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    Archived pages: 290 . Archive date: 2012-07.

  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Testament - "Dark Roots Of Earth"
    Descriptive info: Love&Hate.. Nuclear Blast (2012).. Prolific early in their career due to major label demands (i.. e.. when we have a successful formula, pump it out to the masses as quickly and often as possible), Testament have slowed down in terms of studio releases since the early 1990’s.. You would figure in 25 year recording career the band would already have hit double digit studio albums- but since “The Gathering” in 1999, Testament have only released one subsequent studio album in 2008 “The Formation Of Damnation” prior to this new recording.. It’s not like they’ve been idle- touring the globe on their own headlining excursions, opening for killer package deals like “Metal Masters” with Judas Priest, Motorhead, and Heaven Hell as well as hitting festivals in India, Venezuela, and Columbia among other territories.. Given their propensity to change the formula through the years- “The Ritual” being their most straightforward, commercial offering, while “Demonic” probably their heaviest knocking on death metal doorsteps- where would Testament 2012 belong in their legendary thrash career with “Dark Roots Of Earth”? Do not fear legions- Testament know what their fans want and deliver in spades through these 9 songs.. “Rise Up” and “True American Hate” explode with Gene Hoglan’s inhuman speed, power and finesse  ...   the metal business- evil one moment, melodic the next, he has proven over his career that his ability to channel anger, aggression, and restraint gives Testament opportunities 95% of the thrash world can’t possibly match.. “Cold Embrace” opens its 7:46 arrangement with this acoustic/electric guitar panoramic motif, once again taking a ballad format but twisting things up enough in terms of where the solo spots appear and how to surprise the listener with the crushing, heavy chorus action- something I haven’t heard since Mike Howe-era Metal Church days.. The other epic “Throne Of Thorns” evokes a slightly Middle Eastern meets “Seventh Son.. ” Maiden-era atmosphere, especially during the bridge transition, dual guitar harmonies and spirited solo section.. Produced once again by Andy Sneap, Testament understand the need to really push their riffing, songwriting and performance skills to unleash an album that will have longevity beyond the initial five to ten exposures.. Much like Anthrax’s “Worship Music”, “Dark Roots Of Earth” proves that thrash isn’t merely a young man’s game.. Well worth the wait, Testament provide Bay Area magic once again.. www.. testamentlegions.. com.. nuclearblast.. de.. Rating: 5.. 5 / 6.. Composed by Matt Coe.. Roy Kristensen 18.. 06.. 2012 14:31.. Login or create account to blog.. Name.. Email.. Password..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Kråke - "Conquering Death"
    Descriptive info: Indie Recordings (2012).. There must be something special in the tap water up in the wastelands near Haugesund, to be more specific, Karmøy, land of Vikings and warriors.. Enslaved, Einherjer and Evig Natt are only a few of all the great bands with roots in this area, and now there is a new contender to the throne, all raise for the mighty Kråke.. Although I have known the band for a while now, and even almost seen them live twice (long story), nothing prepared me for this epic and truly great symphonic black metal album.. The song "I Ly Av Lyset" has been a YouTube favourite for a long time, a perfect soundtrack to the battle scenes in Lord Of The Rings.. The good news is that the rest of the album has the same high standard, if not higher.. Everything, every little detail, from the vocals to the drums, from the instrumental parts to the way the songs are arranged, it all just fits together like Thor and his hammer.. "Conquering Death" floats along and takes you on a incredible journey beneath black waters where you can avoid all light.. Three words comes to mind; epic, dark and powerful.. Leading to the unavoidable  ...   that this album will be found on several top rankings when 2012 comes to an end (I know, we have all seen the movie 2012, we are all doomed, but let's just pretend it's not going to happen).. Did I mention the fact that I absolutely love Kråke and "Conquering Death"? If there is such a thing as buy or die this summer, this is it, my friends.. facebook.. com/Kraakeofficial.. indierecordings.. net.. Composed by Leif Neverdahl.. Roy Kristensen 20.. RE:Kråke -.. Fantastic album indeed.. Been a long time since I heard sympho bm done right!.. Dethster4life 07.. 