Archive for November, 2018

Children of Bodom reveal new album details

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , , on 30th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘I Worship Chaos’, will be called ‘Hexed’.

Check out the track-listing and cover art below:

1. The Road
2. Under Grass and Clover
3. Glass Houses
4. Hecate’s Nightmare
5. Kick in the Spleen
6. Platitudes and Barren Words
7. Hexed
8. Relapse (The Nature of My Crime)
9. Say Never Look Back
10. Soon Departed
11. Knuckleduster
12. I Worship Chaos (live)
13. Morrigan (live)
14. Knuckleduster (remix)

Children of Bodom - Hexed

‘Hexed’ is scheduled to hit the shops worldwide on 8th March 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records. This will be the band’s first album with their new rhythm guitarist Daniel Freyberg who joined the band in 2016 replacing Roope Latvala.

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom

http://www.cobhc.com/site/

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Monstrosity – The Passage of Existence

Posted in Metal with tags , on 27th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Monstrosity
The Passage of Existence
Released 7th September 2018
Death Metal
Released via Metal Blade Records

Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence

It’s been a while since I have reviewed a death metal album. The truth is there has not been too many death metal releases that have caught my attention this year. Monstrosity is a relatively new discovery for me, but their particular brand of death metal is fairly similar to some of the bands I like. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they are an American death metal act based in Florida and they have been a part of the death metal scene since 1990. Oh, and their original line-up included George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on vocals before he joined Cannibal Corpse.

Death metal has a variety of different styles and sub-categories ranging in pace, technical guitar work and brutality levels. Personally my favourite variety is death metal with a slight thrash metal tinge with some technical but not overly complex guitar work, ideally medium to fast paced and brutal. Luckily for me that is exactly the type of death metal that Monstrosity play.

Kingdom of Fire caught my attention thanks to the unholy brew of the ferocious guitar riffs, trash metal undertones, ferocious growling and aggressive drums. The melodic guitar interlude offers the listener a chance to catch a breath before the next onslaught takes place. In general, this album is very guitar-driven, combining technical rhythm guitar riffs with blast beats for a more refined sound. Maelstrom is a good example of this style. There is just the right amount of variety and technical precision in the guitars to make it sound fresh but not too complex. Also, I have to emphasize the term “technical” as opposed to progressive. I can’t stand anything progressive in metal. Too much guitar masturbation is never a good thing. Luckily there is no danger of that on here.

In summary, ‘The Passage of Existence’ is exactly my kind of death metal. There is not a single song here that I dislike. This is without a doubt my favourite death metal release of the year. Last year I enjoyed the new Immolation and Cannibal Corpse. In 2018 it is all about Monstrosity.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão growing… again!

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 26th November 2018 by Pieni

As July is still far away, Ecos Culturais do Louro decided to promote a special event, in celebration of Christmas. It’s called A Hell Of A Xmas and features bands that have played in Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão editions, as follows:

cartaz hell of a xmas.jpg

As for the festival itself, they’ve been gradually releasing names, along with guess-the-band-and-win-a-ticket contests. Just a few hours ago, Fleshgod Apocalypse has been confirmed as one of the four headliners – yes, the fest will last four days in 2019, between the 25th and 28th of July. Here are the other names so far:

ENTOMBED A.D.

WRATH SINS

SINISTRO

W.A.K.O.

CREMATORY

MISS LAVA

ANALEPSY

GWYDION

PESTE & SIDA

SOLDIER

PRIMAL ATTACK

TALES FOR THE UNSPOKEN

SIMBIOSE

HUMANART

https://www.facebook.com/laurusnobilismusic/

Huoripukki and Goatsodomy live

Posted in Gig, Grindcore, Live, Metal with tags , , , , on 25th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Warfare Noise, Huoripukki, Goatsodomy
Varjobaari, Tampere, Finland
24th November 2018

Just when I think that I will not be attending any more live shows this year, something new pops up unexpectedly. Varjobaari, a small pub in one of the largest districts of Tampere, was the venue for a night of extreme metal with three Finnish underground bands performing. This was my first time at the venue and I was unfamiliar with the bands but the names and the descriptions of the music sounded intriguing so I decided to check them out.

