Reviews

Delain: April Rain

The vocals are perfect. They always match the music dead on. Unlike most female goth metal, Charlotte Wessels does not sound over dramatic. Her performance grabs the listener and does not let go until the album’s completion. However, this album does not strictly rely on vocals like most female-fronted goth metal acts; it also gives the listener a good dose of instrumental sections as well.

Artillery: When Death Comes

Reunion albums are bloody scary things. You never know exactly what you are going to get, will it be a masterpiece or something that you wished never happened? More often than not, it’s the latter that rings true but in this case I am proud to report that the return of Artillery with a new studio platter is a delightful surprise that will not only fulfill the wishes of veteran fans, but should also pick the band up an new army of devoted thrashers more than ready to help further the cause.

Augury: Fragmentary Evidence

Montreal’s Augury is describable as Canadian Progressive Death Metal. This band manages to keep the listener’s interest throughout the whole album delivering fresh melodic tunes on their second full length cd Fragmentary Evidence.

Deathstars: Night Electric Night

Night Electric Night is the third album from Swedish industrial band Deathstars. While there isn’t anything that really stands out to get the listener’s attention, there also isn’t anything particularly horrific about this album.

Hammers Of Misfortune, Ludicra, Crux Of Aux, Slaughter Strike @ Casbah, Hamilton ON, August 8, 2009

Truth be told, it has been a pretty shitty summer weather-wise here in Southern Ontario so far. Instead of our usual hot, humid summers it has been the kind where you can count the truly sticky days on one hand. This Saturday was another drab, dreary one here in the Hammer, with rain coming and going all day making for a generally blah day. Thankfully, the evening’s entertainment inside at the Casbah did more than make up for the crappy weather outside. In comparison, the four bands that played the venerable King Street West venue left those in attendance positively steamy.

Firebird: Grand Union

While extreme metal fans worldwide continue to wish like hell that 2008’s Carcass reunion tour would turn into something more permanent, Bill Steer’s musical passion has led him down a very different road, the guitarist eschewing death metal for some good, old-fashioned heavy blues rock with his trio Firebird.

Keelhaul: Keelhaul’s Triumphant Return to Obscurity

Perhaps because their last release, Subject to Change Without Notice was released six years ago, coupled with the music industry’s short-term memory loss – not really anyone’s fault, as a plethora of albums are released every week – the understated brilliance of the Cleveland, Ohio quartet has largely gone unnoticed.

Augury: Fragmentary Evidence

From the opening explosion sound effect, the Montreal band launch into a slew of technical death metal tracks with a definite black metal influence. Deep growled vocals that rise into high-pitched shrieks accompany some precision guitar playing, but things rarely stay in one particular groove for long.

Church Of Misery: Houses Of The Unholy

What separates Houses of the Unholy is the band’s penchant for psychedelic melodies and harmonies, not to mention that all lyrical themes are about serial killers. Church of Misery is an extremely heavy doom band, that varies from slow and melancholy to fast and crunchy more often than you’d expect.