Posts Tagged ‘Self Released’

Belgian deathcore upstarts When Plagues Collide release their debut full length, ‘Tutor of the Dying’ on the 1st of November, and it is already generating a bit of buzz with its symphonic leanings. You may be sick of deathcore by now, but you’ve probably not heard it interpreted like this before…

Opener ‘Messengers of the Holy Falsehood’ brings some dramatic orchestral backgrounds to a chugging, behemoth of a track. Breakdowns and savage vocals are king, but it is all haunted by a lonely piano that adds something slighty creepy to it. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of this record is still massive riffs, massive breakdowns and massive brutality, but I love how When Plagues Collide are interjecting symphonic elements. It’s like Fleshgod Apocalypse, only with less flair and more BROOTALZ. ‘Dictating Violence’ has a killer dose of speed to it, when the heft of the title track is designed to push you slowly but surely into the earth. The band haven’t quite got to the grandiose majesty of those aforementioned Italian masters, but they are worthy disciples.

In an effort to revitalise a genre that is at risk of suffocating under its own breakdowns and dude-bro nonsense, When Plagues Collide have strode off on their own path, cutting swathes through the competition with unique songs and an adventurous spirit. ‘Tutor of the Dying’ is a record that explores unconventional ideas but ties them into an appealing, brutal package of riffs. Familiar, and yet oddly new, this is a great release.

https://whenplaguescollide.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/WHENPLAGUESCOLLIDE/

https://whenplaguescollide.com/

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Monsterworks - Scale and Probability

Monsterworks are a group of incredibly proficient New Zealanders, dropping no less than 15 full length records since their debut record in 2000, and ‘Scale and Probability’ is yet another thrashy progressive metal journey. It was released independently in May.

Opener ‘The Great Silence’ contains many different elements throughout its 8 minute run time. There’s some latter-period Tool-esque polyrhythms underpinning some cool soulful leads, while a dose of heavy, deaththrash moments keeps your head nodding. ‘Weight of Emptiness’ rumbles onward with a little bit of sludge heaviness in amongst the proggy bits. ‘Scale and Probability’ is a conceptually challenging record, exploring the mysteries of finding extraterrestrial life and how it’ll probably never happen, but despite this complex narrative, the music keeps you entertained. ‘The Reveal’ is an earworm, before the meandering ‘Ockham’s Razor’ leads us to our finish. That’s the thing about ‘Scale and Probability’; it’s a really good record, it’s just not a great one.

Having no previous experience with the band, I don’t know how their sound has progressed over the myriad releases but their judicious use of death/thrash elements within a progressive framework is interesting, and the labyrinthine song structures never leave you feeling cold and lost. ‘Scale and Probability’ may have a lofty concept, but Monsterworks keep it grounded in a record you’ll enjoy but maybe not rush back to.

https://monsterworks.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/monsterworks/

Austrian black metallers Sanguinary Trance have just recently released ‘Wine, Song and Sacrifice’, a three track EP that has been about four years in the making. A journey back to the depths of the 90s is on the cards here, a heyday that the genre has struggled to compete with even to this day.

The droning, buzzing title track builds slowly, bringing to mind early Burzum with the incessant hum. It then explodes into relentless blasting, with a mesmerising atmosphere beset by shrieking fury. There is an epic scale of course, but the really interesting parts come within the labyrinthine melodies that play out within the frozen blizzarding riffing. There is a lot of early Darkthrone stuff in there too, and it feels like a lost second wave record come to light. ‘Carvings’ has a more measured, denser tone to it that brings a little Deathspell Omega to the table, while the closing ‘The Dionysis Whip’ has lots of weird atonal melody lines screaming through it. Almost psychedelic in nature, waves of these melodies overwhelm your senses.

‘Wine, Song and Sacrifice’ is a bloodstained love letter to the most iconic of black metal times, but with an unmistakably unique viewpoint on it. With some unforgettable moments that set your teeth on edge and make your hair stand on end, Sanguinary Trance are indeed trance invoking and the feelings it conjures are black magickal.

https://sanguinarytrance.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/winesongsacrifice/

Eye of Solitude - Slaves to Solitude

The fifth full length from London’s Eye of Solitude continues their dark and miserable journey into the darkest parts of funeral doom. ‘Slaves to Solitude’ is only five tracks, but stretches to almost an hour, so you know that there is some epic misery coming your way. This is out now

The monstrous, dirging ‘The Blind Earth’ draws us from our earthly homes and takes us by the hand into the gloom. Titan riffs crash through the murk, while powerful growls roar like a fell wind through your mind. It is so vast, so dense it is almost unbearably heavy upon your shoulders. ‘Still Descending’ is, somehow, even more morose and bleak. Occasionally piano notes and the clean vocals add melancholy and an air of the fragile. Cracks within a mighty wall, where the merest hints of the sadness underneath can show through.

Carving riffs from cyclopean cliffs, and drawing vocals from the deepest and most foul abysses, Eye of Solitude have created something magnificent here. ‘Slaves to Solitude’ is huge, depressing and an unbearable weight upon your psyche. Nothing should be this heavy, but somehow it is. The sound of mountains crumbling, tectonic plates rending, the voice of death itself. Stunning.

http://eyeofsolitude.com/

https://www.facebook.com/eyeofsolitudeband/

Valyria - Into the Dying of Time

Canadian ‘more death than power’ metallers Valyria return to us with their first full length album after a strong EP debut. ‘Into the Dying of Time’ came out around May time with an independent release, and it really adds a bite of melodeath to their progressive, power metal moments.

After a dramatic, keyboard led intro piece (‘Final Empire’), first track proper ‘Steel Inquisition’ brings a strong comparison to the likes of Wintersun and Kiuas with the galloping guitar melodies, punishing double kicks and a soaring melodic power that matches the intensity. Based upon the ‘Mistborn’ saga of Brandon Sanderson, one of my favourite fantasy series, I must admit a little pre-bias on this, but this is an absolute stormer of a track. The guitar work is often technical and epic, while the massive choruses in the likes of ‘Floating World’ and ‘Tome of Shattered Vessels’ especially are instantly memorable and fist pumping. The grandiose scale is met well and truly equally by a heaviness that is often lacking in power metal pomposity.

I cannot help but be a sucker for well done, heavy power metal and Valyria hit the spot for me perfectly. There’s a fine blend of heavy riffing and epic, sweeping scale, where it isn’t over the top or ridiculous. Valyria haven’t succumbed entirely to the operatic/falsetto realms of power metal, and with the extra bite provided in here, that is to be applauded. ‘Into the Dying of Time’ is a stellar slab of modern, technical and epic metal.

https://www.facebook.com/ValyrianSteelCanada

https://valyriansteelcanada.bandcamp.com/

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The dreaded ‘modern doom blues’ moniker hangs over this release from Canadians Pink Cocoon, which generally means subpar Pentagram and Sabbath riffs played with ‘genuine atmosphere’ etc. But not in this case. ‘Alienation’ is a record that hums with a vibe and a talent that belies the newness of the band. It is out now through the band themselves.

‘Help Me’ instantly hits with a swaggering, Electric Wizard vibe to it; the guitar coated with a fuzz while the vocals have a little of Lee Dorrian about them too. Fully absorbed into the world of squalling feedback solos and a psychedelic blues atmosphere, Pink Cocoon immediately step above the rest of the Witchcraft clones by being truly doom in their output. ‘No Control’ has a more early Sabbath RAWK to it, while the lazy drawl of ‘Old Lady at the Window’ is a tripped out gem. And the more said about the grimy doom and roll of closer ‘Child of Death’ the better, as Pink Cocoon save the best for last.

Pink Cocoon capture the essence of trippy doom laden blues perfectly, equal parts retro fuzz and swaying psychedelic weirdness. If you’re into Uncle Acid, Electric Wizard and Sabbath, then Pink Cocoon have plenty hidden underneath their amplifier stack to keep you hooked. ‘Alienation’ is the future of retro doom.

https://www.pinkcocoonband.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/PinkCocoonOfficial/