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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Deliverance - CHRST


Deliverance is a French sludge/black metal band, formed in 2012 by guitarist Etiënne Sarthou and vocalist Pierre Duneau. The current line-up is completed by bassist Sacha Février and drummer Fred Quota, while guitarist Julien Hekking helps them out as a live guitarist. The band’s name comes from the eponymous 1972 cult movie which in turn was based on James Dickey’s also eponymous novel. They were quick to release an EP in 2013 but despite the good critics that remained their sole feat of arms up until this year. Apparently they took their time writing, composing and recording their first full-length called ‘CHRST’, which was then mastered by heavy weight Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna, Salvation and many more). In theory this should mean it has the makings of an awesome release, the question is whether theory indeed makes practice in this case. The answer to that question would have to be ‘yes’ in my opinion. Why? Well, if you have ever seen the aforementioned movie, or even read the book, you probably have a good indication of what kind of music you should be about to encounter when playing this release: Compelling, disturbing, vicious and at times downright scary. These four components combined form the dominating atmospheric backbone of both movie and book which the guys have tried to transfer this into their music. And as far as I’m concerned they succeeded, unleashing over 45 minutes of musical terror, in the good sense of the word of course, on the world.

There are many bands that combine sludge and black metal, but in my opinion the mix of sludge and black metal, supplemented with components from death metal and post rock that Deliverance plays turns out particularly good. Their type of black metal is not the filth riddled, obscure type we know from the underground bands, but a more accessible yet still sharp and icy sounding type. Of course the fact these guys definitely know how to play their respective instruments and use their vocal chords is a huge factor, but to me there’s more to this release than just that. Right from the start you are submerged in a cold, dark, almost desolate atmosphere, involuntarily influencing your state of mind. To achieve this they could not have chosen a better opener than ‘Hung be the heavens with black’, in which the slow, heavy sludge suddenly merges into a violent, more black metal oriented rhythm. Pierre’s mean, cold, insane growling vocals are a huge contributor to the atmosphere of the songs, but, as always, in the end it’s the combination of both music and vocals that determines the intensity of the summoned atmosphere and the quality of the tunes. And of both there is plenty to be found on ‘CHRST’. The 10-minute spanning successor ‘Out of the saddening blank’ with its ominously lingering intro is certainly not inferior to the opener, but to be honest the same can be said from every single song. Each individual song is more or less composed following the same blueprint: Parts that emphasize either sludge or black metal are seamlessly merged from the one into the other and combined with piercing, bone-crunching vocals, always maintaining the cold, dark feeling of desolation. The variation in duration, speed and construction of the various parts keeps things interesting without losing coherence in the overall composition, making this 45-minute journey way too short.

Admittedly, Deliverance’s work on ’CHRST’ might be considered an acquired taste by many, simply because it’s not exactly easy listening. It’s complexity and the cold, dark atmosphere it summons definitely needs quite some getting used to for the unsuspecting listener, but fans of the genre will have a blast with this. The compelling atmosphere and the extent to which it continues to haunt you throughout the entirety of this release, is of equal high quality as the tunes themselves, as is the outstanding production. Unlike most releases I get to hear this time I really have no favorite song, but if I was forced to pick one that would best summarize this album I’d actually pick two. ‘A bone shall not be broken’ for its great black metal-ish style and ‘I say Christ’ as its sludgy counterpart. Long story short: An impressive release, definitely recommended by yours truly.

Written by Henric van Essen

Deliverance Facebook

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Stormhaven - Exodus


Coming together in 2010, the French progressive death metallers under the name Stormhaven took a series of routes to finalizing their final lineup with the group of friends eventually getting their complete form ready for the international stage. Following in the footsteps of their previous work, the groups’ full-length debut was self-released on May 19, 2017.

For the most part, the music displayed here manages to effectively straddle between each genre featured here as this comes together rather well. Best exemplified by the three-part title track, this here is really built around the strong and exceptionally complex guitar-work throughout here, never going into technical noodling but staying firmly in truly progressive realms. These hold this one up into far loftier and dignified realms than usual in that the riffing takes on the challenging rhythms and complex time-shifts associated with both realms but instead weaves both styles together into sections required technical thrashing alongside the more melodic interludes here given the dexterous keyboard work alongside the more dynamic patterns which create a startling effect. The full-on mixture of clean crooning and deep growls gives this one another angle to work on, especially on the epic closer “Eclipse” which manages to bring those elements together in quite a thrilling manner with the progressive tendencies and strong instrumentation coming together exceptionally well. This one does tend to fall in only one manner, though, where it’s nearly impossible to tell the tracks apart from each other. Since everything is these long, extended pieces about the continuous need to throw everything into the tracks and it just comes off really overlong and just more endless more than anything as the whole album comes across with way too many sections than what it really needs to tell the story here. Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot really wrong here.

Without a whole lot of flaws here as the vast majority of the positives wholly overwhelm the few flaws to be found in the bloated writing, this one stands out rather nicely within the progressive death metal genre and is wholly recommended to fans of that genre or just technically-proficient death metal in general. 8.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

Stormhaven Facebook

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Interview: Ghusa


On May 5th, French death metallers Ghusa released their new album Öswedeme. DutchMetalManiac's Don Anelli already reviewed it here and he also had some questions for Ghusa. Read his interview with Ghusa vocalist L. Chuck D. below!

Well, first off, let’s talk about the new album. Are you pleased with its reaction so far?

I confirm that we are very satisfied with the welcome new album. To this day I have never read anything negative. This opus satisfies me completely and we are very happy to see that this opinion is divided.

Do you have a favorite track off the album? What makes it special for you?

We are five in the band and I think that each one of us get his favorite track. I really like Flying in a Dark Dream. Its story is not usual because at the beginning, it was three different tracks. I took every rhythm and I made it like you can listen to it now. Its atmosphere fits perfectly to my state of mind at the time. I may not give you the same answer in a few months. I love this album as a whole, and it makes me good.

Why did you decide to work with producer Jipouille de St Loup? Did he bring out anything special to the material during the recording?

We already worked for the first time with Jipouille on our precedent production. We really loved his way to do and the result. We really wanted to record a whole album with him. He is not a simple manipulator of button, he also brings his vision on the artistic side. For example, he did insist I kept a same lead voice all the recording long. This way we can focus. And we all love the techniques he uses. All is natural and that was what we were looking for.

This was also recorded at his studio. Why did you decide it was the right place to record it there?

Nowadays too much bands try to make a technical perfect album. That can be wise for some styles but not for old school death metal. Jipouille has the ability to immerse the listener in the middle of the group. We have the impression that comes out of his house is alive and not sterilized by programming of battery or effects unrelated to music. Just listen to what he did with Treponem Pal, it’s just exceptional.

You started at the same time as the Swedish death metal bands also started. Was there any contact between each other back then to help the scene grow?

You’re right, we began at the same time but in France. At these days, there was not yet death metal’s way of life. Nowadays, things have changed. For example we share a show in Europe with Interment and Necrowretch in October. This is proof that there is a mutual. I’m very happy and proud to travel with them.

Being from France instead of Sweden, how was the specific scene for death metal at the time?

France has always got very good bands in this style. We have groups who are now a global recognition, but others who have less exposure should also. One of my favorite French band is Massacra, and they had to leave France to get a well-deserved recognition in their own country. Then there is this feature which has done that everyone is helped each other out in the 1990s. Unfortunately this is not more the case today. There are only few people who reach out to each other, there's music that often is quality.

What makes the timing perfect for the band to finally release material today?

To me, the best moment is when you feel ready. The public has changed and you can’t stay two years without giving some new album because you’re fastly forgotten. But there is no question we got out a material that would not live up to our requirements. We will continue to offer regularly records which we will be totally satisfied, and that whatever delays.

Are you surprised at how the scene for this brand of death metal has grown since you first started?

What is surprising is that how death metal can also be a fashion victim. All of this is cyclical. But I’m very happy to see a proliferation of bands. This allows me to always listen to my favorite style of music while discovering new groups. There is not as old training found the quality. I take a lot of pleasure to discover again and again. I hope to still enjoy a few years before the fashion came back to other styles. Only the strongest will survive every time. Will we still be here then?

What plans do you have to promote the album as far as tours or videos?

We did a tour in Eastern Europe and we will remake concerts and a tour before the end of the year. However I had an accident of motorbike three weeks ago and I don't know when I can go back on stage. We had also planned to shoot a video this summer, but all of this is questioned because my health does not allow me to participate in this event.

Hope you get better soon! 

So, we’ll end this on a fun note. If you could travel back in time to give your younger self career advice, what would it be?

I will think to myself only one thing : « Do not change of band! »

Do you wish to say something to our readers?

I wanted to thank everyone who sent a message of support in recent weeks after my accident. I give you appointment on stage and remember that God hates us all.

