Tag Archives: Bass

Avenger – The Slaughter Never Stops

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Avenger, Newcastle’s NWOBHM legends return with a new album! Associated with such acts as Blitzkrieg, Atomkraft and Satan, you know you’re in for something special. Add to this the band’s own old school heavy metal legitimacy and you’ve got an album worth checking out!

The album opens up with the atmospheric sounds of Mace Imperial, which builds up with pianos and strings before slamming into the awesome riffage of Race Against Time which was a little more modern sounding than I was expecting. This is in a good way of course; the band combines some real old school sounding vocals with some great heavy riffs.

For the audience:

People who like proper old school metal should eat this up. It approaches the 80s sound in a modern way, similar to Hell’s approach with heavy riffs meeting passionate and dramatic vocals.

There’s plenty to listen to here, and in just 46 minutes the band delivers an album full of great tracks. Fields Of The Burnt has a really awesome classic sounding riff that should make this one a real hit live, with some great guitar work and a super solid rhythm section! In Arcadia Go is another real powerful number, with some awesome hooks and some really well done vocals here! They’ve also chucked in a cover of the classic Maiden number Killers, which is a straight up cover performed really well, with special mention towards the vocals again which have a nice blend of both Di’Anno and Dickinson, with some nice souped up chunky guitars too.

The band also delivers a nice long track at 7 minutes long with Flayer Psychosis and it’s full of energy right from the get go, keeping at it throughout with hefty riffage and some great vocal moments meeting cool basslines and vocals!

The album ends on Midnight Mass Destruction which has another classic sounding riff given a modern makeover here, with a nice heavy sound on display. This ends the album nicely as one of the heavier tracks, but also has a nice clean bridge section that builds up nicely.

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For the artist:

This is a really solid album, with some great moments and some really good songwriting. The production is pretty good but feels a little dry in places. It’s not really a big problem and the music takes precedence here!

Overall this some really good stuff, here’s hoping the band keeps it up and delivers us plenty of live shows and new material!

The Slaughter Never Stops Is Released on 1st December via Rocksector Records

Check out Avenger at https://www.facebook.com/avengeruk1

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Sorrows Path – Doom Philosophy

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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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Gods Of War – Tales From The Dark Lands

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Liverpool’s God’s Of War have an interesting sound with plenty of different things going on, that definitely places on the more extreme end of the spectrum but with an element of musicianship that also gives them a bit of an edge. Their new EP “Tales From The Dark Lands” encapsulates their current sound and style really nicely.

Opening with “Fornost” which has an almost black metal meets NWOBHM vibe to it, with some nice bass guitar playing and stabbing drums meeting the twisting guitar riffs. The vocals sound nice and furious on this one, with some melodic chanting style vocals adding a very different dimension to the proceedings here. With some furious drumming and cool solo adding to proceedings, this is a good start to the EP.

“Gods Of Old” has a nice introduction which reminds me of more old school black metal but again with the style of this band it takes on a new feeling, with some cool bass lines and drum grooves lending themselves to that on this track. A mighty verse riff adds a bit more heaviness to the mix, and there’s a nice clean guitar section in the mid-section that breaks up the action and feels quite chilled out, with some nice thoughtful basslines giving it an almost jazz style. This is then built upon with heavier and heavier riffs and this works really well, feeling quite bleak and heavy overall.

“Operation Engage” has very cool intro that I can see working really well live, with a really energetic vibe to it. Plenty of riffage to this one, with some maddeningly fast drum beats later on and a really angry vocal delivery that works really well here, keeping the tension high throughout, with some shouting gang vocals later on and some overall nice technical playing.

“Angmar” starts off with some nice clean guitar and bass, building a more soothing kind of atmosphere, before we are pummelled with some awesome riffage. This one feels a bit more on the NWOBHM spectrum of metal in terms of musicality at first, but maintaining the heavier style of the band with the harsher vocals and some heavy guitar work too. This is also the longest song at nearly 7 minutes, and it’s pulled off well with lots of different moments throughout the song.

The production is what you’d expect from the genre, and is fine for an EP. You can hear everything that’s going on and the parts are all nice and tight. The gang vocals sound pretty cool as well!

This is a good EP from Gods Of War, worth checking out for fans of extreme metal with something a little different to offer. It would be nice to see these guys head into the studio for a full album at some point!

Check Out Gods Of War at https://www.facebook.com/godsofwaruk/

“Tales From The Dark Lands” Is available now at https://godsofwar.bandcamp.com/

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Osmium Guillotine

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From the depths of Essex comes a band steeped in traditional sounding riffs and full of attitude. Osmium Guillotine brings the thunder with their debut self-titled album, with a great sense of style, some fantastic musicianship and solid songwriting too!

Opening up with a symphonic style intro courtesy of Chris Saunders (Earthmass, Chestburster, 5 String Drop Out Band and many other projects) and this builds a nice atmosphere to get us started off here, with stabbing synths and cool sounding strings lending themselves to the excitement of the upcoming album.

This leads into the first track with the band is “Martyrdom” with a kind of eastern riff giving way to crushing power chords, before the chugging main riff crashes in. The vocals of Peter Keliris soar over the riffage, with powerful lyrics about religious extremism. The style on this one toes the line between Thrash and old school British metal, but the next track “D-Day,” a classic of the Osmium Guillotine live set, definitely leans towards the latter, with mighty guitar harmonies and awesome old-school riffs meeting with a great vocal performance a cold “gang-chant” style chorus.

“Phobophobia” was the first taste of the album we got in 2013, and it’s as powerful now as it was then, about “the fear of being afraid” with some more awesome vocals from Pete and a great heavy metal attack all around, with an awesome guitar harmony later on too! “Blight Upon Mankind” is another older song from the band, with ominous clean guitars and tense drumming leading way to some evil sounding riffs later on. This is a great track from the earlier days of Osmium Guillotine’s 5 year history and it still holds up on the album!

“City Of Chaos” begins with a great classic metal riff before the drums crash in and the riff grows in power with the backing of the rhythm section. This is a more politically charged song about the state of the country, and the song on the whole has a kind of speed metal meets thrash mentality, with crazy fast riffs and some great playing too! “Hobgoblin” is another live classic about the Ale of the same name, telling the tale of Wychwood. This a great song with a bit of a folky sound to it, and a main riff that you could probably dance a jig to.

“Goomba” takes things in a totally different direction, drop-tuning the guitars and introducing the track some fantastic bass playing from Dan Thurgood. This song has a real groove to it, feeling a little more 90s, and is about the enemy of the same name from Nintendo’s most popular series of games, but this one’s from the perspective of the Goomba itself and is quite clever! The song as a whole is a definite highlight of the album, with great guitar riffs, awesome vocal moments and some super solid drums from James Balcombe.

“Into The Battle” is another classic from the guys, with some great harmonised guitar riffs making it feel a bit more British, but then unleashing blast beats and some more black metal style playing in places, with some great riffage overall, and it’s nice to hear this one on the album as well! “Breathe It In Son” is the instrumental track of the album, and it keeps things interesting throughout with lots of fantastic melodies and guitar parts, with a cool bass solo later on in as well!

“Subhuman” closes the album with one last OG classic; this is quite a lengthy track, with lots of false endings and the like to keep listeners on their toes. It’s a good finish to the album, with some great guitar playing that will keep people listening to the end, and hopefully make them go in for another spin!

The production is pretty good on the album, the drums and vocals are particularly impressive, with lots of nice cymbal sounds going on and some aggressive sounding vocals mixed quite well. The guitar gel well with each other, and though the bass sounds great I feel it could have done with going up a bit in the mix personally.

This is a fantastic debut album from Osmium Guillotine, with the blend of attitude, style and musicianship only true British metal can deliver. There’s a new wave of metal on the way and this is exactly the kind of stuff that ought to be at the forefront of it, dark and heavy without being “brutal”, with great musicianship and songwriting.

Osmium Guillotine is released 6th June via MGR records

Check out Osmium Guillotine at https://www.facebook.com/osmiumguillotine and http://osmiumguillotine.com/

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UnKured – As Reality Melts

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Death Metal and Thrash metal have often gone hand in hand over the years, often with mixed results, and Ohio’s UnKured nails the style really well with their 2013 EP “As Reality Melts” as a precursor to their album “Mutated Earth”

Opening up with “Before Us Heaven Trembles”, I was instantly reminded of the band Death, especially in the vocals, but with a bit more focus on the songwriting, and more thrash leanings too. The song has lots of sinister sounding guitars, and some nice chaotic sounding solos later on too, a little similar to 80s Slayer but more Hanneman than King.

“Dark Dominion” follows that up with a bit more of a midtempo track in places but one that is no less heavy sounding. There’s lots going on in this one, plenty of riffs and some very angry sounding vocals. There’s a really old school progressive thrash sounding riff midway through the song before the solo that I really quite liked, and some mad basslines later on too! “Taking The Abyss” carries on with the super heavy style the band has gone for, with lots of bludgeoning guitar riffs and some jazzy sounding sections later on too.

The EP closes with title track ‘As Reality Melts’ presents a kind of apocalyptic atmosphere, with lots of dissonant riffs and a really furiously delivered vocal, with plenty of different moments ending the EP on a very heavy note.

The production overall is fine for an EP, it’s quite raw sounding yet tight at the same time, the drums sound quite good overall and the bass is nice and audible which is always a plus for me as a bass player myself. The guitars gel well with the mix and don’t sound too muddy really. The vocals are really produced quite well, sounding very old school which benefits the bands overall sound really.

UnKured surprised me with their technical skills and a great sense of style that you don’t normally get right off the bat with a debut EP. This is definitely one to check out if you like Death and Thrash, their album will be one to look forward to!

Check Out UnKured at https://www.facebook.com/pages/UnKured-Band/127769993918598 and http://unkured2.bandcamp.com/

“As Reality Melts” is out now!

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Omery Rising – Lady Snow

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California’s Omery Rising has certainly kept themselves busy over the last couple of months since their EP release. Having left MGR records to go it alone for a bit, they have been hard at work in the studio working on a new single, “Lady Snow.” Working with Ralph Patlan, the producer who was worked with such legends as Megadeth and White Wizzard, the band has achieved a much tighter sound than their previous EP. As well as this, ex White Wizzard singer Joseph Michael has contributed vocals to both tracks featured in the single release, replacing John Nightdance who has moved on to the realms of death metal after leaving the band.

“Lady Snow” itself starts off with some contemplative guitar and some atmospheric wind noises, before the rest of the band comes in on a slow introduction, with some nice supporting bass and drums. The vocals come in gently, with an almost Dio-like inflection before the band goes full on with an old school metal riff suited to their traditional metal style, with some quite high vocals too. The song has a cool groove to it overall, and runs to about 6 minutess which is about right for a metal single, and keeps it interesting with plenty of riffs. Joseph Michael sticks to his guns throughout, with quite an aggressive attack overall. There is a short but to the point guitar solo featured too from David Ramos, before the song heads back into a clean mid-section, before crashing into another guitar solo and chorus to end the song.

The B-side of the single is the track “Road To Sleepy Hollow” which relates back to the EP track “Sleepy Hollow” and is very much a more sombre sounding track, with some noises to build the feel beforehand, before the guitars come in with some hummed melodies from Joseph. The performance is pretty good here, very much more of a ballad track, with lots of layered guitars and some cool bass playing too, with some cool percussion support. The band crashes into the meaty main riff later on, which is a very Maiden-esque style riff, with another cool solo over the top, with some great basslines on this one as well courtesy of Michael McClanahan, with a cool chanting section later on too.

The production overall is miles above what the band achieved with their debut EP, with much better sense of timing, and an improved mix and clarity too. The guitars are a little too digital sounding personally but I can see what they were going for. The bass guitar sound is pretty damn great, as it was before too, and the drums are a million times better this time around. Omery Rising have definitely made the right move with this single, getting Joseph Michael in was also a good shout.

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The Tickturds – Insulting Your Eardrums (Live 2014)

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The Tickturds have been playing all over the place with their take on Punk rock or “punk’n’roll” and at their performance at the Asylum’s Punk All-Dayer in Chelmsford, Jaz Powell of Short Stack Studios recorded the ensuing chaos of their set. Here’s the results!
The band opens up by inviting people to freely swear as they are being recorded, before blasting through opener “Fire Inside” from their debut EP “Hey Hey! We’re The Tickturds” and it’s a well performed rendition with plenty of fury in it. New song “Underdog” is next up, and this is an awesome one with lots of angry sounding chords and some great backing vocals from bassist Luke Fisher.

The band continues to pound their way through the set, fuelled by the engine that is the mighty James Balcombe on drums. From newer tracks like “Serious Loss Of Doubt” with its bluesy lead guitar riff from Clive that later descends into chaos, to classic Tickturds songs like “Are You With Me” with its great chorus and cool riffs, the band shows a passion for punk that shows in their angry guitar playing, tuneful bass lines, smashing drums and a real old school punk vocal delivery. “Monkey” is a great song worth mention too, with awesome vocal delivery, and general all round great playing making it quite a memorable song! Another cool one is the moment where Luke takes over lead vocals on “Nigel” which is a frenzied song delivered at a manic speed and is certainly an entertainer!
The set finishes up with “Squid” from the EP, which starts off with thunderous drums before the rest of the band crash in on the main riff. This is a really fast rendition of the song but it does sound pretty damn good, and closes the band’s set in style, and we’re told to “fuck off” at the end, which is great!

“Insulting Your Eardrums” has been recorded really well, you can hear everything that’s going on and it still sounds live as you’d hope from a live recording! Here’s hoping the band can get into the studio for another EP filled with these promising new songs they’ve been playing live!

Check out “Insulting Your Eardrums” at http://thetickturds.bandcamp.com/

 

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