Kitshickers – The Boarwin Hunt

Seven years after their previous record, Kitshickers are back with yet another crowd-funded album, a model that luckily seems to work really well for the guys! As is tradition at this point, The Boarwin Hunt is of course a concept album and this time around the band deals with digital worlds and the immersiveness, good and bad, that comes with them. So, pick up your controller and join me!

Since the predecessor the band parted ways with their drummer, and when they announced that two members of The Majestic Unicorns From Hell, the bassist and guitarist, would be joining the band as drummer and third guitarist respectively, my interest was definitely piqued.

While the new drummer is not completely new to the craft, he has less experience with hitting the skins, so naturally the parts are a little less complex in their nature than what you might expect, but he makes up for that in attitude and feeling in my opinion. Especially since the songwriting of the record itself is much more atmospheric, for lack of a better word, and the more basic drum patterns definitely make it easier to get lost in the music.

The third guitarist also adds a new layer of depth to the music and brings a riffier sound to the table that complements the sound in every aspect. Ranging from very groovy parts to, almost, black metal riffs, it’s really hard not to like the guitar work here.

At this point, I feel like writing about the singer’s vocal performance is almost redundant, because the guy can basically do it all, no further comments needed. However, he does have a few new tricks up his sleeve for these fifty-six minutes, for example: during the sixth track, he hits us with shouted vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Accept, just much less annoying, and they fit the instrumentals perfectly!

There is one thing that confused me a bit, though. But for that I have to briefly explain the track listing: technically there are four songs, but the first two songs are split into five and three tracks respectively. The final two songs are kept whole and each of those songs goes above the eleven minute mark; so far so good. My only gripe, however, is that the second to last song is a super atmospheric and fairly soft instrumental song that in my opinion would have been the perfect album closer, instead. But with the track listing as is, it almost feels like filler to me, sadly.

All in all, The Boarwin Hunt will definitely satisfy fans and might actually be the most accessible record to people who are not yet into Kitshickers! So make sure to check out the album when it releases this Friday, December 1st and if you have no plans yet, move your butt to Kulturfabrik where the band will host a mini-festival as their release show! In the meantime, you can find more info on their Facebook page!

Fallen Lies – Broken

Four years can be a long time, but especially in these recent years it feels like they flew by quite quickly. Four years for a band, however, can hold quite a few changes and such is the case for Fallen Lies, who are about to release their sophomore album Broken with a new vocalist at the helm. I had the chance to get quite a few early listens in and want to share my thoughts.

The quintet stays true to its, dare I say, signature style of blending fairly accessible alternative rock with a handful of thrash influences, yet never fully crossing over into alternative metal. The mixture worked well on their debut, Confusion, and it feels even further refined on these ten new tracks.

Where I previously remarked that the guitars were arguably the, instrumental, stars of the show, I feel like this time around the guitarists looked at each other, nodded and cranked the dial up by another notch, delivering both highly melodic and at times heavy riffage. I also can’t get rid of the feeling that the song No Place For Us pays homage to the two influential bands I mentioned in my previous review: Alter Bridge and Metallica. Because the chorus and bridge riffs seem to pay tribute to both bands respectively.

Contrary to last time, both the drummer and bassist have a lot more room to shine on Broken. With the drummer, especially, laying down some tasty drum parts that no longer just serve the song but also display a lot of variation.

However, the biggest change the band has gone through since the release of their debut is the new vocalist, which fixes the main, albeit minor, issue I had with it: the new woman with the pipes does not hold back in any way when it comes to her vocal performance. It is clear that she enjoys what she does and gives it her all and the recorded result is just as powerful as the live version. On the other hand, the change brings a minor gripe with it, which could just be personal preference: the vocal melodies as well lyrics are less memorable, or rather less catchy, which led to these forty minutes needing more listens to really get through to me.

All in all, Fallen Lies manage to deliver yet another solid record that will scratch the alternative rock itch of their fans and new listeners alike. The album will be available to the public starting this Friday, October 20th, along with a release show at Rockhal, which is already sold out, sadly. If you want to keep up with the band, be sure to head over to their Facebook page!

