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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Review: George Kollias - Invictus

I believe that in the death metal scene, George Kollias doesn’t need much introduction. He is one of the most outstanding drummers, and usually plays with death metal band NILE. “Invictus” is his first solo album, released on the 18th of May.

“Invictus” is composed of 11 tracks and 4 bonus songs, which are alternative versions of Aeons of Burning Galaxies, Voices, Epitaph and Apocalypse (not reviewed here though). The album kicks off with a short intro song. In the 10 remaining tracks, Kollias finds the perfect balance between slower, atmospheric and faster, brutal passages within his songs, and rounding them up into something that surely can be called a timeless death metal album. The personal favorites are “Voices” and “Apocalypse”. It is impressive in my opinion that George not only recorded the drums here, but also wrote all lyrics and played all the other instruments as well. Thus, “Invictus” is a true solo album. Nevertheless, some guest musicians appear on it as well, for example from his band NILE or from Rotting Christ.

Conclusion: as expected, “Invictus” is a true masterpiece. You can clearly tell that George Kollias is a perfectionist and a master of his genre, as every detail is thought through, and the production of and the technique on this album are excellent. Nothing negative comes to mind, so: go on and listen to it already!

Written by Julia Obenauer

Official website

Review: Coal Chamber - Rivals

Is there revival of nu-metal or something? Slipknot released a new album last year, King 810 is a respectively new band in the genre and now Coal Chamber also has a new album released. Yeah, earlier I sometimes listened nu-metal, but isn't it a little bit outdated? We'll soon find out! Coal Chamber's Rivals was released on May 22 on Napalm Records.

To be honest, earlier I didn't listen to Coal Chamber, not because I didn't like it, but simply because I listened to a lot of other bands and you can't listen to everything. Sure, I heard them sometimes, but Rivals is the first whole album from Coal Chamber I listened to. That said, I think Rivals is a great album. Dez Fafara and his very aggressive voice is something that fits perfectly with the bouncing, heavy music Coal Chamber makes. It has a real nu-metal touch like in the 90's, but also have something which lets you know that we aren't there anymore. I think Coal Chamber does a pretty nice job in doing their best to bring nu-metal back.

So, is nu-metal outdated? I don't think so, sure, it is less popular, but I think it will always have some fans who love it. You don't know? Listen to it yourself and maybe you even like it!

Official website

Review: Luciferian Rites - When The Light Dies

Moribund Records just released one very intense black metal album from Luciferian Rites. Hailing from Mexico, Count Shadows, Abomination and AntiChrist have already released one full-length before, called Evangelion of the Black Misanthropy. Now they are back with When The Light Dies. It was released on May 12th.

Right from the beginning you can hear that Luciferian Rites are an extremely intense, harsh, loud black metal band. The scream of Count Shadows is a scream that almost hurts when you hear it, so intense, that's a good thing. Supported by blasting drums and fast guitars When The Light Dies will blow you away. There isn't very much variation in the tracks, but I think that doesn't matter much, because Luciferian Rites are good in making some very intense black metal and what's more intense than a good sounding wall of black metal from the highest grade?

Listen to this, especially if you dig black metal!


Review: Atlas Pain - Behind The Front Page

Already reviewed their demo before, Atlas Pain are back with their new EP Behind The Front Page, it was released on May 18th.

They call the genre they play epic folk metal and while I could completely understand that with their demo, I hear, together with the folk metal, also a lot of power metal in this new EP, so maybe you can call it epic powerfolk metal or something. The production is a lot better, the vocals aren't too loud compared to the music anymore. While the epic soundscapes and the harsh vocals are still there, along with the folky sounds, I think it sounds a little bit more power metal through the drums and guitars. You can definitely hear that these guys have a lot potential in making music and they already improved since their demo.

So, you like folk metal? Go listen to Atlas Pain's Behind The Front Page.

Official website

Review: Feign - Into The Void

Jacob Lizotte a.k.a. Feign has another demo released, called Into The Void. I also reviewed their last demo here and it was very nice. Let's hear what this one brings. It was released on May 2nd.

Melodic passages and harsh, aggressive black metal, combined perfectly, that is what the atmospheric black metal of Feign was on their last demo and it still is. But dreaming away in the atmospheric spheres, as I said in the review of the other demo, almost isn't there anymore, because there are still atmospheric spheres, but they are pushed more to the background. While it still keeps a big part of the music, the songs are louder, faster and more aggressive. To end it all, Stargazer is an atmospheric part of 2 minutes to let you hear it doesn't have to be loud, fast and aggressive. Feign does, just as on their other demo, a very nice job. I definitely want to hear more from Feign!

You dig atmospheric black metal? Go listen to Feign's second demo Into The Void.


Review: Epsilon - Zu Richten

“Zu richten” is the second full-length album of Austrian quintet Epsilon. Packed with eleven songs, partly in English, partly in German, this longplayer is going to be released on the 8th of June via Mighty Music.

“Explicit enough?” is what we’re asked right in the beginning. Surely enough it is, a true death metal track that is fast and brutal right from the start. This is preserved throughout the entire album, with some more varieties here and there. “Ein zarter Hauch von Menschlichkeit”, for example, is somewhat more Rock’n’Roll-y, and “Im Namen Gottes” a purely instrumental track. Technically, Epsilon is very good, and the production is of very high quality. Lyric-wise, the songs resolved around the topics of mankind’s self-perception, ethics, moral and animal rights. This is also reflected in the cover artwork, specially designed for the album by Austrian artist Roman Träxler. A nice touch, in my opinion, is that Epsilon use both German and English for their lyrics –this bilingual approach adds some more variety to the album.

Overall, the guys from St. Pölten provide us with a strong piece of work, which reminds in its style of the early Entombed. Good album, mainly recommended for fans of death metal with some affinity to philosophy and ethics.

Written by Julia Obenauer


Friday, May 29, 2015

Review: See The Sky - Ego Rehab

Heavy music surrounded by dreamy passages. No, it is not about atmospheric black metal, in fact it is about something totally different. Something you won't hear often. It is about a very unique, experimental metal band called See The Sky from Denmark. They will bring you their new album Ego Rehab on July 3th via Mighty Music.

Opening with a 10-minute long track is risky, but See The Sky does perfect with their one, The Narcissist. With this song you'll keep concentrated, because there is so much music in it. This will promise very good things for the rest of the album. Ego Rehab is full of experimental metal music, but also has its more non-experimental metal tracks. But in those tracks you hear that the experimental feeling still is there. Vocally it changes from clean singing to deep grunting, but it both fits very nicely. See The Sky takes everything out of Ego Rehab and they are doing it great.

You want to hear something totally different of most bands? Go listen to See The Sky's Ego Rehab. If you are open for very experimental, good metal music, you'll love it!

Official website

BLAZE OF PERDITION - Królestwo Niczyje (official track stream)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BRANT BJORK and the Low Desert Punk Band - Controllers Destroyed | Napal...

UNLEASH THE ARCHERS - Tonight We Ride (Official Video) | Napalm Records

KadavriK - All The World But One

Rock N Roll Rebel (official party video)

official video NINTH CIRCLE "All Or Nothing" (PURE ROCK RECORDS)

Edge Of Paradise - Rise For The Fallen

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bring Motley Crue to Amsterdam!

Motley Crue is doing their farewell tour together with Alice Cooper and there's a chance that a show in The Netherlands won't happen, unless we get them to Amsterdam!

So, you like Motley Crue and you want to see them live in Amsterdam for the last time ever?

On they let you vote to bring them to your country. Let's bring them to Amsterdam and vote for it, everyone! It would be great and otherwise you'll never see Motley Crue again.

You can vote as many times as you want, so let them see The Netherlands want Motley Crue!

Bonehunter - Succubus

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: Hammer King - Kingdom of the Hammer King

Hailing from Germany, here are power metallers Hammer King! Titan Fox, Gino Wilde, K. K. Basement and Dolph A. Macallan have released their new album Kingdom of the Hammer King on May 8th by Cruz Del Sur Music.

Kingdom of the Hammer King is full of catchy, strong power metal songs and if you like power metal, it will definitely let you enjoy for 47 minutes. Right from the start you hear that these guys can make some real good power metal. The guitars are heavy but the riffing is catchy besides the great solo's. The vocals of Titan Fox are fitting nicely in the power metal of Hammer King. He has a real power metal voice. All of this is packed in a very theatrical form, which is no problem for power metal at all. While the whole album can be labeled as power metal, there is still very much variation in Kingdom of the Hammer King, which makes it very nice to listen to.

So, you dig power metal? Go let Hammer King smash you with their hammer while you listen to Kingdom of the Hammer King!

Official website

Interview: End of the Dream

Hi, thank you for doing this interview.

Thanks for taking the time to interview us! We’re always thrilled to learn that people take an interest in us as a band.

So, All I Am has been released for some time now, what is the response to the album so far?

The responses have been mind-blowingly positive. We could have never thought that it would induce so many great reactions in not only the public, but also bands that are playing in the same genre. We actually only produced a limited number of CD’s because we’d never thought it would sell this well, at the time of writing we’re almost running out of our first batch. An increasing number of reviews are publicly available through our Facebook page.

I really love the name End of the Dream, how did you come up with the name and what does it mean for you as a band?

End of the Dream is actually not the first name that this band carried. Before we were named End of the Dream, we were called Elysium. But then when we tried to register our band we found out that a similar band already existed and during that year the movie Elysium also came out, so that seemed kind of cheesy.

The name End of the Dream, we got the idea from the Evanescence song with the same title. We want to create a certain feeling with our music, the lyrics are about very personal, dark emotions. Also after having a really good dream, it’s almost a pity when you wake up. It’s the same when you’re listening to our music; when it ends, you feel bad it ended and you want to hear more.. ;-)

Can you tell me something more about how the band was formed?

The band started out with Robin, Armen and Micky and a couple of other people as a Children of Bodom cover band. After a while, they were looking for more music that could accommodate Micky’s style. Armen started writing his own songs, and the band would practice those. It took a long time before the songs were perfected and when Pieter Driesen joined the band in mid-2013, they were only looking for a bassist. I (Tim) joined End of the Dream in January 2014, completing the line-up. After we perfected the songs and what each and every one of us was playing, we sought out Joost van den Broek (After Forever) to start recording and producing All I Am. Pieter left around November, after finishing the drum tracks for All I Am. Our current drummer Pim initially started out as a fill-in drummer while we had auditions, but we grew so used to one another and we all got so comfortable with his excellent playing, that we announced Pim to be our new drummer in the beginning of 2015.

In my review (here) I mentioned that there might be some influences from other bands in the genre. Can you name a few bands?

There is no denying that bands like Evanescence and Nightwish have a great influence on the style of our vocalist Micky. Also in the musical style you can clearly hear similarities in writing style. Also Armen, Robin and I are great fans of progressive metal band Dream Theater, two of our songs (Shadow’s Embrace and Dark Reflection) and almost all of Armen’s solo’s show the influence of John Petrucci’s signature play style.

Are there any influences outside the metal genre, in terms of music or artists?

Except for being an exquisite guitar player, Armen is also a great pianist. He is avidly learning many classical pieces. This is also a huge influence on the arrangements made for the backing tracks, in terms of strings.

How would you describe your own music and what do you think about labels on music in general?

We don’t really like labeling music. As you can hear from our album we have many different styles. You cannot compare the styles of ‘Collide’ and ‘Dark Reflection’, and ‘Gone’ for example. We like to play what we like to play, Armen doesn’t write the songs with a concept in mind, he just writes what he is feeling. This is then a concept that the band as a whole gets working on, creating the songs that are End of the Dream.

What makes you unique as a band, as oppose to others who make similar music?

We are trying to find a balance between progressive, musically challenging music and music that is ‘catchy’ and easy to listen to. You can easily overdo progressive parts, making songs confusing and hard to understand. We’re actually trying to find the golden midway in this. We’ve never expected to come this far, we are just some students coming together and playing some music, and happened to record it at some point.

What do all of you do for a living and how do you combine that with making beautiful music and touring?

Armen is currently finalizing a bachelor’s study in Informatics on the University of Utrecht, I am in the final stage of studying Biomedical Sciences at the Avans University of Applies Sciences, Micky finished Restorative and Decorative painting and is now applying for the Metal Factory, a relatively new Metal-education in Eindhoven. Robin has a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security and Pim is currently studying drums and bass at the Metal Factory.

It is hard to combine all of these elements with ‘being’ End of the Dream. But we try to rehearse every week and extra when we have a gig coming up. Armen takes on pretty much all of the administration and writing of the music, we all see him as the leader of the band. What he manages to do besides his tough education is amazing to say the least.

You just did a release show, how was it like?

The release party in the W2 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch was AMAZING. The best show we played so far, hands down. We never expected to play for a full audience and the stage was really great as well. Afterwards we were asked to sign albums and we got really great reviews from the audience as well when we talked to them.

Any other great gigs planned in support of the album?

In our eyes all of our gigs are in support of the album, because so far that’s the only material we have. On May 30th we’re playing in Gouda together with Hell City and Beyond God.

What are your future plans for the band and what are some of your biggest dreams?

We’re in the process of writing new material, and of course promoting our release and getting more shows. We’re also having some interviews with potential managers and bookers, to see if anyone can take some of the work off our backs, so that we can focus more on the music and less on the economic aspect.

What is the greatest thing about making music for you as a band and what is your biggest motivation for doing so?

We’re all passionate about what we do. All of us have been musicians since we were kids and so making music together is the most important thing about being in a band. The synergy required to play together accurately and tonally is definitely there, and we’re very busy continuing to write more material for the amazing concept that is End of the Dream.

Is there anything you would like to say or add to this interview?

No. You’ve asked great questions.

(all questions asked by Glenn van der Heijden and answered by bassist Tim van den Hooven)


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Spite (USA) - Trapped In The Pentagram

At April 27th, the first 7'' EP, called Trapped In The Pentagram, from the black metal band Spite was released. Spite hails from Brooklyn, New York.

While Trapped In The Pentagram is just six minutes over 2 tracks it will totally blow you away for that short time. Spite's black metal is black metal in its rawest, purest form. Totally angry, full of hatred, aggressive and harsh are just a few words you can use to describe these two songs. While the production could be better, it isn't necessary (as most times in black metal). This gives it a more raw, angry feeling. I definitely hope to hear more of this band soon. Trapped In The Pentagram is very nice to get to know the music Spite makes.

Black metal fan? Go listen to Spite's Trapped In The Pentagram 7'' EP.


Review: Agonie - Nemesis

Already reviewed the demo called Mammon of the band Agonie (here), now they have released their EP called Nemesis. In my opinion Mammon was good, hopefully Nemesis is just as good, or maybe better.

Nemesis has three tracks on it and it lasts for just 16 minutes. Beginning with the title track, it immediatly starts very loud, but later you also hear some almost atmospheric black metal sounds. This EP has very fast parts but also has its more dreamier black metal parts. The screams are, just as on Mammon, very harsh and full of feelings. While you can hear on Mammon that the production was used for a demo, it is better on Nemesis. In the review about Mammon I said it fits with the dark black metal Agonie plays. With Nemesis they play a little more atmospheric black metal and I think that needs a better production, besides the fact that this isn't a demo anymore ofcourse. So Agonie does, again, a nice job with the Nemesis EP.

Listen to this, especially if you dig black metal.

Official website

Review: Braineater - Reclusive

Hollywood is in Southern California, glamour and glossy wherever you look, but wait! There is more, so prove Braineater, an filthy, loud deathgrind trio from that state. Bret Finkelstein, Jon Taylor and Jacob Reynolds are the three men behind it and on May 15th they released their debut EP called Reclusive.

Reclusive contains five tracks and it's all over in just 19 minutes. As they describe themselves their music is a mix of death metal, hardcore punk, with a little bit of black metal in it. I think this fits perfectly. The vocals are from shrieking till growling and it's all on very heavy, continually blasting music. Blasting drums, fast guitars and it is all played as loud as possible, as well as the vocals. I think this is a very good combination of death metal and hardcore punk. This is music to play very loud and I advise you to do so, when you are going to listen to this. Blow your neighbors away by letting them know you have found a very nice deathgrind band. It is called Braineater!

Go listen to this! It will blow you away!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: End of the Dream - All I Am

Hey guys!

My name is Glenn van der Heijden and this is my first review. if everything goes well, I will be reviewing more albums for DutchMetalManiac as a guest-reviewer. ok, let's talk about the album now!

I started listening to the album and one thing immediately caught my attention were the strong intro's each song had! They keep me interested each time a new song starts. I've noticed that this band has a lot of different influences from other bands. Particularly Evanescence comes to mind. This is mostly because of the similarities singer Micky Huijsmans has with Amy Lee. However this comparison I solely make based on the color of their voices, nothing else.

Singer Micky Huijsmans surprised me with amazingly strong vocals, especially in higher segments and the singing appears to be very natural and not difficult for her at all. She shows she can do a lot with her voice. it doesn't matter if it's a small song or a heavy metal song with a lot of power, she is perfectly capable of both.

The band however is also very present on this album. the songs are produced with a lot of care and professionalism and each song has a logical place on the cd. Each band member has a very important role. Songs like Shadows Embrace and Dark Reflection which are also my favorites really give me a good example of what this band is capable of.

The closing track "Gone" is an interesting choice. It's refreshing to close off with a small honest song rather than a catchy song that remains stuck in your head all day. I like it!

But i hear you thinking, is there anything he doesn't like then? well if I have to name something that bothers me about the album, it's the fact that there are a lot of lyrical repeats in some songs. Also Micky Huijsmans' voice gets dubbed a lot, there is no need for that at all!

But then again, it is their first album and at least in this way, the listener has a good picture of what this band is capable of!

A great album to listen to I would say, especially if you like a strong female voice!

Written by Glenn van der Heijden


Bison Machine - Cosmic Ark

Hammer King - Kingdom of the Hammer King full album stream


Review: Embrional - The Devil Inside

The polish death metal band Embrional released their second full-length album, “The devil inside”, earlier this year. Distributed via Old Temple, this is the successor of 2012’s “Absolutely anti-human behaviors” of the quartet that has been around since 2003.

The 12-track-album opens with “The devil inside”, a purely instrumental track featuring squeaking doors and womanly screams, setting your mood in dark atmosphere. The second track, “Evil’s mucus”, is a death metal song with some black metal influences. It’s surely a good song, but nothing very innovative: I have the impression that Embrional go for destruction, sound-wise, paired with growling and grunting rather than anything very sophisticated. This changes, luckily, in the next coming songs, were we find some more varieties. “Sadness”, the album’s fifth song, is a nice and melancholic instrumental piece with some doom metal influences. The remaining songs are again classic death metal pieces with black metal influences. The only exception again is the very last song: “Whores, drugs and brain dead” is a more thrash metal song with angry chanting of singer Marcin Sienkiel, which comes as a pleasant surprise.

Conclusion: “The devil inside” is a well-produced album, with good sounds and chords. However, the album does not really stick out compared to other death metal records. Worth giving it a listen to, though, especially if you are also into black metal.

Written by Julia Obenauer


MISERABLE FAILURE "Hang Them" [music video]

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review: Guilty As Charged - Leap Of Faith

Four men from Belgium: Jan De Vuyssere, Dempsey Derous, Hannes De Caluwe and Matthew Vandenberghe, together they are the heavy metal band Guilty As Charged. Already released an mini-album in 2009, now their latest full-length album is out since June 2014, it is called Leap Of Faith.

To start I have to say that Guilty As Charged is not just heavy metal, it has its thrash influences also. Leap of Faith continues for 32 minutes over eight tracks. It is heavy metal in the way that are a lot of melodics in it and most of the songs sound typical heavy metal style, almost a little bit anthem like. But there's more, I said Guilty As Charged has its thrash influences and you can hear that through the guitars and sometimes the vocals. Lonewolf and Lack Of Control are the tracks which are, in my opinion, the most thrashy tracks on it, with the slower but nice passage called Elysium between it. Guilty As Charged prove with Leap Of Faith that they are very good musicians and Leap Of Faith is however a beautiful nice piece of music for heavy metal fans as well as thrash metal fans.

Go listen to these men from Belgium, it has much potential for the future!

Official website