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Other Recent Reviews
Pyrrhon – The Mother of Virtues
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Coffinworm – IV.I.VIII
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Entombed A.D. – Back to the Front
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Judas Priest - Ram it Down
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 75

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Distorted Harmony - Chain Reaction
Author: adg211288
Rating: 99

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Hannes Grossmann – The Radial Covenant
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Autopsy – The Headless Ritual
Author: UMUR
Rating: 80

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Judas Priest - Turbo
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 60

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Opeth - Pale Communion
Author: UMUR
Rating: 90

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Sinister Realm - World of Evil
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Burning Black - Remission of Sin
Author: adg211288
Rating: 61

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Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 85

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Purson - In the Meantime
Author: adg211288
Rating: 90

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Winterhorde - Underwatermoon
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 100

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Severed Limbs - In Each Scenario You Die
Author: UMUR
Rating: 65

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Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 80

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1349 – Massive Cauldron of Chaos
Author: adg211288
Rating: 84

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Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Axenstar – Where Dreams Are Forgotten
Author: adg211288
Rating: 72

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Judas Priest - Point of Entry
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 60

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

Recent Reviews
TriptykonMelana Chasmata
Genre: Extreme Metal
Release Date: April 14th 2014
Label: Century Media Records
Author: UMUR

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Melana Chasmata is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swiss extreme metal act Triptykon. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2014. Melana Chasmata features the same lineup, who recorded the band´s debut full-length studio album Eparistera Daimones (2010). There was always internal strife in bandleader Tom G. Warrior´s longtime act Celtic Frost (which was also what triggered their demise), so I´m sure it´s a great relief to him, that Triptykon (at least from the outside looking in) feels like a more tight nit unit.

Stylistically the music on Melana Chasmata more or less continues down the same extreme metal style that the band initiated on Eparistera Daimones (2010). It´s a combination of elements from doom, thrash, black, death, and goth metal, that you can´t really label neither. Therefore the extreme metal tag is probably the most valid here.

The music on the album is crushingly heavy, featuring meaty riffs, dark lead themes, rumbling distorted bass, heavy beats and a varity of vocal styles, ranging from aggressive death/thrash vocals, to sneering black metal type vocals, to goth spoken vocals, to female singing. It´s also very dark and atmospheric music, so all in all there is a good level of diversity on the album. The sound production is powerful, raw and organic. A very impressive sound production, which suits the music perfectly. I´m especially fond of the thick and menacing guitar tone and the ultra heavy bass, but the organic sounding drums and the well sounding vocal production are also great assets.

The material are generally very well written, effective and delivered with great passion and conviction by a cast of skilled performers. However one of the greatest strengths of Melana Chasmata is the diversity of the material. The thrashy and aggressive Tree of Suffocation Souls and Breathing, The ultra heavy Altar of Deceit and Black Snow and the atmospheric and goth tinged Boleskine House, Aurorae and Waiting are good examples of how varied the album is.

It´s not always a combination of so many stylistic elements works wonders, but Triptykon make it sound natural and as if they are completely at ease with what they do. And don´t misunderstand that as if they´ve lost bite or aggression as a consequence of how sure of themselves they sound. They deliver their music with fierce conviction. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved. 90/100

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


Comment.

AbortedThe Necrotic Manifesto
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: April 28th 2014
Label: Century Media Records
Author: UMUR

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The Necrotic Manifesto is the 8th full-length studio album by Belgian death metal act Aborted. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2014. The Necrotic Manifesto was preceded in March 2014 by the appetizer EP Scriptures of the Dead, which features the title track from The Necrotic Manifesto and a cover of Arise by Sepultura. The regular version of the album features 14 tracks, but there is a limited edition available which features three bonus tracks.

Stylistically you are not in for many surprises with The Necrotic Manifesto which more or less continues where Global Flatline (2012) left off. Technically well played gore themed death metal with obvious references in the vocal department to early 90s Carcass (one high pitched sneering vocal style and one deep growling vocal style). The same can be said about the melodic guitar solos on the album which also reek of the British legends. That has however more or less been the case since The Archaic Abattoir (2005) so no real surprise there either.

