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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: Vin De Mia Trix - Palimpsests

Vocalist Andrew, guitarist Serge (who also takes care of samples), bassist/vocalist/guitarist/pianist Alex and drummer Igor, together they are Vin De Mia Trix. Hailing from Ukraine, Vin De Mia Trix plays a mix of different doom metal styles, but they aren't afraid to cross boundaries with some other subgenres. Since their forming in 2007, they released an EP (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos, 2009), a demo (Promo, 2012), a full-length (Once Hidden From Sight, 2013), a live album (Live In Kharkiv, 2015) and a split with American death/doom metal band Nethermost. Since May 31st they got a second full-length added. It carries the name Palimpsests and it is a double album. Palimpsests consists of only four tracks, but it has a total length of 1 hour and 37 minutes.

The intro of opener Matarisvan sounds a bit dreamy, creepy and hypnotic to get you in some sort of trance for this album. When the instruments of Vin De Mia Trix starts it is soon clear that, mostly, it will be slow, heavy music, like funeral doom, on Palimpsests. Is the musical style of Vin De Mia Trix funeral doom? Yes and no, sometimes it surely can be named as funeral doom, but that isn't the case for their music in general. For example, they let us hear that they can also play very fast in this same track.

These people from Ukraine use a lot of variation within their tracks, but because the tracks are very long, it never gets chaotic. The transitions between the often big differences stay natural and not forced, with closing track Noe as the perfect example. At some point Noe even sounds a bit atmospheric black metal-like which is followed by a relaxed, acoustic guitar-sound with atmospheric, clean vocals. All done very naturally.

Vocal-wise Palimpsests varies between clean vocals, low grunts and hellish screams, all perfectly executed. At some point in Noe there are 2 vocal lines to be heard right behind each other, which gives it a bit of orchestral effect. The guitars on Palimpsests are sounding shoegaze-like in the more melodic, dreamy parts while they sound very massive in the heavier parts. There is also a part in Fuimus which gives us a bit of experimenting with the guitarsound including lots of shredding.

All together, Palimpsests is a great album on which Vin De Mia Trix let us hear that they are comfortable with many different musical styles. Of course, Palimpsests, with its long duration, isn't an album you listen to between other activities. Palimpsests is an album you have to sit down for and give it the time it needs. Then you'll hear how great Palimpsests is. Definitely recommended!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Vin De Mia Trix Official Website
Vin De Mia Trix Facebook

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Odradek Room - A Man Of Silt

Since 2010, guitarist Ilya Zernitsky, bassist/keyboardist Sergey Kuznetsov, drummer Roman Borovikov and Artyom Krikhtenko, who takes care of vocals, guitars, keyboards and samples, make music together under the moniker of Odradek Room. Odradek Room's musical style is kind of progressive death/doom metal, but they regularly cross those boundaries. In 2013 they released their promising debut album, called Bardo. Relative Reality. Since October 12th it got a successor. It is named A Man Of Silt and is released as a co-release between Hypnotic Dirge Records and BadMoonMan Music.

So, close your eyes and let the relaxing, dreamy intro Arising In The Void lead you to the world of Odradek Room. A Man Of Silt truly is a great journey through a dreamy, atmospheric world. The basis of A Man Of Silt are atmospheric, often even epic soundscapes. Of course the drums, bass and guitars are regularly present, with Roman Borovikov's drumming skills standing out the most. Sometimes Artyom Krikhtenko's vocals are added, which are phenomenal no matter what style. Whether he grunts, screams or sings with clean vocals, in for example the beautiful Texture Of Reality, Artyom Krikhtenko can do everything with his voice!

While Odradek Room's music is dreamy, it for sure isn't boring. Variation is very important on A Man Of Silt, with the tempo- and rhythm-changes being present. A perfect example of this, is the earlier mentioned Texture Of Reality. It has a slow, acoustic start followed by a hellish scream and a very nice guitarsolo before going back to rest again. For Odradek Room, crossing boundaries isn't a problem. They let us hear influences from for example, prog-, doom- and post-metal, but the start of Mirror Labyrinth sounds even a bit atmospheric black metal-like. Another track which is really standing out on A Man Of Silt is the beautiful Rain Trip. Beautiful female vocals can be heard and the addition of a sax, a unique and unusual instrument in metal, is a real plus. After Divide, which is the heaviest and longest track on A Man of Silt, it is time for the relaxing, hypnotic outro Conditional Eternity. When this outro has ended you are finally aware about how fast the past 50 minutes flew by and you probably want to enter Odradek Room's world again immediately. What an album!

A Man Of Silt is not only a great album, but it is a whole experience on itself. Odradek Room delivers a phenomenal album, very recommended for sure.

