Allegaeon – Apoptosis

Despite several line up changes Allegaeon showcase a renewed intense creative force that generates the compelling nuances and crushing dynamics of the latest full length “Apoptosis”.

“Parthenogenesis” is more than just an instrumental album intro as it marks a fierce beginning that proves the band’s stellar musicianship ensuring a variegated sonic realm where technical guitar progressions create massive grooves and calmer acoustic moments evoke somber feelings.

On “Interphase // Meiosis” the whole instrumentation certainly emphasizes a profound darkness through the faster rhythmic segments, the belligerent guitar driven grooves and the hellish growls embellished by an irresistible shredding galore and loads of tasteful technical elements.

“Extremophiles (B)” can sound absolutely merciless as technical guitars and monumental bass lines confidently build vicious grooves channeling the band’s death metal roots with the clever addition of inventive prog style accents and brief melancholic phrases.

On “Tsunami and Submergence” the enchanting atmospheric arrangements, the classical inspired arpeggios and the heartfelt clean vocals intensify a melodic grandeur that will seamlessly embrace another round of stunning technical guitar leads and aggressive rhythmic patterns.

“Stellar Tidal Disruption” tends to put the spotlight on the technicality of the vibrant guitar progressions that constantly enrich the super fast thunderous rhythmic sections and render the whole song slightly more accessible especially with the luminous melodic textures of the guitar solos.

The title track symbolizes an ambitious grand finale as spellbinding melodic guitars and immersive atmospheres have the power to captivate the listeners while the winning combo of majestic technical guitar leads and punishing rhythmic blasts keep alive the extreme metal elements recurring throughout the whole album.

Listening attentively to “Apoptosis” you can perceive that Allegaeon focus on a stylish and eclectic songwriting approach that leads to impressively diverse soundscapes blending fascinating melodic sections and moments of sheer brutality.

Týr – Hel

Representing Scandinavian metal since over two decades Týr return with the anticipated eighth full length “Hel” which naturally stays true to the band’s progressive folk metal style and delivers loads of compelling detailed melodic tapestries.

“Gates Of Hel” immediately evokes the massive epic vibes that will recur throughout the entire album starting with graceful polished guitar melodies that introduce entertaining power metal tinged heavy grooves while the irresistible Nordic melancholia will always influence the passionate vocal delivery and the intricate guitar soloing.

“All Heroes Fall” continues to embody the album’s epic grandeur with fierce rhythmic segments and solemn vocals while the melodic aspects revolve around profoundly somber feelings and tasteful guitar progressions featuring truly impressive solos.

“Ragnars Kvæõi” is a traditional Faroese ballad yet the rhythm doesn’t slow down drastically  but certainly the ancient folk spirit is essential deeply influencing the dramatic vocal delivery and the melodious beauty of the guitar leads generating another immensely epic momentum.

Without necessarily sounding like a standard metal ballad “Sunset Shore” has all the elements to become a favorite offering a catchy chorus, plenty of softer melancholia infused guitar melodies and crispy tonalities emphasized by the memorable fancy soloing.

“Empire Of The North” features many heavier groovy moments diligently built by the harsh tones of the guitar riffs and the belligerent drumming yet there are some majestic melodic guitar passages that evoke a major sense of nostalgia with luminous nuances.

On “Songs Of War” the compelling lead guitar work is bound to stand out since the very beginning with technical musicianship and complex progressions while the rest of the song provides a fair dosage of heavy & groovy riffage supported by a bold yet not necessarily super fast rhythmic ensemble.

“Álvur Kongur” is another traditional Faroese ballad that elegantly pays homage to the band’s homeland emphasizing the strong folk roots and Nordic aesthetics through a sophisticated composition that favors dreamy atmospheric textures and extensive fascinating guitar melodies.

Ancient myths and traditions of the Faroe Islands always feel prominent throughout “Hel” as Týr aim to create a triumphant series of epic soundscapes confidently combining utterly heavy instrumental passages and refined harmonies.

Cannibal Corpse Live in Chicago

Renowned death metal band Cannibal Corpse tore through Chicago alongside Morbid Angel during their recent U.S. tour. Easily one of the strongest and most consistent acts over the last 30 years, Cannibal Corpse unleashed a relentless set with several fan favorites highlighting many of their best songs from different points in their career, and ending with none other than the brutal “Hammer Smashed Face”.

 

Ensiferum Live in Joliet

Finnish folk-inspired melodic death metal warriors Ensiferum finally return to North America on the Path To Glory Tour. During the energetic show at The Forge Ensiferum performed “For Those About To Fight for Metal”, “Way Of The Warrior” and the title track from the latest album “Two Paths”, available via Metal Blade Records.

 

Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name

This might be the strongest effort from this band. You can hear how much their composition has matured. This album is packed with dynamics and versatility, which gives it replay value. It’s definitely one of those albums that you can keep coming back to. I consider this to be a modern progressive death metal masterpiece, for that very reason.

“The Silent Life” opens with a nice chunky verse that leads into some cool “techy” riffing. There’s a lot of atmosphere in the background adding a nice ambient effect to the riffs. They even venture into some Pink Floyd territory in the bridge. I love the guitar solo on this track. Excellent phrasing.

“A Home” really pushes the point that this band is expanding their sound towards a more progressive direction, as opposed to letting themselves get trapped into the whole “tech death” label. This far in, you can already hear their growth. The vocals fit very well into the overall mix. There’s a nice clean interlude with some nice clean vocals that adds a nice new dynamic.

“Old Nothing” starts out as a heavy hitter. This one slaps you right in the face. The verse is quite badass to put it lightly. Riff after riff. It’s a little more reminiscent of their previous album.

“Subtle Change (Including The Forest Of Transition And Dissatisfaction Dance)” really showcases all kinds of dynamics. Clean vocals everywhere. Some more traditional prog elements floating around in this song. This track takes you on a journey, no question. It has excellent use of note choices and chords. I really love how much they utilize the Sax on this album. They enter into, dare I say, Dream Theater territory, as far as that traditional prog metal sound goes. They do it very tastefully I might add. This is one of the highlights for me personally. And the ending of the song… Well, just listen.

“Hollow” kind of brings things back a bit. This track has a bit more of a grounded feel. Super solid, and packed with punchy riffs. The solo is another great one. It’s really melodic, but flashy enough to get the point across.

“Death Is Real” has a pretty cool sounding intro that leads into a crushing riff. The chorus is so mean and powerful. It’s actually one of my favorite moments. It just has a nice erie feel. The interlude is pretty cool and creates a cool groove with interesting atmosphere. You get a second interlude later that’s equally as atmospheric, but more melodic.

Give this album a spin. I won’t give away the rest.

Where Owls Know My Name