Arriving from Sweden in a lush digipack format, today we have newcomers Veonity and their three-song EP titled “Live Forever”. Perfectly capturing the atmosphere of 90’s Power Metal, this very young band makes an impressive debut with this release. If you are a fan of older Stratovarius, Helloween, and Gamma Ray, you will not be disappointed by the energy and intensity behind this short but sweet EP.
Opening with the EP title track, the band instantly delivers blistering guitar leads and a very balanced sound. The epic vocal melodies drive this song to the top of the pile when it comes to new Power Metal bands. With excellent lead guitars and tight drumming, we proceed to the next epic track “Slaves In A Holly War”, a track that presents us with more guitar wizardry and extreme catchiness.
Steamrolling their way from Finland, today we have Shrapnel Storm and their monstrous two song demo titled “We Come in Peace…”. With the Death Metal scene being invaded by tons of posers and pseudo-Death Metal, it is quite refreshing to hear a release that goes back to the basics of imposing riffs, brutal vocals, and a very polished traditional sound.
The release immediately sets a brutal tone with the commanding old-school inspired riffing of “Detracked”. In this track the band quickly sets a very traditional Death Metal mood with crunchy riffs and imposing guitars. The production is quite clear and allows every detail of the song to show.
Packaged in a very well designed Digipack, today we have Italy’s Il Rumore Bianco and their excellent EP titled “Mediocrazia”. In this four sound release, the band seamlessly combines elements of bands like Yes, Elfonia and Dream Theater with some more experimental Jazz and Fusion elements. Led by the charismatic vocals of Eddy Fiorio, this is one extremely refined band that delivers lush atmospheric and melancholic tracks.
The release opens with the playful “Tutto un Sogno” part one that delivers a very Yes-like Proggy Atmosphere. The instruments are very well layered and the psychedelic synths work wonders with the overall pace of the song. The band’s experimental side of things comes out with the intoxicating “Il Vestito Buono, a song filled with excellent vocal leads and quirky tempo changes.
Arriving from Mexico, today we have HELK and their very unique debut EP “The Chronos”. In this 6 song release, the band showcases a mixture of Black/Death/Thrash Metal that creates a melodic yet aggressive atmosphere very unique to this peculiar band. With a high dose of melodic riffs and epic headbanging moments, this is one EP that should not go unnoticed.
Opening with “Dark Funeral”, the band showcases their melodic aptitudes with incisive riffs, tight drumming, and catchy harsh vocals. With a certain air of bands like Kalmah and Carcass the release keeps pushing forward with “Freedom”. The combination of deep growls and harsh BM-style screams is quite engaging and allows the music to grow in different directions. Other playful tracks play off to the Thrash Metal strengths of HELK like the blistering “Vistrera”.
Today we have the re-release of Krieg’s “Blue Miasma”, a staple album in the band’s career that came out in 2006. Out on Forever Plagued Records, this version of the album, according to Imperial himself, is the way it was originally intended to sound. With a very raw and punishing nature, we have over 60 minutes of crushing USBM that could have been recorded yesterday and people would have never guessed it.
After a very traditional intro, the band fully explodes into raw and melodic savagery with tracks like “Who Shall Stand Against Me” and “Under an Uncaring Moon”. This early onslaught reminds us of acts like Mortualia, Sargheist, and similar Black Metal bands with certain melodic riffing. Sonically, “Blue Miasma” has that relentless rawness that only a handful of bands can put together and come out as a more brutal and more aggressive outfit.
Featuring members and ex-members of outfits like Krieg, Vital Remains, Chaos Moon, and countless other bands, today we have Esoterica and their monumental release “Aseity”. Featuring a thick and devastating atmospheric component, this Ambient/Black Metal release will enshroud your sonic landscape with crushing riffs, demoralizing vocals, and very thick layers sound aural dissonance.
Wasting no time, Esorterica blows things wide open with a pummeling onslaught on the opening track “Lessons in Forbidden Alchemy”. The band’s three members deliver one hell of a powerful sound with a merciless guitar distortion and perfectly crafted drums complementing the harsh vocals. This punishing musical approach nicely continues on tracks like “A Slave’s Ablution” and “Fever”, both of which never let go of the listener’s throat with their crushing atmospheric elements.
Arriving from Greece, today we have Kult of Taurus and their savage debut full-length release “Divination Labyrinths”. Featuring eight crushing Black Metal tracks, this release is as raw and decadent as humanly possible. This album should become a staple of the filthiest Black Metal that is enhanced with weird atmospheric elements. Said atmospheric weirdness pushes the band’s sound from average to attention demanding in a few seconds.
Immediately after the typical mood-setting intro, “Channeling End” delivers some incisive Black Metal riffs that will stick on your head for days. The sound is quite raw and direct, allowing the band to have that late 90’s feeling to it. Continuing with “The Light That Divides The Earth”, the music is quite crude, just like old-school BM should be. With harsh shrieks, tight drumming, and punishing riffs, Kult of Taurus might not be extremely original but they get the job done.
In a very crowded market for Melodic Death Metal in Finland today we have Torchia, a relatively new band trying to get their piece of the action. Hailing from Tampere, this band delivers their three-track demo with clear influences of the genre’s greats. Mixing elements of Children of Bodom and Kalmah, the band shows some promise but ultimately is missing a certain uniqueness to their music to really standout from the very crowded arena.
The demo opens with the high intensity “Nameless Story” that has a very typical Kalmah vibe. The riffing is quite solid and so are the vocals, but being a demo the production is not quite what it could be. The band’s ability to execute their songs is quite solid and shows that with a few more years of practice, they could stand out from the rest if they found their own sound.
Packaged in a beautiful digipack with killer artwork, today we have France’s Toumaï and their entirely insane “Sapiens Demens”. With equal levels of awesomeness to the band’s insane sound, this release presents nine tracks of experimental music combining everything from Groove Metal, Jazz, Fusion, to some Ska and other crazy elements. We are always looking for bands that push the envelope and this one takes it 100 steps further than your normal band.
With the elegant opener “Little Psycho”, the band slowly starts to peel the layers of their extremely experimental sound with jazzy pianos and cool vocal arrangements. This track gave us a Diablo Swing Orchestra vibe but with even more levels of madness and experimentation. The first mega-catchy song in this release comes under the name of “Madness In Mind”, a song that is quite unconventional, playful, and with some brutal sections.
In a world mostly filled with harry odd looking dudes as drummers, today we have Italy’s Blood Red Water and their sexy female drummer Fiorica Gasparini. Delivering five tracks of gut-wrenching Sludge Metal on “All the Ills of Mankind”, this band rolls punishing riffs since the first minute and never let’s go.
Opening with the heavy as fuck “A Ride In The Funhouse”, we are left with very slow and devastating Sludge riffs that will appease any connoisseur of the genre. The vocals are slurry and have a certain Motörhead/Southern snarl to them, nicely complementing the music. The bass guitar is quite present on “Megalophobia” as the band switches into more punishing riffs and all out headbanging brilliance.