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CD review ANGELUS APATRIDA “Cabaret de la Guillotine”

Veröffentlicht am 12. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Angelus Apatrida, News, Thrash Metal, Century Media, Power Metal, CD Review, Heavy Metal

CD review ANGELUS APATRIDA “Cabaret de la Guillotine”

(7/10) The first thing that I have to face when starting a review is the name of the band I‘m writing about, esp. when it‘s about bands haven‘t had on the radar till now. Angelus Apatrida is such a band. With all respect, the name is a curveball to me, hard to keep in mind - „Angel.... what“. Maybe it‘s only me older brain that struggles with keeping the name in mind.

As said, I missed the guys from Spain up till now and you might have the same. The starting point of Angelus Apatrida was back in 2000 – a new millennium, a new band. The guys premiered in 2006 with “Evil Unleashed” and four more deliveries followed to date. 2018 is the year of Angelus Apatrida’s next strike, entitled “Cabaret de la Guillotine”.

Angelus Apatrida is, according to the label info sheet, a thrash metal outfit. Now doubt, aggressive metal riffing, is a crucial pillar for the band‘s sound.  Songs like „Ministry of God“ are excellent tracks, reminding partly of thrash metal icons like Testament and Destruction.

Next to pure sonic aggression, Angelus Apatrida builds in some melodic power metal moments, like in „The Die is Cast“. However, the majority of songs ignite a thrash metal inferno with blistering leads and harsh vocals.

The thing is though that the approach isn‘t really new. I never got the feeling of something really unique but I also must say that I haven‘t missed ‘new’. The energy provided by this powerhouse is the real benefit and that‘s what‘s count. I would say, good work in known territory.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sharpen the Guillotine
  2. Betryaed
  3. Ministry of God
  4. The Hum
  5. Downfall of the Nation
  6. One of Us
  7. The Die is Cast
  8. Witching Hour
  9. Farewell
  10. Martyrs of Chicago

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

 

https://www.facebook.com/angelusapatrida/

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CD review '77 "Bright Gloom"

Veröffentlicht am 9. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in '77, Bright Gloom, News, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Rock, Century Media

CD review '77 "Bright Gloom"

(7/10) Since quite some years I‘m fascinated by the irresistible energy '77 spreads on their releases and even more on stage. The quarter from Spain seems to inhale the rock‘n‘roll spirit and exhale pure rock power. The quartet shows this full-blast approach on four longplayers more than well and it’s record number five that’s supposed to strengthen their position even more.

„Bright Gloom“, which is the title of the band‘s new album, doesn‘t take a different road compared to the known. Classic hardrock is what the band celebrates on the longplayer and it‘s „Bread & Circus“ that helps the '77 to get out of the boxes very well.

What I have to say though is that, even after a few turns, the record doesn‘t reveal some irresistible smashers, songs that just wow you from beginning to end. Don‘t get me wrong. None of the eleven tunes is a bad one and tracks like „Where Have They Gone“ are cool rock songs. They just miss the final spark that makes the song blowing your speakers.

However, „Bright Gloom“ is still far away from being a disappointment. „You Better Watch Out“ is a cool grooving rocker and it‘s songs like „Last Chance“ a lot of youngsters would love to have in their repertoire.

‘77 newest sonic thunderstruck is a cool rocking album, done by an enthusiastic band that strengthens their position in today‘s rock community – not more, but also not less. Well deserved seven points go to Barcelona.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Bread & Circus
  2. Hands Up
  3. Who's Fighting Who
  4. Be Crucified
  5. Where Have They Gone
  6. It's Near
  7. You Better Watch Out
  8. Fooled by Love
  9. Last Chance
  10. I Want My Money Back
  11. Make Up Your Mind

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: April 27th, 2018

 

https://www.facebook.com/77rocks/

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CD review WIEGEDOOD "De Doden Hebben het Goed"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Wiegedood, Black Metal, Century Media, News, Thrash Metal, De Doden Hebben Het Goed

CD review WIEGEDOOD "De Doden Hebben het Goed"

(8/10) Belgium Wiegedood debut in 2015 with an album entitled "De Doden Hebben Het Goed". The album was the beginning of a morbid trilogy that finds its end with part 3 of this three-piece delivery. At the same album the newest delivery is the first album the band releases via Century Media, which could act as a springboard for this trio to reach a much wider group of metal heads.

