Subliminal Fear – Escape from Leviathan (Review)

Subliminal FearThis is the third album from Subliminal Fear, an Italian metal band.

This is modern metal that takes its primary influences from a combination of the cybermetal styles, (Fear Factory, Mnemic), and melodic groove metal, (Soilwork, In Flames, etc.), alongside a pinch of djent and industrial.

With this in mind, the band operate in the more commercial realm of the style, rather than on the heavier end as some bands do when incorporating these influences, (for the most part at least; that’s not to say the band can’t be heavy or more extreme when they want to). The songs work well in this context though, with the band’s clean vocal harmonies being Continue reading

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3rd Machine – Quantified Self (Review)

3rd MachineThis is the début album from 3rd Machine, a modern/groove metal band from the Netherlands.

This is rhythmic groove metal with keyboard enhancements that takes influence from the cyber metal scene.

Despite the modern production though, it has somewhat of a 90s metal feel to it to me. This is not meant in any detrimental way. 3rd Machine seem Continue reading

Grenouer – Unwanted Today (Review)

GrenouerGrenouer are a Russian band and this is their eighth album. They play a combination of Alternative Rock and Modern Metal.

Grenouer play the kind of stadium-friendly Modern Rock/Metal that seemed to set the world alight on a regular basis in the late 90s/early 00s.

This is a release that’s positively bursting with catchy melodies and hooks aplenty. Big grooves, bigger choruses and a tasty production mean that this album is extremely easy on the ear.

The songs are all well-recorded with everything sounding extremely professional. The singer has a great voice and keyboards and effects add extra layers to the band’s sound.

All of the songs are essentially Radio-Friendly Unit Shifters and this is easily digestible music that nonetheless makes a good impression.

Featuring elements of bands such as Filter, Mnemic, Stabbing Westward and Spineshank, Unwanted Today is highly melodic and full of hummable tunes.

If your tastes run to the more accessible and commercial side of loud music then you’ll probably appreciate what Grenouer are offering here.

Almøst Human – Ø (Review)

Almøst HumanAlmøst Human are from Switzerland and play Metal with a modern, Electronic twist.

This is well-recorded and has a solid sound. The band have a late 90’s/early 00’s vibe to them that recalls bands like Spineshank, Mudvayne, Downthesun and Mnemic, only updated for 2014 and with keyboard/electronic effects added in.

This is not a style that I hear too much any more but Almøst Human are convincing and this is an enjoyable little release. The songs are longer than you’d expect for this style, which allows the band to develop the themes and feel of the songs without rushing them or purely focusing on mosh-friendly sections or what not.

These are good songs and I like the focus on developing a completed feeling rather than just stringing several riffs together with a chorus. Almøst Human appear to be attempting to pick from the rotten corpse of Nu-Metal; they aim to take what so many liked from the style and leave what made it so disposable. I’m pleased to say they have largely been successful in this regard and Ø is a comprehensive and enjoyable release.

This means that we have ended up with a heavy, modern Metal release with added effects/electronics that has a lot of enjoyable melodies. This vocalist shows himself to be a very capable singer as well as being able to scream when he needs to.

Check it out.

Insense – De:Evolution (Review)

InsenseInsense are from Norway and play a highly developed form of Modern Metal. They combine elements of multiple genres of heavy music, from Djent to Thrash to Sludge to Progressive Metal and others in between.

Well this is very nice indeed. Heavy, emotive and not afraid of striding boldly into territories avoided by a lot of bands.

The vocals are agonised cries, soft crooning, semi-cleans, powerful melodics, gruff shouting…essentially whatever the song needs; it’s a very personal and distinctive performance that immediately makes apparent the man’s talent. The moment his vocals make an entrance on the first track Part I- Conception I’m hooked straight away. This keeps up for the rest of the album and his vocals bleed charisma and character.

The music doesn’t slack behind either; none of the songs are especially long but every one of them seems committed to ringing out every last drop of emotion and feeling from the guitars. The tracks are all tightly focused balls of energy and in the hands of this clearly talented band there’s no need for longer songs – there’s absolutely no filler here.

Reference points? Wide ranging really; I can hear bits of In Flames, Fear Factory, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Mnemic, Slipknot, Darkane, Nevermore…I could go on, but you get the idea; polished, diverse and heavy whilst retaining melodics and soul. A smattering of modern European Power Metal; a bit of Djent in the riffs; wildly energised heavy riffing; stirring and memorable vocals…so much about this recording can be praised.

The sound is suitably huge and massive with everything coming through crystal clear and every sludgy riff sounding crushing and effective.

Quite frankly this album is an absolute revelation. If you were to cut it open it would have the words QUALITY stamped all the way through it in big letters.

Heartily recommended; you need to get this album.