Watch a Livestream Chat for Sumerian Films’ American Satan with Black Veil Brides

Sumerian Films, the offshoot film company of Sumerian Records served up a free treat of a limited stream of their film American Satan. The popular genre film starring Andy Black and Ben Bruce of Black Veil Brides and directed by Sumerian owner Ash Avildsen debuted in 2017. The film was streamed free for a limited-time event, but it’s down now. What is still free to watch is the amazing after watch Q & A with Ash, Black, Bruce and presenter, and VJ Matt Pinfield. The film will see a TV series spin-off in 2020, Paradise City. Watch the clip below and order the film as well if you missed the free watch event. Continue reading

MY FAVOURITE CONCERT MEMORY – Lee McKinney of Born of Osiris

As part of the build-up to the release of the Ghost Cult approved new Born of Osiris album The Simulation (Sumerian) you can read our review here – guitarist Lee McKinney reflects on a pivotal moment in his life – his first, and favourite, concert memory and how it led on to influencing his own playing. Continue reading

Born Of Osiris – The Simulation

Along with the likes of After The Burial and Veil of Maya, Born Of Osiris spearheaded a wave of bands who looked to take Death/Metalcore into new realms with a healthy dose of electronics and progressive elements added to the mix. To this day their debut EP, The New Reign is a genre classic. The Simulation is their latest offering and comes off the back of a real return to form that was Soul Sphere (all Sumerian). Continue reading

Ozzy, Judas Priest, Meshuggah And Myrkur Among The Winners At The Golden Gods Awards

Last night Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Meshuggah, Myrkur, Maynard James Keenan, Jessica Pimentel and many more took home the statues at the 16th annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. Hosted by Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta and saw Carpenter Brut, Myrkur, Meshuggah, Baroness and Parkway Drive perform in front of a packed crowd at Indigo at the O2 in London. Ozzy won the evening’s top award, fittingly the Golden God Award in service to his solo career in music. Continue reading

The Faceless – In Becoming a Ghost

A five-year gap between records and a litany of line-up changes would slow down the momentum of any band, but Michael Keene has always been driven to make The Faceless work, even if it means taking on the majority of musical roles on himself. However, with a new set of musicians backing him up, Keene hopes to push The Faceless back to the forefront of people’s minds with In Becoming A Ghost (Sumerian) and prove that, despite the trials and tribulations of the band’s history, his ambition for creating the most extravagant music possible can still lead to great things. Continue reading

Chon – Homey

With the release of their début full-length album Grow (Sumerian) in 2015, Californian’s Chon found themselves standing out from a peer group they were arguably unfairly lumped in. Perhaps due to the Sumerian Records ties, but their début saw them linked to the contemporary Tech/Metalcore scene despite their sound being more technical, but smooth jazz with little to no signs of metal whatsoever. If such pigeonholing was unfair back then, on new album Homey (Sumerian), any comparisons to the like would prove practically absurd. Continue reading

Oceano – Revelation

I have to be honest from the start; I’m a keen listener to the Deathcore genre but I have only checked out one other Oceano record before this one. A much-maligned genre, Deathcore has, in recent years, seen bands challenged constantly to try and experiment with what has become a very rigid almost formulaic sub-genre of metal. Continue reading

Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon

Infrared Horizon (Profound Lore) is a fine title for Artificial Brain’s sophomore offering. It’s cool in that sci-fi/horror kind of sensibility, but judging by the music other titles come to mind. I was thinking more along the lines of Machines of Hate, or Massive Ordinance Air Blast. The Long Island boys went in hard on LP number two. Hard like a cybernetic organism that just became sentient and is convinced that mankind is teetering towards obsolescence. Continue reading

Born of Osiris – Soul Sphere

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Deathcore’s a funny scene. Like many of the fusion subgenres, it often fails to find a convincingly cohesive sound amidst the disparate elements that the bands are trying to marry together. What you usually end up getting is a bit like a kit car built by 5 guys with ADHD who’ve turned up with parts from 3 or 4 different manufacturers and half the required tools.

The first three albums of Chicago’s Born of Osiris certainly suffer from this syndrome, feeling bitty, derivative and repetitive. 2013 marked a turning point for the band with the release of the bemusingly-titled Tomorrow We Die Alive (Sumerian). Whilst still a soup of djenty math- and deathcore, the songs gelled more satisfyingly than the predecessors through stronger song-writing and expanded use of keyboard and synth sounds. They finally sounded like a proper band, rather than a group of music nerds showing off to each other.

Encouragingly, Soul Sphere (Sumerian) continues this development (as one would expect from a band with a 12-year career spanning 5 albums). The main evolution here is the death metal part of their sound is much more at the fore, with strong elements of Soundtrack-era In Flames (Toy’s Factory). The math bits also integrate much better with the rest of the parts, sounding more like lead-ins and accompaniment rather than random ejaculations of musical Tourette’s Syndrome. Less Dillinger Escape Plan, more Protest The Hero. I also wonder if someone in the band’s been listening to J-Metal (a wise move, as there’s a scene that effortlessly manages the kind of musical alchemy hoped for by <insert-flavour-of-the-month>core bands), as the keyboards have more spacey feel and greater presence across the album and serve to add more glue to the sound, providing firmer grounding and context for each song.

Soul Sphere‘s opener ‘The Other Half Of Me’ showcases the band’s progress beautifully. The 80’s horror intro floats throughout the piece, binding the rest of the track together into a symphonic slice of Gothenburg goodness that would do any of the Swedes proud. ‘Throw Me In The Jungle’ is an equally strong follow-up in the same vein, but with slightly more emphasis on math. ‘Free Fall’ harks back to their earlier work, but clever use of synth and industrial guitar effects produce a sound that is both consistent and original; an impressive feat, given what’s in the pot.

‘Illuminate’ is slightly disappointing, as it starts off sounding like a continuation of the previous track and would have benefited from being placed later in the album but ‘The Sleeping And The Dead’ changes gear into straight-up djent from the heavy end of the stable and ‘Tidebinder’ proves that it is possible to successfully combine melodic death with djent metalcore. Seriously Nice.

‘Resilience’ dusts off the math chops for a noodlefest very reminiscent of Protest The Hero. ‘Goddess Of The Dawn’ is a blueprint for what the genre should be. All the elements are present, but working seamlessly with each other to produce a deft end result which finally transcends the sum of its parts. ‘The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe’ is straight melodic death that sounds like it could have been on In Flames‘ Soundtrack To Your Escape. ‘Warlords’ is funky djent. ‘River Of Time’ is a bombastic salute to symphonic metal. ‘The Composer’ closes the show with another reversion to previous fractious form, but once again being saved by the excellent synth work, which is given centre stage for an outtro that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Blood Stain Child album.

This is seriously good stuff. Put it in your ears immediately.

 

8.0/10

 

PHILIP PAGE