Isaïah - ils consomment, tuent et prient mais ne pensent pas
8 / 10 - J
Belgium dudes giving their best impression of sounding French.
Kicking of with their best and most orchestral song (EPIC comes to mind) "Quand Les Flammes Viennent Des Occupants" Isaïah sets the mood for some fine music in the vein of bands like Et Tu Brute and Funeral Diner (but a bit harder). People who've heared their demo know what to expect, they will even hear some familiar tunes, Des Enfants... and Euthanasie De Nos Âmes Perdues. Isaïah won't get you bored: all songs are highly dynamic, a lot of change between pace and volume. In the more softer parts of their songs the bassguitar is really prominent which is really cool. This is just one example of the excellent mixing they've done for this recordings. It really works for this kind of screamo.
I wish I paid more attention in French class so I would know what they sing.
Allegorie - 3
6.5 / 10 - J
Picked up this demo in February in Aachen where they played at the AZ with Lewd and SandCreek Massacre.
With their new drummer (see review demo may 2008) and with a lot of new songs Allegorie showcases progress. The posthardcore influence on the guitarplayer is still hearable, but isn't a big part of the sound anymore. This is very melodic screamo: even with the distortion a lot of melody is present. The vocals also evolved a lot, less Jacob Brannon, more despair. Can't really hear what Nick is singing though: Ladiewiej Ladiewiet Tokke Swit vs. Not Even Not Even The Thickest Sweater. It's a pity all of this progress is a bit forced to the background because of the recording quality. Especially the guitar sounds a bit weird. However if this band keeps on improving they will be able to reach out to a lot of people.
I Hope these guys keep on growing (and maybe have better recordings in the future).
Captain, Your Ship is Sinking - Demo
7,5 / 10 - J
Yet another Dutch band with a real funny name.
This band have put a lot of effort in this demo: The artwork (big waves, how appropriate), the recording (JB) and the songs. Everything is in balance. Musically this band has a very distinguishable sound. It's a postrock/screamo hybrid, like a lot of bands do lately. But the Captain does it better: their sound doesn't revolve around the postrock part, but uses it in an inventive way. They say they're influenced by bands like Envy, Aussitot mort and Burst, I would like to add Balboa to that list, because they remind me of them at times. Along to the repetitive melodies (Which will get stuck in your head) there is the almost blackmetal screeches from Friso. Some people won't like it, but I believe it adds another dimension to the music.
Please guys: a more readable lyricsheet would be nice next time!
Liar Liar Cross on Fire - Exposed, Barren and Often Windswept
8 / 10
One of the most original bands in the Netherlands: this band mixes blackmetal, screamo, grindcore, hardcore and many more in a harsh wall of noise.
The first song is one of their best, "Cloak And Dagger Routine" starts of with this cool sample and after the part where you only hear "CAESOR NOW BE STILL..." it turns into pure chaos with the end of the song being more 'relaxed'. Allready grabbing the attention in this first song are the vocals, when you listen this kind of music you might expect a lot of screaming but Joost has more barking 'hardcore' vocals. Then two more songs in the same kind of chaotic style follow. The fourth song (The Kraken) of this CD showcases a different sound. A more laidback emo, almost postrock sound slowly working to an epic climax. In my opinion this is the best song on their CD. Then two song in the same style of Cloak and Dagger Routine follow and at the end of the last song a weird outro is played on cello (?).
This 6 song mini album presents a new sound, and that's rare in modern day music: so buy this!
Allegorie - demo may 2008
6 / 10 - S
Hailing from the lowest part of the Netherlands, pretty much at the border with Germany, comes Allegorie, a new screamo band sounding somewhat like Am I Dead Yet.
In may this year they recorded their four-track first demo. It starts with a bright, calm intro that immediately gets my sympathy. In the following tracks the guitar plays a less prominent role - nick's vocals attract most of the attention. His screams have more in common with Jacob Bannon from Converge.
There are some very nice guitar parts, for instance in perspektivlosigkeit. I truly love the laid-back patterns they create.
The drum however stays kinda boring. Joost has repeatedly asked me to include the hoempapa-drummer in this review, who was also known to drum very hoempapa-like at shows. Since making this demo, Allegorie has indeed exchanged their old drummer for ex-The Eurydice Tragedy Levi.
The demo doesn't sound very finished yet, it's still more a bunch of instruments doing their thing than one entity playing a song together. But they certainly have potential: they managed to keep my attention the entire demo, which is something a lot of bands fail to do. And the new songs they've got up at their MySpace are pretty awesome.
The demo can be downloaded at their MySpace for free. www.myspace.com/allegoriemusic
Suis La Lune - Heir
7.5 / 10 - S
In my opinion, Suis La Lune's strongest point is the nice middle they found between postrock and ultimate skramz. Quiet, Pull The Strings was simply amazing, my favorite album for at least half a year and still in my top ten. So obviously I was very happy to find out they made a new album.
However, in comparison with Quiet, Pull The Strings, this album is less strong. They go back to their demo 3" a little: the same extended postrocky songs with vocals that seem to stay in the back, decorating the song rather than leading it and keeping it exciting. That's a pity, because Henning has an awesome voice.
The guitars are really nice on this album though, it sounds more worked out than on QPTS, but still has the typical Suis La Lune sound - they use a lot of high notes which has the effect that the music does not make a heavy and dark impression even though there is an enormous wall of sound.
In March 2009 Suis La Lune will be touring with a lot of cool bands - for instance Osceola and Army of Kashyyyk - but sadly enough in the US. I truly hope to see them again in the Netherlands soon.
8 / 10 - J
In addition to what Sara said I think this record is better then QPTS. The songs are more structured or focused and there is a better balance between all the instruments. On QPTS and the demo Suis La Lune had some amazing songs, but also some fillers. Heir just sounds more coherent.
Men As Trees - Weltschmerz
10 / 10 - J
Men as Trees blew me away with their mix of screamo and postrock. This is their best album!
Their lighter postrock side is more present on this CD then the screamo side. Luckily they don't go postrock all the way but keep some more up-tempo riffs to keep this record in balance.
Most of the songs also use the words of a guy who lived in the wilderness of Alaska alone for approximately 30 years. These 'spoken word' parts really give this record the last push to get a 10.
I can't even point out a favorite song of the 4 songs available (I'm not counting the 2 interludes: 'good luck to you' and 'dead on the bank'), they're all equally amazing.
How can't someone be a fan of a band that gives their music away for free.
Download their entire discography from their myspace: http://www.myspace.com/menastreesmi
(Or support them and buy it!)
Magdalene - Magdalene
7 / 10 - J
Twinkly screamo-postrock from Italy.
These Italians offer us just 4 songs, which make me want more!
The guitars make some sweet melodies with an almost jazz clean sound. Those sweet soft parts are Magdalene's strong point. The louder parts are ok, but aren't as good as the softer.
This record is nice, but I hope Magdalene will focus on the softer parts in their songs.
Grinding Halt - Sprookjeshof LP
9 / 10 - J
Our fellow dutchmen are back with some more eardestroying songs.
Continuing with the sound they had on the split with vuur they were able to make it more heavier and louder then their songs on the split. This LP is very intense and dark and the lyrics are filled with sarcasm. Also the artwork is just brilliant.
If you liked the split with Vuur you will absolutely love this LP.
Grinding Halt / Vuur - 12" split
8 / 10 - J
Awesome split between our fellow dutchmen from Grinding Halt and the now defunct Vuur from Belgium.
Grinding Halt has a guy who was in Shikari, but this isn't the same style we know from Shikari. A lot more crust influences and more focus on fast / slow characterizes GH. Lyrics are in dutch which enhances their own identity. All the songs are of high quality with songs like 'Belang en Rijk' and 'Folkore' really sticking with you after a few spins.
Then Vuur is up with their grindy emo-violence (think Reversal of Man, Acme, Mörser, Loxiran). These old guys know how to make their sound as heavy as possible. With a few cool samples and their 'play fast' attitude these songs will destroy you. I'm very sad I only saw them once.
You can't go wrong with buying this split, no fillers here.
Optimus Prime / Gone With the Pain - split
6 / 10 – J
Split between 2 bands from both sides of Europe. Optimus Prime comes from Russia, Gone With The Pain from Spain.
Optimus Prime kicks in with their best song Bez Nazvania. This song captures every element of Optimus Prime: the nice violin (yes, Portrait, yes, Iwouldetc.), a lot of melody, some heavy parts and a lot of screaming (in Russian which makes it sound a bit weird – in a good way). Their other songs don’t reach the same level as Bez Nazvania, although Pesnya Nerozhdennyh Detei comes close, they still are pretty good.
Then Gone With The Pain is up. Chaotic Emo-violence it is. It’s a bit disappointing though, they haven’t got any songs that get stuck in my head after a few spins. The quality of the recording isn’t that great either and when I listen to the songs on their myspace I feel this could’ve been done better (since those on the myspace sound nicer then the ones on this split).
So I would give Optimus Prime a 7 and Gone With The Pain a 5. But Gone With The Pain have got some better recordings on La ideología del vacío so check that one out if you like fast emo-violence. If you are into bands with violins this still is a nice buy because of the Optimus Prime side.
Maths / Throats - split
7 / 10 - J
A solid split between these two UK bands. They draw your (and my) attention with an eye-catching artwork.
First up is Maths with 5 songs (4 and short instrumental track) of chaotic emo (think Jeromes Dream, Orchid, Ampere with a little bit of Funeral Diner). The drums is a bit high in the mix, but that makes Maths sound even louder. Overall they are quite entertaining and keeping things interesting with a lot of diversity in their songs with Statue of Her being one of the best songs on their side.
Then Throats is up. They attack your ears with their 5 song assault. Influenced by bands like Converge, Botch and Curl Up And Die (and maybe Graf Orlock?) they bring you some nice metalcore. Sometimes the songs sound a bit the same but with Locked Blue and Reign of Low they change to a higher gear and even got an almost stonerrock-part (Reign of Low) or a heavy-metal solo shaking things up.
Throats was here at the ZXZW festival, but I missed that. So I hope they visit the Netherlands another time (and bring Maths along) *hint*.
Archivist - 240608/DEMO
7 / 10 - J
From our southern neigbours comes Archivist, a heavy and slow version of bands like Union Of Uranus, One Eyed God Prophecy, His Hero Is Gone, Tragedy. This is their first output, a demo consisting out of 3 songs, clocking in around 20 minutes.
The demo kicks of with 10 / 20 vision, the longest of the 3 songs and a good preface of what Archivist is all about. This is their sludgy version of screamo/hardcore. A dark and intense atmosphere is being delivered in their music and their words. The 2 other songs are also in this style so don’t expect any variation.
Also they have been so kind for those with no money: you can download this demo from their myspace.
Battle of Wolf 359 / Kaddish – 7” split
8 / 10 - J
Awesome split from these two bands from the UK.
Battle of Wolf 359 delivers heavy, fast screamo inspired by bands like Neil Perry, Orchid and Shikari. They’ve got 2 songs on this split of which In Search of Gaia is the best. This song uses this awesome sample of a guy saying: “well, well, well, if it isn’t the wandering minstrel” and ends with an outro lasting for 3 minutes. This outro is worth mentioning because it has an awesome guitar-riff being repeat for those 3 minutes and is also played by Kaddish at the end of their song. Whereas BOW359 represents the heavy side, Kaddish is more of the melodic side (but also fast). Their guitar player is really good and has a great voice, which is making me question why they have a vocalist… But they pull it of: the interaction between the high vocals of Mark and the lower vocals of Dom keeps things interesting.
By the way they’re pretty awesome live. Go see them when you get the chance!