– Boldly Stride the DoomedGenre:
Epic Doom/Heavy MetalRelease Date:
May 3rd 2011Label:
Cruz del Sur MusicAuthor:
UMUR"Boldly Stride The Doomed"
is the 2nd full-length studio album by US doom/heavy metal act Argus
. The album was released through Cruz del Sur Music
in May 2011. There is a vinyl version available which features two bonus tracks. A cover of "At The Gallows End"
and "Róisín Dubh"
by Thin Lizzy
On "Boldly Stride The Doomed"
the band play a combination of epic doom metal in the vein of Candlemass
and traditional heavy metal. Especially the guitar harmonies remind me of Iron Maiden
and there are a couple of galloping rhythms too that point in that direction. The busy bass work of Andy Ramage
also has Steve Harris
) written all over it. The band are incredibly well playing, the sound production is powerful and these guys are more than able to write both powerful and memorable material too. As icing on the cake Argus
have a both skilled and powerful vocalist in Brian "Butch" Balich
. He has a raw singing style but with a melodic sensibility. I assure you the "Butch" in his name isn´t taken out of thin air."Boldly Stride The Doomed"
is an excellent album to fans of epic doom metal with traditional heavy metal traits. We´re talking a high quality release here and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved. 80/100Comment
– Troops of Unfeigned MightGenre:
Death MetalRelease Date:
July 26th 2000Label:
UMUR"Troops of Unfeigned Might"
is a 7" vinyl EP by US death metal act Arghoslent
. The EP was released through Horror Records
in July 2000 in a limited edition of 666 handnumbered copies. 222 of those are on clear vinyl.
While the debut album "Galloping Through the Battle Ruins (1998)"
didn´t exactly feature a pristine sound production, it was still a very charming melodic death metal album. The three tracks on "Troops of Unfeigned Might"
are more or less in the same melodic death metal vein (not melodeath) but because of the rather bad rehearsal room sound quality my guess is that these are old demo tracks that have been put on this release. It´s just a wild guess though. These tracks might actually have been recorded after the release of "Galloping Through the Battle Ruins"
have released much better recordings in their career, but while especially the bad sound production considerably drags my rating down, it´s still obvious that the band write really powerful and melodic death metal. Because of the sound quality I can´t give more than a 2 - 2.5 star (45%) rating though. 45/100Comment
– Scourge of the Formless BreedGenre:
Technical Brutal Death MetalRelease Date:
September 5th 2014 (Europe) / October 14th 2014 (US)Label:
Self-released (Europe) / Comatose Music (US)Author:
adg211288Scourge of the Formless Breed
(2014) is the third full-length album by Italian technical brutal death metal act Septycal Gorge
. The album marks the group's return to the metal scene after a five year break between releases. Since Erase the Insignificant
(2009) was released Septycal Gorge
have parted with their bassist and are currently operating as a four-piece with the bass handled on Scourge of the Formless Breed
by a session musician.Scourge of the Formless Breed
is a concept album on the topic on cosmogony (the theory of the coming into existence of the cosmos or universe) and the nine track album is split equally into three chapters entitled Protogenesis, Rebellion and Obliteration respectively. It's obvious from this subject matter that Septycal Gorge
wants to be something a bit more in the brutal death metal scene than just another gore themed act, which is an impression I get from some of their earlier song titles which feature names such as Deformed Heretic Impalement
, Redneck Slanderous Mutation
and Poisoned Human Flesh
. Unfortunately as is often the case with the most extreme of metal styles the growling vocals used on Scourge of the Formless Breed
are very much indiscernible to my ears so no matter how complex or clever a concept Septycal Gorge
have come up with here it's like the musical equivalent of being lost in translation.
Fortunately for Septycal Gorge
on the other hand they do at least have a pretty solid death metal offering here. While said growls are difficult to follow frontman Mariano Somá
more or less sticks to a very deep style and does feel the need to vary it with irritations such as pig squeals (which are an instant turn-off for me). The musicianship is pretty solid too featuring a strong technical edge on the brutal death metal sound that quite often puts me in mind of what Septycal Gorge
's countrymen Hour of Penance
did on their album Sedition
(2012). I don't want to use the term clone act
here because let's face it, it's a rare death metal act that really stands out from the crowd these days and on Scourge of the Formless Breed Septycal Gorge
have an album that holds my attention all the way through and that's probably something only one in five death metal albums can do. The rather short running time of about 32 minutes no doubt helps on that front. It's a duration that feels ideal for this sort of music.
While I would like to be able to dig deeper into the concept the band have got going here, on a purely musical front this is a pretty great from Septycal Gorge
and I see no reason to deny Scourge of the Formless Breed
a four star rating. 79/100Comment
– War EternalGenre:
Melodic Death MetalRelease Date:
June 9th 2014Label:
I have a funny relationship with Arch Enemy
. Being the completionist that I am, I own their entire back catalogue and didn't hesitate to also pick up their tenth offering War Eternal
either. The change in vocalist from Angela Gossow
to Alissa White-Gluz
didn't affect that decision in the least, but here's the thing, I can't honestly say I'd rank Arch Enemy
among my favourite bands. I'd always rated them relatively consistently at the 4 stars range, with a couple of ups and downs along the way but, I've never ever considered them to be an act capable of producing something really top tier.
At first War Eternal
didn't change my mind on that score at all. Another 4 star, more of the same album. So maybe they threw some symphonic elements in on a few songs and they changed vocalist (and one guitarist) but seem really minor things when listening to the end result: The album otherwise sounds exactly as expected. I expected to listen to it a few times and then shelve it for a while and maybe I'd think in a few months time 'okay I'll listen to that again now', which is what I've done with every new Arch Enemy
album since discovering them. Only that didn't happen. I kept wanting to listen to it. Eventually I conceded that it was a grower and began to think of it as a 4.5 star album, putting on par with Rise of the Tyrant
, which is the album I'd have called their best up until this point. A few other albums may have distracted me along the way to reaching the point where I wanted to write this review, but unlike many others that I've heard and shelved I still kept going back to War Eternal
even now, over two months since the album was released. That's not something that Rise of the Tyrant
can lay claim to.
That's what really what made me write this review (which I hope reads coherently come its conclusion and not a bunch of my ramblings). It wasn't an album I thought I'd bother about much after a few listens but here I am still enjoying it as much as I did upon release (more, actually) and I guess I have approaching twenty full listens to it already, if I haven't surpassed it. That's probably almost as many as all nine previous albums put together. I'm not exactly sure what it is about War Eternal
that makes it so addictive; certainly Arch Enemy
didn't do an awful lot different compared to just about everything else they've ever done, but despite how many listens it may have taken I am confident in saying that this is the best thing the Swedish melodeath act have ever done. I'm not sure there's a moral to this little story-review but I guess the bottom line is that War Eternal
isn't an album that deserves to be written off after just a listen or two. It is without a doubt the most surprising release I've heard this year so far. I just can't figure out how the **** it happened, not after all this time. 95/100Comment
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