_ SILENT DESCENT
It's here, the follow-up to the nuclear blast that was 'Duplicity', the Rising Records debut album by Kent's Trance Metal wizards Silent Descent. The septet who hail from the town of Dartford utilise a delicate balance of Trance Music with European style Melodic Death Metal. Whilst conventionally differentiating their sound entirely from the rest of the 'Trance Army' such as: Enter Shikari, Asking Alexandria, Blood Stain Child etc, the septet have ruthlessly returned to max-out their sound with enough power and gusto to cause a ripple-effect across the Thames estuary. If pioneering a subgenre was meant to come from sheer experimentation, then it has certainly fallen for Silent Descent. This album captures the trance magic from the arsenal known as 'Kipster', the firing of skin-cutting riffs from Tom Callahan and Jaco Oxley, whilst being embezzled by the magnitude of the thunderous drumming by Jerry Sadowski and the ultimate armour piercing warhead devised by vocal architect Tom Watling, let alone the intertwining by Paul Hurrell and Jimmy Huang to altogether deliver what is perhaps already perceived as the album of the year in the UK Metal scene.
RHYS STEVENSON 
_CORE IN CHINA
ROCK IN CHINA
As ancient as their forefathers, the Chinese Metal and Rock scenes are ones that are not fully researched into and as such are left underground, what this free online compilation has done (which is downloadable from this page) is dug out a myriad of bands from the Metalcore, Deathcore, Nintendocore, Hardcore and Screamo sub-genres and presented this to the masses. The compilation took five months to compile and represent the areas of Beijing, Wuhan, Changsha, Taipei, Hong Kong, Baou and Guangzhou. It has been released via Rock In China's web page and is worth downloading,
For a country like China to have an underground scene of epic proportions is a testament to the unformidable power of the internet, from the very first Heavy Metal band Tang Dynasty to tomorrow's Chinese musicians, this is a compilation any Metal fan should download and support.
From New Tanks slamming Deathcore (which is brutal enough to make you look a right softy), to Meat Sucks' beautiful ballad-tinged hardcore sensation. You'd be asking for more than a Chinese takeaway, this compilation covers many tastes and not just one. Noodlecore some people call it, but Nintendocore is a crossing of Nintendo music and Deathcore/Metalcore; quite apt for a console that is ironically Japanese.
But take no assumptions, download it and let your ears do the deciding, China has spoken, the bands are ready, are you? Let the audio assault begin....
RHYS STEVENSON (8.5)
One would confuse this with easy listening, or perhaps pure sensational imagination. This is after all Ihsahn's latest offering 'Eremita', a cleverly constructed assault of Extreme Progressive Metal with enough riffs to leave you barking for more. 'Eremita' marks Ihsahn's fourth outing and possibly his most impressive in the existence of the project. It’s fast, its heavy, its Norwegian and it’s insane, Ihsahn is taking Extreme Metal to a third dimension and in doing so, lashing it with a furious smacking of Black Metal-tinged Prog Metal. Who said innovation and experimentation was disastrous?
 RHYS STEVENSON
_ MASK OF VIRTUE
'In This World'
Another band using the electronic music wildcard, but there is something unique about Mask Of Virtue, whether it's the fact they use melodic vocals and down-right brutal hardcore as a backdrop or the fact they are poised to the take the UK scene by storm. Whilst not as prolific (yet) as Hertfordshire band Enter Shikari, the Yorkshire quintet are not far behind from copping onto that sound, but at the sound they are currently at, they should stick. This is after hearing their debut album 'In This World', a harmonious composition of some of the sickest riffs, danceable beats and soul-destroying vocals. From start to finish, this is a non-stop roller-coaster of 'electronicore' at its absolute finest. Naturally sounding as Enter Shikari's successor, this is the 'electronicore' band the UK has been waiting for, next stop... global domination.
 RHYS STEVENSON
ABSENCE OF LIGHT
Unknown territories often hold a gem or two within their repertoire, Kenya is no exception. With the EP 'Vyom Chakra' free to download, it is worth taking a peek. This is Absence Of Light's debut release and is full of brutalising Extreme Metal from all aspects: sensational blastbeats, erratic riff changing and gut-wrenching vocals, coming from a country where Metal music is very underground this is essentially a taste of what can be done here. In the sounds of bands like Strapping Young Lad at its best, it is hard to state what this Kenyan band sound like, one would simply say 'check it out for yourself', but without any resilience whatsoever, this has to be the starting point for the Kenyan Metal scene.
 RHYS STEVENSON