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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #23: Five Band Showcase

This edition of Short Sharp Shock brings you five different metal bands that all showcase a strong delivery, regardless of what style is being played. Make sure you take the time to give these ones a listen.

KjeldBand(s): Kjeld

Title: Banier Fan Frisia 

Style(s): Black Metal

Duration: 17 minutes

Release date: October 11, 2018

Originally appearing on a split with the mighty Wederganger, these three tracks have now been released in their own right on CD. As such, it’s the perfect time to get to know them and the boisterous Kjeld if you aren’t already familiar with their work. Sharp riffs, creative intelligence, subtly infectious melodies, and a lethal delivery make Kjeld a firm favourite of mine. I heartily recommend this furiously cold EP.

AlunahBand(s): Alunah

Title: Amber & Gold

Style(s): Doom Metal

Duration: 20 minutes

Release date: November 16, 2018

After really enjoying Alunah’s 2017 album Solennial, I was pleased to see this new EP appear, especially as it gives us the chance to hear what the band sound like with a new vocalist in tow. The answer: very good indeed. These songs are warm and characterful, with sombre melodies and hearty riffs. The band’s new singer proves her worth within moments of her first appearance, and she instantly gels with the band’s enjoyable music. The EP – an introductory instrumental, two originals, and a Chris Isaak cover – is both well-written and well-performed, and is a great way to introduce the world to the next phase of the band’s existence.

UrneBand(s): Urne

Title: The Mountain of Gold

Style(s): Sludge Metal

Duration: 24 minutes

Release date: July 27, 2018

This UK band have risen from the ashes of Hang the Bastard, and this first EP of theirs shows that they’re not done yet. The Mountain of Gold contains hard rocking sludge/thrash metal that’s full of character, riffs, and surprisingly infectious songs. Harsh shouts and compelling cleans make up the vocals, with both being performed very well. Mixing metallic crunch with streamlined melodic appeal, this is like what Mastodon might sound like with MORE METAL. Capitals are important. Yep, Mastodon with bits of Metallica and The Haunted, maybe. Either way, it’s damn good. With strong songwriting this handful of tracks is a meaty meal that acts as a great way to get to know the band. This bodes very well for the future. Shockingly accomplished.

Crows Over BrávellirBand(s): Crows over Brávellir

Title: Into Kingly Death/Spells of the Dead

Style(s): Blackened Doom Metal

Duration: 20 minutes

Release date: August 1, 2018

Well this is good. In fact, it’s very, very good. Mixing elements of heavy metal, doom, and a bit of the black stuff, these two tracks are epic and atmospheric, while also being earthy and familiar. It reminds me of a sort of Primordial mixed with touches of Wolves in the Throne Room and Celtic Frost. It’s an enticing and rather well-delivered mixture, and both of these songs are extremely enjoyable. Already this band have managed to carve out a more individual sound than most, and I can’t wait to hear more from them in the future.

Distruzione - InumanaBand(s): Distruzione

Title: Inumana

Style(s): Death Metal

Duration: 22 minutes

Release date: March 9, 2018

We’ll end this edition of Short Sharp Shock with some Italian death metal. This band’s latest EP consists of two new songs and three live cuts. This is stocky, muscular death metal that’s studied at the Malevolent Creation and Vader schools of warfare. The songs are full of thick riffs and mechanistic rhythms. The live tracks are well-recorded and boast a decent sound. Overall this is a nice little EP to get to know the band with.

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