Archive for February, 2011

Darkest Hour – The Human Romance [2011]

Posted in 'Core with tags , , , on 17th February 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Darkest Hour
Album: The Human Romance
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore

“The Human Resource” is the seventh album release by American Death Metal quintet Darkest Hour. The album has been produced by “Soilwork” Peter Wichers, who has been a major influence on “Darkest Hour”. The album is due for release on 22nd February 2011.

The album begins with the track “Terra Noctunus”. The track begins with a sample of static from a radio which soon leads into a slow, hypnotic riff mixed with distorted feedback from another guitar. “The World Engulfed In Flames” is the track that follows after and begins with a slow but heavy intro. The drums in the intro sound as if they were improvised by an amateur as they don’t seem to work well with the guitar. The vocals sound to be more of the metalcore variety rather than the death metal variety. The track vastly improves after the intro, especially in terms of the drums.

“Savor the Kill” comes next, beginning with a technical sounding riff. The drums sound more professionally played as well throughout the entire track. Some of the riffs have a very melodic element to them, which works extremely well with the metalcore-sounding vocals. The guitar solo on this track is well played. The next track is “Man & Swine”, which begins with the vocals completely overpowering the guitars, which sound as if they’ve been panned down during in the production. The guitars do go up in volume half way through the track, just before a brilliant solo kicks in. The drums sound perfect on this track as well, clearly well played and in time with the entire song.

“Love As A Weapon” begins with a slow and clean intro riff, before another, more distorted guitar kicks in to play along aside the clean sounding guitar. The vocals sound more death metal on this track as well. The track switches to a slower, lighter and cleaner section halfway through for a short while before it turns heavy again. There is also a great use of clean vocals on this track as well. “Your Everyday Disaster” comes next and despite it’s “angsty teenage emo” sounding title, the track proves to be one of the more brutal, face melting tracks. Straight away the listener is bombarbed by harsh vocals, vicious guitars and bombarding drums. Even the solo keeps the track brutal. This one is clearly the best track of the album.

“Violent by Nature” follows after and it begins with a child talking in the background before a poorly recorded guitar kicks in alongside poorly recorded vocals. The drums are pretty much overpowered by the guitars. The track doesn’t improve at all and it is, without a doubt, the worse track on the album. On the next track, “Purgatory” the sound quality of the guitars and vocals has vastly improved and the drums sound more powerful than what they were in the previous track. The track turns lighter for about two seconds halfway through before the tempo and brutality are cranked back up.

“Severed into Separates” has brought back the poor sound quality of the guitars and vocals, which makes it almost as bad as “Violent by Nature”. The only difference being between the two tracks is that the drums are slightly more audible on “Severed into Separates”. Moving on to “Wound”, the guitars sound more clearer in terms of sound quality, but the sound quality of the vocals needs some work. The drums seem to fade in and out, as they sound overpowered by the vocals.

“Terra Solaris” begins with a slow intro which sounds like a poorly recorded piano, which carries on for a while when the guitars come in. While being a mostly heavy track, it is far too long, going on for 8 minutes and 37 seconds. About 2 minutes into the track, the sound of faint female vocals can be heard, which soon disappear when the riff turns melodic for a short while. Halfway through, the track turns slow and semi-acoustic for a few minutes before a shredding solo comes in, turning the track heavy again. The final track: “Beyond The Life You Know” begins with a very metalcore styled intro mixed with some melodic guitar work. The vocals are probably the most metalcore element to this track. At best, it’s a mediocre track.

“The Human Romance” isn’t exactly an impressive album, nor is a terrible album. There should have been more work on the production of some of the tracks and there could have been more death metal elements.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson

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Destruction – Day of Reckoning [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 16th February 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Destruction
Album: Day of Reckoning
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Thrash Metal

Teutonic thrash metal kings “Destruction” are back with their new album “Day of Reckoning”. The band have stated that this album will go “more back to their roots”.

The album begins with “The Price” which straight away proves to be the beginning of a very promising album. The guitars just blitz the ear drums, the vocals are raw and aggressive and the drums have a good ol’ thrash styled brutality to them. The guitar solo is insanely brilliant as well.
“Hate in my Fuel” comes straight after and it carries on the thrash-styled blitz with a fast-paced and heavy intro riff. The vocals, again, are raw and aggresive sounding. Parts of this track sound as if there is some influence from old-skool Megadeth. “Armageddonizer” follows right after. It sounds slower paced compared to the last two tracks but just as heavy. The best parts of this track would have to be the bass only section followed by the guitar solo.

