Archive for June, 2015

My Dying Bride reveal more details about the new album

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 30th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

The British Gothic doom metal band My Dying Bride have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘A Map of All Our Failures’ will be entitled ‘Feel The Misery‘. The album is being recorded at Academy Studios in Dewsbury West Yorkshire, which has played an important role in the band’s history as many of their earlier works were created there. ‘Feel The Misery’ also marks the return of the band’s original guitarist Calvin Robertshow after a long absence.  You can check out the cover art here:

The tracklisting will be as follows:

1. And My Father Left Forever
2. To Shiver In Empty Halls
3. A Cold New Curse
4. Feel The Misery
5. A Thorn Of Wisdom
6. I Celebrate Your Skin
7. I Almost Loved You
8. Within A Sleeping Forest

‘Feel the Misery’ is expected to hit the shops on 18th September 2015 via Peaceville Records. It will be available in the following versions: standard CD, vinyl, plus a special edition 2CD/2×10” vinyl set in deluxe earbook format, with exclusive music and an expanded booklet.

http://peaceville.com/bands/2340

http://www.mydyingbride.net/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Dying-Bride-Official-uk/282179138510618?fref=ts

Cradle of Filth – Hammer of The Witches

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 28th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

Cradle of Filth
Hammer of The Witches
Released 10th July 2015
Extreme Gothic Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Cradle Filth doesn’t need much of an introduction. Whether you love them or hate them, you cannot deny that they have left their mark on the metal scene. With a long career spanning over two decades, they have given us numerous Gothic horror videos, poetic lyrics, both shocking and beautiful imagery and a variety of music styles. Their music has evolved a lot over the years: from the death metal demos to black and symphonic black metal to the latest incarnation – extreme Gothic metal (according to The Metal Archives). I’ve been into their music since the late 90s and I have observed the various transformations, not just in music style but also in the line-up. Currently Dani Filth is the only original member left. All this means that Cradle of Filth in 2015 is a very different beast compared to band I grew to love after hearing ‘Dusk And Her Embrace’ and ‘Cruelty And The Beast’. Their latest opus ‘Hammer of The Witches’ is the follow up to ‘The Manticore’ and Other Horrors’ and it’s a concept album about witchcraft and the treatment of witches over the ages. The title is a reference to the medieval document about the persecution of witches called ‘Malleus Maleficarum’.

We’re entering familiar territory with the first track; a violin-infused, symphonic intro ‘Walpurgis Eve’, which sounds like a fairly typical opener for a Cradle of Filth album. The next song that caught my attention is the enchanting Gothic horror delight that is Enshrined In Crematoria which reminds me of the band’s ‘Nymphetamine’ -era due to the similarities in the guitar patterns and the keyboard style. Dani’s vocals haven’t really changed much, he’s still combining the black metal shrieks with growling and the clearer, semi-growl vocal style.

Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess is an abomination when it comes to genre and style. As a song it’s a cacophony of the following: symphonic “black metal”, Gothic metal keyboards and backing vocals, Marthus’s relentless pummeling drums along with the thrash metal style guitar riffage halfway through the track. Luckily it’s not long before the vocals and keyboards re-enter the fold as if to remind you of which band you’re listening to. The guitars, both the lead, rhythm and the bass, really come into the spotlight on ‘Blackest Magick In Practice; while the title track is a ferocious monster filled with rage and brutality. Yet there’s no doubt as to which track on here is my favourite – Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych is an absolute beauty of a song, featuring a delicate balance of classic Cradle Of Filth symphonic keyboard melodies, Dani’s shrieks, Marthus’s furiously fast drumming and some skillfully executed guitar work with Lindsay Schoolcraft’s Gothic backing vocals acting as the icing on the cake.

Overall this album reflects a modern Cradle of Filth style. As far as the music goes it’s like a mixture of ‘Nymphetamine’ and ‘Manticore’. So, if you stopped listening to them after ‘Midian’, then you will probably dislike this album. Personally I have mixed feelings about it. There’s a handful of great songs on here and several weaker ones that aren’t memorable in any way. While it’s not another masterpiece like ‘Dusk and Her Embrace’ but it’s not their worst album either.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Epica announce Calgary show

Posted in News with tags , , on 28th June 2015 by Nico Davidson

Dutch metal titans Epica have announced their first show in Calgary in five years. The event will take place on 20th September at MacEwan Hall with support from Eluveitie and special guests The Agonist. Tickets are available from this location.

Epica online
http://epica.nl
http://facebook.com/epica

Lindemann – Skills in Pills

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 24th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

Lindemann

Skills in Pills

Released 23rd June 2015

Industrial Metal

Released via Warner Music

‘Skills In Pills’ is the debut album from Lindemann, a new project featuring Till Lindemann of Rammstein and the Swedish multi-instrumentalist and producer Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, PAIN). Now, for those who don’t know, I’m a huge Rammstein fan so naturally I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this…

After a quick glance through the booklet, I’d like to warn you all that each of the ten tracks on here is paired up with a suitably bizarre-looking image matching the grotesque and satirically funny nature of the lyrics. Then again if you’re a long-time Rammstein fan like me, you would know that controversial and bizarre is what Mr. Lindemann does best. So that’s the introduction done, now on to the music…

The lineup is comprised of just two individuals – Peter Tägtgren plays all the instruments and Till Lindemann accompanies with his signature baritone vocals. There are two things that set this apart from Rammstein: short duration of the songs and the fact that all the lyrics are in English. It’s a great start with the title track featuring some simple but easy to sing along to chorus and distorted, industrial metal style guitar riffs and keyboards. Fat combines the ironic and over-the-top lyrics with a pompous orchestral style melody and a catchy chorus. If Rammstein’s ‘Keine Lust’ had a long lost English or American cousin, it would be this song.

Then we move on from obesity and morbid fetishes to nautical themes, with Fish On offering more catchy choruses complemented by powerful drumming and industrial-style keyboards akin to Tägtgren’s own band Pain. Yet not all the songs are fast and catchy; for example Home Sweet Home shifts to a much slower pace while emphasizing the creepy atmosphere and profound lyrics. Then this hellish duo decides to lighten up the mood a little with songs about cowboys and “water-sports” (you know what I mean). Last but not least is Praise Abort which is about as controversial as it can get. The lyrics are misanthropic and misogynistic but they are also ironic and hilariously funny. So rather than feeling offended by it I actually found myself singing along to the tune and laughing.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this album. It’s like Rammstein, only in English and stripped down to the bare essentials. It takes you on a journey during which you will experience a whole range of emotions including fear, laughter and disgust. With the prospect of having to wait at least two years for a new Rammstein album, this makes it easier to bear.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Of Pig Faced Gods – Purify The Horror set for two date live debut

Posted in News with tags , , , on 21st June 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Purify The Horror double live debut

Back in 2013, Brummie grind troupe, Purify The Horror unleashed an exemplary display of filthy noise, but as yet, they have not hit a single stage. Made up of three anonymous underground UK luminaries, PTH present a vision of the genre less susceptible to making any effort to impress with technicality than their modern contemporaries. Instead, they match the short, sharp shocks of the likes of Brutal Truth with the mastered riff writing of Napalm Death, all watched over with a wry glint in their beady little eyes.

July will see the trio – Lord Pig, Bear Pig, and Sergeant Squeal – take to the stage for their first ever shows, most likely with horrific swine faces included. With a catologue of dirty, thrashy grind, lyrics covering the bizarre to the critical, these debut dates will be something different for the UK underground to behold, and since they’ve gone 3 years without playing live already, there’s no real knowing when they’ll next raise their heads from the trough to venture forth into the realms of those who walk on two legs.

