Dreadnought – Path To The Unknown

Changing band members is never an easy feat, and the Luxembourgish scene has had its fair share of new and old faces playing in different bands. However, I would argue that changing vocalists is always the riskiest move a band can make, since they tend to be the face of the band and be the most “accessible” part of the music. Today’s band has had to make just that transition a few years ago when they, amicably, parted ways with their singer…and in my humble opinion it was the best thing that could happen to them. So let’s take the Path To The Unknown together and see what Dreadnought holds in store for us on their upcoming record!

While following my usual routine before writing, which consists of re-reading my previous reviews in order to avoid repeating myself, I was shocked that it has already been seven years since their previous release and close to ten since their debut! Luckily, from the first riff you can tell that those years were not spent idly, because the increase in musicianship is very apparent and I dare you to not at least tap your fingers to the melody of the first song.

To me the quintet has definitely solidified their overall sound with these seven songs, whereas previously I would have called it blackened death metal, this time around it’s pure black metal that does, however, not shy away from melodic guitars. The drums also choose a very varied approach, thus avoiding endless monotonous blast beats, and serve as a perfect foundation for the strings.

I also have to add that the production of the instrumentals is, to me, flawless and finds the perfect mixture between being clearly audible and yet sounding raw enough to not sound artificial. This also goes for the vocals, by the way, but more on that in just a second.

The elephant, or should I say evil priest, in the room Is definitely the new singer. So let’s talk about him and why I believe he’s a better fit for Dreadnought than their previous vocalist. By now it is no secret that I am huge admirer of Boerdi’s performance, but I believe that his vocal focus was, and still is, death metal and he excels at it, hands down. However, for this band he tried a different route at first, which was a good initial idea but especially listening back to Vanitas today, it’s apparent that he felt more at home in the death metal domain.

Bob, however, feels right at home and his vocals during these thirty-three minutes range from the typical black metal screams, to a handful of well-placed growls and the occasional really haunting and atmospheric cries. Coupled with, dare I say, sing-along worthy lyrics that are not afraid of having a slightly humorful undertone at times, Sister Fornicata comes to mind, the package is well rounded.

All in all, Path To The Unknown is a definite step forward for Dreadnought and I, for my part, am super excited to see what they’ve come up with for their release on October 30th. If you want to keep up with the band and get more information about their release show, head over to their Facebook page and make sure to listen to the opening track of the record below!

Mindpatrol – Ikaria

One might not always think of it that way, but getting into music has a cost of entry: time. While it might not be as apparent with your typical pop song, it becomes increasingly obvious the more technical the music is. Because, unlike the former, the latter usually aims to challenge the listener with hidden intricacies and complex, often nontraditional, song structures. In their eight years of existence, Mindpatrol have without a doubt proven that they don’t shy away from the unconventional and their new record Ikaria is no exception. I’ve had the privilege of getting my hands on it early and I want to talk about it, because it made me think about something.

First off, despite going through an almost complete line-up change, the quintet has stuck to their tried and tested formula of writing concept albums that don’t really stay inside the boundaries of a single metal genre and continue expanding the idea with a couple of new elements.

The most notable addition is a flamenco guitar that constitutes the main body of the instrumental title-track, which serves as a nice breather in the middle of the record. Instrumentally speaking, I would consider this to be Mindpatrol‘s heaviest record with the influence of the new members definitely being noticeable.

In the vocal department, we have what I think might be my favorite chorus of the band thus far in the form of super fast, almost rapped, lines on Trial Of A Simple Man that are interspersed with anthem-like screams. The clean vocals have, yet again, improved and the last forty seconds of the single Stainless White, found below, are a true testimony to their evolution. For my personal taste, the ratio between cleans and screams was just a bit off, and I would have loved more growls, screeches and angry shouts into my ear canals, but that’s just me.

I mentioned cost of entry earlier, and Ikaria is not a record that I’d call easily accessible, at all. After my third listening, the twelve songs started making sense to me and I was appreciating them more. But that was where I ended my exploring, because I noticed that I simply couldn’t devote enough time to it, in order to do it justice.

The main thing that kept me from going forward, was the run-time, which made me think about the age-old discussion of what the perfect length of a music release should be. At sixty-four minutes, Ikaria is not something I can put on during my daily commute and finish in one sitting, which is my main way of consuming music in general. And with traveling not really being a thing, at least for me, these days, that takes another big chunk from my usual musical routine. I want to make it clear though that I don’t mean that any artist should ever, EVER, EVER make a song or album shorter just for the sake of it being shorter and instead should always go with their vision.

All in all, Ikaria has the potential of being a very enjoyable album if you give it the proper time to unfold but the album as a whole didn’t speak to me personally, call it wrong place, wrong time, so I had to call it quits too early to savor it fully. However, if you are into progressive metal and are willing to invest the time, I can guarantee that Mindpatrol‘s newest release will not disappoint. You can find more info on the band’s Facebook page ahead of the release on June 4th and be sure to check out the video below!

Airship81 – Inertia Pt. 2

Routine. I might have mentioned in the past that I’m a huge sucker for it and I can’t imagine my daily life without it, since it works for me and it keeps me mentally sane. However, after more than three years (I checked) of only reviewing metal and rock releases, I think a little breath of fresh air will definitely be welcome! I actually picked something that many of you, my constant readers, probably wouldn’t choose by yourselves, in order to hopefully introduce you to a new taste. If the cover hasn’t given it away yet, I’m talking about Airship81 who are about to release their third EP, titled Inertia Pt. 2.

Minor correction: they are actually just one person. Airship81 is the passion solo-project of Paul Bradshaw who you might know from local bands, such as La Fa Connected and Mount Stealth, and the aural space he chose to dabble around in this time is of the electronic kind.

The five songs are very synth-driven and remind me personally of 80s video game soundtracks, but with a fresh coat of paint. Yet the vibe is much more, dare I say, partially melancholic at times, while never leaning too far into the sad part of it. Especially the closing track conveys that feeling particularly well. On the other hand the opener is the exact opposite and serves as the perfect foundation for the journey ahead.

I am not a huge fan of comparisons because they can sometimes be misunderstood but in this case I’ll make an exception: if I had to make one, the most accurate and recent comparison would be the wonderful soundtrack of Blade Runner 2049. Because in both cases, the composers knew what to keep of the old and what to add of the new, to make it a fresh piece of art.

The only thing that I dislike about Inertia Pt. 2 is at the same time also the thing I like the most: its duration. At slightly more than seventeen minutes the expedition is over quite quickly and it leaves you hungry for more. However, first of all the EP is well-rounded and gives you a complete experience and secondly, and most importantly, you can immediately push play again.

Inertia Pt. 2 is dropping on June 4th and you’ll be able to dive into the beautiful sonic landscapes yourself. In the meantime, you can follow Airship81 on Facebook!

Feradur – Parakosm

Those that know me personally, know that there are very few words that I enjoy hearing more than “you were right”. And in today’s review I can say, to myself, that I was right! While that is very self-serving, I’m sure that you’ll agree, as well, since Feradur has managed to fix the only gripe I had with their previous record on their most recent output Parakosm. But more about that later, let’s see what the new EP has to offer!

After having found its sound on its 2019 full-length, Legion, the quintet continues to further fine-tune it and showcases an even more mature and coherent songwriting than before. Just as was the case previously, every song has at least one hook that will get stuck in your head after the first listen, but I’d argue that this time around the transitions between the different parts are even smoother.

I am very happy to report that the mixing of these five songs does not give me the same muddy sound that I was complaining about on the predecessor and that every single one of the delicious riffs is as crisp as a fresh potato chip! The same goes for the drums of course, which I find have taken a step back in terms of speed but therefore two steps forward in technicality.

There is really nothing I can say about the vocals that I haven’t said last time: they are as strong and well-enunciated as before, but I think I’m having a slight preference for the singer’s higher pitched screams that I feel have improved just the tiniest smidgen. Lyrically-speaking this EP might have the most sing-along friendly choruses I have heard in melodic death metal in a while. Which might not be for everyone but I absolutely dig it! One thing that I’m at the same time confused about but also fully welcome is a guest vocal spot of local growl-guru Boerdi on the opener: his vocals are so similar to the singer’s that I didn’t even notice he was on there until I read the liner notes before writing this. But then again: it’s a Boerdi feature so you’d be a fool to complain about it!