I must admit that I missed the first two chapters of this trilogy, which means that I was curiously looking forward to what will hit my ears.

„De Doden Hebben Het Goed III“ (dutch for „The Dead Have it All Good“) is a blistering black metal attack that gives you a cold shiver. The trio doesn‘t need more than four songs to unleash a hellish vibe that comes with an unexpected and pitiless intensity. Wiegedood combines the anarchy of punk, the aggressiveness of thrash and the morbidity of black metal to something that opens gates right to the abyss. The cold shiver and the purgatorial heat could be brought together in a much better ay than what this record offers.

What‘s amazing with "De Doden Hebben Het Goed III“ is the ability of this Belgium trio to keep a level of suspense throughout. Sometimes I get annoyed by some monotonus black metal releases, listening to the samething only different from beginning to end. Not in this case. Wiegedood have the ability to write songs up to 12 minutes in length and still keep a level of suspense that excites. 

Wiegedood's third strike is a morbid and ruthless album that fascinates by it‘s simplicity and mercilessness. Check it out.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Prowl
  2. Doodskalm
  3. De Doden Hebben het Goed III
  4. Parool

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5fECeGxkEw

https://www.facebook.com/wiegedood/

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CD review SKELETAL REMAINS "Devouring Mortality"

Veröffentlicht am 18. April 2018 von Markus W. in Skeletal Remains, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Century Media, Devouring Mortality, News, CD Review

CD review SKELETAL REMAINS "Devouring Mortality"

(9/10) It was back in 2011 when a new death metal outfit started an impressive rise within a rather short period of time. Skeletal Remains, hailing from Whittier, California, unveiled a ruthless debut in 2012 and it’s the sophomore longplayer „Condemnd to Misery“, which brought the band on the radar of a wider group of metalheads.

Skeletal Remains couldn't keep the speed when it comes to releases, but the band could maintain the passion and the spirit over a period of four years, leading to the fabulous third longplayer entitled „Devouring Mortality“.

The new longplayer of the four-piece outfit is the first one for Century Media. It feels like the new label and a period of four years created a lot of appetite with the band for brutal death metal. „Condemned to Misery“ was already a good album and it‘s the new longplayer that showcases a band that made a huge next step when it comes to songwriting and power.

There is no single weak or annoying moment coming with this longplayer. Each of the songs is an aggressive little masterpiece of contemporary death metal that builds on the Tampa-Bay sound from the 90‘s. Nothing sounds old-fashion on this release even though an oldschool vibe can‘t be denied. Aggressive growls, furious guitars and well-placed breaks create a morbid magic that is hard to resist. Actually it‘s impossible to not be fascinated by what Skeletal Remains offers on their third delivery, an album that should be also checked-out be fans that don’t call death metal to their favorite genre. This album has the potential to cause severe neck problems due to intensive headbanging.

Next to the very well-crafted death metal anthems it‘s the sound of the album that makes it stand out from the rest. No less than legendary Dan Swano was at the helm for the mix and gave Skeletal Remains new power strike a dynamic that is missed with many other genre releases.

If the third album‘s still a milestone that allows an outlook into a band‘s future, thing look very positive and optimistic for Skeletal Remains. „Devouring Mortality“ is a cornerstone in the band‘s history and can act as a springboard to close the gap to the leaders of the pack. In case bands like Obituary would decide to retire, here‘s the next generation that stands in line to take over.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ripperology

  2. Seismic Abyss

  3. Catastrophic Retribution

  4. Devouring Mortality

  5. Torture Labyrinth

  6. Grotesque Creation

  7. Parasite Horror

  8. Mortal Decimation

  9. Lifeless Manifestation

  10. Reanimating Pathogen

  11. Internal Detestation

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: April 13th, 2018

 

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CD review CALIBAN "Elements"

Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2018 von Markus W. in Caliban, Modern Metal, Elements, Metalcore, News, CD Review, Century Media

CD review CALIBAN "Elements"

(8/10) German metalcore veterans Caliban worked two years on their next longplayer, succeeding the acclaimed “Gravity” record from 2016.

Caliban’s effort pays back with an excellent metalcore album. The band has the ability to combine modern riff fireworks and melodic elements to a bigger total that manifests itself in songs like the tremendous opener “This is War”. It a brutal metalcore attack that fires on all cylinders while maintaining a popular melody line in the chorus.

Another song belonging to the same category is “Ich blute für dich” which is kept entirely in German language. Tunes like “Set me Free” are not slowing down things. The opposite is the case. “Set me Free” sounds even more aggressive than some of the earlier songs even though the atmospheric start makes you think about something else.

There are songs though that reduces pace a bit without compromising on intensity. “My Madness” is a track that reflects this very well. A more moderate tempo gives the song a slightly different expression, still fitting in to the context of “Elements”. It’s the grooving parts that get more to forefront and the calmer middle section adds extra suspense to the mix.

Things stay on a high level from beginning to end. Also the later songs on this longplayer are a push in the face. “Masquerade” isn’t compromising anything and is a highlight on “Elements”, followed by “Incomplete” which another metalcore anthem on Elements.

I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Caliban till now. “Elements” changes things. This album features excellent songs, breakdown-driven structures, it gains from a brilliant sound and offers a heavy load of energy to listeners. Good stuff.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. This Is War
  2. Intoxicated
  3. Ich blute für Dich
  4. Before Later Becomes Never
  5. Set Me Free
  6. My Madness
  7. I Am Fear
  8. Delusion
  9. Carry on
  10. Masquerade
  11. Incomplete
  12. The Great Unknown
  13. Sleepers Awake

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Metalcore

Release Date EU: April 6st, 2018

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CD review BARREN EARTH "A Complex Of Cages"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2018 von Markus W. in Barren Earth, Death Metal, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, News, CD Review, Century Media, A Complex if Cages

CD review BARREN EARTH "A Complex Of Cages"

(8/10) Finnish Barren Earth aren’t a newcomer in metal. The band, hailing from Helsinki, Finland, debut in 2010 after having inked a deal with Peaceville Records. “Curse of the Red River” was the first out of three longplayers the guys released up to date.

Three years after “On Lonely Towers” hit the shelfs, it’s “A Complex of Cages” that will be a delight for fans of progressive metal as well as for death metal supporters. The new album is number two for Century Media, featuring nine new songs of epical length. Barren Earth isn’t looking for a quick and easy knock-out. The sextet focusses on longer songs that unite progressive influences from the 70’s with harsh growls.

Just listening to the music gives an impression of listening to bands like Dream Theater. Guitars and keyboards create big soundscapes that are melodic and full of dynamics. Hard-hitting drums and a booming bass create the solid foundation and it’ the partly clean vocals that doesn’t make you think about death metal. To balance the feeling of complex harmony Barren Earth adds deep growls to their sound. These moments add arcs of suspense to the mix and act as a wake-up call in case you lost yourself in multi-layered song structures.

The cornerstone of the new album is entitled “Solitude Pith”, which is a ten minutes song. Sami Yli-Sirniö, also known from Kreator, and Janne Perttilä can show all their virtuosity on the six-string while singer Jón Aldará is still a lucky strike for the outfit from Helsinki. This guy is a real master of his trade.

This centerpiece is surrounded by not less exciting tunes like "Zeal" and Spire". I wouldn’t say that the differences between the new album and “On Lonely Towers” is huge. Barren Earth continues what they can do best – merging two styles into something excellent. It is more that the new longplayer is a kind of natural next step and it’s the details that shine.

Barren Earth’s premier on Century Media is a good one. Fans of bands like Paradise Lost and Opeth should check out this album – if you don’t have it on your list already anyhow.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Living Fortress
  2. The Ruby
  3. Further Down
  4. Zeal
  5. Scatterprey
  6. Solitude Pith
  7. Dysphoria
  8. Spire
  9. Withdrawal

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

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CD review NAPALM DEATH "Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs"

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2018 von Markus W. in Napalm Death, Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs, Grindcore, Hardcore, Extreme Metal, Punk, News, CD Review, Century Media, Compilation

CD review NAPALM DEATH "Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs"

(*/10) Grindcore pioneers Napalm Death released 15 full-length records, spread over three decades. The awesome "Apex Predator - Easy Meat", released in 2015, was the latest one to date and it has been a lot of singles and some split releases that also enriched the discography of this timeless extreme metal powerhouse. Furthermore there are quite some bonus tracks that found their way on Japan-only releases, and so on.

"Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs" is a compilation that summarises a lot of this extra material and bundles it on this double CD release. The album covers the Century Media days up-to-date which means in other words, the time span between 2004 and 2016. In total there are 31 extreme metal songs that ended up on the tracklist, providing 90 minutes of grindcore and hardcore that doesn't compromise on anything.

"Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs" helps a lot to complete individual Napalm Death record collections, providing rarities that might caused a gap so far.

 

(*/10) 

 

Tracklist:

CD1:

1. Standardization (02:46) -> LP-only bonus track from ‘Utilitarian’ album sessions 2011.

2. Oh So Pseudo (02:36) -> Bonus track from ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ album sessions 2014.

3. It Failed To Explode (03:38) -> Japan-only bonus track from ‘Utilitarian’ album sessions 2011.

4. Losers (04:22) -> Bonus track from ‘The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code’’ album sessions 2004.

5. Call That An Option? (03:03) -> Bonus track from ‘Smear Campaign’ album sessions 2006.

6. Caste As Waste (03:06) -> Japan-only bonus track from ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ album sessions 2014.

7. We Hunt In Packs (03:49) -> Japan-only bonus track from ‘Time Waits For No Slave’ album sessions 2008.

8. Oxygen Of Duplicity (03:30) -> From Melvins Split EP, recorded 2013.

9. Paracide (01:39) -> Gepopel cover / Japan-only bonus track from ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ album sessions 2014.

10. Critical Gluttonous Mass (02:26) -> Bonus track from ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ album sessions 2014.

11. Aim Without An Aim (03:05) -> Bonus track from ‘Utilitarian’ album sessions 2011.

12. An Extract (Strip It Clean) (03:12) -> From Split EP with Heaven Shall Burn, recorded 2014.13. Phonetics For The Stupefied (03:29) -> From Split EP with Voivod, recorded 2014.

14. Suppressed Hunger (03:09) -> Bonus track from ‘Time Waits For No Slave’ album sessions 2008.

15. To Go Off And Things (02:29) -> Cardiacs cover / From Split EP with Melvins, recorded 2013.

CD2:

1. Clouds of Cancer / Victims Of Ignorance (02:06) -> G-ANX cover / Bonus track from ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ album sessions 2014.

2. What Is Past Is Prologue (02:57) -> Bonus track from ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’ album sessions 2014.

3. Like Piss To A Sting (01:31) -> From Split EP with Melt Banana, recorded 2014.

4. Where The Barren Is Fertile (02:22) -> From Split EP with Melt Banana, recorded 2014.

5. Crash The Pose (01:33) -> Gauze cover / Japan-only bonus track from ‘The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code’’ album sessions 2004.

6. Earthwire (02:55) -> Download only as DZI Foundation benefit following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, recorded 2014.

7. Will By Mouth (01:25) -> From Split EP with Converge, recorded 2012.

8. Everything In Mono (02:48) -> Bonus track from ‘Utilitarian’ album sessions 2011.

9. Omnipresent Knife In Your Back (05:15) -> Bonus track from ‘Time Waits For No Slave’ album sessions 2008.

10. Lifeline (03:18) -> Sacrilege cover / From ‘Respect Your Roots Worldwide’ compilation, recorded 2011.

11. Youth Offender (02:07) -> B-Side from ‘Analysis Paralysis’ EP; recorded 2011.

12. No Impediment To Triumph (Bhopal) (03:02) -> From Split EP with Converge, recorded 2012.

13. Legacy Was Yesterday (02:15) -> From Decibel magazine Flexi EP, recorded 2010.

14. Outconditioned (02:25) -> Despair cover / From ‘Covering 20 Years Of Extremes’ compilation, recorded 2008.

15. Atheist Runt (06:07) -> Bonus track from ‘Smear Campaign’ album sessions 2006.

16. Weltschmerz (Extended Apocalyptic Version) (04:05) -> Bonus track from ‘Smear Campaign’ album sessions 2006.

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Grindcore

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

 

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CD review DEATH ALLEY "Superbia"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2018 von Markus W. in Death Alley, Punkrock, Psychedelic Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Rock, Century Media, News, CD Review, Superbia

CD review DEATH ALLEY "Superbia"

(7/10) Death Alley, hailing from Amsterdam, NL, is the brainchild of former The Devils' Blood guitarist Oeds Beydals. It was in 2013 when Beydals started this powerful rock outfit that builds on roots that refer to punk on the one hand and classic (progressive) rock on the others side. Together with the recent line-up, Truijens, Bus and Bruinuisson, King Crimson have been identified as influencers when it comes to Death Alley's sound, as well as records of Poison Idea and The Stooges get regular spins on the band member's record players.

