One of the most rewarding things about reviewing music for Infernal Masquerade is the ability to discover excellent bands like Wall of The Eyeless. Having extremely liked their first demo “Through Emptiness”, we are pleased to receive their newest 4-song demo release “Wimfolsfestta”. Delivering over 25 minutes of intricate Progressive Death Metal, this band seems to have all the potential to be signed by any mayor Metal music label in the world.
“Flicker” is the first track on this release and it delivers a nearly 10-minute emotional ride through excellent riffs, tight drumming, and an effective combination of growls and clean vocals. The band’s ability to create intricate compositions that weave back and forth from melodic passages into aggressive sections is quite excellent and it is perfectly showcased in this song. “The Longest Winter” comes in with a faster and more direct approach. Keeping the melodic side of things always present, this track nicely combines merciless riffs with powerful growls.
Melodic Death Metal
Making its way from Finland, today we have the debut EP “Predators Among Us” of Melodic Death Metal newcomers Distress of Ruin. Trying to make an impact in this very crowded scene, the band pulls all the stops and delivers six hard-hitting tracks that showcase their excellent abilities. With fierce competition of bands like Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium, the band made a great impression on us with their quality riffing and extra catchy melodies presented in this excellent release.
Opening with some excellent atmospheric keyboards and acoustic guitars on “The Ocean of Perdition”, the band immediately makes their mark with epic riffs and crushing growls. While sounding a bit like Insomnium, they still get our attention since the band’s songwriting skills are top notch and the track sounds amazing. Things pickup with the tight drumming of “They Play Dead”, a song that is superbly catchy and features super effective riffs. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals works great and provides a nice contrast between the two.
Four years have passed since the crushing “A Taste of Extreme Divinity” and Hypocrisy finally returns with a release that brings them back to their more melodic and epic sound of albums like “The Fourth Dimension” and “The Final Chapter”. Bringing back the demonic aliens on the album cover, this release is both powerful and melodic with epic riffs and haunting atmospheres, a must have for any fan of the band’s earlier work.
Opening with the atmospheric epic “End of Disclosure” we are immediately transported to the band’s classics like “Roswell 1947” and similar tracks from those years. The band really changed things up from their last album to this one, and we particularly like this more melodic approach they have. The riffing as you can expect is amazing and on “Tales of Thy Spineless” they bust out some crushing Thrash Metal-style passages that will make you headbang instantly.
Recently resurrected (2009) October Tide delivers us their second release in four years with “Tunnel of No Light”. Featuring their traditional early Katatonia sound from the 90’s, this band keeps doing what they do best, and we totally dig them for that. Lead by Fredrik Norrman, the band recently changed bass guitarist and vocalist, but you can’t even tell the difference since October Tide is as melancholic and brutal as ever.
Opening with their signature layered guitars on “Of Wounds To Come”, we get the first impression of the band’s new growler Alexander Högbom, and we must say it is very impressive. The intricate melodic guitar work is the staple of the band and they do not disappoint in tracks like this one and “Our Constellation”. The first Doom epic comes under the name of “Emptiness Fulfilled” and its crushing weeping riffs. This song delivers both magical melodic passages and super powerful growls… exactly what Infernal Masquerade likes.
Suffering by the exit (for the second time) of their long-time guitarist and main songwriter, Peter Wichers, Soilwork manages to regroup and produce one of the best efforts to dates in the double album “The Living Infinite”. With all the band participating in the songwriting process, their latest release is actually very dynamic and diverse, exploring all facets of Soilwork’ sound from the last years.
Keeping on their Metalcore / Melodic Metal path, the band immediately opens the first CD of this release with the crushing “Spectrum of Eternity”, a track that perfectly mixes intense passages with melodic sections. Björn Strid’s vocals are once again perfect in blending harsh elements with soaring clean vocals giving the music a versatile sound that many bands fails miserably at.
Coming along with quite a set of positive reviews for their earlier work, today we have Norway’s Okular and their sophomore release “Sexforce”. Playing an interesting mixture of Progressive Death Metal with some Melodic DM elements, this band is full of creative and unique ideas, too bad they can’t seem to really work them together in a cohesive manner. Besides the obvious musical quality, this release features guest appearances by Athera (Susperia) on seven tracks and Vintersorg on one song.
After many listening to this promo countless times, we are torn about not really being able to like it as a whole. The album is quite complex and has plenty of layers to it, but they mostly feel like several things going in different directions and never really coming together properly. On the one hand, we have killer guitar work on songs like “Not Separate” and “Sexforce”, but some of the tempo changes are confusing and the vocals go in different directions.
After their surprising transformation on “Third Act in the Theatre of Madness”, Illnath returns with a very solid release rooted on a bigger Melodic Death Metal foundation. “4 Shades of Me” features 11 tracks of superbly catchy Melodic Death Metal that shows the band nicely settling into their new career path.
Immediately after the so-so opener “Blood Warrior”, “Gallow Hill” shows the first signs of brilliance in this release with super catchy riffing and a crushing sense of melody and aggression. The band’s growler Mona Beck does a fine job in delivering harsh vocals that if you didn’t read it was a female singer, it would be hard to figure out.
As one of the most awaited releases of 2013, today we have Eternal Tears of Sorrow and their seventh full-length release “Saivon Lapsi”. With the band aging very well with time, this release is indeed their best album to date. With their signature Melodic Death Metal with Gothic elements sound, the 11 tracks presented in this release show the band’s maturity and their ability to craft epic songs that are both aggressive and emotional.
Immediately after the intro, the band sails full-steam ahead with the powerful “Dark Alliance”. EToS traditional riffing immediately shines when paired with the atmospheric keyboards and the very elaborate vocal arrangements. Altti Veteläinen growls are as good as ever and they are very well complemented by Jarmo Kylmänen’s clean pipes, a staple in the band’s sound since 2004. The keyboard orchestrations are as impressive as ever and elevate the band’s sound majestically.
When one thinks that a band can’t get any better, we got completely surprised by how Omnium Gatherum managed to improve over their previous epic release “New World Shadows”. In “Beyond”, the band takes their highly refined Melodic Death Metal sound and brings it up another notch to near perfection in the 10 tracks presented in this majestic release.
Slowly building up with the intro track, “The New Dynamic” explodes with the band’s signature intense riffs and powerful growls. As the track progresses, the epic lead guitar work enhances the mood and the acrobatic solos immediately start. The clean vocals greatly add to the overall awesomeness of the song when paired with the precise bass guitar line. This is nicely continued by the super catchiness of “In The Rim” and its killer vocal arrangements during the songs more melodic sections.
Like a bag bricks to the face, Fragments of Unbecoming delivers their fourth full-length release “The Art of Coming Apart”. Hailing from Germany, this band packs a mean punch with their high-octane riffing onslaught and killer vocals. Many bands try to pull-off Melodic Death Metal, but only a handful, like F.U.O, bring the pain in every single one of their tracks combining a furious pace and crafty melodic passages.
The clean opening of “The Art Of Coming Apart” nicely tricks your brain into thinking this will be a mellow track, just before blowing you away with hellish vocals and pummeling drums. The intensity of the band is the first thing that will impress you from them. Also, the ability to carve melodic sections into such brutal tracks is another excellent property of F.U.O, and can be heard in this opening track.