SINGLE REVIEW: Control The Storm – Chaotic Mind

Think NIGHTWISH with a hint of UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, for fans of those particular bands that sounds fantastic. You can hear it right now in the form of CONTROL THE STORM‘s latest single ‘Chaotic Mind’. They only released this track hours ago it’s already received glowing reviews from fans. Having listened to the song for about the fifth/sixth time today, it’s easy to see why.

Ever since releasing their debut EP in 2010 CONTROL THE STORM‘s fanbase has grown significantly. They were awarded a slot on the New Blood Stage in 2012 at Bloodstock Festival and released their debut album ‘Beast Inside’ in 2015. The release of this particular album recieved high praise from metal fans and respected magazines alike. This new single is one off their upcoming album that is due for release in the new year.

The single itself sounds a little different to what they have previously released, there’s more power within the guitar work this time round and it works very well for this song. Their music has gained praised for its powerful content and ‘Chaotic Mind’ certainly contains that. The new vocal flavour from Firouzeh Razavi gives the song something refreshing to the palette and it’s safe to say she has fitted well with The Storm.

You have to be careful when mixing major and minor tones in a song, usually for it to work they have to be subtle. ‘Chaotic Mind’ proves otherwise as for the majority of the song, minor tones illustrate struggling with those inner demons that most of us fight on a daily basis. The major tones after the second chorus representing the fight against those demons, silencing them until they next attack.  The lyrical content to match these tones works perfectly well.

It should also be mentioned that there are some new talents from the newest members on this single; coming in the form vocalist Firouzeh Razavi (as mentioned before), drummer Michael Brush and bassist Paul O’Shea. 

This song contains empowerment, hope and fantastic musicianship that have come together to create this mighty single.

CONTROL THE STORM are back and they mean business.

ALBUM REVIEW: Orden Ogan – Gunmen

17855442_1658078987553359_3577627870255617669_oTheir name means ‘Order Fear’ and Power Metal outfit Orden Ogan have certainly proved this with their music to date. With strong releases such as To The End and Ravenhead there was a lot of anticipation around their latest release Gunmen. It was released just over a week ago and it has already received high praise from fans and press. From listening to the album, it’s easy to see why.

For those who are unfamiliar with these Power Metal giants, here’s some more information about the troupe. They formed in the year 1996 in Arnsburg, Germany and started off as a folk act. Over the past couple of decades they have released six studio albums, three demos and a number of singles. Gunmen is their sixth studio album and like the previous releases it brings a lot of power.

The start of the album opens with the track Gunman. This could be likened to the start of an epic film where you are immediately enticed from the first few seconds. Highlights of the album included Vampire In Ghost Town, Come With Me To The Other Side (feat. Liv Kristine) and Ashen Rain.

Vampire In Ghost Town has the strong melody and memorable chorus that you will be singing in your head for days on end. With its fantasy title and elements, it is also the song that allows you to escape the stresses of reality if you turn it up loud enough.

Come With Me To The Other Side features Metal Siren Liv Kristine, whose voice seems to fit any track that she sings on.  It was great how this track started off on a very tranquil note that leads the listener into a false sense of security before being treated to distortion and power that Orden Ogan are very well known for.

Ashen Rain’s dramatic intro reminds one of their almighty track F.E.V.E.R and this track proves its authority throughout after that. Everything from the powerful vocals to the thunderous musical arrangements reinforces this dominance and power that this troupe are very well known.

It ends on an extremely positive note with the track Finis Coronat Opus which is incredibly sweeping and majestic.

Overall verdict of this record is that they have not disappointed and that they exert authority and power once again with an almighty release.

8/10

Find Orden Ogan on Facebook, Twitter and their official website.

EP: The Family – Welcome To The Family

Welcome_To_The_Family_ArtworkJust because you’re well known for showcasing one particular genre of music to the world, doesn’t mean you won’t don’t well in other directions. The latest example of this theory to come to play is Sheffield based Alternative Rock outfit THE FAMILY; some of them have raised from the ashes of former Hardcore act DEAD HARTS. Their upcoming EP will show you a completely different side musically but their rebellious, punk streak is alive, hungry and eager to get out.

As stated before, THE FAMILY are an Alternative Rock quartet that hail from Sheffield, UK. They formed from the ashes of the recently disbanded DEAD HARTS. This idea has orrignally come from vocalist Matthew Baxendale’s pursuit to create more melodic vibes, taking influences from QUEENS OF STONE AGE and NIRVANA.

The EP itself provides the listener a great taster of their sound; it is literal proof that great things come in small packages. The EP only contains four tracks but each one has a very different story to tell.

It opens with a bit of belter that gives us a very cool, upbeat intro that will lift the darkest of moods up to a very high level. The track in question is titled Ain’t Gonna Happen. It contains a straight to the point, no nonsense kind of sound and you get to hear the first tints of the QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE/FOO FIGHTERS influences.

My Kinda Scum could easily become the Rock anthem of the century. The sound is as raw as the message it portrays across. According to vocalist Bax, the song touches upon those sorts of people who seemingly have this presence on social media yet when you meet them in real life they aren’t who they claim to be. What’s particularly remarkable about this track is that it contains that punkish, rebellious vibe even with that groovy beat that anyone could dance to. The line My Kinda Scum alone has a great impact and one can imagine that this particular track will go down very well at live shows.

It might appear that Nightmares and Daydreams is going to take a slight turn towards the industrial side of the spectrum. The intro contains hard hitting riffs, ROB ZOMBIE-esque vocals and the chorus showcasing a similar musical structure to this Rock/Metal legend. Once the upbeat guitar riffs are heard, one can be sure that the original sounds of THE FAMLY are not far off.

The EP concludes gallantly in a very rebellious fashion with their single Radio Headphones. This was recently heard on the airwaves thanks to Radio 1’s Rock Show. This raw, dirty single touches upon the issue of hearing the same mass produced material over and over again, whether we like it or not. The song as a whole reminds one of the classic Hate To Say I Told You So by fellow alternative rockers THE HIVES.

So, even though the EP is small with not very many songs, it contains a huge sound that is sure to be admired by many fans of Rock and Metal alike. Highly recommended for fans of QUEENS OF STONE and NIRVANA, or just those wanting to expand their musical collection with something a little bit different.

8/10

Album Review: Root – Kärgeräs – Return From Oblivion

a0879862781_10Ever felt so immersed with an experience that once you start doing it, you want to do it all over again and not want to do anything else? This is the feeling that is very well received when you take a deep plunge and listen to ROOT’s latest album “Kärgeräs – Return From Oblivion”. It is a portfolio of powerfully, hypnotic vocals, finger blistering guitar work and sweeping drums; once you start to listen to it, that’s it. Forget about what else you had planned for the day, the worries of being late to a meeting will be long gone and who cares if it’s time for bed. This album is that addictive.

For those who don’t know the band ROOT, here is some information. They formed in the year 1987 in the city of Brno, Czech Republic and over the past three decades they have released an impressive discography of full length albums, demos and even a boxed set.

You’ll be interested to know that ROOT were one of the original pre-second-wave Black Metal bands, following in the footsteps of legendary icons BATHORY and VENOM. They approached this genre in a very refined, less savage way then it’s predecessors. As the Metal Archives say, their style progressed towards a more epic, dark sound with clean vocals. It still recognised as Black Metal at the core due the unchanged ideology. With this impressive background, it’s no wonder they have a loyal following of fans and with this album gain a new generation of fans.

From the moment you press play on this record, you are rooted to the spot with the strong opening melodies “Life Of Demon” and “Osculum Infame”; these powerful songs contain dominant vocal work, exquisite guitar work and thunderous drums.  This high standard of quality music continues right until the very end; these songs come in all different forms and shapes which continue to keep the listener engaged and interested.

“Black Iris” sounds very eloquent and cultured with the rolled ‘Rs’ yet give us the brutal hell they are known for with excellent guitar solos and aggressive growls. “Moment Of Hope” is stripped completely of the darkness and distortion that creates a haunting melody that emphasises the impeccable vocal work. Then you have tracks that completely surprise you such as “The Key To The Empty Room” and “Do You Think Is It The End?” that have a Doom vibe to them. That’s just a few examples of why this album is mighty and glorious.

For those Metal heads wanting a gem in their record collection, this is the album for you. Highly recommended!

10/10

Find Root on Facebook and their official website.

Album Review: Battle Beast – Bringer The Pain

battle-beast-bringer-of-pain-artworkTwo years have passed and all was quiet in the BATTLE BEAST camp…until now. They are due to release a belter among us in less than a month and it will bring even the laziest couch potatoes of their sofas and raring to go. This album packed with energy and fire is titled ‘Bringer Of Pain’ and it is due to be released 17th February 2017 via Nuclear Blast.

BATTLE BEAST are one of Finland’s rising stars; their music reaching the airwaves on an international scale, headline tours across Europe and support slots with some of the biggest names in metal including SABATON.

From the first opening notes of ‘Straight To Your Heart’ you feel the fire and passion that BATTLE BEAST are well known for, it’s enough to bring a warm smile across your face.

