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Week40

Issue 30 - updated 25th September 2004

·Release of the week

Various Artists; Re-collection 2 – Relapse Video Collection 2 – Relapse Video Collection

·Other albums this week

Anti-Depressive Delivery / Bambix / Bellgrave / Black Abyss / Dead To Fall / Emancer / Forsaken / Lojique / Meliah Rage / Moonlight Agony / Solitaire

·Singles/EP’s this week

Ben Johnson / The Enchanted / Thunder Reigns

 

·          All releases are out now unless otherwise noted

·          All reviews written by Hans Jįkup Eišisgarš

 

Release of the week:

 

Various Artists; Re-collection 2 – Relapse Video Collection (DVD-release)

Relapse Records

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Wow, didn’t know what to expect from this thing, as I’ve never actually seen any videos from Relapse before, but I must say that they’re all pretty good. The only moronic thing about it is that in the Suffocation video of “Synthetically Revived” this guy who gets beaten to death never gets any bruises. It’s really laughable in a b-movie kind of way, but that one is actually made in 1991 so I guess we can go with that. Really, I mean it, people who are tired of watching pop-music on MTV and want some metal videos can’t go wrong by picking up this DVD-release, although none of the songs are released this year. And besides there’s some of the best music in metal on here: Mastodon, Nile, Neuroses, Burnt By The Sun, Dying Fetus, Burst, Today Is The Day, Amorphis, Suffocation, Cephalic Carnage + a few others. (JJJJJ-)     

 

Other albums this week:

 

Anti-Depressive Delivery; Feel. Melt. Release. Escape.

The Laser’s Edge

(Provided by Intromental Management)

Cool band name, but I am not quite sure that I agree on the meaning of it. At least not when connecting it with the music of this Norwegian band, because I find it a little bit depressive to be totally honest with you all. But then again, I find most progrock to be depressive so what the heck do I know, right? Anyway, this is classically inspired progrock heavy on keys and metal-guitars. The press-release says it’ll appeal to fans of King Crimson and Dream Theater, which I suppose is about right, although Anti-Depressive Delivery really doesn’t sound that much like any of those. But they do know how to handle their instruments, I’ll give them that. (JJJ---) 

 

Bambix; Club Matuchek

Go Kart Europe

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Bambix started way back in 1988 as an all-girl punk rock band. Today, however, only one girl is left, namely the guitarist and singer Willia Van Houdt. She’s joined by drummer Peter Dragt (who apparently has a history in death metal) and bass-player Patrick Schapert. This punk-rock alright. Straightforward for the most part it would seem, but somehow they still manage to sound differently in the next song. This band from The Netherlands might not conquer the world, but they’re definitely going to get a big following within punk-rock. (JJJJ--)

 

Bellgrave; My Soul Is My Gun

Locomotive Music

(Provided by Target Distribution)

German Bellgrave first got noticed when winning a competition in Rock Hard Magazine back in 1996. The prize was an opening slot for Bolt Thrower, which has hardly been a match made in Heaven if Bellgrave sounded like they do today back then, because where Bolt Thrower is brutal death metal, these guys are, well, not very brutal. Besides, these guys aren’t nearly as boring as Bolt Thrower. This is metal alright, but it’s more melodic and dynamic and it actually has some catchy moments along the way, although this is hardly groundbreaking stuff. I guess an opening slot for Bolt Thrower isn’t the biggest prize you can win after all, because these guys didn’t get a deal until earlier this year – eight years after that magical show. (JJJ---) Release date: 27th September 2004

 

Black Abyss; Angels Wear Black

Massacre Records

(Provided by Intromental Management)

Hey power metal fans, another power metal album to get on your want list. Seems like these guys from Germany take influences in equal parts from US power metal and Euro power metal while always keeping an 80’s feel present. Personally I am not into this band, but I guess fans of power metal should try and see for themselves. (JJJ---) Release date: 27th September 2004

 

Dead To Fall; Villainy & Virtue

Victory Records

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Victory Records’ toughest guys are back with a new album. Their previous album “Everything I Touch Falls To Pieces” was one of the best metallic hardcore (or hardcore-inspired metal album, you pick) around at the time when it was released in 2002. Since then the interest in this kind of music has just grown and grown and now you even see bands like this on major labels. Dead To Fall is one band that I can’t see going there, though, coz where the metalcore bands head for the commercially appealing catchyness, these guys head for a technical Swedish melo-death approach and doing it with the kind of conviction that even the Swedes have had a hard time doing lately. (JJJJ--)  

 

Emancer; Invisible

Golden Lake Productions

Not unsurprisingly this Norwegian outfit plays evil-sounding black metal. Norway has a proud tradition of this sort of thing... more than any other country, really – but can Emancer live up to what those who were before them created? Well, yes and no. Musically speaking these guys beat the living Hell out of a lot of the old black metal bands, but when it comes to creating some black metal that hasn’t been made before and something that sticks in your head, these guys are a little behind their inspirations. But if you’re looking for some progressive black metal you should try and give this two-man band a shot. (JJJ---)

 

Forsaken; Anima Mundi

Golden Lake Productions

Must say that it was a pleasure when The Faroe Islands’ soccer team won 3-2 over Malta in a friendly match recently. Actually we’ve never lost to them. Anyway, let’s talk music, shall we? Forsaken is a metal band from Malta, as unusual and unlikely as that may sound. They’re actually pretty good, but then again they should be after playing together since 1991. They play this doom metal sort of thing, but most fans of traditional heavy metal should also find something to get into on this album. (JJJ---)

 

Lojique; Process of Illumination

Illect Recordings

US hip-hop three-piece Lojique is made up by MC Page One, turntablist DJ Because and beats creator Nickels. This is their first full-length album, but they have an earlier hard-to-find EP out as well released in 2001. There’s no doubt that this is Christian hip-hop preaching the name of Jesus, which is the main thing for this band, but unlike a lot of other Christian acts, these guys don’t fall into the trap of putting lyrics first and then the music. Or maybe they do, I don’t know? But what I am trying to say is that the music is cool. Too many Christian bands have been putting all their energy into their lyrics and not enough work into the sound, which makes no one taking them seriously in the first place. Not these guys. But I guess this is about to change as a whole. My favourite track on this album is “Shine” that features the chorus of the well-known song “Shine Jesus Shine.” (JJJJ--)

 

Meliah Rage; Barely Human

Escapi/Screaming Ferret

(Provided by Target Distribution)

I’ve never heard about this band before, but apparently these guys have been together for a long time and have even had a deal with Epic Records for a while there, but when grunge exploded they were dropped. Anyway, they struggled in the underground for a while, but finally called their quits a few years ago. Now, however, they’ve decided to reform for some reason. “Barely Human” is their new album featuring nine new tracks, but that’s not it - it also features a bonus CD which is a digitally re-mastered version of their 1995 release featuring Sully Erna of Godsmack fame on drums. Neither of the CDs, however, really fall into my tastes. It’s this old-school 80’s metal kind of thing with lots of Hetfield-vocals and stuff like that. (JJJ---)

 

Moonlight Agony; Echoes of a Nightmare

Massacre Records

(Provided by Intromental Management)

I must say that there’s been put quite a bit of promotion into this release when reading that there’ve been full-page adds in eight of the biggest metal magazines in Europe and six half-page adds in four even bigger ones... And I can see why this release has been chosen as a priority instead of some of the other Massacre Records’ releases lately. This is power metal alright, but it’s not nearly as one-dimensional as some of the other stuff we’ve heard. It’s symphonic power metal finding inspiration in not only progressive and orchestral music, but also in even darker metal. (JJJJ--)

 

Solitaire; Extremely Flammable

Iron Glory/Massacre Records

(Provided by Intromental Management)

Dear Massacre Records, you’ve been releasing quite a bit of heavy, power, true and speed metal records lately, which is fine, because you’re that kind of label and I love all things metal, but lately it seems like something has been missing in these releases you put out. Creativity. There’s no doubt that most of these bands are gifted musicians, but they’re not creative enough to come up with something unique and truly worthwhile and therefore most of them end up being just another face in the crowd. I was pleasantly surprised to hear both industrial and Tori Amos-like pop being released on your label lately and you’ve two of my favourite bands on your rooster, but Solitaire, are you kidding me, they’re a frickin’ joke. They’re worse than Sacret Steel, which is almost impossible to imagine. Love, Hans Jįkup Eišisgarš (J-----) 

 

Singles/EP’s this week:

 

Ben Johnson; Wait

Steel Dog Productions

Ben Johnson is a classically trained piano-player, but on this six-track EP there’s really not much classical music to wet your appetite about. Instead there’s a whole lot American-sounding singer/songwriter stuff, but instead of having the guitar being the driving force, as in most singer/songwriter cases these days, Ben Johnson naturally lets his piano-playing be the main thing alongside his vocals, which turns out to be this CD’s saving grace actually. This guy has got talent – no doubt about that. Now the only question is why he uses lipstick and writes stuff on his face? (JJJJ--)

 

The Enchanced; For Those Who Fall

Golden Lake Productions

I guess for a metal band there’s no better promo than getting a track on the Terrorizer Magazine sampler-CD and a full-page interview in the magazine. The Enchanted did that when releasing their “Truth In Death and Rebirth” album, as well as also having a track from this EP on a Terrorizer sampler a few months ago. There are four track on here, going for about 20 minutes in all. In these 20-minutes-or-so, British Enchanted bring forth a mix of thrash, death and traditional metal. I am not too fond of the vocals, but musically these guys are quite good. (JJJ---)  

 

Thunder Reigns; Shadows (single)

Metalwood Productions

I remember having received some other Thunder Reigns stuff in the past, but I can’t say that I remember what it sounded like, which makes me think that it can’t have been too much to my liking, but as I said, I don’t remember. Anyway, here’s a brand new single from their behalf. My copy can only be played on a computer and it features a video and a MP3-file for the song “Shadows”. It’s a thrashy power metal kind of thing and if you’d like to download it, you can do so from their site at: www.ThunderReigns.com (JJJ---)

Hans Jakup Eidisgard, PO BOX 38, FO-470 Eidi, Faroe Islands, Via Denmark

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