Reviews – Audio

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.

Sinister: Cross The Styx

Sinister wrote guitar riffs that were choppy and contained that classic old school death metal sound, but the band also could inject the speed to up their attack to an almost grindcore style. Mike Van Mastrigt’s vocals were very low and guttural for that time and I’m sure influenced a lot of the bands soon to follow.

Destroyer 666: Defiance

The blasting, ferocious drumming, growling vocals and classic old school death metal riffs pierced by the occasional tormented lead breaks, all of the sheer violence with thrashing power and a good dose of chaotic melody where needed makes this an essential album.

Forest Stream: The Crown Of Winter

Russia’s Forest Stream have released their second full-length album after their almost fifteen years of existence, and the end result is a collection of songs that really work in all their multiple elements and many potential influences.

OSI: Blood

For the uninitiated, OSI is a prog rock/metal side project band featuring Jim Matheos of Fates Warning and Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater). Their latest release Blood sees this project going forwards into a very modern prog rock/metal sound. It is a very compact sound that relies on the constant simple riffing of Matheos, underscored by Moore’s trippy keyboards.

Xerath: I

England-based Xerath have released their first full-length album on Candlelight Records, and its an interesting wedding of groove metal with orchestral bombast. Right from the get-go I invokes the kind of Hollywood film scores reserved for bloated big budget science-fiction and post-apocalyptic films, as if a metal band had been asked to score a film by Roland Emmerich or Steven Spielberg.