Tag Archives: Groove Metal

Kitshickers & The Majestic Unicorns From Hell – Split EP

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Today’s post is not really going to be a review, just to be clear. By now, I don’t think you need an introduction to the two bands that are the subject of this piece, but Kitshickers and The Majestic Unicorns From Hell teamed up to release a short but sweet split EP this Saturday and play a very special show for it. So if you are into instrumental, and not so instrumental, music make sure to not miss this possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

The Kitshicorns fiesta is going to take place on October 26th at the legendary Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette, so make sure to swing your behind over there and have some fun with the bands! More info can be found on the bands’ respective Facebook pages. See you there!

Ferium – Behind The Black Eyes

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Ferium: the name alone has the word metal in it, subliminally at least, so it comes as no surprise that the quintet lays down some truly heavy tunes! But let’s rewind a couple of years here, to when I first discovered them and was surprised by their debut Reflections, an experience you can read up on…right here…I’ll wait. …ok, welcome back. Back to the present: the guys are back with their second full-length Behind The Black Eyes and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on it with you guys!

Essentially, the Israelis have not changed their style a lot and remain true to their groove-infused modern death metal…but it’s hard to deny that they’ve fine-tuned it a lot and everything simply sounds even more massive! Each and every riff has the potential to knock your teeth out and the drums feel like incessant cannon-fire on your eardrums.

While I don’t feel like any individual member has vastly improved in comparison to the predecessor, simply because there was little to no room left to do so, the end result is of higher quality. What I especially appreciate about it, is the fact that the band stuck to recording, producing and releasing in-house, because it gives them complete artistic freedom with zero compromises, while at the same time having enough faith in their fans to support them.

When I first listened to BTBE, I was scared that the album would be too straight-forward and lack in diversity, because that’s often a danger that bands in this genre face, but I was pleasantly surprised to find two songs among the nine tracks that do things (a lot) differently. I would consider them atmos(h)pheric almost-ballads, that just serve the purpose of building up the final two songs of the record in all their grandeur…and it works, really well.

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that the length of an album can sometimes have an impact on my liking of it, and I find that with Ferium‘s new release, the thirty-five minutes hit the exact spot for me, since it’s just long enough to leave me wanting more but not so short that I would feel cheated out of my money, had I not received a digital review copy.

All in all, I’m impressed by the evolution the band has undergone, and I really hope that even more people will recognize them for what they are: a very promising newcomer! So, do yourself a favor and check out Behind The Black Eyes when it’s out on April 21st! And in the meantime, head over to their Facebook page and check out the video below to whet your whistle!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQfY3Dy_Vtc]

Infact – State Of Decay

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Last Friday, at the Kulturfabrik, was the release show of yet another Luxembourgish album: Infact‘s State Of Decay! Sadly, my review copy reached me a bit too late for a proper pre-release review, but better late than never…so here goes!

While the quintet has a fairly unique style with many, more or less, obvious influences; the main leitmotiv is definitely groove; add in some thrash and metalcore elements and you’re pretty close to what Infact sounds like. Coupled with the very clean and powerful production, that mix goes down like butter.

The drums are a non-stop barrage of intricate double bass rhythms and diverse handwork, covering everything the ears desire. Along with the multifaceted guitarplay, which ranges from typical headbang riffs to fairly melodic parts and fast-paced solos, the instrumental front is hands-down a forte of these fourteen tracks.

The vocals on the other hand, I’m kind of hot and cold about…while the guy definitely has great pipes and a remarkably broad range, it’s a bit too much all over the shop for me. His main style is very much alike Volbeat‘s Michael Poulsen’s singing, which I absolutely dig because I can’t think of anyone in our little country that sings in that direction. The occasional screams and growls are also a nice little addition, which blend fairly well into the ensemble, but in a few instances, he adapts a very high-pitched kind of singing or does seemingly randomly pitched parts, which just ruins the moment for me.

Another factor is the length: in my opinion State Of Decay would have been just as enjoyable at forty-ish minutes instead of the fifty-three minutes. But I guess that’s just personal preference.

To sum things up, this second full-length is a really strong endeavor and it should be to many people’s liking. For me, it was definitely not a waste of time, but to be honest, it’s not something that I will keep on repeat until the day I die. If I managed to make you curious, head over to the band’s Facebook page and listen to the song below!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_suNmhiTKfg]

Tanatori – Stupids

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There are moments in my reviewing “career” where I don’t know what to think or say about the release that I’m listening to. Tanatori created one such instance with their debut, Stupids, that is going to be released on January 31st. Even after listening to it more than ten times, I’m still torn between calling it awesome-sauce deluxe and deleting it from my PC forever…but I tend toward the former.

Let me backtrack a little and explain: the musical range of the quartet is an interesting mix of thrash metal and southern metal with a healthy dose of groove! The resulting sound is truly remarkable and I felt absorbed from the first second of these thirty-eight minutes. The rich tone of the individual instruments is also a strong factor that contributes towards feeling right at home and having a sense of déjà-entendu.

The seven songs are a truly eclectic journey, that is reinforced by the uncountable vocal styles that the singer adapts, but therein lies one of the problems for me…kind of. If I didn’t know for a fact that the Catalans are a genuine band, I’d assume that Stupids is a metal parody, because at times I hear Phil Anselmo, followed by Ozzy Osbourne, transitioning into Zakk Wylde, only to end up in a crazy Mike Patton rendition.

Having said that, and knowing the facts, I can conclude that Tanatori has managed to pay homage to three great metal styles on a single record, while still bringing enough creativity to the table to avoid boredom! Obviously, this means that I give this the awesome-sauce deluxe stamp of approval and I can strongly recommend everyone, who has ever liked any of the above-mentioned genres, to give this one a spin. You won’t regret it!

In conclusion, let me tell you this ancient philosophy: if a band has a name that sounds like an Asian chicken dish, you give them a go. No questions asked. Head over their Facebook page and listen to the song below to get an idea of what they’re all about! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q3aqh3Zmko]

Malevolence – Reign Of Suffering

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The following review will be quite concise on purpose, since the sound of Malevolence is hard to describe and best enjoyed by simply listening to it. Nevertheless I will try to whet your appetite a bit for their debut album Reign Of Suffering!

The sound of the five blokes from Sheffield can best be described as a bastard child of groove metal, beatdown hardcore and stoner rock with tiny traces of metalcore. It sounds super weird when written out, but when played it just sounds so organic, almost like these genres were always meant to be blended into a tasty mix of musical goodness.

During the thirty-six minute playtime, the vocal effort of the singer is very diverse and adapts to the various influences perfectly; which gives the whole thing a truly authentic feeling. Along with some quite memorable, and easy to sing along to, choruses, the package is nicely rounded off.

I won’t bother talking more than that about the eight tracks, since you just have to give it a go yourself…so what are you waiting for? Click below to listen to Serpents Chokehold and visit the band’s Facebook page for more information! Stay heavy, stay sexy and until next time!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOjuw_VBhTA]

Devildriver – Winter Kills

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The California groove machine Devildriver is back with its sixth album Winter Kills! After their previous record Beast which is, as the name suggests, their heaviest output packed with anger and aggression, the band has decided to go back to their roots and take their signature style to a new level.

In case you have been living under a rock for the past ten years and are unfamiliar with DD, let me try to explain what they’re about: groovy rhythms mixed with ear-drum-shattering heaviness! This formula is noticeable in every single instrument, which means that you are treated to massive riffs and drumbeats that make you want to bang your head in approval, followed by balls-to-the-wall annihilation where no moshpit is a safe place to be and finally, to round the whole thing off, there’s just purely melodic parts.

There’s this weird thing that happens to me every time I listen to a new record by the band and I can’t quite figure out why. With every new release the quintet bests their previous one in my opinion and I completely stop listening to the old one, almost to the point where I can’t really enjoy it anymore. Whether that is a good aspect or a bad one is up to you, but it definitely makes me appreciate the eleven (thirteen if you have the limited edition) songs a lot.

