Ledfoot – Black Valley

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 6th June 2021 by Pieni

Ledfoot
“Black Valley”
Gothic blues
Release: 12th March 2021
Via TBC Records

ledfoot

Gothic blues… yeah, that’s a new one for me too – even if Ledfoot’s first release is dated 2007. It is the solo project of artist Tim Scott McConnell, who has been performing for about 40 years now, and it was he himself who came up with the name for this musical genre. True, he’s an old school goth, but I’d like to think the term “gothic blues” is more based in his darker approach to blues rock than in his apparel. Just like his own skilled fingers take more credit for the richness of his songs than the heavy 12-strings of the guitars he uses to create them.  

The melodies are obviously sad and McConnell’s voice brings such sadness alive, with strong and charming tones – whether it’s seductive, singing about a broken heart like in “Take Away The Hurt”, overwhelmed when singing about hopelessness like in “Poor Man’s Lullaby” or just candid like in the story lines of “Crossed My Heart” and “Falling Down”.

In a nutshell, Ledfoot is a more refined version of Johnny Cash and “Black Valley” a ride you don’t want to miss if you’re into these bluesy paths.

8/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Silver Talon – Decadence And Decay

Posted in Review with tags , on 4th June 2021 by izaforestspirit

Silver Talon
Decadence and Decay
Released 28th May 2021
Power Metal
Released via M-Theory Audio


Silver Talon - Decadence and Decay

‘Decadence and Decay’ is the debut album from the American power metal band Silver Talon. The group was launched back in 2017. The line-up includes: vocalist Wyatt Howell (Sanctifyre,ex-Toxic Witch), two former Spellcaster guitarists Sebastian Silva and Bryce Adams Vanhoosen, bassist Walter Hartzell (Mordant Rapture), drummer Michael Thompson and guitarist Devon Miller (ex-Sabateur).

There’s nothing quite like some good old power metal on a hot summer’s day. The thing with this particular album is that it starts off rather slow. The first few tracks actually made me think that I was listening to some progressive groove metal. Then half way through the record something changed and they decided to speed things up a little. Divine Fury delivers the cheerful and bombastic guitar melodies that I was craving for. It’s about time. Next up is the ultra-catchy, riff- extravaganza Kill All Kings – easily the fastest song on here and my personal favorite. Now this is what I call power metal.

And no power metal album is complete without a ballad track, in this case that is the rather melancholic-sounding What Will Be. Whilst I cannot fault the guitar work or the melodic vocals on here; the majority of the song is a little too lullaby-esque for my liking.

In summary, ‘Decadence And Decay’ is a promising power metal debut. Sadly only handful of the tracks caught my attention so I doubt that I will listen to it again. If Silver Talon produce more songs like ‘Kill All Kings’ then I might consider giving them another go.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Daybreaker – Sanctuary

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 19th May 2021 by Mickelrath

Daybreaker
Sanctuary
Groove Metal, Heavy Metal
Released: 21 May 2021
Self-Released

You guys know me at this point. I love some groovy riffs infused with the heaviest of metal tracks. Hoo boy, do I have an awesome recommendation for you today. I’ve been aware of Daybreaker for some time, I’ve even seen them live a couple of times. They’re one of those bands that I always wanna checkout if they’re in town. Meaty riff-tastic metal music that is packed with energy.  The North-West metallers are set to release the new EP, Sanctuary. A powerful and commanding release that keeps you hooked from start to finish. They took what has worked in the past and amplified it all the way to 11. 

The EP opens on bright sunny intro “Enter Salvation” that quickly turns into disaster with an explosion and sirens to set the apocalyptic mood for the brutality to follow. This then cranks into “The Redeemer”. There’s something very ‘mid-2000’s’ metalcore sounding about this track. The booming bass and tight drum work lock into place and keep the pace as the guitars churn out the riffs and the vocal performance goes into full gear. The EP literally goes from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds and it doesn’t come down for the duration. Following that up are the tracks “Decent” and “In Death”. Two meaty tracks with plenty of groove to them as well keeping the EP feeling fresh and dynamic, rather than just balls to the wall brutality. 

Following that up is, for me, the stand out track to the EP “Path of Righteous”. The blast of drums to open the track get you ready for the following beat down. The track goes through a few different and distinct parts that make it a worthy listening experience. The high energy, the brutal breakdown and an atmospheric guitar outro. Man, this song really hit me. Finally rounding out the EP is “MOAB” and “Used God Salesman”. “MOAB” has a strong riff and keeps a tight groove throughout. Then “Used God Salesman” caps off the EP on a high note. It’s just a balls to the wall metal track that makes you wanna get up and mosh around.

Yeah, I rather enjoyed that EP. A fierce listening experience that I want to come back to time and time again. It might not be to everyone’s liking, I mean if you’re not into groove metal, metalcore or its subsidiaries then, this won’t be for you. I wish there was more to it. However, as far as criticisms go, they’re not bad problems to have. An excellent outing for the band and I look forward to hearing these songs live in concert. 

9/10

Mick Birchall 

Black Sigma – Lost

Posted in Review with tags , , on 17th May 2021 by izaforestspirit

Black Sigma
Lost
Released 1st April 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Black Sigma - Lost



‘Lost’ is the debut album from the Belgian atmospheric black metal artist Black Sigma. The project was launched last year by the musician known as Occulta, who used to be the vocalist of the symphonic black metal band Avatar back in the ‘90s.

After several listens I can state that the main two adjectives I would use to describe this album would be ‘atmospheric’ and ‘melancholic’. There is a fair bit of melody in the guitar work and it is paired with haunting black metal shrieks. Occasionally Occulta mellows things down like in the piano outro to Always Alone and the ambient-esque closing track Desolation. The style is fairly similar to the German ambient black metal duo Bann. A lot of the songs have long instrumental parts with the vocals being used sparingly.

The second half of the album includes some subtle doom undertones in the guitar patterns ,for example in the title track. That particular song also features a variety of vocal styles ranging from shrieks at the start, to My Dying Bride -style semi-growls and eerie whispers. I also enjoyed the ambient keyboard and guitar passages on Apocalypse 3.0.

In summary I can confirm that this is definitely my kind of black metal. Black Sigma is one of the most promising newcomers to the scene and I look forward to hearing more from him.

9/10

Iza Raittila

Skarlett Riot – Invicta

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Review with tags , , , , , on 6th May 2021 by Mickelrath

Skarlett Riot

Invicta

Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Metalcore

Released 7 May 2021

Via Despotz Records

It’s a special feeling when you see one of your favourite bands rise up and release an album this good. Yes, this will probably be somewhat of a biased review as I really do like this band and I can confidently say that I’m almost proud of Skarlett Riot for making this album. Invicta is their third album and it’s been quite the journey listening to them grow and develop into the band they are today. They have always had a way with lyrical themes intertwined with heavy dark tones with a good measure of catchy melodies and this record is no exception with songs that will no doubt be taking centre stage of their setlists when the world goes back to normal and gigs are once again attendable. It could have been really easy for the band to not do anything during the lockdown, however they were laser-focussed on this new project and, armed with this new album, they’ll be ready to take over the hard rock scene.

The album opens with “Breaking the Habit” and it sets the tone for what to expect throughout. Dark and heavy melodies with impactful hard-hitting lyrics. It goes full-force and doesn’t really slow down except for the magnificent crescendo that is the ballad “Into Pieces”, which for my money, is really the centre piece of the album. A soft acoustic intro that builds into a solid hard rock ballad that really caught me off guard but I really enjoy listening to it. While listening to this, I found myself relating to a lot of the lyrics on here. Skarlett Riot work their magic with the lyrics. I especially like the dark lyrics in “Black Cloud” which perfectly sums up how depression and anxiety feels, it really hit me hard and the vocal performance really sells it to you with a lot of conviction and passion. 

The production absolutely packs that extra punch. The big difference on this record is the addition of guttural vocal work, which has never really been in Skarlett Riot’s previous work. Thanks to new bassist, Tim Chambers. He really works off of Chloe’s vocal work and complements it with big bassy sounding guttural vocals that really gives this album so much more of an edge. The guitar riffs are excellent and create a solid framework for the songs. Then you have the drums which feel so punchy on this release. The drum-fills are well worked and they add so much depth to the overall sound.

Okay, this was an outright advertisement for the album rather than a review. Yeah, it goes without saying that I recommend this album. It’s more Skarlett Riot with more of a punch and the new addition of the vocal work is so welcome in the band’s sound. Just an excellent listen and one already in my top ten albums for 2021

10/10

Mick Birchall

New Impaled Nazarene album coming later this month

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 3rd May 2021 by izaforestspirit

Good news for black metal fans. Seven years since their last studio effort ‘Vigorous and Liberating Death’, now the Finnish group Impaled Nazarene are finally ready to unleash their latest opus on the world. Their long-awaited new album will be entitled ‘Eight Headed Serpent’.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

  1. Goat of Mendes
  2. Eight Headed Serpent
  3. The Nonconformists
  4. Octagon Order
  5. Metastasizing and Changing Threat
  6. Debauchery and Decay
  7. Human Cesspool
  8. Apocalypse Pervertor
  9. Triumphant Return of the Antichrist
  10. Mutilation of the Nazarene Whore
  11. Foucault Pendulum

Impaled Nazarene - Eight Headed Serpent

‘Eight Headed Serpent’ will be out in all formats on 28th May 2021 via Osmose Productions.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/ImpaledNazareneOfficial
https://twitter.com/campnazarene

Indus Valley Kings – Indus Valley Kings

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Review with tags , , , on 28th April 2021 by Mickelrath

Indus Valley Kings
Indus Valley Kings
Stoner Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Released: 22 January 2021
Self-Released

This was a neat little surprise of a record. I love looking up weird and interesting stoner rock music. It’s a sub-culture that I really adore ever since I discovered Kyuss and Orange Goblin. So I always take the opportunity to listen to new bands in the genre. So let me introduce you to Indus Valley Kings. They advertise themselves as “heavy, down-tuned music” and that is something that I kind of agree with. The band consists of Billy Fridrich on guitar & vocals, Dan Lofaro on drums and Jonathan Lesley Habers on bass and vocals. It’s definitely heavy but it has a laid back attitude like a band in a jam session. Sure, jamming out for a whole album might be off-putting to some. However, if you’re willing to chill out, it’s a fun ride of a record. 

The first thing you’ll notice about this album is… The bass! My god the bass is oozing and powerful. It encompasses all elements of the record and creates the framework for all of the songs and keeps the energy chugging throughout. It’s just so in your face that I couldn’t help but point it out. I listened to this on several pairs of headphones and it was just the most powerful part of the album. There’s something very primal and hard-hitting about the tunes. I love the vocal performance on this record, especially the hook to the song “Scapegoat”, it packs such a punch with Billy’s forceful voice kicking ass. Then you have the guitar solos. They are so good. Carrying on from the heavy and down-tuned music, the solos have that vibe at heart. 

It might be a little hard to listen to for people not used to this sort of music. The production isn’t amazing. I do understand the tone they were going for but I don’t think the execution was necessarily the best as the production feels a little stodgy and the bass swallows up all of the other instruments. There are times where the drums aren’t audible because the bass is too in your face. I like bass but there is such a thing as too much. 

It’s still a very enjoyable album as it is. I have the songs playing in my shuffle playlist for the last few weeks in the mix with the likes of Black Sabbath, Brant Bjork, Planet of Zeus and Black Moth and I feel like it fits in quite nicely with that sort of sound. It’s a free-flowing jam session condensed into their best moments for an album. Well worth the listen if you like your bass-heavy stoner rock.

7/10

Mick Birchall

Vengeant release second single

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 24th April 2021 by izaforestspirit

Here’s something for fans of symphonic metal. Swedish symphonic metal group Vengeant have just released their latest single called ‘The Unreal’. This is the second single following ‘Angel’s Battle Cry’ which came out back in February 2021.

The band was formed at the start of this year and their line-up includes: Danae Komodromou (vocals), Alfred Fridhagen (drums) and Dennis Eriksson (rhythm guitar). Despite the limited number of new music releases, they have already gained a massive following on a variety of social media.

May be an image of text

‘The Unreal’ is available for streaming on all major digital platforms. You can listen to it on Spotify here:

For more info visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vengeantofficial
Instagram: https://bit.ly/38qguw0


Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood

Posted in Review with tags , , on 23rd April 2021 by izaforestspirit

Bodom After Midnight
Released 23rd April 2021
Melodic Death Metal/Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Bodom After Midnight, Paint the Sky with Blood, 10" Vinyl - Backstage Rock  Shop

The tragic death of Alexi Laiho late last year meant that his new band’s album was never finished. He did however manage to record a few tracks with Bodom After Midnight. His bandmates decided to release these as an EP dedicated to his memory. So here we have Alexi Laiho’s swan song – ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’.

The title track is by far the highlight on here. Laiho’s vocals sounds as sharp as ever and the guitar work is simply flawless. The keyboards work well in the background. Next up is Payback’s a Bitch, another solid melodic death metal track which reminded me of Children of Bodom’s mid-career work. Once again the guitar work is the prime focus. Last but not least is a cover of ‘Dissection’s Where Dead Angels Lie. This is not the easiest of songs to cover but they did a pretty good job of it. They successfully managed to capture the original atmosphere of the track.

In summary, as a long time Children of Bodom fan I am very happy that Mr. Laiho left his fans with one final parting gift. RIP Alexi Laiho. One wild child gone far too soon…

9/10

Iza Raittila

Sadistic Demise – Your Chosen Way of Sadistic

Posted in Review with tags , on 17th April 2021 by izaforestspirit

Sadistic Demise
Your Chosen Way of Sadistic
Released 21st February 2021
Death Metal
Self-Released

Sadistic Demise - Your Chosen Way of Sadistic

‘ Your Chosen Way of Sadistic’ is the first EP from the Russian death metal band Sadistic Demise. The group was formed last year. Three of the band members are also in the thrash metal crossover band Impress.

After a couple of listens I can safely say that this sounds pretty much exactly like I expected it to. Brutal, mid-paced death metal packed with gore themes. The growling style is fairly typical of the genre as is the guitar style. The main issue I have with this is that with the notable exception of the intro, all the songs sound very similar to each other. There is some decent riff work on songs such as Violent Autopsy but other than that, unless you have the track-listing in front of you, it’s difficult to tell when one song ends and another begins.

Overall, there is not much else that I can say about this EP. It is very much your standard brutal death metal. While this in itself is not a bad thing, if you like the genre, that doesn’t change the fact that bands like this are a dime in a dozen. In all honesty if I want death metal, I would rather listen to Cannibal Corpse or old Morbid Angel.

5/10

Iza Raittila

Mind Driller – InBolution

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 2nd April 2021 by Pieni

Mind Driller
“InBolution” [EP]
Electronic/industrial rock
Released: 21st January 2021
Via Art Gates Records

InBolution

Despite featuring nine tracks, which is an acceptable number for a full-length album, only three of them are new, hence the EP tag on “InBolution”.

“The Prophecy” is such a vibrant song that it’s totally understandable why they couldn’t wait to release it. The chorus is catchy as usual, but its overall rhythm is something more than that.

“Overthrow”, on the other hand, bears that dark wave seduction Mind Driller’s already shown us in songs like “Deadworld”, for instance, reaching out to your deepest senses rather than make you want to dance.

And then “Denken” offers a heavier beat, sounding more industrial.

The rest of the tracks are remixes (“Calling At The Stars” got a more dance-able one, while “The Game” went more somber) and instrumental versions (which made me go back to my childhood, when the B-sides of singles were often their instrumental tracks).

All in all, “InBolution” isn’t just a treat for the band’s fans but for everyone who appreciates the genre, given its diversity (and excellence) of features.

7,5/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino


New Helloween album coming this summer

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 29th March 2021 by izaforestspirit

Good news for Helloween fans. The band have been hinting at a new album featuring all three Helloween singers for quite some time. Now they finally issued a release date for the new opus. The long anticipated. self-titled album will be out this spring on 18th June 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records in both physical and digital formats.

Here’s the covert art and track-listing:

Helloween - Helloween



  1. Out for the Glory
  2. Fear of the Fallen
  3. Best Time
  4. Mass Pollution
  5. Angels
  6. Rise Without Chains
  7. Indestructible
  8. Robot King
  9. Cyanide
  10. Down in the Dumps
  11. Orbit
  12. Skyfall

There will also be a new single called ‘Skyfall’ out this week on Friday 2nd April 2021.


For more details go to: https://www.helloween.org/

https://www.facebook.com/helloweenofficial

Rob Zombie – The Lunar Infection Kool Aid Conspiracy

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 17th March 2021 by izaforestspirit

Rob Zombie
The Lunar Infection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy
Released 12th March 2021
Hard Rock /Heavy Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

You got to hand it to Rob Zombie when it comes to coming up with bizarre-sounding album titles. Five years ago the hard rock musician released an album with the one of the longest titles ever ‘The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser’. Luckily this new one has a slightly shorter title but it is no less crazy – ‘The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy’.

Sadly this is one of those cases where even after several listens I cannot get my head around this album. I really tried to like it and I hope that it would grow on me after a while. There are a few good heavy metal songs such as The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation & Superstition) and The Eternal Struggles Of The Howling Man and Shadow of The Cemetery Man. Then there’s the ultimate evil hellbilly circus track called 18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks & A One-Way Ticket On The Ghost Train delivering a highly amusing mishmash of country music and heavy metal.

So that was the good part. Now for the bad parts. There are way too many filler tracks. The instrumentals such as ‘The Much Talked of Metamorphosis’ seem a little out of place on here. I fail to see the point of having several interlude tracks lasting less than a minute. The style is a total mishmash of genres too. Oh and don’t even get me started on the lyrics. Seriously, I know that Rob Zombie is hardly a lyrical genius but even he can come up with better than “smoke your grass and shake your ass” and “the witch is sliding up the broom.”

In all honesty I expected better after a five year wait. There are a handful of good tracks on here but not enough to make this album worthwhile. If you were expecting another solid Rob Zombie album like ‘Sinister Urge’ or ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ then prepare to be disappointed.

5/10
Iza Raittila

Fortress Under Siege – Atlantis

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Review with tags , , , , , on 15th March 2021 by Mickelrath

Fortress Under Siege
Atlantis

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal
Released: 9th October 2020
via  ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records

Well, it seems my love affair with the metal scene in Greece continues with the discovery of this band, Fortress Under Siege. From the first moments of this record, I was hooked. Their presentation is clean and their music packs a big punch. I had to take a deeper dive to get a better idea of the evolution of this band. The band have released two previous albums and their new album Atlantis is probably my favourite upon listening to them all. It’s big and bold with a lot to offer. The album was produced and mixed by Fotis Benardo (Septicflesh, Rotting Christ, Innerwish). Mastered by George Nerantzis (Pain Of Salvation, Abbath, Dark Funeral, Gus G). It was recorded at Devasoundz Studios in Athens Greece. The biggest hurdle to overcome was replacing lead vocalist, Mike Livas with Tasos Lazaris, however, I feel he stepped to the plate perfectly here. 

The album is big and bold. Loud guitar and intricate keyboard works give this album power and depth with the bass and drums giving each song structure. Then the vocal performance just hits so hard and whenever it comes in. The bombastic production is just great and the sound of the band is that of excellent riffs and wonderful musical progressions. I like the way the album flows together, it almost has a serial or concept nature and every song flows into the next seamlessly. Every song has this big-sounding chorus that gets stuck in your head and feels uplifting when listening to it. It all feels rich with beautiful and carefully crafted melodies. Not a second of time is wasted on the record. Right from the opening track “Love Enforcer”  I was presented with amazing use of lyrical imagery and a great sense of presence and tone. 

Overall, I would say that this was a rather impressive listening experience. The songs are superb and the band just have the charisma of megastars. If you like your power metal bands then, Fortress Under Siege is well worth your time and Atlantis is an amazing epic of a record. The album touches on themes of ancient Hellenic mythology and Trojan royalty. They even give social commentary on helicopter parenting and bullying. The lyrics are multilayered but also you can get a lot just from the surface level too. If you want some good power metal in your life that you may have never considered before, this is the band for you.

