Black Magic Six – Choose Death

Finnish bluesy rock duo Black Magic Six has released a rather playful fourth album entitled “Choose Death” full of loud and dirty rock ‘n roll anthems with tasteful retro vibes and devilish wittiness.

Black Magic Six channels an exquisitely dark humor with “Dance With Me Satan” which is all hilarious and delirious with crazy addictive gritty guitar riffs and a highly entertaining rhythmic crescendo that will get you moving.

“Shake Shake Shake” has a great rockabilly soul particularly amplified by harmonious choruses and a winning combo of melodic guitar leads and rougher riffs with a lovely vintage attitude.

“Red Cloud” becomes somber and mysterious with slow burning bluesy guitars and laid back vocals as Black Magic Six delivers again a generous dose of massive catchy melodies.

“Grease The Machine” is another “happy” wild track with raw guitar riffing and a simple yet incredibly catchy danceable groove.

“Golden Jackal” stands out for the irresistible rockabilly guitar riffs that inevitably require some dancing and stomping in order to be fully enjoyed. Raucous vocals channel a sense of rebellion but the same time there is a subtle dark veil of loneliness, acceptance for whatever misery has taken over our little lives.

“Choose Death” is a fascinating timeless piece of music that will take you through a diabolical bluesy journey so be aware that anything could and/or will happen.

Sawthis – Babhell

Italian quintet Sawthis proudly unleashes the newest musical effort titled “Babhell” which offers a passionate modern melodic metal hybrid with scattered chaotic extreme patterns.

“The Burning Place” showcases a straight forward musical fury focusing on a thunderous rhythmic section and raw guitar riffing but Sawthis also adds a healthy dose of melodic hooks with easy choruses and smooth guitar leads.

“This String Is For Your Neck” combines crushing riffs and intense speed to produce an enraged groove according to familiar modern metal standards while a traditional melodic solo adds a brighter mood.

On “Seabed” explosive tight guitar riffing enhances the extreme aspects of the band’s music style but, once again, trendy influences surface in the clean vocals and atmospheric themes.

“Waiting For Love” stands out particularly for the polychromatic emotive nuances where catchy melodies spontaneously evolve into super crunchy guitar driven grooves while ravenous screams and polished cleans create a good contrast.

“Never Alone” surprises with a calmer emotional atmosphere created by shimmering piano melodies and sorrowful vocals.

With “Babhell” Sawthis puts together a trendy collection of songs shifting focus from harsh rhythmic assaults to frequent radio friendly choruses but the album as a whole might still lack a unique artistic identity.

My Sleeping Karma – Mela Ananda – Live

Renowned German instrumental band My Sleeping Karma has released the first live record titled “Mela Ananda – Live” that will make you space out with a blissful collection of the band’s beloved hits impeccably performed on stage.

With a mystical mood “Prithvi” and “Enigma 42” are a perfect spiritual gateway filled of smooth melancholic melodies and psychedelic rock accents.

“Brahama” explores dreamlike territories with ethereal tones, “Psilocybe” offers irresistible hypnotic melodies and “Hymn 72” delivers slow burning guitar driven grooves.

“Mela Ananda” translates to “a gathering of bliss’ which is truly appropriate as with this live album My Sleeping Karma offers rich sonic textures and enchanting atmospheres that always emanate positive soulful energy. “Mela Ananda – Live” will become a cathartic musical experience for the band’s longstanding fans and will definitely gather new listeners.

Pallbearer – Heartless

In the last few years progressive doom band Pallbearer has gained wider audience and critical acclaim therefore the newest effort “Heartless” comes with great curiosity and high expectations. With a dramatic melodic soul, Pallbearer aims to establish a stronger presence in the current music scene delivering a confident and mature sound.

“I Saw The End” evokes immense melancholy with stylish somber melodic guitar leads layered over doom oriented heavier riffing, grandiose gloomy guitar solos and a timeless mournful mood.

“Thorns” focuses on traditional doom heaviness that inevitably fuels crunchy rhythmic patterns and a sorrowful series of darkly catchy guitar melodies that naturally culminates in a smooth melodic guitar solo followed by an introvert atmospheric momentum.

On “Lie Of Survival” every guitar melody is covered by a shroud of desolation particularly expressed in the musical depth of calmer atmospheric harmonies as well as the emotionally charged vocals.

On the title track soaring guitar riffs are executed in perfect doom fashion to create organic rhythmic textures and once again Pallbearer masters the art of melancholy effortlessly shifting focus from moody shimmering guitar leads to dramatic atmospheres.

Pallbearer still draws inspiration from traditional monolithic doom but the band’s sound continues to evolve with a more progressive creative force and “Heartless” successfully conveys the desire to explore wider musical territories to create a unique sonic palette.

Felix Martin – Mechanical Nations

Felix Martin isn’t your typical guitarist. In fact, He plays a special guitar made just for him, with 16 strings. Wonder how it would sound if someone wrote an album utilizing that? Well here it is.

“Flashback” starts the album pretty intense, and is followed by some interesting chord changes. It has a full sound overall. All the sections sound very thick for only having 3 members to the band.

“Carnatt,” Probably one of my personal favorites. This track just gets you moving and grooves. It has a little bit of everything happening here with some really noticeably cool tapping parts.

“Nomadic Tree” has a unique feel to it and gets pretty damn heavy. Heavy and Groovey is always good. It’s combined with some very nice melodic sections that almost remind me of the early Gothenburg movement of melodic death metal.

“Bom” is a track that is filled with a bit of an aggressive feel, in the sense that the energy is high, even on light parts. Some cool drum work on this track as well.

“Santos” is another track I really enjoy. It also happens to feature a really nice solo from the awesome Angel Vivaldi, who is a guitarist that I would recommend checking out. The song overall moves quite well with some nice dynamics. The solo gives it a new life, in my opinion.

“Bridge Clock Disparity,” Is a great closer for the album. It has some very relaxing progressions that end the album with a good vibe. It’s not too frantic, but still interesting enough.

This is definitely a cool album, and worth checking out. It’s quite impressive that someone can write that much material by playing guitar, only using tapping techniques. The rhythm section on this album are top notch and add a lot to the composition.

Black Mirrors – Funky Queen

With the debut EP “Funky Queen” emerging Belgian rockers Black Mirrors are ready to take the listeners on a wild rock ‘n roll ride spiced up by intriguing funky rhythms.

The title track shines for the sharp vocals layered over a super catchy groove with palpable retro rock vibes as classic rock influenced guitar riffs hold a steady entertaining rhythm.

On “The Mess” Black Mirrors effortlessly nail that exquisite vintage rocker style with a fuzzy flavor, super catchy traditional crispy guitar melodies and impressive raw emotional vocals.

“Canard Vengeur Masqué” is infused with a more somber atmosphere as the rhythm slows down to focus on vibrant bass lines and a generous round of stoner rock oriented guitar riffs further embellished by smooth slow-burning guitar leads.

Containing only four lovely songs “Funky Queen” is a promising musical effort that will trigger curiosity about what Black Mirrors has in mind for the next sonic endeavor.

Obituary – Obituary

Legendary Floridian death metal band Obituary fiercely confirms the band’s influential status with an aggressively guitar driven self titled new album recorded at their home studio in Tampa.

“Brave” immediately sets a furious mood with unrestrained drumming and guitar riffing that create a no frills death metal anthem amplified by John Tardy’s infamous venomous growls.

“Kneel Before Me” focuses on more refined music themes where guitar leads acquire a dominant role to add a bit of diversity with interesting nightmarish accents.

“Betrayed” is an enraged tune with loads of familiar death metal antics embedded in high impact rhythmic dynamics while the guitar solo skillfully adds brighter melodic tones.

“Turned To Stone” brings a more somber and darkened groove with slower doom nuances and a rather enjoyable intricate guitar solo.

“Straight To Hell” begins with a massive gritty old school rhythm that later evolves into a slower cathartic doom oriented section with exquisitely darkened guitar melodies and solo.

In the end, with few exceptions, Obituary decides to play within the safe boundaries of that classic death metal which is still a crucial part of the band’s musical legacy and this new release remains a solid effort even if it will not shock the audience with memorable innovations.

Memoriam – For The Fallen

Memoriam might be a new name in the death metal scene but many are certainly familiar with the band’s members Karl Willets and Andy Whale of iconic act Bolt Thrower. Memoriam has proudly released the highly anticipated debut album titled “For The Fallen” which features the expected inflamed guitar riffs galore in proper old school death metal style.

