Skurk – Blodbragd (Taste Of Blood)

March 6, 2017

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.

http://www.metal-archives.com/

Available on Inconsistency Records

Comaniac – ‘Instruction For Destruction’

March 1, 2017

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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.

http://www.comaniac.ch

https://www.facebook.com/comaniacofficial

https://comaniac.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.metal-archives.com/

Release date 7th April 2017 – via SAOL METALWORLD

 

Teleport – ‘Ascendance’

February 27, 2017

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Nihility – Intriguingly creepy horroresque intro, seguing nicely into a smooth, creeping riff, worthy of the best kind of horror film. Thoughtfully paced and constructed, it really ramps up the visual imagery, creating the darkest of atmospheres. Tension abounds.

The Monolith – Bang! And it’s straight in there, with plenty of noise filled extremity. Lots of growly emphasis here, alongside a well placed set of speed riffs, a slowly snaking drum rhythm and a dark tone overall. It’s all about the atmosphere and it hits it right on the nail. Don’t turn around, if you’re listening alone, in the dark.

Artificial Divination – Crashing and fizzing with lightning strikes and flashes of fire powered metal. Intensely extreme, with blackened vocals from hell. Even a Testamentesque riff or two in there. Now this is what you call ‘The Devil’s Music’. Criss crosses of thrillingly crazed metal riffs and drum licks, raging with burning fire. You can almost feel the heat coming off this track.

Realm Of Solar Darkness – Plenty of power to fuel this one. Steadier, but no less intense or visual rhythm. More of an action film soundtrack to these visuals. Racing ahead now, there’s a speed metal quality to the riffs here. Monster lyrics, with that same blackened edge and it’s over, having made its’ mark, fading out on darkened riffs.

Path To Omniscience – Quality sinister intro riffs, maintaining that solid, sinister momentum, whilst throwing in a random ‘Tallicaesque riff and drum section, reminiscent of The Black Album era. Never losing its starkly blackened evil edge, though, it’s nightmare territory, for certain. Keeping the hauntingly cold emphasis, within the outro, it comes full circle, returning to the point at which it started.

Overall – A terrifying source of night terrors, combining horror and thriller genres at once. This is so much more than thrash. The visual elements and scarily sharp, blackened edge take it straight into the realms of extreme gothic horror metal, making it perfect soundtrack material for late night action thrillers and horror films. Should come with a warning – not for sensitive ears. Regardless, it’s still quality faultless precision.

8/10 ********

For fans of Trivax, Exodus, Amon Amarth, Behemoth and all forms of extreme, black metal and horror, gothic, thriller noir metal.

http://www.teleport1.bandcamp.com

Stolen Apple – ‘Trenches’

February 24, 2017

Introducing, all the way from Italy, Stolen Apple, with their current album, ‘Trenches’.

Red Line – Kick drum intro, with some gentle riffs and a steady pace. An old-fashioned early rock groove to this, with similar lyrics. It’s one that belongs on Heartbeat, as a soundtrack to the characters driving around the moors on a sunny day.

Green Dawn – Slightly more ambient, eclectic sense to this. A tad proggy in places, it reminds you of an old-fashioned dance hall. A bit of twiddly stuff going on here and there and there’s a Glastonbury aspect to it, somehow. Trancy and a bit bluesy, with more of an alt streak than anything else.

Fields Of Stone – More of an overt atmosphere in here. Quite visual and chilled out, it’s another ambient tone, with a house party feel. It’s just so relaxed, there’s not much more to say, except it flows.

Pavement – This puts me in mind of the intro to Sheryl Crowe’s ‘If It Makes You Happy’. So laid-back, yet with such incongruent lyrics! A bit like being sworn and cursed at by a hopelessly mellowed out pothead. Confusing. I’m still not getting where the big white horse comes in. Strange and getting stranger. A pleasant enough way to pass the time, if you’re in need of something to zone out to. Just don’t expect it to make much sense beyond that.

Falling Grace – Ah! Now we have something a bit stronger, to get your teeth into. It soon reverts back, though, to the weirdly sleepy tone. And that’s it.

Living On Saturday – It’s that bizarre combo of sounds again, that transports you to a 50s themed house party. Too short to be able to add much more.

Mistery Town – I assume this is meant to mean ‘mystery’ town, rather than a town full of Misters. Anyway, this one actually has something more about it to offer. It’s got a clearly more memorable bluesy tone and more soul to it altogether. Just more of everything, really. Definitely more enjoyable and the imagery’s more pronounced. One of those with an annoyingly catchy chorus, whose repetition doesn’t matter a toss.

Something In My Days – Ooh, quickening the pace and bringing in a catchier rhythm. Simple, but touching lyrics. Over too soon.

More Skin – Odd title! Hmm…, a slight Pulp-esque feel here. Pleasant enough melody. Join in and feel the essence of Woodstock.

Daydream – Ah! Now I do like that harmonica intro! Very Dylan-esque and it works. Cool flow to this and it’s quite charming, in its own way. Especially the harmonica. Sunny days in sunny fields, with sunny company. And harmonicas.

Sold Out – Now I might have known that ubiquitous phrase had to enter the equation somewhere. Faster pace again, yet it still feels a bit like a 50s/60s themed Fest, in a field, in summer. It’s essentially music to chill out to.

In The Twilight – A more mellow, laid-back vibe here, with a slower pace. Still, it holds that sunny atmosphere, though throughout this album, I just can’t escape the feeling of lazing about all day in a field, whilst being serenaded by hippies, trapped in the wrong era. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Overall – Time travel back to Woodstock and I’m sure you’ll find ‘Trenches’ there somewhere. A few pleasant little nuggets of non-specific soft rock here, to zone out to, but mostly, the songs are too short to be able to get into them enough for them to create much of a lasting impression. Quite samey and repetitive, in many places, but not unenjoyable, for that. Innocuous enough, but not offering much more than that.

5/10 *****

For fans of psychedelia, trance, prog, alt, blues, folk, acoustic and soft rock.

https://www://facebook.com/StolenApple.Band/

https://stolenapple.bandcamp.com/

In collaboration with Rock Bottom Records

Obey – ‘Maelstrom’

February 22, 2017

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No Shelter – Bang! Right in there, with an audible metal firework display). Loaded with grit, power and volume. An immensely flavoursome slice of aggression fuelled metal. Ooh, liking that darkened whisper, like a stalker in a cave, from which there’s no escape, before the full force of metal hits you square in the face again. It’s got it all. Volume, force, palpable heaviness, gravelly edged vocals and feelgood factor in spades.

Embers – Fuck me! An even more hard edged intro, just throwing out the power, through catchy rocky melody and seriously intriguing lyrics. Simply divine riffs, well perfected rhythm and a feeling of pure escapism. Sheer brilliance.

Gutless – Another sensationally rocky intro, getting straight into the catchiness immediately. It screams strength and exuberance throughout the track. Just full of banging instrumentals, imaginative lyrics and is also accompanied by a cracking video, well worth checking out. A track which just shouts and booms ‘metal’ at you, all the way.

Aberration Day – Nicely timed percussive cymbal hit intro, before launching into life, with great wholesome, fulsome metal. More cymbal involvement here, but still plenty hardened grit and assertion. Some totally magical riffs from the mid-section onwards and never a beat missed. A truly spectacular drum hit, towards the end and an acutely determined, metallic ending. Filled with the right stuff.

Tree Talker – Similarly loud, yet slightly more mellow opening. Changing down to a slower beat and a more downbeat tone, whilst retaining the vocal grit. Really involving, engaging track. Very visually emphatic. Carrying a slightly haunting tone, it’s a uniquely atmospheric song.

