Since Floridian Death Metal pioneers Obituary released the first of their comeback albums, Frozen In Time (Roadrunner) in 2005, the results have been frustratingly inconsistent. All four reunion albums to date contain moments of undisputed quality, but are also hindered by a fair share of lacklustre material.
My first impression of Body Void’s debut LP, Ruins (Crown & Throne / Dry Cough) was that this album is both painful and punishing to get through. But in the very best way. Continue reading
Bands seem to be randomly making up sub-genres to make themselves stand out from the crowd, and Potergeistare no exception to the rule. Describing themselves as “swamp metal”, the Athens-based quintet are back with their fourth full-length record, Crocodile Tears (Garden of Dreams). They have not always been so into crocodiles though: they began as a southern metal band in 2004, formed in the vein of Kylesa and Down.
Despite the crocodile-themed song names, it is hard to understand what exactly ‘swamp metal’ is, or what it is supposed to be. If you played this album to anyone without telling them who the band was, they would simply say that it is metal music. Impressive metal music, yes, but it is difficult to understand what makes Potergeist attempt to create a subgenre. Whether the crocodile theme is a gimmick or a unique selling point it is unclear, however, that does not detract anything from the actual music.
One of the easiest ways to describe Potergeist would be like Black Stone Cherry, but heavier. Alex S Wamp’s vocals are of a similar style to Chris Robertson’s, which makes the band sound closer to their southern metal origin. Opening track Crocodile Tears makes an instant impact on the listener: the heavy riffs and hard-hitting vocals are of an extremely high standard. It is easy to tell from the first song alone that this is not just another cheesy metal band, but that Potergeist are extremely talented musicians.
Although the themed persona of the band may put off many potential listeners, you should never judge a book by its cover… or a band by their love of crocodiles. If you are looking for a bunch of crazy songs then you are mistaken, but if you enjoy listening to fresh metal or even rock music, then Crocodile Tears is the album for you.
As far as metal is concerned, Finland is considered a godfather in terms of quality bands founded there. Kalmah is counted amongst the country’s repertoire of best acts. Guitarist AnntiiKokko talked to Ghost Cult about expanding upon Finnish music greatness with the band’s latest opus Seventh Swamphony. Continue reading