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Monday, February 29, 2016

Lyric video: October Tide - Sleepless Sun



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Lyric video: Deathkings - Sol Invictus



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Stream: Witchthroat Serpent - Into The Black Wood

Lyric video: Rebaelliun - Legion



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Stream: Kawir - Dionysus



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Lyric video: Mob Rules - On The Edge



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Review: Sunless Rise - Unrevealed


Hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, Sunless Rise released their first full-length “Unrevealed” in November last year. No reason though for not giving it a spin!

We are listening to a concept album, revolving around the extinction of humankind and the end of the world, which is brilliantly reflected in the songwriting and nicely followed through in all 10 songs of the record. Sound-wise, the first song, “Nothing to save”, kicks off with a big synth intro that will leave you astonished, but right afterwards we’re thrown into a nice melodic death piece. Loads of keyboards and progressive metal-influences can be found throughout the record, which intertwine quite nicely with the ever-present synth. Some riffs and song arrangements are surely a nod towards Children of Bodom and Wintersun, but are refreshingly blended into Sunless Rise’s own sound rather than being a cope/paste.

In conclusion, “Unrevealed” marks a great debut album for Sunless Rise, with great songwriting and a unique sound. This record is not to be missed, can fully recommend it! 9/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

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Review: Hungry Lights - The Awry Ascent

Today I had the pleasure to listen to Hungry Lights, a mad solo musician on youtube. His newest creation is one of five albums in a series called ‘Mourn’ and it’s about the journey of a fisherman who is slowly losing his mind. This reflects perfectly in the music and the sound. With every song and through every note the tension gets higher and the feeling becomes more and more chaotic. In the end you feel like you have lost a little bit of yourself in the album and have gained a bit of the mad fisherman. This album truly is a masterpiece in my mind. This is Hungry Lights first official album but he has released a few other concept pieces under the name of Justin Bonitz (his real name) and Amnaeon which started as a 4 piece band. When asked what he thinks of his earlier work Hungry Lights simply answers ‘Not good’.

1- Aphotic Currents 1:
We start of this masterpiece with a long acoustic intro with violins and all the classical goodstuff, You hear the sea and seagulls in the background and it’s a serene and easy to listen to track. It gives the listener the feeling of safety and warmth. Towards the end it gets more bombastic.

2- An Outset In The Sea:
the next track starts off with a strange hissing sound? I am not sure how to describe it. The guitar, bass, flute and singing start and it sounds eerie. Like something isn’t completely right. Towards the ending of the song it gets more aggressive but suddenly plunges in a silence and starts building right up again. It keeps rising and the raw vocals do their work well. The guitars, bass and drums fade out in a bunch of seagulls and the next song starts.

3- Prite & Promise:
starts of really strong with great riffs and musical unity. The singing is great and passionate and I am so into this album it’s unbelievable. It is amazing how Hungry Lights manages to merge all of his songs into one big beautiful piece of art.

4- The Fence:
We start of this song with a Spanish guitar and flamenco feel to it all. It keeps that feeling through the whole song even though it is quite heavy in comparison with the rest of the album. The playful flamenco elements with the voice and the heavy elements with the Spanish fluent and happy sound mix and twist each other of perfectly. The song builds up towards a quick and sudden ending before falling in complete silence and starting the next song.

5- A Drunken Stalemate
You hear a storm, one guitar, thunder, sounds in the background, the guitar starts to get louder, voices in the background, it sounds like we are in a pub of sorts.
Hungry Lights starts singing. Low and bombastic but quickly accompanied by a second, higher voice. The singing is joined by the bass and a violin. It’s a very dark sounding track. I throw around the word eerie a lot and I’m gonna throw it around again. The electric guitars and full drum set comes in and the singing becomes more rough, the song picks up a faster pace and you as the listener are dragged along a dark path towards the Umber Tower.

6- Umber Tower
pumping bass, synthesizer, electric guitar, building drums. Every song I am blasted away by the build-up Hungry Lights has in his songs. It is truly brilliant. His song sounds genuine, mad, burdened. The emotions of the troubled fisherman reflect in his voice. Again this track makes good use of a violin, which I love.

Something more I love about this album is that you can just listen to it and enjoy good music really easily without being distracted or you can actually pay full attention to it and try to decipher the songs, the hidden meanings. I feel like Hungry Lights has done everything he has done in this album deliberately. Not one note was just placed because it sounded good. Every note and every hit of the snare has meaning.

Umber Tower, features a short and very fitting guitar solo before going back to the synthesizer. Back to the beginning of the song. The drums, bass and guitar join back in and the song starts to draw towards a shattering conclusion.

7- The Nimlocks
Umber Tower and The Nimlocks flow seamlessly into each other. The transition was non-existent and that’s awesome. The style does change a bit though. The intro is a bit country westerny and when the heavy guitars start playing you hear a melodic synthesizer in the background. The western guitar takes over again at a higher pace again and I even feel like Hungry Lights gave himself a bit of an accent for this song. The singing is strong and emotional and just really, really good. The song is, this album is.

8- The Awry Ascent
This song man., just listen to it. It’s out on YouTube for free. Just promise me to buy the album if you like the song. And then buy the album, you’re going to like this.

9- In The Eyes Of A Sword
As The Awry Ascent fades away and this song comes on you just feel the album has made a switch. More aggressive, darker, not necessarily with heavier sound but the feel is just different. This song feels a bit more mainstream (I really hate that word.) The riffs are less original but hey, we’ve had 8 amazing songs in a row, you can’t have everything. And just because it sounds a bit like I’ve heard it before somewhere doesn’t mean that it’s bad. The producing quality of this whole album is great, especially considering the fact that it’s done by one guy. This song is not an exception. The singing in this song is amazing as well. Hungry Lights Swings in between growls and clean vocals so fast and without any distortion if I may call it that.

10- Wither
Something that Hungry Lights does a lot and did again just now is ending aggressively and start building up again with the new song. It really fits his style though and I do not find it annoying he does this, I even really like it. The songs are stories on themselves musically, and combine them and you have an already epic saga that will become bigger and bigger.
This song is really calm in comparison to the rest of the album. Slower guitars, dark ambient sounds and heavy vocals combined with bombastic drumming and bass. HOLY SHIT GUYS THE CONCLUSION IS COMING CLOSE. You can feel it in every note, every beat of the drum and every word uttered. The song and especially the singing becomes more and more aggressive and the whole song just feels so epic. To me it’s like watching The Lord of the Rings for the first time. This is a huge freaking compliment to Hungry Lights.

11- Fothcrah
This is the epic conclusion of an epic album. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s pretty fucking insane. Everything has been building up to this song. Every single song on this album was good so if Hungry Lights wants to end this album in a good way this song has a lot to accomplish. It does that and more. Fuck. The singing is madness incarnate in the best way possible. You feel lost, scared, hopeful, mental. The metal switching between acoustic epicness is great and once again you hear a violin every now and then. This whole song seems like a presentation of the mind of Hungry Lights himself. Insane. It is kind of scary. Towards the end of the song we hear a violin intermezzo which goes into an eerie sounding acoustic guitar piece which is in its turned backed up by great distorted guitar strikes. It builds up together again and it starts sounding almost happy. A great solo finished of this album and as it fades away we hear another thunder strike and the storm in the background. Wow what a great ride this was.

In conclusion: This album is really great. Musically it’s amazing, everything has been thought of and everything serves a purpose. This guy is crazy talented. The producing of this album is great as well and the whole album tells a story that is not completely told yet. Even though this album is 1 hour, 11 minutes and 30 seconds long it leaves you craving for more. I am hungry for more Hungry Lights. There are a few things he could tweak. One song wasn’t amazeballs but just really good. And for that I give this album 9.5 out of 10. Go listen to it already.

Written by Koen Oude Kempers

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Stream: Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus - Immaculate Deconception



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Video: The Pete Flesh Deathtrip - The Sun Will Fail



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Album stream: Altarage - Nihl



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Stream: Condition Critical - Interminable Surgery



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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Interview: Jordy Stokkink from No1408


About a week ago we published a live review of No1408 (link). DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen got curious, so he looked them up at the internet. When he saw they were coming to a city nearby, he went there and asked guitarist Jordy Stokkink some questions.

Hi, how are you doing?

Perfect, yes.

No1408, how did you come up with the name?

That's a funny story. Our leadsinger came from a well-known band and the rest of us played in another well-known band. We did English and when he joined we wanted to do something special, something different. He send me a tape with some musical ideas. He said: 'Don't listen to the voice, because it is in Dutch.' I listened to the tape and I thought it was brilliant, because it was in Dutch. We thought about what we going to do and we wanted to do it in Dutch, because nobody else does it. So, let's do something different, but before we put out that we going to do it in Dutch, let's come up with a name that nobody knows. So that they can't figure out that we do it in Dutch. We are all big Stephen King fans and John Coffey is already a band, so it dropped off. So, we said, let's call it No1408.

Why that one?

Oh, he got a lot of great books and movies! 1408 is sort of a different movie, it's not his best movie, but it's a great movie and book.

You already said, you all have experience in different bands. Why was it time to start No1408?

It's two years ago. Three members played in Firefly, a well-known band. Across Europe they played everywhere, for example Romania, 3fm (a big Dutch radio), were noticed by De Wereld Draait Door. I had enough, my musical taste changed. I was a big Iron Maiden fan, a big Thin Lizzy fan, still I am, but I started listening to Megadeth, Overkill, Motorhead, the heavier stuff. I wanted to do something different. That happened two years ago and we found Coen, our lead singer, he come from a different band and he fitted right in, did his job perfectly and we started writing the first album. It really took great off, we got big response, it played very well in the US, England and the Dutch metal fans are a little bit afraid, because it is in Dutch. We like the idea.

You play heavy metal with in lyrics in Dutch. Why Dutch, besides it's your mother tongue and it is something different?

Dutch is a really fucked up language to write lyrics in. It's really hard. When you have German like Rammstein or Die Toten Hosen, it sounds heavier. For example when you say butterfly in Dutch it sounds stupid but in German it sounds amazing. That's the difference, it's really hard to write in Dutch, but we found our way and we found a way to express it. We use a lot of very old words that people doesn't use anymore. That's why it sounds, in our opinion, so great.

What are your influences, musically and non-musically, to you in person?

A lot! I am a big Springsteen fan, a big Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, which has nothing to do with heavy metal. I am also a big Anthrax fan, just the last three years. A big Megadeth fan, Overkill, Motorhead and I was a big Maiden fan and Thin Lizzy. I am still Thin Lizzy fan, but Maiden is difficult now, they changed a bit I think. Non-musically I think I come back to what Stephen King does, his style of writing, making books and making characters.

And what about those influences to No1408 as a band?

Yeah, we use that. We use a lot of ideas. For the first album we wrote nine tracks on the album and also a lot of other stuff. We saw it worked the first time, so we wanted to do that a second time. We are working on the second album now and it is the same way of how we write.

In 2014, you released your first and only album to date called Vuilwater. What were the responses you got from it?

Nothing, completely nothing. We got one response, it was from 3voor12, they hated it. I think because it was in Dutch and our lead singer came from a band which they didn't like, so they didn't like us. We also got some great reviews from England and the US. But here in Holland we got none reviews, none. We loved that, it's brilliant. The big metal scene here in Holland doesn't want to know about us, but we got plenty of gigs. We get more gigs than the band before.

Which song is your favorite on Vuilwater?

That's a good one! I think Monddood. We will start off tonight with that song. It is because Monddood was the last song we wrote. When it was done, we looked at each other and we thought that's the road we want to go. The other songs are good, but that's the road we want to go.

It's better?

Yeah, it's better, but we were searching for the endless vibe, the Megadeth thing. The other songs are good, but we couldn't really find it. The last song that we did was when we have it.

You already mentioned that you are writing the second album. How is it going to be?

Heavier than Vuilwater. More Anthrax, more Megadeth, more melody. The lyrics would be more about the experience on the road and things in real life. The first single is already done, we are going to shoot the videoclip next wednesday and I think we are going to release it next month.

Great! What song is it?

Razernij.

You only toured in The Netherlands and Belgium, is that a choice? Because of the lyrics are in Dutch.

No, it's not a choice. We get a lot of bookings from Belgium and a lot of Dutch ones, they love it. But we don't get a lot of response from Germany or England or whatever. When they mail or call us, we want to go.

So you have the ambition to grow bigger?

Yeah, with our first band we travelled across Europe and there's nothing more fun than five guys in a bus and travel somewhere to do shows.

You already have a few concerts booked for the future, to which one are you looking forward the most?

Yeah, ten or something. Looking forward to every one of them, because every one is different. With every concert you do, you don't what to expect, you don't know what happens. You don't know how the audience is going to react, because we play in Dutch. We love every gig we do.

About the history of touring with No1408, which is kind of short, what is your best touring memory?

There is a lot of it. We played in Belgium and we didn't know how the people were going to react. We played there and the crowd loved it, I think we got two more shows out of it. That's what you want to do. You want to entertain people, play and see a smile on people's face or see people headbang or mosh. That's all what we want.

Was it in the Flemish part or the French part?

It was in the Flemish part.

Are there, besides the new album, anymore future plans for No1408?

We want to play a lot, because that's the main thing about No1408. In the meantime, five or six songs are already written for the second album and hopefully somewhere end of next year we going to hit the studio and record it.

Last but not least, do you want to say something to the readers of DutchMetalManiac?

Yeah, your colleague was there in Papendrecht and he loved the show, we had a great laugh with him in the smokers room. That's amazing, so people come to shows and check us out at internet.

Thanks for the interview!

No problem.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: Corners Of Sanctuary - Metal Machine


Corners of Sanctuary is a 4 piece US band formed in 2011. For such a new band they have released an impressive amount of music.

4 Eps, 3 full length albums and 1 live album, now that's fucking impressive!! “Metal Machine” is their 4th album and these guys look unstoppable when it comes to creating. Also in the live department they kept themselves pretty busy too, besides doing a lot of shows they've also played along bands like Saxon and Anvil.

I was very impressed with all of the above and was interested in checking these guys out. They were completely unknown to me despite all the albums they've released so I had my hopes up for finding a hidden gem here.

However sometimes things might look great on paper but reality is very different.

Corners of Sanctuary play classic metal like it was done in early '80s along with influences from other American bands that belong to the glam/sleaze genre. Their style also brought to mind how Judas Priest used to sound in their late '70s era.

In Frankie Cross's vocal style and delivery these elements are easy identifiable. His voice reminded me a lot of Bobby Lucas (Attacker, Exhibition, Overlorde, Seven Witches) in his low to mid range while the high falsetto notes came straight from the glam/sleaze era mentioned before.

Personally I found his singing uninspired mainly due to the mediocre vocal lines and lack of good choruses, also found very annoying that there are small vocal harmonies in all songs. And I don't mean only in choruses (which would make sense) but in every part of each song. For me this takes away the impact and warmth that a single vocal line can deliver and makes the ending result sound faceless.

Same thing goes for musicianship too. While performance is adequate there are no surprises here. Nothing really stands out. Simple riffs and solos that offer little to nothing to the songs progression. Personally I hold nothing against simplicity as long as serving the music and in this case it doesn't. Also the band's constant persistence in writing mid tempo tunes along with the mediocre production (courtesy of Stu “The Hammer” Marshall) doesn't help things either since it sounds more like a live recording than a studio album. Guitar leads are buried, drums and bass are left in the back while the vocals dominate everything.

Wrecking Ball is the only song that stood out for me. It's simple but effective chorus brought Judas Priest in mind. Here you can find all the good elements of the band to just click and create an interesting song. Faster tempo and double bass drumming give this tune an edge that's unfortunately missing from the rest of the album.

In conclusion “Metal Machine” is an album I struggled listening all the way through and will hardly revisit in the future. Corners of Sanctuary should get back to the drawing board and focus on their songwriting and production.

Written by Manos Xanthakis

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Review: The Bendal Interlude - Reign Of The Unblinking Eye


The Bendal Interlude were, to be fair, a band that has totally escaped my attention until lately. The guys from Liverpool have been on the road and albums since 2007 with EP’s and one full-size album called Foal Recordings. Not much has been really put out before this new album just in the pipeline called Reign of the Unblinking Eye. The production on this album, however, is very good. For the rest, this album just kicks some serious metal butt all in all. The brilliant combination of groove-metal, hardcore and swinging riffs is brilliant.

Southern metal is a pretty weird and overlooked nook in the metal scene, by my knowledge pretty much only made really popular by the American band Every Time I Die. You could perhaps put Volbeat under this genre as well but that’s probably a different discussion. The reason I really, really liked this band and album is that they stay as far away as possible from all that. Where Every Time I Die has progressed more and more from a hardcore base to things that are catchier and maybe have a more poppy, punk, happy sound, The Bendal Interlude is just rinsing through all that with brutally honest, pissed-off music. Influences of the British hardcore scene are definitely there but what perhaps is the most obvious driving force is the dirty, big, fat, bassy sound of the guitars. It’s just such a brutal sound while definitely keeping the melody alive which lightens the music. Then off you go again in a brutal breakdown driven by the bass and blowing your brains out. It’s a far stretch from Every Time I Die’s fast and jumpy sound that may be suited to tear down a stage as well, But the sheer force and gravity on the album Reign of the Unblinking Eye makes one think how this band would do live, and if the building will structurally be up to it. All this is contained within a pretty awesome production that leaves room for the dirtiness, the filthiness of the overall sound while not making it too muddled. The melodic riffs are not devices to give the music somewhat of a lighter mood but fit in perfectly with the heavy low-tuned riffs. Some songs definitely remind me of Evelyn, a song by Volbeat’s Beyond Hell/Above Heaven where this band shows their death metal roots for once. That song has some weird, non-fitting, very Volbeat chorus, where The Bendal Interlude just pummels on through and doesn’t let go for one second.

This album is definitely a recommendation for everybody who is interested in something way heavier than Volbeat, and filthier than Every Time I Die. I call these two bands out, But The Bendal Interlude is its very own beast, and I am very curious to see what they will do next. I will be following them close from now on; they have turned me onto them with just two songs listened to the album. That will grow to be many more, very soon!

Written by Frank van Drunen

Review: Plutonium - Born Again Misanthrope

There is no better way to start a extreme metal album but with blast beat, and Plutonium proves it with this album.

The intro track is instrumental with one hell of a vibe. The track is almost constant blast beats with very fast paced guitar work behind the wall of sound coming from the drums. Guitar wise this album has some very solid guitar work with a world class guitar tone, even though the riffs are fast and tremolo picked almost constant you still can hear every single note being played and can hear the riff in its entirety unlike most black metal sounds where it sounds like a single note played with the compression cranked up to 11.

The sound of the album overall is extremely good production wise and also composition wise, if you want to hear a particular instrument in the album you can. The bass is clearly audible, the guitars also crystal clear sound. The only remark I have here is the volume of the drums, sometimes the drum sound is overwhelming in comparison to the other instruments especially during the blast beat parts. In my opinion the problems stems from the drummer who is beating the hell out of the drums and the producer didn't see it necessary to mix the drums a tad bit lower in the final mix. None the less, the album is great in all its entirety from start to finish and Plutonium did a great job. And if you like black metal, quality black metal you need to listen to this album and enjoy it.

Written by Nikola Milošević

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Album stream: Foul Body Autopsy - Perpetuated By Greed



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Video: Necronomicon - Crown Of Thorns



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Video: Our Hollow Our Home - Throne To The Wolves




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Lyric video: Burning Hatred - Doomed City



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Video: Rob Zombie - Well, Everybody's Fucking In A U.F.O.



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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stream: Elevators To The Grateful Sky - Mountain Ship



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Lyric video: American Head Charge - Perfectionist




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Video: Kontrust - Dance




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Video: The New Roses - Dead Man's Voice



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Stream: Sylvaine - A Ghost Trapped In Limbo




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Stream: Svarttjern - All Hail Satan



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Stream: Zakk Wylde - Sleeping Dogs



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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Interview: Paul Martin of Devilskin


Soon Devilskin will release its new album called We Rise. DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen already reviewed We Rise here and now it is time for him to ask some questions to bassist Paul Martin.

Hello, how are you doing?

Really well thanks! Loving being on tour at the moment!

First off the name. Is it meant as devil skin, devil’s kin or something completely different? And where does it come from?

DEVILSKIN one word, I got the idea from Jens lyric to the song Fade basically how someone can wear a Devil mask or skin to act like a devil. A comment on our dichotomy.

New Zealand is not a country that is not often associated with metal. How, if at all, does that influence the atmosphere in the band?

We have all played in metal bands previously and although the scene in NZ is not so big it is very loyal. We have attracted a lot of fans of many genres.

Can you tell us a little bit about the metal scene there?

There's lots of great bands, not a lot of venues but a lot of passion!

Paul and Nic are father and son. Your bio states Paul summoned Nic to join Devilskin when your previous drummer got involved in an accident. What’s with the summoning?

We needed a drummer for a tour and I had confidence in my 15 year old son. He stepped up admirally and we have never looked back.

How does it feel for Nic to play in a band with his father and, the other way around, for Paul playing with his son?

Paul: To me it’s the greatest feeling, I am extremely proud of Nic and love the time we spend together playing and travelling.

Nic: Devilskin is my first full-time original band, so performing and writing with Paul has come pretty naturally. It’s definitely an experience I appreciate and live out to the fullest.

Up until the release of ‘We rise’ you were primarily a live band and quite good at that as well, judging by various media. Is there a particular reason or occurrence that made you decide to produce and release ‘We rise’?

Recording was the next logical step for us but we wanted to make sure we did it properly and under our own terms. We waited until we could do that.

Looking at your band’s relatively short history and listening to ‘We rise’, I can’t help but thinking the title is perfectly chosen. You are rising, at least as far as I’m concerned. Is the title indeed referring to this or is there another story behind the title?

The title is very apt as we felt we were in ascension but it comes from a song of ours that we usually close the set with, it never made it onto the album but we still used the title.

I really enjoyed the album. One of the things that struck me is the wide variety between the songs. Who is or are the creative masterminds behind your music?

The four of us contribute equally to the songs. We love the fact that a lot of the tracks are vastly different to each other. Jen or myself write the lyrics but the music is really a team effort.

There’s some intriguing lyrics to be found on ‘We rise’, for example in ‘Burning tree’ and ‘Violation’. Who is or are responsible for the lyrics and where do you get your inspiration from?

Burning Tree is my lyrics and I wrote it about an emotive time I was going through. It's about self realization and taking strength from your hopes and dreams/

Jennie wrote Violation after her house was robbed, she was pretty angry and I think that shows!

You are currently on a tour in Europe, which ends in two weeks. I suppose you can’t squeeze in a visit to Holland? *wink* But seriously, what are your plans with Devilskin when you return, apart from a well-deserved rest?

We would dearly LOVE to come to Holland and we wanted to this time but the dates just didn’t stack up. WE fully intend to come back this way and hopefully before the end of 2016!

Is there anything left you’d like to share with our readers?

Yes, we really do appreciate hearing from people from all over the world who enjoy our music. It’s a fantastic feeling connecting with people who share the same passion for music and we love to travel and make friends. We are really hoping to get to your beautiful country as soon as we can.

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Review: Deströyer 666 - Wildfire


Wildfire by Deströyer 666 is a return to form by the black/thrash underground giants.

Brought to you by Seasons Of Mist. The label that gives you great music for a good while now. In my opinion Seasons of Mist is one of the most successful labels for rather underground and extreme metal bands.

The first thing you see about an album is of course the album cover. The album cover keeps it rather simple but effective with a black background. The graphic on top is really something to look at. A very detailed depiction of the reaper sitting on a horse while holding the ‘Deströyer 666’ flag high. A very creative turn on the flames at the back of the horse, which tells you, the album title buried and wreathed in flames.

Wildfire starts off with the track ‘Traitor’ which sends you straight to a flaming abyss in the very first seconds. The track instantly reminds me of old school thrash metal because the tone is very rusty. A tone that fits the band and it’s music very good.

After this song Deströyer 666 isn’t going to give you a break to let that sink in and blazes off with the first single of the album ‘Live And Burn’. The whole album gives you the feeling of pure adrenaline and a desire to head bang. My favorite track on the album is definitely the title track ‘Wildfire’. Never stopping, relentless and countless things black and thrash fans will love. The tremolo picking on the riffs just never stop. At a very close second is the track ‘Hounds At Ya Back’. This song brings you a pounding tempo reminiscent to old school heavy metal like Motorhead.

The one trap that I feel this album could fall into is that the songs are maybe too repetitive. Which could leave fans and new fans a bit bored. But, hell, this album runs for 39 minutes. You just have to listen to it in its entirety to fully experience the album. That’s what I do when I review an album. I try to listen, not to hear. When you sink into the music in a dark room you fully focus on a song. You will constantly hear new things every time you listen to the album.

‘Wildfire’ leaves me in awe. Destroyer 666 is at it again. A really great start of the year with pure, relentless metal. Whether you prefer thrash metal, black metal or old school heavy metal. You will find your fix here. Do yourself a favor and pick up this album for a great 39 minutes you will want to listen to over and over again.

9/10

Written by Joost van der Leij

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Live review: An Evening With Knives, 20 February 2016 at Xinix Nieuwendijk, Nieuwendijk, The Netherlands

Last Saturday in Xinix Nieuwendijk a few real metal fans were treated to this, almost psychedelic, experience in the form of An Evening With Knives. At first I must say I did not expect this. Their name could have easily been one for a generic metalcore band. I do not say this to mock the band in any way neither do I ask them to change the name. That is, for one reason. I will never forget this band with this name.

