Apr 26, 2015

Sabaton (2014) Heroes [Limited Digibook]

Band: Sabaton
Country of Origin: Sweden
Status: Active
Genre: Power Metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD (Ltd Digibook)
Length Approx.: 44:20 min.
Release Date: 05-16-2014
Current Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Label: Nuclear Blast

IR Classification: Excellent (4.5 / 5)

Power metal played with bombastic energy and conviction.

Sabaton are formed in Sweden more than one decade ago since the beginning they play a style of Power metal very well characterized by the powerful and unique voice of their vocalist and leader Joakim, however the Sabaton beginnings were not easy "Metalizer" was recorded during 2002 and is supposed that should be distributed by Underground Symphony as Sabaton album debut, two years passed and they decide to forget that album to find a new record label and they release their own self-financed album "Primo Victoria" in 2005 under the record label Black Lodge, who eventually acquire the rights of "Metalizer" album and release it in the spring of 2007.

Sabaton released their seventh full length in mid 2014 entitled "Heroes" two years after their split with former members and their acclaimed "Carolux Rex" adding Englund and Rörland as the new guitarists and simply they proved be the perfect fit to Sabaton sound giving a renovated air to their power metal.

Although it is well known in this genre that has been already written by several bands there is nothing new, but Sabaton plays with a bombastic power, a solid conviction some melodies that catch you, majestic guitar solos, drums are intense, explosive choruses, but the focal point are the lyrics, usually based on themes of war but this time they give a step forward and they introduce us in the trenches, the fields of Nazi extermination and air combat where heroes and heroines were born.

The first track is "Night Witches" with an explosive chorus at the beginning is really intense guitars sound crushing, solid (reminds us of this brave Soviet 588 Regiment formed by girls of approximately 20 years of age), then follow "No Bullets Fly" here guitars kept pace by adding a melody that catches you (the story of this song is about a pilot German escorting a B-17 off the range of the artillery) "Smoking Snakes" slightly lower the intensity although choirs are very catchy (here Broden tells us a little bit about the Brazilian Expeditionary Forces invading Italy around 1944)Inmate 4859” this track of a slow pace with a heavy riff and a memorable guitar solo, (here they speak of Witold Pilecki a Polish soldier a rittmeister of the Polish Cavalry, founder of the Secret Polish Army resistance during the German occupation of Poland during the winter of 1939) "To Hell and Back" with an introduction very unique of the old west and the guitar to rhythm of horses, (honoring Audie L. Murphy one of the soldiers of combat more decorated in the U.S. Army in specific talk about the battle by the beach in Anzio) "The Ballad of Bull" is a ballad that comes to you very deep, a piano introduction that sets the right atmosphere to tell (the story of Leslie "Bull" Allen, an Australian soldier who risks his own life to save twelve American soldiers at the battle of Mount Tambu in 1943) "Resist and Bite" has a catchy tune as a background and the drums at a semi fast pace one of the best tracks of the album (German official history stated that in the 18 days of bitter fighting, the Belgian army were a tough opponent and spoke of the "extraordinary courage" of their soldiers) "Soldier of 3 Armies" begins with a lethal drums solo and a guitar riff is gradually incorporated (this song is based on Lauri Allan Törni who fought under three flags, Finnish, German, against the Soviets in WWII and U.S.) "Far from the Fame" has a good melodic guitar riff and one of the best guitar solos in the album (this song speaks of Karel Janousek after WWII returns to Czechoslovakia, and served in the army, before being imprisoned under the Communist regime) "Hearts of Iron" is a track that really gives you  goose-bumps and has the ability to transport you is this historic passage, (12th army made the last attempt by the German army to relieve Adolf Hitler, however; was stopped by superior Soviet Red Army forces, then 12th Army linked to the remnants of the 9th Army decimated of General Theodor Busse they provided a corridor to the West for soldiers and refugees to reach and cross the bridge over the Elbe River partially destroyed and surrender to the American forces between May 4 and May 7, 1945) "7734" is the first bonus track in this limited digibook executing a good power metal with exceptional guitar solos then closing this album is the last bonus track "Man of War" crushing guitars, an epic guitar solo and the drums sound powerful.

In summary the production of this album is excellent with powerful guitar riff, bombastic drums and the overwhelming lyrics all well blended with energy, conviction and passion like no other, Without a doubt one of the best Power metal albums from 2014.

