December 2017, New Releases Review

The final review post for 2017 contains (mostly) excellent albums…what an appropriate way to finish the year!

Peace is Just a Break - Little Boy (2017)

Peace is Just a Break come from Switzerland and they offer us the privilege to obtain their latest album Little Boy for free. I write privilege, because their Melodic Death Metal passes the test and can be equally positioned in the elite of the genre next to bands like Arch Enemy (minus the female vocals) and In Flames. Fans of the genre will find in this release everything that they can possibly look for : great riffs, nice melodies, beatdowns all together supported by a solid production. Add to the previous, a very interesting cover of french rapper Maître Gims and the final assessment is almost triumphant!

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Invertia - The Crimson Screen Vol.1

The Crimson Screen Vo. 1 is the first in a series of EPs by New England Industrial Metal Duo INVERTIA which will be thematically based on the early days of horror films. Casual Industrial listeners should not expect the slow and agonising approach of bands like Godflesh here. The industrial of Invertia is fast, heavy and relentless often crossing the boundaries to the Death metal side, thus (personally) reminding bands like The Berzerker. The Crimson Screen Vol. 1 in its nightmarish 14 minutes, succeeds to revive the authenticity and vulgarity of the early horror films.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Kremlin - Decimation of the Elites

When it comes to music genres like Death Metal I am often binary. To explain myself, I prefer the old school sound (mainly the Swedish one) where the guitars do not sound like coming from the soundtrack of Pacman and the drums are not ridiculously triggered. Thankfully, Kremlin belong to the “good side” (sic) remaining old school enough in order to bring to mind legendary bands like Obituary and Pestilence. This is the Death Metal I grew up with, therefore :

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Centuries of Decay - S/T

Melodic post progressive, which succeeds to transform the diversity of its influences (Gojira, Isis, Fall of Efrafa) into a flawless pluralism. I have written numerous times that one of the key factors in being/becoming a good progressive band for me, is to be able to tame your influences and skills and deliver memorable compositions instead of needless virtuosities. Centuries if Decay obviously carry this virtue.

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Vvon Dogma I - Communion EP

Bassist Frederick Filiatrault from the now defunct band Unexpect, returns with his new project named Vvon Dogma I releasing the Communion EP which contains 4 tracks that are experimenting with elements of prog, djent, funk, and electronic sampling. Even though Communion is not as avant-garde as the press release states, the songs in it contain nice ideas and what (at least for me) is important is that Filiatrault really attempts to expand his creativity and deliver something artistically different.

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Vehement - Ashes

Vehement play modern Black/Death Metal, in the steps of of bands like Rotting Christ and Satyricon. Ashes album is dark and melancholic, containing great riffs, excellent melodies in its (mostly) long compositions. It is obvious that Vehement have worked well their tunes managing to successfully combine the aggressiveness of their extreme metal with Opeth-style progressive melodies. There are bands who are innovative inventing and bringing a new formula in music and there are bands who take an existing one and perfect it. Vehement, without it being necessarily bad, belong to the second category.

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Planet Eater - Blackness from the Stars

Canadians Planet Eater play a groove metal in the vein of modern Sepultura with some small djent and progressive elements. Even though Blackness from the Stars is not really groundbreaking, is by far much more interesting than everything Sepultura or Cavalera brothers have recorded in the last 10 years.

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

The Great Russian Empire - Low Ends

This for sure does not classify under metal. The lack of guitars in Low Ends and the darkness of the compositions, create a cold feeling similar to being in a vast Siberian steppe. Combining influences from Joy Division to Sonic Youth, The Great Russian Empire create and deliver an album where “distance”and “isolation” are some of the sentiments that the viewer acquires upon listening to it. Even though its diverse influences are not fully and adequately digested, Low Ends maintains a unique character and personality.

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Mordbrand - Wilt

Summarising in one sentence, textbook Swedish Death metal with no surprising elements which manages to maintain a high quality during the whole album is what Mordbrand deliver in Wilt. There are also some slow Black metal moments present (like in the opening song Bleed Into Nought) where imho Mordbrand sound more interesting.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Monolith Cult - Gospel of Despair

Interesting case…UK band which plays epic Doom metal and manages to sound modern but remain traditional and faithful to the true side of metal at the same moment. To get an idea of what I mean, the opening song carries influences from Mastodon and the closing one from Candlemass. It needs a lot of skills to manage this without ending up sounding ridiculous and Monolith Cult for sure do not fall in such trap.

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10