Nachtvorst – ‘Silence’

Nachtvorst – ‘Silence’ [8]

It may be all sun and smiles here right now but sometimes you need something to bring you back to reality, you need reminding of the grim truth of life. In the world of Nachtvorst, sun doesn’t exist and smiles are banned, as instead their second full length ‘Silence’ is fuelled with pure misery and melancholy. Many may wonder why the Dutch duo would want to dampen our spirits in the middle of spring, but when negativity is this beautiful, you will find it hard not to forgive them for causing you to lock yourself in a darkened room. Like their debut ‘Stills’, Nachtvorst stick to their black metal roots, starting aggressively towards the beginning of the album and slowing further down towards the end, like they’re leading you down a black spiral of apathy.

The doomy pace and lengthened tracks blended with Erghals’ sheer shrieks and painful growls create something crushing, whilst a few strings and piano here and there add to the atmosphere, which is already there in heaps and bounds. It’s clean production and consistent emotion means it has an epic progressiveness, which leads to a masochistic dream of an album.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

‘Silence’ is out now on Code 666

You’ll like this if… you like the idea of getting aurally raped in most evil yet beautiful manner.

Published on Soundshock.com

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Dying Fetus – ‘Reign Supreme’

DYING FETUS – ‘Reign Supreme’  [7]

When looking through the six previous onslaughts Dying Fetus have released, there are trends that continue on to their latest ‘Reign Supreme’. The first is that since evolving from brutal death to a more technical approach, the Maryland monsters have not overly increased said technicality, unlike many of their familiars in the scene. Another is that when looking at previous reviews and ratings of its predecessors, there isn’t much of a change in marks out of ten. However this doesn’t mean they trundle along as an average Joe death metal act, as instead Dying Fetus subtly mature with age, in a fine wine mannerism rather than a stinky cheese.

If you hate change and love routine, then ‘Reign Supreme’ is bound to keep you feeling content as a former fan, while for anyone new to the band, this is probably a prime example of the beefy riffs this band conjures up laced with grooves. Despite leaving some of their brutal death influences behind, the vocals are still as harsh as ever and the strength behind each track has not been lessened by it either. The production is as modern as you would expect and the musicianship literally “reigns supreme” in tracks like ‘From Womb to Waste’ and ‘In The Trenches’.

Sometimes it’s best to stick to what you know and Dying Fetus prove that they made the right decision doing so, compared to the like of Morbid Angel’s complete change of direction.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

‘Reign Supreme’ is out now on Relapse Records

You’ll like this if…you like your death metal like your overly-opinionated friend – brutal yet very to the point

Published on Soundshock.com

Six Feet Under – ‘Undead’

Six Feet Under – ‘Undead’ [5]

It seems that despite leaving his Cannibal Corpse past behind and this being the twelfth Six Feet Under full-length, Chris Barnes is still slightly confused with which direction he is going in. Do not fear fans, as it is apparent the consistent groovy death metal that has been there throughout their discography is still strong, however perhaps ideas are starting to run out. ‘Undead’ seems an apt title, as it often feels that Barnes is desperately trying to keep hold of the nineties’ sounds that got him into the limelight today, however when mixed in with some modern licks and more technical moments, it all gets a little muddled.

It’s a known fact the SFU albums tend to have some great collaborations on them and ‘Undead’ is no different as it features a new line up including ex-Chimaira members Kevin Talley and Rob Arnold. The drummer and guitarist definitely notch up a more technical feel to the album, which definitely brings the band up to speed with the current trends in the death metal scene. Unfortunately however, the drums are not given their full credit as production brings them low into the mix, which then reverses everything aimed for by giving a more raw, old-school feel. This, added with the slow, sludgy parts thrown in here and there, add to the nineties feel, but the changes in speed are pretty average and we all know Chris Barnes’ vocals are never going to change, so it’s fair to say it all gets a bit lousy by the time the last song fades out.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

‘Undead’ is out now on Metal Blade

You’ll like this if…You’re willing to follow Chris Barnes to the edge of the Earth, even if he brought out a dance project or something.

Published on Soundshock.com

Meshuggah @ Islington Academy, London

20/04/2012

Despite being one of the forefathers of technical brutality, it still shocks many that Swedish trendsetters Meshuggah have managed to sell out the Islington Academy. It seems that the last couple of years has seen an influx in bands attempting to “out-djent” the gigantic tunes of the Swedes and have failed, as well as creating the worst genre label in existence. This recent commercialism of technical, out-of-time metal sees Animals as Leaders getting the support slot and it is visible that many of the crowd here tonight are here for them. Their more progressive sound is admittedly impressive in such a large venue, however unless you are turned on by how fast a man’s fingers can move, you may be mesmerized (aka lulled) into a static silence.

In comparison, after an unnecessary prolonging of entering the stage, Meshuggah aurally stamp their mammoth foot to the floor, sending everyone flying, the support act included. Many of the new crowd seem baffled by the noise created by the headliners and their gig etiquette is equally vacant, as they cause difficultly for hardcore fans to enjoy the show at the front. Compared to many that have recently played at this venue, Meshuggah suffer no technical issues and instead create a monstrous atmosphere to surround an equally awesome setlist. Their latest onslaught ‘Kolloss’ slots effortlessly into the rest of the set, with opener ‘Demiurge’ proving that. The vibrating floor, strobe lights blinding you and Jens’ edgy headbanging whilst skulking around the stage proves that Meshuggah cannot be knocked off the podium they have had built for them, regardless of the whippersnappers nibbling at their heels.

Review by Lily Randall

Published in Devolution Magazine