Cavalera Conspiracy‘s new album Psychosis will be released on Friday 17 November 2017.
I’m loving this new track from Thumpermonkey, “Tzizimime” taken from Electricity, which will be released on Friday 13 October 2017 on Rockosmos.
KLOGR release their third studio album ‘Keystone’ (mixed by Grammy winning producer David Bottrill (Stone Sour, Muse, Rush, Tool and more) on Friday 6 October 2017 via Zeta Factory (distributed in the UK/Europe by PHD).
The artwork is a piece of a painting by renowned Italian artist, Andrea Saltini.
- Gabriele “Rusty” Rustichelli—Vocals/Guitar
- Pietro Quilichini “PQ”—Guitar/Backing Vocals
- Roberto Galli—Bass
- Maicol Morgotti—Drums
- Sleeping through the seasons
- Prison of light
- The echoes of sin
- Pride before the fall
- Something’s in the air
- Drag you back
- Sirens’ song
- Dark tides
- Silent witness
- Enigmatic smile
- The wall of illusion
Keystone is the third album from Italian-American band Klogr (pronounced Kay-logger). A band that I’d never heard of until now, but isn’t that the joy of this project.
Musically, the band sits somewhere between alternative rock and alternative metal. The album is very nicely produced and mixed. It has a warm, full sound that suits the melodic arrangements. The guitars are heavy without sounding harsh.
When you listen to album for the first few listens, if you’re anything like me then you’ll try to reach for comparisons. The album reminds me in part of Stone Sour fused with Freak Kitchen with a little Seven7 thrown in for good measure.
The album opens with what sounds like the start of the Star Trek theme tune, but accompanied by a children’s plinky piano. (“Sleeping through the seasons”, track 1) Then the guitars introduce a chug-chug-chug-chug riff. It’s catchy and melodic.
And so the album continues. “Prison of light” (track 2) features a nice ascending riff; “Technocracy” (track 3) is a fast-paced track with a twisting-turning riff; “The echoes of sin” (track 4) has a Dream Theater vibe to it; “Pride before the fall” (track 5) sounds a bit like a slowed-down “Technocracy”.
For me, the stand-out track is “Something’s in the air” (track 6). It’s a mid-paced, chugging rock track with a beautifully heavy, slide-y riff. I could listen to it all day. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s interesting and varied. Brilliant stuff!
“Drag you back” (track 7) is built around a fluttering riff; “Sirens’ song” (track 8) is a short track that sounds like it was recorded underwater, and leads beautifully into “Dark tides” (track 9) which has an ’80s metal ballad feel to it.
“Silent witness” (track 10) opens with a bass riff that gives way to a complex guitar riff, that changes directions. Every. Few seconds. “Enigmatic smile” probably has the most metal riff on the album but gives way to a melodic rock track.
The album plays out to “The wall of illusion” which probably encompasses everything that Klogr have thrown at us so far in this album.
And then it ends.
To be honest, there is little to criticize the album for. Some of the songs do begin to sound a little bit same-y as you progress through the album, but that would only really become a problem if the songs weren’t great. And these are really good songs. There is more than a little prog influence contained in the tracks on this album, and that is also a good thing. The songs have dynamics, and a shape, that each tell a musical story.
I really like this album. I can see myself returning to it again and again.
What more could you ask for from a piece of music?
Review score: 85%
Ahead of their forthcoming album Keystone which will be released on 6th October via Zeta Factory / PHD (review to follow shortly), Italian-American alternative rock/metal band Klogr have released a music video for ”Sleeping Through The Seasons’.
The song, as well as the other tracks from Keystone, was recorded at Zeta Factory Studio and mixed at Mainstation Studio in Toronto, Canada, by Grammy winning producer David Bottrill who has previously worked with Dream Theater, Stone Sour, Tool, Rush, and more.
The video was inspired by the novel (and movie) Lord of the Flies by William Golding, which focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves. The storyboard for Klogr’s new music video was created by Andrea Saltini (the author of ‘Keystone’s’ artwork) and Chiara Silvestri (art director). ‘Sleeping Through the Seasons’ video shoot was handled by Roberto Zampa (director of Klogr videos for ‘King of Unknown’, ‘Breaking Down’, ‘Breathing Heart’) and Matteo Pasquali (director of Klogr videos ‘Bleeding’ and ‘Draw Closer’) who took care of the direction and editing.
Klogr guitarist / frontman Rusty says, “When I talked to Andrea Saltini about the concept of the album, he shared with me his interpretation inspired by the novel/movie ‘Lord of the Flies’. I really loved his idea because it seems a wide way to see the album as a whole in one music video . It is always exciting to meet other artists’ (painters, designers, art directors, and writers) point of views so they can give you other interpretations of your work.”
‘Sleeping Through the Seasons’ is taken from Klogr’s forthcoming studio album ,’Keystone’, which will be released on 6th October via Zeta Factory / PHD. It’s the second single to be taken from the new album following lead song ‘Prison Of Light’.
Klogr are special guests to The Rasmus on their ‘Dark Matters’ European tour this November.
10th Hamburg, Markthalle (DE)
11th Berlin, Columbia Theater – Sold Out (DE)
12th Warsaw, Stodola (PL)
14th Krakow, Kwadrat (PL)
15th Prague, Roxy (CZ)
16th Vienna, Simm Club (AT)
18th Paris, Le Trabendo (FR)
19th London, Scala – Sold Out (UK)
20th Koln, Kantine (DE)
21st Amsterdam, Melkweg (NL)
Originally due for release in July 2017, but on 7 August Haema announced on their Facebook page that they have signed to Slipstick Records for the physical and digital worldwide distribution of this their debut EP.; see Slipstick Records for more details.
- Jordon Calderwood—Vocals
- Andrzej Jakubiuk—Guitar
- Scott Stephenson—Bass
- David Flitt—Drums
- Free Man
- Two Minds
So the email arrives and asks me if I’d be kind enough to review Haema’s forthcoming EP Insurrection. Sure! I’m always up for listening to new music. And then I listened to the preview. BLOODY HELL! THIS IS BRILLIANT!
Haema, a four-piece from Northamptonshire, UK, describe themselves as an experimental, industrialised, groove metal band. But that really doesn’t do them justice. Think: Rage Against the Machine meets Senser meets Circle of Dust meets Clawfinger. But heavier. Okay, let’s throw in some Fear Factory. Brilliant!
The EP opens with Eden (track 1). “What is the point of your existence?” a man asks. “To feel […] without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock ticking.” A woman’s voice speaks above a soundscape. Then the riff kicks in. It’s tight and heavy. Jordon Calderwood’s vocals fluctuate between a Zack de la Rocha-style rap/rant and a metalcore-style bark. The song is both in your face and ponderous. There is space, plenty of space, plenty of depth and width to this song. It stops and starts and never ceases to be interesting.
Free man (track 2) rides a bouncy riff right from the get-go that morphs into a rap. “Now you can see / I’m not a puppet on a string / You know, I’m a free man…” The song is aggressive and melodic. It has an urgency and integrity that makes me believe without a shadow of a doubt that he is free.
The title track Insurrection (track 3) opens with the sound of an alarm—if Depeche Mode were in the alarm sound design business. Then a more traditional metal-style riff bursts in. It chugs along, steadily. And every time my head bounces in time to the beat. The vocals in this song remind me at times of early Mordred. There is a fragility about it, which is echoed in the guitar solo about three-quarters of the way through.
Damn! I could listen to this EP all day.
Thirte3n (track 4) is probably the most in-your-face metal track on the EP. It has a repetitive, blast-beat riff that sounds like someone is drilling through granite. The verses have this machine-gun burst riff. It’s interesting and gives the song movement. Then over the top of the carnage there is the most fragile and subtle of light melodies, like a butterfly floating across a battlefield.
The final track Two minds (track 5) is slower, more ponderous: a call and reply style riff that gives way to another RATM-style riff. It starts and. Stops. As it. Twists and turns. Following the. Rhythm of the. Vocals.
From my first play through of this extraordinary EP I’ve loved this collection of music. Sure people are going to make immediate comparisons to Rage Against The Machine and Senser, as I have done. But that doesn’t detract from the quality of the playing, or the songwriting, or the production. Listen to the first two albums from Slayer—they wanted to be Mercyful Fate and King Diamond; Metallica played their first few years of gigs passing off Diamond Head and Budgie songs as their own until they found their own voice.
Given the chance Haema will also find their own distinct voice. But as a starting point, this is nearly perfect. I haven’t felt this excited by a not-entirely-metal release in a long time. I had the same burst of adrenaline and excitement listening to this as I did listening to Senser’s Stacked Up album in 1994. This album makes me smile and nod my head along to it for all the right reasons.
More like this please.
Review score: 100%
In mid-June, Scott Stephenson (Haema’s bassist) contacted me inviting me to preview this EP.
I have no connections to Haema or any related companies or individuals; although I am a big fan of producer Neil Hudson’s previous work. I’m not being paid to review this.
Many thanks to Scott and the rest of Haema.
- Matt Dyne—Vocals
- Tom Kelland—Guitars
- Mike Bell—Guitars
- Joey Jaycock—Bass
- Liam Turland —Drums
- Gospel untold
- Modern disdain
- The dreamer
- From Eden to exile
- What you’ve done
Having won the Corby finals of Bloodstock’s ‘Metal 2 the Masses’ competition in 2015, Northampton metallers From Eden to Exile appeared that year on the Bloodstock “New Blood” stage. Since then they seem to have gone from strength to strength, having been taken under the wing by Krysthla (and former Gutworm) guitarist and producer Neil Hudson to help produce this storming modern British metal album.
When asked about the experience vocalist Matt Dyne said, “It’s been an extraordinary time. We’ve taken our time and sweated bullets nailing this album to the point where everyone in the band can honestly look each other in the eye and confidently state this is the best of us, right now.”
“Yet there’s much more in the tank”, continued guitarist Tom Kelland, “Working with Neil [Hudson] at Initiate really opened our minds as to the possibilities with our music. The boxes we may have felt confined to in the past have been stripped away and we firmly believe we’ve got something really solid to offer the metal community.”
And it certainly shows.
I’ve been listening to this album off and on for the last couple of months and it’s really hard to fault. Modern Disdain is a solid album with enough certainly to keep me interested. Musically this album sits somewhere on the border between Lamb of God’s flavour of American groove metal and metalcore.
An almighty battering of the snare drum, barked lyrics, and a riff played at breakneck speed, “Gospel untold” (track 1) kicks off this album, as so many track 1s do. It reminds me very much of something from one of the early Lamb of God albums, until about 1′ 20″ when with a curt chugga-chugga the pace changes slightly and veers off into a more metalcore neighbourhood. I love the guitar solo on this song. It is rich and warm, it sours and adds something melodically beautiful to the soundtrack to the apocalypse that is raging beneath it.
Title track “Modern disdain” (track 2) opens with quite an acid, sour disharmony. Its stop-start metalcore riff morphs into an almost Exodus-style riff but with deep, Chuck Billy (Testament)-style, growling vocal. There are so many influences within this track but as a whole the song doesn’t feel contrived or stolen. Another soaring guitar solo marks the descent towards the track’s end.
“Volatile” (track 3) is another super-fast track that initially has quite a Slayer vibe to it. You can watch the video, below. About 1′ 25″, though, the sound gets stripped back to just a riff, and then gradually builds, steering towards a very shouty-metalcore sound, before returning to its original, galloping behemoth of a riff.
Track 4, “Victim” takes a different approach to what has come before. It has an almost epic, traditional heavy metal opening—think Powerslave-era Iron Maiden. It builds gradually, it has melody, duelling guitars. It then switches step into a metalcore gallop that weaves in and out of a Low-era Testament style riff. Overall, the track holds itself together but it doesn’t quite seem to understand itself. Maybe I’m wrong and I’ll return to this track in a few months with some kind of blinding epiphany, but having lived with it for a couple of months it, unfortunately, feels like one of the weaker songs on the album. I do rather like the start-stop descending riff outro, though.
“The dreamer” (track 5) is built around an old-school thrash style riff or two. It’s the shortest track on the album, but it gets in there, does its job, and gets out again.
Of bands that have songs titles that are the same as their band name, off the top of my head, I can think of only Iron Maiden and Motörhead. And now “From Eden to exile” (track 6). Unfortunately, this isn’t the most iconic track on the album. It doesn’t have the same punch or drive as any of the tracks on the first half of the album—it feels, sadly, like a bit of an album filler.
“What you’ve done” (track 7) picks up the pace, with a handful of galloping riffs that wouldn’t feel too out of place on a Slayer record. About a third of the way through, it drops to a halftime tempo and a Pantera-style arpeggio that in the 90s would undoubtedly have been accompanied by a rich, deep voice spoken over the top of it. Each time I listen to this track I find myself grumbling some made-up metal nonsense libretto over the top of this passage. Back to the main riff, fade to black…
Album closer, “Sentiment” (track 8) is a strong track. It has a bit more urgency and drive than the rest of the second half of this album. It’s also one of the most Lamb of God-sounding tracks on the album, which is perhaps why it’s one of my favourites.
