Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CD Review: One Word Says It All For New Releases From Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records rolled out a handful of new albums during the month of April. Bands like Whitechapel and Portrait are looking to gain strength in numbers with their new music, while Pilgrim and Below are looking to re-introduce themselves to the metal music community.

Hardcore metal band Whitechapel will be releasing their fifth album "Our Endless War" on April 29th and proves that there is no slowing down for this band. The title-song just hits you like a ton of bricks and as you stagger to your feet, the songs "The Saw Is The Law" and "Mono" show an even more aggressive side. After almost ten years in the industry, Whitechapel are just hitting their stride, mixing tempos on "Worship The Digital Age" and showcasing their evilness in "Psychopathy." Just prior to the release of the new album, Whitechapel set out on their U.S. tour, which runs to the end of June. To find out more about their new album "Our Endless War," please visit whitechapelband.com.

Swedish metal band Portrait are at a "Crossroads" with their second album on Metal Blade Records. Their record label debut "Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae" received positive reviews and just missed topping the charts of "Hard Rock Magazine." Their new album is very important for the band to establish themselves as a force in the metal community. The nearly seven-minute "At The Ghost Gate" shows the commitment the band has to their music as they display a progressive-metal sound. You instantly hear how their music was influenced by bands like Metal Church and Iron Maiden as Portrait pay tribute to them in the songs "We Were Not Alone" and "In Time." They close the album with the nine-minute build-up of "Lily" that really showcases the great musicianship within the band. To find out more about Portrait and their new album "Crossroads," please visit www.metalblade.com/us/artists/portrait/

Next from Rhode Island comes the return of the doom metal band Pilgrim with their sophomore album "II: Void Worship." The band has developed a cult following since their debut two years ago and are looking to make a bigger impact in the metal music scene with some new music. The ten-minute opener "Master's Chamber" comes right from the book of Black Sabbath with its dark bass line and deep, drawn out guitar notes. The perfect recipe for doom metal. Pilgrim pick up the energy on "The Paladin" and display their guitar fuzz during the slow burn of "Void Worship." To find out more about Pilgrim, please visit hailthepilgrim.bandcamp.com/.

Finally we get to the debut album from Swedish doom metal band Below with "Across The Dark River." Right from the opening track "Trapped Under Ground," you'd think that Zeb's vocals are truly special. It has the mysticism of Ronnie James Dio and the power of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell to match the strength of the band's sound. The band look to capture that classic feel of Black Sabbath and Rainbow with the dark storytelling of "Portal," while also giving a modern feel to their metal sound as in "Across The Dark River." To find out more about Below, please visit www.facebook.com/Belowmetal.

No comments: