New Reviews 8/30/2008 for Absolute Zero Media

Asva- What you don't know is frontier-CD (Southern Records)

What he have here is a Drone/Funeral Doom release with Members of Burning Witch, SunnO))), Earth and Mr Bungle mixing in several elements of Prog, Drift, Jazz and even avantgarde. There are several tracks that remind me on more Current Earth and there are times I swear they have a strong love of Dead can Dance esp in the Vocals and organ movements. The songs are all over 12 minutes in length but never become boring in any way. If your a fan of what a would call Funeral Drone with amazing drift ending then the fourth and final track the 23 minute A Trap for Judges will be perfection for you. Asva have made one release before this and with What you don't know is frontier in my CD player I want to revisit there 1st title and really am looking for there 3rd attempt at a style very hard craft properly. Stellar release here.
Blackwinds- Flesh inferno-CD (Regain Records)

Don't you dare call this a side project of Lord Mysteriis from Setherial and In Battle. What we have here is a band that has been around for 10 yrs and beside one Ep back then has released not one but two full length Cds of some very Epic yet Cold Black metal with a strong element of Death metal. The vocals are straight from the darkened torment of the Black metal realm. The music to this listener add more of a symphonic Black/Death style with strong bass, synths and more mid tempo drum lines. There is major injection of melodic sounds to this monster. If there was a choir or orchestra in hell I think those lost sounds would sound very much like what Blackwinds are creating here it seem this is just a duo as Lord Mysteriis is the musical mastermind behind this with vocalist Infaustus adding the worded daggers into ones soul. Flesh inferno is very impressive indeed.
Lord Belial The Black Curse-CD (Regain Records)

Regain records over the years as seem to have been finding the best in Black and Death metal across Scandinavia and Europe or Simply taking them and helping them from other labels that just don't know how to support the band properly. Lord Belial is one of the latter. No Fashion seem to lose all support for this majestic and just jaw droping Melodic Black death band with throat ripping vocals full of spite. The guitar and bass swear cold sounds and melodies like few others. There songs are anthems in there own rights and with a solid and very talented drummer this all comes together . Lets not forget the synth lines while never in the forefront of the music. The add a crucial piece of the puzzle. Lord Belial proudly embrace the Swedish metal sound and I with this release they do not break as a larger band outside of europe I will be shocked as the talent level here is second to none. Manditory listening!!!

Sothis - De Oppresso Liber-CD (Candlelight USA)

So what we have here is a band band from Los Angeles California signed to Candlelight playing there updated vision on what Symphonic Black metal should be. They have a love for bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor and this is very present in every track I listen too. The production is the noise way over producted epic Black metal sound that above mentioned bands perfected in the late 90's. The synth play a massive role in the sound of this band. They also hold image as a very high regard as high as the musicial output from what I can see in videos and the very over the top promotional photos. Lets be honest it's about the music and these fucker produce big time. Sothis are fantastic to say the least. Sweeping epic track of the highest of the Blackened Satanic order. I can see why Candlelight scooped this project up and they can be a huge force if there live shows are even half as amazing as this CD!!!

Khold Hundre år gammal-CD (Candlelight USA)

Khold to me over the last few years has moved form just raw primitive black metal with moments of the bizarre to Pure Post Black metal with very Avant and Punk Rock elements they have more in common with bands like Virus, VBE, DHG, Satyricon, Solefold now then every before. The very clean yet blackened and jazzy guitar tones, full warm bass lines and very complex yet never over worked drumming is the perfect backdrop to the grim and commanding blackened vocals of Khold. I really want to call them the Motorhead of Black metal as with Satyricon, Khold has defined a sound for them that is instantly noticeable and is all there own. Something that is not easy in this day and age and Khold are now masters of the own destiny. Just a great fucking record hands down. Buy it!

Destruction Devolution CD (Candlelight USA)

How the hell does a band after 25 year get better and better with each release. Well will have to ask Destruction as Devolution is the perfect yes I said PERFECT Thrash metal release. This German force with Sodom and Kreator have been making metal records for decades in Germany there must be something in the water over there to let these bands do what they do. I think it has a lot to do with Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer as his vocals and bass lines are just so amazing mixed with the textural guitar and spot on percussion they make me want to relive my teen yrs with my denim vest with metal patches all over them. It's a shame they were never getting the push in USA that they did receive in Europe as they would be a large a Megadeth, Testament or Anthrax here for sure. Devolution could be just rewards though as this is aggressive, melodic and just as powerful if not better as anything that the current thrash revival is giving us. With this and new Testament we are back to power and might in the Thrash scene mixed with great catchy melodies and for one I'm so happy for this. Long live Destruction lets just savior every moment we get from them as someday this will end and we will all be lesser people then.

Master Slaves to society-CD (Ibex Moon)

Paul Speckmann yet another in the line of great Thrash/Death metal guys that never got there proper respect in the scene as Master got to a level of success in Europe at a time when metal was a dirty word in America the 90's . With this in mind John of Ibex Moon also the main guy behind Incantation has a strong love for Mr Speckmann's work and with this European release only have now got this over to the North American shores for us to enjoy. Master has release records on Nuclear Blast, Displeased and Pavement over the yrs. If you like your Thrash old and dirty with a strong early Death metal vibe then this is a not to miss release. There are even some 1995 demo tracks as a added bonus to see there the band was and how they Mastered the Master sound as we know it today. Slaves to society is a kick ass ride in the darker more underground side of Thrash. Take a chance as you will be very pleased.

Banished from Inferno- S/T-CD (Ibex Moon)

This Spanish Death Metal force is something to watch out for even those this is just a 5 song ep and under 24 minutes you can hear very clearly why Ibex moon picked them up. There is power and might in these songs. With Banished from Inferno there is something a bit more original going on as they like to add subharmonic tones and a strong harmony to all the guitar tones even though there are blasting moments they never over take the songs. The production is very clear and deep esp the guttural vocals which can be heard very well. I think that would be major thanks to Dan Swano mastering this release. Banished from Inferno as a band on the rise and if you a fan of the bass heavy death metal sound this is not a release to pass up.

Dignity-Project Destiny-CD (Napalm Records)

When did Napalm records the home of Goth, Doom, Viking and Black metal start signing 80's hardrock/ AOR Melodic Rock bands. I'm not complaining at all as this band is simply amazing but Dignity is equal parts TNT, Europe and Rhaspody all in a perfect little bundle. The guitar and synths are so lush and epic with the warm and complex bass lines and a drummer that knows how to play hardrock with grace and talent to not over play it. Not to mention the amazing tasteful John Norm (Europe) styled solos through out the release. Vocally this gentlemen is straight out of Tell No Tales or Intuition albums by TNT . Tony Harnell would be so very proud. There is an Epic feel going on to all time with this release even in the most mellow of moments. Diginity is jaw droppingly talented in songs structures and arrangements. There are some dirty rock and metal moments too and they play off with the other parts of the release. If Napalm gets this to mainstream radio and some videos to outlets this band could be there 1st Huge selling release and I see nothing but a shining future for this band as every song is catchy and sing a lot in nature. Maybe Hardrock is coming back I for one welcome it with open arms.
Hollow Corp- Cloister of Radiance-CD (Prosthetic Records)

Here we have another band adding the elements of Post Hardcore, Doom metal and Industrial sounds to make one massive record. Hollow Corp has elements of bands like Neurosis, Godflesh, Swans and Napalm Death. Cloister of Radiance is one drag you through the mud kind of a release. Hollow Corp is not a happy group of fellows but thats what add to the magic of this release. It looks like the European label Dental records got the word out first as this this french band is now about to assault North American shores this the behemoth of a release. The guitars and bass tones are massive and the vocals are that of a war machine. I really like the very industrial metal sounds that come from this band at times they sound like old Pitch shifter or Fudge Tunnel in several tracks. The vocals to me is is a mix of Gira (0n Cop period Swans) or Steve von till (Neurosis). Then out of nowhere comes these odd avant even what a would call free jazz moments from Hollow Corp. Prosthetic has a jugganaunt in the making. You've been warn!!!!