Reviews – Audio

Skyclad: In The…All Together

In The…All Together, although not quite as catchy as Semblance, is much more of a metal album and could have easily fit into their catalog amongst any of their 90’s albums. The majority of Skyclad’s signature sound from its genre defining beginnings is present: speedy, almost thrash riffing, with violin on top leading the way, and play-on-words, tongue in cheek lyrics to accompany the music.

Ophthalamia: A Journey in Darkness (reissue)

A Journey in Darkness is a truly singular work within the realm of Swedish metal. There really is nothing else like it. Recorded in 1993 at Unisound Studios, the pseudonymically-inclined all-star lineup consisted of It (aka. Tony Särkkä of Abruptum and Vondur), Mourning (aka. Robert Ivarsson of Pan Thy Monium), Winter (aka. Benny Larsson of Edge of Sanity and Pan Thy Monium) and, most famously, Shadow (aka. Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection).

Tate Bengston reviews the new Peaceville reissue of this long lost Swedish metal classic.

Drudkh: Microcosmos

Microcosmos is Drudkh’s first album for Season of Mist, but it carries no compromises for a potentially larger audience – Drudkh remains rewarding but also difficult. Their newest record is sophistication without veneer, a visceral and kaleidoscopic brew.

Impiety: Terroreign

An unconventional way to combine black, death and thrash metal into one, Singapore’s Impiety deliver a merciless fist in the face with their latest release. Impiety prove that they are the self proclaimed ‘Asian Elite Satanic Majesty’ with their combative musical style.

Ross The Boss: New Metal Leader

I haven’t listened to Manowar since I was about fifteen but from the first listen, I remembered what a kick-ass guitarist Ross the Boss is. His razor-sharp NWOBHM-era riffs, especially on “Death and Glory” have that classic Judas Priest Defender of the Faith-sound, and the songs are generally punchy but tight.

Sinner: Judgement Day/The Nature of Evil/There Will Be Execution

Over time, Sinner has evolved from a cheesy hard rock band into a more serious power metal band into a repository for ideas that would not fit on a Primal Fear album. Of the three albums considered here, Judgement Day marks the transition from the first to the second stage while the remaining two albums are embedded in the “serious power metal” stage.

Bloody Panda: Summon

Summon is the latest from New York sludge doom band Bloody Panda, and it is hardly easy-listening material even by metal standards. It’s an album that is largely about the atmosphere it creates, and it doesn’t waste any time in getting to it.