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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Apr 172022
 

Miseration have waited quite a while for the follow up to 2012’s Tragedy Has Spoken, and time has not softened their approach. Black Miracles and Dark Wonders is filled with their unique blend of technical death metal with melodic and orchestral elements.

Since 2006 Miseration has released four albums with Black Miracles and Dark Wonders being the follow up to Tragedy Has Spoken. The band itself is one of the projects of guitarist Jani Stefanovic and former Scar Symmetry vocalist Christian Älvestam, and for this album they are the only two musicians credited which is a departure from previous efforts with this one also having Jani providing some vocals. The album was recorded between 2018-2021 and mixed by Plec, Jani, and Christian at the Panic room with final mastering by Plec at the Panic Room in September 2021. Artwork which perfectly captures the feel of the album was done by y Pär Olofsson.

Much like Tragedy Has Spoken, this album is one of those that wastes no time and literally explodes into a heavy dark riff and guttural growled vocals in “The Seal of the Eight-Pointed Star”. The song itself does provide a preview of elements that will become more pronounced later in the album, namely clean choruses/vocals and the importance of the keyboards providing the equivalent of a string arrangement and eerie atmospheric ambience.

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Impending Doom – “Hellbent” (e.p)

 Posted by on March 26, 2022 at 20:51  No Responses »
Mar 262022
 

Impending Doom return with an ep sure to leave longtime fans wanting more and showing others some twists on deathcore.

Impending Doom began nearly 17 years before this ep was released with Brook Reeves and Manny Contreras remaining as the only two original members. Along the way, the band has released 6 full length albums ranging from Nailed, Dead, Risen in 2007 to The Sin and Doom Vol II in 2018. As tends to happen, the band has gone through numerous lineup and label changes over the years and looks to actually be a 3 piece at the moment based on promo photos. Over the years, the band has toured with everyone from Winds of Plague to Asking Alexandria and been in package tours like the 2010 Thrash and Burn tour. For Hellbent, the band drafted Will Putney (Body Count, Thy Art is Murder, Knocked Loose) as producer and his touch is evident throughout. The ep is characterized by pounding bass, and drums featured prominently in the mix so as to not get lost in the general wall of sound chaos. Vocals are where they need to be, clear, distorted, and otherwise with some unique stylings by Brook Reeves channeling Corey Taylor in Slipknot form.

From my standpoint, I haven’t really followed the evolution of Impending Doom’s sound over the years since Nailed, Dead, Risen where it was pretty straightforward grindcore complete with pig squeal vocals. Heavy and punishing for sure. So imagine my surprise when I fired up Hellbent and hear “Satanic Panic” which has some electronic elements and sounds a bit like a deathcore version of Slipknot. Regardless of that shift, the song is heavy and pounding and yet somewhat melodic. The bass guitar work really shines here and in other songs on the ep. As one might imagine, there is the expected breakdown, but in this case it’s part of the song and not the focus of the song.

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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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