Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Monday 20 September 2021

Reviews: Criminal, Bastette, Unchosen Ones, Areis (Reviews By Lee Burnell, Simon Black, Richard Oliver, Megan Jenkins)

Criminal – Sacrificio (Metal Blade Records) [Lee Burnell]

South American staples of Death Metal return for another hard-hitting outing with Sacrificio. A band that was destined for great things since their formation in 1991 with a  first show opening for the legendary Kreator, Criminal continued with their brutal offerings that would often make them understandable comparable to Sepultura. The four-piece keep start with Live On Your Knees, with an intro which is text book classic death/thrash metal at it’s finest. The album has a solid pacing to it and my favourite off the album Caged, simply due to how well the drumming of Danilo Estrella and the riffs from Sergio Klein and Anton Reisenegger. The first single from the album Zona del Sacrificio – the first and only song on the album performed in Spanish absolutely gave me thoughts of Brujeria. 

Albums like this are always a winner to me as each track offering gives an insight on their background and the energy and passion into play as during the time of writing, Chile was experiencing social inequality and this absolutely reflects in the writing of the album. The emotion in the album is apparent and continues with Dark Horse which incorporates a lovely breakdown towards the end, the only sign of the pace slowing on the album so far. The album ends in a fury. From Theocrazy through to Ego Killer – this album is a true heavyweight, no filler track here. This album is 42 minutes of brilliance and could absolutely be contender for death metal album of the year. 9/10

Bastette – Exposed EP (RPM Records) [Simon Black]

I’ve been lucky enough since getting back into doing this reviewing lark after a couple of decades off to be exposed to raft of new bands and styles, but sometimes something more akin to my non-Metal roots is just what the doctor ordered as I sit here fighting off Covid. Bastette are a new Pop-infused Hard Rock band from Wigan who already sound bigger than you would expect. Blending the attitude of L.A.’s The Pretty Reckless, with a more down and dirty subject matter that only a Northern British band can pull off but with a rich and luxurious and devilishly commercial Pop-Rock streak I am not going to be surprised if these guys and gal have a huge future ahead of them.

This is dark and moody in the main, but incredibly accessible stuff and avoids the trap of trying to sound Symphonic predictable, focussing on catchy riff-based melodies and keyboard harmonies and a damn fine song-writing streak that holds up through this short but highly effective five track EP. These guys clearly have as much love for Pop as they do Rock, but there’s enough subtlety and skill in the guitar work to keep most Metalheads happy to boot. The lead single, the fantastic Talk About It, in contrast is way lighter and a great choice for a single, which is probably why Planet Rock have been hammering it out a lot of late, and quite right too. It’s one of those floor-filling anthems that might just prove the vehicle for progress, and it’s certainly wetting my appetite for a full album and the chance to see them live. Fantastically accessible, but dark and moody enough to maintain credibility. 9/10

Unchosen Ones - Kill The Night (Self Released) [Richard Oliver]

Kill The Night is the debut E.P. from Spanish melodic metal band Unchosen Ones.  Formed from the ashes of previous band Astral Sidhe and joined by ex-members of Nocheni and Chaos Over Cosmos, Unchosen Ones are a five piece band and this debut E.P. is comprised of three songs that show the influences and styles that make this band what it is. The opening title track is a melodic mid-paced piece of metal that definitely has nods to traditional heavy metal with a dramatic chorus and memorable hooks. It is followed by the speedy Ashen Wasteland which is a turbo charged piece of melodic metal and definitely takes influence from both traditional heavy metal and European power metal. 

The E.P. concludes with Shadow Dancer which showcases the bands influences from melodic hard rock and AOR with a definitively 80’s vibe and nods to the AOR bands from that era. This is an enjoyable little E.P. It is short and sweet but showcases the capabilities of the band. The music is very well performed and written and is also very well produced. There is some lovely guitar work throughout as well as some tasty synth work and frontman Javier Calderon has a voice that was made for this style of music. I look forward to hearing a full length album from the band in the future as this E.P. definitely shows this band have some great potential. 7/10

Areis - Areis (Wormholedeath) [Megan Jenkins]

Areis is the self-titled debut album by, you guessed it, Areis – a French band who blend influences from hardcore, punk, black metal and post-hardcore to create their sound. Describing their own sound as ‘post-grunge’ is a clever move from the band because it covers practically every base they may need.
The album is solid from the start and the opening track, A Wretched Vow, flies out of the gate and kicks it off with a bang. Their music is reminiscent of Kentucky-based band Knocked Loose – there’s a lot of dissonant guitar-playing, an abundance of fast drums and vocals that border on screaming but aren’t quite there yet. There’s only a handful of vocalists that can pull off what I like to call the “my throat is sore and I can barely talk” vocal style and vocalist Paul Gonzalvez is a perfect example of doing it right. 

The band is at their best on tracks Le Pain Maudit and You Are The Best At Your Worst (ironically). They showcase the driving force behind this relatively new band and their raw talent as a musical unit. Areis means “to raise” in ancient Occitan and it proves to be an extremely fitting name considering that the band is formed by ex-members of Kombur and Right To The Void. It perfectly sets up their career as a band and is a great starting point to already begin to evolve their sound. I really do hope that this first taste isn’t the last we hear from Areis and that they begin to rise to great successes. 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment