Tag Archives: Modern Death Metal

Theophagist – I Am Abyss

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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!

Ferium – Reflections

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At the Scarred release party on June 1st there was one band that took the majority of the people I talked to by surprise, if you were there you know that I can only be talking about the Israelis Ferium, who were kind enough to provide many guests of the show with a free copy of their debut album Reflections.

The quintet plays, rather modern, death metal and takes no prisoners. While every song has a clearly distinguishable melody to it, all twelve songs are very much straight-forward thus leaving you no time to rest. While this is not relevant to the album itself I can say that the tracks work extremely well in a live setting; my neck and I can vouch for that.

On an instrumental level the band primarily moves between groovy, heavy and partially (caution made-up term) djenty guitars before bursting into full melodic explosions during their solos. The bass is, even for me, clearly audible throughout the fifty-three minutes but without being too much in the foreground. Production-wise all three instruments are very well orchestrated, especially if you consider that, as far as I know, the entire album is self-produced. The drums are on a pretty high technical level and during some songs even have a certain jazzy feel to them. By that I mean that there are quite a few off-beat rhythms and unexpected fills. The only, however small, criticism I have is that they are slightly under-produced in comparison to the stringed instruments…by far not bad, but not quite as strong as would have seemed ideal.

There is not a lot I can say about the vocals since they fit the ensemble perfectly and are executed flawlessly. They mainly stay in the guttural area but on a few occasions you can hear squeals and screeches. If I had to name a local counterpart, albeit defunct by now, I would say that Ex Inferis‘s Fab should give you an idea.

In conclusion I can only say that you should definitely give this band a go if you are into modern death metal or if you maybe want to discover something new. You can find more info about the band on their Facebook page and you can get an idea of what I just wrote about by giving the song below a listen.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQwHTg85wxQ]

An Apple A Day – Fall Of Thera

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We all know the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”; in the case of the Luxembourgish band An Apple A Day this could not be any more wrong, because after listening to their brand new EP Fall Of Thera I almost needed a doctor for my aching neck! Let me tell you why that is the case.

The quintet has moved away from their old deathcore style and now plays modern death metal with minor elements remaining from their roots. I’d say that it’s a mixture that is appealing to both traditional metalheads but also to the modern crowd, but you be the judge of that.

The first thing that will strike you when you start listening to the six songs is the massive sound: I’m not kidding when I say that the band doesn’t have to fear comparisons to bigger bands because what they managed to achieve on this record is just amazing. The drums have a rich, yet not over-triggered, sound and the guitars will tear your ears right off the sides of your head.

But the close to perfect sound isn’t all there is to it: the drumming, mainly the double bass, will keep you interested all throughout these twenty-four minutes with its pounding rhythms and its groove. The same goes for the guitars which feature riff after riff of goodness, and some rather interesting solos.

The forte of this whole thing, to me, are definitely the vocals though. The singer constantly switches between (really) deep growls and screeches with some occasional pig squeals and clean vocals here and there thrown in for good measure. I’d even go as far and say that this endeavor grants him access to the hall of fame of Luxembourgish metal vocalists, if there is such a thing. But apparently the band wasn’t satisfied enough by their own singer, so they decided to get Sacha from local matadors Scarred to help out on the last track.

All in all, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this release is probably the one Luxembourgish (metal) effort of 2012 that you absolutely have to check out. And the time and place to this is this Friday, December 21st, at Rockhal in Esch where the guys will have their release party with support from Falling Promises and Lost In Pain. For more info check out the band’s Facebook page and if you want to get in the mood for the concert, listen to the song below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Z0KHEvu4M]

Arkaeon – New Level Of Inhumanity EP

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An EP of a young Luxembourgish Death Metal band fell into our lucky hands a few weeks ago. To write it short and simple: it is terrific! And that normally is a good thing for Death Metal.

The booklet already perfectly puts this experience in a nutshell: “Together we try to create our very own sound that is a mixture of technical, brutal, progressive and groovy songwriting…”

The drums are restless, brutal like a barrage, faster than machine guns and proper like a Swiss clockwork. No way of not being pushed from one battle to the next. The guitars are singing like huge birds in an ever burning sky. Technically very demanding, they also master to bid lots of melodic and progressive discoveries before switching to a pure rocking head bang part. (ok these guitar squeals seem to be one essential part of the modern metal culture but they really go on my nerves and they aren’t innovative and cool anymore -Luc-). Finally Rosh’s screams and growls were guite a surprise for me. I haven’t expected a such diversified voice at all. In Death Metal it is very often the voice which bores me to death quite fast. Listening do Arkaeon, it is quite the opposite.

To conclude one can say that the “New Level Of Inhumanity” is a quite fresh metal EP influenced by Death, modern Thrash and even some Black Metal. If you have a diversified metal taste with an affinity to progressive stuff, you should have an eye on this young band and buy there EP!

El Gore wishes you all the best!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91aCilzIN64]