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.

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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.

Interview with Cold Snap

Cold Snap Logo

Cold Snap’s latest album World War 3 has rekindled my interest in Nu-Metal in a way that I would have thought impossible in 2015. But here they are nonetheless, playing music that they believe in passionately and making a Hell of a racket in the process….

What’s your name and what do you do in Cold Snap?

My name is Jan and I am singer, lyrics writer, frontman, booking agent, video director and actor 🙂

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

I am a theatre, movie and TV actor in Croatia, and I have been singing for Cold Snap from the beginning, in 2003. I oversee the day-to-day management aspects of Cold Snap as well. Cold Snap is something I care about most in my life, and that`s why I want to give my best.

Give us a bit of history to Cold Snap

In 12 years we played more than 300 shows and 3 European tours. We have performed with Suicide Silence, Soulfly, Disturbed, Blind Guardian, Dead By April, Limp Bizkit, Pro-Pain, Ektomorf and many more on many festivals including Wacken Open Air in Germany. We have 3 LP albums and more than 10 high production videos. After 12 years we can finally say that we have a good label backing our band – Eclipse Records!

What are your influences?

Pantera, Machine Head, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Tool, Slipknot and many more.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Maximum the Hormone from Japan, Hactivist from UK, and In This Moment from the USA!

What did you want to achieve with your new album?

We want to share our music with everybody, in essence we are a “live show” band, however it’s also important to get our studio album out to the public. We want to have a bigger fanbase, play bigger festivals, and we want to progress. However, we will play the music that we love, not something that is popular right now. That’s not music, that’s “licking someone’s ass”.

Cold Snap BandAre you happy with how it turned out?

Yes, we are sure that Eclipse Records is the right label for us and for World War 3. We believe if we continue to cooperate in this way with them, that soon we will have some big news to talk about.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

My lyrics are about everything that I am living through, all I can think about, all that strikes me, and all that concerns me. All these (mostly negative emotions), I put on paper and together with the other band members, we turn it into music. Topics I enjoy writing about are social, family, political, about the rights of all living beings.

Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

We do most of the work together in our rehearsal room. Leo (the guitar player) is the most creative one, he does all the crazy riffs and he brings all of that to rehearsal so we can make it even better. We also share our ideas via e-mail between our rehearsals, inspiring or “provoking” each other so we can be creative when we see each other in person at rehearsal, in other words, practice continues for us even while we are not at practice.

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

We have 3 new songs that we can’t wait to play live. In our new songs we are putting some weird electro sounds and samples that Leo is working on. We have new and faster circle pit moments with breakdowns that will break your neck. Soon we will share some new stuff from our rehearsal room on our You Tube channel…

What’s next for Cold Snap?

This year we will play more than 30 shows in Europe, mostly festivals, we will film a new video for a song “Monster”, so in 2016, we hope that our fans will be able to see us on tour in the United States of America as well!

Website: http://www.ECLIPSERECORDS.com/cold-snap
Facebook: http://www.FACEBOOK.com/ColdSnapOfficial
Twitter: http://www.TWITTER.com/ColdSnap_hr

Silent Killer Music Video: http://youtu.be/kXNkutuOFd0
Buy iTunes: http://smarturl.it/clds-ww3
Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/4FsmpbbLO0pzSpmZBI9pLQ

Cold Snap – World War 3 (Review)

Cold SnapCold Snap are from Croatia and this is their third album. They play Modern Metal.

World War 3 is a surprisingly varied album for what it is. I was expecting a straight Metalcore band for some reason, and although they have this side to them there’s more to Cold Snap than just this.

Mix Metalcore with a bit of Nu-Metal and you’ll have an idea of what Cold Snap are attempting here. Elements of Korn, Disturbed, Slipknot and Machine Head can be heard.

After Nu-Metal effectively stopped existing, (as far as I am concerned), a very long time ago it’s actually quite refreshing to hear something like this again, especially when it’s actually done quite well and without the majority of the generic nonsense that plagued the style.

So as I was saying; Cold Snap have a fair degree of variety in their sound and don’t simply repeat the same formula every song. Similarities exist between tracks of course, as is the same for most bands who play one style, but within their chosen framework they do attempt to mix it up a bit.

The singer has a decent voice and doesn’t fall too foul of the various vocal pit-falls that this style can have. Overall he gives a good performance.

The band are at their best when they let the Euro-Metal influences come to the front. Sections of some of the songs have influences from bands like Nevermore, Darkane and Soilwork, and these are the most enjoyable parts for me.

It’s quite a nostalgic listen in some ways; it’s a familiar style but without being overly so, probably because I haven’t really listened to anything like this in a while. If World War 3 had come out about 15 years ago Cold Snap probably would have been quite big.

If Nu-Metal is a best-forgotten nightmare for you then this will probably not float your boat, but if you want to hear a modern take on it with a beefy, professional production then check out Cold Snap and see what you think.

For myself, this has definitely grown on me and I’ll be spinning this again in the future.

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.