Thursday, 15 December 2011

Iced Earth - 15 Dec 2011 (Pavilion, CY)


Iced Earth and Greece has always been a well-known duet in the world of heavy metal. But what about Iced Earth and Cyprus? Well, it was finally time to find out. The American heavy metal legends, were in Cyprus for the first time of their careers for the final gig of the European leg of the Dystopia tour. However, in the fully packed Pavilion, first on stage were Cypriots death/thrash metalers Sonik Death Monkey. The Cypriots came on stage with a good energy and seemed slightly overwhelmed by the size of the crowd which definitely surpassed the crowds from any previous metal gigs held in Cyprus. Nevertheless, Sonik Death Monkey managed to overcome the situation and get on top of it by delivering a set composed from original tracks. Additionally, by being well known within the Cypriot scene, the crowd seemed to enjoy the set and really got warmed up for what was to become a memorable show. Iced Earth came on stage, with an outstanding energy despite the tiredness that follows a tour. This was not only the first time that most of the Cypriots in the crowd witnessed Iced Earth, but it was also the first time for many of those who did witness the band in the past, to hear Stu Block(Vocals) live for the first time. And what a great impression he left. With an amazing sound and the amazing range of Stu, Iced Earth drove the Cypriot crowd to be one of the loudest the band had witnessed in a while, and tracks such as Watching Over Me were sang so loudly by the public, that Stu’s voice was almost unhearable. The band performed a variety of tracks from the majority of their albums and surprised everyone when they came back for a second encore at the end of the show. The other nice surprise for the crowd, was when Stu came out holding a big Cypriot flag and started waving it around towards the end. Jon Schaffer(Guitar) was so impressed by the Cypriots that he stated the possibility that the next Iced Earth live album, could possibly be recorded in Cyprus which made the crowd go wild. All of this however isn’t planned to happen for another couple of years, so Cyprus will just have to wait and see if they get this massive honour. Until then, however, I believe that the sweet memory of the gig will reign in the minds of many.

Iced Earth: 19/20
Sound: 5/5
Ambience: 5/5
Presentation: 4/5
Performance: 5/5

Sonik Death Monkey: 17/20
Sound: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Presentation: 4/5
Performance: 5/5

Posted by Nick




Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Erevos Aenaon - Meden Agan (2011)



ALBUM REVIEW
Meden Agan, and their new album Erevos Aenaon released in September 2011, are the new symphonic progressive metal band to come out of Greece. Well known for its extreme metal bands such as Septicflesh and Rotting Christ as well as power metalers Firewind, this new addition to the roster of Greek metal bands is one that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Meden Agan is a band which combines the beauty and passion of female operatic vocals with a musical virtuosity which expands the sound of the band to new limits. Erevos Aenaon, as an album, combines many different elements from different metal genres which makes it suprisingly unique. If we try to quantify the sound of the album we could say that it is a crossbreed between early Nightwish or Epica and for some reason musically it gives me a feeling of early Lacrimas Profundere (in better quality obviously). Production wise the album is very good. However, there are some points where the sound lacks the bulkiness that it needs to really give out the epicness desired. It also seems that the album gets better as it progresses, since the first tracks are not generating any particular good or bad impressions, but once the listener gets into the mood of the album the situation changes drastically by engaging the listener in the journey. On a general note a very good first album from Meden Agan, which makes their future looking promising!
Our favourite track out of the album is Dissolve Into Grey. This track has a very Amorphis-like intro which then erupts in a combination of heaviness and melody. It also features some good guitar and drum work proving once again that the Greeks know how to play!

Erevos Aenaon: 8/10 

Posted by Nick 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Solaris - Midnight Realm (2011)


SINGLE REVIEW

Solaris by Midnight Realm is an impressive demonstration of how metal has to sound in the future! The mix of melody and imposing heaviness will force you to engage in some ruthless headbanging. A great teaser for the album which we're really looking forward to hear now!

