Archive for October, 2012

Holy Dragon-Zerstorer

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 30th October 2012 by gothicspike88

Holy Dragons
Zerstorer
6th November
Power Metal
Released via Pitch Black Records

Holy Dragons are a power metal band from Kazakhstan. Founded in 1992, since their beginning to the present day, the main musical direction for the group is that the band sticks to the style of the eighties. The band has done 12 albums including their most recent one, Zerstorer.

After a somewhat quite and subdued first track, Voices of Lie, the album comes at you full force in the second track Dooms Day Angels at a very fast pace. When the vocals came in I can’t help but listen closely to the singer’s voice as he sounds very familiar – a bit  like Oscar Donjack from Hammerfall. It’s a very nice song to have opening the album has a few very nice guitar solos in the middle that will just want to make you do some air guitar to this track.

Man Who Saved the World picks up right where the second track ended, beginning with a somewhat subdued start on an acoustic guitar then kicking in with a fast paced tempo of drums and guitar and those Hammerfallesque vocals that I still can’t get that out of my mind. Again it’s a nice, catchy track with some very nice solos in the middle of the track. There’s a little bit where it sounds like the songs being played backwards before it comes at you again loud and fast for the final two minutes.

Project A119 is track has all the things I’ve already talked about and the added use of backing vocals add to the slickness of the vocals on this track. The guitar solo on this track is my personal favourite part of the track with just the way it sounds, making me try to tap my finger in time with its truly amazing sound.

Mutual Assured Destruction starts in a similar fashion to one of the previous track. I get the feeling this album could of been written and recorded by DragonForce  if I hadn’t already known it was Holy Dragon. Somewhat quiet backing vocals say the words “nuclear fire” on each chorus. The vocals again are good however I struggled on this track to understand what the lyrics were.

After a staggered introduction using the play pause play pause technique, Cuband Crisis begins to build up before finally getting going with a solo on both guitar and drums before the vocals finally come in properly. This is one track I actually enjoy. In the middle where the song changes to Insomnia, there’s a use of an organ which gives it a creepy haunting feel as though people could be coming to where a bomb has just gone off and there looking at the devastation it has left in this wake. This in turn brings in the acoustic guitar and some very haunting vocals before the song come round full circle and repeats its introduction.

F.R.A.G.I.L.E is a somewhat shorter track than has been used up to this point, a nice calm relaxing song with the acoustic guitar and the use of a keyboard combine well to give the listener just a little time to let their ears recover before coming back in again loud hard and fast for NORAD Alert. NORAD Alert is another fast paced opening with a very powerful guitar solo at the start, which leads into the vocals. Mainly on the chorus rather than the verses which I think it should always sound better. More catchy solos in the middle of the track before the vocals come back in for the chorus for the final three times before fading out to the sound of what I assume to be an alarm sounding an incoming nuclear attack.

 The Day After is the shortest track on the album making use of the acoustic guitar, giving the listener a chance to let their ears have a break.

HL 7442 begins very heavy on the drums which is a nice change – it’s good to finally be able to hear some more of the vocals on this track compared to other tracks on this album. The way the lyrics in this song talk about war and how some soldiers were not coming home again with a chorus is poetically done. I really like how this sounds within the context of the song its self.  Yet again. amazing solo work by Jurgen Thunderson. I really like this guy’s work and the sound he produces in terms of the vocals on this track – As I said before, it’s nice that you can hear what is being sang and that only helps add to how good this song really is. DEFCON 1 is the final track on this album, beginning with a very nice slow opening with use of keyboards. As the song builds up before it kicks in with the fast pace drums and wailing guitar riffs that have been present throughout the entire album. Again, you can hear the lyrics on this on which is a nice change.

I think personally for me this album Zerstorer isn’t that great while I love the guitar and drum work on this album. It’s the vocals on a lot of the tracks let it down massively, the fact you can’t understand them a lot of the time. Furthermore, I find the fact the first five to six songs sound almost exactly alike just how DragonForce sound on  their albums doesn’t help in any way at all.

