Sensing it’s his time again Alice Cooper’s apprentice Wednesday 13 returns with a Halloween-themed EP of new tunes and remixed classics.
And US noise crew At The Skylines jostle for position with South Wales’ finest Triaxis for the title of metal album of the week.
We also run the rule over Downfall Of Gaia and Between The Buried And Me as both bands deliver much-hyped records.
Every Sunday we reveal the identity of the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK. And we round up the BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Heavy Metal
South Wales is where it’s at as far as British metal, in its many guises, is concerned and Triaxis peddle a traditional yet furious take on the genre.
Mixing classic Maiden (Black Trinity) with Black-era Metallica (Asunder) theirs is a sound that’s both instantly catchy and enduringly strong. A classy production and Krissie Kirby’s dazzling vocals make for one of the unexpected hits of the year.
However, when Traixis drift into Nightwish territory things do tend to take a turn for the worse and Under Blood Red Skies reflects poorly on an otherwise dynamic and brutally efficient band.
That aside this is terrific trad metal with a tantalizing modern twist. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Coming Of Rage
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Shock Rock
Halloween is approaching fast and the ever reliable (or some might say painfully predictable) Wednesday 13 is back with an EP for the season.
Worryingly for the Murderdolls man the two new tunes on offer are the weakest here. M.F.T.W. is a childish rant and Halloween 13-13 has an all too hollow ring.
The acoustic version of Curse Of Me, however, bristles with raw emotion and creeps up like a ghoul in a ghost train. It’s frightening but only because it’s scary how good Wednesday sounds stripped down and reined in.
Factor in that the riotous Rambo is given the remix treatment and this might just appeal to more than the die-hards. They’ll just have to die harder. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Spooktacular
It’s come to something when a band as depressingly formulaic and slavishly dull can strike a major label deal on one of the world’s most renowned rock and metal labels.
At The Skylines have successfully managed to conjure one of the most lifeless and hapless albums of 2012 with their awkward vocal approach and synth-fuelled anti-melodies.
This metalcore by numbers is mind-numbing it its mediocrity and if At The Skylines have found The Secret To Life they’re still searching for the trick to writing tunes.
Avoid at all costs unless self-punishment is this month’s prescription. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 2/10 At The Crossroads
Genre: Progressive metal
Between the Buried and Me’s music requires study and contemplation: it’s not an instant fix. And The Parallax II: Future Sequence, the North Carolina act’s sixth full length (and first concept album), demands even more from its listeners, such is its breathtaking scope and grand musical vision.
Though there’s a seam of extreme metal running through BTBAM – which exposes itself on many occasions – the range of influences and ideas on show here almost defies belief. Telos, for instance, stirs in thrashed-out riffs, dreamy space rock and more than a hint of Pink Floyd, while there’s a glorious, chaotic eccentricity to Lay Your Ghosts To Rest, a track which sees Tommy Rogers’ vocals both soar into the stratosphere and menace with death metal ferocity.
Even die-hard proggies might find The Parallax II: Future Sequence a bit too much of a trip down the rabbit hole, but those of you with time and patience on your hands will certainly enjoy the party. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Tomorrow’s World
Genre: Post Metal
They may have roots in crust-caked, d-beat hardcore, but Downfall of Gaia have matured into something rather more majestic.
The Germans’ latest offering blends sweeping post rock, crushing doom and ‘new breed’ atmospheric black metal, creating a sound that will draw comparisons with the likes of Cult Of Luna and Neurosis, but has a dark heart of its very own. It’s the kind of foreboding music that might score a rain-lashed Scandinavian crime drama, if its director had long hair and wore Wolves In The Throne Room t-shirts.
Unlike many ‘post metal’ acts, the quartet have a keen sense of rhythmic dynamics – meandering around for an eternity isn’t their style. Blast beats back the brooding chords of In The Rivers Bleak, for instance, while I Fade Away builds and releases tension to stunning effect.
Ominous, powerful and original, Suffocating In The Swarm of Cranes should propel this band to greater heights. RH
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Taking Flight