Abolishment of Flesh – The Inhuman Condition (Death Metal)

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A new challenger has entered the death metal stage and they are looking for the abolishment of flesh. Hailing from Texas, USA, the band was founded in 2006 but under the name Abolishment. The debut came out 2008 and was named Abolishment of Flesh which later on became the bands new name after numerous member changes. Meaning even though this is Abolishment of Flesh debut album the foundations were there already in 2006. Nowadays the band consists of two members, Ramon Cazares on guitar/vocals (while recording drums and bass as well) and Izaak Chaves on guitar.

Alright this album is one I find very strange to review. Want to know why? It’s due to the fact it is very inconsistent. A reason for this is that they are a bit all over the place and with various results. Abolishment of Flesh showcase a wide range of different styles be it technical, brutal, melodic and classic death metal, which is good however I can’t help to think some of these tracks are somewhat of a snooze fest. They can go from an absolute killer track to one I just want to press skip on. The vocals is one of the things that does that to me. I say keep the brutal growling, let go of the screeching vocals as when that comes in it kills some songs for me as it feels out of place. In “Inhuman Anatomy” it works fine but on the follow-up “Lack of Emotions” I would much rather they’d left it out and the song overall leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It’s the same way when listening to Cattle Decapitation though, the vocal style doesn’t always work for me and I am really picky when death metal switches style like that. Which is a big shame because when Abolishment of Flesh get it all going they are incredible and provides some of the best extreme metal I’ve heard all year.

You have your classic Suffocation sounding tracks like “Morbid Imagery” that provides solid death to the masses, your massive guitar solos with some Dying Fetus vibes on “Servitude of Endless Suffering”. Then you got my personal favorite “Slaves of Animosity” which is simply a monster of a song that’s doing a great job showcasing the bands melodic and technical side, yet keeping it brutal. Almost a bit like older In Flames, which is probably why I really enjoy it. Tracks like those proves the band got diversity, can play both polished melodeath and the more extreme kind with ease when it works which alone keeps the score on a good level. I just hoped the album was more consistent as the duo are definitely talented musicians that can produce some pummeling headbang crazy material. All in all this is a debut album and it sure got me interested in the band. I will follow the band closely, looking forward to hear what they come up with next. Who knows this might just be the first stepping stone into greatness?

Label: Unholy Anarchy Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Cattle Decapitation
Release date: April 20th, 2018
Favorite song: Slaves of Animosity
Score: 3/5

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At the Gates – To Drink From the Night Itself (Melodic Death Metal)

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When you are one of the main bands to create a whole sound and an era for Swedish metal music, hell an era for melodic death metal all over the world then you’re bound to have a nice reputation going for you. They are one of the creators of what is called “the Gothenburg sound” during the early 90’s and At the Gates needs no further introduction as their legacy is one everyone should know by now.

With At War With Reality the band made a great comeback but didn’t really dare to try something new. Who can blame them though, they had been broken up for years so for the comeback album I would play it rather safe as well. It was basically what was expected from them and they delivered. Then comes To Drink From the Night Itself. Not only do they go back to their roots and you get a lot of tracks that got that Slaughter of the Soul feeling to it but they also manage to develop their sound this time around. You can almost say this album consists of two parts, Der Widerstand to In Nameless Sleep is classic At the Gates then with The Colours of the Beast and onwards you hear more songs that brings in elements of doom and heavy metal. More atmospheric in many ways and it’s a welcoming experiment along with their core sound. The new guitarist Jonas Stålhammar (The Lurking Fear) is a great addition to the band and he is a key factor when the band is moving forward in my opinion.

An album like this is funny to review. One side of me want At the Gates to only give me the Slaughter of the Soul sound all over again, then there is one side of me who wants something new and different. To Drink From the Night Itself manages to do a bit of both. So here I am digging the title track To Drink from the Night Itself (Blinded By Fear version 2), which is really catchy and been stuck in my head for days, like I am having just as good of a time with for example The Colours of the Beast where they try something new. At the Gates were together with In Flames and Soilwork the bands that got me liking this genre and I am happy to say that they are still kings within the genre where some have faltered.

Label: Century Media Records
For fans of: Dark Tranquillity and In Flames
Release date: May 18th, 2018
Favorite song: To Drink from the Night Itself
Score: 4/5

Thousand Eyes – Day of Salvation (Melodic Death Metal)

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Isn’t melodeath lovely? There are few subgenres that I like as much as melodic death metal. Maybe it’s due to me being Swedish and it’s in my blood and bands such as In Flames, Sonic Syndicate, At the Gates etc got me into the whole metal scene. I don’t know but something in me makes me go bananas when melodeath is on. So what about Thousand Eyes? Actually I’d never heard about the band before I visited Tokyo last year. After getting to know a fellow metalhead he invited me to his home to grab some beers and listen to music. There he presented Thousand Eyes to me, a Japanese band who prior this album had released two albums named Bloody Empire and Endless Nightmare. After hearing some from both albums (while I shared some Swedish death metal obviously his way) I got hooked. It’s nothing original but as I said before, melodeath is in my blood and when it’s done well I am not one to complain.

Thousand Eyes offer the listener a lot of energy, aggression and class riffs. Granted I think there are a few too many on the album as it almost becomes a power metal album in that sense. Too much melodic too little death metal if you get what I mean. I know Thousand Eye’s guitarist Kouta both write and produce the albums so it’s not strange there is a lot of emphasis on the guitars, which I am sure their fan base love mind you. Each to their own I guess but there can be too much of the sweets in my opinion. Like a Soilwork, Disarmonia Mundi (I think the singer sounds quite a bit like Björn Strid actually) and Mors Principium Est mix. At times there are almost a bit of thrash elements to it as well.

All in all this is a well produced album, production have become a lot better since Blood Empire in my opinion, that a lot of melodic death metal fans will devour and enjoy. Compared to what I’ve heard coming this year from giants like At the Gates they are a few numbers short though. Thousand Eyes continues fine-tuning their sound and even though I don’t agree with the direction they are going 100% it’s still a good album that will please their fans.

Label: Bloody Empire
For fans of: Soilwork and Mors Principium Est
Release date: February 21st, 2018
Favorite song: Day of Salvation
Score: 3/5

After the Storm – Into a New Era (Melodic Death Metal)

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Are you a fan of old school melodic death metal the way In Flames, At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity did in the early 90’s? Then After the Storm got something right up your alley. The band have mixed and produced the music in their own studio and it shows, for better or worse. The production really does feel like it was done 20 years ago which I personally feel hurts the vocals the most. The vocals, drums and guitars doesn’t sound like they are joined together as one to me, something is missing there.

That rant aside I can’t help but to nod my head and smile to music like this. This remind me so much of the music I grew up with and already on the opening track The Awakening I fall in love with the riffs and drumming. Turn up the volume on the vocals and leave out what makes it sound like it’s being played in a church and I would be much happier. The following track Stand Unified gives me the same joy but I can already hear a pattern forming, they end their songs with a solo. Which is fine and all but after a while I might think it get repetitive. There is definitely a lot of emphasis on the guitarplay throughout the album so if you want your melodic death metal with a more technical side to it this is a great way to go.

It’s a shame the production and mixing of this album destroyed it for me. The core of the album is sweet with well performed riffs (which feels a but repetitive at times though) and songwriting but the end result I listen to isn’t good enough to cut it these days. This being the bands debut album I hope they learned something from it and make a better job at mixing it.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/afterthestormmetal
Label: Independent
For fans of: At the Gates and In Flames
Favorite song: Rise as They Fall
Score: 2/5

Mordenial – The Plague (Melodic Death/Trash Metal)

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Formed in early 2000 the band has had quite the shaky start and it wasn’t until 2015 Mordenial released their debut album Where the Angels Fall. Since then the road has been clear though and The Plague is coming out just two years after the debut with the same line-up. The band has strong ties to one of my favorite old school death metal acts Paganizer as two out of three members are also active with them. With that said Mordenial does not play traditional old school death metal but instead they play a more melodic metal side fused with death and trash. Having more in common with In Flames and At the Gates than Paganizer.

The Plague is a riff friendly album. If you’re a fan of catchy solos and riffs you are sure to get your fill here. With lyrics dealing with the concept of a plague and how people justify terrible acts by pretending to be chosen by a God or Gods they touch on a subject that is very real even today. The opener The Plague doesn’t leave me breathless so to say but I get a few nods in here and there, whereas Daylight is Gone is starting to get me more into the album. It’s not until the fifth track No Empathy I really dig this though. With the slower melodic songs Save You All and especially All Has Vanished following up nicely. However the album never manages to grab my full attention. Sure there are some sweet riffs and solos here and there but it’s not enough for me to appreciate the 44 minutes Mordenial offers. Slow start, a better ending but in the end not what I had hoped for.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mordenial-524164104262270
Label: Black Lion Records
For fans of: In Flames and At the Gates
Favorite song: All Has Vanished
Score: 2/5

Karkaos – Children of The Void (Melodic Death Metal)

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Karkaos is a female-fronted melodic death metal band from Canada that has quite some hype surrounding them after their debut album in 2014, Empire, being a great starter for the band. Their epic sound, great riffs and vocals from Veronica Ortiz Rodriguez was a great mix. Since then the band has made some changes, new vocalist, lead guitarist and drummer. Namely Viky Boyer, Samael Pelletier (ex-Aeon’s Fall) and Justine Ethier (Blackguard and ex-Profugus Mortis). So with those changes it’s interesting to see what Karkaos offers in their sophomore release. Fun note is that the band was originally formed in 2003 under the name Sinister Vengeance but it wasn’t until the name change to Karkaos in 2009 the band started releasing albums.

First off, wow Boyer got a great voice and Ethier is a wicked drummer (knew that from his Blackguard times though), with Pelletier doing a superb job as the new lead guitarist. It’s definitely not slowed them down, as a matter of fact I think they sound even better. It’s more epic than ever and the growls joined with clean vocals hit the spot in this melodeath heart. It’s like the lovechild made from Arch Enemy and Epica. What could go wrong with that mix, am I right? Karkaos delivers a lot of headbang worthy tracks with some of my favorites being Kolossos, Let The Curtain Fall and Children of the Void (which sounds like a track that could feature on In Flames Come Clarity album). They took their time to release a sophomore album but it’s worth the wait, Karkaos are better than ever and fans of a more wicked Arch Enemy style with the symphonic elements of Epica would be wise not to miss this one out.

Children of the Void is out now as a self-released album.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karkaos
For fans of: Arch Enemy and Epica
Favorite song: Let The Curtain Fall

Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World (Melodic Death Metal)

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More melodic death metal from Finland! Now this is a band I think many of you guys have heard by now, Mors Principium Est. Formed in 1999 the band is now considered veterans in the Finnish melodeath scene. During the years the band has had its ups and downs, with numerous lineup changes and their latest release Dawn of the 5th Era was actually a bit weaker than their otherwise really great discography. That said it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t feel as great as their other albums, missing that extra piece which their first three releases had. Hence I’ve been looking forward to listen to this album (granted I am a bit late since it was out two months ago) in order to see if Mors Principium Est are on a decline or can get back in shape.

The intro Genesis is epic, feels like a trailer for a high budget action movie or something. I can see this being played right before the band go on stage and introduces themselves. It then kicks off with Reclaim the Sun, a fast melodic death metal song with orchestral and synth elements just like you remember Mors Principium Est. So here I am already telling myself MPE are back with one of their best albums to date yet it’s only two songs in. Thing is though it doesn’t get worse, instead it gets better. Masquerade’s guitar intro and midtempo plays to keep fitting in great solos here and there is a sweet headbanger. Into the Dark then quickly turn into a personal favorite of mine on the album, the solo three minutes in is top class (thanks Paul Wardingham). Adding the great lyrics with Mors Principium Est’s different classic elements makes it one of the better melodeath songs to come out this year. Death is the Beginning then features another great guest appearance where vocalist Christina Marie helps making this track an emotional melodeath ballad of high quality. This emotional journey doesn’t end there as to follow it up is The Ghost. Another really well written song full of sweet catchy riffs, synths and piano elements that are in beautiful harmony.

Mors Principium Est brings up the speed with the albums heaviest track In Torment, giving you more of that headbang friendly music. Agnus Dei works as an intermission to give the listener a breather for what is to be unleashed on the two last tracks, The Colours of the Cosmos and Apprentice of Death. Two hard hitting songs that’s a great way to end Mors Principium Est’s sixth release Embers of a Dying World. Making it yet another release I had a hard time choosing my favorite song on (I choose between Reclaim the Sun, Into the Dark, In Torment and Apprentice of Death). After listening to the album a few times I am almost ready to say this is their best work yet. Safe to say Mors Principium Est are back in great form and if you haven’t heard their epic melodic death metal with a lot of orchestral touches to it then now is the time. Here is me hoping they can finally be up there with Dark Tranquillity when people mention some of the greatest melodic death metal bands. In my opinion Mors Principium Est has always been a bit overlooked but with this release they show they are heavy hitter going for the knockout. The best melodic death metal album to come out so far this year.

Mors Principium Est’s sixth full-length Embers of a Dying World is out now through AFM Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MPEofficial
For fans of: Dark Tranquillity and Kalmah
Favorite song: In Torment