Let Us Prey- Virtues of the Vicious (Out on July 24 via M-Theory Audio)
This quartet from Boston is here to fulfill that craving we have due to our metal malnourishment. Let Us Prey serves us a special blend of metal that is marinated with the biting flavor of thrash metal and an underlying kick of power metal. Now if you prefer one genre over the other, hear me out. There is a balance between these two worlds that Let Us Prey hone in very well.
The debut LP starts off with “Above The Vaulted Sky” which starts with an attention grabbing riff from guitarists Jon Morency, Jesse Near, and guest guitarist Matt Fawcett of Sinate. Vocalist/founder Marc Lopes also begins showcasing his impressive vocal range and executes every high note beautifully. Lopes’s fluctuating range can zap listeners into a thrash and power metal song within seconds. A nice track that smooths out the rougher edges of the album is “In Suffering” where Lopes continues to switch up his pipes and effortlessly bounces back from growls and clean singing.
Okay not feeling like dawning that He-Man outfit and much rather take up the battle vest? “Halo Crown” which features Anthrax’s Jon Donais, “Murder Thy Maker,” and “The Saint of Killers” are the best fit for you! A fun fact about “The Saint of Killers” is that it’s the title track of their debut EP from 2016, and features the late Oli Herbert from All That Remains giving fans another memento. In fact, five other tracks from their EP made it to this record, and why wouldn’t they include these great tracks?
This game was a delightful feast to our ears. This debut will please listeners who can’t get enough of thrash, those who burn for power metal and like to get a little rougher. This nit picky dishonorable judge of yours certainly enjoyed this album and managed to do what many melodies can not do to me, yours truly noggin’ was bobbin’. Get your copy here!
5.5 out 6
Dessiderium- Shadow Burn (Available now Independently)
You want something heavier? Ask and you shall receive AND look it’s an independent act! Alex Haddad continues to pump out more melodic death metal brutality on his own with his third LP. That’s right, when Arkaik’s resting Dessiderium will come out to play!
The title track comes in hot as it kicks off this scalding odyssey. The fun doesn’t stop there, we’ve just begun! “Soul Bursting” and “Streaks” will erupt into your ears and morph into a steady supernova. If you think you‘re one to appreciate precision drumming and can keep up with the rhythmic punches, “Cosmic Limbs” will do the trick. “Serenica” slightly changes gears not only because it’s a nice instrumental intermission but also because it’s as zen as it sounds, and will recenter any metal head from the metal barrage.
“Mother” has a great pace and despite the erraticism, the build up never wavers. Haddad also sprinkles in some clean vocals in between growls and in between this chaotic good melody but don’t worry, this one will not fling any wire hangers at you. “Sage in Yearning” ventures more into the melodic spectrum of death metal, and it’s a song listeners can really savor every chord.
Shadow Burn is sweltering with more death metal elements without neglecting its melodic side of things. This album also invokes an otherworldly sense of wanderlust in which we can all certainly appreciate in these crazy times. You can get it here!
Eye of Nix- Ligeia (Available now via Prophecy Productions)
If you’re a bit of a Progressive Blackened Doom junky that resembles ambient black metal, this album will hit the spot. Mouthy sentences and fancy labels aside, this third full length album from Eye of Nix will be your next exciting companion on your quiet quarantine nights.
The record starts with the slow burning “Concealing Waters” which pours a nice serving of ambiance, a great build up, and haunting vocals from siren/guitarist Joy Von Spain. Von Spain is sure to heighten the atmospheric tone and transport listeners to an otherworldly dimension with her powerful operatic chops. If you need to unwind after a long day, “Adrift” will be a great track to drift away into your slumber or concentrate on your late night crying or scrying sessions, whichever comes first.
“Pursued,” on the other hand, are the Yins to the previous tracks’ Yang. This track is the perfect soundtrack to this wild hunt, and hearing Von Spain flex both her guttural growls and her operatic vocals makes this song one to remember. “Stranded,” “Keres,” and the title track are all about that atmospheric cacophony you crave. “Stone & Fury” offers one last serving of chaos where the ensemble takes a memorable bow with this final ethereal hymn.
Eye of Nix know a thing or two about steady build ups, and know that timing is everything. In this installment, they are hell bent on dragging us into the darker side of Blackened doom. The quintet do so with a mixture of excellent timing, a blend of eerie and voracious melodies that will instill a profound anticipation. Get it here!