Frank’s Guide to Power Metal, Part IV: Melodic

Kamelot band
Kamelot

Power Metal has always been seen as a goofy, cheesy, fun genre in the realm of metal. It certainly is. The combination of fantasy-driven lyrics, melody and high-pitched, clean singing gives you the recipe for over-the-top tunes. However, there is a sub-genre of Power Metal that deviate from this path. That is the subject of this next Power Metal guide installment.

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Cetacean: Breach | Submerge

Cetacean - Breach | Submerge album cover Date Released: 01/29/2016
Label: Apes Who Looked Up Records
Album Type: Full Length
Album info: Bandcamp

A progressive blackened metal – this is how they are described, so I am intrigued. The saxophone is the first surprise, not necessarily within the worlds of “prog,” but I am not au fait with many Norwegian BM bands using the sax. Maybe they missed a trick.

Apes Who Looked Up Records are releasing the vinyl version of Breach | Submerge after a previous CD and digital launch earlier in January 2016. And I see from their biography that Daniel Pouliot from psyche warriors ‘Ancestors’ is playing on this album, and if it is he on drums he does a wizard performance on the opener “Earth is a Whisper,” once the sax has passed that is. Continue reading

Baroness release “Shock Me” video; North American Tour kicks off in May

Baroness, who kick off a five-week North American tour later this month, have released a video for “Shock Me.”

Filmed in rural Pennsylvania, the video brings to life a number of elements from the incredible artwork Baroness albums are known for. The clip was directed by Don Tyler and John Baizley with art direction by Karen Jerzyk.

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Trap Them: New album due this fall

Trap Them
Trap Them Live (2015 Deathwish Inc. Fest, Europe)

Lauded as one of Decibel Magazine’s “Most Anticipated Albums of 2016,” the as-yet-untitled new album by TRAP THEM has been completed and is expected to be released worldwide this fall. Once again, the band enlisted unofficial fifth member Kurt Ballou (Converge, Skeletonwitch) at GodCity Studios in Salem, Mass. to capture their unrestrained and unapologetic darkened hardcore sound.

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Frank’s Guide to Power Metal, Part III: Symphonic

Gloryhammer
Gloryhammer

Now that we have explained the two major sub-genres of Power Metal, let’s go a little bit deeper. Although there are several more, most of them have a little number of bands associated with it. As I examined it more closely I realized there are three that seem to attract musicians to their style.

Let’s start with one that I truly enjoy!

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False Gods: Wasteland

False Gods - Wasteland Date Released: 04/22/2016
Label: Independent
Album Type: EP
Band info: Facebook

This should really appeal to readers of Inhale the Heavy, a New York heavy weight sludge band FALSE GODS are due to release their debut EP Wasteland on April 22nd 2016.

Recorded at the back-end of 2015 with Joe Cincotta at the Full Force studios in New York, the power really comes across. Joe has worked with Suffocation in the past, and this EP is no less powerful, just not in a suffocating death metal style.

The evolution of the doom subgenre is in interesting one, as on one side you had, for example, Sabbath, Pentagram and Trouble, very heavily ‘metal’ focussed, then you had amongst others The Obsessed and COC that came from the more hardcore world. And False Gods evidence this through the history lesson of their influences which can be heard here; Crowbar and that NOLA sound, the pain of EHG, the rumble of metal pedigree Sabbath drums alongside the disaffected disdain of crust-core Amebix and Discharge.

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Castle Freak: Human Hive

castle_freak_human_hive_album_cover Date Released: 03/18/2016
Label: Independent
Album Type: EP
Album info: Bandcamp

This is disgusting. What more can I say? Human Hive is the next EP from Castle Freak, five tracks of disgusting death metal interspersed with film dialogue snippets peppering the brutal assault.

It’s a five tracker, but two are re-recordings of older tunes (Sickening Corpses and Toxic Winds) and a cover version, but this isn’t a jazzing up of a standard, where Castle Freak give something a new twist.

No Castle Freak have nailed their colours firmly to their mast and covered “Boneyard” by 90s death metallers Impetigo. Now I remember when Impetigo were about during that 90s wave of death and their use of film clips, so you can see who they are emulating here can’t you.

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