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Thursday 10 January 2019

Reviews: Lahmia, Archangel A.D, Woven Man, Dimension Eleven (Paul H & Rich)

Lahmia: Resilience (Scarlet Records) [Paul H]

Stepping rapidly into the mire of new releases for 2019, this one caught both the eye and the ear. Resilience is the latest release from a five-piece who formed in Rome back in 2001 but who took an age to get their debut album released in 2014. Into The Abyss was produced by Jens Bogren and whilst I haven’t heard it the man rarely backs a loser. Resilience may be the band’s sophomore release, but it is delivered with the conviction and confidence of a band who have many years’ experience under their belts. It’s evidence from the opening minutes of Elegy For A Dying Sun that the band favour the melodic death metal sound of the Swedish scene, with influences of Amon Amarth, In Flames and Arch Enemy alongside other Northern European powerhouses such as Children Of Bodom also noticeable in the band’s work.

Francesco Amerise delivers a vocal roar that is comparable with Johan Hegg, whilst the twin guitar work of Matthias Habib and Flavio Giannello (who also plays some impressive lead work) is solid throughout. With standout track the 11-and-a-half-minute epic The Age Of Treason pitched towards the end of the album, the only challenge is to maintain enough interest in music that on occasion is just a little routine and formulaic. However, with some thundering tracks hidden amongst this release, I certainly wouldn’t tell you to avoid it. In fact, this is worth a listen, particularly if you like those bands who sport Viking tendencies. 6/10

Archangel A.D: Warband (Horsemen Records) [Rich]

Archangel A.D. are another band determined to keep thrash metal alive and well in the 21st century and with their self-released debut EP Warband they prove that there is still room for more thrash in the world. Throughout its six song duration Warband is a nice encapsulation of all that is great about old school thrash metal from the chunky opener Unto The Evil, the speed metal madness of Blightning, the more classic metal inspired title track, the slow and brooding Evil Dreams and the genre celebrating Metal Horde. The only dud on the EP is the instrumental Enter The Temple which whilst not terrible doesn’t really go anywhere. The band pay homage to their influences with definite nods to bands such as Metallica, Testament, Megadeth and Slayer and whilst they don’t do anything new with the genre they just do it really well and when thrash is done well like this I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame. This is a great debut EP by a bunch of thrashers playing the music they love and having a great deal of fun whilst doing so. 8/10

Woven Man: Revelry: In Our Arms (Undergroove Records) [Paul H]

An opening banjo solo belies the fact that an absolute ball crushing riff is about to hit you like a freight train about a minute into Calling Down The Leaves. In fact, this riff is as chunky as any knitwear that Pep Guardiola could sport in the depths of Mancunian winter. These boyos (who include Lifer six stringer Lee Roy Davies in their ranks) maybe from way down West (Wales), where men are men and women are orange, but their music is homeless in both state and form and that’s a bloody good thing; five behemoth tracks that lumber into view, raise the horns, swagger around with infectious stoner and doom riddled beats and then amble back into the bushes leaving you scratching your arse about what you’ve just heard. With elements of Down, Crowbar, Screaming Trees and Soundgarden amongst a veritable smorgasbord of influences all audible, even to the untrained ear, this is one impressive mutha which deserves to kick your rear as soon as possible. Just the thing to shake off the Christmas hangover. 7/10

Dimension Eleven: The Transcendental Journey (Self Released) [Rich]

Dimension Eleven are a Polish progressive metal band with The Transcendental Journey being the bands self-released debut EP. There are some fantastic progressive rock and metal bands from Poland but unfortunately Dimension Eleven are not yet one of them. They definitely have potential but it’s sadly not realised on this EP. For a seven song EP just shy of 33 minutes in duration you have an instrumental intro track as well as two instrumental interludes which are just a complete waste of time adding nothing to the EP at all. This leaves only four actual songs and none of them are particularly worth writing home about. The worst is Stardust which literally goes nowhere and does nothing with bland riffs, bland vocals and bland melodies which all just scream meh. 

There is improvement on each track hereon with some nice piano melodies on Superreality, some cool riffing on Divine and finally some interesting songwriting and less than tedious vocals on Point Of No Return: Pt. 1 (Far From Beyond Eternal Depths) which is definitely the best of a bad bunch. Unfortunately the improvements as the EP progresses are not enough to save it from mediocrity and The Transcendental Journey is just a very dull and tedious listen. There’s definite potential but the band need to learn how to craft some interesting songs first. 3/10

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