Acrimonious- ‘Sunyata’ (Agonia)
Genre: Black Metal
Sunyata is the second album from Greek black metal outfit Acrimonious.Their sound is typical of the black metal genre, though they spice up their songs with acoustics, Gregorian chanting, and keyboards.
Most of these are contained to the final minutes of a few particular tracks, though songs like “Black Kundalini” don’t bother with anything other than tremolo-picked riffs and gravely vocals. The seven and eight-minute lengths drag out the more conventional material, but Acrimonious put in a good performance on Sunyata.
Alpha Tiger – ‘Beneath The Surface’ (Century Media)
Century Media Records
Genre: Progressive/Power Metal
Germany’s Alpha Tiger prove yet again that an album needs to be digested before you can see its true genius. With their second albumBeneath The Surface, Alpha Tiger embody the soul of early Fates Warning and Helloween. Singer Stephen Dietrich sounds eerily like a young John Arch.
The band really hit their stride on “Waiting For A Sign” and “Beneath The Surface.” The choruses are infectious and the latter is a melodic rager. It is great to see young guitarists play their instruments; there’s astonishing melodic playing all over this release. The back end isn’t as memorable as the strong first half. At times the songs get a little long and would be better served edited.
Ancient VVisdom – ‘Deathlike’ (Prosthetic)
Genre: Occult Rock
The difference between Ancient VVisdom’s debut A Godlike Inferno and their new album Deathlike is night and day. On their first offering the band lurked in the sinister dusk, but Deathlike signals dawn and a rebirth—the sun rising on past balefulness.
Blending acoustic instrumentation and flashes of hot-wired guitar,Deathlike is less overtly macabre and infernal than the band’s debut, but lyrical morbidity still reigns. Tracks like “Death or Victory” and “Far Beyond Good and Evil” retain the band’s grimness, and while a prophesying, hypnotic acoustic thrum underscores all, rays of reawakening light shine down.