Ankit Sood

All Things Fallen – “Shadow Way”

 Posted by on May 30, 2022 at 22:17  No Responses »
May 302022

All Things Fallen, formed in the year 2017 by Markus Sigfridsson (of the Darkwater, Harmony and Lance King fame), have recorded their 2nd Studio album “Shadow Way ” which is due to be released on the 3rd June under the Blackoak Record label. It’s mixed and mastered by Dennis Koehne and will be distributed by Beyond the Storm Productions worldwide. The band onboarded Raphael Dafras (of the Edu Falschi and Almah fame) on bass with guest appearance by Maria Grigoryeva on Violin and Ulrik Arturén on Backing vocals.

The band states that, “Old fans of melodic atmospheric metal will enjoy this album, which is melancholic, melodic and has a darker vibe than the first album. It flirts with the 70 ́s Rainbow style but with a modern production. The lyrics of All Things Fallen often deals with contemporary events and issues in our world, but often from a metaphoric stance. A perfect album for fans of atmospheric and progressive metal and bands like Evergrey, Soen, Pain of Salvation and Darkwater.”

While this was my first time listening to ATF, I went ahead with an acquiescent mindset. The album opens up with “The Sentinel” which blares on with a chunky guitar riff with a hint of flutes lingering in the backdrop. The vocals remain clean throughout the breadth of the song, and have subdued seconds embedded well within the mix. The song builds on ambient elements as it progresses and changes course midway which brings about an enigmatic arrangement of the song. With “Rebirth” the band takes an aggressive stance at the onset, carries forth with hymn-like lyrics paired with flaring guitar riffs and a catchy chorus which parallels an eclectic guitar solo. The crunchy guitar riffs drive the song and set the stage for everyone else to follow. One of the longest and craziest guitar riffing that follows is a true hallmark of the progressive genre, that one is sure to remember. What an amazing feat!

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Flames of Fire – Self-Titled

 Posted by on February 21, 2022 at 23:51  No Responses »
Feb 212022

When Christian Liljegren (of the Narnia fame) first met with Mats-Åke Andersson back in 1987, a camaraderie was built over mutual admiration of musical influences and bands such as Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Europe, Madison and Rainbow. The two friends decided to stay in touch and collaborated on various projects spread across years, Mats-Åke helped composed intro which Narnia used for its first tour, while promoting their debut album Awakening. Both had tremendous ideas which they discussed every time an opportunity presented which finally took fruition with “Flames of Fire” taking shape and form in the spring of 2021.

The duo started looking out to find the remaining members for the band, and were able to secure Per Schelander (from House of Shakira, Astrakhan, ex. Royal Hunt, and Pain of Salvation) on bass; Stephen Carlson on guitars; and Jani Stefanovic (from Solution .45, The Waymaker, ex. Divinefire) who filled in various shoes that of guitarist, drummer, keyboards and strings. With the core team in place, the band chose Sound Pollution for distribution, CJ Grimmark for mastering the album. The album is set to release on the March 18th 2022 under the Melodic Passion Records label.

As I skimmed through the album, I got a flashback from the 80’s, bringing in fond memories of listening to the old Iron maiden records I had as a teenager. The album opens up with an ambient intro on “New Dawn” with a captivating guitar riff and a cinematic soundscape. Next up in “Gloria” the band brings in an aggressive stance having powerful lyrics paired with guitar riffs (with added seconds) and a throbbing bass line which leads to an eclectic guitar solo that’s part mirrored on the bass. Just as we are about to reach to the end, the vocals shift scales, a true singing prowess. Incredible!

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War of Ages – “Rhema” (ep)

 Posted by on January 10, 2022 at 20:02  No Responses »
Jan 102022

Hailing from Pennsylvania, US Christian Metalcore veterans War of Ages released E.P. Rhema with Facedown records on the 29th Of October 2021. What started off as a Hardcore/Melodic Death metal outfit as “Zero Point” back in 2002, became to be known as “War of Ages” with genres eventually shifting to a more metalcore sound in the latter years. The band saw multiple line-up changes and have had released 8 albums and 1 E.P. over the years. The band is known for their strong Christian faith which is expressed in their lyrics, as Leroy Hamp professed to “Make a difference in a world that’s covered in darkness”.

“Sleight Of Hand”, starts off with a groovy riff with reverberating guitar chugs and dissonant soundscape which sounds nothing short of opening of a surreal portal to the song. The song takes no time to delve into heavy rhythms with powerful vocals tainted with aggression. The song remains upbeat and has a melodic chorus which follows a blazing guitar solo seamlessly fitting right into the song. The band introduces enough knee jerk bits to keep you engaged while delivering a tight composition. Kudos!

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Final Surrender – “Frogs in a pan” (Ep)

 Posted by on December 31, 2021 at 21:04  No Responses »
Dec 312021

Bangalore based Indian Metalcore act Final Surrender released their E.P. “Frogs in a Pan” on the 10th of December 2021 and with it welcomed back the bona fide guitar maestro Sanjay Kumar. The band has been active for more than a decade and rose to global prominence when they signed a deal with Indiana’s Rottweiler records in 2012. The band is a collective effort of five young and extremely talented musicians who are on a journey to push the envelope of progressive metalcore. The band had released two independent E.P.s, toured within India and in no time developed a local and global fanbase.

The band describes their sound as “a dynamic blend of gut busting heaviness and razor-sharp metallic riffing. Harsh, grating vocals soar overtop of labyrinthine, winding riffing and break-neck speed drumming, leaving the listener in nothing but the purest state of shock and awe.” The band lists August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, Meshuggah, Texas In July, Textures, Soilwork, Inflames and I The Breather, as some of it influences, which is quite evident in the sound the band creates.

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Sunbomb – “Evil and Divine”

 Posted by on September 20, 2021 at 17:23  No Responses »
Sep 202021

Stryper’s Michael Sweet and L.A. Guns’ Tracii Guns have come together to collaborate on Sunbomb, with “Evil and Divine” being their first album released via Frontier Music on May 14, 2021. The idea was initiated when Serafino Perugino, president and A&R director of the label reached out to Tracii and Michael, with the idea of a heavy metal album where Tracii wrote the songs and Michael was asked to add to the vocal duties. Although both the bands have had their unique styles and different political/religious standpoints, a collaboration would be of keen interest to the fans, as we hear influences of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest with hints of Doom Metal influence on the album.

I had my apprehensions but more than that I was curious and intrigued to hear the album, so I spun off the album which opened up with “Life”. An interesting guitar riff kicks off the song and a tremendous energy is felt right at the outset, in no time we hear Michael unleashing his tremendous vocal range as we breeze through the song, uplifted; the blitzing guitar solo brings the delivery a notch higher. “Take me away” reminded me off Black Sabbath, the song, an omnipresent Doom beginning with a haunting vocal delivery which quivers and wavers and jolts you out of your stupor, and the melting guitar solo that’s sure to sweep you off your feet.

Michael unleashes some crazed squeals in “Better End”, a catchy guitar riff drives the song forward and adds much meat on the song, I liked how Michael and Tracii level it out in a competing attempt to hit high notes towards the end of the song. “No Tomorrows” has an upbeat vibe with explosive amounts of energy that’s going to set you grooving and quite a crafty interlude that leads on to a crunchy guitar solo followed by Michael pelting out high pitched squeals one after the other. “Born to Win” starts off with guitar chops that’s definitely going to teleport you to late 70s, and is such a song best enjoyed with the volume cranked all the way up and hair let loose all the way down, if you get my drift. No comparisons though, the song did remind me a bit of “Good times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin.

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