Manchester’s COLD FELL Offer Up Full Length Debut [Album Review] [Album Stream]

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Manchester, England, a city that exploded around the turn of the Industrial Revolution, has served as a backdrop and inspiration of metal musicians of all ranges.  No small wonder, either, given the social issues created once the trappings of the industrial exploitation machinations were set into play. Workers were often forced into inhumane working conditions and eventually, periods of civil unrest between the working poor and the bourgeois erupted, leaving behind inauspiciousness in it’s wake. From these circumstances, and similar in cities such as Birmingham, the bubblings of metal sprung forth to unleash upon the world an especially dreadful perspective.  The natives Cold Fell (so named for a mountain in the North Pennines, a spine, if you will, that weaves throughout northwestern English countryside) have finally gotten the opportunity to add their own voice to the offerings, four years after the release of their first EP. Comprised of Laurence Taylor (of Caina) on vox, Karl Sveinsson and Giovanni Infantino on lead and rhythm guitar, Callum Cox pounding on the drums, and Oliver Edward Turner on bass, Cold Fell evidently put the gap time after their initial EP to good use as 2017 has been gifted with one smoking full length debut. 

“Irwell” is both the name that christens their Argento Records release and a river valley nestled in (you guessed it) northwestern England.  Coming in with eight tracks, “Irwell” is a solid monster of a proper debut which bares it’s teeth from the opening, snapping fierce jaws within instrumental passages so you, the listener, do not escape it’s mighty grasp.  The band members here have an excellent chemistry which is evident in the ways in which each track has been composed.  There’s not a superfluous time change, solo or angry vocal howl throughout the album that I could find; these guys were on a mission of craft and on “Irwell” they absolutely bring the pain.  Peppered throughout each of the songs, one can easily see the influence that classic black metal and contemporary bands of the same genre have had on the members, and rather than setting out to exploit those genres or relying on a more avant garde/experimental approach, CF pay homage to those before and current in black metal by efficiently utilizing the core sounds, topped with their own personal flavor. Take, for instance, ‘Folly (Health & the Glory)’  which opens with a nicely fat bass thrum underlying the assault unleashed by the typical frontrunners of guitar and drums.  Densely atmospheric in the right places, the track pummels along, punctuated with howling guitar shrieks that eerily mimic a female’s screams in places, while ‘Bone Ceiling’ bites and snarls in its own right, featuring a nice addition of fist pump worthy chants that will surely be as appreciated during a live performance as it is on record. My overall album pick, though (and it’s surely a close call to make), is narrowly the doom and gloom served up by ‘The Whip (Armed to the Teeth): furious skin work where appropriate with some nicely bitter slower tempo drops, some skillful lead guitar that helps pull the beat back from the mire and cohesive and spot on instrumental passages.  The album closer, ‘Dream of Seppuku’, is a wholly appropriate one that fits like a glove.  Seppuku refers to the Japanese act of suicide by disembowelment, and this track moves in thematically appropriate ways until it fades into a more somber tone sprinkled with some piano keys.  While not necessarily a game changer (and not that it had such ambitions in the first place), “Irwell” delivers a solid album sure to catch the attentions of the black metal scene, and gives just enough to keep us wanting more.

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Review of Virus of Ideals Debut EP, “For All My Earthly Days”

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Virus of Ideals is:

Sean: Vocals/Keys
Jess: Vocals
Dylan: Guitars and Bass
Francisco: Drums

Virus of ideals is a Melodic Death/Symphonic Metal band that hails from Newington, Connecticut that is often compared to Dark Tranquility, Lacuna Coil, Scar Symmetry and Nightwish which should come as no surprise since their admitted influences include the aforementioned bands with the addition of Epica and The Gathering. After releasing their debut single entitled “Bitter Parody” in February of last year, Virus of Ideals pushed themselves to release their four song EP For All My Earthly Days in the Fall of 2016 as a small portion of a larger story to be told when the band drops their first, full-length album at an indeterminate date in the near future. No worries though because there is plenty of meat on this EP that will tide any fan over until the day comes.

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Review: Obituary – ‘Obituary’ [Song Stream]

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Florida based death metal legends Obituary, are coming out with a new album via Relapse Records on March 17th 2017 and will run a 10 song track listing. This will be the bands 10th studio album, spanning a long career started all the way back in 1989 with the bands debut release titled ‘Slowly we Rot’. Obituary has been considered death metal elite ever since, you cannot bring up death metal without hearing the name Obituary. The bands previous release ‘Inked in Blood’, set a very high standard to surpass or even match, with great reviews from critics and fans alike. The year is 2017 and one of the giants of the genre has returned. Continue reading

Interview With Starbynary Founder and Vocalist, Joe Caggianelli!

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Starbynary is:

Joe Caggianelli – Vocals
Leo Giraldi – Guitars
Luigi Accardo – Keyboards
Andrea Janko – Drums
Sebastiano Zanotto – Bass

Starbynary is an absolutely amazing heavy, Progressive Power Metal band from Trieste / Milano, Italy. Started by friends, vocalist Joe Caggianelli and guitarist/composter Leo Giraldi in September of 2012, Starbynary was the result of a project idea after Joe left his former band Derdian. With the addition of Luigi Accardo on the keys and taking a collaborative effort with Mike LePond (Symphony X bass player), Starbynary released their full-length debut, Dark Passenger in 2014 before completing the existing lineup with drummer Andrea Janko and permanent bass player Sebastiano Zanotto in 2015. At this point, Caggianelli pitched a fifteen year old idea about a trilogy of concept albums based on Dante’s Divina Commedia and the band got to work and ultimately released the first of the series, Inferno a little over a month ago. I have to say that this huge undertaking is off to one helluva great start! Everything about Inferno has been done tastefully, professionally with mind-boggling musicianship. A real stunner. Once you read what Joe has to say, be sure to check it out on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon or wherever you get your musical fix. Well worth the time! Continue reading

Unearthing An ACID DEATH Album, A Quarter Century’s Past [Teaser Video And Stream]

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The classical Roman poet Virgil wrote in ‘Aeneid’, one of his most well known epics, to “be wary of Greeks bearing gifts”.  Of course, Virgil was referring to the historically significant delivery of the subterfuge Trojan horse by the Greeks in order to gain access inside the fortified walls of the Trojan stronghold in the midst of a ten year siege. Ol’ Virgil, though, never could have, in all his poetic grace, imagined the Greeks handing the metal world the offerings of Hellenic Acid Death.  Floga Records announced on March 10th that they were releasing the long buried first album from the legendary death/thrash/prog/tech metal collective known to the world as Acid Death. This album is finally seeing the light of day after a quarter of a century (25 years!) of staying in the shadows of someone’s long forgotten stash.  The band originally formed in 1989, and “Balance Of Power” was recorded in 1992 by the fledgling group who would go on to release several albums: “Pieces Of Mankind” (1997), “Random’s Manifest” (2000), “Eidolon” (2012), and most recently “Hall Of Mirrors” (2015).  The gorgeous grounds of Greece spawned this apocalyptic philosophical quartet, apropos, considering the rich history of the country. Comprised of Savvas Betinis (ex-Brainfade and ex-Kinetic) on vox and bass, Kostas Alexakis (ex-Braindfade and ex-Kinetic) keeping the beats busting on drums, John Anagnoston (ex-Released Anger and ex-The Crucifier) on rhythm guitar and last but certainly not least is axe slinger Dennis Kostopoulus (ex-Infidel) on the lead.  Despite some breaks over the years, the band returns to its’ core roots more often than not and have firmly cemented themselves as one of the major innovators and mainstays of the Greek metal scene.  Acid Death have shared the stage with such titans as KREATOR, THE HAUNTED, IMPALED NAZARENE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, ROTTING CHRIST, MAYHEM, PESTILENCE, and SEPTIC FLESH over the years, alongside some epic and raved about performances on the festival circuit.    Continue reading

Enter To Win Two Free Tix to Decibel Mag’s 2017 Tour!

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Heads up, Metal Nexus followers!  Decibel Magazine’s 2017 Tour is close to kicking off with a lineup featuring metal giants Obituary and Kreator as the headliners!  Stalwart metal label Nuclear Blast USA is sponsoring the tour and the contest via Instagram, and the winners get to pick which show they’d like to attend!  Also on the bill are Midnight and Horrendous with regional support to boot in select markets.  All you have to do is re-post Nuclear Blast‘s post and hashtag it according to the instructions; tagging a friend nets you extra entries!  What are you waiting on?! Get it on this immediately as the tour opens 03/17 in Charlotte, NC! Best of luck to you, and if you win, remember us here at Metal Nexus and let us know by tagging us in a post!

Find Nuclear Blast USA on Instagram here:

For more information about the tour, including show dates, click here:

State of the Art: Virginia – Valkyrie

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Virginia!

