Allegaeon – Apoptosis (Review)

Allegaeon - ApoptosisThis is the fifth album from US death metallers Allegaeon.

This is the eagerly awaited follow up to 2016’s Proponent for Sentience, and what a follow up it is. Apoptosis ramps up the band’s impact to maximum and delivers an extremely impressive record. Continue reading

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Children of Bodom – Hexed (Review)

Children of Bodom - HexedChildren of Bodom are a melodic death metal band from Finland and this is their tenth album.

My relationship with Children of Bodom up to this point can be summarised like so –

  • Hatebreeder (1999) – Wow, yeah! Such a damn good album. I really like this band.
  • Hate Crew Death Roll (2003) – The band just continue to get better!
  • Are You Dead Yet? (2005) – Oh no. What happened here? It’s okay I suppose, but not really my thing.
  • Halo of Blood (2013) – Not too bad, but not too good either.

And now we have Hexed. Yes, there are other albums too, in addition to the ones mentioned above, but you get the general idea.

Hexed contains 45 minutes of rocking melodeath, which consists of ten new tracks and, curiously, a reworking of an older song, (Knuckleduster). My verdict? It seems Children of Bodom have returned to the quality levels of the late 90s/early 00s. Yes, you read that right.

Prominent, expressive keyboards work wonders with the material. Songs that are catchy and memorable tear out from the music like bladed predators scything through the airwaves. Old school rock and metal elements are captured in the band’s electrifying songs, especially in the melodies used. Aggressive, energetic, and melodic, Hexed is full of good tunes and confident attitude.

I’m impressed. I’m very pleased to say that the band sound revitalised, despite how much of a cliché that probably comes across as. The album art suggested something along these lines when I first saw it, but the music firmly backs it up.

Hexed is Children of Bodom’s best album in years. I feel like I’ve rediscovered an old friend.

Soilwork – Verkligheten (Review)

Soilwork - VerklighetenThis is the eleventh album from Soilwork, a veteran Swedish metal band.

Soilwork’s eleventh album mixes melodic death metal with fat grooving riffs and a hard rock sensibility that sits at the heart of the band, allowing them to straddle the worlds of metal and rock quite effectively. Having said that, it should be clarified that the rock aspects of this album are mainly hidden underneath a firmly metal veneer; they inform, without overpowering. Continue reading

Solium Fatalis – Genetically Engineered to Enslave (Review)

Solium Fatalis - Genetically Engineered to EnslaveThis is the fourth album from Solium Fatalis, a US death metal band.

Here we have 43 minutes of tasty and aggressive melodic blackened death metal. That may be a bit of a mouthful to say, but the music of Solium Fatalis rolls freely from the speakers and is quite easy to enjoy. Continue reading

Depths of Hatred – Bloodguilt (Review)

Depths of HatredDepths of Hatred are a Canadian death metal band and this is their latest EP.

Here we have 22 minutes of Depths of Hatred’s brand of punishing intensity. Mixing together multiple strains of death metal with some decent character and a professional recording, the band’s modern attack is easy to recommend. Continue reading

Second to Sun – The Black (Review)

Second to SunThis is the fourth album from Russian blackened melodic death metal band Second to Sun.

Apparently this is a rerecording of the band’s 2016 release Blackbound, with added vocals, and other differences. I was totally unfamiliar with Second to Sun’s work prior to listening to The Black, so I can’t comment on how this relates to Blackbound, other than to say that it does. Continue reading

The Agony Scene – Tormentor (Review)

The Agony SceneThe Agony Scene are a US metal band and this is their fourth album.

Tormentor is the first release from The Agony Scene since 2007’s Get Damned. I always liked this band’s razor-sharp take on modern metal, so it’s great to hear them make a return. Continue reading

Oubliette – The Passage (Review)

OublietteOubliette are a melodic black metal band from the US and this is their second album.

As well as featuring members of bands such as Enfold Darkness and Inferi, Oubliette also have a member of the always impressive Battle Path in their ranks. Oubliette are a somewhat different proposition than the expansive post-metal of the guitarist’s other band, however. Continue reading

Coiled Around Thy Spine – Shades (Review)

Coiled Around Thy SpineCoiled Around Thy Spine are an Italian/US death metal band and this is their debut album.

Here we have some scorching melodic death metal, full of blisteringly hot leads and molten solos. In many ways the guitar is the real star of this show, and across 50 minutes of bright, energetic material, it shines brightly. Continue reading