Warfare Noise were up first. They are a fairly new band with only a few self-released demos. The best way I can describe their sound would be a mixture of grindcore and black metal with an emphasis on the grindcore. I’m not the biggest fan of grindcore but I have to admit that the drum work was really good. 2.5/5

Huoripukki were the main band I wanted to see. I haven’t heard their music prior to the show but I liked their name, it means “whoremonger” in Finnish. Anyway theirs was the most energetic show of the night. They played good mix of blackened death metal and to a lesser extent thrash metal. There was no space to form a moshpit but more than enough for some headbanging. 4/5

Last up was a black metal outfit called Goatsodomy. They played raw black metal which is not the easiest stuff to play live. They started out a little later than scheduled and I only stuck around to hear a few songs so there is not a hell of a lot that I can say about their show. What I heard was raw, minimalistic black metal which seemed a bit one-dimensional at times. 2.5/5

Overall I am glad that I took the time to attend the gig. I liked the venue and Huoripukki were entertaining to watch. It’s good to see that Finnish underground extreme metal scene is alive and well.

Iza Raittila

Sky Empire – The Dark Tower

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 20th November 2018 by mickbirchy

Sky Empire

The Dark Tower

Progressive Metal, Groove Rock

Released: 26th September 2018

via The Rock Company

I know I don’t cover progressive metal all that often. It’s just not a genre that captivates me in the right way. Sometimes a band comes along that can change your perception on a certain style of music. I will admit, I didn’t know all that much about Sky Empire before now and I don’t know too many people that do. Their debut album, The Dark Tower is pretty enjoyable. Mixing well-executed music with impactful story-telling, they have managed to create a fairly decent debut album. The band straddle the line between dynamic and creative instrumental prog-rock and more classic rock standards. It’s quite an interesting listening experience to be fair.

Right from the first song “Marionette” you get a sense of what to expect from the album. Multiple instrumental parts flowing into each other, dynamic musical parts and an intricate atmosphere. It all comes through quite well, musically. The technical ability on display is certainly impressive. I am amazed by how it all comes together. The production is pretty much on point, making sure every member of the band gets their licks in, and also providing a great balance between the excellent guitar and keyboard solos. All the while, the drums keep the creative pace going. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of the vocal performance as it doesn’t really match the music here. He has a well-toned voice, I can’t think of any flubbed notes or anything, but it just doesn’t work for me personally. The rough and deep tone never really fits in with the style. Also, when he tries to hit the higher notes it sounds like he’s straining his voice.

Whilst everything here is certainly impressive, and it is, there’s nothing that really sticks to my imagination. There are prog bands that really stick in my head and there are ones that don’t. Sky Empire, sadly fall into the latter. I appreciate the musicianship on display and I respect the multiple parts, the rising and falling tone and the solos… Yes, it’s all so glorious. However, it’s not something that I think I would choose to return to, and I listen to bands like Iron Butterfly and Ex Libris for fun. There just needs to be more polish to the presentation and the overall style.

It’s a decent record and they’re clearly talented. As I’ve mentioned, the musicianship is out of this world. The album certainly has its rough spots as well, with the drums feeling a little muted here and there and the aforementioned issues I have with the vocals. There are some things they do incredibly well, such as the riff and solo work, building an atmospheric tone and keeping a tight performance through multiple (and often frenetic) parts. I just would have liked to have heard a little more polish in the production. I liked the time I spent with the record but I have no real desire to return to it.

2/5

Mick Birchall

Thorium – Thorium

Posted in Metal with tags , , , , on 17th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Thorium
Thorium
Released 9th November 2018
Heavy Metal/Melodic Power Metal
Released via Rock N’ Growl Records

Thorium - Thorium

‘Thorium’ is the debut album from the Belgian heavy metal band of the same name. Thorium was formed two years ago and their line-up includes former members of Ostrogoth.

Just in case the connection to the band Ostrogoth was not obvious, this album includes a song called Ostrogoth. It’s an entertaining, albeit a little cheesy, piece of melodic power metal with powerful vocals and good guitar work. I like how they managed to get the guitars to mimic the sound of galloping horses towards the latter half of the track. Watch out, the Ostrogoths are coming!! Some of the songs reminded me of early works of Helloween, mostly due to the pace and the similarities in the vocal style.

There are also elements of traditional heavy metal and thrash metal on here. This is evident in tracks such as Godspeed with its catchy chorus as well as more varied but no less cheerful-sounding guitar melodies. They continue with the same mixture of heavy metal and power metal for the rest of the album. The final track Four by Number, Four by Fate is one of those that listeners are either going to love or hate. It definitely stands out on here for numerous reasons. Let’s start with the length – it’s just short of sixteen minutes which is very long even for a ballad. The style is a mish-mash of everything ranging from acoustic guitar instrument parts, progressive guitar riffs, power metal, heavy metal to some thrash metal thrown in just to keep you on your toes. Personally I think this might have worked better if it was broken up into two separate tracks.

Overall, Thorium’s debut album has a lot of things going for it. They have created a good balance of catchy and melodic heavy metal with enough variety to keep the listener entertained. I think that fans of power metal and heavy metal will enjoy it, especially those who are into Helloween and Iron Maiden.

3.5/5
Iza Raittila

Planet of Zeus – Live in Athens

Posted in Metal, Rock with tags , , on 13th November 2018 by mickbirchy

Planet of Zeus

Live in Athens

Stoner Rock, Groove Metal, Southern Rock

Released: 30th October 2018

via ihaveadrum Records

There are two peaks in a bands career. Two heights of artistic achievement that they can wear like a badge of honour. One is the concept album, the other… The “live” album. Nothing really says “We’ve made it” like selling out a venue, recording the show and selling that show for all to hear. For me, one of the best live acts I have ever seen would have to be, Planet of Zeus. They are a force to be reckoned with on the stage. Their music is so anthemic and powerful, it can connect with pretty much any audience member at any show. All I can say is if you haven’t taken yourself to a show from them. Treat yourself the next time they’re in town. After their most recent record Loyal To The Pack, the band played their home countries capital city, Athens, to a ravenous crowd, giving birth to the bands first ever live album: Live In Athens (I know, such an original title).

I will say that this record sounds excellent all the way through. It captures that feeling of a Planet of Zeus show to an extent. From the heavy riffs to the excellent and gut-busting solos this album sounds so damn good. When Stelios Provis busts out the solos, the rest of the band create a tight foundation from which he’ll just let loose and create magic with the guitar. The set-list for this show was a solid one as it’s completely filled with energy, good vibes and their unique atmosphere that they bring to the show. You even hear those little echoes and refrains that you only hear in a live setting. When Babis Papanikolaou roars out the lyrics to songs like “A Girl Named Greed”, “Loyal To The Pack” or “Macho Libre” I can feel it right down in my gut. It’s the kind of voice that you take notice of. The production as a whole is wonderful.

The record is beautifully balanced and well mixed, I can only imagine what some of these songs felt like in the gig itself. If there’s anything that Planet of Zeus is known for it’s their riffs and they packed this setlist with their finest. Songs like “Leftovers”, “Devil Calls My Name” and “Little Deceiver” are definitely the moments that grab your attention. As their riffs just have that way of getting in your head and sticking around. It’s that great balance of groove, rock n roll and balls-to-the-wall heavy that makes Planet of Zeus such a compelling band to listen to.

However, I think there’s something that can be lost on a live record. Some things from the gig itself don’t always translate quite as well to the album version. This is the only downside I can think of to this record, yet, it’s more of a failure of the medium. Some bands can really transcend it and make you feel like you’re at the gig from the live album alone. Here, I don’t think Planet of Zeus has quite pulled that off. Although, it’s a great recording and there’s all of the unfiltered crowd banter, as well as the audience chanting for the band. The recording of the crowd is great too. You hear their chants as clear as a bell and their interaction with the band is great. It must’ve been quite the crowd to be a part of night itself. Yet, there’s just something missing from it that stops it being an amazing live album. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great listening experience but it’s not a great “live album”.

This is a fun record to listen to. A must buy if you’re any sort of stoner rock or groove metal fan. If you’ve never listened to Planet of Zeus I would say that this is a great album to get you started. Not only did they provide some of their best material but you get a small sample of what it would be like to listen to them live. Which is a treat! I adore Planet of Zeus (if I haven’t made that obvious) and having missed the Loyal To The Pack Tour, this was awesome for me to listen to. They are simply one of the best bands going today in my opinion and this live record should be more than proof to anyone who denies that sentiment.

4.5/5

Mick Birchall