GMA - Vol 218 - Frisson, Sectasys, Libertad o Muerte, Novarium, Ex Animo, Edgeflame, Nawather, Intricated, Omnifarium, Frozen Gate
When listening to the debut album release by Frisson, you would have to make your choice on what genre they are because they seem to wander through numerous styles, from Death Metal and Hardcore to elements of Black Metal and Thrash Metal... so let's call it extreme metal. 'Exit Denied' is a raw and brutal release that will appeal to a wide range of tastes, in fact it's a decent release from a scene that lacks in exposure... it's not easy hailing from Kosovo. Wherever the future takes these lads, one thing is for certain, they are flying the flag for the Kosovar Metal scene. For the record, Frisson is French for shivering and shivering is what you will do when finishing listening to 'Exit Denied'.
Download This: "Madness" - Click to listen
For fans of: Extreme Metal
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Brotherhood Of Chaos'
Without a doubt one of the tightest, most extreme metal bands to emerge out of the South American continent. Hailing from Venezuela is Sectasys, a Blackened Death trio of whom have summoned the darkest curses known to man to magic up 'Brotherhood Of Chaos', an album designed for those who love their metal to be fast and heavy, not weak and pathetic. From start to finish, this album is unrelenting in every aspect and as the chaos pursues, so does the thirst for more from this band. Think early Behemoth come cascading down into Immortal whilst simultaneously flirting with Carpathian Forest, well, you get the idea... complete chaotic carnage with enough brutality to crush your mind to pieces.
Download This: "Destroyers Of Humanity" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Behemoth, Carpathian Forest, early-God Dethroned
 RHYS STEVENSON
LIBERTAD O MUERTE
'En Carne Viva'
Modern Metalcore meets Modern Melodic Death Metal once again as Libertad O Muerte drop their second album 'En Carne Viva', one year after their debut saw light. Exclusively singing in Spanish, this quintet from Uruguay hold nothing back when it comes to music creativity and it shows on their latest effort, it's none of that flashy stuff nor is it swishy, in fact this album is completely brutal and demands your immediate attention. If you think you've heard Melodic Death/ / Metalcore in it's entirety, think again for Libertad O Muerte feed their style with some groove elements as well to keep it bouncing along tickety-boo. 'En Carne Viva' is a delight to listen to, may they make more albums like this.
Download This: "Divide Y Conquistarás" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Mnemic, The Agonist, Scar Symmetry
 RHYS STEVENSON
With most Gothic Metal bands you tend to expect the vocals to be a battle between male growls and female harmonics, however Novarium seem to want to discard the whole 'beauty and the beast' aesthetic, and instead use the power of the music generated as a menacing sound to battle against the female vocals - quite an interesting take if one is being honest. This American quintet are challenging convention with their debut effort 'Omicron' (n.b. 15th letter of the Greek alphabet), taking a delicate balance of Nightwish style symphonies and slotting in influences from Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation along the way. To most this might seem another one of those cliche Gothic Metal releases, but this is a breath of fresh air, don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. I call this Modern Gothic Metal.
Download This: "The Unworthy" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Within Temptation.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
If you turn your attention towards Eastern Europe, in specific the broader Doom / Dark Metal movement that seems to be rather a craze in this part of the world, you will find bands like Ex Animo taking the initiative to constantly reinvent this already overdone crossover genre. 12 years may well be a shockingly long time between their debut album and their second album 'Neverday', but the Ukrainian quintet have pulled out all the stops on this effort and whilst sticking 'mostly' to their guns. They've ventured into other styles of metal including Symphonic Metal and Gothic Metal at the foremost periphery. Just don't expect a lot of growling to take centre stage, instead let the atmospherics do the talking because boy, it's terrific, it's hounding and it's going to consume your senses.
Download This: "Shattered Universe" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Moonspell, Poisonblack, Paradise Lost
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Liberate Then Separate'
This is more of a political statement in vendetta form rather than a Thrash Metal album, well when you consider Edgeflame to wallow in the 80's Thrash Metal sound, it fits. Mixing Speed and Heavy Metal as well and you have the complete package. For Turkey's Edgeflame, 'Liberate Then Separate' is more about making music and enjoying it rather than seeking something new and or to be superstars, it's a statement of intent that there is evident unrest within Turkish society - not to suggest that the middle finger should be raised at the state of modern Turkey, or at least ironically that is what Edgeflame seem to suggest. Instead it's a gentle nod to a much wider global issue.
Download This: "Sledgehammer Of Time" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Evile, Pantera, Testament
 RHYS STEVENSON
Ever since Myrath exploded onto the global stage with their unique style of Oriental Progressive Metal, fellow Tunisian metalheads have adopted similar styles with their music, Nawather are no exception. They aren't trying to be clones of Myrath, no way, instead they add a bit more grit and another take on the flourishing Oriental Progressive Metal style and this is clear with their debut album 'Wasted Years'. By mixing growling male vocals with clean female vocals, Nawather add an extra dimension to create their own sound - through the use of a Qanûn, rather than synthetically create the 'Arabic' vibes via keyboard; not that there's anything wrong with that, either way is something special. But it's fair to say that Nawather, Myrath and Persona are leading the 'New Wave of Tunisian Metal'.
For Fans of: Myrath, Persona, Orphaned Land
Download This: "Defnouna" - Click to listen
 RHYS STEVENSON
'The Vortex Of Fatal Depravity'
If seismic activity was detected underneath the buzzing streets of Bangkok, you cannot blame mother nature for it, no not this time... the culprits would be Intricated. By unleashing a torrential, gruelling and disgusting slab of Slam / Brutal Death Metal, Thailand's Intricated are sickening enough to make you vomit and then some. When you consider 'The Vortex Of Fatal Depravity' is the band's debut album after 9 years since their inception, it certainly was worth the wait as the pig squeals, low-fi blastbeats and thick distorted riffs set destined course for pummelling your senses. The funny thing is though, Brutal Death Metal is so fixed on a particular formula it's hard to create anything musically different without treading over the same blueprints, either way 'The Vortex Of Fatal Depravity' is a heavy-hitting release.
Download This: "Represent Existence" - click to listen
For Fans of: Katalepsy, Suffocation, Dying Fetus
 RHYS STEVENSON
There was once a time where most people would have never thought of any metal music scenes happening in The Caribbean, nowadays the island nations and dependencies are embracing this global phenomena and it's bands like Omnifarium who are spurring it on. Having unleashed their first demo 3 years ago, the time had come for them to drop their debut EP and boy what a beast it is. Vitiate borrows influence from Old-School Death Metal as well as the Floridian Death Metal style, so mid-pace drums, chunky riffs and mauling vocals all combine to deliver a harmonised music onslaught. Omnifarium have not vitiated the Death Metal scene, no in fact they've pushed themselves right into the mix of it all, but also positioned themselves to be flying the flag for the Puerto Rican Metal scene.
Download This: "Thorns Of Abomination" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Shadows Fall, Suffocation, Morbid Angel
'Behind The Dark Ice'
Perhaps it might be apt that Frozen Gate does indeed hail from the city of Winterthur in northern Switzerland, because this horde of ice warriors have sculptured a rather bitter, brutal and atmospheric style of Symphonic Black Metal. 'Behind The Dark Ice' is a new edition to the whole 'Winter Metal' theme that bands like Wintersun, Wintersoul and Immortal Soul seem to use, in fact truth be told Frozen Gate are the bastard sons of Wintersun and Dimmu Borgir. On one hand you have the icy symphonies and on the other hand the fast-paced brutality combined with an almost adventurous undertone. It is early days no doubt, but Frozen Gate might yet just prove to be the Black Metal band to reignite the Swiss Metal scene and potentially befit themselves as an up-and-coming force in the underground.
Download This: "Illuminate My Way" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Behemoth, Wintersun, Dimmu Borgir
 RHYS STEVENSON
3rd Chronicles of Metal Music Reviews
Global Metal Apocalypse