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Friday 1 November 2019

Reviews: Jinjer, Bombus, Blood Oath, Past The Fall (Matt & Paul H)

Jinjer: Macro (Napalm Records) [Matt Bladen]

Ah another 'next big thing' the Ukrainian band Jinjer have had a fair few big time moments in the UK, including a spot at this year's Download festival. They are a hotly tipped band who just last year heralded the release of this full length with their Micro EP. It was a short intro to the band's stock in trade, big groove metal riffs, some djent chord progression, ambient passages and the brilliant vocals from front woman Tatiana Shmaylyuk who moves from whispers to roars in an instant, bringing aggression and emotion as the instrumental sections freak out behind her especially on On The Top which seems to have about four different songs in one. The vocals almost make it seem like there are two vocalists as certain tracks sound like duets between the good and evil styles.

From what I've seen of Jinjer I'd always assumed they were a little more metalcore than anything else but no, Macro has a distinctive progressive vein to it, the songs keeping you guessing yet always down tuned and heavy, though Judgement (& Punishment) opens with some reggae, we get blast-beats on Retrospection while Home Back has some dreamy ambient prog sections opposed to the heavy rest of the song. Macro is an album that fans will snap up and it’s clearly another step towards them climbing higher up the ladder, check them out on their almost sold out tour at the end of the year as they excel live. 7/10

Bombus: Vulture Culture (Century Media Records) [Matt Bladen]

Fourth album from Bombus sees the Swedish band expanding to a five piece adding an extra guitarist meaning that they are now Feffe (Guitar & Vocals), Matte (Guitar & Vocals), Simon (Guitar), Peter (Drums) and Ola (Bass), they’ve come a long way since their days as two –piece of Feffe and Matte, back then they were firebrand punks inspired by The Melvins, now they are clattering, hard rocking band that owe more to Motorhead, Backyard Babies and even Baroness (whom they have toured with). Vulture Culture has a rounded kaleidoscope of sounds reminding me of Baroness and Mastodon as they dip into their face punching punk roots for In The Shadows, but getting heavy and proggy for A Ladder-Not A Shovel and We Lost A Lot Of Blood Today both meld punk snarls with stoner grooves and some out there space rock.

It’s a record that grabs you by the balls (or any other fleshy parts) and doesn’t let go until it’s done with you, taking you on a rollercoaster of riotous heavy music until the very end. Produced by Daniel Johansson and mixed and mastered by the king of studio mixing Jens Bogren, every song drips with impressive song writing flair and rock n roll take-no-prisoners attitude as they careen towards the edge of the listener’s scope on the title track. They say themselves that nobody sounds like them and this would be a massive piece of self aggrandising but to be honest they might be right, on Vulture Culture they have broken boundaries that many bands don’t even get near. A party album if I’ve ever heard one perfect for blocking out the current world turmoil and just rocking out. 8/10

Blood Oath: Infernum Rex Diabolus (Self Released) [Paul Hutchings]

Death metal is alive and kicking hard in the UK at present; Leicester’s Blood Oath are amongst the standard bearers for the new tranche of bands who have emerged over the past couple of years. Having played Bloodstock and tucked their debut Kingdom Of Dead Souls into their belts, the quintet’s sophomore release is a pleasing collection of death metal and more mainstream metal which does not fail to pump the blood hard. Produced by Neil Hudson, the album is assured of quality and Hudson once again captures both the dynamic rawness of the band but also ensures that they are fully on message. Nine solid tracks capture the intensity of Blood Oath in their full might here; tracks such as Infernum Diabolus Lycanthropic Bloodlust and Obliteration Of Mankind are massive slabs of powerful intense metal, jagged riffage, punishing drumming and the roaring vocals of Mark ‘Thrax’ Johnson combine in a meaty combination that is both extreme and compelling. I’ve yet to see these guys live, but this music is written for the live stage. Powerful stuff indeed. 8/10

Past The Fall: From Insanity’s Ruin (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

From Insanity’s Ruin is an odd album, it will divide opinion that’s for sure. I guess you can say it’s progressive metal as there are lot of different styles here, sometimes all in one song, we have blistering thrash riffs, death vocals, then there’s also grunge and more melodic styles that come through too. It’s a bit schizophrenic never really setting in to one particular thing. For some this might be great, for me it usually is but what made this album a struggle for me are the vocals, most notably the clean vocals which are droning and monotonous, they are used much more frequently than the death growls with the clean/harsh dynamic being utilized on tracks like Beholden and while the harsh vocals with the groove metal riffing, great soloing (the guitar playing is brilliant throughout) the clean vocals kill it. Now you may like them but it made this album a struggle. Past The Fall is the band created by bassist/vocalist Will Wright and guitarist/vocalist Thomas Cope while they have tried to make it a grandiose epic and at times they succeed and for some this will be played numerous times but I span it twice and each time the same problem crept up. 6/10

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