Bewitcher – Under the Witching Cross (Review)

Bewitcher - Under the Witching CrossThis is the second album from US black/speed metal band Bewitcher.

2016’s Bewitcher made an impression, and Under the Witching Cross looks set to cement that impression, with pounding beats and driving anthems. Continue reading

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Thecodontion – Jurassic (Review)

Thecodontion - JurassicThecodontion are a black metal band from Italy and this is their second release.

Thecodontion first appeared on my metallic radar with their self-titled debut demo at the start of 2018. It immediately blew me away. I had to find out more. Feral and ugly, consisting of prehistoric-themes and guitar-less bass-driven, mayhem, it was a real shot of belligerent adrenaline. Continue reading

Epitaph – Crawling Out of the Crypt (Review)

EpitaphThis is the début album from Italy’s Epitaph, only a mere quarter of a century or so after they first formed…

Epitaph play Doom Metal, Black Sabbath-style, with a decent amount of Heavy Metal thrown in. It’s ancient and grand sounding, with mystery and the occult bleeding out of every wicked pore.

Resolutely Old-School, this is nonetheless infused with vitality and interest as if fresh out of the mortuary. You can always tell a good album when you can quickly point out individual songs because each one has its own feeling or unique twist to the formula.

You can tell that some serious time and effort has gone into this album as each song has character and style. The album feels very complete and has a lot of personality to it.

The musicianship is at an advanced level, as is the songwriting, with the tracks being very well developed. Dynamics, pacing, hooks and melodies; all are here in abundance.

Each instrument is represented clearly, even the bass, and the subtle keys add further atmosphere to what is already a strong selection of riffs and song structures. The guitars are heavy and the beats are solid.

The singer has a strong voice that handles the tunes with ease.

Epitaph may have only just produced their début after such a long time, but now that they’re here they have the potential to become a force to be reckoned with in the Metal scene.

Let’s hope that this isn’t the band’s epitaph, and let’s hope album number two doesn’t take as long.

Highly recommended.

Omnizide – Death Metal Holocaust (Review)

OmnizideOmnizide are from Sweden and play Black Metal with a hint of Old-School Death Metal.

The band favour the type of Black Metal riffery of older Dark Funeral or Marduk, (but without the all-out speed of some of their assaults), combined with a Carpathian Forest feel to some of their work. Mix this with some rotten Old-School Death Metal and you’ll have a general idea of where Omnizide are coming from.

Even though the band call themselves Death Metal, and the album title has it in its name; this is still predominantly a Black Metal release for me. A lot of the riffs, the production and sound, the raspy vocals, the general feel of the songs – it all has Black Metal stamped over it in large indecipherable letters as far as I’m concerned. Not that it really matters of course; all that matters is that as soon as you play this you’re instantly transported to times past and you can really feel the darkness and hate flowing into your system.

The songs rage and chew their way through the running time. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, always reeking of antagonism and contempt. This is very authentic music. There is nothing fake or staged going on here. You can almost taste the blood on the singer’s lips as he shreds his vocal chords in the name of his art.

Overall a very good album that anyone who likes this kind of music should be able to get something from, and it just gets better with repeat listens.

Root – Viginti Quinque Annis In Scaena (Review)

RootComing from the Czech Republic; Root play Black/Dark Metal and this is a live album spanning the band’s 25 year career.

The songs are veritable feasts of riffery that show the origins of Black Metal and darkened Thrash and are used effectively to create highly enjoyable Old-School Metal. Well-written songs in the hands of veteran Metallers was always going to end well.

The vocals are experimental, playful, varied and above all commanding and powerful – this is a singer who knows exactly what his voice is capable of and revels in showing off its abilities. He lends a very unique sheen to an already strong musical passage.

Boasting a raw yet clear and dynamic sound; this live album really makes you feel part of the show. More than just a recorded document it allows the songs to breathe and flex their considerable musical muscles and expand into your head so that you can feel the blood, sweat and passion exuded by the band.

A lot of live albums fall short of the mark for me, but this one does everything it is meant to do. As an overview and celebration of Root it’s just a great performance.