Fresh Hell Vol. 3
Here at Manchester Rocks we get sent tonnes of new music everyday, from local band’s EPs to big name, stadium filling acts and everything in between. In this first edition of Fresh Hell we’ve put together some of the highlights we’ve recently discovered that we think are worth shouting about into bite size reviews.
Gehtika - A Monster In Mourning
Fancy a lovely French Fancy with your blackened death metal tea, sir/madam?
Too civilized for you? Then recently escaped from a Midlands loony bin, Gehtika will counter that with some insane-asylum noise-mongering. They may dress like Victorian gentlemen and sport black metal corpse paint but in spite of the deliberately comical image the music is intense and vile. Swapping straitjackets for waistcoats they ladle on the madness for this, their second full-length: A Monster In Mourning.
Opener Appolyon beckons you inside with one bony, instrumental soundtrack worthy finger and the descent into extreme metal insanity begins. The tight staccato riffing of Empire in Decay is the sound of world demise as blast beat mayhem and black metal voicings combine in an extreme sensory assault that evokes Lamb of God jamming with Emperor.
Destroy your ears. It’s all rather, well, spiffing.
Stand out tracks: Appolyon, Empire in Decay
Faith In Glory Band - Face The Dark
Manchester based Hard Rock band Faith In Glory bring their atmospheric debut release, the foursome flashing their chemistry to the maximum as they rock and riff their way through.
The intro, almost Kasabian in style leads the way with an almost supernatural vibe before it opens up to hard riffs, thundering bass and crashing cymbal drum work to offer a feisty, hard rocking little number.
Vocals ably provided by Jack Collins are sombre bringing a haunting darkness to proceedings; swathed in a rich, layered backing track that immerses the listener fully, reminiscent of Royal Blood.
A truly talented guitar/drum play off hits near the end, offering a break in proceedings that is welcomed and perfectly timed leaving you wanting more. Ending with a demonic growl that flashes back to the unearthly introduction- these are ones to watch.
Stand out Tracks: Face In The Dark
Orchid are a droplet in a vast ocean of 70s rock revivalism and while their latest offering, Sign of the Witch, embodies the glory of bygone days, benefitting from a modern, polished finish, it does little to stand out amongst its neighbouring droplets. For me, individualism is what’s lacking here, from the title tracks percussive-heavy swinging groove and closer Strange Wind’s melancholic atmospherics; they channel too much Black Sabbath and not enough of the Californian quartet that has garnished such an impressive reputation since their 2007 formation. I mean, any song that brings to mind the likes of War Pigs and Planet Caravan (Helicopters, Strange Winds) can never be a bad thing, but apart from frontman Theo Mindell’s Robert Plant-esque holler, which could shake mountains, it’s all somewhat play safe. I’m left craving a more pertinent edginess.
Stand out tracks: Helicopters, Sign of the Witch
Luna Sol – Blood Moon
A dark and twisted ride up and down the mountains!
Stoner Rock legend David Angstorm (Hermano/Supafuzz) returns with an album of dark, heavy guitar infused rock, influenced by soaking himself into the Denver mountain communities where he now abodes. A feeling of openness and atmospheric vibes meander through every one of the nine tracks. Monster riffs, thundering bass and drums with lyrics sourced from local gossip and folklore lead you on a bleak and heavy frightening journey. Bridges confirms this with its galloping monster hooks and excellent vocals. The album builds in stature as the music progresses, showcasing various styles and plenty of harmony vocals giving the album an unexpected touch of brilliance. Operator delivers all of the above, deep throated riffs, eerie vocals and deep lyrics take you on a mind melt of an adventure. What we have here is a stoner rock classic of immense musicianship and class!
Stand Out Tracks: Bridges, Operator
Words: Paul Cooke, Kat Hilton, Phil Weller & Brian ‘Baldie’ Mclean