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Sunday 5 November 2023

Reviews: Closet Witch, Generation Steel, Satan's Fall, Doomherre (Reviews By GC, Kira Hughes, Matt Bladen & James Jackson)

Closet Witch - Chiaroscuro (Moment Of Collapse Records) [GC]

When it comes to metal, we all have our favorite genres, I am an unashamed grindcore fan. It excites me in ways that other forms of extreme metal just can’t! I don’t know if it’s my childlike attention span, the utter chaos of it or the unrelenting nature of it but there is just something that puts it at the peak of the extreme metal mountain! And having said all that today I finally get some to review, and I have the new album Chiaroscuro from Closet Witch and to be honest, I kind of know I already like it!!

I do not however like Intro it takes up 39 seconds that could have been an actual song, anyway when the absolutely batshit Constantly Problematic flies out of the speakers all is forgiven it is furious and nasty and has everything you want from a grindcore song the blasting drums of Royce Kurth are sublime mixing with the scuzzy but sharp guitars of Alex Crist and the low end ruble of Cory Peak’s bass but the real star of the show here is vocalist Mollie Piatetsky, she sounds unbelievable and has a perfectly toned scream that cuts through and leaves a mark.

Haunting is more of the same savageness and chews you up and spits out within 41 seconds of its arrival and of course there is no let up on And Releasing and neither should there be, the pace and downright violent nature of this so far is perfect! My Words Are Sacred lengthens the of the song but that doesn’t mean its relaxed on the rawness and we even get some nice hardcore elements thrown into the mixer here. 

Infinite Imbalance is the second song in a row to clock just over the minute mark and does have a slightly slowed down pace with some crusty death metal antics thrown in for good measure. You, Me, and Venus In Decay clocks in a mighty 2:40 and while the songs seem to be expanding in length the savagery also keeps expanding and the mid-section hardcore tinged part of this song absolutely must be heard to be believed and once more, I need to mention the vocals because they add such vitriol to the songs it’s a thing of beauty. 

Arlington Cemetery seems to be a more straightforward mix of hardcore and death metal but not in like an easy metalcore way, the guitars are thick and beefy, and the pace is fast and raging and once again they don’t miss, making this style of music sound so unnecessarily horrible is a talent that should be applauded! Well Fed Machine then goes directly back to the grindcore playbook and is a scathing 38 second pummeling before We Met On The Park Boundary Trail once again shows that they can write short and longish songs but never have to dull their force, 1:30 may not sound long to you but when you put this much poison and nastiness into what you hear take it from me that is all you need and again at the end of this song when they slow it down and throw in more scuzzy breakdowns it just add yet more viciousness to the overall sound! 

Funeral Flowers is the last full-on attack under a minute and is full of screeching guitars that mix a healthy dose of hardcore again before leading us into Closer To The Cauldron which at 4:06 is practically an epic and it doesn’t fail to deliver either starting with the usual barrage of drums and wailing vocals they then slow the pace down but even then its not exactly slow but what they create is a whirlwind of sound that just batters you form all angles and never really stops the pace dips and comes back but overall the effect this song has is outstanding and closes the album perfectly before we get to Outro which again is really not needed and kind of just spoils the end of this otherwise mind blowing record!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnd breath! That was so much fun and is everything I could have asked for from this style of record, it’s fast, angry, vicious, relentless, and savage and has no other purpose but to chew you up and spit you out! I want to say there is not a second wasted but there was Intro & Outro so that’s not 100% true, but I can fully over look that because every other single second of this record is brilliantly fucking perfect and deserves every second of your time! 10/10

Generation Steel – Lionheart (El Puerto Records) [Kira Hughes]

Lionheart is the latest album from the heavy metal band Generation Steel. The album holds 10 epic songs that get your metal senses tingling. Baptized In Sorrow is incredibly gritty with super heavy guitar riffs and powerful vocals. The following track Bloodrage holds quite an operatic tone which makes this track stand out. 

Lionheart has a speedy beat, a guitar riff that is gripping as well as an awesome catchy hook within the chorus. Executor has an interesting start that immediately pulls you in with a riff that is raunchy and impressive vocals that show off multiple vocal ranges. Starting with a simple, steady yet effective drum kick beat and a slide of the guitar the track Wastelands has a smooth tone throughout the track. The Lost And The Damned has a quick and quirky guitar riff before introducing rough and gravelly vocals that emphasise the depth of the song. 

The drumbeat introducing this track Forevermore is incredibly upbeat and bouncy, with a euphoric guitar riff within the chorus. I adore the song title of this track, this has to be my favourite of this rocking album. The Ripper has such a strong and impactful start! The guitar riffs and melodies throughout this track are grippingly gorgeous. The vocals are gravelly which makes the guitar riff sound subtle and sweet underneath the demonic vocals. 

The penultimate song Left Alone has an upbeat intro with a fast-paced classic 80’s guitar riff and a speedy drumbeat, this is definitely a headbanging tune! The electric guitar riffs heavy before the drums kick start the finale track United. The vocals are giving me Iron Maiden vibes with deep, gravelly harmonies. Overall Lionheart is a trip back to 80’s heavy metal, with influences such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Megadeth. 6/10

Satan's Fall - Destination Destruction (Steamhammer/SPV) [Matt Bladen]

Destination Destruction, the second album from Helsinki band Satan's Fall has two covers on it. Both TV themes, the first is Es Wird Viel Passieren which is from German soap Marienhof. Something the band watched on TV when they were kids, probably similar to the way UK kids/teens watched Neighbours. Then the other cover is Go Go Power Rangers the theme to 90's classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, having never heard the former I can't tell you how good it is but the song seems ok, the latter though is note perfect including the ridiculous amounts of guitar solos.
This about sums up the music of Satan's Fall they come from the trad metal revival featuring 8 tracks that are inspired by the late 80's early 90's style of heavy/trad/speed metal meeting NWOBHM with hair metal. That means dual guitars, big vocals and lots of posturing. Basically carrying on from their 202 debut. They have got a new lead guitarist and a new drummer for this record but they still sound as tight and impressive as they did ok the debut.

Politically and socially influenced lyrics are highlighted by the sound of Satan's Fall diverse style, slowing things down on Swines For Slaughter and the brooding Monster's Ball. While Lead The Way and Kill The Machine are played at light speed, No God's, No Masters and Dark Star stick to a strong mid range. Is Destination Destruction going to change the world? Probably not, however if you like some retro sounding metal revivalism then get stuck into the new album from these Finns. 7/10

Doomherre - Bonegoat (Self Released) [James Jackson]

Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath springs to mind as I press play on this one; the whole album has that classic groove that’s also simultaneously doom and gloom, but the outro to the title track has an atmospheric haunting tone to it, there’s an eerie, barely audible vocal line but it’s the drum beat, the chime of a church bell and the building tension that brings to mind images of dark figures standing before me. 

We Come For The Witch begins with an equally Sabbath styled riff, there’s a fuzzy guitar tone to it and lyrically it’s easily something that you could imagine Ozzy would sing about. Sabbatsberg is the first of two instrumental tracks, the other being Spreading The Sound Of Doom which with an intriguing title like that seems a shame it’s an instrumental. Forgotten One brings back the doom and groove as does the following song Breaking The Seal, though this puts a silly smile on my face as breaking the seal has always meant something more to do with bodily functions to me than the devil worshipping inspired tale being played out here. 

Circle Of Blood and Man In The Tower bookend that instrumental track I mentioned earlier, both tracks showcase the old school doom metal that has inspired the band, I’m reminded of Cathedral and the band’s bio cites The Obsessed and Candlemass as examples of where Doomherre’s roots come from. 7/10

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