Album Of The Month – March 2020

Album Of The Month - March 2020

After all the troubles we had on the last few weeks, I can gladly say that we’re baaack! Yeah! Twenty more albums, the best for March 2020, various range of styles and with the potential to stand against the mark of time. Go ahead and enjoy! And don’t forget to hear the playlist Sundays at 21:00 GMT, on SFTD Radio

20 - Serious Black – “Suite 226”

AFM Records

This new album of Serious Black is, for me, a work of art! It was a well-thought album, worked with the objective of conquering! Energetic riffs create a solid, epic and glorious sonority. This is one of those disks that make you want to listen to it time after time after time again. Making reviews on this level greatly facilitates our work and this magnificent band overflows with quality and guarantees the future of power metal genre, without boring its listeners and without grabbing the usual clichés that have markedly influenced other releases.

10/10
Review by Miguel Correia

19 - Anvil – “Legal At Last”

AFM Records

If there are reviews that bring me joy, this is one of them. Anvil is…Anvil! Any album of their authorship is easily identifiable and here’s another one. If someone covered my eyes and put this playing, my answer would be an easy one… this is an Anvil album! “Legal At Last” is their 18th album and it’s a brutal one, full of that characteristic energy of the big hits of the Canadian band in a sound consolidated with the continuous bet, since “Juggernaut of Justice”, in the clean production of the vocals of Lips but maintaining the torn tendency of its sound that, once again, leaves its mark! If you’re a fan…you’ll love it!

10/10
Review by Miguel Correia

18 - Shakra – “Mad World”

AFM Records

This new album of Serious Black is, for me, a work of art! It was a well-thought album, worked with the objective of conquering! Energetic riffs create a solid, epic and glorious sonority. This is one of those disks that make you want to listen to it time after time after time again. Making reviews on this level greatly facilitates our work and this magnificent band overflows with quality and guarantees the future of power metal genre, without boring its listeners and without grabbing the usual clichés that have markedly influenced other releases.

10/10
Review by Miguel Correia

17 - Your Last Wish – “Eradicate”

Self Released

 After eight years of silence, the Canadians “Your Last Wish” are back with their third album. “Eradicate” shows us in every moment that it is the one. The one in which the band proves itself as a force to be reckoned with in the metal scene. We know well that nowadays it’s hard for bands to assert themselves; even more when we’re talking about melodic death metal. In Your Last Wishs defense, the band manages to do it quite well, in a way that it isn’t even an approximation to the Swedish style or to the more modern approaches to metalcore, that have been witnessed to happen plenty of times. The band takes its own sound and takes a move forward, where the technical component isn’t left behind. As a complaint, we only point out the too modern production. It’s not that the sound is bad; it isn’t, it’s perfect. The problem ends up being that same perfection. To what point have we gotten ourselves to, where things are too perfect…

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

16 - Lowrider – “Refractions”

Blues Funeral Recordings

Lowrider have been absent for two decades and “Refractions” fools us in this remark, in two ways. Firstly, because it doesn’t sound like two decades have passed by from what we hear here; secondly, because this album gives us a sensation that it might have been released twenty years ago, as it’s the case, or even forty years ago. It’s a stoner style that hypnotizes and that also has some psychedelic strokes that are very much appreciated. This is one of those albums that doesn’t represent any challenge in getting addicted to. We figure it’ll be like that for a long time. “Piper Rider” is one of the biggest examples of this situation.

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

15 - Breidablik – “Omicron”

Pancromatic

It’s easy to forget about ambient when we stand everyday hearing to all the metal we do. It’s easy to happen but it’s not easy to the point that it’s frequent, because, fortunately, there are bands/projects as Breidablik to remind us why it is one of the styles we most enjoy. Principally due to the treasures they offer us, as it is the case with “Omicron”, their most recent work. “Omicron” is composed by two songs, loyal to the good and classical way of Mike Oldfield in “Tubular Bells”. They are two themes where we venture in a personal voyage that fluctuates between progressive rock and drone. The two styles of voyage are always very subjective, each listener has their own and each one has its own destination. It isn’t required for this many trips to arrive at the conclusion that the destination is irrelevant, and that what matters is the path walked in order to achieve it. It’s a trip constituted by forty three minutes of astonishing music.

