Posts Tagged ‘EP’

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You can kinda guess where a band called Steelballs is going. Especially with that cartoonish rendering of a Manowar cover idea. Argentina is home to these true metal warriors, who play metal the old fashioned way; speedy and catchy as all hell. Their debut EP is only four tracks but you’ll instantly fall in love with these guys, just like I did. It is being released on Witches Brew, and is another triumph for those guys there.

The opener takes the classic ‘song name is same as album and band’ approach, and this feels like a statement of intent. Musically, it’s pulling all those early metal bands together. I’m feeling Helloween, Blind Guardian, Agent Steel and the likes oozing from my speakers. Spiralling melodic solos, galloping riffs and awesome vocal harmonies bring us to a land where metal rules and Manowar are gods. Classic, speedy heavy metal is always good if executed well, and Steelballs nail every element of it.

‘Farewell’ and ‘Inquisitor of Faith’ are two more excellent slabs of speed metal greatness, and a bonus highlight for me is the stunning Helloween cover ‘Starlight’, which ties this together really well. Steelballs are fucking excellent, and alongside Night Demon, are my favourite HEAVY METAL discoveries of the past year. Metal never dies!

https://witchesbrewthrashes.bandcamp.com/album/steelballs

https://www.facebook.com/Steelballs-127991247347816

 

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NNGNN - Forceful Blasphemy

NNGNN used to be called Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta, which was a bit of a mouthful to be honest, and so with their second EP release we’ve got the abbreviated version which, quite frankly, as a blogger I very much appreciate. I reviewed their last demo, the superbly entitled ‘Death by the Venomhammer’, and found it to be excellent, so the new material is hotly anticipated!

Opener and title track ‘Forceful Blasphemy’ instantly kicks us off with a scything riff that severs blood vessels with its single minded savagery. There feels like a channeling of classic Venom here; alongside a more traditional black metal assault there is definitely dashes of early Celtic Frost too. The riffs are sharp, relentless blasting provides the underpinning battery for the thrashy ‘Destruction of Ingrained Illusion’ which gallops like prime 80s thrash coated in black metal evilness. Closer ‘Abhorrent Foundations’ has some great dark thrash chugging riffs, and is a perfect example of the great guitarwork on display throughout all three tracks

NNGNN have evolved since their last release, and not just in name. There’s a bit more assurance about them now; a maturing swagger that allows them to straddle thrash, black and heavy metal easily without constricting themselves to one in particular. The EP benefits greatly from that, and steps away from going down the identikit blackened-thrash band road, instead turning them towards genuine, blackened heavy metal Valhalla. An excellent end of year present!

https://nngnn.bandcamp.com/

https://eldritchlunarmiasma.bandcamp.com/album/forceful-blasphemy

https://www.facebook.com/nngnnband/?fref=ts

 

In Obscurity Revealed - Grim Fumes of Revelation

The debut EP from Mexicans In Obscurity Revealed is out in but a month’s time on Blood Harvest Records, and it is a bleak, nihilistic slab of twisted decay. If this is a precursor to their upcoming full length then count me in, because ‘Grim Fumes of Revelation’ is excellent.

The burning hatred that fans the flames of opener ‘Storms Conjured’ blinds like the noonday sun, with scathing riffage slicing through flesh and bone. In Obscurity Revealed are raw, but not incomprehensible. Their material is more of the surgeon’s knife than the frenzied bludgeoning of some black/death metallers. But that knife is coated in disease, leading to the atonal melodies that spiral around the main, barbed riff.

‘Varcolaci’ continues this path, with an opening riff that is as icy cold as anything to come out of Norway 20 years ago, but leading into the twisted offspring of Marduk and Deathspell Omega. Black metal is no longer one dimensional, and these new bands breathe new, fetid life into the black and white corpse that old school black metal has become. By injecting glorious, raging energy into the genre again, In Obscurity Revealed show that you don’t have to buck the blueprint a lot, but if its executed well, it is a fucking delight. ‘Grim Fumes of Revelation’ is that delight, now spill blood in the name of GRIMNESS!

http://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/grim-fumes-of-revelation-7ep

https://www.facebook.com/In-Obscurity-Revealed-899863460054768

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

Burial Hordes - Extinction

Greek blackened monsters Burial Hordes have been going for about 15 yeaars, and their latest EP ‘Extinction’ is a continuation of their anti everything message. This four track EP is out in October on Folter Records, and it is going to be a recommended pickup by the time darkness graces our world.

When you think of Greek black metal, you automatically are drawn towards Rotting Christ, but Burial Hordes are a little bit more towards the deathly, morbid crawl than their genre peers. This has more of a Speticflesh feel about it; while the atmosphere is definitely dense and dark in opener ‘Demise’, the riffing is more death metal, more frenzied. Evil vocals spew upon the flailing blackened death metal riffs that crawl and lurch from the underground. The fiery ‘World Ablaze’ has a murky, Deicide-esque feeling about it which is pretty badass too.

‘Dawn of War’ writhes with a blackened energy, and is the most pure black metal track on here, bringing to mind the likes of Gorgoroth and Marduk. It is uncompromising in its blitzkrieg assault, and even when it does, the musical directions are fairly intense. Rampant blasting and horribly dense guitar work finishes us off in ‘Hatred’, leaving us battered, bloodied and ready for more. Burial Hordes are a band to cherish, as this release shows, because their art is true, dark and very very good.

https://www.facebook.com/BurialHordesOfficial/

http://www.folter666.de/

http://burialhordes.tripod.com/

Inverse Records saw the release of this little hidden gem at the end of last year, and Bloodlash’s EP ‘Rain’ is progressive metal meets the glacial world of post metal. It’s available digitally from Inverse Records.

Opener ‘Godsbreath’ rumbles from the gate with a chugging riff, with some cool spiralling melodies. You can feel the influence of some of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, especially the likes of Lamb of God. ‘Spring Devoured’ has some quirky melody lines and virtuoso drumming that is reminscient of early Mastodon, but not as complex. Bloodlash could do with dropping the clean vocals, as I feel they don’t quite work as well as the growls do. It’s a minor quibble though.

‘Rain’ mixes death metal severity with chugging prog metal riffs. Like a heavier and less technical Children of Bodom, Bloodlash could be a band that would excel in the future, and instrumentally they have the chops. They need to work on their songwriting though, as there isn’t anything that leaps to attention as being awesome. Definitely potential to be fulfilled here though.

https://bloodlash.bandcamp.com/

Bloodlash

This two man, Swedish/German collaboration of crushing death called The Malice have dropped their debut EP ‘Malevolent Creature of Kings’ upon us, and it is a savage amalgamation of some of the USA’s finest death metal styles, from the punishing relentlessness of Nile to the waspish fury of Hate Eternal. You can source the EP at the band’s Bandcamp site.

Opener ‘Namtaru’ explodes in a fury of blasting, brutal growls and rapid fire riffing that engages a furious bout of headbanging. Blastbeats rain down upon you, while razor sharp riffing slashes at every vein or tendon. Evisceration by riff seems inevitable, and that feeling only grows with the superlative ‘Malevolent’. The Malice are supremely heavy, with riffs spraying in all directions and an immense roar powering the band forward.

This is sleek, modern death metal that is down the same lines as the fury of Hour of Penance, or the savagery of Decapitated. Closer ‘Abusing the Virgin of Khadi’ is my favourite track here, bludgeoning you into submission with wild guitar heroics and an innate hunger for blood that is just perfect. The Malice could be a new 2016 highlight for me. RIFFS!!

https://www.facebook.com/themalicelegions/

https://themalice1.bandcamp.com/

London based stoner doom types Morag Tong (from the assassin group in ‘Elder Scrolls’) have dropped their debut EP, ‘Through Clouded Time’, in late January. I have no

Opener ‘Monolithian’ rises from the humming feedback laden void, and drops into a thick, sludgy groove easily. Shuddering riffing ploughs a devastating furrow through your mind, bringing to mind Electric Wizard, but without the hazy occult vibe. A short but effective first track, that opens into the expansive grinding swagger of ‘Godhead’. Morag Tong are heavy as fuck, and with an overt Wizard influence that plays directly into my wheelhouse. Vocalist Adam Asquith has a primal roar but it is somewhat soothing too, especially as the track opens in to a Kyussian desert doom space.

I’m digging what Morag Tong do here. ‘Through Clouded Time’ is crushing, but every riff piledrives through with a natural, authentic feel. The ‘sunrise over the Mojave’ intro to the title track is pure magic, and there’s a naked honesty about this EP that is endearing. Dashes of early Kylesa peek through every now and then, but Morag Tong mostly go their own way. It is a way that means, by the end of ‘The Eyes of Men’ you are ready to hit repeat and enjoy this wonderful riff paradise all over again

https://moragtong.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/moragtongband