Friday, November 28, 2008

One More From Pulverised...

One more promo from Pulverised Records has found its way to me...

Hellveto is an extremely prolific outfit, to say the least. "Neoheresy" is the project's eleventh full-length in six (!) years. This even beats out Xasthur in terms of volume (but, not Nadja, though).

Given the sheer quantity of releases, I suppose it's no surprise that Hellveto is solely the project of one person named L.O.N., undoubtedly cranking out albums in a basement somewhere in Poland. I've heard a few bits of a couple of Hellveto's prior albums, and was never too impressed with L.O.N.'s take on symphonic black metal. From what I recall, the music was just rather typical. In addition, with all of this activity, you'd immediately suspect that quantity greatly outweighs quality with Hellveto's output.

Regardless of past efforts, though, "Neoheresy" is a well done example of mildly symphonic black metal with rough production, a nice mix of all out blasts combined with melodies coming from keyboards and acoustics, and vocals somewhat reminiscent of Negura Bunget's latter work. "Neoheresy" has inspired me to check out Hellveto's recent output...

Hellveto Official

Sorry, song removed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Duo From Pulverised Records...

Sweden's Pulverised Records has a couple of new releases that are to be covered by other writers at Live 4 Metal. However, once again, I also received the new promos from the label and here's a quick look at each.

First up is "Blood Money" by Sweden's Guillotine. The band's second full-length, Guillotine blatantly rip off Kreator with vocals nearly identical to those of Mille Petrozza, and riffing straight off of "Terrible Certainty". Obviously, Guillotine are yet another entry in the retro-thrash bandwagon that's been popular for the last year or so. Before you automatically dismiss "Blood Money" as just "been there, done that", Guillotine do save themselves with well done thrash with good musicianship, catchy songs, and crystal clear production (retro thrash bands that emulate crappy 80s-era production values on purpose are shooting themselves in the foot, in my opinion). There's even great cover artwork from none other than Edward Repka himself with a great depiction of two of the biggest assholes in history.

Guillotine Official

Next up is another Swedish act, Closer, a melodic death metal outfit with their debut full-length, entitled "A Darker Kind Of Salvation". Now, I've had to wade through and review a lot of mediocre melodic death metal lately, so I wasn't exactly anticipating this brief review. However, Closer are definitely worth a look because the songwriting here is about the best that you may be able to find in this rather tired genre nowadays. Luckily, the musicianship and production are also top-notch, resulting in a satisfying listen. Another album or two, and Closer may compete for the top of the genre.

Closer Official

As you may have noticed, I haven't been to any shows lately (sort of got burned out), but Scion is once again sponsoring a "freebie" at the Knitting Factory soon...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another Round Of Brief Blasts...

Clearing the decks, so to speak. Here are three quick looks at albums already, or about to be, covered by other writers at Live 4 Metal.

First up is the debut full-length from German duo Behoover. "Heavy Zooo", released on Exile On Mainstream Records, is performed with bass and drums, obviously resulting in a sound that is going to be heavily influenced by doom and stoner metal. Before you write the band off as an OM clone, however, take note that Behoover are considerably more progressively oriented, with pages taken from some of the heavier arena rock from the '70s, besides the usual Black Sabbath influences. In addtion, the vocals add just enough quirkiness to the sound to keep it all fresh and interesting. In fact, I would go so far as to describe the vocals as a strange mix of Daron Malakian, the usual wailing, stoner style, and even the odd moment or two of hardcore. The overall result is an atypical exercise with plenty of interesting moments that do not allow "Heavy Zooo" to descend into familiarity quite easily. You can read Metal Mark's review here.

Arkadius Antonik's project, Suidakra, returns with a compilation retrospective, "13 Years Of Celtic War Tunes", on Wacken Records. A huge project consisting of an audio CD and a DVD, the audio CD contains 17 songs, including some remastered versions of early material. The DVD contains two full concerts with a total of 19 songs. The first concert consists of Suidakra's performance at Wacken in 2007. The second is an all-acoustic concert. Certainly, if you're a fan of Suidakra's version of Celtic-influenced melodic death metal, you'll no doubt want to snatch this up (I must admit that I've never been impressed with Suidakra as there are many other bands out there playing in this genre that are far better, in my opinion).

The album has not been reviewed yet at Live 4 Metal.

Finally, for now, is the third full-length from Viking Skull, a British outfit loosely affiliated with the hardcore outfit Raging Speedhorn (I reviewed Raging Speedhorn's last full-length awhile back, and was not impressed). Entitled "Doom, Gloom, Heartache And Whiskey" and released on Powerage Rock (Candlelight Records has a hand in this, as well), Viking Skull are nowhere near Raging Speedhorn (thankfully), and play a rather dirty version of traditional heavy metal with definite nods to some of the sludge bands, notably Down and Crowbar. Although not very original, there are enough interesting riffs and hooks to keep you entertained. Not bad, but not great. My illustrious editor, Steve Green, is slated to give the album a full review...

Actually, Chris Davison has reviewed the album here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Matador... Four Song Demo Review

The Matador- 4 Song Demo

(Self released)

The Matador, a metalcore quartet from Omaha, Nebraska, recently submitted to me their four song demo. As you know, metalcore’s not really my thing, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear more than the usual breakdowns, shouts, and so forth on this demo. Yes, some of those signature genre elements are present, but The Matador nicely incorporate other influences into their presentation, most notably an odd mix of mathcore, sludge, and some slower paced melodies. The results are some interesting songs that are well beyond the typical metalcore spectrum.

In addition, the production is fairly well done with an even mix and a fluidly audible bass, also notably well done, and the overall musicianship displayed here hints at a great deal of potential. Overall, an impressive demo and I’ve no doubt that some record labels will take notice.

You can check out the band’s MySpace page here.

In addition, you can download the band's demo here.

You may find this hard to believe, but I'm a bit "concert"-ed out at the moment...