ALBUM REVIEWS

"Dark Space - II" by Darkspace is a 47-Minute Assault On The Senses (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

Darkspace, a trio shrouded in mystery and known for their unorthodox approach to metal, have launched yet another cosmic odyssey with their fifth full-length album, "Dark Space - II." The band members, Wroth and Yhs on guitars and vocals, along with Zhaaral on bass and vocals, continue their exploration of the darkest corners of the universe through music.

"Dark Space - II" is not just an album; it's a 47-minute assault on the senses, an uninterrupted journey through the voids of space and the human psyche. This one-track leviathan defies the traditional structure of music, presenting an unbroken narrative that pushes the listener into an abyss of sound. It's quite impressive

From the outset, Darkspace demonstrates their mastery of atmosphere. The opening segments are an overwhelming barrage of sound, a fusion of guitar riffs and ethereal tones that mimics the unyielding march of time in a cold, indifferent universe. The vocals, delivered by Wroth, Yhs, and Zhaaral, are not mere words but echoes from a void, harsh and unintelligible, as if they're channeling the voices of celestial entities.

What sets "Dark Space - II" apart from its predecessors and peers is its integration of electronic elements. Fractal electronic samples cut through the dense layers of sound, creating a juxtaposition that is both jarring and mesmerizing. These electronic components do not simply complement the traditional instruments; they transform the soundscape into something alien and otherworldly.

The album's middle section is a further descent into the void. Glitchy murmurs and extraterrestrial drones interweave, creating a sense of unease and disorientation. This is not music for the faint-hearted; it is an experience that demands attention and endurance. The band's ability to maintain this intense atmosphere throughout the entirety of the album is a testament to their skill and vision.

As "Dark Space - II" progresses towards its conclusion, the soundscapes give way to a haunting emptiness, a reminder of the vast, unexplored spaces that lie beyond our understanding. The final moments of the album are a chilling blend of resignation and awe, leaving the listener in a state of contemplative silence.

Darkspace's "Dark Space - II" is a monumental achievement in the realm of metal and ambient music. It's a relentless, immersive experience that defies conventional boundaries and expectations. This album is a journey into the unknown, a witness to the band's ability to create a unique and unforgettable sonic universe. For those brave enough to embark on this journey, "Dark Space - II" is an essential listen.

Listen to the album on SPOTIFY

 

Black Tusk releases new single "Brushfire" (Single Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Brushfire," the latest single from Black Tusk, a band synonymous with the gritty realms of Sludge Metal, is a relentless auditory assault that stays true to the roots of the genre while showcasing the band's evolution. The band, consists of Andrew Fidler on guitar and vocals, James May behind the drums and vocals, and Derek Lynch on bass and vocals and Chris "Scary" Adams on guitar and vocals have proven their mastery in crafting a sound that's as raw as it is refined.

From the very first chord, "Brushfire" grips you with its unapologetic heaviness. Fidler and Adam's guitar work is a force to be reckoned with, delivering riffs that are both intricate and punishing. Their ability to balance technical proficiency with the raw energy that Sludge Metal demands is nothing short of impressive. It's this razor-edge riffing that forms the backbone of the track, providing a solid foundation for the rest of the elements to build upon.

The rhythm section, driven by May and Lynch, is where "Brushfire" really comes to life. May's drumming is a tumultuous undercurrent, with rhythms that are both complex and utterly commanding. He doesn't just keep time; he propels the song forward with a ferocity that matches the intensity of the riffs. Meanwhile, Lynch's bass lines are the dark, pulsating heart of the track. His playing is not just a complement to the guitar and drums but a standout performance that adds depth and power to the song.

Vocally, "Brushfire" is a triumphant showcase of raw, unbridled energy. The band's decision to lean into rough and rowdy Semi-gang vocals pays off, creating a chorus that is both anthemic and menacing. Lynch leads the vocal charge on this track, bringing his unique timbre to the table, The result is a vocal performance that is as diverse as it is cohesive.

Lyrically, Black Tusk stays true to their no-frills approach. The song's themes are direct and impactful, avoiding the pitfalls of overwrought metaphor or unnecessary complexity. This directness is a breath of fresh air in a genre that sometimes gets bogged down in its own obscurity. "Brushfire" is a song that says what it needs to say and does so with a blunt force that's as refreshing as it is intense.

