Crime Records

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Album review: Winter Kills - DevilDriver

DevilDriver just released their 6th studio album, called “Winter Kills”. It is the first release apart from long time label Roadrunner Records. DevilDriver went constantly away from their Nu Metal image and created heavier and thrashier albums than their first two. Their sound could be described as a mix of Groove Metal riffs with Melodeath vocals and Thrash elements. Let’s see in which musical direction this album goes.

Track by track:
The first track, “Oath of the Abyss”, is one of the strongest songs on this album. Powerful, pretty fast but at the same time melodic. Even though it is not as catchy as their biggest hit “Clouds over California”. “Ruthless”, the second track, isn’t as fast and not as straight forward as the first song. This one is more Groove than Melodeath. The third one, “Desperate Times”, is more In Flames than Pantera. I love it. It is fast but yet melodic and catchy. The lyrics are awesome as well. My favorite song on the whole album. The title track “Winter Kills” is the grooviest song on the album. Not my thing. “The Appetite” is another awesome song. Great guitars, awesome drums and powerful vocals. “Gutted” is definitely the heaviest song of the album. It is a “in your face” death metal song. I have to say I prefer the melodic songs. DevilDriver shouldn’t try to be something, they are not. “Curses and Epitaphs” sounds too generic. It is just too similar to the other songs on the album. The eighth song “Carings Overkill” is another good example of the awesome guitar work. Good song with a great solo. “Haunting Refrain” is a very fast mediocre song. “Tripping over Tombstones” is just another generic mediocre song. The last song is a cover of Awolnation’s “Sail”. I think there are way better ways to end an album.

I think the 49 minutes DevilDriver were just too much for me. This album has good songs, but there are too many generic sounding songs. This album carry on with the DevilDriver sound, but it will not get them new fans. If you like DevilDriver and their musical style, the album is worth a buy. If you don’t, I wouldn’t suggest you to buy it. But that is just my opinion.

Rating 5.5 out of 10

Friday, August 23, 2013

Album review: Tomorrow We Die Alive - Born of Osiris

Alright, first off I want to let you know this isn't gonna be a fanboy review. I have heard the waves of both praise and hate for this album. I dont give a fuck. I know some of you  will disagree with my rating. I'm not pandering to any fanbase. This is my review as a musician myself of 15 years and a music critic. Getting that pretense out of the way lets go on with the album.
   I have followed this band with interest since I saw them on Summer Slaughter Tour back in 08 ( I think) after The New Reign was out. I've been intrigued from the get-go with what their direction of a band would ultimately progress to. Each release seems to point generally to a more pop sensibility without letting go of technicality and ferocity.
    This album is a HUGE jump in that direction. The guitar sweeps are still there. The keyboards are more dominant on this album at least that i can remember which i dig for what they do. Everything from atmospheric to the almost oriental sounding flourishes keeps me interested all the way through listening to this album. Overall this album like each previous release becomes more and more memorable as far as the songs sticking in your head.
  What I hear overall is an agenda and drive in this album that may not be what their fanbase wants ( ala The Faceless but not anywhere that extreme) but its their art. its their baby. and they're obviously proud parents. I would advise you to just give this a listen and make your own choice but I love this album probably more so than anything else they've put out.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10

Friday, August 16, 2013

Album review: The Wild Hunt - Watain

3 years after their extremely successful album 'Lawless Darkness' ,the Swedish black metallers from Watain are back. After such a great album it is very difficult to satisfy your fans with new stuff. The expectations are just too damn high and usually bands can't fulfil them. Has 'The Wild Hunt' got the potential to put their older albums in the shade? Only time will tell.
      I would say yes, it has. For me this is their best album by far. I'm not saying their older stuff isn't good, quite the opposite, their albums were some of the best in black metal. 'The Wild Hunt' is a fucking awesome album. How would I describe it? I'd definitely mention the words 'maturity' and 'progress' but also 'aggression' and 'brutality'. Let's begin with the track by track!

Track by track:
The first song on this album, 'Night Vision' is a calm, dreamy introduction, the calm before the storm. And what a storm! 'De Profundis', the second track beats the shit out of your ears! It's an orgy of brutality, speed and complexity! The lyrics for the third track, 'Black Flames March' were written by Set Taitan, who wrote the lyrics for their classic 'Legions Of The Black Light'. This song is exactly my cup of tea, reminds me of Bathory. Atmospheric, epic (Progressive) Black Metal. Definetly one of the best on the album. 'All That May Bleed' is less atmospheric and more aggressive. An awesome headbang-song! The fifth song is my absolute favorite, 'The Child Must Die'. The perfect mix of speed and atmosphere. This one reminds me of Burzum's 'Dunkelheit'.
   The sixth song is a ballad. Unbelievable but true: Eric Danielson singing.'They Rode On' is even more melancholic than the other songs. Just a beautiful black metal ballad. I'd like to hear more stuff like this. 'Sleepless Evil' is the complete opposite of 'They Rode On'. Old school, back to the roots Black Metal. Not really my thing.
     The title track is again a more melodic, a bit doomy song with clean vocals. 'Outlaw' is very chaotic and the percussion sounds like Sepultura's 'Ratamahatta'. The tenth song, 'Ignem Veni Mittere' (I came to inflame) is instrumental. The perfect soundtrack for Varg, if you know what I mean ;-). 'Holocaust Dawn' shows us how much variety there is in Black Metal! Fast blastbeats, doublebass, brutality and melancholy.

Watain has matured and went through progress. That progress was a very very good progress. They developed their own style of black metal. 'The Wild Hunt' has many influences from Progressive Metal. On this album they showed how much variety there is in their minds and music.
    It isn't that hard like their older stuff, but it's much more mature and shows the different sides of the band and their music. They're now at the level of Dimmu and Cradle. Let's hope they don't go too much in the pop direction, like the other two bands.
If you like Black and Progressive Metal this album is definitely worth a buy. Hell, even if you don't listen to metal at all, it's fucking worth a buy. This album would be a good introduction to the world of metal. Best black metal album since Immortal's 'Son's of Northern Darkness'!

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What I'm listening to today: Vulture Industries

Today I am listening to Vulture Industries. Hailing from Norway and formed by former members of Enslaved and Black Hole Generator they really have a saucy style of Progressive Metal that seems like the mutated brother-cousin of Jethro Tull, Leprous and more mellow passages of Enslaved that gets kept in the attic and fed fish heads twice a day. 
   Both albums "The Dystopia Journals" and "The Malefactor's Bloody Register" deserve a spin for their merits. I do have to be in a certain mood for this band although what they do, they have perfected it and need to be heard by all prog-metal fans. 
   I won't go so far to say this band is the next big thing in metal but they definitely deserve the chance to be in the same circles as Ihsahn, Leprous and Opeth with similar exposure. It wouldnt surprise me to see them get to that level either. 
  They are not afraid to experiment or explore with their sound and yet they never fall short of writing a passage, riff or chorus that doesnt seem to fit which in itself is no easy task being someone who writes music myself. The vocals venture to eerie cleans to shrieks, yells and everything in between. 
  Enough talk, what do you think?

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