Deathless Legacy: Dance With Devils (Scarlet Records)
Italy's Deathless Legacy started out as a tribute act to the (oc)cult Italian act Death SS formed by Steve Sylvester back in 1977, back then the band were called Deathless (the name given by Mr Sylvester himself) and after writing many of their own songs and evolving into their own band along with some legal wrangling they changed their name to Deathless Legacy as a homage to their former selves. They like Death SS play 'horror metal' a mix of theatrical occultism and heavy metal, the weirdness bolstered by the keys of former DGM man Alex Van Eden, they have evolved their own folklore around the band all of the members been brought back to life by a Necromancer.
The band take the characters of the Necromancer, a cyborg, a witch, a monk, a Mexican gangster, a composer and the vengeful spirit of a young girl murdered. There are obviously nods to Alice Cooper, GWAR, King Diamond in the band's stylistic choices along with some of the modern Gothic elements of Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil. What I've seen their performances (especially the one at Waken) are more akin to that of Avatar or the Circus Of Horrors with only touches of schlock rock of uncle Alice or The King.
The music too is heavier than the front runners of the genre, it's more cinematic and it's definitely in the metal category with the shredding guitars on top of flurry's of bass and drums, the wailing banshee-like vocals of the frontwoman as the keys add creepy B-Movie organs to tracks such as Heresy, there's more than a nod to fellow Italians Fleshgod Apocalypse in the more symphonic tracks especially Voivode which features some excellent folk fiddle. Dance With Devils is a the band's third outing and it's probably their most accomplished, some of the band's impact is lost on record but these songs are written for the live arena, Bloodstock please? 8/10
Cyanide 4: Nekyia (Perris Records)
There's an episode of The Simpsons where rocker/busdriver Otto gets married to woman he meets at a festival, she doesn't want a lot of rock paraphernalia at the wedding and lambasts him with a cry of "You got Poison to play at our wedding!?" to which the band reply "We're Cyanide, a loving tribute to Poison...we need a ride home." So I must admit that when I saw the press photos for Greek band Cyanide 4 I couldn't help but chuckle at the general Sunset Strip, sleaze styling of ripped denim and big hair decked out in LA Guns, Ratt and Hardcore Superstar t-shirts.
Whether they need a ride home or not is still under debate but they do seem to be a loving tribute to not only Poison but the entire L.A scene in the 1980's, from the look, to the song titles, to the band names (G.A Sinn, Joxnyy Slut, Nasty and Mike T, I shit you not) the whole thing screams pastiche, well everything except the music, that its a little less punky than you'd expect, there are more melodic influences much like Welsh glam/sleaze band Tigertailz and they even creep into AOR territory occasionally.
Nekyia, which means the "rite by which ghosts were called up and questioned about the future" (there you go fact fans) is their debut record and it's ironic that it's called this as the band are calling the ghosts (bands) of the past and pulling them into the future with their own songs. Those of you that are reluctant to discard your hairspray, stonewashed denim and angular day-glo guitars will certainly want to check out Greece's premier sleaze metal act, for you this will be the perfect record, for anyone else it might just be nothin' but a good time (sorry). 7/10
Evenline: In Tenebris (Dooweet Agency)
Well isn't this a novel idea, French rock band plays American radio rock that sounds like Alter Bridge, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin et al. Evenline have been around for a while but I've only just come across them and when I first put this record on what hit me was just how well produced and arranged this record is. The riff of All Against Me starts off with speedy riff and a evolves into huge hook, Straightjacket is the obvious single for the record with a radio-bothering sound that bands like Daughtry and Shinedown have made their own.
This record is darker than their earlier material and that is shown by the crisp riffs that are there throughout this record as Arnard croons with harsher vocals giving duality to the songs but also distracting from many of the songs Echoes Of Silence really doesn't need them and it makes it weaker because of it. Evenline are at their best when they are doing their best American rock impression with tracks like Sometimes We Die and Broken Promises.
This is a pretty good album however the cover of Deeper Underground takes away any kudos garnered, there is never an excuse to cover Jamiroquai, ever, especially if you are going to 'heavy' it up and put in screams. In Tenebris is a record that does it's best but is a little too similar to band's that influence it and has one fatal flaw. 5/10