Thursday, January 25, 2018

favorite album of the week: January 14-20, 2018

Looking over the albums available to this publication, there were some good albums released last week. In particular, I find that two albums grabbed my attention.--MMB
Rockshots Records
19 January 2018
Personally, I find Noturnall to be a very good combination. They do many things right. First of all, they roll power metal, traditional heavy metal, progressive metal, and a bit of thrash into a young, bouncy, uptempo album that is both headbanging and memorable. As a power prog band they have also one indispensable element that is right, and that’s the drumming. The drumming has a very good energy and it sounds like metal drumming, and it means a lot for the sound of the band because it results in an album that rocks. I don’t hear any weaknesses, it’s a fun album and the songs are efficient. Most of all, the songs are memorable and they exude not just talent, but a lot of skill in the execution of the music itself and in the up-to-date production. It appears that they hooked up with the right people to give the album a current sound.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The singing works very well with the band’s style and the band’s tendency to sway around various subgenres as a coherent style. Speaking for myself, I find the singing good. I wonder how it sounds live in real life, but on the album the singing certainly can match the quality and power of the songs. This album is a keeper for sure. A winner all the way.
Seas of Oblivion
Malpermesita Records
19 January 2018
Nydvind has really impressed me with this album of maritime-themed metal. The band’s midtempo/uptempo melodic extreme metal takes ideas from black metal, like much of the vocals and the tremolo/melodies, and gives it all a current production and runs it through the filter of epic metal. I liked the album at first and it caught my attention, but once I began to look further within I uncovered something much bigger than I realized at first. Given that the album is very long (over an hour) and the band does a lot with that time, let’s find the threads that keep it all together. Perhaps one of the most characteristic components of the album is the huge effort to make a work that reveals the dedication that went into it. It’s a band that is thinking big. The epic seafaring metal comes across loud and clear, and since it is a serious endeavor, once the listener gets a taste of it, there should be more interest in exploring the entire album with more patience.
The songs have some slower moments that are placed well, but this is unequivocally an uptempo album and there is lots of an energy of melodic black metal, including some segments of blasting. In that sense, it is paced well, too. In my own impression of the album, I feel like it is mostly uptempo, in varying degrees, and it has an awesome maritime vibe. The vocals are mostly extreme metal, and often show a lineage of the black metal family tree. Surprisingly, there are some melodic vocals that are an important additional dimension. This album has many strengths and after hearing it in its entirety several times I am still very impressed with it. Fans of epic extreme metal should put this album on their list. It’s a big success for the band.

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