JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 27/8/07
STILL REMAINS / THE SNAKE
This is another fine album from Melodic Hardcore band Still Remains, their sound is different to the rest of the pack because they have a very 80’s keyboard sound that gives them an edge and helps them sound a bit more commercial without compromising their hard edged sound.
Still Remains manage to balance the power and channelled anger of their aggression with a softer more accessible side that is aptly demonstrated by “Maria” which is almost a ballad and the Metal of “Anemia In Your Sheets” and “Stay Clean” which could easily be a hit single with a bit of help. It always helps if you sound a little different from the rest and Still Remains manage this with ease without concession to trend following.
Also listen out for; “Dropped From The Cherry Tree”, “The Wax Walls Of An Empty Room”, the stunning “The River Song” and not forgetting the powerful “Dancing With The Enemy” another fine album from Still Remains that deserves your attention.
DOWNLOAD “Anemia In Your Sheets”
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 43 mins + 11 Metalcore TRACKS
EVILE / ENTER THE GRAVE
Evile are a new signing to Earache Records hailing from Huddersfield and evoke the spirit of the Bay Area Thrash Metal bands of the early 80’s and they go one step further by having their record produced by famed Flemming Rassmussen, the guy who was responsible for “Master Of Puppets” and Ride The Lightning but despite this they sound more akin to early “Hell Awaits” Slayer.
Like the early Slayer they are full of twisted anger, speed Thrash Riffs that will rip your face off and make you headbang until your neck aches, the lead off track “Enter The Grave” sets the CD off to a fine start and lets you know in no uncertain terms what to expect from the rest of the record. There are no bad songs on here at all, everyone rocks like a bitch, listen out for; “Man Against Machine”, its starts off with a slower grinding riff before letting rip, “First Blood”, “Schizophrenia”, “Armoured Assault” and the mid paced Gladiator inspired “We Who Are About To Die”, overall this is a very fine album and a very fine debut indeed and I am reliably informed they are superb live, another fine Thrash album for 2007.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 53 THRAHSING mins + 10 TRACKS
MACHINEMADE GOD / MASKED
This is the 2nd album from German Metalcore band Machinemade God and I have to say that although this is not my favourite genre, Machinemade God are one of the exceptions.
This is how it should be done, hard ass riffs that take no prisoner and tempered with some very fine melodies but this does not distract from the fact that they are a damn fine Metal band. Musically they are in the same ballpark as Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Still Remains and I see no reason why track like “Voices” should not do as successful as any of these American bands. This album is positive proof that Euro bands can be just as good as their US counterparts, if not better than most. Tracks like “Vengeance” and “With You” are world class and the other nice thing about them is that they have plenty of dynamics, lots of really catchy melodies and they Rock as well, what more could you ask for. Take “Who, If Not Us” for instance, a beautiful, short, delicate instrumental that makes the excellent “Place Taken” sound even better just because it gives you a bit of a musical interlude.
If you thought that Germany didn’t do Melodic Hardcore, this will prove otherwise, a very fine album that will grace anyone’s collection and a lot better than some of the other “heard if all before” Metalcore that is about at the moment, you will find yourself still playing tracks like “Near To Me” and “Melancholy” this time next year, an essential purchase and another fine featured album on my 102.3 HFM show, listen out for them.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 44 mins + 12 METAL TRACKS
AEON / RISE TO DOMINATE
If you like brutal, aggressive, Death Metal with crushing Blackness then this Swedish band will be right up your street, technical, proficient and as in your face as a full frontal attack.
There is no hint of subtly on this CD but its musically flawless, with violent death defying, dazzling speed guitar riffs that will make your head spin then slay you and the growling vocals that I know purists like, if you want proof of this listen to “Living Sin” or the mighty “Godless” and “You Pray To Nothing” and you will be convinced of their mighty darkness is honest and full of conviction, the nice thing about these guys although is they don’t sound like a Deicide, Six Feet Under, et al derivative.
If you don’t like Death Metal I don’t think this is going to convert you, as there is nothing new here but what you do get is totally convincing and as good as any of the leaders of the genre and a lot better than most. Listen out for: “Hate Them”, “Spreading The Disease” (not a Queensryche cover) and the aptly named “No One Escapes Us” and with that thought I will leave you to go and get a copy of this superb album from those nice people at Metal Blade, happy 25th by the way.
DOWNLOAD “Living Sin”
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = + 12 DEATH FILLED TRACKS