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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.


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.

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.

Posted July 7, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Leo Viridi – ‘LV1’   Leave a comment

Released August 2nd, 2019, ‘LV1’ is Leo Viridi’s debut hard rock/heavy metal album, with guest performances from ex-members of Megadeth and Dream Theater, current members of Firewind, Mutiny Within, Dissension Rising, etc. Amongst them are Shawn and Glenn Drover, Derek Shirinian, Henning Basse and Danni Carroll.

Something To Prove – (single 1, released Friday, July 5th, 2019). Kicking off with a classic modern metal drum roll and heavy riff. A real vocal talent, Chrissie Hynde soundalike comes in rapidly and smoothly. Great melody, catchy and infectiously upbeat. Similar sound to Siva Addiction. A high level rhythm tears through it and it fades out fast, on a combined male/female vocal, with a sexy riff.

April Showers – (single 2 – released Friday, July 19th, 2019). Immediate hit of addictive, penetrative metal, with a velvet sound, beautifully vocalised by that Pretender’s-esque voice. Smooth, sleek and gorgeously melodic. It just floats along, on a calm wave, enhanced by the combination of carefully positioned steel strings and electric riffs. Fading out on a tasteful note, it’s sheer class.

Disillusioned – Strong drumbeat and very new wave riff opening. Not unlike the rhythm to Firewind’s ‘Keep Your Head Up High’. Getting into its stride, with blazing riffage, growing fierier by the minute. Chasing through the track, till the end, it never loses pace, for a moment.

Blood Of Warriors – Red hot, intense, racing riffs intro. Here, the masculine vocals come into play. Again, it’s another cracking melody, fitting well with the lyrics. Cool, measured rhythm, vocal grit, injected at just the right point and building the drumming momentum to the max. There’s a real strength in the delivery of this chorus, well supported by the drumming climax, at the end.

From The Inside – Heavy riff and drum hit intro. A straight out traditional heavy metal sound). Feminine vocals bring their own grit, mingled with those of the masculine voice. Building it up, with a powerful drum section and some awesomely executed vocal rolls. Immensely sexy riffs, ably assisted by the fantastic production and sound values. It’s just an ace.

The Belligerent Dr. Ink – Rapid paced riffs intro, in the sexiest formation. True Malmsteen-esque flavour to this, taking it up, to the apex of metal. A real virtuoso quality to it. Here is where the full capacity of the riffs really comes to the fore and it’s a very riff focused track.

Fazed And Distressed – Another great heavy intro, giving you a taste of what’s to come. Brilliantly timed drum roll and once again, those wonderfully edgy feminine vocals enter. Backing vocals stepping back to just the right extent. A genuinely catchy rhythm, with a freshness to it, keeping it up-to-date. It just pulls you in.

Self-Centred – Banging intro, really bringing in the heaviness and cementing the catch, early on. Another highly addictive one. Some truly fabulous riffage leading the way, mixing with those brilliantly natural vocals. A well chosen closer, it skids into the ending, with the ultimate riff.

Overall – Hard to believe this is a debut, given the level of sheer magnificence within it. The expert choice of guests featured certainly helps it along a lot, but even so, for a debut offering, there’s incredible talent and a natural flair throughout. It’s smooth, sleek delivery is what stands out most and the melodies are just addictive. Moreish metal, right here. Give ‘LV1’ a whirl and turn it up loud.

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

For fans of Siva Addiction, Firewind, Black Country Communion, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, The Pretenders.

Posted July 5, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

The Lows – ‘Love Xtinction’   Leave a comment

A fresh new hard rock band, from Detroit, Michigan, The Lows are all about the grassroots of sincere rock ‘n’ roll. Their new single, ‘Love Xtinction’, was launched on June 28th, 2019.

The track came from a difficult time in the life of Angelo Coppola, founding member and lead vocalist and guitarist. During that time, the press overload of negativity fed into the title of the track.

The band, as a whole, thrive on the fan connections built by their brand of groove rock, based on the real values of hard rock, produced in an up-to-date fashion.

‘LX’ is taken from their emerging release, ‘The Love Sessions’, produced by Grammy award-winning producer engineer Chuck Alkazian (Soundgarden, Pop Evil) and recorded at the renowned Pearl Sound Studios (Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Madonna, Eminem).

Love Xtinction – A blast of loud rock, with classic lyrics and feel hits you. It’s a well produced sound, with a relaxed day at the beach feel to it. Good rhythm and melody, with a solid base. There’s definitely a feelgood essence to it and a basic pleasure to be had from its sound. Other than that, it’s a pretty average track, built around a basic concept, but sometimes, that level of simplicity works well.

7/10 *******

For fans of Courtesans, The Wonder Stuff.

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Posted July 4, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Final Coil – ‘The World We Left Behind For Others’   Leave a comment

Introducing Final Coil’s brand-new album, ‘The World We Left Behind For Others’. Complete with deeply imaginative and thought-provoking artwork, by Andy Pilkington, of Very Metal Art, it follows up 2017’s seminal album ‘Persistence Of Memory’.

