August 2018, New Releases Review

Haven’t posted in this section for long and this was somehow intentional as some of our previous review posts seem to have made certain bands unsatisfied…well yes, we may have been strict to certain artists who trusted us by sending their promos for review but one thing that we can assure the readers of this blog is that we have and will always be honest and respectful. We are music lovers who purchase with our own money the majority of the material presented in this blog and in our Facebook page. This offers us the independence and the integrity we would like to retain as long as this blog stays on line. After all we are only in it for the music !

Ripped to Shreds - Mai-Zang

One Man band Ripped to Shreds consists of Andrew Lee (ex-DISINCARNATION) on all instruments and BW of Draghkar on vocals and Mai-zangis their debut release. Mai-zang means 'burial' or 'tomb' in Chinese, and is a reflection of the turmoil, strife, and chaos of late 19th to early 20th century China as she dealt with multiple internal uprisings and foreign invasions. From the religious purges of the Taiping Rebellion to the mass famine in the wake of the Yellow River flood, each track presents a harrowing vignette of death and horror. On the musical aspect what you will hear is high quality traditional Death without modernisms and digitised guitars, plastic drums or blast beats. An excellent release overall !

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

We Are Cursed - We Are Cursed

We are Cursed are a French metal band hiving in their ranks members of Synopsys / Godisdead / Jack Dope And Noise and this is their first self-titled EP. The 4 songs of the EP are heavy sludge with Death metal influences sounding like a much heavier version of Neurosis. I was already aware about Synopsys and I was somehow sure that We Are Cursed would not disappoint me.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Neck of the Woods - Passenger

Debut album from Canadian band Neck of the Woods (coming from Vancouver). Neck of the Woods start from a metalcore ground, nevertheless I would consider them a progressive band mainly due to the diversity of their material, the complexity and skills in the playing. Their songs are aggressive but not single-dimensional as there are melodies, excellent riffs and intelligent ideas in the structures. The tunes are short (for a progressive band) but no simplistic and with very interesting developments (example Face of the Villain, Foothills). All these lead me to give them a

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Shadygrove - In the Heart of Scarlet Wood

Folk metal from Italy featuring ex members of Elvenking, Evenoire, and Sound Storm. Not so much on the metal but more on the folk side however the quality of their material is high and does not insult by mimicking thus presenting us with some great songs like My Silver Seal or Eve of Love, This is the Night which can stand alone outside the limits of the Folk metal genre. I can imagine this cd being the perfect companion while playing AD&D

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Empress - Reminiscence

Another Vancouver band who is debuting with their EP. Their sound is mainly sludge bringing to mind bands like Zatokrev, Isis (in They speak like Trees) and Neurosis. This means that they are quite accessible and not so noisy as they incorporate post and atmospheric elements in their songs (Immer) so I assume it will not be difficult for this release to find a place in the collections of the genre aficionados

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Godthrymm - A Grand Reclamation

UK Epic Doom Metal crew consisting of Hamish Glencross (VALLENFYRE, ex-MY DYING BRIDE, ex-SOLSTICE) on lead vocals and guitar who rejoined with old partners Chaz Netherwood (ex-SOLSTICE) on guitar, and Shaun Taylor Steels (MY DYING BRIDE, ex-ANATHEMA, ex-SOLSTICE) on drums. The line-up was completed with the addition of Rich Mumford of MALEDICTION on bass making a very impressive team which apparently lives up to the expectations. The 4 songs of the EP (actually 3 as the last one is an outro) have a doom character which is more epic and heroic and less sad and melancholic thus making the EP also accessible to traditional heavy metal fans.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Greystone Canyon - While the Wheels Still Turn

Australians Greystone Canyon play an interesting hybrid of hard rock, stoner and heavy metal. Imagine Megadeth mixed with Black Label Society, Alter Bridge and Pantera. The riffs and solos are amazing being combined with the melodies of the songs and an overall endless groove. Their album is devoted to the love for old western cowboy films and the images that these films conjure, the vast plains, endless horizons and the freedom of the Wild West and I have to say that this is an album which in its 34 minutes manages to sound fresh even though it is basically a mixture of traditional elements. This is an achievement that needs to be rewarded.

Album Rating : 8,5 out of 10

Alteri - Miseria

German (from Kologne) Darkened Crust core with a lot of metal influences (you can hear Black Metal, Swedish Death Metal riffs and sometimes even Doom Metal) in the vein of bands like Iskra or Stheno. Possibly traditional crust fans will find them too metal for their taste however Miseria (Misery in Greek) is one of the most solid crustcore albums that I have listened to recently.

Album Rating : 9 out of 10

Angerot - The Splendid Iniquity

An album recorded with Eddie G at Underground Studios and mixed by Tomas Skogsberg (Entombed, Dismember, Carnage, Grave, At the Gates) at the famous Sunlight Studios, featuring guest appearances by some of the greatest names in Death Metal like LG Petrov (Entombed, Entombed AD, Firespawn), James Murphy (Death, Cancer, Disincarnate, Obituary, Testament ) for sure is not an album that is going to sound like progressive rock. The question is whether is any good as a standalone release and not only as a record for the ones who miss the glorious 90’s days of Swedish Death metal scene. Well the answer is definitely YES for an album that whatever lacks in originality it offers in pure quality and fun.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Disacusia - Tripalium

Disacusia means Discussion in Italian but the grindcore played in Tripalium sounds more like a war cry. Harsh vocals, fast drumming, no blast beats, smart but not heavy metal riffs in an release that takes no prisoners.

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10