Last but not least, I must say that I’m definitely a full-length album guy…in general. But these twenty-six minutes are exactly the right length to satisfy me (that’s what she said!) and leave me craving for more. While the pandemic must have aided in the swift release of these tunes, I would absolutely welcome it if more (local) bands released EPs more regularly rather, than holding onto material until they have forty or fifty minutes of material. Just my two cents.

But I digress: Parakosm is a top notch addition to the catalog of a band without which I can’t imagine the Luxembourgish metal scene anymore. Here’s to many more, lads! If you want to keep up with Feradur head over to their Facebook page and be sure to check the video below for what might be my favorite song! Also, be sure to listen to the entire EP this Friday, April 30th!

Scarred – Scarred

I have this thing where, whenever I write a review about a band that I’ve covered in the past, I go back and read what I wrote back then, in order to avoid repetition and also to get a general idea of where my head was at back then. In today’s case, my main complaint in the previous review was that the wait between its predecessor and the, then, new record was too long: four entire years! It’s almost as if Scarred took that as a challenge, because the wait between Gaia/Medea and their brand-new self-titled album has been a whopping eight years. Granted, they were quite eventful years that led to a few line-up changes, which had a fairly massive impact on the final product…but that doesn’t make it less painful. Anyway, enough foreplay, let’s go!

First off, the quintet has not changed its genre drastically and stays true to its, technical, death metal roots. However, there is a noticeable trend towards the more atmospheric and melodic end of the spectrum. The songwriting also feels, even, more coherent than ever before, where a thick coat of the old mantra “less is more” has definitely been applied.

Especially the guitar parts seem less like a demonstration of technical prowess, but more like meticulously constructed compositions, where every note is exactly where it needs to be. Don’t get me wrong though: there is plenty of mind-boggling heavy riffage to be found during these fifty-six minutes, but it’s used sparingly in just the right instances.

The drums, on the other hand, are at their usual level of insanity and despite taking a backseat every now and then to serve the song, they never miss an opportunity to sneak in little intricacies that spice up the listening experience immensely.

If I had to summarize the general instrumental direction of these new songs, I’d say that they have a more majestic or rather symphonic feel to them. I’d go as far as to say that half of these songs could be played along by a massive orchestra and it wouldn’t feel out of place.

The elephant in the room is, obviously, the new vocalist who has been lending his vocal chords to Kitshickers for a while now. And if you know his work there, you know that his range is pretty incredible, meaning that he’s able to pull off the cleanest cleans, transcend into mean growls and twirl into bone-shattering screeches, seemingly without any effort. This vocal panoply also further opens up the band’s sound and adds more musical depth to these thirteen songs…actually, only to eight of them, because five are purely instrumental. But if someone had told me in 2004 when the debut EP was released that I’d hear clean vocals in a Scarred song, I’d have laughed my ass off. Needless to say that it works perfectly, of course!

Lyrically, I’d say that the self-titled album is a fairly introspective work, dealing with ego (or lack thereof) and restlessness of the mind amongst other things.

All in all, it’s clear to me that Scarred, the band and the album, has yet again upped the ante in the local metal scene and they have managed to deliver a record that is nothing shy of a masterpiece. Do yourself a favor and listen to it as soon as you can when it’s released this Friday, January 22nd, and enjoy the ride! For more information you can visit the band’s Facebook page and be sure to check out their first single below!

Top 10 2020 by Yannick

Well. This has been a weird one, hasn’t it? While this year has certainly had its fair share of shitty moments, I like to think that there has been some good to it, as well…especially music-wise. It’s been different for me, since I tend to listen to music for longer periods of time mostly when I travel or commute and that has certainly not been the case much…so I’m fairly sure that I’m sleeping on some records that have been released this year and I will discover them once things go back to somewhat of a normal state. But without further ado, here’s my top ten records of 2020!

#10 Lamb Of God – Lamb Of God

I’ve been into Lamb Of God for a little over fifteen years now, and they’ve never disappointed me, even with their new drummer that still holds true. There is really not much to say: it’s LOG, you get what you expect!

#9 Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

I discovered Phoebe Bridgers‘ debut album in late 2018, after returning from a trip to Zurich and her music has always had that tongue-in-cheek humor that I love, lyrically obviously. Her sophomore is a step-up from that and especially the closing track is a masterpiece!

#8 Slaves – To Better Days

New vocalist, new energy, new band basically! The fourth Slaves record is hands-down their best one in my opinion, and I am absolutely looking forward to what the future holds for them.

#7 Envy – The Fall Crimson

Envy needs no introduction, I assume, but I was very late to the party in terms of appreciating them. Their new record takes everything I liked from their previous records and combines it and has me screaming gibberish in (my version of) Japanese at full volume!

#6 Code Orange – Underneath

A surprise discovery for me was Code Orange; while I was aware of their existence, they never really appealed to me but their new record has changed that since it is a perfect blend of I don’t even know what to call it. Just put this record on and enjoy the ride. Be warned: it may be a bumpy one.

#5 The Fall Of Troy – Mukiltearth

Even though Mukiltearth wasn’t as much on heavy rotation for me as its predecessor, OK, it has everything I love about The Fall Of Troy, especially the second half which are new tracks. While the production is a bit wonky at times, it still manages to be a fine album!

#4 Halsey – Manic

I first noticed Halsey in January on a billboard in London that advertized her upcoming record and I was -visually- intrigued. I am happy to report that it was one of those rare occasions where a sexy outfit was not just a way to sell a shitty album, because Manic is a wonderful piece of art that has frequently sneaked its way into my playlist throughout the year.

#3 Hayley Williams – Petals For Armor

Hayley Williams’ first solo record is a beautiful amalgamation of different styles that would never fit into her main band, and it’s almost impossible to be bored by it. More like this, please!

#2 Dance Gavin Dance – Afterburner

Now, if you know me, you know that DGD is hands-down my favorite band…yet their new record did only make second place this year. But only because there was somewhat of a surprise entry that came from out of nowhere. Nevertheless, Afterburner is a logical continuation of their sound and I dig it a lot!


Bilmuri – Bilmuri & Friends

Bilmuri – Eggy Pocket

Scour – Black

Bilmuri...where do I begin? A former member of Attack! Attack!, who has been making music on his own for about four years now, during which he has released eleven EPs. Eleven. So it is no surprise that he features twice in my EP special, once with a cover EP with different vocalists and once with an original EP. The third EP is Scour‘s new EP Black which was released just a couple of weeks ago and blew me away! Modern black metal at its finest and you won’t believe who’s on the vocals (no cheating!).

#1 Bring Me The Horizon – Post Human: Survival Horror

I think I speak for everyone that BMTH‘s new record was something nobody expected, especially since they returned to a much heavier sound than their previous trajectory would have made you think. Post Human: Survival Horror is theoretically an EP, but it’s so good that it not only deserves its own spot but also makes it to top of my list!

I’ll refrain from making any predictions this time around and take the year as it’s coming. Stay positive and test negative…read you next year! Cheers!

Atomic Rocket Seeders – Atomic Rocket Seeders

Hi there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you’ve had a 2020 that has been as great and exciting as mine so far! So many cool gi- OK, too soon, I’m sorry. All joking aside, it’s been half a year since my last review and we all know why, so I’ll spare you the details. What I do want to tell you about though, is a coping mechanism that I sometimes use when I’m in a bad mood or a shitty general situation: nostalgia! It’s a really powerful tool to blend out reality for a little while and think back to better days, and in today’s case I want to take you back to the mid-2000s; a time when most of nu metal was slowly dying out and metalcore as we know it today became more widespread. There was a very brief period where some bands emerged that were walking the slippery slope between those two genres and today’s band reminds me of those times. The local band Atomic Rocket Seeders is about to release its self-titled debut in just two days, so I figured I’d give you a first look a bit ahead of time!

As I mentioned in the intro, the trio brings elements of nu metal and of metalcore to the table, but please don’t assume that this is an uninspired copy of those times. Because they also infuse a massive dose of groove and some progressive elements to the mix, that elevate the sound scape to a different level but, at least to me, manage to maintain enough nostalgic elements at all times.

Another fact that certainly helps is the strong musicianship that can be found during these forty-three minutes, especially the guitar department has some really tasty riffage that was clearly written for the headbangers in the crowd. The rhythm section, however, is also not to be underestimated, with the bassist building a solid sonic base, whereas the drummer seems to really love his double bass pedal and delivers a great performance with it.

