Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Free Music: Neurotech - Infra Versus Ultra

Hey do you guys like free stuff? The industrial metal one man project Neurotech just released their newest album, Infra Versus Ultra. It's available on the band's bandcamp for free/name your price! This is one of the most atmospheric albums I've heard in a while. It's a beautiful combination of symphonic keyboards, electronic sounds, robotic vocals and metal guitars and drums. Honestly, just check it out.
A little about the band; Neurotech is the project of Wulf, a very talented musician from Slovenia. He makes music that he enjoys and then releases it all for free/name your price on his bandcamp. This is a guy who's making music because he loves it and you can tell. Everything is surprisingly layered and fine-tuned. The music itself mixes together the genres of metal, electronic and even classical to create something quite different from the vast majority of stuff out there. It's good stuff, what more can I say?

You can find Infra Versus Ultra right here: https://neurotech.bandcamp.com/album/infra-versus-ultra

-Zombie Viking

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bloodshot Dawn - Demons Early Impressions

So Kickstarter backers got download links for Bloodshot Dawn's new album Demons yesterday. That's right, a full five days before the official album release I get the entire thing in digital form. There was no warning and I wasn't expecting anything until 2-3 weeks after the release date since it has to ship to me from England. More bands should do this!

Anyway, I've gotten a chance to listen to the album in its entirety about three times now so I thought I'd give some thoughts. It's awesome! The album starts off with Smoke and Mirrors, the first single released, and never slows down. Every single song has the same amount of speed and energy. Every single song is awesome.

To be honest, I was a tiny bit worried after I made my pledge. I went back and listened to the band's debut album and realized there were a couple songs on it that I forgot I didn't like (Dedication to a Dead Cause and Forlorn World). I'm happy to say that my fears were ill-placed. This album is definitely a step up from their first. It's a bit shorter at just 8 songs but this serves to make it more focused. Almost every song has its own thing going for it. There's plenty of face-melting solos including a couple bass solos, the vocals from every member are great, the drumming (welcoming new member Janne Jaloma of Deals Death fame) is fantastic and there's quite a few creative patterns and fills and there are absolutely no songs that I don't like! There's some songs that I like less than others, but trying to pick a favourite proved difficult. I just kept changing my choice to whatever song I was listening to at the time.

The only gripe I have about Demons is the guest musicians. I'm not quite sure how to feel about having 4/5 guests in the same part of the same song, but then I start listening to The Image Faded and I stop thinking about it. Those solos!

For those of you who didn't contribute to the Kickstarter, the album drops on October 26th. I definitely recommend you check it out. This will be an album of the year contender for sure for people who like to make that sort of stuff.

-Zombie Viking

Monday, October 20, 2014

MotS Mondays: Crimson Shadows

Being Canadian myself, it feels good to write about a Canadian band. Not only that, but they're from Toronto, the same city as me! I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to North American metal as a whole. There's just too much thrash and death (don't even get me started on the core movement). Every so often I come across a band that I enjoy, but very few actually blow me away. Starkill and Crimson Shadows are the only two North American bands in recent memory that not only play awesome European-inspired metal but have also gotten major record deals and worldwide recognition.

When Crimson Shadows was first introduced to me by a friend, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that their style can best be described as a blend of my two favourite genres: melodeath and power metal. They've got the fast melodeath guitars with awesome power solos. They've got a super powerful vocalist as well as clean choruses from the lead guitarist. They've got the double kick-heavy drums with the occasional blast beat. And they've got the cheesy but still epic lyrics that you rarely ever find outside of the most powerest of power metal. They call themselves Epic Canadian Metal. The only thing Crimson Shadows is missing in my opinion is some keyboards to make the sound even more epic. If used sparingly like Deals Death or even Starkill, it would add a lot to their sound.

Actually that brings me to my main complaint (err, let's call it a potential point of improvement) about Crimson Shadows. There isn't too much variety in their songs. Looking at Kings Among Men specifically, the only real difference between the songs is their length and if you've learned the words to the chorus yet. Wouldn't it be awesome if there were female vocals added to the chorus of Maidens Call or if the 'kingly' voice in Dawn of Vengeance was used throughout the song to give messages to the captured soldiers? In any case, this is still a young band with only two albums (only one of them being an 'official' record label album) so they have plenty of time to grow. They've done a good job of establishing their sound but this is a band that needs to evolve over time.

An area that doesn't need too much improvement though is their live shows. I was lucky enough to see Crimson Shadows live a couple months after I had first heard of them when they appeared as the local support for an Alestorm show. The epic sound translates really well to a live setting and I can tell the band made a few new fans in the audience. I made sure to help Kickstart (or rather, Indiegogo...go) their recent European tour with Alestorm. These guys make great metal and the only thing they need right now is as some more attention. The band hasn't quite gotten to the point where it's overly profitable yet, hence the need for an Indiegogo campaign. I want to see a band from my city get popular enough that they'll still be making music 20 years from now. Especially one that I've been listening to since their very first album.

If you like songs about epic battles or drinking, be sure to check out Crimson Shadows. There's quite a few young bands that have taken off in recent years and these guys are right up there with the rest of them. They've already got two albums, a record deal with Napalm Records and a European tour under their belts. We'll see what the future holds for these men, but I know for certain that the last time I saw them live won't be my last.

You can find Crimson Shadows at the following sites:
Metal Archives

-Zombie Viking