Iapetus – The Long Road Home (Review)

IapetusThis is the debut album from Iapetus, a progressive death metal band from the US.

Okay, here we have – deep breath – atmospheric, progressive, melodic death metal. Well, that wasn’t so bad, actually. Continue reading

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Maloic – Death (Review)

MaloicMaloic are an Indian death metal band and this is their debut album.

This is melodic death metal with folk elements. Featuring influences from traditional Indian music, Maloic are reminiscent of the early/mid 90s death metal era, where bands were experimenting with the core genre to include wider styles.  Continue reading

Dark Tranquillity – Atoma (Review)

Dark TranquillityThis is the eleventh album by Dark Tranquillity, a melodic death metal band from Sweden.

Now this is the stuff. Dark Tranquillity know what they’re doing. I’ve been a fan of this band for a long, long time, but somehow haven’t kept up with their last couple of outings, so it feels great to reconnect with them on this release. Continue reading

Karnak Seti – The Distance That Made Us Cold (Review)

Karnak SetiKarnak Seti are from Portugal and play melodic/groove metal. This is their third album.

The Distance That Made Us Cold is an album that bursts out of the speakers with a strong and confident sound, polished to perfection but not lacking in some underground grit when the songs need it. Continue reading

Fall – The Insatiable Weakness (Review)

FallThis is the début album from US Progressive/Melodic Death Metallers Fall.

Featuring a strong sound, this is an album full of emotive Melodic Death Metal that is enhanced by keyboards and Progressive Metal tendencies.

There’s a bit of everything on here, from highly melodic guitars, to blasting drums, to liquid guitar solos, to introspective refrains, to Modern Thrash workouts.

The vocals vary from shouted growls to soaring cleans. Both are performed extremely well and very professionally.

With a beguiling mix of heaviness and catchiness, The Insatiable Weakness combines the hooks and passion of the European Metal scene with the heavy delivery and modern sheen of the American, resulting in an album that takes equal parts from both.

Fall make the type of music that bands like In Flames, Soilwork, (whose drummer features on this album), Darkane, Dark Tranquillity, et al, are so well-known for and add a Progressive/darker Extreme Metal edge to it. For anyone that enjoys the more commercial side of Melodic Death Metal, but favours more heaviness and extremity in their music, then The Insatiable Weakness is for you.

Highly recommended.

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

Revenge Division – The New Generation (Review)

Revenge DivisionRevenge Division are a Slovakian Metal band and this is their début album.

As the album title suggests, this is modern Metal but with a lot more earth and grit than is the norm.

Revenge Division have a rough and ready sound that’s nowhere near as polished as you might think for this kind of band. It adds a rustic charm to their aggressive Metal that wouldn’t be there had they opted for a more polished production.

The songs are halfway between Melodic Death Metal and a more modern version of the same. It’s almost Metalcore but I’m loathe to describe it as such as that genre tag has a lot of negative connotations, deservedly or not.

Modern Metal is a better descriptor than Metalcore really, but in either case it’s only part of their sound. A non-commercial Metalcore perhaps? Regardless, the Melodic Death Metal aspect of the music is prominent enough to be the main focus in many ways.

The vocals are quite varied, mainly featuring different types of growls and shouts as well as some higher screams. Cleaner vocals also appear – sometimes they share the same unpolished and rough texture that the music overall has, but sometimes, (first appearing on Satan’s Bride), they completely break from this and ring out pure and true, also with operatic female accompaniment. Quite unexpected but not unwelcome.

Decent riffs with lots of leads and solos abound.

For fans of Dark Tranquillity, Darkane, Withering Surface, etc.

 

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.

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!

Arcturon – Expect Us (Review)

ArcturonArcturon are from Switzerland and this is their latest EP. They play Melodic Metal.

With this EP they give us 4 tracks lasting a total of just under 17 minutes.

This is upbeat Metal with a modern slant and added keyboards/effects. Think Dark Tranquillity as well as bands like In Flames, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Darkane, etc.

These four songs are well-written and well-presented tracks that are on the more commercial side of Metal but if you don’t mind that then there’s a good amount of enjoyment to be had from them.

The singer has a good voice and switches between shouting and singing with ease. It’s designed to promote emotive responses and as long as you’re amenable to the genre it does the job.

This is the kind of band I could imagine getting a good degree of success if they have the right backing/are in the right place at the right time/etc. They have this particular genre of Metal down pat and inject enough variety and personality into the formula to make it work.

Give them a listen and see what you think.