Dead Earth Politics – The Queen of Steel (Review)

Dead Earth PoliticsDead Earth Politics are from the US and play modern Thrash/Groove Metal.

This is southern-tinged Modern Metal in the style of Lamb of God, et al, only with a slightly more Metal twist and some nice melodic choruses. Look at the album cover. Look at the song titles. There is no weak pseudo-Metal here.

Said melodic choruses are not of the sickly, saccharine variety; instead they’re all about the Metal and owe more to Pantera than the more modern Metalcore clones.

The riffs are good and the songs have plenty of energy. The band also don’t shy away from solos, which is always a welcome thing to hear.

The vocals are modern Metal shouting, combined with the aforementioned cleans with some even verging on Power Metal territory. Almost.

I’ve seen this band described as a cross between classic Metal and New American Metal and I think this description fits. Either way this short 3 track EP has the songs to play in the big leagues and is clearly the result of talented minds.

An enjoyable EP, and if they can harness this energy and songwriting finesse then whatever upcoming album they may be working on should be well worth a listen. Based on this release I’m looking forward to what they do next.

A modern take on fantasy Metal? Works for me.

Slovenly World – Alternate Ending (Review)

Slovenly WorldSlovenly World are from France and play modern Metal.

This is quite a nice little EP here of modern Metal without any of the overt commercialism so rampant in this style otherwise. Songs are heavy and hard hitting, and the band know when to floor the accelerator when needed. They even have solos!

They remind of late 90’s/early 00’s bands like Mindjuice and Out only with an added dollop of more recent Metalcore.

Slovenly World are bruising but have plenty of melodic moments to off set the heavy guitars. These come mainly in the form of the singer who manages a some nice cleans as well as rougher vocals.

The songs are quite catchy and surprisingly infectious as the tunes worm their way into your brain.

Much more enjoyable than I was expecting; a band to keep an eye on.

Interview with Enfeeble

Enfeeble have released their album Encapsulate This Moment upon the world and it’s a varied and enjoyable collection of Metal. I asked the guys all about it…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Luke: Hi, we are ENFEEBLE from north Germany. Four guys with heart and instrument.

We write and perform music that we love ourselves. Maybe you will love it too – check it out. Quick said – that’s it.

How did you form?

Baal: It was a few years ago in 2005… Luke was the singer of the school band and I was looking for a singer & guitarist for a new band. I asked Luke if he wants to start a band with me and he was excited directly. A drummer and bassist were found quickly and so we started as a small Punk Rock Band. In the coming years we’ve had many changes on Bass & Drums. Since the beginning of 2013 we are in the current cast.

Enfeeble BandWhat are your influences?

Luke: Encapsulate This Moment is a collection of songs that we’ve written in the past 4 years.

We have continuously developed and always had new demands on ourselves, so there are a lot of influences like Punk Rock, Metalcore, Death Metal and Prog.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Klaus: Make Me A Donut
Chris: Carnifex
Baal: Protest The Hero
Luke: Periphery

You have an interesting and varied style – how did the songs come about?

Baal: In a few songs it’s just putting some riffs together. But mostly it’s when I have something in my mind I work it out and spending hours and hours to write it down, ’cause when I start do write a song and have a long break it becomes a puzzle of riffs and that’s how I ruin most of the songs. I am quite severe with myself in this way. Of 10 songs I write, 2 or 3 make it to the band and maybe they like it or even just a part…or nothing. Then we work on the subtleties together and Lucas tries to find the best way to combine it with vocals.

You have a lot of vocal variety on your album – was this a conscious decision?

Luke: Yes. I want to have a lot of variety in the vocals because you can express so much more feelings with a mixed vocal style than just with screaming or growling. Every song tells a story and the individual parts should be supported with matching vocals. Also I grew up with singing so I am always inclined to get everything possible out of the vocals. Everything else would be a waste.

Are you happy with how the album resulted?

Chris: No, not really. There are many parts that we could have done better on this album.

But as the saying goes: If we were already happy with this album, we would thwart our progression.

How do you see your sound developing in the future?

Klaus: There will be more riffs and demanding vocals. With Chris as our new drummer the new songs are getting faster and stronger. A beautiful experience that we will continue to expand.

What does the future hold for Enfeeble?

Luke: We are currently working on new songs for another album early next year. We will try to play a lot of concerts this year in order to spread our music. That is part of the plan to increase our fan base. Perhaps we will come to your country. We will always announce the dates on our website http://www.enfeeble.de

Thanks!

Enfeeble – Encapsulate This Moment (Review)

EnfeebleEnfeeble are from Germany and play Melodic Metal mixed with a more modern Metalcore style and a good helping of Heavy Metal.

The first thing I notice is how varied the vocals are; there are high shrieks, hardcore-style chanting, deeper shouts, grunts and clean singing.

The music is proficiently played, with the guitarist clearly knowing his way around the fretboard. There are lots of slick riffs and Melodic Metalcore standards in place, as well as mixing in more of a Classic Metal approach on some songs, (Flashedever, for example), although in typical Enfeeble fashion they mix this up with some modern heaviosity.

I enjoy how the songs are written. They mainly use elements of modern Metal, Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore, genres which have high-transferability, but you are never quite sure which bit of which of the genres they are going to ransack for the next part of the song. It’s a fun journey of discovery, but once you do know what’s coming next you are thankfully still left with something of substance as the tracks are enjoyable riff-alongs in their own right.

This is essentially a band that values variety a bit more than the average one-genre group, and by-and-large they manage to pull this off with flair and remain coherent.

An enjoyable release that combines a few different permutations of modern Metal to create an enjoyable album that may Encapsulate This Moment but also pays fealty to the past. Have a listen.

Lethal Dosage – Consume (Review)

Lethal DosageThis is the second album by US Metal band Lethal Dosage.

A bowel-loosening growl starts the album and lets the listener know the band means business. This is modern ultra-aggressive Metal in the style of Lamb of God and Chimaira.

Lethal Dosage manage to avoid the pitfalls that befall most modern Metal bands of this style, (cliché breakdowns, stolen riffs, sugary clean choruses, etc.), and instead have ramped up both of the dials that say Heavy and Metal all the way to 11. Instead of the overly-saturated commercial route which many take they have instead gone for the path less travelled which essentially involves writing big heavy riffs and bellowing like a demon. Job done.

I really like the belligerence of the vocals and how they’re really only one step removed from Death Metal grunts. In fact Lethal Dosage as a whole are only one step away from a Death Metal band; there are even blast beats that make an appearance on some songs.

Another mistake they avoid is the over-used, over-sterile production job. Instead they have gone for a slightly murkier, rougher sound that fits the music well and reinforces the idea that the music is a rabid bruiser looking to pick a fight.

I know preconceptions can be misleading, but I’m pleased by how good this is; I was cynically expecting the same tired old Metalcore standards to be trotted out again, but I’m very happy to have been mistaken. Lethal Dosage have created an intense, viable and riveting modern Metal extravaganza that has me solidly in their corner cheering them on as they deliver the knockout punch. And the winner is…!

Listen to Drink here.

Our Last Enemy – Pariah (Review)

Our Last EnemyOur Last Enemy play Industrial Metal and this is their second album.

Coming off as a modern Metal band with industrial elements and keyboards the band peddle their aggressive brand of music with passion and fortitude.

If you take all of the heavy bits of early-noughties bands like Spineshank, Slipknot, Downthesun, etc. and take out pretty much all of the clean singing you’ll have a reasonable starting point for Our Last Enemy. Plus guitar solos.

