SERENITY IN MURDER
'The First Frisson Of The World'
Harmonious and intricately constructed is the debut album by the sensational Serenity In Murder from Japan, performing Symphonic Black / Death Metal in a majestic style, the sextet from Tokyo implement symphonies in the style of Twilight Ophera but manage to sound a little less like Arcane Grail. There is the subtlest hint of Oriental music in the symphonies and with the extremely brutal vocals coming from a female singer, Serenity In Murder and their debut album 'The First Frisson Of The World' is sure to take the world by storm, if you thought Japan was doused by lots of Visual Kei bands, the underground network has just exploited one of its most darkest symphonies, Serenity In Murder will take you on a journey no metal band has ever done before.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Tear Of Illusions'
Thirty one years have surpassed and Japanese Metalcore / Post-Thrash Metal group United unleash their ninth full-length album 'Tear Of Illusions' to the absolute masses, this brutal onslaught of insanely fast drumming and riffs is only met by the heavy brain-smashing vocals of this quintet and as a result produce the ultimate album last year in 2011 of which marks their 30 years existence, such a time to be jubilant, for 'Tear Of Illusions' has what you expect, rad solos, mesmerising drumming and unforgettable vocals, a true masterpiece.
 RHYS STEVENSON
It is quite ironic that the sophomore album from Huron is entitled 'Mary Celeste' and yet that they come from Plymouth, a city port in Devon known for its strong Naval maritime history, so when the Southern / Groove Metal quintet shot out this face-smacking work piece, the first thing that sprung to mind was 'sea war battle cry', or in its most intellect form, the tune to sea warfare. So when Huron whips in a percussive beat and somewhat fails to capitalise on the vocals, the result is a mix and match of good and bad, but don’t let the music fool you, after all the Spanish armada didn’t get fooled, but the next Huron release may well do exactly that.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Written In Blood'
Norwegian Groove Metal quartet Manifest make their third album 'Written In Blood' the most brutal they have ever done, with sensationally fast drumming cursing the overall atmosphere with complete utter f***ked up attitude and a fist of fury, this is one album to set moshpits off in numbers. Sounding similar to Lamb Of God, minus the Metalcore part, the Trondheim-based four-man group make it sound so simple and yet although the album itself is good, there remains some negativity in the select few tracks, but can't complain as it is a good release.
[6.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Sacrificial Metal Of Death'
It comes to something when bands sing in their own native tongues, one it is interesting to listen to and two it is unique in its own rights, such is applied to the one-man project Mandibula with his first demo released back in 2010, the Portuguese musician crafts Blackened Thrash Metal in such a way it traps the listener in a cerebral frenzy, with riffs of demonic stature smouldering the senses with death and anguish, after all this is perhaps the darkest release in the Portuguese Metal scene, in likeness it is similar to that of Dissimulation and Toxic Holocaust, but more so Mandibula has its own sound, and so 'Sacrificial Metal Of Death' is one demo many Metal fans should have in their repertoire.