It’s hard to think that Obituary have been a death metal mainstay now for well over three decades. Formed in 1988, Obituary hit their stride straight out of the gate with the iconic Florida death metal record Slowly We Rot. Whilst the band’s first outing was a monumental tour de force, it was only one mere year later that the group would redefine the genre with their sophomore release, and subject of today’s retrospective, Cause of Death.
Scour forums online or ask someone in the street what their favourite Obituary album is and chances are high that they will respond with this record, and why? Because Cause of Death was and still is completely timeless and indestructible.
The first thing you may pick on when listening to this record for the first time is the cleaner production quality than some contemporary records released at the time such as: Death’s Spiritual Healing, Deicide S/T, Cannibal Corpse’s Eaten Back To Life and Entombed’s Left Hand Path. Cause of Death features much more considered and layered instrumentation than some of the other albums mentioned above, with a slower but deeper feel and an earth shattering groove that is onerous to escape from.
On Obituary’s second record there is a cold aura that interlaces itself within the icy strings of a young Trevor Peres’ guitar assault as John Tardy’s iconic fierce bark permeates every second of this relentless record. It’s no secret that early on the band were inspired by the likes of Celtic Frost and Possessed (even covering the former on this very album) but their worship of these prior acts shed its skin quickly when delving deeper into exactly what makes their subsequent title stand out the way it does.
Take the second track on offer here for instance, Body Bag. We’re treated to a slow winding build up of thick chugging muted power chords before the double kicks and razor sharp shredding pierce their way through. Not to mention the screaming leads and stunning solo present that have almost a progressive and melodic quality that suit the music beautifully, riding off the rhythm rather than puncturing through purely for the point of being prolific.
It almost sounds like a criticism when I say that Cause of Death sounds delightfully lifeless in execution, but I assure you that could not be further from the truth. The sinister numbing feeling apparent on the release is like nothing you can find on those four albums mentioned above. Cannibal Corpse and Deicide may have been ruthless but there was life in those veins, a chaotic and almost fun/self-serving energy that ate off itself as it consumed all in its way. Obituary achieved that unsettling, morbid and completely deadpan seriousness in their writing here even with some of the grooviest flows ever heard in the genre, before or since.
Dark Tranquillity are a melodic death metal band founded in 1991 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Along with bands such as In Flames and At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity pioneered the genre, cultivating what we now know the Gothenburg sound.
With the upcoming release of the band’s twelve studio album, Moment, set to unleash in November 2020, the time has never been better to take a careful but critical look back at one of Sweden’s finest metal band’s discography.
#12 – Haven (2000)
As with every ranking list, sometimes hard decisions have to be made and occasionally that means throwing a great album to the bottom of the pile. Truth is, Haven is a fantastic alternative metal album. The caveat? Haven follows very much in the footsteps of 1999’s Projector and leans more on crafting rich atmospheric and moody synth and piano landscapes rather than the chaotic riffage and aggression of prior records.
Standout tracks include: Haven, Not Built To Last and Indifferent Suns.
Personally I love these two albums, but I can also strongly say that I like a little more bite when I switch on a Dark Tranquillity record. By no means bad, just a little different, and that’s why Haven is where it is.
#11 – Character (2005)
This record is just as strong as any that come after it on this ranking list, but what lets Character down from achieving any higher here is how most of the songs tend to blend together. Coming hot off the trail of their previous album (2002’s Damage Done) Character laid the blueprint for what would essentially become theDark Tranquillity sound going forward, that every album would continue to borrow from even to this day.
Not to say that Character is lacking for riffs, it certainly isn’t, and razor sharp songwriting in tracks such as Lost to Apathy and Am I 1? are staples in the band’s live catalogue for a good reason.
Why so low then? Well, with an album like this surely the only way to go is up. Simply put, Dark Tranquillity evolved and refined the formula found here so many times and so masterfully that time has almost made this record a lesser one in hindsight.
#10 – Moment (2020)
I would be lying if I said that I have spent a huge amount of time with this one, but here we are all the same. I’ve span the record a few times, and it’s a very bright and upbeat sounding album, something I wasn’t expecting, but a welcome surprise regardless. There’s something about this new release that I can’t quite quantify as to why it feels a little less special than the likes of We Are The Void, Atoma or Construct. What we have here is a great metal album, but a truly fantastic Dark Tranquillity record? I am not sure. My mind is really in two places with this one. It’s not a bad release whatsoever. I enjoy every song on here for different reasons, and the production is top drawer as expected, everything falls into place well.
