Don De Necker

Aug 122022

“BROTALITY is band formed by 2 brothers based on faith, love & heavy music! We embrace the brutality of being counter-culture in today’s society.”

Ok so it’s always hard to critique a band that is on the same label as your own band, such as in this case and to be honest I don’t always enjoy it, but I am an impartial reviewer so regardless if you a friend or not or a fellow label mate or band I will always speak as it is, if you like it or don’t like it, it’s not my problem, but yours alone. I will still greet you down the depths of a dark alley.

So it was not so long ago that I was greeted with their first full length album, “Worldwide Desolation” in 2021 on Rottweiler Records. Certainly in my opinion one of the more important signings that Rottweiler Records has made and which was an impressive introduction to Brotality not only as a first full length album, but as a young band, both in its members and the band itself. Their progressively thrash leanings certainly outlaid a group with much talent and a bright future if they play their cards right. That onus also in part falls on the label which has in the meantime changed hands, and plays an important piece of the puzzle with the cards out laid before them, so let’s hope Rottweiler Records does not drop the ball with this band which could be one of the more important Christian metal bands going forward. To bring it all into context these young lads have opened for bands like Deep Purple and Judas Priest.

The Woods Will End You” really starts in my opinion with “Nose Dive”, it hits hard from start to finish and highlights the quality song writing skill of the band and their ability to smoothly transcend through the different movements and moods of their songs. An important quality for me is the retention of energy through a song with a band like Brotality, and this again is something they generally do well, and have matured into from their last album. These New York boys carry that New York aggression that is often harboured in the famous New York Hardcore scene into their brand of progressive influenced thrash metal. For me “Nose Dive” could pass the critics on a hardcore stage. Bryce’s hair by the way is metal in its own right and deserves some sort of metal hair award if there was such a thing.

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Jul 202022

Here we have a power metal band from Harwich, England formed in 2019 who wear silly hobbit costumes that fortunately can make up that deficit by actually being able to deliver on their musical skills. These guys got the thumbs up from Dragonforce’s Herman Li If that’s any indication of what you will be stepping into on this album. There is a sense right from the start this is in a way a concept album. Its fantasy narrative entwined with musical heart. I will be honest in that I myself are not a huge concept album fan nor a fantasy metal fan but I love good solid music that can hold ones attention and that sticks in your head long after the music has finished. You need to know that “The Saberlight Chronicles ” is a release that unfolds in a mythical story form of self-worth, self-discovery and the quest for courage, The Songs are dramatic and catchy.

So the music and lyrics of such an album hold equal importance, as a concept type album (my opinion) there is a fine balance between the music and lyrics and how they are delivered to serve equal impact yet the vocals require absolute clarity in order for the listener to absorb the full treatment of what’s been delivered. Something easily remembered is clearly delivered.

So let’s get in to the album and see if it meets those criteria as per my standards. “UNTIL THE FIRE DIES” starts off with an enchanted introduction that leads to something that reminded me watching Gummi Bears as a kid. Very catchy vocally and musically with sing a long chorus,

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Fear Not – “Fields Of Sorrow”

 Posted by on July 7, 2022 at 19:02  No Responses »
Jul 072022

Starting out under the name, LOVE LIFE they had an album titled “Goodbye Lady Jane” on Blonde Vinyl in 1991. They later changed their band name to FEAR NOT, and under that name they released their self-titled debut on Pakaderm Records as a critical acclaimed debut which was recorded and produced by John and Dino Elefante. Their message is direct and simple – to spread the good news of hope and salvation. They have shared the stage with some of the greats of Christian rock and metal, like Bride, Deliverance, Guardian and Barren Cross, as well as headlining shows themselves. They did put down the band during the 90s and did not release another album for a very long time. The original band members moved to different parts of their country to continue individual music ministries and music careers. It was in the of summer 2018 a group of die-hard Fear Not fans invited the band to their church to rehearse for a weekend and that is when they realized they still had a calling and needed to do something about it. Due to some physical issues Larry Worley stepped down as their lead singer and by God’s grace and provision they brought in to the fold a brand-new addition with lead vocalist Eddie Green who helped them elevate the band to a whole new level with his metal vocal styling dynamics. Eddie is a seasoned, touring vocalist who most recently fronted Even The Dogs, who had a charting single titled “Ghost”. In 2017 and the 25th anniversary of the band they released their follow up EP entitled “For The Wounded Heart”. The release features all 4 original members along with Eddie Green formerly of the band EVEN THE DOGS. Fear Not have embarked on a brand new journey and rekindled that band relationship and have been working on brand new music for the first time in almost 35 years.

