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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Septicflesh - Codex Omega


Greek death metallers Septicflesh have been around for quite some time, since 1990 to be precise. Since then, the guys have released many albums, like my personal favorite Communion in 2008, while the current one is their tenth studio album. It’s entitled Codex Omega and was released on the 1st of September. Let’s give it a spin!

Dantes Inferno starts off rather softly with guitars and an orchestra, before tuning into a more bombastic track. Septicflesh are known not to shy away from dramatic music, and that’s exactly what you get here before the song ends with a mellow outro accompanied by a choir. What a start! Third Testament is a more straight-in-your-face death metal song, before another ominous, gloomily starting track awaits with Portrait, which then turns into another very big, orchestra-loaded song accompanied by epic growls. Its outro is as ominous as the intro. The remaining tracks follow that recipe as well, all while being little pieces of art in themselves. In general, Septicflesh once again draw the listener in and gives you a feeling of being in an opera rather than merely listening to a death metal record.

In conclusion: Codex Omega is a typical Septicflesh album regarding the composition and sound of the tracks. While the Greeks stick to their trademark sound, the record itself once again has enough little twists and turns to keep the listener engaged until the very end. Codex Omega thus comes highly recommended and will surely stick with me for some time. 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Check our live review about Septicflesh's gig together with Kataklysm and Aborted here.

Septicflesh Official Website
Septicflesh Facebook
Septicflesh Twitter

Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: Thy Art Is Murder - Dear Desolation


The Australian death metal machine returns with the follow-up to 2015’s critically acclaimed Holy War. Thy Art Is Murder’s new effort is called Dear Desolation and it is definitely end-of-the-year-list material.

Following the succes of Holy War and a tumulteous year for TAIM they apparently went soul searching for this record. I’m sure some of these statements have made it to the studio.

- What do we want to sound like?
- Who are our influences?
- What do our fans want to hear from TAIM?

I feel like they have taken all of those things very seriously. They found their own sound on Dear Desolation by taking all of their albums and blend them succesfully together with some renewed death metal energy.

I could fill my whole review with things like, wow, it’s amazing their vocalist CJ McMahon returned to the band and debating if TAIM is deathcore or death metal. Fact is, who cares?! Of course elitist snobs will be cry babies about breakdowns on the album (which are excellent for that matter).

TAIM have grown into their own way and sound and they sound heavier than ever. CJ’s vocals have improved, there are more actual guitar riffs instead of a constant chugfest. Even well placed solo’s are in the mix which make the songs sound more sinister. What caught my attention for sure is the drumming on this album. It is phenomenal. Lee Stanton is a fucking BEAST. I’ve listened to quite some death and black metal and I can honestly say that I haven’t seen or heard anyone play that fast in a way that it doesn’t sound dense. Their sound is inhaling life and exhaling death and destruction.

When you listen a lot to Behemoth and (older) Decapitated and you fuse it with Thy Art Is Murder you get an end product called Dear Desolation. I’m inclined to say that this is one of the best death metal albums coming out this year. Whilst I am definitely aware of Decrepit Birth’s new album and Decapitated’s new album this album stands tall among the giants.

Thy Art Is Murder is finally on to their sound. I would say, evolve further from this, perfect your sound and in 1 or 2 albums Thy Art Is Murder will be at the top ranks of death metal with a stand-alone style which is not afraid to innovate without damaging their heritage.

9/10

Written by Joost van der Leij

Thy Art Is Murder Official Website
Thy Art Is Murder Facebook
Thy Art Is Murder Twitter

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: Project Renegade - Cerebra


Recently vocalist Marianna and drummer Ody formed their new band, Project Renegade. Soon after that, guitarist Tasos and bassist Makis were added to the lineup. So, Project Renegade from Athens, Greece was complete and ready to go. In March, their debut EP titled Cerebra was released, which contains 3 tracks with a total length of almost 19 minutes. At this moment, Project Renegade is already working on their debut full-length, but for now it is Cerebra.

Project Renegade plays their metal in a modern, challenging way. The instrumental part sounds very promising. It's clearly audible and sounds really heavy. You can hear that Ody, Tasos and Makis play very solid and has a lot of variations in the music, which makes it clear they are musicians who know how to handle their instrument. Especially the drumming from Ody stands out, for example during the second track Natural Born Killer, where his drums almost sound tribal-like. Marianna's beautiful vocals are added to these heavy instrumentals, her voice is clean and can almost be called catchy. All of this is completed by some added electronical elements, but not in a bad way.

What makes Cerebra complete is the combination of Marianna's beautiful, clean vocals and the heavy instrumentals. It strengthens each other and keeps all in balance.

Project Renegade delivers a really strong EP, full of challenging, modern metal, especially considering it being a debut EP. If these Greek metallers can hold this to their debut full-length, Project Renegade can't fail. So, do you dig heavy, varying metal with beautiful female vocals? Be sure to listen to Cerebra by Project Renegade! Before you know it, you are waiting for their debut full-length, just as I am.

