Tag Archives: independent

[video] ACCURSED SPAWN – Burned Into Sterility

We have a lot more out of town bookings now so we wanted to give people an idea of what we look and feel like as a live band. Nick and Greg (Hvy One Productions) did a great job putting the video together, so we couldn’t be happier to put this out! In terms of the song choice, it was a no-brainer. Burned into Sterility has become a staple in our set, and is a ton of fun to play.” Jay Cross (drums)

Filmed at the band’s own rehearsal space, ‘Burned Into Sterility’ is the new video from ACCURSED SPAWN, taken from their second EP, “Putrid”

[review] SINGULARITY – Singularity (2014)

# SINGULARITY - Singularity [2014]

(independent / 2014)

My days of fearing the technical realm of extreme underground music may well be over and I credit SINGULARITY and their debut full-length for providing me with a suitable antidote for this long lasting problem of mine! No more shall I fear the curse of intricate songs and the always changing time pattern hexes that my simpleton imagination has forged in the back of my head and hears! From now on, as long as awesome music is created with such tools, I’m all forth the extreme creativity that comes my way! And my friends, I must confide, this debut has some top notch creative qualities to its name!

Back in 2010, when the memo came through telling everyone that, from then on, SINGULARITY was to be the name of this band, the guys knew they were on to something! Not only can they write some high level technical black metal, but they can also surprise you with new twists and turns, just when you think you know where the songs are headed to! Complexity and catchiness are shown hand in hand in several moments and the songs play well thru without that usual annoyance of a massive collection of riffs with no place to go! Everything makes sense and plays like a narrative! Reading this back, it kind of diminishes the level of technical display that’s involved in “Singularity” but, believe me, every second of it is in there and every second stands out!

There are some death metal elements thrown in along the way, as well as some slower almost jazz-like passages, and the vocals vary between the deep growls, the almost screams and even some clean phrases! Keyboards also play an important role, offering as much depth as ambience and sometimes standing out on their own! This last element also opens a different box of opportunities and some classical hints are featured here and there! There’s really so much more to mention about this record that I’m going to stop writing and order you to get a copy! Awesome debut!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] THYRUZ – Svik (2014)

# THYRUZ - svik [2014]

(independent / 2014)

This album has been on my current playlist for a while and every time it gets played it thrills me with almost the same sense of wonder that got me the first time! THYRUZ have been around since 1999, but I haven’t got a hold of any of their previous releases, five demos (!) and two full length albums that came out in a ten year period, previous to this latest record! They come from Eidsvoll, Norway, and play black metal, like you could almost guess coming from that particular part of Europe! So what can make “Svik” an album to get back more than the usual recommended amount of times? Great songwriting skills and an all-around frightening ambience!

I think that was one of the main things that made me really grab my ears to these six songs, the sense of danger and the way you can almost touch the darkness embedded into the words and music of ‘Dødsriket’ or ‘All Flesh’! You can also feel the cold breath of the underworld and the pain it reserves for those who dwell oblivious into THYRUZ universe of shadows and mist! The closing mantra, ‘Darkness Illuminates All’, is as evil in musical form as one of the previous declarations in ‘The Final Holocaust’; it scatters fear into words and sounds!

Finding a good balance between the grimness and the overall composition has always been kind of a quest to me, when it comes to black metal and even in other similar genres. Trying to find the riffs, the tempos and transitions that go along with the images painted in your mind with lyrics spewed with what sometimes feel like the true voices from Hell, is not as easy as you might think when looking at the immense sea of metal of the darkest kind being produced all over the world! In my book, THYRUZ have really hit the nail with “Svik”!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] ATAVISMA – Where Wolves Once Dwelled (demo 2014)

# ATAVISMA - where wolves once dwelled (2014)

Where Wolves Once Dwelled (demo)
(independent / 2014)

ATAVISMA is a French band, formed in Paris somewhere in 2013, and “Where Wolves Once Dwelled” is their first release! They play death metal with an enormous doom influence (or is it the other way around?), changing tempos from the traditional and old-school run or they will get you, to the slow and miserable I can’t be bothered with anything in my life kind of pace! The overall sound is muddy and you can almost see the fumes coming out of the ground which, combined with the vocal tone, gives you the awkward feeling that something primordial and eerie is bound to happen at any time.

All four tracks share this sinister presence and, when their structure lines up with the grime, the whole demo seems to have been transported from past decades to present time. There’s nothing much here that can be associated with the modern death metal paladins and even the doom sections are closer to the genre’s past than to way it’s getting portrait nowadays. It all feels very traditional with an almost raw simplicity, like an opened window which allows you to have a look at something familiar you haven’t seen in a long time. Whether you’ll be happy to see it or not, that’s a whole different story.

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] FALLEN ORDER – The Age of Kings (2014)

# FALLEN ORDER - the age of kings (2014)

The Age of Kings
(independent / 2014)

As we all learned at Heavy Metal School, this is a music style without any borders and one that turns his back on flags, unless it’s an Eddie flag in the middle of the crowd at an Iron Maiden show! I believe in these kinds of teachings and I’m sure it’s the kind of thing most people think when faced with a New Zealand band formed in 2005, but whose music sound like a NWBHM band having the time of their life back in the 80’s! That was the image that crossed my mind when I started to work on “The Age of Kings”, the first EP from FALLEN ORDER!

The Eddie reference back there was not a casual chance, because the first notes that came from the speakers, as soon as ‘Stand Together’ started playing, really brought back a few of those memories, although the band itself doesn’t beat that maidenesque path I’m sure they had a few good times listening and being inspired by the British band. They acknowledge that influence themselves and it only serves them right to do so. This is heavy metal in the traditional sense, without any special kind of lights or sprinkled magic fairy dust.

These five songs can easily find their way into your head, an indication that FALLEN ORDER can write good heavy metal tunes, with special care taken into the choruses, very melodic and memorable. Every second time one of them comes on, you’ll find yourself singing along vocalist Hamish Murray lead. I’m sure these songs can achieve a high energy place when played live and I really hope they do, because that’s the only thing I find lacking in “The Age of Kings”. Good melodies and choruses, but everything seems too much contained with not enough spontaneity. Other than that, if you’re a traditional heavy metal supporter, check it out!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] FRAIL GROUNDS – The Fields of Trauma (2014)

# FRAIL GROUNDS - the fields of trauma [2014]

The Fields of Trauma
(independent / 2014)

“The Fields of Trauma”, the first full-length album for this Norwegian band, has been around since somewhere 2012 but it’s still being shown and played around by FRAIL GROUNDS, as it represents so much of the work and effort they’ve committed with this release! The band itself started in 2004 under a different name and later changed it to the one they’ve been under since then, playing a kind of progressive metal where elements of both power and even melodic death can be found.

This album stands as a concept work around the narrative of an expedition sent to Siberia and forced to deal with such extreme conditions that a truly philosophical quest of discovery begins to take form, trying to understand the human limits, both physical and psychological! Along with this premise, FRAIL GROUNDS present a diverse range of metal influenced songs, incorporating clean vocals as well as some death metal growls, sometimes sounding like they could easily fit within the progressive metal category and within minutes going heavier with an almost melodic death approach!

I guess you’ve listened to enough progressive metal bands to know what to expect from these songs, more with the fact that we’re talking about a concept album, there’s a lot of different time-signatures and a very strong melodic guideline, even when things turn heavier. The keyboard presence is very noted, as it almost stands as the glue that keeps everything in its right place, not stealing the spotlight, but working as a very important frame! The songs are elaborate but not to the point of oversaturating everything with intricate detail and sometimes they even speed up things before coming back down again to the pace of the narrative! This is one for the prog fans.

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] ARISING FEAR – Beyond Betrayal (2014)

# ARISING FEAR - beyond betrayal (2014)

Beyond Betrayal
(independent – 2014)

Germany is the home for many of this house favorites, names that have crossed time and space to lay their riffs on my stereo, deliver their shows at the fests I attend and present their general attitude as an influence when I was a young gun deciding what to do with my life and how to be a part of this crazy fucked up world! The German thrash metal legacy is well carved in these walls and the time to taste a new flavor has arrived in the form of ARISING FEAR, a band of young energetic Bavarians who released their debut album, “Beyond Betrayal”, last March!

I confess I was a bit startled when I read ‘metalcore’ as one of their chosen influences, even if I always try my best not to be prejudice about the music that is presented to me. The thing I always fear from those influences is boredom. The formula is so saturated and dull that there is close to nothing new or slightly interesting to discover in such bands. I’m glad ARISING FEAR didn’t go down that road and took their music in different directions with this album. Expect a good amount of groove as well as very melodic choruses and even some slower parts that sit well with the overall energy around.

“Beyond Betrayal” sponsors a band playing their way through the modern thrash metal jungle and visiting a few different tribes and beasts of the no-so-long past along the way. There is something of a Machine Head meets Pantera thing going on most of the ten songs and Alexander Rauh (vocals/guitar) can sometimes even make you turn your head thinking ‘was that a James Hetfield template, I heard just now?’. The mystery remains on whether this is the result of engraved years of listening to the bands they grow up liking or an attempt to mimic a formula that has worked before. I always wish to put my chips on option A!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]