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New Heavy Metal Album Reviews: April 16, 2013

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The latest heavy metal album reviews, including releases from Ade, Anciients, Among Gods, As We Draw, Beissert, Bovine, Cerekloth, Cough, Cultes Des Ghoules, Destroyed In Seconds, Divided Multitude, Echtra, Eibon, Eyeconoclast, Flotsam and Jetsam, Impious Baptism, Kill With Hate, Magister Dixit, Memory Garden, The Moth Gatherer, October Tide, Omega Centauri, Pyrithion, Reign Of The Architect, Revel In Flesh, Senseless Beauty, Skid Row, Smohalla, This Misery Garden, Todtgelichter, Tombstone Highway and Windhand.

The reviews are on a 5 star scale.

Ade - 'Spartacus' (Blast Head)

Ade - 'Spartacus'
Blast Head Records

Genre: Death Metal
Spartacus is the second album from the Italian band Ade. Much of it is standard death metal, crisp and technical with pinch harmonics and other hallmarks of the genre. But Ade is not your standard death metal band.

They also infuse traditional Roman and Greek instruments into their sound, giving some parts a folky feel. Songs like "The Endless Runaway" start with those elements before kicking into a more traditional death metal sound. More than a gimmick, it adds atmosphere and uniqueness without sacrificing a crushing death metal sound.

Rating: 3.5
(Chad Bowar)

Among Gods – 'Among Gods' (PRC)

Among Gods – 'Among Gods'
PRC Music

Genre: Death Metal
Originally self released in 2011, Among Gods’ debut album is finally receiving major distribution. A classic throwback of Swedish death metal, their eponymous release is chock full of tremolo guitars, harsh vocals and brain crushing riffs. Formed as a side project for vocalist Ripper (Syrach) the material is not that far removed from his original band.

Among Gods is a hybrid of mid era Entombed mixed with Unleashed. Mostly mid paced tempos, they do venture into blast beat territory on occasion. Some of the strongest moments on the release are when they up the tempo and push their boundaries. I would like to see them adapt more of that into their next release to help break up the repetitiveness.

Rating: 3.5
(Dan Drago)

Anciients - 'Heart of Oak' (Season of Mist)

Anciients - 'Heart of Oak'
Season Of Mist

Genre: Progressive Metal
Anciients are one of those bands that possess unbelievable amounts of talent for making quality music. Add to that an all-consuming passion to craft the best songs possible and Heart of Oak is born.

Vancouver-based Anciients are a technical powerhouse. Every song on Heart of Oak contains at least two—if not more—memorable (and hummable) riffs; plenty to appease any metalhead. Vocals range from quite clean to ragged shrieks; each comfortably in its place and well done. Overall, Heart of Oak is a very cohesive and successful record. Fans of Opeth and High On Fire should be pleased.

Rating: 4
(JH Statts)

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As We Draw – 'Lines Breaking Circles' (Throatruiner)

As We Draw – 'Lines Breaking Circles'
Throatruiner Records

Genre: Post Hardcore
Originally released in 2010, Throatruiner has re-pressed Lines Breaking Circles by France’s As We Draw. The mathematical insinuation of the title is apt as the band deals in angularity. As We Draw bring punchy songwriting fraught with emotion to the table. The sludge-tinged post-hardcore is equally adept at the bruising as it is the beautiful, just as likely to punch in your face as rub your back.

Citing influences such as Poison The Well, Breach and Refused makes perfect sense as their soaring melodies carry the listener to the clouds only to slam them back to the ground. This promising young band is sure to be as affecting live as on record.

Rating: 3.5
(Matt Hinch)

Beissert - 'Darkness: Devil: Death' (Agonia)

Beissert - 'Darkness: Devil: Death'
Agonia Records

Genre: Thrash/Groove Metal
The German band Beissert have undergone a lot of lineup changes for their latest album. Vocalist Richard Beissert and guitarist Tilo Gabor Boldog are the only returning members for Darkness: Devil: Death, their third release.

Combining thrashy riffs and groovy sludge with an element of darkness, Beissert have an interesting sound. There's a lot of diversity in tempo and texture, and it's a compelling listen. Beissert's vocals are diverse as well, ranging from hardcore barks to gruff singing. From old-school thrash to modern groove, there's a lot to like with Darkness: Devil: Death.

Rating: 4
(Chad Bowar)

Bovine - 'The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire' (FDA Rekotz)

Bovine - 'The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire'
FDA Rekotz

Genre: Sludge Metal
Bovine? Alright, I'll check 'em out. {crashing noise…gets self back on chair] That's the kind of impact Bovine has once the second track hits on The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire. The album is a high-octane blend of Kylesa's sludge-caked power, the groove of still-had-fire-in-their-bellies QOTSA, the sucker-pinch riffing of KEN Mode, and the rawness of pre-Superunknown Soundgarden fueling the fire-breathing-hydra vocals.

However, unless you are specifically looking for influences, Bovine sound like their own breed. They wrap bone-rattling intensity around infectious riffs while remaining on the right side of accessibility,

Rating: 4
(Matt Hinch)

Cerekloth - 'In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death' (Hells Headbangers)

Cerekloth - 'In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death'
Hells Headbangers Records

Genre: Death Metal
Cerekloth, from Denmark, eschew the death metal traditions of most of their countrymen, as most Danish death metal consists of retreads of American-style bands. Instead, Cerekloth play a slower, plodding sort of death metal with an interesting mix of brutality, a mid-paced tempo, and even hints of melody.

Although nowhere near the quality, they somewhat remind me of Triptykon, a comparison that I do not make lightly, and a comparison that speaks volumes of the potential of Cerekloth, if nothing else.

Rating: 3.5
(Dave Schalek)

Cough/Windhand - 'Reflection of the Negative' Split (Relapse)

Cough/Windhand - 'Reflection of the Negative'
Relapse Records

Genre: Doom
Cough and Windhand both hail from Richmond, Va., are both on Relapse, and share a bass player. Both bands also sound like they should have been the featured entertainment at a black mass 40 years ago. Cough’s lone contribution, the 18+ minute “Athame,” (named after a ceremonial witch’s dagger) is a plodding, murky mass of shrieks, chants, horror-show organ and feedback.

Windhand offer two new songs, both of which are faster and somewhat less depressing than Cough, though that’s not saying much. Windhand’s greatest asset is Dorthia Cottrell, whose otherworldly moan sounds like it could belong to the victim of Cough’s Satanic mass.

Rating: 4
(Karen A. Mann)

Cultes Des Ghoules - 'Henbane' (Hells Headbangers)

Cultes Des Ghoules - 'Henbane'
Hells Headbangers Records

Genre: Black Metal
Cultes Des Ghoules basically sound exactly like their moniker: rather sloppy, primitive black metal with a few nods to the first wave of the genre from the early to mid ‘80s. Similar bands nowadays would be Teitanblood and/or Vasaeleth, but Cultes Des Ghoules employ a rotting miasma that simply has to be heard to be believed.

Strangely enough, the music itself is not as bludgeoning as the aforementioned acts, but the creepy atmosphere is greatly enhanced by vocals straight out of the cryptkeeper’s playbook. It’s interesting, not to mention unsettling, in a rather gross way.

Rating: 4
(Dave Schalek)

Destroyed In Seconds - 'Becoming Wrath' (PRC)

Destroyed In Seconds - 'Becoming Wrath'
PRC Music

Genre: Grindcore
Originally released last Fall by Deep Six, Becoming Wrath by Destroyed In Seconds (aka D.I.S.) rears its ugly head yet again; this time via PRC Music. There's a reason the Twitter handle of D.I.S. is dbeatdown. D-beat drumming and searing buzzsaw guitars deliver a serious beatdown of pure, unadulterated aggression, only to kick you when you're down and stomp your ears into the bloody dirt.

Touches of black metal worm their way into the adrenalized, angry and visceral grinding hardcore D.I.S. do so well. If you missed it the first time, shame on you. Miss it again and you really have no excuse.

Rating: 4
(Matt Hinch)

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