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Friday 9 June 2023

Reviews: Burial Hordes, Disillusive Play, Sebia, Vonavibe (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Burial Hordes - Ruins (Transcending Obscurity Records)

After 5 years of silence the blackened death ritual of Burial Hordes rears its ugly head once again with this new album called Ruins. Aggressive, atmospheric and in places brutal, Ruins is more of what Burial Hordes have done on their four previous albums but here they sound more primitive and powerful. Using dynamics to make sure they don't stay too long in one riff or style, so you’re kept guessing as to what’s going to come next. An explosion comes on In The Midst Of A Vast Solitude, savage death metalwith a percussive battery from Fleshgod Apocalypse drummer Eugene Ryabchenko. 

He is the session drummer for this album and he only relents when the slower melancholic passages swell or when the music shifts to DM stomps like on Perish, as song that also which comes into the territory of doom, the style continuing on the blackened world of Wandering Stream Of Wind. Insubstantial and Infinite Sea Of Nothingness meanwhile are ridiculously fast T.K and D.D barely keeping up with their guitar/bass riffing, incendiary tremolo picking, choppy mid-pace stabs and then the more intricate clean passages all do their work as the screamed/snarled incantations of D.T leave their mark. Eight tracks of evil sounding extreme metal, Burial Hordes are very much back and will leave your speakers in Ruins. 7/10

Disillusive Play - Songs For The Non Existent (Wormholedeath Records)

Ummm…what to say about this one? It’s certainly prog but it’s also AOR, rock and modern heavy rock. Influenced by Queensryche, Conception and Pendragon, they also say that Halestorm and Stone Sour are influences, the band using their different musical backgrounds and genre choices to write this album. This way of using various styles is nothing new as Disillusive Play consider music to be unity so they want their music to speak to their fans and attract as wide of a fan base as possible. (I mean doesn’t every band?) 

Having been toiling since 2014 with Songs For The Non Existent being their second full length album. Their lyrics detail personal struggles and aspects of life the voice of Antigoni Kalamara is unique, with a lot of grit behind it, a bit Doro at times but of course singing a different style. I’ll admit I found the vocals a little jarring, couldn’t quite get into them, but musically I enjoyed this album the thick riffs from Fotis Trivizas (guitar) and Michalis Mytilinis (bass) nice and meaty while the lead guitars of Jim Knikos are integral to the sound, pacing dictated by drummer Aris Dolianitis. 

Songs For The Non Existent is an odd listen, sort of heavy neo-prog meets alt metal, everything swamped with orchestrations and synths. There’s a lot here to like but I’m still not sold on the vocals I’m afraid. 6/10

Sebia - Acceptance Of Reality (Self Released)

Founded in 2020, Acceptance Of Reality is the debut concept record from Athenian heavy rock band Sebia. Their music is quite a thrilling mix of prog, hard rock and heavy metal. So the storyline is science fiction based dealing with a female humanoid named Sebia who is having a love affair with a witch hunter, so it's kind of like Queensryche's seminal Operation:Mindcrime but merged with Blade Runner. 

Musically its prog metal with bits of Nevermore (Beyond This World), Kansas and Dream Theater added to their sound, Shipwreck steals the opening part of Pull Me Under, while Get Out Of Your Heads is a thrashier, much of the record though is dramatic and cinematic, if a little slow. The vocals too are a little hard to get your ears around but you do adjust to them as the album progresses. You need to give this record time but when you do, you'll be drawn into a conceptual record with a lot of musical clout. 7/10

Vonavibe - Bleed To Life (Eclipse Records)

The debut full length from Vonavibe is a little tricksy of you didn't know the band were from Greece as you'd definitely think they were American. Bleed To Life could easily be an album by Shinedown or Three Days Grace, recorded with the Wall Of Sound production, ballads such as Hold On could have easily invaded US FM radio stations on the mid 2000 - early 2010's. Formed of lead guitarist John Tass, drummer George Andrian and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dyon, they have plonked a 'rock' version Paint It Black in the middle of the record which reminds me of when little known (outside of America) alt metal band Ra covered Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, it's good but is it needed? Probably not on your debut.

Still they make up for including it with their own songs, showing their experience despite only having been a band since 2016 they have won numerous battle of the bands and done their fair share of touring, it's probably why they sound like a band who have been much longer than 7 years. They started recording in 2019 but a motorcycle accident to Dyon and the pandemic, it took a while for them to return to recording and playing resulting in Bleed To Life. An album that hits instantly but hits harder again after a few plays, the drumming being a highlight on tracks such as Beyond Tolerance where there's a progressive approach, while Break Your Sky thunders with some big sexy Nickelback bass hooks in the middle, Song 9 is heavier with odd progging in the middle. 

Bleed To Life is a great record of catchy, heavy rock from Greece that sounds American. 8/10

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