Kaledon: Carngus-Emperor Of The Darkness (Sleazy Rider)
Kaledon are an Italian power metal band and Carnagus: Emperor Of The Darkness is their ninth full length album. Despite forming in 1998 and having an impressive lengthy discography Kaledon are one of the bands who have slipped under my radar. Better late than never that I have come across this band as Carnagus: Emperor Of The Darkness is a very impressive album indeed. Unlike a lot of European power metal which can be a bit light and fluffy, this album is heavy, hard hitting with some dark undertones which mixed with the traditional epic and bombast of power metal makes for a very refreshing listen.
A wonderfully heavy and crunchy guitar tone really helps some of these riffs just rip and tear out of your speakers and combined with an impressive rhythm section make you want to bang your head and throw the horns especially on songs such as The Beginning Of The Night, The Evil Witch and The Two Bailouts. The vocals are nicely bombastic, dramatic and melodic but also compliment the dark tone of the album. Kaledon have produced one of the finest power metal albums I have heard so far this year and are definitely a band I will be going back and checking out the back catalogue of. 8/10
Warbringer: Woe To The Vanquished (Napalm Records)
After a five year gap retro thrash titans Warbringer return with their fifth album Woe To The Vanquished. I've always thought Warbringer to be one of the best modern thrash bands so this album was eagerly anticipated and long overdue. After the more refined thrash sound on IV: Empires Collapse Warbringer have gone back to a more straight up thrash sound with songs that go straight for the throat such as Remain Violent, Silhouettes, Divinity Of Flesh and the absolutely ripping Shellfire.
The band also bring in a few elements from death metal and black metal such as blastbeats and some tremolo riffing. The only real departure on the album is closing track When The Guns Fell Silent with its very atmospheric sound. Unfortunately at 11 minutes in duration it does outstay its welcome a bit. Warbringer make a very welcome return proving they are still one of the best thrash bands around at the moment. Woe To The Vanquished is a brilliant album though with one track taking up a quarter of the album which doesn't quite work means that the album just misses the mark. 8/10
Screamking: Tyranny Of The Sea (Platinum Dungeon Records)
ScreamKing are a heavy metal band from Indiania in the United States and Tyranny Of The Sea is their second full length album. This album has a sound which is rooted in traditional heavy metal with influences from both power metal and thrash metal. First of all I have to address the elephant in the room with this album and that is the absolutely atrocious vocals of Joe Lawson. They are completely over the top, tuneless and wildly inconsistent.
The only time they actually work is when he reigns his vocals in and restrains himself. The rest of the band put in a commendable performance with some absolutely brilliant riffs throughout. The songwriting is a bit pedestrian at times though songs such as I Am A Viking, Warhorse and the title track are a step above the rest. Tyranny Of The Sea is a disappointing album as it has plenty of potential but is let down by some lacklustre songwriting and a truly abysmal vocal performance. 5/10