Archive for Debut album

American Jetset – Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 15th June 2020 by Pieni

American Jetset
“Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop”
Rock
Self-released on 8th April 2020

saloon

“Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop” is said to be American Jetset’s first full length album, but as it features only six songs, I’d call it an EP instead… Whatever the term, its contents live up pretty much to its title, delivering that kind of rock which isn’t exactly hard but it’s harder than pop and that you expect to hear in a bar, while having a few drinks with a bunch of friends.
Personally, I’d like the voice to sound a bit more… passionate, but then it would probably make it feistier and closer to hard rock, and that’s probably not American Jetset’s goal. They play rock – period. And the whole guitar work – meaning solos, riffs, licks… – it’s already spicy enough to ignite a sparkle in your ear and then the rest just follows naturally. I must highlight the bass line in “Walking Contradiction”, as it’s very bold, but sadly it stays in the background in the other songs. Still plays an important role in the whole outcome, but it doesn’t stand out as in that first song. “1000 Ghosts” shows a more upbeat side of the band and “Never Be Goodbye” is the mandatory ballad, all acoustic, clapping hands on the chorus – which features the album title – and on the non-clapping parts you easily imagine the hands of the crowd holding a lighter (yeah, a lit cellphone will probably be more accurate, but a lighter gives out a more traditional vibe, fitting better in the mood). Meaning they cover all key bases of rock in about half an hour of juicy music.

7/10

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Infraktor – Exhaust

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 9th February 2018 by Pieni

Infraktor
“Exhaust”
Thrash metal
Released: 2nd March 2018
Via Rastilho Records

exhaustinf

Gourmet is a word very popular nowadays – so popular that we even use it outside its food context, just for fun. As an adjective, it’s synonym of high quality; as a noun, it’s someone who’s quite the expert on both producing and consuming high quality stuff. I started using the expression “gourmet thrash” as a joke, but in light of these definitions, when applying them to thrash metal, they couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to Infraktor – classy, top-notch tunes, performed by who knows damn well what they’re doing. I’ve known – and admired, I confess – most of them for over a decade, with their previous bands, but even if I could vouch in advance for their talented experience, the level of maturity in “Exhaust” is the sweetest icing on my expectation’s cake.

Preceded by a menacing intro and succeeded by a dark outro, the eight tracks Infraktor bring to you also offer the tough choice of choosing a favorite (I often go for “Son Of A Butcher” but only because it was the first getting stuck in my head). The riffing of “Blood Of The Weak”, the overwhelming title-track, the shredding of “Inevitability Of Reason” (a.k.a. “I.O.R.”), the solo of “Ferocious Intent”… Speaking of, I was a tad apprehensive when I was told it would feature Revolution WithinRaça. Hugo’s voice has a deeper resonance, but I was afraid it wouldn’t be enough to contrast with Raça’s sharper tone. Indeed it isn’t, but the combination of both in the chorus has such a powerful effect, living up to the song’s title – and the band’s motto – that it just makes sense. Plus, these are men who value their friendships so the “just makes sense” expression assumes a double play.

The outro features an excerpt of an Edmund Kemper interview and so I take the liberty to finish this review with a straightforward pun: “Exhaust” is a killer album.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Christopher Shayne – Turning Stones

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 5th August 2016 by mickbirchy

Christopher Shayne
“Turning Stones”
Southern Rock
Release: 12 August 2016
Via Redlyne Records

I was taken back a little when I first heard the rip-roaring sound of Christopher Shayne and his band.  The southern tones resonate with you almost automatically and Chris’s mature yet intense songwriting is fantastic to listen to. Chris, is one of the big musical driving forces behind southern rock band Whisky Six, who have been around for a while and have built up a lot of momentum after breaking out of Phoenix, Arizona. Now with Christopher Shayne’s debut album Turning Stones is one hell of a southern rock ride with a classic rock vibe that will keep you entertained and is very rewarding to repeat listens. Trust me on that I’ve been listening to this since the middle of June.  

