Quick Review: “Vatan” by Samavayo

Even though I’m used to listening to industrial quantities of new music every week, there always comes the time when I come across to a record released by what I think to be a new band, but then, as soon as I check on google, it turns out that the formation is active for a long time. And when the music played by the band is as interesting as what I found in the new album by Samavayo, the pleasure of having finally filled a gap in your musical knowledge is combined with the regret of not having followed the musical growth of the band, which means not having enjoyed in full what they did in the past. In any case: better late than never.

Samavayo is a trio of German rockers based in Berlin. The band is active since 2000 and with their newest LP, called Vatan, they have published to date six full-length records. When approaches them for the first time (as I did) it’s fairly unlikely to guess that they come from the heart of Europe. The style played by Samavayo, in fact, is absolutely impregnated with the flavours of desert stoner and alternative metal, two kinds of music that usually accompany the production of American bands. Regardless of their Country of origin, however, what really impresses of Satamayo is that they play a kind of music that’s absolutely enjoyable and exciting to hear.


Vatan offers a sequence of truly amazing tracks that you will start to appreciate from the very first listening. From a musical point of view, their sound is basically what you would get by injecting heavy doses of fuzz and stoner into the music of Tool. This comparison is anything but risky, given the fact that really many passages that we hear in Vatan are clearly inspired from the songs of the legendary band from California, starting from the very first notes that we hear in Vatan‘s opening track Prevarication Nation.


The resemblance with Tool is more than just a hint, and this is at the same time a positive aspect of Vatan but also, in hindsight, the major limit of this record. It’s not by chance, thus, that most of the tracks that impressed me the most are those where the stoner and psychedelic influences become more strong, like for example in the title track, or the closing song Children of Kobane.

My final rating is a convinced 7/10. Favourite songs: Prevarication Nation, Sirens, the title-track Vatan, and Children of Kobane.



Samavayo’s new album is avilable on Bandcamp, and it can be streamed also from Spotify.


Best New Music: “When the World Becomes Undone” by A Pale Horse Named Death

Sometimes, when reviewing a record, it’s really difficult, if not impossible, not to be influenced by nostalgia. Therefore, when you’re in front of an album that keeps alive the legacy of one of your favourite bands of all times, the judgment will never be completely objective. I know that.

A Pale Horse Named Death is an American gothic metal band that was created in 2010 by Sal Abruscato, the former drummer of the legendary band Type O Negative. And since the beginning of this new project, he and his bandmates have never hide the fact that Type O Negative, together with Alice in Chains, was to be considered the principal references for their sound.

The current line-up of A Pale Horse Named Death features Sal Abruscato (voice, guitar, drums), Eddie Heedles (guitar), Johnny Kelly (drums), Eric Morgan (bass) and Joe Taylor (guitars).

When the World Becomes Undone is the new LP released by A Pale Horse Named Death, and the style of music played by the band doesn’t deviate too much from their previous two albums: 2010’s And Hell Will Follow Me and 2013′ s Lay My Soul to Waste.

“When the World Becomes Undone” is the third LP by American gothic band A Pale Horse Named Death. The album was released on January 18th, 2019.

Fans of gothic metal will enjoy in this LP the beautiful combination of dark atmospheres, heavy and melodic riffs, with slow – but not obsessive – rhythms. The quality and also the charm of this music, however, makes the record in principle accessible for a wider and more heterogeneous audience of listeners. Just as it happened in the past with Type O Negative or more in general as is the case with the best bands, their area of influence is generally wider than what the boundaries of their genre should dictate.


When the World Becomes Undone brings with it the original spark of light that illuminated the bands they are inspired by, and the album still preserves many of the elements that many years ago made these formations to become legendary. The level of quality of the masters remains still unattainable, that’s clear. But in this sense, the operation that was conducted by Abruscato was absolutely valid, and smart. He has in fact managed to develop a style of music that despite being inspired from that of his former band, it’s still moving towards new directions. In this respect, the insertion of the grunge component into the gothic recipe was an interesting and well-executed move. A few songs, actually, are more close to grunge than to gothic and doom. This is the case, as an example, of the two central songs of the album Vultures and End of Days that could be truly part of Alice in Chains’ new LP.


The songs of A Pale Horse Named Death’s new album range from atmospheric and relatively dark moments to brief phases in which the music becomes more energetic and the rhythms tighter. Slow tempos dominate for most of the record, in particular in the central part of the LP.

The sonic aspect of When the World Becomes Undone is particularly intriguing. There is in the forefront the combination of dirty and strong guitars with powerful bass, and of course the voice of Abruscato, which I found particularly warm and empathic. The work done by the other two guitarists is also excellent and the songs are plenty of interesting guitar inserts and subtle melodic lines that stay in the shadow of the main riffs. Sometimes all the intricate lines of the guitar may seem almost imperceptible, at least if you don’t put too much attention to the details, but in the end, they really contribute to the overall atmospheres of the songs.

My rating for the album is 8/10. This record presents a beautiful mix of past and present, and it offers a collection of songs that are strong and melodic at the same time.

My favourite songs: Love the Ones You Hate, the title track When the World Becomes Undone, We All Break Down, and Fell in My Hole.


When the World Becomes Undone is available on Bandcamp and it can be streamed also from Spotify.


WHATCHAWANT – Music from the Golden Age (Part 1)


I believe it’s absolutely natural that we feel a special and visceral connection with the music that we used to listen when we were teenagers. When we compare it with the music that’s produced today, older tunes always look more strong, exciting, and also original than what the new generations are listening nowadays. Nevertheless, it’s objectively agreed that across the 80s and 90s an incredible phenomenon was experienced in which artists from different backgrounds began to expand the boundaries of their music by mixing genres and cultures, creating something unique and spectacular, which today still shines with a special light. Bands like Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, they all contributed to sign one of the most influential periods of the history of modern music. I call it “The Golden Age of Music“.

WHATCHAWANT is a project which is aimed at selecting, collecting and mixing together the music that was produced in the Golden Age of Music. You’ll find here only the best songs, those who influenced huge masses of fans and followers.

PART 1 is the first chapter of the project. It’s a mix of 30 minutes with an initial bunch of songs. Other parts will follow. Enjoy it and spread the word!



THE BEST OF ALICE IN CHAINS, the band which has lived twice

 

Alice in Chains is a band which has lived twice. After the hiatus, the issues realated to drug abuses and the tragedy that has struck the band in a crucial moment of their career, the guys from Seattle were able to emerge from their ashes and find a way to overcome the loss of their iconic lead singer Layne Staley. As a matter of fact, within the family of the legendary bands that marked the golden age of grunge at the end of the last century, Alice in Chains are among the very few which managed to maintain their status until today, and this is mainly because of the objectively high level of quality of the music that they have continued to produce and release even after the peak of their career.

This year the band has released a new LP, Rainier Fog, the sixth full-lenght studio album of their discography, the third with William DuVall as co-lead vocalist and guitarist. In some way this record marks a sort of milestone in the band’s history: 3 albums with Layne Stayley and 3 albums without.

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Alice in Chains performing live in 1996 (with Layne Staley)

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Alice in Chains performing live in 2017 (with William DuVall)

In order to celebrate this special chapter in the career of Alice in Chains I decided to make a compilation with all my favorite songs from their impressive production. The mixtape features 18 songs which cover a timespan from 1990 to 2018.

The complete playlist of the compilation is the following:

  • Rainier Fog
  • Check My Brain
  • Again
  • Grind
  • Pretty Done
  • Them Bones
  • A Looking In View
  • Rain When I Die
  • Down In A Hole
  • Get Born Again
  • Angry Chair
  • Hollow
  • So Far Under
  • We Die Young
  • Would
  • Nutshell
  • Brother
  • Black Gives Way To Blue

I’m sure you will enjoy this selection of songs, and please feel free to write me for any comment on the playlist or if you are interested to get the file of the mixtape (which is also good for running). Long life to Alice in Chains!


 

Best New Music: DENIAL/SURVIVAL by Antipope

 

It’s not an ordinary thing in this blog that a black metal disc deserves an article for itself, and in that sense it might seem even more special an extreme metal album is included among the best releases of the month. In the case of Denial/Survival, the last work from the Finnish metallers Antipope, this achievement is justified by the huge amount of creativity and innovation that these guys from Oulu managed to fit into their fourth album.

Ten years ago this band started as a more conventional black metal group. With each following release, however, they have incorporated many additional styles of metal into their recipe, including progressive metal, gothic, doom and also an hint of industrial. With their forth full-lenght work, the band has reached a point where an overwhelming number of different influences and techniques have been merged together creating something really new and quite unique in today’s music scene. The single Water Below, which is also the first track of the album, is a good example of the peculiar style of Antipope. It starts with a stoner-like intro and a repeated note which gives than the way to an alternative metal riff (reminiscent of Tool), until a typical black metal tremolo and growling vocals take the lead.

The 10 songs of the album are full of similar surprises and fusions of different styles, but always keeping a good level of overall coherence throughout the entire LP.

Other tracks that result particulary interesting are Resolution, Hunt, and True Anarchist.

 

The album can be listened and acquired on bandcamp.

Usually progressive and mostly metal. Antipope crosses the imaginary boundaries between metal genres, taking the listener down the path of self-discovery, death, and re-Birth. This progressive metal masterpiece will take you on a trip from extreme metal to light, darkness, death and rebirth.

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The Best ALTERNATIVE METAL of the Year: Seether and My Ticket Home.

Often shadowed by more extreme musical genres and perhaps marked by those masterpieces that were published between the two centuries, today Alternative Metal is definitely a type of music that struggles to reach the forefront and also mainstream recognition. Apparently it seems that the creative vein that brought this genre to success about twenty years ago is now exhausted, and the few brave music bands who still venture along the streets of this style of metal can only pick up the few crumbs left behind by the ancient masters. Occasionally, however, some album escapes this inexorable law and manages to be noticed for its own qualities. And it’s always nice to dive into the sounds of this kind of music. It’s like a brief and intense journey into the past, when we were about twenty years younger and we had to wait to see our favorite groups on MTV, without Youtube and Spotify.

Today there are not so many alternative metal albums that deserve our attention. I’ve picked up here the best LPs I’ve heard this year. These are two groups that –  even through different stories – have come to the same point of arrival. And these are definitely two beautiful records to bring with us in the forthcoming years.


 

Poison the Parish by Seether

 

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It may seem a curious thing at first, but this year the best alternative metal album comes from South Africa and was produced by a band of veteran rockers who – until a few years ago – very few would have associated the metal world. Seether, a post-grunge band from Pretoria, has been in fact the protagonist of one of the most interesting music transformations of the year. Poison the Parish, the seventh full-lenght work by the trio, arrived three years after their previous release and signed a new heavier direction for the band. And based on what we hear on the album, the change is for the better.

The musical style of Seether, today, is clearly inspired by the masters of alternative metal (Tool and Alice in Chains, just to mention the most evident sourcse of inspiration), but the album never trascends into a mere imitation of the models.

This album is definitely one of the best surprises of the year. These guys have developed an exceptional mix of “metal” atmospheres and mainstream “rock” music motifs: the result, in this case, is more than the sum of the two parts.


 

unReal by My Ticket Home

 

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Listening to the latest album by My Ticket Home, an American quartet from Ohio, we immediately realize that these guys were raised with huge doses of 90′ nu-metal and grunge. Their music, in fact, is virtually a collage of the most beautiful alternative things  that has been made over the last twentyfive years and whan I play their new album, unReal, I often find myself reliving the emotions I had with the first beautiful albums by Deftones and A Perfect Circle.

Once I made clear that the music of this band does not excel for originality, it must be said however that unReal is definitely an excellent LP of good and powerful alternative metal, energetic and engaging as few albums have been able to be in the recent months.

Finding and crafting your own musical style while you dive into the world of your idols is not easy. These guys are trying to achieve this ambitious goal and as long as their songs will keep this level of quality we can definitely forgive some excessive reference they to the masters of the past and simply enjoy their music.


 

 

Mid-Year Verdicts: TOP TEN METAL ALBUMS IN 2017

When putting together the names for this Top Ten chart for metal, I was impressed to see how many “veterans” are part of the list. I don’t know if I should be really suprised or rather it was to be expected. In effect these groups have been playing for so long because they have recognized qualities. The reality is that many albums coming from experienced musicians are at the end of the day more inspired and filled with passion than the average stuff that’s published by younger generations of metallers. Fortunately, however, there are also a number of relatively recent metal band that somehow balance the situation and give me hope about the future of this kind of music.

