Washington state, U.S.
January 30, 2018 (no.2 in Jan.)
Metal Bulletin Zine P.O. Box 1339 Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA www.metalbulletin.blogspot.com www.twitter.com/MetalBulletinZn www.facebook.com/The-Metal-Bulletin-paper-zine-238441519609213/
Haze of Summer (Russia)
Anubis Gate (Denmark)
Arallu (Israel), Ensiferum (Finland), Throne of Heresy (Sweden), CaĂŻnan Dawn (France)
issues of this zine are available online at: www.fuglymaniacs.com
— Metal Bulletin Zine P.O. Box 1339 Lake Stevens WA 98258
All album reviews, news, updates below are by MMB, unless stated otherwise. **
Haze of Summer Znoi release date: March 17th, 2017
you might just surprise yourself with these Russians’ album. I’m not even going to go into questions of categories or issues of genres, subgenres and splitting hairs about the latest and most recent labels for bands and all those type of debates, which is why, if you notice the opening sentence of this review, it simply said “melodic extreme metal,” which is what this is. As for the labels and all those things, including issues of haircuts and clothes that people wear, I’ll leave that up to you.
1.March 04:51 2.April 07:18 3.May 05:18 4.June 04:51 5.July (Anno 2205) 06:23 6.August 05:11 total time 33:52 Haze of Summer is melodic extreme metal from Russia, and more specifically, it is melodic-melancholic, uptempo extreme metal, and it's meant to be easy, pleasant on the ears with a clear sound quality and it's very catchy music, with melodies all over the place and throughout the songs, not just for some segments like a chorus. The album is almost 34 minutes long and it is six songs. The format makes it, again, very easy to enjoy for supporters of the more modern or youngergeneration styles in extreme metal, although, of course, there is no reason why those listeners with more days under the sun would not be able to approach and really get to know the sounds of Haze of Summer. Fortunately, at the first link below you can experience the entire recording, and given its friendly length of time, you can hear the complete work all in one sitting, actually, without worrying much about how long the endeavor will take you. If you have read this far, perhaps you are interested, and if you happen to be the type of person that is relatively open to metal music that is new (or, at least, you are willing to give it a chance),
I do want to focus on the issue of melody and melancholy because it is fundamental to the music of this group. First, they have, as you will discover for yourself when hear it, melodies everywhere. Said melodies come from the guitars, but also from other instruments or sources, including the accordion, violin, synths and other places. The melodies can come from the guitars, such as solos, tremolo or catchy riffs and things of that nature. Nevertheless, there are sounds, like pop melodies or other sounds that you might find in techno pop, but, it should be underlined, that this is a tertiary technique, and it’s restrained and placed appropriately in some segments, and it is not predominant. In metal music, this is not a totally new thing, and some bands have been doing it carefully for decades. That’s the case here, it is done proportionally. Haze of Summer does sound like a metal
band. The various forms of growling are recognizable as extreme metal, and the drumming is uptempo, including some fast and blasting parts. The other side of the matter of melody in Haze of Summer has to do with what I am calling melancholy. By this I simply mean the following: the melodies have a certain shade of happiness, yet they are designed to work in the shadow of a gloomy state of mind, a pensive or contemplative emotional state. I think it is rather clear that this is the intention of the band, to come across as melancholic, if not all the time, then certainly at chosen moments. About the vocals. Certain bands that are popular with the younger generations in 2017â€”certain bands that have arrived after 2010 and that have been achieving success with the demographic of under 20 years of age, in places like the United Statesâ€”have extreme vocals that are annoying or irritating to the fans of the more traditional extreme vocals like thrash, death and black metal because the screeching or screaming sounds like a form of hardcore/punk and alternative/indie shouting/screaming. Haze of Summer, you might like to know, sounds nothing like that. The vocals are done in a way that shows a training, a technique, a feeling for how the pitch, intonation or general vibe should be not screechy, not like some angry-child screamo throwing a temper tantrum. In that sense, the style of vocals should be pleasing to a much wider demographic. I think the band has worked on making good songs and making it sound memorable and pleasant to the ear. Given it a few listens. Do you agree?
hazeofsummer.bandcamp.com/releases facebook.com/hazeofsummer/ **
Riot Sons of Society (Bonus Edition) Metal Blade Records release: 30 June 2017 original release: 1999 Riot's history of traditional heavy metal comprises an abundant list of classics, gems, and pioneering works, a remarkable discography that kicked off with 1977's Rock City, a solid album with a fun, young energy right there at the Big Bang of the first selfconscious heavy metal internationally. As years and decades passed, there has been a long list of memorable songs. More than 20 years after their debut album this Sons of Society was issued in 1999. Now, some 18 years after its original release the folks at Metal Blade want to remind us about the 1999 title. Is this album any good? Was it ever good at all? How does it sound now nearly two decades after it was made? Sons of Society is, in my opinion, a very good album that shines in so many ways and the years have made the music sound even better and more unique. Riot's field of operations on here is traditional, melodic singing proper; uptempo and song-oriented drumming and bass guitar; riffs and melodies by the barrel; songs to remember. Quite a variety of songs makes an appearance, although it is all done so well that it might not be particularly noticeable. Some tracks lean in the faster, power-metallike direction, others are uptempo rockers, while some go at a steady midpace, and some veer into slower tempos. I find that the overall pace works very well.
Vocally, the singing is smooth, pleasant on the ears, the type that American rock and metal audiences enjoy with traditional singing as you find on the radio for classic rock and metal, with a general and broad appeal, without high shouting, without punk screaming and without super high notes, just a great midrange and upper range with some bluesy shades here and there; it's got the perfect energy for this music.
guitar sound. The production is as good as you are likely to hear in this genre, I think. The music is not too crowded, given its mellow nature; you can hear the instruments rather clearly, and the overall sound quality is pleasant. The laidback sound gives lots of room for the singing to be the focal point in the music.
Who would enjoy this album? Fans of classic, melodic and traditional heavy metal, and of classic rock, hard and heavy rock in general that like melody, singing and guitar riffs and solos would possibly appreciate the album the most. metalblade.com/riot/ facebook.com/riotrockcity **
Anubis Gate Covered in Black Nightmare /Sony/RED release: 1 September 2017 Anubis Gate is an adult contemporary melodic progressive band from Denmark. They began in 2001 and this is their seventh full-length studio album. Historically, their music has been received very well by enthusiasts of the melodic progressive genre, including, of course, the writers who are knowledgeable of the band's discography. As I am not to be counted amongst the latter group, I will center on this album only, because I am unable to compare with the previous output by the Danes. Specifically, what we have here is quintessential melodic progressive from head to toe, top to bottom. The overall style focuses on midpaced songs with melodic vocals and a modern 2017 prog
Lyrically, the band seems to be working with thoughtful stories about people and their problems. Some of the spirit seems hopeless, but some of it is also a bit optimistic; itâ€™s not all doom and gloom about the human race. At the same time, I guess if the overall tone is pessimistic in the album cover artwork and the lyrics, it makes sense that the music be not too cheery. Moreover, the band has quite a lot of experience as musicians and the music reflects that all those traits along the way. You would be hard pressed to criticize negatively a band in which everyone is this skilled. Even though I am not familiar with the band at all and I don't pretend to present myself as such, I would imagine that the fans of the band will welcome the newest addition to the family of albums. The new baby is looking
good, folks. It seems like a perfect representation of contemporary 2017 melodic progressive music. The musicianship is very good and the singing is melodic. The voice (just singing; no growling/screaming) has a certain 80s melodic tone, with a pop edge like you find in 80s Mister Mister, Yes, Asia and Toto, and Flock of Seagulls and The Outfield, in the sense of the layered harmonies. In other words, this is not the in-your-face-metal-god singing that peels the paint off the walls. Is Anubis Gate “family metal music” that won’t scare off the children? Hmm, Maybe! Unfortunately for me, I find the album to be too comfortable at the midtempo moods. It doesn't grab my attention because the band seems invested in the idea of avoiding rocking songs. They don't want to rock out. Only on a couple of songs, like "The Combat" and "Black" did my attention perk up a bit with the more upbeat moments.
7.Light of a Torch (Witch Cross cover) 05:28 8.Walpyrgus Nights 05:01 total time 37:22 This band should be arrested. They should be in jail. They're criminals. They don't play the game in a fair way and that's not right. It's high time that someone stood up and said something about it. That's why I'm here. To call for justice. To call the shots.
Too bad for me, I guess, but the diehard supporters who live and breathe melodic progressive music should be pleased, I believe. What do you say, Anubis Gate fans? Are you liking it so far? Check out the video from the new album posted at the band’s page link below. facebook.com/AnubisGate/ **
Walpyrgus Walpyrgus Nights release date: June 6th, 2017 label: Cruz del Sur Music 1.The Dead of Night 04:48 2.Somewhere Under Summerwind 3.Dead Girls 03:24 4.Lauralone 05:12 5.Palmystry 05:21 6.She Lives 02:52
The audacity of this band. I mean, the nerve! Here is their plan. Form a traditional heavy metal band, and make every single song a hit and make everyone bang their heads and get them all addicted and infected with heavy metal mania, like a highly memorable child of Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy (or is it Scorpions and Thin Lizzy?). Anyway you slice it, friend, welcome to the hit factory! They have one passion only: writing hits! Walpyrgus is a hit-writing heavy metal machine from the United States. The guitars sing with huge melodies and harmonies, and the voice singing is there to make you sing; it's a bit more on the side of melodic, hard rock vocals
than air-raid-siren high vocals. This band is not a 70s punk-style band, but they make their songs so compact, it's like they have been listening to The Ramones and Misfits and they stole, just right out stole, that idea for heavy metal. Get in, play the song efficiently, get to the chorus fast, waste no time and end it quickly. Then, start the next one. They do a bit of the gang-shouted backing vocals, too (I told you; a bit oâ€™ punk). Their lyrics are horror-themed with an upbeat Alice Cooper-like feel (or is it Misfits-like vibe?). Rocking traditional heavy metal packed with hits. Are you in?
a strange mix of extreme metal chaos fury, being intoxicated with belly-dancing sounds and melodies. Is it a bit crazy? Yup, a bit! However, this is where experience and knowledge count the most. If they were inexperienced it might sound weird, like they would be biting more than they can chew. It would show that they have an active imagination, but that they do not possess the wherewithal to do this correctly, and that they don't actually know how to bring their vision to life. Thankfully, that's not true; they do know how to do this and it sounds right.
walpyrgus.bandcamp.com/album/walpyrgus -nights facebook.com/Walpyrgus **
Arallu Six release date: September 22, 2017 label: Transcending Obscurity Records Within Arallu's music there is taking place, from the perspective of the metal music public in the United States, something imaginative and rather unique. The Israeli group succeeds at its chosen enterprise of extreme metal with Middle Eastern flavors. The songs have a foundation in black metal and although they maintain a high level of intensity throughout, blasting speeds are utilized not monotonously but they are present. The vocals are mostly black metal and they are of the abrasive kind, and this may reduce the number of people who might be interested in Arallu. Sometimes the vocals have a tendency to slip "mad man in state of hysteria" mode. The music at first may sound a bit abrasive, too, due to what might seem like
A band like Melechesh is rightfully recognized for their "Mesopotamian metal," a style not too far away from Arallu's. AlNamrood is a black metal entity that also has brought to the attention of some publications the idea of "Arabian" or "Middle Eastern extreme metal," and they have been doing it for years. Of course, Nile has a played an important role in pioneering the use of Middle Eastern sounds, melodies and influences to extreme metal in general. Maybe it is time to recognize what Arallu is doing, too. Or more correctly, maybe it is time for those of us, like me, who have missed the boat on this band, to step up and find out more about their discography. They
have been doing this for years, too. They began in 1998 and they have six albums now, in addition to other recordings. This new one, in my opinion, is undeniable evidence that Arallu has worked hard at their craft. arallu.bandcamp.com facebook.com/ARALLU666 **
Ensiferum Two Paths Metal Blade Records release: 15 September 2017 1.Ajattomasta unesta 02:12 2.For Those About to Fight for Metal 05:17 3.Way of the Warrior 03:57 4.Two Paths 04:48 5.King of Storms 05:16 6.Feast with Valkyries 04:08 7.Don't You Say 03:39 8.I Will Never Kneel 05:00 9.God Is Dead 04:15 10.Hail to the Victor 05:10 11.Unettomaan aikaan 02:14 12.God Is Dead (alternative version) 03:55 13.Don't You Say (alternative version) 03:39 total time: 53:30 After more than two decades of refining and tweaking the music Ensiferum has perfected the art of party metal. There is a time and a place for things, but Ensiferum time is a time to rock, eat, drink and be merryâ€”whether it is a Finnish holiday or just another Monday night in Helsinki, or the 4th of July, Kwanzaa, 5 de Mayo or Oktoberfest, or just a normal midweek pirate party. The music sounds upbeat and fun, with their signature style of folk metal. On the other hand, this is not to say that the band does not take the construction of the songs seriously. On the contrary, you can really hear all the instruments on this recording. The team that put together the
sound of this album has done a good job of letting the songs have elbow room. You will hear the bass guitar, for instance, which can often be a test of whether a recording is good or not. You will hear all of the band clearly. I have also tested this recording in the car and it sounds good there, too, it has a nice full sound. I am no expert on sound engineering and all those things, but this does sound rather good.
The songs themselves flow very well as an album. I have been listening to the whole album, not just certain songs. The general feeling of the album is uptempo. These compositions sound perfect for the live setting, demonstrating that this is a band of the people and that the songs are made to be played in front of the fans who will be banging their heads or will have a fist in the air, possibly with a drink in the other. They aim to please and I think the audiences will leave satisfied with what they have witnessed. Ensiferum cannot be contained by categories, genres and labels. In their own way, they come across as a metal band that can do it all, taking what they need from wherever they want and utilizing all the
resources to make the best songs that they can. Melodic singing, extreme vocals, thrashy riffs, power metal melodies, heavy metal hooks, extreme metal energies, folky melodies, pirate/sailor vibes, yup, yup, yeah, it's impossible what to make of it as a genre, and you'll be glad that the band does not care and I don't think you will care about what genre it is, either. This is Ensiferum, it's what they do best.
death metal and melodic black metal. Most importantly for fans, the music sounds tightly executed, with an educated knowledge of the particular field to which they are dedicated. It is not that the album is “promising,” it’s that it already delivers the goods. Go to the first link to hear a song from the new album.
