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Other Recent Reviews
Derdian - Human Reset
Author: adg211288
Rating: 90

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Artillery – Terror Squad
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Arcturus - Aspera Heims Symfonia/Constellation/My Angel
Author: UMUR
Rating: 60

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Immortal – At the Heart of Winter
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 100

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Motorpsycho - Behind the Sun
Author: UMUR
Rating: 90

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Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen
Author: UMUR
Rating: 85

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Arcturus – Aspera Hiems Symfonia
Author: UMUR
Rating: 60

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Immortal - Blizzard Beasts
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 70

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Septicflesh - Titan
Author: ColdReverie
Rating: 75

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Axel Rudi Pell – Into the Storm
Author: adg211288
Rating: 60

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Arcturus – Constellation
Author: UMUR
Rating: 50

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Immortal - Battles in the North
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 95

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Celestial Decay - QuantumX
Author: adg211288
Rating: 71

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Tuomas Holopainen– Music Inspired by The Life and Times of Scrooge
Author: ColdReverie
Rating: 80

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Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Immortal - Pure Holocaust
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 75

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Alestorm - Sunset on the Golden Age
Author: adg211288
Rating: 83

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Arch Enemy - Anthems of Rebellion
Author: UMUR
Rating: 65

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Arcane - Chronicles of the Waking Dream
Author: UMUR
Rating: 85

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Immortal – Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 65

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See Older Reviews

Welcome
Welcome to Heavy Metal Haven, the open-minded heavy metal forums!

Recent Reviews
Mount SalemEndless
Genre: Doom Metal with Psychedelic influences
Release Date: February 18th 2013 (original) / February 28th 2014 (extended version)
Label: Self-released (original) / Metal Blade Records (extended version)
Author: adg211288

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Endless (2013) is the debut EP of US doom metal act Mount Salem. The group originally released it off their own back in 2013 but after being picked up by Metal Blade Records the EP was reissued in 2014 in a slightly extended format. It's the later version that I have.

Mount Salem are the latest act I've encountered to join the ranks of female fronted retro sounding doom metal/psychedelic rock acts, a group that includes the likes of Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth and Avatarium. Comparisons to Blood Ceremony in particular are pretty valid to my ears when talking about the music found on Mount Salem's Endless but the other band is set apart by their use of folksy flute playing, which Mount Salem doesn't use here. Instead the four piece band play raw doom metal riffs straight out of a bygone era, sometimes augmented by some organ played by singer Emily Kopplin whose powerful voice and singing style suits the music perfectly and stirs up the occult vibes that this type of act is known for. The music on Endless is a notch heavier and more metal orientated than Blood Ceremony's most recent effort The Eldritch Dark (2013) though, so while the two acts and others can comfortable be mentioned in the same breath I do not feel like I am listening to a clone act here.

There are six songs on the original EP and eight on the Metal Blade Records reissue. While I think the EP is a more than worthwhile effort with the two extra songs The Tower and Mescaline II taken out of the equation their addition is a big plus in the favour of Endless as the new running time of about 43 minutes makes it come across more like a full-length album.

While Endless doesn't impress me as much as certain releases by the similar artists to Mount Salem it's a strong first release from the group, one that hints at potential to seriously challenge the competition in due course. 4 Stars. 83/100

:star: :star: :star: :star:


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Artificial BrainDemo 2011
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: June 7th 2011
Label: Self-released.
Author: UMUR

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"Demo 2011" is as the title suggests a demo independently released in June 2011 by US death metal act Artificial Brain. It´s of some notice that Artificial Brain features guitarist/vocalist Dan Gargiulo in their ranks. Dan Gargiulo is the new boy in the successful death/thrash metal act Revocation.

...judging from the quality of the material on this 3 track, 11:17 minutes long demo, I´m pretty sure Artificial Brain is a little hobby project Dan Gargiulo has on the side. It´s pretty obvious that the music on this demo doesn´t hold many chances of extreme metal mainstream appeal like Revocation do. The music on the demo is death metal with deep and completely unintelligible growling vocals. It´s the kind of demo where I couldn´t believe it was only 11:17 minutes long, because it felt like forever to get through. There are very few catchy moments and it actually wasn´t until the last couple of minutes of "Lightwaves Birthing Ages" that I encountered a riff I found exciting.

It´s too bad the songwriting isn´t more interesting because the guys are pretty skilled musicians and the sound production is strong too considering that this is a demo. I guess a 2.5 star (50%) rating isn´t all wrong. 50/100

:star: :star: :halfstar:


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ArtilleryBy Inheritance
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date: May 29th 1990
Label: Roadrunner/Roadracer Records
Author: UMUR

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"By Inheritance" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Danish thrash metal act Artillery. The album was released through Roadrunner/Roadracer Records in May 1990. The album was produced, engineered and mixed by B]Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Blind Guardian, Morbid Angel...etc) at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark in the early months of 1990.

The album features 1 instrumental intro, 8 "regular" original tracks and a cover version of "Razamanaz" by Nazareth. The music style on the album is melodic thrash metal with the occasional nod towards US power metal. It´s been three years since the release of the band´s last album "Terror Squad (1987)" and there´s been quite a development in sound since that album. The music style on "Terror Squad (1987)" was raw and old school yet technically well played thrash metal, while the music style on "By Inheritance" is a much more sophisticated yet still powerful type of thrash metal. The band have developed a flair for melody, melodic guitar soloing/guitar themes that are quite impressive.

The instrumental part of the music is very well played. Tight and fast riffing and a powerful rhythm section. It should be noticed here that Morten Stützer has taken up guitar duties on this album instead of playing bass and new bassist is Peter Thorslund. In addition to the excellent instrumental musicianship the vocals by Flemming Rønsdorf are the icing on the cake. Now that´s what I call a great frontman. He has got a strong and rusty kind of voice and while he is certainly able to deliver some really raw thrashy vocals, there´s always a rare melodic sensibility to his vocal parts. He is even capable of delivering more subtle and sensitive vocals in a track like "Don't Believe". Tracks like "Beneath the Clay (R.I.P.)", the title track and "Back in the Trash" are simply killer thrash metal of the more sophisticated kind. You won´t hear something like this very often.

The sound production is perfect for the music. A bit dry but powerful and raw. "By Inheritance" is one of the best known thrash metal albums to ever come out of Denmark and listening to the album it´s obvious to hear why. The band really strike a great balance between the raw and thrashy and the more melodic US power metal style that´s actually pretty rare and not necessarily an easy achievement either. While Artillery are more a thrash metal band than Sanctuary were, I think fans of "Into the Mirror Black (1990)" would really enjoy "By Inheritance" too. That´s one of the albums I think of when I listen to "By Inheritance" (just to make a reference that some people might know). A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved. 90/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :halfstar:


Comment.

ImmortalDamned in Black
Genre: Black/Thrash Metal
Release Date: April 5th 2000
Label: Osmose Productions
Author: 666Sharon666

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Damned in Black sees the Immortal line-up return to a three-piece with the addition of Iscariah on bass, making this the first Immortal album that the instrument wasn't played by frontman Abbath.

Damned in Black sort of continues with the black/thrash metal sound of the previous album At the Heart of Winter but in a more direct manner. The songs are shorter again and running time of the album isn't even a full forty minutes, so it's more like the standard Immortal affair of the first four albums in all but sound. I'd say that the real difference to At the Heart of Winter is that the thrash elements are even more pronounced this time. I'd even go so far as to say that Damned in Black is blackened thrash metal rather than thrash influenced black metal. The album is not as strong overall as either At the Heart of Winter or it's follow-up Sons of the Northern Darkness though, but all in all Damned in Black is another high quality Immortal release, possibly one of the more underrated ones along with Blizzard Beasts. Wrath From Above, Triumph and the title track are all particularly great. 90/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :halfstar:


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Album of the Month
AllegaeonElements of the Infinite
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Release Date: June 24th 2014
Label: Metal Blade Records

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Just before I took my first listen to Elements of the Infinite (2014), which is the third full-length album by US death metal act Allegaeon, I realised something about the death metal releases of 2014 that I'd enjoyed so far: there wasn't a really killer technical death metal effort among them. Epic melodic death from Arch Enemy's War Eternal, challenging progressive death in Lascaille's Shroud's Interval 02: Parallel Infinities, The Abscinded Universe, powerful symphonic death from MaYaN's Antagonise and even some good old classic sounding death metal from Deus Otiosus' Rise. But no technical death metal standout. Well, until now that is.

I haven't encountered Allegaeon before this album but it seems that their earlier work is usually described as technically minded melodic death metal rather than technical death. On Elements of the Infinite though the music is actually dominantly full-on technical death metal that occasionally has a prominent and epic melodic death metal vibe on top, as is the case with the album's lead single 1.618. So it seems that the band has done an about face with their mix of the two styles of death metal. Having not heard any of their older work I can't really say how it compares, but from an outsider's point of view I was instantly impressed with Elements of the Infinite. Aside from the impeccable musicianship I also especially enjoy the lyrics which are themed around space and science-fiction. The growls of vocalist Ezra Haynes being easier to follow than most really helps me feel appreciation for the lyrics. It's clear that a good deal of thought has good into them and as a fan of sci-fi and spacey stuff they strike a chord with me on a personal level too.

Elements of the Infinite is impressive right from the start with the opening track Threshold of Perception, which starts with a nice symphonic and acoustic guitar build up before segueing into lead guitar playing and choirs until things really get going with the technical riffs. Most bands probably would have done something as a separate intro track and been worse off for it. Allegaeon make no such mistake. If anything though Elements of the Infinite is an album that gets more impressive as it goes along. The more melodic death metal influenced tracks provide a great balance between the technical playing that characterises the album. Another aspect I especially enjoy is the album's atmospheric side. There's even some quasi-symphonic stuff happening in the background on certain songs like, Biomech II, which is definitely one of the best tracks on the album along with 1.618 (make sure to also check out the hilarious music video for this one), Gravimetric Time Dilation and Threshold of Perception.

Elements of the Infinite is the first excellent technical death metal record I've heard so far this year and it sets the standard for other bands to beat. Masterful musicianship and strong vocals meets a great balance of aggression, melody and sophistication. That's what Elements of the Infinite is. 94/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :halfstar:




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