Review Ceremony – October 2016

Review Ceremony - October 2016

As we approach the solstice, the days are getting shorter, and my free time appears to be following suit. Here are some brief thoughts on some newer releases.

Swampcult – The Festival

Swampcult - The FestivalThe Dutch duo comprising Swampcult composed a concept album based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story, The Festival. While this is definitely ambitious, ultimately it’s a case of "just not for me." The performances and songwriting seem competent and serviceable, but that’s the best I can give them. Even after multiple listens, the album doesn’t resonate with me and fails to leave any kind of lasting impression.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary review copy.
Rating: 5 / 10
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
More Information: Website | Facebook | Encyclopaedia Metallum
Release Date: 10 Jul 2016
Available at Bandcamp, Amazon.com, iTunes, and other retailers.

Leaves’ Eyes – Fires In The North

Leaves' Eyes - Fires In The NorthPutting personal bias aside is tough one for me. I’ve said many times that Liv Kristine is my favorite female vocalist, and she’s no longer in the band, having been replaced by Elina Siirala. Essentially a single, Fires In The North contains two versions of the title track and three songs from King of Kings with Elina’s vocals replacing Liv’s. The title track maintains the Leaves’ Eyes bombast, but is keyed in a way that complements Elina’s voice moreso than the three redubbed tracks. The acoustic version of the title track is fine, but lacks the impact of the full version. The redubs just sound "off" (for lack of a better word) since Elina has a deeper voice and more flamboyant delivery than Liv (Edge of Steel being the worst offender in this regard). This is likely a skip for all but the die-hard Leaves’ Eyes fans, but I’m reserving final judgment on the band until I hear a full album with Elina.
Rating: 6 / 10
Label: AFM Records
More Information: Facebook | Encyclopaedia Metallum
Release Date: 7 Oct 2016
Available at Amazon.com, iTunes, and other retailers.

Finsterforst – #YØLØ

Finsterforst - #YØLØThe Germans in Finsterforst made an interesting decision to follow up the spectacular Mach Dich Frei with an EP that keeps its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. #YØLØ is all about having fun with new songs about drinking and partying (like a German, non-pirate version of Alestorm) and some interesting cover song choices, including Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball. The EP is tons of fun, and the skill and musicianship of Finsterforst shine through, elevating the material. Highly recommended if you could use a smile or two in your life.
Rating: 8 / 10
Label: Napalm Records
More Information: Facebook | Encyclopaedia Metallum
Release Date: 14 Sep 2016
Available at Amazon.com, iTunes, and other retailers.

About C. Hagen Radick 67 Articles
SonOfOdin is a 40-something Midwesterner who subsists primarily on alcohol, schadenfreude, and a near-unhealthy obsession with The Lovely Kate Beckinsale. He is also one of the co-hosts of The Sons of Metal Podcast.

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