RAINER LANDFERMANN: Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit

German vocalist and bass player Rainer Landfermann is known for his work with PAVOR, Bethlehem, and his own solo work. Featured on the album are ten dark and highly diverse songs that are pushing the boundaries of the extreme metal genre. You have dramatic low-frequency waves of bowed double basses, tenebrous choirs and somber jazz ballad parts harmoniously join blasting drums and grim avant-garde guitar riffs. The German album title translates to “My word in your darkness”. “The album is about introspection, self-awareness, and – ultimately – about beauty:” says Rainer Landfermann, “its experience, appreciation, and sometimes, the painful loss of it.”

Talk about something different! The vocals go from straight singing, growls to screaming that sounds like someone is being killed, and all in the space of every song. It kind of gets a bit much with it going on over and over again. Some parts remind me of Rammstein, some parts are pure noise, and some of it is just beautiful and sounds like something that you would find on a jazz album and some like on a horror movie. The album jumps all over the place and even has some of the jazz-punk of Black Flag in places…so much to take in and very unclassifiable. Yes, it is metal, but it is so much more too. The album is available both as download and as an elaborately designed limited art book edition, for which Rainer Landfermann teamed up with Russian ballet photographer Daria Chenikova and model Anna Grigoryan, a ballerina at the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow, who is also featured on the album cover. For each of the ten songs on the album, they created a gorgeous visualization of the theme and mood of the respective music and lyrics.

While not my cup of tea, this is an album that really takes chances and challenges the listener. I may not be a fan of most of this, but I can respect what he is doing and some of the music on here.

https://rainerlandfermann.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RainerLandfermann/

https://rainerlandfermann.bandcamp.com/

 

DIG TWO GRAVES : Deathwish

Dig Two Graves is a progressive metalcore outfit from central New Jersey. Combining an eclectic mix of Progressive Metal, Djent, and atmospheric dream pop. Starting back in 2017, Dig Two Graves has been working tirelessly to separate them from the pack in a very crowded genre. By combing a variety of musical styles into their all too often, cliché-heavy genre, this is their debut recording.

The first song is an instrumental that starts off interesting and quiet with some samples then gets a bit irritating with the skipping sound that it takes on. The first track, “As Above” starts off nice and heavy and gets your headbanging with the power and driving force it has. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the screamed vocals, the clean vocals in the song are far better. I really liked the background to most of the songs, light and lilting music that soothes and then bang, the heaviness hits you like a kick to the groin, but the lilting music is still there in the background. Closer “So Below” is an epic song coming in at over 7 minutes and has everything in it, dream pop, progressive and metal, in your face metal. The song is a perfect end to the album with the band firing on all pistons and giving you the raw emotion and power that you expect from the previous songs. The added female vocals are a perfect addition to the track.

While not being too different sounding from track to track, the band does have potential to get a lot of fans and would probably put on one hell of a show live. While not being huge on the screamed vocals, the intensity and rawness does give this a lot of power and does make it stand out from the other bands with everything mixed up the way that they do it.

https://digtwogravesband.com/

https://www.instagram.com/digtwogravesband/

Crossover the Edge: Where Hardcore, Punk And Metal Collide: Book by Alexandros Anesiadis

Crossover The Edge contains in-depth features on over a hundred key bands from the scene’s 1980s heyday including Agnostic Front, Cro Mags, D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, Dayglo Abortions, Discharge, Broken Bones, and another five hundred bands are also featured however briefly. Pulling together bands from diverse subcultural backgrounds (including the Skinhead, Oi and Anarcho scenes) to create a unique fusion whose appeal reached out to a large proportion of each of their fans, the movement was nevertheless overlooked by purists from each side, its specific mix sometimes balancing uncomfortably between those tribes. Alexandros Anesiadis was born in 1981 in Greece., and is currently living in Luton whilst on his final year of PhD in Media and Arts.

