We receive many press kits at Infernal Masquerade every week, but when you get one with a bunch of pictures of dudes doing a photo shoot in the beach, one immediately wonders what kind of sick stuff the band is into. After the initial shock, the band’s name (Of Men and Angel’s Flesh) pretty much gives it away that we are in for a rollercoaster ride of brutality and weirdness.
Delivering seven tracks of Brutal Death Metal with some Grindcore and Deathcore influences, OMAAF’s debut EP “Ethnospheric Decay” is one hell of a rookie release. Blasting away since the opener “Satellite (DyingThroughts)” the band immediately shows their riffing power and intricate songwriting skills. Filled with crushing Deathcore style growls and less-growly screams, the band’s sound is brutal and very well crafted at the same time.
Arriving to our office in a beautiful gatefold slipcase, today we have Dystrophic latest opus of destruction titled “Cancer Constellation”. In this five song EP the band continues to deliver sonically abusive music that reminds us of Anaal Nathrakh and similar ear-defiling acts. If you thought that their previous self-titled release was brutal, wait until you get your hands on this one!
Warming up the engines with the Noise intro “Ascension to Absurdity”, the band quickly generates high expectations for this release. The brutality finally kicks in with some crushing riffs and massive drumming in “Cancer Constellation”. The band’s ability to create whacky guitar lines and hellish growls makes their music even more brutal. The band treats us with more sonic abuse with the crazy transitional track “Endless Portals to Uninhabitable Galaxies”.
Featuring 13-tracks of traditional and uplifting Power Metal, today we have France’s Galderia and their third full-length release “The Universality”. In their first release through Metalodic Records, the band delivers a much needed dosage of traditional sounding Power Metal that is not marred by an over the top production or an extreme obsession for being super-fast or overly bombastic.
Immediately after the intro track, “Children of the Earth” showcases the maturity of Galderia and their ability to craft such an epic track with warm sounding guitars and killer vocal melodies. The overall melodic nature of this track is superb and the guitar work really helps elevate such a monumental song to Power Metal excellence. The same epic feeling is transmitted to tracks like “Universality”, “Raise the World” and “Sundancers” making this release a blast to listen to, especially if you enjoy old school Power Metal that was more about soaring vocals and blasting guitar riffs
As the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Michael Kushner, today we have Born of the Stars and their/his self-titled EP. Mixing elements of Progressive Metal, Alternative Rock and Post-Rock, the ‘band’ manages to craft very emotional and melancholic songs that are actually very appealing and engaging.
Opening with powerful Groove Metal-style guitar riffs, “One Day” immediately morphs into a more melodic and diverse track. Michael delivers a solid vocal performance, but we are more surprise on the quality of the instrumentation behind the song. Particularly the drums are quite good, which are usually the pitfall of one-man bands, and most of the time sound like very evidently programmed ‘robotic’ track.
Delivering nine tracks of exquisite and playful instrumental Rock, today we have France’s Lovely Girls Are Blind and their third full-length release “Brésil”. Combining elements from Instrumental Rock, Post-Rock, and Progressive Rock, this French quartet manages create their own unique sound while reminding us of bands like Mogwai, God Is An Astronaut, and the more refined parts of Russian Circles.
Opening with the very eerie “Catatonie”, the band sets the mood with dreamy guitars and very well paced percussions. The band does a great job in crafting beautiful passages in this song (and the rest) that allow the song to fully develop in a natural fashion. With a shorter duration and a more direct approach, “Robotnik” shows a heavier side to the band that nicely changes the pace of the release very quickly, just before going back to more dreaminess courtesy of “Cochise”.
In a truly epic and devastating manner, today we have Swiss Post-Hardcore moshers When Icarus Falls and their sophomore full-length release “Aegean”. In this seven-track release the band delivers punishing anthems that remind us of a mixture of The Ocean with Neurosis and Amenra with a few hints of the Post-Metal elements of Cult of Luna. With the recording in charge of Julien Felhman, the band taps into their inner demons and unleashes one hell of a release.
The riffing onslaught beings with the soul crushing “A Step Further”, a track that delivers crystal clear guitars and super harsh vocals. With a similar production sound to Neurosis and The Ocean, the band’s powerful guitar/vocal attacks are perfectly delivered. As the tracks bleeds into the album title track, subtle drums are very well used to bridge the two songs. “Aegean” delivers 9-minutes of intensity that constantly keeps growing over time. The vocals again take center stage as they are very powerful and greatly contrast the Post-Metal / Sludgy music laid out.
Delivering a punishing aural assault of 35 minutes, today we have Dacast and their sophomore release “Dédale”. This French experimental band combines almost everything you can imagine in a ‘heavy as fuck’ package that is truly genius and totally deranged at the same time. With parts of Deathcore to brilliant Math Metal and Progressive sections, this monolithic release has something for everybody.
With a very bizarre retro cover that pretty much describes how the music sounds, this release is totally unique and quite disturbing. The band’s in your face style is quite brutal, but what makes us even more uneasy is how amazing the band is a going from a proggy section to a balls-to-the-wall Deathcore passage and back into some Jazzy stuff. This release is split into two sides, each one as crazy and chaotic as the other, but with an underlying technical brilliance that is unrivaled.
Being huge fans of Aenaon, we got very excited when we received this two-song split release between the Greeks and the Russian one-man band Stielas Storhett. Clocking in around 12 minutes, this split really showcases both bands ability to take Black Metal to completely new heights and make it seem easy.
Opening the release we have Aenaon’s “Er”, a 6-minute track that continues their Progressive Black Metal brilliance after last year’s epic “Cendres Et Sang”. The band’s unique style is immediately present with funky melodic sections and killer vocals. The progressive elements of this track are excellent, but the sax on it really reminded us of Ihsahn and his own brand of music but with a jazzier edge, just like on the band’s previous release.
Delivering a highly melancholic debut full-length release, today we have “Necropolis” from the Australia two-man band Wither. Featuring a very diverse and depressing sound, this band will surely put you on suicide watch after listening to 50 minutes of brilliant Funeral Doom with some Black Metal and Gothic Rock elements. With elements from bands like Katatonia and the Russian Gothic/Doom band Autumn, this Aussie band has a very well defined sound that is extremely emotional.
Opening with the heavy riffing of “Sonar Sphere”, the band’s sound immediately starts aggressive but as the melancholic melody sets in, this moves to the background. The raspy vocals are quite desolate and greatly add to the very moody atmosphere of the track. As the song progresses, the mood changes to a slower and even more desolate atmosphere, very similar to what Autumn used to do in their releases. Being the first track, we are completely hooked on how this release creates very bleak landscapes with their music.
As an interesting hybrid of Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Before The Dawn, and Amorphis, today we have Finland’s Star Insight and their two-song single “My Time is Out”. With a heavy emphasis on atmospheric elements, Star Insight gives us a very promising look into their upcoming debut full-length release.
Opening with “My Time is Out”, the band has a very similar sound to Before the Dawn on their “Soundscape of Silence” era thanks to the type of growls and the riffing used. Throwing some atmospheric elements into the mix, and now we have them sounding a bit like Eternal Tears of Sorrow. Don’t get us wrong, Star Insight has their own sound, but their influences are heavily marked in this song. As a song, “My Time is Out” is actually quite entertaining and diverse, showing their bombastic music and knack for multiple singing styles.