This is one of the best shows I have ever seen in this venue and that says a lot because I go there for my fix of good music almost every week. This week I was left in shock. I even forgot to buy their CD for in my car because I needed it so bad. I was left in a trance and even right now I am still pondering on which song is the very best. It think the one I enjoyed most was “Thoughts & Regrets”. Pounding riffs with a very fitting psychedelic element with conducts you into a trance that doesn’t fade the whole concert.

Also, the stage presence of the band is amazing. They know when to make their moves and it’s never too much. Especially the guitarist/singer. He knows when to play his solos and he knows when to keep it a little quieter when the atmosphere asks for it.

The one thing I hated about this show is that there were so few people. It was a free night for Christ’s sake. I wouldn’t have want to miss this band. It was a great night and it was certainly one for the books to remember.

While I continue listening to the 2 studio recorded songs they have on Spotify I sincerely hope to see them again and buy their CD to listen to in my car. It is just one of those things you really need in your sludge metal life. Go check ‘em out ya filthy animals.

Written by Joost van der Leij

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Lyric video: Sol Sistere - Death Knell



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Stream: Gorguts - Wandering Times




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Stream: Ragehammer - Unleash The Dogs

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Stream: Ifrinn - Dweller Within The Gulf



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Lyric video: Fear Theories - My Own Worst Enemy



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Stream: Invidiosus - Neurotic Misery



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Album stream: Illusionless - Age Of Kali



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Live video: [In Mute] - The Cage



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Video: Slaughterday - Ritual Of Sacrifice



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Review: Entombed A.D. - Dead Dawn


Dead Dawn is the second album by 4 ex-members of Entombed, after the unfortunate split that took place in 2013. To provide a little backstory, Entombed, one of Sweden’s death metal pioneers with several landmark albums, such as ‘’Left Hand Path’’, ‘’Clandestine’’ and their first so called death ‘n roll album, ‘’Wolverine Blues’’, had to cease productions under that name due to Alex Hellid leaving the band, forcing the remaining members of the band to add the ‘’A.D’’ to their name to avoid legal consequences. If you are, or have been a fan of the band, you will notice that the difference is not very subtle. Entombed A.D.’s 2014 ‘debut’ called ‘’Back to the Front’’ was not a bad album, it has its up’s and down’s, but it definitely did not reach the level of success that previous albums did. However, this album may hold the potential to restore the band’s name to its former glory, and here’s why:

Since the release of 1993’s ‘’Wolverine Blues’’ the band has been paving the way for a new style that mashes up elements of rock and roll, heavy metal and death metal with the authentic ‘’buzzsaw’’ guitar sounds and roaring death metal vocals combined with a taste for rock and roll riffs and solo’s. Until 2007, when ‘’Serpent Saints’’ was released (the last studio recordings released under the old Entombed), this had been a recurring sound, to the point of simple boredom to some critics, though some songs did hold true to the first two albums as pure death metal tracks. Well, have I got some good news for those who do not favor this sound so much: Entombed A.D. is back to kick some serious ass!

Dead Dawn is a great gamechanger for Entombed A.D. With ‘’Back to the Front’’, the band proved that it could keep the train going with just a single axeman in their line-up. However, it should be noted that ever since they split, their work has been kind of…different. It’s not as raw as it used to, but it sure is powerful. For example, the title track is definitely one of the best. It is very dark, it is very death, but it is also very Entombed. I hits you like a train, the drums are just remorseless with insane fills followed by slower interludes, there’s the guitar and vocal sounds that you are used to with these guys, they cranked up the bass too and best off all…it’s melodic as fuck and the lead guitar work on this album is great! Another track that caught my attention is ‘’As the World Fell’’, which is a great example of the slower jams on this record. I love how they filled the instrumental parts with simple, yet fitting riffs, adding to the doomy feeling this album is doing an awesome job at creating. ‘’Hubris Fall’’ is also one of few slow pace tracks and is quite similar to the previously described song, but again, the band succeeded to make it stand on its own. ‘’Total Death’’ is a track that will show you that the band hasn’t forsaken their death ‘n roll antics, with an amazing death metal adaptation to rock n roll guitar techniques and upbeat tempo. The album’s closer, ‘’Not What it Seems’’ is kind of a mix of everything present in the other songs. It has the unusual piano intro, the melodic parts in the background are essential to the song’s (and album’s) atmosphere, and there is a noticeable change between two entirely different beats.

From what I’ve read, this album seems to be what fans have been asking for since the early years. The death ‘n roll sound seems to have worn off a bit (though I don’t think it’s not nice to listen to. Just listen to the ‘’Inferno’’ album and see why), the record sounds more refined, I no longer feel as if there is a member of the band missing, something I definitely did feel when listening to ‘’Back to the Front’’ and there is a general vibe to this album that connects all the songs and that’s something new. Any fan of early Entombed will at least be able to enjoy this album, it might not be the best release so far, but this one sure as hell has given me new hope! I give this album a solid 7/10!

Written by Nino Milillo

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Live review: Kataklysm, Septicflesh, Aborted, 21 February 2016 at 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

A line-up of Kataklysm, Septicflesh and Aborted is a promise of a great death metal evening, and so it was in the Jupilerzaal of 013 in Tilburg. Even more so, as this was the last concert of Kataklysm’s “Of Ghosts and Gods” tour in Europe, and all three bands were determined to finish the tour with a blast!

With a way more relaxed atmosphere as compared to a couple months back, when the Paris terrorist attacks happened, the evening was opened by the Belgians of Aborted. The guys set quite a cool atmosphere for the bands to follow with their mix of grindcore and death metal. Circle pits and beer, all attendees were already very happy!

After a swift tag break, Septicflesh entered the stage. The Greeks from Athens combine death metal with gothic elements, and so this was surely the most atmospheric and theatrical part of the evening. Many deities were present as well, from “Anubis” to “Prometheus” and the “Pyramid God”. Surely a blast though and a great show!

Afterwards, it was time for the headliner of the evening: Kataklysm from Canada. Like with Aborted and Septicflesh, there was a certain nostalgia that the tour was coming to an end, but also a determination to give it all on this last night. The show was kicked off by “Of Ghosts and Gods” first track, “Breaching the Asylum”. Following were many older tracks, such as “As I slither”, “Push the venom” and “Open scars”, but also new tracks off “Of Ghosts and Gods”, like “The black sheep” and “Soul destroyer”. Overall a brilliant performance, which left everyone longing for more, even after 15 songs and two encores. A great closing evening for this tour, and hopefully more evenings like that in the near future!

Setlist Kataklysm:
1. Breaching the asylum
2. If I was god… I’d burn it all
3. As I slither
4. The black sheep
5. Manipulator of souls
6. At the edge of the world
7. Thy serpents tongue
8. Push the venom
9. The ambassador of pain
10. Where the enemy sleeps…
11. Soul destroyer
12. The chains of power
13. Open scars
14. In shadows & dust
15. Crippled & Broken
16. Iron will (Encore)
17. Elevate (Encore)

Written by Julia Obenauer

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Video: The Last Vegas - Bloodthirsty

Video: Oranssi Pazuzu - Lahja



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Lyric video: Martriden - Cold And The Silence



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Stream: Desaster - Damnatio Ad Bestias




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Album stream: An Open Letter / Sadness - An Open Letter/Sadness



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Video: Gadget - Enemies Of Reason



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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Stream: Rapheumets Well - Planetary Cenotaph



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Stream: The Vatican - It's Called Theft



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Stream: Rotten Sound - Inhumane Treatment



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Stream: Humm - Weeping Hermione



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Video: Saints Trade - California



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Video: Wishing Well - Sacrifice

Album preview: Black Sleep - The Whales Of The Grey Sea



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Video: Misteyes - The Prey



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Review: Chiral - Snow//Heritage


Since we reviewed several releases of Chiral and even interviewed the mastermind behind this one-man atmospheric black metal band, Chiral doesn't need an introduction anymore. But since there are, maybe, also people who are new to Chiral or simply haven't read those articles (link, link and link), here is a small introduction. Chiral hails from Italy and started at the end of 2013. As said Chiral plays atmospheric black metal. Chiral has released two demo's, two splits and two full-lengths to date and soon, on March 22nd, Chiral's newest release will see its light. It is an EP called Snow//Heritage. Let's give it a spin.

Starting with an cover of Woman Is The Earth's Sage Moon makes that you get the perfect atmosphere for this four-track EP. You immediately are getting more relaxed. When you listened Chiral's earlier releases you know he can make very beautiful music, sometimes a little bit dreamy, but I haven't expect this kind of relaxed music. It has become some sort of neofolk music and while this is not very metal, it is perfectly made. The last track, Whiteness (The Snow & The Borrowed Lights), will take care that you get back on earth, it also has its dreamy parts, but is definitely more black metal than the other tracks on this beautiful EP called Snow//Heritage.

You can hear that Chiral is a very well-trained musician with a very wide range of possibilities in making his music. The fact that he combines beautiful, well played neofolk with, also very nice played, atmospheric black metal and it makes a perfect EP can only affirm that.

Whether you like atmospheric black metal, neofolk, both of them, or none at all, it doesn't matter. Be sure to listen to this masterpiece, at least try and let yourself suprise with this!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

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Lyric video: Them - Blood From Blood



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Stream: Ragnarok - Infernal Majesty



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Monday, February 22, 2016

Stream: Projekt F - Tongue



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Stream: Devotion - P. Hamilton



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Stream: Bloodthirst - The Masterpiece Of Lie



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Album stream: Angelcide - Hunting Astral Prey

Album stream: Khanus - Rites Of Fire



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Video: Poem - Passive Observer



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Stream: Chiral - Whiteness (The Snow & The Borrowed Light)



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Review: Narrenshyff - Narragonia


If you put together Erebos from Polish black metal band Srogosc and Bartek Brozek, here called Acheron, from other Polish black metal band Mornië Utúlië, you get the amazing recently started black metal band Narrenshyff. Just a few days ago they released their debut full length called Narragonia.

Narragonia contains four songs and as you can see on the titles of the tracks the lyrics wouldn't be very positive. Beginning with a little intro, but after 20 seconds Narrenshyff's hell will unleashed upon your ears. Starting with Depresja you immediately hear that this is good quality black metal with their melodic/symphonic parts also in it. The music is very nicely played and contains much variation which makes it very nice to listen to. The screams are very harsh and dark and with their lyrics sung in Polish it will give you a very dark feeling. The shortest song on Narragonia endures seven and a half minute, so while this album only contains four songs it still fills the 38 minutes right from the moment when you hit play. If you like it of course, but I am almost certain you do!

Narrenshyff has done a very good job in making Narragonia and I recommend everyone to listen to this. Especially if you are a fan of black metal. This is Polish black metal from a very high level! Definitely a band to watch in the future!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

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Review: Devilskin - We Rise


Devilskin, a three men, one woman outfit hailing from New Zealand, is a relatively new player in the metal world, being founded in 2010. The band has vocalist Jennie Skulander as eyecatcher. The other three members are Paul Martin on bass and Nail on guitar, who, due to their physical resemblance are referred to as ‘the evil twins’ and Paul Martin’s son Nic on drums. Nic was not an original member, but after the previous drummer had to step back for a prolonged time after a serious motorcycle accident, Paul summoned his son to take over the drum seat. So far that proved to be the right move, Devilskin, according to themselves, have their ideal line-up. They play heavy metal with some alt metal and quite a few rock touches. ‘We rise’ is the band’s first full-length release, dating back to 2014. Up until then their working grounds were on stage, where they build themselves quite a reputation as various New Zealand media, who use a lot of superlatives to describe the band, claim. Furthermore ‘We rise’ reached platinum status in New Zealand, which gives us more than enough reason to see what all the fuss is about and to test if that fuss is justified.

Well, it is. It starts off with a track that has a peculiar title: ‘Elvis Presley circle pit’. Even though a circle pit might be a bit too much to ask, this song will definitely get you moving. A strong riff that, though not particularly original, sticks to your head. Jennie’s vocals, which at times remind me of Dutch singer Anouk’s voice, fit the song perfectly making this a catchy song with a heavy edge. This description is applicable on the majority of the songs on ‘We rise’, although there’s plenty of variety and contrast between them. Strong, skilled musicians both complementing and complemented by excellent vocals, the ultimate recipe for a delightful album. Whether it’s the upbeat ‘Never see the light’, the somewhat thrashy ‘Until you bleed’, the lingering ‘Dirt’ or the true bonus treat ‘Mountains’, there is no way you can sit still when you’re listening to them nor will you ever be bored. For extra variety there’s a few slower songs, ballads if you will, that actually improve the listening experience. ‘Fade’ with its great solo and ‘The burning tree’ where a strikingly pained, sad sounding Jennie puts up an excellent performance.

