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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Arriving from Italy, today we have Manach Seherath and their excellent self-titled demo. Featuring three tracks of brilliantly composed Symphonic/Melodic Heavy Metal this release will surely blow you away by the excellent composition skills behind the songs. While the production is not up to par with the quality of the music, the band does a great job in delivering 16 minutes of epic music that will grab your attention in an instant.
Opening with “Arti Manthano”, the band showcases their melodic/symphonic chops instantly with a very well-crafted first impression. The only (and biggest) issue with this demo is the very poor production behind it, the drums sound completely wobbly and greatly take away from the desired effect of the band’s music. The keyboard structures are pretty solid but need some work in terms of the production (and maybe using better equipment), but they are still a vital component of the sound of the band.
Arriving from Italy, today we have one of the most diverse and exciting self-released albums we have received in the last few months. Oblyvion delivers 13 tracks of very diverse and well executed Melodic/Gothic Death Metal with a great deal of headbanging passages. With a knack for dramatic guitar leads and atmospheric keyboards, this self-titled release is a great one to enjoy.
After the typical intro, the band digs deep into their musical range with the captivating “Oblivion”. In this song we have a very Dark Tranquility-esque chorus section that is complemented by some brilliant shredding acrobatics. This unique blend of skill and melody works wonders for the band’s sound. Perfectly pacing their music, “Buried Angel” keeps the same level of creativity but with a more mellow and melancholic vibe.
Delivering a very unique EP, today we have Ishtar and their debut release “From The Gates”. Hailing from France, this six-piece band merges Black/Death Metal with a hefty dosage of atmospheric elements and passages to create a very unique sounding release. With the French Metal scene gaining more and more exposure over the years, Ishtar is one of those bands that deserve to be talked about.
After the typical intro track, “Invading Empire” delivers a very unique mixture of Black and Death Metal elements, similar to bands like Kataklysm and older acts like Your Shapeless Beauty (minus the Avant-garde elements). In this track, the band explodes into a very melodic section (around the middle of the song) that has a nice experimental vibe to it and explored their atmospheric power.
Completely redefining what we know about Sludge Metal, today we have Sarvas and their self-titled debut release. Fusing elements of Death/Doom Metal with some Groove and a base of Slude, this Finnish band manages to craft a very unique sound that is far from the traditional (and sometimes dull) Sludge Metal genre. Delivering 6 punishing tracks, this release will surely have something that everybody will love.
Opening with “Kindle”, we get a traditional beginning to this song that slowly that sets up the stage for the forthcoming onslaughts. The album quickly evolves into catchy, groovy, atmospheric brilliance, as we get to listen from the emotional “Dead Pilot”. Don’t you even think for a minute that the Sludgy riffing is lacking in this release, since “Pit” makes it quite clear that you will feel the power of Sarvas’s Doomy riffage.