With the release of 1991’s ‘Human’, Death had brought a new dimension into death metal with the inclusion of melodic elements, a bit of technicality and a lot of progression. Ever since then, many bands have tried to incorporate melody with death metal and while we have many success stories on that front, few bands have managed to find the balance between death metal’s primal brutality and the melodic elements that add flavour to it. A band which does manage to pull it off almost flawlessly is German three piece Sulphur Aeon. The way the band builds around the Lovecraftian horror theme with powerful death metal and melodic undertones on ‘Gateway to the Antisphere’, is one of the best extreme metal outputs to come out this year.
Is it just me or does the German language sound absolutely weird? No offence to my German speaking friends, but it’s one of the most bizarre languages I’ve come across. I bring this up now because this is one of the prominent thoughts that run through my mind while listening to ‘Kaiserschnitt’ by German weird vendors Porta Nigra. This is an album that plays around with different subgenres all the while carrying an avant-garde flavor and a blackened attitude. Released on Debemur Morti Production, this is a 46 minute trip into weirdness that is only accentuated by the band’s language of choice.
I have never been more excited for an album even before listening to it than the new Accept album ‘Blind Rage’. I have been keenly following all the interviews and other promotional activities leading to its postponed release. All the interviews of the band members suggested that the new album is going to be more ‘Classical’ sounding and the band was going back to its original sound reminiscent of ‘Balls to the Wall’ era, but secretly deep inside I was hoping for a much heavier and faster album than the last one, only to be later dissapointed on that front. Not many bands actually achieve more success after their original lead vocalist quits the band, but such has been the story of these metallers that this album is almost like a new chapter in their history.
When a band has been making music for more than a certain number of years, chances are that they’ve developed a sound which the listener can immediately associate with the band. Now as the years progress and the band continues to make music, the characteristic sound that the band had created for itself can act as both a blessing and a curse. While the die hard fans of the band will lap up the music the band produces, the not so die hard fans might grow tired of that characteristic sound. Which brings me to the German power / heavy metal giant Grave Digger. This is a band that has been around for 30 years and has 15 full lengths to its credit. So with the band all set to release the 16th one titled ‘Return of the Reaper’, the question arises whether the band’s signature sound works for or against it.
Before you go ahead and call me a sadist by looking at the title, no, I do not enjoy watching people die (duh!). What I do enjoy is some good, solid death metal that makes me go wild. I am not the type of person that likes his death metal to have a specific flavour. But I know there are some of you out there who like it old school and some others who like the modern stuff. So for this article, I’ve tried to include bands from both sides of the fence.