Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Initial Impressions: Naglfar: Teras

Naglfar, the Swedish melodic black metal band, was an early band that I checked out when I began really expanding my metal horizons after law school.  I was very impressed with Harvest at the time and checked out some of their prior material.  I kind of grew out of them after awhile though.  This is actually their first album since Harvest, which is odd since it has been five years.

Not much has changed musically for Naglfar.  This is still surprisingly catchy black metal with a strong sense of melody.  It is not anything revolutionary, but Naglfar does it well.  There are plenty of other bands who play the same general style of Naglfar but few play it with the same intensity.

Naglfar's music is streamlined and packs a punch.  They do not really do a lot of melodic interludes or buildup for songs.  They just launch into the aggressive, fast riffing that they have always done.  Of course Wrath continues to sound like a man in need of an exorcist.  I have not heard a lot of the band's material with Jens Ryden so I don't have a lot of ability to compare the two.  Wrath's vocals fit the band's sound pretty well though.

As I mentioned, this is a solid release, but it is not spectacular.  Naglfar's albums sound basically the same.  They do a decent job at what they do, but there is not much else to say.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Initial Impressions: Asphyx: Deathhammer

Asphyx has always been one of my favorite old-school death metal bands.  Part of this has been the presence of Martin Van Drunen behind the mic and part has been the band's less conventional sound.  The band went on hiatus for several years and re-emerged with Van Drunen back in tow in 2008.  This is the band's second full-length since re-forming.

Asphyx's sound joins old school-style death/thrash with doom metal elements.  What results is a crushingly heavy album that stands up well to the band's prior material.  The album title is definitely a good description of the music found therein.

Of course no discussion of Asphyx would be complete without a discussion of Van Drunen's vocals.  Van Drunen is one of the great death metal vocalists and he continues to show why on this album.  His psychotic wailing is on full display here.

Asphyx continues to put out great albums.  They have been one of my favorite death metal bands for some time and this is yet another great album from them.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Thoughts on Prometheus

SPOILER ALERTS:  I am trying not to reveal anything about this movie, but I am not sure what other people have not been able to glean from the trailers.  If you have not seen it yet, you may want to skip this post for now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Slam Poll Results

So my idea in extending the time for the slam poll was to get some more votes.  This backfired, sort of.  I only got one more vote and that person said he did not like any slam band.  So here were the results from a very disappointing outcome:

Wormed, Devourment, and Abominable Putridity all tied at one vote.  Boring.

Reader Submission: Refusal: Grasp

Some time ago, I was asked to review a demo from a Finnish death metal band called Refusal.  It was their fourth demo since the band formed in 2008.  Recently, Tero from Refusal contacted me once again to take a look at their fifth demo.

The first question that pops into my head after listening to this demo is how in the hell has this band not been signed yet?  Seriously, the band already sounded pretty good on their last album and, if anything, they have still improved on this one.

The band's basic formula, which was fully realized on their last demo, has not changed.  This is death metal with something of a punk flair and some serious grooving riffs.  The third track is definitely closer to punk/grind than death metal.  As such, it is not my favorite on the demo.  The other three tracks though more than make up for this minor misstep.

The demo has not changed much overall since the last one.  If anything the band's songwriting has improved, as these songs are even more catchy than they were the last time out.  The strong production values and instrumentation still sound great.

I will close things out on here the same way I started: why has this band not been signed yet?  When do we get a full-length?  Hopefully soon, they deserve it.