10 New Reviews from Black to Doom to Prog !!!!
The Maledict- Dread- CD/ Digital ( Self Released / Transcending Records)
Australia is a land of Doom and Darkness. There are so many great bands that make this style from Down under. Disenbowelment, Halo, Crystal Palace, Inverloch, Mournful Congregation, Alchemist to name few. Where Maledict differ a bit is the like to mix the Goth Doom sounds of Peaceville and Avantgarde bands. I hear a lot of Anathema, Katatonia, My Dying Bride and Novembers Doom in a band like Maledict. There is a sweet spot between Doom/Death and the Romantic Gothic metal elements going on here. The mix between clean sung and deep guttural vocals really works well with the deep mid tempo tones of dispair. There are even moments of bands on napalm records and spinefarm. Dread is an epic sounding album without a moment of regret. The warm bass tones and that very simple yet powerful drumming. You can really hear heartbreak thought out every track on this album. It's very hard to make a Doom album catching and oppressive at the same time and The Maledict have very much done this. If your a fan of Turn loose the Swans era My Dying Bride with elements of Silent Enigma Anathema you will never be able to stop listing to this. There are wonderful ethereal and eastern elements that come shining through as well too. The synths and string really do take this to the next level. Breathe taking release all the way around. Bravo !!!
Black Cobra- Imperium Simulacra- CD/ Digital ( Season of Mist)
Those warm tone of Crusty Punk, Sludge, Doom and old school Thrashing Hardcore cross over elements all come into play with this Duo from San Francisco. I not really sure is the touches of stoner / retro productions does anything other then make them stand out a bit more then other around them. This band was a Southern lord band when the former Cavity and Acid King member moved into less punk and noisy and just more massive and Doomy both bands has doom and crust elements before but with Black Cobra is like all the best idea's formed into a Post Metal, Post Hardcore, Post Doom band with a fury very few really have. I've seen Black cobra live several time and with just drums, guitar/vocals on stage this Duo is bigger sounding then some bands with 6 members. I really think its the punk feels that come from the speakers is where Black cobra made their stand as a cut above. The fuzzed out guitars with that 70's punk snarl is just perfect to my ears. Season of Mist is a bit of an odd home for them but with bands like Kylesa on the label now as well it seems to be a kinship to bring more experimental dirgy doom to the French label. What more can really be said other then don't miss out of this wall of heavy and catchy at the same time.
Ectovoid- Dark Abstraction- CD/ Digital ( Blood Harvest)
Two elements at when I hear it in Metal that always seems a bit out to me and sometimes is just really works well in the case of bands like Incantation, Entombed and Brutality is the mix of Slower Death metal with a heavy punk over tone. Well Ectovoid is very much another band with that dirty Death and Roll sound with a strong love of Motorhead and Exploited . I want this band to have mohawks and wear nothing but Demin with patches of all their favorite 70 and 80's punk and crust bands as this is where the sounds of this band take me too. They have to have a love of the early Earache and Relapse days as this is all I can hear over and over again. There is just something wonderful and nasty about bands like like Ectovoid. I will hope it never changes as well. This is not a band for the masses and we need more metal like this were when they find fans they will not jump ship it's a sound you love and want to hear more . Horns high on this one gang. Let the sickness fester through out an album like this always !!!!
Eldamar- The force of the ancient land- CD/ Digital (Self Released)
Atomspheric and Heathen are the 1st two 1st things I think of when hearing Eldamar. This is so very lost in the 90's of Pagan Symphonic Black metal are you a fan of bands like Lustre, Burzum, Summoning and Falkenbach. Then with Eldamar you have found another bands that is heavy with Synths , Forest metal ideals and wall of epic black metal tones and themes. This is a blackened Fantasy metal world that has sorrow, beauty, pain, passion, hope and loss all at the very time and happening all around you. I love to hear music that is made to inspire and crush your spirits all at the same time. This is a soundtrack to a movie that should be made one day are you a fan of movies like Legend, The Dark Crystals, Willow, Merlin and Clash of the titans then you know how music can change the vision of film forever. You need magic and God's of olde in your life or the soul will just be a hollow husk. Bands like Eldamar keep this element alive in there music.
Turia- Dor- CD/ Digital (Altare Productions)
Black metal is really going into three directions . Raw and Primitive, Post Black metal with a very prog element an the world and realm bands like Turia do. This is what I want to call Blackgaze where the band loves the ethereal elements mixed with Shoegazing drifts and loops that give is another an indie/post rock tone but then becomes almost an ambient album is the way the sounds collect and the vocals are more just distant crys and moans that lead you to a world of sorrow and madness . This is what many of the Pacific Northwest black metal bands are coming out of and Wolves in the throne room, Velvet Cacoon and Wolvserpent are the bands I really feel made this style become a force to be reckoned with there are several labels now that really shine at this style Nordvis, Relapse, Bindrune , IVoidhanger, Profound Lore and Code666 are just a few. I really do enjoy this style but it can at times because a lot of the same with Turia there is more of that ambient /ethereal tone then most so you get that lost and lonely haunting overtone from Dor as an album. This again will be way over the top for many but if you like the bands or labels mentioned in the review then this is a must listen.
Goatess II- Purgatory under new management- CD/ Digital ( Svart)
So what do you think you're going to get if you have former St Vitus/ Count Raven front man in a new band . Your going to get a Stoner/ Doom rock album that has grooves, thick catchy riffs and a fuzzed out low end that you are going to either love or not. Well this reminds me of that middle period Cathedral and later Rise above styles bands that really just never got into my head. I have liked more of this style as I get older and I don't know why maybe the warmer tones remind me of C.O.C a band when Pepper is on vocals I love or the Monster Magnet side of the space rock mixed in that I really do love Hawkwind as always been something I loved in that trippy stoner sound. I don't hate Goatess at all . It's just too much of the same for me. I think these are some of the better vocals I've heard in this style in many many moons. I'm just going to say this album is So/So will some very good riffs and vocals at times.
Ifrinn- S/t- CD/ Digital ( Iron Bonehead)
Scotland is not somewhere I normally think of hearing a Black metal band from but with Ifrinn you are getting one pissed off and grim sounding black metal attack. There are some very drifing lo-fi tones going on here and the vocals are buried in the mix to make them more of a chanting/ ritualistic feeling to the album as a whole. There is a level of torment and nightmare inducting acts going on from the art to the way the music is presented that makes you want to remember the Black metal of old from labels like Osmose, Misanthropy and Pagan records even No Colours. There is something very primitive and crass about Ifrinn that just makes you want to listening to it over and over again especially in the dark and a lone just to let the full power of the music take you to that most sinister part of your mind. Iron Bonehead is one of those labels that really projects a style and feeling to there music much like Nuclear War Now and Hells Headbangers as of late. Ifrinn keep it coming is all I can say.
Black Shape of Nexus- Carrier- CD/ Digital ( Exile on Mainstream )
MMMM Sludgy Down tuned Post metal that comes in so bass heavy and avant that it just makes me think of what would happen if bands like Virus, Shining (NO) and anything Mike Patton Does turned into a full on Sludgy Doom band and you would with out a doubt have B son. I hear so many elements of bands like TAD, Melvins, Godflesh and P.h.o.b.o.s as well. There are Drone moments pumping through this album as well and even time were bands like Neurosis, Noothgrush and Mouth of the architects peer their ugly heads into the music and vocals of a band like B son. I really want to keep writing about this band but I feel it wastes the time you can have listening to the album over and over again. This is a massive and crushing release that needs no must be heard. Get it and listen to Carrier over and over again.
Wode- S/t- CD/ Digital ( Broken Limbs)
So here come a band out of no where I have never heard about before or maybe did and just till now the band never really came on to my radar. This is Massive Black Death album are you a fan of bands like Dissection, Watain, Gorgoroth and Immortal that is really what I'm hearing from Wode. There is a melody that is mixed in with the huge and crushing riffs and vocals going on through out this album. The blistering speed of the riffs going on work so well with the harmonic sound that only great Black Death bands present to the listener. There are moments of Hypocrisy and Marduk that I hear too. Wode likes that late 80's/ Early 90's Extreme progressive thrash style mixed into the songs as well. This self titled album is really taking me to places I want to be when listening to extreme metal that is challenging and expressive on this order and magnitude. Wode does not let up of the sound or fury that it presents to the listener. We do really need bands like this to remind us how creative bands can be within a genre going on 30 years now and still make it sound fresh and original. Great Great release here...
Gracepoint- Echoes- CD/ Digital ( Self Released)
Are you into Prog metal and I mean real prog metal not bands that play prog that add hard rock and metal elements into the over all tone. I mean bands like Pain of Salvation, Symphonic X, Savatage, Queensryche, Armored Saint , Iced Earth and Nevermore. Well if you like bands like that then Gracepoint are just going to kick you in the ass and make you want to listen to over and over again. There is a very aggressive side to this band but the vocals are clean, power and throaty in the way Iced Earth and Armored Saint make them happen. There are more time changes then you head can take at any twist and turn. When metal and prog music really meet it can be a cluster fuck a lot of the times but this is nothing further from the truth with Gracepoint . Echoes is a group of ultra talented musicians but they do over play or just noodle around for the sake of showing how many notes they can put into a song. Gracepoint is more about the way you can layer and make textures of guitar and bass tones really make a good vocalist great and and great vocalist unforgettable. Really what else can be said just absorb this band and see what great metal can sound like in 2016 and you have an amazing album to enjoy here.