Album Reviews

  • Blut Aus Nord...Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue with the Stars (2009)

    When you listen to Blut Aus Nord you can count on listening to a band that has the same musical style since they where conceived. However their style, while primitive, is more mature in this release than their previous albums.

    If you like fast paced harsh black metal this is the album for you, however they do have some nice instrumental interludes in their songs and also some calm parts that sound better than the majority of the album.

  • Den Saakaldte - All Hail Pessimism (2009)

    As they mention in their myspace page, this is sick music for sick individuals, and I can’t agree more. This is something that every true black metal fan should listen and have in their regular playlists.

    This band has truly captured the old feeling of black metal and has managed to improve on it by their use of synthesizers along some their songs, reminding me of Alghazanth’s The polarity axiom and Osiris - Typhon Unmasked.

  • Ironica - Dive (2009)

    This is a CD single that contains 3 versions of the same track, the single edit, the album version and the acoustic version. This band sounds like many other gothic metal bands with the difference that the singer vocal style is more power metal oriented. They also have some great guitar solos that mix very well with the song structure.

    This band has good potential and their sound is very refined. From what I can say about this single, I’ll be definitely waiting for their full length.

  • Wolves In The Throne Room - Malevolent Grain (2009)

    When I first started listening to this album in the first few seconds I said to myself: “Another shitty band trying to sound like ‘true’ black metal that recorded this in their backyard and it’s going to suck”, well let me tell you I was wrong!!! While the recording itself is low quality, it actually adds to the bands general feeling and the feeling of the songs.

    The album starts like a typical low budget recording with some very ‘true’ black metal sounding distorted guitars, but when the vocals start…. they are clean female vocals, that sound really, really depressing.

  • Absu - Absu (2009)

    It’s been a while since I’ve heard from this black metal band from Texas, and they are returning with full strength to recover their place among the best of their genre. Their style is a peculiar mix of black and trash metal that reminds me of the old school trash releases from years ago, with interesting overtones of black metal elements.

    This album takes you by assault since it starts with fast-paced melodies that hold you and don’t let go.

  • Coram Lethe - A Splendid Chaos (2009)

    Coram Lethe is the Italian version of a less talented Arch Enemy. While Erica’s vocal style is quite similar to Angela Gossow, this band’s music falls short of Arch Enemy’s great guitar riffs and melodies.

    This album might be liked by Arch Enemy fans, but their attempts to sound like them will get in the way of the enjoyment process of this album. Don’t get me wrong, this album has its own merits and it’s pretty good, if we could ignore the whole Arch Enemy clone issue.

  • Entwine - Painstained (2009)

    Well…. we have here another release of Finnish gothic rock/metal. Entwine, in my opinion, is a very close contender to HIM’s gothic rock/metal supremacy crown. This band keeps getting better in every release they put out, however, in my opinion, their main downfall is that their vocalist sounds too plain and uninspired (compared to Ville Valo and others).

    This album is petty good in general with great catchy songs and everything, but it just does not move me anymore, and it feels like I’ve heard the same album/style/band when I listen to a new release or a new band in this tired genre.

  • Obscura - Cosmogenesis (2009)

    I’m very impressed with this band from Germany. Cosmogenesis is their second full length release in 7 years, and it’s great! I usually don’t go praising bands for nothing and I’m not easily impressed either, but this album is close to perfection.

    The band, as their myspace page mentions, is a team of virtuoso musicians. Most of the time bands exaggerate on their pages, but in this case, the definition is dead on. I can’t find a weak point in this band’s lineup, since all musicians contribute their skills to the album in equal amounts.

     

  • Vanguard - Hydralchemy (2009)

    This band first album was named Succumbra and it was released in 2005 after winning a contest in Wacken Open Air. The band can be classified as dark metal, since they have so many different elements in their music which, by the way, are blended to perfection in most songs.

    This album shows a great deal of maturity from the band in their musical composition. All of the instruments complement each other perfectly creating powerful melodies in each of the songs.

     

  • Northern Kings - Reborn (2008)

    The second album from this all-star Finnish band brings us 12 more cover songs from a very “unique” group of songs. The band’s adaptation of the songs is very nice in most cases, but some of them do not have a good sound. However, all instruments blend well together and are very well combined (if you ignore the fact that the songs are covers). The combination of 4 different vocalists make them have a very dynamic arsenal of vocal styles and quality, the 2 most notable voices are Marco Hielata and Tony Kako’s since their style sets them apart from the other 2 singers (Jarkko Ahola and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto).

    While this album is a good metal cover’s album, it takes a while to adapt to, and sometimes you even need to go and see what song they are actually covering since you can’t distinguish them easily.

     

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