Thursday, January 18, 2018

Anatomia/Carnal Obsession/Nuclear War Now! Productions/2017 Album Review


  Anatomia  are  a  band  from  Japan  that  plays  an  old  school  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Carnal  Obsession"  which  was  released  by  Nuclear  War  Now!  Productions.

  A  horror  movie  soundtrack  orientated sound  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  fast  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  while the  vocals  are  mostly  guttural  death  metal  growls  along  with  the  music  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  and  grim  screams  are  also  used  at  times. 

  Keyboards  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  at  times  while  the  slower  riffing  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  doom  metal  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  also  bringing  in  a  great mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  clean  guitars  also  being  used  briefly  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Anatomia  plays  a  style  of  doom/death  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  while  also  capturing  the  atmosphere  of  a  horror  movie,  the  productions  sounds  very  dark  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  gore,  corpses  and  cannibalism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Anatomia  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Necrotic  Incision"  "Morbid  Hallucination"  and  "Abysmal  Decay".  8  out  of  10.

 

  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Schwarzer Engel/Kult Der Krahe/Mssacre Records/2018 CD Review


  Gerany's  Schwarzer  Engel  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  their symphonic  mixture  of  dark  and  goth  metal  and  this  is a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Kult  Der  Krahe"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Massacre  Records.

  A  very  symphonic  goth  rock  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  air  raid  sirens  as  well  a s mixing  in  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  a  clean  style  along  with  a  few screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  A  great  amount  of  dark  metal  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  along  with  a  small  amount  of  black  metal  elements  as  the  album  progresses  as  well  as  the  guitar  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction.

  Schwarzer  Engel  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to t heir  symphonic  mixture  of  goth  and  dark  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  cover  emotions,  suicide,  apocalypse,  nature  and  gothic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Schwarzer  Engel  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Krahen  an  die  Macht"  "Sinnflut"  "Meerflucht"  and  "Unheil".  8  out  of  10.

 

  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Empress/Reminiscence/2018 EP Review


 Empress  are  a  band  from  Vancouver  B.C,  Canada  that  plays  a  mixture  of  stoner  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  ep  "Reminiscence"  which  will  be  released  in  February.

  Field  recordings  start  off  the  ep  before  adding  heavier  riffing  into  the  music  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals are  a  mixture  of  screams  and  growls  as  well  as  the  music  bringing  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge and  doom  metal. 

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  groove  and  melody  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  distorted  fashion  as  well  as  adding  in  more  retro  and  stoner  rock  elements  into  the  later  tracks,  clean  singing  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  while some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  psychedelic  and  progressive  rock  elements  and  as  the  album  progresses  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard  on  a  couple  of  later  tracks  and  they  close  the  album  with  an  instrumental.

  Empress  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  stoner and  sludge  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Empress  are  a  very  great sounding  mixture  of  stoner  and  sludge  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Offering"  and  "They  Speak  Like  Trees".  8  out  of  10.




  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Coffin Torture/Dismal Planet/Sludgelord Records/2018 CD Review


  Coffin  Torture  are  a  duo  from  Westminster,  South  Carolina  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Dismal  Planet"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Sludgelord  Records.

  Distorted  drones  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  doom  metal  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  sludge  style  screams  and  most  of  the tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in length.

  Growls  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  groove and  melody  along  with  a  brief  use  of  atmospheric  synths  being  utilized  in  the  background  which  shows  the  heavy  riffing  being  more  powerful  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  elements  of  crust  and  d  beat  can  also  be  heard.

  Coffin  Torture  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  heavies  t  forms  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  space,  animals  and  abstract  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Coffin  Torture  are  a  very  great sounding  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you should  check  out  this  duo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Bull  Of  Minos"  "Gustave"  and  "Trench  Hog".  8  out  of  10. 

  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Shadowpath Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

- We’re a metal band from Switzerland that plays a mixture of different styles, mainly using symphonic, melodic death and progressive elements (see also question 2.). Our line-up underwent a few changes over the past years, mainly due to the circumstances many younger adults experience in this phase of life – jobs change, families grow, plans change. So back from the original founding days, there are today still Samuel Baumann (drums), Amos Zürcher (bass guitar) and me (keyboards, growl and backing vocals) remaining; the guitars are played by Stefano Riario and Gisselle Rousseau is the lead singer. We all come from different musical backgrounds and none of us does Shadowpath fulltime; but we put all our passion, our energy and a lot of time in it!



2. Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

- It seems to be difficult (for me too, to be honest) to put our music into a specific genre, that’s why in reviews the album has been labeled all from “Symphonic Rock” to “Death Metal” by the different writers.  J  And honestly: we don’t think too much about the genre, since the songs I write come right from the heart and reflect themselves all the various musical styles that I love. In the recording and producing process we aimed to achieve a tight, very atmospheric and multiverse sound, balancing the dichotomy of bright light and darkness, always staying interesting throughout the whole record, never repeating itself. We also wanted to use a lot of keyboard elements while still giving the heavy guitars all the room they deserve. To our belief, “Rumours of a Coming Dawn” is an album, that reveals its full strength only when listened to it several times, unmasking more and more details in its structure with every repetition.



3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

- “Rumours of a Coming Dawn” is basically a story consisting of 8 chapters; I wouldn’t go as far as to name it a very consistent concept album, but the songs follow a string of events. Some of the tracks have an autobiographic aspect (e.g. Deny me, or Beta), but most of them tell metaphors about life in general. We’d like to leave it to the imagination of the listeners to explore, what images develop in their minds while listening to the songs. But in all the sometimes melancholic and gloomy lyrics, there is always a decisive element of hope, the spark in the night, the sunbeam brightening the cemetary on the albums cover, this “heavenly promise, that survives in our hands” as named in the final verse of Beta.



4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Shadowpath'?

- We chose a band name, that we felt transferred a strong emotional and instantly accessible image. Also we wanted to symbolize in it the different aspects of our musical style, from the lyrical and fragile parts all to the heavy death metal moments: a journey through a miraculous landscape, a wandering through the mists, a path through the shadows itself being a symbol of life, that connects places, moments in life, or people.



5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

- Literally every concert we played so far is valuable and a dear memory to us; every gig was different in a way and so was the audience. But if I had to choose a few, there is one show we did in a very small club in Zürich about two years ago (Neugasshof) – the crowd was amazing, the atmosphere perfect and even though the acoustic conditions were far from perfect, this was probably the most intense and rewarding concert we did so far.

If I had to describe our stage performance in general, I’d say very focused on the music, letting the songs develop their intensity, but still connecting with the listeners and always aiming to improve.



6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

- Yes, after a break of one year due to family time-outs we play live again starting february 10, 2017 with a show in Thun, a city close to our hometown Bern. After that we play the famous Met-Bar in Lenzburg (together with Deep Sun and Elyria), one show in Zürich and then different gigs in other parts of Switzerland.



7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

- There are some labels, that have approached us over the last year and offered us contracts to conditions, we unfortunately had to respectfully decline. I guess, experiences like this are part of the usual process, a band like us goes through. Of course we’re very much interested in a cooperation and would love to work with a fitting label.



8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic, progressive and extreme metal?

- Extremely positive! To be honest, we were just blown away by the dominating majority of the reviews, the comparisons some writers made and the grades they gave us. There were only very few feedbacks that criticized the album, mainly pointing out the sound of Gisselles voice, the missing clear genre-identity (one analyst calling us a “typical weird Swiss goth act” J) and the length of The Impossible Chain. We are really grateful for all feedbacks and we do appreciate so much all the time and expertise people choose to put into the serious analysis of our work! And of course we can’t wait to play the new material live on stage to the crowd!



9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

- Although you never know, where the journey will take you on a longer term, I have very clear ideas and am currently working on the songs for the next Shadowpath album. The writing and arrangement process will probably take until end of spring 2018, then we plan to head to the studio again later that year. Without telling too much, I can already say: it’s going to be a really special release, continuing right where “Rumours of a Coming Dawn” ends…– but different!



10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

- Oh, there are so many important ones… I think the most important influences for our music come from bands like Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, Dream Theater, Katatonia, Blackfield, or Nightwish. But there are countless more, that have inspired us in one way or the other – Rage is one, Lamb of God, Dire Straits, Grave Digger, but also non-metal acts like Faithless or even classical composers like the greatest of all time, Johann S. Bach.



