Category: CD Reviews

Rezet – ‘Deal With It!’ (Metalville)

Rezet play good old-fashioned thrash metal, giving a modern twist on the old-school format of the genre – and there is nothing fucking wrong with that in our book. Sometimes bands try to overthink things, especially as they advance further and further into their careers, losing site of their roots in the process. While this, Rezet’s fourth album, does show a massive degree of maturity in both its approach and delivery, it is very firmly rooted in the thrash tradition of the band’s native Germany, referencing both the country’s pedigree and the way in which the genre has moved forward since the likes of Destruction and Kreator first flew its flag.

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Herod – ‘Sombre Dessein’ (Pelagic Records)

With associations to The Ocean, Cult of Luna and Carcass, you almost don’t have to hear a note of Herod’s music to know that this is a band whose sound is so abrasive it could jet-wash the flesh off a listener at 30 paces. ‘Sombre Dessein’ is a record which definitely doesn’t disappoint in that regard then, taking the most abrasive route to post-metal and noise it can and grinding itself down to the bone across 42 minutes of excruciating brilliance.

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Meridian – ‘Margin of Error’ (Mighty Music)

Danish melodic metal five-piece, Meridian have returned with their third album. ‘Margin of Error’ sees the band offer up 11 tracks to build upon their reputation following 2016 release ‘Breaking the Surface’. Featuring a now cemented line up with the addition of guitarist Marco Angioni, Meridian are looking to put forward a unified sound for their metal style. Having started work on the album in 2017, the initial result was a four track EP ‘The Fate of Atlantis’ released in early 2018 the tracks of which are included on this album. The remainder of the year saw the creation of the following seven tracks to round out the record. With ‘Margin of Error’ now complete, what have Meridian brought to the table?

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FTR – ‘Manners’ (Metropolis Records)

Cold-wave/noise? Parisian trio FTR sit as squarely within the industrial rock bracket with this release, to our resident DJ’s ears, sounding like it would be at home somewhere between ‘Lonely Boy’ by The Black Keys, Nine Inch Nails’ ‘The Hand That Feeds’ and a number of Big Black tracks. There are a few different sounds that go alongside each other within the album, too, with it not feeling like a tale being told, rather something focusing more on the music itself as individual tracks.

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DunkelNacht – ‘Empires of Mediocracy’ (Non Serviam Records)

Sat somewhere between the boundaries of black metal and classic death metal, DunkelNacht are testament to the ever-shrinking borders between extreme metal subgenres on their third record ‘Empires of Mediocracy’. Not since the ‘80s has the spectrum of extreme been such a fluid beast, bands finally realising that existing purely in one subgenre invites a sense of laziness which ultimately grinds all but the very best into formless gruel. Such formlessness doesn’t befit a band like DunkelNacht, the band instead cherry-picking the very best elements of both black and death metal to create something which can gladly cater to both camps.

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The Royal – ‘Deathwatch’ (Longbranch/SPV)

Dutch quintet The Royal formed back in 2012 producing metal music that Jolee Flatman declares is “certainly relentless”. Previous releases include an EP, two albums and a single. Upcoming album ‘Deathwatch’ is for sure an interesting one, consisting of ten songs altogether: parts of it our NKOTB really digs, others however aren’t for her. For fans of Upon A Burning Body, Shields and Currents.

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Dream Theater – ‘Distance Over Time’ (InsideOut Music)

There can be no doubt about it: we think we can quite safely say that Dream Theater are THE pioneers of the modern progressive metal sound. Their iconic debut, ‘When Day And Dream Unite’ – an album which, at the time of writing, is just a few weeks short of celebrating its 30th anniversary – merged prog rock values with those of classic rock and thrash, combining power, speed and, above all, melody in a way which a few artists had attempted but had so far failed to achieve to such a gloriously successful degree.

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Death Tribe – ‘Beyond Pain and Pleasure: A Desert Experiment’ (Self-Released)

2018 was a massive year for Lebanese black metal heroes Kaoteon. Not only did they release a stunning second album in ‘Damnatio Memoriae’, but the band managed to bag an award at Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods awards and Anthony Kaoteon finally joined Walid Wolflust in the Netherlands to ensure the band could pursue their ambitions as a full-time concern. Yet, even with all of this going on, Anthony has managed to find time to spawn his own solo project – the band Death Tribe, described in their bio as “a project inspired by the suffering of warfare, spirit breaking oppression and the refusal to submit to either”.

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Overkill – ‘The Wings Of War’ (Nuclear Blast)

When a band who are regarded as pioneers of the genre in which they ply their trade release a new album, there quite rightly is a high degree of expectation, as well as the inevitable questioning as to whether or not the act in question can still deliver the goods. Fortunately, in the case of this, the 19th studio offering (a remarkable achievement in its own right) from the thrash wrecking crew that is Overkill, the expectations are more than fulfilled and the latter question is answered with an extremely affirmative “hell fuckin’ yes” as, like a good wine, Messrs Ellsworth, Verni et al just seem to get better with age.

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Black Coast – ‘Ill Minds Vol 2’ (Primordial Records)

When NKOTB Jolee Flatman first checked out Black Coast on social media, it was noticeable that they were pretty underground and not too well known. With this in mind, streaming the EP for the very first time – she was truly amazed. Black Coast’s new EP, ‘Ill Minds Vol 2’ is something she reckons you want to keep an eye out for when it drops on 8 March. The five-piece first formed back in 2015, producing metallic/melodic hardcore music. The new EP is a follow on from their previous EP – ‘Ill Minds Vol 1’…

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