Dreadnought – The Fire Within

Almost as if taking my comment in my last review of today’s band to heart, they didn’t even wait two full years before releasing new material! As you might have guessed it by the title, I am delighted to share my first impressions of Dreadnought‘s upcoming release The Fire Within with you!

First off, the sound, that was solidified on the previous record, makes its glorious return and delivers very enjoyable black metal that features guitar melodies that stick with you quite quickly. The vocals have remained consistent and tick all the boxes the black metal heart desires.

The three songs feature three different iterations of the band’s sound spectrum: Nightmares being the straight-forward black metal assault, Asbestor being the tongue-in-cheek black’n’roll track and Memento Mori being the, dare I say, trve frostbitten grim song, but with a twist.

While I am not a big fan of releasing individual singles or EPs that don’t hit the twenty or, ideally, the twenty-five minute mark, it is not something that I can hold against The Fire Within, since the final product does what it’s supposed to…albeit seventeen minutes not being long enough for my taste.

The band has released two songs thus far, and the third and final one will release this Friday, September 1st, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that! You can find more information on their Facebook page and listen to the first 66,6% of the EP below.

Godmorgon – Out Of Spite

Let’s face it: the heavy music scene is a massive sausagefest. I do have to acknowledge that the crowds have diversified quite a bit over these past twenty years that I’ve been going to shows, but the people on stage are still for the most part men, which tends to be more and more true the heavier, and therefore more niche, the genre is. But quite recently I went to a show where I was pleasantly surprised by the opposite and I ended up discovering quite a few interesting bands, one of which I have the pleasure of writing about today. Godmorgon are a fairly new band and their debut album, the name of which sums up the quartet’s raison d’être and driving force: Out Of Spite!

Musically, the band moves somewhere between hardcore and death metal, with the drums taking the rhythmic inspiration from the former and the guitar riffs leaning more towards the death metal side of things. At no point during these twenty-six minutes the wheel is being reinvented, but the result is constantly engaging and genuinely makes you want to move around, the entire instrumentals of Rose, is a perfect example of the band’s sound. It is also worth mentioning that the entire album was recorded in pure DIY-fashion and the result is not only fitting the genre but also objectively enjoyable.

In several of my past reviews I have made it clear that I don’t subscribe to the term “female-fronted” as a musical genre and I try to avoid pointing towards the gender of any of the members, because it deters from the essential part: the music. However, it is definitely refreshing to get a different take on more extreme musical genres, be it from a lyrical or vocal performance point of view. For example, you can only hear Cannibal Corpse‘s Corpsegrinder sing about (sexual) mutilation so often before it gets old…but hearing a woman sing about breaking a glass in a sleazy guy’s asshole and torturing him is a welcome change.

All joking aside: the singer’s screams are for the most part in the higher register and she manages to deliver a performance that is a mix between evil possession and pure despair. I think my favorite example of this would be the chorus of Can’t Stop Me, which gave me goosebumps when I first heard it live. Another positive aspect of her performance is the very clear enunciation, which makes the lyrics very easy to understand. The latter are, hopefully, not all based on personal experience but deal with aspects that many women are faced with on a regular basis and also provide, shall we say, solutions to some of those issues.

All in all, Out Of Spite is a very solid first record that should appeal to fans of both genres I mentioned above alike, or simply function as a gateway to a very vast library of other bands in those genres. Godmorgon managed to capture my attention every single time I put on these ten songs and I strongly recommend giving them a listen below. For more information, you can head to their Facebook page and be sure to check out the album on April 13th!

Sublind – The Cenosillicaphobic Sessions

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: most Luxembourgish bands take way too much time between albums! It’s been nine whole years since Sublind‘s debut album came out and they’ve played a ton of shows and have grown as musicians and songwriters alike, which is the other, positive, side of the long wait: it usually allows bands here to develop and mature their sound before releasing new music. Such is the case with today’s beer-loving quintet, who are about to release their sophomore with one of the catchiest names in metal history: The Cenosillicaphobic Sessions. Rolls right off the tongue, eh? Now try saying it five times in a row. Let’s dive in, uh!

Over the course of the past almost-decade the band has gone through several line-up changes where everyone brought their own flavor and expertise to the mix, which has resulted in what I would call a solidified version of the sound you know from Thrashing Delirium. Thrash metal is still the main course being served, but there are some elements from other genres that make guest appearances every now and then. One of the stand-outs in that regard is a track that has a sludge vibe to it, which goes down a route that you definitely haven’t heard or expected Sublind in…and succeeds effortlessly.

Among the eleven tracks there are some songs that long-time fans and concert-goers know from the past, but they appear in a new shine here, especially the band’s best drinking anthem, other than the iconic Humpeknupper of course, Highspeed Hangover hits harder than ever and despite having listened to it countless times five years ago while working on the lyric video, it manages to still get me pumped in this new version. You also get (re-)recorded versions of the, dare I say, oldies Bommeleeër and Cenosillicaphobia, which all sound great in their new coat of aural paint.

In my opinion however, the firm core of TCS is the trilogy of songs that starts with False Existence and tells a condensed version of the story of Dante’s Inferno. Not only is it among the heaviest material the band has put out, but it also has compelling songwriting that flows well with the narrative. The two other new songs are just as solid neckbreakers, with the first single, For Those About To Riot, being another song with earworm potential. Last but not least, the opener and closer are what I would call joke songs…but they work great to get you pumped on your first listen and to re-listen for the umpteenth time respectively.

Vocally, the contrast is fairly stark when comparing the performance from ten years ago to today, because the amount of snotty screams is just perfect. The pressure that these forty-two minutes manage to convey is really remarkable…but I do have to mention that there is a slight dip in that at one point, however. And it annoys me to have to say it, because it’s at the same time one of the cooler aspects of the album but also one of the weaker ones: the guys managed to get a guest appearance by none other than Tankard‘s singer Gerre on the eponymous track and while it is quite a privilege, it takes away from the power of the song, since the two vocalists have such a different singing style. Then again, I never really got into Tankard, so maybe it’s just not for me.

This minor detail luckily doesn’t take away anything for me, and it definitely makes The Cenosillicaphobic Sessions my new bar to clear (no pun intended) when it comes to (not only) local thrash metal. Sublind will unleash their new album for public consumption on March 24th with a release show at KuFa the following day, so mark your calendars and prepare your liver. In the meantime, check out the band’s Facebook page and the hilarious music video below. Beers!

Hexeen – Hexeentanz

In Hollywood, there’s this old tradition that film studios dump their worst movies in January, because nobody will really notice them anyways. This approach has also been applied in other forms of media, but it seems that the Luxembourgish metal scene doesn’t apply it to their release philosophy, because I can’t really think of a bad January release. With today’s candidate being no exception. Hexeen is a fairly mysterious new band that chooses to remain anonymous and despite doing some detective work I haven’t really gotten any further than identifying one member. Either way, their debut EP Hexeentanz was released a few days ago and I want to tell you a bit about it!

The quintet plays black metal that I would put into the more modern part of the genre, without it being avant-garde or symphonic black metal, but there is enough grit to the sound that it never feels artificial at all. When I first listened to the five songs, the opener stood out to me immediately, especially when the first chorus ended with the lyrics “nothingness is my God!”, I had to smile…both because it was totally cliché, but also because it was so well executed. Coupled with the really, dare I say, catchy main riff, I knew I was in for a good time.

Something that I don’t remember being on a Luxembourgish black metal record in the recent-ish past is a synthesizer that rounds off the few tracks that it’s on quite nicely, and manages to never be obtrusive, especially at the end of the second song. The third song on the other hand delivers a true drumming stampede with blast beats and double bass barrages to satisfy every headbanger, whereas on the other songs they’re a bit, really just a bit, calmer and with a bit more groove.

The instrumentals are overlaid by a terrific performance by the vocalist, who goes all out on all the songs but most noticeably on the closer where you can practically cut the despair with a knife.

