Maths has always been synonymous with music. The two go hand in hand, music is full of counting, keeping time and working out what fits where. Metal band Athura, hailing from Plymouth have taken technicality to a new level with this release, their latest full length studio album, entitled A Hand in Death’s Design. It’s fast-paced, extraordinarily arranged and musically brilliant.
The band themselves claim that their aim when writing this album was “to create a modern metal fusion of powerful melody, gut wrenching groove and sophisticated harmony.” They’ve certainly managed it, it’s powerfully ‘groovy’ and yet powerfully technical right from the beginning. Very fast guitar picking, which creates speedy and deep, death-metal-esque chugs not unlike some fast In Flames.
This definitely goes in the ‘what’s good about it’ pile then. Clearly talented musicians, Athura have set out to create an album in a specific way, and have managed to pull it off spectacularly. Their description is spot on, and the music hosts some of the best low-end screams heard in recent times, as well as some of the most gut-wrenchingly heavy breakdowns heard recently as well, especially on Drown What You’ve Become.
Now for the limitations – the screams could use a little bit more melody to them, and conversely, the clean singing could use a little more melody (and be slightly less monotone), but there’s problems with that, the main one being that melodising the screams might make Athura sound even more like In Flames, so it might be for the best to leave them like they are, even if they are a little bland. The only other issue is that the sound doesn’t really change as the album goes on. Athura have fired at their target sound with gusto, and consequently have left little room for variation. To be fair, there are hints at changes away from the fast, chugging sound, especially with the epic, uplifting choruses onPlague Upon Plague, and again on Oceans. This reviewer is nitpicking, though. These aren’t big issues at all; in fact they’re more issues for the sake of finding issues.
The rest of A Hand in Death’s Design is wholly excellent, and, to use a very overused cliché, it ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’. Athura are talented guys, creating some very technical music and they’re definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Overall, then, technicality is clearly a key idea here. It could almost be wholly mathematical, the way in which Athura have written and recorded A Hand in Death’s Design. This might appeal to a very specific audience, others might not appreciate it as much, but from what the band themselves have said, that’s exactly what it’s meant to do and they don’t mind. It sounds like a few guys writing the style of music that they’re passionate about. That’s what music is all about really. Excellent.
Read the original article here: http://hevypetal.com/release-reviews/876/athura–a-hand-in-deaths-design-album
When it comes to fast paced metal, France isn’t the most famous nation to first spring to mind. But, breaking the trend, French death-metal band Pictured have made huge progress with their sound since they first began. Their debut studio album, entitled The Strand of Time, is packed full of their trademark speed and punch mixture of sounds.
The first thing to say about The Strand of Time is that it’s very progressive. Being almost death-metal in sound, this will appeal to fans of bands such as Carcass, Arch Enemy or quick Rise to Remain. It’s good, too, full of impressively catchy, technically sound guitar riffs that get the head moving appreciatively and really show off Pictured’s talents as musicians.
One of the best features about this album is that anybody who claims that metal is “just a bunch of people hitting guitars and shouting” will be sorely disproven by this album. It’s extraordinarily well performed, recorded and mixed, which means that every element of the music is crystal clear, whilst maintaining that fast, distorted, heavy, punchy sound that fast metal is associated with. Nobody with any knowledge of music would try and claim thatPictured aren’t extremely talented musicians.
Musically, again, the guitars are extremely good. In fact, one would go so far as to say that they are the main focus of the whole album. Progressive, technical, fast and yet still very catchy, the sound of the guitars ticks all the right boxes. Backed up by some very quick, skilful drum playing and the same from the bass, it’s very well put together music, with speed and catchiness almost exactly on the same level of quality as Scandinavian metallers In Flames.
Bad points – unfortunately, the main strength of this album is also its weak point. The quality of the instruments are good, which means that they often outweigh the quality of the vocals, which are also still rather good. The vocals do lack the punch of Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy, and do tend to remain rather in the background, which is one area where the album could be slightly improved. A bigger focus on the vocals wouldn’t take away from the rest of the quality of the rest of the music, but would add to it.
Overall, it’s a powerfully technical release, sure to appeal to more hardcore metal fans and occasional listeners alike. Musicians into metal will love the sound of the instruments on this album, but if a listener is after a more wholesome, traditional metal sound, and doesn’t appreciate the technicality of the music as much as others might, it might not appeal to them as much. Excellent.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/823/pictured–the-strand-of-time-album
- Biffy Clyro – Opposites Album Review (Planetmosh Review)
- When We Were Wolves – The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same EP Review (Planetmosh Review)
- Alexisonfire – Death Letter EP Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- Lewis Watson – Another Four Sad Songs EP Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
- Parkway Drive – Atlas Album Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- February 2013
- January 2013
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- June 2011
- Born Music Online
- Bring the Noise
- Contact Music
- Never Enough Notes
- New Junk
- Popped Culture
- The Daily Mail
- The Daily Post
- C+ in my last ever essay. Now it's just exam results, and dissertation to come back. #scareddoesntcoverit - posted on 21/05/2013 13:08:44
- Two exams down, one to go. COME AT ME BRO. - posted on 16/05/2013 13:07:52
- One exam down, I'm having tonight off. - posted on 14/05/2013 17:45:24
- Exam 1 of 3 tomorrow. Beginning of the end? #BUGGERED. - posted on 13/05/2013 23:17:54
- Three exams that I'm certain to fail and it's all over. Piece of cake. - posted on 08/05/2013 23:11:40