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Friday, 2 March 2018

Reviews: Visions Of Atlantis, Rumahoy, Reach, Infiltration (Reviews By Rich)

Visions Of Atlantis: The Deep & The Dark (Napalm Records)

Despite this being their sixth album, Austria’s Visions Of Atlantis always seem to be forgotten or overlooked within the symphonic metal genre. With the release of The Deep & The Dark they should hopefully finally get the attention they rightly deserve. Visions Of Atlantis have always had a more power metal influenced sound than many of their contemporaries and this sound is still prevalent throughout The Deep & The Dark. The clean vocals are provided by both Siegfried Samer and Clementine Delauney and both vocalists very much compliment each other.

 With two singers the songs are all very vocal driven though the guitar work throughout is very solid. The symphonic element of their sound is very prevalent and very nicely done being sweeping and epic or quiet and subtle when required. There’s a nice mix of songs throughout as well from straightforward pop leaning songs, speedy power metal numbers and a couple of ballads. Visions Of Atlantis haven’t crafted an essential album but it’s one that fans of symphonic metal will enjoy and if you haven’t heard Visions Of Atlantis this album is the perfect place to start. 7/10

Rumahoy: The Triumph Of Piracy (Napalm Records)

The big gimmick in metal which a lot of bands are cottoning onto at the moment seems to be pirate metal. We are awash with a colossal amount of bands from genre leaders Alestorm to Red Rum, Lagerstein, Swashbuckle and countless others. The latest band to join these ranks is Rumahoy from North Carolina in the US with the release of their debut album The Triumph Of Piracy on Napalm Records. If you’ve heard any of the other bands who play this style then you know exactly what you are in for. Sea shanty melodies with heavy metal riffage, songs about quests, treasure and rum and plenty of Yaarrrs and Ahoys. Despite the cynic in me wanting to hate this album I couldn’t help but quite enjoy it as it is so much damn fun. 

Rumahoy are definitely up to 11 on the silliness scale with songs such as Forest Party, The Haitian Slam and the snigger inducing Netflix And Yarrr all guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Rumahoy maybe just go a bit overboard (pun) with the silliness and make it look like they are trying a bit too hard especially when you have stage names such as Captain Yarrface, Bootsman Walktheplank, Swashbuckling Pete and Cabin Boy Treasurequest. Despite my misgivings and cynicism this is a fun and enjoyable album which will go down well with an inebriated audience wanting to party but surely this pirate metal gimmick has to run out of steam sooner or later. Plus we all know Running Wild did the whole pirate metal things long before anyone and better than anyone else. 6/10

Reach: The Great Divine (Sun Hill Production)

There’s an awful lot of really good melodic hard rock coming out of Sweden one of these days and one of these bands is Reach who are back with second album The Great Divine. Having got noticed with their cover of Avicii a couple of years ago and their debut album Reach Out To Rock it appears that Reach have brought out the big guns for their follow up record. Produced by Jona Tee of H.E.A.T., The Great Divine is ten tracks of hard rocking goodness. The band draw on a cornucopia of influences and have managed to find a sound that sounds equally classic and contemporary. 

The songs are all varied throughout from energetic opener Into Tomorrow to the melodic Off The Edge, the pop rock leaning Running On Empty to songs which go a little bit darker such as Nightmare and album closer River Deep. This is an album chock full of strong hooks and irresistible melodies and it is a shining example of how to do melodic hard rock in the 21st century. I have a feeling this is a band that we are going to be talking about for years to come. 8/10

Infiltration: Nuclear Strike Warning (Wormholedeath)

Here’s another little straggler from 2017 the debut EP from Russian death metallers Infiltration entitled Nuclear Strike Warning. This EP may only be very short with a duration of 15 minutes but it’s sure as hell sweet. The band are obviously very influenced by old school death metal and it is evident with the material on this EP. There’s a killer old school groove through bringing to mind death metal legends such as Bolt Thrower and Benediction. The riffs are just flat out crushing and give an insatiable need to bang your head whilst the vocals are ultra guttural and disgusting. This is a very strong debut EP and one I am guaranteed to be giving several spins over the next few weeks. Infiltration are death metal band to definitely keep an eye on. 8/10

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