Tag Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: Sorrow Plagues – Homecoming


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Sorrow Plagues is the brainchild of British musician David Lovejoy, who typically delivers atmospheric black metal. This new album ‘Homecoming’ marks Lovejoy’s second album and this time he dares to explore and venture into unexpected territory, expanding his elaborate black metal, this time throwing in elements of post-rock and more mainstream sounds.

The first song to kick things off is new single ‘Departure’ which opens on a resonant upbeat and impressive guitar intro. It immediately possesses a dreamy and ethereal atmosphere, aided through the textured instrumentation. The buoyant sounding instruments give it a more mainstream vibe, but Lovejoy’s dark distant shouts lurk in the backdrop to balance the light and the dark. The instruments remain at the forefront and make for a very compelling and impactful start. The song is about self-actualization and leaving behind the things that are holding you back in life, so it takes you on a great reflective path and the tones match this. Coming in at over seven minutes long, it is a rather epic introduction and scene setter for the album.

‘Disillusioned’ flows on nicely from the opener and again has that all consuming far-reaching sound, in what is the longest song featured on the album. It has a grand feel to it, with an air of optimism as before, which is very refreshing to see in this black metal rooted album. It is questionable if this can even be categorised as this at times, at is so serene and beautiful throughout, but maintains a dark essence through the bleak vocals.

‘Isolated’ has some of the most memorable and catchy riffs going, keeping up the light very positive sound, whilst ‘Irreversible’ packs a harder punch with a large almost symphonic sound.  It is extremely tuneful, with great rhythms which further highlight Lovejoy’s technical skills. First single ‘Relinquish’ soars from the off and dances around in epic glorious tones with menacing anguished screams to accompany, something there is no shortage off throughout, but it works wonderfully.

To close this insightful and cathartic journey is the title track ‘Homecoming’ which opens on an atmospheric quiet intro before later throwing in a curveball in the form of unexpected saxophones – definitely not something you expect to find on a metal album. This certainly stands out, and is both very pleasing and confusing. It ends on some of the most depthful and layered instrumentation seen on the album, making for the perfect closer.

This is not your typical black metal act, this is something new and exciting and should certainly be praised for this interesting exploration of sounds. It is very meaningful and layered through the instrumentation and lyrics, which looks at many aspects of the human experience, including death, loneliness and regret. The focus of the album is about finding strength and resolution through these difficult situations. This takes you on an unforeseen path and is a pleasure to listen to, whilst contemplating life and letting the resonant tones wash over you and take you away into a dream state. Lovejoy should be proud of what he has accomplished here.

SCORE: 4/5

https://www.facebook.com/sorrowplaguesmetal/
https://sorrowplagues.bandcamp.com/

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REVIEW: From Eden To Exile – Modern Disdain


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Northampton Modern metallers From Eden To Exile have been rapidly building a name for themselves since their inception. Early in their career they secured a slot at the ‘New Blood’ stage at Bloodstock festival in 2015 and have played alongside heavyweight acts such as Trivium, Black Label Society, Cannibal Corpse and more. They show no signs of slowing down and are ready to make an even bigger impact with their anticipated debut album ‘Modern Disdain’…

First track ‘Gospel Untold’ is a metal whirlwind, as its crushing, powerful and unforgiving, aided by the stomping heavy guitars and overall impressive guitar work, hellish commanding vocals and strong dark melodies. This makes quite an impressive with this first offering.

Title track ‘Modern Disdain’ again delivers belligerent vocals, fast driven riffs, and defiant and strong lyric statements such as “worked like slaves, if you look at the facts, mankind was born to kneel”, with yet more impressive blistering guitar work again from Tom Kelland and Mike Bell.

Single ‘Volatile’ is vast and tense with charged vocals and guitars. The melodic tones give it a hopeful vibe through the instrumentation, as well as offering up some head banging worthy breakdowns. This acts as a perfect summary of the album.

‘Victim’ keeps up the heat and momentum as seen throughout, with a tense build up and extremely melodic riffs with punishing and effective screamed vocals from Matt Dyne. This is a stand out track for me, as it offers up more diversity than some of the previous tracks. Whilst ‘The Dreamer’ shows some of the best guitar work seen so far, demonstrating their talents further. This is a resonant and all round impressive strong track that is a must hear.

Self-named song ‘From Eden To Exile’ is groove ridden and a great one to let loose too, and again breaking things up a bit and showing something a bit different is ‘What You’ve Done’, which features some interesting rhythms and unpredictable turns.

Closing song ‘Sentiment’ sets out to demolish once again in this last tumultuous blow, largely helped by the effective ambient instrumentation.

This is a very hefty extreme metal album that gives you non-stop intensity, massive breakdowns and strong snarling demanding vocals throughout. From Eden To Exile clearly, execute their craft and impressive musicianship with this debut.

 

SCORE: 4/5

 

From Eden To Exile’s debut album ‘Modern Disdain’ is released 2nd June, via Attic Records/PHD.

 

www.fromedentoexile.co.uk  
www.facebook.com/fromedentoexile  
www.twitter.com/FROMEDENTOEXILE
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REVIEW: Karkaos – Children Of The Void


REVIEW: Karkaos – Children Of The Void by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Melodic extreme metal act Karkaos from Canada formed in 2003 and quickly built a formidable presence in their home country following their successful 2011 EP ‘In Burning Skies’ and then in 2014 they unleashed their full-length debut ‘Empire’ to help solidify this further. Now they return with their new, to be self-released album ‘Children Of The Void’ which features a new and unstoppable line-up with vocalist Viky Boyer and drummer Justine Ethier at the helm. To add more power to this anticipated release they enlist some guest musicians in the form of Lindsay Schoolcraft from Cradle of Filth and Morgan Lander from Kittie.

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Opening intro track ‘Babel’ is very atmospheric and dramatic, building suspense with a determination and glimmer of hope that increases as it draws to an end, making it the perfect way to gear you up for what is to unfold…

‘Skymaster’ explodes to life with a massive symphonic sound, blitzing guitars and fast drums, with Viky Boyer’s compelling and impressive vocals fitting the relentless instrumentation and the contrasting fierce vocals from guitarist, Vincent Harnois wonderfully. This is overwhelming but in a brilliant, huge and all-consuming way.

First single ‘Kolossòs’ is crushing from the off, with a haunting intensity aided especially by the vocal delivery and keys. This is indeed colossal in every way, and it helps that it features immense guest vocals from Morgan Lander of Canadian metallers Kittie. This is an unstoppable and divine offering that encapsulates the album and the band’s sound.

Title track ‘Children Of The Void’ is immediately ambient and features many tempo changes, but never loses its fluency. The charging verses are intense and the whole song shifts between beautiful twists and turns, and enthrals with slick and impressive guitar as seen throughout the album, the nature and the vibe of the song feels very unified.

‘Tyrants’ blasts into action with alarming symphonic sounds and growled vocals. Again the band play to their strengths hitting you from every direction and overloading you, with clean, brutal, sinister hushed tones and gang vocals adding, even more depth which the album is simply brimming with.

The final offering ‘Bound By Stars’ is beautiful and eerie with passionate heartfelt lyrics from Viky. It is the longest song in length, giving it an epic feel through strength and duration, as well as the ever melodic resonant tones and soaring solo guitar work from Samael Pelletier that he exhibits throughout.

This is a fantastic attack on the senses, which is captivating, exhilarating, suspenseful, yet brutal. It is excellently structured and features impressive musicianship from the whole band. There is such depth and intelligence, through intricate fine details, that it most certainly need to be stuck on repeat to help process and appreciate every moment. This is massively majestic and leaves a lasting impression and asserts that Karkaos are a band to watch out for.

SCORE: 5/5

‘Children Of The Void’ is self-released on 26th May 2017.

Album Pre-Order available on Bandcamp at https://karkaosofficial.bandcamp.com/album/children-of-the-void-pre-order

 KARKAOS FRONT1400

Track Listing:
1. Babel
2. Skymaster
3. Kolossòs
4. Let the Curtain fall
5. Pale
6. Children of The Void
7. Rêverie
8. Tyrants
9. Where Mushrooms Grow
10. Lightbearer
11. The Beast
12. Bound By Stars

For More Info:

http://www.facebook.com/karkaos
http://www.instagram.com/karkaosofficial

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REVIEW: VISTA – Allegiance (Single)


REVIEW: VISTA – Allegiance (Single)                                                                                             by Carina Lawrence

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New and exciting alt rock act VISTA from New York are  setting out to take the scene by storm and are rapidly building momentum. With a successful debut EP, ‘Versus’ and their latest dominating single ‘Henchmen’ under their belts already, they are wasting no time by releasing new ambient and feisty single ‘Allegiance’.

From the off the new song is striking with interesting rhythms and is very atmospheric, giving it a deep and dark edge. It is a powerful driven song with strong compelling vocals throughout, and hard-hitting bouncy riffs and beats, giving it the ultimate anthemic rock sound that oozes swagger. This is a song you are going to want to stick on repeat, especially whilst you eagerly wait for their next offerings, which hopefully aren’t far off, as this is the lead single from their next upcoming EP. What they have achieved since their formation last year is impressive and only highlights further that this is a band to watch out for this year.

SCORE: 5/5

The new single ‘Allegiance’ is out May 19th.

To find out more about VISTA:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ThisIsVISTA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/VISTAband

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REVIEW: Tethra – Like Crows For The Earth


REVIEW: Tethra – Like Crows For The Earth                                                                            by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

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Italian doom metal act Tethra formed in 2008 and released their first full length debut ‘Drown Into The Sea’ in 2013, which was a concept album focused on water and continued the theme started on their first EP ‘At The Gates Of Doom’, about a passage between life and death. Now in 2017 they are back with their sophomore full length ‘Like Crows For The Earth’, which was recorded and mixed by Matt Stancioiu (Labyrinth) and mastered by Greg Chandles (Esoteric). They are ready to take their sound to the next level and show how they have evolved since their debut…

The intro ‘Resilience’ is positive yet sorrowful and sets the scene wonderfully for what is to come, being very melodic and tempting, leaving you eager to hear more. It paves the way for first full track, ‘Transcending Thanatos’ which picks up where it left off before frontman, Clode Tethra demonstrates his versatile vocals, from dark growls to melodic charismatic clean vocals, which is quite alluring and stands out in the doom genre, with an gothic vibe shining through. The instrumentation accompanies the tones brilliantly, from dark gloomy moments to hopeful acoustic sections.

Instrumental ‘Prelude to Sadness’ helps create the desired atmosphere and offers a break in between songs and sees us arrive at, ‘Springtime Melancholy’ which is extremely ambient and rather beautiful, with Clode using his vocals well against the vibrant instruments. There is a great balance of dark and light, which is intelligently structured and makes a high impact, going from serene to head banging worthy moments, as well as a full blown doom rage thrown in to keep you on your toes. This is a stand out track, and a great unconventional soundtrack or anthem for Spring.

‘Deserted’ introduces a more exotic sound initially, which goes into dark sounding sonic riffs which drive it, and offer plenty of hard hitting rhythms throughout. This may well be one of the heaviest songs featured so far, as it contains more screamed growls, alongside the signature gothic doom vocals. The stripped back interlude ‘Subterranean’ is well placed and is easily Clode’s best vocal performance, with elegant acoustic guitar as backup, giving it a sinister but flourishing sound. ‘The Groundfeeder’ focuses on the heavier side, tying in with ‘Deserted’ and keeps the momentum going…

‘Synchronicity of Life and Decay’ sees some of the most ambient instrumentation, including a slick tuneful guitar solo,  in what is their shortest song, showing they can deliver a quick hard blow. While ‘Earthless’ soars on, with the band in their element with fast paced melodies, going between slower calm parts and then effortlessly going full swing again. This is another stand out track for me.

Saving their title track for last, ‘Like Crows For The Earth’ truly encompasses all their best characteristic sounds, being a perfect and solid representation of their album and sound, making it a fine choice to end on.

Considering this is rooted in doom and death, this is a joy to listen to, as it is surprisingly diverse, melodic and positive for this genre. ‘Like Crows For The Earth’ highlights that Tethra aren’t afraid to think outside of the box, and for their efforts they should be more widely accepted, as this is more accessible than most doom/death metal offerings, giving it the edge. Most of the songs are around six or seven minutes long, but all very well crafted and consistent throughout, progressing naturally along the way. The use of instrumentals interspersed shows their musicianship further, and aids their more sonic and consuming sound, which is layered nicely to balance it out, and gives them their unique sound. If you are a fan of gothic doom/death metal this is a must, but even if you aren’t you may be in for a nice unexpected treat!

Score: 4/5

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Tracklist for ‘Like Crows For The Earth’:

  1. Resilience (Intro)
    02. Transcending Thanatos
    03. Prelude to Sadness
    04. Springtime Melancholy
    05. Deserted
    06. Subterranean (Interlude)
    07. The Groundfeeder
    08. Entropy
    09. Synchronicity of Life and Decay
    10. Earthless

 

The album was released in Europe on February 11th via Sliptrick Records, with a US release in the pipelines on July 23rd.


https://www.facebook.com/TethraHell

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Krysthla reveal minor mystery video and new UK tour dates


Krysthla have revealed ‘The Minor Mystery Of Death’, the third single and official music video from their new album ‘Peace In Our Time’ which is released this Friday, 7th April.

Guitarist Neil Hudson says of the track: “The Minor Mystery Of Death is about embracing the end. Death is an absolute certainty and we’re living lives that seem like they’re going to last forever until it’s too late and your mortality is thrust into your hands. “We’re very precious towards our lives but don’t actually live them.”
Peace In Our Time was influenced by Krysthla’s 2016 European tour with Decapitated – with Hudson revealing that one experience on the road will live with him forever:
“On the Greek border, I saw a refugee girl stood on the other side of the motorway while we were parked up getting fuel. She saw us looking over at the thousands of grubby tents cooking the inhabitants in the scorching heat and fixed her eyes on me for a few seconds. “I gave her a nod. She jumped over the barrier and ran over the motorway to the garage, dodging traffic on her way. She walked over, looked me straight in the eye, said something in Syrian and gave me a highfive and hugged my leg. “I left a bit of me behind that day. We sobbed in the van as we left. It was utterly heart breaking to hear the hum of bodies murmuring in the boiling sun.” Hudson adds: “The album is influenced heavily, and almost solely by the fact I am a father. With so much unrest and violence in the world, it’s easy to turn your back and pretend none of it has an impact on your life. “Or somehow because it’s a long way from home it’s someone else’s problem. War does not sleep. War does not stop. It doesn’t choose who dies and who lives. But the people who light the fire and fan the flames do.”
The new album ‘Peace In Our Time’ is released 7th April via PHD.
Krysthla live:
9th April – Coventry, Maccov@The Arches
17th April – Peterborough, The Met
21st April – Bolton, The Alma
22nd April – Warrington, The Brewhouse
28th April – Cardiff, Fuel
5th May – High Wycombe, Phoenix
6th May – Worthing. Bar 42
7th May – Bournemouth, The Anvil
12th May – Inverness, Mad Hatters
13th May – Dundee, Beat Generator
14th May – Edinburgh, Bannermans
26th May – Northampton, King Billy Rock Bar
27th May – London, The Devonshire Arms
28th May – Leicester, Uprising Aftermath @ The Firebug
3rd June – Kettering – The Prince
24th June – Norwich, B2
1st July – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
22nd July – Gloucester, Amplified Festival
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