GMA - Vol100 - Apotasy, Neoandertals, This Broken Machine, Catuvolcus, Vorpal Nomad, Linear Sphere, Hailstone, Contrast, Klamm, Sekoria
Well the clarity is nearly good but as far as the music goes, it's pretty decent. This is Apotasy from Slovakia, playing Melodic Death Metal on their debut demo 'Redemption', in any sense they are similar to bands from the USA, fast double-bass drumming, epic riffs and threatening vocals. For the trio this is a solid start, of course it's not 100% perfect, but neither is any band on their first outing. 'Redemption' itself carries a little twinkle on it in that composure is tight and the resulting production is a brutal enough display of what can be achieved, if this band were to add a bassist it would sound a little more heavier, but as for the release, well it speaks for itself, modern Melodic Death Metal in it's most gruesome moment.
[6.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child / Australopithecus'
Before the critics just slaughter this release, let's be honest it's practically Brutal Death Metal music without any lyrics, the grunting just brings out the caveman style Death Metal, or is that just an ironic pun? Whatever it is, Estonia's duo Neoandertals smash it out with their second album 'Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child', pummelling drumming drives the insanity beyond believe whilst the gut-rotten vocals completely and utterly demoralises the listener into a sound sense of utmost suicide, or perhaps it's just listener playing dead. 'Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child' is a unique album in that it provokes more of the Avant Garde album than needs to be and as a result lowers the final conclusion of the album beyond mere acceptance, listen if you will, it could just kill you.
2012 saw the third release take life, 'Australopithecus' becomes album number three in the Estonian duet's career. Now once again the drums deliver the goods, the guitars for the most part of it have a livelier approach and since the vocals have been dropped, there is a huge improvement in the sound. Sure it carries on the same salsa-like movement between the Avant Garde sound and the Brutal Death monster that emerged on their second album, but it adds a more progressive sound to the affray, especially on the drums. Now this could act as a damn good film soundtrack especially during a fight scene or especially in a spy movie, but for the salient point, the fact remains the percussive side is by far the more dominant and so this is the better album of the past two.
[4.5] + [6.5] RHYS STEVENSON
THIS BROKEN MACHINE
'The Inhuman Use Of Human Beings'
It's great when bands create their own genre names to suit their music playing and so when you have the Italian quartet This Broken Machine deliver their Progressive Metalcore debut album 'The Inhuman Use Of Human Beings', it gets instantly dubbed by the band as 'Architectural Metal, let's just hope the scaffolding holds them up and that they don't enter self-demolition mode. Anyhow, drawing crystal clear influences from bands like Killswitch Engage and Mastodon, it is no surprise then that with each riff there underlies a melody and under each melody underlies a blastbeat. Mid-tempo is the best way to describe the speed, it's not insanely fast or boringly slow but it does keep the listener on their toes. This is a sign to say that there is more to come from this Italian lot and they won't go quietly about it either.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Quebec Blackened Folk Metal trio (now duo) Catuvolcus return with their Celtic and Gaulish music in emphatic form, with their sophomore album 'Gergovia', they deliver blazing drumming with a furious attitude in the vocal department and a raw reception with the guitars, altogether smiting all other similar sounding bands and valiantly producing a well-delivered release. With songs generally longer than six minutes on this release, there is a lot for the listener to dissect and to take on board whilst the overall production captivates the listener in an atmosphere of dark folklore and cold bitter times, Catuvolcus may well be close to exploding on the international metal scene.
 RHYS STEVENSON_
It couldn't get any better than this, the debut album by Colombian Power Metal quintet Vorpal Nomad bursts into a classic epic and outright adventurous soundtrack. 'Hyperborea' carries a harmonious sound and a real rough vocal array but interestingly sounds not unlike to bands like Winter's Verge or Nightwish and is sure to drag this band right out of the darkness and into the pits of the international metal scene community. 'Hyperborea' delivers blitzkrieg riffs, sensational drumming and some of the craziest vocals ever since the birth of Power Metal and is a key for the Colombian Metal scene to unlock itself and unleash a torrent of music across the seas, with 'Hyperborea' Vorpal Nomad is without any doubt, flying the flag for the Colombian Metal scene,
 RHYS STEVENSON
Technical Prog Metal or Djent Metal, whatever you want to call it, the fact remains the second album by London's Linear Sphere is a journey of science, technology and long song epics. Singing in the style of the Progressive Metal vein, the quintet opt to adopt technical music as the back drop and so with that firmly installed in their compositions, the riffs get so technical it required a mathematician to calculate the time signatures as well as monitor the drum strokes. Naturally this is only the inaugural start for the lads, there is much more to do but with this album now alive and kicking, that should not be a problem. 'Manvantara' is for fans of The Devin Townsend Project, Periphery and Tesseract.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'The Greater Counterfeit'
Arising from the graves of the mountains of Bavaria, Germany is Hailstone and their mind-blowing debut album 'The Greater Counterfeit'. Fusing the intricate melodies summoned by the quintet with the harsh brutality developed via Blackened Death Metal. This is a machine on speed, spewing out epic riffs, ulcerating vocals and face-smashing blastbeats. Playing in the style of Evocation, Kalodin and Cannibal Corpse, the five-piece from Munich do all what's needed to deliver a stellar performance and ignite their road to further achievements. From the first track to the last track, 'The Greater Counterfeit' delivers a death warrant in ten tracks, it is so brutal, they had to confine the band for three years and detoxify them from hyperactivity.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Blasting down barn doors is the ten-leg beast Contrast with their sensational sophomore album 'Charybdis'. Playing in the style of In Flames, the quintet hailing from Germany deliver a constant flow of raging riffs, firm and sustainable drumming and the most guttural vocals you can find in German Melodic Death Metal, perhaps it is the guttural level of the German language they sing in that aids the death growls! 'Charybdis' brings music that keeps the listener on their toes and does not give them a moment's peace, from the intricate riff intro on the song 'Charybdis' to the sonic speed of the drums on 'Gaias Hand', there is something for everyone on this release and it is guaranteed, Contrast won't go down quietly, this band will make waves.
 RHYS STEVENSON
As cold and bitter as the Bavarian mountains, Klamm deliver a frosty reception with their traditional Black / Folk Metal and German language combined on their debut album 'Wahnsee'. Bringing with it a feeling of sitting by a campfire and singing to myth and folklore of the high mountains and forests of the southern German lands. Slow and melancholic spring to mind and yet essentially the album has the clean crisp atmosphere to it, dragging the listener right into the heart of the emotions expressed by this exceptional quintet, from the first very note to the last shriek, Klamm show what they are made of and are sure to become a known band without any doubt.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Nothing comes more darker than this, well that can be debated, but when you have a quartet delivering what is perceived to be Epic Black Metal, the intonation of the sub-genre sounds out what a band is all about and so when Sekoria come on the block with their debut album 'Iter Stellarum', it cannot be automatically tagged as a general Black Metal album. It delivers its own ambient atmosphere without the use of keyboard music, now the listener may conceive that as a pathetic reason to go it alone, but their album 'Iter Stellarum' delivers justice in the most grim form yet and so what you end up with is a decent production, just don't expect any other band to do the same and succeed.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON