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 Chroniques Albums

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:08


NIGHTFALL


Cassiopeia


(Metal Blade Record)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5



Greek six-headed beasts NIGHTFALL play epic, melodic death
metal set to grandiose symphonic orchestrations on its ninth studio
album, Cassiopeia. The band injects plenty of melody into the
proceedings to compliment the precise and controlled harsh barks of
vocalist Efthimis Karadimas, much like AMON AMARTH and fellow countrymen
ROTTING CHRIST pull off. The melodic, dual guitar harmonies of Evan
Hensley and Constantine drive the band’s sound, and there’s plenty of
variation and tempo changes that differentiates each song. A twisted
DANZIG riff mixed with blistering guitar leads and blast beats decorate
“Oberon & Titania.” The bludgeoning double bass, blazing riffs and
just the right amount of keyboard accents propel “Colonize Cultures.”
Delving into a galloping death march, “The Sand Reckoner,” with its
swirling guitar/keyboard leads gives off an evil, carnival-like black
metal atmosphere. “Astropolis,” with its blistering double bass and
rolling tom fills combined with over the top dual guitar leads brings an
excellent close to the CD. This type of music has certainly been done
many times before, but Nightfall sure has a good go at it on Cassiopeia.




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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:10


DEEP PURPLE


Paris 1975


(Eagle Rock)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 9.0



One of nearly a dozen re-issues of formerly overseas-only,
historic releases. In this case, a dual-disc package from the French
capital, that ended up being Ritchie Blackmore’s swansong, before going
on to form RAINBOW. Actually this April 7th concert was also utilized in
piecing together the classic Made In Europe, which ultimately hit the
streets after the classic line-up had disbanded. While that disc was
hampered by the limitation of vinyl, restricting it to a mere five
songs, present technology allows for the entire evening’s worth of music
to be aired, the running order now doubled to ten tracks: four at or
exceeding ten minutes each and two others (‘Space Truckin’ and ‘You Fool
No One’) twenty minutes apiece! While that might seem like enough, the
second disc includes a nearly half-hour Aussie interview with David
Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice, conducted that same year.
Apart from the gems available for decades on that classic slab of vinyl
(and the aforementioned gargantuan length takes), this show adds the
ubiquitous ‘Smoke On The Water’, a rousing ‘Highway Star’ finale as well
as rarely heard numbers like ‘The Gypsy’ and ‘Going Down’. It offers a
glimpse into the music industry in a bygone era, the band strolling
onstage, unannounced and without fanfare. After a few bars of warm-up,
all around, punctuated by Coverdale’s quick raps to the audience, they
launch directly into ‘Burn’. Throughout the concert, the frontman offers
little barbs, although Hughes does most of the song introductions.
Perhaps it’s the remix, but ‘Stormbringer’ has much more prominent
contributions from keyboardist Jon Lord, who also sees a heretofore
absent flourish within the hit single, ‘Smoke’. ‘The Gypsy’ is really
just an excuse for the guitarist to go off. The live sound is amazingly
full, especially for a single guitar outfit. The cowbell stylings of
‘You Fool No One’ sees Lord (snippets of French anthem La Marseillaise),
drummer Ian “Foreskin” Paice (as Coverdale introduces him) and
Blackmore afforded solo spots.

The second piece of Mylar kicks off with ‘Space Truckin’ (live, it would
have been 40 minutes for the back-to-back pair), although there's a bit
of tomfoolery. First Hughes ad-libs the chorus to "I've Got A Lovely
Bunch Of Coconuts," the song sung by TV personality/game show inventor
Merv Griffin (kid you not! Single sold three million copies!?!) and
popularized by Monty Python, who undoubtedly were the Purples'
inspiration. Then it's a rendition of the iconic 2001 theme, before the
Brits' original finally takes off, although Lord breaks into 'Child In
Time' during the widely meandering playback. 'Going Down' is an odd
choice, upon reappearing onstage for an encore and it segues seamlessly
into 'Highway Star', which features an alternate set of lyrics: "Big fat
tires and everything" being replaced by a certain pair of female body
parts that also begins with the letter T (and later, as "nipples').
Having seen numerous videos, can "hear" Blackmore" destroying his axe
during the song (temporarily disappearing from the sound). Coverdale
signs off prophetically, "Hope to see you again soon, in some form or
another."


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:10


VILE


Rare Tracks


(Hammerheart)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.0



Heh, well, that band name and album name pretty much sum
up what yer getting yerself into here, and the 7.0 confirms it: a
slightly exhausting 15-song collection of rare death metal tracks from
California mid-to-upper-tier bruisers VILE. Tunes like 'Path To
Incineration' totally shred, as does most of the band's death metal,
which on this collection is sometimes tech, sometimes straight-up
Floridian, and sometimes a touch melodic (there's even a live AT THE
GATES
cover to drive that last poi...—hey, wake up!). Of course, it
being an album called Rare Tracks, you know that the production
qualities are going to be distractingly all over the map; check out
these guys' last album, Metamorphosis, for a more focused and smooth
example of what they're capable of (or their earlier material if you
prefer it even more brutal and less classy). Good band, but a release
for diehards only. Which you already surmised from that album name,
though, right? Talk about functional.




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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:11


DEATHRONIC


Duality Chaos


(Mighty Music/Target)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.0



Strike one on that band name, strike two on the “you won't
remember it tomorrow” album name, so this one-man Parisian act better
deliver the goods here on his first album. And he does, even though I
have as hard a time swallowing those “I'm morose so I'll sing like the
guy from TIAMAT or MOONSPELL or whoever else has a really low voice”
vocals as anyone, but elsewhere, man, there's good taste all over the
place here, from the great guitar work and cool drumming to the keyboard
flourishes (whoa, did I just say that?). This one is firmly rooted in
Gothenburg sounds, and it takes that excellent if not overdone subgenre
and instills a decent amount of blackened overtones and symphonic sounds
to spice things up just enough to actually make you take notice, if
you're a fan of these particular subgenres of our beloved metal. Trouble
is, these subgenres are so overcrowded it's nothing but elbows pushing
elbows over there; hard to imagine a one-man band managing to
consistently stay ahead of the pack (other trouble is the distracting
drum sound, which isn't as clicky and clacky as many but still just
ain't natural). But ahead he is for now, so if I didn't make you run for
the hills by mentioning Tiamat and Moonspell in sentence two up there
and you're a Gothen-fan, stick around for the ride.



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:11


DECEPTOR


Chains Of Delusion


(Shadow Kingdom)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



I really, really like and applaud what the longhairs over
at Shadow Kingdom records are doing, and with this EP from UK
speed/thrashers DECEPTORS, they've proven that they have an ear for not
just digging up cool chestnuts to reissue, but they can also find
contemporary bands that are top notch. Think the thrash revival is dead?
Maybe it is, but check this out for an example of how a band can
combine cool tech ramblings that are still full-speed-ahead rumblings
('Sentient Shackles' sounds like a demo from a great-era MEGADETH
album), all with a love for thrash how it should be. The band has a bit
of a demo-quality feel to them (singing and production could both use a
bit of extra oomph, but that'll come in time), and this doesn't pack the
punch of a, say, Testament, but it does take a slightly different
approach, adding in more tech elements as well as more of an '80s speed
vibe. With a bit of a beefier production and slightly more solid vocals,
this band is gonna kill.



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:12


THE PROPHECY


Salvation


(Code666 Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



UK doomsters THE PROPHECY is on its fourth full-length
album, Salvation. It’s an epic doom metal journey through darkness,
despair and melancholy — not far off the beaten path of veterans of the
genre such as MY DYING BRIDE, ANATHEMA and PARADISE LOST, with touches
of TOOL, AMORPHIS and even MARILLION. Produced and mixed by Greg
Chandler (ESOTERIC) at Priory Studio and mastered by James Plotkin (SUNN
O))), ISIS and PELICAN), the sound is a lesson in crispness and clean
tonality. There’s only five songs total on the album, but all of them
except one ('Reflections') is over the ten-minute mark. The 14-minute
title track commences with a string arrangement and acoustic guitar
which are soon joined by some well-placed growls and chugging riffs. It
builds on varying textures and tempos with Pink Floyd-ish guitar
melodies. The very TOOL-ish 'Reflections', with its combined clean and
growled vocals on the chorus is quite chilling. A mature-sounding
release that will certainly garner the band some well-deserved praise.



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:12


CULT OF LUNA


Vertikal


(Indie)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 9.0



Sweden’s CULT OF LUNA has always affected in dual-natured
ways, the band understanding that anguish and anger are but different
sides of the same coin. The group’s stellar back catalogue is filled
with abysses and valleys that are monuments to the tribulations of the
human experience, but nothing these Umea residents have recorded so far
can match the vicarious longing that is latest record Vertikal. Digging
deep into what makes NEUROSIS, JOY DIVISION, THE CURE and KATATONIA so
life-altering, Vertikal is the aural embodiment of the episodes in life
you wish you could entirely erase and never remember again, even if the
relief that is years-later hindsight has one realising that it is that
very pain and distress that allows you to grow and expand as a person.
But, in the moment, the pain is visceral and it’s anything but numb, and
it is those exact seconds (and minutes… and hours…) that Cult of Luna
so effectively and impressively channels here. By far the band’s best
effort (surpassing even the apex that was ‘Mire Deep’ from ‘08’s Eternal
Kingdom), Vertikal is a stark and grey assessment of life, one that
reminds us that in Buddhist philosophy, it is suffering that causes the
greatest insights to genuine fulfillment. Cult of Luna’s choice of album
cover is perfect as well, the artwork acting as alpha, but not omega
(hopefully), to where this all comes from. Vertikal will be a strong
contender for 2013 album of the year, without doubt.



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 15:12


CULT OF LUNA


Vertikal


(Indie)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 9.0



Sweden’s CULT OF LUNA has always affected in dual-natured
ways, the band understanding that anguish and anger are but different
sides of the same coin. The group’s stellar back catalogue is filled
with abysses and valleys that are monuments to the tribulations of the
human experience, but nothing these Umea residents have recorded so far
can match the vicarious longing that is latest record Vertikal. Digging
deep into what makes NEUROSIS, JOY DIVISION, THE CURE and KATATONIA so
life-altering, Vertikal is the aural embodiment of the episodes in life
you wish you could entirely erase and never remember again, even if the
relief that is years-later hindsight has one realising that it is that
very pain and distress that allows you to grow and expand as a person.
But, in the moment, the pain is visceral and it’s anything but numb, and
it is those exact seconds (and minutes… and hours…) that Cult of Luna
so effectively and impressively channels here. By far the band’s best
effort (surpassing even the apex that was ‘Mire Deep’ from ‘08’s Eternal
Kingdom), Vertikal is a stark and grey assessment of life, one that
reminds us that in Buddhist philosophy, it is suffering that causes the
greatest insights to genuine fulfillment. Cult of Luna’s choice of album
cover is perfect as well, the artwork acting as alpha, but not omega
(hopefully), to where this all comes from. Vertikal will be a strong
contender for 2013 album of the year, without doubt.



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:05


STRATOVARIUS


Nemesis


(earMusic)


Reviewed by : Carl Begai

Rating : 8.5



It has taken Stratovarius three albums since their 2008
split with guitarist/songwriter Timo Tolkki to find solid footing again.
Not that their “comeback” record Polaris (’09) and follow-up Elysium
(’11) were particularly bad; they simply felt too tentative, as if the
band was being extra careful about not stepping outside the box.
Nemesis, on the other hand, sees Stratovarius throwing out their own
rulebook on what makes for a solid album. Guitarist/producer Matias
Kupiainen has fleshed out his role as Tolkki’s replacement, while
frontman Timo Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johnasson have come into
their own as songwriters, making for an album loaded with hooks and
double-take moments. And with the entrance of drummer Rolf Polve in
place of Joerg Micheal, Stratovarius is back to sounding fresh and
stoked about their collective day job.

Put it this way; Stratovarius hasn’t sounded this good or this together
since the Episode (’95), Visions (’97) and Destiny (’98) albums.

Off the top, gotta say it’s a huge pleasure having to wait 10 out of 11
tracks for the album’s lone ballad (‘If The Story Is Over’) to surface.
Very un-power metal of them to make such move, and Nemesis is better for
it. The band dishes out some out-of-character heavy on ‘Abandon’, ‘One
Must Fall’ and ‘Stand My Ground’ – welcome Mr. Polve – with ‘Halcyon
Days’ marking Stratovarius’ most adventurous song to date thanks to some
unexpected trance elements (that actually work). Johansson is all over
the record, and not merely doubling the guitars or hitting the “opera
vocal” pre-sets, while Kotipelto has coughed up some bloody infectious
melodies this time out. Fave of the moment in that regard include ‘Out
Of The Fog’, ‘Dragons’, ‘Stand My Ground’ ‘Abandon’, and somewhat
grudgingly ‘Unbreakable’, which conjures up a sense of the NIGHTWISH hit
‘Amaranthe’ for some reason. Title track ‘Nemesis’ closes the album in
expected epic form, which is pretty much an
eyerything-and-the-kitchen-sink crusher done up in trademark old school
Stratovarius style.

Oddly enough, the only rough spot on the entire album is the song
‘Fantasy’, a feelgood rocker that’s more abrasive than anything thanks
to some truly cheesy lyrical combinations. Doesn’t fit with the rest of
the material on the album, which is above par for a band that had a
questionable future five years ago
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:08


MUSTASCH


Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven


(Metalville Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.5



Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven is the sixth
full-length album by Swedish stoner/heavy metal band MUSTASCH. Goofy
name, but ass-kicking band. The simplicity of the their well-crafted
riffs and song structures combined with their catchy pop aesthetics are
highlights of this band’s sound. But the best part about them is the
gruff and commanding vocals of Ralf Gyllenhammar, sounding like a cross
between Glenn Danzig and Ian Astbury of THE CULT. The riffs are
first-class, and the catchy choruses and driving rhythms with a ’70s
rock vibe of bands such as UFO, SCORPIONS and THIN LIZZY. The album is
the perfect length at 35 and a half minutes, and every song, excluding
CD closer “Northern Link” — a bunch of traffic reports spoken is Swedish
— is a hands-down winner. Oh, and how much cowbell can you take in your
rock songs without it becoming a cliche? Well there’s plenty of it
here, along with some catchy, chant-able choruses, sledge hammer riffs
and thunderous tom tom fills. This is some great, raucous rock ‘n’ roll
with a sleazy swagger.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:08


HATCHET


Dawn Of The End


(The End)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.0



Nice little pun with the title and the Bay Area thrashers’
new label. A lot has changed since the 2008 Awaiting Evil debut,
including a complete line-up alternation, with lone remaining member /
lead guitarist Julz Ramos doing double duty on vocals, for the departed
Marcus Kirchen. Surprisingly, of all the acts from the vaunted thrash
environs, HATCHET sound closest to classic EXODUS, especially the
untamed nature of Ramos’ spoken (as opposed to sung) vocals and the wild
solos (minus the vintage guitar tones) within the aggressive attack.
That said, you can hear fingers slide across the acoustic strings of the
instrumental ‘Revelations Of Good And Evil’, an unveiled, rip-off of
the intro to METALLICA’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’. ‘Signals Of Infection’
utilizes gang vocals on the chorus, while the title cut is slower, with a
real melodic groove. Although it too begins rather restrained,
‘Vanishing Point’ turns into a real stormer! Only the opening ‘Silenced
By Death’ competes with it, for the album’s standout track. Given all
the obstacles to making a good record, it’s amazing HATCHET have not
only survived but not really lost any momentum.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:09


NERVOCHAOS


To The Death


(Greyhaze)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



To The Death is the fifth full-length for this Brazilian
death metal gang, and it shows, with the ease with which they go from
mid-tempo stompers to speedier, near-grinding death. It all sounds very
Floridian, and very professional, and very slick. It's jarring when
songs like 'Hate' and 'Your World's Trend' come along and do that clunky
hardcore/death metal thing that countrymen RDP do all the time, with
those barked gang vocal things going on, because that ain't something
the FL DM faction engage in too often. But apart from that, man, tried
and true solid old school death here, with little flourishes like what I
can only assume is a bass solo in 'Smoking Mortal Remains' spicing
things up in all the best of ways, the band not worrying about being
technical or, really, cool in any way shape or form, instead just
plowing ahead, all four faces down, grimacing, hair covering everything
except the unabashed love of death metal, which comes through loud and
proud in sludge-laden closer, and album highlight, 'Wolves Curse'.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:10


SNAKECHARMER


Snakecharmer


(Frontiers)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.0



Any chance Mr. Coverdale will see the light, what with the
new VOODOO CIRCLE album aping his classic (pre-MTV success) WHITESNAKE
bluesy hard rock and now his former 70s bandmates releasing a platter of
similarly minded material? Guitarist Micky Moody and bassist Neil
Murray
were alongside Coverdale for a half dozen studio albums, an Ep
and live album, from ’78 to ’83 (although Murray stayed a bit longer).
Add to that pedigree WISHBONE ASH guitarist Laurie Wisefield and THUNDER
drummer/madman Harry James, on paper, one of the strongest blues-rock
supergroups ever assembled (at least since the original ‘Snake). That
said, the first sound heard, to open ‘My Angel’ is an acoustic guitar
and then the voice of Chris Ousey (formerly of HEARTLAND / VIRGINIA
WOLF, but otherwise unknown/dwarfed by his compatriots), before being
joined by the whole band. WARNING: Don’t come here looking for umpteen
versions of WHITESNAKE’s ‘Here I Go Again’ or ‘Still Of The Night’. This
is a gentler sound, akin to mellow, other-side-of-the-pond classics
like ‘Ain’t Gonna Cry No More’, ‘Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues’ and
the original (Saints & Sinners version) of ‘Crying In The Rain’.
Hammond organ greets and punctuates ‘Accident Prone’ throughout. The
band hit their stride with a Hammond backed ‘To The Rescue’, which
recalls 60s / 70s Brit rock (UFO, STONES, FACES) as well as their latter
day doppelgangers: THE BLACK CROWES, et al. ‘Turn Of The Screw’ rides a
similar vibe, albeit dancing to a quicker step. The later half (side
two on vinyl) contains the more active material, with ‘Guilty As
Charged’ about as rocking as it gets, although ‘Nothing To Loose’ and
‘Cover Me In You’ sport great solo spots. A little slide guitar (JAMES
GANG?) on the ‘White Boy Blues’ bonus. Nice change of pace, but
definitely not for every “metalhead.”
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:11


AEON ZEN


Enigma


(Nightmare Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



UK-based AEON ZEN are a rising force in the UK's
progressive metal scene. On its third full-length release, Enigma, a
cornucopia of influences featuring varied elements from veteran prog
metal bands such as DREAM THEATER, OPETH, RUSH and SYMPHONY X to more
modern and recent prog metal newbies such as BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME,
PERIPHERY
and SCAR SYMMETRY are on tap here. Rush, PINK FLOYD and Devin
Townsend meets Dream Theater on “Warning” with its excellent
instrumentation and transitions. As good as the band is, the thing that
is slightly unsettling to me is that it sounds like there’s two halves
to the album. It’s split between the mellower songs to the more
aggressive songs with slight death metal influences. I wish they would
lean toward one way or the other. It almost sounds like two different
bands performing “Artificial Soul” compared to the hard-charging
“Divinity,” with it’s growling death metal vocals and blazing riffs. The
same can be said for the album’s two closing songs, “Eternal Snow” and
“Downfall,” with their explosive bursts of power and blazing guitar
leads. I guess you could call it diversity? However, the band is
obviously talented and has great chops to be able to pull off this kind
of challenging music in the first place. Vocalist Andi Kravljaca has an
awesome set of pipes and displays a great range that compliments this
brand of music. The songs get stronger as the album moves along and the
production job by the band's own bassist/guitarist Rich Hinks is crystal
clear and vibrant. This could be the album that propels the band into
the upper echelon of the prog metal movement.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 8 Mar - 22:12


OVERTORTURE


At The End The Dead Await


(Apostasy)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



Call me a numbskull, but I kinda like the name of this
Swedish death metal group, who feature in their ranks dudes from GRAVE,
COLDWORKER,
and INSISION. So, what, is it going to be anything less than
really, really good with death metal royalty like that involved? With a
solid, mid-tempo chugging Grave/ASPHYX/BLOODBATH sound going on,
there's tons of time to get wrapped up in the thick riffs, the fuzz, the
occasional grinding (see 'Targets'), the Floridian swamp death, the
blatant homage to all things Swedish, the cool guitar work, the solid
drumming... This is old-school death, the way it should be, and although
it doesn't quite have that certain something that Bloodbath captured,
it's got it way better than most death bands of today do, due to its mix
of loving the old school, keeping it simple, and keeping the production
sound natural (not rocket science when it's spelled out like that, is
it?). Absolutely content to be listening to this one as 2012 draws to a
close: if the future of death metal means revisiting the best moments of
its past, you know, that's just completely fine by me.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:14


PANIKK


Unbearable Conditions


(Metal Tank Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5



Unbearable Conditions is the debut full-length from
Slovenia’s PANIKK. The band serves up a meaty slab of classic Bay Area
thrash in the vein of DEFIANCE, VIO-LENCE, EXODUS and early-era DEATH
ANGEL and TESTAMENT. It sounds like it came straight outta da ’80s. The
nine blistering tracks that make up the album are filled with classic
thrash elements including gang chants, nasally lead vocals, precision
drums beats and dual axe assault with razor sharp riffs. There are some
nice little ditties ’bout war, killing, death and destruction. The songs
don’t outstay their welcome either and the length of the CD and the
amount of tracks is perfect for a thrash album. There’s nothing here
that’s completely outstanding or even very memorable, but the band show
great promise within the genre. Panikk certainly isn’t doing anything
new by any means, but if you already love thrash — be it classic or
retro — then Panikk might tickle your fancy.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:14


DARKTHRONE


The Underground Resistance


(Peaceville)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.0



DARKTHRONE's Fenriz is beyond reproach as one of the
co-creators of the second wave of black metal, but even with that sort
of pedigree in mind one has to admit that his band's output has been
diamonds-in-the-rough inconsistent over the last decade. Which is
forgivable, I suppose, given the massive, genre-creating impact of black
metal pillars A Blaze In The Northern Sky (so kult), Under A Funeral
Moon (even kulter) and Transylvanian Hunger (the kultest) during the
early '90s. Since then, Darkthrone has strayed from its black metal
roots (though Fenriz would probably interject at this point and tell me
the first record was death metal, which it was) and has explored punk
and straight-ahead metal, both of which hint at the anti-conformist
nature of Darkthrone generally. Fenriz's championing of GHOST before
that band became huge has, one senses, influenced The Underground
Resistance, even if the BLUE OYSTER CULT-isms of Ghost are nowhere to be
found here; instead, it manifests itself in the archival metal
archetypes of The Underground Resistance, namely NWOBHM and classic
thrash, as even this record's cover art will attest. The Underground
Resistance is comprised of songs METALLICA could have covered on Garage
Days Re-Revisited, which gives one a general impression of where
Darkthrone's headspace is at - conceptually and artistically - and,
surprisingly, it works, as this LP is well-written and well-executed,
Darkthrone having fulfilled its mandate and objectives with vigor,
panache and authenticity, this record a true homage to early '80s
underground heavy metal, with the 'heavy' added there intentionally.
Though a return to form black-metal-ist-krieg album would no doubt be
appreciated by fans, one realizes it would be utterly contrived if this
is the part of the map that Darkthrone's turntable and headphones call
home, for now.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:15


SOILWORK


The Living Infinite


(Nuclear Blast)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 9.0



Right off the bat, I'm freaked out: I think what Swede
melodic metallers SOILWORK needed right now is a short, raging,
30-minute album, and here we have... a double album. Okay. So, here we
go. Opener 'Spectrum Of Eternity' delights with some unexpected blasting
and grinding after a put-you-to-sleep intro, then some awesome guitar
histrionics and those great clean vocals kick in, one of the very, very
few vocalists in metal that pull them off well, as he has some
personality, some uniqueness to his voice... I always think '80s new
wave pop when those soaring choruses kick in, and it works. But track
two, 'Memories Confined', is kinda scary because it's a bit of a brick
wall, kinda forgettable, something that might work in the context of a
ten-song disc, but listening to it and thinking, okay, 18 more to go...
it hurts. Thankfully, 'This Momentary Bliss' picks things up again with
the guitar mania (what got under these guys' fretboards?) and the
insane, insane catchy songwriting. There's a reason that there was a
period back in the '00s where I thought these guys were single-handedly
redefining the future of metal, and songs like this are why. 'Tongue'
shines with its incredible chorus and absurd FREHLEY'S COMET mid-section
breakdown, and at this point you start thinking, "Sure, why CAN'T
Soilwork do a double album? I could listen to four albums of this stuff
right now." But then, man, by 'Vesta' (track seven, disc one) rolls
around, you're starting to get worried again about the length of this
(even if, again, the chorus makes it all worthwhile). 'The Windswept
Mercy' brings back that '80s flavour with clean singing in the verses
that work amazingly; seriously man, songs like this just make me shake
my head at the world, wondering why these guys are probably just
scraping by when they're crafting such good tunes. 'Whispers And Lights'
closes off disc one with some strange, funky guitar work behind the
clean vocals, lending the whole thing a sleazeball vibe, momentarily,
oddly. 'Entering Aeons' is a cool way to start off disc two, all sludgey
and instrumental, and while disc two is a lot of same ol', same ol',
you get to thinking, yes, a double disc, I can do this, this is mainly
just about the great riffing and the great choruses (see 'The Living
Infinite II'), the innovative guitar work (the late-second-disc
instrumental 'Loyal Shadow'), the excellent, unpredictable melodies
(late album highlight 'Parasite Blues'), and forays into the slower side
of bpm (weirdo slow-burn closer 'Owls Predict Oracles Stand Guard').
Cool that it's not an overblown concept album, just two albums of short,
fast ragers. I'll probably listen to it less because of its length, but
this is still incredibly solid stuff from a band that, really, deserves
even more than they get
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:16


AFFLICTION GATE


Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions


(Metal Inquisition Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



I am flabbergasted that this incredibly solid piece of
ASPHYX
-worshipping old-school death metal is an indie. Even the
production sounds perfect, totally betraying the fact that this isn't
being bankrolled by Century Media or Metal Blade, which surprises me,
because while we all hail HAIL OF BULLETS and the GRAND SUPREME BLOOD
COURT for damn good reason, we should also be hailing AFFLICATION GATE
after getting a load of this. Hitting the exact same speeds and strides
that those bands do, these guys follow up 2009's debut full-length
(which I must admit I haven't heard, but really should) with this brief
(three songs and an outro) EP, which does the “old-school Swedish death
by way of anything Martin van Drunen touches” sound perfectly. It
stomps, it sludges through the battlefields, it picks it up to the
mid-tempo death polka, but it does it all with such a solidity and
determination it gets the blood pumping. This is amazingly well-done
stuff, high class, high quality, really getting to the core of what
makes death metal so good. Nearly a 9.0.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:18


ATTACKER


Giants Of Canaan


(Metal On Metal Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



New Jersey’s ATTACKER are back with a vengeance and they
have retained that magnificent old-school US power metal sound they had
in the early ’80s on its fifth full-length release, Giants Of Canaan.
The band was a staple within the burgeoning power metal scene and helped
build the foundation for the proto-speed metal sound. Born out of that
classic Metal Blade Metal Massacre records era, in which Attacker
appears on Vol. 1 and 5, the band’s sound is reminiscent of early FATES
WARNING, RIOT,
AGENT STEEL, HELSTAR, OMEN and JAG PANZER. Attacker is
mostly known for its 1985 debut, Battle at Helm’s Deep, but they have
released two albums after its 2001 reunion, however, nothing beats their
first two albums. Original vocalist Bob Mitchell is an acquired taste,
but he was such an integral part of the band’s debut album’s sound.
Mitchell was replaced by John Leone (RIP) for 1988’s Second Coming but
then returned for the 2001 reunion. Former SEVEN WITCHES vocalist Bobby
“Leather Lungs” Lucas has been recruited for this one and he brings his
soaring, trademark banshee wails to the table. His James Rivera, Ronnie
James Dio and David Wayne-esque vocal qualities are obvious while he
does the classic ’80s Attacker sound justice. The ten (minus opening
intro) battle hymns are a true lesson in asskickery and the band has
never sounded better. Attacker is back!

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:19


LANCER


Lancer


(Doolittle)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.5



Their self-proclaimed “battle ostrich,” a cartoon of the
big bird decked out in studs and leather, adorns the cover of the debut
from this outfit of Swedish youngsters. Hardly a “must buy”
advertisement, so the music best be first rate, to overcome people’s
visual misgivings. Thankfully, comparisons to the twin guitars and
galloping bass of IRON MAIDEN (opening ‘Purple Sky’), and to a lesser
extent countrymen HAMMERFALL, as well as the high vocal register,
anthemic power metal of HELLOWEEN, circa the Keeper era (‘Don’t Go
Changing’ / ‘Dreamchasers’), are apt. Beginning life as a cover band, in
’08, nine originals are included here. Not a ballad in the bunch,
although the initial half of the ‘Between The Devil And The Deep’ closer
threatens to be one, before adopting an (blatant) epic Maiden-ish tilt
for the remainder. While ‘Seventh Angel’ utilizes keyboards, come the
repeated, concluding chorus, it also features the most extensive
guitar/instrumental section. ‘Young And Alive’ is a speedster. Ditto
‘Mr. Starlight’. Not much to dislike in my world, but definitely one for
people who don’t mind a band (proudly) wearing influences on their
sleeves. Exciting discovery!
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:19


LOWSIDE


Lowside


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5



Former LILLIAN AXE vocalist Ron Taylor and guitarist
Darrin Delatte
continue carrying the torch for melodic modern rock with
new band LOWSIDE. On its self-titled debut release, the duo, joined by
Craig Cowsert and Mel Bittick, play a similar style to their former band
consisting of lush harmonies, huge melodies and catchy choruses. The
riffs slice through like a brand new Gillette Mach 3 Turbo and the tunes
possess elements of grunge and alt metal similar to bands such as ALICE
IN CHAINS and SEVENDUST. All 11 tracks are constructed of tough riffs
with a groove-based swagger and huge swaths of melody. CD opener “Here
and Now” is a typical modern-day rock song with crunchy riffs, pinched
harmonics and mammoth-layered vocal harmonies. More crunchy riffs follow
on songs “Fear For You,” “Good Reason” and “Of This Earth.” This is a
mighty fine first effort from the boys. You’d be forgiven if at first
thought that Lowside’s songs might suffer from the absence of former
bandmate Steve Blaze’s brilliant songwriting prowess, but the band turns
in a fine first effort nonetheless.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 24 Mar - 18:20


SOOTHSAYER


Troops Of Hate


(Galy)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.0



Classic Quebec City thrash outfit SOOTHSAYER reunited in
2007 for the massive three-day 25th Anniversary of Quebec Metal festival
that took place in Montreal and, during its set, the band improbably
delivered standout performances that equally improbably re-ignited
interest in this once dormant band. Troops Of Hate is the group’s first
new record since 1989’s Have A Good Time (the band’s excellent 1986
demo, To Be A Real Terrorist, was re-issued by Galy Record in ’07 and is
certainly worth checking out), and it’s immediately clear that
Soothsayer has not mellowed with time or age; in fact, Troops Of Hate
might be more caustic and aggressive than the band’s previous work,
which is saying something. Playing with the kind of ferocity that was so
prevalent in STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH, early DESTRUCTION or METALLICA
circa Kill ‘Em All, Soothsayer is in the process of proving that it
isn’t merely a nostalgia act and would, no doubt, feel right at home on a
contemporary bill with TOXIC HOLOCAUST and MUNICIPAL WASTE.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 28 Mar - 17:48


VOODOO CIRCLE


More Than One Way Home


(AFM)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.5



Third edition of lively British blues rock from PRIMAL
FEAR
guitarist Alex Beyrodt, worshipping at the altar of David
Coverdale
’s WHITESNAKE, somewhere between the 80s mega-hits and Ready
And Willing. There’s even a song called ‘Saint And The Sinner’ (pretty
close to a Coverdale album title). Truth be told, the sixstringer also
has an affinity for Ritchie Blackmore, albeit toned down here, compared
to the VOODOO CIRCLE debut. Neither is a bad thing, in my book! While
the album begins with a blast of energy, in the form of ‘Graveyard
City’, Beyrodt slides it into Snake mode with ‘Tears In The Rain’, a
mid-tempo groove punctuated by his fleet-fingered handiwork and a hint
of keys. Speaking of liturgical pipe organ, the grand strains introduce
‘Cry For Love’, a pop ballad from another era. Acoustic guitar begins
‘Alissa’. PINK CREAM 69 singer David Readman channels the better known
tanned Brit frontman on ‘Heart Of Babylon’. A certain DEEP PURPLE vibe
runs throughout ‘Ghost In Your Heart’, while ‘Bane Of My Existence’ is
another barn burner, similar to the opener. The title cut is another
retro slither of ‘Snake. ‘The Killer In You’ is the most aggressive
guitar number amongst the original dozen (there’s a pair of extras on
the extended version), though Beyrodt keeps it tuneful. The concluding
‘Open Your Eyes’ kicks off/ends with crowd noise that insinuates the
galloping track was recorded live, regardless it’s a winner. A marriage
of PURPLE/early RAINBOW, thanks to the Ian Paice inspired shuffle
drumming, Don Airey-ish keyboards and Beyrodt’s Middle Eastern guitar
flourish. With regards to the bonus tracks, ‘Shape Of Things To Come’
sees the guitar and keys trade licks in the final third and Hammond
begun ‘Castles Burn’ seems a outtake deleted from one of the Dio era
RAINBOW platters. Strong enough to have been on the main disc, yet
stylistic, a bit of an outlier (and perhaps too similar minded to the
aforementioned ‘Open Your Eyes), it’s another standout moment for
Byrodt, as well as those omnipresent keys.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 28 Mar - 17:49


SUFFER THE WRATH


Buried In Blood


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



Love the tightly wound snare sound on this EP from St.
Louis death squad SUFFER THE WRATH, who play it straight and brutal on
these three tunes, playing a very American style of death metal, one
that makes me think of Olympic Records at their peak, when even their
generic bands sounded good. Here, every riff is delivered with death
metal certainty, every blastbeat and drum fill perfect. The vibe is one
of militancy, of war, of battle, but not in a hokey fashion at all.
Rather, it just feels like war, especially on standout track 'Slave
King', which features unhinged drumming and death metal riffs that the
legends would kill for. Solid, classy, determined, and violent: I
eagerly await a full-length. And did we mention they wear insane armour?
They wear insane armour.


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