Crime Records

Friday, May 30, 2014

MetalPeople - Ophelia

Age: 17

Favorite Bands: Opeth, Katatonia, Tool, The Mayan Factor, Rishloo, Alice in Chains

Also Loves: Be'lakor, Karnivool, Shihad, Type O Negative, Disturbed, Soen, Mindflow

Follow Her: tumblr -

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prong - Ruining Lives Review

Band: Prong
Album: Ruining Lives

Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Genre: Groove Metal / Thrash Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: April 23, 2014

Fast, thrashed, and satisfying, listening to Prong's "Ruining Lives" I was attending a good local Metal show with a mix of genre's.Thrash was the #1 force but elements of progressive,alternative and technical metal were in evidence.The album improves as it progresses and you don't have to add alcohol. From the first track "Turnover", a thrashy, catchy tune with a technical flavor, to "Limitations", which is an alternative cookie with a thrash center.This album has to be their most commercially appealing since their return in 2002.
   "The Barriers" was Social Distortion on speed while "The Book Of Change" and "Come To Realize" alternated thrash with groovy choruses and verses. "Chamber of Thought" was classic thrash and even better,it had Prong's hardcore print all over it.These are the heavier songs, reminding me of Prong's hardcore days. The riffs appealed to my melodic sweet spot without forgetting the grit.
   'Remove and Separate Self", "Windows Shut", and "Absence of Light" were tracks where Prong explored a more catchier, alternative side with their guitar work while the title track "Ruining Lives" began with slower, dark minor chord progressions that moved into headbanging delight at the chorus. As for the clean vocals, I wouldn't sign Tommy Victor up for The Voice anytime soon, but his singing, as usual, fits the music Prong plays.
   'Ruining Lives" fulfills the promise made by "Carved Into Stone" and carries forward many of the elements I enjoyed about The Sacred Cow, "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". Instead of following the industry's rules of sticking to type, bent them to suit what struts through each song. There is more variation in the melodies, a greater tension to the songs and more satisfying resolutions. "Self Will Run Riot" is the only song where a creative uncertainty peeked through.
   Prong's sound has changed over the years and it should.There is still evidence of their hardcore roots and the thrash ethos.Die hard fans will gripe about the new twist on an old formula and the slick production.Hearing it with fresh ears untainted by the "good 'ol days" of what I should enjoy to be cool, I can say that "Ruining Lives" is a continuation of the evolution of Prong's signature sound that shows a willingness to experiment and to commit to where this chosen path may lead.Prong is an acquired taste. You either like them or not.

1. Turnover
2. The Barriers
3. Windows Shut
4. Remove, Separate Self
5. Ruining Lives
6. Absence Of Light
7. The Book Of Change
8. Self Will Run Riot
9. Come To Realize
10. Chamber Of Thought
11. Limitations And Validations

Total Playing Time: 41:47


 Brownie \m/

Monday, May 26, 2014

MetalPeople - Espi Kvlt

Age: 20

Nude model.

Favorite Bands: Immortal, Satyricon, Deathspell Omega, Mayhem, Deafheaven, Gorgoroth, Bathory, Nargaroth, Horna, etc.

Follow Her: tumblr -

Friday, May 23, 2014

MetalPeople - Cole

Age: 21

Favorite Bands: Gojira, Metallica, Death, Revocation, Obscura, Voivod, and Vektor.

Instruments: Guitar, bass, and drums.

Favorite Live Bands: Metallica and Gojira.

Follow Him: tumblr -

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beneath - The Barren Throne Review

Band: Beneath
Album: The Barren Throne
Label: Unique Leader Records
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Country: Iceland
Release Date: April 29, 2014

Iceland’s BENEATH melts faces with their sophomore full-length release, THE BARREN THRONE. The follow-up to 2012’s ENSLAVED BY FEAR, via a label that rarely, if not never, disappoints - UNIQUE LEADER RECORDS. Along with a new vocalist, this record was produced at the famous Hertz Studios by the Wieslawski brothers (Behemoth, Dead Infection, Vader, Decapitated). And the cover art work was done by Raymond Swanland (Alterbeast, Deeds of Flesh, Psycroptic, Slechtvalk, Suffocation).

BENEATH sharpen their sound in this 11-track killer with songs reaching epic proportions (the longest at nearly 8min) displaying excellent song writing ability with elements of Brutal, Technical, Melodic and even Black. Sweet guitar work (even solos! Which is rare and scarce with a lot of new bands) by the brothers Sigrasson, a thick rhythm section by Gisli Runar Guomundsson and sick-drummer Ragnar Sverrisson, excellently complimented by the vocal debut of Benedikt Natanael Bjarnason.

The opening track, "Depleted Kingdom", starts off with a light-hearted intro that prepares you well for the diversity in this sick album setting the tone for their scattered, yet consistent and focused style. Even with the technicality within THE BARREN THRONE, it still offers itself to awesome, rhythmic headbanging. Early in the album you get a taste of the versatility in their song-writing with the song "Chalice" as it gives a bit of hint of Black Metal. I really admire how Sverrisson's drum-work stepped up real well since "Enslaved By Fear". He doesn't bore you or allow predictability. On tracks like "The Barren Throne"(title track), "Iron Jaw" "Sovereign Carnal Passion" really display a cohesiveness and tightness of the group.

By this point, you really welcome Bjarnason's vocal presence to the group. His addition, only a year old, really compliments the group very well. Halfway through the album you're already seriously buried in BENEATH's sound but then given sort of a break when they change it up with their Melodic side in "Sky Burial", their longest track on the album. But there's no letting up on this one. Immediately following are aggressive hits like "Veil of Mercy" and "Storm Drainer" with such Brutal groove and tasty solos. Ragnar prepares the final climax introducing "Unearthed" with his sick drum work. This track is an excellent way to bring to a close an immaculate album. 

The sound quality is so clean(and not by today's negative definition of clean). Hertz Studios really made it possible to distinguish every instrument for every track that just seems to flow and fall smoothly. You really feel the brutal aggressiveness that BENEATH set to prove on this one. My favorite tracks from this album have been “Chalice”, “Sky Burial”, "Storm Drainer" and “Unearthed” – but honestly, it’s just a solid record with something for everyone of us true die-hard Death Metal Fans.

With True Extreme Metal coming up big this year, BENEATH is a good example of great Metal from OUTSIDE the U.S.(See Nergal). With people’s list of the “Best of 2014” filling up fast, I strongly suggest giving THE BARREN THRONE a listen.

1. Depleted Kingdom

2. Chalice
3. The Barren Throne
4. Putrid Seed of Affection
5. Iron Jaw
6. Sovereign Carnal Passion
7. Sky Burial
8. Veil of Mercy
9. Mass Extinction Codex
10. Storm Drainer
11. Unearthed

Total Playing Time: 53:05


Monday, May 19, 2014

MetalPeople - Annie

Age: 19

Favorite Bands: Immortal, Watain, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Amon Amarth, Marduk

Follow Her: tumblr -

Sabaton - Heroes Review

Band:  Sabaton
Album:  Heroes
Label:  Nuclear Blast
Genre: Power Metal
Country: Sweden

Release Date:  May 16, 2014

Sabaton are a “wild-card” in the metal world.  I’m not suggesting, at all, that these Swedish power-metallers aren’t metal.  On the contrary, who could accuse these guys of being poppish and fluffy?  It’s just that, I find, people either love them or think they’re ridiculous.  Whatever you think, it can’t be denied that they are passionate for metal, have a love of history and that their discography contains some amazingly powerful work.  They’ve been accused of being too repetitious, with suggestions that they stagnate too quickly.  Even if they are repetitious it doesn’t mean that they’ll lose respect.  After all Motorhead can be accused of the same and I can’t imagine those guys being accused of creating boredom inducing songs.  In fact, sabaton’s last album, as if in mind of such criticism, was a clear breath of the most brilliant fresh air in the form of Carolus Rex.  That was 2012, however.  Will 2014 see Sabaton executing a beautifully crafted full fronted power-attack?  Or will they be trying to light a wet squib in a muddy trench?

The album opener “Night Witches”, which honours the Russian 588 night Bombers, is a return to more traditional Sabaton.  It has the force to grab your attention and displays the bands intentions of great things.

“No Bullets Fly” is an homage to the heart warming story of Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler.  The latter, A German Ace, seeing brown’s B17 was severely damaged, not only allowed them to carry on but even escorted them for much of the way, so that they could limp home to their English airfield.  It’s another power attack from Sabaton with some great moments.

Three tracks in and we have “Smoking Snakes”.  It’s opening moments remind me of “Aces In Exile” and I adore that song.  And, no less this song.  the track sets down Brazil’s commitment to the Allied cause during the war by sending tens of thousands of their own sons and daughters to fight alongside the Allies.

“Inmate 4859”, otherwise known as Witold Pilecki, was a Polish hero and leader of the resistance movement at Auschwitz.  Sabaton rightly honour him here with crushing riffs and an awesome solo.

This inspiring number is about none other than Audie Murphy.  If this Texan had gone to war wearing his medals, bullets would have bounced off.  This guy held a company of Germans at bay for an hour, all by himself, so it’s only fitting that the Sabaton boys would honour him with a jaunty American battle hymn style classic.

“The Ballad Of Bull” certainly lives up to it’s name.  The ballad tells us of Leslie "Bull" Allen, an Australian who was awarded the US Silver Star for bravely rescuing 12 wounded American soldiers during WWII.  It’s a softer, piano driven moment but no less great.

“Resist And Bite” is the motto of the Battailon de Chasseurs Ardennais, who ferocity (along with other Belgian forces) was noted by the German forces when they invaded Belgium in 1940.  An epic ode to an epic force.

“Soldier Of 3 Armies” is a cracking homage to Lauri Allan Törni, a Finnish hero who served with the Finns, Germans and Americans during World War 2.  This guy must have had a thing for killing Russians.  The Finns were akin to Spartans during the war but this guy was something special.  Google him and then understand this awesome song better.

“Far From The Fame” is another power song with lots of catchy moment and riffs.  An ode to Czech,  Karel Janousek who created the Czech arm of the RAF during the war.  It’s to guys like these, along with the Poles, French, Belgians (the list goes on) that are unsung heroes of the Battle Of Britain and as a citizen of the UK it’s not lost on me that if it wasn’t for these guys
risking their lives over a land that wasn’t theirs (and was quite unwelcoming) things would, no doubt, be different now.  Thanks lads.

The closing track “Hearts Of Iron” takes a bow with a homage to the 12th and 9th Armies (German) who selflessly kept open a safe corridor across the Elbe River to allow fleeing civilians and soldiers to surrender to the West instead of the Russians.  It’s short but powerful and has some very classical sounding guitar work.

I had a few set backs writing this review.  A few work-related matters popped up but I also ended up rewriting it from scratch.  You see, the first draft merely stated the musical matters,  the feel of each song and musicianship.  But I then realised that this album is far more than all that.  I knew that it could only be enjoyed at its best when you understand who and what the songs are about.  And, so, I did a bit of background reading (thanks Wikipedia), listened to the album again and wrote the review again.  This album is nothing but a homage to the greatness and compassion that can shine from individuals of all nations during times of war and strife and this knowledge can give you cold shivers when you listen to the songs again.  It’s worth noting that Sabaton have also undergone a little strife of late with a large part of the band going their separate ways.  And it’s for this reason, also, that makes this a grand album when we consider that, even though these guys haven’t had all that long to accustom to each other, they have managed to come through to the otherside.  So, I reckon this album is worth a great 8/10.
1. Night Witches
2. No Bullets Fly
3. Smoking Snakes
4. Inmate 4859
5. To Hell And Back
6. The Ballad Of Bull
7. Resist And Bite
8. Soldier Of 3 Armies
9. Far From The Fame
10. Hearts Of Iron

Total Playing Time: 37:00


Edguy- Space Police: Defenders of the Crown Review

Band: Edguy
Album: Space Police: Defenders of the Crown
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Power Metal
Country: Germany
Release Date: April 18, 2014

Over the last three albums, Edguy has kind of been in a little bit of a slump.  "Rocket Ride", "Tinnitus Sanctus", and "Age of the Joker" were mediocre albums from a band that's way beyond mediocre.  They weren't bad, but they weren't as good as the band could be.  When you listen to the band's earlier releases which was straight up power metal and then their last three releases, the music wasn't heavy or entertaining enough.  As I looked at the cover of "Space Police: Defenders of the Crown", I wondered if this would be the album that would break Edguy out of their slump.  Then, I pressed play.  I was not disappointed.

Right off the bat, Edguy showed that they were taking no prisoners with the heavy "Sabre and Torch" which sets the tone for the entire album.  The song is heavy and they lyrics call back to the kind of lyrics Edguy wrote when they began and longtime fans will appreciate them.  Tobias' vocals have changed, but that isn't a bad thing because he sounds great.  The album rolls right on to my favorite song of the entire album which is "Space Police" , a fun-filled galactic space ride of a song.  The chorus is excellent and I thought to myself: This is the Edguy that has been missing since "Hellfire Club".  "Defenders of the Crown" is more of the same, fantasy inspired lyrics with a powerful chorus that gives it an epic feel.  The boys are finally back!

