[Ok, so this was released last year; what can I say? I`m a little slow...] What the HELL is happening out there in Colorado?! There seem to be more cool [and diverse] Metal bands comin` outta that state than many of the so-called "hotbeds" around the States! And Serberus are certainly one of the standouts of that scene. The band has existed for a scant 3 years, yet they`ve made considerable head-way into the world-wide Metal community. By their own admission, Serberus play "Dark, Melodic Death Metal", with a decidedly European flavor. At times reminding me of Gates Of Ishtar and In Flames, they sound NOTHING like the current style of Death Metal that got stale 10 years ago! No Z-tuned guitars & Cookie Monster vocals for THESE guys, just straight ahead, highly inventive tunes that recall the genres` better days."In Eternity" is a 5-song Death Metal masterpiece, as the tracks "Ancient Throne", "Dark Dream", "In Eternity" & "Gates Of Fire" [my favorite track!] make VERY clear! [track #5 is a live version of "Ancient Throne" recorded at The Blubird] The tunes radiate a dark, ominous aura, a sign that much care went into the song writing and arrangments. First rate musicianship and production all conspire to make this one of the best Death Metal CDs` to come out in QUITE a while! But it gets better; in March 2001, Serberus plan to release their first full-length album, with re-recorded versions of the above tracks. The early 21st century has been VERY good to Metal, and bands like Serberus insure that it`s best years are just ahead! Highly, HIGHLY reccomended!! [BIG thanks to Ivan for sending me the disc!! For more band info, check out their official website below....]
One of the BEST bands to arise from the thriving Colorado Metal scene, Cold Moon have dubbed their own brand of mayhem "Nightmare Metal"! "Carnivorus Lunar Activities", the bands first full-length release, features Chris Moon on lead vocals & guitar, Victor Gregory on lead/rhythm guitar, James Rodrock on drums, and the now-departed Scott Fisher on bass [Woody Sebastian now holds down the bottom end, and also provided me with the album; THANKS, `bro!!]. "Carnivorus...." is a punishing 12 track CD that never lets up, and despite the fact that some of the tunes clock in at over 6 minutes, there`s NEVER a dull moment! And while some of the bands influences are evident [early Testament, Metallica, Maiden, Morbid Angel], Cold Moon has a sound all their own, as displayed on choice cuts like; "The Conjuring", "The Unknown", "Dead Cold" [one of the most requested songs in the bands live set, as well as MY personal favorite!], the eerie "Silver Souls", and the anthemic "Hell Riders", and, oh hell, every track is KILLER, really! A lot of thought went into this album, and it shows. GREAT production, thick, crunching guitars [just the way we like `em!], a pounding rhythm secion, memorable riffs & time changes, all topped off by Chris Moons vocals, which go effortlessly from Chuck Billy-style growls to Deicide-like demonic shrieks. All these things help to make "Carnivorus...." one of THE shining Metal moments of the year 2000 [and beyond!]. The perfect soundtrack to anyones` nightmare. [or maybe one of those porno flicks they show at the theaters in Piccadilly Circus, RIGHT Woody? Hahahahaha...] With home grown Metal bands like Cold Moon, maybe the USA can FINALLY start catching up with the European scene! Highest possible reccomendation!
Those Raven Mad lunatics have done it again! "A Bit Of Madness" is the much anticipated follow-up to last years "Corvus Insanus". 3 new tracks & a re-make of "Leadfoot" from the 1st EP. What`s changed? Well, gone are the Punk-like vocals from "Corvus...."; better production values, as well as the addition of guitarist Dustin Swad [completing the line-up of William Rustrum, guitar/vocals, Joe Verastegui, drums, and Melanie Sisneros, bass] help make this one of THE killer Metal albums of the year! The new tracks: "Metal Mad Ones" [a rousing Metal anthem if I ever heard one!], "Into The World Of Deceased", and "Metallurgy", a GREAT Maiden-esque instrumental that shows off the bands considerable musical prowess. Ass kickerz, one `n` all! Imagine what this bunch could do on a Full Length CD! Once again, a HUGE thank you to Mel for sending me the album, AND for the official Raven Mad condom! [Both of these, and much more, are available at the bands website.....]
Here we have the 3rd full length release from Hammerfall, "Renegade". It`s......good. By that I mean it met my expectations! OK, lemme try again. Their 1st album, "Glory To The Brave", EXPLODED on the scene in 1997; granted, there was not one original note to be found on the album, but the bands Helloween/Maiden/Warlord/Manowar derived sound was powerful, memorable, and HEAVY! DEFINITELY a breath of fresh air at a time when great praise was being heaped upon dimwits lke Green Day and Everclear, and the once mighty Metallica just plain SOLD OUT! Hammerfalls` arrival also begat a spate of immitators, most of whom weren`t all that good. [like Sacred Squeal & the over-rated Demons & Wizards] The follow up, "Legacy Of Kings", continued in the same vein. As good as it was, though, I started asking myself "Haven`t we been here before?" And I find myself asking the same thing with "Renegade". To be honest, the first 3 tracks are kinda boring. Things pick up, though, on "Living In Victory", and from there, it`s a pretty good album. But hands down, the best cut is "The Way Of The Warrior"! Featuring a KILLER riff, this tune is eveything that`s great about Hammerfall! Really, I`m glad I bought the disc; it IS a worthy purchase. But Hammerfall has painted themselves into a corner, stylistically. It is my hope that they manage to break out [NOT "sell out"], as it would be a shame to see them become yet another "One Trick Pony"! Time will tell.....
Let`s face it: with the exception of Outrage, Darling Demoniac, and a few others, there ain`t too much innovation goin` on in the Death Metal community! You`ve got Black/Death, Speed/Death, Grind/Death, Doom/Death, but all you REALLY get is bored TO death! Yet bands still keep recycling the same ideas that Slayer got tired of 15 years ago! And then we have Nile. Unquestionably, the most original Death Metal band to come down the pike in YEARS, this South Carolina 4-piece add a unique twist to this time-worn genre. On their latest, "Black Seeds Of Vengeance", as with their first 3 albums, a strong Egyptian theme runs throughout. Authentic Middle Eastern instruments, chants, and hymns mesh perfectly with growling vocals, crushing guitars and blasting drums! The highly intelligent lyrics are mostly based on ancient Egyptian funerary texts and rituals [such as those found in E.A. Wallis Budges` "The Book Of The Dead"]. I never thought a Death Metal album would leave me speechless [in a good way!], but Nile has done JUST that! Pure Death, and pure GENIUS!