Roadburn Festival 2015 Thou

Sludgey doom titans Thou and Horror tinged metallers Acid Witch are among the latest bands announced for Roadburn Festival 2015. They will join the likes of NOLA sludge icons Eyehategod, Prog metal heavyweights Enslaved and doom titans Bongripper at the event in Tilburg, The Netherlands from the 9th April to the 13th April 2015.

 

Press release:

The Cinematic Feel of Roadburn Festival 2015; Acid Witch and THOU amongst others confirmed

The 20th edition of Roadburn, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is going to be a treat for those who love soundtracks (and screenings). In addition to Sólstafir performing an instrumental soundtrack to Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’sHrafninn Flýgur (When The Raven Flies), and Mugstar playing Ad Marginem in its entirety, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin will perform their much acclaimed movie scores for George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead and Dario Argento’s Suspiria at the 2015 festival.

Led by Brazilian-born composer Claudio Simonetti, the band will perform the live scores of Dawn of the Dead (Saturday, April 11) and Suspiria (Sunday, April 12) in real time while screening both movies from start to finish. This will offer our beloved attendees the chance to experience these classic soundtracks and films on the main stage, and in an entirely new dimension.

This will be the first time that these soundtracks will be performed live in The Netherlands, and follow the band’s critically acclaimed performance at last year’s festival, when Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin were invited by curator Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Sólstafir will also take to the main stage for their soundtrack performance (Thursday,April 9), whilst Mugstar will grace the stage of Het Patronaat on Saturday, April 11.

Besides these four special performances, Zombi (aka Messrs. Moore and Paterra) will also open up the stargate and herald the zombie dawn on the main stage of the 013 venueon Saturday, April 11.

Since first hitting the general consciousness with their 2004 debut album, Cosmos, on Relapse, and wowing fans and critics alike with 2011’s Escape Velocity, it could be argued that Zombi were the spearhead for the whole resurgence of interest in obscure film soundtracks, and the music of artists such as Goblin and Fabio Frizzi.

We also have exclusive solo performances from Zombi masterminds Steve Moore and A E Paterra – performing under his Majeure identity – both of whom will be playing on the day before, Friday, April 10 at Het Patronaat.

Taking the best parts of 1970s progressive rock – think King Crimson and a bit of early Genesis – 1980s post-punk, horror movie soundtracks, and avant-metal, London’s The Osiris Club have a definite cinematic feel. They are part other worldly mystery, part eccentric urban wizardry, part playful whimsy, and frequent twinges of a John Carpenterfilm score.

Clearly influenced by the Euro Horror underground film scene of the 70s (and maybe a bit of the 80s, too), London based Zoltan manage to tread the line between eerie, spine chilling terror and spooky soundtrack-prog perfectly. Their two albums, beautifully recorded in full analogue glory, stand in testament to their musical prowess.

In related news, having been nourished on a sick, spooky-ooky diet of old school (death) metal, VHS fright flicks and psilocybin, Detroit’s psychedelic doomsters Acid Witch will bring their 80s inspired metal movie marijuana massacre meltdown to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Saturday, April 11 at Het Patronaat.

On the banks of the Mississippi there dwells a ferocious beast with an open third eye that, when you look in it, shows you the parts of yourself you wish you could forget. THOU have been haunting Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and just about everywhere else on tour for the better part of a decade, bringing a consuming, atmospheric brand of sludge that challenges you to experience this moment for everything it can be, to cast off repression in all of its forms and become the complete self of whom you’ve always been most terrified.

Their 2014 album, Heathen, is the latest in a long string of releases (4LPs, many EPs and splits) on Gilead Media through which THOU have preached this vicious gospel in churning riffs and throat-searing screams. Their propulsive force coincides with their philosophical approach to lyrics, and in combination with the depth of their ambience and the all-encompassing volume of their delivery, THOU’s sound gives sludge its most original interpretation in years.

Open your eyes and exalt as THOU take the stage at the 20th Edition of Roadburn Festival on Thursday, April 9 at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Constantly pushing the limits of sound with an arsenal of self-modified instruments,Germany’s The Picturebooks tap into buzzy blues and glorious garage rock territory on Imaginary Horse, their super infectious debut lp for RidingEasy Records. Mirroring their daredevil skateboarding ethos and easy rider antics, The Picturebooks will rev up their howling engines and conjur true fire at Roadburn 2015 on Saturday, April 11 at the 013 venue.

The Golden Grass will bring their sunshiny harmonies and positive vibe the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue. The Brooklyn trio released some of the best upbeat psychedelic rock with their self-titled album on Svart Records, and after their first European tour this Fall, we’re happy to welcome The Golden Grass to Roadburn in 2015 as they bring out new material and a classic sound.

Taking the best parts of hardrock, psychedelic rock, caveman boogie, and amplifier worship, Uppsala Sweden’s four-piece The Tower will put forth their heavy 70s loyalism at Roadburn 2015 on Thursday, April 9 at the 013 venue, pushing the outer limits of an already spacious genre.

Ticket sales for Roadburn Festival 2015 are currently in full swing. Ticket options:http://www.ticketmaster.nl/artist/roadburn-festival-tickets/875833

Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015(including Fields of the Nephilim, Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper,Floor, Eyehategod and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00059]

Butcher Babies co-vocalist Carla Harvey issued her first book titled Death & Other Dances (available via www.carlaharvey.bigcartel.com). She shared stories about her pre-Butcher Babies’ life, including growing up in Michigan and relocating to Los Angeles to pursue music, as well as working as a stripper and a mortician.

She is open about her life as a stripper, which she wrote about in her book. Fairly candid about that period of her life, Harvey talked about how she became attracted to this.

I write about that in my book. I find it funny people always think that strippers are horrible human beings with daddy issues and blah blah blah…yeah yeah sure maybe I have some daddy issues growing from my abandonment of my father, but my fascination with becoming a stripper started when I was very, very young child. Way before my parents separated. Way before my father was out of my life. They brought me back a doll from Las Vegas on a stand and it was a showgirl doll with a costume on. I was so fascinated by that doll and I wanted to look like a doll, be the doll and I wanted to be a showgirl or a stripper.”

I always give the rest to hair metal. I don’t think there’s any girl who used to take off her clothes and dance around the room to ‘Girls Girls Girls’…that probably didn’t help! I’ve always been very sexual. I’ve always wanted to be a dancer. I think if you brave it for a short period of time, it’s not a big deal. For me, it helped me grow as a person in a couple different ways. I was very shy. I would never talk to people one on one ever. It helped me open up. It helped me talk to people. In certain ways it was a good thing. If you get stuck there too long, you’re around the wrong people. I started doing drugs. But not all of it was bad.”

Harvey also shared how she found a brief career as a mortician and her fascination with death, something many musicians from Jonathan Davis (Korn) to Gen (Genitorturers) have been enamored with.

What is the basic attraction to death for musicians? “I don’t know but for me, I was always fascinated by death since I was a kid,” she said. “The first chapter of my book, I talk about that fascination. I’m sure it’s the same with a lot of people since they were a child, and I think musicians more so because we’re creative people and things people wonders about. I don’t know. Maybe we’re weirdos.”

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Another connection has been select goth and metal people have been connected to this profession. Television shows such as
NCIS have a gothic looking coroner (Pauley Perrette’s Abby Sciuto character) have portrayed such people in those professions. But very seldomly do those folks last.

It’s funny because I went to mortuary school – for me it was fulfilling a life long dream. There were a few kids in my class who were goth kids. As soon as the first embalmment lab hit, they were all gone. They couldn’t handle it. I think a lot of people think embalmment is very rock n roll, very cool and tough and they want to do it, but when it comes down to it, it’s a very hard job. It takes extreme empathy to do it. It’s definitely not a job that people could do.”

School was something she did well in and managed to excel during her years there. She got good grades and was at the top of her class. Plus being in Mortuary College, science was also one of her best subjects.


“I was always great at science. It was one of my best subjects in school. I’ve always gotten straight A’s and on the dean’s list and all of that. I think a lot of times in my youth I was very bored, did drugs and stuff like that. I’ve always gotten great grades and always been smart. I think my first semester was chemistry, anatomy, physiology, embalming, mortuary law and all of that stuff. I hadn’t been in school in a very long time when I went back, but it was great to dive into it and let my brain be full of that kind of stuff than drugs.”

There’s no way that I could do drugs during a time like that at 8 in the morning. That really helped me stay sober knowing that I had to do that if I wanted to graduate that program. I graduated on the dean’s list. It was a turning point in my life, going from being a complete drug addict to being a college graduate on the dean’s list within a couple year’s time. That really saved me.”

So how long did she work in this field? “I was in school for a couple of years and I practiced for about two years. My band started to…then I couldn’t do it any more. It’s a very demanding job – no time off, no vacations. You really can’t have a full time job like that and do music. Obviously at this point in my life I choose music. It’s my dream.”

I think one day I might go back into it. I’d like to be a funeral director or a grief counselor. I like to help people and I have a lot of fans who have had loss in their lives reach out to me for grief counseling. I really enjoy that. Maybe I’ll do that again but I also love music so much that I don’t see myself stopping that any time soon.”

bb covers album artwork

Butcher Babies on Facebook

REI NISHIMOTO

FRONT_COVER

It normally takes a good ten years or so before you get a renaissance of a dead, buried and creatively exsanguinated genre, so it’s hard to tell if In Search Of Sun are spearheading a new (or should that be nu-) generation of alternative metal or if they missed the wake while they were in the midst of rebranding themselves from groove-metalcore outfit Driven in favour of a more honest, rockier sound.

Launching with a promising Tremonti-esque building intro to the opener and title-track, The World Is Yours (Raging Demon), their first full length, kicks off by showing a hand that will repeat itself throughout the album, the heavier commencement, dialling it back down for a shuffling verse to give room to Adam Leader’s decent half-shouted, half-crooned vocals that call to mind a gruff take on the legendary pipes of John Bush, particularly on ’51 56’, before bringing the guitars in heavier on an understated chorus.

So far so good, but while the concept is decent you won’t win a game of poker playing the same hand the same way, unless it’s a Royal Flush. With little distinction between the songs evident, and the parts of each song each so similar with rung out guitars and a stolid mid-pace throughout, this is more of a Ten/Jack hand and The World Is Yours runs out of steam at about mid-point, eventually seeming like one 48 minute long increasingly more boring song that never quite gets going.

There are moments of promise, but they lack the catchiness or quirkiness of Breaking Benjamin (I can’t believe I just used Breaking Benjamin in a positive light, I’m going to kill my brother for subjecting me to them over the years), the energy and swagger of a Soil, the class or distinctiveness of an Alter Bridge and don’t even come anywhere near close to the depth of a Superunknown (A&M).

Ultimately, while they may be In Search Of Sun, the London quintet never reach the light.

6.0/10

In Search Of Sun on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY

Cannibal Corpse, Russian Tour
Cannibal Corpse, Russian Tour, Raids

 

Death metal legends Cannibal Corpse have addressed the controversial situation that emerged at their show in Russia last week. The band were forced to cancel several concerts in Moscow and St Petersburg after Russian authorities claimed the five piece did not have the correct paper work and also searched one of the bands gigbags for drugs. The band have played in Russia before without such problems and praised fans who did manage to see the band on their disrupted tour.

Press Release:
CANNIBAL CORPSE addresses Russian tour issues!

CANNIBAL CORPSE recently completed their tour of Russia, a place they have played previously played many times with no issues. Unfortunately, as many Russian fans are already aware, this tour did not go as planned. CANNIBAL CORPSE has released a statement, which can be read below.

A message to our Russian fans:
“As you all are certainly aware by now, our concerts in Ufa, Moscow, and St. Petersburg were cancelled. We were present in these cities and ready to perform each of these shows but were not permitted to. In Ufa the power was turned off shortly before the show (we were told because the venue was late on rent), and in Moscow and St. Petersburg we were told that we did not have the correct visas and that if we attempted to perform the concert would be stopped by police and we would be detained and deported (prior to the tour we had been told that we did have the correct visas and that all of our paperwork was in order).

Our show in Nizhny Novgorod also had problems. In that city we performed half of our set before being stopped by police. We were told the police needed to search the venue for drugs and that the show had to be terminated.

These are the reasons for the cancellations as far as we have been told.

On the brighter side, we had a fantastic time performing in Krasnodar, Samara, Chelyabinsk, and Yekaterinburg. We were able to play our full set in all four of those cities.

We came to Russia excited and prepared to play all of the scheduled concerts, and we apologize that we were not able to do so. It was beyond our control. We are extremely disappointed. We have played in Russia many times and we love our Russian fans. Hopefully someday the situation for us in Russia will be different and we will be able to return.”

Photos: police raid photo from Nizhny Novgorod, paddy wagon in St. Petersburg

CANNIBAL CORPSE’s European tour with Revocation and Aeon continues tomorrow in Sweden. The dates are below, as well as on the newly re-launched cannibalcorpse.net.

CANNIBAL CORPSE
+ REVOCATION
+ AEON

17/10/14 SE – Stockholm – Debaser Strand
18/10/14 NO – Oslo – Vulkan Arena
19/10/14 SE – Gothenburg – Sticky Fingers
21/10/14 NL – Zwolle – Hedon
22/10/14 DE – Saarbrücken – Garage
23/10/14 FR – Lyon – Ninksi Kao
24/10/14 ES – Barcelona – Razzmatazz 2
25/10/14 ES – Madrid – Arena
27/10/14 FR – Toulouse – Le Bikini
28/10/14 FR – Paris – Trabendo
29/10/14 FR – Strasbourg – La Laiterie
30/10/14 BE – Antwerp – Trix
31/10/14 UK – London – Forum
01/11/14 UK – Leeds – Damnation Festival (only CANNIBAL CORPSE)
02/11/14 FR – Lille – Splendid
04/11/14 DE – Frankfurt – Batschkapp
05/11/14 DE – Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik
06/11/14 DE – Osnabrück – Rosenhof
07/11/14 DE – Hamburg – Klubsen
08/11/14 DK – Aalborg – Metal Festival
09/11/14 DK – Copenhagen – Amager Bio
11/11/14 DE – Berlin – C-Club
12/11/14 CZ – Prague – Club Roxy
13/11/14 DE – München – Backstage
14/11/14 DE – Glauchau – Alte Spinnerei
15/11/14 CZ – Brno – Fleda
16/11/14 PL – Cracow – Fabryka
17/11/14 PL – Warsaw – Progresja
19/11/14 AT – Graz – Explosiv
20/11/14 HU – Budapest – Club 202
21/11/14 SK – Banska Bystrica – Urban Spot
22/11/14 AT – Wien – Szene
23/11/14 SI – Nova Gorica – Mostovna Club
25/11/14 IT – Treviso – New Age
26/11/14 IT – Milan – Alcatrazz
27/11/14 CH – Lausanne – Les Docks
28/11/14 CH – Pratteln – Z7
29/11/14 DE – Bochum- Matrix
30/11/14 NL – Dordrecht – Bibelot

http://www.cannibalcorpse.net
https://www.facebook.com/cannibalcorpse
http://twitter.com/CorpseOfficial
http://www.youtube.com/cannibalcorpse

Rage-Nucleaire-Black-Storm-of-Violence-_2B-Unrelenting-Fucking-Hatred-38748-2_3

This is a black metal album. I like black metal. It has the occasional death metal moment. Lord Worm is handling the vocals. Fredrik Widigs, current skinsman for Marduk, is laying down the blast beats. On paper this seems awesome. Like really fucking awesome. But yet why after a few listens today doesn’t it feel awesome all the way through?

For those uninitiated, Rage Nucléaire, is Lord Worm’s post-Cryptopsy vehicle for blasphemy and mayhem. And while I’ll always have a spot in my heart for the Cryptopsy days of old, it’s neat to see Lord Worm still active and applying his unique pipes to some other stylings.

Black Storm of Violence (Season of Mist) is the follow-up to Rage Nucléaire’s 2012 aptly-titled debut, Unrelenting Fucking Hatred. All the elements that made that debut so compelling are for the most part still here, including first and foremost Widigs wild drumming. Seriously, this guy can drive home a blast beat. Hence his barbaric displays like ‘Annihilation Frenzy’ and ‘A Sino-American Chainsaw War.’ Or he can slow it down like ‘Goddess of Filth’ or ‘The Deadfall Triptych,’ which also make room for almost melodic passages from guitarist Dark Rage and keyboardist Alvater.

Then Black Storm of Violence starts to lose me. Sounding more like black metal (corpse) paint by numbers than true kvlt. Even Lord Worm’s trademark shrieks and howls are marred by processing. It’s Anaal Nathrakh without the psychotic seventh gear. If anything, Rage Nucléaire could borrow some of the Anaal magic. Aim for shorter, even further needle-in-the-red intense songs.

While the music more often than not runs on the right track, the samples seem more afterthought than ambiance inducing. We are treated to a greatest hits of black metal clichés including classics such as marching soldiers, gunfire, wolves and Hellraiser. When the first line you hear is a sample from a Rob Zombie film, you can’t help but wonder if this feels less Transylvanian Hunger and more Damnation and a Day. Also, I think Charles Manson would really appreciate it if people would stop using his “If I started murdering people…” bit. It sounded cool when Integrity used it in 1995, but at this point even Manson must be sick of it.

This is band that has a great black metal album in them if they focus more on the quality of the songs as opposed to what appears to be truly “evil” or “kvlt.” Lord Worm has already been on a death metal classic, let’s hope he can do it again with black metal.

 

6/10

Rage Nucléaire

HANSEL LOPEZ

Primus - Primus-And-The-Chocolate-Factory

With a career spanning three decades and a reputation as one of our world’s most loved and respected bands of a near cult status, Primus are one of our world’s leading lights in music that is, to put it lightly, unconventional and unpredictable.  Even by their standards however, the proposition Primus And The Chocolate Factory (ATO Records) (the reunion of original members Claypool, Lalonde and Alexander) is a difficult one to fathom.

Both a tribute and a reimagining to the songs of 1971’s musical classic Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory; made famous by Gene Wilder’s untouchable performance as the eccentric and somewhat sinister factory owner, this really unearths and highlights the film/books’ menacing undertones. Introduction track “Hello Wonkites” encapsulates the tone with its playful, cartoon like sound but with a twisted atmosphere.

Their take on ‘Pure Imagination’ has to be the albums highlight, taking the uplifting and joyous original and turning it into the kind of madness that Frank Zappa would be proud of. Yet there are traits present that stay faithful to the film soundtrack; notably the several “Oompa” segments which maintain the original patronising appeal, only with Claypool’s fat bass sound on top of it.

By heightening the dark, ominous undercurrent of a film that many of us would have grown up with this could be mistaken for the biggest childhood ruining event since a certain Rolf Harris, but this is performed with an affection for the tale, and the detail within is a testament to this. As unhinged as it is catchy, this should strike a note with both those who grew up with the film and those who are drawn to music of the quirky and bewildering variety. Surely the sonic equivalent of sitting down to enjoy the movie with a couple of LSD pills.

 

8.0/10

Primus on Facebook

 

CHRIS TIPPELL

Roadburn-2015-Presale-Poster

Roadburn! Roadburn! We’re at the mid-point between editions, the height of Roadburn-homesickness for the regulars each year. Having been sweetened by amazing announcements one after the other, the presale started on October16th, but if you live in Tilburg, or like a number of excited Germans in the line, are willing to drive 1,5 hours to get your hands on a ticket just a little earlier, there is the pre-sale party. The tickets go on sale at 19:00 and a few local-ish Roadburny bands play. Today we get treated to Eindhoven’s Radar Men From the Moon and the wonderful 3 piece, The Machine. Before and between bands local metal dj and encyclopedia Kevin Kentie spins and spins tunes that preview the known line-up of Roadburn, blended with an extra eclectic mix of stuff either seen at Roadburn or could be seen there eventually bands.

 

Roadburn line09

Mostly this party is about seeing your friends again, being excited and getting your ticket, but the bands are an important part to the mood. The greenroom in 013 is cozily filled with excited people who got their ticket a while earlier when at 20:30, Radar Men From the Moon take the stage. Their hypnotic repetitive space rock chugs along happily to optic illusion-like visuals. The light is low, until they get some atmospheric bottom lighting in red and blue later on in the set, giving the Trio-recently turned foursome an ethereal and extra trippy element. Audience interaction isn’t really required with a band like this and while the set drags you deeper into it’s hypnotic trance as it goes on, I’m personally missing the spiraling fractal visuals the band used at a different gig I attended, which pulled you deeper and deeper. The rectangles, lines and squares used this night just don’t have the same trippy effect. Such a minor blemish cannot ruin an excellent performance though. 

Radar men from the moon08

After a brief reprise in which a lot of people crowd the merch stand to pick up t-shirts and records, we get treated to The Machine. These guys are pretty well known by now, having played Roadburn and several other psych-stoner festivals for quite a while. Again we get a Trio who together manage to create a delicate yet chugging atmosphere. These guys are a lot less hypnotic then Radar Men, more rock oriented, with some lovely gentle trippy bits breaking into regular thumping and rocking break outs. Very much worth mentioning: the bass plays an integral role to the sound, while most of the fuzz comes from the expertly played guitar riffs. Vocals are low key and nicely rugged, but definitely still clean, all this displayed across the most excellent Roadburn artwork backdrop by Arin Roker, and accompanied by incense to heighten the mood. Where during Radar Men a few handfuls of people still hung out in the lounge, during The Machine pretty much everyone in the venue is watching the band, nodding along and generally celebrating the official kickoff to pre-Roadburn excitement.

the machine05

After the bands finished most people hung around, until finally 013 kicked the 100-ish stragglers out at midnight. A wonderful, wonderful start to what will probably be a most excellent 20th edition of Roadburn Festival! Get your tickets while they’re available, It will be a good one!

 

Get tickets to Raodburn 2015

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WORDS AND PHOTOS: SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS

VR711

 

Following on from their self-released debut album Reformation in 2013, Poughkeepsie, NY based Meridian have been gathering an impressive following across America in the past year. Despite their age, with every member of the band being under 21, this fresh out of high school quintet have already landed themselves a spot on the roster of Victory Records for their sophomore album The Awful Truth alongside bands such as A Day to Remember, Ill Nino and Sister Sin.

It seems there is an endless procession of bands proclaiming that they have emerged as saviors of a genre recently, and this band is no exception stating Meridian was formed to save a dying scene. Despite these claims, the band doesn’t rigidly stick within the confines of one genre, rooting themselves in hardcore, but mixing in lashings of metalcore and a distinct pop sensibility. It’s not too often you find an abrasive genre like hardcore mixed in with the catchy nuances of pop music, and this album proves this is for good reason. Their attempts to tackle hard-hitting topics like depression and childhood neglect are marred by catchy pop vocal lines that distract from their message. The impact is lost under layers of auto-tune and awkward breakdowns.

Although the vocals generally dominate each track, switching between screams and clean melodic lines they are quickly revealed as the weakest part of the music. The screams lacking depth and cleans are over-embellished which rapidly proves irritating. While the catchy quality may gather a teen following, their music creates very little impact for the more seasoned hardcore listener.

2.0/10

Meridian on Facebook

 

CAITLIN SMITH

SEIZ TSU cover

 

It doesn’t take long for The Sanity Universal (Sun Terrace) to highlight that Seizures are neither your run of the mill act, nor are they here to make your life easy. Right from the start things aren’t all that they seem, opening with the moody instrumental ‘Chanter’ which invokes thoughts of metal’s doomier spectrum, hinting at possible elements of black metal and even shades of prog before it then turns everything on its head.

Despite the very misleading opening statement, The Sanity Universal sits firmly with the likes of hardcore with the bewildering complexity of mathcore. Taking hardcore and punk’s sense of unbridled rage and raw brutality but with The Dillinger Escape Plan’s sense of controlled chaos and unpredictable structures; a formula which by its very nature is both challenging and stirring.

That being said this does have its drawbacks. Sonically the influences are very easy to pinpoint and the aping of the likes of Converge and the aforementioned Dillinger is nothing new. But the most taxing part of it is all is how overdrawn it is, at approximately an hour in length and after a while this becomes more an exercise of your patience than an essential purchase.

In short doses this album shows a band with a chops and more than a dash of danger, but the fact that The Sanity Universal feels like it is never ending is major problem.

 

5.0/10

Seizures on Facebook

 

CHRIS TIPPELL

Arcturon - Expect Us - Artwork

 

A release that serves both as a bridge from 2013’s An Old Storm Brewing and also as a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Arcturon, Expect Us (both Supreme Chaos) sees the Swiss melo-deathsters take a step further into the melodic.

Despite an ascending introductory riff that nods to NWOAHM, Expect Us has at its’ core a celebration of all things mid-90’s Century Media with the groove of Samael (Passages/Eternal era), the uptempo drive of Love and Death Sentenced and the gothic splashes of Irreligious Moonspell.

Opener ‘Treasure’ is the gold off the EP, with its cousins not coming up to the same level, lacking its spunk. Vocalist Aljosha Gasser’s gruff delivery suits the more uptempo kick off, snarling like Taneli Jarva, but is a clashing juxtaposition with the more reflective gothic tracks that follow; the two lines of Jonas Renske-style vocals that appear out of the blue on ‘A Restless Soul’ suit the sound of the rest of the EP much more, and it’s a shame they are only used once.

The other issue with Escape Us is that, while well played and boasting a production that recaptures the gothic warmth that Waldemar Sorychta used to excel at, little sticks in the mind as, ‘Treasure’ aside, this is a fairly lukewarm offering.

Happy 10th birthday, though, Arcturon. Hopefully decade #2 will see them find that missing something.

 

6.0/10

Arcturon on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY