Sunday, October 9, 2016

Adder's Fork "A Farewell To Expectations"

I stumbled across Adder's Fork via the Encyclopaedia Metallum website as a new add a few weeks ago.  I checked out the website and sampled a song.  I liked it.  I also noticed the post about CD's available upon request.  As an avid collector, he had me at Free.  I reached out to Adder's Fork and lo and behold a couple weeks later I'm spinning the CD.

Adder's Fork is the work of Marko Kofler who performs all this music.  That is no small feat and from the professional sounding production that is the album "A Farewell to Expectations", I am thoroughly impressed.  The album has an independent feel, but very well produced.  The instruments are all clear and well mixed.

Adder's Fork play Heavy Gothic metal.  The Gothic style I quite enjoy.  Most Gothic metal I'm familiar with steers toward female fronted symphonic metal.  This is not the case.  "A Farewell to Expectations" has a strong Cure feel to it with vocal styling's akin to Jimmy Brown of later period Deliverance, David Bowie and possibly Eric Clayton of Saviour Machine.  This is how I hear it.  The influences have roots in New Wave which I'm not terribly familiar with, but this is a heavy album 

The title track and "Trails" have a strong New Wave Goth feel, but with a heavy guitar sound.  "Over and Over Again" is probably the most metal song here (and a great tune as well) which borders on thrash, although the Instrumental track "Textures of Finality" dips into Black Metal territory in style and atmosphere.  The clean guitar tones with the subtle keyboards brings Iced Earth's "Dante's Inferno" to mind in terms of atmosphere
"It Runs In The Family" has a hard rock anthem riff that's pretty cool.  It plays out in a laid back, yet melancholic manner that gets the body moving.  My favourite song is the very cool "This Doom (Is Certain)".  It's melodic, heavy and has a cool little riff that I love.  
The album maintains the Gothic feel throughout and acts like the glue that holds the musical styles together.  "A Farewell To Expectations" is just that.  Let go of long held beliefs of how metal should be and just lose yourself in this album, immersing in all the textures of sound melded together with a dark melancholy.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

No Peace for Infrared

Infrared are a Heavy/Thrash band out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada who created some solid metal 27 years ago and now are ready to take on the world!  Forming in the mid-eighties, the band recorded some songs, but as the band says, "Life got in the way".  Now, they are back and have re-recorded those songs written over 2 decades ago and will finally be released March 25th 2016.

I missed out on Infrared in the Eighties, having only discovered them via Lead Singer Armin Kamal's other musical projects (Headview, Dirty Beloved) which were more rock based (though Dirty Beloved's last release was pretty damned heavy!)  I was ecstatic to hear he was involved in a Thrash band and that they had reformed!  I can honestly say "No Peace" was, for me, one of the most anticipated albums of 2016.

I was introduced to Infrared with their original video for "Thoughts Caught (In Between)" and loved the classic eighties thrash sound.  But one could not be nervous that the raw passion might get lost with a re-record.  However, much like my concern about when another classic thrash band Varga out of Hamilton, Ontario re-recorded old material for a new generation, it was unfounded.

Infrared's "No Peace" is classic thrash with a hint of heavy metal.  Some of the raw edge has been buffed out with a more modern production, but the passion is still there and you can feel the energy of each musician.  It is refreshing to hear the sweet rumblings of the bass, that often gets drowned out, without it becoming overbearing.  "No Peace" wears like a worn jean jacket that's been decorated with patches of their favourite bands.  The music is not trying to emulate any particular band, but the listener is bound to pick up on some influences.  That is inevitable.

For me, Infrared's "No Peace" feels like a logical progression from Dirty Beloved's "Brain Bleeder" which was hard rock at it's heaviest.  This is mostly due to Armin's distinct vocal style.  I do get a young Chuck Billy vibe from Armin at times, though.

No song really stands out for me, but the album flows very smoothly and all the songs are solid.  I actually quite like the 2 instrumentals "Inframental" which opens the album with its fast pace and hooky heavy metal vibe and the album closer "In Search Of" which reminds me of Metallica's "Call of Ktulu".  "Thoughts Caught (In Between)" is another favourite.  It has a killer riff and I can see why the band chose to do a video for this song back in the Eighties.

The downside of the album was the really cliched feel of the song "Cliche" .... ahhh , that was my sad attempt at being funny.  "Cliche" is a cool tune.

"No Peace" is an album that is not trying to be anything but what it is.  The riffs are confident, the solos are energetic and the rhythm section thunders along reminding us that they are not just the foundation.  I can't see how anyone who is a fan of Eighties heavy metal/thrash would not like this.