“Memoriam” feels particularly somber and solemn as slower crunchy guitar riffs showcase prominent dark accents that create a suspenseful atmosphere.

“War Rages On” leans toward a harsh death metal core with a taste for furious rhythms but the guitar work still holds a compelling dosage of darkened harmonies.

“Reduced To Zero” features a doom style sinister mood with plenty of super gloomy guitar melodies that naturally gain a more aggressive steady momentum amplified by thunderous drumming and old school guttural vocals.

Moshpit friendly tune “Surrounded (By Death)” runs on a solid combo of enraged guitar riffing and relentless savage rhythm that unleashes a traditional brutal assault without the need for constant extreme speed.

“Last Words” is the most epic track of the album with dense ominous vibes and an overpowering sense of desolation while guitars effortlessly shift from pensive darkened slower melodies to more energetic riffing.

“For The Fallen” contains all the right elements to become a pleasant listening for death metal fans and Memoriam delivers additional sonic variety with scattered tormented melodies.

Emmure – Look At Yourself

With a revamped line up and high hopes for a brilliant future Emmure returns with the new full length “Look At Yourself” which aims to deliver a consistent bombastic metalcore oriented collection of (short) songs.

“You Asked For It” immediately carries a plummeting sonic anger with evident nu metal elements and ends up being a brief borderline brutal album introduction.

“Shinjuku Masterlord” simply focuses on angry vocals/rapping and matching angry guitar riffing.

“Smokey” continues to unleash exaggerated fury and doesn’t really deviate from the guitar riffing scheme except for some noisy background effects.

“Russian Hotel Aftermath” is another angry anthem with confrontational vocals and dissonant guitar driven rhythm but there is a chance to find scattered melodies in the chaos.

“Call Me Ninib” is certainly fun and heavy with anger driven rhythmic dynamics amplified by savage screams/growls over modern electro layers.

“Torch” surprises with subtle modern melodies and a less chaotic rhythmic core that borrows some familiar nu metal themes.

Overall, Emmure manages to deliver entertaining heavy groove but while trying hard to channel fury and anger at times “Look At Yourself” lacks musical diversity and cohesive artistic identity.

Royal Thunder – Wick

With the newest full length “Wick” Atlanta based rockers Royal Thunder choose a rather melancholic pathway with deeply poignant songwriting and dynamic multifaceted rock soundscapes.

“Burning Tree” has a charismatic psychedelic retro rock soul skillfully amplified by variegated gloomy melodic guitars and inflamed vocals in the midst of a heartbreaking yet catchy groove.

“April Showers” sounds rather dramatic and moody with borderline rock ballad mellow guitar harmonies and crispy melodic solo. Mlny Parsonz delivers an exquisitely tormented performance with unrestrained abrasive and gritty vocals that tend to steal the scene cutting through the softer melodic layers.

“The Sinking Chair” still features a somber mood but delivers an edgy heavier rocking groove full of classic/vintage accents with galloping distorted riffs and a delightful guitar solo while Mlny’s harsh screams carry an additional dose of fierce rock attitude.

The title track features the hazy power of unfulfilled dreams and desires with loads of acidic hard rock and bluesy accents within compelling melodic guitars that lead the way through a cathartic musical journey while Mlny delivers utterly sincere vocals.

“Push” holds a genuine scarred beauty but it cannot be simply categorized as a rock ballad even if the soft orchestration and the mellow rhythm play a dominant role. The subtle raw energy embedded in the sludgy rock guitar riffs and the melancholy infused harmonies are further enhanced by Mlny’s bittersweet vocals that also never fail to add a raspy true rocker stance.

“Turnaround” packs a harder ensemble of guitar riffs that successfully create a majestic soaring groove which might owe extra crucial strength to Mlny’s confident raw and emotive vocal performance that shines particularly in the addictive chorus.

Contrary to popular beliefs music doesn’t always need to be ferociously heavy or must contain breakneck speed rhythms to leave a profound mark in fact the strength of “Wick” resides in a winning combo of eclectic melodies and authentic emotions that will easily conquer the listener’s heart.