To date Death Alley unveiled a debut, "Black Magic Wonderland", back in 2015. The longplayer was framed by several 7" releases and a live album that was recorded during the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, NL.

"Superbia" is the sophomore album Death Alley releases and it's the first one that comes via Century Media. Pieter Kloos (DOOL, The Devil's Blood) supported with excellent production work, giving the album a dynamic and powerful sound.

"Superbia" has a stronger psychedelic expression. It is a demanding album the reveals its beauty after a while. Putting a nine minutes song into pole position shows that the album doesn't follow a standard approach. Rumbling in moderate pace the song is fascinating from beginning to end and stands for a first highlight on the album. "Daemon" isn't the only epical song on the album. Also "Feeding the Lions", "Headlights in the Dark" and the closer "The Sewage" are epical ones, the latter with eleven minutes the by far longest composition on "Superbia". 

These longer journeys through sounds and spheres are spiced up by short and crispy rockers like "The Chain" and the uptempo "Murder Your Dreams".

"Superbia" is a timeless psychedelic rock album, reflecting an own sound of a band that is determined and passionate. Cool stuff.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Daemon
  2. The Chain
  3. Feeding The Lions
  4. Headlights In The Dark 
  5. Shake The Coil
  6. Murder Your Dreams 
  7. Pilgrim
  8. The Sewage

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: (Psychedelic) Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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CD review OCEANS OF SLUMBER "The Banished Heart"

Veröffentlicht am 2. März 2018 von Markus W. in Oceans Of Slumber, The Banished Heart, News, Century Media, CD Review, Prog Metal, Prog Death Metal, Death Metal

CD review OCEANS OF SLUMBER "The Banished Heart"

(8/10) American Oceans Of Slumber do have already two longplayers on the list of releases up to date. The debut “Aetherial” was published in 2013 followed by “Winter”, the band’s debut for Century Media.

After turbulent years in which love, loss, struggle and surrender have been constant companions, Oceans Of Slumber unveils their newest strike entitled “The Banished Heart” on March 2nd.

The mentioned struggles and emotionally touching happenings influenced the sound of the new album in a way that the record sounds darker and heavier than what’s known from “Winter”.

Oceans Of Slumber’s new longplayer contains eleven new songs of which the majority is long and epic. The opener “The Decay of Disregard” belongs, with its nine minutes, to this group. Starting fragile with a piano, the vibe changes the moment an oppressive riff takes over. There is a lot of melancholy embedded in this song too with Cammie Gilbert’s vocals being spot-on.

The Houston-based metal outfit likes to use contrast in their creative work and sound. There is constant interplay between louder sections and calmer moments. This up and down breaks the pattern and adds excitement to the tunes on the album. Take the title track as an example. Discomfort and melancholy are the key vibes of this atmospheric song that constantly spreads a feeling of hope and despair.

The approach is strengthened by Gilbert’s clean vocals that carry a lot of feel and the deep growls on the other hand. What sounds like the good old ‘beauty and the beast’ thing is actually something different on “The Banished Heart”. Oceans Of Slumber uses these different voices to express motions – like in “At Dawn”.

Two interludes have been placed on the tracklist too. There is the cinematic and creepy “The Watcher” and dramatic “Her in the Distance”, both moments of silence on this emotional journey.

