Villains - Qotsa - Review

Once   upon   a   time,   the   Queens   of   the   Stone   Age   were   the best   band   on   the   planet.   They   had   the   songs,   the attitude,   the   drive   to   make   albums   that   could   knock everybody   out   and   they   had   the   people:   Mark   Lanegan who   sounded   like   a   villain   from   a   Stephen   King   novel, Nick   Oliveri   the   unpredictable   agro-punker,   Josh   Homme the   captain   and   visionary   of   the   band,   Dave   Grohl, Troy   Van   Leeuwen,   Joey   Castillo,   Dave   Catching, Alfredo   Hernandez.   It   was   a   drug   fueled   machine   that left   audiences   across   the   globe   in   awe.   “Songs   for   the Deaf”   still   stands   one   of   the   greatest   rock   albums   of all   time   and   deservingly   so.
Then   things   started   to   shake   up.   Josh   Homme   sacked Oliveri   and   “Lullabies   to   Paralyse”   came   out:   an atmospheric,   dark   album   that   lacked   the   punch   that made   “Songs   for   the   Deaf”   so   irresistible.   Its follow-up   studio-album   “Era   Vulgaris”   was   despite   its qualities   pretty   forgettable   and   I   completely   ignored “Like   Clockwork”   after   hearing   the   rather   plain   “My God   is   the   Sun”.   Now   there   is   “Villains”   and   it   makes me   want   to   put   on   Kyuss’   “Blues   for   the   Red   Sun” again.
QotSA   have   never   released   a   truly   awful   album,   that much   is   true,   and   “Villains”   is   by   no   means   really   bad but   nothing   presented   here   really   makes   impact. Somewhere   in   my   notes,   I’ve   scribbled   “just   because   it sounds   interesting,   doesn’t   mean   it’s   good”   and   that pretty   much   sums   up   the   new   album.
The   album   kicks   off   very   promising   with   “Feet,   Don’t Feel   Me”   with   its   quirky   but   extremely   infectious groove.   Say   what   you   want   about   Homme   but   the   dude   can pen   a   groove   like   nobody   else.   “Fortress”   is   an adorable   indie   ballad   that   drags   on   just   a   tad   too

long.   “The   Way   You   Used   to   Do”   has   a   very   charming rockabilly   feel   and   also   an   annoying   handclap   that sounds   very   artificial   and   reeks   of   drum   computer (which   given   QotSA’s   history   with   excellent   drummers stupefies   me).
“Un-reborn   Again”   is   a   great   title   but   a   song   without any   substance.   “The   Evil   has   Landed”   could   have   used   a better   mix   and   a   grittier   tone   but   that   still   wouldn’t hide   the   fact   that   halfway   the   song   I   had   almost forgotten   about   the   track   before   it   was   even   over   and “Hideaway”   is   just   boring.
Closing   track   “Villains   of   Circumstance”   is   a   track that   should   have   been   sung   by   Lanegan.   Homme’s   voice is   not   demanding   enough   to   sing   such   a   brooding   dark track   and   this   is   somewhat   symptomatic   for   the   current version   of   Queens   of   the   Stone   Age.
During   the   “Rated   R”   and   “Songs   for   the   Deaf”   era, Queens   of   the   Stone   Age   was   not   a   homogeneous collective   but   a   mishmash   of   personalities   and   styles. That’s   not   all   too   strange   if   you’re   familiar   with   the now   defunct   Desert   Sessions,   the   recorded   results   of Josh   Homme   entering   the   studio   with   befriended musicians   and   making   music   together.   The   friends ranged   from   high   school   friends   and   nobodies   to superstars   like   Twiggy   Ramirez   and   PJ   Harvey   and everybody   in   between.   The   band   Queens   of   the   Stone   Age was   the   crystallised   version   of   those   Desert   Sessions. QotSA   in   2017   is   Josh   Homme   and   a   few   lackeys.   He   is the   boss,   he   calls   the   shots   and   he   IS   Queens   of   the Stone   Age.   There   are   no   real   contributors   anymore   but guest   musicians.   Despite   his   enormous   talent   as   a guitar   player,   he   has   his   limits   and   therefore   the

