Abyssal – ‘Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius’ (Profound Lore)
Profound Lore Records
Genre: Black Metal
The United Kingdom’s Abyssal have obviously spent a great deal of time listening to Portal as one could easily mistake the tongue twisting Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius for just about any of Portal’s early releases. The swirling, backwards chaos of weird forms, riffs, deep vocals, off kilter time changes, you name it, Abyssal have the shtick down pat, even right down to a mysterious front put on by the nameless hooded band members.
Abyssal are not quite all things Portal as the music is generally a bit slower and has a doomier vibe, but Portal is the obvious template. Intrigued? You should be. It’s pretty good.
Azure Emote – ‘The Gravity of Impermanence’ (Selfmadegod)
Genre: Avant Garde Death Metal
The Gravity of Impermanence, the newest release from avant garde death metal project Azure Emote, is dazzling in its intricacy. This brainchild of Mike Hrubovcak (Abraxas, Vile) features contributions from members of Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Fear Factory, Death, Monstrosity, Yakuza and more. Even female vocals compliment the anything-goes (well together) approach.
Jaws will drop while trying to take it all in, yet the album never loses focus. Far from a passive listen, knuckle-draggers will find little appeal here, but those with astute minds and an appreciation for its artfulness may lose themselves within the depths of Hrubovcak’s vision. It’s a highly ambitious project well worth your attention.
Beyond The Shore – ‘Ghostwatcher’ (Metal Blade)
Metal Blade Records
The debut full-length from the Kentucky metalcore band Beyond The Shore has everything you’d expect from the genre. Ghostwatcherdelivers pummeling breakdowns and a combination of harsh vocals and melodic singing.
The harsh vocals are good, and the band is at their strongest when the tempo is galloping along and the choruses are gang vocals yelled over top of a catchy melody. Singing vocals are used sparingly, and that’s a good thing. Beyond The Shore vary the tempos to avoid monotony, but rely a bit too much on the constant breakdowns.