"Brushfire" is a triumph to Black Tusk's ability to evolve without losing sight of their roots. It's a track that manages to be both familiar and fresh, a balancing act that few bands can achieve with such finesse. This song is not just a standout in Black Tusk's discography; it's a standout in the Sludge Metal genre as a whole. For fans of heavy, no-nonsense metal, "Brushfire" is a must-listen. “Brushfire” is the first single off Black Tusk's forthcoming album “The Way Forward” out April 26, 2024 via Season Of Mist

Listen to the track on SPOTIFY

 

"Can't Save Us All" by Born In Blood Is Unapologetically Brutal (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

Fort Worth, TX-based metal band Born In Blood delivers a thunderous entry into the metal scene with their latest album, "Can't Save Us All." Known for their brutal blend of dissonance and melody, the band doesn't disappoint in this relentless barrage of sound that is both intricate and aggressive. The Band member include Talmage Crumholt on Vocals, Anthony Rendon on Guitars, Stephen Bonilla on Drums and Royce Vick on Bass.

The album starts with a fierce opener, "Inferno" sets the tone with its explosive energy. The track features a complex interplay of guitar riffs and drum patterns, showcasing Bonilla's prowess on the drums and Rendon's skill with the guitar.

On “Revile” Crumholt's vocals are a highlight here, adding a raw, visceral layer to an already brutal song.

The title track "Can't Save Us All" stands out with its thematic depth and musical complexity. The lyrics are introspective, pondering the darker aspects of human nature. Musically, the band fires on all cylinders, with Vick's bass lines providing a solid backbone.

Arguably the most stand out track on the album, "Kill Kill" is relentless in its delivery. The name says it all. It’s a showcase of Born In Blood's ability to maintain intensity without sacrificing musicality. The interplay between all members is tight and precise, a testament to their chemistry.

A fitting end to the album, "Implosion" combines elements from the previous tracks, culminating in a powerful finale. The song's structure is complex, yet it flows seamlessly, leaving the listener both exhausted and exhilarated.

"Can't Save Us All" is a formidable album that asserts Born In Blood's place in the metal landscape. The band's skill in blending harsh dissonance with melodic moments is commendable. Each track is a testament to the individual talents of the band members and their ability to come together to create a cohesive and brutal sound.

Talmage Crumholt's vocal range and intensity are particularly noteworthy, delivering a performance that's both aggressive and emotionally charged. Anthony Rendon and Stephen Bonilla prove to be a formidable duo, their guitar and drum interplay driving the album's intense energy. Royce Vick's bass is the glue that holds everything together, providing depth and rhythm to the tracks.

"Can't Save Us All" is a must-listen for fans of heavy, intense music. Born In Blood has crafted an album that is unapologetically brutal yet intricately composed, a rare feat in the genre. This album is a testament to their talent and a promise of great things to come from this Fort Worth powerhouse.

Listen to the album on SPOTIFY

 

"In Shoals" by War From A Harlots Mouth Is A Calculated Onslaught of Complexity and Brutality (Legacy Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

It’s not often that an album sounds like a collision between a jazz lounge and a war zone, but War From A Harlots Mouth's 2009 release, "In Shoals," manages to do precisely that. War From A Harlots Mouth craft a brutal album with the audacious aim of melding Mathcore, Grindcore, Hardcore, and Jazz influences into a volatile mix. And boy, did they succeed. This is one of my favorite albums that I am excited to share with you.

Opening the album is "They Come in Shoals" Right out of the gate, this track hits like a Molotov cocktail of musical styles. The frenetic drumming and relentless riffage welcome you to an album that demands attention.

"No High Five for C.oward" Is a clenched fist to the face of conformity. It manages to be challenging in its structure yet violently engaging, thanks to its blend of hardcore vocals and mathcore wizardry. 

"Briefing Security Werewolves on Red Alert" A short but sweet track that could serve as a sonic interpretation of chaos theory. The song is an inferno of simplicity, yet somewhere in that chaos is a calculated intent that's nothing short of brilliant as it is a dynamic introduction to the next song.

“Crooks at Your Door” A dissonant, anxiety-inducing track. It's like having your soul put through a wood-chipper—jarring yet fascinating. 

“Justice from the Lips of the Highest Bidder” This track is a jazz infused instrumental  musically manifesting itself through the power of creation! I dig it!

“Copyriot” Is a more straightforward but no less compelling tune that offers a catchy riff and leaves a lasting impression.

“The Certain Nothing” Here, the band delves into existentialist territories. The song is a layered masterpiece that touches the zenith of technicality. The musical shifts are fun and extremely satisfying. 

“Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Errorism” Yes, the title is a mouthful. The song, however, is brutal and intense with jazzy breakdowns and plenty of time for your emotions to be confused with what you are listening to at any given moment during this song.

"What Happens in the District... (Paper Agents) and ...Stays in the District (I'm the Black Sheep of Her Country)" These two serve as a diptych of sorts, wrapping up the album with a sense of completion yet leaving you in a state of yearning for more.

Scully: Closing out the record, this song serves as the aural equivalent of a Rubik's Cube doused in kerosene and set alight. The build ups and slow downs really highlight the intricacy and soundscape that this band can convey. Plainly stated the musicianship on this track is incredible a fitting end to a fantastic album. 

"In Shoals" is a labyrinth of musical complexity, offering no easy way out but guaranteeing a thrilling journey. It is a musical tinderbox, where every note seems ready to explode in your face. The album is both an intellectual challenge and a physical assault. But it's also more than the sum of its screams, riffs, and rhythms—it's an example of how musical genres can not only coexist but also enrich each other, resulting in a kaleidoscopic yet cohesive experience that takes Extreme Metal to unfathomable depths and soaring heights. That's probably why I love this album!

Listen to album on SPOTIFY

 

Kittie return with new Single "Eyes Wide Open" (Single Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Eyes Wide Open" by Kittie marks a triumphant return for the pioneering all-female metal band, emerging from a 13-year hiatus with a track that not only reaffirms their legacy in the metal scene but also redefines it. This new single, released under Sumerian Records, is proof to the band's enduring ability to blend raw power with nuanced artistry.

From the first note, "Eyes Wide Open" grips the listener with an intensity that is both familiar and refreshing. Morgan Lander's vocals, as always, are a force to be reckoned with; Which always conveys a depth of emotion that is the hallmark of Kittie's sound. The lyrical themes of truth-seeking, betrayal, and enlightenment are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the song, resonating with an authenticity that speaks to the band's personal journey as well as broader societal issues.

Musically, the track is a dynamic showcase of Kittie's evolved sound. Tara McLeod's guitar work is exceptional, delivering riffs that are both intricate and aggressive. The interplay between her guitar and Morgan's creates a layered, compelling soundscape that is the backbone of the track. Ivy Vujic's bass lines are powerful and grounding, providing a solid foundation that complements the complexity of the guitar work and Mercedes Lander's drumming is, as ever, a tour de force. Her rhythms are not just the heartbeat of the song; they're its roaring pulse, driving the track forward with unrelenting energy.

What stands out most in "Eyes Wide Open" is the sense of maturity and evolution. This is not the Kittie of the early 2000s; this is a band that has grown, both as individuals and as musicians, without losing the edge and raw energy that put them on the map. The song feels like a natural progression, a new chapter that honors their past while forging ahead into uncharted territory.

"Eyes Wide Open" is more than just a comeback single; it's a powerful statement from a band that has never been afraid to push boundaries and challenge expectations. Kittie's return is not just welcome; it's a necessary jolt to the metal scene, reminding us of the genre's potential to be both ferociously powerful and deeply introspective. This track is a must-listen for not only fans of the band but anyone who appreciates the artistry and intensity of metal music.

Listen to the single on SPOTIFY

 

Brodequin's latest offering, "Suffocation in Ash," is a relentless assault on the senses (Single Review) 

BY DEATH BY MUSIC

Brodequin's latest offering, "Suffocation in Ash," is a relentless assault on the senses, a testament to the band's unwavering commitment to the brutal death metal genre. This new single further cements Brodequin's status as a titan in the realm of extreme metal, showcasing their unique blend of historical horror and auditory ferocity.

The track's historical inspiration, drawn from ancient Persian execution methods, is as macabre as it is intriguing. Jamie Bailey's fascination with medieval and ancient torture methods infuses the song with a palpable sense of dread and authenticity. The imagery of a victim trapped and suffocating in ash is not just a lyrical theme but an experiential journey for the listener.

Musically, "Suffocation in Ash" is pure brutality. Mike Bailey's guitar work is nothing short of punishing. His riffs are both complex and crushing, evoking the inexorable turning of the executioner's wheel. Each chord and note seems to drag the listener deeper into a vortex of despair, mirroring the grim fate of the song's protagonist.

On drums, Brennan Shackelford is a force of nature. His blast beats, foot work and cymbal work create a soundscape that is overwhelming in its intensity. The relentless drumming is not just a backdrop but a key player in the narrative, metaphorically simulating the unending downpour of ash and the inescapable doom of the victim.

Vocally, Jamie Bailey delivers a performance that is both guttural and articulate. His ability to articulate the gruesome details of the song's narrative, while maintaining an air of ominous brutality, is impressive. The vocals are not merely an accompaniment but a pivotal element that brings the harrowing tale to life.

"Suffocation in Ash" is more than a song; it's an experience. It's a journey into the depths of human cruelty and the dark corners of history, delivered with an intensity that is rare even in the world of extreme metal. This track sets the stage for the upcoming full album "Harbinger of Woe," promising a collection of songs that are not just heard but felt — a visceral reminder of the power of brutal death metal to tell stories as dark and complex as any other art form.

Brodequin's "Suffocation in Ash" is brutal, but don't take our word for it. Listen for yourself!

Listen to the Track on SPOTIFY

FULL ALBUM "Harbinger of Woe " Out March 22nd 2024 from Season Of Mist

 

Slayer Fans Rejoice! Kerry King Has Dropped his new single "Idle Hands" (Single Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT
 

"Idle Hands," the new single by Kerry King, has been eagerly anticipated by the metal community, especially by fans of his legendary tenure with Slayer. Here's a brutal, honest review that captures the essence of this release:

Kerry King's reputation as a guitar maestro is not only maintained but elevated in "Idle Hands." The track showcases his signature style – a furious blend of speed, precision, and aggression. His riffs are as sharp and cutting as ever, slicing through the mix with an intensity that harkens back to Slayer's golden days. The solo in "Idle Hands" is a standout moment, with King's skillful, high-octane playing reminding us why he is considered a titan in the metal genre.

"Idle Hands" is a masterclass in thrash metal songwriting. The track is structured to keep the listener on their toes, with relentless tempo changes and a barrage of riffs that are both innovative and nostalgic. It's clear that King hasn't lost his touch in creating music that is not just aggressive but also intricately crafted. The song's arrangement is tight, leaving no room for filler, which is a testament to King's experience and understanding of the genre.

The production on "Idle Hands" strikes the perfect balance between raw energy and polished clarity. Every instrument is given its space to shine, with King's guitar work rightfully at the forefront. The mix is clean yet retains a gritty edge, crucial for a track that’s meant to hit hard and leave a lasting impact.

Mark Osegueda of Death Angel fame; vocal performance and lyrics on "Idle Hands" contribute significantly to the track's power. The vocals are fierce and delivered with a conviction that matches the intensity of the music. Lyrically, the song delves into themes that are dark and introspective, resonating with the classic Slayer narrative style.

"Idle Hands" is a triumphant return for Kerry King and a gift to Slayer fans and metal enthusiasts alike. The track is a potent reminder of King's status as a heavyweight in the metal world. It delivers everything you would want from a Kerry King project – ferocity, technical skill, and an unapologetic celebration of the thrash metal genre.

“Idle Hands” is the first single from the upcoming Kerry King Album “From Hell I Rise” out May 17th 2024 on Reigning Phoenix Music 

 

Listen to “Idle Hands” on SPOTIFY

 

"Immortalized" by Deimler Is A Relentless, Brutal, and Unapologetically Raw Album. (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Immortalized" by Deimler is not just an album; it's a ferocious beast that has been meticulously crafted in the dark, dank forges of old school-style Death Metal. This album doesn't just pay homage to the Gods of Death; it builds a colossal altar for them with its thunderous riffs, guttural vocals, and an atmosphere that is as foreboding as it is awe-inspiring.

The album kicks off with "Prelude - Oberon Moon," a track that sets a dark and mystic tone, preparing the listener for the sonic onslaught that is to follow.

"Nostromo" immediately plunges into the deep end with relentless drumming and riffing that feels like a chainsaw to the senses. With a catchy riff that brought a big smile to my face. The track's intensity is a testament to Deimler's commitment to pure, unadulterated death metal.

The title track, "Immortalized," stands as a monument in the album. It encapsulates the band's ability to weave complex arrangements with raw power, creating a track that is as memorable as it is brutal.

“Interlude - The Encounter”  serves as a haunting breather, a moment of eerie calm before the storm resumes.

"Suffocating Parasite" hits with a fury, characterized by its breakneck speed and vocals that seem to echo from the depths of an abyss. The track’s 03:30 duration is a high-octane ride that leaves the listener breathless.

With “Afterlife Incubator” Deimler explores more complex themes both lyrically and musically, showing their depth without sacrificing an iota of their signature aggression.

"Xenomorph" is a twisted and darkly imaginative track. Its riffs are as sharp as the creature's teeth, and the drums pound like its footsteps.

“Acheron's Lethal Tongue” This track is a standout, with its blend of atmosphere and relentless energy, creating a soundscape that is both menacing and mesmerizing.

"Biomechanical Necrophagous" The band delves into more technical territories here, showcasing their musicianship and ability to craft songs that are complex yet entirely accessible.

“Nocturnity” showcases Deimler's ability to maintain intensity while exploring different musical dynamics, this track is a dark, brooding piece.

"Corrosive Blood" True to its name, this track is a corrosive onslaught of sound, showcasing some of the album’s most aggressive and technical moments.

"Cremation" is an inferno of a track, burning with an energy that is both destructive and captivating.

"Postlude - Sound Of Derelict" As the album nears its end, this postlude offers a haunting and atmospheric close, leaving the listener in a state of eerie contemplation.

Nocturnity (Bonus Track): Not available on Spotify, I found this track on Bandcamp. This bonus track is a delightful addition for fans, adding an extra layer to the already rich tapestry of the album. Why it's not on the official release, I don't know. This track slays!

"Immortalized" by Deimler is a relentless, brutal, and unapologetically raw album that pays respect to the roots of Death Metal while carving out its own unique place in the genre. It’s a must-listen for fans of the genre and a stark reminder of the power and intensity that Death Metal can deliver. I absolutely love this album!

Listen to the Album on SPOTIFY

 

"Elements" Mind Control Masterfully Blends The Intensity Of Melodic Death Metal With The Intricacies Of Progressive Rock. (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Elements" by the Italian melodic/death progressive metal band Mind Control is a breathtaking journey through a tapestry of soundscapes that masterfully blends the intensity of melodic death metal with the intricacies of progressive rock. The band is comprised of Stefania Salladini on vocals, Massimo Boffa on guitars and keyboard programming, Stefano Tatasciore on bass and Luca Nicolucci on drums. This album is proof of the band's innovative spirit and musical prowess. 

"Elements" - The album opens with its title track: A beautifully written instrumental piece showcasing the bands technicality and song writing ability.

"Rage" - A relentless track that lives up to its name. The interplay between aggressive riffs and melodic interludes is seamless, showcasing the band's ability to balance intensity with musicality. Salladini's range is particularly noteworthy here, effortlessly shifting from harsh to clean vocals.

"Flames" - This track introduces a slightly more progressive element, with time signature changes that are both challenging and engaging. Boffa's guitar solos are a highlight, demonstrating both technical skill and emotional depth.

"Effluent" - A track filled with substance and emotion. The atmospheric elements created in this track add a layer of depth, while the lyrical content showcases the band's ability to weave compelling narratives into their music. A solid effort.

"Wind" - This track is a turbulent, high-energy number adding some peaks and valleys. Nicolucci's drumming is the standout, driving the song forward with precision and power.

"Storm" - A change of pace, this track feels lighter and more ethereal, yet still retains the album's characteristic intensity. The bass work by Tatasciore is particularly impressive, providing a groove that's both complex and catchy.

"Air" - This track showcases the band's versatility, incorporating elements of traditional metal alongside their more progressive tendencies. The result is a song that is both familiar and fresh, a nod to the genre's roots while still looking forward.

“Tempest” - A meticulously structured piece that oscillates between calm passages and stormy crescendos, mirroring the theme of a tempest both in its dynamics and in its emotional delivery.

"Hurricane" - An intense, fast-paced track that combines blistering speed with melodic sensibility. The technical proficiency of each band member is on full display here, with a particularly notable solo from Boffa.

"The River" - A more reflective and introspective track, it provides a welcome respite from the album's prevailing intensity. Salladini's vocal performance is both haunting and beautiful, adding a layer of emotional depth.

"Ether" - This track starts otherworldly, with ambient elements that transport the listener. The synergy between electronic and traditional instruments is particularly effective, creating a soundscape that is both unique and engaging while not losing the intensity that has come before on this album.

"Maelstrom" - A return to the heavier side of the band's sound, this track is a whirlwind of energy and aggression. The interplay between the guitar and rhythm section creates a sense of controlled chaos that is both exhilarating and impressive.

“Blame (ft. Simone Evangelista of Insane Therapy)” - The closing track is a collaborative masterpiece. Evangelista's contribution adds a new dimension to the band's sound, resulting in a powerful and memorable finale to an already outstanding album.

 "Elements" by Mind Control is a solid endeavor in modern metal, seamlessly blending various subgenres into a cohesive and compelling whole. Each track offers something unique, yet the album maintains a consistent quality throughout. Fans of any sub genre of metal will find something they enjoy about this album. It's a must-listen! 

Listen to the album on SPOTIFY

 

Miami-based Metal Reggae band GEARS takes a bold step with their latest single, "My Curse." (Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

In the ever-evolving landscape of music, where genres blend and new sounds emerge, Miami-based Metal Reggae band GEARS takes a bold step with their latest single, "My Curse." This track isn't just a song; it's an auditory journey that showcases the band's unique ability to fuse seemingly disparate genres into a harmonious and compelling whole.

The song kicks off with an energy that immediately grabs the listener. The fusion of metal and reggaeton is executed with a level of finesse and confidence that speaks to the band's mastery of their craft. The heavy, pulsating rhythms of metal seamlessly intertwine with the vibrant, lively beats of reggaeton, creating a sound that is both fresh and familiar. This blend is not just a novelty; it's evidence to the band's creative vision and their ability to push musical boundaries.

Trip Sixx's vocals are a standout element in "My Curse." There's an undeniable power and intensity in his voice that perfectly complements the theme of the song. The lyrics delve into the universal struggle with our inner demons, the 'dark passengers' that remind us of our imperfections. It's a theme that resonates deeply, and Sixx delivers it with a raw emotion that's palpable.

The rhythm section, featuring Jimmy Wooten on drums and Josh Rout on bass, is nothing short of stellar. They provide a solid backbone to the song, with drum beats that are both intricate and driving, and bass lines that add depth and texture to the overall sound. The synergy between the drums and bass creates a rhythmic foundation that's both powerful and infectious.

What sets "My Curse" apart is how it embodies the spirit of self-awareness and acceptance. The song is a journey of self-discovery, encouraging listeners to embrace their flaws and imperfections. This message is woven into the fabric of the music, creating an experience that's not just auditory but also emotionally resonant.

The accompanying video further enhances the song's impact. Set against the backdrop of Medellin, Colombia, it adds a visual layer to the story being told. The imagery is as rich and vibrant as the music, providing a glimpse into the culture and essence that influence the band's sound.

"My Curse" by GEARS is more than just a single; it's a bold statement in the world of music. It challenges conventional genre boundaries and offers a sound that is as innovative as it is captivating. With this track, GEARS not only sets the bar high for themselves but also for the industry at large. They've proven that with talent, vision, and a willingness to experiment, the possibilities in music are endless. This track was refreshingly different from I normally review: But hey! I'm Here for it.

Listen to the track on SPOTIFY

Watch the video on YOUTUBE

 

 

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