Category Archives: Review

Underground Sounds: Ade – Carthago Delenda Est

Label: Xtreem Records
Band: Ade
Country: Italy

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
– Cato

Ancient Rome has spoken to the imagination of many artists. The fine arts as well as the popular arts. With films filled with brave warriors, great battles and the grandeur and decadence of old. The theme has been sorely under exposed in metal though with rare bands like Ex Deo (featuring Kataklysm members) or the mild influence on others Alea Jacta Est (a French hardcore band).

In fact I wrote about this already once.

Ade is a breath of fresh air in this little niche with a death metal album that will rattle the Collosseum. Think Nile or Behemoth, but definitely also a bit of that approach of Ex Deo and you have an inkling of the sheer brutallity of this technically endowed band. The group puts the sheer grandeur of the Roman empire in their sound and like with others, it really works.

Ofcourse the result is a bit theatrical and reeks of Bolt Thrower, but how else can you make a song about the most warlike nation ever? That must have been what this group from the eternal city of Rome thought themselves too. The trick is putting those female vocals and strange sounds into your music, but it works smoothy and balanced on this record that features a lot of Carthaginian themes. The title tells you enough, but a song like ‘Annibalem’ obviously refers to the famed general.

The music is complex, but clean sounding and therefor a lot of fun to listen to. It carries the vibe of battle, of intensity and frantic riffing. The vocals are brutal, either deep grunts or guttural barks, even more so setting the vibe that you want on a record like this. The stop-go bursts of guitar work are razor sharp, but so is the build up in some songs, all praising Mars. Blistering and dazzling, but always heavy as fuck, with those martial pounding rhythms and mighty horns. You can imagine the stamped of the war elephants, atleast I can.

You really don’t need to be a tech-head to set your teeth into this recording of fine, catchy death metal. Sure, it packs a punch, but due to the clean production and highly entertaining variety, it’s a fun record to really get into for pretty much anyone who digs the heavy hitters.

Underground Sounds: Numenorean – Home

Label: Seasons of Mist
Band: Numenorean
Origin: Canada

The whole post-blackmetal thing hasn’t got the best rep, but that is really a shame if you look at the larger thing. The genre is pushing the boundaries of black metal to a more poppy sound, thus allowing the genre some more connection, thus input and growth. Now, if every label needs some post BM bands to bolster their roster (and sales), that’s a different question. Not everything is as good as you’d hope, but these guys really are some fine song smiths.

Canadians Numenorean are one of those bands, pushing the sound into that more blackgaze direction of smooth sonic tapestries and emotional vocals. In 2014 the band dropped  demo and now there’s the full lenght from the duo. Byron Lemley and Brandon Lemley are the guys responsible for the music of Numenorean. The name is a fleeting reference to the Atlantis-like myth of the island of Numenor and its inhabitants in Middle-Earth, in Tolkien’s mythology.

Filled with long, emotional sounding songs with strange, unnerving samples, like on opener ‘Home’, the band evokes an instant reaction. Blistering speed and hyperfast guitar riffs, that create a feeling of static standstill are exchanged with languid passages of mild, reverberating playfulness. Roaring vocals and eerie screams are woven into the complete tapestry, which is much akin to a warm sonic blanket that smoothly enters your ears.

No raw bludgeoning assaults and piercing screams, this is a production that is ment to please. There’s a deep melancholy or despair to the songs. ‘Devour’ for example is a song that touches something, stirs long lost feelings and memories, thanks to that right tone and timbre of the music.

Now and then the music feels very postrocky, innocent and blissful. The continuous cycle of building up and then exploding into frenziend bursts of guitarplay and blast beats is also akin to the genre. It makes for a rather pleasant listen to this pleasant and strirring record.

Underground Sounds: Possessor – Dead By Dawn

Label: Graven Earth Records/Anvileater Records
Band: Possessor
Origin: United Kingdom

London always has some great bands brewing something unique and fun. I stumbled across the new Possessor album, number two from the three piece and I tell you, this is awesome! The album is right now only available through bandcamp and well worth your moneys.
Oh, check out the interview here too.

Call it doom, stoner, sludge or as I’ve read somewhere ‘thrash boogie’ and you get the message. It’s fun, dirty and has that jacked up feel of energy, speed and kick-ass riffing. The band seems to be mostly about the fun and just having good times, while lacing their music with some horror themes and grimy distortion.

Opener ‘Afterburner’ has the screaming guitars and the bad-ass bass lines to make you want to start moving (or put that pedal down while driving in your car). It overall has the groove and swagger of a Kyuss but more grungy. The guys like to spice things up with some horror movie samples, like on ‘Scorpion Swamp’, which has these characteristic high paced drums that keep you sharp.

The sound of these guys is heavy and full of groove, with vocals seemingly far away under a sonic blanket. They know how to create that carpet of woolly distortion, but sharp and catchy riffing is also in the book for Possessor. They remind you a little of Electric Wizard playing in the desert with John Garcia on vocals, but there’s something more to it here thanks to that southern swagger. It still feels remarkably British.

For some reason this band makes me think of Motörhead, because of that obvious lack of care for sticking to one genre and just bringing you something that is rock’n’roll as fuck, but just a lot more heavy. Check for example the punked out ‘Terror Tripping’ or the wild ride that is ‘The Curse of the Hearse’, there’s no way to put this band in one corner apart from that. The raw, unpolished sound is fun and catchy, that’s why I make that comparison. This might be one of the coolest things I’ve heard in months.