With their 2009 release of “Requiem of the Fallen”, the band made a powerful statement that they are a force to be reckoned by combining powerful vocals, crushing guitars, and precise drumming with an equally interesting and interactive Victorian-themed live show. “An Undertaker’s Lament” is the bands latest release where they try to push things one step closer to national (and why not international) recognition.
Starting with the atmospheric piece “Invocation”, Arsenic Addiction immediately shows considerable improvement when it comes to writing songs and creating catchy melodies within the first two songs in the album (“Lady Death” is the second one). Led by Lady Arsenic’s contrasting clean and growling vocals, the band has grown musically into crafting better songs that showcase her vocal abilities.
Every once in a while we get albums that make us listen to them over and over in order to form an actual opinion about them. After the first spin, we knew that Poois latest release “Opera House” will be one of those albums that will take more time and effort in order to properly describe and correctly inform the listener about what they should expect with such a rich and interesting release.
Hailing from New York, this band will surely turn everybody’s head around with confused and puzzled faces for at least a few minutes. After you get over the first weird impression about this album, you discover that Poois is actually one hell of a talented band that has constructed a very diverse and unique ‘sound’ that is showcased in small doses through the album’s 13 tracks. There is not really a ‘main’ influence other than the Metal aspect of the bands music, and this is also a stretch since they feature influences of Alternative Rock, Grunge, Progressive Rock, and other genres.
While there is very good Metal music from bands south of the US border (Cenotaph, Mutum, Disgorge, Aglarond, Hacavitz, etc), it’s not too common to hear good Latin Metal in the USA, besides Brujeria. While most people in the USA’s Latin community are listening to Reggaeton, Shakira and similar bullshit, it’s great to hear bands like M-16 that are keeping their Latin identity and kicking ass.
As a Hardcore/Metal band from New York, M-16 has great power in their musical aggression and they sing completely in Spanish so they say (even though some of their song names are in English, and some lyrics are definitely in English). The band’s aggressive Hardcore style has many Metal elements that makes it brutal at points, but without loosing track of the melodic aspect of Metal and Hardcore.
All the way from the Appalachian Mountains today we get the deeply enigmatic U.S. Christmas and their super trippy Psychedelic Rock/Blues/something else. Our first encounter with this awesome band was on the Hawkwind tribute split album, where the band completely owned Hawkwind’s songs and provided an amazing rendition of them.
Signed to Neurot Recordings, the band delivers their fifth full-length release “Run Thick In the Night” (RTITN for short) which clocks at almost 80 minutes. With such a long album you would expect to have a bunch of wasted time, but with RTITN this is not the case. Every single sample, riff, etc, is creatively masterminded to be part of the whole experience created for this album, and before you know it the CD ends and you will want to keep listening to it for hours.
In the eve of the band’s 25th anniversary and after a 3 year waiting period, we finally get a ‘new’ release from Neurosis, in the form of the live CD “Live at Roadburn 2007”. With amazing clarity and masterful production behind this release, you closer than ever to having Neurosis play in your living room in CD form at least (We are still waiting for a proper live DVD/Blu-ray featuring 5.1 or even 7.1 audio).
For all of us ‘old-school’ Neurosis fans “Live at Roadburn” comes with a bit of disappointment since this release features songs from “Times of Grace” till the bands 2007 album “Given to the Rising” but nothing else from before. However, with the band’s previous live CD’s and the bootlegs we can get that fix.
Atrocity is one of those bands that you really don’t know what’s going on with them, but you eagerly await for their next release to see what they will sound like. First they started off by playing pretty decent Death Metal, and then they started incorporating weird non-metal elements into their music, way ahead of their time for 1994 in their album “Blut”. Lately (and we say lately very loosely) they released their “Werk 80” and “Werk 80 II”, in 1997 and 2008, these albums featured covers of popular pop songs of the 80’s.
More recently (four years ago) they released “Atlantis” and they where considered and ‘extreme metal’ band again, because of the ‘aggressiveness’ of this release. Now in 2010, the band is jumping into the Folk Metal/Ethno Metal area with their very impressive “After the Storm”, an album that features Yasmin Krull on vocals. This jump will surely puzzle some people, but for us that been listening to the band for quite a while it’s merely an interesting twist in the band’s career.
Seven years have passed since their debut “Black Penance” and Meltgsnow is finally back with their album “Black Penance”, a very diverse, interesting but dated sounding release that will surely confuse all the people used to getting their dose of brutality form Pulverised Records. This release, while not in the traditional ‘vein’ of Pulverised bands, is very interesting in terms of older genres of music being merged together in a very unique and different fashion.
Merging Gothic Rock/Metal elements with some NWOBHM, Thrash, and traditional Heavy Metal “Black Penance” is indeed one of the most diverse sound albums we have received this 2010. Having not heard of this band before, we can’t really say how much (or little) they have changed over the years, but we can say for sure that the sound in this release gives us a late 90’s/early 00’s vibe.
Hailing from Italy, today we get a very interesting release that manages to blend several genres of metal into a very original sound. Arcadia does a great job in combining Hardcore, Melodic Death Metal, and some hints of Progressive Metal/Rock, allowing the band sounding like none other in the scene.
Before you can even think about it, the answer is: yes, there are some Metalcore-ish elements in “Roy Philip Nohl”. However, these little hints of Metalcore are greatly utilized to the band’s advantage; they use the breakdowns to weave new sounds and elements into their already well crafted songs. We really like how the band uses some breakdowns to create epic chorus sections that never sound faggy (i.e. “I Sold Drugs to Little Red Riding Hood”).
Featuring the characteristic vocals of Maciej Taff (of Black River fame), we get a very solid hard-rocking album that will surely bring back your memories of when System of a Down didn’t suck. Following a similar approach than SoD, the band evolved around a charismatic singer and some folk influences, however Rootwater never overdoes the folk stuff and moves into a Melodic Metal territory with songs like “Visionism”.
“Visionism” marks the band’s third full-length album and probably the best one to date. Recently Rootwater has stopped ‘operations’ since Maciej has to undergo therapy for illness and this sucks since “Visionism” is a very solid album that would have taken them further than their previous albums.
With the upcoming 25th anniversary of Neurosis, the band has decided to reissue one of their most influential masterpieces: “Enemy of the Sun”. If you remember going back to 1993, or at any point when you first listening to this crushing release, you will know how epic this album was, and how it changed the way a lot of people listened/viewed “Metal” music.
This 2010, Neurot recordings has put out another reissue of this epic masterpiece. The first reissue was back in 1999, and the current ‘2010 edition’ features a redesigned package made by Josh Graham. And it also includes two added tracks: “Takeahnse (demo version)” and “Cleanse II” (Live in Oberhausen). As one of the first experimental masterpieces of Metal, “Enemy of the Sun” is one of those releases that every Metal connoisseur must have in their collection.