Friday, 31 July 2015

Barrows - Swine Race (CD Review)

01.Child Of Matricide
02.Long Drop
03.Breaking Wheel
04.River Blindness
05.Interficio Panton
08.Veil On The Throng

Lee Newton (Vocals)
Owen Matz (Guitars)
Joey Stannard (Drums)

Forged in Hell's Basement - Medicine Hat, Canada,back in 2008.
Barrows, was formed as an outlet for three musicians with a passion for all things heavy and disturbing. With an original line-up of Lee Newton (vocals), Owen Matz (guitars) and Allan Breitkreuz (drums); one demo had been released.

But, due to unfortunate circumstances, Allan had to resign from the band.  With no drummer, Joey Stannard was asked to take over drumming duties. At this point the reboot button was pressed and Barrows' signature sound of Immolation clashing it out with Cattle Decapitation and Circle of Dead Children came to life. Swine Grind.

In October of 2014, armed with an arsenal of songs, Barrows entered into the recording process and this is the result.

Whilst the first seven tracks represent a typical band of the genre, screaming vocals, precision and fast drumming and a solid wall of extreme riffs, this all combined with excellent production and performed to a higher standard than many, it is the last two that offer a little more in the way of construction.

'Veil On The Throng' whilst still sledgehammering us with a huge wall of sound, manage also to throw in some slower darker chord structures and at times the drum patter varies to created a dual sound.

At six minutes 'Uxoricide' takes a slower more melodic approach with use of samples and a near death/doom riff.
Such is the change between the two styles it creates balance between agression and rhythmic energy.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Morbid Angel, Cattle Decapitation, Immolation

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Captain Cleanoff - RisingTerror (CD Review)

Ben  (Vocals)
Rohan (Guitar)
Kev (Bass)
Murray (Drums)

Aussie grind band formed around 2009.

So 15 songs that go "Arrrrrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!" many dont make it to one minute in length, its fast as fuck and echoes back to the early days of grindcore.

But then comes the last track 'Threads' almost 5 minutes long, and its feedback/grunge intro leads into a sludgy/crust piece that is very well done and makes me wonder what if this whole album was like that with just a few of those 30 second blasts, then this could have been a very different kind of monster and may open them up to a wider audience.

Still all in all, as grind goes this is very well produced and avoids the pitfalls that many in this genre fall into.

Rating 7/10
For Fans Of: Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer, Terrorizer

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Against Evil - Fatal Assault (CD Review)

01.Battle Call
02.The Enemy Within
04.Wings Of Steel
06.War Hero

Siri Sri (Vocals/Bass)
Sravan (Vocals/Guitar)
Shasank (Guitar)
Noble John (Drums)

Against Evil is a heavy metal band from the Steel City , Visakhapatnam. Formed in late 2014, the band members are also part of a successful hard rock cover band called Echo.

Influenced by the early heavy metal bands such as Judas Priest, Accept, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, etc, the band intends to unleash its own breed of heavy metal - Old School Heavy Metal Sound with Modern Age Production and Quality!

So forget the sodding intro, pointless as ever, but 'The Enemy Within' is a surprisng slice of good old fashioned heavy metal, no grunty vocals or noise or blast beats, just straight forward metal.

'Speedbreaker' is by far the best here, solid, powerfull drum driven, full of agressive but clean vocals, nice guitar work and a perfect headbanging song.

'Bulletproof' also stands out thanks mainly to the melodic breakdown with harmony vocals and then finally 'War Hero' with its touches of classic early european power metal.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Chainsheart, Soldier, The Deep, Hamerex, Hellion Rising

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sigihl - Trauermärsche and a tango upon the world's grave (CD Review)

02.Non Credo Quia Absurdum Est
03.Christ-Off Waltz
04.The Rite Of Pain
05.Tango Catholico (Repent!)

Kv (Vocals)
Lt.Haunted (Bass)
The Pope (Sax)
Grekh (Drums)

Drone Jazz from the hellyard, Sigihl was brought to life in mid 2012.
They say: "No special story behind us, no achievements, no records, no special gigs. Nothing. There's only Lucifer's love. For now...."

