Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Backstabbers - High Speed Rock & Roll EP (CD Review)

01.Ain't Going Home
03.One For The Road
04.This Town

Jesperi Mommo (Guitar/Vocals)
Aleksi Tiainen (Drums)
Roope Tapio (Bass)

The Backstabbers are a Rock n Roll trio formed 2013 in the heart of Lapland in Finland.
In the last two years they have managed to play over 50 shows in Finland.
So far they have released 2 Ep's and a single on Cd.
In September 2015 the band moved from the countryside of Lapland to Helsinki, the capital of Finland in order to get things rolling the big way.

This is a great little EP, full of hi energy heavy rock n roll, like a combination of old school AC/DC and early 80's Motorhead.
Strong gruff vocals are backed by punchy basslines, solid drums and huge fun guitar riffs.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Motorhead, AC/DC, Airborne, Chrome Division, The Cumshots

Monday, 28 September 2015

Malphas - Occult Propaganda EP (CD Review)

02.Occult Propaganda
03.Awaking Exelsi Luciferi

B (Vocals)
R (Guitar)
X (Guitar)
BW (Bass)
M (Drums)

Swiss Black Metal band formed in 2014.

Three pretty straight forward black metal songs, ticks the boxes with the modern take on the genre, though falls short of going the whole way with adding keyboards.
A bit dissapointed to be honest, was expecting Hellhammer type sounds.

Now thats not to say i didnt like it, because i did, its pure and honest, great guitarwork, nice timing changes and well produced.

Rating 8/10
For fans Of: Watain, Dissection, Marduk

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Silverblack -The Grand Turmoil (CD Review)

01.The Grand Turmoil
03.King-Size Vandalism
05.Make It Worth The Grime
06.As Good As Dead
07.Attic Hime
09.Great Expectations
10.Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better
11.Fragmentary Blue

Alession NeroArgento (Guitar/Vocals/Synths/Loops & Programming)
Claudio Ravinale (Vocals)
Ivan King (Bass)
Rob Gaia (Drums)
Nisha Sara (Keyboards)

Brought to life by the devious minds of the multi-instrumentalist and producer Alessio NeroArgento and vocalist Claudio Ravinale, the Italian band "The Silverblack" is an industrial metal creature that quickly developed its own malicious sound, spitting out extremely catchy industrial metal tracks, mainly keyboard-driven and supported by a wide range of vocals featuring both sharp and aggressive passages and more atmospheric and eerie moments.

After releasing the self-titled debut album in 2014 and recruiting Ivan King (Vita Museum), Rob Gaia (5 Star Grave, Airborn) and the performer Nisha Sara to complete the line-up, the band has recorded 11 brand new tracks (produced as usual by NeroArgento at AExeron Studios) for the second album entitled "The Grand Turmoil".
The new tracks refine further the band's formula melting together industrial beats, rot'n'roll assaults, gothic parts and metal onslaughts, sharpening and enhancing to a higher degree the already unique band's venomous sound.
Developing a deep, complex and layered sound "The Grand Turmoil" employs aggressive beats, prominent lead synth lines, alluring choruses, heavy guitars, feral vocals, harsh and nihilistic lyrics and a dirty and scorched post-apocalyptic feel providing a new consistency and depth to the band's ever expanding soundscape, redefining their already personal approach towards industrial metal without boundaries or limitations whatsoever.

What comes over is the quality of the production of some quite complex music, a mixture of BPM dancefloor rockers to full on agressive industrial workouts.

Hints of Nine Inch Nails lurk in the various songs, from lyrical content to mix of traditional instruments to electronic sampling.

Hard to pick a fave track here, its all good!!!!

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Nine Inch Nails, The Defiled, Rob Zombie, Skinny Puppy

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Meuchelmord - Apathie EP (CD Review)


Cernunnos (Guitar/Vocals/Drums/Bass/Keyboards)

One man depressive black metal from Germany, began in 2011 and after three releases went away in 2013.Now returning with this new EP.

Beautiful piano opening to 'Einklang', starts to give way to almost industrial metal sounds before moving into a brief black metal blast and then after a bit more piano we come to some evil screams and 'Seelenfrieden', with its quite uplifting and melodic backing, driven by a catchy guitar riff and some timing changes this shapes up into a great almost symphonic styled piece, yes its rough around the edges but not that depressing at all!