Each track contains an outstanding arrangement of dominant vocals, blistering guitar riffs, excellent synths and pounding drums; all these elements create an eclectic selection of tracks that suit every mood under the sun. Strong examples of this can be heard in the songs ‘Bey
ond The Burning Skies’, ‘Lost In Wars’ and ‘Familiar Hell’.

‘Beyond The Burning Skies’ gives the listener a sense of hope and fulfilment with its majestic musical arrangements backing the gratifying vocal work. ‘Lost In Wars’ is a powerful duet between Noora Luhimo and AMORPHIS frontman Tomi Jousten, the harmonisation between these two powerful voices is extraordinary. ‘Familiar Hell’ is an empowering song that encourages that inner rebel to start a revolution.

The album concludes beautifully with the moving ballad ‘Far From Heaven’ that shows the softer side to Noora’s versatile vocals.

Like its predecessors this record contains power, passion and a lot of tenacity. That encourage behind the music not to give up and to keep going no matter what.

EP Review: Seven Kingdoms – In The Walls

587906_phixrAs well as being associated with all things Disney and dubbed the sunshine state, Florida USA is now also known as the home of the hypothetical love child of DRAGONFORCE and NIGHTWISH. Power Metal troupe SEVEN KINGDOMS are that hypothetical love child; with their neck breaking solos and opera like vocals there could be a new power troupe in the midst of the metal community.

This troupe formed in 2007 and began to play shows. They went through the usual underground route; members coming and going, numerous local shows, an independently released album etc. They signed a deal with Intromental Worldwide in 2009 when they had a solid line-up. Since then, they have shared the stage with Metal giants such as BLIND GUARDIAN, SYMPONY X, BEHEMOTH, QUEENSRYCHE and AVANTASIA.

Their latest EP ‘In The Walls’ reinforces the statement they could be the love child of two of the biggest names in metal.

‘In The Walls’:  The finger blistering guitar work reminds one of DRAGONFORCE and HAMMERFALL, it’s straight to the point with some memorable riffs and solos. The vocals come in sometime later and they do make hair stand on end when they are heard, especially with the powerful back from the choirs in the chorus. The opera like vocals, provided by Sabrina Valentine and the majestic choir have strong tints of NIGHTWISH and the older material from TRISTANIA. What a way to make a grand entrance.

‘Undying’:  A similar start to its previous track, later you hear some elements that make it stand out. This contains a sweeping melody and a genuinely darker theme, it’s not as majestic as the choirs are a lot quieter. It’s great that they keep up a variety.

‘The Bloody Meadow’:  The title alone doesn’t exactly suggest a cutesy woodland with bunny rabbits, deer and squirrels playfully chasing each other in a vast field of green. The vibe of the track reinforces this fact with it’s heavy, pounding riffs and eerily serene vocals. The choirs and vocals bring forth the heroic battle that is clearly either taking place in the track or the soldiers are preparing for it.

‘Stormborn’:  Concluding track ‘Stormborn’ shows off the beauty and the beast technique for the first time, the harsh and clean vocals harmonise together perfectly. It is the track that is contains the uplifting end to a very promising EP.

Overall verdict is that this EP is quite a powerful release that shows the quality of their sound.

Album Review: Autokrator – The Obedience To Authority

569662_phixrAs well as being well known for its fine wine, strong cheese and rolling country sides, France has become a rare breeding ground for Metal bands alike. Following in GOJIRA’s roots is Death Metal duo AUTOKRATOR. They are new to the scene but they are already spawning a huge fan following on social media with their suffocating Death Metal. They released their second full length album ‘The Obedience To Authority’ which could be interpreted as explaining the fearful feelings if you don’t follow the rules, even if these rules are against your better judgment.

This duo formed in the year 2014 in the French capital Paris by guitarist/bassist Loïc.F and vocalist David Bailey, little did this city of love know that this duo was to concoct and release despair and misery onto the world. In terms of the sort of music they planned to produce this is a huge compliment.

They describe themselves as Suffocating Death Metal and this record gives this the listeners that. Each chapter brings out a sense of panic, fear and anxiety; these feelings actually come on physically as the listener may feel a tightness in the chest and the fear of not being able to breath by the end of this work. They do this by deploying drone like elements and echoed effects into the music that emphasise the dread and horror the listener feels.

Their influences from Milgram’s experiments fits extremely well within the record. For those of you who don’t know, Stanley Milgram was an America social psychologist who conducted controversial experiments on obedience and how far we would go to follow orders, even if they were against the participant’s conscious and gut feelings. After researching his works in greater detail, the listener will be able to hear these intense influences within this penetrating music.

Overall verdict, a recommendation for those who love Extreme Metal in any shape or form and those who are into the psychology side of things. Not for the faint hearted or the easily offended.