Well there is a record and here's the review.

'Daymare' is a very raw sounding piece, possibly recorded live in the studio, it has that feel anyway.From its ambient start it decends into a hellish drone/doom world of distortion over a solid drumbeat and screamed vocals.The Sax sounds like it is run through a distortion pedal, but then so does everything else, a glorious moise!

The same can be said of the second song 'Non Credo Quia Absurdum Est' though this has the addition of very avante garde jazz sax playing, and i warn you it is very "Avante Garde" !

'Christ-Off Waltz' reels it back in slightly, though the vocals do seem to go a little crazy and high pitched at times.

Following a more traditional doom structure is 'The Rite Of Pain', a somewhat apt title for this torturous song.

Finally 'Tango Catholico' a strange mix of noise (sorry i mean jazz) and slide guitar.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Sunn 0))), Sigh, King Crimson

Monday, 27 July 2015

Manzer - Pictavian Chronicles (CD Review)

Shaxul (Drums/Vocals)
Fearann (Bass)
Hylde (Guitar)

French blackend thrash metal band formed by Deathspell Omega founder member.
They like to keep it "Real" and "Underground", which means fuck all in the way of bio and no facebook page.

What we have here is a compilation cd of demos, tracks from split singles, some cover versions and a couple of live tracks.

Well its a huge pile of Venom worship, that early punk/metal hybrid, what sums it up is the great version of 'Acid Queen' could have been a demo from Cronos himself.
The only thing i dont like about this is the terrible cover of King Diamonds 'Come To The Sabbath' the cookie monster vocals trying to get higher just dont work.

As for their original songs, short and agressive, played well, no time for fancy solos or production, just straight forward in your face metal.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Venom, Warfare, Nunslaughter, Abigail

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Formicarius - Lake Of The Dead EP (CD Review)

01.Lake Of The Dead
02.Under Darkness
03.Cosmic Keys

Lord Saunders (Vocals/Guitar)
Hægtesse (Vocals/Bass)
Nazarkardeh (Guitar)
Morath (Keyboards)
Aelle (Drums)

First conceived in the Winter of 2014, FORMICARIUS craft elaborate tempests of black metal that hit the listener like a finely sharpened sword to the skull: ornate yet destructive.
Elements of death and symphonic metal are called upon to reinforcethe gargantuan sound that can be heard on single Lake of the Dead.
Unsurprisingly, Formicarius are not a collection of upstart amateurs,instead featuring members of De Profundis, Premature Birth, Phyrexia and Maxdmyz: no strangers
to UK extreme metal.

Epic symphonic intro to 'Lake Of The Dead' launches into some furious drumming and complex riffs. This is perfectly under-scored by the keyboards, which dont intrude too much into the mix.
A typical black metal gruff vocal style, but one that you can make out the words, cuts through the music and keeps your attention.

'Under Darkness' takes you on a melodic journey of keyboards and guitars, and here i am nodding my head along to this nice sounding music then all of sudden it explodes into a full on black metal attack.
Some nice little timing changes make this 3 minute song feel longer and more epic, very clever, oh and a nice little breakdown with a mini bass solo as well!

Finally (already?) 'Cosmic Keys' another clever and well structured song, the keyboards stay slow and melodic allowing the rest of the band to draw on their various extreme and black metal backgrounds to create a monster of a song, a good reminder than once upon a nightmare british black metal used to be something worth listening too and if the album lives up to this little EP, then dear reader there is hope for the future!

