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Reviews From I To L



Reviews from letters: J - K - L

ICED EARTH: "Alive In Athens" - 2CD (Century Media)

Certainly one of the toughest band in the Power Metal scene, ICED EARTH have been through quite a few bumps and this record is a ceremony of ICED EARTH's life. After seven official releases, it was time for this classic Heavy Metal band to do the Live thing and they do it with style. The sound is crystal clear and the execution is flawless. With this double record and twenty-two songs taken from their entire catalog, you get a pretty good idea of what ICED EARTH is about. Unfortunately, their discography is very uneven. So it has a few flaws, fortunately covered up by songs of the magnificent "Something Wicked This Way Comes". This is a must for fans of classic Metal.
S.T.
Web site!
4 out of 5

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IMMOLATION: "Failures For Gods" - CD (Metal Blade)

IMMOLATION is just about the summary of what I hate about American Death. First of all, this damn double bass is much too high in the mix and their sound is awful. Next, all the damn riffs on this record are alike and boring. A few decent leads are thrown in there but nothing to call your mother about. The songs are just boring as hell. I don't like any of them. This is so generic, it's amazing so many bands sound like them and all of them are making me sleepy. This is not brutal, this is not fast, this is not slow, it is just plain dull. Really not my cup of tea!
S.T.
Web site!
1 out of 5

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IMPERIAL DOMAIN: "In The Ashes Of The Fallen" - CD (Pulverised)

Another Swedish band with decent music. I am starting to think that half of Sweden's population is doing heavy music! This IS the ultimate talent pool of the planet. IMPERIAL DOMAIN are playing a melodic kind of slow Death. A kind of mix between IN FLAMES, ENTOMBED and IRON MAIDEN. Very melody-oriented, the songs have simple Rock song-structures, which is sad considering they could have done better with more work on this. Pretty decent leads are found throughout and most of the execution is good. There are some songs that are pretty old, considering that they were written between 1994 and 1997. This fact isn't a big deal because they don't sound very dated. What is more of a surprise is a few engineering and production mishaps by Tomas Skogberg. Still a very interesting album, although not very original. Pretty good.
S.T.
4 out of 5

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IMPIETY: "Skullfucking Armageddon" - CD (Dies Irae Productions)

Ultra extreme Black Death from singapore's best band! IMPIETY sounds like a mixture of SARCOFAGO, IMMORTAL, BLASPHEMY and POSSESSED... All this delivered extremely tight, powerfull and fuck, skullcrushingly intense! This is my very first encounter with IMPIETY and I really enjoyed being defaced with such delicacy. Get this piece of murderous Metal now!!!
R.C.
5 out of 5

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IMPURE: "Something Evil" - CD (Indie/Self produced)

German made highly extreme Death Metal crossing the paths of NAPALM DEATH, SUFFOCATION, MORBID ANGEL and KATAKLYSM!!! Beside the obvious lack of competent mixing capabilities, their sound engineer was wise enough to capture the band's unbelievable energy and "Something Evil" is just way to extreme for the norm... The band is tight and capable of great things musically. This is beyond fuckin' sick!!! I love this!!!
R.C.
4½ out of 5

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IN EXTREMO: "Wecht Die Tokein" - CD (Metal Blade)

First of all, I must say that Metal Blade's bio for the band is a joke; their staff tells us that IN EXTREMO are similar to many bands, including RAMMSTEIN. This is just dumb; this band has nothing to do with RAMMSTEIN except that they sing in German (even that is not true as they also sing ancient and different dialect of Germanic origins). It is like saying that CÉLINE DION and CRYPTOPSY are similar because they both have teeth. IN EXTREMO are a Heavy Rock band with a very strong Middle-Age influence. In fact, they use a lot of traditional instruments such as bagpipes, tambourines, mandoline and others. They use a very Rock song structure but infuse it with some pretty heavy riffs to make it more interesting. I personally don't care too much for bagpipes but here, they're used very efficiently. I got very tired at about the sixth song but it is still different and interesting. Good for the novelty.
S.T.
Web site!
3 out of 5

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INFERNAL: "Infernal" - MCD (Crook'D Records)

This is a duo band including well known NASTY SAVAGE's ex-singer Nasty Ronnie. Reading this, you might expect to hear some type of traditional Heavy/Power Metal act... Well, this band actually lies in the realm of totally sick and brutal Metal: It is some type of Grinding Death Metal that also has a few elements from Thrash Metal. Now, you are probably telling yourself; "Wow, that must be one hell of a band with lots of talent!" Well, you would be wrong... I would have expected top quality from a band like this but the truth is that the playing is pretty sloppy, especially as far as the drumming and singing are concerned. The drumming is pretty basic and pretty much lacks talent. Many passes are untight, the punches hitting way off. The tempos wave a lot, which is pretty weak I'd say. The blasts beats are also waving a lot... The drums themselves sound pretty flat and the drum parts easily get lost in the mix. The guitars are pretty intense and very heavy, with lots of crunchy riffing and lots of fast rotative riffing. Some riffs will be full of notes while other will be larger and more powerful, mixing Death Metal techniques with Thrash Metal techniques. The riffing is pretty much carbon-copied from pretty much everything brutal that has been happening in the last decade or so. Not very original but kind of effective though, with sheer brutality and intensity. The vocals are some sorts of narrative, very low growling that reminds me of the earlier days of Death and Black Metal. Some of the vocals can also get pretty lame. I was very surprised to see that Nasty Ronnie would release such material... NASTY SAVAGE sounded as professional as underground Metal can get but this material could use a good dose of arrangement and originality in order to bring it up the speed to today's standards of quality. It might have been worst, but it should have been better too... Let's see what will happen with their up-coming full-length album!
S.B.
Band web site!
Label web site!
1½ out of 5

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INTERNAL BLEEDING: "Driven To Conquer" - CD (Pavement)

INTERNAL BLEEDING is exactly what some of the American Death bands are: Boring and stale. They seem to have been going around in circle since they have been doing music. The only thing that changed is the speed that they play; they play a tad slower now. They nonetheless execute it with conviction and with ability. That doesn't make it better or anything but helps to swallowing it a bit easier. There are a few decent riffs and that's it. Just plain boring. Keep your day job guys, at all costs.
S.T.
Web site!
2 out of 5

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Reviews from letters: I - K - L

JESUS MARTYR: "Sudamerican Porno" - CD (Repulse)

The band started as a strictly Death Metal quartet but changed into its current form of Thrash-Industrial sound since a keyboard player entered the fold. The music on this CD is very old, as it was recorded in 1997 but only now released. Considering that, it would have been a record to compete with FEAR FACTORY's "Demanufacture" and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's "City" and I don't think it would have won the race, although it is a good horse. The album bears a lot of ressemblance to F.F.'s first, "Soul Of The Martyr"; the same kind of harsh vocals and very few clean ones, machine-like drums and neo-Thrash riffs. The Death heritage sometimes resurface with some blast beats but other than that, there is not a lot of Death on this record. The album is very clear sounding and well produced. I wish I could hear newer material to see where they are now. None the less, a good album if you like this kind of stuff.
S.T.
Web site!
3 out of 5

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JUDAS ISCARIOT: "Thy Dying Light" - CD (Moribund)

I just received this and I am not sure why. I usually receive fairly recent releases but this one dates back to 1996. I never heard of JUDAS ISCARIOT before so I guess it doesn't matter. JUDAS ISCARIOT is a one man band from Illinois and the man behind this goes under the moniker of Ahenaten. Musically, it bears similarities to another, infamous, one man band: BURZUM. It is lo-fi Black Metal ranging from slow to fast as hell. Not much keyboards are found though, keeping an earlier MAYHEM-BURZUM feel to the music. Most songs go over the five minute mark and he is able to carry them pretty well. A lot of good riffs are in there, especially the slow ones that are bone-crushing. The drums are a joke and Akhenaten should hire a session drummer because he just can't do it. Other than the cheesy booklet art and a missing lyric sheet, I have to admit that this is one very good Black Metal release. I would recommend this everyday, eventhough it is a bit slow for Black Metal. But I don't know many bands that can hold a song for more than two minutes with only two tracks of guitar and one riff (no bass, no drums, no keys or vocals) changing only slightly... This is impressive.
S.T.
4 out of 5

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JUDGEMENT: "Night Brings..." - 7" (H.G. Fact Records)

Again, two measly songs on an EP... Come on!!! Anyway, this Japanese band's effort is consistent, although less than phenomenal. The title tack has bass accentuation, light drum concussion, barbed-wire vocals (that do the first track in English) and ripping guitar. It's in the realm of studio Punk and the flip is a bit shadowy in structure but it's routine. I'd like to see these guys overload musically, if only they let themselves go.
T.G.
3 out of 5

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JUMP: "The Freedom Train"

Even though this band isn't that much known over here in North-America, this band has been around for quite some time in Europe, with five albums to select from for this Live album. 74 minutes of Live Rock'n'Roll, played with distinguished precision and accuracy. Although there is a very good amount of energy coming out from this CD, thanks to the Live situation, I suspect that this band still has a certain amount of "cleanest" since their sound is still quite polished, even if it's a Live recording. The playing is outstanding and right on the money, offering some intense Rock guitar playing with precise soloing, etc. The drumming is also pretty intense and very tight, without the slightest mistake in its playing. The vocals are pretty good and on key, although just a little hesitant in a few rare parts... But that's to be totally expected from a Live album too. All in all, you'll hear some FM-type of Live, intense Rock'n'Roll that has a few elements of Progressive Rock in its contents...
S.B.
Web site!
E-mail!
3½ out of 5

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Reviews from letters: I - J - L

KILLENGOD: "Into The Ancient Moon" - CD (Warhead)

With the rise of Black Metal came a rise in satanic content of every genre. KILLENGOD somewhat fit into this category, within the Death Metal genre with some Black Metal influences. The music is somewhat mid-paced, eventhough they have a few blast beats. They have some very good riffs that are enhanced by the heavy and slow delivery. Singer/guitarist Errol has an interesting voice. He is kind of in the middle of traditional Death growls and Black Metal shrieks. This is really interesting but a bit more variety would have been better. Most of the songs are alike and it gets a bit boring. Still a very worthy Death Metal release.
S.T.
Web site!
3 out of 5

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KITTIE: "Spit" - CD (Artemis Records)

When I reviewed their promotional MCD in our previous issue, I said that I couldn't really have a precise idea of what the album would be like just with those three tracks. Boy, was I right! While I enjoyed the songs, I wasn't really convinced that this band could have an entirely killer album. Well, it just happens that they have indeed done a killer full length album! "Spit" won't only offer Stomp stuff like the track "Brackish", but a diversity of aggressive and intense Metal that really caught me by surprise. Their brand of Metal will please a wide range of Metal listeners... I would even say that some of the fans of more brutal Metal music, like Death Metal, may find some of this material to be intense enough for their liking! I think that I could consider this band as some sort of a cross between more recent stuff from OBLIVEON, TOOL and modern Metal! The vocals are one of the things that really caught my attention the most: Very rough, raw and aggressive Thrash shoutings and growlings are completed by some cleaner and emotionally distressed vocals. The guitar riffs are certainly not that complicated for the most part, but hold some great memorable melodies and offer some intense, even brutal riffing that gets this music to a good level of intensity. They sound very loud and intense. The drumming is simple but very tight and to the point, effective. Like I said in the MCD review, the "Brackish" track is pretty much the low point off this CD. Not that it's a horrible song, but it's certainly way too commercial for my liking too. I definitely recommend this CD!
S.B.
4 out of 5

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KNUCKLEHEAD: "Knucklehead" - 7" (H.G. Fact Records)

I'm hoping that this vocalist used an effect because he sounds like he has glass shards sticking in his surgically-made tracheotic cavity! The music is foreboding and thick enough to out cracks in your skull! It's really horrific Punk (not about horror) sounding with back up vocals. Both tracks are in Japanese, so I don't know what the hell more from these KNUCKLEHEADS!
T.G.
3 out of 5

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KRABATHOR: "Orthodox" - CD (Pavement)

Being a monument of European Death for years, it is the first time I hear KRABATHOR's music. I am impressed! Although rooted in the Death Metal of the beginning of the nineties, it is very well executed and maniacally played. Much better than most American Death because of its intensity, the music is thick and in your face. This three piece is using two vocalist to add even more depth to the whole thing. The bass sound is as heavy and noticeable as I have heard. Rarely do bassist take place like this. Lyrically impressive, I read things a lot more interesting and eye-opening than "I suck your blood out of your arteries"-CANNIBAL CORPSE-type of lyrics. This is some impressive Death Metal. I have not heard that many quality Death albums these days but this one easily qualifies! Gotta love listening to this.
S.T.
Web site!
3 out of 5

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KRIGSHOT: "Maktmissbrukare" - LP (Sound Pollution)

I was impressed by the near-supersonic, eye-gouging tornadic speed of this Swedish hard-puke band's earlier EP. Now they've come out with a natural disaster of a full-lenght and they wreck complacent Punk to flying debris. There's not a lot of bands today who can go into "full-speed ahead overload" without falling apart. Obviously, they have to practice a lot to do this in unison and the production is good and the guitars come out real sharp, although I'd like to find the presence of a bass, for which there is none. Mieszko is absolutely savage, with his "foaming at the mouth while committing vocal homicide in Swedish" style detonation! The lyrics aren't ground breaking by any means, just commentary against nationalism, nazism, greed and other social warts. I'm glad that KRIGSHOT isn't looking to be yet another Swedish band ripping off DISCHARGE. They definitely would've been thought of as a classic if they were around in 1981-84! This is a much needed blast of Swedenoise!
T.G.
4 out of 5

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Reviews from letters: I - J - K

LE'RUE DELASHAY: "Musick In Theory And Practice" - CD (Root Of All Evil Records)

This is the second album I get from Delashay and I must say that I mostly prefer this one to the previous one, since it has more structured music to it. This said, it is still in the same vein, playing some sort of romantic satanic New Age music all mixed up with sound effects and samples. That, you probably know by now, isn't really my cup of tea. I did enjoy the earlier moments of this CD, but then it becomes tiresome and I loose interest starting at half of the CD. I do believe that anyone into this genre will appreciate this band's very epic sounds and ambiances, but you do have to be a fan of the genre to fully appreciate the impact of this music. If not, you'll probably loose interest pretty fast, just like me. The sound is good and the several key boards add a lot of textures and depth to the music! There are no vocals what-so-ever, neither are there any drum beats... It's music that flies but that does not attack.
S.B.
Web site!
E-mail!
3 out of 5

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