11. What are some of your non musical interests?

- We’re all friends but very different personalities in the band and our non-musical interests vary widely. Sam (explosives expert) loves the wilderness and runs a small whiskey club. Stefano (engineer) is a huge science fiction-fan and gaming freak. Amos (web designer) does nature photography and hikes a lot in the alps, while Gisselle (linguist) promotes Chilean culture and loves to travel. Me (M.D.), I spend most of my free time with my wife and kids, do close-up magic whenever I can and cook vegetarian food for my friends.



12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

- Thankyou so much for the opportunity to speak about the band and your interest in Shadowpath. Hope to see you at a show one day! Stay metal!!



Monday, January 8, 2018

Ocean Of Grief Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

   We are a band that plays melodic doom/death metal and we are playing together for almost 4 years now. We have released an EP called “Fortress of My Dark Self”, “After a Long Time” as a single and our debut full length album “Nightfall’s Lament”. Our music is characterized mostly by melodies and aggression surrounded by atmospheric soundscapes.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?

   As it was mentioned above, we tend to create melodic music combined with aggressive and atmospheric parts. Atmosphere is a big part of our sound as it was one of the main things we were all fans of from the very beginning of the band.  From that point on, we tried to implement groovy rhythms and interesting clean passages in order to create songs that would engage the listener until the very end.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

  The lyrics are usually about depression, apathy and distress but not on every song. Some other topics have to do with internal battles on oneself, isolation etc.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ocean Of Grief'?

  We really liked the word “Ocean” and what it represents, so we would very much like to include it in our name. The word “grief” represents very well the emotion that most of our songs have, so it was a reasonable choice. It was one of our goals to have a name that depicts as best as possible the kind of music we play and the emotions it evokes.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

 Since we are a relatively new band, we have played only a handful of shows. The first live show we did, with Aetherian and Immensity, was definitely the best we had. It was the first time that we presented our music live and it was among bands with a similar sound, so it was a really special show for us. When we play live we really “feel” our music and we try to emit that to the audience.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

 Currently we have a booked show for the 25th of May with Decemberance (Greece) and Marche Funebre (Belgium). There are no touring plans at the moment but we want to play as many shows as possible in order to promote our new album, so it is possible to announce more shows soon.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom and death metal?

 Amazing! When we started working on our own material we didn't expect people to embrace our music that much. When we released "Fortress of My Dark Self" people from the other side of the earth started contacting and congratulating us, confessing some really beautiful things! But the best part is that they are still by our side, following and supporting us, helping us reach to more people! So this gives us a feeling of progress which is just invaluable!

8.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

 Aris Nikoleris (keyboards) plays the bass on Meden Agan who are about to release their new album as well. The rest of us don’t play in any other projects.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

 It is hard to tell but we want to evolve some elements of our music like our atmospheric parts, orchestrations etc, while still retaining our doom death roots.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

 When we started playing together, we were greatly influenced by bands like Slumber and Enshine that we still consider our favorites of this genre. Draconian, October Tide, Saturnus and generally most of the big doom death metal bands as well as some melodeath bands like Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium have shaped our musical taste too. However, we all like other stuff too like post rock/metal, progressive rock/metal, death metal and others.

11.What are some of your non-musical interests?

 TV series, video games and of course hanging out with friends are some of our interests but it varies from time to time and from member to member.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?


 I would like to thank each and every one of you out there who supports and helps us grow and get our music to as many people as possible! Thank you so much!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Twilight's Embrace/Penance/2018 EP Review


  Twilight's  Embrace  are  a  band  from  the  united  kingdom  that  plays a   mixture  of  goth, doom, and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  ep  "Penance"  which  will  be  released  in  February.

  Clean  guitars  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  heavy  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  an d black  metal  screams  can  also  be  hard  at  times.

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  clean  vocals  are  utilized  they  bring  elements  of  goth  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  all  of  the  songs  sticking  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction  and  they  close  the  ep  with a   cover  of  Paradise  Lost's  "Its  Too  Late".

  Twilight's  Embrace  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  goth,  doom  and  death  metal and  mixes  them  together to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self released  recording  while  the lyrics cover  longing,  loss  and  regret  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Twilight's  Embrace  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  goth,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dying  Earth"  and  "Penance".  8  out  of  10.