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!

Continue reading »

Final Surrender – “Frogs in a pan” (Ep)

 Posted by on December 31, 2021 at 21:04  No Responses »
Dec 312021
 

Bangalore based Indian Metalcore act Final Surrender released their E.P. “Frogs in a Pan” on the 10th of December 2021 and with it welcomed back the bona fide guitar maestro Sanjay Kumar. The band has been active for more than a decade and rose to global prominence when they signed a deal with Indiana’s Rottweiler records in 2012. The band is a collective effort of five young and extremely talented musicians who are on a journey to push the envelope of progressive metalcore. The band had released two independent E.P.s, toured within India and in no time developed a local and global fanbase.

The band describes their sound as “a dynamic blend of gut busting heaviness and razor-sharp metallic riffing. Harsh, grating vocals soar overtop of labyrinthine, winding riffing and break-neck speed drumming, leaving the listener in nothing but the purest state of shock and awe.” The band lists August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, Meshuggah, Texas In July, Textures, Soilwork, Inflames and I The Breather, as some of it influences, which is quite evident in the sound the band creates.

Continue reading »

Bride – “Christmas”

 Posted by on December 18, 2021 at 15:51  No Responses »
Dec 182021
 

Legendary rockers Bride have made their contribution to the ever expanding collection of rock and metal bands performing Christmas songs.

For those who have never heard of Bride, the Christian rock band was formed back in the 1980’s by brothers Troy and Dale Thompson, getting their first break opening up for the Daniel Band in Pennsylvania in 1986. For those not familiar with Christian rock that may not mean anything, but Daniel Band was big at the time. As one might imagine in the near 40yrs of existence, the band underwent many lineup and label changes, but now without success as to their credit the band has 8 major releases, 12 songs that hit #1 in various charts and 4 Dove awards to their credit.

Christmas albums can be hit or miss and many times it really depends on how much you like a particular band as to whether or not you think their renditions of classic songs are just a novelty or something really good. Personally, the Rottweiler Records Fleas Naughty Dog, volume 1 is one of my all-time favorite collection of Christmas songs, but much of that is due to variety of approaches taken as everything from punk to goth to black metal is contained in that release. Fro single artists releases, the August Burns Red Sleddin’ Hill is another that is really well done. As you might imagine, since it is taking me so long to actually get to talking about this release, it is not one of my favorites, but in all fairness, I’m not a Bride fan either, so that makes this more of a challenge.

Continue reading »

Nightland – “The Great Nothing”

 Posted by on November 19, 2021 at 17:46  No Responses »
Nov 192021
 

Orchestral arrangements and death metal combine on The Great Nothing by the Italian band Nightland on their third full-length release.

Nightland came on to the symphonic death metal scene in 2011 with the ep Knights of the Dark Empire followed with the ep In Solemn Rise in 2012. The band really started to make a presence in 2015 with their first full-length album, Obsession, and then supported Fleshgod Apocalypse during a European tour in 2017. In 2019, the band released Umbra Astra Luna‘ and now, The Great Nothing’. The album was been mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio in San Marino.

Album reviews bring back so many memories of bands long forgotten…thankfully the internet can help. Long ago (late 90’s) there was a band on Rowe Productions with vocals much like those in Nightland and for the life of me, I could not remember the band. A couple of searches later and through the magic of google, I found Ethereal Scourge and knew instantly that was the band I was thinking of, but just on a vocal level. Ludovico Cioffi’s vocals are rough, near growled death metal in style, while the band employs clean vocals for choruses and the two work very well together. The first track “The Conjunctin of Benetnash” provides a warm welcoming view into what is to come on the album. The nearly 7 minute long track starts out with some clean guitar picking before the full band comes in very loudly over the top of the sustained opening rhythm, which eventually heads into distortion. From an arrangement perspective, there are a lot of elements going on which one would expect in a symphonic metal band and then when you add in the raspy, shouted death metal vocals reminiscent of Ethereal Scourge and Becoming the Archetype, you have an idea of the full sound. Production and mixing is great with everything being heard in the mix and the vocals having an almost otherworldly, majestic aspect to them, both the clean and the death metal ones.

Continue reading »

Draconicon – “The Dark Side of Magic”

 Posted by on October 22, 2021 at 19:42  No Responses »
Oct 222021
 

Draconicon use power metal to tell the story of the awakening of an ancient evil in their debut album Dark Side of Magic.

Draconicon is pure European power metal from Italy, influence by the sounds of bands like Kamelot, Saboton, Gloryhammer and others. The story behind the debut album is about a Dark Force awakening to rule the world. A hunger for power led mortals to summon the dark Order Draconis. The dragon pictured on the cover art is a metaphorical representation of the power and evil that has taken control over everything. The album was mixed and mastered by Marco Mastrobuono who has done a great job ensuring all instruments and vocals are clear in the mix. For the album are, the band chose a veteran of the genre, bringing in Dan Godsworthy (Alestorm, Gloryhammer).

After a short intro in “Principium Tenebris”, the band launches straight into “Fiery Rage” leading off with some great guitar leads before settling into a fast galloping rhythm led by the drums of Manuel D. Asendent. Arkanfel’s vocals are a perfect match for the genre, smooth and powerful without sounding strained throughout his impressive range. In some sense, the song reminds me a bit of Dragon Force except the song is not just a vehicle for guitar solos.

Continue reading »