The Resistance Releasing Torture Tactics EP In February, Full Length In April/May

Marco Aro and Jesper Stromblad of The Resistance

Marco Aro and Jesper Stromblad of The Resistance

The Resistance is releasing a new mini album titled Torture Tactics on February 27, 2015 via earMUSIC. A full length album is expected to follow in April/May 2015.

According to a press release, Torture Tactics is 30 minutes of a good old slap in the face. It jumps at you with its pure aggression, speedy and heavy guitars, the obvious heavy distortion and the extreme beats. Topped with the distinctive angry growling vocals of Marco Aro – who is literally screaming his lungs out – the brand new six songs are a boisterous statement.

Additionally, the mini-album features four bonus tracks: two songs each taken from the band’s last EP Rise From Treason and the last album Scars.

The Resistance’s impressive line-up is as heavy as the sound of their musical adventure. The four Swedish musicians carry a great legacy in the long Scandinavian extreme metal tradition. In Flames founding member (and main songwriter until his departure in 2010) Jesper Strömblad is one of the “columns” of the huge Resistance sound. Glenn Ljungström (ex-In Flames), vocalist Marco Aro (The Haunted, ex-Face Down), drummer Chris Barkensjö (ex-Kaamos, ex-Grave) and the new addition Rob Hakemo (ex-M.A.N.) on bass complete The Resistance’s high calibre line-up.

The Resistance is
Marco Aro – vocals
Jesper Strömblad – guitar
Glenn Ljungström – guitar
Chris Barkensjö – drums
Rob Hakemo – bass

the resistance torture tactics

Tracklist
1. For War*
2. Dead*
3. Cowards*
4. Deception*
5. The Burning*
6. Dying Words*
7. Slugger
8. Expand To Expire
9. Face To Face
10. I Bend You Break

*song 1-6 – brand new songs

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Engel – Raven Kings

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Not content with plying his trade with one major label band, guitarist Niclas Engelin, who stepped into the Jesper Strömblad sized hole in the In Flames line up on a permanent basis in 2011, teams up with long-standing partner in crime Marcus Sunesson (ex-The Crown) for Raven Kings(Gain/Sony), the fourth installment of his near-eponymous band Engel, and his stamp, and that of his day job, is all over this new release.

Engel are keen to show that the metal does indeed flow in their veins, and the decision to kick the album off with two ragers works from a dynamic point of view, particularly considering the exemplary production job undertaken by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat), although the decision to utilize new vocalist Mikael Sehlin’s harsher tones at the onset of the album instantly draw comparisons with Anders Friden, which for a side project that are not a million miles away from the furrows being ploughed by his other band, is potentially too thin an ice to be stomping army boots on.

Where they do come into their own, though, is as the album progresses and the bands’ keen ear for a hook is accentuated and highlighted, be it riff, groove, vocal melody or chorus that provides it, this is an album full of catchy moments and Soilwork-ed passages, with Sehlin operating much more effectively in the melodic ranges, sounding not too dissimilar to Sebastian Bach’s more Slave-ish moments, and with a power and tone reminiscent of Chris Jericho.

While the band have termed themselves Melodic Death Metal there is no escaping that the core sound of Engel is intrinsically close to that of In Flames, particularly as electronic and “industrial” nuances fleck both the Jester’s and this ancillary outfits’ sound these days, or that the term “Death” in that descriptor is a bit of a red herring. Yes, their hooky song-based modern metal (I’m loathe to add the word core on the end as it almost by default detracts from what they produce) is heavy without resorting to ultra beatdowns to bring the weight, but it is in the melodic and the catchy where they thrive, as, ultimately, Raven Kings is a worthy release of contemporary, commercial metal.

7.0/10

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STEVE TOVEY