Nexus – The Taint (Review)

NexusNexus are an Italian Gothic/industrial rock band and this is their debut album.

Taking an electronic and keyboard powered approach to their music, The Taint is an enjoyable trip to places that I haven’t visited in quite some time. Continue reading

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The Promise of Plague – Sleepwalking into Armageddon (Review)

The Promise of PlagueThe Promise of Plague are an industrial black metal band from the US. This is their debut release.

Featuring members of Fatal Step, Astrum, Empyrean Asunder and the mighty Abominant, here we have 16 minutes of raw black metal with industrial/modern influences that place it somewhere between the underground and a more accessible area; not quite polished and commercial, but potentially getting there. Continue reading

Aborym – Shifting.negative (Review)

AborymThis is the seventh Aborym album. They play industrial metal and hail from Italy.

I love Aborym’s earlier work, but after Generator I lost track of the band unfortunately, so Shifting.negative is my first experience with them in about ten years or so. What a shocking omission on my part! This review will inevitably come from this viewpoint, as I have missed out on their last two albums, which would probably, (I imagine), have given me a more smoother transition to the current incarnation of Aborym. Continue reading

Dawn of Ashes – Theophany (Review)

Dawn of AshesThis is the fifth album from this US black metal band.

Dawn of Ashes play modern, professional, industrial black metal with plenty of keyboard/electronic enhancements. Kind of coming across as a mix of Dimmu Borgir, Deathstars and Neurotech, this is heavy, rhythmic and quite catchy. Continue reading

Alexanred – Always Active (Review)

AlexanredAlexanred are from Finland and this is their début album. They play Industrial Rock/Metal.

This is catchy and atmospheric Industrial/Electonica-tinged Metal. If you think of bands like Neurotech and Deathstars, remove the Black Metal side and mix this with a Nine Inch Nails influence instead, you’ll have a good starting point for the band.

The tracks mostly hover around the 3 minute mark meaning that the songs are largely to the point and hook the listener in quite quickly. The music is quite emotive and has an atmospheric quality to it that recalls some of Devin Townsend’s work on occasion, (but only occasionally).

Always Active has a professional sound that befits music of this nature. It’s a powerful and driving sound that seems to push the songs along as much as it works for them.

The vocals vary from whispered, semi-spoken word parts to sung cleans and to event the odd shout. He sounds at his best when he’s singing though, as the spoken parts seem a little forced/repetitive sometimes.

This is a good début album, and if Alexanred can build on this then the next album should be very good indeed.

Solitary Crusade – Future (Review)

Solitary CrusadeSolitary Crusade are from Italy and play Metal that combines a few different genres into a satisfying whole.

This is somewhere between modern Cyber-Metal in the style of Devolved and Fear Factory, and Techno-Black Metal such as Neurotech and Deathstars. There is also a pleasing European Power Metal feel to some of the parts, both guitar and vocals.

A decent-length EP at 24 minutes, the band showcase what they can do in 4 songs, (plus a perfunctory intro).

This is quite catchy and ably executed; there are some well written riffs and melodies, and the keyboards/effects are used well.

I particularly enjoyed Imaginary World, as this song in particular makes a good job of mashing up the disparate influences of Cyber- , Techno- and Power Metal into a coherent whole.

Check them out and see what you think.

Coraxo – Starlit Flame (Review)

CoraxoComing from Finland, Coraxo play Industrial Death Metal with a strong Aliens theme running through the tracks on this release.

After a suitable intro we get first song Signal Detected which positively bounces along in a jolly, sci-fi kind of way; melodic Death Metal under a covering of electronics and effects; like At The Gates/Dark Tranquillity and The Kovenant/Deathstars/Neurotech fighting it out.

There are some pleasing riffs churned out, with the effects adding additional depth without smothering the actual Metal. This is a band using the electronica to enhance the Metal and the theme of the songs rather than to be a novelty or for wider commercial appeal.

With this kind of music there is a lot that can go wrong, and as usual this is very subjective so it does depend on the interpretation of the listener of course, (as always). For me this EP tends to largely be on the right side of the potential hazards; the electronics and effects are prominent but not overbearing; the guitars have substance and are not just there for show; the vocalist has bite and is not interested in being the next Marilyn Manson; the music is dark enough to avoid any potential “Cheese Factor”. I’m calling victory here.

The more I listen to this the more I fall for its charms. It has its own character and personality. It’s also very catchy in places. Xenotaph in particular. Tacked on the end of the EP is a cover of Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist that ends proceedings nicely.

If your taste in Metal runs to the less-conventional then check out Coraxo and see if you fall for their sci-fi sound.