CD REVIEW Casket Music – Copro Records belated Summer 2012 special, part 2 : HateSower – Members Of God – Nightblade – Uncontrollable Urge

As promised, the second catch-up special and, with further ado, let's get into the stuff, shall we?

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Band : HateSower
Album title : HumUnPerfection
Label : Casket Music – Copro Records
Distributor : PHD - Bertus
Release date : 27/08/2012
Release : CD

This Italian Extreme Metal band was originally formed in 2001 under the monicker of Inside, a bandname under which the quintet recorded 3 full-length albums, which got 'em a good reputation thanks to nice reviews. In 2009, the band dropped both the keyboards and their name, re-baptizing themselves to their current name with a line-up comprising singer/ guitarist Ago, guitarist Val, fretless bass player Andreas, and drummer Vito.

Almost immediately, the quartet started the writing process of this here album, recorded the 8 tracks at Italy's Dissonant Studio with the aid of recording & mixing engineer Luca Minieri, and hired Mikka Jussila for the mastering of the album at the renowned Finnvox studio. If it seems a little long before the album eventually saw the day of light, please consider that it was already finished in 2011, but it took a while to find Casket Music as the willing publisher of the album (and of course they also took their time for the convenient release date to come along).

Musically, you can expect a Progressive Heavy Metal at the basis of the band's Death Metal, with the constant velocity, the frequently prominent fretless bass lines, the powerful drums, and the somewhat Blackened screams of the singer adding that more extreme touch to the whole. Or, as mentioned in the info sheet, “A blend of melodic yet dynamic Progressive Death Metal with lots of heavy and melodious arrangements, and the screaming of a mad banshee, bringing to mind the likes of Children Of Bodom or Death. A blend of Swedish Death, Symphonic Black and Technical Death, all play their part in the making of the band's first record.”

Well, nothing wrong with those comparisons, nor with the additional ones the label provides with Dark Tranquillity, Behemoth, and Hypocrisy. Definitely an album for lovers of Death Metal with both a certain complexity ànd melody! Look for audio examples of the band's music at (www.) hatesower or (www.) myspace.com/hatesower.

95/100

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Band : Members Of God
Album title : Ten Talking Words
Label : Casket Music – Copro Records
Distributor : PHD - Bertus
Release date : 27/08/2012
Release : CD

This Italian Christian Metal quintet was borne in April 2009 from an idea for a concept album by singer Enzo Donnarumma, whom has a striking physical resemblance to Jesus Christ, or at least to the image that the Christian faith, partially sustained by “proof”, has put forward. Now, if I tell you that consequently he took on the stage name of Jesus of Nazareth, you might start to form your own thoughts of what his idea was?

According to the info sheet, Ten Talking Words is a concept album in which the band “...eviscerate, with a strong and emotional impact, the message of the crucified messiah, that has nothing to do with the religious goodism that has lost during the centuries the real power of Christ's Word...”! Musically, a choice was made for a Sympho-Prog Metal with highly orchestral elements, and which would also include the use of Assyrian & Palestinian musical instruments. For his musicians, he already had a bod with the Pinto brothers...but I cannot be sure whom is meant, as only first names are listed in the booklet. Nevertheless, I feel strongly about the possibility of guitarist Uriel (whom was co-mixer of the album, and also co-wrote two songs with Jesus – whom was responsible for the basic thoughts of the rest of the material, further arrangements coming from the remainder of the band) being one of 'em. The other members are Robert (on keyboards), Jahn (on the bass) and Ruel (on drums).

Well, depending on what side of the fence they're on, music lovers will either love this album for it's instrumental prowess, or hate it for the mediocre singing! Of course, I almost certain that true Christian Metal fans will feel somewhat torn. I mean, is it blasphemy to take the name of the “Son of God”, or is it rather an ultimate tribute to Him? Depending on which side of the fence they happen to find themselves, they will either agree with the fact that Enzo does not really have a singing voice, or ignore that fact and be moved by the “message”!

Not being a Catholic myself, I can only congratulate the band for their musical prowess (ànd theological research), and put a downer on things by pointing out how the singer spoils everything, and brings down the rating of the album quite considerably! Check out some music by the band at (www.) myspace.com/membersofgod, and consider for yourselves how you're gonna “judge” this band!

78/100

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Band : Nightblade
Album title : Servant To Your Lair
Label : Casket Music – Copro Records
Distributor : PHD - Bertus
Release date : 27/08/2012
Release : CD

How...here's a easy one for me...I'll just give you the info sheet's text.

“Hailing from the home of Heavy Metal, The Midlands, UK, Nightblade serve up a taste treat of melodi classic sounding NWoBHM and would not sound out of place o a Neat Records compilation, circo 1980, thanks to awesome riffs and a distinctive vocal delivery. Citing influences ranging from Iron Maiden, through Black Sabbath to Metallica, the band have tried and tested their waves in a number of bands down the years including the likes of Viridian Hue, Scarab, and most notably Preacher. The band have passion, technicality and heart-felt lyrics. This is the band's debut album and will see the band out on the road with Wrathchild and then Graham Bonnet in support of the record.”

Regretfully, I found no info on the band's line-up, but the pictures in the booklet show a quartet of which at least the guitarist and bassist look like they might've been musicians in the heydays of the musical genre we're dealing with here! Stylistically, while there IS a touch of Thrash Metal, the main base of the music is a slightly progressive Heavy Metal, say third wave NWoBHM. Evidently, occasionally the band has more mellow moments, but they've reserved those for the one semi-ballad “Where You've started From”. The singer indeed a distinctive type of vocals. No nightingale alà Bruce Dickinson though, but rather a slightly nasal and slightly hoarse type, capable to putting in the occasional high octave touch, but more comfortable in a lower mid-range section. Try to find some music to listen to at the band's website (www.) nightblade.co.uk (here's hoping that ballad's on there)!

Definitely something for lovers of the classic NWoBHM sounds, myself included!

88/100

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Band : Uncontrollable Urge
Album title : Dirge
Label : Casket Music – Copro Records
Distributor : PHD - Bertus
Release date : 27/08/2012
Release : CD

This Italian band was founded in the town of Florence in the Summer of 2008. The quintet [current (and as far as I know original) line-up consisting of (from the booklet) Ntiegko Mr. FartPhin (vocals, keybirds, pregnant xylophone, nasty pig and funny games), Lexo (guitar from hell, mysterious marranzano, tribal choir, ass organ and evil dummy), Jackie le Blonde (raffinat guitar asshole, 12 strings cat, tribal choir, Navajo voices and whale from Mars), Vrolok Mörksjellet (upright bass, fretless Tinto bass, synthefingers and torture chamber vocals) and Tomas Garlomi (war drums, tribal tom tom, jackhammer, irritant china and repulsive maracas)] recorded/ released their first demo For Personal Use in April 2009, and went on to win the Critics Prize during the first night of the PienoBasta Contest event. The latter was enough motivation for the band to start the process of recording their full-length debut album, which we now have here making rounds in the cd-player. Well, of course it's not the first time it's doing that, and due to my delay in getting things down in written language (see part one of this catch-up special) I've  already spent many a delightful hour in the last two months!

You can take that “delightful hour” quite literally, because the 10 songs on the album last a good 67 ½ minutes...but that includes some quite feedback at the end of the last-to-one track “Intro”, and some more of the same during the album closer “The Wild”...dó keep listening though, because there's still some wackiness to be enjoyed I he middle and latter part of that track. Well, the word “wacky” having fallen...one can really categorise this album, ànd the band, under that monicker...but that's something you might've already deduced from my citation (see above) of the line-up.

In their own words (well, almost...there were some language mistakes which I've kindly corrected), “Incontrollable Urge, a name which is a tribute inspired by the mythic and controversial Devo, but that also defines the mentality of the five components of the band, which pursues the idea of a music without boundaries, driven from pure instinct only. Single influences meet and melt together creating a masterly chaotic plot of genres with the unique scope of transporting the audience in a parallel dimension where irony mitigates all drama and anger that dominates their music.”!

What does all of that mean, and what requirements should the occasional listener of this album answer to? Well, for one thing, I hope (s)he is open-minded, and a love for the more progressive types of music will certainly help in appreciating this! Overall, one might say that the music and vocals bend toward the more aggressive types of music, and even then one can find wacky interludes that belong rather to the genres of Funk or Jazz. Also, UU wíll do their best to confuse you by bringing you a sedately beginning song (check “Dislessia Diseidetica”, “Inti-Capped”, and “Which Is The Colour Of Jack's Pants” - the latter even shortly sporting the sounds of a cello prior to the conversion to the heavier part of the song) and give it an explosive ending. Expect some lines of piano being played within an otherwise aggressive parts. But most of all...expect the overall melody of things to draw you away within the underlaying complexity of both the music at that time and the changes (both in tempo and genre) ahead. The lead vocals sound like the insane utterings of some patient from the “worst case” ward of the local sanitorium (say, lunny bin, Funny House, or whatever you call that place where they store away and “treat” those members of society which have “gone off their rocker”), but they fit so well in this musical setting, dear sirs and ladies! On top, you have your occasional moments of wacky vocal interplay between the members of this band (check out the Navajo chanting on “Acrotomophilia”). In spite of the Italian song titles mentioned so far (“Sorprendido Por La Muerte” is another) the language of the lyrics is English, with some occasional exceptions (the latter mentioned track includes shards of text in the Italian and Spanish language, see?).

Ach...I could go on and on about the wacky qualities of this band, but I'll suffice by stating that the label suggests that this might be something for fans of the likes of Mr. Bungle, Neurosis, Electric Wizard, Devo, Primus, Mayhem...might sound like an wackily eclectic bunch, and my warning is as follows : you better like more than just the óne of these named acts, because you an be sure that occasionally UU will blend elements of all of the aforementioned! What a great act this Uncontrollable Urge is, and what a wonderful album! Definitely the most worthy disc in this Casket Music package! No wonder then, that you'll find it in my 2012 year-lists, see? Find music (hopefully) by this band at (http://) (it.) myspace.com/uncontrollableurge

98/100

Tony.