Archive for September, 2016

Assassinner – Another Sucker Subscribes To The Norm [single]

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th September 2016 by Pieni

Assassinner
“Another Sucker Subscribes To The Norm” [single]
thrash/crossover
Self-released in May 2016

 photo COVER_front_zpsrf5nl0l8.jpg

Assassinner’s “aggressive music for aggressive people” seems to have toned down a little bit in this 2-track single; either that or producer Carlos Barbosa made each instrument sound so sharp that I’m mistaking classy, high definition for less raw music. Whichever the case, the outcome is what I want to hear in the next full-length record.

I remind you that I said “less aggressive than usual”, not that the aggression was gone, so don’t be fooled by the A-Side title “Sweet Lullaby”. Unless you use “sweet” as “cool/great/peachy” when expressing your appreciation for that ominous mantra-like guitar piece towards the end, which can turn this song into an ear-worm.
Still my favorite is the B-Side, “Hate Over Grown”, as I’m a sucker (no pun intended…) for a vibrant bass line and there’s also something about the main riff. In a time when singles are somewhat underrated, Assassinner came up with something worthy.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Theatres des Vampires return with new album

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , on 28th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of the Italian vampire themed Gothic metal band Theatres des Vampires. Their new album, the long awaited follow up to ‘Moonlight Waltz’ will be entitled ‘Candyland’.

You can check out the cover art and the track- listing below:

1. Morgana Effect
2. Resurrection Mary
3. Delusional Denial
4. Parasomnia
5. Candyland
6. Your Ragdoll
7. Pierrot Lunaire
8. Photographic
9. Opium Shades
10. Seventh Room
11. Autumn Leaves

‘Candyland’ will hit the on 14th October 2016 via Scarlet Records. There will also be a new music video for ‘Morgana Effect’ coming very soon. 

For information visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheatresDesVampires/

Crobot – Welcome To Fat City

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 27th September 2016 by mickbirchy

Crobot
Welcome To Fat City
Hard Rock, Glam Rock
Released: 23rd September
via Nuclear Blast Records

The third album from the hard rockers Crobot brings us more well-constructed riffs, thick funky bass lines, and just a feel-good feeling all around. The American foursome made some absolute belters over the years and the new album Welcome To Fat City, is just more of what they’re so good at, if not a more focused and refined version of it. The album shifts gears from blues, funk to hard rock and beyond without so much a batting an eye. I first heard Crobot in the run-up to this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting when I was listening to all of the band playing the festival.  Then I watched them perform and I was truly blown away by the musician and skill. When they announced that they were bringing out a new album I knew I had to have it.

Welcome To Fat City, is a really well-made album the production is fantastic.  It really is a great sounding album, everything sounds crisp and powerful. From the booming basslines to the shrieking guitars, the groove of every song is so well controlled and has an energy to them that sounds wonderful and keeps you in high spirits. The riffs are enjoyable and engaging and with lyrics that keep you entertained.  For me, I found this to be the most accessible album from Crobot, not that they haven’t been in the past but this album just feels easier on the ear and the production is spot on. It’s just all really likable.

The hazy funk sound is a lot of fun matched by the intense powerful vocal performance that sounds excellent but I felt at times gets lost in the music, not in a big way but just enough to be noticeable. The best songs on this album, in my opinion, are “Temple In The Sky” for it big noisy chorus and it’s grooved up riff.  Also, I’ve really enjoyed “Easy Money” for the weird guitar effects and maddening smooth bass. In fact, the guitar weirdness is something that crops up a lot in Crobot’s music, sound like the guitar has broken mid-riff. It actually a nice technique that gives their music a unique little stamp and separates them out from the plethora of riff-rock out there today.

Overall, this is an insanely catchy and fun record that has all the right ingredients to not only please their core fan base but does enough to bring in newcomers. It’s unique, intense and above all… fun.  Something you’ll want in your record collection.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Skyharbor unveil ‘Chemical Hands’ ahead of their UK / European tour

Posted in News on 27th September 2016 by mickbirchy

Indian prog-metallers Skyharbor unveil new song and video ‘Chemical Hands’, the third single from their upcoming third album, set for release in 2017.

First premiered on Metal Hammer, check out ‘Chemical Hands’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv3njIwtAmk

Guitarist Keshav Dhar says: “Chemical Hands is possibly the boldest, most experimental song we have written to date. After releasing two fairly straightforward singles, we felt it was time to let rip and showcase the more bizarre and angry side of the upcoming new record.

“Michael Di Lonardo has created an absolutely stunning video for the song, perfectly representing the lyrical theme while being ambiguous enough for fans to pick their brains and stroke their goatees over. We’re stoked, and we hope our fans will be too.”

Skyharbor will hit the road with Sithu Aye and Modern Day Babylon throughout Europe following their appearance at Euroblast festival, where they play along sideAnimals as Leaders, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya and many more.

Full dates are:

Oct-01   EUROBLAST FESTIVAL w/ Animals As Leaders / Born Of Osiris / Veil Of Maya + more
Oct-02    Sub 89    Reading, United Kingdom
Oct-03    The Globe    Cardiff, United Kingdom
Oct-04    Exchange    Bristol, United Kingdom
Oct-05    Talking Heads    Southampton, United Kingdom
Oct-06    Dingwalls    London, United Kingdom
Oct-08    Plug    Sheffield, United Kingdom
Oct-09    Newcastle University Students Union    Newcastle, United Kingdom
Oct-10    Audio    Glasgow, United Kingdom
Oct-11    The Craufurd Arms    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Oct-12    Patronaat    Haarlem, Netherlands
Oct-13    Logo   Hamberg, Germany
Oct-14    Freirwerk   Munich, Germany
Oct-15    Flosserplatz   Aarau, Switzerland
Oct-16    Legend Club   Milan, Italy
Oct-17    A38   Budapest, Hungary
Oct-19    Fluturum  Prague, Czech Republic
Oct-20    Elfer   Frankfurt, Germany
Oct-21    Garage  Saarbrucken, Germany
Oct-22    Gibus  Paris, France

facebook.com/skyharbormusic
instagram.com/skyharbor
youtube.com/skyharbormusic
twitter.com/skyharbormusic
omerch.eu/shop/skyharbor

Iron Altar – Iron Altar [EP]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 26th September 2016 by Paul Macmillan

Iron Altar
Iron Altar [EP]
Metal
Self-released: August 22nd 2016

 photo Iron Altar - Iron Altar.jpg

There are some practiced hands at work in Iron Altar’s eponymous debut EP, the band featuring Simon Anger (King Witch) and Andrew Callis (ex Torn Face). The disparity in the related acts lends itself to a unique metal sound, which is marvelous in its open-ended creativity. While there is one solid character, those of different tastes in heavy music will likely pick out completely dissimilar comparisons. On first full spin of the release, I swear I heard the footsteps of Faith No More, Annihilator, In Flames, Skid Row, Lamb Of God, Mastodon, and American Head Charge in just the opening track!

If the above makes this sound like a confused mish-mash of styles, be assured that assumption is mistaken. Shifting seamlessly between grunting thrash, monolithic atmospherics, eye burning lead work, and something altogether more… twitchy, this is metal that plays in its own league, and doesn’t give a good god damn about what is outside of those parameters. Iron Altar know what they like, and they’re not afraid to try melding any of it into their own world. They do it with panache and professionalism, and pool it together very nicely indeed.

I could be wrong. It might have been a naturally flowing writing process, but I imagine it took some doing to bring the composite elements into one cohesive sound. That said, I’d really like to hear this band delve yet further into their influences and come out with something even more distanced from their peers. It seems like that could well be within their collective powers.

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

 

Tempt – Runaway

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 25th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Tempt Runaway

Released 17th June 2016

Melodic Hard Rock

Released via Cargo Records

‘Runaway’ is the debut album from the New York -based hard rock band Tempt. They have drawn inspiration from the ’80s classic rock bands such as Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, and combine these with modern rock music.

Right from the start there’s something instantly likeable about this album. Everything from the guitar riffs to the melodic, stadium rock -style vocals is just bursting with positive energy putting the listener in a good mood. Under My Skin is a good example of this, one hell of a catchy song with a great chorus and some well executed guitar work. The vocals and overall style reminded me of the earlier works of Aerosmith and Bon Jovi.