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: Order - Lex Amentiae


When speaking of black metal from Norway, of course Mayhem comes to mind. However, there is a lot more good stuff to hear in this scene. For example, Order, the band in which former Mayhem members Manheim (drums) and Messiah (vocals) join each other accompanied by guitarist Anders Odden (Cadaver) and bassist Stu Manx (Gluciefer). Stu Manx joined Order later, earlier René Jansen took care of bass duties, but sadly he died of leukemia in December 2014.

Order was formed in 2013 and their debut, titled Lex Amentiae, is released in July via Listenable Records.

The moment Lex Amentiae starts, the dark atmosphere is immediately getting your attention. Instrumentally it sounds almost ritualistic and it takes you in its grip for the upcoming 50 minutes. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and imagine you are in the dark Norwegian woods, Order will get you in this trance a dark, hellish trance, extra strengthened by the misanthropic, hellish vocals of Messiah. The vocals of this man are really miraculous, from intense screams, loud shouts to horrific growls. From the third track, Torquemada, instrumentally it gets more challenging and at the seventh track Folly Grandeur's end Anders Odden picks his moment to show his guitar skills in a nice solo.

These four guys from Order show they are a valuable part of the Norwegian black metal scene and they deliver a really strong debut with Lex Amentiae. Hopefully, they can hold this for their next albums, to which I already look forward. So, be sure to check Lex Amentiae by Order!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Order Facebook

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Promoting Bands Part 13



Hey metalheads \m/

Got a new part of Promoting Bands for you, hope you enjoyed the earlier parts!
If you haven't checked those, be sure to do so at the following links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

And remember: be sure to send us an email, Facebook or Twitter message if you want to be featured in the next part of Promoting Bands!

Enjoy!

Tim van Velthuysen

1. Prismind


We already reviewed their debut album Disciples By Design here, made a live review about one of their gigs here and interviewed them here. Of course, I am talking about Prismind! Recently, they released a video for Our Broken Fate, coming from Disciples By Design, you can check that video below. This is a band that is worth checking out for sure!



Prismind Official Website
Prismind Facebook
Prismind Twitter

2. Royal Jake


Three Belgian guys, Arjen van Acker, Kjell de Raes and Peter de Bondt, together they are the metalcore band Royal Jake. In November last year we already reviewed their EP Retaliate/The Answer, which you can check here. Now, they just released a video for the titletrack of that EP, it is below if you want to check it. Great job guys!



Royal Jake Facebook

3. Vetrar Draugurinn


In this part of Promoting Bands we have three Dutch bands for you. The first one is Vetrar Draugurinn, which is Icelandic for The Winter Ghosts. Vetrar Draugurinn is the band of former Stream Of Passion guitarist Eric Hazebroek, Autumn vocalist Marjan Welman, former All For Nothing drummer Jim van de Kerkhof who are recently joined by former Acrid bassist Arjan Heijden and Ancient Rites guitarist Thomas Cochrane. At this moment they only released one EP, titled I (One), which you can listen to below, but they are currently working on their debut full-length. So, be sure to follow Vetrar Draugurinn and get siked for their upcoming album!



Vetrar Draugurinn Official Website
Vetrar Draugurinn Facebook
Vetrar Draugurinn Twitter

4. Savage Messiah


Savage Messiah, coming from the UK, already made three great albums. The Fateful Dark is their latest full-length to date, but more Savage Messiah material is on its way! In October they will release Hands Of Fate, their new effort! Below is the video of the title track for you to check out. I already interviewed Savage Messiah a while ago, when DutchMetalManiac was only 2 months old. Check my interview with them here.



Savage Messiah Official Website
Savage Messiah Facebook
Savage Messiah Twitter

5. Tsar Stangra


Bulgarian black metallers Tsar Stangra formed in 2007, now in 2017 they celebrate their ten-year existence with their full-length debut. Небесният ковач, as it is titled, was released in May. Небесният ковач is an album full of great atmospheric black metal combined with some Bulgarian folk elements, a very nice combination which is also very well executed. The video of Небесният ковач's titletrack can be seen below!



Tsar Stangra Facebook

6. WildHeart


Now, it's time for the second Dutch band in here. I already mentioned another project from the mastermind behind WildHeart, John B. Jones, earlier. In part 7 of Promoting Bands I mentioned his Wheezy John B. project, read it here. Now, he is back! His fourth release of 2017 is with his WildHeart project and is called The WildHeart EP. You can listen to this extremely heavy EP below and be sure to follow him if you dig it!



WildHeart Facebook

7. From North


Dig folk metal? This next band is for you! The Swedish metallers From North recently dropped their their self-titled debut album and it's great folk metal. Below you can watch their videoclip for the titletrack. These folk metallers sound like they can be the next folk metal sensation and can easily be mentioned alongside Ensiferum and Korpiklaani.



From North Official Website
From North Facebook
From North Twitter

8. Dopethrone


Wow, this is heavy as fuck! After their four full-lengths (Demonsmoke, Dark Foil, III and Hochelaga) and their split with fellow sludgers Fister they released their latest effort, an EP called 1312, in August last year. If you dig sludge, heavy doom, stoner or anything relatable you have to check Dopethrone. It's an amazing band and if you dig 1312, which you can listen to below, I surely recommend you to check their other releases too!



Dopethrone Facebook

9. Acrid


Next is the third, and last, Dutch band for now. It's about Acrid, five guys from The Hague whose latest effort is an EP released in 2014. Below you can watch their recently uploaded lyric video for Afterburner, which is a track from that 2014 EP. However, Acrid is working on new music which is planned for release in early 2018. So for now, enjoy Afterburner, and if you dig it be sure to check their other material as well and get siked for their early 2018 release!



Acrid Facebook
Acrid Twitter

10. Isolated Antagonist


Latest band in this part of Promoting Bands is the band of Nate Exx Gradowski and Glen Mitchell. Together they are the sci-fi metallers from the USA, Isolated Antagonist! Since they formed in 2014, they already released two full-lengths, The Isolated And The Antagonist (2015) and Affirmation Of Entropy (2016), and an EP, Engineered Audio Hallucinations (2015). In August they dropped a new track, called Binary Decisions, which you can listen to below. It's a great track in which Christian Olde Wolbers takes care of bass duties, besides Nate and Glen.



Isolated Antagonist Facebook
Isolated Antagonist Twitter

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: Selbst - Selbst


From the opening strums, Of Solitary Ramblings, I am finding a solid like of this so called “black/death metal” genre. This 2-person ‘group’ (I still can’t fathom this, but ‘da hell with it) hailing from Chile, via Venezuela does a damnable fine job at presenting this material.

Intricate guitars and playing make this malevolent maelstrom of utter despair and voidness of hope…nice. Even Visions Of Mankind Withering crank out a ferocious tempo that makes the end of the world seem like a Saturday afternoon cartoon review. Hammering, soulful wilting guitars are the backbone of this one and it’s actually easy listening at over six minutes.

Another 9+ minute opus, Instrument Of My Own Destruction is alright in title, but seems to lose it for me amidst the steady stream of strumming and grunge-overtones.

Wandering through grief as I hear Wandering Through Grief, I’m reminded of a dark, plodding walk I had in a torrential downpour the other week and had this machine gun fire guitar and helpless sounding vox been playing that night, I would’ve been happy. Easily my favourite, this reeks of soulless rapture and true, hardcore death metal. Outstanding!

Despised And Forgotten…not forgotten! Excellent tune, good drums and chorus changes and well deserved of the title! Ha!

Finally, loosely translated as Neat Skullcap (love it! Only in death metal can you get this stuff), Nefasto Calvario is a dim, dark, death ridden drop of constant strumming and some barely audible drums. A vox n’ vigour piece, it’s not hard to listen to, even at 7+ minutes.

Quite good!

8/10

Written by Alessandro

Selbst Official Website
Selbst Facebook

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Crafteon - Cosmic Reawakening


A neat group hailing from Denver, Colorado, the band here introduced as Lord Mordiggian (Guitar/Vocals), Fthaggua (Lead Guitar), Ithaqua (Bass) and Rhagorthua (Drums), present an interesting take on the works of H.P. Lovecraft (hence the bands’ name), apparently and masterfully written near verbatim and set to some drudging, death enveloping music.

Being born on a full moon, I immediately went to What The Moon Brings to see…what it would bring. An excellent beam of powerful vox and nicely balanced music set in a dark netherworld, that’s what! An outstanding piece that is sure to please any metaller, death, black or otherwise.

Setting the tone for me for the rest of the album, I listened at a lower-than-11 volume for the neighbors’ sakes and found the right vibe for this lively yet brooding, dark yet full of light disc.

Some pleasant Rush-ish (!) strums in the first 00:25 of Dagon and the song took off with some massive riffing at the 3:33 mark. Great stuff here!

Skillfully navigating the pages of H.P. Lovecraft is no easy feat and even more so, setting these pieces to music of your own doing. Lord Mordiggian does a superb job and one will need liner notes (yea!) to follow the lyrics and make good sense of them.

The music stands on its own and is masterfully done by the current troupe. There is very intricate playing and changes to suit the splayed writing of Lovecraft (in this view). Fashionable attire and a cool, unified, foreboding look also helps sell this feature presentation!

Of course, check out their Bandcamp and FB for more information, but listen and buy the music first!

9/10

Written by Alessandro

Crafteon Facebook