Monday, 29 September 2014

AlgomA - Reclaimed By The Forest (CD Review)

02.Fell Down A Well
03.Reclaimed By The Forest
04.Tertiary Syphilis
05.Go On, Git!
06.Extinct Volcanoes

Darby Wiigwaas (Guitar/Vocals)
Kevin Campbell (Bass/Vocals)
JV (Drums)

AlgomA is a devastating, crushingly heavy Sludge/Stoner/Doom band from Northern Ontario, Drenched in depression and utter despair.
Formed in November 2012 they do seem somewhat obsessed with songs that deal with a wide range of depressing subject matter.

Opening track 'Bedsores' is a ten minute uncompromising doom/sludge masterclass, downtuned to perfection with enough bass rumble to disintegrate any solid object within range.

'Fell Down A Well' does the same in half the time but with some ear destroying feedback thrown in over some screaming and tortured vocals.

After another sludgefest with 'Reclaimed By The Forest' comes 'Tertiary Syphilis' a noise filled and at times chaotic piece, extended distortion notes over some pretty wild drumming and then some heavy as hell riffs kick in.

'Go On, Git!' has elements of punk lurking in the doom laden sounds and even some proto thrash or early black metal riffs in there.

The final piece 'Extinct Volcanoes' is eleven minutes long, after a sample intro comes endless distortion and running fingers up and down the strings, a noisey start, then this slow riff starts and the drums begin at funeral pace.
The vocals are another tortured workout screaming for dear life throughout.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Melvins, Unsane, Sunn 0))), Boris, Earth

Friday, 26 September 2014

Lordi - Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein (Single Review)

01.Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein

Mr.Lordi (Vocals)
Amen (Guitar)
Ox (Bass)
Hella (Keyboards)
Mana (Drums)

Mr.Lordi, the captain of Scare Force One, and his crew are once again ready for take-off. The plane has been fuelled, the seat belts are malfunctioning and you can look forward to a solid hour of pure turbulence when the new album sees the light of day on November 3rd. “Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein” is the first single and has jetted off to stores and onto the airwaves this week.

According to Mr. Lordi the material on the new record is more experimental than before. It’s not a theme or concept record, per se, but there is a red thread that runs through the songs.

Says Mr Lordi of the album, “The overall sound of the band is more modern too I think, and we’ve tried out some new tricks here and there. But, the basic Lordi building blocks are still present, so there’s no shortage of melodic hooks in the songs. The first single, “Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein”, is really quite representative of where the band is right now.”

In addition to its sound, the band has also tweaked its outward appearance. The new costumes, designed and built by Mr. Lordi, will be debuted at the record release show.

“I just really wanted to make the band’s colour scheme more unified than it has been and I think it worked out quite nicely. Hella and Mana have probably changed the most, what with the trip to the hair salon for a new dye job, but I think they look really great.”

“We wanted to make this record in Finland, with a Finnish producer,” says Mr. Lordi. “We finally managed to get Mikko to work with us, which is great. Mikko has come up as a potential producer for the band on several previous occasions, but it just wasn’t possible before. We’ve had no reason to regret this decision up ‘til now and are extremely happy with the album.”

“Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein” is out now and “Scare Force One” is released here November 3rd.

So the new single, well its a lot rawer than previous stuff, not as melodic and anthemic.
Has a chunky guitar riff and a keyboard hook that cuts through the mix, catchy chorus as expected and some inspired "rocky horror" style female backing vocals, throw in a short but blistering guitar solo.
You know this could almost be Wednesday 13 from a few years back.
So Mr.Lordi and crew are back, hell yeah!!!!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Wednesday 13, Misfits, GWAR, Alice Cooper

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Vanderbuyst - At The Crack Of Dawn (CD Review)

01.At The Crack Of Dawn
02.Roller Coaster Ride
03.Girl In Heat
04.Catch 22
05.In The Dead Of Night
06.Lost In Discotheques
07.Walking On Tightrope
08.Light My Dynamite
09.On And On
10.Secret Dancer
11.Sweet Goodbye

Barry Van Esbroek (Drums)
Jochem Jonkman (Vocals/Bass)
Willem Verbuyst (Guitar)

The hard working Dutch hard rock band formed in 2008, notched up an impressive cv of support slots to legends such as Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Saxon and, err Steel Panther.
So far they have released three albums Vanderbuyst (2010), In Dutch (2011) and Flying Dutchmen (2012) all gaining major airplay and serious sales

Hard to pick out any one track from the first few so far, its not as heavy as i was expecting, some great bass playing that really comes through the mix, cant fault the guitar and drums either.
The vocals are very mild and melodic, somehow i was expecting more power and agression.