'Jahr' with its distortion and downtuned, slow and pounding rhythms is almost into sludge metal, however the growl vocal and piano soon return this to a dark and moody song. Great backing vocal effects help give this a ghostly feel as well.

It's strange but 'Apathie' with its upbeat drums and happy sounding guitar playing, somehow still manages to be an overall downbeat song, maybe its when all hell breaks loose and the heavy guitar riff comes in over the screaming vocal?

'Regeneration' is more of a "pure" black metal piece, the piano really comes through on this one, subtle but near perfection.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Castle, Triptykon, Balmog, Dryom, Axis Of Perdition

Monday, 21 September 2015

Mephorash - 1557 Rites Of Nullification (CD Review)

01.Riphyon- The Tree of Assiyah Putrescent
02.Phezur- Dissolving The Sea of Yetzirah
03.Cheidolun- Breaking The Blade of Beriah
04.Berberioth- Vandalising The Throne of Atziluth

Mishbar Bovmeph (Guitar/Bass)
Mashkelah M'Ralaa (Vocals)
Ayram Etaumiel (Guitar/Bass)
N.Tengner (Vocals)
Loqatzov Baasmu (Vocals)

Omega A.D (Vocals)
Archfiend DevilPig (Vocals)
Kaeffel (Vocals)

MEPHORASH, hailing from Sweden, has existed for five years and during this time they have gained a lot of ground. They have been working together with members of Ofermod, Malign, Embrace of Thorns, Acherontas, Fides Inversa and Hetroertzen. To mark this five year milestone they are now ready to unveil their best work so far "1557 - Rites of Nullification".

A review of the first epic, 'Riphyon- The Tree of Assiyah Putrescent' will stand as the same for all four songs.
Huge, epic well produced slabs of symphonic blackend metal, a mixture of influences throughout the music and death metal undertones.

With so many vocalists (all of whom seem to sound the same to me) i'm not quite sure why they needed so many?

Rating 6/10
For fans of: Ars Moriendi, Opera Diabolicus, Graveworm

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Chugun - Virus (CD Review)

02.Unholy Warrior
03.Sadistic Rites
07.Fall Of Mankind
08.Print In Blood
09.Evil Whiskey

Denise Jani (Vocals)
Timur Sizov (Guitar)
Alexey Saprikin (Bass)
Yahel Goldstein (Drums)

Chugun (meaning cast iron in Russian) was formed in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2010.
By the end of 2013 they had recorded and released three demo tracks and began preforming.
After only four shows they were one of five bands selected to participate in the 'Wacken Metal Battle' Israeli Finals.
The band's musical style combines the speed and savage aggression of old school Thrash and Death Metal along with the rhythmic elements of modern metal, to create fast, aggressive and intense music.
Recently, they completed recording their debut album "Virus".

Highly technical and quite brutal Death Metal, delieverd at high speed with a few added Thrash Elements mainly with the powerchord and rhythms.
Now add to this a screaming female vocal that would give Arch Enemy a fright and you have a solid and well executed album.

Rating 6/10
For fans of: Arch Enemy, DevilDriver

Friday, 18 September 2015

Hellight - Journey Through Endless Storm (CD Review)

01.Journey Through Endless Storm
02.Dive In The Dark
03.Distant Light That Fades
06.Beyond Stars
07.Shapeless Forms Of Emptiness
08.End Of Pain

Fabio De Paula (Vocals/Guitar)
Alexandre Vida (Bass)
Rafael Sade (Keyboards)

Doom metal band from Brazil formed in 1996. So with that huge amount of information from the PR department of their record company let's go straight to the review.

'Journey Through Endless Storm' has a very atmospheric start and quickly becomes this classical soundscape that decends into a slow, pounding doom monster with each thump of the drum or powerchord comes a high pitched keyboard note as well. The vocals whilst typical dark/growl and not as harsh as many from the genre and therefore easier on the ear.
Towards the end some pretty epic clean singing and some impressive guitar playing.

Fairly straight forward symphonic/doom with 'Drive In The Dark', lifted once more by some powerful vocals.

Taking an even darker route comes 'Distant Light That Fades' were it not for the uplifting guitar and keyboards towards the end then this would be more Funeral doom as opposed to what i would say has some gothic rock influence.

