Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Grimtone - Memento Mori

Label: Extreme Metal Music

Grimtone are a Swedish black metal group founded in 2016 and feature two guys from Swedish metal bands, Stonegriff, Nebulous Aura and Extermination, who you may or may not have heard of. I hadn't heard of any of them myself. Stonegriff is a doom band and one guy wanted to make black metal and Grimtone is the end product of his desire.

"Memento Mori" opens with a quiet and short instrumental piece entitled "Intro". The second track "Souls Reborn into Hate" lets the listener know what they are in for. Grimtone are undoubtedly black metal with the bumblebee guitar tone but what sets this band apart from most black metal that comes my way are the vocals. They are audible and for the most part it's easy to work out what the vocalist is singing as he's up front in the mix. Those who have entered the world of black metal for blast-beats will take pleasure from the opening of "The Blood of The Dead" although they may be thrown when Grimstone slow down.

Ignoring the vocals there's a post-metal feel to this track as the guitar sound is cleaner than a lot of black metal. Those who like the typical shrieked vocals, buzzing guitar tone and blast-beats will enjoy the album's title track. Even when shrieking, the vocals are thankfully clearer than most black metal. Those who come to black metal for speed will find what they're looking for in "Fields of Pale Limbs" even if the tune does slow down a little and near mid-tempo towards the end. For these ears, the effect of contrast of speed works.

The upfront vocals and the dynamics the band use when the tempo changes that separate Grimtone from the black metal hordes. Those who don't normally enjoy black metal may well enjoy this album as more accessible than a lot of the sub-genre.


Release Date: 8 December 2017

Grimtone on bandcamp

Grimtone on facebook

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Hazytones - The Hazytones

Label: Ripple Music

There's an undeniable psychedelic haze in the music of Canadian band The Hazytones but there's also a love of traditional hard rock. Take for example, the opening track on this self-titled debut, "Light of Day", which has elements of Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and AC/DC yet doesn't sound like any of these bands as a whole. The track isn't patchy, it's just that The Hazytones have the patchwork know-how of a decent musical tailor. Through the fuzz, there's a sleazy and slightly metallic beat to "Fool's Paradise" that wouldn't be out of place of all those eighties hair metal albums. The psychedelia is strong in "Marked By The Devil", there's a definite time travel trip back to the 70's although The Hazytones manage not to sound like a simple throwback to a previous era. It's difficult to listen to "Children of the Universe" and not think of the music and style of Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats although the Hazytones vocals are not close to John Lennon but somewhere between Black Sabbath period Ozzy and Alice Cooper.

There's a muscular sound to "Day of The Dead", although there is a lazy stoner rock groove. The guitar sound is reminiscent of Brant Bjork's solo work. There's a driving rock beat running through "Kill to Survive" which drives the song nicely away from turning into merely straight out heavy metal. More than a touch of Sabbath comes through in "Moon Struck" but there's also a touch of The Cult (especially in the vocals). This track features some smoking hot soloing.

While The Hazytones take influences from the past they manage to sound like a modern band by not sounding like clones of the bands that they are clearly influenced by. You can take a listen to the whole album on the Montreal band's bandcamp page posted below.


Release Date: 3 November 2017

The Hazytones on bandcamp

The Hazytones on Facebook

Beastwars - IV

After over a year off for various reasons, we have returned solely because we wanted to review the new Beastwars album. I really w...