Scepter of Eligos, Without Mercy, These Colors Fade, Jonatan Piña Duluc, Maudiir reviews (2020/2021)
The selections for this week are more diverse than usual. Despite the fact that the majority of promos arriving at my mailbox are (extreme) metal related, I would never refuse a listen to a good quality release.
Scepter of Eligos - Inverted Illusions
Scepter of Eligos are a trio coming from Denver, Colorado who took the inspiration for their name from their frontman´s occultist endeavours. Eligos, according to Aleister Crowley, is a Goetic demon that is said to appear on a winged horse holding a scepter and a serpent. Despite the previous, the trio does not play any kind of Black or Death Metal. The material in Inverted Illusions, their new EP, is actually Doom/Sludge with plenty atmospheric parts which actually enhance the occult character. Usually US sludge bands have many Hardcore and Punk influences but in the case of Scepter of Eligos the material is more psychedelic in its nature and I have to admit that this is something that I have found highly original.
Without Mercy - Seismic
Unlike Scepter of Eligos, Without Mercy follow a much "safer" approach. Their melodic Death Metal sounds very much modern and incorporates guest slots by musicians such as Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy) on opening track Thunderbird and Chris Broderick (Act of Defiance) on Disinfect The Soul setting in such way, strong possibilities for Seismic to find its place in the playlists of the young listeners rather than those of the old-school fanatics. Highly enjoyable album I must say !
These Colors Fade - Contemporary Tragedy
These Colors Fade are a one-man project, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Keelan Donahue who has handled everything from songwriting, recording and mixing to the artwork in his third release Contemporary Tragedy. And while the artistic vision is highly appreciated, I am not sure if it works 100 percent. This is because despite that the songwriting and especially the melodies are great, the final result clearly suffers from the inadequate vocal work.
Jonatan Piña Duluc - Sountrack Vol. I: Secuencia
Jonatan Piña Duluc is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from the Dominican Republic who has won the country`s most important composition competition the Premio Nacional de Música in six occasions in Symphonic/Choral, Chamber music and Latin Dance music. Having interests in Jazz, Rock, Latin Troubadour, Dominican folklore and everything eclectic (as he points out) he has released his new album a collection of suites and pieces written for film or inspired by film as storytelling. This explains also the album's title, Sountrack Vol. I: Secuencia, which includes material that goes from quiet soundtrack type of avant garde pieces to epic Afro-Dominican Jazzodelic Progressive movements. In the words of the composer, "the idea is to release short stories that are the "scenes" that are inspired by the music or that have inspired the music on this album".
I have to admit that within the whole of the album's diversity and obvious progressive character, the more avant-garde parts are really my favourite. They retain a noir-melancholic character and in my opinion function better as "imaginary" soundtrack parts compared to the score pieces that follow a more latin and ethnic approach. Nevertheless, I believe that the final result is truly successful addressing its original intentions.
Maudiir - Le Temps Peste
Second one-man project for this month and second case of an artist who chooses a modern approach for a genre like (Black Metal) who is not famous for its open-mindness. That is not necessary bad, as the proximity of Maudiir's material to Dissection (to what concerns the melodies and the vocals) will may be a good alternative for those listeners who were never able to embrace the misanthropic views of the late Jon Nödtveidt.