Album Reviews

  • 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.

     

  • Forest Of Shadows - Six Waves Of Woe (2008)

    Six Waves Of Wore represents the last 4 years of the bands work. And let me tell you while is up to par with their previous release: Departure, it's nowhere near their best release up to date: Where Dreams Turn To Dust. I've been a fan of the band since their demos, and I've been quite pleased with their musical evolution, however this last release left me a bit unsatisfied since the album did not made me want to play it over and over again, like their previous releases.

    The music has the traditional Forest Of Shadows sound making this release a must have for doom metal fans, however it feels boring after a few songs with not much innovation or memorable parts. The growls are gone, and the clean vocals are pretty good but after a while the blend and disappear with the music.

     

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