Archive for Napalm Records

Moonspell – 1755

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 18th October 2017 by Pieni

Moonspell
“1755”
Dark Metal
Release: 3rd November 2017
Via Napalm Records

1755

Whether one likes it or not, Moonspell have changed the way Portugal’s metal scene is looked at. It’s been 25 successful years, so they’re not releasing now a conceptual album, in their native tongue, because they need to prove themselves; they’re doing it because they just can.

As you probably know by now, 1755 was the year when the Great Lisbon earthquake took place, on All Saints’ Day, resulting in the near-destruction of the city and a death toll of tens of thousands. That alone gives you an idea of the emotional weight of this record, which goes much beyond the lyrical content depicting such tragedy. There’s the obscure orchestral arrangements (courtesy of Jon Phipps) in the new version of “Em Nome Do Medo”, the operatic female voices throughout the album enhancing its epic imprint, the brazenness of “Desastre”, the weeping guitar solo in “Ruínas” – a song otherwise quite brisk. A similar contrast occurs in “In Tremor Dei”, between that bold melody and the riveting voice of fado singer Paulo Bragança. In case you don’t know, fado is a Portuguese classic music genre, of a sad and longing nature – after all, it literally means “fate” -, sung in heartbreaking intonations. If the idea of Moonspell featuring Bragança is somewhat shocking, the outcome is simply mind-blowing.

Marquis of Pombal, the Prime-Minister at the time of the earthquake, said something like “now we bury the dead and take care of the living”. Maybe a bit cold, but a positive vision nevertheless. And that’s also how Moonspell finish “1755”: originally performed by Brazilian rockers Paralamas do Sucesso, “Lanterna dos Afogados” is a song of hope and being there for one another, now with a much darker vibe – very Moonspell-ish. Come to think of it, there isn’t really any new trait here; it’s how the band now combines and tweaks those traits, accordingly with its bleakest theme, that makes “1755” a memorable masterpiece.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Lord of the Lost sign to Napalm Records

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Punk Rock with tags , on 30th August 2017 by izaforestspirit

The German dark metal band Lord of the Lost have recently signed a record deal with Napalm Records.

The Hamburg based band was formed back in 2007 by singer and guitarist Chris Harms. They have released five albums and experimented with various musical styles ranging from Gothic rock, industrial metal and dark rock. Their sound has been compared to the likes of HIM and Deathstars.

Only a year since their last album ‘Empyrean’ was released, they are now putting the final touches on their new acoustic album ‘Swan Songs II’, which will be out on 6th October 2017. This will be the band’s second acoustic album, following ‘Swan Songs’ which was released two years ago.

UK fans can also catch them live during their UK tour supporting KMFDM. Here are the dates:

05.09. Newcastle – Think Tank
06.09. Glasgow – St. Lukes
07.09. Manchester – Ruby Lounge
08.09. Birmingham – O2 Institute
09.09. London – O2 Academy Islington
10.10. Bristol – Fleece

In the meantime check out their new video:

For more information visit:

http://lordofthelost.de

http://www.napalmrecords.com

http://www.facebook.com/lordofthelost

More details about the new Ex Deo album

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , on 7th December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of the ancient Rome -themed, symphonic death metal band Ex Deo. The  band have revealed that their new album, the long-awaited follow up to ‘Caligvla’ will be entitled ‘The Immortal Wars’. This will be a concept album about the Punic Wars fought between Rome and Carthage which took place 264 B.C. to 146 B.C including epic tales two of history’s most famous generals Hannibal and Scipio Africanus.

You can check out the cover art and the track listing below:

1. The Rise of Hannibal
2. Hispania (The Siege of Saguntum)
3. Crossing of the Alps
4. Suavetaurilia (Intermezzo)
5. Cato Major: Carthago Delenda Est!
6. Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)
7. The Spoils of War
8. The Roman

‘The Immortal Wars’ is schedule to hit the shops worldwide on 24th February 2017 via Napalm Records.

In the meantime here is a short teaser video with some song previews:

 

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/exdeo/?fref=ts

 

Civil War – The Last Full Measure

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 10th November 2016 by mickbirchy

Civil War
The Last Full Measure
Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Released: 04 November 2016
via Napalm Records

My God, this has been a great year for power metal. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to Civil War, they’re a band that I’ve seen live and I think they’re a lot of fun. Mixing the traditional power metal formula with other musical ideas to make a new tone. So  when I heard there was a new album on the way I was quite interesting. I’ve like their previous work so hopefully the new record The Last Full Measure works.

Well I like this one. It’s definitely their sound. That heavy handed power metal with a noticeable twang that brands their signature. The grooves and riffs are fun and build to their respective choruses. These are usually pretty grandiose. The sheer presence that these guys have it great. Everything is full force, the songs don’t such worm their way in as the band beat the melodies in. Songs like A Tale That Should Never Be Told and Tombstone are brilliant tracks. They definitely hook in listeners for a fun ride. I can imagine getting pretty hyped during these songs at a concert.  

Although I have praised this album it has a few shortcomings. I will admit as much as I like some of the songs, this album was such a chore to get through. The album plateaus in intensity and there a lot of moments where I should be getting amped. Yet, I never get true satisfaction as the song has lost the luster. Gangs Of New York has this problem. I want to just love it but I get bored quite easily.

This isn’t the best album. With the slew of great power metal this year. This album just gets lost in the shuffle and in my opinion doesn’t do enough to dig itself out. There are some great songs but the album as a whole is just OK. I’d recommend it if you’re interested. If you’re looking for something massive an album experience that sticks with you. Then maybe look somewhere else. It’s OK.

2.5/5

Mick Birchall

Hammerfall – Built To Last

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 5th November 2016 by mickbirchy

Hammerfall
Built To Last
Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Released 4th November 2016
via Napalm Records

Hammerfall return once again with their brand of power metal. Their tenth album Built to Last is a pretty fun romp and is another fantastic piece to their legacy. Their musicianship and chemistry shines through. They really prove why Hammerfall are Built to Last.

The album opens with the old school style tune, Bring It. A fun way to open proceedings. Quickly followed up with the anthemic Hammer High. A song that I feel should become their new anthem. Built To Last really has a immense feel to it. With big choruses and well excited music. The guitar solos are beautiful and the when the music swells for a big chorus it’s a wonderful sound. The production has this flair of old school metal, like Judas Priest or Grim Reaper. The riffs are so defined and the rhythm is so tight when it all comes in together. It makes for one hell of a listening experience. The vocals of Joacim Cans ring beautifully as the intense metal bubbles below. The infectious sound worms it’s way into your ear and definitely keeps you hooked. The soulful ballads are particularly good. As they usually are in power metal. The creativity and imagination paint epic mental pictures in your mind. You don’t want that feeling to end.

You’d think after 10 albums and two decades of writing they might be short of ideas. Well in my opinion, there are very few original ideas anymore. Yet, if a band can get.me to hear something in a new way then it’s much appreciated. Hammerfall deliver the music with a sharp and crisp tone. Nothing sounds muddy or distorted. It’s beautifully clear. Every note and every beat is felt and it’s effective. Not a second is wasted on the album at all. In all honesty I don’t have that much more to say so I’m going to end it there. Otherwise I’d just be covering ground I’d already done. It’s an excellent album and I recommend it.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Delain – Moonbathers

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 6th September 2016 by mickbirchy

Delain
“Moonbathers”
Symphonic Metal
Released 26 August 2016
via Napalm Records

Moonbathers, is the fifth offering from Dutch symphonic metallers, Delain. With big bombastic anthems and a more direct heavier sound, they seem to have progressed quite a lot since their début 10 years ago. I won’t lie I found this a slog to get through. I really did. It’s not that the album is bad per say. It just has nothing interesting or unique to offer. On a technical level this album is brilliant and on a production level, it’s excellent. However, I just can’t seem to get into it at all, none of the songs have really stuck with me, not like their older material has to this day.

It’s really hard to explain why it’s not working for me. I think it starts with the overall tone of the album. The heaviness is a problem for me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this sound on The Human Contradiction. I find Delain are at their best when they’re making energetic rock anthems, like on We Are The Others or April Rain not these heavy songs that have a really serious atmosphere. Which “Moonbathers” is packed with. I mean, it will have a break from this like with “Suckerpunch” or “Fire with Fire”. Though, Moonbathers is bogged down and never reaches that level of energy that their older material, We Are The Others in particular, had.

Like I said on a technical level this is a really well made album. The production is gold with every member sounding as good as they can. Charlotte belts out her lyrics and this album has the band the tightest they’ve ever sounded. So I give credit where the credit is due. Merel has settled into her new post as full time guitarist really nicely, playing some super sharp riffs. Martin highlights the album with some superb synth and key work. It all sounds beautiful.

So the album is average. I like parts of it. However for me it lacks the fire and energy of the past albums. I’m quite conflicted about it, I think it’s good but I just want more from Delain and I hope they don’t become complacent. So yeah, it’s good, not great, but good.

2.5/5

Mick Birchall

DevilDriver – Trust No One

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 30th May 2016 by mickbirchy

DevilDriver
Trust No One
Groove Metal, Melodic Metal
>Released: 13 May 2016
Via Napalm Records

Trust No One is the seventh release from DevilDriver. The album is certainly the same sound that they have been playing for years now, although it feels more revitalised and energetic. There is a distinct sense of power and command to the songs and the songwriting itself is great. All of the lyrics flowing really nicely and the sharp consistent riffs piercing there way into your head. They really come out swinging here with the tight production and stimulating melodies. I can’t really say it’s their best work, but there is definitely a drive behind this album, whereas the last couple felt a little tired.

Right off the bat DevilDriver hits you with a cavalcade of powerful and commanding groove based riffs, in that familiar way.  It’s all really nicely paced and creates an interesting sound in your head.  Opening on “Testimony of Truth” and “Bad Deeds” the album really starts you off with a blast to your senses. The lead guitar sounds distorted beyond belief with twisted and winding sounds mixed with the amazing bass work, which is really well laid.  All of it just pushes the songs forward with fantastic momentum and makes you want to keep listening.  Seriously the album flies by, forty minutes feels like ten and when you have fist pumping songs like “Above It All”, “Daybreak” and “Trust No One” it’s really no surprise.  I found myself wanting the next song to come on and it turns out that the album was over.  Forcing me to restart the whole thing again.

I’m a massive sucker for well done riffs and yeah, they’re simply spectacular here.  They’re completely solid and uncompromising.  They hit hard and let you just waver in the aftermath of their presence. When you add Dez Fafara’s insane vocal style on top of all of it it makes for one hell of a listening experience. Just simple heavy metal done really well no need for for any fancy gimmicks or weird stylistic choices. Pure heavy metal full on until the end. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this album, although they haven’t much to change their style or innovate the genre.  They have created something really pure and simple. Why change up a formula that already makes sense?

4/5

Mick Birchall