CD Review: Atropos Project - Towards Firmament

Short Introduction

Atropos Project plays instrumental music with a lot of progressive and metal elements in them. The band started out as a one man project and saw it's first release with the full length album "Equator" in 2013. In the meatime John Quarles, who writes and plays nearly all the music has created a follow up record called "Towards Firmament" in his studio in New York. The new album will see the light of day on December 1st 2015.
(c) by Atropos Project, used with kind permission

Summary / Player / Purchase-Link

I am very glad that this outstanding project survived the tides of time. In the two years since the first album Atropos Project developed the song-structures quite a lot. I mean the first album was great but this one shows a bit more precisely that John Quarles has learned a lot when it comes to writing songs. The new tracks that will be released soon have more structure, often follow more a main theme or topic as the songs on "Equator" did.

Still the great thing is that it doesn't miss the fun aspect of music. You can hear a lot of parts on the album where especially all the musicians amongst you out there can nearly re-feel the positive vibes and emotions that John might have been in when writing, producing and recording these songs. You can feel a lot of jazz vibe in the music and that's what makes this recording sound so different from other's that go into the same direction. It comes out with a jam-feeling to it, a great emotion to me. This feeling when everything seem's to come together in a good mood and everyone involved throw's in his power and talent to it.

It sounds very powerfull and hard but also melodic and very versatile when it comes to the playing techniques and styles of the various tracks. One can quickly point out that it's a typically Atropos Project recording you're listening to.

The first half of the album comes more direct while the second one needs more time to fully sink in. Don't let this stop you from buying. I would like to encourage everyone out there dedicated with the full heart and soul to music to buy this diamond. It's always surprising to see how intensive a record can be - this one will be a journey you'll love and enjoy. Just give it a try.

It's also a great idea for a christmas gift if you know someone out there that has this dedication towards music. It will be a great surprise and I think a album one will enjoy even more with every listen. Remember that Bandcamp also offers the possibility to gift someone with a download code directly through the plattform's shop system.

"Towards Firmament" will be available through the Bandcamp page of Atropos Project starting December 1st 2015. It will also be available through other digital merchants such as CDBaby, Itunes, including streaming at Spotify, Google Play, etc. There are no physical copies planned unless demand warrants it this time around.
Note:  I'll add the exact links to the purchase and streaming plattforms once they've been released so please check back if you're interested in buying or listening to the album. The same goes for the album stream. If it should go online I'll add it here, too.

Currently a preview can be accessed through YouTube that gives a good overview on the album with excerpts of each and every track. Just click on the player below, it only takes a few minutes to listen to it.

Update 01.12.2015: The full album stream is online so I've added it here as promised.  
Album Overview (Track-by-track review)

The Slide: The tracks starts with a few broken notes at the beginning and then goes over to a midtempo slower stomping track with full distortion. Sounds very powerfull and heavy. A keyboard intermission lights up the dark feeling of the track with a lighter melody. The track becomes faster and takes up some tempo. A intensive shred section dominates the last third of this opening song before it finally ends on some strange noise. A great opener!

Bent Crown: A rough and compact but also short intro section kicks us into the second number. It finally let's us fall onto some softer notes that finally form the main theme for this song. The rhythm changed to fit to the guitars. A lot of jazzy feelings in here. This is one of my absolte favorites of the album. The jam feeling comes a lot into play on this one. A new melody abruptly comes in giving it a dreaming theme in between just to be followed on a new part that wraps the melody into a rougher noise guitar vibe and rhythm. The melody continues to shine through. Beautiful part! Finally the rougher part get's more intensive and starts to dominate the track giving it a blistering intermission with a fitting rhythm section. The song goes back to the starting theme to start a little play-around with it before climating into going faster with every round further. I love this!

Block No Light: The opening riff makes it already clear that this track comes around a lot sharper and heavier than the previous one. The main theme morphs and forms a lot as the track progresses even further maintaining all the while it's rough style. Finally a new melody comes up giving it a more melodic and mysteric touch. A ghostly feeling comes up before a sharper midtempo riffer rushes in that opens up the way for some keyboard elements which give it a epic theme. The end comes fast and abrupt but also very fitting to the track.

