Crime Records

Monday, November 25, 2013

AfterBlood - Of Unsound Minds Review

Band: AfterBlood
Album: Of Unsound Minds
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Self-Released
Country: Athens, Greece
Release Date: November 22, 2013

 Well I've been waiting for "Of Unsound Minds" for a bit now since I first heard "Mission of Aggression" from the Lost in Chaos #5 Female Front Death Metal compilation/digitalzine earlier this year (free cd 24 tracks & pdf mag)  I wound up inquiring as to the release of the full disc and was told sometime in November. Few days ago  found via AfterBlood’s Facebook, it was coming out on November 22nd. So I decided to inquire about doing a review a few days prior, to which I temporarily forgot I asked about. The good ol C.R.S (Can’t Remember S**t) kicking in.  Release day, zero funds in PayPal, that ruled out BandCamp still wasn't on Amazon/Google Play as of yet. I avoid iTunes like the plague as it is. Google Play had it the next morning, I billed it to my carrier, T-Mobile. Thank you carrier billing!  Then a few minutes or so later I get an email back from their vocalist Hel Pyre with the version from BandCamp with the hidden 12th track. So Christmas came early for me... And yet supporting the band as well via the Google Play purchase. The things we do for metal. 

Enough of my rambling, onto the review shall we. There’s  more and more all female, or female-fronted bands surging ahead of the pack. And some even blow the guys out of the water vocally. Just some of the ones I do listen to Demonic Christ, Cerebral Bore, Frantic Amber, Arch Enemy, etc. Now I have AfterBlood added to that list with vocalist Hel Pyre as the frontwoman. So due to the above mentioned compilation, I got hooked on “Mission of Aggression” that features Tom Angelripper from Sodom doing some guest vocals. I checked out the band’s site soon after and, was drawn in even more seeing Waldemar Sorychta was working on it. Pretty much just about anything he works on is pretty killer, Grip Inc, Samael, etc. AfterBlood’s site had two tracks for everyone’s listening pleasure “Mission of Aggression”, “Take”. So onto the full disc, it opens with “Take” which is a pretty killer track. Hel’s vocals at times reminds me of Dana Duffey from Demonic Christ, with a mix of Angela Gossow. But certainly not copying either one of them at all and doing her own thing and I enjoy that.  Couple of songs, she sounds like this demonic child which I like.

The music itself is solid, and clear as all the instruments can be heard in the mix and none of them overpowers the other, or the vocals. The guest vocals all fit great within the songs as Angelripper’s on  “Mission of Aggression” and Antony’s  on “The More I Lie”. I especially enjoy Angelripper’s vocals alongside Hel’s on “Mission..” certainly sounds like a good pairing and very fluid between both.  There’s several tracks on here that stick out to me as favorites, obviously like I mentioned, “Take, “Mission of Aggression”, “Beyond”, “The More I Lie”, and “Psychonic” the Kreator cover “Phobia” is a good cover and a good bonus track to be had. I know there's always some fans that are like or will be “nothing beats the original”. But I've heard some cover songs that beat the originals over the years. . 

The songs do flow smoothly from one to another, a couple of tracks have keyboard parts added for some atmosphere, either in the opening or in the middle of it. As quoted on their site “The perfect blend of aggression and darkness - Waldemar Sorychta” I certainly agree, there’s a lot of good dark parts and certainly some good melody/rhythm sections. The solos, are pretty good too, they fit the structure of the music and are not ridiculously long like some bands go for.  

 The tracklist is as follow:

1. Take
2. Before Time Runs Out
3. Mission of Aggression (feat Tom Angelripper/Sodom)
4. Thoughts of Black
5. Play Dead
6. Beyond (feat. Waldemar Sorychta)
7. Calling the Dead (Seance)
8. Helheim
9. The More I lie (feat Antony Hamalainen/ex-Nightrage)
10. Psychonic
11. Goodnight
12. Phobia (Bonus Track/Kreator)

Overall I find this cd good and solid I highly recommend it and give it an 9 out of 10 stars. Only reason I didn't give it a 10, was it wasn't long enough, well it was, but 42 minutes flew by faster than I realized. Anyways, go buy it and support the band they deserve it. 

Band Contact: 
Hel Pyre’s Official Site:
Not only a killer vocalist.. She’s an amazing digital artist too.. Check out Hel @ Deviant Art 

 You can visit their site for more links, Twitter,, etc. 

 YouTube album teaser:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review: The Mountain by Haken

Band: Haken
Album: The Mountain
Label: Century Media Music
Country: United Kingdom
Released: September 2nd

This album is my official introduction to Haken. Its been out a hot minute but I told HW I wanted to talk about it. There is something so grandiose here, so epic. The first time through on this album it cant all soak in. Buckle in, this is gonna take several spins. This album would be wonderful bundled in with Leprous' Coal, Shinings One One One, and Vulture Industries' The Tower as like companion pieces. 
 The composition is godly. The closest thing I can compare it to would be Frost* with some Steven Wilson. Every movement chorus and verse is so well put together. Every piece plays its part in the bigger picture. There is NOTHING throwaway here. There is no fear for experimentation on this disc and it never backfires. There are acapella parts. There are passages of jazz. 
 I hear a cornucopia of influences but nothing rips anyone off. I hear a good bit of Yes in Cockroach King ( I'd love to hear the bands 2 cents on this thought.) Maybe some Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree here and there. With any endeavour of this scale of course everyone is a total virtuoso on their respective instruments. The album overall is very nerdy for the musicians listening to this cd but it doesnt get boring for non musician ears. 
 Regarding the album the band members said this of the mountain:
"To us, 'The Mountain' is symbolic of our journey as a band, but also reflects the wider trials and tribulations of life. Lyrically, we've done a lot of soul searching which has given the album an emotional depth that we're sure listeners will really relate to, whatever personal mountain they are climbing.
Musically, the new songs feel rawer and more emotional than anything we've created in the past. All the essential elements of our sound are still there but have been delivered in a more gritty and focused style. We've really pushed ourselves in all areas and truly believe that this album is a step up from any of our previous work.."
 After checking out their other albums, Aquarius and Visions this makes total sense to me as well as a listener. Don't write them off either. The other 2 albums are a different beast entirely but also amazing. 
 I get a sense from my friends and forums this band has a lot of potential and is really catching on for us prog nerds. I hope they really get a lot of attention from this album. I see this as their sleeper that gets everyone really hyped for whatever comes next like when Dead Letter Circus did with their debut album. Now everyone wont shut the fuck about them although they wholeheartedly deserve it as well.
  But Haken also deserves that status as household name and I feel it in my gut hearing this album. Boys keep it up. You will go far. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Deicide - In The Minds of Evil Review

Band: Deicide
Album: In The Minds of Evil
Label: Century Media
Country: United States
Release date: November 25

Keep in mind this is a preview/promo version I'm listening to. The good ol' internet and it's vast resources. As everywhere from what I gather the release date is November 25th according to the Century Media's site it's the 26th.  Probably due to Thanksgiving coming up for most retailers, other than Amazon who will have it on the 25th. So go get your pre-orders in for it if you want it asap. Go here for CM Distro -   This cd being their second release for Century Media. And considering I own every other release of theirs, I can't wait to get my hands on the actual version.

The new Deicide "In The Minds of Evil" starts out with a good quote which is so true about politics and religion.  But I'm not delving into those arenas as I avoid both with a passion. But the quote is "Some men just want to watch world burn",  it's true though. Anyways, the cd clocks in just under 37 minutes which is a record I think as most of their cds fall under 30 minutes. Not only do you have the blazing guitars and the machine gun drumming.

On this cd, there's actually some melody mixed in with the music this time on some of the tunes.
Although I've heard melody creeping in since Owens and Santolla signed on. One band I would love to see live, but would require me leaving the state, as they can't tour Massachusetts unfortunately. Sucks though. Haven't seen them hit Rhode Island either oddly enough lately either.

Benton's vocals are still as sick as ever, and I don't see that changing anytime soon at all. Plus he is the band basically besides the drummer Steven Ashiem. Without them, it wouldn't be Deicide. Musically this cd is as brutal as their prior releases and  certainly bypasses some of the releases a few albums before. Granted nothing beats that claymation "Conviction" video, as perhaps the worst video of all time, it was also the funniest (obviously unintentional) in my opinion for music videos. But all their other videos certainly kick major ass.

For me stand out tracks are the title track and last one End the Wrath of God. But they're all good songs with some good music in them. All in all it's another solid Deicide release, and it's good that their not sounding like their earlier albums. Granted I still love "Once Upon the Cross". I think that's mainly due to the amazing artwork on the foldout booklet. If you have it. You know what I'm talking about on the artwork.

There's 11 tracks on the disc, the production certainly sounds clear, though you really don't hear Glen's bass too much unlike some of the older work where his bass would stick out in the mix. Anyways if you want your blasting and semi-melodic anti-christian death metal I recommend with and 7 out of 10 stars. Musically it's killer as always, just lyrically it tends to rehash the same content as prior albums.
They are leaders of the Florida death metal scene along other acts such as Death, Obituary to name some bands. Strangely enough like I read years ago, I'm surprised they haven't retired yet as Mr. Benton said in one interview in the past. But Heck, look at Ozzy he keeps coming out of retirement every year just about. It's the power of metal that draw people back to the folds.


1 In the Minds of Evil
2 Thou Begone
3 Godkill
4 Beyond Salvation
5 Misery of One
6 Between the Flesh and the Void
7 Even the Gods Can Bleed
8 Trample the Cross
9 Fallen to Silence
10 Kill the Light of Christ
11 End the Wrath of God

Band Contact -


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mygrain - Planetary Breathing Review

Band: Mygrain
Album: Planetary Breathing
Released: September 2013
Label: Spinefarm Records

Well here is a band that I have been following literally since the beginning back on Myspace! I will do my best to put bias aside and give the best review I can of this album. If you see anything I post on metalb0x you know I love Melodeath more than most. The fact that I was born in America and not Finland or Sweden is one of lifes great tragedies.
  If you dont like Melodeath this album will not change your mind. If you do partake in nasty double bass layered with keys and a mix of sing screams you should really dig the shit out of this album. If you followed Mygrain they certainly did not reinvent the wheel on this album except in a few places. The bass work has gone up a definitive notch with some pretty sick solos here and there as well. It is pretty refreshing in place of guitar solos in this genre.
The keyboards, while not overly christmassy like COB are still pretty in your face but I find this somehow tolerable in this band. Eve just really knows how to write a synth line IMHO. I'm pretty sure Natural Born Chaos by Soilwork is her writing bible in that regard.
   The rest of the album shines as well. the vocals as always are dead on in emotional delivery. The drums always are great on any Mygrain album.
It boils down to this: if you're a fan of Mygrain get on this shit. You wont be disappointed. If you haven't heard them and are a fan of any band like Soilwork, Children Of Bodom, Norther, Degradead etc you need to give these guys a chance! If you don't like any of those bands this wont change your mind into a new genre.
   This ones for the purists a very solid 8\10.

WindRunners - Undead Review

Band: WindRunners
Album: Undead
Released: January 2013
Label: Metalism

WindRunners hail from Ukraine, I haven’t heard of them before until now. Then again so many bands out in this extremely huge metal world of ours, hard to keep tabs on every country unfortunately. But as most metal-heads know, least the more open ones. It’s always good to learn about new bands that haven’t been heard of before. As there's so much to choose from for music out there.

So on WindRunners platter we have a cross between old school thrash and power metal mixed together. Not bad at all from what I’m listening to between this and their Lifeless ep and few youtube videos they sent over as well. One of which is below for their track Lifeless. At first listen the vocals on the cd kinda hit the style that Whitfield Crane did back in Ugly Kid Joe. But with more range definitely, Like some bands you have the entire band doing the chorus which is good.

Going by their live videos and their music, definitely a band to keep fans moving and interested in their music. Probably this reviewer getting a bit older, the old school their type of music is a breath of fresh air compared to all the death/grind bands. Granted I love those bands too, but after awhile change is always good. WIndRunners will definitely be a keeper in my collection right next to bands like Warbringer, and other such bands. I give this disc a 7 out of 10.

Tracks as listed -

1. Undead    
2. Lifeless
3. First
4. Time
5. Prisoned in Stone  
6. Eternal
7. Evil Potion
8. Cold as Ice
9. Goodbye My Darling

Definitely give them a listen and support them, energetic band and some good tunes.

Band contact info:
Official WindRunners Website: 
Facebook page: 
YouTube channel: 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Carcass - Surgical Steel Review

Band: Carcass
Album: Surgical Steel
Released: September 2013
Label: Nuclear Blast

Just like every other Carcass fan I practically did a backflip on the news that there was a new cd being released after 16 years. Obviously I didn’t as my back is bad enough as it is. Anyways the first single to hit the web via their Facebook and by their label Nuclear Blast’s Youtube page was “Captive Bolt Pistol”. Personally I wasn’t overly crazy about that song when I first heard it.  Once I acquired the actual disc when it was released I was blown away pretty much. Definitely a blast to listen to.

Depending on what country/region you’re in you’ll get one or maybe even two bonus tracks. Thanks to Amazon, etc you can buy whichever version you want or all of them if you wish. I know the band & label would love that. The tracks on what I have go as follows.

