Sorrows Path – Doom Philosophy

SORROWS PATH cover

Greek doom metallers Sorrows Path is a band I’ve kept track of for a little while, so being sent their new album for review is pretty cool. Over their long career the band has endured through tough times (even death) and with Doom Philosophy their third album, the band really shows what they are made of.

First Beam Of Darkness Into Light is an introductory short track, building up tension into the first track Tragedy. What’s interesting about this track is its energy. It’s not just crushingly slow as you’d often get with more run-of-the-mill Doom metal. In fact it has a slight European power metal edge, especially in the vocals and the more up-tempo riffs. This song has a killer chorus and is a great start to the album, and it also features Edgar Rivera (ex-Solitude Aeturnus.) A Dance With The Dead is a bit more traditional, with doom laden riffs and a kind of “creep” atmosphere at time.

“Brother of Life” is another doomier track, with some interesting keyboard stuff and a powerful chorus; this one feels like it has quite a bit of emotion put into it as well. “Everything Can Change” features the legendary Snowy Shaw on vocals, and it’s a nice performance he has put in here, this track has plenty of doomy overtones and heavy riffs as well, the band supporting the vocals well yet also showing their own flair for metal too.

The King With A Crown Of Thorns begins as a sort of metal ballad, with some awesome clean guitar work and melodic soloing. The vocals feel nice and heartfelt here, and the rhythm section takes a backseat well, before the band smashes into heavier moments later on with the chorus and solo. This is a great dynamic track, and was one of my highlights. “The Venus And The Moon” is a speedier track with plenty of double bass and snaky riffs. This is a nice heavy one with a bit more energy and chunkiness, with some great vocal layering in the chorus.

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“Epoasis” feels in places, especially in the vocals, like some classic Black Sabbath but with more modern instrumentation, and a bit more focus in the songwriting, with much more modern sounds and some bits with more of the band’s own style. “Clouds Inside me” has a great sounding clean guitar to start things off with a kind of 80s vibe, and when the song gets heavier there are some cool melodies and some awesome vocal lines too.

“Darkness” is another of the heavier tracks on the album, with some really hard hitting riffs and a spoken word acted section that is somewhat entertaining in the way it plays out, before some awesome solos and some great metal riffs.

The album closes on “Damned (O)fish/L.S.D.” and this one’s actually mostly instrumental until right at the end, with some interesting progressive sounding guitar playing, and some clean moments that border a little on Opeth style stuff. This is definitely a different way to end the album, certainly unexpected and showcases the foundations of the band quite well.

The band chose to work again with Vangelis Yalamas (who has sound engineered Fates Warning live shows among other work) at Fragile Studios. The production is pretty good, you can hear everything that is going on, and it all gels together quite well! The drums and guitars shine out in particular, and there are some great moments with the vocals too.

Doom Philosophy is definitely an interesting album. The band showcases their talents and passion for songwriting well, with lot of dynamic songs yet in keeping with their core sound. This one will serve to strengthen their back catalog and hopefully see them to bigger things

Check out Sorrows Path at https://www.facebook.com/SorrowsPath

 

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The Tickturds – Tickturdius Maximus

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The Tickturds are probably one of my favourite punk bands, and with their debut album Tickturdius Maximus due for release imminently, hopefully more people are about to see why. A mix of ferocious punk beats, angry shouting vocals and some great riffs and basslines, this is something a bit different and interesting.

“Now Hear This You Tickturd” is an audio clip that gave the band their name, from Smokey And The Bandit, and leads us into the first proper track, Comfort Zone which has an awesome main riff and some cool stabbing guitars and drums too. The bassline is nice and “bouncy” with quite a classic punk feel to it. This is a slice of proper punk from the start. The double attack of “Monkey” and “Underdog” has been live hits from the band for some time now, and were featured on their live album “Insulting Your Eardrums.” It’s nice to hear these on a proper album, with their catchy main riffs and interesting basslines.

“C.T.S” is the first track on the album sung by bass player Luke Fisher. This is a punked up ska style track, with upbeat drumming and some great riffs too. We go back to Rik Spanner for “Eyes In The Sky” and this is another straight up punk track with furious vocals and some hard hitting drums.

“Revolution” is a nice dynamic track with some cool changes in rhythm and feel over the course of quite a short track, and with this one you can hear the heavy metal background behind James Balcombe’s drumming. “Player” is a track with some more awesome basslines, and some cool riffs as well. “Jesus Creepers” starts off quite slow but very quickly picks up the pace at the end with a mad tempo and some equally mad vocal delivery.

My God” is one of my highlights on the album, with some powerful riffs and interesting structure that shows there’s more to this punk band than meets the eye, with a sense of melody and lyrics that some may not expect. “Invasion Liberation” is a speedy track with some bluesy rock riffage and a nice call and response vocal too. This one almost borders on early heavy metal but has an attitude throughout that perfectly suits the Tickturds.

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“Nigel” is another track fronted by Luke with song angry interspersions from Rik. This is another highlight of their live set, and is often contrasted by Luke’s acoustic slowed down version opening up many a night. “Serious Loss Of Doubt” is the longest track on the album yet still only just over three minutes. This one has one of my favourite Tickturds basslines that makes use of some cool major triads, and overall one of my favourites with some great playing from the mighty Clive.

It’s good to see “Mr Angry” on this album as well, as this is yet another highlight (yeah, there’s more than a few on this album) with its hard rock main riff, frenetic drumming and a really cool bridge later on. It really suits it title and works really well here.

“Zombie Hen Blues” finishes up the album, with exactly as you’d expect from the title; some blues! This is a cool, well played track and offers something different to finish up the album.

I always feel that production should match what a band is trying to do, and with the Tickturds this has definitely been achieved with Tickturdius Maximus. It’s the best sounding release by the band so far, yet it still has that raw energy that defines the band (and their live shows) and really works in their favour really.

There’s plenty on offer with “Tickturdius Maximus” at a massive 14 tracks in just 31 minutes. Each track though short is done well and offers something a bit different. At its core this is some straight up punk exactly the way it should be, but listen deeper for some different stuff going on, bits of Ska, and even some speed metal perhaps. This is definitely worth checking out if you aren’t afraid.

Tickturdius Maximus is available to order now at https://thetickturds.bandcamp.com/album/tickturdius-maximus

Check out The Tickturds at https://www.facebook.com/TheTickturds

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Neverworld – Visions Of Another World

Front Cover

Having bumped into these guys a couple of times now, it’s fair to say I was pretty excited about receiving their new album Visions Of Another World for review. Their live performances are powerful, with an epic symphonic and progressive sound; these guys also weren’t afraid to play the long ones live too! It’s time to see if this studio album lives up to the legacy of Neverworld.

Beginning with the ticking clock sounds of Tempus this is a nice little heartfelt piano opening to the album, accompanied by melancholy strings, that builds to a more dramatic sound with some subtle percussion and a building symphony. It accomplishes a lot and builds a really epic atmosphere right at the start of this album, despite its short length. This leads nicely into title track Visions Of Another World. This is a great song, with some power metal style guitar meeting more progressive elements and keyboards. Some nice technical playing and some utterly fantastic vocals from Ben Colton – this guy has a range and vibrato that makes me quite envious! This song ends on a nice synth reprise of the chorus melody that works quite nicely.

They Live is about as close as you’ll get to “radio-friendly” in terms of song lengths from these guys. This one has a nice groove to it, especially in the intro, and feels really “80s” throughout, with stabbing synths and really nice hefty guitars. This one has a nice chorus with a very melodic vibe, and some overall great playing from the band. Blood And Romance is the long epic of the album, and features some female vocals too from Christina Gajny. This song has various movements, from fast paced guitar work to somewhat more laid back moments with some nice guitar solos and some cool vocals throughout.

Ghosts is one of my highlights of the album. Some fantastic songwriting ties together a really diverse vocal approach, great chorus and some awesome melodies throughout. It doesn’t lose focus at any point and really hits the nail on the head with the band really shining as a whole here. The song moves along really nicely, with an acoustic bridge that works really well too, bringing a nice balance of light and dark to the material here.

Wheel Of Misfortune is another highlight, with a humorous intro and outro (I’ll let you hear it for yourself) and some awesome vocals over the top of a meaty main riff. This song offers plenty, with muscular metal riffage throughout and some really cool moments in general, from great melodies to powerful keyboards cemented by a very strong rhythm section.

Eminent Reprisal builds a really great atmosphere, with some pounding heartbeat-like drums, with melodic guitars setting an epic tone, a little like an 80s action movie in style. The song goes into some nice piano melodies layered with some nice guitars and good beat from the drums too. This one has a really powerful guitar section later on, with a really old school progressive feel that melds Queensryche and Fates Warning style sections and vocals seamlessly; a really impressive feat considering the monstrous talents required.

Penultimate rocker Salt Water Bandits is a piece of technical mastery, with some maddeningly speedy riffs meeting melodic lead guitars really nicely, with some great synth and bass backing and really powerful drumming. This is a nice long track but keeps it interesting throughout with some really great musicianship and songwriting; there’s plenty of contrasting moments, breaks and build-ups that keep the listener on their toes.

The album ends on This Fire, which opens with some nice emotive piano with guitar accompaniment. This song builds up nicely with some more great vocals, with some heavy guitar chords building upon the atmosphere, before they got to some great proggy riffage. This one certainly doesn’t finish the album on a tepid note. All the energy of the band is present and accounted for, with lots of great and different melodic moments blending nicely with heavy stuff. Another great chorus with a great feel to it rounds things off here too. The song ends as the album starts, with the inevitable ticking of time.

The production is pretty good, especially for a debut album. The guitars sound a little digital in places but it’s really no big issue, the playing MORE than makes up for such a minor thing. I personally would have appreciated a little more bass in the mix but again that’s just a small personal thing. The vocals sound absolutely spot on, well layered and recorded, and clearly a lot of effort has gone into this. The Drum sound is nice and powerful, well recorded too, and the keyboards are really good; both subtle and powerful when the need arises. Everything gels nicely in the overall mix as well.

Visions Of Another World is a really strong release, and another in recent memory that I’ve simply had to go into track by track analysis of it; it’s just that good! This is a band with plenty of skill and talent, and they can pull it off live too! There is so much different and diverse stuff packed into this too, which is something metal sorely lacks in the modern age. This is an impressive release, reminiscent of 80s and early 90s progressive metal, with a modern touch, and absolutely fantastic songwriting.

Check out Neverworld at https://www.facebook.com/NeverworldMetal

Resin – Burn [Single]

Resin - Burn

Hinckley’s Resin have been storming the UK scene for quite some years now, and their new single Burn shows off what this Grunge/Metal act are capable of.

Opening up with a cool lead guitar, the nice aggressive vocals smash into the heavy main riff with ease. The main verse has a great bass groove and some more melodic vocals, with some nice guitar work and subtle drumming underpinning the sound. The song moves between quieter and heavier moments really well, building tension nicely throughout, with a cool chorus with some nice layered vocals and powerful riffing, and some good solid soloing too. There’s some more screamed vocals layered with clean ones after that and then back into quieter moments. The band switch between different sounds really well, with a flair for song structure that makes for a good amount of stuff happening in just 4 minutes.

The production is spot on here; everything has its right place in the mix which is nice and clear. The vocals and guitars especially shine here with great sounds and double tracking involved. The bass sounds nice and gritty and the drum sound really supports the mix as a whole.

Overall Burn is an exciting single from Resin, with plenty on offer to get things heated up for their upcoming album!

Desolation Angels – Sweeter The Meat

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London-based Desolation Angels have a great old school sound that they display to good effect on their new EP Sweeter The Meat. Full of high ranged vocals, tight rhythm section and mighty riffs, this is definitely worth a look-in for British Hard Rock/Metal fans.

Title track Sweeter The Meat opens up with an awesome 80s infused riff, with some nice pinch harmonics thrown in and some pounding drums too. This is a great start to the EP with a cool old-school chorus and solid songwriting.

Metal Man is one of my favourites, and this one has stuck in my head for a while! With an awesome riff that feels like old school NWOBHM, with lots of cool riffs, a good catchy chorus and some cool solos too! Medusa has a cool bass groove to kick things off, before slamming into a kind of Black Sabbath meets Queensryche tune that ought to get heads nodding live, with some nice guitar chords and a great overall feel to the track.

Archangel is another stellar track, with a nice energetic feel and some powerful riffs going on. The chorus is probably the best on the EP, with some great vocal harmonies and a great style. This is a really well written song with great playing overall and a tight unified sound.

Set Your Spirit Free finishes the EP, with more awesome riffage and focussed songwriting, with some great vocal moments towards the end too! This one is the longest (by three seconds) and features lots of different riffs and a cool solo too.

The production is pretty good, especially for an EP. Everything sounds very old school but with a bit more of a modern touch, the drums in particular sound fairly more modern. The guitars sound like they could have come from a late 80s record, and the vocals are pretty awesome too. The bass is very supportive and is felt more than heard on this one.

Overall, this is a very strong release, definitely worth checking out if you like the 80s, I certainly like it.

Check out Desolation Angels at https://www.facebook.com/DesolationAngels

In Search Of Sun – The World Is Yours.

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This is band I’ve managed to catch a few times over the last few years or so. My own band played with these guys a fair few times when they were called Driven, and now with a new name In Search Of Sun and having finally recorded their debut album The World Is Yours, this is a band to be reckoned with! They have always been a really great live band and after their Debut EP it’s great to hear their powerful sound on a full length album.

The band fades in on title track “The World Is Yours” powerful chords, some atmosphere building drums and a cool bassline to get us started. The band then crashes into a complex sounding lead guitar riff, with some great drum fills. The band then hits the first verse, with an almost groove metal with the super powerful vocals of Adam Leader, one of my personal favourite frontmen on the UK scene right now cutting through the mix. His sense of control and melody meet with aggression in a way that still astounds me. Even better, I am witness to the fact that he pull it off live too! The chorus here is really strong, and well supported by the band as a whole, no-one overplays at any point but everyone has their moments right from the word go.

Give In” with a powerful rhythm backing some more cool guitar-work that showcases a lot of skilled musicianship. They keep a tight groove even whilst performing the more technical stuff. The vocal harmonies here are really powerful, with a very modern feel, but also reminiscent of the more skilled thrash singers like John Bush. This song gets a bit heavier with screamed vocals later with some really low down guitar playing before introducing some more cool lead guitar work in the bridge section, which builds up really well before smashing into some more heavy riffage to finish.

“51 56” has a really cool bass groove, before the guitars bring in a really cool palm muted melody. This one has a different feel to the others, a bit more on the melodic side this time, but still with plenty of cool moments, some nice lead guitar throughout too. This one feels a little bit experimental in some places, but also with some of the bands calling cards such as the great chorus.

“In Search Of Sun” is another cool track, with some interesting guitar delay effects with some cool drumming too. This one is a bit more melancholy sounding, with a nice layered sounding verse with yet more cool vocals that sound really emotive here, backed by some more great rhythm playing. This one of my favourites on the album, with lots of dynamics and a powerful chorus that I remember rom the last time my band shared a stage with these guys back in late 2013!

In Search Of Sun

From the progressive sound, great vocal harmonies and bass guitar playing of “Idle Crown” (which has awesome clean sections with some great all round playing) to the awesome full on heaviness of “Burn” and “To The Axe” this band proves they have the songwriting chops. This is some seriously dynamic sounding stuff, with lots of different moments unified by the sound that In Search Of Sun have created.

Skin” is a pretty cool track, with slightly overdrive guitars meeting with some harmonica on a track that is probably the closest thing to a ballad you’ll hear on this album, before it gets heavier later on. “Draw The Line” is also pretty cool, with a nice blend of light and shade but plenty of heaviness mainly.

The Eyes Behind I” is a really cool way to finish up, there’s some moments that sound almost jazzy, with some great skilful bass playing underpinning some really cool guitar lines and supported by tight drumming. The vocals again are really well done too, with some great harmonies and melodies going on. This one closes the album in style with a good dynamic song.

ISOS The World Is Yours

The production is spot on here; everything has been recorded and mixed really well, with the vocals and bass standing out most to my own ears. It’s all pretty well done though, plenty loud without falling victim to the loudness wars too much, and an overall very heavy sound encompasses the release.

I have been trying to refrain from the whole “track by track” review lately but I couldn’t help myself with this release. This is an absolute corker of a debut, and really raises the bar for bands not just in the area but in the nation as a whole. These guys are fantastic live performers and this album will serve to solidify their reputation and showcase some fantastic musicians and songwriters. In Search Of Sun, with material this strong the world could indeed be yours!

The World Is Yours

Oculus – King Of Fools

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Ipswich’s Oculus are one of my favourite local metal bands (though I live in Peterborough the band I am in plays in Essex/Suffolk all the time) and they recently stormed the Ipswich Music Day with their quite unique sound, full of great vocal harmonies, fantastic keyboard playing, and some heavy fucking metal! Having reviewed their EP quite a while back, I have been a sent a new song that is a teaser for their next EP.

King Of Fools is no small teaser. We’re treated to over TEN MINUTES of music here! The song Kicks off with some dramatic piano and atmospheric drums before hitting a clean verse with a cool bassline. The vocals suit the atmosphere here really well, building up more and more as it goes. The song gets heavier as the guitars slam in with some tense string synths, and some more awesome vocals showing James Whitby as a versatile singer going from harsh to clean vocals with ease, conjuring up some epic lyrics with themes of festivities and also battle it seems. There are some cool harmonies between the keyboard and guitars as well.

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This song has plenty to offer, with different moments and energy that doesn’t die out throughout the song. There’s a heavy symphonic metal sound blended with moments reminiscent of classic British metal too, and it all blends together very well, from chunky riffs to cool lead guitar moments, some great playing from the rhythm section as I’ve personally come to expect from these guys.

Overall this is a really great song, well written and with plenty of bits to keep things interesting throughout. Oculus’ next EP should be a very interesting one indeed with this sort of stuff on it, which reinforces their existing style whilst adding in a little different stuff to make something very exciting!

Check out Oculus at https://www.facebook.com/OculusUK