Thursday, 4 February 2016

Metal Bounty Hunter: Volume Two

Khazaddum – In Dwarven Halls (2015) / 75%

By Gimli's beard!
The Wisconsin quintet plays a very cool sort of brutal death metal inspired by the likes of Nile and Suffocation but instead of writing about ancient Egypt or plain evil stuff, they decided to follow the Amon Amarth/Summoning path and accept J.R.R. Tolkien as their saviour. Their songs are slow for the style and they have the epic riffy as fuck approach of Bolt Thrower at times. The guitars are pretty legit and the soloing is quite decent, the drums are competent blastbeats as well and the production is solid as hell for a first independant release. The vocals are not your usual
breee breees”, they're more rooted in traditional death metal, deep manly growls are my favorite for this sort of metal! It would had been cool to get some Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit samples thrown in there for the sake of it though, it would add a fun cheesy side to the band that they already have anyway. Anyhow, that's a well done debut EP for these guys and I think the 15 minutes format works well for this style of primitive brutal death.

Bandcamp - Pay what you can

Pluie – d'Hochelaga (2014) / 78%
Wet dirty montreal black metal
The trio from the Hochelaga neigbourhood of Montréal plays a dirty kind of black metal inspired by their location. The production isn't that raw and it's quite richer than I thought it was at first,
it's also highly interesting. It's not experimental or written to reinvent the genre but there's originality within the confines of their solid riffs and depressive vocals. The tempos are varied, ranging from aggressively fast (“La dèche des ruelles”) to mid-paced heaviness (“Sorcier des rats”). Their music is highly emotional and features vicious but still beautiful melodies played by these incisive guitar tremolos. The bass is also high in the mix for this kind of metal, it's pretty enjoyable and adds a lot to the mix. Formed by musicians coming from many different musical scenes and backgrounds (such as the awesome experimental grind of Expectorated Sequence), Pluie evolves in a different direction than most Quebecois black metal, it's not about winter or nationalism, it's about how disgusting how humanity is and that, my friends, is universal.

Angel Sword – Rebels Beyond the Pale (2016) / 84%

Enter the Court of Chaos
Finland is easily becoming one of my favorite niches for trad metal, their scene oozes badassery and pure 80s fashion flair. Alongside bands like Legionnaire or Lord Fist, Angel Sword really found their sound in old compilations full of German and American bands and they're freaking awesome. Many will argue that the vocals of this band are mediocre but I really love this sort of amateurish, bad good style of delivery, he really fits the heavy metal sound found here. Like most Finnish metal, there's a certain peculiarity even if it's without a doubt traditional metal with the vintage themes.

The songs are all pretty short, super melodic affairs with juicy riffs and the choruses are awesome and well written, they remind me of Accept
or Running Wild (minus the pirate element) with they variety and appeal of Slough Feg (the last track “Witches Never Die” reminded me of the San Francisco band). It's efficient, meta metal of the highest quality with madman vocals. Highly recommended for true fans of true metal. Despite their name, they're far from generic.

Angel Sword on Bandcamp

Yetzer Hara – Demo 2014 / 76%

Dark obscured doom

This young Swedish mysterious unisex duo plays a vibrant form of doom/stoner while keeping only the necessary elements of the genre. Huge ass heavy guitars played by a small lady and loud slow drums played by her manly viking acolyte. The four instrumental songs are slow, thunderous dirges with a self assumed improvisational identity. It feels like they're in a dark smokey room and they're recording themselves play for half an hour before going out in the snowy climate of Norrköping. The theme of the band and their music is mostly related to Judaism but unlike fellow Swedes Meshuggah, they're subtle, introspective and smooth.
While I think some vocals could had been cool (think of High Priest of Saturn), the compositions are well thought out, repetitive but not overly so and the guitar tone is super good for such a recording. The inclusion of a short sample in “Ha” was thoughtful as well. I really like the ending of the demo, there's some sort of little bells resonating in the background and it's special. I'd really like to hear a full length from these guys, they're a bit elusive and slow to release stuff though but I'll be there waiting in the shadows!

Bandcamp - Pay what you can

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