From the Shores – Of Apathy (Review)

From the ShoresFrom the Shores are an Italian melodic death metal band. This is their debut album.

Are you in the market for some fast, melodic, cutting death metal? Well look no further! Continue reading

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Zeit – Monument (Review)

ZeitZeit are an Italian hardcore band and this is their latest EP.

It seems like only yesterday that 2015’s The World Is Nothing tore into the world with their brand of dissonant, violent Hardcore. The band are now back with a new EP, consisting of three originals and an At the Gates cover. It’s 11 minutes of intensity. Continue reading

Nuisible – Inter Feces et Urinam Nascimur (Review)

NuisibleNuisible are a blackened hardcore band from France. This is their debut album.

Inter Feces et Urinam Nascimur sort of sounds like what would happen if Darkthrone embraced a love of Scandinavian d-beat and produced one massively pissed off record. Add in some elements of crusty death metal and grindcore and you have 23 minutes of red-hot anger. Continue reading

Spinebreaker – Ice Grave (Review)

SpinebreakerThis is the début album from Spinebreaker, a Death Metal band from the US.

This is ugly Old-School Death Metal born bloody and ragged from the Hardcore scene. This means that the band combine the purity of their Death Metal heritage with the fire and energy of their Hardcore bloodline.

My, what a sound they have! Boasting a Swedish Death Metal guitar tone that their spiritual forefathers would be proud of, this is presented in a filthed-up package that fuses the feel of the era and style with a Hardcore edge and a touch of At the Gates and Carcass in the vocal department.

The end result is a savage demonstration of the fact that A) you don’t need to be Swedish to wield a chainsaw and B) there’s life in Old-School Swedish Death Metal yet; it’s not necessary for a band to simply rehash past glories.

Spinebreaker manage to successfully inject vitality and vibrancy into a rather stale, (but still very enjoyable), sub-genre. The inclusion of a Hardcore edge to some of the riffs adds a blood-pumping energy and the harsh screaming growls are a thing of gory beauty.

Whether ripping out giant grooves or pounding heaviness, Spinebreaker make everything sound dark, nightmarish and nasty, just as it should be. The spectre of At the Gates looms over the faster sections, (prompted for me by the vocals, but bleeding into the guitars too), and it’s a joy to hear this encapsulated by such a dirty Swedish delivery.

A very enjoyable 38 minutes.

Aktaion – Throne (Review)

AktaionThis is the début album by Swedish Metal band Aktaion.

This is sharp Melodic Metal that combines high-energy aggressive Melodic Death Metal with more restrained and emotive choruses. Elements of Thrash and Progressive Metal also raise their heads, (only to bang them all the harder). Continue reading

Maruta – Remain Dystopian (Review)

MarutaThis is the third album from US Grindcore band Maruta.

This is one I’ve been looking forward to. Maruta play ferocious and ultra-modern Deathgrind with plenty of violence and brutality.

There are some top quality guest vocalists on this album, (At the Gates, Pig Destroyer), but that is merely the icing on the vocal cake, as the grunts and screams that populate these seventeen tracks are more than competent enough to hold their own.

The songs are short and nasty. There’s lots of blast beats and chaotic drumming going on while the guitars rage and tear through the playing time.

Strange and atypical riffs share space with more traditional Death Metal grooves and there’s a touch of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s unorthodox take on brutality on this release, as well as a feeling of Crowpath’s equally unorthodox style.

There’s a little here for all Extreme Metal fans. However, mashed up together like this it ends up being a formidable proposition for those not fully inducted into the league of Deathgrind. For paid-up members though, Remain Dystopian is a twisted, nasty joy to experience.

Deathgrind for the modern connoisseur.

Barishi – Endless Howl (Review)

BarishiBarishi are from the US and play Progressive Metal.

This is the latest EP, following on from their very enjoyable début album Barishi.

Here we have four new songs, clocking in at just less than 19 minutes in length. In an interview I did with their guitarist, Graham Brooks, he said that they wanted to explore a heavier direction in the future.

They’ve certainly done this on Endless Howl.

Again we have the mixture of angular riffs and melodic flourish; it worked well on their début album so it’s good to see it carried forward to this EP.

The songs are heavier, faster and are all-round more Metal this time though, which is something the band have successfully developed in their sound. The first song In the Hour of the Wolf doesn’t sound too far from At the Gates if they had a Progressive influence.

The heavily melodic nature of some of the music combined with the screaming vocals lends their sound a Black Metal/Shoegaze aspect which was entirely absent from their début. Smoke from the Earth is a great example of this and could almost be a Deafheaven tune.

The vocals still contribute harsh shouting screams, but this time they’re joined by the odd growl here and there. The growls are performed extremely well and the progression in screams is noticeable; they sounded perfectly good on the début but on this EP they’re even better. Completely gone are the clean vocals.

I’m glad that Barishi have incorporated more Metal without losing too much of what made them so interesting and individual in the first place. However, the Progressive and Jazz elements are less pronounced this time as something had to give due to the increased Metal influence. They are still there though in places and played immaculately, as always.

This is a very enjoyable collection of songs, showcasing a band that are truly finding their direction. Tight playing and focused songwriting means that the band sound even better than they did on their début.

The more Metal-oriented direction seems to have turned out to be a winner. Where do they go from here? Personally I would like to see their next release merge the Metal of their current incarnation with the more Jazz/Progressive tendencies of their début. If they manage to do this successfully then they’ll be untouchable.

Barishi have really impressed with this EP. An essential purchase.

Favourite Track: Snakeboat. Good songwriting and some strange, atypical atmospheric riffing that gets under your skin to create a tense and nervous listening experience.

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.

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!

Divine Zero – The Cold Asylum (Review)

Divine ZeroDivine Zero come from Germany and play Death Metal. This is their second album.

Divine Zero have a singer that alternates between deep growls and high shrieks, sometimes within the same sentence. It’s schizophrenic and harsh. The high screams have a bit of At The Gates about them and both styles sound top quality.

Ostensibly a Melodic Death Metal band, Divine Zero have enough brutality in them to satisfy fans of harder Metal also. It may be melodic but it’s also aggressive.

The songs have plenty of tasty riffs and the trade off between melody and brutality is handled well, with even a smidgen of Thrash being thrown into the mix. Everything’s played to a high standard and there are lots of things included to hook the listener and capture the attention.

The riffs are interesting and quite varied, with everything between modern Metal and Old-School Thrash having a look-in at various points. I also like that the solos are bountiful and emphatic.

A strong sound rounds off a strong package and Divine Zero have produced a very enjoyable album. It reminds me of turn-of-the-millenium Metal like Dew Scented and Withering Surface.

If you’re put off Melodic Death Metal as you think most bands who play the style sound watered down and/or too commercial then give Divine Zero a listen, you won’t be disappointed.