Morbid Angel Live in Chicago

Death metal legends Morbid Angel are currently co-headlining a U.S. tour with Cannibal Corpse. Their set at the Concord in Chicago showed a wide range of heavy material; opening with three songs from their latest album, 2017’s “Kingdoms Disdained,” to older fan favorites such as “Day of Suffering” and “God of Emptiness.” Their harsh, chaotic death metal sound was a massive hit with fans.

Soen – Lotus

Swedish based progressive metal band Soen is ready to impress the audience once again with the highly anticipated release “Lotus” which certainly showcases the expected stunning musicianship but also focuses on the expression of contrasting emotions.

“Opponent” marks such a compelling beginning for this album as guitars fluently craft exceptional prog passages with the perfect dosage of technical prowess and groovy tonalities following a flawless rhythmic section which stands out for the eclectic variations and the monumental bass lines while the atmospheric breakdown enhances the song’s grand melodic gloom with dreamy textures and crystalline guitar phrases.

“Lascivious” has all the magical tonalities and technical quality to become a favorite offering smooth introspective vocals that naturally match a rather melancholic mood while guitars are ready to deliver tight prog oriented riffs as well as loads of lavish melodies during the cathartic calmer moments.

The profound  emotions and the contemplative nature of the title track are destined to spellbind the listeners with the sophisticated melodic flow and the crispy tonalities of the guitar work that definitely reaches a natural acme with the absolutely dazzling solo.

The melodic grandeur of “Penance” is made of fascinating atmospheric arrangements, passionate vocals and luminous harmonies but in the midst of such emotive ensemble guitars will concoct some sharp groovy dynamics.

With an intricate multifaceted approach “Lunacy” always maintains a balance between proggy technical rhythmic segments featuring enjoyable dense instrumental patterns and catchy melodic tapestries that can convey a brighter hopefulness while later the final part of the song fully embraces a hypnotic atmospheric ensemble embellished by understated guitar phrases and poignant vocals.

While “Lotus” certainly holds a charismatic progressive metal core Soen always aim to go beyond the standard rules of such genre in order to translate personal feelings into music and this new sonic endeavor ultimately stands out for the unique melodic alchemy.

Annihilator – For The Demented

Canadian metallers Annihilator are simply unstoppable holding a solid influential status in the metal scene since 1989 and writer/guitarist/vocalist Jeff Waters has joined forces with bassist Rich Hinks to deliver some new explosive thrash melodic anthems in the latest effort “For The Demented”.

“Twisted Lobotomy” is a quite energetic album opener that unleashes a fast borderline aggressive sonic assault with vibrant traditional thrash vibes skillfully embedded in the prominent thick guitar riffing and bass lines that relentlessly build moshpit friendly grooves rightfully followed by a majestic shredding galore.

It’s a creepy wonderland when the title track kicks in with sinister and melancholic feelings as loads of crispy melodic guitars introduce a more frenetic thrash infused rhythmic backbone yet the entertaining vocal delivery and the fierce guitar riffs hold absolutely catchy vibes.

“Pieces Of You” is almost a ballad since passionate vocals and sincere darkened melodic guitars take the center stage yet ‘this is not a love song’ even if the whole instrumentation concocts plenty of lovable harmonies and emotions.

“Phantom Asylum” acquires obscure atmospheres and aptly channels chaotic insanity through style/tempo variations shifting from proper thrash rhythmic dynamics to slower melodic moments evidently enhanced by another grandiose dosage of shredding guitars.

“Altering The Altar” features some subtle atmospheric arrangements but its rambunctious primordial core is unmistakable fueled by straightforward old school thrash groovy patterns amplified by impressive lead guitar work.

Overall, metal veterans Annihilator definitely demonstrate interesting songwriting ideas and a healthy creative force behind the conception of “For The Demented” and let’s not forget that is the 16th album in the career of such influential band.