New Reviews 9/21/2008 @ AZM

Arkan - Hilal -CD (Season of Mist)

This is a project formed by a former member of Old Dead Tree and Dawn of Decline. In which they have a strong love for Metal Eastern Oriental sounds. There is a lot in common with Arkan and bands like Orphaned Land, Septic Flesh, Orphanage and Nile. There are some very North Africian elements in there music esp Moroccan and Egyptian sounds. The haunting female and clean sung vocal mix very well with very brutal death metal vocals. There is an amazing mid tempo melodic death metal sound in the guitar and bass there massive in sound and textures and the eastern sounds with bombastic drumming is just what takes it all over the time. Arkan is fabulous in sound and ideal. We need more bands like this as Death metal will never become stagnant with creativity in this order.

PSYKUP- We love you all-CD (Season of Mist)

Avant Jazz Metal sometime is just chaos infinite but not with Psykup. If you can imagine a more focused and damn right talented force focusing on elements that lead you into sounds of Devin Townsend, Kayo Dot, Mike Patton and Primus is a wild wild right. There are moments I think the whole thing maybe a huge joke as there are time that there either worshiping or mocking bands like 311 , alice in chains and korn. Psykup has so much going on that its hard to focus on just one element and that is one of the best things about this release. Sometime I think they really just want to be a fucked grindcore band but then out of nowhere an almost groove and backbeat comes out with very sung clean vocals. The Drumming is so manic is beautiful and the guitars and bass while very complex and prog at time is brutal as the vocals at times. I would say this is another band in the Carnival of Coals vibe for Season of Mist. Not for everyone but the ones that are into it will love this. Nods to the samples of Dogma in the 3rd track too.
Pskkup is well worth checking out.

Dead Shape Figure - The Grand Karoshi -CD (Season of Mist)

Thrash is alive and well again and extremely pissed off in the form of Dead Shape Figure. The big differance from the classic thrash sound and Dead Shape Figure is they like to mix in elements of At the Gates , Machine Head and Hypocrisy into the classic sounds of Kreator, Exodus, Forbidden and Testament monsterous sounds of thrash!!! If your a extreme metal fan you can't hate this period... There are some total melodic crushing guitar , bass work and the drums are full on and know when to turn down when needed. The vocals are a very a cross between Testament and Machine Head to my ears. Dead Shape Figure are doing what Arkan are doing putting fresh ideas in to a well loved style that a lot of faves have been missing in the age of Slipknot, Shadows Fall and Victory records adding way to many nu metal and hardcore elements into a sound that was thought outdated. Mandatory listening for Thrash fans!!!!
Naer Mataron - Praetorians-CD (Season of Mist)

This is the supergroup of all things Blackened and Grim with Nordvargr- Keyboards (MZ. 412, Pouppée Fabrikk, Folkstorm, Toroidh, Nordvargr, Goatvargr, Marvargr, Muskel, HH9, Vargr, Forgotten Tomb) and Vicotnik - Vocals (Dødheimsgard, Ved Buens Ende, Code, Manes) as members of this band. They are more a traditional Black metal force with some avant elements but more like to stay in the Marduk, Darkthrone, Mayhem side of the anti christian assault of sounds and opinions. There is a very bizarre and down right disurbing video for the track Incarcerating Gallantry that must be seen as they like to shock and amaze in that track. You can feel the hate and dispair on each and every track and in the end thats all you want in your Black metal. Fast, Pissed off and anti christian...

Esoteric - The Maniacal Vale-CD (Season of Mist)

This is the only Esoteric one should be talking about the other has not been around since 1992. Esoteric were a ultra slow funeral doom band but on this release a bit more melodic and harmonics have been let to flow and by no means this this a slag on the project. They still have the sloth like riffs and psychedelic elements that you remember from there Aesthetic Death days. I think this release is again with a stronger production then the older days allows the other elements of the band shine as well. The very textural guitars and elements between the songs make a lasting impression. I will say there is an element missing without Chris Peters on guitar. He always added a another layer of sadness and torment in the tones he used. For this reviewer The Pernicious Enigma is where the moment Esoteric came to there own and while this isnt as instant classic as that. The Maniacal Vale are back with a 2 CD release . The only way Esoteric should ever release material and is clearly there 2nd best release in there career. Esoteric you my brothers are DOOM!!!!.

Spylacopa-DebutEP-CDEP (Rising Pulse Records)

With members of Dillinger Escape Plan, Isis, Made out of babies and Candiria in this project who the hell knew what this would sound like but to be honest I'm totally shocked and in awe and the 1st 2 track are a mix of all those bands in a very avant Post Hardcore/Rock manner and amazing in there own right . The 3rd track is a Soundscape, Ambient, Spacial Soundtrack piece with Piano's and synth elements. Having Greg Puciato, Julie Christmas both on vocals makes is all the more special as they are two of the best vocalist out there in the musical landscape today. There is a more melody driving sound here then most of there other projects. The aggression this there but there a more user friendly side to Spylacopa. I still would never call this pop music but I can see this project getting radio airplay and video support by the mainstream as you can get those hot topic kids to listen to this and make them think there still cool lol.. There is a later period Faith No More vibe to this as while and it works very well. Spylacopa need to make a full length asap. This is brilliance in the making do not miss out on this.

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