Arriving as one of the most brutal releases we have received in 2014, today we have Mastabah and their devastating “I Hate You”. Pouncing on the listener with brutal blast beats and crushing vocals, this release can be compared to a more chaotic Anaal Nathrakh rooted in Death Metal foundations.
Blasting things wide open with the incisive “Shackles of the Past”, the band is very serious about making their point of being super brutal. The crushing drumming is perfectly produced and shines through the heaps of growls, shrieks and relentless riffing. The band goes back and forth between insane brutality levels and Death Metal grooviness in tracks like “Spectacle of Human Existence” and the excellent “Deck of Life and Death”.
Having loved the band’s 2012 release “Constantinople”, we greatly anticipated “Old World New Wave”. Featuring nine tracks of haunting Psychedelic Doom, this band keeps reminding us of Jex Thoth but with a certain darker and doomier edge. Comprised of Jason Bennett and Serra Timms and Kelly Johnston-Gibson, this trio crafts some of the most unsettling and perfectly creepy music in the world.
Quickly setting the mood with the crushing distorted guitars of “Black Door”, the band creates a very eerie vibe with the female vocals giving it a retro-horror movie-esque atmosphere. If Purson played Doom, this would be a good way of describing what this track delivers. Things get doomier with the hypnotic “The Chalice & the Blade”, featuring some My Dying Bride-esque riffs paired with ritualistic drumming.
As one of the most expected releases of 2014, YOB’s “Clearing the Path to Ascend” instantly explodes in the listener’s ears with endless waves of crushing guitar riffs and demolishing drumming… and this is just in the first track. Oregon’s trio delivers what is most likely the most relentless Doom releases of 2014 and they do so with four tracks and around 61 minutes of pure fucking brilliance.
Slowly opening the door, “Unmask the Spectre” nicely builds up until a vicious onslaught of pummeling guitar riffs and Mike Scheidt’s monstrous growls. This track weaves back and forth between melodic rifftastic passages and crushing vocals. For a 15-minute track, this track goes down very smoothly and with a heavy dosage of headbanging. Arriving in Neurosis-like Post-Metal/Hardcore territory, “Nothing to Win” changes the formula a bit with a combination of screamed and growled sections achieving a duet-like atmosphere that is quite nerve-racking.
Hailing from France, today we have a new entry into the Symphonic/Gothic Metal category with Midnight Sorrow and their debut EP, “At First”. Delivering over 15 minutes of well-crafted traditional Symphonic Gothic Metal, the band can easily rival the likes of Edenbridge, Xandria, Delain, etc. with their very direct and easy going music.
As it is usual to open with an instrumental track, “Crystal Drops” sets a very magical atmosphere and generates expectation for the listener to keep reading. In a very bombastic manner, “Waterfall” instantly delivers and intense opening with fast guitars and very lush instrumentations. Maureen’s vocals are quite potent and very fitting to the music, she reminds us of Helena Iren Michaelsen from Imperia/Trail of Tears fame.
At Infernal Masquerade, we live for receiving those truly unique releases that transport the listener to other places, and Necromonkey does just that with their trippy “A Glimpse of Possible Endings”. In this 37 minute release the band delivers fixe hypnotic tracks that feature very emotive atmospheric elements and tons of cool instruments thrown into the mix. This Swedish duo will surely captivate your attention with their very original fusion of elements.
Having a super kvlt name as Necromonkey, we thought this band was going to be an Experimental Black Metal outfit, but we were gladly surprised that this release has a lot more depth than that. Opening with a very playful “There Seem to be Knifestains in your Blood”, the band immediately sets a very unique tempo sort of Trip-hop is with string instruments and eerie Theremin sections. It is quite cool that the band listed the instruments used per track in the liner notes of this slipcase release.
Arriving on Eisenwald Tonschmiede, today we have Australian duo Autumn’s Dawn and their debut full-length release “Gone”. Being no strangers to the scene, Sorrow and Anguish are musicians that play in at least 4 bands each, the most famous of them being Tim Yartas of Germ and Austere fame. Anyways, the band presents nine melancholic tracks of pure brilliance that eerily remind us a whole lot of Tim’s previous band Grey Waters.
Opening this release we have the very emotive “The Ashes of a Life”, a track that has a very Rock-ish structure and melancholic clean vocals from Tim Yartas. The very ethereal atmosphere is always present and it is allowed to shine (even more) in some instrumental passages. Don’t you think this release only features clean vocals, we get a treat of Tim’s harsh singing through this release, starting with the epic “Until My Heart Corrodes with Rust”.
As one of the songs in this release mentions, Accept is one of the last of a dying breed of hard rocking bands that constantly deliver quality over quantity. Wolf Hoffmann and company manage to set the bar even higher after their most recent scorcher releases “Blood of the Nations” and “Stalingrad: Brothers in Death”. With their newly found singer, Mark Tornillo, the band is soaring higher than ever before and “Blind Rage” is a testament to that.
Opening with the no-bullshit onslaught led by “Stamped” and the super catchy “Dying Breed”, the band continues to do what they do best: deliver epic Heavy Metal songs without complications. Being consistent is one of the Accept’s best assets and through songs like “Dark Side of My Heart” and “Fall of the Empire” we can hear the band’s signature sound greatly enhanced by a modern production.
With the Netherlands being a huge supplier of female-fronted Metal bands, it is always quite refreshing to hear bands trying different genres. Desitution delivers ten tracks of old-school Thrash Metal with modern production values and the original attitude of the 80’s. Featuring a very retro sound and packaging, this digipack is one solid debut release.
Instantly channeling their inner Kreator, “Mr. Greedy” opens the release with solid vocals and excellent guitar leads. The vocals have that very distinct Thrash ring to them that allows them to fully take command of each song. Not being slackers, Destitution delivers plenty of songs over 3:30 minutes long, with some of them even clocking 5 or more minutes. This allows the tracks to fully develop by themselves and features a wide variety of guitars leads and melodic sections like “Criticize”, “”Vigilante” and “Alcathrash”.
Arriving with one of the most expected releases of 2014, today we have Dragonforce and their epic “Maximum Overload”. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of signature Dragonforce Power Metal, this release further develops their sound and delivers a wide variety of tracks that appeal to fans of the band as well as genre enthusiasts. With Marc Hudson fully incorporated to the band’s style and tempo, this is one the best releases of their career.
Opening with the tour-de-force epic “The Game”, the band deliver their signature vocal melodies alongside the ridiculous guitar skills of Herman Li and Sam Totman. This opening track features some intense growls, making the band sound a bit like Mercenary in their good days, but the band’s traditional playfulness is always present. With epic chorus sections like on “Tomorrow’s Kings” and “No More”, the band will not disappoint any of their legions of fans.
Being huge fans of any variants of Death/Doom Metal, when we received Kvity Znedolenykh Berehiv - (Kvity - for short) demo release “Za Nebokray Mriy” (aka “Beyond the Horizon of Dreams”) we instantly put it on our stereo system. Featuring two songs of monumental atmospheric Death/Doom Metal, this release will intoxicate you with sadness and melancholy for the 20 minutes it runs for. Both songs deliver elements from the genre greats like Saturnus, (old) Anathema, My Dying Bride, Lethian Dreams. Morgion, etc., making them quite awesome.
Opening with “У обіймах (Тихі води)”, the release sets a very dramatic and engaging tone. Merciless weeping guitars surrounded by heavy growls and bleak atmospheric elements. This one-man band provides an excellent rendition of melancholy through music thanks to its lush keyboards/piano arrangements. Clocking in at nine and a half minutes, this track reminds us of Draconian minus the female vocals with some Forest of Shadows influences.