To be honest, it’s actually rather difficult to pick out one particular outstanding track on here because they are all pretty good. There is something on here that is bound to please any rock fan – whether you like the catchy, sing-along crowd favourites such as Aamina and Sapphire, or the slightly more down-tempo ballads such as the title track, they have got it. It’s a win-win combination of melodic, powerful, emotionally charged vocals, memorable choruses and skilful guitar work.

In summary, ‘Runaway’ is one of those “feel good” hard rock albums that you can tune into when you need something cheerful to brighten up your day. Practically all the songs on here have the potential of becoming big hits on the radio. If they continue along this path, Tempt have a very bright future ahead of them.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Dani Filth to star in a horror movie

Posted in Misc., News with tags , on 22nd September 2016 by izaforestspirit

The Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth (also of Devilment),

is due to play the character of Dr Lon Carlson, an occult expert, in the upcoming horror movie, BAPHOMET, directed by Matthan Harris and released by Incisive Pictures.

Here is the synopsis and the official movie poster.

An American family celebrates their 28-year-old daughter’s pregnancy. The celebration is interrupted when a Satanic cult leader, Henrik Brandr, unexpectedly visits their ranch.
Henrik offers to pay the family a large sum for ownership of their land, claiming it is sacred to his congregation. Jacob Richardson, the father, rejects the offer due to the priceless sentimental value of the ranch. Henrik, displeased, begins to put devastating curses on the Richardsons, trying to force them off their land – even if it means murdering them.
After suffering unexplainable tragedies, the Richardsons seek help from Marybeth, a white witch high priestess. They soon discover a terrible secret about their house, revealing why their land is sacred to the cult. They realize they must protect their house from the cult at all costs, and a violent battle between good and evil ensues.

A short teaser trailer has also been released. You can check it out here:

For more information visit:

http://www.matthanharris.com/baphomet-incisive-pictures/https://www.facebook.com/baphometmovie

Brujeria – Pocho Aztlan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 17th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Brujeria
Pocho Aztlan
Released 16th September 2016
Grindcore/Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast


The Mexican-American death-grind band Brujeria are back with a new album ‘Pocho Aztlan’, their first full length release in sixteen years. ‘Pocho Aztlan’ follows ‘Brujerizmo’ which was released back in 2000. The band was originally formed in 1989 but they have been on hiatus various times due to line-up changes and the members being involved in other bands.

Now, before I start the review, I would like to clarify what exactly is death-grind metal. Well, the biggest clue is in the name “death-grind” combines the brutality of death metal with the ferociously fast speed of grindcore. So it’s loud, brutal, aggressive and fast; and about as melodic as a chainsaw… In Brujeria’s case, the grindcore elements come from Juan Brujo’s shouting and the overall feel and the speed of the music. There’s not a hell of a lot in the way of death metal on here, with the possible exception of drumming style and the odd guitar riff. These guys clearly just have a habit of bashing their instruments as hard as they can. The closest comparison I can think of would be Napalm Death – only in Spanish and with a slightly irritating vocal style.

As with their previous albums, the lyrical themes are pretty much the same: crime, drug use and smuggling all laced with a sizable amount of (possibly Mexican) slang, swear words and insults. For example Plata o Plomo is a clear reference to drug trafficking originally used by the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. Bruja stands out as one of the very few tracks to feature a slight groove metal tinge in the guitars which makes it more tolerable than the majority of the album. Oh, and by tolerable I mean listenable – it is not great or even good by any means. The only decent song on here is their cover of The Dead Kennedys’ California Uber Aztlan which suits their style remarkably well.

In summary, to call this a death metal album would be a gross misunderstanding of the term. Brujeria’s chosen sound is primarily grindcore with the very occasional death metal tinge. As far as grindcore goes, it’s no match for bands like Napalm Death nor is it as fast or technical as The Berzerker nor as dark and creepy as Anaal Nathrakh.

