Black Path: Final Act - Martyr (Self Released)
Greek death metal is always of a high quality and Black Path are no exception, the gnarly riffs and gruff grunts burst out of your speakers on the back of blastbeat flurries, obvious influences would be Rotting Christ and Septicflesh with the latter more noticeable due to the technicality of the music on display and the melodic guitar playing that fills this record.
The Athens band have been around since 2009 and this debut album is a strong statement of intent, that intent is to rip your face off which it does, My Exile has complicated guitar pieces and a heavy groove that sounds like Nile, Blackened Requiem is based on insane drumming and The God That Lied is guitar fans wet dream with the fluid playing on display.
You can hear that their sound has been perfected in the live arena before being cut on to record, they are talented performers and they really know their craft pushing the limitations of it with every song. Black Path are a new name in the filed of technical death metal but they are a name to listen out for, if Suffocation, Bloodbath and Cannibal Corpse are your bag then you'll love the frenzied precision of Black Path. 8/10
The Curf: Death And Love (Self Released)
The Curf's tagline is "Where there is smoke, there is bong" and this love for recreational horticulture infects their music, Dark Hado sounds as if it's played at half speed with heavy rumbling basslines from Spyros vibrating your skull. I've written about the Greeks love of psych/stoner metal (I may even write a book about it at some point) but they really seem to indulge themselves when it comes to the genre.
On this the bands second record The Curf have really found an atmospheric style to their playing with Let Go a creeping doom laden piece that sees Pepper leading with his drums as guitarist/vocalist Chris rarely takes his foot off the fuzz pedal, as the fat stoner/doom riffs keep coming. Death And Love has an impending sense of doom about it, a chemically enhanced paranoia if you will but it's a great album for a late night session, if Kyuss was jamming with Iron Monkey and they had access to a bowlful of hash this may be the result. Hail to the leaf indeed. 7/10
Skydawn: Destiny Is Near (Self Released)
Ouch...Skydawn have a lot of promise, their 3 track EP has some good musicianship on it with the band taking a AOR driven approach to metal, but they are let down by the vocals. They frequently go flat and can't quite reach the highs. Three songs is enough. Avoid. 3/10