Crime Records

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Amberian Dawn - Magic Forest Review

Band:  Amberian Dawn
Album:  Magic Forest
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Country: Finland
Release Date: July 8, 2014

    In the world of female fronted Metal bands, Amberian Dawn stood out among them with their incredibly talented former singer, Heidi Parviainen and made 4 incredibly catchy albums with her as she fronted the band.  After the “Circus Black” album, Amberian Dawn and Heidi parted ways and the new singer Capri Virkkunen was introduced with an album of previously released songs redone to fit her vocal range.  Now fast forward to 2014 with the release of “Magic Forest”.

    The first song, “Cherish My Memory” gives you a taste of what you’re going to be in for throughout the entire album, which is big, epic sounding and melodic Symphonic Power Metal.  The song has a catchy chorus that you can’t help singing along to (even if you have a bad singing voice like I do).  Capri’s vocals are amazing and haunting.  It sends chills up your spine.  She’s that good.

    The standout track on this album is “Magic Forest”  It’s another song with a catchy chorus that you will find yourself singing along to even after the song is over.  Once again, Capri delivers with her voice that hits you right down to your soul and the song is heavy with epic melodic riffs and keyboards.  You will be banging your head as you listen.

     Even though the album is pretty balanced throughout and Capri delivers on each song, there are some dull moments.  “Agonizing Night” is a song with a slow intro and stays slow and dull throughout the entire song.  “Memorial” is another song that brings the overall tone of an album to a halt with the odd baritone male vocals that just sound silly.

    There is one thing that sets Amberian Dawn apart from all the other female fronted Metal bands and that’s the songs.  They’re upbeat while the majority of other female fronted Metal bands have more Gothic elements.  All of these songs are upbeat and happy sounding and you can’t help but feel good when listening to this album.  That’s what sets Amberian Dawn apart from the rest of the pack.

    Overall, aside from the few duds on this album, Capri’s official debut with new material was a success.  I know I have talked about how amazing and haunting Capri’s voice is earlier but I have to mention it again and how well she fits right in with the rest of the band.  The album may not be perfect, but the album is still killer.

Overall Rating: 7/10

1.    Cherish My Memory
2.    Dance of Life
3.    Magic Forest
4.    Agonizing Night
5.    Warning
6.    Sons of the Rainbow
7.    I’m Still Here
8.    Memorial
9.    Endless Silence
10.  Green Eyed
11   Dance of Life (Bonus Instrumental Version)
12.  Warning (Bonus Instrumental Version)

Total Playing Time:  45:30


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Elvenking - The Pagan Manifesto Review

Band: Elvenking
Album: The Pagan Manifesto
Label: AFM Records
Genre: Power Metal / Folk Metal
Country: Italy
Release Date: May 9th, 2014

I always get a little excited at the prospect of a new pagan, folk metal album.  I'm not strictly pagan myself but I enjoy the sentiment.  After all if you're going to worship anything at all then it may as well be something that's physical such as the sun, moon, water, trees etc.  After all, we know they're there and we know they exude life giving properties.  But, Elvenking aren't a band I've previously known.  They don't fit the "normal" folksy pagan metal mold that I usually gravitate toward.  To begin with they're not Finnish or Swedish or hail from some Germanic land oft associated with such music and they don't confine themselves to the "lets all drink copious amounts of alcohol and slay our enemies until we meet in Valhalla, thank you very much" kind of mish-mash. Secondly, if you're used to pagan metal being raw or rough around the edges, such as Korpiklaani or Finntroll, you're in for a surprise.  Elvenking fit more into the ilk of Stratovarious but with folk instruments thrown in. Due to this I feel a little dubious about it because pagan metal, to me, means dirty and raw.  Will I want to don a pair of buck antlers and head to the local sacred grove, or will I want to hex this album from the face of the earth?
     Elvenlegions is the first single off the album and it's a corker.  It has all the old Elvenking magic here and more.  Not only do we have the famous EK melodies but also a much more mature heaviness, something this album seems to show case.
     King Of The Elves is one of the stand out tracks, and may be the longest track EK have made to date and it's truly epic.  It's also incredibly uplifting which is something pagan or folk metal seems to possess in juxtaposition to most other metal styles.  That said, it works well if only for the reason that it's ambitious and technical.  Not that it's the only reason, the fact that it's long and doesn't seem to grow tedious is another.
     There is loads to be getting on with in this album as a whole, and it's a long one but what really shines are the performances of the band.  Im not going to suggest that they are the best at their game but Damna, Aydan, Rafahel, Jakob, Symohn and Lethien all work so well together that you'd be forgiven for thinking so. The only real criticism I could have for The Pagan Manifesto, apart from the lack of any real originality (nobody was expecting ground breaking stuff anymore than they'd expect the Spanish Inquisition), is its high level of polish.  That said, it gives the band an incredibly professional sound.
     But all good things must come to an end and the whole story is nicely finished with my personal favourite, Witches Gather, with its well crafted guitar hooks and "Ye Olde Inn"  folk dance moment.
     Elvenking, in short, seem to be making leaps and bounds toward a more mature, heavier and streamlined sound.  Get me not wrong, the melodies and the catchiness are still here aplenty and on probably every track, but there's a new chunkiness, for want of a better word. Another point worth mentioning, and it would be a negative point for some, is that it still retains the fromage, the cheesiness of previous EK offerings.  Personally I love this, it brings to mind Blind Guardian at their cheesiest moments and is what folk is all about. In my opinion the genre of which EK are purveyors has become stagnant but they have definitely brought a little freshness with The Pagan Manifesto, due to it's beautiful song-writing, great solos and general catchiness.  So, I think it's safe to say that I can now don my buck antlers and jauntily make my way to the local sacred yew.

1. The Manifesto
2. King of the Elves
3. Elvenlegions
4. The Druid Ritual of Oak
5. Moonbean Stone Circle
6. The Solitaire
7. Towards the Shores
8. Pagan Revolution
9. Grandier's Funeral Pyre
10. Twilight of Magic
11. Black Roses for the Wicked One
12. Witches Gather

Total Playing Time: 63:57


Monday, July 14, 2014

MetalPeople - Diogo

Age: 22

"hai there. Im Diogo, A 22 bass player from Portugal .
Im sorry for the lack of hair, but truth is that some “details” of my life made me get rid of it at some point, as any metalhead i felt a bit “destroyed” when i got rid of it ;_;. "

Follow Him: tumblr -

Friday, July 11, 2014

Novembers Doom - Bled White Video Review

Band: Novembers Doom
Album: Bled White
Label: The End Records
Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: 15/07/2014

One of America's original death/doom acts returns. Mastered by the legendary Dan Swano and featuring arguably the bands most mature musical compositions to date, "Bled White" is an excellent record from a very consistent band. 

1. Bled White
2. Heartfelt
3. Just Breathe
4. Scorpius
5. Unrest
6. The Memory Room
7. The Brave Pawn
8. Clear
9. The Grand Circle
10. Animus
11. The Silent Dark

Total playing time: 68:21


Friday, July 4, 2014

Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls Video Review

Band: Judas Priest
Album: Redeemer of Souls
Label: Epic/Columbia
Genre: Heavy Metal
Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: 08/07/2014

It is not very often a truly legendary band of heavy metal releases an album these days, especially one the scale of Judas Priest. Visiting virtually all of their career sounds to date, "Redeemer of Souls" see's the Priest machine march steadily on with Ritchie Faulkner replacing KK Downing. The production on this thing though. Honestly. 

1. Dragonaut
2. Redeemer of Souls
3. Halls of Valhalla
4. Sword of Damocles
5. March of the Damned
6. Down in Flames
7. Hell & Back
8. Cold Blooded
9. Metalizer
10. Crossfire
11. Secrets of the Dead
12. Battle Cry
13. Beginning of the End

Total Playing Time: 61:58


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Noctem - Exilium Review

Band: Noctem
Album: Exilium
Label: Art Gates Records
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Country: Spain
Release Date: March 3rd, 2014

Bringing forth 10 tracks of Blackened Death Metal is the entity, NOCTEM. Known as Vhert(Drums), Ul(Bass), Exo & Nekros(Guitars) and Beleth(Vocals) - Here are five individuals hailing from SPAIN where a lot of great talent has been coming from as of late. For those music fans who aren’t well exposed to true underground, some might draw a comparison to that of BEHEMOTH. Definitely not a bad thing, since Poland’s top selling group has come a long way in their evolution. But NOCTEM gives you a sense of pride when you find a relatively new and awesome group in the Extreme Underground. And they’ve been at it for a while. With their follow-up to 2011’s OBLIVION, their 3rd full-length in 5 years, this is EXILIUM(Art Gates Records).

Part NOCTEM’s sound that makes them a great band is their inclusion of Symphonic elements, such as the track “Enuma Elish”(aka “The Seven Tablets of Creation” according to Mesopotamian ideology), used to introduce the album. Two minutes later, you’re blasted into the abyss by Vhert’s drumming(which by-the-way, really drives this album) with the song “Apsu Dethroned”. There’s some crazy riffage going on in this album. The following tracks ”Decrepit Human Kingdom” and “Tiamat’s Crown” are early examples of the Thrash style which is part of NOCTEM’s sound. With hypnotic guitars which swing you back and forth, never really losing that Blackened element. Once again driven by some insane and tight drumming

Halfway into the abyss known as EXILIUM come the tracks “The Rising Horns” and “Halo of Repugnance” where you might think the fall from grace might lighten up and slow down, but it doesn’t. It’s the Symphonic elements which carry you further, or more like drag you down deeper, guiding you through the varied speed and changes in not only throughout the album, but within the songs as well. It has the right balance of Symphonic, Black, Thrash and Death so you never get tired or expect what’s to come. The only real gauge are instrumentals like “Egregor” that have you believing you’re nearing a climactic and catastrophic end, but sets up for a good climax.

The longest tracks on the record are “The Splint of Destinations” with a great intro, with a heavy bass and drum rhythm. And the track for which a video was excellently made(below) “Eidolon”, which in my opinion, feels like it should have be the final closing track. In closing you reach “The Adamantine Doors” which felt a bit abrupt and short, but I guess they wanted to leave the listener wanting more. It’s like your girlfriend that wants to go at it again after you’ve blown your load (on the previous track) and all you want to do is rollover and sleep or make a sandwich, but you have to go for it anyways.

My favorite tracks on this album are “Apsu Dethroned”, “Halo of Repugnance”, "The Splint of Destinations"  and Eidolon". This album contains the beautiful blackened element that should attract the cvlt Black-Metal following. The songs are nicely written with varied tempo and style changes so you never get bored, and not to the point where they’d become a Technical Death Metal group – which is totally fine. Noctem is a Blackened Death Metal group from Spain, with something to prove. Apart from what I felt was a soft finish, I had hoped for another track or 2, because once you take out the opening track and “Egregor”, you’re only left with 8 songs. It’s too early to tell if this one will make my “Best of 2014” list, but it’s strongly considered. I do recommend you listen to their previous work especially their debut full-length, “Divinity”.

1. Enuma Elish
2. Apsu Dethroned
3. Decrepit Human Kingdom
4. Tiamat’s Crown
5. The Rising of Horns
6. Halo of Repugnance
7. Egregor
8. The Splint of Destinations
9. Eidolon
10. The Adamantine Doors

Total Playing Time: 46:19


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hellyeah - Blood for Blood Review

Band: Hellyeah
Album: Blood for Blood
Label: Eleven Seven
Genre: Groove Metal / Heavy Metal

Country: USA
Release Date: June 10th, 2014

Hellyeah's " Blood For Blood" will make you bleed. Music is supposed to make you feel things and this expresses rage, disgust, and compassion. The compassion is what slayed me because it wasn't sappy, poor me shit. The lyrical themes revolve around the suffering we have all experienced from heart break to self destructive behaviors to an abusive childhood. The ills of society are the thread that connects them. Hell is a prominent theme , as well as fire and blood , and pain- lots of it.

Hellyeah comes off as brutal , lead-footed groove metal but with a classic heavy metal underpinning. The percussion pummels , the guitars are down - tuned and buzzed yet have a melodic sensibility that is connected to the drumming by the bass guitar. This is a slick production , creating a wall of thick sound that is evident in all the songs. I did not want to skip over any of the tracks.

" Sangre por Sangre ," the title track en Espanol , is a commentary on the state of the Union so to speak. Democracy is hypocrisy / a dictatorship is what we need / because really what's the fucking difference / so come on in and take a seat / listen to the lines they love to preach / because the truth we would see is fucking senseless. It's a no-lube , ear-fuck kind of song. Of similar note are the tracks " Demons in the Dirt , " "Soul Killer , " Gift , " and " Feast or Famine."

" Cross to Bier ( Cradle of Bones ) " and " DMF " ( Die Motherfucker ) are fist pumping , head banging anthems that I devoured. " Say When " has a fast , relentless pace that is hardcore down to it's roots. Throw in a sweet time change at the end of the verse and I had to lean back in a groove induced ecstasy and say " Fuck Yeah ! "

When it comes to slowing it down , Hellyeah surprised me a bit. I don't like slow , sappy songs or power ballads. They make me puke. That's a personal preference. That means if I hate it , a large part of the population will love it and push it right to the top of the charts. Not so with " Blood for Blood's " three slower tracks. They deal with sensitive issues in a confessional manner but with such finesse I was powerfully moved.

The most evocative song is " Hush . " The chorus is catchy with the drums mimicking the stomp of an angry man's feet and the jangle of the guitars bring to mind the metallic " chink " of a belt buckle. Gray's voice pushes a world of hurt and anger into the words: Hell's where I was born / Hell's where I was raised / This hell is where I am from / And this hell is where I will stay. This verse mixes the subtle with the obvious and is perhaps why the song is so powerful. There is an acoustic , stripped down version at the end that only amplifies the shivering rage and pain in Gray's voice. This song brought me to my knees and that's not easy to do.

" Blood for Blood " stripped away the delusions of brotherhood that Hellyeah tried to shove down our throats with " Band of Brothers." In retrospect , I see the last album's theme in the context of the band as a whole trying to kid themselves that things were working. With the departure of guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob " Zilla" due to headspace problems , and the addition of Kyle Sanders , formerly of Blood Simple , there is a stripped down focus to this new entity. The signature sound is still there , only thicker and richer but Gray's lyrics are no longer political. Passion infused each song as a unit. They were effectively able to plumb emotional depths with an honesty that catalyzes awareness.

1. Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)
2. Demons in the Dirt
3. Soul Killer
4. Moth
5. Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)
6. DMF
7. Gift
8. Hush
9. Say When
10. Black December

Total Playing Time: 39:25


R.A.B. 6-24-14

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Allegaeon - Elements of the Infinite Video Review

Band: Allegaeon
Album: Elements of the Infinite
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Melodic/Technical Death Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: 24/06/2014

Allegaeon made real waves back in 2012 when they released "Formshifter", an album that saw them take classic, thrashy melodic death metal leads and fuse them with the technical metal American's have been so good at. "Elements of the Infinite" offers up more of the same. Which is both good and bad.

