Metal Blade

  • Aeon – Path of Fire (2010)

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    Hailing from Sweden we have today yet another Death Metal band that wants to be ‘brutal’ and technical at the same time. Aeon is not a very (or at all) original band, but what they do, they do perfectly. With a very groovy sound, the band reminds us of the likes of Jungle Rot, Six Feet Under, etc.

    Combining chugging riffs and meaty hooks, the band does a great job in creating a very brutal DM backdrop, with the addition of some brilliant solos and bestial drumming (courtesy of Nils Fjellstrom, from Dark Funeral) the band creates very solid tracks that will have people moshing in no time. While Aeon is an extremely formulaic band, they do have good song writing chops to keep you entertained for over 40 minutes.

  • Istapp – Blekinge (2010)

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    With a particular beef with the sun (read their bio) and a very interesting overall concept behind the band, we get today Istapp and their blend of Black Metal with Viking/Folk Metal elements. The band’s first full-length release “Blekinge” set to be release on June 8th on Metal Blade records is one of the most complete Black Metal albums of 2010.

    Hailing from Sweden, a place where pretty much every band seems to have the skills to craft great music, it’s hard to find young and promising talent such as Istapp. The band’s music is very straight forward and aggressive, but has mystical clean passages that create unparalleled atmospheres fully enriching the listening experience.

  • Diabulus In Musica – Secrets (2010)

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    Forming from the ashes of Dragon Lord, today we have Diabulus In Musica and their first full-length: “Secrets”. Hailing from the Basque region of Spain, this newcomer to the Gothic Metal scene has what it takes to surprise the world. The band combines a bombastic Symphonic Gothic Metal foundation with beautiful female vocals that sound as powerful as Simone from Epica or even Floor from ReVamp.

    While the band is not re-inventing the genre in anyway, they are pretty darn good at making great songs. For over 55 minutes the bands brings us some fresh Gothic Metal that like we said is not super original, but at least it sounds different than all the bands we are currently used to.

  • Brain Drill – Quantum Catastrophe (2010)

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    We usually stay away from Grindcore bands, but Brain Drill was definitely one of the most interesting bands of that genre that we have reviewed in quite a while. With a very impressive mixture of Technical skills and traditional Death/Grindcore, they managed to grab our attention since the first track of this awesome release.

    With a very chaotic feeling to “Quantum Catastrophe” the band showcases their abilities to blend genius with brutality. Taking the genre into new heights (at least for us), the 8 songs in this album can be both appreciated by the technical wiz people and the brutality inspired fans. The album might not have any particular order, but it does a great job into reconciling two genres that have never merged well.

  • Skyforger – Kurbads (2010)

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    After listening to Skyforger’s new album “Kurbads” the first thing that comes to mind is: WTF. The band started out Pagan/Folk Metal with Black Metal influences, and now it’s reduced to a semi-inspired mixture of Trash/Heavy Metal with some Folk influences. “Kurbads” is far far away from what we are expected from Skyforger.

    Hailing from Latvia, it’s been seven years since the all-folk “Zobena Dziesma” album, and all these years have been wasted since “Kurbads” is downright terrible in our opinion. There are some good moments here and there, but mostly it’s just re-hashed Trash riffs with horrible vocals. The folk sections are ok, but during the band’s absence there have been great Pagan/Folk Metal releases that completely obscure this release.

  • Arma Gathas – Dead To This World (2010)

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    After all the countless Trash Metal releases we have reviewed in 2010, we finally get a break with a band that incorporates other elements to this genre, and makes it sound very different and fresh. Arma Gathas hails from Switzerland and their combination of Trash, Groove and some Hardcore elements makes them sound both powerful and fresh.

    If we had to guess where this band is from without doing research, we would have guess that they came from France, since Arma Gathas sounds like a Trashier version of Hacride, Gojira, etc. The riffing in “Dead To This World” is very Trash Metal oriented but with more aggressive vocals and different rhythms thrown into the mix.

  • As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise (2010)

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    We try to stay away from as much Metalcore crap that we can, but sometimes we get some releases that are worth listening to and giving them a solid review. “The Powerless Rise” is one of those, it features an As I Lay Dying that has been refining their sound with every release and now, they are good enough for us to enjoy (somewhat).

    The band is as brutal as ever and features the traditional breakdowns that most people love to death, however, we enjoy this album because of the brilliant melodic parts that some songs have in this release. The band might have 80% of the elements that makes us despise Metalcore, but objectively and musically, they can also compose brilliant songs.

  • The Abominable Iron Slot – The Id Will Overcome (2010)

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    Hailing from several cities across the USA we have The Abominable Iron Slot or is it The Indomitable Iron slot?? Since they keep changing it we kind of lost track of it, but apparently the CD has the first name on its cover. Anyways, the band plays Sludge/Stoner Metal with as much inspiration as you can get from watching paint dry.

    We usually like good releases in the Sludge/Stoner metal genre, but “The Id Will Overcome” is definitely not one of them. Using a massive amount of recycled riffs through this album, we feel the band’s inspiration was almost not existent and they just chugged out whatever they could come up in a few minutes.

  • Woe Of Tyrants – Threnody (2010)

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    In the vein of Black Dahlia Murder and such bands today we have Woe Of Tyrants, an American band that has great potential. “Threnody” is the band’s 3rd full-length album, and starts very similar to whatever bands like BDM sound like, but the album takes a monster transformation with the sixth song called “Bloodsmear” into a brilliant Melodic Death Metal band that sounds like few others.

    As the first five songs where passing, we were about to chalk up this release to another BDM sounding band that does not offer much in terms of innovation, but boy we where wrong. The first songs feature furious Death Metal with some slightly impressive technical aspects, but then the music gets very melodic with the use of lush keyboards, brilliant rhythmical parts and blasting solos.

  • The Ocean – Heliocentric (2010)

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    As one of the most complex and intricate albums we have received in 2010, “Heliocentric” is an interesting release that will keep you guessing what’s next until the album comes to an end. The band does a great job at mixing Post Rock influences with Progressive elements.

    Compared to their previous release “Precambrian”, “Heliocentric” is less complex and shows how the band is consolidating on a sound and sticking to it. This new release does have moments when they use cello, trumpets and other things, but it’s never abused and just complements the music very nicely.

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