Gus G – Brand New Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 21st June 2015 by mickbirchy

Gus G
Brand New Revolution
Power Metal/Heavy Metal
Released: 24th July 2015
via Century Media

Gus G should be no stranger to any heavy metal fan. The amount of work he has put out over the last 10+ years is shearly staggering – be that with Firewind, Dream Evil or the prince of darkness himself Ozzy Osbourne.  In early 2014 we got his debut solo record ‘I Am The Fire’.  I did like this album but it was missing a spark. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what I couldn’t get into, but it just didn’t feel right.  At least not to me. However, with this new album on the horizon Gus G takes it above and beyond. ‘Brand New Revolution’ is nothing short of amazing. Every song feels complete and Gus takes everything he has learned over the years and capitalises on it tenfold. Also the album boasts feature guest vocal appearances from Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen, Journey, Talisman), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Jacob Bunton (Adler, Lynam) and Mats Levén (Candlemass, Yngwie Malmsteen, Treat).

Opening on the blistering instrumental tune ‘The Quest’, where Gus just shows off his skill and displays amazing fret control. Just an air guitar fest of a song. After this, every song features a vocalist, so I think it would be best to tackle this album by each singer. Jacob Bunton brings an energy and a charisma to the songs he performs on, including the title track ‘Brand New Revolution’. These songs are played very much to his strengths, just good rock ‘n’ roll style songs with tight riffs and packed solo’s. If there’s one thing Gus knows how to do is pack an amazing solo into a short space on a track with ease.  Jacob has a great voice for these songs and sings with a great amount of confidence. Particularly on the track ‘Burn’, which I feel he was really comfortable singing. I can hear why Gus wanted him to sing on the majority of the album. Singing on 5 of the 12 songs on the album.

Next on the plate we have Jeff Scott Soto, who does a decent job with the songs he’s given. These tunes have a NWOBHM vibe about them and feel like throwback tunes.  Soto has a pretty recognisable voice and I feel he’s utilised pretty well on the songs.  Distinctly on ‘Generation G’. Although I like Soto, I think his songs are the weakest on the record and generally feel rushed.  He’s definitely having fun, so that energy he’s bringing to the tracks works pretty well here.

Elize Ryd is one of my favourite singers of the last few years.  I’m a big fan of Amaranthe, and any generally anything she’s on. She seems to be the queen of collaborations at the moment. She’s done featuring guest vocals on so many tracks from Kamelot to Nergard, and it’s pretty cool to hear her pop up here.  This is one of the few times she has a song completely to herself, as she is usually singing with someone.  Let me tell you now, she can carry a song easily on her own.  Gus has given her this dirty sounding almost tech metal song. ‘What Lies Beneath’ is a great tune with a fun beat and fits Elize’s vocals well. Her vocals just soar here.

Mats Levén, in my opinion, gets some of the strongest songs on the album. He is also the one who sounds the most comfortable on this album. ‘Come Hell or Highwater’ is a fun power metal tune, with some decent rock n roll ideas thrown in. The other two songs he features in are pretty great too. Especially the album’s closing song ‘The Demon Inside’, in which his performance is impeccable. Just great stuff.  Something also has to be said for the backing band on the album too. Gus G regulars, Jo Nunez (Firewind) on drums and Marty O’Brien (Lita Ford) on bass, sound awesome as always. The chemistry just shows on the album making the music even richer.

Overall, I freaking love this album. It far surpasses Gus’ previous solo album, as there’s more consistency and just more fun. He has a passion for metal like no other. Just a rip roaring fun record, made for any fan of heavy metal. Can’t believe I’m awarding my second five out of five this year, but this one has earned it.

5/5

Mick Birchall

E-Force – Demonikhol

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 20th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

E-Force
Demonikhol
Released 19th June 2015
Thrash Metal / Extreme Metal
Released via Mausoleum Records

‘Demonikhol’ is the new album from the Canadian thrash metal band E-Force. It is a concept album about the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. The band was formed back in 2001 after the singer Eric Forrest left Voivod. Their debut album ‘Evil Forces’ was released two years later after which Forrest relocated to France, resulting in some changes in the lineup.

The album kicks off with Grievance, offering a barrage of ferociously fast guitar riffs and equally brutal-sounding drums. At first it seems like your average thrash metal, then the vocals enter the frame and they really aren’t at all what I expected to hear. Not that thrash metal as a genre is known for its pleasant-sounding singers, but this guy’s angry shouting reminds more of ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ -era At The Gates or even Children of Bodom than old school thrash metal acts. I guess it’s all about capturing the raw emotion and that uncomfortable feeling that you get after a heavy night’s drinking.

Double Edged Sword stands out due to the brutal drumming and the aggressive guitar work. If you like your thrash metal fast and furious, you might enjoy this track. Debauchery is true to its namesake in that it’s completely chaotic and slightly mad as far as the song structure goes but the guys sound like they are having fun. On the plus side there’s the occasional decent guitar riff on there which makes the track more memorable. State of Delusion has more of the thrash metal vibes in the guitars which makes the song one of the more catchy ones on here. Even the abrasive vocals don’t bother me as much thanks to the skillfully executed guitar work.

Overall, this album proves that E-Force doesn’t want to conform to one specific style. Their signature sound comprises two key aspects: speed and brutality. So if it’s old school thrash metal you’re after then you probably wouldn’t enjoy this. If however, you’re happy to check out something more extreme or experimental than you might want to give ‘Demonikhol’ a try.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Unleashed – Dawn Of The Nine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 19th June 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Unleashed
Dawn Of The Nine
Death metal
Released 24th April 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

Unleashed - Dawn Of The Nine

Despite this being the 12th album from Swedes,Unleashed, it’s actually the first one I’ve stumbled across, so this is fresh territory for me. In the first few seconds of Dawn Of The Nine, I thought I was facing down a well-executed yet slightly predictable death metal release, which, to be honest, can be quite tricky to review fairly. Thankfully, I was wrong, and this actually a many-faceted affair, taking the listener on some unexpected – and sometimes very technical – twists and turns. The root of all evil herein really is traditional death metal, pasted with the remnants of early Massacre, Possessed, and even a hint of Entombed’s Clandestine or Left Hand Path. That’s not to say this isn’t a modern album, it just takes the meat from current extreme music trends without the fat.

Listening back through their back catalogue, something Unleashed seem to have been prepared to embrace from the very beginning is the texture that other metal sub-genres can bring to straight out death. They don’t shy away from a bit of bouncing doom, or a smidge of melo-death, and there are some excellent moments of epic, atmospheric blackness, merging into progressive death. The vocals are exemplary in their clarity, adding to the effect of the consistently memorable-yet-heavy chorus lines. It’s not all deathly derivations, though; there are times scattered throughout ‘Dawn…’ which seem to be more like transcribed classical movements than music originating from the metalsphere, and the technique familiar to both styles shines through with its sparing use.

For someone like myself, a newcomer to the Unleashed universe, this is a superb introduction, though I would strongly advise others to also dig into their older material. There is a wealth of enjoyment to be scoured from throughout this band’s career, and this latest opus is simply another cherry on the icing. In a perfect world, it would see them firmly planted on everyone’s radar alongside Bloodbath, but that doesn’t matter; this is a crushing artistic statement, crafted for connoisseurs of extreme metal, standing monolithic in its own right.

4.5/5

by Paul Macmillan

New Iron Maiden album hitting worldwide stores in September

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 19th June 2015 by Pieni

“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously. A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs, they have almost a live feel to them, I think. I’m very proud of ‘The Book Of Souls’, we all are, and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it, and especially to take it out on the road next year!” is what Steve Harris has to say about “The Book Of Souls”, Iron Maiden‘s 16th studio album and first ever in double format, given its 92-minute running time. Recorded in Paris with producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, the band had to delay its release to the 4th September 2015 due to Bruce Dickinson‘s illness (the singer was diagnosed with a tumour but is now totally recovered).