There are some tongue in cheek songs such as "Love Tyger" and "Do Me Like A Caveman" which has lyrics that sound more like 80's Hair Metal songs but they are still good in their own right.  There's also a cover of Falco's "Rock me Amadeus" which is more album filler than anything else and is easily forgotten.  The album's final song, "The Eternal Wayfarer", was a fitting conclusion to a very good album with a few minor missteps

Edguy is not the same band the were when they started.  They were just a straight up Power Metal band but now they have meshed Hard Rock into their music.  That's not necessarily a bad thing because they do deliver an album that is the perfect balance of Power Metal and Hard Rock.  There have been some fans that have written them off after the three disappointing albums that I have mentioned before but they were wrong to do so.  They should give Edguy another chance because they will be pleasantly surprised.

1. Sabre & Torch
2. Space Police
3. Defenders of the Crown
4. Love Tyger
5. The Realms of Baba Yaga
6. Rock Me Amadeus
7. Do Me Like A Caveman
8. Shadow Eaters
9. Alone in Myself
10. The Eternal Wayfarer
Total Playing Time: 54:26


Friday, May 16, 2014

MetalPeople - Gwen

Age: 18

I listen to many types of metal, but I don't like the -core things.
My favorite bands are: Rammstein, Ensiferum, Nightwish and Children of Bodom
Uh,what else? I have blue hair, I love cats, and I post many random things
That's it, thanks!

Follow Her: tumblr -

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MetalPeople - Meghann

Age: 19

Favorite Bands: Rush, Tyr, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Vital Remains, Havok, Sabaton, Cannibal Corpse, ReinXeed, Pantera, Warbringer, Slayer, Skid Row, Aerosmith, Steel Panther, Gloryhammer, November's Doom, Carach Angren, Depremacy

                    instagram -

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Whitechapel - Our Endless War Review

Band: Whitechapel
Album: Our Endless War
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Deathcore
Country: USA
Released: April 29, 2014

Truly I have nothing to complain about when it comes to Whitechapel's "Our Endless War" album.From the very beginning,the music punches you right in the face!It begins with a short intro instrumental.It sets up the album perfectly then quickly throws you into the heavy,thrash driven title track "Our Endless War."Other tracks that include this new found punishing death thrash style include,"The Saw is the Law","Mono",and "Blacked Out."Obviously we also get a heavy kick of Whitechapel's signature grooves and breakdowns.However,this time around these catchy portions are more like traditional death metal then deathcore.You even get some down and dirty devil growls on the song "Worship the Digital Age."Not only that,but the double-bass and blast beat drumming from Ben is spectacular.More death metal sounds continue on the tracks "Diggs Road",and the limited edition bonus songs "A Process So Familiar" and "Fall of the Hypocrites."I must also mention some progressive parts of the album.The most notable would be on the palm muting song "The Saw is the Law."The less notable elements will come to the one's with a trained ear.There are some really odd time changes,ironically,on the tune "How Times Have Changed",not only in the music but the vocals as well.Also,on the song "Psychopathy" contains a quieter,proggy breakdown in the middle you don't want to miss."Our Endless War" is one of those rare albums where every song has something to offer.This makes it extremely difficult to pick out any stand out tracks.However,if I were forced to pick the one's that I liked best,it would be "Our Endless War","Let Me Burn","Psychopathy",and "Blacked Out."The best song "Diggs Road" kicks off with a solid guitar open that goes into a more traditional death metal groove.The best thing about this song is it has the two best guitar solos and some harmonized guitar.This really gives the song a melodic death metal feel.This is a sound Whitechapel was made for and would love to see them move more in this direction in the future.The fact that album moves away from deathcore helps Bozeman's vocals.This is his best singing to date and allows the fans to understand his wonderful lyrics.If I had one complaint,it would be that the album is a little too short.I wanted to hear more of this intense heavy metal and 10 tracks and 38 mins. just wasn't enough.If you are able,make sure you pick up the limited edition version.This way you get 2 more great tracks.The last bonus song "Fall of the Hypocrites" is end to end growling vocals and blast beat drumming giving the album it's only true end to end death metal song.Whitechapel put out 4 previous albums but "Our Endless War" is by far their best.I would recommend this album to any fan of Heavy Metal.For those of you who are death or thrash metal fans but don't like deathcore,mark my words,you will love this album.Everything about this album is near perfect including the musicianship,vocals,lyrics,and the production and song arrangements.All the songs are full of no nonsence,violent heavy metal.Get all the bad sterotypes of deathcore out of your head and go get this record.You will not be disappointed.

1. Rise
2. Our Endless War
3. The Saw Is The Law
4. Mono
5. Let Me Burn
6. Worship the Digital Age
7. How Times Have Changed
8. Psychopathy
9. Blacked Out
10. Diggs Road

Total Playing Time: 38:51


Interview with Pleasure To Kill

I was looking for more content for our blog. And Pleasure To Kill immediately told us we could do an interview. Of course I accepted that offer and here we go:

Who am I “talking” with?
- Hello ! I'm Dums (but my friends call me Dums !), and I'm the bassist-singer of Pleasure To Kill. The other members are Didier : drums and J-Mi : guitar.

How did you get together? Like, who started the band and how did it evolve?
- At first, J-Mi and I had known each other for a while, we had played together in some bands.
In 2008, we met Berny, former guitarist and co-founder of PTK. Our common passion for thrash made us decide to create this band with the help of Bastos (a childhood friend) at the drums (but this guy was mainly guitarist !), and with Yannick at vocals. After a few gigs we stopped to play with this first singer for musical reasons, and after 2 years we also stopped to play with Bastos because of his own musical project.
Then, in 2011, we received help from Nico on drums, who played with us during our "Carnage Tour", for the release of our 2010's EP.
Didier (our present drummer) came in the game at the end of this tour. As he already knew and liked PTK, his integration in the band was really easy : musically, humanly...

Who are the people behind “Pleasure To Kill”?
- Pleasure To Kill is mainly managed by its three members. "Do It Yourself" is our philosophy. We are not endorsed nor dependent of a label. It's not completely a choice and of course we would like to have some help (funds, mostly), but we haven't received a pleasant offer yet, so... However, we are not alone, thanks to Laurent (and all his staff) from P.Y.H.C, an association which promote as a maestro the metal community in our area. We can be thankful too to La Sorcière Tourbillon (Whirlpool Witch !), for her very helpful job in communication, she's amazing! She's not only a great music/event reporter, she offers all "her following bands" a huge media visibility! There are both fully involved in their passion, it's not so common! They like our music (hopefully they are not the only ones!) and they are great supporters.

What are your influences?
- Thrash, thrash and a little bit of thrash ! Well, seriously, PTK is an example of what every member can bring to the music. I mean, we all share the same musical styles: thrash, death, hard-core, heavy metal... But each of us has his own little world and references. J-Mi is an heavy metal and old bands fan, Didier is a big fan of black/doom, and I'm deeply influenced by death-thrash, punk/crossover. And of course, we do not listen only extreme music! Unfortunately I can't reveal J-Mi and Didier's deep and ashamed secrets..., but for example, I enjoy listening to soul music.

Is your band named after Kreator’s second album?
- You're right ! This album was so fantastic in these old ages! Full of angry and brutality, also dirty, so the name and the spirit of this album matched exactly with the music we were starting to play: simple riffs, energy, in your face.

Why did you decide to sing in French and will you keep doing this?
- First of all, we wanted to contrast with other french bands. Around 90% or more of french bands use to sing in english although they are not international bands, and, honestly, some of them don't have a "good" english, even for french people, which are the worst about foreign language! (as you may see my english is more "Frenglish"!)
English often sounds better and it's an easier way to seem "professional"...  But we don't talk about unicorns, monsters, or mad movies' butcheries, and we don't even finish each sentence with "fuck you"!  So english is not necessary! I don't blame at all the bands with such lyrics (I like to listen to stuff like that), but it's not our "world".
Our songs talk about social messages or acts like ecology, policy, against racism... so we prefer people understand the meaning! We are a band with our themes, I don't use growls, so we prefer to be understood more easily in our native language. And in France, we had and still have famous french-lyrics bands: Trust, Vulcain, ADX, Tagada Jones, Lofofora... for some of the most famous ones, Dagara, Kopper8 and our friends from Savage Annihilation for the new generation (big hug for them!). There are also many bands in France and worldwide singing in spanish, italian, finnish, and most of them sounds good, so why not in french instead of english!

What is the French metal scene looking like today?
- The french metal scene is very active, at least for the bands, because people doesn't come often in great participation to concerts, but it's another discussion. Many people are too lazy to move outside to see local bands, even when these bands are very good. Most of the time, people prefer to pay 40 or 50€ to see renowned bands instead of going to see 4 "local" bands for 5€. I don't know if it's the same abroad... Anyway, France has many good bands like Deep In Hate (death), Pulmonary Fibrosis (grind), Lyzanxia (metal), Arcania (thrash), Locomuerte (HxC chicanos), Black Bomb Ä (metal HxC)... I'd like to discover, see and listen to more thrash bands but the main stream is more metal-core, death-core, thrash-core (yes I know, in France, we have the most complete list of different styles!!!), unfortunately we have almost any band like Havok, Hirax, Onslaught, Violator. OLDSCHOOL RULES!!!

Do you earn enough money by just making music or do you have “real” jobs? Which ones?
- We don't earn any money with our music, we are really far to be professional, and we must be happy when we're paid for a gig (it pays mostly the road costs). We are a "little" french band with a few fans. But for us, no matter what the conditions are, we want to set the stage on fire and make bouncing the audience, and it works... Most of the time!
So, we need to work to live: Didier is a forklift operator, J-Mi is a printer, and I'm a service technician.

What was your best live experience?
- Definitely, when we opened for Black Bomb Ä and Tagada Jones (oct. 2012). It was terrific, incredible, almost unreal, we were playing just before these very famous bands, which we were used to see in fanzine since adolescence!!! The entire day was a bit strange, we did not fully realize our luck, even during the different soundchecks. But 5 minutes before to go on stage... Legs shaking, hands wetting... The audience was crowded, and even if we had already played in front of such audience, the stage was very large! And the most impressive: the guys of these bands were beside the stage to see us!! The sound engineer sent our live introduction and that was on. We played quite perfectly, except for Berny (former guitarist) because he broke a string during the first song, but it was the fastest change of string in the world (less than 1'), hahaha! After the show, we spent a very funny party with the bands! It marked our minds. And the funniest thing was that we were asked to play for this gig 2 weeks before, because the former band split a couple of weeks before the show! They knew Pleasure To Kill so they offered us to play, and obviously we said YEAAAAAH.

What are you guys listening to lately?
- J-Mi is listening to Nervosa, Butcher Babies, and Vulcain
- Didier is more in Dying Fetus, Black Bomb Ä, Aborted
- I'm listening to Havok, Reactory, Locomuerte

Have you any hobbies besides the music?
As the PTK's master geek, I'm a big video games fan! J-Mi is interested by ships used by pirates and history of seas. Didier is passionate about old cars (french cars) like 2CV Citroën.
It's not so easy to spend some time in our hobbies, between music, jobs and family, but it balances our own lives.

What are your plans for the future? Gigs, albums?
- We're always searching for a gig! I'm a bit disappointed because winter is coming (!) and we still have no date for this period. And it's a pity because we are ready to record a full length album next summer. In any case, we will record it because it's been scheduled for a while, and it's not easy to plan in our personal lives! We have the songs, the motivation, the location, and normally we have the funds! One of us is not  completely fully available yet, but, we're close. We expect a release for september/october. Stay tuned!

Anything you would like to say to your fans or maybe your future fans ;-)?
- Keep going to see gigs to keep the metal scene alive. Mostly the underground scene because you can easily find good bands (I'm not talking especially about us, it's in a more general sight). I think it's the same in all countries, nowadays, there is so much bands (and so few places) that we, all of us, have to move outside to find as much as we can some good bands!

Thank you for the interview, good luck and keep it heavy \m/
Many thanks! Stay Thraaaaaaaaash and see you in the pit!

If you wanna check out Pleasure To Kill after this awesome interview, here ya go:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Epica - The Quantum Enigma Review

Band:  Epica
Album:  The Quantum Enigma
Label:  Nuclear Blast
Country:  Netherlands
Release Date:  May 2, 2014

In years to come, when The “Histories Metalicum” are being written, Epica are surely to grace the pages as the symphonic metal legends and powerhouse they surely are.  With classic albums such as The Phantom Agony, The Divine Conspiracy and Design Your Universe, they will surely be lauded with tributes and garlands for their expertise.  That, however, was a past age of glory.  What, indeed, will be written of The Quantum Enigma?

“Originem” is a bombastically (but not in the pretentious sense) fantastic introduction to the album.  I’d never be so pretentious to assume that these guys could produce anything on the
level of Bach or Wagner but, hell, they certainly try.  The atmosphere of this track is so powerful that I defy your goosey bumps to not become goosey and bumpy.

“The Second Stone” starts just as epically as the previous but with the signature Epica style.  It doesn’t take long for Simons’ utterly intoxicating vocals to captivate the listener.  And the chorus, my god the chorus!  It’s powerful and catchy.  Already we’re only into the second track and I’m utterly smitten.  I’ve missed these guys so hard!  Mark Jansen also gives us his customary growled vocals which, as always, works wonderfully in the mix.

“The Essence Of Silence” opens with yet more masterfully crafted elements before crashing into heavy guitar and bass parts.  It seems to me that Epica strike the right balance between heavy and catchy.  Never allowing us to hum along for long enough before more blast beats and chuggery ensues.  This track has some classy riffage to please the senses.

The riffs which open “Victims Of Contingency” put me in mind of classic Fear Factory.  They have that speed and ferocity.  But, Epica being as they are, there is much more complexity coupled with the classical elements.  There’s also a lot going on, which can be said for most Epica songs, but this seems heavily layered with interesting elements.  It’s quite short but so powerful that it’s almost like receiving a good beating in a dark alley by some heavies and then being sent on your way with a goodbye kiss from a beautiful red-head.

For the first full minute of “Sense Without Sanity - The Impervious Code” we have a luxuriantly stunning, swelling intro into which Simons’ perfect pitch carries us along on a pillow of winds which is abruptly taken from under us by Jansen, Delahaye and van der Loo.  And yet, is no less stunning for the abruptness of their intrusion into our little flight of fancy (I love my fantasy moments, ok? *ahem*).  A lot of the more classic metal chugging guitars are present in this track and is very anthemic in parts.  I think this will definitely be a contender for their live set list.

“Unchain Utopia” is another epic track.  I’m actually at a point where I’m hoping the next track is rubbish, just so I can have something different to say.  It’s another excellent, anthemic piece of awesomeness.

“The Fifth Guardian (Interlude)” is an eastern influenced, almost zen like break in the heaviness that we have been accustomed so far.  There are no vocals.  As someone who is no musician (I have mentioned in an earlier review that I’m just a guy who likes metal) it’s incredibly hard to fathom how people, real musicians, can sit down and write such mesmerizing songs.  It seems otherworldly to me.

“Chemical Insomnia” opens the second half of the album.  The tone here is different.  Parts of the track could be lifted from an operetta with its dramatics.  Again, the performance by all band members is great.  
“Reverence (Living In The Heart)” continues the tone of dramatics.  There’s much more force behind the performance in this half of the proceedings, which sets the tone nicely for what is to follow.

“Omen (The Ghoulish Malady)” opens with a heart wrenchingly lovely piano performance from Coen Janssen before hurtling into some more epic guitar riffs.

“Canvas For Life” brings a much more genteel moment in the proceedings with its more relaxed symphonic elements.  Its great.  Nothing much else to say here except that Epica have shown how masterful they are at writing in any given field of music.

“Natural Corruption” is a very fast paced track.  It’s one to rock out to but then manages to be compellingly sorrowful in its closing moments.

And so we come to the end.  “The Quantum Enigma - Kingdom Of Heaven Pt II” is a masterful composition.  Its atmosphering introduction is a sign of greatness to come with its haunting prelude.  The track has it all.  It’s classic Epica mingled with a new refined edge.  Great composition, songwriting, singing and performance which carries the listener on its many twists and turns before soaring into a great crescendo.  

I may, or may not, be a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Epica.  Yet I know when they have shined and when they haven’t.  The Divine Conspiracy, Design Your Universe and The Sublime The Classical Conspiracy (a live album, I know) were times when they shined.  Requiem For The Indifferent was not.  It was almost as if Epica themselves were indifferent.  But, I can honestly say that The Quantum Enigma, for me, is without doubt their brightest moment.  I couldn’t at any point in the album pick out a bad moment and it was quite an experience.  I would love to see this performed live.

1. Originem
2. The Second Stone
3. The Essence Of Silence
4. Victims Of Contingency
5. Sense Without Sanity - The Impervious Code
6. Unchain Utopia
7. The Fifth Guardian (interlude)
8. Chemical Insomnia
9. Reverence - Living In The Heart
10. Omen - The Ghoulish Malady
11. Canvas Of Life
12. Natural Corruption
13. The Quantum Enigma - Kingdom Of Heaven Part II

Total Playing Time: 68:13


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Insomnium - Shadows Of The Dying Sun Review

Insomnium.  Shadows Of The Dying Sun

1. The Primeval Dark
2. While We Sleep
3. Revelation
4. Black Heart Rebellion
5. Lose To Night
6. Collapsing Words
7. The River
8. Ephemeral
9. The Promethean Song
10. Shadows Of The Dying Sun

I like many different types of metal (even a few non metal ones too), from Iron Maiden’s brand of heavy metal, through Blind Guardians fantasy driven power/speed metal, Ensiferum’s viking fueled lunacy, Nightwish’s beautiful and often sweeping epics and finally, but by no means least, Amon Amarth’s melodic death growling, split your skull as soon as look at you kind of mayhem.  I love them all.  But, when I catch wind of a forthcoming release of the latter genre, I get really excited. And no less with Insomnium, a melodic death metal band from Finland, which is always an exciting prospect of having my brains “metal cortex” (I totally made that up) tickled.

And so we begin with “The Primeval Dark".  It’s a great opening track with its initial slow melody which swells into heavy guitars and harks to their vintage days.  Which is to say, Finnish through and through.

It's only the second track in and already Insomnium are showcasing their ability to diversify.  "While We Sleep" has all the elements you would expect from a melodeath band but wrapped into one excellently executed track.  The customary heavy guitars and low growl vocals are still here but are complemented with more hushed, softer vocals.

"Revelation" shows Insomnium's writing and performing abilities nicely.  It does not lack for heaviness in any form but at the same time manages to be sweeping and beautiful in its own way.  There is also an extremely beautiful guitar solo to this track that had me rewinding again and again to listen to.  

"Black Heart Rebellion" is another long track.  Sometimes when a band writes a long track it can often become detious and overly long, almost as if it's long for the sake of being long.  This isn't the case with these guys.  Every second of the song is absorbing and interesting.  The contrast between heavy guitar moments interspersed with growling vocals and acoustic moments is spell binding.

"Lose To Night" will, for many death metal and Insomnium fans, rankle slightly.  The simple reason for this is that it contains "clean" vocals.  The song itself is another great case in point regarding Insomnium’s ability to dabble in more than one style.  The track feels very emotional (and before the elitists start waving the " emo" signs, if there was no emotion at all in your music it would be as flat as a pancake) which is why I feel that the clean vocals feel so right.

"Collapsing Words" is an odd little number.  I can't seem to get into it.  It's not that it's a bad song by any means it just seems a little “death by numbers”.  This could probably be the main contender on this album for filler track.

The first minute or so of "The River" reminded me greatly of In Flames.  Not a bad thing at all it just caused a little reminiscence.  Again, there are clean vocals overlaying acoustic guitar here.  It works, and well.  I definitely think Insomnium are much more adventurous in this release.  Maybe it's a sign of things to come.  After all the melodic death metal scene does seem to have stagnated somewhat so maybe they're exploring new ground.  A little progressive death, anybody?

" Ephemeral" feel like a no-brainer.  It's a good song but I think it's definitely a quick fix, feel good track.  Not much else to say on this one I'm afraid.

As usual, in my reviews of late, there seem to be a least one song that I can’t quite fathom.  On this album there are two and "The Promethean Song" is the second in this album.  The song in itself isn’t bad but it feels completely out of place.  In fact, it’s as if it should be part of the arsenal of some goth rock outfit.

The title track, "Shadows Of The Dying Sun" opens with a nice bit of bass work from Niilo, accompanied by drums.  It's a great track to end the album as its sweeping and layered crafting allows for a fitting full-stop (or period) to an amazing musical journey.  There are clean vocals and growls aplenty and some beautifully wrought guitar parts.  The song itself closes with a very ethereal sounding outro that had me wishing for more.

I have to say that this album is pretty good.  I feel that Insomnium have brought a little fresh air into a slightly stagnating genre.  Many aspects of the album are cleverly crafted and wrought.  But what really stands out, for me at least, is Markus Hirvonen. His drumming is at times both sublime and technical.  It manages to stand out amongst an already amazing performance by the rest of the band, which illustrates how accomplished he is at his craft.  The vocal work, again, is exceptional with the customary growls from Niilo Sevanen and a refreshing amount of softer vocals and whispered parts by Ville Friman.  Although this isn’t the best album I've heard this year, so far, it’s still really good.  However, it tends to get a little flat from the middle of the album.  There aren’t any bad songs, not at all, but I think Insomnium maybe trying to move away from their traditional area of expertise.   And so, taking this into account, I feel this album is worth a resounding