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Monday, 8 May 2017

Reviews: Firespawn, Hollowstar, Deserter (Reviews By Paul)

Firespawn: The Reprobate (Century Media)

Firespawn’s debut album Shadows Realm received a 7/10 back in December 2015. That release has grown on me over time and the arrival of album number two is very welcome. Firespawn pick up the pace and relentless assault exactly where they left it, and this album is the epitome of death metal. LG Petrov’s vocals are even more terrifyingly guttural than before, whilst the technical work of the rest of the band is incredible. Matte Modin’s drumming is just mind blowing, and the guitar work of Victor Brandt and Fredrik Folkare insane. Full Of Hate is a superb song, melody coursing through a majestic track which imperiously towers above all.

Album openers Serpent Of The Ocean and Blood Eagle set the tone for the album and the speed is just non-stop. Damnation Ad Bestias changes direction several times, intricate time changes demonstrating the technical skill that is often ignored in death metal. However, everything else on this album pales into insignificance when you get to the title track, which is almost classical in its composition. A spectacular song, blending rapidity with sections of commanding, devastating riffs. The album closer Nightwalkers is massive, crushingly heavy and an absolute battery. The Reprobate is a brutal, at times intensely heavy album that has built on Shadows Realm in so many ways. It’s as good as any death metal release this year. 9/10

Hollowstar: Some Things Matter (Self Released)

Classic punchy rock from Cambridgeshire delivered in a timeless manner. Say hello to Hollowstar. Formed in 2015 the four piece have delivered a six track EP of superb crafted blues soaked hard rock which really works. The soulful vocals of Joe Bonson are excellent, especially on the slower Feel The Burn, a smouldering track which allows the band to slow things down and show their skills. I can’t fault any aspect of this release. Foot tapping tracks such Holding It Together and New Age Lullaby are effortless, well-paced and competently delivered. The guitar work of Phil Haines and Tom Collett is slick and not over played. This is the music that you want at a sunny festival with a cold beer in your hand and your good friends by your side. Keep an eye out for Hollowstar. 8/10

Deserter: Coils Of The Lesser Serpent (Vile Records)

Now I’m all for silly bands having silly names instead of their real names; I don’t for one minute think that Dr Hell is the real name of the frontman of Evil Scarecrow. However, when you are asking the world to take notice of your chaos driven thrash metal, the names Neckbreaker, Dr Carnage, Bassbeast and Blastbeat Bastard tend to make you roll your eyes. So now I’ve spat that out, what about Deserter, a Brussels based thrash band who’ve been kicking around for several years.

Well, Coils Of The Lesser Serpent sounds exactly as you’d expect for a band that cite Kreator, Destruction, Death and Slayer amongst their influences. It’s fast, it’s technical, it’s at times dirty and at all times Teutonic in nature. I said recently that good thrash is always listenable and Coils certainly doesn’t have me screaming for the stop button. It’s solid, racey and hard based thrash metal as we like it. Tracks such as Headhunter and Bombing Flight give you an idea of the lyrical content whilst the standout track is Cry Of The Foresaken, a six minutes stomping beast which allows full expression and release. If you like your thrash this will tick your boxes. Just change the names. 7/10

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