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Wednesday 15 January 2014

World Of Metal 3: Toxic Waltz, Type V Blood, Echelon

Continuing our journey through independant metal from around the world

Toxic Waltz: Decades Of Pain (Self Released)

Toxic Waltz are thrash metal at its most volatile from Germany. All the normal hallmarks of Teutonic Thrash are here, the classical guitar intro which bursts into electrified life on the opening title track before the classic thrash riffage tries to cram as many riffs into a song as possible. So what do they sound like? Well the obvious links would be Kreator, Sodom and Destruction who are the big three and the links are all here the face melting solos of Jimi combine with the explosive rhythm section to create some heavy hitting thrash with lots of time changes and shifts within the songs see the twisty turny World Of Hate as an example that has big marching riffage and a slower acoustically backed middle section before shooting into super-fast soloing, the vocals of Angelo are ragged and almost deathy in style meaning they share more than a few genre traits with their elder statesmen as well some of the Bay Area brawlers like Exodus and in places Slayer. This is a well-produced album full of some top quality thrash and with songs like Suicide SquadObsession To kill and Priest Of Lie that does what thrash does but does it well with a lot of pit inciting tracks full of lightning fast licks, shredding solo's, barked vocals and some killer razor sharp thrash metal. Another German thrash band showing that our Teutonic cousins can do thrash as well as any of the bands from the California Bay Area! 8/10  

Type V Blood: BeastKiller (Artificial Sun)

Type V Blood are somewhat of odd one, this is industrial metal at its finest, big electronic loops, beats and samples with everything held together by crunchy metal riffs and guttural roars. The band are like a Russian extreme metal version of Ragga-Metal heroes Skindred, although with the ska and reggae replaced by drum & bass and break-beat. The band are made up of Smith on guitar and programming and Star on vocals, the guitars are heavy and rarely let up in terms of ferocity, the drums are electronic and relentlessly march on through the political anthem Shocksong, the techno metal of From The Heart Of The Sun, the drum and bass led Sexyberia. This album has many different soundscapes going through it with every song just different enough to stop it from becoming repetitive, this is a bit of a shock to the system as it is just powerful industrial metal the bludgeons you into submission with every single EBM laced track. This is a good album that despite not being really my everyday listening but this is a strong album with some pulsating synth based metal music. 6/10            

Echelon: Vivito! Creato! Moritor! (Self-Released)

Echelon are an Austrian Avant-Garde black metal band who try to push as many boundaries as possible with an album by creating a concept album that links the works of philosophers Jacques Callot, Francisco de Goya, Éduard Manet and Otto Dix and how they searched for the true portrayal of war. To be honest I couldn't tell you if this is what the album was about or whether it was the bands laundry list as they sing mostly in Austrian. This doesn't detract from the whole album as they are a very talented band that play progressive black metal rather than the avant-garde tag they have given themselves. The songs have light and shade with faster passages leading into slower more doom based parts. For the most part they are screamed vocals, super speed drums and guitars that are the hallmarks of black metal but the band also have many classic metal influences on Des Teufels Bluthund and Die Grauen des Krieges (which does have a sound of later Iron Maiden with its orchestral passage). This is a strong album that shows that metal can be intelligent, intuitive and also heavy as hell. Good stuff! 7/10     

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