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Full album stream: Infanteria – Where Serpents Conquer

InfanteriaMeet Infanteria from Cape Town, at the southern tip of Africa. Through them, meet my top contender so far for thrash album of the year.

The essence of “Where Serpents Conquer” is thrash, the type of solid, enduring thrash that turned a generation of rock fans into dedicated metalheads during the 1980s. It’s also the sort of thrash that continues to attract new followers in droves, and keeps the older fans nodding and saying, “Now that’s metal!”

There is much more to Infanteria than their main musical style, however. They bring the best of many worlds in one package. Like many of the bands who are expanding their territory in the 21st century, Infanteria delve into other types of metal and weave it into their repertoire. They enrich their sound by playing the most up-to-date style of thrash as well as the old school style. The variations they write into their songs include passages of death and prog metal.

In my library I’ve filed this album as progressive thrash. That salutes the band’s eagerness to shove through the genre fences and experiment with whatever fits best into their music.

Infanteria have won considerable acclaim from metal fans and critics in South Africa. They were selected to represent their rainbow nation at Wacken Open Air in Germany in 2013. That was the year they released their debut full-length album, “Isolated Existence”. If they’re planning to take their music to a global audience, “Where Serpents Conquer” would be the perfect vehicle to transport them there.

The eight tracks on the album showcase the versatility and quality of the band. It’s difficult to pick a stand-out song, they’re all effing great. “Where Serpents Conquer”, the title track, starts as the purest thrash before flowing into a decidedly deathy conclusion. “Silence In Sight” could easily have come from a Best Thrash of the Eighties compilation. “Beneath The Waves” is an ultra-modern thrash scorcher with dark vocals, and rapid-fire riffs and drumming that conjure up images of a Vulcan canon firing 9,000 rounds per minute. “We All Have Dreams” develops from a sweet acoustic opening to become a thrash ballad that  Megadeth would have been proud to record. “The Arrow” has the feel and sound of deep, melodic prog metal.

Infanteria band

Since I’ve mentioned most of the songs on the album, let me make a special point about “Runes in the Red Forest”, the longest song on the album. It’s a masterpiece of progressive death/thrash, one of the finest metal songs of any genre I’ve heard this year.

The band members on “Where Serpents Conquer” are Chris Hall (vocals and rhythm guitar), the founder, composer and writer; Adriano Rodrigues (lead guitar), Tim Leibbrandt (bass); and Adrian Langeveld (drums). I rate Chris Hall very highly as a composer and lyricist.

Infanteria need an international breakthrough album. “Where Serpents Conquer” could be the one if it receives enough exposure, so spread the word.

Check out Infanteria on Facebook. The link to the album stream is also where to pick up this shiny new album and “Isolated Existence”.


Full album stream: Mörglbl – Tea Time For Pünks


One of the greatest joys of growing up is being fascinated and charmed by lovely new things. Since I’m 65 years old now, I’ll probably mature in the next 20 years and become crusty and set in my ways. Until then, I’ll grab all the thrill and delight there is to be found in new discoveries.

Mörglbl is a new discovery for me. I make that admission with my head hung low in shame because they’ve released six albums including “Tea Time For Pünks” and this is the first time I’ve heard them. I’ll rectify that shortcoming soon enough by treating myself to all their previous work. Who needs groceries when there is music like this to sate my appetite? Read the rest of this entry

Full Album Stream: Teeth – Unremittance

Teeth CoverThis album should come with a warning: “If you turn the volume up to the ideal level for this music, which is as loud as your speakers can take without exploding, it may blast you through the wall and into the next building.” It’s that powerful and, at times, explosive.

“Unremittance” is the perfect title. The album is unremitting, brutal and hypnotic. When the guys from Teeth (based in California) gave me the streaming link, I thought I would dip in quickly to see what each track was like. That didn’t happen. It gripped me from the first chord and held me captive for the duration. Then it mind-controlled me to click replay and I listened to all of it again. The bloody thing is addictive.

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Streaming: Opus Of A Machine – Simulacra

Opus of A Machine started out in 2012, formed by Caligula’s Horse‘s guitarist Zac Greensill and they play a brilliant mix of raw and honest-sounding progressive rock/alternative metal reinforced with powerful clean vocals. Check out their newly released album here:

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Full Album Stream: Vile Regression – Empires

This one is a grabber. Tiny Tiny Cakey Kitten and I are in total agreement on that point. Empires, to be released on Monday (21 July), is the splendid follow-up to Vile Regression’s 2011 debut, The Pattern Evolves.

This Irish outfit plays extreme metal, but not merely for the sake of showing off their considerable technical prowess. They explore the dark end of the prog metal spectrum and enrich it with good melody lines, glittering instrumentation, varied harsh vocal styles, nicely calculated changes of pace and emotional interpretations. In short, this is a really cool album.


Full album stream: Eira – Lacrimosa

If you’re looking for a current band to go with your beloved older Opeth albums, Eira is a great choice. I’m new to the band. Already, however, they’ve blown all my socks off. I’ll have to get new ones.

Two musicians from Buffalo, New York – Tom Gerwitz on guitars and vocals and Derek Schultz on bass – are the core of Eira. They’ve used additional musicians for their recordings. After being totally sucked in by Lacrimosa I must get my grubby little paws on their first album, A Death Painted Portrait. Both are available at Bandcamp.

The death part of their music combines beautifully smooth, emotional instrumentation and sensitive dark vocals. The progressive part overflows with the passion of orchestral dark metal. The richness and variety throughout the album are exceptional.

This one is definitely on my list of albums of the year.


Full album stream: Evilence – Essence of Life

If you’re looking for something to get your pulse pounding while it bathes you with sweet melodies, great grooves and a fine combination of dark and clean vocals, this death thrash from Poland should do the job jolly well. It certainly puts a big smile on my face. Tiny Tiny Cakey Kitten, the cat who is world famous throughout my office, is either moshing or trying to head-butt the mouse again. I think he’s moshing.

Evilence, from Poland, have been together since 2008, although there have been some untimely personnel changes on their way to recording their first full-length album. On the basis of what they’ve finally achieved, however, I’ll certainly be eagerly waiting for more from them.