ADX – ‘Ultimatum’ (Verycords)
Genre: Speed Metal
The French band ADX have been around since the early ’80s, with a couple of hiatuses. 3/5 of the original members,including vocalist Phil Grelaud are still in the band for their latest album Ultimatum.
Their sound has that classic metal vibe, with a shredding dual guitar attack. There are plenty of blazing solos and extended instrumental sections showcasing the great guitar work. The lyrics are in French, and ADX may not be familiar to a global audience, but if you’re into old school traditional/speed metal, they are well worth checking out.
Agiel – ‘Dark Pantheons’ (Deepsend)
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
New York’s Agiel released a pretty good semi-brutal death metal album called Dark Pantheons Will Reign on Unique Leader Records back in 2004, and then promptly dropped off the map. Agiel’s return with this similarly titled EP is not exactly anything to get excited about, though.
Agiel have changed their style, a change that’s for the worse with overbearing, keyboard driven symphonic death metal that comes off as a poorly thought out collision between Dimmu Borgir at their most egregious and Fleshgod Apocalypse.Agiel are nowhere near the quality of either of those bands.
Anarchos – ‘Descent Into The Maelstrom’ (Vic)
Genre: Death Metal The Dutch band Anarchos are a new entity, but their members have experience in other underground bands, which shows on their debut effort Descent Into The Maelstrom.
There’s a lot of variety. Anarchos go from frenzied, rocket-fueled tempos to mid-tempo grooves to glacial, almost doomy sections. There are even brief glimpses of black metal. The shifts and changes are smooth, the musicianship expert. The 5 song EP is a precursor to their debut full-length later this year.
Aurora Borealis – ‘Worldshapers’ (Xtreem)
Genre: Black/Death Metal
The long-running Maryland band Aurora Borealis return for their seventh album Worldshapers. Conceptually, it continues where their last album Timeline: The Beginning and End Of Everything left off.
The band alternates between traditional, blastbeat driven black metal and groovier death metal influenced sections. There’s plenty of extremity,especially in the vocals of Ron Vento, but there’s ample melody as well. They do a nice job of varying tempos, going from slow-paced ominous death metal to galloping thrash to frantic black metal.