Promethean – Aloades (Review)

PrometheanPromethean are a French symphonic blackened death metal band and this is their debut EP.

The cover of this alone was enough to pique my interest. You know what they say; come for the cover, stay for the music, right? Continue reading

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Demonic Resurrection – Dashavatar (Review)

Demonic ResurrectionThis is the fifth album from Demonic Resurrection, a symphonic black/death metal band from India.

First impression – the album art is amazing.

Featuring members of Demonstealer and Albatross, Demonic Resurrection play epic blackened death metal with flair and style, influenced by Hindu mythology in both theme and sound. Continue reading

Vereor Nox – Noli Respicere (Review)

Vereor NoxThis is the debut album from Italian symphonic black/death metallers Vereor Nox.

In some ways this reminds me of The Forest Dreams of Black by Tine, which is one of my favourite examples of how to merge black and death metal with symphonic elements. Although Vereor Nox don’t sound like carbon copies of Tine, there’s enough superficial resemblance to make me instantly warm to the music on Noli Respicere. Continue reading

Ophidian Spell – Nux/Hêmera (Review)

Ophidian SpellOphidian Spell are a symphonic/melodic death metal band from France and this is their debut album.

Combining aspects of melodic, progressive and symphonic death metal into their delivery, Ophidian Spell offer up the listener a modern blend of these various influences. I can hear aspects of The Faceless, Devin Townsend, In Flames, Emperor/Ihsahn, Ne Obliviscaris, Delain and Septic Flesh in the mix, along with some others. Continue reading

Enthean – Priests of Annihilation (Review)

EntheanEnthean are from the US and this is their début album. They play Black Metal.

This is progressive, technical and symphonic Black/Death Metal. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but then this is a band who have a lot of different influences. I hear bands like Zyklon, Dissection, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Septic Flesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse in their sound.

Continue reading

Fleshgod Apocalypse – King (Review)

Fleshgod ApocalypseThis is the fourth album from this Italian Death Metal juggernaut.

If you haven’t encountered Fleshgod Apocalypse before, apart from having an extremely striking band name, they play an exciting and intriguing blend of symphonic and brutal Death Metal that has few peers and really does get the juices flowing.

There’s a lot of content on this release, lasting almost an hour in total. Now fully embracing their Classical influences, the songs on King merge both symphonic and Extreme Metal worlds in ways that very few bands could pull off. Septic Flesh, Therion and a handful of others are in the same league, but for outright speed and brutality combined with Classical influences, none really come close to Fleshgod Apocalypse, none that I’ve heard at any rate.

This is high operatic art, as applied to the realm of Extreme Metal. With a bombastic production the band’s compositions are nuanced and subtle, all hiding behind a ostentatious veneer of brutal Metal. Strength and power are exemplified on these tracks.

The deep growling vocals keep the aggressive elements at the forefront of their sound, while the soaring cleans make for uplifting and powerful additions. These clean vocals masterfully avoid the commercially-tinged climes of bands that usually incorporate them into an Extreme Metal framework and instead allow them to enhance and merge with the busy, complex music. Operative female cleans also appear in places, further impressing.

The symphonic elements are ubiquitous and relentless, providing an epic backdrop onto which the Metal is writ large. This is more than just one style being added to the other though, as the merging appears to take place at the cellular level, with both styles embracing each other. In places this even verges on the kind of symphonic territory that certain strains of Heavy/Power Metal have occupied so well over the years.

All of this on its own would be impressive enough, but the real test of longevity is the quality of the songs. After all, if it was all flashy style and no substance, then sure it would sound impressive on first listen, but it would soon get old. All of this is, I suppose, a rather long-winded way of saying that the songs are well-written in addition to everything else, and it is this more than anything else that will allow King to pass the test of time and multiple listens. These songs work, and work very well.

King demonstrates a band at the peak of their creative powers in many ways, and it will be interesting to see what paths they tread in the future. I personally hope they take the Classical/operatic angle even further and become even more epic in scope. We’ll see. For now though, King is a suitably majestic release for something that bears such an appellation, one that I insist you listen to as soon as you can.

Essential.

Irreversible Mechanism – Infinite Fields (Review)

Irreversible MechanismHailing from Belarus, Irreversible Mechanism play Progressive/Technical Death Metal and this is their début album.

Here we have some super-sexy Technical Death Metal with equal parts Progressive and Modern Death Metal as well as elements of Melodic/Symphonic Death/Black Metal. If that sounds quite intimidating then don’t let it be; Irreversible Mechanism have the talent to bring it all together and make it work.

The band have a lot of technical ability and there’s no shortage of fretboard wizardry on display here.

Lots of solos and leads as well as time signature changes are included and although they are the norm for Technical Death Metal, here the Progressive elements of the band and their songwriting skills stop things from becoming overbearing in this regard.

Irreversible Mechanism may be ambitious with their songs, as well they should be, but they always remember that the needs of the song come first and it’s not just enough to string riffs together. Dynamics, pacing, energy and composition are all important and these songs are surprisingly memorable.

Heavy use is made of synthesizers to add extra layers of feelings to the tracks. Do you know what? It works. These sounds add to the overall atmosphere of the album and adds a strong melodic edge to the band’s assault.

Vocally the singer shifts between traditional growling and higher screams. The screams in particular are notable as, combined with the hyperspeed music and symphonic elements, they lend the music a Blackened edge on occasion.

Infinite Fields is a very impressive release. Kind of like a Technical Death Metal version of Dimmu Borgir; the grandeur and the violence.

Definitely be sure to check this out, you won’t be disappointed.