Tavú – Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii (self released, 2013)

Tavú – Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii (self released, 2013)

Modern metal is a sub-genre that most of the times makes old school metal fans to cringe. Many think about breakdowns and extremely dowtuned guitars upon hearing the term. But not every modern metal has to sound like Asking Alexandria, Suicide Silence and shit like that. There is plenty of modern metal rooted in the foundations of the music we love. And we can find Puerto Rico’s Tavú on the later category. The band was formed in 1996 and has stablished themselves as one of the most dynamic bands in the Puertorrican metal scene, sharing the stage with prominent overseas acts and having toured outside the island plenty of times. Almost 9 years after their debut self-titled album, Tavú are back with their sophomore effort titled “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” (Latin for “the cry of victory, the cry of silence”). The differences between both releases and the musical growth are inmediately noticeable after the first notes.

Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” opens with the intro “Clamor Victorium“, setting the tone for what is about to be unleashed. “Sin Miedo“, the album’s first single, follows and it inmediately feels like a smash in the face with its utter heaviness and a very chunky groove not too far from “Roots“-era Sepultura or late Soulfly. Here it becomes pretty obvious that Marcos’ vocal delivery has improved a lot through the years and just like through the whole album, he really shines in this one. “Sin Miedo” is straight forward Tavú at its best, and it is one of the album’s highlights. The album continues with “Take A Bow“, the first showcase of experimentation in “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii“. Filled with plenty of Meshuggah and Textures styled riffs, and a very Deftones inspired chorus, “Take A Bow” shows the listener how good modern metal should be done, and guitarrist Joen gave plenty of recognized guitar players from around the globe a run for their money when it comes to deliver quality”djent” styled riffs. “Take A Bow” is one of the best tracks on the album and one of Tavú‘s best songs ever written. “Jack” is next and it basically follows the heaviness of “Sin Miedo” but here the riffs rely more on the death/thrash metal style, quite similar to the sound created by Lamb Of God. “Jack” is a pretty good track, but it lacks that special charm to put it among the albums highlights, mostly due to its straight forwardness.

A System Without Honor” follows and here we are on the experimental side again. The track’s first 2 minutes are filled with fast and heavy riffing with a harsh and clean vocals trade-off and with some of David‘s best drumming in here, before turning into a full Deftones somber deliver. For the rest of the song, Marcos simply performed the best vocals of his career. The passion he put into those lines is undeniable, he was really feeling what he has singing while this unique guitar sound plays on the background. This is the kind of track that brings chills to my spine, and it is not only the album’s best song, it is perhaps the highlight of Tavú‘s whole career. Next we got “Antipoesía“, a song that Tavú wrote many years ago, but here is featured in a refreshed version with better guitar arrangements. “Antipoesía” is a track that can be compared to “Sin Miedo” in terms of the approach, although not at solid as the later one. “Courtesy” follows, a track quite similar to “Jack” but somehwat more experimental and with a killer drumming performance.

Tavú were not shy to experiment with different styles on “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” and track number 8 “Words Of Salt And Ash” is another proof of it. Being a very heavy track, among the heaviest of the whole album, “Words Of Salt And Ash” also features great melodic clean vocals lines, quite common in progressive metal. The balance created between the aggression and the melody in this song is just perfect, making it another of the album’s highlights. “Apología” follows the path of “Sin Miedo” and “Antipoesía“, but it can be pointed as the weakest of the 3 tracks, but still a solid offering. “My Kingdom Falls” is next and here we got the heavy/experimental dose again, as plenty of Strapping Young Lad/Devin Townsend can be heared in here. Filled with solid riffing and drumming, along with more great vocal lines, “My Kingdom Falls” is just another slab of awesomeness. Just as if what we have previously witnessed was not good enough, Tavú closes the album with what can be considered their most atypical song. “Clamor Silentii” is a mid-paced track with plenty of melodic death metal styled riffs, and with perhaps the band’s most melodic arragement ever. Here again, Marcos truly shines on his vocals, and I would even say that the melodic style of the song makes him shine more. One would have expected another kind of closing track after all the heaviness for the most of “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” duration, but the guys decided to surprise us with a song that can be considered to does not fit the rest of the album, but that at the same time “Clamor Silentii” wraps it up in a perfect way. Bravo for that!

Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” is just a lesson on how to approach modern metal with your feet firmly rooted in the foundations and the guys somewhat managed to carry us into a musical journey of 46 minutes without really any letdowns. The sound quality overall is magnificient and includes collaborations with award winning sound designer (and ex-Tavú bass player) Cesar Dávila-Irizarry, known for his musical composition of the “American Horror Story” theme song, and was mixed and mastered by legendary Puertorrican sound engineer Leo Álvarez. As previously mentioned, Marcos‘ vocal delivery takes the cake this time as his perfomance could be ranked among the best I have ever listened within the style. “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” was an album that took a lot of effort and time to be completed, but in the end it is worth every single drop of sweat put into it. “Clamor victorium” indeed.

HMT Rating: 9/10

Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” was released on June. The track listing is as follows:

1.     Clamor Victorium                   01:36

2.     Sin Miedo                                    04:24

3.     Take a Bow                                 05:00

4.     Jack                                                05:18

5.     A System Without Honor    03:52

6.     Antipoesía                                  03:30

7.     Courtesy                                      04:59

8.     Words of Salt and Ash        04:50

9.     Apología                                     04:10

10.     My Kingdom Falls                04:16

11.     Clamor Silentii                      04:27

Total:                                                     46:22

The video for the first single, “Sin Miedo“, is below.


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Watain – The Wild Hunt (Century Media, 2013)


Watain – The Wild Hunt (Century Media, 2013)

Sweden has always been a strong exporter of black metal bands, rivaling in quality with the Norwegian scene. In the 90’s, bands like Dissection were considered among the elite. After Dissection demise, fans and the press began to look up for the worthy successors to their throne and plenty agreed that Watain were the genre’s saviors. Formed in 1998, Watain released four full-length albums, getting huge exposure even among the mainstream fans, which gained them a contract with highly acclaimed label Century Media Records. So, armed with a better budget they went on to release their best sounding album to date “The Wild Hunt“.

A band like Satyricon taught us that having better sounding albums with better productions does not equate to make better music. Why I bring Satyricon into this? Because just like the fellow Norwegian superstars did with albums like “Now, Diabolical“, Watain‘s “The Wild Hunt” is a finely produced album but filled with not-so-fine compositions. Watain‘s music evolution dates back to their 3rd album “Sworn to the Dark” where they began to adopt a more elaborated and refined style of black metal. This musical evolution continued with “Lawless Darkness“, but they still sounded like pure Watain at the core. For most of the album’s length, “The Wild Hunt” marks a bold departure from their core sound. Out of 11 tracks, 2 of them are intrumental, opening track “Night Vision” and the 10th track “Ignem Veni Mittere“. Both of them are plain slow and doomy with some black metal riffing here and there and none of them can be considered as great tracks since they are just filler material.

De Profundis” blasts off with some pretty cool tremolo riffing surrounded by a melody after each main riff that sounds just like removed from Possessed‘s classic “The Antichrist“. The song’s trading pace from fast to mid-tempo, along with the aforementioned melody and Erik evil vocals make this track a very solid one, among the album’s highlights. “Black Flames March” follows, and it is a 6-plus minutes mid-paced song with a heavy Behemoth and Bathory feel into it. Unlike Behemoth’s stuff, “Black Flames March” does not go anywhere after the first 3 minutes, making it a very repetitive and monotonous effort. Yeah, it sounds like black metal, but close to the late Satyricon field. “All That May Bleed” and “The Child Must Die” are fairly similar songs that are rooted in the NWOBHM style with some Priest styled riffing and extremey good guitar solos. Although both tracks are extremely well executed and are surely catchy as hell, deep at the core, none of them sounds like the Watain we used to know.

They Rode On” follows, offering us the first “what the fuck” moment of the album: acoustic guitars and clean vocals. Yes, you read it well: clean vocals. There’s nothing wrong with clean vocals in any metal style, but the issue here is that Erik’s clean vocals sound like a washed out version of Tiamat‘s Johan Edlund mixed with late Quorthon. In fact, “They Rode On” is just 8-plus painful minutes of doomy stuff like mid-90s Tiamat and “Blood On Ice“-era Bathory. We all are aware of the huge Bathory inspiration in Watain, but they miserably failed at trying to recreate the epic atmosphere that permeated on “Blood On Ice“. This is a typical case of experimenting gone wrong. “Sleepless Evil” is next and just like “De Profundis“, it is filled with killer riffs and a great fast pace making it 5 minutes of pure black metal onslaught and another of the album’s highlights.

But since we all know that good things don’t last, Watain delivers us just another slab of  Blood On Ice“-styled stuff with the album’s title track. On this one, as opposed to “They Rode On“, they feature some black metal-styled vocals, but the result is just the same: a long song that tries hard to sound epic but turns out as somewhat boring. “Outlaw” is next, and again we are back into the black metal ground. Filled with great riffing and flawless drumming, along with the aforementioned Possessed vibe mixed with a strong NWOBHM feeling, “Outlaw” is simply the best song on the album. After the already mentioned instrumental track “Ignem Veni Mittere“, the band wraps “The Wild Hunt” with the 7-plus minutes “Holocaust Dawn“, perhaps the most experimental sounding track in the album, but finally they nailed it right when it comes to experimenting. “Holocaust Dawn” is utterly heavy and dark, and the evil atmosphere that it creates is the perfect one to ends on a positive note a not-so-good listening experience.

The Wild Hunt” is not the kind of album that I hoped from the mighty Watain. I really applaud Erik’s willingness to do something different, but sometimes simply having the willingness is not enough. We have witnessed plenty of bands doing bold changes in their music and succeed at it. In Watain‘s case, they have not completely failed but all we got is a sub-par effort, filled with many good ideas that were not fully developed or pushed in the wrong direction. Perhaps, that old saying that goes by “if it isn’t broken, why fix it” is totally true after all.

HMT rating: 6/10

The Wild Hunt” will be released on August 19th via Century Media Records. The track listing is as follows:

1. Night Vision                    03:38

2. De Profundis                  04:33

3. Black Flames March      06:20

4. All That May Bleed          04:41

5. The Child Must Die         06:04

6. They Rode On                 08:43

7. Sleepless Evil                 05:37

8. Wild Hunt                         06:20

9. Outlaw                              05:07

10. Ignem Veni Mittere       04:39

11. Holocaust Dawn            07:07

Total                                 01:02:49

All That May Bleed ” stream



The Child Must Die ” stream



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Kreator posts live performance clip from upcoming DVD

The legendary German thrash metal band have posted a full video track off their upcoming live DVD/Blu-ray Dying Alive. The effort will be released on August 30th in Europe and on September 3rd in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.

The DVD/Blu-ray features the band’s sold out homecoming show in Oberhausen, Germany on December 22, 2012 after an extensive 45 days European tour in support of their highly successful album Phantom Antichrist. The packed and sweat driven show was filmed by 24 cameras as well as guitar and even mosh pit cams.


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Soulfly announced new album title and guests

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Soulfly have announced the title of the band’s forthcoming studio effort.The album will be titled “Savages” and is set for release on October 4th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Produced, engineered and mixed by renowned sound guru Terry Date (PANTERA, DEFTONES, WHITE ZOMBIE), “Savages” will be released as a limited edition digpack CD, 2LP vinyl and digital download.

Guest vocal appearances include bass player Tony CamposIgor Cavalera, Clutch‘s Neil FallonNapalm Death‘s Mitch Harris and Jamie Hanks from I Declare War.

“Savages” track listing is as follows:

01. Bloodshed (feat. Igor Cavalera)
02. Cannibal Holocaust
03. Fallen (feat. Jamie Hanks)
04. Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla (feat. Neil Fallon)
05. Master Of Savagery
06. Spiral
07. This Is Violence
08. K.C.S. (feat. Mitch Harris)
09. El Comegente (feat. Tony Campos)
10. Soulfliktion
Limited Edition CD & 2LP vinyl bonus tracks:
11. Fuck Reality
12. Soulfly IX

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Sabaton reveals title from their upcoming DVD/Blu-ray

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Sabaton, the Swedish power metal band, have announced the title and the release date of the band’s first ever DVD/Blu Ray offering. Commented the band:

“We can now confirm the release date of the DVD/Blu Ray we recorded last year. It will be released on September 20th via Nuclear Blast Records. And… the title of our first ever real DVD/Blu Ray release is “Swedish Empire Live”. More details will follow soon.”

“We can tell you that we have watched this countless times and feel very proud and cannot wait to share all this with all of you. You are in for a great surprise!“

Gwar reveal details of new album, first single is streaming

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Gwar are set to return to the realms of man and reclaim their vice-like grip on the throat of hard-rock humanity after spending the last year-and-a-half working on their follow-up to 2011’s critically acclaimed “Bloody Pit of Horror“. The new recording, “Battle Maximus” is GWAR’s first full-length studio effort since the loss of their longtime guitar player, Flattus Maximus, and is set to hit the streets on September 17th on Metal Blade Records.

“This album is both a tribute to Flattus and a telling of the next chapter in the story of GWAR,” said warty front-thing Oderus Urungus. “The combo of the brand new album and show should satisfy even the most hardcore Flattus devotee with the fact that GWAR‘s slay-skills are as supreme as ever, and the band stands poised to embark on our most earth-shattering world tour yet. We have mourned, we have honored, and now it’s time to fucking DEVASTATE in the name of Flattus and the supreme entity that is GWAR.”

Oderus continued…”This is our first record in our brand-new Slave Pit Studios, which Flattus had a lead role in designing, but without him we had no one left to twiddle the buttons, much less play the blazing metal leads and provide the musical direction that rescued GWAR from the depths of clown-band obscurity. I mean, Balsac is no slouch, but Flattus‘ departure left a huge hole in our band. We had no choice. We had to blow the Horn of Hate…”

The first single “Madness at the Core of Time” is streaming below.

Týr announces new album, first single is streaming

Tyr-Valkyrja

Týr, the Faroe Islands progressive folk metal band, will release their 7th full-length album titled “Valkyrja” on September 17th in North America, and September 13th in Europe via Metal Blade RecordsTýr once again collaborated with Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark. Along with Hansen, the band recruited acclaimed drummer George Kollias to act as studio drummer and Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine joined vocalist/guitarist Heri Joensen for a vocal duet on “The Lay of Our Love.”

About the album:
“Valkyrja is a concept album with a story line based loosely around an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla, or to Fólkvangr, the home of Freyja—the goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war, and death. One can say the album is also indirectly about women and how they affect men and what men will do to impress and obtain women” commented front man and founder Heri Joensen. He adds: “The woman that the warrior leaves may represent the earthly women. Freyja, The Lady Of The Slain, may represent the perfection of Women, and the Valkyrie is the link between the two, taking men from earthly to godly women.”

The opening track to the album, “Blood of Heroes,” is streaming below.

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth (Nuclear Blast, 2013)

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth (Nuclear Blast, 2013)

Occasionally we face some bands that, although been active for a while, they suddenly conquer the music world with one album. This is the case of the Italian symphonic extreme metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse. Their breaktrough album “Agony“, released on 2011, shook the metal world with their ALMOST perfect combination of symphony and extreme metal, creating what could be described as the perfect chaos. And I said ALMOST, because even that “Agony” was one of the best releases from 2011, there was room for improvement, and the band recognized it. This led us to their new album titled “Labyrinth” where we can safely say that the guys reached that perfection they were aiming for.

Labyrinth” presents a metaphoric story inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus is a hero who recognizing his roots, takes the responsability of doing a crazy journey to kill the Minotaur, the half man-half bull, who symbolize our deepest fears. The Minotaur is trapped into the Labyrinth of Knossos, which perfectly represents the complexity of our inner world. Each song has a well crafted lyrics selection worked around the aforementioned concept and they are filled with many metaphors, making this concept the best one that Fleshgod Apocalypse have worked in their career. With such a rich and complex music like the one showed on this album, it’s basically a must to have some kind of deep lyrics and the band did not fail to deliver.

Musically, “Labyrinth” is an extension of the sound they developed for “Agony” where the symphonic elements are the main stars through the whole album. On “Agony“, one of my main complains were the guitars being buried in the mix and that they were not given a predominant role. This is not the case on “Labyrinth” as the guitars take a leading sound once again making this album heavier than “Agony” and getting a more “metal” sound. But don’t even think that they diminished the symphonic elements, as they are just as dominant as on “Agony“, it’s simply that they properly created a balance between the symphony and the guitars.

Labyrinth” opens with “Kingborn“, a track which after a minute-plus intro blast off at full speed. Two minutes into this track and it is pretty evident that Fleshgod Apocalypse is about to unleash on us a masterpiece. The drums attack is really vicious on this one (and on plenty of other tracks), making them to sound quite even faster than on their previous efforts. “Kingborn” is pure symphonic onslaught and simply, one of the highlights of the album. Tracks like “Minotaur (Wrath of Poseidon), “Elegy” (the album’s first single) and “Warpledge” continue the merciless musical punishment featuring some of the best vocals by Tommaso thorugh his career, with the usual clean vocals interventions from bassist Paolo, and a better use of the female vocals handled again by Veronica Bordacchini.

Just in the middle of “Labyrinth“, we got one of the most interesting and unique tracks on the album. “Pathfinder” hits on us with a semi-industrial sound, not too far from the likes of Fear Factory or even Septicflesh, something the band didn’t try before. Obviously it sounds like Fleshgod Apocalypse but the riffing and atmosphere of the song is quite a novelty for the band, making “Pathfinder” one of the album’s highlights. On the second part of “Labyrinth“, we face an additional full speed assault with “The Fall of Asterion“, just before getting an acoustic guitars relief with “Prologue“. After 9 tracks, the guys felt that they have not given enough, delivering on us “Under Black Sails“, the longest track on the album. Clocking at 7 minutes and 26 seconds, “Under Black Sails” works like a summary of the whole album with their full speed approach trading parts with some of the best mid-tempo and heavy riffing that they have graced our ears. “Under Black Sails” is simply Fleshgod Apocalypse at the top of their game, and it’s not just the best track on “Labyrinth“, but perhaps the best song of their outstanding career.

Labyrinth” closes up with the title track, a 4 plus minutes piano-based song, wrapping up over 50 minutes of a truly rewarding experience. With “Agony“, Fleshgod Apocalypse raised plenty of eyebrows and many praised the band as one of the finest acts from the last couple of years. “Labyrinth” shows them at the peak of their creativity and without a doubt, it is the best album of their career. With “Agony” they pushed the boundaries of symphonic extreme metal to a point where it seemed almost impossible to be reached. “Labyrinth“, with its flawless musical execution alongside the phenomenal lyrical concept pushed those boundaries even farther, up to a point which makes me wonder what will be Fleshgod Apocalypse able to achieve in future releases. “Labyrinth” is perfect in every possible sense; we simply don’t face musical gems like this one quite often.

HMT Rating: 10/10

Labyrinth” will be released in Europe on August 16th and in North America on August 20th through Nuclear Blast Records. The track listing is as follows:

1.     Kingborn                                                   06:06

2.     Minotaur (Wrath of Poseidon)     04:47

3.     Elegy                                                            04:18

4.     Towards the Sun                                  05:42    

5.     Warpledge                                               04:32    

6.     Pathfinder                                               05:12

7.     The Fall of Asterion                           04:39

8.     Prologue                                                  01:07

9.     Epilogue                                                   05:44

10.     Under Black Sails                             07:26

11.     Labyrinth                                              04:25

Total:                                                                  53:58

The album’s first single “Elegy” can be streamed below.


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Order of The Nine debuts new video

The American progressive metal band released a new video for their song “Spiral Sataircase”. The song comes off their debut album “Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror“, released on May 22, 2012 on Nightmare Records, distributed via Sony / RED. The album is available on CD and Digital Download at your favorite vendors that champion great music.

Order of The Nine hails from the USA with their powerful blend of Thrash riffs, fluid guitar solos, symphonic keys and deep dark vocals they have a truly unique sound. Dark, Symphonic, Emotive, Progressive and Shred….all descriptions that have been used in association w/ Order of Nine and their music… However true, Order of Nine is more, playing their own brand of Metal, a perfect amalgam of Thrash and accessible Progressive Metal with the dark voice of a seven foot vampyre, reminiscent of Peter Steele and lower register Geoff Tate albeit having a rather engaging airy rasp that neither the aforementioned share.

“Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror” track listing
01. Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror
02. Words that were Said
03. Dreamspeak
04. Spiral Staircase
05. Changing of the Guard
06. Innocence
07. Third Wish
08. Eye of the Enemy
09. Twelfth Talisman
10. Reign Down
11. Winter’s Call

Band pages:
FACEBOOK  facebook.com/orderofnine
HOME www.OrderOfNine.com

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Sepultura reveals title and details from their upcoming album

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The legendary brazilian band have announced the title of their upcoming album: “The Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must be the Heart” Although being inspired by Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 movie “Metropolis”, the album is not set out to be a concept album or a soundtrack like it’s precedessors “Dante XXI” (“The Divine Comedy”) and “A-Lex” (“A Clockwork Orange”). “The Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must be the Heart” was recorded together with renowned sound producer Ross Robinson (who already had worked with the band on their landmark release “Roots” back in 1996).The album is scheduled for a late October 2013 release via Nuclear Blast Records.

Commented guitarist Andreas Kisser: “I was inspired by a phrase which is the main message of the story: “The Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must be the Heart” to express what we are saying on the lyrics. In the movie, a crazy millionaire wants to transform a robot into a real person. That’s kind of the opposite of what we live today. More than ever we are robotized, through the worldwide web, Google glasses, chips under our skins and the globalized slavery our society suffers nowadays. The phrase points to the heart as being the human factor who keeps a man, a man, not a robot. The heart beats with freedom of choice, we have to think by ourselves to create a real world, not a matrix.”

“Being a novel written in the early 1920’s, it’s almost prophetical. It helped us to put the ideas together for the lyrics to express what we see today. I live in São Paulo, Brasil, one of the big metropolis in the world with more than 20.000.000 people living and working in it. I know how it is to live in daily chaos, our music reflects a lot of that feeling.”

Adding about the musical direction of the new album and working with Ross Robinson again: “The album is brutal, fast and straight to the point, I feel this is the best Sepultura ever, no bullshit. To work with Ross Robinson again was a privilege, one of the best producers out there. He has a strong connection with nature, the human heart, with life in general. We did an album that is alive, no fake studio tricks, we were jamming together in the room exploding in an energy so strong you could grab it. The heart will never stop beating for mankind, we are no robots, we are pure natural energy and that’s worth fighting for. We’re not slaves, I have a pulsing heart!”