Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 92 (December 5th, 2013)

Yeah, it's going to be like this for a while. I tacked When The Deadbolt Breaks as number 13 because it didn't get reviewed as early as I originally wanted to, so I figured I'd cover it here. It's worth it. May have to this with future review weeks.


Necrowretch - Bestial Rites (2009-2012) (PR2013) - Necrowretch is death metal alright, but they're unfortunately boring as hell. I'm sorry but I'm just going to be honest here and say that nothing on the disc really managed to hold my attention. As I got closer to the bottom of it, the quality kept getting rawer leaving me to struggle with a fuzzy mess towards the very end of it all. I like death metal as much as the next person, especially strong raw death metal like the kind in Slaughterday, (who I'll have up next week) but this was a bit much. However, the vocal qualities of the Vlad are however ear-catching; as they provide the right sort of demonic inflections that you might expect, with certain "eck!" sounds laden within, I've also noticed that the guy has some odd sort of vocal thing he does where he adds an extra "eck!" to almost every word. While this seems alright in theory, in can become pretty fucking annoying after awhile. You could actually play a drinking game with this album, wherein every time supposed gentleman says "eck!" you take a shot and would eventually wind up quite plastered by the end of the disc.

Now I won't say that it's completely forgettable, but compared to what would be the band's later work, this disc is pretty run of the mill. While I haven't heard their newest release in Putrid Death Sorcery, I would expect that material to come off much better than this collection of early demos. Even though Vlad does a good cover of Death's "Zombie Ritual" and seems to idolize Scream Bloody Gore, there's just not enough meat here for death metal fans to really admire. There are so many old-school death metal acts coming out of the woodwork these days that I just don't think stuff like this can even compare, but it's alright. The disc just seems to lack any kind of real structure and plods along in territory that I've already heard ten million times over.

(17 Tracks, 47:00)



HI-GH - Night Dances (PR2013) - HI-GH are a marijuana based thrash band, and this is their debut EP. To be honest, there's not very much I can say about them that sets them apart from other thrash metal acts of their type, yet they've definitely got some interesting ideas, especially at the very end of the album on a trippy little track called "Mind's War & Peace 11:51" which technically isn't even a thrash track at all. "Das Boot 5:30" also serves as a good opener for the album, but everything else just kind of sounds like run-of-the-mill thrash with nothing to be gained. It's good for what it is, but isn't anything particularly noteworthy. Could they make a sizeable thrash appearance in their homeland? Probably, but I don't think they'll be able to go toe to toe with some of the greats just yet. I can't call it absolute crap, because it's not. This album contains and showcases all the building blocks of thrash metal, but it just doesn't bring much more with it. Personally, if the band sticks to more tracks like the finale, I think they'll make a bigger presence. The tough part is finding out how to craft what would essentially be trip-thrash, combining their love with classic thrash with their love of marijuana. Get to it, guys!

Highlights: Das Boot, Mind's War & Peace (12 Tracks, 50:00)



Metal - Proving Our Mettle (PR2013) - Alright folks, this is a very rare occurrence here at the Tower, so I'm going to have to be as kind as humanly possible. You see, I can tell that these classic heavy metallers from Brazil, Spain, Argentina or some other Latin American country are trying. The riffs and melodies are strong, the drumming is the way it should be and the solos are also satisfying. Later on in the disc they prove that they also have a good sense of structure and are able to craft metal epics like "The Gry Lion 7:00" and album closer "Trafalgar 6:10." They've definitely got it as far as musicality goes, but that's where the problem lies. The only problem with this disc is that Razor Ray can play well enough, but he can't sing his way out of a fucking paper bag. That's putting it nicely. I swear to you with all seriousness that these vocals are the worst I've ever heard in heavy metal music and it pains me that a band that performs this well is being hindered by such a terrible vocal performance.

Not only does the man have a terrible tone, but it's horribly off-key. Not one of the words that Razor Ray sings follow the melodies that are being played by the instruments, making this album an unbearable listen and something of a joke to most metal fans. It's an unintentional joke though, something that I actually feel bad about; but you just can't help but laugh when the disc starts up with "Heavy Metal 3:14." The act starts to sound more like Nanowar, but without the pretense of being a parody band. First of all, I want to know who is responsible for this. Did anyone bother to tell this guy that he's extremely off-key? Did anyone in the studio hear it and say to themselves, "what in the name of God is this?" This album is the very reason a facepalm exists. When you hear it, you just want to put your face in your hand, it's just an involuntary reaction that happens when you hear something so horribly bad that it's good.

You could annoy the living shit out of people with this album, as I suspect it has already been spammed by trolls claiming to be "the best heavy metal band ever" and others getting the joke so hard that they've also spammed it on other forums and websites, chat rooms and the like. It's like the metal version of Troll 2. And adding insult to injury is that the band's name is Metal. This is not something I made up for your enjoyment, even though I really wish it was. They say that fiction is a dying art these days, because just about everything that one can dream up has already happened somewhere, or is going to happen eventually. Metal is a perfect example of this point, because all of this hard work and money went into making a disc that is altogether terrible to the ears; making people resort to cursing God and various other deities, even the devil himself. Yes, it's an absolute train wreck due to the vocal performance, which is such a core point of the music; and what could have been a good combination of Iron Maiden and Manowar comes off as something that I wouldn't recommend by any means.

I could have been a lot rougher with this one, but these guys don't deserve all that. They do however, deserve a better vocalist. Razor Ray should just stand back and play the bass, while the band finds someone else to sing for them. Can anyone else in the band sing? Maybe out of one of these four guys, someone's got the gift and can make this album a bit more bearable.

(11 Tracks, 55:00)



Iron Kingdom - Gates Of Eternity (PR2013) - Well, there's always that one band that comes out of nowhere and blows your expectations completely out of the water. Such can be said with Iron Kingdom, which sounds like an unexpected blast from the past and channels NWOBHM bands (with most notably Iron Maiden) with an unparalleled amount of class. The band's frontman Chris Osterman handles the leads along with Kenny Kroecher, leaving Amanda Osterman to the kit and occasional bits of piano. Leighton Holmes handles the bass. But you're not hear for a fucking history lesson, so let's get to the music.

Basically, these guys capture a very promising glimpse at Iron Maiden in their prime, yet it's for certain that you will find more influences than just the Maiden one. Before hearing this album, I was under the assumption that only Katana could capture the essence of Maiden these days, yet I have been proven quite wrong by these guys. "Chains Of Solitude 7:08" sees the leads soaked in Maiden, but the vocals certainly sound like they're coming from somewhere else as far as influences are concerned. Getting to the point, what really brought these guys to the forefront for me was their conviction to structure. They do what made Iron Maiden so memorable, and craft such intricate and memorable pieces. This is much in the vein of discs like "Powerslave" where atmosphere was an important part of the package and I'm certainly impressed as far as that goes. They're such a young act and it's quite profound to see them this far ahead in musicianship. Another reviewer once said that "a band's age isn't important in reviews" and while I agree with that, I simply have to admire the fact that musicians this young can capture music this remarkable. "Demon Of Deception 6:02" hammers this point home, while "Candeloro 2:25" sees the implementation of that piano I was talking about earlier. Leads are featured in the backing of the track, making it a bit of an interesting instrumental piece. "Guardian Angel 5:12" seems to feature more vocal prowess than the rest, with Chris Osterman really giving it his all on the track. Maybe he should get in touch with Metal and see about re-recording the vocals for that "Proving Our Mettle" album. The epic "Egypt 15:17" is also worth mentioning, as it seems to be a culmination of all the band's talent and in fewest words, just unleashes one hell of a musical adventure. While the closer "Shadow Of Death 3:17" is ultimately forgettable and shouldn't even have been made (the disc was fine with "Egypt" as a closer, personally) the rest of the disc is an absolute must for fans of classic metal, with all of the correct elements intact.

