Happy weekend! Sorry I missed last week. I managed to get stuck on a train with no internet service. I’m back now, though, and I’ve got an extra album this week to make up for missing last week. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Fractal Cypher – Prelude to an Impending Outcome
First up this week, we’ve got Fractal Cypher, a Montreal-based prog band that reminds me of Seventh Wonder with a side of Symphony X. Their new EP, Prelude to an Impending Outcome, is grand in scope and loaded with cinematic flourishes, particularly on 10-minute EP opener “Coming Back to Life”. The four songs on this EP are beautifully layered and composed – they strike a nice balance between being epic and cinematic without getting over-the-top bombastic or pretentious. Vocalist Simon Lavoie is particularly strong, leading the listener through the twisty-turny tracks with an elegant, emotional performance. In short, if you’re a prog metal fan, you’ll really enjoy this band – check them out!
Prelude to an Impending Outcome was released Nov 8. You can check it out here: https://fractalcypher.bandcamp.com
Central Disorder – Eradication
Next on the list this weekend is Central Disorder, from Chicago, USA. Their new record, Eradication, is their second full-length release. It’s groovy death metal, dark and heavy with loads of solid melodic riffs. The band’s brought a lot of knowledge and skill to this record, and it’s very well recorded and produced. It’s a long one, though, and there’s not a lot of hooks or diversity in the writing, so it definitely gets a bit repetitive. There’s some good material buried in here (“Bleed You Dry” and “Eradication” were particular favorites of mine), and I liked the initial intro track, “The Descent”, which sets up a nice apocalyptic atmosphere and setting. Overall, though, this album would have definitely benefited from being a little shorter and leaving the listener wanting a little more.
Eradication came out September 5, 2018. You can check it out here: https://centraldisorder.bandcamp.com
Death Vanish – Cold Hammer of Melancholy
Third on the list is Death Vanish. These guys hail from Connecticut, USA, and they (he, it’s another one-man band) are serious old-school black metal. Cold Hammer of Melancholy is a gritty, grungy four-track EP in the vein of old scene stalwarts like Mayhem. It’s definitely not for everyone – the vocals are nigh indistinguishable over the bass and guitar, and the whole mix is so lo-fi it might have been recorded in a bathtub. If your cold black heart yearns for the early 90s, this is worth checking out, but I give it two burning churches out of five.
Cold Hammer of Melancholy drops November 16. You can check it out here: https://eternaldeath.bandcamp.com/album/cold-hammer-of-melancholy
Septagon – Apocalyptic Rhymes
Our extra bonus album this week is Apocalyptic Rhymes, the sophomore release from German thrashers Septagon. Septagon blend Bay Area-style thrash metal with strong, power metal-influenced singing. The fast, snappy songs are bold and opinionated, and the band doesn’t hesitate to make their opinions on politics and society clear, especially on the bangers “The Weight of the World” and “P.O.T.U.S.A”. They’ve also got a knack for backing those opinions up with engaging riffs and well-placed technical solos. The production’s clear and sharp, though the vocals feel a bit loud compared to the rest of the music at some points. On the whole, Apocalyptic Rhymes is a fast-paced, fun album with loads to say, worth checking out for thrash fans.
Apocalyptic Rhymes came out Nov 9 on Cruz Del Sur Music. You can check it out here: septagonthrash.bandcamp.com/album/apocalyptic-rhymes
That’s all she wrote. See you next week!