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Sunday, 20 July 2014

World Of Metal 13: Empty Yard Experiment, Nothgard, Gross Reality

Empty Yard Experiment: Kallisti (Self Released)

Dubai is not the usual place you would think of when you think of progressive/alternative rock but much like Orphaned Land, Empty Yard Experiment bring the spirit of bands like Pink Floyd, Tool and King Crimson from the heart of Middle East. The music is emotive and haunting much like their name suggest. The album is split between full songs with segues in the middle to help create the atmosphere that this type of music needs. Sunyata starts things with piano and strings building into the heavy guitar opening of Greenflash which kicks into double kick drums and some heavy filled guitars and ominous bass-lines that are the staple of Tool as is the rhythmic middle section that erupts into the heavy final part. With two guitarists a bassist, drummer and a keyboardist the band have a big sound meaning that their songs are heavy, powerful and atmospheric. The keys of Gorgin Asadi come into play on segue Red with its electronic synths that lead into the instrumental The Blue Eyes Of The Dog which has a real Pink Floyd vibe to it with sterling guitar work from Mehdi Gr and Bojan Preradovic who also provides the vocals on the tracks that call for them, he has a Maynard-like grunge howl which he uses to great effect on Entropy which features a driving bassline from Kaveh Kashani and some great percussive flourishes from Josh Saldanha as well as Untitled which is a progressive acoustic track with some Middle Eastern influences throughout. You can't really pick out a best track on this album as it more about the whole album than individual tracks much liek the work of Anathema. A good album but a sound that has been done, still if you want an eclectic, musical adventure from a band that are not following the trend set out by their geographical location then you can do much worse than seek out Empty Yard Experiment. 7/10

Nothgard: Age Of Pandora (Trollzorn Records)

Nothgard are melodic death metal band from Germany Age Of Pandora is their second album and it puts them in the great position of being able to expand their sound to encompass more sounds, with three guitarists and some massive orchestral pieces the band have a huge sound and as the Hans Zimmer-like intro Of Light And Shadow starts off creating a mood that build with it's cinematic feel its then that the full pelt metal kicks in with all four guitars kicking in to the super speed Bodomesque riffage. Skaal, bassist Vik S and guitarist Daniel K provide the rhythms. With K merging seamlessly with front man Dorn R Crey on the leads of which there are many with dual guitar attacks and face melting solos throughout all anchored by the lightning fast blast beats of D. Ziegler who rives things along at a rapid pace. The band are very Bodom-like with death vocals coming from Crey who sounds a lot like Alexi Lahio and with the melodic death metal they play the similarities are hard to miss especially on the slower songs like Black Witch Venture which ahs a more clean delivery but is prime Are You Dead Yet. It's not only Bodom though there are elements of the Gothenburg scene too but for the most part it is Bodom that overrides everything and yet that is no bad thing as the band do what they do very well. This is powerful, technical melodic death metal with a lot of symphonic elements to flesh out their sound. the lyrics are great focussing on true life topics that work well over the excellent musical backing. Yes if you like COB then you will lap up this album, there is enough similarities to bring you in but also enough differences to make Nothgard unique. So on their second album these Germans have created a great album with songs like the awesome final three songs Wings Of DawnMossback Children and the finale No One Holds The Crown they are ready to take on the world!! 7/10 

Gross Reality: Overthrow (Self Released)

America is the heartland of thrash metal and in the early nineties Gross Reality were one of the hundreds of Thrash bands that made their way across the country inciting circle pits and then dissolved however with the thrash renaissance in around 2009-10 Gross Reality came back to thrash again and thrash hard and heavy they do. With a sound that harks back to early Slayer, Kreator and Exodus they have lighting riffs, hollered vocals from Daniel Powell who assumes the Arya position of Bassist and Singer. The songs come thick and fast with speedy riffs from the two guitarists Roland Arthur and Jason Wheeler who also have the explosive soloing of King and Hanneman. Yes the band are treading over old ground but they do it well with some metal thrashing mad tunes like opener Worthless Humans, Generation 36 and the final title track Overthrow that are the longer more complex songs on the record that show that the band can expand their sound and write longer more technical songs. The band are no strangers to short sharp shocks either mind with I'm AbsentHaunting The Waters, the very Slayer sounding Human Resign all exploding from the speakers and kicking you in the teeth in under 3 minutes each. No it ain't big and it ain't clever but it is honest a band taking a second shot with some super speed riffs that will get the pits ferocious and will bring a smile to even the most hardcore Slayer fan. 7/10

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