Annihilator – For the Demented (Review)

AnnihilatorThis is the sixteenth album from Canadian metal institution Annihilator.

Annihilator have always delivered quirky, enjoyable, if sometimes varied material for their fans, but no matter what they release it’s always at least good, and always a welcome listen. Continue reading

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Distant Sun – Into the Nebula (Review)

Distant SunThis is the second album from Distant Sun, a Russian power/thrash metal band.

2015’s Dark Matter was an enjoyable slab of metal, in which Distant Sun, (featuring members of Shadow Host and Starsoup), showed the world what they had to offer. Continue reading

Even the Dead Love a Parade – Even the Dead Love a Parade (Review)

Even the Dead Love a ParadeEven the Dead Love a Parade are a groove metal band from the US. This is their début EP.

Featuring the bassist of Drowning Pool, this EP is 23 minutes of modern, rocking metal that has some thrash and hardcore influences – somewhat of a cross between Annihilator, Pantera and Vision of Disorder. Continue reading

Third Ion – Biolith (Review)

Third IonThis is the second album from Third Ion, a progressive metal band.

Third Ion’s début album 13/8bit was an atypical slice of progressive metal that took a lot of inspiration from video games and chiptune. It shouldn’t have worked, by all rights, but in the band’s skilful hands the album avoided becoming some nonsense novelty and instead they produced an enjoyable 55 minutes of music that offered the listener something a little different.

So what’s changed? Well, they now have a new singer – Dave Padden – Continue reading

Distant Sun – Dark Matter (Review)

Distant SunDistant Sun are a Russian Power/Speed Metal band and this is their début album.

This is Power Metal played in the European style with a nice influence from US Thrash/Speed Metal felt throughout.

The vocals are a little grittier than most European-influenced bands and this falls in line with the Thrash influence. The singer does have a good voice though and is reminiscent of the singer of Metallica in some ways, but thankfully not overly so.

The band are comfortable playing chuggy, Thrashy riffs as well as more stirring, melodic ones. Overall the album is quite riff-heavy and the guitars have a nice bite to them.

Distant Sun’s style is kind of late-90s, combining the Power, Heavy and Thrash Metal styles of the time into a kind of Blind Guardian/Testament/Iced Earth/Annihilator melting pot. Add to this a bit of an 80s Thrash influence too and you have Dark Matter.

The songs are a good combination of these styles and frequently result in tracks that are both high-octane and catchy.

The band members in Distant Sun are also active in Shadow Host and Starsoup; both are top-notch bands and Distant Sun is another great outing from them.

I firmly recommend this and suggest you check them out.

Methedras – System Subversion (Review)

MethedrasMethedras are from Italy and play Modern Thrash Metal. This is their fourth album.

A state-of-the-art heavy and crisp sound blares out of the speakers accompanied by a maniacal laugh and enough modern Thrash sensibilities to crush an elephant, (poor elephant). Methedras waste no time in preparing their mission statement and declaring it boldly.

This is Modern Thrash Metal and it’s ready to riot. Essentially the band mix elements of modern bands such as Lamb of God, Soilwork and Byzantine, Thrash bands like Annihilator and Testament and a touch of Death Metal to create an aggressively heavy album that pulls no punches. Think Testament’s Low updated for 2014.

The vocals are suitably extreme, combining screams and shouts with some deeper growling, as well as the odd melodic semi-cleaner chorus. The singer manages to achieve this with no small amount of charisma as well. Well done that man!

The songs are mature, well written and overall the album as a whole feels very comprehensive. The combination of aggressively Metal riffs and harsh vocals make for a good listening experience. With memorable choruses and hooks aplenty this is a fine collection of songs that I can imagine going down a storm live.

System Subversion is modern Metal without any of the commercial pandering or posturing that is so prevalent in today’s music. It’s modern with a heavier angle and a proper appreciation for Metal – it doesn’t let the side down.

Check out Methedras and give them your support.

Unscarred – Fake Democracy (Review)

UnscarredFrench group Unscarred play Thrash Metal the way it was meant to be – catchy and crunchy.

Apparently this is a demo, but it sounds good enough to be their first ‘proper’ release if you ask me. Everything is recorded clearly and all of the instruments shine through, (yes, even the bass).

The band play Thrash Metal with a nod to both Old and New-Schools. To me they come across as a mixture of Annihilator, Anthrax, Lamb of God and Megadeth; all about the songs and riffs.

The singer has an exceptional set of lungs, I could listen to her all day. She has a varied approach using the full spectrum from rougher shouts all the way to much higher cleans. The shouts are okay, but her cleans are exceptional as she has a really powerful voice full of character and strength. Lay this over some razor-sharp Thrash music and throw in some good catchy hooks and you have a very memorable set of songs.

When it’s done well Thrash Metal is one of my favourite genres as you can just get caught up in it and before you know what you’re doing you’re bouncing around throwing obscene shapes and playing the invisible guitar. At least that’s what I hear. I’ve never done anything as unseemly as that of course. Honest. Moving on…

A really enjoyable release, especially for a demo. If the band can build on this for a whole album, and just clean up some of the small niggles in their sound then their next release should be fantastic. Here’s hoping for a bright 2014 for them.

Favourite Track: 100 Lashes. Ludicrously catchy, and sticks in your head for days.