Vukovi- [Self Titled]

Vukovi are a Scottish alternative rock band ready to release their debut album on the world. Vukovi will be hitting on March 10th through LAB Records. Everything about the Vukovi package screams ‘fun’, so does it deliver?

Sure, Vukovi have designed a record that is bursting to the seams with character and energy, and yes, it’s good fun. Digging a little deeper, however, there’s not too much else on show. Lead single and album opener La Di Da sets the tone for the record. It’s jovial, it’s upbeat, but it’s not particularly original. Consistently and smooth vocals over simple yet effective pop rock backing, it makes for good listening there’s just a lack of strong signature.

Some tracks such as Target Practice promise a heavier, more motivated beat at first before dropping back into a similar vein. It would be unfair to say that Vukovi aren’t good at what they do. The album is stylistically polished with very few missteps, but it’s a shame the band didn’t test their boundaries somewhat more in a few of the tracks.

Boy George is one of the songs that pushes a little harder than the rest, with vocalist Janie Shilstone expanding her vocal range and throwing in some stronger vocals which she manages with gusto. More of these terser vocal patterns would have been a refreshing addition to Vukovi.

Colour Me In brings the album to a suitably close, reaching up to a satisfying climax with some of the best instrumentation on the album.

Vukovi have written and produced a very consistent and pleasing album, though slightly tinged with a sense of incompleteness. Vukovi would have benefited if the band had taken a few more risks and tested their boundaries. For the casual listener there is little to be displeased about here, but for those seeking more depth Vukovi is unlikely to provide much return value.

[6/10]

The Parasite Syndicate – The Parasite Syndicate [REVIEW]

Bringing you an old school sound of metalcore mixed with some strong heavy metal influences, This new album from The Parasite Syndicate will hopefully show you a more nostalgic take on what you might have heard from the genre.

The first track ‘Breathe You In’ is a five minute slobberknocker of riffs that shows you their sound from top to bottom. Whilst the vocals are punching through and the entire instrumental is coming through nicely, the whole emphasis of the track can make you lose interest after the first few minutes. Unfortunately that is what seems to make quite a few of the tracks on this record feel a bit dragging to get through. With the production and mixing sounding pretty solid at times, with the bass being a highlight in ‘All That We Have’ in small and specific sections as well as the time signature changes, the album does have structural integrity. As the album pushes further forward, the record keeps up this his and miss mentality, with one point being the vocals that come across as either exciting or wincing to listen to in ‘Red Sky’.

Instrumentallly, the record hits more positives towards the second half of the record, utilising a lot more cleaner guitars, such as the intro in ‘Origin’ and ‘Chakra’ which helps pace the album that little bit more and not feel stagnant in a sea of distortion. The overall riff structure that is present throughout the record is a strong reminder of what the older age of metalcore and heavy metal was able to produce with their album closer ‘The Illusionist’ showing off more of a lead atmosphere aside from the occasional guitar solo that the album showcases. The most unique track on the record has to be the shortest one. Titled ‘Animus’, the track uses a bit of electronic drums and a lot more of the clean guitar/vocal combination to create something really heavenly and something unlike the rest of the albums creation.

Like quite a lot of records of its nature, its strong push of the longer tracks tends to be more of a hindrance, but within the 9 tracks with 40+ minutes of material, you will most definitely find parts of songs where you feel at home with your metal self.  The Parasite Syndicate have brought something exciting in their repertoire, but there are areas for growth and expanding. Otherwise, a above average debut!

 

[7/10]

Galactic Empire – Galactic Empire [REVIEW]

There’s no doubt about it, Star Wars is a gigantic franchise whose popularity could only really be compared to that of the Marvel/DC franchises of recent dates. Although for the latter, you can’t say that they’ve had any metal bands be formed because of their status. Enter Galactic Empire who are getting ready to bring you massive amounts of shred with some of the most nostalgic feelings running through your veins whilst you’re in that moshpit in your head.

Once the first track kicks in with the ‘Main Theme’, that feeling that normal listeners may have about a bunch of metal dudes ruining your favourite soundtrack are squashed. The precision in the guitar playing with the lead following the main premises of the track whilst the rhythm boosts it up in a technical metal/djent sort of fashion and make it such a unique experience. The cleaner sections which are more invoking with the electronic sounds that boost straight back into the full instrumentation of the band from front to back. The same is said for ‘Imperial March’, the second song on the album which shows off their way of keeping mostly to the original track and not straying too far to unconventional tactics, but still having a small notion of their own originality embedded into the track, which is mostly down to Boba Sett’s drumming capabilities.

Probably most people’s only redeeming factor of Episode I, ‘Duel Of The Fates’ brings this amazing build with the bass and drums combining and creating something truly magical. The choir vocals over the top of the track with the key changes and guitar lead makes for a really sublime combination. Once again, the same mindset flies through this track and the rhythm section boost out an amazing amount of bass in listening to it. ‘The Force Theme’ keeps that amazingly detailed and beautiful lead, with a quiet tremolo picking in the background adding a really nice atmosphere to the almost two minute track, whilst the rhythm becomes more minimalist than anything. It’s a nice showcase of their clean sound before being thrusted into the action packed ‘The Asteroid Field’ with the immediate guitar harmonies being a great showcase on this track. The four minute song throws a lot at you in terms on trying to keep up with it but it works pretty much in its favour with once again the drums at points boosting up small nuances of the guitars.

The guitar effect right at the beginning of ‘Battle Of The Heroes’ serves as the main underline for it, but the entire track instrumentally could be placed into a monstrously epic final boss battle with the double kick and guitar rhythm working together simplistically whilst the choir vocals heighten up more and more as it progresses. As it finishes on a build up, you get transported to the extra groovy ‘Cantina Band’ which does near enough what you expect it to do. It’s heightened use of following what the jazz musicians did back in the day is amazing and gives you a prime example of what a really positive djent band would sound like. Moving into ‘Ben’s Death / Tie Fighter Attack’, it brings a massive flurry of blast beats and double bass kick and as always they have small throwbacks of the same riff. Musically, this track feels a bit underwhelming to what has been produced from the first half of the song before the second half feels more at home and more well rounded with the sensation that it belongs on the record.

The final three tracks also bring an amazing approach to what you have already heard. ‘Across The Stars’ has such a strong grip on what it is bringing to you. Whilst it felt like some of the more cleaner parts could have shone on a bit longer, the entirety of the song feels epic and grips you so hard. It seems to build and build before it reaches its climax and falls back to where it started with the intro of the clean chords and guitar lead leading the charge. The whole take on ‘The Forest Battle’ goes on a lot more of a technical and dissonant approach with the band going on a full speed assault with no one showing signs of letting up! For the penultimate track, it undoubtedly gives you another onslaught of phenomenal musicianship. Bringing the album to its epilogue with ‘The Throne Room / End Title’ as deems so fitting, it rounds up the album in such a nice way and gives you even more of that progressive and technical metal that you’ve heard right from the beginning. Giving you those last 6 minutes of everything you loved before, this band give you another chance to be floored at their creativity.

At its core, this band create something that could be deemed far from a ‘cover band’, but they have made something marvellous in terms of the Star Wars universe, making tracks that are very atmospheric turn into hellacious riff heavy contraptions that will no doubt open your mind to something new and something different. There’s nothing else to say other than… Live long and prosper!

Palisades – Self Titled

Known for their electronic/hardcore sound, Palisades have risen up the ranks in new music thanks to their ability to put together bangers and their partnership with Rise Records. Since their last release they’ve lost two members and gained just as many, with any line-up change this could damage or increase their chances of success. With the recent release of Palisades self titled album, and the past success of Mind Games and Outcasts, this album has a whole lot to live up to. The question we all want to know, is will it?

From the starting track Aggression, it’s clear that there is a change in the electronic influence present in these songs. Though the song is nothing short of strong, it’s taking things in a slightly different direction than that we’ve all come to know and love from Palisades. The new members here are instantly recognizable with the electronic element still present but taking a different turn and the backing vocals following suit. Fall is this albums stand out track, with a kicker of a chorus (get ready to be singing this for the rest of day) this track is big. Melodic guitar work drives this track, whilst the quiet almost ambient verses provide a break from this and allow us to focus solely on the vocals, which impress.

Let Down brings out more of the electronic element of Palisades and again has a fantastic chorus. “You’re a let down, let down” will be shouted to the ceilings at live shows and one can only imagine how impressive that will sound. Through Hell demonstrates the heavier side of Palisades, with roaring uncleans and chugging guitars it’s time to join the pits for this one. The breakdown in this song really helps move the album out of it’s comfortable pace so get ready to headbang. Personal ends things on a high note, it’s infectiously catchy and bound to be a huge hit at the live shows. Whilst the track itself is personal, the manner in which it is delivered is such that it’s coated in pop, which makes it very easy to listen to and radio-friendly.

Standing back to observe, this album leans heavily towards hardcore/electronicore mixed with pop but has stepped back from the happy infectious electronic sound that made Palisades so instantly recognizable. Whilst it’s sure to bring in new fans and keep old ones, the album does little to explore new ground, once setting the pace with the first few tracks it tends to deviate very little from the path.

