This Month In Metal: October 2008

Another month, another album and another band people tend to either love or hate.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
0

Cradle of Filth - Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder

Genre: Extreme metal Release date: October 27 Label: Roadrunner

Another month, another album and another band people tend to either love or hate. Curiously, I've seen virtually no press whatsoever for this release and I almost missed it altogether.

To be honest, Cradle of Filth never clicked for me, and I see no reason why this should either. There's precious little evolution in terms of sound and style, predictable arrangements and nothing that really stands out. The band plays well, the production is good despite that the orchestral bits sound pretty cheap and Dani filth is a good at what he does, but it's still lacking in two of the more important departments: songs and length. Yes, you guessed it, it's too damn long, clocking in at a bit over 60 minutes. The way I see it, most black metal albums can go two ways - either you pen short, direct and punchy hits, like Lord Belial did on The Black Curse, or you opt for a more technical and epic approach, along the lines of, say, Emperor. Godspeed seems to sit on the fence on this one, trying to pick the best bits of both but ultimately it all boils down to a pretty bland soup that never seems to end.

It's hard to point out flaws in mediocre music - because that it exactly what Godspeed on The Devil's Thunder is. The album doesn't turn very bad nor very good at any stage, it just plods along and it simply doesn't stick. I do like the general concept of depicting Gilles de Rais and his life, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

UG Review Rating: 5

Sylosis - Conclusion of an Age

Genre: Modern thrash Release date: October 24 Label: Nuclear Blast

I've heard a lot about Sylosis for quite some time now, first reading about them in magazines and then they finally landed a proper deal with Nuclear Blast. Thus, I was pretty interested in this release to see if they could live up to the hype they'd generated.

What I do like about them is that their sound is a bit like a melting pot. You get a modern take on thrash, some death metal, melodic stuff and you can definitely tell that these guys have been working quite a while to get to this point. Debut albums can sound a bit immature in places, but Conclusion of an Age sounds like a band a few albums into their career. The albums opens very well, as most albums tend to do, but it doesn't drop the ball after the first barrage. The galloping opening riff in After Lifeless Years got stuck in my head immediately upon hearing it, just like the main riff in the title track. The musicianship doesn't really offer a new take on anything, but it's all very well done, which is especially noticeable in the lead playing.

The sound is not completely new but the execution is very, very solid and I hope they can raise the bar another notch or two for their next album, because they've got a lot of potential. The songs and riffs are there, and with that present in this genre you can't really do much wrong.

UG Review Rating: 7.5

Bloodbath - The Fathomless Mastery

Genre: Death metal Release date: October 28 Label: Peaceville

What once started out as a fun little drunken project amongst the Swedish death metal elite has now turned pretty serious, a string albums and EP s down the road. Precious little has changed from their debut EP, and for some that's great and for some (like me) it makes the band a little less interesting. Their first EP was more or less a tribute to the old school style of Swedish death metal, which put them in a category I'd call fun but not serious. Now, with so many releases under their belt, it's hard to consider them as such an act and it's starting to sound a bit bland. Sure, Mock the Cross and At the Behest of Their Death are truly monstrous death metal tunes, with groove, swagger and attitude, but the quality of the songs don't hold up for the entire course of the album. Since the style never changes, the songwriting has to be improved for each release, and I'd argue that if anything it's taken a step back.

The Fathomless Mastery is a good album, don't get me wrong, but there's no real reason for me to listen to this when I've got Breeding Death and Resurrection Through Carnage doing the same thing, except much better. Bloodbath would be better off giving it a rest for a few years and then put out an EP every now and then, instead of watering down the market with a release every year.

UG Review Rating: 6.5

Unearth - The March

Genre: Modern thrash Release date: October 14 Label: Metal Blade

My general opinion of Unearth prior to III: In The Eyes of Fire was pretty lukewarm. To me they were an average metal/hardcore band, but that changed big-time with In The Eyes of Fire, which turned out to be one of my favourite albums of that year. Thus, I've been looking forward to The March quite a bit.

One thing is noticeable from the first note - there's a lot more shredding and lead playing in general on this album. I certainly don't mind, Buz McGrath is a very tasty player and he's got some nice chops. There're quite a few blistering leads on The March, such as We Are Not Anonymous where Buz and Ken trade off leads seamlessly and with great taste.

But, when it all boils down, leads are just cosmetics on what truly matters and that of course is the song. There're a handful of solid songs, and then some that don't accomplish all that much. I'll have to say that The March leaves a bit to be desired. It's well-produced, well played and the performances are pretty darn good, even though I prefer their previous drummer. The songs don't hit as hard and frequently like on In The Eyes of Fire, plus I find that the speed-element has been a bit toned down in favour for a more grooving vibe, which will go over well with some people I suppose, but I definitely prefer this band when they speed things up. Finally, a few more catchy that could carry an entire song would've been nice. The way things are, a lot of the record is built on a chord progression with a melody on top, whereas I'd preferred more powerful riffs. But hey, that's just me.

The March is an alright record, but it's also a definite step back and down from their previous release.

UG Review Rating: 6

Thyrfing - Hels Vite

Genre: Black/folk metal Release date: October 22 Label: Regain

Prior to this month, Thyrfing belonged to the category of bands I'd heard of but never heard. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, they mix black and folk elements, with lyrics in Swedish and English. Nothing new under the sun (or moon perhaps), but it's quite an enjoyable listen. Hels Vite doesn't necessarily reach any dazzling heights, but it never goes very low either. Consistent and very solid would be a fitting description. There's not much speed on it, it's more of a steady groove with a good deal of atmosphere thrown in, such as the acoustic break in Isolation. The album delivers a solid bunch of songs, with a production that doesn't come off as too good, given the genre, and if you're into black with a touch of folk, or just want to dip your toe in the genre, Hels Vite would certainly be a good record for you.

Rating: 7
As for Gojira's new album, I'll simply direct you to the UG Team review by duncang, since I'd more or less echo his opinion on it.

Note: Cynic's Traced In Air was pushed back to November 25th, and thus is not featured here, but it most certainly will be in next month's edition.

News And Tidbits From The Past Month

Anthrax recently entered the studio to begin recording on their new album, tentatively due in May 2009.

Mastodon will release their new album Crack the Skye sometime in early 2009.

Anaal Nathrakh have begun recording a new album, tentatively due in June 2009.

Exodus are working on a follow-up to The Atrocity Exhibition, but no release date or news about when they enter the studio is available. The material is however described by Gary Holt as darker and faster.

Massachusetts metallers Shadows Fall's are rumoured to have lost their record deal with Roadrunner (Europe) and also are said to be close to being dropped by Atlantic in the US.

Devian's new album God To The Illfated will be released in most European countries in December, as well as the US in January 2009.

Queensrche are wrapping up the recordings of their new album American Soldier, due in Q1 2009. The concept of the album is said to be war from the soldier's perspective.

Tech-death giants Quo Vadis recently announced a new bass player in Roxanne Constantin.

And finally, Shadow Gallery vocalist Michael A. Baker passed away on October 29, after suffering a heart attack. He was only 45 years old. So far, there is no word as to if the band will continue without him or call it a day.

That's it for this month, thanks for reading.

