Don De Necker

Stryper – “Even The Devil Believes”

 Posted by on October 28, 2020 at 01:06  No Responses »
Oct 282020
 

Stryper the American Christian metal band from Orange County, California has been around since about 1983, disbanded in 1993 and came back stronger than ever in 2003. Not many bands have lasted the journey as they have, at the level they have. Also Michael Sweet is still after 37 years one of the best vocalist the metal scene, Christian or otherwise has ever had. He still has the chops to deliver with precision, and has not become some beer belly has been wash up trying to kindle a flame that just does not want to ignite.

Well Stryper’s latest offering, “Even The Devil Believes” off Frontier records comes forth like a flaming sword, and one’s got to believe the devil is paying attention to these guys as they have come back stronger than ever in 2020. Some would call them, “God’s favourite Heavy metal band”. With the longevity of their career that sentiment might just be true. They have managed to stay off the naysayers and build a reliable fan base, and have certainly made their mark in the heavy metal scene as a whole.

Stryper come at it as strong as they ever have on “Even The Devil Believes”, and the album hits hard, loud and fast, three elements crucial to a great rock n roll album. The melodies are bigger than ever, Michaels’ vocals a weapon of metal music’s finest, and the instantly recognizable twin guitar solos still ignite goose bumps for fans as their metal footprint continues to expand. The album gets a lot of its strength through the clean production quality, and placement of the individual tracks. It all comes together quite cohesively as a package, covering any monotony there is in the album. I like the more heavier tone of the album as well, and I feel that aids their sound in given it that modern edge.

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Sep 122020
 

Every once in a while you get an album whereby you can listen through its interity without skipping or fast forwarding through tracks. To start off there are some fairly well known participants on this release, well at least for this old coot that is. If you have not had your head buried in the sand, the names Joshua Lory, Jim Chaffin, and Skot Shaw should be familiar sounding to you, especially in the Christian alternative, punk, gothic, metal and Industrial scene. Do bands like, LSU, Mike Knott, Crucified, The Blamed, Deliverance and Leper ring any bells? Well according to me if you have not heard any of these bands listed, or perhaps one of these individuals mentioned then dude you have been living in a closet, and a really dark, dank one. My friend the only advice then is that you need educating, because part of the appreciation of this album, is knowing where these guys come from, who they are and what they have managed to achieve each in their own right on a musical level.

So what’s happening here? Well on September 18, 2020, out of Santa Cruz, California the full length release entitled “Annihilate The Adversary” will be released by the Fortuna, California, based punk band Cast The Dragon. It is a mix of Dark, brooding punk rock with a hint of gothic elegance woven throughout 15 blistering tracks. Joshua Lory’s baritone vocals interplay with anthemic guitars, haunting keyboards and punishing drums. Uncompromising lyrical content focused on keeping God at the center of all things through Jesus/Yeshua our Messiah. The band’s full tilt sound is reminiscent of The Damned, TSOL, Misfits and Scaterd Few. Again get yourself educated on these other bands too, as they are not just sound comparatives but also quality of playing comparatives on this album. The album cover art done by Nick Abraham reminds me in a way of some of the art work that came out for a few mid 80’s thrash and speed metal bands and I am sure for some very conservative folk might seem a little bit out there for them to swallow, yet for me the picture is a representation of the content within, and the album deals with a lot of issues and topics that in turn with the correct mobilization can “Annihilate The Adversary”.

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Manta Birostris – “Ikona” Ep

 Posted by on September 2, 2020 at 19:31  No Responses »
Sep 022020
 

Music is art, and how that art is created is from the perspective and a reflection of within the artists that create the music, and that palette is colourful one when looking at this Warsaw-Wrocław ethno-punk/doom/noise band band Manta Birostris.

The band plays an avant-garde style of punk that might not be to everyone’s taste. The punk is raw, and infused with a progressive nature. In some parts it reminds me a little of bands like Swans, not so much by the sound but by the avant-garde nature or execution of the songs. Maybe in saying that, punk is the wrong paint brush to use in painting the picture of this album specifically.

The 5th release from Manta Birostris is entitled Ikona which is a 4 track Ep which released by a small independent label Love Your Enemies from Indianapolis, USA.

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Jul 232020
 

American Arson offer up rock n roll hardcore on their album, “A Line In The Sand” released on Facedown Records. Their debut full album release on Facedown is a energetic blast that offers both melody and aggression with a solid rock n roll punch in the face.

Akin to a top fuel dragster staging you just know you in for one hell of a ride from the first track, and when the rubber gets grip the velocity is maintained at times sending ones brain ears in to adrenaline O.D. The music drives with simplicity yet when complexity is demanded Evan Baker and Jesse Gentry musical relationship does a fantastic job at it, digging into the catalogues of both new school and old school hardcore with star studded excellence.

One of my favourite tracks is “Drop Your Draggers”, which does just that mixing up some old school hardcore with new school elements and its driving momentum hits hard like Thor’s Hammer. Its hardcore punk edges I can identify with as a 80’s hardcore punk kid. It’s also quite poetic they used punk as the back bone for a political message. Well done.

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Deathbreaker – “Isolate”

 Posted by on June 30, 2020 at 00:09  No Responses »
Jun 302020
 

I like some good hardcore, get’s the blood flowing, and now being winter down in South Africa and lockdown because of covid 19 added to the mix, to have some energetic music to warm up ones blood is a welcomed retreat from it all. So when I hear the label Facedown mentioned, I sort of relate to it as Christian music’s fraternity of hardcore. So a good place for Deathbreaker to find themselves within.

The energy capsulated in ‘Isolate’ sharpens the edges of the bands hardcore roots driving a more assault driven harder approach than their ‘Disconnect’ release 3 years ago. Right from the start images of hardcore kids in the pit hardcore moshing hit my frontal lobe. Images of crowd chaos abound, guess I am going to have to move the furniture out the way to fully appreciate the aural aggression of Isolate.

As the listener you are brought to the attention of the raw characteristics of the songs, not a single song is marred by the production of the album. Like a good bottle of ketchup when poured, it has substance, and not at all a watered down interpretation of the band, the sound comes across rich and ‘live’ and rich in flavour. Those characteristics set it up nicely in the energy department.

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