It is not necessary that I discuss the length and width of guitar theatrics, for you should already be well aware of these from the start of the disc. The production quality also perfectly captures the old school vibe that the band were looking for, so there's no need to ramble on about that. Iron kingdom have made a truly viable attempt at classic heavy metal that shouldn't disappoint fans of NWOBHM, as they've truly got it down-pact. A worthy addition to your collection.

Highlights: At The Gates, Chains Of Solitude, Demon Of Deception, Guardian Angel, At Home In The Dark, Egypt (The End Is Near) (9 Tracks, 56:00)



Disfigurement - Soul Rot (PR2013) - Disfigurement know death metal, there's no fucking doubt about that. With "Soul Rot" they show exactly why it is that I love this genre, packing a disc that's not even a half an hour with more heinous butchery than I've heard from bands who've recorded discs that were twice as long. Hell, just listen to "Noxious Sensation 4:22" and that will tell you all that you need to know about these guys. The drummer pounds the living fuck out of the kit, as the guitars fill these tracks with catchy grooves and intricate melodies, replete with a dual vocal style that includes raspy scowls and the gravel that we know and love. This is the kind of death metal disc that you just start playing and immediately roll into a head banging fury. Then there's the solos, yes - memorable fucking solos that really add the right spice to these tracks. Then you've also got to figure in the fact that these guys do differentiate these tracks and don't rely on the same sets of riffs for each track. "Solitude 4:44" hits harder than the majorty of the deathcore stuff I've heard as of late, meaning that you just can't touch real death metal. This shit is practically priceless.

So are we done here? I mean, I'm not sure what else I need to say. If you like death metal that's going to mean something even though it's short, you definitely need to pick this fucker up. It's almost the holiday season, and this makes a great gift. Show your grandmother how much you care about her and send her a copy of "Soul Rot." Or don't. But maybe your grandmother likes death metal. I guess I need to name drop on this one, let's throw out Suffocation, Morbid Angel. You happy? Go get the damn thing. It'll light up your life.

I really hope nobody talked shit about this one, because if they did; then they don't know death metal. Disfigurement made an album that communicates to me the very sound and essence of the genre, so if anyone differs in opinion; they should be set ablaze immediately. It's not even a half-hour and they've done this much! I can't wait to hear what they'll do with a full album. But I bet it'll be fucking death metal, that's for sure.

Highlights: The whole disc. Too short? Play it again! (5 Tracks, 23:00)



Hammerfight - Chug Of War (PR2013) - Hammerfight had the right idea, but I can't say that this album left a lasting impression on me. The band seems to mix dirty hardcore with thrash and they do it with a bit of a bite and plenty of groove, I'll admit. But I didn't hear anything that really jelled with me all that well. Other than the fact that the leads and solos are memorable; the whole thing doesn't do much. I mean, it does have this punk sensibility and I'm sure that someone out there will find something in it, but I don't think it's going to be me. Maybe it's the vocal approach, but then again it does seem to go well with the music. While I do agree with the lyrics on "Queer Eye For The Scene Guy 2:33" and the message that it tries to bring out about cookie-cutter aesthetics in metal music, I want to hear a little more from these guys too. I can't fault the guitar playing, so I have to give it points for that. I'd be an idiot to throw this album under the bus for playing this good, I just can't get around the rest of it.

Yeah, I think I got it now. It's the vocals. I can't get over the vocals on this one. Everything else would sound great if not for the slurry vocals. The guy just kind of spits them out all over the place and really starts to damper the thing down, despite that the performance on the kit is truly worthy and as I've mentioned, the leads are tremendous at most times. But there's "Stellar Mass 4:50" which gives me a song completely devoid of vocals and it comes off just as wonderfully as I'd expect. It's simple, we've got a great guitar player with a vocalist who's just kind of run of the mill. But I certainly won't call it crap. If it sounds like something you'd be interested, then give it a try. The beat down/throw down vocals just seemed to kill it for me.

