TERRA ODIUM – Ne Plus Ultra

Formed from the ashes of Spiral Architect, Terra Odium is a prog metal band from Norway. Their debut album features some strong technical playing displayed across seven lengthy arrangements. For the more forgiving fans of the style, this will be enough for ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ to be reasonably entertaining. For other listeners who expect flashy solos and other indulgences to be balanced out by memorable songs and important things like actual melodies, the near-hour of relentless riffing will wear thin rather quickly.

Unfortunately, despite very obviously being able to play, Terra Odium also seem painfully unaware of most of the genre’s developments in the twenty first century. This album shows no obvious knowledge of the dark riffs of Awooga, the technical mechanics of Tool or even the complexities of a newer breed such as TesseracT. There are a few fantastically heavy moments that show a modicum of bravery – especially for a band signed to a melodic rock label – but approximately half of the material merely beavers away relentlessly, as if played by men with beards and leather trousers who still consider Symphony X’s ‘The Odyssey’ – at this point almost twenty years old – to be ground breaking.

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GREEN JELLŸ – Garbage Band Kids

Green Jellÿ will be forever remembered as the makers of the metal version of ‘Three Little Pigs’, a minor novelty hit back in 1993. They also amused various seventeen year olds with a claymation longform video that introduced the MTV generation to ‘The Misadventures of Shitman’ and the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Pumpkihn’. Then, as far as the world at large was concerned, they just…disappeared.

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SLAVE STEEL – Dream Of Decadence EP

Slave Steel’s independently released debut LP ‘Entanglement’ came with a brilliant riff heavy sound that introduced the band with a great confidence. A few of the vocals were a little scratchy in places, but the material had the kind of strength and confidence you’d expect from a band with far more years behind them. As if realising there was a little room for improvement, the band took three of the album’s songs and re-recorded with superior vocal takes for a self-titled EP in 2017. This proved to be a good move, taking a much bigger step towards capturing that perfect sound.

Much like the material chosen for the self-titled release, the four tracks that make up Slave Steel’s 2021 release ‘Dream of Decadence’ have origins that date further back. ‘Ogre Cage’ was first released in video form in 2019 – at a time when the world hadn’t been derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic – and the remaining songs were issued sporadically throughout the following year. Although the material been circulating for some time, the opportunity to hear it properly sequenced and in one place really lends everything a welcome extra punch.

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BLESS THE DEAD – Overdue Lies EP

Following the release of a couple of EP’s, Bless The Dead’s full length release ‘The Boars Nest’ (Sliptrick Records, 2018) cemented their reputation as a growing force within the world of groove metal. Taking cues from Pantera and Lamb of God, the record wasn’t particularly original, but what it did, it did brilliantly. In approximately half an hour, it showcased a riff-centric band ready to bring their brand of metal to the masses. In an ideal world it very much needed a timely follow up to really gain traction – supplying something of a massive one-two punch – but it would take almost three years for the band to deliver their next studio recordings.

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Paradise Lost announce new live release and share new video clip

Last November, everyone’s favourite UK goth metal band Paradise Lost performed via a live stream. Well received by fans, the show can now be enjoyed by a wider audience via an upcoming CD and blu ray release.

‘Live At The Mill’ will be released via Nuclear Blast on 16th July, but you can watch a clip of the band performing ‘Darker Thoughts’ below.  Full details of the upcoming release, along with confirmed tour dates – virus allowing – can be found in the following press release.

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