Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel (Album Review)

A couple of months back a good friend of mine introduced me to Ne Obliviscaris, and that’s when I hated said friend because simply no other band came even close to giving me the same “musical high” -or so to speak- that Ne Obliviscaris’ violin infused masterpieces gave me. Obviously I loved Portal Of I, it was what perfection sounds like. Now fast forward to last week when I finally got the band’s new album Citadel in my mailbox and I tore open the package like a fat kid would tear open the wrapper on a chocolate bar. I got my Citadel tshirt, my Citadel album, and my unwavering will to have my mind blown to pieces, put back together, and blown again ready.

I put the disc in my computer and started listening and my god was it good. However something seemed off, still does. I gave it a dozen more listens in my car on my way to and fro work, as well as on my way to client sites which happens way too often, also which gave me an opportunity to listen to the album more. I even forced my parents and sister to listen to the album when they inevitably had me give them a ride somewhere. Even with all the listens, something still doesn’t feel quiet right, I can’t put my finger on it really. Is it the way the tracks are organized within the album? That’s definitely part of it. Pyrrhic coming right after Painters Of Tempest – Part III didn’t give me enough time to recover from the elegance of the Painters Of Tempest trilogy, it just stormed in guns a blazing. That’s not to say Pyrrhic wasn’t good, it’s an absolutely stunning track, along with every single track on the album. For me at least the organization threw me off a little.

However everything I loved from Portal Of I is present in Citadel, and much grandeur at that too. The beautiful and at times haunting violin interludes are there, the insanely good bass chops that positively make me want to grab my bass and miserably fail at replicating the lines are still there, and within the tracks themselves, the blowing of my mind did occur, many times over.

Coming from Portal Of I, I expected something exactly similar, I didn’t want this formula to change, and sure enough Ne Obliviscaris know that, they know that they’re outstandingly good at what they do and they’ll keep doing it because there’s simply too much to explore in that medium. The only drawback to Citadel was the track organization. It just nudged the album’s flow for me a little.

Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I (Album Opinion)

If I were to pick the end all be all of progressive death metal albums, I would go with Portal of I. If I were to pick the end all be all of death metal – Or metal in general, mind you – albums, I would go with Portal of I. If I were to pic… You get the point.


I’ve been addicted to this album for so long it’s become unhealthy, the way the album is structured is perfect, the way the lyrics flow oh so amazingly with the music is perfect, the way the music is simply some of the most elegant music I’ve listened to in a while is outstanding. While there’s only one addition to the traditional metal formula -if there ever was one- the violin work by Tim Charles compliments the music, and even takes lead at most times, but it never gets in the way, when Tim Charles’ work takes lead it never overshadows anything else, every other instrument compliments the new lead, and similarly whenever bassist -Holy crap is he good- Brendan Brown or guitarist Benjamin Baret or also drummer Dan Presland take lead, every one else follow in and work together to make what I truly consider the most elegant progressive death metal album of probably, well, ever.

Songs to take note of (all of them):

Forget Not

And Plague Flowers The Kleidoscope

Of The Leper Butterflies

Existentium – Decadent Desecration (Album review)

I have only listened to Existentium as Alhazred (their former name), and only to a song called Viral Fear which James Spaeth, their drummer, had me listen to when they first recorded, and I distinctly remember getting so hooked on this song that it eventually went into my everyday playlist. So when he told me that his band were making an album I was stoked, and rightfully so. Before I go any further, I can say up front that save for some very minor issues, this album takes the cake. The whole damned cake.



Next to a demo they released back in 2012, Decadent Desecration is Existentium’s first full length album that has just been released this month (March 2014).

Right from the get go, the album deceives you with an acoustic intro track that, at first listen, gave me the impression that this would be a progressive death metal album a la Opeth, or even a doom metal album. Make no mistake though, this album is pure, hard hitting death metal with a LOT of thrash metal influences, and I’m not sure if they intended this or not, but TONS of Hypocrisy influences, mainly in Chris’ voice, and in some of the riffs. Also Obscura influences. The best I can describe Decadent Desecration is that it is what happens when an orgy between Scale The Summit, Obscura, Hypocrisy, and Exodus happens. Lots of beards in there. Lots and lots of beards.

The album keeps up the pace throughout all the ten tracks, with one instrumental in between to keep things varied. Marrying outstanding bass work from Josh with James’ blast beats and everything complimented with Chris’ and David’s melodic work, departing the album at times from the raw brutality it is incorporating to a more melodic death tone, and at times more melodic than death, which manages to keep things interesting.

The mastering and all the audio work really is superb here, save for a few seconds in one of the tracks where the drums could’ve used a little more reverb instead of sounding flat, but again, that was for exactly three seconds in one of the songs that if you are not an audiophile, won’t even notice.

I can’t think of anything wrong with the album, it is a perfect example of how good experimentation can go. In this case I ended up feeding my ears melodies akin to Scale the Summit’s with growls like Hypocrisy’s and riffing between Exodus’ and Obscura’s. It’s the beautiful love child of all these bands with enough substance to stand out on its own.

While Existentium may be new, they definitely have the technicality and sound to make an impact in the death metal scene.

Decadent Desecration is available for digital download here and for physical discs and merch here.

Vesperia – An Olden Tale (Album Review)

I had honestly never heard of Vesperia until Morgan Rider sent me an email with their latest album, and boy am I glad he did. Considering my love for epic music in general, and death metal in particular, this album was a breath of fresh air.


An Olden Tale is Vesperia’s (surprisingly enough) second full length album, and I say surprisingly because I honestly thought these guys would have had a long line of albums to have expertly crafted something as epic as An Olden Tale.

The album greets you with an atmospheric intro that sets the mood going into the onslaught of folk music to follow with the tracks seamlessly going into the next keeping the same atmosphere throughout the entire album.

Vesperia proceed then to bombard you throughout the album with tight riffage and drumming, with guttural growls you are more likely to find in technical death metal bands rather than folk inclined bands, which contrary to what your first instincts may suggest, actually works really well with Vesperia’s music. Most of the clean vocals work and compliment the gutturals really nice, however in very few cases the clean vocals just didn’t sound right to my ears mainly in Home For A Rest. You’ll also find some harsh vocals and screams mixed in for good measure, which only further prove the vocalist’s versatile voice range.

Guitar work is splendid throughout the album, Frankie Caracci and Casey Elliott do a great job in moving this album from merely a folk metal album to more of a melodic death album as well, which only adds to the concoction of genres An Olden Tale can comfortably fit into. Notable guitar work can be heard in the album titled track, An Olden Tale, which also includes bearded men cheering with mugs of ale in their hands. Beer (Because beer.)

The drum work by Cory Hofing is equally splendid, offering just the right amount of blasts, jazzy transitions, and powerful beats that just make you want to go pick up a double headed ax and go slay yourself a dragon or two.

Nothing much to say about the bass in here, mostly the bass line follows the guitar line (which is impressive still) with the exception of the bass interlude in An Olden Tale. Morgan Rider does deliver nicely on his instrument.

Mixing folk, death, and black metal in a beautiful medley that will keep your ears entertained throughout the entire length of the album. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Amon Amarth, TYR, Korpiklaani, and Immortal (yep, Immortal), the album presents such weird elements all mixed in together creating an even weirder combination that mainly works great.

An easier way to think of Vesperia’s An Olden Tale is that it is the lovechild that resulted from Amon Amarth, Korpoklaani and Immortal having some sort of a threesome. Which is a lot more awesome than what I just said makes it seem.

You can purchase Vesperia’s An Olden Tale through here.

Alter Bridge – Fortress (Album review)

Well, they’ve done it again. They’ve made music so good that I had to get my ears checked, my jaw put back into place, and my pants washed. This year just got a million times more interesting now that Fortress, Alter Bridge’s new album, is finally out.


Let me try and describe to you how heavy this album is: This album is heavier than a ton of bricks… It’s heavier than the heaviest matter of the universe (not you, Gojira, you’re cool)… Heavier than the wrecking ball Miley Cyrus was swinging from butt naked in her shitty new video… Long story short, this album is heavy as fuck.

Now streaming on Metal Hammer’s SoundCloud account, Fortress is packed with 12 new, flawless tracks, and like I previously mentioned, it’s heavier than anything Alter Bridge has ever done before. I’m not going to do a detailed, track by track description because I want you guys to discover the album on your own, so I’m just going to give you a general overview of the whole thing.

It starts off with “Cry Of Achilles”, being one out of two “epic” tracks in there along with the title track “Fortress”, which happens to be song number 12. I’m saying that they’re epic because they’re the lengthiest and most technically and dynamically diverse tracks on the record. Between song number 1 and 12, the remaining ten songs are a cluster fuck of bad ass riffage, perfect guitar solos, drum beats and bass lines that would blow your head off, and what I’m pretty sure is the best vocal work I’ve listened to in quite a while.

Both Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy have contributed to the guitar solos on Fortress, and from what I’ve heard, I can say that Myles has pitched in a bit more than he has back in AB III, which is a good thing, because he’s capable of writing simple, beautiful solos that balance out Mark’s more aggressive approach to soloing.

Much like “Words Darker Than Their Wings” in AB III, Mark has switched places with Myles in “Waters Rising”, providing the main vocals for this brilliant piece. And if you’re familiar with Mark’s incredible vocal talents (listen to his solo album “All I Was” if you haven’t already), you’ll wish that he had more lead vocal input in Fortress, but hey, it’s better than nothing!

There’s some outstanding bass guitar work by Brian Marshall notably on “Peace Is Broken” and “Cry Of Achilles”, and Scott Phillips totally owned the drums on “Cry A River” and “Addicted To Pain”.

Personally, I think the heaviest songs on Fortress are “ Bleed It Dry”, “The Uninvited”, and “Farther Than The Sun”, while the more laid-back would be “Lover”, and “All Ends Well”.

Fortress is definitely the highlight of 2013, and it’s definitely gonna be played over and over in my car for a long time.

I would tell you what my favorite track is, but I haven’t even decided yet, so listen to the entire thing and you decide!

You can listen to the full album here courtesy of Metal Hammer.

(Review written by: Raymond William)

Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent (Album review)


Let’s just start this off by saying that I was (and still am) a big fan of Howard Jones’ vocal skills. I mean, the guy’s voice is fucking incredible. But sadly, due to health issues resulting from type 2 diabetes, Howard had to step down after 9 years of serving as Killswitch Engage’s awesome frontman.

Disarm The Descent is Killswitch Engage’s 6th studio album, following their second self-titled album back in 2009, featuring Jesse Leach, their original vocalist, as the new-old frontman for the band.

The main difference between this album and any other Killswitch Engage album (apart from the first two) is the vocals. Personally, it took me a good couple of listens for Jesse Leach’s voice to grow on me, but eventually I realized that it’s quite impressive, and fits the music perfectly. Leach has it all locked down; soaring screams, gritty-in your face-angry heavy metal singing, and beautiful clean passages that go hand in hand with the music. And if you’ve enjoyed all three styles of his singing, then you’ll definitely enjoy the immense layering work that’s been done, combining those styles to create depth and variety that make the songs even more impressive.

Tight, rhythmic riffage has been a staple of Killswitch Engage’s sound for years now, and the album delivers exactly that, and it’s quite evident on one of my favorite tracks ‘The Turning Point’. All of the rhythm work is accompanied by excellent drum beats (notably Justin Foley’s blast beats) and is perfected by Mike D’antonio’s heavy bass tone.

And for the hardcore Killswitch Engage fans out there: Yes, there are a lot of squeals and pinch harmonics in there to satisfy your auditory needs.

As for the quality, basically, there’s this massive wall of sound that would make your ears bleed gravy the second you listen to any of the songs.

The sound is rich and full, and the songs are packed with Killswitch Engage’s signature melodic, catchy choruses, and a few epic solos here and there just to spice things up.

The songs range from hard and heavy like ‘Slave To The Machine’ and ‘New Awakening’, to a more relaxed style like ‘Always’, so the album offers a nice mixture of feels, or to be more precise…

All dem feels.

As a whole, Disarm The Descent is an amazing album, I highly recommend it, and now that Jesse Leach is back in the game, there’s no telling where Killswitch Engage is going next. Pretty exciting shit, I must say.

I’ll leave you guys with another favorite of mine off the album, hope you enjoy it!

(Review written by: Raymond William)

Metal and stuff.

You all probably know that when I mention metal, I mean fucking business (Proof).

Now that we have that out of the way, Raymond William, Fanatik’s own guitarist and curator of the thousand rabbits museum has just announced the title, along with the album art (made by yours truly) and some riffage influences (It’s Mark Tremonti, if you’re wondering) of his new track.

You can see the album art below, with the actual song soon to follow.


Edit: IT’S OUT, folks!

Moar metal!

First of all, I’d like to apologize to my dear readers for not writing any reviews, or anything else for that matter for a REALLY long time, I also suspect I won’t be able to do any reviews (save for a certain game that I pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition for a month ago!) for a good while since I’m doing my bachelor project along with other courses, which is hectic enough to say the least.

75527_10151478533692107_833478717_nHowever, FanatiK have released a new track! And since I’m their bass player, I’m pretty excited to have you guys listen to it, so, there you go.

I would like to extend a very warm thank you to Michael Maurice without whom this song would not be a reality, and FanatiK would forever go unheard. If you’re into EDM, this guy’s your man.



Okay, so the whole “Spam Tuesday” was a bust (Maybe spam Saturdays would work better?) I don’t discover that much underground bands on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis, and sometimes I just get downright lazy (sue me).

What I’ll be doing here is, I’ll be posting some music that I personally find enjoyable, be it from underground bands or not, but priority will be for underground metal bands, even more priority will be for local underground metal bands, EVEN MOAR priority will go to my band, because we’re underground, local, and we only have one song out. (Love us? Please?)

First up, I’d like to tell you all that Devin Townsend has recorded and (almost) released a new album for The Devin Townsend Project called Epicloud! I’m personally not sure if it’s Epicloud for Epic cloud or Epic Loud, but it’s not that loud, so it must be the first choice (Fluffy cloud would have been a better name, but, whatever). He also is awesome enough to have it entirely stream-able for freaking free! So, yeah, Listen to it there.

More epic news, Dethklok have a new video out! A very VERY weird video, of the NSFW variations. I’m not going to spoil it, but you’ll get to see a Pharaoh getting a blowjob from Mortal Kombat’s Mileena.

He also says testicular propane, which is, hands down, the awesomest most coolest phrase I have heard in my entire 22 years of earthly existence.

Also, if you have never heard of them, and chances are, you haven’t, Armenian Space Station! These people define the word “Underground”, I knew of them through a friend (An Armenian friend), and no one else I know knew about them before him, which seems a bit eerie to me.


As per usual, support my band, because we’re good, and support our producer (He has some good shit in the works!).


Spam Tuesday (5)

So, yeah, I realize last time I posted a new Spam Tuesday wasn’t exactly two weeks ago, but, well, here it is, apologies for the delay, and hope you guys and gals enjoy this week’s Spam Tuesday!

First off, we have a band that I’m surprised I haven’t known about earlier, they hail from the very place were Pantera came from, Denison, Texas. This band is none other than Texas Hippie Coalition!

Next up, we have a band that I discovered from watching The Walking Dead (Great show to the 2 or 3 of you who have never seen it)

This next track however, is one that I could not believe it would exist, after listening to it, I really wouldn’t mind dying as to how epic it is, why I think it’s that epic you ask? Well, put mildly, it has Vishal Singh, AND Marty Friedman! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Skyharbor.

Next band is one I have featured more than once in my Spam Tuesdays, simply because they’re very good!  Hailing from Maryland, I give you folks, Alhazred!

Alhazred – Death, Slavery, And The Pursuit of Misery

Last, but definitely not least, check out my own band, Fanatik, and our producer’s (Michael Maurice) page!

If you guys have any new music for me to review or to feature in the next Spam Tuesday, let me know by commenting below! Have a nice day, folks!