Band: L'ENDEVI
Country: Spain
Title: Don't Go Back
Label: Art Gates Records
Year: 2015
Style: Rock Metal

Review:
Here's the third studio effort from this Spanish quintet, released 3 years after the previous one. In the meantime L'Endevi replaced its female vocalist and one of the two guitarists, a massive change in every band's life yet they still managed to come up with 10 new tracks for a followup release. The band is quite far away from the Gothic Metal genre that used to label their music and delivering now what I would call a mix between Rock and Metal, or better said a genre that balances between the two territories without really picking sides. The compositions seem to be more focused on giving space and highlight Lorena's vocals, and the production confirms that, it feels like at a theatre where there's only one spotlight and it's most of the time following the vocalist, the instrumental part being the stage support. Anyway, maybe that's only my impression, but I stand for it. It's clear the band targets the mainstream, or at least the purgatory between underground and mainstream, blending all you may frequently hear on the regular Rock stations, and that's not a bad thing, of course, but not for us here, and honestly it's not for me. What I liked the most about it were the few attempts of delivering some progressive structures at times and the fact they chose to deliver lyrics in both Spanish and English, but that's not enough to make me come back, sorry.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
facebook.com/lendevi
artgatesrecords.com

Band: LYSA GORA
Country: Poland
Title: To i Hola
Label: Art of the Night Productions
Year: 2015
Style: Folk Rock Metal

Review:
„To i Hola” (Idiomatelly means sth like „This and just it” but this is taken from traditional folklore song) is beginning by traditional cossack song „Zoriuszka” stylized on balkan voices in folkmetal/folkrock style. Lysa Góra is not typical folkmetal band, Lysa Góra broken „game rules” and their music is a „golden radio” between folk, metal, folkrock and jazz. The most interesting is the fact, that girls on vocals try to singing really traditional, stylized on old women from the east european villages, from time to time with a part of humour. Thus, it is a interesting mix of interpretarions Polish and Ukrainian folklore songs taken from the most popular versions of these songs. „To i Hola” is a debut album, not bad but with some mistakes, it gives the impression of an unfinished work so the main idea is very, very good! I saw this band live and Lysa Góra played very, very good gigs as a young band. I’m waiting for next album !!!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 7/10

Band: ODOUR OF DEATH
Country: UK
Title: Odour of Death
Label: Lower Silesian Stronghold
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Although listed as a UK project, both band members are originally from Poland, one of them, Kolan, being pretty much experienced on the scene, and the other, R.Hate as mysterious as his pseudonym. The band was formed this year and here we have their debut EP, a 4 tracks material lasting for 25 minutes of hateful and vicious Black Metal highlighted by almost melodic guitar leads here and there and a ferocious vocalist that reminds me of Honza from Avenger. The subtle keyboard layer in the background creates a dark, funeral atmosphere, the guitar work is typical to the new Polish scene, repetitive and almost mesmerizing, with an evil hint, and the rhythm section is quite solid I must say, so all in all a good debut material. There are some parts that need to and should be improved for the future, meaning the overuse of repetitive elements and the unnecessary stretching of the tracks, but apart from that the bands seems to be headed in the right direction. Great packaging by Lower Silesian Stronghold, the EP is released in 3 panels gatefold Digipak with lyrics listed and looks excellent.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
odourofdeath.bandcamp.com
trueunderground.cba.pl

Band: ORDER TO RUIN
Country: Germany
Title: Where Future Shadows Unfold
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2016
Style: Melodic Death Metal

Review:
When I saw they were thanking their "small group of fans for their support" I thought "oh, that's nice, a young band being humble, finally", but then I saw this band is active since 2011 and this is already their 5th studio album to date, so we're not exactly dealing with a debutant here. This album is made of 11 new tracks and gets released only a year after the previous work, again a selfreleased material, which seems to be the preferred method of working in Order To Ruin, or at least they still haven't found a suitable label to be their home yet. The Munster based duo has some guests on this album but unfortunately none on drums which are computer programmed and again unfortunately they sound like crap bringing their work down, at least for my taste. Order To Ruin are a Gothemburg Death Metal influenced band with loads of incursions within the Heavy Metal genre, especially on guitar leads and solos; actually the guitars are top class here, the highlight of this album, well done, uplifting, melodic, tight and technical, exactly what's needed in such a band. The vocals are quite versatile and try to avoid monotony, but that's a tough task in this genre... The bass lines are intense and audible really being a good support for the guitar work, but now I come back to the drums part that makes the album sound thin and not polished enough. These guys' music would deserve a really good drummer and a professional studio recording, with a bombastic sound, then the overall impression would be much better. As a conclusion we're dealing here with a talented duo, but that's not enough to make a complete band.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6/10

Contact:
order-to-ruin.bandcamp.com

Band: PANYCHIDA
Country: Czech Republic
Title: Haereticalia - The Night Battles
Label: Cursed Records
Year: 2016
Style: Pagan Metal

Review:
Panychida is one of the most serious and hard-working bands on the current Czech Metal scene, or at least that's the exact impression they give me by keep releasing a new material every 2-3 years since their foundation in 2004, and here I have their fourth full-length made of 9 new tracks and 2 live recorded ones. Normally I don't like live recordings added as bonus on official releases, I find them worthless, but in this case I can see why they decided to do it: although the sound is not perfectly polished, the tracks are great, their execution faultless, the atmosphere is spot on and the public's reaction seems to be at the same level, so all good things, it makes sense. Now about the new tracks I could say they keep the band's tradition in delivering epic, melodic Extreme Metal with a distinctive Pagan influence all over, the production is perfect I'd say, not overly polished but not very raw either, just the right amount of bestial harshness to complement the compositions in their aggressive points. Even the most melodic parts, the slower ones, are touched by a raspy yet comprehensible voice that balances things, well, except the acoustic parts delivered like to heal the wounds after a fierce battle just enough to be able to stand tall for the rest of the battle (read tracks). There's plenty of emotion, plenty of expressiveness throughout the whole album, it's a varied offer that will capture and keep you attention high from start to finish. Most definitely the band's best work to date, an album that deserves your attention if you like good, epic Metal; from my point of view it's an almost perfect work!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9.5/10

Contact:
panychida.bandcamp.com
cursedrecords.at

Band: SAXORIOR
Country: Germany
Title: Saksen
Label: Einheit Produktionen
Year: 2015
Style: Pagan Black Metal

Review:
If there's such a thing called Viking Metal, adopted by everyone and everywhere, there should be a thing called Saxonian Metal, too, and Saxorior could be a proud purveyor of this genre, no doubts. Their new album, the 7th in a 20+ years career, shows they have matured, and even if they are not that Melodic Black Metal band they started out as, they still keep elements from that genre and mix them well with epic, simple but effective compositions, clean vocals and the result is very catchy and easily digestible. The simple but uplifting keyboard backgrounds are mandatory for Saxorior, they manage to support an Epic Heavy Metal type of guitar work, and the relentless drumming keeps things manly and powerful as they should be, even during the mid-tempo parts of the album which are the majority inhere. An expressive full-length album that transmits the band's pride in singing about their forefathers. Released as Digipak CD with 16 pages booklet featuring all lyrics with English translations as a bonus.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
saxorior.de
einheit-produktionen.de

Band: SHROUD OF SATAN
Country: Germany
Title: At the Behest of Time
Label: Sol Records
Year: 2015
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Wow, everything about this release screams evil and darkness, starting from the band's name, the band's sombre and blasphemic images, mysterious title, simple and grim cover artwork and booklet lay-out, and ending with the lyrics and music on it, of course, it really feels like this band is genuine, and that doesn't happen so often. Founded in 2012, the band released an EP a year later and here I have their debut album, out in 2015 on Sol Records, a truly traditional ('90's) Satanic Black Metal release that unveils a band that seems to be honest and absolutely dedicated to their craft. At first I was a bit puzzled by the low sounding drums but got used to this sound pretty fast and kind of understood its role after a while, it adds a lot to the deeply oppressive atmosphere this album has. The rhythm section is mostly fast paced, but there are some sombre mid-tempo moments as well, the drums are mostly blasting all the way, the guitars may seem repetitive but they reach their goal successfully, and last but not least the vocals are excellent, versatile, hateful and interesting from start to finish, they are the leading tools of all darkness hidden evil things you'll meet here. You won't find anything innovative here, but my general impression is awesome, the dark, evil, almost forbidden territories you'll walk while immersed into this audition will definitely be worth your time and money, I fully enjoyed it and warmly recommend it to you too.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
solrecords.de

Band: STORMSTONE
Country: Spain
Title: Heirs of All Fights
Label: Lower Silesian Stronghold
Year: 2014
Style: Pagan Black Metal

Review:
Initially released by the band (well, band is a bit too much to say since this is a one man project, but anyway) in 2013, the same year it was founded, this debut demo was later picked up by LSS and released in 2014 on professional CD with 8 pages booklet featuring all lyrics and additional info, so it must have had an impact on LSS's owner at least. Stormstone's music is traditional mid-tempo Black Metal, with Norwegian inspiration, and except for an accoustic segment in the third track, brings no surprising or innovative/original elements whatsoever. It's good this kept the Demo format since there are some mistakes in execution, especially on drums, that wouldn't allow it to be an EP, so respect for the modesty and honesty. The last part where I was not impressed at all, on the contrary I'd say, was the lyrical part, none of the tracks' lyrics makes sense except for being an array of dark phrases about evil, ancestors, night, fog, forest, you get the point, there's no substance althgough I get what Erun wants to "display". So after slamming it to the ground by saying all these nasty things about it, you might be inclined to skip it, but let's pass to the good side of it. I was mentioning that I understand what Erun wants to express and that's mainly due to the fact this album manages to create a misty, dark, mysterious atmosphere that makes you envision what he wants to talk about in his lyrics. The guitar work is not impressively technical, but sounds very good, the backgound keyboards give that well needed mystical atmosphere to the whole, and Erun's vocals are as organic and honest as they should be, so all in all although it's not groundbreaking this debut demo constitutes a nice audition for all into traditional second-wave of Norwegian Black Metal mixed with the first wave of Pagan Black Metal, and as a debut it's quite promising (although Erun has been in this "business" for over two decades by now...).
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6/10

Contact:
trueunderground.cba.pl
facebook.com/stormstonekantaber

Band: SVARTELDER
Country: Norway
Title: Pyres
Label: Dusktone
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
It seems this band's roots are way back in 2005 when Doedsadmiral started it as a one man project; a few years after he was joined by Maletoth on guitars and bass, and last year two famous names in the Norwegian Black Metal community were added to the line-up, AK-47 on drums and Kobold on keys, former or current members of bands like In the Woods..., Carpathian Forest, green Carnation or den Saakaldte, so the the moment the band can be also considered some sort of super-group of the Black Metal made in Norway. This is their debut full-length album made of only 6 tracks but the total duration is 45 minutes, so we're treated with long, torturous tracks here, enough for the band to build and express their vision. The backbone of their compositions is traditional Black Metal, of course, and the overall impression doesn't distance itself a lot from this genre, but the good thing about it is their openness to experimentation, their ability to add loads of influences without actually driving their music away from Black Metal. The album actually starts like a fairytale (horror tale would be a better analogy though) where nothing impressive happens at the beginning, but you soon realize the whole is starting to build tension and momentum, it all comes together as a powerful, open, highly mysterious and hypnotic at times Black Metal lead by a razor-sharp but almost choked sounding vocalist that if a bit more versatile (like the instumental part is), would be amazing. Interesting debut, try it out if you're looking for traditional Black Metal with a twist.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
svartelder.bandcamp.com
dusktone.eu

Band: TEMTRIS
Country: Australia
Title: Enter the Asylum
Label: Battlegod Productions
Year: 2016
Style: Heavy Metal

Review:
By the look of it I was expecting some sort of Death Metal, no softer music, I tell you; the cover artwork is sinister enough, the band's logo pretty Death Metal-ish, too, and somehow the album title leads you that way, too. But of course I was wrong, Australian Temtris are playing a mid-tempo to (mostly) fast paced Heavy Metal, female fronted, with occasional growling vocals in the backgrounds to emphasize the horror atmosphere. This is the band's fourth full-length since '99 when it was founded, a 12 tracks effort totaling 52 minutes of melodic yet powerful Heavy Metal; although it's lead by a female vocalist and that might lead your thoughts to mellow stuff, that's another mislead, Temtris' music and Genevieve's vocals are pretty rough at the edges, and especially her vocals are fierce and commanding, nothing like a girl but rather a real woman, not sure if I can transmit the point this way. The occasional Thrash Metal influences are excellent, more on my liking, more energetic and even angrier than the general attitude of the album. The band's music and vocalist reminds me of Bulgaria's Rampart, an American-inspired tough Heavy Metal only for the fanatics of this genre, definitely not mainstream. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
facebook.com/Temtris
battlegod-productions.com

