Latest Heavy Metal Album Reviews: December 18, 2013
Barishi – ‘Barishi’ (Self)
Genre: Progressive Metal
Vermont is not known as a hotbed for heavy metal, but that’s where the progressive band Barishi hail from. They have just released their self-titled debut album.
Barishi has some typical prog moments with a ’70s vibe, but they also take things to more extreme places. Tortured unclean vocals co-exist peacefully with lengthy mellow instrumental passages. Traditional melodic vocals are also used. A couple of songs have saxophone,which provides even more diversity. There are some lulls, but when they keep the intensity levels up, it’s an interesting album.
Besegra – ‘Infortunium’ (Tridroid)
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
From the Canadian province of Ontario emerge Besegra, a band with a varied approach to extreme music. Their debut EP is Infortunium.
In addition to straight ahead death and thrash metal, Besegra incorporate progressive elements and even some neo-classical. The shift from one style to another can be jarring, and the musicianship of the prog parts doesn’t quite measure up to the excellent death/thrash and neo-classical sections.
Dragonhammer – ‘The X Experiment’ (My Kingdom)
My Kingdom Music
Genre: Power Metal
Dragonhammer’s last album was released in 2004, and the Italian band returns with several new members and a new album, The X Experiment. One of the holdovers is vocalist Max Aguzzi.
The album is bombastic and melodic, mixing in progressive elements with power metal. The songs are well-written with big hooks and memorable choruses. Aguzzi has a very expressive voice and an impressive range. The keyboards are a bit cheesy at times, but in this genre that’s not unexpected.
Hecate Enthroned – ‘Virulent Rapture’ (Inverse)
Genre: Black Metal
After a nine year absence, the British black metal band Hecate Enthroned return with a new album Virulent Rapture. Most of the lineup is intact, but they do have a new vocalist, Elliot Beaver.
The music on the album is sometimes punishing and dense, but mostly majestic and atmospheric. Beaver’s vocals range from black metal shrieks to death metal growls. His potent vocals along with the interesting arrangements make it a welcome and worthwhile return for Hecate Enthroned.
Ingested – ‘Revered by No-One, Feared By All’ (Siege of Amida)
Siege Of Amida Records
Genre: Brutal Death Metal/Deathcore
Manchester, England’s brutal deathcore outfit Ingested are back with the new four-track EP Revered by No-One, Feared By All, a continuation of their last album The Surreption that’s short on running-time, but high as a kite on frantic energy and bull-dozing double-kick drums. If the order of the day is spasticity and chugging by the boatload, then consider yourself sated, even if this EP is merely a fast-food fix.
While Ingested will definitely suit fans of a band like Suicide Silence, the group’s passion for tech-death and the occasional slammage makes this for a curiously enjoyable listen, although the screeching vocals, while adding a bit of nuance, still come off as puerile. As far as deathcore and its variants go, Ingested remain as one of the better examples.