With the logo calling for similarities from Voivod we were expecting a soulless clone of this band, but instead we found a very good Progressive Trash Metal American band that is set to make a name of their own. Hailing from Arizona, this quartet does a great job into mixing progressive elements with old-school Trash that will blow you away.
While there are some Voivod influences, “Black Future” is an album that clearly stands out from all the ‘new’ Trash Metal releases these days. The riffing is the main driving force behind this release, but it’s perfectly crafted around complex song structures that are unlikely in many Trash releases.
When Patrick Mameli decided it was time to bring back Pestilence, he enlisted the services of Tony Choy (Bass) and Peter Wildoer (Drums) in order to record “Resurrection Macabre”, the band’s return to their Death Metal days, and first album in 16 years. Many people where left off wondering what happened to Pestilence with their very good (and for some atrocious) release of “Spheres” an album that saw the band change their musical style considerably.
“Resurrection Macabre” in a few words is: A fucking brutal and technical release. This album is something we were expecting from Pestilence back in 1993, however this release still sounds good for this time thanks to a superb production. Patrick has brought back the full aggressive Pestilence sound that we all loved from their beginnings and the technical aspect of “Spheres” combined together into a brilliant release.
Today we have a short-but-sweet EP from this Swedish quartet that plays Black Metal. Withershin was formed since 2006, in just a few years has managed to release a demo, a full-length CD and this EP that feels more like a maxi-single since it only lasts 15 minutes.
The three tracks in this EP showcase a mature band that plays a very solid Black Metal that would rival any of the other mid-level bands in Sweden and the world. Since there are only three songs we will use the dreaded song-by-song review approach.
Hailing from France, today we get a very unique Post-Black Metal band that is not afraid of pushing the boundaries of music. This French trio plays a very well balanced mixture of raw Black Metal with experimental elements that makes “Dazzling Dawn” a very refreshing album that is both aggressive and very melodic.
Starting off with a very symphonic intro, you are set to expect something like Dimmu Borgir or similar Symphonic Black Metal bands, but instead you get a very raw BM approach with some female vocals. All this for 2 tracks and then it changes into a very melodic acoustic ballad that could be from any Gothic Metal band out there. This is pretty much how the album flows, featuring a wide variety of styles and elements put together in a very intricate way.
Hailing from Philadelphia today we have Rosetta, a band that combines elements of Hardcore, Shoegaze and Post-Metal with heavy melancholic atmospheres. This American band has been around for a while and has a pretty strong following in the scene, achieved thanks to their superb releases.
“A Determinism of Morality” is the band’s latest effort. The album is being released by Translation Loss Records, a very unique label that has such acts as: Javelina and Mouth of the Architect. “A Determinism of Morality” starts off very aggressive before blending into an intoxicating mix of atmospheric passages. The band does a great job in gravitating between aggressive sections and instrumental passages that remind us of God is An Astronaut and similar bands.
After their impressive debut album “I Am Silence” back in 2007 we were left wanting more from Evig Natt, and finally we get “Darkland” this 2010. This Norwegian band debuted combining Black Metal with Gothic/Doom Metal influences in a very unique way, getting them enough attention and acclaim for their first album.
With “Darkland” the band is back with a sound geared towards our favorite trifecta: Gothic/Doom/Death Metal. We completely love this genre, and we can say we are its harshest critics. With only a handful of bands that we discovered in the last few years that are worthy of carrying the banner of the combination of these three genres, we were pretty cautious when reviewing “Darkland”.
After a waiting period of 6 years between releases Fall of Empyrean is finally back, with their crushing Death/Doom Metal. “A Life Spent Dying” has been waiting to be released for a few years now, and finally Grau records picked it up for release. The band still plays Death/Doom Metal like in the old days and kills at it.
“A Life Spent Dying” is a pretty decent successor to “A Darkness Remembered”, the band features their characteristic sound crafted with “Anhedonia” with only a few tweaks to make it sound even better. Most of this album is very formulaic; take for example the song “The Air is Still” which showcases every Death/Doom Metal trick in the book. This approach does not reduce the quality of music created by Fall of Empyrean, and take anything from this great release.
For a band that has been around for 17 years, Nominon’s music does not really reflect this. “Monumentomb” features nine sub-par Death Metal songs that pretty much anybody else would have been able to come up with. The band’s old-school Death Metal sound is ok, but it lacks a lot in the creativity department.
Featuring members from tons of other bands, we can’t really point out want is wrong with this release except that is plain uninspired and empty of worthy content. Hailing from Sweden and having tons of great bands around them we would definitely expect more from this band. Another issue with “Monumentomb” is that the production behind it sound very cheap and does not allow the music to shine properly.
Around the same vein as Ufo Mammuth, we have Year Of No Light, and band that does great justice to its name by playing mesmerizing Ambient Doom with Shoegaze influences that will take you in a dark voyage with a considerable lack of light. Hailing from France, this band has a very crushing sound, mostly due to the fact that they have three guitar players and two drummers, one of the richest line-ups we have ever seen in a band.
“Ausserwelt” is a 48 minute journey into a dark and desolate place that features a very rich and powerful soundtrack. With 4 tracks the band manages to create a super thick atmosphere that only a handful of bands are capable of. This album is not for the weak of mind and will surely blow yours away with every listen you dedicate to it.
Providing a solid tribute to British space rockers Hawkwind we have Havestman, US Christmas, and Minsk. Released on Neurot Recordings, The Hawkwind triad do an excellent job in capturing the classical atmosphere created by Hawkwind while adding the uniqueness of each band into the mix, and fully respecting the original songs.
One of the things we find the most interesting is that the tracks that each band performed are mixed together through the album, and it still flows like it was only one band making the tribute. Something very unique and refreshing, since tributes usually consist of several bands playing one or a few tracks and there is most of the time a huge quality gap between bands.