New Reviews 07/17/2010...

Tub Ring- Secret Handshakes-CD (The End Records)

Theater/ Avant Rock and Wierdos Tub Ring are back with there 5th release and the 2nd for The End Records. Tub Ring go through so many genres on this release like last I put them next to bands like Mr Bungle, When, Dog Fashion Disco etc. Tub Ring mix electronic, drum and bass, Alt Rock, Post Hardcore , Industrial and commercial hard rock into a sound all there own. The multi layers of vocals , guitars, synths and electro and real drumming with a bassist clearly on mood altering drugs.. Tub Rug are not just weird and wonderful they are clearly a band way ahead of the current musical curve. Its like Carnival music gone very of the rails and I could not be more happy that " Secret Handshakes" is in front of me now to review. If Trent Reznor and Mike Patton sat in a room and just starting making music and for the hell of it thought of making a rock band out of it Tub Ring still would be the odder unit... The End Records has magic with this band maybe theyll try to push them this time... I understand Danzig and a Slipknot side project are in your roster now...

City of Fire- City of Fire-CD (Candlelight Records)

So what we have here is a powerful force of Fear Factory Vocalist Burton C Bell with member of Strapping young lad and Econoline Crush making a band that hold Industrial, Metal, Rock and Post Metal elements. City of Fire is hypnotic, groovy , heavy and slick as all can be. The band is very impressive. City of Fire is much more focused on Heavy bass grooves and the Melodies of the sounds. They remind me a lot of Soundgarden and Shinedown in the way the add that blues backbone to all of there tracks. City of Fire is not brutal at all this is not what there about. Their all about making memorable songs you can here the Strapping Young lads in the arrangements as well. They have a lot in common with bands like Katatonia and Opeth after listening to a few tracks as well esp musically. I'm really loving this release.. Hats off to Candlelight for this gem....

Blood of Kingu- Sun In the House of the Scorpion-CD (Candlelight Records)

Black metal comes in all shapes and sizes and with Blood of Kingu we have a group out of some other well known Black metal forces.
Drudkh, Hate Forest.. Blood of Kingu good more for the no frill full in your face Blackened Death metal sound with some pagan / eastern heathen percussive moments . Otherwise this is more a chainsaw of metallic fury throwing everything that have at you , So you clearly know who and what Blood of Kingu are about. Sun in the house of the Scorpion is massive in sound the vocals are ultra low and guttural in the presentation they are giving us. The drumming sounds so full and the bass rumbles from the headphones right now. There is more to do with melodic Death metal at time then Black metal. Its the Guitars that keep the real raw BM sound through out the release.. Really dig the eastern elements between the tracks they work so well. I swear Blood of Kingu are the Blackened Brothers to Nile in many ways...

Yaotl Mictlan - Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac-CD (Candlelight Records)

Salt Lake City in Utah is not a common place for a Black metal band like this to come from at least not to my knowledge. Yaotl Miclan are taking Black metal and adding a Central and South American flavor to it and making it all there own. Bombastic is an understatement for them as they sound like ancient warrior in mortal combat with moments of there lives left before the one common destruction of all around them. The vocals are very powerful and a bit up front in the mix but work so very well with the icy cold style the guitar and bass play. It's almost dis-harmonic is all its wonder.. Yaotl Mictlan are Black metal warriors for sure on this release the melodies and brutality just play off each other so well. Blackened war metal is a rare thing done with this passion so horns up to this one..

Divinity- The Singularity-CD (Candlelight Records)

Techinical , Progressive 21st Century Death metal is what I hear here in no short term or manner. They remind me of Meshuggah with strong elements of Strapping Young lad and many of what I call the Listenable bands. There is a very futuristic / Sci fi element to this band . Divinity is like Clockwork in there riffing and arrangements. This band using the Synths as a layer more then a tool.. The prog music is heavy in this band as well. I wasn't ready for a band like this from the Candlelight roster. You here this more from Nuke Blast, Sensory, Season of Mist or Listenable as I said.. Divinity has made a strong war cry in the metallic scene with The Singularity without question.

ARMAGEDDA I Am-CD ( Eisenwald/Nordvis)

Low fi , raw and hateful Black metal that I remember from the early days of Scandinavian Black metal. This has a lot in common with early Darkthrone, Mayhem ,Emperor and early Satyricon.. Sound like it has that am radio sound to the production and that always works very well with the more grim cult BM . A band like Armagedda needs to embrace the pagan/black arts as much as the music they create. This is corpse paint music my friends. It's a shame to find out this is an Ep release from a long defunct project as they are very very impressive at the BM sound they create. Armagedda is the real deal nothing more needs to be said.

Shadowgarden-Ashen-CD (Napalm Records)

Gothic Metal is something Napalm as a label has perfected for there bands and with Shadowgarden there is nothing less. This is a few Draconian member making a style change here this is not doom in anyway it reminds me of bands like Tiamat and Mid Period Paradise Lost and even touches of Sisters of Mercy going on with Shadowgarden. Ashen is a very catchy album . At times they sound a lot like the more rock moments of The Gathering or Nightwish... I'm very hit or miss with bands like this and with Shadowgarden its all thumbs up for this very emotional metallic release.

Tristania- Rubicon-CD (Napalm Records)

Beautiful and Lush is what Tristania has always reminded me of when listening to there now classic releases to my ears. This is Gothic Doom like no other since the days of Theatre of Tragedy & Within Temptation. They production is second to none and the musicial arrangements move the very soul of anyone that is listening . Tristania vocals are so powerful and brilliantly sung . Love the Female/Male interplay of the vocals styles.. Yes they have gotten more goth and melodic over the years but this doesn't make Tristania any less majestic or wonderful to listen to is any way or fashion. This is the new Arena rock for the 21st century. They could fill stadiums with there awesome songs, themes and albums. Tristania are one step from greatness and with albums like this the world will know them all the more. Europe has already caught on now its North America's turn...