3/5

Luke “GothicSpike” Smith

 

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Pentagram Bristol show postponed

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

Due to Hurricane Sandy, all transatlantic flights from Washington DC were cancelled at 9am yesterday morning – The same day Pentagram were due to fly out. Pentagram have rebooked their flights and are set to arrive early Thursday morning which means that their show at The Fleece in Bristol has been postponed til 3rd November and will now take place at The Exchange in Bristol.

The promoter has stated that he’s aware this will cause problems for those with tickets to Damnation and also went onto state that this was a measure of last resort to ensure that people in the South West get a chance to see Pentagram in the region, as opposed to cancelling the show all together. The other tour dates which are London, Manchester and Glasgow are still going ahead as planned.

 

Huldre – debut album “Intet Menneskebarn” out now

Posted in Metal, News, Studio Report on 30th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Nordic folk metallers HULDRE meet highest of demands with their brilliant debut album “Intet Menneskebarn”! The new album is a bright feast for every lover of folk metal.

HULDRE – BIOGRAPHY:
Huldre is a Danish folk metal act with a strong emphasis on the folk elements of this genre. Drawing inspiration from the varied backgrounds of its seasoned and experienced musicians, Huldre creates heavy and melodic folk metal based on the legacy of medieval Danish and Nordic folk music. Huldre is dedicated to delivering a unique form of folk metal, where both folk and metal are equals and interwoven into an audio tapestry of heavy frolicking and headbanging delight.

Huldre has been compared to bands like early Lumsk and Gåte while their live performances have been described as “[…]this could easily have been a dance-moshpit which could rival the best of Korpiklaani” (Metalmoments.net).

Huldre’s first full-length album “Intet Menneskebarn” was released at summer solstice 2012 (21th of June). It was largely self-financed and self-released although with distribution aid and consulting from Dansk Musiker Forbund (Danish Musicians Union) label “Gateway”. It was recorded at LSD-studios in Lübeck, Germany and engineered, mixed and mastered by Lasse Lammert. The album is available physically from Gateway Music: http://www.gatewaymusic.dk/kunstner/18962 and digitally from places like Spotify and iTunes.

Huldre began back in 2006 with Bjarne Kristiansen (Bass), Laura Beck (Violin) and Nanna Barslev (Vocals) but it wasn’t until early 2009 that it became as you know it today. The band really started to take shape with the addition of Lasse Olufson (Guitar) and Mikael Skou (Drums).

In late 2009 Mikael left the band to pursue other goals and his replacement was found in drummer Jacob Lund. During the following year Huldre recorded a low-budget, self-titled 5-track demo and made it available to the public for free. The demo served as a sort of business card and landed the band a lot of gigs as well as fans.

In 2010 the band was joined by Aarhus based flute and hurdy-gurdy player Troels Nørgaard and thus the lineup of today was complete.

The 6 members of Huldre have backgrounds in genres such as: traditional acoustic medieval music, death & black metal, reggae, trad. Danish folk music, classical music and from bands such as Gny, Lurpakket, Asynje, Virelai, Submission, Eldjudnir, Roskilde Symphony Orchestra and Voodoom.

http://www.huldre.dk/
http://www.facebook.com/Huldre/info

Aretic Intestine “As My Body Rots” Music Video

Posted in Metal, Misc., News on 30th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Finnish death metal quintet Atretic Intestine has released its first music video “As My Body Rots”. The video is filled with legendary inner beauty spiced with blood, hangover, decay and anxiety.

The video for the final track of the album “Encased” released in May was made in cooperation with the Petri Vilén.

The video is on display in two versions: censored & uncensored.
Warning: contains material that is not suitable for the most sensitive viewers / listeners (even in the censored version).

Links to the videos:

Censored:

Uncensored:

Official teaser videos for new albums by Skygge and Dispersed Ashes

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , on 29th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Norwegian black metal band Skygge have just released an official teaser video for their new album. The album is called “Knokkelkraft” and will be released on December 6, 2012 by Naturmacht Productions.

Official teaser video:

Also released is the new teaser video for the upcoming funeral doom project Dispersed Ashes. The album is called “The Nature of Things” and will also be released on the same day as the new Skygge by Naturmacht Productions.

Official teaser video:

Skálmöld – Börn Loka

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 28th October 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Skálmöld
Börn Loka
Released: October 26th
Folk Metal
Napalm Records

Skálmöld, the Icelandic folk metal band, have just released their second album, Börn Loka, following the critically acclaimed Baldur of 2010. They’re an interesting band; instead of dressing up in furs and kilts, like a huge margin of the Folk/Viking/Pagan metal scene do, they play in the guise of unassuming, smartly-dressed guys, who just happen to be playing songs about Vikings. They are unique, especially in this particular scene.

Well, this album. It’s pretty impressive how different Skálmöld manage to sound without actually differing too much from the archetypical Viking Metal sound; they sound somewhat… bigger. The album doesn’t often branch out into the realms of the 9 or 10 minute song (Only the epic closer, Loki, does this), nor does it feature huge orchestration. It does, however, feature 3 guitarists and 4 members who regularly do vocals, with (the fantastically named) Björgvin Sigurðsson being the main vocalist – not to mention a keyboard player, who often uses choir or even Hammond organ (such as on Gleipnir) to boost the sound’s vastness.  It’s really immersive without being pretentious, or, indeed, very slow.

As for musicianship, the band members are absolutely splendid musicians. It was a joy to listen to these songs, it made think about what was going on, while carrying me through the story of the album effortlessly. A folk melody here, a vast choral passage there, a thrash riff thrown in for good measure… there are many twists and turns on this album, which, instead of making the album inconsistent, seems entirely appropriate.  Another thing that the listener should be acutely aware of is the flawless production; the album sounds clean, but also organic, in the sense that there feels like the album has not been meddled with using technical studio wizardry. The mix is good too, nothing feels lacking, nor anything overbearing.

Overall, damn good. It’s just a shame that the album came out at the same time as the colossally hyped new Wintersun album (admittedly a fantastic album, but nonetheless), as it is unlikely to get the attention it very much deserves. I’d advocate the listening of this album very highly; Folk Metal done seriously, done without cheese, done (dare I say it) right.

4.7/5
Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

 

Incantation – Vanquish in Vengeance

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 27th October 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

Incantation
Vanquish in Vengeance
Released: 26th November 2012
Death metal
Released via Listenable Records

Being around for more than 20 years, Incantation has proven that they can still create death metal that’s original, fresh, and heavy. Their newest album Vanquish in Vengeance goes beyond that expected heaviness but rather has more of a doomy feeling to it making this album seem a little more personal than their previous ones. It’ll definitely keep you headbanging the whole time, whether fast or slow.

The album starts off with Invoke Infinity, and it hits you right away without any kind of buildup. It instantly made me want to windmill in my chair with its memorable riffs and intense drum patterns. This song, as well as a majority of the songs on the album, follows this kind of a style. I was very pleasantly surprised how consistent and varied the songs were on this album and because of that, it was easier to really enjoy the album.

The only fault I have with this album is that a couple songs, Profound Loathing and Legion of Dis, seemed to be dragged out longer than they should be. While the musical composition of both songs was astounding, both songs could have easily taken a good 2-3 minutes out and still would have sounded great. Lengthening the songs is a good concept if there is some kind of buildup involved, but both of these songs lacked any kind of buildup which made it harder to listen to.

Other than that, this album was simply amazing. Even after all this time, Incantation can still crank out quality albums that are extraordinary in sound and musicianship. I definitely recommend this to any old and new school death metal fans, you will not be disappointed!

4.8/5

Hammer Smashed Lauren