GMA - Vol162 - Metal, Reptilian Death, Satan's Wrath, Heathen Foray, Sisare, Hamerex, Redeye, No Remorse No Surrender, Mysterious Eclipse, Antillia
'Proving Our Mettle'
You have to admit that the old ways are sometimes the best ways, well Australia's rather aptly named Metal seem to think so when delivering their debut album, with a tongue-in-cheek title of 'Proving Our Mettle' and that is exactly what they have achieved. Smoldering Heavy / Power Metal surges like an electrical storm across this album as if they were running on Duracell batteries. Fixating on that classic Iron Maiden Heavy Metal sound that provides a solid backdrop, the quartet smother it with Power Metal elements, through the use of intricate riffs, 'squeezed balls' vocals and oomph and gusto in tow, 'Proving Our Mettle' is without a doubt a metal album fit for anyone who prefers the original and perhaps less complex style of metal music. It might have only taken seven years to let this one out of the bag, but boy was it worth it.
Download This: "Beneath The Banner Of The Iron Duke"
For Fans of: Iron Maiden, 3 Inches of Blood, Van Halen
 RHYS STEVENSON
'The Dawn Of Consummation And Emergence'
OLD SCHOOL METAL
Fronted by Indian Metal veteran Demonstealer, Reptilian Death Metallers Reptilian Death make no mistakes or errors upon excreting their second album 'The Dawn Of Consummation And Emergence', ten years have passed since the concretion and unleashing of their debut release 'Total Annihilation' and the long wait has certainly paid off through a tightly-packed brutal sound that is guaranteed to shake the very foundations of planet metal. Perusing the many veins and arteries of Death Metal, this three-piece unit stitches together elements of Technical metal as the skeleton infrastructure and Brutal Death Metal as the blood-soaked, savage-scarred skin of this megalithic ensemble. What with Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos firmly leading the line, Reptilian Death are sure to follow firmly in-behind. Get your vaccinations at the ready, because this exotic Reptile bites and injects a rather toxic metallic venom.
Download This: "Distorted By Bondage Blood And Bestiality"
For Fans of: Strapping Young Lad, Cryptopsy, The Berzerker
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Aeons Of Satan's Reign'
Reflecting the whole emotional side to the current situation of the Greek economy, blasphemous Blackened Thrash stalwarts Satan's Wrath spit out corrosive venom and unholy disturbances via their sophomore release 'Aeons Of Satan's Reign'. Immersing the atmosphere with the anti-christian profanity demonstrated amongst most Satanists and Luciferians, this quintet totally murder your future grave stone by pissing down your ear-holes with savage riffs (so savage that professional murderers would s**t themselves at the sharpness), vocals that would make Golden Dawn stand up and do the honors against the 'she-who-must-not-be-named', in spite of this Satan's Wrath's 'Aeons Of Satan's Reign' is definitely the future sound of Hellenic Extreme Metal, if you thought Rotting Christ were evil, that lot are cupcakes compared to Satan's Wrath.
For fans of: Sarke, Aura Noir, Skeletonwitch
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Aeons Of Satan's Reign' is out 12th November 2013 via Metal Blade Records
Pagan Metal, it's like as if some bands cannot leave the topic alone, but when bands like Heathen Foray enter the fold, it is clear that they take their own unique twist on it. This Austrian machine embroils the atmosphere with heavy hitting melodies and the feeling of galloping across the lands with that highly noticeable Folk Metal element being developed through the guitars and drums in sync. 'Inner Force' clearly shows this style off, the quintet's third outing does not disappoint and whilst at times the language barrier may pose a problem (songs are in both English and German), the music inevitably does the talking and with this elaborated form of Melodic Viking / Pagan Metal, it is clear that Heathen Foray are one of Austria's unsung metal bands, with 'Inner Force' now out in the wilderness, they are sure to garner some attention from the surrounding European countries.
Download This: "Mei Laund"
For Fans of: Adorned Brood, Amon Amarth, Arkona
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Now for those who think Death Metal has to be blasted at the speed of sound and feature vocals that makes anyone s**t themselves, you are half mistaken, well, just a bit. Insurrection take this theory with a pinch of salt and maybe some Technical Metal elements thrown in here and there, but they are no Quo Vadis or Neuraxis, instead they implore a sound that eclipses Neuraxis, how you may ask? Simple, by switching from technical to melodic to harmonic in a flash, they carve out there own form of complexity and can be dubbed 'deus ex machina metal', a mouthful for sure but whence dissecting their latest offering 'Prototype', it does not fall short of the Modern Metal sound, in fact if Insurrection added some synths or industrial elements then the sound could easily be 101% groundbreaking. As it is, 'Prototype' is a mesmerizing album in it's own ball park and could provide the way for Insurrection to become known overseas as the new face of Canadian Technical Death Metal.
Download This "Hellfire"
For Fans of: Misery Index, Decapitated, Obliveon, Hypocrisy
 RHYS STEVENSON
Finland rarely disappoints when it comes to producing metal bands and metal music releases, out of the abyss comes another underground and exciting band called Sisare, of whose debut album 'Natures Despair' ticks all the boxes for it to be a recommended metal album. The Progressive Metal four-piece deliver a sound that illuminates the entire surroundings with the sense of magic, natural goodness and the very essence of what makes Finnish metal all that special the unique musicianship skills. 'Natures Despair' glides between the Progressive and Avant Garde metal styles, with hints of experimentation clearly detectable and elements of melodies filtering through in the background. They may be a small unknown band in the Finnish lands, but they are a gem to the worldwide Prog Metal scene as 'Natures Despair' evidently proves.
Download This: "Isolation"
For Fans of: Rush, Dream Theater, Haken
 RHYS STEVENSON
There seems to be this certain type of aura flowing amongst the relatively underground classic heavy metal bands, they seem to go on for ever and only end up release a couple of albums, sadly this looks to be that way with Hamerex. Hailing from Yorkshire, this four-piece platoon wield that ever classic sound of British Heavy Metal and by adding some Thrash and Doom Metal elements here and there, the second album 'IX' (aptly titled seeing as Hamerex is nine years old) demonstrates the uniqueness of this metal music strain. Sure 'IX' is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill heavy metal album, but it certainly is decent enough for anyone to own, well, almost everyone (Justin Bieber + metal = disaster). Like most of their underground contemporaries, Hamerex will keep the faith going strong, with a rally of riffs, drum beats and vocal exasperation's, this is 'el clasico'.
Download This: "Inferno"
For Fans of: Black Sabbath, My Dying Bridge, Iron Maiden
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Seven years down the line and the first ever EP by Finnish maniacs Redeye finally drops, 'Violence' delivers a brittle and harsh sound that will amuse and abuse anyone who comes across it. Imagine this, being pummeled by belching vocals that lead this musical attack, with fist-punching drumming and slashing riffs that will bleed you dry in tow, this is exactly what listeners can expect from 'Violence', just be prepared to have a massive headache. By mixing the glorified old styles of Death Metal with Thrash Metal, Redeye summon up a work of art that will get heads banging so hard, brain hemorrhage is almost certainly on the menu. With an attitude that explores the alleys of murderous topics and music that will boil your senses dry, Redeye will certainly set the underground alight. Listen in closely and you can detect elements of Grindcore...
For Fans of: Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Obituary
'Violence' is out 29th November via Violent Journey Records
 RHYS STEVENSON
NO REMORSE NO SURRENDER
As if Metalcore had not explored every possible avenue, well if you ask London bruisers No Remorse No Surrender they would say f**k you and shove that into every possible orifice you possess. Let's face it, the evidence is clear when indulging this quintets experimental-like EP 'Afflictions', from start to finish there is a cooking pot of various styles that all combine to smash your face in. Think of it as the agile complexity of martial arts mixed with the harsh mauling of Rugby, that might give you some indication of how unrelenting this lot are, needless to say 'Afflictions' is a highly promising EP and it is clear this band will go far, forgot the poncy generic metalcore breakdown trash that is plaguing every single f**king nation and douse yourself in one of British metal scenes hottest promising properties.
Download This: "Ocean's Eyes'
For Fans of: Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage, Bleeding Through
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Hell Of Pain'
Now when listening to the third album by Slovakia's Mysterious Eclipse, there are times where the music disallows the vocals from keeping up and so it becomes disjointed, but at other times the overall sound is emphatic i.e. the melodies, brutality and sexual vocals kick in at the same time to develop a generous mix of glass-shattering and soothing ambiance. 'Hell Of Pain' definitely has an appeal to those Black / Death Metal and Melodic Metal fans, but this is no Hecate Enthroned nor is it Arch Enemy softened, instead what you have here is quite possibly the finest metal album this country has seen for a few years. Whilst the band has been around since 1996, they are relatively unknown to Western Europe, however with 'Hell Of Pain' now in their arsenal rally this is bound to change for the better.