Ghusa Facebook

Friday, July 21, 2017

Live review: Dynamo Metalfest 2017 at IJssportcentrum, Eindhoven, July 15th 2017


Festival season is upon us fellow metalheads. It was my pleasure to go to Dynamo Metalfest, Eindhoven this year with a killer line-up consisting of;

White Boy Wasted
Vuur
Toxik
Prong
Entombed A.D
Exodus
Devin Townsend Project
Testament
Gojira

I must honestly say that Dynamo Metalfest was a last minute decision between me and a friend of mine because we are both HUGE fans of Gojira and it was just too cheap to not go to the festival. I am also into Exodus and Devin Townsend for that matter so I had a lot of reasons to go. So let's summarizing the bands in order as listed above.

We were a little late to the party so we actually missed White Boy Wasted. My apologies dudes, I'm sure you had great fun on the stage with such a big crowd. Halfway through Vuur’s set me and my friend came marching into the building ready for some metal. Vuur had some pretty good riffs and the guitar player really handled his instrument well. I just kept thinking that it needed a male vocalist. I’m a fan of Anneke van Giersbergen’s voice but I just think it doesn’t fit this style of metal nicely.

Toxik was the first thrash metal band of the day. Really coincidental a friend of mine showed me the band just a week before this show so I was kind of excited to see them! They had a lot of people confused with their proggy brand of thrash. People didn’t really know whether a riff was headbangable or not. No offence to the band of course, I really like their music and their bass player is insane! The speed in which he accurately plays riffs is mind boggling. The singer had a really great voice and overall it was a great warm up for the bands to come.

After Toxik came Prong, which was the biggest surprise for me that day. I had honestly never listened to Prong before. To most people that is a weird statement because Prong is a pretty well known, established band in the metal scene for years and years but I just never took the time to listen. I really liked the riff-driven anger in their music which was also very groovy and got a lot of people headbanging.

One band I totally forgot about was Entombed A.D. They immediately showed me that they are a band that should not be forgotten. With their signature death ‘n roll sound they have created something unique. I’m not sure Dynamo Metalfest was the right audience for them because I didn't see too many people enjoying themselves during the show. Probably because of the fairly “old” audience.

After Entombed A.D came Exodus and boy they ripped. You could notice the spark in singer Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza’s eyes from miles away. The Exodus boys were really enjoying the fact they were returning to Eindhoven for the Dynamo experience. The set was pretty much made up with old school songs for the older fans that were there 16 years ago. The only thing that bothers me a little is that I’ve seen Exodus twice now but still haven’t seen them with original guitar player, Gary Holt. I think he should make more time for his own band rather than “sinking ship” Slayer.

So, now… The Devin Townsend Project. This was actually the show I was looking forward to the most. I have liked his music for years now and he is a very gifted musician. Between the songs he can crack you up as well! The funny thing is that he takes his music very lightly although it deals with some pretty serious topics. I was pretty much star struck the whole time. There is no other human being with a voice like him. His operatic vocals are so strong and to top it off with some inhuman screams is just the pinnacle of metal as a whole. Best show of the day for sure. I’m sorry Gojira. Hevy Devy took the crown.

After The show we had to wait for an awkwardly long time. We saw the stage being prepared for Testament and it looked awesome! They were probably the only band next to Gojira that made an effort to make the stage look like they were in for serious business. Unfortunately due to technical problems they couldn’t perform their whole set. Also due to the strict 23:00 curfew they CHOSE to shorten their set to have Gojira do their whole set and still finish on time for the curfew. This, people, is professionalism. I admire Testament for making that decision because it is a hard one to make. I’m sure they will make up for it on a European tour sometime this or next year.

Headliner of the day, the most popular metal band on the planet right now. And for a damn good reason too. When I discovered Gojira during the time they released “From Mars to Sirius” I knew there was something special about this band. Some serious Frenchmen that make brutally devastating death metal with a cause, to save the planet. This approach to metal earned them the tag of environmetal. Which I think is hilarious. Their headlining show was so impressive that I’ve seen every band member of the previous shows next to the stage admiring the mighty presence of Gojira on stage. Bone-splintering set with classics such as Backbone and The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe made for a diverse Gojira experience. Out of the four times I’ve seen them now, this was by far the most impressive one. Also props to the sound and the light guy. Great jobs, both of you.

After a great day of amazing metal I was once again reminded why I listen to this style of music. It just makes you feel so powerful. You don’t need drugs to get a great experience with metal. That’s what makes it great for me. Thanks for a great line-up Dynamo!

Written by Joost van der Leij

You can also check two parts of Promoting Bands in which Tim van Velthuysen wrote about Vuur here and here, as well as an interview with Anneke van Giersbergen by Glenn van der Heijden here.

A review of Entombed A.D.'s Dead Dawn written by Nino Milillo can be read here.

