Archive for March 2017

Exist – ‘Get Your Own’   44 comments

Thrash metal from Poland, founded late 2014, by 2 13-year-old guitarists and the drummer, a bassist soon followed. He was temporarily replaced, but returned 6 months later. Inspirations, mainly, NWOTM, with some old school/classic influences. Gigging began November 2015. They’ve so far played alongside Lefutray (Chile) and numerous Polish bands: Nocny Kochanek, Thermit, Deathinition, Roadhog, (see previous reviews for those last 3), Rusted Brain, Savior, Highlow, Stormer, Over The Under, Kontagion and Soundfear. Their demo EP, ‘Get Your Own’, was recorded from late 2016-early 2017 and released as pro CD-R in February 2017. The 18-year-old bassist is the oldest band member!

Get Your Own – Powerfully affecting acoustic, flamenco like intro, with a definite haunting edge. Seguing into a heavy electric riff and drum storm, whilst still retaining the flamenco sound; this is a rare and effective sound, which clearly works. Gradual progression into heavier territory, considering the young age of the musicians, their material carries just as much power, energy and skill as many an older, more seasoned band. In fact, it eventually explodes into a face meltingly metallised arrangement, worthy of any known trad metal band you care to name. Ending on a direct, confident drum hit or two, it’s fair to say that with ‘Get Your Own’, Exist have firmly stamped their name on the heavy metal genre already. You may just hear a Metallica-esque riff in there, too.

Lawlessness – Blisteringly metal riff intro there, of a Slayer-esque nature. The vocals come into play here and again, I’m taken aback at the young age of such immense talent. Great strategic use of rhythm, timing and pace in here and a sheer delight of genuinely metallic compositions, blending awesomely hard electric sounds, with strikingly amazing acoustics. A proper blitzfest of epic proportions.

On Your Own Accord – Booming drum intro, rapidly followed by glorious shredding which could easily have come straight from the likes of Slayer or Testament. It’s just so likeable as well as being the epitome of true heavy metal, of a calibre seldom heard. Already, they’ve got the hang of combining enjoyable music with intense intelligent craftsmanship – a skill very few established bands can crack, in such a memorable way. Filled with magical riffs, intuitively mature vocals and banging drums, all balanced out by an exquisitely handled bass. It’s authentic and truly unforgettable.

Exist – Bang! It’s one of those intros). These drums don’t half mean business. Loving that deep, dark, smoothly delivered riff section. Very Reign Of Fury-esque. Blasting straight into a performance direct from Metal Heaven, raining down metallic blood from paradise. Moshers, headbangers, riff meisters, metal vocal athletes alike, you will love this to the death! Crammed chock full of all that’s best about metal and closing on a decisive drum hit, to end all arguments; this is pure gold.

Overall – If you can imagine Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Exodus and WASP, entering a room and playing one combined riff medley together, it would sound like ‘Get Your Own’. Exist could give many a far more seasoned band a run for their money and then some. Few manage to achieve such fun, uplifting songs, performed with such intricate musicianship. They’ve cracked it. If this is what a band of such short duration, composed of teenagers are capable of, this early in their careers, it can only lead to greatness. An absolutely startlingly brilliant EP, from start to finish. Do I have to say it again? Pure metallic gold.

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

For fans of Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, WASP, Exodus, Reign Of Fury and all other pro riff-meisters and thrash metal legends.

Posted March 15, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Skurk – Blodbragd (Taste Of Blood)   9 comments

Skurk originate in Akureyri, North Iceland. Founded in 1990, with multiple influences. They toured Iceland, bought a studio, recorded an unreleased album, split and partially re-formed in 2011. They then played a comeback gig in their hometown of Akureyri, alongside Icelandic metal titans Skalmoid. More gigs and an EP (Final Gift), followed, which was well received and reviewed and a song was bought and used in the Fusl movie soundtrack. Since reforming, Skurk have worked on a multitude of projects, including playing self promoted gigs, a gig with Icelandic rock god Eurikur Hauksson, playing at Eistnaflug Metal Fest and recording two albums.

The new album will be launched early March. It includes 10 tracks of thrash, with unusual tangents and influences. Taste of Blood is a collaborative effort between the band and the local music school, blending metal and classical sounds, led by Daniel Porsteinsson. The album narrates a story of a girl called Lady Snow, (Mjoll), as seen by a man whose presence eventually dramatically affected her destiny. It was an arduous creative and recording process, incorporating various guest vocalists, taking place in several locations and the album was mastered in studio Fossland, in Sweden.

Eymd – Gorgeous acoustic riff intro, filled with pathos and melancholia, yet still catchy, in its own way. Really gritty, haunting vocals, packed with feeling. Carrying a note of deep sentiment throughout, it’s a truly beautiful track, with clear echoes of the closing riff of Extreme’s ‘Song For Love’, at the end.

Refsing – Booming intro, of full on metal proportions. A real drum fest, with a sudden, intense change, to growly, thrashy vocals, proving plausibility, in varied strands of thrash and its many versatile influences. You’ll hear a very Celtic sounding mid-section in there, with clear fantasy metal visuals and even a Slayer-esque riff or two. That’ll do nicely. Finishing on a final cymbal hit, this should please the ears of any fan of combined metal genres, such as folk, Celtic, thrash, speed and power.

Mjall – Bang! That’s the only way to describe that intro. Now, we have power vocals, a very slight Ramstein-esque sound, tasty speed riffs and drum rolls to match. It’s one of those car chase visuals of which I’m so fond, an anthemic edge, in places and a warm, yet wintry feel. This manages to combine so much, in one track and does so with exceptional expertise. The closest I’ve heard yet to Farseer’s ‘Chthonic Visions’. Immense.

Aflausn – Wow, now that’s unexpected and very magical. A string orchestra intro, which to some, will cause your mind to explode with images, just adding to its power. Showing, again, their incredible versatility, it soon segues, so smoothly, you wouldn’t think it possible, into a vividly thrashy section, fizzing with excitement and passion. Aha! Spot the ‘Alexander The Great’ riff in there). Maiden fans, rejoice. Oh just feel those drum hits, to the very core of your being). This just works, on every possible level.

Salmyrkvi – Blasting straight into life, with unhesitant, unrepentant, uplifting metal). A great, laid-back, yet powered up approach to this. Very sexy heavy drum fills, it’ll rock you to death. Intelligent, flavoursome construction, just delighting in the metal vibe. That’s the business.

Feigur – Ooh , ominously creeping, low toned intro, with plenty of bass effect, laced through it. There’s the Rammstein effect back again, on the vocals. Hammering it home on the drums and sliding, purposefully, into Sabbath-esque doom emphasis. Darkening the feel, yet lifting it up, with such light riff touches, till it hits the apex of power scream riffage. Taking it back to the darkness of the basement floor again, this just screams professional versatility.

Rokkvar – Another banging drum and riff intro, with a noticeably emo feel, soon launching into a power section, alternating between that and growly sounds, riff solos and everything in between. Sudden end to this one, but just abundantly powerful.

Vitjun – Smooth riff intro, playing a catchily melodic rhythm, with an ethereal female vocal, not unlike a songbird quality. Surrounding the female vocals, with robotic male vocals, on a mission, visually evocative of Dalek destruction. All enfolded in a tightly wrapped encroaching drum section, with menacing intent. That beautiful angelic sounding female vocal follows, with a solo, so haunting and it’s all eventually finished with an astoundingly strong drum section, accompanied by the ethereal vocals. Just magically visual and mysterious.

Endir – There’s a banging metal intro, if ever I heard one! No arguing with this one. Proper thrash vocals, directing the show, supported by equally thrashy riffs and drums. Great fast-pace. Fabulously violent drum assault. Slight growly section, but it’s thrash all the way here. All the way to the abrupt ending, just as I was getting into it. If only it was longer.

Blodbragd – Opening up the title track, by cleverly returning to the beginning, with another string section. It’s come full circle. The mood’s slightly deflated by the lowered tone, before gradually widening the circle and giving way to a fittingly aggressive thrash finale. Picking up the pace, to speed metal tempo, incorporating flashes of Slayer-esque riffs and once more, harmonising perfectly, with the string section, creating the most amazingly vibrant sound. Eventually, slowing the rhythm back down again, before following it up, with one of the most classic riffs you’ll ever hear, with perfect closing timing. So much variation in one track and all of it carried off with such precision. This is one masterpiece of a track. You just never know where they’re gonna go next with it, which is where it’s magic and mystery lies. Performing a thunder and lightning storm of sound combos, it reaches a point of being beyond description. Beautifully closed, with a string section, of uplifting tones, accompanied, in perfect harmony, by ‘Tallica-esque riffs, echoing ‘Seek And Destroy’, from the Kill ‘Em All era. Breathtaking.

Overall – An absolute masterpiece of studied and practised accomplishment. One of those rare gems, filled with so much magic and mystery and so visually evocative, it almost speaks its own language of fantastical soundscapes and vision quests. Versatile to an awe-inspiring level. Intelligently, creatively constructed and composed. Performed with the utmost skill and professionalism. Imaginative synthesis, at its best. A truly magnificent album.

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

For fans of Farseer, Iron Maiden, Testament, Slayer, Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Die No More, Yngwie Malmsteen, Metallica and WASP.

Available on Inconsistency Records

Posted March 6, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Comaniac – ‘Instruction For Destruction’   90 comments


Introducing ‘Instruction For Destruction’, the 2nd album from Comaniac, thrash metal from Switzerland. Comaniac began in 2012, releasing their 1st demo, ‘Cowshed Demo’, to widespread acclaim. Their 2nd release, ‘Turnor Troop’, came just a few months later. It was on the back of the success of this release that they secured support slots throughout Switzerland and Europe, with well-known bands such as Coroner, Exodus and Kreator.

In early 2015, they launched their debut album, ‘Return To The Wasteland’, deemed by numerous international e-zines as, ‘the thrash highlight of 2015’. Playing their 1st tour in Croatia, they also played the famous MetalDays Fest, in Slovenia, from where their reputation grew. Following public demand, ‘RTTW’ was re-issued, on American label, Stormspell Records.

In April 2017, this, their 2nd album, is due for release, on SAOL Records, proving musical growth and rare recognition of their skill base. ‘Instruction For Destruction’ ‘s themes concern the relationship between the individual and society. Each track narrates a tale of crumbling social systems and their destructive effects on individuals. It depicts modern life, in a social and institutional context, outlining the failures of our social systems and the inevitable and self-evident fallout from them. Its lyrical contents are the basis on which ‘IFD’ stands out.

Coal – Very tasty, tangy intro riff there. Liking this already. A storm of drum hits sets the scene immediately, with a continental feel to the whole thing. Refreshingly breezy vocals, holding that fabulous rare quality of ‘sing shouting’, as I term it, bringing a fresh, lively feel to the track. Nice melody, catchy chorus and true passion shines through. Love it.

Suborned – Battering the door down, with those solidly heavy drum rolls at the outset. Vocal aggression, great racing pace and clear, melodic riffs make this a sheer joy to listen to.

Bow Low – Right in there, with driving riffs and an instant catchiness you’ll just love. Fun, frenetic frolics in the metal mosh pit. Alive with highbrow energy and the yummiest drum rolls. Oh and those riff melodies are just divine. Palpably intense lyrics straight from the heart. A thorough metal party from start to finish.

Guarding Ruins – Mmm, a very pleasant opening riff, misleading you to think it’s going to be a quiet, soothing acoustic track, before the electricity hits you hard in the face again. Classic mosh pit stuff. You’ll get right into this and lose yourself completely in it, cos there’s really no other choice. It’s another metalgasm song. Ignite the passion and turn it up to the max. Powerful’s way too small a word for this. A direct line to Metal Heaven.

How To End It All – Beginning with a beautiful acoustic riff, soon accompanied by another vibrant burst of metallic sunshine. Delivered whilst singing about the stormiest subject matter. A thing very few bands can pull off. Such intensity, it’s on fire. Riffage to die for. Perfected metal therapy prescribed by The Rock Queen.

Self Control – Hitting you with a barrage of drumfire and blazing hot riffs, instantly, the pace itself is a turn on alone. Those vocal harmonies are just stunning. As are the riffs, of which there are a delightful amount. Loaded with all that speaks to the collective souls of metal heads everywhere.

Shattered – Slight sea change here in the almost eerily played down-toned riff intro, which becomes a full riff instrumental of pure beauty.

Heart Of Stone – Back to nice mid-paced solid rhythmic metal. Liken it to an insistent visitor, demanding entry and attention, till you give in and submit to their demands. This is the purest, hardest, heaviest, most soul inhabiting metal you’ll hear this year.

Forever More – Bang, crash, drum intro. Moving into a really fun riff fest and truly delicious vocal section you’re gonna want to eat alive. Life affirming, energetic, exciting, speed, power and thrash combined. Their timing’s exceptional, as is their general delivery. Spectacular.

Instruction For Destruction – Opening up the title track, with a sensational, fast-paced riff fest, of immense power and keeping hold of that thread of dramatically wild exuberance, throughout the entire performance; this will not let you go. Gorgeously timed and harmonised choruses. Ending on a perfectly placed riff finale, this is one exultant track.

Overall – The apex of metal is where this belongs. If you don’t find your mood lifted, your soul captivated and your heart exalted by this album, you need a doctor to pronounce you dead. ‘IFD’ is not simply all that’s good about metal, but it’s all the best bits, played together, with precise timing and intense enthusiasm. What I wouldn’t give to be locked in a room with these guys for a night. Ones to watch for 2017 and it may well be my album of the year already.

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

For fans of Reign Of Fury, Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament and all vibrant, life enhancing metal.

Release date 7th April 2017 – via SAOL METALWORLD


Posted March 1, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized