If you’ve been following Infernal Masquerade for a while, you should know that we are one of the biggest Amorphis fans ever. When this release was announced we had big smiles in our heads since after seeing the band perform this classic songs with the ‘latest’ line-up and completely blowing us away, we wanted to have them on studio-quality recording and blast them all day long, since 7 out of the 13 songs in this album are some of our favorites of all time.
“Magic & Mayhem - Tales from the Early Years” features 12 songs (plus one bonus track) that have been re-recorded and somewhat re-arranged to fit the band’s current dynamic sound. These songs are taken from “The Karelian Isthmus”, “Tales from the Thousand Lakes”, and “Elegy” albums.
When we where thinking where the hell have we heard of this band before, it immediately hit us that the band had a song (“Black Leather Cult”) in the epic “The Holy Bible” compilation album of Holy Records back in 1996. Fast-forward almost 14 years and, several releases and a brief break up and we have Nighfall back with only one of the original members: Efthimis Karadimas, now only on vocals.
“Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants” marks a very impressive release of this Greek band on Metal Blade Records. Since you start listening to this album, you immediately know that it will surely be an interesting experience. With a very interesting Melodic Black/Death Metal sound, the band quickly brings back of some of their older releases on Holy Records, because of the odd combination of powerful riffs, different vocals (clean and growls), and the elevated us of keyboards.
Celebrating the band’s 20 year anniversary we finally get a live DVD from Amorphis, one of the best Metal bands to come out of Finland. And not only do we get one show, we get two full shows in a lush DVD/CD package (in the Deluxe edition). The shows presented on this DVD are a 2009 show from Oulu, and their Summer Breeze 09 performance, clocking over 150 minutes of pure unadulterated Amorphis.
If you never seen Amorphis live, you will be quickly hooked on the amazing energy and chemistry they present on stage. Tomi Joutsen helped the band come back from the dead (for some fans) with their 2006 masterpiece Eclipse, after a lackluster “Far From the Sun” and their terrible previous singer Pasi Koskinen.
All the way from Portugal today we get Chaos in Paradise a very young band that is releasing their first demo. This demo features four very interesting songs that showcase the band’s talents, but it also shows the areas where they need work. Since it’s a short demo we will use the dreaded ‘song-by-song’ approach to this review.
The band opens their demo with “Dawn” a very well structured song that features what this band is all about in less than 4 minutes. With powerful riffing, you quickly get the impression this might be a Melodic Death Metal release, but soon Sara’s angelic vocals follow and your whole impression of this album is changed. The band does a very solid job in crafting a powerful chorus section with solid riffing and a catchy vocal melody. However, the small use of male vocals could have easily been avoided and this would have kept the song more consistent.
Today we find ourselves listening to yet another band mixing Metalcore influences with something else. While this would usually mean that we start laughing from the beginning till the end of the band’s release, we actually find ourselves quite impressed with the solid effort put by Sicarus on their debut EP “Strength of All”.
Sicarus main strength lies behind the guitar acrobatics that Mad Scotsman and Jon provide the band with. We can make some comparisons with Into Eternity, Echoes of Eternity, Mutiny Within, etc. in this department, but the band does a great job at crafting a sound that does not rely on them too much (unlike the previously mentioned bands).
Apparently we had this little gem of an album sitting on our ‘to review’ folder for quite some time and it just recently got its deserved play time. We really regret not having enjoyed this fine release when it was released since it features a very interesting combination of Melodic Death Metal with what you can call ‘pop metal’ influences.
This German band has been known for releasing ‘average’ Melodic Death Metal bands, but until this release they will either standout more or be hated by their previous fans. Fusing electronic elements and clean vocals we get a bit of a ‘pop metal’ feeling to this album, and while this prevails through most of the album, the underlying foundations of the music are very much like their earlier stuff: melodic riffs and catchy song structures.
This month we find ourselves reviewing another band from the country that makes up 1/5th of the world: Russia. Hailing from Moscow we have Exortum, and band that plays Melodic Death Metal with plenty of clean vocals and even some breakdowns (but not in a really bad way).
The band’s four song EP is called “City In The Dead Mask”, yep, that is what is called. But don’t be fooled by the odd WTF title, the band’s music is very good, in fact the album could be called “Raping Clowns” for all we care and this will not take anything away from the quality of this band.
Blood Tsunami is a 4 man Norwegian band that features Faust, of Emperor fame, on drums. The sound of the band can be said it’s Melodic Trash Metal, but with Death and Black Metal style vocals.
The sound of the band is very dynamic and never gets dull, all riffs in the songs are greatly written and it truly showcases the bands talents, especially since “Grand Feast For Vultures” is the band’s 2nd full length release.
I was blown away by this band's first release. Their sound is so well defined and technically amazing. Every track of this album has been greatly constructed and shows a high level of musicianship. And amazingly enough most band members are under 21 years old!
The band's sound has some resemblance to Into Eternity, but it has a more symphonic sound to it. The vocals are a very well balanced mix of clean and harsh vocals that don't get too annoying or sound bad at all.