“The Banished Heart” contains progressive metal songs with some outbursts into extreme metal, the latter mainly based on growls. The album is definitely to recommend since it delivers well-done music that’s touching. Good stuff.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

01. The Decay of Disregard

02. Fleeting Vigilance

03. At Dawn

04. The Banished Heart

05. The Watcher

06. Etiolation

07. A Path To Broken Stars

08. Howl of the Rougarou

09. Her In the Distance

10. No Color, No Light

11. Wayfaring Stranger

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive Extreme Metal

Release Date EU: March 2nd, 2018

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CD review NECROPHOBIC "Mark of the Necrogram"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Mark of the Necrogram, Necrophobic, Death Metal, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, News, Century Media, CD Review

CD review NECROPHOBIC "Mark of the Necrogram"

(8/10) Swedish metal horde Necrophobic belongs to the pioneers of Swedish death metal with roots going back to the late 80’s. It was in 1989 in Swedens capitol Stockholm when this quintet was formed by David Parland and Joakim Sterner and it was Slayer’s classic "Necrophobic" that inspired the guys when it comes to the naming of the band.

Nearly 30 years later Necrophobic is still preaching dark tales from hell, captured on a new album that is already on its way to the record stores. „Mark of the Necrogram“ is the first release in a five years time and follows the 2013 disc „Womb of Lilithu“. The new album is Necrophobic’s eighth release to date and it’s the first one for Century Media. The devilish longplayer comes with a tracklist that comprises of ten titles of which the last one is more of an instrumental outro.

As not expected different this album start fast and furious. No intro, no frills, no mercy. „Mark of the Necrogram“ is a brutal black metal smasher that gives a crystal clear idea of what to expect within the next 48 minutes. „Odium Caecum“  and „Tsar Bomba“ round off a great starting triple, the latter with a cool groove and melodylines that make the track to an approachable anthem in black metal.

Necrophobic pushes the pedal to the metal with „Pesta“ before the gloomy and atmospheric „Requiem For a Dying Sun“ adds a sinister vibe to the total. One of the best tunes on „Mark of the Necrogram“ is the uptempo „Crown of Horns“. The track spreads a vicious catchiness. This hymn puts a spell on you without shifting towards cheesiness or being close to sell-out. It just catches the listeners attention esp. in the verse and doesn‘t let loose anymore.     

This devilish metal record finds an end with „Untergången“. Like mentioned earlier, it's less of a song. It‘s more an atmospheric instrumental that can be seen as an almost three minutes long outro with an oppressive vibe.

Fans of traditional Swedish black metal should call this album their own. Necrophobic builds on their experience and created an album that spreads an unholy fascination of evil.

 

(8/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Mark of the Necrogram
  2. Odium Caecum
  3. Tsar Bomba
  4. Lamashtu
  5. Sacroanct
  6. Pesta
  7. Requiem For a Dying Sun
  8. Crown of Horns
  9. From the Great Above to the Great Below
  10. Undergången

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: January 23rd, 2018

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CD review TRIBULATION "Down Below"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Tribulation, Death Metal, Gothic, Goth Metal, CD Review, News, Century Media, Rock, Dark Metal

CD review TRIBULATION "Down Below"

(8/10) Tribulation is hailing from Arvia, close to Stockholm. The quartet was founded 14 years ago as a death metal outfit before the Swedes evolved their music. Over time Tribulation added more and more gloomy gothic elements to their sound, something that made them more unique and opened the band for new fans. The third album, "The Children of the Night", was the first one for Century Media, which gave the guys a new platform and was a milestone when it comes to the band's offer.

Now, in 2018, the quartet releases the highly anticipated new longplayer, entitled "Down Below" and Tribulation invested time into songwriting and production of the new longplayer. Three years after "The Children of the Night" escaped from darkness it's the new longplayer that shows a continuation of evolvement. Fans from the very beginning might have a problem with this development since the Transylvanian goth approach is still a crucial gloomy element of Tribulation's sound.

"Down Below" comprises of nine new songs and starts acoustic. A calm moment introduces “The Lament” before the song evolves to a dark goth metal tune that sounds like a raw version of Fields Of The Nephilim. “Nightbound” has a similar approach, followed by “Lady Death”, which is a spot-on three minutes long anthem that showcases Tribulation’s sound being boiled down to its essence.

In order to break the pattern Tribulation adds an acoustic interlude entitled “Purgatorio” to the tracklist. The atmospheric instrumental is a welcomed moment of repose before “Cries from the World” kicks in with a dark vibe and excellent guitar work.

“Lacrimosa” means a shift in speed. The tune belongs to the uptempo ones on the album and creates a great counterpart to the gloomy “The World”, which is next in line.

With “Here Be Dragons” the end of this fantastic longplayer is near. Riffs and piano parts stand for a well-done start before the tune builds up to a sinister death rocker with some filigree solo sections. The song summarizes all you have listened to earlier on this album in a perfect way, acting as the Grand Finale of this terrific longplayer.

This longplayer is a completely rounded piece of work. Music, sound, done at Soundtrade Studios and Studio Cobra, and artwork fit together more than well. "Down Below" is the soundtrack for a Carpathian horror show, a record you definitely have to check out.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Lament
  2. Nightbound
  3. Lady Death
  4. Subterranea
  5. Purgatorio
  6. Cries from the Underworld
  7. Lacrimosa
  8. The World
  9. Here Be Dragons

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Dark/Goth Metal

Release Date FY: January 26th, 2018

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CD review ORPHANED LAND “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs, Orphaned Land, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, Prog Metal, News, CD Review, Century Media, Oriental Metal

CD review ORPHANED LAND “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs"

(8/10) Orphaned Land is more than just a band. The outfit, founded in 1991, went on a journey that includes excellent metal music with the inclusion of thought-through lyrics, which contain a positive and peaceful message.

The band from Israel released so far five longplayers, all with a conceptual depth. Orphaned Land is a band that successfully tries to bridge all gaps and boarders in the Middle East, having fans in all parts of the area. In addition Kobi Farhi and bandmates gained a worldwide popularity.

These days the new album, number 6, is in the starting blocks. The record is entitled “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs”, featuring in total 13 tracks. Fahri managed to get some well-known metal musicians having guest appearances on this album. Next to At The Gates frontman Tomas Lindberg it is no less than Blind Guardian singer Hani Kürsch and guitar icon Steve Hackett contributing to this creative metal record.

After having heard the album several times I must say that it Fahri and band created music that stands out from the masses. It’s mainly the oriental touch that’s weaved into each of the songs, giving the band an own identity. Already the opener “The Cave” includes this feature, leading to an eight minutes epos the band decided to begin with.

“Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” contains more of these extra-long tracks. “Chains Fall to Gravity” is getting close to 10 minutes and shows the entire finesse the band has in their offer. The calm start, the prog-rock approach and a bombastic expression lifts this piece of music from ‘song’ to ‘composition’.

Next to these longer rock endeavors there are the more spot-on songs, tracks like the crispy “My Brother’s Keeper”, which reminded me in parts of an oriental version of Queensryche in their “Empire”-days.

To keep the level of excitement high throughout the entire album, Orphaned Land added some short songs to the tracklist. I almost had the feeling that tunes like “Yedidi” act as a kind of interlude. In general I must say the band manages to create an arc of suspense by the way the order of songs is done. Epical composition interact with spot-on songs. Louder moments shift to calmer notes while deep vocal, almost growls, and clean sections go hand in hand too.

“Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” became an exciting record that includes excellent metal music with a lyrical concept that has the ambition to unite rather than to divide. Thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Cave
  2. We Do Not Resist
  3. In Propaganda
  4. All Knowing Eye
  5. Yedidi
  6. Chains Fall To Gravity
  7. Like Orpheus
  8. Poets of Prophetic Messianism
  9. Left Behind
  10. My Brother’s Keeper
  11. Take My Hand
  12. Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War
  13. The Manifest – Epilogue

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive Symphonic Metal

Release Date EU: January 26th, 2018

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CD review WATAIN “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE”

Veröffentlicht am 6. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE, Watain, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Extreme Metal, News, CD Review, Century Media

CD review WATAIN “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE”

(9/10) If there was a black metal band that gained enormous popularity over the last years without ending up in some mainstream screeching or sell-out, it’s Watain. The band hailing from Uppsala, Sweden began their hellish endeavour in 1998 and the first unique thing is the fact that the trio is still consisting of founding members only. In almost 20 years the line-up didn’t change and it’s still E. Danielsson, P. Forsberg and H. Jonsson who are on their devilish mission.

Watain is very much known for their morbid and sinister live shows, but there is also a lot of musical substance that comes with this trio. Therefor also longplayers are a dark but joyful experience, presenting metal at an extreme.

Five longplayers came from netherworld so far and it’s the devilish number six that will mark a dark metallic start into 2018. “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE” is the name of the record that comprises of eight new songs from the abyss. The new album isn’t too long when it comes to running time. Watain kept things spot-on and due to the intensity level of the album it demands already a lot in a short time.