Listening to this reminded me of the southern hard rock I loved as a kid i.e. Drowning Pool, Tantric, Saliva etc. Which immediately scored this album point in my book because I still love this type of music.  The heavy distortion mixing with the clean mid range tones, the roaring guitars and the great bass grooves make this a compelling and enjoyable album.  Tunes like Rock Show and the lead in single Give A Damn get you pumped. Also the album has it’s mellow moments like with the track “When I Come Down”.  So the album has a lot of range to it and can be enjoyed by harcore rock fans and casual radio listeners alike.  The album is filled with heartfelt and and powerful songwriting where Christopher Shayne shows his talent and passion for music.

Overall, this album is fantastic.  I tried to find fault but I personally can’t.  It’s fun and creative in all the right ways.  I was immediately hooked by the sound.  I guess if you’re not into southern rock or country-esk rock music then I’d say maybe it isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking to take a chance on something then I highly recommend Christopher Shayne.  Turning Stones is an exciting album filled to the brim with great riffs, insightful lyrics and fun rock tunes.  This maybe my favourite discovery of 2016.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Surgical Meth Machine – Surgical Meth Machine

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 19th May 2016 by Pieni

Surgical Meth Machine
“Surgical Meth Machine”
Industrial Metal
Release: 15th April 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

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When Nuclear Blast sent over this album I volunteered to review it simple because a) my musical taste has a fair share of industrial metal in it and b) I thought the name was cool. My first thought when I started listening to it was “what a Ministry rip-off!”. So you can imagine how hard I laughed when I realized this was an Al Jourgensen’s project. It also gives you an idea of the difference between Surgical Meth Machine and Ministry – pretty much none.

There’s a bigger sense of humor though. Starting right off with the opening track “I’m Sensitive”, where that sensitivity regards opinions posted on social media and therefore the title bears a huge amount of sarcasm. “Unlistenable” lives up to its name, sounding extremely annoying, but the lyrics save the day: Jourgensen is asked about some “really cool” bands like Iron Maiden and then bands that “everyone loves to hate” like Nickelback and his verdict is always the same – they all suck. Even Ministry, who the frontman claims to “hate fucking industrial bands”. Devo, on the other hand, rule! And a heavier version – not exactly industrialized – of Devo’s “Gates Of Steel” kicks in. In the same vein, the fun goes on with “Spudnik”, which sounds like an ‘80s arcade video game soundtrack. “I’m Invisible”, the second song made public prior to the album release, if I’m not mistaken, has an unexpected funky vibe, but the rest of the album has that grinding industrial beats that Ministry got us used to. My favorite song is “Rich People Problems”, but “I Want More”, the aforementioned “I’m Sensitive”, “Tragic Alert” or “Smash And Grab” are just as hammer-forged. So yeah, it may lack innovation, but this album surely dwells in high-caliber ground.

4 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Wrath Sins – Contempt Over The Stormfall

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 6th January 2016 by Pieni

Wrath Sins
“Contempt Over The Stormfall”
Thrash metal
Released: 26th September 2015
Via Raising Legends Records

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Wrath Sins picked up the classic thrash metal, filtered the edginess with some prog and “Contempt Over The Stormfall” was born. It’s not exactly modern thrash metal; it’s thrash metal with a polished twist.

In the mix there’s also a graver tone of vocals, unlike the high pitches this genre has gotten us used to. It’s still clean and aggressive, like Bobby Blitz or Chuck Billy’s, but a notch lower than theirs. And then there’s the growling backing vocals, functioning as a spicy seasoning. Still they invited some “legends” of their hometown underground to enrich the outcome – Fernando Martins of Web sings in the straightforward “Textured Vengeance” while Miguel Inglês of Equaleft helps out in the groovy (what else?) “Solipsism”.

Musically/instrumentally speaking, “Contempt Over The Stormfall” is a pretty consistent, solid album, featuring beefy riffs (the title-track, ”To Where The Waves Break”) and classy guitar pieces (my favorite “Watching Time Collapse”, or “Paradox”). Well done, boys.

3,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Krysthla – A War Of Souls And Desires

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 16th August 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Krysthla
A War Of Souls And Desires
Release: September 28th 2015
Metal
Released via Initiate Audio and Media

Krysthla - A War Of Souls And Desires

Holy shit sticks! This is heavy! I mean, it was always going to be a hefty slab of meat, coming from former members of Gutworm (as well as Deadeye), but this is HEAVY heavy. Be prepared to be smashed in the face with a dump-truck’s worth of satisfaction. Then wait with glee for it to back up again.

