Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stormhold - The Lost World (Total Metal Records, 2013)

Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Year: 2014
Country: Belarus
1. Wind of Freedom 06:05  
2. Another Day 05:34  
3. The Understanding of Truth 04:43  
4. Eyes in the Eyes 04:58  
5. Our Blood's on the Cross of War 04:04  
6. The History Pages 05:28  
7. Inside My Mind 04:32  

Here is a country you don't hear that much metal from, Belarus!

From the start with Wind Of Freedom we hear a drummachine which does not give me a lot of confidence. I prefer real drums with my Death Metal.
Luckily the first track is the weakest on the album and things pick up a bit after that.
Stormhold plays Melodic/Symphonic Death Metal in the vein of Dark Tranquility, At The gates etc. but never really reaches that potential. The popularity of the genre is not as big as it was during the early 2000s, so it will have to compete with more metalcore releases then pure melodic death releases which might be a good thing for the band. On a technical aspect the cd is really badly mixed, the volumes of some songs are really different making me put my speakers higher and lower the whole time.
My favorite track is Another Day, which is a very aggressive fast song. Maybe in the future the band need to downplay the keyboard a bit and focus more on the aggressive part of their music. Also please invest a bit in a better mix.

About the booklet, it's just your run of the mill lyrics with photos of the band, nothing more and not really printed on high quality paper. The artwork is not really something special as well, a skull with some floating bullets photoshopped on it, I don't really get it.

 A very cool thing however is that because the album is only 35 minutes long they have printed their logo, faces and the skull on the backside of the cd! Now that is something I haven't seen a lot before. Well done for that. (See image above).

All in all it's a very mediocre release that only collectors of Melodic Death Metal should check out.


Where to buy:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One Step Beyond - The Music Of Chance (Total Metal Records, 2014)

Genre: Experimental Metal
Year: 2014
Country: Australia
01. Hour of the Wolf
02. The Music of Chance
03. Hand That's Dealt
04. Decay
05. Up In Smoke
06. Faith
07. Planets Like Chess Pieces
08. Domino Architect
09. Good World Gone Bad

Here is a rule I always had, it's very hard to review something this isn't easy to classify. When I listen to the new enforcer I can always compare it to what it tries to be, a throwback to the 80s heavy metal gods, when I listen to something like this, which is more unique I can ofcourse try and compare it to other bands like sleepytime gorilla museum and Mr Bungle but it will be harder to rate. As you can expect when I throw around names like SGM and Mr Bungle One Step Beyond presents us with very experimental, even avant-garde Deathh Metal.

 It's the first album I hear by this Australian band but I must say it really is a positive experience, this warrants checking out their older work.

For the booklet the good experience continues. The paper is good quality, the lyrics are actually readable (Metal Scrap Records had some problems with this in the past) and the artwork is well done by Nurgeslag (same guy who did art for Rotting Christ etc).

 All in all this is a good release of good experimental metal, wheter you like this sort of thing is up to you but give it a listen and buy if you like it.