I won't go into individual songs because this review will turn into something else then, and not a review. The album has an introduction and outtroduction, plus two alternative versions of the songs. All in all, not counting intro/outtro and repeated songs, you will get nine full songs. I don't care about the extra stuff, just the songs themselves. When you look at them, the songs, the album is put together very well, from the thunderstrucking opening song "For Those about to Fight for Metal" to the last one with its end-of-the-party tone that tells you "until we meet again, friend.": "Hail to the Victor." Until we meet in a concert, that is. A great return for Ensiferum. metalblade.com/ensiferum facebook.com/Ensiferum twitter.com/EnsiferumMetal @EnsiferumMetal **
interview: Throne of Heresy (Sweden) Throne of Heresy’s third album is coming up in November. They are extreme metal and they are already prepared to let the audiences experience the new album called Decameron. Having heard the album in its entirety, it is clear that they are aiming high with their sights on the classic tradition of
Hello, there, Throne of Heresy! How many people played on the new album and is everyone on the recording a member of the band? Hey there, this is Thomas Clifford (vocals) answering your questions. Thanks for getting in touch. When we recorded Decameron, there were the five main band members plus guest appearances of Karl Beckman (King of Asgard) and Maliika who both added some excellent backing vocals. We also enlisted local voice actor Ben Kersley for the spoken parts in Liber Secretorum. Our current line-up got together in 2016 when
guitarist Lars Björkens joined us. But the band has been going since 2009. The band lives in Linköping, says Metal Archives. Is that true? Are there venues for your band to perform in that city? How is life, aside from music? What's fun or interesting to do in that city? Actually, we're not really based in Linköping anymore. Our bassist Björn is the only one living there. The rest of us are spread out across the Ostrogothian County. We have our base in the small town of Mjölby, so I guess that's what it should say in MA. Anyway, the distances are rather short here so regarding your questions of Linköping, yes there are some good venues there (even though the main one for underground metal "The Crypt" just closed). We generally have good promoters and venues in Sweden. Here there's Hell Yeah Rock Club, K&K Backstage, L'orient, etc. I've been to concerts with Judas Priest, Nile, Opeth and so on in Linköping so it's not too bad. Aside from music, I guess you can go check out the historical sites like Alvastra abbey (which is also featured on our album), or visit the Airforce Museum and so on. Who did the artwork? Do you know the artist? What is relation between the artwork and the title of the album overall? The artwork is done by renowned album cover artist Mattias Frisk, who also happens to be a friend of ours (we share rehearsal space and drummer with his band Vanhelgd). The album is a chronicle of the spread of the black death. In many ways the tracks paint a macro-perspective of the plague, following it from country to country. The artwork is the opposite, a micro-perspective focused on the ultimate human suffering. It is a perfect fit for
the album since it ties together the concept in a direct way. What it all comes down to is that death is always close-up and personal, both for the dying and their relatives or close ones.
Tell us about your new album. It is your third. Where did you record it? Did you have a producer? How does a producer help your band? Bands often say that their new album is their best work and it might be true. Is it true, in your opinion, for your band? We recorded our album at Endarker Studios, owned and run by producer Magnus "Devo" Andersson who is also the bass player of Marduk. He has years of experience with this kind of music and it just helps a lot to have someone with his talent and sense when making an album like this. Just getting the right guitar sound can be tricky as hell but he listened to us and then got started. I think he made maybe three or four sound tests before we got one we liked, then he tweaked it some more and eventually that is what ended up on the album. As for whether this is our best album so far, I will say yes. I will always say yes. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't want to release it. Perhaps time will tell differently, but when you're done with a project like this you've put in weeks or months of creative output, going over every detail, rewriting, rearranging and just living with it every waking minute. If you don't believe in it then, you might as well stop.
You just finished the album. Is it perfect, just the way you wanted? Is there anything youâ€™d like to change? No idea. This is honestly impossible to answer right now. I am still too close to the process of this album to hear it objectively. There are a few lyrics parts that I would have wanted to work on some more perhaps, but generally I am very satisfied with the lyrics as a whole. Hopefully the few who actually still read lyrics will find them interesting, too. They're full of historical tidbits and references from a wide range of sources. There's even a literature reference list in the booklet.
Is there some room for younger bands from Sweden to go out on tour in Europe? It is possible of course and we are currently looking for gigs and festivals in Europe. Get in touch with us if you want us to play at your venue.
Your band is on The Sign Records. What does being on a label mean to you? The label is good in the way that they take some of the workload off you when you're just coming out of the studio. Once an album is fully recorded and you leave the studio for the last time, it is cathartic. But you're also likely to be exhausted and in a state where you want to get away from anything to do with the album for a while (remember the months of work I mentioned?). That's where the label is a great thing. They can take the album and start working on the next steps pressing, PR etc. Also, they pay for some things which is nice.
I like your extreme metal and I like the speed and tightness, but I do like that you have melody, too. How has the use of melody developed for your band? The melodic aspects on this album are tied in with the atmosphere we wanted to create. One of despair and melancholy. I think we managed to convey that for the most part. We're very careful not to cross into the "melodic death metal" or "Gothenburg" style though. That is not the path for Throne of Heresy. We are a death metal band with black metal influences, and so we shall stay.
Where can interested people hear your complete album when it is ready? The album will be released on November 3rd and can then be heard on all major digital outlets like iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, etc. It will probably be up in full on our Bandcamp then too.
** CaĂŻnan Dawn returns with an exciting new album of black metal centered upon the occult with several strands to be explored. The band works with a controlled quantity of dissonance, enough for obscurantism but not so much so that the music is overshadowed by experimentation. The band's execution of black metal works with a sense of ritualistic/shamanistic hypnosis and repetition that at times the blasting speeds and wall of sound seems to be still, calling for meditation. Of course, at first the album seems unapproachable, as if the band is not very inviting to its own music. The elements of dissonance and the hypnosis will turn off some people, but black metal supporters with a bit more patience and willingness to walk into the fog should be able to understand what the band is attempting to communicate to you. To begin this process, visit the first link below for more information and for the links there to two new songs that you can experience for yourself now. The Frenchmen have taken more than three years to release a new album, but it looks like the wait has been worth it. Having heard the album in its entirety
several times now, it should be a worthwhile investigation and search to go into the album for many diehard occult black metal loyalists.
took his place on bass guitar.
Caïnan Dawn F.O.H.A.T Osmose Productions release: 27 October 2017 OFFICIAL: Once again, CAINAN DAWN has probed the infinite resonance of the everlasting chaos. Through seven tracks with strong atmosphere, the cosmic substance FOHAT revealed the mysterious link between Mind and Matter. FOHAT is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding unity of all cosmic energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes. This is the final of a reversed path that was ending with Nibiru, the destructor and followed by thAVMIAL, the twins. Prepare for a journey beyond eternity. Kaos, Theos, Kosmos. BIO: 2003 Anno Domini. During this year, Heruforod and Kobal decided to form “CAINAN DAWN” to exteriorize an idea: making palpable the unreal and the hidden. A first demo was recorded in the chaos and depression and it fell into oblivion. From then, a stasis settled. After months of reflection and study, it was not until the end of 2005 that the band recorded the demo “IN DARKNESS I REIGN” in the south of France. Direct, unfathomable and destructive, it allowed to be signed with the label Lille Eisiger Mond Productions for a release in 2008. It was from this moment that the band moved to Savoie, with a rallying of Hjoldr (Mysteriarch) on drums and Sorghal (Nehëmah) on lead guitar. Shortly afterwards, Kobal detached himself from the band and Keithan (Maïeutiste, Barús)
The years that followed were rich in the study of the occult. The writings of John Dee and Edward Kelley, the works of Eliphas Levy and the Golden Dawn forge the creation of the album “NIBIRU”, released in 2011 at Those Opposed Records. Following the departure of Sorghal, Avgruun (Himinbjorg, Allobrogia) replaces him on the lead guitar. But a more personal and more accomplished work is manifested in Heruforod. For two years, the album “thAVMIAL” was built. The Left Hand Path as well as the Kabbalah and the duality shadow and light will compose the eight titles of the album. It allowed “CAINAN DAWN” to sign with Osmose Productions. In 2017, the album “F O H A T” will be born. For this recording, Kloct (South of Hell, Allobrogia) replaces Hjoldr. F O H A T is the cosmic energy inhabiting the cosmos. With this album, the revelations of Helena Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine” will bring the illumination. facebook.com/cainandawn osmoseproductions-label.com/bands/cainandawn-band/
Metal Bulletin Zine 134