NorthWind Wolves is a black metal band originating from sunny Los Angeles, California with a sound that feels deceivingly like something conjured from the iciest, deepest regions of Scandinavia. Their aptly-titled, second full-length studio album ‘Dark… Cold… Grim…,’ released on Sweden-based, Black Lion Records in 2017, is precisely as advertised – dark, cold, and grim. What first draws you in to the record is the excellent cover artwork consisting of a mist-engulfed, moonlit, gothic castle which effectively serves to immerse you, as the listener, into this world. The musical style is symphonic or folkish at times, gritty and nasty others, but overall is firmly rooted in an old-school, melodic black metal sound. Continue reading →
April Rose – Vocals and Guitar Oscar Garcia – Drums DennisBurns – Guitar JusticeMaynard – Bass
AuditoryArmory is a female fronted AlternativeMetal band that manages to take the best of HardRock, Metal, ProgressiveRock and even some Jazz and cleanly distills them into a sound thatcan only be identified as theirs. This is the advantage of taking on music with wide, curious and wandering eyes instead of within the confines of what is and what should be for any certain genre/sub-genre of music and the die-hard fans that constantly in-fight these categorizations to death. This has always been a pet peeve. Categories should be used simply as a way of describing a sound to someone that has not heard of the band, not as some confining boundary of what music should sound like. Imagine, if you will, a musical landscape where Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Gershwin, Coltrane, WesMontgomery, MilesDavis, CharlieParker, TheBeatles, Elvis, Hendrix, Yes, Rush, MichaelHedges, PinkFloyd, EddieVanHalen, IronMaiden, JudusPriest, TheBig4, ChuckSchuldiner, Pantera, CannibalCorpse and Venom chose not to think outside of the box. Got it worked out? Not a pretty picture, huh? This is precisely the reason I actively search out and share bands that throw the whole “writing within a box” thing to the wind. AuditoryArmory is, obviously, one such band that fits the mold of not fitting in one.
After the late 2017 release of ‘Parasitic Devourment’ came out I was instantly hooked with the oh so brutal waves which Catatonic Profanation brings but after hearing his up and coming record ‘Euphoric Dismemberment’ I was totally stunned. Check out why!
You guys, I can’t even tell you how much I love finding these insanely good local-level bands. Today’s review is brought to you by System Slave‘s debut album “Beast In Me.” System Slave are an independent hard rock/alternative group out of St. Louis, Missouri. Their members are Stephen Harris on vocals, Mike Messex and Mitch Davis on guitars, Chuck Guzman on drums, and Steven Miller on bass. These guys started in January 2015 and have been building their fan-base and improving ever since. Continue reading →
Just as the year passes from 2017 into the dawn of 2018 it seems appropriate to look backwards and forwards at the same time in preparation for Part2 of TheCentauriConspiracies, due out in the early part of the year by one of Florida’s premiere and unique bands, Sunshine&Bullets. While the first album, TheCentauriConspiraciesPart1 – TheAwakening was released about a year ago, it deserves a review to get those that have not heard of this incredible band before caught up and jonesing for the new release.
The sludgsters Black Tundra formed in 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. Comprised of ex-Dopelord and Hidden Haze members, these fellows are by no means rookies in the world of metal. The band is made up of Dave and Tomek Sikora on guitars, Marcin Skarzyński on bass and vocals and Blond on drums. In January of 2017 the band got together and began to record what would eventually become the bands debut self titled album. The album was recorded, and mixed by Haldor Grunberg (Satanic Audio) at “Nebula Studio” and Mastered by Audiosiege.
Dinosaur Eyelids have been one of the most revered rock n roll bands in the New Jersey music scene since their formation in 2009. The bands goes about things in a true DIY way and have no released 5 albums. The advise that their musical influences range from Soundgarden to The Replacements to Ween. That is certainly a vast area of influence but so is this bands style and sound. It seems that about anything they set out to conquer they are able to do in stride. With around 100 shows under their belt Dinosaur Eyelids is not only refining their sound in the studio but on the stage as well. Their 2014 album ‘Bypass To Nowhere’ debuted at #1 on WRSU Rutgers Radio and their material has been played on 180 college radio stations across North America. They are like a mixture of Nirvana and Neil Young that creates heartbreaking love songs that sink you to lows and also life stories that uplift you. Dinosaur Eyelids is like the pendulum of life told through rock n roll.
When you think of “angry” music, what comes to mind? I have a few ideas – maybe some of mine are even the same as yours. Regardless of what you might be thinking “angry” music sounds like, this album will undoubtedly force you to rethink your definition. Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals – ‘Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue’ is, unquestionably, some angry fucking music.
Philip H. Anselmo is a name that might seem familiar – you can remove the “H” if it’s throwing you off. If you’re reading this review, you’re more than likely aware of a band called Down. You may even have heard of another band called Superjoint. You also might know that, in addition to fronting both of these great bands, Anselmo may very well be one of the most prolific names in metal today – as well as the most headlined recently. In between also being one of the most entertaining interviews in the biz, Phil has consistently been working on multiple side project bands including Arson Anthem, Christ Inversion, Southern Isolation, Viking Crown, Eibon, Scour, and En Minor; and running his own label, Housecore Records. On top of all this, his resume includes being the former lead singer of, arguably one of the most influential metal bands of all time – Pantera.
As a pioneer and elder statesman of all things heavy that he clearly is, what can one expect today from what is essentially a Phil Anselmo solo project with a backing band? The answer is tremendously pissed off extreme metal, with influences ranging from hardcore punk and multiple metal subgenres – or as Anselmo himself describes, “This is my contribution to ugly music right this second in a heavy metal vein.”
Following up their 2013 release, ‘Walk Through Exits Only’ the band recorded ‘Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue’ out of Anselmo’s Louisiana home studio between 2015 and 2016. The album is released by Philip’s own Housecore records and produced by Stephen “The Big Fella” Berrigan. The current lineup now consists of Stephen Taylor, transitioning from playing bass in Superjoint to guitar here; Mike DeLeon joining the band on guitar; Walter Howard on bass; and Jose Manuel “Blue” Gonzalez, also of Superjoint, on the drumkit.
Starting off the record is the standout track, “Little Fucking Heroes.” It comes in like a war machine with aggressively fast tremolo riffing and blast beats to set the tone. Phil joins the mix, barking, growling, and spewing out his brash lyrics with the intensity of a demon in a really bad mood. The drumming on this song is satisfyingly violent and relentless as Gonzalez seamlessly alternates between numerous time changes with ferocity and skill. The melodies are dissonant, yet still maintain groove, especially during the slower breakdown sections of the song.
On this record as a whole, the vocals are nothing short of amazing. Throughout the album’s just over forty-six-minute runtime, Anselmo is able to shift between a few different styles and will often switch between them multiple times within each song. His mainstay is his abrasive, raspy, hardcore punk scream; while also incorporating a guttural, death growl for emphasis at times; and a voice that I can best describe as sort of a black metal, Gollum-esque retching that is truly “ugly” yet effective when delivering the brutally honest and abrasive lyrical content presented here.
Next up is “Utopian.” This track begins with a quick, church-like intro before bursting into a chaotic, grindfest. The breakdown comes in the form of a doomy, sludge metal groove with Phil spouting some wickedly sinister lyrics, “Fear… Maligned vengeful obnoxious projections… And believe… The vintage enemy checklist exists…”
Production-wise, this album feels very claustrophobic – perhaps intentionally so – as opposed to a lot of records today going for the big, heavily-compressed, “wall of sound.” By comparison, this sounds much more stripped-down, cold, and raw. The guitars have a muddiness and grit to them, more akin to something like the Melvins. Rather than being clean and polished, there’s a layer of filth and grime that oozes into its sound. It should be noted that none of this takes anything away from the music, however, but rather enjoyably adds to its overall ruthlessness.
“Choosing Mental Illness” is another bludgeoning, heavy tune. It features some excellent grindcore riffage and blast beats, somewhat reminiscent of Napalm Death, while Anselmo goes extra guttural as he brutally growls the warning, “Mark my words…” On “The Ignorant Point,” things shift into frenzied insanity with absurdly dissonant riffing and jarringly chaotic time signatures. Definitely a unique and delightfully unsettling track. “Individual,” one of the longest tracks on the album, clocking in at just under seven minutes, is an all-around badass metal song for several reasons. The crushingly heavy groove/thrash riffs; the chaotic guitar solo from DeLeon; the drumming, featuring some amazing double-bass moments; and the unapologetically blunt lyrics, “Shut the fuck up… And don’t even listen.” It’s unquestionably one of the high points of the album. “Finger Me” is another standout track. It alternates between black metal-style tremolo picking and blast beats, to mid-tempo hardcore riffs, then back again, making for an enjoyably intense listen.
Overall, this record has everything one would want from a Philip H. Anselmo project – testosterone-filled, aggressive, no-nonsense metal with attitude. His decades of experience creating, performing, and recording heavy music is showcased exceptionally here. Over the years, Anselmo has not only consistently surrounded himself with great talent, this project being no exception, but has also thankfully shown no signs of slowing down or going soft. Anselmo himself classifies ‘Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue’ as “Truths, bizarrities, and absurdities.” It’s a fitting description for what may very well be some of the heaviest, most brutal metal he has created to date – something that any fans of extreme music should give a listen to and experience for themselves.
Thungur formed in Malmoe, Sweden as Bend And Break in 2014. The band has a hard hitting heavy rock sound that binds melodic soothing vocal tones and harsh rapid fire moments as well. Under the name Bend And Break they have two earlier releases available on streaming platforms. ‘The Village Sessions’ is a collection of old singles and the EP ‘The Cage’ was released in 2015. Fast forward to 2017 and the band has released their debut full length album as Thungur.‘No Going Back’ is a 100% a DIY effort. It was tracked, produced and mixed by guitarist Bjorn Stegerling and bass player Roger Nielsen. The bulk of the album was recorded at Bjorn’s studio in Malmoe. Mastering and the cover design was completed by Bjorn as well. In addition to being the bands first full length it is also the bands first physical release.
Today we’ve a very special review for you here at Metal Nexus which concerns a group that are more-than-likely virtually unknown to the vast majority of our most avid readers at this precise point in time but are more than certain to achieve high bursts of success and international acclaim in the years to come. Frozen Crown aren’t a name you’ve heard before but will most definitely hear a lot more of very soon. They are a self-categorized ‘Melodic Power Metal’ group Continue reading →