Ash’s – Opening gradually, as if into a tunnel, to another world. Smooth guitar riffs, dancing with the light and melting into each other segue into a plucky section, growing increasingly proggy.

The Last Battle – Continuing the plucky riffs. Vocals coming in, down an alternative route, with grunge inflections. Slightly similar riffs now to those on ‘POM’, down tuned bass segments, interacting with the higher pitched riffs, in an inventive melody. Fading out on mysterious contemplative lyrics and a slightly dark atmosphere.

Scattered Dust – Altogether heavier intro, even more sinister and wandering. Vocals entering earlier, in an ominous tone. Speeding up, the riffs take it up to higher ground. Still, that dark lyrical thread persists. Some particularly eerie riffage in there, playing out the atmosphere of the time. Moving up now, into a higher vocal register, building in strength, with an almost hypnotic edge. Flying off into the distance, the riffs grow shriller and more rhythmic, as it fades out.

Take Me For A Walk – Introing on an easy beat and accessible riff melody, it lets you relax into the flow. Slow and steady, with a strong grunge emphasis. Bringing in a touch of feedback, vocals coming next. Catchy hook to that chorus. Intriguing lyrics. Fading out gently.

Empty Handed – Introing with a slight Sabbath-esque groove there, echoing their ‘MOR’ era, with a powerful riff, the melody growing. Quick rhythm follows, displaying an in and out essence. A melancholic edge to it, but still maintaining that faster beat. Riffs opening out, onto a carpet of imagery, growing ever lighter. Strongly atmospheric. Vocal emphasis building in power, yet always a restrained air about it. Fading out gradually.

Keeping Going – Plucky riffs opening, with an altogether higher vibe. Mood lifting instantly, kept up by a consistently lighter vibe. A simpler melody gives this one an easier, more accessible edge. Fading out on the same sound.

Convicted Of The Right – Opening onto some very chilling lyrics and surrounding battle sounds. Eye-opening and thought-provoking. Riffs getting more and more shrill, till the visual ending, of chaos and aftermath. Brief, but intense.

Ashes Ashes – Piano intro, on another similarly sinister tone. Vocals matching. It’s definitely a darker sound, but there’s still light within it. Briefer, but no less atmospheric.

One More Drink – A shadowed sense enshrouds this, like a veil. Another short one, focused around a continuous beat. Purely instrumental.

And I’ll Leave – Taking the mood back up again, with a higher vibe, but only slightly. There’s still a significant morosity, but it is a little more light. Some nice smooth riffage in there. Very emotionally reflective.

Imaginary Trip – Introing on a measured grungy rhythm and melody, with that same sense of loss and hopelessness captured within it. A strong narrative to this and a picturesque bleakness pervades it. More vocally focused. A haunting quality emanates. There’s a smooth fluidity to this track, which just glides through it, till the end, formed by a minimal plucky quiescent riff, leaving an air of mystery.

The World We Left Behind For Others – A very doom entrenched intro. Like a much heavier version of The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’. Possibly the most thought-provoking track, which is, of course, fitting, for the title track. Vocals entering at a later point, with a definite aggression, painting the picture, in words. Somehow, there’s a greater ease and acceptance about this one, whilst still being emotive about the theme. Evolving into a catchy, if morose chorus, surrounding the poignant piano section with shrill feedback riffs, on which, it ends.

Overall – Melodically, it’s definitely a different direction, in deference to the theme. It is, though, just as imaginative and thought-provoking as ‘POM’. The production’s as flawless as I’ve come to expect from FC and the depth of focus on channelling of emotion’s superb. Something, however, is missing, for me, in ‘TWWLBFO’ and that’s lightness and catch. Whilst the subject matter doesn’t necessarily lend itself to mood lifting properties and must be respectfully and therefore, realistically portrayed, this album’s just a little bit too gloomy for me. No quarrel at all with its technical proficiency, nor its musical craftsmanship, both of which are always in full supply and of top-notch quality, with FC. It just doesn’t quite hit that spot, in terms of mood enrichment. Extraordinary effort. Just missing the spark.

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

For fans of AIC, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Martyr De Mona.

Posted June 30, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Misticia – ‘XVA’   Leave a comment

Misticia, a band originally from the Andes, Suacha, Colombia, were founded in 1999 and incorporate everything from traditional folklore, Latin and pre-Hispanic, right through to sludge, doom and death metal and everything in between. They were one of the founders of native Spanish and English lyrical combinations.

Now based out of Germany and Spain, their work, to date, includes EP ‘Welcome To Utopia’, album ‘Sickness Of The Earth’, (with mastering by Andy Klassen, Krisum, Belphegor, Holy Moses, Legion Of The Damned) and this year, they’re releasing a 3rd album, entitled ‘XVA’, featuring Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Behemoth, Dark Funeral, In Flames, Syl and more). Mastering by Jamie Gomez Arellano, at Orgone Studios, UK.

