Veil of Deception – Dissident Voices (Review)

Veil of Deception - Dissident VoicesVeil of Deception are a metal band from Austria. This is their third album.

This is the follow up to 2015’s Tearing up the Roots, and offers 48 minutes of metallic anthems and energetic riffs. Continue reading

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Diablo Blvd – Zero Hour (Review)

Diablo BlvdThis is the fourth album from Belgian dark metal/rock band Diablo Blvd.

Just take a look at that album cover. I mean, how could you not be intrigued by that?

When you delve in, you’ll find that Diablo Blvd play a mix of classic and Continue reading

Crisix – From Blue to Black (Review)

CrisixCrisix are a Spanish Thrash Metal band and this is their third album.

This is an endearing mixture of old-school Thrash and modern know-how. It’s fun without being stupid and authentic without being retro nonsense. I approve!

The album boasts a strong production that’s crisp and clear, lending the songs a sharp edge and professional veneer.

The singer grunts, groans, shrieks and screams his throat hoarse throughout these 39 minutes. Alongside a plethora of backing and gang vocals, he provides an energetic performance and one can’t help but wonder if he survived the recording process with his sanity intact.

As would be expected from the style, solos and leads are tossed around like they’re going out of fashion, alongside so many punchy riffs you could knock someone out with them. With some minor movie and Hardcore influences too, there’s a lot of catchy material here.

There’s a lot of enjoyment to be had on From Blue to Black, especially if you like early Anthrax and Pantera and always wondered what it might sound like if they collaborated on a Thrash Metal sideband. It probably wouldn’t sound too far off how this does.

Very enjoyable. Check this out.

Veil of Deception – Tearing up the Roots (Review)

Veil of DeceptionVeil of Deception are a Metal band from Austria. This is their second album.

This is Groove Metal with a Thrash edge, in the vein of Pantera, Sevendust, Breed 77 and mid-phase Anthrax, mixed with a bit of an Alternative Metal approach.

Heavy riffs and lighter leads form the bedrock of the band’s sound. Their approach is a little different to the average Groove Metal band though, eschewing the more Modern Metal approach and instead incorporating elements of Classic and Heavy Metal into their sound.

The singer is a great example of this – he has a cleaner, more Heavy Metal style than you’d probably expect from a band of this ilk. It adds an authentic edge to the music, as well as a good Rock sensibility on occasion.

Well, this is quite an unexpected turn of events. There I was, expecting Metalcore, (based on the cover, logo and band description), when what I actually got has more in common with 90s Alternative Metal than 00s Metalcore. It’s a welcome change of pace and the band are to be commended for not taking a more obvious route with their style.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t any issues with Tearing up the Roots; overall the songs are enjoyable slabs of Metal, but the songwriting could do with a bit of tightening up in places.

All in all, this is an enjoyable release though; one that makes me feel a bit nostalgic in places too. Not many bands play this kind of thing any more, as it’s too Classic Metal for the Modern Metal crowds and too groove-laden for the Classic Metal crowds. It’s an interesting release and it certainly gets better with repeated spins as the riffs, melodies and vocals work themselves into your brain.

Not bad at all. Check it out.

www.veilofdeception.com
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Dissident – Unleash the Violence… In Thrash We Trust (Review)

DissidentDissident are a Thrash Metal band from Chile. This is their début album.

This is riff-heavy Thrash Metal modelled on the Old-School style and dripping with the essence of the Bay Area scene from back in the day.

In many ways these songs are all about the guitars and what they get up to – not in some form of ultra-impressive technical insanity, but rather it’s all about the riffs and the feelings the evoke. I mean, how can you not want to just bang your head and fists when listening to this?

And they sound good too, production-wise; here we have a band that have a good recording from the off – everything balanced and nicely ripping. Solos and leads are bountiful, seemingly shredded out with ease. We mustn’t neglect the drums though – these are solid and do exactly what’s required of them.

After the love that the guitars and riffs get in all of the songwriting, it’s almost as if the vocals have been included merely for completion’s sake. They’re performed adequately in a style reminiscent of old, old Anthrax, and I think once the singer develops a little more force and charisma then they’ll really come into their own.

This album rips along nicely for 46 minutes and reminds the listener that some bands are still capable of Hellishly good Thrash riffs.

Check them out and see what you think.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dissidentchile

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dissident.chile

To the Pain – 7 (Review)

To the PainThis is the second album by US Thrash Metal band To the Pain.

This is a short release – 6 songs in just under 27 minutes – featuring Bay Area-style Thrash and a fantastically-titled closing song Don’t Eat the Eyes. (I felt compelled to point that out).

The Metallica/Anthrax/Testament inspired songs are a real throwback to decades past and in all honesty it really, really works. It may be resolutely Old-School but it’s not a Retro release or any such nonsense – this is a real band playing real Thrash and doing it very well.

I enjoyed their début album, (which was one of my earliest reviews), but I can’t help but notice the strides forward that the band have made in the intervening years. 7 has seen them make advances in every area, from sound to songwriting to delivery; the entire thing sounds more confident and assured. The songs are better and this is a real Thrash Metal feast.

The singer’s voice has improved along with the rest of the band and he too sounds more confident in his role. He has settled into his job with ease and seems to have no problem infusing his performance with character and charisma.

But where’s the rest of the album? I feel like there are another two or three tracks missing. Some bands easily put out too many songs and you can lose attention, but 7 is the opposite and is over before you know it. Maybe it’s better this way though, as it certainly leaves you salivating and hungry for more.

Well, recently I’ve stated, quite a few times actually, that I feel a bit jaded with Thrash Metal. However, there have been a plethora of recent releases that are making me rethink this and To the Pain’s newest is another. 7 is a winner for me. Check it out.

Mass Punishment – Proving Ground, Vol. 1 (Review)

Mass PunishmentMass Punishment are from the US and play Thrash/Groove Metal. This is their début album.

Mass Punishment play their Metal with an overdose of muscle and with reference to the big hitters of the scene – Pantera, Machine Head, Sepultura, Hatebreed, etc.

This is Metal that takes no prisoners as it relentlessly stalks the battlefield for targets. On the surface of things it seems that a band like this might not have much to offer other the listener than some brawny riffs and angry anthems, but on closer inspection Mass Punishment surprise by having a lot more to them than just the basics.

For a start, the song lengths are longer than the norm for this type of music, with the average track spanning the 5-7 minute marks. This means that the band never rush themselves and give themselves the space to demonstrate what they can do.

So, amongst the brutality and heavy riffs, spread out across these song lengths, what makes Mass Punishment better than mere Pantera rip-offs?

A few things, actually. Let’s have a look –

  1. Passion and integrity. They may be inspired by some of the masters but they are definitely doing their own thing.
  2. Songwriting skills. The guys know how to write an enjoyable song. Lots of them.
  3. Metal. Their songs also incorporate elements of a cleaner Metal style that’s not quite Power Metal but certainly isn’t pure brawn and muscle. Think Old-School Anthrax with soaring vocals meets a bit of a more Euro-Metal style. There’s no Melodic Death Metal, Gothenburg-style or anything like that; this is more melodic Thrash I suppose, but one from the finest pedigree and history.
  4. Modernity. The band know how to incorporate some of the heavier and more extreme advances in Metal that have occurred since the mid/late-90s, which I think is Mass Punishment’s spiritual home. Influences from the best that Slipknot and Metalcore have to offer are incorporated where necessary. But only the good stuff.
  5. Diversity. This is no one-trick pony. For every face-shredding part there’s the also nuance and subtlety; they have struck a good ratio between the two. They know how to rage and destroy but they also know how to inject melody and light into their attack. Just listen to The Desert Rogue.

All accounted for, Mass Punishment successfully take the Metal template that was established over 15/20 years ago and completely own it as their birthright.

I need to mention the singer as well. A band like this needs a charismatic, personable vocalist who is diverse and intense enough to match the power of the music. Thank fuck they have this, otherwise Mass Punishment would be an exercise in wasted potential. Phew.

This is a very holistic, complete album. Each song has its own identity, purpose and place on the album. It’s a great thing to hear.

Well, I’ve been hugely impressed with this. Considering the height of the bar in this style I haven’t heard Groove Metal done so damn well in ages. I really hope that this band can get some much needed exposure to the wider Metal scene as Proving Ground, Vol. 1 has a lot to offer any Metal fan.

Had they been born decades earlier when this style was at its height they would no doubt be huge. Having said that; Mass Punishment, and the music they represent, are still very relevant and more people would do well to listen to them.

Top work.

Osmium Guillotine – Osmium Guillotine (Review)

Osmium GuillotineOsmium Guillotine are from the UK and this is their début album. They play Heavy Metal.

This is 80’s style Heavy Metal with a sexy guitar sound and plenty of attitude. The production is largely apt for this kind of band, although in a feat of differentiation Osmium Guillotine have a guitar tone that’s both thicker and heavier than most bands playing this genre and it works very well for them.

The music is played with passion and obvious zeal and everyone seems to know their job well. Nice solos too.

This is Old-School Heavy Metal that manages to encapsulate quite a few different feelings from early Metal and distil them into this release. Classic Metal is a given, but Doom Metal, Proto-Thrash and NWOBHM all get a look in. There’s even a touch of Punk to things now and again.

The vocals are great, and there’s not a hint of Power Metal to be seen. I love Power Metal as much as anyone, but it’s nice to hear a band like Osmium Guillotine who are just pure Heavy Metal without the more extravagant ostentation inherent in Power Metal. The singer here has a great set of lungs and possesses the charisma to do the tunes justice.

These are a strong set of songs with plenty of hooks and choruses to keep you coming back for more. Memorable melodies and good riffs flow freely and everything feels just as it should.

Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Anthrax…if these bands float your boat then Osmium Guillotine are a logical band to check out. Along with the recent stellar release from Johnny Touch this proves once again what any real music fan already knew – True Metal isn’t dead.

Great stuff.

Destitution – Beware the Fury of the Patient Man (Review)

DestitutionThis is the début release from Destitution, who play Thrash Metal and come from The Netherlands.

Destitution play Old-School Thrash that’s unpolished and street smart.

There are riffs, licks, chops, leads and solos aplenty on this release, more than enough Metal to satisfy. The guitarists can obviously play, (as can the rest of the band), and the performances all round are good.

The songs have an energy about them that’s propelled by the Old-School riffs.

Vocally they remind of Kreator/Testament and musically they recall the same but with a bit of Anthrax thrown in. Its safe to say that if those bands appeal then Destitution will too, especially as they inject themselves into the mix so that the album doesn’t come across as pure homage or hero worship.

The songs are well written and are compositionally sound. It’s mainly high octane Thrash, as is expected, but they even try their hand at a ballad in the form of Affinity. It works surprisingly well.

I enjoyed this album. Maybe you will too?