But while Aborted don´t get a medal for being original, they get one for the convincing delivery of their music, the professional songwriting and the powerful sound production. The tracks aren´t always easy to tell apart and Aborted could arguably gain points by incorporating a few more memorable moments in their tracks, but on the other hand you have to admire their uncompromising nature. So while there are few highlights on the album the quality of the material are generally high. One of the standout tracks is the closing track Cenobites, which features a rearranged theme from the soundtrack to the Hellraiser (1987) movie and samples from the movie too. Entombed already did something similar on the Hellraiser track off the Hollowman (1993) EP, but Aborted put their own twist on the famous Clive Barker story.

Upon conclusion The Necrotic Manifesto is yet another quality death metal release by Aborted. It doesn´t add anything new to their sound and in that respect it´s a bit of a safe release, but fans of the band should be pleased and if you´re new to the band this is not the worst place to start your Aborted journey either. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved. 70/100

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


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Killer Be KilledKiller Be Killed
Genre: Alternative/Thrash/Groove Metal
Release Date: May 9th 2014
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Author: UMUR

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Killer Be Killed is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by US alternative/thrash metal act Killer Be Killed. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in May 2014. Killer Be Killed was formed by Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Nailbomb, Cavalera Conspiracy) in early 2011. During 2012 they were joined by Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and Dave Elitch (The Mars Volta...among others). A bunch of quite prolific guys and I don´t hesitate to call Killer Be Killed a supergroup.

Stylistically the music on Killer Be Killed is alternative/thrash/groove metal, with both harder edged and heavy thrashy riffing and more mainstream oriented melodic content. The band are really well playing and with no less than three vocalists sharing vocal duties on the album, the vocal part of the music is nicely varied. Max Cavalera sings his usual raw and aggressive type vocals, Troy Sanders is also pretty raw sounding yet a bit more melodic, and Greg Puciato delivers both clean sung and more aggressive core tinged vocals. The material are generally very energetic and played with both passion and conviction. Tracks like Face Down, Snakes of Jehova and the melodic opening track Wings of Feather and Wax are some of the highlights on the album, but there are not a dull moment here or anything sub par.

Killer Be Killed is simply a quality release through and through. Intriguing and clever songwriting, convincing delivery, and a powerful and detailed sound production. However the greatest asset here is probably how well Killer Be Killed strike the balance between hard edged aggression and more melodic moments (even pop oriented at times). The latter mentioned moments are just on the right side of being saccharine, and the aggression is also kept on a leash, so that the music never becomes one-dimensionally savage. So-called supergroup projects don´t always work wonders. Sometimes the chemistry between the involved musicians just don´t burn through on the final product and sometimes the material written for the project aren´t strong enough. There can be many reasons for projects like this to fail, but once in a while a project like Killer Be Killed pops up and prove all negative supergroup theories wrong and thank you for that. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved. 80/100

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


Comment.

Judas PriestPainkiller
Genre: Power Metal
Release Date: September 3rd 1990
Label: Columbia Records
Author: 666Sharon666

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The twelfth Judas Priest album Painkiller, released in 1990, marked the end of an era (at least for a time) for the band. It was the last album they'd put out for seven years and afterwards singer Rob Halford left the band. In hindsight this could well have been the last Judas Priest album. In my opinion even though they've managed to put out a further five albums in the years since (two with replacement singer Tim Ripper Owens), this is also the last truly great Judas Priest record. Painkiller is a fan favourite, something not many artists can say about their twelfth album. Yet the oddest thing about Painkiller is that it's actually one of the oddities of Judas Priest's seventeen album discography. Judas Priest are a heavy metal band, but Painkiller is Judas Priest's only power metal album. Some (or perhaps most) might like to refute that statement (it's Judas Priest so it's got to be heavy metal right? - wrong) and I have to admit, this is very old school sounding power metal (but consider this, (Euro) power metal technically wasn't that old in 1990), and maybe it wasn't called power metal at the time (I couldn't tell you either way, as I was 4 in 1990) but I like to think that I've heard enough power metal bands of all shapes and sizes in my 28 years to recognise a power metal album when I hear one. And I certainly hear one when I listen to Painkiller.

Of course Ram it Down did offer a sneak peek of what was about to be unleashed on Painkiller, notably with the song Hard as Iron, but I don't think anyone could have expected the band to produce such a career defining album that even eclipsed early favourites like Sad Wings of Destiny and Stained Class in 1990. K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton deliver fast riffs against new drummer Scott Travis's impressive drumming while Rob Halford delivers what is, in my opinion, the vocal performance of his career. Lyrically Painkiller is actually a bit, well, silly if you know what I mean, but man Rob is in his element screaming his head off on the title track. It's a Judas Priest album with no bad track (there are usually one or two on even their best albums are aren't quite as good in my opinion) and it's also their most in your face metal release. While the title track will always be the absolute must hear from the album, Leather Rebel, All Guns Blazing, Metal Meltdown, Night Crawler and One Shot at Glory are all equally good, with the rest of the album only a marginal step behind.

Should twelfth albums really be this good? Should band's best records really be so different to their established style? Probably not on both counts, but these leather rebels did it, giving fans a metal meltdown with all guitars blazing. You can't stop the Painkiller. An oddity in their discography for sure, but also the best Judas Priest album, easily. 100/100

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


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Album of the Month
Distorted HarmonyChain Reaction
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: July 9th 2014
Label: Self-released.

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Chain Reaction (2014) is the second full-length album by Israeli progressive metal act Distorted Harmony. Like with the band's debut Utopia (2012) Chain Reaction is an entirely self-released effort and is available in both digital and CD format. A deluxe digital edition also exists that contains bonus material such as guitar tabs and drum charts; quite a nice extra for musician fans.

Back when Utopia was released, initially as a free download, I was greatly impressed by it and I know I was not alone in that. Setting the bar so high with a first offering though does put the pressure on for what the artist follows it up with so it was with both excitement and trepidation that I took my first listen to Chain Reaction.

Well it's pretty clear that Distorted Harmony have lost none of their skill as musicians and composers. On a purely instrumental basis I'd say that Chain Reaction is even stronger than Utopia was. Tracks like Misguided and Natural Selection are in particular progressive metal goldmines. The biggest change in the overall sound between the two albums is that the symphonic influences have been quite significantly withdrawn this time making Chain Reaction more of a straight progressive metal release. They still tone things down a bit towards a lighter more progressive rock orientated sound for parts of the album though, but that's true of most progressive metal acts. The band have also gone for a more concise method of songwriting this time as well, giving a total of nine tracks next to Utopia's six. There's still a couple of longer ones such as Misguided and closer Methylene Blue though, which clock in at 8:34 and 7:53 respectively. The sound production seems to have been given more polish as well, which is of course to the benefit of this type of music.

Singer Misha Soukhinin is also in fine form here though I can't say I'm fond of the screaming section thrown into second track Children of Red, which is the only negative thing I have to say about the album. To my ears it feels unnecessary given the quality of his singing voice, which if anything is even stronger here than on Utopia (in between these two albums he was actually a contestant on the talent show The Voice Israel where he reached the quarter-finals and no doubt received coaching from the experience, at least that's how the UK version of that show works). To my ears the screams disrupt the otherwise flawless flow of the music. A minor issue all things considered, one that's offset by all the other positive things that can be said of Chain Reaction but I do have to be objective here, it is an issue that didn't exist on Utopia. But it is good that bands try different things and hopefully this probing with extreme influences won't go any further; this band doesn't need them.

Like with their debut, Distorted Harmony's Chain Reaction is a high class progressive metal effort. So much so that I actually have a hard time deciding which of the two albums I prefer. It's fair to say though that if you like your prog to be symphonic you're more likely to enjoy Utopia likewise if you don't like symphonic elements Chain Reaction will be more your cup of tea. That doesn't help me choose, since I like it both ways and while Chain Reaction makes slight improvements to Utopia's ideas (and it was always only going to be slight improvements on such a fantastic and professional debut) it did also introduce one small negative aspect which offset them. It's probably fairest to score them the about same because of that. I made comparisons in my Utopia review to the British band Haken as both band's debut's blew me away in a similar manner. Both bands have now produced equally worthy second albums. Haken however fell slightly short when it came to album number three. Time will only tell if Distorted Harmony can do what the other band didn't. Oh and 5 well earned stars for Chain Reaction. 99/100

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




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