Face Down Hero – ‘False Evidence Appearing real’

June 22, 2017

This latest release, their 6th album so far, comes a long awaited 3 years after their last – ‘Product Of Injustice’, is self produced, along with Martin Buchwalter, their long-standing producer. Mixed and mastered at Gernhart Studio, Troisdorf. Founded in 2004, Face Down Hero are thrash metal, with an open-minded view and a freestyle approach. ‘F.E.A.R.’ shows, once more, their eclectic form of writing. Artwork by Felix Backer, modernising the band’s artistic presentation. The lyrics are largely related to the bands’ perspective of modern society and the panic/fear culture ingrained within it – though the lyrical emphasis is also on love and hope; demonstrating other possibilities within their work. ‘F.E.A.R.’ is their broadest, bravest work yet.

Nation Fractured – Unexpected intro – quite a subdued, melancholic initial sound, before gradually giving way to a higher, more uplifting vibration, with plenty of melody and a very satisfyingly heavy thrash section. Making the most of each component, it all blends together really impressively, cohesively and dare I say it? Catchily. This is one fun track and I’m glad I found F.D.H.

Last Exit Call – Getting right into a classic thrash sound, straight away, you know you’re going to enjoy this and you’re right. Melodic, thrashy, good track length, performed with loads of passion, bags of energy and infectious enthusiasm. All the right ingredients. Proper head-banging, air guitar, sing along, drum along escapism. Thrash lover’s heaven. I need more of this.

The Newborn Me – Opening up with an incendiary riff, killing it already. Great sounding vocals, heaviness abounds. Neat inclusion of the line from ‘Sound Of Silence’. So fitting there and showcasing perfectly, the contrast of light and dark. Hugely exciting riffage, of epically orgasmic proportions and needless to say, you’ll want at least one re-run.

Goodbye To All Heroes – Piano solo intro, capturing a brilliant sense of pathos, joined by equally heartfelt female vocals, so briefly, before being overtaken by the harder, thrashy male vocals, injecting so much energetic variation. A clear sense of feeling just pours through it, so well emphasised by those hauntingly beautiful female guest vocals, returning for the finale, in conjunction with the piano, into which so much emotion is poured – particularly during that palpably heartfelt heavy finale. The musical equivalent of feeling someone sinking and crashing through the floor. To be able to portray that sense, through thrash metal is a rare skill indeed.

Peddlars Of Fear – Crashing into life, with a complete change of scene, this is a brilliant reflection of Metallica’s ‘Fight Fire With Fire’, Ride The Lightning era. All fans of classic mosh pit thrash will love it. Massively vibrant, uplifting and vividly colourful – one for your collection of therapeutic release go to’s. Viking metal converts will dig it too. Just an awesome display of metal attitude, dexterity and sheer exuberance.

Legion – Now you’re gonna wonder what’s going on, but all is soon revealed, after the bizarrely curious intro, as more hard-line metal happily follows. Well titled, it’s an aptly strong song, filled with conviction and true metal cred, it rocks hard. Then some. Lots more. Magically mood enhancing riffage, catchy as hell vocals and thrash perfected drumming – it’s incredible.

Wolfchild – Introing now with a true old school riff, classic rock style. It wastes no time in getting down to business and sending out its message – metal all the way. Heaviness rules and it’s raining metal. Slayer, eat your heart out! This is a goldmine of metallic pleasure, worthy of the late Jeff Hannemann himself. Another well titled track. It says it all and that close will literally reverberate right through you.

Echoes Of The Sun – Darkness returns, reminding us of the other side of the light and the inherent beauty within it, before the light comes back again, bringing relief and safety with it. A really special song, encapsulating so many shades of colour, darkness and light, you’ll just want to drink it in and keep it in. Pure metallic beauty, crafted with such utter sensitivity and insight and it just bleeds right through it. Prepare to be spellbound.

When A Promise Becomes A Lie – Bang! Laying down the thrash metal insanity, out comes the party stuff! The perfect closer, brilliantly executed, it’s just 100% metal and it rocks it to the ground. Warlike drumming, lightning fast riffs, screaming, singing guitars and all-out fun, free thrash metal vocals. There couldn’t be more truth in that final line, ‘you must believe’. I do. 110%).

