Friday, 17 May 2019

Black Sites - Fen - Contrarian

 I have been a bit lazy on tipping new CD's this year, so herewith some catching up. OK I also bought good albums by Dream Theater, Queensryche and Candlemass, but guess no one needs to be introduced to those bands by me. Three strong albums to check out.

Black Sites - Exile
A new band to me, receiving various good reviews on web zines. Listening to their bandcamp page gave me the final push. Good US metal with some hints of other influences. The bonus track on the CD is Enforcer by Queensryche, which is a bit of a reference. At teh same time Dream Long Dead has Gothic influences and other songs go from fast to calmer metal. At times I am reminded of the band The Black Symphony. Very good Heavy Metal which should be brought to Europe. Just check the opening track The Night They Came For You out and you might be hooked as well.


Fen - Stone and Sea
I got into Fen only with their last full album Winter. That album contained six long songs in 75 minutes. On this EP Fen are more to the point staying under 20 minutes. Actually I thought this was a new release, but found on CD only a split with Sleepwalker which just adds three instrumental songs. Fen opens with Tides of Glass sounding like early 70's Floyd in order to move to their atmospheric Black Metal later on. The title track is the short bridge and closer The Last Gravestone is the highlight coming closets to the masterpieces presented on Winter. They are working on a full album, so keeping an eye open for that. Until then this EP will do just fine.

Contrarian - Their Worm Never Dies
This album probably will stay my favorite Tech Death album of 2019. This mainly because they do not follow the current new leaders in teh genre, but sound like a modern version of some bands starting to blend death metal and technical mastery. I am thinking of bands like Cynic and Atheist. Drummer/ vocalist George Kollias is known from Nile, but not by me as I don't have their CD's. The vocals do not go clean throughout the album, but instrumental parts bring all the needed variation and the songs seem all strong. Turns out this is their fourth album already, so I keep an eye on touring agenda's as this must blast live as well.

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