Galloping bass riffs, driving percussion and rock-solid guitars have taken their spot at the vanguard of PORTRAIT’s new sound; – and it’s most certainly a fresh one. For almost two years now the Swedish heavy metal group have been working incredibly hard on their newest studio LP, titled ‘Burn the World’, which has finally been released as of 25 August via Metal Blade Records. PORTRAIT as a group have consistently drawn up mixed opinions since their formation, with some bestowing great critical acclaim and others merely citing them as “KING DIAMOND copyists” – but is the latter statement really the case? Originally, perhaps so, but I really think after this album hits the stores those earlier comparisons will cease to exist. Long gone are the eerie undertones that plunged 2011’s ‘Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae’ release and there’s very little tapping into the realms of conceptual horror. What you get here is a somewhat unlikely product consisting of numerous foot-tapping thrash-influenced songs categorized by exceptional percussion. Continue reading
When light and shade combine it’s more often than not that you experience some very interesting results. Album ‘M’ by blossoming Danish artist Myrkur (aka Amalie Bruun) has now passed its two-year anniversary and throughout the course of those two years has managed to receive some very positive responses. Released on August 21 2015 via Relapse Records, the album has proved itself to be a very evocative one which showcase the extraordinary talents of Myrkur from both a songwriting and technical perspective. The solo artist isn’t only shining beacon of talent in M’s ensemble, however. Other important contributing members to the project include Teloch of Mayhem on bass / additional guitars and Øyvind Myrvoll of Nidingr on drums. The album was produced by Garm of Ulver fame and other noteworthy guest appearances include Criss Amott of Arch Enemy. Continue reading
Paradise Lost are an eclectic bunch. Sure, the metal outfit originating from West Yorkshire, UK has consistently released melancholic and depressive doom metal with a bleak nihilistic worldview that allows the listener to ponder the fruitlessness of their own existence (It’s wonderful!), but Paradise Lost have never been afraid to fuse disparate subgenres such as death metal, goth, symphonic black metal, and even electronic dark pop with their Black Sabbath inspired sound.
Indeed, Paradise Lost’s sonic flexibility has ensured every album in their discography sounds fresh and is easy to differentiate from one another, and this was definitely the case with their previous album ‘The Plague Within’ which was a critically acclaimed beast of an LP that ended up being my favorite album of 2015.
However, despite the rave reviews, Paradise Lost only basked in the praise for a limited amount of time before they embarked on the unenviable task of crafting a dynamic and worthy follow-up. Consisting of vocalist Nick Holmes, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, bassist Steve Edmondsen, and new drummer Finn Walttery Vayrynen, Paradise Lost have created a more than worthy successor in their 15th album ‘Medusa’ which is an LP where the band has decided to strip the symphonic black metal elements that were present in ‘The Plague Within’ in favor of focusing on the doom and sludge sound that made the band so successful in the first place, and with the aid of producer Jaime Gomez Arellano, ‘Medusa’ is a great album with crushing riffs that wallop the listener akin to a strike from a ten ton hammer. Continue reading
IWKC or I Will Kill Chita (the band’s name jokingly refers to fraternal tensions between members in the past) was formed in 2008 in Russia when the Samarin brothers, Nikita and Nikolai started a chaotic punk-garage band. The search for their own style as well as competent partner-performers has continued through almost three years. After some years spent experimenting with the sound and line-up the band consolidated finally as a septet of Nikolai Samarin (keyboards, guitars), Nikita Samarin (drums, electronics), Andrei Silin (keyboards, electronics), Alexander Ivanov (bass), and Artem Litvakovsky (cello), Denis Smirnov (french horn), Ksenia Pluzhnikova (violin). The band released their 3 track debut EP ‘Better Days’ in December of 2010. The following year they released another EP titled ‘Not A Dream’. On January 28, 2012 the band released their first full length ‘Urban Fears’. It was a conceptual album dedicated to Moscow’s industrial outskirts and was uniquely recorded in an abandoned industrial building in Moscow Suburbs. Since that time the band has has 5 additional releases and a brand new release ‘Hladikarna’ which dropped on May 2, 2017 . The album was recorded & mixed by Nick Samarin @ Orange Studio, produced by IWKC & Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko and mastered by Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko. The album also includes a vast amount of guest vocalists Valentin Berezin, Roman Karandaev (extreme vocals), Julia Mityashova, Nicolas Perrault (German vocals), Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko & Smackapella Choir, Gennadiy Lavrentiev (tabla), Khyung Nagpo (Gyuke voices), Shonchulai Hovenmei, Medved Boris (Full Power), these are in addition of course to the vocals by guitarist and keyboardist Nick Samarin. The band has been formed almost a decade and has more releases than most average bands that have been formed the same amount of time. IWKC doesn’t sit around, they are constantly creating music, and ‘Hladikarna’ is just the latest creative output by the band.
Photo Credit: Jan Daciuk
The Sky Is formed in 2011 in Warsaw, Poland. The band released their self titled debut on November 9, 2012. Their sound is comprised of several influences from various corners of the music world. You will hear some stoner rock, doom, sludge and even post hardcore sounds within their music. The band retains two original members that were on the debut which is Maximilian Herbst, and Robert Pełka. Herbst and Pelka share guitar duties in the band and are a shredding duo that is a delight to hear. Their style at times is minimalist, but yet again there are moments they crank it up and truly show off their abilities. The Sky Is has now released their most recent work entitled ‘Telepathie’. The EP features two new members of the band, Rafał Szmidt on bass and Jacek Łaziuk on drums. Of course you wouldn’t know they are new to the band by the output of their talents on this EP. The bass and drum parts are a huge gear in the machine known as The Sky Is. Though the band is instrumental it doesn’t leave you wanting vocals. They have a way of composing the music so that is stays fresh, vibrant and is constantly entertaining with constant break neck tempo changes. The album was recorded and mixed by Przemysław Wejmann at Perlazza Studio and mastered by Matt Lynch at Mysterious Mammal Recording. Continue reading
How to make what’s old sound new again? This is often the daunting question facing those brave metal bands within the metal sub-genre of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) whose sole desire is to sonically time warp the listener back to the good ole days of 70s and 80s era of heavy metal where wine glass shattering screams, blistering guitar solos, and ridiculously long hair were the norm all while distinguishing themselves as remarkable musicians in their own right.
Inspired and unintimidated by this tough challenge, Dream Troll is an independent band from Leeds, UK who desire to emulate old school metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Rainbow. Consisting of Rob Stringer on vocals, Paul Carter on lead guitar, Matt Baldwinson pulling double duty on rhythm guitar and bass, and Simon Blakelock on drums, Dream Troll has unleashed ‘The Knights of Rebellion’ an incredibly impressive debut album released on May 19th, 2017 that fuses the many disparate elements of classic heavy metal together in order to create a power metal album that is wholly unique in its sound and scope. Continue reading
When you are talking deathcore you are talking about Thy Art Is Murder, they have been called the deathcore kings by many and with the latest release of ‘Dear Desolation’ they proved that they are worthy their throne in the deathcore scene.
The past few years have seen a renaissance and revitalization in the career of Ace Frehley. He’s become a fixture on the concert circuit, and his two most recent albums, ‘Space Invader’ (2014) and ‘Origins Vol. 1’ (2016), have brought the former KISS axeman some of the loudest critical plaudits and highest chart positions of his Hall of Fame career. With all the hype surrounding these two releases (deserved as it may be), it can be easy to overlook the album that kicked off this new Age of Ace, his 2009 comeback ‘Anomaly’. This deluxe reissue (which is being released September 8th via eOne Music – just in time for Frehley’s run opening for Alice Cooper in Australia and New Zealand later in the month; Nexusers Down Under, this is maybe my textbook definition of a must-see show) will hopefully remedy that; ‘Anomaly’ proved to be Ace’s strongest set of songs since ’78. If you’re an Ace fan and you’ve never heard it, you’ll love it; if you haven’t heard it in a while, it’s well worth exploring again. Continue reading
Satan’s Dealer was formed in 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The band was formerly known as Harbinger of the Apocalypse. This duo is made up of guitarist/ vocalist Jim Powell (Sexual Atrocities, ex-Harbinger of the Apocalypse, ex-Screaming Afterbirth, Infliction Rate), and drummer Neil Pesch (Asatta, ex-Harbinger of the Apocalypse). The band first released a demo ‘Witch Fucker’ in 2013, this demo with songs like ‘Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Satan’ and ‘Iron Sabbath (Black Maiden)’ proved the band’s sound was much larger than any run of the mill two man band. Like their name may hint Satan’s Dealer has lyrical content that is centered around occult darkness, satan and drugs. When it comes to the bands instrumentation and vocals they incorporate influences from several different genres. You will hear some doom, stoner rock and even some thrash elements from the band. All of these with some other unique additions create the bands own personal style that has been forged over time. Satan’s Dealer has now released a follow up to their demo titled ‘Dealer Of The Gods’ which was released on June 1, 2017.
The Match was officially formed November 22, 2013 in Turin. In this short span of time, the band has involved in special and crucial events: the beginning of cooperation with Agitoriu (management, booking, promotion), open act for The Philm of Dave Lombardo (SLAYER), participation in Ritmika Festival, tours (Italy, California) participation in the NAMM SHOW (Anaheim, CA) but, above all, the creation and release of their first official album titled ‘JUST BURN’ (produced by The Match and Agitoriu) out on March 9, 2017. The Match is an extension of the decennial project Eleven Prime, founded by bassist / singer Francesco “The GrooVster” Gallo. Continue reading