soilwork online:
http://site.soilwork.org/
https://www.facebook.com/soilwork
https://twitter.com/soilwork
http://instagram.com/soilworkofficial

Iliac Thorns – IT

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , on 29th June 2013 by izaforestspirit

Iliac Thorns
IT
Released 20th May 2013
Melodic Death Metal/ Metal-core
Released via Inverse Records

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‘IT’ is the debut album from the Finnish melodic death metal band Iliac Thorns. It is the follow up to their demo ‘Prevailing Shapes of Hell’ which came out last year.

After several listens I can safely say that I tried, and I really did try…to find something positive to say about this album. The fact is that to call Iliac Thorns’ style “melodic death metal” or even “blackened melo-death” is a classic case of wishful thinking. What we’re dealing with here is mostly metal-core with the very occasional hint of At The Gates -style melodic death metal.

The biggest downside of this album are the vocals which resemble the grunts and squeals of a pig at times. This really is a shame as some of the music, particularly the guitars, is actually pretty good. Take Kammiovärinä for instance, it features some catchy guitar riffs in the intro and some of the vocal patterns remind me of old works by At The Gates. Then there’s Itsetuntosi, one of the fewtracks on here to feature any melodic elements. It’s just a shame that the melodic guitars are only present in the first half of the song and it’s not long until the pace changes paving the way for more metal-core.

Overall this is a difficult album to listen to if you’re familiar with good, old school melodic death metal. I’d strongly suggest to these guys to check out bands such as At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity if they wish to continue along this path.

2/5

Iza Raittila

Burial Vault – Incendium

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 27th April 2013 by izaforestspirit

Burial Vault
Incendium
Released 24th May
Melodic Death Metal
Released via Apostasy Records

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Incendium is the second album from the German melodic death metal band Burial Vault. It is the follow up to last year’s debut release ‘Ekpyrosis (Periodic Destruction)’. This album was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s famous book ‘Fahrenheit 451′.

Straight from the off it’s clear that Incendium is true to its namesake. The intro to the opening track The Stench Of Burning Thoughts features what sounds like the striking of a match followed by the sounds of a fire burning. The music itself is fairly standard melodic death metal complete with a mixture of growls, semi-shouts and mid-paced guitar riffs. Then there are thrashy, more melodic guitar patterns which remind me a little of old In Flames with hints of At The Gates. The short instrumental Soil & Green is a good example of this.

Speaking of the guitar styles, these guys like to use the occasional stop-start patterns on tracks such as Peculiar and The Nightly Horror. The aforementioned Peculiar takes a turn for the worse half-way through the track as the vocals suddenly shift from growling to clear. Luckily this change is only temporary. The album also has a few surprises such as the sample-infused, atmospheric Prelude To Peripety sandwiched between two death metal tracks. The rest of the album follows the tried and tested formula of melodic death metal. Other noteworthy tracks include Catharsis which features some thrash metal style guitar riffage giving the song a somewhat catchy feel, and closing song Black Into White which features some catchy guitar solos combined with some acoustic guitar melodies towards the end.

Overall it’s fairly evident that Burial Vault have been influenced by melo-death acts such as In Flames and At The Gates. Having said that, Burial Vault are definitely not a clone of these two bands thanks to the acoustic and atmospheric elements in their music. I’m just not convinced that there’s enough variety here to set this album apart from other melodic-death metal releases out there.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Kalmah set to release seventh studio album, Seventh Swamphony, in June

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Kalmah, the undisputed champions of ‘Swamp Metal’  (Editor: Swap Metal? Really?) return to the scene with new studio album, Seventh Swamphony, which is the heavily anticipated follow-up to 2010’s 12 Gauge release.

After 15 years together, with six full length albums under their collective belt, 2013 sees the Finnish musicians delivering album number seven – an eight-track release showcasing this Oulu outfit’s trademark frantic, yet melodic death metal style, tempered here by a new-found ‘epic mournfulness’.

Set to be released on June 17th 2013 via Spinefarm Records, Seventh Swamphony was recorded at Tico-Tico Studios in Kemi, Finland, and features a selection of brand new tracks, mixed and mastered at Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Soilwork,Paradise Lost, etc.)

Antti Kokko, Kalmah‘s lead guitarist, comments "This album marks a milestone in our careers. We have a new keyboard player, which has given a fresh edge to the music, and we are of course very satisfied with the new material. That is why we wanted to give the songs the best possible chance without compromise; we feel very lucky and privileged to have worked with Jens Bogren."

Kalmah (which translate to From The Grave in Karelian) will play Dark River Festival in Finland this summer with more festival and UK touring plans to be announced.

Neaera – Ours is the Storm

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 15th March 2013 by vitriolicvanity

Neaera
Ours is the Storm
Released 5th March 2013
Melodic Death Metal
Released via Metal Blade

After three years of silence Neaera strikes again with Ours is the Storm. The German band has been busy touring throughout 2012, and if this album truly is a hurricane, 2013 won’t be a quiet year either.

After a short intro the album kicks into a higher gear with Ours is the Storm, which is also the title song. With this song the band proves that melodic death metal can be quite catchy. I caught myself humming the tune a few times during the day. After this powerful opener, the album rages on and the band carries on the legacy they established with earlier records: songs filled with raw energy and heartfelt lyrics.

Walk with Fire and Guardian of Ashes are two examples of songs who have a powerful and unique intros. They show of the harmony between guitars and drums and their ability to paint a picture ready to be completed by powerful vocals.  Slaying the Wolf Within turns out to be the eye of the storm thanks to guest vocalist Nathan Gray from Boy Sets Fire. His clear, almost pained voice contrasts against the pounding drums and diverse guitar lines. This song about people on the verge of giving up and slaying their inner wolf is something many people will relate to.

And yet it seems like something is missing. It all sounds like a well-oiled machine, which subdues the elements of surprise, the few treasures buried in this melodic monsoon.

In the end, this album is a worthy successor for Forging the Eclipse, and Benjamin Hilleke proves yet again that he can master his voice like no other. Ours is the Storm is raw and almost hypnotizing with powerful guitar work and crashing drums. The entire time music and vocals clash into each other and it’s difficult to pick a side because the combination of these two elements sounds spot on.

4/5

Freya Cherlet

 

Aeurtum – The Fall

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 2nd February 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Aeurtum
The Fall
Released 27th July, 2012
Progressive Melodic Death Metal
Self-Released

For being a one man band, Aeurtum did an outstanding job of combining melodic, progressive, and death metal all into one album. While the style of the songs varied over this 9 track album, it was still a consistent sound of beautiful riffs paired with heavier vocals. Jon Collins, the man behind the music, showed his talents with this album and how he can vary is playing style to come through with something so beautifully done.

The album starts off with a more progressive/melodic instrumental named …And So It Begins, and so it began indeed. The next song, Parity, has a slow introduction as well but increasingly gets heavier, and by the third song, Deliverance, the riffs have gotten even heavier and the vocals more gravely and intense like a death metal song. This continual build up over a period of not just one song but three songs is something that is not common in albums. Maybe Jon Collins didn’t intentionally try and create this sort of build up, and even if he didn’t I found this enjoyable to listen to.

Usually I’m not very fond of when bands combine too many sub genres of metal because to me, it sounds like the music is all over the place and that the bands are very unsure of what they want to sound like.. However, when done right, like Aeurtum has done, it can create a sound that’s not only unique but it also shows how talented the musicians (or in this case, musician) is at taking such extremely different genres and making them work together. While the vocals on this album sometimes sounded a bit off with the songs, I did not see any real flaws with The Fall. It was beautifully written and well done and I hope the next album sounds just as good, if not better, than this one.

4.7/5

Lauren Gowdy

UKEM Records sign The Deathisodes

Posted in News with tags , , on 19th January 2013 by Nico Davidson

UKEM Records, the leading underground label for British extreme metal, have announced the recent signing of The Deathisodes.

Based around one man, Alex Loader, The Deathisodes is a studio project created to showcase what the UK Underground Metal Scene has to offer by inviting guest musicians to appear on the studio projects. UKEM Records are set to release the band’s second album, Inside The Universe of Horror which will feature 12 tracks of blistering melodic death metal. Guest musicians on this new album showcase the wealth of talent currently lurking in the UK underground. The anticipated release date is sometime in June.

 

Amon Amarth ready to pillage Download Festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 16th January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish melo-death metallers Amon Amarth, who are known for the Viking themes throughout their music, have been confirmed for Download Festival later this year. They’re amongst the 37 bands that were announced today on the official Download Festival Facebook page.

Download Festival will take place at Donington Park on 14th-16th June. Tickets and further information can be found at this location.

Amon Amarth’s latest album Surtur Rising was released in March 2011 via Metal Blade Records.

Nidhoeggr – Ragnarök n’Roll

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 2nd January 2013 by izaforestspirit

Band: Nidhoeggr
Album: Ragnarök n’Roll
Release date: January 2013
Genre: Folk Metal / Melodic Death Metal
Label: Self-released

‘Ragnarök n’Roll’ is the debut EP from Swiss folk metal band Nidhoeggr. It is the follow up to their 2011 demo ‘Heidenlaerm’.

First up is the lengthy ‘Hueter Des Hains’ which starts off with a long intro complete with some sombre-sounding guitars and keyboards. Then the music picks up the pace, the guitars become more catchy and the semi-growl vocals enter the frame. Even keyboards sound more lively at times with the exception of the melodic, slow piano-like solo half way through the track. They have even managed to whack in the odd guitar solo into the mix.

Then it’s back to good old catchy folk metal with ‘Niemals’ which offers a mixture of Amorphis/Equilibrium style, melo-death vocals and guitar riffs with some semi-acoustic, catchy folk melodies. I wish I knew what that instrument is! It doesn’t sound like a guitar. Banjo, maybe? Well, whatever it is it sure is catchy and gives the song that folk metal feel which was the not present in the opening track. Other noteworthy songs include: the band’s namesake ‘Nidhoeggr’, which features a great combination of energetic guitar solos and some accordion-esque keyboard tunes; and the catchy, folk style ‘Wiedersehn’ where the backing vocals and cheers make the track all the more memorable.

This is my first review of 2013 and I’m so glad that I picked this EP. Thanks Nidhoeggr! What a great start to the new year!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Godlike – Malicious Mind

Posted in Alternative, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26th December 2012 by mariadodarmata

Godlike
Malicious Mind
Alternative/Melodic Death Metal
Released: October 2012
Released via Inverse Records.

Godlike is a new Finnish band. Malicious Mind is their debut album. As soon as you start playing it you guess the kind of influences they have… Made me have a regression to the early 2000’s.

With strong nu metal references mixed with melodic death, kind of in a Five Finger Death Punch way, they manage to take that Limp Bizkit sound and put make it sound a bit fresher.

The album goes down the nu metal road the first 4 songs. In Original Rebel takes a turn more to the death metal side with heavier sounding elements on the music and a song theme that made me think of Destruction’s The Antichrist. Then comes Shi No Negai and stirs the album back in the previous direction.

The album doesn’t have a central topic that the songs revolve around, at least an apparent  one. Some songs talk about the Catholic Church and the original sin, same others talk about this chick who is a hot mess, or how someone betrayed them. I find these last ones extremely cheesy but they melody and rhythm are quite catchy.

The album sounds solid and like an album made of t best songs they wrote during the years. I am a bit excited to see how they do next, for I believe their next album will be deciding on their future. I am not such a big fan of this kind of music, but keeping an objective eye on that aspect, the album is not bad.

3.5/5

María Mata

 

Hanging Garden – At Every Door

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 2nd December 2012 by izaforestspirit

Hanging Garden
At Every Door
Released: January 2013
Melodic Death Metal/Doom Metal
Released via Lifeforce Records

‘At Every Door’ is the third album from the Finnish melodic death metal band Hanging Garden. It is the follow up to 2009′s ‘TEOTWAWKI’. It is also the first album to feature the new singer Toni Toivonen who joined the band in 2010.

The droning guitar intro to ‘Ten Thousand Cranes’ proves that categorization of this band as “a mix of doom and melodic death metal” is very accurate. Their music is melancholic, often ponderous with melo-death -style semi-growls, clear vocals and sombre-sounding melodic guitars. At the same time the pace is too fast to be pure doom metal and a little slow to be classed as melodic death metal. There’s also some slower tracks with acoustic guitar parts such as those in the atmospheric ‘Ash and Dust’ which also features some melodic keyboards.

The melancholic feel seems to permeate its way through the album as the subsequent tracks maintain the mood and overall atmosphere of gloom and despair. Fans of bands such as My Dying Bride, Anathema and early Ghost Brigade should enjoy this kind of music. The keyboard-infused ‘Wormwood’ is a good example of this sombre atmosphere, created by the combination of atmospheric keyboards, melodic guitar and clean vocals. Then there’s the soothing, ambient-style, instrumental title track ‘At Every Door’. Similar things can be said about the lengthy and droning, melancholic ballads ‘The Cure’ and ‘To End All Ages’, which are the closest the band has to offer as far as doom metal is concerned. Luckily there’s also ‘Evenfall’ which features more of the melo-death -style growls and some heavier, mid-paced guitar riffs proving a sharp contrast to the melodic keyboards and clean vocals.

3.5/5 – This album tends to sap all the energy out of the listener. Some of the tracks are good but I wouldn’t recommend listening to this whilst tired.

Iza Raittila

 

Incassum – Rite of Passage

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th November 2012 by mariadodarmata

Incassum
Rite of Passage
Released: November 24th

Melodic Death Metal
Released via Rocksector Records

Rite of Passage came to my hands – my cybernetic hands -  when I was asked if I wanted to review a female fronted melodic death metal band [editor's note: I never told Maria the band have a female vocalist]. Personally, I hate when female fronted bands use that female factor as a “Look at me! I’m special!” card – Though some bands do need it.

The words fast and aggressive describe this album pretty good. It gives me that feeling of craving headbanging to it even in the most awkward, crowded public places. The clean vocals and occasional acoustic guitars come and refresh the songs, taking away that cheesy feeling some death metal bands have after a few songs.

Listening to Incassum, I can’t help but to think about a now extinct Prog Metal band from my area. From the vocal style to the music they are quite alike and it gives me a pleasant flashback. Sadly enough it also takes me back 5-6 years to the time I would listen to stuff that sounded brOOtal just for the sake of being brOOtal.

Sharleen Kennedy’s vocals are a mix of Candace Kucsulain (Walls of Jericho) with Lacey Mosley (ex-Flyleaf) and the music seems to me to be a mix of Swedish Death Metal with a couple of touches of Prog Rock, a tiny bit or Core and a teaspoon of Opeth’s  mysticism. To some point, it actually had a bit of a Dethklok feeling to it.

Although I have mixed feelings about the album I’m going leave those subjective matters aside and tell you that Rite of Passage is a good Melodic Death metal album. It moves away from what the Finnish have done to the genre – though I will clarify, I adore Finnish death metal. Incassum is like a breath of fresh air out of that melancholic aura that Melodeath is now. To make it into a pretty analogy, it is like climbing to a tree top after being lost for weeks in the black forest.

Incassum are not one of those bands that play on the female factor. They should get rid of the Arch Enemy stigma associated to that kind of bands and just promote themselves as what they are: A good Melodic Death Metal band.

4/5

María Mata

Dead End Finland – Stain of Disgrace

Posted in CD, Metal with tags on 9th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

Dead End Finland
Stain of Disgrace
Due for release/Released: June 2011 (original) / 2012 (worldwide re-release)
Melodic Death Metal
Released via Label: Inverse Records

‘Stain of Disgrace’ is the debut album from the Finnish melodic death metal band Dead End Finland. The album was originally self-released last year before the band signed to Inverse Records.

After the symphonic keyboard infused intro to ‘My Fate’ it’s straight into some In Flames style melodic death metal. Keyboards aside, this is pretty much what is says on the tin: average melo-death with an emphasis on the guitars and a mixture of standard semi-growls and clean vocals. The main thing that sets these guys apart from the vast sea of similar sounding bands are the symphonic metal keyboards which breathe new life into the genre.

The aforementioned keyboards really come into their own on songs such as ‘Fields of Silence’ where they add a new dimension to the music. It’s a somewhat unusual mixture, more akin to power or symphonic black metal than melo-death but somehow it seems to fit the bill. The same, however, cannot be said for the clean vocals on certain tracks, most notably ‘Sea of Eternity’ where they seem more aligned with the keyboards than the guitars making for a very disjointed song. ‘Sinner’s Day’ suffers from a similar problem and, in many ways, I think they would have been better of just sticking to the growly vocals. I’m not sure what to make of the short instrumental ‘Riot’ as it doesn’t seem to fit the rest of album. Nor does ‘Cry For Innocence’ with that bizarre sounding, ‘techno’ style keyboard intro paving the way for more melodic death metal.

Overall this album has its strengths but there’s still a long way to go before Dead of Finland conquer the world of melodic death metal.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Code For Silence – Eyes World Shut

Posted in Experimental, Metal with tags , , on 14th September 2012 by izaforestspirit

Code For Silence
Eyes World Shut
Released: October 2012
Melodic Death Metal/Experimental
Released via Inverse Records

‘Eyes World Shut’ is the second album from the Finnish melodic death metal band Code For Silence. It is the follow up to their 2009 debut ‘D.Ecaying M.Atter – O.Rganic N.Emesis’ and it is available in digital format only.

After a promising start with the guitar riffs, the opening track ‘Rose Blooms in Bloodred’ shows its true colors as a keyboard infused groove/melodic death metal song and some Devil Driver -style grunting vocals. Oh… one thing I forgot to mention about this band is that they have two singers, and on the next track ‘Flashbacking One Night Stand’ you get to hear the other one. Oddly enough he makes the music sound like a mixture of modern Entombed and Poisonblack. It’s not until the first vocalist makes a brief reappearance that you realize that this is still the same band and the same album.

Next up we have some techno-sounding, synth tunes…Oh wait, no..sorry! My mistake… This is still Code For Silence with ‘Death Bringer’ – a cacophony of bizarre construction featuring clean, radio rock -style vocals, melodic guitars, keyboards and melodeath metal grunting from other singer. Sadly from here onwards it’s steady spiral down towards the abyss as the subsequent tracks prove that there’s a fundamental difference between experimental and downright garbage. ‘Eye For an Eye’ is like two songs in one, with the symphonic keyboard part plus clean vocalist at one end and melodic-death metal riffs and grunts at the other. Either one of these on their own would be tolerable but as a combination they just don’t work at all.

There’s only on track on here which manages to stick to the same style throughout and that’s ‘Neon Syncronized Capone Dance’, which offers some symphonic, keyboard-driven metal with the two singers finally finding some common ground.

1.5/5 – there’s really no need to overcomplicate things this much. If you want to change your style, just start a new band!

Iza Raittila

Kreator – Phantom Antichrist

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 29th July 2012 by Pieni

Kreator
Phantom Antichrist
Released: 1st June 2012
Thrash Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

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Even though “Mars Mantra” may strike you as a classic heavy metal introductory track, believe me – this album is thrash metal all over.

Not pure thrash metal, as Kreator have realized long ago that a bit of technique and a handful of melody don’t make your sound less aggressive or less powerful. So you find elaborated guitar pieces with the destructive force of thrash but, simultaneously, the pleasant chords of melodic death metal. The band’s been trying this formula for about 4 albums now, but I dare to say this is the best outcome so far.

The title-track and “Death To The World” are the most straight-forward thrash metal tracks, while “United In Hate” follows that path after an acoustic guitar leaves you wondering for about 40 seconds.

“Civilization Collapse” has its massive moments, but the groundwork is clearly drawn from NWOBHM. The same with “From Flood Into Fire”, but the latter in a more melodic way.

Also “Your Heaven, My Hell” starts off slower than usual, Speesy giving an ominous tone with his bass, Mille Petrozza using his clean voice, before the music explodes along with a scream, Kreator-style.

And “The Few, The Proud, The Broken” has some… “different” tempo variations, as the ones we can find in those experimental bands, so popular nowadays.

So Kreator are trying to keep up with times. And if that didn’t work out very well for them in the nineties, I think now they’re making it. “Phantom Antichrist” is their 13th studio album – indeed a lucky number.

4.5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Nothgard Announces New Line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 6th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

An official update from the German melodic death metal band:

Hey NOTHGARD followers!!!
It has been a while since we have announced official and important changes. Today we can confirm a great step concerning the bands’ line-up. Last year our keyboard-player and the rest of NOTHGARD went separate ways what led us into a four-man-group. Now we hired a fifth member again – no, not a new keyboard player, but rather another virtuous string-raper. None else than WOLFCHANT‘s lead guitarist Skaahl. Our Czech friends were already able to get a picture of what is new due to NOTHGARDs performances during the „Dawn Of Heathen Warriors”- Tour in March 2012. What does it mean to play with 3 guitars and 1 bass? Follow the link below and check it out or: Visit the first official NOTHGARD-show with the new strong line-up on 07-14-2012 at the Eternal Hate Fest in Czech Republic -> Stage time: 10.15 pm.

Here you can watch our latest video recordings, which show NOTHGARDs variable 3-guitar powers:

Stay Heavy!
NOTHGARD

http://www.nothgard.de/

Karybdis – From The Depths

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 29th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Karybdis
From The Depths
Due For Release: 2nd July 2012
Death Metal
Self-Released

Karybdis_FromTheDepthsCover

Groove-laden death metal quintet Karybdis are one of the many rising stars in the UK’s metal underground. Hailing from Britain’s capital of London, the band’s album From The Depths (not to be confused with the two compilations we released) is described as embarking upon an epic, dark journey that creates a colliding sound of metals past, present and future.

The opening track, Minotaur, certainly caught my attention like the beginning of any good story, marrying a subtle classical sound with a titanic assault of riffs that – pardon the pun – feel like the wrath of the minotaur in musical form. The riffs balance perfectly between a furious storm of melodic death metal brutality and groove metal genius. The vocals finalise the mix of fresh sounds, enforcing the dark, almost Hadean grasp of the song. A sight Running Wild feel runs through some of the riffs of the title track From The Depths. The vocals embody the demonic, underworldly sound of the song, capable enough of keeping any listener hooked until the end. An essence of hardcore influences can be heard echoing throughout the guitars and drums in various parts of the track.

Without Wings merges speed metal, death metal and hardcore into a very sagaic and enchanting piece of work, whilst darker, more sinister influences make a stand through other parts of the song, keeping a certain excitement pumping throughout the veins of the music. The classical soundings that make an appearance seem to lure the listener into a trance, much like the sirens of mythology, before allowing the listener crash into the rocks that are Arson Aesthetics, a track that’s beginning is just the tip of a metallic iceberg that is slowly unleashed as the track sails further on into a masterfully blended use of hardcore riffs and metal sounds, with a dash of thunderous vocals.

