Archive for January, 2016

Divine Chaos – ‘Fields Of The Fallen’

January 31, 2016

A blistering melodically heavy riff fest, with a combo of screamo and deep throated spoken lyrics, relentless punch-bag drumming and a good solid bass line.  Noticeable use of influences from various genres, which combined in this way, have produced a slick production of a track which although fairly easy to categorise, is probably best placed in the melo-death category, for ease of reference.  Bound to succeed on the strength of the riffage alone.

Just be warned that the video does contain strobe lighting, so avoid the visuals if you’re sensitive to strobes.  The sound quality, though, is top-notch, as is the performance.

8/10 ********

For fans of Skreamer/melo-death and cross-over metal genres.

http://www.last.fm/music/Divine+Chaos/+wiki

EPK – www.gigmit.com/divine-chaos

 

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Gonoreas – ‘Destructive Ways’

January 30, 2016

Welcome to ‘Destructive Ways’, the latest offering from Swiss metallers Gonoreas.

Ritual – Gorgeous acoustic intro, filled with atmosphere, pathos, wonder and intrigue.

Rebellion Against The Obsessor – Wow!  Opening screams of an ilk I’ve never heard before.  Memorable and powerful are the first words which spring to mind.  This was made for a classic new wave of power/speed metal album.  Packed full of great melodic riffs, awesome sounding vocal harmonies and power screams to kill for.  Lively, refreshing and fun.

Destructive Ways – Straight in there with a nice heavy intro, leaving no room for doubt.  Very metal lyrics and energy permeate through it.  Upbeat tone, catchy, high octane drum fills and riffs created for air guitar heaven.  Just a great, vibrant, life affirming title track.

Viking – Taking the tone down a bit, to fit the hardness of the title, yet losing none of its essential power.  They know how to make a guitar scream.  Throwing in some decent Viking shouts, interspersed with plenty of fun filled riffage; the style’s married well with the title.  Slightly more intricate riffage towards the end.  A very successful sound and feel.

Parallel Universe – Wow! Just got to love the opening riffage on this.  Nice lyrics.  Very relevant and more resonant for some of us than for others.  There’s a slight air of DIO about this, in places.  I know there’s been lots of mention of power so far, but this track just screams it.  Brilliantly fast-paced, sexy, warm, enjoyable song, which seems to come straight from metal heaven.

Wizards – Intrigue, sorcery and magic abound in the intro – consisting of a combo of wind and church bell sound effects, emulating a cross between ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘Black Sabbath’.  Right throughout, the mood stays up, as they sing about wizards and heroes, in that classically timeless, age-old winning formula.  The whole thing just speaks to anyone whose soul and spirit gravitates towards mysticism, magic and all things otherworldly.  Great feelgood track.

Empire – Liking the heavy tone and rapid rhythm to this, which doesn’t let up right from the intro.  Very strong vocals, of a very high quality.  Some fabulous drum work in there, of prime headbanging territory.  Cracking melodies.  Brimming with enthusiasm and not afraid to experiment with sound, style and pace around the mid-section.  Soon returning to the quicker pace and getting in tons of sexy, high-powered riffage from that point onwards.  Pouring every ounce of energy and passion into those vocals and ending on some stunningly complex and beautiful riffage.  Strength incarnate.

When Nobody Asked – Beating its way into the song, with hard-hitting drum rolls and riffs, this means business.  Markedly more serious lyrical content, delivered with just as much verve and holds an extremely plausible flavour.  Slowing and downtoning the pace after the mid-section, to reflect the themes, before upping the feel and taking the tone back up again.  Catchy quality, with the riffage at the end returning to the hammering feel of the intro, leaving you stunned.  Heavy hitting, influential and unforgettable.

Dark Triad – Lovely smooth riff intro, just melting into the track and then hammering it home, with lots of aggressive riffs and drum rolls, matched by distinctly more edgy, gritty vocals, collectively determined to drive their warning message home.  Some really fittingly dark, doom filled riffs and drum hits following the mid-section; lightening the tone back up again, towards the end, yet never losing that vital thread of terror.  Dark, threatening and macabre.

The Offering – Acoustic intro, filled with meaning and feeling.  Pure instrumental and very European in flavour.  Becoming gradually heavier, yet still remaining soft in feel.  Another well fitting track title, very reminiscent of Metallica’s ‘Fade To Black’. Just beautiful.

Overall – Just a delightful slice of sheer metallic beauty.  One for more laid-back moods, needing power and stillness, combined.

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

https://www.facebook.com/Gonoreas

For fans of Metallica and power/speed metal.

Amken – ‘Theater Of The Absurd’

January 28, 2016

Amken formed in Athens, Greece in 2011 and have supported many famous names since then. This is their first full-length album.  Production began in July 2015.  Produced by experienced French engineer David Prudent, artwork design by American artist Bill Hauser, of Hirax and Ghoul, the album release follows their debut EP ‘Adrenaline Shot’.  (See that review for more info).  Check out their first video clip for ‘Zombie Pets’ – their initial breakthrough. Just having completed a mini Italian tour, the band are now ready to unleash their new material.

Shattered Sanity – Oh yeah!  Very Panteraesque and straight in there like a metal edged scythe, exterminating all in its path.  Blistering riffs, high-speed rhythms, heavy hardened melodies and high-powered drums, with power screams littered throughout.  This whole track conjures up imagery of a metal backed assault with power machines in a garden of death.  Increasing the pace towards the end, till you’re just blown away by the heightened reaches of steel.  Immense!

Theater Of The Absurd – Great title.  Bang.  In we go, with a frenzied riff fest of epic proportions, backed by incredulously energised power vocals and screams you can’t help but destroy yourself screaming along with.  Fabulously rhythmic drumming, which is almost melodic in itself.  Closing on a brilliantly enthused throaty scream.  You’d have to be dead not to throw yourself into this.

D.A.P. – Steadier pace and certainly no less fun.  Harmonies which suit it down to the ground and an overall cohesive, impassioned feel.  Riffs climbing ever upwards and chasing themselves on till the all too rapid ending.  Solid, neat, expressive and metallic.

Obedient Dogs – Cymbal hits opening, before the entrance of aggressive lyrics and some nice use of echo.  It all comes together well and fuses as one.  High quality, high volume, high impact.  This is your classic example of uplifting, skilled and versatile metal with even more power and verve than most.  It just carries an extra layer to make it stand out and scream power.

Wired – Slight downtone, which shifts gear, without losing any emphasis or strength.  This time, the pace quickens and slows alternately, always retaining the fun and heavy flavour – in fact, increasing it even more towards the unhesitant end.  These guys are taking no prisoners.

Soul’s Crypt – Immediate, forceful intro, unrelenting and screeching raw energy and anger.  Those power screams are something else.  It’s as if there’s an extra dimension of strength and insistence within them.  The drums get faster and sexier till you just want to fall over them and the whole thing ends with exactitude and incredible magnitude.  Born metallers.

Sacred Machine – Blasting straight off, with sheer force of will.  If anything embraces the spirit of metal, this does.  True metal feeling and communion sings, bleeds and screams throughout it.  Some really well-placed variations in pace follow the mid-section onwards and there are riffs in here you literally feel coursing through your veins.  Gorgeous drum work and riff accompaniments at the end and everything about it just encompasses the true heart and soul of metal.

Addicted To Green – Crashing into life, without a moment’s hesitation, you’re going to be hard pushed not to get into it immediately.  Anger, rage, forcefulness and extreme, sincere passion combine to create an absolute metal treasure.  I’d be happy to take this with me to a desert island as the only album I was allowed.  A bountiful metal paradise.

Overall – If there’s one album you make it your mission to hear and buy this year, make it ‘Theater Of The Absurd’.  Like unlocking and releasing a long hidden precious gem you know you’ll never want to be without again.

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

For fans of Testament, Slayer, Pantera and general high-quality speed/power/thrash metal.

www.facebook.com/amkenthrash

www.youtube.com/amkenthrash

www.twitter.com/amkenthrash

www.amken.bandcamp.com 

 

McDEATH – ‘Lord Of The Thrash’

January 26, 2016

Founded in 1998, Mcdeath originate from Germany.  They are a pure thrash band and have played gigs alongside Sodom, Sacred Steel, Powervice or Torture Squad.  They also played Wacken in 2007.  Their first demo was released in 2003, their initial full-length debut, ‘Spit of Fury’, in 2006 and ‘Lord Of The Thrash’, their current self-produced album, in 2015.

Baptized In Black – Gorgeously haunting acoustic intro riffs, packed with atmosphere and melodic beauty, giving way to typically thrashy riffs and hammering drums, accompanied by some truly thrashy lyrics and vocals made for this track.  Some very clear Maiden and Metallica influences there and they couldn’t have been better placed.

