Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tormentress - Operation Torment (2014)

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Fact: very few metal bands from Singapore enjoy making it big and even fewer enjoy worldwide exposure. With the exception of Wormrot, the majority of acts aren't fortunate enough to buck the trend and continue chug along unnoticed, playing for only one reason--the love of music. Indeed, for them, it's more about the high putting out an album brings, the passion conveyed on recording, or being part of a genre that transcends borders and boundaries.

As luck would have it, one of Singapore's newcomers, Tormentress, does just that, all while being unique in two ways: first, their origin, and second, their lyrical focus. It's not often that one stumbles across a band so invested in the feminism that the music is overwrought with libretto about women's rights, but Tormentress has the theme down to a T. And as off putting as it may seem--and it's sure to have some listeners, both male and female, scowl in disgust--there's no denying that it's unusually fresh in a genre of music that could use a curve ball now and then.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Immortal Frost Productions Round-Up Part One: Hellhate, Atra Vetosus, Apnea, Astral Winter

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A few months back, Immortal Frost Poductions reached out to me with a dozen--yes, you read that correctly--albums for review and, looking back on it, I wasn't up for the task. I mean, 12 albums at once? That would take some serious listening on my end, and it could be months before a single word was written about any of the albums (as my site's contact conveniently section notes).

But Surtur, the label's head, was persistent and offered me the opportunity to explore his roster not once, but twice. And I eventually gave in to his pleas, knowing exactly what I was getting into. I assumed that very few of these albums would be my cup of tea; some so unlistenable that I wouldn't have anything nice to say about them. And I was right. But here's the thing: a deal is a deal, and because I have twelve freshly-pressed CDs sitting next to me as I type this, they must appear on my site, regardless of what I think of them.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Break Time... Over!

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Tomorrow, my break from blogging will end. Hope you've all had a great past few weeks. Looking forward to getting back at it and exploring more music with you.

-TMA

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Samsara - Into Oblivion (2013)

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Musically, Calgary-based four-piece Samsara doesn't appear to borrow from anyone in particular, but vocally, they're a different story. You see, the act's front man, Reed Alton, sounds eerily similar to former Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate and makes one wonder why he wasn't asked to join Seattle five-piece following Tate's dramatic split from the band.

But, of course, one must keep in mind that Samsara is extremely obscure, which is a crying shame considering the effort Alton puts into emulating Tate's vibrato and tone. If you recall, Queensrÿche recruited Todd La Torre for vocal duties within in the last few years and, while he does a good job of mimicking Tate, his attempts don't even begin to match Alton's, which are on the mark every time he opens his mouth. You constantly ask yourself, "Is this really not Tate 20 years younger and with a different band?" Surprisingly enough, it isn't, and what's funnier is that, today, Tate can't hope to match that kind of power. If you've had the "pleasure" of hearing his latest effort, Frequency Unknown (or seeing him live, for that matter), you'll know that time has taken its toll.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

EPs Galore!: Metal Round-Up with Angist, The Old Man's Wisdom, and War Messiah

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While it's great to see death metal re-emerging en masse, the generic music that inevitably comes along with it isn't particularly enjoyable and can be irritating to sift through. Sadly for Angist, their material is really no different, save for Edda Tegeder Óskarsdóttir's gloomy rasp, which is capable of hanging with the best in the sub-genre.