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Tag Archives: Luxembourg

Feradur – Legion

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Feradur - Legion

A bit more than four years have passed since the local band Feradur surprised me with its debut record, and the journey to the follow-up has been a wild one, to say the least. Shortly after the release of the first album, the guys amicably parted ways with their vocalist, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise since the new man on the mic brought a fresh energy and expertise to the ensemble, as well as a third pair of hands that plays a guitar. They were then hit with several bumps during the recording of the new songs, one of which was when a large portion of their gear was stolen, but the wait is finally over and I am excited to give you my thoughts on the mammoth that is Legion!

The quintet essentially stays true to the previously established melodic death metal sound, but the creativity has definitely been ramped up and the influences seem to be coming from a more diverse mix of genres, resulting in a gripping amalgamation of soundscapes. At times you can feel a progressive metal vibe, then at other times it turns semi-symphonic, but the result is always the same: you end up with a hefty metal slap in the face.

It is easily noticeable that Feradur has evolved quite a bit since they put out Epimetheus in 2015, because not only has the musicianship of every single member reached new levels, but the songwriting is also a lot more coherent and, dare I say, memorable. Each of the eleven tracks has a hook that will nest itself into your ear canal, be it in the form of a “catchy” chorus like those of Deus or Of Greater Deeds, or via an unexpected aural shift as during the second half of Fake Creator. One, admittedly stupid, nitpick I have though, is the fact that the majority of the songs ends in the exact same way: abruptly.

Time to get to the major new element: the vocalist! Back when I wrote my first review, I praised the original singer’s performance and I still stand by that statement, because it fit the music the guys were playing at the time perfectly…but I have to give credit where credit is due: the new man behind the mic absolutely kills it! His growls are pure evil packed into sonic form and his screeches will chill you right to the bone, and on top of that he has a fairly precise and clear enunciation, which make it possible to make out most of the lyrics without even having to refer to the booklet.

Earlier, I jokingly mentioned a minor gripe I had with these fifty-one minutes, and I wish I could end this review there, but there is another one I have, which takes Legion from a perfect melodic death metal record, to “just” a very good one. In some portions of the record, the mixing and the mastering are really off, in my opinion, and it results in the fact that at times the guitars just create this wall of sound that make it almost impossible to discern any specifics. Which is a true shame since there are so many excellent riffs and drum patterns hidden all throughout. Now, to be fair, I should add that that I listened to the album on non-high-end in-ear headphones every time, except during the writing of the review where I used my non-high-end speakers and the latter made quite a difference. So, I am cautiously saying that this is just not a headphone-record, which is not necessarily bad. That’s for you to decide.

All in all, Feradur have a true gem on their hands and I can guarantee that they shred the living hell out of the songs if you get to witness them in a live setting. Now, the best way to experience Legion will be on June 22nd, when the band is inviting you all to their release party in Dudelange’s Atelier D, but if you want a pre-listening session, you can also head to Rock Solid this Friday, June 14th, where a DJ will play the entire record for you. Until then, be sure to head to the band’s Facebook page and check out the video below!

Hybridism – Hybridism

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Hybridism - Hybridism

I am not a musician, nor do I have any experience when it comes to writing a song, but I know for a fact that composing purely instrumental music while being confined to the setup of a typical rock or metal band is insanely difficult. Case in point: there must be at least a thousand bands out there that only utilize drums, bass and one or two guitars, but only very few stand out from the masses. Today I’m writing about a fairly new band that, in my opinion, manages to have that extra little something to differentiate itself from the others: Hybridism! Their self-titled debut EP was released almost exactly two months ago and after giving it a first listen recently, thus discovering what I had missed, I decided to bring my thoughts to virtual paper.

The issue I have with many instrumental bands, is that they have not found the balance between variation and catchiness: it’s either too repetitive, with two riffs being repeated ad nauseam or it’s an uncoordinated mess of “look what I can do”…and I do understand that it is very fine line between both ends of that spectrum, but I just can’t get invested in the majority of bands that try to achieve that balance act. What sets the quartet apart from the rest, is that every instrument knows exactly how often to play its part before switching it up, and especially the guitar parts are built and arranged in a fashion that they feel like an evolution of each other, rather than completely new parts.

I know, the main question on your mind is probably the one that is always on everyone’s mind: does it djent? It does. Yes, it very much does. The six tracks are packed with tasty bass riffs and a non-negligible amount of open A guitar strings being played, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s never too much and always thrown in at just the right time. Especially since the second guitar provides a sonic variation in those instances in the form of more intricate parts.

I remember on my first listen, I wasn’t completely paying attention until the fourth track, Glitch, came around and that was exactly the moment that I knew that I had something special ahead of me with these thirty-two minutes. I guess that my affinity for said track is because it starts with a video-game-like midi track being played before erupting into a fast-paced riff explosion that I immediately fell in love with. At this point I also have to mention the flawless production of the EP, because it lends a ton of gravitas to the well-crafted compositions.

All in all, what can I say? If you are not averse to music without vocals and liked the heavier spectrum of it, absolutely give Hybridism a shot! The guys managed to cook up a nice and well-varied debut release that deserves to be heard. So be sure to click on the video below for a full stream and if you want to keep up with them, head over to their Facebook page.

Versus You – Worn And Loved

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Versus You - Worn And Loved

I would say that one of the main factors, that make me listen to a record repeatedly, is how much I can identify with it on a personal level, since I find little to no sense in listening to music that gives me nothing in return for my time spent. Now, what you take from music is very subjective and can differ strongly from case to case: some might be into lyrics, others more into the feeling that the instrumentation gives them, and so forth. Well, today I have the pleasure of writing a piece about a record that manages to push just the right buttons on several levels: Versus You‘s fourth full-length called Worn And Loved, which is going to be released this Friday, March 15th. So let’s go!

In essence, this new record is a return to what worked really well on the predecessor, Moving On, and delivers top notch pop punk. Even though I would say that it’s less on the pop side this time around, it still maintains super catchy and each song has an instant recognizability to it. In the five years that have passed between records, the quartet has switched drummers and I feel like he brings a breath of fresh air behind the kit. While I had nothing to fault in the past, I find the drumming even more diverse and full of small surprises this time around. I also really want to make a Spinal Tap joke here…but nothing good comes to mind.

When it comes to the guitar work, I am always impressed by the prolific songwriting that can be found in Eric Rosenfeld’s songs, no matter which moniker he releases them under. While the complexity is never on a virtuoso level, the execution and songwriting definitely are, because I dare you not to whistle along to the main riff of at least half of the thirteen tracks on your first listen. Which brings me back to what I said at the beginning: music is, for the most part, subjective and I always welcome well-written and uplifting music with open arms.

Despite the mostly happy sounding instrumentation, W&L is not a happy go lucky album by any means…and that is exactly what makes it so good. The thirty-five minute musical journey deals with many feelings and situations that people experience growing up. It is a raw representation of the many struggles that teenagers and young adults, that are often not touched upon by society as a whole. Be it anxiety over never being able to satisfy expectations of our parents or our friends, being alienated by our peers, or vice versa.

All in all, Versus You return with what I would consider their best record to date, and I feel like Worn And Loved has the potential of helping a few people who might be going through a rough time, by telling them that it is OK to not be perfect, that it will become better. In that spirit, if you want to have a, what I expect to be, great night, be sure to come to den Atelier this Friday, where the band is inviting everyone to a release show, free-of-charge. For more information, you can head to the band’s Facebook page and in order to get pumped, listen to the track below.

Inzest – Collateral Damage

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Inzest - Collateral Damage

Due to its small size, the amount of practice spaces for (metal) bands is fairly limited in Luxembourg; which is why many bands have come together and share the same location. The, arguably, best known one is the Bricherhaff, which houses the bands Sublind, Kraton and Dreadnought. At one point in time, members from the different bands filled in for their friends in a different band, which is why the place has been affectionately called Inzesthaff ever since. And it is exactly here where today’s band was founded and how it got its name: Inzest! Their debut record Collateral Damage is about to be released this weekend, February 9th, and I had the opportunity to listen to it in advance. Here are my thoughts!

The quartet plays straight-forward black metal, and I’m pretty sure that their main objective is to annihilate the neck muscles of their listeners, because there is so much groove infused into the barrage of blast beats, that it’s hard to keep your head still. One of the main characteristics of black metal, to me, is a certain type of monotony in the songs that creates a feeling of desperate trance, which is achieved through the repetition of riffs ad nauseam. While I’m not a fan of that in most other genres, I can’t imagine this kind of music without it. With that being said, Inzest to that formula throughout the nine songs, and managed to drive me into the deepest despair more than once…and I mean that as a compliment.

