Shattered Sun – The Evolution of Anger (Review)

Shattered SunShattered Sun are a metalcore band from the US. This is their second album.

Metalcore is a much maligned sub-genre, usually for good reason; there’s a lot of generic dross out there, sadly. However, if you’re looking for a ripping example of how to do metalcore right in 2017, your sights should immediately land on Shattered Sun. Continue reading

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Designs of Chaos – The Darkest Storm (Review)

Designs of ChaosDesigns of Chaos are a UK Metal band and this is their second EP.

This short 3-track release is a 14 minute statement of intent from Designs of Chaos, and it’s clear that they mean business.

This is Modern Thrash Metal in the style of Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, et al. It has a rightfully powerful sound, as befits bands of this nature, and sounds punchy and direct.

One of the good things about The Darkest Storm is that while bands of this ilk can easily fall foul of having too commercial a sound, Designs of Chaos largely avoid this by having a more thoroughly Metal and aggressive approach than many. Yes, the band operate in this more-commercial side of Metal more than they don’t, (such is the nature of the style), but they do it with a more aggressive and downright Metal approach than a lot of their more commercially-minded peers. This is clearly music played for the love of it and not to be the next one-hit wonder.

The songwriting is good and the riffs and structure of the songs hit the spot. I like that this has the immediacy necessary for this style but also leaves room for a bit of depth in the guitar department to allow for a more satiating musical meal, rather than one which was satisfying on first listen but quickly left you wanting something more. The band clearly want to incorporate a bit of substance to their songs and this is only to be encouraged.

Each of the songs are upbeat and feature enough speed to get the head banging and enough groove and heaviness to keep it moving.

The singer has a nicely brutal voice with the shouting and yelling coming thick and fast. It’s a raw and aggressive approach which adds a sharper edge to the band than if they would have opted for a nicer or prettier style. Some of the vocals, backing and otherwise, approach Death Metal levels and it all works really well. There is no clean singing.

Although not perfect, this is still better than most bands of this Modern Metal style and Designs of Chaos have shown massive potential and promise on this EP.

I really enjoyed this. The UK has birthed yet another band to keep a firm eye on. Let’s see what they do next.

Equaleft – Adapt & Survive (Review)

EqualeftEqualeft are from Portugal and this is their début album. They play Groove Metal.

This is modern Metal with a modern Thrash edge and a love of all things heavy and chuggy. Think Lamb of God, Sepultura, Hatebreed, etc. and you’ll be on the right lines.

Having said that though, Equaleft are definitely at the heavier, less-commercial end of the Groove Metal spectrum. It’s clear that the band’s main focus and passion lies with the heaviness and the Metal, which is only to be encouraged of course.

The vocals are angry and flit between throaty shouts and raspier screams. I like that they’re quite relentlessly aggressive and the vocal assault does well to keep up the intensity throughout.

This is a very riff-oriented release. Now, where most bands of this ilk fall down is by an over reliance on done-to-death Metalcore riffs and too many breakdowns. Pleasingly, Equaleft don’t overplay this aspect of their sound and instead mainly concentrate on beating the listener’s skull in with brutal riffs and heavy guitars that are more 90’s Metal than 00’s Metalcore.

Another couple of areas that set them apart are those of speed and melody; they can put their foot on the accelerator when needed and also inject some melody into the proceedings. Both aspects stop the album from becoming a one-dimensional riff-fest and allow for some increased dynamics. And they also allow the heavier parts to sound even heavier, which is never a bad thing.

This is a very promising début. Groove Metal can be a tricky thing to master and Equaleft are well on their way to high levels of proficiency with this release.

Recommended.

Methedras – System Subversion (Review)

MethedrasMethedras are from Italy and play Modern Thrash Metal. This is their fourth album.

A state-of-the-art heavy and crisp sound blares out of the speakers accompanied by a maniacal laugh and enough modern Thrash sensibilities to crush an elephant, (poor elephant). Methedras waste no time in preparing their mission statement and declaring it boldly.

This is Modern Thrash Metal and it’s ready to riot. Essentially the band mix elements of modern bands such as Lamb of God, Soilwork and Byzantine, Thrash bands like Annihilator and Testament and a touch of Death Metal to create an aggressively heavy album that pulls no punches. Think Testament’s Low updated for 2014.

The vocals are suitably extreme, combining screams and shouts with some deeper growling, as well as the odd melodic semi-cleaner chorus. The singer manages to achieve this with no small amount of charisma as well. Well done that man!

The songs are mature, well written and overall the album as a whole feels very comprehensive. The combination of aggressively Metal riffs and harsh vocals make for a good listening experience. With memorable choruses and hooks aplenty this is a fine collection of songs that I can imagine going down a storm live.

System Subversion is modern Metal without any of the commercial pandering or posturing that is so prevalent in today’s music. It’s modern with a heavier angle and a proper appreciation for Metal – it doesn’t let the side down.

Check out Methedras and give them your support.