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Odradek Room Facebook

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: Anthrophagus - Anima In Decay

Ready for some massive death metal? Because the Belgian guys from Anthrophagus, Glenn Leuckx (lead guitar/vocals), Wout Havaux (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Antoine Sohier (bass) and Maxime Moreira (drums) got a new album released. After their demo from 2009, Putrefaction Through Retribution and their EP from 2012, Cleansing The Red Light District, they released their first full-length album on November 1st. It is called Anima In Decay. This is their first release with Glenn on vocals (besides guitar) after the departure of Wim Vandenbranden in 2012. It is also the first release on which bassist Antoine can be heard after the departure of Gregory Bars in 2014.

The first track of Anima In Decay, Slaughterhouse Orgy, starts with a creepy intro, to shake you up when Anthrophagus bursts out with their musical violence. Slaughterhouse Orgy is a perfect opener and promises a lot for the remainder of Anima In Decay. Something which immediately stands out are the pounding drums from Maxime. He plays very tight and he appears to be a very solid backbone of Anthrophagus on this entire album. Besides that he, as Anthrophagus' backbone, takes care of a very solid musical basis, there for sure is space for him for to show his skills, which are great! Glenn's growls sound raw and filthy which perfectly fits their death metal. The backing vocals sometimes sound a bit more screamy, which is a very nice addition. Of course, the guitars are very present in a great way, with sometimes even a nice guitarsolo, for example in the before mentioned Slaughterhouse Orgy. The addition of the shredding guitars is also nice. Anthrophagus plays their death metal in a very tight way. Anima In Decay is pretty complex death metal, but it won't be too complex. The complexity is mostly coming from the many rhythm-changes, but it isn't getting proggy.

The energy coming from Anima In Decay is overwhelming. Combined with the fact that there is a lot going on here, makes that this is an album you might need to recover from, in a good way. Or are you strong enough for an immediate replay of Anima In Decay?

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Anthrophagus Facebook

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: Andreas Budweiser - Alarm

Andreas Budweiser, you may know his name from the German thrash metal band Predatory Violence, of which he is the vocalist/guitarist. Andreas already released four full-length albums and 2 demo's with Predatory Violence so far. However, in May, he released his first solo effort. This solo debut is called Alarm and is released via the also German label Kernkraftritter Records.

The first melodies of opener Melody Of Scorn are immediately promising and there sure is an old school heavy metal vibe present. While it might let you think about older metal bands, Andreas does surely give his own, personal touch to his music which for sure doesn't sound dated. Variation means a lot for him on this album, there is something for everyone on Alarm. For example, the drums in the faster tracks Alarm and Stalking The Prey could also fit really well in thrash metal. However this isn't very strange, because of the fact that the drummer on this album is David "Dave" Amendt, drummer of aforementioned Predatory Violence. The other person that can be heard on Alarm, besides Andreas and David, is bassist Ralf J. Rock. He gets a bit more space to show his skills in Stalking The Prey. When talking about variation, the electro-influences in Pika-Don and the many tempo-changes are definitely worth mentioning. Andreas' vocals are sometimes a bit low in the mixing, but not very much. His vocals sounds very nice with as highlight Pika-Don, which makes me think about Judas Priest, partly because of the Rob Halford-like vocals. Vocal-wise The Wig is also special, because of the two different styles combined.

On Alarm there are a lot of things happening, but it isn't an overdose. Everything is brought with a lot of energy, which makes it impossible to sit still while listening.

Andreas Budweiser delivers a perfect solo-debut with Alarm. The time flew by listening to it, recommended for sure!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Andreas Budweiser Facebook

Fleshgod Apocalypse, Obscura, The Charm The Fury and more at Amsterdam Metalfest, on Saturday May 19th at the Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lurking ominously behind the canaled facade of Amsterdam’s street view, is Amsterdam Metalfests’ haunting spell waiting to be cast. May 19 th marks the first edition in the biggest hall of Amsterdam’s much revered venue Melkweg, The Max, and features an array of metal as symphonic, technical, melodic and stoner-groove are all on tonight’s menu. This year, Amsterdam Metalfest has the support of Buma ROCKS! Doors open at 16:00, tickets cost €22,50 (excl. membership).

Headliner Fleshgod Apocalypse proves that ‘death metal’ and ‘symphony’ make a savage blend. This, combined with their onstage theatrical bravado, promises to be nothing less than a spectacular showdown. The German technical death metal quartet Obscura is the second to last act to play the podium and their latest well-praised Akróasis (Relapse Records, 2016) possesses a sound that borders the virtuose. The Charm The Fury will have the home advantage! After a year of riding the European lands, playing high-profile support shows, this melodic metalcore foursome from Amsterdam finally returns to their hometown.

The first half of this evening is filled with the brutal death metal of the Italian Hideous Divinity, the also-from-Amsterdam melodeath outfit For I Am King, and the icebreaking groovy-sludge-blues of Onegodless.

Fleshgod Apocalypse, Obscura, The Charm The Fury, Hideous Divinity, For I Am King, Onegodless.

The Melkweg is smack-bang in the middle of the city centre, easily reachable by public transport, bike and on foot. It is situated around the corner from the busy nightlife square Leidseplein, and surrounded by hotels and hostels. Do not hesitate to contact us for any travel tips!

Amsterdam Metalfest | Melkweg, The Max
Saturday May 19 th , 2018 | doors open: 16:00
Tickets €22,50 (excl. membership) | pre-sale January 14 th
Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 1017 PH, Amsterdam

Check a live review we did of The Charm The Fury and For I Am King here as well as another live review of The Charm The Fury here. You can also read our album review of The Charm The Fury's The Sick, Dumb & Happy here and read an interview with their vocalist Caroline Westendorp here.

Amsterdam Metalfest Facebook
Metal Amsterdam Official Website
Metal Amsterdam Facebook
Metal Amsterdam Twitter

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Agony By Default - Catastrophes Of The Mind

Agony By Default is a solo project by US-based musician Matthew Brammer. He initiated the project back in 2013, and released an EP back then. Afterwards, Agony By Default underwent some hiatus, until resurfacing in 2017 - a year that was marked by great productivity: Matthew Brammer released one EP and two full-lengths, the second of which is entitled Catastrophes Of The Mind. Let’s give it a go!

After the instrumental, somber and mellow piano intro Premonition, things pick up very rapidly with Mistress Of Agony. This song kicks off with a dark metal intro, spiked with high-pitched screams, and then turns towards a blend between brutal and melodic death metal. Around the middle and especially towards the end, piano tunes add a touch of symphonic metal as well – all in all a perfect track for the darker winter days! Your Gods Still Bleed can be divided into two parts as well: the first half being more brutal and tipping its head towards old-school death metal bands, while the second half is again more melodeath. Less variation is perceivable on Eternity Stares At Me, a classic death metal track, before we can enjoy a perfect mix between brutal death metal and melodic passages on I Am God, And This Is My Grave. The Darkness Within is another purely instrumental track and lets you breathe through before the last two tracks of the record, You Believe In A Lie and Plague, hit you. You Believe In A Lie has a darker note to it than any tracks before, but comes with the same brutal aggressiveness. Plague, the final track, is quite alike its precursor, but ends off with a melodic piano solo that connects well with Premonition, and guarantees a nice round-up of the album.

In conclusion: Agony By Default, a.k.a. Matthew Brammer, has definitely found his style and combines it in an interesting blend between brutal, melodic and symphonic metal, with some splashes of dark metal here and there as well. My personal favorite is I Am God, And This Is My Grave, but the entire record come highly recommended, especially to fans of any of those genres, and let’s hope that 2018 will be another productive year for Agony By Default! 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Agony By Default Official Website
Agony By Default Facebook

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Review: Peace Is Just A Break - Little Boy

Swiss melodic death metal quintet Peace Is Just A Break are around since 2011. While they played several shows up until now, it took until October 2017 to release their debut album, Little Boy. Better late than never - let’s give it a spin!

Little Boy kicks off with Peace Is Just A Break (the track), a very melodic, fast-paced death metal song. Spiked with nice growls and kick-ass lyrics, this track is sure to stick with you for a while. Next up is Alice In Monsterland, a track on which you can discern some influence by In Flames. Like the first track, it’s also spiked with catchy tunes and sticks, also thanks to the title ;) . The album’s third track, Insane Circles, starts more midtempo and stompy, but picks up speed very soon. A perfect track to headbang to! War Is Over is somewhat alike, but that’s surely not a bad thing, as every melodeath enthusiast will truly enjoy this track. Tunguska, on the other hand, starts off way more rock’n’roll-y, but then turns into a full-blown death metal track with some black influences. An interesting combination that is highly recommended to check out. Another great find is the slower Rain, which has even some ballad-like moments in it. A chance to breathe through, then, before the album closes off with two more melodeath tracks of their own, as well as a cover of Maître Gims’ Brisé.

In conclusion: well, it is quite obvious that I really like the album. Why? While it’s clearly a melodic death metal album, it’s not more of the same, but has a nice diversity to it that keeps you, as a listener, engaged from start to the end. Also, production’s great and the guys are very good musicians, so what more is there to ask for? Go check it out! 10/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Peace Is Just A Break Official Website
Peace Is Just A Break Facebook