New Model - Pertubrato - Review

Music   is   a   living   thing.   It   is   always   in   motion, dancing   an   everlasting   ballad   of   action   and   reaction, a   tango   with   several   partners   from   all   cultures.   And then   there   is   Perturbator.   The   Apache,   one   of   the   most violent   and   sinister   dances,   in   a   dark,   humid   room with   a   concrete   floor   and   subwoofers   that   could   make your   brain   melt.
This   French   band   may   be   best   known   as   one   of   the   two biggest   synthwave   band,   the   other   being   fellow Frenchies   Carpenter   Brut,   but   on   their   latest   album “New   Model”   they   go   far,   far   beyond   what   synthwave once   was.
Sure,   it   is   still   based   on   phat   analog   synths   but   it no   longer   bathes   in   ironic   old   B-movie   pastiche.   No, Perturbator   steps   from   80’s   into   2017   where   trap   is the   all   new   rage   and   they   incorporate   it   in   the opening   tracks   “Birth   of   the   New   Model”,   “Tactical Precision   Disarray”   (which   has   one   of   the   sickest drops   I’ve   ever   heard)   and   “Vantablack”.   Not   that   the band   follows   a   simple   formula   like   “just   replace   the EBM   beats   with   hi-hats   and   half   time   kicks”.   On   the contrary,   once   you   more   or   less   get   what   the   band   is doing,   they   have   already   moved   on   and   building   up   to something   different.   That   makes   the   tracks   not   only varied   but   also   exciting,   fresh   and,   depending   on whether   or   not   safewords   play   a   large   part   in   your bedroom,   sexy.
It   is   not   until   the   fourth   track   “Tainted   Empire”   that we   more   or   less   go   back   to   more   traditional   synthwave. More   or   less.   The   harsh   EBM   sounds   are   back   but   the piece   still   flirts   with   dubstep   and   trap.
“Corrupted   By   Design”   is   a   bit   of   a   breather. Relatively   speaking   of   course,   the   beats   remain  every

bit   as   punchy   as   in   the   beginning   of   the   album   but   the band   is   taking   it   easier   with   basslines   and   effects. Closing   track   “God   Complex”   is   a   track   worthy   of   its title.   Clocking   in   at   almost   10   minutes,   this   is   an epic   wave   saga   that   could   tell   a   story   of   a dehumanised   society   where   men   and   machine   are   so intertwined   that   it   becomes   a   challenge   to   distinguish one   from   the   other,   one   fuels   the   other   becoming   more than   the   sum   of   the   parts   (wait,   did   I   just   summarise “Ghost   in   the   Shell”?).
In   the   34   minutes   that   it   takes   to   sit   through   “New Model”,   Perturbator   not   only   deliver   an   intricate   dark piece   of   art   but   also   demonstrate   that   a)   it   is possible   to   thrive   on   more   than   just   nostalgia   without radically   changing   artistic   course   and   b)   ironically enough   teach   the   rest   of   the   competition   a   lesson   in appropriating   new   elements   in   hard   style   music   without having   to   worry   about   “selling   out”   and   no   longer being   “trve   kvlt”.
- Ivo   VirusWithShoes   -
Think   you   can   dance   the   Apache   on   a   mix   of   EBM,   trap and   synthwave?   Find   out   here   at:

Review Demo Black Heroin

Attitude.   For   punk   and   hardcore   it   is   50%   of   the appeal.   You   can   buy   3000   euro   guitars,   point   to   point soldered   boutique   amps   and   vintage   pedals   but   if   you haven’t   got   that   anger,   you   will   never   be   able   to   play HC/punk   properly.   That’s   why   Agnostic   Front’s   “Victim in   Pain”   is   a   classic   despite   being   one   of   the   worst produced   albums   ever   (and   the   solo   on   the   opening track   is   awesome   in   its   awfulness).
In   that   regard   Black   Heroin   from   Ghent,   Belgium   is about   as   authentic   as   they   come.   6   tracks   in   less   than 9   minutes,   recorded   in   a   squat...   This   is straightforward   oldschool   hardcore   that   seems   to   be making   a   slow   revival.
It   will   be   probably   take   you   longer   to   read   this review   than   to   listen   to   the   actual   demo   but   why   not go   over   the   tracks,   just   for   laughs?
Opening   track   “Idiots”   starts   off   a   bit   meek   and forced   but   once   the   intro   is   over,   you’re   in   for   some good,   fast,   underproduced   stuff.
Follow-up   cover   Angry   Samoans   “Todd   Killings”   is   over before   you   know   it   and   “Wake   Up”   is   short   and   barky. “Religions”   and   “Treachery”,   with   2   minutes   runtime the   longest   song   because   one   of   the   guitar   players wanted   to   do   a   solo,   are   the   two   best   tracks.   The   band seems   to   be   playing   a   bit   tighter   while   the frustration   and   anger   just   explode   in   your   face.
Final   track   “Revenge”   closes   the   demo.
What   is   their   left   to   say?   Black   Heroin.   Hardcore   from Ghent,   the   hipster   capital   of   Belgium.   Not   super innovative   but   true   to   the   ideals   of   their   music: don’t   wait   for   approval,   just   get   up   there   and   do   it.

- Ivo   VirusWithShoes-

Luckily   you   don’t   have   to   find   a   squatted   house   to   get your   vintage   hardcore.   Just   lay   back   in   your comfortable   sofa   and   visit:

SMS - Secret Moon Society

 SMS - Secret Moon Society : Where we believe human beings use particles from the moon from birth to evolusjon and when we die our particles reunite at the moon and creates a pressure and new life forms are created all day. Join us! Or.. die.

Possibly to be continued...

Frenzy - Odd Sun - Review

My first reaction when checking out the ODD EP by Polish stoner rockers Sun Frenzy: “I didn’t know that there was a desert in Warsaw...” Because this is some seriously good stuff!
Not that this record is anyway groundbreaking. Far from it even. Just listen to those riffs that sound like a sandstorm. The droney solos. The bigger than life drums that are not only the heart of the songs but also the feet. That howling voice that can call coyotes. The songs that sound like huge jam sessions, fueled with some shitty weed and ice cold beers. The tones, the riffs, even the drums and vocals are all very reminiscent of Kyuss, the legendary, most influential band to have ever walked out of the Californian desert. But let’s say that imitation is the best form of flattery and get on with the review. Still, writing this band off as a blatant Kyuss rip off wouldn’t do this trio justice because these cats know how to fuckin’ groove and swing. Sitting still to this record is not an option. At moments like on the opener “Hacked and Jammed”, “Emerald” and closing track “Watchers of Tomorrow” they groover harder than Kyuss did on most songs. This, dear reader, is a party record deluxe. The soundtrack to a hot little room where the entire audience is soaked with sweat, everybody stinks, everybody is thirsty but nobody wants to leave the party even at the risk of a heatstroke
Other than that, there is not much to say. This record is about as straight forward and in your face as they come and that in itself is worth quite a lot. Sun Frenzy didn’t set out to record the new “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Blues for the Red Sun”. No, they just 
entered the studio to lay down some grooves that are fun, loud and prone to get them booties shakin’. I can do nothing but praise this uncomplicated approach.

Stay hydrated and head over to :

- Ivo VirusWithShoes - 

Grant The Sun (NOR) Premieres self titled debut

Featuring members of Insense and Beaten To Death, Grant The Sun is a brand new trio from Norway playing an instrumental metal sound influenced by names such as Devin Townsend, Extol and Meshuggah.
The band began when founding members of Insense, Håvard Sveberg and Martin Rygge (who also handles guitars in grindcore group Beaten To Death) decided it was time to get together and make music again after more than ten years apart. Shortly after the duo is joined by childhood friend and guitar virtuoso Markus Lillehaug Johnsen and together they’ve started writing some songs to be included on the band’s first effort, due out on August 11th via Mas-Kina Recordings.
Featuring six songs, this self-titled EP was recorded live in just three days by producer and long-time friend Danne Bergstrand at Dugout Productions in Uppsala, Sweden and sees Grant The Sun masterfully combining heavy riffs and hard-hitting, complex rhythms with catchy, prog-driven melodies that while is near-impossible to place in a single category, falls somewhere between Meshuggah and The Ocean.

Klabautaman 'Smaragd' Review by Ivo Goyens

No idea how Klabautamann from Germany see themselves and seen that I am still in semi-holiday mode, I am going to be lazy and refer to them as a progressive metal band, If you start listening to the album, you will immediately notice a lot of of post and black metal influences. I can even pinpoint Alcest, ISIS (the band!) and even some Opeth.

But listen more closely to the song structures. There is definitely no shortage of riffs but the band doesn’t really do in choruses and hooks. The music is constantly changing and mutating but all in manner that feels natural. This is the sort of music that requires concentration, focus to be fully enjoyed. Maybe quite an effort for people with the attention span of a goldfish but in return the listener gets amazing, beautifully executed passages.

Obviously if you are going to make an ambitious record like that, you need to ensure that not only your music is top notch material but the sound quality of your recordings need to be pristine as well.
And that is definitely the case for “Smaragd”. The guitars have a great, clear and yet crunchy tone, the drums are not triggered to set off an entire minefield when the drummer as much as sneezes and behold, there is even audible bass! An actual bass guitar! Not this low, undefined rumble that is mixed all the way to the back and you can only hear it when you crank your subwoofer up to 11. And all the instruments ring through oh so wonderfully. The only thing that I find somewhat disappointing is that the clean vocals, especially in the opening song “Into Depression”, don’t really cut through in the mix and sound “dry”. I don’t hear any delay or reverb. Perhaps an artistic

choice but I love it when a clean, lush vocal sits nicely in the mix. The black metal voices on the other hand sound terrific and I can even make out what the singer is saying!
Since this is the kind of record for which you need to make time, I doubt that I would put this on very often but it has definitely made curious about Klabautamann’s live show.
Again, fans of Alcest and ISIS with a comfy sofa and a pair of Sennheiser headphones will dig this.

For all your couch potato needs:

- Ivo VirusWithShoes - 

Graspop 2017 - Review with Ivo

Graspop, one of the Big Three European Metal Festivals (the others are Wacken Open Air and the always unbelievable Hellfest) is around the corner again and for some reason I’m there again.
Graspop is everything that Roadburn isn’t. A big multimillion corporation that tries to please everybody from the stoic black metal elitist to the beerbellied weekendtripper who likes the singles of AC/DC. A sponsored spectacle where you are constantly being reminded which companies and brands brought the bands this year.

Luckily it’s not all mercantile cynicism and cultural poverty. There are also bands. Even good ones!
Friday was basically Rammstein-day. The German have not played on Belgian soil for a while now and the Belgian audience showed up en masse to witness their spectacle. That resulted in a densely crowded festival area and many people who was waiting for one band and one band only.
Still there was an entire day to kill before Ze Germans would occupy the mainstage and there were bands to check out.
The first was
Sinistro who made their Graspop debut in less than ideal circumstances. The Portugese doom fado collective had a shitty timeslot at around 13h in the Metaldome, a small marquee stage and the sound, especially the bass, was atrocious. Still relatively a lot of people showed up and the band managed to make a good impression. They have great melodic doom metal riffs but it was singer Patricia Andrade who stole the show. Her beautiful, almost haunting vocals balance between tender “saudade” and madness which she accompanied expressively with her stage moves. A great show from a great band.

Next was Middle-Eastern black/prog metal band M elechesh . Although they also suffered from a muddy sound that killed a lot of nuances, a great show. Something that I’ve noticed about this band: when people talk about Melechesh they always mention their Middle-Eastern style and their Sumerian sources of inspiration but nobody, literally nobody, ever mentions their groove. On the record it is somewhat lost but on the stage the music rocks and swings. Anyway, this band had a great setlist of older and newer stuff and they delivered a great, GREAT show.
Due to a bit of luck my friends and I managed to see a bit of Blue Öyster Cult who basically were on stage doing the songs and afterwards they fucked off back to the backstage. No chitchatter on the stage, no spirit, no fire and I doubt people will remember them for anything else but “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” aka the Cowbell song.
A band that I’ve seen a few times already is Greek death metal band Rotting Christ . Somehow this sounded a bit different than what I remembered. This show was furious, raging and the band made a furious impression.
Remember the piece I wrote about
Sólstafir ’s new album? How the band are slowly but steadily, like a gletsjer becoming a post rock band? Their set pretty much confirmed that. Not that the band had a horrible setlist or received a horrible response from the audience, far from it but if they were programmed for, let’s say, Glastonbury, Lowlands or Pukkelpop, they wouldn’t exactly be the misfit band that stands apart. Still, a great show and ear cleanser after all death and doom. A song that deserves an honorary mention is the gorgeous and emotional “Fjara”

 Originally W.A.S.P. was scheduled to play Graspop but they cancelled to continue working on the new album. Since I don’t really care about W.A.S.P. I was more than happy that Dee Snider was announced as a replacement act. With Twisted Sister Snider has excited crowds and made about a million people sing along with him. Now he was doing it as a solo artist. Although he is an excellent, clever, funny and sincere entertainer, he didn’t quite get the party like he used to with Twisted Sister but then again, TS had been playing for over thirty years and this band for, what, a year? And perhaps the relatively early slot at around 19h was simply too early. Still it was a good show and Snider had an interesting setlist with Nine Inch Nails’ “Head like a Hole” and Soundgarden’s “Outshined”. However, my favourite moment was when he asked the crowded to sing along to “(I Want to) Rock” in death metal style and couldn’t stop laughing afterwards. Give him and the band a year and then you are going to see something. By the way, was it me or did his band look like they came straight out of an episode of The Simpsons?

Next band we technically saw: Epica but they interest me so little that I paid no attention to them.
How horrible must it be to open for Rammstein? You can ask
Emperor who had to do exactly that. There is nothing bad I can say about them, after all Emperor have always been one of the most interesting black metal bands who continued to push the envelope, experiment and reflect upon themselves but when one half of the audience is not listening to you because they are at the other stage waiting for Rammstein and the other half is watching the time in order to leave in time for Rammstein, it must be a huge pain in the proverbial ass.
Now then,
Rammstein ... Even without playing one note they have been weighing heavily on the entire day. They were on everybody’s mind, they were THE Graspop headliner, more than Deep Purple or Evanescene, and did they deliver? Oh mein Gott ja!
You can say what you want about the band but a few things that nobody can deny are a) they know how to write a catchy song, b) singer Till Lindeman is an underrated but brilliant lyricist who knows how to put together a German chorus that everybody from Buenos Aires to Tokyo can sing along, even if it has an ambiguous theme and c) they have the best spectacle, less campy than KISS and more interesting than Slipknot. So even if everybody has seen it before on YouTube, it is still damn fuckin’ impressive to witness.
The band was obviously in a good mood and having a good time, Lindemann literally drew some blood by headbutting his microphone and guitar player Paul Landers. Not all the hits passed by (no “Bück Dich”, “Mein Teil”, “Mutter” or other ballads) but still this was a very good, hard setlist.
Although musically it might not have been the best show (that might have been Melechesh), as a whole yes, this was the best show of the day. Hands down.

After Rammstein’s blitzkrieg, saturday felt surprisingly empty, maybe not so much in the number of visitor but definitely in the artistic field. What was left after the last explosion? Where do you go from there? To answer both question: “booze” and “tent, drinking”. Maybe not great answers but they worked for us. In fact they worked so well that we forget that we had to see the Cavalera Brothers perform the legendary Sepultura album “Roots” in its entirety. And Baroness. And Devin Townsend Project. And Coheed and Cambria. 

In fact the first band that we managed to see was Gojira . I’ve heard a lot about this band. The biggest and arguably best French band at the moment. Maybe even the best European band according to some. Maybe the latter is a bit exaggerated but judging from what I’ve seen, it is understandable. Gojira is an excellent, tight band with a good bit of variety in their songs, a pummeling machine that shows no remorse. No surprise that the band is getting bigger and bigger despite playing extreme, fairly inaccessible metal.
One band that I needed to see that day was Clutch . Remember when I said that Sólstafir is secretly a post rock band lost in the metal scene? Well, Clutch is a blues band lost in the metal scene, even more than Aerosmith. All the songs have that irresistible boogie that made the girls and the guys dance and fuck, there were a lot of both of them to see Clutch! Even in a steaming hot metal dome the feet were uncontrollable, especially during “Electric Worry” and it was just good times, good mojo during the entire concert.
Still the best show for me was Monster Magnet . To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The last couple of years I stopped following the band’s latest musical efforts. It lacked excitement and while it was decent chillin’ music, it wasn’t exactly the band’s forte. No, their forte is heavy psychedelic rock with a shitload of delay. At their best they are the wild, dark, ultra druggy version of Hawkwind, the Mr. Dave Wyndorf to Dr. Dave Brock. And it was exactly this Monster Magnet that showed up at Graspop.
The band came on stage and dived right into it with “Dopes to Infinity”, grabbing the audience by the throat without letting go until after their anthem and closing song “Spacelord”. And in between it was just one great song after the other. No breaks, no chitchat, nothing. Song over, count off the next one and bang! No atmospheric wanderers but all the good, furious stuff. “Tractor”, “Powertrippin’”, “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”, “Radiation Day”...
And singer Dave Wyndorf... He is basically mister Monster Magnet, the most recognisable member and the most important creative force behind the band. Whether or not Monster Magnet is just good or rips the stage apart, depends on him. And while he has had his fair share of (subscription) drug abuse and the come down, he seemed just as young as ever on that stage on saturday. I’m not sure what he was one but it was the right stuff. And it rubbed off to the rest of the band who were playing equally furious. Best. Fuckin. Show. Of the day.
And after that, I was basically partied out. We still saw Deep Purple who, despite having a predictable setlist, did a fine job. “Spacetruckin”, “Smoke on the Water”, “Black Night”... And people should stop nagging that they didn’t play “Child in Time”! In Flames was a band that I’ve seen a few time before but never really connected to me until now. It was melodic and sincere. Normally I would have more to say but at that time I was deadtired. After their last song I went back to the tent and fell asleep.
Normally I’d have added reviews of Steel Panther, Mastodon, Opeth, Evanescene and Primus but what are you going to do when you wake up and find a hole in your tent through which your wallet and phone were stolen? Right!
Not go to Steel Panther but go home and masturbate furiously.

Not go to Mastodon but go home and smoke your leftover stash of weed.
Not go to Opeth but go home and get a bottle of Chateau Migraine from the nightshop. Not go to Evanescene but go home and google “MILF”.

Not go to Primus but go home and try to find your emergency stash.
And take a shower because no matter who you are, after three days without a shower you stink.

- Ivo Viruswithshoes

-Gravarson take a deeper look behind the new phenomena Matterhorn it's debut track 'Aorta'

I was shopping some vinyl from a guy on the net, and we talked about our own music in general and it turned out to be Tommy from the Trondheim based metal bands Griffin and the legendary Manes.
He was also supposed to be InThe Woods' front figure as the band stepped up into the metal scene, that did never happen.
He later on told me he had a new project in the making named Matterhorn as a result of my curiousity and I got the link to Matterhorn's debut song named 'Aorta' 

Anyhow I decided to enter with an open mind since I'm not one those evil threw & Kwlt heads that dies if they listen to any other genre than theirs and everything released in more than 5 copies 'cause it's so fuckin' threw!

Let's throw the ball to the target, Matterhorn's track 'Aorta'

It's sounds far from what he's been doing with the previous bands. The musical lanscape starts of slow and gloomy disquised in a beautiful atgmosphere and harmony that builds slowly throughout 'Aorta' 
When the mid verse and build up and the chorus like vocals hits it's just pure fuckin' gold and I know this something I want more of so I just press replay. This is one of those delightful journeys when you are drawn into a world beautiful relaxation and entertainement. 
This is the finest I've heard in this genre if I knew what that would be... Progressive avantgarde or just simply dark and beautiful pop music? Who cares! It's great and you should definately give this a listen as this is something that should become big in the future, hopefully we won't have to wait to long for the debut album

Latest News : All the audio files from 'Aorta' has been delivered to Skei (Manii,Manes & Lethe. We can probably expect some Dark and twisted electronic madness. Skei also did a some remixing for Mortiis latest album, so this is something to look forward to, probably during august/september.


Odyssey - Eve To Adam _ Review

Bilderesultat for odyssey eve to adamThings that I hate about Disturbed. Overdramatic singing style that makes William Shatner sound like a box of valium. Incredibly cliché songwriting that comes straight out of the first chapters“Songwriting for Dummies”, if only they would finish the goddamn book... Forgettable riffs that sound like a million other American bands. A guitar tone that just "rumbles" but never bites, growls, squeals, cries or, in the case of black metal, summons a demon by means unholy chanted verses. In general just plain fuckin’ stupid, I always imagine Disturbed fans as 30 year old rednecks who are still in highschool.  
Things I hate about Eve to Adam's fifth album "Odyssey". All what I hated about Disturbed, for starters. The guitar sound, the songwriting, even the singing sounds exactly like Disturbed Cliché synths that never sound adventurous, daring but just make a random noise to remind you that this album is edgy and renewing because IT HAS SYNTHS AND GUITARS! Cliché rhythm patterns that have been around since house music started in Detroit.  
Things that I love about "Odyssey" It makes me appreciate Fear Factory, Aphex Twin, Gorillaz and Misery Loves Co. even more.  
Get your sonic lobotomy here: (

-Ivo Reyens

Ivo talks about the latest Mark Lanegan album' Gargoyle' VS. Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar

There have been two releases that I wanted to cover this week: one being “Gargoyle”, the new Mark Lanegan record, and Ulver’s latest release “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”. These two have very little in common, I agree but still there is one thing that I’ve noticed. Before we get to that, let’s
take a closer look at the albums. 

©  Ingird Aas 2014
“The Assassination of Julius Caesar” was presented about a month ago on the Roadburn festival and while still some trve cvltists left because Ulver STILL haven’t returned to their original black metal sound, the gig can easily be regarded as one of the highlights of the festival. Superbe lightshow, impeccable performance from the band and although Depeche Mode and Massive Attack were more obvious inspirations than Bathory and Venom, the audience seemed to appreciate the new stuff. Seen that I hadn’t heard the record before, I decided to give it a spin.
Now, since I obviously really liked what I heard at Roadburn, I was a tad biased and obviously my feelings towards the record are perhaps a bit more positive than if I had decided at the time to skip Ulver and sleep off my fever in my tent.
That being said, this record is a “grower” as in it doesn’t immediately blow you away but it gets under your skin. Instrumentationwise, there is a lot of interesting things going on but nothing is really mixed in your face and jumps out which is an old fashioned thing. I keep discovering new things on this record every time I listen to it.
There is a common theme to the lyrics involving icons, their rise and fall. Singer Kristoffer Rygg mentions the Colossus, princess Diana, Roman emperor Nero and the assassination attempt on pope John-Paul II. I have to admit that it is refreshing to have actual lyrics that mean something instead of a couple of great sounding one-liners.
So, top notch record although their vintage approach might alienate young listeners.

Now to “Gargoyle”, the latest addition to the already immensely long discography of former Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Gutter Twins singer Mark Lanegan. I’ve stopped couStone Age, Lanegan has been trying to take a rock line-up and enhance it with drum computers, keyboards and synths. Despite his sincere intentions, earlier artistic accomplishments and the fact that the “indie” press loves him, the formula has gone stale and doesn’t add anything new to hos body of work.nting somewhere after the release of the “Here Comes that Weird Chill” EP in 2003. On that note, I used to be a big fan of Lanegan and so, again, I am biased. He appears on a substantial part of my record collection and I’ve seen him live a couple of times. That being said, I really, REALLY can’t get into this record. It annoys me and often I feel like I’ve heard all this before. Ever since his time with the Queens of the

 It doesn’t help either that Lanegan is a, and I’m forfeiting my entire career as a reviewer by making this statement, one trick pony. Sure, he has that recognisable, gritty grave digger voice but as a singer he has a limited range and it’s not as if he is extremely versatile. As much as I adored his semi-crooning style, it does get boring, especially if the lyrics aren’t that good. It seems to me that he is just stringing dark sounding words together, like “crows”, “dark”, “goodbye, lover”.
Maybe it’s time for Dark Mark to push aside his notorious need for control and contact a good producer who can help him create new sounds, write songs and find inspiration. In any case he is in need of somebody who can help him update his formula because in 2017 it sounds Outdated.

But how does that compare to “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”? I mean, I give Lanegan shit for sounding outdated but when looked at the albums objectively, the sound of “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” is also outdated. Even more since that the direct inspiration for that album were synthpop bands from the 80’s and yet I like that one much better than “Gargoyle”. So, what is it? Am I full of shit? Is it because I’m discovering more music? My immer evolving taste?  Or is it Zeitgeist?
Do I like “Gargoyle” less because Lanegan is playing catch-up with the trends and losing at it while Ulver decisively went for a 80’s sound and expand upon that?

 That one could make sense and I can think of a few examples in other media where something similar happens. I could describe “now” but by the time you read this, “now” has already changed. Wasn’t there a Greek saying for that? Is it a fashion thing? The 80’s are hot for some reason and a lot of old farts that I know are sharing old pictures, snippets of crappy old cartoons and movies.
A few entrepreneurs and artists seem to have turned this nostalgia into a business model and making money out of it. This option however seems unlikely. “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” is too dark, too “difficult”, too artsy to be interesting from a commercial point of view. Perhaps it’s something more basal. Maybe the material on “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” is stronger than on “Gargoyle” but by making that statement, I’m becoming more subjective and personal…. Or has it got something to do with Ulver being the freshest memory? Like stated earlier, I haven’t followed Lanegan in some time and looked up his record out of curiosity. From the Ulver show I have great and recent memories even if I was coughing up my lungs at the time. Anyway, it should be clear that there is more to liking music than just the music. Zeitgeist, personal circumstances, external factors, visual stimulations…  That is  what I wanted to share. Feel free to discuss about it...

-Ivo Goeyens - Mail :

ALTAIR • „Descending: A Devilish Comedy“

'Seed Of Violence' (Official Videoclip)

-= Highest demands =-
When the Italians published their exquisite debut album "Lost Eden" in October 2013, the POWER METAL world listened abruptly.
Finally, ALTAIR, founded in 2008, debuted with all-around high-quality material, which bundles all the virtues of the genre. An abundance of enthusiastic reviews was the deserved result.
But otherwise, the heavily ambitious authors were able to score on a wide range, which resulted in a large number of followers and enthusiasts who loyally respect the guys.
For the second album "Descending: A Devilish Comedy", the sextet from Ferrara succeeded in optimizing the exciting, pretty progressive overall sound.
The new compositions shoot themselves liquid-virtuosic as also metallic-cheering in varied wise into the ears.
And there is no lack of punctual pressure, high-rising epic, or skillfully elaborated melody. For the latter, all sorts of inspirations from the Classical world were given free access to the radiant sound cosmos of ALTAIR.
Keyboarder Enrico Ditta, an experienced actor at the electric organ, makes the nimble fingers dance as fast on the keys as if he stands under high voltage. His not infrequently solemnly, theatrical performance is integrated with the perfection of a Swiss clockwork into every nuance of the tracks.
Noble guitar duels, gloriously harmonious leads and ecstatic drumming make the wonderfully organic sounding disc a real jewel in the field of tastefully and aesthetically oriented Power Metal.
The fact that the new, great animating discus has definitely the content for a classic, is proved song by song. Example compliant? The inevitably overwhelming number "Flame Of Knowledge" testifies to the outstanding flair of the formation for the highest, timeless class.
Even vocalist Simone Mala can do anything. He covers on "Descending: A Devilish Comedy" the whole range of possibilities with his far outstanding, multi-mutable voice.
Master Mala, always animated by frenetic fervor to the marrow, completes every single song to a real, delightful experience. From massive-voluminous over full-bodied expression, to siren-like passages, the man can just sing as few!
With their compositional and instrumental mastery performances and the high level of playing culture, ALTAIR raise more than subtle reminiscences on the early works of the famous Brazilians of Angra or the countrymen Rhapsody. A powerful fact, which should provide positive inner unrest among connoisseurs and gourmets of the metier. (Markus Eck)
The official release date for "Descending: A Devilish Comedy" is June, 30th 2017.

ALTAIR - online:

Metal Injection Premiere HELLEBORUS' New Single "Prayer Of The Undying"

      Stirring the cauldron of black metal, Colorado blood brother duo Jerred & Wyatt Houseman's HELLEBORUS unleashed their debut album "The Carnal Sabbath"
in June 2016 via Satanath Records (Russia), Black Plague Records (USA) and on vinyl via Flesh Vessel (USA). They supported the album with festival appearances
at Shadow Woods, 71 Grind, Black Mourning Light plus tours and show dates with bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse, Cannibal Corpse, Taake, Cattle Decapitation, UADA, Destroyer of Light, Lotus Thief and more.
Taking a short hiatus to enter their studio dungeon, the brothers have a recorded a new single for fans entitled "Prayer Of The Undying" that they are exclusively premiering on
HELLEBORUS comments on the track:
"This new single stands solitary as an offering to the Mother of the Night. The lyrics are a prayer or hymn of introspective nature reflected in the Orphic vein. We encounter symbolism of The Hanged Man and the essence of the Mandrake root. I use flowers as symbolic offerings similar to that of The Language of Flowers, a Victorian tradition. The man surrenders himself in attempt to gain enlightenment and the Mandrake is uprooted by the Divine Hand."

"Prayer Of The Undying" can be heard at

A full stream of their debut album "The Carnal Sabbath" can be heard at
Conceived within the womb of Execration, Helleborus is the latest emanation of Jerred & Wyatt Houseman. Like the enigmatic and deadly winter flower from which the project takes its name, Helleborus pushes the exploration of traditional black metal into the uncharted territory of sensual duality and mysticism. Building on their professional experience with Execration and personal experiences through Akhenaten, the Houseman brothers sought a deeper expression of their experiential-driven musical style that audiences can connect with through a union of opposites.
“We’ve always had a vision for the type of black metal project Helleborus would be. We wanted to explore and deliver a darker and yet more romantic side of black metal. There is an unknown side of metal that is masculine and powerful, yet sensual and respectful; controlled chaos.” comments vocalist Wyatt Houseman.
Album Band Line Up features: Wyatt (vocals, lyrics) & Jerred Houseman (producer, all instruments)
Live Band Line Up features: Brent Boutte’ – Drums, Jerred Houseman – Guitar & leads, Wyatt Houseman – Voice, Ian Horenman – guitar & rhythms
For more info, please visit the following links: