Saturday, 29 August 2015

All We Expected & Raum Kingdom - Split EP (CD Review)

01.All We Expected - We're Not Born to Live Like Brutes
02.All We Expected - Flood
03.Raum Kingdom - Grace
04.Raum Kingdom - Lost in the Hunt

Guillian Maertens (Guitar/Vocals)
Tijl Tytgat (Guitar)
Martijn Salomez (Bass)
Artuur Bruwier (Drums)

All We Expected have been creating music since 2012 and started performing live later in 2013, from belgium Driven by intense emotions and raw energy, All We Expected brings forth a fierce mix of dark atmospheres, melodic basslines and pounding drums.

For information on Raum Kingdom see previous post  RAUM KINGDOM

Was not expecting that! Both of All we Expected tracks are really long songs, mainly instrumentals (well i cant hear much in the way of vocals), they are sort of doom influenced but with a neo prog delivery, in some ways the guitar style reminds me of Muse and even Radiohead, but not as poppy or depressive as either of those bands.

As for Raum Kingdom, not much to add here in terms of general praise for this band whose self titled EP (see link above) was outstanding.
Each song is ten minutes in duration and has the same doom/grunge vibe as everything else i have heard by them, full of melody and interesting timing changes.

Rating 9/10
For fans Of: Isis, Muse, Tool, Deftones

Raum Kingdom - Raum Kingdom (CD Review)

02.Barren Objects
03.Cross Reference
04.These Open Arms
05.This Sullen Hope

Ronan Connor (Bass)
Mark Gilchrist (Drums)
Andrew Colohan (Guitar)
Dave Lee (Vocals)

Raum Kingdom started out in late 2013 from the east coast of Ireland with Singer - Dave Lee and Guitarist - Andrew Colohan who were looking to create a soul crushing experience of sonics. It wasn't until long time friends, Bassist - Ronan Connor and Drummer - Mark Gilchrist joined the line up that this project ready to express itself. So Raum Kingdom had found the creative force and sound to start progressing.

With all members having a great passion for all genres of music, it was time to channel this into what would turn out to be Raum Kingdom's Debut Self titled – Self Released 5 track EP, Which was released in April 2014.
Raum Kingdom's heart is for turning negativity into positivity and having a blast for doing what they have a passion for.

'Wounds' was not what i was expecting it's an atmospheric and interesting mix of doom/grunge and metal, loaded with pounding rhythms and gruff vocals.

Still with a doom edge but 'Barren Objects' has this dark psychedelic quality, some great bass work as well really comes through.

'Cross reference' has a very quiet start and then gets this sort of spoken word/rap style vocal, the oasional cymbal crash behind, it's a weird piece.

Another quiet start for 'These Open Arms' before launching into this riff heavy powerhouse that just crashes through the speakers with wave after wave of energy.

Finally 'This Sullen Hope', and again slow beginning into huge bursts of energy definatley a grunge/doom hybrid.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Tool, Deftones, Isis, Earth, Melvins

Friday, 28 August 2015

Grünt Grünt vs P.U.T- Split EP (CD Review)

Grunt Grunt

Vincent Lozachmeur (Vocals)
Laurent Bourlaud (Drums)
Bertrand Poulain (Guitar)

Grunt-Grunt is an epileptic Unholy Grind'n'Roll band from Angoulême, france formed in 2002. They dont seem to like song titles, have a facebook page and no bio was supplied by record company. So who knows what else the band have done, are etc?

[ P.U.T ]
07.With The Evil
09.Industral Vs Forest
10.Under Most Darkest Sea

Lionel Beyet (Bass/Vocals/Laptop)
Nicolas Beyet (Guitar/Vocals/Laptop)
Loïc Beyet (Studio Guitar/Sampler)

3 brothers, living between Paris/Brussels, started making music in 1998.
A a mix of machines Vs guitars, noise, sludge-metal, industrial and punk to create music madness, emotion, heaviness and anger.
Personal and without concessions, their 5 albums, 8 maxis, 3 live, 7" and various sound experiments, does not disavow their influences (of Godflesh, Killing joke, Sonic Youth while passing by Scorn or Unsane) the band intrigues at the most point.
It's on stage which the band reveal is power, making the same noise as 4-5 piece band, with intense, raw, dirty and disturbing sounds.

First up then is Grunt Grunt, and all they seem to do is grunt and make piggy squeals over some pretty standard fuzzed out short bursts of grindcore.
Only the last track seems to offer more with a slow almost melvins like sludge/crust hybrid.

P.U.T are better, first track 'With The Evil' is more of an industrial/goth song, slow with a simple guitar riff running throughout. The same sounds continue with 'Fear'.

Keeping with the post punk/industrial theme is 'Industral Vs Forest', weird jagged rhythms are punched out with echoes of Bauhaus at their most experimental.

The last track 'Under Most Darkest Sea' has more in the structure, drum patterns are prominent and it has a more dance orientated goth feel to it.

Have to say this is a strange pairing of bands.

Rating 7/10
For Fans of: Godflesh, Killing Joke, Napalm Death

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Jacques Barbéri & Laurent Pernice - Apocalypse Des Oiseaux (CD Review)

01.Création des animaux
02.La peau du prophète
03.La chasse
04.Oiseaux miroirs
06.Le carrousel des cavaliers
07.Un désert de paupières
08.Le mausolée aux perruches
09.Basse danse
10.Kosmogonie 1
11.L’ultime toile
12.Kosmogonie 2
13.L’origine du monde

Jacques Barbéri (Various Instruments)
Laurent Pernice (Various Instruments)

"L'Apocalypse Des Oiseaux" is the new masterwork of the 2 french cult musicians Jacques Barbéri and Laurent Pernice. Jacques Barbéri is well known as member of the famous French band Palo Alto but also as a brillant SF writer (he began with the group Limite with, amongst others, Antoine Volodine, Francis Berthelot and Emmanuel Jouanne), one of the most original of his generation.

Laurent Pernice began in the French cult band Nox and did also several remarquable solo albums. He’s regularly invited to play in Palo Alto. "L'Apocalypse Des Oiseaux" is a vast and ambitious oratorio for the famous painter Paolo Ucello. It’s a fantastic mix of surrealistic and dark landscapes, poésie sonore, concrete music, electronic sounds and weird atmospheres. It evokes the best works of Bernard Parmegiani or Luc Ferrari but in a very personal way.

We start with some very offbeat avante garde jazz ramblings, no structure or form, just sounds without direction, this is followed by some outside recordings of birdsong with some spoken bit over it.This continues into the next track with a bit of added sax.

Now at least 'Oiseaux miroirs' has a "something" about it, a simple electronic pulse, samples and more spoken word.

And back to the weird, 'Escape' sounds like a nightmare at the zoo, im pretty sure that the animal sounds are made on the musical instruments, well why play them properly?

'Le carrousel des cavaliers' is a five minute electronic noize, but one i do like very much in the style of Occupier/Exorium, what i like to call "Anti-Music".

For the next 2 tracks we return to bird sounds and spoken word and then a bit of a surprise as 'Basse danse' has some music on it, only just scrapes it mind you at the beginning before heading back to jungle noises.

'Kosmogonie 1' is another spoken piece this time of electronic noise, this is followed by, guess what? Yes more birdsong and spoken word with a few added synth noises, which leads us into the last song, which is just as weird/bad/good as the rest.

Rating 5/10
For fans of: Sigihl, Faust, Kouma, Exorium/Occupier

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Toys-R-Noise - Toys-R-Noise (CD Review)

01.Untitled 1
02.Untitled 2
03.Untitled 3
04.Untitled 4
05.Untitled 5
06.Untitled 6

No musicians named

As the name suggests, the band Toys'R'Noise made its music with toys and handmade instruments. Regarding the philosophy of the project, a comparison could be drawn between the band and Chapi Chapo but in fact the conception of the music is more adventurous. Indeed, it is outside the box and finds its roots in the ambient industrial electro. A camouflaged disc par excellence, Toys'R'Noise often navigates in the ambient and the down-tempo and sometimes the music goes louder but without becoming hard.

Sometimes, Toys'R'Noise takes a magic and hypnotic form in the way of Masters Musicians Of Bukkake or the Swans. If there is one thing to remember concerning this album it is that the listener is easily overwhelmed by the propositions of musical escape that Toys'R'Noise develops during tracks with a length between 3 and 11 minutes. The first track, soberly named untitled 1, gives at first side a beautiful moment of naïve optimism but then a fascinating electo-mystical anthem.
The last track called untitled 6 catches us with a rising tension (skifully accompanied by sparkle) during 11 minutes.
Between those two tracks we accept to follow the band in its musical trip which is never difficult to follow. We are almost tempted to say that it is "easy-listening" without its pejorative sense but, on the contrary, always exciting to discover. The dilemma of moving to the next track or not is not an issue because we could have the feeling of missing an important stage towards the path of the band. It is just about trying our own ability to be guided, or not.

Okay well thats a slightly edited version of the info that came with this promo.
It reads as pretentious pseudointellectual
 crap that attempts to justify some pretty average avante garde ambient/electronic noise that falls way short of what it claims to be.

