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Other Recent Reviews
Purson – The Circle and the Blue Door
Author: adg211288
Rating: 90

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Arghoslent - Galloping Through the Battle Ruins
Author: UMUR
Rating: 60

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Artillery – My Blood
Author: UMUR
Rating: 80

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Immortal - All Shall Fall
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 80

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Solace of Requiem – Casting Ruin
Author: adg211288
Rating: 62

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Armageddon – Armageddon
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Artillery - When Death Comes
Author: UMUR
Rating: 85

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Immortal – Sons of Northern Darkness
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 100

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Mount Salem - Endless
Author: adg211288
Rating: 83

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Artificial Brain – Demo 2011
Author: UMUR
Rating: 50

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Artillery – By Inheritance
Author: UMUR
Rating: 90

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Immortal - Damned in Black
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 90

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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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See Older Reviews

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

Recent Reviews
ArgusBoldly Stride the Doomed
Genre: Epic Doom/Heavy Metal
Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Label: Cruz del Sur Music
Author: UMUR

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"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" by Candlemass 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 (Iron Maiden) 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. 80/100

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


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ArghoslentTroops of Unfeigned Might
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: July 26th 2000
Label: Horror Records
Author: UMUR

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"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)" by Arghoslent 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".

Arghoslent 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. 45/100

:star: :star: :halfstar:


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Septycal GorgeScourge of the Formless Breed
Genre: Technical Brutal Death Metal
Release Date: September 5th 2014 (Europe) / October 14th 2014 (US)
Label: Self-released (Europe) / Comatose Music (US)
Author: adg211288

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Scourge 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. 79/100

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


Comment.

Arch EnemyWar Eternal
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Release Date: June 9th 2014
Label: Century Media
Author: 666Sharon666

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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. 95/100

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


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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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