Featuring guest appearances from the likes of David Ellefson to Devin Townsend, Sepultura unleashes the most star-studded release of 2021 with “SepulQuarta”. Conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, this release features 15 Sepultura songs with a wide range of guests, creating a very unique and once-in-a-lifetime production. If you are a fan of the band, this release will be a very special addition to your collection.
The release quickly sets a very high bar with David Ellefson playing bass guitar on one of our favorites, “Territory”. If that wasn’t enough, Scott Ian plays on “Cut Throat”, Danko Jones in “Sepulnation”, and Phil Rind in “Inner Self”, this sets a very nice trip down memory lane for some of us, while enjoying uniquely different versions of these songs. Pieces like “Hatred Aside” are very nicely enhanced by multiple guests, leaving them at some times even better than the original.
Unleashing a very unique brand of Black’n’Roll with Groove Metal elements, Denmark’s Angstskríg manages to inject extra catchiness to an already catchy subgenre of Black Metal. Featuring six tracks and plenty of guests, “Skyggespil” is an engaging and highly unconventional killer release.
From the start, the album title track takes on guitar-driven Black Metal reminiscent of older Immortal and Satyricon, but introducing additional grooviness, making their music quite catchy and yet incisive. The vocalist snarls are the perfect fit for the guest appearance of usually live-guitarist Attila Vörös. Showing more of the band’s own brand of chaos, “Uhygge” is an excellent old-school BM piece filled with a pulsating bass guitar line and some interesting surprises as the song progresses, touching some decadent Gothic influences.
Riding high from their 2019 release, “Verkligheten”, Soilwork delivers a killer EP with nearly 37 minutes of music. Continuing their evolution into Melodic/Grove Metal territories, the band unleashes five killer songs filled with signature Soilwork moments that fans of the band will certainly love. If you have been keen on the band’s last two releases, this EP will satisfy your cravings for more.
Opening with the 17-minute title track, the band sets a very lively and upbeat mood in the first few minutes, with the song gradually exploring some groovy/proggy passages perfectly led by Björn’s clean/harsh growls and some funky keyboard arrangements by Sven Karlsson. The instrumentation is as rich as always with crafty drums and engaging guitar riffs. This track bleeds a bit into “Feverish”, a faster paced song with pummeling drums and a hectic vibe.
Ukranian sensations Jinjer are ready to drop a massive release with their crushing “Macro”. After a small taste with their “Micro” EP, this release delivers 40 minutes of high-octane groovy music that is unlike any other band these days. Characterized by their mixture of proggy aggressive passages and both hellish and sultry vocals, the band brings their live energy into the studio on this masterful release.
Wasting no time in blowing away the listener, the album starts with the pulsating guitars of “On the Top”. Tatiana Shmailyuk harsh growls set a very crushing atmosphere, only to be brilliantly contrasted later by her clean sections. This duality of vocal styles between heavy and more mellow instrumental sections is key to the band’s unique style and catchiness, as one can hear on both “Pit of Consciousness” and “Retrospection”.
As one of the most unique up and coming bands, today we have Ukraine’s Jiner and their latest EP: “Micro”. Mixing up elements of Groove Metal, Progressive Metal, Nu Metal and even some Hardcore/Rapcore elements, this band turns heads with their intense style and charismatic front woman: Tatiana Shmailyuk. Featuring five tracks, this EP should stir up some more momentum for the band as they tour Europe with Amorphis and Soilwork this year.
Wasting no time, “Ape”kicks things off with crafty tempo changes and intricate guitar work to set a vibrant and aggressive move immediately. Things get a bit more melancholic with the groveness of “Dreadful Moments”, which features some Meshuggah-like chops and brilliant hellish hash vocal onslaughts. The riffing power of “Teacher, Teacher!” when contrasted with the rap-like vocals make up for a very odd and yet intoxicating track.
Hailing from Greece, today we have Hard Rockers Dendrites and their self-titled debut release. Adding some elements of Groove Metal into the mix, this Greek outfit delivers ten superbly catchy tracks that will resonate in your head for days to come.
Opening with the momentum builder “The Wheel”, we are instantly very surprised on how ‘American’ does the band sound. The band’s vocalist and guitarist Thanasis Tiblalexis as a very distinctive voice which reminds us of Shady Blue of Chrome Division and Markus Hammer of The New Black. The band continues to totally rock with pretty solid tracks like “Breath”, “How Many Times”, and our personal favorite “Peace of Mind”.
Djent wizards Meshuggah return with their first release in four years titled “The Violent Sleep of Reason”. While we never been huge fans of the band, tons of our readers and friends always continue to rave over the band’s polyrhythmic exploits and the acrobatic merits of the band’s intricate music. In this release, the band delivers nearly 60 minutes of music split in ten tracks that while heavy and punishing, and indeed more diverse than some of the band’s earlier material, still not quite our cup of tea.
As the release opens with pummeling tracks like “Clockworks”, “Born in Dissonance” and “MonstroCity”, we clearly appreciate the technical prowess of Fredrik Thordendal and company, but can’t quite get into the music. The songs are different from each other, but they somewhat still feel very similar thanks to the guitar work and the music time signatures. Other tracks like
By the Ton”, go as far as reminding us of a more technically engaging version of Static X or Powerman 5000.
Coming out of a few very hard years with the death of founding member and drummer Tobias Graf and the departure of Sabine Scherer, the bands charismatic vocalist, Deadlock delivers their 7th full-length release titled “Hybris”. Featuring a more melancholic edge to their music than their previous two releases, this album brings us back to the catchiness of “Bizarro World” combined with the melodic side of “Wolves”.
Opening with the Groovy “Epitaph”, we are very quickly given the first glance of Margi Gerlitz’s vocals, which are actually somewhat similar to Sabine’s, but as the album progresses we notice they also have a wider range, allowing the band’s music to go to different places. This catchy opener is nicely framed with intricate drumming, direct riffs and subtle atmospheric elements. “Carbonman” and “Berserk” nicely step up the intensity level with two very engaging and heavy songs filled with cool guitar leads that ooze melody and provide a nice contrast when paired with Margi’s vocals.
Having stuff arrive from all over the world is one of the perks of working at Infernal Masquerade, today for the first time in 4 years we received a package from Malta. Featuring Fallen Icon’s debut EP “North of Nowhere”, this package is one of the most brutal and yet well-crafted Groove/Death Metal releases in a while. Pummeling through 23 minutes of crushing music, this Maltese trio delivers a relentless performance that should be recognized.
After the moody intro, “North of Nowhere” brings to the listener a crushing atmosphere filled with pummeling guitar riffs and tight drumming. Chris Bonello does a great job handling the guitars while delivering punishing growls. Perfectly mixing Groove and traditional Death Metal elements with some more modern Thrash touches, tracks like “Descent into Darkness” and “Through Sludge and Misery” are headbanging feasts that will entice people to mosh non-stop.
Keeping the groove train going, today we have Fear Factory and their latest opus “Genexus”. Having perfected their style over the years, in this release the band further refines their superbly catchy music with some more Modern Metal / Groove / Djent elements. Delivering over 50 minutes of signature Fear Factory music, this album will please any fan of albums like “Fear of a New Machine” to their later works “Mechanize”.
Setting a futuristic atmosphere with “Autonomous Combat System”, the band’s precise drumming/riffing onslaughts instantly come to light. With Dino Cazares handling all the riffing duties, the band sounds as good as ever. Pummeling through tracks like “Dielectric” and “Soul Hacker”, we notice that Burton’s vocals have a certain edge in terms of being a bit more aggressive than in some of their previous release, giving that extra level of brutality to this album.