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

Akoma – “The Other Side”

Akoma – “The Other Side” EP (www.facebook.com/akomamusic)

Wow, fate could’ve only willed this: this EP literally came flying thru my letterbox about 10 mins ago and it has blown me away to start reviewing it already, cos it’s that good! It seems to have been uncannily timed with the release of “The Hunger Games” and at the risk of unintentionally insulting the band, who are amazingly gifted musically, I couldn’t help but think that some of the dudes could’ve been in that movie with their neo goth metal look! Still, although from Denmark, their name has been derived from a West African word for ‘patience’ or ‘tolerance’ and it’s definitely translated into the suave, symphonic songs like ‘Immortal Love’, ‘Without You’ and ‘Bittersweet Memories’. Characterized by a heavy rhythm, but a laced with feminine gothic melancholy, the standout gem has to be Tanya Bell’s angelic soprano vocals that top off the sophisticated material, which I can believe has indeed taken time to have been crafted to such a high level. Akoma are Denmark’s answer to Nightwish, Xandria and Within Temptation – with a quality to match! Continue reading

BLACK CROW KING “To Pay The Debt Of Nature”

BLACK CROW KING
“To Pay The Debt Of Nature”
(BadGod Records)
You can say whatever you like about Wolves In The Throne Room and their organic take on black metal. You might think that American black metal is an oxymoron. You might even be of the opinion that all these bands that pop up from out of the North-western forests should crawl back under the stones they came from. That you are free to feel. I on the other hand welcome the explosion of USBM that we’ve seen lately. Continue reading

CITIZEN CHARLIE “Up Yours”

CITIZEN CHARLIE
“Up Yours”
(RockSector Records)
I often wonder why hardrock/metal is so male dominated on the performer side. With half the population or more being female there should logically be just as many females being good at playing hardrock/metal and not just be satisfied with being the spectator. Thankfully we see an increase in females taking action every year. Continue reading

ANTOINE FAFARD “Solus Operandi”

ANTOINE FAFARD
“Solus Operandi”
(Unicorn)
Antoine Fafard is a blank slate to me. I have no idea who he is or what he’s about. For all I know he might be the worst artist ever. Or he could be the best ever heard. Either which way this ends up I’ll be an experience richer. I have no prior relationship with the Canadian label Unicorn but from what I’ve gathered they seem to be very progressive oriented. “Solus Operandi” is proof of that. Continue reading

DAVIDIAN “Our Fear Is Their Force”

DAVIDIAN
“Our Fear Is Their Force”
(Massacre)
The first reference I made was Machine Head when I saw the band’s name. Then I remember that cult that was at a stand-off with the FBI many years ago, was it in Waco, Texas? When I started to listen to the music I was immediately struck by how much they reminded me of different bands but none particular. This is like an amalgamation of 30 years of thrash metal. Continue reading

JELLYFICHE “Symbiose”

JELLY FICHE
“Symbiose”
(Unicorn)
There used to be a band called Jellyfish that was to say the least eclectic. This Jelly Fiche are Canadians and since they release records on Unicorn you can safely assume that they’re going to be quirky in one way or another. But this is nowhere near being too quirky. There is something to the French language that is so romantic. Continue reading

KING “Forged By Satan’s Doctrine”

KING
“Forged By Satan’s Doctrine”
(Deathgasm Records)
Coming from Colombia you can pretty much paint any kind of picture you like and we on the other end of the world will eat it up like sugar. If you want to make out that you are homicidal lunatics for a drug cartel or if you are satanic ritualists running around in the forests sacrificing whatever it is you sacrifices doesn’t matter. We’ll just buy it without any hesitation. Continue reading