Category Archives: Music

Morbus Chron – A Saunter Through The Shroud

Published by:


Morbus Chron formed in 2007 and released one demo (not counting the very first demo tape that was limited to a single copy), two Eps and a full-length album. They also appeared on the, now cult, Resurrected In Festering Slime compilation.

A Saunter Through The Shroud is their second EP and their first release since the album Sleepers In The Rift and shows a different side of the band. The three songs are much more progressive than their other material. What I mean by that is that the band added many new layers to their old school Swedish Death Metal. I can not help but think of Possessed’s Beyond The Gates as an influence. Both albums were truly a step-up for both bands, showing a much more progressive musical structure based on an interplay between brutality and eerie atmosphere. Also, both albums showed both bands at their musical peak, meaning riff upon riff upon riff kicking your teeth out of place. Another band that seems to have influenced Morbus Chron are Pestilence. Especially the vocals show a Martin van Drunen-esque influence. Robba has a raspy, throaty voice and sounds as despaired as van Drunen himself when screaming those horrid lyrics.

I will not review the songs individually as there are only three songs. Let me just say that those three songs are, in my opinion, among the best five songs Morbus Chron have ever released this far.

The EP is only available on vinyl on black vinyl limited to 700 copies, a limited volcanic red version limited to 200 copies available at www.cmdistro.de and a electric red version limited to 100 copies available at www.detestrecords.com.

This is a must-have!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10fHd2TDCfM]

Pierce The Veil – Collide With The Sky

Published by:


In October 2011 I went to see a show specifically for the opening band and they were worth every cent I paid. That band was Pierce The Veil from San Diego. Their by then already one year old record Selfish Machines had simply impressed me so much that I could not have missed that opportunity even if I had wanted to. I remember talking to their singer, Vic, back then and asking him about plans for a new record and he told me that they’d been working on some killer tracks and were supposed to go into the studio in early 2012. Fast forward seven months and there you have it: Collide With The Sky.

The band jokingly describes the genre they play as “mexicore” which is due to the fact that the Fuentes brothers, the singer and the drummer, are of Mexican descent and because they have many metalcore elements in their sound. However they are not your run off the mill core band that have released a good song or two and simply rely on their fanbase after that. No sir, to me the reason for their success is the purely amazing songwriting that they’ve proven ever since their debut album A Flair For The Dramatic. They seemingly manage to come up with melodies that have earworm-potential all the time.

This new twelve song album is no different because it gripped me from the second I put it on and hasn’t really left my eardrums since. The sound is very similar to the predecessor but that is a very good thing since I thoroughly enjoyed it for its clean and powerful production. One thing you’ll notice though if you compare the two records is that PTV have cranked up the heaviness knob quite a bit; which is another thing that I cannot complain about, at all.

The “riffage” is as usual on a very high level as well and even after the umpteenth time of listening through the whole record I’m still impressed. A lot of times I thought to myself that they sound like something a Mariachi band would play if they tuned their guitars to drop D and turned up the distortion. Might come across as negative but I personally love it: it’s simply an interesting mix of two very different genres.

The vocals might be the one thing that could scare people away at first because they’re very high-pitched and I’ve often gotten surprised looks when I told people that the singer is a guy. As for me: I’ve had the same reaction when I started listening to the band but I’ve since grown to admire his vocal range. You’ll just have to make up your own mind about it. Another thing that should be noted is that you should definitely pay attention to the lyrics since that’s another one of the band’s talents. Even though at first they all seem to have one thing in common, which is girls and problems related to them, they all have a deeper meaning and are a great read.

To round the whole record off the guys have gotten a couple of guest vocalists: Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens, Jason Butler of letlive. and Lindsay Stamey of Oh No Fiasco. I don’t want to lean myself too far out of the window but I doubt that any of them will ever regret lending their talents since all three songs they’ve performed on have come out phenomenal. Especially Tangled In The Great Escape with Jason Butler is probably my favorite song on the entire CD.

