Feb 122018
 

Shadow Puncher make their extreme metal debut for Nosral Recordings with an album that seamlessly incorporates a host of different styles and elements in a brutal sound.

Shadow Puncher was formed by Max Kevin Ølstøren as a solo project in 2016. Influenced by a host of bands Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura and more extreme ones like Abated Mass of Flesh, Max began recording his own music. In 2017, the Shadow Puncher released two albums, The Path of Challenges ep and the debut album, The Throne of Justice and Love, which was quickly followed up by another ep, No Despair.  In October 2017, Shadow Puncher was signed to the new extreme metal label Nosral Recordings and work began on the debut album for the label.

From the very beginning the album has a dark and ominous tone.  The intro track has what initially sounds like a dungeon door being opened and as a person is walking, a bit of the Lord’s Prayer, followed by what sounds like a church organ and some other noise, that moves right into “Shekinah” complete with some pig squeal vocals and pounding rhythm.  The grindcore-like beginning then shifts to a bit of a black metal droning riff that has other guitars layered over the top making for an interesting mix.   The verses shift back to a slow grindcore like riff and vocals with guitars carrying the song.  A rapid double bass line is in the background but a bit lost in the mix dominated by guitars and vocals. Continue reading »

Fleshkiller – “Awaken”

 Posted by on February 12, 2018 at 00:40  No Responses »
Feb 122018
 

For a lot many fans of Extol, Fleshkiller’s first album has served a long wait. These Norwegian djent tech death metal folks are out with their debut album “Awaken” which was released under the record banner of Facedown records (NA) / Indie Recording (Europe) on the 15th Of September 2017. What started as a side project by Ole Børud (of the progressive metal band Extol) and Peter Dalbakk (of the Vardøger fame) completed their line up when they pulled in Andreas Skorpe Sjøen (of the Umpfel fame) to fill in drums and Ole Vistnes (of the Shining,Tristania fame) to rumble in the bass. Peter Dalbakk eventually called it quits (for familial reasons) and the band saw Elisha Mullins filling in his shoes.

We’ve had a great deal of talented bands from the Scandinavian belt and one thing that’s omnipresent in all their music is strong melody, engaging riffs and catchy chorus, well Fleshkiller’s hasn’t fallen far from the tree and their lyrics suggest Christian preaching. I’ve given multiple listens to this album before writing my review, and that’s not because I was trying to figure out what I must speak of them but because I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of their music. Continue reading »

Deliverance – “The Subversive Kind”

 Posted by on February 11, 2018 at 18:21  No Responses »
Feb 112018
 

Deliverance returns with a thrashy vengeance and not only their first new album in almost five years but also a reunion of Glenn Rogers and Jimmy P. Brown for the first time since their debut 1989 album.

Deliverance is a name well-known within the Christian metal community.  Dating back to 1985, the band has released 11 albums and been on a host of other compilations.  Many first became familiar with Deliverance with their 1990 release Weapons of Our Warfare with the title track gaining airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball , and the album selling over 100,000 copies, leading many to label it the Master of Puppets for Christian metal.  As often happens, lineups changes and by the fourth album in 1992, Stay of Execution, the band had their second guitarist change and Jimmy P.  Brown took the band in a more progressive direction, tired of being known as the Christian Metallica clones.  Changes in sound would continue with the band shifting to industrial for Assimilation in 2000 and then taking another hiatus before releasing As Above, So Below in 2007, which was followed by yet another hiatus until 2010.  In 2011, the band announced they would play a final show later that year, but as before, situations changed and the band reformed with George Ochoa on guitars, former drummer Jim Chaffin, and bassist Victor Macias to play Exodo Fest in Mexico with Grave Robber and Silent Planet.  2017 saw the re-release of their 1989 debut and Weapons of Our Warfare and the return of original guitarist Glenn Rodgers. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, The Subversive Kind was recorded and features performances from Victor Macias (Tourniquet) on bass, Greg Minier on guitars and Jim Chaffin on drums.  The album was produced by Jimmy P. Brown and Jim Chaffin and was recorded and mixed at 3 Frogz Studios and Valhalla Studio with mastering by Rob Colwell at Bombworks Sound. Continue reading »

The Lead – “Again” (ep)

 Posted by on February 11, 2018 at 15:54  No Responses »
Feb 112018
 

Surprisingly The Lead, who some label as Christian punk pioneers, don’t get much attention.  From their beginnings in 1984 or so, The Lead released seven different albums/eps to go along with four other self-released titles before ending up on Roxx Records to release This Past Behind and Burn this Record in 1988-1989.  Since then, they’ve been pretty quiet as a group.  For Again, three of the original four band members reunited and even brought on Steve Rowe of Mortification for one track.  The band produced the ep and it was mixed and mastered by Gary James Noland

This album takes me back as it has that basement recording, minimal produced feel to it that “underground” bands back when I was a kid often had.  In all honesty, I had not heard of The Lead until getting this ep to review, which being an old hardcore kid who grew up when the Lead were coming on to the scene, makes me scratch my head a bit.  Looking back through the internet comments on The Lead, they look to have brought on a good bit of disdain from the mainstream Christian community, with is why I didn’t at least hear of them, but also disappointing as I probably would have been a fan.  I also grew up in a bit of a music wasteland, so didn’t get to hear about new music, so I blame that as well. Continue reading »

Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh – “Identity Crisis”

 Posted by on February 8, 2018 at 13:43  No Responses »
Feb 082018
 

Jacksonville, Florida brings us the beautycore band Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh, also known as GFM. 3 sisters started this band and also introduced a new genre. Beautycore is a mix of hardrock and metalcore played by exclusively women. The sisters are also quite young, with the oldest being 18 and the youngest 13. They want to bring a message of hope and strength in a dark and hurting age.

This band is quite interesting. They show that even with their young age they know how to make music. Their first song Beneath the Skin is a great introduction to this band. It’s powerful and just sounds great. The heavy guitar riff and the clean strums make a great combination. The sound they have reminds me a lot of Icon For Hire in their early years. GFM’s song Graveyard of Identities starts off with the first time on this album grunting becomes part of their sound. It fits right in and just sound great with the rest of their sound. They do a great job combining hard rock with metalcore. It sounds so natural and make the metalcore sound more acceptable for people who don’t really like it. I’m a big fan of bands like Memphis May Fire ands The Devil Wears Prada, but I also like bands like Skillet and I must say that GFM picks enough of both styles to make a great combination. The song Chatter in the Room is different from the rest of the songs. It is softer and actually a pleasant pause from their heavy sound. Continue reading »