|Posted by situationright on September 5, 2020 at 6:00 AM||comments (36)|
Sanctuaire – L’Empreiente de Lucifer – Full-length – 2011
L’Empreiente de Lucifer is a rather older release and the former of the overall two ever released by Santuaire. The band only added Sainte mort full-length album from 2014 to their discography and their activity ceased since. The trio is from France and all their lyrics are in French. What else to say about this album rather than they were not prepared to release one. The compositions serve as a solid groundwork for what could have been a great heavy metal album. Instead, we have poorly recorded and weak basic 10 songs.
Like most heavy metal albums there are faster and energy-filled songs (although the energy can’t be felt due to the poor production) and more emotional pieces of work (also weak on the instruments). Comme un loup is such a ballad where the transition from clean to distorted guitars should make a difference. Unfortunately, when it happens it all continues in the same tone.
Societe fantome is my favorite from the bunch and I think the band should strive more towards these types of songs. L’Empreiente de Lucifer definitely is an interesting album for heavy maniacs, but for now, I am not sure whether to explore Sanctuarie further.
|Posted by situationright on April 7, 2020 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
Absentation – Antimatter Rites – Full-length – 2020
Antimatter Rites is the fourth full-length album from the Syrian one-man-band Absentation. Mental Battle Resurrection was the first album released back in 2007 and since 2018 the band releases three new ones including the one I am about to review. With a couple of singles in-between the first and second full-length, Absentation takes on a more serious and hard-working approach with Ascending to Desolate (2018) and The Intellectual Darkness (2019). In 2019 the only band member Salah Alghalayeeni start collaborating with the Macedonian record label Darzamadicus Records and thus the result is the latest two professional releases.
Antimatter Rites is a musical piece that should and will be largely accepted by the metal community. The compositions take on a more traditional death metal approach while being constantly seasoned with sporadic modern and technical parts. Although the tempo and rhythmic sections tend to continuously change within each composition, the author made sure that each song will give you the big picture at the end. Generally fast-paced with insane foot-work on the drums, there are moments when the songs dwell into slower and core-like parts.
I wonder whether the drums are programmed since the sound is a bit synthetically which doesn’t bother me a lot. The guitar sound is softer in comparison to traditional death metal guitar and kind of appealing. On top of that, how many metal bands from Syria are there, so this band is something to get you intrigued in exploring its creativity. My favorite track is Gravitational Singularity.
|Posted by situationright on April 7, 2020 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
Absentation – The Intellectual Darkness – Full-length – 2020
The Intellectual Darkness is the third full-length album by Absentation and the one I prefer more compared to the fourth. The album has 8 old-school death metal tracks composed and recorded by one man. The artwork for the cover is amazing and depicts all of the dark philosophy themes expressed in the lyrics. Originally self-released, The Intellectual Darkness once more saw the light of day thanks to Darzamadicus Records from Macedonia.
The first thing to notice is that the songs don’t rush into thrashing and blasting and are well thought. Almost every song starts with a slower section that introduces the general theme. The sound is of closed type with dry feeling to it, just like death metal used to sound. It’s fair to say that an additional guitar line could have filled the mild emptiness in the background. But even without that, the atmosphere of the whole album is quite satisfying. I like the breaks in forms of guitar lead parts which only announce the beginning of blasting mayhem. Age of Suffering is my favorite composition just because of that.
I highly recommend this album and band to any metalhead out there. The band is from Syria, which is a rarity. By supporting Absentation you are also supporting the young and perspective Syrian metal scene.
|Posted by situationright on February 12, 2016 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Temple of Evil - 'The Second Awakening' - Full-lenght - 2015
It took almost 8 years for this black metal band from Nicosia (Cyprus) to gather the record the material meant for their first ever release. Having a really generic band name Temple of Evil (with a really cool logo) really made me think about and remember all of the unmemorable generic black metal acts I have heard in all of my 22 years of life. I get the fact that black metal is all about evil and darkness and stuff, but the genre can profit a lot more from a thoughtful progress in terminology and meaning of their philosophy. Long story short, I expected an album really not worth playing but a chance was given anyways, so stereotypic of me. Temple of Evil started their careers in 2008, the band has 4 members whose real names I couldn’t find, just cheesy nicknames like Arkhon Sakrificer (bass and vocals), Angelwhore (drums), Nekrocurse (Guitars, Keyboard) and Apethantos (Guitars). Anyways, here they are with the first ever release supported by the courtesy of Deathhammer Records, from Cyprus as well.
The album is called The 7th Awakening but actually a total of eight tracks have been recorded for its purpose. However, the first one called Initiation is an intro of deep and dark melancholy, quite artistically created with choirs, pianos and violins setting the ground for the upcoming performance. Illminatio Tenebrarvm comes upon the melancholy and activates the initial flow of The 7th Awakening. Basically sets off with a mid to fast paced blast beat and simple riff, spiced with a melody that’s pretty much the songs’ trademark. It has some twists in rhythm later on but in general it’s an old-school, well thought black metal song. …On Devils Wings follows and continues the same mesmerizing charm of its predecessor. A constant change of blast beats and slow moments occur, but the main riff basically sticks all the time. The guys took the motion slowly and wisely, not betting everything on the aspect of speed. Chalice of impure blood is one of my favorites as a mostly instrumental composition where the effort was put on making a combination of blast beats and slower riffs supported with acoustic/clean guitar sounds. Trust me, the effort was worth it. Temple of Evil really produced an eight minute pleasure as the second longest song on the album. Next in line is The Book of Shadows which has the same acoustic guitar moments, yet it’s a lot more colorful and vivid with the background choirs and constant guitar leads throughout the set. After the downside in the mediocre Necromancer’s Mystical Co the highlight of this album is upon rising. The 7th Awakening is by far the best song on the album, the longest as well with almost 10 minutes of play time. It’s best because it has all of the productivity, life, vividness and soul of all of the previous songs. The riffs, the solos, the drums blend in almost to the point of perfection. The great production aspect comes to praise here, making sounds of old-school black metal in present time. And that comes from a person who isn’t a great fan of the genre. But this I appreciate. The drums and bass are the best segments with their brutality and simplicity at once. After that song, only one more left – One Last Breathless Sig. It’s a short one having the bass as the lead instruments and a support of violin and piano provided. Everything closes in and Temple of Evil can say they are the proud owners of this black metal masterpiece.
|Posted by situationright on February 11, 2016 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
Second to Sun - 'The First Chapter' - Full-lenght - 2015
The band Second To Sun originates from the Russian Federation as a dark instrumental formation. Not so long ago, only four years count since their first EP entity - The God’s Favorite Whore, released the same year the band was formed. The first line-up is quite modest and consisted of Vladimir Klimov – Lehtinen, as the lead guitar player and Artem Vishnyakov as a drummer. Soon after the release of the initial EP, Artem Vishnyakov leaves Second To Sun, so the band continues to be a one man show, but not for long. The following year, 2013 the drummer position in the band is taken by Theodor Borowski, and one more member fills the empty bass guitar position under the name of Anton Danilevsky. Becoming a trio, Second To Sun work intense on releasing their first full album and accomplish producing Based On A True Story in 2013. Filled with inspiration, the following year comes out the second EP Three Fairy Tales and already the band comes close to the margins or being seriously respected metal act. What they offer is something very unusual and uncommon. Their music is a specific mix of many types of music, such as black metal, death metal, metal core and elements of Finno-Ugric ethno textures. In November 2015, their latest album The First Chapter proved once again the hard work of this band, by not missing out a single year since their beginning without writing and publishing new material. The First Chapter has a lot to offer.
