Foetal Juice: Masters Of Absurdity (GrindScene Records)
One band who have been making a name for themselves in the UK underground metal scene is Manchester's Foetal Juice. With a number of splits and the wonderfully titled Big Trouble In Little Vagina EP under their belt they have finally released their first full length album Masters Of Absurdity. The band continue the sound they have laid down in previous recordings - a deliciously brutal blend of old school death metal albeit with a big wedge of humour throughout with hilarious song titles and lyrical content.
The jokeiness doesn't overshadow the album and the music more than speaks for itself though. Songs such as Noneckahedron, Gin'll Fix It, Nun So Vile and More Hate, More Hell are viciously brutal yet undeniably catchy. The songs also vary throughout from scathingly fast to a slower bludgeoning style. Foetal Juice have been honing their craft on their early releases and the result is an extremely accomplished slice of death metal that displays a love of the genre but also a vast knowledge of it. With Masters Of Absurdity the band show themselves to be one of the best and most promising death metal bands in the UK right now. 8/10
Light & Shade: The Essence Of Everything (Scarlet Records)
Light & Shade are an international band featuring members of Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, Secret Sphere and Seven Spires and The Essence Of Everything is their debut album. They combine together power metal, progressive metal and symphonic metal in a fine way that mixes a pop metal sensibility with epic symphonic passages and a slight extreme metal edge with some very aggressive parts complete with harsh vocals. The main polarising point of the album will be vocalist Adrienne Cowan who whilst having an impressive range does tend to go a bit overboard at points where it is not really necessary.
Her vocals range from soft melodic pop metal through harsh extreme metal to only what I can describe as melodic screaming. I found it very jarring, distracting and irritating at times. The band are impressive musicians with some great songwriting skills and for the debut album of a young band it is very accomplished indeed. Someone just please just tell Adrienne to restrain her vocals a bit. 7/10
Mordant: Demonic Satantic (To The Death Records)
This is my first exposure to Sweden's Mordant and as far as first impressions go this is rather good. Demonic Satanic is the band's third album and a delicious blend of melodic black metal, death metal and thrash metal sounding like a melting pot of Dissection, Nifelheim, Desaster and Absu. The music on the album is fast and ferocious though there is a nice balance between the melodic and the gnarly with some fantastic songs such as Devastating Storm...Evil Holocaust, Evil Impalers and Infernal Curse Of Evil bidding you to bang your head and raise your horns. Mordant have managed to put together a wonderfully old school sounding record which fans of old school black and thrash metal will absolutely adore. 8/10