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  • NovaReign – Reign of the Infinite Sun (2014)

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    Hailing from the USA, where we do not have a lot of Power/Progressive Metal bands, today we have Power/Progressive Metal California outfit NovaReign and their first demo release. With “Reign of the Infinite Sun”, the band delivers four very promising tracks that with a little more work could be outstanding.

    Opening with the exciting “Call on the Storm”, the band showcases excellent musicianship and technical proficiency. The thing that brings down the experience is the not-there-yet vocals of David Marquez. While his range has potential, it still needs to be definitely worked on. As the epic riffs, tight drumming, and proficient guitar work continues on tracks like “Crimson Shield” and “Beyond the Cold”, we also noticed that for a demo in 2014, the production is a bit flat. A better job when mixing should do the trick and elevate the band’s sound.

  • Chemical Way – U.F.NO! (2013)

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    Playful Thrash/Crossover Canadian mongers deliver their debut EP release titled “U.F.NO!”. Featuring five tracks full of attitude and catchy riffing, Chemical Way is ready to compete with bands like Municipal Waste and Suicidal Tendencies for the Thrash/Crossover crown.

    Taking us back in time to the early 90’s with its riffing, “E.H.P.S.C.A” blows things wide open with a furious pace and intense drumming. In terms of production, we can only wish that albums back in the day sounded as good as this one, since we can fully appreciate every little cymbal and the imperfections in some of the vocals. Keeping the retro vibe alive, “You’re Erased!” delivers a playful movie intro and a very chaotic song structure.

  • Siege – Decay of Flesh (2014)

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    Pummeling its way from Italy, today we have Death Metal juggernauts Siege and their debut full-length release “Decay of Flesh”. Featuring 14 tracks and around 44 minutes of neck-snapping Death Metal, this Italian band does a great job in mixing Swedish and American ‘old school’ Death Metal influences with a forward thinking and modern direction. Whether you prefer a chugging riffing galore or more atmospheric and carefully crafted details, this release has it all.

    Things start pretty straightforward with the punishing “In Memore”, “The Massacre Begins” and “Decay of Flesh”. As the band goes into their “Legend of the Iced Earth Knights”, the music gets more elaborate and atmospheric. The DM foundation is ever present, but the riffing and melodic passages are richer and more exciting, like on our favorite “The Banishment”. Atmospheric pieces like “The Coming of Draugen” really elevate this release making it quite enjoyable and diverse.

  • Cold Colours – MMXIV (2014)

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    Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal outfit Cold Colours and their three songs EP “MMXIV”. With a distinctive European sound, this band reminds us of a slower and gloomier version of Swallow The Sun, My Dying Bride, and Frailty mixed in with some Thorns of The Carrion and (older) Eternal Tears of Sorrow influences. If the name-dropping was not enough for you to pick a copy of this, we will surely convince you by the end of this review.

    Opening with the bleak “Heathen”, the band instantly paints a very desolate melodic atmosphere with great pace and weeping guitars. This opening is indeed quite doomy and yet unconventional for what we usually get from Doom bands. The singing is a mixture of growls and screams that works quite well with the pace of the music. After warming you up with a solid opener, the band goes full Doom on the crushing “From This Pain”. Again, the riffing is brilliant and nicely outlined by very solid drumming. The tempo changes are brilliant and deliver a truly intense rollercoaster-like experience.

  • The Approach and the Execution – Kings among Runaways (2014)

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    After blowing us away with their debut album “The Blood March” back in 2011, The Approach and the Execution returns with another master class in Melodic Metal with “Kings among Runaways”. Now relocated to California and with a few line-up changes, The Approach makes a very strong comeback with nine tracks filled with awesome melodic passages and some serious guitar wizardry.

