Archive for July, 2011

Obsolete Tomorrow – Beauty Through Chaos [2010]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 31st July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Obsolete Tomorrow
Album: Beauty Through Chaos
Release year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Death Metal/Yorkshire Metal

Obsolete Tomorrow is the solo project of Driffield based guitarist and producer Lee Rule [Ravenage, Windrider, ex-Divine Sinn]. The debut EP “Beauty Through Chaos” [A concept EP revolving around Rule’s life] was released through Rule’s label Xeroxed Records.

The generically named “Prelude” is the first track of the album. Even on a low volume the sheer aggression of the guitars and drums bursts through the speakers. “Battle Ready” comes shredding its way next with a violent combination of raw growls, guitars and drums. The guitars are acute in their composition and playing whilst the drums are masterfully played. The vocals are extremely impressive, almost demonic – Even the whispered growls are a great addition to the track and the EP. The guitar solo is brilliant, very melodic – Mixing well with the aggressive rhythm. Two songs in and the EP is already at a savagely awesome beginning.

The hard-bitten intro of “The Eternal Nightmare” blasts its way next with a ruthless combo of guitars and drums. The synths are a great part of the track, adding a calmness to the hurricane-like force of pure brutality. The drum work is precise but savagely brutal and the vocals are feral and beasty. The double bass pedal barrages are an ingenious addition to the track as well. “Let Chaos Rise” starts with a less rage-fuelled riff, being more akin to progressive metal than death metal, as can be heard in other sections of the track. The guitars and drums certainly show a progressive influence though the vocals keep the angst and aggression. The synths are amazing. There are some death metal elements in the guitars and drums – Good news for those whom aren’t a fan of progressive metal. The highlight of the song would definitely have to be the guitar solo.

”My Asylum” is one of the more lighter songs on the EP, featuring a masterful use of melodic guitar riffs. The track could be easily described as the calm before the storm, which is most true considering the bloodthirsty assault of metal that follows in the form of “The New Beginning” which mixes the aggression and heaviness of death metal with the interesting influences of progressive metal. The drum work is entertaining in its style and playing, blending well with the guitars and vocals. The vocals certainly add the brutal element to the song. The different tempos throughout the track add a new dynamic to the entire EP as well as the track.

”The Rise Of Beauty” is another softer song on the EP, being akin to a mixture of progressive and melodic metal. Surprisingly, there’s a use of female vocals that create the good ol’ “beauty and the beast” effect with the harsh growls. The riffs are very melodic and heavy in some sections. The choir voices from the synths add a very mystical and epic atmosphere to the track. The rough, aggression guitar work contrasts well with the soft, melodic riffs and the female vocals are just enchanting. The EP finishes with “The War Is Over”, another soft, progressive styled track that is the perfect end to a brilliant EP.

Both composition-wise and production-wise, Beauty Through Chaos is a masterpiece. If you didn’t know it was the debut release of Obsolete Tomorrow, you’d most certainly think it was a later release in Obsolete Tomorrow’s discography. Progressive death metal has never been so brilliantly composed! It’s probably the best release in the British metal scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson

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Internal Harvest – Exit Signs [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 31st July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Internal Harvest
Album: Exit Signs
Release year: 2011
Genre: Dark Metal

Australia is a country with one of the most unknown metal scenes in the world which is actually a huge shame considering the quality of the metal that comes from down under. Internal Harvest are another top quality band from the Australian metal underground. “Exit Signs” is the latest full-length from these Aussie dark metallers.

The melodically slow introduction of “Quagmire” begins the album. Without any form of warning, the track turns stout and stormy, whilst lethargic at the same time. The vocals are raw and savage but the drum work needs improvement as it doesn’t seem to fit in with the guitars or vocals. The song, overall, does set a very gloomy and dark-hearted mood, something that might not be liked by all but it’s still a genius effect of the track. Towards the end of the track, the drum work improves greatly, bouncing off the guitars extremely well. “Field Of Thorns” has a faster tempo but still brings along a very melancholy atmosphere with it. The drum work is more acute and well composed and the bass riffs – clearly audible – sound simply amazing. The vocals are still raw, angsty and untamed – though in some section they do sound slightly whiney. The clean, droning vocals make the track sound slightly doom metal-ish as well – A surprisingly decent aspect of the song.

