Coraxo – Starlit Flame II (Review)

CoraxoCoraxo are from Finland and play Industrial Death/Black Metal. This is their second EP.

Their first EP was not without its charms and this latest release sees them expand on their earlier efforts.

The sound has improved this time around with the songs sounding fuller and more polished. The band are clearly becoming more comfortable with their style and are even more confident in their approach these days.

The music continues to be a cross of bands like Dimmu Borgir and Neurotech. This means we get a good combination of dance-floor beats and faster, more aggressive sounds as the band uses both methods of attack to get their story across.

The vocals are sharp, high-pitched screeches that lash out at the listener like wires in a storm. These have improved on the previous EP and sound really good.

Keyboards and effects lurk just behind the central music and provide highlights and accompaniment to the Blackened tunes.

This is a band that continues to develop nicely and this EP should see them winning over a slew of new fans.

Have a listen and see what you think.

H5N1 – A Time of No Tomorrows (Review)

H5N1H5N1 are from Canada and play Death Metal with an Industrial feel and an apocalyptic vibe.

The album artwork is a bit disturbing and atypical, and H5N1’s music follows suit.

This is apocalyptic and gloomy as Hell. They have a dirty sound that conjures images of toxic smoke clouds and vast factories mechanising the art of death.

Theirs is almost a Black Metal sound in the sense that it’s quite underground and raw, but instead of a typical Black Metal offering it’s filled with barbed Death Metal and brutal, guttural vocals.

A Time of No Tomorrows strays even further from the normal Death Metal sound by employing occasional keyboards to provide sinister punctuation to the tracks, as well as the fact that the band employ a dual bass assault that keeps things both heavy and filthy.

H5N1 have done something quite admirable in that they have taken the standard Death Metal template and made it their own. This is not a band that you can easily provide comparisons with other bands for. Most comparisons sharing a similar creative mindspace will probably come from the Black Metal genre rather than the Death Metal one, as this kind of lo-fi, evil music tends to be more Black Metal’s thing. Even Ævangelist who could be a provisional reference point are only marginally suitable as H5N1 have much more of a sterile, cold, industrial evil to them than the direction that Ævangelist have chosen.

H5N1 have created a noxious, pernicious album that is a good listen in its own right but heralds even better things to come in the future from this band I feel. Definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Give them a listen 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.