Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stormhold - The Lost World (Total Metal Records, 2013)

Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Year: 2014
Country: Belarus
1. Wind of Freedom 06:05  
2. Another Day 05:34  
3. The Understanding of Truth 04:43  
4. Eyes in the Eyes 04:58  
5. Our Blood's on the Cross of War 04:04  
6. The History Pages 05:28  
7. Inside My Mind 04:32  

Here is a country you don't hear that much metal from, Belarus!

From the start with Wind Of Freedom we hear a drummachine which does not give me a lot of confidence. I prefer real drums with my Death Metal.
Luckily the first track is the weakest on the album and things pick up a bit after that.
Stormhold plays Melodic/Symphonic Death Metal in the vein of Dark Tranquility, At The gates etc. but never really reaches that potential. The popularity of the genre is not as big as it was during the early 2000s, so it will have to compete with more metalcore releases then pure melodic death releases which might be a good thing for the band. On a technical aspect the cd is really badly mixed, the volumes of some songs are really different making me put my speakers higher and lower the whole time.
My favorite track is Another Day, which is a very aggressive fast song. Maybe in the future the band need to downplay the keyboard a bit and focus more on the aggressive part of their music. Also please invest a bit in a better mix.

About the booklet, it's just your run of the mill lyrics with photos of the band, nothing more and not really printed on high quality paper. The artwork is not really something special as well, a skull with some floating bullets photoshopped on it, I don't really get it.

 A very cool thing however is that because the album is only 35 minutes long they have printed their logo, faces and the skull on the backside of the cd! Now that is something I haven't seen a lot before. Well done for that. (See image above).

All in all it's a very mediocre release that only collectors of Melodic Death Metal should check out.


Where to buy:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One Step Beyond - The Music Of Chance (Total Metal Records, 2014)

Genre: Experimental Metal
Year: 2014
Country: Australia
01. Hour of the Wolf
02. The Music of Chance
03. Hand That's Dealt
04. Decay
05. Up In Smoke
06. Faith
07. Planets Like Chess Pieces
08. Domino Architect
09. Good World Gone Bad

Here is a rule I always had, it's very hard to review something this isn't easy to classify. When I listen to the new enforcer I can always compare it to what it tries to be, a throwback to the 80s heavy metal gods, when I listen to something like this, which is more unique I can ofcourse try and compare it to other bands like sleepytime gorilla museum and Mr Bungle but it will be harder to rate. As you can expect when I throw around names like SGM and Mr Bungle One Step Beyond presents us with very experimental, even avant-garde Deathh Metal.

 It's the first album I hear by this Australian band but I must say it really is a positive experience, this warrants checking out their older work.

For the booklet the good experience continues. The paper is good quality, the lyrics are actually readable (Metal Scrap Records had some problems with this in the past) and the artwork is well done by Nurgeslag (same guy who did art for Rotting Christ etc).

 All in all this is a good release of good experimental metal, wheter you like this sort of thing is up to you but give it a listen and buy if you like it.




Monday, July 7, 2014

Warckon - High Treason (Emanes Metal Records, 2014)

Genre:  Thrash Metal
Year: 2014
Country: Belgium
1. Mare Tranquilitatis
2. The Weak
3. (My Very Own) Moriarty
4. High Treason
5. Choir of Shadows
6. Dawn of the Era Gargoylaes
7. Sleeper
8. The Samurai
9. Mutant Messiah
10. Grief Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Now this is to my liking, a local thrash band. And not an unknown one either, Warckon is presenting us here with their second release already. The first one 'The Madman's Lullaby' did well enough that they got picked up by Emanes Metal Records, who also re-released their first one.

What we get on the second one is more of the same, more fast riffing, hard hitting thrash metal that they brought us on their debute album. It starts out deceitfully soft with an instrumental opener just to prepare you for the musical onslaught that is to come. The Weak gives us very Death Angel like thrash riffs and is the highlight of the album, the more annihilator like (My Very Own) Moriarty slows down the tempo considerately and is followed up by the more more Heavy Metal track High Treason, I hear a lot of NWOBHM influences in that one. After that the tempo rises again until the bonus track, Grief Is in the Eye of the Beholder, which is an attempt to a ballad thats misses it mark a little bit.

So all in all a very well done thrasher that proves that these young hounds have more up their sleeves. If I can say some negative points it is that production wise it could sound a bit better, it would benefit to play Moriarty a little bit faster so not to break so early with the tempo and the voiceover guy isn't really a necessary add-on.

This time no fotos or review from the booklet since I received a promo copy withouth artwork but at least the cover art is looking nice.

The other Belgian thrash bands better step up their game to compete with 'High Treason'.

Where to buy: 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chvad SB - Crickets Were The Compass (Silber Records, 2014)

Genre: Drone
Year: 2014
Country: USA

1. It Haunts Her
2. A Hair Before Sundown
3. The Dust Cloud Permeates
4. People Keep Asking And I Say You're Well
5. There Isn't A Day That Goes By
6.Crickets Were The Compass And The World Goes 'Round  

Those of you who read my Gut movie review (here), might remember me saying the music had a sort of a eerie electronic vibe, affordable but haunting.

Well good news, Chvad SB (the artist from the Gut soundtrack) has released an album titled "Crickets Were The Compass". While only having 6 songs it clocks in at a whopping 47 minutes of music thats a whole lotta bang for you buck. The music is best described as more of electronic eerie drone music. The sort that you have to listen to with your eyes closed and your mind free to think a story with the music. I feel its excellent stuff for any indie movie maker to use. It's not a release I would recommand playing at a party or just in the car, it's stuff you need to be in the mood for.
And that might be the album biggest fault, it IS long and frankly hard to sit through in one sitting. I had to take a break in between listening because I was loosing focus of the music.

The artwork is done by Richard Sala (, its well done. It really captures the feel of desolation, loneliness and sense of having lost something. It fits the moody music well.

Since its purely instrumental their is no need for lyrics so I can see why they didn't include a booklet in the release but still It would be great to have even some more artwork and maybe some fotos in a separate booklet next time.

Concluding, what we have here is scary, eerie and a good soundtrack to slowly getting insane. No rating this time because its truly something you like or not. Give it a try.

Where to buy: 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Various Artists - "Metal Scrap Records XX Years Anniversary" compilation /Special Edition Deluxe 2CD Digipack/ (Metal Scrap Records, 2013)

Genre: Divers
Year: 2013
Country: Ukraine

Decade A
01. HELL:ON - Slaughter Smell (feat. Andy La Rocque) 03:38
02. CRUSHER - Misled Youth 03:35
03. CYDIA - Последний Стон (The Last Groan) 04:08
04. UNGRACE - SBM (Death cover) 06:07
05. INFECTED - Disinfected 04:20
06. QUO VADIS - Iron Fist 02:19
07. SYMURAN - Ravens (Amon Amarth cover) 03:51
08. CRYOGENIC IMPLOSION - Process Of Imagination 03:35
09. MAJESTY OF REVIVAL - Newborn Sun 06:45
10. RAM-PAGE - Shadow 02:30
11. LETHARGIA - Привкус Мести (Taste of Revenge) 06:30
12. DRUKNROLL - Моя Звезда (My Star) 04:39
Total playing time: 51:57
Bonus video: interview with Anatoliy “Kruger” Kondyuk,
director of Metal Scrap Records

Decade B
01. DRUKNROLL - Самурай (Samurai) 03:50
02. MIND AFFLICTION - Odium Humani Generis 04:15
03. SYMURAN - All Shall Fall (Immortal cover) 05:50
04. INFECTED - Symbiosys 01:21
05. INFECTED - Erosion Of Brain 02:11
06. VOICE OF MIDNIGHT - Signum Crucis 03:59
07. UNGRACE - Unhuman 03:18
08. Dima Krutyholova (FORCEOUT) - Clarity 03:46
09. SYMPHONY OF SYMBOLS - Controlled Cataclysm 09:54
10. QUO VADIS - Rasputin (Boney M cover) 03:40
11. MAJESTY OF REVIVAL - The Code (Remix) 05:07
Total playing time: 47:13


Maybe we should start with some background to this metal label, Metal Scrap Records,
they began in 1993 as Metal Scrap Production, releasing a paper metal magazine. After a while they released some audio releases as well (starting with compilations). Now about 20 years later the label is stronger then ever, metal label #1 in Ukraine, helping domestic and foreign bands to get out there, releasing cds and organizing concerts.

