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Wednesday 13 December 2023

Reviews: Tuber, Solitary Sabred, Silver R.I.S.C, Extremity Obsession (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Tuber – Joyful Science (Self Released)

Could Joyful Science be a late entry to my AOTY list? Maybe, it’s certainly got a hold of me quite firmly, even though I don’t usually like bands who are sans vocals. But this instrumental band from Serres has got a hold on me with their blissed out, sunny rhythms proving to be an antidote for these dark depressing winter nights. I can’t really work out what to call them but if you got Kyuss in the studio with Bossk and Plini and let them jam some Yacht Rock, Mike Oldfield and synthwave you’d get close to the musical trip produced on this 6 track EP. 

If you want to know why this record is so good just listen to the final song Burning Florescence, a slow burning number hooked on a repeating piano, layered with fuzzy synts that evolves into a slide guitar solo at the end, it’s like High Hopes from Division Bell but without Gilmour’s dulcet tones, but the same emotion. The musicianship is astounding, they seem to be a foursome, but there’s so much instrumentation here, there’s either special guests or they go for the multi-instrumentalist thing, I’d prefer the latter. 

The title track/title Joyful Science, is perfect for casting what this EP is all about, upbeat, catchy song writing that takes on life through the scientific and probably painstaking method of composition, making sure that the melodies fit and do the job of a singer. I call this an EP because the band, provide musical journeys the shortest track is six minutes, the longer times needed to make sure the songs get room to grow. 

The title track has those 80’s sunshine vibes with the open chords and synth flourishes, No Cure For Life goes down the route of trip hop and 90’s indie rock, putting a drum machine with a Hammond organ, evolving into vapourwave. From here we get weird as Chain Of Signs comes with a mix of Steven Wilson moodiness and Danny Elfman oddness, more cinematic electronics put against big rock chords, the darkest track on the album being Eau Rouge which could be a Vangelis’ sci-fi soundscape. 

Pushing boundaries and making a brilliant noise with Joyful Science, Tuber have stolen my heart. 9/10

Solitary Sabred - Temple Of The Serpent (Vinyl Store)

Cypriot metal band Solitary Sabred return with their new album. Based around the concept of the fall of the Akkad Empire (Modern Iraq). It concerns itself with djinns and undeed sorcerers and tells a fantastical tale through ten tracks of epic metal. Temple Of The Serpent is their fourth studio album, and anyone who loves Manowar, Running Wild and Manilla Road. Vocally Petros “Asgardlord” Leptos has the high velocity scream of Eric Adams or Ripper Owens, shrieking the word "Transgressor" on Bound By The Lich with the same histrionics as both these frontmen. 

They have played with Omen, Manilla Road, Helstar, Enforcer, Ashes Of Ares and others that come from that epic metal style, honing their sound to fully realise their potential on this concept record. With speed metal workouts such as Flight Of The Banshee, Fotis “Defiler” Mountouris' percussion hits warp speed, George “Stainlesz” Papaioannou's bass galloping like a wild stallion. 

They drive these epic metal songs perfectly, Demetris “Spartacus” Demetriou and Nikolas “Sprits” Moutafis' snarling, rough guitar riffs, having the tone of Ross The Boss on The Undead City, widdling leads adding to the Mercyful Fate darkness of Lord Of Ganzer, the pace slowing for the melodic Reaper Of Kur. Solitary Sabred's fourth album channels Manowar in the best ways, if you like your metal music macho and theatrical then Temple Of The Serpent will be for you, the glory days of Auburn, New York's favourite band. 7/10

Silver R.I.S.C - Knot Over (No Remorse Records)

Formed in 1989, Silver R.I.S.C are a 90's rock band that are revealed in their home country of Greece. Contemporaries of Thunder, Little Angels and Extreme, the band were lauded due to the inventive guitar playing of founder Dimitris Gasparatos, who is also an award-winning actor, a book writer and a music teacher, things he's done in the interim while the band were spilt up for most of the 90's/2000's, only actually releasing one album in 1993. 

They were part of scene that featured Raw Silk and Trademark, coming from melodic rock/NWOBHM style rock music that reminds me of Saracen, Magnum and Ten on tracks such as the swaggering Cry No More and the string-laden Nothing For Me. As well as Gasparatos (guitar/vocals), the other members of the band including co-founder Spiros Fousekis (guitar), drummer Tony V and bassist D.M all involved with msuic while the hiatus continued. 

However in 2019 they reformed taking to the stage in Athens and set about following up their debut 30 years later with their second album cleverly titled Knot Over. There's a cross over between hard rock and heavy metal here, Anna gallops, Bad Person feels like 90's Maiden, as She Smiles To The Rainbow sounds like Rainbow/Purple, Trapped Under The Ice ends the album with an odd atmospheric song. They may have a pedigree in Greece but Silver R.I.S.C's reunion album is pretty standard heavy rock, entertaining but doesn't break any new ground. 6/10

Extremity Obsession – Coalescence (Hellenic Metal World)

Ultraviolent death metal from Corinth anyone? Good. Extremity Obsession have you covered. With name like that it’s not all fluffy bunnies, just steamrolling blast beats, down picked riffing and growled vocals. It’s also got all the track titles in Greek but lyrics in English, not that it matters as you can’t hear what they’re on about anyway, unless of course you are well schooled in death metal to English translation. 

Musically in the vein of Decapitated, Vader or Suffocation they have some serious technical chops on this fifth full length record, released through Hellenic Metal World, a YouTube channel that champions the Greek underground. A song such as Προπύλαια ζωής...Retribution, will instantly make you realise what you’re dealing with as the introductory strings, bleeds into blastbeats from Chris Goudelos, crushing d-bass from Chris Tekas and chugging riffs from Angel Batsalias. It undulates as it destroys, twisting and turning around the whomp of the bass playing, their death metal credentials upped on Βουτιά στο φως...Fading Shadows which is skin peeling, the expert use of choirs and orchestrations making it more than just a shredder. 

These small snippets of classical instruments, or spoken word/samples allow Extremity Obsession to distance themselves from being one note. Πέντε λεπτά σιγής...Deportation even adding some slower emotion, the eerie atmospheres of Έξοδος...Nightfall building into a thrash metal bounce. While prog comes on Επτά Στιγμές...Dark Matter and Οκτάβα πνοής...Meteora both using the synths well. 

Coalescence is a death metal record that features more musicianship than perhaps you’d think considering the name, its heavy and oppressive but uses melody and non-metal instrumentation well. 7/10

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