Megaherz – Komet

Megaherz have been going strong for several decades and have meandered through alternative styles before finding a firm footing in NDH. This Neue Deutsche Härte is a distinctly German mix of Hard Rock, Metal, and Industrial made famous by bands as Oomph and Rammstein. It has been a couple of years in the making, but the band is back with a new studio album, Komet(Nuclear Blast). Continue reading

Varg – The End of All Lies

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German band Varg (meaning wolf in Norwegian and Swedish, no relation to Burzum) return with their fifth opus The End of All Lies (Napalm Records), and are leading the resistance with their politically charged anti-fascist themed metal. Often referred to as wolf metal (I have no idea what that is either) it is difficult to neatly slot them into a singular genre, black/death/Viking/pagan/folk metal influences all emerge. Recorded in both English and German, The End of All Lies is an attack on political leaders exposing them as ‘false prophets and seducers’, a commendable angle that makes for a passionate delivery.

Charlie Chaplin’s infamous The Great Dictator speech initiates their uprising before title track ‘The End of All Lies’ ferociously emerges with the opening lyric “This day will be your apocalypse, we slit the throats of the liars.” Animosity is instilled throughout, presented with passion and undeniable conviction. The array of genres are evident, ‘Streyfzug’ and ‘Einherjer’ outline a folk/pagan influence with clean vocals and rousing choruses delivered with pride and belief. The death metal elements are certainly the most prominent; particularly in ‘Winterstorm’ which reflects their more extreme side with fast paced riffs and pummeling double-kick drum.

The extreme vocals are akin to At The Gates front man Tomas Lindberg, while the clean and choral vocal segments imbue a catchy element whilst adding diversity to the aggressive onslaught. Female vocals in ‘The Dance of Death’ shouldn’t work alongside such extremity, yet do in perfect cohesion with Freki’s snarl, resulting in the strongest track of the album.

This is an adrenaline-fueled, chest beating, passion-filled album, bursting with vigour and catchy choruses that has potential for killer live performances. Perhaps it will border on cheesy for some, clearly appealing to leather clad, face painted metal heads equipped with a plastic sword and drinking horn. Regardless, a victorious battle for the German wolf pack.

7.0/10

HEATHER BLEWETT

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Evil Spirit – Cauldron Messiah

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That’s one apt band name. When an album intro track is called ‘Him: The Almighty Power’; and difficult to grasp, pigeon-english chants occasionally sound more like tongues; you have an idea where Cauldron Messiah (Horror), the debut album from devilish German trio Evil Spirit, is headed. But when the theatrics, the deathly roar, and the hammer stroke of every instrument all kick in, it’s aided by a minimalist production to create a crawling sound of unholy horror.

The background hiss, malevolent and eerie, is the key here; a constantly edgy atmosphere surrounding the spiky vocals of Marcelo Aguirre who, despite valiant efforts to popularise the lyrics and a real sense of overblown drama, may have further succeeded in his native tongue. The sparing instrumentation, led by Aguirre’s drums, adds to the tension and suspense with Ari Almeida‘s heavy-as-lead chords rare and startling, until each track explodes with a speedy, death-infused passage, savage riffs flying and ripping whilst cymbals tear your ears out, the voice a blackish rasp. A drum solo, thankfully brief, closes ‘Grey Ashes of the Reptile’ before a breakneck riff, squirming like a stabbed worm, writhes through the angry ‘Eve of the Beholder’. Those cymbals are far too high in the mix and detract from the enjoyment a little, though largely failing to dwarf the ominous power of the hulking, foul ‘Let The Dragon Be My Guide’ with sinister bass line and hissed vocal crawling under the skin like a burrowing serpent, the faster section a frosted, slithering monstrosity.

And here’s the strength of the album – a sound embracing all extremities and creating the impression that they belong so naturally in the same bed. Undeniably doom, the tolling morbidity of ‘Reino Sangrento’, its highest point with the twisting, vertiginous riff, whilst blasts of blackened death add the fire to ‘Push Angie Back Into The Swamp’ [I love that song title! – ST]. Aguirre’s pipes are the real evil here however, a villainous rasp which gives real chills with the spoken, horrific growl of the nefarious, twisting title track. Missing only a drop of sludge, a more balanced mix could have seen a wondrous product here.

7.5/10

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PAUL QUINN

Powerwolf roar into the studio for album number 6

 

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Get set for another installment of vampires, werewolves and various other unholy goings on as everyone’s favourite sub-species of Canidae, Powerwolf are set to hit the studio to bring us Opus Six (or should that Lupus Sex… though that takes things down a whole other path?).

2013 saw the German carnivores unleash Preachers of the Night, the highly successful follow up to breakthrough album Blood of the Saints and earlier this year the band celebrated their tenth anniversary by re-releasing some of their back catalogue in The History of Heresy I box set (review here). The band are once again set to team with Napalm Records to inflict more full moon Power Metal madness in the summer of 2015.

Quoth the Greywolf:

“By now the major part of the songwriting is finished and we’re right now preparing for the studio work. The recordings will begin in early January and will keep us busy until March. Without revealing too much at this early stage, you can expect an album that’s 100% uncomprimising POWERWOLF-stuff. There´s songs to go wild to, there´s epic and atmospheric stuff – and a lot of wolfish metal madness in between, and quite a bunch of songs that will be must-plays on any future POWERWOLF show for damn sure”.

PWolf

Ah, listen to them, the children of the night, what sweet music they make!

 

 

Steve Tovey