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 Reviews of our Western Alliance album

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IronGuardian

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PostSubject: Reviews of our Western Alliance album   Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:54 am

Hey guys, this review was actually written before the official release date. Someone "accidentally" leaked a copy, and this track by track review resulted. It's rather long, as it is track by track, but then, that's the only way to review a compilation album. There may be a few naughty words, but I think BB automatically censored them for your protection Wink


Quote :


CD1 Black/Death
1. Neverborn - Always Watching Me: Being in the band, I'll skip this review.

2. Nexus - Twelve Minds: Frantic, irrational and majestic stuff, a cross between metal and experimental brain surgery. Massive as usual, with Dan reminding me yet again how ridiculously talented he is. The four members of this band are about as different as four members of a species can be, but where they meet is METAL (with a capital Q) and it is definately the most unique song on CD1.

3. The Uncreation - Nex Ut Sol Solis: a real suprise how much I enjoyed this one, never having a real grasp on Black Metal, the mix and the music compliment each other perfectly. It radiated a real feeling of despair to me, this song. Anyone who has ever met him would debate this, but I think Little Graham is growing up. Grin

4. Khariot - The Hermit: I heard this 6 months ago at work when Mikey staggered in to work one day. I thought at the time it was a cluttered mess, but the mixdown has brought everything out of hiding and it is much more listenable. It IS strange in parts, an unusual mix of Technicality, aggression and melody that I need more time to form a true opinion of it.

5. Mhorgl - Subterranean Assault Beast: Not quite on the same sound quality level as the ones before it, this one is less of a song as a showcase of seperate moments of technical brilliance. Sam has been gargling broken glass again it would seem, and it just may be that he has finally found the right band to best use his vocal style. And there is Louis. Oh Yes.

6. Naetu - Virgin's Blood: ******* killer track. Brutally (!) sinister and one of my favourites on the CD.

7. Archaic - You're All Soulless Filth: Unfortunately this has come out a bit crackly to my ears, but the brutality of the song carries it off well. Strange intro there, and I particularly liked the vocals throughout, wish I had a voice that good. I would be interested in seeing the influences here, but I hear moments reminescent of Bleeding through.

8. Scourged Flesh - War Machine: Oldschool, groovy, thrashy. Very headbangy, and the black/death vocals style works well with it nicely. I get vibes of Gorefest and Wolverine Blues era Entombed from this and liked it a lot, especially the Propain-esque grooves at 3 and a half minutes in.

9. Burial Grounds - Mild Venom: Kind of reminds me of Morbid Visions-era Sepultura, or Show no Mercy-era Slayer. Definately something rooted in the deeper veins on Metal, somewhere in the early 90's maybe but without any presenses towards Grunge or Glam. It is heavy, and has that "Gappy" feel to it that has served bands like Pantera so well but doesn't translate so well to CD without massive production values. Competent enough if a bit done before, the jury is out on this one and I will see how it grows on me.

10. Nails of Imposition - Sebaceous Abscess: Heaviest song on the CD, no question in my mind. A real Cannible Corpse feel to it. Nasty, unclean-sounding, sickness and infections are the first thing my mind goes to. This band has always been a bit TOO heavy for me, and yet I watch them live time and again due to the sheer aggressive release they give me. A brilliant choice for a finale to the first CD.



CD2 Thrash/Melodic
1. Grave Forsaken - Mutilator: When Rowland put GF as first song on CD 2 I thought "well, that's fair because he put together the compilation, but I think it could have used a better kick-off." I was wrong, this track is great! The mix is good, in particular the drum tones, and despite the lack of speedmetal influence, there is a nice thrashy feel to to it, and not a trace of any detectable "Jesus-ness". There is definately room for individual band members to spice the band up and bust clear of the pack, but to say this was a major improvement over the older material would be a major understatement. Well done!

2. Dethlahem - Turpitude: Hahaha. When I was listening to this CD and taking notes, I kept wondering who the guys were and how familiar it sounded to me, and how much they resembled Dethlehem. I hd forgotten they were on the compilation at all and yet when I checked the track listing yep, there they were. Love'em or hate'em, Dethlehem never change, never stop shredding, never swing with the trends.... and never, ever stop drinking. Grin

3. Arkarion - Trial By Battle: First impressions of this song were about the guitars. They sound fat and duel beautifully with each other, at moments they sound awesome. The vocals are harsh and dry, sort of Lamb of God-ish in parts. I liked the sudden changes. There were some sloppy moments, let's assume that is just due to the lack of studio time to iron the defects out (we all do it) but in all I thought it was pretty good stuff.

4. The Ascent - Insomnia: Yeah, kickass track. Instantly interesting, a real symphonic feel, ultra-tight dual guitars and very good vocals, little suprises here and there, nice production, great drumwork. Moments that hint of Symphony X without the spankiness, and with very good drumwork. A definate highlight for me.

5. InVoid - Deicide: Ok, I feel I shouldn't review this one because when it comes to this kind of vocal style I wouldn't know good from bad and refuse to look like an idiot. Maybe somebody could fill in the blanks for me? I DID like the intro section though, very Rothgar's "Within the Glass Confines"-ish, and I can respect the fact that it is a vastly different song to anything else on this disc.

6. Templar - Greenback Nation: I had to listen to this twice. What the **** is going on here? The sound and early vocals were heavy enough that I wondered why it was on CD2, but then came the crazy vocals... and then came the punky vocals... and then came the group vocals... it is mutant music for sure, like someone took System of a down and Dead Kennedys and dropped them into a vat full of smouldering grease and sharpened stakes. Catchy, yet annoying. Heavy, yet irrational.
I think I liked it, but I feel like I should punch myself for it. Smiley

7. Trident Winter - Sacrifice: Aah Trident Winter. There is no doubt that:
1. they are the cheeselords of Perth.
2. they don't give a **** about what anyone thinks, they are gonna do it anyway.
3. they have some true talent, wish I had half as much.
4. they don't hide behind a wall of noise or super low-tuning and still sound tighter than an asian virgin.
Again, I'm not qualified. I can say that here is a band trying to go toe to toe with such giants of the genre as Dragonforce, and that can't be easy. So ******* good ******* on them. Grin

8. Lacrymae - Handel's Apocalypse: Wow!! If the Doobie brothers got stoned with Vivaldi and Blind Guardian and rooted Pavarotti in the back of Pink Floyd's tour bus, this could be the child of that hellish union. Lacrymae sound more like a soundscape that a metal band, a romp through the scales in an acid haze. Changes abound, musical delights hidden within and behind the music, layered like a fat goth chick in a black petticoat. Is it metal? Hmmmm... well the guitars and drums say yes fucker, the vocals and keyboards say no. I guess it comes down to the individual's perception. OK, it aint angry enough for me, but nobody could deny the talent of these guys and the work that must have gone into the creation of such a song.

9. Advent Sorrow - Insidious Memories: Interesting. Dimmi Borgir, Therion, Cradle of Filth, I hear influences from all over the extreme metal foodchain. It has a feel of symelodic black metal and a dark feel but without that guitar tone like someone shaking a box of screws. This song gets more interesting as it goes along, I would be very interested in hearing more of the album.

10. Red Descending - Fragile Nation: Red Descending are so underrated it makes me cringe. The sound is lovely, professionally mixed and beautifully mastered, a slick concentration of aggression and melody that is way more likely to find a home in Europe than here in Oz. RD's songwriting can stand tall beside the success stories of that genre, the In Flames, Scar Symmetry, Soilworks ilk that have done so well, yet over here they are just another band. It seems cruel somehow. Still, the world's loss is our gain, and this is a great song to end the compilation on.

Good Work Y'all. Very Happy

I'll post more when I find them.

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mercury

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of our Western Alliance album   Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:32 am

Have only listened to one of the two cds so far. Not bad. It's interesting the variation that the different capital cities have in their 'core' sounds.

Just a word of advice Rowland-spell check Smile

Opertation ....
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of our Western Alliance album   Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:39 am

mercury wrote:
Opertation ....

See if you can find all the rest too Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of our Western Alliance album   Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:30 pm

Props to Scourged Flesh and Grave Forsaken... nice!
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of our Western Alliance album   Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:00 pm

This review will be appearing in a local universities student guild run magazine. A lot of people will read this Smile

Quote :

The second release from Iron Guardian Industries (IGI) features a collection of tracks from Perth’s up-and-coming thrash/death/black metal bands spanning two discs. This compilation helps to illustrate the diversity of the Perth metal scene, featuring a mix of styles; some newer, more experimental bands enter the fray, along with some of Perth’s older guard such as death metallers Neverborn and melodic death metal quadrant Red Descending.

On board with this armada, IGI has also consigned a bunch of lesser known bands. That’s one of the benefits of this style of release; it’s a great way for a variety of bands to gain exposure quickly and to reach new audiences.

It’s a great listen, showcasing some of the technical mastery from our fair city; though the production values aren’t always spot on (varying from band to band) it usually sounds pretty decent and presents a pretty good cross section of local heavy talent.

As an album, it’s not really fair to pinpoint any particular track or band that stands out since there’s simply so much on offer here.

It’s great to see that releases like this are coming out that, as they are the much-needed springboard that smaller, less established acts need to get their name out there to a wider audience.

Tim Sezer

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of our Western Alliance album   Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:35 am

http://www.themetalforge.com/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=2978


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Various - Western Alliance - Operation Metal Storm
A solid showcase

This is a massive compilation put out this year by Iron Guardian Industries, a Perth based Metal record label committed to promoting Aussie, and more specifically West Aussie Metal music. It’s a ten track metal onslaught, featuring ten different bands, and is an excellent initiative aimed at getting metal from the planet’s most isolated capital city out into the world.

Quality wise, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from the sublime (Lacrymae, whose stunning, Classically influenced EP I reviewed for The Metal Forge a few months ago, and most definitely a band to check out. Handel’s Apocalypse is clearly the highest quality track on display here.), to the ridiculous (Arkarion, who are kinda trashy and don’t seem quite together). But the hits are considerably more frequent than the misses. The Ascent are heavy but utilise some nice melodic leads at the same time. Neverborn, who I also reviewed earlier on, are quirky but ultimately bring the mayhem on ‘Always Watching Me’. Red Descending are an interesting mix, combining fat grooves, almost Black Metal vocals and add a very nice touch of doomy, washy keyboard textures. Scourged Flesh are also pretty different, throwing flat stick heavy rock, huge grooves and Death Metal vocals into the pot.

On the down side, Mhorgl need some work, especially in the production stakes, as do the sludgier, grindier Nails of Imposition. Naetu are fairly run of the mill thrash who don’t really reach any great heights.

Overall, it’s a very solid mix, and showcases the skill and talent inherent in the WA metal scene. It also displays some nice variety, from the more hard rock orientated stuff right through to a more doom/grind orientated sound. Well worth it as an introduction to a pretty decent scene.

8/10

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