Download This: "Dark Side Of Humanity"
For fans of: Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, God Dethroned
 RHYS STEVENSON
"Последний звездопад / Last Starfall"
Them Russians, they do love their female fronted metal bands and so when Moscow-based Antilla deliver their premier EP, it comes as no surprise that they go full out with their style of Symphonic 'emotional' power metal. "Последний звездопад / Last Starfall" delivers a thunderous explosion of elegant keyboard elements, aligned with the dramatic-operatic vocals, Sonata Arctica-like riffs and drumming, that all together creates a sound that would be epic to play at the top of waterfall or a mountain looking over the ice-caped landscapes of the Russian tundra. Such dramatics in music has never been heard before, whilst on the other hand only Antillia can deliver this sound in such a mind-blowing way. We could see them touring Europe within the next two years if they keep this sound going and push it forward.
Download This: "Шаман"
For Fans of: Within Temptation, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish (Anette era)
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
GMA - Vol156 - Fortress Of Thanatos / Wintercold, Sodomophilia, Eating Shit, Backdawn, Lagerstein, Speirling, Ethernal, Internal Corrosion, Saprophyte, Glacial Fear
FORTRESS OF THANATOS / WINTERCOLD
'When The Moon Is There...'
Once again here is another split release by the Swedish underground Gothic Doom Metal one-man project Wintercold and this time Satanic Tony duels with the long-going Black / Doom Metal ensemble Fortress of Thanatos from The Philippines. What more can you want than two grueling and abysmal bunch of musicians indulging in their musical passions, well how about a split release that broods in gloomy depression and powerful atmospherics, because that is exactly what Fortress of Thanatos kick off with and as the keyboard elements drag in an ecclesiastical feel, as if a funeral was taking place, the pitch is set for a blooming blackened storm of which there is no relenting mercy. Following the darkened epitome they initiated, the Filipino warlords curse and spit at every moment, that with their unruly and unconventional music plays right into the changeover hands for Wintercold. Wintercold in turn delivering another smacking of frosty darkness and carries on the gloomy doom emotions that Fortress of Thanatos laid out at the start. Certified not for those who cannot take the dark side of life lightly and absolutely for those who love their music to be as dark as death itself, Wintercold finishes up the split very nicely indeed and with it another shadow strike of true cult Doom Metal comes to a close... until next time.
Download These: "Nahash" (Fortress Of Thanatos) & "Pitch Black" (Wintercold)
For Fans of: Watain, Ghost, Candlemass
 +  RHYS STEVENSON
It's always nice to see a metal band arise from a hostile area such as Iraq in the Middle East, politics aside Iraq has over the last few years developed and nurtured a growing underground scene, the latest are bruisers Sodomophila of whose early style Death Metal plagues the atmosphere with guttural gluttony and abhorrent murderous incantations. This is of course their premier demo released this year via Salute Records and what comes with it is a face-smacking bombardment of blood-soaked Death Metal, verging on Deathgrind at intermittent points. Sure you would need to turn the speakers up to hear it, but given due this is a credible release and baths in the bloody history of the past decade or so in Iraq. Sodomophilia's 'Demo 2013' is a fine start and will surely give the band enough credibility to bring Iraq to the forefront of the emerging metal scenes. I would very much like to see them at Dubai Desert Rock Festival, if they plough this demo intro the ground then that dream will come true.
Download This: "Incest"
For Fans of: Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Gorgasm.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Supersonic Black Metal' + 'Bon Appétit' + 'Paradox'
For a band that has been going thirteen years, Eating Shit certainly have had their fair share of delivering a musical battering that would leave you on the toilet for ages with the runniest of shits. Enough graphic detail, their latest release 'Supersonic Black Metal' is apocalyptic to say the least, sure it's a modest 40 minutes long, but the songs are practically insanely fast music with pig squeels, exactly how it should be. However listening closely and you can get a whiff of industrial music in the background or indeed what The Berzerker once was called 'gabba' and 'cybergrind', so you could easily say that the French trio have kept that tantalizingly brutal sound alive. Whilst the title may suggest otherwise, there is very little Black Metal in this release, but it is there none the less.
Turning back the clock to 2011 and the band's second album 'Bon Appétit' immediately kicks off with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, with a waitress welcoming customers to their tables in a restaurant whereby the food being served has been genetically modified using meats and vegetables and will kill the eater via pleasure, the closing part of the intro audibly features the famous French phrase ''Bon Appétit' before the full atomic explosion of extreme grindcore takes a foothold as the album kicks into fifth gear and delivers a full smacking of funky noise, even venturing cheekily into the French language on 'Bioman' at the beginning; clearly an extract from a popular song before the grindcore crushes it to death, such violent pleasantries are utmost welcome. Not as extreme as their third album, 'Bon Appétit' none the less features some face-grilling music.
Turn the clock back even further to 2010 and the debut album 'Paradox' sees light and whilst it clearly is the least heaviest of the three albums it still warrants a listen, it still is as brutal and heavy as any other Grindcore release but compared to the other two albums it lacks that final panache. Even though it carries on that really funny tongue-in-cheek element that the band's second album also features, 'Paradox' is primarily a Grindcore release and features barely any industrial elements in the background except for some clever tricks done on the evident drum machine on "Wall E"; just for a few seconds or so though across the song. Overall the album is very impressive, just don't call it groundbreaking.
Download These: "Your Ballot In My Box"
For fans of: The Berzerker, Anaal Nathrakh, Aborym
[8.5] + [8.5] + 
There's a reason why some underground bands stay underground, purely because they are not good enough to get well known, much is the case for French metal troupe Backdown whose debut self-titled EP makes Justin Bieber sound godly. Ok maybe that's a bit overboard, but the EP is not even worth entertaining, the vocals are relatively fine but the guitars and drums need fine tuning and more effort put in. Basic Groove / Death / Thrash Metal and nothing more, simply put there is nothing to suggest this band have done something no other band has done, ironically it is a decent release and shows the band has put some effort into it. Spin it how you will because 'Backdawn' has more confusion in it than someone who is high on meth.
Download This: "Backdawn"
For Fans of: god only knows.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Drink 'Til We Die'
Since Alestorm started the Pirate Metal craze, it seems nearly most folk metal bands want to join on board HMS Metal, however Lagerstein is a different ale of beer, in fact they go for straight and basic gaudy Pirate-themed Folk Metal. Pretty sure they have got a better connection with pirates given that convicts in the UK used to be shipped to Australia. However last year Lagerstein made their breakthrough with their emphatic debut album 'Drink 'Til We Die' which features a rather nifty booklet that opens out into a pirate map, now that is highly original as is their music. Using a keyboard to create the melodies of traditional pirate music and the same sort of Folk music experience in the Celtic guild, that traditional old folk / doom metal feel surging through the core of this album seals the sound very nicely. It is early days, but Lagerstein could be the metal fans new favorite Australian Metal band.
Download This: "Pirate Music Piracy"
For Fans of: Alestorm, Finntroll, Dropkick Murphys
 RHYS STEVENSON
Who would have thought that Buckinghamshire would play host to a two-man Black Metal project, well that is exactly the case with Speirling. The sole and latest release 'The Piper' drives out the old school style of Black Metal, nothing too fancy nor too fast resides on this 2008 release. However the vocals do make up for that substitute as they deliver a level of sound that would equate to the said missing music elements, for you to to really get anything out of this album, you need to listen to it numerous time sadly. On a more positive note it does offer something new, and so for those who prefer their Black Metal to be pleasant and more percussive than raw or atmospheric, 'The Piper' by Speirling is for you, a true taste of the English underground Black Metal scene.
Download This: "The World Breaks"
For Fans of: Underground black metal
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Grim Ethernity' + 'The Black Sun' + 'Arkioas'
Buckinghamshire's Black Metal trio Ethernal delivered hell with their debut album 'Grim Ethernity' released back five years ago in 2013. Much like Mark's one man project (where he is known as Nechtan and partners Blaidd) Speirling, Ethernal also drives out the old school style of Black Metal and again nothing fancy happens on this album, just simple and true English underground Black Metal, with a thick and atmospheric feel to the sound and more organic feel to the lyrics in heritage context whereby English mythology comes into practice. Again like the drummer's side project, Ethernal's 'Grim Ethernity' also does offer something new, therefore those metalheads who prefer their Black Metal to be along the lines of Winterfylleth and Old Corpse Road, 'Grim Ethernity' by Ethernal is for you, another true taste of the English underground Black Metal scene.
Focusing now on the premier EP 'The Black Sun' which was released back in 2011, the first thing that strikes out is the title and the artwork and some metalheads would now dub them NSBM owing to the Nazi links to The Black Sun, this simply is nonsense it is more of a pagan, wotanist, esotetic and occult symbol, as for the music well that in itself is an occult, much improvement can be heard on here in relation to the debut album 'Grim Ethernity', the drums have a more pronounced presence and so give that really dark feel to the ambient atmosphere and the feeling this EP sparks off is one of druidism ironically given that said movement is of the Celtic mythology and occult, even so the lead song "Order Of The Black Sun" belts out a colossal sound that can only be improved if it were blasted out at Bloodstock per se. For all the controversy surrounding the EP the music deals with it via a mesmerizing and powerful enchantment.
Furthermore when checking out their latest album 'Arkioas' which was released last year, the two tracks from their premier EP make a stark appearance on the album as the first two tracks, they are also of the same quality as on the EP which is rather odd. Duplication aside the album carries on that mind-breaking power of chaotic occult Black Metal and leaves the listener with a great deal of satisfaction. Shrieking vocals curse the airwaves with venomous spit and whilst that happens the drums and guitars battle each other for monstrous supremacy, hark 'Arkioas' is an album to be afraid of as it is not for the commercial Black metal fan, this is an album that shines kvlt and utmost truth as a force to be reckoned with, this is only the beginning...
Download These: "Echoes" + "Order Of The Black Sun" + "In Silent Halls Beyond..."
For Fans of: Winterfylleth, The Meads of Asphodel, Old Corpse Road
 + [8.5] + [8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
With a career spanning 20 years you would expect that Internal Corrosion has a fruity backlog of releases that follows a similar patten to those bands who have been around for two decades... but no. 'Spiritual Poverty' is only the band's second album and so you would question what the hell has been going on? Ah what the hell, California's Thrash maniacs wield an album that does everything a Thrash Metal album is meant to do, fast paced music laced with neck-breaking riffs, unrelenting drumming and radioactive vocals, needless to say that 'Spiritual Poverty' is definitely worth that extra dollar to buy but don't expect it to be another "Reign In Blood" or "Ride The Lightning", just expect good ole classic American Thrash Metal, old school style. Heck they might as well resort to becoming a pub band or a titanic band in a local setting, after all isn't that 'Spiritual Poverty'?
Download This: "Draw The Line"
For Fans of: Metallica, Dio, Megadeth
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'The Aberrant Paradox'
It has always seen to be the case that Canadian Metal tends to be very ballsy, with a lot of cheek entering the affray and I don't refer to South Park on this occasion, nor the consistent linkage with syrup and a horny moose. I refer to the second album by Progressive Death Metallers Saprophyte who have dropped a bombshell on this occasion, with djent making somewhat an abrupt appearance on some of the songs and yet the maniacal punching in the face sound continues to wallop the hearing senses as if ear fetish was the latest trend. 'The Aberrant Paradox' is a musical feast that even the most gluttonous person could not devour or apprehend to, with the sheer magnitude of the death growls that rot the songs dry, the chemistry between the razor-sharp riffs and the solidarity of the drums, it is safe to say you would need life insurance to get through this one.
Download This: "Nightmares"
For Fans of: Gojira, Opeth, Periphery
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Equilibrium Part II'
This is the kind of music you want to shove into everyone's face, especially the hypocrites of today who ruin every country through mass control, that includes the corrupt governments of the world. Can we say that sort of thing? Glacial Fear can. The Italian's latest EP 'Equilibrium Part II' spits venom into your face so hard you wish you wasn't born, formulating a sound that comprises of Death Metal, Metalcore and Technical metal, this is the sound of mass brutalization. With a crunchy bass line, an emphatic array of fluid riffs and mentally-destroying vocals, 'Equilibrium Part II' is the musical sound of mass murder and as the fury unfolds you better take out life insurance, because boy are you f**king going to need it. Now, unleash the pain of a thousand spikes stabbing your senses dead, because that is what Glacial Fear's is like 'Equilibrium Part II', a crude slaughtering.
Download This: "Ghost City"
For Fans of: Quo Vadis, Architects, Born Of Osiris
 RHYS STEVENSON
3rd Chronicles of Metal Music Reviews
Global Metal Apocalypse