HYVMINE: Fight Or Flight (Seek The Strike)
Yay HYVMINE are back! Not long after their debut full length the Los Angeles trio return with three perfectly formed tracks pieces of virtuoso but radio-friendly songs. Led by Al Joseph the band play technically impressive music (AJ is a revered six stringer) but with the more commercial sound in the background Al sees this EP as a chance to shred and it' Epicoustic that holds the record together a real track that uses complex electric, acoustic, classical playing from Joseph, second guitarist Alon Mei-Tai and Al's brother Chris the thumping bottom end, however Feather Bed closes the album as a sprawling progressive near masterpiece with ferocious technicality but tuneful guitar playing and Al having more expression in his vocals than hear previously, not that they weren't great before it's just here he's experimenting with his range. Fight Or Flight seems to be HYVMINE discovering more facets to their sound as they continue their journey as a band. If this is a precursor to their next chapter I say Vive La Evolution! 8/10
Line Of Fire: Nothing In My Way (Self Released)
Nottingham/Derby groove band Line Of Fire have been knocking around the live scene for a good while now, they played BOA all the way back in 2013 but Nothing In My Way is their debut album. They style themselves as blues based biker metal groove band, they have a lot of Clutch about them however that’s about where the comparison can be drawn to a close. Lyrically they are far less equal, Clutch are probably the best lyric writers around Line Of Fire are not, all of their songs filled with clichéd couplets and macho mentality, it’s songwriting at GCSE level and profanity for profanity’s sake, Fuck Me a prime example. Yes it’s angry and grizzled but it doesn’t leave a lasting impression especially when musically they haven’t quite found a way to trim tracks to avoid lazy repetitive riffs, it means their first four songs are too long. This meant that after song four I was bored. Maybe they’re better live with a beer in hand, having not seen them I can’t be the judge, however on record they’re not even that great as background music due to the grating vocals. 5/10
Vulgore: Bliss (Self Released)
When Vulgore got in touch with me, I must admit I made a inaccurate assumption. With a name like that I was expecting some kind of filthy death/grindcore mix with songs about diseases and having sex with painful objects. However upon receiving their EPK (industry speak folks) I found out that they are melodic death metal band with groove elements. On record that translates to Gothenburg styled, metalcore influenced tracks that have big stomping riffs, growled verses and soaring choruses. Vocally they are lot like Howard fronted Killswitch Engage due to Ian Bennett’s excellent clean delivery.
You can hear why Vulgore won the Stoke On Trent Metal To The Masses 2018 and will now get a chance to play Bloodstock as their songs have really deep groove due to the rhythm section of Hayden Ball (drums), Sam Williams (bass) and Andy Lovatt (rhythm guitar) which is ominous, down tuned and heavy on Bathed In The Fading Light they maintain this level of head bashing allowing David Jones to get a little expressive on lead guitar without sacrificing the wall crushing grooves. If you ever had a house to demolish and big enough speakers you could play Bliss and it would do the job for you. Don’t live in ignorance check out Vulgore and get down the front at BOA! 7/10
Tales Of Autumn: In Madness We Trust (Self Released)
The for piece Brighton band Tales Of Madness live life on the darker side of the street, Stefanos Karantonis (vocals/guitar), Tom Kiggins (guitar), Jordan Dann (drums) and Nick Horton (bass) play music that’s miserable, depressing and enthralling, it means they’re the perfect remedy for all this bloody sunshine we’re having. Slightly progressive heavily influenced by bands such as Paradise Lost, Katatonia and Amorphis, the gruffer tones of Stefanos’ vocals are easily met by the gothic and melodic music of the band, occasionally veering into screams his morose lyrics that deal with mental health issues and resonant vocals are impressive adding the cream to this well iced if a little bitter cake.
It’s not all slow and lumbering though Clash picks up the pace with a bit adding excellent lead playing to the galloping riffs, they are in their element though with the more dramatic, leisurely paced tracks that peel away the layers to reveal more and more raw emotion eventually leading to stunning guitar playing Separated is the track I’m referring to hear. Darkly intriguing, lyrically harrowing and musically impressive Tales Of Autumn have captured the bleakness of the dying season perfectly, if the flaming orb in the sky is too much, my advice is stay indoors and listen to this. 7/10