Overall – Fuck me, this is immense! If thrash metal songs were stars, this would be the brightest star in the firmament. Quite simply divine. There’s nothing to dislike here and nine tracks of solid thrash, to love. One of my best finds this year. Enough talking. Go get it. Now.

10/10 **********

For fans of Metallica, Megadeth, Reign Of Fury, Die No More, Slayer, Pantera, Anthrax, Testament, WASP, anyone who’s anyone in the world of thrash metal.

http://www.facebook.com/facedownhero

http://www.facedownhero.de

Available now on Yonah Records.

Lock Howl – ‘Pareidolia’

June 16, 2017

Solo goth post punk project ‘Pareidolia’, by Lock Howl, (James Mcbain), from Aberdeen, Scotland, was released on Feb 17th 2017, on Occult Whispers Records and Granite Factory Records. Influences include: Editors, Opeth, Beastmilk, Type O Negative, In Solitude, Joy Division, etc. Its’ style is defined as reverb drenched gothic post punk. A debut EP was released in 2015 – a few well received gigs followed. Production work for ‘Pareidolia’, the new full length album, has taken place throughout 2016.

The Seventh Room – Creepy, sinister intro, moving, with ease, from whispered vocals, to sung, gothic style, with melodic punk/goth instrumentals and plenty of atmosphere. Dark, eerie and haunting. Very much in the style of Nick Cave, trapped in the Addams Family’s house, being forced to compete for the scariest person present award.

Echoes From The Chemical Void – Immediate melody, in a flawless performance, retaining the sinister edge and introducing a stronger drum presence. Spooky overtones characterise the track, creating a memorably darkened emphasis.

Nephilim – Launching right in, with a more upbeat tone and catchier verse, bringing in an easier rhythm and a clear sound of more varied influences, opening up the song, more obviously. Still losing nothing of that melancholy thread. For a one man band, it’s an impressive instrumental sound combo. Deftly handled, quite a feat of musicianship.

Into The Darkness Into The Unknown – Increasing the volume, speed and catch instantly, here, it successfully deviates from the previous style, showing its musical chops and further evidence of a more varied set of influences. Returning, 3/4 in, to the original haunting feel, whilst continuing the quickened pace, it leaves an impression of real musical capability, in particular, ability to handle a wide range of styles and structures, unfazed.

Graveless – Again, a faster riff melody and subtle, yet noticeable experiments with black metal vocals, towards the most extreme end of the scale. Good, rapid pace, holding attention, whilst still scaring the wits out of you and even including some hauntingly ghost-like power screams. An admirable accomplishment.

Lost In The Static – Now we’re talking riffage! Great opening, even with the deeply melancholic sense that penetrates the rest of the track. There’s an airy feel to the sound in here – a sense of letting the song breathe. Ending on a power riff of the same haunting quality as much of the song, all the time, overlaid by that stark darkness, enveloping you, like a shroud.

And She Was Found By The Lake – Another creepily dark intro, once again, echoing Nick Cave, with all the same anticipation of doom inherent within it. It does move, briefly, into a more metal-core area, before returning once more, to the combined influences of gothic and melodic, just in case you were hoping the darkness might lift, some time soon. Just to assure the staunch goth fans out there, it doesn’t.

Her – OK, here we have a satisfyingly chase like pace, melodically interred, within the blacker landscape of impending and eternal doom. It’s soon overlaid by doom itself, though it’s still immensely and multi-talented and there’s no denying that, or the sheen of it’s presentation.

Overall – A well produced gothic experience, of doom and darkness, complete with stark visual imagery and extreme melancholia. As a solo effort, it’s a fine piece of work,  speaking volumes about the talents and dedicated fascinations of the artist. In enjoyability stakes, it’s definitely one for the true goth enthusiasts and is evidently much more gothic than punk. Impressive in its’ diversity, but too dark for anyone but those with the darkest tastes.

7/10 *******

For fans of Trivax, Gethika, Ghost, Gravehuffer, Satarial, Candlemass, Venom.

https://www.facebook.com/LockHowlBand/

Available now on Occult Whispers Records and Granite Factory Records.

 

Zeit – ‘Konvergenz’

June 15, 2017

Introducing ‘Konvergenz’, the debut album from German black sludge metallers Zeit. Formed in 2010, utilising elements of sludge and doom, their music always aims to return to black metal. Beginning as a two-piece band, aspiring to a unique black metal sound, incorporating sounds from outside of that genre, their previous musical themes have included urban solitude, resulting in a 2013 demo. By the close of that year, the bassist had joined the band, completing the line-up and 2015 saw them launch their second EP, ‘Trummer’, (debris). Various influences have been used, from the interests of the entire band and consequently, a broader approach has been taken to the expressive styles and creativity within their music. Towards the end of 2015, Zeit launched the last part of their Wintersturm EP trilogy. New material was then produced for ‘Konvergenz’. Recorded and mixed in Leipzig and mastered in Hamburg, ‘Konvergenz’ brings things full circle, stylistically and creatively.

Velzerrt – Surprisingly beautiful relaxed intro, for the briefest of moments, before launching into the fiery hell fest that characterises their sound instantly. Combined with the stand-out, nail-swallowing vocals, it’s a stunningly powerful sound. Imagine Brian Johnson, with glass in his throat and combine that with an instrumental battle (sound) and you’re there.

Rand – Opening with a not often used rhythmic percussion solo, moving with fluid ease from there, into full on rhythm section, accompanying the razor blade vocals, it’s immediately obvious how accomplished these guys are. They need no help in carrying off their confident, smoothly delivered performance. There’s something undeniably consummate about these guys, increasing their listenability and ultimately, their professional approach to their songs.

Nichts – Booming, solid intro, heavy as lead and hard as nails. Clearly a purposeful emphasis on rhythm and pace here, with a strong beat element and almost tribal feel overlaying it. The sound of this track will almost certainly appeal to fans of Viking metal, yet also to those of a more melodic inclination, since the combined influences are audible, becoming more so throughout. Real skill and patience has been invested in the structure and arrangements and the audible outcome’s impressive, to say the least.

Trub/Trueb – Laying down a palpably dark, heavy bass line, at the outset, this holds a particularly blackened sound. Unexpectedly, though, it moves, intermittently, away from the blackness, injecting a lighter section, so subtle, it’s almost hidden. It soon becomes apparent, though, that it’s the darkness which holds the greatest interest and focus here. There’s a competence of touch, throughout, creating faultless performances and a refusal to be complacent.

Weiter – Straight in there, as if there’s been no beginning, in the most practised way, indicative of absolute solidified craftsmanship. Again, you’ll hear that Viking element, creating such visionary insight, that the imagery alone is almost enough. Ending on an unarguable heaviness, there’s just no room for doubt or uncertainty here.

Kalt – Mega riff intro, melodic and all-powerful. Soon accompanied by more gravel- encrusted vocal gymnastics, upping the pace, to a catchier tempo, it screams and rages black extremity, specifying it in the edgiest way.

Unten – Opening again, with a groovier, more melodic slant, moving seamlessly and easily, to melody, without ever losing the heaviness. Tribal drum rolls, head-banging mosh pit territory and glass shredded vocals, one thing this doesn’t do is compromise – on heaviness, darkness, speed, or any other factor, for that matter. Hard as hell, but still catchy enough to be enjoyable.

Latenz – Unusually, for a black metal offering, the intro carries a distinct Foo Fighters-esque sound/thread, which, deliberate or not, reminds me noticeably, of ‘Long Road To Ruin’, in itself, throwing in a fun, involving thread, hard to criticise. It’s possibly closing track syndrome, compelling them to end on a lighter note, but either way, it works.

Overall – An uncompromising, eye-opening zinger of an album, complete with experimental variations and bold sweeps of imagination.

8/10 ********

For fans of Viking and Pirate metal, black, death and melo-death, melodic and thrash metal.

Released June 2nd, 2017.

Smoke Mountain – ‘Self Titled’

June 12, 2017

Introducing Smoke Mountain’s self titled 3 track EP, released on May 1st. From Tallahassee, Florida, female fronted stoner/doomsters Smoke Mountain formed in 2015 and plan a full-length album this year.

Demon – Bizarre intro there, consisting of an oration about the world of witches and witchcraft, demonstrating the misguided beliefs still held about it by some. Launching straight into the song, following the public address, it’s standard stoner/doom rock filler, conveyed through decent enough vocals, with more percussion elements than usual. Slightly tinny, but adequate background material.