There are a number of essentially British characteristics raised to the fore in this offering, the hardcore vocal timbre of Adi Mayes being the most prominent. However, this Wellingborough based quintet are far from being tied down to geographically dictated audio trends, and there is a panoply of international vibrations laid out; Meshuggah-esque jazz metal collides with the freneticism of City era Strapping Young Lad, with hints of the twisted simplicity of Gojira. Yes, it does sound that big, that hard, and that clever, and with more influences and personal touches to boot.

Certainly, a number of the djenty riffs employed here simply won’t appeal to those detractors from the genre as a whole, but to me they are utilised to great effect. If you’re more open-minded as to the means of deriving pure heaviness, these occasions will set your head bobbing with a gurn of approval. It’s like any other cross-section of music, in that you can cherry-pick the stuff you like. E.g., I really like Xerath’s first two albums, but this is, in my opinion, a superior work. Krysthla create less of a modern, generic effect, and instead, as hinted at above, deliver a rather more Duplantier/Hagström feel.

Having heard a few snippets and teasers in the run up to the release of A War Of Souls And Desires, I have to admit, I was already expecting something a bit special, but this is a truly and surprisingly monstrous sounding band, with a lot of potential to offer the UK and global metal scene. To sum it up in the most basic of two word phrases: Unbelievably good!

5/5

Paul Macmillan

Dirty Judas – Every Bullet Is Another Nail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 7th August 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Dirty Judas
Every Bullet Is Another Nail
Self-released July 03rd 2015
Metal

Dirty Judas - Every Bullet Is Another Nail

I keep a very close eye on the local underground scene when it comes to metal. Dirty Judas, from Dundee, have been floating around the Scottish metalsphere for a while now, but it’s only with the release of debut full-length, Every Bullet Is Another Nail, that we start to see their potential. There’s a fire in the eyes in this release, and a will to deliver the vitriol with strokes made against the flow.

Influences are immediately on display here that may seem obvious to some, and not so much to others. The album as a whole sways from left to right, light to dark, and it’s most certainly an enjoyable ride. Epic, goth-washed choruses give way to chuntering hooks, and brutal growls are complimented by grungy harmonies. Even the spoken word sections make the Scottish accent sound cool; no easy task, it has to be said.

The character continues to shift throughout, from an enthusiastic bounce to a cold morbidity, not unlike Paradise Lost caught some audio-venereal groove syndrome from Pissing Razors or Konkhra. Yup, definitely Paradise Lost, and those moments truly send an ethereal shiver up the spine, before diving into, dare I say it, proto-nu-metal waters. Think really early Faith No More, beefed up to almost death metal levels, and maybe the first Korn album, re-written by Pepper Keenan.

Flipping the bird to genre boundaries, Dirty Judas have managed to walk the tightrope between variety and identity like a jaguar on crank; intense, and perfectly balanced between the two. Incredibly well rounded, and with a uniqueness which should inspire jealousy, Every Bullet… is a fantastic starting point for a band showing real personality. The chances are pretty much against you having heard them before now, but all serious metal fans should put giving this a spin on their to-be-achieved list.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

Blackened Ritual – Blackened Ritual

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 19th July 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Blackened Ritual
“Blackened Ritual”
Released July 16th 2015
Thrash/metal
Self-released

 Blackened Ritual - Blackened Ritual

It might just be because this a local band who I have watched build up from their very beginnings, but by Cthulhu this album has been an incredibly long time coming! Having just won the Scottish Metal To The Masses, there’s some pressure on Blackened Ritual for this to be solid gold, too. Cool cover? Check! Sound production above ‘demo level’? Check! Riffs? Oh yes indeed!

If you were ever stuck wishing that Lamb Of God would just go back to their early aggressiveness, this could be just the ticket. Added to this, the Testament-infused thrash ethic of the group, combined with the ever pervading southern US bounce that sticks to many Scottish bands, and choruses to die for, delivers something which, while not genre-destroying, is definitely unique enough to be undeniably Blackened Ritual, and Blackened Ritual alone. In years to come, other bands may well be imitating them.