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

14 - Revenant Marquis – “Youth in Ribbons”

Inferna Profundus Records

Some musicians insist in proving that my perspective on the ability of regeneration/evolution, intrinsic to the genre of Black Metal, is more than real. The growth the genre has seen in the last 5 (?) years has been enormous. From the “Back to the Roots” movement, to “The 90s Symphonic Hype”, Black Metal has, slowly, recaptured its rightful place in the sphere of Heavy Metal (was it even lost?). Peculiarly, days prior to receiving this promo I had read an interview with the mastermind behind the project/band/entity, and was questioning myself on why did I not, until that moment, gave it a listen. Well, why did it take this long, I reckon, will remain indefinite.

It is Black Metal; it is within the scope of the Raw Black Metal fringe, yes. Is it like most projects that replicate some previous project, based on other prior entities?! Yes and no. Yes, I was expecting more of the same – but with top-notch quality, given the reviews and whatever – and I do not feel defrauded. But at the same time, it carries a different beast in its main core. It has this uncharacteristic scent to it. “Youth in Ribbons” is the 4th release of this unknown Welsh entity, and it might well be its breakthrough.

The almost danceable beat that lingers through most of the songs really stands out by itself. The deep voice, echoing from a far, stands out from all the slow, yet raw, musical structure in which the music stands. It is funny, actually, that Raw Black Metal has reached this point. It sounds, for instances, taken from the soundtrack of a horror film. Sort of takes you in, grabs you by the throat and haunts you from the duration of the album (best served with headphones, please). No, it does not intend to reinvent the wheel or any sort of… anything. It simply presents an album that fulfils the desires of much of the Black Metal fanbase (I said fanbase…): Raw, Haunting, Claustrophobic… Eerie. The drums do take a big piece of the atmosphere. Pacing beat, heavy stomping, savage punisher. Most of the time it takes up “all the room”, in the tracks. It sets the mood to the track, entombing, beneath it, all that remains.

The voice, again, buried deep behind a wall of sound, is what stands out the most, which is strange given the fact that I just pointed out, I know. But it does. Oddly, it does. Lovely guitar work. Full of melody, yet unsettling enough to make you sick.

The end productions sets the mood for the whole record. Even the guitar riffing sounds atypical! It takes a piece of DSBM, adds a pinch of RBM, and we end up with the recollection of tracks.

The subject of the record/piece of Music might come as a shock to some, I dare say, but it might help in understanding the violence projected into the Music. Sexuality. The Human Psyche. Schizophrenic Transmission of Music. Hypnotic Haunting Scenery. In the end, after all is over, a shadow remains, in a far corner, a reflection of the Human Essence… dark and khold.

9/10 
Review by Daniel Pinheiro

13 - Graceless – “Where Vultures Know Your Name”

Raw Skull Recordz

Graceless present themselves once again with their second album that has the power to bring the house down. And we had to hold ourselves to the foundations to avoid such scenario. It’s one of the cases in which we have a really rough death/doom that doesn’t even resemble itself. Instead of resorting to doom’s melancholy, they opt to go for a groove approach with slower rhythms, in such a way that it’s impossible not to be a hostage to the bombardment from sounds like the ones in “Retaliation of the Wicked”. However, it’s not only a matter of riffs and the overall weight surrounding this album; it’s more about how everything fits in starting in the lead guitar that drinks from the more traditional sonority of metal. The end result is particularly exciting. It’s not one of the most typical works in death/doom, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable.

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

12 -At First – “Deadline”

Self Released

With the pace that’s going around nowadays, it’s hard to be surprised. And when we talk about pace, we don’t mean about us in World of Metal, but instead about anyone interested in following any type of thing. There are many things happening and many things available. Still, in front of all this activity, it’s impossible to not be impressed with this debut. It’s modern sound inside the alternative style but with the ability to go even beyond. What we have here is Tool, with typical prog metal riffs and also a voice (Jamie Jochems) that leaves us completely surrendered to it. At First might be new to scene but they premier themselves with such an impact that it marked us and made us believe that it’ll mark anyone that will hear it.

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

11 - Neaera – “Neaera”

Metal Blade Records

I must confess that Neaera and their several incarnations always fly by me. Despite embracing this project of showing everything that goes on in this world of metal, it doesn’t mean that I can actually do it … Lamentations aside, our ways haven’t crossed and probably wouldn’t if the band hadn’t returned in 2018 – after ending in 2015. And this return motivates the exploration of everything done before by them. Have you ever felt the enthusiasm, an almost childish one, in listening to a band for the first time and getting hungry for more? That’s what happened with this here scribe. Melodic death metal that doesn’t exactly sound to melodic death metal (at least not that one you’re thinking about) but that not even this makes it approach other tendencies (those exact same you’re thinking about).  Strong riffs, melodic leads and a vocal duality that explodes everything else. In reality, this melodic death metal it’s liable to be sued for fraud since it’s brutal despite everything. Anyways, I don’t know if they’ll bring back much of the older fans, but new ones will definitely appear.

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

10 - Vredehammer – “Viperous”

Indie Recordings

Vredehammer are not one of the most obvious names in the Norwegian extreme music scene, but with 10 years of career and with this third album they prove that they have everything needed to ascend to that stature. The 4-year pause since “Violator” made the band reappear slightly renewed in terms of sound. Regarding the whole brutality there is a noticed industrial character. Easy there, this isn’t a change of their typical sound neither a distortion of their identity. On the contrary, what we have here is more of an adding of electronic arrangements here and there that, in our opinion, fit in quite nicely. The band is more and more threatening and this work; despite it being somewhat one-dimensional in its death/black violence, it ends up becoming much more dynamic than expected. It’s a case to say that black has gotten a new color.

9/10
Review by Fernando Ferreira

9 - Pantheon of Blood – “Voices Rooted in Blood”

Purity Through Fire

Finland has been, since the late 80s, early 90s, a hotbed for Extreme Metal. From Beherit to Cosmic Church, and all in between, the Finns do know how to craft such heretic and blasphemous homages to the genre. Since the turn of century we have been gifted with an immense quantity of World class Black Metal that has been pushing the boundaries of the genre to levels barely seen before. Blood Red Fog, Kadotus, Noenum, Circle of Ouroborus, the aforementioned Cosmic Church and today’s guest, Pantheon of Blood, have been offering, consistently, new and wonderful perspectives on Black Metal.

Melody. That is the word better that portrays this recollection of tracks. An overwhelming sense of Melody and Ease, an otherworldly experience. At moments, aggressive, at times, sweet. An essence of 90s Black Metal and a sense of sensibility. This is, in my opinion, the heart of Pantheon of Blood. This mix, this intersection of moods, makes their Music a massive experience. Old days still present… this Folklore that resonates through Time and brands the listener with Rites and Messages.

“Voices Rooted in Blood” is a compilation of tracks that tells a story. It is a story of Evolution and Growth. A story of an entity that thrives to reach the epitome of Creation. Sûrya Ishtara, the man behind Pantheon of Blood, alongside the almighty Signal Rex, have put together (minus “Tetrasomia”) all the band’s tracks in one single release. It is an excellent way to absorb its creation and its evolution. A journey of sounds and mental sights by one of Finland’s greatest Black Metal creations (in my opinion, of course).

For those that have experienced Pantheon of Blood’s reality, there will be no surprise; those that, on the other hand, have never walked down this path, the expedition will be full of riches and surprises! Many stages, many shapes, many colours.


