Hybrid Sheep – Free From the Clutches of Gods (Review)

Hybrid SheepHybrid Sheep are from France and this is their début album. They play Deathcore.

This is state-of-the-art Deathcore with a massive sound and a crisp method of attack.

Hybrid Sheep play their style in the vein of bands like All Shall Perish and Acrania. A few Metalcore influences from the likes of Lamb of God and As I Lay Dying are thrown in also, as well as some Modern Death Metal similar to bands like Revocation and The Black Dahlia Murder.

If you’re not a fan of this modern style of Extreme Metal then Hybrid Sheep are unlikely to convince you, but if you are then Free From the Clutches of Gods has enough meat to satisfy that’s for sure.

This is a well played and produced album with lots of heaviness, melodies, aggressive riffs, blasting and breakdowns. I find this style very easy listening in the sense that if you’re in the mood you can just stick a band like this on and start bouncing around like a maniac. As you do.

Just listening to this now I can’t help but have a little wobble around in my seat. Always the sign of a good listen.

The songs are enjoyable and satisfyingly aggressive. The standard alternation between deep growls and high screams is done well and there’s plenty of guitar widdling included with the heavy riffs.

Hybrid Sheep have produced an enjoyable album of Deathcore. Check them out.

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Death Comes Pale – World Grave (Review)

Death Comes PaleDeath Comes Pale are from Denmark. This is their Death Metal début album.

This is Death Metal that carries melody well and has a good songwriting ethic.

The production is top notch and does the music justice. It’s both heavy and clear.

If you think Death Metal with a keen melodic edge and a Blackened feel in places – akin to The Black Dahlia Murder – then you’ll have the right idea of Death Comes Pale’s sound.

Deep vocals growl out from dark places and these are backed up with the screams of the damned.

The band take the time in their songs to explore their musical scenery and don’t always take the most direct route. Slower and more considered parts are included as well as lighter melodies amongst the carnage.

In fact, even though the band’s primary setting is heavy and loud, they do intersperse enough light and shade to their work; fragile melodies and more nuanced guitar work add to and enhance the overall brutality of the band. It’s interesting to hear a band like this creating a larger sound than normal and avoiding the pitfalls that would lead a lesser band into the trap of one-dimensionality.

Death Comes Pale have clearly taken their time composing these songs. They’re well-written, well-thought out tracks and good songwriting is obviously important to the band.

A really enjoyable and mature release of Death Metal. Recommended listening.

Emblazoned – Eucharistiae Sacramentum (Review)

EmblazonedEmblazoned are from the US and this is their début album. They play Blackened Death Metal.

This is music with an evil feel created by minions of some Dark Lord or other who worship and defile their way through 8 tracks of daemonic Death Metal.

The deep growls and high screams call out hymns to darkness whilst the crushing production allows the music to be both heavy and precise.

All of the instruments are clear and played with surgical steel. The drums have an especially crisp sound to them, the bass is audible and worthwhile and the guitars have a crunchy, crushing edge.

The riffs have a Blackened feel to a lot of the melodies which adds a touch of the underworld to the songs; they already have a malevolent feel to them as it is and as the band are mainly interested in creating a brutally evil atmosphere it’s only to be expected that a Black Metal influence should make its way onto the album.

The songs are very enjoyable and make the most of their relatively short playing time by effortlessly blending the brutality of streamlined Death Metal with the dark feeling of Black Metal.

Emblazoned combine parts of bands like Deicide, The Black Dahlia Murder, Satyricon, Behemoth, Arsis and Lvcifyre into their merciless sound and the result is a very strong album indeed.

It’s time for you to check out Emblazoned and join them in their war against the forces of light.

Solace of Requiem – Casting Ruin (Review)

Solace of RequiemThis is the fourth album of Technical Blackened Death Metal from Solace of Requiem. They come from the US.

It’s fairly unusual for Technical Death Metal bands to have anything to do with the Black Metal style. It’s not unheard of of course, just relatively rare, so I was looking forward to hearing this band to see what they did with the style.

Straight away it’s apparent that they are very technical and they do wear their Black Metal influences on their sleeves.

The music is a dense, twisting affair. Technical Death Metal riffs fly everywhere at the speed of thought whilst Blackened keyboards and sounds add to the cacophony. High pitched Blackened screams add a further layer of evil and the entire thing reeks of a complicated rot.

It’s impressively harsh and the addition of the Black Metal influences to the Technical Death Metal core is atypical and done rather well.

The higher screamed vocals are joined by more traditional growls, once again sealing the deal between genres.

There are some great riffs here and the technicality doesn’t become overbearing or done just for the sake of it. Sometimes the band hits upon a great sounding mid-paced riff and they just let it settle in for a while and lot it flow naturally, which is a great thing to hear. This is frequently added to by keyboards and solos and the end result is very satisfying. As songs they work, and the entire album is top work by this band.

Everything is recorded well and the music is crisp and clear. These songs whirl by at lightspeed and you can’t fault the performances. As this is their fourth album they clearly know what they are doing by now and have the talent to achieve their goals.

This band remind me of someone like The Black Dahlia Murder if they had a lot more blazing technicality and Black Metal in their sound. It doesn’t completely describe Solace of Requiem of course, but it’s a good starting point; throw in some Spawn of Possession, Immolation and Arkhon Infaustus and you’re on the right lines.

Casting Ruin is a monster of an album and quite an achievement. By incorporating Black Metal into their sound they successfully differentiate themselves from hundreds of standard Technical Death Metal bands and immediately set themselves apart.

This is an album that is better than most and won’t settle for being ordinary. Solace of Requiem have their own identity that serves them well and they’re just waiting for you to discover them.

Do it now.

Voice of Ruin – Morning Wood (Review)

Voice of RuinComing from Switzerland, here we have Voice of Ruin.

A bit of an enigma this band in some ways; from the song titles I was expecting gore/porn-obsessed Death Metal but then the artwork is a bit unusual for that. Couple that with the band’s tendency to dress as farmers it tends to throw you a bit.

When you finally press play the style of music is actually a thoroughly modern Metalcore/Thrash influenced melodic Death Metal. From everything else about this release and the band, it’s quite unexpected.

Imagine Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God getting together to do a more extreme side band, (less commercial cleans, some blast beats, etc.); throw in a few modern Melodic Death Metal influences such as The Black Dahlia Murder and you should be there.

The sound is immense and state-of-the-art, with all of the instruments honed to crushing perfection and all aimed at utterly destroying. It does the music justice.

The songs are well written and have that thoroughly modern melodic crunch to them that will probably have just as many people running away from the band as running to them, such is the divisive nature of this kind of genre for some people.

It’s good though, very good, so don’t let preconceptions put you off discovering a talented band.