#1
Its about time I did something lol

Outline:

This thread will contain the reviews of various albums as written by UG users, all reviews will be booked in advance weekly via PM to moi. The reviews will also be posted in here via PM to moi to save me opening it and getting "TRIVIUM ROOLZ 102%!!" while we wait for the reviewer to post.


If the writer wishes, he/she can make the review part of one of the following "themes"

Cult Classic

An album that had a profound effect on the scene as a whole, whether by creating a new genre, inspiring a a new twist to a certain sound, or just those albums that are insanely good. Not just anything can go in here, so don't start getting annoyed if people disagree that Grimsatan's 2007 Nazi death kill 666 demo isn't a classic, this is reserved for the true metal classics (Seven Churches, Legion, Pleasure to Kill etc)


Breaking Bands

More leaning towards demos here than anything else, mainly just newish bands who are up and coming. Myspace bands are fine, but only review if you have heard the entire demo, reviews of other member's bands are also welcome.

The Underground

I have a feeling this will be 99% black metal but whatever. Dedicated to truly underground music, but from established bands that aren't new to the scene. Ambient is welcome as well. Demos are fine as long as it isn't the band's first release.

If the review doesn't fit into any of these, don't worry, just submit it anyway

Rules

1) The reviews should be marked as a percentage to keep everything nice and consistent

2) Follow the rules of the forum, what's considered to be allowed in this thread is the same as what is allowed in the forum

3) No review hogging. If you've recently submitted a review then you will go to the back of the queue and people who havn't written recently will get priority

4) Don't review what has already been reviewed

5) Don't get pissy if your name doesn't appear on the list immediately, I'm not on here 24/7 contrary to popular belief lol


Ermmmm that's about it, so if you want to write something then PM me with something like this:

I would like to write a review of *insert band* - *insert album*

Part of the theme *insert theme* (completely optional)

For the week beginning *insert date* (if you leave it blank I'll just give you the next free slot)


The List

W/b = Week beginning



W/b 24th September  -  insideac - In Sorte Diaboli by Dimmu Borgir

W/b 1st October  -  Kepulix - Conspiracy In Mind by Communic

W/b 8th October - Dirtydeeds468 - Ruines Humaines by Amesoeurs

W/b 15th October - (...) - Scream Bloody Gore by Death

W/b 22nd October - Duncang - Enter The Grave by Evile


UPDATE: It seems the new PM system has a very small text limit, so you'll probably have to send the review in a number of messages
#2
TRIVUM ROOLZ 102%!!

breaking the law
breaking the law
wahhhh
breaking the law
breaking the law
if you have belief in ur soul and jesus you can do anything
#3
Breaking Bands

Album: The Aurora Veil (demo)
Artist: Ne Obliviscaris
Reviewer: Mr. President




A True Gem.

This is one of those releases that makes the listener go ‘wow’ immediately after he/she has heard it. Keeping in mind that this release is a mere demo, the average metal listener would probably thinking what Ne Obliviscaris could do with a full-length album. A truly unclassifiable album, it is breathtaking from the first drumroll and doesn’t let the listener go until the last seconds of Its 33 minute entirety.

Ne Obliviscaris can be pigeonholed most easily into the ‘progressive black metal’ genre, but that wouldn’t even come close to doing justice in describing the multitude of sounds to be heard on this album. The black metal elements on this album can be easily identified, as Ne Obliviscaris has the typical black metal format down perfectly. Xenoyr’s rasps slice through the air over well-done tremolo riffage and pulse-pounding drums. Unlike any typical black metal demos, these heavier distorted sections are done cleanly and with remarkable precision.

What really makes this release amazing however, are the times when black metal takes a musical back seat. Ne Obliviscaris takes many long instrumental breaks, and they are tasteful as well as virtuosic. The star of the show is violinist/vocalist Tim Charles, who switches back and forth between well-crafted violin leads and breathtaking clean vocals. It is among these qualities that makes this release such a refreshing listen. Even the bass, and instrument that is criminally underused in much of metal, comes out in full force here, as there are many creative and inventive basslines to be found on this album.

Just because less-then-typical sections are highlights of this release doesn’t mean that the good ol’ high-gain guitar goodness isn’t to be found here. Among the well done black metal riffs on this album are breathtaking guitar solos played both electrically and acoustically. There is no wankage to be found here, and Ne Obliviscaris’ guitarists sound like masterful shredders with decades of practice.