Posted by Nick

Monday, 28 November 2011

Textures - 25 Nov 2011 (The Garage)


It was a highly anticipated gig for us, since witnessing Textures, with their new members, for the first time at the Euroblast festival in Cologne, Germany back in October. This time they were accompanied by the Swiss-German quintet The Ocean and Manchester’s Aliases. Aliases were up on stage first, but due to our interview with Robin Staps(Guitar) from The Ocean we didn’t catch their set. We got in the venue just in time for The Ocean for which we were very looking forward to. The post-metal band delivered a stunning set which really grasped the predominant Textures crowd. It was actually amazing to see how the energy was flowing from the band to the crowd. The Ocean is a band which can be enigmatic and aggressive at the same time, creating a very mysterious atmosphere which travels the listener. An almost perfect set from them. And right after that, it was time for Textures to headline their show. The band seems to be at its best shape, with their catchy melodies and heavy riffs, which makes them an instant crowd pleaser. They just have this ability to create an immense sound which makes every single song to be heavy as fuck! Of course the highlights were songs such as Awake and Laments of an Icarus which defined the sound of Textures and sent the crowd into some intensive moshing. On the overall, an amazing gig which deserved a bigger audience, so next time Textures or The Ocean are in town, make sure you are there too.

Textures: 20/20 
Sound: 5/5
Ambience: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

The Ocean: 19/20
Sound: 5/5
Ambience: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 4/5

Aliases: N/A
Sound: N/A
Ambience: N/A
Presentation: N/A
Performance: N/A

Posted by Nick





Thursday, 24 November 2011

Dimmu Borgir - 23 Nov 2011 (Islington Academy)



It has been a while since the lords of symphonic black metal had visited the UK for a full tour. And what a better way to come back than performing, in its entirety, an album which has been a milestone for a whole genre: Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. EDT is the 3rd album of black metal legends Dimmu Borgir, which was released in 1997 via Nuclear Blast Records, and it was finally time for the London crowd to witness this historic album at a virtually sold out Islington Academy. Dimmu Borgir performed two sets on the night with the first one being the album. With an exquisite sound, which is rarely heard in the Islington Academy, Dimmu Borgir performed the album with an amazing precision which was definitely impressive. Black metal classics such as Mourning Palace and Spellbound were welcomed very warmly by the fans which moved the academy from left to right. The second set was introduced with a drum solo by Daray (Drums), who proved once again why he is behind the kit for Dimmu Borgir, before presenting some of Dimmu’s hits such as Kings of the Carnival Creation, Puritania, as well as some tracks from their latest album: Abrahadabra. However, there was a slight disappointment, on my part, by the atmosphere which reigned over the academy. I was expecting a bit more of atmospheric "darkness" from Dimmu Borgir, especially with the vast arsenal of atmospheric sounds that they use in their songs. Anyhow, on a general note the gig was the absolute gig for any Dimmu Borgir fan and even if Dimmu is not your cup of tea, when it comes down to black or symphonic black metal, it was still a gig which you shouldn’t had missed. On the other hand, if you don’t like black metal, then I really don’t know why you are reading this review, but I guess that's the magic of the Dark Castle (Dimmu Borgir)!

Dimmu Borgir: 19/20
Sound: 5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

Posted by Nick







Saturday, 19 November 2011

Arthemis - 18 Nov 2011 (The Underworld)


 The Italian metalers are back, and thank god this time they’re not wearing skirts! Arthemis, the Italian power metalers, were in London to start their first ever UK tour along with Neonfly and Freedom Call at the Underworld in Camden, London.  The heavy metal quartet delivered a very energetic set and rocked the house. By playing a selection of their best compositions, the band filled the support slot for Freedom Call in a great way. With a very Maiden-like sound, Arthemis have a sound which is familiar to many and which never disappoints. In conjunction with the amazing technicality that the Arthemis members have on their instruments, they definitely made it clear that they are a band which came here to stay and they won’t stop till they get to the top.  On the night, Arthemis also performed an excellent cover of Deep Purple’s Burn which fitted really nicely with their own compositions. Sound wise however it wasn’t great, and this wasn’t because the band didn’t have a nice sound but because as usual, the Underworld is not a great venue when it comes down to sound. Unfortunately the sound is a very important factor to create the atmosphere needed to make a great gig and the atmosphere of the gig was affected by the sound. Nevertheless a great set by Arthemis which made a very promising tour debut on the London stage!

Arthemis: 18/20
Sound: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

Posted by Nick 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Opeth - 13 Nov 2011 (Brixton Academy)


 
Sunday night was a night of prog-metal at the Brixton Academy in London, UK. Two massive bands came together to rock London and promote their new albums; Opeth with Heritage and Pain of Salvation with Road Salt Two. First on stage were Pain of Salvation who delivered a good set but unfortunately didn’t impress. The sound was not at its best and this really affected how the band came out. It seemed as if the ambience was hard to establish in the academy and, despite the good show and set that Pain of Salvation delivered, it felt as if the crowd didn’t really adhere. Of course the audience was predominantly an Opeth audience so I believe it was something that could had been foretold. Pain of Salvation played songs from their new album, Road Salt Two, as well as tracks from their previous albums. While talking with the band’s front man Daniel Gildenlow, he announced to us that the band would most probably be back sometime around February for a headline tour in the UK and it will definitely be interesting to see how the band performs in front of its own crowd. Time for the headliners of the show. After a somehow controversial new album by Opeth, I assume that most of the fans where looking forward to see how the setlist would be arranged. Well surprisingly, for some, Opeth performed songs which included only clean vocals, just like on the new album. The gig was slightly disappointing and failed to entertain to the degree which Opeth gigs usually do, despite the jokes made by Akerfeldt and a quite embarrassing version of George Michael’s Faith played by Akerfeldt and sang by the public. Just like with Pain of Salvation, the atmosphere was quite disapointing. However, we got the chance to hear some tracks which we don’t normally hear while it is fair to mention the drum solo of Martin Axenrot during Hessian Peel which showcased a nice technical ability. We also got to witness a small acoustic set by Opeth who performed the God of War III track The Throat of Winter, among others, on acoustic guitars. Regarding the matter of Akerfeldt's vocals, it is creating an uncertainty since during the gig, it was quite visible that Akerfeldt has lost weight, and this made us wonder if there is actually something physically wrong with him. On the other hand if there was, he probably wouldn’t be on tour. So, let’s hope that all is good and that this is just the era of the quiet Opeth which after all, is not that bad!

Opeth:  18/20
Sound: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

Pain of Salvation: 16/20
Sound: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

Posted by Nick








Monday, 7 November 2011

Carbon-Based Anatomy - Cynic (2011)




EP REVIEW
American progers Cynic are back with an incredible 6-track EP entitled Carbon-Based Anatomy which will be released on the 11th of November via Season of Mist. This short but extremely enjoyable EP, travels the listener through paths which crossbreed native American sounds with prog rock, and creates the most amazing airy atmospheres and build ups I’ve heard in a while! I remember reading somewhere about Cynic having sound elements that resembled those of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, and by listening to this EP I couldn’t agree more. Cynic really builds up the energies in such a way that it really feels like being on a big trip, while the use of electronic sounds is definitely working very well. The impressive thing about this EP is the way in which the band drifts from the electronic sounds to the sheer sounds of percussions and vocals which is absolutely superb! All of these, in combination with some post-rock elements and what seems to be a Cynic secret ingredient, create a wonderful work which can be heard over and over again! The flow of the EP is extremely nice and this is surely a very enjoyable piece of art for every Cynic fan, and not only!
Favourite track from the EP is probably Carbon-Based Anatomy which is an absolutely brilliant track combining electronic sounds and live instrument sounds which create a very alien-like, spacey feeling. You can almost see the white light! Another interesting track is Elves Beam Out, just because it has a great title which is nicely reflected in the music!

Carbon-Based Anatomy:  5/5

Posted by Nick


Nothing but Everything Will Remain - Project Masquerade (2011)




Nothing but Everything Will Remain is the new album from Project Masquerade, the project created by Dutch guitarist Noud Smeets. With this new album Smeets showcases an amazing talent at composing and arranging and delivers an album filled with intensity,  colourful melodies and incredibly technical guitar parts! The album, which is composed of six tracks, visits many different styles of metal but at the same time somehow remains in its own style building up a very coherent and diverse album. The album features many different singers which adds some nice dynamics and gives space for a few interesting harmonies.  Some tracks of the album include some very powerful riffs, accompanied by a ripping double kick which gives out a great energy, while on other tracks haunting melodies and heavy drum beats are grabbing your hair and force you to headbang! Killer of Life is an interesting piece which reminds of Slayer-like stuff during the first minutes before changing into a different style which again emphasises the incredible amount of different sounds and styles which are incorporated within the album! My only concern with the album is that if some people don’t appreciate a specific style of metal they will get stuck on one song or will have to skip songs just because they don’t feel comfortable with the style. Smeets did take a very different approach while composing the album by blending so many different elements and he is definitely trying to reach fans of a more progressive nature since, despite the fact that the album runs smoothly and has a nice positive energy, I believe that the continuous change of styles can get a bit tiring for a common listener. Fortunately, as mentioned before, this album has only 6 tracks which definitely keeps the smoothness, but repetitive listens of the album might not be easily digested.
Favourite track out of the album is probably Carve Your Soul with its harmonies on the chorus and the ripping guitar solo. This song has a very nice aggressive feel which builds up really nicely and fans of progressive metal will definitely feel at home with this track!

Nothing but Everything Will Remain: 7/10

Posted by Nick

Heritage - Opeth (2011)




I like to consider every new Opeth release as an event. There has been many times where I could just imagine kids of the 70s, gathering altogether to hear a new Led Zeppelin album for the first time and feel the music that these masters were creating. Somehow, I get the desire to do exactly the same with every new Opeth release. When I got Watershed and listened to it for the first time it was an absolutely amazing voyage on the Opeth cruise and I just couldn’t wait to see if Heritage could  give me even more.
Heritage is the new album from Swedish Progressive metalers Opeth released on the 13 of September via Roadrunner Records. The record starts with a very dark and gloomy piano track which bares the title of the album only to kick in to the first single out of Heritage, The Devil’s Orchard. The album has many atmospheric elements into it which we’ve got used to through the years of listening to Opeth. With the many fusion inspired passages Opeth will not disappoint all the fans of progressive metal. The screaming solos and the amazing production of the album will definitely give you chills while the haunting atmosphere that is created throughout the album is just mind travelling! However, passionate Opeth fans will definitely observe that there are no growls on this album. All of the vocals are clean and their melodies seem to carry and support the very gloomy feeling that the album gives out. This results in a lack of aggression that we usually get with Opeth, but I believe that the amount of new elements that are presented on the album are so many and so well executed, that it really doesn’t feel as if anything is missing. This could ultimately be an album which, when assembled with other Opeth’s album, could represent a very different era and sound in the band’s history. In general a very interesting work by Opeth which didn’t disappoint me but, will, I imagine, disappoint some with the lack of growls and aggression. Nevertheless this album is a true masterpiece in its own and only makes you to want to hear it live! By witnessing Opeth live at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2010, when listening to this album I couldn’t stop thinking how amazing this album would have sounded live in there!
There are many tracks on this album which really caught our attention and could be labelled as favourites. Slither gives out a very Rainbow-ish or Deep Purple-ish vibe with its high tempo and the melodies that Akerfeldt uses on the vocals melodies! Compared to previous Opeth releases, the influences that Akerfeldt has been talking about for so long now, are visible more than ever on this album. No surprise that Slither is a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio. Nepenthe could easily be described as a fusion metal song with the very nu-jazz, in my opinion, intro and the blasting solo which is followed by a typical Opeth passage that most of us adore! Nepenthe was a drug used in ancient days to forget sorrow which relates quite nicely with the lyrics on this album! Finally, but not least, Famine is a very interesting track with a very oriental feel, which has Opeth introducing to us some flute parts which add a very interesting element to the whole sound.
Heritage: 9/10
Posted by Nick


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Until Fear No Longer Defines Us - Ghost Brigade (2011)



 ALBUM REVIEW
While listening to Ghost Brigade for the first time, at the Amorphis gig in November 2010 in Islington, it was quite clear that this band had something very special about it. And indeed it really does! With their second album Isolation Songs being an amazing album, the band is now back with a brand new album entitled Until Fear No Longer Defines Us out now via Season of Mist. This album, is a more mature and constructed work than any previous releases from the band, but still lacks some elements from Isolation Songs, which made that album so good. In general, the album gives a gloomy and dark atmosphere, as expected, but it seems as if the sonic explosions which made Ghost Brigade so good in the first place, are not sustained enough and this seems to block the energy of the band from coming out. The songs on this album are almost certainly songs that will sound amazing live and honestly I can’t wait to hear this band again with the arsenal of songs that they now have. Lyrically the band really did a great job with some great lines and very nice passages which fit extremely well with the melodic composure of Ghost Brigade. Production wise, Until Fear No Longer Defines Us is not at the top level! Definitely not a bad production, but it feels as if many sonic elements are lacking the power and amplitude they really need to become impressive! To sum up, Ghost Brigade’s latest effort is a good album which didn’t disappoint, despite the fact that I still consider Isolation Songs to be a better album on the over-all. However, this album only makes me really eager to hear the songs live and see what Ghost Brigade can provide with the next album!
Favourite song out of the album is Clawmaster, which is also the first track that we got to hear from the album. This song is an amazing combination of everything that is good in Ghost Brigade! There is atmosphere, feeling, energy and some really great lyrics which all together, combined with the talent of Ghost Brigade, make this an excellent song!

Until Fear No Longer Defines Us: 8/10    

Posted by Nick 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wasted Sinners - 5 Oct 2011 (The Monarch)




The Monarch has always been known, as a place for good, underground metal. From the opening acts of Metalworks, to the gigs just like the one that happened last Wednesday, you know you will definitely get quality! So on Wednesday first band I got to witness for the night was Roxville, which unfortunately, failed to impress. With a sound which was very much like a mixture of AC/DC, Guns n’ Roses and Aerosmith it was really hard to distinguish anything that really sounded unique and original. Generally, the lack of a good sound and the lack of uniqueness is what took away the interest from the band’s set. Roxville didn’t deliver a great set and failed to create the nice atmosphere that this style of music generally gives out! On the other hand however, the headliners for the night Wasted Sinners, managed to do exactly this. With a slightly sloppy start on the first two songs, mainly due to sound-man issues, the band really picked up afterwards and delivered a very good set filled with original compositions, as well as two covers;  Chuck Berry’s Johnny be Good and Black Crowes’s Hard to Handle(Original by Otis Redding). The original material of the band had a very nice feel and a very energetic rock n’ roll vibe which picked up everyone in the room! Wasted Sinners are definitely a well-rehearsed and tight band and really understand the concept of putting up a good show! Composed by a technically accomplished crew, these boys only need to find and include the uniqueness in their sound and show, to accomplish greater things. Now that’s where the hard part begins!

Wasted Sinners: 8/10 
Roxville: 5/10

Posted by Nick


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Euroblast Festival 21-22 Oct 2011 (Cologne - GE)



From the beginning of September we have been very excited here at Peek from the Pit, since in a bit more than two weeks this year’s edition of the Euroblast Festival is about to kick off! This year, the organisers really went for the best line up possible with an amazing accumulation of djent metal bands including Tesseract, Chimp Spanner and Monuments along with two Nuclear Blast djent(arguable) acts, Danish metalers Mnemic and Dutch Textures as headliners! Also on the line up are Sybreed, Vildhjarta, Aliases and London’s very own Subversion. Many things to look out for this year’s edition, but definitely one of the main things we will surely be paying attention to is to hear some new Textures tracks live, out of their new album Dualism, which is out now via Nuclear Blast. And while we’re talking about new songs, there is also a big possibility for some new Chimp Spanner to be heard on Friday night on the Yellow stage (2nd stage) right after Mnemic’s set, so be prepared! Another very nice addition to this year’s edition are the workshops that will be held by members of Monuments, David Maxim Micic, Jakub Zytecki and Devastating Enemy just before the gigs blast off on the Yellow stage on both days! This means that if you have any question regarding music, genre, composition, gear etc. then you will be very well served. So everything is set up for what looks like it is going to be an epic 2 days of intense guitars, blasting drums, atmospheric mayhem and a hell lot of headbanging! And if you want to be a part of it well you might want to head to www.euroblast.net for tickets! Hurry up, they are starting to run low! See you all in Cologne! 
Posted by Nick

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

F-Arthemis - 24 Sep 2011 (The Standard)



Take a pinch of Rihanna and violently force it with a bit of distortion and keep on doing it till it bleeds, then put on a hell lot of make-up and a nice silky, sexy dress. What do you get? Four crazy dudes from Italy rocking up Dean Guitar’s show! It was with great pleasure that DOA UK welcomed for this year’s edition Italian heavy metal band ARTHEMIS for a very special show. It was not long ago that Arthemis had released an “outrageous EP” entitled "F-ARTHEMIS Pop Up Your Ass Vol. 1" which was released for Metal Hammer UK and included covers of pop songs from Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna and many, many more. The covers of course were not spared by the Metal that flows in the veins of the Italian quartet and the result was certainly a very enjoyable listen! Well, those of us who were lucky enough to attend DOA UK 2011 got the chance to hear this result live for the first and apparently last time! Frankly I was surprised, not only because F-Arthemis attacked the stage with their stockings and sexy little dresses with a complimentary over-dosage of facial hair but because the whole thing actually sounded metal! With a set-list that consisted of songs such as Don’t Stop the Music, Survivor, Womanizer and Bad it seemed that the crowd was pleased and notably, the lady standing next to me who expressed her satisfaction with the cover of Womanizer saying that this was the best version of the song she’d ever heard, including the original! F-Arthemis: 1, Britney Spears: 0! The boys discharged an amazing amount of energy and showcased their talent at arranging and re-arranging songs into what they really want! Unfortunately the sound of the whole event was not the best and it did make many of the performers, along with the crowd, to suffer. However on a general note, F-Arthemis was a simple concept and it was executed perfectly! Naturally though before the end of the set, the boys gave us a little preview of what is coming up in November, when Arthemis will be touring the UK with Neonfly and Freedom Call, with some of their own material and notably their track Scars on Scars. November looks promising!

F-Arthemis: 18/20
Sound: 3/5
Ambience: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Performance: 5/5




Posted by Nick

Friday, 5 August 2011

Awaken The Tides - Malefice (2011)

ALBUM REVIEW
Reading metalers Malefice are back with their 4th studio album entitled Awaken The Tides, which was released on the 2nd of August via Metal Blade Records. While listening to the album the first time, I have to say that it left me disappointed as I was expecting something heavier from Malefice and Awaken The Tides is not exactly what I was anticipating. However after listening to the album a few times I grew fond of it and I can say that the album flows really nicely and there are some very nice passages that sound awesome. Awaken the Tides is an album which brings to the listener a nice variety of sounds and styles as it seems as if Malefice tried a different recipe for this album. With the vocals not being as aggressive as one would expect, and with tracks with a slower tempo and vibe, such as The Day the Sky Fell, Malefice really brings out an other aspect of the band which is kind of refreshing to hear. Dale Butler(Vocals) really does a great job on the whole album and uses his vocals capabilities to the max! The guitar riffs are not as aggressive and attacking as on the previous album but are still keeping a nice feel while some riffs are still spine-destroyer material! The big question in my mind is whether Malefice has found their sound yet or if they are still searching. Awaken The Tides is definitely the most "musically mature" work that Malefice have released but how far can they take their music and how much difference can they make is something we will have to wait to find out. Until then though we have a kick-ass album to enjoy!

The album has a bunch of really cool bits to check out. The title track Awaken The Tides has some great drumming from Chris Allan-Whyte(Drums) while tracks like Flood Of Red and Delirium feature some really nice guitar solos that go from crazy atonic stuff to melodic and almost bluesy licks. Dale Butler is really impressive on The Day the Sky Fell introducing a lot of feeling in his singing as well as on The Haunting which is a track with a massive intro riff that turns out into some sort of heavy metal lament and eventually awakes the tides!

Awaken The Tides: 8.5/10

Posted by Nick

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Necropolis Transparent - Lock Up (2011)


ALBUM REVIEW
Grind/death metalers Lock Up are back with their third album Necropolis Transparent, released on the 1st of July in Europe and on the 12th in the USA via Nuclear Blast Records. The project is back with an album filled with machine-gun blasts and double kicks by the one and only Nick Barker. The drums are phenomenal, as expected, while along with the guitars of Anton Reisenegger they really keep the album interesting with the vast variations between riffs and grooves. The album has some musical moments of true black metal but still Lock Up managed to incorporate a variety of grooves and riffs which keep the album from becoming just another album of non-stopping blast beats and double kicks. As for when it comes down to the vocals, there is nothing more to say: Pure madness! Tomas Lindberg is just great at what he does and I think nobody can really deny this. Special guests on this album are none others that the very talented, and apparently very busy, Pain and Hypocrisy frontman Peter Tagtgren who returns to Lock Up to complete the trilogy of Lock Up albums. Also appearing as a guest is Jeff Walker from Carcass who embellished some songs with his screams and vocals. Necropolis Transparent is composed of 16 tracks which blend between them greatly and, like every true grind metal song, each of them lasts less than 3 minutes! The album was mixed by none other that the producing legend that is Andy Sneap and the sound on the album is just so clean, for a grind metal album, that it really sounds amazing. So, many congratulations to Mr Sneap for this great work! In general Necropolis Transparent is definitely a grind metal “must-have” album for all the fans of the genre and to be honest, with a line up like the one Lock Up has, it's only natural.
Favourite track out of the album is kind of hard to define but Necropolis Transparent is definitely a track worth checking out. With a nice groove and feel this track is definitely a spine breaker so, you know what to do when you hear it! 

Necropolis Transparent: 8/10

Posted by Nick

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Darkness in the Light - Unearth (2011)


ALBUM REVIEW
The Massachusetts metalers are back with an incredible display of power and aggression with their new album Darkness in the Light expected to be released on the 5th of July via Metal Blade Records. With Justin Foley of Killswitch Engage, stepping in, behind the drum kit and super duper producer Adam Dutkiewicz, commonly know as Adam D. from Killswitch Engage, Unearth have unleashed a furious album with great riffs that might bring back to older metalers some Pantera memories while the Killswitch influence is also quite vivid. With this being the 5th studio album of the band, one can feel a definite progression from the band and the reach of a satisfying and very pleasant level of maturity in their music. The melodies, the riffs, the aggression, everything is there in the correct amount for Darkness in the Light to become one hell of an album and to me it seems like it is. Trevor Phipps(Vocals) really went crazy with the vocals while there is also the addition of clean vocals from Ken Susi(Guitars), on some songs, which to be honest are kind of tasty and match nicely with the sound of the band. Buz McGrath(Guitars) is just ripping through the solos and just as on the previous albums, he really shows what a great, technical guitar player he is. Honestly this is a great album and if you live near the sea then buy a copy and blast it out of your car speakers on your way to the beach!
Favourite track out of the album is probably Arise the War Cry which to me, sounds like it will become a great reason to mosh like a motherfucker during Unearth gigs. The chorus has a very cool melodic line in the background while the middle part of the songs is just sheer madness and heaviness composed so that everyone can dislocate their necks because of extreme headbanging.

Darkness in the Light: 9/10

Posted by Nick