Originally released as a free download on the internet “Hall of Shame” marked the debut release of Spanish Deathcore beasts Hyde Abbey. Now being properly released through Suspiria Records, this album delivers 12 tracks of punishing Deathcore/Metalcore that will surely rattle your speakers for a prolonged amount of time.
Not being our favorite genre, we are always skeptical about Deathcore releases since they are a dime a dozen and usually they all sound exactly the same. Hyde Abbey does a great job in delivering a very brutal and powerful sound similar to bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, Oceano, etc, and while not being overly original, the band does create some very badass songs.
Rounding off our promo package from End of Light records, today we have Gothminister and their fourth full-length release “Anima Inferna”. Presenting 11 tracks of a very engaging and catchy mixture of Gothic and Industrial Metal paired with plenty of electronic elements. Drawing similarities to Combichrist and Rammstein, this band shows a great deal of maturity in their latest release.
Opening with the very catchy “Stonhenge”, the band quickly shows their skills in crafting simple-yet-effective guitar riffs and a very atmospheric song structure. The combination of the clean vocals with the female choir is just outstanding and gives a very eerie and ethereal feeling, especially when the song is coming to a close. “Liar” delivers super catchy electronic beats and very intoxicating vocal melodies, we are not huge fans of this type of music but Gothminister makes it very hard for us not to like this song.
We are always skeptical about underground Black Metal releases since they are usually really bad, but to our surprise (and enjoyment) Forever Plagued Records re-release of Do Skonu’s debut full-length “Womb of Primeval Darkness” is a winner. This release showcases bands that has great songwriting skills, but are heavily damaged by the crappy production behind the original recording of this album.
As we mentioned, the whole sound is a bit muffled in the sense that you can hear the excellent riffing, but the drumming and bass guitar get drowned away by being fused into a big lump. The vocals are also pretty crisp, but the overall experience is similar to the ones we used to have when the cassette player was crapping out and destroying our tapes back in the day. Aside from the sound issues (of the original recording we assume), this release is one hell of an album that any Black Metal fan should take note.
Just when you thought you have heard every single Symphonic Black Metal band under the sun (or moon), a ‘new’ one pops out. Releasing their debut album “Descensus Ad Inferos”, today we have Greece’s Erevos. Playing a mean Symphonic Black Metal, this band delivers a very powerful and commanding debut release. Featuring tons of lush atmospheric landscapes, powerful guitars and very ghoulish vocals, this band will surely turn some heads in the scene.
Opening with thick atmospheric keyboards, “Adou Katavasis” announces the band’s very complex and well developed sound. The production behind this release is excellent since allows everything to sound very clearly and massive. The combination of keyboards and guitars is very melodic and makes this opening track very catchy and engaging. Things remain as brutal with “The Omnipotence of the Judges”, a song that reminds us very much of Anorexia Nervosa and their hyper-brutal melodic songs.
Arriving from the UK, today we have The Human Condition’s debut demo EP titled “Modern Maze”. In this 21 minute three track effort, the band delivers very effective Doom Metal songs that have that old-school vibe thanks to the well-crafted guitars and commanding bass guitar line. With most of the band members having previous band experience in the Doom Metal genre, it makes sense that The Human Condition’s sound is very well defined and effectively crafted.
Opening with the 7 minute “Modern Maze” song, this release kicks off with very typical Doom Metal sounding guitars and solid clean vocals. It usually takes us a while to get used to clean Doom vocals, but with Nathan Harrison, they sink in quickly. The riffing is very well crafted and it is properly mixed allowing everything else to shine the way it should. The pounding bass guitar line is nicely defined and the drums are pretty straight forward, but well-constructed.
Keeping up with the Progressive Metal/Rock releases we received recently, today we have Oceans of Night’s second full-length release titled “Domain”. This duo from the USA deliver and action-packed 63 minutes of pure Progressive/Power Metal excellence divided in 10 tracks. Featuring multi-instrumentalist Scott Mosher and vocalist Scott Oliva, this album delivers a hefty dosage of crunchy guitars and very well crafted atmospheric elements that sets them apart from the rest.
The opening track “Domain” clocks in at a massive 17 minutes, signaling the beginning of a very rich and diverse journey through the music of Oceans of Night. In this track the crunchy guitars are a notable difference from your traditional prog music, and the atmospheric keyboards add a futuristic tone to the overall track. Oliva’s vocals are excellent, filled with emotion and nicely bringing the lyrics to life. The drumming is very well structured, and while neither of the band members play the drums, they brought in a session drummer to have that natural sound.
Hailing from the land of “Sheep, single malt and haggis” as the band so eloquently describes it on their promo pack; today we have Scottish Progressive Metal newcomers: Abandoned Stars. With their debut EP “Opening Act”, the band delivers 4 very well crafted radio-friendly tracks that will surely get them noticed in the scene and generate interest in their future debut full-length release.
With a style similar to bands like Dream Theater, Rush and Yes, but with more modern and mainstream elements, the band makes a great impact in terms of songwriting and musicianship with “Opening Act” that demands the attention of the followers of the genre.
Rounding up the Lacrimosa re-releases brought to North America by End of Light records, today we have “Lichtgestalt”. As a perfect trip down in memory lane, this release is one of our favorite ones of the band and it was a pleasure to see it released in North America with a bonus CD. Featuring a bit of a mixture of older Lacrimosa with the “Echoes” album, this release is very powerful and well-crafted with fragile Orchestral elements and powerful guitars.
Tilo Wolff and Anne Nurmi do an excellent job in bringing back (after “Echoes”) the distorted guitar to its rightful place and pair it with beautiful instrumentation and highly emotional atmospheres. Since 11-minute opener the band creates a very emotional and dark atmosphere, but it also employs some aggression in terms of harsh vocals, commanding guitars, and a pummeling bass guitar line. The typical Lacrimosa-like songs “Kelch der Liebe” and “Lichtgestalt” are reminders of their “Stille” era and had us remembering those good old-days.
With such and impressive discography under their belts, Lacrimosa sets out to make some money and release a ‘compilation’ album in 2010 to summarize their career so far and show how much the band has evolved over time. With “Schattenspiel”, instead of taking the typical approach and cram in all their greatest songs, they put together 19 songs most of them have been unreleased in the past.
We are not huge fans of ‘best of’ or compilations releases that aim to make money and nothing else, but Lacrimosa tries a unique thing with their take on a compilation release. Documenting their evolution from the 90’s on the first CD, to the 2000’s on the second CD, this release is purely targeted to their core die-hard fans that will kill for anything new or rare of the band. And this release satisfies their craving with two new songs titled “Sellador” and “Ohne Dich Ist Alles Nichts”.
Arriving all the way from Italy to North America through End of Light records, today we have Infinita Symphonia and their debut full-length release “A Mind’s Chronicle”. With their traditional Power/Heavy Metal approach that features some symphonic elements as the album progresses, this Italian band delivers around 55 minutes of excellent music that while not very original, it is very well crafted and perfectly executed.
Opening with the powerful “Lost in My Own Brain” the band shows their chops in creating catchy and effective songs. The layered vocal sections are top notch and the guitar work is very well crafted, there are even some ‘harsh’ screams to add to the intensity of the track. “Mighty Storm” delivers more waves of crunchy riffs and very potent vocals, but the guitar work around the 3 minute mark is what takes the spotlight in this song. There is nothing overly pretentious and exaggerated about Infinita Symphonia’s music, and this is what makes them so good.