A Horrible Death To A Horrible Man – Escape Escape

Today’s a first for me, because I’m writing about another genre that I have never really listened to and while I was skeptical about whether I’d like it or not, my first impressions have been generally positive. A Horrible Death To A Horrible Man makes its debut with an interesting noise rock EP called Escape Escape, which is due to be released on March 23rd!

Due to my unfamiliarity with this kind of music, some of the following lines might be common knowledge to you, but bear with me here. Most of the time, the quartet needs a lot of momentum to get going, but once they are rolling, there’s no stopping the intensity. In the groovy parts, I always get a certain stoner rock feel, akin to the slower and more intense QOTSA songs. A bit of grunge also shines through to me, and I love the resulting sound.

The Danes know how to build up atmosphere during the five songs, and even though, as I mentioned earlier, they sometimes take their time before climaxing, for lack of a better word, it’s never boring. Coupled with a fittingly dirty, yet crisp, production Escape Escape packs quite a punch. Especially the last song, A Radient City Return Trip, with its Sweet Dreams-esque intro riff has quite the effect on me.

During the twenty-four minutes the vocals are arguably the thing connecting the dots and keeping the ensemble together. The singers dreamily creepy timbre hits just the spot for me and should be able to entrance the listener easily.

All in all, A Horrible Death To A Horrible Man have managed to introduce me to a “new” genre without leaving a bitter aftertaste. I strongly recommend giving them a listen below and heading to their Facebook page if you like what you hear, in order to keep up with them!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRfnos8xoYA]

The Agonist – The Eye Of Providence

The remaining band members of The Agonist seem a bit lost without Alissa White-Gluz. At least that’s what I thought when I heard their new album The Eye Of Providence for the first time. I have to admit, that there are some interesting riffs on the new album, the pounding drums are fine as well and the new singer Vicky Psarakis definitely knows how to cast her magic spell on you with her brilliant voice. But somehow it’s not only the vocals that have changed… It seems as if the whole line up is different on this record.

Let me explain what I mean: As mentioned in the beginning, there are indeed some really cool riffs on The Eye Of Providence (e.g. Gates Of Horn And Ivory, Faceless Messenger, Perpetual Notion, Follow The Crossed Line). However, I do feel quite a lack of innovation throughout the whole album. The riffs are often quite boring, repetitive and even pop-like. And many times, the guitars only sound like some sort of background noise, especially during Vicky’s choruses. Maybe they did that on purpose in order to be able to show off her awesome voice…

Apart from the riffs themselves, the structure of the songs is quite different on the new The Agonist album. Compared to the previous albums, the song structures have been simplified as well. The Agonist have become a bit less progressive and are now sticking a bit more to the typical verse-bridge-chorus structure. Since this is a matter of taste, I’m not going to comment on whether that is a positive or a negative change.

Another thing that has changed is the sound of the band as a whole. Not only has the percentage of the clean vocals been upped a lot, also the guitars sound a bit more polished. I haven’t checked out the old stuff especially for the purpose of this review, but I think I remember the guitar sound to be a bit more aggressive and tuned down a bit more.

I tip my hat to Vicky though. She truly has an amazing voice and can easily poison your heart with her soulful clean vocals. She also does know how to scream and growl but Vicky’s unclean vocals can’t compare to Alissa’s, which might just be the reason why there’s more clean vocals on this new The Agonist album. This will probably also disappoint one or the other fan.

All in all I can’t say that The Eye Of Providence is a bad album! It can actually get you going at some points. However, the points that I mentioned in the article will probably disappoint old school fans. But maybe they changed with the goal to attract a new audience… It’s clear that this album is definitely more suitable for the masses.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urcLhku0I7Y]

This review was written by our Freelancer David from The Metal Diplomat!

Bio-Cancer – Tormenting The Innocent

The Greek guys from Bio-Cancer are demonstrating with their second album Tormenting The Innocent how vital old-school Thrash sounds in the year 2015. With a lot of rage and a maniacal speed their opener Obliged To Incest immediately shows that they take no prisoners.

The vocals are a bit atypical as they are completely guttural and rather high pitched while one might expect a more snotty performance in their particular style of music. This might at first seem strange to the listener given the fact that it is also sometimes hard to understand the lyrics but it brings in more aggression and can definitely be considered as a unique selling point. It’s a bit of a pity that the vocals are mostly on the same pitch, as there could have been more variation right here, but the great vocal rhythms make up for this.

One major focus are the infectious riffs and soli which are played insanely fast and grant the nine songs a particular quality. Nevertheless Bio-Cancer do not only rely on speed, but also understand how to write mature songs which results in great tunes like Bulletproof and the title track.

Some calmer parts like the beginning of F(r)riends Or Fiends with its use of strings are a nice variation while the short Haters Gonna… Suffer!, which adds even more to the insane speed of the album, stands out as a nice eye-catcher by adding more of the same.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbmCW-SXUPg]
This review was written by our freelancer Luc Francois from Legacy.de!

Red Seas Fire – Resolution

Three-word-bands can be found like sand on the beach and while some are really good, some are just bloody awful. Luckily for me, and by association you, Red Seas Fire falls in the former category, because their fourth EP Resolution, which was released yesterday, is a piece of music that can stand its own very well and doesn’t afraid of anything. …sorry, I had to. Anyways, let’s dive in!

The Englishmen play progressive metalcore that reminds me a bit of the early Architects days but with way more grandiose melodies, yet enough progressive elements to keep avid listeners interested all throughout the four songs. The guitars have a powerful down-tuned tone and are guaranteed to kick you in the teeth riff by riff, while the drums provide a solid backdrop, filled with lots of crazy double bass work and a ton of tiny fills.

While all the songs present solid songwriting, the heart of the EP is definitely The Mistakes We Make, which constitutes almost half the playtime of these twenty minutes. That particular track perfectly showcases the epic scale that the quartet can reach with their music.

Especially the vocal performance is very multifaceted, covering screams, growls and most of all the simply entrancing clean vocals. One comparison kept coming back to me on every listen-through: a mix of both Tesseract vocalists, with an equally stunning instrumentation. I don’t know, maybe I’m just imaging it but that’s all I could think of.

I don’t want to be premature here, but Red Seas Fire might just be my personal favorite new discovery of 2015, because Resolution is one of those cases where you wish there were another ten tracks waiting for you. Be sure to check out their video below, and if you like what you hear, head over to their Facebook page!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24UqhahIIUo]

Schedule change

I’ve given this careful consideration and it’s clear to me that after managing and providing content alone for El Gore these past twelve months, I have to change the schedule a bit.

Starting next week, there will only be one guaranteed review per week, instead of the usual two, for two simple reasons:

1) aside from my full-time job, I have quite a few other hobbies that require a lot of time and, most of all, I also need some private time,t
2) the early months of the year are always kind of slow when it comes to music releases, so it’s hard to find records that I enjoy and thus want to review.

It is very likely that in the summer months, when more albums are being released, that you will get two or even three reviews a week, but for now I’d rather do one proper one, instead of half-assing two.

I can promise you one thing though: I am NOT willing to bury El Gore! Because I love doing what I do!

Last but not least, if you feel like writing reviews as a freelancer, be sure to hit me up on the Facebook page!

~The one-man El Gore team~

Not Scientists – Destroy To Rebuild

A bit less than a year ago I reviewed the debut EP, Leave Stickers On Our Graves, of the French punk supergroup Not Scientists, and today I have the great pleasure to write about their follow-up full-length Destroy To Rebuild!

What can I say? Not much has changed. But that wasn’t necessary to begin with, since the quartet had already found its sound on the predecessor and the musicianship was at a high level from the start. The main thing that stands out in comparison, however, is a more traditional production, with more natural sounding instruments or in other words, dare I say, simply a more punk approach.

In terms of songwriting, the eleven songs are still in the same vein as before, with a, for the most part, pop punk vibe and mostly good mood potential. But, the Frenchmen do take a few risks and add bluesy elements in some parts, and even some ska in other parts, which definitely adds a lot of variety to the mix. But the main addition to their sound is in the form of the dreamy and melancholic style, such as on the opener and on Just Break Me, which I absolutely love.

The singer still delivers on the entire line, and even performs some double takes on one song to form a really cool harmony. The lyrics during the thirty-eight minutes are less optimistic though, and lend additional depth to the music, with their reflective tone. Especially Tomorrow’s Another Day and the above-mentioned Just Break Me stand out to me in that domain. My only gripe is the fact that the background screams that I liked so much in the past, have almost completely disappeared…but that’s OK, I guess.

All in all, Destroy To Rebuild is a great full-length follow-up to a strong debut EP, and can easily be listened to several times on repeat without being boring even once. Last but not least, I can only strongly recommend going to a gig if Not Scientists are nearby, because their show’s a treat! So, if you are intrigued, head over to their Facebook page and listen to the album below, before the official release on March 6th!

Darwin & The Dinosaur – A Thousand Ships

They say that when it rains, it pours…usually that has a negative connotation, but this time it’s a highly positive one: shortly after discovering the post-punk genre for myself, I was sent an EP by another band in the same vein, and it blew me away just as much as the first one! The English band Darwin & The Dinosaur is about to release its new EP A Thousand Ships on March 9th, and I’m going to give you my five cents on it!

As mentioned above, the quartet plays punk in its essence but with a post-hardcore twist to it and I, personally, dig the mix a lot! The in-your-face attitude goes hand in hand with the more technical and dreamy elements, which creates a highly enjoyable listening experience.

The ten tracks, four of which are interludes that actually improve the EP because they contribute toward a sense of immersion, have an airtight production and every riff and every single drum beat finds its way perfectly into one’s eardrums. Combined with the songwriting that moves on a very high level, the neat musicianship and the great sing-along choruses, the result is phenomenal! Add to that the charming accent of the singer, and the diverse vocal melodies and techniques and the twenty-five minutes make you crave more immediately!

All in all, Darwin & The Dinosaur are another name to keep in mind, because with a bit of luck they will go far in the scene, since their sound is relatively fresh and truly powerful! So be sure to listen to the song below and head over to their Facebook page for more information! And if all else fails…look at that fucking cover! LOOK AT IT!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toqTo_t_FiU]

The Jury And The Saints – The Jury And The Saints

Let me ask you something: do you like punk? You do? Good. Now, do you enjoy stadium rock? Not your thing, you say? Well…then today might be exactly what is necessary to broaden your horizon! The Jury And The Saints deliver an impressive mixture of both genres on their self-titled album that is due on February 27th!

The New Zealanders’ sound feels like if you took Foo Fighters and sprayed them with a healthy dose of punk: catchy songwriting that features huge sing-along choruses and loads of easy-to-remember melodies, blended with partially screamed vocals and a ton of power chords!

In fact, the quartet doesn’t try to sound super technical on these twelve songs, but rather focuses on being efficient…a task they achieve, hands down. Luckily, the musicians are plenty skillful and manage to avoid boredom at any moment by delivering a flawless performance.

Actually, every time I listened to TJATS, I was amazed by how much the forty minutes managed to animate me and, had I not been sitting on public transport, make me want to dance around shout along to the songs. I’m convinced that, even without having seen them live yet, if you go to one of their shows, you will be severely rocked!

All in all, I’m quite positive that these guys will have a bright future, especially with songs like Freedom Fighter and Make Our Mark which have a lot of potential to reach large audiences! So don’t be a stranger and check out the guys on Facebook and listen to the song below!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYMvlCGNQhk]

Ensiferum – One Man Army

I first saw Ensiferum when they did a support gig for Children Of Bodom on the 12th of May 2011 in Luxembourg’s Rockhal and I was enthralled right from the start. Never before had I seen a support act, that was so full of infectious energy. They blew me away as soon as they played their first notes. In the end I liked Ensiferum thousand times more than the actual headliner of that evening. After that show I immediately got their whole discography. Of course, a few months ago, I was quite stoked when I learned that one of my favorite Finnish bands would soon come up with a new record.

Blown away – that’s also the keyword for Ensiferum‘s new album, called One Man Army. And let me tell you: You ARE going to get blown away throughout the eleven songs on this record. After a slightly mystical visionary intro, the Fins set the levelling rod for the album with the track Axe Of Judgement, which, with its frenetic double bass and fast monumental guitar melodies, rushes through the air in order to split the next best hostile skull. If you don’t get blown away by this track, then you’re either deaf or completely insusceptible to music.

That being said, that’s the manner in which the next tracks of this epic album will continue. You can find other brilliant examples of this raging riffing and drumming in the title track or in the surprisingly different, yet awesome song Two Of Spades. However, in between all the frenzy, the guys always give you a chance to rest and have a good mead with atmospheric, folk infused interludes, like Burden Of The Fallen or with mid-tempo tracks like Warrior Without A War. Moreover there are also one or the other parts that will probably make you grin.

On One Man Army, Ensiferum does what the band does best: write songs with wonderful melodies, that are accompanied by beautiful harmonies, a majestic choir and / or by synthesizer accents. These also take their part in the “blow you away” effect. Sometimes they can actually make you feel the northern winds on your skin and make you smell the blood soaked sea as you tag along with your friends in a “Siegreicher Marsch”. Oh wait… no, that was another band…

Ensiferum is categorized as a folk infused melodic death metal band. Which is 100% accurate. However, I’d say that the term epic metal would fit perfectly as well, because if you had to describe the new Ensiferum album in one word it would be: epic!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv0CRm94ObE]
This review was written by our Freelancer David from The Metal Diplomat!

Pandemia – At The Gates Of Nihilism

When I put on today’s record, I felt like it had been a decade since I listened to a death metal album, then I realized that it’s already 2015 and my feeling is actually confirmed: it’s been a long time. My roots were in thrash and death metal before I started venturing into other genres and eventually discovering the genres I enjoy the most these days. However, Pandemia managed to make me miss those olden days with their new album At The Gates Of Nihilism!

Interestingly enough, the Czechs are celebrating their twentieth band anniversary this year, so it kind of feels like full circle…but I digress. This long-time experience means that they have got this traditional genre down to a t: the guitars sound so menacing that at times you might start to worry about your health, the drums are an inferno of blast beats and double bass attacks, and the vocals tear everything to shreds that is in their way.

The quartet doesn’t stop there though, instead they blend the brutality with bite-sized pieces of groove and melody, which adds a ton of depth to the eleven, twelve if you count the Loudblast cover bonus track, songs. Combined with the crazy solos that are thrown in the mix and, most of all, the truly catchy songwriting, this creates a sound spectrum that managed to grip me from the get-go.

During the forty-one minutes, the vocalist delivers a stunning performance that is mostly kept in the growl range, but also features, what I like to call, “insanity screams”. You know, those screams that would make you feel concerned about a person’s mental well-being if you heard them outside of a musical environment. Good stuff!

All in all, Pandemia made a genre that I had mostly written off, in terms of personal taste, really relevant to me again. While I definitely won’t go out and buy twenty death metal records at once, I feel like it won’t hurt to give some albums in the genre a chance in the near future. So, do yourself a favor and give At The Gates Of Nihilism a spin when it’s released, on February 23rd! Until then, visit the band’s Facebook page and listen to the song below!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crJB5yQTUNQ]