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Monday 26 November 2018

Reviews: All That Remains, Warkings, Daemonia Nymphe, Collateral

All That Remains: Victim Of The New Disease (Eleven Seven Records)

Victim Of The New Disease is the 9th album from American metalcore band All That Remains, it's the final album to feature founding guitarist Oli Herbert who tragically died before the release of this album. So this serves as his epitaph with the intense riffage starting off the abrasive Fuck Love, you can here why the band are held in such high regard, he locks in with Mike Martin for the heaviest grooves since their 2010 For We Are Many the bottom end of Aaron Patrick and Jason Costa shaking the foundations. Everything's Wrong brings the melody with fluid dual leads breaking into a more arena ready noise as Phil Labonte shows his cleaner tones, as clean guitar solo comes on as the natural progression of the track before the aggression returns for Blood I Spill which blends the heaviness and melody together in a metalcore menagerie.

Filled with hooky choruses, arena bothering riffs and an undoubted brutality that doesn't sacrifice their more darkly pop -infected sounds like Alone In The Darkness, there's a temptation to talk about the guitar playing on this album due to Herbert's passing but I won't dwell on it too much, only saying this is the sort of playing you want in metalcore skillfully balancing breakdown infused riffs and techinical solos. As the album winds up there's a ballad called Just Tell Me Something which features Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria) dueting with Labonte for a track where the emotion has a new edge to it due to the outside factors. Victim Of The New Disease is another strong album in the All That Remains catalogue and serves as the perfect tribute to Oli Herbert while looking to the bands future. 8/10

Warkings: Reborn (Napalm Records)

These are the sons of Odin, chosen by the King Of The Gods himself, Warkings are an international act (that many seem to be Greek) who go by the monikers of The Tribune (voice), The Crusader (guitar), The Viking (bass) and The Spartan (drums) and play the biggest, baddest and boldest heavy metal with songs about Hephaistos, Sparta and Gladiator's so it's mainly war, war and more war, with the classic metal sounds of Helloween and of course Manowar. The identities of the members is closely guarded secret but you can hear a lot of similarities in the vocals with everyone's favourite Austrian symphonic metal band (strokes chin). Despite the press for this album being a fantasy writers wet dream the album itself has some pretty decent metal on it, tracks such as the powerful Battle Cry have tough metal riffs and fist pumping vocals, while Sparta has additional grunts and Hephaistos is a mini-epic. It doesn't do anything super special this album and the image is a more arresting than the music but if you want big, balshy heavy metal you could do worse. 7/10      

Daemonia Nymphe: Psychostasia (Prikosnovénie)

This is the re-released version of Daemonia Nymphe's 2013 album, it adds three new tracks to that album but is pretty much a similar release that consists of dark Greek folk music that has Ancient Greek lyrics and traditional Greek instruments some of which are 1,000's of years old (though the ones used here are reproductions, so don't worry historians). The band consists of Spyros and Evi who double on vocals and instruments, Evi hauntingly floating over the layered acoustic instruments as Spyros chants below it in Greek with both playing the beautiful sounding stringed instruments. If you want fat riffs you aren't going to find that here but there is a darkness to these songs that even more upbeat numbers like the jaunty Deos Erotas can't erase, it perseveres on the imperious Thracian Gaia while Nature's Metamorphosis builds from a single drop of water into some vocal gymnastics from Evi and builds into a frenzy. I will admit Psychostasia is an album left of field to what we normally review but it's very good this, a primal, natural sounding album with certain sounds that you won't find anywhere else. 7/10

Collateral: 4 Shots (Roulette Records)

The immediate comparison I made as soon as pressed play on the debut EP from Ramsgate rockers Collateral was that of New Jersey stadium fillers Bon Jovi. The hard rock riffs are underpinned by the acoustic layers like it's the glory days of the Sunset Strip, huge choruses give way to soaring guitar solos with Angelo leading as a coffitured six stringing frontman with husky tone, he's backed by six stringer Todd, bassist Jack and Ben, things get smooth on Midnight Queen which is is a Stetson wearing, country rocker that slithers with the laid back cool but technicality of Kip Winger. On 4 Shots it's like the 80's never died, they have the look and the sound with two hard rockers and two mountain scaling ballads. There's a magic to Collateral's music that recaptures the days when rock music ruled the airwaves, lets hope the full length continues on this path as there could be new contenders to the NWOCR throne. 7/10    

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