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Thursday 24 July 2014

Reviews: Entombed A.D, Nothing More, Derdian

Entombed A.D: Back To Front (Century Media)

Swedish Death N Rollers Entombed are no more after a major bust up involving the name Entombed is now owned only by the four original members meaning that vocalist L.G Petrov and the most recent members of the band have now split from original guitarist Alex Hellid and formed their own version of the band called Entombed A.D. Now nothing has changed with this new band they sound an awful lot like Entombed which is no bad thing as this is powerful, hard rock with lots of death metal flourishes. There isn't the super speed of many death bands but there is lots of heavy dark guitar work and ripping solos from Nico Elgstrand who brings his talent to the table in abundance. Although Victor Brandt and Olle Dahlstedt are no slouches either mind with Bedlam Attack led by Brandt's bass and swelled out by Dahlstedt's blast beat drums. The band work through death metal, but they also add lashings of doom and some big stompy thrash on Second To None which has elements of classic thrash with vocals of Petrov being a real treat as he has a great death metal growl but also a harsh raspy 'clean' delivery. This album is good with some killer riffs from Elgstrand, a huge rhythm section and some massive gang vocals that will go down well in the live arena especially the one two of Waiting For Death and Eternal Woe which will get heads banging and fists pumping! A great album that doesn't deviate from it's predecessors, but is all the better for it; different name, same quality death metal. Can't wait to see the pits at BOA. 7/10

Nothing More: Nothing More (Eleven Seven Music)

Sometimes there are bands that defy all expectations, Texans Nothing More are one of those bands, when i first saw them they seemed to have the look and feel of a Kerrang! band, what I mean that is a band that will be heavily touted by the weekly rock mag who do at times seem to favour style over substance. Nothing More seemed like that band...until I played their self titled album. Yes it is modern record that can be lumped with the djent tag but Nothing More are so much than a genre tag. As the electronics of the intro Ocean Floor gives way into the This Is The Time (Ballast) the band set about blowing you away with their immense talent, yes the palm muted guitars of the Djenters are there but the band have lots of other things to add to the mix with the industrial sounding Christ Copyright based heavily on Mark Vollelunga's amazing guitar playing and Daniel Oliver down tuned bass. The band are very hard to place musically as with Mr MTV they have a lot of hard hitting nu metal mixed with a sample of Dire Straits' Money For Nothing (I kid you not!) then they move into Emo stylings of First Punch which sounds like Papa Roach. It moves into the acoustic instrumental Gyre which also features their heavy use of samples and drums from both Drummer Paul O'Brien and Vocalist Jonny Hawkins. This breaks up the album a bit and leads to their second half which builds kicks off with The Matthew Effect which has a killer stop start riff and a massive chorus and leads into another super ballad I'll Be OK which has some similarities to 30 Seconds To Mars especially with the final electronic outro. As I said Vollelunga's guitar is brilliant it is melodic, uplifting and for the most part very heavy even on ballads like Here's To The Heartache. The rhythm section of O'Brien's seriously excellent drums and Oliver's leading bass adding the massive bottom end to the tracks, the final cherry on the cake are Hawkins' voice which are amazing; melodic, emotional and varied pitched somewhere between Myles Kennedy; see If I Were Here, The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala on the proggy Sex & Lies and Coheed And Cambria's Claudio Sanchez. This is very much a post milleniual album taking ideas from everywhere to produce a strong debut full of big songs that will surely have them headlining soon enough, for once you can believe the hyperbole that the 'metal' magazines give you. Nothing More will live up to it!!! 10/10    

Derdian: Human Reset (Lion Music)

You can't think of Italian Power Metal without thinking of Labyrinth who are indeed the kings of this particular sound. Derdian have a lot to live up too but Human Reset is their fifth album so anyone would think that they would have established their own sound away from the bigger brothers. Unfortunately this album is dreadful, the production is dire with everything sounding very hazy and low in the mix, the instruments are good with some good riffs, solos and keyboard runs but when coupled with Ivan Giannini's awful vocals they are rendered limp as his poor voice overrides everything else on the record. As far as power metal goes this is above standard but its those two things I've previously mentioned that mean that this never really gets into the upper echelon. 5/10

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