Receiving music from new and promising relatively unknown bands is one of the best perks of writing for Infernal Masquerade. Today we have one of the good ones with Wakener and their self-titled debut EP. Featuring four songs and around 18 minutes of music, this release showcases a band that perfectly executes Melodic Death Metal and traditional Death Metal in a very old-school way, this allows them to stand out from the hundreds of over-the-top MeloDeath outfits that have plagued the scene in the last few years.
Opening with the superbly catchy “Life of Fear”, we have a grainy production that perfectly captures the melodic riffs and the rough harsh vocals. The band focuses exclusively in crafting melodic passages that are perfect for headbanging, similar to what The Elysian Fields did many years ago. Continuing with the equally impressive “The Plague”, the band does a great job in crafting nifty melodies alongside tight drumming and the perfect tempo for this kind of music.
Arriving from Finland, today we have Deep River Acolytes and their superb debut EP titled “From the Voids of Chaos”. Featuring three songs clocking in at around 20 minutes, this release showcases the skills of a promising young band. Highly recommended for people that like Sludgy Doom/Heavy Metal releases, this album will get you going on a dark and cloudy day thanks to its upbeat and playful nature.
Opening with the incisive riffs of “Misleaders”, the catchy twangy vibe is quickly evident, even before the vocals come into play. Having established a certain vibe, the band never lets go and continues to deliver catchy sections and very well crafted tempo changes that keep things fresh and enjoyable. We particularly enjoy the psychedelic rock keyboards that are used, giving the band one extra dimension.
Delivering a furious 2-track promo, today we have newcomers Wall of Water from the USA. As the brainchild of Cullen Toner (ex-Abazagorath) and Shawn Eldridge (Disma), this band aims to merge the good old Black/Death Metal style with more modern and crafty Post-Metal/Rock influences. Not for the faint of heart, this is a release that brilliantly achieves their goals and delivers 13 minutes of very solid music.
Opening with the mysterious “Exposure”, the band starts very mellow, setting a very atmospheric mood in the first few seconds. The first outburst of brutality is similar to a more Post-Metal version of Anaal Nathrakh filled with multiple vocal styles and crushing riffs. Perfectly blending old-school elements with more edgier and modern influences, this track sounds familiar, but yet fresh and different.
Always excited to receive promo materials from new and upcoming bands, today we find ourselves quite entertained with Forte Ruin’s self-titled EP. Mixing Melodic Death Metal elements with some Power Metal influences, this release sounds like Children of Bodom, Tracedawn and Shade Empire had a genetically engineered baby.
Opening with the lively Children of Bodom-esque “Alienated Humanity”, the band instantly makes an impression with well-crafted guitars and playful keyboards. The harsh vocals are very typical for the genre, but the clean vocals nicely catch the listener off-guard and have a certain Proggy vibe to them. After setting the bar high with the opener, the band continues with lush keyboards and excellent tight drumming in “45 Days”. Being quite catchy and melodic, this reminded us a bit more of Tracedawn and Kalmah, brilliantly smashed together.
Hailing from the USA, today we have the very unique and promising debut release from Tine. Titled “The Forest Dreams of Black”, this debut album delivers over nine tracks of a very solid blend of Symphonic Black/Death Metal. As a two-person outfit, this band mixes elements from old-school greats like Bal-Sagoth, Limbonic Art and Canada’s Necronomicon. As a very atypical North American release, this album is definitely worth your time.
Opening with the pyscho sexy riffs of “Enter the Black Forest”, the band sets a very intoxicating mood. With Count Murmur handling all the guitars, bass guitar, vocals, and programmed drums, the band still manages to sound like a real band and not some dude in his parents basement. In “Horrors at Antioch”, the solid integration of the musical base-layer and Vanth’s keyboards creates a very eerie atmosphere and reminds us of Limbonic Art and some of the early days of Charmand Grimloch’s Tartaros.
Arriving today from the USA we have Shaumaun and their progressively oriented mash up of musical styles. In their self-titled debut release, the band presents twelve very melodic tracks that are a bit contrasting from each other, but full of promise, excellent ideas and solid execution.
The album opens with the proggy “A New Revolution”, which is a very entertaining piece that ultimately is just a warm-up for what is to come next. “Miracles of Yesterday” and “You and I Will Change the World” have a more radio-friendly and mainstream vibe, with loud rhythm guitars and solid leads. Being very catchy, this last song has some cool passages, but it also tries to incorporate too many elements, making things a bit awkward when they should have stayed simple as the track’s hook is pretty solid.
With a larger than life attitude, today we have Poois and their latest release “Soul Spook Collector”. Featuring 10 songs of very diverse and crafty music, this album has tons of influences mixed into a very cohesive and party-like sound that you rarely hear these days. By further enriching their sound, this American band manages to provide a very unique and energetic album that people will greatly enjoy.
The album opens with very unique and engaging tracks like the hectic “Fuckin’ Job” and the superbly catchy “Love Gun”. This clearly shows that the listener is in for a treat thanks to the wide variety of sounds and styles they will hear. The song lyrics are quite quirky with songs like “$19.95” and the funky effects of “Crack the Whip”, this gives that extra dimension to the music, and makes up for quite a hilarious time when trying to follow them.
Featuring a very unique combination of almost every genre in metal, minus all the ‘heavier’ ones, France’s Eltharia delivers their sophomore release “Innocent”. Delivering 11 songs filled with memorable moments and solid musicianship, this band has been around since 2001 and only released two full-length releases in the process. Luckily, all this experience translates in a very solid and well-crafted release that has high replay value.
Opening with the Power Metal anthem “Third World War”, the band sets a pretty high bar for this release. Moving into more Progressive territories, “Spite Still Remains” gives us a very interesting mixture of soaring clean vocals and growls in a Stratovarius-like environment. The band’s ability to mix styles is quite good as they produce some very memorable tracks, such as the epic album title track “Innocent” and its excellent guitar leads.
While constantly looking for interesting and unique bands, today we have [STÖMB] and their very interesting mixture of Post-Metal, Post-Rock, groove Metal, and some trip-hop influences. Featuring ten tracks of mostly instrumental music, “The Grey” is a very ambitious release that showcases the band’s originality and solid musicianship.
Opening with the trippy “The Complex”, the release weaves back and forth between Post-Metal and Groove Metal, with some atmospheric elements thrown into the mix. This is the band’s modus operandi as tracks like “Rise from Nothing”, “Corrosion Juncture”, and “Terminal City” standout with a similar approach. The band’s creativity is also their weakness as the album feels a bit random and just a collection of tracks with no real aim.
Hailing from France, today we have A.C.O.D and their Melodic-ish Death Metal release “II The Maelstrom”. Delivering thirteen tracks of a very health mix of traditional Death Metal with some more modern and Melodic elements, this band sounds like a bastard child of Grave and Kalmah. We are constantly amazed at the quality of bands that are coming out of France, and this is another one of the good ones.
The band opens with the groovy “Another Path” before settling for a more Thrash-infused Death Metal sound in “Way of Death”, and then jumping into Melo-Death land with “Abuse Me”. This is the narrative in this release as the band slowly weaves back and forth from Melodic, to Thrashy, to old-school Death Metal, actually pulling it off gracefully and very cohesively.