Two live reviews about Exodus can be checked here (also written by Joost van der Leij) and here (written by Nino Milillo)

Dynamo Metal Fest Official Website
Dynamo Metal Fest Facebook
Dynamo Metal Fest Twitter
White Boy Wasted Facebook
Vuur Official Website
Vuur Facebook
Vuur Twitter
Toxik Facebook
Prong Official Website
Prong Facebook
Prong Twitter
Entombed A.D. Facebook
Exodus Official Website
Exodus Facebook
Exodus Twitter
Devin Townsend Official Website
Devin Townsend Facebook
Devin Townsend Twitter
Testament Official Website
Testament Facebook
Testament Twitter
Gojira Official Website
Gojira Facebook
Gojira Twitter

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Death's Cold Wind - Subyagador - In Goat We Trust


Founded back in 2001, Ecuadorian death metallers Death’s Cold Wind have been toiling around ever since trying to spread their vile sound to the masses as the outpouring of demos and split releases offered in the interim has honed them into a true South American killing unit. Finally able to offer their first professional release, the group’s full-length debut was originally released August 23, 2014 on La Medula Espinal with a June 2016 reissue on Old Temple.

Once this one gets going, it’s quite apparent here that this one dwells quite heavily on the typical genre scene as the influences come through quite clearly. Efforts like “My Hope (War.Ma.666.Dom),” “Gods of Depravity” and “Total Holocaust” showcase the bands’ simplistic and furious charge, offering this one a rather strong and impactful series of swirling riff-work that shifts along plenty of frantic thrashing segments where the tempos feature plenty of variety. The ability to go from a feverish mid-tempo chugging to blazing full-throttle thrashing gives this a diversity to its attack that allows this one to switch through a multitude of approaches which makes for a far more engaging battle tactic. As this one tends to remain engaged in that approach for the most part on the album, it’s strikingly enjoyable and proficient at what it does although it tends to offer forth a very noticeable detail to hold it back. Due to the album containing simply retreats on the same dynamic formula throughout here, it’s a one-note approach that tends to feature a rather dynamic and intriguing tactic here of blasting through the raging speedsters augmented with mid-tempo work yet that’s really all that occurs throughout here. Normally, tracks like “Necro Sexual Averrations” and “Death Terror” would be highlights of the album, but they come across as more of the same here especially with the album being as overlong as it is. There’s little need for it to feature as much as it does here, especially being a debut feature which really highlights this issue even more. However, it’s not nearly as detrimental as it could be and remains a highly enjoyable slice of grim and ravenous death metal.

Although it does have a bit too much here in terms of material that doesn’t need to be there since it exposes the bands’ shortcomings relatively easily, the fact that there’s still plenty of ravenous work to be had here gives this enough appeal to those that appreciate this grimy form of old-school death metal. 8/10

Written by Don Anelli

Death's Cold Wind Facebook

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Interview: [In Mute]


On March 24th, Spanish metallers [In Mute] released their latest effort, called Gea. DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen already wrote a review about it here and, as you can read below, he also interviewed them!

You come from Spain, how is the metal scene there?

Well we can find very good bands in very different styles, in addition to many festivals that are getting bigger and bigger.

For people not knowing [In Mute] yet, who are you and how would you describe your music?

We are a band from Valencia that focuses its sound on melodic death metal, alternating heavy and raw rhythms with other faster and more aggressive.

In March you released your latest album, called Gea, which I think is really nice. What are the responses you get about it and how do you feel about those?

As the album is getting very well, both preorder and online sales and concerts. We are very happy!! And that encourages enough to keep turning so that there is no city without visiting.

What's the story behind the music and the cover of Gea?

Gea is a cd composed of 9 songs and a cover, which vary in intensity and speed, although they have in common the deathmelodic roots. The first three songs (Disease, Alchemy, As we are) and the intro We die together, are part of a story, in which Gea, symbolizing Mother Earth, becomes aware of her illness.

For the cover we rely on Lukasz Jaszak, a well known illustrator in the extreme metal scene and we love his works. He seem to perfectly visualize what we intended to convey with history and music.

On Gea you also did an cover of Metallica's Damage Inc. in your own style, why did you choose this song in particular?

Well, it was a proposal from Raúl Abellán, our sound technician. We wanted to do a cover although we didn’t know which one to choose. One day in the van on the way to a concert, while it sounded from the radio, he told us that it could be brutal. We certainly paid attention to it, and it seems to fit the record perfectly.

You welcome David G. Álvarez of Angelus Apatrida as guest-musician on Gea, which he also pre-produced. How was working with him?

It was a pleasure to work with him and to guide us when we were more lost. Besides being a musician we admire a lot, he is a wonderful person and a great friend. We love that he has been part of our new album and having him performing a solo at our song "The eternal return".

