Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 2011 Reviews...

Dantesco "Seven Years of Battle" Stormspell Records. This is the follow up to the awesome "Pagano" album. More of the killer traditional Metal guitars with
a dark latin/doom edge. People like to call this band Doom I guess. I can't really blame them, as it is very Candlemassy at times. But it is also very
Maidenish - but people seem to not notice that. I guess if you rip off the riff to "2 Minutes to Midnight" or "The Trooper" it's "Maideny" but if you
rip of the riff to "Quest for Fire" or "Powerslave" it's Doom? Anyways, whatever the fuck you wanna call it, it kicks serious ass and stands along side
any traditional Metal outfit I am hearing come out of Europe today. But with a refreshing original edge. And I don't just mean the Spanish spoken operatic
vocals, I mean the music as well. From the epic compositions to the well placed melodies and solos. Lyrics do well to follow a Pagan theme and compliment
the latin folk vibe. One of the better bands around today in my humble opinion, and one of the few I have heard from Puerto Rico. If you know of any more
killer Metal bands from this area, feel free to let me know! shaxul@shaxulrecords.com

Panzerchrist "Regiment Ragnarok" Listenable Records. Danish Death Metal band's latest. I haven't actually listened to this band much that I can remember
so I come with fresh, unbiased ears! Very aggressive in the way of Cannibal Corpse "Corpsegrinder" era, but somewhat Melodic in the way of Morbid Angel or
maybe...uh...Morbid Angel. With a touch of Morbid Angel. Shit, the singer even sounds like Steve Tucker. The song "Metal Tribes" sounds like a pretty good
immitation of something from "Formulas Fatal to the Flesh." But a little more straight forward I guess. Not very original, but pretty solid all the way
through.

Pharoah "Ten Years" EP. Cruz Del Sur Music. Solid traditional Metal. Initially, the vocals are maybe just a little too ROb Halford to concentrate on
anything else. Music is the typical Euro Power Metal style, but perhaps a bit more on the guitar side and less on the "keyboard side." More on the
Speed Metal side of things. Jesus, this singer sounds almost exactly like Halford. It's really bugging me! Nice fancy duel leads and lots of melodic
lines to remind you "by the way, you are listening to traditional metal!" I thought "White Light" was gonna sound like "White Heat Red Hot" but boy was I
wrong! It sounds more like something from Halford's last solo album. Ok, so I wasn't THAT off. This is some very solid and professional Traditional
Metal with a few moments that stand out. But overall, just good drinking music for when I go to a show. But nothing I would take home with me. Singer is
wat too damned Halfordy as well. And I should add - NEWER Halford, not OLD Halford.

Anaal Nathrakh "Passion" New album out on Candlelight Records. Ok let's see...Brutal as fuck, but in a sort of late 90s Pantera sort of way. The drum machine
gives this an obvious industrial sounding edge and kind of dates it to the 90s. At times reminds me of that band Max Cavalera was in a while back -
kinda like a mix of Hardcore/grind and industrial as other reviewers have pointed out already. The guitar riffs are actually pretty good in parts.
Some interesting diversions between the hyper fast generic Black Industial Metal displays. And some of the vocals are annoying, while at other moments
they are actually pretty damned fucked sounding. This is not really my cup of tea, but for the style it is rooted in, not bad.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Demos Demos Demos...

Warhead "Twisted Metal" (CDR Demo)
Nice heavy production for a cheap looking demo. I think I got this in San Diego. Singer either has an accent I can't detect or is singing in a strange manner. He sounds kinda like the guy from EMF. That may sound like a criticism, but it's really just an unfortunate fact! Actually, I guess it is a criticism - the guy sounds all mellow and bored. Music is kinda mid paced and sounds like it's gonna go "Nu Metal" any second, but it never does which is good. This reminds me a Six Feet Under in a way. You know how Six Feet uUnder is always all mid tempo and you keep wondering why they don't speed up? Every time I see Six Feet Under they are great for like 60 seconds and then I get bored. Same deal here. But a less heavy Thrash version. Like the singer, the music is kinda half hearted and not exactly "vicious." If the riffs could talk they'd be saying "I'm kinda pissed off I guess. I'm not really sure." Not bad, I'm just not sure what this band's point is. To "kinda" thash? It's kind of funny actually. I'm almost laughing right now. myspace.com/hevvymetal

Motion to Sever (CDR Promo)
I think I got this in San Diego too. This is a trip, what am I hearing right now? It almost sounds like Traditional Metal but the singer is all Danziggy and it's really throwing a weird angle on things. Now he's getting all Phil Anselmoey. The music is mid paced. What is up with these bands playing like Peter Criss on the first Kiss album? Listening to this is like trying to sprint under water. Or some bad dream where you can't move your body. Speed the fuck up already! Second song has better riffs and is also called "Metal will Prevail." Dude this singer is hella Danziggy! What the fuck, this is a trip! I kinda like these guys, but they really got a wierd ass sound and it's messing with me. That's it, eject! www.reverbnation.com/motiontosever

Death's Eminence (CDR Demo)
I caught this band in San Diego. Some glam band opened the show, and then these guys came on (it was a strange line-up that night). They had no bass and they looked very young and green. 2nd guitarist was playing without a pick I think, which is usually the mark of a more unique band when it comes to fast shit. There was no denying after a few minutes, this band's got some killer music and they play the fuck out of their instruments! Reminded me of a cross between Athiest and Nocturnus. Fucked up ass riffs, crazy changes, hectic ass music. I approve. This recording is not bad for a demo and the playing is pretty raw, but personally I think it works in their favor here. For hardcore collectors of obscure Death bands - I would highly recommend this. reverbnation.com/deathseminence

Morbid Eclipse "Atomic Cult" (CDR Demo)
I think these guys are from L.A. The cover has some wierd upside down triangle symbol with a skull and an atom symbol in it. Not sure if these guys are going for the "occult" angle or the "Sci-Fi/Mysticism" angle. The music is stuck somewhere between Thrash and Black Metal. In a way it reminds me of really early Death Metal such as Slaughter, Massacre, or even something South American like early Sepultura or Pentagram. Not bad, just not a ton of originality and nothing really stands out. If this came out in 1987 people would be shelling out money for this demo today. But unfortunately it is 2011 and the time of proto death Metal has come and gone. Still, worth a listen if you are a fan of cult Black Death/Thrash. www.assaulterproductions.com