Album Reviews



Album Review: ‘S/T’ – ABDUCTED

‘Self titled’ – ABDUCTED

What is up boys and girls and everyone on the gender spectrum? I hope the fall is treating you good. But if not, let me take care of that. And I shall do that today by throwing your way some bone crushing and ear shattering death metal from up north, Fairbanks, Alaska. Today, we bring to you the debut, full length record by ABDUCTED. There is some real deep connection with the icy cold north and death metal, isn’t it? Be it Swedish death metal, melodic death metal from Finland or the notorious first wave of black metal from Norway, an offshoot born out of death metal itself. No matter where they all fall on the wide array of the dissonant side of metal, they are exclusively special to itself and can kick abundant posers off the deck any day. And that is exactly what ABDUCTED successfully does on their debut offering, that is, mercilessly annihilate your petty ear drums. Let’s not beat around the bush and dissect this wonderful album.

Right off the hook, the band throws at you a massive, heavy and head-banging breakdown riff. Something in the range of slow tempo, that is perfect for building up the adrenaline as a prelude to the next songs. It is an absolute banger, it gets your feet stomping, and neck swaying in unison. Although, groovy, chugging or breakdowns get flak sometimes, they do get your head banging. I would say ABDUCTED perfectly nails the kick-off to this album. It sets the mood for a perfect incoming onslaught.

Second song titled, ‘Aberration‘ makes no excuses, no time for bull shitting around, and it just goes ‘BAM’! It’s like a charged up bull unleashed from its barn satiating its soaring adrenaline levels. You can immediately hear those double bass kicks going in hard, complimented by the hard crashing cymbals and not to mention the savory and grinding riff. Apart from the band’s vocalist doing a tremendous job on this one, we have our own homeboy Tyler Byrum laying down some sick, thick and morbid growls featuring as the first guest vocalist on the album. And he has done a great job filling that guest vocals spot, I think he has melded his vocals pretty well into the song. At about 2:54, everything just comes to a standstill for a second, and you know there’s something wicked the band had been brewing up for this next groove fest. And oh boy, what a juicy riff! You know I have a penchant for them grooves, the huge chuggs and breakdowns. And its not even halfway into the second song and ABDUCTED throws in my favorite gnarly, nasty and filthiest riff on the album. Drop tuned earth shattering guitars, that crash cymbal, coupled with the double bass and hard snare, each woven perfectly into each other, with the perfect timing results in a mouth watering section, that I would call my favourite in the album. The track then progresses into a frenzy fiesta and then fades into this another fist pumping breakdown.

There’s one really good trait that this album holds is that it is a very well balanced concoction of groove along the modern metal lines, some fierce and fast paced riffing as seen in songs like ‘Kerrigan‘, ‘Deadite‘ and ‘The Twin Princes‘ to name a few. A few guitar solos are also thrown in songs like ‘Indoctrination‘. The riff transitions in the album are also very well curated, they are swift, crisp and they all fit into the song perfectly, without any part in the song left out feeling like it doesn’t belong in the puzzle. And that, is what makes this album interesting. I believe more often that not, what modern/deathcore/djent bands end up doing is fail to meticulously cook the perfect broth. It is either too much of riff based chugs, or too much of just palm muted djent, or just enough of groove, and that’s what makes me yawn by the end of the album. Art in whatever form, I feel, should be well balanced, just like a diet. Like, I don’t wanna feed my ears 40 minutes of palm muted riffs, you know what I am saying.

ABDUCTED features some very thick growls, spawned directly from the crypts of hell. And as stated before, the vocalist manages to balance it out. Its not always the thick and dense growls but also the high pitched borderline screeching as well. Major props to second guest on vocals featured in ‘The Twin Princes‘, as he manages to not sway so much in vocal range and depth of his growls in the album from the band’s vocalist, so as to feel that the song doesn’t belong in the album. I must add that the vocals in the album fit perfectly in terms of the depth and heaviness when it comes to complimenting the riffing. I believe this is something very important in death metal. If your vocals sound like you’re just into puberty but your guitars are monstrous, then I might as well go ahead and just say that is pretty much bollocks.

