2.5

Alcest – Écailles de Lune Review

Alcest are a band hyped beyond comprehension, but not without merit or reason. In their debut, Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde, there is something beautifully otherworldly about the sound Alcest creates; A mysterious aura of pure ecstasy – a melancholic veil. I call it a veil because the beautiful melodies and personality of Alcest’s music are just a disguise, hiding a narcissism and lack of ingenuity. The “oo’s” and “aa’s” which riddle Alcest’s music may be very pleasant, but this angry metal guy finds himself screaming for Neige, the project’s motor and vocalist, to bloody sing something, rather than simply using his voice to portray nothing. It’s almost frustrating to me that I’m totally in love with this band.

Since the first Alcest record was released in 2007, Neige has gone into other projects, such as the ever-popular Amesoeurs. This has had the effect of helping to mature Neige’s songwriting and Écailles de Lune certainly showcases a certain maturity. It’s beautifully multi-layered, practically spewing thought-provoking and emotion-evoking power.

Trident – World Destruction Review

Trident – World Destruction Review

An outgrowth of the ideas of a former Dissection guitarist (Johan Norman) and a couple of members of the band Necrophobic, Trident hits the stores on the 22nd of March throughout Europe and hits a totally virgin audience. These guys pretty much came out of nowhere, having basically played locally in Sweden and apparently they circulated a demo or something that got them picked up by Regain. Formed in 2007, Trident is a blackened death band in the veins of the aforementioned bands and is yet another Swedish assault on Christendom and the senses that will surely inflame passion in some corners.

Eluveitie – Everything Remains (As It Never Was) Review

Eluveitie – Everything Remains (As It Never Was) Review

While not the first folk metal band to take the world by storm, Eluveitie has always been a bit of a unique thing in the folk metal scene. Really, the band has tremendous success when compared to other bands in the genre. After being picked up by Nuclear Blast, they’ve had three albums, big American tours (something that has only started recently for the genre) and become very well known and well loved among folk metal enthusiasts and just regular metal enthusiasts alike. Everything Remains (As it Never Was) is the band’s big third record from Nuclear Blast (5th total) and it is set to make a big metal splash.

Through the Eyes of the Dead – Skepsis Review

Through the Eyes of the Dead – Skepsis Review

I have been admittedly absent when it comes to much of the deathcore & metalcore trend that has moved into metal in the last decade. Honestly, it’s just been a style that I never really understood and that oftentimes felt like it wasn’t as straight-up metal as I wanted from my extreme metal. I had some major issues with it partially just because labels started flooding their rosters with it, despite it not being that interesting. Also, there are some production styles that were brought into the genre by “core” bands, particularly the drum sounds, that I really don’t like. And partially this is due to my deep distaste for the breakdown as an institution in metal. I don’t listen to hardcore for several reasons and one of them is the breakdown. I don’t think breakdowns are interesting or heavy and their usage in metal has long been of serious frustration to me. So let me say in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much of the record Skepsis, the third album from deathcore pioneers Through the Eyes of the Dead.

The Kandidate – Until We Are Outnumbered Review

The Kandidate – Until We Are Outnumbered Review

The Kandidate wasn’t what I was expecting. Like a mix of thrash metal and Agnostic Front, these Danish metallers have produced an album to which I am utterly blase. As Angry Metal Guy, it is my job to have really strong opinions about things one way or another, but instead I listen to this album and I just.. don’t hear much that I want to come back to. On the other hand there’s not much to dis. It’s just an all-in-all mediocre record by a band I’ve never heard before.

Six Feet Under – Graveyard Classics III

Six Feet Under – Graveyard Classics III

Six Feet Under is back with the third installment in their Graveyard Classics series, and fortunately for us, this time they’re not covering AC/DC songs. I suspect that the majority of you either know what these things are about, have heard them, or just don’t care at all so I’m not going to spend tons of time on this, but Graveyard Classics 3 is a cover record from the groove oriented death metal band Six Feet Under. Barnes and crew have, this time around, elected a bunch of their favorite tracks from before they were in bands and have warped them into death rock tracks. The result being sort of cartoonish and silly: but mildly enjoyable at the same time.

Valkyrja – Contamination Review

Valkyrja – Contamination Review

Early in my tenure in 2009 I received a record that was being re-released by Metal Blade: Valkyrja’s Invocation of Demise, which was a release of an earlier record that was initially released in 2007 on Northern Silence Productions. There were several substantive complaints that I had about the record, which can be summed up as follows: there is nothing new and/or interesting here; it is repetitive and boring; the songs are hyper simplistic and despite being fast, don’t feel terribly heavy. The challenge, then, for Valkyrja to produce a record that I review better is to improve on these things (and since Valkyrja is out to prove themselves to me and me alone, they certainly will try… *cough*) with their new release Contamination.

Annotations of an Autopsy – The Reign of Darkness Review

Annotations of an Autopsy – The Reign of Darkness Review

Every once in a while a record just jumps out at you and kicks your ass every which way. The originality, the brutality, everything that you want from death metal just hits you right in the face and leaves you dazed, but pleased. The Reign of Darkness, the sophomore release of UK death metallers (or deathcorers if you read the interwebs, though I’m inclined to just call this death metal) is not one of those records. And while it can be very difficult to write about just how good a band is or how bad a band is, I find the most difficult reviews to write the ones where you have to say “I don’t like it, but you might if this is your thing.”

Leaves’ Eyes – Njord Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Njord Review

Fame has its benefits. Getting signed immediately after you leave/get fired from your other band is one of those things. Of course, the inevitable problem with fame is that no matter how far away from what you got famous for, you will always be compared to it. And for me, Liv’s voice will live on forever in Theatre of Tragedy’s classic album Velvet Darkness They Fear. Leaves’ Eyes is not Theatre of Tragedy and Njord is definitely not Velvet Darkness They Fear, and while it doesn’t need to be that album all over again for me to like something she’s done, I know it can be better than this.

Valkyrja – The Invocation of Demise

Valkyrja – The Invocation of Demise Rating: 2.5/5.0 – Nothing special Label: Metal Blade Websites: myspace.com/valkyrjaswe | valkyrja.swe.name Valkyrja hails from Sweden, where the ice-cold summers, and even colder winters, apparently breed tons of little metal kids.  Everywhere you look here you run into a band, and many of them are good.  But certainly not […]