Bruce himself says: “We’re really excited about ‘The Book Of Souls’ and had a fantastic time creating it. We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the ‘Brave New World’ album back in 2000 so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there! So we immediately felt at home and the ideas just started flowing. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double it’s going to be!”

 photo book of souls_zpsnbvadlki.jpg

Tracklist:
Disc 1
1. If Eternity Should Fail (8:28)
2. Speed Of Light (5:01)
3. The Great Unknown (6:37)
4. The Red And The Black (13:33)
5. When The River Runs Deep (5:52)
6. The Book Of Souls (10:27)

Disc 2
7. Death Or Glory (5:13)
8. Shadows Of The Valley (7:32)
9. Tears Of A Clown (4:59)
10. The Man Of Sorrows (6:28)
11. Empire Of The Clouds (18:01)

Formats:
2CD deluxe hardbound book limited edition
2CD standard edition
Triple heavyweight black vinyl
High res audio (24-bit Mastered for ITunes and non-Mastered for iTunes)
Standard res audio (16 bit/ 44.1 kHz)

More information on the band’s usual places:

https://www.ironmaiden.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ironmaiden

https://twitter.com/ironmaiden

The End Of Grace recruits Andreas Hagman as their new drummer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 15th June 2015 by Pieni

It’s been announced today that Andreas Hagman is the new drummer in THE END OF GRACE, after Thomas Manell‘s departure in April. Andreas, who’s recently joined THROUGH THE CRACKS as a temporary replacement for Daniel Holmgren (currently studying in the USA), has found a permanent place among the metalcore band from Gothenburg.

The band has shared one of the tryout songs that convinced them Andreas was the right man for the job:

TEoG are working on their upcoming new release, which should be a 5-track EP. Now that the line-up is complete again, the process should be faster.

www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

Quinphonic Festival Announces 2016 Line-Up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 14th June 2015 by mickbirchy

After the success of this year’s festival, the world’s premier Quintuple header festival returns. ‘The Quinphonic Festival 2’ will feature five outstanding international symphonic / melodic / power / prog metal bands all, playing full one-hour sets. We happily announce the bands that are performing next year:

The enigmatic Evenoire from Italy

http://www.evenoire.it/

https://www.facebook.com/evenoire

 

The wondrous Wildpath from France

http://www.wildpath-music.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Wildpath.metal.band

 

The lavish La Ventura from the Netherlands

http://la-ventura.com/

http://www.facebook.com/LaVenturaNL

 

The hypnotic Hydra from Germany

http://www.hydraofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialHydra

 

The dynamic Dakesis from England

http://www.dakesis.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Dakesis

The day of metal goodness will take place at The Roadhouse in Birmingham, UK on Bank Holiday Sunday, 27th March 2016 from 3pm till 11pm.

Information regarding ticket sales will follow in due course.

Helloween – My God Given Right

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 14th June 2015 by mickbirchy

Helloween
My God Given Right
Heavy Metal/Power Metal
Released 29th May 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

Returning once again with their 15th studio record, Helloween go back to their roots of making just pure heavy metal music. It also marks the first time the band have released five consecutive studio albums with the same line-up, with Andi Deris on vocals, Michael Weikath & Sascha Gerstner on guitars, Markus Grosskopf on bass guitar and Dani Löble on the drums.  Also, with Charlie Bauerfeind producing this, it is sure to be a great record from them, as Charlie has produced some of my favourite Helloween records. Including the highly praised “Gambling with the Devil”.

The album opens strong with hard hitting, power metal songs like ‘Heroes’ and the title track ‘My God Given Right’.  Almost automatically you feel that punch. The standard power metal type sounds with Andi’s vocals just soaring above the production. The guitars sound great and the bass lines play nicely at the bottom of the tracks. Helloween have such a commanding presence to them and it shows in this album, with powerful choruses that have a sense of presence to them.  I have a feeling that the band just wanted to stick to the simple concept of making good old fashioned headbanging tunes and cut out any signs of pretense. So Helloween at their strongest then.  In my opinion it’s worked, as I feel this is one of their best albums in a while.

In saying that, though, I do have some niggling problems with this album.  Whilst the production is strong and the songs are well written, some of the songs on the latter half of the album are a little bland and have no real bite to them.  As a result I found myself skipping them upon repeated listens.  Also there is a feeling that maybe they’re trying too hard to recapture their sound from the 80’s, with the tone of “it worked back then, it’ll work now”. Nothing wrong in writing in a similar style but it feels like pandering to the “retro” crowd and if there’s anything I hate is music talking down to me.  I don’t know, the album comes off as formulaic, like if they stick to a certain pattern of writing it will sell. So it doesn’t feel 100% natural. Yet, I don’t think any of this was intentional, it’s just how it comes across.

Despite my problems, which you may not even have,  I still enjoy the album.  It has a lot of strong hooks and catchy melodies  The guitar solos are fun to listen to, and air guitar to. There are certainly the standout moments of the record: ‘Living On The Edge’ feels quite epic and ‘Lost In America’ has that radio friendly feel that I think would go down well with live crowds.  ‘If God Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is quite fun too.  Also, nothing is getting me more pumped lately than the album’s opener ‘Heroes’. So it is fair to say that this album has definitely caught my ears in the right way.

Is this another classic from Helloween? Have the rekindled their spark from the early days? Well… Yes and no. Whilst the album is soaked in nostalgic tones and the songs are fun.  I mean if you’re a fan of old school Helloween, then I say yes, go and buy this album, and more than likely you already have. Yet, the average person who’s only familiar with the band in passing, may find that it will rub them the wrong way, with the formulaic sound and pandering tone.  So, my final verdict. I like it. It’s fun and it’s good to hear another Helloween album. My problems with it don’t bother me so much that it ruins the listening experience. I would say it’s worth at least a listen. If you like what you hear from the tracks I suggested then I say go buy it.

3.5/5

Mick Birchall

Melechesh – Enki

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 9th June 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Melechesh
Enki
Sumerian thrashing black metal
Released 27th February 2015
Via Nuclear Blast records

Melechesh - Enki

I may be a little slow to the party in writing up Melechesh’s sixth album Enki, which is slightly odd as I’ve already listened to it enough times since its release to batter this article together with my eyes shut. I’ve always loved the concept of this band; their story, their musical approach, and I have a slight fascination with the mythology from which they draw much of their inspiration. Be warned, this might be a slightly pre-decided outcome.

Although they term themselves as ‘Sumerian thrashing black metal’, there is a significant debate to be had as to whether they are actually equally death metal in approach. True, the Middle Eastern scale and key choices which seep organically into their sound lend an eerie, occult edge, but that does not preclude itself from DM. In the earliest of their works this is far less obvious, but it has always been there, nestling in behind elements of Assyrian folk music, and growing in prevalence over the years.

That said, this is, in song-writing terms at least, the same Melechesh who created Emissaries and The Epigenesis, but with a more titanic production. Despite black metal’s tendencies towards lower quality, or grittier, audio engineering, it really does it no end of favours when the sound quality is this high, especially in regard to the semi-indefinable heaviness of a band. The impact of every note, every scream, and every blast beat ring out, clear as a battle cry, swamping the listener in atmosphere.

Usually, I prefer to throw in a mountain of comparisons to other bands when reviewing, but that’s a little more difficult with Melechesch, as they more or less spawned an entire new genre unto themselves. However, there is a certain essence of the epic embodied on Enki, which extreme metal fans more familiar with bigger names may feel reminds them, ever so slightly, of early Strapping Young Lad. The most obvious similarity would be to Swedes, Marduk, but it seems that, at present, Melechesh are triumphantly stepping out into a league all of their own.

If you haven’t heard this yet, add it to your ‘to do’ list; there is practically no chance of disappointment. A beautifully crafted slab of brutal gold.

5/5

by Paul Macmillan

Children of Bodom reveal artwork and tracklist for ‘I Worship Chaos’

Posted in News, Studio Report on 8th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom have just announced that their new album, the follow-up to ‘Halo of Blood’ will be entitled ‘I Worship Chaos’. The cover artwork has been designed by the Finnish artist Tuomas Korpi. You can check it out here:

Here’s a quick studio update from the band’s frontman Alexi Laiho:

We are close to putting the finishing touches on the new COB record I Worship Chaos and as much fun (but most importantly raw, literally bloody knuckled hard work) it has been making it, I’m more than happy and even more anxious to share this chaos with the rest of the world. So people, put your shades and helmets on, it will get very dark and it might hurt, in a perfect COB fashion of course!”