Band: THUNDRA
Country: Norway
Title: Angstens Salt
Label: Einheit Produktionen
Year: 2014 (re-release)
Style: Viking Black Metal

Review:
Featuring former members from Enslaved (drummer Harald) and Einherjer (bassist Stain), and bearing such a band name, it was only natural for Thundra to follow the Pagan / Viking Metal path, but unfortunately after 17 years on the barricades the band called it quits last year, maybe frustrated by the little attention the World gave it so far. This is their fourth and last full-length album, initially released by themselves in 2013 and re-released by Einheit a year later as CD with 8 pages booklet featuring all lyrics and melancholic, solitary pictures that maybe were predicting something. From the first track of this album it's obvious we're dealing with highly experienced musicians, the drumming is fantastic, the guitar work is varied, fresh and entertaining, the bass is subtle and supportive, and the vocals angry, hoarse and comprehensive but maybe a bit less varied that they should have been (I would have preferred them more varied, like on the second track, Silence Welcomed). The guitarists and drummer really let themselves (or better said their imagination) loose and had no restraints or boundaries in composition and this resulted in a varied, complex and surprising full hour of melodic, aggressive and fierce Viking Black Metal. It's a real shame this band is now extinct...
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
facebook.com/THUNDRA.OFFICAL
einheit-produktionen.de

Band: UNDERDAMPED SYSTEM
Country: Poland
Title: Phantom Pain
Label: Metal Scrap Records
Year: 2016
Style: Technical Groove Metal

Review:
Underdamped System or in short UDS are a quintet hailing from poland and this is their debut full-length album, a 9 tracks effort clocking almost 45 minutes of playing time. What we get here is a very powerful, in-your-face, fat sounding mix of Groove Metal, Industrial Metal and Progressive Technical Metal, just think of influences from Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Pantera, Gojira and Ministy all melted together and presented on rhythms as intricate as possible, but with a heavy layer of mesmerizing, repetitive, almost bewitching guitar leads glue them all together. The result is imnpressive, especially from the technical point of view, the debut album from these guys slays and although there are some parts when the compositions become a bit redundant and might loose the listener for a moment, and the vocals are a lacking fexibility and versatility, Phantom Pain is an overall successful album, I'm sure if you're into at least one the the above mentioned genres or bands you will find something to enjoy here. Not sure why it took the band almost 2 years to release it, but it was worth the waiting, a debut that presents an interesting, intelligent and potentially successful new name from Poland. Released on classy Digipak CD format with 8 pages booklet. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
facebook.com/underdampedsystem
metalscraprecords.com

Band: VAMPYROMORPHA
Country: Norway
Title: Fiendish Tales of Doom
Label: Trollzorn Records
Year: 2016
Style: Heavy Doom Metal

Review:
This is actually a re-release of the band's debut album, Six Fiendish Tales of Doom and Horror..., with an extra track, a cover of Fleetwood Mac's I'm so Afraid, as bonus, so we get 7 tracks in almost 40 minutes of playing time. Vampyromorpha was formed in 2014 by two members of Heavy Metal act Runamok with pretty serious experience underbelt, and here we have their debut album, an excellent mix of '70's Doom Rock, Gothic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Doom Metal and Heavy Doom Metal, with tremendous compositional potential. Each of their 6 tracks has an own identity and creates its own story, and the best thing about them is they manage to convince the listener that he's dealing with a proper, curdled, mature band. The guitar work is excellent, very varied and complex while still following traditional patterns of these genres, the rhythm section is angry and energetic marching ahead with no remorse, the main vocal has an own, memorable timbre and supported by growling vocals here and there manage to create that Horror movies atmosphere, and last but not least the phychedelic '70's like organ in the background are the decisive touch in order for Vampyromorpha to deliver an almost perfect debut album. This release will manage to reconcile both Rock and Metal followers, I have no doubts. The Fleetwood Mac cover is cool as fuck, too! Don't miss this album for the World!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
vampyromorpha.bandcamp.com
trollzorn.de

Email: contact@pestwebzine.com