Altitudes & Attitude – ‘Altitudes & Attitude’ (Megaforce)
Genre: Heavy Metal
The self-titled debut recording of Altitudes & Attitude features legendary bassists Frank Bello and David Ellefson of Anthrax and Megadeth fame. Bello and Ellefson contribute the songwriting and the majority of the guitar and bass playing. The three tracks that comprise their debut EP are diverse and show off the writing range the duo can achieve.
Guitar virtuoso Gus G. makes an appearance and shreds all over the up-tempo “Here Again.” This song represents what Bello and Ellefson achieve in their respective legendary bands. Gus’ guitar work is stunning and a great addition. Bello handles the vocal duties on the recording and despite his lack of range, his performance has an endearing quality. “Tell the World” features a tender heartfelt performance that builds into an addictive chorus.
De La Tierra – ‘De La Tierra’ (Roadrunner)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Da La Tierra are a Latin American supergroup of sorts, with members including Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser, vocalist Andrés Giménez (ex- A.N.I.M.A.L.), bassist Sr. Flavio (Los Fabulosos Cadillacs) and drummer Alex González (Maná).
Their self-titled debut covers a range of genres, but the one constant is Kisser’s excellent riffs. You’ll hear elements of thrash, groove metal, traditional metal and even a little doom and ‘core. The lyrics are in Spanish and Portuguese, giving it an even more distinct flavor. It’s heavy and melodic, a diverse and intriguing debut.
Hexis – ‘Abalam’ (Halo of Flies)
Halo Of Flies
Genre: Black Metal
Welcome to the soundtrack to your annihilation. Abalam from Copenhagen’s Hexis flattens and scorches the earth with the power of a nuclear warhead, yet it’s completely devoid of light. It’s an all-consuming, swirling vortex of darkness and depravity laying waste to everything sane.
The foul stench of charred and decaying flesh hangs heavy in the air creating and atmosphere of eternal death under the most unsettling of circumstances. Abalam is both cataclysmic and claustrophobic. Groaning feedback and searing guitars hold court with battering percussion and spectacularly evil vocals to create a massive and intense apocalypse of defilement. Everything is pain and death, and it’s terrifyingly pleasurable.
The Isolation Process – ‘The Isolation Process’ (Version Studio)
Version Studio Records
Genre: Sludge/Alternative Metal
An eclectic mashing of sludge, alternative, and progressive metal makes up The Isolation Process’ eponymous first effort. A trio from Sweden, the band has the appropriate amount of harmony and heaviness working with each other. The first handful of songs are top notch, with catchy riffs dominating “Visions” and a moody aura contained within “Underneath It All.”
The album trails off in its last few songs, save for the chunky guitar in the otherwise-banal closer “Nothing to Collect.” This self-titled debut has its moments, especially in the excellent first half, but doesn’t finish up in the same exciting fashion.