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Monday, 22 August 2016

Reviews: Idlewar, Subrosa, Vader (Reviews By Paul)

Idlewar: Impulse (Self Released)

Last year Dig In, the debut EP from Orange County’s Idlewar received a decent 7/10 and a seal of approval from MoM Towers. A year later, the debut long player Impulse has arrived and it’s a goodie. Full of the same Zeppelin fuelled stomp as Dig In, Impulse has moved the band up a level, retaining those same influences and heaviness in the riff department whilst displaying a greater maturity. Criminal screams Zeppelin and Kings X, whilst All That I Got focuses on and achieves a more classical feel of a band rooted in London in the 1980s. James Blake’s heartfelt vocals are right on the money, with a great range. Innocent is a stormer, full of wicked hooks and opener Stone In The Heel has anthem all over it. With the stoner feel still very much in residence and adding to the groove, the drumming of Pete Pagonis and Rick Graham’s subtle guitar work enhance Blake’s delivery. With the band due to hit the UK later this year in support of Walsall’s Stone Broken (sadly not near South Wales) the UK rock fraternity will get an immediate opportunity to hear this fine album in the live arena. A fine debut. 8/10

SubRosa: For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages (Profound Lore)

Hailing from Salt Lake City in Utah, SubRosa’s fourth album is an atmospheric melancholic release. At sixty-seven minutes in length and just six tracks, it isn’t fast paced but at times is crushingly heavy. The haunting violins of Sarah Pendleton and Kim Pack resonate throughout whilst Rebecca Pendleton’s psychedelic crashing guitar and angst filled vocals take centre stage. A fuzzy rhythm section supplied courtesy of Levi Hanna and Andy Patterson (bass and drums respectively) complete the outfit. Each track builds in strength and passion and whilst the pace at times is glacial, there is an intricacy and balance which becomes more apparent on each listen. Opener Despair Is A Siren is a perfect example, drifting from delicate vocals and simple percussion to pounding sludgy riffs. More For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages is a definite “grower” with many layers to peel away. It’s worth a few listens if you like the mix of ethereal eeriness combined with brain damaging heaviness tinged with a classical undertone. 7/10

Vader: Iron Times (Nuclear Blast)

Tibi Et Igni was one of the metal releases of 2014, an album that still gets repeated airtime. The much anticipated 12th full release from the Polish Death Metal Masters The Empire is preceded by this small but beautifully formed package. Consisting of four tracks including a pretty tasty cover of Motorhead’s Overkill, Iron Times contains few surprises but just over nine minutes of original works as well as Overkill. Pick of the other three would be Piesc I Stal, a stomping march with the band sounding exceptionally tight and Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek showing once again why he stands at the top of the death metal vocalist tree. Although The Empire has been pushed back to November, it remains one of the must buys of this year. This taster is a timely reminder of just how good Vader are. 8/10

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