Nice piano intro to 'Time' which gives way to some more slightly high pitched keyboard notes, as this one goes on you start to get this great chorus backing and some near prog rock levels of song building.

'Cemetherapy' is more funeral doom, as is 'Beyond Stars', though the latter has some pretty heavy dual pedal programming towards the end.

'Shapeless Forms Of Emptiness' is very heavy and totally keyboard dominated like the proto doom bands of the early 1970's but with feet firmly placed in the now.

We end with a short near instrumental 'End Of Pain', with very classical overtones and a female harmony vocal, though i dont know who by?

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Doomed, Serpentine Path, Il Vuoto, Nortt

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Ohrenfeindt - Motor An! (CD Review)

01.Zeit Für Rock’n’Roll
03.Die Hoffnung Stirbt Zuletzt
04.Nimm Die Kohle Und Renn
05.Gib Mir Mein Problem Zurück
06.Früh Oder Später
07.Motor An!
09.Für Rock’n’Roll Gebaut
10.Reich Würde Schon Reichen

Chris Laut (Bass/Vocals)
Andi Rohde (Drums)
Pierre "Keule" Blesse (Guitar)

German rock band formed in 1994.
It’s like a well-tried recipe that never gets old: Take three or four loud riffs, a pounding rhythm section, dirty guitars and the typical sound of the producer duo Olman Viper and singer/bassplayer Chris Laut, who once again worked successfully together on this album in the Hertzwerk Nullzwei Studios in Hamburg, Germany.
This time drummer Andi Rohde and guitar player Pierre “Keule” Blesse were also involved in the song writing process and the result is better than ever!
Three guys, two words, one mission: MOTOR AN! (Which literally means “Start the engine!”)

To be honest there is little i can add in terms of this review to the one i did for their previous album "Auf Die Fresse Ist Umsonst" back in july 2013.
It's an album of Ac/Dc meets Rose Tattoo with a hint of Hanoi Rocks, all sung in German (Not a problem for Rammsteins world domintaion).

This time around there doesnt appear to be any guest musicians, just the band themselves doing what they do best.

Rating 8/10
For afns of: Ac/Dc, Airbourne, Rose Tattoo

Monday, 14 September 2015

Magen - Thoughts In Greyscale EP (CD Review)

03.Smother Me Gently
04.A Shape In The Wood

Ethel Feigman (Vocals)
Gal Shnaider (Guitar)
Naor Zakhaim (Guitar)
Ari Dorot (Bass)
Tommy Tenenbaum (Drums)

Magen is an Israeli band formed in october 2012, best described as a combination of Alternative Metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock with elements from Jazz, swing and other classic genres.
Their attitude is: "Rock & Roll, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Prog and whatever we'll feel like in the future".

'Greyscale' starts with near Doom metal chords and drum beats, then it goes all quiet and starts to get this metalcore meets indie vibe.
Quirky basslines and rhythmic drum patterns drive this one along and it's all completed with a strong original sounding female vocal.

Basically the song 'Hinder' is more of that "metalcore" stuff, a sort of pop metal hybrid, not really my thing but the next track 'Smother Me Gently' has a little more to offer, some clever breakdowns and timing changes.

Finally 'A Shape in The Wood' a great swing inspired pop rocker, really upbeat and one i have no doubt is a live fave.

Not as complex as i was expecting from their biography, but still a good solid Ep.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: In This Moment, A Perfect Circle.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Warfield - Call To War EP (CD Review)

01.Call To War
02.Killing Ecstasy
03.Terror Will Prevail
04.Under The Surface

Johannes Clemens (Vocals)
Matthias Clemens (Guitar)
Dominic Potts (Guitar)
Ethan Stokes (Bass)
Dominik Marx (Drums)

The first band's formation took place with the introduction of bassist Frederik Pütz
at the beginning of 2012, after Johannes, Matthias and Dominik had already played together.
After a few appearances, Dominic joined the band in the fall of 2013 to occupy the 2nd guitar slot.
In spring 2014, followed by other gigs, the work for the Debut EP "Call to War" had begun, which was released in october 2014.
Shortly thereafter Frederik Pütz had to leave the band because of time problems and
was replaced by Ethan at the beginning of 2015.

So 'Call To War' kicks off this Ep in some style, classic old school Thrash Metal, every timing change and riff perfectly placed, vocals are a bit gruff but that still (just) works, same can be said of 'Killing Ecstasy'.

Picking up the space and mixing Thrash with Speed Metal comes the slayerish 'Terror Will Prevail', this one ticks the boxes in terms of pace and again those timing changes, i was waiting for and got the dual guitar solos towards the end.

'Under The Surface' slows things down a bit, full of punchy rhythms and the vocal style is now starting to settle down and that is more apparent on the last track 'Martyr' the Slayer influence even more obvious and that vocal has the Tom snarl from the show no mercy days.
More epic riffing draws this to a close and an enjoyable trip back towards the birth of the movement by a bunch of guys who were not even born during the decade (or the following one )it started!

For afns of: Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Evile, Elimination, Virus

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Chiral - Night Sky (CD Review)

01.My Temple Of Isolation
02.Nightside 1 : Everblack Fields
03.Nightside 2 : Sky Wonder
04.The Morning Passage
05.Beneath The Snow & The Fallen Leaves

Chiral (All Instruments/Vocals)

Chiral is an Italian one-man band, from the countryside near Piacenza, started at the end of 2013.
Chiral incorporates musical elements of the North-East USA Cascadian Black Metal (like Wolves In The Throne Room and Agalloch), atmospheric as well as raw black metal influences (like old Burzum and Ulver) with a special taste for acoustic instruments by the likes of Opeth and Falls of Rauros.
The lyrical themes are mainly based on introspection, nature, solitude, pain, death and even love.

If you like 10 minutes of superb acoustic folk, catchy riffs and short blasts of black metal then 'My Temple Of Isolation' is the perfect way to go.
Its a stunning and brilliant mix of styles with perfect production.

'Nightside 1 : Everblack Fields' takes us into a different sound, this is near symphonic with epic keyboards and synthersizers, whilst 'Nightside 2 : Sky Wonder' continues this theme it adds more in the way of guitar and drum and towards the end returns to the black metal.

Very laid back and acoustic comes 'The Morning Passage', this one even has harmonica on it, its a simple but interesting instrumetal.

Finally 'Beneath The Snow & The Fallen Leaves' is another great melodic, laid back piece, at times almost progressive yet somehow it retains that black metal edge.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Burzum Wolves In The Throne Room, HaatE, Ulver, Goblin

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Devil's Dice - Libertarian (CD Review)

01.Feed The Flames
02.Passive Resistance
03.I Walk Alone
04.Forbidden Memory
06.Chameleon (Right About You)
07.Hour Of The Wolf
08.Destiny Calling
09.Hangin' On Too Long
10.The Grudge
11.Matter Of Faith

Matt Gore (Vocals)
David Clark (Guitar/Bass/Drum Programming)
Chris Webb (Guitar/Drum Programming)

Formed in 2005 in Birmingham by David Clark and Chris Webb; many incarnations followed in the search to complete the line-up, but with many songs written and ready to go, Dave and Chris began laying down songs at Arkham Studios in 2009 on a part time basis, with Alex Cooper producing. In summer 2013 after a long and arduous search, Matt Gore came into the picture, with a voice capable of doing the music justice. Since then the band have been recording their debut album.

'Feed The Flames' a solid classic rock song delivered in the style of a post 1981 NWOBHM band. Solid riffs, excellent vocals and a nice guitar solo.
This comes with a "But" and that is the drum programming, yes it carries the required rhythms needed to drive the song but there is no substitute for a real drummer when it comes to rock music, the tinny sound of the hi hat and the fake snare and bass drum hits just dont sit right.

Ingnoring the drum sound and 'Passive Resistence' is another great hard rock song, this one really has pace and some more excellent riffing.

Next track to really stand out is 'Libertarian', like a late night rock radio classic, this one has mood and maidenesque riffs in abundance a perfect guitar solo just gives me more to like and then that down feeling when that drum machine becomes so obvious.

The erst of the album is the same, brilliant vocals, guitar, some nice bass playing comes through the mix as well, nothing to fault or dislike here at all just that the drum sound doesnt fit the genre, that what stops this getting a 10/10 review, so get a drummer!

Rating 7/10
For fans of: The Deep, Weapon UK, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Amulet, Cavalar

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Day Of Locusts - From The Gutter To The Gods (CD Review)

02.Beyond The Zero
03.Misery Swallowed Whole
04.Through The Eyes Of Daedalus
06.And The Wages Of Sin Is Death
07.War Nam Nihadan
08.Damnation Of Memory

Simon Neill (Guitar/Vocals)
Leon Heinimann (Bass)
Dave Guy (Drums)

Hailing from London and loaded with Molten sludge riffs, neurotic time signatures and layers of heaviness.
The band back first came tgether in 2008 when Dave from 'Kopperhed' joined with Simon and Leon from 'Living with Disfigurement', after initial sessions and gigs they went into the studios in June 2010.

Metal and mania crafting entailed and early in 2011 'Ascent, Fire, Failure & Blood' was released to an unsuspecting public and recieved a 10/10 review from me (day-of-locusts-ascent-fire-failure).

Since then they have gone from strength to strength playing all over europe with their amazing mix of Prog and Doom/Sludge described as a mixture of Pink Floyd and Crowbar.

What initally sounds like a soundtrack from a movie quikly turns into something much darker, has to be said that 'MMXV' with its infectious drum pattern starts to build into this brooding and raw song, no vocals however, just a very cold spoken passage about the "intoxication of power".

Up next is the raw and powerful 'Beyond The Zero' a twelve minute sludge/doom monster with tortured vocals and never ending punchy guitar chords, each matched by a huge drum hit and flowing basslines. Then just as it seems to build we are treated to some beautiful acoustic guitar and laid back melodic music comes in waves through the speakers, only to be interrupted by a powerchord that kills speakers and a return to the sludge/doom, which at times borders on early death metal rhythms as well.

'Misery Swallowed Whole' offers a different sound, almost symphonic to start with with more excellent acoustic guitar this starts to have a progressive feel and at fourteen minutes long and just two minutes into it we have had a timing change and now some pretty agressive guitar riffs and vocal.
As the song progresses the rhythms change whilst retaining that solid guitar sound, the dual effect creating this amazing "big" sound, until it changes again and goes quiet.
Melodic almost jazz timing with the drums and punchy basswork melt into this almost proto thrash sound and then finally a relaxing and laid back finale.

Stunning mix of folk and prog kick off 'Through The Eyes Of Daedalus', such harmony on the vocals i am lulled into this laid back sound, then the noisey buggers go and get all heavy and agressive!
But the superb folk/prog harmony and music returns, they seriously do this style very well and towards the end manage to cleverly blend it all together.

'Apokalypsis' is more folk/prog, this one is just an instrumental, nothing short of superb, brilliant production brings the guitars to this near etherial level, but as i have now come to expect they never keep you relaxed for long and totally blast the braincells with 'And The Wages Of Sin Is Death' the nearest they have come to a proto thrash/death metal song, full on riffs and screaming vocals and some interesting effects with backing vocals as well.

'War Nam Nihadan' is a weird little piece, not sure if the sounds are made by a synth or guitar pedals, very trippy and un-nerving and goes straight into the final fourteen minutes with 'Damnation Of Memory'.
This one has everything in it, starting with amazing pink floyd style guitarwork over laid back drum patterns, just perfect, then comes the agression complete with elements of almost every sub genre of heavy metal from doom to black and beyond, all the time keeping this progressive background, harmony backing vocals and near orchestration. Then kicks in a new drum rhythm and powerchords and a blackend death monster appears, this then flows so well into another floydish guitar riff, which in turn gives way once more to heavy powerchords and crunching rhythms.
We end the song as we began with another cold spoken piece, bringing to a close one of the most accomplished albums i have heard this year.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Melvins, Cathedral, Reverend Bizzare, Triptykon, Mastodon, Crowbar, Eyehategod

Monday, 7 September 2015

Deadspace - The Promise Of Oblivion (CD Review)

01.The Promise Of Oblivion
02.With Tears Of Callous Lust
03.I'll Buy The Rope
04.The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain
07.Pain's Grey
08.In The Coldness Of The Darkest Night

Ben Stanley (Drums)
Shelby Jansen (Guitar)
Nish Raghavan (Guitar)
Oliver Royer (Guitar)
Chris Gebauer (Vocals)

Deadspace is an ambient depressive black metal band from Perth, Western Australia.formed in 2014.

With the debut record “The Promise of Oblivion” already under their belts, the outfit have a distinctly cohesive, yet sporadic weapon at their disposal.

Combining a smorgasbord of misery drenched vocals, treacherously uplifting melodies and driving percussive integrity.