Violent Night – Growing darker and heavier, this is heading in the right direction for its own aims and for doom/stoner fans, looking to drown out the world. There’s an obvious improvement in the quality here, even injecting a noticeable nod to Sab’s ‘Snowblind’ in there. It’s slightly repetitive and could definitely do with more work on the verses, but sound-wise, it’s along the right lines.

Smoke Mountain – Getting there now, it’s becoming progressively doomier.  There’s an undeniable darkness and clear efforts in performance terms, but don’t get too excited, as it still lacks that spark of life. Samey beat throughout, which, in itself, could make an obvious difference, with some variations thrown in. On a positive note, Sarah hits some fairly difficult notes well and her voice is well-suited to the genre. The repetitive choruses do let it down, though, as do the monotonous instrumentals, which could benefit hugely, from being livened up, with a few key changes and some tempo alternations, here and there.

Overall – An adequate effort, which would work okay as background noise, but definitely all filler, no killer. In the right hands, stoner/doom can be exciting, inspiring, uplifting and fun. In those terms alone, I think ‘S.M.’ has missed the point. Doom metal doesn’t have to be doom inducing.

5/10 *****

For fans of generic doom/stoner metal and female fronted Brit-rock, such as Garbage.

http://www.smokemountaindoom.com

http://www.smokemountaindoom.bandcamp.com

Torqued – ‘Hollow Core’

June 9, 2017

Torqued are a 3 piece band, from South West UK, playing hard heavy-metal, with plenty of grooves. They’re formed from former members of: Frantic, Create Chaos, Vitriolic, Lex Umbra and Mad Hatter 2.0. Already having played Mosh Against Cancer Coventry and Uprising, their forthcoming gigs are: Wildfire Fest, Amplified Fest, The Midlands Metal Crusade, Facebarmageddon and Bloodstock Fest. ‘Hollow Core’, their latest 2 track EP, is an independent recording, mixed and mastered by Liberosis Music, about the consequences of excess and where they lead to, hence the term ‘Hollow Core’.

‘Forgotten Soul”s theme is feeling alone, despite being surrounded by and acknowledged by others. Its sound represents the noise around us, reassuring us that we’re not alone. ‘Open Wound’ is a darker track again, centring around (the theme of) self-harm and the need for others to know about it, though still insufficient to fulfil your needs, creating an endless cycle of self abuse.

Forgotten Soul – Busy, affecting drum intro, joined by enraged vocals, thoughtfully constructed riff sections and solidly embedded bass lines, forming a hard and heavy backdrop. One listen will clarify its themes, as you hear the almost palpable sense of solitude, hitting a brick wall of cold carelessness and empty rejection. Dark, real and direct.

Open Wound – Introing with the muffled, dejected sound familiar to all who resonate with Portishead’s ‘Roads’; it lays down the meaning and sense of extreme isolation instantly. Capturing so much intense, complex emotion, in 1 track, you can’t fail to grasp the essence of its message. Steady, rhythmic, well handled drum hits, interspersed with melodic riffage and noticeable vocal grit, all so competently wrapped up together, to create a quality song, whose beat and sense (of aloneness and dejection) will stay with you.

Overall – A skilled, intelligent creation, shot through with a certain noticeable, yet unidentifiable catchiness, which intrigues and resonates, simultaneously. Moving away from conventions of uplifting, upbeat sounds and the expectations of such, ‘Hollow Core’ stands alone, unafraid, brave and willing to risk being true to itself and its own individuality. Listen, with both eyes and ears open, let down your defences and let it take you wherever it takes you.

8/10 ********

For fans of The More I See, Portishead, Warpath, Soul Sanctuary and Belligerence.

The ‘Hollow Core’ Lyric video can be watched at: https://youtu.be/FH4H6ZHxBYU

http://www.torqued.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/Torquedband
http://www.twitter.com/torquedband
http://www.instagram.com/p/BKdQtyfDplh
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnEZPEZPeom9TDhm3nXM7kg

Available now.

Stone Circle – ‘A Forest Dark’

June 8, 2017

From Brighton comes this new epic concept EP, from prog-death metallers Stone Circle. ‘A Forest Dark’ is based around the fantasy tales of the Brothers Grimm, was recorded with Johnny Renshaw, of Devil Sold His Soul and is S.C.’s first release in three years, following their self-titled album in 2014, cover mounted on ‘Terrorizer’ magazine.

Influenced by a variety of bands, including Opeth, Katatonia, Morbid Angel, Gojira and Amorphis, the band formed in 2004, completing the line-up in 2005. Having played Download, Bloodstock, UKTech and Mammoth Fests, they’ve already supported such highly esteemed bands as Orange Goblin, Evil Scarecrow, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Breed 77, Tesseract, Ill Nino, Sylosis and Abhorrent Decimation.

The band are justified in being immensely proud of this, their fifth new release, given the power contained within it and its agile deviations from standard prog-death material. The accompanying video for single ‘Possession’ is accessible via YouTube.

Bones – That’s one unique intro! Unusual tone, almost diagonal in its movement and sound, packed with creative life, flowing from the drum hits and an edge of Viking style metal about it. Darkness and light, in equal measure and quite strikingly visual. A really varied, imaginary journey, through a range of moods, enabling you to see the Dark Forest, in all its glory. Impressive track length, with plenty of bold experimentation and loads of artistic flair. An opener and a half.

Without Hands – Bursting right onto the scene, with crackling energy and vibrant, exciting riffs. Such variation in tone, melting fluidly, from fizzing loud riffs, to mellow guitar song, at the rarest skill level, so noticeably outstanding as to stay in your memory forever. There are classic deathy roars and growls, but being prog-death and unlike most, rather than forming the majority of the song, they’re strategically arranged and in lower proportion to the instrumentals. Given this skilful arrangement and the alternation between death style vocals and melodic ones, it provides an extra edge, moving the track in new, enlightening directions. A true one-off.

Riddled – Introing with a beautifully played acoustic riff, this, again, takes your mind to places of uncharted territory, providing possibilities within itself. It’s a great and masterfully performed instrumental, of stunning depth and shining intensity. Genuine fantasy realms live and breathe within it. Astonishing.

Possession – Opening with a more melancholic riff tone this time, enhanced by the shadow of the drums, it once more moves in unpredictable directions, seguing gradually into a pure blackened vocal sound, but then shifting into a melodic arena, both lyrically and instrumentally. Very classy production values, flawless and immaculate, in its movement between moods and emphasis. A real true breath of fresh air.

Overall – A dramatic and vivid sojourn, through the Dark Forest and all the fantastical elements concealed within it. As a prog-death project, it stands out a mile. Positively glowing with intrigue and unexpected twists and turns. Highly accomplished in sound and construction, with enjoyably long track lengths, this is respite from sameness and it’s what the prog-death metal genre’s been waiting for.

10/10 **********

Available now on https://stonecirclemetal.bandcamp.com/album/a-forest-dark

http://www.stonecirclemetal.com

Artwork accessible at https://drive.google.com/open?id=OB-8-wEaePpD_YIZCTzV1YTA3QjQ

Watch the ‘Possession’ video at  https://youtu.be/iND5TSYKkAk

For fans of Viking, death, melo-death, prog, black and melodic metal.

Von Justice – ‘Bret Hart’

June 6, 2017

There are some EP’s which simply make you wonder why. This is one of them.

Bret Hart – Instant hit, catchy, rocky and upbeat. Even if it does carry an air of cartoon caricature, (though given the artwork and the tone of the background info, so bizarre I’m loathe to repeat it here, I’m sure that’s deliberate), it is kind of snappy. Way too short, though and consequently, no more opportunity than that to review it further.

Ric Flair Is A Bloody Wanker – I’ll refrain from elaborating on the title and leave that to your imagination. Another animation type, catchy track, with fun sounding descending scales, this time. There are lyrics, inaudible as they are, but you know, considering the title, I think we can figure them out. Again, it goes no further than that, since the song’s over before you’ve had time to absorb or even contemplate it for more than a few moments.

I Saw Hogan With Jimmy Hart – Roaring, ‘Gladiators’ style, with backing music. It does change tack, to a more constructive sound, with uplifting tones, but ultimately, sounds like it’s simply sending itself up, with the overall noise of a grown man, throwing a tantrum, in a public arena. I’m not quite sure what the point is.

