Tag Archives: death metal

Impera

Review: Impera – Weightless

Right from the opening track, Lisbon’s groove metal unit Impera showcase a level of tightness and technicality. Gustavo Reis’ vocals sound fierce as he switches between his somewhat decipherable lows and screeching highs. The guitar work is of a very good standard — riffs are well written, heavy and catchy. In terms of the drumming, Daniel Chen is very adept. Double bass patterns are superb and his choice of fills can be remarkable at times. The bass, courtesy of Miguel Santos, is audible.

Impera - Weightless

Album highlights include the brilliant “Five to Nine,” which features some superbly well written riffs. Weightless album continues with a melting pot of complex rhythms (both on the drums and the guitars) and ferocious vocals. Another album highlight comes in the form of “Lebensraum: Scorch.” This track is slightly slower in pace (focusing more on groove). But Impera keep the best for the end — the album finale “Grasp” is over 10-minute monstrous jam packed with melody, ambiance, crushing riffs, growls and screams. It’s the band at its best.

All in all, every track on Weightless is good. It isn’t a particularly long album but it has good replay value. Every song showcases interesting guitar riffs and solid (for the most part very impressive) drumming. Vocally, Reis is strong and creative with his delivery and lyrical ability. Whilst the guitars are impressive, it can be said that they tend to utilize a lot of gallop rhythms. Whilst this isn’t necessarily problematic, some could say that they could vary the rhythms a little bit more.

There are a lot of positive elements on Weightless. The production is great, the instrumentation is varied and the vocals are perfectly controlled. In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this album to any metal fan.

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Söthis

Review: Söthis – Trails of Blood

Oakland’s Söthis proposes four excellent classic Death Metal songs with their re-released debut EP Trails of Blood. Yes, this EP was originally released in 2016, but was remixed and remaster and re-released in September this year with the band aiming for a fuller sound.

This is violent with extreme riffs and fast tempos but we also encounter great dark melodies. Trails of Blood is a pure album of old school Death Metal but with great melodies and naughty and disturbing ambiances. I like that fact; Söthis is maybe violent but the music of the combo is always melodic without being commercial.

Trails of Blood

This EP is perfectly produced, the performance of the guys is simply amazing and the artwork fits perfectly to the general ambiance of the release. There is nothing wrong to say about this EP actually, if you’re into Death Metal, you just cannot miss this release. The songs are four Death Metal anthems and we don’t have any kind of mistake in the album, this is just classy Death.

The only thing that I will add to this review is that I’m waiting for the upcoming full length album which should be released some time during 2018. Let’s hope that the band will follow this way; Trails of Blood offers a taste of things to come.

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Xeno

Interview: XENO

There is another cool band coming from the land of windmills. And weed. They are called XENO, they serve uncompromising prog death metal with tech tendencies, and they came up with their debut album “Atlas Construct” this year.

I talked with the band, and here is what they tell about their work.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life’s good. There are a lot of cool bands out there right now, so life’s good. We hope you can say the same! Thanks for asking.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Atlas Construct”?

Well, yeah! We just got our album out recently. On it you’ll find a handful of songs with styles ranging from death to groove, melodic, black, whatever. Expect an album without boundaries set genre-wise. We wanted our album to represent ourselves, and we think we pulled it off.

Xeno - Atlas Construct

What was it like working on the album?

It was fun, but hard work. This is our first recording attempt, and with it came challenges never faced before. Luckily for us it worked out in the end so here it is. The band has it’s base in the south of the Netherlands, but not every member lives there. Due to that, recording fulltime proved to be difficult, so we had to improvise sometimes. All lessons learned made us wiser in the end. We know what to do and what not to do now.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Atlast Construct”?

At the moment we are playing some clubs and a festival here and there. No tour booked or planned. We are going to try to organise a tour next summer, hopefully in one of our neighbouring countries.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

An ultimate dream would be Japan, we love the culture there. America would be great as well, since not everyone in the band has been there yet. The vastness really appeals to us. Sightseeing aside, we would play in any country if the people there share our energy.

xeno_band

Who and what inspires you the most?

We try to be selfproviding with inspiration. Of course this is difficult to maintain since there are a million things going on around you. Most of our ‘outside’ inspiration comes from other bands we listen to. I’m referring to bands like Lamb of God, Xerath, Meshuggah, Gojira, that kind of stuff.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

We listen to a lot, haha! Ranging from black metal to jazz, or even blackjazz (Shining, anyone?) we find ourselves drowning in a forever refilling pool of awesomeness.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

This is not the time for life advice I guess. If it is, don’t stare directly into the sun, you’ll go blind.

