Album Review – Coiled Around Thy Spine / Shades (2018)

An astonishing combination of brutal violence, shredding guitar solos, blasting drums and soaring vocals inspired by classic and melodic Death Metal.

If you consider yourself a diehard fan of modern-day Melodic Death Metal you have to take a very good and detailed listen at Shades, the debut album by Italian metallers Coiled Around Thy Spine. Formed in 2017 in the city of Turin by Italian guitarist Sergio Costa, when he met American drummer David Archie Weiss online, Coiled Around Thy Spine not only have their core essence deeply rooted in Melodic Death Metal, but it’s the classic Death Metal influences spiced up by symphonic elements that make their music so entertaining, electrifying and vibrant, with all songs in Shades being highly recommended for slamming into the pit, banging your head nonstop or simply enjoy their intricate and flammable waves.

After Sergio and David started working on the music together, they decided to expand beyond the initial instrumental idea, recruiting Italian vocalist Daniele Rosso to complete the band’s lineup.  Unfortunately, David decided to quit the band for personal reasons before the release of Shades, but that doesn’t mean Coiled Around Thy Spine will call it quits and cease their quest for top-tier metal music. Quite the contrary, featuring a simple but very effective artwork by TheSmashedRabbit, Shades is an astonishing combination of brutal violence, shredding guitar solos, blasting drums and soaring vocals, inspired by classic and melodic Death Metal as well as contemporary metal masterpieces alike, proving this up-and-coming metal unity is here to stay, and after listening to the album you’ll certainly be eager for more of their music.

A movie-inspired intro named Candles builds the ambiance for the hard-hitting tune [God Mode: On], blending the most visceral and modern elements from Melodic Death Metal and Blackened Death Metal, sounding absolutely pulverizing form start to finish with Daniele blasting devilish gnarls and growls while Sergio Costa shreds his guitar in a demonic way. Put differently, this can be called an evil and bastard hybrid of Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir. Then we have Dissected, where David sounds beyond brutal on drums, elevating the impact of this hellish tune considerably, also presenting hints of the music by Arch Enemy on vocals and guitars and flowing demonically until the end; followed by How Freedom Dies, another crushing spawn by the power trio where the strident and sharp sound of guitars is simply outstanding, bringing a high dosage of malignancy to the music. Moreover, its background keyboards add a touch of delicacy to the ambience, bringing more balance to this well-crafted, full-bodied chant. And their Arch Enemy-like vein arises once again in the title-track Shades, a darker and more melodic metal extravaganza than its predecessors, with the only issue being that the music never reaches the same speed as the rest of the album (its level of heaviness and aggression is still quite gargantuan, though).

Their intricate and berserk feast of sounds and tones goes on in Subhumanized, led by the lancinating riffs and solos by Sergio while David keeps smashing his drums, sounding modern and vile from start to finish, whereas in The Sick Game, their most demonic song of all, guitars and keys complement each other flawlessly, supported by the pulverizing drumming by David. Furthermore, the song also displays interesting nuances of Progressive Death and Black Metal, resulting in a lesson in extreme music by the Italian trio where Daniele bursts his lungs screaming like a demon. The second to last spawn of dark sounds by Coiled Around Thy Spine, titled In Vain, showcases more of their high-octane, flammable music tailored for banging your head frantically, with all three members sounding demented with their instruments (in special David and his Stygian beats and fills), and  their final avalanche of extreme sounds, named Safe, is perhaps their most obscure one, leaning towards modern Black Metal in a true feast of rhythm, harmony, and darkness led by Daniele and his otherworldly growls, not to mention Sergio and his neck-breaking riffs, ending the album in a menacing and climatic manner.

You can listen to Shades in full on Spotify, and if you have what it takes to face the modern and absolutely threatening music by Coiled Around Thy Spine you should definitely visit their Facebook page for news, tour dates and everything else that’s related to the band, and purchase the album on iTunes or on Amazon. As aforementioned, Shades combines the brutality and heaviness of Death Metal with the finesse of modern-day Melodic Death Metal in a fantastic way, proving this now Italian duo (who will certainly find another sensational drummer to replace David soon) has all that’s needed to thrive in the world of heavy music. And we’ll all be eagerly waiting for more of their incendiary music in the near future, of course.

Best moments of the album: [God Mode: On], How Freedom Dies and The Sick Game.

Worst moments of the album: Shades.

Released in 2018 Independent

Track listing
1. Candles 1:54
2. [God Mode: On] 5:36
3. Dissected 6:17
4. How Freedom Dies 4:48
5. Shades 6:52
6. Subhumanized 5:54
7. The Sick Game 5:16
8. In Vain 5:59
9. Safe 7:50

Band members
Daniele Rosso – vocals
Sergio Costa – guitars, bass, synth
David Archie Weiss – drums, synth

Album Review – Misteyes / Creeping Time (2016)

Which side will you chose in the never-ending battle between Light and Dark Metal brought forth by this distinct symphonic band from Italy?

Rating4

creeping-time-front-cover-artwork“Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.” – Heraclitus

The never-ending battle between good and evil, day and night, light and dark, heaven and hell, life and death or whatever other philosophical depiction you want to give to the two opposite worlds that guide our thoughts and actions has just been transformed into high-end music by Italian Symphonic Death/Gothic Metal act Misteyes in Creeping Time, the debut full-length album by a band that definitely knows how to put together the best elements from Light and Dark Metal, enhancing their contrast and, consequently, their impact on the listener.

Misteyes started back in 2012 in the city of Turin, Italy as a five-piece group, playing what could be considered Melodic Death/Black Metal before changing their music direction in 2014 to what exists today, including the addition of a female vocalist and a keyboardist to the band. The next couple of years were very fruitful for Misteyes, who not only started working on Creeping Time, but also shared the stage with renowned names in the Gothic scene such as Cadaveria, Opera IX, Lunarsea and Elegy Of Madness. The band’s approach and musicality can already be sensed through the obscure artwork by Italian artist Alessandro Alimonti (Overload Design Studio), but it’s when the music starts that you’ll find yourself in the middle of the fight between light and dark, getting completely mesmerized by the music that flows through your ears.

The melancholic intro The Last Knell, which begins with the sound of a baby crying, grows in intensity until the title-track Creeping Time arises from the depths of hell in a feast of Symphonic Black and Gothic Metal. Denise “Ainwen” Manzi is the beauty on vocals while Edoardo “Irmin” Iacono provides his beastly growls, perfectly depicting what the band wants to say with the “Light and Dark Metal” concept, with keyboardist Gabriele “Hyde” Gilodi being the one responsible for giving the song its operatic vibe. Then it’s time for some heavier riffs by Daniele “Insanus” Poveromo and Riccardo “Decadence” Tremaioni in the dense Brains in a Vat, an amazing composition filled with passion, hate and agony featuring the creepy spoken words by guest musician Mattia Casabona (Aspasia), sounding like a hybrid of the music by the early days of Cradle of Filth with Epica, resulting in a masterpiece of underground Symphonic Metal. Moreover, it’s interesting how Hyde maintains the mystery in Misteyes’ music through his keyboards no matter how fast and heavy the music is, which is the case in Inside the Golden Cage, where the vocals by Ainwen are once again heavily inspired by the diva Simone Simons whereas Irmin leans towards pure Black Metal, not to mention the thrilling beats by Federico “Krieger” Tremaioni.

Lady Loneliness, a beautiful atmospheric power ballad focused on the gentle voice of Ainwen with some pianos notes giving it an extra touch of delicacy, showcases a good story told through its lyrics (“If you are here, I cannot be overtaken by fear / Only this eternal silence is what can soothe my pain / In darkness I can find you, this time will be forever / Come! Come to me, my lady! Lady Loneliness!”); followed by The Prey, with the whole band getting back to a more brutish mode. Irmin effectively enhances the song’s aggressiveness due to his deranged harsh growls, with Insanus, Decadence and Hyde delivering sheer madness while bassist Andrea “Hephaestus” Gammeri brings forward his share of insanity through his low-tuned punches. Their operatic and dark vein becomes evident once again in Destroy Your Past, a song full of progressive passages thanks to the intricate lines delivered through guitars and bass and all tempo changes led by Krieger, as well as in the operatic metal hymn The Demon of Fear, where guest musician Roberto Pasolini (Embryo) complements the menacing keyboards by Hyde with his enraged growling. This excellent song, displaying a Symphonic Black Metal vibe with hints of Gothic Metal and Melodic Metal, is another good example of the fight between good and evil proposed by Misteyes, proving one more time how connected to the concept of opposition all songs are.

misteyes-2016Special guest Mattia Casabona is back in action, this time with clean vocals, in the two-part aria entitled “Awake the Beast”, starting with the operatic A Fragile Balance (Awake the Beast – Part 1), with its eerie piano intro and Ainwen providing her Tarja-inspired vocals. Almost “a capella”, it sounds like a horror flick soundtrack, leading to the furious and blackened Chaos (Awake the Beast – Part 2), a high-octane tune tailored for fans of obscure and harmonious music where Progressive and Symphonic Black Metal are flawlessly united. Krieger and Hyde are yet again the architects of the musicality, generating the perfect ambience for the sick riffs by both Insanus and Decadence to shine.

