Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

melodic death metal

CD review PUREST OF PAIN "Solipsis"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Purest Of Pain, CD Review, News, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Merel Bechtold, Delain, Mayan

CD review PUREST OF PAIN "Solipsis"

(9/10) Purest Of Pain is a melodic death metal outfit, hailing from The Netherlands. The five-piece band was founded in 2008 and released so far an EP and a 7". Ten years after having started Purest Of Pain the five guys have the debut right in the starting blocks, ready to hit the metal scene like a thunderbolt.

Purest Of Pain, that's Merel Bechtold, known from Delain, MaYan and The Gentle Storm, Michael van Eck (Vanaheim), Frank van Leeuwen, Joey de Boer (Delain) and growler J.D. Kaye. This quintet releases with "Solipsis" their first full-length album, a disc that features 14 excellent melodic death anthems.

Purest Of Pain can be seen as the brainschild of Merel Bechtold and therefor it's not a too big of a surprise that guitars are very much in focus on this album. Each single song on the album is fueled by mighty riff power and excellent leads. It seems like Bechtold is gifted by an almost endless flow of creativity that leads to these very well-done songs on "Solipsis" with a wow-factor.

"The Pragmatic" kicks-off an album that you should have listened to. The opener is a kind of In Flames inspired song that acts more as an intro for the short and melodic "Truth-seeker".

The great thing with this album is the variety of sounds. Purest Of Pain doesn't stick to a cookie-cutter approach. "Crown of Worms" is a tune that illustrates this very well. Reminding in some parts of Machine Head, the song fires on all cylinders and is one of the best ones on the entire record.

What also brings excitement to the table are interludes (or is it just a very short track?) like "The Sleep of Reason" which break the standard pattern by still fitting into the context of the album.

Next to the songs on "Solipsis" it's the sound that stands out. Bechtold herself was at the helm, producing the album and it was no less than Jens Bogren (Opeth, Arch Enemy, Soilwork) who did the mastering.

"Solipsis" became an excellent debut album, done by a band that is hungry for metal. The harshness of death metal and the beauty of melody, that's what's combined on this album in an exciting way. Fans of Arch Enemy and In Flames should check out this record and even if you're not into death metal this album could become an entry point. Well done guys.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Pragmatic
  2. Truth-seeker
  3. Vessels
  4. Crown of Worms
  5. Momentum
  6. The Sleep of Reason
  7. Tidebreaker
  8. Trial - Error
  9. Terra Nil
  10. Noctambulist
  11. E.M.D.R.
  12. Phantom Limb
  13. The Solipsist
  14. The End

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: March 1st, 2018

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CD review ORDER TO RUIN „Return to Ceyrior VII“

Veröffentlicht am 12. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Order To Ruin, CD Review, News, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Reurn to Ceyrior VII, Thrash Metal

CD review ORDER TO RUIN „Return to Ceyrior VII“

(7/10) Ooops. Is Münster a part of Gothenburg. Of course not, but there‘s for sure a link when it comes to metal. Münster-based death metal outfit Order To Ruin could be definitely from Swdens second biggest city. Listening to there new album „Return to Ceyrior VII“ clearly shows where the inspiration comes from.

The guys are no rookies. Their discography includes six longplayers the guys released over the last seven years and Order To Ruin is restless, with the next record in the starting blocks. As mentioned, „Return to Ceyrior VII“ is the title of the new disc, an album that features eight new tunes and an intro. 

As expected it‘s the intro the kicks off the album. „World Eater“ has the outerspace vibe with some distorted spoken words and some keyboard sounds. With „The Stromlake‘s Tale“ the album has its real start and it clearly shows that Order To Ruin knows what they are doing. These guys fire on all cylinders. Aggressive guitar power, melodic riffs and vocals, somewhere between growls and shouts, remind of the earlier In Flames. 

This album also reflects a band that gained enough songwriting capabilities over time to write songs that are harsh and still entertaining. Without using a cookie-cutter approach the band adds a good level of variation to their tunes which keeps the level of suspense quite high.

A real highlight on this record is entitled „Alone With My Knife“. It‘s a raging metal songs with a very well-done break, leading to a brutal riff in the middle section. Good work, something that also goes for the title track.

„Return to Ceyrior VII“ is a longplayer that makes you wonder why it‘s done as a self-release. These guys deserve a label, the sooner the better. However, I can recommend Order To Ruin and I want to encourage each of you to check out this album. 

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. World Eater
  2. The Stormlake‘s Tale
  3. Dating Lucifer
  4. Mary-Jane
  5. Return to Ceyrior VII
  6. Alone With My Knife
  7. Into the Devil‘s Mansion
  8. The Conjurer
  9. The Bearing of Time

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: February 10th, 2018

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CD review ATENA "Possessed"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Atena, Possessed, Indie Recordings, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Modern Metal, News, CD Review

CD review ATENA "Possessed"

(7/10) “Possessed” is already record number three of Norwegian metal outfit Atena.  The band, hailing from Drammen, releases an eleven songs comprising record that features melodic death metal, reminding me in the widest sense of In Flames even though it doesn’t reach the perfection of their Scandinavian fellows.

“Possessed” isn’t a concept album, but it follows a conceptual story addressing moods, emotions and experiences – rooted in personal experiences. What’s a bit surprising is the short running time of 35 minutes. Maybe there’s not a lot to tell, however, one or two more songs wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

What made it on the album though are songs that don’t go beyond a four minutes level. In the sense the Norwegian’s keep things spot on with the songs feeling longer than what they actually are.

Sometimes the album sounds very aggressive, like in “Death Eating” which is a raging headbanger, while “Oil Rigs”, with the dramatic choir, adds another music shade to the album. Furthermore there’s “Confessional” with some weaved in melodic parts that differs again from the rest, just as emotions do in daily life. From this perspective “Possessed” captures the conceptual thinking very well.

However, I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that the longplayer feels a bit lengthy while being quite short. There’s basically nothing wrong with “Possessed” but it didn’t really wow me.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Done With the Darkness
  2. Oil Rigs
  3. Black Lungs
  4. Divorce
  5. Viole(n)t
  6. Firstborn
  7. Child Support
  8. Molly
  9. Affair
  10. Black Heart

 

Label: Indie Recordings

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: October 27th, 2017

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CD review SEPTICFLESH "Codex Omega"

Veröffentlicht am 10. September 2017 von Markus W. in Septicflesh, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Dark Metal, News, Season Of Mist, CD Review

CD review SEPTICFLESH "Codex Omega"

(8/10) Greek metal enthusiasts Septicflesh are, step by step, soaring to one of the important players in the field of bombastic death metal. The quartet that started in 1990, with a short hiatus a few years ago, can look back on a solid amount of longplayers of which "Codex Omega" is number ten in the band's discography.  The new record follows the exquisite "Titan" release from 2014 and continues a journey that restarted in 2007.

Their newest longplayer underlines the band's dvelopement in an excellent fashion. Septicflesh lifted their orchestral metal to a next level that embraces the classic components as being a natural part of the entire sound construct. While some other bands add this component to sometimes even compensate for deficits in songwriting, it’s the Athens-based extreme metalists that uses it as a natural part of their music. It’s impossible to dissect the harsh death metal vibe from a symphonic expression, with both representing the strength of Septicflesh and their newest creative output “Codex Omega”. To achieve such a level demands a lot of experience, which the band has. But it’s also guitarist Christos Antomiou’s classic schooling that enables the quartet to take a wider approach when it comes to their compositions.

"Dante's Inferno" the first song you get served with this longplayer. After a calmer start the tune turns into an dark metal ride with a cinematic expression, mainly coming from the orchestral elements. 

Furthermore staccato riff ("Third Testament"), blastbeats and atmospheric soundscapes are interacting in a constant way on an album that also includes some clean vocal parts here and there ("Dark Art" and "Our Church").

Septicflesh's newest release raises the bar in a sense of the band evolving their sound to a next level. This disc is a mature album with an excellent sound that has one small point of critic. "Codex Omega" could have had a few more edges which would have added even more vitality to musical sophistication.

 
 
(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Dante’s Inferno
  2. 3rd Testament (Codex Omega)
  3. Portrait of a Headless Man
  4. Martyr
  5. Enemy of Truth
  6. Dark Art
  7. Our Church, Below the Sea
  8. Faceless Queen
  9. The Gospels of Fear
  10. Trinity

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: September 1st, 2017
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CD review ARCH ENEMY "Will to Power"

Veröffentlicht am 9. September 2017 von Markus W. in Arch Enemy, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Century Media

CD review ARCH ENEMY "Will to Power"

(7/10) Quo vadis Arch Enemy? This is the main question after having listened to the band's newest longplayer "Will to Power", an album that showcases a band that's in a potential transition phase. On the one hand the new record includes a brutal song entitled "The Race" which reflects Arch Enemy with 100%. Heavy riff, filigree leads and Alissa White-Gluz at her best is what characterizes this metal anthem.

Since this is the first song, following a short intro, you could easily think that this album is another milestone in the band's history, but if you have listened to the single release "The Eagle Flies Alone", you know that there is a counterpart on the album too. This song might not be a real downer, but it shows the band from another angle and perspective. Especially in the chorus things become mainstream and exchangeable. Alissa White-Gluz' growls are the best that comes with this song and partly helps to get Arch Enemy out of the jam.

And if this would not be enough, the following "Reason to Believe" takes to approach even to a next level. The tune begins calm, with White-Gluz singing instead of growling. The joy that comes with it is the fact that she can sing very well and maybe should make more use of this talent. And, as with "The Eagle Flies Alone", it's the song itself that sounds uninspired, not reflecting Arch Enemy as we know them from days when songs like "Nemesis" and "Under a Black Flag We March" hit the metal scene like a sonic wrecking ball.

All the mentioned surprises even more, knowing that the album is the first one that includes with Jeff Loomis a real guitar wizard. You can listen to his filigree contribution on the album but it stays a mystery why the band didn't make use of his superb songwriting skills too. It feels like a missed opportunity.

Fortunately there are also songs like the mentioned "The Race" on this album, which gives hope and also the aggressive "Murder Scene" shows some 'will to power'; a category "My Shadow and I" also belongs to.

"Will to Power" is not a homerun. The record is a solid base hit and future will tell if the album will help the band to score another run. Quo Vadis Arch Enemy?

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Set Flames to the Night
  2. The Race
  3. Blood in the Water
  4. The World is yours
  5. The Eagles Flies Alone
  6. Reason to Believe
  7. Murder Scene
  8. First Day in Hell
  9. Saturnine
  10. Dreams of Retribution
  11. My Shadow and I
  12. A Fight I Must Win

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: September 8th, 2017

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CD review DAWN OF DISEASE "Ascension Gate"

Veröffentlicht am 10. August 2017 von Markus W. in Dawn Of Disease, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, News, CD Review, Napalm Records

CD review DAWN OF DISEASE "Ascension Gate"

(8/10) Even though being in the heavy rock business already since 2003, Dawn Of Disease might be new to some of you. The band from Osnabruck, Germany, started in 2003 with Tomasz Wisniewski being the only founding member that’s still active. The rest of the line-up also found some more solid ground during the last years with still some changes when it comes to the band’s 'power engine’. Mathias Blaesse is after three years back on the drum seat, being responsible for the forceful beat of the new album together with band colleague Christian Woesten who joined in 2016.

Dawn Of Disease is rooted in death metal that has a stronger link to the Swedish interpretation of this extreme metal genre. “Ascension Gate” is the band’s fourth longplayer, featuring ten new metal anthems that reminds me of Amon Amarth. On the one hand there are harsh and brutal riff, combined with deeper growls, some blastbeat parts and excellent performed solos. Next these features there’s always a solid portion of melody added to each of the tracks. It’s this mix that makes the album to an exciting one for existing fans of the band as well as it might attract new headbangers.

The German five-piece has a great sense for giving death metal as much variety as possible. One of the tracks that reflects this in a terrific way is “Beneath the Waters”. The tune is rich in variety – from a slower pace with might riffs to fast sections that are a pure blast. What acts as a glue, keeping all this together, are the vocals and the brutal groove that’s added to the tune.

In case you’re looking for faster metal thunderstorm you should check out the merciless “Akephalos”, a metal wrecking ball and a well-chosen first single release of the album.

“Ascension Gate” might be a bit more melodic than the predecessor which is for sure no downer. It’s an excellent album that shows the entire potential of a band that definitely has a future.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Passage
  2. Perimortal
  3. Leprous Thoughts
  4. Beneath the Waters
  5. Ascension Gate
  6. Akephalos
  7. Fleshless Journey
  8. The Growing Emptiness
  9. Lucid
  10. Mundu Inversus

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: August 11th, 2017

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Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017

Veröffentlicht am 19. April 2017 von Markus W. in Dark Tranquillity, Omnium Gatherum, Nailed To Obscurity, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Live Review, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Gebr. De Nobel

Time for part 2 of this Swedish metal Easter party. After having hosted Pain Of Salvation on Saturday night, it was Gebr. de Nobel who opened the stage  for another band from the North. Gothenburg’s Dark Tranquillity is on tour as we speak. After having been the support act for Amon Amarth over the last few weeks, the sextet added some headliner shows to their schedule. As with the Amon Amarth shows also Finnish death metal outfit Omnium Gatherum joined the Swedes; a tour package that also includes Nailed To Obscurity from Germany.

The Germans recently released their third longplayer “King Delusion” and this tour gave them a wider stage for presenting the new material, spiced up with some stuff from the first two longplayers. The room was already filled quite well when the five-piece from Esens entered the stage. Their 30 minutes was a well-received one, showing the band in good shape and form. Nailed To Obscurity stands for raw death metal that's rough around the edges; a sound that worked perfect for opening an evening like this. This guys nailed down a pretty good set that was rewarded by a very positive reaction from the audience.

Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017

Finnish metal powerhouse Omnium Gatherum was next. 50 minutes of uncompromissing Finnish death metal filled the room, songs that cover a range from fast-paced headbangers to more epic numbers. The six guys played their 26th show in a row which had a bit of an impact on Jukka Pelkonens voice. However, fully motivated, this singer is a real front man that’s in constant interaction with fans, not standing still for second. Looking on the fans reaction I can report that Omnium Gatherum has already a solid fan base in Holland and I guess that the band made even some new friends that night in Leiden.

Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017
Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017

The earlier mentioned Amon Amarth tour package played a show some weeks ago in Utrecht, which means that Leiden is the second stop for Dark Tranquillity in The Netherlands in a short period of time. Main difference this time is the full headliner set that fans of melodic death metal got served as an Easter present. The interesting part of this Dark Tranquillity tour is the fact that the band performs with two guitaristjust recruited for the live shows. This has to do with the fact that six-stringer Martin Henriksson left the band already last year and it’s Niklas Sundin who took a time-out. This brought Johan Reinholdz on board and no less than Christopher Amott. Seeing the guys performing gave the impression of them being fully integrated in the band. Dark Tranquillity stood there as a band that performed spot-on and tight. The rhythm section with Jivarp and Iwers played with the rigor of a clockwork, providing a powerful heartbeat for the band’s performance.

It was the first time that band played in Leiden and they obviously appreciated it a lot. With full motivation the band nailed down a show that featured songs from “Projector” to “Atoma” and it’s a no-brainer that the focus was on the latest album. Six songs from “Atoma” have been played that night but also songs from the predecessor “Construct” and the 2002 release “Damage Done” got enough spotlight that night.

The crowd excessively celebrate each of the songs with some fans in the first row singing along each of the twenty tunes. Band and fans made this Easter Monday to a metal feast that was enjoyed by everyone in the room. These guys are a real powerhouse that even can handle line-up changes, like described earlier. In such a shape and form a next show in Holland in the near future would be a more than welcomed thing for fans – at least that’s what the delighted faces of the crowd expressed.

Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017
Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017
Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017
Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017
Live review DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / NAILED TO OBSCURITY, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, 17.04.2017

Setlist Dark Tranquillity:

  1. Force of Hand
  2. The Lesser Faith
  3. Atoma
  4. The Treason Wall
  5. The Science of Noise
  6. Forward Momentum
  7. Terminus (Where Death is Most Alive)
  8. The Silence in Between
  9. The Pitiless
  10. What Only You Know
  11. Monochromatic Stains
  12. The Wonders at Your Feet
  13. White Noise / Black Silence
  14. Encircled
  15. Clearing Skies
  16. Final Resistance
  17. Therein
  18. State of Trust
  19. Through Smudged Lenses
  20. Misery’s Crown

 

Location: Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, The Netherlands

Date: April 17th, 2017

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CD review NIGHTRAGE "The Venomous"

Veröffentlicht am 8. April 2017 von Markus W. in Nightrage, Despotz Records, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review

(8/10) Nightrage belongs to the group of bands that, with a high level of motivation, is releasing records on a constant base. In 2003 the debut “Sweet Vengeance” hit the surface, an album that remains as being the reference record for everything that came afterwards. At that time the Greek/Swedish/French cooperation celebrated a death metal feast that included, next to Marios Ilopolous, also guys like Gus G., Tomas Lindberg and Brice Leclercq. I still can remember this jaw-dropping experience when I listened for the first time to this bloodcurdling growls of Lindberg in the beginning of “The Tremor”.

Over time Nightrage went through many line-up changes and the list of band members just gets longer and longer. The newest strike of Iliopulous’ band is entitled “Venomous” and it includes again two new musicians that contributed to it. Magnus Soederman (g) and Lawrence Dinamarca (d) enhances the band that recorded twelve new tracks for “The Venomous”.

The longplayer is theme-wise build on a statement which is: “We are the only cure to the poison we spit”. The record isn't a concept-based one, however, the sentence stands for a common theme that's very relevant in these crazy times.

The first two songs on the album give you an immediate overview of the width of sounds you can expect from “The Venomous”. The title track starts with an acoustic part and a well done lead guitar before the tune gains heaviness. With all the power that’s build into each note played, the songs stays quite melodic and includes smart hooks. That’s one side of Nightrage. “Metamorphosis/Day of Wrath” shows you the other extreme of a band that stayed true to themselves over all these years. The tune is a raging and ultra-fast number that includes blastbeats that are partly quite blackened. And even while playing very fast Nightrage never loses their sense for a good melody which comes back in this sonic steamhammer too.

Nightrage will be measured against their first two albums and I must say that “The Venomous” doesn’t come with the same class. This doesn’t mean that their seventh album isn’t good. Nightrage unveils the sonic sledgehammer with excellent (melodic) death metal tracks that are worth to be listened to.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Venomous
  2. Metamorphosis/Day of Wrath
  3. In Abhorrence
  4. Affliction
  5. Catharsis
  6. Bemoan
  7. The Blood
  8. From Ashes into Stone
  9. Trail Of Ghosts
  10. Disturbia
  11. Desolation and Dismay
  12. Denial of the Soul (Instrumental)

 

Label: Despotz Records

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: March 31st, 2017

CD review NIGHTRAGE "The Venomous"
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CD review VENENUM "Trance of Death"

Veröffentlicht am 16. März 2017 von Markus W. in Venenum, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, CD, News, Sepulchral Records, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal

(9/10) Venenum isn't really new in the world of metal since their first EP was already released in the beginning of this decade. At this early stage the songs on this first disc showed some potential and it's amazing what the four guys achieved between then and now. Six years after the EP have enlightened the underground it's the debut, "Trance of Death”, that gets shipped to the record shops these days. Venenum evolved to a mature death metal outfit that creates an intensity and density that is mind-blowing.

A cello starts the album. It's a gloomy introduction that creates anxiety, acting as a step towards the acoustic inferno that follows. "Merging Nebular Drapes" is the first pitch black track and it's a furious one too. Raging guitars and well placed breaks dominate the scene, creating a first 'wow' effect. The fast paced "The Nature of the Ground" is next and if you expect a moment to rest I have to disappoint you. This track is even more intense and it feels like the first three songs building up to the Grande Finale that comes in three chapters. "Trance of Death", the 'title track', is actually a trilogy that begins with "Reflections". Seven minutes of brutal death metal, that what's the song is about. What makes this number, but also the other ones, to something very special is the fact the Venenum doesn't stick to a one dimensional approach. Instead of blindfolded going for a full blast setup, the quartet adds breaks that are spot-on like e.g in the middle part of "Reflection".

