New Heavy Metal Album Reviews: August 20, 2013
A.M.S.G. – ‘Anti-Cosmic Tyranny’ (Profound Lore)
Profound Lore Records
Genre: Black Metal
Some black metal bands keep it simple. Others really go for it, pushing the boundaries of the genre itself. This is the case with Edmonton, Canada’s A.M.S.G. Their debut full-length Anti-Cosmic Tyranny does a lot of pushing, and it works.
This record feels big and complicated, but comfortable at the same time. Chances were taken. A jazzy saxophone shows up during the first track, “Black Rites Of Black Shadows.” It’s relatively free-form in its execution, yet somehow, it works. There are beautiful passages in all of the seven tracks on the album, memorable riffs and chants/prayers/samples. Anti-Cosmic Tyranny is quite long, so put on your best cloak and prepare to be entertained.
Carousel – ‘Jeweler’s Daughter’ (Tee Pee)
Tee Pee Records
Genre: Hard Rock
The title track to Carousel’s Jeweler’s Daughter opens this hard charging album and immediately reminds one of Buckcherry. However, as the album proceeds it evolves into something with a little more retro vibe. Not to say it sounds old, but you could drop any song from this into 1983 and it would feel right at home.
Twin guitar harmonies and huge choruses are Carousel’s bread and butter. It’s those very distinct choruses that pull the listener in. You’ll be cruisin’ down the highway singing them with your friends for sure.Jeweler’s Daughter is a hard rockin’, beer soaked good time. The only thing extreme about it is how catchy it is!
City In The Sea – ‘Below The Noise’ (Sumerian)
A touch of djent and a bucketful of muted metalcore, seasoned by hints of Born of Osiris and The Chariot, the Arizona band City In The Seadoesn’t immediately stun with their originality. There’s an allure to Below the Noise though, that soaks into the skin like Tempe sunshine.
In way UV rays leave their mark with melanoma, songs like “Dead Beliefs” tattoo themselves in the mind. A controversial offer for fans to choose their mix attack between two rough cuts is downright admirable. They compromised and used a blend of the choices. The band is just different enough to stand out from the background of metalcore static.
Diamond Plate – ‘Pulse’ (Earache)
Genre: Thrash Metal
Looking to avoid a sophomore slump, Chicago’s Diamond Plate are back with a new singer and record, Pulse. 19-year-old Matt Ares takes over the bass and vocal responsibilities and brings an improved sense of melody. It is a gigantic step in the right direction. Wonderfully produced by Neil Kernon, the record has a tight, crisp sound.
Opener “Walking Backwards” is an excellent assaulting song with ferocious riffs, dexterous leads and a classic throwback vocal line. Unfortunately, Pulse never again reaches the heights of this modern day classic. Ares vocals sound like a cross between Kurt Brecht of D.R.I. and Testament’s Chuck Billy. The melodies could flow a little better, but the overall musicianship is top-notch and the riffs are the true highlight.