Tag Archives: UK
Revealed in Profane Splendour
Symphonic Black/Death Metal
Previously playing under the moniker of Seed of Detest, UK symphonic black/death metal outfit Sidious reveals their brand new name and image, this year dropping their debut full length album Revealed in Profane Splendour. With the lineup comprising four-fifths of Eye of Solitude, yet another excellent death/doom metal band, Sidious‘ debut is surely an exciting release for fans of the aforementioned, with vocalist Daniel instead going behind the drum kit for Revealed in Profane Splendour.
The King is Blind [UK]
The Deficiencies of Man
The UK has seen no shortage of outstanding death metal bands, with some of my personal favourites such as Grave Miasma and Cruciamentum spawning from the region. The King is Blind is one of the newest additions to the Essex metal scene, and despite being formed only last year, The Deficiencies of Man is already the band’s third release, and their first EP.
In keeping with the tradition that many death metal bands out of the country, The King is Blind introduces the listener to their musical style with A Thousand Burning Temples, and the grinding yet somewhat groovy riffs of Lee James and Paul Ryan immediately remind one of pioneers such as Bolt Thrower and Benediction, though with the cavernous backdrop and aggression of Grave Miasma or Teitanblood.
Yet instead of just settling down into one comfortable style, The King is Blind ensures that one is kept sitting on the edge of his seat with the unpredictability of their musical style. Of Osiris & Execration sees the band take things a notch in a different direction, and it is on this track where the doom and black metal influences of the band take the spotlight. The bleak riffs and outlook that the band presents at the start of the track, along with the vocal style of Steve on this track quickly reminds us of the coldness of the second wave Norwegian black metal. Halfway through the track though, the band takes a different route, and the crushing and somewhat groovy riffs instead take a turn towards the epic doom style of bands like Candlemass, a nice change of pace.
Things turn ugly again once more quickly with Thorns that Pierce the Skull, with the abrasiveness of the track bringing in some Spanish barbarity of Avulsed or Christ Denied.
Overall, what a versatile release The King is Blind has put out, with this being only their first EP release. And with the ability to maintain the quality of the musicianship and songwriting on The Deficiencies of Man, I already can’t wait to hear what else the band will be able to put together on their first full length album.
Divine Chaos [UK]
A New Dawn in the Age of War
Evil Eye Records
Melodic Death/Thrash Metal
It’s been quite a long while since I encountered such an impactful modern thrash metal record. UK’s Divine Chaos may have only just released their debut full length album A New Dawn in the Age of War this year, but having been honing their craft since 2006, the band sure knows how to write and produce one hell of a record.
Album opener Last Confession immediately throws the listener into a myriad of speed-infused riffs, and the urgency with which the band goes at, along with that intense drumming of James Stewart (also of Vader fame) quickly reminds one of the more modern thrash bands such as Havok and Bonded by Blood. At the same time as well, with the crushing riffs of Chris O’Toole and Gilmour and the rather prominent bass of Dave Bennett, one also quickly sees how the band has drawn influences from some of the founding thrash bands such as Exodus and Slayer, the latter in particular due to the guitar wizardry that are displayed by the axe-wielding duo, with solos of songs such as Last Confession easily bearing rather striking resemblance to the style of the likes of Gary Holt and Lee Altus. Combine this with the progressive approach that the band takes to their songwriting, one can at times even spot some elements of Vektor and Coroner on A New Dawn in the Age of War.
But the thing that also caught my attention is also in the attention to melody by Divine Chaos on A New Dawn in the Age of War. Rather than going on full-aggression mode, the rather neo-classical moments on tracks such as Death Toll Rising brings in a slightly power metal edge on the intro, reminding one of the works of Gus G and Firewind, before breaking into a more aggressive death metal riffing section.
The whole host of influences and elements that Divine Chaos has included on their debut ensures that the listening experience of A New Dawn in the Age of War remains an interesting one throughout. The perfect balance between aggression, technicality, melody and progressiveness ensures that one is constantly kept on the edge of his seat, leaving one with one hell of an enjoyable and memorable listen.
3 years after their formation, UK’s death/thrash metal horde Seprevation finally unleashes their debut full length album. Consumed promises to be a treat to fans of bands such as Death, Possessed and Sadistic Intent, but one realises quickly enough that there is more than that that Seprevation has put into Consumed.
Album opener Divine Devastation starts the album in a rather soothing tone, and with the clean guitars and calming soundscape, one would almost expect Seprevation‘s style to lean more towards that of Cynic or perhaps Obscura with the seemingly technical references. But things kick into high gear pretty quickly enough, and the high octane fusion of death and thrash metal of Seprevation quickly brings bands such as Master to mind, with their groovy yet high energy style of death/thrash.
The riffs of Ian Aston and Joss Farrington are precise and sharp, and bear a strong thrash metal edge to them, ranging from the old school Teutonic style of Destruction to Bay Area’s Exodus or Metallica. The intense experience that the axe-wielding duo provide, with that slight crushing death metal edge also easily brings about comparisons to bands such as Sadus or Dark Angel, while the slight technical edge that the band puts in is reminiscent of Demolition Hammer. This is backed by the relentless drumming of Jamie Wintle, who often alternates between the more familiar death metal-styled blasting to simpler, yet hard-hitting d-beats.
Despite the speed that the band has incorporated into their craft, not all is just chaos and destruction as the band attempts to bring about some slight order throughout the album, mostly through lead guitar works of Aston and Farrington. These often show the more melodic side of the band, especially on the slightly neo-classical inspired solos on songs like Servants of Suffering.
Consumed, being Seprevation‘s debut full length effort, has managed to keep the listener’s attention throughout the album with it’s high energy and infectious music. Overall, Consumed is certainly an extremely impressive debut for Seprevation.
Twitch of the Death Nerve [UK]
A New Code of Morality
Brutal Death Metal
After close to 10 years, London brutal death metal band Twitch of the Death Nerve finally drops their debut full length album in the form of A New Code of Morality. Featuring Lille Gruber of Defeated Sanity fame amongst its ranks, one would know what to expect, with the last Defeated Sanity release being one of the heaviest and crushing albums of recent times.
The band wastes little time in introducing their aggressive and crushing brand of brutal death metal to the listeners, and the moment the album begins with Peculiar Perversions Particular to the Piquerist, expect nothing but brutal riffs after riff, and punishing drums to accompany. The similarities to bands such as Defeated Sanity and Deeds of Flesh are clear, especially in the riffing of Tom Bradfield, who alternates between the chugging, riff-heavy style that bands such as Devourment or Kraanium have popularised, to the more technical and rather complex patterns that lean closer to that of Suffocation or Dying Fetus. Bassist Tom Carter aids in the heaviness with the low-end growl that he provides, often mirroring the technical lines of Bradfield, yet holding his ground with the few moments of brilliance that are hidden on the record where he gets to show off his chops.
The vocals of Bradfield are tortured and indecipherable as fuck, and the grindish touch that he has in his vocal execution, one can’t help but bring about comparisons with other contemporary acts such as Cerebral Bore as well.
But what really takes the cake over here is the drumming of Lille, which was what initially got my attention on Defeated Sanity as well. As per the style that he exhibited on Defeated Sanity, the usage of two different sounding snares help to create a more dynamic sound on the album, with that rather clanky sound creating a deeper impact with the resultant higher reverb, complementing the relentless riffs of Bradfield and Carter at the same time.
As though the album weren’t punishing enough, Twitch of the Death Nerve even includes spoken samples on the album, causing A New Code of Morality to be an album that is not only crushing as hell, but equally uneasy as well.
Fans of old school heavy metal rejoiced as Paul Di’Anno, the original voice of Iron Maiden hit the shores of Singapore last night. While Bruce Dickinson may be known as the air-raid siren for his works on The Number of the Beast and The Trooper, Paul Di’Anno’s work with the band has a more punkish vibe, with classics like Wrathchild, Killers and of course, the eponymous iron Maiden still being played by the current incarnation of Iron Maiden till this day.
Age may have caught up with Di’Anno, but the fiery spirit of punk and heavy metal still burns on in him, and fans gladly embraced the music of Di’Anno and backing band, Suicide Solution (yet another of my personal favourite local heavy metal bands). From the get-go, it is a nice trip down memory lane for followers of Iron Maiden, both young and old as Di’Anno belts out songs from the first two Maiden albums, Iron Maiden and Killers. While it has only been two days since Di’Anno arrived in Singapore, and the band has had hardly any time to jam together before the gig, the chemistry is still evident between the band and Di’Anno, sounding extremely tight throughout the entire set.
While the show could have easily been all about Di’Anno, he made sure that the members of Suicide Solution got their due credit as well, with the band playing the instrumental tracks Transylvania and The Ides of March to much support from the crowd. To keep fans excited, Di’Anno also often engaged in random banter with the crowd, constantly showing his appreciation for the undying support that fans have given to him throughout his musical career.
Unlike the Iron Maiden concert of 2011 that was held in the Indoor Stadium, Di’Anno’s gig was held in the smaller, but way intimate venue of the Hard Rock Cafe at Cuscaden, which allowed for fans to be as up close and personal to Di’Anno as possible. The close proximity between fans and the band allowed for fans to reach out to Di’Anno, with him returning the favour and showing his appreciation for the support, throwing up the horns and high-fiving fans that were within his reach.
After an hour and a half long set, Di’Anno finally ended the set with the song that most were waiting for the night – Iron Maiden. The first riffs immediately got everyone moshing and headbanging furiously, with virtually everyone present singing along to every words of the song. The end of the set left fans wanting more, and the band returned once again, with an encore of Running Free and Ramones‘ Blitzkrieg Bop, once more displaying Di’Anno’s punk roots and influences.
Kudos to Street Noise Productions for yet another well-organised gig, and for another memory for fans of Iron Maiden that will last for eternity.
Lacerated Enemy Records
Technical Death Metal
UK technical death metal outfit Cognizance may effectively be just a duo behind the band, but on their debut EP Inquisition the band has a whole host of guest musicians to make their first release one that is equally skull-crushingly brutal and technical.
Right from the start of the album with Clones of the Night Sky, the band quickly dishes out their brand of technical death metal, and the complex rhythmic section at the background quickly reminds one of the style that bands such as Necrophagist, Decrepit Birth and Spawn of Possession pioneered and popularised. Guest musicians from other bands such as Fallujah and The Faceless contribute to the overall aural onslaught of Cognizance, and for fans of the aforementioned, Inquisition would certainly be an album that would please. This especially so by the drumming provided by Alex Rudinger, who currently plays in The Faceless, adding much energy to the band’s music with his relentless blasting and the ease with which he handles complex segments.
Throughout the album, there are also some slight deathcore elements, but with the technicality that is already aplenty on Inquisition, these add a nice touch to Cognizance‘s sound, adding that tinge of brutality and heaviness for a more well-rounded listening experience.
Dissect, Molest, Ingest
Brutal Death Metal
After kicking off this year with the new, extremely brutal and crushing Aborted Fetus album, Private Judgement Day, I was certainly more than prepared for even more brutality. But to be honest I did not really expect the next dosage of slam death metal to hit me so quickly, and here we are with Amputated‘s brand new album, Dissect, Molest, Ingest. Those unfamiliar with the band would find their footing quickly, with the Cannibal Corpse-esque grotesquery on the cover artwork, and the overall visual aesthetics hinting one towards the style that Amputated would be presenting on their third full length album.
Body of Work introduces one to the themes of Amputated, and as though the band’s moniker weren’t enough clue for one, the samples of news reports on the track include news about cannibalism, necrophilia and the likes. Gorging on Putrid Discharge hits the listener with little warning, and the intensity that is presented by Amputated quickly reminds one of slam death metal pioneers such as Devourment, along with other bands such as Kraanium and of course the recent Aborted Fetus. This especially so with the chugging riffs that guitarists Daryl and Kai unleash, the relentless blasting of Gareth and the focus on the breakdowns that are rather plenty throughout the album.
Apart from the heaviness and intensity in the music, Amputated also brings in some elements of technicality in their music, and often Daryl and Kai bring in rather complex sections that could easily remind one of bands like Suffocation or Dying Fetus. There are even moments on The Local Flavour that brings bands like Cerebral Bore to mind with the riffing and the inclusion of slower, yet heavier moments on the track, as well as the high prominence of bassist Harry, who matches up with the rest of the band with ease.
While Amputated certainly does not bring anything particularly new to the table with Dissect, Molest, Ingest, the tightness with which the band executes their craft certainly makes the album extremely enjoyable, and of course fitting to the entire imagery that the band has sought to conjure.
Dark Descent Records
The 2011 Lvcifyre debut album The Calling Depths was extremely impressive, with the band dishing out some of the most intense black/death metal of the year, not unlike Polish legends such as Behemoth or Infernal War with the speed and intensity that is contained on the album. With the release of the follow up in the coming year in the form of Svn Eater, I was certainly very excited, expecting more crushing onslaught from this UK outfit.
But with Night Seas Sorcery, Lvcifyre surprises listeners, and unlike the focused, high octane experience that The Calling Depths presents to listener from start to the end, the band instead chooses to build up the climax rather slowly, with the first few minutes of the album seeing the band soak the listener in a dark and haunting atmosphere. The black metal edge that the band has this time seems to be much heavier, and this is probably most obvious in the vocal execution of T. Kaos, who utilises a higher pitch growl compared to that on The Calling Depths.
While those who loved the high energy that was presented on The Calling Depths might be somewhat put off so far, the band soon enough speeds things up slightly. The combination of the filthy backdrop amidst all that is happening quickly reminds one of the more bestial style of black/death metal bands like Bestial Raids and Antediluvian, this especially with the continuous oppressive feeling that is created by the heavy riffs unleashed by guitarists T. Kaos and Dictator, as well as that low growling bass of Cvltvs. This made especially so with the rather chaotic vocal execution of T. Kaos on tracks like Calicem Obscurum. The faster and more reckless moments on the album even bring in some slight comparisons to Swedish bands like Marduk and the likes.
Svn Eater has definitely been a remarkably different experience from the blistering The Calling Depths, and certainly has the potential to alienate those who loved the style of Lvcifyre on their debut. However, for those who are into the more bestial or primitive-sounding style of the genre, Svn Eater is certainly going to be one of the early highlights of the coming year, as it has been for me. On top of that, it is definitely nice to hear the continual evolution of the style of a band that one likes, and with Svn Eater, Lvcifyre has certainly made a step in the right direction.