Undawn – “Solidarity” (Ep)

 Posted by on January 12, 2020 at 20:21  No Responses »
Jan 122020
 

Solidarity

Netherland based Melodic Metalcore band Undawn last year on 16th of November pelted out a jaw dropping EP, “Solidarity”. The band which is based out of Dedemsvaart, Overijssel, Netherlands, had the chance to open up for major bands like Soulfly and Textures, in the past. The band describes the EP as “SOLIDARITY breaks through your negative patterns. In an era in which our ego and individualism prevail, we demand the maximum from ourselves. Solidarity is about, burden that you can experience with eternal doubts about decisions, living in your comfort zone and being stuck in the past. Sometimes you don’t even realize it, but it hinders your further development.”

The EP contains 5 tracks all under 5 minute. Melodic Metalcore as a genre much identifiable with its knee jerk hooks, off time signatures and a plethora of polymorphic rhythms, has always had a defined pattern. What becomes important here is to stay in the genre, yet have enough experimental appetite during the songwriting process to make it stand out. So without further ado let’s jump to it.  

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Nightland – “Umbra Astra Luna”

 Posted by on January 5, 2020 at 15:45  No Responses »
Jan 052020
 

Brewing metal for as long as 13 years, Nightland, based out of Italy, have come out with their Second studio album, “Umbra Astra Luna”. This album was released on the 8th of November 2019, which was recorded by Brendan Paolini, mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio. Although they’ve experimented with genres in the past, this album is a good dose of Blackened Symphonic Death metal. It isn’t hard to believe that their earlier music had been inspired by European Viking/Folk Metal bands. Having released 2 EPs, 3 Singles and 1 Studio Album “Obsession” the band has come a long way, and I can’t wait to spin their new album.

The album starts off with “Postridie Nonas Iunias” which builds a cinematographic soundscape that lures you into their world (Reminded me a bit of LOTR). There is so much charm in the music, and as the drums start to march, the album picks up pace before it smashes us with “Amongst Blackening Skies“. Their second song brings about brutal blast beats coupled with the scathing screams, blitzing guitar riffs and the symphonic elements help supplement and progress their sound. “In Shadow and Light” rumbles its way in with a high tonal bass, and as the groovy guitar riff chime in we are bombarded with blast beats and the choir like chorus that resonates and adds creativity to their sound.

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Adorned in Ash – “Apocalyptic Violence”

 Posted by on December 26, 2019 at 21:17  No Responses »
Dec 262019
 

Five long years after the release of The Dead Walk Among Us, Adorned in Ash are back with their sophomore album, bringing a more refined, mature sound and vision for their hybrid metal, which in addition to the death/thrash/groove/black influences, now also incorporates some progressive elements into nearly an hour of crushing heaviness.

Although only releasing two full length albums, Adorned in Ash was founded in 2009 and have toured extensively within Africa.  Over the years, as one might imagine, the band has seen some lineup changes that have impacted their sound, with likely one of the more obvious ones was guitarist Robyn Ferguson adding vocal duties and taking them over from Marius Visagie in 2011.  Robyn’s blend of higher pitched near shriek-like black metal vocals and deeper growls and ability to switch back and forth within a song add a unique element to the band’s overall sound.  Within their home of South Africa, the band has been consistently nominated in the South African Metal Music Awards, and winning best Death Metal Band in 2015.  Since the release of the critically acclaimed The Dead Walk Among Us, the band has done extensive touring throughout the region and members endured a number of personal challenges.   Some of the lesser known details around the recording of Apocalyptic Violence play a part in the overall sonic differences between this and their first album, one of which were the drums being recorded on an acoustic kit at the Drum Room by Vinnie Henrico who was Mark Ivey’s drum lecturer in college.  Guitars were recorded by Robyn Ferguson at Tower Studios and the vocals, mixing, and mastering done by Clinton Watts at Watts Productions, a name very familiar to those in the South Africa metal community.

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Cross-Check – “Overwhelming Odds”

 Posted by on December 21, 2019 at 23:47  No Responses »
Dec 212019
 

Cross-Check have released an ep filled with catchy hardcore songs channeling the spirit and sound of old-school hardcore and some updated demos of older songs on Overwhelming Odds.

Southern California has produced a lot of noteworthy hardcore bands and over the years has been fertile ground for bands producing aggressive, fast, catchy music that packs a punch.  Add Overwhelming Odds to that list… while this is their debut for Thumper Punk Records, they do appear to have some older material from 2017 in an album called  Drop the Puck, which is another place to find versions of the demo tracks on Overwhelming Odds. For Overwhelming Odds, the band recorded with Nick Coffey and the songs were mixed by Zach Bridier at Captive Portal Music with Sef Idle at SImpul Studios handling the mastering.

Hardcore is short supply these days, with most of it being supplied by the old guard bands like Sick of It All, Slapshot, Agnostic Front, and Madball, so to get another band to review, especially a good one, makes for a great day.  My biggest issue with Overwhelming Odds is that I want more.  The first five songs are fully done tracks with the second five on the ep being demos and true to form, the whole thing clocks in around 20 minutes. 

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Dec 202019
 

Goatscorge lays waste to eardrums with a black metal/grind/noise onslaught on what appears to be their first full length release.

About all I can tell you about Goatscorge is that it is a solo project that has its origins in Russellville, Alabama.  On their Bandcamp, everything was posted in 2019, so the artist has been a bit prolific.  Beside a couple of singles, one could call Awaiting the Apocalypse an ep with Marching Against the Evil One being the first full-length.

In terms of style, one can expect noise, black, ambient, and grindcore elements within the various songs on Marching Against the Evil One.  The album opens up with some distorted background noise with some organ playing way off in the distance on “An End to All the is Unholy” an d at this point, I had no idea what was coming.  “Marching Against the Evil One” is the first real track on the album and it opens up with some incredibly distorted instruments playing and the deep growled, unintelligible vocals, with the song as a whole sounding much like a cd was skipping and being played through a poor quality boombox on full volume.

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