The track 'Lost In Discotheques' is the first one that sticks out, but thats because of it disco rhythms and even more melodic vocals.
Then after a few more hard rock songs we get 'On And On' that sounds like a 70's pop/rock song.

And the album ends on a ballad!

Yeh this one did not score well with me, from their image and their influences this should have been heavy classic rock with some guts, but its a melodic classic rock album, its good and i can see their appeal, just wanted more energy.

Rating 6/10
For Fans Of: Cauldron, Voodoo Six, UFO, Magnum, Motley Crue

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Kilmara - Love Songs & Other Nightmares (CD Review)

02.Devils Eye
03.The Break Up
04.Cold Rain
06.Nothing To Me
07.usual Strangers
10.Play To Win
11.Time Flies

Christian Wolfgang Kohl (Vocals)
Jonathan Portilo (Guitar)
Kike Torres (Guitar)
Raúl Ruiz (Bass)
Javi Morillo (Drums)

Pilar Villatovas (Vocals on 'Fantasy')
Dave Imbernon (Keyboards)
Kaleb (Violin)
Roland Grapow (Backing Vocals)

Formed in Barcelona, Spain in 2003 as 'Jadde'.After releasing their first demo, they recruited vocalist Christian “Wolf” Kohl and then changed their musical direction and name.

Their influences range from the DiAnno-era Iron Maiden to Savatage as well as power and prog rock/metal.
Kilmara’s debut release 'Hunting Dreams' was a strong performance despite having a few obvious flaws like any new metal band would. However, overall it was a strong, respectable and honest effort that was enough to leave some anticipation and curiosity for the next release 'Dont fear The Wolf'.

In November of 2010, Kilmara signed with U.K. label Rising Records who then re-released ‘Don’t fear the wolf’ worldwide in early 2011.
This release was followed by numerous tours and also some line up changes, then work began on this latest release

First off - Hooray! no intro, just straight into the music.Its a drum driven rocker as well, nice vocals and a guest death metal style vocal from Villatovs, put me in mind of 3 Inches Of Blood, it has that classic euro metal feel but with edge.

'Devils Eye' keeps the pace going, plenty of punchy riffs with a solid vocal performance and again very much driven by the drum rhythm, throw in a screaming guitar solo and so we are 2 out of 2.

Now before power metal got all technical and full of overblown guitar and keyboard rubbish, it was a genre that took elements of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and was good to listen to, now this song 'The Break Up' has all the hallmarks of proto power metal circa 1984, it has the melody and hooks and vocal style down to perfection.No surprise that this is released as the first single.

Rain effects and a slow moody riff greets 'Cold Rain' add to that some near spoken vocals and this one is creating quite an atmosphere, the chorus breaks it up well and adds another well produced layer.

Oh no acoustic style guitar playing and some gentle tapping of the cymbals, please dont be a ballad!
Well have to say 'Believe' is a borderline power ballad and yes, okay, its well played with nice backing vocals and the solo towards the end does lift the song, but no not really my thing.

The horror of the previous track is laid to rest with 'Nothing To Me' a real mid 80's sounding heavy metal song, pounding drums and superb riffs with a powerful vocal from "Wolf" who manages to blend agression, menace and harmony in the space of a four minute song.

The opening to 'Usual Strangers' does slightly remind me of something by Armoured Saint, they soon nail their own style on this though.

'Alpha' has an almost folk metal riff and drum pattern running throughout, blended with mainstream power metal and some high pitched vocal screams.

Some technical elements of the drum/guitar give this a real punch, reminiscent of Fear Factory at times 'Insomnia' a balanced song between harmony and agression.

'Play To Win' runs along at a solid pace for a few minutes then changes the timing for the guitar solo and the second half of the song moves dangerously close to that power ballad again!