This lengthy, but the interesting book is well over 500 pages, has a ton of pis and is a very good read. Anesiadis is a definite fan and his writing shows that with the enthusiasm that he brings to the topic. He gets into a ton of bands that are both known and virtually unknown except for a few, but now they can get a moment in the spotlight because of this book. When I was younger and this style was happening, people hated metal if they were punks, and metal fans hated punks…that really didn’t seem to change much even with this style of music gaining fans. I liked some punk, some thrash metal and crossover…matter of fact, I got my mother to pick me up Suicidal Tendencies first, and best album, for me when she was visiting my aunt in Texas. She told me that when she went to the store to ask about it, she got some weird looks and didn’t know why…lol. The book has interviews with band members and they also throw in some interesting memories of things that happened during their careers that often times are funny, but always cool to read about. The amount of research that went into this is astounding, with all the flyers and in-depth information that he has dug up. There is a bit of looking back and coming down on some bands that had some un-PC lyrics back then, but with a different time, and different attitudes back then, it’s easy to say that they have awful lyrics and be a bit above it all now which I got that feeling while reading some of the inclusions. One thing that would have made me happy, would be album covers of the bands since there is talk of how good they were and the art on the covers. I also found that some bands mentioned by Anesiadis were as admitted by him, more metal than crossover, strange and weird, and a lot of crust and anarcho bands that were not really crossover.

If you are a fan of this style of music or have listened to any of the hundreds of bands mentioned in this book, you need to get this. While having a few minor flaws, this is still an amazing book that I had a hard time putting down and after being into punk and reading zines since the early 80s, I was astounded with how much I learned from this and now I have way too many albums to look for because of him.

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords

BRAVE : the calm | the storm

Brave is a six-piece progressive/rock/metal band based in Washington, DC, and play a mix of progressive rock, folk, and metal with female vocals. They have been around since 1996 under the initial name Arise From Thorns, and have released 9 recordings, including 2 recordings under their previous band name.

An album of lush sounds, great production, and terrific playing is what you are in store for on this new album. The songs are just beautiful, with the angelic vocals of Michelle Schrotz giving the songs so much emotion. On the more rocking “Summertime,” she almost has a Dolores O’Riordan sound to her singing. The song has great guitar playing and was a standout to me since it was one of the faster and catchier songs on here. Of course, this isn’t to say that the other songs weren’t good…they were, they were really good, but this one just did it for me. The lighter songs like “Bay Song” really show off the band’s exceptional playing and really make those songs a pleasure to listen to as well.

This is a very mixed album, harder and softer songs all mixed together, soaring vocals, soft vocals, all of it made for a great listen. The power and the gentleness of this band will amaze you and the great songs will lock it in for you…this one is a great trip to take.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2019/02/brave-calm-storm.html

http://www.bravemusic.com/

https://bravedc.bandcamp.com/merch

https://www.facebook.com/bravejamdc/

 

THE DIAMOND DEAD: No Revolution

This four-piece band from Napier, New Zealand used to be called Diamond Doll and have changed their name to The Diamond Dead now. The band consists of Tom, Liv, Tyley, and Kane, and this song is a preview of their forthcoming EP Becoming.

With a song that is “about the internal struggle of being part of an apathetic generation, of realizing what’s going on in the world but being too preoccupied with yourself to care,” as the band says, you can see that they are a bit more cerebral than a lot of other bands out there. The band plays tight, fierce and with so much energy and emotion that you are drawn into the song right from the start. The vocals are amazing, going from a smoother, yet tough sound to the shouted, almost Wendy O. Williams style of singing. This is such a treat since so many female vocals are wimpy or don’t have any power to them at all.

If this is just a single from the forthcoming EP, I can’t wait to hear the whole thing. Also, please keep on making fantastic music, and more frequently if, at all possible, the time between releases kills me.

https://www.facebook.com/thediamonddead/

https://thediamonddead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.thediamonddead.com/

TOMORROW’S EVE: Mirror of Creation III – Project Karros

This band from Saarbrucken, Germany has put together their brand new fifth album and third part in their Mirror of Creation series of records. This prog band has elements of classic ‘80s bands mixed with more modern sounds and it works out well.

The album has soaring vocals throughout that just bring back the ‘80s and bands that really had vocalists who put their all into melody and really let loose. The band is tight with ripping guitar playing, flowing bass and bombastic drumming that gives such power to these songs. The production is great, with a crisp sound that gives the listener a chance to hear the emotion behind the incredible playing. Maybe not as prog rock sounding as what most people think, ambling songs, lilting, pretentious music, this has experimentation in sounds and hard and heavy mixed into the songs in such a way that if you like hard music, you will be able to get into this. Not one spoiled song, nothing out of place, everything played with conviction and energy, just what I wanted from them and they delivered in spades.

With so much going for them, it’s a no-brainer, you need to get this album, play it loud, this isn’t any quiet fest kiddos, and this is a killer. I hope that they don’t take too long in following this up and that they just keep on going with the same force as on this one. As they say on the killer opening track, “Welcome To The Show.”

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/search?q=Tomorrow%27s+Eve

https://www.facebook.com/Tomorrows.Eve.official/

https://www.t-eve.com/

VIOLENT DIVINE: Louder Than Love

Swedish band Violent Divine formed in late 2005 and in 2006, they released their debut album which spawned three singles. They now have their fifth album out and continue to put forth songs of power and energy.

Overall the album is really great. The vocals are so rich and deep, however, they are hidden within the music a tad on some tracks for my liking but that’s just me. Each track has its own personality, its own identity, but I can say for sure that each member of the band has some serious skills. The album is so rich and in-depth with the sound, it’s deep and rich with power and emotion. Every sound, every word is portrayed beautify. To me, the sound is a mixture of metal/rock and has an 80’s feel to it, but not true 80’s, with its modern touches. The album reminds me of Five Finger Death Punch’s albums War Is The Answer and American Capitalist with its strong, harsh, powerful sound. The album has so many tracks which are really awesome. I love how each track is multi-layered and textured and it has such a good fast pace to each song. You can really get a sense of emotion and meaning of each of the songs. There are only four members of the band, Mike on vocals, S.J. on guitars, Oscar on bass, and Simon on Drums, and yet they sound so well-rounded and full of life.  I don’t know how long the band has been together or been creating songs, but I do know they sound like experts and been doing this for a really long time to hone their craft.

I found it hard to review this album since it was so hard to talk about just certain songs, instead of the overall effect the album had on me. I love this album from the fantastic album art to the great sounding music.

Album review by: Amy East

http://www.violentdivine.se/

https://www.facebook.com/violentdivine

NEGATIVEHATE: Solipsis

Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart (keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).

The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock, alternative, and post-metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled, almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that stand out more for you like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.

Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in, but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time. A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NEGATIVEHATE

https://negativehate.bandcamp.com/

IMMORTAL SYNN: Machine Men

immortal.jpg

This five piece metal band from Denver, CO has shared the stage with: Lynch Mob, Wildside, Loudness, Great White, Warrant, Winger, L.A. Guns, Firehouse, Hammerfall, Delain, BulletBoys, Ratt, and The Relapse Symphony in the past. The band consists of Chase McClellan (lead vocals), Tony Z (founder, rhythm/lead guitar, vocals), Miguel Ruíz (lead guitar, backup vocals), Andrew Cope (bass, vocals), Axel Berrios (official drummer, but is currently attending school in Mexico and is set to return by the end of 2017), Ryan Alexander Bloom (fill-in drummer during Axel’s absence).

The band has a mix of traditional metal blended with a touch of thrash and hard rock and does a pretty good job of it. You get eleven songs full of power and raw emotion that you just have to hit the replay after it’s over just to get that rush that occurred on first listen. The songs are pure metal, no alternative, no gloss, just a kick in the groin and a punch in the head of killer riffs, and choruses that will have you shouting along to. The guitar playing is fantastic with solos and riffs bouncing around your ears non-stop, the pounding drums and bass form a perfect union, and the vocals switch from being gruff to up in the higher reaches and make for a noise that’s filled with aggression, but not bland lyrics, these guys are a lot more thoughtful than the average metal band. As I listened to the album, I just got drawn into it deeper and deeper, enjoying it more than I thought I would. The band did a great job with the production and the song length, being not too long and making you want to hear more from them.

I put this on thinking that I might enjoy some of it, but came away loving it and now they have a fan in me. The band proves that hard work, talent and the right mix of people can become a juggernaut.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/08/immortal-synn-machine-men.html

https://www.facebook.com/immortalsynnmusic

https://immortalsynn.bandcamp.com/album/machine-men

TRINE: Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Trine, a trio from Austin, TX consisting of Deuce Waner (drums), Jon Yodan Jr. (guitar), and Ryan Hegefeld (vocals/bass), has released their debut album and what a whopper it is……..sixteen tracks! This alternative metal band has gone beyond what most groups do and given the fans something to think about as well as rock out to.

