Heavy Metal Reviews

Heavy Metal an Rhein und Ruhr

e-Trado GmbH

IN SOLITUDE – Sister

IN SOLITUDE – Sister

The metal and gothic scene existed parallel to each other in the late 80s. Some Fans of THE CULT visited metal concerts and one or two SLAYER fans could sometimes also like the Sisters of Mercy , the idea to put both scenes together no one really took care of, at least nobody with musical substance. IN SOLITUDE from Sweden now are doing excactly that although without all the ideologuies, They feature elements of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and First Wave -of gothic rock. Singer Pelle Ahman sometimes sounds like Ian Astbury, sometimes like King Diamond in the medium pitch, and he even manages to come close to the sometimes grim evocative voice of Carl McCoy ( Fields of the Nephilim ) . It's also this band the atmospheric parts are often reminding of n songs like "Death Knows Where" or " Horses In The Ground".
The guitarists enjoy themselves in the usual manner like two voices, here arises the greatest respect for classic metal, an element that is probably the most traditional sounding in ther music. This also applies to some of their compositional approach, always “somwhere in between, which characterizes the band as pioneers of a new classical movement, and the dark element of the the eight songs of "Sister" are in fact a rarity. Music that gives you the feeling that its real value will only be recogniszed in a few years. The sound of "Sister" is exactly as it should: analog, genuine, unaffected, each instrument is clearly audible, but the final product has enough force to be a metal album from front to back, and IN SOLITUDE do not make the mistake to make too much use of the retro-style. "Sister" is actually the perfect combination of 80' atmosphere and tasteful optimism. They can now be recognised from hundreds of other bands- and probably that's why some supporters will have some problems in enjoying the record first. This music offers standards - intensive examination provided. And above all it offers great melodies and compositions. In short: everything done right.

CARCASS – Surgical Steel

Sometimes when legends return great expectations are not fulfilled. When the time is up, then there's not much substance left, Sometimes, when a legend retruns after 17 years of abstinence the result is quite different. Such a moment is this, the return of British extreme metal band Carcass.
"Surgical Steel" is the band's first album for nearly two decades, contains sprawling, ill-sounding noise escapades, and despite various "Heartwork" bonds the disk is nothing more than an extreme benchmark for thousands of bands. Bill Steers scary sawing guitar sound, Jeff Walker's voice and above all the consistently superb songwriting place "Surgical Steel" on a level that is hardly grazed by few bands. Despite many decades of music history Carcass still top the genre concerning their ideas Somewhere in the vast field between technical death metal, old school thrash and contemporary noise on the album speed and groove alternate, to be heard especially from the excellent solo parts and the shining melodies in between.
CARCASS browse the range of the heavy world mercilessly, offering the demanding "Mount Of Execution", the precise bullets "Captive Blood Pistol" and "Thrasher's Abbotoir" and "The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills” and" noncompliance To Astm F899-12 Standard”, citing traditional values. “Surgical Steel” contains a whole cast of highlights. The songwriting is second to none and never predictable, and anger, aggression and fury can be heard every in second of this album. Those elements are the cornerstone of highly energetic sounds. Sometimes, when legends return, they create nothing less than a milestone.

PEARL JAM Lightning Bolt

The constancy which have also been present after the demise of grunge that PEARL JAM offer, musically speaking, is remarkably realistic and richly. Around the turn of the millennium, the albums were not quite as outstanding, but far from bad and outdated, and at least since the last album "Backspacer" they have again a significant piece of early nineties flair in their songs. But Eddie Vedder and Co. have grown older, more mature, can no longer be detroyed by any emotional crisis. "I've found my place and it's alright" are Eddie's words in the opener, "Getaway", and it is an arrival that you ccept happily. Those who have lived out their dpression in with "Black" or "Indifference" likes the new direction of the band and goes it with them.Still, not every moment of life mere fulfillment, but the light is much larger than the shadow - and much more to see.
PEARL JAM have recorded their most iverse musical set an a long time and probably their best since "Vitolagy" of 1994. Each of the four songwriters (plus drummer) provides for versatility with its own style. Maybe you will find one or the other experiment not as good as the others on the album, a weak song you will not discover. "Sirens" with its lilting thoughtfulness is a hit for millions. In the title song Eddie Vedder is raging in a way he hasn't for many years. The gandiose, semi-acoustic album closer "Future Days" is one of the big ballad rock moments of the year, with "Mind Your Manners” the punk-mob is raging, and how bands like the Gaslight Anthem are affected by PEARL JAM you can hear at the slightly melancholy, but never soporific" Infallable "and Swallowed Whole".
Because PEAL JAM know that integrity is part of credibility, because they still appear honest, authentic and emotionally and because they are at the heart of the matter, "Lightning Bolt" is again a very impressive piece of work. That the guitar players are outstanding musicians that shape the songs with their unique style, should be mentioned, however, in this call as no surprise.

FATES WARNING – DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT

The nearly ten-year hiatus that has emerged since the last FATES WARNING album, had relatively simple reasons. No band split, not a crisis, it is simply the time that guitarist / songwriter Jim Matheos was missing thanks to his numerous activities. That "Darkness In A Different Light" is a consistently first class album shows to the brilliance of the musicians, although they worked seperated from each other using the latest technology instead of working out te songs in the rehearsal room, their status as one of the most important progressive bands in the history of metal is once again made clear.
Singer Ray Alder seems to get better with each new release, his singing is clearly one of the main factors why every single song on "Darkness In A Different Light" is convincing. The complex riffing that never degenerates into an ego showdown, the most typical of all FATES WARNING trademarks. It is of course present in every minute of the album and the complexity coupled with diversity helps the record to achieve its unique character. In both the much more metal-ladden songs as well as the quieter moments in the end it's always the grandiose melodies that make the work a high-flyer. The 14-minute album closer "And Yet It Moves" is a showpiece of masterful songwriting. The song is carried by a recurring basic theme, in which the band always slightly varies the performance and the time is otherwise filled twists and breaks, without losing the thread. The groovy riffing at the beginning, the main part, with its impressive hook lines and the trip to calmer waters at the end: a real showpiece moment. Who thinks this song is good, will also like the rest of the album. Outstanding of this rest are he calm short spine-tingling moment, "Falling" and the emotional "Lighthouse" as well as the relatively catchy "Firefly", "I Am" and "O chloroform". All of them initially seem somewhat insignificant, but the band fully live out their efficient feeling for melody. A real downer does not exist on this album, so "Darkness In A Different Light" is without a doubt a successful comeback. A better combination of musical claim and emotional accessibility is not likely to be released this year.



Text © by Heiko Eschenbach