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Tuesday 9 April 2024

Reviews: Orecus, Aniimalia, Burn Down Eden, Oakfarm (Reviews By GC, Zak Skane, Matt Bladen, Rich Piva)

Orecus - Dreadnought (Violent Groove) [GC]

Just getting round to clearing up some of this week’s releases and of course as there is a death metal album knocking about, here I am again reviewing it! This one, Dreadnought comes from Sweden’s Orecus and is their second full length to be released by Violent Groove.

From the very second All Traitors Bleed The Same starts I already get the feeling this is going to be good! The guitars of both Elias Ryen Rafstedt and Kim Wiklund sound huge and decimate everything before them with big, thick chugging riffs and the drumming from Henry Gonzalez is absolutely top draw, unfortunately Marin Maxe’s bass just seems to get drowned out as usually sems to be the way on most death metal nowadays BUT, the star of the show on this however is vocalist Philip Grunuing, he sounds fucking unreal! the depth and he gets on his voice is something to behold and just powers everything forward with such ferocity! 

Hunter is another feral mix of inhumane drumming and waves and waves of huge chugging riffs all layered over with more intense vocal work and the way it all just syncs together is amazing as nothing is out of place or sounds lost, it’s all there for a specific reason and it all works phenomenally well! Dark Matter has an arrogant stomp about it and is reminiscent of if Fear Factory went death metal today and not back in 1991. 

As a little bonus, we get a fancy guitar solo courtesy of ex Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers to break up the relentless nature of everything. Harm has the familiar sounding deathcore brutality running throughout and has the first of four guest vocals from Joe Mcglynn of Man Must Die, but there is a ‘’you better check yourself before you wreck yourself’’ lyric that makes me want to vomit in my mouth a bit and slightly ruins the song for me!! 

Control has the familiar pattern of walls of guitars that crush and pummel and drums that destroy and punish and towards the end has breakdowns of epic size and quality that lead into Pacifist that has a bit of a more of a measured feel to it and because of this it accommodates well for the guest vocals of Bjorn Strid from Soilwork, it does feel like the foot has been taken off the gas a little bit here though, that is right until the end when they just smack you around the head with the sort of brutality that should be illegal. 

Fuming does little to make you think there will be a bad song on this album and has a shade of mathcore/djent added into the mix and features vocals from Kevin McCaughey of Ion Dissonance and once again the way they match the guest vocal to a song is done perfectly! Warning Shot is an absolute blast of a song and is full of blast beat drums and savage black metal edged guitars and another ridiculous vocal performance that needs to be heard to be appreciated, this is the album highlight right here!! Phenomenal Stuff! 

Stronghold is an altogether different beast and for once dials the pace right back and when the main section begins the slowed and measured pace continues, there is slight change up midway that drains into another slower section to drag the song to the end with some more huge sounding guitars, to be honest I feel that it’s a bit of a weird song but still works in the whole album production, I do fail to make out the guest vocals from Humanity’s Last Breath’s Filip Danielsson though and that may be because his style is so similar to Philip’s?? 

So, it’s on to Culminating to finish us off and for one last time we get absolutely pummelled and broken by the deathcore mix of guitars and drums but none of this is formulaic in anyway like some can be this has sounded fresh and invigorating all the way through.

In a shock to absolutely nobody reading, I loved this album and can’t really find a serious fault with it!? It was furious, energetic, exciting, and most importantly savagely heavy throughout. All I can say to finish is, you need to make it your top priority to hear this album immediately! 10/10

Aniimalia – Carousel (Marshall Records) [Zak Skane]

To open up this four track E.P, Jungle begins with some frantic Dave Grohl-esque drum fills whilst we are hit with some booming open notes and unison bends from the guitars before it leads into there first verse in this E.P. 

From listening to the first phrase we are getting some garage rock vibes with the vocals being processed through some megaphone style effects that are featured throughout this whole E.P. throughout this we’re getting these octave fuzzed riffs that reminisce of bands like The White Stripes and The Marmosets. With the in your face delivery and from energetic instrumentation and the rebellious lyrical content this makes a promising opener. 

Hurt Me Back brings in some Bring Me The Horizon Nu metal styled bouncy fuzzed up riffs followed by ambient verses with consists of shimmering guitar effects before it’s amplified to bouncy choruses and high range vocal hooks. The Puppeteer brings the heavy down a notch with the singer bringing in some soulful vengeful phrases over punchy pulses and groovy bass lines that build up to bluesy fuelled breakdowns. 

The closing track titled doom does what it says on the tin with it’s huge booming riffs, spacy ambient guitar effect that glide through the verses. The track providing some Deftones vibes with huge guitar chords being strummed over the half time drum beats. The vocalist provided some gothic sounding melodies whilst providing some haunting reverbed melodies in the bridge sections.

Through out this follow up release the band have made a gracious continuation of their bluesy garage rock sound with the bombastic octave fuzzed riffs on songs like Jungle and Doom whilst providing some sleazy drum grooves in Hurt Me Bad and the soulful vocal takes on tracks like Puppeter. For fans of The Marmozets, The White Stripes and The Queens Of The Stone Age. 8/10.

Burn Down Eden - Dismal (Seek & Strike) [Matt Bladen]

Death metal? Deathcore? Call it what you want, Dismal is a five track banger from German band Burn Down Eden. Technically impressive metal with riffs set to destroy and inhuman drumming over this short blast of fury the band display some songwriting that has drawn comparison to Soilwork or Kataklysm as the punishing riffs are offset by some widdly lead guitar playing and black metal speed picking on The War Within and Reap The Apocalypse especially. 

If you're looking for a relaxing listen this isn't it, Burn Down Eden are furious and assault you with their musical aggression, the expletives growled menacingly on Death Of A Songbird as those drums just keep going and going. It's a five knuckle shot to the skull with a lot of virtuosity behind the brutality. Following up their debut EP with another bludgeoning, Burn down Eden should be in your spectrum if you like your death metal techy. 7/10

Oakfarm - Oakfarm (Pink Tank Records) [Rich Piva]

Oakfarm are a new German trio who have 70s written all over their bio. They look the part too. Musically they are knee deep in arguably the best musically era as well, as these guys have the time machine in full effect for their self-titled debut.

From the arena rock riff and solo from What If you can feel yourself transported back, reminding me a bit of contemporary retro rockers like The Golden Grass. Reason is another standout track and outlines how these guys are not just posing for the 70s but get it totally, even if none of them were born yet (I don’t know this for sure). Anyone hear a bit of Grand Funk on The Way? It’s a bit cleaner but still has a similar vibe. 

I think some will struggle with the vocals a bit, with Sombre Vita being an example of this, but musically this track is very cool. I cannot escape the Golden Grass comparison, but I think GG is a bit catchier and has more complex song structures, but the vibe is similar for sure. The track Friends has a southern rock vibe to it that I can get behind and the closer, The Melody, is probably the strongest track on the album. I cannot figure out what is missing here, but there is something that makes this record incomplete.

I wanted to love the debut from Oakfarm, and on first listen I did, but one each following listens I felt like there was something missing or a tad bit hollow in some of the songs. It may be my fault comparing them to one of my favourite bands The Golden Grass, but try to go in without anything to compare the band to and maybe you will get more out of it than me. 

Oakfarm is a listenable debut that initially caught me but failed to hold on, but I am still interested in what comes next for them as I hear a ton of potential. 6/10

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