Label: Artery Recordings. Release date: 3rd March 2017.
After the success of their self-titled EP in 2015, SHE MUST BURN are now unleashing their new material in the form of album Grimoire. Thankfully the album is the EP 2.0, more of the same blackened symphonic metal, but with more confidence. Overall, the album has the feel of The Great Fire era BLEEDING THROUGH, which is not a terrible thing at all. With a good deal of CRADLE OF FILTH and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE influences thrown into the mix, Grimoire will no doubt catapult SHE MUST BURN into the blackened metal stratosphere.
No black metal influenced album would be complete without an atmospheric opening, and Grimoire does not fail to disappoint in the form of Ritual, an unsettling piece of audio which is probably the aural equivalent of paranoia and pyromania. The Wicked soon blasts in with the band’s signature sound of ferocious drumming and the hellish screams of frontman Joseph Sinclair. Female vocals soon haunt the chorus, hinting towards the gothic masterpiece this album could become. This track sounds more like a glorious finale, but instead it plays its part as a spellbinding opener.
Sean Harmanis from MAKE THEM SUFFER guests on next track Gloom, which erupts into a deliciously morbid composition. Gloom is blackened metal personified; fast riffs, fast screams, even faster drumming, with a shroud of chaotic gloom (‘scuse the pun). A perfect example of the manic darkness SHE MUST BURN offer to the unsuspecting masses. Victoria is almost blackened hardcore if that’s even a thing, but it works so well. The shouty vocals along with the keys compliment each other beautifully, it shouldn’t gel but somehow SHE MUST BURN achieve it. The song also includes clean male vocals which demonstrates the band’s willingness to display their talent and influences. So far with Grimoire, SHE MUST BURN do not disappoint.
The melancholic piano in A False Heaven provides a calm interlude in the middle of the album. Beautifully haunting yet classical, it would be the perfect soundtrack for a gothic period drama, think Pride and Prejudice if the Bennet sisters had a penchant for the dark arts. This illusion is shattered when the machine gun drums of From The Grave blast their way into your consciousness. The song takes a few unexpected turns; with a more melodic stance in parts, a mellow mood seeps in before a progressive ending brings the track to a thumping end.
Album closer After Death is a culmination of all the elements previously heard on the album. The most dramatic song on Grimoire, it is a fitting finale with soaring vocals and triumphant riffs. Just like the beginning of the album, the track closes with an atmospheric end, so that when the last note of the piano resonates you’ll already be willing to play Grimoire all over again.
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Metalmance is 3 months old! Let’s celebrate by listening to some kick ass metal…
Band to watch: SHE MUST BURN. Hailing from London, SHE MUST BURN will be unleashing hell when they support DEVILMENT on their UK tour which starts in Colchester next week. A blackened mix of late BLEEDING THROUGH, early ABIGAIL WILLIAMS and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, make this promising band an exciting concoction of blastbeats, screams, strings and all things in between. The sheer brutality delivered by frontman Joseph Sinclair along with the ferocious riffs and drumming, are stunningly contrasted by beautiful vocals of keyboardist Aimy Miller. It may not be the most original idea, but this dynamic is superbly executed and really propels the band to another level. Garnering interest with their absolutely crushing self-titled EP released in 2015 and touring with CRADLE OF FILTH, SHE MUST BURN signed with Artery Recordings this year and should hopefully be set for a brilliant 2017. Not just your average ‘core’ band, SHE MUST BURN have the ability to pummel the breath out of you yet revive you with soaring melodies. An incredibly exciting and promising band, you’d be silly not to give them a listen.
Video to watch: WESTFIELD MASSACRE released a video for Respect Resistance and launched their Kickstarter campaign this week to help complete their second album, the follow up to this year’s self-titled debut. You should already be familiar with the warblings of frontman Tommy Vext from his time in bands DIVINE HERESY and SNOT, but now he’s once again showing everyone how it’s done with his flawless vocals in the LA-based WESTFIELD MASSACRE. The band ace the whole brutally groovy, melodic metal shebang, akin to bands such as KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, but Respect Resistance also has irresistible LAMB OF GOD and STILL REMIANS vibes. The video features live footage of the band at various shows and meeting fans, but also cheeky cameos of other metal musicians with the likes of SEVENDUST’s Lajon Witherspoon and BUTCHER BABIES. This video displays the band’s passion for music and love of playing on the live circuit which is the focus here as the Kickstarter is also so the band can fund a tour in support of their forthcoming album. If you want to donate then follow the Kickstarter video below!
In the stereo: HAKEN. These progressive metal masters recently announced plans for a European tour next Spring to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Not only that, but they’re re-releasing albums Aquarius and Visions to boot! So to celebrate this week, HAKEN’s latest album Affinity has been spinning in the stereo. An irresistible slab of progressive metal, there’s plenty happening here to keep all metal fans excited and interested. 1985 is a gloriously nostalgic trip of catchy metal with delicious keyboard hooks. Then The Endless Knot has become infamous for THAT cheek lil bit of dubstep! Each song has something completely new to offer and each listen is rewarding with a new discovery. Affinity is a perfect example of an album by a progressive metal band who have been in the game a long time but still deliver and keep it fresh. With all these new, young prog pups emerging onto the scene, HAKEN can show them a thing or two!
Band to rediscover: CIRCA SURVIVE. It’s been 10 years since CIRCA SURVIVE’s masterpiece On Letting Go was released (what is it with 10th anniversaries in this weekly roundup?) and in January the band are planning a tour in America to celebrate. Now would be an opportune time to revisit this classic album. Anthony Green always stuns with his distinct vocals (how great was this year’s SAOSIN album Along the Shadow?) so any material sung by Green is an absolute treat. The band always had a mature sound and a poetic and intelligent stance on the lyrics and song writing, so no wonder the band were held in such high-esteem in the rock community. Often falling into the ’emo’ category, the band were always much more than that. Songs with technical depth yet featuring sweet melodies with feeling, CIRCA SURVIVE’s material have survived the test of time and still sound fresh and relevant to this day. Fingers crossed the tour means new material too.