It feels like in today’s metal scene newer bands are just trying to become heavier and heavier. Sure tempos are breakneck, guitar and bass tones are heavy enough to shatter at least the Earth’s crust, and the extremeness of the pioneering extreme metal bands seems like a 90lb wimp in comparison to some of the bands kicking it today. Even in genres not about heaviness like power metal, there seems to be contest between many bands where the winner is the one who can jack off the most notes and melodies out of their guitar or which vocalist can be the most ‘dynamic’.
While I know all that isn’t true, that’s the impression I’ve been getting, and feel at times that many of the sounds pioneered during the advent of metal, especially during the ’70s and ’80s has been forgotten about. Sure there are bands that pay homage to the style and revel in cheap ‘revivalism’, but it is really far between when you get a chunk of music that looks to take what was pioneered and really expand and push it to a modern setting while still remembering what made the pioneering sound so engaging and enjoyable in the first place.
One of those few and far between bands really doing heavy metal justice today is Sinister Realm. Their base sound is noticeably influenced by the many works of Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi, especially the times the two artists were in Black Sabbath together, yet with modern technology and small bits from other genres like doom and thrash they have really done a delightful job of bringing traditional heavy metal up to modern standards. Their last album The Crystal Eye is a record I absolutely loved and near immediately upon listening, I knew there was something special about the band. However I was curious as if Sinister Realm would just stick with the established sound of that album, or step up to the plate and push the modern traditional heavy metal envelope further.
Lucky for us, Sinister Realm took a shot at the more difficult choice and pushed those boundaries. Their new album, World of Evil, is nothing less than spectacular. Now, I know I’m going to sound a bit like a hypocrite here, but the new record is a heavier affair than their previous. But unlike the current concept of heavy, they don’t look to downtune their guitars and sing in a more gruff voice, they just wrote songs with that same love that captures heavy darkness of songs like “Black Sabbath”, the heavy charm of tunes like “You Got Another Thing Comin'”, and the heavy catchiness of stuff like “Holy Diver”. There are even some really cool progressive tendencies that call to mind Iron Maiden.
But, yeah, seriously, just don’t read all of my drivel here. All you should know is that World of Evil is fucking awesome and delights me from front to back. And the track “Four Black Witches”, hot damn! That is easily going to be one of the best songs I will hear all year. So, yeah, just click the play button on the player below and be prepared to rock the fuck out. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
If you happen to fancy yourself a fan of melodic death metal, be prepared to meet your new favorite band of the moment (quite possibly much longer). Hailing from the land down under (Australia) the quintet of Be’lakor have crafted one hell of a beast of an album in Of Breath and Bone. Using blizzards of sick riffing, tight rhythms, thundering vocals, and insanely catchy leads mixed with engaging moods and dynamic shifts this record never ceases for a moment to suck you in. While I can still draw comparisons to melo-death stalwarts like In Flames, Insomnium, and Amon Amarth, Be’lakor really have made a sound all their own here. Each track has a unique feel and they also sport that diversity stuff I happen to like so much.
So, give yourself a treat and check out Of Breath and Bone and as always, if you dig it, tell your fellow metal brethren and grab yourself a copy. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Here’s a treat for those you that are into the hard rocking, classic metal bands of the 70’s and 80’s. On Another Night, High Spirits channel the spirits of greats like Def Leppard, Journey, KISS, Krokus, Quiet Riot, and the Scorpions. There are also hints of NWOBHM by way of Iron Maiden and Saxon in there too. The songs on this record are all no frill traditional metal and pull no punches. From the moment you start up Another Night you will be transported back in time complete with a shiny new pair of zebra print spandex pants, white T-shirt with a ‘pink splatter’ print, a well primped mullet, and possessed by the urge to raise you fist and sing along with the anthemic tunes like “I’ll Be Back”, “Full Power”, and “Demons at the Door”. Seriously, every track on this album rocks and is a complete blast to listen to. It’s great to know that there are bands out there putting passion into this style of music keeping the classic metal spirits alive. Go grab a can of Slice and have a good time rockin’ out to Another Night. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Thanks to Metal Bandcamp for the find!
Combining elements of sludge, black, post, and prog metal, Latitudes have been able to craft a very unique sound that is laced in tons of atmosphere and texture. Their 2nd album Individuation shows the band growing their sound as well as their songcraft ability as each of the 8 track on the record are able to meander throughout different areas of their crushing beauty while not losing their way, nor my attention. Soft and ghost-like vocals paired with viscous sludge metal riffing, dreamlike ambient sections, and frequent black metal atmospheres create a floating in space while watching the glorious explosion of nebulae feeling. If you fancy bands like Pelican, Isis, prog era-Mastodon, Pink Floyd, or Agalloch give this band and album a shot, it’s some great music. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!