Tag Archives: Italy

Your Own Decline – Stay True To Yourself

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The following sentence is as shocking to me, as it might be to some of my returning readers: I found a power metal album that I thoroughly enjoy! The “culprit” is called Stay True To Yourself by the Italians Your Own Decline, and there is a good reason why I like it so much…read on if you want to find out!

First off, you should know that my long-lasting aversion to this particular genre is solely based on the, to me, often cringe-worthy vocals that are prevalent in the majority of bands. While I do enjoy the instrumental parts in general, the singing makes out a big part of the whole package, which is why I can’t stomach the ensemble in most cases!

The quartet, however, features a very diverse singer whose “power metal” voice is not only very bearable to my ears but I would even go as far as saying that it’s brilliant. On top of that he also screams from time to time and even growls occasionally, which adds a very welcome twist to the six songs.

Another huge plus during these twenty minutes is the fact that the instruments don’t follow the traditional rules of the genre, because you can, for example, find several modern influences in the guitar sound and the riffing, coupled with the one or the other breakdown, without excessive chugging, this makes for a super interesting mix…one that I can honestly say blew me away.

Ironically, Your Own Decline have completely ignored the title of the EP in a way, because they have added many different “new” elements to this, in my opinion, worn-out genre…and it definitely paid off. Stay True To Yourself is another record that you should absolutely check out if you don’t want to miss out on a great experience! So, please click on the video and head over to the band’s Facebook page if you like what you hear! Forza Azzurri!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny2YL_bYPc4]

Upon This Dawning – We Are All Sinners

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A bit more than a year and a half after their debut album, the Italian metalcore band Upon This Dawning released their follow-up to it last week. Back when I reviewed the predecessor, I said that the band has potential, but still needs to find their sound…and I’m very happy to say that they managed to do so with We Are All Sinners!

The first thing that you notice when you pop in the new record, is that the production has become vastly more massive: every note packs so much more of a punch than before and it’s a true joy to listen to. The second thing that will catch your attention is that the entire ensemble’s, metaphorical, balls have dropped…which means that the guitars are way more down-tuned, the drums are much more aggressive and, most noticeably, the growls have reached an incredible low sound spectrum…but more on that later.

In the opening paragraph I mentioned that the quintet has managed to find their sound, meaning that this sounds a lot more genuine and heartfelt than their previous endeavor, but there aren’t necessarily any new elements to the genre. As a matter of fact, it sounds a lot like Betraying The Martyrs, a French band that I absolutely adore, but the end result doesn’t have to fear the comparison since the eleven tracks have a lot of variety to offer. While the majority is composed of groove-laden songs with a number of seriously heavy breakdowns, there are some surprise songs that have a very interesting industrial vibe to them.

The instrumental front in general has improved quite a lot, both in terms of face-melting brutality but also in terms of entrancing melodic parts. The songwriting is not the only aspect that has reached new heights, however. The one factor that completely blew me away on my first listen-through of these thirty-eight minutes is the fact that the growls are so purely vile and evil now, that it’s simply a pleasure to have your eardrums bombarded with them. The clean vocals have also changed quite a bit, with the arrival of a new singer, and I must say that I prefer them to the old ones, since they are much more diverse and fit the style of the music perfectly.

All in all, I’m glad that Upon This Dawning have, luckily, disproven my initial fears of being a one-album-band and have actually by far surpassed their debut record with this new one. Here’s to hoping that they’ll tour in my general vicinity and that album number three is going to be even more insane. If you are into this kind of music, you absolutely cannot go wrong here…so be sure to check the video below and visit the band’s Facebook page if you like what you hear!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNw7SmjlO8w]

Australasia – Sin4tr4

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Happy new year to all of our dear readers! This may be the right thing to regenerate, in case you had a hard New Year’s Eve. Today we’re having a look at Australasia. No, not the debut album from Pelican, although it seems quite obvious where the two Italians took their name from, also considering the obvious influences.

Influences would already be the catchword to start describing their debut EP: melodic metal parts mixed with classic metal, shoegaze influences, with a pinch of Isis and Pelican, electronic sections with a female humming, blast parts and everything nicely boxed in a 22 minute post-rock creation.

The cassette is being put into the shaft and the short post-rock journey begins. Very warm at the beginning, it very quickly becomes clear that this work is going to be about experimentation and breaks that make room for different styles and tempi. The soft and melodious sections often poor down the river in order to bring the listener to the next metal-like waterfall, escorted by walls of sound, spoken samples and electronic sections.

There’re many things to discover in only 22 minutes, resulting in a multi-variant listening experience. The other side of the medal tells us that this band is still looking for its own identity, sometimes losing its focus while experimenting as much as possible. The love of experimentation often makes the journey a bit bumpy, the listener might be distracted by parts that don’t seem to fit each other. Nevertheless, Sin4tr4 is a very comfortable piece of music, made for the background of short moments of relaxation.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7juxkQvnWw&]

Upon This Dawning – To Keep Us Safe

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This week it’s time to review a “new” band: Upon This Dawning! The quotation marks are there because the Italian band has been active since 2006 but To Keep Us Safe is their major label debut. The record, which was released in October 2012, sounds like a mix between Asking Alexandria‘s Stand Up And Scream and Motionless In White‘s Creatures. Obviously this means that it doesn’t re-invent the wheel but I’m confident in saying that people who liked these two CDs will not be disappointed by this one. For the others: sit back and give it a chance.

The twelve songs are well-written and feature quite a few memorable break-downs aswell as entertaining riffs. And even though there are no major musical surprises, boredom is not a factor that comes into play. On the drumming level you can find some tasty double-bass work but other than that it’s nothing you’ve never heard before. One thing to note is that the drum sound is very modern and might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I don’t mind very much…so I’m not put off by it.

The whole ensemble is underlaid by electronic parts and a couple of orchestral parts featuring violins and various other string instruments. Even though this is, again, nothing revolutionary it spices things up quite nicely and adds a certain dynamic to the songs.

Lyrically the songs venture into well-known themes but luckily a handful of passages will stand out immediately which also adds a recognizable factor to most songs. The vocals are provided by two people: the main singer taking care of the screams and the guitarist singing the clean passages. Probably the highlight to most newcomers to this record is the guest appearance of Chris Motionless of the earlier-mentioned band Motionless In White on the song A New Beginning.

All in all, I’ll say that the band shows a lot of potential and I’m sure that in due time they will end up finding their own style and refine it like many bands have done before them. For a debut album these thirty-eight minutes are definitely not a result to be ashamed of! Check out their Facebook page if you want to keep up to date with news and listen to their debut single below! Forza!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrE1YQV8sG0]