8/10

Mick Birchall

Leprosys – Obnoxious Futuristic Vision

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 11th March 2021 by izaforestspirit

Leprosys
Obnoxious Futuristic Vision
Released 1st February 2021
Death Metal with thrash metal influences
Self-Released

Leprosys - Obnoxious Futuristic Vision
‘Obnoxious Futuristic Vision’ is the debut album from the Canadian death metal band Leprosys. The band has been active since 2015 and they cite bands such as Obituary, Death and Pestilence as influences. All their releases are available for purchase via their Bandcamp page.

So, after a couple of listens I can safely state that this pretty much what I expected it to be. Leprosys play guitar-driven old-school death metal with a thrash metal tinge. So if ferocious guitar riffs are your thing, then you are in for a treat here. The tracks are fast-paced and fairly simple in structure.

Virtual Life caught my attention due to the cello part at the end. Similar things can be said about Transplanting The Brain which features a mouth harp noise towards the end. Other than that this is fairly standard death metal similar to the likes of Obituary and Death as could be expected.

Overall, as far death metal goes Leprosys have done a good job. It was difficult to come up with something unique to say about this album though that doesn’t mean it’s in any way bad. So if you are a fan of Obituary and Death then you should give Leprosys a go.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Bloody News Online Festival streaming this month

Posted in Festival, Live, News with tags , , , , , on 9th March 2021 by izaforestspirit

Bloody News Metal Magazine have once again teamed up with GlobMetal Promotions to bring you the second edition of Bloody News Online Fest – Spring Madness. This will be a live stream taking place on 26th March 2021 and it will be available for free from their website.

Here is the line-up:
Running Bot
Arhat
Termination Central
ANGER DOSE
Steel Velvet
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Avoid Humanity
Gwendydd
Horror Dance Squad
Devine Defilement
Beyond Frequencies

No photo description available.



For more details go to: https://bloodynews.ro/en/

https://www.facebook.com/events/760054691299835/



The Straddlerz – The Straddlerz

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 1st March 2021 by Pieni

The Straddlerz
“The Straddlerz”
Dirty rock’n’roll
Self-released
On 29th January 2021

thestraddlerz copy

When two strains of Latin blood – Italian and Argentinian – come together to produce rock music, the outcome must be passionate. And that’s what The Straddlerz self-titled debut album is.

The recording is way too raw, so I’m guessing the producer wanted to preserve the original intensity of both Linda Filippin’s yelling and Michael Reynal’s shredding. I understand that, but a little more polish would make the sound less messy without hurting their edge.

Not all songs roll out like a freight train, or not entirely. “Circle Of Insanity” has a less-than-a-minute seductive intro before all hell breaks loose; that same seduction lasts for half of the song “Addiction” but then Michael doesn’t help himself (did I mention there are two solos in “No Changes”?) and there go the guitars at full speed again, with everybody else following suit. Only “Don’t Go Away” has this bluesy seventies vibe and matching tempo, proving that the “pure and dirty” rockers know a thing or two about melody. “Junkie Bastards” has a groovy beat that’s quite catchy, but since it deviates a bit from their general stance it was “Streets Of Love” – a harder catchiness – that made it to a promotional video.

Someone called them “rock and roll with attitude”. I agree, but personally, I need more than that to fully appreciate a band.

6/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Bodom After Midnight EP coming this spring

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , , on 22nd February 2021 by izaforestspirit

Good news for Children of Bodom fans. Before his death last year, front-man and guitarist Alexi Laiho managed to record three songs with his new band Bodom After Midnight. Now his band-mates have announced that they will be releasing these tracks on an EP called ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’.

Here’s the cover art and tracklisting:

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01. Paint The Sky With Blood
02. Payback’s A Bitch
03. Where Dead Angels Lie (Dissection Cover)

‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ will be out in both physical and digital formats on 23rd April 2021 via Napalm Records.

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/bodomaftermidnightofficial

Epica – Omega

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 19th February 2021 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Epica
Omega
Symphonic Metal
Release date: 26th February 2021
Released via Nuclear Blast

Epica is a name that many fans of symphonic metal will already be familiar. The band, formed by vocalist and guitarist Mark Jansen, have been a driving force in the symphonic metal scene for almost 20 years. Omega is the eighth studio album from Epica, and one I have been looking forward to greatly.

