Metal Blade

  • Austrian Death Machine – Jingle All the Way (2011)

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    With a hefty dose of pounding guitars and Arnold Schwarzenegger ridicule, today we have Austrian Death Machine and their latest single “Jingle All the Way”. Featuring three songs of hilarious and very well crafted Metal, As I Lay Dying’s Tim Lambesis is ready for another round of wackiness.

    Opening with “I’m not a Pervert”, the ‘band’ delivers high-octane guitar riffing with crushing vocals and some Arnold-like spoken sections. This song is very well crafted and pretty brutal indeed, it just makes it even better with the funny lyrics. Next on the agenda, the pounding “It’s Turbo time” delivers more devastating guitar riffs and a nice intensity.

  • Autumn – Cold Comfort (2011)

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    After dabbling into more ‘mainstream friendly’ lands with their previous release “Altitude”, Autumn returns to the darker side of things with the highly emotional “Cold Comfort”. In this new release the band delivers nine beautifully crafted melodies that nicely combine Progressive Rock elements with more traditional Rock influences under a very melancholic atmosphere that had us completely hooked into the album since the first track.

    The band’s vocalist Marjan Welman seems more integrated into the band’s sound and her sultry voice fits perfectly into the darker and more melancholic mood of this release than on the band’s previous ‘pop-goth’ release from 2009. Every song in “Cold Comfort” features a nice Progressive Rock/ Melancholic Rock blend of sounds, something like The Gathering with Anneke but in a less experimental way.

  • 3 – The Ghost You Gave to Me (2011)

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    After four years since the band’s last release (“The End Is Begun”), 3 returns with a more consolidated but equally excellent release under the title “The Ghost You Gave to Me”. With a very eclectic mixture of styles in each of the band’s previous releases, it feels that they have now unified their style and deliver a very well crafted mixture of Progressive Rock elements with a modern alternative music edge, and a few surprises here and there.

    Before you go running out the door after reading ‘alternative music’, 3 delivers plenty of powerful guitar melodies and well crafted riffs to satisfy any Progressive music fan. The vocals are very well crafted into the overall structure of the songs, allowing “The Ghost You Gave to Me” to have a very rich sound and never get dull (like many prog releases tend to get).

  • Glorior Belli – The Great Southern Darkness (2011)

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    After their excellent last album “Meet Us at the Southern Sign”, Glorior Belli decides to unleash a 180 degree twist on us and delivers one of the most interesting sounding Black ’n’ (Southern) Roll releases in the last few months. With 11 tracks and around 48 minutes of music, “The Great Southern Darkness” has a very fresh sound to it, while still maintaining some of the previous Glorior Belli flair in the music.

    The opener “Dark Gnosis” gives early hints of such a Stoner/Southern influence in the riffing and overall atmosphere of the song. The band however, keeps some of their own brand of BM influences in this very interesting and eye-popping opening track. With a heavier nature, “Secret Ride to Rebellion” delivers some excellent depraved riffing that will hum in your ears until you go to bed. The Southern/Stoner tanginess returns with the very entertaining “They Call Me Black Devil”, a track that has a cinematic like experience to it.

  • Powerwolf – Blood of the Saints (2011)

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    As one of the best live bands we saw this summer, Powerwolf is set to unleash their fourth full-length release “Blood of the Saints” late July. Trying to surpass the success of their previous release “Bible of the Best”, the wolf pack is back with epic vocal lines, powerful guitars and all around very entertaining songs.

    While many bands keep playing Power Metal in the traditional sense, we love bands like Powerwolf and Sabaton that push things with more powerful and diverse vocal styles and very well crafted lyrics and concepts behind their releases. “Blood of the Saints” features 11 songs and 41 minutes of pure Powerwolf catchiness and should propel them to the international status that band’s like Sabaton have achieved recently.

  • Hate Eternal - Phoenix Amongst the Ashes (2011)

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    Eric Rutan, formerly of Morbid Angel and Ripping Corpse, is not one to just deliver your average death metal album. He is methodical and precise and knows how to combine technical musicianship with complex songwriting. This probably one of the most evil and insane Hate Eternal albums that ha far exceeded my expectations.

    After the opener “Rebirth” trudges in with distorted guitar and double pedal drums, Hate Eternal bludgeons you with their second track “The Eternal Ruler” as Eric barks out his vocals with pure venom and hatred. Searing guitar leads weave in and out between Rutan’s low growls and high shrieks as the drums continue to pummel with a furious intensity. “Thorns of Acacia” carry thick guitar riffs that are played at a level which will never get boring as the guitar continuously bobs around the structures to keep that level of fury at full speed. “The Art of Redemption” shows Rutan at top form on guitar with an insane scale that would make even non-guitar players envious of that kind of talent.

  • Primordial – Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand (2011)

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    Delivering their 7th full-length album in over 20 years of existence, Primordial reminds us why they are one of the greatest Celtic/Folk Black Metal bands of all time. With powerful guitars driven songs and intricate drum patterns, the band provides over 60 minutes of brilliant music that is up to par with their greatest albums of the 90’s.

    Pounding away with “No Grave Deep Enough”, the band provides their signature guitar work that becomes outstanding when paired with A.A. Nemtheanga vocals. This song has all the ‘classical’ Primordial elements and works wonderfully as an opening track. “Lain with the Wolf” provides the typical build-up sections that the band is known for, and the drum patterns in this song make it very diverse and interesting to listen to.

  • Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising (2011)

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    The Swedish masters of Viking infused Melodic Death Metal are back with their most catchy and melodic release up to date. With “Surtur Rising” the band validates why they are one of the premiere Melodic Death Metal bands in the world and they will surely please all fans and gather hordes of new fans as well.

    As we all expected, the guitar work in “Surtur Rising” is outstanding to say the least. The riffing power of Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg is unrivaled and on this release they put together 10 songs of pure power and catchiness. Sure there are heaps of ‘traditional’ Amon Amarth sections, but the way the guitar melodies drives the music in this release is just excellent.

  • Ghost – Opus Eponymous (2011)

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    Labeled as one of the most interesting Psychedelic/Occult Rock releases of the last few years “Opus Eponymous” is the first full-length release of Ghost. For over 30 minutes we are treated to a very interesting and nostalgic sound that the band presents with their satanic craft.

    The album gets off to a great start with “Con Clavi Con Dio” thanks to solid riffs, great vocal arrangements and keyboards. However, the band’s sound is not as bombastic and effective as we expected and bands like The Devil’s Blood put them to shame when it comes to Psychedelic rock with occult elements.

  • Thomas Giles – Pulse (2011)

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    After not liking any of Between the Buried and Me’s stuff, I was about to hurl when I got this promo in my review queue. However, something magical will happen to you when you listen to this album since you will end-up loving it for its originality and freshness.

    I believe since I was expecting some crap like Between the Buried and Me I was less critical about this release, but many listens to this album you will still find yourself appreciating it and finding new details about the music. Thomas Giles crafts 11 songs that are very rich sounding and that have the perfect amounts of electronic elements, rock guitars, melancholic vocals and piano sections.

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