Especially in comparison with the predecessor “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE” shows the essence of Watain's sound. There are no frills, decorations and intros. Each of the tracks that ended up on the album are around four minutes of pure diabolicalness.

"Nuclear Alchemy" is the opener and actually it's even more. This songs is a statement and a signal of what to expect of the album. Rage and franticness, that's what “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE” is about and that's what ypu have to face without any signs of pre-warning. Watain sticks to this pattern through-out and also the melodic intro to "Teufelsreich" and its slower pace doesn't change the uncompromising approach of this longplayer.

“TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE” is a sonic purgatory. It is a raw and unpolished black metal album that is positioning the band far outside of any mainstream approach. Almost twenty years in black metal didn’t have any impact on Watain’s hellishly mission of holding up a mirror to the world, reflecting the dark and evil side. It’s a pitch-black album only lit by a few candles. Eerily beautiful.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Nuclear Alchemy
  2. Sacred Damnation 
  3. Teufelsreich
  4. Furor Diabolicus 
  5. A Throne Below 
  6. Ultra (Pandemoniac) 
  7. Towards The Sanctuary 
  8. The Fire Of Power 

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: January 5th, 2017

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CD review AVATAR "Avatar Country"

Veröffentlicht am 4. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Avatar, Avatar Country, News, CD Review, Century Media, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Modern Death Metal, Symphonic Metal

CD review AVATAR "Avatar Country"

(8/10) Normally I’m not a fan of too much gimmicks and frills used by a band. Often it’s done with the purpose of compensating for something else that’s missing, mostly good songs. I’ve been doubtful when I listened to Avatar the first time but luckily enough the music could swipe away all doubts. Avatar is the exception that proves the rule.

The Swedish metal outfit has its roots in death metal, what else could it be, hailing from Gothenburg. Over time the band evolved their sound to a unique mixture of melodic death metal, modern metal and some hardrock. Avatar found their own signature, also being the foundation for their newest strike entitled “Avatar Country”. The album follows the 2016 release “Feather’s and Flesh” and is the first one for label Century Media.

“Avatar Country” is a concept album with 'the king', being in the center of everything. I don’t want to go too deep into the content of the concept, but it has an impact on the tracklist of “Avatar Country”.

The album comes with ten songs and a running time of 43 minutes. Considering an intro entitled “Glory to the King”, a spoken word section (“The King Speaks”) and an instrumental towards the end (“Silent Songs of the King pt.1: Winter Comes When the King Dreams of Snow”) there isn’t too much time left for real songs. No doubt, from a dramaturgic aspect these numbers are needed on the album, but it also means that it limits the running time for great songs which the album contains as well.

“Avatar Country” comes with excellent metal compositions that are powerful and entertaining. “Legend of the King” is the first one and it shows the entire potential of Avatar. Death metal roots are shimmering though with raw vocals while the melodic parts add some catchy commerciality to the total. Avatar has a wide range of styles which they combine to something that’s special and outstanding. Almost as a counterpart to “Legend of the King” there’s “The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country”. It’s the bluesy vibe that almost gives you the feeling of listening to another band, still fitting into the context of “Avatar Country”.

Listening to Avatar also means that’s hard to predict what’s next. Each of the songs has quite some unexpected twists, like “A Statue of the King”. There are progressive elements that interact with raging metal parts and the great thing is – all fits together in a good fashion.

To conclude: “Avatar Country” became an excellent metal release that proves why the guys from Gothenburg can count on a constantly growing fan base. Avatar’s music is inspiring, powerful, raw and catchy. Utilizing this fantastic bag, filled of creativity, for a concept album is a good idea, but the concept should not limit the songs, which partly happen with “Avatar Country”. Two to three more ‘real’ tracks wouldn’t have been a bummer at all. But better some less songs than fillers. Great album that leaves you with an appetite for more.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Glory to Our King
  2. Legend of the King
  3. The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country
  4. King’s Harvest
  5. The King Wants You
  6. The King Speaks
  7. A Statue of the King
  8. King After King
  9. Silent Songs of the King pt.1: Winter Comes When the King Dreams of Snow
  10. Silent Songs of the King pt.2: The King’s Palace

 

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: January 12th, 2018

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