Album Review – Sunterra / Reborn EP (2017)

Under the sign of the ancient Egypt goddess Isis, one of the most important Industrial Metal bands from the underground Austrian scene is reborn with a new lineup and a reinvigorated attitude.

Rating5

coverUnder the sign of the ancient Egypt goddess Isis, Austrian Gothic/Industrial Metal act Sunterra are celebrating their reunion after a 10-year hiatus from the music scene with their brand new EP titled Reborn, which as you can imagine by its name marks the resurrection of the band, presenting a musical progression without forgetting their own roots. Combining Industrial and Gothic Metal with hints of Electro and Dubstep, Sunterra aim at creating their own, distinctive sound, oferring the listener fresh and thrilling music that will put you on a trance and certainly sharpen your senses while listening to it.

Formed in 1998 in the charming city of Vienna, Austria after the split of a band named Virgin Seed, and having chosen their new name Sunterra as a game of words standing for the gathering of fire and earth, the band led by bassist and lyricist Chris enjoyed almost a decade of considerable success in the independent Austrian scene, releasing the demo In Diebus Illis in 1999 and the full-length albums Lost Time, in 2002, and Graceful Tunes, in 2005, before calling it a day in 2006. In 2015, with a brand new lineup and a reinvigorated attitude, Sunterra were reborn from the ashes like a phoenix and are more than ready to rock again, with their brand new EP being the first and exciting installment in this second incarnation of the band.

Electronic and futuristic elements set the tone in the solid Industrial Metal composition Reign Supreme, with the harsh growls by Carlos and the clean, gentle voice of Slovakian singer Lilly reaching a great balance, complementing each other’s lines effectively. In addition, the song’s chorus is quite catchy and should work really well live. In Shadow in the Dark, the band “abandons” their heavy industrialized musicality a bit, focusing on their Gothic Metal vein, with gentle piano notes and the delicate vocals by Lilly guiding the listener in this eccentric voyage. This is a melancholic, alternative ballad that ends with Carlos and Ivan delivering some heavy gnarls and riffs respectively, generating an interesting contrast with the song’s initial smoothness. Then in Lord of Lies we face some obscure guitar and bass lines by Ivan and Chris, which together with the potent programmed beats will break your neck while Lilly keeps delivering her angelical vocals. Put differently, this is a high-end professional fusion of Industrial and Gothic Metal, with its background effects helping make the overall sonority truly menacing.

sunterra-1This is W.A.R. brings forward an eerie futuristic ambience with elements from electronic music, feeling like a dance hit from the 80’s or 90’s with a metallic approach and gentle breaks being thoroughly inserted amidst the fury emanating from Carlos’ guttural growls; whereas Ministry of Thoughts presents a strong Marilyn Manson-inspired atmosphere, sounding extremely alternative and mechanized. In this song highly recommended for lovers of the darkest side of Industrial Metal, Ivan showcases an excellent performance on both guitar and all programmed elements, turning it into one of the best tracks of the album. And concluding the EP, Shut Up!!! begins in an ominous way with a whimsical dialogue between Carlos and Lilly before becoming a feast of electronic Industrial Metal perfect for hitting the dance floor, a creepy track by Sunterra to end Reborn on a high note.

As one of the most important Industrial Metal bands from the underground Austrian scene is finally back in action, why not feed their newly reborn fire  with your passion for heavy music? You can watch a preview of the entire EP on YouTube to get a better sense of what the music by Sunterra is all about, or stream it in its entirety to be enchanted by their modern metal music, as well as follow them on Facebook to know more about the band and their future projects and live concerts. And if you want to show your true support for these Austrian industrialists of darkness, you can get your copy of Reborn at their BandCamp page, on iTunes, on Amazon, at Discogs and several other online retailers.

Best moments of the album: Lord of Lies and Ministry of Thoughts.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 NRT-Records

Track listing
1. Reign Supreme 4:28
2. Shadow in the Dark 5:15
3. Lord of Lies 5:05
4. This is W.A.R. 4:49
5. Ministry of Thoughts 4:47
6. Shut Up!!! 3:51

Band members
Carlos – male lead vocals
Lilly – female lead vocals
Ivan – lead guitars, programming
Chris – bass

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The Walking Dead Review – Episode 408 (Mid-Season Finale): Too Far Gone

The darkest days have arrived for Rick and the other survivors.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Too Far Gone yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_408_01I’m still shocked with everything that happened yesterday in The Walking Dead’s Mid-Season Finale. That was absolutely EPIC, and I don’t know how the producers will be able to surpass what was done last night in any future episodes and seasons. There was a lot of good dialogues, emotion and vengeance for fans that love a good storyline, and total fuckin’ annihilation for fans that love every drop of blood that falls in the show.

As I mentioned last week here, there was no way that the combination of the Governor and a tank could end up in a monotonous episode. From the very first minute, he showed us he was totally consumed by rage and would do anything to kill Rick, Michonne and everybody else. He was so crazy that he didn’t even kill Michonne and Hershel at first, because that was too easy. Kidnapping them and using them to blackmail Rick was a pretty wise move, and the way he “hypnotized” all his new crew to attack the prison makes him an excellent candidate for any election.

However, when he realized Rick was never going to give up the prison, he grabbed Michonne’s sword and prepared to decapitate Hershel in a last attempt to make the sheriff surrender. Well, Rick was too stubborn tough for that, and the Governor knew his plan was not going to work. As soon as he pronounced the word “LIAR”, just as he saw in that sign attached to a decapitated body in the previous episode, I knew it was the end for our one-legged hero. I must confess that I cried a little with that scene, especially by seeing the desperate reaction of Maggie and Beth, and after by seeing the partially beheaded Hershel dragging himself on the floor, trying to go somewhere but actually knowing he was going nowhere. And then, the Governor finished what he started. That was one of the saddest moments of the show so far without any doubt.

Just when you thought that was enough, there comes Lilly with a dead Meghan on her arms, previously bitten by a zombie by pure and total lack of attention from herself, her mom, the Governor and anyone else from that camp. Why going to war and leaving a child behind like that? That was a huge price to pay, but it seems the Governor didn’t care too much about her as he cared about Penny, by simply shooting the dead girl in the head with no remorse. That was the moment when any vestige of humanity in him was gone and his tyrannical side exploded. Poor Rick for having to fight him that way, and what’s even worse, with a wounded leg.

twd_408_02“KILL THEM ALL!”, the Governor said. All Hell was breaking loose, with a war between Rick and the Governor, all the walkers attracted by the sound of gunshots and explosion, the prison falling to pieces, and the desperate cry of the survivors. Rick was going to die, and everyone else was going to die too, if it wasn’t for the toughest woman on Earth, Michonne. Fortunately she got back to “normal” and instead of smiles and jokes, there was our warrior piercing the Governor’s body with her sword and saving Rick. But she didn’t kill the Governor, she simply let him to die and become a walker, which would have been an eternal punishment for him. Well, Lilly didn’t allow that, by shooting him in the head and ending the life of one of the most frightful characters in the history of TV and comics. That chess piece on the ground with the eye-patch, being stepped by a walker, was another epic moment in The Walking Dead.

In the end, there were so many deaths and so many survivors taking different paths that it’s difficult to predict anything that will happen in the second half of the season. What happened to Rick’s baby, Judith? Was she sadly eaten by a walker, or saved by one of the survivors (maybe Michonne or Tyreese)? Where are Maggie, Beth, Tyreese, Sasha, Bob, Lilly, Glenn, those kids that shot Alisha in the head (a perfect shot, by the way) and everybody else going now? What about Rick and his (one more time) savior Carl? Where is Carol? This show is just getting better and better.

R.I.P. Hershel. And the Governor, well, may his soul rot in Hell. When The Walking Dead returns in February 2014, we’ll finally be able to see how Rick and the others will survive their darkest days on Earth. It won’t be easy, not at all, and I can’t wait to see it.

Too Far Gone (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 407: Dead Weight

Now the Governor we were all waiting for is back for real!

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Dead Weight yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_407_01This post is going to be as fast as the Governor when killing people due to the amount of work that is, well, killing me. Last night we learned a few lessons while watching episode 7 of season 4 from The Walking Dead, most of them taught by our “friend” the Governor, who simply deceived all of us last week with that “I’m Brian and I’m a good person” character. It took him only 5 minutes this week to throw all that garbage away and get back to what he really is: a violent and gruesome man who will kill absolutely anyone that stands on his way or tries to fool him. And it’s amazing to see him back in action like that.

The first lesson was to avoid at all costs playing golf with a crazy man you abandoned to death in the past. In fact, you shouldn’t do anything with that guy, because he will kill you for sure. That was the last lesson learned by Martinez, right before becoming an afternoon snack for a bunch of starving zombies inside a pit. Why the hell did he think the Governor was going to accept all his new rules and become one of his henchmen? Did he really think he could have more power than the Governor? That was a really stupid decision, but at least he died having some fun, playing golf after drinking some beers. Goodbye, Martinez! You were a great guy, especially for having the honor of being killed by two of the most badass characters in recent history: the Governor and Chev Chelios (if you know what I mean).

The second lesson was that there’s no such thing as a safe camp in The Walking Dead. Just forget about it. If you join some campers, you’re either going to be killed by other humans or devoured by zombies, and we had both examples during last night’s episode: first with the mysterious death of all people in that other camp, and then by Meghan almost being eaten by a walker that appeared from out of nowhere. Even the prison is not really safe, as we were able to bear witness in the past few episodes. In my opinion, moving on from place to place is the best you can do to survive because this way you might face some trouble, but at least you won’t be waiting for all the trouble to come to you.

The next lesson is so basic that we almost have an example in every single episode: extremely good people cannot survive a zombie apocalypse. It doesn’t matter what they do or who they are, if they are too good they will either die or get someone they love killed. Last night we saw Mitch’s brother, Pete, trying to be some kind of Good Samaritan, and then ending his days on earth as an underwater zombie. Of course people have to protect their families and friends, but that doesn’t mean they have to be good, right? I hope Michonne sees that as soon as possible, because her current “happy version” won’t be useful at all when the Governor attacks. I have a feeling she won’t do it, she seems too happy now, and because she’s chilling out so much the Governor will have his vengeance against her before she notices his presence.

twd_407_02And the final lesson was that, despite all the violence and madness, there’s still time for love in The Walking Dead, although we know the ending is never good for both parts. We saw the Governor and Andrea, Rick and Lori, Glenn and Maggie, and now we have the Governor and Lilly (doesnt’she look a lot like Maggie?) and, surprise, Tara and Alisha (it’s interesting to see a lesbian couple in the show now). As Martinez said a few moments before being hit in the head with a golf club by the Governor, he wasn’t ready to get married or have a family again in that world, and normally when one of the characters says something like that it’s because it’s true. We all know those couples are not going to last much longer, and that the pain they’ll suffer for losing someone they really love is a billion times worse than anything else. We saw what happens when the ones you love become zombies, when they reached that cabin in the woods last night, right?

In summary, the Governor has a new family, a new camp, new soldiers, even an expanded new version of his “aquarium” for walkers, and his thirst for revenge is back in full swing. Besides, he has a fuckin’awesome tank now, like in the comics, so it’s time for things to get as awful as they can be for Rick and his crew! Let’s get ready to say goodbye to some of our favorite characters next Sunday during the mid-season finale.

Oh, I almost forgot about the last and most important lesson: Cogeco sucks here in Toronto. I pay them to watch just TWO HOURS of TV per week, and guess what? It wasn’t working last night during the entire episode of The Walking Dead and later during Talking Dead. Great job, Cogeco!

Dead Weight (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 406: Live Bait

The Governor is back, although more human than anyone was expecting.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Live Bait yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd406_01I’m absolutely sure that every fan of The Walking Dead (including myself) was waiting for a massacre this week, with the Governor and his “evil” army back. However, we were all surprised with an episode showing a very human person, abandoned by his henchmen, lost in his thoughts and wandering around as “live bait” for any walker crossing his path. Was that going to be the end of the Governor? Was he going to live the rest of his life and die in such a melancholic way? Well, as DevilDriver says in one of their best songs, “not all who wander are lost.”

The story went back to when the Governor slaughtered almost all his army after that failed attempt to take over the prison and ran away with the only two survivors, one being his right hand Martinez. We were all left thinking about what happened to them, and when they would come back for revenge, but instead we saw the governor being forsaken and starting a completely different journey in his life. He was about to give up (even with his pretty cool new “Snake Plissken” look), when the vision of a young girl made him reconsider his almost-suicidal thoughts.

Does anyone doubt the first thing that came to his mind was his daughter Penny? At least this time it wasn’t a ghost like when Rick was seeing Lori, but a real girl called Megan who had been hiding for a long time inside an apartment building with her mother Lilly, her aunt Tara and her grandpa Don. Again we were expecting him to go wild and kill everybody, but that didn’t happen. We saw a man asking for shelter and offering his help to the family, and I was really impressed with how open to a guy with an eye-patch, a huge beard and a gun those two women were. It was probably the Governor’s charm striking again! Or should I say “Brian Heriot”, the name he randomly picked from that spray-painted wall full of names? Why choosing a different name, and why talking about his time as the Governor of Woodbury in the 3rd person? Was that a sign he was ashamed of his past and willing to start a brand new life?

This was the beginning of a story that in my opinion will be great to show everybody that no one is born a villain; it’s our society that creates them. While Rick’s group is killing innocents, casting away people that were once considered an important part of the family, and teaching children how to use machine guns and knives, we saw a man looking at a child as before the apocalypse, in other words, just like a real child and not like a soldier. Don’t you think this makes him less evil and more human than most of the members of Rick’s team, especially than Rick himself? By the way, the Governor and Rick have so much in common: they seem to be strong, wise and focused leaders, when in fact they’re nothing but regular people doing something they don’t really want to do, and that due to all the stress and external pressure they can explode at any moment, just like what happened to the Governor twice during this episode when he killed an old man/walker with an oxygen tank and when he brutally assaulted three walkers with his bare hands to protect that little girl.

twd406_02Talking about the action, although it was a more emotional episode than the previous one, there were some awesome moments of violence and tension. The Governor risking his life going to that “zombie nursing home” to grab some oxygen tanks, and as I mentioned before, saving Tara from the zombie Don smashing his head with one of the tanks and saving Megan in the zombie pit was some good action, and the beginning of a strong relationship between him and his new friends. Moreover, he simply burned his old picture with his original family, which in my opinion means that inside his head those people were his family now. He said he will do whatever he needs to keep Megan safe and well, so we can stay assured our good old Governor is back in action for real, especially when we see Martinez out of the zombie pit to “confirm” that the old life the Governor had will never abandon him.

“Nobody ever mentioned just how boring the end of the world was going to be,” Lilly said. Well, not anymore. Now you have the Governor by your side (literally), you’re about to be on the road with a bunch of mercenaries killing zombies, and you’ll probably cross the path of sheriff Rick Grimes. Nothing can be more exciting than this.

Live Bait (FULL EPISODE)