At just under thirty minutes, the EP is perfect for a daily commute and it will put you in the right mood for these cold and wet weeks ahead of us. So be sure to check out Hexeentanz on Bandcamp and if you want to be among fellow black metal lovers, head to Rocas this Saturday where Hexeen will host a listening session along with a live concert by Inzest and Dreadnought!

Top 10 2022 by Yannick

Another trip around the sun and I am happy to say that for the majority of us things have returned to somewhat of a normal situation, at least in comparison to last year. I always check my post from the previous year when I write these and I’m relieved that my prediction that the vast majority of delayed shows and festivals have been finally played! I sure went to quite a few of them myself and even got myself to a four day festival which is something I haven’t done in almost eighteen years, but more on that a bit later. I also chose to change things up a bit this year: I did pick my usual ten albums but for some of them I want to list a runner-up, so to speak, because they’re either similar in genre or share a similar personal backstory.

#10 Moxy The Band – Dream Feeling

The band has formed around the ex-guitarist of A Lot Like Birds but chooses a very different genre to express itself. Away with the angsty post-hardcore, welcome to 80s-inspired pop! It certainly isn’t for everyone, but I’ve spent quite a fair share of hours with this record and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The runner-up is the sophomore record of Beabadoobee, who I discovered this year, called Beatopia. Very dreamy pop music and coming to Luxembourg next year!

#9 Ibaraki – Rashomon

When Trivium‘s Matt Heafy announced a black metal project I was intrigued, to say the least. And while the first single didn’t quite blow me away, I gave the record a thorough listen and fell in love almost instantly! But don’t expect truly frost-britten, grim, Norwegian black metal…it’s much more symphonic and also features some clean vocals. Also, a feature by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, doing…black metal vocals? Check the song Rōnin and guess when he’s singing, I dare you!

#8 Shadow Of Intent – Elegy

In last year’s top ten I praised a band for their most recent EP and I was anxiously awaiting their first full-length with the new vocalist. I even got to see them live this year and the entire metal media is going crazy about them, which makes me really happy because they certainly deserve it. But Lorna Shore‘s Pain Remains is only my runner-up.

In a very similar genre, I felt that Shadow Of Intent‘s newest record, Elegy, is the better end product. So be sure to check it out if you’re into melodic deathcore!

#7 Lost Society – If The Sky Came Down

I mentioned in the intro that I went to a festival after a lot of years of abstinence and the entire experience was fantastic! Wacken 2022 was a blast and it also introduced me to quite a few bands that I probably wouldn’t have checked out if I hadn’t seen them live. One such band is the charismatic Finnish quartet Lost Society, which has already released four records prior to me even hearing about them…but their newest one, If The Sky Came Down, has all the elements I am looking for in, dare I say, nu metal.

At the same festival, I also got to see one of the first shows of The Halo Effect, which is a superband of former In Flames members, who I actually never really got into, and their debut record Days Of The Lost is finest melodic death metal. Which makes them my runner-up!

#6 The Devil Wears Prada – Color Decay

I think I’ve been into TDWP for over a decade now and usually their albums take me a while to get into, because they tend to change their style a bit. But with Color Decay, it was like coming home to an old friend. While it does have more slower tunes than on previous records, it gives birth to some of the best (power) ballads the band, or dare I say the genre, has produced.

My runner-up is Motionless In White‘s Scoring The End Of The World, a band that I have a very similar history with, but which never really disappoints either, with their newest album being arguably the band’s strongest one in a while.

#5 Lights – PEP

This one needs no explanation, really. I just love Lights. One of the best pop artists in the game, hands down.

#4 Royal Coda – To Only A Few At First

Honestly, from here on out, most will not surprise you if you’ve been following my reviews, or top ten, for a while. Usually at least one thing that Kurt Travis touches lands in my best of and this year is no expection. Royal Coda‘s third album follows in the vein of its predecessor and delivers finest post-hardcore, as per usual. Personally, I got some definite At The Drive-In vibes here.

#3 SZA – SOS

This one might surprise some people, but SZA‘s debut album CTRL has been in my playlist frequently ever since I discovered it in early 2018 and I was very excited to see what she had been cooking up over the past five years. The first singles released as early as 2020, gave me quite a bit of hope and while SOS does not quite surpass its predecessor for me personally…I think it’s a very strong R&B record that isn’t afraid of exploring different sounds.

#2 Dance Gavin Dance – Jackpot Juicer

My two favorite bands released new albums this year and I loved both for very different reasons. But I think that DGD‘s tenth full-length (in fifteen years) the one I prefer, because it sticks to the formula that has proven effective and does so at the most distilled level. I can’t wait what the future holds.

The runner-up is, of course, Slipknot‘s The End So Far which is so experimental that at times it felt like I was listening to a different band, but for me personally it worked! Especially after having seen the guys at Wacken this year, I was quite pumped for the record to arrive and I applaud the Nine for changing the formular this much, this late in their career.


Emberthrone – Godless Wonder

Drogher – The Last Wave

Spiritbox – Rotoscope

Betraying The Martyrs – Silver Lining

Emberthrone are a rather unknown technical death metal/deathcore band from the US, but their debut EP does not have to hide behind the big names, at all.

The local flavor in my top ten comes from Drogher, who I’m very eager to see again because both times I saw them I had an absolute blast! More thoughts, if you want, can be found in my full review.

At only three songs, Rotoscope barely qualifies as an EP, but Spiritbox delivers bangers as expected.

Last but not least, Betraying The Martyrs got a new singer a while ago and I must say, as much as I adored the previous one, that it definitely revitalized them in the best way possible. A very strong EP that makes me impatient for more!

#1 Slomosa – Slomosa

By now you know that I sometimes like to do some out-of-the-box things for my top pick, and this year it’s even a bit more strange, because my record of the year was released two years ago, in 2020. However, there is, hands down, no record that brought me as much joy as Slomosa‘s debut album! I discovered them at this year’s Desertfest Antwerpen in mid-October and I must have listened to it around two-hundred times since then! Finest stoner rock from Norway, out of all the places in the world! Get on it!

I think it’s safe to say that we can look forward to a lot of cool moments in music next year, be it on stage or in recorded form, but if I had to pick a few it would be the Pantera tribute shows, a new Pierce The Veil album, a new Emarosa record and so many other cool shows that I can’t wait to experience. So, be sure to enjoy the rest of this year and I wish you all a splendid next one!

Scarred – p A t i E n C e

Quick headsup: today’s post isn’t going to be a review per se, because the new EP by Scarred is not really something you -can- review, and it’s also not going to be very long. But I had the chance to listen to pAtiEnCe for a whole week ahead of its release and I’d like to just share my quick thoughts with you.

The only thing I can tell you for certain is that you will either really enjoy the journey during this half hour or you will turn it off before even reaching the end of it. I don’t see anything in between.

The four songs’ theme and lyrical content are centered around a very special experience that will either work for you or not, that’s really it.

Personally, I like the result quite a bit, but I don’t think I’m ready to accept this as the main direction of the band…at least not yet.

But enough pointless words, just head to the band’s Bandcamp and give the EP a listen and make up your own mind. And be sure to check out the video down below if you want some visual representation of it.

Blanket Hill – The Courage Of Hopelessness

You know, I write these reviews just because I like supporting the local scene and because I enjoy writing down my thoughts in order to maybe get one person interested in the band I chose. Obviously, I am well aware that my reach isn’t huge and not many people in general read reviews anymore, with streaming being the norm…but every now and then I write one and I feel like the band has actually taken the critique seriously and improved in that domain, and, dare I say, I feel like today is one such example! Of course, I could just be talking out of my ass, which wouldn’t be a first, but the new Blanket Hill album fixed the one thing I disliked about its predecessor and improves on so many other levels. Continue reading if you want to get my impressions of The Courage Of Hopelessness!

I should preface this by mentioning that while the quintet remains true to its hardcore roots, there has been a line-up change in the guitar and drum department, which can definitely be felt. Since Scott and Miguel from Fusion Bomb bring a much more thrash-orientated sound to the table, which, at least for my own personal taste, makes this even more enjoyable. There are quite a few guitar parts that just catch your attention the first time you hear them and then take you on a headbanging ride.

Of course riffs aren’t the only thing you need, but don’t worry: the songwriting is also there to back them up. On my first listen there were quite a few surprises and even a few moments where I don’t exactly understand what the band was going for, but I also appreciate the diversity at the same time. The best example is the interlude Abu No Hana which is a two minute and a half drum and bass track without any vocals and no real connection to the other eleven songs. I don’t think the final product would have suffered without it, but I can safely say that I’ve never seen a hardcore album with something similar…so, unironically, kudos for innovation.

The other creative leap is a hardcore duet, dare I say ballad…which almost sounded perverse when I first heard about it, but the result is a wonderfully fresh song that features the powerful pipes of Parity‘s Sandra and also showcases the major improvement: the lead vocals! While I found them a bit too dull and monotonous previously, there is such a wide variety now that it’s almost hard to imagine it’s the same person. While there still is the Sprechgesang, it is now complimented by much more melodic singing and a much more dynamic speech cadence.

Also noteworthy is the pretty incredible production value of these forty-four minutes, where every note is crisp and even the bass is audible.

To sum things up, The Courage Of Hopelessness is a very strong sophomore record and I am already looking forward to what the future holds for Blanket Hill. But please, don’t let it be another video of the band lip-syncing in public places…much love, you guys. The album is being released this Friday, October 21st, at Schungfabrik where the band is hosting a release show, so head over to their Facebook page to get more info on that and make sure to list to the song below.

Cosmogon – Penumbra

Today’s review is a perfect example of how time flies when you’re having fun, because I’m having a hard time comprehending that it’s been more than TEN years since I saw Cosmogon play their first show at Kulturfabrik. It’s even wilder to think that today I’m writing about their first full-length, Penumbra, which is going to be released this Saturday, October 8th. As I said…fun and time, one hell of a combination.

I must admit: I mislead you a little here. While it is the band’s first album, it’s not their first release, since in 2014 we got the very powerful EP Chaos Magnum, followed by the second EP Devolution three years later. So let me address the connoisseurs first: this is still Cosmogon as you know and love them, but I feel like these eight songs are the logical evolution in the band’s sound.

I’d wager that it’s in part due to the fact that the guys went back to being a quartet after being a quintet for quite some time, since there is a palpable back to basics approach while still incorporating new ideas. It is needless to say that the groove is still strong but this time around there are quite a few Swedish death metal elements, most noticeably in the riffing and guitar tone.

The songs also seem much more bass-driven than before with several moments where the big boy strings really shine and steal the show. The bass is also very clearly audible almost all throughout the forty-three minutes, which I absolutely adore but it might be too much for some.

If there is one person in the Luxembourgish scene where I feel like I’m being repetitive, it is clearly the man on the throne, beater of the skins, destroyer of cymbals, first of his name, the man who needs no introduction, but just to be complete: shit’s tight as always. There is sort of a stand-out moment for me personally where I’m not entirely sure if it’s the first time that he does this, but on the song Temper there is a very tribal-sounding interlude where bongos are being played and it just elevates the entire song to the next level.

Last, but certainly not least, is the man behind the mic who still belts out a phenomenal performance despite screaming for almost a quarter of a century. There is even a little extra special surprise on the song Serpents Among Us, but I won’t spoil it. All I can say is that when I first heard it, my first reaction was ‘is that really him?’.

All in all, there is no doubt for me that Penumbra absolutely eclipses (been waiting a long time for that pun) the previous two releases and while it won’t win any awards for being the most diverse album of the year, it does what it has set out to do very well; and that is to rip its listener a new one. If you want to follow the band on social media, head over to their Facebook page, but most of all make sure to move your butt to Kulturfabrik this Saturday to experience the guys tear down the venue…not literally, I think.