The lyrical content on this album is potent and poetic, and the fact that the lyrics are both growled and sung cleanly only make the allure of the lyrics more interesting. The best vocal parts of this album happen when both the clean and the harsh vocals are done at the same time. Never before have I encountered a band with such vocal and lyrical flexibility as Ne Obliviscaris and their compositions are sure to impress the most stubborn musical elitists.

The Aurora Veil contains three lengthy tracks, each totalling between nine and twelve minutes. Each track contains long acoustic sections, brutal black metal passages, bombastic drumming, artful vocal melodies, and just plain spectacular musical harmonies. If I had to pick the best one, I would say Tapestries of the Starless Abstract, but every song here is a killer. This demo is well worth your time to pick up, and this band has amazing potential. Recommended for fan of music. Period.

98%
#4
Album: Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde
Artist: Alcest
Reviewer: Duncang




Anyone who has seen my review of Alcest’s previous release, 2005’s ‘Le Secret’ will know that I’m not quite the conventional listener. If you don’t want to read, basically I thought it was toss. However the sample song I had heard from their new full length, ‘Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde’ was far from that. I was very impressed and I couldn’t wait to buy my copy of the new album (I avoided downloading the internet leak). So I had it in my hands, my expectations were high and I just wanted it to be what it was hyped up to be. The six tracks of ‘Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde’ are between six and eight minutes long, much shorter than the 10+ minute drones of ‘Le Secret’. I was glad because the repetition and dire arrangement of ‘Le Secret’ annoyed me no end. I was hoping that this album marked the end of that compositional wasteland for Neige.

It seems that my hopes were well founded.

The music is pretty similar to ‘Le Secret’ in a strictly melodic sense. There’s the same ethereal vibe going on, with the tremolo picked guitar parts along with clean vocals. This time, however, the songs are concise and every note matters. I really didn’t get that feeling with Alcest before. The transitions between distorted and acoustic parts are still nothing more than a fadeout which kind of breaks the flow of the song; especially as most of the time the acoustic part is only there to introduce a new melodic thread. It’s not a big problem but when music like this is meant to be about the build-up, having it interrupted by another ‘profound’ acoustic break sort of spoils it.

Still though, the quality of the music is very high, especially when it involves Neige’s clean guitar over an acoustic (see ‘Ciel Errant’ and the title track). I think the lack of black metal is part of it. I have no problem with black metal in Neige’s music (in fact I was disappointed when I found out that his other project, Amesoeurs, would contain no black metal after their debut EP) but the apparent need to include some BM elements in ‘Le Secret’ made it seem kind of forced (or quite the opposite, something which encompassed too much to make it coherent). Aside from a couple of half-time blastbeats, there’s nothing metal about ‘Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde’, and really ‘Le Secret’ wasn’t metal either. The only reason that most of Alcest’s fanbase is from the metal community, and the only reason I’m writing this for the metal forum is because of Neige’s involvement in his longer-running raw BM band Peste Noire. This is shoegaze music. I think the only reason people find this music ‘overwhelmingly beautiful’ or whatever is because it’s put in a different context, and people link it to black metal, which this music is very, very different to.

The vocals on the album confuse me after I read that all vocals were done by Neige, aside from a guest appearance on ‘Sur L'autre Rive Je T'attendrai’ by Amesoeurs bandmate Audrey Sylvain, because on every track there is an audible female voice. I’ve also been told that the title track of ‘Le Secret’ was also sung by Neige. I just find it impossible because it just sounds like a woman, plain and simple. It’s not like Neige has to chance his voice to hit any pitches because he sings in a similar range in his ‘regular’ voice too. In any case, if it is Neige, his vocals on the entire album are amazing. There’s no screaming this time (and if there were they would be terrible inappropriate), it’s all clean and it just works with the music better. It creates far more atmosphere and gives the music the true dream-like feel that previous releases were trying to attain. There’s only a few times where I feel his vocals slip up, most notably on ‘Tir Nan Og’, where his vocal melody (and the light effects that are put on it) and the mood of the song just don’t mesh. The song instrumentally is very interesting, with very textural percussion and piano in relation to the acoustic guitar. However that C# he hits just doesn’t work, but I digress.

The lyrics are all in French, but strangely enough, only four of the six song’s lyrics are printed in the booklet. I’ve researched a little and found some translations into English (only for the four printed songs) which, knowing what I know about Alcest from interviews, make some sense, so I trust that they’re correct. The concept behind Alcest (from ‘Le Secret’ onwards, anyway) is based upon daydreams that Neige has (and had frequently as a child) of an ambient otherworld of eternal happiness and peace. The lyrics definitely portray that, and combine with the music perfectly. Some of the songs describe this ‘dream world’, while others talk about Neige’s longing to be there and not on this earth. Neige’s lyrics for all his projects have always been of a high standard and this album continues it. The lyrics in fact mirror a part of the song, with any negativity in the lyrics (which is rare in Alcest) coming at a more negative sounding musical section. The lyrics really heighten my enjoyment of the album, particularly the lesser songs.

Most of the melodies compliment each other and the bass in particular adds interesting takes on the rest of the music which differ from conventional harmonic paths. I still think the one thing which doesn’t really impress me about Alcest is the guitar tone. It’s just too fuzzy for this music. I find the best songs are the ones where it is least prevalent (‘Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde’, ‘Ciel Errant’ and ‘Tir Nan Og&rsquo, and they start with acoustic guitars more often. Don’t get me wrong though, I think this album is a huge improvement on ‘Le Secret’ and it’s very enjoyable for the most part. The atmosphere is great and the bass and vocals in particular are outstanding but still the huge acclaim this band gets is not yet deserved, I feel. One can only hope that his music continues to improve at this rate.

88%
#5
The Underground

Album: North West Slamfest 3 Way Split
Artist: Crepitation/ Kastrated/ Ingested
Reviewer: mortiis999




Personnel:

Crepitation:
Lyn Jeffs – Blasturbator
Liam Millward – Slam Jams
Mark Pearce – Barks, Fats, Snorts and Sqauwks
Paul Whitehead – Wees, Beeps, Wibbles and Wobbles
Sean Haynes – Spiffin' Riffin'

Kastrated:
Didge – Bass
Beard – Guitar
Kenny B – Guitar
Chris – Vocals
Smith – Drums

Ingested:
Brad Fuller – Bass
Sean Haynes – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Jason Evans – Vocals
Lyn Jeffs – Drums
Sam Yates – Guitars and Backing Vocals

Slam!
Gurgle!
Blast!

First up on this CD we have Crepitation. Playing a US slamming brutal death derived style of chaotic death/grind, they have developed a unique sound. If boiled down to the sum of their influences we will be left with the obvious Devourment, Disavowed, Wormed, Vomit Remnants and Exhumed's of this world. However this does not take into account their use of vocals. Featuring two vocalists, one of which being the pussy hating “Morbid” Mark from Bristol porno groovers Amputated, the other being Paul, the man behind Clangdestrim Pro Duckshins, one vocalist tackling bizarre retching “rees”, with the other belching out creaking gurgles, unaided by a pitch shifter. These barely human emanations are a true highlight. The band do not use lyrics, rather the vocalists provide another layer of rhythm, which augments the bizarre brutality on offer here. When the slams slow right down, like on “Incongruous Penilectomy” we are treated to some lovely dual slobbery-chop wobble-rees, sure to get you gurgling along like a retard choking on a rusk.

Songwise the tracks are well composed with amusing song titles which had me giggling for days. For example: “Equine Phallic Impalement” is but one of five treats on offer. The guitar work is on the more straight forward side of death metal technique, with the expected tremolo picked fast riffs and down – picked chuggy slams, of which there are many, this being, of course, a “slamfest”. A few technical riffs worm their way out here and there, but for the most part, the flashy playing is left to the drummer Lyn Jeffs, a young bloke who seems to have brutality down to a tee. Ridiculously fast double kick bass drumming augments the grooving slow parts, and his hyper speed blasting on the aforementioned “Incongruous Penilectomy” is a highlight. Crepitation's side of the split is a well though out five song mini – album, bristling with catching slices of slamming death/ grind. With the songs clocking in between two and three minutes this band lean more heavily on the grind side of the equation than most other slammy brutal death bands, which combined with the expert dual gurgles, mean this band have developed an instantly recognisable sound of their own.

Next is Kastrated. The first thing that hit me was the technical proficiency of Smith's drumming. Imbued with little flourishes, his blasting and grooving is clinical yet highly adrenalised. The riffing and general structures on offer here are more technical than Crepitation's, though slightly less brutal. Spidery compositions of savage death metal and techy grind riffs are serenaded by a vocalist who boasts a fine range, withing this genre anyway. Searing squeals and rasps to ultra low growls and gurgles, some well defined vocal rhythms drive the songs along well, and compliment the riffing excellently. I will say that I find that this collection of songs tend to drag their feet somewhat about halfway through, on the song “Rabid Dog”, but my interest is piqued once more with the arrival of their closing song, the delightfully named “Womb Raider”.

The production on Kastrated's songs are the best on this Cd. The guitar sound is fat and bassy, with a complimentary drum sound and the vocals sit well next to them in the mix. This is good, and pleases me, as I like to be able to hear the riffs well in the case of bands like Kastrated. The riffs are a real treat in fact, as there are some smashing widdly bits and chuggy slams all over this, and like I said before, they are woven together to form a nice flowing brutal tapestry.

The final band is Ingested. Featuring a guitarist and the drummer from Crepitation, this band nonetheless have a sound distinguished form their sister musical concern. After a throwaway “atmospheric” intro, featuring some news report snippets, the blasting kicks straight in with “Butchered and Devoured”. Devourment is what I immediately thought, and this is clearly a touchstone influence for this band. Favouring a blast 'em away approach to opening their songs, three of the four compositions on this collection speed in at the start, slipping into groove encrusted slamming verses, before the blasting begins again. Very “Molesting the Decapitated” indeed, but this is not to say they are derivative. The song “Copremesis” displays some nice varieties of brutal mosh riffs which put me in mind of old Dying Fetus and Vomit Remnants. The vocalist, for the most part steers clear of typical “gutturals” and favours a moist, deep and extremely low growl, peppered with some high pitched shrieks. His approach to brutal death vocals is actually quite original, and sits well with the ultra slamming death metal on offer. Their approach to riffing also seems to have traces of Stabwound (sew) (or maybe Abysmal Torment?) and Artery Eruption, only more musically proficient than the ol' 'Eruption, bless 'em, with plenty of atonal chuggy crunches for all.

Despite having clear debts to their influences, this band has a fresh sound which takes in all aspects of brutal death (with an obvious pre - dereliction for slammin') and mixes up the groove with the blast extremely pleasingly. The writing on here is stellar, the songs being very memorable and full of meaty riffs, which are for the most part uncomplicated and exceedingly headbangable.

Three bands providing their own take on a supposedly limited style of death metal, this is an excellent slice of UK death metal.

86%
#6
Album: The Apostasy
Artist: Behemoth
Reviewer: matt85210





With Nile's monstrous "Ithyphallic" taking the boundaries of technicality in extreme music forward in huge leaps, and Angelcorpse's highly rated "Of Lucifer and Lightning" distilling the genre down to its grizzly, evil roots, as well as all the other varying bits and bobs in between (Immolation, Vital Remains et al) adding momentum to this rapidly accelerating rise in good quality music, Death Metal has found itself injected with a surprisingly large dose of life-blood. The standard, one might argue, has hardly been higher than it has been during the past few months, with proverbial bars throughout Death Metal and its sub-genres being set at new, refreshing highs.

In short, the genre is evolving, fast. So, how do Behemoth and their new release, "The Apostasy", fit in to this unexpected growth spurt? After "Demigod", perhaps the blackened death album, it has a lot to live up to. With that in mind, we'll start with the negatives. What's slightly annoying about the album was that a couple of the songs at the start of the album seem to conclude at brash and inappropriate moments. Perhaps a tactic to keep the listener on his/her respective toes, it nevertheless comes across as awkward and slightly unnatural. Case in point - track 3, 'Prometherion'. Great track, so much so that as it clocks in at 3 minutes the listener is eagerly anticipating another disjointed chorus after a furious blast session from Inferno. Instead, the track just...stops, and we are quickly ushered into the echo-ey acoustic intro of "At The Left Hand Ov God", which seems a slightly non-sensical thing to have happened, so much so that we are still left pondering as track 4 fully kicks in.

Aside from this, what we have here is a great slab of blackened death; militaristic, aggressive and brutal, yet sinister and melodic in all the right places - essentially, just what we were hoping it would be.

The guitars are used rhythmically - indeed, almost percussively - accentuating the grooves pummelled out by Inferno (who, might I add, is on top form on this CD). The album thunders through "Slaying The Prophets Ov Isa" (another song tragically cut short) and the aforementioned "At The Left Hand Ov God", a weighty, atmospheric number, a highlight of the album for me. Behemoth refuse to quell the relentlessness on "Kriegsphilosophie", a hideous wife-beater of a song that puts all nay-sayers concerning Nergal's vocals to shame as he belts out growl after lion-like growl.

The album enters a slightly more diverse phase with "Be Without Fear", which moodily grumbles away through the speakers with some heavy, chugging rhythms punctured by some nice pinch harmonics, a vein that continues through "Libertheme", a huge song with similar musical values. Dotted amongst these titan tracks are moments of awesome yet subtle creativity; the eerie piano intro to "Inner Sanctum" being but one of them, as well as acoustic interludes, the occasional breakdown, melodic solos… elements all of which fit in seamlessly to their superior blackened death counterpart.

What I find so pleasing about this record is that the instruments are used appropriately. They haven't tried to progress beyond their sound with epic 10 minutes-plus tracks, nor have they just turned everything up to eleven and blasted the senses out of the listener. Of course, there is brutality here, but it’s brutality with a sense of direction. No one attempts to wholly steal the limelight; Nergal has a great little lead on "Slaying The Prophets Ov Isa", but he doesn't twiddle and piss around with high fret wankery or annoying lengthy solo rubbish. The riffwork is dynamic and destructive, yet isn't so complicated or intrusive that it mutes everything around it, the drums are spot on, yet aren't just pneumatic drills from start to finish, the production values are excellent...

In short, this is a great album which will surely warrant many more listens, at least from me. What's impressive is that it's very, very Behemoth. Employing the sound they cemented so firmly with "Demigod", it appears they now feel at ease to harness that sound and use it to create intelligent music that draws the listeners attention and maintains its hold until the album closes. The message is clear: Behemoth deserve to be right here, at the forefront of this musical evolution. Just add another 30 seconds here and there to certain tracks and what we are left with is a dynamite album. Of course, to point this out is essentially splitting hairs, and one shouldn’t let it detract too much from the end result. With metal pushing boundaries left right and centre, this is yet another album that will undoubtedly fuel its ascendancy. Onwards and upwards!

87%
#7
Album: Rise of the Tyrant
Artist: Arch Enemy
Reviewer: Emenius Sleepus





Sound


First of all, this album is a pleasant surprise. Today’s metal scene is bursting at the seams with all things melodic death, and therefore it is increasingly harder to keep a fresh sound and approach to the new music in the genre. On Rise of the Tyrant, Arch Enemy aren’t breaking new ground, but the result is still just as satisfying.

On first impression, there’s nothing overly new here; low, heavy riffing interspersed with melodic harmonies and hooks, aggressive vocals, soaring lead work and pounding drums. The songwriting is solid, but keeping within the general melo-death style. Where this album wins, is in the fact that the guitar work is good, the riffs sound original and fresh, solos are really pleasing (both in terms of the recording and the actual playing), and the fact that the band sounds tight. The entire record gives the impression of a band that has a single vision, and connects with one another musically.

Production is one of the best points about Rise of the Tyrant. The mix is clear, though some of the riff sections occasionally sound a little messy. The drum recordings are crucial on a metal album, and it was a relief to hear that on this album the sound is brutal, and most importantly, breathing. The only complaint about the production is the bass gets lost in the overall sound every now and then. My favourite aspect is the lead work by and far. Whereas rhythm is grounded, low and dirty, the solos are given a lot of room to work with, and it pays off – the notes literally sing, and bring the additional emotive aspect.

Rise of the Tyrant begins with a disquieting siren of “Blood on Our Hands”, which remains one of my favourite songs. It gives an appropriate taste of the album from the main perspectives. That’s not to say that the entire album sounds the same, however/ The Gothenburg sound is tried-and-true, but it doesn’t get in the way of the album’s eleven songs, which will keep the sound well alive into 2007. There are points where the music does sound a little tried, but those times are relatively few. //8

Vocals/Lyrics

The vocals have never been my favourite parts of Arch Enemy’s sound, so Rise of the Tyrant was the testing point in my view; either this is going to be the end of my interest in any new (or old) Arch Enemy, or I’ll actually start paying attention. The result, I believe is the latter. Angela Gossow isn’t the best vocalist in the metal scene, but she’s not the worst either, and this record shows a significant improvement. The consistency of her performances is higher, and from all points it is obvious that she stepped up to a new level for the album. Quite impressive indeed.

The lyrics are a bit of a disappointment. No, they are not completely awful. Nor do they make me cringe at any particular point. At the same time nothing really new is here, and I may find that I’m listening more and more to the argument of “vocals are just another instrument”. If you have been a long-time fan, you’ll know that generally they’re anti-religious and full of social commentary. Generally I have nothing against that, but as with a lot of other AE lyrics, it comes across as a bit lazy and uninspired. Bypass them unless it’s your first metal album. //5


Overall Impression:


I’ve always been somewhat sceptical towards Arch Enemy, especially when it came to vocal delivery and a lot of rhythm work. As the Gothenburg sound is oversaturated with bands, it is becoming more difficult to find something that stands apart. Rise of the Tyrant might not break a lot of new ground, but it is most certainly a step up from any of their previous efforts. The playing is tight and proficient, Angela’s vocals are brutal and aren’t forced; the production quality means that all instruments are heard, and each has room to breathe.

The album touches on many familiar elements of melodic death metal without making them sound clichй. The brutal rhythm guitars and powerful, fast-paced drums, melodic breaks and clear soloing are all present, with a few electronic flourishes to add atmosphere. What is crucial at making this album work is the improvement in songwriting and unity of the band in their approach.

For a band that has become a love-or-hate amongst the fans, this is an important album. Again, some may find it doesn’t offer them anything and move on, or continue praying that one day AE will release their dream album and they will be their favourite band again. Either way, this album is directly responsible for the resurrection of my interest in what Arch Enemy does. Furthermore, their 3rd album with Angela seems to finally justify her gig as the band’s vocalist. She may not be the best, but certainly has enough ability to do these guys justice. Her performance is consistent, and fits the music very well. A very pleasing effort. //7

70%
#8
Album: The Frail Tide
Artist: Be'Lakor
Reviewer: unfathomable_bo




At a glance at the bleak, sepia landscape that adorns the front cover of The Frail Tide, a prospective listener would be led to believe that the music or Be’Lakor reflects the mood of the cover, dark and sombre. From the very opening notes of Neither Shape Nor Shadow I realised I couldn’t have been more wrong, the CD is underpinned by beautifully produced soaring melodies and progressive song structures rather than the abrasive black metal bombardment I expected.

Though I was wrong about the style of metal I expected Be’Lakor to play, I was indeed NOT wrong about deciding to review this CD. The Frail Tide is a fantastic debut from a young band with a bright future. I almost hesitate to compare the young Aussies to Slovakia’s 5 piece melodeath figurehead, Depresy, not because I don’t believe Be’Lakor measure up (quite the opposite in fact) but more because the bands are only sonically similar on one level, that is when they are playing straight up melodic death metal. Be’lakor go much further than this.

It is when the band turns the volume down that things get more tricky, and on the flip side, more interesting to listen to. Influences are worn on the sleeves, but are so diverse and widespread that there is never any sense of deja’vu. Desolation of Ares features an interlude that would not seem out of place on a Haggard CD, immediately followed by an outro that sounds as if it belongs on Opeth’s Still Life. A Natural Apostasy builds up to a wonderful duel between semi-distorted guitars and flutes that gradually grows to a crescendo. Grand piano is also used to its full extent, not just in the slower breakdowns, but frequently alongside electric guitar as an equal rather than being tucked behind or obscuring other instruments, a rarity in modern metal, indeed, pianist Steve Merry gets his chance to shine on Paths, a 5 minute piano instrumental.

The guitars themselves sound fantastic and use a wide variety of effects and tones to suit the moods of the various sections, melodies are kept refreshingly simple and catchy rather than seeking any technical approval before seeking musical effectiveness. However, this leads to one of my only gripes with this CD, the fact that some of the catchy melodies may be a bit too catchy. The most prominent example of this would be the opening track, which continually revisits variations of the same riff. The riff itself is very listenable and very catchy, but I feel that the level of repetition used in this song doesn’t fit the album particularly well.

The vocals are entirely growled, a decision which I personally think works very well as it allows the softer sections to be purely instrumental, vocals over these parts I believe would detract from the great compositional skills that this band possess. Vocal performances throughout the CD are consistently good, there is little variation, but in a band where the focus is very much on melody and song writing, this isn’t really a major issue for me at all.

Finally I come to the production, which leads to my only other problem with the album. Yes, the production is fantastic, it is never easy to master for a band with so many different tones and instruments going on at the same time and I can safely say that the clarity of the disc is excellent, everything is perfectly audible, however I get the feeling sometimes the that mix is a bit too thin and favours the drums over the guitars a bit too much, this leads to a bit of a dry feeling which is perfectly common in band’s first releases and is to be expected.

Overall, this CD is a wonderful listen and is very much a strong foundation for a successful career to be built upon, I had to look very hard to find any minor things wrong with The Frail Tide, and the pickiest little decisions I’ve made about a generic riff here and there or a slightly thin production should be taken with a pinch of salt for the sake of constructive criticism, you WILL enjoy this album if you are a fan of any form of metal that is a bit eccentric or out of the ordinary, BUY IT NOW.


87%