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My world of music - est. 2013

in flames

CD review WE SELL THE DEAD "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in We Sell The Dead, In Flames, Spiritual Beggars, HIM, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, News, earMUSIC, Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full, CD Review

CD review WE SELL THE DEAD "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full"

(8/10) You might not heard of this band before and therefor we need to have a look into who these guys are. Actually we are talking about well-known names in rock and metal. We Sell The Dead is no less than Niclas Engeling (In Flames), Gas Lipstick (ex-HIM), Jonas Slättung (Drömrikets) and Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars, Firewind).

The overarching question that led to this outfit was: What, if Jack the Ripper would have been part of a band? In a metal band? This was the starting point for We Sell The Dead and their debut "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full".

The album sounds very interesting, which is meant in a positive way. I have to admit that I had a bit of problems to find my way into We Sell The Dead's sound. The first time I listened to it wasn't a thrilling exercise. However, there are records that need to grow and this one belongs into this category. 

Contemporary heavy metal is what you can expect of the nine songs that made it on the tracklist. These tracks are linked to each other with a common theme being the bridge. "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full" takes you back to the 19th century when the mentioned Jack the Ripper was up to mischief. This theme leads to morbid and dark expression on the album, starting with the creepy intro "The Body Market".

"Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full" is an unusual album that doesn't remind of 'home-base' bands like In Flames and Spiritual Beggars. We Sell The Dead created their own sound and signature, built on their individual path through rock and metal. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Body Market
  2. Echoes of an Ugly Past
  3. Leave Me Alone
  4. Imagine
  5. Turn it Over
  6. Too Cold to Touch
  7. Trust
  8. Pale and Perfect
  9. Silent Scream

 

Label: earMUISC

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: February 23rd, 2018

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CD review CYHRA "Letters to Myself"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Cyhra, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, CD Review, Spinefarm, Melodic Metal, In Flames, Amaranthe

CD review CYHRA "Letters to Myself"

(8/10) CyHra is the new outfit of ex-In Flames guitarist Jesper Strömblad and ex-Amaranthe vocalist Joacim Lundberg, both finding together via the idea of creating an individual solo album each. But what’s better than combine forces and take everything together for one record. CyHra was born and by adding former In Flames bassist Peter Iwers as well as Alex Landenburg the line-up was completed.

The longplayer comprises 13 songs of which you might have heard “Karma” earlier since it was the first single release from the album. As not expected different CyHra is playing melodic metal that is still very riff based. Strömblad’s guitar sound was already a substantial element of In Flames and it’s awesome to listen to his riffing and solos again. His signature is very present which goes together with Lundberg’s clean vocals very well.

CyHra, that's about melodic contemporary metal, never becoming harsh and unpolished. The guys have a great sense for hooks that are catchy and harmonic, balancing the poles of heaviness and melody in a good fashion which makes the record to lively one.

The first single also acts as opener. The song is a perfect choice since it represents the longplayer very well. Melody meets a dense sound meets well done guitar lines meets excellent performed vocals. However, the real highlights are songs like „Letter to Myself“, with Strömblad’s typical guitar signature. This song fires on all cylinders and I would have wished to get more of it. But it is what it is, with the more melodic „Holding Your Breathe“ also belonging to the best the genre can offer these days. Each of the 13 tunes slowly unveils its beauty with songs like "Heartrage" making it impossible to stand still.

CyHra‘s sound is often kike a thrilling ride on the borderline. The risk of taking a step too far, ending in triviality, is constantly present. Fortunately the guys are experienced enough to avoid such a fatal step.

CyHra‘s album grew with every spin on the record player. Even though it‘s catchy it took a while till I could discover its full fascination. These songs and esp. the hooks find a way into your mind and stay there - if you want it or not.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Karma
  2. Heartrage
  3. Here To Save You
  4. Muted Life
  5. Closure
  6. Letter To Myself
  7. Dark Clarity
  8. Holding Your Breath
  9. Rescue Ride
  10. Black Wings
  11. Inside A Lullaby
  12. Dead To Me
  13. Letters To Myself

 

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: October 20th, 2017

 

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CD review IN FLAMES "Battles"

Veröffentlicht am 7. November 2016 von Markus W. in In Flames, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Gothenburgs number three album within one week. Seven days after Hammerfall's newest release  Dark Tranquillity's "Atoma" hit the shelfs it's In Flames that comes with a new longplayer too.

The Swedish metal pioneers finished their new longplayer entitles "Battles". In Flames started as a death metal band and became a crucial player when it comes to Gothenburg death metal. Over time the quinet developed their sound further and the roots, that are still part of In Flames' sound, became less. Anders Fridén and comrades, step by step, moved towards modern metal, something that also gets underlined by this release. There are still some heavier and harsh elements included in their sound, however a shift can't be denied.

"Battles" is a mixed bag. There are without any doubt good songs on this album. "Drained" stands for an energetic start that sound OK, followed by "The End" which is the best track on the entire album. This song combines In Flames' strength of combining blistering guitars with melodic elements.

The first song that causes frowns is "Like Sand". There are some heavy moments but there are also these irritating alternative rock parts which doesn't help the tune to create a blast. However, it's better than what is next. The band arrived with "The Truth" in mainstream. Electronic elements gained ground with the effect of guitars being more in the back. "The Turth" might help for more airplay, but it is far away from the earlier In Flames.

Fortunatelly there are some better tunes that follow. "Through my Eyes" is one of them, coming with a good riffing and raging attitude. In Flames clearly shows that they can play harder and some more of this kind of tracks would have been nice. Another song that comes with In Flames trademarks is "Underneath My Skin" which is also some amunition for intense headbanging.

The contrast is called "Here Until Forever". The guys show their silent side which isn't a bad thing in itself. In Flames has proven in the past that they can do this kind of songs as well. "With Eyes Wide Open" is a perfect example how to do it. But "Here Until Forever" doesn't have this intensity. It's an average alternative rock song that doesn't stick to your mind.

It feels like "Battles" is more than just a name for In Flames newest longplayer. This disc is a next step of the Gothenburg dinosaur towards melodic modern metal. The old roots get more and more pushed to the back and also the melancholic vibe of "Siren Charms" is mostly gone. "Battles" features some good songs but contains also more burden than needed. It's an album that shows the band reaching a crossroads and future will tell which road they will choose.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Drained 
  2. The End 
  3. Like Sand 
  4. The Truth 
  5. In My Room 
  6. Before I Fall 
  7. Through My Eyes 
  8. Battles 
  9. Here Until Forever 
  10. Underneath My Skin 
  11. Wallflower
  12. Save Me 

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: November 11, 2016

CD review IN FLAMES "Battles"
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DVD review IN FLAMES "Sounds From the Heart of Gothenburg"

Veröffentlicht am 19. September 2016 von Markus W. in In Flames, Death Metal, DVD review, CD Review, News, Melodic Death Metal

(8/10) If you haven't lived under a rock for the last decades you heard about In Flames. The guys from Gothenburg can look back on a fantastic career in metal with a debut as a first earmark for something big that started to grow. 23 years later In Flames became a constant factor for quality. The five-piece constantly developed their sound from raw and unleashed death metal to a more melodic death metal interpretation. The band did a major contribution to the 'Gothenburg style' and are one of the spearheads of this development.

This DVD covers a show in their hometown Gothenburg. In Flames performed in front of 10.000 jesterheads in the sold-out Scandinavium and the homematch was more then appreciated by each and everybody in this big hall. The vibe is impressive. I had the pleasure to see the band a year later on their Scandinavian 'club tour' when they played the KB in Malmö which is a rather small club. But watching this DVD looks to me like the same vibe, just with 10 times more supporters.

This gig consisted out of twenty songs which has been carefully chosen. Even though the band didn't go back to the very early roots, the setlist included older classics like "Resin" from the 1999 release "Colony" and also "Only the Weak" from "Clayman" was played during the show.

The biggest part of the concert was dedicated to new songs from the "Siren Charms" release. Seven songs have been played from this album including a special version of "When the World Explodes" with Emilia Feldt joining the band on stage. She did the song together with In Flames on the album version, and it was one of the rare moments when she also joined on stage. Actually the Gothenburg- and the Stockholm show have been the only ones that included the hymn in the live set. It's these almost unique moments that are the cherry on the cake when it comes to this release - a moment of goosebumps which almost leads to the wish of a continuation.

When it comes to stage set things have been quite puristic. As usual, In Flames used light in an excellent way for supporting their music, but it seems that the guys reduced things a bit on this tour. Since it gives a clearer focus on the music not even a too bad decision.

The visual aspect of this DVD is excellent. Patric Ullaeus did an brilliant job in capturing this special moment. After having worked together with In Flames already for "Used & Abused" as well as directing the video for "Take This Life" the guys seem to be a good team, working together very well.

Eleven years after "Used and Abused" it's a well chosen moment of delighting fans with a new live release that underlines the importance of In Flames and Gothenburg for melodic death metal. If you want to be part of this homegame for In Flames, than this is the right disc for you.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. In Plain View
  2. Everything's Gone
  3. Fear is the Weakness
  4. Trigger
  5. Resin
  6. Where the Dead Ships Dwell
  7. With Eyes Wide Open
  8. Paralyzed
  9. Through Oblivion
  10. Ropes
  11. Delight and Angers
  12. Cloud connected
  13. Only for the Weak
  14. The Chosen Pessimist
  15. The Quiet Place
  16. When the World Explodes ( feat. Emilia Feldt)
  17. Rusted Nail
  18. The Mirror's Truth
  19. Deliver Us
  20. Take This Life

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: Septmeber 23rd, 2016

DVD review IN FLAMES "Sounds From the Heart of Gothenburg"
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CD review THE RESISTANCE "Coup De Grace"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in The Resistance, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, In Flames, The Haunted

(7/10) Can you resist The Resistance? Some of you maybe can, but I think that at least fans of former releases of this Swedish band will also like this one. And the guys are quick. Not even a year after having released the "Torture Tactics" EP the new album "Coup De Grace" is on its way to the record shops.

The Swedish death metal horde recorded twelve new tracks for "Coup De Grace", introduced by "Death March", an intro that sounds with its weird samples a bit strange. Things hit more bulls eye with "I Welcome Death". The death metal machine starts its work and stops already 36 minutes later. This short running time is actually a downer of The Resistance's newest release.

The next track, "Smallest Creep" is another wrecking ball but I also have to say that the guys stay a bit too much in the same pattern. It's the highlights that I'm missing on this longplayer. 

Basically "Coupe De Grace" became a good death metal album the Swedish style. But it also misses some more tention and the thrilling moments. Looking on the experience of each band member, we are talking about a kind of all-star band, the expectations have been higher than the final result. Good but with a bit lost opportunities.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Death March
  2. I Welcome Death
  3. Smallest Creep
  4. Violator
  5. Felony
  6. Death Blow
  7. Resolution
  8. World Order
  9. Enslavement
  10. Art of Murder
  11. For the Venom
  12. The Drowning
  13. As it All Came Down

 

Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: January 22nd, 2016

CD review THE RESISTANCE "Coup De Grace"
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CD review DIABLO "Silver Horizon"

Veröffentlicht am 7. November 2015 von Markus W. in Diablo, In Flames, Modern Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review

(6/10) Diable aren't rookies. The band was founded at the end of the former century and the guys scored some decent results in their home country Finland and during the last years also in Europe.

Diablo is inspired by melodic death metal the Gothenburg-style. Bands like the newer In Flames, but also Dark Tranquility, made an impression on the four-piece.

There are some tracks on the sixth album but there are also songs on the tracking list that doesn't work, at least not for my ears.

Let's start with the good stuff. The line-up of Diablo is quite stable, something that can be heard back in a tight way how they play together. Also the production of "Silver Horizon" is a really good one. The sound of the album is full of power and has a certain punch.

When it comes to the songs and the music there are tracks like "Isolation" and the midpace "Illuminati" that are quite good. In general I must say that the instrumental section is done quite well.

The biggest minus for me are the vocals and the vocal lines. It's the way of shouting melodic vocals that sounds strange and also the phrasing is at least you need to get used to. For me it's either metalcore shouts are more rough melodic thrash vocals that would work. But this mix is not my cup of tea. The title track e.g. is very well done from the music itself, but the vocals are threatening this positive expression. To say it with Metallica, the band was supporting live, "Sad, but true", esp. considering the fact that this has been far better on longplayers like "Icaros".

But even though the band gained a solid fan base during all these years this album is a step back.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Call
  2. Isolation
  3. The Serpent Holder
  4. Into the Void
  5. Illuminati
  6. Prince of the Machine
  7. Silver Horizont
  8. Savage
  9. Corium Black
  10. Voyage to Eternity

 

Label: Sakara Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: October 30st, 2015

CD review DIABLO "Silver Horizon"
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Live Review IN FLAMES / BLACK TEMPLE, Malmo, 22.10.2015

Veröffentlicht am 23. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in In Flames, Black Temple, Heavy Metal, Modern Metal, News, Live Review, Death Metal

I always thought that the sauna was invented by the Finns. But this night in Malmö proved me wrong. The sauna was developed in the Kulturbolaget in Malmo, Sweden. OK, maybe I'm overstating a bit, however, it felt like a sauna when Swedish In Flames, supported by Black Temple, played the first out of two gigs in the small venue in the South of Sweden.

The first heatwave that night was caused by three guys from Helsingborg. This almost means 'home game - time' for the trio, which also explained the fact that the venue was already pretty packed when the guys entered the stage.

Having with "It All Ends" a great album up one's sleeve their set became to a real enegizer. This raw and uncompromissing mixture of metal, rock and post-punk sounds good on CD, but gets even better on stage.

Talking about the stage; space was very limted but the guys used each sqaure centimeter to move and jump around, accompanied by big rock posing. This show was pure, real and grounded. Black Temple - an excellent opener.

 

 

Live Review IN FLAMES / BLACK TEMPLE, Malmo, 22.10.2015

After such a great opening and a short break it was up to In Flames to raise the temperature even more. I have seen the band almost to the day one year ago in Tilburg, Holland. While the 013 in Tilburg is a rather big venue the Kulturbolaget in Malmö is much smaller but with a lot of charm. No surprise that the show was sold out within no time, a fact that also goes for the second show the day after.

It was great to see the band in such a small environment; and in their home country. This gave the concert another, more intense and intimate, vibe.

In Flames ruled from the first note onwards. The really great thing tonight was the setlist. Having given focus in the new material 12 months ago, In Flames balanced the thing this time much more. Even though they didn't go back the the very beginning, songs like "Jotun" and "The Hive" from the fantastic "Whoreacle" album have been played. The crowd went crazy during the entire show, but I had the feeling that those old classics have been celebrated a bit more. And I also think that this was the moment when heavy crowdsurfing started. Maybe In Flames should seriously consider a 'the early years tour'.

And it wasn't only the crowd that enjoyed the show. Also Anders Fridén and his gang obviously enjoyed the time on stage a lot. This maybe also had to do with the fact of having kids and family around during this home game concert - small side note: special moment was when the kids had fun to throw paper gliders in the crowd :)

In Flames set down an almost two hours show that night which was great to see and watch. For me personally, it was cool to see the band in their home country in such a small venue, because this gave the entire a show a really different expression. This night showed again why the five-piece from Gothenburg became so popular. It's their music, their passion and their authenticity what you can hear and feel in each song and in each minute during the gig. No fake, just real metal on a high level.

It was close to 11pm when the spectacle draw to and end. "My Sweet Shadow" marked the end of this great night on a grey Thursday in Malmo and you could see many happy faces leaving th KB. Cool stuff.

 

Live Review IN FLAMES / BLACK TEMPLE, Malmo, 22.10.2015

Setlist In Flames:

  1. Jester's Door
  2. Enter Tragedy
  3. Darker Times
  4. Siren Charms
  5. Black & White
  6. Square Nothing
  7. Disconnected
  8. Leeches
  9. Like You Better Dead
  10. Bullet Ride
  11. Jotun
  12. Food for the Gods
  13. Ordinary Story
  14. Crawl Through Knives
  15. Satellites and Astronauts
  16. The Hive
  17. Take This Life
  18. Cloud Connected (Encore)
  19. Where the Dead Ships Dwell (Encore)
  20. Deliver Us (Encore)
  21. Paralyzed (Encore)
  22. My Sweet Shadow (Encore)

 

Location: Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden

Date: 22.10.2015

 

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CD review BLACK TEMPLE "It all ends"

Veröffentlicht am 29. August 2015 von Markus W. in Black Temple, In Flames, Post-Core, Punkrock, Heavy Metal, Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) Helsingborg is one of the smaller drowsy cities in the South-Western parts of Sweden. This isn't meant negative. It's just not Gothenburg and Stockholm. However, the smaller town has a cool concert venue called 'Tivoli' which is in the harbor area where the ferry from Helsingor arrives. 

Next to that there are some metal bands that call Helsingborg their home. I guess Soilwork is the most famous one with worldwide success. But there is also a next generation that gains momentum. One of those bands are Black Temple.

The trio releases in these days their debut "It all end". Already a cool title for debut. The longplayer comes via Century Media; no, actually Black Temple signed with Razzia Notes; the new label of In Flames frontman Andres Friden.

When I heard "It all end" for the first my thought was: "they sound a bit like their label mates of Bombus". And it's not surprising that Black Temple's release was postponed due to some touring activities with the guys from Gothenburg.

The sound of Black Temple is characterized by harsh agressivness that can be partly found back in punk and hardcore roots. But instead of having pure noise orgies, that trio adds some excellent melodylines to it. This makes the entire album to a grooving, but also raging, metal mixture, that works very well.

Noisy post-punk tunes like "Lowpoints" are next to angry energizer such as "Acid rain" with vocal lines reminding in parts to the mighty Rage Against The Machine.

The mid-pace number "Oncoming fire" represents the heavy roots of the three guys and "Sleep with the stars" is the most grooving track on the longplayer. Those songs are far more than just tipping the toe in the water. This stuff is as brave as a dive in unkown water; just due to fact that it's thrilling.

"It all ends" is pretty cool record that actually should have been named 'It all starts'. I guess we will hear much more of the guys in the coming years. If you're on the search wor something wild and exciting - you found it.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Unlikely event
  2. Acid rain
  3. Great things
  4. Difficult journey
  5. Oncoming fire
  6. Lowpoints
  7. Sleep with the stars
  8. 100 years
  9. Sleepy river

 

Label: Century Media

Genre:

Release Date EU: August 28th, 2015

CD review BLACK TEMPLE "It all ends"
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CD review HORRIZON "Dwelling within"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Juni 2015 von Markus W. in Horrizon, In Flames, Amon Amarth, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Horrizon was already founded ten years ago in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. The five-piece had to go through several line-up changes during their starting phase and had their first record deal in 2011. The debut was named "Time for revenge" and was released in 2012.

Now, three years later, Horrizon publishes their newest longplayer called "Dwelling within". Horrizon in these days is Julian Fischer (d), Ralf Strzalka (g), Franz Riemann (b), Martin Gerloff (v) and Peter Gedert on the second guitar.

Those five guys recorded eleven new songs for "Dwelling within", all melodic death metal numbers that are powerful and very entertaining. Horrizon finds the right mix between sonic brutality and melodies which add a certain catchiness to their tunes. My personal faves on "Dwelling within" are the title track, the merciless "From the abyss from hell" with its melodic middle section and the mighty "Labyrinth".

Not to forget that the new longplayer also includes the first ballad of Horrizon. "Whispering my name" is a soulful song that is quite different from the other ones. The tune builds up along the way but stays a silent one till the end. It marks a nice break halfway.

Having focussed on Northern mythology on "Time for revenge" the band decided to not continue with this theme on the new record. The shift was towards more openen topics - like 'obsession' that became the red thread on "Dwelling within".

Horrizon released with "Dwelling within" an album that is positioned somewhere between Amon Amarth (on songs like "The storm") and In Flames ("Fading away"). A mixture that works very well and if Horrizon will continue their journey with such an amount of passion they, step by step, come closer to the top of German metal. The band seems to have some potential, let's see whereto this will lead the guys.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Lost in dreams (Intro)
  2. Dwelling within
  3. Far beyond the horizon II
  4. From the abyss of hell
  5. A teacherous beast
  6. Whispering my name
  7. Labyrinth
  8. The storm (v.2014)
  9. Last masquerade
  10. No more fear
  11. Fading away

 

Label: Yonah Records

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

CD review HORRIZON "Dwelling within"
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CD review WHILE SHE SLEEPS "Brainwashed"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2015 von Markus W. in While She Sleeps, Metalcore, Groove Metal, Nu Metal, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, In Flames

(8/10) I have to admit that I missed While She Sleeps' debut "This is the six". My first touchpoint with the band from Sheffield was a few month ago when they opened for In Flames. Since I haven't seen the band earlier I was very curious about their music and their show. After their 30 minutes long performance I was impressed. And having a look into the audience showed that I wasn't the only one. Cool as well was the fact to see the first smaller pits already at the opener.

Now While She Sleeps releases finally their long awaited second longplayer. Actually the album should have been released far earlier, but singer Loz Taylor had some problems with his vocal chords that even let to two surgical operations. Now things are good and "Brainwashed" is out in the stores. It's packed with 14 song plus the intro - all together one hour of heavy While She Sleeps music.

What I like with the band's music is the mix of different elements. They play metalcore, but they find a smart way to combine it with melodies and groove without loosing the heaviness. This adds another dimension to their music that is more than only shouting and playing fast.

To pick out some songs is hard with this album. "Life is a tension" is maybe one tunes that stands out a bit. It's a very straight-forward track that has high speed while the chorus more grooving. 

Also the title track is a raging metal eruption that is hard to escape from and "Torment" is a heavy song with some Soulfly-like guitar sounds. The tune is a good example how metalcore, groove metal and modern metal can merge into a thrilling melange.

The finale furioso is reserved for "Modern minds". It's also the longest tune on the album - at least this is what the playlist makes you think. Starting with a nice melody and clean vocals the song starts pretty relaxed. No doubt about the fact that the tune gets harder along the way, but the catchy chorus stays as a constant factor throughout the track that even has a silent piano part embedded. The add-on with this tune is the 'hidden track' in the end which is an acostic one minute number.

I could continue that way with more songs, but I think it's better to listen to "Brainwashed". While She Sleeps released an energetic longplayer that shows the potential of the young band from the UK. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The divide
  2. New world torture
  3. Your evolution
  4. Brainwashed
  5. Wer are alive at night
  6. Our legacy
  7. Four walls
  8. Torment
  9. Kangaezu ni
  10. Life is tension
  11. Trophies of violence
  12. No sides, no enemies
  13. The woods
  14. Method of madness
  15. Modern minds

 

Label: Search and Destroy/Sony Music

Genre: Metalcore

CD review WHILE SHE SLEEPS "Brainwashed"
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CD review MINDEAD "Controlling the tides"

Veröffentlicht am 17. März 2015 von Markus W. in Mindead, In Flames, Undertow, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Nu Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) If you're from Stuttgart and a football fan you're not surrounded by happiness these days. Being the last in the Bundesliga means more tears than party. But maybe some music from the capitol of Baden-Wuerttemberg can ease thee pain. Partly yes.

Mindead is a band coming from Stuttgart and they aren't new, even though you might not have heard about them. It was already in 2001 when frontman Timo Fielker and drummer Benjamin Hölle started the band. After having found some like-minded musicians the four-piece started to gain ground.

In 2008 they release their debut called "Abandon all hope" and with this album in the backhand they opened for band like Devildriver and Ektomorf. This describes also what kind of music the four guys from Swabia are playing. It's a mix of thrash, melodic death metal and some nu-metal elements. The whole dish is spiced up with a heavy groove that make your head bang.

The twelve songs on the new album "Controlling the tides" are OK; with one exception. Mindead decided to cover Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt". Hmmm. The original version of the Irish megasellers is already pretty good. But after Johnny Cash created this goosebump version of the tune that was such an emotional expression of his final journey I think that you can just loose by covering the track again. And so did Mindead. They did their best but that wasn't enough - based on the history of the classic.

But there are eleven other tracks that sometimes reflect the melodic death metal the Gothenburg style ("Controlling the tides", "Sleeping in carbonite"). I guess the guys have heard quite some In Flames recently. A tune that you should check out as well is "Unearthed" with its unconventual beginning. The spoken words part and the partly melodic vocals makes the track to one of the more interesting ones on the album. In the chorus I was reminded to Undertow. And this isn't a bad cross-reference.

To sum up: "Controlling the tides" is a well-crafted metal record that comes with a bunch of solid songs. The moments of surprise are limited but maybe those aren't needed. If you count the mentioned bands to your favorites you should risk a friendly ear to this album. 

 

(7/10) 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Orbital
  2. Controlling the tides
  3. Sentimental
  4. Sore
  5. Sleeping in carbonite
  6. The letting go
  7. Universal
  8. Unearthed
  9. Trains and losses
  10. Indifferent
  11. Standing in line
  12. Hurt

 

Label: Bleeding Nose Records

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

CD review MINDEAD "Controlling the tides"
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Interview with Niclas Engelin from ENGEL/IN FLAMES

Veröffentlicht am 3. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Engel, In Flames, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Modern Metal, Interview, News

Gothenburg based metal band Engel released their newest album a few days ago. "Raven kings" is the name of the latest longplayer and MHMB wanted to get more insights. I had the chance to get some more information from guitarist Niclas Englin who is on tour right now with In Flames in the US. 

 

Markus Heavy Music Blog: Hej Niclas, how are you?
Niclas Engelin: It's here in Chicago in the middle of the night and I'm jetlaged as hell right now. For the rest things are good.

MHMB: Must be busy times for you right now, having In Flames and Engel in parallel. How is the In Flames US tour doing?
Niclas: Yeah. I really enjoying it; so it´s actually not too hard. There is enough time to handle both - like right now.
In Flames has establish a strong fan base in the US over the years and that makes it easy for us to tour over here. We got a steady ground to work with.

MHMB: I have seen you with In Flames in Tilburg a couple of weeks ago. Did the setlist change compared to the European shows?
Niclas: Yeah.. it do change a bit to make it more interesting for us and the crowd. Many of our fans seems to check out the setlist on the net and we want to shake things up a bit as we go.

MHMB: Next to that you released a new album with your band Engel. How would you describe it?
Niclas: It's epic, powerful and really in your face. It is a direct album which I hope can become a favorite to the fans over the years to come. It would be great if it would become one of those albums that sticks with you wherever you are at the moment - in the car,... I have few of those albums that I always carry with me.
 
Interview with Niclas Engelin from ENGEL/IN FLAMES
MHMB: What is the main difference in your opinion compared to the previous longplayer?
Niclas: I think that we have done stuff on this album that we haven't done before and we have really pushed ourselves in every angle on "Raven kings". We got a fast opener which really sets the tone for the album and we have used Mikael´s capabilities as a singer to the maximum. He has a huge range with his vocals and we really wanted to show the world that Mikael is a great singer.
We also always talked about a 'breather' within the album and we got "I Am The Answer" which found it´s place within the album just perfect.

MHMB: Engel and In Flames go stylewise in the same direction but I had the feeling that "Raven kings" is a bit harder than the last In Flames album. How do you see this?
Niclas: "Raven kings" is a much harder and direct album. I see the bands as two separate worlds which I don't want to mix up. Both bands got their unique styles and are awesome in their ways.

MHMB: How did the songwriting process for the new album look like. Was it happening in parallel to the recording of "Siren's charm"?
Niclas: The whole process of making "Raven kings" took, all together, a year and we had tons of fun doing it. We had a lot of talks and chats over movies, books, ps3 games or just life in general. We wanted to give "Raven kings" everything we got with all members included and not any rush album.

MHMB: You have with Mikael Sehlin a new singer in the band and you mentioned already his great vocal range. How did this effect the songwriting?
Niclas: It was my thought from the beginning that Mikael could add a few new ideas. Mikael is awesome and he is so into the music. He came up with tons of ideas for the album, it´s his vocal lines all over the album. He did three different versions of vocals to each and every song to the album so we could pick and choose pretty much!!

MHMB: "Salvation" starts with some spoken words. Sounds like Churchill. Is this correct?
Niclas: Yes it is. There are these treebanks where you can take voices or cats scratches for free on the net. We wanted to have this epic and creepy sounding talk to start the album with.

MHMB: A song that really sticks out is the acoustic "I am the answer" with a gloomy vibe - the 'breather' like you said already. It is almost a bit space rock like. What was the thought behind that song?
Niclas: As I mentioned, we always wanted a 'breather' on our albums. But we never got to the point of doing one. This time everything just blended in perfectly and it naturally happened to write and record the song. We wanted to have this creepy sounding guitar that morphs into something almost divine - the feeling of being in a church listening to the choir.
 
Photo: Johan Carlen (Promo)

Photo: Johan Carlen (Promo)

MHMB: A thing that I think is also well done is the cover of the album. The raven(s) coming out of the king's skull is pretty cool. Can you tell us who is the artist behind the cover?
Niclas: It´s the mighty Joachim Luetke who did the cover artwork for "Raven kings" and he´s the master of arts!! We wanted something that could describe the music on the album on the cover. Something that workes hand in hand with the whole imagery and video for "Salvation". And after one week Joachim came up with this awesome work that catches the music and "Raven kings" to the core!!

MHMB: Are there already plans when it comes to present the new album live?
Niclas: Oh Yes!! Engel will be touring through 2015 and starts in Europe for 6 weeks. And from there we continue.

MHMB: A total other question. Christmas is coming up and how will spend the days? Will it become a rocking one?
Niclas: I will spin my vinyl for sure but part from that I gonna spend it with my family and kids!!

MHMB: Thanks for spending some time for Markus' Heavy Music Blog and hope to see you in 2015.
Niclas: Thanks Markus for having.
Interview with Niclas Engelin from ENGEL/IN FLAMES
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CD review ENGEL "Raven kings"

Veröffentlicht am 24. November 2014 von Markus W. in Engel, In Flames, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Niclas Engelin must be a busy man in these days. First the new album from In Flames, than the big tour with the Gothenburg metal institution and parallel the release of the new Engel album - a lot of things to do.

The band, that was founded in 2004 by Engelin, has a new album ready to be released. It is called "Raven kings" and is the 4th longplayer of the Gothenburg-based band. And it is the first record via Gain Muisc.

In total there are eleven tracks on the record. All of them not too long which leads to a total playing time of less than 40 minutes. I would say that this is really the minimum nowadays. However, better 40 minutes of great music than more than an hour of boring metal. 

In this case I would say that Engel is going more towards the first part in the statement. The tracks on the album are melodic death metal with some modern metal crossreferences. You have read something similar also in my In Flames review? True. For me there are many similarities between the sound of In Flames and Engel. Of course, Engelin is playing in both bands and therefore it is not a too big surprise. But "Raven kings" sound a bit like the small mean brother of the Gothenburg quintett. What do I mean with that?

First of all I must say that the music is pretty good. I have the feeling that the songs are more to the point and more straight-forward. The album is full of crispy riffs by Engelin and Sunesson, the vocals of Michael Sehlin find the right mix between growls, schouts and clean singing and the rhythm section creates a grooving foundation for each track. The album has the harsh metal tracks like e.g. the opener "Salvation", but also has tracks with mostly clean vocals like "Fading light". Even an acoustic track with a lot of melancholy is on the album. "I am the answer" is the name of the song.

The ones of you who thought the the last In Flames record was too commercial should give Engel a chance. It's an album that will be loved by fans of melodic death metal and modern metal.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Salvation
  2. Your shadow haunts you
  3. Denial
  4. Fading light
  5. My dark path
  6. I am the answer
  7. When the earth burns
  8. End of days
  9. Sanctuary
  10. Broken pieces
  11. Hollow soul

 

Label: Gain Music

Genre: Modern metal

CD review ENGEL "Raven kings"
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CD review ENGRAVED DISILLUSION "The eternal rest"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Engraved Disillusion, In Flames, Paradise Lost, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Engraved Disillusion is a fairly new band from the UK. The four-piece plays melodic death metal and has released so far the debut album "Embers of existance" and the new "The eternal rest". 

What sticks out first is the great cover of the album. It transports exactly what you can expect from the music too - a melochcolic and dark vibe in a rough and heavy environment. 

The guys recorded ten songs which are a mix of rough ones combined with more silent tones. "Lost" is a good example for this. The track has some heavy, but melodic riffs, and some growls. But there are also more fragile parts embedded in the middle of the song with some clean vocals. Since the track has a six minutes length it's a well placed break.

The most straight forward songs are "Embrace the fire" and "Into oblivion". Both are pure death metal tracks, performed with a lot of power. Without knowing I also would say that Engraved Disillusion also heard already about Paradise Lost. In some of the tunes, like "No tomorrow", parts like the guitarline remind very much to the guys from Halifax, UK.

The end of the disc is reserved for the longest track on the album. The title track "The eternal rest" is a nine minutes long highlight that starts very silent with some piano parts. There is a kind of underlaying depressive feeling esp. when the guitar joins. The song slowly builds up into a metal track with mostly clean vocals. There are some screams as well but more in an epic surrounding. Towards the end the song gets acoustic again and the piano, that kicked-off the track, also finishs it. 

I can't really understand why the band haven't got a deal yet. The album sounds pretty good and I guess it is just a matter of time when one of the labels will sign them. Check it out.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Life is...
  2. Embrace the flames
  3. Lost
  4. Curse the sorrow
  5. Shadow run black
  6. No tomorrow
  7. Into oblivion
  8. In aeternum
  9. Echoes from a silent sky
  10. The eternal rest

 

Label: Independed Release

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

CD review ENGRAVED DISILLUSION "The eternal rest"
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