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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Reviews: Sons Of Texas, Lloth, Colour Haze, Opposing Motion

Sons Of Texas: Forged By Fortitude (Razor &Tie)

Sons Of Texas have A Vulgar Display Of Power if you know what I mean. They are from Texas and they play groove metal that is heavily influenced by Dime, Vinny, Phil and Rex, the riffs bounce and the vocals are haggard from shouting and whiskey. It's not all Pantera a worship although Feed The Need is pretty close, they shoot for the radio audience too with a dose of Stone Sour on Down In The Trenches, some stop/start riffs on the A7X sounding Cast In Stone before really lightening up on Beneath The Riverbed which could be a Black Stone Cherry song. This record has colossal grooves throughout, a thunderous percussive battery, flashy six stringing but most of all great songs with big hooks, ok so the influences are so audible you could get lawyers involved but this is a fun record that's full of big ballsy songs that have a Southern swagger, these boys from the Lone Star state really rock. 8/10

Lloth: Athanati (Sleazy Rider Records)

Hellenic black metal for me is as defining as anything from the Northern reaches of Europe, it seems that the more ingrained a country's religious dogma the better their black metal is. Rotting Christ are probably the most recognisable name but there a numerous acts that are still flying the black metal flag as strongly as Babis' men. One of these is Athenians Lloth who have been around since 1995, formed by bass player Tristessa, who went on to change the name of the band to Astarte they released numerous albums and disbanded in 2014 due to Tristessa sadly succumbing to leukemia. In 2014 Lloth reformed (with the T more prominent in their logo in tribute) by Tristessa's husband, vocalist Nicolas Maiis in 2014.

This means that Athanati (The Undead) is the band's debut record and it's a eye wateringly heavy but melodic tribute to their fallen comrade, the title track starts the record with some precision black metal mastery, the intense riffs of Setesh, Vaelor and Panthimis let Nicolas growl with malice as the band create epic and folk influenced black metal. The creeping Archos and Pan are the slower more deliberate tracks that are exhibit the bands more epic tendencies. There are some high profile guests at work on this record as well Nightfall's Efthimis Karadimas gives his death growls to In The Name Of Love (Sacrifice) and Rotting Christ frontman Sakis pops up on the furious Emptiness which unsurprisingly sounds like Rotting Christ.

They really play from the heart on this 'debut' it's powerful Hellenic Black metal at it's best, if you can't wait for the next Rotting Christ or indeed Amon Amarth album then Athanati will become close to being your record of the year, reanimated, reinvigorated and regal. 8/10

Colour Haze: In Her Garden (Elektrohasch Records)

Colour Haze have been peddling psychedelic trippiness over the course of 11 records they have turned from a Sabbath worshipping stoner band into a more ethereal interdimensional outfit who owe as much to fellow German's Tangerine Dream as they to jam merchants Grand Funk Railroad and The Grateful Dead. The trio of singer and guitarist Stefan Koglek, drummer Manfred Merwald and bassist Philipp Rasthofer don't cast their musical net outside of the 1970's but that's ok their mostly instrumental jams all blend reverbed guitar riffs, jazz drumming and deft bass work to the the record as they play through the 13 songs on this record with no gaps, each song melds into the next meaning that it's best enjoyed on headphones, the Allman Brothers sounding Arbores leads into a New Orleans trumpet break before Lavatera is slow creeping, percussive piece. I'm not sure what the titular she is growing in her garden but it's going to be some strong stuff, Colour Haze let their freak flag fly like it's the Summer Of Love. 7/10

Opposing Motion: Inertia (Lion Music)

This record coming out on the Lion music label is instantly a give away to what Opposing Motion do. This Lyon based band play progressive power metal that sits down in the heavier sounds of Evergrey and also the UK's own Intense due to the vocal similarity. Musically the band are tight as you'd guess with the bass guitar running roughshod over the riffs and the drumming expressive. This is progressive metal as I've said with only the vocals, keys and widdly solos adding melodic touches to the distorted riffs. It's not groundbreaking and they don't have that epic touch of Evergrey but there's no faulting them this is their second full length and they are established in their sound, a great record for fans of prog/power metal. 7/10

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