In Mourning - The Weight Of Oceans
I've had this colossus of melodic death metal on almost constant repeat for a fortnight, such is its epic scope, kick-ass riffs and progressive noodliness. From the opening track, aptly titled Colossus, I was hooked. Incorporating long, intricate instrumental passages, crushing death metal choruses and even a hefty dose of djent for good measure, it's as perfect a melodeath song as ever you could wish for. Straight on the best-of-year list, I think.
Krokmitën - BWV565 Redux
Following the 46 minute tech death behemoth that is Alpha-Beta, Krokmitën have put out this rather shorter 10 minute single. A tech death reworking of Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Minor incorporating everything I loved about Alpha-Beta along with those lovely, intricate classical riffs.
Indulging my more relaxed, chilled out side, I've been giving the long awaited new album from Iceland's Sigur Rós a few spins. And relaxing it is. Although it is something of a step back, stylistically. Gone are the upbeat, lighthearted ditties of Með suð í eyrum ... and returning are the gritty soundscapes of Takk... And a welcome return it is. Easily comparable to the best the band have done before, and once again tragically uplifting in a way that only Sigur Rós seem able to perfect.
The long, long, long delayed album from Dutch heavy rockers Delain has finally been released to coincide with a UK tour. Inspired by the tragic case of Sophie Lancaster, already a galvanising force in Britain, this is an album of songs for those who don't fit in. The sound seems to be leaning even further from what is traditionally considered symphonic metal and toward the more pop-oriented direction of more recent Within Temptation albums, incorporating a shed load of catchy hooks, singalongable choruses and some pretty cool cover art.
If there is one word I would use to describe Prisoners, it would have to be "loud". A relentless wall of sound fusing progressive metalcore (I dunno, I just made that up) with melodeath in a way that makes your ears bleed. Alissa White-Gluz is back on vocals, her growls giving any male singer a run for his money while alternating with ease between gutturals and cleans. It's a bit less complicated than I'd normally like, but it's not bad at all. Which is quite something given my usual tendency to run away on mention of the dreaded C word.
This one I only listened to this evening, just prior to writing this very post. Purveyors of folk metal from Manchester, Andraste produce blackened folk metal with a somewhat jaunty feel. Definitely one to get your feet tapping, your morris dancing, and your tankard needing a refill!