torstai 30. elokuuta 2012

Blind Stare - The Dividing Line (2012)

Style: Melodic deathmetal

Blind Stare is a Finnish band, and plays melodic deathmetal with symphonic metal influences. Their music consists of melodic deathmetal riffs, clean vocal choruses and deep growling. Their strenght is the slower parts with many piano melodies and atmospherical symphonic metal riffs.

The Dividing line starts with a song that, is much more hardcore rock stylish than other, i really dont think that this was the best choise for a starting song. It doesnt have any especially good riffs or anything like that. I would recommend that if you start listening this album start from the second song called "The minds armor". The songs start to get more "epic" and the melodies from syntehtisator mixed with heavy metal riffs and deep growling is something, that sounds very beautiful to my ear. i have to admit that when you get to third maybe fourth song, the pop style of the band starts to kick in and i hate it. The riffs become these modern metal simple goin on and on with the same chord. Without anything to add to the song. Yep, the choruses consist of boring pop melodies.

  Luckily the pop phase fades away at the song "Blessing Of the Freya". This is the masterpiece of this album, atleast in my opinio. It`s a beautiful song with lots of beautiful melodies nice riffs and the atmosphere in this song is just something calming. And the next song called "The list" is a descent song, except the verse is really boring, and sounds like forcibly made. Otherwise the song is good melodeath, not excellent but good.. Yet the next song "The Redemption" belongs definetly to the albums top songs. It`s a beautiful song, like "Belssing of the Freya" And the strongest part of the album really shows itself in these two songs, which bring lots of expectations to the rest album.

  The first of the three last song is called "The disciple" which is an ordinary melodeath song with no hook really. Like the rest album, you really dont get the "must listen again" feeling from the rest of the album, and i personally hate the parts where the singing and riffs go "modern pop metal", with lame clean vocals, simple guitar riffs and the usual "pop metal drum beat", which you can hear almost in any modern metal band that plays in radio...The songs include nice riffs and cool ideas, but in some parts the album, in whole, sounds like it should have been done with more time and much with much more considering to the songs, that arent the the hit single ones. As usual, the album has too many fill up songs that really arent really even worth listening twice, They arent that bad, but just enough to get the not so great feeling after listening the album. The two three songs are great, but why make an album, that hang on just few songs. Wonder, these days the albums have much more pressure on writing the whole album great than just few songs. Nowadays you can buy by download and get just single songs, and i really wouldnt have bought more than three or four.

Well anyway, the album has few great songs, and the few is definetly worth listening. Especially melodeath fans and symphonic metal fans would really enjoy those songs. And you could like the rest, maybe im just too picky... I dont know. find out yourself!

Rating: 3/5 Stars

01. Cold New World
02. Mind's Armor
03. Bring Down the Tears
04. Mindless Dreams
05. Death and Rebirth
06. Blessing of Freyja
07. The List
08. Redemption
09. The Disciple
10. Daughter Of The Sun
11. Legion Of Lost Minds

maanantai 27. elokuuta 2012

Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes (2012)

Ensiferum is one of the most famous finnish folk metal bands. It's formed in 1995 and it has now released its 5th studio album Unsung Heroes.

Ensiferum has always had its own style of making music. Album by album they have always managed to make a better album than before. First two albums Ensiferum and Iron were pretty good but only after Jari mäenpää left the band the music has taken a huge step forward. Unsung Heroes is definitely their best album. There can be noticed a huge progress compared to their earlier albums. Unsung Heroes sounds more fresh and there has been used much more orchestrations and choirs.

The album starts with an intro Symbols. Its very nice peace of calming music. it prepares listener for  the adventures into battlefields and ancient forests with its cinematic orchestrations. Second song In my sword I trust which was a single song for the album and there's also a music video made by it, is an energetic song that fits perfectly to the opening. Next one is a tittle track Unsung Heroes. It's a bit different song than their earlier stuff. Tempo is much slower than Ensiferum usually has and the orchestrations sounds very cool in the end. Burning Leaves is an ordinary Ensiferum song. Theres a cool folk melody that leads through the song. There's also used finnish in the latter part of the song and it makes a nice variety to the vocals. Celestial Bond is a nice calm before the storm. Next song is Retribution shall be mine. It shows up the faster side of Unsung Heroes. I quess the fans who likes more Ensiferum's older stuff like iron would like this song. Star Queen (Celestial bond part ll) starts with an acoustic guitars playing the Celestial Bond's main theme and continues with bassist Sami Hinkkas vocals(which I think sounds very good in this album) Star Queen is a good song with very nice chorus. Pohjola is the best song in this album in my opinion. There's very much variety in this song. Big choirs, finnish language, growls, clean vocals, blast beats and a famous finnis actor/musician Vesa-Matti Loiri! The song ends with an epic Finntroll like melody that stucks into your head for a long time. Last Breath is a second calming song. It's an acoustic song with bassist Sami Hinkkas vocals. It's very good song and shows this new side of ensiferum. There's also a catching flute melody and choirs in this song. The last song is seventeen-minutes-long massive peace of art Passion Proof Power. It starts with a long a bit boring intro but when the guitars and drums start playing you know that something epic is coming out soon. The melody in verse is very good. I think the clean vocals has never sound this perfect in any of ensiferums earlier songs. Passion Proof Power is full of cool melodys and riffs. There's also some time signature changes, which are very welcome in Ensiferums music. I could praise this song for hours and hours, but I quess it's better for everyone to just go and listen to this song and enjoy the epicness it provides.

I must say that Ensiferum has reached completely new levels with Unsung Heroes. Vocals are better than I could ever expect. Even the clean vocals are now hundred times better than before. I still would have hoped there to be a bit more growls. Orchestrations sound a bit like in Turisas' newest album Stand up and fight and that's a very good thing. They are going to the right direction. I also noticed that some of the melodies sounded very much like Finntroll. For Exampel in the latter part of In my sword I trust and Pohjola. But that's a good thing too.

Unsung Heroes is much different compared to From Afar and it might take a few times of listening before it shows all the good features it has. I recommend this album to all fans of good folk metal. Go to buy it and enjoy!

Rating: 5/5 stars


01. Symbols
02. In My Sword I Trust
03. Unsung Heroes
04. Burning Leaves
05. Celestial Bond
06. Retribution Shall Be Mine
07. Star Queen (Celestial Bond Part II)
08. Pohjola
09. Last Breath
10. Passion Proof Power


lauantai 25. elokuuta 2012

The Order of Elijah - Accession (2012)

Style: Progressive deathcore

The Order of Elijah plays progressive deathcore with some beautiful melodic deathmetal melodies with electronic vibes and combines them with brutal deathcore style riffs, which are breakdown based of course...

  Accession is their newest and only album full of breakdowns, blast beats, super fast double pedal kicks and somewhat electronic sounds/melodies. Album starts with an intro Conquer which is nothing special, and doesnt give really anything about the album, basicly the style is noticable, and its pretty basic deathcore. The basics turn to something much better when the next song comes up with guitar melodies and riffs, that are pretty fresh style in the modern deathcore scene thats has been in the same style for atleast two years, and if you dont name few specialcases the outcome from the most modern deathcore bands sound exaclty the same. I`m not saying that this album really is the "one" that changes everything, but i thinks its going to the right direction with the melodic death metal styled riffs combined with deathcore, this has been done before but its done right in this album time to time.I might have wanted some more of this style, but it gets lost in the midst of the album. Shame.

  Theres something else that this album lacks, you can hear it from the second song to go trough the whole album, diversity. Especially listening to the drums the beats are sounding amazingly same in lots of the songs. Ye i know the breakdown is really limited when it comes to drum playing, but still some fresh way of hitting the drums there would have sounded cool. It starts to get bit boring in the middle section of the songs, the same old blast beat, with nothing new is kinda heard. Sorry. I like blast beats but you really need to use it exclusively, to make it sound perfect. It get`s kinda dull, if you hear the pattern blast beat->breakdown->blast beat->breakdown going true the song everytime. The growling and screaming isnt anything special either, usually when i listen to this kinda music i really care about how does the vocals come out, but with this one i really didnt notice anything special, not good, but not bad either.

  From the fifht song called Sticthes the album gets more and more brutal with slow breakdowns and slow riffs, i like the "slow brutal killer breakdown riffs" if it is done with good taste and with really thinking the breakdowns and not just putting hits hear and there. Well i cant say wheter have they being thinking, but its nothing special and not even close to excelence. In song Nails Over the Duct tape is a part where they really is trying to sound like emmure or not, but still the out of tune singing is one of Emmure`s signatures...

  The album has it`s moments and it really promises a lot with the intros, but the rest really lacks the "exceptional deathcore" You can hear many deathcore bands if you listen closely, mostly probably "As Blood Runs Black". That kinda synopsis the album It`s nothing special, but does the basic of the deathcore atleast decent. The best songs are the second and the third listen to them, and you have pretty much heard the whole album. If you like them you may like the rest, but i cant promise that, so find out yourself!

Rating 2.5/5 Stars