Concealed Reality – Synapses (Review)

Concealed RealityConcealed Reality are a Belgian metalcore band and this is their latest EP.

I like a bit of modern heavy music when it’s suitably aggressive, but also when it has sufficient depth. Concealed Reality play metalcore influenced by the early 00s sound, only updated with a contemporary delivery and with some other musical enhancements. Continue reading

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Gürschach – Dark Matter (Review)

GürschachGürschach are a metal band from the US and this is their debut album.

So what do Gürschach sound like? I suppose if you take a base of classic heavy metal, while mixing in elements of modern, alternative, thrash, and progressive metal, you’ll have a good place to start from. Continue reading

The Shape – The World Away (Review)

The ShapeThe Shape are a US metal band and this is their fourth album.

Mixing modern metal, metalcore, thrash metal, nu-metal, and groove metal into their sound, this is an enjoyable romp through a landscape that sees many different complementary influences touched upon. Continue reading

Combichrist – This Is Where Death Begins (Review)

CombichristThis is the eighth album by Combichrist, a Norwegian/US industrial metal band.

Combichrist are one of those bands that I’ve been aware of since they came out, but I’ve always managed to unintentionally avoid listening to. As this is their eighth album I’m quite late to the Combichrist party, but I’m glad I’ve finally experienced their quite personable brand of industrial metal. Continue reading

The Last Ten Seconds of Life – The Violent Sound (Review)

The Last Ten Seconds of LifeThe Last Ten Seconds of Life are a US metal band, this is their third album.

What happens when deathcore runs out of room to expand within its restrictive genre confines and needs to spread its wings into a wider world? The Violent Sound is what happens.

Mixing the heavy, low-end rumble of deathcore with a slice of nu-metal, The Last Ten Seconds of Life have a sound that is largely one of their own in 2016. Continue reading

Kontagion – [R-!-E]lentless (Review)

KontagionThis is the second album from Polish industrial metal band Kontagion.

Kontagion play industrial-tinged cybermetal, taking influence from the earlier of strains of the Fear Factory virus, and morphing itself into an altogether darker and more feral breed via some early Slipknot/Mushroomhead influences and a touch of Godflesh, (of which there’s a cover version here of Crush My Soul).

This really does have a late 90s/early 00s feel Continue reading

Devildriver – Trust No One (Review)

DevildriverThis is the seventh album from this US metal band.

I’ve always enjoyed Devildriver’s combination of modern metal, melodic death metal, thrash metal, NWOAHM, classic metal, nu-metal and crushing groove metal. Sure, they’ve had their ups and downs over the years with some albums being noticeably stronger than others, but they’ve always had enough meat on their metal bones to make me happy to listen to them in some capacity or other.

This moves us onto Continue reading

Aterra – All Born in Pain (Review)

AterraAterra are from Poland and this is their début album. They play modern Metal.

This album is full of heavy guitars and enough beats to dance to. This is distinctly from the modern school of Metal that fuses Metalcore with elements of Thrash and even Nu-Metal.

This is quite a varied release, with plenty of different styles and flavours touched upon over the 37 minutes of music here. There are frequent small interludes between the main tracks and these take a wide variety of different forms, adding texture as the album unfolds.

How to describe the band…take a bit of Sepultura, (Chaos A.D./Roots-era, vocals and music), a pinch of Korn’s funkiness, some of the Metal stylings of Darkest Hour and Killswitch Engage, the added electronic parts of Rammstein…it’s quite a melting pot of influences that makes me quite nostalgic for this kind of music during the late 90s and early 00s in some ways.

This has the variety and pop-Metal foundation of Nu-Metal, hardened up by Metalcore’s grittier influence. And, unless you’re completely allergic to this kind of thing, it works well. This is helped greatly by the fact that the vocals, (for the most part), are mainly barked out at full volume throughout. Yes, there is the odd spoken-word and clean vocal, but for the most part they’re uncompromisingly un-radio friendly, which is always a bonus.

Very good. Loud, brash, unapologetic and shamelessly enjoyable. All Born in Pain works well.

Recommended.

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.