As one of the most anticipated releases of 2017, today we have DragonForce and their brilliant return with “Reaching into Infinity”. Delivering over 60 minutes of their signature Power Metal, the band returns with a highly palatable and diverse release that will please old and new fans alike. Never resting on their laurels, the band continues to shape their sound by crafting ten brilliant tracks that are versatile, fast-paced, and highly memorable.
The band perfectly anticipates this release with the grand opening of the album’s title track intro. This leads to the epicness of “Ashes of the Dawn”, a brilliantly paced tune that perfectly combines an upbeat tempo and emotional vocal arrangements. The band’s signature playful videogame-styled music appears on the intense “Judgment Day” and “Astral Empire”, where you have Herman Li, Sam Totman and Vadim Pruzhanov furiously playing off each other’s skills.
Wasting no time and keeping up their momentum going, today we have Downfall of Gaia and their latest full-length opus “Atrophy”. Delivering over 40 minutes of brutally crafted Post-Black Metal with some Sludge and Crust influences, the band continues their musical journey with one of the most intelligent and yet extremely brutal releases of 2016.
Opening with the brutal “Brood”, the band quickly builds up a massive wall of sound with distorted guitars, a ponding bass guitar, and blistering drums. The vocals are as punishing as you can possibly imagine, adding to the overall demoralizing atmosphere of the track. In a bit more melodic tone, the opening riffing of “Woe” starts quite brutal and it slowly progresses into more Sludgy territories.
Pushing the limits of what is defined as extreme; today we have Anaal Nathrakh and their latest crushing release: “The Whole of the Law”. Ever since the band moved to Metal Blade Records, they have been on a warpath of destruction and insanity. Delivering over 42 minutes of brutal aural devastation, the band cranks up eleven of the most chaotic and abusive songs we have ever heard.
After the slow atmospheric intro, the band opens their portal to hell with the crushing “Depravity Favours the Bold”. This track is filled with atmospheric arrangements paired with Dave Hunt’s multi-faceted range of vocals. The release continues to punish the listener with the brutal Grindcore onslaughts of “Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion”, the eerie Industrial elements of “We Will Fucking Kill You”, and the totally deranged vocals and Death Metal vibe of “So We Can Die Happy”.
Hailing from the mountains of Colorado, today we have American Melodic Death Metal battalion Allegaeon and their latest opus “Proponent for Sentience”. Perfectly blending influences from the modern Technical Melodeath scene with old-school Melodic Death Metal and regular Death Metal elements, this band delivers seventy two brilliant minutes of hyper catchy and very crafty music. For fans of bands ranging from Death to The Black Dahlia Murder, this release will leave you exhausted from too much headbanging.
Wasting no time, the band completely blows the lid of this release with a trippy atmospheric intro that bleeds into a no holds barred riffing barrage on “Proponent for Scentience I – The Conception”. The band pummels through “All Hail Science” and “From Nothing” delivering waves of acrobatic technical passages that put many bands to shave. One of our personal favorites is the mixture of acoustic guitars and different percussions used on “Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassonata Ex Machinea”.
After constantly releasing brilliant albums over the years, Amon Amarath returns today with their most mature and melodic work to date: “Jomsviking”. Taking you through an eleven track journey, the band delivers a more refined and developed version of their signature style. Focusing on melody and epicness, the songs in this album are both memorable and intoxicating, allowing the listeners to fully be immersed into the band’s world.
Opening with the first single, “First Kill”, the band lets the listener settle in with a very traditional Amon Amarth-esque piece filled with excellent guitar work and a hefty pace. Smoothly transitioning into “Wanderer”, the music gets more serious and a bit slower, allowing the powerful riffs to lead the way. The band’s session drummer Tobben Gustafsson of Vomitory fame, does a great job in delivering intricate drum patterns and keeping things tight.
Arriving with great hype and praise, today we have Germany’s Ketzer and their third full-length release titled “Starless”. Delivering a hefty mixture of Black Metal, Thrash Metal and some Post/ Hard Rock elements, this release comes under its own terms and with its unique sound that further expands the band’s musical range. Considerably more creative than most albums these days, the hype is real when it comes to this outfit.
Opening with the playful and Black’n’Roll-ish “Starless”, we are treated to a mixture of Aura Noir and Vreid thanks to catchy riffs and a very crafty tempo. Things get more awesome with the uber catchiness of “Godface” and its very direct attitude. This song reminds us a bit of Tribulation, but with the Ketzer signature. Continuing with the surprises, the heavy “Count to Ten” has a good dose of sinister riffs and that obscure BM atmosphere that bands like Satyricon seamlessly create.
Arriving just in time to close the summer, The Black Dahlia Murder deliver their most recent outburst of brutality titled “Abysmal”. Featuring ten tracks of acrobatic Melodic Death Metal, the band finally sheds all remaining elements of their Deathcore days and delivers one of the most destructive and yet melodic releases of 2015. The Carcass worship is clearly present alongside the band’s own devastating sound.
Opening with the dramatic “Receipt”, the band blasts away at listeners with their relentless drumming and crushing riffs in a demolishing fashion. And immediate standout in this release is the track “Abysmal” that reminds us of a mixture of Thulcandra/Dissection and Carcass with it harsh vocals, melodic guitars, and very oppressive atmosphere. The band’s founding members Trevor Strnad and Brian Eschbach have come a long way over the years and this release is testament of their musical evolution.
Delivering the most brutal release of 2015, today we have Cattle Decapitation and their seventh opus “The Anthropocene Extinction”. Nearly putting Anaal Nathrakh to shame in terms of sheer brutality, this release features twelve tracks of in your face riffs, crushing vocals and inhuman drums. With over 45 minutes of devastating music, this album will leave you sore just by listening to it.
Slowly warming up with the melodic opening of “Manufactured Extinct”, the band suddenly busts out the Death Metal riffs and before you even know it, Grindcore and Brutal Death Metal elements have arrived. This level of intensity is perfectly continued by the neck snapping “The Prophets of Loss”, which features Phil Anselmo as guest vocalist. Using Author and Punisher’s intro in “Plagueborne”, the band has managed to deliver a huge opening trio of tracks that only scratch the surface in terms of brutality.
Instantly showing that their debut “To Sail Black Waters” was no fluke, Bay Area’s outfit Secrets of the Sky delivers an even more mature and expertly crafted sophomore release with “Pathway”. Finding their home in Metal Blade Records, the band fully explores their musical capabilities with the 13 tracks presented in this very unique and different sounding release.
Opening with the relaxing sound of waves on the ‘instrumental’ “I”, this swiftly transforms into the band first real onslaught titled “Three Swords”. Expertly manipulating the atmosphere of their music, this opener sets a very mellow mood that fully explodes as the band rips through some thunderous Doom riffs between peaceful interludes. Placing nice tempo-shifting interludes between the tracks, Secrets of the Sky perfectly manipulates and guides the listener’s experience.
Leaving us wanting more after their last release, Six Feet Under returns with another opus of catchy and grooviness inspired Death Metal with “Crypt of the Devil”. Led by Chris Barnes and Steve Swanson, this band has been refining their sound over the last 10 years and is far from sounding like any other Death Metal band in the scene. Dividing 37 minutes of music through 10 tracks, this release has enough catchiness to send you to the hospital from a neck injury after a day of extreme head banging.
Kicking off with the traditional sounding “Gruesome”, the band gradually increases their effectiveness through tracks like the hyper catchy “Open Coffin Orgy” and the brutally titled (and crushing) “Broken Bottle Rape”. The Six Feet Under signature sound is always present in the tracks in this release as Chris Barnes iconic vocals shine through. There are killer guitar solos and funky riffs in all tracks, but we particularly love the insane solos on “Broken Bottle Rape”. The band can switch up the tempo quite effectively with the chugging “Break the Cross in Half”.