In Psalm 59, David continues to sing praises to God, despite facing adversity. He concludes, “You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” (Ps. 59:17). Hilastherion’s “Psalm 59” is a mighty EP, with “Psalm 59” sounding as much like a song of praise as it does a battle cry. Hilastherion hails from Finland, the land of the midnight sun, which is home to many great prog and extreme metal bands. There’s something stark in the sound, like the icy beauty of a forest in winter time. “Psalm 59” is sung in Swedish (if I am correct), and you can hear the light and melodic contrast with the dark and dissonant. The band describe their sound as melodic death metal, but it is unlike the Gothenburg, Sweden sound. For me, it draws more on the progressive metal side of things and maybe it’s the symphonic elements that push it into that sphere. “When Sorrow Dies” is epic. It is cold and unblack, from the guttural rumbles to the blast beats and buzzing guitars, but finds redemption in the face of God. “Hymn to the Creations of God” celebrates God as Creator, and points to our responsibility as stewards of His Creation – a responsibility we often neglect. “Psalm 59” releases on Good Friday, and if the EP is a taste of what’s to come, a great album is in the making.
The tragic tale of Cain and Abel is vividly told on XIII Minutes’ “Sibling Rivalry”, off their April 5th debut release, “Obsessed”. It’s a modern sound that reminds me of Soilwork, a great melodeath band from Gothenburg, Sweden. Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught, as the band are quick out the gates on “Victim-Less”. A dual vocal attack is sometimes a gamble in this genre, but here it works well. Mike Rowley does well to pull off both the growl in the verses, as well as singing in the choruses. The guitars are gravelly and aggressive, and the overall impression is of precision. The bass rattles in the middle of the mix, and I’m impressed by its presence. Wait a minute! The bio lists Aaron Smith on guitars – no mention of bass. Is it that he plays all the guitars (incl. bass guitar), or are they like alt rockers The Early Years who ditched the bass altogether?
An off-kilter “Self Portrait” is a nod to the peculiar Mr. Bungle, and here it sounds like they double-tracked Michael Rowley’s deep growl, the bottom register an ominous presence on this track. In their biography, they make mention of several dichotomies that include darkness/light, evil/good and sin/redemption. The voice embodies these opposites very effectively. The title track is killer. The guitar is strident, and Jamie Kucinski’s drumming injects the song with manic energy. Ah, and now there is no question! The bass is definitely present and accounted for. So, another question. With one vocalist, how do they do the trading off of screams in the climax? In my view, it’s testament to quality production work in the studio.
Bangalore, India-based progressive metalcore band Final Surrender have released a video for their new brand new single ‘Fallen Identities’ which was released on March 22 through Rottweiller Records and available for streaming and download on Spotify/Bandcamp.
The video for ‘Fallen Identities’ can be viewed below.
In the winter of 2010, a couple of young professional musicians hailing from Bangalore, India, came together in an attempt to bring about a musical revolution of sorts; a revolution that would change their lives, and the lives of many others, known and unknown to them. In their hearts burned hot a vision, a vision to spread hope and love through music, and as they pursued their hearts, their dreams metamorphosed into reality, and that in turn saw the birth of FINAL SURRENDER.
The long awaited blazing collection of XIII Minutes’ modern metal/rock hits, will be released on April 5th, 2019 via Rottweiller Records. This cd is is all killer, no filler. – The official album teaser can be streamed below.
The first single ‘Obsessed’ was released on 16 feb. 2018, watch the lyric video below. Vocalist Michael Rowley commented:
“I believe that ‘Obsessed’ – the song and the video – show the growth of this band on a sonic and visual level. This song has also been a great hit live, always spurring our audience to join into what makes a live show memorable: singing the chorus, “I’m Obsessed.” It makes me smile each and every time.”
Blackened Scandinavian metal band Skald In Veum will release “Stridslysten” on April 12th. – a split release with Nordic Mission and Rottweiler Records.
Check out the lyric video for their single ‘As Wolves Among Sheep’ below.
Skald In Veum is Swedish furious black metal at it’s finest! After the EP “1260 Days” (review) released in 2015, these guys created a strong following with their anonymous identity. The members are keeping the mystery alive and have taken names such as Mund, Resh, Zhajiin and Heth. But is Skald in Veum a real band, you might ask? Well, their 2 first live-gigs, at NordicFest in 2017 (Norway) and Elements of Rock 2018 (Switzerland), leave no doubt! Skald in Veum is not only a real band, but a band of fantastic performers.