Overall – The shortest EP in existence. A strange and surreal thing, which kills the perfectly good metal instrumentals, with its short lived, angry wrestler ‘vocals’. An expressive release of pent-up silliness, between rehearsals, perhaps? I dunno. You decide.

3/10 ***

For fans of Gladiators, Power Rangers and Marvel comics and figurines.

Lyric video: https:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFsc8RIDd0I

https:// http://www.facebook.com/von-justice-1

Void Cruiser – ‘Wayfarer’

June 4, 2017

Wayfarer is an album detailing the sonic voyage of the Void Cruiser crew in the Andromeda Galaxy, including an unanticipated New World expedition.

A Day On Which No Man Was Born – Teasing intro, moving gradually into life, with a skilled instrumental set and an unmistakable echo of Judas Priest’s Nightcrawler’s closing fade-out, at the outset. Taking its time, with a visually evocative audio scene, of Arctic landscapes, resembling the cover art, the all too brief vocals we hear just before the end, consist of radio communications, of the sort you’d associate with vehicular instructions, from a Captain to a transport crew. An acquired, if somewhat perplexing progression, but one thing stands out and that’s the intrigue factor, at the beginning. If nothing else, they’ve got that nailed.

I Didn’t Lie, But I Know Now That I Should Have – A clearly more typical, rockier intro, providing instant bluesy grooves, through a steady beat and laid-back vocals, with a nostalgic 90s thread running through them. Imagine a bluesy, more accomplished Oasis, with a wintry, bleaker backdrop and you’re there. Whilst the production values could do with some touching up, you can’t knock the catchy flavour or the musicality of the sound. A pulsating end, with the sound effects of someone trudging through the snow in their snowshoes. It may be lacking excitement, but it’s never short on imagination.

As We Speak – A crunchier, cracklier start, with clearer psychedelic vibes. It moves along, at a mid-paced speed and attempts to buzz things up a bit, which is partially successful, yet it mostly retains that downbeat tone and feel, creating a trance downer effect – the thing that overpowers it most.

Madonnas and Whores – Something of a Stoner emphasis here, yet the initial melody takes me back again, to Oasis’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’. That, though, is before the Nick Cave-esque doom imprint takes over, infusing it with sullen gloom. Again, there’s undeniable song-craft present within it, but it’s just overtaken by a deep and abiding sense of misery. Oh, there’s the ship’s Captain relaying instructions to the crew again and once more, the snow-walker takes their place, as their gravel encrusted footsteps end the track.

Seven Years Late – So this time, the snowy footsteps intro, accompanied by the sound of the heavy breathing of either the individual themselves, or the stalker following them. If it’s the latter, I’d say their number’s probably up. The music enters at this point, sprawling out on the ground and loosely throwing down its dazed, sonic sounds and vibrations. The vocals are obscured, to a point, by the backing instrumentals and just need to come forward and show themselves.

All Over Nowhere – Oh now come on, those snow shoes are getting a bit too persistently repetitive now. Good job the vocals follow them closely, with a stronger drum presence and a faster rhythm. (Even if said sections are seeming almost as repetitive as those ubiquitous snow shoe sounds). Please, please, just vary the intros and outros a tad and give us some respite from those damned snow boots.

Maailman Kallein Kaupunki – Aha! We have a delightfully obtuse change of direction, providing that much-needed relief, at last….. but if you’re expecting it to be any different from, or cheerier than the previous morosity, then I’m afraid I must disappoint you. I can now feel my mood dropping, in time with the music. It may work for those deep in the throes of a downer inducing acid trip, who no longer care, but otherwise, I’d steer clear or you may be tempted to let the closing avalanche fall on you and bury you.

Overall – It’s few redeeming features are its inherent musicianship, sound-alike capacity and imaginary aspects, evoking tantalising glimpses into other audio-visual worlds and landscapes. Otherwise, it’s too much effort, for too little reward and brings to mind the nullity of existence, provoking an overwhelming sense of life depleting mood lowering.

5/10 *****

For fans of generic space, trance and psychedelic rock.

 

Out now on Argonauta Records.

