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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Reviews: Outshine, Twitching Tongues, Deathwhite, A Cunning Man (Reviews By Stief)

Outshine: 1313 (Gain)

Outshine founder and guitarist Jimmy Norberg hasn't had the best luck in the last few years; Theft from their tour bus while supporting Paradise Lost, legal threats from Swedish Tax authorities and ex-family problems would all make anyone quite angry, and that anger is prevalent throughout the new album from this Swedish quartet. A wonderful mix of hard rock, gothic music and melodic, the album is a melting pot of styles. She Will Love Me When I'm Dead begins with low tones reminiscent of Type-O Negative, showcasing the vocal talents of Tony Jelencovich; be it singing dirge-like songs like the aforementioned She Will Love Me or screaming at the top of his lungs in songs like Liar and They Know Who You Are, Mr Jelencovich has quite the range. The musical talents of the other members are very noticeable too; Band founder Jimmy Norberg's guitarwork is excellent, and the combined talents of Niklas Ingvarsson and Alexander Lungdren provide a great rhythm throughout. Pretty decent stuff! 7/10

Twitching Tongues: Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred (Metal Blade Records)

A mixed bag from LA, which isn't bad in any way. A charged album throughout, the mixture of clean and harsh vocals works well, with the album building from a heavy but relatively slower atmosphere in AWOL (State Of The Union) to pure anger in songs like The Sound Of Pain. There doesn't seem to be a note out of place, Colin Young, supported by brother Taylor, both provide excellent vocal work, with both clean and growling vocals at play all the way through the album. There's plenty of opportunity to bang your head, with some awesome breakdowns in places, particularly in the aforementioned The Sound Of Pain. The band show a softer side in ballad Long Gone, where Colin Young's vocals really come into play. Newcomers F.Sean Martin, Alec Faber and Cayle Sain feel like they were always part of the band, Martin's guitars interweaving with Faber's bass and Cayle's drumming. A great bit of hardcore music, definitely worth a listen 7/10

Deathwhite: For a Black Tomorrow (Season Of Mist)

The first full-length album from this rather mysterious band from the States. With only two listed members; AM on drums, and LM providing both vocals and guitar. This album took a couple of listens, as the mix of clean, melodic vocals paired with the heavy drumming and riffing doesn't seem to sound right on the first listen. On the second, however, it seems to make a bit more sense, the melancholic vocals of LM weaving through the heavier music quite well. There are a couple of guest spots on the album, with Joe Bonaddio and Shane Mayer providing solos for Death And The Master and For A Black Tomorrow respectively. It's decent metal, with some great breakdowns, and a good chunk of emotion thrown into every song. 7/10

A Cunning Man: To Heal A Broken Body EP (Self Released)

I reviewed Ged Cartwright's first album Practical Application Of Theurgy just over a year ago, and this is a great return from the man from Scotland. It still retains that Coheed & Cambria feeling, which works perfectly with Cartwright's vocals, which have improved over the last year. This may be due to the addition of guitarist Theo Le Derf, whose fretwork both adds to the music and allows Cartwright to focus on the rest of the instrumentation. Gemma McCabe returns to add some spoken word into the song, as well as providing backing vocals. Meghan Bradford adds some jazziness with her alto and soprano Saxophone. Soundwise, the EP is extremely versatile, which is impressive when you consider there are only 3 songs in total. From melodic metal style riffage to beautiful almost ambient synthwork, none of it feels forced, and is a great testament to Ged and Theo's compositional skills. It's an odd mix if you're not into experimental stuff, but a good listen nonetheless. Looking forward to a full album one day from these guys! 8/10

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