Don’t give up on metal.

Period.

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i-shall-devour-the-misanthropist

Review: I Shall Devour – The Misanthropist

Sometimes it takes a seemingly unrelated source to explain why an album is so damn good, and that’s certainly the case with I Shall Devour’s debut full-length, The Misanthropist. This record is the death metal album by a newcomer to beat in 2013, at least in the sub-genre’s more technical and venturesome sphere. Admittedly, that might seem debatable, especially as Illuminance, the latest release from similarly adventurous death metallers Virvum, is a masterful display of technical finesse and ferocity. However, there’s a very good reason why I Shall Devour’s album edges ahead, and the reason is provided by the world of evolutionary biology.

It’s not surprising that a scientific theory could help explain why The Misanthropist is such a commanding album, and why I Shall Devour is such a fascinating band; after all, you could write a doctoral thesis on this band’s complex musicality.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, I Shall Devour has been able to craft music isolated from the main branch of death metal. That’s not to say Australia lacks other death metal bands. However, Australia’s geographic remoteness, and the nation’s idiosyncratic and driven creative culture, has allowed I Shall Devour to bring something fresh and unorthodox to the death metal underground. The band has developed a truly distinctive voice, one that was first heard by the majority of the international death metal community on 2013’s Manipunation. That EP certainly put I Shall Devour on the map, but it was a mere appetizer compared with what’s served on The Misanthropist. Both these releases are unquestionably intense and impressive displays of technicality and originality, seeing I Shall Devour garner increasingly more attention and acclaim in the global metal scene.

I Shall Devour has continually refined its sound over the years, bringing more artful sculpturing to its downtuned dissonance, and setting that against a backdrop of often kind of experimental textures. The band’s work has evolved to become steadily more nerve-shredding and formidable, with the usual riff-based shreds of death metal mutilated into a seething and polychromatic canvas of avant-garde atmospherics.

The crushingly heavy technicality on the eleven-song release will either be wholly attractive and hypnotic, or simply bewildering. There are no doubt a few metal fans who appreciate where I Shall Devour are heading in theory, but are left scratching their heads trying to find an entry point into the band’s works. The cryptic and claustrophobic vortex of The Misanthropist won’t make that quandary any easier, and if you felt I Shall Devour’s sonic template was a maelstrom of inaccessibility before, nothing has changed in that regard.

Still, challenging music is the point here, and if there’s one thing I Shall Devour demands, it’s full commitment to its releases. Guitars provide deluges of malformed riffs and piercing notes plucked from the depths of the cosmos. The slow hypothermic intro of “Wilful Ignorance”, and mid-album instrumental “Interlude,” show how effective and chilling the band can be when pared down to bare industrial bones. However, it’s the multifaceted and atmospheric turbulence of “VI” and “Spiteful Nature” that exhibit the band’s prowess at splicing anti-harmonic insanity with maestro dexterity, to hammer the inhospitably home.

The Misanthropist is a challenging album, and also electrifying. It’s unconventional, and it transforms death metal into something transfixing and novel. It certainly fits into the wider ordo of death metal, resides in the familia of technical death metal, and you could rightly situate it in the genus of progressive technical death metal too. Still, it’s the species that’s most interesting. There’s imaginative (and murderous) musicality here that would easily occupy space in the avant-garde metal realms. Ultimately, the fact that it’s necessary to debate how to best to describe I Shall Devour proves just how innovative is the band’s approach to death metal.

The Misanthropist is a forward-thinking album to savor over time. Repeated listening reveals more layers and buried detail, and there’s abundant wrathful dynamics and density to luxuriate in.

That’s why The Misanthropist is one of the very best death metal albums you’ll hear in 2016.

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nomadic

Interview: Nomadic

Nomadic, a death metal band from Tampa, has just launched a new single titled “The Crooked Man,” a follow-up to their debut EP “Horror” which was released earlier this year.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life’s good. I’m touring, man. I’m playing music.

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Horror”?

People can expect a death metal album that is in no-way “ordinary” or “classic”. There’s everything from blast beats, to driving, intense melody, and from low-guttural screams to soft, melodic singing.

What was it like working on the album?

It was stressful, yet very rewarding.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Horror”?

We toured the album already with our buds in Untomoria, and played a CD release party and some other shows around Florida. We leave for tour again this month to support our new single, releasing 10/14/16.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

I would love to tour Spain, Japan, England, Finland, and Sweden. I feel like we’d kill it there.

Who and what inspires you the most?

I get the most inspired by people having a positive reaction to our music. It means a lot to me when our music means something to someone else.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I listen to a lot of pop, indie, and trap music. I wish I had a better answer, but they don’t really have any impact on my playing, I just really enjoy listening to them.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Make sure you pick up our EP “The Horror”, check out “The Crooked Man” when we drop it, and come to a show when we play a city near you.

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Xeno

Review: Xeno – Atlas Construct

Xeno is a melodic death metal band from the Netherlands. The band came together in 2012, and they released their debut album this past summer titled “Atlas Construct.” A promising piece, with various different elements blended together. It could be easily said that “Atlas Construct” forces the limits of the melodic death metal genre. Different nuances all around give the record its uniqueness.

No matter of it being classified as melodic death metal, “Atlas Construct” collects lots of elements that are coming from other genres such as symphonic and progressive metal. Because of that, the record gives almost a theatrical vibe. All that is wrapped up with prog metal riffs and structure.

Xeno - Atlas Construct

“Atlas Construct” has eight songs in total. The first track is a symphonic intro which actually hints on what awaits ahead. Until the sixth track, each song comes as quite steady melodic death metal piece with many visits to the prog metal camp. With “Construct Part II: Columns Of Creation” the sound eases a little bit, branching out towards more down-to-the-ground vibes. Well-thought melodic lines on “Atlas” definitely single out this piece as one of the highlights.

Melodic, progressive, heavy and cinematic — that is how I would described this debut effort by Xeno. Highly recommended.

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nomadic

Review: Nomadic – Horror

Nomadic is an American black/death metal accompanied with various other influences. The band has released their debut EP record Horror in April.

Horror features some impressive death metal riffs and brutal vocals, which manages to catch the listener’s attention from the beginning! Although the record is not the typical ‘raw’ death metal one, the vocals and the drums (from time to time) give us that raw atmosphere. The guitars, on the other hand, are quite brutal and show us the diverse and melodic side of the album. In this sense, the record is brutal but also melodic and catchy; I am sure that the listeners will want to hear the record again and again to hear a certain guitar riff, brutal vocals or the crushing drums.

nomadic-horror

A highlight in the atmospheric elements; this aspect made the record much more fascinating and even a bit diverse in my opinion. I even thought to myself that the band could have gone a bit further with the atmospheric approach by using more synths or orchestral elements.

Horror marks the great start for the band. I am looking forward to what Nomadic will come up with in the future. If you have a chance to see them live, don’t miss it!

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Lelahell

Death Metallers LELAHELL Run Indiegogo Campaign

Alif is the title of the second studio album by Algerian death metal trio Lelahell, for which the band recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign is active for three weeks; you can head to the campaign’s page and support the band in reaching the goal what will allow them to raise the funds for the album artwork, album’s production, production of a music video and a band merchandise.

The founder of the band, singer and guitarist Redouane Aouameur commented: “Our campaign is running since 5 weeks and will end in 3 weeks. We expect to get at least 50% of the requested amount this will help us to have a very good quality record mixed and mastered in the Hertz Studio, the sound that will perfectly feet to this album.”

The title of the album is inspired by the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. In Arabic, alif is the first letter in the alphabet, and it is used in Arabic calligraphy to determine the size of the following characters. Lelahell say they chose the title as this album “will be the main musical reference of the next upcoming releases.”

The trio’s new album, Alif, is slated as the group’s second full-length album and third release since the band’s formation in 2010. Lelahell are set to record at Hertz Studio in Poland under the guidance of well-known producers — the Wiesławscy brothers.

Support Lelahell by donating through the Indiegogo campaign, and follow them on Facebook for future updates.

About Lelahell:

Founded in 2010 by metal veteran Redouane AouameurLelahell is an Algerian death metal band hailing from Algiers. The trio comprises of Redouane “Lelahel” Aouameur (guitars, vocals), Ramzy Curse (bass) and Slaveblaster (drums). Lelahell have released one EP, Al Intizar (Goressimo Records, 2012), and one full alubum, Al Insane… The (Re)birth of Abderrahmane (HPGDP, 2014). The band also launched a documentary in 2016 titled Highway to Lelahell – An Algerian Metal Documentary, available for streaming on YouTube, presenting viewers with a solid history lesson on Algeria’s metal scene. The band have also embarked on three European tours, and also participated in festivals in Europe.

Kardashev

Interview with Kardashev

Progressive death metallers from Tempe in Arizona, Kardashev released their new album titled “Peripety” in 2015. The release received strong feedback from fans. I asked couple of questions about the album, scene, influences, gear, and more.

Hey guys. How are you doing?

We’re doing great! We actually got some rain in Arizona today, so we’re feeling pretty lively.

You released “Peripety” back in October. How do you feel about the release?

We feel pretty positively about the release, and the album itself. While we were writing it we were fairly certain it would be well received, and so far It has exceeded our expectations. Our fans have sent us some of the nicest messages and pieces of feedback. It’s really motivating! We’ve been shipping it out to more countries, chatting with people in places we’ve never been, and even found a few new friends to play games with online. The album release has really opened up some doors for us, as far as connecting with our fans. It’s been awesome, to say the least.

Peripety

How much of a challenge was it to work on the album?

It was hard. The writing process is always so wonderful, and for us it flowed really well. We all really connected in that regard. The tough parts came with all the parts of creating an album that don’t involve writing. There was so much planning for marketing the album, getting it to the right people for previews and reviews, setting a release date that wouldn’t conflict with other bands on Subliminal Groove Records, it was insane. These are all great opportunities and we’re thankful for them of course, it just gets very taxing. It’s true though, nothing worth doing is easy. We’ve really grown as a band and in our understanding of what it means to write music for an album, and so in the end it has been a positive experience.

How is the metal scene these days in Tempe, AZ?

The metal scene here is odd, to say the least. Its full of great bands and great people, but we’re a little short on venues. The venues that we have a great, don’t misunderstand us – but a lot have shut down over the years and as a result metal is a little less accessible. Our Bassist was out of the country from the time we played at UK Tech Metal Fest in July, all the way through The end of November – and so admittedly we’re a bit removed since we haven’t played a show in quite some time. We’re excited to get back into the scene because we’ve made some solid friends here. But AZ could definitely use some additional venues.

What is your opinion about the new wave of metal bands?

That’s quite a large group! The best answer is that there are some bands that we really enjoy, and others that don’t strike our fancy as much. We aren’t very good at keeping up with the newest bands just because there are so many. Music is a Beautiful thing and we’re glad that so many people want to make it. As long as most of these bands are writing honestly, and from their hearts, they have our support.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

We take a lot of influence from very simple things, such as landscapes and art that is done in a more minimalist style. Peripety is all about the ideas of letting go, accepting the beauty around you, and the idea that all of this is temporary. Those concepts took us back to nature, in that it is such a simple pleasure which is completely free. We tried to convey landscapes in the album art, the music videos, and even in the composition. Songs like Sopor and Lucido were written with the idea of clouds and large, empty spaces in mind.

Kardashev

What are you listening to these days?

There has been a lot of Atmospheric Black Metal playing. Bands like Mesarthim, Enisum, Selvans, and Lantlos all get a lot of playtime with us. There are the classics, which for us are The Contortionist, Aegaeon, and some Fallujah. We also listen to a lot of movie soundtracks, such as Interstellar and The Fountain. The score for Phantom of the Opera is breathtaking, and there are some very heart-wrenching songs in Les Miserables that we love. We really enjoy the more meditative side of electronic music, such as Shpongle, Emancipator, and Bvdub. We throw some Alt-J on from time to time, along with S. Carey and Jose Gonzalez.

Your five favourite records of all time?

Only five? There are three of us! we’ll have to do a few extra. In no particular order,

1. Melting Sun – Lantlos
2. Brother, Sister – mewithoutYou
3. Exoplanet – The Contortionist
4. Retold – Nest
5. Opus at the end of everything – The Flashbulb
6. Lateralus – Tool
7. L.D. 50 – Mudvayne

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “Peripety”?

We’ve been recording our own music since we started. Lots of musicians do these days, and it has always worked out well for us. All of the guitars are recorded using the Axe FX Ultra for guitar tones. We made the most use of it this time around after updating the tones for more bark or “djenty” sounds when needed. All of the songs were recorded using custom RC pickups, which helped us get the overall feel we were going for. Bass guitar was tracked on a Warwick Thumb BO 5 as line signal and then re-amped at Sound Lair with an Ampeg SVT-3 Pro and Ampeg 4×10 HLF cabinet. We try to record the best quality we can, incur as little cost as possible, and aim for simplicity. Here’s an overall gear list for the nerds among us.

Recording/Composition:
Reaper DAW
Reason DAW
EZ Drummer
Interface:
M-Audio Fast Track Pro
Guitars:
Fractal Axe Fx Ultra
Ibanez RG7321 with RC Intruder Pickups
Dunlop Jazz III Picks
Elixir Nanoweb strings
Monster Cables
Bass:
Warwick Thumb BO 5
Monster cables
Ampeg SVT-3 Pro and Ampeg 4×10 HLF cabinet
Vocals:
Shure SM7b for vocal tracking

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

We are already writing new material that build on the single we released before “Peripety”, called “IOTA”. We want to put out a couple of music videos, and maybe re-release our demo, “Progession”. We haven’t decided on that last idea, yet.

Any words for the potential new fans?

If you like our music, show it to your friends! We’re very honored to have your support!

“Peripety” by Kardashev is out now and you can get it from Bandcamp.  For more news from Kardashev follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeff Carter

Interview: Jeff Carter of Darkening

I have previously wrote about Darkening‘s debut album “Augür” here, and I felt that it was necessary to conduct an interview with the band’s mastermind Jeff Carter and find out what lies behind the music he brought into life through this release.

Jeff was kind enough to answer my questions in the interview below.

Alright, first things first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life is going pretty well, actually. With the release of the album, I seem to finally have free time here and there to do other hobbies besides music.

Speaking of new music, you recently released an album. Are you satisfied with the reception you received for “Augür” so far?

Yes, so far, the reception has been quite great. There are a few music entities interested in hearing where I take things next, being as this was kind of a surprise album for older fans of mine – they are excited as well. Kind of a different musical approach than people are used to hearing from my earlier compositions, which incorporated input from other musicians (Deus Invictus, The Chariot, were some earlier work of mine).

Darkening - Augür

What is “Augür” about?

On a personal level, Augur is about many things…some of which I will not get into…but to basically graze the surface – nightmares, omens, and how they correspond to real life situations and events. I sought to capture the essence of what it is like or might be like right before something tragic happens directly to oneself, predominantly the feeling that you know deep down, via sickening feeling, that you or someone else has a cursed existence for the next few minutes. There are many stories that sort of link together a tragedy, or string of tragedies. Some subjects include a religious person seeking death after being misled by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a girl who grows up in a government facility who finds out she has special telekinesis after the tests and unleashes the power on all humanity, and finally a person who is possessed with a spirit which makes him a werewolf, among other subjects. All stories are partially inspired by my love for horror movies, but interlaced with the fact that some things aren’t explained, and some things that happen in life can be quite creepy and unsettling. Darkening is the band that specializes on bringing that fear to music. The term “Augur” itself means “interpreter of omens”.

Jeff Carter
Are there any touring plans?

Not in the immediate future, being as we are a studio band. Of course as coverage, exposure, and fan base increases…so would our desire to support it with a live show.

While we’re on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

I would really love to get out to the UK, Germany, Sweden….to name a few…

Who and what inspires you the most?

Mysticism, nature, heavy metal bands of the 70′s. Myself and the studio players on this album included, do not really like very many “newer” metal bands….we grew up on the 90′s death metal scene and kind of skipped back to old Black Sabbath. Of course music inspires us, inspires me…so I really won’t go into too much without sounding like just another musician in an interview…haha. Obviously my family goes a long way towards my inspirations. Lastly, Darkening is mostly inspired by pioneers in art and music…and by the fans.

What other genres of music do you listen to?

Lots of electronica (progressive house….I guess because it’s “prog”). Um….anything from jazz to reggae to 80′s pop. Anything can be entertaining if played with precision and done well. I am a huge fan of The Police, in fact, that is where a lot of my drumming influence comes from. And of course: Motorhead.

Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Huge Stewart Copeland (The Police) fan. I grew up listening to his drumming in the weird reggae time signatures, which kind of opened up the door for me as a kid to listen to bands like Rush, Yes, and Blue Oyster Cult. I learned to play “blast beats” when I was 12 years old after getting pretty hyped up hearing a Cannibal Corpse album I bought at the record store. Took a while, but after jamming with high school friends and acquaintances for years, I tried to step up my game on drums to a “professional” level – trying to make as few mistakes as possible. After all, if it wouldn’t sound good on an album…why bother playing? Perfection was key. With guitars, bass, and singing on albums…mainly got the practice in on other peoples’ guitars…and singing in my car when I was younger. It took years before I tried to test my vocals out in front of people. Also a pretty big fan of Opeth and some of the other Scandinavian bands out there.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Just would like to say thank you to the fans for their support, thank you to Annie and all at Prog Sphere for what they do, and thanks to Progstravaganza for the superb interview. You all are great! Happy Holidays from the Darkening camp!

You can buy “Augür” from Bandcamp here, and follow Darkening on Facebook.