Had this been totally created on childrens toys, it would have been at the very least intresting and even "clever", but this ust sounds like standard synth and samples and the odd unusual sound here and there.

The idea of aural art has been around a long long time, it can be interesting, this is just a waste of time.

Rating 3/10
For fans of: Chapi Chapo & Les Petites Musiques De Pluie, Masters Musicians Of Bukkake

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Simulacrum - Sky Divided (CD Review)

02.Behind The Belt Of Orion
04.Embrace The Animal Within
05.Deep In The Trenches
06.The Abomination
07.Sky Divided
08.Enter Hyperion
09.A New Beginning

Niklas (Vocals)
Chrism (Keyboards)
Solomon (Guitar)
Petri (Guitar)
Olli (Bass)
Henri (Drums)

Progressive metal band formed in 2000 from Finland.
Their latest album has the story and visual style of the interests of composer/keyboardist Chrism and lyricist/singer Niklas.

The band say "We have grown-up in a world of Sci-Fi literature, computer games and movies and we wanted to create a package that pays homage to these childhood influences. Mad Max, War of the Worlds, Fahrenheit 451, the Fallout game series and Alien are all titles that are concidered classics and have influenced the album's thematics."

It may have a symphonic almost movie sountrack intro but 'Timelapse' builds up the agression with some soild technical drum patterns which continue into 'Behind The Belt Of Orion'. This has some superb keyboard work blended with the post industrial metal sounds of bands like Fear Factory. As this song progresses it manages to blend speed metal with neo-prog and classic power metal riffs, all this is rounded by a huge vocal presence.

Slow pounding riffs on 'Broken' create a menacing backing to a dark vocal performance.
What you dont expect, but works really well is the saxaphone that appears during the song giving this a great jazzy edge.

'Embrace The Animal Within' is pretty straight forward, except for the keyboards which remain the star once again.

Some of those thrash/speed metal moments on 'Deep In The Trenches', also some outstanding orchestration on the synth.

Up next a ten minute epic called 'The Abomination', this one has everything in it, some clever timing and mood changes. Again, sorry but it has to be said, the keyboard playing is just amazing.

This time it's the guitarwork and drumming that takes centre stage on 'Sky Divided'. Endless technical riffs, but with passion and some very heavy and agressive drumming.

'Enter Hyperion' is another full on prog monster that edges towards speed metal at times, some great effects on the production and on this one the bass playing plays havoc with the speakers.
Some great technical interaction between keyboards and drums and another soaring vocal performance.

As if all that wasn't enough we get 'A New Beginning' coming in at fourteen minutes.
Some old school keyboards that ahrken back to 1970's prog and the band match the vibe to perfection, its only the drum style that lets you know this is not 1975!

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Pyogenesis, Yes, Asia, Solstice Coil, TesseracT, Fear Factory

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Idolatry & Unrest - Infection Born Of Ending (Single Review)

01.Unrest - Of Filth

Destroyer (All Instruments/Vocals)

Unrest is a depraved black metal spawned from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. A one man entity whose sole focus is to explore the dark side of human nature. Unrest  delivers a raw, unrelenting and uncompromising sound that takes the listener to a dark, visceral path.

02.Idolatry - Clefs Au Chambre De Tristesse

Lycaon Vollmond (Guitar)
Nox Invictus (Guitar)
Daemonikus Abominor (Drums)
Lörd Matzigkeitus (Vocals)
Angrif Frostkeit (Bass)

Idolatry has already made a great impact with their self titled debut ep and the ghastly music video of the track “Clefs au Chambre de Tristêsse (A Key to the Room of Sadness)“ which is also a part of the split. The atheistic satanic quartet has been regularly participating in various live rituals.

Recently Edmonton’s blasphemous entity Idolatry has united with the Colombus based raw black metaller Unrest for a two way split, entitled as “Infection Born of Ending”.  Limited number of copies of the split has been released from Appalachian Noise Records in 7" format.

So side one is 'Of Filth' by Unrest, and it is a muddy production with uninteligible growls. Makes those early darkthrone demos sound like classical music.
Its very raw, very underground and quite doomy in places.

Side two offers Idolatry with 'Clefs Au Chambre De Tristesse', again not a great production but definately more musical, i guess thats the advantage of having a full band. Typical of early black metal but towards the end when the spoken bit comes in gets a bit doomy and slower.

Hey this gets my vote, underground music on limted edition vinyl!