StayTrue... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Night Witches
2. No Bullets Fly
3. Smoking Snakes
4. Inmate 4859
5. To Hell and Back
6. The Ballad of Bull
7. Resist and Bite
8. Soldier of 3 Armies
9. Far From the Fame
10. Hearts of Iron
11. 7734*
12. Man of War*

Official Website
Nuclear Blast

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Apr 19, 2015

Forgotten Tomb (2015) Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love

Band: Forgotten Tomb
Country of Origin: Italy
Status: Active
Genre: Blackened Depressive Doom metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD (Digipak)
Length Approx.: 51:00 min.
EU Release Date: 04-17-2015
US Release Date: 04-21-2015
Current label: Agonia  Records
Release label: Agonia  Records

IR Classification: Moderate (3.4 / 5)

Depressive black metal mixed with malignancy and grooves.

It has been sixteen years since Forgotten Tomb came to the light for the first time in their native Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna in Italy with seven full-length albums in their history and hundreds of shows around the world, two classic albums "Songs to Leave" (2002) and "Springtime Depression" (2003) that gave way to a new and emerging genre called Depressive black metal, now they deliver us their eighth full-length album entitled "Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love" this album could be defined as a natural progression from their previous album "... And don't Deliver Us from Evil" released in the fall of (2012) and differs musically a lot from their firsts recordings which fall in a very lonely ambience with dark tones and sounds very depressive.

The sound currently developed by Forgotten Tomb can be described in a manner similar to the path taken by Katatonia, but with its own identity these is an unusual mixture of black/doom metal, incorporating elements of stoner rock and some groovy riffs here and there while retaining the traditional harsh vocals of black metal.

Ferdinando "Herr Morbid" Marchisio coment: “The new album is a mix of melancholy, groove and pure malignancy”
"We kept the sound very organic and natural, kinda old-fashioned but still very fresh. The new songs are heavy as fuck and they feature our classic trademark plus some new elements. I can't wait for people to listen to it, 'cause it's a really special album for us and probably the most extreme we did in quite a while, both musically and conceptually".

The first track offering this album is "Soulless Upheaval" in the vein of black metal but there you can appreciate some melodic grooving riff  the best part of this track is reached after the minute 5:10 killer guitar solo, undoubtedly the best track of the whole album then comes, "King of the Undesirables" holds the same powerful attitude and the lyrics are sung convincingly about the minute 4:20 a bass guitar solo very well executed adds dark and malignancy as described by Forgotten Tomb, "Bad Dreams Comes True" is the third track and begins with a solid deep stoner riff and the bass throwing decadent low tunes and it shows what are they up to do reaching the end of the track they decide to fast pace the melody building up a wall of sounds impressive, next is the track that gives the title to this album "Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love" is a mid pace dark ambience song it feel dense and much likely comparable to their early recordings, "Mislead the Snakes" is another track and here is the low point of this album here I can't find nothing catchy and make me lose interest for a moment, "Dread the Sundown" is the longest track and definitely dominant, energetic doom metal rooted in black metal, finally we have "Swallow the Void" an instrumental track with a very depressive dark feeling and awake the deepest melancholic mood within you.

Certainly this is not a bad album, as I mentioned before but unfortunately there are only some moments of climax that speak out and strong about this full length, despite the cover art that is very sick, explicit and unique, I couldn't find much sense to hurt myself and those that I love.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track list:

1. Soulless Upheaval
2. King of the Undesirables
3. Bad Dreams Come True
4. Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love
5. Mislead the Snakes
6. Dread the Sundown
7. Swallow the Void (Instrumental)


Agonia Records

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Apr 18, 2015

Marduk (2015) Frontschwein

Band: Marduk
Country of Origin: Sweden
Status: Active
Genre: Black metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD (Digipak)
Length Approx.: 52:40 min.
Release Date: 01-19-2015
Current label: Century Media Records
Release Label: Century Media Records

IR Classification: Good (4.1 / 5)

A brutal burden from hell.

Marduk are part of that elite of bands generated during the second wave of black metal in early 1990, twenty-five years later they released their thirteenth album titled "Frontschwein" with a theme based on WWII similar to their album "Panzer Division Marduk" released in mid-1999 but the composition stands out because there is an infinite number of riff that makes it enjoyable the fierce blast beats, the fast tremolos of guitar picking, the bass to a low tone, and the insane growling are present in the entire album.

This album has its own personality, if you're expecting to listen Marduk again capture the sound he ever got on their third album "Opus Nocturne" released at the end of 1994, perhaps you will be disappointed, but I can assure you that musically they are not far to achieve their objective, I believe this album flows in a constant way and do not let you down from the first track Marduk they deliver us "Frontschwein" a fast pace with excellent riff and a killer drum session, to continue with "The Blond Beast" of medium-pace with a melodic riff and catchy blast beats "Afrika" is another track of fast pace but the riff is distinguishable from one song to another, "Wartheland" track of slow pace that manages to show the dense and dark side of Marduk, "Nebelwerfer" is a track with an essence of atmospheric black metal with a doomy riff leaking through crushing drums, the harsh vocals penetrate deep into your senses, "Doomsday Elite" I think longer than desired is a brutal blast beats black metal of medium pace, "Thousand-Fold Death" is the last track from this album's fast pace, killer riff, extremely fast vocals.

I could finish that all these songs, are different in composition but were incorporated into this album in a consistent, intelligent and creative way, to appreciate all these elements that gives you "Fronschwein" it is necessary that you listen the entire album without interruption to experience the performance and solid production, It is difficult to point out negative aspects affecting this album one could be lyrics, based on WWII that many people do not approve, but in particular I enjoy it.

Overall is a good black metal album, Marduk remains fully committed to create rabid recordings, which undoubtedly is going to torture your senses.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track list:

1. Frontschwein
2. The Blond Beast
3. Afrika
4. Wartheland
5. Rope of Regret
6. Betweenthe Wolf-Packs
7. Nebelwerfer
8. Falaise: Cauldron of Blood
9. Doomsday Elite
10. 503
11. Thousand-Fold Death

Official Website
Century Media Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Apr 12, 2015

Morgoth (2015) Ungod

Band: Morgoth
Country of Origin: Germany
Status: Active
Genre:  Death Metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD (Ltd Digipak)
Length Approx.: 54:40 min.
Release Date: 06-27-2015
Current label: Century Media Records
Release Label: Century Media Records

IR Classification: Good (3.8 / 5)

Emerging from the past!!!

Almost nineteen years have passed since the last time that Morgoth launched their last full-length studio recording "Feel Sorry for the Fanatic" in 1996, this is an album that I consider today an interesting sound but which at the time made me question it, however the title of the album was too explicit as to find answers, but time passes and the album eventually caught me until finally I recognized that it was interesting and it expanded my knowledge.

Morgoth coment: “We started with the songwriting in January 2013 and finished the recording process by the end of December 2014. It was an awesome experience to go through the sometimes very complex and challenging process of writing and recording an album again.”
“Our goal was to present some real Morgoth-style death metal, which closes the gap between Cursed and Odium. We hope that we have achieved this goal and our supporters and friends will like the final outcome.”

I think that definitely Morgoth has fulfilled their purpose, appealing to the old school death metal taking the sound of yesteryear heavily influenced by Death in their albums "Leprosy" and "Spiritual Healing" and are revealed in this new recording, exposing many similarities to bands like Obituary, Grave, Asphyx, and Pestilence, it is obvious that Morgoth are not reinventing the wheel and criticizing them for the lack of originality is unfair to this recording with a solid sound, Morgoth knows what are its own qualities and plays them to show something exciting to keep you engaged more often than other bands but the album lacks in terms of spontaneity.

As I mentioned before this is an album that has the sound of early Death, using lines of mid-pace tremolos, infectious grooves, and the occasional melodic passage, some slow riff also are part of the variety in this album "House of Blood" opener track contains palm muted riff well executed, "Voice of Slumber" is rhythmic and harmonic guitars and bass is heard in the background, "Snakestate" with a rhythm more slow but a dark harmony, "Black Enemy" with catchy riff, a tune deep bass, "Ungod" track instrumental that reaches a little bit more than six-minute length with progressive chords, "God is Evil" mixed riff with a heavy breakdown, "The Dark Sleep" is the second track instrumental in this album begins with a thunder storm environment while appealing a doomy riff and drums setting the pace for headbanging, "Die as Deceiver" and "Battalions of Strangers" this last one with a section more rhythmic and melodic, these two tracks are the bonus included in the Limited edition digipak, however the focal point of this album is the absence of their original vocalist with his vocal assault that was Marc Grewe trademark and Morgoth was recognized by this, their new vocalist Karsten Jäger (Disbelief) really does a good job on this album the only low point is the lack of screams, undoubtedly there are tracks where Karsten pushes his voice, but the screams are not as long as we would like to hear them.

I conclude that Morgoth has produced an album packed with catchy riff one after another, with a solid sound, but lack of originality and spontaneity with a new vocalist that has talent without a doubt but unfortunately reaches only to be a good album for a band that has decided to emerge from the past.

Stay true... Stay Metal... Stay brutal...

Track list:

1. House of Blood
2. Voice of Slumber
3. Snakestate
4. Black Enemy
5. Decent into Hell
6. Ungod
7. Nemesis
8. God is Evil
9. Traitor
10. Prision in Flesh
11. The Dark Sleep
12. Die as Deceiver*
13. Battalions of Stranger*

Official Website
Century Media Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Apr 7, 2015

Evilheart (2014) Quinquaginta

Band: Evilheart
Country of Origin: México
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal / Black Metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD
Length Approx.: 59:26 min.
Release Date: 08-30-2014
Current Label: Independent
Release Label: N/A

IR Classification: Excellent (4.8 / 5)

A heavy torrent of technical complexity and brutality.

Evilheart are a band relatively veteran in the Mexican local scene they were formed around 1999 in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico and since then they have dedicated themselves to forge a name that currently places them as one of the bands more important in their country, they have shared the stage with bands like: Deicide, Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Malevolent Creation, Dimmu Borgir and many other bands more.

In 2001 they released their demo entitled "Summoned to War" which contains seven tracks full of relentless brutality, then in 2004 Evilheart released their first full length "Dark in Glory" while maintaining the same brutal line but with a flawless technique, in 2007 they released their second album "Storm of Annihilation" characterized by a mixture of brutality, speed and a devastating technique.

"Quinquaginta" is launched in 2014 and is definitely the best album to date, after hear it several times, I find it difficult to choose some few songs to describe this album, but the track that opens this album "Perfection Collapsed" is exceptional, "Selective Extermination" powerful and brutal, it is worth mentioning that they filmed a promotional video with this song, "Rebellion" crushing drums by adding a fast and aggressive riff structure, "Posmortal Corruption" shows a unique section of violins followed by a guitar riff excellent well mixed to unleash the brutality of this band "Quinquaginta" with a slow tempo structure tied to the sounds of old-school death metal well executed, but my highest expectation was to listening to "Severance" a (Cenotaph cover), track extracted from the album "Riding Our Black Oceans", released in 1994, Cenotaph was a highly respected band of Mexico now a legend and there is no doubt that Evilheart capture the essence of this track and they make it their own style in this piece.

In conclusion, this is an album that surpasses the expectations of an independent production and demonstrates that the Mexican scene is still active full of creativity, technique and brutality, is undoubtedly a highly recommended album for those who like for a good death metal but especially for demanding and real metalheads, Evilheart they won't disappoint you.

Stay true... Stay Metal... Stay brutal...

Track list:

1. Perfection Collapsed
2. Misanthropic Decree
3. Selective Extermination
4. Rebellion
5. Decimated Opposition
6. Supremacy and Holocaust
7. Postmortal Corruption
8. Genetics of Betrayal
9. Quiquaginta
10. Severance (Cenotaph cover)

Official Website

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Apr 5, 2015

Exmortus (2014) Slave to the Sword

Band: Exmortus
Country of Origin: US
Status: Active
Genre: Thrash metal / Death metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD
Length Approx.: 49:06 min.
Release Date: 02-04-2014
Current label: Prosthetic Records
Release Label: Prosthetic Records

IR Classification: Good (4.4 / 5)

Thrashy chords with a neoclassical infusion.

This band formed in 2002 in Whittier, California they delivered their third material titled "Slave to the Sword" in February 2014 and they definitely show a progress since their previous album "Beyond the Fall of Time" which received many negative reviews, but their latest album you cannot complain much, it is an album that can be described as thrash metal and seen an influence from bands like Possessed, Testament, Death Angel, and even Megadeth but adding a neoclassical touch inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen or Stratovarius.

The guitars sound very compact using a wide range of melodic riff incorporating neoclassical solos, very well executed, showing their high quality and technical skills, the first track "Rising" is a clear example of what I'm talking about, the drumming is fast and powerful while maintaining a relentless pace, the bass plays fiercely with a consistency that provides extra atmosphere to support the guitar solos, while those harsh vocals they shred your ears and are a preamble to what it is this album.

The composition of "Slave to the Sword" can be noted as one of the best Exmortus has created to date, tracks as "Slave to the Sword" with a more attractive groove sound shows the versatility of the band "Immortality Made Flesh" is fast using structured riffs "Warrior of the Night" with a merciless guitar solos and catchy rhythm, but one of the most appealing tracks is the instrumental cover of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata (Act 3)" brilliantly interpreted to demonstrate the virtuosity that has this band and the last track "Metal is King" offers a few crushing riff worthy of remembering.

"Slave to the Sword" is an interesting album that personally I can consider it as one of the best albums of 2014, is certainly a band that has marked their standard and their upcoming production must take into account its previous work.

Stay true... Stay Metal... Stay brutal...

Track list:

1. Rising
2. Slave to the Sword
3. Immortality Made Flesh
4. Foe Hammer
5. Warrior of the Night
6. Ancient Violence
7. From the Abyss
8. Moonlight Sonata (Act 3)
9. Battle-Born
10. Metal is King

Prosthetic Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.