Jul 31, 2015

Tearless (2015) Step Into Darkness

Band: Tearless
Country of Origin: Croatia
Status: Active
Genre: Gothic metal
Type: Full length
Format: Digital
Length Approx.:  48:00 min.
Release Date: 06-29-2015
Current label: WormHoleDeath Records
Release label: WormHoleDeath Records

IR Classification: Good (4.2 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

Dark ambience to enrapture your soul

Tearless is a band formed in Ivanec Lepoglava in Croatia, they started around 2003 and since then they have been very active, releasing four demos, the first one is "Reverie" in 2005 which include four themes, then "World of shadows" in 2007 with two tracks, the third one is "The Path of Sorrows" released in 2009 with three songs and their last demo "Deathwish" came out in 2012 including three more themes, they play some kind of Dark Gothic metal... surprised? well it might be their logo, which fits more to a black metal band, but this is not the case.

During their twelve years of career, they have been through a lots of line-up changes, their current members are founder guitarist and harsh vocals Zlatko Kušter, female vocals Ivana Novak, bassist and backing vocals Filip Babić, lead guitarist Siniša Godinić, drummer Miran Špičko and the keyboardist Rudolf Lovrenčić with this line-up they entered at Mathlab Recording Studio in Italy to produce, record, mixed and mastered their album debut by Jonathan Mazzeo which is titled "Step Into Darkness" it contains ten tracks which are basically a collection of their previous demos and tells the story of Tearless throughout their existence, the album was released in June 29th 2015 under WormHoleDeath Records.

As soon you hear this album you can feel the adrenaline flowing suddenly in your senses and it is not difficult to identify the influences that inspired Tearless to create their music, bands such as Tristania, Moonspell, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and The Sins Of Thy Beloved just to name a few, are the ones that defined their path seems like they have picked up the sound of mid-1990s, but with a production more sleek and modern, twenty years have passed since many of us experienced those elements and few bands have been able to revive them and Tearless are one of those few bands.

"Deathwish" opens this album with merciless drums and powerful guitar riff, growl vocals that mangle you ears and Ivana shines with her angelical voice, excellent guitar solo finishing the song at full intensity, "Room of Broken Mirrors" starts with a pretty piano melody that abruptly turns into a storm the clean vocals and harsh vocals blend emotionally, "Fallen We Are" sounds great not just for Ivana's vocals but Filip added an excellent bass line, "Step Into Darkness" the keyboard and guitars blends terrific to let Ivana's voice join while growl backing vocals interwoven with her, "Dreams of You" is the single to promote, again a stunning piano tune allows the guitar solo take over to fuse into a catchy melody clean male vocals are outstanding by Slatko and Ivana as always exceeds the expectatives, the drum section and bass are simply impressive, "Inside Your Raven Eyes" slower and heavy riff more oriented to doom metal, "Masquerade" opens with intense drumming by Miran to let Ivana take the spotlight, the guitars are versatile with good arregements, "As She Leaves Me Alone" loud, passionate very persuasiveness song, "World of Shadows" sets a dark ambience from the beginning, sadness spills from every note, Ivana's voice reflect an aching soul and the fierceness to play each instrument enrapture your soul, the closing track is "Heart of December" prevails in the dark gothic side of Tearless battling vocals between Ivana and Slatko, great guitar work through the song.

I can finally conclude that "Step Into Darkness" is a great album, recommended to all lovers of the genre, may be a formula already known, but the intensity and conviction that they play make this album something worthy to enjoy, if you have the opportunity to listen to them please do not waste it.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Deathwish
2. Room of Broken Mirrors
3. Fallen We Are
4. Step Into Darkness
5. Dreams of You
6. Inside Your Raven Eyes
7. Masquerade
8. As She Leaves Me All Alone
9. World of Shadows
10. Heart of December

WornHoleDeath Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Misery Index (2014) The Killing Gods

Band: Misery Index
Country of Origin: US
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal / Grindcore
Type: Full length
Format: CD Digibox
Length Approx.:  44:00 min.
Release Date: 05-23-2014
Current label: Season of Mist
Release label: Season of Mist

IR Classification: Good (4.0 / 5)

The Killing Gods an exceptional album

Misery Index have been around since 2001 formed by bassist/vocalist Jason Netherton ex-Dying Fetus, their sound is a Death metal mixed with some Grindcore, their lyrics fall into politics, class struggles, and dissidence after some line-up changes during the years in which their current line-up consists of Adam Jarvis behind the drum set, Mark Kloeppel in guitar/vocals and Darin Morris in guitar.

In 2014 Misery Index came out with one of the most outstanding recordings within the genre, "The Killing Gods" easily raped basically any album released that year, you can question my statement but the answer fall by itself just take a look into their discography several splits couple EP's and four previous full lengths show their persistence as their trade mark, after their album "Heirs to Thievery" released in 2010, they were taken more than four years to make "The Killing Gods" saw the light while the expectations grew around and how they could overcome them, but they did it, they kept their brutal death metal escence and grind ferocity linked to their hardcore roots adding a pinch of melody, that was enough to make a refreshing taste, something that stopped the thirst of the parched metalheads.

The first song an instrumental "Urfaust" works as preamble to the unmessurable and chaotic "The Calling" thrive in infectious riff and Jarvis blasting the hell out of the drums, the next one is another instrumental track "The Oath" which blend perfectly as an outro for the previous song, "Conjuring the Cull" and "The Harrowing" both with a variety of riffs laying in evidence their hardcore influences, the self-titled track opens with some Gregorian chants only to add a vibe "The Killing Gods" really engages with the heaviness and mid pace tempo sections well executed, fierce drumsticks pounding the drums is a key to excel this track "Cross to Bear" it could be one of the most technical tracks in this album for the huge amount of riff, while "Gallows Humor" comes to be the catchy song grooving section that will stick in your mind for a while and here comes some grind section as well in "Colony Collpase" it contains enough blasting to keep alive their fury, the closing track in the Digibox is a Ministry cover "Thieves of the New World Order" check it out really worth the time to listen for it.

Is worth to mention that Misery Index has shifted slightly from their beginings, where grind  sounds were more predominant, but not for that reason this turns into a fail, I certainly believe in progress and if they decide to incorporate more elements as melody and grooving riff to their sound, it prove that they have grown up musically and that is the reason I think they were able to released "The Killing Gods" an exceptional album.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Intro: Urfast
2. The Calling
3. The Oath
4. Conjuring the Cull
5. The Harrowing
6. The Killing Gods
7. Cross to Bear
8. Hallows Humor
9. The Weakener
10. Sentinels
11. Colony Collapse
12. Heretics
13. Thieves of the New World Order (Ministry cover)*

Season of Mist

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Jul 14, 2015

Prion (2015) Uncertain Process

Band: Prion
Country of Origin: Argentina
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  46:00 min.
Release Date: 06-02-2015
Current label: Comatose Music
Release label: Comatose Music

IR Classification: Good (3.5 / 5)

Uncertain Process is abrasive and pulverizing with some tech infused

I have to admit it, I don't really follow the Argentinian underground scene very close, but when I saw a promo of this band in the Comatose Music website, it instantly caught my attention for the simple reason that they are from that country, and because I want to hear different proposals, I am pretty sure there are many bands which are worthy to listen for.

But let's go back to our main topic Prion from Buenos Aires, Argentina plays in a pure death metal vein, taking influences from bands like Monstrosity, Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel they are a band of three members, the bassist Walter Barrionuevo, guitarist/vocals Gregorio Kochian and drummer Marcelo Russo, they have been playing since 1994 and they have release a pair of demos, the first one in (1999) "Corpse Dissection" with five tracks followed by their album debut in (2003) "Times of Plagues" with unreleased songs, later on; a second demo in (2007) "Psalmodian Wrath" with four cuts which is probably only to flare up their second full length, because these four tracks were added to it in (2008) "Impressions" then in (2011) "Split Torso Trauma" for their record label beside many other bands, it took them more than seven years to come up with their third production (2015) "Uncertain Process”, this release also comes with a bonus DVD “This is How Argentina Bled”, containing a full live set professionally filmed at The Roxy Live, Buenos Aires in 2013.

Opening with a brutal cut "Power Obsessed" definitely pummels down your brain the double kick blast make the drums sounds possessed by a demon, Marcelo does an outstanding job, the guitars shred your thoughts fast as possible while the grunts make sure you just step into hell, Gregorio shines here, Walter plays a dense bass almost thunderous, the next track is the self titled "Uncertain Process" crafted with the same precept as it's predecessor, when you listen to them won't be difficult to recognize some Floridian death metal flavor, the fourth track "Anhedonist" keep up the blastbeat but near the end they manage to incorporate a bass solo, however the guitars still playing in the background , excellent demonstration of musicianship, the seventh cut "End Is Near" the vocals sounds visceral by Gregorio powerful and devastating riff complement this track, "Losing Itself in the Infinite" destroyed efficiently any trace of melody it's brutal, provocative to head bang merciless, "Doomed Humanity of Horror" starts up with intensity, catchy riff and Gregorio's barking shines here more than the whole album, this could be a great album closing cut, but for some reason they decide to cover a Depoche Mode song "Never Let me Down Again" there is nothing wrong with it, but feels like the balance got lost or at least I didn't get their point.

It is worth it to point out that "Uncertain Process" is abrasive and pulverizing, with some tech infused in it, there is plenty of reminiscence from the Floridian death metal era, Prion from South America is tearing down the wall of doubts, establishing the fact that they have enough talent to play everywhere.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Power Obsessed
2. Uncertain Process
3. Chronic Disease
4. Anhedonist
5. Now is the Hour
6. Control Societies
7. End is Near
8. Losing Itself in the Infinite
9. Doom Humanity of Horror
10. Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode cover)*

Official Website
Comatose Music

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Jul 12, 2015

Unleash The Archers (2015) Time Stands Still

Band: Unleash The Archers
Country of Origin: Canada
Status: Active
Genre: Power / Melodic Death metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  61:00 min.
Release Date EU: 06-26-2015
Release Date US: 07-10-2015
Current label: Napalm Records
Release label: Napalm Records

IR Classification: Excellent (4.5 / 5)

The Fury that characterize them with astonishing vocals

The Canadians Power/Melodic Death metal band Unleash The Archers has recently released their newly album titled "Time Stands Still" with their classical fury that characterize them, powerful chords, catchy rhythms and an astonishing vocals, this is their third effort and if you check them up before, (2009) "Behold the Devastation", (2011) "Demons of the AstroWaste" and their EP (2012) “Defy the Skies” you might surprise how this young band has been pushing out the boundaries, should be noted also, that “Time Stands Still” is their first album in which they have the support of a major label like Napalm Records.

Unleash The Archers leaded by the amazing vocalist Brittney Slayes and behind the drums Scott Buchannan they have managed to succeed after several line-up changes in the past years, now days the rest of the band it is complemented by the guitarists/backing vocals Grant Truesdell and Andrew Saunders, the rhythm section by bassist Kyle Sheppard, with this line-up they recorded "Time Stands Still" here you have ten majestically assembled tracks plus a bonus track.

The album start it with "Northern Passage" an instrumental cut that just work as a prologue for the next track which is "Frozen Steel" from the beginning, pumps up adrenaline pure with savage’s heavy riff, a really good indicative to satisfy your senses and don't forget to pay attention to Brittney’s voice which is amazing, next is "Hail of the Tide" here you can appreciate harsh vocals battling Brittney's clean vocals while the music runs with a frenzy pace open a path to a delightful guitar solo, then comes "Tonight We Ride" which is the track for the official video, displaying virtuous guitar elements to exhibit Brittney's vocal range Scott sounds energetic behind the drums and Kyle add a bass line to remember "Taste your Metal" revels in galloping guitars is extremely catchy no doubt it will be an anthem to sing along with Brittney next is "Crypt" is little bit more oriented to the melodic death metal side of the band with vicious riff, powerful blast beats a mid section filled with choruses, "No More Heroes" same as the previous cut delivers a hybrid of power/melodeth, of crushing guitars Unleash The Archers plays outstanding when battling harsh and clean vocals, because doesn't feel like the a classic scream behind Brittney's voice, "Dreamcrusher" is actually the longest track in this album and in their career too, at some point it was boring but there are two elements that holds up this theme, the amazing backing vocals that support Brittney's voice and Kyle once again adding a bass line interlude, "Going Down Fighting" I'm sure it has it's times, it's highs and lows but after nine minutes of the previous track it sounds lacking of something the only remarkable aspect I can remember is the guitar solo, "Time Stands Still" opens with some kind of Gregorian chants giving a way to Brittney's soaring vocals, infectious guitars by Grant and Andrew, while Kyle lays a blunt rhythmic section follow by Scott and his merciless drums, the bonus track is "Tonight We Ride" this is the video edit version.

My particular perception of the album "Time Stands Still" says this is a great album, they are not reinventing nothing, they just play good enough with their own elements and one of these elements is Brittney's voice, she sings with conviction and passion, I sincerely believe that their persistence has led them to where they are now; having a major label as Napalm Records to backing them up, will help Unleash The Archers to spread their name worldwide.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Northern Passage (Instrumental)
2. Frozen Steel
3. Hail of the Tide
4. Tonight we Ride
5. Test your Metal
6. Crypt
7. No More Heroes
8. Dreamcrusher
9. Going Down Fighting
10. Time Stands Still
11. Tonight We Ride (Video Edit)* [Bonus track]

Napalm Records

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Jul 11, 2015

Cut Up (2015) Forensic Nightmares

Band: Cut Up
Country of Origin: Sweden
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  41:00 min.
Release Date: 06-30-2015
Current label: Metal Blade Records
Release label: Metal Blade Records

IR Classification: Good (3.9 / 5)

A violent, groovy and grinding death metal

Swedish metal band Cut Up, we could say that they are a new band under the label Metal Blade Records, and they are proudly releasing their album debut "Forensic Nightmares" but before delving into this topic, let's learn a little more about this band, they come from Karlstad, Sweden and they formed at the beginning of 2014 by Tobias Gustafsson on drums , Anders Bertilsson on guitar, Erik Rundqvist on vocals/bass, Yes! you got it, all of them were part of the extinct Vomitory, to complete the line-up is  Andreas Björnson plays guitar/vocals and plays also for Fetus Stench, if these bands are well known by you then, I think that you can get a clear idea of the content of this album, if not; then get ready for what is coming to you, certainly this is a Death metal simple, pure, aiming at nothing other than dwell in Death metal roots to overcome adversities and gain respect.

Not bad! Having said all that, is time to immerse yourself in this refreshing, bloody and ruthless production, which was recorded at Big Balls Production Studios in Sweden/Karlstad engineered by Mats Lindström assisted by Fredrik Färninger and Tobias Olausson, it was mixed and mastered by Ronnie Björnström in Garageland Studios, Umea/Sweden, Artwork & Layout by Łukasz Jaszak, photos by Soile Siirtola.

"Forensic Nightmares" contains eleven tracks, two of them already have been shed as singles: "Burial Time" and "A Butchery Improved" both with a brutal force to be reckoned with, "Enter Hell" is the opening track of this album and the guitars sounds blazing, sharp, Gustafsson does a bestial exhibition of his skills behind the drums, lovely guitar solo that remind me bands like Dismember or Hypocrisy, right after this cut comes "Burial Time" in the same vein  as the previous one, "Remember the Flesh" come to fuse cohesive groove riff, fiercely fast pace to drive you to mid pace, vocals are powerful grunts that drills through your ears, "Brain Cell Holocaust" display a versatile band at songwriting, "Forensic Nightmare" it's brutal relentless shredding guitars follow by strong blast beats a fast pace track, "Order of the Chainsaw" is a deeper cut,  a little slower than the rest of the album, but blends perfect and does not disturb the flow, here they gave us crushing riff that feels dense, thick and obscure, "Dead and Impaled" is the closing track and even at this point they handle to keep it interesting, heavy and burning as hell.

Cut Up were capable to create an extremely malicious mixture of violent, groovy and grinding death metal splattered with merciless, fierceness and vile instincts that put them as one of the most enjoyable acts to listen for, so... what are you waiting for? go grab their album and add it to your playlist.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Enter Hell
2. Burial Time
3. Remember the Flesh
4. A Butchery Improved
5. Brain Cell Holocaust
6. Forensic Nightmare
7. Camouflesh
8. Order of the Chainsaw
9. Stab and Stab Again
10. Bunker Z16
11. Dead and Impaled

Official Website

Metal Blade Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Jul 8, 2015

Doomraiser (2015) Reverse (Passaggio Inverso)

Band: Doomraiser
Country of Origin: Italy
Status: Active
Genre: Doom metal
Type: Full length
Format: Ltd. Edition Digipack
Length Approx.:  52:00 min.
Release Date: 01-13-2015
Current label: BloodRock Records
Release label: BloodRock Records

IR Classification: Good (4.1 / 5)

Doom metal, with a sense of personality and no remorse

Doomraiser comes from Rome, Italy they play in the vein of Doom metal, some bands names comes to my mind such as early Cathedral, Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass to mention few and give you an idea what to expect, this band have been playing for more than a decade, so far they had released couple demos, an EP, some splits and three previous full lengths, certainly they have shown creativity during this time, now they come to present their fourth album titled "Reverse (Passaggio Inverso)" the artwork was designed by Roberto Toderico upon the band's concept.

What you find here are low tuned guitars with semi-slow paced to slow paced by Marini and Montagna who split duties in the guitars to rehearse, an exceptional  rhythm section leaded by the bassist Caminiti, ponderous crushing drums by Amatori and haunting epic vocals by Rossi, these gentlemen are responsible for giving us a full album of modern Doom metal, with a sense of personality, with no remorse, the first track is "Addiction" and simply guitar riffs comes slower and fuse with the low tuned bass to create a heavy ambience just good enough to blend with drunken clean vocals, the guitar solo remind me the early Paradise Lost, "Mirror of Pain" kick off a little bit more rhythm and somehow they drive it to a decreasing tempo, tormentor drums make the perfect match for this cut "Ascension: 6 to 7" this song could be the lowest point in the album reaching over the eleven minutes mark it sounds tedious, repetitive and appeals to a catchy riff over en over again, perhaps the most salvageable out of this track is the splendid guitar solo, "Apophis" it comes to vindicate the flow of the album with powerful riff and incisive bass, heading into a more meaty sound but pulling back before it transcends into a pure chaos, opting for the epic sounds that characterizes them, “In Winter” keeps up those sweeping riffs with decadent drums accompanied always by Rossi’s epic howling, "Dio Inverso (Reverse)" this cut is rooted into a depressive sound, which appeals deep in your bowels to the most twisted feelings, the bass mark the tune to lay down a remarkable composition, extremely successful as closing track for the Limited edition CD digipack and 12" Vinyl version, for those who choose the digital version, there is a bonus track titled "Ghost Track", so don't be surprised and enjoy it.

I would like to say that, I have always appreciated bands like Cathedral, Paradise Lost, Solitude Aeturnus and many more that I could mentioned for their musical career, their huge creativity and so on, but suddenly exploring again the Doom metal genre which is so complex in composition and acceptance, I got a pleasant surprise by listening to bands such as Doom:VS, Pallbearer, Dread Sovereign and now I have this album in my hands by Doomraiser, if I had to describe this album with a single word it will be "exceptional", "Reverse (Passaggio Inverso)" will surely be on any of the top lists by the end of the year.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Addiction
2. Mirror of Pain
3. Ascension; 6 to 7
4. Apophis
5. In Winter
6. Dio Inverso (Reverse)
7. Ghost Track* (Digital version only)

Official Website

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Jul 5, 2015

Skinless (2015) Only the Ruthless Remain

Band: Skinless
Country of Origin: US
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  36:00 min.
Release Date: 06-02-2015
Current label: Relapse Records
Release label: Relapse Records

IR Classification: Good (3.8 / 5)

Good things are given over time in a small dose

New York metallers Skinless are back! Almost nine years have passed since we heard their latest studio recording "Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead" fortunately for us, fans of old-school death metal, they surprised us with this album "Only the Ruthless Remain" through the label Relapse Records, it is their fifth full length album and brings together their original line-up Noah Carpenter, Bob Beaulac, Joe Keyser, Sherwood Webber and the first time adding a second guitarist Dave Matthews known by his job in (Held Under & Incontinence).

Unquestionably this is an absolute and brutal discharge right in your face, since the opener track "Serpenticide" this guys offer us their most pure and heaviest riff within the genre, this is the kind of death metal you had been craving for, guitars sound sharpened while the bass holds a lower tone behind the guitars, there are slightly nuances of progressive influence that can be heard, followed by the self titled track "Only the Ruthless Remain" it keeps up with the strength and brutality offered in the previous track with excellent throat-tearing vocals by Webber, "Skinless" take us trough a melt of growls, blast beats and striking guitars, they know how to handle smooth transitions between slow paced, mid pace and of course their brutal fast parts, "Flamethrower" appeals to be the thrasher track in this album, the guitars are powerful filled of wrath, infernal screams make this cut one of the most enjoyable, "The Beast Smells Blood" a track fast and ulcerating crushing drums that put you one foot from the brink, wrenching guitars that lead to an exceptional guitar solo next is one of my favorites "Funeral Curse" feels dense pack in rawness again they play outstanding paced through the cut, the closing track "Barbaric Proclivity" mesmerizing drums give way to forceful guitars to shred your guts, growling vocals that match the intensity of this cut.

Personally I think this album shows up their musicianship and put together a lot of their expertise crafting a demolishing record as a comeback, It seems to be true what is says, the good things are given over time in a small dose, I am glad to be able to listen to this band again, despite the long time they knew how to forge their way back, Skinless are here, don't you dare ignore them if you're an old school death metal fan you have to prove yourself.

Stay True... Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Track List:

1. Serpenticide
2. Only the Ruthless Remain
3. Skinless
4. Flamethrower
5. The Beast Smells Blood
6. Funeral Curse
7. Barbaric Proclivity

Relapse Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.