by: Chris Rigney, KUCI Loud Rock Director
Scale the Summit "The Migration"
This wondrous instrumental group brings you more progressive metal sans vocals. These guys have an excellent track record so far, and this is a great addition to their catalog. Some may find it too short clocking in at a mere 35 minutes, but the music is undeniably good.
Soilwork "The Living Infinite"
Continuing along the musical path started with their album "The Panic Broadcast," Soilwork is forging a new era in their career to truly fuse their Gothenburg melo-death roots with a more modern sound. This double-disc set is chock full of excellent melodic death metal with thrash influences. This time around they are very reminiscent of recent Scar Symmetry albums with less progressive elements. Vocals still vary between mid-range screams and clean singing, and the songs run the gamut from slower soulful tunes to fast death metal inspired romps. Very highly recommended for both new listeners and old, disillusioned fans alike.
Evile come through with yet another wonderful thrash-fest of an album. Every time I listen to this album, I feel like it should have been Metallica's real "black" album. Great songs all around with varying tempos and some memorable riffs. While it doesn't compete with the recent thrash efforts from acts like Kreator and Destruction, it's a great listen and fun album.
Fleshgod Apocalypse "Labyrinth"
The newest release by this epic, symphonic death metal band is quite amazing to behold. Fleshgod Apocalypse have dropped yet another awesome slab of extreme metal that combines exceptionally fast, techincal death metal with symphonic elements and occasional clean vocals. I'm very excited about this album and think it will easily be one of the best of 2013.
Amon Amarth "Deceiver of the Gods"
Although the newest release by Amon Amarth does not break any new ground, it's still definitely good enough to give a listen and rock out to some viking-style melodic death metal. They seem to continue down the road of creating slightly more listener friendly songs with catchier hooks, so tracks like Father of the Wolf and Shape Shifter are fun listens without risking too much technicality or variety. Their emphasis on Loke on this album makes me feel they were inspired by the recent Thor and Avengers movies, but I could be wrong. =) Many could argue that Amon Amarth needs to move beyond their newfound "safer" sound, but the newer stuff is still great fun.
Darkane "The Sinister Supremacy"
The cool melo-death releases keep coming! Darkane has long been an underrated melodic death metal band, but now that mainstay acts such as In Flames and Dark Tranquillity have lost steam they have an opportunity to come into their own. This particular album fuses some more modern elements of slicker production and some greater variety with clean vocals. Overall a very good album and worth checking out if you're into the melo-death material.
Asphyx have come back with another old school death metal release that sounds like it came out the same time as Entombed's "Left Hand Path" in the hayday of that sound. Those looking for a technical metal outing will not find much enjoyment here, but Asphyx brings an earnestness and honesty to their sound that you rarely hear these days.