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Phyrexia, Satyricon, (Early) Cradle Of Filth

Friday, 24 July 2015

Cathedral - In Memoriam (CD Review)

Demo 1990
01.Mourning of a New Day
02.All Your Sins
03.Ebony Tears

Live Holland/Belgium 1991
05.Intro/Comiserating the Celebration
06.Ebony Tears
07.Neophytes For Serpent Eve
08.All Your Sins
09.Mourning of a New Day

Lee Dorian (Vocals)
Garry Jennings (Guitar)
Mark Griffiths (Bass)
Ben Mochrie (Drums)
Adam Lehan (Guitar)

As with a choice few truly great bands, the first self-financed cassette recording by Cathedral - made available in October 1990 - was a pioneering underground masterpiece in its own right; the sound of a young band exploring its newfound chemistry, finding confident variations on a flawless list of influences and cultivating a sound and style that would prove hugely inspirational throughout the 1990s and beyond, being a major influence on everyone from Electric Wizard through to Reverend Bizarre.

Where most demos are little more than a dry run for the first album, 'In Memoriam' still has its own distinct and important identity in the Cathedral canon. The debut LP that followed, 'Forest Of Equilibrium', has a sombre, devout, melodic and mystical grandeur all of its own - but 'In Memoriam' has a far murkier, earthier, more deathly intent. Creepy, cryptic and bowel-looseningly heavy, it represents the first time that the
doom metal stylings of Trouble, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Witchfinder General had been
rendered in a new, more extreme metallic form.

I will assume that i dont need to go into a history of this amazing band so i will cut to the review.
Seems kind of strange reviewing a "Demo" from 25 years ago, afterall it did its job and launched the band into the big time and into the hearts and record collections of thousands of music lovers all over the world.

Have to say massive respect to rise above for this stunning re-issue, the original demo along with previously unreleased live tracks and a dvd as well, add to this a very informative booklet with some great pictures and old gig ad's and demo reviews.

Right from the start it's clear that 'Mourning Of A New Day' was a very different beast to all that had called itself "Dom" before, this was slower, darker and with a vocal style so gruff, that i doubt few had heard outside of some of the new upcoming underground black metal bands from Norway.
This style was so far removed from the Napalm Death and Acid Reign roots of the band it must have shocked many a metal fan.

The Pentagram cover of 'All Your Sins' is done with much more edge and gloom than the original, proving that you can make a cover version your own.

'Ebony Tears' is an eight minute workout of slow pounding pain and not a Sabbath riff anywhere to be heard, this is all original and very well structured.

Finally 'March', with its marching beat played out on the snare and the chugging riffs you may think that this is somehow going to be a more straight forward kind of song, but it stays at the same pace throughout, never attempting to be anything other than what it is, a new breed of Doom metal.

What comes across with the live tracks is the sheer strength of the band and its power as a live unit, it's heavier and has a raw almost natural flowing feel.
Now most bands perform theie song live pretty much to the same standard and length of the studio versions, but Cathedral allow their songs to evolve and become a new live creature, the version of 'Ebony Tears' is over three minutes longer than the studio version and still somehow manages to leave you wanting more.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Electric Wizard, Lucifer, Moss, Reverend Bizarre, Witchsorrow

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Aversion - Aversion (CD Review)

01.Espoirs Brises
02.Flesh of the Maggot
03.Pre-Life Nostalgia
05.Your Hate Against Mine
06.Nie Udalo Sie
07.Stench of Despair
08.Gangrene Harvest

Vena Kava (Vocals)
Max Macabre (Guitar)
Nemrod (Guitar)
Vilain (Drums)
Leather King (Bass)

In 2011 Aversion formed in Montreal, Canada, In 2013 the band released a limited edition demo named Pre-Life Nostolgia and now in 2015 with the release of their full length self titled album.
Since its inception, the Canadian quintet has sculpted their craft modestly to a raw sound. To those who hear their art, the sacrifices are palpable and the cruel intensity of the aural discharge rapidly grows making them gain a vast reputation for their live performances that embody every aspect of traditional Black Metal sorcery, through a ceremony of blood, bones and death. An outstanding release of excellent Black Metal in the old style drawing influences from Darkthrone, Kvist, Emperor, Shade, Taake, Burzum, and such high-quality acts.

