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Deadthrone - Premonitions

Mange pladeselskaber opretter nye underselskaber når de begynder at signe kunstnere, som stilmæssigt afviger fra selskabets kerneforretning. Et sådant selskab er Arising Empire, hvor Nuclear Blast Records placerer deres kunstnere indenfor genrer som Hardcore og Metalcore. Et af de nyeste skud på stammen er Deadthrone fra Manchester i England, som med ”Premonitions” udsender deres første fuldlængde.

Her kaster de fire englændere sig ud i en omgang moderne Metalcore, som er copy/pastet direkte fra genrens grundbog: Ren og klar vokal, der battler med et brølende modstykke og en musikalsk side, hvor kampen står mellem ret skarp Metal og melodiske elementer. På papiret en udmærket basis for et varieret og spændende album, som i praksis slet ikke bliver omsat.

Problemet er, at numrene præges af klichéer, som ikke suppleres med ret mange selvstændige ideer. Samtidig optræder den monotont brølende udgave af vokalen ofte sammen med poppede melodistumper, som udvander hårdheden. Resultatet er, at de hårde elementer kommer til at fremstå som et alt for lille figenblad, der slet ikke kan dække musikkens polerede sider. Derved kommer den rene vokal til at dominere og give numrene et langt mere poppet udtryk end tilsigtet.

Ud over den udmærkede produktion er der derfor ikke så mange elementer, der havner på plussiden; ”Premonitions” er et helt igennem uinteressant udspil, som ikke flytter noget som helst i Metalcore genren.

Tracklist:
1. Feel
2. Runaway
3. Revival
4. Time Won't Wait
5. Wide Awake
6. Believe
7. Hearts In Our Hands
8. Stand Your Ground
9. Respite
10. Soothsayer
11. Beacons
12. Seven Years
Samlet spilletid: 44:03

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Polar - Nova

Man må sige, at folkene hos Arising Empire tror på deres musikere; pressematerialet inledes med konstateringen ”The future belongs to Polar. You’re either in or you’re out.” Selv om jeg ikke kendte noget til Polar på forhånd, vakte det alligevel min nysgerrighed, og jeg måtte undersøge om der var noget om snakken for bandet fra London.

Efter en kort og dyster keyboardintro brager bandet igennem med Metal, der er kendetegnet ved tunge og lidt skæve rytmer, skarpe guitarriffs og keyboards. Oveni ligger en vokal, som er aggressivt råbende, men alt andet end varieret. Den får hjælp i omkvædene af flerstemmige kor, som er flot fremført. Det hele har fint med energi og vekslende rytmer, men vokalen bliver hurtigt enerverende med sin monotone facon. Og selvom korene er flotte, er de helt ens i alle numre, både i opbygning og rent lydmæssigt. Derfor er det sigende, at det helt stille ”Sonder” er blandt de absolut bedste numre, ikke mindst fordi det er så anderledes end resten.

Blandingen af den aggressivt råbende, men monotone vokal og de nydelige kor er som sådan en fin kombination, men det ender alligevel mellem to stole; musikken er ikke helt hård nok til at rykke for alvor – men heller ikke helt melodisk nok til rigtigt at score point. Samlet set varierer Polar deres udtryk for lidt til at kunne markere sig – jeg håber de ryster posen til næste gang, for i den foreliggende udgave tilhører fremtiden bestemt ikke Polar – jeg er i hvert fald mere out end in.

Tracklist:
1. Mære
2. Devil
3. Cradle
4. Drive
5. Adore
6. Sonder
7. Amber
9. Prey
10. Dusk
11. Midnight
12. Brother
Samlet spilletid: 38:00

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Annisokay - Arms

Ud fra bandnavnet havde jeg forventet at finde en kvinde i besætningen, men det er der ikke hos Annisokay. I stedet består bandet af fem mænd, og bandets navn er inspireret af teksten til Michael Jacksons ”Smooth Criminal”. Albummet ”Arms” er bandets fjerde, og det første på Arising Empire.

Bandnavnet er inspireret af King of Pop, men den musikalske inspiration har de fem tyskere hentet et noget andet sted: Når det gælder musik, vokaler og produktion er det tydeligt, at der er blevet lyttet en del til det tidlige Linkin Park. Det giver plads til let hakkende rytmer, ligesom keyboards og guitarer skiftevis præger de forskellige numre. Det største aftryk bliver alligevel sat af vokalerne, som der er gjort meget ud af. De er opdelt i en ren og en brølende udgave, som hhv. Christoph Wieczorek og Dave Grunewald tager sig af, ligesom der flere steder suppleres med små effekter.

Det hele minder virkelig meget om de amerikanske forbilleder, og på den baggrund er det svært ikke at se “Sea Of Trees” med dens tekst imod selvmord som et nik til afdøde Chester Bennington.
Som sådan er der ikke mange steder at kritisere, for fremførelse og produktion er af høj kvalitet – det hele er bare hørt før. Samlet må jeg derfor konkludere, at Ann Is Okay – men ikke ret meget mere end det.

Tracklist:
1. Coma Blue
2. Unaware
3. Good Stories
4. Fully Automatic
5. Sea Of Trees
6. Innocence Was Here
7. Humanophobia
8. End Of The World
9. Escalators
10. Private Paradise
11. One Second
12. Locked Out, Locked In
Samlet spilletid: 43:56

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Cold Snap - Interview with Dario Berg

Cold Snap, A six piece metal band, hailing from Croatia is about to release their fourth album titled "All Our Sins" on July 6th, 2018 via Arising Empire. We asked singer Dario Berg a few questions about the album

 

Hallo. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album. Could you start out by introducing yourself and tell us what part in the band you have?
Dario: Hello there! Thank you very much! For sure, my name is Dario Berg and I am a singer in the band.


Why did you choose this title for the record?
Dario: All of the lyrics on all the songs are talking about a lot of various stuff that all of us experience every day. There is a lot of personal feelings involved. It varies from witnessing your family suffering from illness and not being able to help, to seeing famous musicians taking their own lives due to depression or even witnessing and experiencing people having to leave their loved ones and their countries in search for a better life. There is much more involved in the lyrics too of course but when we sat down to figure out how we would name the album we came up with “All Our Sins”. In a way it is a metaphor that should somehow combine all songs under that title, telling you that all of humanity has their own certain sins. No matter if you are aware of it or not, in so many ways, entire human kind has some sort of sins.


When did you start working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?
Dario: We started working on this album in the very beginning of 2017 and worked on it through the whole year. By Januray 2018 when we went to studio we had it all done. To be honest, the flow of making songs was so natural and we did not have any problems. There are 4 new members in Cold Snap including me and I guess when we combined all of our experiences we got something fresh and easy to make. There was a lot of respect for each other involved too.


The album was recorded here in Denmark, at Antfarm with Tue Madsen? How did the cooperation go between the band and Tue?
Dario: We recorded the album in Antfarm Studios in Aarhus, Denmark. It was produced by world renowned metal producer Tue Madsen who worked with Meshuggah, Kataklysm, At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, Suicide Silence, Heaven Shall Burn, August Burns Red, Madball and many many more. Cold Snap has already worked with Tue on previous two albums. We thought a bit about who we should chose for the fourth album and after comparing some CD’s that Tue produced to some other CD’s we just figured out that there is no point in changing our producer now. And we were right, Tue was the perfect choice. He is an easy going guy who is very professional. He definitely knows what he is doing and for all of us it was an amazing experience and learning process too. Even though Cold Snap already worked with him, considering that 4 of us are new, it was the first time for us to meet him now, and we were just amazed. We are very pleased with the final product.


Are you trying to express something through your music?
Dario: Yes, we try to express all of our feelings through our music. As I mentioned above, we all experience all sorts of emotions on a daily basis and we witness everything that is going on around us and in the world. Of course, it affects us and we are fortunate enough to have the means and to be able to express all that through our music. Also, we would really love if we would sometimes be the voice for those who are too shy to speak up. Sometimes it feels much easier to express through music, we know that from how we look at other bands that we admire. So if it happens that someone who hears our music finds himself in it, we have made it. We wish for people to understand that they are not alone. We are all the same and feel the same feelings.


You've already released the first song online for your fans to hear, how has the new material been received from the fans so far?
Dario: That’s correct, we released a video for our first single named “Distance”. So far the reactions have been amazing and we are so happy with it. Also people reacted great to the video and many of them got the message we were trying to deliver. It’s really amazing to see that kind of response to something you created and to see that you did a good job and people understood. We are so grateful.


Who did the artwork and what is the idea behind it?
Dario: Artwork was done by a guy from Serbia named Željko Manojlović. While we were in the studio, we sat down and brainstormed ideas for the cover. Eventually we figured out that we would like for it to be a hanging noose. But many bands have already placed noose on their covers so we did not want to copy or resemble someone else. Considering the title, the idea just came itself. Let’s make a noose made out of suffering humans. And there it is, Željko managed to draw it exactly as we imagined it in our heads.


How would you compare the material on this release to your previous material?
Dario: You could say that the new material is more “straight forward” and “in your face” than the older material. Guitars and drums used to be much more experimental sort of speak, before. Much more towards nu metal and maybe even Korn sound. When new guys entered the band they brought some of their own experiences, especially on drums and guitars. Now, songs are a bit heavier, more modern but still groovy and in your face. A lot of people mentioned that they can hear some Slipknot influences but in a more modern way, or even some Gojira references. We are happy with that.


What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind new music do you listen to these days?
Dario: Pretty much, a lot of us grew up on nu metal. Bands like Korn, Slipknot or Limp Bizkit. But it varied from all sorts of bands like Machine Head or In Flames or some other melodic death metal bands. These days we really appreciate what Gojira is doing. We really like Ghost too. There are tons of bands that we really like, While She Sleeps, At the gates, Dark Tranquility, Decapitated… there is just so many great bands that we listen to.


Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?
Dario: Absolutely. A lot of inspiration came from Gojira, Slipknot, Machine Head or even Architects in a way.


In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far and what has been your biggest experience through the years?
Dario: For Cold Snap, I would say some of biggest achievements were probably performance at Wacken Open Air in 2012 and tours with Pro Pain, Ektomorf and Dead By April. For me personally, being in Cold Snap now haha, as I was a big fan for years. And of course for all of us the biggest achievement would be signing with Arising Empire/Nuclear Blast. It is just surreal that we get to work with these amazing people. Honestly, every single show we do and every new fan is a great success.


Could we expect any European tour and maybe see the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?
Dario: We are working on it. Very hard. We are trying to get a good booking agency now and start touring as soon as possible. We are absolutely ready for it and we love touring. It is the best thing of all. And after seeing how Denmark is like we would absolutely love to come play Denmark too!


What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?
Dario: Oh that’s a rather hard question. Not sure about the tour but probably touring with Gojira or Slipknot or Korn. That would just be super sick. Maybe playing main stage of Wacken or Rock am Ring or Hellfest one day. Those just look incredible!


Do you have any breaking news with the bands?
Dario: For now we are very focused on promoting our new material as best as possible to as many people as possible. At the same time, the most important thing would be booking agency so we are working on that too and we are very focused on that. We do have some amazing festivals confirmed for this summer. On 21st of July we play Hills of Rock festival in Bulgaria along with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dope, Sabaton, Jinjer and many more. On 24th of July we play MetalDays festival main stage with Tesseract, Ensiferum, Accept and more… We also have shows on 26th of July at Rock Live festival in Croatia, 27th of July at Warmbronner Open Air in Germany and on 16th of August we play at Death Coffee Party in Czech Republic with Decapitated. We have more shows confirmed but not yet announced. We are very excited about it and can’t wait to get on the road. 


That’s all we’ve get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?
Dario: We would like to thank you so much for the support and giving us some attention in the media. We really appreciate it very much. We hope that people will check out “Distance” and that they will like it. On 6th of July the new album is out, make sure to check it out and give us some feedback!


We would like to say thanks a lot for your time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring.
Dario: Thank you very very much!

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Cold Snap - All Our Sins

Da jeg modtog dette album til anmeldelse, blev jeg i første omgang irriteret. Pladeselskabet har angivet Modern Metal som genrebetegnelse, men hva’ fa’en er det for en intetsigende information? Det eneste man kan læse ud af den er, at det nok ikke er Old school Død, vi har fat i – ellers siger det lige så lidt om indholdet som ”Female fronted”, en anden af pladebranchens ubrugelige opfindelser.

Nå, alt det brok skal selvfølgelig ikke gå ud over Cold Snap, som er fra Kroatien, hvor de startede i 2003. ”All Our Sins” er deres fjerde album, og som de foregående to er det produceret, mastered og mikset af Tue Madsen.

Spørgsmålet om det genremæssige er hurtigt løst, for Cold Snap spiller Metalcore, hvilket inkluderer en skarp, brølende og aggressiv vokal på den ene side, og et melodisk modstykke med rene omkvæd på den anden. Opgaven deler Jan Kerekeš og Dario Berg imellem sig, og det fungerer fint; der er aggressivitet og attitude når det er påkrævet, og mere ørevenlig melodi, når det første bliver skarpt.

Skarphed er der masser af i musikken, for rytmerne er genretypisk knaldhårde og meget energiske. Sammen med vokalerne giver det en udmærket gengivelse af genrens styrker, hvor numrene holder et flot niveau uden egentlige highlights. Det resulterer i en snigende ensformighed mod slutningen, men ændrer ikke på, at ”All Our Sins” er et stærkt Metalcore album.

Tracklist:
1. Hesto And Pujto
2. Fallen Angels
3. Nothing
4. Demons
5. Crawling
6. Remission
7. 2 4 The System
8. Witness Of Your Sickness
9. No Were Not Even
10. Pain Parade
11. Hated
12. Distance
Samlet spilletid: 44:47

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Spoil Engine - Stormsleeper

“Stormsleeper” er titlen på det fjerde album fra hollandsk / belgiske Spoil Engine. At albummet udkommer fem år efter sin forgænger skyldes bl.a. at man har skiftet forsanger. Ny på posten er Iris Goessens, og hun indtager straks en dominerende hovedrolle: Den primære udgave af hendes vokal er hvæsende og skrigende i bedste Alissa White-Gluz stil – der er ingen tvivl om, at Goessens har lyttet en del til Arch Enemy.

Sammenligningen passer ikke så godt når det gælder musikken, for selv om der er bidder af melodisk Death Metal i numrene, går Spoil Engine oftest i en anden retning. Så er rytmerne mere staccato, ligesom der bruges en del keyboards – når man så lægger nogle rene (!) vokaler oveni, er vi mere ovre i noget, der minder om Metalcore.

Resultatet har udmærket energi, og der er godt med smadder i ”Hollow Crown”, ligesom ”The Verdict” kører fint med sit ”Survival of The Fittest”- omkvæd. Men ellers er der ikke så meget at fremhæve, for selv om bandet har mange gode elementer, så får de dem ikke omsat fornuftigt. Selv om der er fint med punch i handsken, så er numrene overfladiske og vil hurtigt forsvinde ud af min bevidsthed. Det er ret skuffende, et band med så meget erfaring burde have mere at byde på!

Tracklist:
1. Disconnect
2. Silence Will Fall
3. Doomed To Die
4. Weightless
5. Stormsleeper
6. Hollow Crown
7. Black Sails
8. The Verdict
9. Singing Sirens
10. Wastelands
Samlet spilletid: 42:18

 

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GWLT - Stein Und Eisen

Hardcore er ikke en genre, som jeg normalt forbinder med Tyskland, men selvfølgelig findes der en scene for den genre i vort naboland mod syd. Et eksempel leverer GWLT fra München: Efter en række EP’er er de fem medlemmer nu klar med deres debutalbum på det nye selskab Arising Empire, som Nuclear Blast Records har sat i søen.

Som den tyske titel antyder, har GWLT skrevet teksterne på deres modersmål, og det er i høj grad med til at give albummet et anderledes udtryk. Den musikalske side ligner til forveksling det, som f.eks. de nordamerikanske bands i genren byder ind med, men det skal ikke forstås negativt: Der er voldsomt gang i den på alle fronter, tempoet er pænt højt, og guitarerne giver en metallisk kant. Samtidig er frontmanden David Mayonga virkelig på dupperne – helt som han skal være. At helheden resulterer i glimrende traditionel Hardcore, overbeviser numre som ”Ruhe & Frieden”, ”Seltsame Liebe” og ”Watts 1965” mig hurtigt om.

Men GWLT kan ikke kun skille sig ud via deres tekster: ”Von Der Dunkelheit Und Ihrer Anziehungskraft” bliver til mere traditionel Rock via lavere tempo og nedtonet vrede, mens ”Bis Dein Lebenslicht Erlischt” boostes med et kraftigt skud Rap og HipHop – virkelig vellykket! Nummeret profiterer som sine kolleger af produktionen, som er usædvanlig god med både attack og hul igennem.

Dermed er der ikke andet tilbage at gøre end at konstatere, at GWLT har begået en kanon debut med ”Stein Und Eisen” !!

Tracklist:
1. Stein
2. Ruhe & Frieden
3. Seltsame Liebe
4. Die Grundmauern Der Furcht
5. Eine Taufe Aus Dem Staub
6. Bis Dein Lebenslicht Erlischt
7. Von Der Dunkelheit Und Ihrer Anziehungskraft
8. Watts 1965
9. Der Beste Mensch
10. Randale
11. Hannah Arendt
12. Zeichen An Der Wand
13. Eisen
Samlet spilletid: 41:25

 

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Novelists - Souvenirs

Alle genrer har nogle faste kendetegn, som i større eller mindre grad dikterer musikkens opbygning. Det giver på papiret en genre som Metalcore en fordel når det gælder om at skabe bredde; kombinationen af power og melodi giver to retninger at satse på. Med denne iagttagelse i baghovedet gav jeg mig i lag med ”Souvenirs”, som er det første album fra Novelists. Bandet stammer fra Paris, og har eksisteret i et par år.

Der skal ikke lyttes længe til albummet for at høre, at franskmændene benytter sig af kendte formler for opbygning af deres numre, men at de har en personlig stil, når det kommer til udførelsen. Konkret betyder det musik, som veksler mellem meget hårdtslående og aggressive sekvenser på den ene side, og melodiske passager med flerstemmige vokaler på den anden - Overordnet set er der ingen overraskelser i dén beskrivelse.

Til gengæld har Novelists langt mere fokus på det tekniske i fremførelsen, end man normalt hører i genren. Det kommer til udtryk i rytmiske strukturer, som ofte er ret komplekse og med synkoperede krøller her og der. På samme måde bliver der smidt mange detaljer ind i de forskellige guitarsoli; lidt shredding her, et løb dér – det er lækkert udført. I det hele taget viser bandet, at de er dygtige musikere, som har styr på sagerne, og overskud til detaljen.

Alligevel sidder jeg tilbage med en følelse af, at de får for lidt ud af deres indsats; der er for få steder hvor tingene virkelig rykker mig op af stolen. Men der er håb forude, for bandet har tiden for sig – der kommer forhåbentlig flere albums fra Novelists.

Tracklist:
1. Inanimate
2. Earth Graver
3. Gravity
4. Antares
5. Ouroboros
6. Black Lights
7. The Voyager
8. Mouchos Touchey
9. Echoes
10. AM
11. The Lichtenberg Figure
12. Souvenirs
Samlet spilletid: 49:20

 

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