Seems silly to post each individually as they are such short reviews:
Cobolt 60 – ‘The Grim Defiance’
It may have taken a whole decade to unleash their sophomore record but for Norwegians Cobolt 60, it was certainly worth the wait. ‘The Grim Defiance’ is a perfect follow up to the equally nasty ‘Meat Hook Ballet’ and whilst the duo (made up of ex-Satyricon and Blood Red Throne members) have removed the full-on approach that was felt in their debut, it still has an undeniable groove to get you hooked.
Unlike fellow countrymen Aura Noir or Nekromantheon, Cobolt 60’s black thrash is definitely blacker than it is thrash with consistently bludgeoning blast beats and tremolo riffs akin to early Darkthrone. Tracks such as ‘Hammer The Creationist’ show an even blend of grimness and groove whilst closer ‘You Are, Therefore You Die!’ concludes that despite its polished production, ‘The Grim Defiance’ does as its title says, with a full execution of extreme sharpness and a darkened edge.
4.5 out of 5
Destinity – ‘Resolve in Crimson’
Sometimes too much of a good thing can go stale and it feels as though the number of melodic death metal bands is multiplying like unwanted bacteria. Despite Scandinavia tending to rule over the rest when it comes to merging melody and brutality, Frenchmen Destinity manage to have one of the more memorable releases of 2012. Unlike the likes of Dark Tranquility, who have stuck to, and perfected the Gothenberg style, the five-piece have dipped their toes into all areas of extreme metal throughout their previous six full lengths. After much uncertainty, the band appear found their strongest genre by taking certain elements from aforementioned experiments, with layers of thrash blended smoothly with heart-warming solos and clean vocals that aren’t reminiscent of a whiny teenager. ‘Resolve In Crimson’ certainly isn’t groundbreaking and its slightly worrying it can take a band over a decade to find themselves but compared to some modern bands forming, it’s fairly pleasant listening.
3 out of 5
Saturnus – ‘Saturn In Ascension’
Atmospheric tunes riddled with sorrow are the perfect soundtrack for the woes of winter, so this anticipated album from Danes Saturnus was released at the perfect time. Their previous three full lengths have received high praise and ‘Saturn In Ascension’ continues to ahem, ascend them into the metal limelight. Their harrowing hybrid of doom and death is Denmark’s equivalent to our own My Dying Bride, but frontman Thomas Jensen’s overtly deep voice is distinctively haunting. Opener ‘Litany Of Rain’ may be an epic ten minutes long, but it works as the perfect advert for what’s to come in the next hour and then some. Winding guitars evolve into a storm of emotions, with the vocals roaring through a pristine production. The keyboard parts and clean vocals create additional melancholy without becoming cheesy and acoustic breaks help to move along the album without making you too suicidal. Saturnus resurrect their more death metal influences from early records, which make for a great insight into a band whose legacy is somewhat underrated.
4 out of 5