Archive for groove

“Adapt & Survive” release party @ Metalpoint, Porto (PT)

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 1st June 2014 by Pieni

Equaleft, Colosso, Tales For The Unspoken, Forbidden To Fly
Metalpoint, Porto
31st May 2014

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“Adapt & Survive” was the album we were celebrating last night, but it could have well been the motto of the event. The main reason I avoid gigs at Metalpoint is safety – unless you stay in the back (which I’m not fond of at all) or you lean against one of the side walls, you have nothing to hold on to when the mosh circles start rolling. The second reason is the sauna-like heat the venue generates with just a half-full house. Now Equaleft’s debut release party managed to sell out the place a few days prior to the event – a record in Metalpoint’s 6 years of existence, by the way. You think you can imagine how hot it must have been, but trust me – you just can’t.

Equaleft invited three bands to join the party. The first one was metalcore act Forbidden To Fly. They’re currently preparing their upcoming debut album, meaning not only writing songs but also gathering the financial means for it. And since they’re young students, that may take a while. There’s a 2-track demo and a single on bandcamp already though, and I saw a few people singing along.
They were pretty comfortable on stage, although singer Ricardo seemed a little nervous at first. But soon he loosened up and was moving around the little free space the stage offered. Around the third song or so the power went down. Still not sure what the hell happened, but luckily the blackout didn’t last long, people even joked screaming stuff like “take your hand off my wallet!”, and it didn’t happen again.
MP Marcelo from the band Monolyth joined in for the last song, but I honestly didn’t hear the title. In fact, I only took notice of “Reflections” and “The Tides”, and that was early in the gig. One way or another, those kids did very good. (4 / 5)

www.facebook.com/forbiddentofly

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I really enjoyed Tales For The Unspoken at Moita Metal Fest a couple of months ago (read report here) but for some reason, and despite the heat and smaller venue, I liked this gig more. Nothing much has changed since that gig – bass player Nuno is still very expressive, singer Marco still curses like a mf (sorry, couldn’t help it)… Marco dedicated “Soul For A Soul” (which he announced “Soul For A Fucking Soul”) to Hugo Gama, drummer in Spectral Flood, who’s recently passed away, and for “I, Claudios”, a song to be featured in the next album, he called on stage “someone who’s not very famous” – which obviously turned out untrue, as it was Miguel Inglês, the singer in the band hosting the event.
The crowd singing the tribal chanting in the last song “N’Takuba Wena” was stronger and the moshing more intense, so maybe that’s what made the difference – the empathy between band and audience. Whatever it was, it was great. (5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/talesfortheunspoken

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Colosso‘s sound was way too loud – so much that a shrill feedback was heard at some point. But no one seemed to mind – the intricate patterns still pleased the prog and experimental fans, while the brutality was all the mosh horde really cared about. Personally, I’m not a fan of experimental death metal and everything sounded too much of the same. Singer/guitarist Max didn’t speak much either – and one time when he did the mike wasn’t working – , nor did they have a setlist that I could take a look at, so I really don’t have much technical details to give you. I can say though that in the three years they’ve been around, a full-length CD (“Abrasive Peace”) and an EP (“Thallium”) were released and highly acclaimed, and a new EP, “Foregone Semblances”, is on its way (25th June). So given the proximity between the three release dates, I’m quite sure the setlist had a little bit of them all.
Despite my slight boredom, that was obviously on me, as the majority was thrilled with the performance. And even if sometimes doesn’t feel like it, this is still a democracy and so the majority wins – therefore, Colosso were awesome. (4,5/5)

www.facebook.com/colossometal

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But not as awesome as Equaleft. True, it was their night, that certainly was hard to compete with, but I’ve been seeing these guys live for the past 5 years and the stage is definitely their element – release party or not, everybody knew what a blast that show would be.
They played “Adapt & Survive” in full, by the same order of its track list, and you know the expression “all hell broke loose”? Well, even in the temperature those were the accurate words to describe what was going on. Miguel is usually the one who joins the mosh pit and goes crowdsurfing while performing – this time was no exception – but even bass player Mike stepped off the stage to play among the first rows and guitarist Malone jumped into the hands of the fans (although he put aside the guitar first – he wasn’t that reckless in his crowdsurf adventure).
Since none of the three guest musicians that are featured in “Adapt & Survive” could be there that night, Equaleft decided to invite some other friends over for the older songs, which were played after the official presentation of the album. “Cynical Plague” was the first one, having Danny from Forbidden To Fly playing a third guitar. Then as Marco from Tales For The Unspoken was called, what I feared would happen to me, ended up happening to drummer Marcos – he got sick from the heat and had to leave for fresh air, before he passed out. Miguel, always the entertainer, tested the vocal skills of the crowd. Then he himself went behind the drums and did a very basic act, that the audience still cheered enthusiastically. So Sérgio, drummer also in Tales For The Unspoken, took his place and jammed a bit with Equaleft. Until Miguel had the idea of changing the order of the setlist and call the next guest Filipe from Gates Of Hell (who was their previous bass player) and his drummer Afonso, since  the latter helped them out in the past and so he knew how to play the drums in their older songs. They played “Denial”, and as Marcos was still recovering, Afonso stayed for “Erased” as well. Even though he claims – as usual – that he sucked because it had been a long time and he was unprepared, he did a hell of a job – also as usual.
Marcos came back, not exactly good as new but close enough, and so Marco was called back to sing along “Alone In Emptiness”. At some point Miguel left him alone on stage, to mosh a little.
In order to spare Marcos, they wanted to cut the set one song short and so “Sleep When I’m Dead” – a song that “means a lot to me”, said Miguel – would be the last. But Marcos was determined to give it all and so “Uncover The Masks” was performed as originally planned, even if not in that order.
They later said there were no words to describe what they felt that night and I must say the same, as “brilliant” doesn’t quite cover it. One thing is accurate though – it was unforgettable. (5/5)

www.facebook.com/equaleft

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Etta Zero – The Last Of All Sunsets

Posted in Alternative, CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on 27th May 2014 by mickbirchy

Etta Zero
The Last Of All Sunsets
Modern Rock / Electronic Groove Metal
To be released on 30th May 2014
Via Dr. Music Records

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Hailing from Liechtenstein, Etta Zero produce and interesting mix of rock, metal, electro, and pop that sounds really gripping and, on a personal note, fits really nicely in to my music taste.  They have a rock and metal tone, basically heavy sounding and riff based tunes that form the base of their sound. They take the melodies and harmonies from a more pop sounding style of writing.  Finally, the “electro sound” is just some synth and keys that plays in the background of the production, overall the sound is quite an engaging experience.  They’re first full length record The Last of All Sunsets is a great album and I’ve had a ball listening to it.

The album opens on a good intro called Something Big setting up the album brilliantly, it’s tense and shows off, albeit instrumentally, the sound that they clearly want to convey.  The album goes through some riveting subjects such as failed relationships, the fight with their own self doubts and the emotions of pain, mourning and despair. Then they proceed to cover these subjects in an impressive, almost grandiose, style.

Etta Zero sound a lot like the more interesting version of the alt. rock/post grunge bands of America. In fact, some of the better songs on the album come with the tunes From The Ashes, All That I See and the bands self-titled song Etta Zero.  I feel these songs capitalise on the bands rock and metal nature and since they are delivered with so much energy, they stand out beyond the rest of the record.  There cover of the song Heartbeats, originally performed by Swedish band The Knife, is also a enthralling tune, taking the original source material and warping it into their own creation, as they used to be a synth pop cover band, they are well acquainted with the art of cover-songs.

The album doesn’t have many downfalls, but, there are some things that just bothered me.  Let’s use the song Heaven is Closer as an example.  I feel there could have been more control in the song-writing and production on the record, in this song the outro goes on for about 2 minutes and it just has this dragging feeling to it, it was one of the few track that I actually felt the need to skip.  To be honest it’s decisions like this that stop me loving this album wholeheartedly.   Also some of the songs are just downright forgettable and are clearly album filler, and unfortunately this involves the albums title track The Last of all Sunsets.  These songs don’t really go anywhere and they’re not as involving as the rest of the album.

In summary, this is a pretty effort for a debut full length album.  It’s got some really good songs that are easy to listen to.  The pop melodies add to the easy listening element and the synth and keys electro sound is pretty drowned out by the metal and rock elements, although, they do have a good place when used properly, like in the intro track.  Also I would recommend the bands first two EP’s: Tribute To Pop from 2002 and Downfall from 2007, there’s some really good songs on there too.

3/5

Mick Birchall

Monoscream – Redemption

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 27th April 2014 by Pieni

Monoscream
“Redemption”
Swedish death metal
Released on 21st September 2011
Via Dead Tree Records

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Monoscream are currently in the studio recording their second album, but until that’s done and out, let me tell you about the previous (and debut) “Redemption”.

When one says “Swedish death metal” he means a lot more than a death metal band that comes from Sweden. The expression implies a degree of sophisticated melody that adds strength, not softness, to its aggression. And that’s what we have here – 10 tracks (plus an intro) of sheer Swedish death metal.

“Oppressors Hand” was their choice for filming a video and “Nation Wide” to take part in Sicksound’s compilation “A New Era” (see here), so saying these two tracks are some of the album’s highlights is somewhat obvious. But they’re far from being the only ones priming for their grinding riffs and sharp beats. “Follow Your Shadow”, “Jealousy” or “17 Years” are just as worthy of praise, for their classy shredding. There’s also “Parasite”, with a quite belligerent rhythm making it the speediest track. But my personal favorite is “Voice Of Resistance”, for its lively overall structure and beautiful guitar solo. And speaking of “voice”, extra kudos for Andreas Deverstam, who manages to growl the lyrics in a perceptible way.

One always aims to improve, to evolve, but if the upcoming album stays on the same quality level, I won’t complain. (4,5 / 5)

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Equaleft: details on upcoming debut album revealed

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 11th April 2014 by Pieni

Portuguese groove metal act Equaleft has chosen a mirror cube for the cover of their upcoming debut album “Adapt & Survive” (see trailer here):

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It has now been announced that the mixing and mastering process will be made by Pedro Teixeira (Bury Tomorrow, Heart In Hand) and the release party, set for 31st May at Metalpoint, in their hometown Porto, will have Colosso, Tales For The Unspoken and Forbidden To Fly as special guests.

The track-list for “Adapt & Survive” is as follows:

1. We are…
2. …the Chameleons
3. Maniac
4. Tremble (feat. Nuno Pereira from Tek Analogy)
5. New False Horizons (feat. Filipe Correia from Concealment)
6. Human
7. Heroes of Nothing
8. Hymns of Obedience
9. Invigorate
10. When Ruin Becomes a Bliss
11. Step (feat. Paulo from EAK)

Equaleft’s MySpace
Equaleft’s Facebook

 

Equaleft post “studio report”

Posted in News with tags , , , on 8th December 2013 by Pieni

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Last March Equaleft entered the studio (a couple more details here) to prepare their upcoming debut full-length. Now they have decided to gather and share some random footage of their work there. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of subtitles – they don’t talk that much anyway and whatever they’re saying, they’re just fooling around a bit, not saying anything important (hence the quotes in “report”). On the other hand, it’s got too much music to be considered a teaser, and that’s what they want you to focus on – the music.

The album will feature a few guests and in this video three of them are revealed: Filipe from Concealment, Paulo from EAK and Nuno from Tekanalogy:

Equaleft’s MySpace
Equaleft’s Facebook

My Sleeping Karma – Soma

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 3rd December 2012 by tobiasgray

My Sleeping Karma
Soma
Released: 28th September 2012
Atmospheric Groove Rock
Released via Napalm Records

Soma is the fourth album by German groove rockers My Sleeping Karma. Eschewing vocals in favour of layered soundscapes of chilled out psychedelia and ambient waves of beauty, the four piece sound like Tool at their most relaxed – sweeping crescendos of rhythm and looping rock riffs followed by short interludes of white noise like ‘breather tracks’.

This is an album most appreciated in one sitting.  It’s a long journey, clocking in at almost an hour of relaxing grooves, but certainly one worth undertaking.  The production is crisp and the experimental waves of sound that texture every track sound professional and compliment the music perfectly.  The sleeve is a mixture of Eastern tinged imagery and a psychedelic circle of life, hinting at the underlying themes and influences that flavour this bands music.

It’s difficult as a reviewer to highlight or recommend specific tracks as they are all similar (in a good way!).  Soma should be experienced, with the high points of the complete package subject to each individual listeners opinion.  For example, the images I felt listening to ‘Interlude’ (track 6) will be very different from anyone else, yet the effect that music had on me coloured the next track…whereas another listener may be drawn to the thundering drums of Somalatha or inversely, to the serene stillness of the second track.

Music is notoriously difficult to quantify, but if you are drawn to bands such as Tool, Isis, This Will Destroy You & suchlike, the relaxing grooves of My Sleeping Karma will be worthy of you attention.

4/5

Tobias Gray

Interview with J Costa [Thy Will Be Done]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 21st October 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

Before their performance at the Rock and Shock Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts, Valkyrian Music writer Lauren Gowdy has a quick chat with J Costa who is the front man for the Rhode Island-based band Thy Will Be Done, or formerly known as Kobalt, and discusses their new EP, Temple, as well as musical influences, pet peeves, and the toilets in Japan. There is also a special appearance from Mr. J Walken, who thanks his fans and says how “it’s a great day to be a fan of Thy Will Be Done, whoa! Wham-o, zam-o!”

Thy Will Be Done is currently doing an US tour with Shadows Fall and God Forbid [refer below for dates] and their new EP, Temple,  is in stores and on iTunes now!