Labeled as one of the most interesting Psychedelic/Occult Rock releases of the last few years “Opus Eponymous” is the first full-length release of Ghost. For over 30 minutes we are treated to a very interesting and nostalgic sound that the band presents with their satanic craft.
The album gets off to a great start with “Con Clavi Con Dio” thanks to solid riffs, great vocal arrangements and keyboards. However, the band’s sound is not as bombastic and effective as we expected and bands like The Devil’s Blood put them to shame when it comes to Psychedelic rock with occult elements.
After not liking any of Between the Buried and Me’s stuff, I was about to hurl when I got this promo in my review queue. However, something magical will happen to you when you listen to this album since you will end-up loving it for its originality and freshness.
I believe since I was expecting some crap like Between the Buried and Me I was less critical about this release, but many listens to this album you will still find yourself appreciating it and finding new details about the music. Thomas Giles crafts 11 songs that are very rich sounding and that have the perfect amounts of electronic elements, rock guitars, melancholic vocals and piano sections.
With two new additions to the band’s line-up since their devastating last release “Passiondale”, God Dethroned returns with their crushing sound with “Under the Sign of the Iron Cross”. Showing no signs of slowing down, the band’s latest release is both crushing and relentless with some monumental Death Metal perfect for some neck-breaking moshing.
The addition of Danny Tunker on guitars and Mike van der Plicht on drums keeps the band as brutal as every with that slight melodic edge that separates them from the rest. For over 35 minutes, God Dethroned rips through 9 tracks of crushing music that will leave you craving for more.
Hailing from Germany, today we have Neaera and their crushing Melodic Death Metal that will surely rattle your seat (and windows) once “Forging the Eclipse” starts playing on your stereo. The band’s sound is very brutal in nature and features most of the ‘traditional’ Melodic Death Metal elements but also has a nice modern edge to it, without getting too faggy for us.
After the first few listens we noticed that while “Forging the Eclipse” is a very solid album, it’s very linear in nature and gets repetitive after a few songs. The band’s songwriting abilities are not the best in the scene and even with twelve songs, the album lasts only 39 minutes. The riffing is very brutal and features some nice traditional Death Metal hooks in songs like “Sirens of Black”, but manages to keep an overall melodic tone.
A few months after the release of “Heliocentric”, we get “Anthropocentric”, the more aggressive and crushing continuation (and conclusion) to the band’s critique on Christianity started with “Heliocentric”. While The Ocean still incorporates some of their traditional classical instruments in “Anthropocentric”, this release is by far much more aggressive and straight forward than their previous one.
With another 50 minutes of monumental Progressive Sludge/Metal, the band greatly enhances the listening experience of “Heliocentric”, we found ourselves playing both records back to back in order to get the full effect and conceptual message of this very well crafted releases. The band immediately starts with a very crushing track in “Anthropocentric”, often weaving back and forth between pounding riffs with harsh vocals and brilliant clean vocal harmonies and more melodic guitar lines.
With all the crap Death Metal these days, it’s nice to finally hear a band with real balls and real music. Hail of Bullets comes from the Netherlands with a very impressive line-up that includes Martin van Drunen (Asphyx, ex-Pestilence) on vocals, legendary drummer Ed Warby (Gorefest, 11th hour, Ayreon, Star One), and Paul Baayens and Stephan Gebedi on guitars (both from Thanatos).
With such an impressive line-up we get a very aggressive and dynamic sounding Death Metal that will please all fans with a brilliant mixture of North American and European Death Metal from the 90’s. With clear influences of Asphyx, old Pestilence, Bolt Thrower, just to name a few, the band has a very impressive and crushing sound that many kiddies these days would only dream of.
This 2010 we got monumental Thrash Metal releases by legendary bands like Exodus, Forbidden, Death Angel, etc, so it’s very hard to find any newcomer band that can easily be compared to these great bands and their high quality releases Hailing from Slovenia, today we have Negligence, a band that might not have the same impressive trajectory of Exodus and Death Angel, but they can still play some mean Thrash Metal and look good while doing it.
While “Coordinates of Confusion” might not be an extreme original album, it still has enough quality to maybe sneak into some top 10 of 2010 lists in the genre. The musicianship and songwriting behind this release is superb, creating a very entertaining release that will surely please the most demanding fans of the genre.
Keeping the Doom Metal flame alive, today we have Witchsorrow and their self-titled debut album. Invoking the spirits of great bands like St. Vitus, Candlemass, Penance, etc, Witchsorrow shows their cards with this very solid debut release. With “Witchsorrow”, you will get a 45 minute dose of crushing Doom Metal with some psychedelic influences like in the old-school days.
As you can expect, the guitar work is monumental and it creates a very thick atmosphere. Typical for (good) Doom Metal releases, the band goes balls deep into crushing riffs and songs over 9 minutes long. By doing everything by the book, and adding some psychedelic guitar sections, you can’t really argue about the efficiency of “Witchsorrow”.
Today we have System Divide, a band that plays a very interesting mix of Gothic Metal elements with Melodic Death Metal/Deathcore foundations. Featuring Sven de Caluwé of Aborted fame and Miri Milman (Distorted, Orphaned land) on vocals, you know you will have a very nice contrast between sweet female voices and demonic growls.
With a very similar style than Deadlock, the band seamlessly merges elements and creates a very solid melodic yet brutal album with “The Conscious Sedation”. It’s very interesting that such release will appeal people from both the Melodic Metal community and the ‘Modern’ Metal (i.e. Deathcore) section, since it features elements that will please both sides of the fence.
As one of the worst band’s we have reviewed in a while, today we have Dawn of Ashes and their superbly un-original “Genocide Chapters”. By the worst band denomination, we don’t mean that (most) of the musicians of Dawn of Ashes suck at their instrument, we are referring to their lack of creativity and their ability create filler music for almost the full duration of the release (since we actually liked one song on it).
Changing styles from Industrial/EBM to Melodic Black/Death Metal, Dawn of Ashes approaches Metal like clumsy nerdy kid about to have their first sexual experience: it’s sloppy, awkward and very unsatisfactory. The band’s attempt at creating a solid album gets quickly destroyed by their ridiculous Dimmu Borgir-esque approach to Black Metal, using persistent keyboard arrangements will not get you far if the rest of your music sucks.