The final song 'Time Flies' starts with some great piano playing, but the song doesn't seem to go anywhere until a couple of minutes in when the guitars kick in and the keyboards start to get symphonic.
Some clever multi-tracking on the vocals and another great solo bring the song and the album to a close.

Rating 8/10
For fans Of: Helloween, Dream Theatre, Savatage, Evergrey, Helstar, EdGuy, Edens Curse

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Dead - Deathsteps To Oblivian (CD Review)

01.Maze Of Fire
02.Disturbing The Dead
03.The God Beyond
05.Deathsteps To Oblivian

Adam Keleher (Guitar/Bass)
Chris Morse (Drums)
Mike Yee (Vocals)

Formed in 2005, The Dead line-up included members of veteran Australian death metal bands such as Obfuscate Mass (Mike Yee) and Misery (Scott Edgar). They recorded a couple of demos and a single.
In 2007 they released their self-titled debut full length album. The Dead was a raw, ugly, repulsive and yet fascinating album with amazing catchy hooks and doom-influenced groovy parts. It was a beast of a death metal album that shook the world from down under.

Following the debut, guitarist Scott Edgar left the band due to musical differences. Undeterred and determined to prove their effectiveness as a three-piece unit, The Dead once again went into the studio to record a near 30 minute EP and released it independently. Recorded LIVE in the studio, Nocturnal Funeral, as it came to be called, captured The Dead's actual live sound, their raw unbridled energy and terrific group dynamics that very few bands can boast of.

In 2009 The Dead self-released their second full length album Ritual Executions which was limited to only 100 copies. It happens to be the band's doomiest material, so much so that many people consider their original death metal categorization to be misleading. In 2010, specially for the Diabolical Conquest Records version, Ritual Executions was re-mixed and re-mastered by none other than Aphotic Mote of the famed death metal band Portal.

Starting with 'Maze Of Fire' and some demonic backwards masking effects on the vocals, what follows is an atmospheric sludge fest with some seriously cool bass playing.
Half way through the song mellows out for quite a bluesy guitar solo and then returns to the slow sludge.

'Disturbing The Dead' has a very "live" feel to it, the crashing of the cymbals really coming through as if they were right in front of you, the riffs are slow and solid and the vocals is as low a growl as is humanly possible.

A total change of pace for full on speed/death metal and 'The God Beyond' blows this album wide open, the drums almost sound electronic and the guitar riff is a bit high pitched.Seems that fucking with your head is now in order as the song stops and then introduces a much slower and melodic instrumental passage and what sounds like female harmonising backing vocals but i suspect it may be a harmonica, or neither or both?
Either way this song certainly sticks out!

Unsure now what to expect as the next track 'Terminus' begins, slightly weird musical introduction, almost and i say this carefully, almost a country music style.
Even when the drums and distorted guitar kicks in, this still has that strange country feel, whats this then Death & Western?
Very weird track, good, but weird.

Finally the title track 'Deathsteps To Oblivian' opens with some distortion and feedback on the guitar, then this one sticks to the funeral doom genre, well so far anyway and in fact remains that way until the end.

A very surprising album, goes beyond what you normally expect and throws in the odd moment of weirdness just to keep you on your toes.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Sunn 0))), Triptykon, Mistress, Boris, Shadow Of The Torturer


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pyre - Human Hecatomb (CD Review)

01.Merciless Disease
02.Far Beyond The Unknown
03.Last Nail In Your Coffin
05.Flesh To Poles
06.Under The Death Reign
07.We Came To Spill Thy Blood
08.Curse Bloodline

Dym Nox (Vocals/Bass)
Roman Rotten (Guitar)
Fred Obsinner (Guitar)
Kannib Maledik (Drums)

Formed in may 2011 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, they set out to create pure, early, raw and Unholy Death Metal focusing on the traditional sounds in the old school vein.

Their debut EP "Ravenous Decease" was recorded in autumn 2011 and released in april 2012 as one-sided 12" MLP limited to 300 at Blood Harvest Records.

Well 'Merciless Disease' may start with a Sabbath inspired riff but this quickly turns into a straight forward wall of death metal with a hint of early black metal thrown in.

The sabbath riff returns for a slow and sludgy start on 'Far Beyond The Unknown' then a nice solo comes in, by 2 minutes its back to the death metal stuff, shame really coz the first bit was quite good and the second bit is just too generic to get all excited about.

'Last nail In Your Coffin' seems to be a mixture once again of death and black metal influences, i know they are trying for the old school sound and for that they do very well, but maybe they could throw something into the mix to make it more intresting?

So 'Possessed' does throw something into the mix, nice timing changes, some horror movie samples, a tinge of thrash metal and some varied vocal styles.

After 'Flesh To Poles' passes without making any real impact comes the thrash/speed metal infused 'Under The Death Reign' this one is full of hyper drumming and screaming guitar solos, then almost gets a blues vibe going with some slower paced backing over more great solos.

The last three songs just do more of the same, again nothing outstanding but there again i have heard a lot worse, overall a pretty good album.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Death, Venom, Morbid Angel, Possessed, Spitting Blood

Earthship - Withered (CD Review)

02.Serpent Cult
03.The Garden
04.Dead Faint
06.Throne Of Bones
07.Veil Of Gloom
08.Lament Of Torment
09.Emerald Blades

Jan Oberg (Guitar/Vocals)
Sabine Oberg (Bass)
Florian Häuser (Drums)
Marcel Schulz (Guitars)

Earthship was launched by former 'The Ocean' drummer, Jan Oberg, in the Spring of 2010. Their debut album "Exit Eden" was a trip through the vast black sea of doom, metal and prog n'roll, released on Pelagic Records in early 2011. The band played their very first show supporting Torche in Berlin in December 2010, followed by a monsterous tour with The Ocean and Red Fang in 2011.

Shortly before the tour, bass player Gutschke literally disappeared from the map and was replaced by Jan's wife, Sabine, on bass guitar.
2012 finally saw the band shrink to a three-piece: 'The Ocean' mainman Robin Staps, who had played with the band since the beginning, left the band due his commitments elsewhere later that year saw the release of second album "Iron Chest", where their abrasive, heavy custom sound had grown and reached a new level of intensity.
Now back as a quartet they have unleashed their latest album.

At only two and a half minutes i have to say that 'Sanguine' was a short and very uneventful piece, just growly vocals and slow drums with a simple riff played.

'Serpent Cult' is more stoner than doom, musically this could be early "qotsa", even the backing vocals remind me of said band, sure the lead vocal is gruff but the overall feel is stoner metal, the next song 'The Garden' is the same again.

In fact until we get to 'Emerald Blades' it all sounds like stoner metal, as to the track i just mentioned this one is a lot faster almost like a black/death metal song.

Then the song that is the title track, turns out not to be an epic 10 minute doom piece but a 2 minute instrumental with piano before launching into another death metal mini song!

Not what i was expecting at all, definatley not a doom album but a heavy stoner one!

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Kyuss, Red Fang, The Ocean, Down, Age Of Taurus, Mastodon

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Preludium - Redemption (CD Review)

01.Soul Torment
02.Altars Of Redemption
04.Root Of Suffering
05.Circle of Life
06.The Seven Gates Of Hell
07.Destiny Of Mortals
08.Arena Of Souls
09.Hatred Breeds Suffering
10.Sins Of Mankind

Jan Skowron (Guitar)
Marcin Deszcz (Bass)
Lukasz Dziamarski (Guitar/Vocals)
Piotr Ungeheuer (Drums)

Formed in 2001 the polish band Preludium crashed into the underground Black/Death Metal scene with its 'Infernal Force' demo which was recorded in the legendary Hertz Studio where bands such as Vader and Decapitated record their music. It created a phenomenon in the Polish underground and was promptly signed by Polish record label Redrum 666 for a multiple album deal. In 2004, Preludium unleashed 'Eternal Wrath' which was very well-received and the demand for it grew so much over the years that it had to be reissued in 2008.

Preludium released its second album to worldwide fanfare and critical acclaim. 'Rape Mankind Disorder' was a beast of an album, precise, blistering and powerful. It sent shockwaves around the continent. It was followed up by the 'Abomination' EP all of which were released by the same label to increasing fan-following and shows with established bands from around the world. Preludium was noticed by Kunal Choksi of Diabolical Conquest who signed the band for a multiple album deal and gave global exposure to the Polish band.

