Witchery – I Am Legion

Over two decades of existence is already a great achievement but Swedish extreme metallers Witchery still have a lot to say and with a revamped line-up and hard work the new full length “I Am Legion” emerges from the expected blackened abyss.

The sinister lead single “True North” is rightfully Introduced by the massive traditional crunchy blackened metal guitar riffing of “Legion”. With creepy keyboards and absolutely cold vibes “True North” showcases familiar bold grooves with thick black n’ roll riffing galore and diabolical growls that acquire surprising catchy tonalities in the chorus while the refined guitar solo channels melodic nuances.

“Of Blackened Wing” features hints of traditional doom oriented patterns moving at a slower comfortable pace but still favors the expected blackened essence as drums fiercely pick up speed followed by confidently vicious growls and guitar driven grooves.

With ritualistic vibes and devilish growls “Dry Bones” continues to unleash a crescendo of fiery guitar riffs that easily builds entertaining Nordic influenced rhythms and maintains a pleasantly dark mood even when a fancy guitar solo steals the spotlight.

On “A Faustian Deal” the unrestrained black n’ roll whirlwind becomes quite dominant as catchiness and heaviness collide to create a dazzling blend of gloomy melodies and icy cold riffing that deliver several memorable groovy moments.

Instead “Ragnarok” prefers to focus on an old school raw black metal approach that aims for faster rhythmic sections and ravenous galloping guitar riffs while another shredding guitar solo briefly interferes with such untamed blackened fury.

Creating music since 1996 Witchery has established a solid status in the metal scene and while “I Am Legion” might not be classified as an innovative work of music it still confirms that the blackened essence of the band is intact and ready to be unleashed worldwide with a renewed energetic blast.

Butcher Babies – Lilith

Renowned for the intense live performances, Los Angeles based act Butcher Babies continues to evolve triggering mixed feeling among the hard to please metal crowd and deliberately diverging from the biased image of female fronted bands with the third full length “Lilith” which is not just meant to unleash an overdose of pure anger.

“Burn The Straw Man” certainly features some modern trendy metal elements with extremely crunchy distorted guitars and heavy bass lines readily amplified by undoubtedly vicious vocals courtesy of the explosive duo Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey who will lead you into temptation throughout the album.

The title track creates an enjoyable contrast between lascivious clean vocals and fierce screams while subtle arrangements offer atmospheric layers to support the heavier belligerent guitar riffing and the somber catchy melodic vibes.

On the hot single “Headspin” malicious melodies take the lead enhanced by passionate sensual vocals and dreamy atmospheres that reach a modern metal acme with an actually accessible and memorable chorus that temporarily puts aside the usual inflamed fury.

“The Huntsman” is a creepy fairytale featuring softer atmospheres and vocals scattered through the expected brutal instrumental sections and the resulting haunting mood is definitely more appealing than the traditional metal approach.

“Controller” revolves around a series of addictive guitar driven grooves that borrow the extreme angst of decades of metal as well as trendy moments while Heidi & Carla focus on a wicked vocal delivery and impress the listeners with savage screams.

“Look What We’ve Done” still has some straightforward heavy metal punch but Butcher Babies show a more emotive side favoring atmospheric vibes and higher melodic clarity with the right dosage of melancholy infused guitars and a mix of powerful and quite graceful vocals.

Overall, channeling a wide range of music influences Butcher Babies packs “Lilith” with an unrestrained blend of aggressive metal and catchy modern melodies but let’s not forget that the great entertaining value of this album comes from the hard work and undisputed charisma of vocalists Heidi and Carla.

Savage Messiah – Hands Of Fate

British metallers Savage Messiah return with the fourth full length “Hands Of Fate” which definitely focuses on renowned energetic dynamics of classic heavy metal ardently combined with subtle heartfelt melodies and thrash oriented heavier patterns.

The title track is an ideal opener including the major characteristics and mood of the whole album as Savage Messiah fearlessly puts together loads of guitar driven catchy grooves that bear classic metal tonalities embellished by a big memorable chorus and some wilder guitar tricks.

“Blood Red Road” keeps a similar mid paced rhythmic approach with occasional high impact thrash accents but also some pleasantly polished melodic guitars that eventually culminate in an entertaining solo rampage.

“Lay Down Your Arms” tends to slow down as guitars acquire sophisticated melodic quality and the overall mood becomes emotionally darker but there are still plenty of groovy riffs to enjoy.

“The Last Confession” doesn’t necessarily sacrifice the usual heavier riffage but definitely favors an almost dramatic melodic approach with smooth guitar leads and some mellow vocals that acquire higher energy in the memorable chorus.

Despite the scattered chunky guitar riffs “Out Of Time” becomes more atmospheric with a softer introspective mood enriched by a quieter rhythmic section, lavish guitar melodies and a melancholic yet catchy chorus.

With cohesive songwriting “Hands Of Fate” primarily revolves around the creation of widely accessible catchy grooves and borderline ‘happy’ mood that might not sound extremely unique at times nevertheless Savage Messiah will certainly gain more followers with this new album.

Grave Pleasures – Motherblood

Dwelling in a darkly romantic limbo of post-punk and goth/death rock Finnish band Grave Pleasures has crafted the new macabre dance floor music ensemble “Motherblood” in an isolated studio surrounded by the bleak British countryside.

The enjoyable album opener “Infatuation Overkill” is filled with retro goth flavors as dirty guitar riffs relentlessly build a catchy rhythm amplified by an addictive rebellious chorus.

“Doomsday Rainbows” continues to channel a groovy vintage flare and vocals stand out with a wildly entertaining post-punk delivery while guitars never fail to deliver extremely catchy melodies.

“Be My Hiroshima” easily fits in the dark romance category as it evokes an exquisite goth mood spiced up by an exciting punkish chorus and guitars skillfully deliver an irresistible series of melodic hooks.

Stuck in a groovy loop “Joy Through Death” builds a thrilling post- apocalyptic rhythm suitable for a macabre dance party and the moody guitar melodies carry fascinating dark tones in proper goth fashion.

“Atomic Christ” becomes dramatic with intense gloomy atmospheres and theatrical narratives while guitar riffs & melodies smoothly flow through a darkened mist with understated cathartic strength.

Listening to “Motherblood” you can always perceive the profound dark tonalities of misery and Grave Pleasures also demonstrates the ability to create loads of hypnotic danceable grooves.

Implore – Subjugate

Blackened death metal grinders Implore aim to impress the extreme metal scene with the brutally intense sophomore release “Subjugate”.

“Birth Of An Era” stars with a somber atmosphere that introduces a blistering concoction of furious blackened guitar riffs marching through a breathless tight rhythm while fierce growls evoke a monumental wrath.

“Paradox” showcases some technical death metal guitar work that brings diverse tonalities and breaks the aggressive somehow monotone rhythmic structure.

“Disconnected From Ourselves” continues the extreme death metal oriented patterns with guitar riffs & solo full of uncompromised rage and speed while vicious vocals engage in a social revolt through music.

“Patterns To Follow” runs on sharp vicious guitar driven rhythms but there are a subtle sense of melody and technical elements in the guitar leads that evoke a grave mood.

“Desolated Winds” bears an overdose of anger and discontent with fast grindcore infused guitar progressions while the whole instrumentation marches with fierce brutality through a blackened sonic realm.

“Gazing Beyond” closes the album with massive fury embodied by relentless enraged growls and the usual tight guitar riffing that matches the dismal apocalyptic vibes.

Focusing almost exclusively on an inexorable concoction of brutally heavy tunes and anger against the grotesque society we are forced to endure, Implore doesn’t really deliver a necessary musical variety nevertheless “Subjugate” will absolutely satisfy your thirst for ferocious moshpit inducing metal tunes.