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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: Order - Lex Amentiae


When speaking of black metal from Norway, of course Mayhem comes to mind. However, there is a lot more good stuff to hear in this scene. For example, Order, the band in which former Mayhem members Manheim (drums) and Messiah (vocals) join each other accompanied by guitarist Anders Odden (Cadaver) and bassist Stu Manx (Gluciefer). Stu Manx joined Order later, earlier René Jansen took care of bass duties, but sadly he died of leukemia in December 2014.

Order was formed in 2013 and their debut, titled Lex Amentiae, is released in July via Listenable Records.

The moment Lex Amentiae starts, the dark atmosphere is immediately getting your attention. Instrumentally it sounds almost ritualistic and it takes you in its grip for the upcoming 50 minutes. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and imagine you are in the dark Norwegian woods, Order will get you in this trance a dark, hellish trance, extra strengthened by the misanthropic, hellish vocals of Messiah. The vocals of this man are really miraculous, from intense screams, loud shouts to horrific growls. From the third track, Torquemada, instrumentally it gets more challenging and at the seventh track Folly Grandeur's end Anders Odden picks his moment to show his guitar skills in a nice solo.

These four guys from Order show they are a valuable part of the Norwegian black metal scene and they deliver a really strong debut with Lex Amentiae. Hopefully, they can hold this for their next albums, to which I already look forward. So, be sure to check Lex Amentiae by Order!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Order Facebook

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Promoting Bands Part 13



Hey metalheads \m/

Got a new part of Promoting Bands for you, hope you enjoyed the earlier parts!
If you haven't checked those, be sure to do so at the following links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

And remember: be sure to send us an email, Facebook or Twitter message if you want to be featured in the next part of Promoting Bands!

Enjoy!

Tim van Velthuysen

1. Prismind


We already reviewed their debut album Disciples By Design here, made a live review about one of their gigs here and interviewed them here. Of course, I am talking about Prismind! Recently, they released a video for Our Broken Fate, coming from Disciples By Design, you can check that video below. This is a band that is worth checking out for sure!



Prismind Official Website
Prismind Facebook
Prismind Twitter

2. Royal Jake


Three Belgian guys, Arjen van Acker, Kjell de Raes and Peter de Bondt, together they are the metalcore band Royal Jake. In November last year we already reviewed their EP Retaliate/The Answer, which you can check here. Now, they just released a video for the titletrack of that EP, it is below if you want to check it. Great job guys!



Royal Jake Facebook

3. Vetrar Draugurinn


In this part of Promoting Bands we have three Dutch bands for you. The first one is Vetrar Draugurinn, which is Icelandic for The Winter Ghosts. Vetrar Draugurinn is the band of former Stream Of Passion guitarist Eric Hazebroek, Autumn vocalist Marjan Welman, former All For Nothing drummer Jim van de Kerkhof who are recently joined by former Acrid bassist Arjan Heijden and Ancient Rites guitarist Thomas Cochrane. At this moment they only released one EP, titled I (One), which you can listen to below, but they are currently working on their debut full-length. So, be sure to follow Vetrar Draugurinn and get siked for their upcoming album!



Vetrar Draugurinn Official Website
Vetrar Draugurinn Facebook
Vetrar Draugurinn Twitter

4. Savage Messiah


Savage Messiah, coming from the UK, already made three great albums. The Fateful Dark is their latest full-length to date, but more Savage Messiah material is on its way! In October they will release Hands Of Fate, their new effort! Below is the video of the title track for you to check out. I already interviewed Savage Messiah a while ago, when DutchMetalManiac was only 2 months old. Check my interview with them here.



Savage Messiah Official Website
Savage Messiah Facebook
Savage Messiah Twitter

5. Tsar Stangra


Bulgarian black metallers Tsar Stangra formed in 2007, now in 2017 they celebrate their ten-year existence with their full-length debut. Небесният ковач, as it is titled, was released in May. Небесният ковач is an album full of great atmospheric black metal combined with some Bulgarian folk elements, a very nice combination which is also very well executed. The video of Небесният ковач's titletrack can be seen below!



Tsar Stangra Facebook

6. WildHeart


Now, it's time for the second Dutch band in here. I already mentioned another project from the mastermind behind WildHeart, John B. Jones, earlier. In part 7 of Promoting Bands I mentioned his Wheezy John B. project, read it here. Now, he is back! His fourth release of 2017 is with his WildHeart project and is called The WildHeart EP. You can listen to this extremely heavy EP below and be sure to follow him if you dig it!



WildHeart Facebook

7. From North


Dig folk metal? This next band is for you! The Swedish metallers From North recently dropped their their self-titled debut album and it's great folk metal. Below you can watch their videoclip for the titletrack. These folk metallers sound like they can be the next folk metal sensation and can easily be mentioned alongside Ensiferum and Korpiklaani.



From North Official Website
From North Facebook
From North Twitter

8. Dopethrone


Wow, this is heavy as fuck! After their four full-lengths (Demonsmoke, Dark Foil, III and Hochelaga) and their split with fellow sludgers Fister they released their latest effort, an EP called 1312, in August last year. If you dig sludge, heavy doom, stoner or anything relatable you have to check Dopethrone. It's an amazing band and if you dig 1312, which you can listen to below, I surely recommend you to check their other releases too!



Dopethrone Facebook

9. Acrid


Next is the third, and last, Dutch band for now. It's about Acrid, five guys from The Hague whose latest effort is an EP released in 2014. Below you can watch their recently uploaded lyric video for Afterburner, which is a track from that 2014 EP. However, Acrid is working on new music which is planned for release in early 2018. So for now, enjoy Afterburner, and if you dig it be sure to check their other material as well and get siked for their early 2018 release!



Acrid Facebook
Acrid Twitter

10. Isolated Antagonist


Latest band in this part of Promoting Bands is the band of Nate Exx Gradowski and Glen Mitchell. Together they are the sci-fi metallers from the USA, Isolated Antagonist! Since they formed in 2014, they already released two full-lengths, The Isolated And The Antagonist (2015) and Affirmation Of Entropy (2016), and an EP, Engineered Audio Hallucinations (2015). In August they dropped a new track, called Binary Decisions, which you can listen to below. It's a great track in which Christian Olde Wolbers takes care of bass duties, besides Nate and Glen.



Isolated Antagonist Facebook
Isolated Antagonist Twitter

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: Selbst - Selbst


From the opening strums, Of Solitary Ramblings, I am finding a solid like of this so called “black/death metal” genre. This 2-person ‘group’ (I still can’t fathom this, but ‘da hell with it) hailing from Chile, via Venezuela does a damnable fine job at presenting this material.

Intricate guitars and playing make this malevolent maelstrom of utter despair and voidness of hope…nice. Even Visions Of Mankind Withering crank out a ferocious tempo that makes the end of the world seem like a Saturday afternoon cartoon review. Hammering, soulful wilting guitars are the backbone of this one and it’s actually easy listening at over six minutes.

Another 9+ minute opus, Instrument Of My Own Destruction is alright in title, but seems to lose it for me amidst the steady stream of strumming and grunge-overtones.

Wandering through grief as I hear Wandering Through Grief, I’m reminded of a dark, plodding walk I had in a torrential downpour the other week and had this machine gun fire guitar and helpless sounding vox been playing that night, I would’ve been happy. Easily my favourite, this reeks of soulless rapture and true, hardcore death metal. Outstanding!

Despised And Forgotten…not forgotten! Excellent tune, good drums and chorus changes and well deserved of the title! Ha!

Finally, loosely translated as Neat Skullcap (love it! Only in death metal can you get this stuff), Nefasto Calvario is a dim, dark, death ridden drop of constant strumming and some barely audible drums. A vox n’ vigour piece, it’s not hard to listen to, even at 7+ minutes.

Quite good!

8/10

Written by Alessandro

Selbst Official Website
Selbst Facebook

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Crafteon - Cosmic Reawakening


A neat group hailing from Denver, Colorado, the band here introduced as Lord Mordiggian (Guitar/Vocals), Fthaggua (Lead Guitar), Ithaqua (Bass) and Rhagorthua (Drums), present an interesting take on the works of H.P. Lovecraft (hence the bands’ name), apparently and masterfully written near verbatim and set to some drudging, death enveloping music.

Being born on a full moon, I immediately went to What The Moon Brings to see…what it would bring. An excellent beam of powerful vox and nicely balanced music set in a dark netherworld, that’s what! An outstanding piece that is sure to please any metaller, death, black or otherwise.

Setting the tone for me for the rest of the album, I listened at a lower-than-11 volume for the neighbors’ sakes and found the right vibe for this lively yet brooding, dark yet full of light disc.

Some pleasant Rush-ish (!) strums in the first 00:25 of Dagon and the song took off with some massive riffing at the 3:33 mark. Great stuff here!

Skillfully navigating the pages of H.P. Lovecraft is no easy feat and even more so, setting these pieces to music of your own doing. Lord Mordiggian does a superb job and one will need liner notes (yea!) to follow the lyrics and make good sense of them.

The music stands on its own and is masterfully done by the current troupe. There is very intricate playing and changes to suit the splayed writing of Lovecraft (in this view). Fashionable attire and a cool, unified, foreboding look also helps sell this feature presentation!

Of course, check out their Bandcamp and FB for more information, but listen and buy the music first!

9/10

Written by Alessandro

Crafteon Facebook

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Review: Bereft Of Light - Hoinar


Cascadian Metal. This is a new one on me as since this one man band hails from Romania and The Cascades are a mountain range from British Columbia, Canada through Washington, Oregon and finally Southern California. I’m just going to concentrate on the music not the self-styled attempt at creating or influencing a ‘genre’. It’s all filed under ‘M’ for metal in my cabinets.

Daniel Neagoe, “The Player” I’ll call him, introduces Hoinar, Googly translated as Wanderer in a well-produced, clear and seemingly introspective foray into the music world, not the C-World, with an awesome musical intro of Uitare (Oblivion). It sounds and feels like it indeed. Well done and it might just make my ringtones!

Legamant (Covenant) is a 12+ minute opus with plucking strings and thunderstorms punctuated with harsh vocals and super-fast drumming. A definite experimentation into something here and, at a lower volume, I can deal with it.

Pustiu (Wilderness) is an entirely acoustical sounding piece, soft and gentle reminding me of the true wilds of my hometowns in Northern Ontario. I have pictures in mind that this music would suit perfectly. This would be a pleasure to see live.

Freamat (Thrill), a 10+ minute foray into “methodical metal” (my name for it) stings the heart with nice vocals and harmonies, deftly mixed with expert playing and good sound. I am thrilled for this tune actually, pleasantly surprised!

Tarziu (Later), appropriately at the end of the record, is a somber, mellow bit that has some vocal range that bellows out over the Cascadian Ranges, especially at 01:40. More black or death metal here, it is an excellent creation, aside from a small tempo-dip at 3:33 that sounded unintentional and offbeat to me.

A good opus!

9/10

Written by Alessandro

Bereft Of Light Facebook

Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: Blackfinger - When Colors Fade Away


Blackfinger is a doom rock/metal band hailing from Pittsburgh, USA. If the band’s name does not ring a bell, which isn’t all that strange, I’m sure its frontman’s name definitely will. The mastermind behind this in 2012 founded band happens to be none other than former Trouble vocalist Eric Wagner, who is renowned for his characteristic voice, pretty much Trouble’s trademark for many years. He put together a relatively unknown group of musicians to materialize Blackfinger and managed to release a solid self-titled debut in 2014. That line-up was short-lived though, because nowadays none of them remains a member of the band. Save Eric Wagner of course. He teamed up with fellow doom-celebrity and Penance- and Dream Death guitarist Terry Weston to form the new backbone of the present day Blackfinger. The new line-up is completed by Matthew Tuite on guitar, Matthew Cross on bass and David Snyder on drums, again pretty much unknown musicians. The band’s aptitude test comes in the form of a new album to be released later this month called When Colors Fade Away. The title is not chosen randomly, it was thought up by Eric when he was listening to his debut Blackfinger shortly after completing it. The main concept of that album was the feelings various colors conjured up, making it a logical step wondering what it would be like when there are no colors anymore, which can be translated into real life as the loss of all hope.

With a title like this you’re bound to be heading towards a date with misery when playing this, but the reality is that it isn’t that dark and ominous at all. The overall atmosphere is definitely not one of pain and sorrow despite telling titles like When Colors Fade Away, All My Sorrow and Crossing The River Turmoil. The at times overwhelming melancholy and the slow, lingering sound that is present in many of the songs unmistakably classifies this as doom, yet there’s something to this one that lightens the atmosphere, giving it a more dreamy, mysterious feel to it rather than a gloomy one. Of course Eric’s one-of-a-kind voice and vocal style is a huge contributor to this, but it’s not just that. There’s a certain frivolity in the song structures that amplifies the effect of those vocals, creating said atmosphere. So approaching this as a pure doom release wouldn’t be right nor do this piece of work justice. When Colors Fade Away consists of multi-layered, well-composed songs with an emphasis on guitar work, but with enough room for the rhythm section to grab their moments of fame. All songs are built around the vocal lines that are fittingly unfitting the rhythm, as if they are an entity of their own. Despite the way this might sound it does work out very well. Eric’s voice is a beacon of rest, vaguely reminding me of a pleasantly creaking old door. Music-wise there’s quite a lot to discover, with various more or less subtle influences from other genres. A good example are the bluesy influences that can be detected here and there, specifically in Afternow, but Black Sabbath certainly put its mark on the music as well.

Concluding it’s safe to say that this release will appeal to a wide audience. It has the dark elements of a doom album, the more heavy pieces to please the metal oriented fans and the frivolity to keep the atmosphere from becoming too sad and dismal. The strongly guitar based compositions are plenty varied to keep you focused and avoid boredom and the vocal lines add that extra special something, not in the last place due to the timbre of Eric’s voice. Despite the fact they replaced all but one of their members for their second release Blackfinger managed to avoid that being an issue and deliver a great album that is well worth a thorough listening-to.

Written by Henric van Essen

Check part 12 of Promoting Bands, in which we already mentioned Blackfinger, here.

Blackfinger Official Website
Blackfinger Facebook

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review: Hexed - Exhaling Life


After a period without writing I am thrilled to review this very good EP from new and upcoming band Hexed, titled Exhaling Life. The EP consists of 3 songs, beginning with the heavy title track. From the get-go, we are greeted by a typical symphonic keyboard riff and some heavy-duty guitars. Not long after that vocalist Tina Gunnarsson enters with her mighty strong vocals. Her voice is lower than many other metal bands in the symphonic genre and thank god for that! It brings a fresh and unique sound to this band and this is the case for all 3 songs on the EP. The vocals really bring this band to another level. So much so that the band is different enough from everything else I listen to in this genre. The male vocals from guest singer Thomas Vikström on the title track match very well.

In the second song Forsaken Tina Gunnarsson really showcases her capabilities. In an almost banshee-like manner she screams ‘forsaken’ and the song begins. The vocals in the song strongly resemble those of Charlotte Wessels (Delain) until the moment Tina Gunnarssons’ voice reaches its highest point. At that moment she does something unique with her voice, something you’ll want to hear more and more.

That’s actually the only critical note on this EP, instrumentally it is all a bit on the safe side. However, this is partly rectified in the last song Lightyears Away, a song where everything from the previous tracks comes together and you can actually hear how great the potential of this band really is.

Written by Glenn van der Heijden

Hexed Official Website
Hexed Facebook
Hexed Twitter

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Myrkur - Mareridt


From the very first second I heard Myrkur, which was when her self-titled debut EP was released, I immediately loved it. This is some really beautiful, intense music. After this self-titled EP, her debut full-length M was released in 2015, followed by Mausoleum, a very nice live album recorded in the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, Norway. Now it's time for Myrkur's next full-length album, titled Mareridt, being released through Relapse Records on September 15th.

Mareridt, Danish for nightmare, revolves around the nightmares of Amalie Bruun, the mastermind of Myrkur. Instead of shoving them away, she started listening to these nightmares, to make songs of them.

Right from the start of Mareridt, in the title-track, you can hear that Amalie learned kulning, a Swedish traditional cow herding call, which sounds really beautiful. Mareridt, besides the standard instrumentation, also contains some traditional instruments. For example, violin, mandola and nyckelharpa (an ancient Swedish key harp). Another nice, extra addition to this release is that, not only there are the usual drums, but also other forms of percussion.

Amalie's beautiful, clean vocals really shine through on Mareridt, in Danish as well as in English. For example, when you listen to the fourth track Crown which is less heavy, there are almost orchestral vocals over an epic, haunting melody and there's even one sentence in French in it.

Of course, Myrkur's heavier tracks are also present on Mareridt, for example Måneblôt and Elleskudt. In these tracks, it can be heard that Amalie, besides her beautiful clean singing and the recently learned kulning, can also still bring a very intense scream. The end of Elleskudt, the fifth track of Mareridt, let’s us clearly hear a nightmarish vibe, of which you almost get chills.

Funeral gives us a collaboration between Myrkur and Chelsea Wolfe, which is absolutely a very nice combination! She also appears on the bonus track Kvindelil.

Mareridt ends with Børnehjem, which is more of a spoken word outro, but not just a normal spoken word outro. Børnehjem has a very haunting vibe with spoken words from a demon-like voice. A perfect ending for a perfect album.

Myrkur releases a real masterpiece with Mareridt. I was curious whether or not Mareridt could surpass all earlier released beautiful music of Myrkur, but it sure did. Very recommended!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

You can also check part 2 of Promoting Bands in which we mentioned Myrkur here, and our live review of Myrkur and Deafheaven here.

Myrkur Official Website
Myrkur Facebook

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Pig's Blood - Pig's Blood


US death metallers Pig’s Blood released their first, self-titled full-length in June this year. Let’s give it a spin!

Pig’s Blood are out for death and mayhem, which you not only can tell from their band photo or their stage names, but also right away by listening to their music: it’s brutal death metal with some black metal influences. The songs are sometimes faster (like e.g. on Torches Of War And Retribution or The Age Of Endless War), and sometimes very slow, even doom-like (like Taste The Fucking Poison). The faster ones are then also the ones who stand out for me amongst the 10 tracks, this is brutal death metal as it should be!

In conclusion: Pig’s Blood toy around with an image of total savagery, starting from the art cover and band photo and ending with the stage and track names. In the beginning, they also nicely translate that into their sound, and there are a few fast tracks that give you that feeling as well, but, unfortunately, the majority is too slow and too alike to really capture the listener. Still, the guys are good musicians and the record is well-produced, so if you’re a fan of blackened death, give these guys a go. 6/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Pig's Blood Facebook

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: Nephren-Ka - La Grande Guerre De L'Epice


French brutal death metal quartet Nephren-Ka is around since 2006. Since then, the guys have released two records, entitled Revenge And Supremacy and The Fall of Omnius. Their third one, La Grande Guerre De L’Epice, is going to be released on October 13th. I had the chance to listen to it already, and here’s what you can expect:

It becomes obvious from the first second of Watch And Learn that Nephren-Ka nowadays not only settle within the brutal death metal genre, but also incorporate a fair amount of black metal into their sound. The grunts remind me from time to time of Aborted, for instance on the records second track, Plan To Master The Universe. The Demise Of Ix makes it perfectly clear that the guys do not stop at one genre to blend into the death metal sound, but also take some quality thrash metal into the mix. That all blends into a somewhat trademark sound of the guys, while some influences like the aforementioned Aborted, but also NILE (check out Idar Fen Adijica for that) can still be perceived. The total of 9 tracks are very varied and the guys are great musicians, so that you, as listener, will never feel bored. Also to mention is that La Grande Guerre De L’Epice is actually a concept album, taking the ideas for the lyrics from the Dune books by Frank Herbert. Nice plus: some of them are in Nephren-Ka’s native language, French – surely a rare thing in the genre!

In conclusion: the album is very well done in every way! It comprises a total of 10 songs: 9 from the band itself and one very nice cover of Candlemass’ Mirror Mirror. Throughout them all, Nephren-Ka are able to keep the listener engaged by incorporating different musical styles in the mix. La Grande Guerre De L’Epice thus comes highly recommended. 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Nephren-Ka Facebook

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: Warship - The Second Wave


Warship is a 3-man classic heavy metal outfit from Athens, Greece that has been around since 2003, although the first signs of life date back even further, to 1999 to be exact. Build on the remnants of a band called Kokkalo by Captain Foris Ntrikos, who plays the guitar, the current line-up is completed by Mister Kostas Emmanuilidis on bass guitar and Mister Dimitrios Bechrakis on drums. The vocals are courtesy of the Captain himself. However, judging by the impressive list of past members, their line-up has been all but stable, so it could very well be this has changed since I wrote this. Such a big turnover of personnel almost always has a substantial impact on consistency and productivity of a band, and Warship seems no exception to that rule, at least where productivity is concerned. It might not be the only reason of why Warship’s discography to date is limited to two demos and one full-length, but I have no doubt it must have had at least some influence. As far as consistency goes I have no idea, because up until today I have been completely oblivious to Warship’s existence. Time for an introduction, I’d say. The list of bands that in whatever way have had their influence on their music seems promising, but due to the sheer length and diversity of its contents, ranging from the Beatles to Sepultura, I doubt it will be of any help in advance. That is probably for the best though, allowing me to taste Warship’s vision on classic heavy metal completely unprejudiced.

Well, the first taste is a sour one. Opener ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ sets a tone I cannot appreciate too much, because apparently the guys forgot to tune the guitar resulting in an almost false sounding, out of tune intro which bass nor drums can compensate for. The Captain adds to the overall misery by displaying his vocal qualities, which are mediocre to say the very least. To top it off the production sounds as if this is a release that has been recorded thirty-something years ago in a shady basement a mile south of hell. The hope that ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ was just a false start and that things will get better quickly goes up in smoke when the second song, called ‘Ready For War’, displays the exact same flaws. Sounding remarkably familiar this song at least proves the roots of Warship lie in the early days of metal, back when bands like Black Sabbath and Motörhead first started to make name for themselves. By the time the next song, ‘Feel The Pain’, is at full throttle it becomes clear all hope that they might still turn things around is forlorn and the reality that this is all there will be dawns on me. Sure enough the entire album, the full 31 minutes spread over eight songs, is filled with the same, simple type of songs with the same flaws. Normally that is more than enough reason to call it a day and discard of the release, but for some reason my mind won’t accept that. I’ll try to explain why.

Despite its more than obvious flaws both production- and performance-wise this release has something that kept me from stepping out after the first two songs. It took me a bit to realize what the reason was, but I finally figured it out. It summons feelings of recognition and melancholy reminiscent to my first steps on the path of metal back in the late seventies and early eighties. Though in no way nearing the quality of those releases, the simple yet effective compositions have a strong resemblance to the music from the aforementioned period which is intensified by the ‘old school’ sound of the production. The basic structure of the songs isn’t all that bad, I might even be persuaded to call them potentially pleasant, easy listening sing-a-longs. There’s no inventiveness whatsoever, nor are they very complicated or exciting, but that is not a bad thing by definition. It all depends on execution and I’m convinced that, had the execution been better, much better actually, this album would have gotten significantly higher rates. From me at least. For now though the best I can do is advising you to consider giving this a spin, with the strong advice to try to listen deeper than the first three or four layers. All is not lost, there’s still hope for Warship, but they definitely have their work cut out for them.