Their next cd 'Impending Hostility' proved to one of the heaviest releases in recent times with a crushing sound inspired by the World Wars. Guitars never sounded so close to tanks running over skeletons, drums were too reminiscent of machine-gun firing and vocals were all-powerful and outright frightening.

Great feedback intro to 'Soul Torment' then some crushing drum playing kicks in, music is slower than i had anticipated, solid riff and powerchords over hyper double pedal work and a dark gutteral vocal all go to make a great opening!

Now 'Altars Of Redemption' is full on death metal,well at least for the first 2 minutes then it goes very slow and quiet with some excellent bass playing over drum pattern.

Back to a darker almost doom influenced sound for 'Incarnations', no wait i was sent down the wrong path, bloody hell this gets fast and agressive very quickly.

From this point on every song continues with a relentless onslaught of death metal, furious, powerful and hitting the nail right on the head with a ten ton hammer!

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Decapitated, Hail Of Bullets, Bolt Thrower

Undermine The Supremacy - Ashes EP (CD Review)

03.Razor Tonhue
05.Predatory Parasite
06.Avert Your Eyes

Anthony Sowter (Vocals)
Jake Fletcher (Guitar)
Garth Douglas (Drums)
Matt Doak (Bass)
Alexander Barnes (Guitar)

Undermine the Supremacy formed in early 2013 on the Sunshine Coast in Australia when Garth Douglas and Jake Fletcher came together with a common goal in mind to start a band that was both heavy and groovy making you want to bang your head until it drops off.

After recruiting Matthew Doak, the trio began writing the bands debut E.P. As the sound started to take form the band thought it time to look for a vocalist to bring the songs to life.
The band then decided the aid of another guitarist was needed to add more dynamic to the songs, and after numerous interests and jams they finally found what they were looking for in Alex Barnes.

The band sparked interest in Eshatonic Records from Canberra, and after hearing a roughly recorded mix of one of the songs they offered to sign the band to the label.

With numerous local shows, and an interstate tour under their belt, Undermine The Supremacy have established themselves in the local metal scene, and are constantly expanding throughout the industry.

So 'Insomnia' turns out to be a bloody intro!
Then the Ep itself, well to me sounds like a post hardcore/scene kid thing, heavy with a groove - yes, but nothing mind blowing, just another band with a shouty vocalist playing what they think is modern heavy metal.
Nah soory not my thing at all.

Rating 4/10
For fans of: Five Finger Death Punch, Bullet For My Valentine, Emil Bulls, Hatebreed

Spina Bifida - Ziyadah 2014 Reissue (CD Review)

04.Purest Queen

Bonus Demos:

Veronika (Bass)
Gerard (Drums)
Rob (Guitar)
Harrie Van Erp (Guitar)
William Nijhof (Vocals)
Jeroen van Veen (Bass)

Memento Mori presents a reissue of the highly underrated Death/Doom classic from back in the day by the Dutch band Spina Bifida. Now this is crushing Death/Doom, comparable to the likes of Disembowelment, Winter, Dusk (US), Ceremonium, Mythic, Rippikoulu, Sempiternal Deathreign, Castle, Symphony of Grief, Autopsy and Asphyx. The band doesn't waste any time on faint melodies but instead works to insinuate deafening sounds of Doom with the heaviness and aura of Death Metal. 'Ziyadah' has a strange appeal about it - you keep coming back to this album even after years because Spina Bifida has found a unique balance between Death and Doom, and here you have the band's entire discography, including the demo 'Symphony of Indictment'.

Forming in 1990 and releasing their first demo in 1992, the band can hardly be considered a founding father of the genre, especially by Dutch standards. The “almost” furtive release of 'Ziyadah' in 1993, the only album in their discography, on French-based Adipocere Records did not stir the scene back then, but has since achieved "Cult" status, one time bassist Jeroen van Veen, now plays with Within Tempation.

So after the pointless intro passes the first proper song 'Witchfire' starts, its a sludge/doom affair with growly and gruff vocals and little else in the way of musical structure.

