Saturday, January 19, 2013

Best metal albums 2012 #15-11


Preview: We All Rage In Gold

My journey with Neurosis saw daylight back in 2007 with their previous album, Given To The Rising. The hardcore fans probably are sharpening their knives already and picking stones to throw at me, but this is the truth. Later I have been doing my homework to familiarize their previous works only to find out that this band is huge and a force to be reckoned with. Their style could be described somewhere between Sludge and Post-Hardcore. The songs are long, tempo changing and they really challenge the listener. As the line-up have matured, so has the music. You have to reserve time and clear your mind until you can fully grasp their full potential. When that happens, you will be rewarded.


Preview: Carolus Rex

On the paper Sabaton's concept seems utterly ridiculous: a young Swedish band is singing about wars e.g. in Poland, Sweden and Finland having a vocalist with harsh German accent. The overall sound is up-tempo and the choruses are immediately hooking and will be imprinted in your brains for days. Sounds a bit too cheesy and poppy? It all changes when you attend one of their shows and witness the loudest crowd you've ever seen in a metal gig. Most probably during the first three songs you will have goose bumps and will be jumping up and down relentlessly singing your heart out together with the rest of the posse. Yup, you got it right: they have the talent to make you feel entertained, united, relaxed, wanted and loud. Now if that isn't metal, I don't know what is. On a side note, Carolus Rex is one of catchiest song I heard in 2012.


Preview: Descent Into Chaotic Dream

Funeral doom is a pretty tough art to master, but Evoken is doing it right. Their fifth full length, Atra Mors, has been five years in the making and doesn't fail. The sound is haunting, massive, depressive, melodic and slow-paced. The album has eight opuses and they follow a good pattern: two epic songs, one interlude, two epic songs, one interlude and finally another two epic songs. The album clocks over 67 minutes, so if you're looking for a training mix tape to burn those extra calories, Atra Mors is a good choice: you will suffer, your pain will grow but in the end you realize the fun is over and want to do that all again.


Preview: Cathedral Walls

Swallow The Sun is one my favourite Finnish bands, so when I heard about this new release my expectations were running sky-high. The single Cathedral Walls (and the absolutely stunning video) lifted them even more and I was more than anxious to press play when I finally got the CD on my hands. After a few spins, I was kind of disappointed: the album was all I expected, but the vow factor was missing. I later witnessed several live performances by them and that reinforced the image. Don't get me wrong: everything worked, but somehow I felt it was all too premeditated,  and didn't surprise me. After a few months, I decided to listen to the album again and then it finally happened: my mind exploded enough to appreciate and understand the song writing and how their sound has evolved. The album is still a rat salad in a way: you have death doom songs, gothic songs and melodic doom songs. That all sounds a bit too  shattered, but the package stays together after all and with songs like Hate, Lead The Way!, Hearts Wide Shut, Of Death And Corruption and Labyrinth Of London they make my TOP15 with flying colours.


Preview: Dojana

One could say that currently Romania is not very popular metal country, however I am pretty sure it is about to change very soon. Most underground listeners know Negură Bunget and now Dordeduh. It was back in 2009 after a disagreement when Hupogrammos and Sol Faur decided to leave Negură Bunget. I read somewhere there was some bad blood with the split and the fans were divided somewhat to two groups: Negură Bunget fans and Dordeduh fans. I try to stay neutral from that fight and listen to music as it is offered to me. First of all, it is not easy to get into Dordeduh (in English "Longing for spirit"): all the lyrics are in Romanian, the songs are long with a lot of folk elements, tempo changes and shamanic parts. The overall duration of the album is more that 77 minutes, which means Prophecy Productions really gave free hands for Dordeduh to explore their creativity without boundaries. The song writing is exceptional and the musicianship, so even though you cannot sing along to the lyrics, the music possesses you and takes you on a journal to dark woods and white mountains of Timișoara where hungry ravens follow your steps and howling of the wolves makes you question your ability to finish your journey. Give me a few more weeks and this album would be in my TOP10.

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