106 comments sorted by best / new / date

    skindred
    TWISTEDFender wrote: Phe4rTheGod wrote: You forgot to mention that Lamb of God will release new album Feb. 24, 2009...the most important news for upcoming releases... Since they're not even metal, I really don't see the relevance...
    lamb of god are not metal...? wow thats the most retarded reply i've ever heard in my life, ever.
    tushmeister
    Misfit-FTB wrote: Very bad review on Bloodbath. There hasn't been an album since NMF and your saying too many? Well, if an 4-track EP and a full length album is too much for you, idk. The Fatomless Mastery is indeed a very good album, and I only like a couple tracks Godspeed. Tried of that same symphony sound over and over, but I do like how the songs were written.
    For the record, Bloodbath have 2 full-lengths prior to this And his point makes sense, since the band was a fun project, and they're normally destined for a very short life I do disagree with the review mind, I think TFM is brutal, a joy to listen to, and it just showcases Akerfeldts abilities once more But I'm a Bloodbath fanboy, so I would say that I disagree with a fair few scores this month, but it has to be said reviews are subjective, like the ZeroPunctuation reviewer (google it if you've never seen his video reviews of computer games) I don't believe in giving scores of 10 It's applying an objective arbitrary measure to a subjective matter But I digress
    Thyrfing
    protesthehero wrote: all these bands suck dick.
    Listen to Thyrfing's The Voyager and come back and say that. Hels Vite is one of my favorite albums this year.
    Reviewer Pete
    roarinflames wrote: my god ive never seen a band get reviewed by pete with a score higher than 8.5 your average score is a 6 can you pleased at all or do you just pick apart every album you listen to until you find one minute thing that makes you hate it
    Psycroptic and Lord Belial got 9 not even a month ago.
    roarinflames
    my god ive never seen a band get reviewed by pete with a score higher than 8.5 your average score is a 6 can you pleased at all or do you just pick apart every album you listen to until you find one minute thing that makes you hate it
    Slicer666
    alex:is:win8 wrote: some of you people need to realize that YOU have an opinion too, and that this is only his opinion. if you really care that much, go listen to the album yourself and write your own review.
    a +lots to that post, if you have time to bitch about someone's opinion, then you have time to write your own review and do a 'better' one.
    bootyguard
    sorry about including my comment in the quote in the last one. I'm kinda drunk. Anyway, I approve of the Psycroptic review (just read it). I still believe you should review Abigail William's new release, and in November i recommend reviewing The Faceless' "Planterary Duality" as well as Cynic's "Traced in Air". I can't think of too many others at the moment but those are the two main ones I've got on my mind.
    bootyguard
    Reviewer Pete wrote: bootyguard wrote: WHERE THE F*CK is Psycroptic's release It was released October 14th in the US so thats why I believed it should be here.... ...still you should review Abigail William's new release. Awesome symphonic black metal. Psycroptic was reviewed last month.
    Reviewer Pete
    bootyguard wrote: WHERE THE F*CK is Psycroptic's release
    Psycroptic was reviewed last month.
    bootyguard
    codythomas117 wrote: troyponce wrote: I wasn't a huge fan of the new Unearth. It just made me want to listen to All Shall Perish's newest release, which I believe is the number one metal release of the year besides the Colors Live DVD. Also, lets not forget that both Nevermore and Arch Enemy are dropping live DVDs in November, and the Faceless are finally putting out a new album. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. they definetly put out metal album of the year 2007. they deserved it big time. colors is the definition of a perfect album.
    Colors is great, but I believe Sadist's s/t, Cephalic Carnage's "Xenosapien", Primordial's "To the Nameless Dead", Wolves in the Throne Room's "Two Hunters", Amorphis' "Silent Waters", Immolation's "Shadows in the Light", Blotted Science's "The Machinations of Dementia", Odious Mortem's "Cryptic Implosion", Ne Obliviscaris' "The Aurora Veil", Krohm's "The Haunting Presence", Akercocke's "Antichrist", and Benighted's "Icon" are all extremely worthy releases that deserve as much mention or more than Colors. Colors is great, but doesn't hold as strong of a light to some of those releases.
    alex:is:win8
    some of you people need to realize that YOU have an opinion too, and that this is only his opinion. if you really care that much, go listen to the album yourself and write your own review.
    bootyguard
    WHERE THE F*CK is Psycroptic's release, or Abigail William's new release. Those are both great albums and deserve much needed attention, much more than Cradle of Filth. I'm quite disapointed. I think the reviewer needs more outside opinions and suggestions rather than what's reviewed on the top pages of Decibel Magazine or wherever he gets the "trendy metal" info. Quo Vadis, Anaal Nathrakh, Exodus, Bloodbath, and Thyrfing are the only remotely interesting parts of the article for me, and Exodus and Bloodbath already recieve quite a bit of attention. Please focus at least a little more of your section on talking about less predominantly advertised releases. If anything, make this a 10 album per month thing. I'm sure you can still review the 5 most popular "trendy metal" albums while still having time for 5 quality metal superstars that actually take research to find, yet are so worth it when you discover them.
    Ali-b912
    travis_holland wrote: How about CKY completed their new album and played their first shows in over a year.
    Awesome, i didnt know that. but to be honest CKY arent liked by alot of the metal community, and a flame war might ensue from them being posted.
    Brendan.Clace
    This is bullshit. How can someone that STATES he doesn't like cradle...review an album without bias?
    ShrimpthePimp
    BTBAM_7 wrote: protesthehero wrote: protest the hero will take a large stanky dump on all of these suckish bands chest's. +a billion.
    except for sylosis. they're amazing. and unearth is pretty tight. imma go check out CoF and Bloodbath now.
    codythomas117
    troyponce wrote: I wasn't a huge fan of the new Unearth. It just made me want to listen to All Shall Perish's newest release, which I believe is the number one metal release of the year besides the Colors Live DVD. Also, lets not forget that both Nevermore and Arch Enemy are dropping live DVDs in November, and the Faceless are finally putting out a new album.
    BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. they definetly put out metal album of the year 2007. they deserved it big time. colors is the definition of a perfect album.
    codythomas117
    UNEARTH is ill. you guys should check out iwrestledabearonce. if you like tech/grind/prog.
    Reviewer Pete
    tushmeister like the ZeroPunctuation reviewer (google it if you've never seen his video reviews of computer games)
    "Playing this game is like walking a road, beating yourself in the face with a hammer. And the road is very, very long...and the hammer is made of wank". Yahtzee is great.
    nicksword87
    When will the world realise that all bands are equally inferior to Between the Buried and Me
    desimate
    happy to see the good review on the new sylosis album, been following this band since they released 'subject to' years ago, bout time theyre getting more recognition and coverage, cos this band are that good and theyre only gonna get better, potentially one of the best in britains current crop of metal bands IMO.
    evilbeavil
    i completely disagree with the unearth review sure III In The Eyes of Fire was a great album, but with The March not only have they taken the best parts from III, they have improved every other aspect of their sound especially the lead work which is nothing short of epic
    BlackSymphony6
    mattOVERBOARD wrote: lethaldosage45 wrote: hahaha SHADOWS FALL LOSING RECORD DEAL... its about time. Every record sounds the same... haha jokes on you its just a rumour i no for a fact cus i actually work for roadrunner and ive asked and they said its not true.
    like hell you do. Lies ....
    CurbstompBass
    skindred wrote: TWISTEDFender wrote: Phe4rTheGod wrote: You forgot to mention that Lamb of God will release new album Feb. 24, 2009...the most important news for upcoming releases... Since they're not even metal, I really don't see the relevance... lamb of god are not metal...? wow thats the most retarded reply i've ever heard in my life, ever.
    Sorry, but metalcore =/= metal. And I think these reviews were pretty fair. I've never really been big on Cradle of Filth, either. Can't wait for Nevermore's new DVD.
    restless_thrash
    Quo Vadis does indeed have a new bassist, who has a sexy bass. and she's not bad herself. good body, and solid playing. She doesn't have an awful lot of presence, but she tries, and i hope that they do well with her. Now, for november, i hope that Profugis Mortis' new album "Another Round" will be mentioned. i got it at a concert, pre-release, and its a good album.
    KnifelineAttack
    I didn't know about Mike Baker... Shadow Gallery was cool, and I loved what he did with Ayreon. R.I.P.
    bootyguard
    roarinflames wrote: my god ive never seen a band get reviewed by pete with a score higher than 8.5 your average score is a 6 can you pleased at all or do you just pick apart every album you listen to until you find one minute thing that makes you hate it
    I'd much rather have someone like reviewer Pete who finds both faults and strengths in albums and rates them accordingly. Psycroptic's and Lord Belial's were both extremely excellent albums and in such Reviewer Pete rated them that way. If he gave every album he saw a 9 or a 10, than there wouldn't be too much to base how good an album was because he'd make them all seem great, whereas in reality albums like "Twilight of the Thunder God" although very fun, gets rather dull after the 7th track (at least for me... theres only so much viking metal i can listen to by myself without drinking and being with other people before I get bored and want to swap it out for something like Psycroptic or Decrepit Birth). And Lamb of God is only called "Metal" by the mass media, which I must say is pretty ignorant on terms of metal classification and terminology. Lamb of God is probably closer to hardcore than to metal, so no no for that.
    allfooie
    bootyguard wrote: codythomas117 wrote: troyponce wrote: I wasn't a huge fan of the new Unearth. It just made me want to listen to All Shall Perish's newest release, which I believe is the number one metal release of the year besides the Colors Live DVD. Also, lets not forget that both Nevermore and Arch Enemy are dropping live DVDs in November, and the Faceless are finally putting out a new album. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. they definetly put out metal album of the year 2007. they deserved it big time. colors is the definition of a perfect album. Colors is great, but I believe Sadist's s/t, Cephalic Carnage's "Xenosapien", Primordial's "To the Nameless Dead", Wolves in the Throne Room's "Two Hunters", Amorphis' "Silent Waters", Immolation's "Shadows in the Light", Blotted Science's "The Machinations of Dementia", Odious Mortem's "Cryptic Implosion", Ne Obliviscaris' "The Aurora Veil", Krohm's "The Haunting Presence", Akercocke's "Antichrist", and Benighted's "Icon" are all extremely worthy releases that deserve as much mention or more than Colors. Colors is great, but doesn't hold as strong of a light to some of those releases.
    ouch
    Nightmare4560
    some good reviews here , cradle of filth are a band that i never really listened to that much , but i thought the album was good. the other bands i havent heard of but ye. but in my opinion , nothing in metal compares to the likes of metallica , slayer and anthrax
    Megalomaniac46
    I completely disagree with this guys opinion of Unearth's new album. I love it. O well, his loss.
    RX120D
    lethaldosage45 wrote: hahaha SHADOWS FALL LOSING RECORD DEAL... its about time. Every record sounds the same...
    Agreed. They're boring.
    a drummer
    xXChimairaXx wrote: I don't get how people can like bands like Between the Buried and Me, Human Abstract, Protest the Hero. That kind of music makes me sick. It's all over the freaking place and weird as hell. Seems like all they do is sweep pick and the people at their shows are creepers. Someone explain it.
    The talent, each and every musician in those bands are extremely good at their instrument, and whats not cooler than some normal guys from North Carolina making a masterpiece, and watching a guy scream his ass off while standing in front of a keyboard, while the bands is creating incredible music...(between the buried and me)...listen to the song Selkies: the endless obsession and say it makes you sick, it will probably make you cry with tears of joy
    xXChimairaXx
    I knew Shadows Fall didn't lose their deal. I wonder who got that crappy info. They have way to much talent to go down the toilet, but they need to change it up on the next record. Startin to sound repetitive. I don't get how people can like bands like Between the Buried and Me, Human Abstract, Protest the Hero. That kind of music makes me sick. It's all over the freaking place and weird as hell. Seems like all they do is sweep pick and the people at their shows are creepers. Someone explain it.
    SPBY
    wtf, The March got a 6? yeah its not as good as the oncoming storm but its still a beast of an album
    mattOVERBOARD
    lethaldosage45 wrote: hahaha SHADOWS FALL LOSING RECORD DEAL... its about time. Every record sounds the same...
    haha jokes on you its just a rumour i no for a fact cus i actually work for roadrunner and ive asked and they said its not true.