I really liked last months sampling of metal from the Best of 2017 I’ve been chewing through. Much like last month, this has some really solid entries, though its more of a mixed bag than last time, which is fine with me, as I learn more about what I like and do not like. This is what is up on deck:
Satans Hollow – Satans Hollow – Heavy Metal
Tau Cross – Pillar of Fire – Heavy Metal/Crust Punk/Rock
Warbringer – Woe to the Vanquished – Thrash
The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia – Atmospheric Black/Doom Metal
Black Rat – DEMO – Crust/Black/Thrash Metal
Dying Fetus – Wrong one to Fuck With – Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore
Satan’s Hollow was a bit of a surprise. I’d never heard of them, which is pretty common, but I also was caught off guard by both the speed of the album and the lyrical style of the lead singer. She feels like a late 80’s early rocker crossed with a modern speed metal vocalist. I absolutely love it, and the more times I listen to it, the better it is. It’s an album that is that midground between traditional heavy metal, high-speed metal and yesterdays rockers. I really recommend this album, and it is possibly my favorite so far, its a real battle between it and Mastodon, and it clearly has my favorite single song so far in the whole tour.
Notable Tracks: Choir of the Cursed is my favorite single tracks so far, Satan’s Hollow and Beyond the Bells are both excellent as well. Just fantastic stuff.
Its fast, It rocks, its got an ace vocalist, and it hits all the right metal notes. It sounds a bit like a trip back in time, but it definitely has a feeling of solid, excellent modern metal with it. It is using the basics of the past to create an excellent record for the now. The only thing that sucks about this album is that I want more!
Tau Cross follows a fairly impressive band and a surprise one at that. It wasn’t something I’d expected. I was pleased to find, though that they did a pretty solid job in following up. It’s not a perfect album, not by any stand, but its pretty good. It is a bit slower, more methodical with bursts of speed that are welcome. The vocalist is a cool, interesting gravely sound that draws you in for most of the songs. The only problem I had with them was that they weren’t particularly stand out. There were some very interesting and aspects to the album, and I enjoyed it. Definitely a plus when there are so many other bands I just would rather never listen to.
Notable Tracks: On the Water, Deep State.
It is clearly no Satan’s Hollow, Mastodon, or even Overkill, but its good enough that I don’t mind listening to it whenever it comes on. Its got a notable and unique tone that I really enjoy.
Warbringer, following 5 straight very good or better albums, is trying to continue a streak that just cannot last. However, Warbringer isn’t the one to bring it to an end. It’s fast, thumping, powerful, and melodic at all the right points. The songs in the album are relentless and brutal, and I like almost all of it. There are some topics I don’t really enjoy anymore, but I take the good with the bad. The vocals are the only thing that really brings the review down, and that is just because they aren’t my prefered style. I still like them more than many on the list so far.
Notable Tracks: Spectral Asylum, When The Guns Fell Silent
One of the things I like most about metal is its heavy, grinding, pounding sound, and I think that Warbringer is a solid representation of the thrash Genre. It has all of the telltale portions of a good metal album: fast pace, powerful vocals, strong messages, and a killer tempo. The vocals bring it down a notch because of their method, but It is sure to be a really good album for those whom it hits the right notes.
The Ruins of Beverast is an interesting and bizarre experience that I just cannot wrap my head around. It’s otherworldly, strange and distant. I like the theory of the music, and I really like listening to it as an atmospheric while I do other things. That said, I don’t think I really enjoy Ruins like I feel I would if this was my type of music. Its cool, its neat, but I don’t really like it as a metal album. All of that said, I do think you should give it a chance. I think there is a high chance that you or someone you know might like it.
Notable Tracks: Honestly, I don’t know. They all sound vaguely similar, and all sound vaguely cool. Just give it a chance.
It’s good. I really can’t say anything more than that. It is not my type of metal, it’s not my type of music, but it is cool to listen to in the background.
The only thing wrong with this Demo is that I cannot find more. It’s rocking, head banging, music at the correct speed and tempo. The vocals are strong, appealing and gravely, but not in the same vein as Tau Cross. I wonder what a whole album would sound like, and I’m definitely going to look into it. I do like something a bit more produced and a bit less echoey and hollow. It’s still a good album, but not something I remember once it’s done.
Notable Tracks: It’s a demo. Just listen to all of it.
A solid demo that leaves me itching for more, but not good enough for me to remember it tomorrow and go seeking it out. Fast, gravely, and clearly metal but simply not amazing.
There is a certain part of me that doesn’t really enjoy extremely violent or morbid topics. I can go pretty far, but I do have limits. Dying fetus pushes that limit nearly to its breaking point. I also like to be able to discuss the music anywhere I want without having to resort to strange or bizarre euphemisms. Anyway. Overall, the album is strong. Its got hard, powerful, strong riffs, great pacing, and fun music. The problem, though, is that I can’t really stand the vocals. It’s that guttural death growl that I cannot really get behind. It’s hard to hear, it’s nearly impossible to understand, and it’s just not enjoyable.
Notable Tracks: Reveling in the Abyss is the only track I enjoyed.
I can’t give it much less, it’s a solid metal album that definitely fits in the genre, but it isn’t my type of metal. I know its good to many people, I cannot get behind it.
Next month, I’ll be listening to the following albums:
Septic Flesh – Codex Omega – Atmospheric/Symphonic Death Metal
Code Orange – Forever Heavy – Metal/Hard Rock
August Burns – Red Phantom – Anthem Metalcore/Prog/Thrash
Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained – Death Metal
Arkh Spire – Relentless Mutation – Technical Death Metal
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper – Sludge/Funeral Doom Metal