Formed by CKY’s front-man/guitarist Deron Miller and super drummer Tim Yeung, today we have Wonder Under Blood and their debut full-length release “Tactical”. As you can tell, this seems like an odd combination but it actually works wonders and this debut release is a fine example of different sounding Melodic Death Metal. As we mentioned, World Under Blood does not sound like your typical Swedish Melodic DM or your commercial Melo-Death bands you have in North America these days. The band has their own different sound and nicely mixes brutality with brilliant melodic sections.
As you can tell from the opening track “A God Among the Waste”, the band is not f’ing around and delivers powerful riffing with very well crafted drumming. The clean/growl vocal approach sounds a bit odd at the beginning, but it quickly grows on you. The music reminds us of the band Godless Rising, but with a bit less brutality. The quality of the solos never decreases through this release and on tracks like “Into the Arms of Cruetly”, “Dead and Still in Pain” and “Purgatory Dormitory”, they nicely highlight sections of very well crafted songs.
Melodic Death Metal
Overlooking the fact that Olof Mörck from Amaranthe infamy plays guitar in this band, Nightrage’s fifth full-length album is actually a few steps up from their previous riff-tastic offering “Wearing a Martyr's Crown”. “Insidious” features 15 songs of very well crafted Melodic Death Metal in the Gothenburg style. However, what makes this release better than their previous albums is the guest appearances by Apollo Papathanasio of Firewind, Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates/ Lock Up, Gus G of Ozzy Osbourne/ Firewind, Tom S. Englund of Evergrey, and John K of Biomechanical, each of them providing something different to each of the songs they participate in.
After the traditional intro song, the album opens with solid riffing in the track “Delirium of the Fallen”. Here you can easily notice the similarities with the band’s earliest work, but when Apollo’s vocals kick in, the whole vibe of the song is very nicely changed and a very well crafted solo capitalizes this vocal change. On the album title track, the band goes for a typical drumming/guitar onslaught that made countless Swedish Melodic DM bands popular, but once again Tomas Lindberg’s guest appearance is what saves the day for this song.
After their very impressive demo “Before the Blackened Sky”, Euphoreon returns with their crushing self-released and self-titled debut album. All fans of (old) Children of Bodom, Moonsorrow, Turisas, and similar should be keeping an eye out for this very well produced album.
Featuring re-vamped versions of the three songs presented in the demo, this new release adds five more tracks of brilliant musicianship and excellent combination of elements that have made the previously mentioned bands very successful. The song “Before the Blackened Sky” shows the wide palette of influences the band has and it also gives a very nice intro of what is to come in this release.
After their overly formulaic “Dark Matter Dimensions”, the band returns with a very interesting release with “The Unseen Empire”. It seems that the band somewhat changed a bit their ‘musical formula’ and now diluted their sound with some Male-fronted Gothic Rock/Metal influences.
While the traditional epic chorus sections are a staple of this album, we also have different sounding melodies that make this band… well… more melodic. The technical brilliance of the band is also pushed back a bit and while we do get some brilliant guitar sections, the focus is more on the catchiness of the songs.
Multi-instrumentalist Tuomas Saukkonen returns with another excellent Before the Dawn release. Fusing Melodic Death Metal and Gothic Metal, Before the Dawn has been gaining popularity over the years and with “Deathstar Rising”, they set the bar even higher.
Besides Tuomas brilliant songwriting skills, the bass guitar and clean vocal talents of Lars Eikind greatly complement the band’s sound. Not being to ‘weak’ for regular Metal people, and without being extremely harsh, “Deathstar Rising” is a release that fits right in the middle between aggressive and melodic Metal released.
The Swedish masters of Viking infused Melodic Death Metal are back with their most catchy and melodic release up to date. With “Surtur Rising” the band validates why they are one of the premiere Melodic Death Metal bands in the world and they will surely please all fans and gather hordes of new fans as well.
As we all expected, the guitar work in “Surtur Rising” is outstanding to say the least. The riffing power of Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg is unrivaled and on this release they put together 10 songs of pure power and catchiness. Sure there are heaps of ‘traditional’ Amon Amarth sections, but the way the guitar melodies drives the music in this release is just excellent.
Hailing from Italy on The Execution Kollective Records today we have As Likely As Not and their debut full-length “Stand Up and Nerve”. Labeled as a mixture of Melodic Death and Metalcore, the band delivers a somewhat uninspired release that bridges both genres but fails to deliver in the important aspects.
The band does a solid job in not being too Metalcore, but they also forget some of the important elements of Melodic Death Metal, like the killer guitar work and wide variety of blazing riffs that other bands tend to focus on. While “Stand Up and Nerve” is not the best album ever, it has some moments and shows some promise from this young band.
Hailing from Poland today we have a very refreshing band: Made of Hate. This band plays Melodic Death Metal the true way, not the pussy Melo-Death shit that new bands play these days. With influences of older In Flames, CoB, Soilwork, etc, the band has a very guitar driven sound that does not feel like a complete rip-off of their influences, something very rare in this genre.
“Pathogen” contains 8 tracks of very solid guitar driven compositions that will have you head banging in a matter of minutes. Since the opening track “Friend” you can start to notice the riff-athon you are in for. Featuring ‘manly’ vocals the band has a strong sound that has the late 90’s Melodic DM feel all written over it.
Deadlock, one of the most polarizing bands in the metal scene returns with yet another very diverse sound release. By polarizing we mean that people have very outrageous opinions about their musical style, some people call it Pop Metal, but we have to say their style is pretty bad ass and it really grows on you after a few listens.
Moving past their hip hop and metal track in “Manifesto”, the band consolidates their efforts in a very dynamic sounding release. Yes, there are some parts that might be considered too mainstream for ‘extreme’ metal, but in general the band has a unique sound that surely gets them noticed everywhere they play and gains them fans from all kinds of musical genres.
Finish melodic Death Metal masters Omnium Gatherum return with their best album to date: “New World Shadows”. After their killer debut album “Spirits and August Light”, the band wondered off with some lukewarm releases and finally returned to the spotlight (for us at least) with “The Redshift”.
In “New World Shadows” the band goes into darker territory and presents us with a more ‘classical’ Melodic Death Metal sound and their own brand of guitar acrobatics and solid songwriting. With this album, the band is sure to drawn comparisons to Finish Melodic Death Metal heroes Insomnium.