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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Reviews: Deadwood Lake, Defiant, Gravebreaker (Reviews By Paul)

Deadwood Lake: Remembrance (Self Released)

This six track EP is astonishingly good. Created by vocalist and bassist Bruce Powell in memory of his late brother Gary, and available for free download with contributions to charitable causes, it is technically superb and blisteringly heavy. Powell’s vocals are spot on for a black metal band whilst his powerful bass combines with drummer Tom Warren’s assault. There is also some delicate moments, notably the opening of Garden Of Remembrance which takes the pace down for a minute or so. Guitarist Ryan Willis cuts some ferocious riffs and his playing throughout is impressive. UK black metal is often underrated but this trio from Chard demonstrate that there is some real talent out there. Awesome stuff! 9/10

Defiant: Time Isn't Healing (Self Released)

Power metal from Ukraine isn't a staple at MOM Towers but Time Isn't Healing, the second album from the band isn't that bad musically. What destroys it is the abjectly awful vocals. Unfortunately lead singer Stanislav Proshkin can't hold a note. That is a problem when. The rest of the band are actually quite tight. Tracks such as Funeral Feast, The Jericho and the title track have the right mix of hard edge and melody with the keyboards of Victoria Terzieva mixing nicely with the guitar work of founder member Andrey Turkovsky. It's disappointing as this has promise but in a world where power metal bands are ten a penny, it is superb vocalists such as Hansi Kursch and Tobias Sammet who set the benchmark. 5/10

Gravebreaker: Sacrifice (Gates Of Hell Records)

Jesus, where to start with this one. Gothenburg has produced some immense bands over the years. The sound of black metal, the home of melodic death metal as well as a myriad of other fabulous bands. But for every swan there is a multitude of ugly ducklings and we may well have the absolute minger here. Gravebreaker, a name which conjures up the most welcoming of images. Sacrifice has an album cover which screams STEREOTYPE and that's before the trio who use the monikers, I shit you not, Fury, Devastation and Nightmare have opened their demonic cake holes. Boy, then you really wish they hadn’t. With all the sound quality of a portaloo at Download this album wins the worst production of the year by a fucking mile. I really hate slating bands but this is just shockingly bad. Aiming at the punk edge of very early Iron Maiden but with all the panache of 1990s Anvil minus any talent whatsoever, it is turgid, dull and quite simply rubbish. The fact I had to listen to it twice to confirm I wasn't hallucinating the first time means they get the lowest rating I've ever given. Avoid at all costs. 1/10

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