“Le Temps De Detruit Tout”
(Heaven & Hell Records)
Every once in a while you get an album that you don’t know what to think of. The Reticient’s new album sounds very much like a continuation of Opeth’s acoustic album, or any acoustic part of any Opeth album. This is a hard album to comment on as it reminds me so much of Opeth that it over-shadows everything else. How do you judge it on that merit? Should you trash it because you can’t shake the feeling that you heard it all before or should you praise it because it reminds you of something else? Luckily the album take on an identity all its own the more you listen to it. If you like your metal in the vein of Opeth and don’t mind being confused for a short moment then this album will be for you. It took me a while to get accustomed to it but once I had done so I could start to enjoy it for what it is; an emotional journey. Anders Ekdahl
THE SUN EXPLODES
I gotta say I almost deleted the file I had on this British band simply because I couldn’t remember what it was. I am glad that I didn’t. The Sun Explodes moves in the outer circles of what could be considered hardrock. With one foot in Radiohead land and with toes spread out all over the remaining areas this album has an eclectic feel to it. Does being eclectic make it any better? I’m not but it sure does give it an edge that other albums don’t have. That they can move smoothly between hardrock, Radiohead and metalcore might at first give you a schizophrenic feel but once accustomed to it you will notice that it isn’t as bad as it could have been. It’s kinda like had Living Color been around today they might have sounded like this. Maybe not my first choice of the day but in the right mood this is enjoyable for all the right reasons. Anders Ekdahl
TALES OF DELIRIA
“Beyond The Line”
Another band that is clearly inspired by what At The Gates managed to let loose with “Slaughter Of The Soul”. Not that I’m complaining. If that only means that we get to enjoy metal that tries to improve on what At The Gates started then I’m there all the way to the end. Tales Of Deliria aren’t straight outta the ATG box. There are elements that sets them apart. The tempo isn’t as furious and the guitars twist and turn a bit more but the basics are there. But the attack is the same. I also get a Meshuggah light feeling listening to this album. Anything that even the slightly resembles a Swedish band can’t be bad. Throw in some Death in the mix and you get a pretty good picture of where to find Tales Of Deliria. This is some pretty cool death metal if you like it on the more technical side of things. Anders Ekdahl
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – “Apocalyptic Love” (Roadrunner Records)
Free the spirit baby! Unlike his self-titled debut solo album where Slash featured a number of big name vocalists from Ozzy to Chris Cornell to Kid Rock, this sophomore is solely a collaboration with Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, and backed by Slash’s band of bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz – aka The Conspirators. Being the laid back hippy rockers that I’d imagine them to be, this ain’t no fire n ice dicing-with-dictatorship relationship back in his GnR days, and Slash has found in Myles not only a highly capable vocalist but a musical soul mate and together they’ve produced a hit winning partnership here in “Apocalyptic Love”. Slash’s all too familiar guitar tone – one of GnR’s defining points – is omnipresent throughout the 13 tracks here that also hint to a greater or lesser degree of Alter Bridge, whilst the deluxe edition containing bonus tracks like ‘Caroline’ is of the newer hybrid Velvet Revolver sound. Opening with heaps of funky wah in the title track, its LA rock n roll all the way man and then they hit the burn button on ‘One Last Thrill’ and a wave of unbridled rock energy just hits you and you’re off world man. Myles has brought the soul to Slash’s rock n roll heart and it resonates on the anthemic ‘No More Heroes’ and the deep ‘Bad Rain’. “Apocalyptic Love” kills you to death and if this is how Slash wants to check out then I’m with him cos the vibe n groove on “Apocalyptic Love” is nothing short of orgasmic so punch it baby!
Hour Of 13 – “333” (Earache Records)
LOL – I hope that just cos this album is called “333”, that don’t mean that it’s only half as good as Anvil’s! Still, it’s nice to see a band that has someone older than me (actually he’s younger LOL – Ed). Hour Of 13 is one of these weird musical projects, in this case between vocalist Phil Swanson and Chad Davis, who plays all instruments, although it’s hardly a collaboration from what I hear given they both record independently, and rarely interact socially, which makes a live appearance rare indeed! However, musically there is clearly something that gels these two together in the old school occult doom rock that they play, which is undoubtedly influenced by the likes of Angel Witch, Witchfinder General and naturally early Sabbath, although I would say that songs like ‘Deny The Cross’, ‘Rite Of Samhain’ and ‘Sea Of Trees’ err more to the lighter doom side sorta reminding me of Sweden’s Ghost or Year Of The Goat. It’s especially so in Swanson’s haunting voice, which is a nicer, soulful version of Ozzy’s (i.e. without the drugs LOL!), and while the music is dark in it’s atmosphere, I certainly wouldn’t call it evil by any means – and nor is it intended as such I would imagine – but appealing in its own beautiful way, rather like many horror films also from that 70s era.
TesseracT – “Perspective” EP (Century Media)
TesseracT play modern prog metal and on this acoustic EP, they have definitely gone into the spiritual dimension judging by ethereal songs like ‘Dream Brother’ and ‘April’ that lean more towards The Doors or even Pink Floyd, while ‘Eden 2.0’, is more in the djent vein with its funky chopping rhythms drawn seemingly from the likes of Meshuggah. New vocalist Elliot Coleman has an amazing voice, high and clean, that adds even more atmosphere to the music, giving the listener an almost trance effect in combination – little wonder then that TesseracT are being worshiped as the next rock n roll deities of India!
Nightmare – “The Burden Of God” (AFM Records)
Wow – these French guys have been going since 1979 when they started as a NWOBHM influenced heavy metal band and whose career could be veritable nightmare given they were signed to ill fated Ebony Records, had personnel problems owing to the direction of the band which ultimately led to a 10 year hiatus until 1999! Their second coming however, has been better blessed with the Amore brothers taking a more prominent role in the band, better label support and regular touring, including playing the major European festivals. Shifting their sound more towards melodic power metal, there are still HM roots in the guitar work and it’s certainly heavy on ‘Children Of The Nation’ although most of the material is actually slow to mid tempo. Additionally, Jo Amore’s vocals on songs like ‘The Preacher’ give them an almost techno prog feel a la Savatage rather than what might expect from a traditional power metal band. Still, I’m impressed by the epic but melodic groove of ‘Final Outcome’ and the longevity of this band against adversity is truly commendable so bravo mes amis!
Viking Skull – “Cursed By The Sword” (Transcend Music)
Ingredients: 2 parts Whiskey, Motorhead, Sabbath & Maiden; 1 part WASP and a cupful of AC/DC. Yup, can’t go wrong there! Hailing from the English steel town of Corby, comes Raging Speedhorn’s alter ego – Viking Skull, who started off as a spoof band and having impressed Jack Ass’s Bam Margera to the point where he drafted his brother Jess in as drummer, have become a band in their own right (or wrong LOL – Ed). Clearly a ‘very metal’ band, VS play a booze laden dirty biker rock n roll that is ideal for getting pissed to, or just being a downright pig in general: hoarse, Lemmy-esque vocals, blues boogie stripper club riffs, and a good ‘ol boy rhythm define barroom songs like ‘Machine Gun Honey’, ‘My Bitch Talks Too Much’ and the defining ‘You Look Like I Need A Beer’. Don’t be expecting any Vikings, but you will be right outta yer fucking skull after ‘eadbanging to this LOL!
Sacred Blood – “Alexandros” (Pitch Black Records)
As ambitious as it is titled, this a concept album about none other than Alexander The Great! Greek epic metal trio Sacred Blood have set themselves as mighty a task as their Macedonian hero did in conquering Persia – but as bold as Alexander they rise to it with no less than 15 stirring tracks like ‘Phalanx Invicta’, ‘Before the Gates of Ishtar’ and ‘The Battle of the Granicus (Persian in Throes)’. With some modern metal hints coming from Maiden, the rest is pretty much in the epic / folk vein steeped in ancient culture and mythology but delivered in the same battle arousing fervor as those Greeks who went to forge an empire in the sands of time. Truly I would’ve only thought something of this magnitude possible from Manowar or Virgin Steele, but I’m really happy its a Greek band and the Hellenic metallers should feel proud for this, as it has done the Macedonian’s life true to his legend!
Kaos – “Validated In Blood” EP (Malevolence Records)
No kidding man, if this should need a validation, then it should be signed by every f–kin thrasher in the Bay Area from the high n mighty Metallica to Exodus to Forbidden for Kaos are their thrash underdogs who have been scorching the streets of San Francisco since 1988! Still with that classic Bay Area sound, these never say die bangers might be a band out of time, but they’re still dishing it out with chopping thrash a bomb riffs, throat strained vocals and pummeling drums on songs like ‘United We Kill’, ‘Alive To Die’ and their cover of Vio-lence’s ‘Kill On Command’. Aggressive, uncompromising and unashamed, this is how it was, still is, and forever will be according to the law of Kaos!