Album Reviews

  • Kekal - Audible Minority (2008)


    I've been listening to Kekal since their early Black Metal origins to their transformation into Avant-Garde Metal. I've never been a big fan of their newer releases, however you can see some brilliance behind their music. "Audible Minority" was released on-line for free, and an official label release came to light in December 2008. I'm not an expert in Avangarde Music, but I can still find releases that I like and ones that I don’t.

    Kekal's latest release is one that after listening for several times, I'm not able to get into it. There are many elements floating around that do not fit well as a whole. Many of the samples are just annoying in my opinion, and the vocals just make them worse. While there are some nice jazzy parts, they just suddenly transform into a drone noises and the magic is lost. The only song I liked was "Against", all the rest have nice parts but nothing else.

  • Black Sun Aeon - Darkness Walks Besides Me (2009)


    I first heard of this band when I got a CD sampler from Stay Heavy Records during Tuska 2008. Black Sun Aeon is one of many projects from Tuomas Saukkonen, and like all of this projects, it's brilliant. Having 'formed' just in 2008 this album showcases the musical creativity of Tuomas. The release is dark and heavy, a perfect combination of Death and Doom Metal.

    This album also features an array of guest vocalists that give different dimensions to this album. It was great to hear Tomi Koivusaari from Amorphis growling again (in Chapter 4), Ville from Moonsorrow (Chapters 5 and 7) and Mynni from Sotajumala in 3 songs. The guest vocalists provide their powerful vocals to an already great combination of clean and harsh vocals provided by Tuomas and Mikko.

  • Tracedawn - Tracedawn (2008)


    I was blown away by this band's first release. Their sound is so well defined and technically amazing. Every track of this album has been greatly constructed and shows a high level of musicianship. And amazingly enough most band members are under 21 years old!

    The band's sound has some resemblance to Into Eternity, but it has a more symphonic sound to it. The vocals are a very well balanced mix of clean and harsh vocals that don't get too annoying or sound bad at all.

  • Turmion Katilot – U.S.C.H (2008)


    I've never heard of this band before I walked inside of Tavastia during the first night of the club shows that occured during Tuska 2008. And after their set was done, I was one more fan of this band.

    While their stage costumes made me believe they where going to play some type of grind/gore music, it was the opposite. Suddenly some beats started going on the background and I was in for quite an experience.

    Turmion Katilot's musical style is industrial metal, and in this release they feature some of the catchiest beats they have made until now.

  • Blackguard – Profugus Mortis (2009)


    The Canadians of Blackguard used to be called Profugus Mortis until they won a Nuclear Blast contest on myspace and got a record deal with them. I must say that I’m impressed with this band evolution from a symphonic black metal to a more Folk/Black metal band.  While they still maintain they black metal vocals, the music has been greatly revamped with folk influences giving the band a more dynamic sound and removing them from the ‘symphonic black metal’ clone band category.

    The only thing I’m disappointed they removed was the violin that separated them from other symphonic black metal bands. Other that this all their bombastic keyboards layered on top of excellent drum and guitar tracks gives this band an edge over any band from North America that plays this genre, and puts them in a competitive level against European bands that are masters of the trade.

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


    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)


    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)


    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)


    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)


    “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.


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