Spirit of kusoto is quite an opener for the album, setting off with a chilled and relaxing melody, mostly consisted of synth and keyboard segments, lasting for about 50 seconds and suddenly turning into harsh core breakdown, slow and intense with slight support of an ethno melody from the behind. For most of the song the core feeling is present, while being fulfilled with occasional slow black metal riffs. The tempo is mid-paced but the energy is at its maximum. Eagerly waiting for the next song Red snow (I really like the moniker), the anticipation of the long intro made me feel like the band is going to continue in a quite fast and merciless pace, but I was wrong. Pretty much the mid tempo was kept, the breakdowns were gone and the melodies became more frequent. It’s quite enjoyable but come on guys, make me feel like I want to break something… Me or him follows with the same pattern, and as I started thinking of discarding the content, at the middle of the song Second To Sun blasted some fine mix of thrash and death metal, blast beats and breakdowns. It was worth waiting for. The next composition Land of the fearless birds, it’s quite the opposite. The start is brutal and intimidating, while the end is more melodic and melancholic, again with synths and the interesting ethno moments added. Moving forward it’s The blood libel, quite the song to be skipped the next time I play this, just because it’s too long (the longest here) and really lacking on enthusiasm. But it was worth waiting for Narcat, to the contrary the shortest song on the album. It has by far the best hymn like melody and best breakdowns so far. Definitely it’s the highlight of The First Chapter. Virgo Mitt and Chokk Kapper (roughest one on the album) give the finishing segments here and they tie up the all the loose ends from before. Both of them are hard to the core compositions. Virgo Mitt’s second part of the song is quite enjoyable and refreshing to listen to, even though it sounds like some Disney’s animated movie soundtrack. So there you have it, almost 35 minutes of modern instrumental metal, recorded with great sound quality. The band has a lot of creating potential they have to use, maybe even adding more instruments and features to the whole set.
|Posted by situationright on February 11, 2016 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
Ulver - 'ATGCLVLSSCAP' - Full-lenght - 2016
Recently I came across this band originally formed in Oslo, Norway in 1993. By then they went through a serious transformation of style and approach to the music they create. Ulver originated as a black/folk metal band, with couple of recorded albums in the genre. Later, they take on a new adventure experimenting with different types of music and instruments, a step that brought them more fame than before. And the motion keeps evolving with every new piece of music they put out, so it’s kind of hard to suppose what their next step will be. Nowadays the band can be labeled as a mix of ambient, avant-garde and elektronika subtypes mastered in deep and hollow way of music consumption. In the 23 years of activity Ulver produced a total of 12 albums and multiple demos, splits and EPs, thus being one of the most productive Norwegian bands. The list of suspects for this mayhem project include: Kristoffer Rygg (vocals and programming), Tore Ylwizaker (keyboards, programming) and Jørn H. Sværen (Miscellaneous – the guy plays every weird thing you can imagine). The latest asset is the Englishman Daniel O’ Sullivan (ex Sunn-O))), bass, guitars, keyboards) completing the quartet in 2009. A fact worth mentioning is that on live shows they recruit more members according to the music’s demands. Like many bands from Scandinavia with their name meaning wolf, or wolves, Ulver own the second one. Numerous awards have been given to these guys and world-wide appreciations follow their paths. The number of records sold had come up to half a million sold and still counting, as the band doesn’t seem to stop. The 12th album in their discography out this January and expected by fans worldwide, so I’ll try to explain a bit what ATGCLVLSSCAP has to say to them.
ATGCLVLSSCAP, and if I managed to get every letter in correct order, than I can tell you that each letter is the first one of each zodiac sign aligned. It is something original but without the band explaining what it means, probably I would have never guessed. So for this album you really need a lot of free time to listen to it more than once. It’s worth it. It has a spinning time of 80 minutes and a motion that takes the listener on a seemingly endless, but beautiful journey. All of the songs featured are live recordings and moments of the band’s improvisation during a tour (12 live shows, you know 12 zodiac signs) during February 2014. Each one of them has been collected, re-mastered, put in a shape in an album fit for promotion and distribution. On ATGCLVLSSCAP barely any vocals appear, only in 3-4 songs at the mere end (Nowhere (Sweet sixteen) – originally featured on Perdition City album from 2000, Ecclesiastes (A vernal catnap) and D-Day drone). I forgot to mention the total of 12 songs (it figures). So album number 12, 12 songs recorded on 12 different live shows, talk about symbolism. Considering the fact that it is mostly a live recorded set, the quality has some high standards, and it’s nicely blended in having fine turnovers from one song to another. Pretty much it all sums up in the turnovers as they are the key in creating the proper ambient. If you don’t pay too much attention you can easily get lost in knowing which song it’s playing at the moment. The album flows slowly and most of the time with occasional twists in temper and dynamics, representative songs like Cromagnosis and On Hanumate Namah are such¸ or the ‘happier’ Desert Dawn composition. On an average measure, the songs last 6+ minutes and maintain almost same pattern from the beginning until the end of the song. In between there are differences in motives, additional instruments appearing, effects, changes of mood etc. I’ll be quite interested to dig a bit deeper in all of their previous work and have a bigger picture of what Ulver really are.
|Posted by situationright on February 11, 2016 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
Battlecreek - 'Hate Injection' - Full-lenght - 2015
Battlecreek is a Bavarian thrash metal band that follows the paths of humorous thrash and independent production. Starting in 2004 in the German metal underground, with mutual efforts Andreas (Bass), Phil (Drums), Chris (Guitars) and Berne (Vocals) self-released a demo (Demolition) in 2008, a first full-length album (Wake the plague) in 2011 and the latest (Hate injection) released in 2015, which I am about to review. The band is on the scene around 12 years so far but I see they had a dull luck in finding a promoter or anyone that would take care of their business. Maybe they prefer doing everything by themselves and that’s totally ok, yet it doesn’t seem that all of their potential has been put to use. The aspect of DIY produces some descent creative products, such as the video the band made for the song Kill or be killed. It is really amusing and funny and for sure they had a good time making it. It is even better than many fully budgeted thrash metal videos that appear. I am not sure about the live activity of the band and their concerts and gigs too much; only that they shared stage with acts like Gama Bomb, Exodus, Tankard, Grave Digger and Cannibal Corpse, but that’s pretty normal for any German thrash metal band as they have a load of good bands playing there frequently.
Hate Injection is not an album that was made to stand out from my point of view. Rather the good time, beer and other vices invested in making the album come to light, which gives it a more sentimental value to the band members. Aside from that, these 9 compositions won’t leave a remarkable trace in your memory, except if you are an addicted to the core thrasher. Generally speaking it’s not as old-school as the band suggests mostly because of the production and the drum line (too much clearness). The modern thrash can be felt in the guitar sound as well which is a bit high volumed and disconnected from the rest of the parts. Old-school sound isn’t defined by the minimalistic and disconnected production if they were heading for that. Okay, so now the music itself. Basically the tempo has middle pace the whole time with rare changes that produces less excitement. Instead Battlecreek headed towards rhythm diversity with installing breakdowns, some heavier parts and solos (the solos are quite awesome and have that rock’ n roll spice). The songs can be separated in better and worse ones. I use worse to describe that they are not the headliners of the album and just fill in the spinning time, not that they are disaster. In that category I’ll put the first two Dealing death and Redneck riot. Two ordinary thrash metal tracks, nothing special about them. Hell in a cell can also be placed here. Kill or be killed is a little bit better version of Battlecreek’s, or maybe just because of the fact I liked the video for the song outstands a bit. Hate injection and Nodeng of darkness have a descent dose of death metal vocals that bring up the vibe of the album so I consider them as good songs. Daedldi daedli dae is a four and half minutes instrumental with some acoustic, distorted, bass parts, nothing extraordinary really. The second best song is Blood for the president where the moniker of the album (Hate Injection) finally finds some meaning in all of this. At last, the one with the worst name possible – Fuck the demon ironically has the best music with a brilliant leading riff throughout the whole set. I didn’t have a bad time listening to the album but I expected a bit more, yet I really support their DIY style and I am glad such bands still exists.
|Posted by situationright on February 11, 2016 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
Amken - 'Adrenaline Shot' - EP - 2014
Amken is a brand new thrash quartet rising from the Greek underground basements to provoke every thrasher’s taste for spiced up metal joy. The band was originally formed in 2011 in Athens, a place where many new bands appear and a real struggle is required to stand out from the bunch. By not, Amken gave the metal world only one release in 2014 named Adrenaline Shot. This EP is the first appearance by which the band is going to be ‘judged’ further on in their careers. It was self-released in 2014 and afterwards the same songs were featured on EBM’s Records split release with Skull Crusher in May, 2015. One of the greater things about this band is the live activity they maintain, playing vast number of shows all around their homeland, as well as some appearances abroad. Some of the ‘bigger’ names they shared stage with are Bio-cancer, Six Feet Under, Skull Fist, Reactory and Planet of Zeus. The band photos implicate the fact that Giannis Karakoulias (Guitars), Sokratis Bebis (Drums), Vasilis Chytiris (Bass) and Vanias Apostolopoulos (Vocals/Guitars) tend to trend up the original 80’s thrash metal dressing code, which for me usually is a sign of dedication to the work they are doing, thus not being the most important aspect of one bands image. Amken have a reputation of having descent energy boosted live appearance with the old and gold youth movement ideology. Prior to the first full-length coming up this year, let’s take a look at the short release they already put their efforts to.
Adrenaline Shot sums up to approximately 20 minutes of playing time divided in four songs. The album cover was kind of expected for this type of young speed/thrash based band – zombie in a wheelchair, half-sexy nurse driving him, some dead bodies, blood guts in the background (never gets old). The music is a good mixture of 80’s bay area thrash and the bit older German thrash metal. Actually, it depends on the songs. The opener Adrenaline shot is typical bay area oriented track, with straight forward speed motion and simple riffs. It has some good leads and amazing solos. The solos progress to a better version in the second song God’s asleep. This one is quite ‘harder’ and ‘more mature’ composition. The dynamics are slower and more complicated, in the way old Kreator slow tracks were made. Probably it is my favorite one here. The follow up Nightmares returns to the original fast pace, with occasional downers almost to the point of breakdowns. So far the originality has been kept. It seems they really worked hard on each and every song, while trying to make them connected in a release. The finisher is Zombie pets and it is as good as the previous songs. It is the closest one to the German oriented thrash metal and has in-depth humoristic lyrics. Generally the band tried to make the music as best as they can, while the lyrics were kind of neglected. To sum up, I liked Adrenaline Shot and I will keep up with the band’s work, I am sure they have a great future in the metal scene.
|Posted by situationright on February 11, 2016 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
Fifth to Infinity - 'Omnipotent Transdimentional Soulfire' - Full-lenght - 2015
Fifth to Infinity is a band formed back in 1997 by Martin Mendez, Martin Lopez and Nader Jonas Reslan in Sweden, after the disbandment of the black metal gang Vinterkrig. Officially their first album was planned to be released in 2000, but due to some problems and delays it went out a year later. As time passed and not far from then, the band suffered a split-up and went under the curtain, only to be revived in 2007 by Nader. In the new formation of Fifth to Infinity, Nader recruited Martin Lopez in 2008, later replaced. The full line-up was completed in 2013 with the coming of David Lindh. Nader is the guitarist and vocalist and his only previous band is Vinterkrig. The ex-drummer Martin Lopez is a drummer with quite a career, featuring bands like Opeth, Amon Amarth and Soen in his past. The ex-member Martin Mendez was also a member in Opeth. On this album the drums are played by Joakim Borgman. At last, David Lindh plays the bass and his only previous act has been Yvonne. This trio works hard on producing some deep and dark doom/black metal with a certain dose of death metal influence, just enlarging the vast Swedish dark metal scene which is a great place to start up with a metal band. The album I am going to review came out this year and it has kind of complicated name, the types of names I do not prefer, but the music is more important anyways.
‘Omnipotent transdimensional soulfire’ has 9 compositions and a spinning time of less than an hour. To sum it up, the production is kind of good, but some parts, especially the guitars seem disconnected between each-other. Maybe the overall volume of all of them is too high and the sound gets ruined in the race of trying to sound louder. The issue is noticeable starting with the four minute ‘Intro’. One guitar keeps same melody flowing, while the other combines sounds and intensifies the atmosphere, yet interfering with the first. It makes the common listener feel like something is about to happen soon. The expectations fulfill with the following ‘Reapers wake’ which it is a pretty simple songs, with some good acoustic parts and contradictory brutal bridges leading to slow distortions and double kicks on the drum. Purposely the song is mid-paced imprisoning the anger aggregated for the next one. And now is ‘Masters unbound’, unfortunately the best composition on the album. Why unfortunately? - Just because after this one everything drowns in dullness. ‘Masters unbound’ is pretty much the highlight and it’s just the third song. It’s hard and brutal with constant hardcore breakdowns. Think of the breakdown as a tasty pastry, and whatever you put on it, the taste will be as good as before. The breakdown is covered with melodies, clean guitars, synths and same patterns, but it doesn’t lose the brilliance. The follow up ‘The fall of the seven’ may be considered as intense as the previous one, mostly because of the constant double kick on the drums. This is the fastest song on the album and has thoughtful laid-off guitars and disharmony sounds. ‘The will to harm’ should have been the culmination, because it is in the middle of the album. But I am afraid that this is the point where the band goes ‘softer’. It is a mid-paced to slow song, which really lacks on character and excitement, as well as the composition after named ‘Death shall wake us all’. It was hard even to listen to them until they finish, hoping some life will be injected in the album, but I was wrong. Trough ‘Secrets of the bottom’ and ‘The promise the abyss’, Fifth to Infinity just prove to me that my cup of tea maybe isn’t cooked in their kitchen. Both of these song sound like late Metallica slow songs, accompanied with screaming vocals and creepy background. Even the names for the songs aren’t that thoughtful. The finisher is ‘The blessings of annihilation’ and maybe saves the album a little bit. Finally some dynamics can be felt in the music and more harsh approach to the whole concept of metal as it is. This is the longest song on the album.
‘Omnipotent transdimensional soulfire’ was off to a great start and began having some serious downfall in the second half. I would consider it more of an ambient oriented music rather than some serious metal, but that is just me.
|Posted by situationright on February 11, 2016 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
Pokerface - 'Divide and Rule' - Full-lenght - 2015
Pokerface are a new comer on the underground thrash metal scene, enraged and guided by the cold Moscow spirit. These Russians released their first full-length this year and are a great turn-on for all thrash metal enthusiasts. Only two years after their start-up in 2013, Maniac (lead guitars), Nick (guitars), Doctor (drums), Free Rider (bass) and Delirium Tremens (vocals) gave birth to Divide and rule – ear-piercing speed/thrash monument of metal. Only one previous release has set up the terrain for the hard underground steps the band needs to take. The 2014 EP Terror is the law made it possible for Pokerface to share the stage with virtuous metal packs, such as Sepultura, Kreator, Megadeth and Vader. Now they are going in deeper and on their own, in a grand hope to overcome even those from which they learned. Molot Records took them under their umbrella and put a big confidence in Pokerface. So let’s see if the investment is worth.
Divide and rule contains ten tracks and a spinning time of less than 40 minutes; sufficient timing for a starter release with a lot to say. In general, all you get is pure thrash/speed metal combined with the death metal influenced vocal of D.T. She sings strong and ruthless about topics such as aggression, satan, anti-religion, terror and blood, while her gang keeps her mad with fast and delusional thrash background. There is always one risk considering first albums, especially in thrash metal, and that is the maturity of it. Many new bands just press out the fastest and most minimalistic metal they can as their hormones require it. Sure, on Divide and Rule the same aggressive approach is all-over, but some segments indicate that the band controls the song-writing. The album starts with the carrier song Divide and rule, and as expected it is super fast with simple and straight forward speed metal riffs. The same goes for All is lie, the follow-up. And you may think in that moment that the band has been blinded by the image of their favorite thrash acts and just made the album by a certain scheme. Yet, that’s not the case. As the tension build in the first part of the album, the music tends to keep up with the initial tempo, while in mean time gathering the right details of intros (Kingdom of Hate, Chessboard Killer, Age of Terrorism), bridges and breakdowns (Killed by Me, Existence)¸and mastermind solos and leads (Human Control). Simply, every composition gives a certain new surprise, while keeping the original motion and feeling of Pokerface. Many modern elements were applied which for me is a great asset in forming proper thrash these days. Existence is an example of such and probably became my favorite song from this album already. The album closes with Shut Up! In a well thought approach of dynamics and breakdowns before vanishing in constant flow of distortion. Don’t expect anything mind blowing regarding the production. I guess it was purposely programmed to sound kind of raw and, hm, cold. Actually cold can be used as a music describing term for Russian thrash metal bands, as they always give me that feeling when I hear their songs. I know it sounds cliché, but for me is a fact. The connection of the different parts and lines is quite good and suitable to the voice and temper of the singer. Surely Pokerface have a lot more to say in near future. This album, I warmly recommend to any experienced and inexperienced thrasher. Also keep in mind that the band often tours and plays abroad so don’t be surprised if the Moscow quintet destroys your local club any day now.