Album Reviews

  • The Eyes Of A Traitor – A Clear Perception (2009)

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    The Eyes Of A Traitor is one of the few bands that is truly trying to find their own unique sound and not trying to copy anybody. Every song here features different styles and elements that make me wonder what they are trying to achieve. “A Clear Perception” is a very interesting album feature ten very different tracks, that would attract many different types of listeners.

    While their main ‘sytle’ I would say it’s metalcore, but they have different elements in many songs that make me re-consider this. Some songs are leaning more to death metal, and they some other res just weird. Some songs feature weird samples/keyboards either at the beginning or the end, and then they are forgotten, to suddenly reappear again.

  • The Sorrow – Origin Of The Storm (2009)

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    I have to say that I was quite impressed with The Sorrow’s performance in Tuska 2008, so I was curious about listening to this album. And I was completely disappointed, while you can clearly see their old Gothenburg influenced Melodic Death metal style, they completely kill it with the terrible Metalcore/emo style vocals. The album kicks of powerfully and I was thinking, this will be a great release, but noooooo the vocals switched to the annoying clean vocals, and the typical emo’ish choirs.

    I was about the stop listening to this album, but I remembered that I have to communicate my finding with other metal heads, so they decide for themselves if they want to take the plunge this way. I must say that the music is excellent since they still play a killer melodic death, but they ruin every single good riff with terrible vocal changes.

  • General Surgery – Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism (2009)

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    Three years after their first full length in 16 years called “Left Hand Pathology” this band returns stronger than ever with “Corpus In Extremis”. These crazy ‘doctors’ as they call themselves (read our interview with them in this issue), have the closest old school death metal sound that I’ve heard in years. And while their sound is not ‘original’, it’s refreshing since bands haven’t been playing this type of music, with this quality, in several years.

    The doctors are clearly influenced by early Carcass, and you can see this in the music as well as their lyrics and song titles, but they have also created a style of their own that can be heard and read in their two full length albums. They don’t waste any time in blowing the listener away since the first track of this album: “Necronomics”. Their lyrics are a mix of blood, guts, medical lingo and humor that reminds me of the old times when bands didn’t take themselves to seriously and where just having fun.

  • Centaurus-A – Side Effects Expected (2009)

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    After nine years and four demos this German band blows us away with their debut album “Side Effects Expected”. Their highly technical Death metal took me by surprise when this album started. I was not expecting anything of this quality for a first release of a band.  If I had to pick a favorite song in this album, I would not be able to do this, since all of them are excellent.

    The dual guitars work along with the precise drumming take this album to a whole new level in terms of technical Death metal releases. Every song features different solos and riffs that would keep any metal head with A.D.D paying close attention to them. The changes in between songs are brilliantly executed and dramatically increase the complexity of the songs.

  • Oceano – Depths (2009)

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    “Depths” is one of the most brutal releases I’ve heard in the last few years. It grabs you by the throat and keeps going at it until the album is over. Oceano comes from Chicago, USA, and this album was released through Earache records. Providing 13 tracks of perfectly executed death metal, this album will take many by surprise.

    The band’s musical style is nothing new, they excel at creating death metal with some great growls. The music is quite technical in some parts and overall pretty good. The guitar chugging never gets old if its done correctly and this band has a graduate degree at doing this. While there are some influences of Cannibal Corpse and other death metal bands, Oceano has a very characteristic chugging guitar sound of their own.

  • Hollenthon – Opus Magnum (2008)

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    The music of Hollenthon is what happens when you give a synthesizer to the demented Grandmaster Flesh (A.K.A Martin Schirenc) from Pungent Stench fame.  The band’s sound can be defined as an epic symphony of madness, the music I would probably hear in my head if I was confined to a mental institution. This release was in the making for 7 years, and it was well worth the wait.

  • Suidakra – Crógacht (2009)

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    This releases is the 9th full length album of Suidakra, and like it’s predecessors it’s very good and different. In this release the Celtic influences are predominant in most of the songs, but the traditional aggressiveness of their musical style is always present. All songs feature a higher technical quality than most of the bands previous work.

    “Crógacht” features nine tracks that will leave you begging for more. The intro track will give you a very good idea of what to expect through out the rest of the album. And then “Conaloch” hits with a combined aggressive and melodic aspect to it that will enthrall any listener. In this release the keyboards mark the overall Celtic atmosphere of the whole album.

  • Horna - Sanojesi Äärelle (2008)

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    Horna is one of the few black metal bands that I’ve been a fan since they where conceived and that I’ve never been disappointed with their releases. This Finish band features an all-star line up that includes members of bands that have released some of the finest albums in metal. “Sanojesi Äärelle” is a powerful release that will no doubt become a modern classic of black metal, and that will influence many bands in the scene.

    The thing I like about Horna is that no matter how much time it passes, I can always trust on them to deliver brutal and raw black metal albums. Most ‘original’ Black Metal bands have been experiementing with their style of music for the last years releasing mediocre albums in the process (Darkthrone, Mayhem, etc), but not Horna, they stick to the basics and excel at it. And this double CD would put many of the previously mentioned band’s releases to shame.

  • Empire – Auriga (2008)

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    This two member band from Michigan plays something close to industrial and ambient, and while some other reviews and the promo sleeve say’s they have some Black Metal influences I fail to hear them. The vocals sound a bit Black Metal, but other than that there is nothing else. The album it self is a weird trip into outer space or somewhere in between.

    Auriga features seven tracks of synthesizers, and guitars and a drum machine. While there are many interesting Industrial Black Metal bands, their music does not sound like this band at all. The overall atmosphere of the album is quite interesting and tense, but it just stays like that, I think it fails to deliver something that it’s building up to.

  • Blood Stained Dusk – Black Faith Inquisition (2008)

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    Blood Stained Dusk hail from …. Alabama, USA?. This American Black Metal masters feature the every enigmatic Pest on vocals and with this they have guaranteed their place in the Black Metal hall of fame. But it’s not only the vocalist that make this band great, all musicians in the band play they instruments with hate and fury to produce on the most brutal releases I’ve heard from 2008.

    The guitar work is intense and never let goes, and this band does not play 4 minutes songs, most song in this album are well over 9 minutes. The intensity of the songs only decreases when the ritualistic keyboard passages occur, only to be picked up again, and the blasphemous blasting continues. The keyboards create a majestic cold atmosphere that keeps the listener attentive to whatever surprise is coming next.

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