Endogenic – Hunter (Review)

EndogenicEndogenic are a Norwegian metal band and this is their debut album.

Endogenic play groove/thrash metal with a sprinkling of death metal added in here and there for good measure. Following on from the likes of Pantera, Lamb of God, etc., Hunter is 41 minutes of hard-rocking riffs, tasty grooves and loud beats. Continue reading

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Devil Gone Public – Smokehound (Review)

Devil Gone PublicThis is the debut album from US metal band Devil Gone Public.

Devil Gone Public play stoner/groove metal with a Southern flavour. Imagine a mix of Orange Goblin, Lamb of God, Red Fang, Black Tusk, Mastodon, Corrosion of Conformity and Down – this should give you a good starting point for what Devil Gone Public sound like.

The songs Continue reading

Outright Resistance – Me Vs I (Review)

Outright ResistanceOutright Resistance are a UK metal band and this is their latest EP.

After a rather embarrassing intro track, the rest of the EP is, thankfully, better. This is Pantera/Lamb of God/Chimaira inspired metal that’s all youthful enthusiasm and energy.

The band have the right approach for this kind of music, starting with some decent riffs and Continue reading

Monument of a Memory – Catharsis (Review)

Monument of a MemoryMonument of a Memory are from the US and play modern metal. This is their second EP.

This is modern metalcore with plenty of aggression and heaviness. The foundation of NWOAHM is intact and added to by some heavier and faster parts, which is always nice to hear.

With a strong sound the band rip through Continue reading

Death Lullaby – Wormz (Review)

Death LullabyDeath Lullaby are a Canadian Metal band and this is their début album.

This is modern Metal/djent that takes no prisoners with its heavy assault.

Stylistically the band are somewhat of a crossbreed between djent and NWOAHM. This is to their benefit; djent by itself is a very easy sub-genre to do badly, but here the limitations of the style are made up for by the more Metal influences of the modern/NWOAHM elements. The end result is songs that still might be a bit too much for some naysayers of djent, but for me strikes the right balance.

Continue reading

Systemhouse33 – Regression (Review)

Systemhouse33Systemhouse33 are a Metal band from India. This is their latest album.

Their previous release Depths of Despair was an enjoyable, albeit brief, romp through all things heavy and modern, and Regression continues the theme but ups the stakes.

At a slightly longer 30 minutes in length, the band have further refined their blend of modern Metal and Metalcore/Hardcore/Death Metal influences into a potent blend of muscular aggression.

The singer has a harsh snarl that fits well with the music and doesn’t allow for any compromise. He plainly means business and I like what he’s selling.

The songs chug, rumble and bludgeon their way through the playing time and there’s a decent amount of catchy riffs and heavy melodies involved.

Although I liked Depths of Despair this is an all-round more cohesive, focused and superior release; perfect for when you want some heavy, crushing, upbeat, groove-based music. Without too much extremity, but also without going the other way into commercial, sanitised waters, Systemhouse33 have hit the right spot and Regression is actually a positive move forward.

For fans of Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Whitechapel, Skinlab, Machine Head, Testament, Merauder, etc.

Ferium – Behind the Black Eyes (Review)

FeriumThis is the second album from Israeli Death/Groove Metal band Ferium.

Ferium’s début album Reflections was a lively and enjoyable album that mixed Death and Groove Metal in just the right amounts.

The first thing about Behind the Black Eyes that strikes me is that it’s a far more focused effort than their début; the total playing time, total number of songs and individual track lengths have all been pruned, showing a band who have gained experience in the last few years and have trimmed away the fat to leave a lean, aggressive Metal machine.

The band essentially employ the same format as they did previously – heavy riffs and groovy beats interspersed with elements of modern Metalcore and underscored by a Death Metal base – but this time it’s tighter and more direct. That’s not to say there’s no depth of songwriting here, rather, the band are now closer to the style they clearly want to play and are playing it as they know how best to do; with angry brutality and poised aggression.

The singer growls and barks his way through the tracks. He seems to have improved on his already very satisfactory earlier performance and on this latest release appears to have settled into his role even more comfortably than previously. His voice is quite versatile, with his many different vocalisations all intent on maximising aggression.

All of the songs are well written and demonstrate a band coming into their own. Interesting and nuanced riffs rub shoulders with simpler bruisers, resulting in satisfying songs that may take a direct approach but provide enough content so as to be worth returning to over time.

Well, Reflections was good, but this is better. Well done Ferium.

Highly recommended for fans of Whitechapel, Gojira, Lamb of God, Job for a Cowboy, Thy Art Is Murder, Meshuggah, etc.

Casket Robbery – Evolution of Evil (Review)

Casket RobberyThis is the début album by US Death Metallers Casket Robbery.

Casket Robbery play rhythmic Death Metal with a modern/groove Metal influence. They successfully incorporate into their assault elements of Lamb of God and Pantera along with those of Aborted and Kataklysm , as well as mixing in some European Metal influences that allow the band to inject some extra melodic streaks into the tracks that actually remind me of Septic Flesh in places.

Although there’s a lot of mid-paced grooving there’s also enough speed used to keep things varied. The melodic aspect, although not a huge part of their sound, furnishes the songs with enough leads and solos to add another tasty flavour to the tracks.

This is a release that’s heavy and full of riffs. It’s so easy to get carried along with the beat that before you know it your body starts with the twitching and spasming and there’s nowt to be done about it. Hmm, not the best way to describe toe-tappingly-good is it, but you get the idea…

Vocally the singer has an unfriendly snarl that pitches him between a growl and a scream. It matches the rhythmic muscularity of the music and cuts nicely deep into the meat of the matter.

After 37 minutes, some catchy songwriting and some memorable brutality later, Evolution of Evil has left a good impression. The band have produced a very enjoyable album that stands up to repeated listens well and positively encourages them.

Recommended.

Inner Sanctum – Legions Awake (Review)

Inner SanctumInner Sanctum are an Indian Thrash/Groove Metal band and this is their début album.

After a rather cinematic opener, Inner Sanctum reveal themselves in their full glory as Thrash/Groove Metal with some Death Metal influences included for added impact. Think the mid-00s-type NWOAHM, only with a darker, more classically Death Metal side to it that emphasises the European Melodic Death Metal heritage of the American style.

The album boasts a sexy, professional sound that’s polished and strong.

The singer has a gruff voice that shouts out with the best of them, occasionally including some semi-cleans that remind me of some of Darkane’s work in places.

The songs are well-written and it’s clear that these tracks have been constructed with care and enthusiasm. The Thrash and Groove influences never take over or embrace the mediocre side of both styles; Inner Sanctum play their brand of heaviness with vibrancy and passion. They deliver everything on here with skill and it’s clear that the band have the talent to succeed.

Legions Awake is a strong collection of songs that make a good impression and showcase a band who really know what they’re doing. If they were American and picked up by a large music label then they would get very far indeed, I think. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, so make sure you support them – bands like this deserve it.

For fans of – Pantera, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Shadows Fall, Darkest Hour, Legion of the Damned, Kreator, Arch Enemy, Testament, etc.