Arsis Live in Joliet

Following the acclaimed release of the new full length “Visitant”, available via Nuclear Blast, technical melodic death metal veterans Arsis are currently touring across North America! Check out the live action from their intense show at The Forge in Joliet!

Nailed To Obscurity – Black Frost

Hailing from Northern Germany, melodic death/doom metallers Nailed To Obscurity proudly unleash the new full length “Black Frost” which symbolizes an emotional journey that explores the burdens on our souls and minds through an enthralling blend of harsh tonalities and gorgeous melodies.

The title track marks a majestic beginning feeling like a gelid melancholic wonderland as guitars craft various elaborate passionate melodies, elegantly soothing soloing and even more energetic extreme metal oriented moments within a wistful atmospheric realm constantly fueled by an omnipresent darkness.

On “Tears Of The Eyeless” the obscure death metal roots emerge from a hopeless abyss through fierce rhythmic blasts and massive wicked growls but the band always returns to embrace a graceful melancholy infused mood with poignant melodic guitar progressions and heartfelt clean vocal delivery.  

With an overdose of haunting vibes “Feardom” continues to evoke all kinds of darkened emotions and while the aggressive rhythmic momentum is still essential within the song’s structure the sorrowful guitar melodies accompanied by dreamy clean vocals often steal the spotlight.

The intensely darkened aura of “Road To Perdition” influences inevitably the whole instrumental ensemble that effortlessly shifts from primordial energetic dynamics to the sheer melodic splendor of intricate guitar melodies and inspiring solo which are always ready to channel profoundly contemplative vibes.

Nailed To Obscurity are confidently following a captivating darkened music formula that allows the introspective soul of “Black Frost” to stand out through the intricate melodic waves and the overall wintry mood that certainly matches the album’s title.

Chrome Division – One Last Ride

When a new record is released there is a lot excitement but in the case of Norwegian Doomsday Raiders Chrome Division fans will feel rather sad because the band has decided that the fifth full length “One Last Ride” will be the final studio album.

Filled with gritty guitar riffs following a classic rock mood “So Fragile” gets the party started as the sing along chorus, the raspy rocker style vocals of original singer Eddie Guz and the flamboyant guitar solo spontaneously channel all kinds of positive vibes.  

“Walk Away In Shame” feels even more accessible probably because of the unexpected explosive vocal duet with pop singer Miss Selia yet besides the powerful soaring guitar driven grooves this song features a lovely somber melodic breakdown where guitars temporarily leave behind the drunken party mood to favor colder tonalities.

On “You Are Dead To Me” massive dirty guitar riffs successfully create engaging rhythmic blasts yet there is a significantly darker mood here that spices up the classic rock formula and influences the melodic tonalities of the guitar soloing.

“Staying Until The End” features an impactful charismatic guitar work that besides the traditional heavy rock riffage adds wah-wah effects leading to plenty of explosive grooves amplified by the dazzling guitar soloing.

As soon as “This One Is Wild” starts you know the title absolutely fits the mood because it’s biker style party time again as the steady hooks and riffs build a loud rhythmic galore while the unrestrained guitar solo offers another generous round of killer licks.

The title track aims to channel all the glory of heavy rock and officially salutes the faithful fans for the last time therefore you can expect an anthemic rock structure and good times as guitars gallop wildly generating another round of solid grooves.

“We Drink” still keeps the party going and again it’s time to drink all night forgetting problems etcetera, so obviously the rock spirit is very much alive in the thrilling rhythmic patterns and the enjoyable lead guitar dynamics.

It’s “One Last Ride” and definitely a wild one as Chrome Division raise the whiskey glasses and keep the engines roaring throughout the whole album to deliver a collection of entertaining heavy rock songs that the fans will not forget.

Arsis – Visitant

Finally returning to the metal scene, technical melodic death metal veterans Arsis aim to conquer more acolytes worldwide with the savage effort “Visitant” which being the first new album in five years will certainly generate interest and high expectations.

There is an overwhelming atmospheric obscurity on “Tricking The Gods” which can sound extremely vicious with the relentless meticulous guitar work meant to build heavy technical grooves enhanced by thunderous drumming and ravenous vocals yet the guitar leads are ready to craft compelling melodic phrases.

“Hell Sworn” doesn’t waste any time and immediately delivers ferocious guitar riffs, monstrous bass lines and massive drum blasts maintaining a palpable instrumental ferocity until utterly somber guitar leads emerge with melodic grandeur.

“As Deep As Your Flesh” features another infectious sonic assault courtesy of a steady fierce rhythmic section full of roaring guitar riffs while the leads generate an enjoyable technical melodic momentum.

“A Pulse Keeping Time With The Dark” tends to focus on a darkened melodic approach following dramatic tonalities naturally expressed by loads of variegated stylish lead guitars but such slower moody ensemble doesn’t sacrifice the song’s inner menacing technical death metal nature.

“Dead Is Better” goes back to a full blown death metal anthemic formula with the evident sonic aggression that spontaneously leads to a truly nightmarish soundscape due to the extreme speed and the frenetic guitar driven grooves.

Since the beginning “His Eyes” puts darkly melodic guitars and haunting soloing in the spotlight creating less intimidating instrumental passages yet there are still moments of sheer brutality in the recurrent bold rhythmic patterns.

While on “Visitant” Arsis showcase a personal ‘techy’ identity which is definitely inspired by all shades of the death metal subgenres they never refrain from blending diverse tonalities and still remain committed to their wicked signature style.

Metal Allegiance – Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty

Featuring metal icons Alex Skolnick, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi, David Ellefson and many remarkable guest vocalists, Metal Allegiance is different from other supergroups as in this case the raison d’être is a passionate celebration of heavy metal and comradery in the scene, consequently the second full length “Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty” is the product of real writing/jamming sessions among friends.

Instant headbanging is mandatory with “The Accuser” featuring vocalist Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder as the main aggressively fast rhythmic core is full of ravenous old school guitar riffs, a sincere homage to primal heavy metal, and obviously you can expect a fair dosage of killer intricate solos.

Featuring Bobby Blitz of legendary Overkill with his signature monstrous vocal delivery “Mother Of Sin” has that traditional thrash metal mood that we always need in our lives skillfully built by the intense rhythmic patterns and spiced up by the memorable intriguing guitar solos.

On “King With A Paper Crown” Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth delivers his renowned viking growls and it’s interesting to hear him sing in such a different sonic context but the song really works and actually stands out in the album due to the somber mood and tasteful melodic lead guitar dynamics flowing through the harsh classic heavy metal grooves.

Max Cavalera channels his tribal legacy on “Voodoo Of The Godsend” which has a fiery death metal tinged core but also extremely darkened tonalities and crispy melodic shredding guitar solos leading to an exciting sonic blend that fortunately includes major arcane tribal percussions.

We heard the unmistakable screams by Mark Osegueda on the first Metal Allegiance album and it’s nice to see him back on “Impulse Control” which shines for the glorious guitar work with loads of perfectly executed classic riffage and majestic soloing and the sensational catchy chorus.

“Power Drunk Majesty (Part II)” is a remarkable surprise featuring Floor Jansen of Nightwish as lead vocalist and she renders everything absolutely epic naturally enhancing the song’s melodic aspects with her soulful delivery and dazzling operatic skills plus the guitar solos here are nothing short of magnificent.

We can all agree that Metal Allegiance is an entertaining successful music endeavor in all-star party fashion so it totally makes sense to continue such unique metal experience and “Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty” will definitely please and unite all faithful metalheads around the world.

Mantar – The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze

The duo behind Mantar, guitarist/vocalist Hanno Klaenhardt and drummer Erinc Sakarya, worked hard to leave an indelible mark in the modern metal scene and the latest release “The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze” aims to spread further the band’s heavy signature style.

The guitar progressions on “Age Of The Absurd” are evidently inspired by multiple metal subgenres combining super harsh riffage and easier entertaining melodies while vocals sound like ravenous screams constantly channeling raw fury.

While “Seek + Forget” keeps a strong distorted angered mood with blackened hints the rhythm sections slow down a bit to enhance a dramatic melodic depth leading to mellow guitars within a grim pensive breakdown.

On “Taurus” a solid combo of venomous growls and infectious guitar riffs build extra darkened textures as the band aims to deliver a vicious rhythmic assault but also experiments with atmospheric arrangements.

“Obey The Obscene” stands out for the atmospheric impending doom that lingers through the frenetic maze of blackened grooves where guitars skillfully combine gritty riffage and grave melodies.

The sludge doom metal force behind “The Formation Of Night” leads to powerful harsh guitar driven grooves always enhanced by a spiteful vocal delivery and a massive rhythmic backbone that will eventually give way to sorrowful melodies and atmospheric despair.

“The Funeral” aptly takes on an atmospheric mournful approach that will influence the overall mood with scattered slower darkened moments and gloomy synths yet there are still loads of abrasive guitar riffs that generate explosive rhythmic sections.

Just like the title implies “The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze” is an incendiary effort that at the same time maintains a rebellious rock spirit and a brutal sonic approach, a successful pathway that Mantar passionately continues to follow inspired by the cleansing power of fire.


Burning Witches – Hexenhammer

While Swiss all female metallers Burning Witches are still considered newcomers in the metal scene their music style is profoundly influenced by old school heavy metal as you can easily tell listening to the brand new album “Hexenhammer”.

On “Executed” the frenetic bombastic rhythm is clearly inspired by decades of classic heavy metal with dominant lead guitars delivering the perfect dosage of shredding to spice up the steady crushing grooves as well as melancholic melodic phrases.

“Lords Of War” tends to slow down a bit in order to sound more catchy and slightly ‘happier’,especially during the triumphant chorus, but this doesn’t sacrifice the powerful sonic formula further enhanced by high pitch vocals and flamboyant guitar work.

The mood gets darker on “Dead Ender” as somber tones characterize the steady riffage and consequent mid paced grooves while guitar leads once again stand out with enjoyable melodic accents.

The title track continues to channel classic ‘80s heavy metal and in fact revolves around the catchy & rough guitar driven grooves adorned by intense vocals, solemn warrior style backing vocals and smooth melodic guitars.

“Maneater” has a proper witchy mood fueled by wicked vocals with devilish high pitch while guitars are busy maintaining classic heavy grooves that reach the expected acme with wilder soloing.

It takes courage to cover an unforgettable metal anthem like “Holy Diver” but here Burning Witches deliver a solid version with genuine passion and a flattering cool vocal performance.

It’s nice to see more women in the modern metal scene and on the energetic release “Hexenhammer” Burning Witches proudly represent a timeless genre that will always gather acolytes worldwide.

Korpiklaani – Kulkija

Thinking about folk metal we can all agree that Finnish superstars Korpiklaani have mastered this art since 2003 therefore the newest release “Kulkija” is bound to generate great interest among the faithful fans.

The initial atmospheric somber tones of “Neito” will soon evolve into a straightforward stomping folk metal rampage built by the soaring rhythmic section and adorned by charismatic violin melodies.

The mood becomes quite gloomy on “Aallon Alla” with a softer melodic ensemble, featuring lovely accordion phrases, that will ultimately acquire entertaining dynamics through a series of energetic rhythmic variations.

“Harmaja” is not necessarily a ballad but definitely has a more sorrowful approach as the magical folk textures naturally express a profound melancholia that constantly influences the heartfelt vocals and the spellbinding combo of dreamy violin melodies and subtle acoustic guitars.

“Kallon Malja” begins with captivating melancholic violin melodies but soon picks up speed as guitars gain a fiery sound following an upbeat rhythm yet additional intricate sorrowful harmonies, emotive vocals and slower darkened moments will continue to convey gloomy feelings.

“Sillanrakentaja” is significantly heavier and darker as powerful guitars follow moody drum blasts leading to exceptionally somber vibes but the inner folk soul will emerge with renewed intensity in the the catchy chorus.

Another round of passionate violin melodies lead the way on “Riemu” which offers a well balanced mix of cheerful folk hooks (stomping and dancing will be required) and softer emotive moments.

“Tuttu on tie” fully embraces a highly melancholic mood as weeping violin melodies become the main focus evoking all kinds of sad and dramatic feelings that inevitably influence the solemn vocals and mellow instrumental passages.

On the 10th studio album “Kulkija” Korpiklaani stay true to their sonic manifesto maintaining a profound devotion for traditional folk music and take the listeners on a magic journey wandering through enchanted forests and dreamy folkloric tales.

Suffocation Live in Joliet

Suffocation made their way to Joliet on their Death Chopping North America tour. This tour marks vocalist Frank Mullen’s last tour with the band, and fans piled into The Forge to see him perform with Suffocation one last time. The crowd filled the venue from wall to wall as the band played classics such as “Pierced from Within,” “Liege of Inveracity,” and “Catatonia.” Brutal riffs combined with technicality and deep, guttural vocals reminded fans why Suffocation is widely considered one of the most influential and innovative death metal bands. Frank gave a truly memorable performance on his last tour, leaving fans with a show that they will remember for years to come.