Soilwork

RoutaSielu – Pimeys Review

RoutaSielu – Pimeys Review

So, it’s actually a little weird that I would even be reviewing this disc since it seems to hardly be receiving an international release at this point, but it’s got some points of interest. First, it’s the band of Before The Dawn and Black Sun Aeon mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen, so it’s not like something one wants to actually ignore. Saukkonen produces a lot of material, he probably has 4 bands I don’t know of even, but the man has a heart of metal and his material is always solid, heavy, groovy and laden with great choruses. RoutaSielu isn’t a whole lot different; only this time the whole record is in Finnish and it causes some accessibility issues.

Omnium Gatherum – New World Shadows Review

Omnium Gatherum – New World Shadows Review

There was a time when melodic death metal was every breath I took. While it’s been a long time since that was the case, I certainly can say that I spent the late 90s and early 00s listening to my fair share of melodic Swedish death metal and loving it. But since then melodic death metal has kinda fallen off a cliff. This is partially due to the dawning of metalcore and the co-opting of Swedish thrash and death metal by hardcore kids, but I think it’s mainly because just like every scene after a while you start growing tired of the sound. Every new album that gets released gets a “Yeah, well, I’ve heard this before.” While there have been some notable melodic death metal records in the last couple of years, Barren Earth and Be’lakor come to mind, only the former has really stuck out as truly remarkable. That is until I checked out New World Shadows from Omnium Gatherum.

Architects – The Here and Now Review

Architects – The Here and Now Review

I know very little about J Pop. It’s quite popular among Swedish alternative kids (though, I might be behind since it seems like everyone’s all obsessed with South Korea now?) and I know that I can’t hear what they’re singing about (and that it makes me feel happy). But what I’ve heard is that in Japan there’s a new trend every quarter and that when that trend is done, the pop stars are done. They have a shelf-life of three months. No one takes them seriously and not a single person in the entire country would take them seriously as “artists” because, well, they’re not. They’re pop stars, engineered to sell music for kids obsessed with trends. Metal has trends, and really, people, it does, metalcore in the early 2000s was the coolest thing EVER and a bunch of bands who were all doing exactly the same thing got signed. But, of course, established labels are slow on the pick up of trends and so 4 years after the trend really started getting hot and relevant Century Media and Metal Blade started having bidding wars over metalcore bands. The year is 2011 and they’re stuck with these bands. And I can’t think of anyone who isn’t super fucking sick of this sound. But I sure as hell am. This sound had a shelf life of about.. oh, I dunno, 3 months. And it should’ve stayed there.

Fimbulthier – Arise Review

Fimbulthier – Arise Review

Into every reviewer’s lap, some crap will surely fall. Now, I can’t complain too much since I’ve had a pretty crap-free run so far as a scribe for the mighty and esteemed Angry Metal Guy. Sadly, that run has now come to a sudden and painful end with Arise, the second album from Germany’s Fimbulthier. I had never heard of these gents before but apparently their 2007 debut was some kind of viking/death metal hybrid, which by the looks of online reviews, didn’t exactly warm the cockles of the metal minded among us. Arise however, is about as viking as Pee Wee Herman in drag. No, seriously, maybe I misread the band description and it said Tricycling metal because there is nothing remotely close to viking metal here. What there is plenty of however, is awfulness and dreck.

Severe Torture – Slaughtered Review

Severe Torture – Slaughtered Review

I have to admit right up front that I wasn’t overly familiar with Severe Torture and their cadaver of work prior to getting tasked with this review. I had heard bits and pieces of previous albums but nothing about them ever really grabbed my attention or made me feel the need to track down their material. So as I got familiar with Slaughtered, this Dutch death metal band’s fifth platter (or should I say splatter), I was pretty shocked by the quality of the material on display. Maybe I simply missed the boat on their earlier stuff but this is a solid enough release that I plan to go back to investigate much more carefully in the near future.

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.