• Abigail Williams – In the Absence of Light (2010)


    Abigail Williams, one of the most promising North American bands is back with “In the Absence of Light”, a very dominant second full-length release. After tons of line-up changes, and loosing the very talented Ashley Ellyllon to Cradle of Filth, the band manages to maintain some of its bombastic sound from before and unleashes a guitar-driven Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal attack unlike any other band in North America has ever done before.

    Before people start hating on this band, we will mention that they do sound like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, etc, etc, etc, and that the band did have some ‘American’ Deathcore/Metalcore influences. However, the band with “In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns” did craft some pretty nifty Symphonic Black Metal songs that are only rivaled by their European counterparts. The band also sounded completely different to the whole USBM scene since AW used a more symphonic and ‘European’ sounding style. Because of these reasons we do respect and actually like (very much) AW and their powerful sound.

  • Trigger the Bloodshed – Degenerate (2010) 


    As a snake shedding its skin, today we have Trigger the Bloodshed shedding its Deathcore skin and showing us their new Technical/Brutal Death Metal side. Album after album, this band has been making small progress into crafting a powerful and brutal sound that does not sound weak or cloned.

    With “Degenerate”, Trigger the Bloodshed provides us 36 minutes of catchy-yet-brutal Death Metal that will make you want to headbang since minute 1 of this album. The band has paid more attention to the songwriting aspect of “Degenerate” and has crafted songs that are cohesive and well designed to exploit the heavy riffing and inhuman vocals.

  • City of Fire – City of Fire (2010)


    Featuring Fear Factory’s Burton and Stroud, City of Fire has been around since 2008 and their self-titled release has been available to buy from the band’s site for quite a while now, but it’s finally getting a proper release date of August 24th, by Candlelight Records. This re-release includes three newly recorded bonus tracks: "Children of the Revolution”, "Last Wish", and "Dark Tides Revisited”, all of which we did not receive in our promo copy so will not be talking about them.

    As you can imagine, Burton vocals are what makes this release very engaging for any fans of Metal and Hard Rock music. His characteristic pipes provide all the emotion needed for such a genre-combining release. The band’s music is not your typical “Metal” album and will surely puzzle some of Fear Factory’s biggest fans. But after a few spins, “City of Fire” comes out as a very enjoyable hard-rocking commercially-friendly release that features a group of great musicians doing exactly what they do best: great and catchy music.

  • Blood of Kingu – Sun in the House of the Scorpio (2010)


    Being a side project from members of Ukrainian underground legends Hate Forest and Drudkh, we expected a very atmospheric and epically raw Black Metal album that would be worthy of Roman Saenko. However, in “Sun in the House of the Scorpio” we get a mixed bag of raw and aggressive Black Metal that is much unlike Hate Forest and Drudkh.

    Yes, Blood of Kingu is brutal and aggressive but the atmospheric elements are highly inconsistent. We sometimes get some interesting atmospheric elements in the way of chants on songs like “Incantation of He Who Sleeps” but they are usually drowned by the dullness of the riffing. The rest of the songs also feature nice highlights but they all get killed by the overall dullness behind the music.

  • Yaotl Mictlan – Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac (2010)


    Yaotl Mictlan has always been one of the most interesting bands that we have ever heard to come out of Mexico. With a mixture of indigenous Aztec and Mayan elements, the band crafts their Death/Black Metal with a ‘folk-ish’ aspect, but the end result is something that you wouldn’t expect. The band’s sound is indeed very heavy and just uses these elements to highlight parts of their songs, not to revolve around them.

    In these days, every band out there has to have a gimmick in order to be successful (or have ridiculously good musicians), and Yaotl Mictlan’s indigenous gimmick is what actually makes them stand out from countless average Death/Black Metal bands in the world. However, this gimmick is not just for show purposes since the band spends quite a good deal of effort to make their lyrics historically relevant and incorporate part of their heritage into their music.

  • Divinity – The Singularity (2010)


    There are countless European bands that play great Melodic Death Metal with hints of Progressive, Thrash and even Modern Metal elements, but there aren’t many that can pull it off on this side of the pond. Canadian Divinity is one of the few that can make this claim on North America and it’s ready to kick-ass at a world wide level.

    The band originally self-released ‘The Singularity” late in 2009 and has gotten rave reviews from almost everywhere we can see, and this comes as no surprise since this release is top-notch and puts many others to shame. While we personally would categorize Divinity as a Modern Metal band, there are so many genres fuse together that it would be completely unfair to rule them out based on their ‘primary’ style.

  • Blaze Bayley – Promise and Terror (2010)


    Charismatic Iron Maiden’s ex-frontman Blaze Bayley returns with his latest album “Promise and Terror”. After the second implosion in 2007 or Blaze, he formed a completely new band and modestly named it after himself (who wouldn’t!). Anyways, the new Blaze Bayley band sounds as good as ever and “Promise and Terror” is a very powerful Heavy Metal release that showcases Bayley’s vocals in almost every single angle possible.

    Featuring a very solid band behind him, Bayley is back in full form and his singing sounds as good as it did with Iron Maiden (don’t hate, he is a good singer). The feeling behind the songs is at an all-time high since some lyrics are very personal to Bayley. The overall sound of the album is also very dark and works wonders with his singing style.

  • Sarah Jezebel Deva – A Sign of Sublime (2010)


    Having performed for Therion, Cradle Of Filth, The Kovennat, among many others, Sarah Jezebel Deva is one of the most recognized and female voices of Metal. Her appearances for said bands have been mostly showcasing her classical voice and not her ‘natural’ voice. In her lackluster own band Antagoria she started using a ‘cleaner’ more normal sounding voice and on her solo album she almost goes as far as ‘going pop’, like Liv Kristine and other female vocalists have done.

    We love Gothic Metal and almost any other type of metal that features female vocals, and when we got this promo we immediately got excited. This feeling lasted for about 2 songs and then it just changed into disappointment. Some of the songs in this album are good but others just lack inspiration and aim. She has stated that she wanted to give something for everybody and she has somewhat achieved that, but for the core of her fans we think they will be disappointed.

  • October File – Our Souls To You (2010)


    With their very interesting and modern sounding mixture of hardcore, industrial metal and even some metalcore-ish influences, October File is back with “Our Souls To You”. The band’s third full-length release and we must say a very shitty one. Featuring two mixes of the tracks in this album, to us it indicates that the band was not fully satisfied with the end result and decided to let the fans pick the one they like the best.

     “Our Souls To You” is a ‘good’ album for the first two songs, and later you discover that is the same stuff over and over (and we don’t mean because of the ‘double’ tracks featuring different mix). With “Holy Armour from the Jaws of God” the band left off in a high note, but with this new release it feels they forgot how to make good music.

  • The Breathing Process – Odyssey: (Un)Dead (2010)


    Out of all the bands we have reviewed recently, The Breathing Process is by far the one that combines to most influences of different genres in their music. With a very impressive (but sometimes terrible) mixture of Black/Death/Gothic Metal with some Melodeath and even Metalcore-ish influences we get “Odyssey: (Un)Dead”.

    After their very impressive debut album “In Waking: Divinity”, we could not expect anything less from this young American band, but we also got a bit disappointed at some points during this album. The band fails to mix their elements together and ends up sounding extremely chaotic and redundant in some places.


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