Psycroptic – Aversions Crown – Within Destruction: Live at The Dome, London

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

Psycroptic – As The Kingdom Drowns

I imagine if you as far into your career as Death Metal veterans Psycroptic are right now, you reach a certain point where it’s either stick or twist. Their albums since the very start have always delivered the goods but it wasn’t until 2003’s Scepter Of The Ancients (Unique Leader) that it truly felt like the band had arrived, they then proceeded to tread water somewhat with albums that never even came close to ScepterContinue reading

Death Metal Round Up: Cast The Stone, Stillbirth, Siege Of Power, Monstrosity And More

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 Walking Dead Orchestra – Resurrect

The Walking Dead Orchestra is the kind of name that aids in avoiding generalization. Solely based off that moniker I was expecting some half-assed Shock Rock posing as a love letter to Robert Kirkman’s highly overrated zombie soap opera. What did I get instead? In Resurrect (Unique Leader) I was greeted head-on by cage-rattling yet slick sounding Deathcore. Continue reading

Dyscarnate – With All Their Might

Though it was conceived elsewhere, the UK can boast some real pedigree when it comes to Death Metal. From classic acts such as Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, and Akercocke to more recent acts such as Mithras, The King is Blind, and Venom Prison, there’s no shortage of quality. And 2017 sees the return of Dyscarnate. Continue reading

GHOST CULT ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2017: Part 1 (50 – 26)

As the dust begins to settle on what will undoubtedly go down in a history as a fine year for heavy and progressive music, the Ghost Cult crew present our favourite albums of 2017. While a year with only a couple of genuine life-changing, genre redefiners, nevertheless 2017 has seen an absolute plethora of very, very high quality releases. With over 400 albums reviewed this year, at an average of 7.5/10, there was a deep pool of quality releases selected and dissected throughout the year. A genuinely democratic inner sanctum here, we now present Part 1 of an official Ghost Cult Album of the Year (2017) run down that s truly representative of Ghost Cult, our writers, and our musical position as a site. Please share your thoughts and comments on the music we collectively love, as we countdown from 50 through to 26… Continue reading

Album Reviews Round-Up Week 41: Stick To Your Guns, Fozzy, The Walking Dead Orchestra, Samael And More

In the first of a new feature, Ghost Cult rounds up recent albums that didn’t receive the full review treatment, for your vulgar delectation… 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

Kronos – Arisen New Era

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There is a fine line between having a recognisable label style and becoming a sausage factory – to put it generously, Unique Leader Records have perhaps… tread a little too close to that line in recent years. They’ve got their stand-out bands like any label, but when an album has the Unique Leader stamp, you can safely expect the same clean production, growled vocals and super-technical Death Metal acrobatics that you heard on the last five.

On first listen, Kronos certainly aren’t out to rock the boat too hard, fitting very comfortably into the more brutal end of UL’s modern-tech-Death monopoly, but with a bit of patience they reveal themselves as not quite the clones you might initially peg them as. Firstly, they keep their technical side considerably more restrained than most of their peers, restraining the usual riff salad to a much tighter and more focussed attack. Secondly, their songs are much tighter than a lot of their contemporaries, sticking around the three-to-four minute mark and a limited set of riffs, which avoids the indulgence and technicality-for-its-own-sake that often spoils this kind of Death Metal.

Ultimately, at the risk of falling into the laziest of journalistic traps, how excited you can be about Arisen New Era will be determined by how much tolerance you have for Unique Leader’s style of brutal, technical Death Metal. There isn’t really anything here that people familiar with the genre haven’t heard before, but they deliver it with enough power and focus to stand out at least a little from the mass of their peers.

 

5.0/10

 

RICHIE HR

Continuum – The Hypothesis

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Based on German mathematician Georg Cantor’s ‘Continuum Hypothesis’ and bridled with expectant technicality,  US death metaller’s Continuum have hardly been reserved and uninspired on their début release, The Hypothesis (Unique Leader). Taking lyrical inspiration from such a complex subject matter (if you want a detailed rundown of this particular hypothesis, you’re going to have to google it this time) is a very bold statement for a band who are clearly looking to stand out.

Their variant of technical death metal is expectedly complicated and initially hard to follow and does show some signs of forward thinking but even still at times proves somewhat familiar. The shifts in tempo and between differing harsh vocal styles bear a striking resemblance to the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder through the album’s majority, whilst the occasional breaks with atmospheric interlude passages do nod towards the more prog leaning counterparts like Fallujah so there is some lack of its own identity.

For the most part it is all done very competently and far from overly complicated for the sake of actual song writing. Production is precise and short, sharper song durations make it all the more digestible until the elephant in the room, the final track, the nine-minutes long ‘Steppes To Ascension’ which brings any momentum they built to a crashing halt. With no deviation it continues on one solitary pace with a jarring guitar riff that repeats throughout, this seems laughable considering the seemingly effortless intricacy the rest of the album shows.

A very promising début that shows all the ability in the world but, in the case of the album’s conclusion, perhaps possessing a fault on the quality filter.

 

6.0/10

Continuum on Facebook

 

CHRIS TIPPELL