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Thursday 28 November 2019

Reviews: Lindemann, Edenbridge, Junkyard, Hyperborea (Paul H, Matt & Rich)

Lindemann: F & M (Vertigo Berlin) [Paul Hutchings]

Four years after Skills And Pills was released, F & M heralds the return of Rammstein’s Till Lindemann and Hypocrisy/Pain mastermind Peter TÃĪgtgren and album number two for Lindemann. Unlike Skills And Pills, Till delivers the whole of this release in German. As to be expected, the finished product is polished and neatly produced. The deluxe version includes a Pain version of Ach So Gern and the original version of Mathematik. Now without being super lazy in my analysis, the betting is that if you are a fan of Rammstein, then this album with its fusion of industrial rock and metal will appeal. Tracks like the pumping opening song Steh Auf (Stand Up), the brooding Blut (Blood) and the sinister Knebel (Gag) are both familiar and different to the standard fare offered up by the Rammstein family.

Knebel in particular with Till singing against a single acoustic guitar provides a different approach until a huge riff kicks in and the whole thing gets a bit angsty. The title track is one of my favourites, an underlying Mexican pop feel which makes it almost joyous. There are a few curved balls mind. Ach So Gern is an old school foxtrot, as bizarre as it is infectious, whilst Schlaf Ein (Go To Sleep) could be beautiful or horrifying. Take your pick. If you dislike the coldness and clipped way in which Rammstein and Lindemann deliver their music, F & M won’t change that one bit. However, if you like your industrial with a bit of craziness and a bit of the circus bizarre, this album will certainly be in the list for an essential purchase. 7/10

Edenbridge: Dynamind (Steamhammer) [Matt Bladen]

I know what you're thinking another day, another symphonic metal band with a female singer right? Well Dynamind the latest album from Austrian band Edenbridge who have been in this game since 1998. They are part of the original wave of bands of this type, though it was Nightwish that broke out into the big time, it's Edenbridge who have stuck most rigidly to the sound pioneered by these bands it means that the songs are still driven by the soaring vocals of Sabine Edelsbacher while Arne "Lanvall" Stockhammer provides guitars, keyboards and orchestrations. These are all present from the beginning with the heavy Memory Hunter kicking things off as On The Other Side brings the folky sounds as Sabine's vocals lead the charge not as operatic many in the genre it's still powerful and dramatic on the galloping All Our Yesterdays as the The Edge Of Your World brings thicker progressive metal sounds similar to fellow Austrians Serenity, which continues on The Last Of His Kind a 12 minute epic, as Tauerngold is the album's big ballad. So yes it is another symphonic metal album with a female singer but Edenbridge are one of the originators of this style of music and they have stuck to it meaning that they are still in the upper echelon. 7/10      

Junkyard: Old Habits Die Hard (Acetate Records) [Paul Hutchings]

It was just over a year ago that Junkyard kicked open a can of whoop ass as main support to Blackberry Smoke at the Tramshed. Their punk-fused Country rock got the place warmed up a treat that night before the main event. Having released their first album in 26 years in 2017 with High Water, they’ve clearly got the bit between their teeth with Old Habits Die Hard arriving a mere two years later. The band has picked up where they left off, from the sleazy Blue Sin which allows David Roach to do his best Bon Scott impression through to the powerhouse adrenaline rush of Fall To Pieces, all muscular spit and brawn. I Come Crawling borders on Nirvana style grunge whilst One Foot In The Grave closes the album in traditional fiery style. Good fun when driving fast, excellent for working out to, Junkyard’s punchy songs are certainly worth a listen. 7/10

Hyperborea: Umbra (Art Gates Records) [Rich Oliver]

Umbra is album number three from Bulgarian death metallers Hyperborea and it is also their first album since 2007. The band have a clear love of old school death metal but mixes that with a more contemporary death metal sound ensuring that this album isn’t just pure early 90’s death metal worship. The band mix it up with varying tempos mixing the speed, aggression and brutality with plenty of groove and even some more progressive, technical and melodic moments. Hyperborea certainly don’t sit still on this album with the highlights for me being the relentless Silent Stream and the melodically leaning Atavistic Fear. Umbra is a very solid and enjoyable death metal release which whilst not breathtaking certainly got my head nodding. 7/10

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