This is a new idea that came to me whilst sitting on the train, travelling the length of the country at the weekend for work. My life is so glamorous, I tell you!
Anyway, I realised that there are a ton of albums that I listen to and, for one reason or another, get discarded and are left un-reviewed at manofmuchmetal.com. Then it came to me: why not put together a post that offers a round-up of these records just in case there are any interested parties that wonder why I’ve not reviewed this or that album. So here goes, a small handful of quickfire reviews of albums that I won’t be reviewing in any more detail…
Album Title: Unveilance of Dark Matter
Label: The Sign Records
Release date: 31 January 2020
I was trawling through my inbox, looking for the next big thing and, because on this occasion I was drawing a blank, I thought I’d take a chance. Drawn in by the album artwork which I thought was rather interesting and professionally done, I decided to listen to ‘Unveilance of Dark Matter’ from Swedish quartet, Moloken. I literally knew nothing of them and went in with an open mind.
Unfortunately, this is simply not my ‘thing’ and for once, my punt did not pay off. I am certain that there will be legions of fans in the heavy music underground that will love Moloken, but I’m afraid I’m not one of these. Moloken, you see, are what can best be described as a blend of hardcore, modern metal and post-metal. Or, to put it another way, it is angry, aggressive, dissonant, and very abrasive. The vocals are a mix of growls and tortured screaming and they sit on a bed of extreme music that is jagged, uncomfortable and very dark. Occasionally, it is cacophonous and although these musicians are undeniably talented, I find it a very tough listen. I like the track ‘Venom Love’, thanks to its quieter mid-section that allows the bass to come to the fore. I’m also impressed by the drumming which is of a high calibre.
This will almost certainly be of interest to fans of the more extreme elements of Gojira or Cult Of Luna for example, as well as anyone who enjoys the farther reaches of hardcore. For me though, as much as I like to bludgeon my ears with heavy music, this isn’t for me, I’m afraid.
The Score of Much Metal: 62%
Artist: The Driftwood Sign
Album Title: Broken Times
Release date: 24 January 2020
This was a record that I was interested to hear having been emailed directly by the band. The words ‘Swedish’ and ‘progressive’ caught my ears as this is normally the recipe for success in my eyes. I therefore checked out the promo in my inbox.
Whilst there is a technicality to the music and a certain progressive element, I must admit to being left a little disappointed by ‘Broken Times’. It is, sadly, really rather uninspiring and doesn’t keep my attention for very long at all. There are undeniable similarities to the likes of Alter Bridge and, whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad or negative thing, it needs to be accompanied by strong compositions or have some kind of unique selling point. If I’m honest, I struggle to hear either on ‘Broken Times’.
That said, there’s quality execution from the individuals in the band and I am certain that they have the ability to create something a lot stronger than this in the future. I won’t give up because I can sense there is better to come. But, for now, I’ll have to pas on The Driftwood Sign and ‘Broken Times’.
The Score Of Much Metal: 60%
Album Title: Rebirth By Blasphemy
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release date: 24 January 2020
I’m bound to get a whole load of abuse for this, but I’ve always said that I have to be honest in order to maintain my integrity as a music reviewer. In certain circles, Midnight are hailed as one of the very best bands who play loud, heavy music. And, to be honest, I can see why because they play a brand of uncompromising metal that draws heavily from punk and good old rock ‘n’ roll, with a bit of extreme metal thrown in for good measure. It’s a furious racket. Names like Venom and Motorhead spring immediately to mind as I listen to their high octane, energetic and attitude-ridden output. I mean, if you have an opening track called ‘F**king Speed And Darkness’, what do you really expect?
Again, this review is more a commentary on my tastes rather than a comment on the quality of the music on offer on ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’. Indeed, I have seen some incredibly positive reviews on the Internet for this album and I do understand and fully respect that. Indeed, I do like a few of the songs, the title track in particular which is inescapably catchy as hell and full of attitude.
But, crucially, would I want to listen to this on a frequent or semi-frequent basis? I’m afraid the answer there is ‘no’. It just isn’t my thing and so I’ll leave it to others who prefer this kind of devil may care music and can take a band seriously with song titles like ‘Devil’s Excrement’, whether or not it is done with tongue firmly in cheek as I fully suspect it is.
The Score Of Much Metal: 71%
Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: