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Rawfoil – ‘Tales From The Four Towers’   Leave a comment

Formed in 2009, Rawfoil began in Italy, as a duo, expanding into a quintet, playing simple classic thrash metal. They then incorporated Iron Maiden, Metallica and Helloween covers into their material.

With some later line-up changes, came new material and their debut, independent, 3 track demo was released late 2011. Live appearances followed, during which, they played alongside countless other underground bands, from Italy and further afield.

From 2014, more line-up changes eventually resulted in the strong, well-honed thrash metal sound of today.

Their debut album launched in 2016, produced by Alex Azzali, at Alpha-Omega Studios, Como.

2020 brings a new 4 track EP, entitled, ‘Tales From The Four Towers’.

People Who Don’t Drink Are Not People – Introing with a verbal exchange, in Italian, exploding, into a fiery thrash riff fest. Blind rage plays out, in an angry blur of metal. Definitely more shouty than sung, but there’s just enough riff melody to make it accessible. The pace is typically fast, injecting a bit more melody, around 3/4 in. Drums growing more prominent, with a bit of cymbal action, towards the end. Just another blur of frantic thrashing, returning to the initial verbal exchange. It certainly makes an impression.

Cult Of The Ignorance – Drums intro, fast and furious. Another blitzkrieg of metallic energy. Lots of vocal aggression. Fiery riffs characterise the track. A short burst of explosive sounds. Just as powerful and group vocals add an edge.

Braindead Diver – Opening with an audio clip of a dive into water. Soon moving into another thrash fest of raging aggression. Slightly more heightened melody in the riffage here. Consistent vocal rage, more collective than is usual. It’s just a speed arena of continued blazing thrash riffs.

Thick Slices (As My Mother’s Like) – An opening spoken language oration. Then right into the racing thrash riffs. This is even faster, like a thrash race. Lots more shouty group vocals. Riffage getting more intense, throwing in a bit of whammy and vibrato, before returning to wholesale rage. Vocals intensifying and finally, back to the Italian language section, at the outro.

Overall – An intense, racing blitzkrieg of thrash, worthy of the classic old school bands. High levels of energy and consistent good sound quality, throughout. More rage than melody, but true migraine inducing thrash, with impressive levels of stamina.

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

For fans of Hammerstroke, Bullriff Stampede, Exodus, Testament, Slayer, Warpath, Pantheon UK.

https://www.facebook.com/Rawfoil
https://rawfoil.bandcamp.com

Posted June 3, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Scars Of Sense – ‘Believe In Sound’   Leave a comment

Introducing ‘Believe In Sound’, latest album from UK-based alt/folk rock band Scars Of Sense.

Transcend Ur Reality – Heavy intro, immediate and fresh. A tasty violin, drum and riff combo. Vocals surprisingly aggressive. Still retaining that gentle feel, though. Like an edgier, rawer version of The Levellers. That same sense of mystery present in their earlier work’s still clear. It’s just stepped up a mark, with the stronger vocals.

Re Set – Next Level – Similar sounding track. Clear lyrics, through still aggressive vocals. Narrating a tale of everyday life. The violin does give it a zestier angle. Again, it’s very Levellers-esque. Accessible rhythms. Good flow. An intriguing blend of folk/alt, with extremity.

Tales Of Not So Old – A softer sound now, violin introing, with a strong atmosphere and potent visuals. Quite protest-like, it’s a cohesive fit. The narrative thread’s even more powerful here. Then moving into a snazzier riff section, before returning to the previous sound. It’s a great imaginative track.

Trash – More of a poignant intro now. Very passionate vocals. Moving into a fiery lyrical thread. The vocals flit easily, from soft and gentle, to angry extreme and back again, with the violin segments fitting in well. There’s a very intuitive form going on here.

The Long Road – Opening with a heavy drum roll. It’s another clear protest, Levellers-esque feel. The sound of such otherwise incongruent combinations transcends the usual perceived boundaries of rock and it works so well. Drums growing stronger, rumbling on, through the track, alongside the riffs, violin and vocals.

Temporary World – Introing with a powerful folk essence. Once more, the lyrics rail at society. Vocals growing slightly edgier and stronger, in places. Riffs a tad more fiery here. Violin tones lowering, to accommodate the change of mood. Pace quickening, as the violin pitch heightens. Always, an easy rhythm. Vocals staying heavy. Ending abruptly.

Heal The Hurts – Moving into a slightly heavier realm, whilst not losing that crucial folky feel. It’s a sound that just works. Becoming harder and more pronounced, in places, the structure’s always strong and supportive; the connection, cohesive. Clear messages, throughout.

Berlin – A little snazzier and faster, introing a slightly stronger edge to the vocals and accompaniments. Still, very much Levellers-esque. A delightful summery sound. Something of a Pogues-esque sense to it. Just a gorgeous, capable, colourful track, with a lot of feeling woven through it. Defined, Celtic ending.

Call Of My Spirit – Another beautifully light intro, with heavy edges surrounding it. A perfect outdoorsy, festival vibe. Brief backing vocals add to the strength of the track. Lots of violin input, still working with the aggressive vocals. Slightly echoing an old classic Offspring favourite. Coming together, in a culminating close, the tight-knit end’s notable.

Shine – Straight into an unhesitant intro. Again, it’s the same kind of sound. A pleasant feel, mixing all the various aspects well. Another resonant lyrical message, relatable to most. That angle of the violin’s almost physical. Just a great showcase of how such disparate sections of sound can unite, as one, in a very workable format. Ending definitively.

Overall – ‘BIS’ is a classic showcase of how the band’s sound has grown more refined, without losing its tangible essence. It’s a great, enjoyable listen, especially at this time of year, with its summery festival vibes. A rare example of how well string instruments can work with rockier aspects and metallic edge. Give it a whirl, for a lighter listening experience.

8/10 ********

For fans of The Levellers, The Pogues, The Pixies.

Produced by Graham Waller.

https://m.facebook.com/scarsofsense/

Posted June 2, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Minatox 69 – ‘Nothing New Under The Sun’   Leave a comment

Minatox 69 formed in 2010. The Italian quartet launched their debut album, ‘La Foca Nel Deserto’ that year and a 2nd guitarist completed the line-up, in 2012, when the next release, ‘Hot Line’ landed.

Italian tours came next and the band pressed pause, for several years, while other individual projects were pursued. They returned in 2019, releasing a new EP, entitled ‘Zero’ and signing with Mad4Music Management.

Attracting much media attention, including extensive airplay, ‘Zero’ opened the door for numerous live performances, with such legendary bands as Sepultura, Lacuna Coil, After The Burial, etc.

Forthcoming album, ‘Collapse’ showcases Minatox 69, at their best. Produced at SPVN Studio, Milano, Italy, by Stefano Orchid Santi.

This new track, ‘Nothing New Under The Sun’ is intended as a social critique of current society, the perceived forced international communion and the consequent loss of individuality. It also examines digital and societal change, from the perspective of whitewashing and camouflaging the unchanging status quo. The song’s abiding message is that as we, as a society, are both cause and effect of the entrapment we’re moving towards, our one hope for genuine transcendence from this point, lies within ourselves and our awareness of this scenario.

Nothing New Under The Sun – Instant raging death vocals. All accompaniments carry the same degree of enraged aggression. Timed to perfection. Very driven performance, including touches of melody and keeping the vocals audible, however extreme they get. Conveying the furious mood, consistently and rhythmically. Intense, complex riffing, racing pace, all the way. Relentless rage, from start to end. A brief, but dramatic track, with significant impact.

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

For fans of Eternal Fear, Skreamer, Pantera, RATM, Linkin Park, Fightstar.

http://www.minatox69.com
http://www.mad4music.org
http://www.metalmusicbookings.com
http://www.neeceeagency.com
http://www.cmm-marketing.com

Posted June 1, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Deified – ‘Apotheosis/Rebirth’   Leave a comment

New track ‘Apotheosis/Rebirth’ and its associated lyric video, from Liverpool metal band Deified is now here. The next album ‘Anthrobscene’ is also out now.

‘A/R’ revolves around the current global Covid 19 pandemic, the artificial intelligence response to it and where this leads us, as a society.

Preceding ‘A/R’, ‘Anthrobscene’ explores similar issues, including the social outcomes of the digital revolution.

Deified won Bloodstock Metal To The Masses, 2015. Hailed as their strongest work yet, ‘Anthrobscene’ was produced entirely by the band’s own guitarist Matthew Pike (MSc).

‘A/R is accessible’, via stream and download, via Deified’s bandcamp and website.

Apotheosis/Rebirth – Crashing heavy-metal intro, ominous riffs and monster lyrics. Rapid drum hits and a catchy pace. Quite a raw sound, very thrashy, enough melody to keep it just on the cusp of extreme. That vocal aggression’s definitely audible and well matched by the heavy accompaniments. Slight Gothic horror edge, in places. A sense of a glimpse of life, through a telescope lens, growing angrier, towards the end. Fading out on a warning drum rumble. Certainly an impassioned performance. Doesn’t quite hit home, but much to be said for its consistent expression and decent production.

7/10 *******

For fans of Skreamer, Obzidian, Exodus, Chugger, Krysthla, Zeit, Carcass, Bullriff Stampede, The More I See.

Pre-save: https://bit.ly/39jWrNH

Pre-order: https://shop.defied.uk

Stream/download: https://bit.ly/2X0jbgC

Watch ‘Apotheosis/Rebirth’ lyric video here: https://youtu.be/mZPcmLg_DtU

https://www.deified.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/deified/
https://www.instagram.com/deifieduk/
https://www.youtube.com/c/Deified

Posted May 31, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Leading Light – ‘It Hurts’   Leave a comment

Swedish metal quartet Leading Light was founded in 2012. Their debut EP ‘Hymn Of The Pearl’ was released soon after. They performed throughout Sweden, before launching the 2014 debut album, ‘Protect The Sinner’. ‘Dolore’ came next, in 2016, followed by a European tour, in 2017, including 8 countries. The most recent album, ‘Shards Of Broken Reflection’ landed in 2018. During 2019, LL played more shows and concentrated on preparing new material for another album. At present, the band are promoting a new single, released this month, entitled ‘It Hurts’. ‘IH’ was recorded at Obsidian Recording Studios.

It Hurts – Gradual emergence of sound opens, into a seemingly incongruent, but skilled extreme and alternative combo. Both deathy and melodic, with a melancholic tinge. Well produced, heavy performance. Enough aggression and melodic balance to fit various sub-genres, including melo-death, hard-core, alt, metal core, industrial and grind core. Perhaps a little too downbeat, it doesn’t really hit home. A technically proficient track, with plenty of well timed riffage, but a bit too much morosity and just decidedly average.

5/10 *****

For fans of Death Blooms, Centrilia, Medusa.

https://www.facebook.com/Leadinglightband
https://www.instagram.com/leadinglightband?igshid=e5zqrer02r3p
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3ARWKblsvXQBVHXzfAwqP4?si=ptkNlhHoTLycLMOzTsoO-Q
https://www.youtube.com/user/leadinglightband1

Posted May 30, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Yriel – ‘In Retrospect’   Leave a comment

‘In Retrospect’ is the new 6 track EP from Yriel, prog metal band, based in Estonia. Formed in 2017.

Launched on May 7th, 2020, ‘IR’ follows 2 earlier singles, released in April.

This new material has formed into a new project, more fitting for this sound than the former music.

It’s a diverse sound, with many soundalike comparisons. Deep and contemplative, ‘IR’ takes a philosophical stance, covering both inter-and intra-personal themes. The unpredictable, versatile nature of the tracks makes for an intriguing listen.

‘IR’ was produced by Risto Virkhausen and designed by Fengarm. It features founding member and guitarist Ivo Laanelind (ex-Tankist), bassist Margus Traumann (also ex-Tankist and Loits), vocalist Kris Kirs and drummer Tanel Palmroos.

Extra contributors: – Henry Torm (guest solo, track 4), Hains Tooming (violin, track 6), Ruslan Petrov (cello, track 6).

Available internationally, on all digital platforms.

Pagan Bishop – Crushing intro! That’s one heavy sound. Darkly deep metallic vocals. Just a very full, steel sound. The blackness is audible. Still, it’s melodic, but very forceful. Some slightly lighter riff sections, growing more intricate. Massive metal mayhem. A bit like a much heavier Stiltskin.

Traitor – Rapid fire riff intro. A huge burst of metal. Imagine a mash up of Metallica and Kyrbgrinder. That’s how this sounds. Lots of motion within it, like a fast, chugging speed train, chasing a gigantic boulder, in its path. Interesting vocals. Quite versatile, in their own way. A bit of death roaring accompanies the rest, as it races to a halt. Just an intensely palpable experience.

Hypothesis – A surprisingly gentle change of direction now, with soft, classical acoustic riffs, played quite beautifully, in a pure instrumental.

The Final Crescendo – Chaotic sounds intro, like a night-time street chase. Soon moving into a speeding pace. Very intense lyrics, throwing in some unexpected, impressively hit screams. Again, a lot of darkness. There’s something unique about this sound. Slight sense of a more metallic Nick Cave. Very real. More melody in here, but never losing that hardened form. Ending on screeching feedback riffs.

Close To Home – Cymbal action opening, onto a gentler sound, but it does move back into the same darkness again. Just a little more light within the structure. As before, it still doesn’t lose that fulsome, chunky steel emphasis. A cacophony of voices assails you, before the aptly placed steel string riffs take over, yielding to pleasant vocal harmonies. Very slightly ominous, still, it’s definitely heavier and more emphatic than most prog. Sharpened riffs end it.

Sated – Opening on clearly ominous Gothic riffs, then giving way, to a glimmer of light. A vague feel of a metalled up Crash Test Dummies here. Always a polished edge to those riffs. Though the general emphasis is lighter, it still retains a modicum of sinister atmosphere. The death growls return, between the more melodic sections. Vocals holding that last note well.

Overall – A very unusual sound, with a real physicality to the arrangements, ‘IR’ is more intense than you might expect. Though still versatile enough to showcase lighter aspects, it’s generally, quite a dark EP, with a palpably crushing delivery. Complex, in places, it’s as unpredictable as claimed, taking you on an enlightening journey.

8/10 ********

For fans of Stiltskin, Kyrbgrinder, Metallica, SAEPHE, Crash Test Dummies, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Chugger.

https://yriel.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/yrielband

https://open.spotify.com/album/20TjGTj9AFmk0d8RV2qinP?si=Jm6cVWpXTW2KBeLolVqFGA

Posted May 29, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Wintereve – ‘October Dark’   Leave a comment

A female fronted Gothic doom metal band, from France, Wintereve have been around since 2013. Their music is a creative form of catharsis, aiming to convey the light within the darkest emotions. Wintereve are inspired by many bands, including Tiamat, Paradise Lost, Dead Can Dance, Draconian, Katatonia and Dark Sanctuary. They perform a unique art form, in that all vocals are solely Mary’s (except for occasional live backing vocals). ‘OD’ is a collaborative project, between Wintereve and Dan Swano, who mastered the album, at Unisound Studio, March 2020. It was independently released on April 25th, 2020, on Digipack CD.

Wintereve consists of Mary (vocals), Armand (guitars, bass, piano, keyboards) and Seeklone (session drums). Sebastian Ferrari contributes guest backing vocals and spoken word vocals.

This is their 3rd production, following 2014’s ‘Premiere Dance Macabre’ EP and ‘This Winter Will Never End’ 2017 CD.

Olima – Poignantly dark intro, exploding into life, with real sincerity. Brilliantly paced drums join the emotional riffs, as it drifts on, like a drowning survivor, clinging to a life raft. Beautifully ethereal vocals, with death roars following. Moving into a fluid rhythm of gothic sounds, slowing down and filling the space with so much feeling. The roars return, between the soft feminine pleas, with powerful accompaniments taking over, till the end. All operatic metal fans will get on well with this.

Sea Of Suffering – Strong, zesty intro, with a Celtic edge. Viking-esque, in its way. Taking you into the gloom, the mood’s contagious. Again, those drums are so notable, for their spacing, through which, you can feel the breath. Occasional masculine roars again, amongst the evocative darkened atmosphere. The fragile feminine vocals are very Nightwish and Epica-esque. Performing a duet now, with the roars, like a dance of sensuality. Becoming a classic operatic metal sound, with invigorating keyboard sections accompanying. Growing stronger, in its sound, it draws to an exquisite close.

The Quiet Desperation – Low piano notes open, in a dirge-like form, before bursting into exhilarating life. Once more, the drums add that unique sense of space and perfect timing. Hauntingly delicate vocals, melodic riffs and aggressive raw growls interlink. Piano segments entering at precisely intuitive points. Returning, from built-up chaos, to fragile beauty and back to tearing anguish. Complete cohesion. Drums beating harder, as the sense of ennui engulfs you. The tang entering those riffs adds the apt edge, just before the building finale.

October Dark – Gorgeous riff intro. Slightly reminiscent of G’N’R’s ‘Civil War’. Those preciously performed vocals add an air of sentiment, as they unite, as one. Heightening the tension and volume, like a constant crescendo. Moving, smoothly, through the track, with sheer instinctive beauty, the vocals are outstanding. Injecting riff melodies at exactly the right point. Quiescent sounds interlace with crashingly heavy sections. Coming to a natural end.

Call Of The Void – Perfected intro. Timing just as precise as before. Now bringing in a very slight sense of omen, cemented by dramatic, desperate, masculine pleas, roared out, before gentle, feminine vocals respond, with the same hint of fear and dread. You really do feel this. Building up the accompanying sounds, to a strong crescendo, then converting it, to a new direction. The dread fear returns, ending on a ghostly note.

Forgotten – Softer intro, via gorgeous riffs, evoking Celtic imaginings again. Exploding, with light, once more, as rainbows of melody hit. A catchy tone and pace to the vocals. This time, the roars are accompanied by lighter tones, building it up, into a structured melody. It’s a truly beautiful track, with greater riff centrality. Those vocal tones are impressive, adding more strength to the track, as it ends, on more of the gentler riffage with which it began.

To Die In Your Arms – Piercing riff intro, drums close behind, beating a darker tone. Immediately, a more macabre melancholia enters. Vocals displaying the maudlin mood, beautifully. Sharp riffs, collective cohesion plays out well. The tension ramps up, so intuitively. Such warmth in those vocals, whilst conveying coldness of atmospherics. Closing on a haunting note.

Down The Path To Perdition – Opening on singular riffs, surrounded by bleakness. Very intense greyness, accentuated by the timing. Then bursting into a full complement of sounds, encircling that darkness. The insanity of the masculine rage growls its feeling into the track. As the melody lifts, the soft feminine vocals join in, transporting the track, to a lighter place. It soars skywards, as it goes on. Still, there’s acute poignancy within it, but it combines with light and hope, as the track progresses. A classic thunderstorm comes next, with funeral bells ringing out, as once more, the light and dark of masculine and feminine combine, taking the track higher. Coming to an exceptionally well merged finale.

Overall – An exquisitely beautiful album, full of magic and seduction, ‘OD’ is a truly outstanding production, of phenomenal quality and sensational talent.

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

For fans of Epica, Nightwish, Delain, Leaves Eyes, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Aonia.

https://wintereve.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/winterevemusic/

Posted May 28, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized