Tag Archives: Metal

All Seeing Eyes – Trinity Road

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All Seeing Eyes is a band I’ve been keeping an eye on for a little while, with promises of their upcoming album and free tracks on show for last few months. It’s been promoted really well, and now here we are – Trinity Road. Featuring Ben Colton from Neverworld joined by Kenny Fraser and James Thackway, this is a mammoth of an album at 18 tracks of full on progressive metal!

The album is set up perfectly with The Enlightened Ones, a track with some nice guitar harmonies before slamming into a really cool power/prog riff. This twisting, turning track provides a great start to the proceedings, with some fantastic lead vocals and harmonies too. The songwriting on display right away is great, with lots of nice dynamics within the very first track alone!

For the audience:

Prog aficionados are going to want to hear this album. It’s not often enough the UK produces a band like this, with such a strong sense of songwriting and some fantastic musical moments. Tracks like Haunted give us emotive soundscapes with some powerfully written melodies and some great piano playing with a Fates Warning/Redemption sort of sound channelled through a British musician’s sense of melody.

There’s a lot on offer with this album, as you may well expect from an album as long as this (or so you’d hope, many fall flat way before their end!) From solemn sounding tracks that evolve later on into weighty metal titans later on such as The Cube (which features Crimson Glory’s Ben Jackson) to some straight up heavy metal in the form of tracks like Break The Chains which has an old school Queensryche feel to it but again offering that little something different in the form of All Seeing Eyes’ trademark melodic metal sounds. Hunted is also a cool little number, featuring ex Neuronspoiler members Dave Del Cid and Dave Shirman for a mighty flurry of riffage with some real energy and impact.

All Seeing Eyes manage to write progressive metal tracks without falling too much into the temptation of lengthy songs for the sake of lengthy songs (there is Demons which is a fantastic example of how lengthy songs really ought to be done!) and the song on this album are all pretty focusses with powerful choruses and great riffs throughout.

The album closes with The Aftermath and this track really delivers that necessary final blow in a nice dramatic fashion, with a great build up and lots of nice light and shade on display, as I have come to expect from a project prominently featuring Ben Colton now.

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For the artist:

This is a really strong release, with some really solid production. The guitars sound really nice here, with some really great sounding solos and the vocals are produced fantastically throughout, both lead and backing. The guest performances featured have been equally mixed in really well and it all gels together so nicely! I would have liked a little more bass guitar in the mix but overall the mixing and mastering is totally solid to be honest.

My only slight issue is the programmed drums, but it’s not something that has a super negative effect on the album and the experience of it as a whole. It’s been done well enough that most listeners can’t really tell at all, and the drumming has been programmed really well, but nothing for me personally can beat what a human drummer can bring to a band’s sound. It’s really the only thing I can think of for this band to improve, I’d love to hear what they could do with a drummer powering the rhythm of the band, as good as the programmed beats already are!

Trinity Road is an astonishing debut album from All Seeing Eyes. The amount of work that has gone into this is crystal clear for all to see, with numerous really well done guest performances, songs that don’t drag the listener down into boredom territory even at its lengthy 108 minutes, which is a feat even for legendary artists to achieve! This is something to be proud of and something really worth checking out for fans of melodic progressive metal!

Trinity Road Is Released on December 1st

Check out All Seeing Eyes at https://www.facebook.com/ALLSEEINGEYESMETAL

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Disposable – At The Foot Of The World

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Scottish thrash metal act Disposable are on the verge of releasing their debut album At The Foot of The Word and after five years I’m sure it’s probably a long awaited release for the guys in the band! They have plenty of determination and energy and it shows in their sound. This is an album that shows thrash is alive and definitely kicking right now.

The album opens up with a cacophony of riffs with Existence. The vocals have that classic thrash rasp from old school 80s riffs, with a more modern thrash revival style chorus. The song has lots of dynamics, from speedy guitars to slower, heavier moments too. Addiction has some super heavy riffs and some mad drums, with some intricate playing throughout. The bass has some cool moments here too, and though generally taking a back seat to the rest of the band it seems, beneath all the thrashy guitars and vocals there is a talented bass player buried within.

Disposable is a band that shows that they definitely have a flair for songwriting, especially within the confines of Thrash Metal. Songs have plenty of dynamics and interesting melodies; it’s not all ball to the wall which I think is a good thing. Songs like Into The Water and Leave This Place show off what the band can do really well. Addiction (Reprise) shows a slightly softer side to the band, with some nice clean guitar chords and a bit of a different feeling to the track and some nice solos and bass melodies.

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Title track At The Foot Of The World is a pretty cool track as well, with some really cool musicianship on display, and a furious feel overall. This one has plenty of stabbing riffs and results in a really cool track.

Now It Ends closes the album, and this one is full of angry riffage. This is straight up thrash to close the album, with some meaty guitars and the bass seems to have found a space properly here. The vocals are really well done on this track in particular as well, and it makes for a great finish to the album.

The production is pretty much spot on for Thrash metal, very much drums and guitar focussed with very aggressive punchy sounds and some well recorded vocals too. I’d like to hear a bit more bass next time but as usual this is probably a personal thing being a bassist myself.

At The Foot Of The World is Pretty damn good, especially for a debut album. The band has a flair for thrash metal, and plenty of fury to fuel their riffs for years to come hopefully!

Check out Disposable at https://www.facebook.com/DisposableThrash

At The Foot Of The World will be available 20th September

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Fire Red Empress – Paint Me The Devil

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Birmingham rockers Fire Red Empress have just hit the scene with their debut EP, Paint Me The Devil. Though a fairly short one in length, this is a powerful and had hitting statement by the band with plenty of energising riffs and a style you really ought not to ignore in an upcoming band.