The songwriting, or rather the arrangement, is something that I also found quite remarkable during nine of these ten songs. There are usually around ten different ideas floating around during a typical song, yet they never feel disjointed and always create a really enjoyable aural experience. Kudos! I am consciously omitting the last song from that compliment since it’s a cover song, that follows the original quite closely…and despite it being a really good performance, I don’t exactly get the choice of Tears For Fears‘ song Mad World to be the closer. I mean…it goes with the times, I guess?

The final, and arguably my favorite, element are the vocals. The vocalist has that distinctive fry scream that puts me back in my very early twenties, and then switches flawlessly into cleans for a few lines, only to transition to growls! The entire album is also chock-full with vocal melodies that you’ll be able to sing along to after your second listen at the latest. Lyrically, this debut also moves in interesting territories and well-written lines; safe for the eighth track, I Know You’re Waiting For, which is luckily mostly instrumental.

All in all, the Atomic Rocket Seeders have come forth with a very strong first record that, despite a few minor flaws, will certainly, and I’m way too proud of that one, kick your ARSe! You know the drill: check out the song below and if you like what you hear head over to the band’s Facebook page. Obviously there won’t be a proper release show, so try to support the artists if you can by streaming or buying the record when it drops on October 30th! Read you sooner or later, maybe?

Mike Litoris Complot – The Six Whoresmen

The thing I like the most about music is how it can evoke all kinds of strong feelings by simply listening to it, I feel confident in saying that I’ve gone through all the different aspects when it comes to then, but I’ve never felt like I had been assaulted after listening to a record, for sure. Today changes that though, since after finishing my first listen-through of Mike Litoris Complot‘s sophomore full-length The Six Whoresmen I had the strong urge to call the police and press charges…and I loved it!

The recipe is fairly simple: MLC took a look at their previous record and simply turned up every aspect, not to eleven, but to sixty-nine. While I already enjoyed the songwriting in the past and praised the band in the past for writing music with instrumental substance, I have to say that they improved upon that even further this time around. I feel like the drums go even harder and faster, the original guitar riffs bite slap you in the face even stronger and the parodies, or tributes, make you smirk even more.

The entire fifty minutes are frequently interspersed with self-produced interludes that are sure to upset the easily-offended but if you simply go with the flow, I can guarantee to you that you will laugh every single time you hear these comedic highlights; the heavy accents just add that extra special flavor to them.

The vocals on these nineteen songs are just as diverse as on The Art Of Pony Party and pretty much cover all your basic needs to turn your brain into mush: pig squeals go hand in hand with frog noises only to turn into super deep growls. And the lyrics are just as raunchy as you’d expect, and hope, them to be. But when the songs have brilliant titles such as Hydraulic Handjob and Rang Pang Vull an d’Mull, that is a given.

I also think it’s about high time that I give a huge shoutout to the producer of this record: Marc Froehling has been responsible for the sound of quite a few recent local metal releases and they all sound brilliant! Keep up the good work!

This is honestly one of those records where I don’t know what else to tell you, because you just have to experience it yourself. For me personally, The Six Whoresmen puts its predecessor to shame and I am confident in saying that it will further increase Mike Litoris Complot‘s rank in the porngrind scene! If you want to know more about the band, be sure to head to the band’s Facebook page and once we are all allowed to go to concerts again, be sure to attend one of their shows…it’s a visual treat for sure! Despite the circumstances, the record will be released on May 2nd, so keep that in mind, and to shorten that wait I am happy to premiere the first single off the record right here, so be sure to check out the video below!

Parity – Ocean

I recently saw a tweet that said “female-fronted is not a musical genre!” and I couldn’t agree more, which is why I generally avoid highlighting the gender of the vocalist, or other members, of a band in my reviews. Today will be an exception to that rule though, since today I’m writing about the newcomer band Parity, that brings a breath of fresh air into our local scene. Their debut EP Ocean is due to be released this Friday and I’ve had the chance to get in quite a few listens so far, so let’s go!

The reason why I’m deviating from my principles today, is because the Luxembourgish (metal) music scene is very male-dominated, and with the hiatus (or end?) of Rude Revelation there is definitely a lack of female singers that scream…which is why I was very delighted when I found out about the existence of Parity about a year ago and was eagerly awaiting their first output. Therefore, I will skip to what is usually in the second to last paragraph, which is the vocal part of the review.

I’ll make it short: there is without a doubt a new star on the horizon in the form of the quintet’s vocalist. She flawlessly switches between techniques and jumps from clean singing to screams in a matter of seconds, never skipping a beat. But what I dig the most about her performance is that her screams have this hint of despair and, dare I say, evil possession in them. Her cleans on the other hand also stand out to me because they are not super high-pitched or the nasal type. She is already at a very good level and I am confident in saying that she will keep evolving and expanding her voice even further.

However, even the strongest vocalist can only do so much for a record if the music behind is crap. Fret not though, since that is by far not the case with these four songs! It’s hard to pinpoint a specific genre but I would lean towards modern (death) metal with notes of djent and a hearty dose of groove metal. I hear all kinds of very different influences and elements that I, at times, wondered how the guys on the instruments managed to make this potpourri work out in the end. But suffice it to say that they did, so lay your head at ease.

The only negative point about Ocean is that it only lasts twenty minutes, because even after the, at least, twentieth listen I still hunger for more every time the last song ends. Nevertheless, I’d rather have a really solid and convincing first output by a band than overly long repetition of, basically, the same song over and over. So, I guess there is no real negative point about Parity‘s EP after all! So, if I managed to make you curious, please head over to the band’s Facebook page and check out their making of below. Also, if you want to witness them live, they are hosting a release show at Kulturfabrik this Friday!

Theophagist – I Am Abyss

The older local metalheads among you might remember a little band called Elitist Death Squad, which was active about a decade ago and then faded into obscurity. Four years ago parts of that group reformed under a new name and a somewhat different sound…it was the birth of Theophagist! Fast forward to today, where the quintet has played many shows and finally recorded its debut album, titled I Am Abyss, which is due to be released this Saturday, February 22nd! Of course, I had to get my hands on this baby ahead of time and try to make you drool over what’s to hit your ears soon.

I find the band’s sound quite interesting, simply by the mere fact that they’re generally-speaking a modern death metal band, but they have that little je ne sais quoi that gives me strong old school vibes. So, let’s just pretend that they reside in their own genre: eclectic modern death metal! I think that if I had to somehow describe it in more detail, I’d say that the song structures are very modern, with “slamming” parts, but the riffs for example are very traditional. It creates a very diverse sonic experience, that should satisfy all kinds of listeners, old and young, if they actually give the mixture a chance.

Throughout the ten songs you are treated to a fairly relentless barrage of neck-breaking guitar parts that range from fast riffing to headbang-inducing melodies. The bass usually complements the guitar and adds another layer of force to the string department. The guitar solos are always used at just the right times to spice the whole affair up whenever you just about think that the song has peaked.

In the skin-beating and metal-hitting realm, you are confronted by a tank that plows through blast-beats and double bass parts with no mercy whatsoever. Yet, precision is never missing either, and every little cymbal nuance and drum-fill rolls effortlessly off the sticks at all times.

While staying in the instrumental department, by far the track that stands out the most to me, however, is weirdly enough the interlude titled Awakening The… It is a two and a half minute cello piece that has a bone-chilling quality to it and it’s almost a shame that it’s incorporated into the actual song it precedes or, for that matter, on more songs. But, on the other hand it might have been a wise choice to avoid it from becoming a gimmick rather than the head-turner it is now.

It would be a very incomplete review if I didn’t mention the men with the pipes. Vocal duties are shared between one of the guitarists and a stand-alone singer, with the former doing mostly higher pitched screeches and the latter providing all the rest, from screams to the lowest of the low growls you can imagine. It is no secret that I am a huge sucker for dual vocals and, although they’re mostly used for choruses during these forty-three minutes, they definitely added a lot of enjoyment for me personally.

The one aspect where the band might either lose your interest…or capture it completely, is the lyrics. Recipe For Human Cake is, to me, a brilliantly provocative track (and tasty, too) but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

All in all, what we have here is yet another strong Luxembourgish debut album that, I am sure, will please more than one pair of ears. So, please, do yourself a favor and give I Am Abyss a listen when it’s out and if you want to keep up with Theophagist head over to their Facebook page. Last but not least, check out the song below and if you like what you hear, you can attend the band’s release show this Saturday at Mix’n’Kawa in Belval!