Intresting album, the music really has that old school black metal sound that burst out of Norway all those years ago. Hints of speed metal lurk with some great riffs and the overall sound is kept under produced so as not to lose it's impact.

Perhaps the eye opening thing here is the vocals akin to early Mayhem or Burzum and not Arch Enemy as you might expect.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum, Korgul

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Armageddon - Eternal Mystery Rediscovered (CD Review)

02.No Advice
03.Curse of Black Swan
04.Black Swan Rider
05.Magic Star
07.Heavy Metal Symphony
08.No Advice  (Short Version)
09.Funeral March (Sarabanda 2015)
10.Heavy Metal Symphony (Short Version)
11.Mordor (Live)

Milos Krsmanovic (Lead Vocal)
Vanda Marijanski (Mecosopran)
Marko Skendzic (Tenor)
Zeljko Andric (Bass-Bariton)
Vladimir Zorijan (Bass Vocal)
Djordje Letic (Guitars/Keyboards/Vocals/Narration)
Zoran Drazic (Electric & Acoustic Guitar)
Nebojsa Bjeletic (Bass)
Milos Marceta (keyboards)
Tara Kerac (Drums/Growls)

ARMAGEDDON is a band from Novi Sad and are among the veterans of the local Heavy Metal scene in Serbia. The band was formed in 1987, and it is the creation of the solo artist Djordje Letich, who is also active in other bands on the scene, with the band Tornado being the most significant among them. ARMAGEDDON has existed for many years as a one-man band, while Djordje Letich, in the manner of true virtuoso, was combining elements of Heavy Metal sound with other similar and not so similar musical streams, examining the possibilities of complex styles and incorporating them together.
In its long history, until recently, ARMAGEDDON never set foot on the concert stage! Their performance at Exit 2012 was the exclusive live appearance of the band. Later, in December2012, the band held its "Doomsday Concert" which live recordings are the backbone for this new, currently issued album.

"Eternal Mystery - Rediscovered" is truly a "Heavy Metal Symphony" featuring Opera singers from the Serbian National Theatre of Novi Sad and a full string quartet that guide the listener through a musical journey, about the Secret of Life and Death. A highlight of the album is the live bonus track "Mordor" with which displays the full power of this now 11 musician outfit called ARMAGEDDON.
ARMAGEDDON's "Eternal Mystery" was originally recorded 25 years ago and this upgraded album entitled "Eternal Mystery - Rediscovered" is a special anniversary edition. ARMAGEDDON are considered to be one of the first Sympho Power/Prog Metal groups in the region of Europe. The original album was recorded in very poor conditions, on only 8 channels, by analog equipment. This new modern "Rediscovered" version of the album was rerecorded and remixed with additional recordings on 128 channels!

After the spoken introduction we move into the melodic almost iron maiden-esque style of power metal with 'No Advice' and just a single male vocal.

'Curse Of Black swan' is just another spoken piece, but with added f/x, this goes into 'Black Swan Rider' which turns out to be a rather good 70's sounding pomp rock song, a sort of proto power metal.

If the last one was 70's then this one seems to be late 60's, 'Magic Star' has the right vibe for classic hard rock, good vocal backing and some great guitarwork are only slightly spolied by a pretty poor drum sound.

'Sarabanda' is a full on classical symphonic piece and then comes 'Heavy Metal Symphony' a totally stunning 27 minutes of pure rock opera.
From the spoken intro into its speed metal riffs it just soars through the speakers, then come the numerous timing changes, seemingly throwing in every style of rock and metal it can, even some dark and doomy parts. Later we get some folk and pure classical as well.Fantastic!

After the edits and other extra tracks we finally get 'Mordor' another stunning and all too short symphonic rock masterpiece.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Rainbow, Therion, Dream Theater, Lucifer, Saturn

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

BruceXcampbell - Los Angeles Noisecore (Cassette Review)

Hail To The King

01.Ax Of Anger
02.Blood Lust
03.Disgusted By You
04.Grind Your Face Off
06.Hail To The King

Humanity Deserves To Die

07.City Of Doom
08.Crushed Beneath The Great Weight Of Hate
09.Delusional PVK
10.Fear They Wrath
12.The Crave

Jon (Vocals/Guitar)
Rolo (Drums)

Formed circa 2006 in California they are a four piece crust grind noise never ending force of nature. they say "Our origins are unknown, but our task in life is to defeat the evil that dwells within life's cycle, which is the madness that grows with power."

