Cyclovoltators – Sungods in Exile ALBUM REVIEW

Really just pretty good stoner rock. This album is much more southern rock based than some other albums I’ve heard. Some of the lines are cheesy, there’s a song about pot that isn’t exactly the most profound thing in the world, and mostly it’s just ok stuff. They have a good sound though so they get bonus points for that. Also I’m admittedly very biased towards stoner metal, though I try not to be. The cover is really bad though, that bright red is hurting my eyes, even if it is supposed to represent the blazing heat of the sun (which this band on their bandcamp says they’re trying to create with the “music of the desert”).


Irreversible Mechanism : Infinite Fields ALBUM REIVEW

Really, really, REALLY generic tech death. Thought about giving it a 6 but docked it because I realized it’s really easy to make tech death not sound bad. Wouldn’t recommend it but hey, if you want to hear metal from Belarus that doesn’t completely suck, now might be your best chance.


Délétère – Les heures de la peste ALBUM REVIEW

Normally good sounding standard black metal with some low production value is right up my alley, but this goes so far beyond bad production that the immersion is totally ruined. The entire album sounds distant and fuzzy, instead of cold and hard, even though the actual instrumentation is very much chilling. Even then there really isn’t anything special about this album, so it can’t really power through the accusations of bad production with any kind of saving grave. On a good note, it doesn’t really do anything else wrong, hence not having the lower rating. The vocals are a little bit too warm for my taste, but other than that it’s not bad. Still, like I said, poor production can only go as an aesthetic to some degree until it eventually just ruins the album instead of adding to the atmosphere.


Arallu – Geniewar ALBUM REVIEW

The concept of diminishing returns isn’t just a business concept, it very much affects everything else as well. Typically when it comes to music, it focuses more on an artist putting out the same type of album over and over again, and people liking it less and less with each release. But it can happen in singular albums too. Exhibit A: Geniewar.

The intro to this was fantastic. It combined lots of good middle eastern folk music with some metal elements, giving it a really mystical effect. What more, when the first actual song started, there was an ethnic drum beat in the background that brought images of the desert and the boiling heat to my mind. I heard a comment in a thread one time that there isn’t enough warm blooded black metal, that most of it is supposed to represent the coldness of the north. But why not the oppressive heat of the south? I agreed with this, that this concept is often overlooked in the black metal genre. It could be argued that this is because death metal already has a corner on the market on this kind of music, but I don’t see why black metal can’t at least borrow some aspects from death metal as long as the core aspects are intact. Anyway, yes this is very much hot black metal, and in my initial reaction, it was done well. The ethnic influences were constant as opposed to just forced in a few instances, which I always hate because I feel that if you’re going to incorporate influences from other music into metal, it should blend together rather than being chopped up into separate parts. So overall good first impression.

And then the fourth track happen. The fourth track is a cover of the famous Powerslave by Iron Maiden. I was very curious as to how a band like this would cover such a song, but I was excited nonetheless to see a possible very different approach to a well covered track. They fucked up. Bad. If I couldn’t audibly hear the word “Powerslave” mentioned in the lyrics, I wouldn’t be able to tell they were the same tracks. I get having your own take on an old standard, but I couldn’t even tell if they were in the same key or not. The middle eastern influences, which had been phenomenal up till this point, seemed incredibly forced in this instance. Then when the next track hit, realized what this album really was. It’s just extremely standard black/death, with some ethnic drumming and flutes occasionally. Sure it sounds good, but there’s nothing else happening in this album. Also it occurred to me that the vocals were actually not very good and had extremely cheesy moments. The samples of Israeli military commands added atmosphere I guess, but there was nothing in the music that helped that. To make matters worse, this album is over an hour long, so if you’re going to listen to this whole thing, be prepared for a whole lot of the same, and some occasionally outright bad moments.

This rating is more a leftover from my awesome initial reaction than what this album really deserves. It deserves a low 4, but I’m bumping it up because I feel like this has potential. They got the blend right, which so many bands don’t. They just need more around that to create a truly great album.