This album is, for me at least, very much a game of two halves. The first four tracks are really strong, and while I’m not a massive fan of metalcore—although I do love thrash and hardcore separately—From Eden to Exile do steer their sound close enough to thrash for me to really appreciate it.
What lets things down for me a bit is the second half of the album. While the songs, for the most part are still strong and interesting, they seem to lose focus a little around tracks six and seven. Thankfully, things are brought back into line with the final track on the album which closes the work nicely.
Overall, though, this is an album that I could quite happily return to again and again. This album is proof that metal isn’t dead yet, that it still relevant, and that British bands still have a lot to give.
From Eden to Exile are definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future, both live and recorded.
Review score: 90%
Stampede Press UK contacted me a few months back, inviting me to preview From Eden to Exile’s forthcoming debut album.
I have no connections to either Stampede Press UK or From Eden to Exile. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review—which is pretty cool.
Many thanks to Rob from Stampede Press UK, and From Eden to Exile.
Recorded at Red City Recordings, Manchester by producer and mix engineer David Radahd-Jones, Death Blooms’ self-titled debut EP is released Friday 12 May 2017.
- Paul Barrow—Vocals
- Ad Lucas—Guitar
- Ben Grimsley—Bass
- Mel Stewart—Drums
- Last ones
- I’m dead
Death Blooms are a new alternative metal band on the UK scene, hailing from Manchester and Liverpool in the north-west of England. This is their debut EP and it’s really rather good.
That old adage “always leave them wanting more” is certainly true for this self-released EP (launched on Friday 12 May 2017). By the end of this four track recording I felt quite disappointed that there wasn’t more.
Musically, Death Blooms have a very modern metal sound. Vocalist Paul Barrow offers a gruff hardcore/metalcore vocal that isn’t afraid of softening a little to carve out some beautiful melodies, accompanied by a very competent-sounding band.
The EP opens with an in-your-face, punchy little number with the cheerful title of “Hate:Die” (track 1). From the very first note, vocals are screaming, guitars are riffing, drums pounding. It’s certainly a bold entrance and one that initially took me a little by surprise and somewhat off-putting.
But that initial explosion, is immediately responded with an almost-whispered response, “then hate, then die, then hate, then die” that reminded in some part of—of all things—”What makes you tick” by Terrorvision. About a minute in, the chorus reveals a melodic core. It’s a classic combination: hard exterior, soft centre.
“Last ones” (track 2) retains the urgency but softens things just a little with a little less brutal opening. The riff is more melodic, as is the chorus (“If the skies should fall, we’ll be the last ones standing”). The band thumps around, throwing in a few interesting twists and turns and some colossal sounding riffs.
“I’m dead” (track 3)—see the video below—returns to the same song structure as the EP opener with the vocals leading from the go, like Hatebreed’s “Straight to your face” does. The song gallops through a solid riff, gruff vocals throughout, until a slightly more melodic middle-eight sung in chorus leads the song to a stomping conclusion.
EP closer “Sick” (track 4) begins with a complex guitar riff that weaves itself through the drums and screaming vocals. By now, Death Blooms have already revealed their hand and so the song structure and song textures are quite predictable: bouncy, shouting vocals broken up with more melodic, multi-voice choruses.
And then it suddenly goes quiet and it feels somewhat unfinished… always leave them wanting more, right? And that’s a good thing.
There is a vitality, a freshness and a sense of urgency about Death Blooms’ music that I really like. It’s exciting to hear such good quality British metal being created and exciting that such music can be released independently and still distributed widely.
While the four songs don’t stray too far from the same hardcore/metalcore/alt-metal formulas, it’s a solid approach and it still sounds fresh and relevant. I’d love to hear a full-length album to hear where else Death Blooms could take their sound, and what else they could achieve.
As it is, I’m perfectly happy with this EP. It’s a great start. I can only wish the band well in the future. Definitely a band to listen out for and look out for—they’ve already been seen live alongside Skindred and Raging Speedhorn.
Review score: 80%
Stampede Press UK contacted me inviting me to preview Death Blooms’ forthcoming EP, which I was delighted about.
I have no connections to either Stampede Press UK or Death Blooms. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool.
Many thanks to Rob from Stampede Press UK, and to Paul, Ad, Ben and Mel for continuing to create fresh, interesting metal in the UK.