Worth It has a very crisp, aggressive sound that seems to take on a “no more fun and games” approach, increasing the hostile feel of the album. I Say takes on the same approach as the previous track but with a few slight differences. The main one of which is a Latin-styled medley that comes as a surprise but it creates a new, fresh sound that very few bands could possibly pull off but Karydbis has successfully managed it. Medusa wasn’t what I expected it to be. I was expecting a cold, nihilistic song with more of a doom metal feel but the track is vicious, bloodthirsty and overall brutally perfect.

The next track, Maelstrom, is an interesting one to listen, creating a Children of Bodom-like sound and mixing it with furious riffs and thunderous drum patterns while the vocals bring about enough power to topple a mountain. Marching on towards the end is The Hour Glass, which I consider to be the most fierce and aggressive song on the entire album. Everything during in it, from the masterfully played riffs to the demonic vocal work and even the callous, barbaric use of drums, scream with a bloody voice of pure anger and violence.

DeathToll begins with an interesting percussion section before morphing into a blasphemous beast of pure death metallic goodness that will cause even the most laidback of metal fans to head bang along. The riffs belt out a very psychotic fury that just empowers every aspect of the track, while the vocals scream and growl like Cerberus’ three heads howling for blood. DeathToll is definitely the best way to end any death metal release.

From The Depths is an album filled to the brim with the best parts of death metal and hardcore music, with juicy portions of Greek mythos mixed in. Karybdis have done wonders with every track on the album, making it a release louder than Zeus’ thunder and more dangerous than the titans. Karybdis are certainly ushering in a new take on metal and hopefully they’ll be bringing back some greatness to the British metal scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Zonaria – Arrival Of The Red Sun

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 8th June 2012 by Pieni

Zonaria
Arrival Of The Red Sun
To be released: 23rd July
Melodic death metal
Released via Listenable Records

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If you had lost all hope in Zonaria, it’s time to find it again. Without new releases in four years nor a solid tour in two, one could think the band wouldn’t get to suffer from the “difficult third album syndrome”. Well the third album is here, but I think they dismissed that infamous syndrome – “Arrival Of The Red Sun” is the “most defined” (in their own words) and most mature (my words) of them all.

The opening track is the richest in thriving guitars, maybe the reason why the album is named after it.

The drums are massive throughout the whole piece, but if I needed to choose one song to advertise Cebbe Isaksson’s skills, “Full Spectrum Dominance” would get the gold medal, as it has a lot more than just speed. And “Gunpoint Salvation” would probably get silver.

“Silent Holocaust” is a more heavy metal tune than death metal, with a strong chorus and worked-up guitar solo. And “Desert Storms” also has that “classic-heavy innuendo” to it, although it’s definitely a melodic death metal song.

“Liberation Zero” is pure rage, and “A Lullaby To Those Still Alive” is anything but. But of course it sounds a lot more poetic to say “lullaby” than “angry hymn” or something like that. And speaking of poetic, I think “The Blood That Must Be Paid” classifies as the epic track.

Renowned Jonas Kjellgren was in charge of the production, and I could bet that a handful of the arrangements and details in this album came from his mind. Like the keys/synths in “My Vengeance Remains”, for instance – I could be wrong, but those are just like his style. This song has also some of the coolest shredding moments, really mosh-friendly, to contrast with those keys. It’s my favourite, by the way.

The album finishes with the darkest track, “Face My Justice”, but if you get your hands in the limited edition of the cd, then you have an 11th song called “CC Cowboys”.

In a nutshell… don’t miss this!

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Shades of Avalon release debut video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 7th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Manchester based Viking Death Metal band, Shades of Avalon, have released their debut music video – and Valkyrian Music have been given an exclusive link!

Entitled Maldon’s Legacy, it will be the lead track on the forthcoming ‘Northern Barbarians’ EP that will be released later this year:

http://vimeo.com/43296624

Shades of Avalon will be playing both Leatherfest (Jun 30th) and Valkyrian Festival (Nov 24th), and you can find their full schedule including further gig announcements etc at http://www.facebook.com/shadesofavalon

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