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Thursday 4 April 2024

Reviews: Asomvel, Glyph, Venues, Collapse The Void (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Asomvel - Born To Rock N Roll (Self Released)

Asomvel are now a rock n roll foursome with their fourth full length album. Founding member Lenny Robinson (guitars) continues to lead the band into its third decade joined by his son Ralph on bass/vocals who joined after co-founding member Jay Jay Winter tragically passed away. With Ralph on board they released World Shaker in 2019 and it's been a long time waiting for this new album, called Born To Rock N Roll it's not just a title it's a lifestyle choice, a mantra and ethos that drives them forwards. 

With Ryan Thackeray (drums) and Stel Robinson (guitar) joining the band last year, Asomvel are now a muscular foursome as I've said but the songs remain the same. The obvious influence is Motörhead, Ralph's thundering bass and throat shredding vocals, similar to God (Lemmy) himself on Take It To The Grave, but there's a bit more depth than that on these 14 songs, the title track and Outside The Law both have a bit of The Wildhearts about it while Luck Is For Losers and Louder & Louder brings some baroom boogie from AC/DC as When You're Dead Lie Down rampages with the heavy bottom blues of Frantic Four Status Quo. 

Promoted heavily with a bombarding campaign on social media, throughout the recording of the album, Asomvel have piqued enough interest in this album and delivered rabid rock n roll that any Motörheadbangers will play loud as possible. There's a myriad of Motörhead tributes out there but Asomvel are the closer you get to Lemmy and co. Stone Deaf Forever and proud of it! 8/10

Glyph - Honor. Power. Glory (Self Released)

Power metal when done right is a joyous thing to behold. Glyph do it right! Formed by musicians that come from Gatekeeper, Greyhawk, Ravenous and HJELVIK, it's a metal supergroup that has focused on the bombastic, upbeat style of bands such as Powerwolf, Victorius and Sabaton who they most sound like due to the gruff vocals of R.A Voltaire sounding just like Joakim Bróden of the Historical Metal Swedes. Glyph's lyrics though are based around numerous elements, not history, from fantasy to aliens and epic battles it's your standard swords in the air blueprint but delivered with a knowing nod and bags of talent from this group of veterans to the scene. 

Keyboardist Jeff Black (Gatekeeper) founded the band and his keys are major element to their sound (A Storm Of Crimson Fire), like the early Sabaton albums and also Powerwolf. Darin Wall joins on bass with Rob Steinway on guitars as Cody Anstey was brought into play session drums on the record. Honor. Power. Glory (the title track) opens with swashbuckling rhythms while March Of The Heathen Clan is storming battle metal, When The World Was Young ramps up the drama. From here Defy The Night goes completely towards the rampaging early power metal sound as Sign Of The Dragonlord brings the bombast of Rhapsody as Glorious comes from yet more boisterous speed. 

Glyph round up all the best parts of power metal and throw them together in to one exciting debut, I'm hoping for more as soon as possible. 9/10

Venues – Transience (Arising Empire)

Following a tour supporting Future Palace, the scene is set for a new album from German metalcore band Venues. Signed to Arising Empire and compared to bands such as Vuvoki and As Everything Unfolds, they merge the poppy clean vocals of Lela with the metalcore shouts of Robin, allowing tracks such as Braille to have an emotional hit against the heavy riffs and breakdowns of Valentin (guitar) and Dennis (drums), they deal with some heavy topics too, Unspoken Words about the choice to leave a toxic situation with much of the album quite personal. 

With only four members and two of them being singers, you can bet that there’s plenty of the electronic elements that are a key part of modern metalcore and Venues use them well from the breakdown heavy Godspeed, Goodbye, the atmospheric Bad Karma or the crushing Radiate Me where I get a bit of Lacuna Coil coming through, Venues playing fast and loose with their metalcore tag as they bring in gothic and alt metal too. Transience is bang up to date modern metal from Venues, ripe with crossover appeal. 7/10

Collapse The Void – Collapse The Void (Self Relased)

Remember the early days of metalcore? When it was first around? It was new and heavy and visceral, breakdowns were there to get you pitting or banging your head, the vocals shifted from growled to clean, the meaty riffs moved from thrash to groove to hardcore to classic metal. Well Newport (South Wales)’s Collapse The Void bring that early metalcore sound in droves on their debut EP. They say that they’re influenced by Bury Tomorrow and Parkway Drive but in the first song Crimson, I can hear much more of genre leaders Killswitch Engage as Eli Baugh’s guttural growls are counterpointed by the cleans of I think Mike Evans. 

He also brings the grinding dissonant riffs to a song such as Rat King where Collapse The Void really get chunky, the fireworks and solos on Crimson or Alone brought by Joel Morgan as on the latter Oli Jones’ drumming is perfect for the thrashing, but he can bring deft slow crush too paired well with the bottom end of Sion Hughes. There’s a maturity to this EP that lets it be vicious but also melodic, encouraging movement with songs that are fresh but owe debts to the past. 

Looking to destroy Fuel Rock Club in Cardiff this Friday at their EP launch, get this on loud to hear what’s in store. 8/10

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