Lorna Shore – Pain Remains

I’ve never used deathcore as a genre definition before, but it just makes so much sense after listening to Lorna Shore. Also, seeing “blackened death metal” as a genre on Wikipedia is part funny, part makes a whole lot of sense as well.

As for the music itself, this is an amazing blend of stuff that I like (which are noted in the above definitions). It’s also great focus music to me, as a backdrop when I’m not writing copy just doing design work.

Hand of Kalliach – Samhainn

It’s been quite a while that my attention was pinned down by a death metal album. Although this one ranges from death to black and melodic metal territories.

It’s so rare that speed gets put into such a great context and it’s not just going fast for the reason of technique showcase or mindless agression. I distinctly remember when I first starting listening to Slipknot as a teenager and I couldn’t listen to anything else anymore because other bands were just too slow. And that was also a case when speed has meaning and flavor. In the case of Hand of Kalliach I feel the same. The fast paced drums, guitars, and sometimes vocals flow so naturally with the overall sound they create, it just sounds amazingly fit there.

Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit

Zeal & Ardor hit extremely hard when it arrived with its blues rock meets death metal flavor. I couldn’t even imagine how they can follow this up with a second album. Maybe it is something that works like a concept record and should not be followed up. But then they announced a sophomore and I was cautious. They could have done something totally different and I might not like it. Or they might have become too famous with this too fast and have gone into some more compromising ways.

And now the album arrived and I am relived. This definitely isn’t the smasher the first one was simply because we have already seen the trick, but still it is completely okay and works just fine. Even at some points I feel like the guys were pushing the shrieking edge a bit too much to compensate for other parts or the feared expectations they felt people might have.

Anyhow, this is good. Works after several plays, too.