The drumming in the album has been intense as well. The meandering nature of the drums from groove, to machine gun double bass to the cymbal work have been immaculate. The snare sound is just absolute favorite for my ears and to my liking. It’s crisp and hits hard. All in all, the band manages to tweak every aspect of their sound in this album to perfection. The guitars, vocals, drums and bass all match each other in terms of how much they compliment each other. Each ingredient has been perfectly engineered in the desired ratio to produce this beast of a debut record.

Stream the album down below. And if you like them enough, support them by giving yourself some really cool death metal on their bandcamp page and merch store.

Review: YALDABAOTH ‘That Which Whets the Saccharine Palate’ [Album Stream]

Alaska, The Last Frontier. Home to savage elements and captivating landscapes, but also home to a bleak Black Metal Underground, and by underground I mean you basically need to venture out into the tundra with a shovel to find some of these bands. Thankfully Alaska is also the place I call home so I’m here to shed some light on an otherwise dark and unseen niche. Continue reading

Review: BURY TOMORROW – Cannibal [Album Stream]

Bury Tomorrow‘s 2018 album ‘Black Flame’ was phenomenal. It was the band’s third consecutive UK Top 40 album.  The band hail from the UK and are comprised of Dani Winter-Bates on vocals, Jason Cameron on vocals/rhythm guitar, Kristan Dawson on lead guitar, backing vocals, Davyd Winter-Bates on bass and Adam Jackson on drums.

They are a fearsome mix of brutal Death Metal with a huge mixer of melodic vignettes.  They are very technical, but never forget that hooks need to be applied also.

Continue reading

Review: DELANEY – A Small Remaining Quantity of Something [Album Stream]

Delaney is a four-piece pop rock/alternative rock band hailing from southern NH. They were my choice for the last NH State of the Art and I have continued to follow their fortunes closely since then.

Their music is a cathedral of the caustic, combined with the sweet dew of self-awareness. Consisting of members Matt (lead vocals/guitar/piano), Kurt (drums), Andy (bass/backing vocals) and Derek (guitar), Delaney draws much of their influences from early 2000’s rock/emo bands such as The Dangerous Summer, Jack’s Mannequin and Jimmy Eat World.

The band spent their first year and a half building a following across NH and MA until releasing their debut EP ‘Kites Without String’ in May of 2018. Since then, the band have continued to play across the northern New England area and is scheduled to release their second E.P. ‘A Small Remaining Quantity of Something’ on June 26, 2020.

This release is a cathartic release from the current turmoil in the world.  It chases away the blues with its insistent drive to uplift with crunchy guitars and lush keyboards.  The opener “The Ghost of Better Times” is a positive call to bring back normality to the world.  The drum sound is full and direct and Matt’s vocals are strong and melodic.  Yes, this is no Death Metal fare, but it rocks and uplifts in a potent mix.

Busy Hands” has chiming guitar and a laid back vibe that ushers in the long summer nights.  You can imagine a warm evening playing this song on your porch and looking at the glistening stars.  It is a song about reflection and soul searching, which is something I can identify with.

Thief” swims in on a lead piano and guitar mix.  The background vocals on this lend themselves to serious grooving.  The guitars hit with emo intent and the song documents personal struggles.  The guitar solo on this song is subtle, but strong.

The E.P. continues the high quality with the dampened chords of “Disease – Deliverance.”  This song seems so poignant at the moment, celebrating lives that have passed.  The cloud of COVID-19 seems to haunt the lines.  Of course, I am not sure it does mean this, but it seems to refer to this pandemic.

Broken” is the main rocker on the release, with its urgent fuzz guitar and faster tempo.  It is a shot of adrenaline and a great song.  The chorus is killer and the vocals again deliver with the energy of the tune.

