Ratings are on a 5 star scale.
42 Decibel – ‘Hard Rock ‘N Roll’ (SPV)
Genre: Hard Rock
There are certain albums that are perfect for parties, and this is one of them. Hard Rock ‘N Roll is good time, blues-infused hard rock, drinkin’ music. With song titles including “Scotch Drinker,” “Drinkin’ Margaritas,” “Drunk Love” and “Gimme A Drink,” there’s a definite theme here.
The songs on the album are simple, straightforward and catchy. They have an AC/DC or Airbourne vibe with a similar vocal style. The most surprising thing about the album is that 42 Decibel hail from Argentina. Guess that shows that drinking, chasing women and the blues are universal.
Circle of Silence – ‘The Rise of Resistance’ (Massacre)
Genre: Power Metal
Employing more of a darkened thrash inspired style of power metal, Germany’s Circle of Silence release their fourth album The Rise of Resistance. Sharing more in common with Mystic Prophecy and Iced Earth, the guitars are heavy and riff oriented. Vocalist Niklas Keim sings in a forceful lower register vocal, which blends perfectly with the music.
The choruses are a huge focus as the songwriting is impressive. They do an excellent job of incorporating blazing fast sections and groove-oriented riffs. The guitar team of Tobias Pfahl and Christian Sommerfeld adopt Iron Maiden type solos with an added touch of complexity. The Rise of Resistance creates an excellent balance between the heaviness of the guitars and the melodic vocal lines.
Ecnephias – ‘Necrogod’ (Code 666)
Code 666 Records
Genre: Gothic Death Metal
Ethnic inspired gothic black metal that is an excellent combination of Rotting Christ and Moonspell, Italy’s Ecnephias are back with their fourth release Necrogod. A concept album inspired by pre-Christian cults of the southern hemisphere, it embodies different cultures throughout. The first half of Necrogod is mind blowing, but the second half loses a little momentum towards the end.
Never compelled to become overly aggressive, their material is mid paced, heavy and accessible. The guitar leads are melodic, memorable and tasteful and are the highlight of the record. Rotting Christ’ Sakis makes a guest appearance on “Voodoo (Daughter of Idols)” and his voice creates a musical symbiosis. Mastered by Dan Swano, he captures Ecnephias’ essence and attitude and in the process has helped to create the best album of their career.