IMPERTHEAN – The Sounds Above

IMPERTHEAN – The Sounds Above








Origin: USA
Genre: Black Metal Electronic Experimental
Label: Self Released
Year: 2008

Experimentation in metal seems to have no limits and this is something that keeps this music alive for so many decades! Imperthean is a one man’s band from USA. It was formed in 2007 and so far they released this very interesting CD “The Sounds Above”.

It isn’t easy at all to describe their music, since it’s a weird mixture of many different genres. It has many electronic elements under a black metal filter. The album’s atmosphere and lyrics deals with outer space and Imperthean’s “The Sounds Above” manages to sound like a dark futuristic space soundtrack. There is an alien melancholic mood all over the album, like an outer civilization landing on a destroyed, deserted, ruined earth in the near future. They are definitely original, and their vision of electronic music mixed with black metal elements is very different from any other efforts in the past. Industrial gothic, synthetic cyber samples, black guitars, dark soundtrack music, distorted “robotic” vocals and screams, compose this unique sound. The production of the album is more than ok, but I believe it can be improved in the future, with much more impressive results!

Imperthean deserve the attention of those who like bizarre experiments in music, or horror space soundtracks. They (he) are already composing the second album! Since it is self released you can visit their myspace profile to listen to them and find details on how to buy the CD.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
Imperthean @ Myspace
Imperthean @ Facebook

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

WOLFMARE – Whitemare Rhymes

WOLFMARE – Whitemare Rhymes








Origin: Russia
Genre: Folk Pagan Metal
Label: CCP Records
Year: 2008

Wolfmare is a Russian folk metal band, that comes from Wolfsangel after changing their name in 2007. Under the name Wolfsangel they released the album “Widdershins” in 2004 and now they signed to CCP to release their new album.

Wolfsangel played folk black death metal, with many Celtic instruments and a fairytale atmosphere. Their debut was very interesting and I liked it very much, even though the amateur production and the bad vocals were a problem… Anyway, after many line-up changes, a new name and label they are back. Well, the change is huge! Actually the only thing that remains is the folk fairytale feeling of the album. The production is great and the technical skills are definitely improved, especially the clean vocals. The music is again Celtic folk extreme metal and except the black-death screams I’d say that the guitars have a more progressive metal approach with only a few death metal touches. The use of clean male and female vocals is very extended and both singers are very good. Acoustic instruments, violins, whistles, mandolin and bagpipes are everywhere in the songs and follow the lead melodies into a medieval setting. Unlike their debut, all traditional instruments are real and not computer samples. Many folk tunes (new and traditional ones) blend with the band’s metal sound in a very nice result.

If you are into folk pagan metal, Wolfmare is a great choice. Maybe you have heard this combination of styles before, but they manage to have a personal sound. There are also guest appearances by some Cruachan musicians and the album is very professional and well played. If you prefer a more underground extreme sound though, you can check their first work “Wolfsangel – Widdershins”. Follow the links below to listen to their music.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8/10)

Links:
http://www.wolfmare.com
Wolfmare @ Facebook
Wolfmare @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

FALCHION – Chronicles of the Dead

FALCHION – Chronicles of the Dead








Origin: Finland
Genre: Epic Death Metal
Label: Massacre Records
Year: 2008

“Chronicles of the Dead” is Falchion’s second album. The Finnish band, that has two members of the folk metal band Korpiklaani, had released their debut “Legacy of Heathens” in 2005 and now, 3 years later, they continue what they begun.

They signed to Massacre Records and this time they hope they’ll get the distribution they deserve. Their music is epic death metal, and it sounds somehow like a mixture of Ensiferum and early Children of Bodom. So there is epic riffing and many guitar solos, with a very powerful sound. All of the songs are at mid or fast tempo and the vocals are the classic epic black/death screams (there are no clean vocals of choirs in this one). Everything is very well played, something necessary, since the compositions and the melodies are totally based on the guitars. Unlike most bands of the genre there are no synths in this album, but the sound is still very solid.

This album is very good in general terms, but (for my personal taste) I’d prefer a bigger variety in the vocals and the intensity of the songs, since they are too bombastic most of the time. Of course all of the compositions have a lot of work with many different ideas in the guitars, all under a “polished” production that is necessary to “capture” their sound. So if you like this kind of epic melodic technical black/death metal you should check Falchion. You can get a taste of their music at their myspace profile.

dimiarch

Rating:  (7/10)

Links:
Falchion @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

AKPHAEZYA – Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity

AKPHAEZYA – Anthology II - Links from the Dead Trinity








Origin: France
Genre: Avant-garde Metal Progressive Metal
Label: Ascendance Records
Year: 2008

Haha, there are times when words are just too small to describe what the ears listen. How can someone review this weird album from the French band Akphaezya! At least if you read this you are obviously on internet so you can listen to samples from their page.

