Archive for Singing

Former Seduce The Heaven vocalist confirmed to front Apparition on upcoming UK shows next month

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 23rd July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Former Seduce The Heaven vocalist Elina Laivera has been confirmed to replace Sakara, who recently left Apparition to continue with her solo project, on the band’s upcoming UK shows next month. The dates are as follow:

23rd August – The Asylum, Birmingham (Pre-SCARFest show with Azylya)
24th August – SCARFest, Stoke-On-Trent
25th August – The Bird In Hand, Stafford

Commenting on the upcoming shows, Elina said:

It is great joy to announce that I will be fronting the UK band, Apparition for their upcoming shows next month! This is going to be my first time in the UK so I am extremely happy and cannot wait to hit the stage in August and meet my UK friends! BE THERE! \m/

Elina provided vocals for Seduce The Heaven’s debut album Field Of Dreams which is out now.

Apparition online:

https://www.facebook.com/apparitionband

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Triaxis – Rage & Retribution

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 23rd October 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Triaxis
Rage And Retribution
Released: October 2012
Metal
Released via Rocksector

It’s been a busy year for Welsh quintet Triaxis, performing at SOS Festival and Bloodstock this year followed by the release of their second album, Rage And Retribution. While not a band I’m familiar with, I’ve heard a lot of buzz about them over at the Black Phoenix Rising forums and on several other webzines, so I have been waiting on the second album, Rage And Retribution so I can give Triaxis a proper listen.

The powerful and punchy riffs of Sand & Silver start the album with a furious frenzy of hard hittin’ metal and strong, belting vocals with some poetic licks thrown in for good measure. Black Trinity makes itself known by screaming out with its grandoise sound, that echoes majestically through the lyrically played guitars and acute drum work. The vocals float sail near perfectly on the sea of modern sounding riffs and intelligent drumming, completing the song and making it one of the most prominent tracks on the album. The Infected really did take me by surprise as the riffs come charging out like a bull that’s seen red but in a more beautiful written manner while Asunder brings a gentler approach which gradually builds into a heavier sound.

And Shadows Creep displays the more melodic stylings of the band’s music, firing out a barrage of stalwart and dulcet riffs that carry the vocals efficiently while on the other hand XGP combines a fast and furious style with an expertly played dramatic sound that later on yields a unique audio vision of melodic guitar playing before the crisp battering of Under Blood Red Skies comes into play with a dashing od Doro-esque vocals. Sker Point balances out perfectly the use of heavy and beautifully played riffs, allowing the rhythm sections to dance along with a certain grace. Reunion takes the album down a path of pure blitzkreig drumming and violent riffing, as well as a storming use of vocals that really do shine out on the track.

The Butcher beckons a certain NWOBHM sound with a heap of modern influences to create a fresh sound that could easily be a pioneering factor in today’s metal scene. The vocals boom out over the fierce roaring of guitars that offer up some truly meaty riffs for you to sink your teeth into while at the same time, keeping their crisp and clean sound. The album finishes off with the solemn sounds of Some Things Are Worth Dying For. Beginning with an alluring acoustic opening, the track soon fires out the heavy drum work and austere riffs. Gradually the song begins to develop a more uplifting sound but avoiding being overly hearty.

I’m rarely impressed these days by bands with a female vocalist but Triaxis have proven to be one of the few that can impress me with Rage And Retribution. Triaxis have displayed an ability for good songwriting as well as a talent for pulling off some seriously sweet solos, so it’s safe to say that Rage And Retribution is one of those albums that will no doubt become a classic in the years to come and that the UK has found its answer to Warlock.

5/5

Nico Davidson

 

Versus The World–Drink. Sing. Live. Love.

Posted in Alternative, CD, Pop Punk, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 27th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Versus The World
Drink. Sing. Live. Love.
Released: 31st July 2012
Alt. Rock
Released via Viking Funeral Records

Versus The World rung a bell the second I received their new album Drink. Sing. Live. Love. however at first I wasn’t sure where I had heard the name (aside from the Amon Amarth album of the same name) but it wasn’t until recently I realised I’d first discovered these Santa Barbara rockers through one of the WWE games that one of their songs were featured on.

The album is taken on a wild ride at the beginning of She Sang The Blues. While the riffs display a furious raw sound which I’m somewhat familiar with, the vocals are more tame compared to the music. Mason Grace changes completely from the previous track, becoming more of a heavy pop punk track that does match the vocals very well but can be a bit of a come down for anyone expecting driving force of angry riffs.

A Fond Farewell is another pop punk based track where the riffs, again, work well with the vocals, emphasising their unique sound. Following the short dialogue at the beginning, The Kids Are Fucked offers up a lovely serving of aggressive, in your face and melodic guitar playing and violent drum work. The vocals have a callous touch to them as well, adding emphasis to the song. Fortunately Lullaby allows the fierce guitar stylings to continue for a short while before coming more tame and laid back.

These Bones sounds very much like a Paramore track but with male vocals instead, which can be somewhat entertaining. A Love Song For Amsterdam keeps the pop punk sound flowing from the last track, minus the Paramore sound. The following track Crooks & Liars takes on a different sound to everything else on the album, featuring more emphasis on the bass, which rings out powerfully like church bells in the morning. Oh Brother Where Art Thou doesn’t particularly stand out though some of the riffs are well composed and played.

The next two tracks, In The Fear Of The Finale and Donner Pass, travel down the same road, musically, displaying angsty riffs and callous drum work. Angry February is a very sombre affair, mixing a range of different, solemn emotions together in the form of staunch vocals and slow guitars and rhythm. We Were Alive finishes the album in a melodic, pop punk fashion.

Drink. Sing. Live. Love. is a hard one to judge due to its diverse sound though this might cause it to not be everyone’s cuppa tea. However, the album is enjoyable though there are some parts that need polishing.

4/5

Nico Davidson

WeCameFromWolves – Cope

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

WeCameFromWolves
Cope
Released: September 2012
Post-Rock
Released via Engineer Records

WeCameFromWolves are one of many bands lurking in the unspoken-of-Scottish music scene. The band are described as being all about harmonic, melodic soundscapes and euphoric choruses. It was only recently that the band signed to Engineer Records with their debut EP due for release in September.

The melodic opening of Cope, the title track, begins the EP is truly memorable fashion as the riff is one of those that will stay in your head for a long time, for better or for worse. The vocals are typically Biffy Clyro sounding (or maybe I’m just being ignorant because of the strong Scottish accent that rings out from the vocals, yet the accent really does go well with the music). Like the opening riff, the vocal melodies are memorable. Crosses has a different intro to what I was expecting, being composed of sounds I don’t quite recognise mixed in with some rocker-like riffs and other influences giving the song a fresh taste. The vocals sound ever more energetic and lively (and less like Biffy Clyro!). The riffs have a strange, lively jig to them – the kind that gets your foot tapping along to the rhythm.

The middle point of the EP is Blood, which is another track booming with life, hypnotic riffs and enchanting vocals. Tidals strays away from the overall sound of the EP, taking a slower approach to the music but it still contains some amount of energy that prevents the track from becoming too dull and boring. The gloomy sounding intro of For All Our Sins, We’re Golden begins the end of the EP before turning more upbeat but retaining that solemn essence that is carried well by the lyrics.

I’ll be honest, this was the first first I’ve listened to any form of post-rock and I am impressed. WeCameFromWolves are clearly a talented band and they bring their own distinct sound to the table in a world where music is becoming too generic sounding.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Spires–Lucid Abstractions

Posted in CD, Folk with tags , , , , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Spires
Lucid Abstrctions
Released: July 2012
Acoustic
Self-Released

Hailing from the rich and diverse metal scene of Manchester, come the progressive metal quarter Spires, a band who have received critical acclaim from radio, printed and online media since their debut release of Spiral Of Ascension, back in 2010. Following their recent tour of Ireland and a busy 2011, where they toured with Incassum and two slots at the UK’s biggest metal festival Bloodstock, Spires have released their highly anticipated acoustic EP.

The grimly titled Under Bloodstained Skies opens the EP under with calm riff and intense set of vocals that add that eerie touch to the lyrics. The title track Lucid Abstractions follows next, in three parts. The track begins rather mystically with almost jazz-like musicianship that leads into the more progressive styling of the band. The main vocals are soothing, whilst the guest vocals, provided by Talena Cuthbert, add a certain warmth to the song.

Perception takes a subtle approach to the music but keeping true to the progressive spirit of the band’s sound. The vocals really stand out yet blend in well at the same time. The cello sections, provided by Jacqueline Wilson, adds a unique touch to the song. The melodic riffs of Inevitability bring a very enchanting aspect to the EP. The final track is none other than Sprial Of Ascension, which does take some getting used to when listening to this version if you’ve already heard the original version on the album of the same name. However, the acoustic version does really capture the essence of the song and project across quite brilliantly, though when I listen to it, I can’t help but epect to start hearing some major extreme metal styled riffs.

Acoustic music isn’t really my thing, save for a few artists, but Spires really have proven to be a band with a diverse and unique style. Each track contains its own unique sound and spirit without betraying the band’s sound.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Artania – Night Shall Crown Ye [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Artania
Album: Night Shall Crown Ye
Release year: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Russia is known for its cold and cruel winter and its old, bloodthirsty leader Stalin, both of which have shaped Russia into the perfect grim environment for any black metal musician looking for bleak and nihilistic inspiration for their music. The grim environment has done more than just provide inspiration however as it has been the breeding grounds for many underground black metal bands in Russia. In 2007, Artania was born from said breeding ground, with a more black-death metal sound. After several line-up changes, they soon developed a unique blend of symphonic black metal complete with Russian lyrics. “Night Shall Crown Ye” is Artania’s debut album, released originally on May 31st through Graillight Productions in the band’s native Russia but is now available for digital release exclusively through Hunter’s Moon Records.

The air raid sirens of “Alchemic Dream (Demonic Mantra)” begin the album. The symphonic orientated riffs soon follow complete with angsty drums and violent guitar sections. The vocals are a combination of beasty and scary – Probably due to the Russian lyrics they’re screaming. The drum work is very precise and technical, showing great intellectual playing from the drummer. The whispered section is somewhat eerily haunting. The only downside to “Alchemic Dream” is that it doesn’t seem as aggressive as a black metal track usually is – This could be a result of the emphasis on the orchestration or perhaps a fault on the producer’s behalf.

The title track “Night Shall Crown Ye” begins more slow paced with a slightly progressive sound echoing from the drum work. The pace slowly and ever so slightly increases, building up for the appearance of the vocals. To begin with, the vocals are more along the lines of death metal as opposed to black metal. The Russian lyrics help give the track that certain grim touch that very few black metal bands today can pull off. Another key element about the track is the lack of orchestration when compared to the guitars and drums and the use of female vocals is simply enchanting, for lack of a better word. “Mysteries of Order of Priorate Zion” is an aggressive and barbaric track at the start. The vocals have become more hateful and rage-fuelled. There is more use of symphonic elements compared to “Night Shall Crown Ye”, adding a very Gothic sound to it. A big downfall for “Mysteries of Order of Priorate Zion” is that it doesn’t seem as heavy as it’s meant to be.

The acoustic beginning of “Liturgy in Black Colors” greets the listener unexpectedly. Fortunately for those whom don’t enjoy acoustic guitars, the sound of electric guitars soon blasts through. There is more use of orchestration as well as more black metal screams, which is always a good thing for black metal fans. During the second half of the track, the acoustic guitar appears again, which puts a sudden halt to the energy of the track and the vocals seem to be more demonic, more violent and more spiteful, sounding almost like the blood curdling screams of Abaddon. “San-Grinyol (Theatre Of Death” continues from where the previous track finished, bringing in more use of acoustic instrumentation to begin with before the savagery of the electric guitars and drums breaks in. “San-Grinyol” is clearly more brutal than the previous four tracks and is possibly one of the best on the album so far. The guitar solo is well composed though slightly short.

The assaulting drum work and guitar riffs of “Fogs Of Witches Heath” tears through next, bringing raw, untamed energy and aggression with them. The vocals are more bloodthirsty and savage in their sound, which is both terrifying and awesome. The combination of female vocals and piano medleys is immense, especially when when the track turns heavy again with the female vocals working alongside the harsher vocals, in true beauty and the beast fashion. “Towards Northern Wind” brings a calmer approach to the album whilst retaining a certain element of heaviness at the same time. Disappointingly, there is a lack in the use of orchestration, save for the introduction and the middle section. During one part of the second half, the vocals sound very raspy, which is a great effect for both the album and the track. “Thirteenth Sign Of Nostradamus” can only be described as hauntingly Gothic to begin with before the melodic guitar work kicks in followed by the raw sounding vocals. The whole track seems to be more passionate and energetic than the rest of the album which says a lot considering how energetic the previous tracks are.

The album finishes with “Secrets Of The Moon”, which is another track to feature an acoustic beginning. The female voiceover in Russian adds a very creepy sound which is soon fought off by the sudden – and unexpected – increase of heaviness. The track remains consistent in its brutal aggressiveness. The drum work is intelligent and the guitar sections are immense. “Secrets Of The Moon” is possibly the most brilliant way to end the album.

It’s hard to believe that “Night Shall Crown Ye” is the debut album of Artania, as the album has such a mature sound to it, anyone would think its Artania’s third or fourth album. The sound is unique, brilliant and definitely worth a listen, even if some parts of the album are a let down. Clearly, Russia is a country filled with talented musicians and Artania’s “Night Shall Crown Ye” is evidence of this.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Disaster Plan – Disaster Plan EP [2010]

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 21st July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Disaster Plan
Album: Disaster Plan EP
Release year: 2010
Genre: Post-Hardcore

Australia is a nation best known for it’s poisonous spiders and kangaroos. Unbeknown to most people, there is a fast-growing hardcore scene within Australia and Adelaide-based Disaster Plan have been a part of said scene since mid-2010.

”Pestilence” begins with a heavy but slightly choppy intro, which is straight away a let-down for the listener. The vocals sound like a mixture of black metal and hardcore screams whilst the cleaner, less harsh vocals sound of key. There are some good melodic licks throughout the track and the drums are precise to the beat. Some of the guitar work is great in sections but overall choppy. Clearly there is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done to improve this track.

”The Shark Didn’t Bite Me, He Raped Me” starts with a more consistent, melodic intro section combined with the spoken words of “Game over”, which is a pretty cool effect. The screams sound more hardcore-orientated though the clean vocals still sound out of key. Most of the sections have a decent flow them to them though there are a few choppy sections that could do with improvement. The solo is quite unexpected yet it certainly makes up for the not-so-impressive guitar riffs earlier in the song. The only other issue with “The Shark Didn’t Bite Me, He Raped Me” is that it’s too long and this could be quite irritating and unentertaining for a casual listener of hardcore and post-hardcore.

The third track is “Love Lost At Sea”, beginning with a bass and drums introduction. Overall, this one isn’t particularly interesting or great. It seems to lack the heaviness, brutality and passion of the previous two tracks – Even though the riffs seem more consistent and flow better. The poorly composed introduction of “The Ramifications Of Skydiving Without A Parachute” follows after. The track does gradually improve, however. Both the screams and clean vocals sound and feel stronger, while the guitars and drums become more violent and barbaric whilst retaining a hint of intelligence.

The final track, also the bonus track, “Alcoholic” is different to the rest of the EP as it begins with a very soft intro and increases only by a bit in terms of heaviness. The guitars don’t seem to really work well with the screams on this track and in parts the drums sound to be drowned out by everything else. This track really just leaves the listener thinking “So what?”.

Disaster Plan’s self-titled EP is not impressive but it isn’t terribly bad either. It lays somewhere in the middle. Whilst some sections do need a considerable about of work other sections show that Disaster Plan have potential to become a household name in the international hardcore scene.

3/5

Nico Davidson