Every Sunday we review and rate what’s fresh. And we name the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK.
Today we cast our eye over the latest records by Orange Goblin (pictured), Earth, Pilgrim, Dawn Of Ashes, Goatwhore, Soen, and Eluveitie.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Folk Metal
If the bizarre voiced intro sounds like a (poor) rehearsal for Braveheart then this brilliant folk metal record swiftly segues from movie outtake mode to full blown aural blockbuster.
The canny juxtaposition of growling lead vocals, a harmonising female support and the regular fillip of Celtic pipes makes for a heady musical mix.
The imagery is strong, the atmosphere heated and the addictive quality of Eluveitie’s classy compositions utterly undeniable.
Embedded deep within a genre where it’s become increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd, the Swiss offer a vibrant alternative to stalwarts Finntroll, Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow.
Luxtos is a lavishly tribal romp through time while the thrashier Home proves Eluveitie can make one hell of a noise when they put their minds to it.
A suitably immersive follow-up to the German Top 20 smash Everything Remains (As It Never Was) this should be the record that catapults the multi-talented Chrigel Glanzmann and company into folk metal’s big leagues. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Elu-minating
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Heavy Metal
The bastard offspring of Lemmy and Phil Anselmo, it’s fair to say Orange Goblin aren’t going to reinvent the wheel anytime soon.
But when their brand of deep down and dirty guitar banditry is as good as this why even contemplate a brave new direction?
This is a proper metal album. It’s properly heavy, properly passionate and properly ear bleeding in all of the right places.
The perfect opening act for early 70s Sabbath there are those who will argue the Goblin is a band out of time. In fact they’re right on the button as metal beds down for a glorious new era. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 The Future’s Orange
Genre: Heavy Metal
It’s perhaps apt that, in the year the original line-up of Black Sabbath is (allegedly) back together for the first time since way back when, metal’s modern-day standard bearers are making classic albums for fun.
Pilgrim have clearly been raised on power chords and impending doom, broken promises and Satanic rhythms. When channelled into a truly progressive sheet of potentially corrosive metal it makes for a magnificent listen.
If Graveyard pumped their doom-tinged classic rock full of growth hormones then Pilgrim’s is the sound they’d surely recreate. It’s meaty and performed with meaning.
Three of the six tracks here clock in at more than 10 minutes so don’t expect to dip in and out. Misery Wizard requires commitment and Pilgrim’s true followers will reap their just rewards – in Hell, rather than Heaven. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Pilgrimpressive
Genre: Black/Death Metal
You don’t go and call your band Goatwhore before creating elevator music that your grandparents would be proud to call their own. And Goatwhore didn’t.
Theirs is a particularly nasty brand of full throttle, fear-inducing noise. Scrape your fingernails down a blackboard, amplify the volume tenfold and add a beast of a drummer – it’s a little like that.
Death To The Architects Of Heaven, Judgement Of The Bleeding Crown and Collapse In Eternal Worth are all typically unpleasant tunes from the masters of misery.
Goatwhore give goats and whores a bad name. And that’s no easy task. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 5/10 Whore-ible
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Kristof Bathory and his bluedgeoning crew have come a long, long way since their slightly dubious aggrotech days.
And as Dawn Of Ashes set the seal on the phenomenally successful Genocide Chapters cycle it’s difficult to imagine a band better placed to rewrite the black metal rule book moving forward.
This EP features three new songs – the atmospheric title track, Torture Device Pt2 and the brief instrumental blast Blood-Shed With The 3rd Eye.
Squeezed in between are the true collector’s items for any true fan of this magnificent LA metal crew: three wildly different mixes of Carnal Consummation In The Empty Space and the Juggernaut Mix (!) of Seething The Flesh In The River Ov Phlegethon. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 New Dawn Chorus
Genre: Drone Doom
Southern Lord are rolling out some genuinely challenging releases throughout 2012 and Earth’s follow-up to Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I is leading the charge.
Dylan Carlson’s predominantly instrumental project is deemed to be drone metal and yet, by its very nature, it defies classification.
Featuring the understated yet incredibly powerful cello work of Lori Goldston AOD,DOL II is generally more mellow than much of the band’s earlier work but it packs an aural punch, nevertheless.
The longest and best song here is the jazzy Multiplicity Of Doors and if you can sit through this for the full 13 minutes then you deserve a drone doom medal.
Dreamy or dreary – depending upon your particular perspective. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Earthy
Genre: Progressive Metal
Any record featuring the tub thumping talents of former Opeth and Amon Amarth man Martin Lopez demands further investigation.
Throw in the fact that he’s joined forces with Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Iced Earth) and it’s safe to say there’s going to be little to criticise where Soen’s star-studded rhythm section is concerned.
At times sounding strikingly similar to Opeth’s magnificent Heritage this is cerebral metal with a delightfully ambitious progressive slant.
Whether Soen is simply a side project doomed to spend time on the heavy rock sidelines remains to be seen – formed way back in 2005 it was swiftly mothballed – but there’s genuine potential here.
Lopez describes the band’s music as ‘very different’ to what’s already out there and it is. But different, in our opinion, is good. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Soen Language