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Monday, 3 March 2014

Reviews: Majesty, Klogr, Tides Of Sulfur

Majesty: Banners High (NoiseArt Records)

Lets lay it down now before we start, that Majesty (no not the band that were to become Dream Theater) sound like Manowar, a lot like Manowar, in fact if anything they are blatant copyists. The rampant drumming, galloping bass, face melting guitars and soaring vocals, coupled with swords and sorcery lyrics mean that the German band have all the loin-clothed bravado of the American 'True Metal' creators. Indeed the band themselves changed their name to Metalforce for one album and signed to Magic Circle Music before returning to Majesty and Massacre records shortly after. So yes the band do sound like Manowar but putting that aside the band play with passion and power, with the dual guitars adding the Maiden-like harmonies to the songs about battle and war that are filled with solos galore and has founder member Tarek Maghary leading the charge so to speak with his Eric Adams-esque vocals which soar above the true metal music. This is metal (or at least Manowar) by numbers mainly but if you like your metal muscular, powerful, slightly cheesy and at least half naked and trussed up with leather, then you will like Majesty's sixth album and you will bang your head, draw your broadsword and grab your war axe to tracks like the frenetic We Want His Head, the sing along Banners High and the anthems United By Freedom and Take Me Home all of which sound like they could be on Kings Of Metal or Battle Hymns. If all this sounds like your idea of hell then I'd give Majesty a wide berth, however for everyone else that ignores the fact this is Manowar, it is a fun sixth album from the Germans. 6/10

Klogr: Black Snow (Zeta Factory/Believe)

Now this is going to be a hard one, Klogr (pronounced kay-log-are) are an alternative metal band from Italy and America, their name comes from the law of Weber-Fechner, which is known as the fundamental psycho-physical relationship (S = K log R). (So now you know) Anyway back to the task at hand and musically the band are labelled as alternative metal and that they are with elements of A Perfect Circle, Tool and modern bands of their ilk, the band have down tuned metallic riffs with some dreamy harmonies, the bass intro of Zero Tolerance opens the track up for the riffage Giampi and Rusty who bring some strong riffs to the track with Rusty also bringing a wide vocal range with shouts and a harmonic clean vocal that sounds a lot like APC and Tool's Maynard. The band then move into the percussive, radio friendly Refuge which should blow up on American FM channels. This seems to the style of the album with chunky metallic downtuned riffs, angry vocals and lots of alternative attitude, so they have enough melody to appeal to those that like the Alter Bridge set but also enough power to tour with Prong (which they are currently doing). The band have a sound that is similar to a lot of bands but a sound that is very much their own mixing the bands previously mentioned with some of the ballads coming off like Bullet For My Valentine (Heart Breathing) and others full of the angst and heaviness shown by NIN albeit without the electronic influences, see Hell Of Income, then the band will move into an almost Deftones area on Room To Doubt before leaving things on the almost Katatonia like dreamscape of Ambergais. The songs are powerful and draw from the American style of alternative metal bands, the production is crisp and makes the songs sound very punchy. This is a grower of an album that after a few plays will open itself up into one of the most intelligent and cerebral albums this year so far. Watch out as Klogr are about to make a huge impact. 8/10

Tides Of Sulfur: Eternal Bleeding Demo (Self Released)

Cardiff noise merchants Tides of Sulfur have obviously adopted the 'music as a weapon' approach to their debut demo. The demo is made up of three tracks each of which are heavy sludge-like metal with screamed vocals from bassist Chris Bull who brings the bowel rupturing bottom end as well as the demon like guttural roars and banshee screams that punctuate the riff assault of Anthony O'Shea who tries his best to make your ears bleed, both men are anchored in their assault by the drums of Tom Lee who smashes the hell out of his kit. The band have lots in common with sludge masters Crowbar as well as throwing in some Neurosis for good measure. From the opening tolling bells, which moves into the killer intro from O'Shea and then the heavy as a hammer bass driven main riff Grimace starts things off nicely and then moves straight into the sledgehammer doom of Walk With The Living before finishing off with the stomach rumbling of the title track which is slow and ominous in the classic Sabbath style. This is a classy debut and is very well produced for a demo, the roughness of it lending to the violent, evil sounding songs. If you want some serious brain rattling from a new metal band then look no further than Tides Of Sulfur. 8/10  

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