I am just unsure as to why I am not more excited about the first DT record in nearly half a decade dropping. I think that summarises my feelings more than anything. It’s been four long years since Atoma, a record that was one of the band’s best, and same time, Moment doesn’t do too much to innovate on those principles. It’s unfair, as Moment is a few days old at time of writing, but right away, it wasn’t as impactful as that record, or some others on this list. In hindsight, maybe this will change. Keep an eye out for the end of the year list to see where Moment slots in, if it all. I may be singing a different tune. Key tracks: Phantom Days, Identical to None, Eyes of the World.
#9 – Construct (2013)
Accused by one detractors as an ‘album on auto-pilot’ but a record that I think is much better than a concerning amount of listeners give it credit for, Construct largely plays it safe and carries the general themes from prior musical outings that we will get to later, (Fiction, We Are The Void Etc.) this release has its shining standout moments in the form of songs such as Endtime Hearts, Uniformity and What Only You Know.
Really, it’s almost unfair to compare Construct to We Are The Void as that album, and precursor Fiction, contain songs that blew up for the band in a way that singles here failed to resonate with, for whatever reason.
#8 – Damage Done (2002)
Dark Tranquillity took the elements that worked on Projector and Haven and injected a little more bite of their prior sound into this record which shares its dna with the earliest of the band’s output whilst also benefiting from their more experimental ventures.
Monochromatic Stains instantly springs to mind whenever this album is brought up in conversation and The Treason Wall is always an easy crowd pleaser for brightening up an evening with some modern melodeath. It’s easy to see why Damage Done may have been overlooked by many fans, existing in a void between two very distinctive eras of an ever changing band and never really settling for either, but carving out its own identity between the cracks.
#7 – We Are The Void (2010)
In brief, a genre defining album from a band very set in their ways. It’s clear by this point that Dark Tranquillity’s blend of electronics, synths and pianos emulsified with fierce razor guitars and Mikeael Stanne’s fierce metal rasp is here to stay, as stated before, they could only go up from here.
We Are The Void features the incredible singles; Iridium, Her Silent Language and The Fatalist. These three songs in particular are so great that they easy push this record over the edge with what would otherwise be considered a safe and no thrills modern melodeath experience.
#6 – Projector (1999)
Without a doubt this is Dark Tranquillity’s most experimental and strangest album to date and for that reason I can’t help but love almost everything about it. What may have come as initially quite jarring from a band as rash and relentless as this to feature slow ballads, heavy use of clean vocals as well as lengthy piano passages, Projector proved that sometimes slowing down a little can pay off immensely.
Turn your attention a song such as Day To End for example, here’s a track with a Depeche Mode-style 1980s 808/synth beat as Mikeael’s low baritone cleans elevates the material beautifully. Auctioned is very much of the same vein, as you’ll also come to see on Dobermann too.
Not to say that the band have gone soft here. Bulldozers like Undo Control and The Sun Fired Blanks are more than sufficient efforts to the contrary and On Your Time is no slouch in that department either. Even if that’s only half the story.
#5 – Atoma (2016)
This is an album that would otherwise be held in the shadows of what came before, if it wasn’t for the simple fact that Atoma features one of the strongest sets of songs ever put together by the band, as well as some truly incredible singles and one absolutely flooring closing song.
Clearing Skies is my personal highlight on Atoma. Swelling atmospheric acoustic guitars violently cascade into some stunning lead guitar progressions and dreamlike underlyings of synth and piano that give way to Stanne’s most passionate vocal performance in a decade. Really though, many of the tracks on offer here largely follow suit. It’s catchy, with amazing atmospheres and gorgeous progressions from beginning to end, it would be criminal to give this a miss.
#4 – Skydancer (1993)
This album is essential listening for anyone even vaguely interested in Sweden melodeath or death metal in general. The only reason it doesn’t take top billing is because Skydancer is very much a primordial offering of a band that had yet to even really be called a band.
At the time, the Gothenburg scene as we know it wasn’t really anything more than a few young dudes in a quant Swedish town who lived near one another and enjoyed metal music. Vocals on this record were performed by the almighty Anders Friden of In Flames, just as current vocalist Mikeal Stanne was the driving force behind Lunar Strain that same year.
Everyone knows by now just how memorable and riff heavy this incredible album is from Nightfall To The Shore of Time all the way to Alone. It is an album that really deserves no further explanation, listen to it and love it, simple.
#3 – Fiction (2007)
Putting a modern melodeath album above a classic?! Am I crazy? Well, before you burn my house down in righteous anger, let me explain. Fiction was my introduction to Dark Tranquillity as they are now, of course I had heard all the classic albums, from Skydancer to The Mind’s I, but after that grace period, my knowledge of the band’s later output was conservative to say the least.
Then along comes Fiction and single handedly redefines exactly what melodic death metal could be post-2000 in a way that other Swedish bands never quite managed.
It’s difficult to even know where to start with my thoughts on this monumental achievement of an album, it really is that good. Do I begin discussing the lush soundscapes and pounding anthemic choruses of tracks like The Mundane and The Magic or Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive) or should I stop wasting time and divulge the divine greatness of Misery’s Crown?
If I don’t stop gushing now then just frankly we’ll be here all night, so I’ll leave it here. Listen to Fiction. If you like amazing metal then listen to Fiction, hell, if you enjoy music with a message and emotion of any kind, then you have no excuse to not spin this record immediately.
#2 – The Mind’s I (1997)
Take all the praise that I heaped onto Skydancer and amplify it by a million. The Mind’s I is the culmination of a band creating and then perfecting the perfect old-school Swedish melodeath sound.
The Mind’s I is Dark Tranquillity’s heaviest album and features a generous helping of infectious and tasty guitar riffs on top of more breathtaking guitar melodies that intertwine in an almost orgasmic fashion.
Irrevocably, this release is a complete and total triumph from start to finish and an album that I return to more than I care to admit. Three albums in and this era of the band were simply titans on top of the world, and give it a few minutes of your time and you will see why as well.
#1 – The Gallery (1995)
Is The Gallery the greatest Dark Tranquillity album ever released? Yes.
Is it the greatest melodic death metal metal record ever put to tape? It can certainly be argued. I am almost at a loss for words for describing exactly what makes this release flow so effortlessly, but in a way, isn’t that the kind of intrinsic, ethereal beauty that we listen to metal for?
One listen to Punish My Heaven or Lethe and I dare say that you may become addicted. I know after my first time that I wasn’t the same person I was beforehand. Stronger than any drug, a higher percentage than any bourbon on planet Earth, the sheer irresistible and immovable force that is, The Gallery! Words really don’t do this one justice, if you only listen to one album after reading this feature article, then do yourself a favour and make sure it’s this one.
Alestorm are a pirate themed comedic metal band from Perth, Scotland formed in 2007 by, the only remaining founding member, Christopher Bowes of Splen and Gloryhammer fame.
With the release of their new album, Curse of the Crystal Coconut, the time has never been better to take a look at the band’s archive. With no further delay, here’s what we found to be the best and worst of Alestorm, ranked!
#6 – Black Sails At Midnight (2009)
Alestorm’s sophomore release had the unwieldy duty of trying to top their debut and, whilst there are certainly some great songs on offer here, their second album never quite goes the same distance as Captain Morgan’s Revenge.
Tracks such as Leviathan and the crowd-pleasing live anthem Keelhauled are reason enough to spin this record start to finish. It is occasionally very exciting and ends strongly with closer Wolves of the Sea being a particular highlight and one of the band’s best songs to end on of any album released so far.
#5 – No Grave But The Sea (2017)
Embracing the humour and cult meme status that made them a festival force to be reckoned with, No Grave But The Sea features some of the band’s most catchy material that all but entirely refuses to take itself seriously.
It’s hard not to smirk when listening to songs like Fucked With An Anchor and you will be humming the chiptune intro of Mexico for months to come after your first listen.
This record has no weak moments and the more comedic tone ensures a light and fun listening experience that’s great to party to. The only real draw of the record is that there’s less of a focus on guitar work and more on writing pop style hooks, but with an album this funny, it works regardless. It’s a great time.
#4 – Curse of the Crystal Coconut (2020)
Alestorm’s newest album to date is plain and simply fucking brilliant. The only thing that keeps at halfway in this ranking is because of the high barrier set by what came before, but know that from this point on all entries at this point are frankly interchangeable.
Curse of the Crystal Coconut feels like a return to form for a band that manages to interject a steady stream of folk elements that made their prior records so stylistically distinct in metal. The strongest moments on this album have to be the stellar epic known as Call of the Waves that has just about everything you could want from the band: awesome guitar solo, great main guitar riffs, catchy choruses and those aforementioned folk instrumentals, it’s a strong contender for my new favourite Alestorm song.
Not to say the rest of the record is a slouch in any regard. Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening) is far more grandiose and spanning than, in theory, it had any right to be. A sequel to a great song from Sunset on the Golden Age, and in many ways a far greater song, Wooden Leg Part 2 not only features a choir singing the chorus from the first song but also a healthy and unexpected Japanese section that fits great too.
I could honestly go on about just how much I enjoy this album but if I did that then I fear we would be here all night. A great throwback to their past with that loveable roguish energy and humour to boot.
#3 – Back Through Time (2011)
The band’s third album confidently learns from whatever missteps Black Sails At Midnight made and came storming out of the gate without missing a beat.
What gives Back Through Time an edge over everything mentioned so far is the depth and variety in the songwriting on display here, paired with what I think could easily be their most tonally and musically consistent ride through to date.
This album is a riot from start to finish, it begins strongly and refuses to let up from the opening seconds of the title track to the final chord strum of the mighty masterpiece closer, Death Throes of the Terrorsquid, a song that even dabbles in a little black metal.
It’s hard to just listen to one song here and be done with it, chances are if you listen to The Sunk’n Norwegian or the stellar Shipwrecked, then Back Through Time’s morish quality will likely drag you under until you’ve heard it all through again.
#2 – Sunset on the Golden Age (2014)
Where to start with this one? Sunset on the Golden Age came out at a perfect time for me. This album was my introduction to the band and it was after their hit single Drink that I went from a casual observer to a hardcore fan.
For weeks I had this record in constant rotation throughout my playthrough of the outstanding pirate action/adventure title Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and I’ll tell you right now, there’s no better pairing, it was the perfect soundtrack to that game.
Without a doubt, Sunset is my go-to Alestorm album when I find myself in the mood for their music or when I’m out drinking and partying, as the band intended. To this day, six years later, I still find myself coming back to songs like: Quest For Ships, Mead From Hell, Magnetic North and 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena).
Alestorm managed to find that perfect balance between the humourous (see Mead From Hell or the aforementioned Wooden Leg) and the heavy (title track and Magnetic North) that makes for the ideal listening experience.
It would be a crime to not also mention the brilliant acoustic versions of classic Alestorm songs that bookend the record, highlights include versions of: Nancy The Tavern Wench, The Sunk’n Norwegian and Keelhauled.
#1 – Captain Morgan’s Revenge (2008)
The album that started it all and still what I believe to be their best effort yet. Without question Alestorm’s heaviest and more focused album, Captain Morgan’s Revenge is a thrill ride cover to cover and blasts you away with a sixteen pounder fun effortlessly with juggernaut standouts such as: Over The Seas, Nancy The Tavern Wench and Terror on the High Seas.
The record may have lacked the meme humour of their later efforts but the debut is not devoid of comedy, it’s just buried in more subtle ways, which to be honest, I think I prefer.
Captain Morgan’s Revenge started so much, not only for Alestorm, but also the countless pirate themed metal bands that clearly took inspiration that are also well worth your time.
It’s heavy, it’s catchy and it’s a great fucking time. People may write off Alestorm as a dumb comedy band but I believe that there’s a lot more under the surface, some truly fantastic songs lay beneath the waves and they deserve your time and attention. With Curse of the Crystal Coconut being so great, and seemingly very well received, the future is bright for the band, and I cannot wait to see just where the pirates go next.
Swedish melodic metallers return for a solid, if inconsistent, neon soaked inspired journey through a retro backdrop.
Verkligheten (Translated from Swedish meaning ‘Reality’) marks the longest duration between major releases in the band’s history, a gap of just over three and a half years, following on from 2015’s The Ride Majestic. In that time, frontman and vocalist Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid, released three albums under his classic rock project, The Night Flight Orchestra, and it is clear that the influence shows and the lines between the two bands begin to blur.
The album starts with a beautiful and uplifting, but brief, instrumental synth piece leading in to arguably the album’s best song, Arrival. This was the first single to be released alongside the announcement of a new tour, and the album cycle release and it set the bar for a high standard. Right away, the soaring lead playing and bright upbeat energy of David and Slyvain’s masterful guitar playing, coupled with the powerful blast beats of album newcomer drummer Bastian Thusgaard set up Bjorn’s charging growls excellently from beginning to end. Bjorn, as ever sounds amazing.
Arrival was the barrier to entry as far as I was concerned and I become somewhat worried with the release of the two other singles that followed, Full Moon Schoals and Stålfågel. These two songs represent a progression to a tamer but tighter focus on the main chorus hooks as opposed to the rest of the song, where the intros in both of these tracks, coupled with verses, felt like a means to an end rather than the main event.
That said, both of these songs feature ear-worm choruses that sound big, anthemic and are among some of the biggest highs on the album that are bursting with passion and feeling. This is however where the album begins to show its biggest weakness, and in short, it is the fact that the beginning being so promising only sets up the middle portion to ultimately fall behind as a result.
The mid portion of the album, largely spanning the length between tracks; When the Universe Spoke and Witan, in my opinion blend together in a way that makes them hard to distinguish and analyse entirely on their own. When every song on this release features a stellar chorus that bolsters them from being average, it can be hard to get too excited about Soilwork just going through the motions and playing to their formula strengths a little too closely to their chest.
It is the last few songs here that not only excite and invigorate, but also serve to essentially pump a breath of life into an album which would otherwise feel too long and too samey for the sake of it. The Ageless Whisper and Needles and Kin are classic Soilwork to a tee, benefiting from that fresh gleam of paint and their cleaner production as of late. It makes me wish that we got more songs here that played to the unique strengths of the band’s more memorable elements rather than seemingly flying through on auto-pilot.
I mentioned The Night Flight Orchestra earlier, and the amount of albums released in such a short time, because there is clear NFO influence bleeding through into Soilwork here. I for one am a massive fan of both bands, however I feel that in removing some of the grit and sharp edge to the guitar tone, the impact of some of the riffs is diminished in places. It’s very clean, almost to a sterile shine that, whilst fitting in astoundingly well with Bjorn’s angelic and moving clean vocals, unfortunately weakens the power and effect of his growls and harsh vocal performance.
What we have as a result is a fun, enjoyable album that does not quite reach the heights of what I believe to be their finest hour, 2013’s double album The Living Infinite, or is it as aggressive or dark as their previous album, 2015’s The Ride Majestic. Soilwork are a band that have carved out an identity all their own, it seems in trying to shake up their tried and true formula, they may have sacrificed some of their core as a result.
I read one review saying that this would be the darkest and most epic Soilwork album ever written, and whilst I can see where they are coming from, I cannot compare Verkligheten’s themes, instrumentals etc. to prior works like The Chainheart Machine, Stabbing The Drama or A Predator’s Portrait, at least when it comes to what to expect.
This is a newly refined and hungry version of Soilwork, adapting and learning from years of outside influence and once again carving out their own path as they forge ahead anew. This album takes risks and simultaneously takes it safe in places, however you can never move forward and make progress without a little trial and error. In conclusion, this is a catchy, fun and heavy album that does just enough to carry through its lengthy fifty minute run-time whilst losing a little identity in the progress, and the band’s bravery should be commanded. Sail on Soilwork, sail on!
The previous year brought us some outstanding releases from bands old and new, especially in the field of extreme metal, which is largely what we will be focusing on tonight.
It’s taken a long time for me to compile my thoughts and reign in what I believe to be the best of the year, with that said and in no particular order; Pit of Plagues presents the best metal albums of 2018.
Mol – Jord
In April, Mol finally released their debut album Jord, a crushing mix of black metal riffs and atmospheric beauty, in the vein of bands such as Deafheaven and Alcest. However, what sets them apart is the emotional range of vocalist Kim and his unique approach to extreme vocals. The swelling depth to the masterful guitar work which weaves so eloquently in with the powerful reverb-heavy double kicks and blast beats, all culminates into a truly moving and beautiful experience unlike any other. I also had the pleasure to meet the band after their set performance at Damnation Festival which is what truly sold me on their style. Do not miss out on this band, they are something special.
Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun
Melodic black metal newcomers Uada return with an astounding second album, Cult of a Dying Sun. This release is something which genuinely caught me off-guard as before Cult, I never knew of the band and quickly fell in love. Dripping with punishing choking melodies, brutal rhythms and a horrific blackened demonic vocal performance. The album has elements of latter-era Paradise Lost with the slow-winding lead playing coupled with the edge of Dissection and technicality of Emperor. For fans of melodic metal, this is for you. For people who enjoy their metal black, this is for you. It is almost transcendental of genre due to the magnitude and scope of the release and should not be skipped over.
Gra – Vasen
Over the last year or two Gra have genuinely become one of my favourite bands and their brand of cold old-school black metal is something that I cannot get enough of. Known as the vocalist of Dark Funeral, Heljarmadr’s guitar playing and outstanding voice lend itself beautifully to a vicious attack on the senses. It is a little more melodic, tamer and composed than Ending but the Norse blood runs cold in these veins. It will not re-invent the wheel but it just might set the world alight.
At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself
The masters of Melodic Death Metal return. Gothenburg’s lasting legacy is safe in the hands of At The Gates and on album six they prove it with flying colours. Following up on 2014’s comeback album, At War With Reality, Drink has more of a sharp edge to it. The refined old-school riffs are reminiscent of The Red in the Sky is Ours especially but with the benefits of time and modern production. It’s fierce and does not sacrifice what made them the monumental name in death metal that they became. It’s everything you could ever want from them perfected to a tee.
Obscura – Diluvium
The level of technicality and in-your-face guitar riffs make this album a stand out in and of itself. As far as technical death metal goes, of recent years many bands in that genre have began to sound so similar. Where the level of playing and showman performance outshines and washes out the potential for strong songwriting. Obscura have managed once again to write a catchy, heavy and impressive album that empowers the listener like few other albums I heard last year. Immense would be the best way to describe the layers and depth to what Obscura have dropped.
1914 – Blind Leading The Blind
Horrifying. That’s the only way to accurately try to summarise my thoughts on 1914’s latest album. It’s a release that has genuinely haunted me since I first heard it months ago, and this is due largely in part to the brutal riffs, the hollow agonised screams and the expert use of sampling that features throughout. This album tells a grand story on both sides, the futility of The Great War as pictured for both the Axis and the Allies. I can’t say I enjoyed every moment of it, I think enjoyment is not the right word. It’s an experience, it’s visceral. As dark and savage in tone as subject matter, this is essential listening.
Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
I still cannot put into words what this album means to me. From the album title itself, the fact I have their symbols inked on my arms, and the overall message is clear to me. As Nergal said once, they couldn’t top The Satanist, at least in terms of the title and its impact, so they went a different direction. Darkest is tamer in places and features acoustic guitar parts, clean singing in choruses and less sharpness when it comes to guitar tone and production. However, all of these artistic choices culminate together for a more refined, mature and artistic album as a result. It is catchy, It is memorable and it gets their new message across. The Satanist was the band proving they were back after Nergal was diagnosed with Leukemia, that they were defiantly taking a stand. Darkest is more comfortable, Behemoth are back on top and more free with nothing to prove anymore.
Sargeist – Unbound
The best that Finland has to offer, a band which has never done any wrong. Sargeist have never strayed far from their roots of second-wave black metal but have become masters of the craft. At the end of the night, it’s all about the riffs, blastbeats and shrieking vocals. Unbound is the latest step closer towards perfecting their sound and coming into their own. They haven’t done anything to massively shake the foundations of the genre, but they will never have to. Hail Sargeist!
Dir En Grey – The Insulated World
Perhaps Japan’s greatest and most diverse metal band, Dir En Grey’s latest offering following up 2014’s Arche, is a triumphant return to their older style met with the grandiose scale of their last two albums. This album pulls its influences from all over the place, It’s impossible to nail down and pin point exactly what and who they are. Same time, Dir En Grey’s versatile approach to music is as fascinating now, ten albums in, as it was when they first hit the scene and all that they achieved throughout. The production is so off-kilter in an interesting way, Kyo has never sounded better, the guitar work is so varied and emotes so powerfully. It’s an album you have to hear to believe and its up there with Withering To Death, Gauze and The Marrow of Bone as their best. I had the pleasure to finally see them live back in October and they truly are one of the best bands in the world. Long may their chaos reign.
When Plagues Collide – Tutor of the Dying
Melodic, symphonic, brutal and overall heavy as fuck. When Plagues Collide’s debut album is absolutely outstanding. It’s dark and disgustingly gritty, paired with the violent vocal performances, pounding drums and savage guitar riffs. It’s modern, if this is the new age of Deathcore then I am fully supportive of a new rising blend of darkness.
Abandoned By Light – Our Fortress is the Rain – The Angel Experiment Part II