Reviews for July 13th, 2012

Titan’s Eve – Life Apocalypse

Today I am happy to bring you Vancouver thrashers Titan’s Eve and their second album, “Life Apocalypse.” I liked “Life Apocalypse” so much that I went back and picked up their first album, “The Divine Equal.”

I use the term thrash pretty loosely here. I mean, yesterday I wrote about Mortillery and called them thrash, but their music is very different than Titan’s Eve. I dub Titan’s Eve thrash because the music is pretty fast and heavy, yet it is not death metal or black metal, so my fallback position is thrash. I could go with a much broader stroke and just call them heavy metal, but that would give you even less of an idea as to what they are about. I of course forget while writing that one can just go to the bottom and listen to the included track to figure out what they sound like. Let us move on then.

For a brief moment on “Road to Ruin” I was reminded of the old Finnish thrash band Stone (featuring Roope Latvala, currently in Children of Bodom.) That was a pleasant connection to make. On the whole Titan’s Eve does not resemble Stone, but something in the way the rough vocals were phrased whisked me back to 1988. No commands, no more, take no orders from you no more!

The instrumental work on “Life Apocalypse” is pretty killer. It has an old school metal feel encased in a contemporary stainless steel frame. It crushes you with powerful riffs and lighting leads, but also seems to effortlessly blend this with melody; there is beauty within this beast. The vocals are a little gruff, but not what one would consider “harsh.” I would almost call them hardcore style, but they are not quite so barked. The vocals are a perfect fit for this music and help establish a distinct sound the band can call their own.

I really dig “Life Apocalypse” and think everyone should check these guys out. Here for your head-banging pleasure is “Destined to Die.”

Pry - Transcendent Iridescence

Pry is an unsigned Serbian alternative metal band and “Transcendent Iridescence” is their first album. It is also a double album AND a concept album; how ambitious is that? My first impression upon listening to the opening track was that Kurt Cobain joined Alice in Chains to play Tool songs. I am throwing a lot of names at you there, but that is merely me trying to make a connection in my mind. What you should take away from that statement is that I was immediately drawn into this album and wondering what would happen next.

These songs are more alternative sounding than I am used to listening to these days, but damn are they good. Maybe it is the striking contrast to what I am used to hearing, or maybe these guys are just really damn good. I think I am going to go with both options.

They say that their music can be appreciated both by those seeking something deeper in the music and by casual listeners. I must concur, as it is easy to get sucked into this album on the very first listen, but I also feel like there are untold depths which I have yet to discover. Sort of like when swimming in the ocean, and you are not trying to touch the ground, you are just treading water, but then you have this feeling that the floor has sloped away and you know you are now in much deeper water.

I was pleasantly surprised by “Transcendent Iridescence” and hope someone will pick this album up and give it some proper distribution. Check out the track “Silhouette” below.

Minerva – Dead for a Lifetime

“Dead for a Lifetime” is the first album from Polish metal band Minerva. The dude that sent me this album described it as southern rock, hardcore and metal. I am not sure I hear the southern rock part, but hardcore and metal I hear. Musically there feels like there is some groove in that there metal. Vocally there is a lot of hardcore style screaming, but they also have a fair amount of cleanish vocals.

The production is very…bright. I am thinking it must be digital because it is very clean and intense; much more so than one would get from analog. That is not much of a stretch though as I suppose most recordings are digital these days.

Out of the gate I was not so sure I was going to like this album, but once I figured out where they were going with this I settled into a happy place and started to enjoy it. By the time I got to the fourth track, “The Day”, I was a fan. Speaking of “The Day”, here it is. Give Minerva a listen.

Adeia – Hourglass

Today is just full of wonderful surprises. Here we have Adeia from Rotterdam, Netherlands and their debut album, “Hourglass.” First conceived by classical violinist Laura ten Voorde when straight-up classical music was not doing it for her, Adeia melds elements of classical music with progressive metal. You have got to love a band that sandwiches Opeth in between Rachmaninoff and Simon & Garfunkel in their influences list.

A line from their own bio says it best: “They created a sound comprised of classical melodies, progressive rock elements and a nice dose of heavy grunts, growls and guitars.” The first few minutes of “Cordyceps” had me wondering how this album had made its way to me; it was all violin and piano and clean, light vocals. Then at about 2:14 everything changed. Suddenly the guitars started getting heavier and the vocals were much more rock-oriented. Ok, now we were getting somewhere. By 3:23 the vocals went harsh and I became very interested.

It seriously sounds like they took some classical music, some Pink Floyd and some Opeth and threw it in a blender. I suppose given the current state of Opeth this does not sound like an unusual thing, but these are three very distinct sounds that are all cohabitating in the same space at the same time, as opposed to evolving over a span of years like the Opeth sound. Mixing all these elements is not a new concept in metal music, but somehow Adeia manage to make it seem unique.

Today may be Friday the 13th, but I am feeling very lucky in today’s selections. Every one of them today is really good and I have no problem at all recommending any of these fine bands. Check them all out. Here is the single “Providence” from Adeia.