Music to me has always been a gateway away from reality. But these days I come to understand as to how this world’s reality shapes and influences music, while the music itself offers escapism to those that seek it during troubled times. The past few weeks have just added more reasons and examples as to why this world is turning into this terrible place. It’s good that we had some solid metal and punk releases to lean on this month. ~ Shrivatsan R
Amiensus (USA) – All Paths Lead to Death (Black / Death Metal, Apathia Records)
Atlanta’s Death of Kings has had plenty of time to perfect their blend of thrash and heavy metal, as they’ve focused on short form releases like demos and EP’s since forming in 2009. Last month the group released the single ‘Hell Comes to Life’, and now they’re finally set to put out their debut full length ‘Kneel Before None’. Set for release June 2nd via Boris Records, it’s clear that the amount of time Death of Kings has spent honing their craft has been put to good use, as the album is full of blisteringly intense riffs and soaring vocals that blur the lines between abrasive thrash screaming/singing and falsetto heavy metal singing. Today we’re premiering the album opener Shadow of the Reaper so you can hear just why these guys are one of the more promising bands to come out of Atlanta in recent memory.
When I put up the post for the February 2017 highlights in the staff group, I honestly did not expect these many entries. My tunnel vision and assumption that February’s tend to have few notable releases, led me to believe that there were only a handful of records worth noticing this month. Good thing I work with a bunch of talented scribes that always turn my attention towards the stuff I overlooked. Here are the albums that we believe you must check out this month ~ Shrivatsan R
Ancst (Germany) – Furnace (Black Metal / Crust Punk, Independent)
So today we have the opportunity of doing a full album stream for the Spanish sludge/doom monsters Mothersloth on the respected Italian label for this kind of music, Argonauta Records. The music is of high quality, building up slowly but setting up a solid foundation of what’s to come. It’s immediately reminiscent of early Danzig but the doom influences seep in and make things interesting and heavier. Overall, it’s a smooth yet grainy affair, with some massive riffing going on to soaring vocals. The whole album resonates with an old school vibe but the sound isn’t necessary dated. It’s this melding of genres that lends to it a fresh feel, something wholly intriguing and charming. It’s been a while since I heard someone try and sing like Glenn Danzig, and even though the vocalist here isn’t exactly trying to imitate him, the influence is healthy and well sustained. The album maintains an uptempo plodding momentum and doesn’t wallow too much in the sludge trappings, and coupled with inspiring vocals, elevates it above hordes of other such bands.
‘Moon Omen’ comes out on March 3rd, 2017 and happens to be the band’s second full length album. Argonauta have a fine album to offer and fans of heavy metal/doom metal will be sure to derive some pleasure out of it. Stream the album in its entirety below and don’t forget to support the music if you like it!
Argonauta Records | Argonauta Records Facebook | Mothersloth Facebook
LUCIDREAMS from Bangalore, India have been around for a seriously long time. There’s a lot of passion in the music and a heady beat to go with it, and we’re glad to put out their latest and indeed much-awaited album, ‘Ballox’.
Transcending Obscurity India (sub-label) owner Kunal Choksi states, “I’m happy to put out the long-running Bangalore-based heavy metal band’s much-awaited album, ‘Ballox’. It holds a nostalgic charm and has its own individual flavour as well. Though originally supposed to be out on the now defunct distribution sub-label, this has been upgraded to the Transcending Obscurity India sub-label and will see a release in March. A slew of wonderful packages have been designed for this one, setting a new standard hopefully for the bands here.”
Narayan from LUCIDREAMS says,”It’s awesome to finally put LUCIDREAMS‘ music out on a CD, considering the band’s been around for more than two decades. It’s even more special to partner with Kunal and Transcending Obscurity, considering everything the label stands for, both locally and internationally. We look forward to an exciting future together.”
Jayanth adds, “This release is extremely special and we’d like to dedicate this to our brother Suraj Dutt. A band that has seen over 20 musicians, Suraj made a massive impact, musically and personally. It’s an honour to see the release out and to work with Kunal from Transcending Obscurity India on this.”
LUCIDREAMS Bandcamp | LUCIDREAMS Facebook | LUCIDREAMS Store
When you think of Norway, chances are that the metal bands that come to mind are on the extreme side of the spectrum. Certainly much of the metal from that country over the past two decades has skewed towards black metal and similar styles, but there are some talented acts that channel melodic heavy metal if you dig a bit deeper. One of these is Ghost Avenue, formerly known as Ghost. Formed in 2002, the group has been offering their own take on melodic heavy metal and hard rock across two full length albums, and now they’re ready to release album number three via Pitch Black Records. Titled ‘Impact’, this is a sci-fi concept album that features powerful, soaring vocal lines courtesy of singer Kim Sandvik and catchy guitar leads. With the album set to come out this Friday, February 3rd, we’re excited to offer you an exclusive first listen of the entire release alongside an interview with the band.
In October Agatus released their third album ‘The Eternalist, their first full length in nearly fourteen years. The interim period saw two limited EP released in 2011 and 2012, with the title track of 2012’s ‘Gilgamesh’ finding its way onto ‘The Eternalist’. While earlier incarnations of the band explored elements of black metal that were reminiscent of some of their other Greek counterparts, over the years Agatus has gravitated towards heavy metal and progressive rock to create a sound that’s epic in scale yet warm and inviting at all the right moments. Traces of black metal remain, but this is a very different effort when compared to the group’s back catalog and it finds them reaching new heights. ‘The Eternalist’ draws you in with bombastic riffing that has traces of early progressive rock and traditional heavy metal wrapped in a black metal esthetic, revealing more nuances with each listen.
Follow flight through his recent experience at this trendy Portland theater with one of melodeath's most celebrated acts. What did they play? Have they still got the magic? Find out here. Supporting acts include Swallow The Sun, Enforcer, Starkill, Increate, and Von Doom.