Reviews

GRAVEWORM - Ascending Hate

AFM RECORDS

Formats: CD, Digipak, Vinyl, Box Set
Release Date Europe: June 19th, 2015
Release Date USA: July 7th, 2015

This is Graveworm number 9. This is Graveworm FANTASTIC 9!

Italian Heroes of melodic, orchestral, dark metal Graveworm are back with a bombastic new album following their own thematically glorious legacy! This band can do no wrong, they are kings of their genre and this album is a perfect example of that!

With a portfolio including such opus like “When Daylight's Gone”,  “As the Angels Reach the Beauty”, “Scourge of Malice”, “Engraved in Black”, “(N)Utopia”, “Collateral Defect” , “Diabolical Figures” and “Fragments of Death” what we have to expect is another magnum opus! You got it! “Ascending Hate” is the next big thing in this so called Dark Metal and the thing becomes clear for the very first lines of “Death Heritage”! Every song from opening “Death Heritage” to “Nocturnal Hymns” is brilliantly created to make this one of Graveworm's best album' s so far.

All Graveworm trademarks are here! Melody, lyricism, sharpness, darkness, drama, epos, love, mysticism, life and death! Each song makes you feel a certain way, like in the climactic parts of the songs you get a real feeling of power and invincibility because the melodies are like written so godly perfect that they when you hear them you can't do anything else but stop and just let the music devour your senses so you can appreciate it to the full capacity.

They really do a great job of incorporating memorable melodies into one of the least accessible music  genres of our century. With catchy songs, a brutal delivery, and a great gimmick (a gimmick designed to get attention), this is as good as underground metal gets.

PANTHRO


   

The Antichrist Imperium - The Antichrist Imperium

Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Release: 7 August 2015

The Antichrist Imperium is here covering the space Akercocke left after their split–up.

Including great musicians raised from Akercocke ashes like the “blast war undertaker” David Gray ( Akercocke, The Berzerker, My Dying Bride, Voices) and guitar embalmer Matt Wilcock ( The Berzerker, Akercocke, Belligerent Intent) The antichrist Imperium exhume the infernal sonic artillery from the sixth Akercocke album that never was & present its rancid remains for your listening pleasure.

Decidedly these antichristian rebellions extend the boundaries of black/death/thrash metal sound, offering a macabre musical holocaust right from hell.
Of large musical skills The Antichrist Imperium mix (better say progress) perfectly the most extreme sound of death metal icons like Deicide, Vital Remains, Acheron with psychedelic tunes, lot of  rock moments, theatrical horror gothic breaks and tons of retro-thrash riffs .
Exactly like Akercocke have doing but here is more complicated and extended! Let’s say a "wise" step beyond.

Furthermore fellow conspirator Sam Loynes (Voices, Shrines) provides an innovative contemporary vocal performance alongside Aussie legend Sam Bean (The Berzerker, The Senseless) who delivers the traditional death metal werewolf embellishment.

This truly is a masterpiece. An outstanding follow-up to Akercocke’ s tradition. This album has got it all... sharp guitar work by Matt Wilcock, precise and in-your-face drumming by David Gray, all kind of vocals by the Loynes, Bean duo.

Past and present collide in a harrowing frenzy of Death, Black, thrash & progressive metal flavours to energize and revitalise the spirit of the Antichrist in 2015.

A Sophistic Blasphemy....

PANTHRO


   

Virus – Pray For War/Force Recon

Record Label:Marquee Records
Release Date:1987 & 1988/Reissued 2013


Talk about a blast from the United Kingdom’s past. I remember these bastards from back in the day. Well Marquee Records have done an excellent job in reissuing Virus’ first 2 albums, Pray For War and Force Recon onto 1 disc. The debut album, Pray For War, I was never particularly impressed with in ’87. It had some crossover/punk thrash overtones throughout and basically the production on the album is really bad, thin, and just does a disservice to the actual songs, which some of them are pretty killer. Thankfully the remaster boosts the levels and makes the album a lot more enjoyable to listen to, however not all is perfect in that department. “Risen from Death to Die” is a little wonky in the remastering department with the song not sounding as great as the rest of the songs, mainly affecting the guitar tone. I spoke to Marquee Records owner, Armando, who stated the original source material production, for some reason, always had this song messed up. The label did the best they could with an original crappy production, so it was the best they could make this song sound.

It’s the Force Recon album that I enjoyed a lot more years ago and the remastering really makes these songs shine even more so. The album saw the band moving more towards thrash metal; still retaining some earlier crossover/punk influences, but making the songs a little more complex and longer, as well. The album really nailed the Virus sound and is punishing in its own unique sound. The musicianship had increased on this album, however the drumming was still by the numbers and not too solid in certain areas.

The bonus material contains some live songs and the booklet is astonishing, as always, from Marquee Records. Nice layout that includes both album covers, restored beautifully. Lyrics, liners and pictures are also included in the booklet. Excellent reissue from Marquee Records!

FRANK RINI

 


   

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