Alchemist: The fifth album track starts out with some soft introduction notes before heading on to a straight rocking number. The short break with silence comes as a surprise but the melody rushes in even better afterwards. Throughout all the changes the song always remains heading straight on forward in a faster mood. The end presents a lot of distortion and drums playing along to it. It plugs out quickly but all of this feels as if it should be this way.

Expeller: This one opens up quite epic with walls of sound of guitar and keyboards. It transforms further into a midtempo number with heavily distorted guitars and a lot of shred formed into the sound. Finally clear guitars softly come in just to leave as fast as they came. The walls of guitars seem to reflect into the music once again before a string of clear guitar melodies form a soft touching outro to this outstanding track. You'll remember it often afterwards.

Towards Firmament: A rather unusual beginning for this Atropos Project tune with a soft arrangement of guitar strings along with few percussive elements at the start. Rough and dry guitars come in forming a pulsating noise gate that along with the constant rhythm sharps the heaviest track of this second album. It's a big surprise even if you're familar with the sound of this instrumental project. The end gives in some more relaxed parts that form a contrast to the first section that is overwhelming with it's sheer intensive power. Surely a track that set's a mark in the world of heavy instrumental music.

Sistine: This one starts out softly. It has overall a lighter feeling to it with percusson adding to it. Thoughout all the variations a main theme runs through all the parts giving this a heavy jamming attitude. It has a attempt like "Bent Crown" in it. The drumming is more versatile and faster but the guitars go more directly on it. A overall straighter number but with the slight progressive elements I like in this music so much.

Red Roads: We reach the final track of this album. It welcomes us with soft keyboards. The eight song plays around a bit before it comes to the next section - a riff hacking heavy track that has a epic keyboard theme with it that seems to form a echo for the guitars. The hacked notes come back in with much jamming added to it. It plays around a lot with the variations that can be made of it and John Quarles knows how to use them. It's great to see what can be made of single elements and this track shows the variations you can make of it. I hope the journey this album provides can be continued one day. I would love to go on. As for the first I'll put it on repeat and enjoy it a second time that's for sure.


Final Coil release thought-filled animation lyric video

Lyric videos have become something that a lot of bands do these days. It's simply cheaper than doing a full blown video but at the same time is not as boring as a standing picture with sound in the backround would be.

But how about making the best of it and do something with a message that goes a bit over the obvious animated lyrics that come with every of these vids? At least there is room to show something off if you really want to.

The metallic-grunge band Final Coil have let this idea become reality. In collaboration with Andy Pilkington they created a lyric video that comes with a message and some visual expression of the lyrics as well as putting in the rawness of the music in wave-forms. You can not only hear but see the tension that the ripping guitars and tight drums create. It really leaves something behind once you've watched it.

"Daylight Fades" is taken from the band's current output "Closed to the light". You can download the whole EP for free from Bandcamp. It's also one of the releases that's worth some money and while I'm typing these lines a limited edition CD is still up for purchase for a fair price on Bandcamp. 
Don't forget to follow the band on Facebook and check them out live at TBFM’s Christmas party at Duffy’s Bar in Leicester, England on Dec 3rd 2015. No entrance fee will be taken so it sounds like it could be a great chance to check them out along with two more bands on the billing.


CD Review: Arcade Messiah - II

Short Introduction

Arcade Messiah is a one-man instrumental metal music project from KingBathmat frontman John Bassett. It combines a mix of Metal/Post Rock/Stoner/Doom/Prog elements all together on one disc. The first album was released exactly one year ago and received a lot of positive feedback from fans all over the world.

John Bassett spoke to Prog Megazine about the resonace he received. He was surprised about the positive reactions so he decided to create a sequel. He further said that it's meant to be a sort of continuation of the first record but with the hope of being a better, bigger and more dramatic piece of music. The intention was to grow the music without losing the vibe and atmosphere of the original album. The next chapter in the history of Arcade Messiah is set for release on 22nd November 2015 via Bandcamp and then everywhere else on Nov 27 through Stereohead Records.