07.. 2012 13:42.. Well, I guess I should take another listen, even though I'm not really tempted despite Leif's words.. http://www.. imhotep.. no/?did=9106278 - yes, I got a bit bored there.. Strange, since this kind of music is normally amongst my favourites.. Limbonic Art, Tartaror, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir.. Hmm, perhaps Deathspell Omega has taken over parts of my brain.. Roy Kristensen 07.. 2012 22:47.. Agree! Killer album, great debut, looking forward to hear what more these guys can come up with.. Leif N 07.. 2012 22:51.. There are worse things that can take over parts of your brain than Deathspell Omega :).. Leif N 08.. 2012 16:11..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Asia - "XXX"
    Descriptive info: Frontiers Records (2012).. In 1982, America felt the impact of this melodic rock/AOR supergroup.. You couldn’t escape a television set or radio station that wasn’t playing “Heat Of The Moment” or “Only Time Will Tell” from Asia.. Internal struggles with style and songwriting duties fractured the band within 2 years- but they have been going steady once again since reuniting in 2006, with two more studio albums and numerous worldwide tours re-igniting their sound to a new generation of fans.. 30 years as a recording entity, the original four of AOR group Asia see no need to slow down their studio and touring momentum, as “XXX” reinforces the fine musicianship and personal interplay between the members.. Bassist John Wetton may not necessarily be hitting his early 80’s highs on their self-titled debut, but his mid-range comforting voice still comes through on “No Religion” and “Judas”, two early  ...   Drummer Carl Palmer may not necessarily dazzle with his propulsive rolls and fills of yesteryear, but the material calls for a rock solid foundation and he delivers on “Bury Me In Willow” and the slightly funky/ Genesis-like “Face On The Bridge”.. The soothing harmonies for choruses within “Tomorrow The World” and “Faithful” remind me of why Asia still remains relevant in 2012- the knowledge and capacity to match up the right melody with the right chord sequences, and knowing when to elongate certain instrumental sections or when to just stick to the heart of the song.. The band sticks to the core sound within current production parameters- and that’s fine by me, because this material will translate easily from record to stage.. Another AOR highlight for me - “XXX” isn’t scandalous - it’s as comfortable as a warm summer breeze.. originalasia.. frontiers.. it.. Roy Kristensen 24.. 2012 10:56..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Gojira - "L'Enfant Sauvage"
    Descriptive info: Roadrunner Records (2012).. With the "Wild Child", a fifth overall, but a third widely known album, Gojira goes back to the complexity of the classic "From Mars To Sirius".. While the new album is brimming with fresh riffs and melodies and the songs are actually not quite as instantly catchy as on that album, or even subsequent "The Way Of All Flesh", "L'Enfant" is a missing link between the two predecessors.. However, references to Morbid Angel or Mastodon no longer make any sense, I hear more Tool (title track) and Meshuggah (the opener, "Liquid Fire", "Pain Is A Master"), this is a different band, after all.. It's been 7 years since ".. Sirius.. ", a stellar masterpiece that impressed Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) so much he took them on tour as support AND guest sang on their next album.. It is also to that recommendation that I owe my running into this album in the middle of 2005, one of the best years of my life.. Even though I thought ".. Flesh" was a great album as well it didn't quite hit me with the same power as the predecessor.. This one does.. What's more, if you loved the keyboard/electronic experiments introduced on "The Way.. " but were not too crazy about some of the metalcore sounding moments, while loving ".. " for outstanding songwriting, you will love this new album.. It has the edge and the climate of ".. Mars.. " and  ...   Gift of Guilt" where the melody competes with the Pantera-ish yet death metal riffing with changes, twists and turns that put progressive back in Gojira's death metal.. And really, who cares what genre these guys are? All I know is that they write superb metal with high replay value and surprises at every corner.. Why not 5.. 