Monday, May 6, 2013

CD Review: Six-Pack Of New Metal Blade Records Releases

Metal Blade Records is once again ready to unleash a barrage of music over the course of the next month. The end of April saw the releases of new albums from Cathedral, Purson and The Ocean, while the month of May gives us new releases from Entrails, Blood Ceremony and Eldkraft. Right now is a very busy time for “metal heads” to enjoy some new music.
 
The new album by doom metal band Cathedral is entitled “The Last Spire” and according to lead singer Lee Dorrian, it will be the band’s last. Dorrian said in an interview that “deciding to end the band wasn’t an easy decision to make but we knew deep down in our hearts that is was the right thing to do.” Also, according to the band, this album brings Cathedral full-circle as it reflects the sound of the band’s debut. Songs like “Pallbearer” and “Tower of Silence” still has that grinding guitar, but Cathedral adds some tempo changes to keep the music interesting. While most of the songs push well past the 8-minute mark, the band continues to add the song’s slow-moving metal sound in order to show why they are considered one of the premier doom metal bands around.
 
To find out more about Cathedral’s final album, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/cathedral-stream-new-single-unveil-cover-for-the-last-spire/.
 
Also coming out on April 30th is the debut album from Purson entitled “The Circle and the Blue Door.” They combine the mysticism of the dark forces with the inspiration of David Bowie and classic ‘70s rock. Their sound has a very retro sound, pulling in the psychedelic feel of The Beatles with the early hard rock of the female-fronted band, Heart. Purson play around with their sound on the flute-rock, carousel sounding “Sailor’s Wife’s Lament,” before returning to rock on the Deep Purple sounding “Leaning On A Bear.” While their music may seem a little out of place in this era of overblown electronically made music, it is refreshing to hear such a classic rock sound that keeps you coming back for more.
 
To find out more about Purson and their debut album “The Circle And The Blue Door,” please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/pursons-well-spoiled-machine-available-via-pitchfork/.
 
One other album that was released at the close of the month of April is from the band, The Ocean. Their latest release, “Pelagial” is a concept album about ocean life. The album was released in 5.1 Dolby surround as an instrumental album, as well as the regular edition with vocals. The album is to be played through in its entirety as the album performs like one long, 53-minute piece of music. Ocean sounds bridge the gaps between the three parts of this album. The band still blast you eardrums on the aggressive “Bathypelagic II: The Wish In Dreams,” but counters that with the mainstream rock of “Abyssopelagic II: Signals of Anxiety.” The Ocean continues to push the boundaries of metal music without losing their edge.
 
To find out more about The Ocean and their new album, “Pelagial,” please visit theoceancollective.com/pelagial/.
 
May 14th brings us the Metal Blade Records debut album from Swedish death metal band Entrails. The new album entitled “Raging Death” is a full-on assault to your eardrums. They attack with the aggressive vocals of “In Pieces,” before moving on to Adde Mitroulis’ machine-gun drumming in “Carved To The Bone.” The duel guitars of James Lundqvist and Mathias Nilsson blaze a trail in “Headless Dawn” as vocalist/bassist Joakim Svensson rips your head off with the vocals of “Cadaverous Stench.”
 
To find out more from this rising death metal band, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/artists/entrails/.
 
Coming at the end of the month is the third release from the “black magic” metal band Blood Ceremony. The new album, “The Eldritch Dark” visits the darker myths of folklore, beginning with the seven-minute “Witchwood.” The band has made a name for themselves touring and performing at some of the biggest heavy metal festivals in Europe. Now they look to conquer America with lead singer Alia O’Brien’s Geddy Lee-type vocals and the band’s classic Sabbath sound. The band heads into progressive rock territory with the six-minute “Ballad of the Weird Sisters,” before warming up the organ for “The Eldritch Dark.” Their sound is easy to get drawn into as you listen intently to the storied lyrics.
 
To find out more about Blood Ceremony’s new album, “The Eldritch Dark,” please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/blood-ceremony-announce-the-eldritch-dark/.
 
Last up is the debut album from Swedish, “epic” heavy metal newcomers Eldkraft. The trio will be releasing their album, “Shaman” on May 28 as the ten songs carry you on a journey of knowledge, growth and ecstasy of the soul. While the lyrics may be hard to understand (because of a language barrier) the music has a dark, heavy bass sound as in the opening song “Gammal Krigare.” The song “Undrets Tid” sounds like a Vikings march, while the band picks up the tempo for the energetic “Granslos Grans.” The album closes with the moans and deep voices of “Rimthurs” as your journey comes to an end.
 
To find out more on Eldkraft and their new album “Shaman,” please visit www.metalblade.com/eldkraft/.

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