(c) by Arcade Messiah, used with kind permission

Summary / Player / Purchase-Link

Please bring some time to listen to the album properly. It comes with many layers of melody and variation in them that are ofter overwhelming on the first listen. But if you give them more spins you'll discover so many fine points that you'll wonder what you may've overheard the time before. 

The album is well worth some money. Currently the pre-order price is set at 0,99 GBP on Bandcamp until the release on 22nd of November 2015. Afterwards you'll be able to set the amount free of choice. Please give some bucks so independent and progressive music can continue to push on forward and offer all of us even more of these great musical journeys. It will take you out of your everyday life for a good amount on time and I remember having enjoyed every single minute of it.

If you decide to pick up a physical copy packed in a six panel digipack you'll be rewarded with a ninth track on the disc that add's a playing time of 19 additional minutes to your playing time. That track is something very special, all of you guys out there digging the long-tracks of progressive music will love this. It's like a never-ending epic.

The record will be released on 22nd November via Bandcamp. Currently a album preview is available for streaming as well as two full tracks. I've included the full songs at the Album-Overview section of the review. Here is the album-roundup to get a quick idea of the record:

Album-Overview (Track-by-track review)

Moon Signal: after a slow intro section the album starts with a high complexity. This is a well outworked piece of guitar work. It really needs a lot of time to get through all of the sections and comes in very rough. Don't let this hinder you. It's a rather heavy start to the album but the further tracks go in a bit easier.

Red Widow: More groove based progmetal. It's a breaker and positive "push-it-forward-track". Complex yet very fitting drums and guitar shred on this one. Rough sections follow cleaner parts and surprisingly some total soft-toned notes see the light towards the last third of the song. They lead over to a very dirstorted part with crushing guitars all over. The end comes fast and abrupt.

Black Dice Maze: The song starts out as a beautifull ballad with clean and pure guitars. The drums fit very well to this starting a soft rhythm. Drastically it all changes and a lot of roughness comes rushing in. This goes over to a typical prometal riff and finally unfolds into some more rough crushing and edgy guitar sound giving it all a more complex and hard sound structure. The next move goes back to the progmetal style and comes around clearer and in a more compact style. The end comes in very climatic and dramatic before the whole soundsphere collapses and goes back to some soft notes but not in the same style as at the beginning.

Gallows Way: A clear and calling sound speaks out of the guitar. Is there someone out there? This creates a very spheric and haunting atmosphere. I often wonder why some of the roughest records include hard tracks but at the same time there are these soft pearls in there as well. Those give you freezing chills. This is one of those shining diamonds. It doesn't last long but maybe you'll remember it as long in your mind as I did... The slightly distorted ending builds a crossing to the next track.

(c) by John Bassett, used wth kind permission

Fourth Quarter: A fine mixture of rougher and silker soundscapes can be found in this one. Held in a typical progressive style it's slightly hard but with a very warm and melodic tonality to it. Beautiful melodies can be found a lot in here.
It's like walking through a garderen that offers so many flowers to see. A intensive journey through what instrumental progressive music can offer in all of it's variations, diversity and complexity.

Via Occulta: A short intermission. Clear guitar notes flying around. The drums catch them up and form a little jam-alike atmosphere.

Read the Sky: A highly complex track. It get's back to the rough style. Held in a midtempo the track evolves around the main riff and comes with a lot of distortion. Inside of the storm you'll find a eye of melody that shine through. The darkest and hardest track of the album in my ears.

Start Missing Everyone: Spacy sounds start this one.But once that is gone sheer power takes over. A compact closing point. A good ending point for all people taking the download edition.

The Four Horsemen (CD-only-track): A catchy start to the epic with soft yet ever-changing guitar sounds and rhythm patterns. It evolves even further to a powerfull guitar bloom but not so heavily distorted as "Read the sky". It comes to a first peak towards nearly the half of the track and goes over to a somewhat ghostly spheric intermission just to come back with fresh power before going back in the softer mode and back to power again. The chilling and dreamingly sphere is present on the vast majority of the next track section before heavyness comes rushing back in. The drumming is most complex on this song. Lot's of variations and drum fills. The end set's a last mark on heavyness leaving me in the hope that we'll hear more of this great musician in the future.


Heartlay confirms show in Paris and helps people affected by terrorist attacks

Last friday we all faced the shocking news that terrorists had stormed a show of the band Eagles of Death Metal as well as several other public places like restaurants and bars in Paris to kill innocent people in the name of their religion. A football stadium was also set as a point of attack but happily the security people could help to prevent this from happening by letting a suspicious person not inside.

Let me express my dislike to any sort of violence anywhere in the world for any reason. There is never a place for such a thing and there is never anything that justifies such behaviour. We all live in one world and by the end of the day I'm quite sure we all believe in the same god or how else we may call it.

I can fully understand that it wasn't sure if the show of the alternative metal / industrial rock band Heartlay along with the bands The Way I Am and The Long Escape in Paris will happen on 20th of November 2015. It's just one week after these events and of course there's still tension and fear hanging in the air that such a thing might happen again. Last night a football game here in germany was cancelled due to serious terror warnings.

The good thing to all of this is that the people in Paris don't want to give in. They decide not to let themselves to intimidate by these mean act of violence. Heartly have finally decided to play that show but it will not be the release party for the new EP "Remedy".

(c) by Heartlay, used with kind permission

Instead the show will be dedicated to all the victims of the terroristic attacks. There will be no entrance free taken for this show but at the entry area of the venue you'll find a box when you can give a amount of your choice. The money collected will be given to the "Association française des Victimes du Terrorisme", a association for the victims of the terror. Their will be books of condolence where you can write in a mention and send some positive power to all those affected by the attacks.

You can find more details about the event on the Facebook page.

Heartlay have released their newest single "Consequence" just at the beginning of this month. It shows that the band has continued their path they began with the "Injection" EP. To me it comes around a bit more edgy and rough as the songs on the debut. If you would like to have a copy of the song don't worry. Just head over to Bandcamp. The band has kindly set up a free download of the track there.


Dark Music collection helps victims of tragedy in Bucharest

On October 30 2015 local band Goodbye to Gravity were celebrating the release of their second album at the nightclub Club Collectiv n Bucharest when the tragedy occurred and a massive fire began to spread. First hints point to a massive lack of security as the reason for this sad event. 

More than 50 people died and many dozens more are still in hospital. The victims and their families continue to need help with all sorts of things from funeral expenses to medical care.

Happily the Romanian artist, Costin Chioreanu has released a collection of avant-garde dark music, entitled "The Quest For A Morning Star", to raise funds for the people in need. The download features one hour of very dark tunes that in my ears perfectly fit to the dark situation we are all facing these days. 

Chioreanu is well known and highly respected for his graphic works for At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Napalm Death, Arcturus, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Ulver and many others. A musician himself, he has collaborated with various artists to create "soundtracks" to accompany his exhibitions in the past. The result can be purchsed now for the first time as a download album.

So if you want to help out the people affected by this sad event please consider buying a copy of the digital album through Bandcamp. This download is available for a limited time until November 27th 2015. You can listen to the full record below to get a idea of how the record sounds like.

Update 30.11.2015: The campaign is over and was a big success. The exact amount that has been raised will be announced on 5th December on the Facebook page of Costin Chioreanu. The digital compilation will remain on Bandcamp for the price of 1 Euro to keep it online forever.

If you still want to help the victims of the Club Collectiv tragedy you can purchase a physical copy of the record through Avantgarde Music. 

Limited to 300 copies, this A5-sized digipack features 8 beautiful art works by Costin Chioreanu on a 7 pages booklet. Includes unlimited streaming of The Quest For A Morning Star via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

All profits of this physical edition will be collected and donated to the Foundation “fundatiamereuaproape.ro". You can check out all the details of the release and find the pre-order link on the pages of Avantgarde Music.


Interview with Eternal Voyager (2015)


Eternal Voyager came to me as a sort of good surprise. Being someone who grew up with the old classic bands from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal I always loved the old style that these bands represent with their classic songs. Just think of Judas Priest with their Screaming for Vengeance album or Iron Maiden's Piece of mind.

Of course times have changed ever since. It's good to see things evolve - these days productions sound very different, much brighter, heavier and often brutal. But it's always running through my head that I still love the old way of doing records.

Eternal Voyager seems to be the answer to what I am longing for. They keep their traditionell Power Metal in the old fashioned way of songwriting and production. For example there are songs on their album "The Battle of Eternity" that repeat the theme that is presented at the beginning of the track at the very end of it again. I instantly had to think of the old Omen albums again.

Eternal Voyager 2015, (c) by Eternal Voyager used with kind permission

I gave the album some spins and was so curious to find out more about them that I asked the band for a interview. I am glad guitarist and vocalist Brian Blake took the time to answer my questions in a very extended way. Get to know more about how the album came together, the myterious man on the front cover of the album and what they are going to do next.

The Interview

Heavy Metal Underdogs: 
The production on the CD sounds very oldschool. I love this, today's albums are often overproduced in my eyes/ears. I grew up with the old sound so I prefer it. Was the old-school production form something you had clearly on your mind as you went into the studio or how did it all come together?

Brian Blake:
It was a natural thing that happened it wasn’t really planned but it came out that way because of the producer’s style. I too enjoy the old school sound and production to albums. But this time around it was not planned out this way. Of course there are a lot things I would like to change but it captured the songs well enough.

The band underwent a lot of line-up changes and is already around since 1998. How did you manage to keep up the motivation?

It went through a lot of lineup changes for various reasons mostly because many people just didn’t make the cut or ended up with life and musical differences, which is a natural thing that happens. It has never been easy because I have been the original member having to carry the weight of the band through all of it and it was very hard; there were many times that I wanted to give up but I kept going. This new lineup has given me a newfound hope and positive outlook on the future of this band. The album itself finally getting recorded was very motivating and gave me more confidence because prior to that we never had the right people all of those years and I was never successful in getting a good professional recording done.

Did the fans maybe also took part in this by constantly requesting new shows or recordings?

Yes there were a few that followed us somewhat distantly through the years but we made a lot more new fans when the album came out because it was a solid recording . For about 4 years before the making of the album we had a big gap of silence due to lineup complications and member issues.

As for the lyrics of "The Battle of Eternity" - does it have a concept behind it? Is there also a relation to the cover artwork?

Yes there definitely is; the concept is more so a story line, not a concept album, but the theme runs throughout the album and we will continue that story line throughout the records that we produce in the future to some degree. Its really its own mythology of a ficticious character that comes from another dimension and there’s a lot of mystery as to who he really is. Which answers the question that the mascot on the cover will continue to evolve in his look and the story will evolve and unfold as well.

Which bands did you grew up with and which one's do influence you most up 'til today?

Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio; Iced Earth really changed my entire perspective on U.S. metal; but I also listen to a wide variety of power metal bands from all over the world. But our sound is centered more around the influence of Iced Earth, Hammerfall, and Iron Maiden. The band has a diverse influence even though I write the bulk of the music they have contributed based upon their individual experiences with different bands. Im always listening to new and different bands with new styles and expanding my writing experiences but the band name eternal voyager is ever moving and growing but keeping it focused on the true style and nature of our core concept of sound .

Is your drummers kit a custom kit that he maybe also manufactured himselves?

No it is a custom kit, he uses a Roland electronic kit that he added more toms and cymbals to that he customized himself and a sound pad that he uses for effects and extra drums that don’t exist on the kit itself.

What are your plans for the future?

Currently we are recording the second album which is coming along pretty well; we are about 5 songs in so we are nearing half way done in some aspects. The album will be mastered by Stu Marshall of Death Dealer, Empires of Eden and Ex Dungeon. We are very hopeful that this new record will be more diverse in its recording but still keep that old school raw sound without over- polishing it, but it will be a much bigger sounding album. We are playing lots of shows, mostly local right now but we are hopeful for some tours and we would love to come to Germany! We also plan to do a music video for one of the songs for the new cd very soon. We are very hopeful with the new lineup and this is the best the band has ever sounded. We want to live up to our name Eternal Voyager and the journey continues…

Outro: You can listen to the full album over at the Nimbit shop of the band. That's also the place where the album is available for purchase as download, as CD or in a bundle along with a shirt and poster.
If you want to get in touch with the band just click on to the band's website or follow them via Facebook or YouTube.


Walter Trout becomes a Patron of the British Liver Trust and tours with new album

Renowned blues musician, Walter Trout, has proudly become a Patron of the British Liver Trust.
He has been given the gift of life and now he wants to help others.

Walter received a liver transplant after nearly facing death in 2014. He now feels like a new man and has immense gratitude for his supporters, his donor and the medical community who gave him a second chance at life. Recognizing that liver disease is a ‘silent killer’ and many people are unaware of it until it is too late, he has become a Patron of the Trust because he wants to help raise awareness, much needed funding and encourage everyone to ensure that their loved ones know their wishes regarding becoming a donor. Walter is supporting the Trust in his upcoming November UK tour.

  You can find out more info on the British Liver Trust, become a doner and get a free download of the song Move On here

His new album Battle Scars, released on Provogue/Mascot Label Group chronicles his battle with liver failure. Walter found out that he had liver disease in 2013. His health deteriorated and he almost died. He spent a month in intensive care and then a further five months on a liver ward first waiting for a transplant and then recovering after surgery.  His fans - many of them from England - used the internet to support Walter and help him raise $250,000 needed to help towards his medical bills for his liver transplant in 2014.

Liver disease is currently the third commonest cause of premature death in the UK – more than 12 million of us are at risk of liver disease yet we have very few resources compared with other conditions. With more funding into better research and care and by encouraging many more people to become a donor we can save more people’s lives. Without the funding that supports research and new developments in care and without people agreeing to donate their organs, Walter would not be alive today. He now feels he wants to give something back and raise awareness for the condition.

“I am delighted that Walter Trout has agreed to support the British Liver Trust and become our Patron.” Said Andrew Langford, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust. “As Walter knows it is a silent killer and by the time that you have the symptoms it can often be too late. I would urge everyone to take the British Liver Trust's free online Love Your Liver health screener on our website to see if you are at risk. Please also make sure that your loved ones know your wishes regarding organ donation and consider joining Walter in supporting us.”

Talking about his involvement with the trust, Walter opens up; “Liver disease almost cost me my life. The disease progressively drained me of my life force until I was on the verge of death. A miraculous liver transplant allowed me to survive and thrive once again. I owe my life to the research and development in the medical field around treatment of liver diseases. I am happy to work with the British Liver Trust to promote awareness about the silent killer among us. I am thrilled because new treatments are emerging at the moment, and to help raise awareness around this, and to empower people to seek treatment, is something I feel privileged to do.”
At the end of each of each show on the tour, there will be leaflets at the merchandise booth with more information, where Walter will also be signing records.

Walter will be touring the UK on the following dates:
Tues 17 November – Stockton, Arc - TICKETS
Weds 18 November – Glasgow, ABC - TICKETS
Fri 20 November – Holmfirth, Picturedrome - TICKETS
Sat 21 November – London, Forum - TICKETS
Tues 24 November - Leamington, Assembly - TICKETS
Weds 25 November – Frome, Cheese & Grain - TICKETS

You can stream the full album "Battle Scars" at the Classic Rock Megazine website.


CD Review: Ravenous - We are become death

Short Introduction

Ravenous was formed in Southampton in early 2008 when (bassist) Leon Maidment Millar joined an old school friend (lead guitar/vocals) Dave Game and band mates (drummer) Rich Giles,(rhythm) Dave Foster in performing covers of the Thrash/Groove metal genre with only one original song named Ravenous!

After much indecision it was decided that Ravenous would be the most fitting name for the new direction of the band and the craving need to break the fashionable trends in metal and return to its rawer roots with more lyrical structure and 'lyrical' lyrics.

Ravenous perform live in and around the south of england with original sets and are always well received, supporting the likes of Kobra And The Lotus among others. Ravenous continues on the same path with more and more original material and an ever increasing appetite for anthemic and  meaningful composition. "We are become death" is the debut album of the band.

(c) by Ravenous, used with kind permission

Summary / Player / Purchase-Link

This album is a blast! When other bands have completed their songs and are about to unplug their instruments this is the time when Ravenous are about start over. Their songs scream out the attitude to really play heavy music. That's what you'll remember once you've listened to one of their songs. I would describe the band's sound as a mixture between Metallica in their early days and a good potion of Machine Head.

So if you'd like to hear music that gives you some extended time and heavyness after the "normal" formula of the song with intro, chorus, refrain and solo has come to the end Ravenous "We are become death" is for you. It's this plus that gives you more joy while listening to it. A extra potion of heavyness gives this band it's special sound and makes it a good time you'll like to repeat again and again.

I highly recommend buying this record. It has a classic appeal to me. You can hear the rawness of the beginning of a thrash band but are also quickly aware that they've spent quite some time composing and practicing the tracks since they come very tight and ass kicking. The sound is a pleasure since it is well arranged and produced and fits to the albums songwriting, very compact and crushing.

The band has put inside some meaningfull elements to the sound that will make you remember. It's just some few modern elements so no need to worry if you dislike the all too modern attempts on songwriting. All in all it's a good mixture of the traditionell way of playing this music along with a modern production and slightly updated songwriting. Just hit the play button and you'll quickly know what I mean. Enjoy this fine album.

The album can be pre-ordered digitally through plattforms such as itunes, Amazon or Bandcamp. For all who'd like to have a physical copy in their hands there is the possibility to order one through the webstore of the record company Coffee Jingle Records that the band is signed to. The official release date is 27th November 2015.

You can get in touch with the band via Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Album-Overview (Track-by-track review)

"We are become death" has a good mixture of various tracks on it. It's a brutal thrash ride that knows various tempos and moods. If you wanna quickly get a idea of the band just check in directly with the first number called "Abhor". It's a perfect presentation of the band's heavyness in all of it's variations.

The track with the cool title "Reverse (sympathy)" represents the groove metal abilities of the band with it's rough back and forth ride on the riff through heavy drums and fitting vocals. The second part has some modern solo's inside while the ending leaves you with some slow grooving. Well done!

The first single and video "Easter Island (We are become death)" has quickly become my favorite with it's changing parts in melody and heavyness which seems to flow into one each other. Finally the brutal side wins showing the great riffs the band is able to write. The guitar playing is very impressive and the vocals tell a lot of the bandwith the vocalist Dave Game is able to sing. A ballad also found it's way on the record. Properly entitled "Alone" it shows some of the melancholic side of the band, but again they didn't forget to ripp it up their own way so it's not one of these ballads that you may want to skip on a thrash record.

The band's first original track "Ravenous" also found it's way on the record. Starting out with a slow introduction the song that gave the band it's name fastly changes into a riff-hacker going in hard and direct. In the verse sections you'll recognize a lot of double-bass attacks going on. This one surely would make a good closing song for a live set giving the audience one more and leaving them behind with a smile and a good feeling.

The band logo (c) Ravenous, used with kind permission

This one is followed by the midtempo banger "Deathstiny". This track stand out and will make you remember it's hookline and sharp-upripping riff for a long time."Suffocate" starts out slow with clear guitars and quickly leading over to some classic distorted riffs. Finally it throws you in a wild and powerfull storm of rhythm oriented thrashing. The track clears up with a mixture of slower and midtempo solo sections showing various forms of modern and traditionell string treatment before returning to the main theme.

"The Architect" sounds very classic again with a traditionell riff and it's midtempo formula. It's agressive but at the same time gives you a positive punch on energy. I can imagine this going down well on a live set, just think of all the people banging to it and having a good time. The solo section has a going-all-on-it feeling to it. We are going to get all out of the guitar there is. :-) Great tune!

"The Strawman" closes the first album with a mixture of a lot of riffing. The most complex track but it's worth it. Just give it some more spins to unravel each and every section there is. I think you'll love most of the parts. After all this album turns out to be a cure for me. I feel better after listening to it so I hope we'll hear more of this band giving the thrash and groove metal genre a fresh kick of air.


Solution Cycle to play second show at church in Germany

Last year I wrote about the Metal band Solution Cycle that played a show at a church in Nortrup (Germany). It was sort of a experiment. The local priest wanted to know if it is possible to mend elements of Heavy Metal music with the message and the content of a workship service.

This year will see the second installment of this event on 6. November 2015 at the Dorotheenkirche (located near Osnabrueck). Following the success of the last year the same band will contribute music again. But there will be a difference. This years edition will focus on a special topic - it's all about death. In the dark ages the death was represented by the reaper. He was dancing with helpless humans to lure them to hell.

So there will be a mixture of a theater play of the reaper scene with the melodies and the music of Solution Cycle. The organisation was done by the local priest Uwe Brand along with pupils of the vocational college of Bersenbrück. Currently the show is in the final preparation stage and a TV station called NDR has posted a article on their website in german. There is also a video up for viewing as well as some pictures giving you a idea of what's going on. You can see the people in action and hear some sounds of the band.

The band Solution Cycle has a page on Facebook where you can keep in touch with them and follow the further progress of the show preparation.

Update 2015-11-11: The show was a big success, many people showed up and the band played more songs than they had planned on that evening. You can get a idea of the event by checking out this article, once again of the TV station NDR. It features a nice description of the unusual show along with some pictures and a short video showing some reactions of visitors of the workship service. A daily newspaper called "Meppener Tagespost" also included a article about it with some pictures on their website. 

Update 2015-11-13: Some more articles have surfaced. This one is of the german TV station SAT1 and has a cool video on it which features some footage of the live-show as well as interview material.  Some more media was present at the show. This time german TV station RTL showed up and also captured some scenes for a video that is now up on their website.


Surroundings speak about Elizabeths lost love in new video

Do you think it is possible to regain a love that is lost? Or are things between two hearts forever gone once they break up? Well, maybe these thoughts were running through the minds of the melodic hardcore band Surroundings when they wrote the song "Elizabeth".

The even more cool feature of this track besides the topic is that it is the first of a suite of two related singles, the other one called 'Jane', coming soon. I think many people out there will be able to relate to what can be seen in the video. I think everyone has loved at least once in his life and knows how it is if you want that person back because you miss that beloved person so much...

Leigh Kendell from the band says
"In a special place, Elizabeth is looking for a love long lost. She performs the ritual, a sign of what they once had. Creativity and artistry once brought them together; now it is their only hope to find each other again."

Musically I was very surprised that besides the brutality of the music the band found a place for melodic elements in the band's sound and that the vocalist also shows different sides of his voice in the track. Just give the song a chance don't judge too fast. I nearly was about to give up when I realized that this has some special elements lying inside the band's sound which make them quite different from other hardcore band's with a similar tonality. The song changes quite a lot through it's different stages also the overall feeling is very heavy.

It comes out the most intense, melodic and with a surprise towards the end of the track. This first song makes me curious on how the other single could sound like. And how may the story go on? Will it go on or will "Jane" come with a completly different idea that just is related to the same topic? I am keeping an eye on this for sure!

Elizabeth is looking for her lost love... (c) by Surroundings, used with kind permission

Following the success of their debut album 'Of Bane Burden and Change'- Australia's Surroundings have come back with new members and a new single, to showcase their unique take on modern heavy music.

You can purchase the single from https://surroundingsau.bandcamp.com/ or on Itunes shortly.

Upcoming shows:
20th & 22nd of November with Saviour (reunion shows)

Follow the band through their social accounts: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/surroundingsau
Instagram: https://instagram.com/surroundingsau/