When you compare Gea to your first full-length Aeternum (2009) and your EP One In A Million (2013) what are the things you see?

We would not know where to start ... (laughs)

From the complexity and technique in the compositions, the speed and the changes of rhythm ... We have been getting more extreme without losing melody.

The incorporation of Steffi to the voices and of Tobal to the guitar completely changed the musical concept the band had at Aeternum, that already was noticed in the following EP, One in a million, and that was just outlined in Gea.

It's already a while ago, in 2014 you won the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle and played at Wacken Open Air. How was playing there for you?

It was certainly a dream come true to play at the biggest metal festival in Europe. And over winning the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle was something we could not imagine. One of the best experiences of our life !!

After winning that battle and playing at Wacken Open Air, did much changed? If so, can you tell us about it?

It opened many doors to us to play in national festivals, and also the name of the band began to sound worldwide.

Recently one of your guitarists, P.J., and [In Mute] parted ways, how do you feel about it?

It was one of the hardest moments for the band, it costs a lot after so much time sharing stage and experiences, but the project should go on. So now we can count on Mike, a great guitarist that has adapt to the band surprisingly well and we are really glad to have them with us.

Will there be another guitarist for [In Mute] soon or will you go further as a formation of four?

As everything is going great with Mike, we can say that we have a new member !!! 😉

What does a [In Mute] show look like?

It is difficult that we can say it since we are always on the stage ... (laughs)

People say that there is a lot of energy and Steffi really catch the crowd. We are quite transparent playing, you can see us just doing the brute as smiling! We really do what we want up at stage and we enjoy it. I think that arrives to the crowd.

Speaking of shows, you already announced an Spanish tour, looking forward to it?

Yes! We have a lot of cities still to visit! And do many festivals around Spain.

Is there a chance you will announce some more shows soon? Maybe in The Netherlands?

Sure. We have to announce a lot more dates. We will have news soon about a European tour.

Thanks for your answers, is there anything you want to say to the readers of DutchMetalManiac?

Many thanks to the DutchMetalManiac family for all the support and time spent!!! We hope to visit you soon !!

[In Mute] Facebook
[In Mute] Twitter

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Navier Gene - Navier Gene


Let me start this review by telling you about the artist behind this project. Eddi Pickard, does that ring a bell? You might know this guy from his main bands Infant Annihilator and Black Tongue both, respectively, two of the heaviest bands on the planet. This Navier Gene project is a little of Eddi Pickard’s softer side. With heavy influences of Soundgarden and Foo Fighters this is a completely different stylistic approach to music if you look at his background.

The first track “Secrecy” starts of with a nice stoner/sludge riff. The first thing I noticed was the guitar tone. It’s absolutely perfect. Rotten and raw but still very clean. I have heard the first two singles of the album called ‘My Friend’ and ‘Die Alone’ and I was very pleasantly surprised. I knew this guy rips on guitar but I never thought for a single moment he could sing like this. It sounds mature and the lyrics fit the music beautifully.

There are great ups-and-downs on this album which in my terms means heavy to more sensitive music. This shows on the third track “Coincide”. Starting off with almost clean guitars Eddi starts singing nice and emotional and it builds up into a catchy chorus that Temple Of The Dog might have written but didn’t. This sensitivity goes further on the track ‘Just A Man’ which tells the story of a girl that needs to get over an ex-boyfriend. It’s kind of a mix between Eddie Vedder and Zac Brown Band in the best way possible.

My favourite tracks on the album are definitely the more riff-driven songs like “Die Alone’ and my absolute favourite “The Fat Proprietor” which both show excellent vocal skills and the potential of writing heavy pop songs in comparison to the fastest and slowest death metal like music.

This project is everything I hoped for. I might be a bit biased because I love his work with Black Tongue and Infant Annihilator so I might have been fan boying for a long time now. Navier Gene is a statement by Eddi Pickard that he can write everything, has a wide interest in music in general and knows how to play not only his guitar but also the drums, bass and sing for christ’s sake.

There are just two things I hope for. One, that this is not a one trick pony and that Eddi decides to make another Navier Gene album. Two, LYRICS. I need those! So Eddi If you read this, send nu… ermmm lyrics.

9.5/10

Written by Joost van der Leij

Navier Gene Facebook

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: Pandemonium - Nihilist


Most of the lads, Paul (vocals), Mark (vocals, guitar), Michael (bass), Major (guitar), Desecrate (drums), and a special, sorrowful RIP to Peter (aka Zuber) have been around since the early nineties and have shared stages with the likes of Slayer, Celtic Frost and Morbid Angel. An impressive, hellish arsenal and they are back with this new opus. With Special Guests: Szymon (Tenebris), vocals, Gary (Hellspawn)–guitar solos, the album is released in a traditional CD (jewel) case on a golden CD and all copies hand numbered: yea! Old School Sales; keeping it real!