The song blends into part II which is an instrumental that's kept a bit more sphereful. It's a nicely placed counterpart to "Reflection" and "There are Other Worlds..." and acts as a five minutes interlude before the true masterpiece ends "Trance of Death". The final chapter is a 14 minutes milestone that combines everything the band stands for. An acoustic start gets blown away by a first harsh metal attack that brings the blistering heat of hell closer to the listener. It's this constant interaction of sphereful soundscapes and raging metal blasts that creates arcs of suspense. This closer is an epic journey that captivating.

"Trance of Death" is a death metal release that is belonging to the best ones so far this year and can easily compete with latest genre related albums. Considering the fact that this longplayer is the debut shows the potential of this quartet from Germany. Thumbs up.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Entrance
  2. Merging Nebular Drapes
  3. The Nature of the Ground
  4. Cold Threat
  5. Trance of Death Part I: reflection
  6. Trance of Death Part II: Metanoia Journey
  7. Trance of Death Part III: There are Other Worlds...

 

Label: Sepulchral Voice Records

Genre: Epic Death Metal

Release Date EU: March 17th, 2017

CD review VENENUM "Trance of Death"
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CD review ONCE HUMAN "Evolution"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Once Human, CD Review, News, Melodic Death Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, earMUSIC

(7/10) The debut “The Life I Remember” has been released in 2015 and created some interest and excitement. Once Human’s sophomore record “Evolution” follows this year and comes with nine new tracks that are anchored in death metal a la Arch Enemy.

The band is the brainchild of former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader, also known from bands like Soulfly. After having been behind the scene, producing metal records from bands such as Devil Driver, Mader did the step back into the spotlight with Only Human.

“Evolution” is an album that is death metal-based but it also shows some references to metalcore. In general there’s nothing wrong with this release, but you can sense already that it’s not the very prefect one too.

Lauren Hart does a great job and her screams are more than once comparable with the earlier mentioned Arch Enemy during the Angela Gossow days. Also riffs and production don’t give a reason for complaints. The album sounds divers and powerful even though some of the songs are coming with an end that’s fading out.

What’s in my opinion a bit of a downside with “Evolution” is that it feels like the band using a cookie cutter approach for their songs. After a few tracks I had the feeling of having heard it before. Again, there’s nothing wrong with the individual songs and maybe it’s only me, but the album felt a bit lengthy over time. The second thing I want to mention is that Only Human has recorded good music but the level of uniqueness isn’t sky-high.

“Evolution” is solid melodic death metal album that is modern and dynamic. It comes with a lot of power and energy, featuring songs that are good but not unique. Not more, but also not less.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Flock Of Flesh
  2. Eye Of Chaos
  3. Mass Murder Frenzy
  4. Gravity
  5. Dark Matter
  6. Paragon
  7. Drain
  8. Killers For The Cure
  9. Passenger

 

Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: February 10th, 2017

CD review ONCE HUMAN "Evolution"
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CD review UNDRASK "Battle Through Time"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Undrask, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, News, CD Review, Thrash Metal

(7/10) Undrask is a melodic death metal outfit, hailing from Greensboro, North California. The foundation of this band dates back to 2013, leading to a first EP entitled “Undrask”. After a period of four years the quintet will release their debut “Battle Through Time”, an album that comes with 10 songs and a running time of appr. 50 minutes.

The genre of melodic death metal gives a wider space for interpretation when it comes to sound. looking on the well-done artwork of the album you might have to think about In Flames and yes, the quintet reminds of the earlier days of the Gothenburg-based metal icons. Next to these influences it’s another Swedish band that had/has an impact on Undrask. The mighty Vikings of Amon Amarth inspired Erik Collier and his gang as well, something that comes back in songs like the title track and the pounding “Longhammer”.

But “Battle Through Time" is more than brutal riffs, deep growls, filigree solos and well-integrated melodies. The band took the effort to also embed a storyline which makes the debut to a concept album. It’s about a man that’s lost to eternity, forced to fight and die repeatedly.

To conclude, “Battle Through Time” is an interesting album that should be checked-out by fans of the above mentioned bands. It features good songs which also got a pretty good sound. It might not bring a lot new to the table but it’s well done and entertaining.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. No Graves for the Dead
  2. Conscripted
  3. Champion of the Dawn
  4. Black Ocean
  5. Embers and Omens
  6. Longhammer
  7. Primal Revelation
  8. Faceless Eyes
  9. Final Right
  10. Battle Through Time

 

Label: Self-Released

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: January 27th, 2017

CD review UNDRASK "Battle Through Time"
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CD review NAILED TO OBSCURITY "King Delusion"

Veröffentlicht am 14. Januar 2017 von Markus W. in Nailed To Obscurity, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) German death metal outfit Nailed To Obscurity worked on a new longplayer which will be the band’s third record in a 10 years period of time. Starting in 2005 the guys released a first demo the same year, followed by the debut “Abyss” in 2007. Six years later it was “Opaque” that saw the light of day. The band cut the time in half for their newest longplayer, “King Delusion” that comes beginning of February.

Nailed To Obscurity, that’s Jan-Ole Lambertu (g), Volker Dieken (g), Jann Hillrichs (d), Carsten Schorn (b) and Raimund Ennenga(v), the latter joining the band in 2012. This quintet signed being responsible for the eight new songs that made it on the album.

Nailed To Obscurity is into melodic death metal that's more than just blindfolded heading for brutality and heaviness. The album comes with songs that also include some more silent moments with clean vocals and longer instrumental sections that show quite some virtuosity. I was reminded of bands like Amon Amarth and Arch Enemy when I listened to "Kind Delusion". "Deadening" instead has more of the earlier Moonspell, focusing on a gloomy and melacholic vibe.

In general tunes are longer than one might expect. There is though the atmospheric two minutes long "Apnoea” as kind of intro for "Deadening", but sounds like this are more the exception than the rule. Most of the tracks are beyond the six minutes with “Uncage My Sanity” as a core of the album. It’s a twelve minutes long number which gives the full overview of what you can expect from Nailed To Obscurity. Mean death metal parts go along with harsh growls, turning into more silent moments that are moody and melodic. If you want to get an idea what "King Delusion" can offer you just need to check out this epical number.

Actually it’s quite impressive what this quintet has to offer on their newest studio longplayer. If the third album is a crucial one for a band’s future, then I guess we will hear much more of Nailed To Obscurity during the coming years.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. King Delusion
  2. Protean
  3. Apnoea
  4. Deadening
  5. Memento
  6. Uncage My Sanity
  7. Devoid
  8. Desolate Ruin

 

Label: Apostacy Records

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: February 3rd, 2017

CD review NAILED TO OBSCURITY "King Delusion"
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CD review ARKAN "Kelem"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Arkan, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Modern Metal, CD Review, News, Melodic Death Metal, The Old Dead Tree

(8/10) Some of the The Old Dead Tree members started a new band called Arkan back in 2005. A year later the first EP hit the shelves, followed by three longplayers.

"Kelem" is the newest record of this French metal outfit and it combines again metal and some oriental soundscapes, something that becomes already very obvious while listening to the well-done opener "Kafir". Arakan's sound is often described as melodic death metal and indeed, there are tracks that come with deep growls and mighty riffs. Songs like the brutal "The Call" and also parts of "Erhal" speak a clear language. But next to these heavy metal monsters the majority of the album focusses more on melodies and clean vocals rather than brutal death metal shouting.

Arkan adds a dark vibe to their sound. Well-crafted tunes such as "Just a Lie" , Nour" and "Kelem" that are good songs with the latter entering the fields of modern metal more than death metal. The embedded melancholy gives the numbers an emotional depth, something that makes the album to a more intense experience for the listener. And last but not least and not to forget the acosutic intermezzo named "Eib" that adds a moment of reflection to this release.

Arkan published with "Kelem" an album that is technically done very well, benefits from a proper production and features good songs that are more build on modern/alternative metal. The band could be interesting for fans of the current In Flames sound.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Kafir
  2. Nour
  3. The Call
  4. Cub of the Caliphate
  5. Erhal
  6. Eib
  7. Just a Lie
  8. Beyond the Wall
  9. Kelem
  10. Capital City Burns
  11. As A Salve
  12. Jasmine Harvest

 

Label: Overpowered Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: November 25th, 2016

CD review ARKAN "Kelem"
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