Label; Sliptrick Records
(country of origin; Italy)
Thrash/Melodic Death Metal
Showcasing sweeping guitar leads, melodies and a ‘lighter’ vibe it admittedly feels closer to thrash than death metal though still delivers harsh-ish vocals (everyone’s favorite) atop a bed of catchiness that also sports a slight doom vibe (I’m thinking a smidgen of a Bela’kor) that’ll leave the listener thinking along the same lines of Dark Tranquility, In Flames and in certain passages even Iron Maiden.
A great album to spin for those mellower moments when melody and discernable rhythms fit the mood more than chopping, eviscerating and all out carnage.
Label; Critical Mass Recordings
(country of origin; Sweden)
Blackened Death/Doom Metal
rel – May/16/2016
One of the first things I realize, mere seconds in, is that Pete’s vocal style (he handles all duties apart from drums - pummeled by a fellow named Henke) is much the same as (Paul) Speckmanns, Master, a gravelly rasp of sorts that takes a moment to appreciate though a style that only grows on me as the release progresses. In Ruinam Iniquitas kicks off Svartnad with great promise displaying hints of where the remainder of the album might be headed an overall style including black metal, atmospheric doom and old school death elements a great track with breaks of significant groove and surprising melody. Winter of the Wolves is a great track displaying an upbeat Amon Amarth feel, catchy, full of Viking majesty and an epic story like vibe.
The title track boasts haunting symphonic elements amidst a shroud of doom more frequently found in Amorphis and Opeth albums.
Svartnad is in conclusion an album that surprised, even enchanted, me with its diverse style. Incorporating elements from a great many corners of the extreme metal arena it boasts passages that hint at old school influences (including the darknened menace of Bathory and Emperor) infused with a new school ‘blanket covering genre’ feel. Highly recommended for fans of traditional and symphonic black and those who hanker for the groove and catchiness of mid-tempo death beats.
(country of origin; India)
rel – March/31/2016
With Regression SystemHouse boast a style that’s part Sepultura, part Soulfly and also part Lamb of God. An interesting mix complemented by an outstanding vocal style similar to Max Cavalera.
Rather than utilizing an all-out swift/hyper-speed thrash foundation SystemHouse utilize ‘bouncing’ melodies shifting constantly (bordering at times perilously close to funk), an unpredictable nature to keep listeners on their toes. Namesake is a track that could well feature on a Sepultura (Derrick Green fronted era) without detection or inquisition. Other tracks incorporate more of a Lamb of God rhythm structure a style SystemHouse pull of very well.
Regression may well be a release that opens your mind to metal from India, at the very least it’ll put SystemHouse 33 on a much larger audiences metal radar and rightly so for this is an impressive collection of tracks a wide demographic will be easily able to appreciate.
Label; Black Lion Records
(country of origin; Sweden)
Symphonic Black Metal
rel - August/2016
I would’ve liked to describe many of the tracks, their particular style and any similarities to other acts/releases they might have but instead I found myself, quite willingly I might add, falling under the albums hypnotic nature. It has a spell you see which had me slipping into a state of auditory bliss, a nirvana of sorts I guess you might say (odd, metal doesn’t usually have that effect at all!). Naturally of course (as this is black metal) there are rasping vocals, guitar and drum melodies of a swift pace that not everyone will be able to fully appreciate, but for those that can and are willing to open their mind in order to experience something ‘fresh’ and slightly different then Absence is a must visit.
Encapsulating beauty, sorrow, grief and a veritable lexicon of emotions Absence effortlessly manages to enthrall with its supremacy, composition and execution. An album that is sure to captivate, be discussed and recommended as a ‘classic’ for many years to come. A must experience.
Label; Crime Records
(country of origin; Denmark)
Among the Dead is catchy if nothing else! Typical of the genre the vocalist toys frequently with his ‘range’, not typical of the genre however, is the fact that he adds an ‘edge’ (not quite a grunt but close) perhaps in keeping with the changing times of metal a style that’s more acceptable by society as its played on the radio nowadays. ‘Speed’ vs ‘Death’ seriously which would Granma rather listen to. I’m guessing it all depends on how hip and rockin’ Granma is. At times I’ll admit Jack Black and Tenacious D came to mind in reference to Martin Steene’s singing and style. With that in mind however the music is fist banging-ly (slipped an SOD/MOD nod in there!) addictive, arena ‘ready to go’ and I hate to admit it likable I can honestly see why a huge audience is drawn to this end of the metal spectrum. When the Lights Go Out is the last track and five minutes I could’ve done without as it’s a stinking ballad. If you’re lucky enough to have the CD version there’s an added bonus to make up for it a Metallica cover - For Whom the Bell Tolls (bless ye dark Gods that it’s vintage thrashin’ material worthy of a listen).
Recommended for fans of Sabatton, Iced Earth, Ed Guy and perhaps even those lingering in the NWOBHM scene and its recent resurgence of sorts. Better than I thought it would be and wouldn’t ya just know it the style grows on ya, yet another guilty pleasure I’m thinking…dammit!