Author Archive

REVIEW: Trocaria – The Dark Nears

Band: Trocaria
Album: The Dark Nears
Release: 2012
Label: Humid Records
Genre: Symphonic dark metal

‘Dark metal’, while being more an umbrella term than a genre itself, gives a strong indication of the gloomier side that metal has to offer, and Trocaria offers this on their début album The Dark Nears. Blending elements of symphonic, gothic and doom-death metal, the duo of Joan Palmer on instrumentation and Jon Slough on harsh vocals aim for a minimalist approach, dominated by orchestration and dialed-back guitars, with the vocals and piano often left to carry the album.


REVIEW: Svartalvheim – Cosmic Sorrows

Band: Svartalvheim
Album: Cosmic Sorrows
Release: 2012
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Symphonic extreme metal

Do you remember those chance encounters that turn into full-blown love affairs at first listen? The bands who tell you, from the first moment, that you are going to highly enjoy whichever brand of music they have to offer? This affair happened with me, the band in question being Svartalvheim, a New Zealand band I discovered while researching for the There’s Metal Here series (post here). Their music is symphonic extreme metal, evoking influences from both Greek and Italian quarters, but their style is unique enough to avoid cries of plagiarism. Cosmic Sorrows is the début album, after an untitled EP in 2009, and it’s a rip-roaring ride from full-on blasts to flowing cinematic orchestration, and a frequent melding of the two.


REVIEW: Amadeus Awad – Time Of The Equinox

Band: Amadeus Awad
Album: Time Of The Equinox
Release: 2011
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Progressive rock/neoclassical shred

It has been often been said that music is a universal language, and the original country of any band or project should be no boundary to the experience of a finished product. However, I cannot avoid raising an eyebrow to the diversity of countries that engage in one or more of the many subgenres of rock. As a case in point, I present a prog-rock/shred influenced guitarist hailing from the Lebanon, by name of Amadeus Awad. Last year, he released his début solo album Time Of The Equinox, combining a myriad of influences and styles and resulting in an album that encapsulates his beliefs about harmony and balance in the universe.


REVIEW: Leviathan – Beyond The Gates Of Imagination Pt. 1

Band: Leviathan (DE)
Album: Beyond The Gates Of Imagination Pt. 1
Release: 2011
Label: Twilight Vertrieb
Genre: Progressive melodic death metal

Leviathan is such a common band name that you might not be expecting much originality from this up-and-coming band, but you’d only be half-right. While they’re not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, Beyond The Gates Of Imagination Pt. 1 is not an album to be dismissed based on unoriginality. Its execution borders on perfect, serving the listener a balanced dish of progressive folk-laden melodic death metal, taken from mostly Finnish cuisine despite the band’s German origins, and drawing from Kalmah, Wintersun, Bodom with a smidgeon of Disillusion, although those aren’t the only flavors included.


REVIEW: Quicksand SwimClub – What We Go Through EP

Band: Quicksand SwimClub
Album: What We Go Through EP
Release: 2012
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Pop-punk/post-hardcore

Caught in between the catchy melody of summer-time pop-punk and the heavier tinge of post-hardcore, Quicksand SwimClub, a relatively new band coming out of the Midwest US, are soon to release their sophomore What We Go Through EP. Evoking some nostalgia for childhood in both the music and lyrics, the 17 minutes provided are a snippet of the band’s accessible style. Each of the four tracks stands alone and yet flow together with few bumps, showcasing the various influences that pop up along the way.


All Change, Please.

As the more observant of you may have noticed, this site has not been updated in a fairly long time. For that I apologize; I have a long line of bands piled up to tell you guys about, and I will get to them soon. The reasons things have slowed down here are manifold. Over the past few weeks, I have:

    1. Moved back from Russia to England near the end of last month.
    2. Re-organized my room and possessions as my parents moved house while I was in Russia.
    3. Traveled to Metalfest Austria to do some gig reporting and band interviewing, the results of which will be emerging on Metal Recusants very soon.
    4. Most recently, I’ve been struck down with a mixture of a cold and hayfever, which feels like my head is being churned through the same torture device that the people who created hangovers use.

For these reasons, and others that I will mention soon, I have decided to change the way I operate, and that directly affects this site of mine. Given my current workload at the moment (collaborations with the aforementioned Metal Recusants, Death Metal Baboon, A Metal State Of Mind and a forthcoming not-to-be-named-yet-project), I am going to change this site into primarily a portfolio project, advertising my work to those who may be interested. I will still be writing here, but on a much less frequent basis.

What does this mean?
The layout is going to change! The new site should be fairly similar and simple, but as a general idea, I’m going to have three separate pages for reviews & articles elsewhere, list of reviews here, and the blog itself.
For the readers: When you first come here, you will see a welcome screen which will direct you to whichever part of the site holds your interest. The blog section will be updated weekly with the new articles going up on the various other sites mentioned (and maybe guestposts on others, who knows?), and sometimes a post that I feel wouldn’t fit in my other collaborations.
For the bands: As mentioned, I do have a stack of promos to get through, and those will be seen to in good time. The ones I have received until this date will be dealt with on this site unless the band messages me. To any bands who contact me after this date, we will arrange something via e-mail (check the contact form at the top), but it’s most likely that the final review will end up on a collaboration site and not here.
For the promotional agencies: If you have a problem with me taking promos to review for other sites, then please send me a message using the contact form at the top.

In The Spotlight: Trevor Strnad

The post got messed up, so reposting it now. Sorry about that.

Name: Trevor Strnad
Age: 30
Location: USA
Associated acts: The Black Dahlia Murder

Trevor Strnad is an extreme metal vocalist of Detroit origin, although his name is of Polish descent. Mostly known for his work in The Black Dahlia Murder, Trevor has a reputation for being an extreme metal and horror movie addict with a great if wicked sense of humor. When not delivering his trademark maniacal howls and guttural grunts, he’s been known to play Dungeons And Dragons, or partaking in certain homegrown hallucinogenic drugs. His writing can also be found in his ‘Deadspeak’ column for Gun Shy Assassin.