The track is “Devil’s Advocate” which features a brilliant use of technical riffs and speedy chugging. The vocals sound as if they’ve become more aggressive on this track as well. The guitar solo has a very old skool sound to it as well. The title track “Day of Reckoning” comes next. It’s drum intro followed by a high-pitched wailing guitar riff is just immense. The track soon turns heavy, with a great use of double bass pedal, beasty riffs and raw vocals which sound almost death metalish. This track is, without a doubt, the best track on the album.

The next “Sorceror of Black Magic” takes a heavyness up a step. Everything sounds more brutal on this track, especially the drums and vocals. The guitar solo has a slightly modern sound to it mixed with an old skool influence. “Misfit” comes next and it has taken a the heavyness down a step, though in some parts of the tracks, the drums sound as if they’re overpowering the drums. The guitar solo isn’t as impressive as the previous ones.

“The Demon is God” is next and it’s intro riff sounds a tad similar to the intro of Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast”. The guitar solo half through is a vast improvement compared to the one in the previous track. “Church of Disgust” is on after and it begins with an unsynchronised chanting of the Lord’s Prayer before an intro solo comes blasting in. The track sounds like it’s been slightly influenced by “Sabbat”. The vocals retain their raw and aggressive sound and the guitars and drums sound as heavy as they have been on previous tracks.

The next track is “Destroyer or Creator”. It begins with a slow but heavy intro. The tempo increases a bit once the vocals kick in. The drums sound brilliant and the short guitar solo halfway through is just epic. “Sheep of the Regime” is next and in true thrash metal style, it begins with an aggresive intro and the lyrics have a very political meaning. The final track is a cover of Dio’s “Stand Up and Shout”. While not as aggressive as the rest of the album, it still proves to be a brilliant track and a great tribute to the metal god himself.

This is an extremely enjoyable album, from the immense guitar riffs, the heavy drums, the raw vocals and the brilliant perfection. Destruction are like a fine wine – They just get better with age and this album proves it!

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Svartsyn – Wrath Upon The Earth [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 16th February 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Svartsyn
Album: Wrath Upon The Earth
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

Svartsyn (Norwegian for “Black Sight”) are a Swedish black metal band with a career spanning over 17 years. Coming into 2011, they now release their 13th release: Wrath Upon The Earth.

“Wrath Upon The Earth” begins with the generically titled track “Intro”, which isn’t much of a track as it is just composed of random orchestration along with some percussion. Straight after “Intro” comes “Wrath of Leviathan”, which begins with a combination of double bass pedals and distorted guitars. The vocals are what one would expect to find on a black metal album, though they seem soft compared to the music and in some parts of this track, they sound like they’re almost being drowned out by the music.

“My Mountain” comes blasting after wards and the music carries on it’s reign of brutal heavyness. Again, the vocals sound soft compared to the actual music. This track stays interesting with the change of tempo and direction of the drums and guitar, which is good considering the length of the track.

“Deathsworned” soon follows and it’s beginning sounds slightly similar to “My Mountain”. The music remains heavy and the vocals sound slightly stronger than the previous two tracks. The guitars anmd drums retain a constant, droning riff throughout most of this track and the vocals go pretty deep half way through.  This is possibly the worse track on the album.

Moving onto “Dawn of Triumph”, the guitars sound as if they’ve given a little tweak to the technical side of the riffs at the beginning of this track. The vocals remain weak and barely audible compared to the music. “Pyramids of Deathlight” comes on after with a slightly more technical guitar riff, which could possibly be a guitar solo though the distortion makes it difficult to tell. The vocals sound more aggressive and brutal, which is a huge improvement compared to the other tracks.

“Blood Temple” is next and it’s tempo is rather slow compared to the previous tracks. The riffs sound basic compared to the last two tracks and the drums sound slightly louder. The vocals have gone back to being weak, but as weak as they are on some of the other tracks. The track, overall, seems slightly weaker compared to the rest of the album. The final track, “He Who Knows” sounds a tad heavier than the previous track and the vocals seem to have regained the strength and brutality that they had on the track “Pyramids of Deathlight”. There are a few tempo changes on this track but it remains relatively fast. Overall, the track is uninteresting.

Overall, the album is mediocre at best. Musically, for the most part, it’s extremely good but vocally, it’s as bad as a Justin Bieber album. The composition of black metal has gone downhill since the 90s and this album proves that point. It’s not worth buying unless you’re a hardcore Svartsyn fan.

3/5

Nico Davidson