Darkane

Braindamage – The Downfall Review

Braindamage – The Downfall Review

“I know this Belgian dude who acts as my barometer for judging a band’s obscurity. The man’s knowledge of all things metal never ceases to amaze me. Whether it’s the newest grindcore band from Kuala Lumpur or a NWOBHM act that only ever released a live demo, he’ll have heard of them and, provided they aren’t too kvlt for social media, have “liked” them on Facebook. So when I look at a band page and don’t see his name on their fan list, it’s usually because they are so fresh you can suck their nuts.” We do not advocate nut suckery.

Solution .45 – Nightmares in the Waking State Pt. I – Review

Solution .45 – Nightmares in the Waking State Pt. I – Review

“Why is everything in my November promo bin a part I or IV of something bigger? I’m starting to feel like I’m trapped at the Third-Tier Fantasy Fiction Fan Con and I’m dreading what lurks around the next corner. Will it be The Atomic Dragon Bosoms of Gefilte Pt. VII? The Purple Cloak of Chromatic Unicorn Fabulousness Pt. X? Can’t we just do one-off albums again, people?”

Hibria – Silent Revenge Review

Hibria – Silent Revenge Review

“There are a lot of good bands down there in South America and they always seem to pop up out of nowhere and surprise you. Brazil’s Hibria did just that with their 2004 Defying the Rules debut, which rocked a type of heavy power metal quite similar to Riot‘s Thundersteel mixed with classic Euro-power like old Helloween. It was surprisingly mature and polished for a debut and had a number of great songs that earned permanent playlist rotation. Their Skull Collectors follow-up was solid enough, but I didn’t think much of the Blind Ride platter released in 2011. I feared they were in the classic Dimishing Returns Death Spiral and hoped they could find a way back to the glory of that awesome debut.” Nothing is worse than a promising band caught in a creative death spiral! Can Hibria avoid disaster and guide the ship back to the promised land of power metal? Steel Druhm is on scene and it was clearly the wrong week for him to quit sniffing glue.

Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days Review

Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days Review

Mercenary is a band that’s given me fits over their career. I was very much taken with their fusion of melodic death, power-prog and metalcore on early albums like Everblack and especially The Hours That Remain. Architect of Lies lost some of the charm the older stuff had and didn’t hit me as hard, but it was still decent. However, things really fell apart on their 2011 Metamorphosis release which came across like a generic mix of emo/screamo metalcore and pop. I wrote it off to the massive line up changes the band was weathering at the time and there were a few decent tunes that gave hope they could regain their footing on subsequent releases. Despite this half-hearted optimism, the eternal Law of Dimishing Returns suggested their best days were behind them and I wouldn’t find much to praise on their new album.” Can Mercenary get themselves back on track or is this another nose dive into metalcore hell? Steel Druhm has thoughts and conclusions.

Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy Review

Darkane – The Sinister Supremacy Review

Darkane is a band is that has been somewhat overlooked over their fifteen plus year career despite some solid output. Born in the second wave of Swedish melodic death metal, they were strongly influenced by the likes of At the Gates, Dark Tranquility and Soilwork. They made their bones crafting, thrashy, technically impressive death with plenty of melody and references to the “Gothenburg sound” and albums like Rusted Angel, Expanding Senses and Layers of Lies were enjoyably intense assaults on the listener full of vicious riffs and harsh vocals, all sugar-coated with slick, technical prowess. Unfortunately for the band, their birth more or less coincided with the explosion of metalcore bands equally influenced by the Swedish melo-death sound and Darkane quickly got lost amid a sea of crappy core.” Can these melo-death mongrels re-establish themselves after a five year hiatus or is it too little too late in a genre that has began to dry up?

FKÜ – 4 – Rise of the Mosh Mongers Review

FKÜ – 4 – Rise of the Mosh Mongers Review

FKÜ might be the oldest old-school thrash band you’ve never heard of. As the story goes, the original lineup of Freddy Krueger’s Ünderwear (amazing name, BTW) formed in Sweden way back in 1987, influenced heavily by S.O.D. With no recorded output, they went on hiatus for over a decade before finally re-forming, shortening their name, and releasing their debut Metal Moshing Mad in 1999. As the title implies, 4 – Rise of the Mosh Mongers is their 4th album.” Mr. Fisting has imposed some draconian and inflexible rules for how he rates re-thrash albums. Can FKÜ escape the swirling vortex created by his maddening and confounding need to demand originality from a genre that’s very existent depends on non-originality? Tune in and find out!

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast Review

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast Review

Wow. So, it’s been like 10 years since I’ve listened to Soilwork and it turns out that they don’t sound at all even remotely the same. Sometimes a band falls off your radar and you don’t even think about them at all and honestly, Soilwork is one such band. Now, it’s probably not a surprise to anyone else but I was in utter shock when I turned on The Panic Broadcast to discover that the Gothenburg sound had totally been replaced by eurocore! See, now you’re laughing at my ignorance, but I’m a bit surprised. See, in Angry Metal World, the last record that Soilwork released was actually The Chainheart Machine in 2000. And back then, these guys were playing a not-entirely-novel, but very, very good version of the Gothenburg sound. Turns out in the much lamer real world Soilwork has had a bunch of records and gotten a new vocal style, a new sound and hyper-produced.