The album opens strong with the hypnotic medley of Alpha – Anteludium before Abyss Of Time – Countdown To Singularity blasts through the speakers with a driving combination of orchestral elements and roaring guitars. The vocal lines are gracefully performed, whilst the guitars and bass lend the track a more traditionally Epica sound. The Skeleton Key differs, marching in with a two-fold sound that comes across as violent and massive in some parts, and dramatic and shadowy in other parts. The haunting piano notes stepping elegantly throughout the track definitely aid in building up the latter sound, whilst the devastating guitar passages, combined with the drums and bass build up the former sound. Key Of Solomon carries a very Oriental sounding medley, which is furthered emphasised by the vocals.

Gaia has a bright, almost optimistic, and inspiring sound, leading this track to quite easily be an anthem sung by Epica fans across the globe. Code Of Life takes on a Middle Eastern aspect to its sound, combining a variety of different elements into a mesmerising, trance-inducing composition. Freedom – The Wolves Within blares out with everything you would expect from an Epica single: an awe-inspiring vocal duet, staunch symphonic elements, calculated drum strikes, compelling passages from the guitars and bass. Kingdom of Heaven Part III – The Antediluvian Universe eases in with a gentle, alluring flute medley that gradually builds into majestic orchestral and choir piece, which in turn opens the way for the rest of the track. Fusing driving sound of the guitars, bass, and drums, with the staunch power of the orchestral segments and Epica’s signature beauty and the beast vocals, Kingdom Of Heaven is probably one of the best parts of the album – which really says something given the magnificence of the entire album.

Continuing on with the album comes Rivers, a track that has a rather mystical resonance to its sound which is fortified by the emotive voice of Simone gliding alongside the eerie notes of the piano. The real strength of the track is found when the instrumentation from the rest of the band makes itself heard, reinforcing that emotive aspect to the vocals, whilst also making the track sound larger and more fulfilled. Synergize – Manic Manifest bursts in with a straight to the point, guitar-driven passage whilst the orchestration makes its own way, standing out noticeably. The choir vocals sound vibrant whilst adding emphasis to the main vocals of Simone and Mark. Twilight Reverie – The Hypnagogic State is a catchy track, making use of orchestration that could easily rival that of Nightwish due to the almost flamboyant sound it comes across with. The guitars and rhythm section also stand out considerably on this track, making Twilight Reverie another of the best parts of the whole album. Vicky Psarakis’ (The Agonist) spoken word section is what really helps the song feel complete. The album finishes with the grandiose sounds of Omega – Sovereign of the Sun Spheres, which is a poignant track to finish with. The track is a fusion of august medleys, sharp sounding passages, and fierce vocals that feels like a new experience which each listen, making it a powerful song to finish with.

Omega shows how capable Epica are of creating with a variety of elements and merging them into a distinct sound that stays so fresh. Omega is yet another album in Epica’s discography that can be easily summed up with one word: Epic but to do so doesn’t give enough credit to what an aural masterpiece the album is or how it demonstrates this band’s ability to break the mold of their own sound whilst staying true to their more traditional compositions.

10/10

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Nihilum – Call of The Void

Posted in Review with tags , on 18th February 2021 by izaforestspirit

Nihilum
Call of the Void
Black Metal
11th June 2020
Self-Released

Nihilum - Call of the Void

‘Call of The Void’ is the first of two EPs self-released last year by the North Carolina -based American black metal artist Nihilum. Both of his releases are available from his Bandcamp page.

As far as black metal goes, this is fairly fast-paced with Marduk-style pummeling being a key feature. The only notable exception is the ambient intro track The Overseer. Pestilence also caught my attention as one of the slower songs on here with a more varied pace. Here the guitars take on a more layered approach and the vocals are actually fairly easy to follow. Then the pace picks up for the rest of the album. The guitars have a certain bleak feel to them which is very fitting for this style of black metal. There is no shortage of blast beats on here but most of the drum work does really offer much variety to the overall sound.

Overall, ‘Call of The Void’ is a rather decent sounding black metal EP and a good introduction to Nihilum. I would be interested to see how this project progresses.

7/10

Iza Raittila