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Thursday, 13 August 2020

Reviews: Good Tiger, Obsecration, In Hearts Wake, Seer Of The Void (Matt & Lucas)

Good Tiger: Raised In A Doomsday Cult (Self Released) [Lucas Tuckwood]

Raised In A Doomsday Cult is the new studio album from the prog rock outfit Good Tiger, featuring a slightly softer approach than their last release. Contained within are eleven tracks of that nice alternative goodness that’s sure to satisfy the cravings. They claim to bring tasty jams all over the world, and while Cult certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard, some might argue that it lacks the same bite as previous records.

All the quintessential ingredients of a progressive album are present here: gentle openers, later met with tricky drums that weave in and out and up and down, but always finding their way home. The fretwork here is razor-sharp, and creates some truly artistic and serene melodies. However, I find the vocals brought by Elliot Coleman stole the show, and he belts out some wonderful bars that perfectly compliment the music. I decided to take a glance at their previous record, We Will All Be Gone, and I noticed that track for track, this is a notably lighter album, and while there are some good rockers on show here, they don’t reach the same magnitude as those found on their last album. While it doesn’t detract from the great musicianship it’s something I felt I’d include as a cautionary caveat, because if you’re looking for more of the heavier sort of alternative rock, you may want to look elsewhere.

While alternative isn’t my particular cup of tea, I think there’s plenty on offer with this album for fans of the genre. The excellent musicianship on display makes up for most of its few shortcomings, but maybe a bit more heavy wouldn’t have gone amiss. 7/10

Obsecration: Onwards The Mystic Paths Of The Dead (Witching Hour Productions)

Obsecration are an ODSM band from Athens Greece, so you'll immediately know what to expect as soon as you press play especially when you consider that the band have been around (under this name) since 1990. They are not a band that have been influenced by the death metal bands of the past, they are one that were a part of that early 90's uprising in nasty, vicious death metal. Onwards The Mystic Paths Of The Dead is the band's seventh album and they are still led by the 'bowels of hell' vocals of founding member C. Dead V who writes most of the lyrics, so expect Lovecraft, horror, gore and death to feature heavily with Drakhon on bass and Ungod on drums and guitars, though the explosive Jeff Hanneman-like leads on songs such as Incest, Brutality & The Abuse (Avoriaz Pt. I & Pt. II) and Circle Of The Nemesis (Avoriaz Pt. III) are provided by EL (Soulskinner). Despite being 47 minutes long Onwards The Mystic Paths Of The Dead whizzes past at a rate of knots the thunderous blastbeats and lightspeed picking of Ungod leading the way as Drakhon locks in the rhythms. If I were to make a comparison I'd say they owe a debt to Glen Benton and Co though there are touches of Bolt Thrower on tracks such as At The Bonds Of Lucifer. ODSM does what it says on the tin so often but I'd hesitate to call this record 'by the numbers' it's the sound of well versed flesh eating death metal machine taking no prisoners. 7/10    

In Hearts Wake: Kaliyuga (UNFD Records) [Lucas Tuckwood]

Kaliyuga is the fresh new record by the headbangers from Down Under, In Hearts Wake. Featuring more brutal riffs and harsher vocals than ever, as well as numerous collaborations with other artists, it’s a truly fierce piece of work, and is sure to satisfy those of you craving that metalcore bite.
This album is absolutely packed with great songs, but the standout here for me is the opener, Worldwide Suicide. It features an utterly crushing breakdown, and some truly brutal vocals. It’s noteworthy as well due to the absence of any clean harmonic vocals, a staple of this genre. Some metalcore aficionados may not appreciate such a departure from tradition, but personally, I enjoyed the hell out of it. The clean vocals are still present for a majority of the run time, but the harsher singing tickles the squishy bit in my brain that loves more traditional extreme metal vocals.

Other experimentation comes in the form of the numerous collaborations with other artists, who each add a unique flare to the songs they contribute to, and their placement keeps the album from becoming repetitive. The experimentation present here may even make this an album I’d recommend to those who aren’t fans of the genre, and may present a nice starting point to get them into it. I have little experience when it comes to metalcore, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this album, even going so far as to recommend it to those who may not be keen on the genre. It’s got all the trimmings of metalcore one would expect, but it’s also got some real hard hitters, and enough variety to keep the whole thing feeling fresh. 8/10

Seer Of The Void: Revenant (Made Of Stone Recordings)

Seer Of The Void are a trio made up of Ilias Samartzis (drums), John Amariotakis (guitars), Greg "Maddog" Konstantaras (bass/vocals) and they play occult doom metal. Having only been around since 2019 Revenant is their debut album made up of 8 heavy bottomed, groove laden doom metal from the streets of Athen. They class themselves as a Mephistophelean trio so you can naturally assume (if you've read your Faust) that the music here is going to be wicked in tone and one look at the cloaked figures on top of a mound of skulls on the cover and it's got a similar kind of feeling that you would from classic Candlemass and Saint Vitus. 

Musically too Seer Of The Void have those classic sounds of doom but also the stoner vibes of fellow Greek bands such as Nightstalker. Prodigal Son opens things with a groove heavy rocker before the slower doom atmosphere's make their way into Venom Black. Both of these songs pretty much show you what to expect for the rest of the album as the bass and guitars of Maddog and John are fuzzy and distorted with Ilias' drumming keeping everything moving, shifting between the sludgy slow moving numbers and the pacier rockers. Maddog's vocals are gravel-filled, spewing the occult imagery on the dark chugging blues of Dullahan. There's an analogue feel to this recording that gives it a old school feel and yes occasionally it does veer into pastiche especially on Lysergus Mons which steals the riff from Sabbath's Children Of The Damned but there's enough originality to these songs to make Revenant an enjoyable doom metal record for lovers of all things creepy and heavy. 7/10

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