Solium Fatalis – Genetically Engineered to Enslave (Self-Release)

Technical Death Metal, but not ANY technical death metal.

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Solium Fatalis is a band of many faces: Genetically Engineered to Enslave is their fourth album, but in their previous albums they had people like Dirk Verbeuren (drums, Megadeth, Aborted, Soilwork, Cadaver, between MANY others), Kevin Talley (drums for Six Feet Under, Misery Index, and many other as well), Olivier Pinard (Cattle Decapitation, Neuraxis and bass for Cryptopsy) and the mythic drummer Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy).

That said you now they are not amateurs. But now their lineup is: Jeff DeMarco (vocals), Jim Gregory (guitars), Ryan Beevers (guitars), Jeff Saltzman (drums).

Genetically Engineered to Enslave presents a strange mix of Technical Death Metal and Melodic Death Metal, but never freezing in one or other style. It’s fast, but just enough to make enough kind of noise, and it’s groovy, but just enough to make the songs understandable.

A master stroke, this album is highly intense with the guitar riff mingling with the drums like in the track A Tongue to Taste the Collapse.

But there are marvelous (I mean it) soloing in tracks like the KK Downing-inspired lead in the track Synthon, or the pure craziness of Servile, or even the melodic solo a la Malmsteen in Fiery the Angels Fell. Yes, they are that kind of crazy. However, everything falls in noisy harmony here.

There are missteps too like in the track A Gathering of Storms. The tune and the riff are really good and I daresay is the only earworm of the entire album. But the vocals of Haydee Irizarry are the kind of American-groovy-female-vocals if you get what I’m saying. I mean, they REALLY needed a European girl singing in this one to show something different. It’s like they said to the girl: sing what you like, and she did and the result was a metalcore vibe that is unwanted in this great album. But I repeat, it’s not bad, it’s just strange.

There are really crazy and technical songs like the opener Threshold, and the second song Lake of Extinction.

The greatness of this album lies in the equilibrium it offers between tracks, being heavy as hell, sometimes fast, sometimes not, but always maintaining the cohesive factor which I haven’t listened to in a band for a while.

Genetically Engineered to Enslave is out now and it is self released.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Boudain – Way of the Hoof – Self-Release

Muddy doom

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Doom metal is a style that is sometimes dangerous to be played. There are so many bands in the planet and who needs another “bong” sound:

That’s what Boudain presents here: a pseudo-Sabbath-esque sound for potheads, although I doubt potheads won’t have a bad trip after hearing this.

The noisy sound is irritating the sound is unoriginal; I don’t know why somebody would make another band that plays the same “retro” sound over and over again.

They are no great musicians either. The muddy sound puts the simplest riffs and flat riffs in the background. There is a 70’s “solo”, as a second guitar (in the second track called Neptune), but it’s just a spasm reproduced in looping. The solos are just noise, there’s no use to talk about them.

This kind of sound persists throughout the CD and sometimes some bands make us lose sometimes listening to the nothing they have to present.

I don’t appreciate Boudain. Boring as fuck. Don’t lose your time.

Way of the Hoof  is out today and it’s Self-Released


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Sanktuary – Winter’s Doom – Self-Release

Extreme and excellent heavy metal from Canada

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Man, this is pure heavy metal, true heavy metal, untouchable heavy metal, only for fans of heavy metal, true fans, non-compromising fans.

Sanktuary hails from Whitehorse, in the province of Yukon, far from Canuck centres and according to them the Canadian Siberia.

This is their second full length, but they are active since 2008. This is the time for them to get their place under the sun.

This fantastic album opens up with Space Race, a kind of non-speedy Living Death. Although naturally one can say they are, like Fenriz like to say, Canadian Metal, for me they sound more Germanic in nature. Anyway the wind blows. The vocals are pure 1980’s , lots of solos, catchy phrases, a natural born classic.

Wind is the Wind follows suit with the flawless sound, a blast from the past, similar to the first one, so there’s not much to add.

Of course a band of this calibre (note that I’m acting British today, even if MSWord correct my “English fault” to CALIBER) won’t disappoint and won’t deliver rehashed sounds, so the third track is a killer mid-to-fast tempo called Vermin Lord, lengthy in structure, but first class in composition, a helluva song, delicious to the headbanger ears, hell why I’ve never heard of them before?

The title-track has an ounce of Thrash Metal, maybe because the quasi-harsh vocals of Alan Binger. Great onset, and over again an imperative track.

Open Your Eyes goes further into the thrash of Overkill, Metal Church and Annihilator. The funny thing is that it isn’t an abrupt movement, normally the tracks sound the same as from the beginning of the cd (inferring that if you like the first tracks you’ll like these ones as well), but a subtle change of tempo and high-pitched solos gives the path of the album from now on.

And that is a path of violence of course like in the thrasher Corpse Blockade and now the game inverts: they become a thrash metal band with hints of heavy… Funny eh? Anyhow, the earbleeding solos are compulsory and the metal binge doesn’t die.

Closer is the icing in the cake: Maximum Authority is like a primitive Sacred Reich. Raw in its approach and hateful in its execution the song shows that they are no friends of modern technology.

All in all this is a flawless CD, the most underrated band in the moment and I’ll try to remember them in my list of the “best of” of 2016. Listen to it. Like it. Or go die!

Winter’s Doom is out now and it is Self-Released


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Suppressive Fire – Bedlam – Self-Release

American Thrash to slash!

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These newcomers of Suppressive Fire hail from North Carolina with a nuclear weapon in their repertoire.

This is American thrash with some European black, a lethal blend.

Bedlam is a full length that was made to play on ten, no matter where you are… this album was made to melt eardrums with hate.

For example, the opener called Ceasefire should be called Open Fire or Fire at Will. The warlike winds of destruction comes as a fallout after the radioactive fire as in the subsequent track The Hellwraith, this one being very “traditional” despite the wall of noise and pestilential solos burning the speakers with scorn and revulsion.

They play with appetite for thrash and boy they are fucking ace as in the track Coup d’etat, I just imagine the soldiers invading the place of government and kicking the ass of the president and declaring siege and a curfew and those who disrespect will be met with untold violence and executions. Fast drums, black metal vocals, hissing guitars, fast soloing…

Nazi face Melter is a hurricane of brutally destructive proportions, a song that can be deemed a little bit “askew” it seems to not follow any rules, but it rules! Noisy and rough it will get you by the balls.

Crucify the Kings goes from thrash to black in a crescendo of insanity, fastness and one can just imagine these guys playing in a huge festival and the mosh pit of destruction opening up the gates of hell.

Bedlam is an excellent debut album, a rare thing nowadays, but as Suppressive Fire has proved, it is not impossible.

Bedlam is out now and it’s Self released


 

(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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THEM – Forever Burns [single] – Self-Release

Unknown but rad heavy metal band!

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Straight to the point: this band is unknown, not much information is available, this is a single of the album Sweet Hollow, and the only song in it, destroys the whole world!

The sound is pure King Diamond.

Let’s plunge into the track that is called Forever Burns: the song starts with an attack on drums and riffs a la Andy La Roque, but differently to the sound of our master King, the sound is faster, going to a power metal. The vocalist, however, is a copy-and-paste of King Diamond which is not a bad thing. Although the resemblance, this sound is very original, the changing of the voices from falsetto to low pitched are constant and it leads to the great chorus. The scheme stanza/bridge/chorus is repeated exactly twice. The middle sessions has a “progressive” part, in which the drums while accompanying the vocals, increase in metric ending up in a syncopated drumwork. Then the strident heavy metal solo, pure thing, no frills, no false metal. The song ends with the chorus and that’s that.

A pure chef d’ouvre, I listened to this track some 20 times (really!) not just to understand the sound but just because it’s cool as fuck.

If you’re a fan of King Diamond, try to get more infos about this band, because their album is going to be out any time soon and if it follows what is presented in this track is going to be a great opus.

 Forever Burns [single]  is Self-Released.


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Vaner Versori – The Path – Self-relased

Bluesy and full of feeling.

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Brazilian guitarist Vaner Versori (guitarist of the band Death n Roll), joined forces with two other Death N Roll allumni (Anderson Barros, bass and Paulo Falavigna, drums) to record this little masterpiece of good taste.

The Path is an instrumental CD produced by Fábio Ferreira (guitarist of death metal band Sangrena) and presents 9 songs clocking in at 34 minutes of pure rock n roll.

The songs are over the top, starting with Boogie with a strong American feeling in it.

Bluesy Journey has the most suitable name ever. Restless and joyful the song gets hot under the collar with an extravagant solo that is as fast as the speed of light. This dichotomy is great and shows intelligence and originality.

Strange Path of Dreams is catchy as fuck and although Versori restrains his insane soloing sparing his guitar, the song is very strong!

Friends (Honor) is a semi-acoustic piece, calmer and delightful.

Song for Jannicken is the very proof that Brazilian musicians have quality to show their art to the world. Beautiful and delicate the song has a strong feeling that over again evolves in an insane soloing although the piece intends to be romantic. At this point try to find some flaw, any… you will find nothing.

Interlude shows a little bit of Brazilian sound. I really don’t know if that was the intention but only a Brazilian guy can play like that!

May it be, although being a great idea, sounds more like a filler with its expanded middle session, but the song returns to its normal MO.

Free to Riff is the penultimate one, and although the name is not the best one, the song is bigger than life and a helluva tune. Dude I really love this one, for fucking sure!

To pack the album the title track with its syncopated drumming and dramatic solos, it’s a trip to the unknown. It’s simply fetching (what else is new up to this point?). 

The Path is a tour de force into the world of instrumental music, played with gusto by all parts involved, and although the project is named after the guitarist, kudos to Mr Barros and Mr Falavigna for the great work as rhythmic session.

This album comes in a luxury digipak and you can get a copy at http://vanerversori.com/

The Path is out now and it’s self-released.


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Quartered – Eyes And Ears – Self-Release

The great puzzle of Quartered.

Vancouver’s Quartered made their first record in 2010, and in 2014 they are returning with a third release, so they are become veterans in their own kind of sound. The influences here are clear: Dream Theater and Tool, alongside a bunch of other hard rock and progressive metal influences (and a little bit of alternative metal).

Explained what their influences are, the difficulty here is to give them a proper style, since they like to fuse and they are good in that.

They have some strange tempo signatures, which remember a little bit of the post hardcore of Cult of Luna.

But different from all that bands, they should explore their “black” side into expanding the time of the songs like an old experimental progressive rock band. That would do them a lot of favor. Plus if they could eliminate that “girl I know what you thinking” “girl, you live inside of me”, “girl, you and I will jump inside the fire” (they don’t actually say that but I took a glance in the lyrics and it’s something very alike) sentimental-kitsch kind of lyrics (and the way the lyrics are “felt” as the guy sings) it would expand their vision as true artists. But again, with this myriad of influences from the backdrop to the forefront is difficult to know which kind of audience they are aiming at.

I for one should classify them as simple emos from Canada if I haven’t know better, and they are much, much better than that. Every musician brings their potential to the fold and if they release themselves from the chains of “soft metal” for a girly audience they sure can make a dent in the world of rock n roll. In times when everything else is so confusing, they shouldn’t lose this chance.  

 

Eyes And Ears is out now and it’s Self-Released.


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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