And then there’s ‘The horror’, a musical intermezzo in which it becomes clear Jennie is not to be handled with kid gloves, not only considering the phrase ‘Jennie’s got a cleaver…’ in the lyrics, but, even more than that, considering her vocals in what comes next. ‘The horror’ is a proper intro to the next song called ‘Violation’ in which Jennie, regardless whether she has a physical cleaver or not, more than proves she at least has an audible cleaver. All hell breaks loose when she unleashes the full force and reach of her voice, growling and screaming like there’s no tomorrow in this aggressive sounding song. Truly impressive. Framed in a strong musical setting this is arguably one of the best songs of the album, but there’s a few more that can claim that title in my opinion. To emphasize the contrast between the songs, ‘Violation’ is succeeded by a moody piano piece called ‘Covet’.

I think everyone reading this can tell I’m really happy with this one. ‘We rise’ is a great, varied album filled with tracks that are bound to please a wide crowd of music fans. Whether it’s the incredible voice of Jennie, the tight riffing and sweet solos Nail pulls from his strings, the humming bassline Paul surrounds us with or the stellar drum work Nic manages to squeeze out of his kit, everything on this album fits. Apart from that it has a resounding production, making this one even more desirable. If it wasn’t an older release I’d put his one right up there with the best on my year list. More than recommended.

Written by Henric van Essen

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: Ecliptica - Ecliptified


Alright, I could start this review with saying that I always like that Tim van Velthuysen makes it possible for me to review typical eighties rock music, name a couple of artist of which Ecliptica makes me think of and then write an easy review, I am not going to do that!

Why? Because from the moment I started listening, the first song “Welcome to the Show” shows that the band has a very unique approach and sound. This mainly has to do with three things. The first thing is that the band doesn’t seem to be taking themselves very serious. I am not saying that these guys aren’t serious musicians, on the contrary, I think it’s easy to hear that they are very professional! No, what I mean is that the whole album is one huge nod to the classic eighties rock, let’s say an homage with lots of humor!

The second thing I want to name are the great guitar parts, at some points they even reek like classic heavy metal. The song “Persephone” is a good example of this, but mostly it just sounds like good old-fashioned hard rock, of which we have very little bands left these days.

The third and perhaps most notable for me, because I didn’t know Ecliptica before I started to review this album, are the female vocals. What singer Tom Tieber misses vocally in range and an edge, is more than compensated by the raw female vocals of counterpart Sandra Urbanek. Despite the fact that I really think she could handle singing these songs on her own, it interesting to remark that when the two vocalists sing together, it sounds pretty awesome! However, the female vocals definitely kept my attention to the album. The raw sound on the song “Hate the Pain” are very different from the beautiful singing voice we hear on the ballad ”For Good”. Sandra Urbanek is a very versatile singer who lifts this album to a higher level.

So if you are looking for classic eighties rock with a very unique sound, then Ecliptified is certainly worth checking out!

Written by Glenn van der Heijden

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Lyric video: Paragon - Hell Beyond Hell



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Promoting bands part 3

Hi,

Maybe you've already seen part 1 and part 2 of the promoting bands category on DutchMetalManiac.
In case you haven't, since it's been a while, be sure to check them out and read the description of this category below.

I started this category because I am always looking for bands I don't know yet. This will be a place where I will be promoting some bands which mostly aren't that big (yet). Some of them I found while searching through the internet, some contacted me to promote them. If you want to be part of this be sure to contact us by info@dutchmetalmaniac.com.

So, here's part 3:

1. Karnon - progressive black/death
Karnon is active since 2013 and just released their debut EP Le Temps Sombre, which you can listen below.



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2. Deep Mountains - atmospheric black metal
Hailing from China, Deep Mountains have already released an EP, one full-length and one live album, while their new album will come soon. Listen to their first full-length Lake Of Solace below.



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3. Moker - brutal death
Moker hails from Belgium and already released a split and three albums, I just discovered them and below you can listen to their latest album Satan's Den.



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4. Hell Puppets - horror metal
Hell Puppets make some kind of horror metal and I think it's very cool. Below you can check their video for the track called We Are The Enemy.



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5. Idek. - experimental metal
Idek. is a band from The Netherlands which just started last year. I just discovered them and below you can check their first single from their debut EP for the track A Fool's Gold.



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6. Raubtier - industrial metal
Raubtier just released their latest album Bärsärkagång, which is great in my opinion. You can read our review of Bärsärkagång here and read an interview with vocalist/guitarist Hulkoff here. Besides that check their song Bothniablod below.



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7. Motus Tenebrae - doom/gothic metal
Motus Tenebrae just released their album Deathrising which sounds great. Check their song Light That We Are from that album below.



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8. Zafakon - thrash metal
Zafakon released their latest album Release in december last year. They hail from Puerto Rico and play good thrash metal. Check album track Ecosfear below.



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9. Project Pain - thrash metal
Another thrash metal band, this time from The Netherlands. But not just another thrash metal band, these guys play their music very nicely. Read our review about their recent album Thrashed To Kill here and be sure to check their video for Flatline Invasion below.



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10. Cruenta Lacrymis - symphonic dark death metal
Cruenta Lacrymis is a very nice sounding band. They released their album Sweetness And Blasphemy last year and I think it is great. Watch their video for Mother Of Sigh (coming from Sweetness And Blasphemy) below.



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Hope you liked these bands and watch out for more parts of promoting bands in the future!
Be sure to contact us if you want to be in this category.

Tim van Velthuysen

Friday, February 19, 2016

Stream: Demise Of The Crown - Human Denial



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Stream: Nucleus - Cube



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Lyric video: InnerWish - Needles In My Mind



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Video: Tendonitis - Clandestine



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Review: Brainstorm - Scary Creatures


Brainstorm are no new comers in music world.

2 years after “Firesoul” the band from Germany are back with the 11th album.

Upon releasing the 1st demo back in 1990 Brainstorm have established themselves as a metal force to be reckoned with.

Their music can be described as metal/power/thrash that draws influences from bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and NWOBHM bands along of course numerous elements found in the German metal/thrash scene.

However Brainstorm are no copycats and they have established their own sound from early on. Their style is a lot heavier and faster than the majority of power metal bands but where Brainstorm really makes a difference are with the distinct and unique vocals of Andy B. Frank.

Andy's voice can't easily be described. His voice is a mix of Rob Halford's low to mid range and Bruce Dickinson's ferocious delivery and storytelling. Now add to this a lot (and I really mean a lot) of thrash influences and you get a very unique blend of a singing style. His voice is easily recognizable and unless I'm mistaken at this time literally no other singer at this moment sounds like him.

Being a big fan of the band's earlier albums like “Ambiguity”, “Metus Mortis”, “Hungry” I was disappointed with their more melodic turn in “Liquid Monster” released back in 2005 as they tried mellowing their sound. That kinda killed my interest since, so I was quite curious listening their latest offering. Let's not forget that Brainstorm is a very consistent band and since 2005 have released 4 more albums.

Their new release is titled “Scary Creatures”. In this album Brainstorm sound heavy as fuck. A lot of times they flirt with fast to mid tempo songs clearly showing a heavier and epic dimension in their music. You can find great choruses in tunes like “How much can you take”, “Scary creatures”, “World to see“ and “Caressed by the blackness” and awesome riffs in songs like “We are” and “Where angels dream” this one also carries a small Gamma Ray influence within its guitar harmonies.

Musicianship is at a very good level and production provides another plus since it sounds modern and heavy but without sacrificing distinct details as sporadic use of keyboards and guitar effects. There are some small surprises for me as Brainstorm choose a more classic '80s approach on the last 2 songs “Take me to the never” & “Sky among the clouds” something that suits them very nice!

Where the album shines is in the vocal department. The voice really leads the songs and production has really made sure they got plenty of room available to breath.

What I felt this album lacking is that it sometimes sounds a bit repetitive especially in the use of anthemic choruses that are constantly embellished by gang vocals (similar to Accept) and a lot of vocal harmonies. I'd rather hear a bit more variety instead like they did with the chorus of “Twisted ways” that sounded straight from the golden days of Stratovarius.

Brainstorm have returned with a very strong album that metal fans should take notice and of course they shouldn't miss the chance on seeing them live since Brainstorm is a band capable of always delivering their music to the max!

Salute to Brainstorm guys, it's nice having you back!

Written by Manos Xanthakis

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Live review: No. 1408, 30 January 2016, Café De Trap Af, Papendrecht, The Netherlands

So, I found out that there was a free show about 15 minutes away from my home (ladies/gents, please don't use this information to stalk me!) and decided to give it a try.

The opening band were some young locals who could obviously use some practice, but they had fun and were very friendly, so I gave them some advice about gear and stage presence.

Anyway, on towards the main act of the evening, No1408!

I was hanging out with them in the smoking room, they were making fun of each other 'till it was time for them to put on a show.

The background music stopped, they came on stage and grabbed the crowds' attention by starting off with "Hello, we are number 1408. Dumb name huh?" and blasting into their first song.

They announced all their songs with some slice-of-life cabaret, about how they got lost during the ride there for example, and the lead guitarist had a wireless guitar cable that he used to stand in the crowd and play guitar!

The music was superb, a bit of a rawer Volbeat with some old 'tellica and testament influences. They called themselves "nedermetal", and it was nothing like "nederpop", so don't worry ;)

The only downside of that show was that the crowd wasn't as into it as I hoped, hoped for a mosh pit that didn't came.

Also bought a shirt and an album from them.

Bottom line, it's a band with a great sense of humor and very friendly very much worth checking out!

Written by Gijs de Wolff

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Review: Machinæ - Clockwork


Machinæ is a awesome melodeath band from Finland. Now there are many great melodeath bands from Finland (Children of Bodom, Norther, Amorphis) and it is expected from them to be good and to bring something new or better to the table. And Machinæ does that in full.

They are going in a more modern way of playing melodeath, the approach of using some metalcore techniques or approaches to riffing and some breakdowns. Normally the mix of melodeath and metalcore is very bad, as it takes some of both and none are prevalent, and by that it gives a watered down version of both. Machinæ went around the issue by using only a vocal technique and breakdowns of metalcore and keeping everything else from melodeath.

The sound overall is solid with considerable amount of compression on the guitar riffing and at the same time a lot of clarity in the melodic parts, and the quality of the sound for the guitars is never going down. The quality of the rest of the instruments is also immense and gives it a great filling the songs, I only have a complaint about the drum sounds. The drum sound in some parts of the songs are diluted by the guitars and vocals, and some of the cymbals are lost in the mix. None the less the mix is great, and gives the listener the full experience of the album.

The album is great and I would give it a 9/10, and recommend it to anyone who is into Finnish melodeath.

Written by Nikola Milošević

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Review: Funeral Mantra - Afterglow

Funeral Mantra was formed in 2010 and consists of 5 members. Hailing from Rome, Italy, They mainly write about the afterlife and have 1 demo out and this album of course. They are very heavily influenced by bands like Black Sabbath and Black Label Society but definitely manage to give it their own little Doom/Sludge twist.

Funeral Mantra’s album begins with an eerie sounding didgeridoo like sound. Yeah. It’s a bit weird but transfers through a monologue and morphs into the second track of the album, Dimensions Onward. The song is a bit uninspiring and while it does give me the urge bang my head I also kind off dislike it. It’s one of those songs you hear in a bar and you’re banging your head but you don’t want to know the band or won’t be bothered to ask the barkeep what’s it’s called.

The mediocrity keeps riding it’s wave of momentum into the 3rd and 4th track. Gravestone Reveries is a blueprint for standard doom/stoner metal, this isn’t necessarily a good thing because it’s a good song. It’s just that I’ve heard it before, everywhere. Brainlost is not that much different. Once again it’s not a bad song.

In these eyes sounds a bit more like they got their own style going on. I like the style. I would describe it as a heavy black Sabbath but with a good singer, Dimebag Darrell on the guitar, but he’s stoned and doesn’t really feel like playing, James Hetfields ‘yeah’s incorporated every now and then.
It works.

Track number six is the title track for the band (not the album). Funeral Mantra starts with the weird intro thing we heard in track one or, Soulstice. But it quickly transforms into the style I described above. It is quite a slow song but fun to listen to.

Parsec might be the best song though. It’s a lot quicker and more energetic. It wakes you up after almost falling asleep because of how standard some of the songs are.

With counterfeit soul we are back to mediocrity though. It does have a real nice solo in it though.

Drifting is just more of the same, again.

Last but not least is the title track of the album (not the band). It starts of slow with thunder, rain and the sounds of the sea and kicks in with a fun riff. The transition to the slow part and vocals is great and I really think this is the best song with Parsec. It’s an 8 minute and 12 seconds journey through doom metal.

The band tried, the band didn’t fail, the band didn’t succeed either. I would give this album a 6.3 out of 10. Funeral Mantra will probably never headline a big festival, nor will they ever unleash a mind boggling industry reshaping album. But they are very solid and can be very fun to listen too.

Written by Koen Oude Kempers

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