Archive for August, 2016

Aktaion – The Parade Of Nature

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 29th August 2016 by Pieni

Aktaion
“The Parade Of Nature”
melodic death metal
Self-released on 29th July 2016

 photo AktaiontheParadeOfNature_zpsuprfeldd.jpg

“The Parade Of Nature”, Aktaion’s sophomore album, is said to be for “fans of Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, Gojira – which I find quite misleading. “Candid Flow Of The Shrapnel Dust” has indeed a whiff of Gojira but it soon vanishes away; it’s mostly the melodic part in “melodic death metal” that’s far too gloomy – almost depressive – that make the aforementioned recommendation unfit. It doesn’t mean fans of those bands won’t like this, of course, but they wouldn’t be the first, or even the second target audience to come to my mind.

I’m having really mixed feelings about this. The technical guitar structure (like in “Gold Coloured Dreams”), with Christopher Amott throwing in some killer solos in a few songs (listen to the title track), all the experiments with the vocals – both clean and rough (“Walrus March”) – plus the occasional almost-prog shifts in tempo and the long duration of the tracks, all these features scream originality, which I always praise. But somehow the final outcome is messy. Maybe that’s Aktaion’s goal, as these songs are meant to reflect “a time with no hope nor a bright future” – and that they surely do.

3/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Voodoo Highway – Pervert County

Posted in Rock with tags , , , on 27th August 2016 by izaforestspirit

Voodoo Highway
Pervert County EP
Released: 1st June 2016
Classic Rock/Hard Rock
Self-Released

‘Pervert County’ is the new EP from the Italian hard rockers Voodoo Highway. The band have released two albums prior to this; ‘Broken Uncle’s Inn’ and the critically acclaimed ‘Showdown’ which I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. This release is available from the band’s Bandcamp page as a free download.

Well, I’m not sure what to make of the cover or the title for that matter. It’s hard to know what to expect from the words “pervert county” and a very plump-looking pig on the front cover. Let’s just hope that the music is better or at least less confusing.

This particular EP is rather short with only three tracks, so I will do my best to say something about each of them. First up is NY Dancer starting with a slow, bluesy guitar riff before gradually picking up the pace and revealing its true nature as a good, old school hard rock tune. It’s great to see that the vocalist hasn’t lost his edge either. The single and the track that they made a video for, Grace of the Lord is very much guitar-driven offering a good mix of catchy rocking style with the occasional groove guitar melodies. Last but certainly not least is my favourite, Tears of a Brand New Sea, a very cheerful, classic rock song marking the end to what has been a very enjoyable EP.

Overall, all I can say is “don’t let the cover or the title put you off”. The music is actually pretty good. I’d happily recommend this to fans of classic rock and hard rock. So far, so good – I’m looking forward to the new album.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Twilight Force – Heroes of Mighty Magic

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 26th August 2016 by mickbirchy

Twilight Force
Heroes of Mighty Magic
Power Metal
Released 26 August 2016
via Nuclear Blast

This is one spectacular album to try and sum up, but I’ll try my best. Twilight Force bring us their second offering in the form of, Heroes of Mighty Magic. With shades of Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia, Sonata Arctica and DragonForce, Twilight Force have crafted an epic and bold album that completely plays to their strengths. It’s ultimately a fun record that has the right balance of dignified quality and having that sense of fun. I’m not a fan of when power metal bands take themselves too seriously.

The album covers the usual topics that you would expect – mythical warfare, questing and just your usual dungeons and dragons template lyrics. You know, all that good stuff. So not a tonne different in this department. It still works though, without getting tiring. Vocalist, Chrileon just sells what he’s singing with such conviction that it’s hard to think he’s from another dimension.  The production does everything to make him sound awesome and when the choir comes in on the choral parts it really gets you going.

The music is really good as well, don’t think that I’d forgotten. Not only is the metal instrumentation excellent with belting guitar solos and well incorporated synths. When the orchestral instruments swell around the songs it just makes them so much more epic. Seriously there isn’t a dead spot on the entire record. Everything in the production truly comes together to make an entertaining epic. I also have to briefly mention how good the album art is. The design is amazing and the colours just leap out at you. The artist Kerem Beyit has really crafted something beautiful and imaginative

Overall. Wow, just simply wow. This album took (and is continuing to take) my breath away. It’s entertaining in all the right ways. I’ve not wanted to put this album down since the first listen.

5/5

Mick Birchall

HEAVY SCOTLAND announce first bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 26th August 2016 by mickbirchy


Brand new heavy metal festival HEAVY SCOTLAND is delighted to announce its first wave of bands for its debut year, to be held in Edinburgh between the 1st-2nd April 2017.

Announced already are the first headliners, melodic death metal legends Arch Enemy; plus acclaimed brutal death metal band Sodomized Cadaver; resurgent death metal favourites Dyscarnate and Scottish thrashers Disposable. Plenty more huge bands to come so stay tuned.

Early bird tickets are now available to purchase from here, for only £70: http://www.ticketor.com/heavyscotland

VIP ticket bundles are available but already close to selling out so get yours while you can!

Set to be the biggest and best new festival dedicated to all things dark, heavy, and vicious, Heavy Scotland is borne out of a love of metal. Aimed at supporting a famously dedicated metal scene but until now without a big festival, Heavy Scotland looks set to put Scotland on the map.

With accommodation options, more bands, and ticket options to announce, Heavy Scotland is already on the way to becoming the surprise festival success of 2017.

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/heavyscotland
http://www.heavyscotland.com/
https://www.twitter.com/heavyscotland

New video and new album news from Exist Immortal

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , , on 24th August 2016 by izaforestspirit

It’s been a busy year for the London based British metal band Exist Immortal. They have just announced that their second album ‘Breathe’ will be released on 28th October 2016.

You can check out the track-listing below:

1. Saviour
2. In Hindsight
3. Invisible Lines
4. Misconduct
5. Follow Alone
6. Erode
7. Escape
8. Lucid
9. Breathe
10. Release
11. Chi

In addition to this they have just released a video for  ‘Follow Alone’- the first single from the new album . Here is the video:

 

Exist Immortal have just finished their tour of The U.K. but European fans can still catch them live at Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany on 2nd October 2016.

For more information check out:

 https://www.facebook.com/existimmortal/

http://existimmortal.bandcamp.com/

 

 

Equilibrium – Armageddon

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal with tags , , , , , on 24th August 2016 by mickbirchy

Equilibrium
Armageddon
Folk Metal, Symphonic Black Metal
Released 12 August 2016
via Nuclear Blast

Equilibrium’s fifth album, Armageddon is everything that you want out of them. It’s big and bold. It hit’s really hard and gets you going. You will have to understand, going into this album, that I’m relatively new to their work and have only looked up them quite recently. Coming into this review I was completely blown away by the sheer scale of the album. Every part of the production is massive in delivery and even manages to have its fun jaunty moments. All of the songs are good and the writing really shines, even if I did have to look up some of the lyrics online.

The part of this album that I feel lets it down slightly is where is mushes the sounds together to get this muddied sound that’s a little too reliant on the guitars’ distortion. I feel this bogs the sound down somewhat and the guttural vocals aren’t helping. So what you get is this heavy mess of distorted noise. What saves it is the symphonic elements. The big orchestra sound really pulls the album together and gives the songs context. Along with the folk instrumentation, it highlights how fun and exciting Equilibrium are. In fact my favourite parts of the album are just the instrumental parts where there are no vocals.

For me personally Equilibrium’s Armageddon is a mixed goody bag. There are odd thing in it that’s just disappointing and I just don’t really like. Then you have the good moments that I find really impressive and interesting. I do feel the good outweighs the bad, as there is a lot of instrumental sections that have that epic quality to them. Overall I do enjoy this album and it definitely made me curious to check out their older material, so I can recommend it as a jumping on point for their music. It’s intricate enough and has a strong enough sound that you’ll want to listen to it a few times.

3.5/5

Mick Bichall

Helstar – Vampiro

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 18th August 2016 by izaforestspirit

Helstar
Vampiro
Released 26th August 2016
Heavy Metal/Power Metal with Speed Metal elements
Released EMP Label Group

 Helstar are veterans of the American heavy metal scene. The band was originally formed back in the early ’80s and they have released a number of albums including the critically acclaimed ‘Nosferatu.’ Their latest opus ‘Vampiro’ sees them return to the vampire theme with more tales of Dracula and other blood-suckers.

First they lure you in with a deceptively melodic intro to Awaken the Darkness – an eerie tale of Gothic horror brought to you with the aid some thrashing guitar riffs and high-pitched vocals. So that was the bait and now the real hunt begins. For what follows is Blood Lust – a much faster song with pummeling drums and aggressive guitar melodies reminiscent of the band’s early days back when they played speed metal. As for the vocals, singer James Rivera has an impressive range which incorporates all of the following: the clean, story-telling variety akin to the likes of Dio and Iron Maiden, the high-pitched style and the somewhat less pleasant screams.

From The Pulpit to The Pit is a slightly more complex track; featuring a progressive-style bass and drumming intro followed by some viciously fast guitar riffage and more pummeling drums. Yet it’s not all just thrashing and pummeling, this song also has some melodic parts to it, which are mostly audible in the guitars. Then there’s the Repent in Fire – a catchy power metal song packed with playful guitar riffs and powerful vocals which reminded me of Iron Maiden at times.

Overall, it’s great to see a band that’s been around for so long who can still produce something new and exciting. Rather than taking a stab in the dark in an attempt to produce something different or experimental; they have stayed true to their roots. ‘Vampiro’ is classic Helstar but with a new, modern spin on it.

4/5

Iza Raittila