    Opening with the brilliant “The Warrior’s Psalm”, the band delivers their signature vocal harmonies surrounded with catchy riffing. The band’s ability to switch between singing styles is quite impressive and they are not afraid to use it. Also, their guitarists Andy Fisher and Mike Notte showcase their talents with excellent solos and acrobatic passages. The second track is a familiar one since it is a re-recording of their epic song “The March of The Guillotine”. If you have a song this awesome, I am sure more than a few bands would try to get it on every album they produce. The main noticeable difference here is that the female vocals are gone and seems like some of the guitar work is improved.

  • Coraxo – Starlit Flame (2014)

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    As we all know, Finland is a country where creativity flourishes in terms of Metal music and Coraxo is here to deliver their own unique style of music. Playing an interesting mixture of Electronic/Industrial Metal, this band has a very futuristic sound that is greatly enhanced by the mastering of Dan Swanö in their debut EP “Starlit Flame”. With hints of many different bands, this Finnish duo delivers seven engaging tracks that will command your full attention.

    Opening with a trippy/spacey atmospheric piece, things start getting hectic with the crushing “Signal Detected”. Filled with catchy electronic elements, this track has a nice Industrial vibe similar to Kovenant, Aborym, and Shade Empire, featuring vocals that blend between Black Metal and some other distorted outburst. The catchiness of “The Xenotaph” is quite amazing, delivering some sick electronics paired with demolishing riffs. As one of our favorite tracks of the release, this song has all the right elements at the correct times to make it an instant classic.

  • Culls - The Dross Play Vol​.​1 (2013)

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    Arriving from Italy, today we have a very odd and beautifully disturbing release titled “The Dross Play Vol.1” by Culls. In this five-song release, we get a very interesting mixture of ambient and noise with a few hints of drone elements. While most releases of this genre drag songs along for 10-20 minutes, Culls delivers short and concise assaults that will elevate your conscious levels to new heights.

    Opening with the incisive “Scott 1912”, the dissonant noise elements perfectly blend with the trippy atmospherics and the spoken word samples to create a very tense and chaotic feeling. With a very apt title, “Spiral Staircase” delivers a very hypnotic droning dirge that feels like walking on an endless staircase. Quite interesting indeed how Culls, manipulates their elements to create very unique and engaging soundscapes.

  • Zā Lä Thü - 77+ (7+7)/7 +77=156 (2013)

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    As one of the most unique and random releases every to arrive at Infernal Masquerade, today we have Zā Lä Thü and their 2013 demo “77+ (7+7)/7 +77=156”. In this 3-song release, this two person outfit delivers a very chaotic and unique release that combines Industrial elements with a few Gothic Metal touches.

    Opening with some intoxicating Industrial/Electronic elements, “Hail Hail Babalon” has a unique modern ritualistic feeling. The synths and percussions have a certain Middle Eastern flair and are greatly complemented by hypnotic female vocals. As the song progresses, heavy riffing makes its way into the mix. This perfectly blends into the second track “Flame of Torture”, which has a heavier/Industrial vibe to it. The riffing is catchy and never diverges from an engaging loop, allowing the vocals to nicely shine.

  • Desdinova - Defying Gravity (2014)

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    Hailing from Eastern France, today we have Sci-Fi influenced Desdinova and their debut full-length titled “Defying Gravity”. Featuring an intense mix of Thrash Metal with Progressive elements, this is one release that brings memories from bands like old Metallica to more recent Progressive Metal releases. Crafting a unique style is hard, but Desdinova gives us a very promising showing of their ambitious music.

    The band starts off with very Metallica-esque songs with “Solanum” and “The Valley”. Things shift a bit more into playful territory with “The Valley”, before going very progressive with the soothing “Seven”. In just four songs the band quickly shows their range of abilities by crafting some ultra-catchy tunes that help Desdinova construct their own musical style. Filled with solid drumming and very charismatic vocals, this release has tons of elements to be discovered by the listeners. Going a bit more mainstream with “Sunbreaker”, the band keeps surprising us with their wide range of styles; however everything returns to their traditional Thrash roots in “Rules of Engagement”.

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