Archive for June, 2012

Lazarus Syndrome – Flatline

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

Lazarus Syndrome
Flatline
Released March 2011
Melodic Metal
Self-Released

Lazarus Syndrome are a five piece melo-metal outfit from Liverpool, whose influences include Queen, Slipknot and Metallica. The band recently played Download Festival.

Forsaken initially starts off sounding very much like it could evolve into a death metal track with heavy, down tuned guitars and bass, growly vocals and good solid drumming with some handy double bass footwork from Matt Gregson. Instead, after the first verse and into the chorus, we are greeted with very melodic guitars and some great ‘clean’ vocals by Peter Ford. My initial listen to this did take me by surprise but, in a good way, really quite original I thought. Then after the chorus it’s back to the deathly style vocals for another verse, closely followed by a slightly extended chorus and afterwards, moves into a cool lead guitar section that’s executed very well. After this, it then moves into a rather delightful section which has some great guitar licks, shortly followed by the chorus. Overall, I thought of this track to be a very memorable one and really quite catchy.

The next track, Devoured By Conflict, is introduced by some clever guitar work and cymbal stabs – kinda reminding me of early At The Gates – then, with the vocals, progresses into an anthem of total and utter rage, with Peter screaming ‘need to get this poison outa my head’; this guy sounds angry. We are then introduced by some clever guitar work by Jamie and Mike along with some great vocal work by Peter, switching from ‘clean’ vocals to growls. At this point the track reverts back to the intro at the beginning, tearing down and destroying anything that may happen to unfortunately cross its path. With another heartfelt repetition of the chorus we may get the impression that these guys are upset about something, very upset, and they are not scared to shout about it… And so ends track number two.

A Path Less Travelled without a doubt is certainly the most melodic track on this EP, guitar wise and vocal wise too. Peter Ford is a great vocalist and this track contains some excellent vocal melodies and harmonies. Also some very good tom work by Matt Gregson in unison with Tom Parkers bass work, really quite impressive. After a repetition of verse and chorus we are then pinned up against a wall with more of Peter’s ferocious, deathly style vocals; the only time to make an appearance in this track but, don’t despair, this is a great song and in my opinion, stands well above the previous two tracks.

Last but not least, Blameless Creator a song that is much faster than any other on the EP, and after a short guitar intro, the ensemble come blazing in with guitars on fire, snare on double-time and vocals that Cannibal Corpse would certainly be proud of. The guitar riffs on this partially remind me somewhat of early Kreator, and I like that very much. There’s great vocal and guitar harmonies again during the chorus along with some great drum work by Matt. After another verse, chorus and bridge, we have the privilege of an alternative chorus which signifies the end of track 4. This track is another favourite of mine.

Overall, I find this a great EP. I can see a promising future for these guys.

5/5

Shaun “Winter” Taylor-Steels (My Dying Bride/Ex-Anathema)

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Karybdis – From The Depths

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

Interview with Joe Block from Scarlet Anger

Posted in Interview, Metal on 27th June 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Luxembourg-based Scarlet Anger are the latest edition to the world of thrash metal. Iza caught up with the singer Joe Block to discuss their new album Dark Reign, influences, aspirations for the future and the Luxembourgish metal scene.

Iza: Hi Joe!

Joe Block: Hi!

I:Could you tell me a little about what influenced your decision to start playing thrash metal as opposed to another
genre?

J.B.: Fred and Joe, who formed the band were always into thrash metal bands, so it was no question that they wanted to play that genre!

I: Which bands do you see as your biggest inspiration and why?

J.B.: We all have different influences such as KREATOR, ANNIHILATOR, older METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD or even IRON MAIDEN and many more, we are all very open minded musicians. We listen to a lot of Metal bands. We don’t try to sound like one band, We just write the music we like. We don’t try to concentrate on one style while writing songs. If it sounds good we keep it, if not we don’t.

I:So what’s the metal scene like in Luxembourg? Could you tell me a bit more about it?

J.B.:The metal scene in Luxembourg is quite big compared to the size of the country, we have a lot of metal bands! There are some great bands like Desdemonia, Abstract Rapture,… At the moment there exists also a lot of Metalcore bands. So there are bands for every type of metal!

I:Your debut album ‘Dark Reign’ was mastered by Jeff Waters from Annihilator. Is he someone with whom you would like to work with in the future?

J.B.:Well for the moment it’s hard to say, we were very satisfied with his work! We all know that Jeff is a perfectionist and pro! He got a lot of experience in mastering while mastering albums of his band Annihilator and other bands! So it was really nice to work with him! He helped us a lot to get the sound we were looking for! So it’s not impossible that we’ll work together again. Let’s say if he still is interested in working with us!

I:Based on the lyrics, ‘Dark Reign’ seems to tell a story about the overthrowing of a king. Was this intended to be a concept album and, if so how did you come up with this theme?

J.B.: No, it’s definitely no real concept album. The album should include the songs from the EP Kill The King, that was the request of the label. So the challenge was to incorporate these songs without giving up the concept of Kill The King. That’s how we came up with the idea to name the album Dark reign which is a more extensive idea than the EP’s name. Although the song titles could fit the theme “king and war”, there are no existing connections between the lyrics and the cover/title concept as one might think.

I: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

J.B.:To determine one highlight in our young career is very difficult. There are a few ones. One of the biggest highlight in our career was the moment where we signed our deal with our label! It was a big step forward for us! Another highlight was to share the stage with bands like CHANNEL ZERO and PRIMAL FEAR.
The next big highlights are, our previous shows with OVERKILL, RAGE, DESASTER,DIAMOND HEAD and many more.

I: Who has been your favorite band to tour with so far?

J.B. : Until now it was great to play with Primal Fear! They were very nice people to meet! As for now, we are really looking forward to play with Overkill, Rage and more!

I: If you could pick any band to tour with in the future who would it be?

J.B.:Ohhhhhhhh, that’s a real difficult question. There are so many amazing bands, but definitely Slayer, Kreator or Metallica. Any big thrash metal band would be great!

I: Which musician (living or dead) do you respect the most and why?

J.B.:James Hetfield (Metallica) and Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) because they are great musicians, always moved on and never made any compromises!

I: Ok thanks for your time!

J.B.: Thanks!

http://scarletanger.com/

Ensiferum reveal album art for Unsung Heroes

Posted in News with tags , , on 27th June 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Ensiferum, the highly visual troupe who’ve long been a market leader when it comes to stirring, armour-plated anthems, will have their fifth studio album released through the Spinefarm label on August 27th 2012.

Titled ‘Unsung Heroes’ and produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Sentenced, Apocalyptica, etc.), will be the hour-plus follow-up to 2009’s ‘From Afar’, and sees the Finnish five-piece – founded in 1995 – pushing their signature sound to bold new heights of drama and excess.

A cinematic experience from first note to last , ‘Unsung Heroes’ takes the listener on a journey of genuine light & shade, with the 16 minute-plus ‘Passion Proof Power’ showing that when it comes to the epic statement, Ensiferum are very much in the front-line, swords at the ready.

“We’ve tried to push the different aspects of what we do as far as we can,” reflects the band, “the sonic scope is wider than ever. The folk elements go further down that path and the metallic parts will absolutely rip your face off!”

Once again, album art has been supplied by Kristian Wahlin, with featured special guests including members of Apokalyptischen Reiter plus legendary Finnish singer & actor, Vesa-Matti Loiri.

A video is also currently being planned for lead track, ‘In My Sword I Trust’.

SEPTEMBER: UK / Irish dates (part of the extensive European ‘Bearers Of The Sword’ tour):-

18 O2 Academy, Islington, London
19 Moho, Manchester
20 Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
21 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Special guests on the tour are fellow Finns and fellow Spinefarm artists, Profane Omen.

Unsung Heroes

Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme

Posted in CD, Grindcore, Metal with tags , , , , , on 26th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Dying Fetus
Reign Supreme
Released: 19th June 2012
Death Metal
Relapse Records

“It’s not my fault I’m pregnant and I love drugs.  Who cares? Fuck the baby, let it die”


Controversial and talented in equal measures, the  Maryland trio Dying Fetus have returned with their seventh album. Reign Supreme – a bold statement, but an honest one.

Perennial underdogs since their inception 22 years ago, Dying Fetus have grown a dedicated fan base through extensive touring, hard work, and blistering live performances.  Followers both new and old will relish this latest album, with 9 tracks (plus the obligatory ‘novelty’ bonus track – ‘Dead Whores Love To Fuck’,) of brutal, high intensity death metal.

If it looks like the Fetus, and sounds like the Fetus…it’s gotta be the Fetus!  Their signature songwriting style is present from the start – John Gallagher and Sean Beasley’s fret melting runs and sweeps, abruptly collapsing into heavy grooves and brutal slam breakdowns.  The musicianship is as uncompromising and technical as ever, complimented by the crisp production; making Reign Supreme the most professional sounding album in the band’s catalogue.

This is the second album with Trey Williams on drums, and his incredible ability shines throughout.  It is hard to define the impact his warp speed grinding battery has, but after so many lineup changes, the current three-piece is quite possibly the best (in terms of sheer musicianship,) to date.

The shorter songs such as opener “Invert the Idols”  and highlight “Dissidence” standout, their tight structures providing unrelenting aggression and technicality.  The midpoint provides a mild respite with two  ‘old school’, groove oriented songs.  It is certain that every track on Reign Supreme has been designed for live performance first of all.  Breakdowns (not of the -core variety!) feature regularly, and even on first play through you can actually see the pits forming for these future classics.

Dying Fetus walk the tightrope of new school tech and old school groove ethics perfectly, they craft brutal, sexy music, and with this album have firmly cemented their position at the highest echelon of modern death metal.

5/5

Tobias Gray

Fadeout – To Protect our Way of Living

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 25th June 2012 by mariadodarmata

Fadeout

To Protect our Way of Living

Grunge / Experimental Rock

Released: 22nd of February 2012-06-25

Via: Secret Entertainment

Image

From the northern lands of Seinäjoki (Finland), comes Fadeout, and oh! Actual surprise! It is not a melodic Death Metal band!

The album starts with Solar Lights. A pretty good song if you don’t take into account the cheesy ballroom dancing music reference, that in my opinion is a hundred percent unnecessary. The “grunge” part of this album is hidden in track number three and by this point all I can think while listening to these guys is those late 90’s teenage movies mixed with Nickelback (Eww!!) and a subtle touch of The Cure. By the end of the album comes a song that I liked a lot, Palestine. But the slow acoustic songs seems a bit out of place, like if it came a bit too late in the album, yet it makes a lot of contrast with the next and last song, which brings the speed that this whole album is craving. I am not asking for them to pull out the double bass and rape the blast beats, but the drummer’s job on this album is borderline unnoticeable.

Overall the album is sort of good, even though half of the songs sound like the others (something I like to call “The Late Iron Maiden Syndrome”). To Protect our Way of Living sounds like good mainstream material, even if I have the feeling the band would slap me if they could for saying that.  They say their sound is *Actual Quote* Indescribable, but funny enough I find a huge resemblance with the band Armour For Sleep

3.5/5

 

María Mata

 

KATL announce album launch show

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

Kobra And The Lotus – the five-piece group fronted by powerful vocalist Kobra Paige – are set to play Bloodstock Open Air Festival on Sunday August 12th. The band will open the Ronnie James Dio stage, the main stage at the event.

 

KATL – who recently guested with Judas Priest and legendary Yorkshire rockers Saxon at the Hammersmith Apollo in London – will release their self-titled album on August 6th 2012 via Spinefarm Records.

To celebrate this release, the five-piece will play a one-off, headline show at The Borderline in London on August 13th, tickets available here.

 

Produced by Kevin Churko (whose previous credits include both Five Finger Death Punch and Ozzy Osbourne), the 10-track album has an intentionally grand-scale dynamic, revelling in the glories of the genre and making its mark as arena rather than garage rock; precisely delivered music, still heavy with emotion.

Some of the songs do have specific meanings,” states Kobra. “For example, ‘Heaven’s Veins’ is about addiction, and ‘50 Shades Of Evil’ is about greed, about the constant desire for more… but, by and large, the theme is one of hope, of finding a way through dark situations…

 

“I do have broad musical tastes, but by choice I’m a heavy metal fan, and I’m truly excited with the album we’ve just finished. It’s rooted in the great history of the music, the escapism and the larger than life imagery, which is something I’m very comfortable with, but it’s for a new generation too, and it’s delivered 100 per cent from the heart!”

 

Signed to Simmons Records and released internationally via Spinefarm, Canadians KATL already have lead single/video ‘Forever One’ on release, and will have a second single out shortly; titled ‘50 Shades Of Evil’, the song will be accompanied by a brand new video, and follows in the wake of an intense run of European shows that has seen the band making festival appearances in the UK, Spain, Germany, Austria, Sweden, France, Belgium & Italy, as well as guesting with Black Label Society.

 

UK dates are as follows:-

 

August

 

12th – Ronnie James Dio Stage, Bloodstock Open Air Festival, Derbyshire
13th – Album launch show, The Borderline, London