You all know I’m not a fan of horrid Satanic/Dark/Black/Death Metal, but this is an intriguing one, with the dark somber overtones like old Venom, Celtic Frost, Bathory and the like. The 7:22 intro song 'Nations of Slaves’ plods along but has me captivated with some interesting rhythmic changes and surprisingly clear Gravocals.

‘Unholy Essence’ is quite good actually (acch, am I being converted???) but the background vox….I don’t think trying to sound like a lizard is it for me, but many will like this and the song rocks in its entirety.

The strutting and pounding beats of ‘The Gate of Bones’ is great! Beautiful tempo change at 2:15 and then the foray into demonic cross-voices actually…fits. Not bad at all actually!

Like punching a bowl of Captain Crunch, the guitar on ‘Temple of Ghouls’ is awesomely low and perfect and similarly for ‘Altar of Life’, both with good changes and well written arrangements and set ups. These two songs should be templates for this genre at this timestamp in music life. Beautiful change at 3:06 in “Altar of Life’; turning this up now for the neighbors….

“Przyjdź Królestwo Twoje” a Polish version of the Lord’s Prayer? ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is a brutally hard piece that shoves wickedly screaming guitar solos at 01:59 and 3:28 into your beating heart. The 2nd longest song, it is well developed and quite artistic!

These Lads from Lodz impress and really, with all this experience, how can they not, even to me. The album is quite rich with expert musicianship, great production and an ease for getting their true to life message across. Not all of us read The Necronomicon but if it’s still in the library, I’m sure The Devil has updated it and added a Pandemonium CD in the jacket…blood red copy. Careful. YOU have to sign it.

9/10

Written by Alessandro

Pandemonium Official Website
Pandemonium Facebook

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review: Fogalord - Masters Of War


Coming onboard with renewed intensity, Italian symphonic power metal newcomers Fogalord quickly took the scene by storm and formed this newfound hero in a scene that all comes from them incorporating more of their trademarked elements into their newest effort. Now after a five-year gap following their initial appearance, the groups’ sophomore release will initially be released June 2, 2017 on Limb Music.

Much like their past efforts, the group is simply intent on offering the attack from a strong series of epic rhythms that add plenty of greatness to their approach. There’s efforts like the title track, “Rising Through the Mists of Time” and “When the Blizzard Awakes” that are based around the tight, flowing riffing here that propels this one along at rapid paces by offering an endless series of fiery speed metal riff-work in the greatest sense of the bands’ past. The rhythms are fast, vicious and built for glorious harmonies when utilized in conjunction with the blistering drum-work and shimmering keyboards that are draped all over the music here that adds an overwhelming atmosphere of epic grandeur that makes for a fun time. While these here are the overwhelming factors on display here, there’s a slight discrepancy here on “The Storm of Steel” and “Absence of Light” where the album dropping in intensity for bland mid-tempo gallops that just don’t have any kind of impact like the previous tracks, making for a somewhat lessening approach than normal and causes this one to lose a lot of its steam during the middle of the album where all those tracks are placed. Spreading them out on the album would’ve been preferable, yet that’s still an obvious factor about this one.

Filled with plenty of ravishing symphonic goodness and making up for only a few minor flaws ends up working rather well for the band here by enabling this one to come up with plenty of enjoyable moments throughout here that this becomes another notch for a promising act in the symphonic power metal realm. 9/10

Written by Don Anelli

Fogalord Official Website
Fogalord Facebook
Fogalord Twitter

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Father Befouled - Desolate Gods


Celebrating their tenth anniversary, Georgia-based death metallers Father Befouled have taken plenty of their celebrated influences throughout their work into one of the strongest, most dynamic bands in the entirety of the cavern-core style of revivalist death metal. Back following a five-year break from releases, the groups’ fourth full-length effort will be released June 23, 2017 on Dark Descent Records.