“Once In A Lullaby,” is an instrumental introduction to the sound of the album. This is a nice strong beginning, dark, edgy, disturbing, with a sinister laugh and dark forbidding sound. “Takedown” has a similar sound, but the guitar just punches you out as soon as it comes in, and the guitar and bass are the glue that keeps everything together. It’s multi layered with the guitar and bass. It’s not messy or sounding like multiple songs going on, it’s all coherent. The vocals are low at first, and smooth as silk and then it kicks it up to be full-bodied, in your face, not angry but imploring, strong, it pulls off the different tones, and the different pitches flawlessly. In “Heroes Of Tomorrow,” the vocals are the focal point; the vocals stand out as powerful, in your face, not angry but forceful. This song just engulfs the listener like the last one. Still very heavy guitar and bass, but the guitar and bass add that sense of depth and texture that pulls everything together it’s the backbone of Trine’s sound. “Anti Gravity” starts off with the guitar bouncy, and then the drums come in to back up the sound. Dark tones to this track give it an 80’s/90’s feel, but it’s been updated and modernized. Strong vocals are still the focal point of their songs. It’s loud, forceful, surrounds the listener, not so much in your face, but just engulfs you. The guitar did this Spanish style solo and was interesting, unique, unexpected and was beautifully done, it works really well as a bridge from the start to the finish. “A Dream Of You” has a different tone, it’s quieter guitar, is more solemn, with a different feel altogether. There aren’t any vocals on this track, it’s all instrumental. “Elysium” changes, to a more drum based sound, the vocals are slightly drowned out, but not by much. The vocals are giving off a desperate feel which works with the sound. There’s a streamlined sound to the vocals that’s multi pitched, and it works. “The Noose Or The Knife” is a dark, semi industrial, grungey style sounding song. The vocals aren’t as pronounced like before, but not hidden, more like a storyline with a talking style to the vocals. Overall it has an angry feel, but not really angry, it’s more rough around the edges, not gritty, but it has a slight edge and rawness to it. “Enemy” has a more desperate feel, in your face, edgier, heavy-set/tone at the beginning, then the vocals turn smooth, but the sound still reeks of power, with a gives no fucks feel to this track. More of a revenge song/sound. It works, with its dark, deep, textured sound that provokes many emotions. Overall a great song. “Royalty” has vocals that are more hidden, like it’s painful to bare one’s soul but full of hope and a bitter-sweet sound. It’s quiet but guitar based, with vocals that are soft and then become loud to make a point. A nice story of hope. It has a 90’s tv/movie drama feel to it and it evokes so many emotions. A great song. “Fake” gets things back to being disturbing. It’s dark, calm/angry, and it’s like a storm that is brewing. The vocals aren’t hidden, slightly flat, not as powerful, raw or in your face that the music and the tone demands. It’s too soft for the overall feel, but it’s a nice starting point though. It’s another storyline song but the texture is wrong, it’s too smooth and flat for an angry, hate filled vibe song. It’s an angry song, but I’m not getting that feel like from the other tracks. “Futures” is a more fast paced, multi layered, textured song, with vocals that are a little hidden and quiet and smooth, but the energy is high, not the in your face feel, but you know it’s there. “Hercules” has a disturbing sound at first then the vocals hit you in the face. Much better vocals and tone, it has high energy, it’s powerful, multi layered, textured, and it’s a don’t give a fuck song. It’s empowering, and it pulls you into the sound and power. “Terraform” is an unusual track with the different styles. It’s about being lost and finding one’s place, as in transforming something dead into something alive. It has really heavy bass and guitar, the vocals switch from being crystal clear to a muffled gargle. It has a major sci-fi feel to it and it’s very hard to describe, but I liked it.
“Fire” has a very hardcore guitar, fast paced sound with vocals overlapping each other creating an echo effect. The vocals are clear, strong, and full-bodied. The song has different layers all mixed into one; it has power and rawness, not in your face, but you can’t help but pay attention to it. It’s hardcore rock. “Full Circle” is drum heavy and then the guitar backs it up nicely. The vocals are slightly in the background and a little flat for such a powerful song. The music is powerful, rough around the edges, in your face, but the vocals don’t exactly match up, they’re too nice and smooth. “Somewhere Under The Rainbow” is mostly instrumental and slightly dark, with the inclusion of bells and ends off the album.

A very long album that has far more successes than miss-steps and shows so much potential and talent that these guys have. With a bit of editing, and time, this band will be a powerhouse that will be headlining larger and larger venues. A really great first album that will keep your attention and will sound great cranked up loud.

Review by: Amy East

https://www.facebook.com/trineatx/

https://www.trineatx.com/