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Marduk, Darkthrone, Hellhammer

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Gloom - Doggod (CD Review)

02.Craneal Box Mi-Go
03.Erik Zann
04.Cosmic Devourer
07.The Halfman
08.Mass Infection
09.Mater Tenebrarum XIII

R.Necroseheiim (Vocals/Keyboards)
Fer (Guitar)
Samu (Guitar)
Manu (Bass)
Ayuso (Drums)

Gloom was formed in 2002 in Madrid, when several friends who had played in different local bands decided to join together to set up a death metal band,with the only intention of having fun playing the music they most liked.
After about five years playing in some nightclubs in the area, to get a demo and multiple changes in the formation, the band broke up for a little over a year, until the three remaining members of the original (Bruto, Maiki and Fer) met Ayuso, drummer of Unsouled, and decided to resurrect the group.
In 2008 they begin to rehearse and look for a bassit, until James Surt, bassist of Wolfencross and Omission, joins the band, with whom they self released their first CD “Mater Tenebrarum” in 2010, which had very good reviews.
Eventually J. Surt and Bruto left the band for various reasons and were replaced by Manu on bass, and R.Necroseheiim, singer of The Art of Blasphemy and ex-Cryfemal on vocals and keyboards.

Well its typical death metal, it may have keyboards but i cant tell them apart from any other instrument.
This is full on brutal in your face stuff, screaming vocals, powerful bass lines, held together by super fast drumming. Add to this a major riff fest and you have ten slabs of the heavy stuff.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Hypocrisy, Vader, Avulsed, Suffocation

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

VI - De Praestigiis Angelorum (CD Review)

01.Et in pulverem mortis deduxisti me
02.Par le jugement causé par ses poisons
03.La terre ne cessera de se consumer
04.Regarde tes cadavres car il ne te permettra pas qu'on les enterre
05.Une place parmi les morts
06.Voilà l'homme qui ne te prenait pas comme Seigneur
07.Il est trop tard pour rendre gloire.Ainsi la lumière sera changée en ombre de la mort
08.Plus aucun membre ne sera rendu.

Invri (Guitar/Vocals)
Bst (Bass)
Blastum (Drums)

VI is a French black metal band formed in 2007.
Made of current and ex-members of Aosoth and Antaeus. Their debut full-length album, "De Praestgiis Angelorum", bestirs within the characteristic black metal niche developed by the said bands, with the addition of expanded guitar work, choirs and subtle sample parts. VI describes their music as "extreme, devoted black metal with illuminated chaos".

So stupid long song titles and just another black metal performance "By numbers", i fail to see where the "Subtle sample parts & Choirs" are.
This really is average stuff, does nothing special, yes it has the riffs, drums and vocals in the right place. It's well produced and the singing is typical of the genre's earlier days. But this adds nothing new, i am not aware of their other bands and if they sound the same as this, then you have to wonder why they have bothered with this.

Rating 5/10
For fans of: Deathspell Omega, Funeral Mist, Aosoth, Ascension

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Leaves Eyes - King Of Kings (CD Review)

02.King Of Kings
03.Halvdan The Black
04.The Waking Eye
05.Feast Of The Year
06.Vengeance Venom
07.Sacred Vow
08.Edge Of Steel
10.Blazing Waters
11.Swords In Rock

Liv Kristine (Vocals)
Alexander Krull (Vocals)
Thorsten Bauer (Guitar/Bass)
Pete Streit (Guitar)
Joris Nijenhuis (Drums)

London Voices Choir
White Rusian Symphony Orchestra
Simone Simons (Epica) - Vocals on Edge Of Steel
Lindy Fay Hella - Vocals on Blazing Waters

The international group formed back in 2003 has toured on five continents, playing concerts in more than 50 countries. Their live shows are spectacular events with breathtaking stage scenery, including a Viking ship or even the “Swords In Rock” monument from singer Liv Kristine’s home town. On their studio albums, the band has constantly followed the steps of classical composers from the past. Debut “Lovelorn” (2004) lead them first for subject matter, to Norway, home country of vocalist Liv and full of myths and legends. The concept effort made the musicians’ wonderment at Scandinavia’s vast nature graspable and later this found its continuation with 2005’s “Vinland Saga”, whose story told of the Viking’s exploration of America and its result.
This was followed by the orchestral metal opus “Njord” (2009), impressively remembering the Vikings’ exploration of all parts of the world and the complex “Meredead” (2011), which delved into tales of Scandinavian legends, connected to life, death and the power of the ocean.

They have always effortlessly combined traditional folk, mystic sounds of the past and a symphonic orchestra with brutal, metal rawness, and this was no truer than when, for their 10th anniversary, the band released the highly-acclaimed “Symphonies of the Night”, an album which features all their traditional trademarks, turned into a sweeping metal opera.

Now they have returned to a time when Harald I was uniting Norway as one kingdom. With an almost cinematic intensity, the band has you see the battle of Hafrsfjord itself. “King of Kings” sounds as if film score composers Hans Zimmer and Richard Wagner themselves had collaborated on a soundtrack about the life of Norway’s first king with amazing results. The epic title track with its huge choirs (brought to you by the “London Voices” ensemble, who have famously worked on movie productions such as “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” amongst many) gives a perfect start to the saga. It’s a perfect match to the band’s ambitions and to the vision of producer Alexander Krull, who sonically lifts “King of Kings” to the level of these blockbuster productions. Whilst, under the guidance of ex - Rage guitarist Victor Smolski, the powerful White Russian Symphony Orchestra adds even more feel.

So, wow, this is a huge, epic album, they have put so much into the production, this is taking symphonic metal to a new level.

Quite a folk/rock inspired short opening song, plenty of violins, harmony vocals and spoken word parts and then we launch into 'King Of Kings' which as the above bio said is more like a soundtrack, such is the orchestration you wonder how they managed to get the band in the mix as well. But they do and it works, a perfect blend of styles, the vocals are as stunning as ever, but there is way more maturity and power than before, nice little touches of male evil grunts thrown in as well.

'Halvdan The Black' is a surprise as it's more a straight forward metal song, power, energy all perfectly lead by more stunning vocals and a few more of those darkend growls, and pretty much same again for the next song as well.

'Feast Of the Year/Vengeance Venom', may be listed as two seperate songs but the former is a superb celtic sounding folk tune that leads us to the latter (So why make them seperate tracks??).
Anyway we are treated to a folk/metal masterpiece full of pipes and uplifting vocals, powered by some great drumming.

After the melodic/symphonic rock of 'Sacred Vow' comes 'Edge Of Steel'. Now this one gets to be called "Epic" the choir on this is just so amazing and again the rest of the band make their presence felt for another perfect melding of the two genres.

Ambient, atmospheric and just plain spooky are a good way to explain 'Haraldskvæði' it is a very laid back and very well put together piece.

'Blazing Waters' has this great folk style intro before launching into some serious guitar riff driven power metal with another superb symphonic edge.

Finally more epic folk/pagan rock for 'Swords In Rock', the orchestra and choir in fine form for this classic folk tune, it really is "Battle Metal" and evokes the imagery to perfection.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Therion, Epica, Nightwaish, Within Temptation, Tusisas

Monday, 17 August 2015

Teufelskreis - Spuren Der Vergangenheit (CD Review)

06.Ein Leben Lang
07.Verlorens Spiel
08.Im Angesicht
09.Schein Tod
11.Eifercucht (Edit)

Ronny Platzer (Vocals/Harp)
Friedl Schütz (Guitar/Vocals/Harp)
Chris Schön (Bass)
Christian Platschek (Drums)

German rock/metal band formed around 2008. From what i can gather this is an expanded re issue of their debut cd from 2009 with the addition of the 2012 mcd Lust Frust.

So aside from 'Verlorens Speil' which is quite a pounding heavy/thrash style with some nice guitar work, the rest of this album is pretty mainstream hard rock, nothing special at all, why the bio said there were two harp players i have no idea coz there is no harps on this on.

I suppose the Rammstein comparison is based on the the guitar sound and obvious german vocal, there is no other connections between the two i can hear.

Rating 6/10
For fans of: Rammstein, Oomph, Megaherz

Friday, 14 August 2015

Bliksem - Gruesome Masterpiece (CD review)

01.Crawling In The Dirt
03.Room Without A View
04.Mistress Of The Damned
05.The Hunt
06.Morphine Dreams
07.Twist The Knife
08.Barbaric Nation
09.Fucked Up Avenue
10.Out Of The Darkness

Peggy Meeussen (vocals)
Jeroen De Vriese (Guitar)
Toon Huet (Guitar)
Jan Rammeloo (Bass)
Rob Martin (Drums)

Shockwaves radiating out in all directions. In Dutch, this deadly natural phenomenon
is called “bliksem.”  A fitting name for an electrifying five-piece thrash band from Antwerp, Belgium.

Formed in 2007.The storm began brewing when Jeroen De Vriese, Toon Huet, Rob Martin and Jan Rammeloo, began crafting their high energy thrash 2.0.
Their quest to find a singer on par with Chuck Billy or Dave Mustaine took an unexpected and brilliant turn with the arrival of Peggy Meeussen. Her commanding razor-edged vocals slicing through the existing legions of goth or guttural female-fronted bands.

