Archive for July 2019

Swamp Coffin – ‘Flatcap Bastard Features’   Leave a comment

Swamp Coffin, a sludge trio from Rotherham, are now launching their debut EP, ‘Flatcap Bastard Features’. It’s due for release on August 23rd. It can currently be pre-ordered through Bandcamp, as one track is already available. From 1st September, it will be widely accessible.

Swamp Coffin’s sound is based on 90’s NOLA sludge, incorporating death metal and Sabbath-esque groove. Although the inspiration for the EP title itself is not revealed, it was created at a time of personal tragedy and loss, for vocalist/guitarist Jon Rhodes. The consequent crisis resulted in a little under 34 minutes of concrete heavy tracks, mixing resonant lyrics with thudding riffs and rhythmic grooves.

‘FBF’ follows their 2017 2 track production and only 2 years after forming, SC have played alongside the likes of OHHMS, Secret Cutter (USA) and King Witch (Edinburgh). This year, they open on the main stage, at Sheffield’s Doomline Festival, where they’ll share the stage with The Body, Bast, Cattle, etc. They’ll also play support for Japanese doom-death legends, Coffins, on one of their only 2 UK dates, in September.

Blood In The Water – Smooth, gradual feedback intro, moving into a grittier thudding beat, hard as stone. While the cymbals add the lightness, it’s a typical stoner rock track, throwing down concrete slabs, with a muddy sludge emphasis. Very death laced lyrics growl through the track. Quite a classic down tuned guitar sound. Vocals growing bloodier, towards the end, emphasised more strongly by the collective voices, at that point. Certainly very gory.

Annihulus – Solid, heavy riff and drum hits intro. More of an instrumental angle to this, but the vocals are just as blood-soaked, when they enter. There’s perhaps a little more depth to the tones, but in places, they do lift, in a sound resembling Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf. It’s mainly an exercise in heavy treads. Similarities can be drawn with much of the material on the recent collective ‘Doombanomicon’, as well as with Bludy Gyres and Mourning Glory. Coming to a sharp end, the riffs and percussion finish it.

Black Shirt, Blacker Sabbath – Opening with a wah sound and a light, cymbal effect. Graduating to a heavier, drum and riff-based section. Some pleasant melody there. Keeping a decent steady rhythm going, the melody lifts it a tad. Fairly Clutch-esque material here. Monsterish vocals, with a clear death focus. Slightly repetitive, but a good strong guitar sound. Breaking the sameness, 3/4 in, with a bit more variety and a faster pace. There’s colour, amongst the mud and sludge. Not much change in those blackened vocals, but it is consistently thudding.

Last Of The Summer Slime – Introing gradually, onto a dulled, heavy landscape. Much like a giant’s footsteps, trampling everything in its path. This one’s a bit heavy going and could definitely do with more vocal variation and some tone changes, here and there. Again, though, it does incorporate melody, sporadically. It’s clear that the extremity’s intertwined with the doom. Doom is, in large part, what it’s about – a fact becoming more deeply entrenched towards the end. Again, the group vocals appear, at that point, solidifying the doom. This goes on a bit too long, losing more listenability, by the moment. It also needs to lose that piercing feedback screech, at the end, rapidly moving it into painful territory. An unfortunate point to close on, but a fair amount of positives, collectively.

Overall – Largely speaking, ‘FBF’ is very much a generic sludge/stoner/doom production. It has its lighter points, in particular, where the melody heightens and it is easily comparable, in those areas, to some fairly well-known bands in the same genre. However, it does overdo the darker elements of sludge and it also becomes quite samey and repetitive, especially at the closing sections. Whilst ‘FBF’ is unarguably heavy, it would definitely benefit from lighter aspects, here and there.

7/10 *******

For fans of Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf, Doombanomicon, Bludy Gyres, Mourning Glory, Clutch, Carcass, Taint, Iron Monkey.

http://www.facebook.com/swampcoffinband
http://swampcoffin.bandcamp.com/releases/flatcapbastardfeatures

Advertisements

Posted July 24, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Baradj – ‘Hunnar’   Leave a comment

Presenting brand-new video ‘Hunnar’, from Russian folk post-metal band Baradj. The track is the title of their new 3rd album.

