Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Metal Briefs: Inverse Records Stuff

I am going to be throwing a bunch of stuff together a lot in order to catch up.  Usually these will be albums that do not really meet my standards and I do not feel like doing a full review.

Cardiant is a Finnish power metal band.  Finland has produced some great metal bands across a wide variety of subgenres, but I have yet to hear a great Finnish power metal band.  That is still the case.  This is okay but it really lacks any real power.  It reminds me more of later-era Sonata Arctica and Edguy, periods in their respective histories of which I am not really a fan.  It's mostly melodic hard rock/metal with some catchy sections, but overall somewhat weak.  "Heaven's Calling" is a representative track with its faster-paced riffing style and a general sense of urgency in the beginning, but the chorus kind of screws it up and makes it sound like an 80's hair band.  There are some decent tracks on here but as a whole, the album kind of falls flat.

Gothic metal is a subgenre that has not done much for me in the last several years, besides the occasional Moonspell album and the more extreme bands like Cradle of Filth and Rotting Christ's gothic-oriented stuff.  Mostly because I am not a Hot Topic-frequenting teenager.  Musically this is a little more exciting than the Tiamat stuff that bored the hell out of me.  But the vocals really kill it for me.  They are often out of tune with the music and just do not mix well.  The music was simply not interesting enough to keep me from falling asleep, which is a big problem with a lot of gothic rock/metal.  This just does not do much for me.

Nox Ultima is a Finnish black metal band whose mission statement explains that they are out to create and manifest black metal.  I am not sure how you manifest something, or really what the verb "to manifest" means, but I suppose I won't hold that against them.  Anyway, Nox Ultima plays old school-style black metal, bearing similarities to the Norwegian and Swedish scenes, although with impressive enough production values that everything can be heard well.  This is hateful black metal with a lot of aggression and speed.  That is just the way I like my black metal personally.  So this one was pretty good to me.  I will say, there is not a lot of delirium here either, but that should not be surprising for black metal.

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