Album Reviews

  • Wolves In The Throne Room – Black Cascade (2009)

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    After their great EP: “Malevolent Grain”, I was expecting this album to continue where the band left off in that release. And they sure did, and raise the bar to a different level. “Black Cascade” features some greatly emotional Black metal that plenty of bands wish they can achieve.

    This release takes you into a dark journey mixed with aggressiveness and emotions. The sound quality is not the best out there but it clearly adds to the music and it’s probably intended this way. The four songs clock around 50 minutes, and while some of them can get to be a bit repetitive at some parts, the band makes it up by constantly changing the pace. There are no female vocals or clean vocals in this release, only harsh black metal vocals that sound excellent with the songs.

  • Avsky – Malignant (2008)

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    Avsky hails from Sweden and they attack us with their latest album “Malignant”. This album is considerably better than their previous release “Mass Destruction”. This band plays some raw and brutal old school black metal that will have every fan of the genera banging their heads.

    This two man band makes a chilling impression since their first song and never let go. Each song is defined by raw sounding distorted guitars and some bone chilling vocals that would have every listener having nightmares for a few weeks.

  • Brown Jenkins – Angel Eyes (2008)

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    Brown Jenkins was a Texan one man band. I say was because it ‘split-up’ late 2008, probably because of creative differences with the voices in his head. I must say that I don’t get this type of bands that play the same (or very similar) guitar riffs for one full album. While I’m always open to hear different types/genres of music, there are some releases that I either don’t get or just plain suck.

  • Agathodaimon - Phoenix (2009)

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    It’s been five years since the last release from this Germany band and they are back with a vengeance. Since their last album “Serpent's Embrace” released in 2004, the band lost four members. “Phoenix” marks the return of Agathodaimon like a phoenix from the ashes indeed.

    This album in my opinion is Agathodaimon’s best release. The band returns to their more simple symphonic black metal roots. While they are not as ‘symphonic’ as the likes of Dimmu Borgir and other bands in the genre, they hold their own with a quality release like this.

  • Necronoclast – Haven (2008)

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    Necronoclast is a one man band from Scotland that mixes black metal with some doom influences. While I can see why people compare this band to Xasthur, and maybe older Katatonia, I don’t find any evident Opeth influences in their music. “Haven” features almost 50 minutes of slow and ‘different’ black metal. The problem is that this album gets dull after the first 10 minutes.

  • Nocturnal Fear – Code Of Violence (2008)

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    When I popped this album I was surprised since it took me back in time. This band’s sound reminded me of old Kreator (without the annoying vocals), and some hints of the old bay area trash metal bands. This album features 40 some minutes of intense old school metal that will keep older metal heads at peace.

    The band sound is not unique, but it nicely blends influences of many bands, and they can easily be noticed during the duration of this album. The guitar riffs are very intense and go along the furious drumming perfectly. The vocals are also very good and not annoying like in some trash metal bands these days.

  • Delain – April Rain (Single) (2009)

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    I’ve been waiting for 3 years for a new release from Delain, and this single came before the full album of the same title.  The single features two versions of the April Rain song, one for radio and the full album version. The radio version is shorter and sounds a bit different than the album version.

    While “April Rain” is a very gothic rock oriented song, I think it’s designed to break Dealain into a more mainstream market. While the song is not bad, I was expecting more from Delain.

  • Eternal Tears Of Sorrow – Tears Of Autumn Rain (2009)

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    This single from this band just adds to my anxiety of waiting for their new full length album. It features 2 tracks, one from the new album, and a remake of Vilda Mannu. This all-star band from Finland create a very interesting blend of music. While they maintain the aggressiveness of the older stuff, they add a more symphonic layer to their latest releases. And this is just great, the sound is very melodic and powerful.

    This single opens up with the title track and it blows you away. Featuring nice melodic keyboards complementing the guitar riffs, harsh vocals, precise drumming and a great chorus that will have everybody head banging, the only bad thing is that it’s only 4 minutes long!.

  • Tarja – Enough (2009)

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    While Tarja is no doubt one of the best singers in Metal, after her time with Nighwish was over, she should have retired or found a band to sing in. Her post-nightwish full length album “My Winter Storm” was pretty dispointing and dull. She had at hand composers and songwriters to aid her in the release, but these things did not help, and the album sucked.

    This single is not far from that release. The songs are pretty dull and while her voice sounds great as always, it does not fit the music at all. It seems like a karaoke attempt. Two songs are contained in this single and they are more than enough to make me stop listening to it, and dig up my old Nightwish cd’s to remember how her voice sounds with good music.

  • Lacuna Coil – Spellbound (2009)

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    This single was released as a digital download from iTunes, and after their previously disappointing, but highly successful (commercially) “Karmacode” album, I was hesitant about giving this a spin. I was very supprised to listen that this song is better than anything on “Karmacode” by far.

    The music has the unique sound that Lacuna Coil achieves with help of Cristina’s vocals, and while it sounds more gothic rock oriented, it’s pretty good. The chorus is very catchy and the drumming in excellent, the guitars are a bit dull (compared to stuff from “In a Reverie” or even “Comalies”).

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