'Reverse' has slightly more to offer with a slighlty more up tempo beat and a bit more guitar work thrown in along with a brief bass solo.

The death/doom element comes to life on 'Purest Queen', by far the best track so far, nice harmonic guitar riffs thrown in to bring some depth.

'Individual' becomes the next stand out track, first of all it has a great funeral doom feel but best of all is the vocals which are sung clean to start with with some nice backing and when its goes to the growl style it seems to fit the mood as opposed to just being the standard.

After the straight forward 'Aimless' comes 'Gotterdammerung' a song that could be mistaken for early Hellhammer, slow and doom laden crushing riffs over a basic drum pattern and near spoken death growls create a dark atmosphere.

The last two songs revert back to their basic sound and the outro is as pointless as the intro was.

The four demo versions are intresting as the songs seem slightly slower and more sludge than death doom style.

So all in all a pretty good album, wouldnt call it an underrated death/doom classic but i have heard worse, thing i dislike more than anything is the bands name!

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Hellhammer, Triptykon, Castle, Sunn 0))), Electric Wizard

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Cropsy Maniac - Shear Terror EP (CD Review)

01.Cirque Du Absurd
02.Creepy Things
03.Shear Terror
04.I Strangled Mine
05.Dawn In The Rotting Paradise

Aaron Whitsell (Guitar/Bass)
Kevin Herr (Guitar)
Kevin Reece (Vocals)
Street Trash Travis (Drums)

Described as "A new breed in slasher grind!"
The Kentucky based band feature ex members of Blood Freak.
And as thats all the info i was given lets move to the ep which has four original songs and a cover of "Dawn..." orginally by a band called Heamorrhage.

'Cirque Du Absurd' opens with some weird horror circus samples then just goes on to destroy everything in its wake for 90 seconds of sheer (shear?) speed and power.

Next track 'Creepy Things' foregoes the intro and just goes for pure noize overkill.

A spoken intro for 'Shear Terror' and then more of the same, screams, mental drumming, over the top riffs!
Exactly the same including intro for 'I Strangled Mine' and then the cover at the end, this one has slightly more musical structure - but dont let that put you off its still fucking brutal and fun.

Rating 8/10
For fans of : Napalm Death, Carcass, Aand?, Cattle Decaptation, Sore Throat, Pig Destroyer

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Furor - Impending Revelation (CD Review)

01.Hammer Hierarchy        
02.Inferno Fortification          
03.Summoned Obscurity    
04.Seven Trumpets (Ceaseless Armageddon)        
05.Corpse Eclipse    
06.Diabolic Liberation          
07.Black Sorcerer Of Sadism          
08.Show No Mercy    
09.The Pentagram Prevails

Dizazter (Guitars/Bass/Drums/Vocals)

Ascending from Perth, Western Australia, The Furor began their advance in September of 2002.
The sound of the band, which initially consisted of Dizazter, Kill Machine and Warlock, is best described as a hyperactively vicious, bombastic fusion of extreme metal styles - high calibre chaos on chaos forged from years of Death/Black/Thrash worship and indulgence.

After a year of relentless black practice, the first self-financed full length offering 'Invert Absolute' was unleashed in 2004.

Dozens of shows and a further year of writing led to the massive full length self-financed follow up entitled 'Advance Australia Warfare', gloriously elaborating on the violence and complexity of it's predecessor and including a ravaging film clip to the track 'Thrive on War', followed by two full Australian tours in support of Nile and Behemoth.

Early 2006 saw guitarist Warlock depart the band in pursuit of other interests, Kill Machine took over on guitar and Kingslayer was recruited to dominate bass duties.

In April of 2007, the band again stormed Australia's east, playing 7 dates alongside Dubai's most notable metal export Nervecell.A few months later in August The Furor completed a 6 date national tour in support of Sweden's iconic black metal overlords Marduk on their first ever Australian tour.

In 2011, Kingslayer departed the band, leaving Dizazter and Kill Machine to complete the third full length album 'War Upon Worship'.Unfortunately, Kill Machine departed the band shorty after the tracking of this album and then Dizazter was draughted to perform as session drummer with Nervecell, soon after he joined Perth Black metal band Mhorgl shorty after activity temporarily ceased with The Furor.

Amidst this rampant activity and shameless 'band whoring', Dizazter single handedly wrote and recorded what would become 'Sermon Of Slaughter, the 2012 EP release from The Furor.Directly after 'Sermon's' release, writing began for this latest release.

So that's the potted history, on to the music.....

From the melodic and haunting start i was thinking that maybe this was going to be melodic metal, but then the power kicked in and 'Hammer Hierarchy' turned into a full on wall of extreme metal.
Track after track is full on, perfect, well played and well produced black metal, at no point do you realise that this is essentially a solo project.
Screaming guitars, furious drumming and thumping basswork all set off by sensible vocals that dont just scream and growl for the sake of it!

The cover of Slayers 'Show No Mercy' is stunning!

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Sodom, Slayer, Venom, Marduk, Darkthrone, Mayhem

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Lyriel - Skin And Bones (CD review)

02.Falling Skies
03.Skin And Bones
04.Black And White
05.Days Had Just Begun
06.Your Eyes
07.Dust To Dust
08.Der Weg
10.Worth The Fight
11.Running In Our Blood
12.Dream Within A Dream
13.Black And White (Second Skin Version)

Jessica Thierjung (vocals)
Oliver Thierjung (Bass)
Linda Laukamp (Cello/Vocals)
Tim Sonnenstuhl (Guitar)
Markus Fidorra (Drums)
Joon Laukamp (Violin)

Christian Alvestam (Vocal on Black And White)

German band formed in 2003, Lyriel's musical repertoire ranges from dreamy ballads, a pinch of medieval tunes, to heavy rock songs with elements of classical and Celtic folk music.
Distinct, related musical genres merge and become a new, particular style in Lyriel's music.
They distinguish themselves from other bands especially through playing the violin and the cello live on stage, instead of using keyboard-generated strings.

The band can play its entire repertoire either as a heavier rock set, or a folky acoustic set, which further highlights the musicians' versatility.

Falling somewhere between the pop/folk stylings of the Corrs and the commercial symphonic rock of Within Temptation the opening song 'Numbers' is a pleasent and catchy tune.

The next song 'Falling Skies', still retains the commercial pop/rock sound, but this one has a darker and heavier feel.

Some full on speed metal with 'Skin And Bones' before moving into some solid rock sounds, a well balanced song between harmony and agression and the use of "real" violin gives this a great lift above the bands who use a keyboard to get this sound.

The first version of 'Black And White' has a riff that reminds me of Lacuna Coil's 'Heavens A Lie' and the fact that this one has guest male vocals also adds to that general vibe, however the vocals soon turn to near black metal qualities thus reminding me of Tristania as well.... which is a good thing!

Could this next one be a dreaded ballad? Certainly 'Days Had Just Begun' starts that way, and for the most part sounds like an early 'All About Eve' folky ballad, but this one picks up with some simple chord structures and then a great bluesy solo.

Have to say that the violin kinda spoils 'Your Eyes' to start with, but the playing gets a little deeper and then the slow moving song speeds up and then starts to rock!

Celtic rock meets pop again with 'Dust To Dust', very melodic, very catchy, then its back to the mix of heavy rock and melodic vocals for the next song 'Der Weg' which is performed in their own language.

Blimey sounds like Kate Bush, this one really sticks out, just vocals and cello to create a dark and haunting song.

'Worth The Fight' is full on guitar riffs backed with some powerful drumming, the vocals simply soar above the music to help create a symphonic rock mini epic.

So they do get heavier! Oh yes 'Running In Our Blood' really pumps through the speakers, the vocal pulls the tempo back, then a huge chorus comes in and then, oh yes my dear reader, it fucking goes mental!

Ahh it was going so well, then its all nice piano and melodic vocals for a ballad 'Dream Within A Dream', but yes again they pull it back from the brink of boring by allowing the rest of the band to come in and rock it up a bit.

We end with the second version of 'Black And White', still sounds like 'Heavens A Lie' to start with, in fact so far sounds the same as the first version, but ahh i get it, they turned down the black metal vocal bit and most of the male vocals have been replaced by female vocals, think i prefer the first version.

Rating 9/10
For fans Of: Within Temptation, Turisas, Tristania, Epica, All About Eve, Lacuna Coil