Inner Sanctum – Legions Awake (Review)

Inner SanctumInner Sanctum are an Indian Thrash/Groove Metal band and this is their début album.

After a rather cinematic opener, Inner Sanctum reveal themselves in their full glory as Thrash/Groove Metal with some Death Metal influences included for added impact. Think the mid-00s-type NWOAHM, only with a darker, more classically Death Metal side to it that emphasises the European Melodic Death Metal heritage of the American style.

The album boasts a sexy, professional sound that’s polished and strong.

The singer has a gruff voice that shouts out with the best of them, occasionally including some semi-cleans that remind me of some of Darkane’s work in places.

The songs are well-written and it’s clear that these tracks have been constructed with care and enthusiasm. The Thrash and Groove influences never take over or embrace the mediocre side of both styles; Inner Sanctum play their brand of heaviness with vibrancy and passion. They deliver everything on here with skill and it’s clear that the band have the talent to succeed.

Legions Awake is a strong collection of songs that make a good impression and showcase a band who really know what they’re doing. If they were American and picked up by a large music label then they would get very far indeed, I think. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, so make sure you support them – bands like this deserve it.

For fans of – Pantera, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Shadows Fall, Darkest Hour, Legion of the Damned, Kreator, Arch Enemy, Testament, etc.

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Desert Near The End – Hunt for the Sun (Review)

Desert Near The EndThis is the second album by Greek Metal band Desert Near The End.

This is a Modern Metal album that doesn’t pander to clichés or Metalcore-isms. Instead, we get a firm, heavy base of Metal with lots of frenetic riffs and pounding drums.

The vocals are passionately shouted out above the roaring music. Emphatic semi-cleans and rougher shouts are impressively delivered throughout.

The guitars are played at speed and with great skill. Plenty of leads and solos are spread liberally around these eight tracks. The fusion of rhythms and leads creates an emotive tapestry that is pure, molten Metal at times.

The drums are especially energetic and sound like they’re played full-on, all of the time.

There’s a powerful Thrash Metal influence to the band, done in a modern way yet borrowing from the past. The same is true of a lesser Power/Speed Metal influence; almost as if Iced Earth were being channelled through Shadow’s Fall…which is not actually that bad of a description, come to think of it. Add in a bit of Grip Inc. and there you go.

Hunt for the Sun has a solid sound and the energy of the songs can leave you breathless sometimes.

This is an exceedingly interesting release as it perfectly balances an older passion and energy with the state-of-the-art delivery of a contemporary Metal band.

This is an album that has surprised me. So often these days bands like this either fall foul of the hero-worship of older bands or stray too far into generic Metalcore territory. This album is different. The band have an individual take on a heavily saturated genre and they’re left sounding fresh, exciting and vital.

A highly recommended listen – it’s time to support some real Metal.