сряда, 26 февруари 2014 г.

Battle Beast - Steel (2011)

Official Links:

Buy Album:
Hype Production Shop

Nuclear Blast Shop

Battle Beast is a young heavy metal band from Finland and they...won the Wacken Open Air 2010 Metal Battle Contest! Is this enough to incite you?
After listening to the album, I can see why they won: their music is catchy as hell!
Battle Beast is the perfect example for well done things. They don't invent anything, they're far from being original, but they play their music with such a powerful passion, you could almost feel it!
Mixing heavy metal with power/speed metal, the band combines their influences from masters like Helloween ("Armaggedon Clan") or Axxis ("Iron Hand") into great and addictive songs.
Ok, I admit, every heavy metal clichee is to be found here, but this time it works!
Powerful, headbanging songs with sing-a-long choruses are all over here - the whole album is written for live performances.
There is also a nice ballad, "Savage And Saint", well written, emanating a mystic atmosphere.
Almost every track is a metal anthem and one will surely stand the test of time: the fantastic "Steel"! This is one of a hell song - it will appear on many metal compilations in the future, for sure! I even dare to say that this song will probably be the "trade-mark" of the band (as same as "Fear Of The Dark" is for Iron Maiden, for instance).
Every member makes his job with great passion and self-confidence, everything sounds natural. You can easily feel the "brotherhood" of band's members.
The main attraction of the band is the singer Nitte Valo - her voice is amazing and her high-pitched notes are so clean and natural!
To sum it up: this is probably the catchiest metal album of 2011. Beware: you will crave for repeat hearings, but if you look for originality, don't waste your time with this album!
Battle Beast plays metal with great respect for their forefathers and I must thank them for this simple, yet beautiful music!

Favorite songs: Steel, Cyberspace, Armageddon Clan
Rating: 9

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Written by: Ciprian Faur
Monday, December 26, 2011
Acrimony (India) - False Vacuum [EP] (2011)
Official Links:

Streaming link: http://acrimony.bandcamp.com/

"You don't have to be old to be wise" - stated Judas Priest long time ago. And how true were their words!
Acrimony is a young band from India, in which the oldest members barely have 22 years, but how skillful they sound! (Please, do not confuse this band with the late British stoner/doom heroes from the 90's!)
To describe their music is a very difficult task, because the band mixes diverse genres and styles, from metalcore to deathcore and sometimes grindcore parts (especially on vocal parts), from progressive metal with djent passages (great guitar works!) to some heavy and almost thrash scores (like some parts from "Showdown"). If you want a label, I would say that "modern progressive metalcore" is an appropriate description of the band's style.
Although the guitars are the main attraction here, the keyboard play an important role as well - I was mesmerized by the gloomy intro from "Recede To Death".
The vocalist Dhairya Anand is such a great performer, alternating deathcore growls and grindcore grunts with amazing clean vocal lines. And his English is so good, you'll never guess he's from India!
All the band members give a great performance here and technically, there aren't much things to reproach - maybe some juxtapositions sound a bit forced, but, as a whole, I must say I was really impressed by the level of Acrimony's musicianship.
An obvious mention for the superb ballad "Deceased", it reminds me a lot of Dream Theater ballads!
If you want to hear something new and refreshing, you could try this modern progressive band. Although you may need several hearings, I'm pretty sure you'll get caught in their web.
As a downside, I can pinpoit some bad mixes in the voice scores and also some annoying drum programming sounds.
Also, the band had such a poor publicity - no MySpace page, no official homepage, not a videoclip.
These days promotion is very important in a band career, therefore I strongly suggest the band to make some efforts in that directions. Because they have anything necessary to become India's finest band - a lot of talent, and many years of career ahead (I hope so!)!
Do yourself a Christmas gift - contact the band via Facebook and listen to this beautiful EP. It's free and addictive!
Favorite tracks: Recede To Death, Deceased
Rating: 9
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Written by: Ciprian Faur
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Ancient Bards - Soulless Child (2011)
Official links:

Ancient Bards is a symphonic-power metal band born in Italy in 2007. They have other two releases: a demo, "Trailer of the Black Crystal Sword Saga" (2008), and a full- length album, "The Alliance of the Kings" (2010).
"Soulless Child" is the third album of this very promising Italian band, released in November 2011 via Limb Music GmbH.

1- Struggle for life (01:53)
2- To the master of darkness (07:33)
3- Gates of Noland (05:13)
4- Broken illusion (05:11)
5- All that is true (09:55)
6- Valiant ride (04:13)
7- Dinanzi al flagello (01:29)
8- Soulless child (09:15)
9- Through my veins (07:19)
10- Hope dies last (14:31)

Long time since I've been blown away from the very first track, from the very first tunes. But alas, it happens when you expect it the least.
This album (and generally the music of Ancient Bards) somehow reminds me of early Rhapsody. The songs are long, bombastic, and full of surprises. Symphonic parts and beautiful choirs meet the blasting drums and guitar solos, and Sara Squadrani's beautiful voice is more than fitting. We can hear a simple, yet strong voice, doing its job in an efficient way.
"Struggle for Life" is a dramatic intro, preparing the path of the story and melting into "The Master of Darkness" (which also can be seen as a videoclip). The heavy choir opens the song, and the drums lead the way. The other instruments are left into the background, leaving place for the voice and choir. Nevertheless, the guitar solo is breathtaking, the chorus is catchy, and the whole song is a perfect introduction for the album.
"Gates of Noland" starts with a symphonic part, followed by the powerful guitar riffs and heavy drums. Sara's voice is loud and strong, accompanied by beautiful choirs.
Powerful guitar riffs open the next song, "Broken Illusion". The voice-line is very simple, yet effective, and this allows interesting theme-deviations and beautiful choir parts, even though it's one of the short songs.
"All that is true" has a length of almost 10 minutes. It starts as a ballad, with slow keyboards and a soft sweet voice, which grows stronger while the drums and the choirs demand their place on the set. The music-theme changes in the middle of the song, the drums and symphonic instruments create a dramatic atmosphere, all followed by a guitar solo. The song does not turn into something harder-faster, but it becomes more powerful. It is a beautiful piece, one of the best on the album.
A very interesting piece is "Valiant Ride". With its heavy beginning, the "duet" between the singer and the choir, the guitar solo, it is a very complex song, even though it's a short one. There is no space to waste, and the short songs prove it.
"Dinanzi al Flagello" is a very short but very beautiful piece, a heavy choir reminding me of those great soundtracks that make you watch a movie so many times not because of the plot, but because of the music. I only wish it was a little longer. But its length has a reason, for it is the intro for "Soulless Child", a 9 minutes long very complex song, actually the soul of the whole album.
"Through My Veins" is the heaviest song on "Soulless Child". The chorus is fast and dynamic, and there also is a rough male voice to sing along with Sara.
If you think you've heard the longest songs on this album, well you're wrong. "Hope Dies Last" is over 14 minutes long. Slow, yet powerful, it becomes faster and more powerful during the whole process. Heavy guitar riffs, bombastic tunes and beautiful symphonic parts melt into one great masterpiece.
Maybe it does not have the most original tunes one has ever heard, but it has something much more important. "Soulless Child" sounds very well, it's catchy, and it creates addiction. So don't miss it!

Highlights: The Master of Darkness, Valiant Ride, Soulless Child, Through My Veins
Mark: 10
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Written by: Cat
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Adrian - One Step Into The Uncertain (1987)
Listen to the album:

European heavy/power metal scene from the 80's was full of obscure and underrated bands. I'll try to present you some of those underrated gems, because I think those masterpieces should be remembered and discovered by the metal community.

Adrian was a German band, never signed under a label, so a total independent band.
Their one and only material, the debut album "One Step Into The Uncertain", was self-released in 1987.
The band presented a great mix of NWOBHM/american power metal with teutonic/speed/power metal (in the vein of Running Wild).
The opener, "Reach The Sky", is a good example of NWOBHM influence (the Maiden riffs are all over), while the epic "The King Is Born Again" will surely bring you Manowar in mind.
"The White Death" brings back the great NWOBHM sound of Angelwitch or Diamond Head, with a catchy chorus and insanely melodic guitar licks.
Although the songs are quite lengthy and complex, they don't bother at all, and succeed to sound interesting, catchy and unitary - "South Africa" is a perfect example in this sense.

The ballad "Dreamer" has a Judas Priest feeling, while "Love Dies In A Painful Way" is definitely one of the greatest power ballads around!
The musicianship is great, the vocal lines are powerful and melodic, the guitar solos are quite catchy and add value to every song.
Production is very rough and unpolished, but since it's a self-product album, is it quite understandable. But this a real deal, guys - no studio effects and mastering, only raw and pure rock and roll!
Oh, and the cover is so bad it's good, it always makes me smile!
A great and forgotten album, which deserves a much more attention!
An album created by young and talented musicians, from the heart and from the times when music was made for joy, not for money.

Favorite songs: Love Dies In A Painful Way, The White Death, Dreamer
Rating: 9
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Written by: Ciprian Faur
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Deus Otiosus - Murderer (2010)
Official Links:
Official Website

Buy Album:

Deus Otiosus took shape in 2005 in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the initiative of Anders Bo Rasmussen (vocalist) and Henrik Engkjaer (guitar) and soon to release a demo entitled Death Lives Again.

2009 meant for the band a full line-up consisting of Anders Bo Rasmussen (vocals), Henrik Engkjaer (guitar), Peter Engkjaer (guitar), Jens Nepper (bass) and Soren Bentsen (drums), a split CD with Hideous Invasion but also the beginning of the recordings for the first full-lenght album, Murderer, that was released in 2010 under American Line Productions/DA Rekotz. A new bass player, Jesper Holst, comes on board in the same year the disc was released and then the band quickly gains notoriety and a strong base of fans in Denmark's metal scene.

At a first glance, we can easily state about Murderer that was well-thought and an ideal debut for any band that wants to prove itself and show what it can do. The cvintet plays old school death metal and well...they play it quite well, need I say. The vocals of Anders Bo Rasmussen bring honor to the 90's death metal scene, the guitars are well organized and executed (you wouldn't say this is their first album) and Bentsen beats the shit out of those drums.

While listening to the first track, I Have Seen Him Slay, I was thinking that they needed a little bit of complexity but then, as if they read my mind, they started changing the pace, bringing more death metal fury, insane guitar riffing and a very honest and straight-forward feeling.

All of the eight tracks maintain the line, creating a whole; While I'd wish I'd see them experiment more and I'm sure they'll surprise us even more with the following materials, it was a very smart move because otherwise they would have been considered undecided by critics and the music devours.

Besides the feeling Murderer gave me and the admiration for how these guys master this genre, I was really fond of their booklet - even though it's simple to make (the geek in me knows the ways, hehe) it's very effective and eye-captivating.

I couldn't say wich songs I loved most but the ones that caught my immediate attention are Thousands Arms of The Dead, Ye Pigs of Little Faith and No Life. All in all, this is an album that must be heard by anyone who is into death metal, especially for those who get nostalgic when thinking of ye veterans of this genre. It may not be as complex as an Atheist album for example but my female intuition tells me these guys will only grow in the future.