Archive for September, 2016

Brujeria – Pocho Aztlan

Posted in CD, Grindcore, Metal 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

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More details about the new Metallica album

Posted in Metal, 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, Rock 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 CD, Industrial 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 CD, Metal 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 CD, Metal 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