Moving forward past the pandemic we arrive at 2022 with their latest offering entitled, “FIELDS OF SORROW which the LP recording of it is limited to 200 copies on black vinyl. “Fields of Sorrow” sees FEAR NOT embarking on a new musical journey with the release of their sophomore full length album which takes the listener on a heavy and heartfelt journey with the band as they prepare to release this full length album of all new music with meaning.  Tracks that tackle many of the issues we face and deal with today, with the addition of some heavy and emotional music as your soundtrack, “Fields of Sorrow” is an album that is in a way designed to help one navigate life through these troubled times we live in. “Fields of Sorrow” features stunning new artwork from Scott Waters of NoLifeTilMetal Graphics and is scheduled to be released on July 8th, 2022 on CD and via all digital platforms.

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Evanescence – “The Bitter Truth’

 Posted by on June 17, 2021 at 01:09  No Responses »
Jun 172021

Some albums are so much easier to review than others, and for me the latest release from Evanescence was a harder album to just get down and review. It is not that “The Bitter Truth” is a bad album, it’s actually got a lot of things going for it, but it did take some time for me to get into it and unpack my thoughts about it. Evanescence has done well for themselves, and respect to them for their impact and influence they have had in the modern day music culture. Sure it’s been 10 years since they released an album, so one got to go into it knowing that things could be different, whether musically or lyrically, a lot can happen in 10 years that can influence and reposition a band. To think in 2003, their album, “Fallen” catapulted them into being one of the biggest bands of their time from America, thrusting them into super stardom, and here we are 18 years later. But remember this is not the first time Evanescence has had a major gap between albums. There was a five-year gap between Evanescence 2011’s self-titled third album and 2006’s The Open Door album, and even then the two albums showed some definitive changes and repositioning, so going into this review my expectation, and thinking was already in that headspace. So I leaned into the album with slight trepidation not knowing how I will need to approach this as a reviewer.

For me in a way through the soul of this album I can see for Amie Lee the personal struggles, and things she has gone through, had to deal with, and in some way now able reflect that back in a more balanced space, like the 10 year break was good for settling a few things possibly, and repositioning into a new headspace. Sometimes we just got to swallow the bitter pill where we at in life and move forward with hope things will get better and clearer as we progress and unpack the horizon before us. There is a definitive switching of cogs that has seemed to have taken place, and the album has a much lighter and brighter feel to it. It has a deliberate and well kneaded feel to it, a lot of thought process has gone into the release to give it the sound and texture it translates. Amy Lee’s voice for me also sounds allot more relaxed, compared to the previous release, it comes across with a greater sense of heart if you will, and a lot more sincere passion. It’s not like she is finished dealing with stuff, or wholeheartedly moved on, but you do get a sense that through reflection she is repositioning herself. “Far From Heaven” is a good example of that. It is possible one of the more hauntingly emotional songs and her voice on the song almost nakedly displays a strong emotional drive as she is dealing with things like her faith.

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Bride – “Here Is Your God”

 Posted by on April 30, 2021 at 19:55  No Responses »
Apr 302021

So you into the Christian metal music scene then you have got to have heard of the band Bride, right? Well I am assuming you have, Bride has been around recording material since about 1983 under the name Matrix originally if I am not mistaken, changed to the name Bride think around 1986, so if you are tallying up experience in the industry, that is 38 years in the business. They have including this just in their main album releases 16 albums available in their catalogue to reference to, that’s a mighty large volume of music to sink your teeth into, and certainly from a standing the test of time perspective, there is much validation in that catalogue to be had regarding their musical ability and importance in the world’s heavy metal scene. They are certainly for me from a Christian metal and hard rock historical point of view one of the main metal bands to come out of the scene, and they have by all accounts cemented themselves as a large influence in the metal and hard rock Christian scene itself, particularly in places like Brazil. It does not mean that they have not had their ups and downs concerning their albums, and appeal of their albums, but certainly in their catalogue there are no albums you feel need to be avoided like a plague. Stylistically Bride incorporated many variations of styles of music into their brand as they matured over the years.

There are definitive periodic lines that one can draw, in terms of particular Bride era’s in their sound. It’s probably one of the attributes that I love most about the band and maybe one of the things that has kept Bride over the years relevant and musically progressive as a band. They certainly have not pandered or towed the line of a specific stylistic genre in the metal music scene. Thus it’s kept their flavour original, and consistently fresh in my mind, and you get a sense they enjoy experimenting and pushing the envelope of their sound, thus continuingly offering new variations of their sound release to release. Even when they choose to double back on previous styles and bring it a new to the fans, it’s introduced to the listener with a fresh reference. This is where “Here Is Your God” enters, the latest album release from Bride.

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