Kreator/Sepultura/Soilwork/Aborted – Manchester Academy 1, 28/02/17 (Live Review)

Kreator Tour

Now this is a tour! Four top-notch, high-profile metal bands in one glorious package? Yes please!

Aborted

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Xandria – Theater of Dimensions (Review)

XandriaXandria are a symphonic metal band from Germany. This is their seventh album.

This is grand, orchestral, operatic metal with lofty ambitions and high aims. It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with Xandria, and it seems they’re hungrier than ever for big things. Continue reading

L’Incendio – L’Incendio (Review)

L'IncendioL’Incendio are an extreme metal band from Italy. This is their debut album.

L’Incendio have a death metal core that they build on with elements of other sub-genre styles, fleshing out their well-rounded assault in a wider-ranging way than many of their peers.

Combining atmosphere and accessibility into their Continue reading

Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience (Review)

AllegaeonThis is the fourth album from US death metallers Allegaeon.

This is an ambitious, epic release; 72 minutes of science fiction-themed grandeur and technical aggression.

The band’s music is technical, melodic death metal that features a lot of engaging content and some quite virtuoso playing. For a band like this, the level of technicality on display is always going to be high, but Allegaeon never Continue reading

Subliminal Fear – Escape from Leviathan (Review)

Subliminal FearThis is the third album from Subliminal Fear, an Italian metal band.

This is modern metal that takes its primary influences from a combination of the cybermetal styles, (Fear Factory, Mnemic), and melodic groove metal, (Soilwork, In Flames, etc.), alongside a pinch of djent and industrial.

With this in mind, the band operate in the more commercial realm of the style, rather than on the heavier end as some bands do when incorporating these influences, (for the most part at least; that’s not to say the band can’t be heavy or more extreme when they want to). The songs work well in this context though, with the band’s clean vocal harmonies being Continue reading

Bent Sea/To Dust – Ascend/Descend – Split (Review)

Bent SeaThis is a split release between Bent Sea and To Dust, both of which play grindcore and both of which feature a plethora of members/ex-members of bands such as Aborted, Megadeth, Soilwork, Napalm Death, (Bent Sea), and Abigail Williams, Vintage Warlords, Humanity Is Cancer, Grave Plague, Fountain of Piss, Severed Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder and Phobia, (To Dust).

Phew. As you can see, there’s a lot of experience here.

The first half of the split is provided by Bent Sea, who give us almost 10 minutes of state-of-the-art ferocity. Continue reading

Karnak Seti – The Distance That Made Us Cold (Review)

Karnak SetiKarnak Seti are from Portugal and play melodic/groove metal. This is their third album.

The Distance That Made Us Cold is an album that bursts out of the speakers with a strong and confident sound, polished to perfection but not lacking in some underground grit when the songs need it. Continue reading

Mindshift – Horizon (Review)

MindshiftThis is the second album from Swedish Metal band Mindshift.

Mindshift’s latest album is 56 minutes of downtuned aggression in the Metalcore style that pushes the tried-and-tested style of heavy verses and melodic choruses, à la Atreyu, Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and the like.

The singer’s harsh voice reminds me of the singer of Atreyu, and he provides a good performance for the most part. The clean vocals do what they’re here to do, with decent melodies and hooks, some of which are really quite tasty.

The songs are, overall, a bit heavier and more aggressive than some that play this style, which I like, although the radio-friendly choruses clearly show their aspirations.

Although this style has been done to death, with some catchy choruses and good songwriting this is still an enjoyable release if you’re partial to the style. I probably would have loved this about 10-15 years ago. Nowadays I still quite like it, mainly due to the fact that it’s done well and sticks to basic song structures that are as familiar as they are pleasing in their simplicity.

Despite all of the things that are stacked against a band playing this style, I like that Horizon doesn’t play it completely safe and doesn’t just take the easy option of completely regurgitating stuff that’s been done a million times before. This is mainly down to the guitars and clean vocals – the former sound like a lot of consideration has gone into their structuring and layout, while the latter really do add a lot to the tracks and are performed with a passion that’s apparent.

There’s some good riffs and emotive melodies knocking about here too, and the electronic component to their sound is infrequent and used lightly, adding what is needed to the songs without getting in the way.

Ultimately Mindshift have put together an album that is easy to sit back and enjoy. The decent riffs and vocals do their job well and the songs pass by in a quite personable way. I can easily imagine myself listening to this a few more times in the future, despite a slightly over-long playing time.

Have a listen and check them out.

Rectified Spirit – The Waste Land (Review)

Rectified SpiritThis is the second album from Indian Metal band Rectified Spirit.

The band play Thrash Metal with a modern edge and both Progressive and Power Metal influences.

Clean vocals that are reminiscent of the singer of Nevermore are twinned with harsher screeching shouts that recall the singer of Soilwork if he had a less-deep voice. There are lots of very memorable melodies and the singer has considerable vocal talent.

Musically the band’s songs take a modern view on aggressive Thrash which they then add Progressive/Power Metal flourishes to. The resulting tracks are very enjoyable and have a lot to offer the discerning Metal fan.

The Waste Land is a well-written slab of Metal and owes equal debt to both the American and European Metal scenes, taking cues from both and combining them effectively into their own identity.

The band know their way around their instruments, but this is never at the expense of the songs themselves. There are boatloads of decent riffs that are arranged well; the band firmly concentrate on their songsmithing and the album greatly benefits from this focus.

This is a quality release with a lot of mileage in it.