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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Reviews: Autopsy, Drakonis, Panorama, Raintimes, Wardomized (Reviews By Rich)

Autopsy: Puncturing The Grotesque (Peaceville)

When it comes to gnarly and disgusting old school death metal then there is no band who does it better than the legendary Autopsy who are back with a new EP Puncturing The Grotesque. Since their reformation in 2009 Autopsy have been busy boys putting out a new release every year. Despite the quantity of material they have been releasing there is no sacrifice in the quality. Puncturing The Grotesque kicks things off with a bit of a pointless intro track before really kicking into gear with the title track which is a full on tour de force of aggression channelling a bit of thrash and hardcore punk as well as the rotten death metal that Autopsy are known for.

The next four songs incorporate the doom elements which have been prevalent in Autopsy’s sound since their debut Severing Survival in 1989 with The Sick Get Sicker and Gas Mask Lust being particular highlights. Things come to a close with a cover of US thrash band Bloodbath (not to be confused with the Swedish death metal supergroup). This EP is short and sweet with a running time of 22 minutes and by the time you’ve reached the end you end up wanting to play the whole EP again.  Another fine release from the US death metal legends. 8/10

Drakonis: The Great Miasma (Hostile Media)

Northern Ireland’s Drakonis hit us with EP number three The Great Miasma. Featuring members of Waylander, Drakonis play a mix of black and death metal and such is the maturity and professionalism of their sound they strike you as an experienced band rather than relative newcomers. The Great Miasma offers up three songs each fairly different to the other. The opening title track is a slower number which builds a malevolent atmosphere throughout. The second track Let Us Pray is a far more furious affair full of razor sharp riffing and blastbeats abound. The third and final track Queen Of Swarms manages to give both aggression and atmosphere equal footing. This is an impressive and solid EP which is well worth a listen by fans of black and/or death metal. Very much looking forward to seeing what this band has in store in the future. 8/10

Panorama: Around The World (Rock Of Angels Records)

Around The World is the debut album from American/Swiss/Finnish rockers Panorama. The band features members and ex-members of Adagio, Pink Cream 69, Amoral and Unisonic. What is on offer during Around The World is melodic hard rock with a bit of a classic heavy metal influence.  The songs are a mainly high energy rockers such as the title track, The Glory Within and Shout It Out. There is also a ballad in the form of The Highest Mountain. The band performances are impressive with the melodic vocals of frontman Christian Palin and the guitar playing of Sammy Lasagni and Ben Varon being of particular note. The production courtesy of Dennis Ward (who also plays bass on the album) is also very good. Around The World is an enjoyable album but it is a bit on the repetitive side and not many songs stick out. Fans of 80’s hard rock and heavy metal will enjoy but there’s nothing mind-blowing to be heard on the album. 6/10

Raintimes: Raintimes (Frontiers Records)

Raintimes is the debut album by the Italian melodic rock band of the same name. Raintimes are a bit of an Italian supergroup with members from various bands such as Shining Line, Wheels Of Fire and Von Groove and this debut album is born out of a love of American AOR band The Storm. Raintimes contains all the usual components of an AOR record such as strong melodies, big hooks, vibrant guitar work and vocal harmonies. The album consists of 11 radio friendly songs that range from hook filled rockers such as Forever Gone and I Need Tonight to gentle ballads such as Swan and I See The Light. There is also a short instrumental also called Raintimes halfway through the album which is played purely on keyboards. Raintimes is a fantastic album which although containing nothing that hasn’t been done before by an AOR band it contains a bunch of strong hook filled songs guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.  If AOR isn’t your thing then there’s nothing for you here but if like me you are a sucker for the genre then this album comes highly recommended.8/10

Wardomized: Forced To Eat From The Apple Tree (Self Released)

Forced To Eat From The Apple Tree is the second EP from Northern Ireland grind bastards Wardomized. The EP consists of only four tracks but as you expect with grindcore it is short and straight to the point. There are influences from other extreme subgenres evident throughout the EP such as thrash and death metal in the ripping opener Suicide Death Rock. Things get more experimental on second track Blue, White And Black Flowers which incorporates some sludge elements whilst also having female vocals which contrast nicely with the guttural growls of frontman Stephen McKeown. Third track Brainrot brings the grind back to the fore before finishing with my personal favourite of the EP the grind thrash madness of The Ultimate Demise. The EP has a nice raw production which compliments the pure ugliness of the music. Everything sounds wonderfully disgusting. Forced To Eat From The Apple Tree is a nice little EP which will 100% appeal to those who like their metal on the nasty side.  With a running length of only 12 minutes it’s over before you know what’s hit you. Another band I shall be keeping a close eye on. 8/10

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