Written by Henric van Essen

Warship Official Website
Warship Facebook
Warship Twitter

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: Protosequence - Biophagous


This Edmonton, Alberta, Canada band comprised of Jacob Teeple (Bass), Kyle Hunter (Guitar), Joseph McKee (Vocals), Logan Vars (Drums), Parker (Guitar and Vocals), has some good metal stones with this 4 song EP! More and more, the actual musicianship of some of these Death Metal, Djent and other select bands impresses the writer, and the almost Yes-like technical axe-play at 00:48 on ‘Parasitic’ is indicative of greater things. The piano solo at about 3:00 seems a bit contrived (feeling like: thrown in to try hard to SHOW they’re diverse) but a nice bit, surrounded by further Gravocals.

“DFL” is a hammering piece, with complex arrangements and virtuoso playing and an outstanding guitar solo at 2:19 on. A good piece overall but annoying for me after a fashion.

“Shepherd” is unique. Complex and soft, a good showcase for all their musical tools, this is sure to be a concert favourite. The strumming at 2:38 is good mixed with the deftly-mixed and balanced instrumentation of the other elements.

“The Hate Subsides”, angrier than hell, is a well done metal song overall and lunges into prog-rock a-la Trivium for this writer, although not unpleasantly. The drumming at about 1:54 is incredibly amazing and fast, destined to maybe make Modern Drumming magazine.

A good venture!

8/10

Written by Alessandro

Protosequence Facebook
Protosequence Twitter

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review: Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him


UK metallers Vallenfyre have initially developed as an outlet to actively deal with the death of lead singer Greg Mackintosh’s father, but with the great success of the two previous longplayers, “A Fragile King” and “Splinters”, established themselves in the community. On the 2nd of June this year, they released their 3rd album, “Fear Those Who Fear Him” – let’s give it a spin!

“Born To Decay” is a mainly instrumental intro, where only in the beginning we hear “fear those who fear him” a couple of times. “Messiah” kicks off with some brutal death metal drumming, then takes it back a notch only to release its full brutality again when Greg starts to sing. With just 2 minutes of playtime, this track is super intense and an awesome starter. “Degeneration” is less brutal, but still a great track, before we then enter the doom metal field with “An Apathetic Grave”. Very nicely done, as it generates a chilling atmosphere and evokes pictures of death and decay within the listener. After “Nihilist”, being a death metal track again, the sixth track of “Fear Those Who Fear Him”, “Amongst The Filth”, holds a surprise in the beginning in form of more rock and heavy metal tunes, that sometimes remind of Motörhead. About midway through the song this is abandoned though in favor of a more brutal sound. “Kill All Your Masters” is again an in-your-face track, before we can breathe through once again with “The Merciless Tide”, where you can almost feel the water rise due to the bleak, almost depressed atmosphere conveyed by the guys. After this, it’s two more death and one more doom tracks before we end with “Temple Of Rats”. This song combines all the strong points of Vallenfyre and is therefore an epic end to a great album.

In conclusion: as just said, “Fear Those Who Fear Him” is a great album, due to its diversity, the awesome and from time to time bone-chilling atmosphere it creates and the very good production. Fans of death or doom (or both) will love this one! 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Vallenfyre Facebook
Vallenfyre Twitter

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Dead Asylum - Death Always Wins


Dead Asylum, a quartet from Canada, self-released their latest longplayer, entitled „Death Always Wins“, on 2nd of June – so about time to give it a spin and review it!

The cover art, where the reaper hovers over a bleak world driven by money, power and exploitation, sets the tone of the record. The first of the total of eight tracks is “Defiance”, starting right off brutally with aggressive growls and pressing guitars. Next up is the title track, another fast-paced one. Here you start to feel the overall topic of death and destruction, also due to the repetition of the track / album title throughout the song. “Between Me And The Grave” has a slower, midtempo start, but just like the others picks up fast and conveys the brutal death atmosphere very nicely. This is also due to Samantha Landa’s aggressive drumming, which is very impressive. More of that is following in the upcoming tracks “Bury The Living”, “Forgotten Sacrifice” and “Bred To Die”, while being mixed with melodic elements as well. “Welcome” is the most melodic of them all, a midtempo track that still conveys the feeling of death and decay to the listener. The album then ends with “Inmate 666”, which sums up again all the qualities of the record and thus is a great ending.

In conclusion: Dead Asylum released a great record of very good quality sound- and production-wise, and “Death Always Wins” surely comes highly recommended. Let’s hope we hear again soon from them, in the meantime, give this a spin! 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Dead Asylum Official Website
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Dead Asylum Twitter

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: Náyades - White Winter Tales


Coming together back in 2011, Spanish melodic power metallers Náyades stuck through a horde of lineup struggles and turmoil to eventually get ready to unleash their varied influences that go from the sharpest heavy rock to the coolest and most melodic hard rock. Now able to offer their first professional release, the groups’ debut full-length was self-released January 20, 2017.

When this one gets going, it manages to feature plenty of strong, sparkling elements present in the genre into a solid, enjoyable debut. “Blackwings to the Moonlight,” “Buyer of Souls” and “No Tomorrow” all make great use of strong speed-metal riffing patterns, giving this one a tight melodic sound that works rather nicely here. The up-tempo tracks are given a fine sheen here with the melody-driven riff-work going alongside the charging rock-based rhythms to create a rather strong and engaging presence. The album’s other dominating factor, the hard-rock based stylings of efforts like “Losing Control,” “Ghost of Myself” and “Forever” give this a stark contrast with the vast majority of this being based on a mid-tempo chug that lets the melody waiver in exchange for a more straightforward approach that isn’t as lively or energetic here based on the shorter rhythm patterns than the speed metal factors found elsewhere which is the biggest drawback here. This one works much better as a stronger power metal release than a hard rock offering, which is what’s the bigger aspect of the band’s sound and it does leave a slightly distressing sound here. Thankfully, this isn’t that big of a deal being a debut effort so it does get a slight pass on some of these issues.

Although it does lose some of its steam by dropping the power metal for the hard rock at times, the fact that the enjoyable power metal keeps it afloat even during the lighter sections manages to give this just enough for those looking for hard rock-flavored or even melody-accented power metal. 7.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: Enragement - Burned, Barren, Bloodstained


Building off their previous effort, Finnish death metallers Enragement have carried their distinct brand of extreme metal together which brings together nearly every facet of the style simply to add together an air of disturbing menace for the songs. Following a three-year gap between previous releases, the groups’ sophomore effort was released June 9, 2017 on Inverse Records.

From the beginning, this one is based around the concept of the different exploits of extreme metal in most of its guises to cultivate a powerful and explosive sound. Efforts like “River of Corpses,” “Raining Bodyparts” and “Mass of a Thousand Suns” tend to focus mostly on the tight, ravenous riff-work that is prominent throughout here, offering this one a dirty, blackened sound when used in conjunction with the swirling tremolo churning patterns that are featured. Given that these are generally the faster, more frantic efforts those score far more favorably here when compared to the album's variance of including other forms of this kind of music. These tracks, like “Divine Catatonia,” “Ashen Unity” and “Armed Redeemer” focus more on a series of technically-challenging stuttering style rhythms that are quite bland overall, offering little in the way of energy or enjoyment with the way they just sort of blandly bounce around on limp, flaccid rhythms that are exceptionally limp and rarely manage any kind of exceptionally enjoyable formats. It has all of these elements present in the second half as well which does make the album incredibly disproportionate, with all the big energetic efforts up-front and then placing all the other efforts afterward which drops the energy of this one rather significantly. Otherwise, it’s still rather fun for the most part.

While it does come undone a little when it comes to the drop-off of energy in the second half compared to the first half, this one does come across with enough to really like in terms of their rather frantic attack that makes this a solid and worthwhile choice for fans of modern death metal. 7.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

Enragement Official Website
Enragement Facebook
Enragement Twitter

Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Insatia - Phoenix Aflame


Building further upon their style, US power metallers Insatia have added to a grand start already by bringing forth even more of their clear, sparkling sound alongside a bevy of special guests to help them spread their powerful sound even further. With a four-year gap in releases and new members in lead guitarist Kaelen Sarakinis and drummer Daniel Millan, the groups’ sophomore release was originally released June 23, 2017 on Pitch Black Records.

Much like their past works, the group is still working quite heavily in the same realms as far as their sound goes which makes for a rather fun time. Efforts like “Act of Mercy,” “Sacred” and the title track are still rather impactful in their adopting of mid-tempo chugging rhythms for the vast majority of their work throughout the album which makes for a solidified, simplistic sound which goes rather nicely towards the main selling point here of providing sharp, clear-sounding rhythms. As this set-up provides the album with the opportunity to feature some strong melodies from the keyboards blaring along throughout here as efforts like “We Are the Grey,” “Captor and Captive” and “Healer of Hatred” all utilize some sparkling elements alongside the fine mid-tempo chugging elements. Overall, there’s plenty to like here with the basic attack, it does come upon one main critical factor here in that the album is oftentimes so glossy in its melodies that it oftentimes loses its bite. The main focus here is on commercial rhythms and it causes the album to sound rather flat and one-dimension regardless of the solid riff-work and engaging rhythms featured here. In the end, these here are what lower this one only slightly.

While nowhere near what it could’ve been, the fact that there’s still quite a lot to really like here with this one manages to hold up the vast majority of the album into being a solid choice for fans of sparkling, melody-driven simplistic power metal or those that enjoy female-fronted melodic metal. 8/10

Written by Don Anelli

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review: Terra Incognita - Sign With Blood


Terra Incognita, with a line-up of front man Billy Vass, guitarists Stellios Zoulias and Manos Kehagias, drummer Dimitris Kokonezis en bassist Tolis A., is a melodic metal band from Greece's capital Athens which was formed in 2010. One year after their formation, they already released their debut, called Barren Land. Last year they released their second effort, an EP titled Sign With Blood.

Sign With Blood's first song, My Emptiness, is in my opinion not very representative for this EP, Production-wise this track is not that good, it all sounds a bit flat. Billy Vass' vocals even sound a bit forced in this one to me. So far, this EP is not really impressing me, as a result of the aforementioned reasons. Fortunately, the other tracks on Sign With Blood sounds a lot better, starting with Conquerer, the second track. Right from the first notes it sounds heavier and more solid, now holding your attention. Now, you can really hear these men know how to handle their instruments and Billy Vass' vocals are also more pleasant to listen to. From Conquerer till end it sounds more energetic and convincing.

Since 2015, guitarist Stellios Zoulias also picked up the cello for Terra Incognita, which adds an extra element in their music. In Conquerer the cello was not that convincing for me, but in the third track, title-track of this EP, it really adds something extra. However, in my opinion, Terra Incognita can use the cello a bit more and not that much in the background. Last track on Sign With Blood is titled Efialtes, a track Terra Incognita already released on Barren Land, their full-length from 2011, but this time it is an English version of it.

These Greek melodic metallers did a good job with Sign With Blood. First track is, in my opinion, not that good, but the other three tracks make it up very well. So, you dig melodic metal? Be sure to check Sign With Blood!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Terra Incognita Official Website
Terra Incognita Facebook

Friday, August 25, 2017

Interview: Pokerface


In March, Russian thrash metallers Pokerface released their new album Game On. DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen recently interviewed them, read it below!

Hey, how are you?

LadyOwl (vocal): Hey, everyone! We are good, preparing for a new tour with Nervosa!

What made you decide Pokerface was the right name for your band?

Doctor (drums): Well. I'm not sure if this name is very original, but I'm pretty sure that it's better than thousands unrememberable names of metal bands. You know, you are reading metal webzines and thinking like "what the f*cking medical encyclopedia is that?". I'll tell you the truth - first our tracks were covers on Slayer, Venom and Motorhead. We are playing "Ace Of Spades" every show, you know. And "Pokerface" as a name is Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades" spin-off. All of us were influenced by Lemmy. He is a Legend.

You play thrash metal. What is it that makes Pokerface unique within the style of thrash metal?

Ritter (guitar): Pokerface is "all-kinds-of-thrash-metal", depends on album. The band collects best of the best from thrash (and some other genres) and makes its own sound. The main feature is extreme female vocals, which add some craziness to the band's sound. It's growl, scream sometimes, and in some songs even clean. Also the band's visit card is bright killer riffs, fast machine-gun drums and the absence of unnecessary complexity in songs. Pure, simple, juicy thrash metal.

In March, you released your latest album, called Game On, how are the responses so far?

mrGeneSimmons (bass): Responses were pretty good, both from critics and fans. And I'm glad that critics, who reviewed our previous album "Divide and Rule", give the new album higher marks in general. So, I can say, that this is a step in the right direction.

When you compare Game On with your earlier releases, Divide And Rule (2015) and Terror Is The Law (2014), what do you notice?

Doctor: Unbelievable, you're asking me, who was the biggest critic of a new release! Ok, challenge accepted! "Game On" has more commercial sound, riffs are more melodic, there are more grooves in rhytm section and various vocals. It sounds different. I really recommend "Game On" for wide community. But what about me - I love so much "Terror..." and "Divide...". Harder and stronger.

What is the story behind Game On and the lyrics?

LadyOwl: "Game on" is not an ordinary album consisted of separated songs, but has its own deep sense and concept. All songs have kind of certain line and different games of chance, casino theme, inner monsters and fears of people who seek for simple ways to solve difficult self-problems inspired their conception. Everyone knows that the most simple way as usual is not the right one, but being under the social pressure force the hero of this album to make aggressive and cruel decisions. His own behavior puts him into a trap of greed, fear and betrayal. His inner problems appear in images of monsters like Bone Reaper and Fatal Scythe, which hunt him and lead to the deeper layer of his own subconscious. The games that demons make him to play are in general the ways to solve these personal problems. The hero tries this different ways each of which leads to loss of all he earned during his entire life. The labyrinth with no beginning, no end no exit. But the diamonds are formed only under the great pressure and temperature, and the hero of this album is not the exception. In the end of his struggle, he understands, that the main treasure he owns is himself as a person, and until he remembers who he is, he is winner in all dreadful demons' games and the one who won his own life and right to live as a strong-willed person.

The artwork of Game On is done by Jobert Mello. How did you met him and what made him the right person for this job?

mrGeneSimmons: He contacted me by e-mail when we were searching for a designer. I checked his works and decided to try to work with him. After several attempts we got the artwork that was cool enough to go to production.

You formed in 2013, but already played with some great bands. What is the most memorable moment you have while touring?

Doctor: My favourite moment - Sodom support in 2014. It was a first gig with slam, stage diving and circle pits. The first time when we've caught proud and faith in our music. I'm always recalling moments in backstage with Sodom's guys, lighting talks with Mille Petrozza from Kreator, unforgetable minutes.

LadyOwl: Ugh, hard to say now really, all big-name tours and shows were without me, I joined the band in 2016 only hahah, but if we are talking about touring generally, I would notice last tour that we had at all. It was pretty hard, but awesome at the same time, we were travelling with 4 nice bands and felt like a family :) a lot of fun.

Ritter: I don't have such a big touring experience as my colleagues, but I can remember our party-van was climbing over the Slovakia mountains. Apparently, we entered the country through some sort of back entrance. It was April, but suddenly we saw the snow over there. It was a really nice trip - forests, mountains, small rivers, old castles and serpentine. Although we had to stop a couple of times because of the engine overheating, our colleague in another van (with our support band) even needed to repair a car that day.

Speaking about touring, can we expect some new Pokerface shows soon? How about The Netherlands for example?

mrGeneSimmons: Yes, we are thinking about the new EU tour and the Netherlands will be there for sure :) Also if things become bigger, we can manage the USA tour. Follow our FB page for the latest news!

You are from Moscow, Russia, how is the Russian metalscene?

Ritter: We have some metal bands with big names. Almost all of them are trying to make business outside - mostly in EU and USA, because Russian fans are not used to see good and professional bands from Russia and they are sure that any Russian band is a piece of sh*t in advance. It's not their fault - our scene was formed after Slayer and Metallica have come here. So now there are also many perfect local bands with no chance to be famous due to different reasons and tons of metal fans that will never come to a local band show.

Also, in Russia it's all about vicious circle. Lack of music culture: nobody think that music can be a serious business, except pop-music, of course. No professionalism, only fun and beer, no hardworking, and, as a result, lots of low-grade music bands that turn away people from going to gigs and supporting underground metal. No support, no money. The circle is closed.

Any bands you would recommend from Russia?

Ritter: Grond, Arkona, Katalepsy, Autumn Aurora - strongly recommend!

Any future plans for Pokerface you can already tell us about?

mrGeneSimmons: As I said, we will start planning the next EU tour shortly. And will meanwhile announce a new band line-up.

Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Doctor: If to rephrase George Carlin's speech - I don't care about metal without fans, but without metal we'll be f*cked. Listen to true music and stay metal!

Pokerface Official Website
Pokerface Facebook
Pokerface Twitter

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: Formicarius - Black Mass Ritual


Formed just in 2014, London-based symphonic black metallers Formicarius launched themselves onto the world with a solid opening single that quickly earned them recognition in the world over their blazing mix of bombast and old-school symphonic glory. Quickly ushering forth a professional album, the groups’ full-length debut was released July 21, 2017 on Schwarzdorn Production.

From the start, this one manages to announce its intentions of offering frantic, overpowering rhythms and dynamic bombastic that is on display here. Tracks like “Lake of the Dead,” “Overlord” and “Where the Gods Go to Die” showcase the bands’ blazing symphonic fury as the fiery tremolo riff-work, pummeling drumming and buzzing keyboards shimmering along in the background make for quite the striking balance of finely-tuned aggression and dynamics. That the vast majority of the music is played in that fast, frantic style makes for quite a fun tactic as the slightly technical riffing adds an extra dimension to the patterns utilized here with the powerful drumming and fiery keyboards alongside the main rhythms. Despite these fine elements throughout here, it’s still somewhat plagued by a minor issue here in so efforts like “Under Darkness” and “A Requiem for the Bloodborn” are somewhat weaker in their rhythms as the focus to weaker riffing and simple riff-structures which makes these the blander tracks here. Since they’re also the shorter ones, that does makes this one somewhat more enjoyable the longer it goes on since the time allows for greater dynamics in the riffing arrangements and is a possible avenue to explore on future albums. As it stands, this is still a rather fun and engaging debut.

With only a few minor problematic issues that pop up throughout here, the fact that this one comes off as engaging and enjoyable as it does for being a debut offering without any kind of pre-release efforts for the group makes them a fun candidate to follow in the future for aficionados of symphonic black metal. 8.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

Formicarius was also mentioned earlier by Tim van Velthuysen in the Black Metal Edition (part 5) of Promoting Bands here

Formicarius Facebook
Formicarius Twitter

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Persecutory - Towards The Ultimate Extinction


Coming together in 2014, Turkish black/thrash metallers Persecutory have ultimately come together to bring forth a ritualistic and far more chilling take on the traditional extreme metal scene by bringing out the morbid take in their music which becomes quite grotesque. Finally able to release their first professional release, the bands’ full-length debut was originally released July 1, 2017 on Godz ov War Productions.

From the beginning, this here is quite the devastating blend of influences that manage to provide plenty of sterling work overall for their first impression. Efforts like “Pillars of Dismay,” “Till Relentless Salvation Comes” and “Awakening the Depraved Era” offer a strong blast of swirling tremolo-laced riffing filled with rabid, chaotic thrashing patterns that lets the material explore darkened atmospheres quite prominently. With the rumbling rhythms alongside these furious patterns and being able to shift through a rather dynamic series of rhythm changes by going for sweeping epics, blasting thrash-infused black metal or tight, churning mid-tempo efforts that are fully laced with strong tremolo melodies that further the black metal aesthetic of these such like on the title track or “Along the Infernal Hallways.” Being able to explore these elements of the extreme side gives this a lot more to play with than expected and really means this one can flow through a variety of different approaches which manages to give this one a lot to like. The one problem that pops up with this approach is the fact that there’s very little about it that is able to stand-out overall, keeping everything in one strong note for its approach that makes it really hard to pick anything out here when it gets going. Still, this one can get overlooked as the band explores their sound more.

Getting in a rather strong series of likes with a few minor issues that don’t really mean much in the end, this one manages to have a lot to really like here for the band going forward and really has a lot to appeal for fans who appreciate the slimy, grotesque old-school black/death metal scene or these extreme metal offerings. 8.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

Persecutory Facebook

Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Atrexial - Souverain


Aiming for their own take on the genre, Spanish black/death metal newcomers Atrexial have decided to come together rather quickly with the aim of fusing the brutality of Death Metal with the elegance and darkness of Black Metal under the influence of different subgenres. Quickly offering forth their first professional release, the bands’ full-length debut was originally self-released April 4th, 2017 before a CD reissue May 30, 2017 on Godz ov War Productions.

Once this one gets going, its rather strong and charging atmosphere makes for a stand-out impression of what’s on display throughout here. Tracks like “The Hideous Veil of Innocence,” “Under the Scourge of Lamashtu” and “Illuminator” prominently display furious old-school style swirling tremolo riff-work with plenty of dark atmospherics in the rhythms to add a charging ferocity to the work. By adding a deep, churning style to the ravenous blackened sections throughout here, there’s a grandiose sense of dynamics present that truly mix together the different genre aesthetics really well as the heaviness of the death metal rhythms goes hand-in-hand with the raw, ferocious black metal tone. When those are dragged away in “Catharsis Through Torment,” “Unmerciful Imperial Majesty” or “The Ominous Silence” which exchanges the churning rhythms for more straightforward tremolo riffing and full-on blasting charges in the tempos which offer a more traditional black metal sound and is quite a fun variety due to the solid changeover that occurs with these rhythms. The biggest detriment to the album is the rather obvious one, its running time here due to the unnecessary track-length, for there’s no reason this one should go into the double-digits here. With an intro, outro and an instrumental interlude all clogging things up, this could’ve been trimmed down some by eliminating most of those and carrying on as normal, yet that manages to be the most obvious flaw here.

Overall, this one doesn’t have too much to dislike here as the main attack manages to contain a lot of positive elements that are certainly enjoyable enough, even with the overloaded running time because of too many tracks, so even with that it still will appeal to fans of black/death metal in general. 9/10

Written by Don Anelli

Atrexial Facebook

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Interview: Diana Rising


French metalcore band Diana Rising recently released their debut full-length, called Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness. DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen interviewed their guitarist Loïc Kowalski Foechterlé, read it below.

Hey, how are you?

Hi Tim, really nice and you? Hope you past a pleasant summer.

Diana Rising was formed in 2012, can you tell us something about the history and the members?

We come from Mulhouse, France. Close to the German and Switzerland borders.
Yet, we still have 3 members who created the band, Pierre (drum), David (Bass) and I (Loïc, lead Guitar). Actually, I meet the band following an internet announce. Dje, our singer joined us during the first tour. He replaces our singer in place caused he didn’t want to tour. After the first adventure, Djé never leaved the band. For Arnaud, it’s a bit different, we changed several times the rhythmic guitarist. after our European tour, our former guitarist left caused of his work carrier. Arnaud, who followed the band since the beginning was directly ready and motivated to take the position.
Now I think we are a strong team of friends playing together and ready for the next.

Diana Rising, why did you decide this was the right name for the band?

Actually, we decided it in a bar in Mulhouse, where we are from. In this bar there is a bibliotheca we loved to spend free time. One evening we choose random book to associate words and ideas. I was expecting for a girl’s name, like my last band. And after several drinks and books, we agreed about DIANA RISING. And it characterize us as well with the energy we share between us and with the public.

Your music is categorized as metalcore. What makes Diana Rising unique in this style?

DIANA RISING is between deathcore and metalcore. We associate strong and heavy voices, with more melodic and powerfull guitars. We want to save this brutal aspect of the music but the music become more and more melodic.

You recently released your first full-length, Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness, after 2 EP's, Eon Through The Myst (2014) and Guardians (2015). How does it feel to finally have your first full-length released?