House Of Wolves – Toning things down here, with some bass emphasis, before seguing smoothly into a sludgy, groovy tone, that’ll pull you in easily. So catchy, so bluesy and majorly affecting. Livelier section from the mid-point on and it just batters your senses, with high-class metal. Nice bit of slide guitar in there and ending on a slightly slowed down Slayer-esque riff.

All Or Nothing – Gorgeous smooth immediate riff intro and equally smooth vocals here, but still containing that tasty grit. Packed chock full of delicious riffs and teasing you with a sexily paced tempo, throughout. Sublime.

Twisted Tabernacle – Jesus! A sheer battering ram of drum hits opens, before sliding with practised expertise into warm, melty vocals, with just a hint of grit at the edges. A really sexy vibe about this one. Loaded with rolling, rocking riffs, unhesitant emphatic lyrics and such yummy goodness, you’ll just want to eat it whole).

Stone Eater – Slide riff introing this time, moving fluidly, right into the groove, with more tuneful melody and an edge of darkness, giving a glimpse into the abyss. Lots of lovely slide riffs and a fun element, with sheer melodic catharsis.

Sea Of – Dreamy intro to this, evoking vivid imagery of escape to far away lands. Pure instrumental of serene tones and calm impressions of dreamscapes. Aptly relaxed pace, tone and melody, enabling imaginative creativity. A nice port in the storm.

Maelstrom – Wow! A positive blazing riff fest of power surges to shoot all that surrounds them down in flames! Such energy and vibrancy lives within this, it just exudes a forcefield of power. Standout track, creating permanent imprints.

Burden – Blazing back into life, with a crash of drums, edgy riffs and unshakeable vocals, on a mission to bring metal to the world. Some more nicely placed Slayer-esque riffs detectable in there, if you listen closely. A great chugging, heavy rhythm to this and a mysterious closing sound, worth further investigation…

Overall – A blazing powerhouse of metallic fury. Rare quality. Unforgettable and 100%, the real deal.

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

For fans of high-quality stoner, groove, sludge and blues metal, grunge rock, such as A.I.C. and riff wizards, such as Slayer and Testament.

https://www.facebook.com/Obeyuk/

 

Eternal Fear – ‘Killing Time’

February 21, 2017

From Karlsloga, Sweden, this, their fifth studio album, is released on Friday, 17th March 2017. Formed in the early 90s, Eternal Fear’s unique sound has grown increasingly better, combining old school metal with NWOHM. Having already toured the UK five times, another tour is taking place this month.

To date, they’ve released five studio albums and one live album. Their 2002 debut album, ‘Never Ending Existence’, proceeded Evil Deeds’ and ‘Embraced In Darkness’. 2013’s’ Eternal Damnation’ was their most influential, putting them on the metal map. Signing to Sliptrick Records, they received international acclaim, playing main support for prog metal titans Beholder, at Beermageddon Fest, during their initial tour.

This current 10 track album offers a powerful, cohesive combo of sounds, which may be their best work yet. Demonstrating that their consistent songwriting ability still remains, after 20 years, the first single release from K.T. is ‘No Guts’. Eternal Fear tour the UK, promoting K.T., this month, alongside UK band Left For Red, from February 23rd-26th.

Thy Will Be Done – Air raid siren intro! Always an unusual, intriguing opening. Blasting into life with a volley of drums, gritty vocals and heavy riffs, you know where you are with this immediately. It’s true metal territory. Catchy melodies, great rapid pace, clear vocals, just a great feel altogether. That’s what you call a banging track.

Age Of Glory – Nice smooth riff intro, immediate drum roll and steady metal vocals. Liking that catchy melody. Strong, powerful lyrics. Anthemic sounds, you can’t fail to be pulled into. Really cathartic, uplifting experience. All great metal takes you away from it all, to a better world and that’s exactly what this does. Fabulous beats and fabulous ending.

Black Country – Faster pace now, creating that brilliantly enjoyable chasing tempo, that always works so well for me. Lovely power scream in there, too. This is a prime example of timeless classic and new wave of heavy-metal mixture, which belongs at the top, with greats such as Maiden.

The Shadow – Straight in there, with an explosion of metal, to equal the best. The Swedes always know how to create great metal and this just shows it. A darker undertone to this track, scattering the sinister feel throughout, yet still keeping it upbeat. Rare skill.

Killing Time – The title track’s intro certainly lives up to its name. Intelligently constructed, injecting combinations of tones, techniques and audible textures, so successfully, with such precision timing, you’d just want to stay inside this song.

Halls Of Odin – Banging it out, with extra powerful force, this could well be the stand-out track. Immensely strong vocals here, creating a real upbeat tone, you’ll never forget. So deliciously melodic and those thunderous drums add so much magic. My favourite track so far.

Child Of Darkness – Ramping up the pace again, right in there, with no hesitation and tons of metallic gold. Enormously heavy, intelligently creative lyrics and a nice sophisticated feel, which is at once, dark, fun, thought-provoking and genuinely enjoyable. Beating the life out of those drums and matching up with the vocal themes. It’s ace visual evocation.

Evil Ways – Oh yeah! Proper party metal! You’re gonna remember it, for that alone. Throw this on and rock the fuck out. Blistering solos, chugging riffs, thundering drums and massively enthused vocals. It’s one to love. It rocks, it rocks and it rocks some more. A pure blast of metallic awesomeness.

No Guts – Boom! It’s in there, with such immediacy, it’ll knock you over. Fantastic pace, of such catchiness, it’ll excite your senses, till they bleed. Absolutely packed with power. Top quality stuff here and no mistake. If it’s ever possible, these songs get stronger and stronger, throughout. Heavy, hard and magical ending.

Chamber Of Lies – Bursting into life, with a power of epic proportions. That’s how it continues. Power, power and more power. Some great tasty paradiddles in there and the whole track’s just magnetic. It just kind of floats along, on a metal vibe, to the end.

Overall – ‘Killing Time’ is easily amongst the highest quality metal you’ll ever hear. An absolute delight, from start to finish. A treasure trove, in fact, of metallic gold. Buy it now.

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

For fans of Die No More, Soulforge, Iron Maiden, Fires Of Babylon, Firewind and all good European metal and quality NWOHM.

Released, independently, on Friday 17th March 2017.

http://www.eternalfear.com/

http://www.facebook.com/eternalfear.swe

https://twitter.com/EFSWE

http://www.beardedmonkeypromotions.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/BeardedMonkeyPromotions/

https://twitter.com/BMpromotionsuk

 

Deathinition – ‘Online’

February 19, 2017

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Introducing Deathinition’s debut album, ‘Online’. A thrash metal band founded in 2008, the first track from the album was launched at the end of 2016 and can be found on YouTube. Stage appearances began from 2009 onwards. Their first demo was released in 2011 and their EP, ‘Art Of Manipulation’, in 2013. This gained rave reviews internationally. Reissued twice, first in tape format, split with Canadian band Terrifier, (2015, Tridroid Records, USA) and second, in CD form, split, part of Boot Camp series (2017, Divebomb Records, USA).

After many line-up changes, the current line-up was formed in 2014. To date, they’ve played approaching 100 live shows. Deathinition have shared a stage with bands such as Death Anger, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Hirax, Kat ( with Roman Kostrzewski), Christ Agony, Bonded By Blood, Fuelled By Fire, Violator, Andralls, Suicidal Angels, Majster Kat and most of Poland’s emerging metal acts.

Having played open-air festivals, including Suwka Fest Chmielnki three times and Muszla Fest twice, last year, they played a smaller stage, at Rock Hard Ride Free, in Goleniow, alongside headliners Saxon. Deathinition headlined local day Juwenalia Bydgoszcz. Their vast experience has won them an assured reputation in the industry, as a band guaranteed to incite crowd involvement, mosh pits and headbanging.

