Reviews – Audio

Delain: April Rain

This is huge sounding, well done goth metal in the vein of Within Temptation – which is no wonder as so may ex members occupy the band. I believe this dutch outfit has reached the top tier of this style with this release.

Voivod: Infini

What a gift Denis D’Amour has left us. When the guitarist affectionately known as “Piggy” was diagnosed with cancer, he could have easily rested on his laurels, with every reason to be immensely proud of the 20-odd years of music he created as a member of Voivod. Instead, he dove straight into his art during his final months, writing songs, arranging music with his bandmates, and recording guitar tracks in a burst of creativity that we could only wish to experience when we’re healthy.

Tim “Ripper” Owens: Play My Game

Play My Game comes across as a series of tracks inspired by Judas Priest’s Demolition and Beyond Fear’s eponymous debut, with the occasional nod to Dio. This should come as no surprise, given that two of the songs were Ripper-penned tunes which were originally rejected by Priest.

Ex Deo: Romulus

Brutal, crushing, epic metal to the march of Roman legions! With their debut Romulus, Ex Deo establishes a unique middle ground between the fierce brutality of Kataklysm and the storming pagan metal of Blackguard, Moonsorrow and Tyr.

UFO: The Visitor

UFO have now been in business in one form or another for forty years and The Visitor is UFO’s 20th studio album. Unfortunately however, this album is nothing like the classic UFO albums Lights Out, Obsession or No Heavy Petting.

Slough Feg: Ape Uprising!

We’ve seen a lot of goofy gimmicks in metal, and monkey metal has to be a first, but if there ever was a band that could convincingly serve up a concept album based on the blatantly Hestonian notion of apes conquering the world and wiping out mankind in the process, it’s Slough Feg.

The Lord Weird Slough Feg: The Slay Stack Grows

If spending over two hours with the ‘Feg is your idea of a good time, you’re gonna love this! The Slay Stack Grows is a two-disc set featuring the band’s initial “White Tape” demo from 1990, along with their 1994 demo tape, four live performances and a German radio interview.

Samael: Above

Samael’s Above is an album that comes and goes very quickly, but while it hangs around it pounds those who hear it with a relentless return to form. Said to be a “tribute” to the Swiss band’s past, this new effort leaves behind the more melodic and organized sound of their previous album, Solar Soul, in exchange for an all-out torrent of black metal/industrial metal that rarely leaves any space to catch one’s breath.

Minsk: With Echoes In The Movement Of Stone

Interwoven through all of Minsk’s albums are underlying themes of survival, perseverance and a triumph over physical, societal and /or personal challenges, but instead of a Rollins-style “DIY or you’re a pussy” self-help ethos, Minsk provides an introspective narrative that investigates the feelings of frustration, loss, and perhaps finally, redemption.