“Blinded By Heart” is different sounding in its introduction, as it mixes clean and slow riffs and soft drums with feral screams. The mood generated by this song is a sombre and sorrowful one, making the listener’s heart literally feel heavy with remorse – Very few bands these days can pull that off so kudos to Internal Harvest for that. The tempo and weight of the song increases towards the halfway point and the vocals become more savage. “Crumbling Within” starts with a synth-guitar combo introduction which is soon joined by the drums. Though a soft beginning, the atmosphere it generates is powerful. The vocals, clean and droning, add to the atmosphere and the mood set by the song. The immensity of the track escalates when it turns heavier. The riffs become rougher and the vocals more hateful, though the drum stay soft. The soft and clean guitar section makes a reappearance towards the end of the track as well.

“The Illusion Of Life” starts with strange sound effects and odd sounding guitar parts. The track turns heavy yet slow after about a minute of sound effects. The vocals sound bloodthirsty and beefy. After a while, the track begins to become uninteresting though it is clearly well composed and the sound effects do add a unique sound to it. The clean vocals keep a doom metal essence about the track as well. It does, however, become more exciting towards the end – A little too late though. The final song on the album is the title track “Exit Signs”, beginning slow like some of the previous tracks and partially muted. However, the listener need not despair as the track does get heavier. The vocals are still raw and untamed and the drums work well the guitar sections. The increase of tempo is brilliant as it gives the track more untameable energy and aggression whilst keeping a certain sombre mood as well. The clean vocals are well used on this track as well, adding to the despairing feeling of the song.

Australia may not be noted for its metal but with a band like Internal Harvest on the scene it may soon be known for its metal scene rather than its kangaroos. The album is a different one compared to most metal albums these days as it mixes black, doom and progressive metal with some very experimental ideas as well. It works mostly throughout the album though there are some parts where it just does not want to seem to work – But this is no fault of the band’s as some things just can’t work together at all. It will be interesting to see how Internal Harvest carry on this unique sound found on “Exit Signs”.

4/5

Nico Davidson

The Obscene – The Torment Of Sinners [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 30th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: The Obscene
Album: The Torment Of Sinners EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Old School Death Metal

The United Kingdom underground metal scene is home to many great extreme (death & black) metal bands such as Hecate Enthroned and Venom. However, they’re not the only bands that have they’re home in the British underground. The Obscene, who keep death metal old school, are another band on the rise in the underground and their recent EP “The Torment Of Sinners” is just another step to the top for them.

”The Storm To Come”, aptly named, is the introduction to the EP. The use of sound effects throughout it, until the guitars and drum appear, leaves the listener on the edge of their seats – In a similar fashion to an extremely terrifying horror film. The guitars and drums are certainly old school in their composition. “The Storm To Come” finishes with what sounds to be the mutilated scream of a woman being stabbed, which introduces the second track “Embrace Oblivion”. The terrifying and violent concoction of vocals, guitars and drums greets the listener brutally at the beginning. The guitars are raw and just bursting with energy and the drum work is precise to the beat, brutal and intelligent.

”Grim Discovery” is composed of a voiceover which is a man speaking of bashing in a woman’s head – Can’t get any more violent than that unless you add in some raw, untamed death metal riffage which is exactly what The Obscene do, adding to the aggression and shock-value of the track. Beginning in a similar fashion to “Embrace Oblivion” is the slow yet heavy track entitled “Beyond The Hold Of God”. Some of the guitar sections seem to be choppy and lacking consistency though the listener can certainly feel the anger of the music – Which is a great thing for the hardcore fans of death metal. The drums are most impressive, more impressive the beast-like vocals.

”Skiprat Jane” begins with a voiceover of a female asking to borrow a body. The guitar riff that follows is just savage whilst the drums are on the verge of being Wall of China falling on a skull heavy! The vocals are pretty much bloodthirsty and hateful. Incorrectly named, “The Final Silence” comes shredding next – Bringing blissful death metal styled loudness with it. The scream, before the growls, sounds a tad like the ones found on a Venom record. The riffs are ingenious, mixing well with the hard-bitten drums, which sound to be doing a lot of the work in some sections. The vocals have a more beasty and demonic sound as well.

The last five tracks of the EP are bonus tracks, which can be found on the “Destroying the Heavens” EP from when the band went under a different name. The first of these bonus tracks is “P. S. A. S”. The guitars and drums certainly sound raw and unrefined, a good trait indeed. The vocals, on the other hand, sound more akin to black metal as opposed to death metal. The softer and clean section is certainly not what the listener would expect to find on this track – Fortunately it doesn’t last long before the track turns heavy again. “Destroying The Heavens” begins slow and clean, disappointingly. Though the blood-curdling scream signals for a change in weight and tempo for the track. The riffs and drums are barbaric and the vocals sound feral.

“The Man, The Martyr” brings the anger and savagery straight from the beginning. The music seems more fiery and rage-fuelled and the vocals are frenzied, much like a berserker. “Circle Of Despair” is different sounding as it seems to be more classic rock orientated, rather than death metal – though the vocals do keep a certain death metal dynamic to the track. The EP finishes with “And The Rivers Ran Black”, a track whose intro sounds slightly Gorgoroth inspired. The vocals are still raw and feral, whilst the music is savage, barbaric and bloodthirsty – A true death metal combination. You really couldn’t ask for a better track to finish the EP with.

”The Torment Of Sinners” might sound like a line out of the bible but the EP is far from biblical. The riffs and drum work would have Satan himself leaving a brown streak in his boxers and the vocals would give any demon a run for their money. Production wise, the songs are raw and aggressive – Perfect for the old school style of The Obscene. Despite the clean and slow guitar sections, “The Torment Of Sinners” is an interesting and entertaining EP, that’s not just for Hallowe’en, a jewel in Britain’s underground metal scene.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Akkadian – Obsidian Dawn [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 30th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Akkadian
Album: Obsidian Dawn
Release year: 2011
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Britain, the very country whose music scene has given birth to metal subgenres such as black metal, Gothic rock and metal, folk metal and progressive metal and has gone as far as to influence other genres such as Power metal and Death metal, has one of the most well known metal undergrounds in Europe. Each year, new bands appear within the metal underground and one the most notable bands to have formed in the past decade within the British underground is the blackened death metal outfit known as “Akkadian”. Following the success of their EP “Tides Of Carpathia”, Akkadian have gone to release their next EP “Obsidian Dawn”.

The EP begins with the unexpected, melodic intro of “Dominus”. The riff is hypnotic and mesmerising and slightly haunting. The track turns brutal after the intro – The riffs and drum work are absolutely ruthless in their playing and the vocals are callous and gruff, certainly better than most vocals found in modern death metal. The drums are hard-bitten and adeptly played, adding a certain amount of intelligence to the barbarically savage track. The title track, “Obsidian Dawn”, has a semi-melodic, semi-rage-fuelled introductory riff. The vocals keep the death metal element flowing through the track whilst the guitars and drums bring the aggressiveness. In parts, the drums seem sluggish though this is nothing to despair about as it adds to the heaviness of the song. The vocals are probably the one thing that truly stick out about this track. ”The Slaves Shall Arise” has a slight hint of Behemoth influence by the sounds of it. The vocals are beast-like and faster paced than the last two tracks. The guitars play some amazing riffs – Both melodically and barbarically – Whilst the drums are more sophisticated yet hateful in their style. “The Slaves Shall Rise” could easily be a mosh-pit anthem as well as a fan favourite. It is clearly the best track on the EP.

”Ascension Of The Nephilim Child” has a very interesting, energetic and melodic intro that is savage and violent as well. The vocals are still going strong, keeping that death metal element flowing. The use of melodic riffs on this track is just simply mind-blowing and its amazing how the sheer brutality of the drums works so well with the melodic sections. The EP finishes with “Sargon Of Akkad”. The soft, melodic intro is unexpected and feels like a disappointing come down after the aggression and heaviness of the previous tracks. Fortunately, the track does turn angrier and more demonic sounding. The riffs sound sadistic and the drums seem to have more bite, whilst the vocals sound like demonic howling of a werewolf – Which is a brilliant addition to the song. As “Sargon Of Akkad” progresses it begins to sound more and more monstrous and slightly old skool death metal styled as well. The narration in the second half of the song is just brilliant, working well alongside the guitars and drums. The solo that follows is immense and beastly. The track ends with a soft and melodic riff.

”Obsidian Dawn” is a brutish piece of work in terms of composition, everything just seem feral and violent – Making for a brilliant piece of work. The production qualities are great on the EP as well, as one can clearly hear everything and still enjoy the aggressive brutality of the songs. Akkadian could well become the next Death, Behemoth or Mayhem.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Drygva – The Son Of The Mighty Rod [2010]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 29th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Drygva
Album: The Son Of The Mighty Rod
Release year: 2010
Genre: Folk Metal/Pagan Metal/Slavic Metal

Drygva, a two-piece folk metal band from Belarus whom are extremely proud of their ancestral roots and heritage, bring something new to folk metal, a genre that seems to focus on Vikings and drinking. Their debut album, “The Son Of The Mighty Rod”, has been described as being able to take the listener back to age-old times of the pre-Christian Slavic peoples.

“The Prophesy” is the first track of the album, though it is more of a prelude than an actual track, being composed of the sound of horses, wind, acoustic guitars and other folk instrumentation, alongside narration in the band’s native tongue. “Path of Volkhves” calmly follows next with a flute medley introduction. The track turns savage with the introduction of the vocals. The guitars and drums are beefy and violent, whilst the lyrics, growled in Drygva’s native tongue, add a very folk element to the song. The flute and and string medleys add a harmonious yet dramatic atmosphere. The song, unexpectedly, finishes serenely.

The third song, “Mother of Enhydris” begins with a slow, melodic and wild intro, which sounds more tame when the flutes come in. Everything in the song seems to blend perfectly well from the masterfully composed flute sections to the savage yet intelligent guitar and drum work. The vocals sound raw and feral, adding to the mastery of the track. The tribal-like instrumental break half way through the track is different but brilliant and it works oddly well with the guitars before they fully take over the track again. “Son Of Mighty Rod” starts with a strange sounding guitar-flute intro. Some of the guitar sections lack consistency and don’t work too well with the other instruments in parts. The vocals are still impressive, as are the flutes. “Son Of Mighty Rod” is, at best, an average track with room for improvement in terms of the guitars.

The first interlude-styled track of the album is next in the form of “The Watchword”. The track features more narration in the band’s native tongue as well as tribal drum work and some guitar work, though the flute medleys pretty much are the best thing about “The Watchword”. “Under The Banner Of Perun” blasts its way next with a beastly drum section and face-melting guitar riffs. The folk instrumentation adds a very mythic sound to the song, keeping the grand and majestic sound of the album flowing. The carnal vocals keep the track brutal sounding as well. If there was one song that perfectly defines the sound of “Drygva”, then “Under The Banner Of Perun” is certainly is that song!

Nearing towards the end of the album is “Sigh Of War”. The flute medley that begins it is very serene and soothing whilst the guitar riff that follows is feral and ferocious. The drum work is acute, heavy and barbaric and the vocals are aggressive. Some of the flute medleys sound similar to the ones found earlier in the album, which is disappointing. The guitar solo is a genius addition to the track. The second and final interlude of the album comes next. “Thunderstorm” seems wrongly named at first due to the calm music that echoes throughout it, mixed with the whispered narration. However, a strong and powerful guitar riff follows, mixed with drums, folk instruments and the roaring sound of thunder.

”If You Shall Die In Battle” begins with the sound of men screaming in battle and the roaring sound of a melodic riff. The drum are thunderous and savage, whilst the flute sections are intelligently played. The song seems to get more fast-paced and violent as it goes on. The vocals are still strong, feral and bloodthirsty. The sound samples of men fighting in armed combat mix in well with the theme of the song, though it does give it a slight Viking Metal feel. The album finishes with “Festal Song”, a more folk orientated song sounding a little bit like the old song “Greensleeves”. The mighty sound of metal does make itself heard on this track – Fortunately enough for those who can’t stand folk music on its own. The vocals don’t seem as impressive on this track however and some of the riffs seem choppy.

As a debut album, “The Son Of The Mighty Rod” is not extremely impressive but it is better than average. Their blend of folk music and metal is certainly unique sounding and the use of lyrics in their native tongue gives the album a very folkish feel. There are some sections that need working upon and the of interludes throughout the album did take away from its musical impact but Drygva do certainly show a great deal of talent and hopefully they will be releasing more albums in the near future.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson

Jam Night @ Shades [Event Review]

Posted in Live with tags , , , , , on 28th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Event: Jam Night
Location: Shades, Queen Street, Bridlington

Jam Night, a regular event set up by Dave Allott of Red Bamboo Studio, has become a vital part of Bridlington’s underground music scene. Through the years, it has seen several changes of venues but has now found a new home at Shades, a nightclub located underneath Harbour Tavern on Queen Street.

Jam Night is certainly a most interesting event as it allows new musicians and bands, as well as more experienced ones to show off and demonstrate their talents and skills, as well as original compositions. The atmosphere of the first Jam Night at Shades was one buzzing with excitement and enjoyment. Each musician who played certainly displayed great talent and raw potential – Each one playing a different style, be it classic rock to a modern post-hardcore sound. It’s no wonder Jam Night has become a vital pulse in Bridlington’s music scene.

The £2 entry is certainly well worth it whether you’re just a fan of live music or a musician looking to jam with like-minded individuals. So, if you’re ever in Bridlington on a Thursday evening and want something to do, Jam Night at Shades is the place to go and is certainly a great place for any musician to hone their skills.

Nico Davidson

Jam Night is every Thursday at Shades between 7pm and 10pm. Entry fee is £2. Alcohol is not sold in Shades but is available in Harbour Tavern, which is located just above Shades. For more details, e-mail Dave Allott at: dave@redbamboomusic.com

Broken Mirrors – Strong Enough [2010]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 27th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Broken Mirrors
Album: Strong Enough
Release year: 2010
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Thrash Metal

Broken Mirrors, whom formed back in 2007, are apart of the unsung French metal scene. Combining melodic death metal with thrash metal, the band have been on a roll since forming, despite line-up changes. 2010 saw the release of their EP “Strong Enough”, which features two original tracks that are due to appear on their next full-length album and two punk covers.

The first track of the EP is the title track “Strong Enough”. The intro is completely synth orientated until the sound of eerie, melodic guitars with soft drums, which isn’t the kind of intro that is expected – Already ruining the atmosphere and EP. The track, luckily, does become heavier though staying slow-paced with the synth section reappearing which sounds like something heard on a Zelda game. The tempo does increase a fair bit later in the track though the song does keep switching between synth medleys and guitar riffs, which takes some getting used to. The vocals sound to be leaning more towards a black metal or metalcore effect as opposed to a death metal style. The guitar solo is mediocre though does show potential for the track to improve though the synth solo that follows doesn’t give the track much justice. Already, the EP is off to a, at most, mediocre start.

”Holding The Trigger” is melodic and average paced to begin with though brilliantly composed and beasty. The vocals have more bite to them and the synth sections do well to bring a different sound to the song. The drums are beefy and heavy. “Holding The Trigger” feels and sounds so much more aggressive, the way a thrash/death metal track should be. The voice overs in the middle with the sci-fi sounding synth add a very unique sound to the EP as well. The listener can certainly hear the death metal and thrash influences and elements on this track. The guitar solo is melodic and gentle yet like a raging lion at the same time. “Holding The Trigger” is certainly an improvement.

The last two songs on the EP are the previously mentioned punk covers. The first of these covers is “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, originally performed by The Offspring. It contains an old-skool punk feel to it yet bringing in a modern, beck-breaking metal sound, brilliantly mixing old and new together. The vocals are raw and full of angst, pretty much dominating the track. Broken Mirrors have certainly made this one sound like one of their own songs. The second cover and last song on the EP is “Anarchy In The UK” – A song originally performed by the infamous punk pioneers known as Sex Pistols. The synth parts don’t seem to fit in well with the other instruments. The vocals have a very punk touch to them, which would make the occasional listener to metal mistake this song for a punk version of the cover. The guitars have a lot of bite to them, whilst the drums just seem typically punk.

Despite the mediocre beginning and some dodgy synth riffs, “Strong Enough” is a decent release and a good example of what can be expected of the French metal scene. Broken Mirrors do show quite a bit of potential to be well-known on the international metal scene, they just need to work on the synth sections mainly.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson