Friday, December 19, 2014
"Sands of Time"
Solitude Productions, 2014.
"Sands of Time" is the debut album of Restless Oblivion, a band from Russia and after many listening i have to say that they have impressed me, why? Because is a strong and solid album of Doom Death Metal with high quality on the song writing. the music is very diverse and melancholic but at the same time with the aggressive feeling that only you can find on Doom Death Metal music.
It looks like these guys guys knows exactly what they are doing, good drumming, great melodic passages on guitar and piano. The vocals are good but sometimes are too guttural and think a bit of a change would sound much better so you can follow what the lyrics on the tracks.
Restless Oblivion has a lot of talent and well I have to say that I have been away of this kind of releases/style for while so it is a great surprise to find this kind of new bands doing excellent music. I kind of guess they have the classic influence from My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Officium Triste and similar bands. I am really looking forward for their next release so I extremely recommend this album if you are looking for something Doomy for real.
Points: 5 of 5
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
F.D.A. Rekotz, 2014.
Here we have the album debut of a new Swedish Death Metal band from Stockholm playing nothing but old-school Death Metal for the likes of Interment, Puteraeon, Entrails, Demonical, God Macabre and an endless list of bands I could post here but well....just another worship to the great ones Entombed and Dismember.
Nothing much to say about this release because is nothing new or original here, just pure love to Death Metal. "The Summoning" i could say its very powerful like albums such as "Clandestine", "Like an Ever Flowing Stream" and "You'll Never See". I really enjoyed listening to this album from the very first time, just straight in your face. Some points to mention are: The vocals needs a bit of more development, very good drumming and guitar riffs without a doubt.
Great debut from Ending Quest, looking forward for the next summoning.
Points: 4.5 of 5
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Metal Blade Records, 2013.
After 5 years of absence, Memory Garden came back with this new album called "Doomain" in April of 2013 and making their debut with the great Metal Blade Records too. I didn't have the chance to pay attention to the album until now when i watched their promotional video "The Evangelist" which is the opening track of the new album too.
Heavy (and sometimes Power) Doom Metal on its best form, Memory Garden without a doubt are the masters of this style, they have been loyal to it from the very beginning of their musical journey and there is no doubt that bands like Candlemass and Mercyful Fate are still part of the musical influence. However, they have established their own sound since many years ago.
Its amazing to hear how Stefan Berglund has still this amazing voice 20 years later after their first releases like "Forever" and "Tides" (which is a masterpiece), still sounding like those years, just fantastic!!! Drummer Tom Björn sounds better than ever delivering and showing his high skills, tight and straight. Simon Johansson has been essential part of Memory Garden's sound since he joined the band in 1997 and his song writing and guitar solos are just awesome. Is not something new that Mike Wead (King Diamond) has been friend of the band since years ago and that he has collaborated with them on past records, this time is not the exception and he plays a couple of guest guitar solos on the album along with the one and only Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) which has some guest vocals on the track "Barren Lands" which sounds killer, one of the best songs of "Doomain" for sure. Excellent artwork and production under the hand of Dan Swanö too. I really like how the guitar distortion sounds on this album, not extremely heavy and not light at the same time.
Extremely underrated band in my opinion, Memory Garden should be touring the world to spread their fantastic music!! I hope they don't delay so many years in release a new album and really look forward to see them live in the near future.
I want to thank Stefan Berglund for sending me "Doomain" to be reviewed on the pages of Brain Damage Reviews, tack så mycket!
Points: 5 of 5.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
"The Antagonist's Fire"
World Terror Committee, 2013.
Swedish Black metal act Valkyrja continues with their path of Destruction, Mayhem and Chaos they gave the world with "Contamination" the Massacre continues with "The Antagonist's Fire"
I really enjoyed so much "Contamination" so i was actually prepared for this and definitely i am very pleased with this release. More mature song writing and brutal as ever!!! I remember reading many years ago a note regarding the similarities in between Entombed and Dismember and Fred (Dismember) said "We have the same influences and we record our albums at the same studio, that is why we sound similar". This is the same case of the multiple comparisons between Valkyrja and Watain but in fact i can't tell if Valkyrja might be influenced by Watain in that case we should ask them. What i think Valkyrja is trying to do in this new album "The Antagonist's Fire" is just that, to find their own sound and to stop this pull and push regarding the similarities and if by any chance they are inspired by Watain its clearly they are a more brutal and extreme version of them and ten times improved. What the singer A.L. should consider its to change his vocal stlye, otherwise he will be called the copycat of Erik from Watain forever.
The sound of the new album i could say its just a bit more raw compared to "Contamination" but i guess this must be like that, its Black Metal. Necromorbus studio is a studio which has a very clean and polished sound all the time so i am happy that they managed to make it sound a bit different than the usual Necromorbus recordings. Nice and melodic guitar solos a la Dissection pretty much all over the record, sometimes songs like "Season of Rot" reminded me the rage of Marduk. The drumming of J. Wallgren just amazing!! (hands bow)
This time they changed label from Metal Blade Records to a more underground label W-T-C from Germany, this makes me wonder if something happened? because Metal Blade Records has a bigger distribution and money of course.
Awesome album!!! if you are into great Swedish Black Metal come and get it!
Points: 4.5 of 5
Friday, July 4, 2014
Deathgasm Records, 2014.
After some EP's and split albums at last the album debut of Swedish Death Metal band Mordbrand is out and is nothing but old-school Swedish Death Metal and i was thinking "one more Death Metal release from a Swedish Death Metal band" but as a matter of fact while listening i realized that it is not just another copycat of the old Stockholm sound or similar, "Imago" shows 90% of that style but here are some differences that makes this band different from others. They have a more raw sound on the production of guitars and drums, sometimes you can hear even some Black Metal riffs and they do it very good.
Songs like "Imago" shows this creepy atmosphere like coming out of a terror movie, other tracks like "Revelate" and "Sever the Limbs That Grace" shows this classic "hardcore" beat on the drums which is very common on the old school style and of course at the same time sounds like God Macabre here and there. But this is no surprise since Per and Björn plays in that band too.
I am glad to see these kind of bands that are worried to offer something different, looking to have their own sound and not only to remain in that channel and play this old-school Swedish style over and over which i really like it so much but at some point you have to make a difference like Mordbrand its doing on "Imago".
Probably with a better production and even having this HM-Boss pedal on could sound fantastic this album without a doubt.
Points: 4.5 of 5
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
"Illusions of Grandeur"
Century Media, 2012.
"Illusions of Grandeur" is the latest album of the Swedish band Evocation, it was released sometime ago but i decided to review it anyway.
They were called like and i quote "A unique mix of the Gothenburg and Stockholm Death Metal sound" and yes, they did that but in this album they decided to quit to that Boss HM-2 Pedal now and to move on to make their sound more clean and jump into the Melodic Death Metal/Gothenburg sound of the glorious days entirely. If you know Evocation's music you probably know that the biggest inspiration comes from At the Gates (if not, that is what it looks like for me) and at the same time i have this feeling like their sound its like if At the gates meets Amon Amarth and Dark Tranquillity sometimes.
Great production and musically very skilled but not original at all, great drumming from mr. Janne Kenttäkumpu but this is not a surprise since almost all the Swedish bands have talented drummers. This is Evocation's debut with the great label Century Media which it seems they believe in Evocation's talent without a doubt. The cover art its awesome and reminded me the art of Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients" and i think the plus (could be) that Johan from Amon Amarth has a special guest in the track "Into Submission".
No more words to say about it, If you are into Melodic Death Metal, "Illusions of Grandeur" its for you.
Points: 4 of 5
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
ViciSolum Productions, 2013.
Diabolical from Stockholm, Sweden... Damn it! The first word i have to say for this "Neogenesis" release... FANTASTIC!!!
My first encounter with them was when they release their debut album "Synergy" and later on their 2nd album "A Thousand Deaths" which was pretty much like a Melodic Death Thrash Metal with some progressive stuff sometimes, strong, straight and well played. I lost the track of them until i decided to take a deep listen to "Neogenesis", my first impression was that they changed completely their style into a more extreme and violent Death Metal going far away from the Swedish sound they played in the past.
After several listening i came into the conclusion that "Neogenesis" its one of the most impressive and best albums i have listened in a long time! Their sound remains into the realms of Death Metal but extremely original and majestic song writing while at the same time the keep this progressive influence they had before and they don't overload their music at all of it. The drummer its a monster!! Mr. Sverker Widgren and company have created a MASTERPIECE which is very hard to do when you are into Death Metal. They decided to add orchestral vocal choirs and female vocals in some parts along the album too and they do it just amazing!!!
A quote to the album's description says: "'Neogenesis' is also a novel (11 chapters) telling the story of the end of the world and what lies beyond. The book is written by guitarist Carl Stjärnlöv and each chapter of the book is represented by a song on the album."
Some names comes to my mind when listening to "Neogenesis" but i think if i mention these names probably will numb your judgment so i extremely encourage you to get this album but i have to warn you people that "Neogenesis" its dangerous!!!
Fave tracks: "Reincarnation of the Damned", "Oracle" and "Wolves' Choir" (and more...)
Points: 5 of 5
"With the Lost Souls on Our Side"
Massacre Records, 2014.
A new ILLDISPOSED album has been released a couple of days ago and it was a surprise for me because i didn't know anything about it!!. What can i say, my first impression was that it sounds just like a completely follow-up of their previous release "Sense the Darkness" and it follows the same path regarding the sound, i don't hear anything new here but perhaps just a couple of new ideas here and there and a bit more melodic. Excellent drumming and tight as fuck and great guitar solos all over the album.
ILLDISPOSED have been a very underrated band since they started their musical career i must say, they are extremely talented and they know how to create High quality Death Metal and to not sound like anybody else, there are sometimes that the vocals reminded me Gorefest but without a doubt they are one of the best (if not the best) Death Metal band from Denmark. One more time produced by the one and only Tue Madsen (Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted), i hope they can get the credit they deserve in the near future because believe it or not they have been playing since 1991 and that is something.
My fave tracks: "A Dreaded Pursuer", "The Way We Choose" and "On a Clouded Morning"
Points: 4 of 5
Sunday, June 29, 2014
"The Winterlong" Re-Issue
Relapse Records, 2014.
Originally released in 1993 under the label M.B.R. Records (which actually i used to have a copy of the originally press), one more time re-released in 2014 with a bonus track called "Life's Verge" which I could say is not impressive at all and follows the same sound/style (obviously) as the old songs of the entire album.
What it takes my attention its that how a band can release just one album, split up for many years and later return suddenly to become the most wanted Death Metal band to play live and get the status as "cult band". The band members of God Macabre have been busy (or at least the most of the members) doing Metal music in other bands/projects and i think that is why they didn't care anymore about making a name for God Macabre. I mean i am happy to see God Macabre active again and i am really looking forward to see them live in September but i think they should have recorded not just one bonus track, its clearly that they can make an entire album and make it sound like "The Winterlong" and i am pretty sure is what all the followers are expecting from them to do (including me).
Its useless to say one more time that "The Winterlong" its one of the best Death Metal albums from the Swedish old school and if you don't have your copy you just better get it now.
Points: 5 of 5
Listen the new track "Life's Verge" here:
Saturday, June 28, 2014
"Recesses for the Depraved"
First time I saw this album was on a magazine back in 1991 on the reviews section and I remember that there was another great albums that I'll review after this one. Sacrosanct plays a kind of Thrash Metal but it is mixed with some Progressive stuff too, some riffs reminded me the progressions between Atheist and Death, you can hear it on the track "Illusive Supremacy " Their style its like early Iced Earth meets Believer meets Metal Church but with less Thrash and speed and with a very Overkill sound on bass.
These guys are from Netherlands and they are pretty far from the European Thrash sound, they sound totally Northamerican on their production. The opening track "Like Preached Directions " its really amazing, every instrument its in its place, great guitar solos, bass lines are notable, vocals are great and reminded me some of the old Sacred Reich stuff.
It seems that some members of Sacrosanct left Death Metal band Pestilence back in the day to form this great project. Highly recommended for those who missed some great Thrash Metal releases from the 80's.
Points: 4 of 5
"Beyond the Veil"
Album debut of this band called Torchure, formed in Germany back in 1985 but wasn't until 1992 that his album "Beyond the Veil" saw the light. This band plays a very good dose of Death Metal with some elements of other styles that makes the album really interesting and with a fresh feeling.
Although they are into the Death Metal channel they have a few spots along the album of Doom vibes like early Asphyx for example, slow riffs here and there but fast riffs suddenly shows up like If Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" decides to turn up the speed for moments along with Napalm Death and Autopsy.
I always wonder why this kind of bands (who are really talented) were just lost in time...and then I think that was the best because this kind of masterpieces are not for everybody. This album was released by 1MF Records, the one who released the Sacrosanct albums, it is closed today but certainly they released a few but great albums back in the day so this is for Death Metal fans of the early 90's with own style.
Points: 4.5 of 5
"Sense the Darkness"
Massacre Records, 2012
Illdisposed its a Death Metal band from Denmark, a country which has very talented bands, I can think immediatly in King Diamond ( I think all we do) but this guys have been around for a while on the Metal world. 1991 was when Illdisposed saw the light and since their formation they have released several albums. I'll be honest but I'm not familiar with all of their releases, I guess I knew about them back in 2004 and since then I lost the track of their career so...Suddenly thanks to a friend I listened this new album called "Sense the Darkness"
I ve been listening this album for 2 weeks or something everyday and I am really hocked with this album. The sound its a mix between classic Death Metal with some guitar melodies that reminded me immediatly their countrymates Mercenary. Vocals are good guttural all the time but they sound with so much effects on them. The track "Never Compromise" its just fantastic! On of the most Death Metal songs of this album, it has even some slow/doomy parts that are really well handled along with the songs "Stop Running" and "I Am Possessed".
Although Illdisposed is from Denmark its clear that they have a bit influence from their Melodic Death Metal heighbours in Sweden.The production its flawless, it sounds like all the Tue Madsen productions, everything on its place, well mixed. I think this is If not the best album of Illdisposed one of the best they have released so far. I extremely recommend this album If your taste its into bands like Puteraeon, Bolt Thrower, Death and Grave.
Points: 4.5 of 5
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Metal Blade Records, 2013.
3rd Full-length of this great band from Linneryd, Sweden, I think Entrails are the best worship version to old Entombed and the Stockholm sound. "Raging Death" sounds fresh, powerful and straight in your face, they turned into a more mature song writing this time compare to the first attack "Tales from the Morgue" which is pure devastation and a bit more melodic. I have to say that i fucking love these creepy piano intros like they did on the track "In Pieces" very good opening track with all this typical Stockholm riffing. Great production, great drumming, the vocals are always present and furious like it must. "Cadaverous Stench" sounds a bit like the old Unleashed and their "Shadows in the Deep" masterpiece.
This band like the rest of Death Metal bands that are dedicated to worshiping this old school style have nothing really original to offer but in fact is that they are just playing what they like, following only their passion for this genre, plain and simple, straight Swedish Death Metal for the likes of Paganizer, Puteraeon, God Macabre, Intement, Demonical, etc... It must be a really good experience seen them live for sure. Entrails is telling the world that Old School Swedish Death Metal will never die and will stay alive for a very long time.
The digipak version contains a second cd and a cover of the song "Dark Endless" of Marduk, pretty much ala Entrails of course.
Looking forward for their next album without a doubt.
Points: 4 of 5
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The New piece of art from Swedish Black Metal act Skogen called "I Döden" came out some months ago and to be honest i didn't know much about them until i got hocked completely with this new great release. "I Döden" its almost a masterpiece, or probably it is, maybe its just i am very demanding when it comes to bands i don't know much about.
If you have not heard them i can tell you that they are not doing something new or out of the ordinary into the realms of atmospheric black metal. They have pretty much a Norwegian sound so stuff like old Ulver and old Satyricon (mostly) comes to my mind when i hear "I Döden". Clean and at the same time raw production, well played all over the album, specially the acoustic guitar passages, just fantastic! Vocals are middle guttural i could say with some clean chorus.
Interesting fact is that some members of Death Metal band Entrails play here. An excellent Swedish Black Metal release of 2014 and believe me, its hard to find these days in Sweden.
Tracks like "Solarvore"and "Griftenatt" some of the best of the album.
Points: 4.5 of 5
"Summon the Demons"
HEDON is a band from Sweden, they started back in 2012 and now in 2014 they released their first full length album called "Summon the Demons". I have to say that it is a bit hard to define their style but i think that they fits mostly into the Melodic Death Metal of Gothenburg (sometimes blackish), sometimes even you can't tell what kind of Metal they are doing. This album was released like many bands did in the past on the independent way which is kind of strange because at this point (2014) there are many labels around the world that happily would release this album.
After a few listening of the album i can see that Hedon needs to work more on develop their musical direction, to decide if they want to sound Melodic Death or just Melodic Metal or Death Black because some songs of the album like "Tides of Blood" sounds very different compared to songs like "Until you Die", this does not means that they are making bad music, i think its the opposite, very nice melodic harmonies along the album with a very skilled and tight drumming.
The vocals are good in general, changes here and there from the very high pitch vocals to the guttural way, something that makes the album interesting and not boring. The track "Sound of Suffering" has a crazy combination of slow and fast riffing with acoustic passages that makes this track one of the best of the album.
Very good production and mix to be self-paid, I believe that they should put more effort in spreading the word of their band and album, to get a record label for the next album would be better for them. Sometimes i think that Melodic Swedish Metal is over/dead but this band makes me think that there might be some good bands out still delivering the goods like Hedon is doing. Hedon made remember so much the old days when Unanimated, Gates of Ishtar or Ablaze my Sorrow were kicking asses.
If you are into Dark Tranquillity, Dissection, Lord Belial and The Forsaken you should check Hedon. Looking forward so much for the next album!!
Points: 3.5 of 5
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
"The Crawling Chaos"
Cyclone Empire, 2014.
3rd album and new from this Death Metal act from (Alingsås I guess?) Sweden. I remember perfectly when they released "The Esoteric Order" and it took my attention this kind of old-school looking art/image so i decided to listen the album which later became one of my faves, well crafted Death Metal with high quality. Later "Cult Cthulhu" came out and my surprise was that they changed their sound straight into the old Swedish Stockholm (Sunlight Studio worship/Boss Heavy Metal) sound, which i consider a great album too. It was produced by the master and legendary Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) Sonic Train Studios.
"The Crawling Chaos" came out this year and well, one more time showing that the Stockholm sound does not belong to them anymore. Great songs like "Rotten Aeon" and "Path to Oblivion" are a worth to listen.
No doubt that many bands may come to my mind when i listen to Puteraeon, from the mighty Dismember to the awesome Entrails, some Demonical stuff but what i think could be some of the influences of this band are: Grave (You'll Never see era), Bolt-Thrower (Warmaster/The IV Crused era) and perhaps some old Candlemass since they have a few slow riffing that reminds this doomy vibe but I must to say that Puteraeon has their own sound from the very beginning well established.
Veredict, Great album for the ones whow loves the Death! I am looking forward to see them live someday in Gothenburg.
Points: 4 of 5
Century Media Records, 2014.
There is not much to say about this band, they have been making the same music on their last 2 3 albums pretty much but definitely great songs. The new singer makes no change at all on their sound. I have a problem with this kind of "guttural female vocals" since the previous singer Angela was in the band, they sound monotonous and boring.
The drumming of Daniel Erlandsson is just fantastic and flawless as always. I can feel that Christoffer Amott is not there anymore, however the new guitarist plays very good guitar solos though.The bass of Sharlee sounding very powerful and fat as always. I can notice a couple of riffs here and there that sounds like the old albums such as the "Stigmata" style. Definitely I can see that Michael Amott know his business very well but at the same time i don't' see anything new here except for the new members. I am having a good time listening the album but in fact is that they keep repeating themselves over and over. Great for the Arch Enemy fans, that is all. Excellent production.
3.5 of 5
Monday, June 23, 2014
Toy's Factory, 2002
Damn, I don't know how to even start the review...well, this is the band of Christoffer Amott brother of Michael of Arch Enemy. This is the 3rd full- lenght of the band/project which includes Daniel Erlandsson the drummer also in Arch Enemy.
This is pretty much Heavy Metal with this "Arch Enemy riffing style" that Christoffer has developed since long time ago. According to the info found on thew web he is doing the vocals on the entire album and to tell the truth he does a great job! The sound of the band turned more into heavy metal on this album and goes away from this progressive influence they had in the beginning. I guess there is not more to say when it comes to this talented musician, just listen and enjoy!!
Points: 4 of 5To listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY2F4scZD7I