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Saturday 13 July 2019

Reviews: Eradikator, Come Back From The Dead, Sykelg Englen, Faithsedge (Paul, Sean & Matt)

Eradikator: Obscura (Divebomb Records) [Paul Hutchings]

It’s been four long years since 2015’s sophomore release Edge Of Humanity wowed Matt with a 9/10. In those days the band were very much focused on the thrash side of the metal world, and indeed, when I saw them a couple of years ago, they were heads down thrash your face off in their style and approach. So, it was something of a shock on first spin to find that Eradikator have changed their style. Obscura is a massively mature piece of work, with a clear departure from their earlier works yet an album that oozes impressive confidence and progression. Whilst they retain their heaviness with large servings of riffs, there is also masses of melody throughout the album. Opening Nightmare Dawning has a bluesy feel with a punk tinged uppercut and is a real statement for the rest of the album. The sonic guitar work of Liam Priest and Andy MacNevin is superb throughout, nowhere more so than on Poisoned To Sorrow, a real groove laden track which races along like an escaping racehorse. Pat Cox’s vocals have developed, and his solid delivery pleases greatly.

Tracks such as Revolve and Haunting are crushingly heavy and inevitably draw comparisons with Mastodon. The organic pathways contained here are very much the trademark of the American legends. Intricate segments, complex structures and a progressive flavour all fully interweave neatly. There’s also a bit of Alice in Chains tucked neatly away here, with the subtle harmonies working superbly on Haunting, which also has shades of Metallica circa Fade To Black. There is no doubting the progressive influences on Hourglass, the pulsating bass work of Cox linking with John MacNevin excelling. A slower pace and lighter touch on Eyes Of The Old slowly build into a swirling maelstrom which maintains clarity and rhythm whilst the lead work shines brightly. Two thirds into Obscura and I’m loving every minute. And then we reach I Want To Believe, a seven-minute powerhouse epic, which leads into The Siren Song, a beautifully paced acoustic piece which smoulders before building majestically to a climax befitting of this magnificent album. I was genuinely stunned at the progression and quality that Eradikator has produced. Simply brilliant. 9/10

Come Back From The Dead: The Rise Of The Blind Ones (Transcending Obscurity Records) [Sean Morgan]

I don’t know what’s up with Transcending Obscurity, I really don’t. All I can say is that they’ve been killing it lately, releasing quality death metal (amongst others things) from all corners of the globe. Seriously, I’ve lost count! Spain’s Come Back From The Dead are another fine addition to Mr.Choksi’s ever expanding house of horrors, returning to desecrate the living with their second album, The Rise Of The Blind Ones. Just looking at that gnarly cover, you know these lads deal death the old way. Outcast Of The Light kicks off, doomy power-chords surrendering to good ol’ death/thrashy goodness. It’s pretty full throttle, alternating between speedy tremolo runs and lurching grooves. Spearheading the attack are the disgustingly throaty vocals, only achieved via gargling a pungent cocktail of broken glass and out of date Domestos (probably).

Martyr Of A Gruesome Demise momentarily guts the tempo, before exploding between violent blasts of d-beat and angular riffing, enough so to make Autopsy proud. It never relents, charging onward with murderous intent on Restless In Putrescence. It’s good fucking death metal (old Death, Possessed, Autopsy etc) before everything got buried under a wall of blast beats, brick walls and fucking slam. Jugular I - Heretic Impaler opts for full on sinister groove, dragging it’s hideously malformed bulk in across 3 minutes of razor sharp riffs. Jugular - II - The Altar Of Your Neck flirts with SOME blasting, though used sparingly against the more dominant crossbeats. Some bluesy shredding is thrown in for good measure, going off like a grenade in this short sharp shock of a song. Truth be told, ALL of these songs are pretty short! Either that or I’m having WAY too much fun, thoroughly entrenched in Come Back From the Dead old school onslaught. Nebulaes Of Malevolent Shining gives it all the stompy business, neanderthal in its brutish stride and containing as much subtly as a hammer to the dick. 

At 4 minutes in length it’s the longest song on here, firing off every shot CBFtD have in their arsenal. After all, there’s no kill quite like overkill, eh? Darkness Abominations goes in for the full Leprosy vibes, even recalling Abominations Of Desolation era Morbid Angel in certain sections. Lick My Hands Wild Beasts thrashes it’s way with little regard for the posers slain in it’s wake, whilst Dead March does exactly what it says on the tin. Possessed By The Death (by the dead, surely?) brings the killings to a close, Slayer vibes in full effect and a decent ending to a solid album. If you like death metal sans pro-tool and devoid of pesky complications, chances are this will be your bag. Come Back from the Dead hark back to the genres fledgling days, still developing identity and sound form under the shadow of its thrashy forbearers. And they do it well, as The Rise Of The Blind Ones is a lean, mean killing machine that doesn’t fuck about from the get go. 8/10

Sykelg Englen: This Hollow Land (Self Release) [Paul Hutchings]

A mere three months ago my colleague Sean mused long and hard over the third full release from Sykelg Englen, the one-man Norwegian outfit from Norwich. As Sean noted during that rather dour review, Nattskog is a machine, with multiple projects in motion at any one time. He has the energy that a 21-year-old should have and which is a distant memory for me. This Hollow Land pulls through the morbidity of the three previous albums, Hymns Of The Dead, Hagall and To Walk Among Death And Pestilence. I’m not deeply rooted into the Icelandic dissonance of the black metal scene. In fact, I’m shallowly anchored to the whole early development of Scandinavian black metal. I’m also not a musician so I don’t approach the review with the same ear that Sean does. I like to think that I hear different things and for me, the essence of black metal is that atmospheric misery which can crash on you like a wave upon the rocks. This release certainly captures the depressive misanthropic mood.

Stepping inside This Hollow Land, the first thing to note is that the production is focused very much on attempting to recreate the raw style of the early BM movement. Dense walls of repetitive riffs and a drum pattern which appears to be much the same on each of the four tracks contained here. The first three tracks merge into one, any conscious separation buried in a mix best described as ‘muddy’. Scowling vocals are hidden in the background on all the songs here. A snarling, guttural vomit inducing delivery, lyrics appropriately indecipherable. Closing track Parasitic Affection at least has a change of tempo but once more the blueprint which Nattskog followed and which Sean disliked so much on To Walk Among Death And Pestilence mirrored here. Certainly, there is potential here, and maybe a reduction in output and increase in development would be helpful for the future. 6/10

Faithsedge: Bleed For Passion (Scarlet Records) [Matt Bladen]

Sometimes here at MoM we get surprised, we can look at a band and think negatively about them only to be surprised. However we do get our fair share of bands that are exactly how we picture them. One such band is Faithsedge, this so called ‘US super band’ features singer/songwriter Giancarlo Floridia, former Dokken lead guitarist Alex De Rosso (who has the distinction of being the Dokken guitarist that’s not George Lynch), Mr.Big/Ace Frehley drummer Matt Starr and ex-Stryper bassist Timothy Gaines. So I wouldn’t really say they are a super group, I’d say it’s more on par with The Dead Daisies, a collection of musicians who have taken over in famous bands. Musically though they also have similarities with The Dead Daises in that this album is godawful. The production seems to be all over the place, the songs are simplistic 80’s melodic rock and vocally Floridia struggles to deliver his grade school lyrics. It sounds like a mixture of Kiss, Dokken and Mr Big but played by a local tribute band. I’m not sure how much was spilt for their passion, but I’d say they probably need a transfusion. 4/10

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