Wednesday, 28 January 2009

“Dark Oriental Metal” – I’ll stamp this at progressive metal for all intensive purposes. To not begin to further become confused with how to define Bilocate is a much superior use of words than to bog down on categorically attempting to place them in more than four genres – yes there’s a lot here, but the mirages of influence and genre are two completely different things. As read, there is a rapture of ideas to behold within Sudden Death Syndrome. From the opportunist to the majestic, the sombre to the brutal, Bilocate capture everything commendable within the genre.

Beginning and concluding in ambient domain, Bilocate are easily one of the more remarkable groups at kissing the horizon. It truly is plentiful in its soothing yet dark characteristics that set a resonant chord, to echo throughout the release. The layers of eastern magic, level in these ambient showcases too, expanding on similar themes that bands such as Opeth and Porcupine Tree have touched on, and also introducing to newcomers of the genre that the east/west division (particular in the archives of metal) is not lost in translation. “Blooded Forest”, is clever as it is idealistic. It packs a strong experience reminiscent of strong influence. It’s also an excellent perception to the similar themes explored by Bilocate throughout other aspects of the release. Capturing the essence of progressive metal with consistent fluidity, “The Dead Sea”, “Ebtehal”, “Inoculate” and “Pure Wicked Sins” intertwine themselves gracefully. There’s a notable beauty to Bilocates artistry, as well as an accessible reverence in their work. With a discernible passion in each gift-wrapped souvenir, Bilocate have handled their packages with extreme care that never fails to deliver.

Not to mask Bilocate’s glorious feat, Sudden Death Syndrome is subject to a peerlessly healthy master with Jens Bogren along with other engineer’s involvement on the album. It has been polished, and further refined.

This is a fresh and significant contribution to the genre which must be recognised. Bilocate will certainly be pioneering the Jordan scene, but who knows what’s next to come, as in the west, Bilocate will be effortlessly distinguishable. Within the current economic climate, this will be the only easy choice you’ll make to depart with your hard earned cash.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 11:24 pm
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Saturday, 17 January 2009

Funeral Mourning typifies its atmospheric, sombre, dark and plaintive verses with a catalyst commonly found within the doom genre. From the beginning, this solo effort from the former Kinstrife, Blood, and Pestilential Shadows member, known as “Desolate” will induce images that are temporal in dissonance and spanning still life. Within Drown In Solitude’s lifetime we wanted to lament, run and leave it all behind - there could be a no more fitting response.

Littered in droneful movements, unyielding drum takes, conforming guitars, and dithering vocal work, “Drown In Solitude” vivifies and stimulates collectively hand in hand. The introduction “Winds Of Unknown Existence” is the albums biggest statement of intent as it lays foundation for dejected overtones and atmosphere. It’s because of this, that throughout the entire record nothing is professionally juxtaposed or further changes. “Sounds Of A Dreary Sea” is the records highlight. It boasts an intelligible, majestic and glorious feat to its overall composition, but yet sustains its disconsolate overtone. Similar to most of the record, a confident achievement, packed full of reverence and downfall.

Although, this is no perfect vignette. The skinniness of the drums periodically consumes most of the record’s atmosphere and ambience, instead of bearing a partial of the records weight. Its riffing progressions at allotted points appear lost. The intervals are scattered at non-successive events within the tracks. There is also an overhanging suggestion of unnecessary restraint and reserved harness.

However on a record of such scale these minor anomalies do not hold much water, as Funeral Mourning have achieved everything set. This is a coherent delivery saturated in brilliance.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 8:32 pm
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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Thrash metal is now in its period of adolescence. The genre has failed to manoeuvre from its lacuna back within the late 70’s mark, and its because of this that Godslave appear to be living in the past, with their cumbersome overt riffing, combined with a lacklustre of plain bread and butter song structures, on “Out Of The Ashes”.

It’s difficult to discuss Godslave without mentioning a quality of detracting ambition. There’s nothing acute on song structure, nothing judicious on lyrical value, and something painful on the overall delivery. The EP opening with “Out Of The Ashes” is a rather diluted offering. It’s sparse, and riddled with inadequate ideas. It lacks a sufficient amount of qualities to maintain your requisite attention, as the track contains five riffs that are progressed over a timescale of five minutes, twelve seconds. This is tenuous poor stuff. The performances of each member present are not completely inspiring, fulfilling your every last shade of grey. “Slaves To The Black”, “Wings Of Wrath” and “Dead Reckoning” are not avid contributions either. These efforts will leave you hankering for something more specifically not from Godslave. “Where The Sun Sleeps” is the one notable offering with a much more accomplished opening. It packs atmosphere, it displays ambition, and ultimately reveals Godslave’s potential. Unfortunately with this group already sounding out of sorts and out of credible ideas, remnants of un-necessary repetition plague what could have been a superlative (when comparing the previous) on this EP.

While not pertaining dubious, you’ve heard everything on this disc before. It is a shame with so many groups such as this polluting the scene, that there is no strict authorization on quality control. Furthermore Godslave have been blessed with a beautiful mix, and a soaring production level that has been dashed by a lack of honest foresight when it came to the final exorcism. Godslaves basic skills and tools of the trade are here but little else. Its back to the drawing board for this five piece.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 9:53 pm
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There’s a fallacy in thinking there is anything different, unique, or inventive on Powerdrive’s Steel Roots. No, this isn’t even an entirely creative or technical achievement. Instead a musical achievement, using the correct amount of American influence, Powerdrive has proven with Steel Roots, that this formula, still works.

Steel Roots rather commercial introduction “Final Chapter” is a perfect mix of simplistic, honest and generic idiosyncrasies. All of the tracks are binary in form, and although that could be viewed upon as a minor critical blow, it’s their initial riffing and vocal work, which feel fresh. Yet it’s an underwhelming introduction at best. The guitar riffing at times appears lazy. Ideas show sparseness on Final Chapters song structure because of its intense obviousness, not to mention it falling short on atmosphere. Final Chapter is stuck on boundaries that are far too easily broken, within their target market. However, if you can ignore these tiny imperfections Powerdrive’s (ironically titled) Starting Over gives much more of a kick, as it does flexibility. It’s exhilarating, brutal, powerful and intrinsically addictive. There’s enough material present to keep you on edge, as there is to keep you thwacking your head around in metallic delight. There is considerable depth on Alive, if you’re prepared for reflections similar to 80s ballads. “Alive” yearns for potential, but is squandered by its poor song structure; it also lacks an emotional flame for it to fully alight in. It is listenable, and plausible, but simply not good enough. “Self Determination” reveals Powerdrive’s potential on song writing, with pounding guitar riffing, blistering drumming, and nailed ardent vocal takes. “Treat”, “Laid to Rest”, and “Blast” portrays Powerdrive within their classy comfort zone. Its raw, its rustic and its enthralling. “Silver Bullet” excels on creating atmosphere, and a level of melancholy, which helps it become a memory within Steel Roots. Other times, it exceeds an acceptable level of mature emotion to limbo under the barrier of becoming silly. However, the lead guitar work present on “Silver Bullet”, deserves acclaim, as it helps make up for these periodic disappointments. It’s mesmerising, leaving the desired punch that the type of song requires and although no technical achievement as far as guitar virtuosos go, this is tremendously great sounding frequency. “Dead Silence”, “New Life” and “Untouchable”, serve as an excellent outro for Steel Roots. It’s notably Powerdrive’s most technical work, and when it wants to be, the most irrefutably intense section of the album. It stands out to shine through, and could well be a benchmark for Powerdrive to reach next time around.

Its also excellent to hear an unsigned bands work so sonic and polished in its production. This is also a credit to each individual performance, proving an excellent listen to further add resemblance onto the bands talent.

Creditable modern stigmas go out the window with Powerdrive, as they teach an old used and abused genre new tricks. Yes, at times Powerdrive will feel like an antithesis on modern metal but that’s probably why you’ll love them. This is an old-school record repaying a genre congested with emission. What next for Powerdrive? Probably a record deal and tour bus to accompany.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 9:49 pm
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