Slowly coming into their own, this is a group that is clearly and quite obviously taking their main influences straight into the overall view of their work. Efforts like “Offering Revulsion,” “Mortal Awakening” and “Excited Ofal” takes so much from the ravenous cavern-core style of old-school death metal worship where the main view of the album comes from the tight, swirling riff-work. This is laced with deep, churning rhythms that varying from pummeling lurches to frantic mid-tempo gallops featuring that riffing style, and it comes off rather dark and oppressive throughout here when added alongside the vicious leads and pounding patterns on display. Likewise, “Ungodly Rest” and “Divine Parallels” offer a nice tempo switch here into the traditionally plodding, oozingly slow doom-style sequences where its churning riffs and pounding rhythms add even more weight and heft to the music gives this a kind of overall sense of crushing completion that’s quite accomplished and dynamic throughout the album. The only issue is that this only ends up being so brief overall that it really feels incomplete, with the fact that the intro and the instrumental end up wasting time on this one to the point where it never catches on the way it should, ending quickly and abruptly and like this one really could’ve used another track or two to give it a little more weight. However, it’s really all that holds this one back.

Coming up just a little short due to the rather short running time to this one, this one has plenty to like overall here in regards to their overall attack that overcomes this brief shortcoming that this becomes a nice and welcome addition to any fan of this particular cavern-core style or revivalist death metal in general. 8.5 /10

Written by Don Anelli

Father Befouled Official Website
Father Befouled Facebook

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: Misanthropic Rage - Gates No Longer Shut


As I sit, dying from eerie vibes and hellfire and giving this opus the listen it deserves, my thoughts drift to puppies and SATAN!

The mindless riffing guitar “In a Blind Dimension” serves to annoy me and doesn’t speak of any musical quality. Weirdly enough, my player shuts off continually about ¾ through no matter what I do, and it’s not a defect, further adding to my vision of an imploding world; maybe the song is doing its job?

The Polish duo, W. (vocals) and AR. (all other instruments), classed as “Avant garde Black Metal”, is anything but. This is pure “Satan Rock”. The lyrics, some stanzas written in Polish, are clearly Satanic and somewhat disturbing, affecting me as the early versions of Venom’s ‘Welcome to Hell’. I suppose there is no front without a back, but not my style.

Even the alluring, soft quality of the mezzo part of the title track, at about 1:43, draws you in, knowing you’re still in a hate and lie filled world. Bothersome to say the least.

‘I, the Redeemer’ has few redeeming qualities; staccato chords and riffs, up and down vox…a deafening cacophony of Satan’s gizzard splopping onto the floor and morphing into hellish minions, each with their own out of tune guitar. Gah.

The sudden reverb/echo guitar riff at 3:29 of ‘Into the Crypt’ is somewhat hopeful but is immediately met with the continual Gravocals and slow plod to the chambers, then immediately more mandolin-type plucking that makes me want to kick myself out of my own apartment.

Niehodowlany. OK. A Polish word possibly meaning ‘for breeding’ I try not to Google too often so I didn’t really search too hard for it, but the rambunctious off kilter tempo of this song has me reaching for whiskey at 6am and firing up a work day. Written almost entirely in Polish, there are some English lyrics, one of which is a misspelling: ‘ZaratUstra‘(ZaratHustra – correct)’, unless it was by design, but citing Strauss is far-reaching here.

The finisher, a near 8 minute foray into some universe, ‘I Took the Fate in My Hands’ holds some actual Death Metal –Prog hopes but the stringy, high pitched guitars kill the flow for me. The lyrics are very harrowing and deathly dark, but kudos for some artistic licence. The production is quite fine at least and all instruments are heard, balanced enough.

Still,

5/10

Written by Alessandro

Misanthropic Rage Facebook

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review: Sober Truth - Locust Lunatic Asylum


From the opening haunting ‘Introduction’, this was bound to be a good ride and it was. The opening chords of ‘Leave the Locust in the Lunatic Asylum’ (cool title!) set the tone for this prog-‘groove’ metal opus. Again, not a fan of too much Gravocals, but this singing capacity continues to astound, especially the deeper tones in this song, mixed with powerful pitches and harmony.

Hailing from Siegburg, Germany, this quartet promises to reveal more awesome material, we hope! Guten tag, Vocals | Guitar: Torsten Schramm (Stein), Bass: Jules RoCkwell, Guitar: Marvin Creek, Drums: Samir Al- Baw!

Great opener in ‘Paragon’ with a definite groove here! Love the singing as it tingles of U.D.O and Metal Church. Hot licks and chords and a definite tune for the Speedtrap MixTape. My fave!

‘Murphy’s Law’: I want this as part of my life’s soundtrack, I think your band was watching it about a month ago….A raucous romp through the things that cause our lives to “be ready for the future” and then meet the items that “take me down”. Wonderful chug-chugging at 3:19 and an overall good song, and I’m sure fans want to know what events prompted this one!

The riff in ‘Powergenerator’ takes me well away and the song is an interesting off beat tune with tight playing and many changes; this is an exhausting one, I’m sure. Although, this is not a fave of mine, despite the attempt of being prog.

