Abaddon Incarnate – The Wretched Sermon 9/10
Irish grindcore/death metal legends Abaddon Incarnate return with their new album The Wretched Sermon an album eight years in the making and sixth overall.
The Wretched Sermon is a timely reminder of everything you love about the genre. It absolutely grooves and destroys in equal measure. Adding in some atmosphere and some thrashier elements it has that definite UK feeling where the speed throws you literally headfirst into huge headbanging passages made for destroying pits and the perceptions. ‘’ Hyperchaos’’ with its seamless transitions, the annihilative “Silent Indifference” and the epic creation that is “Isolation and Decay” the drumming is superb as is the death metal riffs, it is a familiar, yet engrossing merging of the styles delivered with energy and intelligence. It is a nimble intense album ‘’Killing Spree” and “Parasite “are both two-minute assaults on the senses and “Rising Of the Lights” incorporates a fantastic beat and groove and delirious solos. ‘Into the Maelstrom” is another carnage-inducing song delivered with utter conviction
Abaddon Incarnate have unleashed their best album yet. An absolute beast of an album that explores new territories and revels in its diversity. The fact that it is capable of doing this whilst being supremely heavy and deadly quick is mind-blowing. Recommended
Stormbound – December 9/10
Hailing from Israel, Stormbound is a six-piece act that specializes in Symphonic power metal, drawing on inspiration from global and personal emotions to deliver a very demanding record.
Several tracks have already been released as singles and ‘’ Altar of Innocence’’ still rips mightily with Yael Horwitz excellent vocals. Her voice is commanding yet subtle, able to carry the intensity and the emotive seamlessly, Ofer Friedman offers the counterpoint with the harsh and demanding.
‘’Sacred Lies’’ is a progressive metal stomper and Stormbound is a far heavier and musically demanding offering than some of their contemporaries, the time changes seamless and dynamic with some excellent kick work, Rotem Sadia’s keys add some great texture, and the twin guitars are able to shred and crunch whilst also being able to add to the melody. ‘’December’’ is a mighty power metal track highlighting again the great vocals and musical interplay and a defining epic moment for the band. Yet their technical strength as on “Desert’s Roar’’ can also be tempered by the beauty that is ‘’ Away from Here’’ which begins simply and build and builds into a brilliant piano/vocal bridge before a great solo.
December is a compelling debut album that offers as much for the metal fan (that riff in the title track) as well as the symphonic, unafraid to experiment with various styles Stormbound offers music that is exciting, and emotional at times exceptionally heavy. An excellent display of passion and energy.
Blind The Eye – The Lion of Lions 8.5/10
ortuguese melodic death metal act Blind the Eye unleashed their debut album The Lion of Lions and it is a humongous slab of aggression-filled melodic death metal.
Taking its cues from the famous Gothenburg sound Blind the Eye has crafted something purely their own that has its roots firmly entrenched in European sound yet it is heavier punchier, and purely metal. “’’ Aquilifer’’ is a pure stomping metal anthem, yet ‘’ Mars! Exulte!’’ is a technical rousing slab of death metal that is powerful and full of technical seamless time changes.
The sound is huge along with the solos and the musical proficiency is without question. It stops and turns on a dime and gets heavier with every listen. It’s catchy and memorable, the title track is pure stomping death metal Ricardo Pereira’s vocals (for the album only, replaced by Rui Antunes) are raw and vitriolic in their aggression, and the acoustic moments offer a brief respite to mix things up along with some touches of deathcore to accent some of those massive bridges/breakdowns.
‘’ As Vesta’s Fire’’; is another highlight with a great riff and some cracking speed, the double kick work of Rui Rocha is worth a special mention and is a real driving force on ‘’ Tauroctony’’ another pure display of melodic deathened metal.
Blind The Eye excels in their musical weapon of choice and’’ The Lion of Lions’’ is an excellent album designed to bang the head and shatter the senses!
Lacrimas Profundere – How To Shroud Yourself With Night 8/10
The ever-evolving Lacrimas Profundere (“to shed tears”) have provided many a musical highlight that began from their debut album ‘’…And the Wings Embraced Us’’ in 1995. The German Gothic outfit has progressed from their doom-laden roots to a more mainstream modern sound that is typified on their new album ‘’ How To Shroud Yourself With Night’’
Still deeply rooted in the melancholy vocalist Julian Larre moves stylistically further away from his predecessor and makes this his second album his own. For those experiencing Lacrimas Profundere for the first time, it is hard to believe the band is nearly thirty years old. For the fan of the modern gothic/metal mindset ‘’ How to Shroud Yourself with Night’’ is surprisingly fresh and committed to this style. It’s dynamic and brimming with energy and the guitar work from sole original member Oliver Nikolas Schmid is excellent
Dealing with shadows, darkness, and the feeling of nothingness the atmosphere is rich and textured as opposed to thick and oppressive. The keys and guitar combine excellently at times to project the listener further into the music. Yet this is also a modern metal record that has lively choruses and a spirit of rebelliousness to the darkness, it is up-tempo without sacrificing any of the moods. “Wall of Gloom” is mightily heavy yet “Shroud of Night “is pure gothic rock as is “A Cloak Woven of stars”
‘’Nebula’’ is another moment of metal meeting the rock and melody and ‘’In a Lengthening Shadow” is definitive Lacrimas Profundere. For those who worship at the alter of melancholy ‘’ How To Shroud Yourself With Night’’ is another exciting chapter in an ever-evolving outfit that surprises and finds beauty in the darkness.