'Myths Through The Shadows Of Freedom'
Spanish Viking Metallers Steignyr return with their fourth album 'Myths Through The Shadows Of Freedom' and what is presented here is a rather solid effort, however it's the case of we've been here before, seen it, heard it, etc, etc. In no way is the album generic but it lacks something to make it stand tall and proud. Maybe it's the gravelly vocals that mar the whole album, or it's the lack of diversification in the song structure, whatever it is, it doesn't give the album that much needed oomph. It feels like the vocals are being pushed behind the wall of riffs and so end up becoming even more distorted without the fact being the growls aren't easy to understand. There is little idea where Steignyr are heading with their sound or indeed whether their next album is going to fall behind this effort, but it goes without saying that the band has seen better days.
Download This: "Arrows Of Time"
For Fans Of: Huldre, Arkona, Myrkgrav
[6/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Symphonic Metal always seems to do well in the Benelux region, the latest evidence of this is Belgian quartet Elusion and their debut album 'Singularity', which is created with much aplomb, that it already has pushed Elusion into the same league as Epica and Within Temptation. In fact, with this album they could easily be Belgium's answer to the leviathans of Symphonic Metal in the neighbouring Netherlands. There is solace, there is grace, there is even power and ferocity throughout the album, it's these emotions and dramatisation of the music that empowers Elusion to stand on their own two and be free of being dubbed just another 'Symphonic Metal' band. Eagle-eyed metalheads will recognise guitarist Domingo Smets from his time with Pagan Metal veterans Ancient Rites, with this experience in the room and the charisma to match it from every single member, it won't be long before Elusion break out of the Belgian Metal scene and knock on the doors of Wacken Open Air, you read it here first.
Download This: "My War Within"
For Fans of: Epica, Delain, Within Temptation
[8.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Frijgard deliver what you would expect from a Pagan Black Metal release, after all it's taken 5 years for their third album 'Chapter Zero' to surface, so you would expect them to know what they should be doing. The answer is yes. 'Chapter Zero' is bristling with blackened riffs, unholy vocals and funnily enough, standard Pagan Black Metal drumming. It's straight to the point and yet whilst it may keep some people drained and weary, those used to such extreme music will be singing these songs in their sleep. The album is hallowing at it's best and damn right dank at it's worst, ironically it's worst parts are also it's best parts and vice versa. There are moments where you tend to expect one thing and instead are slapped with the opposite, mind you the album does bode well for this Swiss quartet, let's just hope they can maintain it into the next album.
Download This: "Haven"
For Fans Of: Arkona, Drudkh, Graveland
[7/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Welcome To Infinity'
For anyone, a long time to wait for an album to drop is always agonising and yet Beyond Infinity took 7 years since their inception to drop their debut album... but damn the wait was worth it! The Austrian Modern Metallers hold nothing back when it comes to delivering their riveting blend of thunderous Metalcore drums and vocals, which in turn are battling harmonic Power Metal vocals and tackling some Death Metal elements here and there. There is not one song on the album that will leave you bored, they are loaded with insane metal music that is guaranteed to crush every single bone in your body when you headbang or mosh to this sexy piece of audio amusement. 'Welcome To Infinity' is a solid start for Beyond Infinity, so let's hope they continue this magic and dabble even further in the world of Modern Metal.... the clock is ticking.
Download This: "Beyond The Shadows"
For Fans of: Mnemic, Amaranthe, Arch Enemy
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Tales From Yggdrasil'
You may well be thinking 'not another Viking-inspired Melodic Death Metal band' and to be fair you would be mistaken, Havamal opt to lean towards a more atmospheric blend instead of the cliche Amon Amarth sound. Their debut album 'Tales From Yggdrasil' proves this and shows that the Swedish quintet know how to escape the cliche trap of being classed as a clone of another band. Melodic guttural vocals lead the charge whilst the keyboards provide an electric atmosphere, the guitars deliver the thunderous crack of savage riffs and the drums blast your senses apart... literally (well not literally). They are not melodic as Scar Symmetry nor are they heavily driven on the Death Metal aspect, in fact you could argue Havamal have devised their own sound to an extent. Either way 'Tales From Yggdrasil' is a delightful listen and will surely perk a few ears up across planet metal.
Download This: "Blood Oath"
For Fans of: Omnium Gatherum, Norther, Eluveitie
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
SEASON OF MIST
Veterans of the Spanish Metal scene, Wormed leave their mark in 2019 with a scintillating and mesmerising slab of Brutal / Tech Death Metal in the form of their EP 'Metaportal'. With new drummer V-Kazar (Gabriel Valcázar) unleashing a barrage of blast beats and double bass drumming, some could say Wormed are reinvigorated, whilst others would say they are as tight as they have ever been. There is nothing short of pure brutality on this EP, it should come with a health warning as it's potency is savage enough to leave you with a rather stiff neck from unrelenting headbanging. They may call this Brutal / Technical Death Metal, but the genre 'Sci-Fi Death Metal' would seem more apt for the quartet. As you would expect there is quite a lot of pig squealing going on, let's just hope Wormed have enough in the tank to curate a follow-on album.
Download This: "Bionic Relic"
For Fans of: Prostitute Disfigurement, Augury, Cattle Decapitation
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
3rd Chronicles of Metal Music Reviews
Global Metal Apocalypse