Some great power chords in ‘Welcome to Majula’! I sense a good in concert crowd chant here and another one for the SpeedTrap mixtape.

‘My Enemy’ stands out as some of the tightest playing and great grooves on here. My second favourite! There are outstanding crunch-chords at 2:21 onwards and a good decent into the dark world of death-prog-groove metal. I hear some vestiges of Rammstein in this and scores bonus points, but the originality of this song stands alone.

‘Layer of Self’ is a screaming cry for Stewart Copeland’s oft maligned ‘Mother’ artistically well layered with some intricate guitar and solid playing. Skins and bass are always well meshed and tight, all instruments not overshadowing one another and focus is an overall balance, without sounding overly ‘metally’.

A good solid effort!

8/10

Written by Alessandro

Sober Truth Official Website
Sober Truth Facebook
Sober Truth Twitter

Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Charlie's Frontier Fun Town - In Dust We Trust


Salut e bonne CD a Sly: Basse, V-Mol: Guitare, Doc. Zarrach: Guitare, Blad: Batterie, Muss: Chant! From Grenoble, France, presenting some finely fashioned rock n roll, ‘Straight’ Metal a la Motorhead, Monster Truck, Mastodon, Megadeth, Metallica, and anything “MuthaFucka” you care to name.

Sporting some frothing beats and screeching licks, this is Warning # 62 from the landlords and complaint # 162 from surrounding neighbors, although they should be used to these reviews by now. I suppose they don’t like rock – good rock like this album, although one guy liked it, just not the 11pm I was hammering it.

From the outset, this album is nothing but fun and almost every track is worthy of SpeedTrap Mixtape # 5 and even the ‘slow’ songs ‘Life’ and especially ‘Back in Time’ tone it down a little but still have the power chords and devastating back beat that create almost every song.

‘Bloodroad’ is a little Screamo for me in parts but the thundering bass and guitar balance it out especially the dueling guitars from about 2:45. The tradeoff - styles are great and kick.

‘Bottle’s Curse’ is a little plodding for me and I suppose would qualify as a ‘slow song’ but it has some great bars and foot stomping power to it, and is great background for old Nintendo GoldenEye. (I don’t do PS – whatever, I work for my points). Now if the rhythm for the whole song had been like at 5:17 until close, we have a march!

‘Fossil’. Yes! 100% awesome. I’m still laughing at “Squeal! Intro to ‘Imminent Failure’ and liking that cowbell in the chorus! As is known, you can never have enough cowbell. Paired nicely with the intro for ‘Drunk Over Tail’, these are power rockers, original, loud and unforgiving.

‘Back in Time’ is like a shiner; it starts slowly then becomes what you expect it to be; a shocking hurter that looks more colourful than the punch that delivered it. This is a rousting, powerful piece with excellent changes and rhythms that take you on a neck-breaking 6:37. Beautifully arranged with smooth breaks, this is sure to be a concert favourite. Lovin’ the power outro at 5:43! What a screamer!

Overall, a well-deserved 9/10!

Written by Alessandro

Charlie's Frontier Fun Town Facebook

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Review: Nothing From No One - The Painful Truth


After being gone from DutchMetalManiac for a while due to mandatory school stuff like exams and finals to deal with I’m back to write reviews for all you hungry metal motherfuckers!

Today my review is about the hardcore/beatdown outfit called Nothing From No One who originate from France. This is definitely a no bullshit approach to music. Incorporating various guest spots from musicians I have personally never heard of before. I think guest vocalists in most cases add something to a song to make it more interesting, which is surely the case with Nothing From No One.

Starting The Painful Truth EP with a nice crunchy drumsolo, the band immediately grabs you by the throat to never let go of it. At least till the end of this wonderful EP. Something that really stands out in this band is definitely the vocalist. This guy is aggressive, dude… He sings like he means it so he convinces me to fuck up my room in every line he yells towards me. That makes this album your worth while, at least to me. It’s an important aspect to hardcore to not just be badass but making your audience believe you’re badass does the trick.

Let us be honest here, Nothing From No One are not reinventing the hardcore wheel. There are clear signs of imitating the New York hardcore scene like Madball and Sick Of It All. But Nothing From No One keeps it short and cuts right to the case, no bullshit allowed. I appreciate that a lot and makes this album enjoyable. Every song on The Painful Truth has something that makes every karate kid in the moshpit blossom up his heart.

I rate The Painful Truth by Nothing From No One 7,5/10 because it’s solid, man. A hardcore lover will love this. No doubt about it.

Written by Joost van der Leij

Nothing From No One Facebook