Full disclosure – when I saw that this band is fronted by the singer of Barren Earth and Hamferð, I got quite excited and it immediately made me hungry to listen to their album. The man has one of my favourite voices in metal, and on Access All Worlds, he puts it to damn fine use. Continue reading “Iotunn – Access All Worlds (Review)”
Soulskinner are back! A band I really enjoy, (check out Crypts of Ancient Wisdom, Descent to Abaddon, and their split with Obsecration, Abyssus, and Malicious Silence), they have now returned with a new platter boasting 47 minutes of death metal and a brand new singer. Continue reading “Soulskinner – Seven Bowls of Wrath (Review)”
Oh, what a sickeningly horrible feast of underground death metal we have for you here! Each band has two tracks, and each band gives a good accounting of themselves. Continue reading “Soulskinner/Obsecration/Abyssus/Malicious Silence – Sign of the Covenant of Death – Split (Review)”
This is the follow up to 2016’s hideously enjoyable Jomsviking, and once again Amon Amarth have done themselves proud. Continue reading “Amon Amarth – Berserker (Review)”
Here’s a somewhat evocatively heroic release. Mixing elements of melodic, doom, death, and epic metal into a meaty metal base, Gigantomachia have produced 41 minutes of engaging metal. Continue reading “Gigantomachia – Atlas (Review)”
Here we have 20 minutes of thrash-influenced metalcore that strikes a balance between Darkest Hour‘s razor-sharp thrash, Killswitch Engage’s groove, and something a little more along the melodic death metal lines, (Amon Amarth?); there’s a pleasing aggression to parts of these songs. Continue reading “The Iron Gates – The Story Thus Far (Review)”
I wasn’t expecting a new Dawn of Disease album so soon after last year’s enjoyable Worship the Grave, but I’m certainly not complaining about it. Continue reading “Dawn of Disease – Ascension Gate (Review)”
King is a straightforward, powerfully simple name that is quite refreshing after the increasing complexity of so many new black metal band’s names. Even the logo on the album cover is simple and strong, with no overly complex logo with semi-artistic aspirations. Continue reading “King – Reclaim the Darkness (Review)”
Returning with a Viking-themed concept album, Amon Amarth continue their tried-and-tested formula for melodic Death Metal that they have been slowly perfecting and refining now for decades.
At this point in their existence you pretty much know exactly what to expect from them and they never fail to deliver. The songs on this release are as catchy and memorable as any that they have released over their victory-filled career.
Time has clearly been taken over these riffs, and the vast majority of the material here is bright, upbeat, full of energy, very memorable and laced with just the right amount of darkness, loss and violence.
Bright leads accompany the songs, as we’ve come to expect, and I particularly enjoy the solo work on this release too. The rhythm guitars are where the bulk of the action is at though, of course, and these tracks are destined to be hits in the live environment.
The singer’s charismatic and gruff voice is present and correct. Using pleasing rhythms and fitting in with the pace of the songs effortlessly, he provides a suitably compelling and powerful performance that does the weighty, (and epic), subject matter justice. In addition to his normal singing voice, he occasionally gives vent to a full-throated Death Metal growl, and it’s a thing of beauty. Doro also makes an appearance on A Dream That Cannot Be, adding a different dimension to the proceedings.
I find it incredibly hard to dislike anything Amon Amarth have released, and Jomsviking is no different. The band have an uncanny knack of providing the listener with highly-enjoyable songs that somehow manage to combine both style and substance, which is not something to be taken lightly.
Essential listening for all Metal warriors.
Vredehammer play aggressive Black Metal that keeps the core of the genre alive and well, while merging it with a state-of-the-art blackness that bands like Satyricon, Keep of Kalessin and Temple of Baal do so well. Add a bit of Death Metal in the form of something like Behemoth and even a touch of Aura Noir-esque Thrash and you have a good overview of Vredehammer’s style. Tracks like Ursus even have a bit of the Amon Amarth about them, to my ears.
The vocals consist of dark outbursts that strike a fine balance between legibility and outright harshness. Sitting somewhere between the styles of Black and Death Metal, they work well to provide a focal point for the music without dominating it.
Powerful rhythm guitars form the bedrock of the tracks and these punish and damage for all they’re worth. Interestingly though, the band build on these strong foundations to provide a more well-rounded listening experience than you might expect; Violator is not a one-dimensional album.
Twisted melodics and bright, ethereal leads occasionally add colour and texture to the band’s blackened rhythms, allowing them to explore wider pastures that their brutal tendencies might otherwise preclude them from. This adds a lot to the album and raises it to another level, quality-wise. This is all wrapped around their inherent malevolent nastiness though, which is never too far from proceedings.
Boasting a strong production to round things off, Violator is a very enjoyable album, and at 35 minutes in length it’s easy to get your fill of their blackened aggression.