Remembering these guys from the extensive period during which they struggled to find a vocalist, it’s fantastic to see that, not only have they sourced an absolute gem in front-man Tom Simpson, but the musicians at the core of the band’s sound have leapt forward immensely in terms of song-writing and playing finesse. There’s a thoroughly professional swagger to this debut, fuming with attitude and atmosphere that many further along in the game would struggle to compete with.

As a guitarist, there are already a good few riffs on here that I would love to get my teeth stuck into, and that is arguably a quality that could take a band to the next level; the feeling of wanting to engage in their world in more than just the capacity of listening to the record. It wouldn’t be the furthest stretch of the imagination to think that others may feel the same, and I can vividly picture swathes of metal crazed gig-goers shouting along to each track. I’m already itching to hear the next one.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

Frantic Amber – Burning Insight

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 2nd April 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Frantic Amber
Burning Insight
Melodic death metal
Released 15th April 2015
Via FA Sweden/Bertus

Frantic Amber - Burning Insight

Before I even start with this one, let’s be clear about one thing – I am not a fan of the term ‘female fronted metal’. It doesn’t really mean anything to me. It’s like calling a My Dying Bride ‘violin metal’. I’m not saying I don’t like bands with female vocalists. Or that I’m going to be bought over by a band if they DO have a female vocalist. I’ll take each band as I find them, regardless of age, race or gender, based on how they sound. Anyway, now that I’ve blown Frantic Amber’s cover as A BAND WITH A FEMALE VOCALIST, on with the review.

If that first paragraph has set you up expecting to hear about the operatic meanderings of a velvet clad princess, you’re facing in completely the wrong direction. You’d be better off turning your eyes to the north in search of predictive indicators: being from Sweden has long shown itself to be a hard background for metal bands to shake, and FA are no exception.

There’s a healthy dose of the likes of Soilwork and In Flames coming to mind on first take, but there are myriad other musical ghosts swirling in the background. The vocals, for starters, make both singers of the aforementioned bands sound a bit wet. Some of the guitar work shares the stratospheric emotional highs of late 1990s releases from The Gathering.

It seems that they have attempted to escape this geographical pigeonhole, though, and there is something more rough and ready at the back of this polished article. It could be early Iron Maiden (who isn’t influenced by that?), or, lest we forget, the other metal heritage of their home country, passed down from those like Bathory, Shining, and Infernal. Either way it is a pleasant, but almost intangible nuance.

Swaying from epic choruses to blast beats, Burning Insight drags in elements of black metal, prog, death metal, and few others to create a very interesting melange with a uniting overtone, somewhat similar at times to Arch Enemy’s Wages Of Sin, but somehow more organic.

In terms of extreme(?) metal, this is a very accessible debut, and it’s hard to imagine this being a band we won’t hear from again, and a lot. If they didn’t at least make it part way up to rubbing shoulders with the big boys, it would be more than a little surprising, but it also seems like there is further maturity to be reached in the material which could bring out an even more unique character.

4/5 – Paul Macmillan

Shadowquest – Armoured IV Pain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 8th February 2015 by mickbirchy

Shadowquest
Armoured IV Pain
Power metal
Release date: 20th February 2015
Self-release

Shadowquest is the the new power metal band started by former Dionysus members Ronny Milianowicz & Kaspar Dahlqvist. The band also features Patrik Johansson (Bloodbound and Dawn Of Silence), Peter Huss (Sinergy & Issa), Jari Kainulainen (Stratovarius, Symfonia, Evergrey & Masterplan) & Ragnar Widerberg (Witherscape).  With all those names on your side you’d expect the album to sound great!  Well let’s take a look.

The album itself is a very strong release. “Armoured IV Pain”, carries a lot of great attributes that make for a power metal record such as: soaring vocals, great guitar work, atmospheric keyboard and much more goes into making this one enjoyable album.  Right from the opening track “Blood of the Pure”  I was injected with amazing use of lyrical imagery and a great sense of presence and tone.  Not a second of time is wasted on the record, and I don’t mean they just play and they allow time for the atmosphere to set in and for the listener to fully grasp the themes and concepts being presented.  At times this album feels like an old school Judas Priest or Dio album, it like they mixed all the best part of old and new metal and just blended them together.

