Two years after their self-released debut album The Insatiable Weakness, Melodic Death Metallers Fall have some more Scandi-inspired music for you; an EP with the equally poetic title The Dreamer of Tragedy. This four track offering sees the Texan four-piece broaden their sound – more synth, melody and melancholy to go with the ferocious Melodeath of their debut. Continue reading
Currents burst onto the progressive side of the Metalcore scene with their debut album back in 2017, displaying an array of influences including Architects and Northlane. Just over a year later, and the band is back with their third EP.
Continuing on the same path they have previously laid out, Currents display some great Mathcore guitar feats focusing on twangy, winding guitar tones similar to the likes of Periphery or Veil of Maya, showing those bands influences very clearly on their sleeves, though the combination of their influences in one complete sound gives Currents their own unique sound.
Similar to The Place I Feel Safest, I Let The Devil In (Sharptone) features dark, introspective lyrics. The opening track, ‘Into Despair’ exhibits this perfectly as vocalist Brian Wille’s tortured screams cry out “I never said I could make you better, What did you expect from me?!” It’s clear this isn’t just a set of generic lyrics, but something that as cheesy as it sounds comes straight from the heart. Wille’s performance from start to end shows the passion and authenticity of the emotions from the lyrics.
While the overall sound of Currents could be grouped alongside a growing number of Tech Metalcore bands, the vocals and emotional content fits far more alongside bands like Casey. If Currents keep up the development of their music, they could be one of Metalcore’s new trendsetters.
8 / 10
You know you’ve got a chuckle fest on your hands when an EP opens with samples from Darren Aronofsky’s movie, Requiem for a Dream (just save yourself some time and watch a few baby seals being clubbed to death: same effect.) And so it proves to be the case with Resilient (Prophecy), the four-track comeback release from Black Metal happy campers Nachtmystium. Continue reading
Since their inception in 2009, New York City’s The Things They Carried (either an obscure reference or a simply naff name, likely the latter) have been on a self-produced quest to push musical boundaries with their, self-proclaimed, “Nerd rock” hybrid of styles and oddity. With a début full length under their belts and some lineup changes (by now seemingly the staple characteristic of any metal act that delves in to the world of Prog), they appear to have found some stability, and a new EP which sees their vision come to some fruition.
Consisting of 5 tracks, two of which push the five-minute marker, Melancholia (Revival Records) is a fairly short sample for the unacquainted but one that packs a plethora of styles, twists and turns. Album opener ‘18G’, for example, proves a very dissonant number, which brings to minds the likes of Sikth and The Dillinger Escape Plan; veering from extreme pace and more melodic sung passages, and even deathcore breakdowns. The following ‘Nightingale’ then shows an almost folk like start with a clean guitar and vocal before it builds once again.
Proceedings only really begin to simplify on the mostly acoustic ‘Death Of The Nameless’, where its simplistic nature feels out-of-place and unnecessary. It also highlights the real shortcomings of Steve Schwartz’s vocals, which, as versatile as they prove, at times are pretty weak and lowest common denominator; here especially they are very limp.
What 3TC (as they are affectionately known by local fans) set out to do here is very bold, especially for a band that is still in relative stages of youth, and for the most part it comes off very well. At times there is a mind-boggling level of technique and abstract styles that somehow flow together seamlessly. Other times there are moments that show they still have some naivety and are still not quite the finished article. Certainly ones to keep an eye out for however.
Obsolete is a Dark Progressive band from Ohio, and Riven (self-released) is their second EP. It has four songs, the last of which was released in a slightly different form on their previous EP, Ockham’s Razor (also self-released).
While the balance of the instruments is quite good, the vocals aren’t so much mixed in as put on top of the music. While I like the clean and full sound of Dan Rivera’s voice, it doesn’t work very well when he sings high and fast, which he does in ‘Grey’ and ‘Seven Years’. I think this has to do with the vibrato, which makes it sound like he’s uncontrolled and a little out of tune at the end of short notes, as well as a certain nasal quality that sometimes seeps into his voice. A longer sustained note at the end of his lines might alleviate both this and the sense of abrupt ending. The vocals do sound much better when they are slower, such as at the end of ‘From the Beginning’ and ‘Barren’.
I enjoyed the bass lines, especially on ‘Grey’, and the drumming is solid and tight. Both the electric and acoustic guitars generally sound good. However, ‘From the Beginning’ varies between different styles in a disjointed way, and even in the intro when the band comes in it is just not tight enough to be entirely comfortable. I did enjoy ‘Barren’, as the transitions between soft and hard are good and the backing vocals work well.
While there are definitely a lot of good elements on this EP, there are also a few glaring mistakes that should the band should have picked up on when listening to the recorded product, as there are a few notes in every song that could have done with a re-take. All in all, it sounds like the band rushed to produce an EP instead of taking the time to unlock their full potential.
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 DeathSentenced and the gothic splashes of IrreligiousMoonspell.
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.