Hello again, and welcome to July 2018’s Metal Periscope.
This time I spy with my (electric) eye some really good albums in a variety of different sub-genres.
If you are suffering from the heat, put on the AC (or the fan), turn on the music and… enjoy!
Bongripper – Terminal
Terminal is the seventh full-length album of the Chicago four-piece, which shows that they are not novices and know precisely what to do.
And what they do really well is a slow and heavy music. The two songs presented on this record can be tortuous for someone unfamiliar with this kind of music, but for a connoisseur they are utter pleasure.
Sleep Terror – El insomne
Luke Jaeger’s third album in 16 (not counting the EPs) is basically a pinaccle of what a great instrumental progressive death metal should sound like: really complex, but diverse enough not to bore you, very technical, but not abusing the fretboard gymnastics. And the calmer moments only help you to appreciate El insomne more.
The only downside of this album is its length. We have less than 25(!) minutes to enjoy this cool-sounding record.
Obscura – Diluvium
To be honest I never was a big Obscura fan. The band seemed too focused on the technicality for my taste.
But, after the guitar player Christian Münzner and the drummer Hannes Grossmann left the band in 2014 to form Alkaloid, Obscura‘s sound changed a bit, and we got two great progressive death metal bands.
While Akróasis, the previous effort of the Bavarians, was a very good record, it’s Diluvium that could be considered a pinnacle of the band’s career. At least, for now.
Each and every one of the musicians contributes in order to create some intricate musical pallettes that are woven into the songs that are both complex and pleasant to listen to.
The album of the month, without a doubt, and a strong contender for the album of the year.
Kissin’ Dynamite – Ecstasy
I’m not usually into this kind of heavy metal: very melodic and almost bordering on glam. But I have to admit that Kissin’ Dynamite manages to do it really well.
Ecstasy is filled to the brim with catchy songs and addictive melodies. Yet, somehow, the band still manages to retain some of the heavy metal spirit of the older bands, which is, I think, what separate these Germans from many other modern bands.
Runemagick – Evoked from Abysmal Sleep
Evoked from Abysmal Sleep… I think that Runemagick couldn’t have come up with a more appropriate name for this album, because after 10 ten years of profound sleep the Swedish band presents us its new offering. And what an offering it is!
For those unfamiliar with the band I have to mention that, despite coming from Gothenburg, Runemagick has nothing to do sonically with Gothenburg death metal scene. The kind of death metal the three-piece plays is slow, dirty and haunting. It’s like a perfect soundtrack to a Lovecraftian nightmare, the one that will keep you tossing and turning all the night.
Motorowl – Atlas
The second album of the German band Motorowl is a weird but highly addictive blend of psychedelic rock and doom metal that, despite having its roots in the 70’s music, sounds very fresh.
Impressive job for a young band!
Redemption – Long Night’s Journey into Day
While the latest offering of the US progressive metal titans Redemption doesn’t stray far stylistically from the band’s older records, there is one (quite important) change: long-time vocalist Ray Alder (Fates Warning) parted ways with the band to be replaced by Tom Englund from Evergrey.
Evidently, those are two vocalists with their very distinct styles so, while listening to Long Night’s Journey into Day, I couldn’t help but pay attention to those little details that separate this album from the previous ones. It doesn’t sound worse and it doesn’t sound better. It just sounds… different.
If you are an old-time admirer of Redemption‘s music (I am), you don’t have to worry – the band still offers us high quality progressive metal that is almost equally complex and accessible.
A great record for the fans of classic prog metal.
And those are the records that caught my attention in July. I know that there weren’t too many this time, but I prefer quality over quatnity.
See you in the next issue!