The industrial and atmospheric parts of these songs are more subtle and understated than you might think, the main emphasis instead on the heavy guitars and scathing vocal attack. With enough double bass and blasting drums to ensure the listener knows they mean business, the guitars churn and turn their way through the songs while the singer barks out vicious diatribes.

Each song contributes to the whole and on the final analysis this is an enjoyable album that has a perhaps surprising amount of depth to the compositions.

Tried For Treason – Weight of Words (Review)

Tried For TreasonTried For Treason are from the US and play modern Metal with a bit of grit thrown in to keep things interesting.

The songs show much promise. For a first release they demonstrate a good grasp of song structure and melody, something that they can surely build on for the future.

Vocals are clean and distinctly American, although the band they most remind me of is actually Breed 77 from Gibraltar , sans the more tribal influences. The singer of Tried For Treason shows greater variety though as he also uses rougher vocals and shouts.

Musically, apart from the usual Metal influences you would expect, you can also detect elements of a band like Tool in some of the songs, which can only be a good thing. A lot of modern Metal bands can be high on surface and low on depth, but I think if Tried For Treason can keep this aspect of their sound they could avoid this trap.

They also have guitar solos in every song, which always endears me towards a band.

There is only 11 minutes of music here but if Tried For Treason can continue to develop their style for the next release then they could and should have a bright future ahead of them.

Beckon – Beckon (Review)

BeckonBeckon are a Scottish Metal band and this is their first EP.

A sample starts things off and then we’re straight into the galloping Metal with the singer showing off a very decent bark that has character and flavour. He can also belt out some almost-Power Metal clean vocals when the urge takes him.

The band’s ability to produce speed and aggression are ably demonstrated, as is their willingness to inject some variety into the mix. And guitar solos too, which are always welcome.

This is well-recorded modern Metal played with passion and enthusiasm by a band that wants to impress.

Beckon wear their influences on their sleeve, and in a weaker band this may have held them back; with Beckon though they simply flaunt them as a badge of honour and build on them to produce three good Metal songs that show great things to come for this band in the future.

Sapiency – Tomorrow (Review)

SapiencySapiency play modern melodic Thrash Metal. I don’t listen to a lot of this style of music as there is a huge amount of mediocrity out there – it seems to be that writing okay music in this style is quite easy, but being truly great is rare.

Their style is similar to bands such as Scar Symmetry, In Flames, Soilwork, etc. – the gruff vocals juxtaposed against the clean, huge soaring guitars and keyboards, epic melodies and punchy drums, etc. Although Sapiency don’t hit the heights of the truly great, they are certainly a cut above the mediocre, and dare I say it this is quite an exciting and enjoyable release.

Having more bite to their attack than a lot of the typical In Flames/Soilwork clones, (which they aren’t), certainly works in their favour. The gruff vocals are a bit harsher than the norm, and the clean vocals a bit more powerful. They dwell on the right side of catchy rather than sounding ‘pop’. The guitars are not watered down and actually have some meat to the riffs rather than just being there to accentuate the vocals, which seems to be a usual failing of certain bands in this genre. In fact, Sapiency are less In Flames/Soilwork and more Scar Symmetry/Dark Tranquillity – heavier and less polished, (relatively speaking of course), than their more commercial kin. Some would say ‘more metal’. Here we even have the occasional blastbeat, which is always welcome. Solos too. It’s good that they are not afraid of speed either; it’s too easy for bands in this genre to lose interest across an album as every song has the same mid-paced tempo, speed and feeling.

Albums like this live or die by their songs and Sapiency have these; energy and catchiness, wrapped up and delivered as molten melodic metal. It’s hard not to feel the enthusiasm inherent in these tracks. There is a genuine love of metal on display here and it exhibits itself in every track and imbues them with a vitality that is otherwise missing in so many catchier bands.

I enjoyed Sapiency more than I thought I would; which is a reminder that it’s far to easy to feel jaded and cynical these days and every band should be judged on their individual merits. A class album – if you enjoy melody with your metal then check them out.