Album Review – Sintax / Nano 3000 (2021)

It’s time to celebrate mankind’s downfall to the sound of the brand new opus by this Israeli thrashing squad, telling stories of technologies rising against us all.

After years of performing all across Israel on their own ticket and alongside international acts, keeping Jerusalem’s metal scene alive and kicking, members of local cult bands the likes of Showrchtsechaye and DeuSphera decided to come together to form a Thrash and Groove Metal beast named Sintax back in 2013, delivering a strong punch of groove and a unique raw energy with each one of their sick compositions. Now in 2021 the band comprised of Yehi Zaken on vocals, Roi Illouz and Yoav Gruper on the guitars, Slava Kishka on bass and Adam Levit on drums have just released their sophomore effort, titled Nano 3000, offering the listener an avalanche of old school metal music combined with a modern production and sound. Mixed and mastered by Mark Mynett at Mynetaur Productions and displaying a futuristic artwork by Nadav Halevi, Nano 3000 tells stories of technologies rising against us and a dystopic prophecy taking in the subjects of anarchy, politics, religion, philosophy, war, sex and more, all embraced by an endless dosage of visceral and acid Thrash Metal.

Like a demented grinding machine, the band begins their Groove Metal attack in Skeleton Scale, with the riffage by Roi and Yoav sounding utterly pulverizing while Yehi vociferates rabidly, therefore resulting in the perfect welcome card by the band in their new album. And more of their fusion of the madness of Pantera with the heaviness of Fear Factory is offered to us all in Reefers Sting And Honey, also presenting hints of the early days of Sepultura, and with the frantic and demonic beats by Adam providing Yehi all he needs to growl like a true beast; whereas in Most Hated Man In The Universe the band gets back to a more traditional Thrash Metal sonority, where the brutal sounds blasted by Roi, Yoav and Slava with their stringed axes will pierce your minds, not to mention the song’s pounding, neck-breaking drums and sick backing vocals. Then we face strident riffs and rumbling bass punches in Sight Got Past, morphing from a more melodic vibe to pure adrenaline and rage with Yehi once again roaring and growling nonstop, accompanied by the visceral beats by Adam.

The title-track Nano 3000 sounds and feels highly inspired by 90’s Groove and Industrial Metal, but without abandoning the band’s thrashing core sound of course, with Adam being infernal as usual on drums while Roi and Yoav extract sheer electricity from their guitars; and the menacing bass by Slava ignites another violent yet very melodic feast of riffs and beats titled Shooting Stars, perfect for jumping up and down with the boys from Sintax and slamming into the pit with your metal buddies. Then after a short and wicked intro we’re treated to the fulminating Death and Thrash Metal hurricane Lethal And Armed, where Yehi continues to lead his horde of thrashing maniacs with his deranged screams while Roi and Yoav slash our minds with their metallic riffage, and a massive wall of sounds will smash your cranial skull in the closing tune Lunchtime Funeral, presenting sick guitar solos and bass punches by the band’s stringed warriors from start to finish. Furthermore, when it’s over, I bet you’ll be begging for more of Sintax’s thrashing music.

After listening to Nano 3000, not only you’ll realize how powerful the music by Sintax can be, but also that the Israeli metal scene seems to be getting stronger and stronger, with bands like Sintax proving once and for all first-class metal music is simply everywhere. Hence, let’s show our support to those talented metallers by purchasing their new album from Dead Pulse, Apple Music or Amazon, by streaming the full album as many times as you want on Spotify, by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other shenanigans, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel for more of their demented music and videos. We all know that the future of mankind doesn’t look so good right now, and that the advancements in technology are not exactly bringing tons of benefits for us mere mortals, so why not celebrate the end of our existence to the sound of the top-of-the-line Thrash Metal blasted by Sintax in Nano 3000? At least that way we’ll definitely go out with a bang.

Best moments of the album: Reefers Sting And Honey, Most Hated Man In The Universe and Lethal And Armed.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Sliptrick Records

Track listing
1. Skeleton Scale 4:08
2. Reefers Sting And Honey 2:54
3. Most Hated Man In The Universe 3:51
4. Sight Got Past 3:47
5. Nano 3000 4:24
6. Shooting Stars 5:17
7. Lethal And Armed 3:45
8. Lunchtime Funeral 4:14

Band members
Yehi Zaken – vocals
Roi Illouz – guitar
Yoav Gruper – guitar
Slava Kishka – bass
Adam Levit – drums

Album Review – Die Entweihung / Kings & Pawns (2021)

An Israel-based one-man army continues to follow an eclectic direction with his new opus, mixing diverse musical genres with Black Metal vocals and Middle-Eastern melodies.

Formed in 2007 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Denis Tereschenko (known as Herr Entweiherr during the first years of the project) in the northern part of Israel, three years after moving to Haifa from his hometown Vitebsk, in Belarus, Melodic Dark/Black Metal entity Die Entweihung, which is German for “the desecration”, has just unleashed upon us all the project’s impressive tenth full-length opus, entitled Kings & Pawns, continuing the eclectic direction of some of his previous albums by mixing diverse musical genres the likes of Experimental, Doom and Thrash Metal with trademark Black Metal vocals, Middle-Eastern melodies and lyrics that, just like in the previous two albums, deal with “the confrontation of man and his surrounding world”. Not only that, Kings & Pawns also marks Die Entweihung’s first release in nine years to feature a couple of guest musicians, more specifically vocalists Alexander Ivanov (of Jinx) and Alena “Dark Zero” (of Nocturnal Pestilence), and bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), bringing additional layers of obscurity and mystery to the already idiosyncratic music crafted by Denis, all enfolded by a stylish artwork by Yulia “BooShweak” Asher.

A wicked intro quickly evolves into a metallic feast titled Away into the Night, where Denis delivers at the same time slashing riffs and whimsical keys, working as an expanded intro to The Moustached God, a grim fusion of Experimental Black Metal and contemporary Progressive Metal where Denis gnarls like a creature from the underworld while his beats and fills, as well as his Arabian guitar lines and solos, elevate the song’s epicness through the roof. And our talented and relentless lone wolf continues to pave his path of darkness and harmony in As The Hangover Starts, showcasing more of his classic Heavy Metal riffs intertwined with Symphonic Black Metal keys; whereas enhancing his progressiveness and experimentations we’re treated to the melodic instrumental tune Confrontation, once again displaying a fantastic job done by Denis on the guitars while he also crafts a dense kitchen with his drums and bass. Then guest Alexander Ivanov makes a demented vocal duo with Denis in Kings & Pawns, while our one-man army keeps hammering his drums and extracting sheer electricity form his riffage in a great depiction of his Melodic Dark Metal.

Featuring Alena “Dark Zero”, Iron Maiden-inspired guitars ignite the atmospheric The Nonsense Games, where Alena kicks some serious ass with her Doro-like clean vocals and devilish roars from start to finish; while sounding darker and more primeval than before, Denis and his Die Entweihung bring forward elements from an array of styles in the hypnotizing The Only Thing Worthy to Save, keeping the album at a high level of obscurity. Alena returns in full force in the cover song Working Class Hero, originally released by John Lennon under his solo project John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in their 1970 self-titled album (check the original version HERE), showcasing all her talent and passion for heavy music and, therefore, resulting in a beautiful rendition for such distinct classic; and the albums closes with another cover song, this time Sons of Moon and Fire, from the 1999 demo Revelation by Russian Black Metal horde Der Gerwelt, a beyond amazing tribute by Die Entweihung featuring guest bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), dedicated to the memory of Dmitry Aarbreck Abramov (R.I.P.) from the original Der Gerwelt lineup (and you can take a listen at the original version HERE).

In the end, as you can see it’s quite difficult to label the music crafted by Denis and his Die Entweihung in Kings & Pawns, showcasing all the dexterity, creativity and dynamism by such talented musician. Hence, the best thing to do in order to try to understand all styles and nuances found throughout the album is to stream it in full on YouTube, and of course purchase the album (and show Denis your utmost support) from his own BandCamp page, from Wings of Destruction’s BandCamp page or webstore, or from Discogs. Also, don’t forget to give Denis a shout on Facebook, getting to know more about his career, his music and plans for the future, consequently inspiring him to always move forward armed with his epic music. In a world where each one of us is either a king or a pawn, and with the discrepancy between those two groups growing exponentially year after year, there’s nothing better than some diverse and epic metal music to help us endure our daily lives, and Denis and his Die Entweihung are among us exactly to help us with that.

Best moments of the album: The Moustached God, Kings & Pawns and The Nonsense Games.

Worst moments of the album: Confrontation.

Released in 2021 Wings of Destruction

Track listing
1. Away into the Night 2:47
2. The Moustached God 6:32
3. As The Hangover Starts 8:36
4. Confrontation 4:02
5. Kings & Pawns 4:53
6. The Nonsense Games 7:12
7. The Only Thing Worthy to Save 6:42
8. Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover) 4:02
9. Sons of Moon and Fire (Der Gerwelt cover) 7:02

Band members
Denis Tereschenko – vocals, all instruments

Guest musicians
Alena “Dark Zero” – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “The Nonsense Games” and “Working Class Hero”
Alexander Ivanov – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “Kings & Pawns”
Anton Shirl – bass on “Sons of Moon and Fire”

Album Review – Zohamah / Spread My Ashes (2019)

Combining Black, Death and Doom Metal into a poisonous but intoxicating musical cocktail, here comes an Israeli one-man band armed with his excellent debut opus.

An intentionally cryptic band from Israel, Black/Death Metal one-man army Zohamah, which by the way is an expression taken from the Kabbalah that translates to “darkness” or “pollution”, a form of evil that results in kilkull (or spiritual damage), is unleashing upon humanity its first full-length opus, entitled Spread My Ashes, a follow-up to its debut EP Manic Depression, from 2017. Combining Black, Death and Doom Metal into a poisonous but intoxicating musical cocktail, Zohamah is the brainchild of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist H.M. (also known as Hezi Menashe), known from several underground bands such as Romuvos, Spawn of Evil and Immaterial, with all lyrics and music being written by H.M. himself, not to mention the album was also recorded, mixed and mastered by this extremely talented Israeli metaller.

The howling wind warns us all there’s a Black and Doom Metal storm coming in the opening track New World, generated by the somber gnarls and damned riffs blasted by H.M. It couldn’t have sounded more devilish than this, with H.M. also showcasing his superior skills on drums. Then presenting a Black Sabbath-inspired main riff enfolded in absolute obscurity we have The Darkness Whispers in My Ear, where H.M. is once again on fire with his demonic roars and intricate beats amidst the song’s hypnotizing rhythm; followed by Zohamah’s 2017 single, named Emptiness, a feast of the most Stygian sounds a man can generate, with his scorching hot guitar lines blending beautifully with his rumbling bass and rhythmic drumming, bringing elements from the most diverse types of classic extreme music.

A lot more Death Metal than its predecessors, which is noticeable specially on H.M.’s deeper growls, Black Cloud offers three minutes of aggressive, sulfurous and ruthless sounds, and the music remains vibrant and grim until all fades into pitch black darkness, whereas Broken Mirror is another demented creation by H.M., presenting the most melancholic and obscure elements from underground Blackened Doom. In addition, H.M. growls in a true desperate manner, bursting his lungs in pain and anguish. The title-track Spread My Ashes is a disturbing and harmonious instrumental bridge, building the ambience for the song that carries the name of the project, Zohamah, to captivate our senses with its neck-breaking pace, infernal screams and blast beats, ending the album on a high (and visceral) note just the way we love in underground extreme music.

It doesn’t really matter if you appreciate the works of one-man bands like Zohamah or not, you should definitely take a shot at Spread My Ashes, available in its entirety on on YouTube and on Spotify, as this is one of those albums that perfectly represent all the talent, hard work, passion for heavy music and darkness found in the independent Extreme Metal scene. If after listening to Spread My Ashes you feel like you want to know more about H.M. and his Zohamah (and I’m sure you will), you can follow him on Facebook, and show him your utmost support by purchasing the album from the Redefining Darkness Records’ BandCamp page, from the Hells Headbangers’ webstore, from iTunes or from Amazon. In the end, H.M. is not only spreading his ashes on us with Zohamah’s brand new album, but also showing all of us fans of metal music that the Israeli scene is a lot more interesting, vibrant and obscure than we can imagine.

Best moments of the album: The Darkness Whispers in My Ear and Broken Mirror.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Redefining Darkness Records

Track listing
1. New World 4:45
2. The Darkness Whispers in My Ear 4:38
3. Emptiness 5:04
4. Black Cloud 3:14
5. Broken Mirror 4:29
6. Spread My Ashes 1:52
7. Zohamah 5:42

Band members
H.M. – vocals, all instruments

Album Review – WhiteNoise / The Herd EP (2014)

Searching for an interesting mix of Rock N’ Roll, Metalcore and Hard Rock? This cool Israeli band might have exactly what you need.

Rating5

whitenoise_the herdTheir official Facebook page states they’re a Hardcore Rock N’ Roll band from Tel-Aviv, Israel, formed in 2004 by four childhood friends, all children to immigrants who moved from Soviet Russia to Israel in the early 90’s. That multicultural mixture alone is already enough to confirm how difficult it is to label the music by Israeli band WhiteNoise, but it’s when you start listening to their new EP entitled The Herd that things will get even more confusing (in the best way possible, of course).

Although it might seem at first glance that there’s nothing new in the music by WhiteNoise, their unique crossover of many different heavy music genres such as Hardcore, Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock, Death Metal, Metalcore and many others stands out and turns their musicality into something very entertaining for all types of metal fans. It’s almost as if they tried to add all their influences and personal experiences at the same time into their music, a bold move that actually ended up working for them.

whitenoiseThe Herd consists of three professional and honest tracks, with a high level of energy flowing throughout its entirety. The first one, 4 AM, is the best of all with a nice medley of Hard Rock, Glam Rock and Metalcore, with highlights to its melodious guitar lines and fun powerful screams by lead singer Yula. You can even check a live version of it at the D2O festival in Russia in 2013 by clicking HERE. The other two are Between The Lanes, a song that flirts with Thrash Metal (especially its chorus), with an inspired guitar solo full of feeling, and Near Life Experience, a modern American Thrash Metal/Metalcore tune where drummer Vladi fires up the song with his outstanding performance.

Lastly, the album art showing an evil skeleton dressed up as a wolf and his herd of demonic sheep is very artistic and old school, representing in a fun way everything the band wants to tell us with their music and corroborating their professionalism and passion for heavy music. So let’s show our support to WhiteNoise by checking their official SoundCloud, YouTube or BandCamp pages for more details about the band, their previous and new releases, and of course by purchasing their music. When heavy music is full of energy and creativity like this, it truly deserves our appreciation.

Best moments of the album: 4 AM.

Worst moments of the album: Let’s wait for a full-length album to do that, right?

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. 4 AM 3:20
2. Between The Lanes 3:15
3. Near Life Experience 3:27

Band members
Yura B. – vocals
Max G. – guitar
Greg P. – bass, vocals
Vladi A. – drums

Album Review – Syndrome / Colourful Cows EP (2013)

An interesting and totally experimental alternative outside the world of Heavy Metal.

Rating5

Colourful CowsWhenever you want to have a “break” from all the intensity of Heavy Metal (if that’s humanly possible), an interesting alternative is the EP Colourful Cows, launched in 2013 by Israeli/English Electro-Rock Alternative band Syndrome. Formed in 2010 and based in Israel and London, UK, this independent band adds a lot of different elements and experimental techniques to their regular instruments, generating a unique sonority that will certainly please fans of alternative music.

According to the band, the EP tells the first part of a story about the “Colourful Cows”, a metaphor to our life and society, and their music is totally designed based on virtual and real instruments mixed together, live sampling, programmed synthesizing and new live performance methods. All this “technical” explanation might not make a lot of sense for anyone who’s not connected to this world of electronic/experimental music. However, after listening to the entire EP, you’ll be able to better understand their proposal.

The first track of the EP, Exhibition Trial, works as a welcome card to what the band can offer us: it’s a very experimental song, with heavy keyboards and some moments that make me feel I’m inside a “psycho circus”. It’s a good start that will make you want to listen more of Syndrome’s music. The following song, Change, is a song full of special electronic effects and samples that also has an interesting intro with a female voice saying we have to shoot “them” in the head in order to kill them. Are they referring to zombies, or maybe to real living human beings as per the original idea of the album? Even being a huge fan of zombies, I choose the second option without a shadow of a doubt.

SyndromeThen come Open The Gate, a ballad with several elements that remind me of what artists like David Bowie usually present in their compositions, and L.Q.C, a more Rock N’ Roll and by far the heaviest song in Colourful Cows, which nice solos mixed with strong synths and drumming made it my favorite of all.

Colourful Cows has three more tracks that are completely different from one another: Exhibition Trial II is an instrumental ballad based on a calm and smooth piano; Get My Words is another crazy music voyage, full of synths and with a curious synthesized guitar solo; and the outro Colourful Cows is totally experimental and as odd as it can be.

The music in Colourful Cows is so “weird” that I didn’t know where to add this review, if in the 2013 New Releases or in the 2014 New Releases. Well, guess what? Neither category was selected, first because the EP was released back in August 2013 (a long, long time ago), and second because it’s not Heavy Metal at all, so it couldn’t be added to any of those categories anyway. That’s why it ended up here in the middle of the Other Reviews, which might sound weird, but remember that’s what Syndrome are and enjoy doing after all.

Last but not least, if you’re a musician interested in knowing more about how Syndrome creates their music, go to their technical webpage called Insight, which displays video clips demonstrating their technology and methods.

Best moments of the album: Exhibition Trial, Change and L.Q.C.

Worst moments of the album: Open the Gate.

Released in 2013 Independent

Track listing
1. Exhibition Trial 3:29
2. Change 3:09
3. Open The Gate 3:12
4. L.Q.C 4:18
5. Exhibition Trial II 3:00
6. Get My Words 3:59
7. Colourful Cows 1:23

Band members
Eric Shlomi – vocals
Amo – guitar & synth
Kiki Kalifa – guitar
Shaltiel Elul – synth & conductor
Gil Zissu – bass guitar
Dima Shchukin – soundman