Archive for Debut album

Frantic Amber – Burning Insight

Posted in CD, Metal 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 CD, Metal 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

 photo terrorempire_zpsnn8xqicj.jpg

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:

 photo empirestrikesbacks_zpsnj50stb0.jpg

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 'Core, CD, Metal 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

 photo motorsister_zps0bb2cde3.jpg

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

 photo 10363717_792067597520491_5408546140053894909_n_zpsbbe1fd1d.jpg

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.

 photo saintstrade_zps4dd98262.jpg

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

 photo evyltyde_zpsa6fcd6bd.jpg

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