Thursday, 30 April 2015

VEER - 27 (CD Review)

01.Sun Of Hate
02.I'm Turning Into Your Cancer
05.Fixing Your Grave, Son
06.The Undertaker
07.Streets Without Lights

Jim Jones (Vocals)
Paga (Guitar)
M (Guitar)
Adam Major (Bass)
Knot (Drums)

Speaking about the name Veér, is hard to not mention the band’s previous name: Ravenshades. After all, the background of so deeply dark minds was forged within the hostile environment of urban and human scum. The band from Budapest started to dig the holes of their graves under the moons of 1997, taking 3 years to stab themselves and originate the first demo, coming out in 2000, with the name of “Ravenshades”. Refining their skills and sharpening their blades, the 2nd demo came to live to take some souls with it, already in 2002, called “What lives inside us”. In a regular basis, two winters later, these men shown how they work out as a contagious disease embracing the “Blood, Still Warm”. Up to date, in 2005, one of their best release will be the split with Ater Tenebrae, which took the band’s name to the farthest places of the planet. The plague was getting widespread… But, after a quite long period of death, the conceptuality reached its climax, the metamorphosis was unavoidable, the contrast was unmistakable so, the new born blood came out.

Veér was presented to the world in 2009.The debut full-length “The measure of the waste” is considered a unique act on the Hungarian scene. Quite original, their Black Metal has nothing to do with forests, mountains, Satanism or Paganism, but instead, they introduce the decadence of human’s nature and the world with it. Listen by yourself!!
Six years later the rotten stench spread widely and the dominant viper seeks for more blood to consume. Asphyxiation and agony are expected and long missed. The new album finally took its form and sprouted from ashes, in dead grey ground.

Seven surprisingly melodic tracks, aside from the harsh growling vocal, at times it leans towards a mix of gothic and doom, a style associated more with Satyricon.
Fast paced drums and dark riffs are the main elements here, but it's the little breakdowns that add weight to the overall sound.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Satyricon, Thorns, Naglfar

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Ululate - Back to Cannibal World (CD Review)

01.Not Always Be Silent
02.Red Wine
03.Decease And Sadness
04.Anxiety of Mortality
07.Real Catastrophe
08.Song Dan Ping

Spectre (Vocals/All Instruments)

From Beijing, China a one man extreme metal project started in 2001 although there is a live full band line up.

'Not Always Be Silent' is way more than any one style, this song alone has funeral doom/death metal/thrash metal and black metal elements in it.
Nice to hear that all the instruments are real, no drum machines or samplers here.
Vocals are fairly typical of death metal growlers.

'Red Wine' is more of the same, 'Decease And Sadness' is however more intresting, a lot doomier and old school black metal, the other tracks on this album seem to fall in between those styles as well.

Okay so i have not said a lot really have i, but then sometimes less is more.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Darkthrone

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Orpheus Blade - Wolf's Cry (CD Review)

01.Shadows Still
02.The Finest Art of Feeding
03.The Becoming
04.Under Dying Stars
05.In Sickness and in Hell
06.The Death of All Morrows
08.In Terms of Twilight
09.Because He's Made of Flesh
10.For Each Man Kills
12.The Man Who Cried Wolf

Adi Bitran (Vocals)
Henning Basse (Vocals)
Gal Ben Haim (Guitar)
Edi Lemishov (Bass)
Shaked Furman (Drums)

Israeli band formed in 2012.Progressive and heavy metal, film music and musicals, a concept fantasy that is really an allegory to real life endeavors – these are just some of the cornerstones of the band led by talented singer/songwriter Adi Bitran.
Armed with an attitude of “all or nothing” that has made her almost bleed for her creation and never choosing to take the easy road, Adi has selected only the best to accompany her in this journey for her first album.
“Wolf’s Cry” has been in the making for nearly six years. This was necessary as Adi patiently waited for the “right hands” that would help her shape it into the strong and unique piece of music it deserved to be. And when long-time friend Erez Yohanan (AMASEFFER) stepped in that was it - Adi and Erez spent endless hours and long months in the studio rewriting, rearranging, producing and polishing everything, creating a mature album with a strong backbone.

After the intro we get some spoken lyrics over a very melodic intro on 'The Finest Art Of Feeding' but the words get angry and then wow what a powerfull voice suddenly comes to life, as does the music a very heavy symphonic sound with agressive drumming, once the song gets into full swing and Adi's vocals come in as well, this turns into symphonic metal heaven, some nice timing changes and acoustic breakdowns, all this wrapped up in 7 great minutes.

'The Becoming' is more of the same, but the second half of the song is more classical until right at the end which has a stunning little vocal battle.

Now 'Under Dying Stars' may start in the same style, witnear power metal precision, but its when it all slows down, that the haunting and quite superb vocals of Adi come through the speakers sending a chill down the spine.

The next piece is just the male vocal over a very simple symphonic keyboard, until the guitars and drum comes in right at the end, this clever and stunning blend of musical styles is followed by more spoken words on 'The Death Of All Morrows', which then leads straight into 'Dismissal'.
An epic multi-layered piece at just over 9 minutes, with a stunning production it manages to have little sparks of power metal, mixing with ballad, symphonic and almost every other style you can think of.

'In Terms Of Twilight' is almost a pop style euro ballad thing, not as out of place as you might think on this amazing album, oh and at the end gets all Angela Gossgow!!

After another 2 great songs we come to the short 'Chronicles' which really does sound like something from a musical, a dark show tune it may be but sung perfectly.

After an instrumental the last song 'Shapeshifter' is another song that has that epic movie soundtrack feel to it.

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Nightwish, Epica, Tristania, Within Temptation, Opera Diabolicus, Therion

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hela & Lodo - Hela Vs Lodo EP (Review)

01.The End Of Times

Mireia Porto (Vocals/Guitar)
Julián Velasco (Guitar/FX)
Tano Giménez (Bass)
Miguel Fernández (Drums)

Doom Metal band Hela were formed in 2012 by founding members of Stoner band 'The Sand Collector' and hail from Alicante, Spain.

'The End Of Times' is an epic ten minutes of slow, brooding, classic doom blended with a psychedelic undertone that really makes this piece stand out.
A stunning vocal performance from Mireia, ghostly, haunting and at times operatic, certainly holds your attention.

Another near ten minutes next with 'Norns' does the same as the first song, simply leaves you wanting more!

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Albez Duz, Bloody Hammers, Chalice, Blood Ceremony, Cathedral

05.Cristo Colmado

Latigo (Guitar)
David (Bass)
Raul (Guitar)
Rojo (Drums)

Lodo are a new band also from Spain and play dark, dense "Muddy" sludge/doom.

Three slabs of instrumental sludge/doom, sounding like something from the early 1970's, it's raw and seems to flow more like a jam session than a recording studio, that gives it an "Organic" feel that really lends itself to their style.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Black Sabbath, Shadow Of The Torturer, Serpentine Path

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Fragarak - Crypts Of Dissimulation (CD Review)

01.Savor The Defiance
03.Effacing The Esotery
04.Dissimulation: An Overture
05.Cryptic Convulsion
06.Psalm Of Deliverance

Supratim Sen (Vocals)
Kartikeya Sinha (Bass)
Arpit Pradhan (Guitar)
Ruben Franklin (Guitar)
Siddharth Manoharan (Drums)

Progressive Death Metal band from New Delhi, India, formed initially, in 2011, Karikeya, Ruben and Sagar co-founded Fragarak and had formulated the kind of music to be pursued with the initiation of the band. Arpit and Supratim were the much needed addition to the line-up to fortify the intent with the musical ideologies going in the same direction for the band.Thus the entity of Fragarak came into being.

Fragarak came into existence in early 2011 and laid the foundation for one of the most promising acts to newly emerge out of India that year. The band draws revelation from “Fragarach”, a legendary sword from the Celtic mythology.

Fragarak is a lethal blend of melodic tunes accompanied by intense technical rhythms, supported by fiercely independent bass lines, bolstered with decimating drumming, and channeled by lyrical themes delivered through bestial vocals.
This is a re-issue of their 2013 self released album.

On listening to the first song 'Savor The Defiance' i'm struck by a few things, firstly that they have an acoustic intro that is included as part of the song, next that the music is for the most part at least, straight forward modern progressive metal as the song goes along it add's some technical thrash elements, the only part of this which could be classed as "Death Metal" is the harsh vocals, which i have to say dont fit the music, a clean vocal would have made this perfect.

'Insurgence' is different again, more agressive techival death metal with piggy grunt vocals, only the acoustic breakdown saves this one, with its really nice harmony backing vocals.

The next song is borderline Extreme Metal, again great music and the harsh vocal style works well on this one, thanks in part to the backing vocals breaking it up.

After another nice acoustic piece we end with some more death metal that at times sounds more like black metal.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Chaosanct, Skaldic Curse, Xenochord

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Curse Upon A Prayer - Rotten Tongues (CD Review)

01.The Distant Chaos
02.Death Sentence
03.Third Day Of Creation
04.Red Room
05.Devil On The Churchyard
06.Divinus Mortis
07.Rotten Tongues
08.The Lost Symbol
09.White Ghost

4 Unknown band members

Curse Upon A Prayer is a black metal band that was founded 2010 in Tornio, Finland. In the beginning the band consisted only two brothers but were joined by two other members in 2014.
Seems they dont like names or give away much in their bio which reads...
"And the stars of heaven fell to the Earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place And the kings of the Earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains".

Well i was not sure what i was going to be listening to, but 'The Distant Chaos' with its very quiet start turned out to be a furious blend of modern black metal with a hint of symphonic thrown in.

The next song 'Death Sentence' has a more gothic doom feel, very slow, dark and brooding with a whispered vocal, must say i like this style more than the more aggressive sounding ones, the next one to stand out in this style is 'Devil On The Churchyard', then even more symphonic and gloomy is 'The Lost Symbol' and finally 'White Ghost' which is an epic eight minutes, complete with some great chorus backing vocals.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Opera Diabolicus, Satyricon

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Avulsion Rupture - Áglæccræft (CD Review)

01.Apocalyptic Resonance
02.Fortress Of Desolation
03.Massacre At Fin Cop
04.Gibbet On The Moor
05.Coils Of Pain
06.Concocting Hallucinations
08.The Scucca
09.Universal Vortices

Paul Bobrucki (Vocals/All Instruments/Programming)

Formed in 2000 and from Nottinghamshire, the band recorded a seven track demo in 2001
entitled "1000 Weeping Souls", played several gigs with bands such as Evoke and Detrimentum and then in 2002 the band petered out and became no more.
In 2014 they band returned and recorded a brand new EP entitled "Blasphemous
Resurrection", which contained five tracks of aggressive Black/Death Metal.

This year it now seems to be a one man project, could be intresting....

This is raw, very raw, reminiscent of early demos by Mayhem and Darkthrone, but there are 2 things that spoil this, first of all the drum machine, problem is that it sounds like a drum machine and although that works fine in electronic music it has no place it primitive black metal, the second is the guitar which sounds like it has been plugged into a tape recorder, it has a tinny sound, no bass or reverb to give it some weight.

Okay so that said, what we have here is ten short slabs of well thought out, primitive, almost proto- black metal, its raw quality carries a basic sound that is about getting the music out there as opposed to the highly produced and often symphonic style we have become used to these days.

One to add to the collection for lovers of old school black metal, no frills, just pure power, maybe get a decent amp and a few pedals for the guitar and a real drummer for the next one?

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of : Mayhem, Darkthrone, Bathory, Burzum, Abruptum

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Woebegone Obscured - Deathscape MMXIV (CD Review)

01.Deathscape MMXIV
02.Catharsis Of The Vessel
03.While Dreaming In The Ethereal Garden
04.Call From The Grave

D.Woe (Drums/Keyboards/Vocals)
Q.Woe (Guitar/Keyboards)
M.Woe (Guitar)
Andreas Tagmose Grønkjær (Fretless Bass/Cello)

Danish band formed in 1993, they play blackened funeral doom drenched in anguish and despair. As a band they strive to create an intense dark atmosphere of sorrow and melancholy on stage and in the studio.

'Deathscape MMXIV' has some intresting music going on, from jazz like guitar, gothic undertones, rhythmic metal, doom elements, you name it, it's in there.
What really makes this stand out is the dual vocals, the dark funeral style and this amazing harmony style, stunning!

If that wasn't enough t get you intrested they go and add even more into the 11 minute epic 'Catharsis Of The Vessel', this starts with an almost space/psychedelic vocal and backing music with more stunning vocals, the music builds and builds getting heavier with each crash of the drums, then the double pedal work gets into gear, then the riffs appear, just as it starts to reach speed, it slows right down and the dark vocals come in but then that other vocal style appears again, i tell you it is brilliant.

Up next is an "Ethereal" sounding acoustic neo folk piece, which is then followed by an evil sounding full on funeral doom song.

Finally 'Xavier' with it's acoustic intro leading us into a near gothic doom song that stays "atmospheric" throughout.

Rating 10/10
For fans Of: Atrum Tempestas, Aeternum (UK), My Dying Bride

Vermörd - Dawn of the Black Harvest EP (CD Review)

01.Disciples of Shakhbûrz
02.Plagued Eyes From The Scrolls Of Xafmirtas
03.Ophite Cultus Satanas
04.Encrimsoned Baptism
06.Dark Harvest

Zach Thomsen (Vocals)
Yianni Papaeracleous (Guitar)
Brad Weddle (Guitar)
Zak Kempler (Drums)
Alec Klimm (Bass)

Very rarely an EP manages to represent the potential of a band, but Vermörd have definitely succeeded here with "Dawn Of The Black Harvest". A young band hailing from White Marsh Maryland U.S.A, Vermörd are a ridiculously talented group of teenagers playing fast and loose Black Metal that often veers into Technical Death Metal passages. Filled with awesome, stirring guitar runs, impressive churning bass lines, plenty of frenzied blasting and deathly bellows. "Dawn Of The Black Harvest" is jam-packed with well-executed, ornate, Black Death Metal, tastefully put together and performed with intensity.

So thats what their record company said, so seems like a pretty bold statement, lets hope it lives up to the hype and doent start with a stupid intro.

Oh dear, yep opening "Song" is in fact an intro, so moving on to track 2 and have to say the music is good, its modern Black Metal with that technical death metal influence, the vocal screams are as good as early Cradle and the intensity of the whole thing really works well, like the way they throw in a slow breakdown to allow a short but well exectuted guitar solo.

The rest of the EP does the same, solid drum work, well balanced mix of speed, agression and melody, nice breakdowns, occasional timing changes and all produced to a very high standard, whats not to like?

Rating 9/10
For fans Of: Cradle Of Filth, Akercocke, Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral

Friday, 17 April 2015

Hybrid Nightmares - The Second Age (CD Review)

02.In The Labyrinth
03.Only The Dead Know
04.What It Means To Die
05.And Reach The Stars

Loki (Vocals)
Ben (Guitars)
Gummers (Guitars)
Jonny (Bass)
Batman (Drums)

Formed in 2008 this quintet has earned a reputation as one of Melbourne's best live acts through a chaotic, relentless and above all, entertaining live show. Taking influence from black, death, groove, folk and classic heavy metal, the 'Nightmare' sound is a sonic maelstrom that defies any categorization other than 'extreme'. Not content with simply playing to an Australian audience, Hybrid Nightmares are looking to the global metal scene and will bring their worship of the Cult of The Obelisk worldwide.

'The Ages' is a 4 CD collection that explores the rise and fall, evolution and extinction of mankind across four eras of existence, 'The First Age' was released last year.

About The Second Age: “After creation, there was an era of peace. Death and disease were unknown – everything existed in perfect order and harmony across the cosmos. It all ended, however, as we experienced death for the first time and with it, the first vestiges of chaos corrupted our society and heralded the dawning of a new age - 'The Second Age'. We as man are becoming more and more frightened of losing what we have, conflicts are breaking out. What will follow is an age where the corrupting influence  of power seeks to undermine the good in the hearts of man. The fear of death permeates the psyche of all men and where once a selfless and civil society lived in harmony, now a cancer grows at it's heart, gnawing away at the morals and ideals that created an Eden in the age before. This in an age of doubt, an age of uncertainty and fear. At the end of this age, we will see a rapid decay that can only lead to outright war as humanity struggles to maintain it's tenuous grasp on the principles that bind us together and allow us to progress. Every age has its story, and every story has its teller...Soon, the stories of ’The Second Age' will be told.”

'Lost'seems to be a 2 minute intro that pretty much goes right into the first song 'In The Labyrinth', which is just a straight forward metal song, lots of harmony with the guitars, a few timing changes, but essentially its more like blackend power metal.

The track then goes straight into a little acoustic folk song, really good as well, reminds me of an old Led Zeppelin song, but way too short.

Back to some Iron Maiden sounding riffs and then 'What It Means To Die' kicks in with more of that blackend power metal stuff, was hoping for more in the song, but there wasn't, it went nowhere, the same can be said of the last track as well.

Strikes me that this is just a standard Ep with a bit of filler and is nothing more than a death/power metal hybrid, they talk the talk in the blurb but produce nothing outstanding, a shame i was expecting a lot from this.

Rating 5/10
For fans of: Cradle Of Filth, Dormant Inferno, Children Of Bodom

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Whorion - The Reign Of The 7th Sector (CD Review)

01.Flesh Of Gods
02.When The Moon Bled
04.Blood Of The Weak
05.Forbidden Light
06.Gates Of Time
08.Arrival Of Coloss

Ari Nieminen (Vocals)
Ep MKN (Vocals/Guitars)
Dorian Logue (Bass)
Heikki Saari (Drums)
Antti Lauri (Guitar)
Vili Itäpelto (Synth/Orchestral)

Finnish Symphonic Technical Death Metal band Whorion will release their debut full length  album The Reign of the 7th Sector through Inverse Records.  Details for the album can be seen below. This marks the bands first release since the Fall of Atlas EP which was released in January of 2014.

After changing lineups since forming in 2009 and through years of composing, training & mastering new styles of playing material Whorion have come together to spawn what it is today, metal that will crack bones, while displaying powerful symphonic elements to create a feeling that the listener is sucked into the dark matter of space, slowly waiting for the worlds end…

The Reign of the 7th Sector was mixed & mastered with Anssi Kippo from Astia Studio (Ensiferum, Norther, Children of bodom etc.).

No intro (hooray!) this goes straight in for the kill and 'Flesh Of Gods' is one helluva opening track, brutal drumming and vocals, great guitar work and nice but understated orchestration.

Thats the way this one goes, song after song then we come to 'Gates Of Time' a full on orchestrated piece that sounds like music from some epic sword and sorcery movie, really good and a total surprise.

The next song 'Immaculate' is a brilliant symphonic death metal masterpiece, this one has everything from both genres mixed perfectly.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Miellnir, Ars Moriendi, Opera Diabolicus

Veld - Daemonic The Art Of Dantalian (CD Review)

01.The Sweet Sound Of Torment
02.World In Obscure
03.Constant Suffering
04.Endless Spiritual Paranoia
05.Lost But Never Forgotten
06.Merciless And The Innocents
07.Conquerors Of All Icons
08.Love Anguish Hate
09.In Eternal Waiting
10.Annihilation Of Divinity/Trust Upon Ignorance

Kirill Bobrik (Guitar/Vocals)
Tomasz Wawrzak (Bass)
Wojtek Slavinsky (Drums)

Polish death metal band formed in 1995 as V.E.L.D. Playing Thrash Metal, later Kirill quits and forms "Killry", whilst the rest of the band record and release "Time is Now".
Moving forward to 2001 and Kirill returns and the band make a slight change to their name but also move into Death Metal genre.

In 2002 they released "Infested With Rats Life" and support the Black Metal band Mayhem on tour.In 2003 there are line up changes and later begin work on a new album which is released in 2005 as "End Of All".
In 2007 they entered the studios to record a new album "Love - Anguish - Hate". After a recording of the album, on personal and musical disagreements, the group splits again.

Finally they regrouped and this is the result.

Surprising album this, a mixture of Blackend Death Metal with some technical thrown in, amid the well executed brutality are some intresting timing changes and the occasional shock with an acoustic piece to calm everything down.

The vocals are a bit shouty but the music is very clean and produced,  this allows each instrument to be heard is perfect balance and create the mood.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Behometh, Dissection, Chaosanct, Spitting Blood

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Kouma - Brazillian Blowout (CD Review)

02.Nevada Breakdown
04.Pound Zero
05.Brazillian Blowout
06.Casse Brique

Damien Cluzel (Guitar)
Léo Dumont (Drums)
Romain Dugelay (Saxophone)

Kouma is a french power-trio with baritone saxophone, baritone guitar and drums. Kouma is a wild sound with low-pitched instruments and big riffs. Kouma is kind of an awesome hardcore band, with barbarian rhythms, adrenaline rushes, slanting ascents. Kouma is also the illicit crossing between a pony and a bear.

Mixing mathrock, noise and little reminiscent of protean jazz, these 3 chimera trainers are developing some raw and noisy free-rock sounds, using poly-rhythmical concepts to reach a certain trancestate.

If it wasnt for the very high tuning on the guitar and strange riffs played at the top end creating an unpleasent sound, then maybe this wouldnt be so bad, that and the fact i was expecting some intresting jazz/rock hybrid with plenty of saxophone thrown in to an avante garde mix fell somewhat short, there seemed to be little in the way of sax, maybe just the way they mixed it, i dont know.

Sure there is some clever stuff here, at times there are little blasts of pure extreme metal, so it ticks the weird box but its just the overall sound of the guitars that makes this awful to listen to.

So plenty of unusual timing signatures, not enough Saxophone!

Rating 5/10
For fans of: Faust, Enon, Sonic Youth, BEAK

Monday, 13 April 2015

Grethor - Cloaked In Decay (CD Review)

02.Misery Of Ignorance
03.Somnia Malum Infinitum
04.Hemispheres Decaying
05.Organic Tomb
06.Monody For Artemis

Marcus Lawrence (Vocals)
Anthony Rouse (Drums)
Nick Rothe (Bass)
Mike Lewis (Guitar)
Brian Frost (Guitar)

Bill Calomiris (GLOOM, EX-LOCULUS)

Virginia Black/Death metal band formed in 2007, have recently completed their follow-up to its debut EP, 2013’s “Galaxia Infinitum”.
This new is inspired by the 1895 novel “The King in Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers: a series of short stories, of which four of them are about the eponymous forbidden play that spurs despair and insanity to those who read it.  “Cloaked In Decay” also warns of the ills of religion, man’s existential crises and cosmic horror.

“I find that fear is possibly the most harmful of human traits," said GRETHOR vocalist Marcus Lawrence. "It is, however, a great source of material, and it is through art we confront it. It is our only salvation.”

Tracks one to five are a raw and agressive mix of black and death metal, fast and uncompromising in attitude and delivery.
The last song 'Monody For Artemis' is a melodic heavy metal piece, full of excellent guitarwork and sounds like a different band.

Rating 7/10
For Fans Of: Bathory, Venom, Death, Darkthrone

Friday, 10 April 2015

Primordium - Aeonian Obsolescence EP (CD Review)

02.A Process Of Becoming
03.The Opaque Semblance
04.The Incursion
05.Esoteric Purification

Steele Sleight (Guitar)
Jesse Curtis (Guitar)
John King (Drums)

Forming late 2011 in central Indiana, Primordium; a 4-piece technical death metal group, possess unconditional intent to breach the boundaries of normality and take metal to new heights. Nearing the completion of their debut EP 'Aeonian Obsolescence', the members of Primordium assure you that listener satisfaction is guaranteed to those free of the chains that bind both musically and mentally.
By 2013 they were down to a three piece and there are only two people in the promo picture, so i have no idea whats going on and whos doing what.

And yet again a pointless intro as a seperate track, and guess what, yep goes straight into the first "proper" song!
Okay so at least 'A Process Of Becoming' makes up for the intro, its a full on tech death metal assault, stunning drum playing, well executed and at times melodic guitar work over typical but listenable vocals.

Seems that 100 mph wasnt fast enough for this lot and decided to go into some sort of death/warp drive for 'The Opaque Semblance', this is another superb drum driven track, and it really is to his credit that every beat is perfect.

'The Incursion' is slightly slower, except that drummer, i'm not joking that guy has two speeds fast and faster, absolutley amazing stuff.

Piano? and some symphonic keyboards, now that's unexpected, 'Esoteric Purification' starts with an "Intro" that actually starts the song, see that's the way to do it!
Rest of the song is another powerhouse of drums, guitar and vocal brutality and technical ability that is quite something awesome to listen to.

Now to end with an 'Instrumental' this is a guitar workout, lots of different elements thrown in, some nice timing changes and more pounding drum work, but on this one it's definatley the guitar solos that take centre stage and the mellow bits at the end really work well.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Beserker, Death, Suffocation, Chaosanct, Kevlar Skin

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Pohjoinen - Pohjoinen (CD Review)

06.Taehdissae Nukkuva
08.Helvetin Aurinko

Tumppi (Guitar/Vocals)
Kimmo (Bass/Vocals)
R (Drums)

Pohjoinen from Helsinki, were founded in the summer of 2011. In the beginning the music style and line-up was slighly different but the band found its own form in January 2012. They recorded their first demo in the Spring, 2012 and started touring, mainly in Helsinki area where they are originating from. Little by little they were heading more and more towards Stoner Rock style even though that is not the genre that band itself would describe its music. Pohjoinen is downtuned guitars, slow tempo and occasionally even groove and anything between doom and rock.

Edging towards a sludge/doom take on stoner rock 'RJD' really kicks into gear, the slow powerchords crashing through the speakers one after another, where this soon becomes a cut above the average is when the vocals come in over some unusual guitar sounds, slow and almost experimental at times.

'Joki' is another track that really stands out, again its sludge/doom style reigns supreme and with more inspired vocals.As the song progresses its starts to get very psychedelic with some stunning guitar playing.

Want another stone/sludge/doom monster? good then 'Kulkuri' does it all, but wait so does 'Taehdissae Nukkuva', but slower and keeping with that doom power is 'Helvetin Aurinko' and this one even throws in a few death metal growls lurking in the Sabbath style riffs and overall musical mayhem.

What an amazing album, more classic doom than stoner, but the hybrid works perfectly!!!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Cathedral, Monster Magnet, Queens Of The Stone Age, Blood Island Raiders

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Miellnir - Incineration Astern (CD Review)

01.Incineration Overture (Intro)
03.Legends Of The Fallen
04.Stand Against
05.Journey Through The Nine Worlds
07.Embraced By Ire
09.The Gallows Tree
10.Valhalla Awaits

Frozensoul (Vocals/Bass)
Gjallarhorn (Guitar)
Yarek Ovich (Guitar)
Daimonos (Drums)

Hailing from Ukraine, this pagan viking band formed in 2005, but only now have released an album, i have found no demos or other recordings or come to think of it any information about them either.
Delving a little deeper i discovered that 'Embraced By Ire' was first released in 2011, and so i assume that the other 3 tracks that follow were also from that same time as they are listed as bonus on the info i was supplied, but not it seems on the actual cd, get the feeling that the record company couldnt give a shit? I do !

Another pointless intro to start with and guess what? It goes straight into the next song, so why have it as a seperate first track???
'Prey' when it gets going is a good mix of styles, mainly symphonic black metal and with vocal style to match, in fact this is more like Dimmu Borgir than Turisas.

Now with 'Legends Of The Fallen' we get two very distinct styles from extreme metal to quite traditional pagan/folk metal.This one has a Thrash metal tempo in places and the timing changes match said genre, nice to hear some normal vocals blended with the growling ones.

'Stand Against' again this reminds me of Dimmu Borgir, not much in the way of viking/pagan coming across here in this mid placed almost doomy/symphonic piece.

What spolis 'Journey...." is the vocals, the music is a beautiful piano driven almost ballad melody, but the softly sung gruff vocal just kills it.

First real appearence of pagan/viking/folk on 'Ugar-buhlo', thanks to some great accordian playing, this mixes it up with full on blasts of metal, but works very well.

'Embraced By Ire', clearly an earlier track by the fact that the music is slightly rawer, yet musically there seems to be more instrumentation going on with various keyboard sounds utilised and a very nice guitar solo.

'Joro' is a bit of a bland track, does little to enhance the bands overall sound, but 'The Gallows Tree' returns to some quality symphonic metal and finally 'Valhalla' is borderline power metal with a hint of thrash.

Overall a really good and varied album, hpefully the record company will do more to promote it and the band.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Amon Amarth, Turisas

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Kings Destroy - Kings Destroy (CD Review)

01.Smokey Robinson
06.Green Diamonds
07.Time For War

Carl Porcaro (Guitar)
Chris Skowronski (Guitar)
Steve Murphy (Vocals)
Rob Sefcik (Drums)
Aaron Bumpus (Bass)

Formed in 2010, they take their name from an infamous graffiti gang from the Bronx circa late ‘70s/early ‘80s. The band members met in this vicinity and were heavily involved in the New York Hardcore scene of the late ‘80s that merged hardcore music, metal, graffiti and hip hop...all distinct forms united in the underground. The band unites musicians from many of the genres’ most prolific bands.
Hailing from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, the band features guitarists Carl Porcaro and Chris Skowronski from the legendary "Killing Time", vocalist Steve Murphy from "Uppercut", drummer Rob Sefcik formerly of "The Begotten, Uppercut, Fur and Electric Frankenstein" and bassist Aaron Bumpus.

The brilliantly named 'Smokey Robinson' starts with a classic 70's sounding stop/start drum and guitar beat, very laid back until the tempo increases which moves into classic stoner rock territory, a great opener.

A much more raw sound for 'Mr.O', this one harkens back to the glory days of second generation american stoner rock, full of swagger and attitude and right towards the end throws in a touch of doom and a great little guitar solo.The song flows straight into 'W2' keeping that doom laden chord structure and some higher pitched vocals.

'Mythomania' could be straight out of 1969, this is slow, bluesy, epic and psychedelic, but really nails the stoner rock sound with some stunning guitar work.

Next 2 songs are just a pure joy to listen too, perfectly executed in every way, then we come to 'Time For War' this one has a strange sound lurking in the background almost like a synth, the song builds layer upon a layer of sound, getting louder and werider almost like a heavy Hawkwind song from late 70's or something that Monster Magnet might do, great shouting backing vocals and plenty of distortion, just a shame this one was longer, could listen to this all day!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Melvins, Masters Of Reality, Monster Magnet

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Tharaphita - Ulestous (CD Review)

01.Ülestõus (Uprising)
02.Viimsepäeva koidik (The Dawn of Armageddon)
03.Luupainaja (The Nightmare)
04.Tuhandeaastase orjaöö tuhast (From the Ashes of a Thousand Years of Slavery)
05.Sõnad sõlmedesse (Knotting the Words)
06.Surma-arbujad (Sorcerers of Death)
07.Tuuled rändavad ringi (Winds Wander)
08.Terasest taotud teel (On a Road Made of Steel)

Ank (vocals/Guitar)
Benton (Guitar)
Draconic (Guitar/Synthersiser)
Brutalis (Bass)
Melu (Drums)

Created as a solo project of the vocalist-guitarist Ank, Tharaphita soon became one of the most influential and unique Estonian pagan metal bands. The idea of Tharaphita was created in 1993, the band was planned to carry the name Ancestral Damnation, and the music to be raw black-metal.
For different reasons, the idea somewhat changed and developed further until the first rehearsals with the initial line-up of Tharaphita in March 1995. During August and September of the same year, the first rehearsal demo Must Viirastus was recorded.

The first gig of Tharaphita took place in 18.05.1996. For now, there have been more than 100 gigs, also in other Baltic states, Finland and Norway, besides the homeland Estonia.
During the time, black-metal core of the music became complemented by pagan thinking, some epic elements and influences of heavy and thrash metal. The new album’s music is a mix of black, heavy and thrash metal. The lyrics are mainly in Estonian and are mostly inspired by Estonian history.

The cover of the latest album “Ülestõus” depicts the main crater of lake Kaali, which was formed by a meteorite thousands of years ago.

'Uprising' sounds like an intresting mix of Satyricon and Amon Amarth, blending various elements of extreme metal with near thrash structures, not much in the way of those symphonic style viking bands, this is less subtle and sticks with the aggression.

Each of the following songs just does the same, an epic and refined mixture of genre influences, all the time you almost forget it's not sung in English, somehow it doesn't matter the vocals carry the songs perfectly.

My fave track is the last one, its a mainly instrumental piece with some quite outstanding bass and drum work.

Rating 9/10

For fans of: Bathory, Skyforger, Satyricon, Amon Amarth