The tracklisting will be as follows:

01. iHurt
02. My Bodom (I Am The Only One)
03. Morrigan
04. Horns
05. Prayer For The Afflicted
06. I Worship Chaos
07. Hold Your Tongue
08. Suicide Bomber
09. All for Nothing
10. Widdershins

The album will also be available as deluxe edition with some bonus tracks.

‘I Worship Chaos’ is expected to hit the shops worldwide on 2nd October 2015 via Nuclear Blast.

https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom

Bloodyard – Darker Rage EP

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 8th June 2015 by mickbirchy

Bloodyard
Darker Rage
Black metal / groove metal
Release date: 27th June 2015
Self-release

Bloodyard are a death/groove metal band based in the North-West of England. The band consists of Donna Hurd on vocals, Nick Adamson on guitar, Dave Cowley on bass and Matty Lee on drums.  After the release of the their 2013 EP, Set To Fall they found reasonable success across the UK. Now, with their follow up EP “Darker Rage” they look to continue in their future and further their potential.  Their sound is this cool combination of groove tones, thrash rhythms and black metal style vocals.  It make for very interesting concoction. I find myself weirdly compelled by the stylistic choices of this EP. They have some great riffs and interesting ideas for songs. I’ve heard comparisons to Arch Enemy and I think that fits well enough.

The EP opens with “Epitaph” which has this really well worked riff and the whole song fits around it.  Along with a good bass groove, this song is fun and drives you to keep listening.  The vocals are well projected and powerful. I can’t say the drum work is spectacular but it does its job. This song, however, would be nothing without that excellent groove. Up next is “Sacred To None”.  Once again a solid riff and great groove.  This one clearly takes some influence from thrash metal.  The drums are well worked and frame the song nicely, and the vocals are still pretty good.  It’s around here, though, that I noticed a problem with this EP: the songs go by too quick.  Maybe that’s just me but just as I’m getting into the song, it ends.  Just as it gets interesting, I’m cut off and left wanting a little more.

Next up we have the title track “Darker Rage” This is just awesome.  Really enjoy this track.  The riff is solid and the whole song just feels rounded. One of those tracks that make you wanna just get up and headbang.  Throughout the EP, the writing is just consistent, everything is solid and it shows as the riffs and grooves are very enjoyable. The solos aren’t anything too special, but they serve the purpose fine, I have nothing against it.  Finally the last track is “Dead Relics” and it’s more of the same.  I don’t think I can add much else talking in a track-by-track sense.

So yeah, this is a pretty decent EP.  Yet, it does have its problems. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the production quality. It’s not great, everything sounds muffled and if it is mixed you couldn’t tell.  I get that not everyone has a big production budget, but yet, I’ve heard self-releases that sounds bloody amazing. So I don’t quite understand that.  Also every song on the EP follows pretty much the same structure.  Slow intro, speed into the song, have a solo, close out the song.  There’s just barely enough tweaks to make each track sound like a different song. Which to me is a little lazy and makes everything sound samey.  With an EP you should try to show off variety, I get the feeling this is a one trick pony.

To summerise, is this good? Well, yes and no.  If you’ve spent a lot of time around under the radar metal bands and you particularly like the sound of cheaper production on a metal record, then I say go get this.  That’s not to say there isn’t anything there, there’s so much potential in this band and I genuinely like the grooves and riff.  Those were the fun moments of the EP.  However, I know not everyone gets excited by a decently composed riff.  I like this EP, I think the band has a long way to go but I also think they have enough to get there.  They just need to be a bit more creative and think of a new structure for the songs.

2,5/5

Mick Birchall

Barshasketh – Ophidian Henosis

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 7th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

Barshasketh
Ophidian Henosis
Released 30th July 2015
Black Metal
Released via Blut & Eisen Productions 

Ophidian Henosis’ is the third album from the black metal band Barshasketh. The band was formed back in 2009 and originates from New Zealand but they are currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland after relocating there a few years ago.

After a quick glance at the tracklist, it soon becomes apparent that this album is essentially one song in seven parts, aptly labeled “Ophidian Henosis I”, “Ophidian Henosis II” and so on. After an atmospheric intro, these guys cut to the chase with part one blasting its way through the speakers with some fast and furious guitars akin to the likes of Marduk. Yet it’s not all about the ferocious pummeling of the drums and guitars, for underneath this mean looking facade lies is a melodic element which softens the blow to the eardrums. As far as the black metal genre styles go, it’s like Marduk meets Ragnarok with a hint of Taake thrown in for good measure.

As the album progresses, the Taake-esque melodic elements remain a key feature of Barshasketh’s chosen style. For example, midway through part II and into the second minute of part V, the guitars are almost tranquil-sounding forming a sharp contrast to Krigeist’s harsh screams. At the same time the harsh and more brutal side is never too far away and each song contains a mixture of the two styles. It’s as though the melodic parts were there to provide a short interlude for the listener to relax for a while before the pummeling resumes. This adds to the variety and makes the album easier to listen to.

Overall this has been an enjoyable experience. Barshasketh’s style is by no means unique but they combine some good influences from more established acts from the black metal scene. I would recommend this to fans of Marduk and Ragnarok.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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Radio City South Park Festival

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , on 7th June 2015 by izaforestspirit
Radio City South Park Festival
Def Leppard, Helloween, Amorphis
Eteläpuisto,Tampere, Finland
6th June 2015

Radio City South Park is a relatively new metal and rock festival held in Tampere. It was created last year after the demise of Sauna Open Air replacing it as the city’s main metal event. This was my first time at the festival and I was only there for the Saturday.

First up on the main stage was the Finnish speed metal band Ranger. They are a young and fairly new band who have only just released their debut album this year. Their show was very energetic and fun to watch, packed with furiously fast guitar riffs and somewhat cheesy lyrics. They reminded me of more establish speed and thrash metal acts such as Exciter and Witchburner. All I can say is that if all their shows are as good as the one I saw, these guys have a very bright future ahead of them. 5/5

Finnish “Rautalanka” heavy metal outfit Viikate were probably the most unique band in the line-up. This particular show was a little unusual because rather than playing their own stuff, they decided to focus primarily on Finnish language cover versions of Motörhead songs. Since this was the very first time that I’ve seen these guys live, it was a bit of a letdown to only hear a handful of original Viikate tracks. Whilst I like Motörhead, hearing the familiar tunes sang in Finnish by another band isn’t quite the same as the real thing. 3.5/5

Melodic metallers Amorphis are one of those bands whom I’ve seen live at least twice already and they are a regular feature at Finnish metal festivals. Whilst I like their older stuff, I’ve lost track of them over the years. Their show was mainly composed of new songs from the latest album so I didn’t really enjoy their show as much as I used to in the past. Luckily they played ‘Silent Waters’ and ‘House of Sleep’ towards the end which cheered me up a little. 3.5/5

I’m not into Def Leppard so the final band I saw was the German power metal band Helloween. The weather wasn’t the best, it had been raining for most of the day, but nonetheless there’s nothing quite like a nice cold beer and some power metal at a summer metal festival. This was definitely my favourite performance of the day These guys really know how to agitate the crowds with their funny stage antics and skillfully executed fast power metal. Sure, some of the lyrics might be a little cheesy but it’s all highly entertaining and fun to watch. 5/5

Overall South Park may not be the biggest Finnish metal festival, but it’s an interesting one. The good thing is that it featured a few bands whom I haven’t seen live before. I discovered the delights of Ranger and Helloween; Amorphis were pretty much what I expected them to be and I might have to give Viikate another try. Kiitos Radio City South Park! See you next year!

Iza Raittila