Anti-Clone: The Root Of Man (PHD)
"Holy shit this is heavy" these were the initial thoughts I had when The Root Of Man exploded out of my speakers, this band are angry, confrontational and extremely brutal, drawing from the Nu-Metal sound of the early 2000's but with some Meshuggah-style palm muted riffage and guttural vocals that means they can also appeal to fans of the NIN, Marilyn Manson, Korn and most importantly Slipknot a band that Anti-Clone the closest to musically, they have the same mix of extreme styles working for them, the duality (no pun intended) in the vocals moving from a hollered clean to a soul trembling roar in an instant.
The Iowa natives are key Anti-Clone's visual element too as all five members are decked out masks and matching uniforms that hide their identity and allow them to embrace their horrific freakiness. Switchblade is one of the track's that will bring the 18 legged killing machine to mind the most coupled with Matt Hyde's (who produced All Hope Is Gone and The Blackening) severe production which bolsters the metal assault, meaning every single drum hit, bass thump, slicing riff and roared vocal makes your ears ring in the loudest most unrelenting way possible.
Anti-Clone hail from Boston, Lincolnshire (murder capital of Britain apparently) and this rallying against the norm influences their sound in every aspect, A Sight For Sewn Eyes has Korn-esque bassline and programming, before breaks into the Deftones style droning chorus in the middle, the tech-infused groove of Twisted Neck is the nearest thing to a slow song on this record but it still manages to take a sledgehammer to your head, then you get thrown a curveball by Mechanical Heart which has some widdling guitars on top of the devastating chug of the bass and drums with some EDM in the background to mix it up, after Mechanical Heart we get the more traditional fair of Feed The Machine which has rapid rap metal style vocals and a progressive nature, then the band go into the more melodic Comaspace which is a showcase for the incredible vocals.
Anti-Clone are made up of Mr Clone (vocals), Con and Lam (guitars), Mike (bass) and Drew (drums), The Root Of Man is their debut album but it is such an accomplished piece of work that you would never know, the band sound like they have been developing in Satan's womb and have now burst out Hell fully formed and ready to obliterate everything with 11 rip snorting slices of modern metal mastery and stage show that is apparently like a fight in an asylum, Anti Clone have set themselves up as ones to watch. 8/10
The Hypothesis: Origin (Inverse Records)
Yet more heaviness now, but this time with some searing dual guitar work to boot. Finnish melodic death metal upstarts The Hypothesis released their first EP in 2010 but have only just released their debut record Origin. The band feature members or former members of Paradise Lost, Vallenfyre, Red Moon Architect, Dimebag Beyond Forever, Dead Shape Figure and Naildown. With a gestation period of six years the band have something to prove and despite their name there is no hypothesizing at a mere 37 minutes the band are straight in from the first song, which shows their melodic style from the opening moments as the synths start everything and then they are off and shredding the grinding guitars and whirlwind drumming are immediate with a flurry of technical precision.
The synths layer everything perfectly giving the band a sound similar to fellow Finns Children Of Bodom as the lazer guided riffs coupled with the synths perfectly to give the band elements of an industrial sound, but mostly they stay into the Gothenberg style of melodic death metal from Soilwork with nods to more cinematic style of Xerath and Fleshgod Apocalypse. Both guitarists play off each other on every song while the barrage of drumming destroys all in it's path, the vocals too are a snarled scarred roar but audible too which makes them more appealing, it's both the songs pace and the synths that make this album an enjoyable listen, there is no let up in the audio assault from start to finish it's a masterclass in melodic-death metal, with moments that make you sit up and listen, like the clean vocals on Atonement or the genuinely impressive guitar playing that comes throughout. Origin is definitely worth the wait it's 37 minutes of non-stop impressive metal. 7/10
Fear Of Domination: Atlas (Inverse Records)
Once again we head to Finland but this time for a more Gothic industrial sound with Fear Of Domination, the band have been doing the rounds since 2007 and Atlas is their fourth album. The band deal in industrial tinged death metal with a heavy groove base from the almost robotic rhythm section beating with military precision, the bottom end rumbling strongly, as for the guitars they are very much rinse and repeat, there's no flashy solos just riff after pulverizing riff, giving the songs the forward march of a boot stomping the ground (or a face).
With the riffage taken care of we get the nitty gritty of the sound with some barked singing that is clean but delivered with harshly, as with most of the bands that fall under the industrial banner it's the synths, sampling and sequencer lines that give the band their driving force and it means that songs like El Toro have the same blitzkrieg sound as Rammstein and Fear Factory albeit with a touch of the modern goth of HIM, it also means that they can bring a bit of dark, dirty sexually charged lyrics of Genitorturers or Raunchy with Carnival Apocalypse but also some symphonic metal touches too on Messiah with the lilting female chorus vocals. Atlas is a dark, electronically backed metal album that fuses epic industrial synths with grinding metal fury, if you plan on getting the new Zombie album I also suggest you pick up Atlas by Fear Of Domination as you won't regret it. 7/10