Monday, January 21, 2013

Running Wild - Death or Glory

Power Metal is like fruitcake; a bad joke to most people, but a wonderland of delicious treasures to those more educated and refined.  Unlike fruitcake, the best Power Metal comes from Germany.  This album represents the golden age of the genre, before it became just a soundtrack for LARPing.  You had the cheesy, epic and melodic quality of the English New Wave paired with the emphasis of speed and techinicality of Thrash.  This is also the pinnacle of Running Wild's long career, where they achieved their highest level of musicianship and before they went in a more slick and accessible direction that the whole genre would lean towards through the rest of the 90s.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bitter End - Climate of Fear

One of those cases where the imitators surpass the originators.  Bitter End have always impressed me with honestly catchy songwriting with a strong emphasis on groove or "mosh" as the kids call it these days.  Like most Metallic Hardcore bands, the late 80's New York influence is most apparent, reminding me most of Breakdown and Judge.  Honestly though, I think this is better than anything those bands put out.  Yeah, I said it.  Older doesn't mean better.

Katalepsy - Autopsychosis

A lot of you may already have this, but for those who are "behind" in the blog scene I deliver this most impressive work.  In the six years since their debut Katalepsy have progressed from bonehead Guttural Slam to the highest-brow Technical Death.  Gone are the annoying cricket vocals and steel-drum snares.  Replaced by sweeps, pinch harmonics, and endless intricate brutality.  Now with their old playground no longer in sight, Katalepsy are fast approaching Death Metal mastery.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral

Surprising that none of my blogger buds have picked up on this release, but so fortunate because that gives me free reign to step in and fill that overlooked void.  With Flesh Cathedral, Svartidauði have truly established themselves in the world of Black Metal.  Comparable in style and quality to Swedish masters Ondskapt and Ofermod, they deliver pretty much everything you would want in a Black Metal album.  There's ample amounts cavernous echoes, lethargic misery, and muderous blasts.  Along with the variety of pace is a refreshing balance of dissonance and melody.  I'm pretty certain these guys are the finest Black Metal band out of their small (but prolific) country of Iceland.  Don't miss the boat on this one.