As you might have noticed I have not found any negative points about Pierce The Veil‘s latest endeavor and that is actually easily explained: to me it’s just the best album of 2012, at least thus far. There are still a few releases I’m looking forward to this year but those bands will have to work hard to convince me of the contrary. As always it’s of course best to make up your own mind about that which you can do by checking the video below and visiting their Facebook page for more info.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME6RtQgBMSI]

Holy Mountain – Earth Measures LP

Published by:

A little more than 30 minutes of power, that’s what Holy Mountain created with their first full length Earth Measures LP.

Power can be released in different ways or appear in various shapes. Gunner, the opener, assumes a fast and dirty rock party right from the beginning, but the three Scotsmen curb the speed without losing a single bit of thrust, which results in a very doomy way of playing stoner rock.

Although slightly underproduced, the drums do a good job, however, it is the brutal bass and the merciless guitar who give a soul to this work. Very classic riffs refine the overall listening experience – it is difficult to classify Earth Measures, who powers our ears with 8 minute doom eruptions, with short stoner rock flashes or with 70s riffs. Vigorous atmosphere guaranteed.

There are in fact many bands nowadays that sound, or that want to sound like the classic formations of the 70s. The challenge is to stay fresh and authentic; a very dangerous balancing act while trying to climb this holy mountain, but this trio succeeds.

Vocals sometimes aren’t needed at all, but the moment they appear, you should be ready for really trashy and still stoner cawing from hell. Missing comparisons to other bands? Here we go: this is like Kyuss meeting Black Sabbath meeting The Melvins, and the other way round. Boredom? No chance!

Did I forget something? Oh yeah, you may also find sludgy, psychedelic and groovy parts in this half an hour mustang trip. It’s getting deeper and deeper the more you listen to it, unfortunately a bit monotone from time to time. Forgivable! This is nothing “new”, though there also is no intention to be “new”. The rocket is fueled, let’s go to Scotland!

Recommendations: Gunner, Kegs, Silent Hawk

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06eddk5ZOrI]

Nargaroth – Jahreszeiten

Published by:


You don’t have to be my number one stalker (you know who you are) to know that, at least nowadays, I mainly listen to metalcore and things that go into that general direction. However, I pride myself in the fact that I listen to a lot of different genres and that I can usually at least draw one aspect out of each one of them that keeps me interested. I actually plan on writing some more “special” reviews in the future, but I don’t want to promise anything. Today, however, I want to write an unusual review about an album that some people regard as one of the more unusual ones out of that genre.

Before I get into that I’d like to preface it with a warning of sort: only about 75% of the following paragraphs will be about the actual music, the rest is sort of a personal reason as to why I love this record as much as I do. If you haven’t deduced it by the title or the fancy picture yet: I’m going to be talking about Nargaroth‘s Jahreszeiten which was released in September 2009.

Those of you that are either fluent in German or have a vague knowledge of it will know that the title of the album stands for “seasons”. The songs are named after the four seasons in chronological order: Frühling, Sommer, Herbst and Winter. The general concept being that each song is supposed to evoke certain feelings associated with these periods.

The first track fascinates me a lot since it’s full of antagonisms in form of a spoken word in German by Ash, the artist formerly known as Kanwulf and the only member of Nargaroth. To delve into it too much wouldn’t do it justice so I advise you to check it out for yourself, I for one can identify with more than one sentence from it. After Prolog, the album starts off for real with a very atypical riff that I remember captured my attention right off the bat when I first listened to it. Many people mockingly refer to it as a fun fair melody since it’s a really cheery melody…which is exactly what it’s supposed to be since it describes the joyful feeling that people generally get as spring begins to drive away the cold weather. The song then transgresses into a slightly more dramatic tone before ending with the same happy tune. If by this point you have not turned off the song you have either nothing else to do or you have grasped the concept of the whole thing. I hope it’s the latter since if you keep that in mind throughout your listening session you will get a lot more out of the experience.

Instead of taking apart every single song I prefer to leave it up to you to make up your own mind. However I want to say a few things about the general production and lyrical content: the production is, for a black metal record, very clean which is one of the things that amaze me most. Because even though it’s probably as far from the much acclaimed Black Metal ist Krieg as it can get in terms of “grittiness” it still manages to be aggressive and raw in the parts where it is supposed to be, mainly so on Winter. In terms of lyrics it’s full of metaphors, as is usually the case on Nargaroth songs, which are related to the artists personal past and which, I must admit, I don’t understand most of the time.