Speaking of old school there is a really well handled cover of Judas Priest’s iconic classic “Freewheel Burning” but really they don’t change enough from the original to make it stand out on it’s own, and if you’re not going to cover a classic song in your own way way then why should I, the listener, care about your version? I might as well listen to Judas Priest.  That’s actually a major problem with this record, there may be great lyrical imagery, and cool guitar solos but it’s nothing I can’t get from someone else.  What separates them from the like of Sonata Arctica or Edguy or Firewind?  What can I get from Shadowquest that I can’t from other power metal bands?  The answer is very little.  In this genre you have to have your own independant voice otherwise you’ll lose out to the competition.

Overall, if you like power metal you’ll probably like this record just fine. Don’t get me wrong I had fun with the album but it’s quite easy to get bored with it.  It has some rather impressive moments but not enough in its execution for people who aren’t familiar with this music, or even the ones who are, to say “hey, this band sounds like nothing else”.  It’s great, well polished and very fun. I recommend it, but, with a disclaimer, if you’re expecting something brand new, you won’t find it here.  However, if you’re just looking for something else to throw in to your power metal play list then I say go check it out.

3/5

Mick Birchall

Terror Empire’s debut album streaming in full

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th February 2015 by Pieni

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Formed in 2009, Portuguese thrashers Terror Empire would release their first EP 4 years later, named “Face The Terror”. By then they had already gained a solid fan base with their live shows, a base that grew bigger and stronger with the EP release. This is bound to happen again when their debut full-legth hits the stores, later this month (23rd February via Nordavind Records). But until then, you can enjoy it in full at Pure Grain Audio, where “The Empire Strikes Back” is available for free streaming: http://puregrainaudio.com/audio/terror-empire-the-empire-strikes-black-exclusive-premiere-album-stream.

Cover art and track listing are as follows:

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1. The Empire Strikes…
2. …Black
3. The Servant
4. Skinned Alive
5. Revolution Now
6. The Route of the Damned
7. Man Made of Sand
8. Reality Check
9. Protective Wolves
10. Strings of Rebellion
11. Good Friends Make the Best Enemies
12. Break the Cycle

www.facebook.com/terrorempire

Diesel King – Concrete Burial

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 30th January 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Diesel King
“Concrete Burial”
Sludge/hardcore/death metal
Release: 02nd February 2015
Via When Planets Collide Records

Diesel King - Concrete Burial

Having only heard the freely available sample track from this release, Brainhammer, I immediately knew I had to hear the full thing as soon as possible. Cue pestering Diesel King’s manager for an advance copy for the purpose of this review. It was the right move, too, as I’m already on a second spin, and loving every minute of it.

The overall character of Diesel King comprises a collision of sludge, 1990’s hard-core, death, and straight up extreme metal, with none of these losing out to the other. Some influences seem obvious, such as Crowbar and Stampin’ Ground, but there is an individual atmosphere pumped into every living note, and it far exceeds the heaviness of either of those aforementioned artists. Think more in the realms of Nile or Dying Fetus, but with a penchant for Earth-crushing doom in place of the need to shred, and you’ll be somewhere near the level of musical obesity incorporated.

Unbelievably guttural, yet comprehensible, vocals drag, determined, across a shattered wasteland of churning riffs and tank-heavy bass. There’s nothing overly complex or technical, here. Just well written music that reaches out, grabs you by the soul, and drags you into the maelstrom. When at speed, this is a gunship opening fire on endless hordes of the undead; when slumping back into a groove, it’s Unicron colliding with the Death Star. Either way, destruction ensues, though swamped in waves of emotion. Hell, they even make the occasional beat-down sound like full-on, intelligent, real music!

Concrete Burial is the band’s first full-length, and it’s some way to introduce yourself as a potential major player on the UK extreme metal scene. Although their previous Ep – The Grey Man – is nothing to be sneezed at, it does pale a little in comparison to this new beast. Having already graced the stage alongside Eyehategod, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Entombed at UK and European gigs and festivals, the groundwork is already laid for them to launch an attack further afield, and it would be no big surprise to see them landing slots at many of the growing fests these fair isles have to offer in 2015.

If I sound a little like a kid in a candy store here, that’s pretty much bang on the nose. I just recaptured one of those golden rays of youthful excitement, and I’m absolutely buzzing. All in all, this album has totally blown me out of the water. One of the heaviest and most addictive things unleashed in some time. Absolute classic. Absolute keeper. Keep a close watch on these guys!

5/5

Paul Macmillan

Super group Motor Sister to release debut album in March

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 17th January 2015 by Pieni

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It all started when Anthrax-Scott Ian turned 50 and invited some friends over for a jam. “I wanted to cherry-pick a set list of my favorite Mother Superior songs and get these guys together and have the concert at my house”, says Ian. And since his wife Pearl Aday has been working on her solo career with Mother Superior front man Jim Wilson for years now, it didn’t take long for Motor Sister to take shape –  a dream-team comprised of Wilson on vocals & guitar, Ian on guitar, Aday on backing vocals), Joey Vera on bass and John Tempesta on drums).

Ian called producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) and in two days – yes, you’ve read it well: TWO DAYS – the album was done! “Ride” is its title and Metal Blade Records will have the honor of release it on 9th March. Track list is as follows:

1. A Hole
2. This Song Reminds Me of You
3. Beg Borrow Steal
4. Fool Around
5. Get That Girl
6. Head Hanging Low
7. Fork in the Road
8. Little Motor Sister
9. Pretty in the Morning
10. Whore
11. Doghouse
12. Devil Wind

A special show will take place on 12th February in Brooklyn, NY, at Saint Vitus.

https://www.facebook.com/motorsister
https://twitter.com/MotorSister

Saints Trade to release debut album next month

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 13th January 2015 by Pieni

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Italian Saints Trade will release their debut album “Robbed In Paradise” on the 10th February. Featuring 11 tracks influenced by the ’80s golden age of hard rock, “Robbed In Paradise”, every one of them explores the complexity of the human soul and feelings. The title itself expresses the frustration and unfairness of being confronted by something unpleasant in an otherwise perfect place/situation.

If you have the chance to drop by Alchemica Music Club in Bologna (IT) on 7th February, the release party will be held there.

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01. To The Light
02 Feel The Fire
03. Inside
04. Allied
05. Like A Woman
06. California
07. Dreams Running Wild
08. Siria (Dawn Breaks In)
09. Rock ‘n’ Roll Man
10. Into Your Eyes
11.The Game

https://www.facebook.com/saintstrade 

Evyltyde – debut album and new video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th January 2015 by Pieni

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Evylyde, the latest wonder in female-fronted bands from London, will release their self-titled debut album on Monday, 19th January. For this whole week that precedes it, the band has made the whole album available for free streaming on their Soundcloud account:

The first video off this album, “Chastity”, was posted yesterday on YouTube. Using the band’s own words: “Inspired by the world of exotic dancing, the video features a number of sensual dance scenes more akin to a Mötley Crüe video”. Check it out:

www.evyltyde.com

www.facebook.com/Evyltyde

www.twitter.com/Evyltyde

Divided We Fall – Dreamcrusher

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 3rd September 2014 by mickbirchy

Divided We Fall
Dreamcrusher
Symphonic/Melodic Metal
Self-released  11 May 2014

DWF Dreamcrusher Album Art

After seeing this band at Dames of Darkness this year I was immediately impressed; it was a genuinely enjoyable performance. I have tried to listen to bits and bobs, here and there from them, in between my stupidly long “new music” playlist, and from what I have heard, I’ve been reasonably entertained. Now I’ve had the chance to listen to their debut album Dreamcrusher, I can give some semblance of a coherent opinion about it. Anyway, after listening to it several times all the way through, I can honestly say, it’s very good, there’s nothing groundbreaking though. If you’re not into melodic/symphonic metal this album does very little to change your mind in that regard. However for the fans of the genre, this is a well put together record with some decent tunes on it.

Opening on the title track Dreamcrusher you get a good sense of the tone of album you are going to get and that carries on throughout the record. It has a power metal vibe to it and the keys/synth create an awesome atmosphere and adds a lighter sound to the heavy metal, making an interesting contrast. Philippa Ricketts vocals are absolutely beautiful, having a lot of texture and power giving the lyrics great depth and weight. There a lot of interestingt melodies created by Lee Mulcahu on keyboard which are backed up with the impressive guitar rhythms and basslines. So for casual listeners this album is very approachable, but for a more demanding music lover, there’s a rich atmosphere and a lot of subtlety that makes this a very pleasant listening experience. There are some killer tracks on this album, my favourites being so far, A Date With Darkness, Escaping Wonderland, Dream My Life Away and the awesome Until I Win, which all have a nice sound and the lyrics are well written and interesting.

