Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blackened "Underground Attack"






Here's a band who may or may not be named after a Metallica song. It'd be an easy assumption to make as Blackened do have some of the Bay Area sound in their thrash metal mix. However to my ears, it sounds more Exodus than Metallica as there aren't a whole lot of lengthy songs with classical leanings unless you're talking about classic 80's American thrash. The songs here all fall well under the five minute mark.

These boys from Brazil aren't metal purists as they're willing to go in the crossover mode. Just by looking at the cover, it's clear that D.R.I are a huge influence on Blackened and it comes through in the vocals although personally I find it hard not to think of Mark Salomon of The Crucified when listening to "Underground Attack". It's definitely due to the music rather than the lyrics as all the chapters in the Blackened bible only cover thrash metal. The song slows down so a quick and slower guitar solo can be played before the thrashing commences again. "Extreme Violence" has an early Metallica style intro but gets nastier and is closer to Exodus in style. The vocalist spits out words in "Psychopath" which has a punked up metal feel akin to some Suicidal Tendencies. The gang shouted vocals create a hardcore sound although the band still grip the metal firmly with all hands as there's no way they're letting go to slide fully into the hardcore.





There'll be some that complain that Blackened really do sound like an eighties thrash band when really that is admirable. This rules and in a dark room with a number of beer cans the band themselves have those important three words to say to you all in TxNxD, "Thrash Never Dies".

4/5



Blackened on Facebook

Witches Brew records









Monday, March 9, 2015

N.Tesla - Lux Manifesto



This slab of post-metal comes from a small country that you might have heard of called Russia. As N.Tesla clearly take their moniker from the Serbian American inventor so you either expect the band to be inventive or to be heavily influenced by the American metal band. N.Tesla are much further to the left of than the American band with a similar name and are far more creative.

N.Tesla move from ambient to more avant-garde metal to black metal with barely a whimper and often on a single track. The bands vocalist is definitely a huge talent as the man can do more than just scream as the times where singing is called for he handles the situation with aplomb.

There's a lot of black metal running through the music on "Lux Manifesto" and a little bit of Pink Floyd in the album's title track. Rather than comparing N.Tesla to other post-rock bands Agalloch seem a fairer comparison as the music and creativity both bands have are similar. The blues guitar on the album's closer, "Here Speak Only the Birds" is a nice surprise although it's nearly a little too short and sweet.

N.Tesla have recorded a metal album that clocks in at a little over thirty minutes instead of the usual full hour so that's a huge thumbs up here as we hate time-wasters.

Check out the title track below. Then go and click on the bandcamp link below to hear the full "Lux Manifesto" album.






3.5/5




N.Tesla on bandcamp



N.Tesla on facebook




Sunday, March 8, 2015

Necropoli "I"



After the speed of Reign of Fury and Drones for Queens, here's a real change of pace as Italian band, Necropoli are deathly slow and describe their music as funeral doom.

While the band play long doom metal songs there's definitely a death metal influence in their musical stew. David Unsaved vocals are slow death style grunts which are placed atop the haunting sounds of guitar, bass, synth and programmed drums. It's a real credit to the band that it's not really noticeable that the drums here are programmed. There's a Godflesh style industrial feel running through the mix too. Check out, "Curriculum Vitae" the shortest track on the album below.



While the length of the songs may be off-putting to many, Necropoli have produced an interesting and innovative debut.

3.5/5



Listen to "I" on bandcamp



Necropoli on facebook

Friday, March 6, 2015

Drones for Queens - Practically Weapons



This E.P. from Philidelphia band, Drones for Queens, is a tasty slab for the D-beat fan to drool over. There's a very metallic feel to the EP's title track that won't really annoy D-beat fans and may even convert the more open-minded metalhead. For a large sum of the song, the guitar sounds like it could have a thrash or grind album which gets the thumbs up on this blog. "A Blinding Future" has a similar metallic leaning running through it and you know what? It works. Drones for Queens have offered up something much more interesting than standard Discharge worship. A thrash metal pulse with a tinge of death(of the metal sub-genre kind) runs through "Duress".

Play the title track "Practically Weapons"



"Practically Weapons" is being released as a limited to 300 copies 7" white vinyl. There's a link or two below for pre-orders.

4/5

Drones for Queens on facebook

Pre-order the vinyl here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reign of Fury - Death Be Thy Shepherd




Any dedicated record collector will deny that old adage "You can't judge an album by its cover" and then tell you a story about the album or albums that they bought solely because of the cover and then they found out that the music was also solid and the purchase was worth it for more than just the artwork. From the moment I laid eyes on the cover of the second album from UK band Reign of Fury, I didn't know whether it would be death or thrash metal but I suspected it would be right up my alley and knew it would be one of the two metal sub-genres. Reign of Fury are not death but straight up no-nonsense thrash metal.

The band's sound is very much 80's metal. There's a little bit of "And Justice For All" Metallica here and there. At times vocalist Bison Steed sounds like a youthful James Hetfield. A number of the all-in shouts hark back to Tesament's "Practice What You Preach" which followed the Metallica blueprint that countless bands were following back in the day. Remember UK metallers Onslaught's "In Search of Sanity" album? Metallica had a song called "Frayed Ends of Sanity" and Reign of Fury have a song called "Gates of Sanity". Reign of Fury clearly aren't looking to reinvent the wheel and just want you to headbang along to their thrash and with songs like "Hypnotise the Masses" they succeed at their goal. Bison's vocals are melodic although not in the Joey Belladonna style and fit the band's Bay Area style of thrash. The bridges work well and the band are tight as hell.

"All is Lost" is the obligatory ballad. Haha, remember on "Practice What You Preach" that Testament simply named theirs "The Ballad". Reign of Fury's ballad does speed up into more traditional metal territory. For straight out thrash, it's difficult to go past "The Love of a Dying God", with its speedy intro and all-in shouts. The tempo does slow down a little but it's only so the band catch a small breath so that they can speed up again. The band works the slow/fast dynamics really well in this particular tune making it one of the album's highlights. "Sorrow Made Flesh" cops a number of Metallica riffs but it isn't quite paint by numbers as Reign of Fury manage to inject a little of their own style there largely due to Bison's vocals. The title track "Death Be They Shepherd" is the longest track on the album and clocks in at over ten minutes. Fortunately the band knowing when to speed up and when to slow down doesn't make the song seem quite that long

Reign of Fury might not be setting any new ground but in this day and age, what recent thrash metal band does? Reign of Fury and "Death Be Thy Shepherd" should be checked out for those looking for decent late 80's style thrash metal or just solid thrash metal. The full album is streaming on the bandcamp link below so check it out.

3/5




Reign of Fury on Facebook




Reign of Fury - Death Be They Shepherd on bandcamp

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mojo Waves - 7x7 single

The more observant among you may recall Mojo Waves who featured in this blog a couple of years ago back when posts came a lot more regularly. For a memory refresher read the album review here.

The band have released a single with a new album entitled "All The Right Parts Fit The Wrong Way" due out on May 11th this year.




Download the single.