Opening up with “Left Unspoken” and its awesome introduction riff that feels a little doomey in places, that when it meets with the great layered vocal approach feels like Queens Of The Stone Age meets The Sword. The overall offering on this track is really heavy, with a tense overall sound, with a great sense of groove too. “Paint Me The Devil” has another really great start, with some nice layered guitars painting (no referential humour intended) a really cool atmosphere. The vocals again are really cool here, and the song is nice and dynamic, with softer moments meeting the heavier moments to make something really cool. The chorus is another belter here, with nice vocal harmonies and a nice aggressive approach.

“Behind The Veil” closes the EP in style, with a longer track at just over 6 minutes. This is performed really well and keeps it interesting throughout, showing that the band can handle the longer stuff just as well. The first verse has a nice drumbeat and some more atmospheric sounding guitars rather than straight up riffage, before exploding into the heavier stuff, making it quite impactful. This is a cool song with a lot going on; plenty of different riffs to keep it sounding fresh, and some great songwriting brings it all together.

The EP was produced by Volbeat’s Jacob Hansen, and it’s a nice tight and modern sounding effort, the drums are nice and thumping, and the guitars are very chunky. The vocals shine more than anything, with lots of layering and the like done to make them sound really powerful. The bass is a little low at time for my personal liking but it is all a solid mix nonetheless.

Paint Me The Devil is a great introduction to Fire Red Empress, and says more in three tracks that some can say in a whole album! There is plenty of emotion on show from the band here, with great songwriting combined with skilful musicianship to make something definitely worth checking out!

Check out Fire Red Empress at https://www.facebook.com/fireredempress

The new lyric video for “Left Unspoken” from the EP:

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Lysura – II

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Lysura presents an atmospheric second EP with “II” full of haunting moments and black metal soundscapes. Featuring and formed by ex-Acheron guitarist Max Otworth, Indianapolis’s Lysura, has a good level of skill behind them that makes this EP sound and feel quite fresh.

The EP opens with “Seasons Of Exile” and its eerie guitar chords and spoken word vocals building up a really cool sound as the guitars get more overdriven and the drums build up with beats on the toms. The band crashes into a bleak yet monumentally heavy riff with some awesome drumming; this feels really tense and works really well. The band then heads into blast beat territory with some old school sounding black metal vocals. The guitar and drums work really well here as well. The song drifts seamlessly from ultimately heavy riffs to bleak and melancholic moments, and from a songwriting standpoint is very interesting, with lots of different moments and a tense atmosphere pertains throughout.

“Tome Of Surreption” follows this by crashing straight into a hefty black metal guitar part that feels a bit more straight up at first, but goes into some clean guitar-work that sounds really nice, with some great support from the rhythm section here, before crashing into some more epic riffs later, with some well layered guitars meeting with the crashing drums. There are some awesome harmonised guitars about midway through, and the feeling of chaos reigns in this song, with lots of hectic riffs and mad drums, with deep bass flowing throughout, with the overarching bleak vocals over the top.

The production is better than the average black metal release, which I quite like. It still sounds suitably raw, but the drums have a nice bit of power to them, and the guitars work really well overall. The vocal sound is pretty good for the genre, and the bass is fairly quiet but does a good job holding down the rhythm in the end.

This is a good release from Lysura, with a lot going for it; good songwriting bolstered by good musicianship and great build-ups, with a solid feeling to the playing. Definitely one for fans of black metal and those who like things on the heavier side of atmospheric.

Check out Lysura at https://www.facebook.com/LysuraMetal

“II” is out now!

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Disaster Area – Let It Burn

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Glasgow’s Disaster Area are whipping up a storm in Scotland, with lots of shows supporting legends like Savage and the like. I actually ran into these guys whilst on tour with Monument and Kaine, and they opened the show with a glam rock style that I felt was tinged with a little of the band Nazareth’s style, especially in the vocals and classic rock meets metal approach to guitar. They peaked my curiosity and were kind enough to send in their debut EP for review!

The EP opens up with a subtle intro riff of “Dancin’ On The Edge” that then gets harmonised before busting out into a very old school style riff with some great vocals full of attitude, with lots of high notes too. The lyrics are equally rebellious sounding and it works really well, the song is full of youthful energy and is a good start to the EP, with a cool midsection that keeps things interesting!

“Queen Of The Web” opens up with another very 70s/80s sounding riff full of grit, with plenty of speedy riffs later on and a nice performance from the rhythm section overall on this one. “Getting Pretty Sick Of This” follows this up with a bit more of a midtempo rocker that has a little bit of an Alice Cooper vibe to it, with some cool lyrics and riffage that would have fitted in perfectly in that era, and a nice guitar solo tops this one off well before a bass break that works really well to build tension too.

The EP finishes up with “Let It Burn.” An old school drumbeat a little bit like something Queen might have done meets a heavier riff with a nice meaty groove to it that is helped along by the bass guitar here. The chorus here is really cool, another really old school vibe to it. Some cool stabbing guitar sections later on are met with a cool solo over the top and the main groove of the track keeps it rocking on to finish the EP with a good sense of style.

The production is really quite good, especially for an EP. It sounds very much like it has come from the era it is quite clearly influenced by, especially in the vocals and guitars. The drums sound nice and tight and the bass is nice audible, keeping down the groove nicely too.

This is a great little EP from a band that is clearly determined to keep at it; here’s hoping for an album of similar stuff soon!

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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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