KEN mode: Entrench: CD

Entrench cover art

Winnipeg’s KEN mode new release is actually their fifth album, which marks a decade since the release of their first. This album could fool you into thinking that they were new with the urgent and relentless, and angry sounds emanating from them.

This is an aggressive album, and the bludgeoning weight of post-hardcore features heavily with the guitars saw-toothed and gouging in parts, and highly technical in others. The band really rip through this album as though they were a force of nature and are coming to devastate your town. You get song after song of pure energy and power that grabs you and the anger is so strong that you can feel it hitting you from the speakers.

After five albums, these guys show no sign of slowing down or becoming wimpy, instead it sounds as if they got their second wind and really are making their move into bigger and better areas.

COMPLETE FAILURE: The Art Gospel Of Aggravated Assault: CD

This grind band has gone and made a fantastic, angry and heavy album that is full of more hardcore than just the typical grind fest that you usually hear.

The band has some intense drumming with tons of blast beats going on, the guitar is chunky and rages throughout the songs, the bass is heavy and pounds along, and the vocals are harsh, but clear enough to make out the very angry lyrics. The album is super fast and heavy with elements of sludge added like in the song “Drag Migrator” that creeps along and the heaviness drags you with it, same thing with the song “Hero Of The Church Herd” which goes from super slow, to blazing fast near the end, it’s also the longest song at over four minutes with most two and a half minutes or shorter.

This is one tight and well produced album with aggression to spare, pick it up and lose your mind to it.

DISPERSE: Living Mirrors: CD

This Polish progressive metal band’s sophomore release has a hint of PINK FLOYD, and DREAM THEATER, but it doesn’t overtake their own identity, it enhances what they’ve created on this album.

There is a nice little set of songs on here that flow really well together, “Prana” an instrumental with a nice ambient keyboard / guitar mix, “Message From Atlantis” which has a nice mixture of PINK FLOYD, ambient and hard rock with the quiet keyboard parts and then some fantastic guitar and drumming getting harder during the song, “WOW!” which is another ambient song with keyboards and samples that turns into the harder rocking “Universal Love” with the mixture of the great guitar that is reminiscent of SANTANA especially on the solo, “Be Afraid Of Nothing” which goes back into ambient territory with the keyboards, guitar and bongo drum, then finally into “Unbroken Shiver” which has elements of GENESIS and hard rock…fantastic set of songs. The last song “AUM” has elements of total prog rock, some hard rock and ambient and works together beautifully. With the mixture of styles on here, you are sure to not get tired of the album soon.

Great playing, vocals that are melodic and songs that are sonically interesting, this is a great find, grab one today.

MISERY INDEX: Live In Munich: CD

MISERY INDEX started back in 2001 and has finally put out a live album to make fans happy until they put out a new album, but this is not a cash in, it’s a very brutal album that doesn’t have the sloppiness or overproduction of a lot of other live albums out there.

These guys tear through their songs with a rawness and heaviness that shows how talented they really are without the studio helping cover up any mistakes. The mix of grind, death core, and hardcore really make for a wild ride and the German audience must have been moshing like mad from the non-stop craziness that emanates from this band. The album is a bit muddy sounding, but I didn’t expect crystal clear sound from a live album of this kind of music, it adds to the thickness of the music that they’re playing. The band does a great job with the guitars cutting like a chain saw, the bass low and heavy, the drums just pounding like they are going to destroy the kit and low guttural vocals that make everything a step heavier.

A pretty decent live album covering a bunch of their best songs, along with a new mix of their song “Siberian” which is nice and heavy and well produced.