|Username||todesengel89 (number: 7045)|
|Average of Ratings||79.6 (11 Albums) [ Rating detail ]|
|Join Date||2011-03-24 12:12||Last Login||-|
|Point||2,230||Posts / Comments||13 / 0|
|Login Days / Hits||0 / 0|
|Country||Singapore||Gender / Birth year|
|Dormant Inferno||Death Metal, Doom Metal||India||1||1||2011-03-24|
|cover art||Artist name||Album title||Release date||Rating||Votes||Date|
|In Sanity [Demo]||2011-03||78||1||2011-03-24|
|Loudness - King Of Pain (2010)||(92/100) 2011-03-24|
Japan has a knack for producing quality bands, taking every sub-genre of metal to their extremes, yet not sound overly cheesy. Joining the ranks of bands such as Sabbat and Abigail, Loudness brings to rabid fans of Japanese metal King of Pain, their 24th full length album studio album, and their second release after original drummer (and founding member) Higuchi's demise.|
Now, I have to declare that I am not exactly a fan of Loudness, with the only record that I listen constantly to being the 1985 classic, Thunder in the East. As such, pardon me if the only comparisons I can draw from older Loudness material come from that album.
King of Pain opens with Requiem, a short, anthem-like instrumental intro track, before the title track of the album begins. The King of Pain opens with a short drum intro, reminiscent of Judas Priest's Painkiller. From here on, it is obvious how current drummer, Suzuki's style differs from Higuchi. Unlike his predecessor, Suzuki expresses his high energy style through the inclusion of lots of double bass drumming, whereas Higuchi preferred the punishing pounding on his skins. While the modern (and "updated") style of Suzuki might make the album sound alien to longtime fans of Loudness, on the third track onwards, Power of Death, there is no mistaking that this is indeed Loudness in all their glory. The riffs unleashed by guitarist Akira, and the notes littered with slight pinch harmonics, are reminiscent of songs on Thunder in the East, and the slightly gruff yet powerful voice of Niihara is unmistakable.
The references to other old school metal bands are obvious, and proudly displayed throughout the entire album. At times, the instrumental breaks into a full thrash metal frenzy, such as on Hell Fire, where the riffs and the intense speed and energy bring immediately to mind Slayer's Angel of Death. Slower songs such as Neraka sound as if they fit perfectly fine to Black Sabbath's discography.
Tracks like #666 sound like Loudness's answer to Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast, with the anthemic chorus (Six Sixty-Six, The mark of satan!) and the similar themes, and displays how the Japanese are able to sing about overused themes yet not make it sound cheesy as fuck.
The legato-laden solos lashed out by guitarist Akira are reminiscent of other virtuosos such as Paul Gilbert, but this perhaps isn't surprising considering his stature in the Japanese metal scene, and his style is the perfect example of how these Japanese are able to put in emotions in every note that they pull out. Add to that the slick and heavy bass lines of Yamashita, the booming undertone lying beneath everything else, providing the background of the music. There is even a bass solo included at the intro of the tracks Emma and Naraka.
The only down point for the album is the ballad, the emotional Where Am I Going?. Here Niihara displays the lower range of his vocals, and he actually sounds almost like (forgive me for the comparison) Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows and sounds almost like an obligatory track in the album. But it is also on this track a new style of vocals is introduced, a psuedo-scream/shriek which was out of character of Niihara's usual style and sounded out of place from the album.
It seems that Loudness, with their newer albums have decided to shift their focus into high speed and high intensity heavy metal, with this album containing perhaps some of the fastest materials ever released by them. However, it is also good to hear that they have not completely ditched their original style of traditional heavy metal, giving old and new fans of the band something to crave for.
|Undergang - Indhentet Af Døden (2009)||(88/100) 2011-03-24|
Undergang's debut album, Indhentet af Døden, was first released on tape, and subsequently only on vinyl and they have finally decided to release the album on CD format under Xtreem Music, after previously encountering numerous problems with the CD version.|
The band has been touted by the label as one of the heaviest death metal band and it is easy to see (or hear) why. The opening track, Englemagersken, is a soft and calm piano instrumental track. Once the second track, Dødshymne, begins, it feels as if the intro track were put in place to throw the listener off guard as a heavily distorted riff marks the beginning of the madness, a 32 minute ride of Undergang's brand of death metal.
Torturdöd's undecipherable, low-pitched style of vocals are reminiscent of bands such as Grave Miasma. The heavy chugging present on almost all the songs create the foundation of the heaviness that is to be built upon by the rest of the rhythm sections. For example, the drums are also fully utilised to help in building up the climax in the music, such as at the 0:30 mark of Opslugt Af Mørket, where all other instruments are absent, leaving the listener to anticipate what's to come next. Influences from old school Swedish death metal bands are also present in his drumming style, such as on Evigt Lidende. Bassist Ondsind provides the low-end growl of the music, adding more of the "heaviness" effect to the already heavy-as-fuck music, such as on the title track Indhentet Af Døden, where the impact of his heavy plucking of the strings is prominent. His plucking style of playing certainly adds much more impact and is more suitable for the music of Undergang, compared to a picking style, which could have possibly added a more "crisp" effect instead and consequently reduce the impact of the music.
Throughout the album, Undergang throws curveballs at the listener through the usage of sudden shifts in the time signature, such as on Dødshymne, where there is a sudden shift to a blast beats section at the 0:46 mark before going back to the previous tempo. The short jazz-like drum fill at the beginning of Opslugt Af Mørket also provides a quirky moment before the band breaks into their usual chaos. The short acoustic interlude, De Dødes Passage, provides a long-awaited break, but it makes the listener impatient for the next round of pillaging by the band, which makes the final moments of chaos all the sweeter.
The production quality of the album is top-notch, adding to the overall heaviness of the music. The crushing guitar tone, the heavy beats on the drums are all mixed equally well, complete with the layering of vocalist Torturdöd low-pitched growls over the chaos lying beneath.
With music like this, it's good news that it will finally be released on CD, for fans of death metal who unfortunately do not own tape or vinyl players! If I had heard of this album last year, it could have possibly been one of the contenders for album of the year!
|Gargoyle - Misogi (1989)||(96/100) 2011-03-24|
While most bands in the 80s were focussing on extremities in their music, in terms of speed (Slayer) and heaviness, Gargoyle here from Japan goes into extreme in another form: the craziness in their music and the inclusion of all sorts of influences. Looking at the whole host of musicians present on the recording of this album (ranging from violins to saxophones to crazy guitar), one knows that this will be a crazy ride, yet not know what exactly to expect.|
The first track, Destroy, opens with a weird start-stop riff before breaking into a more "normal" tempo, a signal to listeners to know what to expect in the coming 45 minutes of the song. Kiba makes his first entry in the music ("DESTROY!!!") after the opening riffs, and his vocals is unlike the other practitioners of thrash metal of the time, sounding like a heavy metal vocalist intentionally trying to sing in a gruff manner, and could be a hit-or-miss affair for listeners who are not used to the whole variety of vocals that the Japanese are able to bring about. It is on this track where Gargoyle first displays their "innovation" in the music, with the inclusion of a tasteful lead violin solo in the midst of the adrenaline pumping guitar solo. If you missed this, fret not as such moments are littered throughout the entire album, so there are plenty of chances to get your dose of wackiness from Gargoyle. Often, the violin solo, along with the guitars, play notes reminding the listener of theme songs of animes that come out of Japan.
The Taiko drums on the opening of "Gi" adds a taste of traditional Japan in the music, but soon breaks into the usual ridiculous madness of the band's music. Even the lyrics are ridiculous, almost like a spelling lesson, backed by a catchy tune that gets the listener bobbing his head unconsciously and catching himself in the act awhile later. The blues guitar solo on Certain Feel pays homage to the original influences of heavy metal, and the saxophone playing at the background of the song adds a slick touch to the music, making the listener almost forget that he's listening to a heavy metal band but a lounge band instead (of course, I am exaggerating here). The instrumental ballad, Ningyou No Mori, sound almost as if it could come straight out from an X Japan record, if only Toshi's (X Japan's vocalist) voice were layered on top of it.
One downside though: the overall wackiness of the music makes the more "normal" sounding songs such as Purple Heaven sound boring.
While the smooth inclusion of non-conventional instruments in thrash metal of the time are evident of Gargoyle's songwriting ability, the further proof is through the inclusion of infectious and singalong parts such as on Bala Bara Vara (sure to confuse people who try to singalong though, considering how fast Kiba is able to sing out his lyrics).
This album sounds like heavy/thrash metal with a dose of Japanese anime and j-rock added in it, making it an extremely fun and addictive record to listen to, and certainly sounded extremely modern for it's time, easily blending in to music that are released more than 20 years on.
|Omision - In the Shadow of the Cross (2011)||(70/100) 2011-03-24|
Being formed back in 1993, and the hiatus in 1997 before restarting in 2000, Omision joins the number of bands that have been formed a long way back, yet are only releasing materials only recently. Among the ranks of the members are Robert Lizarraga, one time member of Incantation, and Joel Marquez, ex-member of Sadistic Intent. It is therefore interesting to hear how this album, having been brewing for at least 10 years, will turn out to be.|
The music on the album is solid death/thrash metal, filled with crushing guitar riffs, with an extremely distorted tone, backed by a solid rhythm section. The guitar solos that are unleashed by guitarist Roberto are also constantly face-ripping, reminiscent of thrash legends such as Slayer and Possessed. The drums take an intense punishing, with drummer Joel constantly hitting the skins relentlessly, complete with a crisp production, making the beats feel as if a punch in the face. The primitive tribal beats on Pray bring in a early Sepultura feel, adding a different dimension in the music as well. His play on the cymbals on the intro of Fallen Angels display his ability to control the strength in the drumming, yet on the same track the beats that he utilises feel punkish (the cymbal-snare combination), adding yet another interesting aspect to the music.
The dark atmosphere provided throughout the album are reminiscent of bands such as Incantation. The acoustic guitar at the background on tracks such as Assault in the Vatican add to the haunting atmosphere, making the listener feel as if he were listening to this record in an abandoned church, before the breaking of a slow and tasteful guitar solo into the song. The speedier sections are reminiscent of Vader, with vocalist/guitarist Heriberto sounding almost similar to Vader's Peter.
The album ends with For Those Far Away, an acoustic instrumental track with rain in the background.
Another interesting trivia (wonder if it was intentionally placed by the band) was the way the tracks were named and placed in order, seemingly made to flow nicely from track to track. For example, tracks 2 and 3 are named Your God and Won't be Saved respectively, and track 4 and 5 being Assault in the Vatican and Beyond the Burning Gates. Coincidence? I should think not!
|Dormant Inferno - In Sanity (2011) [Demo]||(78/100) 2011-03-24|
Already receiving praises from doom legends such as Remembrance and Funeral, In Sanity is Indian death/doom metal band Dormant Inferno's debut demo effort. With the large number of extreme metal bands popping out of India, it is therefore interesting to hear what Dormant Inferno is able to bring to followers of the Indian metal scene.|
The dense atmosphere set up by the introductory clean guitarists, aided by the clashing of cymbals at the background gives the listener a hint of what's to come. The band soon breaks into the song proper, with a melancholic guitar line on top of the crushing riffs below, reminding listeners of bands such as The Fall of Every Season. The moody atmosphere in the music, and the deep growls of vocalist Gautam instantly brings to mind gothic/doom metal bands such as Draconian (Death, Come Near Me), and leaves the listener almost expecting a clean female vocals to come into the music, completing the beauty and the beast vocal effects that so many bands tend to use today.
The songs are not complete doomy affairs though, as the band speeds up slightly in the middle of the song on Failed Experiments, yet retaining the gloominess with the constant haunting keyboards playing in the background. Gautam also constantly shifts from a deep growl to a higher pitched pseudo-shriek, depending on the music and often to good effect, such as on the first few verses of Ashes. The whispers on Total Negation, backed by clean guitar lines and synths in the background leaves the listener impatient for the final moments of doom to be unleashed. The band throws a curveball towards the end of the song though, with a slight speed up in tempo, more reminiscent of melodic death metal, with riffs punctuated by pinch harmonics, the band's final burst of energy before ending this 20 minute piece of art with the same slow and almost agonising pace that they started In Sanity with.
As expected for most demos, the production quality isn't top-notch yet this aids in the presentation of the style of music of Dormant Inferno. The slightly muddy production quality aids in the heaviness of the songs, and also enhances the mood and experience for music as bleak as such.
Like the name of the band suggests, Dormant Inferno is just lying dormant, for the perfect opportunity to burn those in their path, and those who are willing to take some time to appreciate the art of the band will certainly not regret it.
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