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Nexilva – Eschatologies

nexilva eschatologies

Many contemporary metal bands, regardless of genre, are often found guilty of band worship in their material – too regularly one can hear the exact song that inspired a riff, too often a band tries too hard to be THAT BAND 2.0. Nexilva have broken the mould of paying direct homage to their musical heroes by — instead of copying or emulating — creating a record that drops in and out of genres and sounds, each page turning into a new wicked adventure. Eschatologies is full of evil, grooving death that fights tooth and nail for it’s place among it’s peers. And wins.

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warforged

January started the year out with a lot of promise, with new releases from Indian, Alcest, and Periphery gaining quite a bit of attention around these parts. However, what floored us the most in the first four weeks of 2014 was the first-ever proper release from Chicago newcomers Warforged. Essence of the Land is an odyssey exploring death metal, black metal, and progressive metal influences that stunned a large number of the staff group. Opeth comes to mind with the band’s dynamic use of keyboards and acoustic guitars as cinematic gateways between stretches of technical riffing and powerfully melodic brutality, or perhaps Between the Buried and Me’s penchant for epic-length songwriting and weaving a larger picture over multiple tracks.

Essence Of The Land tells the twisted tale of a dread-inducing and brooding swamp and the unknown horrors that lie beneath its surface, making it one of those surprising death metal albums where the lyrics actually add a lot of atmosphere and weight to music. So much so, in fact, that the video accompaniment that provides visuals for ¾ of the EP contains the lyrics throughout, alongside footage of the band tearing through earth-shattering riffs.

At the heart of it, Warforged’s sound presents an assortment of progressive death metal influences that still manages to sound fresh and exciting, despite dredging the very bottom of the swampy sludge they strive to recreate. And honestly, what better way to start a new year than with a new band that are reinvigorating even one of the most well-trodden of sounds?

We spoke with the entirety of Warforged to not only get a look into the creation of one of 2014′s best releases, but to get a glimpse at what’s in store for the band’s future.

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Victory Records have just done the unthinkable and signed the black metal band Erimha to their roster. This is especially odd coming from the label that have been shying away from “legitimate” metal acts and instead tends to sign more commercially viable scene/bro acts like Emmure, The Bunny The Bear, and Design the Skyline. What we’re talking here is a fanbase of kids with neon-colored mullets, ear gauges, and white dudes who have knuckle tattoos and think it’s okay to use the word “nigga” in reference to themselves. That label is now called home to a black metal band. That’s weird, right?

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starkill

Starkill (formerly Massakren) are a symphonic black/melodic death metal band hailing from Chicago. Their sound can be described as a mixture of old Children of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir. They had an EP out under their previous name, but they got picked up by Century Media and now they’re about to release a full length titled Fires of Life under their new name. They’ve released a video of a song from said album titled “New Infernal Rebirth”. It’s quite fun, reminiscent of the old Bodom albums. You can check it out below. Fires of Life comes out on the 30th of April on Century Media. If you like oldschool Nordic metal, then it should be a treat. Also, you can check the band’s previous video for the title track of the album after the jump.

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deadite

O hay, it’s The King Of Procrastination! I’ve been letting the world of music pass me by the past couple of months as I’m creating my website and writing my horror novel and almost let the top of the year list slip by me. Luckily, Riddick the Cat called me up yesterday and told me to get the hell to work with this because I’m a “better interest to him than the human he lives with.” So there’s that. But, why shall we be bound to doing a list in a multiple of five? “Nay,” says Deadite, “Let’s beat the system and do eleven top albums of the year!” So dark, edgy, and kvlt.

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Naglfar – Téras

Naglfar

Téras

01. Téras
02. Pale Horse
03. III: Death Dimension Phantasma
04. The Monolith
05. An Extension Of His Arm And Will
06. Bring Out Your Dead
07. Come Perdition
08. Invoc(H)ate
09. The Dying Flame Of Existence

[03/26/12]
[Century Media Records]

Black metal is a curious beast. I didn’t even think to delve into this misunderstood genre of metal until I heard Mayhem’s debut record and the most recent release from Krallice, which I reviewed. It really is more of an acquired taste; something that the palate must be prepped for. When I first discovered metal, I was into Metallica and Iron Maiden, not Dimmu Borgir and Burzum. However, when your first taste black metal on a palate that is prepared for it, you will receive a healthy, hearty, and heavy treat.

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Norwegian progressive black metal giants Borknagar never fail to impress. Looking at the lineup, they have Vintersorg and ICS Vortex of Arcturus/Dimmu Borgir on vocals, and a killer back catalogue, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their forthcoming new album Urd is sounding great already.

Metal Hammer Germany have premiered a track called ‘Roots’ on their website, which features the majestic voices of both aforementioned singers. The song is proggy and black as all hell, and although it’s not the most exciting song ever,  it’s fairly solid and has served its purpose of getting me excited for the album. Exactly why we have teasers like this, no?

Urd is due out March 26th on Century Media Records. Hail Borknagar!

- NT

Wow, this year was an amazing year for metal. There were many great technical and progressive albums, which is what I consider to be my ‘main’ genre. A lot of my favorite bands came out with excellent albums, and there were a few surprising newcomers. Some of these I’ve reviewed myself and given a great score, so it won’t be a surprise. Some of these I didn’t have the time to review, which was a shame. Anyway, without further ado, here is my list of top 20 of 2011:

Honorable mentions:

Tre Watson – Gravestones

The reason I’m not giving this an actual rating is because Tre is a close friend of mine, so I can’t be unbiased about this. It’s a really great EP, and especially the last track is a masterpiece. Definitely listen to this.

Substructure – Monolith

These guys just came out of nowhere. They do a great blend of Born of Osiris and The Contortionist, a.k.a progressive spacecore. The reason it’s not in my actual list is because it’s quite short and a bit derivative. It’s still a good listen though.

Empirine – The Great Excursion

These guys perform a technical/progressive death blend of Opeth, Obscura and Cynic. They’re pretty incredible, and we’ve covered them a few times, so you should definitely check them out.

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Xerath – II

Xerath

II

01. Unite To Defy
02. God Of The Frontlines
03. Reform Part III
04. The Call To Arms
05. Machine Insurgency
06. Sworn To Sacrifice
07. Enemy Incited Armageddon
08. Nuclear Self Eradication
09. Numbered Among The Dead
10. The Glorious Death

[05/03/2011]
[Candlelight Records]

Xerath‘s debut, aptly titled I, had all the watermarks of a fresh and promising young band. The main idea was on show quite clearly: juddering Meshuggah riffs set against orchestral parts that made even the most grandiose statements by Dimmu Borgir or Emperor seem a little half-hearted – but it all came in a package that was just a little rough around the edges; the vision hadn’t been fully realised yet.

Enter II. This Basingstoke quartet have taken a huge leap forwards in progression from the aforementioned 2009 offering and it shows most prominently in the song composition. I feel bad in admitting that I never thought they could come up with the grooves that end “God Of The Frontlines“or the djent-ish riffs showcased in “Machine Insurgency,” but I am incredibly happy to be proven wrong. On the note of djent, I think it’s fair to say that the sudden rise of the ‘genre’ (I use the term loosely because I know how easily it sets people off) has had an impression on the band. While not adhering to that sound entirely, they stay more true to sound of recent Meshuggah or even Gojira by steering clear of a lot of the pitfalls of the genre such as excessive clean singing and emphasis on melody.

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Arcturus – La Masquerade Infernale

Ever wondered what the soundtrack to a carnival in hell would sound like? Well, here’s your answer. Arcturus are one of the more unique bands to have come out of the Norwegian black metal scene. Now, don’t be put off by that label, in no way is this a black metal record. Even Arcturus’s first album, Aspera Hiems Symfonia, was barely black metal, containing a lot of avant-garde and experimental influences. By the time they got to making La Masquerade Infernale, their second album, most of that black metal tinge was completely gone. What remained is perhaps one of the most unique metal albums ever made, and its uniqueness is still evident even 14 years after its release. And of course, it’s a concept album.

 

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