Reviews – Audio

Death Angel: Sonic German Beatdown CD

Upon first listen, you might think this fifteen track offering is one of the greatest live albums of all time; it’s definitely one of the best to see release this year. This CD is what Death Angel is all about: heavy, thrashy, tight live playing that is highlighted by great guitar work.

Ahab: The Divinity Of Oceans

Doom purists may be put off by some of the softer more melodic fare on here but I find Ahab’s diversity refreshing and adventurous in what can sometimes be a rather monochromatic genre. Like waves that swell and then recede, Ahab seems to have adopted a similar approach to their song craft and for the most part it works admirably.

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.

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.