GMA - Vol112 - Angelical Tears, Dark Theory, Circles Line, Vindicator, Essence Of Datum, Sinmattic, Nycticorax, Rajfajh, Space Chaser, Coldblood
'The Eleventh Hour'
Angelical Tears, the oncoming threat from Oklahoma, USA, emerge once again from the darkened abyss and deliver their latest release 'The Eleventh Hour'. Featuring more of the classic Within Temptation and Evanescence combination, the quintet immerse the listener with soothing heavenly vocals, razor-hard riffs and solid drumming in one epic package. Since their self-titled debut, Angelical Tears have torn apart the rulebook and wrote their own sound, layering different elements from different Metal genres and finalising a sound that will captivate any fan of female-fronted bands, this is perhaps the album to get them signed by and as 'The Eleventh Hour' strikes, four tornadoes spawn, ready to strike the heart of the everyday metal fan.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Hailing from the county known as the garden of England, Kent quartet Dark Theory cultivate patches of poison ivy and record the cold and bitter screams provoked by their victims, of course their EP 'Bludgeon' hosts a myriad of different genres, but the main core sound is truly Gothic Black Metal. Sure the first sound of drum 'n' bass gives a startling impression, but buy time and moving onto 'Vampires Pain' and the more modern sound kicks in, modern albeit the obvious Victorian Gothic Metal influence and naturally the bitter sweetness of Olivia's backing vocals, but needless to say that Ryan finishes off with some gruelling vocals, was just the start of 'Bludgeon', as it is a tale of two halves, but the latter is to take Dark Theory into the legions of bands like Theatres des Vampires, Darkwell, The Furious Horde and Cradle Of Filth. If you thought Kent was all about roaming fields, go forth; just don't disturb the graveyards, for the Dark Theory is soon to curse the lands.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Residing in the lap of the gods, Circles Lane mix traditional Greek sounds with their classic Heavy Metal composition, sure this is nothing new but it still has a twinkle about it. Their debut demo entitled 'Promo 2012' delivers the classic Bruce Dickinson high-pitch vocals and the standard signature tune to the Heavy Metal genre, the riffs are of the Speed Metal guild and yet the overall production is as classic as it can get. If you're expecting free-flowing music and differentiation, think again, Circles Line will appeal to those fans of the classic side of metal but for the modern generation, this wouldn't be for you.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'United We Fall'
American Thrash Metal, seems to be loaded with the same ole lyrics, musical composure and atmosphere, Vindicator is no different. Fusing the topics of nuclear war, zombies and violence to their unique sound of Teutonic (German) Thrash Metal and old school Death Metal double-bass drumming, this is a band full of imagination and it shows on their third album 'United We Fall', riff after riff, the Ohio quartet smash through the sound barrier to deliver a face-punching sound of classic Thrash Metal. Get ready to sh*t your pants, this is the sound to tear the political manifesto's apart.
 RHYS STEVENSON
ESSENCE OF DATUM
'I Am Alpha & Omega'
Possibly the metal band the Eastern European nation of Belarus has been waiting for to lift the scene into further recognition, Essence Of Datum go completely instrumental on their 2012 promo 'I Am Alpha & Omega' and do it absolutely perfect. Mixing Technical melodies with the embodiment of solid grizzly Death Metal, the trio dive into the fountain of experimentation and blast out in exciting fashion, full of cracking riffs and emphatic solo's, 'I Am Alpha & Omega' is a release that belongs in any metal fan's arsenal, think you know guitars, blastbeats and technical compositions? Wait till Essence Of Datum smash your skill in, as you realise 'I Am Alpha & Omega' and everyone else is subordinate.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Once in a while Portugal spews out a metal band that warrants international attention, this time the limelight falls upon Sinmattic and their debut self-titled EP. The quartet (now quintet) delivers a dark and softening sound of Melodic Gothic Metal. As shadowy as the historic Gothic tribe residing in the Iberian lands, Sinmattic revive their country's past and deliver it to the masses via an army of soul-calming lyrics, tantalising riffs and beautifully constructed drum patterns, altogether devising a concoction of Children of Bodom melodies and Epica soprano vocals, Sinmattic are sure to alight the Portuguese Metal scene for the Gothic Metal sound.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Black Raven... Dark Night' + 'Anima Tenebrarum'
2006 saw the sophomore album by Latvian quartet Nycticorax come to haunt the hallowed lands of Eastern Europe with their unique style of Vampiric Black Metal. 'Black Raven... Dark Night' is immersed in the Gothic atmosphere Riga offers to it's folk, Nycticorax latched onto that energy feed and sent out truly dark musical messages in Latvian and Russian alike, using the classic shriek of the Black Metal infrastructure, the atmosphere revolves around the haunted lands of Dracula and ousts the light with a full on blast of True Latvian Black Metal. From the dark mysticism of this hallowed band and the outgoing audio sounds of Vampiric Black Metal, it would be interesting to see how Nycticorax evolves from this.
Forwarding the clocks to 2011 and Latvian Black Metallers Nycticorax return to terrorise Europe once again, this time it's their third album 'Anima Tenebrarum' that delivers the cold and bitter taste of vampirism in it's true form. Pulsating drums coat the vocals in an infectious disease, so deadly it makes the old Soviet regime look as weak as a plastic ruler, but that's not to say that this Latvian band are of the sort, in fact Nycticorax are due to take the Latvian Metal scene to newer heights, with 'Anima Tenebrarum' now firmly set on powering the band onto newer styles of their already constructed Vampiric Black Metal, nothing is going to stop this mammoth machine.
 +  RHYS STEVENSON
'The True Nation'
Probably time to close this band down, twenty years have passed and coming to their 2012 EP you'd find more entertainment elsewhere. The typical shriek, muffed riff and nearly-heard blastbeat are the three factors that dominate this release; however it cannot be totally condoned; at least it features a ambient feel to it, but the sort that may take time to get used to. 'The True Nation' if you take it seriously could refer to a pagan or nationalist sentiment and so the latter could upset certain people, albeit the fact that the band name is closely linked to either the Arabic or central Asian languages and so the product is somewhat intriguing.
[4.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'2012 demo / promo'
From time to time modern day metal bands decide to keep the traditions alive, Space Chaser are no exception. The Thrash Metal quintet from Berlin release their premier demo and promo this year and as such show excellency right from the first riff, this is 80's style Thrash Metal in the vein of Anthrax and Metallica mostly, with the classic and easily detectable riffs and signature drumming as the backdrop, Space Chaser are nowhere near the Teutonic Thrash Metal style that has plagued the German metal scene for years. As long as they keep this up, they could make a name for themselves in the European metal scenes, you won't need a time travel machine to see 80's Thrash Metal, let the Space Chaser get it for you.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Under The Blade I Die' + 'The Other Gods'
2007 saw the debut album by Brazilian old-school Death Metal quartet Coldblood emerge from the pits of the Amazon and swamp the country in a swathe of Satanic Anti-Christianity. 'Under The Blade I Die' features toned down riffs come and going like a scythe slicing open the hearing sense with a sonic blast of irresistable blastbeats and guttural vocals as the perfect accompynants, as for Coldblood this was a new step in their band's existance and became a pivotal point in their musical direction, or did it? Regardless, 'Under The Blade I Die' is a solid performance of relenting Death Metal and is sure to batter anyone's brains to death.
So when it came to present day and the year 2012 was calling, Coldblood released their first ever EP 'The Other Gods', much like the debut album except the production and quality is far superior on the EP. Plus strangely for an EP, this lasts over an hour and thus the listener is buried amongst a ton of really intricate and lush old school Death Metal once again. From the bizarre and creepy instrumentals like 'Before the Last Breath' to absolute face-melters like Reincarnating A New Black God, 'The Other Gods' is an example of pure brilliance and is sure to push Coldblood onto further releases in their twenty-year career (achieved this year).
 + [8.5] RHYS STEVENSON