Progressive Death Metal is all the rage in Metal at the moment. It seems to have exploded in the past decade with bands like Opeth, Gojira and Between The Buried And Me being the crème de la crème. However, with today’s focus on spotless production and mechanical quantization, some of the primal energy from the genre’s roots in the nineties has been lost in the pursuit of sonic ear candy. Continue reading
Tonight is a busy day for Metal in the Capital, with the dreaded evening of multiple gig clashes, within a few stops of the Northern Line alone. One stop down from tonight’s proceedings in Tufnell Park sees the Cerberus-like bill of Behemoth, At The Gates and Wolves In The Throne Room, whilst Camden Town sees Toundra for those seeking something more mellow, and Obscura for some who, well, aren’t. This goes someway to explaining why The Dome looks tonight to be, at best, around half capacity for much of the night. Not that this seems to dampen anyone’s mood, as all night the crowd are on fine form, showing the bands plenty of love and movement as well as respect to one another. Continue reading
Fallujah just dropped a fire-new single and music video for ‘Ultraviolet’! The track is the first new music from their upcoming album Dreamless, out this March 15th via Nuclear Blast. It will be the first album with new vocalist Antonio Palermo. March 15th via Nuclear Blast Records and will be the first to feature new vocalist Antonio Palermo. Check out the music video directed by Robert Graves (The Black Dahlia Murder, Abysmal Dawn) for ‘Ultraviolet’ now. Continue reading
At the tail end of each year, just at that point when you’re finally confident enough to share your carefully considered Albums of the Year list with other like-minded folks, there always seems to be one band who decide to release something just in time to completely mess up your painstakingly structured running order, forcing you to throw everything up in the air and start all over again. This year, that band is Sulphur Aeon, and you’re very welcome. Continue reading
It may have taken thirteen years to follow-up their sole release, but with a cast that includes Misery Index, Cattle Decapitation and Scour alumni, the trials of time can be forgiven with Cast The Stone, and new EP release Empyrean Atrophy (Agonia) shows that this band has a lot more worth than simply being a side dabbling for them. Continue reading
The Antichrist Imperium features Akercocke and The Berzerker members in equal numbers amongst their ranks, and with the release of second album Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan (Apocalyptic Witchcraft) it seems that team Akercocke is determined to show that they’re on one hell of a creative roll at the minute. Like their other projects, there’s that unmistakable Akercocke tone woven throughout; they’re clearly confident and comfortable with each other as musicians and are free to experiment. Continue reading
You have to hand it to Opeth, they certainly know how to celebrate in style. After the massively successful anniversary of Blackwater Park (Music For Nations), which saw the album played in its entirety at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, this years’ 25th anniversary saw an equally magnificent announcement. Not only were fan’s appetites whet for another chance to see them in almost unthinkable locations as the London Royal Theatre, but the news that these shows would see Ghost Reveries (also celebrating a milestone, 10 years since its release on Roadrunner Records) played in its entirety made this an unmissable show.
It’s not everyday that prog and/or death metal shows are held in such venues, much less those that greet you with posters and memorabilia for stage productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, but by now it is best to expect the unexpected. Once ushered to seats, Opeth come out quite promptly to the stage, and it doesn’t take long for those recognizable clean bars to signal the imminent eruption of opening track ‘Ghost Of Perdition’. Knowing what is coming throughout the first set does not alleviate the excitement whatsoever as they plough through a sublime, note perfect play through; with an extended ‘Atonement’ complete with extra guitar and keyboard solos proving an unexpected set highlight.
The likes of the heavier ‘Baying Of The Hounds’ and ‘Reverie/Harlequin Forest’ would surely signal bedlam if not for the seated environment, and the roar of excitement that greets the anthemic “Grand Conjuration” threatens to take the entire roof off.
With an Opeth show you can also expect a lot of dry wit and crowd banter from ringmaster Mikael Akerfeldt and tonight is no different; making light of the fiasco of the gig’s change to from the London Palladium (“Sorry, that was my fault. I decided it wasn’t posh enough”) to the self-deprecation of the band’s stage setup with “Ikea” candlelight, and never missing a beat with crowd heckles. Which is thankful, as tonight sees an absolute horde of people shouting throughout, at the rare times proving funny but for the most part a huge annoyance and embarrassment (seriously, its never been funny to shout ‘Freebird’. Ever).
Following the interval, sadly these outbursts continue as the band reopen with the recent tour opener of ‘Eternal Rains Will Come’ into ‘Cusp Of Eternity’. Next to Ghost Reveries it is clear that despite many fans remarks of the band changing their sound; the only real differences between them are the tones and the lack of growls. Rare outings of the acoustic ‘To Rid The Disease’ and the likes of ‘Voice Of Treason’ make this second set equally as rewarding as the first, as they draw to a close with ‘Master’s Apprentice’ and finally the encore of the band’s other major anthem, the visceral ‘The Lotus Eater’.
Despite the presence of those in the crowd who seemed to believe the whole show was about them, even they cannot leave to bitter a taste in the mouth after Opeth deliver an expected masterclass. A truly one of a kind setlist which those in attendance will never forget, hopefully for some reasons more than others.
Last time out, 2012’s The Emptiness Within (Kolony), progressive deathsters De Profundis lit the touch paper of anticipation by spinning a twisted tower dire of cacophonous, methodical strands of tight, technical metal all wrapped taut in a very promising third album. Follow on by refining and developing the song-writing elements on Kingdom Of The Blind (Wickerman) would surely see De Profundis crowned as cyclopic kings?
Having stopped a gap with last years’ Frequencies EP (also Wickerman), two-thirds of the original material of which is regurgitated here, Kingdom Of The Blind (once we’re past the obligatory “atmospheric classical” intro – yawn), throws an interesting initial curve ball, as ‘Kult Of The Orthodox’ unfurls with a discordant melodic fury, before settling into a stately deathly march. Unfortunately it seems Tom Atherton has borrowed Nicko McBrain’s biscuit tin for a snare, as heard on No Prayer For The Dying (EMI), and the distracting “pah-pah-pah” takes away from a fine couple of Dissection tinged riffs.
Settling down after its’ initial divergence, Kingdom Of The Blind soon finds a comfort zone… though maybe not for the protagonists, whose dexterous performances risk finger-cramp at times. While mid-paced death metal, decorated with melodious and frequent leads and both progressive and technical deviances is the order of the day, once the early cards have been dealt there are few surprises to light the way.
Lacking either a truly innovative spark – the jazzy breakout in ‘All Consuming’ accompanied by the (though very complex) fretless bass noodling of Arran McSporran arrives as expected, neither shocking nor adding any particular dynamic embellishment to the song – or series of hooks to overly distinguish the tracks from each other, Kingdom Of The Blind competently passes by with its contorted mesh of riffs, overlaid with some Gregor Mackintosh-esque leads.
With touches of (very) early My Dying Bride in their more death metalling moments, and with more than a nod to the excellent Disincarnate and legendary Death (natch), De Profundis have turned in a decent, if safe, slab of progressive death metal that doesn’t reach the levels promised by its’ predecessor. Expectation can be a bugger, hey?
Four years after releasing their brutal debut album, Etched In Stone returns with their long awaited new album The Failure of Modern Man this June. Ghost Cult Magazine, in conjunction with Rebel Pyro Management is proud to bring you the premiere of their new single ‘Only Silent, Still’. The band has had many ups and downs since their last album, and up to now have only released one single last summer, ‘At the Altar of Lethe’. Ready to roar back from the progressive death metal underground and grow beyond their early promise, ‘Only Silent, Still’ is a killer.
Etched In Stone vocalist/producer Brian Lewis commented:
“When Jesse sent our final mixes back to us, it was completely surreal. ‘Only Silent, Still’ is a great example of the overall sound of this record and representation of the evolution of our sound. Alongside this premiere, we’re stoked to officially launch the physical and digital album pre-orders as well, so this week is shaping up to be something excellent! We’re currently hard at work getting our live set organized and these past few months have been the most busy musically, that we’ve had in years!”
You can pre-order the album from Etched In Stone’s Bandcamp page:
The Failure of Modern Man, is set for release on June 24, 2014, and is the long awaited follow up to Etched In Stone’s debut full length, Emulate The Defiler, which the band self-released in March 2010. Emulate The Defiler can be streamed in it’s entirety at this location. http://etchedinstonemusic.bandcamp.com/
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