John Frum - A Stirring in the Noos
Taking their name from a cult movement figure, this supergroup consisting of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Liam Wilson, former The Faceless frontman Dereky Rydquist, Knife the Glitter’s Eli Litwin, and Matt Hollenberg from John Zorn band, has released its first album named A Stirring in the Noos on Relapse. With such names in, the expectations had been set quite high however the album, without not being bad at all, lacks the elements and the consistency that would mark it as truly innovative (at least to the level that was expected). If slow Death metal with psychedelic elements is your cup of tea, then you will adore this record. The rest of us, who had expected something more, will have to wait till the next album.
Sorrow Plagues - Homecoming
Second album from British band Sorrow Plagues in which they convincingly present their recipe for Post Black Metal. 6 songs, with durations ranging between 7 and 10 minutes, in which Sorrow Plagues incorporate many progressive elements (as an example, listen to the jazz parts in Irreversible or the saxophone usage in self-titled song Homecoming), atmospheric - shoe gaze guitar melodies and Black metal vocals. The compositions have good development and smooth flow, something really important in keeping the listener’s attention (given the long durations of the tunes). Recommended.
Longhouse - II: Vanishing
Ottawa’s Longhouse second album II: Vanishing left me divided. Although it starts with the stunning Hunter’s Moon, a Doom masterpiece in which the magnificent background melodies create a cinematic atmosphere, unfortunately the continuation is not as great. Typical sludge riffs and generic doom compositions which do not manage to offer anything new or groundbreaking. Things partially change in song number four, No Name, No Marker and this mainly due to the guitar melodies, however this does not manage to send away the feeling of “It could have been done better” which stays with the listener till the end…
Deathwhite - For a Black Tomorrow
This is really a beautiful album. Blending dark, atmospheric and progressive metal with wonderful melodies which are enhanced by some magnificent vocals, For a Black Tomorrow may not be the happiest piece of music that you can listen to, however the feeling of fulfilment that it provides to the listener is immense.
All Else Fails - The Forever Lie
All Else Fails prove that you can play a long-time outdated music style (metalcore) without sounding boring. Aggressive riffs, mixed with catchy melodies, wonderful vocal lines and an underlying sense of melancholy are the elements that make records like The Forever Lie, still sound relevant. Too bad that this is only an E.P.
Epi-Demic - Malformed Conscience
Epi-Demic play a kind of crossover thrash which reminds Thrash Zone era D.R.I. (meaning that the metal elements prevail over the hardcore/punk ones) however all similarities end there. Unfortunately, the compositions in Malformed Conscience are too generic and typical in their structure, containing fast but unmemorable riffs and boring breakdowns. A hand full of songs manage to stand out (like Ruthless Ambition, Losing time or Sons of Dogs) however the overall result is mediocre.
Slagduster - Deadweight
To begin with, I have to say is that I really liked Slagduster. I loved the insanely technical progressive metal that they deliver in Deadweight. I adored their doubtless musicianship skills, however there are a couple of things that put me off from considering this as a perfect record. One thing, are the vocals which I personally think that do not match to their music. Second thing, and most important in my opinion, is the overall riff and rhythm “verbalism” that is apparent during the whole album. As already said, Slagduster are greatly skilled musicians but this results in an incomprehensible effort to prove it by trying to squeeze any single possible idea inside their compositions. With Deadweight being their second album, I honestly wish that in their next, third (and usually crucial) effort they will manage to tame this weakness and transform form into substance.
Bury the Machines - Wicked Covenant
Bury the Machines is a one-man band consisting of John E. Bomher, Jr. (I KLATUS, ex-YAKUZA) and Wicked Covenant E.P.is his 5th release, set to be released in June of this year. Following the D.I.Y. ethos, Bomher has written and recorded all his material alone and even though that what you will listen has been generated using a laptop, the final result manages to avoid sounding pre-fabricated or “fake”. Wicked Covenant contains 3 tracks (overall 28 minutes) of dark, depressive, pessimistic and hypnotising Doom placing itself as a serious contestant for this year’s best album lists.