Are you an up and coming metal band that would like to submit your music or album for review? Click HERE. Normally we have eight picks but it seems the summer doldrums have hit as everyone takes to the festival trail.
I.O.’s Pick Of The Week:
KAFIRUN | DEATH WORSHIP (independent)
Creepy, atmospheric, and dark, this 3-song demo from KAFIRUN is actually a refreshing foray into blackened death metal. The first minute into the first song, I was excited. There are blast beats, raspy screams, and tremolo picking. I can also detect some hardcore influence and it creates a meaningful subtext. The arrangements build a laudable tension with well-timed and appropriate tempo changes. For those of you who just enjoy music instead of pick it apart like I do, “Beyond the flesh vessel” is a damned good track. “Killer of all man” has a majestic inevitability to it with an ominous bass interlude and some spooky vocals throughout. “Thousand Spears” has a polyrhythmic interlude that bleeds into a traditional blast beat mind-fuck. Is this a band to keep tabs on? Let us know and include KAFIRUN in your reponse.
TERMINATRYX | SHADOW (independent)
If you’re looking for something that blends the haunting elements of Evanescence, the operatic drama of Within Temptation, and the gothic cheek of Siouxsie and the Banshees all wrapped up in chains of industrial rock and a hail to progressive metal, TERMINATRYX might be for you. They are a visually engaging act as well. Their videos definitely have flair and they’ve done a cover of Animotion’s cover of “Obsession” that is available on their YouTube channel. Flamedrop has some wicked concepts. Tell us what you think and include TERMINATRYX in your response.
BLOWSIGHT | LIFE & DEATH (Eclipse Records)
I’ve never heard anything like this. We’ve got a Johnny Cash sounding monologue in the midst of “It’s Me You’re Looking For” while “Back Where We Belong” has an intro by the most gothic barber quartet on the face of planet earth. My first introduction to BLOWSIGHT was a power balled called “Winter Have Mercy.” I’m not much of a ballad person but I know many people enjoy slow, emotionally evocative songs. So I was hesitant to listen to Life & Death. Glad I got over it. Some songs are pop-punk catchy with the tongue-in-cheek of Green Days’s Dookie. Others give you flavors of Queen in a dashing Metalcore cape or alternative metal a la Godsmack with the clean vocal tones of an ‘eighties boy band. You would expect something this all over the place to bomb like a torpedo and sometimes it threatens to go over the edge of cheese, but it’s defiance of gravity is illogical and delightful. If you need a break from the chug-thud, blast-beat, growl-grunt buffets you normally frequent, Life & Death is the perfect choice to cleanse your palate. I still caution you against the ballads, though. How quirky and fun are these guys? Tell us and be sure to include BLOWSIGHT in your response.
SHADOWSPAWN | Self-titled (independent)
SHADOWSPAWN’s sound harkens back to old school death metal a la Florida and adds a Danish twist. The influences of death metal are dropped into a more heavy metal framework. “Have Me Bleeding” is my favorite track. The music is straightforward and speaks for itself. What are your thoughts? Include SHADOWSPAWN in your response.
APOCROPHEX |WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS (independent – now signed to Manicidic Records)
I’m discovering that technical death metal is best heard live. So much texture is lost in a digital recording and I think this happened to APOCROPHEX’s demo. There’s a lot going on in Wheels Within Wheels and the title suits the 2-track offering to a tee. I’m putting this up for those technical death metal aficionados who can translate the live performance into the recording (I figured out the secret and now I have to go to more shows and apply this breakthrough). What really blew me away was finding out that one musician played all the non-vocal instruments for the recording sessions. Tell us what you think and include APOCROPHEX in your comments.
RAUM KINGDOM | Self-titled (independent)
No one does depressing better than the Irish. RAUM KINGDOM doesn’t do the lay-down-and-waste-away sort of depression, though I’m sure they could pull off a hunger strike in traditional Emerald Isle style. Instead this is the you-can’t-look-away-from-the-train-wreck kind of depression. Imagine the oppressive tempo of doom, the droning buzz of guitar, and the emotional drama of TOOL’s “Prison Sex” or “Stinkfist.” What are your thoughts? Include RAUM KINGOM in your response.
I.O. Kirkwood is a Metal Descent contributor. You can check out her personal blog at http://iokirkwood.com.