9/10
Review by Daniel Pinheiro

8 - Paganland – “Galizier”

Prosthetic Records

Ok, let’s start by talking of the elephant in the room. Just by looking at the cover, we immediately think we are in front of an album for fascists but taking into account that the first thing the band points out is that “this isn’t an album about Nazis”, there’s no way not to believe it. You might think “Dude, you’re so naïve! We have a band called Paganland, we have soldiers on the cover in a photo that precedes the 2nd WW; of course we are talking about Nazis!” Well…no. Firstly, the photo, as was said, precedes the Second World War and secondly, it talks about the Ukrainian squadron that fought in the war between Ukraine and Poland with the objective of the advancement of communism. It didn’t serve them much but whatever. Thirdly, nobody that iis a Nazi is ashamed of being one. Now that we’ve addressed these questions, what remains is an extremely addicting melodic black metal. In fact, it was due to the quality of the work, that we found it necessary to make such a long intro; it would be criminal to set aside this album basing ourselves on a void point. It’s only sad that it’s really short… but nonetheless, what happens is: us taking some more turns in the disk. When so many turns are made in the same way without getting sick of it, it’s because we’re really on a good track.

9/10
Review By Fernando Ferreira

7 - Rosy Finch – “Scarlet”

Lay Bare Recordings / Discos Macarras / LaRubia Producciones / Spinda Records

This new album from Rosy Finch is surprising, both because of the coverage of its sound that goes from a type of stoner indie to that heavy doom and also because we didn’t have any  idea about the Spanish nationality of this band, here just right next to us (they’re from Alicante). But that’s our burden, to watch sometimes how life comes by us while we’re focusing in other things. The quality of this work, however, brings us down to Earth once again. Dynamic as some, but still with a strong unique identity which is helped by Mireia Porto’s delivery in vocals and guitar, these nine tracks fly by in such quickness that they become addicting. And it isn’t a momentary passion. There’s something here that suggest further depth. Time will tell, but, for now, we are convinced.

9/10
Review By Fernando Ferreira

6 - Intronaut – “Fluid Existential Inversions”

Metal Blade Records

Intronaut are like an eclipse. Or any other natural phenomenon that repeats itself cyclically. The difference is that with those types of phenomena there’s always some type of expectative regarding what’s going to happen. Concrete expectative, that is. With Intronaut we only have the certainty that we’ll be pleased. At least it has been this way throughout their long career with very few low points. Five years of silence and voilà, here it is “Fluid Existential Inversions”, an album that walks through the raging seas of post/prog metal as if it was a walk in the park. It’s proof of the mastery of those who dominates they’re own art. It manages to mix multiple states of spirit and plenty of styles without choosing any in special. And, if in other cases this might be problematic, here it just makes part of the bands identity that we’ve already pieced together in the past. Despite bowing down to their greatness, we have to recognize that this wasn’t a simple process of absorption or even a tranquil one; one thing is recognizing and another one is internalizing. However, that’s something that already every progressive metal fan is used to. After internalized, the addiction is settled in.

9/10
Review By Fernando Ferreira

5 - Psychotic Waltz – “The God Shaped Void”

InsideOut Music

Psychotic Waltz have always had a tendency of surprising with their music, this time they didn’t remain by the music, but also by the news of an album release after 23 years. “The God-Shaped Void” became quickly one of the most anticipated releases of 2020. The fifth album of originals continues with the same formation and with the typical sonority of the masters of the American progressive metal. The quintet maintains a strong lyrical creativity with an impressive instrumental complexity, in a very efficient mix of the modern and classical style, and also a sonorous weakness that pleases both the metalheads and the fans of other genres with less powerful tracks such as “Stranded”, “Demystified” and “In The Silence”. However, despite the classical and acoustic touches, “The God-Shaped Void” takes us on a journey through the progressive with touches of the mystical and science fiction, without leaving its roots of powerful and intelligent metal.


9/10
Review By João Braga

4 - Redeye Caravan – “Nostrum Remedium”

Self Released

Here it is, proof that folk appears in many forms. In this one, as the cover may already express, we have the Old West as main theme, and it’s so well made that we don’t even need to close our eyes to feel the warm desert “breath” burning our eyes as well as the bitter taste of the whiskey burning our insides. They are 10 odes (in fact they are nine, taking into account that “A Gallop from Afar” is just a small interlude) to the bygone era of the 19th century, where the simple percussion, the harmonicas, the violins, the banjoes and the very rough voice are waiting for us to tell astounding stories of life and death (mainly death), everything well-seasoned with whiskey. Amazing for being so simple, amazing for being so good.

9/10
Review por Fernando Ferreira

3 - Wilczyca – “Wilczyca”

Godz Ov War Productions

I came across the Polish two men Black metal entity through the wise works of editor in chief of WOM, and neither him nor me had the slightest information regarding such band. They are Polish… they play Black Metal… what else?! Not much, if any…

That being said, I dwelled into the bottomless pit of this Raw, Raging piece of Black Metal, just to be surprised! I was not expecting this, to be honest. It is so satisfying when we realize that Music can still surprise you, especially in a World full of copycats of copycats.

Formed in 2019, by Louve and Nidhogg, that same year saw the release of a first single (“Ego Memini Inferno”) and earlier this year the release of a second (“Przyjdź”). Their first album came out in the beginning of February, through Godz Ov War, and it shows a band atempting to craft a different “beast”. Gathering influences from 1st Wave of Black metal, as well as the 2nd Wave, adding a bit of Depressive Black Metal, Dark Ambient and straight forward Raw Black Metal, Wilczyca have shaped an exciting piece of Dark Arts!

I just adored the final production. They crisp of the instruments is amazing, and added to the raspid vocals, offers a final product of superior excellency. Was, categorically, not expecting something so well assembled. Funny thing?! 3rd track almost made me call out for Brank Bjork or Josh Homme, such were the similarities with “Green Machine” (can we assume they might be… fans of Kyuss?! Hardly… or not?!).

Slow paced Black Metal, Fast Aggressive Black Metal. This Poles go for all the imaginable approaches they can come up with. Really dynamic. Sometimes, almost cinematographical, like taken from an old Horror Movie… chilling guitar Riffs carry us into a Void. Haunting vocal effects and a deeply slow guitar Riff.

Similarities?! To be honest, I do not feel they try and replicate a specific band or album or musician. Instead, they collect elements from various stages of the History of Black Metal, and the end result is this album. Genuinely Dark, immeasurably embedded in the style it is helping expand. An extremely interesting offering from this Polish entity from the Beyond.

9/10 
Review byr Daniel Pinheiro

2 - Demons & Wizards – “III"

Century Media Records

I must start by confessing that I’ve always thought that this project would be more interesting in theory than in practice. The two first released albums didn’t equal the expectative that surrounded them, at least from my point of view, they’ve always sound as a weird mix of two worlds that I loved. Maybe it was the expectation of wanting to hear something familiar and not being ready for something different from it. Those two albums aged well (they’ve gone through our pages) and those expectations no longer make sense. As it is, it’s not hard to admit that “III” is a Lord of power metal albums, maybe as exciting as the last albums of Blind Guardian or Iced Earth; or even more! Principally because, without expectations, we can focus mainly on the music, that is so good that it manages to leave us crushed. There are albums that keep growing while we listen to them. This one, right at the very start (also because it has more than an hour of duration) achieves this effect. Around here, there is a series of themes to which we don’t hold any defenses, like “New Dawn” that turns out to be an immediate classic. It would be a surprise if didn’t have two geniuses behind it, but still, and taking into account what I’ve said in the past, it doesn’t stop it from being an enormous and positive surprise.

9/10
Review By Fernando Ferreira

1 - Sepultura – “Quadra”

Nuclear Blast

There are no doubts that Sepultura are currently going through a creative streak. And that is said by someone that found it hard for “Machine Messiah” to be surpassed. Well, “Quadra” is a different album, it can’t be said that it’s a sequel to “Machine Messiah”. That’s the inequable part of Sepultura in the Derrick Green phase. No one can accuse them of not having interesting concepts, independently of their musical quality. And, has it has been recently, they have been bringing together two forms on a brilliant way. In “Machine Messiah” there were some progressive wanderings, “Quadra” doesn’t stop being adventurous in that way (what to say about the brilliant instrumental “The Pentagram”?), but what most awes here is the way how they integrate choruses in an astounding fashion. With each work there is a new triumph, Andreas Kisser and his peers manage to find a way to surprise us on a good way. It’s rare for a band, on its ways to its forties of career, to be capable of such creativity, but we’re already used to that from Sepultura.

9.5/10
Review By Fernando Ferreira

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