This is the debut album of Akphaezya, a group that exists from 2002. The band, according to their own words, plays “eclectic” metal featuring the female singer and pianist Nehl Aëlin. Actually they combine almost every music type you can imagine with avant-garde metal. It’s a mixture of progressive, rock, death and Gothic metal, with jazz, trip-hop, cabaret, piano, classical, theatrical, aethereal, ethnic music and every other style freely! Of course the result is very original, and what is most amazing is that they manage to be very good in every genre, with a perfect sound and production. Nehl’s vocals are enchanting, making a wonderful contradiction with the male death screams (that aren’t that often). Even though there are countless genres in this album, I would say that avant-garde progressive metal and jazz are the most dominant.

There are many changes in tempo, mood, intensity, but all of them under a common atmosphere for the whole album, something very difficult. It’s not just a random display of different genres, but there is a very complex structure, by really talented, skilled and ambitious musicians. Totally recommended for open-minded listeners who search for unusual, innovative and original bands. Since words are not enough to describe such weird musical experiments you better visit their official pages below and listen on your own.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
http://www.akphaezya.com
Akphaezya @ Myspace
Akphaezya @ Facebook

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

TODESBONDEN – Sleep Now, Quiet Forest

TODESBONDEN – Sleep Now, Quiet Forest








Origin: USA
Genre: Folk Metal Gothic Metal
Label: Prophecy Productions
Year: 2008

Laurie Ann Hous is the lead vocalist of Autumn Tears, who have released 5 excellent albums of neoclassical experimental music with amazing aethereal female vocals. In 2003 she formed Todesbonden and together with Jason Aaron Wood (Ol Sonuf, Rain Fell Within, Ephemeral Sun) on guitars and Patrick Geddes on violin they released in 2004 the “Stormbringer” EP.

Now with a more complete line-up and a deal with Prophecy Productions they return offering us this masterpiece! It’s not easy to define their music since they extend from gothic metal and rock, to folk, classical and ethnic music! Piano, violins and electric guitars blended skillfully, build the perfect setting for Laurie’s characteristic vocals. If you let yourself in their music you will enter a beautiful tranquil magical world. The compositions have a great variety of influences and each of the songs has its own identity. Balkan, renaissance, classical, aethereal, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Celtic, Mexican music elements, all of them are in pure harmony with each other. The melodies are really brilliant in a very melancholic mood. Words are just too weak to describe them. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything better in this genre, both in music and performance. Laurie Ann Haus both in Todesbonden and Autumn Tears is in my opinion by far the best female singer around in this genre, with her unique operatic vocals enchanting my ears!

This is another quality release from Prophecy that you shouldn’t miss if you like this kind of music! Except for the normal version it’s also available in a digipak edition, both of them with great artwork and photography. Currently the band is working on its next album. You can get a taste at the links below.

dimiarch

Rating:  (10/10)

Links:
Todesbonden @ Myspace
Todesbonden @ Facebook

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

ELVENKING – Two Tragedy Poets (…And a Caravan of Weird Figures)

ELVENKING - Two Tragedy Poets








Origin: Italy
Genre: Folk Acoustic Folk Metal
Label: AFM Records
Year: 2008

The power folk metal band from Italy is back with its fifth album. Being already 11 years in the scene they released the very promising debut “Heathenreel” in 2001, combining epic power metal with folk music. In their following albums the folk elements were slowly removed, resulting in the almost progressive power metal album “The Scythe” in 2007, where all folk elements are almost gone. Since this was their weakest album so far (according to many reviews and my opinion) my expectations weren’t very high, but fortunately I was wrong!

This album is their folkest work so far and even though it is supposed to be acoustic, the orchestrations are so rich, that you can’t understand it at first listen! Acoustic guitars, drums, violins, keys and Damnagoras’ characteristic vocals create a unique sound, very different from any other “acoustic” work you’ve ever heard. There are also some electric guitars, but in very minor parts, adding a metal sound to the album. Except for the cover on “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and the two acoustic versions of their previous songs “The Winter Wake” and “The Wanderer” all the other songs are new. This album is much closer to “Heathenreel” and I believe the absence of electric guitars made the band much more inventive on the compositions of the songs. The lead melodies are based mainly on the many different types of guitars and secondary on the violins (synths and whistles are in the background). Aydan’s work on the guitars is remarkable since he mixed standard acoustic, piezo acoustic and classical ones with brilliance, creating an unbelievably solid sound. Of course the production of the album is at the high standards they always offer us!

