AVENOIR – ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE – REVIEW

Avenoir have changed. With their original vocalist/bassist departing and two new members joining the party, there is a lot on the line for the Leeds quartet. ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’, named from the Greek myth tragedy (well the majority were tragedies) is the next step for the group. How does the story end?

A consistant buildup of intensity shrouds the track in a fuzzy, yet slightly distorted manner, bringing the power of the lyrics to light. Guitar solo? Not entirely necessary, but fits well enough that it isn’t too isolated, but adds some extra length and change to the track. The track is fairly similar throughout, but the slow build saves what could have ended up as a constant repetition. It isn’t bad, in fact, the melancholic guitar tones help bring a gloomy atmosphere to the track, similarly seen in their EP ‘3027‘.

However, there is an obvious change from their previous releases. This is always the risk when changing members, especially vocalists. The vocals aren’t mixed as well into the track, but with their distorted grunge style, this could be attributed towards their gritty, raw genre. Yet, what does come through is that the vocal tone is less fitting. Slightly off at points, and too separate from the rest of the track. As the track builds the vocals do become more fitting, clearly seen through in the lead-up to the tracks guitar-solo bridge. This helps settle the tracks flow creating more balance, but gaining this through the tracks entirety is the next step.

Avenoir have the musical potential as seen in their previous releases. With two lineup changes now in place, Avenoir could go down a completely different route. Finding the balance as a band is the next step and only time will tell if they will reach it.

Rating: 6/10

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FALLUJAH – ULTRAVIOLET – REVIEW

Fallujah2019m.jpg

Nearly three years since the release of ‘Dreamless‘, Fallujah are back on track to present what could be their biggest risk yet. An altered line-up and adapted sound, the band are going forward to release their new album ‘Undying Light‘, starting with their new single ‘Ultraviolet’.

As a comparison to their older material from ‘Dreamless’, this is a change. With new vocalist Antonio Palermo taking the reins, there is a noticeable difference in the raspy screams of Ultraviolet compared to Alex’s harsh lows featured over their past material. While Palermo is a good vocalist, his accentuated screams don’t fit over the track. Perhaps more tuned to a post-hardcore styled band over atmospheric metal, the vocal difference contrasts a little too much for the track.

The interesting lead guitar work still holds strong in the track, lifting the track upwards with the clean cutting solos. It seems that while every instrumental has its place, the guitars are almost drowned out by the vocal layers of the track. At points, it almost becomes a battle as to which aspect takes the lead, instead of a balanced flow. Midway through the track is where a balance is almost reached, and just needs to be tweaked and spread through the track to balance it. Despite the differences the track brings, the lyrical content is still up to a high standard, even with Palermo taking the lead on song writing. With the whole album based around a ‘snapshot of a disillusioned, narcissistic society’ (Scott, guitar) hopefully we can continue to see this high standard highlighted through the full album.

The main point is, this is most definitely a change for Fallujah. Taking a turn into a new route is inevitable, even if their first attempt does seem a little generic amongst their discography. One point is clear – this is not the old Fallujah and probably will never be. From a single, it’s hard to judge the upcoming albums potential, but the single is not bad. From a standalone viewpoint, the release is good, however it has and will cause a few issues for older fans of the metal quartet. Their new album is to be released on March 15th, then we can truly see where they are going.

Rating: 6.5/10

CHIASMATA – HAUSTORIUM – REVIEW

If you are up to date on Manchester’s upcoming prog/metal scene, or Tech-Fest’s singular shows, you will most likely be aware of Chiasmata. A four piece, progressive rock forming in 2017, bringing a debut EP and single ‘Haustorium’ to the table. So what is there to say about the track?
 
Chiasmata bring some interesting technicality to ‘Haustorium’. Opening with a more technical bass/guitar crossover riff, the two create a deep, sombre tone that leads into the tracks next stage. Vocals are echoic creating a haunting atmosphere to the tracks already gloom-ridden atmosphere. While vocals are strong, more blending into the instrumental track is a potential improvement. But, this doesn’t bring the track down as the progression only strengthens the track.
 
 
This track is all about musical changes, with techniques and structures morphing throughout the 5 minute length. Absorbing other ideas, much like the metaphor of the tracks title, allows the track to bloom in many retrospective ways. Transforming the track from a haunting approach, to a much deeper, heavier progression. Transitions are smooth, each part more or less follows on from each other in a well written way. A little bit choppy, but smooth transitions run across the board. Yet, mid-track emerges a segment of the track that does feel cluttered. The heaviest part of the song seems to meld into a section of cluttered noise – making the track harder to listen to. This is only one segment though. The rest of the track is impressive, with the sound of every instrument prioritised.
 
Chiasmata have done a good job on ‘Haustorium’. A good progressive track with emphasis on every instrumental element, not just vocals. Make sure to catch them opening for Exist Immortal on Saturday 6th February in Manchester (Satan’s Hollow) to hear more!

Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

HARMED DROP BRUTAL NEW TRACK ‘JESTER’

Following on from debut EP ‘From Day One’, Hungarian metal band Harmed have dropped their newest single Jester.

Commenting on the release, Levi (vocals) explains “Jester” is a song about hate for those who ridiculed us in the past. It serves as a source of revenge.” The groups brutal take on their music shows a definite improvement in their musical abilities, despite the song being shorter than usual. Make sure to check out the video below!

https://open.spotify.com/track/1mqCIYsAg0jLycgoh5zZBd?si=hx0TF9YMS76z4cTESHIFnQ

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL REVEALS THIRD LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT

Download Festival has unleashed a new set of bands for this year’s stacked lineup.

The variety ranges from larger bands such as Beartooth, Halestorm and Clutch, to smaller artists such as Parting Gift and Crystal Lake.

Check out the full list of new bands below!

  • Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics
  • Alcest
  • Animals As Leaders
  • At The Gates
  • Bad Wolves
  • Batushka
  • Beartooth
  • Behemoth
  • Black Peaks
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Cane Hill
  • Clutch
  • Coldrain
  • Conjurer
  • Crystal Lake
  • Deadland Ritual
  • Fever 333
  • Godsmack
  • Groundculture
  • Halestorm
  • Heart Of A Coward
  • Icon For Hire
  • Intervals
  • Last In Line
  • Like A Storm
  • Lost In Stereo
  • Love Bites
  • Municipal Waste
  • Ne Obliviscaris
  • Palaye Royale
  • Parting Gift
  • Redhook
  • Skid Row
  • Skynd
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Sumo Cyco
  • Those Damn Crows
  • Three Days Grace
  • Toska
  • Trash Boat
  • Twelve Foot Ninja
  • Vega
  • Wolf Jaw

GIG REVIEW – MONDAY MOSH III – GUNISHMENT – MANCHESTER 21/01/19

The red bin is destroyed. Monday Mosh III is filled with slam bands, a very good turn out and some pretty big bands in the underground scene. Not a show to miss. Four hours of sheer intense brutality and slam – what could go wrong?
Wolverhampton commuters Old Wharf (6) can be described as new to the northern slam scene. With little to no scene in Wolves and a minute growth in Birmingham, a time to grow into a different area is a step. Breakdowns were impressive for a new band and their attempt at a different style of rap metal was a surprising, but well transitioned performance. As always improvements are to be made. Screachy guitar solos did hinder the performance and stage presence was not at its highest. Looking bored and not interacting with the crowd caused a lack of interest, but good on their vocalist for at least trying to get off stage to bridge a connection. An increase in stage presence is a factor that comes with time. The group have only been in the scene for around 3/4 months, so for now , they’re doing pretty well.

(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)

The next band took a turn to a Fall In The Brawl memoir – Capital Punishment (7) the bin was sacrficed for you. Any local slam fans will know the incident of the Rebellion bin. For those unaware, a large red bin was smashed and thrown into a crowdkilling pit earlier in November. Give a local scene a bin and some kicking heavy slam music, its inevitabvle what will happen. Reaction built up during the set, starting slow and quickly increasing. Improvement is perhaps needed to bring up their performance level, but they are definitely at a standard that gets them respect in the scene. Brutal slam at a raw gritty level, a slightly different performance to previous supports. It’s unfortunate that their memorable moment was a bin being smashed to pieces, but people remember them. R.I.P Rebellion’s final bin.
(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)

If there is any band starting to rise from Manchester, Chainsaw Castration (7.5) are the band to watch. Quite a mismatched band from a quick glance, but unexpectedly, one of the most entertaining bands to watch. A noticable aspect of the set was the timing did fall off track at points. Too quick, slow or musicality not quite aligning to a perfect standard. Feedback also caused a rupture in their set, with microphone feedback tainting their songs at parts. Yet, what Chainsaw couldn’t quite achieve perfectly in their musical performance, they made up for in their stage presence. Energy from all points of the stage reflected into the audience and pits, and not once did this drop for the full 30 minutes of their time. A band that can incorperate humour into their set, capturing and holding an audiences attention. A solid band with only timing/tech issues bringing them down.

(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)

Clawhammer (8), the Scottish slamdown band who most likely the most well known band of the night. Despite Chrissy Jones (vocals) clearly on the Bucky, their set was actually rather enjoyable. Hyping the crowd with some singalong tunes and a rowdy fufulling set, energy is no issue to be combatted. Gaining an insane crowd response only brought up the set and its clear that Clawhammer know what they’re playing. Even through Jones’ intoxicated antics, their performance was timed well and performed to a pretty good standard, with guest vocalists included in the lineup. One critisism is their between song commentary. At times boring, but they can’t entirely be to blame. Running out of water is hard to commentate, but possibly sobered up the poor guys on stage.

(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)

Finally, headliners Gunishment (4.5). Coming on 20 minutes late and only performing a 25 minute set, even less than the other supports let alone the hour scheduled. On a positive note, the beatdown band did a good job musically. Tight on timing, with impressive vocals and musicality. Even in terms of energy, their unrestrained, disorderly ways created a mass eruption in the audience.

(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)

Bands don’t always have to be 100% professional. In cases it’s more enjoyable to watch when they joke around and have fun, but there’s a line between funny memes and being annoying. Some jokes landed but the majority were babble to fill between songs. Also, when some of the only jokes you can make are about ‘girls with their asses out’ in the crowd, maybe its time for a new idea. Air horn sound effects, a fun technique to get a laugh – not when overused many times in a set. Silly non-hurtful comments about Old Wharf? Amusing – not when overused. Its okay to be a jokey band, but the way they do this can be improved.

Overall, the night was quite a success. Monday nights are hard to fill, but the turnout was beyond expected. Rising bands are growing faster than expected – so make sure to get out to the next lineup!
Overall night 7/10

(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)

GIG REVIEW – ARCHITECTS – MANCHESTER 15/01/19

Two shows in one city in a row. One sold out night down, one more to go. After selling out the original Manchester date for the UK/Europe album tour, a second night was on the list, on the verge of selling out. Can the groups still put on a energetic show for another night?

Beartooth (7) have been a name on the scene since 2012, leading up across many tours and releases. Stage-audience interaction was average, simple lyric repetition and speeches – on the more negative side. In perspective, it’s understand where Caleb comes from in his speech. Mental health issues never being overcome, but to state it will always be stuck in you is a little negative because it isn’t. Perhaps a poor word choice, but a nice message of accepting who you are. In terms of performance, they haven’t shown too much improvement. In terms of reciprocating recorded material live, the group do an impressive job. The issue is, there is little to separate them live from any other band. Besides the flag logo, Beartooth have little to separate them from the average metal band. An improvement that will come with time.

Architects (9) are no strangers to putting on incredible performances. Whether jumping on the Architects bandwagon before or after ‘Holy Hell‘, their popularity as a band has increased tenfold. Opening with the venue anthem Death Is Not Defeat an instant aura took over the Mancunian crowd. ‘Holy Hell’ has pushed Architects to new heights and this first track is a snippet of this peak.

Sam Carter is a entertaining frontman, both as a vocalist and in connection with the audience. Interestingly, even Dan Searle (drums) has a word for the audience, related to not chugging wine but a word either way. Also any band quoting the Scottish ‘Disgusting’ vine after whisperings within the in-ear monitors have clear interpersonal relationships with each other. Even in the crowd, people are encouraged to take part in the pits and sing alone with encouragement from Sam himself. Audiences make gigs as much as a band can. Any audience that stops the middle of a show pretending to row as pirates helps entertain quite a large majority of people to say the least.

Yet, an important part of the show revolved around the passing of bandmate Tom Searle. Emotional connections in a true form are hard to make work, but from a perspective hearing 4000 people clap and shout ‘Tom’, the emotional impact on the band was more than visible. From unscripted memories to the visual tribute following ‘Gone With The Wind’, Architects have developed an incredible connection with the audience. Something not expected On such a level.

On a lighter note, visuals were a surprising impact to the show. Adding small references to ‘Modern Misery’ and rarer setlist appearance ‘Momento Mori’ created a perfect balance of visual storytelling to the tracks. Dramatic use of pyrotechnics and Co2 cannons also added a kick to tracks such as ‘Mortal After All’, lifting the energy in quick succession. However, of the setlist is an aspect to improve. ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ being the oldest track following tracks ‘Broken Cross’ and ‘Naysayer’ from ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’. Crafting a set list is difficult, but perhaps a bit more variation of older tracks could be a move forward

Of the night, the best performance comes in the form of single ‘Royal Beggars’. Proving Sam Carter’s ability to transition from brutal highs to low harsh vocals, its clear why this band are so respected. For a finale, ‘Doomsday’ sounds like a good form of closure. While loud and well executed in a musical sense, for a finale the performance sadly wasn’t as extravagant as expected. Still, not a negative ending, one that was rather enjoyable.

Consistently improving since 2004, Architects are reaching new heights of performance and audiences. A strong show musically with an honest appreciation for those around them.