Quick Jabs for August 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”.

Helgrind – Return To Motherland

September 1st, 2019 – Self-Release

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

I’m not sure I can honestly say that I have listened to a pagan / Viking black metal band from the country of Cuba before. Let alone any metal band specifically. Maybe I have and did not realize it. Helgrind were formed in 2012. It looks as if they released a demo in 2014, two full-length efforts in 2019, and an EP in 2020. This one was originally released in 2019. I must say, Helgrind’s music is very good. Almost as good as it gets within this genre of metal. While it is epic in nature, the bands true pagan beliefs are reflected not only lyrically, but sonically as well. RETURN TO MOTHERLAND is full of cool riffs, hooks, blasts of insanity, and the occasional brooding one would come to expect to be found on a pagan metal release. Good stuff!

Hecatomb – Horrid Invocations

May 7th, 2021 – Invictus Productions

Rating:  3.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

As the first track started, all I could muster up in my head was I was listening to an old Possessed demo from back in the day. Well, it continues on through the whole five tracks presented here. This is some serious throw-back thrash infused death metal. What these two guys from Melbourne spew forth is fairly cool sounding. The actual production of the tracks these days may be a turn-off to some as it is raw and is delivered without much clarity. For an old fart such as myself, it takes me back to the horrible recordings I would collect during the early tape trading days of the 80’s. After a couple rounds of this release, and a descent production, I can easily see Hecatomb sitting high atop the death metal genre. There are some very original sounding works here. Any fan of death metal should enjoy this one. Keep up the good work guys.

Epoch of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis

July 23rd, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Based in the South West of England, Epoch of Chirality is a unique progressive metal solo project driven by experienced multi-instrumentalist, composer and sci-fi enthusiast Richard How. The Epoch of Chirality project draws on traditional metal sounds, progressive song structure and exotic synthesizer experimentation to create a unique musical landscape, heavily influenced by sci-fi and fantasy themes. I rate this one high for the sheer brilliance of How. What he has come up with here is a culmination of many years of work. For the average metal head, you may have your doubts of my words here. This album is a full instrumental album. It is almost a soundtrack of tracks that could have a place in any sci-fi movie or video game.  If you are looking for a banger to chant along with while rolling down the highway, run away from NUCLEOSYNTHESIS. On the hand, if you are into great metal fueled progressive music, this is the one to run to. There is no need to get baked to sit back and enjoy this one, the high is in the music and easily enjoyed.

RiseuP – Destructive Machine’s Chilling Time 3:27

August 6th, 2021 – Eclipse Records

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Formed in Poland in 2012, RiseuP is a death inspired groove metal band that lays it all out in an incredible fashion. “The album features a rich guitar sound that is deliciously dirty and complimented by thick rapid-fire drumming and bone-crushing bass tracks.” This one immediately gets the blood pumping and your soul moving. I have not heard such a great death-groove band in a long time. While their sound at times could be labeled as a touch dated, the sheer excellence of this album washes away any doubts to the nay-sayers. This may not be one of my go to genres, but this one just fucking rocks! FFO: Lamb of God, THC, Pantera, and Slipknot.

Celtic Hills – Mystai Keltoy

April 30th, 2021 – Elevate Records

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Do not let the name fool you here. Celtic Hills in not the folk-metal band I was expecting. This Italian power trio lays it all out in glorious power metal fervor. Infused with nuances of thrash and death, the power metal feel does dominate the recording. These guys have been active since 2008, but it did take about 12 years to release their debut album last year. One I will need to search out as their latest here is a great listen. Very memorable riffs and beats. Celtic Hills has a sound here that should catapult them to the metal masses.

This Ending – Needles Of Rust

June 11th, 2021 – Black Lion Records

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

“Stockholm’s This Ending emerged from the ashes of A Canorous Quintet, one of the earliest players of the melodeath scene. Following the dissolution of A Canorous Quintet, the members went on to join (October Tide, Amon Amarth) or form (Guidance of Sin) other bands, and finally, after 07 years of break, the members from the last active lineup reached a conclusion to start a new era and write music freely escaping from any expectations. And thus, they decided to function under a new moniker.” And what a fantastic decision it was/is. The melodic death metal scene has been on fire as of late. Not only producing some incredible new bands, but seeing the veteran’s of the genre releasing some of the most blazing riffs in the industry. This Ending is no stranger to the music. NEEDLES OF RUST is one of the best melodic death albums to hit my ears in a long time. With this album, This Ending continues blending relentless aggression and absolute darkness into their grandiose melodeath dreamscape. Let the nightmares begin! Insanely good.