Trueczina – Blasting into life, with a positive blitzkrieg of metal, exploding into your brain, at full impact. Great vibrant vocal thrashy harmonies. Exciting, fiery riffs, brilliantly lively drums, keeping a furious pace, with a battering rhythm and some fabulously well-placed deathy thrash shouts; uplifting and life affirming. It’s a collective metal feast.

Zlota Kariera – Ooh, got to love that ‘Wizard’-esque riff intro. Intriguing as fuck, it soon changes tack, moving smoothly into a wonderfully loud, anthemic style, destined to draw you into its lair. Riffage paradise. A total party piece, filled with seductively masculine vocals, ending on a final shout. Metal Heaven.

Zmierzch Wartosci – Introing with a power storm of deluxe thrash metal riffs, joining them with more delightful anthemic vocals and an even more delightful and undeniably orgasmic power scream. There’s no denying it. This rocks! And then some! Such a powerful ending.

Ludzkie Z.O.O. – Banging intro and straight in there, with another stunning riff fest. These guys truly are aces at the art of anthemic thrash vocals. This will shatter your brain. Bleeding pure metal, from every orifice; simply enthralling. Giving it all they’ve got, I’m amazed their instruments haven’t exploded yet, but even when my brain does, I’ll still be grateful.

Online – A slightly less explosive intro, but only slight and it soon slides into another fest of astounding metallic overload. Really striking pulse to this album, keeping that energy up throughout – there’s a barrage of drum rolls and lightning riffs 3/4 in. They keep that momentum, to startling effect. Epic riff and drum closing section. Mass thrash proportions.

KlamsTVa dla mas – Yet more stuff of brain bursting magnificence. Oh that power scream is just to die for! The riffs equal its power easily. Brief quieter mid-section, before launching, yet again, into more mind melting metal; ending on a spectacularly assertive drum hit and tight riff. A thrash extravaganza.

Dezinformacje24 – Very smooth twiddly riffs there at the intro, followed by rapid-fire drumming and earthy thrash growls. Well timed riff melodies, accompanied by a battering ram drum section and together, they create mind blowing territory. It’s a pure thrash metal Fest, from start to finish. That final shout just does it for me).

Rytm Konsumpcji – Blitzing into the fray with a riff party section, from your wildest dreams and continuing in that same vein. That’s it. The pen drumming’s started. Damn the fact it has to end.

Pozer Song – Deliciously darker, doomier intro, you can imagine it falling down, through the floor and deep into the basement below. This is simply packed with power. Really going for it, with this closing track, they couldn’t inject any more passion into this, if they tried. It goes out in a hail of metal bullets. I can now attest to the fact that it does, as is claimed, encourage – no, compel – full on headbanging – having just placed myself at risk, having done so, against medical advice, but I don’t care, as in the words of Phil Anselmo himself, the power of the riff compels me.

Overall – A thrash metal blizzard, to end them all. Enough said.

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

http://www.facebook.com/deathinition

http://deathinition.pl/(gig list).

http://www.metal-archives.com/

https:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WenVm_uTPE

For fans of top drawer thrash metal, such as Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, Metallica and Slayer.

 

‘The Battle For Tomorrow’ – Adam Probert and John E. Smoke

February 17, 2017

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‘The Battle for Tomorrow’ is a  collaborative album, between punk poet/spoken word and experimental sound artist Adam Probert and John E. Smoke, noise guru of Flesh Eating Foundation. John creates the sonic background to Adam’s lyrics. It’s a unique, one off, thought provoking sound.

The eleven track debut is released digitally, on CD and on tape and exists to break down the walls of your perceptions and question all accepted wisdom, through eclectic aural backdrops.

The Light That Burns My Eyes – Ambient intro, darkly lyrical, spoken word format, with background robotics and a constant synth repetition, emphasising the focus on sameness and the darkness surrounding it. Visually evocative, in its’ simplicity.

I Am War – War sounds, set to lyrical news reports, presenting real anger and rage at the war’s effects on humanity, narrated to a background air raid siren and the sound of bombs dropping and exploding, as the volume and rage of the lyrics intensifies, in a desperate, urgent tone, towards the close. Thought provoking’s too small a phrase. Compelling, perhaps, in a dark, imprinting way.

Take Your Fucking Medicine – Oration of socio-political food for thought, conveyed amidst a backdrop of cacophonous noise, growing in volume, till it’s almost overwhelming; creating an impression of mass information overload, public and political brainwashing and ingrained after effects of accepting what we’re told by ‘expert guidance’. A study in the motivation behind clinical decision making and perceived social control, you might say.

The Mob – (Feat Katy Watkiss) – An underwater world sound introing, swiftly followed by another war narration, this time, in spoken duet format. A cleverly monotone delivery, conveyed with an ambient, natural world audio behind it, never deviating from the same flat quality, yet carrying a sinister tone within it, much like an approaching danger signal. Very relevant and this will resonate strongly with those with greater awareness of the ravages of war.

Osama Obama – A strong political oration of the perceived cause and effect relationship between war and religion. Two simultaneous orations of the co-relations between religious extremism and war and the perceptions of different individuals and  possible social outcomes. All spoken with that same increasing intensity, a highly sinister chant of ‘Osama, Obama’, immediately followed by a bomb exploding. A continuous tone, like a ball, repeatedly and slowly bouncing along the ground, creating room for visual imagery.

What You Have To Hide (Feat Mark Perryman) – Media and social control emphasis, protesting against planned interventions invading our privacy, much like a public information broadcast, with the opposite aim of those we see – ie to warn against said broadcasts and all that’s known and unknown, but increasingly clear, within political worlds, re: measures devised to penetrate people’s inner lives. Spoken, to a sung soundtrack of a creepily repetitive nature, further emphasising the ethos and utilised means of social control.

Justice – Obscure sounds, a relentless stream of words, outlining social injustices and the anger at the perpetrators and continuation of such injustices. The narrative pace demonstrates the endless stream of injustice well. A simple, but demonstrably momentous ambient background, intelligently reflecting the continuous dulling of thought processes, with mass indoctrination – leading on nicely, to the next track title.

Monotony – A verbal rant about the blind, unquestioning faith in life, as it’s lived and the obedient, thoughtless ways in which we live it, repetitively and monotonously, accepting social norms and conventions as the correct and standard way to live our lives. Righteous anger again, at this state of affairs, is conveyed through the tone, pace and contents.

Population Control – Opening to the sound of mysterious echoes of machinery, soon followed by more anger at environmental pollution, perceived medico-political conspiracies, etc, finishing with old fashioned sitcom dialogue, pertaining to the good old days and how things used to be, verbalised to an eerie sounding light percussive ambient background.

The Flying Dutchman – More of that ubiquitous ambience and righteous aggression, at things which are now beginning to lose their clarity. I’m uncertain whether the loss of focus here is entirely mine or belongs, in part, to the songwriter. I just know I’ve lost the thread.

Famine – This is a bit like an advert for pool cleanser. Flat and morbid, lyrically and musically, it strikes me that something more could have been done with it, as a closing track, to increase it’s listenability factor, but given the protest thread, perhaps that’s the point. It’s a stance against conceptual popularity. It might work better for others of a punkier mindset, but I’m still not sure what it’s about. I think the tonal, dull flatness finally got to me, but again, in track title terms, maybe that’s the point. It’s meant to emphasise the feeling of famine, so perhaps it’s done its’ job, after all, as it’s left me feeling rather empty.

Overall  – In protest terms, it does its’ job. Unfaltering vocal passionate emphasis, a constant sense of stilted thoughts of the masses, conveyed through the music, which is so obscure, it defies clear categorisation. In fitting with the purpose of the songs, the sound itself refuses to be pigeonholed. Ultimately, it’s likely to appeal to open minds, with eclectic tastes.

5/10 *****

For fans of The Sex Pistols, The Levellers, Bob Dylan.

http://www.facebook.com/APpospo/

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http://www.sonicentrails.bandcamp.com/

sonicentrails@virginmedia.com

Available now, via Sonic Entrails Records

 

Obey – ‘Embers’

February 14, 2017

Banging  intro, of epically heavy proportions. Slight echoic quality to this track, but plenty of hard groove and grit, still and some simply storming riffs. AIC fans will love the vocals here, so resonant are they of AIC’s grungiest, heaviest material.  Catchy, with very dark visuals, fitting the musical content, revealing little in their shadowy forms, requiring close, intense focus. Hints towards rituals, with sinister undertones, making great use of the creepy eyes, staring out, malevolently, from a largely faceless background. An equal balance of visual depictions, alternating between bar and rehearsal scenes and fire based rituals, in undisclosed, mysterious locations, always throwing in those haunting eyes, intermittently. Instantly catchy dark, doomy flavour, conveyed with a perfectly rhythmic beat, of the finest quality and the heaviest edge. This is groove metal at its best.

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

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https://www.youtube.com/user/obeyuk

For fans of AIC.

 

 

Jackknife Seizure – ‘Starfisher’

February 12, 2017

js-starfisher-cover-v2

Originating in North London, difficult to categorise, Jackknife Seizure are described as proggy grunge, infused with heavy groove. Winning London ‘Metal to the Masses’, in 2014, they played Bloodstock and following that, released their debut EP, ‘Time Of The Trilobites’. After a brief break, Jackknife Seizure recommenced gigging, producing new content for this current 5 track album. The ‘Starfisher’ release depicts supernatural forces at work, controlling the earth, via the bands’ own unique perspective. ‘Starfisher’ was released on 16th January 2017 and is available digitally and on CD. Recorded at Defiance Studios, London. Mixed and mastered in the Netherlands.

Johnny Little Pocket Versus Mickey Pork – Thrudding, heavy intro, of battle style drumming, riffs and vocals to match. Lyrically resonant with war and violence, solid, determined aggression and overall, epic beats.

Fornicate Galactic – Blast of metal power, steady, chugging prog, darkly rhythmic threads of groove laden grunge dominate throughout. It’s a powerful combo, living up to its description and clearly outlining its lyrical themes.

Betelgeuse – Slightly more free-form, looser style to this; more filler than killer, but it builds strength and impact, as it goes. Alternating pace and tempo, as most good prog does, in that in and out sense, which enhances the clarity of its associated visual imaginings.

Starfisher – Opening with a continuous electronic beat, much like that of a life-support machine, penetrating through your soul, till it finally morphs into some peaceful ambient riffs, just before piercing your brain. Ending on an underwater sensation, coming as a blessed relief, after the holes in your brain through which the almost incessant beeps still seem to be filtering. I’ll happily stay under the water.

Tappy Tapperson – Bang! Well that intro couldn’t have been more different. Something of a relief, I must say. This is more like prog nightclub territory and now, there’s something a bit Arctic Monkeys about it. An experimental track, essentially. Lots of variation, lots of enthusiasm, lots of mix tape feeling. Ideal stuff for transportation back to the hours spent in the company of drugged out friends, in box rooms, in university halls of residence, whilst you collectively analysed the sounds of ‘ambient rock’. Oh no, that infernal beeping’s back now. What are Jackknife Seizure trying to do to me? Okay, you’ve done it. You’ve got in my head and drilled into my brain with permanent prog.

Overall – A highly unusual blend of prog techniques, incorporating a cocktail of alt, grunge, groove and stoner). Beginning as one thing and ending as another, with a proggy dream in the middle. Uncategorisable as one thing or another, but clearly willing to experiment with whatever works in the moment. At least they’ll never be one trick ponies.

6/10 ******

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