Deathless Legacy: Rituals Of Black Magic (Scarlet Records)
Rituals Of Black Magic is the fourth album by Italian horror themed metal band Deathless Legacy. Deathless Legacy perform a very theatrical style of metal which mixes in elements from various different genres. Throughout the album you can hear bits of traditional heavy metal, groove metal, thrash metal and black metal. Keyboards are a very prevalent instrument throughout from providing creepy organ sounds to adding a symphonic element. The vocals by frontwoman Steva are a mix of melodic clean vocals and deranged screams which works very effectively.
The performances by the rest of the band are very good indeed and brought to the fore by a fantastic production job. This album has plenty of wallop when played loudly! My main criticism of this album is that with a duration of over an hour the material is not varied enough throughout to maintain my interest. There are certain songs that jumped out and impressed me such as Bloodbath and the title track but overall it was a bit samey. Overall Rituals Of Black Magic is an enjoyable horror themed heavy metal album but it’s a bit repetitive and a bit too long. 7/10
Lovebites: Awakening From Abyss (Sliptrick Records)
Awakening From Abyss is the debut full length album by Japanese all girl power metallers Lovebites. Thanks to bands like Babymetal when you see a Japanese all girl metal band the cynic in me cries gimmick but these girls can fucking play and this is far from a gimmick and probably one of the best metal records put out in 2017. If I had heard this before writing up my top albums of the year this would have definitely been included. Lovebites play full throttle power metal with songs full of speed and power and irresistable melodies. The guitar playing alone is simply a thing to behold with guitarist and keyboard player Mi-Ya belting out savage riffs and absolutely shredding solos.
The vocals by Asami are full of power and she absolutely belts out these songs. Four of the songs on the album are re-recordings from the bands self-titled EP but the rest is all brand new material and is all rips. The influences throughout are European power metal, NWOBHM and a huge wedge of thrash. The songs just keep coming at you with a perfect balance of aggression and melody barely coming up for breath. You get very brief moments of reprieve such as at the start of the Liar or the complimentary power metal ballad Edge Of The World but on the whole the band are ripping and tearing away with tracks such as Warning Shot and The Apocalypse. Awakening From Abyss is an awe inspiring album which any fan of power or melodic metal needs to hear immediately. 9/10
Mindpatrol: Vulture City (Golden Light Records)
Mindpatrol are an extreme progressive metal band from Luxembourg and Vulture City is their third album. It is common for bands to look upon literary works for lyrical inspiration but it is quite rare for an album to be based upon a novel also written by the band but that’s what you have with Vulture City. You can listen to the album and read the full story in the novel which is a very cool concept. I don’t have the book itself to review so the following is based purely on the album itself. Tagging themselves extreme progressive metal Mindpatrol mix progressive metal elements with elements from within the extreme metal subgenres.
As you can imagine there is a fair bit going on throughout the album with a mix of clean and harsh vocals, melodic guitar playing, blastbeats, breakdowns and plenty of keyboards. It’s a very ambitious album but maybe a bit over ambitious as whilst the album is performed immaculately the songs themselves are generally forgotten by the time the album has finished. There are songs which stand out above the others such as the death metal influenced Calamity (The Cleansing) and the melodic title track but the band needs to put stronger focus on their songwriting and also put their own stamp on things as whilst there is a lot going on throughout the album there is nothing heard which hasn’t been done before. 6/10
Satanic: Architecture Of Chaos (Brutal Records)
Architecture Of Chaos is the debut album by Canadian death thrashers Satanic (formerly Satanic Glue Sniffers). This album sits somewhere in between the realms of thrash metal and death metal. You have the evil feel of the death metal mixed in with the franticness of the thrash metal. This is a raw and old school sounding release complete with a paper thin production which hinders the album more than enhances it.
A better production job would really bring these songs to life. There is some fantastic guitar work throughout the album and some neck wrecking riffage going on in songs such as World Of Chaos, Armageddon and Biotech Warfare. Whilst this is a fun album it’s a little uninspired and repetitive and the almost demo like recording quality really sucks the life out of a lot of the songs. I can imagine in a live environment these songs truly shine and I hope one day I get to see these songs live up to their potential. 6/10