Album Review – Sense of Noise / Sense of Noise (2021)

This newborn Mexican unity is ready to kill armed with their debut opus of ass-kicking Melodic Death Metal deeply rooted in the Gothenburg sound.

Born in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, Sense of Noise are a Mexico City, Mexico-based Melodic Death Metal band that mixes the speed and strength of Death Metal with catchy melodies, clean vocals, a modern production and several musical influences from metal and non-metal genres. Comprised of vocalist Jero Chanona, guitarist and vocalist Fede d’Empaire, guitarist Diego Caná, bassist Mao Rubio, keyboardist Nibsen and drummer Bart Chanona, all with a remarkable experience in different areas of the music industry within and outside metal, this six-piece act is unleashing upon humanity their debut self-titled effort, presenting a collection of songs deeply rooted in the Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal sound. Produced, recorded and mixed by guitarist Fede himself, mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios, and displaying a straightforward artwork by the band’s own frontman Jero, the album is highly recommended for fans of Soilwork, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Amorphis, At the Gates and Scar Symmetry, among others, positioning the band as one of the strongest names of the current Mexican metal scene.

The cinematic intro A Forgotten Oath will captivate your senses and prepare you for Sense of Noise’s metal attack in The Broken Hope, where Fede and Diego are on absolute fire with their Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal-inspired riffage, setting the tone for Jero to scream like a beast (not to mention the utterly metallic bass jabs by Mao), whereas once again drinking from the same fountain as bands like In Flames, Soilwork and Arch Enemy, it’s time for Bart to hammer his drums in War Within, showcasing a very pleasant balance between guttural roars and clean vocals. Then you better get ready for a headbanging, melodic extravaganza titled Morning Glory, again presenting classic riffs spiced up by the whimsical keys by Nibsen. In other words, it will surely please all fans of the genre, putting everyone to bang their heads nonstop to their solid metal music.

Investing into a darker and groovier sound, the band fires the smashing March of the Fallen, with Jero growling the song’s austere words manically accompanied by the rumbling bass by Mao and the always classy keys by Nibsen; and featuring the one and only Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork) on vocals, Zero Killed is a pure, visceral Melodic Death Metal tune that will inspire you to slam into the pit, and Björn adds tons of violence and feeling to the band’s already rumbling sonority as expected. Then after a serene, acoustic start the band offers more of their fusion of Melodic Death Metal with Groove Metal in Our Dying Light, presenting a stylish paradox between their deep roars and ethereal keys; whereas guest Antony Hämäläinen (Meridian Dawn) lends his sick growling to the band in Rage of Existence, another solid composition showcasing their traditional heavy riffs, low-tuned bass punches and crushing drums. And finally, let’s bang our heads one more time with Sense of Noise in Sense of Darkness, where Jero vociferates rabidly as usual supported by Fede’s clean vocals and the Groove Metal bass by Mao.

You can get to know more about such promising band of the Mexican metal scene by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about those six skillful metallers, by subscribing to their YouTube channel and by streaming their ass-kicking music on Spotify, and by clicking HERE for all that plus the links to pre-save or pre-order their debut album. As already mentioned, Sense of Noise will undoubtedly face among the biggest names in their home country when the music in question is not only Melodic Death Metal, but heavy music in general, and based on the quality of the music found in their debut effort I’m pretty sure they’ll spread their wings and fly even higher, reaching fans from all over the world with their detailed and sharp compositions, and if you consider yourself a true admirer of the Gothenburg sound (albeit made in Mexico) you better hurry and add this melodic gem to your personal collection.

Best moments of the album: War Within, March of the Fallen and Zero Killed.

Worst moments of the album: Rage of Existence.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. A Forgotten Oath 1:54
2. The Broken Hope 3:37
3. War Within 3:39
4. Morning Glory 3:44
5. March of the Fallen 3:35
6. Zero Killed 3:59
7. Our Dying Light 4:40
8. Rage of Existence 4:17
9. Sense of Darkness 4:34

Band members
Jero Chanona – harsh and clean vocals
Fede d’Empaire – guitars, clean vocals
Diego Caná – guitars
Mao Rubio – bass
Nibsen – keyboards
Bart Chanona – drums

Guest musicians
Björn “Speed” Strid – vocals on “Zero Killed”
Antony Hämäläinen – vocals on “Rage of Existence”

Album Review – Carcass / Torn Arteries (2021)

It’s time to wake up once again and smell the bloody and melodic new album by one of the most important bands in the history of extreme music.