Listen and order here:

1. Threshold of Perception
2. Tyrants of the Terrestrial Exodus
3. Dyson Sphere
4. The Phylogenisis Stretch
5. 1.618
6. Gravimetric Time Dilation
7. Our Cosmic Casket
8. Biomech II
9. Through the Ages of Ice - Otzi's Curse
10. Genocide of Praise - Vals of the Vitruvian Man

Total Playing Time: 58:01


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun Video Review

Band: Mastodon
Album: Once More 'Round the Sun
Label: Reprise Records
Genre: Progressive/Stoner Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: 24/06/2014

Arguably one of metal's biggest releases of the year, "Once More 'Round the Sun" see's Mastodon push their boat in a slightly different direction to the hunter. Bigger, better production and a mix up in songwriting and styles means this one will stay in rotation. Ultimately though? It does feel safe by Mastodon's standards. Enjoy the review!

1. Tread Lightly
2. The Motherload
3. High Road
4. Once More 'Round the Sun
5. Chimas at Midnight
6. Asleep in the Deep
7. Feast Your Eyes
8. Aunt Lisa (feat. The Coathangers)
9. Ember City
10. Halloween
11. Diamond in the Witch House (feat. Scott Kelly)

Total Playing Time: 54:08



Monday, June 16, 2014

Arch Enemy - War Eternal Review

Band: Arch Enemy
Album: War Eternal
Label: Century Media
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Country: Sweden
Release Date: June 4, 2014

The word " awesome" is often thrown about in our little world of metal and rock. So much so that I feel it has lost much of its impact. The word is defined, in the Oxford Dictionary (online) as " Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe". So we have a double meaning, off the bat. Arch Enemy have, in their previous works, been as daunting as they have been awesome. Many of their albums are brilliant while others seem to fall well below the bar. With Arch Enemy's newest release, Eternal War, there is a great deal of trepidation. Not just because of some of their previous below par works but because they have undergone a big change with Gossow relinquishing the microphone to White-Gruz. As always a change in a front woman (or man) can have devastating impact. In this case it also means that Gossow is taking the role as band manager. Will this double change have an awe inspiring impact or will it leave us feeling daunted?

Normally my reviews are a track-by-track rundown but I feel this particular release lends itself to a different format. The reason being that so much hype has surrounded this album both pre and post release that I feel we need to get a feel for the album. After all, we pretty much know how Arch Enemy perform, we know that musically they perform well, at least when they want to. So what's different here, apart from the line-up changes?

The first thing you'll notice about this album, which is somewhat different, is its reliance on symphonic elements. It is book ended by two such tracks and they're great if sombre. The next thing you will notice is the raw, visceral vocals of Alissa White-Gluz. Seriously, I think she may have the edge on Gossow and she can actually sing when she is not growling like some lower dimensional being. Also, her vocals seem to fit nicely with Arch Enemy's new catchier melodies without actually becoming too fluffy. Indeed tracks such as "Never Forgive, Never Forget" have some great galloping riffs, almost as if the band have become some uber raw and heavy Maiden.
 Another new comer to the fold is guitarist Nick Cordle, formerly of Arsis. Cordle provides a stellar performance throughout with utterly catchy riffage and some scorching solos.
 The production through the album is incredibly polished. Too polished in places, especially for a band in this genre but it definitely doesn't detract from the death metal elements. Given that, as mentioned before, the album is classically tinged with a lot of catchy moments. This may rankle with death metal purists, even those who prefer the melodic side of things but it works nicely. One area I feel does detract from this are the moments of, dare I say, electronica, which set to confuse the whole mish-mash.
 That being said there are still plenty of moments of aggression, "Never Forget" being a case in point and what would any album be without a blast beat inducing master like Daniel Erlandsson on the tubs?
 Arch Enemy also enter a somewhat cinematic landscape with "Time Is Black", which feels unlike any other Arch Enemy track I can think of but certainly works well here. Perhaps a sign of pastures new, so to speak.
 As mentioned there are some weak moments on the album, the aforementioned electronica feel but standout moments are certainly present in tracks such as "War eternal", " As The Pages Burn" and "Stolen Life". The latter providing some classic riffage.

But, when it comes down to brass-tacks is this really an Arch Enemy album? Personally I feel that 'hell yeah!'. It's as familiar in parts as any of their best work but there are some new elements such as the more catchier riffs and melodies which only help to reinforce the sense of a new beginning. New guitarist and new vocalist both provide stellar moments, especially vocalist White-Gruz is. She can certainly stand up to Gossow's legacy and bring her own feel to the band and it's the latter which I feel will ensure Arch Enemies progress in the future and defend against stagnation, which, let's face it, has been a problem for them of late. This album is certainly not their best but it is a step in the right direction and maybe Gossow will breathe as much new life into the band as their manager as she did when she took over the microphone in the early 2000's.

My rating of this album reflects both the material and the promise I feel is present in their new direction

A cracking 9 out of 10


1.Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F Minor)
2. Never Forgive, Never Forget
3.War Eternal
4. As The Pages Burn
5. No More Regrets
6. You Will Know My Name
7. Graveyard Of Dreams (Instrumental)
8. Stolen Life
9. Time Is Black
10. On And On
11. Avalanche
12. Down To Nothing
13. Not Long For This World (Instrumental)

Total Playing Time: 50:32


Friday, June 13, 2014

Septicflesh - Titan Video Review

Band: Septicflesh
Album: Titan
Label: Prosthetic Records
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
Country: Greece
Release Date: 20th June 2014

Greece's premier metal export Septicflesh return with their first new album in 3 years entitled "Titan". Following up three amazing albums in "Sumerian Demons", "Communion" and "The Great Mass" was always going to be hard, so does this one make the cut? Find out below!

Stream the album here:
Purchase from Prosthetic:

1. War in Heaven
2. Burn
3. Order of Dracul
4. Prototype
5. Dogma
6. Prometheus
7. Titan
8. Confessions of a Serial Killer
9. Ground Zero
10. The First Immortal

Total Playing Time: 45:26


Matt Roe

Sinbreed - Shadows Review

Band: Sinbreed
Album: Shadows
Label: AFM
Genre: Power Metal
Country: Germany
Release Date: March 28, 2014

Back in 2010, Sinbreed came out with a powerful debut album which was straight forward power metal that was heavy and fast and their second album is more of the same, but only better.

Before I get started on the actual album review, I should mention that Sinbreed does have Marcus Sepien and Frederik Ehmke, who were once one half of the legendary Blind Guardian.  Of course, I'm not going to get into the comparison between Sinbreed and Blind Guardian because they're totally different bands, even if they play the same genre of Metal. Also, many others have made the whole Sinbreed/Blind Guardian comparison and I would just be rehashing a lot of stuff.  And now, back to the album review.

The album starts out the gate strong with "Bleed", which sets the tone for the album and you pretty much know what you're going to be experiencing throughout the whole album, which is relentless, fantastic, no frills Power Metal that is played ferociously from beginning to the end.  On the technical side, nothing new is done but Sinbreed delivers fast, aggressive Metal that gets you pumped every time you listen to them.  The songs have incredibly catchy melodies and lyrics that keep you hooked.  It's hard to resist.

The Lead singer, Herbie Langhans (formerly of Christian Power Metal Band Seventh Avenue) has a raspy, gravely singing voice and it really goes well with the music being played and it really helps to put the music over.

Overall, "Shadows" is a good dose of straight forward Power Metal which is a pleasure to the ears from beginning to end.

1. Bleed
2. Shadows
3. Call to Arms
4. Reborn
5. Leaving the Road
6. For Too Long
7. Black Death
8. Standing Tall
9. London Moon
10. Broken Wings

Total Playing Time: 50:06


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Triptykon - Melana Chasmata Review

Band: Triptykon
Album: Melana Chasmata
Label: Prowling Death Records / Century Media
Country: Switzerland
Release Date: April 14th, 2014

Once again Tom G. Fischer has outdone himself. The second release from his project called Triptykon called "Melana Chasmata" blends Doom Metal, Death Metal, Gothic Metal, with smatterings of Thrash Metal. With all of these components at play, things could have easily gone awry if this was attempted by almost any other metal band. However, this isn't just any other band, this is another excellent project brought to us by the man who founded arguably two of the most well-known and influential extreme metal bands, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost.

With his latest band, Triptykon, Fischer takes elements that he created in his past projects and expands on them even more. Much like Celtic Frost, Fischer employs female backing vocals on the tracks "Boleskine House" and "Waiting" creating an interesting dynamic in these two slow paced and heavy songs. There is also a major Hellhammer and "To Mega Therion" era Celtic Frost death-thrash influence on the songs "Tree of Suffocating Souls" and "Breathing." The great thing about the latter tune is that the band was able to perfectly meld a slow and heavy doom / gothic opening and ending with a much faster main thrash arrangement. To mix such differing paces, and making them work, is damn near impossible. Somehow Fischer and his cohorts do it with the greatest of ease.
Having said all this, the album goes way beyond anything that Fischer has ever created in any of his past bands or albums. "Melana Chasmata" is something new and totally different that you have to dive into with your full attention. With the exception of "Tree of Suffocating Souls" and "Breathing", this is a slow paced death / doom, and gothic metal album. Many of the songs go far beyond the most downed tuned and sludgy songs that most of us have ever heard. You certainly need to go into this with an open mind. I for one am not a huge doom fan and when I began to hear just how slow the pacing was on these songs, I was concerned. However, I started to like the album after the first listen. If a band can sell me on a doom metal sound that quickly, they certainly have created something special. On the surface, many of the songs may remind you of Type O' Negative with more of a death metal drive to them. The album is so much more then that though. There are so many elements in every song that it would take you infinate listens to catch everything , especially the well placed and subtle aspects.
The front half of the album is certainly on the faster side with the two tracks I've mentioned above and the very heavy gothic and death / doom style tracks "Boleskine House" and "Altar of Deceit". The latter half of the album is where you really need to start expanding your mind. Things slow down immensely, almost to a crawl, on the songs "Aurorae" and "Demon Pact". Of the two, "Demon Pact" is the stronger offering with a slow bass arrangement courtesy of Vanja Slajh. "Aurorae" is good , but it is the album's only clean vocal track and it just lacks the substance that you will find on every other track.
"In The Sleep of Death" continues to slow the pace even more. Once again there are excellent atmospheric guitar licks from Fischer and V. Santura. The death metal vocals on the song are some of Fischer's best on the album. The clean verses sound a bit strained and whiny at times , but it doesn't matter because of all the songs strong elements over shadow this.
"Black Snow" is one of the best and most epic songs on the album. It clocks in at 12:25. This song is gothic metal through and through with the exception of Fischer's amazing death metal vocals through out the entire track. Because of it's length, this is a song you can really get lost in. The bridge section of "Black Snow" is chock full of all kinds of different sounds.
"Waiting" is the only song where Fischer and company truly lost me and it's unfortunate that it ended things. For the second time, the band uses female vocals with whispering from Fischer. To me the song came off way too slow. Yes Tom, you are good. We know you're good and you know you're good, but there are some things that even you can't make work, and this is one of them.
All in all, this is absolutely an original album. One of the biggest positives of the album is the writing and arrangements. Something that might get lost in all this is the drumming of Norman Lonhard. Yes it is tough to drum with lightening fast precision, but I would argue that being able to drum as slow and deliberate as Lonhard does is just as difficult. The length of the songs and of the entire album is just something you don't see that often anymore. The songs range in a little over 5 minutes to over 12 minutes. The whole album clocks in at a whopping 65 minutes and makes for one great musical odyssey. Those of you who "get" what Fischer is doing will love this album. Be prepared to totally immerse yourself in the music. If you are not willing to do that, this album will probably not be for you. What we get is a combination of Fischer's past musical strength's mixed with his penchant for always evolving his music. Triptykon's latest album is a goth / death / doom masterpiece, if that's what you're into. If you are someone who is willing to take risks in the type of metal you listen to, then don't miss this one.

1. Tree of Suffocating Souls
2. Boleskine House
3. Altar of Deceit
4. Breathing
5. Aurorae
6. Demon Pact
7. In the Sleep of Death
8. Black Snow
9. Waiting

Total Playing Time: 65:32


Your's truly, 
Robbie A. Brown \M/

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wretched - Cannibal Video Review

Band: Wretched
Album: Cannibal
Label: Victory Records
Genre: Melodic/Technical Death Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: June 10th, 2014

My first video review in collaboration with \m/etalbox, this time focusing upon the latest effort from the modern american technical death metal band Wretched entitled "Cannibal". If you like your brutality well produced, groove laden and technically adept, then this one is for you. Enjoy!

Stream the album here:
Purchase from Victory Records:

1. Gold Above Me
2. Morsel
3. Calloused
4. Thin Skinned
5. L'appel Du Vide
6. Cranial Infestation
7. Salt Lick
8. Cannibal
9. Wetiko
10. To the Flies
11. Engulfed in Lethargy


Matt Roe

Septekh - Plan for World Domination Review

Band: Septekh
Album: Plan For World Domination
Label: Studio 508 Productions/ Abyss Records
Country: Sweden
Release Date: May 2nd, 2014

When you think of Swedish Death Metal, you might think of bands like Hypocrisy, At The Gates, Entombed, The Crown and numerous great bands. I don’t think there’s ever been a band out of Sweden that wasn’t simply awesome. SEPTEKH is a band that carries on those influences to a different level. With 13 tracks of their breed of Death-Thrash, comes their full-length debut nicely titled “Plan For World Domination” via the American Undergound label, Abyss Records.

Right off the bat, there’s no punches pulled with the opening track “Into the Void of My Mind” with some tasty soloing, blazing blast beats and giving you an idea of the style they produce on this album….or so you think. They throw a curve in “Going Down in Style” with that Death-n-Roll feel that’s evolved from the Swedish Death Metal Scene. Throughout the album David Wikstom demonstrates his guitar work, though at times feeling a bit over the top and losing you, but yet still very impressive with his progressive controlled style.

Bassist Patrik Strom introduces and sets the dirty tone with “Black Shores”. The stand out track here has the stench of a drunken whore dancing her sexy zombie dance, bringing a different vibe to the album and slowing down the pace. And I’m ok with that! They pick it right back up with “The Man Who Died A Million Times” & “Superheated Liquid Iron Core”, bringing the Thrash in Death-Thrash. I’ll even go as far as saying that they have a good Blackened-Thrash feel to them as well. The awesome element of just the right mix of thrash and blast beats (by Staffan Persson) really push the album through at such a rapid, but comfortable pace.

With some interesting song titles and lyrics, which feel a little rushed or squeezed in sometimes, are both brilliant and catchy. Sung by Nils Meseke, are real crowd-pumping and anthem-like songs such as “Saving Graces”, “Don Asshole” and final, title track “Plan for World Domination”. But you REALLY have to appreciate the lyrical content on tracks like “Neanderthal” and “Fuck Dollar” that paint eloquent pictures of lewd and carnal conduct. Probably my favorite tracks off the album.

This is what you expect a Metal band from Sweden to produce. A good album that might end up on people’s “Best of 2014” as the hidden gem. I think these guys have a promising career and look forward to what they bring us in the future.

1. Into the Void of the Mind
2. Goin Down In Style
3. Saving Graces
4. Neanderthal
5. Don Asshole
6. Left Handed Man
7. Black Shores
8. The Man Who Died A Million Times
9. Superheated Liquid Iron Core
10. Eyes of the Grave
11. Fuck Dollar
12. Desdaemonia
13. Plan For World Domination

Total Playing Time: 60:00