Monday, October 26, 2009

Arch Enemy - Root of All Evil

NO! Don't even think about it! Even if entire mankind is eradicated by zombie hordes and you happen to be the lone survivor who's a metalhead and finds this disc on his way to...well nowhere, then commit suicide, yes kill yourself, drive a knife through your chest or shoot through your head but dont listen to Arch Enemy's Root of All Evil. You will regret listening to it!

I've already wasted enough time thinking whether i should be listening to this or not after reading the customer reviews, and now I don't want to waste any more time elaborating what's not right with this hopelessly pathetic piece of compact disc Arch Enemy managed to name Root Of All Evil. Please go do something else now! I'm feeling mighty disgusted to even write about this worthless piece of shit!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rock 'N India 2010 Date Announced

Rock 'N India 2010 dates have been officially announced. The third edition of this epic music festival is scheduled to take place on 20th and 21st February, in B'lore(not B'luru- the name's not cool and we B'loreans dont like it either)? And No, I've not made a mistake in typing the dates! Its taking place over a 2 days period this time, which can only mean that more bigger bands are slated to play for the upcoming edition.

Till then watch this space as I sniff the air for any rumors of any big name act playing in the festival....oh wait, I think I just heard Napalm Death are gonna headline the show!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Exhumation Changes Line-Up

Now some good news to follow up the tragic ones. Bombay based brutal death act Exhumation has made a major change in lineup following the exit of band's drummer Yash Pathak due to his personal reasons as said in their vocalist Aditya Pathak's blog. Following the exit, Demonstealer Makhija of Demonic Resurrection has moved in to the band to take up the bass duties? Yes, bass duties - Makhija sure is one talented bugger. The band are currently looking for a new drummer to fill in Pathak's seat at the moment.

Exhumation are set to release their next album Consider This at the end of the year. Till then watch this space, till Exhumation brews up another storm.

Anal Blast vox Don Decker Dead

October has indeed been a tragic month for the metal community around the world. After the tragic death of Michael Alexnder, Evile bassist while on tour with Amon Amarth in Sweden, another blow strikes the metal scene in the form of Anal Blast vocalist, Don Decker's death.

Anal Blast's songs on sex, death or black humour were widely considered to have come out Don's mind. Making a firm footing on the deathgrind/porngrind genre, Anal Blast never got much grip on the mainstream scene due to Don's offensive yet humorous matter. Nevertheless the man whose insane stage acts that included bringing porn stars onstage during performance and much more ridiculous acts, will always live forever in his songs from Anal Blast.

For those of you wondering who are Anal Blast, well Joey Jordison, the Slipknot drummer and Paul Gray,bassist played for them before moving on to their current band.

Here's an excerpt of interview with Don Decker that shows his insane sense humour.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Amon Amarth Gig Postponed To December

The Amon Amarth gig originally scheduled for November 8 has now been postponed to December for uncited reason according to sources.

Eitherways I'm praying real hard for this not to turn into another cat and mouse game, like the GnR incident. If Amarth do come down here, the much starved Indiam metalheads will get to see some much needed quality international metal being played on the domestic front minus the glam sham of so many other bands in the past.

Keeping fingers crossed till then.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sanctification - Black Reign

That there would be a Swedish band playing death metal is something I am familiar with. That there would be a Swedish band playing death metal trenched in American style, is something I am not familiar with. And thats' what I realised when I first SANCTIFICATION's ''Black Reign'' a hear. Instead of the buzzsaw tones from the heavily detuned guitars so commonly heard among the Swedish death bands, one could mostly hear that fast, distorted, down tuned riffs similar to American death metal bands like Hate Eternal, Deicide. However, this wasn't a point to reject their album. Black Reign is an absolute spine crusher that continuously drowns you in its unstoppable fury in the form of its pile-driving riffs and heart-stopping percussion beats.

With solid vocals that are delivered at a brutal precision akin to Corpsegrinder Fischer's style in Cannibal Corpse, the album is just like any of the numerous traditional death metal album. With ripping riffs playing in blast happy rhythms with accordance to fast, dynamic double bass beats which adds to the ferocity of the music, ''Black Reign'' is your classic death metal album. What packs an extra punch to its ferocity is the album super refined production values added by the inimitable Peter Tagtren and Tommy Tagtren. Due to this ,the tones are beefy which underscore's the album's brutal sounds without giving that unwanted sense of suffocation. And when you realise that Sanctification shares its members with Dark Funeral both in the past and in the present times, you dont stop admiring the fact that they are as much energetic and tight act like Funeral.

Magnus Broberg's (a.k.a Emperor Caligula) gutturals leave a devastating effect on your audio senses in songs such as ''Black Reign'' and ''Raw''. The guitars shred furiously alongside the frantic blasts at mid-tempo pace in ''Flesh,Skin and Bone'' before joining up the album's overall rhythm. Nils Fjellstorm's drumming is one of the strong point in the album. The drumming is pretty much in old school veins employing start-and-stop blasts which never impedes the guitar work at any single point which're handled masterfully by Tomas and Marcus, and this is best demonstrated in the starting track ''Thirst For Blood'' where guitars and drums go side by side without eating in to each other's rhythm.

On the whole the album is well done, and although SANCTIFICATION pretty much plays in the American style at points they do try to break away from it to fall back to their Swedish death roots. Amongst the many mediocre death metal albums that're available these days, ''Black Reign'' manages to stay above them. If its the classic death metal albums you crave for minus the cock and ball torture in modern death metal albums, then SANCTIFICATIION's ''Black Reign'' is just the right thing for you.

Narsil To Re-Group Again?

If Shaswat Gupta's word are to be believed in his interview to, then Delhi based brutal death act Narsil has a good chance of hitting the stage again, when their guitarist Kshitij returns from Australia. Where each of their of their songs exemplifies demented brutality, Narsil are undoubtedly one of the best death metal acts in the country.

Hope to catch them live if they do reform again.
Till then catch their songs on their myspace page.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Amon Amarth and Textures in B'lore on Nov.8?

I've been hearing a lot about Textures playing in India of late, with the members themselves saying they're working out a schedule to touch down India somewhere before the end of the year.

And now out of nowhere lands another big bomb that says Viking metal giants Amon Amarth are playing alongside Textures on Nov.8 at the Deccan RockOut festival in B'lore. Official announcement is supposed to be out by the mid-weeks of Oct.

Eitherways if Amon Amarth do come down, it'll be one epic gig of massive proportions as Amarth 's gig are considered to be highly highly energetic and crowd enthralling. No wonder they got awarded the best live act by Metal Hammer for the year 2009.

Read Rolling Stones Oct. issue for more.

Inner Sanctum Wins XXIV Edition of I-Rock

I've always vouched for the band in every competition in each of their gigs and did the same for them in this year's I-Rock. And now they've decimated their opponents in I -Rock finals winning the competition's 24th edition.

Hail Sanctum!\m/

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pestilential Shadows - In Memoriam, Ill Omen

Playing anti human plague black metal in In Memorium, Ill Omen, yes that's what the members of Pestilential Shadows call their music, the band convinces you that they are not the same act any more. Far more mature than their previous releases like Embrace to Death and Cursed which portrayed the afterlife in its most anarchic manner with their evil combination of vile riffs and vicious vocals. Moving over the era of low production quality that involved the same generic sounds, Pestilential Shadows have put in solid effort in creating their third album In Memorium,Ill Omen.

Every single second of the album resonates with evil that makes its presence felt in the atmosphere. The dry, cold sound of the album is every bit the perfect sound you would expect from any standout black metal band. The sound creates its best effect in the mid-tempo section where the effect is quite quelling with strong rhythms. The culmination of these sounds are best heard in tracks like Beautiful Demise and Sundered, where the tracks pack a powerful burst of energy. And its not just the production thats taken the front seat in these album, the songwriting too has seen a positive change from their previous release.

The songwriting has improved considerably enforcing the lyrical themes of death and genocide upon the earthlings alongside their futility for life with raspy, satan-styled vocals. Desolate and Zameth handle the guitars brilliantly packing that perfect double guitar punch to the music. The riffs create the perfect atmosphere for the album which is heard in tracks like With Serpents I Lay and Of Loss and Suffering Inherit that's vaguely reminds you of Wolves in Throne Room and Summoning. The instrumental track Ecclasia Moriendi captures the brilliance of the band's wonderful mastery over the instruments, all the while maintaining that atmospheric sound.

The distortions in the album are much more controlled than before, allowing more elements to be incorporated into the music. In short In Memorium,Ill Omen is a good album that pulls all the necessary strings required to make that perfect black metal album. And although there isn't much originality in the album, In Memorium,Ill Omen plays flawless cold,dark music.

Resurrection - Embalmed Existence

If you thought only Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Deicide were the only Floridian bands that played ass ripping death metal music, then you're wrong. From the same region that gave us Death,Obituary comes another overlooked band Resurrection, who are equally adept in splitting your ears apart with their fiery brand of death metal that revolves around Paul Degoyler's wicked vocals and terrific guitar rhythms. The Dan Seagrave cover art and Alex Marquez's drumming , further goes on to fortify the album's stand as being one of Resurrection's best record till date.

''FUCK YEAH'', was what I screamed out loud as the starting track Disembodied played, packing rows of furious punches into my senses as I tried to get in term with the raw brutality of the music. Drum master's Marquez pummelling double bass beats at rapid pace will totally leave in awe at his skilful, precision drumming. Drums, in fact is the album's best instrument. The album is produced in such a way that each track owns the next as it builds the tempo harmonically. The riffs in the album are quite excellent too, though you cant call them as ingenious as the drums. But nevertheless the riffs are delivered in a ravishing manner with a precison next to Malevolent Creation's. Vocals too are well done, which gives you the feel that the lyrics are snarled upon the mic.

So the drums and guitars were handled pretty well, was the bass handled well too? My answer to that would be a firm no. The bass is very rarely heard throughout the record and the effect it creates is very minimal, which is a real let-down. An irritating point of Embalmed Existence is that almost every track opens with a narration or intro, which is totally not enjoyable and leaves you dumbfounded thinking what in the name of god made them add those parts. And if Resurrection had not come up with such crushing piece of death metal that follows it, the album would've totally deserved to be in your trash can. Pure Be Damned is the only track that lacks the annoying intros. Strictly speaking each track on the album is enjoyable( obviously minus the intros!) that lets you let your hair loose in the chaotic headbanging that goes along with every track playing, especially in Torture Chamber and the title track, Embalmed Existence.

In short, Resurrection's Embalmed existence is an album that any death metal purist would love to have. Bringing along the old school feel of the 90's the album is furious in its approach and will leave the listener decimated with their music. Resurrection's music makes up for their stupid venture into adding not-so-funny intros or else the album would've disastrous right from the start. If its pure death metal you want, then its pure death metal yo shall have in Resurrection's Embalmed Existence.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unanimated -Ancient God of Evil

Why is it the case that whenever melodic death gets mentioned people immediately gets to talking about In Flames, At The Gates, Soilwork and so on including bands that borrows heavily from the Gothenburg sound. Why is it that melo-death minus Gothenburg influences rarely gets a word of mention? Now i can never answer to that. But what I can do say is that Unanimated's music embodies the melodic Swedish sound even though there are hints of fusion between death metal and black metal. And this doesn't include the extensive use of guitar solos with clean vocals. Listening to them one realises that Unanimated indeed exemplifies the true old school melodic death style instead of being overtly melodic.

Sticking to death metal oriented sounds Unanimated shows how melodic death metal should sound - building melodies around death metal and not the other way around, keeping the death factor intact in their music.Featuring members of Entombed, Dismember, Therion; Unanimated's Ancient God of Evil is a polished yet intricately blended record where each song strikes an evil chord from its melodic notes. The beauty of the album comes from the fact that implacable melodic riffs from the lead guitarist is always emphasized by an equally competent second guitarist playing discerning metal riffs. The fast, distorted guitar riffs with the broken chords that move in a sequence inducing the melodic tone is best felt in the track Eye of The Greyhound.

This twin guitar attack coupled with the raspy vocals of the black metal style makes a pleasurable change from the far-more mainstream sounds of melodic-death scene.
That melodic death sounds can be created by such minimal use of keyboard is a fact well worth applause for the band who rarely make a good work from the keyboard in the album. Dead Calm and Mireille are among the few tracks where keyboards are used, particularly in the slower parts of Dead Calm where keyboards adds an ominous touch to the ambience. The melodies presented on the keyboard also gives a very sorrowful touch to the album's sounds. Drumming in Ancient God of Evil is nothing too extravagant, just drumming along with the riffs with occasional bursts of doublekicks to keep up with the riff progressions.

All in all presenting the album in one grand, majestic way all the while exploring the issues of nihilism and self-negation, Unanimated's Ancient God of Evil is one of the most under-rated melodic death albums of all time. With nominal use of keyboards, Unanimated creates melodies with a strong presence of death/black elements which is nowhere close to the Gothenburg sounds.The level of musicianship is practically unparalleled to this day , but every song is incredibly well crafted thus leading to the high praise. Listen to this album to know how the melodic death metal sounded before In Flames and At the Gates stormed the scene.