If you have a craving for bloody, raw Extreme Metal, get ready to be stunned by Torn Arteries, the brand new opus by Liverpool, UK-based Grindcore masters Carcass, unleashing hell, violence and gore upon us all mere mortals. Recorded at Ghost Ward Studio and The Stationhouse, mixed at Ghost Ward Studio, mastered at Fascination Street Studios and featuring a beautiful artwork by Polish artist Zbigniew Bielak, Torn Arteries is not only the band’s seventh studio album, but their first in eight years since the majestic Surgical Steel, released in 2013, and the wait was absolutely worth it as vocalist and bassist Jeff Walker, guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Daniel Wilding are on fire from start to finish, showcasing all their refined skills while blending the aggressiveness of extreme music with their trademark melody and visceral lyrics.

Daniel kicks off their splatter show with the title-track Torn Arteries, with Jeff’s sick gnarls sounding better than ever for our total delight. What a pulverizing start to the album I might say, not to mention the demented riffs and solos by Bill, and it’s time to crack your neck headbanging to Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B), less violent but extremely melodic and sharp with Bill stealing the spotlight with his unmatched riffage, whereas a wicked guitar solo ignites another Melodic Death Metal and Grindcore extravaganza titled Eleanor Rigor Mortis, accompanied by the always raw and vile growling by Jeff while Daniel’s drums dictate the song’s old school pace. Then we have Under the Scalpel Blade, the only song to feature in their 2020 EP Despicable (and we already know how infernal this tune is), while more of their putrid, acid metal music is brought into being in The Devil Rides Out, again proving why they’re a reference in both Melodic Death Metal and Grindcore, with Bill’s riffs and solos being awesome as usual.

Carcass Torn Arteries Limited Box Set

As heavy and aggressive as its predecessors, Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited is a fulminating tune where Jeff is not only bestial on vocals but his bass also sounds hellish, being the perfect option for banging your head like a maniac together with the band throughout its almost 10 minutes where savagery and harmony collide in a vicious way, therefore offering our ears a unique metal voyage. The groovy beats by Daniel once again ignite a Grindcore attack entitled Kelly’s Meat Emporium, with Jeff and Bill being in absolute sync with their respective bass lines and riffs, inviting us all to slam into the circle pit, whereas in In God We Trust a sinister start quickly evolves into a rhythmic and heavy-as-hell sound spearheaded by Daniel’s classy drums, all spiced up by Bill’s undisputed, sharp solos. Then paying homage to themselves, the trio blasts the headbanging tune Wake Up and Smell the Carcass / Caveat Emptor, showcasing another awesome guitar job by Bill while Jeff continues to haunt our souls with his demonic gnarls. And their last breath of insanity and gore comes in the form of The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing, where Jeff, Bill and Daniel smash their sonic weapons in great fashion offering us all another solid tune to close such austere and melodic album.

As Carcass are not only an awesome band but also a group of very nice gentlemen, they’ve made the full album available on both YouTube and Spotify for our vulgar delectation, but of course let’s support the masters of Melodic Death Metal and Grindcore by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by purchasing a copy of their bloodthirsty new album from Nuclear Blast by clicking HERE or HERE, and if I were you I would go for the sick Torn Arteries boxset limited to 2,000 worldwide, including the album on CD and veggie splatter vinyl, a 24-page booklet, and a porcelain plate with a stainless steel fork and knife dinnerware set. It’s time to wake up and smell the carcass to the sound of Torn Arteries, knowing that as long as Carcass remain active, their smell will continue to be a thrilling fusion of metal music, blood, speed and violence.

Best moments of the album: Torn Arteries, Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited and Kelly’s Meat Emporium.

Worst moments of the album: Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B).