The album will be released on 14thof November in digipak and jewel case editions and will be preceded by an online single! Digipak version will include the acoustic version of “The Wanderer”, while there is also a song “Skywards 2008” available only in the Japan version. For me it was a very pleasant surprise, since I thought the band would follow other musical directions. If you liked their earlier more folk works, you must check “Two Tragedy Poets”. Also if you want to listen to an interesting acoustic experiment with a folk power metal approach, don’t hesitate! You can also check their official pages for samples.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8/10)

Links:
http://www.elvenking.net/index.htm
Elvenking @ Facebook
Elvenking @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

ÁSMEGIN – Arv

ÁSMEGIN – Arv








Origin: Norway
Genre: Folk Black Metal Folk Death Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2008

After 5 years of silence the Norwegian band is back. Even though the band was created in 1998 it was 2003 when they released their “Hin Vordende Sod & Sø” debut, which made quite an impression to the folk metal scene. Their new album “Arv” will be available by the end of November again by Napalm Records and let’s see what they have to present this time.

They are still at the folk black/death genre, but the album is different than the typical examples of this music. It is a slow album with a constant dialogue/conversation between black/death screams and male or female clean vocals. Guitar riffs are based on folk tunes accompanied often by violins and accordion. There is a lot of work in the composition with many different ideas and a great variety of styles in each song! All of the lyrics are in Norwegian fitting perfectly with the Nordic atmosphere of the work. It isn’t an easy to listen album and maybe you can’t get the melodies with the first hearing, but the more time you invest the more secrets are revealed. For me this is a sign of a good album! Usually when songs stick at first in your mind with catchy melodies, they become boring soon enough. But with “Arv” I just want to listen to it again and again…

There is a very original and strange folk mood in this work that will enchant lovers of this genre. There are some typical folk metal parts, but there is also a will for experiment that makes Ásmegin differ… It may sounds strange, but I find there is a “jazz improvisation” approach in many parts (that I have to admit it doesn’t work all the time). Female vocals are also much improved and I believe that the band could easily make a trip-hop, alternative, folk album with great success. The best song for me is the opening track “Fandens Mælkebøtte” with amazing female vocals full of folklore nostalgia.

I believe that 5 years was too long to wait, but Ásmegin got too many ideas in this period and tried to put them all together in this album. There are parts where it’s obvious that the band has too many things to offer, and I wish they would explore them in the near future, balancing a little better their influences and leaving behind their weaker parts. Let’s hope it won’t take them that much time to record something new.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
-

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

MIRRORTHRONE – Gangrene

MIRRORTHRONE – Gangrene








Origin: Switzerland
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Melodic Black Metal
Label: Red Stream Inc.
Year: 2008

Mirrorthrone is one of Vladimir Cochet’s many projects. He comes from Switzerland and he is the founder and only member of three active bands: Mirrorthrone, Unholy Matrimony and Weeping Birth and he released a new album in 2008 with each of them. Even though the three projects have some similarities, Mirrorthrone has a more experimental atmospheric approach, Unholy Matrimony a more black, and Weeping Birth a more death metal approach.

“Gangrene” is Mirrorthrone’s third album, after “of Wind and Weeping” in 2003 and “Carriers of Dust” in 2006. Compared to the two previous releases I can say this album is more solid and powerful, with less atmospheric parts and a more aggressive mood. Even though Vladimir plays everything himself, the sound is amazingly full and he performs surprisingly well in all instruments. The drum programming (that was his first albums’ weakness) is much improved, and it sounds almost like real drums. If you know Vladimir’s previous works, “Gangrene” will satisfy you, without being his best work, but standing at the high level standards he has set. If you are new to Mirrorthrone, expect to find atmospheric symphonic melodic black metal, in a variable tempo and with great technical skills. He has a very personal sound, recognizable in all of his projects and Mirrorthone have a darker nostalgic (almost baroque) mood.

Vladimir is definitely a talented musician, or better a complete artist, since he does everything in his works; even the artwork of his cds, and he has nothing to fear compared with other “professional” artists. His orchestrations are very rich with guitars and keyboards cooperating perfectly, creating a really complete sound. Some piano interludes with ecclesiastic classical influences add a lot to the great atmosphere of the album and they work as relaxing melodic melancholic intermissions (he is so good I believe he could compose a whole classical music album with great success!). Lyrics are in English in some songs and in French in others. His vocals are deep black screams, while he also uses clean vocals in the more melodic parts and his is unbelievable good in both of them. All of the instruments are in the right level and his production is almost perfect, very much improved compared to his first efforts.

“Gangrene” is a great recommendation for all those who like symphonic atmospheric black metal, but with a more melancholic personal sound. The compositions and the songs are of very high quality, and if you don’t know it you could never even imagine that it’s one man’s band. You should give them a listen, since they are definitely worthy of your attention. “Gangrene” is released by Red Stream and is his most easy to find work…

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
http://www.mirrorthrone.com
Mirrorthrone @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews