Spirit Adrift – Curse of Conception (Review)

Spirit AdriftSpirit Adrift are a doom metal band from the US and this is their second album.

Notable for their first album Chained to Oblivion, Spirit Adrift has now transformed from a solo project into a full band and have already unleashed a new record on us. Continue reading

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Aeraco – Baptized by Fire (Review)

AeracoAeraco are a US hard rock band and this is their second album.

Aeraco crash out of the speakers with a mix of 80s metal and modern rock influences. Aeraco have come to spread fun, joy, and an unashamed love of hard rock to the masses. This they do with such passion and obvious enthusiasm that it’s hard to dislike their work. Continue reading

Alkira – Klotho (Review)

AlkiraAlkira are a thrash metal band from Australia and this is their second album.

You may recall Alkira from their 2014 debut album Juggernaut. This was a very enjoyable slab of aggressive thrash metal that I especially enjoyed as it seemed at the time that so much of thrash was doing the retro/ironic/humour/whatever version of the style, which is largely not for me; Alkira were, (and are), somewhat of a panacea for this. Continue reading

Distant Sun – Into the Nebula (Review)

Distant SunThis is the second album from Distant Sun, a Russian power/thrash metal band.

2015’s Dark Matter was an enjoyable slab of metal, in which Distant Sun, (featuring members of Shadow Host and Starsoup), showed the world what they had to offer. Continue reading

To the Pain – 7 (Review)

To the PainThis is the second album by US Thrash Metal band To the Pain.

This is a short release – 6 songs in just under 27 minutes – featuring Bay Area-style Thrash and a fantastically-titled closing song Don’t Eat the Eyes. (I felt compelled to point that out).

The Metallica/Anthrax/Testament inspired songs are a real throwback to decades past and in all honesty it really, really works. It may be resolutely Old-School but it’s not a Retro release or any such nonsense – this is a real band playing real Thrash and doing it very well.

I enjoyed their début album, (which was one of my earliest reviews), but I can’t help but notice the strides forward that the band have made in the intervening years. 7 has seen them make advances in every area, from sound to songwriting to delivery; the entire thing sounds more confident and assured. The songs are better and this is a real Thrash Metal feast.

The singer’s voice has improved along with the rest of the band and he too sounds more confident in his role. He has settled into his job with ease and seems to have no problem infusing his performance with character and charisma.

But where’s the rest of the album? I feel like there are another two or three tracks missing. Some bands easily put out too many songs and you can lose attention, but 7 is the opposite and is over before you know it. Maybe it’s better this way though, as it certainly leaves you salivating and hungry for more.

Well, recently I’ve stated, quite a few times actually, that I feel a bit jaded with Thrash Metal. However, there have been a plethora of recent releases that are making me rethink this and To the Pain’s newest is another. 7 is a winner for me. Check it out.

Seven7 – The Follower (Review)

Seven7This is the third album from UK Progressive Metal band Seven7.

This is Modern Progressive Metal that’s big on riffs and melodies.

These songs are clearly well-thought out and are well-balanced between classic song structures and more adventurous Progressive explorations. Down-tuned riffs and heavy guitars work alongside lighter, introspective moments and a Rock sensibility that gives the songs an energetic vibe.

At 50 minutes in length, there’s a lot of different influences and ideas on The Follower. Under the overarching Progressive Metal aegis the band are able to work in a whole manner of different elements from a whole host of different genres and sub-genres, from Metal, Rock and otherwise. The amount of variety on display is still consistent with their overall Progressive core, and it takes the learner on a very involving journey.

The singer has a powerful voice and presence, coming across as somewhat of a mix of the singers of Metallica and Alice in Chains. His singing is dark, infectious and merges with the music symbiotically throughout this album. His vocals are flawlessly executed, much like the music itself.

In some ways this makes me nostalgic for the inventiveness of commercial Metal in the 90s. Seven7 sound like a 90s band updated for the current age. It’s as if a fledgling Nu-Metal band was consumed by the spirit of Progressive Metal, transported forwards in time a few decades and then unshackled and let loose. Don’t let the Nu-Metal tag fool you though; it’s part of their sound but doesn’t define them. The Follower is intelligent and passionate music that shares part of Nu-Metal’s once-essential vitality and incorporates this into Progressive Metal just enough to energise it.

There’s a lot to enjoy on this release and the band have worked hard to craft a collection of songs that have emotional depth and maturity while at the same time featuring enough instant energy and impact to snare the listener.

Highly recommended.

Stillnes – Sin Destino (Review)

StillnesThis is the second album from Spanish Thrash Metallers Stillnes.

Wow. Now that’s an album cover. GIANT MONSTER ALERT!

Thrash Metal is a funny beast these days, with most bands seeming to opt for either an ultra-modern approach or an Old-School Retro one. Stillnes are one of the odd ones out as they opt for something in the middle.

This has elements of the Old-School but it’s not some puerile Retro nonsense. Theirs is a more balanced approach that has a modern sheen but not overly so; they come across as a nice mix of old and new that would fit nicely in many different Thrash eras. Ultimately they belong to themselves and this is what I like about them.

The band have a straightforward approach to their Thrash and play largely mid-paced with a good energy and plenty of melody. They are perfectly capable of unleashing a more aggressive attack when they need to, but for the most part it’s choppy riffs and good rhythms that lead the way.

The singer has a decent voice and there are plenty of solos and leads peppered around the release.

Somewhat of a cross between Trivium and Metallica; there’s not a lot to dislike on Sin Destino and it’s an enjoyable listen.

Check them out.