2/5

Iza Raittila

More details about the new Metallica album

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , on 12th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Yes, it’s really happening… We’ve been hearing about Metallica working on a new album for quite some time now. Well, it turns that they really were working on some new material. The long-awaited follow up to ‘Death Magnetic’ and the ‘Beyond Magnetic’ EP will be entitled ‘Hardwired…to Self -Destruct‘. You can check out the cover below:

This will be a 2CD album featuring the following tracks:

Disc 1
1. Hardwired
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. Now That We’re Dead
4. Moth into Flame
5. Am I Savage?
6. Halo on Fire

Disc 2
1. Confusion
2. Dream No More
3. ManUNkind
4. Here Comes Revenge
5. Murder One
6. Spit Out the Bone

‘Hardwired…to Self-Destruct’ will also be available  in digital form via iTunes, on vinyl and as a 3CD deluxe edition featuring an extra disc with the demo versions of the songs plus the studio version of ‘Lords of Summer’. The official, worldwide release date is 18th November 2016 which also happens to be Kirk Hammett’s birthday.

For more details visit:

https://metallica.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Metallica

 

 

The 69 Eyes live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 10th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Black Royal, The 69 Eyes
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
9th September 2016

The 69 Eyes is a band that reminds me of my teenage years; takes me back to a time when I had posters of bands such as HIM and The Crow movie on my bedroom wall. I used to love the albums from their Gothic rock period, especially ‘Blessed Be’ and ‘Paris Kills’. I still revisit their music occasionally but sadly I lost track of them after the ‘Devils’ album.

Then a few days ago I discovered that they were coming to play a show here in Tampere. So naturally I jumped at the opportunity. Unlike HIM who I saw live when I was a teenager, I’ve never been to a 69 Eyes show before.

The warm-up was a local death metal band called Black Royal. They had a relatively short set so there’s not a hell of a lot that I can say about them. They reminded me a little of Entombed but their music had more melodic elements, like a mixture of death metal and heavy metal. Not a bad start to the night. 3/5

The “Helsinki Vampires” took to the stage fashionably late but the wait proved to be worth it. I was pleased to find out that they actually played quite a lot of the older material including classic goth’n’ roll songs such as: The Chair, Gothic Girl, Wasting the Dawn and Feel Berlin. Frontman Jyrki69 was keen to point out that some of their music videos were actually shot in Tampere. One of them is Brandon Lee, which happens to be one of my personal favorites – they played it as an encore. Another highlight of the evening was the beautifully dark love song Dance D’Amour. I had a great time dancing to the same songs that first captured my attention all those years ago. 5/5

In summary I’m really happy that I finally got to see these guys live. A lot has changed since I was a teenager, I’m not the same person that I was back then but their music has stayed with me and I continue to enjoy it.

Iza Raittila

Pain – Coming Home

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 8th September 2016 by Pieni

Pain
“Coming Home”
Industrial metal
Released: 9th September 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

 photo Pain - Coming Home - Artwork_zpsomrno2ec.jpg

After Peter Tägtgren’s adventure with Till Lindemann last year, I thought he would focus on his “metal side” and release something with Hypocrisy. He didn’t. He stayed on the industrial track and Pain’s 8th studio album, “Coming Home”, came to life. Not that I’m complaining – I’m not included in the “you” that the opener “Designed To Piss You Off” targets – as this record is quite something. With big emphasis on orchestral arrangements, the melodies achieve a new level of dynamics; not enough to come up with a term like “symphonic industrial metal”, but its presence is strongly embedded – from the background of the grinding beat of “Pain In The Ass” to the highlights in the chorus of the acoustic, title-track ballad.

“A Wannabe” is also a ballad that starts up acoustic but has more spirit to it, very Pain-ish; and “Starseed”’s slow tempo sounds… haunting, like the soundtrack of old horror movies.

“Call Me” and “Final Crusade” are the heaviness prime ambassadors here, the former featuring Sabaton-Joakim Brodén to enhance the metal vibe – which doesn’t affect the catchiness of the chorus -, the latter literally marching down our ear canal. The aforementioned “Designed To Piss You Off” follows suit, although a great part of it is more rocky than heavy, with a whiff of American Old West. “Absinthe Phoenix Rising” is a nice rock tune as well.

And then “Black Knight Satellite” (ha, Peter and his alien conspiracy theories…) and “Natural Born Idiot” deliver some fetching electronic pieces, with that infectious rhythm your body just can’t resist to.

But despite all this diversity, all tracks blend together and fit naturally as “a part of the whole” that is “Coming Home”. Tägtgren and friends – including his own son Sebastian on the drums – took Pain one more step forward, introducing new elements without compromising the original identity of the project. Go Pain!

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Delain – Moonbathers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 6th September 2016 by mickbirchy

Delain
“Moonbathers”
Symphonic Metal
Released 26 August 2016
via Napalm Records

Moonbathers, is the fifth offering from Dutch symphonic metallers, Delain. With big bombastic anthems and a more direct heavier sound, they seem to have progressed quite a lot since their début 10 years ago. I won’t lie I found this a slog to get through. I really did. It’s not that the album is bad per say. It just has nothing interesting or unique to offer. On a technical level this album is brilliant and on a production level, it’s excellent. However, I just can’t seem to get into it at all, none of the songs have really stuck with me, not like their older material has to this day.

It’s really hard to explain why it’s not working for me. I think it starts with the overall tone of the album. The heaviness is a problem for me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this sound on The Human Contradiction. I find Delain are at their best when they’re making energetic rock anthems, like on We Are The Others or April Rain not these heavy songs that have a really serious atmosphere. Which “Moonbathers” is packed with. I mean, it will have a break from this like with “Suckerpunch” or “Fire with Fire”. Though, Moonbathers is bogged down and never reaches that level of energy that their older material, We Are The Others in particular, had.

Like I said on a technical level this is a really well made album. The production is gold with every member sounding as good as they can. Charlotte belts out her lyrics and this album has the band the tightest they’ve ever sounded. So I give credit where the credit is due. Merel has settled into her new post as full time guitarist really nicely, playing some super sharp riffs. Martin highlights the album with some superb synth and key work. It all sounds beautiful.

So the album is average. I like parts of it. However for me it lacks the fire and energy of the past albums. I’m quite conflicted about it, I think it’s good but I just want more from Delain and I hope they don’t become complacent. So yeah, it’s good, not great, but good.

2.5/5

Mick Birchall

Finsterforst -#YØLØ

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 3rd September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Finsterforst
#YØLØ
Released 14th September 2016
Folk Metal
Released via Napalm Records

The German folk metal band from the “Dark Forest” region is back with their latest offering; a limited edition EP titled ‘#YØLØ’. This is a party album for the “dancing metal fan” featuring four covers of songs by pop, hip-hop and punk artists. Based on some of the song titles, this is fairly similar to what you might expect to see from their beer-loving, fellow countrymen Tankard. I am not too convinced about the choice of covers, but each to their own…

So let’s see what we have here — The party starts with Bottle Gods, a highly entertaining folk metal tune which made me think of Finntroll and Ensiferum for some reason. No trolls though, just a simple catchy chorus and some catchy accordion melodies accompanying the metal instruments. So far, so good…Now where’s that beer? Ah, here it comes. Not just one either but several as the bar starts to fill up and more of your friends join the party. And what better anthem for this occasion than Auf die Zwölf – a German-language track with a lot of the same atmosphere as the super-catchy opener. More accordion noise and a chorus so catchy that you want to dance and sing along to the tune even if your German is as bad as mine is.

Things start to go a bit haywire by the time we reach the title track. Folk metal and trumpets? Oh dear, clearly someone has had one beer too many. Well clearly someone did because the Hangover is immense. It’s so sad, such a great party and now everyone feels like crap. Oh look, there’s a karaoke machine over there, let’s all have a go at singing some random songs. Yeah… In all honesty the Finsterforst cover of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball is actually quite decent. They actually put some effort into the vocals and their metalized version works surprisingly well. However the same cannot be said for the Michael Jackson cover or the cringe-worthy hip-hop track. ‘Wild Rover’ is a fairly obvious song to end the party with. It’s been fun but now it’s really time to go home.

Overall, you can clearly tell that Finsterforst had lots fun recording ‘#YØLØ’. It’s clearly a party album that is not meant to be taken too seriously. The whole thing is a bit of a joke but luckily for the most part a good one.

3/5
Iza Raittila