Quick Jabs for April 2021

Spread the metal:

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”.

Canyon – Static

May 21st, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Newcomers to Melbourne, Australia’s hard rock and metal scene, Canyon are set to unleash their debut EP. This is a heavily guitar driven alt metal offering. Maybe falling more along the lines of heavy stoner rock, Canyon’s music is filled with tons of catchy riffs and melodies that even the heaviest of metal heads will appreciate. The vocals are clear, clean and precise which fits well with the styling of the tunes. This is a genre that is seeing a rise of bands as of late. Either that, or maybe I have just been under a rock too long, but I have noticed as of late, many new bands of this style. It is a kick in the ass of the same old “safe” hard rock we hear on the airwaves. The time is now for Canyon and similar artist to have their day! Check this one out, it may just surprise you. Good stuff!

Countess – Banners Of Blood

February 11th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

New to me but not to the world of progressive black metal, Countess, from the Netherlands, have been pummeling the senses of their fans since 1992. BANNERS OF BLOOD is the band’s 16th full-length release. And as I stated, this is the first time I have had the pleasure of listening to their music. I like it. Not being able to do any previous release comparisons, with this one, sonically it is a blend of first wave black metal with a more traditional heavy metal sound. There are some cool chugging riffs for the headbangers out there. I need to give one a bit more love in the player going forward. Very reminiscent to the U.S. cult band Midnight.

The Lylat Continuum – Ephemeral

February 19th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

“EPHEMERAL is a progressive metal concept album blending progressive death metal with psychedelic ambient breaks. This space epic flows seamlessly from track to track encompassing moments of sheer brutality with sections of pure euphoria.” I did just steal that opening sentence from their bandcamp page. I can say I agree. What these Denver natives deliver is something not to be taken lightly. This is a fairly complex album musically. These guys know there way around an instrument, that is for sure. Their musicianship is impeccable. I tend to enjoy chaos in life and in music. The Lylat Continuum’s music may just be a bit much when it comes to the various passages of one genre to the next within any given track. Although, as I say that while rolling through it here again, maybe what this album needs is more time to digest. There are great moments all over the album. Go check them out and decide for yourself. Do not make a true assumption until you have listened to this a couple times. There is a lot to take in. I look forward  to a future of The Lylat Continuum to see just what they may have in store for us.

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep

March 19th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Here we have a Nomadic one-man project run by Hydrus. What I can find states this project formed in 1990. The band’s first release did not hit until 2013, and from there we have three full-length albums and two EPs. NYARLATHOTEP is an eight track release clocking in at a staggering nine minutes long. Before actually looking into what I was listening to a couple weeks back, I thought it was a single. Each track here blends, or shall I say, flows flawlessly from one to the next making it seem as if it is an epic track of experimental/technical death metal. Overall though, not a bad listen. Just a quick one!

Dead World Reclamation – Aura Of Iniquity

April 23rd, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Dead World Reclamation combines brutal yet melodic guitar and bass lines, thundering drums and ferocious vocals on their sophomore release AURA OF INIQUITY. When you are talking about some vicious and intense metal, Dead World Reclamation will be a band that should not be left out of the conversation. With nuances that are reminiscent to that of Children Of Bodom, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Cradle Of Filth, Dead World Reclamation seem to take things to the next level in sheer brutality here. Yes, it is possible. You too will know what I am saying after just one listen to these guys. All the tracks here are good. Better than good even. They seem to not only have the ability to play great as a unit, but the song writing is top of the genre as well. Catchy and memorable blasts of intensity are on display here. If I were to sum DWR’s latest effort in one word, it would be WOW!

Stone Healer – Conquistador

April 30th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

This two-piece outfit from Connecticut deliver a unique brand of progressive black metal. A brand I am either a bit unfamiliar with, or just new to. I cannot listen to it all. On the lighter side of the spectrum, Stone Healer tend to sound more as a stoner/grunge rock band. All done very well. It is when the extremism of the black metal kicks into high gear where things get a bit sticky. Or rather, quicky. Okay, that was a tad lame. The heavy side of the band is just that. Fast and furious. Almost to the point of a more extreme metal blending as opposed to black metal. But who am I to say?  Stone Healer for me so far are a pretty cool band and CONQUISTADOR is a good listen. It will take a little more time for me to fully embrace. But if you like a more ambient rock mixed in with some extreme metal, Stone Healer is just the band for you.