This is a new monthly section where we will post an assortment of shorter reviews for albums that we have checked out or may have missed out on previously. The reviews are short and to the point, thus the tile “Quick Jabs”.
I am happy to see that Indiana’s own Salem’s Childe has inked a deal with Pavement Entertainment. Any deal really. I have a bit of history with some of these players and can say wholeheartedly that these guys have the talent to go far in their ventures. THE SIN THAT SAVES YOU is a descent offering by Salem’s Childe. Knowing what I do know about the band, it did take a couple of run throughs for this one to sink in. Being labeled as a thrash groove band, while heavy indeed, the tracks here are a bit more on the groove side of things with plenty of heavy melody. This is a good listen and deserves to be checked out. For fans of Machine Head, Lamb of God, Trivium, and Killswitch Engage.
This one I came across somewhere while wondering down a rabbit hole on the web. Coastland is from Portland, Oregon. Being able to actually put out an album this year being from there must have been a feat in itself. This is a really cool sound track which is a bit of everything. From an atmospheric metal sound to heavier post-rock with some black metal vibes here-and-there to give the listener the escape of a lifetime. This is one of those albums…er…EP’s that needs the lights turned down low, the volume turned up high, and the player set to repeat. “On their new record Death, the only thing holding Coastlands back from being called a metal band is that people have grown so accustomed to thinking of them as post-rock. But make no mistake, in its vacuum, Death is one of the most exciting and gloriously pummeling heavy records of 2020.”
Here is another one I came across on a promo site the sounded cool. After one listen it was apparent that it was a bit more than just cool. These guys from Oakland, California are a hard and heavy thrash infused death metal quartet that are pretty damn good. I have only had the chance to roll into this one a couple times and it is a solid release. While doing some checking on the band, it seems that this album was originally released in 2005. I just downloaded this last month. I could not find where I got it from. Everything I found online leads me to believe that the band has been inactive since this album was put out. Maybe this was put up to get us excited about a reformation of the band and we will get some new material from these Bay Area bashers. It would be a cool if that is the case. Either way, I felt that this was an album that needs a bit of attention. If you know about Down Factor, then you already know what I am getting at.
If I found the right band info, as there seems to be a lack of on this release, or maybe I have the wrong band, this Danish outfit coined the term Diabolic Rock for describing their music. After one listen, yep, I can see why. Following more of a 70’s progressive or psychedelic metal sound to the music, VISCERA is a solid album in that vein of music. Catchy and atmospheric in nature, this album fits right up there with some of the bands I have been getting into the past couple of years. So if you have been getting into the likes of Graveyard, Witchcraft, or even Kadavar to name a couple, this album is going to be right up your alley. True, it is not metal in the way you may want your metal to sound, but the term metal in regards to music is fairly broad these days anyway. This is a cool album. And sorry guys if I have any misinformation. Oh, if this is the correct Demon Head, they did just sign a deal with Metal Blade Records. If it is not, oh well, look this one up!
“THE DAYS THE CLOCKS STOPPED is an intensely personal concept album that details a dark trip through the human mind and body that the writer Tom de Wit went through 11 years ago fighting a deadly bowel disease. This album details what it is like to be stuck inside your body and what that does to your psyche.”
I would never want to myself. I checked through some of the lyrics on this album and yes, it is a deeply personal journey that has been put together with an ecletic blend of music. Overall, this album plays through like many progressive, avandt-garde metal albums do with some pretty intense heavy passages in some of the track. The vocals and musicianship is superb all around. This one really needs more time to encompass the worderful craftsmanship that Tom de Wit has put forth. Quite the concept album!
“Shardana was formed early in 2008 with the intent of creating a metal band with epic and battling sounds, merging a Heavy Metal sound with Black and Viking ones. Historically speaking, Shardana was the name of the Sardinian pirates who sailed the Mediterranean sea in the second millennium BCE. Their history inspires the songwriting of the band to a large degree, and the lyrics are about the glorious courage and legendary pride of those people who contributed so much to increase the influence of Sardinia at the times of pharaoh Ramses or during the roman empire.”
Their 2nd album here is quite the special from start to finish. A very well written and composed effort blending such genres as melodic black metal, epic power metal, thrash with some added folky moments to round things out. These tracks are of the ‘very memorable’ status. You know what I mean. This is a very enjoyable listen from first go. This is one that I will be keeping in the rotation for sometime. Each track does have its own life to it making MILLI ANNOS a well-rounded album worthy of listening to time and time again.
“Launched in 2015, Canadian hard rock/ heavy metal band Boneyard is the lifeblood and passion of vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Pamtera. The members bring a wealth of experience from previous bands that include: Tyrant, Septimus and Powerslave. The band started out as a cover project, but has been writing original music for the past three years.”
Boneyard lean a bit more towards the hard rock side of the spectrum but the metal is all there as well. After the first listen, you can hear that the band has put a lot of hard work and effort into the crafting of OATHBREAKER. The songs all have a catchy vibe to them. You know, that track that has you unknowingly bobbing your head back and forth to to the beat of the music and has you trying to croon along as best you can. Boneyard has a NWOBHM sound to them at times. There are influences of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Doro to Armored Saint and maybe even very early Def Leppard (when they rocked). So for a great album that does not fall on the ‘heavy’ side of metal, this is a great start! Check it out!