Album Reviews



Review of Born In June’s Debut, “Ill Gotten Gains”

Born In June is:

Bryan Rock – Drums
Cayse Ramirez – Guitar
Gene Ramirez – Guitar
Harvey Hampton – Vocals
Nick Terrell – Bass Guitar

Born In June grabbed my attention during the Death Angel show that I covered a couple of months back (Show Review) at the 1904 Music Hall here in Jacksonville. This was the third live show that the band had played since their commencement as an official band. As stated in the show review, I was blown away by their poised stage presence and crisp playing abilities. Very impressive for a group that had only been playing together for a little over six months. Since then, the band has played many shows in and around Jacksonville with a variety of other talented locals and released their debut EP entitled Ill Gotten Gains that was independently released on January 25, 2017. As promised, here are my impressions of this up and coming band’s first release…

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Review: EX DEO – ‘The Immortal Wars’

After what has seemed like forever, Canadian death metal band Ex Deo has returned to bless us with their third full length release, ‘The Immortal Wars’. After releasing ‘Caligvla’ in 2012 with a bit of touring, the band decided it was time for a break in 2014. It was soon being reported that the return of the band was unlikely. Lead singer Maurizio Iacono, Jean-Francois Dagenais, Oli Beaudoin, and Stéphane Barbe went back to their main project in Kataklysm. Also featured in the band is Jonathan Leduc on the keyboards and François Mongrain on the bass guitar. Only a year later in 2015, the band announced that they were to begin work on their follow up. In January of 2016, it was revealed that the band’s next release would be titled ‘The Immortal Wars’. It has been a long road since then, but the time has finally come. On February 24th, 2017, Ex Deo will be releasing the album on Napalm Records. It was produced and mixed by Jens Bogren in Sweden. The Roman themed heavy metal band is prepared to unleash hell. You can preorder the new album here. Continue reading

Review Of Martyrs Asylum Incredible Debut: “Grudge Against The World”

Martyrs Asylum is:

Sid Stratton – Lead Vocals/Bass
Crow X – Lead Guitarist/Backing Vocals
Bones – Rhythm Guitar
Judge – Drums

 

Martyrs Asylum is a Hard Rock/Metal outfit out of Orlando, FL that has been around since 2014. I have been listening to this talented group for a couple of years now after having them referred to me by Bobby Keller (guitarist for much loved Meka Nism) when looking for more local music to support. I was finally able to see their live show a couple of months ago at The Haven in Orlando with a wide variety of other Central Florida Metal bands and found myself absolutely enthralled by their incredible music and in-your-damned-face charisma and energy. This band reminds me of Stadium Rock bands from the 70s and 80s; larger than life on stage while remaining completely personable and engaging with whoever surrounds them off stage. Martyrs Asylum is definitely a live band first.

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Review: COLD SUMMER – ‘Fight To Survive’ [Album Stream]

Cold Summer are an energetic post-hardcore 4-piece from Wakefield / Leeds. They have referenced their sound as experimental melodic rock with a twist. But the definition of an experiment is “a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery.” Cold Summer is no longer experimenting, they have proven their sound and are moving forward with their unique style. Fans are discovering the band by the dozens and building up a huge fan base. The band formed in 2011 and for the most part have flown under the radar in the metal world. 2012 saw the release of two EP’s by the band. ‘Transitions’ and ‘Wake’ and their ‘Self Titled’ album dropped in July 2013. Cold Summer brings the best parts of their punk and hardcore influences to the table. The band has a strong DIY approach to both their music and touring. The bands relentless show and recording output, also shows their fierce work ethic. These contributing factors has resulted in a large and growing fan base across the North Of England,as a result of playing shows alongside well respected yet diverse bands such as: Funeral For A Friend, Polar, He Is Legend, Self Defense Family, Lemuria, Milk Teeth, Brawlers, Grieved, and Employed To Serve. Cold Summer have released their follow up EP ‘Fight To Survive’ with producer Mike Bennett (Empires Fade, The Eyes Of A Traitor, The Ocean Between Us). The EP hit shelves on April 1st, 2016. Continue reading

Review of Krystos’ Brutally Heavy “Lolth Domain”

Krystos is:

Billy Thornock – Lead vocals/lead guitaris

Dan Johnston – Backing Vocals/lead guitar

Adam Brimhall – Drums

Nick Lugo – Backing vocals/bass

 

So we return to Boise, ID from last month’s State of the Art series. After highlighting the killer band, Krystos (SOTA), I was allowed a pre-release listen to their upcoming release of “Lolth Domain”, due out February 15, 2017 and was not to be disappointed. With underpinnings in old-school Thrash, European Power Metal and a raw, visceral tone not often found in Modern Metal, there is nothing this band does that is not done to absolute perfection and this album is further proof that Krystos has finally distilled their desired sound on this album and has what it takes to stand out among contemporary bands, no matter where they may hail from around the world.

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Album Review: Battle Beast – ‘Bringer Of Pain’

Battle Beast is a band from Helsinki, Finland. Their sound is often described as Heavy or Power metal and they have been a band since 2008. Their new album entitled ‘Bringer Of Pain’ will be released via Nuclear Blast Records on February 17th 2017. On with the review….

This entire album is like an epic journey. From start to finish you feel like you’re conquering foes or slaying dragons or just in a crowd of people chanting about your victories. It’s an interesting album through and through. Extremely high energy and songs that have you belting out at the top of your lungs singing along. This is easily the bands most outstanding accomplishment up until this point. The only issue now being, the bar they have set is incredibly high and with with this bands track record I don’t think they will have an issue next time around.

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Album Review: Final Drive – ‘Dig Deeper’ [Album Stream]

Final Drive is a St. Louis based thrash metal band. Their new album was released on February 3rd 2017 and was produced by Charlie Bellmore (Jasta, Kingdom of Sorrow) mixed by Nicky Bellmore (Dexter’s Lab Studio, Toxic Holocaust) and mastered by Zeuss  (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed).  ‘Dig Deeper’ is the follow up to the bands 2011 release ‘Lifes Work’ (also a great record). Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s get this review started! Continue reading

Review: Darkening – ‘In Exile United’ [Stream]

Darkening was formed in 2004 by guitarist Oscar Pita in Havana City, Cuba. That same year the band released their first EP ‘When The Soul’ and played numerous venues around the island of Cuba. Oscar in 2008 moved to the U.S. and the band was on a hiatus for a period of 7 years before he started to reform the band on American soil. He was able to reform the band with several other Cuban musicians in the bands new hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Over 1,000 miles from where the band originated it was rebuilt. They began to write music and it was somewhat different than the previous material, but it stayed true to the bands brutally heavy roots. The band recently finalized their sophomore release ‘In Exile United’ and it released on December 9, 2016. The album was produced by Artifex Pereo guitarist Jordan Haynes (We Were Giants, Greyhaven, Intent To Kill) at Earlygrayce Studios in Louisville, Kentucky. The band also recently recorded a music video for the track “Time” from the EP. The video was filmed and directed by YoYo Lopez, and is expected to release in March, in the meantime you can see a small clip of the video below.

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Review: KARABAS BARABAS – ‘Return Of The Sexy Demon’ [Song Stream]

 


Today we step into the weird, wacky world of Karabas Barabas. The band has managed to create something unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. The alt rock trio combines elements of alternative, psychedelic, and punk rock to make for some epic driving music. ‘Return of the Sexy Demon’ was released last year on December 22nd, 2016 independently. It was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Neurosis, Helmet, Zao) and mastered by Bob Weston (Sebadoh, June of 44, Polvo). This band from Brooklyn, New York will take you on a strange, trippy journey throughout the 28 minute period of the record. Just sit back and take it all in. Check out their live performance of “Casino Tears” below and see what they had to say about it: “While the Sexy Demon ran amok, the angels whispered in our ear “Let it thunder let it rain, let the buffalo remain”. So we visited the people of standing rock, where we met a great chief, who was 133 years old. He told us his tale, and in turn we wrote “Casino Tears”. Now is the time to stand with the indigenous people of the world, because the demon is out for blood and revenge.” – Karabas Barabas Continue reading