This is a compilation casette of two previous releases.

First off with 'Hail To The King' not as fast as i expected, this has some good fuzzed ut sludgey bits in between the blast beats, the vocals are as ever with this genre just a screaming noise, what lets this down for me is the complete and total lack of any samples from Bruce Campbells movies, or re creations of with someone shouting or speaking those legendary catchphrases.

So to 'Humanity Deserves To Die' and its the same again, but have to pick out 'Crushed Beneath The Great Weight Of Hate' an oustanding piece of sludge/doom with a crust on top.

Its good but it aint 'Groovy' !

Rating 5/10
For Fans Of: Offal, Coffinborn, Gravecrusher

Monday, 20 July 2015

Queen Elephantine - Omen (CD Review)

02.The Sea Goat
04.Morning Three
05.Search For The Deathless State
07.1000 Years
08.Shamanic Procession

Indrayudh Shome
Brett Zweiman
Matt Becker
Ian Sims
Derek Fukumori
Srinivas Reddy
Nate Totushek
Samer Ghadry
Daniel Quinn
Michael Isley
J. Alexander Buck
Rajkishen Narayanan
Chris Dialogue
Andrew Jude Riotto
Danny Murphy
Kabir Hingorani
Robin D. Hood
Arthur Uriquola

This is the new collection of old artifacts from the masters of dark psychedelia.
The retrospective 70-minute “EP” is a haze-filled collage, a faded time-caravan travelling through the collective’s 2007 roots in Hong Kong to more recent American
pieces. Remastered by Mell Dettmer (Sunn 0))) & Boris), Omen weaves a vein through
the dynamic body’s numerous players and instruments, through the dirtiest sludge
and cleanest drone meditation alike, illuminating the living, unifying force at the core
of Queen Elephantine.

A very difficult album to review let alone listen to, take 'Omen' for example it manages to be drone and electronic but throws in dark vocal chorus and weird sounds.

The next one 'The Sea Goat' has a grungey guitar sound, moves towards proto doom and psychedelia and then towards the end just becomes a muddled up noise.

As for the ten minute 'Gamma' i was expecting all the above plus extras, instead you get 10 minutes of near silence that i think is just a sitar (or electronic equlivilent) and a low buzz drone, later a little bit of drum and guitar, and thats it!

'Morning Three' is very Indian influenced with tabla being the main focus, this leads us into 17 minutes of 'Search For The Deathless State' which i can only describe as a masterclass in anti music, electronic noise, simply brilliant in its construction and highly un-nerving in delivery.

'Horsemen' comes across as a minimalist soundtrack for an underground horror movie, this theme continues with the next song seemingly created with electronic and ethnic instruments, then finally another very quite, minimalist ambient soundcape into some sort of nightmare world.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Merzbow, Mono, Ulver, Exorium/Occupier, Mekigah

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Isenmor - Land Of The Setting Sun (CD Review)

01.Death Is A Fine Companion
03.Land Of The Setting Sun
04.So Willingly Deceived
05.The Old Mead Hall

Tim Regan (Guitar/Vocals)
Mike Wilson (Bass/Vocals)
Nick Schneider (Violin/Vocals)
Miles Waldman (Violin)
Jon Lyon (Keyboards/Vocals)
BG Drakeley (Drums)

American band formed in May 2014 when guitarist Tim Regan and bassist Mike Wilson’s search for violinists to start a new folk metal band yielded two highly talented fiddle players, Nick Schneider and Miles Waldman. Rather than choose between the two, both were taken onboard. Drummer BG Drakeley and keyboardist Jon Lyon joined shortly thereafter, completing the lineup.

