Friday 5 February 2016

Metal Bounty Hunter: Volume 3

Glass Shrine – Impurities (2015) / 79%

A fragile shrine to worship
A one man band from the United States, this new project is like a breath of fresh air on black metal, the 3 songs, 8 minutes demo is fast, melodic and almost happy metal. The vocals are super great, there's even a clean break on the first track “Pyrrhic Bliss” and it was a pretty sweet moment, it had this martial atmosphere and it felt surprisingly epic.

The brief tracks are a mix of punk influenced black metal (not as much as bands like Raspberry Bulbs, of course), the more experimental side of Krallice but in a low-key, subtle manner and some more conservative, raw black metal. It's a demo so it doesn't have a Nuclear Blast production and thank god for that, it's a mix of self-assumed lo-fi ness but it's still pretty clean all things considered. The guitars are crisp and the vocals are not too buried, the drums could had been a bit heavier though. I've been doing my best to spread the word about this interesting new project, I know he's working on a full length album and he'll have a bigger internet presence once it's done but in the meantime, check out this demo!
Listen to the demo here:

Black Sword Thunder Attack – Promo 2015 / 84%

Six Minutes of Pure Epicness

Greece really likes epic metal, Manilla Road are gods over there (as they should be everywhere else) and this is no exception. This short demo is composed of two songs from a planned full length (on the ice since some members moved, from what I heard) and it's simply excellent. The biggest inspiration is surely Lordian Guard, the vocals are similar cleans, womanly chanting and they sing those very catchy lines. The guitars are almost in constant lead mode for the duration of these two three minutes tracks and it's tasty as hell. Their epic heavy metal is both atmospheric and engaging. I'm in love with these kind of explosive riffs, it's timeless and perfect for the genre. Recommended for all the fanatics of the olde metal with a theatrical twist.

In the purest Ageless Wisdom, the two tracks demo is fun Greek trad metal. It's smart epicness with the best band name ever. Elric would be proud.

Corman – The Corman
School (2015) / 73%

B movie trad doom
While I'm not familiar with the cult movies of Roger Corman that inspired the lyrics here (I'm not much of a B movie buff to be honest), I'm widely familiar with traditional doom metal and that's what these Portuguese trio play. I really didn't dig their sound at first, I thought it was inexplicably weird but I kept trying and finally found their secret. They have this weird approach to a traditional genre, a bit like Realmbuilder, it's highly unorthodox both in the vocal and songwriting departments.

I thought the vocals were pretty terrible at first but they're really charming and fits the peculiar, insane music displayed here. The clean, operatic approach works well here and I'm totally fine with bad good vocals for doom metal, this is a genre at its best when, deep down, it's made by real amateurs and lovers of the genre. The musicianship is nevertheless quite solid, the riffs are fast and the songs short and to the point. The band leader promised that the future material will be stronger and catchier in an interview so I'm anxious to hear that. Recommended only to true fans of of trad doom who are tired of listening to Pentagram or Minotauri. 

Ex People – Loss (2015) / 82%

Mulder and Scully investigates the doom metal phenomenon

Originality is always a plus as far as lyrics are concerned and this newly formed British quartet definitely understood that. The three songs are all based around episodes from the first season of the X-Files and like many old 80s heavy metal bands, the series just did a comeback so the timing is quite appropriate! Their doom is interesting, it has a woman handling the mic (wonderfully and subtly, I might add) but it's very far from these occult mom doomy bands everywhere nowadays (think of Lucifer, Purson or Blood Ceremony), it's noisy and has this cold mechanical feeling. 

It seems like these guys don't really fit in the metal scene (two members were in this indie pop/rock band called Internet Forever) and just happens to play very heavy and loud music similar to what we know as doom metal since it fits the strange investigations of Mulder and Scully. There's an enjoyable rawness to the heavy guitars and they're not too dissimilar from what an alternative/noise rock band would use. The songs are slow dirges but they're the perfect length to keep us interested and the production fits this sort of urban, ugly doom metal very well.

It's mysterious, dark and like the cover art, it's spooky. This first release by Ex People made me feel hopeful for the British doom scene after being disappointing by the latest albums of With the Dead and Electric Wizard. Some people still care about breaking boundaries.

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