Released in 2021 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Torn Arteries 4:00
2. Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B) 4:29
3. Eleanor Rigor Mortis 4:14
4. Under the Scalpel Blade 3:56
5. The Devil Rides Out 5:22
6. Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited 9:42
7. Kelly’s Meat Emporium 3:24
8. In God We Trust 3:57
9. Wake Up and Smell the Carcass / Caveat Emptor 4:36
10. The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing 5:20

Japanese Edition bonus track
11. NWOBHEAD 3:03

Band members
Jeff Walker – vocals, bass
Bill Steer – guitars, backing vocals
Daniel Wilding – drums

Guest musician
Tom Draper – guitars (live)
Per Wiberg – organ, piano
Fredrik Klingwall – keyboards

Album Review – Sepultura / Quadra (2020)

A sensational concept album based on Quadrivium embraced by a fusion of Thrash, Groove and Progressive Metal, masterfully crafted by the best Brazilian metal band of all time.

In case you’re form another dimension and haven’t listened to Quadra yet, let me tell you that the fifteenth studio effort by Brazilian Thrash/Groove Metal titans Sepultura is much more than just another metal album. With a concept based on Quadrivium, which are the four subjects or arts (namely arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy), taught after teaching the trivium, Quadra, meaning “four ways” from Latin, is a 12-track album divided into four sections of three songs each. The first being Thrash Metal songs based on the classic Sepultura sound; the second section is inspired by the groove-percussion oriented sound the band explored in Roots; the third part has more progressive songs inspired by the track Iceberg Dances from Machine Messiah, albeit not all are instrumental tracks; and side four features slow-paced and melodic tracks similar to the song Machine Messiah. Add to that the undeniable talent by the band’s four horsemen Derrick Green on vocals, Andreas Kisser on the guitars, Paulo Jr. on bass and Eloy Casagrande on drums, and there you have the band’s most successful record since 1998’s Against.

Recorded and produced by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden, and featuring a bold artwork by Christiano Menezes from Darkside Books revolving around the meaning of the number four, Quadra is also the Portuguese term for sports court. “We all come from different Quadras. The countries, all nations with their borders and traditions; culture, religions, laws, education and a set of rules where life takes place. Our personalities, what we believe, how we live, how we build societies and relationships, all depends on these set of rules that we grew up with. Concepts of creation, gods, death and ethics. Money, we are enslaved by this concept. Who’s poor and who’s rich, that’s how we measure people and material goods. Regardless of your Quadra you need money to survive, the prime rule to play this game called life. Hence the coin. The coin is forged with the senator skull, who represents the set of rules and laws we live by; the world map on his head delimiting the borders of all nations, imaginary lines separating people by concepts of race and the sacred,” explained Andreas about the concept behind the album art.

Tribal beats and futuristic sounds ignite the brutal and groovy Isolation, an old school Thrash Metal chant with Sepultura’s unique twist, where Derrick already tells us all this album is going to be fantastic through his enraged roars, whereas Means to an End is another ass-kicking, trademark creation by the quartet with the talented Eloy bringing tons of progressiveness and fury to the musicality, while Paulo continues to be precise and groovy as usual on bass. And there’s no sign of slowing down in Last Time, where Derrick and Eloy represent the brutality in the music while Andreas showcases his infinite talent as a shredder as well as with his fantastic solos; and adding primeval elements and beats from the band’s cultural background it’s time for one more round of savagery and groove united in the name of metal in Capital Enslavement, with Andreas slashing his strings beautifully accompanied by the unstoppable Eloy on drums. Back to a more traditional sound blending Thrash, Groove and Progressive Metal, Andreas, Paulo and Eloy generate a bold and reverberating atmosphere in Ali, sounding beyond perfect for Derrick to fire his beastly growls.

Raging Void is a mid-tempo, neck-breaking tune led by Eloy and his pounding drums where Derrick is effectively supported by all backing vocals, while Andreas keep stunning us all with his whimsical guitar. Then  a sensational acoustic intro by Andreas sets the stage for an austere and multi-layered metal feast entitled Guardians of Earth (which has one of the best and most touching official videos of the past decade), with all choirs and orchestrations making the whole song even more impactful and thrilling; followed by The Pentagram, bringing to our ears a classic Death Metal sonority infused with endless progressiveness and rage. Furthermore, Andreas is superb on the guitars as usual, while Paulo brings the groove with his minimalist but precise bass jabs, resulting in an excellent instrumental composition. After that we have Autem, uniting the past, present and perhaps the future of Sepultura by alternating between old school thrashing moments and the obscurity and hatred from Death and even Black Metal. Needless to say, Eloy and Andreas are in absolute sync throughout the entire song, and after the brief but beautiful acoustic intermission Quadra, it’s time for a darker, more introspective side of Derek in Agony of Defeat, where once again all background choirs and orchestrations bring a touch of finesse to the overall result, albeit not as majestic as the rest of the album, though. And last but not least, the delicate, sexy vocals by guest Emmily Barreto make a superb paradox with the raspy growls by Derrick in Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering, with the music sounding grim, melodic and vibrant form start to finish, or in other words, a great composition showcasing the band’s endless creativity and passion for heavy music.

After all is said and done, it’s more than fair to give such amazing album of heavy music four of our rating skulls, especially as the album revolves around the various meaning of the number four, right? In addition, in case you haven’t done so yet, I recommend you follow the best and most influential band of the Brazilian metal scene of all time on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their official YouTube channel for more of their unique and heavy-as-hell songs and videos, and of course purchase or stream Quadra by clicking HERE. When Derrick was asked during an interview with BraveWords “Which Sepultura album are you most proud of?”, he replied, “Definitely Quadra. It’s the latest album, and we really worked so hard on it. We have so many different elements from the past that have helped us get to here – where we are at right now. So, without a doubt in my mind, this is the strongest album that we’ve done together. And I’m extremely proud of it.” I guess we must all agree with Derrick that Quadra is hands down the most detailed, diverse and electrifying album of his era fronting Sepultura, raising the flag of Brazilian metal higher and higher for the delight of all of their loyal and diehard fans.

Best moments of the album: Isolation, Capital Enslavement, Guardians of Earth and Fear and Pain, Chaos, Suffering.

Worst moments of the album: Agony of Defeat.

Released in 2020 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Isolation 4:56
2. Means to an End 4:39
3. Last Time 4:27
4. Capital Enslavement 3:40
5. Ali 4:12
6. Raging Void 3:57
7. Guardians of Earth 5:11
8. The Pentagram 5:20
9. Autem 4:06
10. Quadra 0:46
11. Agony of Defeat 5:51
12. Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering 4:09

Alive in Brazil Digipack and Earbook bonus disc (recorded live at “Audio” in São Paulo, Brazil on June 20, 2015)
1. Choke 3:46
2. Convicted in Life 3:31
3. Sepulnation 4:41
4. Apes of God 3:22
5. Sepultura Under My Skin 3:45
6. Manipulation of Tragedy 4:19
7. The Vatican 6:34
8. Cut-Throat 2:55

Band members
Derrick Green – lead vocals
Andreas Kisser – guitars
Paulo Jr. – bass
Eloy Casagrande – drums, percussion

Guest musicians
Bruna Zenti – violin
Kadu Fernandes – percussion on “Capital Enslavement”
Renato Zanuto – keyboards, orchestrations on “Isolation”, “Means to an End”, “Capital Enslavement” and “Guardians of Earth”, choir arrangements
Francesco Ferrini – orchestrations on “Last Time” and “Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering”
Robertinho Rodrigues – acoustic bass
Chorus Mysticus – choir vocals
Jens Bogren – backing vocals
Paulo Cyrino – effects on “Ali”
Gunnar Misgeld – choir arrangements on “Isolation”, “Last Time”, “Guardians of Earth” and “Agony of Defeat”
Emmily Barreto – female vocals on “Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering”

Album Review – Bjarm / Imminence (2014)

This new Symphonic Black Metal band from Russia has what it takes to conquer the world of heavy music.

Rating4

bjarm_imminenceAlthough the Winter Olympics 2014 are over, let’s stay in Russia and enjoy the obscure Imminence, the debut album from Symphonic Black Metal band Bjarm. Formed in 2009 and based in the city of Severodvinsk, in the north of Arkhangelsk Oblast, the name of the band was not chosen in vain: Bjarmaland (also spelled Bjarmland or Bjarmia) was a territory mentioned in Norse sagas up to the Viking Age, and it usually referred to the southern shores of the White Sea and the basin of the Northern Dvina River, which today comprise a part of the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia. In other words, the band has a very creative and strong name, but what about their music?

Honestly, it’s very difficult to find anything from Russian Heavy Metal bands on the web and even harder at any music store (at least here in Canada), so I didn’t know what to expect from Bjarm. I personally don’t remember listening to or reading about any bands from Russia except for Symphonic Power Metal band Арктида (Arktida) and Epic Pagan Metal band Аркона (Arkona), and even in those two cases the information is usually very scarce. However, I went to a Helloween concert during my vacation last year in Saint Petersburg and was able to see how passionate Russian fans are for heavy music, so in my mind I started to imagine their music as something at least full of passion and feeling.

And for my total happiness, I was not wrong: the final result in Imminence outdid all my expectations in terms of creativity, intensity and professionalism. Bjarm might be essentially a Black Metal band, but by adding many elements from Symphonic Metal and Death Metal in their music they were able to create a more complex musicality than just some raw generic Black Metal. Not only that, the fact that Imminence was mixed at a good studio such as Stone Oil Studio and mastered by Tony Lindgren (who has already worked with great bands like Paradise Lost and Kreator) at Fascination Street Studios, provided the album a very good and professional sound quality too.

The imposing intro Approaching Of The Close opens the album in a way that would make the guys from Cradle of Filth very proud, as it reminds me of their famous intros from the albums Dusk and Her Embrace and Cruelty and the Beast, followed by the dark and heavy Knowledge Of Doom, a pure Black Metal song with amazing female vocals and atmospheric keyboards, and without any doubt one of the best tracks in Imminence. The obscurity goes on with Ominous Dreams, with highlights to the deep growling by Andrey and the extremely heavy riffs mixed with some more strong keyboard notes.

The next track, The Nine Worlds, is one of the fastest of all (if not the fastest) especially due to the Death Metal elements found in it; it’s not less symphonic, though, as the keyboards are always there to give it that Black Metal touch. Fire Lord’s Torment sounds like if it was extracted from a horror movie soundtrack, with a beautiful piano in the beginning that works as an intro to a very heavy and dense sequence, while the title-track, Imminence, is an instrumental song very well-executed by all band members, especially the keyboards by the gorgeous Anastasiya. By the way, what’s the secret with the girls in Russia? I’ve never seen a single Russian girl that is not pretty!

bjarmGetting back to the music in Imminence, the next track, Oracle, is very melancholic and evil, and has lots of elements from Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir in it, especially the diabolic vocals by Andrey that seem to be really inspired by Shagrath, while Secret Of The Immortals gets back to a more symphonic sonority with total focus on the sound of the keyboards together with the rhythmic drums.

The last part of Imminence is composed by the song The Highest Hall, another evil track that sounds a lot like some old Dimmu Borgir songs with a pretty decent job done by drummer Vitaliy, and Tree On The Bones, a truly grim track that, although not as creative as the rest of the album, ends it in a way that will let all listeners with a very good impression of the work done by the band, eager for more of Bjarm’s Symphonic Black Metal and to see them recreating all that dark atmosphere in a live concert.

The album art, designed by artist Al.Ex, from the Mayhem Project, is also very professional, and of course, dense and obscure as expected, increasing the overall quality of Imminence even more. I’m pretty sure all band members are extremely proud of their “child”, and let’s hope new good bands like Bjarm keep coming from Russia or any other countries to provide us metalheads more unique and interesting music like what’s found in Imminence.

Best moments of the album: Knowledge Of Doom, Ominous Dreams and Oracle.

Worst moments of the album: Fire Lord’s Torment and Tree On The Bones.

Released in 2014 Fono Ltd.

Track listing
1. Approaching Of The Close 3:32
2. Knowledge Of Doom 6:33
3. Ominous Dreams 6:23
4. The Nine Worlds 5:55
5. Fire Lord’s Torment 6:04
6. Imminence 3:46
7. Oracle 3:47
8. Secret Of The Immortals 4:33
9. The Highest Hall 4:13
10. Tree On The Bones 5:30

Band members
Andrey – Vocal
Egor – Guitar
Anastasiya – Keyboards
Aleksey – Guitar
Mikhail – Bass
Vitaliy – Drums