However, like I said before, there is nothing on this record that stretches the boundaries, and maybe it’s not meant to. I feel though, that a first album is the time to test the water and experiment a bit, at the end of the day though, the people who are going to like this music are going to like it and vise versa.

Overall, this is a really good album and I’m enjoying it. With substantial writing, production, heavy melodies and an atmospheric tone this is one really fun album. It’s well written and you can tell have worked hard to create a debut that will impress and it does. I would say it’s one to pick up if you’re interested.

3.5/5

Mick Birchall

Leaves’ Eyes vocalist confirmed to appear on upcoming Savn album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 4th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

In a recent post on their official Facebook page, Savn mentioned that Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine will be appearing on their upcoming debut album. This will be the first time that Liv Kristine appears on an album released by one of her sister’s, Carmen, bands. The full post is as follows:

A dream comes true: My lovely and talented sister Liv Kristine Official has sung together with me on one of the tracks of SAVN`s debut album!!

This is the first time she ever sings on an album of mine, I`m so grateful dear Liv! The song is catchy, and the voices fit so well together, she did an amazing job! Hope you`ll like it too!

Love from Carmen

Savn online:

http://facebook.comSavnOfficial

Vattnet Viskar release “Making Of” video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Vattnet Viskar recently complied a “Making Of” video for their recent time in the studio, where they have been recording their upcoming debut album Sky Swallower.

Sky Swallower was recorded at Universal Noise Storage under the watchful eye of producer Brett Boland, and features eight songs worth of masterfully executed atmospheric black metal, filtered through the members’ own hardcore pasts and imbued with doom metal’s heart-rending heaviness.  Sky Swallower is due out 9th September in Europe on Century Media Records. The video can be viewed below.

Vattnet Viskar online:

http://www.facebook.com/vattnetviskar
http://www.twitter.com/vattnetviskar
http://vattnetviskar.bandcamp.com/

 

Erutan – Raindancer [2011]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 18th March 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Erutan
Album: Raindancer
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Celtic/Medieval/Folk

“Raindancer” is the debut album medieval folk singer-songwriter “Erutan”.

The first track of the album is “The Willow Maid” which begins with a calm flute intro mixed with what sounds to be lute or acoustic guitar. The vocals are powerful and  very Celtic-sounding. The flute makes more appearances through the track, adding a certain mystique to the album. The track finishes slowly, making way for the next track “Song Of Joy”, which begins with folk styled percussion and some very cheery sounding vocals. The use of a lute adds a very Celtic atmosphere to the track. “No One But You” comes next, beginning with a slow, depressed sounding piano medley which is soon accompanied by some very strong but slow vocals. This track is certainly one of the best on the album, due to it’s brilliant composition and emotional level.

“Round and Round” comes next beginning with a beautiful Celtic-Medieval sounding intro. The vocals  are still going strong and bring an emotional atmosphere to the track. Next is “Butterfly’s Dream”, which begins with a melancholy sounding intro mixed with very strong vocals. The title track “Raindancer” comes after, beginning with the sound of rain, thunder and birds singer. The instrumentation is absolutely astounding on this track, especially as it’s mixed with the sound of rain and thunder, giving it a more natural sound. Again, the vocals are very strong.

“Temple of the Sky” follows, beginning with a lute and piano intro. This track isn’t as good as the previous tracks. Next is “Birds of a Feather” which is somewhat of a medieval sounding love song. The vocals seem softer and the instrumentation also seems to be lacking as well. The next two tracks “Will o’ the Wisp” and “Winter Moon” aren’t exactly impressive tracks, nor are they exactly bad ones. The album finishes on “So Far Away and So Near” which begins with a beautiful intro mixed with powerful yet soft vocals. The instrumentation is brilliant on this track. The flute sections add a certain beauty to the track and the piano add a very classical mystique to the track as well. “So Far Away and So Near” is a brilliant finish to the album.

For a debut album, this is pretty impressive despite a few not so impressive tracks. The album, mostly, is well composed and overall has great production values. Hopefully, “Erutan” will be releasing more albums in the near future.

4/5

Nico Davidson