6/23/2017

CD Review: Final Coil - Persistence Of Memory (Alt-progressive Metal, 2017)

A dark toned alt progressive album with lots of details to discover and a lyrical concept
that provides a critical look upon our technical overloaded existence.

This album comes around a bit different than the previous recordings. The first full length goes a different way to keep you on the stereo while listening.

The artwork of Final Coil's debut full lenth "Persistence Of Memory", (c) by Final Coil, used with kind permission

Summary and Track by track review
First of all it kicks in with the well known heavyness of the previous EP "Closed To The Light" just to throw you into cold water with softer and fragile vocals. These elements need a moment to sink in but we'll see later why it makes sense to be this way. "Corruption" is a great opener and introduction anyway.

The following "Dying" comes around with a simpler structure and feels familar, yet it also is not so straight as other tracks of Final Coil. The more rounds you'll give this the more you'll enjoy the atmosphere and details in this song.

"Alone" variates a lot throughout it's duration, while the basic riff is kept simple. It reminds of the first ever EP of the band but with better vocals.

A touch of Depeche Mode reaches your ears with the next one. The second single "You waste my time" comes with pop appeal yet it's much more dirty and rough than songs from that style.

A surprise is send our way with "Myopic". This is going back to the heavy formula, yet it's structure builds tension just to stop at it's climax. Great tune and fat production.

A band picture of the Leicester based band Final Coil, (c) by Final Coil, used with kind permission


If you started to discover the band while they put out the "Live with doubt" EP you'll love "Spider Feet". It has lot's of the music of that release. A hard tonality mixed with soft notes in the verses just to give you a blast with it's long and stretched refrain. One of my faves of the record.

The best is yet to come. This saying comes true with "Failed Light". It's epicness is a love letter to the beginnings of progressive music in days when Pink Floyd started to record music. It's giving me chilling freeze and lot's of noise tension in the end. One of the best tracks ever written IMHO.

"Lost Hope" provides what the song title promises. Sweet and slow suffering mixed with melodies sounding like lost in the haze.

The rough edge returns with "Moths to the flame". A cutting riff runs through this one. It's definitely for the fans of early material of the band.

Want more riffs? You got it! "In silent reproach" has a propeller rotating riff shaker with it. The drums kick heavier in here. Something less often to be found on "Persistence of Memory".

The album is closed with a silent number called "Alienation". Musically I would compare it with the "Somnambulant" accoustic sessions. A piece of music deeply rooted in thoughts and emotions yet the end holds something like a "won't give in" sound with it.

Finally the question: has the band become soft and are the vocals too easy?
I think it was the best decision to keep a eye on change and progression. Life is change. Everything is changing. I would've been silly to keep it all the same. As for me the band has found a way to maintain the hard riffs but to build  them into the music a intelligent way to give room for atmosphere and darkness.

The vocals are lighter most of the album but looking at the lyrical concept of digital distortion and destruction of humans (my interpretation of the lyrics) other styles wouldn't have fit. It's about hurt and regret so this needs to be expressed properly in my ears.

Finally I would recommend this record to you but listen to it on a real stereo system. The full ingridents only come to life with a extended sound system. All the laptop and smartphone stuff I tried never provided the full listening experience. Don't worry: a normal stereo system of a basic range already fit's your needs. Just make sure it has sharp sound and good bass sound available.

Album Stream / Purchase Link / Contact Data
It's a treat of great music recorded and mixed for full audio pleasure so it's worth giving back with some money. Remember that music can give you enjoyment for years if treated a good way. Few things in life will do the same for you.

The digital release is available via Bandcamp as of today. The CD version looks gorgeous but will be released September 22th. Pre-order packs of the physical edition with T-Shirts and more goodies will be set up earlier to the release date of the CD version. Just make sure to like the band's Facebook page to be notified or have a look on their homepage the good old way.

6/20/2017

NYC music veterans re-launch Radio show Merciless

I hope this site helps all of you people out there to discover new music and stay up to date every here and there. Happily there are more people out there who also help to spread the word about our beloved music. This may be of interest to you since I know a lot of people still love to listen to radio. It's fine as a media to enjoy while you can have a eye on other things, too.

One of them is the radio format Merciless: the all things heavy and aggressive weekly radio show hosted by former In-Effect/Roadrunner/Zomba label A&R/Author Howie Abrams, and underground legend ILL BILL. This audio-based two hour show just made it's re-launch and here are some details. Make sure to tune in!

Longtime friends and sharers of musical interests, Howie Abrams and ILL BILL, have re-launched their popular weekly two-hour radio show, MERCILESS, at Bushwick Radio in Bushwick, Brooklyn after a year-plus at East Village Radio.

The hosts of the radio show Merciless: the all things heavy and aggressive weekly radio show


Merciless features classic, and what the guys refer to as “new classic” metal, hardcore, punk, thrash and crossover; complimented by unique insight and first-hand experiences from Howie and Bill concerning their respective and collective relationships to the artists they play.

Previous guests on Merciless include: Rob Trujillo (Metallica), Away (Voivod), Danny Lilker (Nuclear Assault, S.O.D., Brutal Truth), John Gallagher (Raven), Monte Conner (Roadrunner Records, Nuclear Blast), Tim Williams/Mike Kennedy (Vision of Disorder) and others.

Merciless can be heard every Thursdays from 3 – 5 PM Eastern at www.Bushwickradio.NYC; or on the free Bushwick Radio app, on TuneIn or Spreaker.

Here is some more info about the guys hosting the show:

Howie Abrams is a former music business executive turned author, who has worked with bands the likes of: Bad Brains, Nuclear Assault, Sepultura, Agnostic Front, Misfits, Madball, 24-7 Spyz, Shelter, Type O Negative, Biohazard, Dog Eat Dog and many others. More recently, Howie co-authored Finding Joseph I; An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains (Lesser Gods), as well as The Merciless Book of Metal Lists (Abrams Image).

ILL BILL is an emcee, producer and unabashed metal fanatic. He is well-known for infusing heavy metal and hardcore influenced lyrics into his work with Non Phixion, La Coka Nostra, Heavy Metal Kings and also as a solo artist.

6/15/2017

CD Review: Unothera - Broken EP (Doom/Death Metal, 2016)

A EP rooted in both genres - Doom and Death Metal with extraordinaty vocal performances packed in classic songwriting format.

The cover of Unothera's "Broken" EP, (c) by Unothera, used with kind permission
Summary

This silver disc reminds me of classic gothic metal releases of the traditional acts such as Paradise Lost in their beginnings. It lives of the contrasts in the sound. On the one hand many clear and lighter sound-textured parts are part of the songs while other sections are held much heavier, darker with growls and lot's of distorted guitars rounded out with midtempo grooving drums.

On above all of this mixture melodic splitters are put inside that give a softer tonality or dominate with their high notes some heavier sections as if they were put there to light those parts a bit up. 

The high vocals deserve a special mention. They vary a lot through the whole EP and spice the whole release up. "Winter" is a good example for this. Everything is held in classic songwriting format but the slight additions mentioned above make this one to point to later on again. It sounds different from other releases of the same genre. If you're into this sort of metal I recommend you to check this EP. It may be a fine surprise to you.


Purchase-Link & Preview Track

This five track disc can be purchased directly through the Facebook page of Unothera for 5 Euro plus shipping and handling. You'll receive a burned silver media in a small slipcase but with a professional, sharp layouted small booklet that holds the lyrics of the release. That's not very common for such offerings. The disc itself comes labeled with the motive of the cover but in a different incarnation. Nice gimmick that is not to be found too often.

One track of the EP found it's way online so I've added it here as a preview track.

Contact Data

You can get in touch with Unothera via there online presence on Facebook.