5 or 6? Well, overall, much like "The Way Of All Flesh" it does not have the same merciless crushing tonnage that made Meshuggah sound like "Load" (Metallica, 1996) in comparison.. It retains all the best elements of "From Mars To Sirius" but with heaviness turned down a quarter of the dial, presumably in the name of progression ? Nevertheless, album is still plenty heavy, it's an incredible grower, and best of all, your father would still disown you if you played it at a family picknic, a requirement of any release with death metal connotations.. And in the unlikely event that they happen to like it just play "Rapture" ("Covenant", Morbid Angel, 1993) if you don't ever want to hear from them again.. Hell, they might even report you to Gestapo.. I mean Homeland Security for that one, since David Vincent's vocals are intelligible enough to hear the lyrics!.. As for Gojira, these incredibly talented Frenchmen progress fantastically and "L'Enfant Sauvage" is yet another top shelf release to be added to their already stellar catalogue.. gojira-music.. roadrunnerrecords.. Rating: 5 / 6.. Composed by Dethster4life.. 2012 22:39..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Ne Obliviscaris - "Portal Of I"
    Descriptive info: Code 666 (2012).. Forming in 2003, the six piece extreme metal band from Australia Ne Obliviscaris (pronounced Nay Ob-li-vis-kar-is for those wondering…) appear to be one of those groups that few will understand, and yet those who do will fervently follow every musical move these musicians make.. To describe their style accurately appears impossible- melodic and tender with clean vocals one moment, blasting death the next- with nuances of thrash, black, avant-garde, jazz, and flamenco parts.. A full time violin player goes toe to toe in neo-classical meets Robbie Steinhardt (Kansas) form- many times taking the instrumental lead against the sonic assault steamrolling from the intense strumming, dissonance in chord sequences and hyper kinetic percussion salvos.. Most of the 6 songs on “Portal Of I” are over the 10 minute mark- so this is not the music for you if your preference lies in repetitive three chord structures and simplistic, catchy choruses.. Ne Obliviscaris doesn’t beat your brain in with super complex technicality- they instead set diverse mood landscapes, allowing the listener to escape or  ...   quick to place Opeth in the list of reference points.. Ne Obliviscaris do not clone Opeth- they take some of the 70’s reference points into an epic, outer world experience for your ears, but I think the flamenco and jazz edge on a song like “And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope” combined with the turn on a dime black metal riffs to progressive soloing for “Of The Leper Butterflies” makes every return engagement exhilarating, spine tingling- and beyond entertainment.. There’s a reason why Australia is gaining significant attention for its domestic output.. The government grant money aids the final product, as brilliant songwriting and performances deserve an equally potent production, mixing and mastering job.. Watching video of some of these songs in a live environment, this six-piece will not remain remote or obscure for long.. Passionate, engaging, uplifting, risk-taking, and an album that should gain plenty of year end (and decade end) accolades- “Portal Of I” will not be the last we hear from this upper tier extreme metal act.. neobliviscaris.. code666.. Roy Kristensen 11.. 2012 11:55..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Deathspell Omega - "Drought"
    Descriptive info: Norma Evangelium Diaboli (2012).. i woke up on this beautiful day.. and thought about this life.. The Sounds Of Distorted Guitars.. made me realize that not.. all i see is beautiful.. Sounds That Fill The Room With Horror.. made me comprehend that behind.. the beauty there is drought.. With Variation These Voices Sang.. of god, chaos, human famine.. and the lack of hope.. Stop Start Begin End Recovery.. after realizing that we are.. empty shells of no meaning.. The Drums Of Perdition In All Directions.. send us to the flames of the sun.. where we perish in hopes of splendour.. But Without Words There Is Eeriness.. sneaking up behind you, around you.. and you get this uncomfortable feeling.. That  ...   and secure zone.. where there is no such thing as music.. Disturbing Tracks Of Nonlinear Blueprints.. give me hunger for more but.. also the feeling of not belonging.. In This Doomed Black Metal World.. where blastbeats are not straight forward.. And It Gave Me Complete Satisfaction.. caused by all those ideas spread out.. on this short time, focused.. Big Horns In The Side Of The Skull.. make my head explode.. i do not identify with the first and the last.. Instrumental Tracks Filled With Insanity.. and sorrow, the longing for understanding.. and the acceptance of lack of accepting.. "Drought".. 20.. 55 minutes.. Slow.. Fast.. Big sound.. Varied.. Perfect.. Again.. noevdia.. Composed by Roy Kristensen.. Roy Kristensen 21.. 05.. 2012 14:32..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Isengard - "Vinterskugge"
