HOLLOW I AM DROP BRUTAL EP ‘NEVERWAKE’

Nearly three years after debut release ‘Dead/sleep’, Utah rockers HOLLOW I AM are back with brand new release ‘Neverwake’.

With first single ‘Bloodletting’ setting an overall tone for the EP, the band truly “wanted to showcase a song that brings immediate chaos and energy when playing the first few notes.” – David Blake (Vocalist)

Make sure to listen to the track below and download their new EP available now!

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GIG REVIEW – PRIMORDIAL SWARM – M2TM MANCHESTER 17/03/19

Primordial Swarm, one of Manchester’s growing underground slam bands are ready to spread gore across Metal 2 The Masses. Having lost two members in early February and the arrival of a new bassist, the dynamics of the band have been altered. Drawing the chance to headline and win the heat, PS are clearly ready to show you their new side.

 

First of all, slam in a Metal 2 The Masses competition heat isn’t exactly what one would expect to see. Prog, alt-rock crossovers? Yes. Brutal slam? Not so much. Despite a 10 minute late start, opener ‘Xenophile’ instantly rocked Rebellion’s crowd, inflicting either fear or enjoyment into the unsuspecting audience. Even by the end of the first track, PS opened a pathway for a plethora of new fans. Even for older fans, fan favourites ‘Apply Directly to Rectal Fissures’ and ‘Precision Mutilation’ also gave way for new bassist Alex Arrowsmith to debut his contributions to the band. Throughout both tracks, timing was exactly on point with minimal faults throughout. Even with so much movement and vocalist Joe Willis slamming his head off a guitar, there is a clear correlation between practice and near perfection.

 

If there’s any criticisms for the set, it would be the communication between songs. The set did have to be rushed due to the late start, in turn meaning any between song talk was cut out. Circumstances mainly out of their control, but something that is still a point for working on. Improvising through this by hyping up the crowd during vocal breaks in the song helped, perhaps something to incorporate more into future sets.

 

However, debut track ‘Scaphism’ is what truly brought out the best performance. Altering their genre with the addition of slamming fight riffs and heavier instrumentals than ever, the new music expected soon will be one to look out for. Yet, it’s also noticeable the change in persona during the newly written track. Yes, the majority of the set was flowing with a high-level impact of energy, but through new track and the re-written version of ‘Synthetic Cannibalistic Infusion’, these are clearly songs the band WANTS to play and produce. A final push for the band in their set and placed well in their set.

 

A rather impressive performance with the odd fault, but nothing that can’t be improved. Primordial Swarm has an incredible stage performance, as well as audience reaction, ultimately earning them the chance to progress into the semi-finals. Want to see them? Check them out at Rebellion – Metal 2 The Masses Semi Final Heat 1 on 5th May!

Rating: 9/10

FALLUJAH – UNDYING LIGHT – REVIEW

FALLUJAH’S fourth studio album ‘Undying Light’, following fan favourite album ‘Dreamless’ is to be released. From just one look at comments on single ‘Ultraviolet’, focusing on the debut of new vocalist Antonio Palermo, fans weren’t impressed. Yet, that was one single alone. With the new album out Friday 15th, it’s up to them to redeem themselves to old and new fans.
 
Each track as singular entities are falling on the weak side. Fallujah are trying to drift from the criticisms of ‘Dreamless’ and as an album, it’s a good drawn out emotional push. As single entities, the tracks are not as memorable. ‘Distant and Cold’ is one of the few tracks that is, more so because of its clear stylistic change. More atmospheric, quieter vocals, a nicer feeling. It is different, in turn making it memorable. Common sense , but it does stand out, emotive and relaxing. Vocally the same occurs on ‘Dopamine’, a bit more on the dull side at first, but slowly builds up .
 
Following on from build-ups and interest, ‘Departure’, the albums closing track is down to be the best on the album. Punchy riffs, heavy structure and its ability to keep up its strength throughout the progression of the track. There is definitely the same level of instrumental talent in this album. Heavy riffs protrude through ‘Glass House’ while quick paced drum beats power through ‘Sanctuary’ (despite the rest of the track taking time to push into an interesting boundary.) Yet, this cannot be described as the same Fallujah sound as before. With member changes, you either try to stick with the same sound or change, the middle mix the outfit have created sounds more like they are trying to be influenced by the old Fallujah, instead of BEING them or changing. It’s a copy that doesn’t work, is repetitive and slightly disappointing.
 
Even so, one thing Fallujah did nail is lyricism. With Palermo taking the role of song writing, the lyricism is stronger than ever on ‘Undying Light’. Clearly coming from a personal point in the band, it explains how the atmospheric melodies of the album fit so well with the lyrical pinpoints of the album. Narcissistic societies and similar themes are a key part of the album. This background idea helps set the album in stone, the ideas they wish to show and why.
 
There are different ways to evaluate the album, even score it dependant on the aspects chosen to take into account. Lyrically, ‘Undying Light’ is their strongest release, musically, not quite. As a whole the album is good, tipping the scales into generic melodic hardcore but still good. Separately dissecting each track is when the flaws come in. Fallujah gave it their best and with line-up changes it is hard, now is the time to push, now is the time to build.
 
Rating: 7.5

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

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