7 New Reviews 8/29/15
Barren Earth- On Lovely Towers- CD/ Digital ( Century Media)
Oh so many places to begin with this once Peaceville artist now on Century 1st off is the change in vocalist and that has made it a bit more dynamic force. Used to be fronted by Swallow the Sun Vocalist and now have a gentlemen by the name of Jon Aldara. With this change comes more an Amorphis, Novembers Doom, Dan Swano, My Dying Bride element to the music I would call it Progressive Doom with heavy elements of Power metal overtone but in the same way bands like Nevermore and Ice earth used the style. This is one complex dark, emotional and aggressive journey. The mix of Clean vocals that are like if Amorphis and Candlemass frontman did there thing. The music is full on Doom, Prog metal and Avant elements with a heavy heavy bluesy overtone. I even at times here that Antimatter or Paradise Lost nod coming through. Barren Earth is clearly that Thinking man's metal again. It's Melodic but so very layered and vast as well. The strings and synths play a major role in all they do. There are gothic movements but I would never say the swing fully that direction. With this the 1st album on Century media they have the next chapter in an already massive and amazing musical journey.. Don't be foolish and pass this release up.
Illness- Trvmna- CD/ Digital ( Black Plague Records)
What we have here is the bizarre , extreme and very left field . If you mix Martial elements with experimental Black industrial and then just add a chaos factor of eleven . This is home to the minds and world of Illness. They are in league with bands like Von, Mysticum (who they cover on this album). Khold, DHG things of this fashion. There is a uncontrolled violence that is going on with Illness and the music is just at the point of madness but the masterminds behind this have orchestrated something that is as magical and it is terrifying. Black metal, Noise, electronics and punk are nothing new its just they way you present it and with Illness it's just as the name says a sickness that is spreading with no cure..
Ahab- The boats of Glen Carrig- CD/ Digital ( Napalm Records)
The intro to this Ahab album is a full of Prog Rock/ Post Rock intro with that lazy jazzy back beat and full on clean singing as the Doomy guitars come in full swing and that epic funeral/ oceananic style rips through out the track. There is something very special about Ahab and always have been. They are one of the most bleak emotion filled Doom/Death bands that have hit the scene in years . They are in love with bands like Unholy, Dolorian, Early My Dying Bride and Mournful Congregation. Ahab loves to through in that Opeth and Katatonia vibe from time to time as well just to make sure you know they love Camel, Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree just as much as DOOM. It all works in conjunction to a perfect level. These are the kind of bands that have well over an hour long album and when is all said and done you're waiting for more and can not believe that much time as passed. Ahab need to keep making more and more of this slow and crawling depressive brilliance. Ok enough said now find the album and support them.
Horna- Hengen Tulet- CD/ Digital ( W.T.C Productions)
You know when you see a photo of a band and you have an idea of what they are going to sound like with Horna you know that very second. This is nasty, biting , grim Black metal . Punk and noisy as fuck and just here to cause you as much sonic nightmares as possible . This time out they have a new vocalist ripping is vocal cords apart for you and Horna doesn't miss a beat with it. This is black metal pit music as old as old school can go. You just want to circle pit with this and remember the best of the extreme music of the 90's as you can. Spellgoth the new frontman has made the last 5 yrs between releases a bit less empty now. You can see why Demonic Christ did a split 7" with them . They are kindred spirits eternal. This is Black metal nothing else there are time you just want Black fucking metal and my friends you got it here.
Norylsk- Catholic Dictatorship-CD/ Digital ( Self Made God)
Mixing equal parts Extreme Death metal, Grindcore, Crust and Noise we have something rather interesting . If you could stir up moments of Today is the day, Brutal Truth, A.C., Altar and Cavity all into something just a nasty and hateful and you think you would get and then throw in some Nasum and Pig Destroyer for good measure you will have Norylsk. Self made god is rather hit and miss with me on release well with the album called " Catholic Dictatorship" Big big win here. The drumming is that of a junkie so hyped up he should be to the point of exploding with those blast beast. The ultra sick guttural gurgles and screams. The wall of war metal guitar and bass that have a very early earache element to them. All I know at the end of the day is a want more from Norylsk...
Lychgate- An Antidote for the glass pill - CD/ Digital ( Blood Music)
The words Post black metal can mean anything these days I see but with Lychgate I going to be very clear as what I hear with this band. They are the following Blackened Post Metal with Doom and Symphonic elements very much a black metal version of Esoteric(UK) of wait Greg Chandler of Esoteric (UK) is the vocalist here. Surprise surprise. There is a epic and mind altering style to this and it's something very different again it's theater for the mind. I would also say this is a Avant Black metal version of the mighty Devil Doll as well. Mr Doctor would be very proud and amazed to hear this I feel. Lychgate is keeping that style and tradition alive. Each time you listen your going to hear more as with my second and 3rd pass I now hear elements of Bands like Bal Sagoth and Oxiplegatz too. So much going on here and it get better listen after listen..
IIVII- Colony- CD/ Digital ( Consouling Sounds)
So what is Josh Graham ( Red Sparrow, Storm of Light) up to that would be IIVII.. This is a ambient sound track very much in that Post Rock, Drifting, Soundscape realm you would not be shocked to hear him create in. There are clearly Doomy, Electronic, Spacial and Droning movement through out this bleak sci fi like dream for some and nightmares for other. IIVII is all about building the layers sonically of a story that the images are portraying. This truly does ebb and flow, soar and crash all at the same time. It's good to see artist still trying to tell a story with just music and sounds these days that the artistic elements in the ambient and dark music undergrounds are still very much alive and thriving. If you like stuff like Vidna Obmana, Robert Rich, Mandible Chatter and Earth this is going to really change the way you look into and at music for every. We are at a cross roads and bands like IIVII really show where we can head with that vision that is needed.