First three songs are above average for this genre, yes there is lots of violins but the level of power coming from drums mixed with the heavy guitarwork, helps create the perfect folk metal balance.

'So Willingly Decieved' brings the mood down with a solid laid back melodic masterpiece, passionate vocals are backed with moody powerchords and beautiful violin performance.

As was to be expected 'The Old Mead Hall' is a great upbeat song, for dancing and moshing in equal parts!

A stunning little EP that breathes life back into a genre that has been flagging somewhat for a while now.

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Turisas, Alestorm, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani

Friday, 17 July 2015

Palinopsia - Murmurs From The Well Nothing More (CD Review)

01.Three Sisters
03.The Unturned Snare
04.Morning Hid The Hills
05.Celestial Rift

Macaulay Lerman (Guitar/Vocals)
William Morse (Drums)
Johnny Reiter (Bass)
Haydn Smith (Vocals)

Blackend doom project from Vermont started in september 2014.

'Three Sisters' starts with distortion and feedback and kicks into some classic stoner/doom sounds before decending into much darker metal, even in this 2 minute song they manage to create a multi structured song kinda like Queens Of The Stone Age morphing into Cradle Of Filth!

Sticking to more traditional ground the dark edged 'Silt' keeps it on the same doom laden level throughout with that black metal style vocal.

'The Unturned Snare' carries this theme on with a touch of chaos thrown in as if its that off the hip/dont give a fuck stoner attitude.

Slow and melodic almost gothic in its opening the 'Morning Hid The Hills' keeps it stripped down to a few well chosen notes, yes the songs builds but never stays away from the ambience, that said there is a little blast beat towards the end.

Finally 'Celestial Rift', starts as full on grindcore! now that really takes you by surprise and leaves you to wonder where this is going, but it calms down to some suitable paced doom.

This is a great EP a few nice surprises and one that is well thought out, mixed and produced, makes a change to hear something with a gruff vocal style but one that both is listenable and actually fits the music.

Rating 9/10
For fans of:Atrum Tempestas, Triptykon, Algoma, Boris, Sunn o)))

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

HaatE - Breed The Forlorn Majesty (CD Review)

01.Pour The Wisdom Into The Chalice of Life
02.Ritual Of The Crystal Flame
03.The Forlorn Majesty

Wreath (All Instruments/Vocals)

Solo Dark\Black Ambient project from Italy created in 2014.
Wreath says of this album "I firmly believe that we have to defend our human roots and our cultural heritage. We have to cherish our hills, lakes and plains andmost of all we have to protect our traditions. Because it’s the only thing that could tell us apart from being simply…an irrelevant part of the mass.
So, this is the main concept behind this album and its lyrics.
A brief parenthesis has been made with the central track, Ritual of The Crystal Flame, that is mainly about solitude, and it’s role in the life of a human being.

'Pour The Wisdom Into The Chalice of Life' certainly hits the mark with its ambient black metal tag, this is slow, melodic, moody and dark.
Sweeping guitar over superb layered keyboards and a light drum pattern.What i really like about this is the synth pulses that appear throughout like little electronic darts zipping around with a pure analog sound.Towards the end there are a few darkend growls not so much vocals but more as an additional instrument.

This may have a darker start but 'Ritual Of The Crystal Flame' with its speech samples and slow almost ambient/trance/dance rhythms is 21 minutes of pure joy.So many fifferent keyboard sounds each mixed and produced to perfection, even towards the end when it gets louder it still retains this calmness.

This last piece 'The Forlorn Majesty', just has keyboard legend Claudio Simonetti written all over it, its a superb mix of two basic synth sounds, simple almost stripped back, but utterly compelling.

Rating: 10/10
For Fans Of: Ulver, Wolves In The Throne Room, Goblin, Tangerine Dream

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Sathoênay - Gaziosmanpasa EP (CD Review)

01.Reach Out
03.Hey Ma, I'm Your Dad
04.Adventure 3

Nico Poisson (Various Instruments)
François Virot (Drums)
Leo Grollemund (Cello)
Agathe Max (Violin)

Sathönay is a project of Nico Poisson, also a member of NED, started in 2013. Mostly solo, this project is based on oriental music through the use of an electric Saz (Saz is a type of turkish lute, to be short), old drum machines and a lot of voice. From oriental music there is only the flavour, the songs can be more easily filed under vaguely pop psychedelia.

'Reach Out' is a strange piece of electronic beats and jazz guitar riffs over a simple vocal, song picks up a bit as it goes on with some sitar sounds and then finishes.

Moving more into the weird is 'Gaziosmanpasa' a psychedelic meets world music mantra complete with sampled grasshopper sounds, layered vocal effects and mellow backing create a hypnotic laid back song.

'Hey Ma, I'm Your Dad' is the first of two 8 minute songs, this has more nature samples and samples i assume come from the news or a movie soundtrack, this is overlaid with that lute and harmonic vocals, underneath is a dark synth pattern.

Finally 'Adventure 3' is a more upbeat ambient dance type song, again lots of samples and vocal samples, but the rhythmic quality and the synth work is very reminiscent of 'Black Elk' era Hawkwind.

Rating 7/10
For Fans Of: Insect Ark, Hawkwind, Selim Lemouchi, Tangerine Dream

Friday, 10 July 2015

Zygnema - What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete (CD Review)

02.What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete
03.Shell Broken Hell Loose
06.Invidious I
09.Reform Rebirth
10.The Phoenix Effect
11.A Design To Choose

Jimmy Bhore (Vocals)
Sidharth Kadadi (Guitars)
Leon Quadros (Bass)
Mayank Sharma (Drums)

Sunneith Revankar (Vocals track 11)

Zygnema is a Mumbai based 4 piece heavy/thrash/groove metal band that mainly focuses on the social/political “fuck-ups” and loves to dig deep down on riffs that are heavy and groove oriented.

The band, over the last 6 years, has won numerous national and international accolades that only do so much to correspond to the powerhouse that the band is. One such accolade is the award for Rolling Stone Metal awards 2011 Best Metal band and Best Metal Song in the popular choice category. Zygnema was formed in December 2006, and since then, have been grooving steadily to the tunes of success and uncompromising determination.

After 3 years of hard work and a year in hibernation, (which the band has artistically paid tribute to in their song, 'Machine state hibernation') the band finally released their debut album. The debut effort, rightfully-titled 'Born of Unity' was released in June 2010.

I shall ignore the intro, which as usual leads straight into the first proper song; 'What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete' which is a kind of technical death metal, whilst the music is good the vocals are way too harsh for me.

The vocal style suites the next one 'Shell Broken' better, this is a punchy thrash/groove song as are the next couple.

'Conflict' is another intro with electronic sounds and distorted speech, this then leads right into 'Invidious' a rather brutal death/thrash workout, followed by 'In-Kog' a much more structured and melodic song with some great sounding guitar riffs and an ambient ending.

Well that ending leads into another intro 'Misguided' with sirens and a childs voice which were it not for a few seconds silence would have slipped right into 'Reform Rebirth' and yep this is more tech death stuff with harsh vocals.

Last song 'A Design To Choose' is almost ten minutes long and features guest vocals from Sunneith Revankar of Bhayanak Maut.
So the first 4 minutes is brutal stuff with some epic and clever dual vocals, then it all goes quiet and out come the acoustic guitars and the rest of the song is a quite brilliant and perfectly sung ballad, a weird way to end but a very impressive song.

