[video] ECHELON – die grauen des krieges (an incomplete list)

The Austrian avantgarde black metal philosophers ECHELON have just released a new video for the song ‘Die Grauen des Krieges (An Incomplete List)’, that you can stream below! The new album, “Vivito! Creato! Moritor!”, will be out next January, via Gravity Entertainment:

[review] BORG 64 – anywhere but here (2013)

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BORG 64 – Anywhere But Here
(Discouraged Records – 2013)
www.facebook.com/Borg64

The swedish scene is abundant with melodic death metal, a place I really didn’t expect to see giving birth to a band with plentiful levels of genre bending and experiment spasms, until I heard BORG 64! The name itself raises a couple of questions, but nothing a metalhead isn’t used to. The true mindfucking game starts when their music erupts from the speakers and fills the air with spastic hits with distortion and psychedelic galore! Truth is, BORG 64 started as a drum and bass project in the late 90’s and, somewhere along the way, the swedes decided they should throw some guitars in the mix and speed up the drum machine!

After a seven-year period with little to no activity, BORG 64 delivered an album of, as they describe it, Pissed Off Hardcore (because we all know how gentle hardcore can be)! But honestly, it’s very hard to describe their music with any kind of label…

Sometimes they sound like a grindcore band (the vocals are not far off something that we could expect from J.R. Hayes in Pig Destroyer) and they have a couple of moments (like the intro in ‘Late Night At Quarks’) where the hardcore blood really comes alive but, the next second, the electronic parts take over and everything is redefined into a different set of rules! ‘Luleå’, the closing song in the EP is the more easy-listening moment for everyone familiar with a more metal environment but, as with the rest of the songs, there are plenty of surprises! However, if we’ve done our job right and you are by any way curious and want to feel the full BORG 64 experience, then you must jump head first into the opening song ‘Death To False Power Chords’!

If you’re looking for something new to add to your music collection or you have a vast curiosity, you must taste “Anywhere But Here”! This is not an EP for everyone, but all of you who search for some ground breaking music, this record is a must have!

[reviewed by: Diogo Alphonso]

[review] GONOBA – endless cycles (2013)

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GONOBA – endless cycles
(On-Parole Productions – 2013)
www.facebook.com/pages/Gonoba/108186220526

Surely there must be some kind of inside joke with these Slovenians that can explain why the hell there is some much love towards camels! Camels, I say! Holy crap, even the song that closes this record is called ‘Camel Metal’! I’m serious, check out the photos on their Facebook page, if you don’t believe me! For now, the answer for this strange association shall remain within closed quarters with these Trzin natives and you should know that, although they might lead you on a different road, they are very serious about their kind of death infused thrash-metal!

“Endless Cycles” it’s their second album and the debut for On-Parole Productions! It also represents a statement in their adopted genre, after a more traditional oriented beginning where thrash was already taking the spotlight! What we have now is a more aggressive take with much more attention to detail and technical aspects of songwriting! They’ve added a notch in heaviness, not turning their face to the death-metal influence in song structure, while Matic Babic vocals are well framed and secure in both sides of the fence! Think Dew-Scented or Destinity!

One of the tracks that got our attention was ‘As Bridges Fall’, having us hit the replay button on and on, while organizing a few notes and papers, but we should also mention the two instrumental tracks, ‘Inevitable’ and ‘Endless Cycles’, that work as true instrumental thrash-metal pieces and not as intros or interludes! And if the press-kit mentioned amazing bass lines, they were’nt far from the truth, because mister Branimir Tkalec really shows he knows what he’s doing with his 5 string bass in ‘Blame Game’!

Let’s be honest, GONOBA are not going to start a revolution with “Endless Cycles”, but you can sure count on them for a good old dose of heaviness and power and the thrash scene can only be thankful!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] ECLIPSE PROPHECY – days of judgement (2013)

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ECLIPSE PROPHECY – days of judgement
(Maple Metal Records – 2013)
www.facebook.com/eclipseprophecy

“Days Of Judgment” came out last February, through Maple Metal Records, it’s ECLIPSE PROPHECY’s first full length and here they present themselves crossing the different faces from power-metal with some progressive brushes! They had a single in 2012 with the songs ‘Through The Storm’ and ‘Days Of Judgement’ and both tracks were also included in this new release!

Their progressive side makes its appearance in the keyboard arrangements, boosting the melody factor to a new level! There wasn’t a real need to pump up the melodies, because David McGregor (guitar/vocals) and Martin Machado (lead guitar) work on the axes really takes us away and gives us a good riffage dose on all the chorus and solos showing off all their great technic while staying true to the purpose of the song e not exaggerating too much with those parts!

The vocals are, most of the time, within the blueprints of the genre, but maybe the higher notes should be improved because, sometimes, they seem a little out of the mark, considering that many times McGregor resorts to a more raspy voice! But there’s room enough to include a guest singer in ‘Shattered Mirror’, when Patrick Loisel (vocalist for the Canadian band Augury) steps in to offer a death-metal performance in order to underline the clash the lyric is portraying!

In conclusion, although ECLIPSE PROPHECY are kind of branded with the power-metal tag, their music is still powered enough to include some other aggressive influences that blend well (thrashy guitars, blastbeats, harsher voices) and don’t mess at all with all the intricate melodic work that is so common with this style of metal playing! Check it!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] ENTARTUNG – krypteia (2012)

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ENTARTUNG – krypteia
(World Terror Committee – 2012)
www.w-t-c.org

ENTARTUNG is the chosen name for the cooperative effort between Lykormas (guitar/drums/vocals) and Vulfolaic (vocals/bass/keys) who started working together in 2011 creating uncompromising music without a commercial goal! “Krypteia” was the outcome of this endeavor, a record that aims to represent the scorn that both band members feel about the mass black-metal marketing! Personally, I think they need to put some more effort into it…

You see, black-metal will not stop being the marketing commodity if you limit your response using only the aesthetic manifestations of the occult and spirituality’s darker realms! Those kind of visual weapons have long been in use by the entertainment culture, even in genres that have nothing in common with this branch of metal music! Thus, maybe the real solution to this problem can be found in the music itself, creating different expressions that really can represent the discomfort, the individuality, the defiance and the emancipation that this dark side is so keen to promote!

The fact that ENTARTUNG present some pretty melodic songs here, that can easily appeal to the common metal tourist’s ear, is not serving the purpose themselves set to accomplish! Yes, the vocal department is totally within the black-metal forms (which might not get you many points in the going beyond the standard game), it’s dirty, aggressive and harsh but, at the same time, it embellishes the melancholic instrumental parts! There is nothing too complex here and we come to the conclusion they are relying more on comfort rather than being bold and experiment different angles!

From a purely comparative point of view, “Krypteia” has much more commercial and marketable music that many other bands of the genre that prosper in the current black-metal scene! Nevertheless, it’s still a perfectly good black-metal record and you should try it on for size!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] DETHRONE – humanity (2013)

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DETHRONE – Humanity
(HoBoRec – 2013)
www.facebook.com/DethroneSWE

Were you looking for an adrenaline shot to keep up with your daily routine? “Humanity” would be a good call! We are all aware that, as fast and frantic as your chosen metal meal may be, to the experienced ear not any riff has that ability to speed up time and forcing us to keep up the pace! I’m not talking only about speed, of course, I’m talking groove, aggressiveness and that immediate feeling which underlines every note! DETHRONE’s debut has all that!

In fact, if we wish to point out anything about this album that needs some kind of polish or improvement, then we must look at the times the swedes try to slow down! Moments like the intro in ‘Towards The Abyss’ or the interlude in ‘Forced Paranoia’ can hold their own by themselves, but they sound a little off track with the rest of the songs and the album itself (although in ‘When I Decide’ and ‘Blood Red Dawn’ they show a better use of this dynamic).

As soon as you listen to the first snare hits in ‘Dead Eyes Open’, it becomes very clear this record is going to blow everything in its way and “Humanity” never backs down on his promise! We skip from track to track relentlessly, always with the same urgency and power! ‘Deathwish’ has definitely become a personal favorite so, if you’re planning a good neck breaking in the near future, I recommend you take notice and have a go at “Humanity”!

[reviewed by: Diogo Alphonso]

[review] DEATH RAY VISION – get lost or get dead (2013)

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DEATH RAY VISION – Get Lost or Get Dead
(Bullet Tooth Records – 2013)
http://www.facebook.com/DeathRayVision

If there was once a scene known for it’s heavy and aggressive sound, that must have been the Boston scene! Great bands were born in that city, only to rule the realm of Metal and Hardcore all around the world and if you realise that Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall are only two of those bands, it’s fairly easy to predict what kind of music such union should breed if you join members from both sides!

Mike D (bass / Killswitch Engage) and Brian Fair (vocals / Shadows Fall) have worked together in the past when they both were members of Overcast, which explains why Mike D turned on his old friend, when he came up with some songs that didn’t quite fit the Killswitch canvas! The two metal giants got together for another neck-breaking project and, only for good measure, they also called Pete Cortese, who’s also been a part of the KSE and Overcast history! To complete the line-up they came up with Colin Conway on drums (also on Frozen) and Zach Wells on guitar (also in Razors In The Night).

“Get Lost Or Get Dead” is DEATH RAY VISION’s first EP with 5 songs laid across 14 minutes of old school hardcore and thrash that waste no time and launch a full attack on your senses, with Boston’s typicall ferocious energy that has inspired so many bands in the past! Numerous gang shouts and a certain 2-step appeal are the elements present through-out the EP but they seem to be more audible in “Get Lost Or Get Dead”, the song that lends it’s name to the record and that stands out from the rest with a simple but appealing melody! “Shattered Frames” and “Not For Glory” blast at full speed, apologizing to nobody! They are pure energy and will have you headbanging left and right! “Chainsaw Of Bees”, comes next, an instrumental and possibly the lesser one of all the tracks! It feels like as we were given a moment to rest but we keep moving forward to a different section that never seems to come and then, alas, we move to “Drown The Light” that quickly picks up the pace of the previous songs!

Don’t be fooled to think that this EP is just a quick tour to the soundtracks of the past! DEATH RAY VISION is a new band and must be seen as such! I’m sure it will please everyone who was anxiously hoping for an Overcast reunion, but they’re bringing their roots to present day instead of going on another tour on memory lane! A new album has been released this past September, so check that out!

[reviewed by: Diogo Alphonso]