Frantic Amber – Bellatrix (Review)

Frantic Amber - BellatrixThis is the second album from Swedish melodic death metallers Frantic Amber.

Boasting ex-members of Insision and Ice Age in their ranks, Frantic Amber play death metal that combines melody and brutality into songs that are well-written and tight. Continue reading

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Eternal Storm – Come the Tide (Review)

Eternal Storm - Come the TideEternal Storm are a melodic death metal band from Spain and this is their debut album.

The band’s first release in 2013 – From the Ashes – showed a lot of promise, and they then followed this up in 2014 with a split that contributed a single track, showing even more promise. And then…nothing. Fast forward to 2019, however, and we now get an imposing 59 minutes of new material. The band have been busy, it seems. Continue reading

Monthly Overview – the Best of July 2019

It’s once more time to catch up with some of the best metal releases of the past month. Check out the albums below and let me know which one your favourite is. Continue reading

Carnifex – World War X (Review)

Carnifex - World War XThis is the seventh album from Carnifex, a US death metal band.

2016’s Slow Death was a real treat for fans of modern death metal, blending catchy songwriting with blackened melody and orchestration to produce a really enjoyable collection of songs. Although it contained elements of deathcore, as does this new one, Carnifex aren’t really a deathcore band these days – they’re far too melodic and have too much else going on, much to their credit. Continue reading

Haze of Summer – Stuzha (Review)

Haze of Summer - StuzhaThis is the second album from Russian post-black metal band Haze of Summer.

I enjoyed 2017’s Znoi, and on the band’s new release we get a further 33 minutes of melodic post-black metal. The album follows on from Znoi, even down to the tracklisting, which picks up where the last one left off. Continue reading

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 clich√© 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