Saturday, April 30, 2011
Divinefire’s latest album is entitled Eye of the Storm. This is the fifth album for Divinefire and not being as familiar with this material as with Christian Liljegren's other projects, I was intrigued.
Divinefire is epic symphonic metal with a decided neo classical edge. The production is there as is the performances, but for me the songs are just not engaging. I’m not left with a memorable melody or hook that just sticks with me.
Some of the early Divinefire material I heard via YouTube video was very engaging and memorable. Yet Eye of the Storm assaults you and leaves me wondering what happened. It falls into the consciousness as one long song. Undoubtedly there will be many of you who’ll think I’ve lost my mind but hey. What else is new!
I’m sure many fans of the prior Divinefire material will dig Eye of the Storm. I’ll probably try to give it a spin in the future but right now this album is D.O.A. as far as I’m concerned….
I dig so many of the bands Christian has been part of Narnia, Golden Resurrection, Audio Vision that to just slag this off would be a crime. German Pascual provided a stellar vocal on the last Narnia album. However Eye of the Storm just falls flat.
So with much reflection I’ve given this album 5 axes.
Vengeance Rising’s third album Destruction Comes has been reissued and remastered by Intense Millennium. They’ve even included the music video for the track Before the Time.
Destruction Comes, if you’re not familiar with it, is full on thrash/grind metal which is low on subtlety and long on bombast. Gone are many of the somewhat melodic elements of the first two Vengeance albums and what you have here is pure brain crushing ear splitting metal best heard at high volume.
You Can’t Stop It, Countless Corpses, Thanatos, Before the Time and the rest don’t allow you to breathe (well maybe part of Raegoul does…). Undoubtedly the even more brutal direction is due to the fact that only Roger Martinez remained from the original line-up.
The guitar tone on this album is much more processed which I thought the remastering might help clean up. Unfortunately that really didn’t occur, many of the tones are louder which adds to a bit fuller sound, but that also means that the guitar elements are just louder as well.
This is still a solid Vengeance album and I’ve read where some fans actually like this disc and the one that followed Unleashed Upon the Earth even better than the first two. Myself I’m glad to see Destruction Comes see the light of day in an updated format.
If you like things hard and heavy this is a must add to your collection.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Intense Millennium has brought another long out of print metal classic back to the forefront. The mighty Deliverance and their third album entitled What a Joke is the album of the moment.
For many Big D fans this album seems to get the short shrift. A mish mash of short comedic type songs i.e. ‘Happy Star,’ ‘Cheeseburger Maker Du’ (a short riff that goes back to 1987) and several standard full on speed metal tunes i.e. Prophet of Idiocy, What a Joke, J.I.G. and Pseudo Intellectual.
A re-worked version of Attack appears as does a rather heavy version of Silent Night. However it would be a crime not to mention their cover of Black Sabbath’s After Forever. That blew a lot of people’s minds back in the day and I’m sure it will again.
This re-release has also been remastered. There are some things that have definitely been improved with this reissue. The sound of the drums have benefited as have the guitars. However I’ve found that the shelf of frequencies above 8-10k seem to have been brought down so low that I have to manually adjust my stereo to bring much of the high end back.
The sound is a bit fuller with improved low end response, but it seems that the dynamics of the high end were sacrificed. I just wonder if some type of happy medium could’ve been achieved.
A solid bonus track entitled Strings of Sorrow is also included. This track harkens to what would come on their next release Stay of Execution. No information is included as to where this track came from or when it was recorded.
This particular edition also includes a limited edition album cover. Apparently some big broo ha ha has erupted over it and has led Intense Millennium to state that the original cover will appear on later releases of this album.
For those of you who have been wanting to pick this one up here’s your chance. Jesus Is God!!!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Ricky Puckett of Broken Flesh did what all aspiring death metal vocalists do. He started his own record label!! Warclub Records is the name of the label and to top that off he releases a spectacular compilation of intense heavy metal. The material here definitely comes from the death metal end of the spectrum, but there are also a few surprises thrown in.
Quite honestly to see the line up here over 17 tracks is phenomenal. The majority of the artists presented here were rather obscure and unknown to me, but after several listens I’m more than intrigued with more than a few of the artists here.
A Hill to Die Upon starts things off with a brand new track entitled The Chant of the Mighty Offspring. Pure musical genius and anyone who was fan of their debut album on Bombworks won’t be disappointed here. Grave Robber also makes an appearance with Lion of Judah off their latest release Exhumed. Metallic punk at its finest.
Several bands that got my attention immediately were Your Chance to Die (death metal), Fearscape (black metal), and Nomadic (death metal) who gets the awards for the most dominant guitar sound. Death Slave is the title of their contribution and it just demands to be played again.
Other highlights include Romero, and the offering by Benevolence; entitled Retribution they deliver the proverbial goods. Most of the bands here are shown at their best I believe as I really couldn’t find a weak track. Here’s a listing of the other artists on this album Broken Flesh (Puckett’s own band), Obliteration, Divulgence, Die to Yourself, The Synics Awakening, Christageddon, Corpse of Iniquity, White Funeral and The Beckoning.
Another artist that just grabbed me was symphonic metal act Whisper From Heaven. 7 minutes of angelic joy with a true bombastic soundtrack. Female operatic vocals that soar over the carnage beneath, this song was an immediate repe
It goes without saying that a lot of tracks are not of super high audio quality, however none of tracks fall into the “how’d they get on here????” category. This compilation is reminiscent in feel of a lot of the underground compilations that came out in the early 80’s. There is a lot of potential on this disc. There is also a lot of accomplishment here.
Don’t let The Killing Fields disc go by without picking up a copy. A great effort by all the artists and fine debut for Warclub Records.
For those not in the know, Deuteronomium hail from Finland and they originally billed themselves ‘death and roll.’ These guys were musically sort of a death metal Motorhead in my book, groovy rock lines with an intense vocal barrage that scrapes paint at twenty meters.
This 2009 release From the Midst of Battle, however, is a straight ahead assault of intense death metal. The elements of melody that make it catchy are still in place, but a bit more subdued. Songs such as 3:16 or Defending the Faith drive hard but are still catchy enough to warrant a 2nd and 3rd listen.
All of the songs flow right up to the 17 minute epic, Tales From the Midst of Battle. A lengthy story of conquest, war and betrayal; wrapped inside a collection of riffs and melodies that assault the mind and senses.
Production is strong with a deliberate guitar sound that just rips. All the elements are allowed space to fill, without crushing each other and squashing the overall feel of the music. You won’t find anything ‘new’ here but the quality of what is presented is world class. This isn’t an album of regurgitated Slayer or Obituary riffs, but of quality music composed and arranged with experience and professionalism.
From the Midst of Battle is an exceptional piece of heavy metal music. Make no mistake, if you’re a fan of death metal you won’t miss with this one. Youngside Records has brought a gem to the North American shores, don't miss it!