Vyre – The Initial Frontier Pt. 2 (Review)

VyreVyre are from Germany and this is their second album. They play Black Metal.

Vyre’s take on Black Metal is one that includes Post-Black Metal and Avant-Garde influences. This results in an album that has plenty of texture and lots of content to offer the prospective listener.

The compositions on this album could almost certainly qualify as artistic Metal, with the ambition and scope of the songs to match.

Imagine the epic soundscapes of Emperor mixed with the occult stylings of Rotting Christ, a Progressive/Avant-Garde influence from Arcturus and the venomous bite of Satyricon…Vyre have produced a top quality Black Metal release that matches up to these lofty comparisons.

These tracks are hugely impressive, with lots of ideas and character included in the songs. Prime, Grade A Black Metal riffs and melodies are enhanced by atmospheric synths and sounds whilst a dark rasp edges out from the abyss. Disembodied cleans occasionally ring out and majestic leads fill the ether with molten Metal.

I love the obvious amount of work that has gone into crafting these songs. There is literally so much to enjoy here. Every time you listen to it you’ll notice something new. It’s heady stuff.

These tracks have been forged to near-perfection by a very talented band. This is Black Metal that’s been effectively coloured and influenced by Progressive and Avant-Garde Metal without losing any of its inherent darkness or attack.

I had never heard of Vyre before this but I’m so glad that I have now. I strongly recommend you get this album. Listen to it over and over again and let the darkness of the void seep into your brain.

Unsacred – False Light (Review)

UnsacredThis is the début album from US Crusty Black Metal band Unsacred.

This is blistering, raw and nasty but still boasts a powerful sound.

This style of Black Metal that incorporates the visceral, harsh nature of Crust and Hardcore is a particular favourite of mine of late. Unsacred join the ranks of top bands like Hexis, Ancst, Vermin Womb, Protestant, Flesh Born, etc. who all play the style with power and presence.

False Light boasts songs that have a very direct impact with quality riffs that are halfway between the scything, frozen Black Metal style and a more direct and energetic Hardcore one. Combined like this they mix the best of both worlds and the tracks on this album come across as pure class.

The singer has a very satisfying rasp, somewhat akin to a higher, sharper version of the At The Gates singer in some ways. His voice suits the acerbic nature of the music and is another feather in the cap of Unsacred.

The dark energies flow freely through Unsacred. The suffering and pain they inflict is exquisite.

At only 22 minutes in length False Light is over far too soon. I can easily listen to this over and over again, and I suggest that you do too.

Great stuff. Now bring me more.

Letallis – Resonate (Review)

LetallisLetallis are from the US and play Progressive/Melodic Death Metal. This is their second album.

Originally a full band; for this release everything was performed by just one person, showing a large amount of talent in doing so.

Scandinavian Melodeath is the main point of comparison for Letallis, as well as a smidgen of Metalcore and a pinch of Modern Death Metal. Imagine a band like Lamb of God with a higher level of musicianship and Progressive Metal tendencies.

Vocals occasionally venture into the territory of screams but are largely deeper affairs that aren’t quite full growls, more like guttural shouts. Clean vocals do appear but these are a rarity.

The songs are very guitar-oriented, heavy on the leads, solos and melodics. Good riffs are frequent and the direct Melodeath-influence merges with Progressive Metal tendencies to create a long, ambitious album, totalling 68 minutes of music.

I have enjoyed this. It veers into the more commercial end of this style of music without going too far into that territory as some of the originators/followers of the Melodic Death Metal style have done. Resonate is further saved from this error by the incorporation of the Progressive Metal elements which give the songs more depth and longevity than they would otherwise have if they were absent.

For fans of Lamb of God, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, etc.

Obscure Infinity – Perpetual Descending Into Nothingness (Review)

Obscure InfinityObscure Infinity are from Germany and play Old-School Death Metal. This is their third album.

I was excited to hear this after the excellent but oh-so-small taster that was their split with Funeral Whore.

After an epic-sounding intro we’re into the thick of the action with Obscure Infinity’s blend of Swedish-style Death Metal, atmospheric leads, and Death/Iron Maiden-guitar influences.

The band have tight control over their songwriting with all of the hallmarks of a band who are able to craft classic songs.

Whether sped up or slowed down, the band pace themselves well and the dynamic guitarwork is impressive. This is a band who are confident enough to simplify things when necessary but also talented enough to throw in some technicality on occasion.

The leads and solos are all blinders and the riffs in general are hugely impressive. The guitars make the songs and give them a vitality that’s rare in Old-School Death Metal. There are plenty of atmospheric moments and even the odd feeling of Old-School Black Metal in places; it’s not a huge influence but it’s noticeable.

The bass and drums underpin everything, providing a firm base for the songs to launch their attacks from. Blast beats are an important staple of the band but they also excel in the more rhythmic moments.

The vocalist is very accomplished, with a lovely deep growl and occasional screams to keep things interesting. Some unexpected cleans even appear on A Forlorn Wanderer, and it’s a testament to the band that they don’t seem out of place at all. It comes across as a mix of Emperor and Celtic Frost and is a great thing to hear.

The recording is first-rate, with plenty of heaviness. The songs sound alive and ready to crush!

Perpetual Descending Into Nothingness is just as strong an album as I was hoping it would be. Occult-sounding, malevolent Death Metal with plenty of texture and colour; Obscure Infinity are making sure that 2015 is starting off with a bang.

Einherjer – Av Oss, For Oss (Review)

EinherjerEinherjer are from Norway and this is their sixth album. They play Viking-influenced Black Metal.

This is an album that has a lot of variety in it. We get melodic, almost martial Pagan-influenced interludes, scorching fury, rhythmic sections, colourful leads, mid-paced workouts, subtle keyboards, lots of interesting instrumentation and experimentation, blistering guitar solos and a cold Black Metal core.

Black Metal screams, shouted group vocals/chants and other vocalisations are included across these 44 minutes.

The band have a quirky, almost jaunty feel to them in places. Some of the rhythmic riffing may have that Black Metal sheen but they also have a more upbeat feel to them as well, recalling bands such as Countess and Sigh being played by Darkthrone or Satyricon, perhaps.

They also have a bit of a driving Rock influence to some of the guitar leads and solos; sometimes it’s just so damn Rocking you can feel the wind in your hair.

I like that each song has its own identity and the band keep things interesting by incorporating a whole plethora of different ideas and sub-styles into their central Black Metal vision.

The album whirls by in a blur and is over before you know it. Av Oss, For Oss is a very strong album and a big achievement for Einherjer.

Give it a try and see what you think.

Hybrid Sheep – Free From the Clutches of Gods (Review)

Hybrid SheepHybrid Sheep are from France and this is their début album. They play Deathcore.

This is state-of-the-art Deathcore with a massive sound and a crisp method of attack.

Hybrid Sheep play their style in the vein of bands like All Shall Perish and Acrania. A few Metalcore influences from the likes of Lamb of God and As I Lay Dying are thrown in also, as well as some Modern Death Metal similar to bands like Revocation and The Black Dahlia Murder.

If you’re not a fan of this modern style of Extreme Metal then Hybrid Sheep are unlikely to convince you, but if you are then Free From the Clutches of Gods has enough meat to satisfy that’s for sure.

This is a well played and produced album with lots of heaviness, melodies, aggressive riffs, blasting and breakdowns. I find this style very easy listening in the sense that if you’re in the mood you can just stick a band like this on and start bouncing around like a maniac. As you do.

Just listening to this now I can’t help but have a little wobble around in my seat. Always the sign of a good listen.

The songs are enjoyable and satisfyingly aggressive. The standard alternation between deep growls and high screams is done well and there’s plenty of guitar widdling included with the heavy riffs.

Hybrid Sheep have produced an enjoyable album of Deathcore. Check them out.

Eternal Storm – Elemental Nightmares V – Split with Kaos Vortex, Will of the Ancients and Stortregn (Review)

Eternal StormEternal Storm are from Spain and this is their latest release. They play Melodic Death Metal.

I enjoyed their début EP, so was looking forward to hearing this new track.

The song starts out fast with a slight Blackened feel to the riffs. Melodic leads soon break out before the track has a mellow moment. I’m reminded of bands like Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, In Flames, At the Gates, Opeth, etc.

The song is well recorded and the band can clearly play well. The main solo is played like liquid and the musicianship in general is of a high standard.

Vocally we get a mix of deep growls and higher screams, sometimes at the same time. There’s also a guest spot from the singer of Valtari to spice things up.

The song has a good feel to it and does pretty much everything you would want a Melodic Death Metal song to do. The band mix aggression and lighter parts well, and I particularly enjoy the slower end section after the guitar solo, where it initially relaxes before building up in intensity with a mournful lead just under the surface.

This bodes well for a future début album. Bring it on!