Highlights: Stellar Mass (13 Tracks, 37:00)



Day Of Execution - Pointless Cause (PR2013) - Day Of Execution have made a quick death metal slaughtering in the form of this short album that's only just a minute over fifteen. It's certainly strong death metal that delivers as well as one might expect. "Wormfeast 4:20" definitely delivers with horrific leads and fierce vocals, as "Pointless Cause 3:33" thunders in the grooves as the gravel is laid on thicker than four cement trucks pouring out concrete at the same time. "The Greatest Pleasure 3:35" shows more on the kit than in previous tracks, hinting at things to come. The last track, "Lust For Gore 4:46" seems to feature the band at their filthiest in some aspects, imitating several genre mainstays as well as introducing us to solos that seem to serve as worthwhile filler for the tracks.

While nothing inherently new, I definitely think that fans of classic death metal and groove-laden affairs will definitely throw up their horns for Day Of Execution. it's short, but it gets the job done. There's definite signs of promise here.

Highlights: Wormfeast, Lust For Gore (4 Tracks, 16:00)



Voices Of Extreme (VOX) - Break The Silence (PR2013) - VOX is a band that really tries several different things on this album, so I'm going to have to break it down. But first, here's a little information on the band. They seem to be composed of former players in long gone acts, as well as session and live guys who finally decided to get together and do their own thing, which works in most cases as it does here. This is their second release and their first since 2005's "Hypocrite". These guys are notable for having played with several live acts like Godsmack, 10 Years, Dope, Disturbed, Alice In Chains, Buckcherry and several others.

The record starts with "Damned 3:40" which breaks open the release with high energy and the radio vibe of rock acts like Buckcherry. It's a relatively strong number, but takes a while to get going; hitting ultimately on the chorus. "Tell Me What It Takes 3:31" is much the same way, but seems like it would even do better on the radio than the previous track. The catchy chorus will certainly catch on to people listening via their daily commute and that could make the band quite successful. "Apocalypse 3:28" features thicker riffs as well as another catchy chorus. "Break The Silence 3:40" brings in the piano as another ballad hits, but I don't feel that it's as strong as some of the others. I do however, like the classy solo featured on the track. "Numb 3:39" really pounds down with a metallic feel, but I don't feel it's that strong either. At least they're trying, though.

"Did It Again 3:00" goes back to the band's reserves, bringing out memorable choruses and catchy rock riffs that feature that sort of hip-hop shout in the background. These guys are trying extremely hard to be palatable with modern rock audiences and with a release this well geared to those audiences; they should reach what they're aiming for. "Hollow 3:40" goes into the nu-metal territory with down-tuned riffs and definite rap-metal influenced vocals that should speak to someone. It almost reminds me of Godsmack, but with the injection of rapped vocal shouts. "Made Of Stone 4:18" brings us to the second ballad, which is much stronger than the first. It's believable and works well. "Blown Away 3:38" actually works for me also, the chorus is quite memorable and got stuck in my head. Though still a bit raw, (which seems to be a major thing that this release suffers from) the overall output of the release does have it's merits. "Sorry 3:35" goes back to the nu-metal basket to pull out another radio-friendly chorus amidst more down-tuned riffs. The chorus is catchy enough however and worked for me. "Pain 3:48" is more of a love-ballad I think, so it didn't really that much for me; just a bit Poison to be honest. I think I'll have to pass on that one. The last track on the disc is also a ballad, called "More Than Anything 3:10." It's right up there with Train and should be on the radio. People who like Thirty Seconds To Mars, Three Days Grace and other bands of that nature will definitely fall in love with this one. I can think of a few friends who would definitely want to know where to get this song if I had played it for them. It's definitely a "who sings that?" moment. Make this a single today and these guys will be millionaires tomorrow.

Well, VOX isn't for everyone. That's to be expected. The catchy radio-rock semblances that these guys inhibit just won't appeal to people who like their music a bit darker and less well... this. But if you do like those radio rock hits and can't get modern rock tracks out of your head, then definitely add VOX to your list of artists to check out. Being a guy who grew up with the radio rock, I can definitely say that there's a strong act here who could do great things if given the right attention (get these guys a better production value, they could be signed to Sony/Universal with stuff like this) and given the right direction. These songs seem to come from every which way from a band who is musically confused, but certainly able to do many different things to which they excel at different lengths.

