April 2018, New Releases Review Part B

We continue with the second part of this months reviews…

Horror God/Techne - Split

8 track split release containing 4 songs from each band. Horror God’s traditional Death metal even though not groundbreaking, manages to keep the listener’s attention however it is Techne who with the diversity of their atmospheric and melodic metal succeed to win the impressions in this release.

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Phylactery - Necromancy Enthroned

Debut album from the Edmonton based Death/Thrash band. What I have first noticed in Necromancy Enthroned is the production which one could easily claim that it is intentionally retro, trying to emulate the sound of early and mid 80’s albums by bands like Sepultura or Morbid Saint although I am not sure if such thing can be an advantage in our days. Unfortunately the album material is unequal when it comes to the quality. There are occasionally nice riffs but there are also songs which are generic giving the feeling that nostalgia is the only thing that the listener can get from this release. Maybe I am too strict but on the other hand nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia does not bring any added value or artistic development to an already stagnated genre.

Album Rating : 7 out of 10

Shrine of the Serpent/Black Urn - Split

Another split release this time by two bands who play Doom/Sludge. The material of Shrine of the Serpent unfortunately does not manage to impress, thus making Black Urn with their Black metal influenced slow sludge the “winners” of this split.

Album Rating : 7 out of 10

Torrefy - The Infinity Complex

Those who like Progressive techno thrash in the vein of bands like Vektor with insane speeds, fantastic riffs, frequent rhythmical changes will love The Infinity Complex. Maybe the Black metal influenced vocals will sound odd to some, however I can eventually assure you that this album will for sure grow on you.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Ssanahtes - Ssanahtes

Ssanahtes come from France and they play post metal with their sound bringing more to mind bands like Kickback rather than Cult of Luna. Their material contains a lot of diversity and variety : from Hardcore and Black metal to Sludge (especially in the vocals) but it is particularly the intensity and the power of their music that makes Ssanahtes (album) stand out. Post metal is (yet another) stagnated genre so the risk to create a generic and boring result is high however the anger and the relentlessness that come out of the songs of this album are what finally make it a success…

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Expulser - The Unholy One

Another “jump on the bandwagon” retro thrash release coming out of the vaults of Cogumelo Records. The material of Expulser indicates that they could have been big but I am unable to explain why they have eventually not…After watching the movie documentary for Twisted Sister I am though convinced that it is not only talent and luck that can take you higher…It needs perseverance as well…

Album Rating : 9 out of 10

Northhammer - Stormcaller

Another Edmonton group and as the band name, the album title and the song lyrics indicate what should be expected here is Epic mood and character more close to Amon Amarth rather than Bathory. Stormcaller may lack originality but it is definitely not insulting or of bad taste.

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Witch Tripper - I of the Storm

Sabbath influenced stoner rock with the vocals reminding bands like The Almighty. Without being totally bad, the material in I of the Storm is quite generic and the album could definitely use more standout compositions like the self titled or Cut Me Loose.

Album Rating : 7 out of 10

Awkward Geisha - Blue Elephant

Awkward Geisha is a noise -jazz collective and Blue Elephant is the first cassette release from Ear Rot Tapes, limited to 10 copies ! The material in side A of the cassette is more traditional jazz and I would actually say that it could be even enjoyed by a traditional Jazz listener. There are some free improvisational parts or moments which bring to mind bands like Mr. Bungle however it is in side B where the real experimentation unfolds with noise and soundtrack landscapes. Being a fan of the New and Unconventional I would say that I have highly appreciated this release.

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Lamiräl - This EP has no Name and it’s Alright

Metalcore from Belgium with great production, melodic moments and rhythmical compositions is what This EP has no Name and it’s Alright contains. For sure not groundbreaking or genre defining but overall very good…

Album Rating : 8 out of 10