After starting our State of the Art: Virginia series off with a bang last week, I would like to introduce or reintroduce a band that has been turning Traditional Doom fans on their heads since 2002. Started by vocalist/guitarist Jake Adams, bassist Eric Seaman and drummer Luke Shafer in Rockbridge County, VA, Valkyrie quickly released a five song EP in 2003 which included the track “Wintry Plains” that was later used in their most recent release, some twelve years in the future. By 2004, Jake’s brother Peter (also of Baroness) was added to the band, sharing guitar and vocal responsibilities. A second demo was recorded at a local radio station shortly before Shafer split with the band and was replaced with Mike Hoke on drums. Sunlight Shines followed along with a 7” split with VOG. By the end of 2004, the young band lost Seaman and Hoke and were replaced by Nick Crabill on bass and Nic McIntrurff on drums. Once being picked up by Twin Earth Records, their debut, self-titled, full length album was released with the assistance and engineering talents of Chris Kozlowski (Pentagram, Trouble, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, The Melvins, Blue Cheer). Changing the lineup once again, bass player Will BarryRec and drummer Gary Isom (Spirit Caravan, Pentagram) were recruited into the band, allowing Valkyrie to play many festivals including the final Emissions from the Monolith Fest in Austin, TX and the Stoner Hands of Doom festival in Phoenix, AZ. Isom left the band in 2007 and was replaced by Warren Hawkins. The next year, Man of Two Visions was released on their own label, Noble Origin. Valkyrie’s debut and Visions were later re-released on 12” vinyl in 2007 and 2008, the year that Pete joined Relapse Records recording artist Baroness which called him away for full time touring. In 2010, Meteorcity Records (The Obsessed, Nebula, Atonic Bitchwax) re-released the first two albums on CD. Joining Valkyrie on bass while still playing with Earthling, Alan Fary released a new split with both bands in 2013. 2014 proved to be a huge year for Valkyrie and its members. With production from Sanford Parker (Nachmystium, Pelican, Voivod), Shadows was released shortly before Pete was asked to play with Glen Danzig’s Samhain where he toured their reunion shows throughout the United States (information from Valkyrie’s online resources).

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SARCASM Release Lyric Video Ahead Of 2nd Full Length Album [Lyric Video + Album Review]

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We’ve all heard at least a half dozen or more tropes about preservation, about finishing what we start, and about how anything worth doing is worth doing right, and approximately a thousand variations upon the same and similar themes.  The Swedish death metal band Sarcasm wants you know those important and oh-so-persistent lessons in life did not fall upon their deaf ears.  The core duo of the current quintet, vocalist Heval Vozarslan (also of Third Storm) and Anders Erikson have written and recorded together as Sarcasm since 1994. While an EP appeared in 2000, and along the way a bunch of demos, their material from that time did not see a proper full length release until 2016 on Dark Descent Records.  Yes, you read those last two sentences correctly. Less than a year after their proper debut, Sarcasm rounded out their lineup, bringing back Peter Laitinen on guitar (who previously played with the core in ’94, also of Imperial Domain, The Hidden, ex-Goatworship), and fleshing out the rest with Jonas Soder (Imperial Domain, also ex-Goatworship) thundering along on bass and Matte Modin (Firespawn, The Hidden, and ex-Dark Funeral) taking on the role of beat master.  July of 2016 saw the release of their proper full length release Burial Dimensions’, and, in breakneck speed as if making up for lost time, the sophomore effort Within The Sphere Of Ethereal Minds’ is scheduled to drop on April 28th of this year.   Continue reading

Review: GHOST BATH – ‘Starmourner’ [Single Track Stream]

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The name Ghost Bath refers to the act of committing suicide by being submerged in a tub of water, and given the music this band has brought forth on their previous EP and full length releases, it’s an appropriate one.  Ghost Bath, hailing from the state of North Dakota, play an interesting brand of depressing black metal, chock full of rough, howling vocalizations accompanied by razor sharp instrumental passages that send the listener on a trip through the throes of a depressive mind.  The forthcoming  album, Starmourner’ releases April 21st, 2017, via Nuclear Blast, finds Ghost Bath stretching their wings, much like the angelic theme that threads the album, and exploring old and new territory alike.  Continue reading

Louisville Based Order Of Leviathan Roars To Life With ‘Death Worship’ [Album Stream]

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Quickly: what comes to mind when you think of the state of Kentucky? Hillbillies? Country music? Horses and bourbon? Maybe UK basketball? Whatever it is, I highly doubt that death metal is among what pops up.  Defying what outsiders think they know about the Bluegrass State, Louisville (aka Louis-evil) based Order Of Leviathan has launched an all out assault on convention via an “eternal quest for total darkness through transcendent art.”  Founded in March 2012, these guys pulled the band together not for the promise of fame, but to create art purely for the sake of art. 

Comprised of vocalist Nathan Bowling, Levi Crandell-guitar, Derek Tipton-guitar, Dustin Rawlings-bass, and Mike Hargrave-drums, Order Of Leviathan have released two full albums thus far, and have played with such acts as Cannibal Corpse and Cattle Decapitation.  2013 saw their first full length release, “The Infernal Path To Total Darkness”, an absolute BEAST of a debut, and more recently, the sophomore satanica offering of “Death Worship” in August of 2016.  This band of nihilistic misanthropes are only growing in scope and skill, and with razor sharp intent, they’re hellbent on opening your eyes to ultimate nothingness of life.    Continue reading