Thursday, October 2, 2014
Ever watched any episode of Doctor Who? The British doctor travels in a phone box through time and space. There are many options to capture the feeling of time and space travel through music. One option is to check out older albums and close your eyes and imagine traveling through space and also picturing the time the album was released. Another option is to pick up a new album by a new band covering old ground. With metal, this is easy with retro-thrash and death metal bands playing the old-school style.
An obvious comparison to make with Osmium Guillotine and Doctor Who is the fact that they're both from the United Kingdom. Osmium Kingdom have their feet partially entrenched in the New Wave of British Metal however there are also elements of the original wave of thrash metal so the band's music voyages through metal's past despite being in the present. The vocals of Pete Keleris are of the clean and clear variety with no high pitched screaming. The drumming and bass playing are solid throughout the album. Lance Steele's guitar work really shines through whether he's soloing or Osmium Guillotine are playing as a unit.
The instrumental opener with its quiet build really gives no indication of what's to come but still works as an attention getter like a first song should. The follow-up tune "Martydom" let's the listener know that Osmium Guillotine mean business with their crunching riffs and quick rhythm that brings both early Maiden, Metallica and Anthrax to mind. Opening with a very traditional British metal sound, "D-Day" then becomes much faster paced with the guitar and bass reaching slamming speed. There is a slight hint of Joey Belladonna in the vocals on "Phobophobia" which could be due to the song's near blistering pace. Those who ran screaming when Metallica released the Black album will want to skip "Blight Upon Mankind" due to its slow tempo. "City of Chaos" however will bring a smile to thrash metal fans face. "Hobgolin" opens with a spoken part then the metal is slightly folked up. Whether it is done knowingly or not "Breathe it in, Son" recalls the early days of the crossover between metal and hardcore as there is a riff that is very similar to D.R.I.'s "Five Year Plan".
The only gripe with this album is the song "Subhuman" is too long. There's enough variety between the songs for multiple listens. Osmium Guillotine have released a very good debut album and are a band definitely worth keeping an eye on. Click on the bandcamp link below and give the album a listen for yourself.
Osmium Guillotine on Bandcamp
Osmium Guillotine on Facebook
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Jesus Crøst are a two piece grindcore who have added other underground elements to their music. The duo have added death metal and power violence to create a ferocious brutally fast noise that slows down from ramming speed just a little now and then before angrily pummeling once again at full throttle. There are 22 songs in 15 minutes and all the songs are named after Soccer players. There are a few samples taken from soccer games of days long gone. Well worth checking out.
jesus crost on facebook
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Spanish band Tears of Martyr are musically very much in the same symphonic metal band mode as Nightwish and Leave's Eyes. A major factor of the band's present sound is the female soprano singing style of Berenice Musa. She's not the only vocalist but is her voice that contributes to a major factor of the band's sound.
When a male vocalist enters the picture in "Golem" there is a nu-metal feel fortunately it's only a small snippet of the sound. The vocal delivery in "Mermeid and Loneliness" is incredibly operatic and the whole band don't come across very well. It's difficult not to imagine the "Metal or Die" crowd running for cover with their fingers in their ears when the band plays this song live. The contrast of the dirty male and cleaner more operatic female voice works well on "Vampires of the Sunset Street" as does the spoken word interlude, which gives the song a fairy-tale feel. "And Ravens Born" uses the same techniques and it comes across really well as the spoken male voice adds a doom metal element.
The operatic style doesn't always mix well with the band's more metallic leanings. If you want to sell your Grandmother on metal, this album would be the one to convert her with. Fans of Nightwish, Leave's Eyes and other female fronted symphonic metal bands will want to give this one a look into. However, those seeking grittier metal will want to stay well clear. That the band actually has their own website is a huge plus in this day and age.
Tears of Martyr website
Monday, August 4, 2014
If you're not interested in Neoclassical metal or Power Metal, you'll want to skip this review of Portugese Power Metal band Hard Tension's second EP and either browse through the archives looking for death metal, black metal or punk. Believe me, I understand. Well, maybe not why so many would choose to favour straight up black metal.
The vocals of Migas Magalhães will have the no clean vocals running away as they're crisp clear and melodic. His pipes are reminiscent of Michael Kiske of Helloween during the (Keeper of Seven Keys) period and a young Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) also comes to mind. The guitar work of Paulos Santos is undeniably influenced by Classical music and traditional Spanish guitar players. Due to his guitar work, there's an eerie feel to EP opener "Serenade of Fall". "Harder Faster" shows how tight these guys are as a unit. The drumming of Tião Costa is varied in tempo from slow to fast belying the songs title however there's no slacking around from any of the guys in Hard Tension as the riffing is quick. It doesn't sound like anyone is playing catch up with the rhythm section. There's a psychedelic edge added by the keyboards. There's a poppy edge in the title track largely due to the melodic vocals, more standard tempo and the overall crisp clear sound of the recording. "Heading for the Light" is the heaviest song here with the Portugese boys veering towards Iron Maiden territory vocally and in song structure. EP closer "Lords of Salem" is more straight forward melodic metal and it's easy to imagine this song going over well in a stadium.
The crisp sound of this recording is great. Hard Tension really sound they're as well polished as your grandmother's silverware. Fans of melodic/classical metal bands like Dark Moor will love these guys.
Hard Tension on Facebook
Friday, July 25, 2014
San Francisco melodic punk rock band, Songs For Snakes are back with a new album. The Husker Du and Jawbreaker influences are still shine clear. The band's knack of writing tight catchy songs certainly hasn't disappeared.
There's a Simon and Garfunkel fights 90's Epitaph pop punk and wins feel to "Small Talker". In case you were wondering, this is actually a good thing. "A Perfect State" has Husker Du written all over it. A poppy indie feel washes over "A Caffiene Sugar Mean" due to the jangly guitars coupled with the bouncy rhythms. For my money, album closer and title song, "The Year of The Snake" is the highlight of the album.
Although as an album "The Year of The Snake" is a good listen it's difficult to shake the feeling that there are too many songs on offer here and it'd have been a much stronger album if about three songs had been cut.
Songs for Snakes on bandcamp
Songs for Snakes on Facebook
Small Takeover on Facebook
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Instrumental albums have always been tricky beasts to review. New Yorkers Clouds Taste Satanic wear their influences and sound a lot like "Dopesmoker era Sleep. There's that same Sabbath at a turtle's pace vibe over two long songs. That's one more than "Dopersmoker" had! However, it's clear at times that these guys come from a post-rock background and ambience takes over as heaviness isn't always the goal. The two songs are an enjoyable listening experience.
The band are selling CD's from their bandcamp site.
Clouds Taste Satanic on bandcamp
Clouds Taste Satanic on Facebook
Small Takeover on Facebook