Archive for March, 2012

The Wretched End – Inroads

Posted in CD, Metal on 31st March 2012 by Pieni

Band: The Wretched End
Album: Inroads
Release date: April 2012
Genre: thrash/death metal
Label: Nocturnal Art Productions

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There’s no doubt that Norway is rich in black metal bands. But once in a while a thrashier sound comes from those cold lands.

Still, when you listen to the very first track, “Tyrant Of The Mountain”, you can feel the influence of what is most well-known in that country. The cranking guitars soon go ballistic in that death-on-the-verge-of-black kind of way. Then there’s this change of pace more or less halfway through the song, which is what I usually call “the headbangers moment”, as the rhythm slows down but the power keeps pumping and you feel that urgent pull to bang your head along.

“Fear Propaganda” has also that “darker-than-thou” feeling to it. However, the general vibe of the whole album is indeed closer to the thrash/death definition, for its mix of obscure melodies and shredding riffs, as found in “Deathtopian Society”, “Death By Nature” or “The Haunting Ground”. By the way, there’s a cool detail in “Deathtopian Society”: a creepy voice in the chorus, as if spoken by some god or unearthly creature. And I really like the solo in “Throne Renowned Of Old”.

Also in this batch we can listen The Wretched End going through a more doomish path with “Blackthorn Winter”, which in my opinion was very well conceived.

Despite being the second album by these guys, I had never heard about them before. I will surely pay them more attention from now, as the quality of “Inroads” is truly worth it.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Vuohivasara – Perdition Reigns Supreme

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 31st March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Vuohivasara
Album: Perdition Reigns Supreme
Release date: April 2012
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Inverse Records

‘Perdition Reigns Supreme’ is the third album from the Finnish black metal band Vuohivasara. The band’s name is Finnish for ‘Goathammer’ which, allegedly symbolizes evil and hate.

The opening track ‘Tears of Firmament’ has the ferocity of Dark Funeral characterized by the fast drums and raw black metal vocals mixed in with melodic guitar parts from old Satyricon and to some extent Gorgoroth. The next ‘Luopio’ is more melodic in nature and some of the guitar patterns remind me of Satyricon’s ‘Mother North’.

‘Anno Domini Infernus’ may not have the best intro due to the random ‘vomit simulation’ at the start but the music makes up for this very quickly. The drums and guitar riffs give this track a somewhat progressive feel but luckily it’s just just enough to make it stand-out without becoming overpowering. ‘The Great Aspect Of Desolation Of The God Of Light’ marks a return to brutal, raw black metal with the additional touch in the form of a choir half way through the track.

Other noteworthy songs include ‘Raise The Throne of Hate’ which contains atmospheric elements akin to Ragnarok and the epic black metal ballad ‘Though Shall Not Suffer A Sorceress To Live’.

Overall this is one of the best black metal albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Evile Confirmed For Bloodstock

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 30th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Evile are among the latest groups to be confirmed for this year’s edition of Bloodstock Open Air, a dedicated metal festival held annually in Derbyshire, UK.

The band will be performing on the Sophie Lancaster Stage on Sunday, 12th August, and join a line-up of bands such as Testament, Sepultura, Behemoth, the legendary Alice Cooper, Deicide and many more.

Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake commented: “It was great to wake up to the confirmation of our appearance at the one and only Bloodstock Festival.  With the release of our Five Serpent’s Teeth album, we dedicated the track ‘Centurion’ to the festival, and for them to have us back with a great slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage, it’s bound to be a show to remember.  We may just even have a special, first time live-airing of the previously mentioned track for the BOA masses. Come along for your Evile fix! Long live Bloodstock!”

Get tickets and more information about Bloodstock at http://www.bloodstock.uk.com

See Evile live at the following shows:

Apr. 12 – Madrid, Spain – Sala Ritmo y Compas
Apr. 13 – Gijon, Spain – Sala Acapulco
Apr. 14 – Pamplona, Spain – Sala Totem
Apr. 15 – Barcelona, Spain – Sala Music Hall
Apr. 21 – Haugesund, Norway – Karmoygeddon Festival
May 05-06 – Eastern Sea, Finland – Radio Rock Cruise
May 28 – Belfast, UK – Ulster Hall (w/ MACHINE HEAD)
May 30 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia Theatre (w/ MACHINE HEAD)
Jun. 03 – Exeter, UK – Real Devon Rocks at Exeter Phoenix
Jul. 20 – Luarca, Spain – Luarca Metal Fest
Aug. 12 – Walton-On-Trent, UK – Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Aug. 24/25 – Wörrstadt, Germany – Neuborn Open Air Festival

In related news, Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake has been nominated for the “Dimebag Darrell Shredder” award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods.  You can vote for Ol here.

Alice In Thunderland – Hellfire

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on 27th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Alice In Thunderland
Album: Hellfire
Release date: 23rd March 2012
Genre: Classic Rock/NWOBHM
Label: Unsigned/Self-Released

Alice In Thunderland have been an active part of the Yorkshire music scene for several years, supporting acts such as NWOBHM legends Blitzkrieg and Tygers Of Pan Tang, as well bands such as Ravenage, Clown Corpse and Cryptic Age. After two years of being recorded and produced by Mikey Bolton at Powerstage Studio, the band’s fourth album Hellfire is finally available.

The album begins with the thundering roar of guitars that kick start Something Is Coming. Frontwoman Kala’s are both powerful and emotive as they echo throughout the song, adding a feeling of melancholy to the music. The bass adds extra punch to the song, whilst the solo injects a very NWOBHM sound. Hey Hey takes on a darker approach with the guitars in the intro, sounding almost like a mix of Black Sabbath and Paradise Lost. Kev’s bass work blends handsomely with Kala’s vocals and Stu’s drumming. The guitars are overwhelmingly raw and meaty, keeping the track sounding strong.

The third track Take To The Limit turns the tempo of the album up several notches, sounding ever so slightly like a faster edition of a Whitesnake track but only heavier and more aggressive. Of course, the track does contain a mellow section that I find to be a quite genius part of the song, due to the emotional and embracing atmosphere of the softer, melodic guitar section that are carried ever so gently by the drums into the first, sagaic-sounding solo of the track, provided by Tony Dixon. The second solo of the track, performed by Tony Dean, has a more classic rock meets thrash metal sound flowing throughout it, adding an admirable contrast to the song.

Control has the previous sounds of Alice In Thunderland’s discography mixed into the guitars with a dash of elephantine riffs. The vocals are as hypnotic as a swinging pendulum, whilst the drums are crisp, like freshly lain snow. The solo, performed by Dixon, has a very behemothic sound which thunders through the speakers like Thor’s chariot racing through the sky. Always Forever is a song I’m delighted to hear on the album, as it’s one of my favourite songs that the band perform at shows. The intro is slow, melodic and soothing before leading the song into its staunch, classic rock sound. Kala’s vocals adapt to the changes in the song, infusing them with the soft and heavy sections. The heavy riffs of Are You Ready are another one of my fond memories of previous Thunderland performances. The guitar and bass sections bounce off each other masterfully, creating that unique AIT sound that the band’s fans are so well accustomed to.

I’m not gonna lie, the second I heard Voices blast through my speakers, a smile slid across my face. The song has always been my favourite track performed by Alice In Thunderland. The guitar riffs, masterfully played by Tony Dean, have a crisp, melodic sound that really bring out the emotion in Kala’s vocals, especially during in the chorus. The song has a certain energy that bursts from the music, enhancing the strength of the song. The one thing really sticks out the most though is the use of a clean guitar section, over the heavier riffs, that leads into the 70s stylised solo. The album comes to one of its last stops, before the end, in the form of Frozen, which despite the name is a spirited but dark track. Kala’s vocals truly reflect the spirited sound whilst the music portrays the dark part of the song. The chorus is one of those that will stick to you like glue, due to it being so memorable. The lyrics are very invoking of emotions, adding to the darkness that the music provides. The solo brings a very modern sound to the album, which is both surprising and pleasant.

No album is ever complete without a title track and so the album finishes on its title track Hellfire. The music differs greatly from the last track, bringing a potent atmosphere and rugged sound to the sound, which in my opinion, works well with what the song deals with lyrically. Mikey Bolton guest stars on this track, providing some very punchy backing vocals that help a dynamic sound to both the song and the album. Kev’s bass work is undeniably well performed and passionate, much like Dean’s playing and Dixon’s solo. Stu’s drumming on this track feels more zealous and alert than I’ve ever known it to be. Kala’s are on top form as well, throughout this track, adding a gentle feel to the rawness of the music.

After hearing the album in its entirety I am left wondering why Alice In Thunderland aren’t playing some of the big festivals or touring with the likes of Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and at a push, Megadeth. The band have managed to incorporate a healthy mix of classic rock and NWOBHM with a dash of modern influences and the production values on the album, thanks to Mikey Bolton, deserve an entire review of their own as the album sounds beyond epic but still retains that raw, untamed sound. Alice In Thunderland really do deserve more recognition for their work and Hellfire is bona fide evidence of that.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Hellfire is available from the band via their Facebook page, which can be found here.

Don’t forget to that Alice In Thunderland are supporting Severed Heaven at The Lamp on April 29th. Tickets are available £3 in advance from the band.

Alice In Thunderland w/Support @ Shades Nightclub

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 25th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: Alice In Thunderland, Lipstick Sunbeam
Location: Shades Nightclub, Bridlington
Date: 23rd March 2012

After two years in the making at Powerstage Studio, Alice In Thunderland’s fourth album Hellfire was ready to be launched and so it was at Shades Nightclub in Bridlington. Opening the night were Driffield-based alternative rock trio Lipstick Sunbeam. This was the second time I had seen them perform – the first time was in Hull at Denim and Leather’s Rock The Ringside. They had improved vastly since I last saw them, mixing up their set with a combination of hard rocking riffs and funky basslines, topped off with some raw, powerful vocals. The early part of their set had a certain flair of early Black Sabbath while the last few songs had a touch of doom metal meets alt. rock to the sound. Lipstick Sunbeam was certainly well received by the crowd and no wonder. They played a very staunch set that masterfully showed the band’s musicianship.

After a short interval, local heroes Alice In Thunderland made their way to the stage. Alice In Thunderland are one of those rare and unique bands that are like a fine wine – they get better with age. Like previous shows I’ve seen them at, their set was dominated with a strong barrage of classic rock styled-riffs and melodic vocals. Their sound has been enhanced with the addition of guitarist Tony Dixon who’s guitar work blends in well with Tony Dean’s riffs and Kevin Truelove’s bass work. It was difficult to see the band play due to a mixture of smoke and the crowd. Hush Now went down a treat with the crowd, as did their blistering cover of Crazy Train.

One of my favourite parts of AIT’s set was the performance of Something Is Coming, a song that contained untamed guitar work and truly showed frontwoman Kayla’s vocal talents. Hey Hey had a very thundering use of bass, provided by Kev, and the intelligent yet destructive drum stylings of Stu Millington. As always, AIT provided a brilliant and charismatic performance and were supported by one hell of a band.

Nico Davidson

Photography by David Ferret Taylor.

Greek Titans Sign To Pitch Black

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 25th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Pitch Black Records is pleased to announce the addition of three outstanding Greek metal acts into its roster and the release of their albums in May. Each band is unique in its own way and style and their albums will be impossible to go unnoticed.

LITROSIS “I am Death” (symphonic black metal) due for release: May 1st 2012.

Their debut album will be the second release in the ‘Blackest Pitch Series’, a series which always features an eclectic selection of black metal with the first pressing being a unique and collectible packaging limited to 333 numbered copies.

MARAUDER “Elegy of Blood” (classic heavy metal) due for release: May 15th 2012

The Greek metal legends are back with their fifth offering! Superb compositions, a powerful production and an already proven performance make waiting for this album unbearable!

SACRED BLOOD “Alexandros” (epic power metal) due for release: May 29th 2012

Sophomore release for this band that goes beyond epic, fusing metal with folk instruments. A concept album adequately dealing with a mighty certain someone who needs no further introduction… Alexandros, better known as Alexander the Great.

More details about each band and album will be revealed soon.

Velvetcult – Electric Tree

Posted in Alternative, Industrial, Rock on 25th March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Velvetcult
Album: Electric Tree
Release date: April 2012 (International)
Genre: Electronic Rock
Label: Secret Entertainment

‘Electric Tree’ is the third full length from the Finnish melancholic, electro-rock band Velvetcult. The band’s frontman, Tomi cites Placebo, Nine Inch Nails and Muse amongst his influences for this particular release.

The opening track ‘Climbing Up The Electronic Tree’ is a perfect match to the band’s description. The sombre and slow intro gives in to Nine Inch Nails -esque industrial rock with guitars laced with samples and synthesizer noise. The next track ‘Pulse of the Earth’ has more of an indie rock feel to it due its radio-friendly guitar riffs and whispery vocals. Comparisons to Muse and newer Katatonia spring to mind though this is not a carbon copy of either.

‘Heroic Symphony’ features an interesting mix of Muse -esque vocals and electronic sounds along with more indie rock style guitar riffs. ‘Heavy To Climb’ (parts I & II) are the closest thing Velvetcult has to a ballad. The whimpering vocals and soft guitars on these tracks give them a very melancholic feel.

One track which stands out from the others is the catchy, guitar-driven ‘Farewell and Goodbye’ which marks a short-lived return to the industrial/electronic sound with vocals that owes more to goth rock or early electronica than Muse. If only the rest of the album sounded like this…

3/5

Iza Raittila