SINthetik Messiah – Black Sheep

My mother always told me to not judge a book by its cover. I have always tried to heed the words of my wise Madre’, but sometimes in doing music reviews I consign to oblivion that idiom. Case in point, when my editor sent me the new single by SINthetik Messiah, Black Sheep, I was tad incredulous. My feelings stemmed from seeing the heading on the Soundcloud link, #cajun industrial bass. I had never, in all my Skullgurl years, have encountered a musical group described as this. I started reading the bands press release, and SINthetic Messiah is described as Cajun electronic/industrial bass there also. Well, slap my fanny and call me fancy, I had just been given the gift of a brand new musical experience. Continue reading

New Years Day – Unbreakable

If Wes Craven was a genre of music, it would be New Years Day. For the most part, Ash Costello and gang have depended on a recipe of heartbreak mixed in with edgy guitars and a punk rock attitude. On their fourth release Unbreakable (Another Century) they break free from their comfort zone with a more confident, electro-fused, uplifting follow-up. Continue reading

Khaidian – Penumbra

London’s Khaidian, while not exactly new to the UK’s DIY metal scene, start 2019 off with ambition to set themselves apart from the herd. Not content to be catalogued as one thing or the other, the foursome present to us their debut record Penumbra (Armalyte Industries) in the hopes to push Metal’s boundaries with their blend of poly-rhythmic technicality and electronic flair. Continue reading

Crossfaith – Ex Machina

Only a few years ago, and on the back of their well-received Zion EP (Sony), Crossfaith were heralded as the next big thing, armed with a formidable live reputation and an electronica/dance heavy brand of metalcore that oozed crossover appeal. Fast forward to 2018 and the Osaka troupe haven’t quite risen to such promised heights, to the extent that a brand new album seems to have almost fallen under the radar to some – not that they have lost any edge, as Ex Machina (UNFD) is not only their most creative release to date, but their strongest since Zion. Continue reading

Al Ard – Al Ard

Despite what many people might believe, Black metal as a genre was always about experimentation, evolution and about finding an identity, even amongst peers. Right from its roots, Black Metal was an ever-changing force with its famous ‘second wave’ icons consciously taking vastly different directions and styles.

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