GMA - Vol 232 - Mechanik War III, Semi Civil, Grande Fox, Symbtomy, Bloody Skies, Ildaruni, Indignacion, Bestia Ater, Dengel, Troberoth
MECHANIK WAR III
As raw and rusty as a combustion engine, Mechanik War III bellow out thick black smoke with their latest effort 'Divine Annihilation', this black smoke is full of chunky bass lines, harmonised vocals, ravaging riffs and drums so menacing, it churns your stomach endlessly. By bazooka, who'd have thought that cyber industrial Metal could take on such a militaristic and futuristic sound and image? Because this is exactly what the American quartet Mechanik War III have done, their latest effort 'Divine Annihilation' was designed to 'divinely annihilate' your eardrums whilst serving itself as the ideal soundtrack to a full-out nuclear war; if the next war is to be dominated by machines and cyber warfare, then this album will be the radio broadcast. Fear Factory eat your heart out, the next generation of cyber industrial metal bands is upon us with Mechanik War III.
For fans of: Deathstars, Fear Factory, Sybreed
Download This: "At War With The Nazarene" - click to listen
''Divine Annihilation' is out now via an independent release.
[7.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Cult Of Masses'
Breathing in elements of Whitechapel, Monuments and Emmure, it's hard to really ignore Semi-Civil despite their underwhelming underground status... granted they've only just dropped their debut single 'Cult Of Masses'; and probably are very new to the scene, but this stuff just blows! Whether you like your progressive metalcore / deathcore factions cliche or not, Semi-Civil have brought both aspects to the table - classic formulaic rhythms and vocals meeting unsuspecting time signatures and the unnerving style of breakdown - let the background synths rip your veins to shreds. The solo part though, in a strange way glides over nicely the rhythmic downtempo riffs and allow for the vocals to make a rampant return. It's early days, but if Semi-Civil keep on building their sound up and produce songs in this style, then give it a year or two and they'll nail a label deal.
Download it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW9QvK5XUtw
For fans of: Monuments, Whitechapel & Emmure.
'Cult Of Masses' is out now via an independent release
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Greek psychedelic / stoner rock metal outfit Grande Fox return to deliver their 2nd effort in 'Empty Nest', which at it's core is a foot tapping soundtrack to your next drinking session... Jack Daniels at the ready! Riffs dominate the album like no tomorrow and leave no taste untested; there's the downright dirty and then there's the sexily snazzy, both oozing so much sensuality it's almost 'musica erotica'. What's really amazing is that the band clearly has no rulebooks for their own branded style of music... the album flits from the mesmerising sounds of Muse to the gritty notes of Black Stone Cherry, whilst simultaneously flirting with the heaviness of Van Halen and AC/DC... all the more of a reason to make 'Empty Nest' your next listening adventure.
Download This: "Brutal Colors" - click to listen
For fans of: Muse, Van Halen, Black Stone Cherry, Corey Taylor
'Empty Nest' is out now via an independent release.
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Sometimes it's good to go back to where something began, back to the golden days, back to the bare basics. This is exactly what the Czech-British trio Symbtomy have done, here you will not find any flashy insane guitar solo's, nor anything that deviates from the old school death metal sound. Instead, you'll be greeted with the finesse that once emanated from within the 90's era of death metal - straight edge guttural gut-wrenching vocals, blazing and savage riffs, and thunderous drumming that made the Swedish style of death metal so formidable. 'Demo #1' is a tour-de-force and a spectacle to behold, it's a brilliant start from the trio in Symbtomy and provides a foundation for more of that good stuff to built on.
Check the demo out here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrTIldYmBK0
For fans of: Unleashed, Entombed and Dismember
'Demo #1' is out now via an independent release
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Not much is known about Bloody Skies, the melodic black / doom / death metal duo from Albania, other than they formed in 1995 and have just released their debut demo... it has taken a very long time for them to emerge out of the shadows but alas here they are. What is quite refreshing about their sound, is that they've incorporated elements of traditional Albanian music and as such, made their own unique blended style. The demo, is exceptionally raw (at least the start and then reaches a more polished sound), thereby sticking true to the path of honing ones craft. The downside naturally is that you have to crank up your speakers to hear it (be warned it gets louder), just a minor inconvenience for the brilliant musicianship presented herewith, sure it's not going to break ground and become an overnight sensation, but it will do well to satisfy those seeking true underground extreme metal.
Download This: "Why Care At All" - click to listen
For fans of: My Dying Bride, Woods Of Ypres, Catamenia
'Demo' is out now via an independent release
[7/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Beyond Unseen Gateways'
BLACK LION RECORDS
Shamanic yet grandiose sermons await on the debut album by Armenian pagan black metal conjurers Ildaruni. 'Beyond Unseen Gateways' takes the genre to a lands unexplored with the blending of Armenian folklore and the utilisation of musical scales found within that part of Western Asia. The quintet have delivered an album that is a thorough romp through their homeland, skirting the modern Yerevan and diving head-first into the ancient pasts of extinct cities such as Ani (now in modern Turkey), one that should be embraced both lyrically and musically. This is not nationalism, this is bringing to the fore a folklore that seemingly is forgotten by the world, nay lest it be known that Armenia is considered one of the oldest countries in the world. The new wave of Armenian metal is upon us as Ildaruni alongside The Adana Project become flag-bearers of the Armenian metal scene.
Download This: "Exalted Birth" - click to listen
For fans of: Kroda, Ruins Of Faith, Melechesh
'Beyond Unseen Gateways' is out via Black Lion Records
[8.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Often when people read the genre death metal / grindcore, they think of blast-beats galore and rampaging riffs, however if you ask Bolivian outfit Indignacion about this, they'll respond with 'we will dictate the pace OK?', just take for example their second album 'Amuyta Lakharu', it is so unorthodox and so unpredictable that you cannot headbang to it; well you can try, but be prepared for severe neck-ache from the ever-changing pace of the music. Featuring what could be called radio clips, the album addresses environmentalism, the current COVID pandemic and humanity's destruction of planet earth and could arguably seen as a protest soundtrack, but whether that is or is not the case one thing is for sure, the album is very well put together.... open the pit up.
Check out the album here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vLYfcYaiU8
For fans of: Napalm Death, Gorguts, Psyopus
'Amuyta Lakharu' is out via an independent release
[8.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Anno Bestia Chrysallis'
Legends of the Bulgarian metal scene come together to form Bestia Ater, a bestial death metal band who are full of ferocity and resilience, so much so their debut album 'Anno Bestia Chrysallis' arguably pays homage to the immeasurable seriousness of the Bulgarian extreme metal scene. Very much tuned to the Gothenburg / old school death metal sound, 'Anno Bestia Chrysallis' takes death metal back to it's roots and has no flashy guitar solo's, no fancy elements, just pure filthy rotten guttural vocals, precise percussion and riffs designed to shred your senses to pieces. You have been warned, prepare your hearing for total annihilation at the hands of this leviathan called Bestia Ater... open the pit up.
Download This: "Haures" - click to listen
For fans of: Unleashed, Obituary, Morbid Angel
'Anno Bestia Chrysallis' is now out via an independent release
[7.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
INDEPENDENT / MORT PRODUCTIONS
Stamping their authority on the gothic metal style with their own unique take on the genre, is Chinese sextet Dengel. Their debut album comes 14 years after the band's debut EP and the wait could well be justified, the sensational balance between the oriental flavours in both the music and lyrics, as well as the full force of darkness bestowed on each song, ultimately positions Dengel in a league of their own. This is a refreshing take on the overtly saturated gothic metal style and ultimately paves the way for 'Oriental Gothic Metal' to be born, the various elements found scattered across the entirety of the album is enough to satisfy everyone's tastes - there are elements of symphonic metal, melodic metal, HIM's 'love metal' and of course classic Chinese music... Dengel are flying the flag for the Chinese metal scene.
Download This: "Wandering Soul" - click to listen
For fans of: Within Temptation, HIM, Lacuna Coil
'Promised 重啓.應许' is out digitally via an independent release / physically via Mort Productions.
[9/10] RHYS STEVENSON
If you're searching for something that goes beyond breakneck speed, has the thunderous sound of a volcanic explosion and enough power to keep your brain charged for 24 hours, then look no further than Troberoth and their 2nd album 'Fallen Angel'. The Costa Rican quartet have busted guts and sweat profusely to deliver an album that puts the greats like Slayer and Metallica to shame, it comes laden with machine gun-like drums, vocals so brutal they make your last hangover rather pitiful and riffs so barbaric, they make the dark ages look tame. Overall this album is the perfect example of how modern thrash metal should be done, it does not get any better than this... the album may be called 'Fallen Angel', but Troberoth is the 'Rising Devil' of the Costa Rican metal scene... open the pit up.
Download This: "My Will Is Gone" - click to listen
For fans of: Power Trip, Vektor, Gama Bomb
'Fallen Angel' is out now via GrimmDistribution
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
GMA - Vol 207 - Vodun, Al-Namrood & Darkestrah, D.A.M., Ifrinn, Wildways, Demonstealer, LAMORI, Cretura, Elvaron, Anient
It's the sort of music that would do well at the Notting Hill Carnival (maybe even winning the Eurovision for the UK), blending a mix of psychedelia with stoner metal and injecting Aretha style vocals, Royal Blood rock intuition and ancient West African voodoo vibes. All hail 'Possession', the latest effort by the London trio Vodun, which does more than just giving listeners something to rock out to, it is a conglomerate of rock/metal elements. With songs like 'Bloodstones' almost providing itself as an ideal bond song, well on this effort Vodun could easily write a bond song, even if Live & Let Die would provide the perfect comparison to the band's music. Vodun have proven that music not only brings different music styles together, but also it breaks down the ethnic barrier and as the band evidently proves, there is no room for discrimination. 'Possession' would certainly have been given the thumbs up by Baron Samedi, had he not been 'killed' by the snakes....
Download This: "Oya"
For Fans of: Royal Blood, Kyuss, Aretha Franklin
'Possession' is out now via Riff Rock Records
 RHYS STEVENSON
AL-NAMROOD / DARKESTRAH
'Tajer Al Punqia / Akyr Zaman'
Two of the most underground Black Metal outfits have come together to collaborate and unleash a truly unique and historical moment in the history of metal music as we know it. Saudi Arabian trio Al-Namrood and Kyrgyz trio Darkestrah lock horns to release the split album 'Tajer Al Punqia / Akyr Zaman', a full-on 22-minute, 3 track epic consisting of some rather unrelenting Black / Folk Metal seen from the Middle East / Central Asia regions. Quintessentially important to the survival of the smaller, 'endangered' (as-it-were) metal scenes, this split offers an insight into the extreme underground and with it, exposes a simply awe-inspiring and magical horde of musicians and subsequent music that defies the odds and stands for two things, one freedom of speech but more importantly to rejoice alongside the world's metal scenes. For ethos, charisma and utmost diligence in remaining true to their cause, 'Tajer Al Punqia / Akyr Zaman' is a truly symbolic release for those who believe in metal as a cultural expression.
Get it here:- http://www.shaytanproductions.com/Releases/Releases.html
For fans of: Black / Folk Metal, exotic music.
'Tajer Al Punqia / Akyr Zaman' is now out via Shaytan Productions
 RHYS STEVENSON
By layering classical, occultist and theatrical elements across Melodic Death Metal, Brazil's D.A.M. have crafted their own sound out of the forest of metal music. This evident on their latest offering 'Premonitions' as they hire the services of Marina Guimarães and Jéssica Delazare to cover the female side of this rather promising Brazilian outfit. Whilst perhaps the first two tracks may be unconventionally long, the latter 2/3 of the release certainly deal justice, through the use of intricate keyboard compositions, murderous riffs, blasting drums (programmed) and vocals so vicious that the favela's would weep in terror. To the trained ear you can tell that there are similarities with other bands, but for the more diverse metal fans, 'Premonitions' is a truly ambitious release from this promising unit. D.A.M. are flying the flag for the Brazilian Metal scene.
Download This: "Anorexic Dysphoria (An Elegy For The Brainless)" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom, The Agonist
'Premonitions' is now out via an Independent Release
 RHYS STEVENSON
In the deepest grim and most serene valleys of bonnie Scotland resides a Black Metal band so youthful yet so mature in their music, that quite frankly deserves immediate appreciation. Hail to the new brethren Ifrinn and their tantalisingly raw premier self-titled demo. Smothered with atmospherics of all kinds, this demo demonstrates that this Scottish group hold much promise in joining the second wave of British Black Metal. Hiding their identities under a shrouded veil of mystery, all that can be said of the composers is that their dank and hallowing harrowing music is one not to be taken lightly and is ultimately intended for those who revel or succumb to the powers residing within the Black Metal force. 'Ifrinn' might as well become one of the darkest and eeriest releases found within the entire Scottish Metal scene, proceed with caution, you have been warned.
Download This: "Dweller Within The Gulf" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Winterfylleth, Immortal, Wodensthrone
'Ifrinn' is now out via Iron Bonehead Records
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Into The Wild'
Russia's long-awaited answer to Asking Alexandria is finally a reality, but with an additional twist here and there. Take for example their latest effort 'Into The Wild', it incorporates Trance, Hardcore, Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, Emocore and elements of Dubstep and EBM. Hell let's call them electronicore, but with that in mind because the band prefer to be genre-less let's call them a work of art. 'Into The Wild' is jam-packed with enough tunes to get a party started, chill out, surf to or whatever listeners do best, the salient point is that no matter what you're into, Wildways have it covered. Primed and prepared to instate themselves as Russia's most successful Metalcore export, Wildways are ready to assimilate the world with their infectious, emotional and well-thought-out works of musical art. This sh*t is too damn catchy.
Download This: "Princess" (feat. Rebecca Need-Menear) - Click to listen
For Fans of: Asking Alexandria, Eskimo Callboy, Enter Shikari, Betraying The Martyrs
'Into The Wild' is now out via Artery Records
 RHYS STEVENSON
'This Burden Is Mine'
The latest effort by soloist Sahil 'Demonstealer' Makhija is here, featuring Ashwin Shriyan on bass and legendary drummer George Kollias of Nile. 'This Burden Is Mine' is a tremendous effort as it weaves its way through Death Metal, Thrash Metal and even into the Heavy Metal category. Through the use of guttural and clean vocals, savagely crafted riffs and thunderous drumming, this album flits from force to force and as a result is designed to satisfy all matters of metal music taste. 'This Burden Is Mine' is not just another album, it's a personal statement from the man himself that somewhat suggests that the achievements in life are being carried on his shoulders as depicted in the artwork. Sonically diverse, 'This Burden Is Mine' will have you head-banging, moshing, dancing and possibly masturbating at every passing song, who knows what you will do when listening to this release but one thing is for definite, this is just the start for this metal music genius; a true god within the Indian Metal scene.
Download This: "How The Mighty Have Fallen" - Click to listen
For Fans of: Nile, Demonic Resurrection, Fleshgod Apocalypse
'This Burden Is Mine' is now out via an Independent Release / Demonstealer Records
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'To Die Once Again'
You could say that LAMORI hail from Finland, but we prefer to say they hail from the Åland Islands, an archipegalo straddled between Sweden and Finland; the latter owns it. 'To Die Once Again' is the band's second album and upon listening to it, stark comparisons with HIM can be drawn like a shooting star in the midnight sky. But despite the clear linkage, 'To Die Once Again' offers a darker overtone with the lyrics primarily covering topics like death, sadness, depression and Gothic aesthetics. Musically sound, 'To Die Once Again' is mainly a Hard Rock album but borrows elements from Alternative Metal and Gothic Metal; with subtle pinches of Doom Metal. This is more than just music, this album paints a picture of how the darker side of life and love becomes neglected, the harsh reality, the wicked truth and it goes without saying, 'To Die Once Again' is to suggest a rebirth gone wrong. But for LAMORI, this is the album that will take them to further international recognition. Now, about that geographical dispute....
Download This: "Lost In Love"
For Fans of: HIM, The 69 Eyes, The Doors
'To Die Once Again' is now out via Wormholedeath, digital release is 10th May
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Fall Of The Seventh Golden Star'
Hailing from the throne of Norwegian Black Metal that is Bergen, sextet Cretura throwaway the rulebook and write their own with their unforgiving and eccentric form of Symphonic Extreme Metal. By taking their forthcoming offering as a pure example and breaking it down, it is clear that the Symphonic, Black and Gothic Metal genres coalesce in becoming the nexus between their created vision and background heritage. Their forthcoming album 'Fall Of The Seventh Golden Star' is a genre-defining album if not at least an attempt to break free from the shackles of the Norwegian Black ('extreme') metal scene. Lasting a full-on hour, this album will serve the band as their calling card for the summer festivals, demanding that the band should be booked, because after hearing this effort you will definitely want to experience it live. In essence, Cretura are revelling in the time we can effectively call: 'The 3rd Wave of Black Metal'.
Download This: "Voices Of Hunger"
For Fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Nightwish, Theatres Des Vampires
'Fall Of The Seventh Golden Star' is out now via Wormholedeath
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Ghost Of A Blood Tie'
After reforming back in 2014 after five years inactivity; formed in 1993, France's Elvaron are back and it seems with new and fresh ideas. With the current line-up consisting of two original members, an ex-drummer and a brand new keyboardist, it's a meeting of old and new ideas being channelled down into new ambitions. 'Ghost Of A Blood Tie' is the band's fifth album and is consequentially the band's first album since reformation, now for those who are good at waiting for the music to kick off, this album is for you. However for those who prefer something quicker, well with 8 tracks collectively lasting 64 minutes, on average 8 minutes per track, well you get the picture. Despite the insane length, this Progressive Thrash Metal effort is a decent effort and will certainly get the Elvaron fan base rampaging once again. Emphatic solo's, ballistic drums, savage riffs, majestic vocals and keyboard elements so atmospheric, that all of this combined would be the perfect soundtrack to a summer's thunderstorm.
Download This: "Silent Windows"
For Fans of: Sonata Arctica, Voivod, Meshuggah
'Ghost Of A Blood Tie' is out 11th April via Fantai'zic Productions
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Elemental' + 'Consigned To Flames'
To Anient is to frustrate or to annihilate, suffice to say that is what the Australian quartet have done on their premier EP 'Elemental' released last year. Splattering together a raucous mess of expertly laid Death / Thrash Metal with the embodied attitude of destruction, these boys have crafted a sound that whilst may bode well on the South Pacific circuit, might just lack that element to gain attention from fans overseas. That's not to say the release is crap, it just lacks that killer blow. Despite the stated criticism, it's a solid effort that garners some element of authority over it's listeners, demanding them to listen to the release to the very death. Gritty as it comes, tidy as it goes, 'Elemental' is a really interesting release that not only could be their best material, but also serves as a decent salutation to their 10th year of activity.
Their debut album 'Consigned To Flames' is a rather solid effort that ironically somehow is not as good as their later EP yet ironically once again does show elements that it is just as good as their EP, confusing right? The sad thing is that we've heard this thing before, it's nothing new and despite the excellent effort at making a mark, it slips slightly at the very last moment. That said, given it took the band nine years since their formation to craft this work, the overall impression given is that they wanted to take their time to make it sound perfect. They did make it sound perfect, just, it lacks that one bit of spark that would otherwise have given it a greater rating. But this should not deter Anient from hitting the studio and unleashing an expected belter in the future.
Download this: "Awakening" - Click to listen
Download this: "Haemoserous"
For Fans of: Nervecell, The Haunted, Hatesphere
[7.5] +  RHYS STEVENSON
3rd Chronicles of Metal Music Reviews
Global Metal Apocalypse