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Friday, 21 August 2020

Reviews: Vicious Rumours, Moss Eater, Cobra Cobra, White Tower (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Vicious Rumors: Celebration Decay (SPV/Steamhammer)

Opening with thundering title track Celebration Decay sounds like Megadeth fronted by Iced Earth's Matt Barlow, the band call the lightspeed song it "a perfect opener for (their) new album". It's back to more familiar territory on Pulse Of The Dead and Arrival Of Desolation where we get the traditional galloping thrash styled heavy metal of a band that have been active since 1979, although they have only been releasing record since 1985. Celebration Decay is their thirteenth full length and this Santa Rosa four piece show no signs of changing the tunes that brought them to the dance sticking resolutely to their heavy thrash inspired American power metal. They occasionally change things up with songs such as Darkness Divine and Long Way Home (which sounds like a heavier Scorpions) however other than that much of the album follows a similar sound meaning the songs begin to sound alike. When you've been at this for 40 years there's no way that you're going to do anything radical so I guess this is another Vicious Rumors album. 5/10

Moss Eater; No Shelter, No Heaven (Coffin View Collective)

No Shelter, No Heaven a bleak title for an album full of existential dread and ominous, sometimes pugnacious doom/sludge/noise metal. ailig from Berkshire this two piece have developed a sound so full of colossal droning grooves that they produce their own gravity. So what I'm saying is, if you played this album in space it would probably attract the moon towards it. They have merged this unwavering heaviness with shimmering ambience and a real affection for abusing your aural canals as much as possible. Moss Eater are a band who have only been on the scene for a short time, but they already have 2 EP's and a feature on the 'Doomed And Stoned In England' compilation to their name so this album has been a long time coming and what you have is 48 minutes of some of the most cathartic music you'll hear all year, explosively harsh vocals, epic post-doom tapestries that crawl with thunderous low end riffs and some sprawling otherworldly sounds that keep you hooked from Son Of Nothing to the self titled final track. Experimental enough that you never quite know what's around the corner but also full of cavernous, knuckle dragging doom metal many will have an affinity too, No Shelter, No Heaven is a cathartic listening experience. 7/10  

Cobra Cobra: Life After Poison (Rat Family Records) 

We were sent this album on the back of the review of our coverage of Geoff Tyson's solo album, so it was always going to be one to check out based upon the quality of that record, despite the fact I know absolutely nothing about the band. Cobra Cobra are friends of his and they sent over their debut album Life After Poison which seems to be made up of punchy modern metal anthems that takes influences from bands like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold and While She Sleeps, a mixture of massive radio choruses and heavy rock riffs. The Portland, Oregon based band are made up of Bryce (bass), Chance (drums), Chris (vocals) and Derek (guitar) Cobra Cobra are clearly all seasoned musicians as these songs ring out with a confidence, especially with the more layered orchestral tinged tracks such as The Glass Desert or the 80's leaning rockers like Hum they display the same kind of instrumental dexterity meets melodic hooks that move things into Kings X sound occasionally. For the most part though Life After Poison is a modern rock album with a metallic touch that will appeal to those with a heavier mindset as well as fans of the lighter strains of rock n roll. A competent, if not revolutionary debut. 6/10  

White Tower: Terminator EP (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

White Tower hail from Thessaloniki, Greece and are named after the cities iconic tourist attraction on the seafront. But their sound...well it's a little more Northern in fact White Tower sound German, very German, this EP is basically is a pastiche of Teutonic metal legends Accept. Mainly this is due to their love of speed metal and NWOBHM coming through not just on song title such as Pounding Heavy Metal but also on the grinding axe attack of Nick Vekis and galloping rhythms from John Maleas (bass) and Theodoros Trohidis (drums). Vocally though is where most of the Accept influences come from vocalist Gago Karapetian who has that Udo Dirkschneider squawk circa Balls To The Wall. The lyrical content is based around horror, heavy metal and sci-fi, as one song (and the EP title) stems from James Cameron's debut movie in the Terminator franchise. If you like Accept or this kind of Germanic sounding heavy metal you'll love White Tower, if you don't then you really won't. It's nothing game changing but an enjoyable enough imitation. 6/10

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