Tag Archives: melodic death metal

Review: Karybdis’ Samsara

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London metalcore outfit Karybdis return for their sophomore album Samsara. Despite having a sound heavily rooted in metalcore with its heavy use of single-chord rhythms, Karybdis layer their music with soaring leads and occasional flourishes of symphonic metal and melodeath. This means Karybdis sound less like Killswitch Engage and more like Machine Head or Sylosis.

So Karybdis have a very accomplished and diverse sound that sits closer to groove and thrash metal. If we ignore subgenres for a second, Karybdis offer up a powerful metal record that draws from a wide range of influences that when put together sound exclusively like Karybdis.

The guitar work on Samsara carries most of the music’s melody. The title track is a great example of this, with its melodeath riffs punching you in the gut during its verses, but then breaking out into some seriously epic leads during the chorus. It makes a very angry song sound almost euphoric and it’s glorious to behold. We’re also treated to an amazing guitar solo that displays a masterful level of musicianship.

As previously mentioned, Karybdis’ music is built on a very noticeable metalcore rhythm with its heavy use of driving, single-chord riffs paired with double-bass drumming. This gives the band a very contemporary sound that they’ve seen fit to garnish with elements of other subgenres. For example Forsaken begins with a high-paced thrash riff, Summon the Tides is interspersed with that lovely, bombastic, symphonic sound that bands like Dimmu Borgir or Blind Guardian deal in and songs like the title track definitely display shades of that wonderful Gothenburg, melodic death metal sound.

Vocally the record even manages to be pretty varied despite the almost exclusive use of screamed vocals. The vocals often switch between low-pitched, death metal growls for verses, and high-pitched, raspy screams for choruses. Occasionally the band even breaks out into a massive, soaring melody like during the chorus of Rorschach or even the delicate, operatic melodies that accompany the rhythms of Summon the Tides. It’s incredibly striking vocal work that once again keeps the album varied.

Karybdis have put together a smorgasbord of metal subgenres and masterfully fused them into a sound that is exclusive to the band. Samsara is a metal album that heavy music fans will be championing for years to come and it establishes Karybdis as one of the UK’s best metal acts.

9/10

Karybdis’ Samsara is out now and available to buy direct from the band.


Review: Tempestora’s The Battle Begins

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It’s not often we get to delve into the world of thrash metal at UK Scumscene so I revelled at the opportunity to review Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ which takes the modern thrash archetype made famous by bands like Evile and mashes it together with melo-death in the style of later Carcass and even manages to add speed metal elements that remind us of Blind Guardian songs like ‘A Voice in the Dark’. ‘The Battle Begins’ might be a thrash record but it’s taking a fair share of its influences from outside the thrash world and for that reason alone it makes for an incredibly engaging listen.

Album opener ‘Relentless’ manages to showcase all the aforementioned stylistic choices in its four and a half minutes and it’s a wonderfully engaging listen. Vocalist and bassist Sam Shiers screams his way through a barrage of speed metal riffing from guitarist Jason Deakins, while drummer Alex Hawes absolutely abuses his bass drum with an impressive display of Dave Lombardo-esque double-bass drumming. When the song brings it’s wonderfully indulgent breakdown into effect you then begin to get a taste of the melodic death metal influences the band are channelling. There is a definite Carcass stamp on the lead guitar work which adds some seriously memorable hooks to the band’s sound; a definite plus for a band with exclusively harsh vocals.

Speaking of lead guitar, Deakins gets to showcase some incredibly impressive solos like the one on ‘A New Age Dawns’. Deakins is an absolute godsend and a supremely talented guitarist who deals in technicality and melody with finesse. The performances of this one man on ‘The Battle Begins’ is award-worthy and I really hope that the man begins to get the attention he deserves.

The real highlight of the record comes in the form of ‘Halls of the Slain’ which is hugely memorable for its amazing guitar work. The band find themselves in Slayer territory and put together a series of the best riffs put to record and add another amazing Deakins solo which screams, “KIRK HAMMETT!” Metal-heads are really in for a treat when this six minute, thrash behemoth rears its head. Mark my words; there will be no heads left to bang by the end of it.

We haven’t even had a chance to mention the beautiful production work which compliments Tempestora’s accuracy and aggression perfectly. There is no doubt the band are extremely tight musicians and the clarity of the production work heightens this element perfectly. A special mention has to be given to to Hawes’ drumming which has been given a wonderfully raw mix which allows the listener to hear every snare, tom and bass-drum thump but without drowning out the cymbals which is often the case in metal production of this type. Hats off to the band and Craig Daws who have found an amazing balance of clarity and grit. How often do you get to say that about a production job?

Tempestora are an extremely exciting young thrash band who now have an album worthy of their talents. ‘The Battle Begins’ is an undeniable master-work of thrash metal that deserves so much more attention. Tempestora have managed to make an album drenched in extreme metal influences and it sounds brilliantly cohesive with the whole record delivered via the band’s wonderfully tight song-writing. Just get this album and tell all your friends. Tempestora might be the next great hope for British metal and I can’t wait to see this band get the opportunity to showcase their talent on a big stage. They truly deserve it.

9/10

Watch Tempestora’s ‘A New Age Dawns’ music video but BE WARNED there is a lot of flashing imagery.

Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ is available to buy now from Casket Records.


News: Carcass to Headline Damnation Festival

Grindcore/melodeath legends Carcass are set to headline this year’s Damnation Festival on the 2nd of November. This also marks the only UK festival date the band will play in support of their new album (still untitled at this time). Check out the full word from Bill Steer:

“We’re very excited about the prospect of returning to Damnation Festival this year.

“Our appearance there in 2008 was a major highlight for us and this time around, people can expect to hear a fairly different Carcass set.

“The old favourites will be in there, of course, but we’re also planning to play a couple of the less obvious tracks from our past, as well as songs from the album we’ve just completed. Join us!”

Tickets for Damnation Festival are available to buy for £32 via this link: CLICK HERE


News: Carcass to Release New Studio Album

Carcass are releasing a new album!

Jeff Walker and Bill Steer have enlisted the drumming talents of Daniel Wilding from Trigger the Bloodshed (as original drummer Ken Owen is still recovering from a brain haemorrhage) and are finishing up the record with Colin Richardson producing. The band will be enlisting a new second guitarist for touring but while they have someone in mind they won’t be a “name” player. Michael Amott will not be returning.

The album is currently untitled and will release at some point in 2013. The band has yet to find a label for the release but I’m sure that won’t be an issue because this is mother fucking Carcass! This will be Carcass’ first record since Swansong in 1996.

Here’s a classic off Heartwork to whet your whistle:

[Source: Decibel]