Archive for Norderobring

Common Gods reveal artwork for new EP; Helveien to be released 4th August

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

Glaswegian metal monsters Common Gods have revealed the artwork for their upcoming four-track EP Helveien which will be released this Sunday (4th August 2013) for free through BandCamp. The four track EP was recorded and produced at Devil’s Own Studio in Glasgow and the artwork was produce by Norderobring drummer and North of the Wall Festival organiser Alasdair Dunn. The release of Helveien coincides nicely with the band’s next gig at Pivo in Glasgow on Sunday.

Common Gods online:

http://www.facebook.com/CommonGods/
http://soundcloud.com/commongods

 

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Pantheon of Blood – Consociatio Solis et Lunae

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 19th June 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Pantheon of Blood
Consociatio Solis et Lunae
Released: 13th December 2011
Black Metal
Glorious North Productions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pantheon of Blood are a three-piece Black Metal band, originating from Finland. “Consociatio Solis et Lunae” is their second release, after their 2010 demo.

First off, the production on this EP leaves a fair amount to be desired. It doesn’t quite lend itself to the poor quality of early black metal EPs that made them more intense, but nor does it achieve a clarity that would significantly improve it. It’s not TERRIBLE, but a lot seems to be lost in this muddy work, particularly most of the drumwork and any bass.

What instantly strikes me, as soon as “Crimson Empress of the Night” begins, is that they have misjudged their guitar tone for their clean section considerably. It seems like a poor man’s attempt at the bleakness of an early Primordial track, with a distinct lack of the soul or subtle brooding that makes the latter so successful. Once the actual Black Metal begins, it improves. The songwriting for the EP is solid enough, with progressive influences dropping in, a time change here, a tempo shift there. More of it would probably be better. The riffing seems solid, if unimaginative throughout.

I feel that the band has skill, but makes too many ill-informed decisions to be great. Aside from the truly abysmal artwork, the Laughing and clean vocals towards the end of “Crimson Empress…” are probably intended to create a sense of insanity and evil, but they just end up being cringeworthy. The guitar solo going on at the same time as this seems somewhat irrelevant as well. Another significant point is that the B-side, “Overflowing Manifestation”, improves significantly in its latter half. Where its beginning was messy and overcrowded, it ends with what seems to be the aim of the whole EP; an expansive, bleak and engaging mood. The inclusion of much-improved acoustics over the traditional BM-tremolo picking and subtle group vocals it what there needs to be far more of in this band.

Pantheon of Blood end up being just fairly unremarkable with this. I don’t feel particularly drawn in, nor particularly excited by what they’ve showcased. If they continued in the vein of the very end of the EP, I would be far more interested, but as it is it seems they have a long way to go.

1.5/5

Alasdair Dunn of Norderobring

Dragonforce – The Power Within [2012]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17th April 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Band: Dragonforce

Album: The Power Within

Release Date: 15/04/2012

Genre: Extreme Power Metal

Label: Electric Generation Recordings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Review is dedicated to the memory of Vadim Pruzhanov’s Hair. RIP.

It’s been 4 years since the release of the last Dragonforce album, “Ultra Beatdown”, shortly after which singer ZP Theart left. It’s been a fairly brutal 4 years for the London-based Extreme Power Metallers; a new album in the works, a GARGANTUAN world tour freshly completed, and the singer, beloved of the fans, is gone? Surely, a bell tolling death for most bands? Not Dragonforce. Since footage of “Cry Thunder” was leaked, having been filmed by fans watching the band support Iron Maiden, I have been far more than enthralled. As for new singer Marc Hudson, I could hug the man. He is everything ZP was and more, and his entrance has injected huge amounts of life into the band once more. The songs are far more varied in structure, and thus make for a much more enjoyable listen, but every single one still manages to soar to the octane-guzzling heights of Glory of previous albums.

“The Power Within.” There could not be a more appropriate title. The whole album is overflowing with POWER. Herman Li and Sam Totman’s epic guitar shreddery is prominent in everything the band does, their mastery being an album’s worth of an air guitarist’s wet dreams. Drums are utterly insane; while restrained on tracks like “Cry Thunder”, the 220 bpm monster of “Fallen world” (fun fact: Dragonforce’s fastest ever song, beating “Cry of the Brave” at 215 bpm) shows off Dave MacKintosh’s insane skill. There are even a couple of moments where Bassist Fred Leclerq gets to show off his talent in several extreme bass passages. And one Mr Vadim Pruzhanov (God rest his hair) is one of the greatest musicians to ever mangle a keyboard. Wizardry is the only way to describe it. But Marc Hudson’s vocals are ridiculously good – he far surpasses the expectations of any of the fans, many of who would, in normal circumstances, be winging and pining for ZP. He has stupendous amounts of talent, and with layered vocals, he sounds positively majestic.

One of the main criticisms of Dragonforce with regards to previous works was that “all the songs sound the same.” It was often insisted that they relied purely on technical ability to make interesting songs, and that was included in every song. This is not a criticism that has any grounds on this album – the songs have for the most part been shortened to be more digestible by the listener (most previous songs were around the 7 minute mark), and not every song is a hyper-speed blast to the end. “Seasons”, “Last Man Stands” and “Cry Thunder” are all fairly different to the usual Dragonforce way, but in no way unwelcome. Songs like “Die by the Sword” also mark a return to the Lyrical style of fantasy, swords and battles, not seen truly since 2003’s “Valley of the Damned.”

This album… blew me away in a way I’m quite sure most of the albums released this year will fail to do so.  All the apprehension is gone, and we should welcome the new Dragonforce with open arms. Utterly, utterly stunning, utterly, utterly brilliant.

5/5

Alasdair Dunn of Norderobring