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Thursday, 23 October 2014

World Of Metal 20: Dreadnox, Viathyn, The Black Stymphalian

Dreadnox: The Hero Inside (Die Hard Records)

Dreadnox are a Brazilian metal band that have a sound based in the modern metal style with influence drawn from power and traditional metal Final Siege starts off with gunfire and sirens beckoning you into a world of rebellion, the band kick things off in style with crunchy metallic riffing, dual harmony's and powerful vocals from Fabio Schneider who has a vocal not to dissimilar to his countryman Andre Matos, as well as evoking 'Ripper' Owens and even Bruce Dickinson in parts. As I've said the band play muscular classic metal on which Felipe Curi blasts the drums like a machine gunner moving between smashing rhythms, killer fills and double kick blast beats. Dead Montana brings a bass gallop that has been perfected by 'Arry in Maiden, see finale My Judgement Day. Finally we have the guitars of Kiko Dillert brings the riffs, harmonising on top of the excellent rhythm section. Dreadnox are not all about the traditional of metal or Maiden etc through they add thrashier elements from Metallica and Megadeth see Manic Depressive and Nomophobia both of which have the thrash element, they also bring some progressive power metal on Dreamcatcher which sounds a lot like Angra and shows off Schneider's awesome vocals. So Dreadnox are not your normal classic metal band they add many elements to their sound which sets them apart from their contemporaries, they are both melodic and heavy and in true classic metal tradition they have an instrumental in the shape of DX which has some solos and riffs that would make Megadave blush. Brazil has always been the spritual heart of the heavy metal scene, they really care about metal there and Dreadnox are a testament to this with a melting pot of influences all brought together to create a great album full of strong metal songs from a band well worth checking out!! 8/10

Viathyn: Cynosure (Independent)

Canada is becoming somewhat of a breeding ground for intelligent modern progressive metal with bands such as Borealis bringing a new scope on the works of Shadow Gallery, Fates Warning and of course Dream Theater. Viathyn are now on their second record with Cynosure being an "exploration into the chaos and the beauty of the natural (and unnatural) world, with themes of discord, affliction, disillusion, enlightenment, and grandeur, as seen through the eyes of nine storytellers" so far so prog, it is this lofty ambition/concept that is met with some seriously amazing musicanship from the Canadians, with the drums of Dave Crnkovic coming thick and fast part metal/part jazz driving everything along, the bass of Alex Kot is technical and is the base (no pun intended) layer of the rhythm, the solos and leads are handled by Jacob Wright who wrings every bit of emotion out of his instrument while also showing the skill of the virtuosos associated with the genre, he is aided by the rhythm playing of Tomislav Crnkovic who also provides the powerful vocals. The band are equally at home with speed as they are with the slower songs like Time Will Take Us All which is all about the atmosphere, as they are with more rampaging romps like Shadows In Our Wake and the rollicking of Three Sheets To The Wind which has to be classed as progressive Pirate metal. As is the norm with prog metal the songs are all over five minutes but they never outstay their welcome, most are metallic, progressive songs with touches of power metal thrown in meaning that they hold your attention, as this is a concept album based on 9 points of view they all have different feel to them meaning that the album flows well with exercises in light and shade throughout. As I have said their seems to be a glut of excellent progressive metal bands coming from Canada at the moment and Viathyn is just another addition to this country's list of high calibre bands. 9/10   

The Black Stymphalian: Khaos Sigma (Self Released)

"This is a bit tasty!" that was my first remark upon hearing this the second EP from Darlington UK based The Black Stymphalian. The 'band' is made up of Jaymez Stephenson who handles all the stringed instruments providing both the guitars and the bass as well as keys etc he is joined by the blitzkreig drums of Lyle Cooper and vocalists Greg Fender and Ian Gillings, who are both from the Robb Flynn/Randy Blythe school of growls and screams. As Chaoskampf erupts from the stereo we are battered by superfast drumming and the amazing riffage of Stephenson who channels the modern thrash of Machine Head even incorporating the more recent progressive elements on tracks like Rules Of Engagement which also draws influence from American's Trivium (especially their Shougun faze). This EP is a bit special, 5 awesome tracks that show of the frankly stunning playing and songwriting of Stephenson who is a one man band in the truest sense, he has brought the dual riffs of modern American metal, merged it with searing solos, a progressive edge, crystal clear production and recruited some top notch musicians to aide him. With some great tracks like March Of A Blackened Christ, Martyr No More and the excellent closing shot of The Awakening this is an EP of top notch metal, could we have a full length soon please? 8/10 

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