Revenge Division – The New Generation (Review)

Revenge DivisionRevenge Division are a Slovakian Metal band and this is their début album.

As the album title suggests, this is modern Metal but with a lot more earth and grit than is the norm.

Revenge Division have a rough and ready sound that’s nowhere near as polished as you might think for this kind of band. It adds a rustic charm to their aggressive Metal that wouldn’t be there had they opted for a more polished production.

The songs are halfway between Melodic Death Metal and a more modern version of the same. It’s almost Metalcore but I’m loathe to describe it as such as that genre tag has a lot of negative connotations, deservedly or not.

Modern Metal is a better descriptor than Metalcore really, but in either case it’s only part of their sound. A non-commercial Metalcore perhaps? Regardless, the Melodic Death Metal aspect of the music is prominent enough to be the main focus in many ways.

The vocals are quite varied, mainly featuring different types of growls and shouts as well as some higher screams. Cleaner vocals also appear – sometimes they share the same unpolished and rough texture that the music overall has, but sometimes, (first appearing on Satan’s Bride), they completely break from this and ring out pure and true, also with operatic female accompaniment. Quite unexpected but not unwelcome.

Decent riffs with lots of leads and solos abound.

For fans of Dark Tranquillity, Darkane, Withering Surface, etc.

 

Divine Zero – The Cold Asylum (Review)

Divine ZeroDivine Zero come from Germany and play Death Metal. This is their second album.

Divine Zero have a singer that alternates between deep growls and high shrieks, sometimes within the same sentence. It’s schizophrenic and harsh. The high screams have a bit of At The Gates about them and both styles sound top quality.

Ostensibly a Melodic Death Metal band, Divine Zero have enough brutality in them to satisfy fans of harder Metal also. It may be melodic but it’s also aggressive.

The songs have plenty of tasty riffs and the trade off between melody and brutality is handled well, with even a smidgen of Thrash being thrown into the mix. Everything’s played to a high standard and there are lots of things included to hook the listener and capture the attention.

The riffs are interesting and quite varied, with everything between modern Metal and Old-School Thrash having a look-in at various points. I also like that the solos are bountiful and emphatic.

A strong sound rounds off a strong package and Divine Zero have produced a very enjoyable album. It reminds me of turn-of-the-millenium Metal like Dew Scented and Withering Surface.

If you’re put off Melodic Death Metal as you think most bands who play the style sound watered down and/or too commercial then give Divine Zero a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

Sound of Memories – Living Circles (Review)

Sound of MemoriesThis is the début EP from French Melodic Death Metal band Sound of Memories.

This is a well recorded, well written début that takes its cues from bands such as In Flames and Withering Surface.

Upon listening to the first track Cyborg From Dust I must confess that for some reason I wasn’t expecting clean vocals to make an appearance, (not sure why), but when they do they’re done surprisingly well and actually enhance the song; especially as they’re only used the once.  For the rest of the time the vocals alternate largely between screams and grunts, both of which are done effectively.

For such a relatively young band the professionalism of this release is impressive. Not only do they have a crystal clear sound where the instruments sound vibrant and sharp, but they have plenty of ideas and talent with the skills and musicianship to pull them off. Even the bass gets to shine.

This is hugely enjoyable, reminiscent of the 90’s/00’s when this kind of music was very in vogue. In this respect Sound of Memories is a very apt name as it certainly takes me back. Having said that however the sound is thoroughly up-to-date and the band clearly have ambitions bigger than living in the past.

A very impressive début release. Hopefully the first of many.