New Heavy Metal Album Reviews: September 24, 2013
Ratings are on a 5 star scale.
Akris – ‘Akris’ (Domestic Genocide)
Domestic Genocide Records
Genre: Sludge Metal
On many metal albums, the bass is buried deep in the mix. Not so withAkris on their self-titled full-length debut. Helena Goldberg is the band’s vocalist and bassist, and her bass sounds like it’s mixed even higher than her vocals.
Akris is sometimes groovy and catchy, other times more experimental and dissonant. Even though the music is metal, Goldberg’s vocals add a punk vibe to the proceedings. From soft crooning to banshee screams, she displays a wide variety of styles. The thunderous bass gets fatiguing at times, but the payoff is worth it. This is an intriguing and ultimately rewarding listen.
Coldspell – ‘Frozen Paradise’ (Escape)
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
Sweden’s Coldspell play straight ahead melodic metal with driving guitar riffs and catchy choruses. Formed in 2005 by guitarist Michael Larsson, their third record is Frozen Paradise. The songwriting possess an AOR influence and it features an abundance of keyboard melodies. They mainly rely on vocalist Niklas Swedentorp’s catchy choruses to draw the listener in.
Their latest material is the best of their career and Larsson shines with his lead guitar playing. The production is outstanding as Tommy Hansen was brought in to mix the record. The sound and overall feel of the release is close to modern day Pretty Maids, whom Hansen also works with. Coldspell, while creating good material, aren’t quite on the same level of songwriters as Pretty Maids.
Dark Age – ‘A Matter of Trust’ (AFM)
Genre: Modern Metal
Germany’s Dark Age started out as a straightforward melodic death metal outfit. With each successive release they have adopted more pop metal sensibilities. Now with their seventh release A Matter of Trust,they have finalized their transition and eliminated almost all elements of their death metal past. By also including electronic elements into their songwriting the band is tailored made for modern radio.
Vocalist Elike Freese has a dynamic voice and his utilization of his melodic range is a major strength of the band. Filled with groove orientated guitar riffs and grandiose melodies the band has no shortage of hooks. “Out of Time” showcases what the band does best, with its driving up-tempo beat and mixture of Freese’s aggressive and melodic vocals.
Daylight Misery – ‘The Great Absence’ (I For An I)
I For An I Records
Genre: Melodic Death/Gothic Metal
The Great Absence is the second album from the Greek band Daylight Misery. As on their debut, they bring aboard several guest musicians on this one, including members of Rotting Christ, Nightfall, Illdisposed and Dark Fortress.
Daylight Misery play melodic death metal infused with a depressive, gothic atmosphere. The songs are generally mid to uptempo, but the mood is downbeat. There are some melodic vocals, but much of the melody on the album comes from really catchy guitar lines. There’s a lot of diversity as well, such as including strings on the somber “Futile Salvation.”