Obituary release new song/video titled ‘Sentence Day’, announce new album

With the level of death metal and thrash metal rising, Obituary are getting ready to show you why they are still one of the strongest veterans around with their new self titled album announcement. Looking to hit stores and your music libraries on March 17th, it will definitely be something to keep an eye out for.

They’ve released the first single from the new album which you can check out below!

King Colobus – Self Titled [EP]

Hailing from the south of the UK are a band called King Colobus; a band beginning to make a name for themselves crafting blues-based rock. The band’s debut EP, King Colobus is set to release early next year, but here’s your first opportunity to get the low-down.

Beginning with Get Up, the song shimmers in with deep, tone-laden notes before a confident riffs breaks in. There’s a sense of something sinister in the foreboding guitar and the domineering vocals from Stewart MacPherson, and it gives the EP a brilliant sense of atmosphere. A punchy drum beat keeps the song moving as the music rises and falls.

King Colobus is nothing if not powerful, and the second song (also self titled) demonstrates more explicitly some of the inspirations that have helped produce this formula. Bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Interpol are audible in the music of King Colobus, and in a great way. As a song, the second track has a good sense of pace even if it’s not quite the same anthemic quality as its predecessor.

Brazenly titled Tits and Teeth bounces along to a similar structure. Though the musicians of King Colobus are inarguably proficient, their songwriting would benefit from some more variety. This does mean, however, that King Colobus remains a consistent, if somewhat predictable EP. Wait finishes off the release in style, boasting another colossal guitar sound. This track is a little more dynamic, and it’s refreshing to hear the band forging forwards again. The song comes to a maelstrom-like climax to shut down this release with force.

King Colobus‘ debut EP is a dependable introduction to the band, and whilst the release would be served better with some more variety, there’s little to truly dislike here. [6/10]

Woes Release New Single

Edinburgh based Pop-Punk quartet Woes have released their second single, fresh off their upcoming Debut self-titled EP, Winter Sun. Alongside dropping the new track the quartet also released a video for the track. The debut EP is set to be released through Rude Records on the 25th of November and from Winter Sun and lead single Worst Friend, it is set to be a great release. Check out the video for Woes’ Winter Sun below.

Pre-Order Woes Self-Titled Debut EP HERE.

Renegade Twelve – Renegade Twelve

Suffolk 5-piece Renegade Twelve are a hot prospect in the UK underground at the moment. It’s easy to see why too as the boys bring an insane amount of hard rock chops and a barrel of energy in the live arena. The real test of a bands metal (pun intended) though is being able to capture the same raw power and immediacy of a live show on record. With self titled debut, produced by Rupert Matthews who has honed his skills with The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they attempt to bottle that same energy and make a stand as scene leaders in the UK Rock underground.

The record opens with Mad Max which combines excellent twin lead work and anthemic vocals, hitting hard and coming complete with a huge post-chorus ‘woah!’ section. Third track Heroes is a formidable beast too, starting with Iron Maiden-like guitars followed by a dominant war cry of a chorus. The band’s sound is close to latter day-Avenged Sevenfold, with harmonized guitars and galloping drums at the forefront of sound, although despite the comparisons to the Orange County veterans, vocalist Sam Robson kicks out enough memorable melodies to set the band apart from their peers.

renegade-twelve-promo-shot

Matthews has given the record a crushing feel, with crunchy guitars over a pounding rhythm section, allowing songs to sound dynamic, showcasing their influences well. The band draw on a plethora of influences too, with Biopolar‘s maniacal mid-section sounding incredibly Dave Mustaine-esque and This Town boasting a chunky Pantera-sized groove. That’s not to say Renegade Twelve are mere imitators though, managing to siphon the sounds of their heroes into a melting pot of aural mastery. The closing one-two punch of MFC and Bill & Chief winds things down in style. The former opening with a riff reminiscent of Skid Row at their sleazy best and the latter, showing off the band’s ability to pen epics, with delicate guitars and keyboards running throughout, building to a startling riff ‘n shred fest towards the end.

Renegade Twelve have produced an incredibly fun debut here that contains many of the things we have grown to love about metal and hard rock. The twin guitar assault of Dan Potter and Josh Bernard makes for riveting listening, while the vocal lines are strong, providing memorable hooks almost every time. It will be interesting to watch the progress of a band that is clearly knee deep in it’s influences, define itself over the next few years. However, in the meantime just crack open a beer, throw up the horns and enjoy this barn-burner of a record.

Renegade Twelve is out January 27th.