Surpasses – “Surpasses”

 Posted by on May 28, 2017 at 22:09  No Responses »
May 282017

On November 19, 2015 OnTheAttack Records announced the signing of metalcore band Surpasses, and the release of their 8 song self-titled EP. Surpasses is Based out of Redding, California. They state that; ‘standing firm in their belief in God’s saving grace, Surpasses exists to banish the chains of religion, and uphold the mantle of love, joy, and peace. The band’s debut album demonstrates their practice of loving God’s people as our brothers and sisters with no strings attached, over music filled with fury and aggression.’

I got this album a while ago, to write a review about it, even though this album was already released in 2015. So I admit that it is a bit late, but better late than never…
The first track ‘Remember’ immediately blasts out of your speaker and in the first minute I realize that I am dealing with a band that is no ordinary metalcore. It has a lot more hardcore influences than in your average metalcore-band. The melodies that flow constantly through the songs and the passion reminds me a lot of Life In Your Way and you can consider that as a compliment.

The second song ‘Stay The Course’ is more heavy than ‘Remember’ the vocals consist of more deep growls interspersed with more high pitched hardcore screams and , more or less, clean vocals.
The lyrics make it perfectly clear that this is a band that consists of devout followers of Christ. Continue reading »

May 242017

Biogenesis are back with their likely long-awaited third album and bring a mature blend of different metal styles together to form their “hybrid metal” which has elements of melodic to thrash to progressive to death metal mixed together.

Fans of Biogenesis have had to manage through many ups and downs over the 16 years since the band’s debut The Mark Bleed Through.  To many, that album was one of the great releases of the day but unfortunately, following band turnover and lack of general progress the band disbanded only to reunite the original lineup in 2009 and eventually release The Rise, The Fall, The Rebirth in 2012.  The band once again disbanded only to reform in 2015 when singer Chaz Bond brought original guitarist James Riggs back and added Sam, Luke, Dan, and Majennica Nealeigh to fill out the rest of the band and record A Decadence Divine.

Being new to Biogenesis, I am immediately struck by the variety of elements incorporated into the various songs, to the point where many seem as if they could be from different albums.  Length of the songs is another aspect where Biogenesis doesn’t scrimp as the album is 11 tracks and nearly 70 minutes in length, so with a couple four minute songs thrown in, one can see the majority are much longer.  To me, much of the album reminds me a lot of Mortification’s 18 minute long Envision Evangelene (in 8 parts), and having a history on Rowe Productions may have played a role in the overall sound as there are bits and pieces scattered throughout the album that remind me of old Mortification, right down to song structure and Chaz Bond’s vocal delivery.  That being said, this is not a Moritification album so don’t expect that but one can pick out the various elements. Continue reading »

Wind Rose – “Stonehymn”

 Posted by on May 21, 2017 at 12:48  No Responses »
May 212017

Italy’s Wind Rose is back with their third album of epic tales set to symphonic metal.  Incredible voices and complex arrangements, make this a symphonic folk metal album not to miss.

Since 2009, Wind Rose, from Pisa, Italy have been releasing their take on symphonic metal.  The first ep from the band was released in 2010 and followed up in 2012 with their debut full length Shadows over Lothadruin.  In 2013 they toured Europe supporting Wintersun, Finntroll, and Epica and followed that up being part of folk-metal legends Eluveitie’s Origins European Tour, exposing their sound to even wider audiences.  Later that year the band released their second full length Wardens of the West Wind and supported Ensiferum on their One Man Army European tour.  2017 has seen the band sign with Inner Wound Recordings and release their third album Stonehymn.

As one might expect, the album opens with an instrumental that sets the tone for the album.  In this case, it’s folk, symphonic metal with a bit of Celtic feel to it.  “Distant Battlefields” predictably blends right into the first real track on the album “Dance of Fire”.  The first thing one can’t help but notice is the deep, full, gang vocals that sound as if there was a large chorus.  Unfortunately, the music is a bit buried in the mix behind the vocals and keyboards as there is some good support from the drums and guitars to help carry the songs along.  As the song progresses, the listener will also notice they approach epic in terms of length as well with most over six minutes long. Continue reading »

Mindmaze – “Resolve”

 Posted by on May 12, 2017 at 20:52  No Responses »
May 122017

Concept albums are interesting ones for myself, sometimes coming across a lot more personal and real. So from Allentown, Pennsylvania we have weighing in with a mixture of progressive, melodic, traditional and power metal influences the band Mindmaze consisting the sibling duo of vocalist Sarah Teets and guitarist Jeff Teets, along with Rich Pasqualone on bass and Mark Bennett, the new drummer. “Resolve” is their third release and is signed under Inner Wound Recordings. “Resolve” is Mindmaze’s first conceptual release, and in this the theme is one that explores the depth of human emotion and struggling in the face of loss and betrayal.

“Resolve” is an album that from the start is massed with energy and emotion. An album of intense emotions and personal testimony in way that can or could be a hard album to digest for some, but Mindmaze create such a beautiful and intense landscape, and the driving energy keep you interested throughout, so hopefully people see that. “Resolve” is artistic, beautiful, intense, emotional, full of energy and delivers with an abundance of memorizing mucianship ie: “Drown Me”.

The thing with Mindmaze is that the sound and melodies are approachable, I am not saying they commercially acceptable in terms of some of those mindless one line pop songs, but the melodies and vocals are easy on the ears to be excepted by a wider audience. Look there are a great many female fronted metal bands out there, but Sarah Teets comes across professional and strong in her vocal performance exacting the emotions and ferocities of the songs as needed when needed. As I said if I analyse a song like “Drown Me” it comes across in movements and sweeps like a beautifully composed and constructed symphonic orchestra piece. Continue reading »

Demon Hunter – “Outlive”

 Posted by on May 7, 2017 at 20:22  No Responses »
May 072017

Before I get on with my review, I would like to mention that this band was a favourite of the late TMR Reviewer, Peter Willoughby, fondly remembered as the “WhiteMetalMan”, and in his honour I take it upon myself to hear this album through his ears and review it as he would have. So here it is.

Demon Hunter, an American Christian Metalcore band formed by the two Clark brothers, emerged the scene in 2000, and are out with their eighth studio album “Outlive” which was released by Solid State Records on March 31, 2017. Ryan and Don played together previously in Coalesce and Neurosis. Ryan had previously played guitar in hardcore band Focal Point, and released an album on Tooth & Nail/Solid State when he was still in his teens. Don left the band to pursue a career in Graphic design and family obligations.

As a headlining act, Demon Hunter helped introduce audiences to bands like August Burns Red. They’ve co-headlined with Red and toured as direct support for both In Flames and As I Lay Dying in the United States and parts of Canada. They’ve travelled to South America, Europe, and Australia, headlining major festivals and club shows alike. Continue reading »