We feel really proud of it. Firstly because we do everything by ourself (expect the mix/master) and secondly because it as result of the beginning of the Diana Rising adventure. We are also proud to have our first album in our hand and it’s really symbolic to an artist.

What are the responses so far about Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness?

SCSWD received good critics by professional people and by our fans. It gives us a more professional approach of the band.

When you compare Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness with your two earlier EP's, what is it you notice?

The principal difference in the production. The composition of song is more elaborated and it told a different story. This album songs are so much better than our EP’s and it’s more easier to going through the complete album.

What is the story behind Stars Can't Shine Without Darkness and the lyrics of the tracks on it?

SCSWD is telling a story about us and a hard period for members of Diana. Difficult loves stories, life problems, etc. It's a translation of what we felt during this period and it’s a bit an exorcising of all these difficulties. Then the album is released to close this.

This year, Diana Rising exists 5 years, anything special planned to celebrate it?

We didn’t think about this, but yes we have to celebrate it. At the end of the year, we have a show in our home town Mulhouse. We will have a party will all our friends present and local band friends.

At this moment you've only announced two future concerts, in France and Germany. Can we expect some more Diana Rising shows? Maybe in The Netherlands?

We currently work on a tour in the spring in East Europe. We came in Amsterdam after the first tour but only to celebrate it J
It would be a with pleasure to play in The Netherlands, if someone reading this wanted to book us, please let us know by e-mail at dianarisingband@gmail.com.

Any other future plans for Diana Rising you can already tell us about?

For the moment we play our show for the album SCSWD. In September, we will add an artist who will perform during our show, who will start at the show in Nantes, France.
Beginning of 2018 we will start composing new singles of the next album.

Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to DutchMetalManiac's readers?

Thanks to give us your time to read this and to listen to our album and EP's. It was a pleasure to give more details about ourselves and our project. It would be a pleasure to meet all of you in a show in the Netherlands or elsewhere.
Thank you.

Diana Rising Official Website
Diana Rising Facebook
Diana Rising Twitter

Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: Demotional - Discovery


A distinct pleasure to hear this! After 2 other albums, sharing stages with the likes of Arch Enemy and Entombed, the ‘Swedish Sextet’ brings up the ante in contemporary metal. Stylish in their suits, they are another breath of fresh metal while being clearly professional and adept at their playing. There is a complexity to the music but also a straightforward hammer that instantly gets you jumping.

While their obvious hit, ‘Ashes’ is fantastic with its hammering drums and melodic-rock feel combined with some truly screaming vox, I am taking a huge liking to ‘All That It Takes’; meaningful and atmospheric, it brings to mind the band Default, with powerful harmonies and grinding chords.

‘Monster’ is just that – a monster hit. Superb vocals and feel to this, and is that a female guest vocalist? This adds yet another layer to this great song. Hopefully a video to follow as this has made it to my favourites playlist! Killer tune; I like it more than your actual hit!

An interesting tune in ‘If You Believe’ as the shortest one at just 3 minutes, it captivates as it is not really metal but a harder rock, with some punk overtones with a neat mix of keyboards and a catchy hook. This might be another hit – nicely done.

The rest of the record smokes with beautiful intros such as in “Carry On”, great harmonies and smatterings of keyboards that complement the guitars, all kept together by energetic and clear beats.

As the record progresses, I find it is less metal and harder than hard rock but artfully done nonetheless. Anthems shouted out in ‘Train Wreck’ have “concert halls” written all over them: Save our souls indeed!

Finishing with ‘One Hour Stranger’, a heavier rocker that rounds out the album nicely and keeps the expected tone. The rising sense of the music is brought to an end with this captivating song; not my fave, but masterfully done lads!

9/10

Written by Alessandro

Demotional Official Website
Demotional Facebook
Demotional Twitter

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Promoting Bands Part 12



Hey! \m/

Hope you enjoyed the past parts of Promoting Bands and the bands in there.

Missed them? Here they are:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

And don't forget: if you want to be featured in an upcoming part of Promoting Bands, send us an email, Facebook or Twitter message!

Here is part 12 for you, enjoy \m/

Tim van Velthuysen

1. Infant Meat Shield


These five guys from Zwolle, The Netherlands started to play their old school death metal with thrash influences not that long ago, but they already have an EP released. It's called Dead Age, contains 5 tracks and was released on May 6th, 2017. When you dig old school death, you should take a listen to this EP. You can do so below, hope you like it. If you want to see Infant Meat Shield live you can do so at Metal Madness Zundert on October 14th in Zundert or at Sounds From The Underground on January 27th in Emmeloord.



Infant Meat Shield Official Website
Infant Meat Shield Facebook

2. Carthagods


In 2015, Tunisian metallers Carthagods released their latest album, which was self-titled. Now, they are back! They recently announced their upcoming EP, which will be called The Devil's Dolls. Below you can check their lyric video of the title-track of it. These metallers from Tunisia are definetely worth listening to, so be sure to follow them!



Carthagods Facebook

3. Sifting


On September 29th, the Venezuelan-American progressive metallers of Sifting will release new album. It will be called Not From Here and is their second full-length after All The Hated (2013). Not From Here will be released via Eclipse Records, which they recently signed with. Below, you can already listen to their first single from Not From Here, enjoy!



Sifting Official Website
Sifting Facebook
Sifting Twitter

4. Asgrauw/Meslamtaea


Asgrauw, three guys hailing from Groesbeek, The Netherlands, recently released their latest effort. These black metallers shared a split with Meslamtaea, called Utopia. Meslamtaea is a one-man-band which is also playing black metal. However, the man behind Meslamtaea is surely not unknown to Asgrauw, as it is their own drummer. You can listen to Utopia below and when you want to see Asgrauw live, be sure to be at their gig with Infinity, Ibex Angel Order and Tsjuster at Kiehool Burgum, September 23.



Asgrauw Official Website
Asgrauw Facebook

5. Inferum


All five members of this mechanical death metal band study at the Metal Factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Tomorrow, August 18th, they will release their debut EP called Modern Massacre, but they already played some very nice gigs. For example, they won Metal Battle 2017 and Wacken Metal Battle 2017, which resulted in them playing Wacken Open Air a few weeks ago. Below you can already listen to a bit of the EP and if you want to see them live, be sure to check their tourlist with a lot of nice gigs, including their release party as support for Cryptopsy (tomorrow), Baroeg Open Air and Tattoofest.



Inferum Official Website
Inferum Facebook
Inferum Twitter

6. Witherfall


Witherfall is the dark melodic metal band of Jake Dreyer (Iced Earth, Kobra And The Lotus, White Wizzard), Joseph Michael (White Wizzard) and the late Adam Sagan (Circle II Circle, Into Eternity). In February they released their debut, Nocturnes And Requiems, of which you can check one track, End Of Time, below. Nocturnes And Requiems is dedicated to the life of Adam Sagan, who sadly passed away during the final stages of production. Be sure to check out Nocturnes And Requiems, especially if you are a fan of melodic metal.



Witherfall Facebook
Witherfall Twitter

7. Mortishead


These extreme industrial metallers from the UK already released their Gorenado EP in 2014, but recently they released another EP. It will be called Totality and below you can check the titletrack of it, including videoclip. This band is heavy as shit and a band to follow for sure. So watch their video below and prepare to be blown away!



Mortishead Official Website
Mortishead Facebook
Mortishead Twitter

8. Katla


Katla, what is that? It's the name of one of Iceland's greatest volcanos, but since a short while there is something else named Katla, which is probably more interesting for you. It's about the new band of ex-Sólstafir drummer/visual artist Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson who you may know from Fortíð and/or Potentiam. They already released a few tracks earlier, but they just released Hyldýpi from upcoming debut full-length Móðurástin, which you can listen below. Móðurástin will be released on October 27th, so mark that date in your agenda.



Katla Facebook

9. Blackfinger


These doom metallers with, among others, vocalist Eric Wagner (Trouble/The Skull) and guitarist Terry Weston (Dream Death/Penance) already released their debut album, which was self-titled, in 2014. In September their second full-length, When Colors Fade Away, will be released. Below you can watch the lyric video for the titletrack, which sounds really promising. Good job guys!



Blackfinger Official Website
Blackfinger Facebook

10. Midvinterblot


Swedish folk metal band Midvinterblot released their debut demo Rise Of The Forest King in 2012 and their first EP Gryning in 2015. Last year they finally released their debut full-length, Skymning. Below is the place where you can get your folk metal for now, because there you can listen to the full Skymning album. This is some really nice folk metal and Midvinterblot is a band you have to check for sure, especially if you dig folk metal!



Midvinterblot Official Website
Midvinterblot Facebook
Midvinterblot Twitter

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interview: Karma Zero


In April, French metallers Karma Zero released their second full-length Monsters. DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen spoke with guitarist/vocalist Ben and vocalist SaYmon, read it below.

Hey guys, how's life in France?

Ben: Hi, not too bad if we forget the fact that our new president will take away some of our freedoms in order to “fight” against terrorism.

SaYmon: Hey, here in France life is just like every other European countries, with our problems of unemployment and financial crisis, we live in a quite pessimistic period but even though those things we are here and trying to do just like any others, and live the good part of life! Maybe to talk about music we can regret the fact than metal scene here is still seen as an underground scene and it’s quite difficult to organise gigs or events for this kind of music!

Why did you name your band Karma Zero?

SaYmon: At the time we didn’t have a name for the band, or maybe something not definitive like WaitShiva or something like that (we used to put ethnic samples in our tracks, inspired by Indian music etc…) and all our friends told us that it wasn’t really easy to pronounce (for French people anyway…!) so we were searching something else, and we had a song called Karma Zero (again all was about Indian mythology) and everyone in the band agreed about the fact that it sounded great and was easier to remember, so we decided to take that track name for our band!

For people who don't know you, yet, how would you describe your music?

Ben: We make Metal Modern with various influences like Hardcore, Djent, Death and even Black Metal. We write without barriers by simply trying to make a violent music turned towards the live.

SaYmon: Let’s call that KarmaCore XD !!

In April you released your second full-length album called Monsters. What are the responses of press and public so far? How do you feel about that?

Ben: For now we only have positive feedback from our new album, people who follow us are very enthusiastic about the new songs, especially live.

We hope that this momentum will continue and attract more and more people to listen to “Monsters” and come see us on stage.

When you compare Monsters to your first full-length, Architecture Of A Lie, what do you notice? In what way Karma Zero has grown?

Ben: Our sound has changed, it is more accomplished, more personal than before.
We have completely revised our way of composing, everyone is involved and everyone brings a touch.
We've all progressed since Architecture Of A Lie and thanks to that today we know where we want to go.

SaYmon: As Ben said, during composition and reheasals, everyone put his influence into the tracks and we tried to mix those different styles. The point was not to forbid anything, like we could have done before. If a part in a song sounded more like black metal or something that we aren’t used to do, we made it and that’s it! We just tried to have fun and make great music! Maybe that’s why we have grown musically, by composing this way we have found our music and the way we wanna sound.

Your press release stated that, with Monsters, you're back, angrier than ever. What makes you angry nowadays?

Ben: What makes me angry is the injustice in this world, for example I am sick of seeing that we are able to raise billions of dollars to make war and at the same time leaving people starving to death.
I try to be a little more optimistic but each day brings disastrous news ...

SaYmon: Quite difficult to answer questions like that, what Ben said is so true! I would add the idea of being manipulated everyday by the medias, everything that we are told in newspapers or on TV and on the internet is always a part of the truth, you always have to compare many sources to find out what’s true or not. It’s like information is some kind of an advertisement for someone or something! Every problem in our society (unemployment , financial crisis…) makes everyone more individualistic or leeds them to radical right and xenophobic opinions, that’s really scary. It’s just like people forgot history…

Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the songs on Monsters?

SaYmon: The idea was to make sort of a concept album base on old monster movies from the 30’s to the 50’s, each song talks about one of those classic monsters and makes a parallel with everyday life, in most of the movies, monsters are called that way just because they are different, and not understood. People are scared by what they cannot understand most of the time, and first reaction is reject in many times. The album and the lyrics talk about that, and classic monster mythology was also a way to give a particular atmosphere to “Monsters” with samples taken from old movies, that was great to create some kind of a word, and tell a story more than a ‘classi” metal album with 10 violent tracks that come one after another without any global idea…

Who are the real monsters in this world for you?

Ben: The real monstrers in this world are us.
Humanity has reached such a level of violence that today generally everyone looks away in order to preserve himself or herself. As long as we are not directly affected we do not react.
I generalize, there are obviously people who move their ass off but I expect above all a reaction of the elite of this world, those who have money and power.
And these people only react in the face of public opinion, so we must all without exception express our indignation against all this shit, boycott and consume differently to finally be heard.

Which track on Monsters is your favorite?

Ben: My favorite song is Buried Alive, it's the last song we wrote for the album and it's also the most violent. It is always a pleasure to play it live, people are very receptive and war breaks out in the pit every time! XD

SaYmon: Like Ben “Buried Alive” is one of my favorite, but I would say that the one I prefer is the one called “Monsters”, maybe that’s one of the less violent in the album, but I love the end of the track, and lyrics summarize the big idea of the album: basically we are all Monsters because as I said before, everyone in his life had to live this moment when all the people around don’t understand you and makes you feel like a monster, just because you are different or you simply have different idea.

You also have one cover track on it, Blind by Korn, why did you choose for that one?

SaYmon: We did not have a precise idea of this cover, the thing is that I had this idea about the intro and the drums that comes with this more energic and rock’n roll vibe, juste before this famous « Are you ready ?! ». So we just started with that and composed together how the track could sound if we started it this different way ! We made it for fun and put in it some of our musical influences we spoke about with your first question!

We didn’t expect so many reactions about it, that was really cool to receive messages about how people liked it! There were also negative reactions, but when you cover such a legendary track like « Blind » from Korn, you cannot expect everyone to like it, but we made it just for fun and to turn it into a thing that we like with our influences and the sound we make and like. We are true Korn fans and we support them since we are kids, we were those ones with baggy jeans and dreadlocks in the 90’s, so we never tried to do better than them, that’s just impossible!

Let’s call it a cover for fun ! ;-)

You have two songs with guest vocalists on Monsters, Julien from Deep In Hate and Emilie from Gravity. How was working with them?

Ben: They are friends, we shared a lot of scenes together and so it was all natural to ask them to sing on our new album. Especially we appreciate their voices and they complement well with Simon’s.

SaYmon: Julien and Emilie who make the featurings on «Swamp Things » and « Horror Films » are friends of us since 2013! We met them with our first album « Architecture of a Lie », and toured with their bands (Julien in CHECKMATE / Emilie in GRAVITY), with that tour we had so much fun and they became true friends, and at that time we already spoke about a collaboration for our upcoming album! So when we had the tracks we contacted them, and they said yes! That was great to work with them, they are really great frontmen!

If you haven’t checked their bands just listen to it! Emilie is the frontwoman of GRAVITY, they will release their 3rd album « Noir » at the end of this year, and Julien is now the singer in DEEP IN HATE and they are about to release « Disobey » their second album soon!

At this time, you have one show confirmed, are more of them coming soon? Maybe somewhere in The Netherlands?

SaYmon: We are actually booking shows in France for the end of 2017, and we are trying to make a European tour, maybe in Netherlands that would be great to play in your country, so if promoters want to book us, don’t hesitate and contact us!!

Any other future plans for Karma Zero you can already tell?

Ben: We are looking for a European tour at the moment and we'll start working on new songs very soon.

SaYmon: New tracks, new clips, and many more… To be continued as they say!!

Thanks for your answers, is there anything you would like to say to DutchMetalManiac's readers?

Ben: Thank you for reading us, check out our new album Monsters and tell us what you think. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

SaYmon: Thank you very much for reading this, listen to our new album and if you like it, download it legally or illegally and give it to your friends!!! Party hard, have fun, and support your local scene!!

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