Highlights: Damned, Tell Me What It Takes, Made Of Stone, Blown Away, Sorry, More Than Anything (13 Tracks, 43:00)



Relentless - Souls Of Charon (PR2013) - Here's another female fronted doom metal band like Demon Lung or Avatarium. These are becoming the flavor of the week, so to speak - so I'm sure that we'll hear more of them in the months to come. This one comes out of Chicago, and a guy that I work with is originally from there, so I hear a bit about it every now and then. As for these guys, they're a bit less boring than Demon Lung and have some worthy rock injections. These are the things that Demon Lung were missing and why I've been less than impressed with their recent releases. Alright, so maybe it was a little harsh to say that these guys were a little "less boring" than Demon Lung, because I will admit that on the second listen, there are some nice little grooves here, as well as some progressive vibe and a sense of punk atmosphere that really seems to accentuate Carlee Jackson's vocals. Sometimes she'll do the drone which can get a little bit cold, but things get a little warmer and seem to pick up with a Janis Joplin approach. No matter how you cook it, it's still classic rock influenced doom. "Trapped Underground 5:56" introduced the band as a little lethargic, but it's when "Better Off Dead 5:36" comes in, that I start really taking interest in this band. There's a certain jam session going on here and it really sounds like a band that isn't going through the motions. Carlee sounds like she's enjoying herself on the mic, which adds to the piece and makes it come off much more enjoyable than the snoozefest of Demon Lung. Did I mention how boring they were?

"United By Darkness 4:44" comes back in with the 60's rock/Janis Joplin influence and that really works for this kind of music. These guys really might appear to be one of those droning doom acts, but they're really not. There's thunder from the riffs, I won't deny that - but the fact that these guys have rock n' roll in their blood makes them palatable. I'm not choking on it, and that's a great thing. "Final Wishes 4:21" has the right idea as far as mixing doom riffs with southern rock grooves, but I think that Carlee suffers a bit here. You don't want to sound too boring on an album. But hey, she's trying. We don't want her a bowl of fucking sunshine either. I mean, it is doom metal. "Forever Damned 8:47" conjures up images of Virgil and Dante rolling across the inferno and that's what it should do. If you haven't noticed, this one's got some meat on it's bones as far as length, so consider this an epic of sorts. The song is a bit long, but they do manage to kick it up a notch and offer some memorable solo matter, which will definitely speak to you, especially if you like your doom with a side of rock muscle. You know, I think I was a little too hard on these guys. I'd much rather listen to this than anything from Demon Lung. I don't even want to throw them in the same boat, because this disc is so vast and different from the shit that Demon Lung do. If those guys rocked as hard as these guys do, I might have given a shit about them too. The last track "Souls Of Charon 6:47" comes rolling in with an Iron Maiden sensibility, replete with just as memorable melodies. One more time, these guys like to rock - so if you don't like your doom this fucking excitable, then you might want to pass on this and pick up something more devoid of life, like Demon Lung.

Relentless prove that doom metal can also rock, as this debut release shows. It's on a small label, so go out there and support them if you dig the jams. Not everything was great, but all of these tracks are pretty solid in spite of that. Definitely recommended over Demon Lung.

(6 Tracks, 36:00)



Austere - Withering Illusions And Desolation (PR2013) - Before there was Germ, there was Austere. This album was originally released in 2007 and was some pretty bleak, yet beautiful stuff. Let's just be reasonable on this one - it's a good album. Just in the musical sense. Obviously the same vocal approach as Germ is also used here, giving Tim Yatras a sort of notoriety. But what can you really say about these vocals other than the fact that they're for the most part annoying? Let's be honest, the man can play, he can compose and he's got a great sense of grief and melody. But when he opens his mouth, it almost resembles some sort of sound effect. It doesn't even need to be there. It's pointless, useless and destroys the entire feel of the album for me.

Let me say this again. I really like the music in Austere, as in I really, really like the musical arrangements and compositions on the album. I just can't get around these fucking vocals. I guess it's something personal to Tim, I'm sure if I asked him about it, he'd just have something snide to say in return; but I'm being honest and that's what people want to hear here. There's no bullshit and no paid opinions. You play this album for me in real life, and that's what I'll say to you. Like the music, not the vocals.

"Withering..." is a very long disc as well. Which I've no problem with, because the music flows and feels like it should. It's a sort of melodic blackened funeral doom metal that portrays the emotion it should. I'm currently doing work like this right now, so I know what I'm talking about. But it's obvious from "...Memories 9:39" that the sound of this sort of "vulture howl" doesn't work for me. It just sounds kind of funny and I'm sure that quite a few people had their own share of a laugh about this piece when it first debuted. I think that the album's closer "Coma 18:29" really says it all about the piece, with Tim's vocals not present and the music allowed to create the sort of uninterrupted atmosphere that he so lovingly took a bite out of with his vocal approach.

So yes, I do recommend that you check out Austere. Just like Germ, there is some definite worthwhile music. You just have to find a way to get past the vocals. Unless you like them, in which case I implore you to check out his other work. The man's a musical genius, he just has a very funny way of using his vocal chords as an instrument. But then again, this unique approach is what his musical legacy has been built upon. Others seem to agree.

Highlights: Unending Night, Coma (5 Tracks, 56:00)



The Betrayer's Judgement - Philosopher (PR2013) - More apple core for you to play with, this free EP from The Betrayer's Judgement mixes deathcore with electronic and classical elements. Before I go any further, I'll give them points for trying, the mountains of djent riffs aside. There's also a clean vocal approach used which should definitely appeal to fans of bands like Bring Me The Horizon. A lot of times, the music seems chopped and screwed with as if being a plaything in a DJ's kit. There's even a chopped solo on "Broken Mirrors 4:30" which is certainly a sign of the times. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that these gentlemen will find a dedicated fanbase for this release and consider them definite contenders. The electronics are mixed in seamlessly with the classical and djent riffs, nothing sounds like it doesn't belong which is quite refreshing. they've definitely got more going for them than Winds Of Plague, despite them not being my cup of tea. These guys really know how to hit hard and they've got their shit together which could make for an uncompromising act in the future. There's also some nice melodies thrown around on tracks like "Philosopher 3:17" which show that the guitarist is actually capable of doing more than djent riffs. Oddly enough, the classical influence continues; but the electronics do disappear on later tracks like "Lights Out 3:36" and "The Journey 4:08." This is unfortunate, but I understand that they would not wish to push the gimmick throughout the entire record. However, a bonus remix of "Broken Mirrors 4:56" is included, as done by The Algorithm. It is actually quite nice and a swell change of pace.

Though djentcore is a major thing these days, I almost think of it as the metal equivalent of dub-step. It's too prevalent and sounds too mechanical. it was Meshuggah's gimmick, but now it is everyone's gimmick and has become hip and trendy. But what can you do? At any rate, if this album sounds like something you'd be into, then you can get it for free via Twin Peak records.

Hey, one of the guys in that band photo is wearing a shirt that says "EMERICA" and it has a nice little Illumi pyramid on it. I'd sooner burn that shirt. What the fuck, folks? We're not supposed to embrace them. But maybe that's some kind of band, if so I'll probably try to get an interview in with them so I can see why they use the imagery. One day, I'll get to the fucking bottom of this shit, but then I'll probably run into a 33rd degree Mason and realize that we're all pretty much fucked, I guess.

(6 Tracks, 24:00)



Asomvel - Knuckle Duster (PR2013) - Asomvel ain't Motorhead. But they certainly do remind me of them and perhaps that's a good thing. These guys have a very dirty approach to their rocky thrash, which makes opener "Dead Set On Livin 2:38" come off without a hitch. "Trash Talker 4:19" is a bit slower in vibe, but it still evokes a strong, balls-out feel that's sure to excite those of us who just want to rock out with our cocks out. (Or vaginas.) "Sheep In Wolf's Clothing 3:39" seems like a callout to someone's who thinks they're hot shit, and "Cash Whore 3:16" probably would sit well with the Kardashians. "Waster 6:23" really puts on the slowdown, but it's got plenty of blues to keep it afloat as do most of the tracks on this album. It's not very hard to see that Asomvel is very rock, very blues and even a bit punk. Just like Motorhead. This album is also quite comparable to Motorhead's latest output "Aftershock" which will get a review in Week 94. So be on the lookout for that.

Instead of making you read ten thousand more paragraphs, I'll just make this one blunt and say that if you're a Motorhead fan, you're going to find something to like in Asomvel. Though the vocal approach is a bit foreign and maybe a little rougher than Lemmy's, it's definitely apparent as to where they get their influence. Hell, if you love classic rock at all you should find something to like in this one. It's dirty, it's raw and it's definitely groovy. I don't know what else to say. Asomvel's "Knuckle Duster" really speaks for itself, and yeah - it's definitely good music to kick back a few brews to.

(11 Tracks, 41:00)



When The Deadbolt Breaks - Drifting Towards The Edge Of The Earth (PR2013) - This release is actually very lengthy, composed of two discs that span two hours of music. But it's definitely interesting and worth checking out. Now, as for the type of music, I would describe it as a sludgy, doomy and even sometimes gothy sort of thing that's all about atmosphere and haunting lyrics.

"The Woods Are Full Of Killers 12:36" starts us off with doom thunder and some post metal influence mixed in there. There's also this sort of harsh vocal that got thrown on there along with the haunting clean approach. It's a very drone-like piece that becomes more lively on "The Scavenger's Daughter 7:45" which also includes some death growls amidst it's flurry of delayed riffs and a full-on conversation. Yeah, the track ends with a lot of people talking at some sort of dinner party event. "Sleeps In Burning Hills 11:18" comes in thicker than a titanium bank vault, featuring slightly muffled vocal cries and other oddities. It ends with the sounds of someone showering and the crackle of thunder. You're not supposed to take a shower during a thunderstorm you know, it's very dangerous... but at any rate, the shower continues into "Too Much Perfection Is A Mistake 5:24" which is an ample name for a track. It's just a melodic atmosphere, but it definitely works well with the moods on this album. And this album definitely has a mood - it's all about moods, if you haven't guessed that already. "California Comes The Rain 7:40" comes in next, but is very inaudible, I don't even notice it until the tracks really begins to thunder with all of it's sludgy might. "GunSwallower 8:43" features more melody than the last track, yet it also sounds rather doom-laden and evokes a funeral sense. Again, these gentlemen are Jacks of many trades. "Hide The Bodies From God 9:05" starts out with a raucous approach that is certainly befitting of extreme metal, yet it develops into an atmosphere that comes off quite interesting and in some ways profound. When The Deadbolt Breaks are a clearly noteworthy act that is just begging to be discovered. The work put into this release is staggering and someone should soon take notice of their talent. The first disc ends with "We Are The Wolves 7:41" which features the same sort of multi-faceted (albeit more melodic) approach as the others.

Now for the next disc. The next disc is composed of simply one large track called "My Coffin is Loaded With Sand And Fire." It is approximately an hour long and also has several different facets as with the original disc. Other than a female guest vocalist being utilized and a gothic approach to some of the vocal lines, there is not a whole lot of difference between the two albums. An atmosphere is still being carried forth and it is a strong atmosphere that should impress you just as much as the first album did.

Once again, When The Deadbolt Breaks are an act that's just waiting to be discovered. With so many different ideas to offer the genre, let's hope that their raw and limitless approach never stagnates. I was certainly intrigued by this uncanny release and suspect that you will also be. Who have thought that just three guys could do all this?

Highlights: The Scavenger's Daughter, Sleeps In Burning Hills, Too Much Perfection Is A Mistake, California Comes The Rain, GunSwallower, Hide The Bodies From God, We Are The Wolves, My Coffin Is Loaded With Sand And Fire (13 Tracks, 2 Hours)


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