Band: Revel in Flesh
Label: F.D.A. Rekotz
Review: This is Revel in Flesh’s first album. They are a German band playing old school Death Metal. The low tuned buzz saw guitars are present, drums are simplistic and the vocals are growled to fit. The lyrics about war, death and suffering are limited and are quite repetitive – the song ‘Iron Coffin’ is an example of this (the title is repeated sixteen times on the lyric sheet). Some of the songs have the odd drop out in the overall sound, leaving a bit too much distance between each instrument. While this could be used as an effect it doesn’t really work here. The overall grumble with this album is that the songs are a bit long and don’t keep my attention. That being said, they are on the right track and if you’re new to this style of music, Revel in Flesh isn’t a bad place to start.
Album: A Perfect Absolution
Label: Listenable Records
Review: I have to thank the Youtube review community for this album nod. Gorod have been around since 2005 and progress with every album. They meld together a few styles; technical death metal, metal core riffs and emotional twin melodic harmonies for starters. The opening track “Birds Of Sulphur” is a good example of this. Some could say that this mixes together a few too many styles however, they would be missing the point of what Gorod are about. ‘Varangian Paradise,’ is a real melon twister of a song compared with the other seven tracks on this album. A disco intro and exotic grooves is really something of a break even if only for a few bars at a time. ‘A Perfect Absolution’ is a great album to whet your appetite to go and explore their back catalogue.
Album: Ravage & Conquer
Label: Pulverised Records
Review: The notes that accompany this album say that “Ravage & Conquer” was written in one week, rehearsed the following week and then recorded in the two weeks after that. Impressive stuff considering it all was done right off the back of a US tour! This, their eighth studio album offers six new songs, a re-recording of ‘Salve the Goat’ and a cover of “Sacrifice” by Bathory. The guitar sound is very clear and the riffs intertwine like snakes making love. Lyrics and vocal style are well placed and spread over the music really well. The bass fills any gaps but it’s not too high in the mix. The only minor issue is that the drums are so fast the details get lost. The overall result is that “Ravage & Conquer” is not the sort of album you would have as background music, it’s got way too much attitude for casual listening.
Band: Hour of Penance
Label: Prosthetic Records
Review: Every track on this album is fast. This, Hour of Penance’s fifth album has a very full production. With a thick guitar sound and only a hairs width between each instrument, tracks like “Deprave to Redeem,” “Enlightened Submission” and “Ascension” show this off very well. A favourable comparison can be made to Behemoth in terms of sound and the fan-base this will appeal to. The only thing that could be seen as ‘patchy’ are the drums when doing tom rolls, although this is only fleeting when it does happen. With brutal song writing and short album length, it’s easy to hit repeat for a second listen and closer inspection.
Label: Century Media Records
Review: “Téras” is a great album. Playing the album back to back leads you down some dark lyrical paths. Sitting not too far from the bombastic sound of Dimmu Borgir and the spite of Dark Funeral, the nine track affair has Kristoffer Olivius’ vocal attack all over it. There is a feeling that Naglfar have spent a little bit too much time getting everything right. All the instruments work well together and playing this at high volume will only increase your listening pleasure. While you can play this album again and again it never hits a massive high point although it may very well become a hidden gem in future years.
Band: Christian Mistress
Label: Relapse Records
Review: This second album from Christian Mistress is going to appeal to fans of old heavy metal. References from Iron Maiden’s early releases can be found spattered throughout each track in abundance with the odd allusion to doom e.g. the title track of the album. Christine Davis’ vocals are reminiscent of Alia O’Brien from Blood Ceremony however the music is a lot less psychedelic. The production on “Possession” is very basic allowing twin guitar melodies to stand out. The bass is a solid clunk and the drums are old school power playing. A direct play and satisfaction guaranteed for a good old fashioned head banging session complete with cardboard cut out guitar. Long live the 80’s in the 00’s.
Album:Out to Die
Review: “Out to Die” is Aura Noir’s fifth album. Following on in their already well known writing technique (stabbing jazzy chords and balls to the wall sound) they take no prisoners. The first three tracks are fast and furious, moving to a mid paced tempo change for the longest song on the album “The Grin from the Gallows.” The pace then picks up again for another short song “Withheld” before the brilliantly titled “Priest’s Hellish Fiend.” Again, another catchy mid tempo beast for the better part. The last two tracks are possibly the fastest “Deathwish” and “Out to Die” which is also the most obscure. This title track has quirky riffs, hectic patters and harsher melodies. With lyrics talking generally about unpleasant situations and the music being somewhere between High on Fire, Motorhead and Slayer, this is a very strong release.