Jul 022016

Grave Desecrator-Slaughtbbath split


For those of us here in the U.S., today is the beginning of a long weekend in which we celebrate the nation’s independence from another country, which recently declared its own “independence” from Europe and now can’t seem to figure out what to do next. But since we have a couple of presidential candidates here in this country that most people don’t like, I guess we’re having some trouble figuring out what to do next, too.

I nearly decided to take the day off from blogging, not because I’m feeling very “patriotic” but because I’m feeling really lazy. I decided instead to make a feeble compromise with myself: I have a ton of new music I think is worth hearing, but I’m just going to spread a lot of it out for your perusal without any commentary. I feel kind of shitty for doing that, not because you really need my commentary but because I think I owe it to the bands to explain why I think the music is worth hearing. But I guess this is better than doing nothing at all.

Tomorrow we’ll be bringing you an EP premiere and something else, probably another Shades of Black post and/or the first “That’s Metal!” post in months. Unless I continue to indulge my feelings of laziness. Continue reading »

May 052012

I’m way late to the Be’lakor party.  The first music I heard from this Australian band was “Remnants”, which was the first song they aired from their new third album Of Breath and Bone (coming in June from Kolony Records). It gob-smacked me right in my gob. And then I caught a video of a live performance of another song (“Fraught”) and got smacked again.  Wrote about both those songs in this post, where you can hear the songs if you haven’t (just be careful of your gob). To steal a phrase from Phro, they sound like “Amon Amarth making antichrist babies with Insomnium”, with Amorphis as the midwife.

This morning we got yet another song from the album.  This one is called “Absit Omen”, which is Latin for “will fuck your shit up”. I still can’t do better than comparing the music to a fusion of Amon Amarth-style crushing riffs, dark Insomnium-esque melodies, and death-metal vocals that give Johan Hegg and Niilo Sevänen a run for their money.

The song is majestic, powerful, memorable. This really is melodic death metal done right. Can’t wait for the album to drop! Listen to “Absit Omen” right after the jump. Continue reading »

Nov 202011

(In this post, TheMadIsraeli reviews the debut EP by Mancunian metallers Betraeus, released on November 14 by Seige of Amida.)

“For fans of Opeth, Death, Cynic, Bloodbath and Insomnium

This was all it took to pique my curiosity when I saw the words in Hold Tight! PR’s press release about Betraeus.  Towards The Sun is not an EP I want to beat around the bush about: This is really, really, really good, and I want to see a full-length post-haste.

Despite the comparisons above being true to one degree or another, though, I’d add that there is quite a bit of Daath and Gojira influence going on as well. If you haven’t gathered already, this combination of influences results in a sound that is quite diverse.  None of the music is entirely death metal, or thrash metal, or any such thing. It’s its own sound. While Betraeus peg themselves as a prog death outfit, I would be more inclined to call them a straight-up progressive act.

This EP contains six tracks, three studio recordings, two live tracks, and a radio edit of one of those studio recordings. The first studio recording, “Towards the Sun”, which is the EP’s opener, does a pretty good job of summarizing what this band is all about and it was a smart choice as a lead-in track.  It’s a nearly 10-minute epic spanning everything from Opeth-ian, dreary, macabre doom-death tendencies, to Gojira/Daath-styled technical thrashy riffing, to Insomnium-style melodic passages and themes, all combined with jarring yet fitting transitional phases that keep the music unexpected and fresh. I think you’ll be hard pressed to predict any part of this song.

Continue reading »