Queensryche – Frequency Unknown (2013)

Queensryche – Frequency Unknown (2013)

Queensryche – Frequency Unknown (2013) And here it is, the new ‘ryche product, not really sure now if this is really the thirteenth Queensrÿche – honestly, I don’t think so – or the first album by Geoff Tate’s version of the ‘ryche – which seems more appropriate. Since I mentioned the war between the two sides of the band, the preliminary injunction lawsuit, disputing ownership of the band name, resulted in a verdict that allow both Tate and the other band members to use the band name until the next court date, scheduled for November 2013. The “other” half – actually 90% of the band – will release their album in June, although, the first single, “Redemption”, was released on March 25, 2013.
I know, generally speaking, the truth it’s somewhere in between, but this whole thing of Tate claiming the Queensrÿche name after he was the one who always was complaining about the metal content of the band and always tried to force his bandmates to leave behind the rock and metal roots and do “other” things, try different approaches and sounds, now smells pretty bad. And listening “Frequency Unknown” and the desperate struggle to prove that they are rock and metal and “true warriors”, make them look – and sound – quite ridiculous. I was curious why the hell Tate felt the need to re-record some classic ‘ryche tracks (I Don’t Believe in Love, Empire, Jet City Woman, Silent Lucidity) and his answer was shocking and cynical: “The money. The record company really wanted those for resale and licensing and all that kind of that stuff, so they said: ‘We’ll give you a lot of money for it.’ And so I said, ‘Okay, beautiful!’ They wanted them to sound, you know, as close as we could make them to the originals. And that’s what was really hard, was making them sound that way.” Well, the result it’s actually not so satisfying. Unfortunately, they managed to sound only as an imitation. Read more Queensryche – Frequency Unknown (2013)

Edgecrusher – Damagemaker (2012)

Edgecrusher - Damagemaker (2012) 12 murderous, good-old fashioned groove metal tracks, Pantera fans will be definitively satisfied by this Russian outfit. They incorporated in their “edgecrusher” sound several modern elements, like using synthesizers and have several Korn-alike nu metal grooves and layers, but generally they staying solid in the traditional, heavy, metal area. Some of their riffs even reminded me of Iron Maiden (“Real Monster” for instance), so, this is more close to the classic metal then to the nowadays post-metal and metalcore products.
And just to be goddamn honest, even to take a closer look to their album art, worth a few minutes. Read more Edgecrusher – Damagemaker (2012)

Gravity – Syndrome (2011)

With roots back to classic and symphonic Heavy Metal, merging Death Metal with Groove and Nu Metal, Gravity are the latest promise of Montpellier Metal’s stage. Singed to M&O label last year, they released their debut full-length album entitled “Syndrom” in 2011. Emilie (vocals), Alex and Mathieu (guitars), Tim (bass) and Hugo (drums) delivered a quite unique blending of Metal sub-genres. Emilie covers a large range of singing styles from classic, clean singing to deadly howling and bloody screaming, sometimes evoking opera styles, other times – mainly – being extremely brutal and combine Death and Hardcore styles. The music is also colorful, while I’m getting bored by too many so-called whatever-core released lately, Gravity delivering quality modern Metal without repeating the trendy cliches and patterns. Read more Gravity – Syndrome (2011)

Stardown – Venom (2011)

Merging the rawness and intensity of Pantera with the gloomy and twisted moments of Korn while Ardentis sung on a scale from howling brutality up till clean vocals which sometimes reminds me of Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) often then of Jonathan Davis (Korn), Stardown includes leaders of Russian metal scene from Amatory and Korea and delivering an extremely intense and powerful modern metal album.
Following “Insi Deus” which was produced & mixed in Denmark by famous sound engineer Jacob Hansen (Maroon, Raunchy, Volbeat), “Venom” was mixed by the same Jacob Hansen while all the drum tracks were recorded in Australia by the drummer Richard Evensand (ex-Chimaira), also featuring guest star Alex Pavlov from Amatory and leader of the band Ardentis. Read more Stardown – Venom (2011)

Sepultura – Kairos (2011)

The departure of Max Cavalera back in 1996 shaken the foundations of Sepultura and some of the fans still not comfortable with Derrick Green. After the release of album “Dante XXI” from 2006, Max managed to extract also his brother Igor from his former band and “A-Lex”, the previous album released in 2009 introduced us the new drummer: Jean Dolabella. Bass player Paulo Jr. is the sole remaining member from the band’s debut album, although guitarist Andreas Kisser might be considered veteran as well while he joined the band in 1987 and his contribution was present since the band’s second album “Schizophrenia”. And well, Derrick fronting Sepultura for 14 years now…
“Kairos”, scheduled to be released on June 24, 2011, through Nuclear Blast Records, is a return to the straight, intense sound and approach of “Roorback” from 2003, a blending of hardcore rawness and nu metal strength, it’s a grinding, heavy, balanced and typically Sepultura flavored material. And metal. Read more Sepultura – Kairos (2011)

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Morbid Angel – Illud Divinum Insanus (2011)

This might be one of the best metal albums of the year. Extremely brutal, filled up with cutting edge riffs, crushing noises and killer tempos, technical death metal constructions and some demonic industrial like noises, this is a very complex and breathing metal product up to date and beneath the explosive sound, Morbid Angel write and recorded absolutely killer songs incorporated modern taste to their classic death approach. Absolutely brilliant.
Eight years since their last studio album – “Heretic” (2003) – and sixteen since their last with David Vincent – “Domination” (1995). And some may agree – or not – but Morbid Angel was always identified by the eccentric David Vincent. He left Morbid Angel to join his wife’s industrial metal band, Genitorturers in 1995 and rejoined Morbid Angel in 2004 and it seems he bring with him some of the industrialized experiences gained along Genitorturers, but no metal fan should worry, Morbid Angel remains the same uncompromising metal act. This is maybe not a conservative death metal album, still it’s extremely heavy and crushing. Read more Morbid Angel – Illud Divinum Insanus (2011)