Archive for August, 2012

Hour of 13 added to Dublin Doom Days festival line-up

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

East Coast doom metallers Hour of 13 have been confirmed for this year’s edition of the Dublin Doom Days festival in Ireland.

The fourth edition of the festival takes place over two days, September 28th and 29th, at The Pint in Dublin.  Also included on the bill are the likes of Urfaust, Tome, Weed Priest, The Veil, Weeping Ulcer and more.

Hour of 13 guitarist Chad Davis comments: “Hour of 13 are pleased to be a part of the 2012 instalment of Dublin Doom Days.  A little over 2 years to the date, it will be great to play our second-only European appearance in the birthplace of our first ever live show.  The people in the Irish scene are extremely amazing, and we would like nothing more than to bring our music back to them for round two.

Hour of 13 vocalist Phil Swanson adds: “It’s very last minute with not much time for preparation.  I’d never consider this for anyone but Mark and nowhere else but Dublin.

For more information about the Dublin Doom Days festival, join the official event page on Facebook.

See HOUR OF 13 live at the following shows:

Sep. 29, 2012 – Dublin, Ireland – The Pint
Oct. 26, 2012 – New York, NY – Saint Vitus
Apr. 18, 2013 – Tilburg, Netherlands – Roadburn Festival

HOUR OF 13’s new album, 333, is available now worldwide.  Get the CD in Europe here or in North America here.

333 is also available on iTunes.

The Elijah to perform entire debut album with Niche London String Quartet for one off Prog mag sponsored London Show

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

Transcendental rockers The Elijah are set to perform a truly special live set; for one night only they will be joined by the Niche London String Quartetto perform their debut album I Loved I Hated I Destroyed I Created in its entirety, and are sure to take their highly acclaimed euphoric live experience to unprecedented levels.

I Loved I Hated I Destroyed I Created is constructed from layer upon layer of textured instrumentation, with much of the atmosphere created by the combination of ethereal guitar work and string arrangements, and for the first time, this will be performed with the latter fully live. The combination of The Elijah’s harmonic and abrasive beauty, with the feel and lush tones of the four string players, is sure to make every spine tingling moment in their set even more intense; even more sensational. Performed to a backdrop of striking visuals, this is without a doubt set to be one of the underground live shows of the year.

Check out the band’s latest videos I Hated and I Destroyed

Anamensi – Descending The Ruins of Aura

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 30th August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Descending The Ruins of Aura
Released: September 2012
Atmospheric Black Metal/ Dark Ambient
Released via Naturmacht Productions

‘Descending The Ruins of Aura’ is the second album by the Italian black metal artist Anamnesi. It is the follow up to the band’s self-titled debut released in 2010.

So, after an atmospheric and tranquil keyboard ‘Intro (First Descent)’, we head towards darker territories with ‘Litany of Suffering and Reaction’ treating the listener to some sombre melodies along with rather raw sounding black metal vocals and guitar riffs. Yet there’s a certain eerie beauty linked to this rawness as it contrasts with the melodic elements such as the ambient keyboard part in the second half of the song.

If anything, it’s actually the dark ambient parts on here that make this band stand out. Take ‘Nocturnal Path’ for instance, it’s the little touches like the melodic keyboard tunes and the frosty atmospheric elements which make this instrumental memorable. Then there’s ‘Toward Rebirth’ which reminds me of Burzum at times, though this is less raw and there is a significant difference in the vocal style. One of the album’s main highlights is the tranquil-sounding, ambient ‘Annega La Conscienza’ which features guest vocals from Simulacro’s Xul whose part whispering part screaming style seems to be a perfect fit for this track.

Speaking of Burzum, this album ends with ‘Ciò Che Una volta Era’ – a tribute to the infamous Norwegian black metal project. This is quite possibly the rawest dark ambient track on here and even the vocals sound remarkably different to the other songs.

3.5/5 – There’s beauty in rawness and it goes by the name of Anamensi.

Iza Raittila

Legacy of Vydar – A Hundred Miles

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 30th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Legacy of Vydar
A Hundred Miles
Released 16th October 2011
Death Metal

Hailing come Germany, come death metal sextet Legacy of Vydar. Differing themselves from other bands of the genre, LoV bring with them a three guitar assault on the ear drums, almost like a death metal version of Iron Maiden. Their most recent album, A Hundred Miles was released almost a year ago.

My War, the first track on the album, has a very industrialesque sound that screams from the guitars, while the drums, bass and obviously the vocals, throw in a very powerful, very epic death metal sound. The riffs collide back and forth like raging waves smashing against cliffs. The title track, A Hundred Miles, unleashes a melodic styling upon an unsuspecting listener, almost coming across like an Amon Amarth track.

Too Far really did take me by surprise, beginning with a very melodic, very calm riff that was carried along by a heavier riff and callous drumming before it transforms into a howling beast of aggressive riffs and demonic vocal work. My Soul Unleashed is another Amon Amarth-styled track, only somewhat lacking in energy, which is a shame as I think this track would make for a decent mosh pit anthem. No Remorse displays a use of very intelligently performed riffs that come blasting more fierce and terrifying than the A-bomb. The vocals add a beastly sound that seems like the last piece of the puzzle in this track, completing and making it one of the stand out tracks of the album.

Hope And Despair is a very calm instrumental, that eases you into that false sense of security before the violent wails of The Trail begin charging like a bull that’s just seen red. Vidar, which is undoubtedly about the Norse god of the same name, is another stand out track on the album, displaying influences from varying Viking metal bands while sticking to the band’s own sound at the same time, fusing everything together into a masterpiece of pure death metallic goodness.

Hold On pulls no punches when it comes to melodic riffs and rhythmic drumming. The band have carefully balanced out the aggressive vocals and melodic music in a beautiful and artistic manner on this track, keeping that balance there with the tempo changes as well. For such a bloodthirsty sounding track, Still Alive, sounds subtly cheery and hopeful at the same time, as its violent sounding riffs get the blood flowing. Not The End is certainly an ironic title for a title that is the end of the album. The riffs scream out eerily familiar to Twilight of the Thunder God, invoking a truly epic sound that really gives the album a brilliant end.

Germany is renowned for its metal scene and with Legacy of Vydar on the scene, its going to get much better. Legacy of Vydar are one of the few death metal bands that really do proper melodic riffs and A Hundred Miles really displays each member’s talent as well as the ever-growing sound of the band, so if you like a clean, crisp sound topped with guttural growls and fierce riffs, A Hundred Miles is one for your collection. Hopefully we’ll hear more from these hard rocking Teutonic warriors of metal very soon.


Nico Davidson

Ex Deo – Caligvla

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 30th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Ex Deo
Released 3rd September 2012
Symphonic Death Metal/Epic Roman Metal
Released via Napalm Records

The epic Roman metal legion, Ex Deo, fronted by Katakylsm frontman Maurizio Iacono, are back with their second album, Caligvla, named after the Roman emperor of the same name, and ready to begin their conquest in the known metal world. The album is due for release on the 2000th anniversary of Caligula (31st August) in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and three other European countries.

The album is started by the opening track, I, Caligvla, which begins with a strong Roman styled orchestration and a speech proclaiming Gaius Augustus Germanicus emperor of Rome. Straight after, the snarling guitars kick into battle mode, being led by the powerful, domineering vocal work. The orchestration adds that awe-inspiring feel to the music, making almost like a soundtrack for a movie. The use of the samples taken from the film Caligula, really set the mood for the song.

The Tiberius Cliff charges in brutally with a combined assault of majestic orchestration, aggressive riffs and harsh vocals. The song captures perfectly the viciousness of Tiberius. The third song, Per Oculus Aquila, is introduced by a dark, atmospheric sound before turning into a snarling war machine of fierce riffs and vocals, topped with drums that come smashing down like rams into walls.

Divide Et Impera has a very Epica-like sound resonating from the music whilst the vocals summon up the death metal elements that run rampant through the album. The female vocals, performed by Mariangela Demurtas of Tristania, contrast beautifully with the music. Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad Bestia) isn’t much of a track to write home about when it first begins but it soon evolves into bloody and violent piece of pure metal, featuring some delightful melodic riffs and acute drumming. The orchestration conjures a dramatic atmosphere, making everything sound more tense.

Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light might sound like the title of a deep, Gothic poem but the tense orchestration and mighty march of guitars and drums prove it to be the complete opposite, creating an epic worthy of the Roman pantheon themselves. Teutoborg (Ambush of Varus), based on the infamous massacre of Varus’ legions in 9AD, offers up a deliciously dark serving of grim orchestration and roaring guitars. The sounds of men fighting and the screaming of Augusts’ legendary quote: Varus! Give me back my legions! add a certain authenticity to the track, portraying the infamous battle in a unique manner.

Along The Appian Way introduces a fresh, new war-like sound to the album, unleashing a fury of guitars, drums and orchestration, commanded by the guttural growling that has featured so prominently through the album. The guitars play out some truly sagaic parts that really add emphasis on the vocals. Once Were Romans opens with what sounds to be a Roman officer telling his recruits the punishment if they break the law, ending with “Deserters will be crucified”. The harsh vocals blast in, screaming to form battle formations, as the guitars and orchestration build up dramatically for the ensuing onslaught of violent riffs and barbaric drums. Evocatio: Temple of Castor and Pollux finishes the album with an emotive, almost divine piece of orchestration. A fitting end for an epic album.

Once again, Ex Deo have took parts of Roman history and tradition and fashioned them into truly epic pieces that will no doubt stand the test of time. Clearly the spirit of ancient Rome still lives on through Ex Deo.


Nico Davidson

YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN release new single via Adult Swim and announce details for their upcoming rock opera

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Known as much for their progressive approach to melding psychedelia, opera and metal as they are for their captivating, and completely stunning live shows, there is never a dull moment in the world of YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN.

YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN have released a new track as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program, Lamia. The track can be downloaded here as well as seen live as part of a recent in-store performance at Sonic Boom during NXNE.

The band, who was recently shortlisted for the Polaris Prize alongside Grimes, Cadence Weapon, Japandroids and Drake, are releasing a split 7″ with fellow nominees Fucked Up to coincide with the awards, followed by a never before seen 33 minute rock opera. Premiering at this year’s Pop Montreal Festival and presented in three parts, 33 // explores ancient Asian and North American mythology in a contemporary setting, replete with aging drag queens, desire, fame, jealousy and murder. You can catch them at the festival when they premiere the opera in Montreal on September 21st.

Also, Paper Bag Records has just signed YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN for Canada and is re-issuing the LP on vinyl. You can buy it digitally now or order the vinyl here.

Arthemis announce tour with I Am I

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 29th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Thrash Metallers, Arthemis have just released their latest studio album ‘We Fight’ this week via Off Yer Rocka Recordings, as well as announcing that they will be hitting the road in Autumn with Ex DragonForce vocalist ZP Theart and his new project I AM I.

Guitarist & vocalist Andrea Martongelli comments: “Wow! I can see this I AM I / ARTHEMIS UK tour is gonna be a hell-of-a-tour, a true-Metal-party….and everyone’s invited!!! Only for true Metalheads! We can’t wait to see you all and give you the best Arthemis show ever! WE FIGHT!!! Bring it on!!! \m/”

October UK Tour Dates

21st The Waterfront – NORWICH
22nd The Borderline – LONDON
23rd Moho – MANCHESTER
25th Corporation – SHEFFIELD
26th Yardbirds – GRIMSBY
27th Academy – NEWCASTLE
29th The Haunt – BRIGHTON
30th The Cellar – SOUTHAMPTON

We Fight is available from the following links.