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Monday 7 April 2014

Reviews: Lost Society, Kayser, Lord Symphony,

Lost Society: Terror Hungry (Nuclear Blast)

So last year young Finns Lost Society unleashed some quality thrashing for world on their debut album Fast.Loud.Death that record was full of speedy high tongue in cheek thrash full of songs about drinking, thrashing and more drinking harking back to the early days of Exodus and Anthrax as well as the new blood of Municipal Waste. Now Terror Hungry shows the band growing up (a little bit) and stretching their metal muscles a lot more with some riffs Jeff Waters would be proud of. Game Over still harks back to the debut with its riotous gang shout vocals and choppy guitar playing. The band have channelled their inner Megadeth and Annihilator on this album with some lightning guitarwork from Samy Elbanna and Arttu Lesonen who are ably backed by the blast beats of Ossi Paananen providing some skull rattling, fist pumping, pit starting thrash. No it's not big or clever as the lyrical content has gotten more adult but as with the debut there is still time for the occasional track based on drinking and partying see Overdosed Brain and Brewtal Awakening for your dose of silly alcho-fuelled metal. No this is not the reinvention of the wheel but it's not trying to be it's an album full of great thrash rich with razor sharp riffs, precision solos and the prerequisite amount of silliness for any thrash band. A good second shot! 7/10

Kayser: Read Your Enemy (Scarlet Records) (Review By Nick)

Looking for more unrelenting German thrash to add to your life but think you may have tapped the well dry? In that case might I suggest Kayser? Ok, they’re not German, but their music damn sure sounds like it! Hailing from Sweden the gents from Kayser present their brand of Swedish thrash in style with this offering. The fourth album Read Your Enemy is a prime example of what thrash should be, combining harsh vocals from the machine Spice, controversial lyrics with a barrel full of heavy throbbing riffs. From Bark And Bow to I’ll Deny You the albums pace is set and does not relent. Swaney and Jokke work hard in the background providing deep, heavy rumbling riffs that Spice (original vocalist of Spiritual Beggars) accepts with an open hand to lay down a brand of vocals not dissimilar to that of Beholder’s Simon Hall; Edgy, honest and emotion filled. As Dreams Bent Backwards is let loose the albums pace continues, but a more melodic tone is set. Jokke treats us to a few well placed solo’s while Spices vocals soften somewhat. Don't let this fool you though as Bob Rubens drums continue to hammer away at your ears throughout while the album soon returns to its original course with Read Your Enemy all the way through to Where I Belong. Read Your Enemy opens with a thunderstorm of a riff that is powerful enough to break your speakers. If you haven't picked up the theme yet, Kayser are loud and hey are heavy! Moving into the final part of the album the melodic undertone returns to the tracks. He Knows Your Secrets all the way to Roll The Dice have a great way of offering a soothing solo to let your guard down before beating you back in the face with more Kayser style riffage. Roll The Dice particularly has a brutal breakdown that will have you bent over your air guitars swooshing your real or imaginary hair side to side. Fake Rose is how Kayser chose to leave us; more of the same here but somehow stepped up a notch or two! Filled with everything this album has given us throughout. Fake Rose is the accumulation of what Kayser are all about: hard hitting relentless German esc thrash metal with a twist… a Swedish twist. Perhaps Sweden is more than Black metal band Sabaton after all? Only one criticism I have to tender here; Read Your Enemy is a twelve track brick of an album. I know there are longer albums out there, but being bombarded with this stuff for just under an hour with no let up was starting to become a little bit of work. However, if you're looking for straight up Testament like thrash meets Beholder attitude, I give you Kayser… 8/10

Lord Symphony: The Lord’s Wisdom (X-Production Records) (Review By Nick)

Keyboards, power solos, keyboards, drums and more keyboards I hear you shout? You must be referring to Lord Symphony… more to the point their latest album The Lord’s Wisdom. When the opening track of an album is a prelude there are two things that you can be sure of; there will be operatic backing vocals and you can be damn sure there will be songs as long as the quests they will inevitably to be describing. As the first full track Gate Of Lord kicked in I was truly taken aback by the musical masterpiece I was presented with. Keyboards, guitars, strings, operatic chants and majestic drums, for the first three minutes I was thinking the likes of Ayreon, Trans Siberian Orchestra and Rhapsody have missed a trick! That was until everything went horribly wrong. The vocals of Arif Hartoyo entered the equation and my borderline sexual feelings quickly diminished. Sounding like a very very poor Klaus Meine, Hartoyo simply cannot sing. Now I'm not one to unleash opinions like this on a whim and I feel bad saying this, truly I do, nut this is ultimately my opinion. To make things worse, every time Hartoyo enters a track the drums seem to be exponentially increased hiding the greatness of all the musicians but inexplicably not the vocals. Nevertheless I carried on listening hoping for a vocal improvement that alas did not come. Throughout the entire twelve-track album the band wow’d and astounded me with what can only be described as epic instrumentals and showcases of brilliant talent. Beautiful symphonic strings, majestic drums, sharp crisp guitar solos, memorizing keyboard support and obligatory yet haunting operatic backing vocals; but every time any kind of a head or crescendo was reached… it all came crashing down due to the earlier mentioned problems. For me this is nearly impossible to review as I feel it almost unfair to assign a score. Give me a Lord Symphony with a better vocalist or even presented simply as an instrumental project the potential could be endless. However as they are I fear they will really struggle to lift off. Call me shallow but the vocals and some of the production in this album is a mountain I tried to climb but couldn't get over and this truthfully disappoints me as there is something truly amazing here that may see the true light of day. 4/10

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