EREVOS “Descensus Ad Inferos”

EREVOS
“Descensus Ad Inferos”
(Orkestral Promenade Productions)
I know that it might seem a bit repetitive to keep mentioning how high a standard I hold the Greek metal bands to but so far I haven’t been let down by any Greek band. So why should I change my mind about the standard of the Greek bands? Erevos is a black metal band, there’s no doubt whatsoever about that… Continue reading

IMPIETY “Ravage & Conquer”

IMPIETY
“Ravage & Conquer”
(Pulverised Records)
From that first moment when I heard Impiety back in the day I knew that this was something special. I haven’t spent too much time with them since then but they’ve always been in my conscious, lurking somewhere deep inside. But now in 2012 it is time to re-acquaint myself with them. And what better way to do it than with a brand new album. Continue reading

MANIPULATOR “Voudbound + Unearthed”

MANIPULATOR
“Voidbound + Unearthed”
(Soulseller Records)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are so many bands out there that it is impossible to keep up with everyone if you want to stay sane. Manipulator are a blank slate to me. I have never heard of them or their music, which apparently should be some sort of death metal. To my ears this sounds like that old Mayhem demo “Pure Fucking Armageddon”. Or is it Hellhammer that I’m reminded of… Continue reading

SVARTSYN “The True legend”

SVARTSYN
“The True Legend”
(Agonia Records)
Svartsyn was one of the first black metal bands that I got to review when they released “The True Legend” the first time in the late 90s. I don’t remember what I wrote back then. Don’t even remember if I liked it. Since then I’ve built a relationship with Svartsyn through several albums. And now we are back at square one with the re-release/rerecording of “The True Legend”. Continue reading

WEH “En natt kom doed”

WEH
“En natt kom doed”
(Soulseller Records)
OK, so Norway is very much tall mountains and deep valleys and some scattered cities in-between which might explain why so many Norwegian bands look to nature for inspiration but that doesn’t explain why something described as Neo Folk fights for space with bands like Manipulator and Ulverheim. They seem so totally out of place. Weh is acoustic and atmospheric and not bad at all but metal; no fucking way… Continue reading

The Safety Fire – “Grind The Ocean”

The Safety Fire – “Grind The Ocean” (InsideOut Music)

These Londoners are a tight knit crew, having all grown up together and then starting up this bad – and they’d haveta be, given their complex, eclectic style incorporating a variety of modern styles from post hardcore to progressive to experimental metal. Although compared to ‘djent’ bands like Textures, I’m not entirely convinced they really do, and if they were it would be towards the mellower end of that spectrum. One thing is for certain, The Safety Fire have already made a name for themselves in the UK scene with the release of their critically acclaimed EP “Sections” in 2009 and their reputation as a powerfully energetic live band, so much so that they played at last year’s Sonisphere Festival. Musically, songs like ‘Anomolous Materials’, ‘Circassian Beauties’ and ‘Huge Hammers’ are diverse affairs with post hardcore vocals, neo prog riffs melded with squeaking guitars, off the wall jazz drumming, and all capped off by a liberal use of emo harmonies and melodies. What impresses about The Safety Fire isn’t so much their ability to jam in an array of styles but that they have striven as a band to keep their material into tight, digestible songs – and that is worth checking out. Continue reading

New Eden – “Solving For X”

New Eden – “Solving For X” (Pure Steel Records)

New Eden is a US melodic speed metal band started in ’93 by Steel Prophet / Axehammer guitarist Horacio Colmenares. In their early days they had some well known US Metal vocalists in their line-up like Steel Prophet’s Rick Mythiasin (who also sang on their last studio album “Stagnant Procession”), Michael Grant of Crescent Shield, and Helstar’s James Rivera, so it comes as no surprise that they sound like them (if less operatic). Fast guitar riffing mixed with classical virtuoso soloing, high end melodic vocals and massive amounts of double bass drumming define songs like ‘Flames For Hades’, ‘Watcher’ and ‘Searching The Loss’. Despite the technical album title, and not withstanding the superb musicianship, Colmenares et al continue this classic US metal genre in the fine style. Continue reading

Synapses – “Expiation”

Synapses – “Expiation” (Deepsend Records)

Hail the Cannibale, new drummer of Italian metal band Synapses. I have no idea what these guys sounded like in their previous band (Underhate) but today they play mid 90s technical death metal par excellence! Songs like ‘Tower Of Flesh’, ‘Rapture of Terror’ and ‘No Ruins Left Behind’ remind me of early Nile, with dervish riffs and exotic guitar warblings, all driven of course, by frictionless technical hyper speed drumming. What really impresses me is that this just isn’t another OTT assault, but a controlled series of strikes with varying tempos and intelligent arrangements, making for a combination of brutal yet interesting songs that allow the technical musicianship to be fully appreciated. All in all an excellent debut that could see these guys could go far indeed – just remember not to lose the cannibale! Continue reading

Echoes – “With An Eye On The Shoreline & A Hand To The Sea”

Echoes – “With An Eye On The Shoreline & A Hand To The Sea” EP (www.facebook.com/echoesuk)

Phew, what a mouthful that title is – an cerebrally challenging too LOL! Described as an ambient post hardcore metal band from the famous cathedral city of Winchester in England, Echoes EP is aptly titled as it certainly reminds me of the sea, which at times is tranquil whilst at others a storm, yet by the shore an alternating mix of the two. And so it is too with the band’s music from Joshua Thurnbin’s brutish hardcore vocals contrasted with his delicate gothic keyboard melodies to the metallic clanging guitar melodies of messrs Koch and Cadden before they hit the overdrive box, and Oliver Todd’s drums? Well, he just seems to be hitting them and smashing those cymbals like he’s trying to create his own tidal wave on deep songs like ‘Rivers’, ‘Safe It Seems’ and ‘Leaving None Behind’ – and they certainly won’t folks. Continue reading

Peepshow – “Brand New Breed”

Peepshow – “Brand New Breed” (www.facebook.com/peepshow.official)

No kidding, I can’t think of the last time I heard of a Scottish glam / sleaze band (could be life threatening in Glasgow LOL – Ed) but Peepshow are bringing it on. Formed by the aptly named Johnny Gunn, who co-wrote some of the songs on Crashdiet’s 3rd album “Generation Wild”, I think the love for these highlanders is less for their more obvious sun kissed west coast cousins like Crue or LA Guns, but more towards the Scandinavian high energy / melody fusion originated by the likes of Hanoi Rocks and today by Hardcore Superstar or HIM as well as the ‘alternate’ influences of bands like My Chemical Romance. Indeed songs like ‘Live Free Or Die’, ‘Only A Dream’ and ‘All Or Nothing’ possess elements of all the aforementioned bands, although it’s nice to see that Peepshow have them nicely placed in their own well defined act. Continue reading