Apostolum – ‘Winds Of Disillusion’ (Moribund)
Genre: Black Metal
Eight years after their debut EP, the Italian band Apostolum emerge with the full-length album Winds Of Disillusion. It’s grounded in black metal, but there are also elements of black ‘n roll and some gothic touches.
There are some really catchy riffs on the album along with great atmospherics. The guitar sound alternates between straightforward black metal and groovy rock. Acoustic passages add even more diversity, as does piano and brass. It has been a long absence by Apostolum, but a welcome return, highlighted by the 18 minute epic track “Gleam Of Lucidity.”
Chrome Division – ‘Infernal Rock Eternal’ (Nuclear Blast)
Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Norwegian sleazemeisters Chrome Division are back with their fourth album, Infernal Rock Eternal. And like their first three releases, it’s a slab of good time, straight ahead hard rock/heavy metal,perfect for cranking up at your favorite biker bar.
Gruff Lemmy style vocals and groovy guitar riffs keep the proceedings moving at a rapid pace. Sure, the songs tend to sound similar, but they are still extremely catchy, and like Motorhead or AC/DC, you know exactly what you’re going to get with a Chrome Division album.
Crystal Viper – ‘Possession’ (AFM)
Genre: Traditional Metal
The Polish band Crystal Viper are back with a new album, Possession.It’s a concept record that tells the story of a young girl named Julia. To help tell the story, there are guest vocalists including Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer).
Crystal Viper insert power and progressive metal influences to their trad metal sound, with some excellent guitar work. But the star of the show is vocalist Marta Gabriel, who is able to go from a gruff alto to ear piercing soprano in the blink of an eye. The concept is compelling, as are the songs. The album ends with a cover song, a rousing rendition of Riot’s “Thundersteel.”
Culted – ‘Oblique To All Paths’ (Relapse)
Genre: Doom Metal
It has been a long five years since Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep, the debut from this Canadian/Swedish collaboration. But Culted have put every moment of experience in that time into Oblique To All Paths. In doing so, they’ve created one monster of an album.
Culted build subterranean monuments of devastating tone mixed with crushing riffs, noise, and fearsome, grisly blackened vocals. They sound dirty and driven, pulling darkness and angst from deep in the Earth’s core. As the title suggests, their doom sounds unique and forges their own way. It’s massive, moody, monolithic; an organic manifestation of like minds.