Thursday, 23 June 2011

Darkness in the Light - Unearth (2011)

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

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Carnival is Forever - Decapitated (2011)

After the tragic events of November 2007 and the death of the original drummer Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka, Decapitated are back with a stunning album filled with knife-stabbing riffs and intense drumming. Carnival is Forever is due to come out on the 12th of July in the US and on the 15th of July in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. Vitek's replacement Kerim “Krimh” Lechner(Drums) did an amazing job with the drums providing some fast and accurate double kicks and blast beats while using only the live sound from the drums, meaning no triggers. Musically it is exactly what you would expect from a technical death metal band. It's technical! The riffs are majestically huge and will cause severe neck damage live, while the vocals of Rafal Piotrowksi(Vocals) really bring the aggressiveness out. However, despite all the technical stuff there is also a nice combination between airy atmospheres and brutal riffs which creates a nice spooky effect, while the last track, entitled Silence, is a guitar monologue from Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka(Guitars) with a very dark and gloomy feeling which fits nicely as the album epitaph. The album on its own is not big, with 8 tracks and a total of 43 minutes but, unless you are used to the whole technical death metal sound, it can get a bit tiring. Vogg really did a great job with the composition and the production of the album along with Arkadiusz "Malta" Malczewski and gave the album a very nice and natural sound. Guitar wise, Vogg once again showcases an amazing technical ability and a very nice usage of effects and sounds.
Favourite track out of the album is A View from a Hole which has a very nice tribal-like intro which then explodes into a mayhem of brutality and technicality.

Carnival is Forever: 7/10

Posted by Nick 

Monday, 13 June 2011

Septic Flesh - 12 Jun 2011 (Avlea, CY)

While enjoying the sun and my holidays in Cyprus, I stumbled upon the news that Greek symphonic death metalers Septic Flesh were about to do a gig in the island. Needless to say after the masterpiece that they released in April entitled The Great Mass, I just rushed to the concert to get a closer look at what the band can do live. All I can say is: mind blowing! I've seen quite a few gigs in Cyprus, and some, of really big and established bands, but I've never witnessed something like this in the island. Let me say, at this point, that there is a very important and distinct difference between gigs in Cyprus and the UK mainly due to the venues. In the UK you find venues which are more or less designed to host metal gigs while in Cyprus you just don't. Nevertheless Septic Flesh managed to take one of those "un-metal" venues and turn it into a metal lair of atmospheric awesomeness and moshpits. When it comes down to being atmospheric any band in the world can learn something from Septic Flesh. The way they combine their sounds creates such a creepy, macabre atmosphere that brings chills down your spine. The band performed tracks from their new album The Great Mass along with tracks from their previous works (Communion, Sumerian Daemons etc.) such as Virtues of the Beast, Anubis, Communion, and Persepolis. Spiros "Seth" Antoniou(Vocals/Bass) seemed to really have a great time on stage connecting with all the, approximately 250, crazy Cypriot metalers, who joined him on every single song, creating a warm and familiar atmosphere that you only get in underground gigs down in the dark and lonely parts of London. Fotis Benardo(Drums) proved to all that he is a serious contestant to George Kollias title of "best Greek heavy metal drummer" and despite some sound issues with his snare drum in the beginning of the set and some problems with the backing track device during A Great Mass of Death he managed to hold on and took the track "back home" perfectly. Now, Fotis also informed us that there is a possibility for gigs in the UK! ATTENTION UK PROMOTERS! If you manage to fuck up the Septic Flesh gig like you usually do with gigs (not all of them fuck up gigs, but I've witnessed some really bad promoters) I will personally hunt you down! Septic Flesh gigs are an atmospheric explosion of brutality, macabre and epicness. DO NOT miss them!

Septic Flesh: 18/20
Sound: 3/5
Ambience: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5 
Performance: 5/5

Posted by Nick

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Kairos - Sepultura (2011)

It's always exciting when a band with a 26 years long career releases a new album, and when that band is Sepultura it can actually become very exciting. Kairos is the brand new album from Brazilian metalers due to be released on the 24th of June via Nuclear Blast. This is definitely an album which returns to the roots of the band with knife stabbing riffs and heavy beats while in general the album generates a dark feeling combined with anger and power. Andreas Kisser, as always, did an amazing job on the guitar parts and guitar solos. The guitar and drum riffs often have a very monotonous flow which creates a hypnotic feeling and puts the listener into a headbanging state of mind quite quickly! Production wise the album is great. This is the first Sepultura album under the Nuclear Blast label and it is obvious that more have been invested in the making of the album than with SPV, the previous Sepultura label. The production of the album was handled by world famous producer Roy Z. There are 15 tracks on the album including a cover of Ministry's Just One Fix re-arranged with a Brazilian twist. The whole album concept is based around time and the long career of the band and is quite nicely represented on the album cover which is definitely interesting. There are also 4 tracks entitled with numbers which represent time in the different calendars around the world. First track is 2011 based on the Gregorian calendar year that we are living in, second track is 1433 which is the year in which the Islamics are living in, thirdly 5772 which is the year that the Hebrews are living in and lastly 4648 which is the year in which the Chineses are living in at the moment. In a recent interview Kisser said that those tracks represent time (Kairos in Greek) and how we all live in the same time in a different time! 4648 is also a cover of Prodigy's Firestarter!
Favourite track out of the album is Structure Violence which is a track with a traditional Brazilian beat in the background combined with what Sepultura does best. A great track, with a lot of clave patterns, which takes you deep down inside the Brazilian favelas.

Kairos: 8/10

Posted by Nick

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Subversion - 26 May 2011 (Sound)

Those of you who follow Peek from the Pit, and the writing that is being uploaded, probably understand and know that one of my new favourite bands coming right out of the London underground scene is Subversion. So, inevitably, whenever I hear that the boys are playing in town, I do my best to attend! This time Subversion were headlining the Metal Sound showcase in Leicester square. Sound is a very nice venue which, I understand, is not typically very metal oriented but could, I believe, be the ideal place for a full-on heavy metal show like the one that was planned for the night, but unfortunately it just didn't happen. The event was poorly attended, apart from one band that managed to catch my attention and bring in the public. Splintered Soul (which is a band formed in London a few years ago, and I have to admit that I am not familiar with their history, but I understood that there has been a massive line-up change and some time off for the band) is a female fronted band which might remind some of ReVamp, with a different approach when it comes down to the vocals . Interestingly the following and the attendance that the band had was the biggest from all the bands performing on the night! In general the band didn't create a feeling of amazement but definitely triggered a sense of interest which means that it would probably be wise to keep an eye on them. Nevertheless, the band you should really keep an eye on where up next! Last time I witnessed Subversion they were opening the gig for Anterior at the Barfly and, as we all know, support bands generally don't get the appropriate attention they should. So, this time I was expecting more from the band,since they were headlining, and was really looking forward to the set. Unfortunately the sound throughout the whole show, and for all the bands that played, was rubbish. I don't blame any of the bands for this but unfortunately sound is an important factor for a gig, and this is why bands should really be careful when they chose a sound engineer and also insist in having a proper sound check before every gig. Anyhow the guys really attacked the set with great energy and it always amazes me how into it they are. They are really something worth seeing live, and with the appropriate stage and sound this guys can really kill it and blow your mind off! If you are a guy/girl who likes to give the “I was listening to them before they became famous” lecture, then listen to this band because it won't be long! If they play all their cards right they could very soon be, on their way to the top!

Subversion: 7/10
Sound: 1/3
Ambience: 1/2
Presentation: 2/2
Performance: 3/3

Splintered Soul: 6/10
Sound: 1/3
Ambience: 2/2
Presentation: 1/2
Performance: 2/3

Posted by Nick