Cronauta – The Bullring (Italy, 2016)
Post-hardcore \ screamo with some more groovy and laid-back interludes. In my opinion the guys have to choose a more definite direction for their sound aesthetics. Don’t take that as a pigeon-holing attempt, but I didn’t perceive enough energy or wackiness to get engaged by the mathcore-ish side, nor enough “feel” to get entangled by the screamo side of things. Just find your own thing. I appreciated some riffs here and there but I didn’t feel any direction in the arrangements, more like a collection of ideas. Synths give an original touch to the soundscape but don’t contribute much to the arrangement itself and could be easily taken away with little overall changes to the tunes. The album would benefit from a better production, which I perceived as squashed and kinda low-fi. If that was not intentional, still. Maybe the dudes are better live?
Ermes – s\t (Italy, 2015)
Honestly nothing special to my ears, just an average hardcore album. But the attitude is almost there so I’d be optimistic and say the guys have potential, who knows. On to the production…the album sounds like a saw getting through your eardrums. And I don’t mean it in a good way, I had an hard time getting through it, it’s not much pleasant. Fix those shrieking highs and all of that upper fizz next time please!
Love Sex Machine – Asexual Anger (France, 2016)
Think sludge blended with some black metal-ish vocals. Sometimes it feels like Meshuggah but gone a dirtier, sludgier way. Undoubtedly heavy, but lacking variety, depth and longevity in my opinion.
Destroyers Of All – Bleak Fragments (Portugal, 2016)
The self-proclaimed label is “progressive death metal” this time. My impression screams inconsistency. That’s the millionth time I’ll be saying it, again and again: I would so much appreciate if self-proclaimed “prog” bands would actually care about music. And by that I mean care more about having a good story-telling arrangement, as in good old progressive rock, than playing a d*ck-measuring contest by throwing in the highest number of humanly possible random elements, changes, meaningless technical riffs and all kinds of end-in-themselves wankeries. The album is well executed and produced, but it justs sounds so derivative and plain to me, I didn’t enjoy it. It just sounds as any average contemporary polished tech-death album. Also I hate to throw labels around, but I feel it as actually carrying more modern metalcore elements than death metal ones, and I also feel the “prog” element as completely absent.