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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Reviews: God Is And Astronaut, Materdea, The Walking Dead Orchestra (Reviews By Rich)

God Is An Astronaut: Epitaph (Napalm Records)

are a band I've seen mentioned many times and one I know is very highly regarding within post-rock circles but until now are not a band I have checked out myself. Trinity is the ninth album by the Irish instrumental three piece and is an interesting and compelling album with a range of influences present throughout. Post-rock generally is either crushingly heavy or light and ethereal and God Is An Astronaut are generally on the light and ethereal side of the scale with atmosphere being the name of the game here.

 There's a very melancholic feel about this album which is very evident on opening title track plus the closing duo of Medea and Oisin. Instrumental post-rock is something that has to be done especially right in order to maintain my interest and whilst my mind did wander once or twice on the whole the album maintained my interest and didn't overstay its welcome. I can't say how this album compares to their previous works but Trinity whilst nothing mind blowing is an enjoyable piece of atmospheric and melancholic music. 7/10

MaterDea: Pyaneta (Rockshots Records)

Pyaneta is the fifth album from Italian symphonic metallers MaterDea. MaterDea are not a band I have previously heard of so this is my first exposure to their sound. Symphonic metal is a very bloated genre with a lot of lookalike and soundalike bands and it's difficult to stand out. MaterDea try and stand out to the crowd with the incorporation of folk music into their symphonic metal sound. There is plenty going on in each song with keyboards, cello, fiddle and even a children's choir at one point. 

 Unfortunately all these elements don't help elevate the songs as the writing is generally pretty mediocre, There's nothing especially wrong with the songs but hardly any of them stand out and the album ends up being background music. It also doesn't help that the album has a hefty running time of 63 minutes. When this album does shine it is enjoyable with songs such as opener Back To Earth and Neverland standing out above the rest but unfortunately these moments are few and far between. An unfortunately unimpressive release. 5/10

The Walking Dead Orchestra: Resurrect (Unique Leader Records)

This is a reissue of Resurrect the second album by French brutal death metallers The Walking Dead Orchestra. This reissue was released to coincide with the bands appearance at Hellfest. The reissue does not come with any bonus material. The Walking Dead Orchestra play a brutal form of death metal which also incorporates some influences from deathcore and also a few flourishes of technical death metal here and there throughout the album. Despite having some traits of deathcore this is far more a riffy brutal death metal album reminiscent of bands such as Aborted and fellow countrymen Benighted. 

The album follows a set formula and sticks to it during its 12 song duration which does render a lot of the songs as unforgettable and a lot of it does tend to blend into one. There are a few exceptions such as proper opener Resurrect The Scourge and single Vengeful Flavors. There are moments of interest throughout such as the odd technical flourish on the guitars and the impressively relentless drumming but overall this is simply a rather forgettable album. With only a 40 minute running length the album doesn't descend into tedium and those who are looking for a lesson in brutality will enjoy but more variety would have vastly improved this album. 6/10

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