1. 1985 (Instrumental)
2. Thrashers Abattoir
3. Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
4. Congealed Clot of Blood
5. The Master’s Butcher Apron
6. Non Compliance ASTFM 899-12 Standard
7. The Granulated Dark
8. Unfit For Human Consumption
9. 316L Grade Surgical Steel
10. Captive Bolt Pistol
11. Mount of Execution
12. Intensive Battery Brooding (Bonus Track)

Musically the disc goes back to earlier days as Necroticism and Heartwork. Just like Heartwork it’s just Jeff Walker on vocals. Why they don’t do dual vocals anymore, nobody knows but them. Jeff is a good vocalist in his own right though in my opinion. The musicians on this album, all but Bill Steer are new, but they sound even tighter than than the they were on Heartwork. Lyrically it’s tongue in cheek as always, the artwork as pictured above goes back to the Necroticism and Tools of The Trade ep. There’s only one or two mediocre songs the above mentioned Captive Bolt Pistol and the bonus track Intensive Battery Brooding was kind of slow as well. Otherwise it’s a solid disc in this reviewers opinion.

Oddly enough the band and label said on Facebook there was a leak, which quite possibly they knew of before hand. But who’s to say what transpired during recordings of the album. So all of you in the metal community, well the cheapskates flocked to find it via torrents, etc, you know who you are. You can get it online for purchase via Amazon, iTunes, Google Play even had it for $5.99 US at one point as a promotion.

Definitely a disc that will be steadily listened to for awhile in my collection. I’m sure in due time they’ll re-release it with all the bonus tracks and singles that came out with magazines, maybe even packaged with a dvd with it. (Take the hint Carcass boys & marketing execs). It’s highly recommended for all Carcass fans new and old. I give it an 8 out of 10 for a rating as it’s that good and solid of an album.

Carcass official Facebook -

Band Page @ Nuclear Blast -

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hammerforce - Dostup Zakryt Review

Band: Hammerforce
Album: Dostup Zakryt
Label: N/A
Country: Russia
Release Date: October 2013

This review is on Hammerforce hailing from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. A country I know I want to visit eventually, for various things including some killer vodka. Before I go off track on other topics. To familiarize myself with the band and their history I went and checked out their site, which is pretty impressive covering their history, discography, etc you can view that here at this link it’s in English and Russian. If you can’t read either, I suggest using Google’s Translate. Now since that’s out of the way, onto the review.

As mentioned they’re from Russia which brings two other bands to mind that I listen to. One from the early 90’s Gorky Park and another more recent Biopsyhoz. Both extremely talented bands, and I’ll include Hammerforce in that grouping as well. It might just me but when bands sing in their native language, I find it very refreshing. Sure, even if you don’t know what they’re saying as you may not know the language. The music itself will still get you moving, one thing that drew me to Dimmu Borgir in the early days singing in their native Norwegian as opposed to English as the words sometimes lose their meaning in translation. Or it may not fit into the music properly if it’s in any other language but the native one.

The album consists of the following 9 tracks, which range from almost 4 to 6 minutes.

1. Твоя война (Tvoya Voyna) 04:51
2. Стереотипы (Stereotipy) 03:43
3. Никто (Nikto) 05:16
4. Масс-медиа (Mass-Media) 05:17
5. Беглец (Beglets) 03:55
6. Вторая земля (Vtoraya Zemlya) 05:41
7. Смена поколений (Smena Pokoleniy) 04:16
8. Размышления (Razmyshleniya) 03:52
9. Доступ закрыт (Dostup Zakryt) 04:19

To further familiarize myself with the band, I checked out their earlier releases 2009’s “Dice” and March 2013’s English version of “Access Denied”. As this review is on “Dostup Zakryt” the Russian language version of “Access Denied” which I heard was received quite well per the band’s site.
Now I did notice the English version of “Access Denied” had a bit of a heavier mix, compared to the newer “Dostup Zakryt”. Maybe it was due to the change in languages as well as singers. But it takes away nothing from the newer release. Somewhat reminds me of Dream Theater at times which is a good thing.

Anyways, as Nikita (their singer, manager, producer, and keyboardist) states that they’re Power Progressive Metal. I have to agree with that, it is highly keyboard and synth influenced, by no means taking away from the music as it fits in cleanly. At times they remind me of Dragon Force sound-wise without the over the top guitar solos. The production is very clear, sometimes the guitars get drowned out,  not by a huge margin though. The vocals, are of the clean variety, so if you’re looking for deathly growls, it’s not here. I happen to enjoy any kind of vocals in metal, clean vocals included.

You can find it at these locations.


Overall I give this disc a 7 out of 10.