Archive for Debut album

Infraktor – Exhaust

Posted in CD, Metal 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

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Christopher Shayne – Turning Stones

Posted in CD, Rock 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 CD, Industrial, Metal with tags , , , , on 19th May 2016 by Pieni

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

 photo Surgical Meth Machine - Surgical Meth Machine - Artwork_zpsdfjnceab.jpg

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 CD, Metal, 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

 photo WRATH SINS Cover copy_zpslzztzkrm.jpg

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 CD, Metal 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 CD, Metal 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 CD, Metal 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