Work life has forced me to take (one more) extensive break from the blog. To decrease the backlog, I have prepared a "mega-post" with 16 new releases I have decide to present this month. Enjoy!
Deformatory - Hardbringer
The new 4 song EP by Deformatory (the group has also released another 3 full lengths, the 2013 debut “In The Wake of Pestilence”, the 2016 follow-up “Malediction” and finally their 2021 masterpiece “Inversion of the Unseen Horizon”) can work well as an appetiser but eventually leaves the listener wanting for more. I am big fan of bands who can write great riffs so I am all for this one !
Scars Of Atrophy - Nations Divide
Scars of Atrophy are an American band from Arizona. consisting of members from the thrash metal legends Atrophy (mainly from their 2016 reformation). I found this fact interesting and my initial question was if their output would be able to live up to their legend. Thankfully, the answer was a yes and their debut EP is an excellent sample of ferocious American Thrash metal with modern influences (like Power Trip).
Zanjeer - Parcham Buland Ast
Zanjeer is a punk band from Bremen, Germany. The band was formed in 2020 with the intention of playing uncompromising political punk influenced by bands like Sial, Fertil Miseria, Ratos de Porao etc with lyrics in Urdu, Punjabi and Farsi - languages native to Pakistan, India and Iran. Interestingly, the members come from parts of the globe namely Colombia, Pakistan, England and Germany. Their 6-song/8-minute debut EP "Parcham Buland Ast" is an amazing artefact of politically charged, crust influenced thrash metal which in its 8 minutes takes no prisoners.
Polarity - Live Off The Floor at Jukasa Studio
Canadian group Polarity has decided to record their fourth album Destruction Of Memory Live off the floor at Jukasa Studio in February 2022 and I have to say that their alternative metal despite the obvious influences by bands such as A Perfect Circle and Tool) sounds incredibly catchy and enjoyable much due to the wonderful vocals of Jasmine Virginia. They may sound too much 2000s but personally I did not let this stop me from enjoying their music.
Algebra - Chiroptera
Swiss (originating from Lausanne) thrashers Algebra have released their new album focusing mostly on melodies rather than insane speeds. Where their strong point though is, are the excellent galloping riffs. If I could make a reference that would be Exodus of Impact Is Imminent era. Overall excellent work and an album that had it been shorter (and slightly more condensed) would have been a serious candidacy for album of the year in its genre.
Whispers In The Maze - Stories Untold : Chapter 1
Whispers In The Maze describe themselves as a metal band without borders working as one to create a musical blend of the heavy, the melodic, the progressive and the poetic. And while their Swedish-style melodic Death metal has an epic and progressive character the short duration of the EP does not fully succeeds in allowing them to fully present their ideas leaving us waiting for a full album.
Miscreance - Convergence
Looking for a Technical Death Metal album that does not compromise speed and aggressiveness and stands equally next to the masterpieces of early Pestilence and Spiritual Healing era of Death ? There you have it !
Iron Kingdom - The Blood Of Creation
Iron Kingdom play classic Heavy metal with speed elements, maiden-like guitars solos, power metal melodies (imagine Deris-era Helloween) and backing vocals which are reminiscent of Leather Leone and Zed Yago creating an unmistakeable recipe for each 80s metal fan.
Epoch of Unlight - At War With The Multiverse
Epoch of Unlight return after a 6 year hiatus with their new album At War With The Multiverse which consist of 42 minutes of melodic Death with Thrash influences. What I can mention is that their approach is more direct than complex however still remains technical something which eventually does not strip the songs from any of their virtues.
Lost Legacy - In The Name Of Freedom
Lost Legacy hail from The Bronx in New York City, and despite being around for nearly over two decades "In The Name Of Freedom" is only their second work. Their sound owes very much to US power metal (Vicious Rumors, Metal Church, Helstar) with the songs applying all the elements of the right recipe i.e. epic character, galloping riffs and maiden-like solos. It may not be groundbreaking but still is one of the best choices for fans of an anyhow self-restrictive genre.
Upon Your Grave - Gold & Decay
Formed in 2009 and having released their debut in 2013, Upon your Grave return with a new EP which is positioned in the borderline between Hardcore and NWOADM. Melodic riffs and groove (rather than speed) are the main elements in a very promising compilation of songs.
Parius - The Signal Heard Throughout Space
The press release references Parius with bands like Mr. Bungle and Mars Volta and while the progressive character is still predominant, I believe it is less sophisticated and eccentric and be rather closer to bands like Dream Theater and Muse. Nonetheless, the compositions are still at very high level and despite being written as part of an imaginary rock opera can still work as stand alone tracks.
Eternal Closure - At The Center Of It All - Chapter I
Eternal Closure is a six-piece, female-fronted metal band from Montréal, Québec which reminded me a mixture between Evanescence (clean vocals) and Arch Enemy (harsh vocals). Their music combines djent guitars good melodies creating a catchy output. I am looking forward for Chapter II !
Pyramid is a American progressive metal band and collaboration of some of the most iconic vocalists and musicians world wide and was formed in 2017 by song writer and bassist Lance Sawyer. The current band line up includes “ guests “ vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, vocalist Andry Lagiou, guitarist Adam Bentley, guitarist Gabe Pietrzak, guitarist Mike Abdow, Keyboardist Joey Izzo, Drums James Knoerl, Violinist Perrine Missemer, Bassist Lance Sawyer. As anyone can easliy imagine with such a roaster the result can be none other than one of the best progressive metal albums of this year !
Splintered Throne - The Greater Good of Man
Another excellent speed power/speed metal album for this month's batch which carries a strong old-school vibe. Excellent guitar work, amazing singing making The Greater Good of Man an album I play constantly in my car.
Anthea - Tales Untold
Closing this months great lot or releases, we have Anthea a melodic, symphonic metal band from Los Angeles which reminded me a lot of Kamelot especially because of their well balanced combination of heaviness and melody.