Archive for the Review Category

Nero Order – The Tower

Posted in New Music, Review on June 15, 2011 by Thorun band

Nero Order have been around for some time now, but they’ve chosen to stay silent…until now!

Some call them avant-metal alchemists, others “Progressive Doom”, I prefer to think of them as a hulking machine bent on destroying your preconceived ideas of what slow metal can sound like. After a number of listens the picture becomes clear, the music is mix of left field sludge/post-metal (like that of Mouth Of The Architect and Mare) and the darker world of avant-doom. The riffs are easy to take in but the arrangements are more complex, with track lengths that vary between 9 and 17 minuets. The entire album was recorded using old school methods and is devoid of any computer trickery or Pro-tool magic. Thus we are presented with the raw sound of Nero Order.

The best way to treat this album is to consider it as one long composition rather then 4 separate songs. For those who are not accustomed to this type of drawn-out sludgy doom it can be hard going and at times it left me wondering where the hell these guys were going. The overall sound is oppressive, huge, dark and carries some serious weight but I can’t help but think that more cohesion and a little consideration for a central theme would have gone a long way in making this a “must have” record for fans of unusual heavy music. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I did! The guitar/bass sounds are massive, the drumming is akin to being slowly beaten with a large metal club and the vocals fly between relentless torture and melodic croon to great effect. Just be prepared to sit down and take it in over a number of sessions.

This is definitely a good release and I would recommend you download it and add it to your collection.  I’m interested to see what they have in store for us next.

Nero Order Website > HERE <

Facebook page > HERE <

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Review: XII Boar – XII (Demo)

Posted in Review on March 20, 2011 by Thorun band

Looking through XII Boar’s website you can see they have created a bit of a stir in the fuzzy world of stoner/sludge metal. A number of blogs and webzines have been singing their praises and for good reason, the demo is pretty cool.

The aptly titled opening track “Train Wreck” blasts along with the metallic aggravation of a hardcore band before switching gears in to some blues-rock inspired lead then throwing you back to the grind and closing on a short lived doom stomp.

“Beg, Borrow, Steal” starts out with a plucky sounding little bass riff but once the guitars kick in you’re handed a classic stoner style riff designed to cause neck pain.  Around the 2.30 min mark things slow down and so begins a journey back to the world of 70’s psyche rock.

Track 3 “Sludge” is very similar in it’s structure; Flipping back and forth between stoner mulch, mellow bass driven blues and classic rock squeal. By this point I realised that there doesn’t seem to be much variation on offer, every song follows the same process.

Demo closer “S.K.O.L” starts faster with another nod to their hardcore influences but XII Boar seem to use the same formula again; fast, slow, fast, slow…end.

XII is enjoyable but I’m not sure how long I could listen to this if it were left on repeat. Considering this is a demo and the band have only been together since February of last year they show great potential. It’s good but I believe XII Boar have more to offer so let’s keep an eye out for their next release.

Download XII for free > HERE <

REVIEW: Tona – 1000

Posted in Review on March 13, 2011 by Thorun band

If someone asked me “What country do you think produces the most diverse heavy bands?” Serbia would not be at the top of my list. Strangely enough, that’s exactly where Tona call home. They sent me a copy of their album “1000” and I was pleasantly surprised. The guitars snap from reverb soaked Fender twin territory to full on crunching overdrive, the vocals are well placed in the mid-range and the rhythm section is snappy and tight. They obviously haven’t slacked during production. Their sound is very mixed and they seem to have crammed punk, metal, classic rock and psyche all in to one release.

But…

As far as the songs are concerned I’m not so sure. The album opens with an awesome sounding tech-rock intro and on first listen I was convinced it was going to blow my mind! Then it all went a bit sideways. There are some really great moments on 1000 but they are few and far between, each time they come along I’m sure they’ll stay but then the illution is shattered with some not-so-well thought out riff change. Tona seem to come up with some great intros but the greatness ends when the main course kicks in.

I believe that Tona could be great, amazing even, they just need to focus on brining the songs up to the same high standard as their flawless sound.

Download the entire album for free through Mediafire > HERE <

Find out more about the band at > MYSPACE <

REVIEW: Suplecs – Mad Oak Redoux

Posted in Review on March 12, 2011 by Thorun band

A friendly guy over at Small Stone Recordings got in touch with me a few days ago asking if we would be interested in listening to some new releases from bands on the current roster. Knowing the quality of past releases I jumped at the chance. The first of the bunch is an album called “Mad Oak Redoux” from Suplecs. These guys have toured with the likes of Clutch, High On Fire and Eyehategod as well as landing a spot at the SXSW festival.

The album: 10 tracks of alternative/groovy rock is the easiest way to explain it. Inside you’ll find elements of blues, classic rock, stoner and more. Much of the album is groove infused and each track has it’s own theme. I just can’t get over the feeling that the vocals just don’t sit right.  It’s almost as if, on some of the tracks, they where added as an afterthought. The guitar sound is great, the drums are powerful and the production as a whole is top-notch but I can’t seem to find a single track that really stands out. It’s obvious that Suplecs know how to kick out a decent bit of rock’n’roll but to my ears there is something lacking that stops me from really enjoying this album. I wouldn’t say the record is a no go for fans of groovy metal because it’s good fun, just don’t go throwing those Clutch albums out any time soon.

You can find them at > MYSPACE <

And at > SMALL STONE RECORDINGS <

REVIEW: Resonaut / Krakow – Split 7″

Posted in Review on March 11, 2011 by Thorun band

Personally I have a soft spot for split releases. The idea that two bands have combined forces usually means that both parties are passionate about what they do and because of this you’re probably in for a treat. I was particularly excited when an email hit my inbox containing the tracks from the new 7″ split by Norwegian bands Resonaut & Krakow.  As you may have already noticed I’m a (big) fan of slow doom/sludge metal so instantly felt right at home listening to Resonaut’s offering “Molten Plant”.

Resonaut are a groove/doom power trio who manage to bring us the grunt without the assistance of a bassist, a rather impressive feat considering how low this band sound. Think Pentagram and Electric Wizard and you’re pretty much on the button. To be honest there’s nothing new on offer here, it’s pretty much fuzzed out doom-by-numbers. That’s not to say it isn’t any good. What they do they do very well and I think we need to hear more from these guys before making any heavy judgments. The guitars sound thick, the vocals are perfectly placed and overall production is excellent and “Molten Planet” has plenty of re-play value. I like it and I want more! Really looking forward to a follow up.

Krakow are a different animal all together. They do share the same snail-pace tempo but this time the sludge is helped along with a dose of psychedelia and vocals that switch from clean melodic crooning to whiskey rock growl. “Drifter” swirls like a 60’s blow party then kicks you in the face. I particularly enjoy the tasteful flurries of lead guitar work placed throughout the track. Again, production is flawless and all instruments sound great so Krakow have *cough* cracked it!

Both bands have brought us some high quality music, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Right, time to find out what else they have on offer….

Resonaut > MYSPACE <

Krakow > MYSPACE <