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Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: Duality - Archeology


In 2016, French metallers Duality released their debut 140 Waves, now, since March 2017, their new EP, called Archeology is released. Duality mixes progressive, atmospheric music with metalcore. With its 13 minutes, Archeology is a bit short, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Starting with Reborn, first you'll hear a relaxed guitar tune, then, slowly more instruments will be added. This sounds nice and when the music starts to get heavier, they also add the more atmospheric sounds, this sounds promising. When the vocals start, I noticed one thing very quickly, while vocalist Julien sings in English, I can clearly hear his French accent through his English. It's something, that, for me, is very distracting.

The intro of the second track, Osiris, is something you can almost call epic, especially the drums sound really cool here. By the way, this track also contains more different parts than the first one. When you hear the intro, you will probably think it would be followed by a very heavy song, but right after the intro ends, these expectations seem to be crushed. However, in some parts luckily, they are indeed playing in a very heavy way. The songwriting is very progressive which shows in the numerous tempo-/style-changes. At 2:36 the vocals are almost sounding hardcore-style, which is quickly followed by something you can almost call death/doom, both musically and vocal wise. Sadly, these moments are all very short.

Of course, the vocal style being used is something you like or don’t like, but they aren't very powerful. This is something that can be heard especially in the third track, The Clockwork In Reverse. When Julien starts to scream it even sounds a bit forced, sometimes.

This Archeology EP of French metallers Duality is probably something I wouldn't play much more often, however it surely sounds okay. Sadly, the weakest point of it are the vocals. After listening to it multiple times Julien's French accent wasn't distracting me that much anymore, but the vocals still couldn't convince me.

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Duality Facebook

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: Hellspawn - There Has Never Been A Son Of Me


Utterly crushing their old ideals, the Polish death metallers under the name Hellspawn have long sought to offer infernal, blasting hymns that used their full-on, intense assault that has been their trademark since the very beginning of their career. With a four-year gap between releases from the band, their third full-length effort was released March 16, 2016 on Old Temple.

Straight from the beginning, there’s a clear idea of the kind of blistering and charging material on display here that continually gets featured. Tracks like “Do Not Be Among Idolaters,” “Hung on a Tree - Damned by His Father” and “For the Number is Human” are mostly built around tight, frantic riffing and plenty of swirling tremolo patterns in their display of churning mid-tempo paces throughout here, which gives this one such a frantic and intense attack. Keeping the vast majority of the album in such a mainly up-tempo state lets the tight rhythms and crushing tremolo leads dance around to great effect here as the thick riff-patterns generate the kind of intense energy required. That is successfully balanced out by efforts like “Hallelujah” and “Santa Sindrome” which feature a thumping mid-tempo style that really brings out the tight rhythms to a greater extent that the quicker, more balanced tracks that are far more prominent on here and bring about the kind of dynamics that really get explored here. Although it gets really enjoyable due to this rather strong attack, the fact that it does tend to get lost in these repetitive riffing patterns and paces does tend to undue some of these positives with the album really becoming quite hard to determine what’s going on with the way it continually evokes the same overall approach on many of the tracks. However frenzied and intense it gets, this one tends to go the same way with its attack and that doesn’t do much for the album. Otherwise, this one doesn’t really have much else wrong with it.

Coming across way too familiar to really let the stellar attack get displayed to it’s fullest potential, the fact that remaining features here are so strong and devastating makes this another strong notch in their belt and gives this a lot of appeal to those who prefer this infernal approach to classic death metal. 8.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

Hellspawn Official Website
Hellspawn Facebook

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Promoting Bands Part 10 (+ an exclusive Dutch video premiere!)





Hey! \m/

Already discovered some nice bands through our Promoting Bands? Hope you did!

Missed them? Here are the links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Anyway, here is part 10 of Promoting Bands, it even features an exclusive Dutch video premiere!

Remember, if you want to be featured, just send us an email, Facebook or Twitter message.

\m/

Tim van Velthuysen

1. Saints Of Death


Saints Of Death hail from Canada and they make their death groove metal extra heavy by using two bass guitars, instead of one. They started in 2013 and 2015 was the year their self-titled debut EP got its release. In my opinion they did a great job, you can listen to it below, so enjoy! By the way, for all guitarists out there, they are looking for one ;) .



Saints Of Death Official Website
Saints Of Death Facebook

2. Ghost Bath


As I already said in Part 9 while mentioning Heretoir, I saw both Heretoir and Ghost Bath in Merleyn, Nijmegen. Ghost Bath's show was really intense, they created a perfect ambiance for their music playing a very nice show. Seeing a show of them is something I would definitely recommend. Living in the USA and want to see them? They are touring with Thy Art Is Murder and Decapitated in August and September. Check Thrones of their latest album Starmouner below.

Here you can also check my review of their 2015 album Moonlover.



Ghost Bath Official Website
Ghost Bath Facebook
Ghost Bath Twitter

3. Nightland


In January, when I was at Doornroosje, Nijmegen for this interview with Clemens 'Ardek' Weijers of Carach Angren, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Carach Angren and Nightland took over the stage. It was an evening to never forget. Nightland was playing first, so I only saw a little bit of their show, because it was during my interview. However, the few songs I still saw were enough to see and hear that Nightland was playing a very nice show. This surely is a band to follow. I can't wait to hear the album they're writing at the moment, but for now you can listen to their latest album, Obsession, below!



Nightland Official Website
Nightland Facebook
Nightland Twitter

4. Ignea (exclusive Dutch video premiere!)


Ignea, hailing from Ukraine, plays a style which they call modern oriental metal. In February they released their debut full-length, called The Sign Of Faith. One of the tracks on The Sign Of Faith, Alexandria, has a new video released today and DutchMetalManiac is proud to give you the exclusive Dutch premiere of it below. So go watch it and be sure to check the other tracks on The Sign Of Faith when you dig it.



Ignea Official Website
Ignea Facebook
Ignea Twitter

5/6. Aether Realm & Troldhaugen


Recently pirate metallers Alestorm announced their European tour and of course, since I really want to see their show, I bought tickets for it. The support acts for their tour were unknown to me: Aether Realm and Troldhaugen. So, I went checking their music and there is only thing I can say now: not only am I looking forward to Alestorm's show but also for both their shows! Want to listen for yourself? You can do so below! If you like them and/or Alestorm be sure to get tickets for their European tour as soon as possible!




Aether Realm Facebook
Aether Realm Twitter
Troldhaugen Facebook
Troldhaugen Twitter

7. Shallrise


A bit more than a year ago, I posted the, at that moment, exclusive album stream of Shallrise's debut EP Revocandi here. These groove metallers from Brazil are doing a great job on Revocandi and I think it's a really nice EP, so when you missed it, or you want to hear it again, listen to it below. These guys are really a band to watch in the future!



Shallrise Official Website
Shallrise Facebook

8. Illusionless


This progressive death metal band coming from Leiden, The Netherlands released their second effort in January 2016. It is called Age Of Kali and it is amazing, if you haven't heard it, I recommend you to wait no longer. You can listen to it here, since we did an album stream of it back then. The guys of Illusionless recently released an live video of one of the tracks of Age Of Kali, it's Way Of The Dark Creatures and you can watch it below!



Illusionless Official Website
Illusionless Facebook

9. Bio-Cancer


Looking for some awesome thrash? Stop looking, here is Bio-Cancer! These guys from Greece know how to make some great thrash metal. When, in 2015, their latest-to-date album Tormenting The Innocent was released, I almost got blown away, this is very cool! It also made my end of the year list of 2015 (here). So, want to hear some great thrash metal, go listen to this! You can start below with Tormenting The Innocent.



Bio-Cancer Facebook
Bio-Cancer Twitter

10. Thyrgrim


These black metallers from Germany execute their music in an very great way. This is some real good black metal. We already reviewed their latest full-length Dekaden here and it's still being played often in the headquarters of DutchMetalManiac. To be honest, as I mentioned my end of year list of 2015 before, I don't know why Thyrgrim's Dekaden isn't on there, because it really deserves it. Listen to one of their tracks from Dekaden, Dette er tysk svart metal, below.



Thyrgrim Facebook

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: Oprich - All Sails To The Wind


To everyone with the slightest connection to the pagan/folk metal genre the name Oprich could very well sound familiar, because they have been around and active for quite some time now. Founded in the late nineties this Russia based, seven-man outfit consists of, in no particular order, Pan as vocalist and on flute, Jaromir as vocalist and on guitar, Kolyado on guitar, Peresvet on bass, Michail Romanov on folk instruments, Vladimir on drums and Pustosvyat who is responsible for the arrangements. Considering they had their maiden release, a split with Kroda, only in 2005, some seven years after being founded, the list of releases is relatively large. Since releasing their debut they have been a busy bunch, having released two more splits apart from the one with Kroda, one with Chur and a somewhat politically loaded one with Chur and Piarevacien. In addition to that they also released a mini-album and two full-lengths. Now, three years after their latest work they are ready to unleash their third full-length called ‘All Sails To The Wind’ (or ‘Poveter’ in Russian). Taking the genre and the line-up into consideration no one will have any difficulty determining what their music should sound like and lo and behold, that is indeed exactly what you get: Russian folk metal, heavily influenced by traditional instruments, of which the flute is the most distinctly audible. Lyric-wise this album tells the tales of the Ushkuiniks of Novgorod, the Vikings of the Upper-Volga, of which they see themselves as descendants.

‘All Sails To The Wind’ contains ten songs spanning a total of 44 minutes of folk metal, including an English and a Russian version of the same song, that vary in heaviness, intensity and atmosphere much like you’d expect on a folk metal album. There’s a little bit of everything to be found. The slow, heavy riffs in, for example, ‘A Barrow Over The River’, are equally fitting as the merry, frolicking tunes in, say, ‘In Oars’ Splashes’, creating an overall atmosphere of courage and heraldry, best exemplified by the intro of ‘Campaign’. The riffs are mostly tight and skillfully played (try ‘The Ruthless Ones’ for example) and are backed by an equally tight rhythm section. In addition there’s room for all instruments to get in the spotlights at times. The drums in ‘Campaign’, the bass in ‘Bear Hug’ and even the Didgeridoo-ish sounds in ‘Winds’ Heady Mead’, they all get their moment of fame. However, the overall leading part is unmistakably reserved for the flute, that loosely swirls through the song structures. And then there’s the vocals. It’s probably me and it most likely has to do with the fact that I am used to Germanic language, but I find the clean vocals in non-Germanic languages sang songs often create a distinct sound that I consider an acquired taste. Pan’s and/or Jaromir’s vocal lines are no different, however when they switch to grunting, which they are certainly good at and which they use for the majority of the vocal lines, that immediately disappears. And then still it’s not too big an obstacle in my opinion, it just takes a little getting used to.

Although the above might suggest otherwise there’s nothing really new to be found on ‘All Sails To The Wind’. All songs are solid, essentially not too complicated and recognizably folk metal pieces of work. There’s no room for useless complexity and it’s never very innovative, but that doesn’t mean this album is bad or solely consists of plain and simple songs. Every song needs some sort of complexity, which in this case is provided by details rather than by the compositions themselves. The use of arrangements, the way the guitar is used as a source of various soundscapes and the ever frolicking flute add the necessary variation to the song structures. I can’t find anything negative to say about this album, nor will I even if I searched for another week for it. There really is not a single bad song on this album, but on the other hand, there aren’t many true gems to be found either. It’s definitely a good release, that’s for sure, but to me it lacks some innovation. Even though there’s hints of adventure to be found here and there, I for one would have liked the compositions themselves to be a bit more adventurous. More like the Ushkuiniks they’re singing about maybe. Nevertheless, even though there’s no true surprises on this album, this still is well worth your attention and will especially please the folk metal fans around there. Poveter!

Written by Henric van Essen

Oprich Official Website
Oprich Facebook

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: Zombieslut - Massive Lethal Flesh Recovery


German death metallers Zombieslut released their mini-album, entitled “Massive Lethal Flesh Recovery”, on 3rd of December 2016, as a bridge towards their new album the guys are currently working on.

The record contains 6 songs, two new ones and four that have been previously released. We are starting off with “Return Of The Zombie”, a song with oldschool death metal sound and some gore-influences and very deep growls. “Lycantrophic Funeral” sound very much alike, even though this song rather stays midtempo. Same holds true for “Lord Of Eternal Pain”. “Braineater” picks up in speed again, and is my personal favorite of the album. The last two tracks are now rather alike this one and called “Theater Of Beautiful Deaths” and “Victims Of The Lie”. The sound of the entire 6 songs is rather low quality – no way to tell whether this was intentional to underscore the raw character of the album or not. Too bad though, as the guys themselves are good musicians.

In conclusion, not much can be said about the album – songs are OK, the guys very good musicians and sound not that great, leaving the listener with no real lasting impression due to a lack of diversity. Too bad and let’s hope that things will be different on the full album. Meanwhile, fans of (oldschool) death metal are still recommended to listen to this. 7/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Zombieslut Official Website
Zombieslut Facebook

Friday, June 16, 2017

Interview: Haster


Recently, DutchMetalManiac's Alessandro reviewed Haster's latest album, called The Current Sea, here. Now you can read his interview with Haster below!

Guys, I’m honoured to be granted this interview! I want to say again, I love your album. I hope my 10/10 at DutchMetalManiac means something for you! I’m doubly appreciative of the Twitter winning surPRIZE pack that you sent to my Frozen Hemisphere. Please introduce yourselves!

David Heida - Lead Guitars
Patrick Nolan - Rhythm Guitars/Vocals
Danny Radusinovic - Bass
Jarret Stockmar - Vocals
Andrew Vega - Drums

How and where’d you meet?

Jarret and I (David) met through an ad on Craigslist after both of our previous bands ended and we formed the band in late 2010. Just before our second album “Let It Go” was finished we added Patrick to the band after knowing him for a couple of years. Andrew & Danny joined the band right after our last album “The Current Sea”. Andrew we met through an ad online at Musicians Institute where he was attending and Danny used to play with Pat in their old band.

Are you all actually friends or is it just business?

You have to enjoy the people you make music with. There are a lot of days of nothing on the road and you have always made it that we are friends first.

Is the world a better place with all this new technology for spreading the gift of music or was it better to copy LP’s to cassettes and spread it around?

It's good and bad. Good on that your music is very accessible. But with that, no one pays for music now.

Your music is powerful and heavy; tell us when and where your best times for inspiration are.

Just jamming. Practice or having idea is all it takes. Songs all start from a riff. It’s the spark that we’re all able to build around.

Without being disrespectful to a band’s originality, I always like to cite some influences that my ear picks out or I think picks out; do you guys do this when you’re working out your arrangements?

Sometimes if a riff sounds too similar to something else. But most of our songs, after they have all gone through all of filters always end up sounding like HASTER.

You have some great influences! Who’s everyone’s favourite band?

Bandwise it has to be Korn. They influenced us so much throughout the year.

Onstage, 90% and live to fight another day or 110% and see what happens the next day?

110%, we go crazy on stage. That will always be one thing I can always hang my head up high about this band that we are an amazing live band.

Speaking of stages, you’re not on an especially heavy tour schedule as of yet; I see 2 at least in California, are there more dates lined up for this year? Any chance you’re coming to Canada?

We are going to be back on road in the fall. Right now we are demoing new songs and working on a tour schedule. A couple of tour packages we were going to be on in 2017 fail through so now we’re going to be heading out on our own headlining tour.

You’ve shared the stage with some top notch rock acts. Can you tell us one cool, uncool, funny or horrible thing that’s happened when touring/playing alongside?

Most bands we’ve meant have been really nice. I think when you get to that level you are humble about how hard it is to get there. But when we playing the Uproar Festival in 2015 with Seether and Godsmack, it was funny because the first show we’re all walking around checking things out and the road crew for the main stage area kicked us out for hanging around lol. Kind of gave us a reality check to where we were in our career still.

I want to thank you so much for taking the time for us!
As we go, give us “Haster’s Hashtags” for 2017:

1. WW III or Peace on Earth?


Peace

2. Aliens Land – Aliens Keep On Going?

Keep Going

3. Music Industry Better – Music Industry Worse?

Worse

4. USA Beer Better – Canadian Beer Better?

Canadian Whiskey

5. Currently reading….which books?

Maynard James Kennen’s Autobiography

6. Humans: Tougher Now or Then?

Then

Thank you again for taking important creative time to talk to me. Do you have any last comments for DutchMetalManiac’s 2000+ readers?

We love interacting with our fans so hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and one of us will try to reply back within a day.

Haster Facebook
Haster Twitter

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Interview: Helfir


On June 30th, the solo project of Luca Mazzotta, Helfir will release its new album, called The Human Defeat. DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen already reviewed The Human Defeat here and you can now read his interview with Luca below.

Hi, thanks for allowing us to question you about you, Helfir and your new album. How are you doing?

Thanks to you! I'm fine, I enjoy success! LOL

It’s safe to say not many people have heard about you in Holland yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I hope my music will soon arrive in Holland! I'm a guitarist who after 22 years of career, decided to start doing it all by myself. I love playing the guitar, writing music, arranging songs and enclosing my thoughts and emotions in the music. It's all fun!

Helfir is a solo project, where and why did you learn to compose, program and play so many different instruments?

For so many years I studied guitar and music theory, but no one taught me to compose. Composition is something that is born from within us, it has no rules. For this reason I devoted time and patience to studying other instruments, but it was like a game. I closed in my studio and I wrote, but you have to listen to music so much also.

You have played in about a dozen other bands, yet you still felt the need to start Helfir. Can you explain to us why that is?

When you play in a band, every musician has its own space. Everyone can put what he likes in a song, but composing a song by myself and then playing what I have imagined is a different emotion, very strong and that makes me happy.

You state that Helfir represents your innermost essence. Judging by the musical style you play people could easily think you’re a melancholic, somber personality. How would you describe yourself and what is the influence of your personality and feelings on Helfir’s music?

In fact, I am a person who loves life, nature; I like to smile. HELFIR, on the other hand, tells the dark side of man, his anger, his fear, and that's why he seems melancholic. HELFIR is the dark side of Luca.

Congratulations with ‘The Human Defeat’, I think it’s a great album, a gem. What can you tell us about the creative process behind it? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Thank you! In life I am a researcher and I study the environment. In these years I have understood how the humanity is destroying its Earth. All this made me realize that this war is lost, the humanity is condemned to death. Humanity has only one true God who commands: the power and the money! From this scenario, the story of “The Human Defeat” is born.

Its title could be interpreted in various ways, all of which don’t seem too happy. Can you explain the title to us and the story behind the lyrics, if there is one to begin with?

In fact, I imagined the last days of Earth, told by a protagonist who, knowing all the evil that man has done in his story, he rushes against humanity, while nature resumes everything he lost.

It’s almost inevitable that ‘The Human Defeat’ will be compared to ‘Still Bleeding’ and I couldn’t help myself doing the exact same thing. The thing that struck me most is the heavier setting of your new album including some grunting. Was or is there a particular reason you chose this more heavy path and if so, what is it?

Experimentation is the basis of every form of art! The first album was more intimate, sometimes more delicate, talking about memories. In this new album, the sounds changed, I was much more careful in the choice of guitar and synth sounds. In "The Human Defeat" I speak of anger, about the end of humanity so I came spontaneously to have heavier sounds.

What type of music you enjoy playing and composing the most?

Within my capacity, I like to play all kinds of music but in particular the Celtic music, played with the acoustic guitar, is very emotional to me. When I make music instead, I need to travel with my mind, so I love moaning atmospheres and powerful sounds.

You have toured with Orphaned Land to promote your debut ‘Still Bleeding’, are there any plans on a tour for ‘The Human Defeat’ as well?

It may be, after the release of "The Human Defeat", I will start playing the new songs in the gigs, and I'll get to know my music, maybe with a new tour.

I assume it’s impossible to play all instruments by yourself when you’re playing live. What does Helfir’s line-up look like during a tour and where did you find your guest/gig/tour musicians?

No, I can play all in the same time! LOL

On tour, musician friends support me, for example in the acoustic line-up, there is a dear friend, Alessandro Mangione, who deals with all synthesizer sounds and programmable drums. For me the music must be friendship first.

Like I said earlier, not many Dutch metal and rock fans are familiar with you or Helfir. Do you have plans on trying to change that by, for example, touring here in the (near) future? Do you have touring plans at all?

About two years ago I was in Holland but for holiday! You have a beautiful country! I still do not know if I will make gigs in Holland but I hope my music comes, in some way, from you!

Considering all the bands you are currently active in, what is your vision regarding Helfir and its future?

The current music market and rock/metal scene is not great! There are few possibilities to play around, people buy a few discs, it has become very much “disposable”! There are too many useless talent-shows! HELFIR will continue to write songs, as did the old bands! I want to continue dreaming about true music!

Thanks once more for granting us this interviewing opportunity. Is there anything left you would like to share with our readers?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity! I would like to launch a message: take care of Earth, try to live in harmony with the nature and maybe even listening to good music! Stay rock!

Helfir Facebook

Review: Helfir - The Human Defeat


Helfir is the solo project of Italian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Luca Mazzotta, also known as frontman of the progressive death metal outfit Silvered. If that doesn’t ring a bell there’s a few more bands this man has participated in, about another dozen or so. Despite this Luca apparently never found enough space to fulfill all his musical wishes and dreams, because back in 2015 Luca decided to translate his innermost essence into music. This resulted in a dark, melancholic and at times ominous type of music, touching both rock and gothic metal fittingly called decadent noir metal in the style of heavyweights like Anathema and, more prominent, Antimatter. His debut called ‘Still Bleeding’ was an album of high quality and skill, which I enjoyed very much, even though arguably the influence of Antimatter was perhaps a bit too obvious at times. Now, two years later, his latest work is about to see the light of day, on June the 30th ‘The Human Defeat’ will be released. If anything I’m curious to hear if he has maintained the high standard of his previous release and whether and/or how he has grown and progressed into his decadent noir metal.

‘The Human Defeat’ offers a 50-minute musical journey spread over 10 songs and straightaway it becomes clear Helfir has definitely evolved since its debut. Opener ‘Time In Our Minds’ leaves no room for even the slightest doubt about this. At first the progression, or change if you will, isn’t all that obvious even though it has a heavy touch to it, but then out of the blue Luca bursts out in a grunt shattering every shadow of doubt you might still have. Being blessed with a widely ranged voice, allowing him to switch from emotional, sweet and soothing to aggressively harsh in a heartbeat, Luca manages to fully exploit the impact a weapon like this can have on a song. He weaves his vocal lines in the refined compositions that form the solid base of the songs on ‘The Human Defeat’. However, his vocal performance is not the only aspect of Helfir’s music that catches the ear, the music itself is of an equally high quality. Whether you focus on the guitar lines, the bass lines, the programmed drum section or the keyboard sections, it all feels equally solid and matches to the detail. There’s even room for a few guitar solos that, not surprising, are carefully composed and sculpted into the songs, giving, for example, ‘Tide’ and ‘Golden Tongue’ a great outro.

Luca obviously has put a lot of thought in how he wants the world to experience his essence, guiding you through an ever-changing landscape of atmospheres. The ray of hope that seems to radiate from the whispers of the otherwise sad ‘Light’, the unexpected burst of aggression that smacks you in the face in the death metal influenced ‘Mechanical God’, the burdening sorrow that emanates from the depressing ‘Chant d’automne’ (Autumn song, seemingly loosely based on the homonymous poem by Charles Beaudelaire), every song invokes a different atmosphere. This makes listening to this album an interesting adventure to say the least, one you’re not likely to forget soon.

It’s safe to say Luca and thus Helfir shows great progress with ‘The Human Defeat’. The fragility and tranquility, trademark of Helfir’s music on its first release, is still extensively present as it should be, but the scale unmistakably tips a bit more towards metal rather than towards rock on this release. The result is that the album is given a slightly more heavy feel to it, while staying true to the musical roots nevertheless. In my opinion that is a definite plus. Not only does Luca more or less cut himself loose from the at times too obvious connections to Antimatter and the likes, he also shows he is capable of composing songs in which originality is a contributing factor and on top of that he eliminates the risk of his songs and sound getting boring or cheesy. Of course the influence of the aforementioned bands remains, after all every song is influenced by other music to some extent, but it’s not as predominant anymore. All in all a very good release filled with an atmospheric, emotional and at times a bit rough-around-the-edges type of music that will remain part of my playlist for a long time I’m sure.

Written by Henric van Essen

You can also check our interview with Helfir here!

Helfir Facebook

Monday, June 12, 2017

Live review: Prismind at Rivoli Bar, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 8th, 2017


The ‘Hamilton Hammers’, (MY moniker) Prismind (pronounced Prism-MIND, not ‘Prizz-Mind’) rocked the Rivoli Bar concert section hard with classic cuts from their new record ‘Disciples By Design’.

Possibly self-robbed of a sound check because they were so approachable at their merch table and welcomed talking to any and all fans and partially, it seemed, the sound got way louder, way, WAY louder for the other headliner bands as the night continued, I thought they should have been the headliner with the onslaught of Deep Purple-like volumes. Still, the sound was clear and sharp and each instrument was killer.

Prismind needs more room to move, but any stage will have to do, even the small one in the concert section of the bar. The shattering chords of ‘Slaves To The Machine’ got everyone’s attention, especially mine, as it’s my favourite track; OK, so does the only guy wearing a suit look goofy, head-banging at the front of the speakers? No, no he does not; it’s not often I get to rock out in a tie!

The remainder of the songs from the CD, (OMG! AN ACTUAL JEWEL CASE WITH LINER NOTES! YEA! KEEPING IT REAL!), featured pulse-pounders like ‘Diamond Eye’ and the mighty, ‘Palace Of The Mighty And The High’ and metal-march feel ‘Pawns Of The Damned’ convinced everyone they are a metal force grounded by experience, solid playing and on stage sophistication. Respectful to the other bands on the bill, appreciative of their audience, they were a pleasure to see.

Justin and Mike hammered the rhythm to a ‘Machine’ – like drive tom-tommed with thundering love while Kelly astounded with that technical perfection that causes even the most rabid mosher to stop and look. John hollered into the night, with amazing vocal range and clarity, pleasing all ears with metal screams and memorable harmony.

The lights were blistering, even from an audience point of view, and I was more than pleased to see John and the gang working hard, sweating to the metal and giving their all. In this writer’s view, it’s not metal unless you’re sweating after about 15 seconds of play; this band was working!

Make sure to ask about their NEW poster soon available!

10/10 experience

Written by Alessandro

Read our review about Prismind's Disciples By Design here!

Prismind Official Website
Prismind Facebook
Prismind Twitter

Review: Loathfinder - The Great Tired Ones


Having formed just recently, Polish black/doom metal newcomers Loathfinder have started up in the guise of finding the most lethal forms of their sound together in one murky, lethargic tone that’s incredibly professional for their first effort. With the band finally able to go for a full-length first offering, the groups’ debut EP was originally self-released April 24, 2017 before a CD reissue four days later on Godz ov War Production.

From the start, this here is obviously a rather strong immersion into this particular brand of elements mixing together from these fields. Lead by an effort like “Genetic Gloom,” the majority of the album is basically sprawling sections with plodding tempo-arrangements that bring deep, swirling riff-work and plenty of long, drawn-out rhythms that offer quite a featured doom influence on the music. This prominence does tend to overwhelm here with the crawling, lurching tracks readily coming upon the more epic soundscapes present in these drawn-out sections that give this a lot of it’s staying power. Added together with efforts like the title track, there’s a grand, darkened filth-riddled atmosphere from the vocals that adds a grittiness and darkness which adds an incredibly appealing vibe with the material, adding a nice layer to the churning riffing by making it rather dirty and enhancing the plodding rhythms. Although that does make the tracks run into each other way too much which is to be expected due to the brevity of the release and the fact being this is a debut pressing from the band, neither of these issues really hold this back too much.

Not really featuring too many flaws in terms of the music and featuring plenty that can be overlooked anyway for a variety of factors, this is a strong and polished debut that offers a serious amount of quality material for any fan of blackened doom metal or likes the slower side of extreme metal. 8/10

Written by Don Anelli

Loathfinder Facebook

Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: Inexorable - Sea Of Dead Consciousness


Still fine-tuning their sound, German technical death metallers Inexorable have continued to explore the fine line between the churning complex patterns and eerie, dissonant chords that have been at the forefront of their sound from the beginning. Taking their brand to the darkest extremes possible, the bands’ third EP was released March 15, 2015 on Unholy Prophecies with a reissue January 31, 2017 on Godz ov War Productions.

As was the case with the bands’ other works, the emphasis here is decidedly akin to their previous works with plenty of the same overall feel throughout this one. Efforts like "I" and "III" show the preponderance of jangled, discordant riff-work that’s a strange mixture of angled, buzzing and generally avant-garde rhythms in complex technical passages which are so prominent that it’s quite a shock to see a vast majority of the album caked in the swampy, filth-riddled passages that are featured here. The bands’ rather epic nature of blending these elements into tight, swirling and extended passages work quite well throughout here as the vast majority of the work creates that clattering feel throughout here which tends to bury their technical prowess quite adeptly, and it becomes even more apparent with the multitude of cover tracks at the back end of this one. That really is the biggest problem here, in that the cover tracks are such faithful recreations in such distinctive genres and styles that this one really seems split into two distinct sections and styles here, with the first half being jangled and chaotic death metal while the second half is full of straightforward and pummeling black metal without much variation, and there’s a clear difference between the two such that it leaves this one feeling quite disorganized. Still, it’s not all that detrimental as the enjoyable tracks do have a great feel and vibe from them which evens it out a little more.

Despite not really offering up much of a point with the inclusion of the cover tracks at the back end due to their rather disorganized and jarring feel from the original material, the fact that there’s still so much to like here really makes for quite a strong and worthwhile release for fans of challenging material or their past works. 7.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

Inexorable Official Website
Inexorable Facebook

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: [In Mute] - Gea


[In Mute], a five-piece combination of Steffi (vocals), Mike, Cristobal (both guitar), Pedro (bass) and Adrián (drums), comes from Valencia, Spain. After being formed in 2003, they released their debut album Aeternum in 2006 and an EP called One In A Million a while later. In 2014, these Spanish metallers took part in the Wacken Open Air metal battle and they had much success, after all they got the best results and won! Now, since 24th of March, their new album is released, it's called Gea.

Gea starts with an intro called We Die Together, with such a title you wouldn't expect a relaxed, symphonic intro, but it definitely is. If you expect symphonic/epic music after listening We Die Together, than you're in for a big surprise. Because after the intro, starting with Gea's Defense - Disease, all energy [In Mute] had in them will come out, and I can ensure you, that's a lot of energy. Now that the energy starts to come out, the raging part of Gea can begin. I say the raging "part", but that's almost the whole album after the intro, except a few, very short, moments of rest.

The music [In Mute] creates is very powerful and heavy, you could even call it raging, but also very melodic and even progressive. A lot of tempo/rhythm changes, with a very powerful, solid rhythm section taking good care of it, a few nice guitar solos and the intense growls of powerful front-woman Steffi, which you almost feel coming at you, makes Gea a really powerful, progressive melodic death metal album.

These people are very talented and this band can surely grow into a very popular band. That's something they prove with Gea and I surely recommend you to check this great album! Great job [In Mute]!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

[In Mute] Facebook
[In Mute] Twitter

Monday, June 5, 2017

Promoting Bands Part 9



Hey metalheads,

Here is the next part of Promoting Bands for you!

You can check earlier parts here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

As always, when you want to be featured in Promoting Bands: don't hesistate to send us an email or message on Facebook or Twitter.

Enjoy! \m/

Tim van Velthuysen

1. Ecocide


Ecocide, the Dutch oldschool death metal band, is back! Formed in 2012, they released an demo and one full-length, until they decided to split up in 2015. In January this year, they already announced their return and now they have released a new single. It's called The Godhand and you can listen to it below. Nice job, guys!



Ecocide Facebook
Ecocide Bandcamp

2. Final Cut


Final Cut comes from Switzerland and they call the style they're playing Violent Blues Thrash. Violent Blues Thrash, you probably wonder what that means. I understand and when you've watched their video for Generation Y below, especially after 1:49, you probably understand what they mean with Violent Blues Thrash. I can tell you, that term fits perfect and they play it very nicely!



Final Cut Official Website
Final Cut Facebook

3. Offerblok


Second Dutch band for now is Offerblok with their psychedelic post metal. After releasing an EP in 2014 and an full-length in 2015, they have now, since April 21, 2017, released their second album called A Sun Deceased. Be sure to check this band and their new album out, you can listen to A Sun Deceased below.



Offerblok Facebook
Offerblok Bandcamp

4. Anthology


Coming from Slovakia, Anthology's musical style is symphonic metal. After Exitus (2011) and The Prophecy (2014) they released their third full-length, called Angel's Revenge, in 2016. In my opinion, Raylyn (vocals), Majo, Miro (both guitars), Peter (drums) and Martin (keyboards) did a great job on Angel's Revenge. Recently they made a video of a song from Angel's Revenge, called Last Weep, watch it below and be amazed!



Anthology Official Website
Anthology Facebook
Anthology Twitter

5. Vuur


Not long ago, at the end of March, I already mentioned Vuur in Part 6 of Promoting Bands. For those who don't remember, it's the new band of Anneke van Giersbergen, in which she let us see her metal-side again. At that moment there wasn't any official music ready, but that's different now. They just released their first single, called Days Go By - London, and I am already looking forward to hearing more of Vuur, nice job!



Vuur Official Website
Vuur Facebook
Vuur Twitter

6. Heretoir


Coming from Germany, Heretoir combines black metal with shoegaze. It's heavy, emotional, melancholic and atmospheric all combined. On their latest full-length The Circle (listen below), released in March this year, you can already hear that they know how to play this kind of music, and know how to get the perfect feeling in the music. I was curious how they would bring this live, so on May 20th I went to their show, when they were in Merleyn, Nijmegen together with Ghost Bath. They played their show very nicely and the ambiance was really intense, only thing to complain was their set being a bit short, but that probably wasn't their decision.



Heretoir Facebook
Heretoir Bandcamp

7. Hallatar


Last year, the debut album of Trees Of Eternity, Hour Of The Nightingale, was released. Tragically, soon after the record was released, their vocalist Aleah Liane Starbridge passed away. Now, in a new band called Hallatar, her partner Juha Raivio (who also plays guitar in Trees Of Eternity and Swallow The Sun), Tomi Joutsen (vocalist of Amorphis) and Gas Lipstick (former drummer of HIM), they honour Aleah. While you have to wait to hear their debut album until October 13th, they recently made an video to their first available track, called Mirrors, watch it below!



Hallatar Facebook

8. Dig Me No Grave


Dig Me No Grave hails from Russia and in June they will release their latest effort, called Immemorial Curse. Now these death metallers already released a track of Immemorial Curse, titled Monument To Violence, which you can hear below. Be prepared to be blown away!



Dig Me No Grave Facebook
Dig Me No Grave Bandcamp

9. Videmur


Videmur are two men playing atmospheric black metal. This year they will release their new album called Through Endless Fields Of Grey. Below you can already listen to their second released single of Through Endless Fields Of Grey, called Frost, hope you like it as much as I do!



Videmur Facebook
Videmur Bandcamp

10. Urban War


A while ago, I already mentioned these metallers from Portugal in Part 2 of Promoting Bands. At that moment their latest release was Reborn, and I was immediately blown away by that great album. Now, they have another album released, it's called Flesh Upon The Feelings. Below you can check out their video, coming from Flesh Upon The Feelings, the track is called Trapped Mind. Nice!



Urban War Facebook

Review: Alestorm - No Grave But The Sea


The mighty pirate metallers from Alestorm hail again from Scotland with their newest release, called “No Grave But The Sea”, which was released on 26th of May. Let’s give it a spin!

As expected, the lyrics evolve around pirates, booze and broads, so nothing new from that side – and also the hallmark sound is preserved throughout the entire album. We jump right in with the title track, a very folksy track that instantly grips you. Next up is one of the already released singles, namely “Mexico” – yes, the one with the cool 8-bit game music intro and the “lucky donkey with the great ass” starring in the video (check the Facebook comment for more info on the donkey ;)). Definitely an earworm that’ll be stuck with you for days to come! Folk tunes, but less towards a party hit, await you in “To The End Of The World”. Next up is the second single, “Alestorm” – a bit heavier, but a lot of fun to listen to as well. The guys can still write really silly songs as well though, like for instance “Fucked With An Anchor”, the album’s sixth track. Also noteworthy is the eighth track and my personal favorite, “Man The Pumps”. This one goes more in the direction of a ballad, even though being played at midtempo with folksy elements. Check it out, it’s worth it! The album closes off after ten tracks with “Treasure Island”, a classic Alestorm song.

In conclusion: Alestorm stay close to their trademark sound and spot-on on the known topics, but also introduce a new layer of folk that is not present, or at least not to that extend, on previous releases. So while there’s little innovation, Alestorm are entertaining as always and will put you in a good mood, sometimes with silliness like e.g. “Fucked With An Anchor”, or the versions “for dogs” on the deluxe edition (check Spotify for that! ;)) – check it out for yourself! 9/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Alestorm Official Website
Alestorm Facebook
Alestorm Twitter

Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: Prismind - Disciples By Design


With 80 some odd years of experience between these apt, able and astute musicians, I don’t even know what I’m doing here. I have at least 40 years on this planet of notable experience in being a fan, spending hard earned money buying pre formed plastic that contains “grooves” and that’s about it; these lads have written part of the book of “Encyclopedia Rockicka”.

11/10. There. I’m done with this review.

Possibly one of the most astounding albums I’ve heard this year, combined with strength and a societal soul lacking in most humans, this record needs to be shelved everywhere, in all homes as a substitute for The Internet, perhaps as the new Encyclopedia Rockicka, recording musical talent and knowledge in one volume.

As most every song hyper-extends the current state of the human condition and the lyrical quality mirrors that of greats such as Rush, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Annihilator, (well what did you expect) Blue Oyster Cult and many other lyrical talents, I cannot have a favourite song.

Actually ‘Slaves to the Machine’ is my favourite! Listen to the words, we’re there people. …”THE RAIN IS NOW THE POISON IN OUR MINDS” Yes! Great song and we do NOT have time to reconsider. If only wisdom, love and being a good person could come to us via osmosis. If you don’t listen to politicians listen to Prismind, they can educate you. I wouldn’t listen to rock stars, politicians or actors, normally but these lads have transcended conventional knowledge through a distinct blend of society, creative content and deep insight.

Of note is ‘Last Breath’ which exhaustingly sounds like what it might be like; a frenzied attack on your system and is sure to hammer the body when heard live. The frenetic drumbeats and highly intricate arrangement is reminiscent of early Yes and Metallica, superbly balanced all through.

Each song rocks equally, with frenetic beats, face-melter riffs and intricate arrangements. Beautiful musicianship and the heavy riffing at the outset of ‘Palace of the Mighty and the High’ pounds nicely and the sweeping full strums are a breath of fresh music.

Masterfully produced with crisp, sharp sound and all elements equally balanced, this is an absolute must for any prog-rock/metal aficionado’s collection.

Again 11/10 easy…and there will be more favourites from this album to come!

Written by Alessandro

Prismind Official Website
Prismind Facebook
Prismind Twitter

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: The Vomiting Dinosaurs - Exoplanets


The Vomiting Dinosaurs hail from Richmond, Virginia, with their latest EP entitled “Exoplanets”, which was released on 6th of January. “Exoplanets” kicks off with the instrumental, atmospheric “Earth”, before unleashing its brutal, kickass sound with second track “Circumbinary”. There’s a lot of power in the song structure, with the tracks being rather short, the riffs very fast and intense and the vocals on the more aggressive side. The production is very raw, enhancing the brutal sound of the record – very awesome, death metal at its finest! While The Vomiting Dinosaurs have found their sound, the tracks themselves are never quite alike, making the whole EP still quite diverse and therefore a joy to listen to. That is also achieved by throwing in an instrumental interlude more or less in the middle of the record (“Ganymede”), where we can take a breath before brutality kicks in again for the final tracks.

In conclusion: “Exoplanets” is a great EP that is just the right length and just the right amount of brutality, yet diversity, to satisfy any fan of the Death Metal genre. I am looking forward to hearing more of these guys in the future – in the meantime, listen to their EP! 10/10

Written by Julia Obenauer

The Vomiting Dinosaurs Facebook