Not much is to be said other than that, since the musicianship didn’t need any improvement and the song-writing is as solid as always. One thing that has to be mentioned, however, is the fact that they decided to cover a song and they did one hell of a good job with it. As far as I know, this is only the second time they chose to do so and therefore it’s a bit of a surprise that the band picked AWOLNATION‘s Sail, a song I personally enjoyed in its original form but now that it has the DD touch it’s even better. Check it out at all costs!

After being in the business for ten years now, Devildriver has certainly proven that they are far from being obsolete and I am looking forward to ten more years of music! For more information you can visit the band’s Facebook page and be sure to give the song below a go. And remember: Winter is coming, and it KILLS!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YweHmu4Jh7U]

Trepalium – H.N.P.

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As teased yesterday, here’s the review of the second opening act that night: the French band Trepalium!

A lot of people have probably heard them before without even knowing it since back in 2006 their song Sick Boogie Murder raised a lot of eyebrows because of its interesting sound. In 2012 the quintet released a new record called H.N.P. which keeps elements of that sound but also adds several new ones.

After the intro is over you’ll notice that it’s still got its groove-laden guitars but they’ve tuned up the heaviness as well as the technicality factors quite a bit. One thing that struck me about them though is that there seems to be one riff that comes back in different variations all throughout the nine tracks, doesn’t bother me personally but some might find it repetitive.

When the drums aren’t insanely grooving they are are pretty much non-stop straight to your face with double bass attacks and occasional blast beats, just as I like them. The only thing that “bothers” me personally are the vocals. They are in no way bad; quite the contrary actually but I’m missing those little surprises, that were present in the above-mentioned song, that add variation to the whole thing. Nevertheless that doesn’t really influence the record itself in a negative way, so it’s probably just a personal gripe.

There is a little surprise as the tenth song on here too…a cover of Pantera‘s I’m Broken! It’s only fitting to end this record with this legendary song and I dare say that they do a very good job at it too!

In closing I’m going to go ahead and say that if you are looking for something in both the groove department as well as the heavier department, you are at the right address with Trepalium‘s H.N.P.! Check out their Facebook page and their music video below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUMuscbjTpA]

Klone – The Dreamer’s Hideaway

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First off: a belated happy new beer to all of you! Let’s start, shall we?

In November last year I went to see Gojira at den Atelier and it was a great show, but something that went unnoticed by many were the two opening acts. One of them was the French band Klone from Poitiers. The sextet plays a style of music that I’m having a hard time to define, so I’ll just go ahead and say that it’s “French metal”. By that I mean that it bares resemblances to other bands from France like Dagoba and Aqme, even though the similarities are only minor.

Immediately after you put in their most recent record The Dreamer’s Hideaway and you listen to the first song Rocket Smoke, you should somewhat know what I mean. The whole thing has a grunge feel to it but with a more modern approach and deeper tuned guitars. There are a handful of parts where the riffs are very dense and create a huge tension but, at least to me, the majority of the time they blend in nicely with the ensemble in order to avoid an overload of your senses during the fifty-four minutes.

The drums follow a similar route, even though I like them a bit better than the string instruments. All throughout the eleven songs they keep a nice groove and at times they simply explode into mayhem. Some passages could almost be from the hands of Tool‘s Danny Carey, and that’s saying something.

I didn’t choose the drum comparison randomly but mainly because in some parts the vocals sound a bit like Maynard’s. I know that it’s never a good idea to compare vocal ranges because a lot of the times people don’t feel the same way as you do but I can’t shake the feeling that they’re alike. There’s not much I can say about the production since it’s exactly how it should be: nice and tight.

All in all, I’d say that Klone is probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re willing to check out something new every now and then, these guys are a good start. Plus they have a saxophone. Check out their Facebook page if you want to get more information and listen to the above mentioned song below and make sure to come back tomorrow if you want to read about the second opening act from the show!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHjjzyqheM0]