As we are used to reviewing Metal albums, whenever we get something that is a bit out of our comfort zone we always embrace the challenge and try to do justice to the music. Today we have a one-man project titled Picture Ann and ‘their’ 2010 release “Cinema Screen Sadism”. In this two-track EP we have combination of hypnotic atmospheric elements with some distorted guitars and very somber vocals.
Opening with “Film Window”, we are treated to a very minimalistic song that is quite entertaining and equally eerie. The atmospheric elements are quite intoxicating and the clean vocals greatly enhance the overall creepy experience. The distorted guitars are quite distance but equally gratifying providing depth to the track.
It is very interesting to receive albums made in 2010 (for 2010) nowadays and to notice the slight differences in the genres and how they have evolved since then. Today we have Finland’s Medicated and their Melodic Death Metal EP titled “Ways to Make You Fall”. In this four song release we can nicely notice how Melodic Death Metal was highly influenced by bands like Scar Symmetry and older Amoral, but since then it has kind of switched into a more clean vocal harmony driven genre.
In “Ways to Make You Fall”, the band delivers a hefty amount of harsh screams paired with melodic and catchy chorus sections, just exactly like Scar Symmetry and similar bands where doing back then. The band has a very strong core and the guitarists deliver excellent riffs and melodic sections that sound like they come from any ‘big name’ band. The opener “Ways to Make You Fall” delivers a hectic pace with catchy riffing. The super catchy chorus section is very well crafted and immediately has you headbanging to it, thus achieving what any good Melodic DM song has to do.
With a huge improvement in the band’s sound and skill-level, today we have Al-Namrood and their second full-length release “Estorat Taghoot”. In this album the band nicely capitalizes on their ethnical sound and delivers a crushing Black Metal album with nice atmospheric elements. Greatly improving over “Astfhl Al Tha'r”, the band produces 11 aural attacks that are merciless and very devastating with nice brushstrokes of Ethical elements here and there.
After the opener atmospheric track “Arousal at Nebuchadnezzar Fortress”, the sound get’s dark and hellish with “Junood Al Amajaad”. The vocals are demonic and the production is a bit fuzzy letting the Metal sections be more raw and effective. The drumming is considerably better than in their previous release and the guitar work is more hectic and raw. The crazy atmospheric keyboards are back and on tracks like “Estorat Taghoot” they add a certain level of chaos to the already chaotic guitars and drumming.
All the way from Switzerland today we have a band called Eskeype (is this pronounced Skype?), and their very catchy mixture of Groove Metal and Thrash Metal with some hints of a few other genres mixed in-between. For 13 tracks the band gives us a very in your face approach with hectic drumming, catchy and powerful riffing and aggressive vocals that will exhaust even the most active mosher from our readers.
Immediately after a very dynamic prologue, the band delivers waves of powerful riffs and aggressive vocals with the first two tracks “The Chronicle’s Origin Part One” and part two. In these two tracks the band quickly demonstrates their ability to craft very catchy guitar sections and pair them with crushing vocals. The melodic passages are excellent and the use of violins (a la Dark Lunacy) is just excellent, giving them a nice Melodic edge to their music.
Coming highly recommended by some of our friends, we finally had time to check out Grey Water’s EP from 2010 titled “Below the Ever Setting Sun” and we were pretty impressed with what we heard. Playing highly emotional Depressive Rock, Grey Waters blow the listener away with soaring vocals and powerful guitars that deliver a very melancholic feeling all through the five songs presented in this release.
After the intro track, “Say Goodbye” immediately reminded us of a modern sounding Decorayah, since the band creates a very powerful atmosphere and the vocals are a bit similar to Decorayah’s dramatic singing. The atmospheric passage in this song that leads to some harsh vocals is perfectly crafted, allowing the song to nicely flow. Next up we have “Below the Ever Setting Sun”, another very effective and melancholic track. This track has some nice Post-Rock/Metal hints that enrich the sound nicely, adding to the overall atmosphere created by the band.
Making its way from Norway to our little corner of the world, today we have Acelsia’s latest EP titled “Quietude”. In this four-song EP the band shows their very effective approach to mixing Gothic and Doom Metal influences with some hints of Rock. Lead by the enchanting vocals of Malene Markussen, the band delivers 18 minutes of pure melancholic music that will move you one way or another.
Opening with powerful riffs on “All these Years”, the band nicely transitions with enchanting female vocals and well constructed Doom-like riffs. While the band’s sound is not fully depressive or as down-tempo as regular Gothic Doom, you can still feel the melancholy behind the hearfelt songs presented in this release. “Happiness Prevails” opens with some weaping guitars and quickly transforms, this skill is probably Acelsia’s most interesting feature since the songs morph from one direction to another very seamlessly and effectively.
Featuring a very unique blend of Black/Death and Grindcore with Melodic passages, today we have Tyrael and their latest release “Der Wald ist mein Zuhause”. With claims by the band of calling their sound “Green Metal”, we found it very interesting that they actually do sound different than the tons of submissions we get every day.
Blowing up in your face with the opening track “To Isengard”, the band quickly gets into very melodic guitar work, crafted to perfection. The band’s tempo changes and hellish vocal combinations deliver enough brutality to nicely contrast the melodic nature of the track. “Throne of God” moves a bit into Black Metal territory with brutal drumming, but it also has very effective melodic mid-tempo sections that nicely pace the songs.
Featuring a very ethereal and fresh sound, today we have What Mad Universe, a two man band from France that plays a particular combination of Atmospheric Rock with Sludge and Post-Rock elements. For over 50 minutes we are treated with very enchanting compositions that will transport the listener to unknown realms of consciousness.
With a hefty mix of distorted guitars, atmospheric elements, some electronic ones, and the use of a banjo (Deliverance, anybody?), “A Cosmic Chapter with Gaia” nicely stands aside from the rest of atmospheric releases due to the intricacy and effectiveness of its songs. The masterminds behind this project PEP and RK do a great job in executing all these elements to perfection in order to create very engaging and interesting tracks.
Delivering five crushing blows of chaotic Technical Death Metal with Grindcore elements, today we have Dystrophic and their self-titled debut EP. For a new band, the members behind Dystrophic are pretty good at the trade and create very brutal and technical songs that will make your speakers bleed.
Starting with the traditional intro crap, the band fully explodes to full pace with “Total Existence Failure”. The drumming is very well crafted and keeps the pace of this song super hectic and brutal. The guitar riffing is pretty decent and some parts are blazing fast making it very interesting to listen. On “Withering at the Roots” the band kicks-off with a more traditional DM approach and suddenly the pace gets insane.
Being always weary of those ‘do it yourself’ new bands, we had some skepticism about the claims made on dark_matter’s press package info sheet. However, dark_matter greatly surprised us with great quality music and an impressive sound on this very short-but-sweet EP release. For over four tracks, the band delivers trippy and spaced-out compositions that stick in your head for days.
With the opening track “Neptune”, we are treated to some of the best ethereal keyboards we’ve heard in quite a while. They are perfectly paired with nice riffing and drumming, something that many bands that rely too much on their keyboards to be overly atmospheric can’t seem to get right. After the short intro track, “the_persistence_of_memory” delivers more powerful guitars paired with electronic and space rock elements that will transport you to a different level of consciousness (or your money back). We love that there are absolutely no vocals ruining the beauty of the music in this release.