Mini Reviews: Altars, Ensnared (Sweden), Keen Eyed, King Carnage
Posted by Reggie
Altars – Paramnesia
Altars hail from Australia and concoct a brutal blend of down-tuned death metal accompanied by hellish growls. The first thing that came to mind was Morbid Angel which I haven’t listened to since Blessed Are The Sick and Covenant. One thing that caught my eye, or ear as I should say is that some of the songs top the 7,8, and 10 minute mark which is uncommon for this style of brutal death metal. The tempos range from an incredibly slow bone crushing rhythm to sheer speed and blast beats. The occasional solo adds a bit of flair to this level of viciousness. The highlight of the album was the Paramnesia Part I, II, III – Decent, Gibbous, and Ouroboros respectively. Cumulatively, the three songs chime in at around 16 minutes and all together encompass a wide-range of death metal glory. The three-piece is set to release this uncompromising album on September 6 though Blood Harvest/Nuclear Winter Records. The album hurts, but it’s a good hurt!
Ensnared – Ensnared MCD (Sweden)
Brutality – Check! Blast beats – Check! Deathly growls – Check! The thing I like about death metal is that there is no one formula for music to die by. For example, Altars…that band you just read about uses lower key and slower calculated rhythms mixed in with ferocity. The vocals are really low as if to be Satan’s house band. Ensnared relies more on sheer speed, the vocals aren’t as low, and there is more tight riffing going on, but they both still fall under the umbrella of death metal. It is a well-defined genre that allows for a lot of leeway in style as these two bands have demonstrated. Anyway, Ensnared (Sweden) used their country of origin to distinguish themselves from another band of the same name. Their self-titled mini-LP will be released on September 6 via Nuclear Winter Records. The six song mini-LP covers about 33 minutes of electrically-charged death metal. I feel like I just got a case of vertigo from being shaken. The video below is a demo of Adorations which appears on the forthcoming mini-LP.
Keen Eyed – Reflection
After having been blasted for an hour or so of intense death metal, Keen Eyed is taking me on a more relaxing ride of Alice in Chains tempos and Dream Theater melodies. Their progressive, yet slightly sludgy approach is a nice change of pace and actually a good stylistic approach bringing together two genres that would seem to clash. The result is an album reminiscent of what we would now call classic rock (Journey, etc). Reflection is their forthcoming album and is a whopping 59 minutes of solid hard rock. The Italian quintet is set to release their album on 30 Aug 2013.
King Carnage – Ounce of Mercy, Pound of Flesh
I think this is a day destined to be blasted by death metal. That’s ok I am well-suited for that. King Carnage takes things back to where this post started…brutal, vicious, and evil. And for some strange reason all that makes me happy. Their album is 38 minutes across 8 songs. Low and growly unintelligible lyrics are accompanied by a low keyed guitar and some melodic flair here and there when guitar solos make their presence known. Overall, this a very dark side of metal and as mentioned before differs in style from the other two death metal bands in this post. The album was released earlier this year on March 15 via BadGod Music.