Ankit Sood

Jan 232023
 

Simon Bibby, the One-man show behind Thy Listless Heart has come out with his debut album “Pilgrims on the Path of No Return”, which was released under the Hammerheart Records on the 18th of November 2022. Simon played guitars for the British Christian metal band Seventh Angel (formed in 1987 by Ian Arkley). Although with Seventh Angel the sound was a combination of Doom and Thrash metal, the Listless Heart offers Grand Doom with death metal growls hinting a different sound. Having loved his work with Seventh Angel, I can’t wait to spin this album.

The album opens up with “As the Light Fades” bringing forth much melody with a guitar solo right at intro, a hypnotic vocal delivery, and pauses for a mellow interlude before delving in with all the instruments that sort of sets the tone for the album.  The song grips you with hard hitting lyrics and melodies that stays till the end of the song as it ends on an ambient note. “The Precipice” starts off with dark, gloomy and poetic lyrics which build up beautifully on grand piano, leveraging a rumbling bass and marching drums with rattling of the snares. An eclectic guitar solo pierces through the demonic growls that presents itself throughout the chorus requires a special mention as it adds tone and colour to the song.

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Nov 292022
 

The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead! is the sixteenth studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth, released on September 2, 2022, on frontman Dave Mustaine’s Tradecraft label via Universal. It is the first Megadeth album to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren, the second Megadeth album to feature guitarist Kiko Loureiro, and their first studio album in six years since Dystopia (2016), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in the band’s career. The album has been in production for more than two years.

In June 2019, the band announced the cancellation of then-upcoming shows, as Mustaine had been diagnosed with throat cancer; Despite Mustaine’s illness, the band vowed to continue working on the album. The band re-entered the studio in mid-2020 to resume recording their new album, by now tentatively planned for release in 2021. Founding bassist David Ellefson bass parts were re-recorded by Testament bassist Steve Di Giorgio.

The album opens with the title track “The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!” which starts off eerie and takes on full power with a chunky guitar riff that is accentuated by flaring guitar tid-bits, has its fair share of surprises that Mustaine drops during the interlude before catching back to where the song gets left. An eclectic guitar solo follows the finishing of the song in style. What a great start to the album. Next up things get heavy with “Life In Hell”, which is as traditional as Megadeth gets. The tempo is on the uptick and the sustained chords are rugged, the vocal delivery changes as  it brings forth more engagement with the listener, and the rampant drum rolls finish the song tight.

The intro for “Night Stalkers” sets off a haunting dystopian apocalyptic ambience which is brought forward, multiplied with maddening guitar riffs and thus sets off the heaviest song of the album, with rapper Ice-T collaborating on the song which is about the 160th Battalion with the U.S. Army, and it’s all the black-ops helicopters that go in at night. The acoustic guitar interlude followed by rumbling bass brings in character and brings about punching guitar riffs as the song approaches its end.  According to Mustaine, “Dogs of Chernobyl” is not about the war in Ukraine, but “is a love song”. Prior to the album’s production, Mustaine had been diagnosed with throat cancer. He revealed that his treating radiologist contributed “a couple of phrases and some information about the radiation poisoning when everyone got sick at Chernobyl” to the song’s lyrics. The song is packed with high energy, blast beats paired with guitar chugs, blitzing guitar solos, power lyrics and an ambiance set over Ukrainian voice overs.

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Anthea – “Tales Untold”

 Posted by on November 15, 2022 at 19:53  No Responses »
Nov 152022
 

What began as a small side project by Diego Valadez in 2015, Anthea, an American Melodic Symphonic metal band, is out with their sophomore album “Tales Untold”. The album was released on the 26th August, 2022; and was produced by Diego Valadez, Mixed & Mastered by Jesse Billson. With influences from bands like Nightwish, Kamelot, and Wintersun, as well as scores from composers such as Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Danny Elfman, the band creates a unique theatrical sound blending progressive, power, and thrash metal elements, with a grand, cinematic edge.

While playing in Cellador, Valadez began writing some original material in his spare time with more symphonic and progressive metal elements. After enough songs had been completed, Valadez decided to enter the studio to record an EP with the help of some lifelong musician friends including drummer Peter Vasquez (Angel Siniestro). The duo brought on board their old friend, Juan Pina (Harpokrate), on guitar and screams. Pina, in turn, brought along his former band mate Marcos Mejia (Warwind) on lead guitar, giving Anthea a much fuller sound. On October 10th of 2015, Anthea gave their first live performance at the Whiskey a Go-Go in Hollywood, CA. Eric “EJ” Guerrero (E.Ject) on bass stood out among the crowd due to his similar musical influences, and background in multiple genres of heavy music. And thus, the official incarnation of Anthea was born.

The album opens up with “Tales Untold” which is a powerhouse of melody, upbeat rhythms and terrific solos on the guitars and keys. The interlude / chorus adds an element of surprise and jostles the song back to its roots. “Ascendence” sets off with heavy guitar chugs paired off with a symphonic soundscape and electronica but what caught my attention was the jaw dropping catchy chorus that gets one grooving. The interlude brings about a short and emotional guitar solo which is a fitting closure to the magnificence of the overall song.

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Oct 312022
 

Trinity, a Doom metal band founded in the year 2007 in Czech Republic, are out with their debut album “Memories Of The Ancient Presence ” under the Soundmass Record label. The band draws comparison to Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Paramaecium. Trinity best summarizes in its press material when it accurately describes itself as ‘doom and rebirth’ metal.

Bard, a multi-instrumentalist, began collaborating with Judith and Mary, whom he had previously worked with on other musical projects.  The trio started demoing material over the next several years but progress stalled due to their commitment to other bands.  Starting in 2016, however, work resumed on Trinity, with the subsequent four years spent working on production and recording along with improving arrangements and lyrics.

The album opens up with a hymn “Memories Waking” with soft tones, bell chimes, seconds vocalizing and an acoustic guitar that carries the song forward.  “The Ancient Presence” starts off with a downbeat guitar riff on a looming violin swing which is accentuated with crafty drum rolls, and the vocals add a doom overtone to the overall song. “Sanctuary” starts off on a groovy note, and slowly blends into a doom guitar riff, parallels well with the violin and toggling between the voices of Bards and Judith/Mary gives the song an eerie outlook. The interlude with an electrifying guitar solo, and the outro brings about a gothic aura that sustains for a while and gives one a gooseflesh.

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Oct 112022
 

Eric Wagner, best known for his work with the band Trouble, had had an illustrious musical career. He had been part of multiple bands across the breadth of his musical journey, predominantly in the genre of Doom Metal. I happened to review his last album Blackfinger – “When Colours Fade Away” which got me hooked on to his ingenious style and experimentation with vocal delivery. Some of the other bands that he was part of were The Skull and Lid, and now the posthumously released solo album, “In the Lonely light of Mourning”.

Covid has been tough on the whole world, and the Metal fraternity wasn’t spared either. We lost Eric (at the age of 62) in 2021, to complications arising due to Covid. What’s amazing though is that during his final time, he recorded his solo album giving us something more to remember him by. Eric’s legendary voice has found its place in Doom Metal and will forever remain etched in our minds.

“Rest in Place” opens up the album with a rumbling bassline, and as the rugged guitar riffs follow we hear Eric’s melancholic voice (& lyrics) reverberating, building on to heavy Doom formulaic that ends abruptly, mid-way, totally unexpected. Don’t know if I should find some meaning through this. “Maybe Tomorrow” pulls out a crunchy guitar riff loaded with plenty of overdrive, with staccato guitar solo keeping the groove going and all was layered beautifully with Eric’s vocals. The lyrics terrified me a bit given that this came to be a posthumous album, and it felt like Eric knew this could be his last record.

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