Suppression – Chained and Dragged (Review)

SuppressionThis is the début EP from New Zealand Metal band Suppression.

This is Groove Metal in the vein of Lamb of God, Vision of Disorder and Dead Earth Politics.

The vocals vary between clean singing and shouts. The cleans are a little more muted than the norm and work really well as understated enhancements or choruses – somewhat akin to the Vision of Disorder singer’s style. The shouting is similar to the Lamb of God singer, only not quite as deep. Both sound good and do their jobs well.

The music is riff-heavy and groove-laden, although the band still find space to insert melody and leads where necessary to give the songs an added dimension. They also have guitar solos, which is always something that I appreciate.

Supression tread the line between the commercial and something a bit rougher. Their style is of the sort that bands like Lamb of God, Vision of Disorder, Chimaira, etc. played just before they got bigger. This doesn’t mean that Suppression will also hit the big time, of course, but given the right label backing and a tightening/tidying up of their sound it’s at least possible.

I have enjoyed this EP and it shows great promise for the future.

Check them out.

Favourite Track: Fuel the Pit.

Prayed and Betrayed – The Abundance of a Sickened Mind (Review)

Prayed and BetrayedPrayed and Betrayed are from Finland and this is their second EP.

With a striking cover that screams New-School, this is modern Melodic Death Metal with a healthy dose of heaviness.

The Abundance of a Sickened Mind has a very good recording that allows the band to sound punchy and fresh. This EP sounds confident and bold, which is what you want for this style of music.

There are three songs on this release and each of them boast a strong sound and a good grasp of melodics and songwriting. They’re quite good for instant gratification but also for a bit of longevity as the songs themselves are pretty decent and can last the course.

The melodic side of the band is constant but not overt, meaning that you don’t get swamped with overly-melodic riffs or sickly-sweet sounding passages. This is because the band offset it with a core of heaviness that relies on thick riffs that are rooted in modern Metal.

The combination of modern Metal rhythm guitars and more traditional Metal leads mean that Prayed and Betrayed have a foot in both camps; while this could in theory lead to a muddled identity in reality it works well with the band coming off as a firm hit rather than a floundering miss. In this sense I’d compare them to Dead Earth Politics who also effortlessly combine the old and the new into something fresh.

Prayed and Betrayed have created a very enjoyable calling card. Now all we need is a full album to really see what they’re truly capable of.

Interview with Dead Earth Politics

Dead Earth Politics Logo

Dead Earth Politics have recently released their extremely sexy EP The Queen of Steel. They’re rightly receiving rave reviews about this collection of tracks, so it seemed like a good idea to dig in deep and get some more information on this red hot little band…

Introduce yourself!

Horns and Hails! This is Ven – lead vocals for Dead Earth politics!

How did the band form?

Will and Mason have actually known each other for years. They met our former guitarist Ernie in the earlier part of this century. They jammed in various roles under the monikers “Grunt” and “Dirtbox”. I joined up in 2005 and shortly thereafter we became “Dead Earth Politics”!

What are your influences?

Huuuuuuge range. Mine personally are Matt Barlow, Peter Steel, Elton John (1970’s preferably), David Vincent, Brian Howe, Bruce Dickinson and just too many others really to name. It would be a boring read.

DEP Queen of SteelWhat are you listening to right now that you want to recommend?

I have been jamming The Animals, Huntress, Loreena McKennitt, Nekrogoblikon and Kobra and the Lotus as of late. I recommend them all – more than that, I recommend listening to anything you can wrap your ears around. Pay attention to locals! In my player now there are local (Austin) favorites like Death Will Tremble, Headcrusher and Critical Assembly.

Give us some background to your latest EP.

Having inducted Tim Driscoll into this thing we do we finally began amassing a decent amount of new tunes. We are, however, meticulous and picky. Rather than waiting four MORE years for a third release we decided to hammer out the three tracks that we felt best defined our direction. Whether these define a “Dead Earth Politics” sound or just the sound of this EP, we aren’t sure. Now that we also have Aaron Canady on second axe, his influence, I expect, will be quite heavy in the writing process as well.

Talk to us about the artwork.

I thought of the concept as a means to visually transition our audience into where we are. I love “The Weight of Poseidon” and will always. However, I think our take on our art has matured and grown more intricate. Having “The Queen” straddling Poseidon and skewering him with his own trident seemed to be the least subtle way we could get idea across that things were changing. Subtlety is our enemy.

What’s your writing process for the songs?

Usually, someone will bring in a song and show us the pieces. We then hack that composition into a thousand, unrecognizable pieces and use spit and glue to put them together in a seemingly random order. Then, we argue about it. Then we record. Then we argue more. And forever.

Are you pleased with how the EP turned out?

I AM TOTALLY STOKED ABOUT THIS FRIGGIN EP. Way beyond my expectations.

On your Bandcamp page you’re offering this EP as a Buy Now Pay What You Want download – why did you decide to go this route instead of charging a minimum price?

Dead Earth Politics BandWe kind of feel like we, in some ways, are hitting a ‘reset’ button. We want people interested in our tunes to have unimpeded access to the album. If someone digs us enough and is hellbent on not paying they will download the album anyways – might as well be able to track the downloads so we can monitor our numbers and keep in touch with ’em!

Your combination of modern Metal with classic Metal influences works really well for these three songs. How are you going to develop this for your next release?

We aren’t going to develop that specifically. I think this came to be in the first place because we don’t discriminate riffs. Meaning, in previous bands I or someone else might bring in a kick ass tune. Everyone else could be like, “That kicks ass, but it doesn’t sound like us.” We don’t do that. If it rocks, it rocks. If that mode lends the continued Maiden/Lamb of God-type sound for future release then cool. My thoughts are that it will likely change in some aspects.

What’s next for Dead Earth Politics? What does the future hold?

We have a show at the Dirty Dog with Anvil on April 14 and May 24 with Down at Emo’s East – Both in Austin! We also have a show at The Rail May 16 in Fort Worth. As for the grander scale, we are furiously writing and we hope to be recording yet another EP before or by the year’s end!


Dead Earth Politics – The Queen of Steel (Review)

Dead Earth PoliticsDead Earth Politics are from the US and play modern Thrash/Groove Metal.

This is southern-tinged Modern Metal in the style of Lamb of God, et al, only with a slightly more Metal twist and some nice melodic choruses. Look at the album cover. Look at the song titles. There is no weak pseudo-Metal here.

Said melodic choruses are not of the sickly, saccharine variety; instead they’re all about the Metal and owe more to Pantera than the more modern Metalcore clones.

The riffs are good and the songs have plenty of energy. The band also don’t shy away from solos, which is always a welcome thing to hear.

The vocals are modern Metal shouting, combined with the aforementioned cleans with some even verging on Power Metal territory. Almost.

I’ve seen this band described as a cross between classic Metal and New American Metal and I think this description fits. Either way this short 3 track EP has the songs to play in the big leagues and is clearly the result of talented minds.

An enjoyable EP, and if they can harness this energy and songwriting finesse then whatever upcoming album they may be working on should be well worth a listen. Based on this release I’m looking forward to what they do next.

A modern take on fantasy Metal? Works for me.