Thrash Metal? Not quite sure what their idea of said genre is, dont think its melodic ballads and mainstream 80's euro metal with a few punchy riffs thrown in occasionally.
For some reason the vocalist reminds me of Cher and a song like 'Out Of The Darkness' could even be one of her songs (though not as heavy).

So not thrash, just metal and as such a very good example. The music is powerful, even the ballads come over well, lots of good guitar solos, plenty to get your head banging.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Crystal Viper, Warlock, Znowhite

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Antagonist Zero - No Tears (CD Review)

01.No Tears
02.Profound Oblivion
04.Missä Muruseni On
05.The Lachrymal Sleep

Ben Pakarinen (Guitar/Vocals)
Juho Suokas (Guitar)
Jussi Ruokolainen (Drums)
Fredde Sjöblom (Bass)
Ville Siikamäki (Vocals)

No Tears consists of five songs: three originals and two covers. The originals are a harbinger of an upcoming full-length album, demonstrating new elements in Antagonist Zero's music - such as the title track’s this-will-get-stuck-in-your-head riffs, Profound Oblivion’s wrecking ball groove and Suru, which is sung completely in Finnish. The two cover songs are familiar to listeners from the band's live shows: Doom:VS's melodic doom suits the band like a glove in the form of 'The Lachrymal Sleep', while 'Missä muruseni on'is by Finnish pop queen Jenni Vartiainen.

'No Tears' is a nine minute melodic doom influenced song, full of melody and some nice tempo changes. to start with the vocals are a harsh growl and slightly off putting, but the style changes to clean vocal as the song progresses and sounds much better.

Now 'Profound Oblivian' is a slightly heavier song, driven by punchy chords and rhythmic drumming, very ,elodic and well produced but again for me the harsh vocal style does not fit.

The next song 'Suru' however is just right, sweeping melodic and well sung vocals, beautiful layers created with the music. Slow, brooding with a gothic tinge.

Very catchy riff on 'Missa Muruseni On', the vocal style reminds me of a folk/metal style, i suppose if i knew the original i would know just how much they have changed the song to suit them, but whatever it is good.

Finally 'The Lachrymal Sleep' and again a descent cover, well sung and produced.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Katatonia, Opeth, Draconian, Tiamat, (early) Anathema

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Luna Rise - Dark Days And Bright Nights (CD Review)

01.Demons Inside
04.Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
05.For A Reason
06.The Secret In You
07.Silent Screams
08.Worshippin’ Shadows
09.Until The Stars Have Come
10.In Your Arms
11.The Storm
12.The Anthem Of The Night

Chris Divine (Vocals/Guitar)
L.X. (Keyboards)
Andy Earth (Guitar)
Rob Rocket (Bass)
Loup Garou (Drums)

Bernie Pfeiffer (Exit To Eden) - Screams on Track 1
Tanja Ilic - Backing Vocals Track 2
Lisa Untersmayr - Backing Vocals Track 4
Melanie Hirner - Vocals Track 9

A Melodic-Rock band from Enns in Upper Austria, formed in 2011.
They like to move the boundaries between heavy and emotional musical moments and catchy but mighty melodies.
Their sound strikes one in a hell-for-leather manner while simultaneously revealing influences ranging from Hardrock to Progressive Metal, incorporating traces of mysterious Doom and Gothic Rock.

Right so having just listened to the album, what the bio should have read was HIM tribute band do Ultravox cover on new album to an okay standard of average music that acts as a reminder that you dont have to be original to get an album released these days if you look right and have a nice easy to listen too sound that will appeal to readers of Kerrang!

So to be fair to the album, it does the job quite well, the HIM style was a winner and these guys do it justice, think its a shame that they couldnt find an element of their own to throw in, but its not the worse thing i have heard this year by a long shot and that Ultravox cover is pretty good.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: HIM, Rasmus, Velvet Six, 69 Eyes

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Running Death - Overdrive (CD Review)

01.It Begins
02.Hell On Earth
04.Remote Controlled
05.Close Minded
06.Raging Nightmare
09.Pray For Death
12.I See A Fire

Simon Bihlmayer (Vocals/Guitar)
Julian Gruber (Guitar)
Max Bauer (Bass)
Jakob Weikmann (Drums)

German thrash metal band first got noticed back in 2012 with their speed tinged thrash metal EP 'The Call Of Extinction', the follow up to 2010 debut 'Raging Nightmare'.
Since then the band have gone from strength to strength, now having taken their live experience and new writing into the studio they have unleashed their debut album.

'It Begins' with a pointless intro, yes another fine example of a band who decide that the beginning of an album should have as a first seperate track the beginning of the second track. So 'Hell On Earth' starts us properly and is a very good song! Displaying an understanding of the genre and its roots this is a high energy, part speed metal, old school thrash metal workout, solid bass and drums, excellent riffing and a good vocal delivery.

Up next is the very rhythmic 'Psycho', the drums really drive this one creating the background for some great melody and expert riffing.

Have to say that 'Remote Controlled' has a touch of the NWOBHM about it, a much more mainstream early 80's sounding classic heavy metal song, reminiscent at times of those great British bands that influenced the original thrash genre.

'Close Mided' is a slower and darker sounding song, again not a great deal of thrash going on here but another solid heavy metal tune.

After the last two songs seemingly taking us on a different route the next song 'Raging Nightmare' nails the Thrash Metal colours to the wall, a full on thrash/speed hybrid that totally powers through the speakers!

It was all going so well then comes 'Deludium', again seriously? a one and a half minute acoustic intro to 'Mercenary', its one fucking song not two!
A shame in some ways because it turns into a near symphonic style of thrash at one point and possibly deserves more than im gonna say.

'Pray For Death', 'Reduced' and 'Overdrive' all return to the classic early thrash sound and then finally comes 'I See A Fire'.
This last song really ends the album in style, a superb mix of thrash/speed and those nWOBHM influences and manages to have an intro as part of the song!

So aside from my "Intro" issues this is a really good album, well sung, well played and well produced.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Megadeth, Amulet, Toxic Waltz, Annihilator

Monday, 10 August 2015

Vidian - Transgressing the Horizon (CD Review)

03.A Sad Place For Hopeless People
04.Breathe Out
05.It's Like It Cannot Be Broken
06.Temporary Life
08.The Horizon

Szymon Brazkiewicz (Vocals)
Adam Borys (Guitar)
Maciej Brzezinski (Drums)
Arkadiusz Orlowski (Guitar)
Aleksander Ziólkowski (Bass)

Polish metal band formed in 2008.
Cant tell you anymore as the bio supplied was in polish and there is no information on their facebook page.

Okay err, right. So we start with 'Control' a song of seven minutes that starts with near silence and the some strange distorted effects, then it blasts into some death metal meets metalcore riffs and screams and then goes "Lounge" with what sounds like trumpets and piano! I kid you not this is strange shit, then goes back to heavy and then some more piano.
No mention as to who is playing these instruments or if they are sampled from some early 1970's MOR collection.

'Overdose' seems to be a very rhythmic alsmost jazz/metal hybrid with agressive vocals and the next song after a slow start is fairly standard metalcore.

Up next is 'Breathe Out', what seems another standard song soon displays other influences, again you can detect some jazz rhythms and then comes some backing vocals that creates the kind of epic chorus' from the like of Turisas.

Mixing up everything from Doom to Nu-Metal, great backing vocals and delivered with measured anger.

'Temporary Life' has a laid back and melodic introduction, goes on for a while and just when you think they are throwing in another curve ball the metal is unleashed!

'Transgressing' and 'The Horizon' although they are laid down as two seperate songs they are essentially one song and this creates a massive and superb seventeen minute epic.
Starting with a slow and ambient intro and then launching into a very heavy piece, it then starts to build and create different sounds, ideas and layers, from the slow punchy powerchord style to neo-prog guitar workouts.
Towards the end of the first song there is some spoken word over guitar f/x and then a very quiet near classical ending. This carries through to the final song which then adds some, i suppose they call it "Post-Metal" stylings, personally i dont care what they call it as long as they keep making music this interesting and clever.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: System Of A Down, Mastodon, Hatebreed

Friday, 7 August 2015

Stahlmann - CO2 (CD Review)

03.Deutschland tanzt
04.Die Klinge
06.Friss mich
08.Wenn Engel tanzen
09.Der letzte Tag
10.Nimm meine Hand

Mart (Vocals/Programming)
Ablaz (Bass)
Frank (Guitar)
Max (Drums)

German band formed in 2008, they had an impressive start of their career: after the release of their debut EP "Herzschlag", the band around charismatic frontman Mart signed with AFM Records and worked on the release of their successful debut album "Stahlmann" which came out in autumn 2010.
Followed by numerous tours they soon convinced fans and critics.
With "Quecksilber" the success story began to fully unfold just over a year later.
Impressively managed to jump into the top 40 of the German Media Control Album Charts and it got topped again with their third album “Adamant” placed #34.

