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Sunday, 23 March 2014

World Of Metal 7: Storm Cry, Pohl, Vengeful Ghoul

Storm Cry: Beginning Of Darkness EP (Self Released)

Bringing their music from Venice Italy Storm Cry are a colossal no messing Melodic Death metal band that deliver their music with the ferocity, at times, of an earthquake in your ears. Opening softly with the instrumental The Decent Leonardo Doro and his band lead you completely the wrong way up the proverbial path with a soft careless opening until The Sun Dies Here comes smashing into the equation. From the offset Storm Cry jam their songs with heavy leaping thrash riffs covered beautifully with melodic solos that really define this band. The SYS and Fear Now carry on providing me with punch after punch of dark riffage and magnificently uplifting solos. Roberto Bindi’s deep growling voice compliments the sound that Storm Cry has set out perfectly. Almost sinister in his delivery the vocals here really add an extra layer and edge of doom to this project. Finishing all too soon Void and title track The Beginning of Darkness end this powerful EP. With its unexpected turn of pace Void is almost lighter in mood, that is until the fearsome growls of Bindi’s vocals resurface bring the EP back to the crushing sound of darkness that I am starting to love. Francesco Pasinato and Doro really come into their own during The Beginning of Darkness throwing out thumping riff after riff while holding the rhythm at a perfect tone. The highlight here however is the drumming of Matteo Rizzo who relentlessly pounds away furious beats with the power and vengeance of a jackhammer, really impressive. Never hearing Storm Cry before I have to say I'm damn impressed, the Italian lads have clearly decided what they want from their music and have achieved that in a brutal yet almost majestic manner. My only two criticisms; maybe at times there can be a bit too much going on; halfway through Fear Now for example every instrument is at full force set to 11 and the sound does turn into a pile of noise briefly. The other? This EP just isn’t enough for me, here’s to a Storm Cry album in the near future! 9/10   

Pohl : Pohl II (Self Released)

Based just on the other side of the bridge from us, Bristol trio Pohl have recently released their second EP. In all honesty I've never quite come across a band like Pohl before; mixing hard bassy blues rock with a grungy yet almost stoner type feel to it, one thing Pohl cannot be accused of is being unoriginal. Opening track of  Cute Guy Alert is stuffed with enough bass to make your ears bleed. Hugo Morgan picks away incessantly at his bass strings laying down grove rhythms as deep and as grounded as you can imagine. Each track is solely based on these bass rhythms and ultimately makes Pohl what they are. Vocally there is nothing special here at all, but I get the feeling that isn't the bands biggest worry. As in Cute Guy Alert next track Eraser is introduced with pounding bass lines that quickly turn into fast moving groves. Controlled drums from Jamie Thompson deliver some sense of normality throughout the EP, however he can send his cymbals crashing to a crescendo when called upon. Eraser is slightly less understated and keeps your head bobbing along nicely, finishing how it started with a deep exaggerated grove line. The final track of Pohl II God Save The Queen (High on Death) is something completely different again, slow doom laden bass rhythms with very little rhythm guitar throughout. Focused mainly on the bass and sporadic drumbeats the Will Pearce’s vocals are synthesized this time to add an extra depth to the track that also adds to the somewhat organized chaos that is Pohl II. Dragging along slowly this track stalls the EP for me. Ultimately, despite the degree of fun the lads from Bristol represent, Pohl aren't really my cup of tea. I think however given the chance I would certainly take them in live as I can imagine it being an experience. There is no denying the imagination and the bravery Pohl have, particularly the talent of Morgan on bass. But maybe a few more degrees of direction are required to streamline Pohl’s sound a little more. 6/10

Vengeful Ghoul: Timeless Warfare (Self Released)

Vengeful Ghoul? Sounds like a band name ready for a concept album, preferably one aimed at a wronged Casper. Alas not on this album although the theme of war does run through the record with the opening track Chained Freedom opens with battle sounds and then goes on to run for 7 minutes of time signature changing, muscular heavy metal with thrash influences. So far so good then with an opening track as good as this it puts the rest of the album in good stead. So who are Vengeful Ghoul? Well they are metal band from Turkey and they play Power/Thrash metal which may sound a bit odd but to give you an idea they sound like Iced Earth, with some relentless riffage from rhythm riff-mistress Senem Undemir and some laser guided leads from axe-master Ozgur Nair both of whom are helped in their musical destruction by Volkan Beykoz's drums and Gorkem Buyukesmeli's bass who add to the metal madness with some rock solid rhythm making every song hard, heavy with lots of technical prowess, the finishing touches to the album are from vocalist Emre Kasapoglu who is from the Andi Deris and Tim 'Ripper' Owens school, with growling mid-range and a ear piercing screams. Luckily I love Iced Earth so I was banging my head and raising my fist to every fast and heavy track, the band have the right amount of grit, melody and technical ferocity, see the solo in Ruthless Crow and they are equally at home with fast thrashy passages as they are with slower more melancholic moments like My Crowded Solitude. Powerful, progressive and all around awesome this is a hell of a debut from the Turkish band. If you like power metal, a bit more serious and technical than usual then Vengeful Ghoul will definitely be one of your albums of the year! Superb stuff indeed!! 10/10 

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