Why am I telling you this?
Since I got their brand new compilation album here to review. For their 20 year anniversary they released their seventh compilation album

So what do we get here? Bands that span the complete history of the label, I reviewed some of them before (MAJESTY OF REVIVAL, DRUKNROLL, MIND AFFLICTION, FORCEOUT, Lethargia)
The compilation comes in 2 version a normal version and the special edition deluxe version (the version to get and the version I have got).
The Special Edition Deluxe Enhanced 2CD Digipack includes: 23 audio tracks/100 min. of music in various Metal styles, as well as 9 official videos, 17 min. video interview with director of Metal Scrap Records, bandphotos, wallpapers and a  booklet.

The quality of the album is top notch, it feels sturdy looks nice and really professional. 

Not all the songs are the same quality but with a label with that many releases there is bound to be something for everyone.
Also it contains the best cover of a Boney-M song I ever heard. Check it out.

No Score

Where to buy:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Forceout - Delusion (Total Metal Records, 2013)

Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Year: 2013
  1. Intro
  2. Усе, що є
  3. Living in Lie
  4. I Need Salvation
  5. Lost Feel
  6. Свинцеві квіти
  7. The Same
  8. In the Dark
  9. Equilibrium
  10. Not My Delusion
  11. Outro
Forceout presents us with Melodic Death Metal that sounds Swedish but is actually from the Ukraine and guess what?
It's good, no scrap that {ha get it?} it's really good.
The production is top notch. Drum, guitar and bass are all well mixed in and it results in a very clean sound that suits this kind of music. I wasn't expecting this kind of production judging by the country and the album art.
The songs bring a lot of variation themselves, this keeps repeated listenings fresh. And the music does warrant repeated listenings.
A negative aspect could be the fact that the singing is not top of the game, compared to the way the instruments sound, it should have been able to stand out a little bit more against the competition.
It's  not easy to pick a highlight song but mine would be 'Not My Delusion', but frankly their aren't any real stinkers in here.

The cover is of course based on the title 'delusions'. I like that how normally its the evil one looking out of the mirror and here it is the other way around. The booklet contains all the lyrics (even readable this time) with some 'artistic' backgrounds but it's not bad at all. A well done package.

For my part one of the best that metal scrap records have put to disc.

Where to buy:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mind Affliction - Pathetic Humanity (Metal Scrap Records, 2013)

Genre: Death/Black Metal
Year: 2013
Country: Poland
  1. Intro
  2. Human Centipede
  3. Mental
  4. Vishe I
  5. Druga strona umysłu
  6. Vishe II
  7. Lithium
Mind Affliction already released a 2011 demo titled 'Mental Disorder' after a little waiting they got signed by Metal Scrap Records to release their debut album 'Pathetic Humanity'.
What they present to us on this album is a mix of death and black metal, the first one being the most present.

Too bad it's never more then just mediocre. Not that it sounds bad, or that the songs are crap, it just that they got a long way to go before they get their own identity. It's all very standard, an intro like this has been done a thousand times and thats the feeling I got while listening to the other songs as well. It does gets points for being brutal and unforgiving. I just hope for that extra little more next time. I wonder if they make a better impression live. I hope their next album takes it up a notch.

The booklet is a real letdown, no lyrics just 2 band pictures. I know budgets are always strickt for new bands but still it doesn't offer the fans a whole lot.
The artwork itself is standard as well but I do like the pictures on the disc itself.


Where to buy: