May 282019
 

For the instrumentalist, one of the bigger challenges is to create an own identity. At face value, the lead singer gives a band its identity, since his/her look and voice is one of a kind. He/she is instantly recognisable. Antonello Giliberto’s tone is his identity. When he solo’s, it’s like Paganini’s violin, technically thrilling yet maintaining strong melody. His love for the classics, like Johann Sebastian Bach and Yngwie Malmsteen (yes, I dare elevate Yngwie to that most celebrated category of classical composer) inform his compositions. When you read Giliberto’s biography, it is clear that he is a guitar scholar, having studied at Accademia di Chitarra Moderna, a Sicilian academy specialising in modern guitar. He has a keen interest in the expressive qualities of the guitar, as he’s attended workshops with Kee Marcello and Mattias IA Eklundh, amongst others. I was likewise pleased to learn that he contributed guitar on three of Gabriels’ epic “Fist of the Seven Stars: Act 2”, reviewed earlier.

His choral arrangements are impressive, and I enjoy his strong leaning towards neoclassical metal. “Wrath of the Northmen” stands out for me in this regard. There is a great appreciation of dynamics, as the musical crescendo towards the 5 minute mark dissolves into the peaceful ebb and flow of an ocean. I also enjoyed the contrast between choir and electric guitar in “Iron Shadows in the Moon”, and it’s amazing how well symphonic brass and distorted electric guitar work together. Neoclassical metal for the win! Continue reading »

May 112019
 

One listen to Dissident Voices by Veil of Deception and it becomes very clear that metal is alive and well in Austria.  Thunderous, pounding rhythm section, great riffs and solos, soaring and powerful  vocals are found in abundance on this album, which blurs the line between the NWOBHM and power metal and adds bits from several other genres for good measure.

The band itself traces its roots back to 2013 in Vienna when guitarists Dejan Jorgovanovic and Gerd Metzl began jamming and exchanging riffs.  Not long after, Erik Fristad joined on bass and vocalist Daniel Gallar answered an ad and after a quick audition was now a member of the band.  After a brief search, Mike Günther was added on drums and the first iteration of the band was complete.  The band’s debut album, Deception Unveiled came not long after and exposed the world the band’s blend of modern metal, groove, thrash, and stoner metal.  Unfortunately, Erik left the band not long after recording and the band found current bassist Thomas Hava and the band pressed on playing shows and filming a couple of videos.  When it came time for the second album, guitarist Gerd decided to leave the band and Dejan took over all guitar parts for the album Tearing Up the Roots.  Concerts followed with the band even sharing the stage with the likes of Flotsam and Jetsam.  For Dissident Voices, the band returns as a four piece and released the album on Roxx Records imprint, No Life Til Metal records. Continue reading »

May 052019
 

Two-man powerhouse American Arson are back with their Facedown Records debut, an ep sure to whet the appetite of post-hardcore fans.

American Arson is a Detroit, Michigan based band that is a project by vocalist/guitarist Evan Baker (ex-Good Luck Varsity) who started the project as GLV was ending.  In 2015, Baker added drummer Jesse Gentry and the once solo-project turned into a duo.  Not being familiar with the band, I checked out an older track, “Revival in My Lungs” and was pretty much blown away by how full the sound was from the 2-man project.  Fast guitars and drums and piercing, gritty vocals characterized the sound on that track.  Fast forward to April 2019 and the band now has a presence on Facedown Records and has released a post-hardcore filled ep, along the likes of labelmates Comrades.

The ep conveniently enough has three tracks, “Rise” “&” and “Fall” and show a bit of a maturity compared to earlier material to the point that one might say it’s leans a bit toward the more commercially acceptable.  “Rise” is filled with anthemic chorus and gang vocal sections, showcasing some great vocals by Evan Baker, both clean and somewhat rougher in style.  Continue reading »

Skald In Veum – “Stridslysten”

 Posted by on April 28, 2019 at 18:05  No Responses »
Apr 282019
 

How do you justify an introduction to a band that has been brewing ferocious black metal since 1998? Skald, as a previous Avatar of Skald in Veum, has remained underground for as long as 15 years. Although there wasn’t much offered during those years, the band kept its energy intact as they emerged back in the Swedish scene again in 2013. Changing their name to add a reference to a Holy place, the band sets out with a mission, “a violent and visceral baptism by way of complete immersion in brutalising black metal”

Having signed up with Rottweiler Record and Nordic Mission, the band released its second album, Stridslysten, on the 12th of April 2019. What stands amazing is that, they released their second album exactly 1260 days after the release of their first album titled 1260 days. Too much of a coincidence? Does Stridslysten have something encrypted in its name too? I want to find out.

This album has one of the most brutal intro to any song that I’ve heard in a while. Self-titled “Stridslysten” starts with a bang of what sounds like a sword being pulled from its sheath. Continue reading »

Robyn Ferguson – “Alizarin” (ep)

 Posted by on April 28, 2019 at 16:08  No Responses »
Apr 282019
 

Guitarist vocalist Robyn Ferguson from the extreme metal band Adorned in Ash makes her solo debut, releasing an instrumental ep highlighted by strong songwriting, heavy riffs, and emotion-filled guitar solos.

Those who appreciate extreme metal should by now know the name Robyn Ferguson as one of the guitarists and vocalist for the South African metal band Adorned in Ash who blend elements of thrash, black, and death metal into their sound.  A band whose debut album, The Dead Walk Among Us was well received and a band who has an eagerly awaited follow up release due out soon.  In the meantime, Robyn has definitely kept herself busy and frequently posts guitar practice, riffs, and play-throughs on social media, creating a solid presence.  Always one to keep busy, and living up to the quote on her website, “Work hard, play hard. Get up and make it happen…”,  Robyn has been endorsed by Ibanez and Elixir strings and has composed, performed, and recorded Alizarin. Continue reading »