Mothersloth – Moribund Star (Review)

MotherslothMothersloth are from Spain and this is their début album. They play (mostly) Instrumental Stoner/Doom Metal.

This album combines Doom, Sludge and Stoner with a bit of Progressive Rock to create an album that is much better than most albums without a vocalist has any right to be.

The band seem to have a finely judged sense of dynamics and pacing and the songwriting is of a very high standard, especially considering this is only their first album.

They have immense heavy riffs that are also catchy and memorable, as has to be the case for an instrumental band of this type. They’re not entirely predictable riffs either as they do throw in the odd curveball and unexpected touch here and there.

With a crisp, clear sound the band get to shine strongly as the groovy sounds roll out of the speakers.

If the band merely concentrated on the Stoner side of their sound this would be a good release, but it’s the fact that they also incorporate other styles that brings things up to another level. The tempo and time changes, the more Progressive riffs and the more complex arrangements that complement the basic structure of this style makes for a compelling listen.

The final song Dry Tears does actually feature vocals. These are clean and confident; like the rest of the album they’re perfectly judged and executed.

This album has surprised me with just how good it is. I highly recommend this for anyone into any style of heavy music. If they can keep this level of quality up and get a bit more exposure then I can easily imagine big things in the future for this band. Top work.

Australasia – Vertebra (Review)

AustralasiaAustralasia are from Italy and play Post-Black Metal Shoegaze.

Well, I love the album cover, so that’s a good start.

These are largely short compositions although they have all of the time they need to make themselves felt.

These are songs that are as emotive and translucent as any in the style. They take the listener through the usual gamut of emotions typical of Shoegaze releases of this nature.

Post-Black Metal comes about when Black Metal and Post-Metal meet, as can be expected from the name. The addition of the Shoegaze tag usually specifies something similar, only in my experience tends to mean that the band have a fragile, brittle sense about them; not in any negative way but rather in the sense of everything being pushed and focused into making the songs as expressive and emotive as possible.

In Australasia’s case the emphasis is on the Post-Metal side of the equation rather than the Black Metal side, (although this aspect of their sound is still present). In addition to this the band also employ some Electronica influences and use this as a further aspect to their sound.

All of this describes Australasia perfectly as they have the hauntingly fragile delivery and highly evocative emotional appeal that typifies this kind of music. And they do all of it very, very well.

There are largely no vocals, so the instruments take centre stage. The only exception to this is some female vocals which are strong and assured; they appear very briefly as a small but important enhancement to a few tracks.

A recommended listen for seekers of sensation everywhere.

Luna – Ashes to Ashes (Review)

LunaHailing form the Ukraine, Luna play epic Symphonic Doom.

This is one single track, almost 57 minutes in length. It’s ambitious, epic and immense. If you’re a fan of bands like Monolithe you’ll love this.

The band boast a strong sound that they use to their every advantage as this weighty track unfolds.

Atmospheric Doom, Depressive auras, Funereal dirges, Egyptian-esque soundscapes, crushing riffs, symphonic stylings; this is a release with seemingly all bases covered.

This is splendid stuff, and so easy to get lost in. Rather than one long track it’s like listening to a full album of lengthy, (but numerous), songs and just sitting through the whole thing in one go.

Whether martial and marching or doomy and slow, the song works no matter what it does and ultimately the entire thing just sounds great. There are so many shades and textures on this album it’s simply stunning.

As you listen to it it’s easy to get swept along with the dark feelings the album evokes; it’s almost cinematic in scope and is thoroughly realised and executed. This is the aural equivalent of a massive Sci-fi scene that unfolds with grandeur and terrible awe.

There are no vocals, but they would probably just get in the way anyway. For a band like Luna the music is more than enough.

Haunting and special. A must listen.

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.

Fossils – Flesh Hammer (Review)

FossilsFossils are a two-piece drum/bass combo from Denmark that play instrumental Punk/Metal.

Flesh Hammer is the sound of controlled aggression and groovy tunes.

The bass has such a heavy, electronic quality to it that it’s almost like listening to a heavily distorted arcade game – and I say that purely as a compliment.

This is a short release at only 20 minutes, but this is all that’s needed when the creativity and imagination of the band is channelled so specifically into creating instrumental pieces that pile on the rhythm and heaviness. It just doesn’t have time to get dull.

An interesting and strangely addictive diversion from the well-trodden paths of the standard Metal music walkways; this will make a worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection.

Black Aces – Instru-Metal (Review)

Black AcesBlack Aces are from Brazil and the secret to what they play is cunningly hidden in the album title…

The band know how to play their instruments and write short, bouncy songs with plenty of energy and flair. Their sound is somewhat akin to how Korn would sound if they were instrumental and had more leads. Black Aces have that same kind of bass sound and drum/bass interaction that Korn used so well on their first album.

The band show considerable talent and potential for a début, especially from such a young group.

Hopefully the future will bring bright things for them.

Dinner Music for the Gods – Beautiful and Treacherous (Review)

dinner music for the godsDinner Music for the Gods are from the US and play exotic instrumental Jazzed-up Metal.

This is eclectic and worldly Metal, with all kinds of different tempos and moods throughout. The band are adept at creating special atmospheres with their music rather akin to the feeling of different types of scenes in films. One can imagine slinking through high-class society, relaxing with the upper echelons and mixing with the elite.

This 47 minute album takes you on a tour through glamour and glitz, intrigue and drama. The destinations are heady and the journey fraught with danger, but for brave entrepreneurs it’s all worth it.

This could almost be movie soundtrack music.

The guitars gallop, solos are omnipresent and the drums and bass lock everything down. The band use their musicianship to traverse multiple styles across these 8 tracks; the core is one of guitar-based Rock/Metal but this is only the starting point on an expedition that takes in such genres as World Music, Flamenco and Jazz, to name but a few. Their musical skills and know-how are beyond reproach.

This is a good album to drive to; as the scenery changes so does the music. Have a listen and let them take you to a world of ballrooms and parties.

http://www.reverbnation.com/dinnermusicforthegods

Mahogany Head Grenade – Return to the Point of Departure (Review)

Mahogany Head GrenadeProgressive Metal from the US; Mahogany Head Grenade offer us 31 minutes of virtuoso Instrumental Metal.

This is a very guitar-driven release played by people who obviously know how to play; and play they do.

The guitar sound is crisp and precise, which goes for the rest of the instruments also. The songs mainly hover about the 6-7 minute mark and are well thought-out compositions. There are some good flourishes in the songs and interesting parts aplenty.

The melodies used are easy to listen to and the band, (a trio), gel together nicely so that everything seems to be moving as one, even when there is a lot going on.

There are a multitude of samples used on the tracks, which in some way are used in place of a vocalist. They do the job well enough and fit the style of the music.

The songs hold attention and are full of enjoyable Progressive Metal that is written well enough to not need a singer to be the anchor point. Here’s to more of this in the future.