Saturday, December 24, 2016
With the season's greetings and the year ending, let's go with the mandatory year end lists of 2016. Here at Le Mot du Melomaniaque we have reviewed more than a hundred records and this I did it all alone while having a day job and a young family.
I have a theory that those lists mostly assembled in November and December of each year are biased by the recent releases and the fact that many list makers want to get the latest albums an early praise.
Here's my final take on 2016 and it is worth as much as any other list out there. (There is no text with just links to the proper reviews.)
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Inter Arma - Paradise Gallows (2016, Relapse Records)
Looking back at the year that was 2016 in music, we mainly focused on albums that we received promos except for the exceptional albums that came out and that we felt were too important to be left out of our review database. The case of Inter Arma’s Paradise Gallows is interesting because we didn’t received it and I was not sure about it either. How wrong was I?
Monday, December 19, 2016
Crucify Me Gently - Circles (2016, self-released)
Crucify Me Gently is not a gentle band in anything they are doing and Circles is a demonstration of their Deathcore assault. Right out of Ukraine, C.M.G. is blending the Death into the Metalcore.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Aenaon - Hypnosophy (2016, Code666 Records)
When I first read the description of Aenaon’s music as Progressive Black Metal I was expecting another Post Black Metal platter that 2016 has been dumping all over the music reviewers. I could not be more wrong. As this Greek band was completely new to me it was such a pleasant surprise to discover an album that reminded me of the Avant-garde Metal of Ved Buens Ende, Arcturus, and the 2015 LMDM Record of the Year™ A Umbra Omega from Dodheimsgard. For once, you have the promess of a Progressive record that is really progressive.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Swans - The Glowing Man (2016, Young God Records)
Another behemoth piece of music from Swans has been released in June this year and I could not pass the fact that despite my pure enjoyment of this release and catching The Glowing Man tour in July, I deliberately procrastinated to write this review for a good six months. Frontman and band leader, Michael Gira is a generous artist that offers another double LP and lots of liner notes to his songs. As he states on his Bandcamp page, Gira will continue to make music under the Swans moniker but with different collaborators and will pull the plug to the incarnation of the band that he restarted in 2009. The conclusion of this chapter of Swans is just a way to continue into a new direction.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Kerker - Ban All Lights (2016, Nihilistische KlangKunst)
After a couple of years as an unpaid music reviewer, no the bosses at LMDM don’t provide any pay but they let us walk without our chains ten minutes per day, you get a flair for the new to little known bands just at gazing the artwork or a first full listen. Two options are in your face for almost nine times out of ten : the record sounds a lot like the current trends or it is an emulate of a Golden era of the said genre. In the case of the Germans of Kerker and their LP Ban All Lights this is the second option.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Scalpture - Panzerdoktrine (2016, Final Gate Records)
When every Death Metal enthusiast got around Sonoran Depravity lately and jizzed his pants a couple of times at the upcoming tour of Gatecreeper, the Germans of Scalpture took a spin at the sound of Death Metal from Bolt Thrower to the Swedish buzzing sound of Entombed. This is another take on the classics of the genre.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Does this band and the studio album of this live recording still needs an introduction? Coming out of Norway in the Second Wave of Black Metal, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was released in 1993 after Varg Vikernes , the bassist player, was imprisoned for stabbing to death Euronymous (Oystein Aarseth) the guitarist. Mayhem became the most infamous band in the world. Prior to this, their previous vocalist Dead shot himself in the head and was the subject of this live record (not for the faint of hearts). So to record vocals on the album Attila Csihar of Tormentor was hired and is not credited for his duties. His vocals were far from the usual shrieks Black Metal was used to. Considered by many, including the writer of these lines, as one of the ultimate Black Metal albums of all time DMDS was never played entirely live before Black Christmas 2015.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
GreyAblaze - GreyAblaze (2016, Ashen Dominion)
Lately, a plethora of Black Metal bands have been coming out of Russia and Ukraine because let’s face it, Slavonics and Scandinavians share a near North Pole geographic location. Also in high numbers, the quantity of Post-Black Metal acts that are growing like mushrooms on this old cheese you’ve got in the back of your fridge. So, to be considered interesting those bands need to get their A game to get their head out of the bunch.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Kratornas - Devoured By Damnation (2016, Grathila Records)
The two man project blending Black Metal and Grindcore formed of Zachariah (vocals, guitars, bass) and GB Guzzarin (drums) releases its third LP this December. Originally from the Philippines, front man Zachariah is now based in Canada and it is its first recordings with a human drummer. As a drummer myself, I couldn’t be more thrilled about that.
Monday, December 5, 2016
As the months go by, we are already in December and pretty all of the year has passed before our eyes. There are many year end lists coming out already and I can't lie but I've been compiled numbers and albums since a couple of weeks myself. Since, this is a part time blog I can't listen to everything and I'm even struggling to actually listen to promos I would like to listen to. However, for the month of November I have a clear winner that makes lots of sense to me.
Friday, December 2, 2016
Natvre’s - Wrath (2016, Argento Records)
Back in Ancient times, Greece was a strong military force and was a rich culture of Arts, sports (they invented the Olympics back when it was still admirable), discipline, philosophy, and great mariners. Nowadays, their Black Metal is one of the finest and Natvre’s first LP, Wrath, released in limited copies back in December 21st 2015 got sold out almost as soon as it hit the streets. Lately, this November the Dutch label Argento Records released Wrath on CD. It was a wise move by the label because Natvre’s is one hell of an Hellenic band.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Terra - Mors Secundos (2016, Code666)
As everyone’s getting tired of Blackgaze, and West Coast Black Metal of the likes of Wolves In The Throne Room and Panopticon, East Coasters of Krallice are calling it their most prolific era with another record coming up in December, a little known band from Cambridge, England, Terra are following the experimental path of the later band. It is not a surprise that the record was mastered by Colin Marston (Krallice, Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Behold… The Arctopus, Byla) and goes beyond lo-fi Black Metal with elements of Drone and Post-Rock.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Worm Ouroboros - What Graceless Dawn (2016, Profound Lore Records)
Formed of guitarist/vocalist Jessica Way (Barren Harvest), bassist/vocalist Lorraine Rath (ex-The Gault, Amber Asylum) and drummer Aesop Dekker (ex-Agalloch, Vhöl, Ludicra), Worm Ouroboros is a unique outfit that makes music near the many genres that are Doom, Jazz, chamber music, dark ambient, and death rock. Reminded me of Chelsea Wolfe and ethereal funeral doom metal at times. Released on the prestigious Canadian label Profound Lore, this Oakland based trio is making slow music that may not please every Metal head out there but it is what makes them worth your time.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Era Decay - Inritum (2016, self-released)
Since it is not the main subject of this Music/Metal blog, I don’t mention often that I am an avid snowboarder. As with every product of consumption nowadays, the offer of snowboards is as vast as the wide array of subgenres from Death Metal. The Romanians of Era Decay are labeled as Doom/Death Metal but as any snowboard out there many labels can be applied to its versatility. It is the case for ED’s interpretation of the genre. Their latest release, Inritum, is a blend of Melodic Death Metal with Doom and many elements of old school Death Metal.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Violblast - Conflict (2016, Suspiria Records)
What happens when Slayer and Testament are playing together in Spain? You get Bay Area Thrash Metal from Western Europe under the name Violblast. With the speed and intensity of Slayer and the technicality of Testament a blast from the past in the form of a nine songs platter under the title Conflict is the result. Does it has what it takes to measure up to the two major bands cited?
Friday, November 25, 2016
The Descent - The Coven Of Rats (2016, Suspiria Records)
Coming from Spain, The Descent is a contender for one of the best Melodic Hardcore Death Metal albums of 2016. They remind me of the best albums of Darkest Hour, Dark Tranquility, The Haunted, and Diecast. Even the Pulp Fiction sampling screams out Melodic Hardcore of the late 1990’s. As they say, it is nothing new under the sun but it is done right and in the spirit of the best offerings of the genre.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Paganland - From Carpathian Land (2016, Svarga Music)
As I am writing music reviews daily since a couple of years, I have come to the conclusion that the best releases are often those at the end of the year, read here the months of November and December. November 2016 has been pretty decent and we are continuing with Paganland’s From Carpathian Land right out of the cold forests of Ukraine. Trying to grasp the spirit of a genre that’s been prolific and well received years later is often a risky task. With From Carpathian Land, Paganland recreates the 1990’s Pagan Metal landscape starting off with this superb cover art.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Nephrolith - Paleness Of The Bled World (2016, Cursed Records)
Lately, I was revisiting one of my ‘’teacher’s pet’’ band, Primordial and I said to myself that there are not many Black Metal acts that sound similar or that carry the same vibe in their music and the atmosphere they create. Well, my inbox once again made me lie and I fell on this Slovenian, not Melania, band named Nephrolith with the only tag of Black Metal. My description would be a Classic Metal act with the spirit of Primordial, an interesting and fresh take on the genre with inclusions of Post-Black Metal and bits of Shoegazing here and there.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Abysmal Grief - Reveal Nothing... (2016, Terror From Hell Records)
Think of Doom Metal in its gloomiest form with synths and clean vocals à la Rammstein and you have Abysmal Grief and their Horror laden Metal. This collection of EPs, 7’’, and split records is introductory for new fans and a compilation for those who don’t what to collect every platter they have released.
Monday, November 14, 2016
L’Homme Absurde - Monsters (2016, Fono Ltd.)
Sold as a Post Black Metal album, Monsters by the Russians of L’Homme Absurde, a concept borrowed from Albert Camus, is a Melodic Post Black Metal cum Blackgaze etc. This record enters well into the genre that links Locrian, Deafheaven, and Ashbringer. It captures this melodic melted with shoegaze craze that Sunbather unleashed upon our world of American Black Metal that is not in the vein of the Second Wave or the Scandinavian Black Metal. L’Homme Absurde was at first a one man band formed by drummer A. (Mare Infinitum, Who Dies In Siberian Slush, Comatose Vigil) in 2015 and in 2016 joined by Georgiy Bykov (Mare Infinitum also) and Isod on the guitars and Yuri S. handling the bass.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Noise Trail Immersion - Womb (2016, Moment of Collapse Records/Triton’s Orbit Distribution)
Lately, here at LMdM (short for Le Mot du Melomaniaque) we have been receiving lots of Italian bands albums. Added to that, the number of Post Black Metal, Black gaze, Atmospheric Black Metal, etc. bands have been growing so fast that we don’t even care to get excited anymore. Well, that is not entirely true but you get the picture. Noise Trail Immersion was the first time we encountered the genre Black Math-Metal in our promotional mountain pile of new records that reach us everyday.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Dysrhythmia - The Veil Of Control (2016, Profound Lore Records)
Beforehand, there is something I have to admit while reviewing this album, I am a fan of everything Colin Marston (Krallice, Gorguts, Behold… The Arctopus, Byla) ever touches. Pair that to Kevin Hufnagel who also is a member of Gorguts, Vaura, and Sabbath Assembly and you have a fanboy that almost cried when receiving his promo of The Veil Of Control.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Black Oath - Litanies In The Dark EP (2016, Terror From Hell Records)
This four song EP from the Doomsters Italians of Black Oath is a taster of what they have in their bags. It is Doom Metal done right especially with the medley of ‘’Highway Cavalier’’ and ‘’Reincarnation’’ that is rendered in ‘’Reincarnation Of The Highway Cavalier’’ a tribute to the late Terry Jones of Pagan Altar. The moods and atmosphere created by ‘’Funeral Alchemy’’ is spot-on with strong riffs and the right moody arrangements.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Diatonic - I Am The One (2016, self-released/Triton’s Orbit Distribution)
It’s funny how things happen in life, the day of the election of President Trump I get to pick a record that is titled I Am The One just as a coincidence or not of the man’s huge ego and furious declarations of his supremacy in one of the worst elections America has ever seen.
But I digress with politics and you are here to read about the second full length in two years from the Swedish Melodic Death Metal band Diatonic.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Ctulu - Ctulu (2016, MDD Records)
With a name that’s synonymous with the greatest Horror writer of all time’s, read here H. P. Lovecraft, most grotesque and disturbing creation, Ctulu, the Germans are coming in 2016 with an untitled or self-titled fourth album that is full of ‘’pathetic disappointments transformed into hate’’. Think of the Extreme Metal of Behemoth, Rotting Christ, and Temple of Baal.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Bahrrecht - L’Aube Glacée (2016, Ketzer Records)
The Frenchmen of Bahrrecht are in the tradition of their fellow Anorexia Nervosa with a touch of the 1990’s Black Metal. Wanting to sound a lot more melodic than they were on Nuit de Neige back in 2012, L’Aube Glacée is tainted with the influence of Immortal in the latter years, Windir, and of course Dissection. Getting more of the first two for the song structures and the riffing of the third act mentioned, Bahrrecht however never delivers what is promised.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
October has been one of the best months of the year so far! There are still many albums I haven't got around, especially DarkThrone's Artic Thunder which was one of the albums I expected in this month.
However, this is one of my favorite band that once again has the ROTM spot,
Friday, October 28, 2016
Netherbird - The Grander Voyage (2016, Black Lodge Records)
With the happening of Jon Nodtveidt’s greatest offering to Metal in the form of Dissection’s Storm of the Light’s Bane back in 1995, a multitude of copycats and followers from Sweden took a spin at the blend of Black and Death Metal with melodic guitar riffs and a huge penchant for the epic of Heavy Metal of the 80’s. In this wave of Swedish melodic Black/Death Metal acts, Netherbird is one of the most loyal band in the genre. Back after a short break, between 2014 and 2016, the Swedes made a comeback in full force.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Recitations - The Firsts of the Listeners (2016, Avantgarde Music)
Norway and Black Metal, Black Metal and Norway, you get it? Right? Okay so we can pass to something else. This band, which there is no information about anywhere has just released through Avantgarde Music a piece of four tracks of Contemporary Black Metal.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Tutti I Colori Del Buio - Initiation Into Nothingness (2016, Bare Teeth Records)
TUTTI I COLORI DEL BUIO began at the end of 2013 in Turin, Italy, from four friends previously involved in such bands as Marmore, Last Minute To Jaffna, and Magdalene, all active and known within the Italian scene.
Powerviolence is a genre that was brought back to somewhat popularity with Nails recently but that is a hybrid of Hardcore Punk, Grindcore, and Crossover. Never far from 1980’s punk and D-beat (obviously think of Discharge), such legendary acts like Spazz have paved the way for further bands like Tutti I Colori Del Buio.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Mesarthim - .- -... ... . -. -.-. . (2016, Avantgarde Music)
Australia and Black Metal have a weird connection and many bands as Midnight Odyssey and Mesarthim have embraced the Darkspace bandwagon of Atmospheric Black Metal with a penchant for the cosmos themes. Many bands have done the same deal with more or less success. In the case of Mesarthim, a recent one man band, formed in 2015, the melodies and common grounds of the Atmospheric Black Metal was learnt very well. Does it translate in the album weirdly titled .- -... ... . -. -.-. .?
Friday, October 14, 2016
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Dissociation (2016, Party Smasher – Cooking Vinyl)
Ever since August 2016 The Dillinger Escape Plan announced that Dissociation would be the final release of the band before an extended hiatus, that would later be confirmed as a definitive break-up, there’s an aura of knowing that it will be a precious album from the masters of Mathcore. As a fully affirmed fan of their music since the release of the self-titled EP and an over fifteen years old Calculating Infinity t-shirt would be some of the proofs of this fandom. Let’s be honest to ourselves the expectations for Dissociation are high and even the band has some apprehension knowing that Ben Weinman has always been worshipping One of Us Is The Killer as their masterpiece. Today, if it was my opinion, he would have to change his speech a bit with their most recent iteration.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Editor’s note : This is a retrospective of the entire The Dillinger Escape Plan discography as their final album Dissolution will be released October 14th.
The Dillinger Escape Plan - The Dillinger Escape Plan EP (1997, Now or Never Records)
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Gatecreeper - Sonoran Depravation (2016, Relapse Records)
Of all the influences cited about the release of Gatecreeper’s first album, Sonoran Depravation, there is a conclusion we can easily get to; the band pushes the Death Metal buttons of fans of every spheres of the genre because the Gatecreeper is form by passionates of the Death Metal movement. Let’s have the name dropping game going on : Entombed, Asphyx, Suffocation, and Bolt Thrower just to name a few.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Opeth - Sorceress (2016, Nuclear Blast)
There’s a duality in every band’s evolution that concerns both the band and the fans. First, the band doesn’t want to play the same songs over and over again and the fans don’t want to ‘’pay’’ for the same album either. However, once a band has its own sound the fans expect it to be similar while getting better at each subsequent record. That’s a challenge for any musician to walk that thin path. When the case is that a band gets tired of their previous sound and makes a left turn, it looses fans but might get some others.
From now on, if you absolutely want your band reviewed please send a CD or LP copy it is easier for us because we had a technological step back.
Enough of this whining about all and nothing, with many expected releases in late September, I got to get some time for myself to actually think about the most deserving monthly award of RotM.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Neurosis - Fires Within Fires (2016, Neurot Recordings)
One of the most celebrated and respected Extreme Metal band Neurosis is celebrating their 30 years of existence. I’ve been an avid fan of their music since 15 or so years and I still rock a t-shirt of The Eye of Every Storm to this day. It would be an understatement to say that I was highly expecting this album. Even if Given To The Rising left me a bit cold at times and I thought that Honour Found In Decay had its moments, Fires Within Fires might be their most complete and concise album since their inception.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Vindland - Hanter Savet (2016, Black Lion Records)
French Black Metalers are some of the most eviled musicians of Planet Earth. Just look at Les Légions Noires and listen to Mütiilation and Vlad Tepes to gaze the purity of their interpretation of the genre. With the coming of Bleu Blanc Satan, a documentary about the French Black Metal scene of the 90’s, no one is surprised to discover little gems like the subject of this review. The three members of Vindland are presenting their Melodic Pagan Black Metal in the form of their debut album under the name Hanter Savet.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Note from the editor: this review was first published at my main blog and since I moved here I've decided to edit and repost those archived reviews once in a while just to get the database complete and give a second life to those earlier writings.
DarkThrone - The Underground Resistance (2013, Peaceville Records)
Being a fan of Darkthrone since their release of Soulside Journey, I dropped the ball when they changed genre after Sardonic Wrath. I was not ready to listen to crust-punk from a band that was crying out loud Unholy Black Metal.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
On a rainy Saturday night in July that looked like what we would usually call Fall in Québec, Swans was headlining a show at one of the best and most intimate venues in the city; Le Cercle. Along about a hundred fans the place was not packed but still got ambiance.
Friday, July 8, 2016
Eteritus - Following The Ancient Path (2016, Godz Ov War Productions)
After a more than ten years I didn’t listened to a lot of Death Metal except for the bands I was really into. It is since last year that I discovered that I am such a sucker for the genre especially for Old School Death Metal. Beginning with the underrated and underappreciated Echelon release of last year, it went on with Live Burial this year and on and on. Released in June, Polish based Eteritus and their nine songs full lenght Following The Ancient Path is not bringing much new to the genre but plays it like 25 years veterans of the scene with killing riffs, thunderous breakdowns, and a really enjoyable production.