Rating 8/10
For fans of:: Bhayanak Maut, Decapitated, Meshuggah

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Reanimator - Horns Up (CD Review)

01.Electric Circle Pit
02.Rush For The Mosh
03.Tempted By Deviance
04.Thieves Of Society
05.The Abominautor
06.The Mosh Master
07.Still Sick
08.Off With Their Heads
09.Mock A Mockingbird

Patrick Martin (Vocals)
Joel Racine (Guitars)
Ludovic Bastien (Guitars)
Fred Bizier (Bass)
Francis Labelle (Drums)

Not to be confused with the legendary british thrash band Re-Animator, or for that matter the american, russian or slovakian thrash bands of the same name.
Since the creation of the band in 2005 by Patrick Martin and Maxime Cormier, Reanimator dug an important place in the Quebec Metal scene. Offering an incendiary Thrash Metal dotted with old-school and new school element, With their first album "Thrashin' The Neighborhood" in 2007 the group established venomous stage appearances, which left no fan indifferent.
Touring Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, they finally came up with their next album called "Ignorance Is No Excuse" in 2009, however after nearly an hundred shows, the band split in 2011.
In 2013 they reformed with a new line-up and a new EP entitled "Great Balls".

Right from the very start 'Electric Circle Pit' presents itself as everything that was right about early Thrash Metal, fun, fast, great riffs, excellent drum playing and solid bass work, the only thing that slightly lets this down for me is the vocals, not much in the way of singing just fairly basic spoken/shouted style, this remains the same with each song, great music, just wanted a bit more from the singer.

Rating: 8/10
For fans of: Municipal Waste, Exodus, Anthrax, Acid Reign, Gama Bomb

Monday, 6 July 2015

Poenari - Wrath.War.Lucifer (CD Review)

01.Angels Wing
03.On Fire
05.Sons Of Life
07.Of Madness

Lukasz Szulczyk (Vocals)
Krzysztof Zdanowicz (Vocal)
Daniel Babecki (Guitar)
Krogul (Bass)
Lukasz Tomczak (Drums)

Brutal, unforgiving and purely decimating. Poenari have been creating their own band of punishing black/death since 2010. Located in Warsaw, Poland; these beasts have released one demo and two full length albums without compromise.
This is a re-issue of their 2013 full-length album "Wrath, War, Lucifer" on EEE Recordings, described as "10 tracks, 41 minutes of blistering and unrelenting black/death metal made to crush the weak."

With an authentic early Black Metal sound normally produced by bands from Norway many years ago, has to be said that this is a band who understands the genres roots, raw and agressive, simple production and no compromise or deviantion from the sound, even when presented with 'On Fire' which at 7 minutes could have brought in other more modern elements, doesnt!

It simmply presents a relentless onslaught of what might be called "Pure" black metal.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Mayhem, Marduk, Burzum, Bloodlust, Darkthrone

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Deadhand - Storm Of Demiurge (CD Review)

01.Resign To Complacency
02.Ground To Ash
03.Trailed By Wolves
04.Storm Of Demiurge
06.The Last King

Matt (Guitar/Vocals)
Clifton (Guitar/Vocals)
Stephen (Bass)
Shannon (Keyboards/Vocals)
J.R. (Drums)

American doom band who formed in 2013 dont seem to have any sort of bio just some blurb that reads: "Deadhand collective is The creation of self without the acknowledgement of hidden hands. No homage needs to be paid for the labor of dead men. We are not the traveled path nor the heavy wood ahead.We are still, settled into the present. Our altars are our own two feet and the tops are scattered words and actions that make up our present form".

A good mix of psychedelic/space rock sounds over vocal samples introduce 'Resign To Complacency', progression of the song brings dark vocal growls all mixed in with keyboards and a solid doom influenced backing.

Funeral Doom is the basis for'Ground To Ash', simple and uncompromised until we get near the end for some melodic and laid back guitarwork.

Next is the epic 14 minutes of 'Trailed By Wolves', this is a surprisngly laid back and highly melodic piece full of beautiful guitar playing.

'Storm Of Demiurge' is another well executed song which then leads into a nice litle instrumental '1-13-12'
Finally 'The Last King' another great mix of psychedelia/doom and prog, lots of clever and well thought out timing chnages, solid drumwork and just generally a brilliant song!

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Saturn, Pohjoinen, Hela, Cathedral, Albez Duz, Witchcraft