Benighted – Dogs Always Bite Harder Than Their Master (Review)

Benighted - Dogs Always Bite Harder Than Their MasterBenighted are a French death metal band and this latest release is to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Sometimes you just want something ultra-brutal to knock away the cobwebs and get rid of the lethargy. Sometimes you need something to truly get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. For times like these, the simple pleasures of a good brutal death metal band rarely fail to hit the spot. Continue reading

Advertisements

Sykelig Englen – Hagall (Review)

Sykelig EnglenSykelig Englen is a black metal solo project from the UK and this is the artist’s second album.

Hagall features short slices of Scandinavian-influenced black metal. Bands such as Marduk, Mayhem, Shining, and Gorgoroth are probably pretty decent starting reference points, but don’t tell the whole story. If you throw in some depressive black metal alongside this, as well as some other, quirkier elements, then I suppose you’ve largely a got a good idea of what this sounds like. Continue reading

Monthly Overview – the Best of January 2018

So here’s a new thing – I’ll briefly summarise some of my favourite releases from the month that I’ve listened to. All of this stuff is great music, so get your listening ears on and get ready to bang your head.

Shining

Okay, so for the first month of 2018 we have had a lot of decent tunes to enjoy. I don’t intend to list everything here, but merely some that have caught my attention a bit more than others, for whatever reason. Continue reading

Sigh – Graveward (Review)

SighThis is the tenth Sigh album. If you’ve never encountered them before, they’re from Japan and they play Black Metal. At least, that’s what they started out as and they’ve just kind of evolved from there. Avant-Garde Black Metal/Extreme Metal is probably closest to the mark these days, if you have to label it at all.

Sigh are one of the few bands in existence that come even close to being able to be called unique. They definitely have their own sound and identity, even if this has changed quite a bit through the years.

So on to Graveward. This is dense and complex music that features a lot of different parts to the songs. Clearly a lot of work has gone into these compositions.

The Black Metal base is present and correct, as well as the Avant-Garde tendencies. Add to this is a psychedelic influence, powerful cinematic qualities as well as a strong theatrical component and you have an album that’s born to stand out from the pack.

The theatrical nature of the release belies the horror-themed core of the album, but ultimately serves to reinforce it.

As you might think, each track has a lot going on and it’s a lot to take in on first listen. Subsequent spins reveal all kinds of nuances and little things that you didn’t necessarily consciously pick up on first time around.

Choirs and orchestration rub shoulders with Thrash riffs and Blackened croaks. Psychedelic keyboards and operatic vocals join horns and saxophones in backing the distorted guitars. It’s a true melting pot of influences that probably shouldn’t work but it really, really does.

Befitting music that has a lot of different components to it, Graveward features a wealth of guest appearances from well-known members of bands such as Trivium, Dragonforce, Shining, Rotting Christ and The Meads of Asphodel, among others.

Somewhat of a cross between Emperor, Therion, Arcturus and some form of crazy Progressive Jazz, Sigh can always be relied upon to liven things up with their presence and Graveward is no exception.

This is a truly exceptional release that many will probably find overwhelming with its multicoloured assault on the senses. Those who endure, however, are rewarded tenfold for their perseverance.

Essential listening.