Irist – Order Of The Mind

As the modern metal scene continues to flourish worldwide, emerging band Irist aims to impress the audience with the groovy debut full length “Order Of The Mind”. 

“Eons” begins with an overdose of belligerent rhythmic blasts full of abrasive guitar riffs and harsh growls that definitely express a profound anger yet a dramatic essence is bound to emerge with sophisticated melodic phrases. 

“Burning Sage” can sound quite hostile as the heavy approach is fueled by a precise punishing rhythmic section nevertheless the band confidently adds intriguing technical variations and calmer contemplative guitar melodies. 

“Severed” is another interesting track that revolves around diverse tonalities and styles and the guitar work seems to amplify a progressive approach in order to craft a balanced mixture of aggressive riffage and introspective melodic depth. 

“Dead Prayers” immediately unleashes brutal guitar driven grooves with hints of traditional death metal consequently the rhythmic segments sound absolutely vicious also due to the fast drums marching fiercely through the darkened atmosphere while guitars will eventually add some grim melodic accents. 

The title track has a straightforward approach that focuses on venomous hardcore elements leading to a series of particularly merciless rhythmic patterns that create a chaotic sonic realm further amplified by the enraged vocal delivery. 

With a slower enigmatic mood “Nerve” offers a poignant melodic ensemble that feels quite dominant as the elegantly sorrowful guitar phrases and the resulting gloomy emotions linger even through the heavier monumental rhythmic passages.  

Keeping a solid modern metal approach with various recognizable influences, Irist constantly showcase a refreshing enthusiasm about creating music and “Order Of The Mind” naturally becomes a quite pleasant sonic journey. 

Gotthard – #13

Swiss rockers Gotthard have been around for 28 years selling millions of records worldwide and now with the new album “#13” they proudly show an undiluted passion for rock ‘n’ roll. 

“Bad News” has an entertaining sleazy rock mood fueled by the gritty energy of the rhythmic rampage built by bold guitar riffs and obviously the wild rock spirit is perfectly embodied by the vibrant vocal delivery. 

“Every Time I Die” is another catchy track that delivers a generous dosage of fervent rhythmic progressions and the guitar riffs keep alive a classic hard rock sound with solid riffage and fancy shredding.  

“10.000 Faces”maintains a traditional rock approach full of groovy guitar riffs that naturally generate engaging rhythmic patterns emphasized by the memorable big chorus and the perfect rocker style vocals. 

“Better Than Love” has a nostalgic atmosphere so the tempo slows down a bit to match this softer emotive mood emphasized by the catchy chorus yet guitars can still concoct fiery riffs and a rather wild solo. 

“Man On A Mission” will become a favorite immediately as guitars this time focus on warm bluesy tonalities and glowing melodic passages to enrich the classic rock formula leading to a slow burning rhythm accompanied by soulful vocal harmonies. 

“No Time To Cry” begins with a heartfelt ballad style evoking a sheer melancholia that will linger through the subtle atmospheric arrangements while guitars eventually pick up speed with loads of bouncy riffs and flamboyant leads.

The final track “Rescue Me” features lovely acoustic passages that enhance a sentimental motif while the captivating vocal delivery and the dazzling lead guitar work convey a thrilling hard rock flair. 

“#13” is everything you would expect from veteran rockers Gotthard demonstrating that they have no intention to stop creating super catchy hard rock anthems and still hold an influential status within the current music scene. 

White Stones – Kuarahy

We are all familiar with the work of Martin Mendez as bassist of Opeth but now he is embarking on a different music endeavor with the new project White Stones which reveals an intriguing death metal oriented manifesto on the debut album “Kuarahy”. 

While on “Rusty Shell” the primal energy of death metal is naturally embedded in the wicked guitar riff and the cavernous vocal delivery the lead guitar work tends to stand out crafting exquisite melodies with a dazzling prog flair. 

On “Drowned In Time” the arcane atmosphere and the spacey melodic textures take you far away while later the eclectic heavier rhythmic section becomes enriched by enigmatic tonalities and sharp guitar phrases. 

“The One” features another round of prog oriented rhythmic variations and the consequent interesting instrumental patterns highlight the multifaceted tonalities of the excellent guitar work while the venomous growls constantly keep alive the death metal roots.  

“Guyra” continues to focus on the development of unique sounds within an obscure tribal atmosphere that makes you feel closer to ancestral legends and matches the mystical nature of the guitar melodies and the shapeshifting rhythmic patterns which showcase a compelling creative force. 

With a slower pace “Infected Soul” offers darkened otherworldly melodic tapestries that emphasize the dominant role of the cathartic guitar work that will also deliver sharp riffage and remarkable proggy style soloing when the rhythmic section acquires a faster ominous energy. 

The shorter final track “Jasy” definitely emphasizes the connection with Martin’s birthplace in Uruguay as the arcane vibes grow stronger due to the magical atmospheric arrangements and the glowing ethereal guitar melodies.  

Even if White Stones embodies a return to death metal for Martin the intricate soundscapes of “Kuarahy” go beyond the classic approach of this genre exploring diverse tonalities and styles that thrive within a spiritual darkened realm. 

Sylosis – Cycle Of Suffering

Back in 2016 Sylosis embarked on an indefinite hiatus so the brand new full length “Cycle Of Suffering” feels particularly important for the band as it celebrates a triumphant comeback and marks the beginning of an exciting chapter. 

Undoubtedly “Empty Prophets” is a spiteful album opener that deliberately channels a primal anger through abrasive guitar riffs and precise drumming yet there’s always an evident introspective depth fully expressed by the understated atmospheric arrangements and the darkened guitar melodies. 

In the beginning the pale atmosphere of “I Sever” evokes a sheer melancholia that will ultimately take the spotlight during the final part with passionate guitar melodies while the belligerent approach of the main rhythmic core focuses on frenetic guitar progressions. 

The title track offers a cohesive series of infectious thrash grooves full of sharp guitar riffs & leads and the rage is still palpable within the fierce rhythmic patterns and the hostile screams while the melodic guitars deliver some compelling smooth phrases. 

Even if “Invidia” has a quite somber mood recurring through the subtle atmospheric layers and the glowing guitar leads the rhythmic segments can sound fast and vicious keeping an explosive thrash momentum.  

“Idle Hands” offers grandiose grim melodies fueled by the extremely melancholic guitar tonalities and the excellent musicianship while the intense rhythmic blasts can naturally lead to terrific grooves without the need for breakneck speed. 

“Apex Of Disdain” once again is ready to hit you in the face with a skillful heavy rhythmic section and the consequent fury is evidently matched by the fiery screams while lead guitars add memorable opulent melodies with an impressive technical prog approach. 

“Abandon” embodies a dramatic grand finale as the whole instrumentation focuses on slower contemplative moments enhanced by a bittersweet clean vocal delivery and graceful atmospheric arrangements while the guitar work acquires luminous nuances crafting impeccable melodies.

You will find plenty of majestic & ferocious guitar driven grooves throughout “Cycle Of Suffering” but Sylosis also manage to balance such chaotic sonic realm with a fair dosage of detailed refined melodic tapestries.  

My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion

The long awaited return of legendary doom titans My Dying Bride is embodied by the soulful gloomy realm of the fourteenth album “The Ghost Of Orion” which proves that despite the many challenges the band’s unstoppable creative force is destined to prevail. 

“Your Broken Shore” immediately channels the immense misery that only My Dying Bride can truly express. The doom laden guitar riffs hold a unique raw energy perfectly matched by the vicious growls while an overwhelming melancholia emerges through the refined melodic phrases accompanied by the somber clean delivery. 

“To Outlive The Gods” maintains a heavy doom rhythm but definitely focuses more on enchanting and even quite accessible melodic textures emphasized by the graceful beauty of violins and the sorrowful guitar tonalities. 

“The Solace” has a minimalist structure stripped of the expected heavy rhythmic section in order to focus exclusively on the poignant guitar work and to enhance the captivating nature of the eloquent vocals performed by Lindy-Fay Hella of Wardruna.  

On “The Long Black Land” the classic dreadful doom nuances are prominent within the heavier venomous rhythmic patterns characterized by grave tonalities and mighty guitar riffs while the ethereal violin melodies add bittersweet romantic vibes and the painfully slower contemplative momentum is pure heart wrenching poetry. 

In the beginning “The Old Earth” conveys a peaceful nostalgia through the desolate guitar melodies and the dramatic depth of the clean vocals. Later the whole instrumentation will shift the focus to visceral doom laden dynamics and guitars will acquire major obscure tonalities shaping a lugubrious & hopeless sonic realm further amplified by the wretched growls. 

Listening to “The Ghost Of Orion” feels like a cathartic experience as you can perceive the harrowing emotional turmoil behind each song and My Dying Bride once again rightfully deserve to sit on the doom/death metal throne to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their magnificent career. 


Soulfly Live in Joliet

Soulfly is once again making their way through North America to bring hits from their latest album, “Ritual,” to fans. The Summoning tour kicked off on February 1st, and Soulfly played a packed show at The Forge in Joliet not long after. According to frontman Max Cavalera, “The Ritual continues! We are summoning our tribe to rage across North America!!” Their performance at The Forge was full of rage and a powerful sound that reminded fans why Soulfly is a force to be reckoned with.

Sepultura – Quadra

Since their inception Brazilian legends Sepultura have successfully developed a groundbreaking irresistible sonic identity that for thirty five years has been gradually evolving into a complex creative force that today generates the majestic new album “Quadra”. 

The darkened essence of “Isolation” is dramatically enhanced by epic symphonic elements that will soon give way to a groovy series of massive thrash rhythmic blasts featuring abrasive guitar riffs, pummeling drums and towering growls. 

“Means To An End” immediately focuses on an unrestrained rhythmic rampage so the band’s signature thrash dynamics sound quite dominant leading to moshpit inducing grooves enriched by refined yet absolutely ravenous lead guitar work and a cathartic tribal momentum. 

“Last Time” stands out for the charismatic guitar work that since the very beginning showcases a modern progressive flair yet the rhythmic section definitely channels the undiluted rage of thrash metal with relentless guitar riffs accompanied by the perfect dosage of hostile growls. 

The mood changes on “Guardians Of Earth” beginning with soulful acoustic guitar harmonies followed by majestic operatic choirs that introduce a faster rhythm meticulously built by precise drumming and eclectic guitar phrases that will reach the acme with an inspiring solo so the thrash elements are still present but naturally embrace the evocative progressive composition. 

“The Pentagram” is an intense instrumental track that allows you to truly appreciate the stellar musicianship and also highlights a compelling sonic diversity as guitars shift from vitriolic riffage to complex prog oriented soloing constantly supported by a powerful impeccable rhythmic backbone. 

“Agony Of Defeat” is definitely a sophisticated track that evokes a profound melancholia with the somber elegance of the memorable intricate guitar melodies and the passionate clean vocal delivery and such fervent feelings are also expressed by the eloquent symphonic arrangements. 

Featuring guest vocalist Emily Barreto “Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering” carefully blends haunting melodic guitar progressions and fierce rhythmic segments generating a majestic groovy momentum in the midst of a profoundly darkened atmosphere. 

“Quadra” often manages to maintain an aggressive thrash metal momentum reminiscent of the early breakthrough discography but Sepultura are not really trying to rely exclusively on the same winning formula as they prove to be eager to move forward therefore you can expect some cool experimental ideas throughout the album.


Wednesday 13 Live in Chicago

Following the successful release of “Necrophaze” last year via Nuclear Blast Records, the Duke of Spook Wednesday 13 is currently touring in the US as main support of labelmates The 69 Eyes. Wednesday 13 is taking the horror show to the next level as we witnessed during the packed show at Reggies in Chicago. With theatrical flair and nightmarish vibes Wednesday 13 entertained the audience changing several costumes and masks and the resulting visuals certainly matched the mood of the new tracks “Necrophaze”, “Zodiac” and “Decompose” which sound like the perfect soundtrack for a 80’s horror movie. 

The 69 Eyes Live in Chicago

This time we didn’t have to wait a decade to see the legendary Helsinki Vampires The 69 Eyes live on stage as they are currently on the ‘Hell Has No Mercy’ tour across the US. Last year The 69 Eyes released the critically acclaimed 12th album “West End”, available via Nuclear Blast Records, so at the packed show at Reggies in Chicago we had the pleasure to finally hear the new addictive tracks “Two Horns Up”, “Black Orchid”, “Hell Has No Mercy”, “27 & Done” and “Cheyenna” but the setlist of course included many unforgettable classics such as “Framed In Blood”, “Brandon Lee” and “The Chair”. From beginning to end Jyrki 69 delivered an amazing true rocker performance with unrivaled passion and the crowd’s enthusiasm proved that The 69 Eyes were deeply missed in Chicago. After experiencing the ultimate Goth’n’Roll live concert we simply cannot wait to see The 69 Eyes back in the US as soon as possible!