When I first ripped off the packaging of the cd sleeve, I did a brief scan of the promotional artwork and thought to myself ‘oh, just another grim underground black metal band…’ Six beers later, I had the volume cranked.
Killswitch Engage’s latest and self-titled album showcases in many ways what has come to be expected from the band. The formula hasn’t changed much — straight and to-the-point metalcore with lots of clean lead guitars and bursts of drums. However, this time there’s more angst than usual in the lyrics, and definitely attempts at making the incredibly short songs sound suitably epic.
Sahg takes influence from classic groups like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and their doom metal sound ranges from fast, retro sounding groovers to more plodding and psychedelic crushers. Fuzzy, trippy and heavy, Sahg does a nice job changing up the styles and tempos.
Like fellow Quebecer’s Unexpect, Blackguard has a distinctive classical European flavor, melodic black metal with a distinctive nod to folk and they like to play fast – Dragonforce fast. However, unlike the self-masturbatory English band, their frenetic pace is not accentuated by technical guitar work, but instead is sopping with keyboards and orchestrations.
When I think MeteorCity, riff rock bands like Lowrider and The Atomic Bitchwax come to mind. In that sense, Flood isn’t your typical MeteorCity band.
To The Nines is the most recent release spawned by Dansk melodic death metallers’ Hatesphere. There is something about Hatesphere that separate them from all the rest.
Germany’s Suidakra return shining bright with their 9th studio effort, Crogacht (meaning – bravery).
The third offering from Sweden’s The Legion, A Bliss To Suffer doesn’t wait to try and crush its listeners. Even with a sprinkling of instrumental spots here and an added sound effect there, the core black/death elements emerge from the beginning of opening track “Shining Redemption” and remain more or less consistent throughout the album as a whole.
A quick historical run down here: Leif Edling began his musical career in the Stockholm, Sweden based hard rock act Trilogy in the late 70s where he worked alongside drummer Håkan “Ian” Haugland, later of Europe. In 1985, Leif launched his groundbreaking doom metal band Candlemass who became well-known worldwide for its fresh pioneering sound
While Heaven & Hell has proved itself as formidable of a live act now as it was first time around in 1981, The Devil You Know is a decent album but unfortunately it isn’t as great as it possibly could have been.