As opposed to the combination of muscle and nuance that Eluveitie excels at live, Amon Amarth is always strictly about brute force. No frills at all, just five guys taking the stage and hammering out an hour and a half’s worth of rousing tunes. Led by the gregarious, downright jolly Johan Hegg, the band hunkered down and regaled the hot, sweaty crowd with a considerably longer set than their first North American tour, which was certainly a nice touch.
The music world is filled with similar smoke and mirrors acts. We’re told over and over and over again that so-and-so’s new album is the one that’ll re-define the genre. How many times have you heard in the last couple years that this-and-that’s “stunning” comeback album is “highly anticipated” and their best yet? Better than Bonded by Blood? Not bloody likely! The lies haven’t stop piling up since the music industry released its ad campaign for Elvis’ second record and this month’s Rimshots lifts the veil, cuts through the crap and saves you some money and/or hard drive space.
With a sound strongly reminiscent of Emperor’s Wrath of the Tyrant and low-fi musicianship of the early black metal scene, Pestilential Shadows prove that their third full-length release is a reasonable listen.
While there’s no lack of unbridled aggression and combative, malicious intent, the prevailing aura is one of a band intent on reiterating their adoration for the likes of Deicide, Hate Eternal and a few of the more obvious homeland death metal acts such as Entombed et al.
Returning from the late-90s to capitalize on the continuing bear hug the metal world given to every thrash band that ever existed in the 80s is Whiplash. The difference being that for a short while back in 1985-86, Whiplash fucking ruled – well, fucking ruled my world, at the very least.
For me, anything that Massacre/Denial Fiend vocalist Kam Lee is involved with gets me excited and I am very happy to report that this new Bone Gnawer project is no exception. In fact, it is possibly some of his finest work.
With the rise of the blackened death metal sound, this record is a pleasant surprise. These Swedes make it evident that their creativity as a whole was expressed with much ease.
Forget concept albums…..have you heard of concept bands? Sweden’s Axis Powers (whom I assume took their name from the military alliance of countries that formed in 1940….Hitler-run Germany being one of the strongest members….which if correct doesn’t sit with me that well) has dedicated themselves and their album “Marching Towards Destruction” to war.
Though drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, The Haunted, Cradle of Filth) has been a respected figure in the metal scene for quite some time, Sweden’s Netherbird is just a newer arrival added to his list. Since forming in 2004, the band has released two EPs while attracting followers from around the world through MySpace and showcasing their music on iTunes. Their first full-length album The Ghost Collector gives us a taste of metal without limitations.
Talk about old school style. Amsterdam’s Conspiracy deliver just that on their latest release, Concordat.