The release is rounded out by the single “Do You Want To Be Afraid” which is catchy and full of emotion.  “Can’t seem to shake these inhibitions” – you and me brother!  Completely sold on this composition, with its heart-held exposition.

What can I say?  Legendary stuff from a band who just seem to get better and better!  Check them out as soon as possible!

 

 

Review: SPACE CADAVER – ‘Void Moon’ [Album Stream]

This New Orleans band are fantastic cinematic metal with a sludgy panoramic sound that blasts and bewilders in equal measure.  Lead by the ever thoughtful John Baleine (guitars/vox), ‘Void Moon’ is their second release, following their self-titled debut.

There are four songs completing with release and they are weighty tomes for these dark times. “Beginning of the End” is an eight minute opener which reaches many different valleys and plains with its doom focused arrangements.

The release takes off into further spheres with the beautiful lush instrumental “Another Family“. It creeps in and swells with wonderful arrangements. This is a real tearjerker as you can imagine it being the soundtrack to a modern day Western.

Void Moon” casts a sci-fi vision and stalks from the speakers after the quiet entry. The middle section is a spoken word part about religion, which then moves into a fusion of static.

Evil of Man” finishes the record with deliberate dissonance and a brutal bookend about a plague being unleashed – very topical for these troubled times. “Killer of spirit, killer of spirit!  Lies the memory of the life never known!” Not easy listening, but a headfirst dive into the horror of the present.  The song is hypnotic and starts to unnerve with its extreme soundscape.  There is never an easy ask for real art and this song is art in action.

Space Cadaver are a band unafraid to experiment and make you unsettled by their beauty and brute force. Don’t enter without a safety hat of wonder!  They are a band that take your preconceived ideas and make them turn on their head.  They have a sound that is hard to define, but they don’t make music for the masses and are focused on their art alone.  A refreshing change of pace from the norm.

 

Review: BURY TOMORROW – ‘Cannibal’ [Official Music Videos]

As if ‘Black Flame’ wasn’t already enough Bury Tomorrow has decided to take it to the next level. Besides creating top notch music they have a very specific goal this time, to get people talking about mental health and to remove the stigma once and for all! So with that in mind let’s dive right into ‘Cannibal’!

Continue reading

ERIC SARTANA – Dark Days [Album Stream]

Montana’s premier Doom musical maverick Eric Sartana has produced a new E.P. which rattles the windows of your soul with ‘Dark Days’.  This three track collection continues his fine work with Throne of Malediction and the path of independently produced excellence.

Eric has a unique vision rested somewhere between Doom and Thrash. He walks the lonely highway of non-commercial excellence where the depression and oppression of everyday life stalks each of us.  His vision is to make music with real substance and thoughtfulness.  He is an auteur and a rationalist in these days of reactive nihilism.

Continue reading

Review: POLARIS – ‘The Death Of Me’ [Official Music Videos]

Polaris is back and ready to unleash their second album called ‘The Death Of Me’ via Sharptone Records tomorrow and it is straight fire! Releasing an album as good or even better than ‘The Mortal Coil’ seemed impossible but they have done it with ease and I am here to prove it!

Continue reading

Review: TOMBS – ‘Monarchy Of Shadows’ [Tracks Streaming]

New York experimental black metal band Tombs grabbed my attention two years ago when I got their sophomore album ‘Path Of Totality’ in a Relapse Records blind bag deal. Tombs formed in 2007 with founding member and frontman Mike Hill. My expectations are high for ‘Monarchy Of Shadows’ as it follows their great 2017 record ‘The Grand Annihilation.’ On top of their last record they have the weight of ‘Path Of Totality’ on their shoulders, which won Decibel Magazine’s 2011 Album of the Year award. Consisting of Mike Hill, Justin Spaeth, Drew Murphy, and Matt Medieiros, Tombs rip their way into a new decade with some of their best songs in their entire discography on this EP ‘Monarchy Of Shadows’ which releases on February 28, 2020 via Seasons Of The Mist. Continue reading