While Collateral Damage leaves a good first impression, it isn’t until the subsequent listening sessions that the record reveals its true beauty in the form of small details such as an almost hidden riff that is only barely audible on the right ear, or a sneaky fill on the drums. At this point, I really have to massively praise the production quality of the album, which elevates these forty minutes to a whole new level and has a genuine DIY feel to it, while sounding massive exactly where it matters. It is one of those rare occasions where the producer feels like the fifth member of the band, who understands what the musicians are looking for and emulates it perfectly.

The entire instrumentation creates a perfect backdrop for the vocals, which radiate pure evil and will leave your soul frostbitten. They switch effortlessly between the typical black metal screams à la Abbath and the most hate-filled growls.

All in all, Collateral Damage is an impressive debut record and I am very glad that Inzest took their sweet time in releasing it after an impressive four years of existence under their belt already. Be sure to head over to their Facebook page if you want to know more about the release gig that is happening at Café Remelenger Stuff this Saturday. And in the meantime, check out the title track below!

Fusion Bomb – Concrete Jungle

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Fusion Bomb - Concrete Jungle

As a reviewer, one of the greatest pleasures is following a band’s journey and having your predictions confirmed. A bit more than two years ago, I reviewed Fusion Bomb‘s debut release and while it had its flaws, I expressed high hopes for their future and boy was I right! I’ll pretty much spoil the end at this point already, but: their new release Concrete Jungle is a massive improvement on an already solid base. Let me tell you why I think that’s the case!

Everything I liked about the predecessor can still be found here, just cranked to eleven: the guitars come at you with pure ferocity and the, dare I say, catchier riffs bite into you until they have you banging that head like no tomorrow. The drums have also improved in terms of technicality and groove, along with the clearly audible bass guitar they lay down the perfect groundwork to create a perfect…wait for it…fusion of instruments.

The ten songs, which include an Excel cover, have also vastly improved in terms of song-writing: while a majority of the songs is still mostly centred around a single riff (per song) I feel like there is enough variation and different parts thrown in at just the right moment, to avoid repetition. And that, to me, is what makes a good song: just the right amount of repetition so that it will drill itself into your skull after one listen, but never to the point of boredom.

I especially have to praise the vocals, since not only have they improved in terms of enunciation but also in diversity and overall execution. I mean, the record starts off with a scream that would make Tom Araya jealous, what more do I have to say to sell these thirty-seven minutes? Maybe that the quartet has managed to come up with one of the catchiest choruses that I’ve heard in a while on their song Slam Tornado, which you can listen to below. Or that the entire thing was mastered by Zeuss, and therefore sounds like a tank?

Whatever floats your boat, be sure to give Concrete Jungle a listen when it releases on January 26th and come get your mosh on at Rockhal that same day at the release party. In the meantime, had to Fusion Bomb‘s Facebook page for more information and drink beer, be free!

Abstract Rapture – Hollow Motion

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If there is one thing that most Luxembourgish (metal) bands are known, or should I say notorious, for it’s the amount of time it takes them to release new material. While the reasons behind that are understandable, it doesn’t make it less tiresome to wait for more than five years for a new album by your local shredders. Today I have the pleasure of writing about a record that boosts the waiting time to a full seven years. Let me just get ahead of myself and say that Abstract Rapture’s Hollow Motion was well worth the wait to me. Read ahead to find out why I think so!

First off, a brief history lesson about what went down in those years: the vocals, drums and lead guitar are still in the hands of the original members, but the rhythm guitar and the bass has seen the addition of two new faces in the form of Maks and Alex, who (used to) play in Retrace My Fragments. The addition of these two has definitely brought a new, and at times very different, breath of fresh air to the quintet’s sound. While the fifty-one minutes still feel like your classic AR, there’s also quite a few instances where you might wonder if the album has switched mid-song without you noticing.

Generally speaking the album has a fairly high level of musicianship, but there are a couple of songs that definitely stand out high above the rest, namely Inner Plague. The song is an interesting blend of the trademark Abstract sound and something that could be straight from a black metal record…and it works to perfection! I predict many a sore neck at gigs when this song is being played! This might just be me, but the addition of the new members has had a heavy influence on the songwriting, because I feel that especially the guitars have become “spacier”, for lack of a better word, and full of new elements. I’d even go as far and say that this is the most innovative release of the serial boozers since their debut EP Dead End Entry.

Out of the eleven songs, there are two interludes that can be regarded as intros to the songs they precede, and even those have a feel to them that I haven’t previously found in the band’s sound. The drums…I honestly don’t know what to tell you about them. The man is a local legend and delivers another top notch performance that locks in extremely tightly. The vocal melodies are also more memorable to me than on Earthcrush, and the lyrics delve further into the common themes of the guys’ music. Especially the closing track, Ego Non Te Absolvo, feels like a spiritual successor to the debut full-length’s closer, Observations In A Mirror (Through The Eyes Of An Alcoholic).

All in all, Abstract Rapture did take their sweet time to hit us with new material, but in my humble opinion it was well worth the wait! Hollow Motion is going to give the local metal scene a strong record to finish the year with and I for one am very much looking forward to the band’s future! If you’re interested, make sure to check out the record when it drops this Friday, December 14th, and head over to the band’s Facebook page for more information on the release show!

Club Silencio – I

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One of the main reasons El Gore was brought to life for, was to support the local music scene, a concept that I loved when I joined and I still do my best to review a majority of the national metal and rock releases to this day. However, every now and then I don’t think that a review is necessary or makes much sense to begin with. Today is one of those times, so I’d rather just write a few lines about why you should give Club Silencio‘s debut album I a thorough listen and hopefully it’ll whet your appetite enough to click on the Play button below!

The ten songs are all written and performed by a mysterious trio, and they are definitely the most experimental music I’ve heard this year thus far. Basically: there are no rules when it comes to the studio-only project, which means that you can find all sorts of influences of bands from virtually every spectrum of the heavier, and at times also softer, side of music.

Also, the project is purely instrumental, so there’s no need to worry about you maybe hating the vocals since there are none. But that leaves more room for shredding, of which there is a metric fuckton during these forty-two minutes.

This is all for now, just do yourself a favor and push Play below. You won’t regret it. And throw them a like on Facebook if you want. NO HAY BANDA!

Lost In Pain – Gold Hunters

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Something that never ceases to amaze me, even after many years of listening to and writing about music, is how artists always find ways to improve on something that has already been good to begin with. Sometimes I can exactly pinpoint what I feel is the biggest addition, but more often than not I am not quite sure what makes me like a release better than its predecessor; maybe it’s just because it’s new? I am pleased to present you one of these cases today, since Lost In Pain are about to release their third full-length, Gold Hunters, this Saturday!

First off, let me get one thing out of the way: almost ten years into its existence, the quartet has definitely shed its undeniable initial inspiration, from a certain Bay Area band, and matured into its own sound. While it’s still essentially thrash metal, there are a lot more experimental and even progressive touches to be found this time around, which elevate all the compositions onto a new level.

I’ve praised it in the past, but in this case I don’t mind repeating myself: LiP‘s feel for writing a coherent song, with recognizable parts and catchy hooks, never fails to impress. The eight tracks are chock-full with all kinds of riffs, ranging from headbang-inducing groovy to neckbreaking heavy, that are a pure joy to discover with all their little intricacies. I feel like the guitarists’ skill has even further improved, or maybe it’s just a matter of having a different goal while writing, but what I can tell you is that I would point towards that being a major factor why I like GH even more than Plague Inc.. The mind-blowing solos are, of course, back with a vengeance as well.

The drums have also seen an improvement, in two different ways: first off, to me, they have slowly moved out of the shadows and they’re stepping further into the foreground and, secondly, they just sound so much richer and imposing. The latter is also absolutely the case for the bass, which just sounds really good and is in great tandem with the percussive elements throughout the forty-one minutes.

The vocals are the only thing that I found to have remained fairly stagnant, which is not necessarily a bad thing, since I already liked the improved performance a lot the last time around. I would say that the technique has been solidified and, along with the great production quality, the vocals are in a very good place.

To sum things up, I would say that Lost In Pain have matured very well, and that Gold Hunters is a more than worthy successor to their 2015 endeavor. But why talk, or write, more when you can simply listen to the first single below and visit the band’s Facebook page for additional information? Also, if you like what you hear, be sure to move your booty to Rockhal this Saturday, April 7th, where the band is playing a release show!

Desdemonia – Anguish

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The death metal titans from Luxembourg, Desdemonia, are finally back with a new album in tow! With a career of over twenty years and this only being their fourth release, the quartet might be one of the slowest bands out there when it comes to output. But I’d like to tell you whether they’re like a good wine, and the wait for Anguish was worth the while, or not!

If you are familiar with the band’s previous work, one motto springs immediately to mind when you put on the new record: why change a winning team? The trademark Desdemonia sound shines in all its glory, but with a fresh coat of paint slapped on it, which truly revitalizes the band’s modus operandi. The drums sound and feel like a tank that’s relentlessly mowing down everything in its path, and their ferocity is only rivaled by the bite of the guitars.

It is worth noting that the string department has seen a slight change of personnel, and the new guitarist has definitely brought in a breath of fresh air, while also understanding and maintaining the sound that makes the band sound the way it does. Endless Fight, the song below, is a prime example of a combination of both worlds: crushing riffs on one hand, and on the other hand a melodic aspect that lifts the song to a whole new level. Hell, there’s even a freaking harmonic part in there!

I feel like the guys didn’t set out to re-invent the wheel with these nine songs, but instead put a fresh set of tires on there, and oil it up nicely…and boy did they achieve that. The new material will still make you want to bang your head until you suffer from severe whiplash, but it also provides, dare I say, growl-along choruses that will incite a lot of crowd participation at gigs.

You can’t speak about Desdemonia without mentioning the powerhouse that is their vocalist, and bassist, who delivers another stellar performance during these almost forty-eight minutes. Truly vile growls go hand in hand with soul-shattering screams that round off this thrilling death metal ride just perfectly. The icing on the cake is a really massive production, that lets every note rip even harder into your eardrums.

All in all, the fans’ wait is without a doubt being rewarded and the quartet delivers another strong entry into their catalogue, despite it having taken them eight years. Make sure to listen to the song below, and head over the band’s Facebook page for more information regarding the release. Since it’s being split in two, so to speak: the official release and a listening party will be held this Friday at Rock Solid; and a release show will take place on April 14th at Kulturfabrik! See you there, when it’s time to schalalalala!

Mike Litoris Complot – The Art Of Pony Party

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Goregrind. What can I say? It’s one of those genres that never strongly appealed to me, but also one that didn’t put me off completely. A song here and there was actually quite welcome since I liked the straight-forward attitude, however I couldn’t subject myself to much more than that at a time. This has all changed now, since I “had to” listen to Mike Litoris Complot’s debut album The Art Of Pony Party at least once in its entirety in order to review it. Funny thing is: once turned into twice, into thrice, and from there on I stopped counting. Let me tell you why!

First off, I should say that MLC is not strictly goregrind, but instead takes elements of it, fuses them with slam and adds a major dose of humor. Resulting in this weird, but highly entertaining, aural potpourri, where childlike vocals transition into pig squeals and evolve into frog noises. This combination is not necessarily a first, as far as I know, since there is an entire underground scene and even a relatively large festival that revolves around those ingredients in one way or another. But what really makes the sextet stand out to me is the fact that their songs actually have a lot of substance, which honestly surprised me. I wouldn’t exactly call them symphonic masterpieces but the amount of diversity and standout elements is truly captivating.

There are tons of influences, or maybe parodies, throughout the twelve songs that can be discovered with every subsequent listen-through. A thrash gallop riff will be followed by a pure open-string slam attack and end in an almost pop-sounding chord, allowing almost no room to catch your breath, or gather your thoughts. The drumming is fairly straight-forward, with lots of blasting and tons of double-bass barrages, yet never monotonous. The entire ensemble is wrapped in a tight but natural production and knows exactly how to deliver the goods to the listener: right in the face.

As mentioned earlier, the vocals are all over the place and both singers alternate between their styles perfectly, creating an immersive experience during these forty-six minutes of madness. Lyrically, I don’t know what to tell you…it’s certainly nor radio- or child-friendly, but if you can take the band as serious as they take themselves, you’ll be fine. The titles alone are guaranteed to send mothers and priests across the globe into spastic fits, with classics such as Gangbang Abortion or Orphan Crippler.

All in all, The Art Of Pony Party is definitely a surprisingly well-rounded debut album with very little to no complaints, and I’m sure that Mike Litoris Complot will make waves in the goregrind scene, and perhaps beyond, if they get the necessary and well-deserved coverage. You can listen to the song Circus SlammyGranny below and head over to the band’s Facebook page for more info. And last but not least, consider moving your bum to the Schungfabrik this Saturday, March 17th, where the guys will release this banger!