Fire Red Empress – ‘Giants’

May 31, 2017

Formed in 2014, merged from bands from both France and the UK, Fire Red Empress have crashed onto the scene, with their loud, impassioned hard rock sound, bringing with them their new single, ‘Giants’. Having played live at Bloodstock in 2015 and Summer Breeze Fest in Germany, they soon caught the attentions of such acclaimed names as Jason Hansen, (Volbeat producer), Metal Hammer and Classic Rock mags and received consequent airplay on Planet Rock and Radio X. Work on their debut album began in 2016, with new vocalist Jen Diehl. Their huge sounds and energies were well captured and strikingly produced, revealing themselves fully in the official ‘Giants’ video.

Launching straight into life, in the rockiest way, it’s instantly impacting, catchy and memorable. All Halestorm fans will love this, as Jen’s voice is so like Lzzy Hale’s, you just can’t fail to love the raucous, unashamed, energised sound. Perfected vocal and instrumental cohesion, it’s heavy, it’s hard, it’s upbeat and one listen’ll have you hooked. Confident, brash, solid delivery and closing in an abruptly no-nonsense manner, ‘Giants’ has got it all and is aptly titled, as it’s certainly a giant of a track. Get some now.

10/10 **********

For fans of Halestorm

http://www.facebook.com/fireredempress

http://www.instagram.com/fireredempress

http://www.twitter.com/fireredempress

 

 

In My Embrace – ‘Dead To Dust Descend’

May 22, 2017

Dead To Dust Descend – Nice gradual intro, with lots of melodic riffage and a warm, inviting feel, despite the growly vocal roars. There’s a definite catchiness inherent in this and generally, it’s a promising start.

To Forevermore – Immediate, impacting drum rolls opening, this time, moving with fluid ease into a gorgeously visual feast of metal Viking thunder. There’s something very cohesive about it and a real solid essence to it, that almost vibrates with power and fortitude.

Av Skymning Kommen, Mot Gryning Gar – (‘From dusk I came, towards dawn I go’) – Dreamily introing, with a profoundly touching acoustic section, which, combined with the blackened throaty roars, brings a novel perspective to things. Brief, yet quite moving, in an unusual way. Animalistic gore, added to gentle acoustics. Have to say, it’s a first for me and a surprisingly welcome one. Inexplicably compelling.

Diabolical Masquerade – This time, racing into life, with drum rolls taking centre stage, with their vibrant movement, precision timing and overall fun feel. WASP fans’ll hear a quick ref in there, to ‘War Cry’, intentional or not and either way, it’s a welcome insert, with plenty of rock factor.

Nattvandraren – Straight in there, with a no holds barred death vocal, setting the scene for more bloody violence and a fresh heaviness, holding you within its lair and filling you with metal pleasure and willingness to stay there. Enticing and entrapping, in the best possible way.

Remembrance – Lovingly played acoustic riff, with a certain sinister edge, also laying equal claim to the hypnotic backing vocals, creating a purity of such beauty, it does, in fact, incite you into reverent silence, with its memorial theme, as if it were actually Remembrance Day. There’s a palpable, almost permeable magic to it, infiltrating the senses, at a very deep level.

Av Stymning Kommen, Mot Gryning Gar – (Instrumental, Bonus, edited/clean V) – Opening the final chapter of this sensory storyline experience, acoustically, again, as it embeds itself in your psyche, with a fantastical, almost medieval flavour, fading out in the same simple, yet profound way. Demonstrating a sheer form of powerful mystique, it’s proof, beyond doubt, of the fluidity and ease with which I.M.E. glide from stark bravery and heaviness, to gentle beauty, in a thoroughly diverse, meaningful way.

Overall – A stunning display of range, versatility and variation, to rival a band of marching mercenaries, one minute and a band of Angels, the next. Awe-inspiring, highly gifted and truly, significantly unique.

9/10 *********

For fans of Viking and pirate metal, medieval, fantasy and folk metal, pagan metal, pure, classic, heavy metal, melo-death, black metal and everything in between.

https://www.facebook.com/InMyEmbrace

http://instagram.com/in.my.embrace

https://inmyembrace.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands-In_My_Embrace/3540379844

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCdrQmzpbsXzpjErZRdGwsg

https://youtu.be/lv8VFrJ-Pd4 (Vid of licensed Diablo 3 material).