M.H.X’s Chronicles – Infinite Ocean (2015)

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Playing a so-called melodic death metal in the vein of Insomnium, Chronicles try to step up onto the pop metal stage the . Infused with alternative metal inspirations and backed by keyboards playing standard progressions and happy-inspirational melodies, the only thing that tells us this is a metal release is that the drums are intense and that the vocals are growls. The squeaky-clean production is enviable and on par with pop metal divas Nightwish.  The way the music elements are carried, the contrast between sections that serve as verse-chorus rather than phrasal progressions place this squarely in the pop modality. The percussive riff carrying the voice, the single-mindedness of the contrasting riffs also point towards a metalcore inspiration. By the third track (which is actually the second song in the album) they have already introduced mellow and comforting young-man vocals.  In line with the modern tradition, when attempting to create variety, the band introduces incoherence in their music. Song’s are basically a long “inspirational melody” intro, pointless verse-chorus exchange, incoherent bridge and unrelated outro and/or verse chorus.

M.H.X.’s Chronicles have managed to unite in Infinite Ocean the diva-esque attitude of Nightwish, the boring melodic-based flatness of Insomnuim, the superficial pretentiousness of Epica and the easy-catchy, dumbed-down songwriting of metalcore inspired on Slaughter of the Soul. In other words we have here the summary of modern metal pop banality.

Dysentery – Fragments (2015)

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Self-identifying with the “Slam” tag, Dysentery play a mid-paced, groove-oriented deathcore. The music is based on two poles. The first is very simple grooving rhythms either in slow tempo or in blast-beat-ridden sections with very obvious and simple stress points. The second is the use of pinch harmonics (aka squeals) to round off some phrases.

The music shows a single-minded ambition: grooving brutality. Simple rhythmic indulgence in a pleasure-oriented music. As such, this music is little more than the reggaeton of “extreme” metal. The band might as well change their guitars and drums for a computer software simulator of a mixer and start playing with beats and singing about big-ass girls and how macho you are and what not.

Dew-Scented releases ‘Ode to Extinction’ lyric video

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With their tenth album “Intermination” due out later this month, German metalcore group Dew-Scented have released a third new track, “Ode to Extinction” with a lyric video.

Due to technical problems in the website, the review of Dew-Scented’s album previously published on DMU cannot be readily accessed. You can read it below:

Having been called everything from thrash to death or melodic death metal, Dew-Scented play metalcore in its original inception, as inspired by At the Gates’ style on Slaughter of the Soul.  Everything from the simple drums which half of the time fall into variations of fast d-beats, catchy and short melodic ideas on the guitars with a tendency towards breakdowns for variety, to the blatant imitation of Tomas Lindberg. Being an heir to this tradition reviled by the fans of the old school styles and hailed as an improvement and distillation of the best aspects of the older music by the mainstream audience, Intermination invites a comparison with At the Gates’ come back album released last year, At War with Reality.

While the seminal band tried to bridge a gap between fans of its older and later styles by taking its metalcore-founding album and introducing more complex elements as visited in Terminal Spirit Disease and vaguely from With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, thereby creating a middle-of-the-road offering that pleased neither group, Dew-Scented plant themselves solidly on the style developed in Slaughter of the Soul and part faithfully from there to create variations without bringing down the delicate and extremely constricted walls delimiting the definition of this minimalist, extreme pop genre.

Being the catchy, duple-time riff-fest that this genre is, Dew-Scented do a phenomenal job at creating solid, punching riffs which if not necessarily connect concretely with each other too well throughout a song (given the shock-oriented nature of this modern style), go a long way to maintain the drive of songs by switching and keeping the overall feel, avoiding the over-use of a particular riff. Without any ill-will towards this talented band, we must clarify that the album presents a very flat result, which is a necessary result of the definition of the genre as driven by impacting riffs and sonic shock tactics. The tight upholding of ideals of the genre in Dew-Scented’s hands, even with their carefully and appropriately crafted variations, becomes a hindrance in the context of a crippling genre.

Deathwish reveal track from debut album

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Wisconsin-based speed punk crossover quartet, Deathwish, has released the title track to their debut album, Out For Blood. The band’s music comes off as a less competent copy-cat band taking heavily from Discharge in their second album Hear Nothing, See Nothing Say Nothing. Casual hardcore punk listeners might enjoy this.

https://soundcloud.com/earsplit/deathwish-out-for-blood

Deicide continues tour after Metal Alliance Tour 2015 is cancelled

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Due to unforeseen financial issues, Continental Concerts and the “Metal Alliance Tour” regret to announce that the 2015 “Metal Alliance Tour” has been cancelled. However, the remaining dates will continue on as a Deicide headlining run, featuring special guests as support (Entombed A.D. is not on the bill due to the aforementioned issues).