Well thats a surprise: piano and no musician listed in the bio? However 'The Promise Of Oblivion' may have some quite brilliant symphonic styled black metal for its backing, but the screaming vocals do not reach my ears in a good way.

The vocals are a lot better on 'With Tears Of Callous Lust' well when he sings properly anyway, this one has an old Cradle of filth feel to it musically.

'The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain' is an outstanding track, beautiful orchestration, stunning laid back guitarwork, and limited vocal screaming!

You know if the vocals were not so screaming/tortured and off putting then this would have been a stunning album, the music is brilliant as are the arrangements and production.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Cradle Of Filth, Formicarius, Dimmu Borgir, Bathory

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Show Me Wolves - Between Man, God And False Idols (CD Review)

01.The Lies Of His Sons
02.Amongst Us
03.False Beings
04.Sea Of Trees
05.Unknown Reflection
06.Steps Into Oblivian
07.Beyond The Sun
08.From Ice To Fire

Hörður Lúðvíksson (All Instruments/Vocals)

Jón Már Ásbjörnsson (Vocals)

Show Me Wolves is a solo project which was created in February 2015 by Hörður Lúðvíksson, and Icelandic musician from the North of Iceland but currently located in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Hörður is not unfamiliar to the Icelandic underground music scene but he has been part of bands like Offerings, Provoke and is currently a guitarist for the hardcore/grindcore band Grit Teeth. The band Show Me Wolves does not think much about following a specific music genre but tries to stay within the black/death/progmetal scene.

'The Lies Of His Sons' has some news reporter at the beginning this sets the scene for a solid but pretty mainstream sounding first song, which may have black metal as its influence but is delivered in a more traditional hard rock style.

The next song 'Amongst Us' explodes from the off, full on drums and riffs and much more reminiscent of early Black Metal.

'False Beings' is a song in two styles, the first part is again in the style of Black Metal but the second part is more complex and progressive.

The next few songs dont seem to add much to whats gone before, a sort of melodic and well produced black metal, but then comes 'Beyond the Sun'.
This is an outstanding track, leaning towards power metal with a superb vocal delivery, pounding rhythms and excellent guitar work make this a refreshing change from the other ones.

The final track returns us to more of the same.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Satyricon, Formicarius, Diabolous Arcanium

Friday, 4 September 2015

Horisont - Odyssey (CD Review)

02.Break The Limit
03.Blind Leder Blind
04.Bad News
05.Light My Way
06.The Night Stalker
08.Back On The Streets
09.Beyond The Sun
10.Red Light
11.Städer Brinner

Axel (Vocals)
Charles (Guitar)
Tom (Guitar)
Magnus (Bass)
Pontus (Drums)

From Sweden, formed in 2006.
Their sound that harks back to the dawn of the 70s, when a new clutch of heads decided it was time to harsh the 60s hippies’ mellow and paint it black; those years when the twin spirit of hard rock and prog rose to redefine sound.

In their earlier years Horisont looked and sounded like the last guys standing at the world’s wildest and darkest party; these are the tight bro’s who laced the punch, torched the dance-floor and rode off into the night on their roaring hogs in a puff of green smoke. “Put the five soldiers of Horisont in a time machine 50 years ahead of time and we would still rock the silver socks of any future man, woman or robot,” frontman Axel once declared.

This quintet’s rock trip might be retro but their songwriting is timeless; a good melody lives forever and Horisont have songs in abundance. New album Odyssey is exactly as its title suggests: an epic journey into the known. A sonic trip. A mighty voyage of sound. You could even call their fourth full release a concept album - although they themselves prefer “space saga”. Either way it’s a brave band who open their album with a ten minute-long track, yet on the album’s title track Horisont dive straight into the deep end, delivering space-rock with all the dexterity and deftness of the very best prog rock’s finest, such as early Yes or Kansas.

In the promo pictures i was sent i noticed that their was something weird about their eyes, and then i remembered that i had seen the same thing on the Sharks album 'Jab it in your eye' from 1974.

So start an album with a ten minute retro sounding epic? Yep 'Odyssey' is pure nostalgia they re create a typical mid 70's american/canadian prog sound, think of Kansas and Neil Merryweather via Starcastle and if you dont know who i am talking about then i doubt this album will be for you.
Brilliant timing changes, nice keyboard work, epic guitarwork and soaring vocals.

'Break The Limit' this really reminds me of Yes, intricate bass playing over tight rhythms and another soaring vocal performance.

Sticking to a more mainstream rock sound with 'Blind leder Blind' the second half of which turns into a very laid back and melodic almost country rock ballad.

'Bad News' and 'Light My Way' are more upbeat heavy rock songs, again nice guitarwork and production and perhaps i should say re-production of the classic 70's rock sound.

Cant belive they stuck a ballad on this album, but then i suppose many bands did back in the old days, that said 'The Night Stalker' is well done, just not really a ballad kinda guy.

Great spanish guitar intro to 'Flying', perhaps not surprising that it has more than a hint of early period uk rock band UFO about it.

Sorry if this review is lacking in lots of things to say about the band, its just each track just takes you back to remembering other bands from the great days of rock, so with that said 'Back On The Streets' could be Lynyrd Skynyrds style of southern rock, even the dual guitar sound.

'Beyond The Sun' has that space rock feel even though there is no twirling synths on offer.

'Städer Brinner' may be the nearest song so far to have an original sound about it, even though you can detect the obvious influences, this one has a more up to date sounding production and construction its a shame that the final song does not carry this idea onwards, instead it returns to the 70's.

So yes its retro, but its so well done, a band who clearly understand their music and there are not too many of those around these days.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Saturn, UFO, Rush, Kansas, Pyogenesis, Lucifer, Witchcraft

Thursday, 3 September 2015

IL Vuoto - Weakness (CD Review)

01.And Night Devours Me
02.The Harvest
03.Sea Of Emptiness
04.And Night Took Her
05.Through Mirrors I Saw The Ghost Of Me
06.I, Essence Of Nothingness
07.Closure XVII

Il Vuoto (All Instruments/Vocals)

Jurre Timmer (Sorrow and Lamentations)

After two demos released previously this year, Weakness is the first full length from Funeral Doom Metal one-man band, Il Vuoto from italy.

Depressing and super-slow doom metal, with a soft drone vein and symphonic elements,
Jurre Timmer of 'Algos' returns on guest vocals, having previously sung on the Sea Of Emptiness demo released this may.

'And Night Devours Me' has this wondeful piano beginning which goes into some stunning and atmospheric music. When the drums and guitars really kick in, this remains a slow, dark and highly melodic ten minutes.
The dark vocals are backed by some fantastic choral work.

A change of pace with 'The Harvest' which is a funeral doom/black metal styled song, painful and slow and very evil.

Returning to more melodic territory is 'Sea Of Emptiness', of course when i say melodic i mean in terms of the backing music, the vocals are very gruff.
The second half of the song has some jazzy guitarwork, nice piano and some spoken word bits.

Strange mix of piano and violin on the short instrumental 'And Night Took Her' is followed by a quiet, melodic almost gothic piece.

Another ten minute monster next with 'I, Essence Of Nothingness', at times this ventures into near progressive rock, a clever and well thought out piece that has the heavy elements of black metal and doom but the melody and structure of neo-prog, outstanding guitarwork at times.

Perhaps 'Closure XVII' is the perfect way to end, a short classical piece with piano and violins.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Shape of Despai, Nortt, Monumentum

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Gravesite - Horrifying Nightmares (CD Review)

01.Anguished Sleep
02.Submerged In Vomit
03.Horrifying Nightmares Of Flesh & Blood
04.I Want To Rot
05.The Painter Of Agonies
06.Where Mortals Fear To Thread
07.Curse Of The Red Moon
08.Worship Death In All Its Forms
09.Suscipe Mortem

Gioele (Guitar)
Gabri (vocals)
Claudio (Bass)
David (Drums)

old school death metal with punk attitude from Bologna.
Gravesite is a death metal band born from the ashes of Undead Creep in 2014. Members of Haemophagus, Cancer Spreading and Bland Vargar (among others) play in this project. First 3-track demo called "Obsessed By The Macabre" has been recorded during was days in May 2014 and released on tape by Iconoclast Records in September 2014.

Wel i dont get the punk attitude bit that was in their biography, this is straight forward old style death metal with hints of early black metal.
A little more structure and rhythm in some of the songs than you ususally get and the last one 'Suscipe Mortem' with its hints of Doom is by far my fave here.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death