Cradle of Filth – Wednesday 13 – Raven Black: Live at Irving Plaza 

On a chilly New York night, legions of fans gathered under the moonless
sky to witness the return of the British beasts of extermination, Cradle of Filth. They ascended to a sold-out Irving Plaza to witness the destruction during the Cryptoriana – The Second Coming Of Vice tour, which is a continuation of support for their 2017 album, Cryptoriana –The Seductiveness of Decay. Supporting the tour were Hollywood shock rockers, Wednesday 13 and LA’s own Dark Metal carnies, Raven Black. Together, they put on an unforgettable show.

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Rotting Christ – The Heretics

When asked about which countries have the greatest Metal bands, Greece certainly has a few that really stand out, with Rotting Christ maintaining their position as the ultimate standard bearers, particularly after the phenomenal success of their previous release, Rituals. All of which piles extra attention and pressure onto their latest album, The Heretics (Season Of Mist), proving their thirteenth album has a tough act to follow. Continue reading

The Body / Krieg – Split

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A collaborative effort between two or more bands is not an unheard of concept, especially within our world’s more avant garde entities, from the sublime – Scott Walker and Sunn O))) – to the not so good (Metallica and Lou Reed just to open a can of worms). Experimental extremists The Body are certainly no strangers to such work, with their previous collaborations with the likes of Thou and this release with black metallers Krieg (At A Loss).

The first thing to note is how dissonant and visceral this release is. As with their previous joint works, The Body choose to bolster the white rage intensity of Krieg, building on a distinctly metal record with their dark traits. Rather than the more distinctive black metal blast beats however, this is much more electronic based, programmed beats, high pitched frequencies and feedback and a bulldozing pace, albeit with Neill Jameson’s piercing growls and shrieks on top.

This clash of raw black metal and the mechanized and programmed beats match up so well in what is an equally horrifying, dizzying and hypnotic effort, while Jameson’s vocals add an even weightier punch of pure terror as this conveys the absolute epitome of dismay and filth.

This is extreme metal crawling to its warped and perverse limits, dragging it kicking and screaming to the future.

 

8.0/10

 

CHRIS TIPPELL

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Evergrey – Hymns For The Broken

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How Swedes Evergrey are not recognized more by metal’s mainstream media is criminal. Hailing from the city of Gothenburg which has arguably contributed the biggest impact to modern metal than any other geographical location, Evergrey are masters of the contemporary melodic nature of their local peers. Combine this with the pipes of one Tom Englund who eschews the typical growl approach for truly powerful sung vocals pouring with feeling and humanity, and you have a band surely tailor made for widespread appraisal.

New album Hymns For The Broken (AFM) doesn’t deviate from this formula but seems to see the band kicking their song writing into an even higher gear. The opening barrage of ‘King Of Errors’ and ‘A New Dawn’ see the band at their most anthemic, being heavy yet melodious and instantly memorable. Alongside this ilk are the tender, softer moments from the likes of ‘Wake A Change’ and the tear-inducing closing ballad ‘The Aftermath’.

Englund proves the real the star of the event with a phenomenal vocal performance not just in technique but in the genuine sincerity and emotion behind the voice. Lyrically, Evergrey have always touched upon dark subjects and depression is not a new theme for them but not from such a personal place as here. Full of anguish throughout, the album offers a vibe of being pained but with undertones of hope and inspiration; of possible escape from the torment expressed.

Very few bands can convey such deep emotional grief that is commonplace to so many in such a touching and convincing manner as Evergrey have achieved yet again on Hymns For The Broken. Combined with possibly the band’s strongest songs to date, and you have an album that is screaming to be heard in arenas across the globe.

9.0/10

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CHRIS TIPPELL

Curing Souls Through Art – An Interview With Nightfall

Nightfall band 2Nightfall is coming, commanding the foul and the vicious beasts to unleash the hordes of hell upon a new generation of damaged mortals. This sixpiece band of thunderous Greek heavyweights are no strangers to the music world. Violet V recently sat down with singer Eftimis Karamidas to discuss the release of their latest album Cassiopaiea and the history, accomplishments and future endeavors of the band. Continue reading