DEICIDE USA headlining tour dates

  • June 11 – Las Vegas, NV @ LVCS
  • June 12 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
  • June 13 – El Paso, TX @ Mesa Music Hall
  • June 14 – Lubbock, TX @ Depot “O” Bar Live
  • June 15 – Austin, TX @ Empire Garage
  • June 16 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live!
  • June 18 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
  • June 19 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
  • June 20 – Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDeicide

Nyseius – De Divinatione Daemonum‏ (2015)

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While not profoundly insulting as most bands pretending to play black metal, Nyseius just plays very boring black metal. Now, this isn’t just an emotional remark, I have concrete reasons linked to the music’s construction to back it up and say what it is relevant. Nyseius is also rooted in the modern misunderstanding of black metal by its outer traits. Thinking that black metal consists in ad nauseam repetition of samey riffs to create atmosphere. And they get stuck in this word, atmosphere, as if it were music itself and not an effect of certain music. And thus they attempt to create that thing itself, mistaking it for music. This is the abysmal trap in which all metal that willingly identifies itself with that word falls into.

Arnold Schoenberg said that variation itself did not need justification, it was a merit on its own. He also said that this variation needed to be harnessed and guided by an equally powerful and balancing restraint and coherence. But in discussing De Divinatione Daemonum the first aspect becomes the most pertinent since this music lacks variation. Bent on forcing the creation and sustaining of this atmosphere, this featureless mass, this wall of same-length notes only seldom breathes in order to continue aimlessly towards oblivion.

The last factor that drives this into a wreck is that they have infected black metal with the superficial craving to be extreme. This is what drives them to this dissonance, and an ignorant use of dissonance at that. Dissonance not as a tool of tonal music, not even a dissonant musical language, it is just the use of single dissonant chords for their own sake, for the momentary and twisted satisfaction that it can bring to the human ear. Exemplifying yet another dead end of metal caused by a superficial appreciation of the classics or of music in general, Nyseius will gradually fade into oblivion as purposelessly as the notes they put together into atmosphere, not music.

Gestalt – Infinite Regress (2015)

Infinite Regress Album Cover

More black metal from the people who do not understand black metal. This is in the now popular style of pseudo black metal that sounds like war metal trying to be progressive. This lot probably new about black metal through the profound music of Michael’s Pink Frothy AIDS. Incoherent as it is flat, Gestalt identifies itself as modern by the insistence on arranging awkward juxtapositions and superimposed elements that do not match in the least. Keyboards that were not there before jump into the fore with no warning only to disappear and never return again in the song. Maniatic blast beats that underscore nothing except the fact that they are trying to play intense music followed by macho man riffs, only to slide into quiet endings or bridges that seem placed there because they simply could not think of anything else to put there.

Even the average metalhead will know to stay away from this circus motley outfit pretending to ironically catch a pulp fantasy sort of occult imagery backed by equally uncompromising profoundness — or so their kind say in this sort of empty words. As the late bitterman (where art thou? we could use you) would say: Vapid. Avoid.

Temple Of Gnosis – Mysterivm Magnvm (2015)

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Gods of metal, please liberate us from the blithe of samey industrial and doom metal from atmospheric-minded twats! Save us from the ignorance that plagues metal artists and fandom alike! Only then can these empty husks that resemble metal be driven out and seen for what they are. This album is one more kind of subversive tendency under empty pretentiousness that affects those with a penchant for the occult and a short-sighted vision for composition.

Mysterium Magnum consists of four songs of basically the same thing. At points it approaches the industrial sound of Beherit on Electric Doom Synthesis but without the distinct ideas and development. Temple of Gnosis’ music is rather a snapshot of that industrial metal with some minimalist melodies played in subtle keyboard sounds along shadowed vocals that lend to the darkness of the atmosphere. And that’s it. You take that and basically play that moment again and again in slightly different ways. The songs even have more or less the same length, and all equally fail at developing or show any variety. Perhaps the length was the measure stick to decide when to stop the songs.

Temple of Gnosis show us with Mysterium Magnum just how gullible both the industry and the average fan of metal can be. Or how blind and undiscerning the industry takes the metalhead to be. To be honest, this probably deserved since most metalheads show they cannot see past “the riff” or “the melody” in the case of the more mainstream-minded. The average metalhead is still a pop music fan, he sees music as separate moments and what each of them individually make him feel. He is also driven purely by what makes him “feel good”. That means that he will measure the quality of music by the count of how many moments tickled his funny bone. Thus you receive what you asked for, mediocre metalhead.

Shadow Woods Metal Fest: Location Moves To White Hall, Maryland

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The inaugural September installation of Shadow Woods Metal Fest, the new mid-Atlantic, open-air, camping-based metal fest, has moved slightly Southeast, from its initial placement in Southern Pennsylvania to White Hall, in Harford County, Maryland.

Set to take place September 25th – 27th, 2015, the new location of Shadow Woods Metal Fest is similar to the previous site, with deep woods, cabins and tent camping fields, yet is slightly closer to both Baltimore and Philadelphia, making it even more accessible to East Coast metallers planning on attending the diverse three-day festival. The more intimate setup of the new camp is equipped with several cabins, modern plumbing bathrooms, a professional kitchen, a lodge building, and access to a river, as well as an indoor stage.

Since initial announcements, Menace Ruine dropped from the lineup and was replaced by Black Table, yet the remainder of the Shadow Woods Metal Fest lineup remains the same, including lead performances from Midnight, Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Velnias, Iron Man, Anagnorisis, The Flight of Sleipnir and Stone Breath, along with twenty-six additional acts. The fest is also likely to be the first live performance for the surviving members of Wormreich since their tragic vehicle crash in April. The gathering showcases underground black, doom, death, and noise and experimental metal bands on two alternating stages all day Friday and Saturday. Camping and workshops on topics such as runes, guitar maintenance, yoga and more will be offered and are included in the ticket price. Artists and record labels will be vending alongside several onsite food stands.

There will be ZERO ticket sales at the gate for Shadow Woods Metal Fest– advance presales to those 21 years of age and older is the only way into the fest, and is still BYOB. Cabin beds are now included in the ticket price but are limited to first-come first-served. There is a list you can sign up on mentioned in the private group. There are only 350 tickets in total, and half of those tickets have been sold.

Additionally, the Shadow Woods Metal Fest website has been redesigned to include a store — including a new poster for the event designed by Fred Grabosky of Sadgiqacea. — as well as the newly-launched Shadow Woods Radio, showcasing artists set to perform at the festival. Check it all out RIGHT HERE.

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST 2015 Alphabetical Lineup:

  1. Anagnorisis (Louisville, KY – black metal)
  2. Anicon (New York, NY – black metal)
  3. Ashagal (New Hope, PA – ritual folk)
  4. Black Table (NYC/NJ – experimental metal)
  5. Bridesmaid (Columbus, OH – instrumental doom-sludge)
  6. Cladonia Rangiferina (VA – ritual black metal, doom, acid rock)
  7. Dendritic Arbor (Pittsburgh, PA – black metal / powerviolence)
  8. Destroying Angel (Philadelphia, PA – folk music for exorcisms)
  9. Dreadlords (Philadelphia, PA – ritual black metal blues)
  10. Dweller In The Valley (Frederick, MD – black, death, doom)
  11. Existentium (Baltimore, MD – melodic technical death metal)
  12. Falls of Rauros (Portland, ME – folk/atmospheric black metal)
  13. Fin (Chicago, IL – black metal; unsigned)
  14. Heavy Temple (Philadelphia, PA – psychedelic doom)
  15. Hivelords (Philadelphia, PA – experimental psychedelic black doom)
  16. Immortal Bird (Chicago, IL – black/death metal)
  17. Iron Man (MD – doom metal/heavy rock)
  18. Midnight (Cleveland, Ohio – black heavy metal)
  19. Molasses Barge (Pittsburgh, PA – traditional doom metal)
  20. Occultation (New York, NY – doom metal)
  21. Oneirogen (New York, NY – dark, doom, drone)
  22. Psalm Zero (New York, NY – experimental black doom)
  23. Sentience (Woodland Park, NJ – death metal)
  24. Slagstorm (Hagerstown, MD – prehistoric doom thrash)
  25. Snakefeast (Baltimore, MD – jazz metal sludge)
  26. Stone Breath (Red Lion, PA – experimental folk)
  27. The Black Moriah (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – Western occult black/thrash)
  28. The Day of the Beast (Virginia Beach, VA – blackened death metal)
  29. The Expanding Man (Baltimore, MD – solo improvisational electronic soundscapes)
  30. The Flight of Sleipnir (Denver, CO – black metal)
  31. The Owls Are Not What They Seem (York, PA – experimental ritual soundscapes)
  32. Tyrant’s Hand (Baltimore, MD – deathened black metal)
  33. Unsacred (Richmond, VA – savage black metal)
  34. Velnias (Denver, CO – blackened folk/doom metal)
  35. Wormreich (Huntsville, AL & Nashville, TN – black metal)
  36. ZUD (Portland, ME – bluesy outlaw black metal)

http://shadowwoodsmetalfest.com
http://www.facebook.com/shadowwoodsmetalfest