Reflection: Bleed Babylon Bleed (Pitch Black Records)
Bleed Babylon Bleed is an epic doom metal record that deals mainly with the Pontic Genocide (as well as genocides in general), it features some massive riffage from the band along with a Pontian Lyra added for beautiful effect on the final title track. Reflection are something of a legendary band in their home country of Greece, having been playing since 1992 they have only released four albums this fourth one coming 8 years after their last and features new vocalist George Thomaidis who is the most recent addition to the band joining in 2014.
For fans of Candlemass this record will placate you during the wait for their next record, speaking of Candlemass their current vocalist the excellent Mats Leven supplies co-lead vocals to the record. Musically the band move from fast and furious to chugging mid-range rocking many of the tracks gallop along with pace see Ruler Of My Own Land driven by huge drums and on Glorious Victory it's about as close to power metal as you can get the riffs setting the songs on fire and adding the classic metal sounds to the bands Doom ethos.
The keys add another layer to the album on Fallen Shadow which uses them to great effect. The Iron Tower has a sashaying riff that gets the head banging nicely and Takla Makan is the purest doom song on the album creeping along at a lumbering pace. For an album that is classed as epic doom metal I'd say it's more of a classic metal sound still that's not a bad thing as they do it well but if you're looking for slow heavy doom look elsewhere, Bleed Babylon Bleed is a solid chunk of heavy metal. 7/10
Show Your Face III (Straight From The Heart)
Show Your Face are a Greek groove metal band their sound is categorised by pounding blastbeats, big breakdowns and roaring vocals that put them as perfect bedfellows of Lamb Of God, early Machine Head and Gojira on Buying Time. The stars of the show are vocalist/bassist Huge and drummer Vis whose playing is off the scale on Madness. III is their third album and listening back to their previous albums it's not really a change in sound but there doesn't need to be.
This kind of music is built on it's ability to constantly beat you with the wall of noise. The obscurely named Show Your Face are a ferocious musical force and are an uncompromising act that show their talent over the course of 9 tracks, at parts the album does a sag a little with couple of the songs blending into one but the album is driven by the frankly violent musical backing. It's not big or clever but it'll scratch an itch if you need to let out some aggression. 6/10
Moaning Silence: Fragrances From Yesterdays EP
Plaintive piano opens this record, the orchestral touches build up, a bell tolls and the atmosphere is incited from the very beginning it's an instrumental but brings the melancholy in spades. Moaning Silence are an goth tinged metal band that would appeal to those that enjoy the misery filled metal of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride as well as the earlier Lacuna Coil due to the dual vocals that feature throughout.
Its insular, depressing and in places downright heartbreaking, the production (courtesy of Bob Katsionis) even means it sounds like early Paradise Lost material, it's all a bit tinny but the distorted guitars still carry a thump. The real punch in the guts comes in a cover of The Beatles Yesterday which is augmented by organs and harping choirs, it's their own take true but seeing as this is the most covered song of all time it adds very little to the record.
Especially when they have their own emotive songs in the shape of the knuckle dragging doom of Flaming Fall and personally I think the folky Summer Rain maybe be my favourite song on the EP. If you want a smile then maybe avoid this record it's pretty good overall but lumbered with an unnecessary cover. 6/10