Voices From The Fuselage – Odyssey: The Destroyer of Worlds

White Star Records. Release date: 28.10.2016

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Re-released on White Star Records, this album originally dropped back in June 2015, but it still sounds as fresh and as current as ever. You’re probably already familiar with the voice of Ashe O’Hara as he was the vocalist for TESSERACT during their second album, Altered State. Now reunited with VOICES FROM THE FUSELAGE, the singer sounds comfortable and at ease in the music he can make his own, along with the other members; guitarists Mitch Ramsay and Josh Galloway, bassist Dale Gorham and drummer Scott Lockhart.

Opening track Ortus sets the scene for the band’s melodic progressive metal. There is a strong cinematic feel with the blissful melody shimmering along with O’Hara’s voice, which can only be described as stunning. The crisp and clean production sets every element to shine and it all seamlessly works together to project the talent and confidence of a band still in the early stages of their career.

Piano infused Meteorites demonstrates the band’s ability to compose a diverse corker of a song. This is soon followed by Anew, which is a strong, all-round solid tune. The keys and guitars kick it almost into ballad territory with heartfelt lyrics and soaring melodies. Epicinium has a laidback ISSUES vibe. A bit of a thumper of a pop-tinged tune, this song explores what possible melodic directions the band could move in, but it also breaks the album up nicely.

Devil’s Advocate gets a bit heavier, definitely more of a straight up metal feel here which shifts into an incredible post-rock dimension. It’s hard to predict what this track will do next, which is pretty much how the whole reocrd flows. The potential of this band can be heard simmering away throughout this album. It will be an incredible moment when VOICES FROM THE FUSELAGE hit their stride, so let’s hope it won’t be too long a wait for their next album.

 

Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law

Metal Blade. Release date: 28.10.2016

A new ANAAL NATHRAKH album is always a joyous occasion – if joyous means the same as the sensation of having your face battered off by a shovel. With each release, the band get ever closer to reaching sheer black metal perfection and The Whole of the Law is no different. Opener The Nameless Dead, unsettlingly eases you into what promises to be a brutal circus of horror and corruption. With V.I.T.R.I.O.L’s signature screeches and Mick Kenney’s distinct instrumentation, we’re soon in familiar territory, but as soon as Depravity Favours the Bold screams in, all sense of safety is blown out of the water. So this is what being winded by music feels like.

The brutality never lets off but ramps up tenfold in the gloriously lethal Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion, which sees the inclusion of a brief electronic element which throws your mind back to the days of TED MAUL (remember them?). We Will Fucking Kill You threatens to do exactly what it says on the tin, never has a song made you think about taking out life insurance.

This album can only be described as the aural equivalent of having your face pummelled into the dust at 100mph. V.I.T.R.I.O.L’s high screech on Extravaganza makes you crave for their days in MISTRESS. But forget other bands, heck, no one compares or comes close to the sensory assault ANAAL NATHRAKH unleash on their listeners.

Of Horror and the Black Shawls has a delicious gothic twang to it with a ghostly choir lurking at the back of the mix. It brings the album to a dramatic and chilling close. If your ears and music device are still in one piece after listening to The Whole of the Law, then you’ll be sure to crawl through the detritus all over again.

 

Metalmance Monster Hits Part 2

Unlike most Halloween sequels, this is actually hella good…

Back for more weird and wonderful metal videos? Good.

MATCHBOOK ROMANCE – Monsters

What do you mean, do I mean MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE?! Nope! You can have more than one romance you know (Metalmance anyone?). Anyway, this isn’t a Valentines Day post but a Halloween one, so back to business. In this video for the Halloween-appropriate song Monsters, things get a little dark and strange. Think of that bit in Home Alone with the tar and feathers and you’re along the right lines…

 

IN THIS MOMENT – Sex Metal Barbie

This video looks like when you show up to a Halloween party at the Student Union and you realise you’re not showing enough leg. In all seriousness though, Maria Brink and co always have an incredible aesthetic which doesn’t distract from the music, but instead adds another dimension to it. This band have style AND substance, and with a catchy song as this, this video is a winner.

 

MORTIIS – The Shining Lamp of God

Ah, everyone’s favourite Norwegian troll – sans mask, serves up a delicious Frankenstein inspired treat here. MORTIIS gets his Mary Shelley on here in a gothic laboratory setting. Avoid this if you don’t like snakes, blood and stitches in skin. Do watch if you’re a fan of things in jars and bloody good industrial metal.

 

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE – Break The Cycle

This band were made for Halloween with their kohl eyes and black leather. We’ve already seen Chris Motionless with NEW YEAR’S DAY in Part 1, but MIW more than hold their own in a ridiculously gothic video, with candles and apparitions aplenty. Watch out for a cameo by Mick Kenney from ANAAL NATHRAKH as the devil. Just don’t be afraid of looking in the mirror after this…

 

BLOODBATH – Church of Vastitas

A creepy church is mandatory for a night like Halloween and luckily, this video by the mighty BLOODBATH provides the chills and black and white thrills. Sounding more black metal here than their usual death metal, vocalist Old Nick is clad in a black cloak while he growls and shouts over scenes of an abandoned graveyard and desolate church. This is one for the old school Halloween fans here.

 

 

Weekly Roundup #7

Lucky for some, number 7

It’s the seventh roundup which means it’s been seven weeks. Seven Weeks is also an INME song go figure, ah those good ol’ Essex scamps.

Band to watch: FORT HOPE. Currently melting hearts and ears on their headline UK tour, this talented trio from Hertfordshire are sure to tap into the mainstream soon with their pop-infused rock. You might remember these lads when they were in electronic rock band MY PASSION, but now as FORT HOPE, they are winning new fans with their infectious piano-sprinkled tunes. Last week, the band released new single Say No which is from their forthcoming EP Amure. Compared to their last release, their self-titled EP, the band have progressed into a more solid, mature and stronger sound. Vocalist and guitarist Jon Gaskin never fails to impress with his impeccable warblings which soak into their blissfully melodic songs. Heart wrenchingly honest lyrics are set to make you swoon. So spoil yourself with a bit of FORT HOPE tonight and listen to their new track below.

 

Video to watch: ANTI-CLONE. Just in time for Halloween, these masked nu-metallers from Boston, UK have summoned the underworld for their new video and single Astaroth. With seriously unsettling masks which would give SLIPKNOT a run for their money, this apocalyptic crew brutally groove through this track whilst a ritual takes place for the demon Astaroth to rise. The song itself is menacingly catchy and you’ll be shouting “LORD OF FLIES” along with the song in no time. If you’re looking for some apocalyptic fun, then check out ANTI-CLONE before they rise from the underground.

 

Still in the stereo: SOILWORK. You can’t beat a good Swedish melodic death metal band can you? SOILWORK are a gift which just keep giving. In a scene where it is hard to make a name for yourself and stand out, let alone remain relevant, SOILWORK always up their game and unleash solid release after solid release. In August they gave to the world Death Resonance, an album of rarities from their career which itself spans for almost two decades. It acts as a reminder that the band still absolutely slay in the melodic death metal genre, that they are still pioneers of the pack, showing the younger pups a thing or two. New track Helsinki roars its way in, with vocalist Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid is still stunning fans with his faultless ability to switch between raw and clean vocals. Other tracks on the album originate from up to a decade ago, so there is something to offer for every SOILWORK fan. If last album The Ride Majestic was anything to go by, then these ferocious Swedes still have plenty of tricks up their sleeve – here’s to the next twenty years!

 

Band to rediscover: HE IS LEGEND. For most of you this band from Wilmington, NC are probably a band still to discover, let alone rediscover. HE IS LEGEND are a band you can always rely on to be difficult to pigeonhole. It’s their ability to crossover many genres; from rock and roll to punk, metal and hardcore which appeals the most. They’re a cross between MAYLENE AND THE SONS OF DISASTER’s catchy rock to the chaos of EVERY TIME I DIE. Each release is fresh and provides a new breath of alternative air instead of the monotonous stink our airwaves are full of nowadays. Their lyrics and song titles bring the fun (see: Attack of the Dungeon Witch or Everyone I Know Has Fangs) and listening to any album provides fun times and good vibes all round. They’re currently touring the US but fingers crossed they’ll play on our shores soon.

Metalmance Monster Hits Part 1

5 fiendishly good metal videos to get you in the mood for all things undead and delicious

Halloween is almost upon us! Enjoy the first part of Metalmance’s list of spooktacular band videos to rattle your bones to.

NEW YEAR’S DAY – Angel Eyes

It just wouldn’t be Halloween without Ash Costello and the frontman of MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, getting all freaky in this NEW YEAR’S DAY video which gets fans all hot under their tattoo chokers. All goth girls probably wish they can catch Chris Motionless’ eye across a masquerade ballroom floor. He sure does steal hearts in this video…ahem…

 

ENGERICA – The Smell

Nowadays the scariest thing to come out of Essex is the cast of TOWIE, but 10 years ago this gloriously old school horror video by Essex band ENGERICA gave everyone the creeps. Stylishly shot in black and white, ‘the smell’ is cast in a ghoulish green and terrorises a whole city. The band’s catchy and fun rock songs are sorely missed but it’s gems like this video that remind us what a [trick or] treat the band were.

 

MY VITRIOL – Nightcall

Will the new MY VITRIOL album finally see the light in 2017??? Here’s hoping, but until then, feast your eyes on this hella-creepy video for their cover of KAVINSKY’s Nightcall. Frontman Som Wardner sports a pair of fangs and white contacts in this video to accompany the narrative of a terrifying masked stalker (think Michael Myers crossed with Team America). It involves woods, lots of blood and a disturbing twist…

 

BLEEDING THROUGH – Kill to Believe

Now, I’ve been a bit cheeky here and included BLEEDING THROUGH twice in this list, but bear with me. Both videos connect, with this video for Kill to Believe being first in the running order. Frontman Brandan Schieppati pulls up to a roadside diner with his new bride, but the locals are not exactly hospitable. Things soon start to get tense and violent and you might want to reconsider using the loo at the next diner you visit…

 

BLEEDING THROUGH – Love in Slow Motion

Things ramp up in this ‘sequel’ to the previous video. To avoid spoiling the other plot, I’ll just say Schieppati gets his revenge here. Stylistically the video definitely feels a bit Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the characters seen in Kill to Believe (including the band themselves) receiving their violent punishments. The brutal imagery here suits the absolutely lethal metal which BLEEDING THROUGH were best known and missed for.

 

Check in later in the week for more monstrous gems!

Riverside – Eye of the Soundscape

A review of the instrumental compilation album by the Polish prog rockers

It is hard to ignore the heartbreak surrounding this release with regard to the death of guitarist Piotr Grudziński earlier this year, but Grudziński’s life and music career can be celebrated with Eye of the Soundscape, the compilation album of RIVERSIDE’s instrumental and ambient tracks. This two-disc album offers four new tracks as well as featuring rare cuts and songs previously heard as extras on earlier albums.

New song Where the River Flows dramatically starts proceedings, with a tense atmosphere akin to a storm brewing. Electronic elements accompany the rich guitar tone throughout, but when the song clears to piano and improvised vocals, it’s the equivalent of the sun emerging after the rain.

Second Shine is also new and it kicks off with a post-rock feel, the solid mix definitely having a MOGWAI tinge which borders on the ZOMBI-esque. The guitar melody almost acts like the vocal line and it is these little touches and details which make the album sparkle. Night Session One and Two also feature on the first disc, which brings a fluid, laidback, sax-infused affair.

Disc two begins with the new groove Sleepwalkers, which will soon get your foot tapping with the funky beat. Each song has something new to offer, with Aether featuring some delicious bass playing, before thumper of a track Machines delivers some infectious grooves. The album mellows out to the acoustic Promise and the closer, Eye of the Soundscape which is also the last of the new songs.

It is this last track which will slow burn its way into fans’ hearts. Its calmness sounds out of this world which conjures a cosmic landscape for the listener. This ambient composition is a fitting tribute to the lasting legacy of Grudziński and RIVERSIDE. The band have decided to continue their musical journey as a trio, only time will tell what their next chapter has in store.

 

Weekly Roundup #6

Melodic, metal and prog all in one blog.

Band to watch: DISTORTED HARMONY. Recently wowing crowds at this year’s ProgPower Europe, this melodic prog band from Tel Aviv already have two mesmerising albums under their belts. 2014’s album Chain Reaction is a delicious melodic package of progressive metal goodness. Their songs shimmer with spine-tingling piano as well as chord progressions which will make your heart soar. Thought provoking lyrics as well as emotional themes are the orders of the day with opener Every Time She Smiles being a firm fan favourite. Its tone and melody seem strangely nostalgic with flashbacks to bands you might have listened to a decade ago e.g. FINCH and STATISTICS but the remainder of the album takes many twists and turns it is hard to predict where the band will venture next. The single, Natural Selection storms in with a spectacularly fast proggy intro, a bit like a quicker THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT with politically charged lyrical content, but what always astounds listeners is the sheer talent of all the band members especially keyboardist Yoav Efron who also writes the majority of the songs. Vocalist Misha Soukhinin has an impressive range and such a smooth timbre to his voice you will fall under DISTORTED HARMONY’s spell in a second. Closer, Methylene Blue can only be described as the soundtrack to when you’re waking up from a dream. You may have to pinch yourself to confirm DISTORTED HARMONY are real, but trust me, they are worth the pinch.

 

Video to watch: ISSUES. This week, this American heavy pop band released quite a powerful video for their track Blue Wall. Aimed at protesting against police brutality it has become quite a talking point amongst fans. At the beginning of their video the band state the song is about “taking responsibility and making peace”. They are setting out to “tear down the blue wall which silences the good cops and empowers the bad”. They want to encourage listeners to reform their relationship with the American police. The video features ferocious live footage of the band and a running narrative of the theme, but what is so good about this release is the fact the accompanying song is the band’s heaviest on their second album Headspace. The rap and screams blasts their point across, yet also keeps older fans pleased as it is a return to a style similar to their self-titled album. ISSUES are still proving to be an exciting band that is sure to hit the mainstream soon with their catchy as hell songs, but Blue Wall shows the band still have a lot to say. Make sure you hear them loud and clear.

 

Still in the stereo: CANE HILL. This aggressive troupe from New Orleans, LA released their debut album Smile back in July and it’s safe to say it completely blew nu metal fans away. It still packs a brutal punch, devouring your favourite American aggressive bands and excreting them out into their own brand of ear-bashing, ferocious metal. Their sound harks back to the glory days of the best bands of the nu metal i.e. KORN and the straight up metal days similar to early SLIPKNOT but all with a confident swagger and less focus on an aesthetic. The sheer brutality of their songs dusts off the somewhat stale genre, making it relevant once again in the current resurgence, threatening to blow nu metal veterans i.e. (HED)PE and AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE completely out of the water. CANE HILL also have a modern metal sound, a bit like MOTIONLESS IN WHITE at times, but without the foundation and eyeliner. Instead they bring no nonsense, balls-to-the-wall metal and if live reviews are anything to go by then their forthcoming UK tour with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE in December will be one hell of a belter. So catch up with Smile and educate yo’selves with ear-assaulting tracks such as St Veronica, provocative tunes (see, Cream Pie) and darker ballads i.e. You’re So Wonderful.

 

Band to rediscover: EIGHTEEN VISIONS. This month 12 years ago, this straight edge metal band from Orange County, CA released Obsession, an album many would argue would trigger the beginning of the end for the band. This view might have been due to the album being their first to be released on a major album, but personally I thought Obsession was their most solid and coherent album yet. Creating a follow-up to their metal-tinged hardcore opus Vanity was never going to be an easy feat (that album is still highly regarded in the underground community) but Obsession was one highly polished, melodic metal beast it was difficult not to fall in love with it. Vocalist James Hart used more clean singing on the album (see closer, Said and Done) but when things got heavy, boy, did they get heavy! The breakdown in Tower of Snakes was the hottest of 2004 but it was Waiting for the Heavens which fully demonstrated the band’s maturity and ability to pen such sensitive yet hard-hitting songs. This album took the band all over the world touring with bands from LAMB OF GOD to BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. Their energetic live shows was stuff of legend and the live scene has been missing their ‘fashioncore’, bass lickin’ ways ever since. Unfortunately the band broke up after their infamous self titled album which divided opinion more than Moses parted the sea. The album was radio friendly rock which was a far cry from their brutal early albums (check out Until The Ink Runs Out) but it was still a solid release and did not deserve such a brutal backlash. But fans and the metal community can still find comfort in their back catalogue, but it is unlikely the band will reunite in the near future at least.

 

Band yet to listen to: KAUAN. This Ukrainian post-rock band with folk and doom elements have been the first band confirmed to play ProgPower Europe 2017. A more intense listen is needed!

Weekly Roundup #5

5 weeks, 5 bands to check out…

5 weeks, 5 bands to check out…

Band to watch: ANNISOKAY. German metal bands. You either have your CALIBANs or your RAMMSTEINs, but now you have your ANNISOKAYs (Annisokies?). Their second album Devil May Care is out 11th November and last week they released their second single Loud from the forthcoming album, along with a new video to boot. Sounding more intense than ever, they’re a cross between PARKWAY DRIVE and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, with nods to other metalcore influences. But don’t let that tag put you off (if that ain’t your bag) because ANNISOKAY pack a fresh punch, pulling a modern melodic metal sound kicking and screaming into what is left of 2016. They have youth on their side and a UK tour already under their belt, things can only get bigger and better for this lot. So make sure you catch them when they next roll into town!

Video to watch: WARDRUNA. You’re probably already familiar with WARDRUNA’s warblings (series 2 of Vikings anyone?) but they released a new video last week and it will probably be the most majestic thing you’ll see for a while. New album Runaljod – Ragnarok is due to be released October 21st and this new video for the track Raido should keep you going until then. These pagan pioneers still know how to treat the senses with a truly spectacular video to accompany the haunting, spine-tingling song which erupts into such a rich texture of sound you will want to grab your sticks, rope and the nearest horse and make your way to Bergen…

Still in the stereo: PORT NOIR. Second album Any Way The Wind Carries by PORT NOIR was released way back in April can you believe, but the Swedes’ songs are so ridiculously delicious and catchy it is hard not to return to them. A lot of influences are thrown into the mix. If you listen to Black From The Ink you hear a bit of CULT OF LUNA, if you listen to Earth you might think you accidently tuned into the radio, but chill, you haven’t. The level of melodic goodness doesn’t detract from the heaviness on the album, instead you feel like you’re listening to all of your favourite genres as they are all sprinkled into one tasty package. It is hard to avoid comparing them to LEPROUS, with the clean vocals high in the mix here, but it is hard to pigeonhole this exciting band as they bring so much to the table. They are on the rise in the melodic scene so give the album a listen before you get left behind!

Band to rediscover: JUROJIN. With this current influx of forward thinking neo-prog bombarding our senses (am not complaining!) it seems JUROJIN were ahead of their time! Poetic lyrics, powerfully charged vocals, polished production with a fiercely independent work ethic – and to top it all off – a tabla player… Yes, you read that correctly. It really brought something fresh and unique to the scene, but it was done in a way it was not suffocating. It was subtly used in their first and only release The Living Measure of Time (2010), but it stole the show during some tracks especially Proem. The band disappeared into obscurity which is such a shame as they were compared to bands such as KARNIVOOLand TOOL, and if your band is considered to be similar to the greats then you know you’re onto a good thing! Before disappearing into the void, they were known to play frequent acoustic shows around London which garnered as much praise as their album did. If you listen to one song, let it be The Winter and thank me later.

https://www.facebook.com/jurojinband/

Band yet to listen to: CARIGULA’S HORSE. I keep hearing snippets of this Australian band, yet to delve into a complete album.

Weekly Roundup #4

More metal and alternative goodness for you

Wow, four weeks is like a month right? So a month of metal madness to celebrate then! Feats your eyes (and ears) on the bands featured below!

Band to watch: ANIMALS AS LEADERS. Last week the band unveiled new track The Brain Dance from their forthcoming album The Madness of Many. If you haven’t heard of this band already (where have you been mate?!) then expect to hear more from this impeccably talented trio. Their instrumental material shimmers with  variety of metal styles and jazz elements, and if this song is anything to go by then their new album could have less djent which may be a sign the band are comfortable progressing into their own distinct sound. The Brain Dance then, does what it says on the tin. Its intricate melodies and delicate guitar notes create a sonic soundscape so delicious it makes your brain all tingly while it comprehends how humans can create such beautiful music. If you like your prog music on the guitar-y side of things i.e. PLINI and INTERVALS, then make sure you delve into ANIMALS AS LEADERS.

Video to watch: CANDIRIA.

Normally if a band’s music video is filmed in a recording studio you might feel a little disappointed. But not this time. CANDIRIA’s play through for While They Were Sleeping, directed by Steve Perlmutter and filmed in Spaceman Sound studios,  premiered last week and shows a new take on the humble play through video. A visually interesting video, it is made up of a variety of shots from different angles and sides of each member of the band playing through the song. Because the shots keep changing, the audience’s interest is held. The brutality of the song isn’t lost at all, in fact the viewer can appreciate it more as all the small details are captured on camera, especially during the progressive interlude. But don’t let me ruin the video for you. Go on, have a watch below.

Still in the stereo: BLACK CROWN INITATE. Released back in July, Selves We Cannot Forgive by BLACK CROWN INITIATE is still demolishing the stereo with its breath-taking progressive death metal. This, being the band’s second album released through eOne Music, is such a varied beast with  each track harnessing its own surprising little nugget. Opener For Red Cloud blasts the album into your consciousness with its gloriously heavy composition of pummelling riffs and devastating growls, but there are small rays of sunshine through the clean vocals which propel the songs even further into awesomeness. The calmer moments of the album such as the title track demonstrate the band’s more progressive side, but other parts of the album have a lot of European influences from OPETH to GOJIRA, it is sometimes hard to believe BLACK  CROWN INITIATE hail from Pennsylvania! You’ve just missed them play in the UK supporting BORN OF OSIRIS and VEIL OF MAYA, but let’s hope they’ll play our shores again soon.

Band to rediscover: MY AWESOME COMPILATION. A song which never fails to lift me out of a bad mood is Put Up A Fight which was released way back in 2005 by MY AWESOME COMPILATION. This ridiculously optimistic song could thaw even the coldest of hearts. The band from Leicester are currently still on hiatus (BOO!) but leave two albums and two EPs (and a split single with FALL OUT BOY go figure) for our listening pleasure(hurrah!). The happy band is something we miss in these uncertain times, every now and then you just want someone to say to you “All these small chances will one day add up to everything” and somehow, everything will seem OK. MY AWESOME COMPILAION we need you! Come back!

Band yet to listen to: NORDIC GIANTS. After a successful tour with TESSERACT earlier this year, NORDIC GIANTS have been attracting more attention and fans, but they might not be what you think they’d be…