    Descriptive info: Peaceville Records (2012).. Originally released in 1994, just a shave short of twenty years ago, by Deaf Records, one of Peaceville’s younger sisters.. Now resurrected with added commentary.. I bet the British version rules!.. I was there back in the day.. I went through the catalogs.. I sent the money in the mail.. “Send cash well hidden in envelope” was a regular line on fliers back then.. I waited for weeks.. Then the compact disc arrived from my kvlt dealer during that time and I listened.. I visited the forest.. I was inspired.. Things weren’t just Black Metal.. Things were nature.. Listen to the trees! I don’t listen to the trees anymore, but I like to hang out with them occasionally.. I listen to the commentary disc a bit but I’ve never hung out with Fenriz.. Why ruin a good relationship?.. Isengard never was a “Black Metal” band.. In fact I don’t really know where to lump the band, but as Fenriz puts it forth the recordings  ...   will track it out.. There are no kvltings to be found here, only Fenriz! And Fenriz isn’t about kvlting it up, creating a false image around the legend that Isengard is.. It’s straight forward talk about what was happening around that time and his inspirations.. There are no cloaks and daggers, no candles and midnight rituals.. No theater.. Might this make things too mundane for those that seek to create demigods out of their idols? I would think so.. If you want to believe it’s 1993 stay away from commentary discs that are included in the re-issues of legendary Black Metal releases, don’t go on the Black Metal Bus Ride and only buy organic food.. However! If you want to get a bit of an insight into the who’s and how’s of Isengard’s “Vinterskugge” then get this re-issue.. Oh, and get the Neptune Tower’s re-issues while you’re at it.. They might not be Metal! but they are essential!.. peaceville.. Composed by Eyvindur Gauti.. Roy Kristensen 13.. 2012 15:15..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Darkthrone - "Goatlord"
    Descriptive info: This isn’t a ‘classic album review’ per ce but a look at the 2 disc Peaceville Records re-release of Goatlord.. The album was originally intended to be a follow-up to “Soulside Journey”.. Stylistically, it didn’t fit in to where Darkthrone saw themselves going at the time and so it was shelved for three years before Fenriz recorded the vocals, finally seeing the light of day five years after its initial recording in 1996 (on Moonfog).. In this version all but one of the original tracks are repeated with audio commentary from Fenriz and Nocturno Culto.. These commentaries speak about the recording of the original demo and one of the guys’ favourite topics: their influences at the time.. Not much new perhaps, but the spoken parts are done in the typical candid, self-effacing style fans of the band are used to, meaning that it is informative and highly amusing at times.. Maybe not the type of thing you’d re-listen to a lot, but a pleasing bonus that gets you inside the mind of the beast.. Musically, “Goatlord” probably makes more sense to fans of the band  ...   sensibilities, organic black thrash drumming and a dirty, home-grown production.. It has an endearing lack of restraint – it is as if the guys decided they wanted to do everything they could think of in every single track on the album! Of note on this release, Fenriz experimented with pitch-shifted vocals to achieve a bizarre falsetto that many have found reminiscent of King Diamond (I find it more closely resembles some of the languid and operatic female vocals used by early Celtic Frost).. Kind of effective but sometimes funny too!.. As far as the songs go, “Goatlord” is a hit and miss offering.. There are frequent flashes of genius here and there, lost in a morass caused by the overall lack of focus and direction.. However, even at their most challenging, the songs are still have that inexplicable compulsive character that make me return to the Darkthrone back catalogue so often.. And if that is no good, at least this one will guarantee a laugh for Fenriz’ girly vocals and the down-to-earth commentary.. darkthrone.. no.. Rating: 4 / 6.. Composed by Peter Loftus.. 2012 12:26..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Enslaved - "Yggdrasill"
    Descriptive info: A new day and another re-issue from Peaceville.. You might remember my review of another re-issue by Peaceville, the re-issue of Katatonia's "For Funerals to come", that was posted within Imhotep's realm a bit back.. In which I noted that there wasn't anything changed, everything was basically the same, the extras were extras, not alterations for the sake of modernization.. Perhaps you wonder why this was re-issued, seeing as it had already been re-issued by Moonfog back in the day, but let's face it, that CD is about as useful a stack of mp3's with no real information or notes from the bands, just the music and the track-lists..  ...   you fuss about, you start fussing when they start fiddling with the knobs and altering the sound.. You value extra songs, you value the added liner notes that give you a fly's view of the musician's experience during that era and you value the inclusion of the lyrics and the photos you hadn't seen before.. Like lifted straight from the demo tape itself, they are, and the whole layout is laid out like a demo tape would be.. Roy Kristensen 06.. RE:Enslaved -.. You are on the right track, I have the tape and the front cover art is exactly the same.. good demo nonetheless!.. bollverk 06.. 2012 14:56..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Darkthrone - "Ravishing Grimness"
    Descriptive info: Peaceville Records (2011).. So Peaceville continues its journey of re-releasing everything Darkthrone have released, this time "Ravishing Grimness".. Originally released on Moonfog in 1999, it also includes a bonus disc with interview footage on the making of the album and new, gorgeous artwork.. Before this, I only had listened to "Sardonic Wrath" from Darkthrone's Moonfog era.. When they released the classic "The Cult is Alive", I came back on board.. Even though Darkthrone departed the shell of what Black Metal was supposed to sound like, they returned to their spiritual roots, eventually playing Heavy crust punk metal on their latest, 2010's "Circle the Wagons".. "Ravishing Grimness" proves that Darkthrone's Moonfog years really had been dark.. After the first spin, these two lines from "Too old, too cold" (from "The Cult is Alive), went through my head:  ...   any Grimness from Ravishing: I hate the late 90's, early 00's production where bass and treble is all one can hear.. Where the fuck is the mid-range?.. There are some hints of Darkthrone's beauty present though.. At times, their great sense for (dis)harmony shines through, creating melancholic atmosphere.. Nocturno's vocals remain solid, always a pleasure.. Also, when playing in the background, the album doesn't become unnerving.. It is depressing to have to write this about a Darkthrone release, but if there is a Darkthrone album I can live without, it is "Ravishing Grimness" and if there is a Darkthrone era I can live without, it is the Moonfog era.. It still gets 3 Imhotep-heads, since Darkthrone fans will get a fair amount of pleasure from it.. Composed by Lennard Bertram.. Roy Kristensen 15.. 03.. 2012 10:31..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Love&Hate - Katatonia - "For Funerals To Come"
    Descriptive info: This album was originally released way back in 1995 via Italy's Avantgarde Music.. Now, some 17 years alters I have here in front of me the "an improved" version courtesy of Peaceville Records which decided to re-issue this lost classic.. Nothing's been altered.. No re-mixes.. It still sounds the same.. But it doesn't look the same, thanks to the added liner-notes, for example, that Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström contributed.. This adds a lot of value to this re-issue for nerds like myself that enjoy reading the recollections of rockers.. There is a small  ...   previously only appeared on a compilation released by Wrong Again Records back in 1995.. This re-issue is definitely worth your money whether you are or aren't Katatoniaphile.. The added liner notes as well as the extra album tracks make this album worth getting as well as it allows a genuine look back into Katatonia's past before they changed into the depressive rock rollers we are more familiar with today.. The only bad thing about this album is the drum sound, electric kits should be outlawed from Heavy Metal music.. katatonia.. 2012 09:09..

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  • Archived pages: 290