In order to capture the essence of Bulgar’s natural landscape, the band selected a remote area of wilderness, in which to shoot the video. The chosen location was once trodden by various natives of that region, warriors of Bulgar included. It’s a place carrying an olfactory sense of authentic nature, from which, humanity began and to which, Baradj believe, we should all return.

Hunnar – Smooth intro, unusually pop metal-esque, but soon confirmed as modern heavy metal, by the growly vocal extremity. Lots of great melodic riffage and a folky aspect to it. Set in the middle of a field, it definitely adds to the free atmosphere of the sound. Guitars dropping into a lighter section, temporarily, before beefing it back up again. Good tight riffs moving into a more quiescent tone, with birdsong surrounding. Ending on the visual of an open space, it fades out on those same quieter riffs. There’s something quite lovely about the structure and arrangements, transporting you to the setting. It’s libertarian emphasis is well conveyed. There’s an ease of delivery, throughout, adding to the pleasure. You might just miss those brief, lighter vocals aswell, 3/4 in, if you don’t listen carefully. The daylight performance adds an extra angle to its natural focus. It’s a track that sucks you in. Flawless.

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

For fans of Liholesie, Heather Wasteland, Falagar.

Posted July 22, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

VNTER – ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’   Leave a comment

Founded in the notorious Gothenburg, Sweden, during November 2017, VNTER have released 2 successful singles so far, resulting in a lot of publicity, via radio, magazines, podcasts and live gigs. Known for their highly energised arena rock, they’re aiming for a busy time for the remainder of 2019, commencing with their new album.

The 13 track was recorded at Soundport Studio, by engineer/producer Mikael Andersson. Unusually, the band aim to launch 1 track per month, over 13 months. Much more promo activity is also planned. Their ambition for 2020 is to solidify their reputation within the scene, through European festivals and playing support for better known bands, on tours.

Amongst their inspirations are Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Muse and QOTSA . Their style combines those sounds and packs an equal punch, both live and recorded.

The Way You Make Me Feel – Unexpectedly mellow intro. Quite a pleasant, melodic sound, with a bigger soft percussion emphasis than is usual. Lightly sung vocals, possibly more poppy than rocky, but there is a gradual insertion of slightly heavier accompaniments. Similar to the style of Roachford. Very summery and a fairly catchy beat. Just a pleasant listen, really. Definitely a prime candidate for softer rock arenas.

8/10 ********

For fans of Roachford, Seal.

https://www.facebook.com/vnterofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/vnterofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVJv69GbtYV6heNgV9on6uQ

Posted July 17, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Agonize The Serpent – ‘Legacy’   Leave a comment

An energised melodic metal core band, hailing from Sweden, Agonize The Serpent are rooted in a combo of new wave, punk and death metal.

Their debut single/video, ‘Cloak & Dagger’, was launched in 2015, well received and led them to return to studio Haga, to produce their debut EP.

That EP, entitled ‘Under A Serpent’s Oath’, was released in 2016, followed by 2 shows and a live video for the track, ‘Betrayal’.

2017 saw work on a debut album begin. In addition, a single and video for ‘Through The Unknown’ launched, featuring Roland Johansson (ex-The Unguided, Sonic Syndicate). The band also played their first big gig, alongside The Unguided and Corroded.

ATS launched the album named ‘Pray For A Plague’, in 2018, with 3 music videos. The track ‘Ghost’ features Christoffer Anderson (ex-Dead By April).

Since then, they’ve performed in multiple venues throughout Sweden and taken part in competitions, for instance, ‘Impericon Next Generation and P3-Osignat’.

2019 has seen them record 2 new tracks with a new singer and the current single, ‘Legacy’, was released on 28th June.

Legacy – Explosion of punchy death style metal core intro’s. Very much a modern edge to this, including group vocals, in places, with a very slight anthemic feel. A good deal of melody within it. A definite alt flavour, slightly echoing Death Blooms. Decent riffage. Alternating the growly vocals with more melodic styles. Keeping the beat going well. Fading out carefully, on a techy themed in and out riff. It’s a favourable effort, well produced and performed. Could still do with a few more signature markers, but it’s a balanced track, with a fairly decent sound.

7/10 *******

For fans of Death Blooms, Centrilia.

https:// http://www.facebook.com/agonizetheserpent/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6Xao7aRx9g8QyL3jE0rYYR?si=7ynceGXuTqqR3zRo8b0cLg
https://www.instagram.com/agonizetheserpent/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMNhZZ7rolXNT752pxpIzA

Posted July 15, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

SkyEye – ‘Digital God’   Leave a comment

SkyEye are a heavy metal band from Slovenia. Formed in 2014, it’s now grown from a trio to a quintet. Inspired by traditional, old school bands such as Iron Maiden, Saxon and Judas Priest, SkyEye combine strong, edgy vocals with searing melodic riffs. Their first gig was in June 2017 and the debut EP followed months after, entitled ‘Run For Your Life’. The powerful acclaim and strong crowd reactions received during shows motivated a return to the studio, where their debut album, ‘Digital God’ was recorded and launched on 9th November 2018.

Intro – Low, down-tuned, orchestral like intro, accompanied by sounds of thunderstorms, gunshots and bombs. Getting louder, until it suddenly ends, abruptly. Good intriguing build-up.

Fire – Explosive intro, moving straight into an anthemic power vocal and riff. Very Maiden-esque territory here. That influence is definitely audible. Tons of powerful drumming, heaps of melody and catchiness in high supply. Awesomely metal power scream, just before the end. This is memorable and laced with feelgood hooks).

Digital God – Banging drum intro, blitzes its way onto the scene, right into a great catchy fast pace, similar to the sound of Die No More. Those vocals definitely have the edge. So Dickinson-esque and a huge wave of upbeat feeling just sings through this. Maximum strength beats, loading the melody on, as the scales climb, with the tension and the atmosphere fills you with contagion.

In The Name Of SkyEye – Barrelling in there, with a brilliantly chasing pace, ramping up the tension, then exploding into sheer magnificence. This stuff sounds as if they’ve had lessons from Maiden themselves. Power central. It screams conviction and enormous passion. Just riddled with every aspect of great metal imaginable. Production and sound quality as momentous as the music. Addictive lyrics, huge melodies, soaring riffs and massive drum hits. Ending on a giant of a power scream, it’s unforgettable.

Run For Your Life – Opening on a blizzard of drumming, oozing power, it turns the metal gauge up again. Here, the drums really do come into their own, taking a central role. Wow. Just wow. Those vocals are metal hit material, for certain. Hitting you with the sheer fabulousness of their scope, they’re on top form and they just take you with them. Truly sensational. On every level.

Secrets Of The Damned – Coming in this time on a more sinister, gradual note of omen. That huge orchestral sound does duty, as an atmospheric gauge again. In this case, it’s a pure instrumental, gone in a brief time, but carrying such power and intensity within it, so it’s affecting, still.

Jerusalem – Another banging intro, making its presence felt, loud and clear. It’s seriously mighty stuff. Again, you feel the drums deep within you. Cleverly mysterious lyrics, timed so strategically, with absolute intuitive feel. This band are a true powerhouse of metallic aceness. All accompaniments in complete sync, delivered with such effortless ease and every note loaded with gigantic power. Here, it’s melody all the way, flying and swooping with each section. A slight Eastern sound in there, matching with the title and theme. So well performed. Vocal fade-out. Immense.

Confess Your Sins – Strong metal intro sound, bringing back a modern edge. A darkened thread intro’s a slight musical type theatricality and it works. Changing down a gear, into a very slight vibrato mimic, it keeps that sinister omen going throughout. Becoming increasingly dark and creepy, till the metal ethos returns to the lyrical message. Great evil laugh, well placed, at the end). Faultless.

Book Of Life – Quickened cymbal hits intro. Burning into a true speed metal section. Very reminiscent of the greats again. Melody, incarnate and never a note missed, in that flawless delivery. Always, the strength remains, through every single moment. Here we have another classic metal hit, through and through. So uplifting and accessible. Gaining in strength and stamina till the fabulous screeching feedback riff closing).

Tsunami – Opening with the sound of an approaching wave, accompanied by an equally meaningful guitar riff and gentle vocals enter next. The lyrics pull you in, with their tone and style, as the pitch drops, emulating the warning of the encroaching tsunami. This one really gets inside you, with its obvious references to past events and the associated empathy conveyed. There’s a big mix of emotions here, including the relief of being saved and the associated gratuity and euphoria, along with the expression of grief at the loss of lives. Wonderfully expressed, from start to finish and fittingly, ending on a return to the lighter waves, going back to sea, as the tide goes out and the seagulls cry along. Beautiful.

Stardust – A penetrating pitch intro’s, with a sci-fi-esque sound effect and a true, old school heavy metal section next). Moving into a classic arrangement, taking things right back up to the core of heavy metal. Brilliantly performed vocals, moving up the scales, with accomplished ease. Hugely melodic and catchiness in spades. Even another evil laugh and perfectly pitched power screams, then back to the sci-fi sound closing. Such immense power.

Galactic Wind – An encompassing breeze opens, onto a scene of evocative images, with that same Eastern tinge as earlier. A very visual track, heaped with mystery. Just as heavy and just as strong, complete with some gorgeous slide. It really builds a picture, with true lyrical skill. Those riffs are delightful, making the most of every opportunity for creativity. That later chorus is strikingly familiar, but still so unique, working in tandem with the giant vocals, to paint a narrative picture of meaning. Blowing up into a storm of metal, before closing on a gentle acoustic section, repeating a poignant message. Nicely done.

Overall – ‘Digital God’ holds such tremendous power, that it’s almost left me speechless. It’s genuinely difficult to convey the sheer fortitude within it, or the true magnitude of its greatness. This is an album which stands out, not just for its strikingly strong delivery, nor just for its evident passion, but also for the combination of startling musicianship, conviction and apparent accomplished ease with which it’s performed and the notable star quality inherent within it, considering the comparatively short time they’ve been together. It’s absolutely flawless and 100% consistent in its demonstration of unrelenting power and magnificence. I could go on and on, but I’ll just stop there and say that ‘DG’ is something extraordinarily special and worth every moment that’s gone into it.

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

For fans of Iron Maiden, Intense, Die No More, Saxon.

https://skyeyeband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SkyEyeBand/
http://skyeyeband.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1l3n-Hibg-wsrsV7THepDw

Posted July 14, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Krysthla – ‘Worldwide Negative’   Leave a comment

Renowned UK metal band Krysthla now announce their new album, ‘Worldwide Negative’ and associated music video of the track, ‘Zero Sum Game’, from the album, alongside a slot on the main stage at Bloodstock Open Air.

‘WN’ follows 2017’s highly acclaimed ‘Peace In Our Time’, which brought them to 2nd place in Amazon’s rock and metal charts, beside Mastodon and While She Sleeps.

This, their 3rd album, launches on August 16th and the video track, ‘ZSG’ has already accrued airplay, via Kerrang, Primordial, Bloodstock, etc. In addition, it was voted number one in Metal Hammer’s Louder readers ‘Tracks Of The Week’, narrowly beating Slipknot, who came in at number 3.

Discussing Krysthla’s comeback, producer/guitarist Neil Hudson states that the band have exceeded their own expectations, with ‘WN’ and that it’s been a very satisfying process. Commenting on the album’s message, he highlights its observational stance on society and the escalating lack of humanity within it.

Produced, mixed and mastered by Neil Hudson, at Initiate Audio and Media Studios, Wellingborough. Released through PHD, the tour kicks off with Wolves, at The Giffard Arms, 13th July.

Negative – Stony intro, not quite crushing, but not far off. Extreme thrash/death vocals moving right in there, pouring consistent rage into the track, accompanied by highly proficient riff and drum arrangements, capably executed. Loaded with raw aggression.

Reawaken – Solid drum intro. Fast-paced riffing, good workable rhythm and a slight edge of darkness. Quite a technical performance. Missing a decent melody and a tad gloomy, but you can’t fault the passion. Filled with shouty, thrashy lyrics. Doesn’t really do it for me, but there’s no doubting their expertise.

Grief Is New Love – Opening on a battery of drums and enraged shouts, another rapidly paced number, with slightly more experimentation and variation and some lighter windows, here and there. It’s still overridingly dark, though. Plenty of well crafted riffs and it’s a decent length, but it’s just not exhibiting that spark. More melody needed here, for certain. Interestingly subtle fade-out.

Zero Sum Game – A drumming assault intro’s. Lots of vocal aggression again. A touch more melody, amongst the overarching brutality. Spacing out the riffs a bit more, drums still relentless. Very similar atmosphere to previous tracks. Ending on a predictably aggressive shout.

White Castles – Introing on a misleadingly quiescent sound, before launching into another thrash attack. Again, the atmosphere’s very stark and dark. Well supported lyrically. A very emphatic song. Much similarity to the rest. As before, it’s very musically proficient, but there’s nothing outstanding and it’s just devoid of soul.

Psalm Of Heartlessness – In comes another drumming battery, astutely timed, this time, adding in a more intriguing movie-like section, hinting at an action soundtrack. A little more of this might break it up a bit. It’s overloaded with rage, to the point that there’s no room for anything else.

Aurea Mediocritas – A continuation of the same. One thing it’s definitely not at all short on is heaviness. That’s the biggest factor of all. Plenty of well handled riffage and a well driven beat. It just feels like it’s droning on, dragging it out. It’s actually a relief when it ends.

The Gift – Straight in, with a rapid beat and a ton of heavy riffage. Very similarly angry vocals, with just a tiny hint of sporadic riff melody. It’s a case in which the whole atmosphere of the track’s as crushingly heavy as its sound, but they do intro more melody and light, as it goes on. There is hope. Definitely a better note to end on. Fading out on an acoustic riff.

Overall – On the whole, ‘WN’ encapsulates its title well, as its sound is very negative. As expected, it’s technically proficient and impressively delivered, with complete consistency of vocal aggression, especially. However, this album really does overdo the raw brutality and angered darkness, to the point of obscuring any light whatsoever, till the final track. A lot more melody would save it and secure a catch, which is largely absent. Excellently crafted, but poorly conceived, in terms of hooks.

7/10 *******

For fans of Bull Riff Stampede, Gravil, Eternal Fear, Boltthrower.

http://www.krysthla.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/krysthla

https://www.instagram.com/krysthla_band
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjHzxNfTUqNaZ9wshfKQMQ

Video for ‘Zero Sum Game’:-

 

Posted July 13, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Tensor – ‘The Collector’   Leave a comment

Founded 2017, Tensor was born from the evolution of guitarist Jeroen D’hauwers’ musical interests and long background in the industry. As his overriding love was for complex heavy metal, he set up a band, with the aim of creating it.

Drummer and long-standing friend of Jeroen, Ruben Vranken joined first (ex Herfst and at that time, Desert Trail). Nicky Frissyn came next, on bass. Known for her roles in Alma Perdida and The Advent Of March, amongst others, she has a long background in both classical and prog music, playing guitar and bass.

Initially, the band name was Tensor Tympani, after the ear section, protecting the eardrum from dangerous, overwhelming noise levels.

Ex Sanity’s Rage singer Kelly Molly was then invited to join the band, due to his reputation for transferring narrative concepts to music. Second guitarist Tim Debruyne followed soon after. He’d previously been in Sanity’s Rage, with Kenny, as well as performing in countless other bands, latterly, punk covers band, The Dirty Harries.

The band moniker was then shortened, to Tensor, for ease of reference and they began prepping for the next stage, by completing their new material. As Tim was over committed, he left after two months and was hastily replaced by Pieter Clerens, his bandmate from TDH’s.

Successful progression was swift, culminating in a debut gig in ‘T Smiske, Asse, during May 2018. It was well received and the current 2 track demo, ‘The Collector’, was produced. (Mixed at Breeze Inc Studio and mastered by Y-Productions). Since its global positive reception, airplay, features and interviews have been forthcoming, internationally.

Artwork by Kenny Molly, Black Molly Design.

The Collector – Techy intro, complex, heavy and thoughtfully melodic. Segueing, smoothly, from imaginative, slightly darkened riffs, to extreme thrash vocals. Very capable, effortless flow. Palpable passionate raw anger. A lot of depth to this. Moving into powerful groove edged riffs, fading out with the same. It’s affecting stuff.

The End Of Apprehension – Solid riff intro, with the same technical style. Light cymbal hits combine with extreme lyrics and evocative, tight riffs. A definite ease sings through it, growing harder and heavier, as the track progresses. Quite Trivium-esque, it slides its way into the outro, with well honed perfection.

Overall – A clearly perfected sound, with all the warmth and familiarity of recognisably good thrash, combined with a strongly technical flavour and darker edges. An effective showcase of genuine talent.

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

For fans of Trivium, Kalmah, Hammerstroke.

http://www.vi.be/tensor
http://www.facebook.com/tensormetal
http://www.instagram.com/tensorband
https://tensormetal.bandcamp.com

Posted July 7, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized