Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A-frica Invades South Korea?!

If anyone knows anything about this South Korean hard rock band, please speak up. I'm having trouble locating a place to purchase any of their records, let alone hear studio versions of their work. And it's killing me because I'm so impressed with the way they carry themselves.

The band is called A-frica (아프리카 in Korean), and they immediately remind me of good old eighties hard rock. The live performance I'm going to post below really stuck a chord with me because their vocalist is so exceptionally talented. 

Got any info? Please shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment on this post. I don't care how you do it just as long as we shed some light on this group. Even if nothing comes out of this, at least I've exposed them to more people.


-TMA




Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guest Review: Surdus Reviews Jagged Surge's Demo


Taking a step back from the usual is always something I fully support and having Surdus from We Love Metal write a guest review is a refreshing change from my own commentary. He brings Jagged Surge, a hard rock/heavy metal band from India, to the table. Let's check 'em out.

A collection of demo songs from Jagged Surge arrived in my inbox last week. Though short (the demo contains five songs), something about it appealed to me right away. It may be the military theme they have going. I think there's a part of every young man who appreciates military hardware even if they hate war. Tanks and fighter jets are the ultimate extensions of sandbox toys, after all. And part of the appeal may have been that the track titles talked about things other than death, dark gods and the Apocalypse, which have been themes bombarding my inbox of late.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Vigilance - Steeds of Time (2011)

Sounding like Iron Maiden mishmashed with speed metal, Vigilance are a couple decades too late when compared with their influences. The classic feel is alive and well, even in form of production, and goes all the way back to metal's roots when most people in this day and age the genre as death metal. Vigilance give us an exhilarating five tracks of heavy metal--a strong candidate for metal EP of 2011--and surely come out on top as Slovenia's metal release of the year. I'm always amazed at the great metal that emerges from small countries.

In spite of being decades late, I'm not complaining because Steeds of Time sounds fantastic with its dual guitar-driven crunch and shuffle pattern drumming. The self-titled track is a down and dirty instrumental that fondly reminisces upon the early days of heavy metal and the NWoBHM movement. The rest of the EP isn't much different, but with the exception of vocalist/guitarist Jakob Rejec belting out the high notes in consummate fashion. Rapid alternate picking and galloping riffs take  influence from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest--the bands everyone should be looking up to, no questions asked.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Accept Track: "Stalingrad"

You thought I was pumped for Overkill? That was nothin'.

ACCEPT'S GOT A NEW TRACK OUT! This baby's called "Stalingrad," and the band are ready to storm the metal world just like they did with Blood of the Nations. They've gotta be one of most consistent bands out there based on recent years. Give it a listen and see for yourself.

-TMA

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Overkill Track: "Electric Rattlesnake"

Overkill is back at it with a new track called "Electric Rattlesnake," featured on their upcoming record The Electric Age. The album will released March 27 in North America and March 30th in Europe. Follow the link below to give it a listen. I don't know about you, but I'm stoked.

-TMA

http://soundcloud.com/rockenblast1/overkill-electric-rattlesnake

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Metal Advisor Interviews Subliminal Poison



As with places like Portugal, I haven't done a great job of familiarizing myself with Brazil's metal scene. Acts like the mighty Sepultura, who have gotten worldwide acclaim for their aggressive brand of thrash metal and later groove metal come to mind, but other than that, few bands are instantly recognizable as representative of the country's heavy music. Nonetheless, I'm happy to say I fixed the problem, if ever so slightly, by discovering local band Subliminal Poison. And to make things sweeter, I recently had the chance to chat with the band's very own Erika Dvoršak (vocals/guitars) and Pedro Costa (keyboards), who graciously let The Metal Advisor and the metal world know what they're up to.

Despite having few releases, Subliminal Poison is hard at work at spreading their name and adding more to their recording résumé. They're very excited to break out of the local scene and to keep doing the thing they love.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank You Daniel Ekeroth: Sweden's Thrash Movement

Sweden had a small thrash movement? You didn't know that? Me, neither.

Thanks to Swedish Death Metal (by Daniel Ekeroth--HIGHLY recommended for the wealth of information, just FYI), which loosely prefaces the history of Swedish death metal with relevant thrash bands, I'm digging into a few obscure acts. But let's be realistic here: Sweden's metal scene didn't effectively take off until the early nineties. Thrash metal groups like Hatred were scattered here and there--typically influenced by American and other European bands--but never in great quantity. On behalf of reports from youngsters of the period, it was not "cool" to be a metalhead in Sweden. A shame really. All that talent lost.

Luckily for us, we have remnants of these highly-creative bands in the form of numerous demos and EPs. I haven't come close to scratching the surface of Sweden's mini-thrash scene, but I've given Damien and Mefisto's discographies a run through or two, as well as one of Hatred's demos. First listens of all three leave me impressed because, despite what elitists will say, they're entirely comparable to what was going on in the United States, Germany, and other European countries.

DAMIEN

The first, an orthodox thrash band called Damien, formed in 1982, releasing four demos and one EP over the course of six years before breaking up. Theoretically, their last release, Requiem for the Dead, should have gotten the band worldwide exposure or, at the very least, something outside of Sweden. But as far as I can tell, that didn't happen and led to their demise in '88. I'm assuming the band didn't have a dedicated budget for recording, but Reqiuem for the Dead sounds positively pro when placed with their demos--heavy, thick slabs of guitar and nice, balanced production values. It's surprising given the circumstances, but all the more intriguing when looking into this time period's mysterious releases.

Discography:

1986 - Onslaught without Mercy (Demo)
1986 - Hammer of the Gods (Demo)
1987 - Chapter One (Demo)
1988 - Chapter II (Demo)
1988 - Requiem for the Dead (EP)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

In the Name of Metal: Pilgrim and Natur

In the name of metal, get your butt on over to Bandcamp, and download these two demos.

Pilgrim are a traditional doom metal band in the vein of early Sabbath and Pentagram. Natur, a heavy metal band. Both are exceptionally good and, best of all, free of charge! You've got nothing to lose. SUPPORT THESE SMALL BANDS! They're destined for something great.

-TMA

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bells of Doom - The Death of God (2001)

I feel like traditional doom metal is scarce these days. Most bands are combining doom with another subgenre of metal, altering the backbone of the music and experimenting with different kinds of sounds. Following the paradigm set by Pentagram, Candlemass, and Black Sabbath, Bells of Doom plays no-frills doom metal that's absolutely plodding and perfect for those creepy nights alone as you contemplate music suitable for the mood. The one-man project's only release, The Death of God, was released in 2001, but, much to my dismay, the band quickly folded with no signs of resurfacing with future work. In spite of that, Bells of Doom's demo gives us a positively epic three tracks of traditional doom metal that pays wonderful homage to the subgenre's greats.
  
The Death of God offers little you haven't heard before if you've ever looked into any doom metal. One part slow tempos, another part ominous guitar riffs, the next clean, yet low-placed vocals--that's Bells of Doom in a nutshell. Multifaceted, but never too complicated, Nicklas Rudolfsson plays every instrument on the demo. Normally I would hail this as some kind of feat, but the bulk of the instrumentals are relatively simple, and the way doom metal should be if it wants to stay within the accepted scope of the subgenre. Abstract doom metal runs the risk of morphing into another type of metal or, at the very least, fusing with something completely different and becoming one of the contemporary bands that sidesteps the acknowledged boundaries of the music. Thankfully, Bells of Doom goes nowhere near that and sticks to strong, heavy riffs, while slowing tempos down enough to make any doom metal fan salivate.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Municipal Waste Track: "Religion Proof"

The cover is certainly old school enough.
Well, I've been waiting for this moment since the lackluster Massive Aggressive was released. Hazardous Mutation is one of my favorite records hands down, but since then, the band has been doing the exact same thing over and over, except with a slight decrease in quality. For example, The Art of Partying was very good, but it showed no innovation or improvement in any direction; Massive Aggressive followed with stagnant, uninspired thrashing, not what the majority of fans were looking for. Sadly, the newly released "Religion Proof" shows the band doing their tried but tired formula over again, although it is a notch-up from most material on the previous record. I'm not holding my breath for anything interesting.

The track will not make the album, instead offered to buyers of Decibel magazine as a green vinyl. Talk about alienating your fans...

Listen to "Religion Proof" below. The Fatal Feast is due out April 10th.

Municipal Waste "Religion Proof" (dB016) by Decibel Magazine

-TMA

Check Out: Bible of the Devil



Looking for some pleasant, straightforward heavy metal? Bible of the Devil have you covered. The four piece formed in 1999 and have been churning out dirty, Chicago-style riffs ever since. The musicianship, while occasionally sloppy, is highly-reminiscent of the old days of metal, back when it was rockin' fun and less serious. Of course, Bible of the Devil are still nitty gritty down to the core, focusing heavily on dual guitar-based compositions, but they have a simpler side that's extremely inviting, especially if you regularly listen to technical subgenres of metal.

And that's one of the reasons I love the band. They build up on what their idols have done and put their own spin on it. To be frank, I figured Bible of the Devil would be a stoner metal band, similar to Fireball Ministry, but I was awfully surprised once I put one of their records on. Indeed, I do get the stoner metal vibe from their music, but I believe it's due to the vocals which are nasally and high-pitched, totally influenced by the eighties greats. Try Freedom Metal first--quite a good record.

-TMA

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four Albums I Felt like Blabbing About (That You Should Check Out)

Death's Leprosy won't grab you right off the bat. Its production is dry, the music too samey, and the atmosphere kinda meh. Pitted against the 1987 classic Scream Bloody Gore, the initial impression is certainly disappointment because it appears Chuck lost all creativity (impossible for a metal god!). That's far from the truth, however, and evident when you consider how influential the album was as death metal cemented its place in music. The drumming might be boring and the compositions rather monotone, but it's still worth your time, especially if you're digging deeper into early death metal. Listen to it before Scream Bloody Gore.

Monday, February 13, 2012

TOKiMONSTA: Cosmic Intoxication vs Creature Dreams

After trying Creature Dreams the other day, it dawned on me: I had listened to both of TOKiMONSTA's short little EPs, and it was time to decide which one I liked better. But the task wasn't that easy. Each work differs vastly in sound, making comparison, to some degree, moot, but I figured I could make a head-to-head battle work one way or another.

Cosmic Intoxication and Creature Dreams were released within a year of each other (2010 and 2011, respectively), so they have a time frame in common, but that's about it. Besides being creations of mastermind Jennifer Lee, they differ from one another in their musical aesthetic, with Cosmic Intoxication characterized by a floatier, surreal experience, and Creature Dream's more like to traditional hip-hop. Despite that, they have a common sound that let's you know Toki is behind the work.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Midnite Hellion - The Fever (2011)

Looks like traditional heavy metal and its various hybrids are back en masse; Midnite Hellion are part of the movement, though they aren't strictly traditional heavy metal, but a fusion of it and speed metal. In 2011, the band released their first demo, The Fever, solely on cassette limited to 100 copies, making it a small collector's piece. I've never been a huge fan of the cassette due to superior formats existing in terms of ease of use and sound quality, but when a band does it for a limited demo such as this, I can deal with it. Delightfully cheesy, the cover art is charming and perfect because it presents itself as an excellent illustration of the decade the music appears to have to come from: the eighties.

The Fever owes its nostalgic mid eighties feel to, not only the unrefined production, but the music itself, a careful reconstruction of heavy metal of the time. Despite bringing in extra influences, Midnite Hellion faithfully mirror their idols, a modest tribute to those who walked the metal earth 25 years ago. I hear snippets of U.S. power metal acts, in addition to standard heavy and speed. Tonally, the band capture the decade in a jar, shoves it onto tape, and offers it to the hardcore fans. Sounds familiar, right? Definitely. These are the kinds of bands that made me wish I lived in the eighties because I would have learned of the obscure artists that didn't survive the decade. Already we have something special with Midnite Hellion, but I might just be longing for something I never experienced.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vreid - Milorg (2009)

As cliché as it sounds, Norway is the place for black metal and, even today, the country is still among the best to search for bands. Into the spotlight steps Vreid, a band composed of former Windir members, with their pedigree glowing brightly as you ponder what their music might sound like. I personally haven't heard any Windir, but I differentiate Vreid from the pack as a considerably more "musical" project because their tunes lean toward the memorable side of the subgenre. You thought Vreid was kvlt? Nah, the band happily throws that pretentious BS out the window and plays black metal crafted by their own criteria, instead of following the trite ideals set by those who strive to be exclusively underground.

In contrast with conventional black metal, Vreid take the traditional formula, but enhance it with harmonies, intros, interludes, and almost folk-like elements in a handful of tracks. In short, Vreid are a melodic black metal band, which makes them more approachable, and I reckon they're an excellent place to start if you're just getting into black metal.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Condition Critical - Bred to Kill (2011)

Hitting metal fans from New Jersey, Condition Critical are a breath of fresh air in the "new wave of thrash metal" scene because they're a touch more aggressive than their peers. Playing their freshman release entitled Bred to Kill, summons feelings of the small, yet impressive, brutal thrash movement that arose in the late eighties and into the early nineties as the subgenre was on its way out of the mainstream. Although Condition Critical aren't explicitly unique in their adaptation of thrash metal, they do everything the subgenre requires with ease--nothing more, nothing less.

Bred to Kill is in fact a demo, but it sports a squeaky clean production not unlike that of bigger acts signed to major record labels. Despite that, it doesn't have the sterility and characterless digitalism typical of those kinds of bands, shedding a perception of "fake" musicianship. Condition Critical's music is overly aggressive, and, when paired with the production, parents a hard hitting atmosphere, surely the delight of every headbanger across the globe. The band's influences are no secret, and Demolition Hammer's patented sound is alive and well; yet Condition Critical aren't an exact clone as I've seen posted around cyberspace. They retain a slightly different sound, which I'd wager is due to the vocals, production, and their aptitude to cram hundreds of riffs into each track. If you like riffs, this will be your oasis.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New 3 Inches of Blood Track: "Leather Lord"

I totally agree with reports I've seen around the web: "Leather Lord" is basically Painkiller-era Judas Priest worship. It's nice to hear a death metal approach being taken to the harsh vocals (more than the last album!), instead of the grating hardcore-style Hooper used when he was in the band. Shocking is the melodic death metal midsection. Can't wait to see what the rest of the album turns out like.

-TMA

The Metal Advisor Facebook Page

Finally added the Facebook page I've neglected to promote for weeks to the actual blog (on the sidebar). Give 'er a like if you have a FB page.

www.facebook.com/themetaladvisor

^ Here's the direct link as well.

-TMA

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Newk - Glorious Warrior (2007)

Relatively few metal bands come out of South Korea and even less get worldwide exposure. Newk aren't example of one that's well known, but they are one of the best kept secrets the country's metal scene offers. Surprisingly enough, they're veterans of sorts, forming in 1993, but it's more astonishing to see that they've soldiered on this long in obscurity. Luckily, they've never faltered, and while I've only heard Glorious Warrior and a few other bits here and there, their consistency is duly noted and certainly appreciated.

Revival. Newk have done an excellent job of bringing back the classic heavy metal sound in an age where it's nearly extinct. With the release of 2007's Glorious Warrior, the band brought simplistic heavy metal to the those fortunate enough to discover Newk's music--for what Glorious Warrior lacks in innovation, it makes up with an authentic traditional metal experience. Barring Korean lyrics, the release would be right at home with the overflow of eighties metal, and it's a better record for it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Disease Illusion - Backworld (2011)

There's a damn big sea of melodic death metal bands out there. Everywhere you turn, someone else is trying to imitate someone else, and allure quickly drops off because you've heard it all before. Disease Illusion aren't original in the slightest, but their debut album, Backworld, is still worth a listen.

Like a lot of music in my blog, I wasn't actively searching out Disease Illusion. Their record sort of fell into my hands and begged to be listened to when an email landed in my inbox. At first glance, I got a metalcore vibe from Backworld's album cover--mainly because of the overstylized logo--and while their music retains a slight metalcore vibe, mostly due to the vocals, its foundation is melodic death metal. As I implied, these Italian metallers are derivative of the subgenre, but they do what they do well, creating an explosion of melodic bliss and a wall that your mind can't possibly take in during the first listen. Most songs suggest a similar theme--one that revolves around the same idea--but slightly mixes the formula with an altered melody line. For a debut, though, Backworld is perfectly listenable and fun at that.

New Stuff from The Darkness...

Figured I'd post the new The Darkness track as my return to blogging. I find it rather mediocre myself, but you should give it a go and form your own opinion.

-TMA