The bastard children of John Williams and Meshuggah are back with their aptly titled second release “II”. After delivering one of the most interesting and different sounding releases of 2009, the band’s sound is as epic as before with 10 monumental compositions and around 56 minutes of music.
Immediately after the enthralling opening track “United to Defy”, the band quickly falls into the one-trick-pony category. Their sound in this release is indeed very epic and the massive orchestral arrangements with the groove elements is still as impressive as before, but it feels too much like their last release.
Today in our huge promo-to-review queue we find Virgin Snatch’s “Act of Grace”, the band’s fourth release since their formation on 2001. Playing a very interesting mixture of Trash Metal with Modern Metal elements, more specifically Groove elements, we find “Act of Grace” a very interesting release… musically. The album is very fresh, sounding more like melodic Metal releases in some parts, since there are plenty of well crafted passages that sound like anything, except Trash Metal.
With a name like Virgin Snatch, we were about to immediately throw this to the queue of Grindcore/’shit we don’t really want to listen’ list, but we decided against it after doing some research on the band. You should not discard them because of this either, since this Polish band is worth a listen.
Out of the very impressive roster of Listenable Records, we get today another genre-bending band. Kruger hails from Switzerland and their combination of Sludge/Groove and Post-Metal is superb. For over 45 minutes “For Death, Glory and the End of the Word” delivers 9 brutal tracks.
With the waves of new bands coming out these days it’s very hard to bump into one that makes you fully appreciate the art of crafting a different sound that is both powerful and enthralling. Kruger achieves this since the first song, with a brilliant combination of aggressive ‘Sludgy’ riffs, aggressive vocals and solid drumming.
If you ever wondered what would happen if Fear Factory, Meshuggah and Gojira had a genetically engineered son, then it would sound just like Noctiferia does. The band has spent plenty of years trying to find their own sound, and on their earlier days they focused more on Melodic Black/Death Metal. On this 2010, they deliver “Death Culture” an album so rich in both style and content that will have you listening to it for quite a while in order to fully digest it.
The band features the chugging riffing of Fear Factory, combined with the surgically precise (and impressive) drumming of Meshuggah. On top of these elements they offer aggressive vocals like Gojira, Hacride, etc, making their sound very dynamic and brutal. The band has surely outdone themselves with “Death Culture” since it’s their best effort to date.
After all the countless Trash Metal releases we have reviewed in 2010, we finally get a break with a band that incorporates other elements to this genre, and makes it sound very different and fresh. Arma Gathas hails from Switzerland and their combination of Trash, Groove and some Hardcore elements makes them sound both powerful and fresh.
If we had to guess where this band is from without doing research, we would have guess that they came from France, since Arma Gathas sounds like a Trashier version of Hacride, Gojira, etc. The riffing in “Dead To This World” is very Trash Metal oriented but with more aggressive vocals and different rhythms thrown into the mix.
The all mighty Fear Factory as back with Dino Cazares on guitars and replacing longtime founding member Raymond Herrera we have none other than Gene Hoglan. “Mechanize” is the bands first full-length album in 5 years and while not one of their best, is a complete improvement over the lackluster “Transgression”.
For a band that has been so long in the scene, you can always rely on Fear Factory to release a straight forward in-your-face type of release. “Mechanize” is not an exception to this rule, but however like the band’s sound is pretty formulaic by now and it’s just another release with not much inspiration.
Recorded during the band’s 2008-2009 tours of the USA, we have “Alive”. This review is for the CD that comes with the DVD, not the DVD itself. Featuring 12 tracks of the band’s very impressive catalog of songs, we couldn’t have made a better selection into which songs made it to this CD.
The recording quality for this live CD is very impressive, and sounds crystal clear. We might add that the songs sound way better than when we saw them live. You clearly get the full Meshuggah aural assault when you listen to this CD.
Calling the music of Sybreed complex is a complete understatement of what the band does with “The Pulse Of Awakening”, their third full-length in their 7 years of existence. The mixture of elements in this album is as long as the list of ice cream flavors Baskin Robbins has.
Analyzing the band by layers, we can see the main underlying Metal foundation the band has, but it’s not just a regular ‘plain and simple’ Metal foundation. The band chooses to use very complex time signatures and polyrhythmic composition in the vein of Meshuggah, Xerath, etc.
Opening the year 2010, we already have one album that immediately was written down in our album of the year list. This is something that has not happened quite often, but with Mnemic’s “Sons Of The System” we are astonished in terms of the quality of this release.
Having heard Mnemic’s transformation over the years, this album took us by surprise, since it’s more melodic and straight forward. While the band maintains some of their signature trademarks they are opening up to a whole new world thanks to the vocal abilities of Guillaume Bideau.
Xerath has been touted as a mixture of Meshuggah and the symphonic sound of Dimmu Borgir, and this is a very accurate description of this band in our opinion. Having an amazing movie score like bombastic sound they are here to blow people away.
Usually when a band is blown up to sound like this they end up being a big disappointment but for Xerath this rule does not apply, this band is all of that and way more, “I” is such a rich album that I had to listen to it more than ten times to fully appreciate and digest all the layers this release has.