Reborn – Now there’s a nice thrashy opening).  Great War themed lyrics, reminding me of Exodus’s ‘War Is My Shepherd’.  Clear tones, combining melody with extreme styles and somehow, getting it just right.  A really satisfying track.  Catchy rhythms, with real sheer heaviness, even if it does end a little abruptly.  A very noticeable track, rammed with power and aggression.  Works for me.

Lord Of The Thrash – Straight in there with some of the thrashiest, classiest riffs, joined by equally accomplished thrash screams and perfectly synched battering drums, combined to create one of the best examples of how thrash is done best.  This is shaping up as the next Slayer.

Evil Lyn – And on it goes, with more of the same utterly pleasurable, raw sounds and high-class performances, with their immense talents shining out clearly for all to see.  If you’ve been after some genuinely impressive, therapeutic metal lately, this is the band for you.

Metal Diplomacy – Breaking it up a bit, with an intriguing intro section, it soon segues into the familiar thrash territory, with lots of ace hooks and catches and some really well honed vocal harmonies.  Heavy and fun at once and ending with an unexpected and very tasteful acoustic vocal harmony.  This is set to be a firm favourite.

The Wytchburner – Bang!  It’s one of those intros.  I’m particularly liking the catchy rhythms in this one, along with the sinister overtones.  Some brilliantly performed lyrics and evil cackling, so fitting and just adding to the intriguing flavour of the song.  Closing on some of the wildest, most enjoyable metal power screams I’ve ever heard).  This is one you just have to hear.

Stronger Than All – Good, smooth drum and riff intro.  Got to be one of the most classic extreme thrash songs out there – especially in lyrical terms.  There’s something very likeable about these vocals and this is a band set to do well and capture hearts very quickly.

Through Hell – Great aggressive intro, slightly reminiscent of Pantera’s ‘Domination’.  It’s got a really fun pace about it, which it maintains well.  Flawless, clean production and performance, with a characteristically thrashy sound about it, generally.  Loving those riffs.  So much melody and vibrancy, within the overall heavy feel and sound.  A very fitting closing lyric section and keeping it’s catchiness throughout.

Pale Grey Sky – Beautiful gentle riff intro, accompanied by a far softer, yet still heavy vocal style, eventually growing harder.  This one could have come from a completely different album, its style and sound is so inherently different – yet it still remains resolutely metallic, holding its own strength.  An interesting deviation, but no less enjoyable.  It just led me to wonder why they’d messed with a winning formula, with this sudden change of tack, but the enthusiasm’s still audible.

Kingdom Of The Dead – Ooh, very dark mediaeval fantasy, brought up-to-date.  This is more of a reversion to form, which seems more fitting.  A more visual song, somehow, evoking more pictorial imagery than the rest.  It’ll fit as the perfect soundtrack to the next other world fantasy series in my imagination.

Overall – Modern thrash metal is not dead!  It’s alive and well in Mcdeath and if there’s any justice, they should be placed alongside ‘the big four’, to create ‘the big five’.

10/10

For fans of Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Metallica, Anthrax and Pantera.

www.mcdeath.band 

www.mcdeath-band.bandcamp.com 

Stereo Love, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Addiction’

January 17, 2016

Every now and then, a band comes along and frees up your spirit, blows all the cobwebs away and energises you with their sheer originality, provoking a eureka like outburst of ‘Aha! Something different, fresh and exciting!’  Such a band is Stereo Love.

Evermore – Nice smooth intro, with a rocky feeling right from the start.  Warm, rhythmic and accomplished.  Talent this young is a rare thing, to be cherished.  I like the melody and the general roll of it.

Crazy Town – Slightly heavier in just the right way you’d expect from a far longer established band.  Faultless, flawless performance, with a catchy feel and bags of passion.  Hits the right note every time.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Addiction – Very very real!  This is one of those that belongs in every true rockers collection.  There it is…. the singalongability factor, right there).  Some great riffs in there too.  The main thing in this track is slick, smooth performance and production, that just glides down nicely like a glass of ice cold chocolate).  Reminds me of Poison’s ‘Love On The Rocks’.

Spiders And Snakes – Fun factor down immediately.  Great faster pace and even more catchiness.  It’s got a special kind of rocky sweetness about it.  Fresh, enthused approaches like this are why the unsigned bands need to be heard.

Never Enough – Seguing straight into the track, with complete competence and confidence and an ease of style which will take them far.  You can’t help but get involved.  Engaging, sincere and appealing.  Performed with real skill and truth.

What Do You Want – The emotion’s really brought out and comes to the fore in this.  I love to hear such audible feeling.  A great uplifter.

Straight Up – Wow!  Just such maturity and well honed vocal skill within that voice, for one so young.  It really stands out.  There’s a sophistication there, way beyond her years.  Just a very enjoyable track.

Hot Or Cold – A slower, but certainly no less enjoyable track.  You have to hear this to get a feel for how much atmosphere it creates and be able to picture the scenes it seems to evoke.  That in itself is a rare and special kind of talent.  One which ordinarily takes much longer to acquire than it has here.  If ever there was a band born to rock, it’s this one.

Let Me Ride – Taking the pace back up a few notches, they’ve somehow injected even more passion and expression into this.  It speaks volumes about the kind of freedom of self-expression encouraged within this family and the massive benefits it’s reaped.

Fox On The Run – Aha!  This isn’t the cover track I was expecting and frankly, I’m glad, cos it’s even better and much rockier.  It’s got a really good vibe about it.  Fun fast pace, uplifting melody and closing with a perfectly synched drum and riff combo.  (Yes, sorry Judd, I realise I’ve reached the end of the review and this is the first time I’ve mentioned the drums.  Can I just cover it, by saying they rocked all the way through, which they did?  Thanks). I will say that Judd’s drumming style is unique, in that it stands back to allow the vocals and guitars to come to the forefront, blending nicely into the background, whilst still providing a solid and highly competent base for the music.

Overall – It’s all been said.  Top drawer.  So I’m just going to pay them the biggest compliment I can, which is to say that the Joan Jett influence is unmistakable and highly agreeable.  They were born with rock music in their blood.

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

For fans of Joan Jett, Poison, 4Bitten, St Jude, Joanne Shaw Taylor, blues rock and rock ‘n’ roll, generally.

www.StereoLove.us

www.facebook.com/StereoLoveBand

twitter@StereoLove_Band 

www.reverbnation/StereoLoveMusic

Instagram@StereoLoveOfficial

 

Spreading The Disease, ‘Viral’

January 7, 2016

Introducing ‘Viral’, the debut EP from Spreading The Disease.  Formed in May 2014 in Kent, influences include: Pantera, Stone Sour, Slipknot, Machine Head, Breed 77 etc. Debut album expected early 2016.

F.U.C.K.U. – Cue creepy tunnel-like acoustics, followed by aggressive drum beats and air rending screamo growls to leave you in no doubt as to the anger behind the lyrics embodied within the track title.  Great energy and real truth.

Lost Generation – Very Skreameresque, this one.  Steady rhythm, plenty of edgy riffs, providing some nice melody inside the blatantly apoplectic rage and fading out on an equally decent riff.

Bulldozer – Crash!  Banging, crunching intro; heavy, hard, groove and riff filled piece of metal, combining stoner, blues, melodic and screamo styles, to create something altogether different, but clearly noticeable.  It stands out a mile.  As was once said re: Led Zep’s ‘Black Dog’, “love it or hate it, but you will not ignore it”.  Chugging riffage just after the mid-section, raging angry screams and growls, thundering drum rolls and precisely directed bass licks combine to make this a track to remember.  At 6 mins, 56 secs, there’s plenty of time to get right into it.  Aggressive, loud and hard-hitting; finishing with the sound of a bulldozer doing its work.  Couldn’t be more apt.  Reach for the throat lozenges, cos you’re gonna need them after this.

Evolution – Different gentler vocal style initially used in the intro, before seguing back into familiar growly territory, with matching dark riffs and heavy drum work; injecting some gorgeous melody intermittently and again at the end.  Closing with a lovely acoustic riff and whispered vocal.  One thing that can certainly be said for this is that it does variety well.

Overall – Killer metal, without a hint of convention.  This stands on its own and hold its ground well.  Variety, versatility and intrigue aplenty; this little gem of individuality is proof of what can be created from a mish- mash of styles which refuses to conform.  I like that.

9/10 for sheer wow effect *********

For fans of screamo/growly/dark stoner/sludge/death/melo-death, especially Skreamer.

www.facebook.com/spreadingthedisease.official 

www.stdband.com 

Dangerous, ‘Metal Heritage’

January 3, 2016

Dangerous began in 2006; influenced by thrash bands Megadeth, Anthrax, Metallica and Exodus.  Their first songs came to life after several months rehearsing.  Within six months, that same year, their first project, ‘The First Attack’, was recorded and debuted live at that time.

The following year, line-up changes led to the second EP, ‘Imposing Terror’, being recorded, prior to the next project, ‘Dangerous Strikes Back’.  Various gigs followed, including more line-up changes, before the band recorded their first studio demo, ‘Genocide Solution’, in 2009, which was promoted widely via the Chilean underground scene, to positive acclaim.

After briefly dissolving in 2011, Dangerous reformed in 2012, with another new line-up, during which Raul Carreno (Chaotic Bastard) was invited to play live and shortly afterwards, joined the band officially.  The first self produced full-length album, entitled ‘Metal Heritage’, was created with the current line-up, over six months and released on November 24th, 2015.

Intro – Opening with intriguing sound effects and some gorgeous melodic riffs; this holds a deep sense of feeling and sincerity.

Metal Heritage – This blasting intro couldn’t be more different; bringing out an explosive sound, revealing a real depth of emotion, sweeping from one extreme to another and here, we sense the ensuing frustration and chaos following the low and ultimately, the lightening of mood, as presented through the heavier, more vibrant riffs and drum rolls.

Victims Of Hate – Growing steadily heavier and more upbeat; within this, are the Slayeresque tones and more ‘extreme’ undertones.  Great paced rhythm and exuberant riffs after the mid-section.  Plenty of life force here.  Vocals confident, powerful and matching the Slayer- like instrumentals well.  Cohesive and energised; a well performed track.

Thrash On The Streets – Opening with some very nice power riffs, upping the pace and excitement factor even higher; imaginative and loud, it works.  Visual in such a way that I’m imagining a crazy cartoon character chase, with a metal soundtrack.  Liking those drum fills a lot!  The riffs get better and better, faster and faster till you’re swept away by them.  Somewhat like being happily trapped on a merry-go-round, with the guitarist whizzing it round faster till your head spins and you enter another world, before falling, stunned, flat on the ground, with a smile on your face.

Murderous Tradition – Loud, clear, exciting riff intro, filled with strong melody and life.  Fast-paced, with lots of expressive vocals).  Fun and upbeat – I can’t fault it.  Gorgeous fade out.  An ultimate mood lifter.

Sacrifice – Nicely done downtoning to a more sludgy, stonerish feel.  There we go.  I knew it wouldn’t be long before the inevitable pen drumming began.  You know what this means.  It’s catchy and fun in a very big way.  I can’t compete with those intricate drum rolls following the mid-section, though.  There’s a very new wave of old school vibe about this and I like it lots.

Dangers Return – Air raid siren intro!  That’s a new one on me.  Points for originality.  Yet more awesome guitar riffs and complex drum work and somehow, increasingly catchy, tuneful vocals.  It’s simultaneously dark and light.  This is another of those which just get you too carried away to be able to write much.  Involving and engaging.  You’ll love it.

Batalia Final – Continuing with more of the same ace, high-powered metalness; the vocals are toned up a notch and so openly expressive, you can sense the energy of them.  Shredding heaven and persistently powered drumming – something about this song seems to breathe life into you.  Exhilarating is really the only word.

Executioners Of Mankind – Hardness factor down straight.  Immediate, heavy, forceful and certain.  That’s what I like to hear.  Rapid paced strength in spades.  Especially liking the rhythm of this and its unapologetically steel flavour.  Very heavy lyrics, matching the sound and performance well.  Ending with the same solid certainty that permeates the whole track.

Running Amok – Bang!  Yes, it’s of that ilk).  Sometimes, there’s just no other way to describe it, but bang!  Following said intro, with consistently frantic, manic shredding and drumming, to complement the highly energised, metal fuelled vocals.  Can this get any more fun?  Oh, it’s over (.  Well that was unfair!

Overall – I think I’ve already said it all, but in case you’re still in any doubt, this here album is a metallic dream and I can do no better than give it a full 10/10.

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

For fans of Slayer, Testament, Municipal Waste, Anthrax, Sludge and Stoner metal and generally, New Wave of Classic Old School Metal.

Vlad Promotions online for more info/links.