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Monday 24 September 2018

Reviews: The Bleeding, Allegiance, Deathhammer, Leatherjacks (Reviews By Paul S & Rich)

The Bleeding: Rites Of Absolution (UKEM) [Paul S]

The Bleeding are a four piece based in London, they have been going since 2010 and have released one EP in 2013, this is their first album. The band play a combination of death metal and thrash. The feel of the material is fairly old school in both areas rather than the more modern sound of the other bands playing this combination of genres (Revocation and Reprisal).

After a short intro, the album blasts off with the thundering Consumed Existence, which sounds like great old school death metal, reminds me of Asphyx’s track Deathhamer. Second track Dreams Of Hatred has a bit more of a thrash feel to it, tight fast riffs, crashing drums, just great thrash. The album carries on like this, always surfing that knife-edge between thrash and death metal, so some songs move from one sound to the other in a way that is really effective.

Crook And Flail is a slower, heavier, more powerful track that just crushes the listener. Rights Of Absolution feels a little like early Slayer, do I need to say more about it than that? The album is brought to an end with a cracking cover of Death’s Open Casket which is fantastic. If I was going to criticise this album, it would be that it isn’t long enough, but that isn’t really a criticism, I wanted more! Really great album, full of energy and creativity. Highly recommended. 8/10

Allegiance: Beyond The Black Wave (Self Released) [Paul S]

Allegiance are a black metal band from Toulouse, France. They have had as many as 5 members, according to the bumf that I got with the album, but by the time of writing this they may be down to 3 or as few as 2 (the bumf is a little confused). Although there is a much bigger problem with the press release than a little confusion about how many members this band has. The PR refers to the band as being ‘Emperial’ black metal, the band has tied their whole sound to the Norwegian black metal band Emperor. Those are big shoes to fill, and they haven’t done a very good job. This album is a massive rip off of Emperor. This isn’t an homage, it’s simple copying.

First song The Fall Of The Black Heroes is Ye Entranceemperium, pretty much note for note (yes including that really distinctive riff). And it’s like that all the way through, it’s all made up of bits and pieces of Emperor’s career. The song I Wrath I Death has the spoken word bit from The Loss And Curse Of Reverence in it. Sorceress Queen is I Am The Black Wizards. You’ll find one track that is Beyond The Pantheon, up to about halfway through when the strings from In The Wordless Chamber come in and really confuse things.

There's bits of Curse You All Men, An Eulogy Of Icarus, there's even an outro to one song that is Opus A Satana. Ok I’ll admit it, these guys have got some balls to rip off one of the biggest and best black metal bands of all time, and to tell people they are doing it (Emperial Black Metal) takes even more bare faced cheek. But I can’t see the point of this album. The few bits that aren’t nicked are lack lustre and lacking in imagination. The only good thing about this album is that it has reminded me of what a great band Emperor were. Just listen to the originals, they are so much better! 6/10

Deathhammer: Chained To Hell (Hells Headbangers) [Paul S]

Deathhammer are a duo from Oslo, they have been going since 2005 and this is their 4th album. The 2 piece play black trash / early eighties style thrash. The album kicks off with the track Rabid Maniac Force, a song that kicks you in the bollocks, nicks your wallet, and spends the money in it on cheap speed. Just total blasting fast thrash, in an early Sodom, Slayer or Kill ‘Em All era Metallica mould. Fast simple riffs, screamed vocals that do that slightly weird early eighties thing where the last word of each line is sung in FALSETTO. I think Tom Araya used to do this on Slayers first 2 albums. Pretty much all the album is in this style. More modern bands to compare this to would be Toxic Holocaust, Necromantheon or Nifelheim. 

There is a small amount of progression on this album with the song Into The Burning Pentagram, which is a little slower and has some more complex riffs and a bit more of a structure (most of the other songs don’t really have a structure, insanely fast all the way through, isn’t a structure). The album doesn’t have many solos, but in the few places they are used, you can see why they don’t do many solos as they are crap! But that just fits into the early eighties/ black thrash style. The album cover is also very eighties; it’s awful. Looks like a still from a Commodore 64 game, absolutely, goppingly awful, but again that's very eighties thrash; remember Artillery’s Terror Squad, or Anthrax’s Fistful Of Metal covers? This isn’t in any way groundbreaking. It isn’t big or clever, but my god it’s a lot of fun. If you want to be reminded why thrash was so exiting when it first appeared, buy this album! 7/10

Leatherjacks: Leatherjacks (Self Released) [Rich]

Leatherjacks is a self titled EP by the Brazilian hard rock band which works as a preview for the upcoming album Songs For The Strangest Ones which is due to be released later this year. This EP is the first release under the bands new line up with the previous album The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll all written and performed by Mauro Cordeiro. The EP is made up of four songs one of which (I Hate To Fall In Love) has previously been released as a digital single. The EP is pretty bog standard hard rock with a few influences from old school heavy metal and AOR. The playing throughout is pretty good but the vocals are very weak and quite strained. This is a pretty average release with no songs being particularly memorable and the poor vocals standing out particularly. 5/10

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