This concludes the main review and if you don’t feel like reading a bit about my own reasons for liking this record you may stop here. But be sure to check out the song below and head to the official website where you can buy the CDs and get recent news. If however you want to continue, there’s more below the video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfQqJeNF08]

In the same year as Jahreszeiten was released I had to be hospitalized in December due to a medical emergency, so to speak. It was only a brief stay of two nights and since I generally don’t like hospitals as well as the visits there, I decided that I didn’t want any visitors. On the first night I slept peacefully and rather early since I was to go into surgery the day after. I opted for local anesthesia as it was only going to be an incision of about four centimeters and the whole thing went by without any greater complications…well, apart from the fact that I caught a cold in the operating room. On top of the fact that I don’t like hospitals very much I’m also not a fan of painkillers so most of the time whenever my IV drip was empty I didn’t contact the nurse, nor did I ask for any pills or whatever. The cold however didn’t care much about me being a bit special in that area so I was coughing and sneezing like no tomorrow; pain ensued. Yet, instead of pussying out I simply did the one reasonable thing: I listened to music. And I’ll let you take a wild guess which album I listened to from 1AM to 4AM in a dark hospital room in a mild state of delirium of pain coupled with a slight high from the remaining effects of the anesthesia and IV drip. And this is the story behind that album. Maybe I’ll do something along these lines in the future, if inspiration strikes.

Jumalation – The Church Of Isaac

Published by:

Finland seems to really have grown into a small Metal nation since the early 1990s. Mostly known for their Black Metal and Death Metal bands, here we now have the greatest Thrash Metal album released since 1992!! I kid you not!

Jumalation, sadly, seem to have been a one time thing though as most members are active in Força Macabra. The band was formed in 1997 and The Church of Isaac was recorded in 2006, released on CDR in 2011 and, finally, on vinyl in 2012.

I came across the band when I received a newsletter and Infernäl Mäjesty stuck out in the description. For those who don’t know, Infernäl Mäjesty released one of the top 5 Thrash Metal albums ever. Of course I was skeptical at first, however Infernäl Mäjesty were not very unique to begin with. So I decided to give it a chance. Jumalation do sound like Infernäl Mäjesty, the main influence being Slayer though, which was also the case for Infernäl Mäjesty. I also hear a lot of Onslaught, Exodus, Destruction, Sepultura and Exumer.

The singer has the tendency to let his voice go up in the weirdest spots, kind of like Paul Baloff (Exodus) or Darren Travis from Sadus. Whenever he uses a hoarse growl or Hardcore shouts he reminds of a young Chuck Billy (Testament) or, at times, even of Roger Miret (Agnostic Front). His accent also reminds of Brazilian bands. Really weird but entertaining to have a singer with a split personality.

The church of Isaac is a thrash metal odyssey. Jumalation do not sound like a copy of a classic band, they sound like a follow up to a classic Thrash metal album. The music sounds familiar, yet the songs are new. Unlike most of the newer Thrash bands, they do not just steal familiar riffs to create generic songs. Jumalation created an album by sitting down and analyzing what Thrash is really about and wrote songs in the vein of certain classic Thrash albums, omitting the friendlier Bay Area sound for the more aggressive Teutonic and Canadian styles. They hit the right spot for me, this is how I love my Thrash!

This is a guitar album, riff upon riff upon riff. It is just amazing how many awesome riffs they come up with, especially on side B. The only notable exception being Tormentor, an 8 minute long mid-paced, doomy song. Here the band pretty much kept it simple riffwise, but have leads and solos allover the place. Sounds like the more progressive Sacrifice songs released on their Forward to Termination and Soldiers of Misfortune albums.

I can not recommend this album enough to any Thrash Metal freak!

Sadly most people will never get to listen to this masterpiece. I emailed the band asking for merchandise and everything is sold out. The CD version was in fact a CDR limited to 99 copies. The vinyl, which can still be bought on eBay, is limited to 500 only. So what are you waiting for??

Thrash or die!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfWNrhOPbRk]

Dreadnought – Demon

Published by:


To most Luxembourgish metalheads that visit local shows the name Dreadnought will at least sound familiar since they’ve played quite a few shows in recent times. Now they’re finally here to invade your living room with their demo Demon which they released on June 16th!

For those of you that don’t know: Dreadnought play melodic black metal paired with thrash riffs. Now, as you might have noticed from my previous reviews I mainly listen to metalcore nowadays and while I’m not uninformed about other genres, my knowledge is limited to a certain extent. Which is why I have to say that the combination of those two genres sounded weird to me at first but my fears were soon cast aside. It actually adds quite a nice twist to the, in some cases, boring “let me write one riff and repeat it for the rest of the song with a little variation here and there” approach that some more traditional, so to speak, black metal bands have.

The demo starts with a short acoustic intro and then kicks into gear with, what my ears seem to identify as, a completely untriggered drum and a rich but in no way overproduced guitar sound. That sentence might come across as negative but it actually makes the album sound way more natural and raw, which is exactly what they intended to do. Not every snare, tom or base hit sounds the same and in some parts I noticed that the beat was slightly off but, even though I love big (over)productions, it just adds so much more charm to this little seven song endeavor.

The guitar front is, as mentioned, packed with diverse riffs that alternate between the “classic” black metal-type type and the heavier thrash type. The bass is also easily audible throughout the whole demo which is always a plus for me since it generally tends be undermixed on other albums.

The vocal duty is fulfilled by the Kraton singer who sings in a more screechy voice to fit the genre and I can honestly not find anything bad about his performance. The only thing that bothered me was that I kept trying to think of a voice that his reminds me of but I couldn’t quite come up with one except maybe Satyr on the older material of Satyricon…but don’t quote me on that one. Be that as it may: he doesn’t need to be compared to anyone and stands his own ground quite nicely.

All in all I’m impressed by the quality of both the songwriting as well as the recording of this quintet’s first effort since it’s entirely self-produced and I’m looking forward to their first non-demo release to see what else they can come up with. Hopefully more Luxembourgish songs à la Hänk dech op since that’s something that’s been missing for a while in our metal scene in my opinion.

Be sure to check the band out on Facebook and listen to their album below.

Metalucifer – Heavy Metal Hunter

Published by:


Metalucifer have been in existence since 1995 and Heavy Metal Hunter is their 2nd release.

The Ep is a classic release for various reasons. The main reason being the music. It just is that great! Especially if you know something about the history of Metal and how bad the scene was back in 1996 when this Ep first came out. Another reason being the fact that it is a Sabbat side project. For those of you unaware, Sabbat are one of the oldest Black Metal bands in existence. They started out as Evil in 1983 (!) and play, still to this day, in the old Venom vein.

Each song can be found on multiple other releases, albeit in different versions. Personally, I do enjoy every version of each song. The band does not just record the same song over and over again but each version is different (vocals in English or Japanese, different solos, different lyrics, etc).

The Ep starts off with their classic Heavy Metal Hunter, a hymn to the genre and the bands mentioned in the lyrics. One does not simply sit still while listening to the song. I know that I cannot help myself imitating Gezols‘ accent when singing along to “Heavy Metal Hunta…HUNTAHH!!!”.

Monster of the Earth is a slower number in the vein of early Iron Maiden (as is most of the material this band has ever released). The funny thing here is that it sounds very Japanese in an Anime way, meaning that I can imagine this song being played in an 80s or early 90s Japanese Anime. It has the silly lyrics, overly melodic guitar solo, etc.

Fallen Angel has that classic 80s Venom vibe and sounds more like a Sabbat song. In fact it might just be that as I know that some Metalucifer songs already existed in the 80s and were played/recorded by Sabbat (Wolf Man being one of those). Anyways, another great song for fans of 80s Metal.

Wolf Man starts off with a Speed Metal riff and might be the fastest song on the Ep. It is one of my all time favorite Metalucifer songs. Just listen to that chorus once and you will never forget it, EVER! I can not count the times I found myself singing “Oh woulf-uh man aww uh ooh”. This song, along with the next 2, is in Japanese….apparently. See, the thing here is that you just can’t tell because of Gezol. His English does sound Japanese at times and when he does sing in Japanese you don’t realize it. That is not meant as criticism though.

Bloody Countess is another song that I own on countless Sabbat/Metalucifer compilations/singles as a demo version. Same as with Fallen Angel, this sounds more like a Venom/Sabbat song and, in fact, it was written for Sabbat in the 80s. The middle harmony part is total Iron Maiden worship and leads into an awesome solo. That part always reminds me of Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Iron Maiden.

Headbanging is another fast Speed Metal song with a sing along chorus and sounds like faster Accept songs or even early Metallica.

I am reviewing the recently re-released 12” which, apart from the original 6 songs, has a bonus track in Thrash Metal Hunter. The song is, sadly, not a new one as I have it on the Heavy Metal Hunting compilation, if not on more releases. Former Death and Massacre drummer Bill Andrews sits behind the drum kit on that song.

It basically is Heavy Metal Hunter with different lyrics. I do not know if I am just used to Heavy Metal Hunter or if the lyrics don’t go down as well. I just prefer the original version.

All in all, I do own 3 different versions of this Ep and they all seem to be rare and hard to find. Chances are you will have to get this re-release if you want to own it. Personally I would recommend the first CD and vinyl re-releases just because they have more bonus tracks.

Either way, this is great music, so it does not matter which release you get, as long as you get it!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymUEpF0YXkI]

Memphis May Fire – Challenger

Published by:


Memphis May Fire is a band that I first stumbled upon around May 2011 because Danny Worsnop, singer of Asking Alexandria, tweeted one of their lines and I ended up looking them up. The lyrics were from their back then fresh album The Hollow, to which I listened to countless times in the following months. Needless to say I was surprised yet excited when they announced in early 2012 that they were working on a new record already, and several weeks later the release date was set for late June.

The new album Challenger was teased prior to its release by two full songs: Prove Me Right and most of all Vices. Both those songs were killer and got me severely stoked for the full release, mainly the latter song because of its topic, but more about that later. So when I finally held the CD in my hands I was a bit giddy to hear what else they had come up with and on my first listening session I was kind of disappointed.

But let’s rewind: the album has a clean and powerful production which puts you in the proper mood right from the first riff that is played during the intro. The drums have a slightly industrial note to them and sound really over-triggered all throughout, but that’s already been the case on the predecessor and thus it’s kind of part of their trademark sound. The guitars have also kept their powerful sound and only the bass seems to be more pronounced on this record, which is very enjoyable to me since I am usually unable to filter out the bass lines in metalcore…but then again I’m no musician.

The vocals are also at their usual perfection in both the clean and scream department and there are quite a few very melodic vocal passages that are almost bound to stick in your head at the latest after the second listening. On top of that there are two guest vocalists: Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens and Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria. Since I enjoy both their voices I was truly looking forward to their performance but I ended up being partially let down. The song that Quinn appears on is, lyrics aside, the weakest on the album and his singing was kind of boring, especially if you compare it to his guest appearance on Pierce The Veil‘s song that was released around the same time as the first teaser for Challenger. Worsnop’s song however put everything right for me again since it’s the exact opposite: among the top songs of the album and an equally fitting performance.

Now, you might ask yourself why I was disappointed after my first listening session…easy answer: I listened to the album without having the booklet with me. Let me elaborate. I’m the kind of person that pays a lot of attention to lyrics and the ones on this album had some very interesting topics. They’re about the difficulties in the music business, the touring stress, love lost and alcoholism. The latter is the theme of the aforementioned song Vices to which I could relate to in some parts.

All in all I can safely say that Challenger is probably not an album that you’ll like from the get go but which needs some time to settle in your head first…if you give it a chance. But even if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll end up finding the one or the other interesting riff or breakdown here and there. Be sure to check out the band’s Facebook page as well as the video to my favorite song below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I8cVlZDOT4]

Speedwolf – Ride With Death

Published by:


To all fans of Speed Metal and/or Motörhead, look no further! Speedwolf hail from Denver, Colorado and released a low profile single and Split with Hookers before turning into the greatest Motörhead tribute band ever. No seriously! Listen to those vocals! Give that guy a bottle of Jack a day and in 5 years he will have his Lemmy perfected.

This is their first Full Length release, but they just released a Split single with Nekrofilth (I did not get my copy yet, but will review it as soon as I get it). I am not familiar with their earlier releases but all the songs can be found on the album so I doubt that they changed drastically. This band worships the heck out of mid 80s era Motörhead and do a damn fine job at bringing that sound to us mere mortals.

My favorite era of Motörhead is the speed fueled Orgasmatron era and that is exactly where Speedwolf (err…Speedwölf?) pick it up. Just listen to a song like Never Twice and tell me you do not see Lemmy singing this. I dare you! They are the best Speed/Thrash/Punk/Noise combo I have heard recently.

Now, just mentioning the Motörhead influence would not be fair. This band does not sound cheap at any moment. Many of the riffs sound like something Metallica would have recorded on Killem All. The riffs are actually the greatest thing about the band. They come up with tons of fast and catchy riffs. A lot of bands playing a similar style just rehash generic riffs or only have a handful of good ones, Speedwolf are the complete opposite. They sound like Motörhead from a parallel universe, a “what if Lemmy decided to sound like Metallica back in ’83” band. And the result is fascinating! It just is one of those albums you wanna listen to when driving around at night, or sneak into a party and blast at full volume once you fought your way through a bunch of uptight “I listen to every type of music but your type” posers. This album slays, ’nuff said.

Now before you rush out to howl at the Speedwolf, perfect…this is not. The vocals do get a bit repetitive at times. Especially towards the middle, but the band manages to get your attention again towards the end. Funnily enough it is Death Ripper, the only track on the album with a different vocalist, that reels you back in. Not that the song is great, but those different vocals catch your attention and you suddenly just pay more attention again. After that the album picks up again and some of my favorite songs (The Reaper, Ride With Death) are up. And as with every great album it is over before you get up to turn it off.

A special mention to all vinyl freaks: The Gatefold LP is housed in a nice glossy sleeve and comes with a Poster. Die Hards might want to shell out a few more bucks for the “Ultra” clear version.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBn0dmRKs-E]

For All Those Sleeping – Outspoken

Published by:


For All Those Sleeping from Minnesota is yet another band that doesn’t seem very well known in Europe, and I don’t really get why that’s the case. In 2010 they released their debut album Cross Your Fingers which had a very pop punk-ish feel to it and which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even though some people might argue that it was rather generic in the musical department I can’t really claim the opposite but the whole record was kind of a concept album which featured zombie inspired lyrics and it had quite a few musical highlights to it.

But it doesn’t really matter how you feel about their first endeavor since their newest record Outspoken, in my opinion, tops it in every single way. But let me backtrack a little here: in late April F.A.T.S. released the first single Mark My Words off of it…which left me with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth since I was rather underwhelmed. Fast forward two or three weeks to where they released the second preview song Once A Liar (Always A Fake) and I can tell you that by this point I was positively stoked for the release of the album.

When I finally got my hands on the full release I was greeted by one of the coolest intros in recent times (as well as a pretty cool artwork) and from there on I was completely immersed into the album. The first thing that struck me was the change in the quality of the production in comparison to their first record: the drums sound richer yet not overproduced, the guitars are sharper and heavier, and the vocals are even fuller than previously.

Lyrically the album deals with more general or generic, depending on your point of view, themes such as teenage angst, love and love lost. Yet they seemed a bit better thought through than the ones on the predecessor and feature more sing-along parts which luckily don’t strike me as too cheesy as is sometimes the case with metalcore songs. In the musical department they also added certain small touches, like violins and more dominant keyboard parts, which spice things up nicely.

All in all, I can only say that the Outspoken 40 minutes have not disappointed me, even though two of the twelve songs are a bit weaker than the rest. Ironically, the first single actually grew on me since it fits nicely into the album as a whole but the strongest song, to me, is by far Follow My Voice and I hope to experience the band live in the near future so I can go nuts to it.

Be sure to check to check out their Facebook page for more information and give my favorite song off the record a listen.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAPbYqCiU3Q]