Euphoreon – “Ends of the Earth”

 Posted by on April 20, 2018 at 16:14  No Responses »
Apr 202018

After a seven year hiatus, the death metal project Euphoreon is back with Ends of the Earth, an album filled with melodic, near symphonic death metal in many ways as epic as their cover art.

Bands with little fanfare or press or even any sizable amount of information are usually either really good or absolutely horrible and unknown for a reason.  Euphoreon, is a two-person melodic death metal project that comes by way of New Zealand and Germany and is one of those pleasant surprises.  From what I gather, the project/band has been around since 2009 and did release their self-titled debut in 2011, which though reviews were somewhat limited, did garner some critical acclaim, which is easy to understand after listening to Ends of the Earth.  The band is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the physical copies of the album, which would be worth picking up on the basis of Gyula Havancsak’s glorious artwork alone.

Perhaps fittingly, the music on the album works well with the artwork: beauty, intensity, power, with an underlying sense of melody characterize the songs, much like the artwork.  The opening choir and guitar riff of “Euphoria” initially made me think this was going to be a power metal album, but then the tone shifted a bit darker and the growled death metal vocals came in.  The layers of sound in the song are expertly displayed allowing the brighter keyboards to offset the dark vocals rhythm section with the guitars seemingly bridging the two spheres.  The guitars do tend to dominate the mix, perhaps a bit too much, and end up hiding the drums and bass a bit more than  I would prefer.   Interestingly, the duo chose Tommi Halme to add in the guitar solos and they made a great choice there as the solos are blistering but well incorporated into the songs and without knowing it was a guest, you’d think it was one of the regular band members. Continue reading »

Crushing The Deceiver – “Self-titled”

 Posted by on April 13, 2018 at 01:08  No Responses »
Apr 132018

“Listen close. There’s a war going on for your soul right now.” My response: “Dude, I’m all ears.” I soak up the sounds of war issuing from my headphones and prepare for the impending confrontation. Johnny’s opening riff takes centre stage, and it’s a goodie. A shell explodes and the drums carry me into the fray. Pretty exciting, huh? And that’s only the beginning!

Crushing The Deceiver are a thrash metal band from Clovis, California. They launch their debut on 4 May, and will join heavyweight metallers Deliverance at the Sacrivox Music Festival in July. If the album is anything to go by, it’s going to be a blistering show! I mean, check out “The Light Inside Me”. It’s like someone’s pulling back on a slingshot and letting go, the momentum carrying Grant ever forward: “You are the passion inside me, The motivation that drives me…” Grant’s growl compliments the overall sound, and on this track the band varies its pace between soulful unblack lament and soaring stomp.

The link to the battlefield is reestablished in “Guide the way to You”. Ryan’s bass pushes forward, while the guitar and vocal rhythms echo one another. While they are adept at delivering riffs and beats at speed, Crushing The Deceiver also experiments with tempo to great effect. The changing intensity keeps me focused on the message. Continue reading »

Apr 122018

As proof that nothing can keep a good ghoul down, Grave Robber have mastered Escaping the Grave  (pun always intended) and are back with a new found intensity in their fifth full-length album of soon-to-be horror punk favorites.

By now, I would hope everyone reading this has at least heard of Grave Robber as it’s not every day you get to see a band in full skeleton regalia playing horror-tinged punk rock at a furious pace.  Then again, their last full length was 2011’s You’re All Gonna Die, so there could be a number of you who haven’t seen/heard of them.  Dating all the way back to 2005, Grave Robber has released four full-length albums, at least one ep in Straight to Hell in 2014, and been on a host of compilations.  Be Afraid was the album that kicked it all off and from the very first play, many, including myself, were hooked at the combination of Misfits speed and fury, Wretched’s smooth, deep vocals, and a tongue-in-cheek, B-Horror movie approach to lyrics, that make it entirely appropriate to sing along with “I want to kill you over and over again” as the song is actually talking about pride.  Fun songs about sin, sacrifice, and redemption seems like an odd mix but they’ve made it work.  Since their last release the band has undergone numerous tragedies, family emergencies, consistent lack of a drummer, and multiple member changes, more than enough for most bands to call it quits, but following a successful crowdfunding campaign, the band pressed on and with some assistance from Jim Chaffin (Crucified) on drums, we are blessed with Escaping the Grave.  Now keep in mind the band hasn’t been on hiatus between albums and done everything from play on volcanoes in Mexico to eating gooey butter cake in St. Louis after a show and played everywhere they could between Mexico and their home in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Continue reading »

My Silent Wake – “There was Death”

 Posted by on April 10, 2018 at 01:02  No Responses »
Apr 102018

Hailing from south west England, My Silent Wake, the acclaimed death/doomsters are back with their tenth full length studio album “There was Death”. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at 13 Sound in Somerset and Priory Studios in Sutton Coldfield with doom legend Greg Chandler of Esoteric; and released on the 16th of February 2018 under the label of Minotauro Records. The cover print for the album was done by renowned Finnish artist Juha Vuorma.

The band was formed in 2005 by founder member Ian Arkley of Seventh Angel / Ashen Mortality features a variety of musicians(Guest growls and screams from Greg), and is said to be one of the heaviest of their records till date. Having toured extensively in Europe with Norway’s In Vain, Draconian, The Vision Bleak and Saturnus in the past, My Silent Wake has appeared on split albums with The Drowning and Pylon.

The album opens up with “A Dying Man’s Wish” with ploughing chords, heavy guitar riffing and monster growls pulverizing the grey of your head. The subdued deathly growls in the backdrop and the keys play a crucial role in setting up immense doom element right at the outset. The song takes a dramatic and morbid shift as the protagonist finally acknowledges and reaches his end (of life). “Damnatio Memoriae” carries on with the atmospheric soundscape and explains the journey of a soul passing through death as all memory is erased from time, a truly magnificent song with so much depth. Continue reading »

Peter 118 – Anthology and Live in L.A.

 Posted by on April 9, 2018 at 19:26  1 Response »
Apr 092018

Peter 118 returns again with an anthology of all previously released tracks on one album and a bonus album of live tracks performed at Harry’s House of Rebellion in LA.

Peter 118 started out as a solo project by Peter Szczepanski (Field), formerly of Senseless and Ambassadors of Shalom and featured Peter’s wife Janine on bass and friend Sam on drums. In 2014, the catchy “Radio” was released, followed by “Make it or Break it” in 2015. In 2016 the band’s Need You More ep caught the ear of legendary KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer and band’s video started seeding mainstream airplay.  Alisha Palmer was added on rhythm guitar and the band has played  the Rainbow Rock Festival in Stockholm.

For the Anthology, all you need to know is that the album is filled with catchy pop punk songs with the kind of hooks that get stuck in your head and keep replaying in your head throughout the day but in a way that doesn’t make you immediately search for something else to drown it out.  Continue reading »