 

#1) Nightmare Logic by Power Trip

Nightmare Logic, which is the last and second full-lenght album by Texans trashers Power Trip, is systematically climbing the rankings of any chart where this work it has been included. Eventually it reached the top of its category: I’m giving it the deserved award of best metal album of the year in this half-term review.

Power Trip are a relatively new metal band from Texas that plays an energetic and violent blend of thrash and hardcore. They aren’t around since many years but have already accumulated considerable experience playing live together with some big names like Anthrax, Lamb of God and Napalm Death. Nigthmare Logic is their second full-lenght album and it proved to be one of the best thrash metal releases of the last years: fast, energetic, and  innovative with a lot of inserts from other metal sub-genres, such as hardcore and industrial.

Take Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, double the intensity and throw some Slayer and crossover thrash into the mix, all updated to the 2010’s with a modern production and you have the fearsome riff machine that is Nightmare Logic. (The Metal Archives)

Nightmare Logic looks to me as one of that fortunate cases where the classical and typical elements which made this kind of metal so much successful in the past 30 years have been masterfully reshaped with modern elements, creating a new and unique sound that most likely will become itself a reference for future generations. Impressive, not to be missed.

 

#2) The World Ablaze by God Dethroned

This album was a shocking encounter when I first heard it: I was not expecting such a magnificient work from a band that released their previous full-lenght work as back as 7 years ago. And regardless of the ups and downs it’s having in my charts since its arrival, it remains one of the best albums that I heard in 2017, across all genres of music.

Death Metal is not an easy kind of music to listen and unfortunately it is also inflated by an excessive number of low-level bands that simply find themselves pushing the sounds to the extremes without particular skills or any research for something different to say. Nothing we just wrote applies to The World Ablaze, the last release by Dutch metal veterans God Dethroned. This is the tenth album since their formation in 1991 and, as anticipated, it arrived seven years after their previous release. I can somehow imagine the four musicians spending this long time refining and improving their signature blackened Death metal style.

According to what the band declared when launching the album, The World Ablaze must be intended as the final album in a “WWI trilogy”. The group aimed to create an album that could result dynamic and diverse, but with typical GD riffing and loads of melodies and catchy hooks. “The album sounds crystal clear and heavy as fuck at the same time“, they said in an interview.

The quality of the album is really impressive and there is a fantastic balance between energy and melancholy, the two main and recurring themes of their recent production. God Dethroned posses an undeniable capability to forge impressive and engaging guitar riffs which result enough catchy and “groovy” to make the songs enjoyable to hear, whilst keeping some of the brutality that is typical of the Death Metal sub-genre.

Everything is just very well executed. The composition of the songs, the natural recording sound, the musicality and the originality. Just like the clear grunting vocals, extreme technical drums, nice musical bridges and overall amazing guitar riffs and twin solos. Is it new and original what God Dethroned did? No. But it’s certainly a brilliant continuation of what this legendary band already brought us. (Pitkings.com)

 

#3) For the Fallen by Memoriam

Memoriam is a new death metal band consistings of two former members of Bolt Thrower, i.e. singer Karl Willets and the band’s original drummer Andy Whale, joined by former Benediction’s Frank Healy on bass and Cerebral Fix’s Scott Fairfax on guitar. Leveraging their substantial and proud metal heritage, the four metal heroes started playing together since 2015 in a number of festivals and eventually released in 2017 their debut album, For the Fallen.

As a long-term supporters of Bolt Thrower (which I consider one of the best metal band of all times), I was partially curious and partially scared to listen to this album. Is it better to keep intact the memory of something that was so beautiful (and that no longer exists today) or rather try to renew the magic with a new musical project, but with the risk of compromising the perfect image of the original band? For the Fallen shows that there is a third option: to make a new album which is not only a tribute to a glorious past, but which at the end becomes a unique and singular work without necessarily appearing as just a fading copy of the original. This is possible by operating the correct combination of new and legacy elements, and by putting in the mix an healty dose of intelligence and musical sensibility, This what I found in the album.

Memoriam understand that hooks and lyrical depth are just as important as bone-crunching riffs or surging, destructive double-bass. They have turned personal suffering and global misery into a laudable artistic achievement. (TeamRock)

Pesonally, I would have maybe appreciated less mid-tempo songs and some more brutal aggression, but you can’t have everything you dream. In any case, this is a solid and very enjoyable death metal release and I foresee that For the Fallen will probably be among this years top 10 metal releases even by 2017’s end.

 

#4) Heartless Oppressor by Primal Attack

Primal Attack are a new groove metal band arriving from Portugal. They released a beautiful album called Heartless Oppressor, which is the second since their formation. Although it’s evidently inspired from the works of Pantera, Hatebreed and Machine Head, the album contains a high number of original features to become a unique piece in the current metal scene.

Heartless Oppressor is a strong and energetic disc and it’s fully packed with catching riffs and melodies. These guys from Portugal must have some special gift if they managed in less than five years to achieve such a level of maturity in balancing different metal influences, which span from groove to death metal.

This is an album that I definitely recommend and I’m expecting big things in the future of the band. A few of the songs from the album have become a regular presence of the metal playlist I’m publishing in the blog, and this LP remains firmly in the upper section of the chart despite the fact that many other aggressive contenders have arrived after its release.

From the palm-muted explosion of “Halfborn” to the relativeness mellowness of “Heart & Bones”, Heartless Oppressor is a groove thrash masterpiece that truly belongs in the 21st century. I hope Primal Attack continue to spread their wings, both metaphorically and physically – because there is a huge scene in the US and the UK ready to gobble this style up. Raise your horns, bang your heads…and swing those tambourines! (The Metal Archives)

 

#5) Conformicide by Havok

American thrash-metal masters Havok released this year their fourth studio LP, Conformicide, which interrupts the four year break since their beautiful 2013’s Unnatural Selection, so far the longest gap between two albums of the band. During these years there has been a new change in the lineup since bassist Mike Leon left the band and was replaced by former Cephalic Carnage’s Nick Schendzielos. Despite these changes, however, the band led by David Sanchez managed to put together a solid collection of enjoyable and aggressive old-school thrash songs. And the performance of the new bassist is simply superb.

All those who are familiar with the band will agree that Havok’s sound and songwriting skills improved a lot with the time. The overall level of the album is in fact excellent and probably Conformicide maybe considered their best work so far.

As with any musical genre, good songwriting is absolutely essential and will ultimately make or break a record. The guys in Havok are exceptionally good at their instruments, but they’re even better at writing bona fide, legitimate, good ‘ol fashioned songs. The songs are what made Master of Puppets, Reign in Blood and Rust in Peace classics, and the songs are what make Conformicide such a strong effort (Metal Injection)

There are a couple of songs in Conformicide which really stand out for their brilliance, and it’s no by chance that Havok has been a stable presence in my metal playlists (including the first volume of my new mixtape series on thrash metal).

Another important characteristic of the band is the technical expertise of all the members. The four guys show an unquestionable talent in playing their instruments and the new bassist, in particular, impressed me a lot for his furious but precise surgeon-like  style (you may have a look at the video below to figure out what I’m talking about).

 

#6) Tarot by Æther Realm

Tarot, by U.S. metal band Æther Realm, is one of the most recent surprises in metal. The band, which plays an interesting fusion of melodic death metal, folk and heavy metal,  with the second release eventually managed to define an own and unique style, something that’s not easy to achieve in a kind of music that’s so strongly influenced by a few major and relevant groups such as Ensiferum and Wintersun.

The distance between Æther Realm‘s two full-length releases may have been a time-consuming trip, but it is time that the group have clearly taken advantage of, forging and smithing each of Tarot’s songs into battle-worthy weapons. The band have leaped past the initial fascination of a group out of North Carolina being able to create so well a sound that we usually associate with Scandinavian regions, vaulting into an area where they’ve been able to mature their sound enough that Æther Realm have really now become their own thing. (No Clean Singing)

What’s really good in this disc is the quality of the guitar riffs. In most of the times the guitars operate in background to support and amplify the melodic soundscapes that are created with keyboards and vocals, but at other times they break the melodiy with furious rhythms and fierce guitar rides. The album is also characterized by a combination of clean vocals with growls and screams and the balance between these two styles is excellent and gives another positive element to most of the songs.

For the time being this is the best symphonic-like metal album that I’ve listened in 2017, and it rapidly gained a relevant position in the top ten chart.

 

#7) Black Laden Crown by Danzig

After seven years since the last studio album with original material, American heavy metal legend Glenn Danzig has called back once more his faithful disciples and together they crafted and released a new magical chapter of their incredible musical journey. Black Laden Crown, the new album by Danzig, is a phenomenal example of modern heavy metal and it demonstrates, if there was still need, that a band doesn’t need to play ultra fast or to follow the latest trends to be heavy and to be good.

This is the eleventh full-lenght studio release of the band and it arrives a couple of years after the controversial home-made covers’ album Skeletons. Black Laden Crown sees the returning of former drummer Joey Castillo, who was with the band from 1994 and 2002. The other member of the group is legendary guitarist Tommy Victor, who’s going to release in a few months a new album with his own band, Prong. Tommy Victor and Glenn Danzig shared the duties of bass player in the album.

From a musical point of view, Black Laden Crown offers the usual pack of warm, slow, melancholic but damn enjoyable heavy metal tunes. And this is really a quality offering and a few songs of the album are close to being among of the best compositions Glenn Danzing has ever written in his long career. These songs wouldn’t be out of place even within the best albums of the band, which are universally considered to be the first three LPs produced between the 80’s and the 90’s.

Black Laden Crown is Danzig’s strongest album in some time, because he’s mostly built it around his own limitations. His thunder has quelled, but his ear is sharpening again on these metal blues. (Pitchfork

I really like this album, which releases an incredible charge and charm as soon as you start to hear the baritonal voice of our beloved metaller. Long life to heavy metal!

 

#8) Fear Those Who Fear Him by Vallenfyre

Fear Those Who Fear Him by British Death Metal supergroup Vallenfyre was an album that I waited a long and also with high expectations. Vallenfyre is the side project created seven years ago by Paradise’s Lost legendary guitarist Gregor Mackintosh as a tribute to his father’s death. Today the core of the band is a trio which features My Dying Bride’s guitarist Hamish Glencross and Paradise’s lost session drummer Waltteri Väyrynen.

Fear Those Who Fear Him is the third album produced by the band. Unfortunately, it’s not only to be considered as the third chapter of a trilogy, but presumably the last one released by Mackintosh’s side project.

Vallenfyre is like my Saturday night out. Yeah, I have fun with it. I can’t deny that, but I can’t say that I take it too seriously. Again, like with Paradise Lost, the music is quite serious, but it’s like, you know, having a few drinks and going down to the pub with your mates type of thing. But I wouldn’t say the heart, no. Because I don’t intend… You know… We’re 90 percent sure now that we’ll never record anything else with Vallenfyre. So we’ll leave it as a trilogy. So if that’s where the heart was, I left it behind. (Gregor Mackintosh during an interview with Metal Covenant).

Since its foundation, Vallenfyre provided Gregor Mackintos with the possibility to challenge himself with sounds and atmospheres that are quite different with respect to Paradise Lost’s, and with very good results. From a musical point of view, we find in the album a combination of blackened death metal with the insertion of thrash riffs and a few doomy elements. The quality of Vallenfyre’s music evolved on each album, evidently Mackintosh and his bandmates acquired more confidence on every release they made. As you may expect, thus, Fear Those Who Fear Him is their best album to date. A special mention is necessary for Mackintosh vocals, which result as brutal as they are passionate and engaging. In summary, this is a very good release and in fact it achieved a strong position in the chart even in a year that has seen already a good number of strong publications for death metal. We’ll see in the future if this experiment will be really terminated or not.

 

#9) Poison The Parish by Seether

Poison the Parish, the seventh full-lenght work by South African band Seether, arrived on the shelves three years after their previous release and signed a new heavier direction for the group, which actually started as a post-grunge rock outfit and that now can be considered in all respects as a metal group. The change is also reflected by the new logo that the four guys from Pretoria choosed for the album, a logo which is now characterized by a definitely metallic font and style.

Based on what I could hear in the album, however, the change was for the better. Their older mainstream rock motifs left the way to a clear american-inspired alternative metal approach, which gave the songs greater depth and power. In their last album there are clear references (someone could say too many) to the masters of alternative metal such as Tool and Alice in Chains, but in my opinion the album never trascends into a mere imitation of a model and it generally maintains a specific style and musical autonomy.

Although their critics might accuse Seether of churning out the same album time and again, the South African trio has made (admittedly fairly small) steps in recent years to switch up their sound, and Poison the Parish sees this coming full circle. It’s the heaviest they’ve been since 2007’s Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, yes, but it also feels like the most intentional. (Sputnikmusic)

I’m one of those who didn’t enjoy too much the last couple of works released by the band, but I must admit that Poison the Parish is giving me a lot of good feelings and in my opinion the band made a very strong and energic comeback. At this point we shall just see if this change in musical direction is just temporary or rather it marked a definitive transformation of their style.

 

#10) No God by Infernäl Mäjesty

Canadian metal veterans Infernäl Mäjesty are celebrating their 30th anniversary but they’ve never been very prolific in their musical production. As a matter of fact, in such a long time span they have released only 4 albums. No God, the fourth and last album from the band, interrupts a period of silence of 13 years. As you may expect the band went through some lineup changes during this time before the new work was recorded.

Given these premises, one couldn’t expect so much from this album. But instead of that, when listening to No God one realizes that the time which passed between their last productions didn’t affect the quality of their songwriting.

Musically speaking this is a blend of old-school thrash with many death metal elements, and the huge number of heavy riffs and the healty dose of variations that have been put into the songs of the album won’t disappoint old fans of the group.

No God offers the listener 11 imposing thrash tunes for the delight of fans of the heaviness and aggressiveness of giants such as Slayer, Behemoth and Testament (Power of Metal)

Flying in the Fast Lane, A Compilation with the Best of Alternative Metal in 2017

We start the month with a 30′ compilation featuring the best Alternative Metal songs we listened so far in the current year (and also a special guest from 2016). The mix includes songs by All that remains, Chevelle, He is legend, Seether, Soen, and While she sleeps. Enjoy!

May 2017, Best Alternative Metal Album of the Month: Poison the Parish by Seether

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Alternative Metal is a genre that here in this blog we have little overlooked, despite in 2017 there have been already some interesting releases. After listening to the last album by Seether, the post-grunge metal band from South Africa, we could no longer ignore the genre and so we’re now dedicating a special entry for a beautiful alternative metal album.

Poison the Parish, the seventh full-lenght work by Seether, arrives on the shelves three years after their previous release and it signs a new heavier direction for the band, which started initially as a post-grunge rock outfit and that now can be considered in all respects as a metal group. The change is also reflected by the new logo that the four guys from Pretoria choosed for the new album, a logo which is now characterized by a definitely metallic font and style.

Based on what we can hear in the album, however, the change is for the better. Their older mainstream rock motifs left the way to a clear american-inspired alternative metal approach, which gave the songs a greater depth and power. Somewhere there are a few clear references to the masters of alternative metal (Tool and Alice in Chains to mention the most evident sourcse of inspiration), but the album never trascends into a mere imitation of a model and it generally maintains a specific style and musical autonomy. Darkest and sinister sounds, moreover, get along better with the heavy themes that the band addresses in most of the songs.

If the last couple of works by Seether left us a bit disappointed. with Poison the Parish the band made a very strong and energic comeback. At this point, it remains to see if such a change of musical direction is just a temporary step in their career or wheter it marks a definitive transformation of their sound and overall approach to music.

 

Early Plays: One More Light by Linkin Park

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American best-selling alternative rockers Linkin Park are about to release on 19th of May the seventh studio album of their career, One More Light. As an anticipation of this publication, the band has already shared a couple of songs on YouTube, Battle Symphony and Heavy, this one feautiring for the first time a female vocalist on an original song for a studio album. The new tracks show the usual mix of synths and rap but also a definitive turn towards a pop sound. We’ll check the rest of the songs once the album will be published on next month.

Early Plays: Outlive by Demon Hunter

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Outlive will be the the eighth studio album from American heavy metal band Demon Hunter. The  group has gained quite an important recognition in US and abroad as one of the best Christian Metal bands. Their sound today may be defined as a good blend of Alternative and Nu Metal, with some elements of Metalcore.

The release of the new album is scheduled for the end of March, but there are already three singles that have been uploaded by the band. These songs show an excellent production and the usual nice balance between energy and melody that has contributed to the past successes of the band. Check it out.