Ice Age – Breaking the Ice (Review)

Ice AgeIce Age are a Swedish thrash metal band and this is their debut album.

This is old-school thrash metal, with some elements of power metal thrown in for good luck. Having said that, with songs as strong as the ones on Breaking the Ice, luck is not required here. Continue reading

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Wingless – The Blaze Within (Review)

WinglessWingless are a Polish metal band and this is their second album.

So strongly do I associate Poland with death metal, than upon seeing the album cover of The Blaze Within I immediately jumped to that conclusion with Wingless. Well, you know what they say about books and their covers… Continue reading

Xenosis – Sowing the Seeds of Destruction (Review)

XenosisThis is the second album by Xenosis, a Progressive Death Metal band from the US.

Here we have a thoroughly modern take on Extreme Metal, incorporating state-of-the-art Death Metal, (à la The Faceless), the Progressive and Technical styles, as well as a bit of Djent, Deathcore and Melodic Death/Thrash Metal thrown in for good measure. It’s not as eclectic as it sounds though and it all gels together nicely to produce an album that has a lot going for it.

The combined impact of the above sub-genres is that Sowing the Seeds of Destruction features a lot of actual songs, as opposed to merely essays in technicality/brutality/speed/etc. All of these aspects are here, of course, but they’re all tempered by an overarching aesthetic that largely puts the song first over anything else. As such, this is a surprisingly catchy and memorable release from the off.

The vocals are mainly higher than you might expect, more in-line with the style employed by Carcass than your typical cookie-monster growls. Deeper grunts do appear, but these are less common than their higher counterparts. Clean vocals also make an appearance on one track, with these being delivered somewhere between those of The Faceless and Opeth.

This is a professional package that shows a band coming into their own and injecting their collective personality into the music. The songs are involved and intricate enough to have a lot of content within these 31 minutes and the playing time just flies by far too quickly. Lots of ideas are explored too, with the band thankfully unafraid to express themselves in whatever way they see fit.

I’m very impressed by this and I’m amazed they haven’t been snapped up hungrily by one of the more well-known Extreme Metal labels.

For now though, let’s just enjoy Sowing the Seeds of Destruction and the treasures that it offers.

Disquiet – The Condemnation (Review)

DisquietThis is the second album from Dutch Melodic Thrash/Death Metal band Disquiet.

Disquiet play a heavy and aggressive brand of Thrash Metal with a nice Death Metal edge to it that means the band keep things dark and intense.

With plenty of jagged riffs and Metal leads, this is an album that it’s easy to feel at home with.

The singer varies his delivery between growls, shouts and what I’ll call almost-sung vocals – they’re almost sung, but not quite. Yeah, yeah, it may not be a very fancy description, but it suffices, and the end result is an added emotive edge to the vocals when there needs to be one without going full-blown into Metalcore-style cleans, for the most part.

I really like the production on this album and the thickness of the guitars. Everything else sounds top-drawer too and overall The Condemnation sounds quite immense.

If this album gets some good exposure I can see it doing very well indeed. It has the right combination of underground brutality and integrity combined with a songwriting skill that should ideally see them reaching a larger audience than a lot of their peers.

Recommended.