Apparitions – ‘Kiss Me Sleeping’ (Indianola)
Formerly This Twilight City, the band now known as Apparitions release their debut album Kiss Me Sleeping. They rework some older material along with writing some new stuff.
The band describes themselves as “pop metal,” but it’s really just metalcore and post-hardcore with an industrial tinge. The songs have a lot of electronic elements and pop melodies along with screaming vocals, more aggressive sections and breakdowns. The melodic vocals are very earnest, fairly high pitched and heavily processed. There are some interesting moments, but nothing new or groundbreaking.
Arkona – ‘Decade of Glory’ (Napalm)
Genre: Pagan/Folk Metal
Fans of pagan and folk metal should find much vodka-induced enjoyment with Decade of Glory, a massive live album by Russia’s Arkonathat harbors nearly three hours of music. Recorded at the P!PLE concert hall in Moscow, and accompanied by a choir, a string quartet, and other guest vocalists, the band scorches through 31 songs in grand and energetic fashion, rearing a fulsome sound that accentuates Arkona’s knack for beauty and power.
With such a mammoth collection of songs, Decade of Glory remains a bit overwhelming. Less a welcome mat for folk/pagan greenhorns, the album operates more as a stupendous gift to their devotees where everything from Masha Arkhipova’s diverse vocals to the band’s trademark eclecticism, merges lavishly.
Birth A.D. – ‘I Blame You’ (Unspeakable Axe)
Unspeakable Axe Records
Genre: Punk Metal
This Austin trio touts its roots in three letter thrashers like D.R.I, S.O.D, C.O.C, but truth be told this album is distilled punk, recorded in the tradition of ‘throw the sliders up, give us a couple mikes and don’t twiddle any of them knobs.’
Sociopathic and served up in hateful scoops under three minutes, except the mega-opus “Burn LA,” at over 4 minutes, the thrash makes sporadic flashes through the monotone three chord compositions and snarling puke-on-you punkiness. Birth A.D. hates L.A. and everyone else, too.