‘XVA’ is inspired by Sun, the God of the Muiscas, an original Andean people, from Central Colombia. Boasting a great deal of linguistic inspirations and artistic creative cultures, ‘XVA’ is a 12 track concept album, with myths and legends, as well as the conquest of America at its heart. Vocalising hitherto unheard voices, within the metal scene, it creates its own self protective construct out of that.

The album’s cover art refers to various Muisca Gods, for instance, ‘The Frog’ Rain God, The Snake and The Lartija. Showing, symbolically, the seal of Misticia, (oka The ‘Frailejon’, an indigenous plant, over 2000 years old, grown only in the Paramos.

The very first Colombian metal band to record in Europe in 2002/3, Misticia did so at the Stonehenge Studio, Bonne, Germany.

Their live gigs are known for dazzling light shows, video screen intro’s, traditional Andean dress and the sharing of coca leaves with the audience.

Lately, they’ve been touring to promote ‘XVA’, during which, they’ve opened for Venom Inc, in Bogota and wowed the crowds, around Pereira, Ibague, Villavichencio, Zipaquira and Suacha. They played to a rapturous audience, at sold-out shows.

Still astounding the fans, on the European tour, ready to share the stage with renowned German thrash band Exumer. During 2018, they also toured with Argentinian band A.N.I.M.A.L., completing their new album with well-known producer Daniel Bergstrand, at the helm, at Dugout Studio, Uppsala, Sweden. Their way of recording is to do so in the traditional analogue way, which Misticia have always done.

As early founders of Latin native metal, Misticia have a strong foundation of live experience behind them and are prepared to continue the same path.

Suacha – A crash of drums intro’s, with a buzzing riff and vivid death vocals. It’s a big sound, from the start. Slamming walls of sound surround this track, enclosing it in complex darkness. Lots of very involved directions and techniques interweave, with the overriding sense of heavy industrial darkness. It packs a great deal into its delivery.

Aperrear – Banging drum opening. Unfolding onto a scene of carnage and visual explosions of atmosphere. A shorter track, with similarly gravel encrusted vocals and a strong grime emphasis.

Mallku – More measured, mid-paced drum rolls intro. A sense of impending doom infiltrates the riffs and lyrics. Some screechy riffs and a driving metal core feel. Drums speeding up, a cloak of blackness covers the track, as it reaches an end.

Yohualli – Powerful heavy concrete intro, with a phalanx of warriors entering. A ritual chant fits over the top of the persistently grimy rhythm. Growing ritualistically stronger, this isn’t a sound you want to hear late at night, in a darkened room. Ending on a few insistent drum hits, it’s patently aggressive.

Marrichiweu – A more AIC-esque grungy intro here, this is certainly more relatable. Moving the groove down, into a ‘Check My Brain’-esque manner. Still much heavier than your average band of this nature. Again, that menacing mantra overlays it, with murderous intent. Even in another language, the intention is everything and is well conveyed. A stop start section bridges it, just before the end, which is bashed out heavily, by the drums.

Burukaccossi – An electrified, high-pitched riff intro’s, followed by an extremely brief, blackened vocal and then it’s over.

La Chucua – A melodic acoustic riff opens, flowing downwards, in perfect formation. Surprisingly mellow. Fretwork picking out those notes beautifully, bringing in a flamenco-esque section, joined by panpipes, evoking a Peruvian atmosphere, of exquisite beauty. Gentle and pure, it’s an instrumental, reflecting notable quality.

Thanksgiving Day – Once more, the solid industrial machinery returns. Deathy, black vocals follow, in monster form. Fading in and out, in intriguing fashion. Always consistent, in lyrical emphasis. A repeating rhythmic pattern reveals itself, within the accompaniments, in an almost mesmeric manner. A longer track, with a heap of strategies thrown into it.

Hazanas Sanguinarias – Neatly executed drum hits intro, moving into a busy section, packed with aggression. More monster vocals. A very brief track.

Sin lu dios – A scary vocal intro you’d want to run from, if it was chasing you. There’s an immense determination about this whole album and it’s particularly prevalent here. Very raw and cutthroat. Vicious and frighteningly intense. A lot of strength embodies the lyrics, relentless and incessant. Packing loads of drive into the drums, as it slithers towards an end, the overwhelming message seems to be danger and it’s certainly very plausible. Fading out, on a final, well-controlled riff, lingering in your mind.

Ally Shamushka – A much more defined, straight out heavy-metal intro, with a slightly unexpected Lemmy-esque vocal. Quickly moving down, into an accompanying beat, but then it’s over. Definitely an abrupt edge to some of these tracks.

Delay de las Indias – A spoken intro, with a fairly gentle tone, but with just as much conviction accompanies the softer riffs, in a closing melody.

Overall – Deeply unusual and highly complex, ‘XVA’ showcases a vast wealth of cultural references, drawing on a lot of resources to do so. An intelligent structure, with countless in-depth arrangements, there’s a real depth and profundity to it, that shakes things up and diverts away from the mainstream. What you might call a ‘thinking person’s album’, ‘XVA’ defies perception and crosses boundaries. One-of-a-kind.

8/10 ********

For fans of X-Method, Satarial, Wykan, Knifesex.


Posted June 28, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized