Unanswered – Heliosphere (Review)

UnansweredUnanswered are from Poland and play Djent/Deathcore.

This is energetic and suitably face ripping in nature. It blasts out of the cage with a strong sound and no qualms about who it attacks.

I’m not a massive fan of Djent as I think it’s too easy to be mediocre, but this only has a sprinkling of Djent mixed with the Deathcore and it works for me.

The band have a nicely heavy sound and aren’t afraid to layer melodies over the heaviness, further distilling the Djent-isms and adding depth to what otherwise might be random riffs strung together.

These melodies have a Post-Metal quality to them that’s nice to hear when juxtaposed against the heavier, chunky riffs that make up the bedrock of the band’s output. Added electronics/keyboards further enhance their sound and it’s a credit to their songwriting that it all congeals together into a cohesive whole.

These songs have a good groove to them and there’s enough bite to satisfy. It’s distinctly non-commercial, with the main aim of the band to destroy what lies in their path.

The singer has a brutal set of lungs and shouts and growls himself hoarse as he keeps up with the rest of the music. Some semi-cleans appear on the last song and it seems that Unanswered have even more potential than we might have seen so far.

This has surprised me and I’m pleased to say it’s surpassed my expectations. Both Djent and Deathcore are much maligned in a lot of people’s minds, but Unanswered give a good account of themselves and it would be a shame if they were dismissed out of hand due to this.

Heliosphere is an enjoyable twelve and a half minutes of modern Heavy music and Unanswered are definitely one of the better bands to play this style.

Give them a listen and see if their immense groove and spectral soundscapes can impress you as it has done me.

Insense – De:Evolution (Review)

InsenseInsense are from Norway and play a highly developed form of Modern Metal. They combine elements of multiple genres of heavy music, from Djent to Thrash to Sludge to Progressive Metal and others in between.

Well this is very nice indeed. Heavy, emotive and not afraid of striding boldly into territories avoided by a lot of bands.

The vocals are agonised cries, soft crooning, semi-cleans, powerful melodics, gruff shouting…essentially whatever the song needs; it’s a very personal and distinctive performance that immediately makes apparent the man’s talent. The moment his vocals make an entrance on the first track Part I- Conception I’m hooked straight away. This keeps up for the rest of the album and his vocals bleed charisma and character.

The music doesn’t slack behind either; none of the songs are especially long but every one of them seems committed to ringing out every last drop of emotion and feeling from the guitars. The tracks are all tightly focused balls of energy and in the hands of this clearly talented band there’s no need for longer songs – there’s absolutely no filler here.

Reference points? Wide ranging really; I can hear bits of In Flames, Fear Factory, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Mnemic, Slipknot, Darkane, Nevermore…I could go on, but you get the idea; polished, diverse and heavy whilst retaining melodics and soul. A smattering of modern European Power Metal; a bit of Djent in the riffs; wildly energised heavy riffing; stirring and memorable vocals…so much about this recording can be praised.

The sound is suitably huge and massive with everything coming through crystal clear and every sludgy riff sounding crushing and effective.

Quite frankly this album is an absolute revelation. If you were to cut it open it would have the words QUALITY stamped all the way through it in big letters.

Heartily recommended; you need to get this album.

 

Júlio Stotz – Suspended in Reverie (Review)

Julio StotzJúlio Stotz is from Brazil and plays piano-heavy instrumental Progressive Metal.

I’m not a massive fan of Djent, as I find most Djent bands become really generic really quickly; however the Djent influence on this EP is more of a side-dish than the main meal and as such it works for this release instead of against it.

These tracks are largely relaxed and laid back; they know exactly what they want to achieve and know there is no point in rushing things. Even when the larger than life guitars and double bass are blaring out the songs retain a serene atmosphere.

The compositions are clearly from a musically mature mind and the juxtaposition of the ambient and classical sounds with the Djent influence works well.

This EP is four songs in 17 minutes and is a worthwhile listen for anyone looking for some atmospheric mood Metal.

Give it a try.

Xehanort – Awaken in a Different Dimension (Review)

xehanortI’m not a massive fan of djent. it’s too easy to be mediocre it seems. Xehanort however, belong to a small subset of bands, (such as Xerath and Carthage), who take their humble djenty beginnings and do something worthwhile with it.

So; imagine a heavy-as-hell Death Metal band with some djenty riffs; add a layer of electronics, keyboards and atmosphere; sprinkle in some ethereal clean vocals and cover it all in a complex concept and you’ll arrive at Xehanort’s debut album. And all this from just one person.

This is a top quality recording. The guitars are monolithic and very well played. There is plenty of guitar dexterity and technical wizardry occuring alongside the thick, immense tone of the core heaviness.

One of the failings of djent can be a tendency to stick to the same pace, but Xehanort know when to blast and when to slow down. Each song has levels of added interest as well from the various effects, keyboards, etc. These add to the spice and flavour of the songs rather than fouling it, and never detract from the crushing, moshing, guitar-based core of the band.

Apart from the odd clean vocal as mentioned previously, the main style is deep, brutal, Death Metal grunts, accentuated with high pitched screams that are used tactically throughout.

This may have its basis in djent territory but some serious thought has gone into the construction of this album. If it wasn’t for the modern djent influences this would be classified as atmospheric Death Metal, and probably really should be. All I know is that it’s good and it hits the spot. Give it a try.

Tesseract – Concealing Fate

tesseractDo you like a bit of djent, but find most bands who play it sound the same?  Then Tesseract could could be the band for you. This EP from 2010, with a different singer to now, mixes the djent style with a more progressive edge to create a very enjoyable experience across the 27 minutes it plays for.

The EP is essentially one long song broken into 6 parts, and thankfully their skill is equal to their ambition.  Initially when I listened to this album I thought it was okay, but was not until subsequent listens that I decided that I did indeed very much enjoy it.

If you’re looking for your metal with a slightly different feel than average then check them out.

http://tesseractband.co.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/user/Tesseractproject

Xerath – II

xerathIIElements of djent, atmospheric black metal, and modern metal collide to create a hugely enjoyable 56 minutes-or-so of music.  Like all good albums it’s a grower too and takes its time to worm its way into your subconscious.

Favourite track? The last one – The Glorious Death: I – Divine Rapture, II – A New Awakening – 8:33 of cinematic metal that makes me very happy I discovered this talented band.

Interested?  Check them out  –

http://www.xerath.net/

https://www.facebook.com/xerathuk