Heavy Metal Reviews

Heavy Metal an Rhein und Ruhr

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Eyes Set To Kill – Masks

Eyes Set To Kill – Masks

EYES SET TO KILL I have not heard for ages. The debut album "Reach" along with his super title song was not bad at all. Emo / post-hardcore, then also known as "screamo", with female vocals and male screams, then not performed worse than by In This Moment.
Three albums I seem to have missed, because "Masks" is the fifth work of the band around the two-Rodriguez sisters. It is basically still the same style as seven years ago. Perhaps the rockier passages are now somewhat prominent, but the core of EYES SET TO KILL is still the same as before. However, I also quickly realize why I had ost sight of the band: During the entire album EYES SET TO KILL unfortunately lack consistant good songwriting. The band is always able to write one or two really good songs, such as 'Infected' or 'True Colors', but the quality level is not to be found during all 45 minutes.
The material is not even recitive. The quartet is constantly trying to make each song sound different from the previous ones. But it lacks the brilliant ideas that can really bring joy to the listener. Sometimes there is more groove, sometimes they really hammer the strings, but the ideas are rarely convincing. What once worked very well on "Reach", does not work on "Masks". I do not think that the band will gather many new ffans with. The old-hards will still remain true to the band. But it is very likely that they will continue to be a band of the lower class in the post-hardcore circus.

Two Door Cinema Club - Chaning of the Seasons EP

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB with absolute certainty are amongst the most popular bands in the current indie sector. The debut album "Tourist History" is a firework of great songs, but pretty much every song is sweeping through the boxes in the same off-beat dance rhythm. This was a bit corrected in the second, more ambitious work, "Beacon", which belongs to the best albums of last year's indie / alternative rock. The Irish present three new songs and a remix on the "Changing of the Seasons" EP. Especially the title track impresses with its catchy chorus and quite interesting instrumentation that would fit into the 'Beacon' context as well. It would be surprising if this number was not to be an integral part of the setlist. The remix to this song is listenable, but at least I am not very impressed. In Electro style this song is not as good as in the original version. 'Crystal' however is quite surprising due to the electronic alignment. One may even think of RADIOHEAD in their "Kid A" and "Amnesiac" era. 'Golden Veins' goes in a similar direction, but can come up with a piano-heavy chorus that remains stuck in your head. These two tracks do not reach the quality of "Tourist History" or "beacon" however. "Changing of the Seasons" is a nice EP before next year the third album of TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB will be released. Fans can safely buy it. Other listeners should get the title song from iTunes or similar platforms, and instead buy the two regular albums.

Winds of Plague - Resistance

BLEEDING THROUGH, who are taking leave of their fans worldwide at the moment, have perfected the mix of metal, hardcore and symphonic elements. Breakdowns combined with much pomp and Black-and Thrash Metal riffs - a scheme no band can implement as good as these metalcore heroes. WINDS OF PLAGUE is a more extreme version of BLEEDING THROUGH, who mixes deathcore with symphonic keyboard sounds. "Resistance" is their fourth album.
To be honest, I can not quite remember the three predecessors. Perhaps "Resistance" can generate interest where there was none before. What is noticeable in the track list, is that the bad got a lot of help. In four of the ten new numbers, singers of more or less established bands can be heard like AS BLOOD RUNS BLACK, REIGN SUPREME, ATTILA and THE ACACIA STRAIN.. Whether what helps? Probably not, since the numbers are to uniform for my taste. There are brutal parts and breakdowns, but too little variety and atmosphere. The accelerator pedal is depressed, and always restrained only for the usual break down wrecking balls. I miss all the oomph and hardness but also some nice guitar leads that would have not only given variety to the 34-minute album, but also depth.
Nothing that WINDS OF PLAGUE deliver here is bad, on the contrary individual songs like 'Say Hello To The Undertaker' are great fun. But they should offer the listener a bit more than ten times the same song. BLEEDING THROUGH did it for example, with the help of choruses and a few more influences. So "Resistance" is a nice album, which will not rotate all too many times.

ICED EARTH - Plagues Of Babylon

Fellow writers from other online magazines have certainly made a number of arguments why the new ICED EARTH album is definitely either a worthwhile investment or not. Without much arguing I agree more with first-mentioned group, because I have not expected a new "The Dark Saga" and I am not too enthusiastic about the early stages of the band. Since Stu Block has taken the coveted vocalist position, the band is getting back to top quality again, and t"Dystopia" has even been exceeded a bit. Apart from the unnessecary ballad "If I Could See You" in which Jon Schaffer hast just rearranged any old composition the rest of the song material is good, hymn-like Metal, which compared to a classic release like "Something Wicked This Way Comes "might be lacking a bit in atmosphere and gloom, but whose implementation is rousing and convincing. The production is of high value though you probably have to get used to the dominant sound of the drums. There is however no denying that songs such as "The Culling" "Among The Living Dead" or "Resistance", equipped with breathtaking chorusses, are good, catchy metal songs. "The End" and "Cthulhu" are two very convoncing epics, beginning quietly in best Iron Maiden-style and then increasing to anthems for the masses, not only impressing at home, but certainly radiate melodic brilliance that recall great moments of stadium-rock, albeit less commercial. Stu Block is yet matured as a singer quite a bit and sounds much more often like himself than like his predecessor, and numerous details in the guitar range (Lead Breaks, riffs, solos) make "Plagues Of Babylon" also interesting for those who like to listen to a little more details.

THROWDOWN - Intolerance

THROWDOWN from Orange County remain faithful to their line-wide standing and move back to their roots on their new album "Intolerance"The PANTERA influences were again scaled down slightly so that "Intolerance" is a metallic heavy hardcore outburst of anger again, that 1 appeals to the TERROR and HATBEBREED target group 10 per cent. This also applies to the attitude repeatedly presentd pin the lyrics. They present a Straight Edge attitude and a nice bit of the showing-off that is so popular in the Hardcore-scene. The mad half hour is not particularly innovative, nor musically outstanding, the target group however is expected to be fully in favour of that fact. The production is punchy and metallic, the songs are straightforward to the point, and therefore also a relatively short review can give a good sinsight on the music. Anyone who likes the afore mentioned will have very much fun with "Intolerance".

Text © by Heiko Eschenbach