Deathdomain Webzine

Deathdomain Webzine – Random reviews & Random rants

Against the Wall – August 2013

 Witherscape –”The Inheritance”
LABEL: Century Media Records
GENRE: Atmospheric/Progressive Death Metal

(TK): Some Moontower, some Nightingale. Add hardrock-influences, Opeth-groove and Dan Swanö’s “velvety voice of the gods” and you have Witherscape. I love it! Now let the war against The Loudness War begin!!!  9.0/10

(MJ): Dan Swanö’s clean vocals sound constipated as usual, but many of the growled parts are reminiscent of “Crimson” which, of corpse, is awesome. I’m longing for a real “Crimson 1,5” though. That would be the greatest. 7.0/10

(VS): Demonstrates the brutal and the mellow side of Swanö, as well as his creativity and composing skills. Lots of interesting ideas with influences from many different genres, makes it a refreshing listen. 7.0/10

(BH): When Dan Swanö gets inspired enough to write and release an album, you know it’s going to be filled to the brim with quality material, and “The Inheritance” is no different. Stunning movements and passages, some of the world’s best vocal work, great atmosphere, and a typically flawless Swanö production. Pure excellence. 9.5/10

(GJ): Personally, I think Swanö is overrated. Sure, some of his stuff is really good, however considering the vast amount of releases he’s been involved in, the ratio isn’t that good. Still, I really like this, probably because of the diversity and the progressive elements, especially in the more laid back parts. I need to explore this album further. 7.0/10

 Acacia – “Tills Döden Skiljer Oss Åt”
LABEL: Art of Propaganda
GENRE: Doom/Black Metal, Depressive Rock

(TK): The perfect soundtrack for a somber and gruesome autumn night. Although – “if it wasn’t for the piano, it would had ended up as a doomy Alcest“. Internal jokes aside, this album is a beautiful piece of art that will spellbound fans of Alcest, Shining and others alike. 8.5/10

(MJ): Beautiful and moving. 8.0/10

(VS): Portions of doom, depressive rock and black metal all together mixed with a dose of modernity, creating a really artistic result. Enjoyable by all means. 8.0/10

(BH): This is actually an utter masterpiece that would probably received as an even more massive masterpiece if it was autumn and not the middle of summer. Full details here9.5/10

(GJ): Dark, gloomy  and atmospherical Doom with a slim, yet polished production. All the right ingredients and I should like this, but I don’t. Boring and totally pointless, except for a few passages with a slight “Silent Hill”-feel to them. Extra points for lyrics in Swedish, though. 3.0/10

 Powerwolf–”Preachers of the Night”
LABEL: Napalm Records
GENRE: Power Metal

(TK): While Manowar is all about Swords, Fire and Steel. Powerwolf are about Amen, Halleluja and Sanctus. It gets a bit tiring in the end. Still, I find some pleasure in “Preachers of the Night”6.5/10

(MJ): Heavy and catchy power metal. Sabaton hit it big with this recipe. 8.5/10

(VS): I’m always very strict with power metal because I don’t like most of the stuff I hear, but this is nice. It depicts the operatic side of metal, with well composed, energetic tracks and amazing leads all over the album. 7.0/10

(BH): I like power metal when it’s done right. Powerwolf does it right. It’s cheesy, but not overly so, and the vocalist isn’t annoying at all. In fact, he’s quite fantastic. This is one of the better power album albums of the year so far. 8.0/10

(GJ): I imagine fans of power metal gets precisely what they want with this album. I, on the other hand, get absolutely nothing. However, considering I don’t care at all for the genre, I can’t objectively badmouth this; it’s well played, well produced and probably sounds exactly like it’s supposed to. I’ll stick with a diplomatic grade. 5.0/10

 Mercenary –”Through Our Darkest Days”
LABEL: NoiseArt Records
GENRE: Melodic Death/Power Metal

(TK): Made me think about this. There’s some elements that I still dig, but the big question is: “What happened to the Mercenary that I used to know?”. Guess they really peaked with “Everblack” (2002).  5.0/10

(MJ): Their four latest albums are all among my favorites and it seems I’m still a sucker for Mercenary‘s brand of melodic metal – this time with more symphonic elements. 9.0/10

(VS): It doesn’t live up to the massive albums they have released in the past. Well composed and catchy, even though it does not surpass the veil of mediocrity, despite the fact that it has a couple of glorious moments. People that like metalcore/melodeath/screamo will enjoy this. 6.0/10

(BH): Back in 2004, “11 Dreams” was an amazing album by these guys. I loved it. That one’s totally worth checking out. “Through our darkest days” is not quite in the same league with that one, but it’s not too bad either. Plenty of epic choruses scattered amongst groovy melodic death riffs will keep you occupied for a play-through or two. 7.0/10

(GJ): Denmarks Mercenary has never been something I’ve been into, although listening to this one right after the catastrophe called Ereb Altor, it’s actually kind of refreshing; great guitars, cheesy clean vocals, raspy screaming and the occasional “grab-your-scrotum-here-we-go”-screams. Not at all as bad as expected, actually. 6.0/10

Erimha –”Reign Through Immortality”
LABEL: Victory Records
GENRE: Melodic Black/Death Metal

(TK): I already said it here. But, despite its lack of originality I do dig it! 7.0/10

(MJ): There is something wrong with this’un. 7.0/10

(VS): Dimmu Borgir worshippers. It’ not innovative, but still the fans will love it. 6.5/10

(BH): Despite how ridiculous they may look in that video of theirs, they actually make some competent, albeit overly polished, heavily melodic black metal in the vein of Naglfar and Dark Fortress. However, they just lack something to make a mark and bring me back to them. Even with the obvious potential for some killer quality, they sound a little bit too anonymous. 7.0/10

(GJ): I hear Dark Funeral, I hear Dimmu Borgir, I’ve heard it all before. You won’t find anything new and interesting here, just melodic black metal with keyboards and elements of death metal. Not good, not bad, but something in between. 5.0/10

 Ereb Altor –”Fire Meets Ice”
LABEL: Cyclone Empire
GENRE: Viking Metal

(TK): Well, it doesn’t take a genious to figure out what stands as Ereb Altor‘s biggest influence. Although not coming near the original, this is some mighty fine Bathory worship nevertheless. 7.0/10

(MJ): Pounding bass and an authentic northern style of epic metal. 7.0/10

(VS): It’s possible that if Bathory were still around, this might as well be their new album. A great mixture of viking/doom/black metal with many interesting ideas. I don’t know if it’s their best record to date, but it sure is the most complete, musically. 8.5/10

(BH): I always dig a well-done thickly blackened atmosphere, and EA definitely delivers that. They also bring the goods by way of crushingly heavy riffs and some catchy melodies. Quality black metal for the modern age. 9.0/10

(GJ): I need to get blissfully ignorant about what goes on in the metal scene again. What in the name of Hemaquiel (yes, I know, it isn’t even funny, is it?) is this? This is boring, stupid and completely without worth. 0.0/10


 Trauma –”Karma Obscura”
LABEL: Witching Hour Productions
GENRE: Death Metal

(TK): I used to feel sorry for Hate for always landing in the shadow of compatriots such as Behemoth and Vader. Then Hate really stepped up their game with “Solarflesh: A Gospel of Radiant Divinity”. I’d say that Trauma  have upped their game as well, but sadly it doesn’t really cut the cheese as good as the aforementioned bands. 6.0/10

(MJ): This album gave me a flashback to the Sulphur Aeon-album that came out in the very beginning of this year. But where SA totally floored me, Trauma only leave me wanting more. In a bad sense of those words. 6.5/10

(VS): The production and the compositions are not as facemelting as the one on their previous release, but still there are some decent songs. Only a couple of them made me move a little, the musicianship isn’t that fancy in general. Are these hardcore breakdowns I’m hearing here and there? 5.0/10

(BH): Trauma is another Polish death metal band that sounds remarkably Polish. They definitely know how to lay down a good groove too. This album isn’t quite great, but it is worth checking out. They also have a fairly extensive back catalog to explore as well. 7.0/10

(GJ): Oh, how I want to like this; somewhat technical, but with a groove and still old school to the bone. I hear it, I like it, yet I can’t remember shit of anything they just played. Is that good or bad?  6.0/10

 Chimaira –”Crown of Phantoms”
LABEL: E1 Entertainment
GENRE: Groove/Post-Thrash Metal/Metalcore

(TK): I had a fling with Chimaira back in 2003. But that was 10 years ago and even though I haven’t listened to the band since then it is still quite Fear Factory:ish. One thing I like and always liked about Chimaira is the fact that they never bring out the clean-vocal-choruses. Thank you Chimaira for not buying into todays harsh/clean/harsh-vocals hype.  6.0/10

(MJ): Pretty much 44 minutes of breakdowns. 3.0/10

(VS): New recruited members from Dirge Within and Daath, and still this is as groovy as can be. A leading act of its scene puts out a new album with staggering innovation, from the catchy riffs to the insane solos. It can only mean one thing: A neck exercise. 8.0/10

(BH): This is routine, run of the mill American plague deathcore only with a decent riff or two scattered here and there. 4.0/10

(GJ): Another well played, well produced album. Aggressive and yet melodic, but I think they could benefit from writing more songs instead of putting the same three ones ten times (I won’t count the instrumental, odd one in the middle) on the album. Next, please! 4.0/10

 Deadlock –”The Arsonist”
LABEL: Napalm records
GENRE: Melodic Death Metal

(TK): I had a thing with Deadlock back in 2007 with the album “Wolves”. Never really got what the affection was, and I’m not sure that I still do (other than the fact that the album had some awesome orchestral arrangements). I guess that Sabine Scherer’s vocals is it, reminding me of the best pop/electronic-duo to ever emerge from Russia – namely t.A.T.u.. “The Arsonist” has some hightlights along with a suitable metallic production, but in the end it all just sound too modern for my taste.  6.0/10

(MJ): Dat guitar tone! The female vocals makes “The Arsonist” a top contender this month!  8.5/10

(VS): That girly annoying female voice kept distracting me from listening to the music. This album has exactly everything I hate about modern metal and modern death metal. Studio tricks, untalented songs with soft riffs, awful vocals, no spirit whatsoever. This is bad, even for pop metal. Wow. 0.5/10

(BH): I was halfway digging this brand of German melodic death metal until the chick started singing. She’s terrible, and it ruins any hope these guys had of making a quality album. 3.0/10

(GJ): Take the lid off of the sound-can and let the guitars out, stop with the neo/death/core/take-a-dump-screaming and send the poor, misled girl back to her parents! Damn, this was the most meaningless piece of crap I’ve heard on a long, long time! NEXT! 0.0/10

 Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals –”Walk Through Exits Only”
LABEL: Housecore Records
GENRE: Groove/Sludge Metal

(TK): Problem here is neither Phils awesome voice or the production. It’s the songwriting. It’s like your waiting for the shit to hit the fan throughout the whole album but it never happens. This is just a lot of cock teasing resulting in blue balls and a below average rating. 4.0/10

(MJ): Nope.  2.5/10

(VS): This one is very difficult to listen to. Sounds like a lifeless record of a sold-out frontman that still chews up the reputation he got because of others. I don’t like the new Anselmo and his album is boring and repetitive. 3.0/10

(BH): I haven’t cared about Pantera or any of their spinoffs in 9 years. 3.0/10

(GJ): What the HELL are you doing, Phil? 1.0/10

Deathdomain ATW August 2013 on Spotify

Categorised as: Against The Wall | BH | GJ | MJ | TK | VS

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