- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 09:59
- Written by George Washburn
- Hits: 519
Sound Storm – Immortalia
Sound Storm is a symphonic power metal band from Italy and “Immortalia” is their second album. The band appears to have had two lineup changes since their first album; Philippe D'Orange is handling the vocals now and Davide Cristofoli is taking care of keyboards. The band is rounded out by returning members Valerio Sbriglione on guitar, Massimiliano Flak on bass and Federico Brignolo on drums.
Sound Storm should appeal to fans of fellow Italian symphonic metal band Rhapsody, particularly since the division in the Rhapsody camp has killed the band’s chemistry. Fed up with bands splitting up and both sides keeping the same band name? Me too. So forget Rhapsody and give Sound Storm a listen. I am not all that blown away by the band name, Sound Storm, but the music is pretty good and that is what matters most.
The songs on “Immortalia” are sweeping, epic masterpieces of symphonic metal. The instrumentation plays up the symphonic element, but does not overwhelm the heavy metal aspect; the guitars and drums still pound out some quality metal. In my opinion the vocals are done very well too. Philippe can belt out the high notes, but he also has a great mid-range voice as well. I appreciate this because singing high the whole time can get old real fast.
The only minor critique I have is that the production could sound a little better. It is good enough, but given the huge, epic sound they are going for, more low-end punch and a bright, crisp mid and high would really bump this up to another level.
Check out the track “Back to Life.”
In the immortal words of Monty Python…and now for something completely different…
Trucker Diablo – The Devil Rhythm
Trucker Diablo is a hard rock band from Northern Ireland and “The Devil Rhythm” is their first album. Based on the band name I was expecting these guys to be from the American south and playing some kind of southern rock. Well, they are not American and they do not play southern rock. Calling the music hard rock is about the best I can do to classify it. The songs are really catchy and commercial sounding, but this does not turn me off like it normally would. In fact, it has a great deal to do with why I keep listening to the album.
The music is heavy, the riffs are chunky and the vocals are clean and guaranteed to get stuck in your head. I think part of what makes me enjoy these songs so much is that they are actually utterly devoid of any affectations of current musical trends. There is no emo angst in the catchy vocals, nor any southern twang, nor anything else, just pure rock. They do not sound auto-tuned to death; rather they are just raw, simple vocals over heavy guitars and drums. I think the novelty of something so simple is appealing when there is so much crap clogging up the airwaves. These guys do not seem like they are trying to fit in to any “scene”, they just sound like a bunch of guys playing music they love, and that kind of genuineness is hard not to respect.
This may not be the typical fare that I tend to review on here, but so what. Piss off if you don’t like it. I am digging this album. Here is the video for “Drink Beer, Destroy.”
Waylander – Kindred Spirits
Since we are already in Northern Ireland, what say we head over and check out “Kindred Spirits” the fourth album from Celtic/Folk Metal band Waylander.
Sounding nothing like Trucker Diablo, Waylander are very much a metal band. They supplement their metal music with folk elements such as the bodhrán, mandolin and whistle (take a bow Dave Briggs.) The vocals are a harsh bark that both contrasts with the music and gives the band their hardest edge.
When I first heard Waylander after they released 1998’s “Reawakening Pride Once Lost” I had a hard time getting into the band because of the harshness of the vocals. In the years since then I have come to appreciate harsh vocals, and these days, tend to prefer them to clean vocals. Harsh vocals are rather like the burn from hard liquor. The first few times it can be difficult to swallow and might make one look for something easier, but after awhile you come to crave that burn, at which point watery beer just won’t satisfy.
“Kindred Spirits” is a fine example of Celtic metal and I recommend it to anyone looking to partake of the style. Here is the track “Echoes of the Sidhe.”
Deiphago – Satan Alpha Omega
Leaving the Emerald Isle we head next to Costa Rica via the Philippines. Formed in Manila, Deiphago, a black metal band, relocated to Costa Rica in 2004. They have many demos, splits and EPs as well as three full length albums, of which “Satan Alpha Omega” is the third and latest.
“Satan Alpha Omega” is pretty hard to listen to. The music is very chaotic and seems rather lacking in structure, and the vocals are a piercing screech which seems like it must have effects on it, because whenever the dude screams this sort of white noise accompanies his voice and makes the music more difficult to hear. You know how at the end of a band’s live set they might just go wild and play really loud noise that does not follow any rhythm or pattern, and then let it fade out as they walk off stage? Deiphago calls those songs lol.
This was a little more over the top than even I could handle. Here is the title track “Satan Alpha Omega”, which is actually one of the more structured songs on the album.
Cultfinder – Black Thrashing Terror
Heading back over to the UK we have black thrashing metal band Cultfinder and their debut three song EP, “Black Thrashing Terror.” Cultfinder is a three-piece featuring Rob Belial on vocals and guitar, Wilbeherit on drums and Necroskull from Witchsorrow on bass.
I like this better than Deiphago; at least it has more structure. I would, however, much rather be listening to Witchsorrow. The low-fi production combined with mediocre sounding harsh vocals (which are slightly buried) make this an easy EP to put back down. It has a certain raw, underground appeal, but not enough to make me want to listen to it again. Cool cover art though.