In the gripping Decapitated Rose, guest vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork) steals the spotlight by blasting his infuriated declamation of the song’s dark lyrics (“When life is withered …There is no water which can bring it back! / Ivy smothers your soul! Petals fall and you are alone! / All beauty is gone! Only the thorn is what remains! / In this garden of madness … Decapitated rose! Decapitated rose!”), with Hephaestus firing some thunderous bass lines that end up increasing the song’s creepiness while the keyboard sounds by Hyde will pierce your head and haunt your soul. And last but not least, the talented Nicole Ansperger (Eluveitie) and the awesome sound of her violin add the word “epic” to the powerful Winter’s Judgement, a Symphonic Gothic Metal feast that blends elements from the music by Dimmu Borgir, Nightwish, Epica, Moonspell and other prominent bands. In addition, the growls by Irmin get deeper than ever, guiding the listener into a journey through the realms of darkness and light until the song’s soulful ending.

In summary, it doesn’t matter which side you choose in the battle between Light and Dark Metal proposed by Misteyes, you’ll certainly win due to the sensational quality of their music. Thus, you can get in touch with these Italian metallers and get to know more about their music through Facebook, YouTube, ReverbNation and SoundCloud, and acquire your copy of Creeping Time at several different places such as their BandCamp page, the Maple Metal Records’ BandCamp page or Big Cartel, on iTunes, Amazon or CD Baby.

Best moments of the album: Creeping Time, Brains in a Vat, The Prey and Decapitated Rose.

Worst moments of the album: Destroy Your Past.

Released in 2016 Maple Metal Records

Track listing
1. The Last Knell (Intro) 1:40
2. Creeping Time 6:29
3. Brains in a Vat 5:39
4. Inside the Golden Cage 5:24
5. Lady Loneliness 4:37
6. The Prey 7:03
7. Destroy Your Past 5:02
8. The Demon of Fear 6:55
9. A Fragile Balance (Awake the Beast – Part 1) 3:41
10. Chaos (Awake the Beast – Part 2) 5:26
11. Decapitated Rose 4:48
12. Winter’s Judgement 8:05

Band members
Edoardo “Irmin” Iacono – growl and scream vocals
Denise “Ainwen” Manzi – clean and operatic vocals
Daniele “Insanus” Poveromo – lead guitars
Riccardo “Decadence” Tremaioni – rhythm guitars
Gabriele “Hyde” Gilodi – piano, synth and orchestrations
Andrea “Hephaestus” Gammeri – bass and fretless bass
Federico “Krieger” Tremaioni – drums

Guest musicians
Björn “Speed” Strid – additional scream and clean vocals on “Decapitated Rose”
Nicole Ansperger – violin on “Winter’s Judgement”
Roberto Pasolini – additional growls and scream vocals on “The Demon of Fear”
Mattia Casabona – spoken words on “Brains in a Vat”, additional clean vocals on “A Fragile Balance (Awake the Beast – Part 1)”, and additional growls and scream vocals on “Chaos (Awake the Beast – Part 2)”

Album Review – Moth’s Circle Flight / My Entropy (2016)

Catchy riffs, deranged growls and endless energy in an album that blends Metalcore with tons of other subgenres of heavy music, recommended for the ones in pursuit of the “light in the shadows”.

Rating4

CoverAfter ten years alive and kicking, releasing a couple of EP’s and one full-length album, playing alongside renowned artists such as Sepultura, Extrema and Guilty Method, among others, and participating in important European events like the Colonia Sonora Festival in Turin, Italy, it’s time for Italian Metalcore/Groove Metal wolf pack Moth’s Circle Flight to celebrate a decade of existence with the release of their second full-length album, entitled My Entropy, a melodic turmoil of catchy riffs, demented screams and nonstop adrenaline.

Although it’s considerably hard to describe the sounding of Moth’s Circle Flight due to the crazy amalgamation of rhythms and genres added to their musicality, this is the type of band that will please fans of heavy and uncompromised music the likes of Pantera and Trivium, highly recommended for some good jumping, screaming and headbanging. Formed in the city of Parma in 2003, the band only found their actual formation in 2012, hence shaping up their music to what can be found today in My Entropy.  In their lyrics, the band wishes to reiterate the leitmotif that has accompanied them in recent years, that being “the constant search for light in the shadows, the frenzied gathering around a flame that we’ll never own, but that keeps us alive and eternal.”

When the Slipknot-inspired intro in Man On The Peak morphs into a brutal fusion of Metalcore and Alternative Metal, all hell breaks loose  led by the demented riffs and solos by guitarists Luca “Pellach” Alzapiedi and Francesco “Baldo” Baldi, reminding me of the music by the Butcher Babies with hints of Pantera. An interesting mix of soundings, isn’t it? But that’s just the beginning, as in the neck-breaking tune Ends Of A Shadow we’re treated to the enraged screams by both Gabriele “Gabbo” Rosi and Simone “Pancio” Panciroli, who switch their vocals from the good old times of Phil Anselmo to a frantic version of Axl Rose, and again to what we find in modern Melodic Death Metal, therefore showcasing all their versatility. In addition to that, the song’s awesome chorus will certainly stick to your head for a good amount of time, no doubt about that.

MCFThe alternative Raise Your Head, which presents a lunatic atmosphere usually found in modern Americanized music, is a good choice for igniting some serious mosh pits during the band’s live concerts, with Pellach and Baldo continuing to impress on guitars while Fabio “Bersa” Bersani showcases all his passion for Groove Metal behind his drums. Bassist Marco “Satir” Reggiani kicks off the excellent Late Promises with his thunderous lines, quickly evolving to solid Alternative Metal with additional elements taken from Groove Metal and Metalcore where vocals sound like a mix of Phil Anselmo and Daron Malakian (System Of A Down); followed by An Old Chant, a rabid anthem that condenses the musicality by System Of A Down, Butcher Babies, Alice In Chains, Sevendust and tons of other distinct bands, with its riffs and beats being in total sync and, consequently, creating the ideal ambience for some brutal headbanging and moshing.

And there’s more brutality emanating from the music by Moth’s Circle Flight in what’s perhaps the most melodic of all tracks, Write My Name, where Gabbo and Pancio once again burst their lungs out in a violent but tuneful way, providing a welcome break from the sheer madness of all previous songs. Despite not being a bad song, With Love, With Flames never really take off, maybe because it’s too alternative and the band gets a bit lost deciding if they get heavier or groovier (the guitar solo by Pellach is really good though, as well as the drumming by Bersa), but fortunately that “hesitation” doesn’t last long as we have another kick-ass blast of Groove and Alternative Metal entitled Bursting Into Existence, with its clean vocals once again reminding me of Daron Malakian. The song offers the listener a good balance of harsh screams and clean vocals, with its accelerated rhythm and dissonant riffs adding more fuel to the overall result, maintaining the song’s fire burning until its deranged ending. In Madball (maybe a tribute to American Hardcore icons Madball), growls follow the path built by guitar riffs in what gets a bit repetitive halfway through it, before Ray Of Ira comes to close the album on a high note. It’s amazing how the band blended English and Italian in the lyrics and still sounded very organic, especially during the song’s clean vocal parts. Furthermore, the instrumental pieces are beyond precise and effectively support the message sent in both languages. Well, based on how the album ends, I’m pretty sure we’ll see a lot more of Moth’s Circle Flight in a not-so-distant future.

You can go absolutely mental to the music by Moth’s Circle Flight (also known as MCF, if you like acronyms) by visiting their Facebook page and SoundCloud, and grab your copy of My Entropy at the logic(il)logic Records’ webstore, on iTunes or at CD Baby. And if you’re also searching for the “light in the shadows” mentioned by the band, just like a real moth, I suggest you do it while listening to the vigorous Metalcore by this talented Italian sextet as that will definitely cheer you up, even if you never find the desired light.

Best moments of the album: Ends Of A Shadow, An Old Chant and Bursting Into Existence.

Worst moments of the album: With Love, With Flames and Madball.

Released in 2016 logic(il)logic Records/Andromeda Dischi

Track listing
1. Man On The Peak 4:07
2. Ends Of A Shadow 4:11
3. Raise Your Head 4:19
4. Late Promises 5:10
5. An Old Chant 4:42
6. Write My Name 3:50
7. With Love, With Flames 3:14
8. Bursting Into Existence 5:00
9. Madball 4:14
10. Ray Of Ira 3:57

Band members
Gabriele “Gabbo” Rosi – vocals
Simone “Pancio” Panciroli – vocals
Luca “Pellach” Alzapiedi – lead guitar
Francesco “Baldo” Baldi – rhythm guitar
Marco “Satir” Reggiani – bass
Fabio “Bersa” Bersani – drums

Album Review – Roadless / Keep Rolling (2015)

Questo è Rock N’ Roll, cazzo!

Rating4

coverBorn in Turin, Italy in the beginning of 2012 from an idea of guitarist Noxy after his musical experience with a band from the city of Genoa called Lethal Poison, what Italian hard rockers Roadless have to offer us in their first full-length album, Keep Rolling, can be clearly summarized as direct and effective Rock N’ Roll. In other words, they’re not aiming at reinventing the wheel nor anything like that, but offering rockers and heavy metallers all over the world straightforward and versatile rock music that will put our bodies in frenzied motion. As simple as that, and it works extremely well.

After releasing their first EP in 2012 entitled Love to Roll, which name by the way was born from the psychedelic attitude of the band, and after sharing the stage with famous bands such as Pompei Nights (Sweden), Dead Vikings (Japan), Dobermann (Italy), and especially with American veterans Faster Pussycat, Roadless look and sound ready to spread their rockin’ wings and conquer new territories with their exciting musicality. In addition to that, the band is truly strengthened by the support from their record label, Carma Musik Records, who, according to their owners, “loves to produce only the music that still manages to excite, remaining one of the few who still believe in the power of emerging music.” That alone says it all.

Enough with the chit-chat, it’s time for Rock N’ Roll, baby! And the opener Scary Face couldn’t be more suitable for that: totally inspired by classic Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock from the 80’s and 90’s, it’s a great tune where Noxy and frontman Blaze are kicking ass in a display of love for old school rock music. Following that brilliant start, with a similar vibe to Deep Purple’s classic “Perfect Strangers” and with Blaze lowering down his voice a bit for a darker result in a few passages, Back To The Top is pub rock music that could have easily been a song from a renowned Hair Metal band from the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, especially due to its guitar solos and thrilling beats; while we all gotta love the riffs in She’s Gonna Take Me, a song about love, sex and relationships, with a great performance by drummer Cris Crow.

roadlessNot only the lyrics in the fast and furious track Love To Roll are an ode to 90’s rock music, but the song also has a Punk Rock touch that makes it even more exciting. Can you imagine how cool it should be to see them playing it at a sold out pub night? Anyway, Home Sweet Homicide showcases an instrumental full of elements found in the Rock N’ Roll played by Motörhead, with highlights to Cris Crow and bassist Morgan for fueling the music with their outstanding performances, and in order to maintain a high level of energy Roadless deliver Never Say Never, a more rhythmic song where Blaze and Noxy once again make a great sonic duo.

Heavier and slightly more modern, the next song, Voodoo Love, was born to be a radio hit thanks to its amazing riffs, lyrics and the vocal lines by Blaze, followed by Hot Mama, a badass sexist song loaded with the best elements of Stoner Rock, Hard Rock and old school Rock N’ Roll. This is another great composition I consider perfect for a hot and sexy strip-tease, and I can even visualize the strip girl taking off her tiny panty during the guitar solo. Then suddenly the band gets a lot thrashier in the high-speed circle pit-generator You Are Nothing with its lyrics that are definitely not what we can call “polite”, probably a message the band has to a very good friend, before they say goodbye to us all in Believe, where their Stoner Rock side gets even stronger, with its distortion, heavy beats and raspy vocals giving it a rawer taste.

You can take a listen at the full album at Spotify and SoundCloud, connect to the band at their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and buy Keep Rolling at the Carma Musik Records webstore or at Amazon. In English, we would say something like “This is fuckin’ Rock N’ Roll!” to describe the awesomeness in Keep Rolling. However, as we’re talking about an Italian band, I think it sounds a lot more genuine and rousing if we all pay homage to that beautiful country and scream together QUESTO È ROCK N’ ROLL, CAZZO!

Best moments of the album: Scary Face, Love To Roll and Hot Mama.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Carma Musik Records

Track listing
1. Scary Face 3:18
2. Back To The Top 4:40
3. She’s Gonna Take Me 2:35
4. Love To Roll 2:23
5. Home Sweet Homicide 3:44
6. Never Say Never 3:06
7. Voodoo Love 3:07
8. Hot Mama 4:08
9. You Are Nothing 2:09
10. Believe 3:56

Band members
Blaze – The Voice Of Fuckin’ Revolution
Noxy – Reckless Jungle Guitar
Morgan – Thunder Bird
Cris Crow – Drums Killer