Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

sludge

CD review 16 "The Lifespan of a Moth"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in 16, -16-, Sludge, Doom Metal, News, CD Review, Alternative Metal

(8/10) 16-LA-6-3-8. If you think that this is a special coding, no. It is 16 from L.A.-that released so far six records, had a three years hiatus, releasing a new album this year that earns 8 points on Markus' Heavy Music Blog.

"Lifespan of a Moth" is the title of their newest studio record that contains eight brand new songs. It seems like the two founders still being active in -16- and the 'new' rhythm section (Banry Firks (b) and Dion Thurman (d) started in 2013) re-energized the band, something that leads to a creativity that ends up in longplayers like this one.

The album begins with some samples of waves peacefully rolling towards the beach, with some kids enjoying beach life. This mood changes rather quickly when the first guitars join "Landloper" which is the opener of this disc. The tune is a sludge monster with Jerue scratchy vocals on top of a mighty groove and the slo-mo riffing.

"The Lifespan of a Moth"is a longplayer that steamrolls the listener by it's intensity. Walls of superb guitars create a heaviness that makes tracks like the brutal "The Morphinist" and hypnotic closer "George" to special once.

A tune that differs from most of the other tracks is "Pastor in a Coma". It still fits perfectly into the context of "The Lifespan of a Moth" stuff, but it has some interesting details like e.g. the partly acoustical sounds in the beginning. 

The shortest track is called "The Absolute Center of a Pitch Black Heart". The most interesting thing with this song is, that it has a bit of a punky vibe and some Prong-like vocal-lines and riffs. I like this number and it fits 16 very well to increase speed a bit here and there.

This longplayer is the seventh one of the California-based band and it's the third one that's done in a cooperation with Relapse Records, a collaboration that seems to be fruitful.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Landloper
  2. Peaches, Cream and The Placenta
  3. The Morphinist
  4. The Absolute Center of a Pitch Heart
  5. Gallows Humor
  6. Secrets of the Curmudgeon
  7. Pastor in a Coma
  8. George

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Sludge

Release Date EU: July 15th, 2016

CD review 16 "The Lifespan of a Moth"
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CD review HIGH FIGHTER "Scars & Crosses"

Veröffentlicht am 14. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in High Fighter, News, CD Review, Stoner Rock, Sludge, Doom Metal, Alternative Metal

(8/10) Hamburg Rock City, something that gets proven by various bands with High Fighter being one of them. The career of this quintet began in 2014 when members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis found together, forming High Fighter.

"The Goat Ritual" was the first countable output. This disc was a self-released one, featuring 5 tracks combining sludge, doom and stoner rock. The EP got some good feedback, a motivator for the band to work on their full-length debut.

A word and a blow. High Fighter's first longplayer is out in the recordshops and 'answers' to the name of "Scars & Crosses".

A key to success is Mona Miluski's vocals supported by a pretty tight playing band. Miluski's big plus is the range she can handle with her voice. On the one side their are brutal screams that constantly switch between rage and despair. But for not becoming too predictable High Fighters adds clean vocal lines to their sound which makes the whole album to an entertaining and intensive trip.

Highlighs I want to mention are the slow grooving opener "A Silver Heart", the slo-mo steamroller "The Gatekeeper" and the angry "Blinders" with some bloodcrudling screams from Miluski. Last but not least there is the title track that comes at the end of this remarkable album. High Fighters puts all their trademarks into this number - from slower pace to raging sound eruptions, from groove to mighty stoner riffing.

High Fighter released an exciting debut that shows all the band's potential. These guys aren't a fleeting star and I guess we will hear more of them in the coming months.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. A Silver Heart
  2. Darkest Days
  3. The Gatekeeper
  4. Blinders
  5. Portrait Mind
  6. Gods
  7. Down to the Sky
  8. Scars & Cosses

 

Label: Svart Records

Genre: Sludge

Release Date EU: June 10, 2016

 

CD review HIGH FIGHTER "Scars & Crosses"
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CD review HELHORSE "Helhorse"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Mai 2016 von Markus W. in Helhorse, Alternative Metal, Sludge, Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) In a world where it is more and more difficult to find a new name for a band I think that 'Helhorse' sounds pretty cool.

The guys from Copenhagen, Denmark, started back in 2006 under the banner of Dødning, a band that merged various influences from punk, hardcore and metal. In the meantime the guys changed a few things, amongst others the name of the band. Helhorse, the new name, could be interpreted as an English word, but actually it isn't. The word is taken from a poem, written by Danish writer Steen Steensen Blicher. 'Helhorse' actually means 'Ghost Horse' and it is mentioned in the poem as being the bringer of destruction and death.

Now, I wouldn't go that far, describing the album as destructive and it isn't neither dead nor death metal. Anyhow, I think that the band's name expresses the sound quite well.

Helhorse's music is described a stoner/sludge and, yes, this is true. But I think it's a bit too narrow, since some thrash elements are included as well as some alternative metal.

One of the band's features is for sure the heavily downtuned guitars and the rough but melodic vocals of singer. Sometimes I had the feeling that Helhorse sounds like to more melodic 'brother' of bands like Crowbar and Down.

Songs that give you an idea about Helhorse's sound are the booming opener "Carry Your Own" with its heavy riffs and melancholic vocals. But also "Fortune Favors the Bold" is worth to be listen to. This tune is kept a bit more silent and I felt reminded of German Undertow when I heard the tune the first time; something that comes back even stronger in the closer "No Fucks Given". In case you want it a bit more smoothly you can check-out " My Haven, Your Hell", a song with powerful rhythm section and quite some melody, paired with a dark vibe.

Something pretty smart was the idea of including three interludes on "Helhorse". They are well-placed breaks on the tracklist, which can be even seen as opener of a next chapter. They might not be rocket-science, but the interludes help keeping the tension high.

"Helhorse" became a well-done new album, number three in the bands history, that includes heavy headbangers for fans of Crowbar and Orange Goblin.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Carry Your Own
  2. among the Wolves
  3. Fortune Favors the Bold
  4. I
  5. The Blood Boiler
  6. Hellauf a Ride
  7. II
  8. Raise the Black Flag
  9. III
  10. My Haven / Your Hell
  11. No Fucks Given

 

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Sludge/Stoner

Release Date EU: May 13th, 2016

CD review HELHORSE "Helhorse"
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CD review DEADSMOKE "Deadsmoke"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2016 von Markus W. in Deadsmoke, Doom Metal, Sludge, News, CD Review

(5/10) Deadsmoke are from Italy, being very much into doom/ metal that sometimes crosses the borders to sludge. This album shows the dark side of Italy, sounds that have nothing to do with a positive and laid-back livestyle. "Deadsmoke" offers you a five step ladder down to the abyss.

Unfortunately this trip isn't that much of an excitement. The five numbers are based one heavily downtuned guitars that are repeating in an endless way riffs, that have been heard from other bands in a far better way. The same goes actually for the moaning vocals that are OK, but not rocket science either.

"Deadsmoke" isn't a bad release, but this EP isn't a mindblowing moment in music either. Even "Tornado" is more breeze rather than a tornado of sounds. It's the best song on this disc but it doesn't blow you away.

In case you're a collector of everything that has to do with doom and sludge, you should give this album a fair chance. For all the others I recommend to listen to "Deadsmoke" first.

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Branches of Evil
  2. Eyes of the Blind Man
  3. Liar Behind Me
  4. Tornado
  5. Night of the Vipers

 

Label: Heavy Psych

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: March 25th, 2016

CD review DEADSMOKE "Deadsmoke"
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Hamburg's HIGH FIGHTER announce new album

Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2016 von Markus W. in High Fighter, News, Stoner Rock, Sludge, Doom Metal, Tour

Hamburg-based sludge/doom band High Fighter announced a new album, entitled "Scars & Crosses".

The tracklist will look like this:

  1. A Silver Heart
  2. Darkest Days
  3. The Gatekeeper
  4. Blinders
  5. Portrait Mind
  6. Gods
  7. Down To The Sky
  8. Scars & Crosses

 

And in case you want to see the band on stage. here are some dates:

DE 08.04.2016: Desertfest Berlin,

DE 27.05.2016: Stadtfest Bad Oldesloe,

DE 10.06.2016: Bambi Galore, Hamburg, High Fighter Album Release Show, w/ Jucifer, The Moth & Doperuler!

DE 17.06.2016: Immerhin, Würzburg, w/ The Midnight Ghost Train!

DE 18.06.2016 Alte Hackerei, Karlsruhe, w/ The Midnight Ghost Train!

DE 02.07.2016: Stadtfest Mücheln,

DE 17.-20.08.2016: Summer Breeze Festival,

DE 02.09.2016: MetallerGrillen Festival,

 

Release date for "Scars & Crosses" will be June 10th and the longplayer comes via Svart Records. Stay tuned for more.

 

 

Hamburg's HIGH FIGHTER announce new album
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CD review BLACK COBRA "Imperium Simulacra"

Veröffentlicht am 3. März 2016 von Markus W. in Black Cobra, Sludge, Doom Metal, News, Alternative Metal, Rock, CD Review

(8/10) Los Angeles, California based Black Cobra is a two-piece band that was initiated by guitarist and singer Jason Landrian back in 2001. Landrian found with drummer Raphael Martinez a partner in crime and both are - Black Cobra.

During the first decade of the new century the duo released quite some full-length records before it took five long years for the band to publish their newest record "Imperium Simulacra".

This longplayer is fueled by spot-on stoner sludge that rocks pretty well. Eight tight assembled tracks are part of the album with "Technical Demise" as a bonus, pressed on the vinyl version of the album.

Almost like the artwork shows, Black Cobra managed to connect all cabels and connectors in the best possible way. Heavily downtuned guitars, mighty riffs and coarse vocals are fitting together in a great way, something that makes this album to a smoothly working sludge machine.

A highlight on Black Cobra's fifth album is the well-though through "Fathomas Below". Here we are talking about an eight minutes long doom sludge masterpiece. It shows the songwriting potential that sits in this duo. While being an acoustic steamroller, Black Cobra keeps a high level of suspence by adding many bends and twists to this track.

Compared to this finesse it is the puristic hypnosis that "Eye Among the Blind" stand for. This tune just hammers out ultimate power with an almost endless repeated riff.

To avoid the impression of Black Cobra just playing slow I need to mention the merciless opener "Challenger Deep". The duo decided to open this longplayer with a hard and fast rocker that is a punch into the face.

"Imperium Simulacra" shows what kind of aggressive power can be generated by two musicians. Black Cobra delivers an album that is energetic and comes with a really dense sound. This disc will get a few more rounds on my record player.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Challenger Deep
  2. Imperium Simulacra
  3. Fathoms Below
  4. Eye Among The Blind
  5. The Messenger
  6. Obsolete
  7. Dark Shine
  8. Sentinel (Infinite Observer)
  9. Technical Demise (vinyl bonus track)

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Sludge

Release Date EU: February 26th, 2016

CD review BLACK COBRA "Imperium Simulacra"
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CD review COFFINS/ILSA "Split" 7"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Coffins, Isla, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge, News, CD Review, Thrash Metal

(*/10) Japanese Coffins and Ilsa from Baltimore release a split 7", The A-side contains Coffins' "Tyrant" while Ilsa contributes with "Cult of the Throne".

Both songs are brutal. "Tyrant" is grooving death metal with an immense riffing and raging leads. When death meets sludge you'll get "Tyrant". This song is a real blast.

What comes can keep the level - easily. Ilsa keeps the tempo a bit more slower than Coffins, enlarged the sludge part and combines it with some grooving death metal elements. "Cult of the Throne" is a savage metal beast that combines the best out of doom and death.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Coffins - "Tyrant"
  2. Ilsa - "Cult of the Throne"

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: February 26th, 2016

CD review COFFINS/ILSA "Split" 7"
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CD review AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED "Arc"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Grindcore, Hardcore, News, CD Review, Sludge, Doom Metal

(7/10) What a name: Agoraphobic Nosebleed. I wasn't very familiar with the band since grindcore noramlly isn't my true love. It was the band's name that made me curious when I got this album that is actually an EP. Three songs have been put on "Arc"and each of them is pretty long.

"Not a Daughter" marks the entry point to this record and it's characterized by Katy's angry, but also depressive shouts. After seven minutes of loud and experimental chaos the next tune starts, "Deathbed". A slow guitar riff starts and the whole song stays in slo-mo core pace. It's actually more doom/slugde than grindcore. Slowly the steam gage shows more and more pressure but even though the tune gets slightly faster over time it doesn't turn into a high pace one.

Eleven minutes, that's "Gnaw", which already the last track on the album. This number comes with mighty guitar riffs, downtuned to a maximum. This track is mean and raging. Impressive the way how Kath Katz pukes out the vocals. This is pure anger embedded in experimental heavy notes.

"Arc" is the beginning of a series of four EP's. It's a good first leg which is an interesting one for sludge fans. All the others should listen to one of the songs first before taking a decison.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Not a Daughter
  2. Deathbed
  3. Gnaw

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Sludge/Doom

Release Date EU: January 22nd, 2016

CD review AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED "Arc"
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CD review LYCUS "Chasms"

Veröffentlicht am 21. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Lycus, Funeral Doom, Doom Metal, Sludge, Death Metal, News, CD Review

(7/10) "Chasms" is the second longplayer of Oakland, California based Lycus. Three years ago it was "Tempest" that marked the debut of the doom band from the US of A and now four new songs have been recorded.

Those new tracks are all pretty long. "Mirage" is with seven minutes the shortest one while the rest is up to ten minutes and more.

"Chasms" is gloomy and desperate. Lycus' funeral doom, embedded in these extra long sonic processions, is bringing darkness even over the most sunny places. Dark riffs, celebrated for several minutes, and a booming bass are the foundation for an intense record that you shouldn't listen to while being in a sad mood. Each of the four tracks spreads this oppressive despair that covers the soul with a grey shade.

Having said all this, also means that the mentioned undetone is omnipresent on the entire album. The songs are all good, but they are also a bit of the same only different. A break, like on Mirage", is very appreciated.

In the end Lycus offers you on "Chasms" a challenging journey through the world of sadness and distress. If you're ready for such a trip, start the first leg with "Solar Chamber".

Timeless funeral doom with a solid base.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Solar Chamber
  2. Chasms
  3. Mirage
  4. Obsidian Eyes

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Funeral Doom

Release Date EU: January 15th, 2016

CD review LYCUS "Chasms"
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CD review BLOODIEST "Bloodiest"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Bloodiest, Tool, Alternative Metal, Post Rock, Sludge, News, CD Review

(8/10) "Bloodiest" is the self-titled second album of the Chicago, Illinois-based sextet. The band's debut is dated from 2011 and it took the guys five years to come out with a successor. After listening to the album I must state that the time was used very well.

Bloodiest comes back with eight new songs that are somewhere between post rock and sludge.

The grooving "Mesmerize" starts the engine for this album. The five minutes long opener is build on a strong baseline which gives the song a strong grooving expression. With the addition of some mourning vocals the song is a perfect starter for this longplayer.

It's again the bass that marks the beginning of the next song. "The Widow" takes off almost like a Tool track before it turns into a sphereful post rocker with a lot of fragile ambience.

The psychedelic instrumental "Condition" is next and leads you to "Broken Teeth". This tune is a more sludge-based one with moaning vocals that are filled with pure melancholia.

The piano and sound samples take over in "Mind Overlap" which is one of the most experimental tracks in "Bloodiest".

"He is Disease" follows the same principles as "Broken Teeth" while "Separation" brings back the post rock vibe again. The end of this album is named "Suffer" which describes the basic vibe of this album very well. Not in a away that the listener has to suffer. No, not at all. The disc is really good and well done. It is more the underlaying suffering in each of the eight songs that crerates the basic sphere of "Bloodiest".

All in all a well done record with a high level of emotional tension. Check it out.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Mesmerize
  2. The Widow
  3. Condition
  4. Broken teeth
  5. Mind Overlaps
  6. He Is Disease
  7. Seperation
  8. Suffer

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Post Rock

Release Date EU: January 15th, 2016

CD review BLOODIEST "Bloodiest"
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CD review STEAK NUMBER EIGHT "Kosmokoma"

Veröffentlicht am 29. November 2015 von Markus W. in Steak Number Eight, Rock, Post Metal, Modern Metal, Sludge, CD Review, News

(7/10) Belgium post-metal gang Steak Number Eight put a fresh piece of meat on the barbeque. It's called "Kosmokoma", it's their thrid release and contains eleven tracks.

When it comes to the sound of the new longplayer not that much changed for the Belgian four-piece. Brent Vannesta and his dudes wrote again wild tunes that are sometimes durious and crazy ("Return of Kolomon"), sometimes mighty slo-mo ("Gravity Giants") and sometimes spot-on ("Your Soul Deserves To Die Twice").

All this shows the diversity of the music Steak Number Eight delivers on their new longplayer. "Kosmokoma" is an album that isn't easy going. It takes some time to get into it, but after a while each songs reveals it's full beauty. 

In case you're looking for a party soundtrack or some headbanging stuff you should go for some other releases. "Kosmokoma" demands time, endurance and focus. It's worth to invest all this. The songs will reward you after a while.

Everything said.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Return of the Kolomon
  2. Your Soul Deserves to Die Twice
  3. Principal Features of the Cult
  4. Gravity Giants
  5. Charades
  6. Knows Sees Tells All
  7. Claw it in Your Eyes
  8. It Might be The Lights
  9. Cheating the Gallows
  10. Future Sky Batteries
  11. Space Punch

 

Label: Indie Recording

Genre: Post Metal

Release Date EU: November 20th, 2015

CD review STEAK NUMBER EIGHT "Kosmokoma"
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CD review KYLESA "Exhausting Fire"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Kylesa, Classic Rock, Doom Metal, News, Sludge, Alternative Rock, CD Review

(8/10) Maybe it's not the best way to start a review but I must say: I love this album. But let's start from the beginning. Kylesa's beginning is far back in time. It was in 2001 when the band arose out of the ashes of Damad by adding an additional guitar player - Laura Pleasant.

Kylesa's self-titled debut followed in 2002 and till today five more longplayers followed. Time for number seven. Two years after "Ultraviolet", the first album for Season Of Mist, "Exhausting Fire" is in the starting blocks.

Ten new songs made it on the longplayer. Kylesa continues with their mix of sludge, punk, psychedelic rock, embedded in some mighty doom riffs. I had to think about Phillip Boa meets Black Sabbath when I heard "Exhausting Fire" the first time. Laura Pleasant and Phillip Cope are still sharing the vocals even though Pleasant's parts got a bit more. It's this combination that makes the sound of Kylesa special and adds another layer to their heavy recordings.

The reason why I really like this album is the indie character of the songs with a certain new wave expression, by still being pure metal with harsh guitars. Listen to "Out of My Mind" and you will know what I mean.

The opener "Crusher" is another slow running metal anthem with a riff that is brutal and charming in one. "Inward Debate" isn't much faster but has an almost hypnotic expression before the dark "Moving Day" spreads some melancholy.

One of the best songs on "Exhausting Fire" is the five minutes long masterpiece "Shaping the Southern Sky". It's again the slightly sad sphere that's transported by this hymn. And it's Pleseant's vocals that combine power and fragility in perfection.

The guys from Savannah, Georgia released with "Exhausting Fire" one of their best longplayers. I'm stopping with writing now and listen to the album again. And you should do the same.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Crusher
  2. Inward Debate
  3. Moving Day
  4. Lost and Confused
  5. Shaping the Southern Sky
  6. Falling
  7. Night Drive
  8. Blood Moon
  9. Growing Roots
  10. Out of My Mind

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release date EU: October 2nd, 2015

CD review KYLESA "Exhausting Fire"
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CD review GRIM VAN DOOM "Grim love"

Veröffentlicht am 12. September 2015 von Markus W. in Grom Van Doom, Doom Metal, Sludge, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, News, CD Review, Black Metal

(7/10) Grim Van Doom, a name that sticks out. And it's a well chosen one too. The 'grim factor' of the four piece is perfectly supported by the aggressive and dark vocals of singer Lansky, while the music of the band is slow and doomy.

Grim Van Doom was founded in 2011 and their newest release is called "Grim love". In total eight songs takes you on a trip through a world if sludge and doom metal. It's an intensive one based on slow and evil riffs.

Titles like "Snowfield" and "The storm" reflects pretty well of what to expect.

A song I want to highlight is called "Butchr". It's one of those creepy slow songs with heavily down tuned guitars and a murderous groove. It's, at least when it comes to me, the best track on the album.

The only small point of critic is the fact that the songs could vary a bit more. It's a feels like 'the same but different' which gives the disc some length.

However, "Grim love" is a cool record that combines anger and desperation in a very good way. Grim Van Doom doesn’t turn the metal world upside down. But what they did is to record an album with tunes that are based on solid songwriting and a lot of power. Nothing new but something good.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Goddamn this love
  2. Family girl
  3. Snowfields
  4. The storm
  5. Thulsa
  6. Butchr
  7. Frank Vulyn
  8. Nilsis

 

Label: Aural Attack

Genre: Sludge / Doom Metal

Release date EU: September 11, 2015

CD review GRIM VAN DOOM "Grim love"
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CD review RIWEN "The cold"

Veröffentlicht am 9. September 2015 von Markus W. in Riwen, Hardcore, Sludge, Punk, News, CD Review

(8/10) The label info starts with a statement: "It's time to make it simple, raw and fast. This is hardcore". I can fully agree to this after I have heard Riwen's newest strike a few times. In times when things become big and complex, simplicity is what you're desperately looking for. Riwen gives you this raw sobriety.

Riwen's new highlight is called "The cold". I liked already the first single releases, but the album is even better. It's this uncompromizing energy the guys build into their songs, that is so fascinating. This mix out of sometimes some sludge and aggressive hardcore works really well.

"The cold" includes twelve numbers that are mostly around two minutes and act as a punch in your face.

Songs like the grooving "Strife and hate", with the grooving bass, could also come from NYC. Also songs like "Hate trade" is a sonic homerun - just a winner.

As soon as the tracks get longer the direction changes too. The pace gets slower (at least in parts), the riffs get more thrashy and the intensity gains. Those numbers still reflecting Riwen's trademarks; the guys add just another shade to them. "The curlew" reflects all this and belongs to the songs you should listen to first.

"The cold" is hot. What sounds like a big discrepency is just how it is. A damn hot longplayer.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Crucifix
  2. The blackest blood
  3. Orcus
  4. Strife and hate
  5. Daymares
  6. Hades trail
  7. Stalking a wounded wolf
  8. The curlew
  9. Rise up
  10. I see war
  11. Voices of revolt
  12. Dodens kalla

 

Label: Indie Recordings

Genre: Hardcore

Release date EU: August 28th, 2015

CD review RIWEN "The cold"
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