Beside their unique look (which quickly became a trademark) STAHLMANN also present their best songwriting and arrangements on “CO2” so far.
It is not too different from their previous works, but it shows a matured band that is able to put together an album full of hits.
In addition to the typical powerful musical style, catchy lyrics and Marts deep, distinctive voice, you can also find electrical and dubstep elements that will make the audience dance in the clubs again.

I suppose this is unfair of me, but all i hear here is Rammstein, first 3 songs are typical dance tinged/industrial rock tunes.
Track 4, 'Die Klinge' is more classical/symphonic, whilst the next one has a slightly funky bassline.

'Friss Mich' has that modern techno dance keyboard and drum machine sound and the rest are back to the standard industrial rock style.

So not much of a review, like i said its Rammstein and as they are not around at the moment they fill the gap.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Deathstars, The Bunny The Bear

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Slow Worm - The Inverse Ascent (CD Review)

01.Crypt Of The Vultures
03.Ego Twin Chrysalis
04.Where I Creep, The Light Is Shy

Tommy Tit (Guitar)
Samuel Esuna Root (Bass)
George Sanderon (Drums)
Max Mead (Guitar)
Alan O'Neill (Vocals)

Leicester based band formed in 2011, described as "Melodic weavers of cosmic despair, gazers into the occult dream void".

Starting with the 9 minute 'Crypt Of The Vultures' we are treated to a doom laden monster with soaring vocals. So lets just take a minute here and say "hoofuckinray!" because its real singing, not the usual grunts and growls, word written to be heard!
As the song progresses the music takes a huge leap back in time to the days of early proto doom/heavy prog.

For the first 5 minutes of 'Farther' we are treated to more of the same, the last 3 minutes are a much more laid back, spacey and psychedelic, basically one synth short of classic Hawkwind.

The oddly titled 'Ego Twin Chrysalis' is an epic trip through psych/doom, with some grunt vocals thrown in (but in this case they work well). This is 13 minutes of pure listening pleasure, quite beautiful with the harmony and guitar at times.
Towards the end the speed picks up, meaning that somehow they have managed to throw everything into this one, and it worked!

Finally 'Where I Creep, The Light Is Shy', this is a very ambient keyboard piece, an eerie, creepy and uneasy soundtrack to some long forgotten underground italian horror movie from the 1970's! Amazing stuff!!!

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Cathedral, Lucifer, Bloody Hammers, Uncle Acid & Deadbeats, Selim Lamouchi

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Doomed - Wrath Monolith (CD Review)

02.Our Ruin Silhouettes
03.Euphoria’s End
04.The Triumph – Spit
05.Looking Back
06.I’m Climbing

Pierre Laube (All Instruments/Vocals/Programming)
Yves Laube (Lead Guitar)
Andreas Böse (Drums)
Frenzy Pfeifer (Bass)

Guest Vocalists & Musicians:
Pim Blankenstein (Officium Triste)
Ed Warby (The 11th Hour)
Johan Ericson (Doom: VS)
Anny Bauermeister & Andreas Kaufmann (Hatespawn)
Grimo (Cytotoxin)

The fourth album of the German band formed back in 2011.Designed in the style of previous Doomed works, continues to present canonic doom death metal, rigid and uncompromising, but more vigorous in terms of performance. Guest vocalists, including Johan Ericson (Doom: VS) and Ed Warby (The 11th Hour), bring new paints and emotional colors to the album. At this time, however, changes occur in band ideology: this concept album considers the crisis of the modern world, with its conflicts and human sins, forcing musicians to reconsider the understanding of society and to seek ways out of this situation. Solution to all problems is on top of the Monolith. Monolith is growing every day, so it is impossible to reach the top..

'Paradoxon' starts with some nice classical piano and then launches into some epic funeral doom with a superb production quality not often heard with this genre.
Yes it still  has that low growl vocal style, however, the music just carries the whle thing, nice melodic breakdowns lead you nto some more furious death metal tinged elements before returning to melody and finally back to the funeral doom.

A change of pace with 'Our Ruin Silhouettes' which at times sounds more like symphonic metal, as does to a certain extent 'Euphoria’s End', both have very melodic and upbeat riffs and keyboard, only the vocal keeps it doomy.

Screeching birds? well thats what the intro to 'The Triumph - Spit' sounds like to me, but the music is a slow pounding headbanger of a song with a catchy keyboard and guitar sound. Add to this an evil sounding Death Metal vocal and this shapes up to a dark monster.

Another melodic doom workout with 'Looking Back' leads us into the final track 'Im Climbing' a short and nasty death metal/screamo piece, full of hate and anger yet keeping a melodic background through keyboard and guitar riffs.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Dread Sovereign, Cathedral, Serpentine Path, Primitive Man