Friday, 13 January 2017

Belial - Nihil Est (New Release) & Belial (Self Titled EP)

Belial are a UK based Godless scourge, so you might like them. This technical death metal band are releasing double EP Nihil Est on 27th January via Siege Records, Their title means "There is nothing", which I'm assuming has something to do with their proclaimed Godlessness. Either way, it's a great title so a good start. Does the album live up to the title?

Belial - Nihil Est

Opening with an industrial haunting feel that always grabs my attention, In Extremis introduces the album in a very scatty, disjointed way. It'll no doubt have many Tech Metal fans reaching for their favourite wank rag, although I personally like some order amongst the insanity, which doesn't appear until about 2 minutes into this track. Once it does, I get a pretty euphoric feeling from the song.

Eon from the outset is more like it and is an intriguing track with the marrying of the soft piano and synth parts and the brutal heaviness creating an effective hypnotic, creepy ambience. This blends seamlessly into Naught. The initial whack of double bass and blast beats catches you a bit off guard, but it settles into a good, seriously heavy track with parts to grove too and parts to just take in all the madness.

Odium begins and you think 'this is it, this is the track that's going to blow me away'. And whilst it loses a bit of its impact after the intro it then builds back into a fucking insane solo and breakdown which is simply brilliant. This track is full of bits to enjoy and admire. And the same goes for In Origin. It starts off strong and has some real epic moments and is driven and direct throughout. It's a good way to end this strong new release from a band who clearly have a fantastic future ahead of them.

Self Titled

As I was fortunate enough to have the first EP included, I'll review it as well. Why the fuck not hey! Heroin Holidays opens the proceedings and I'm feeling more at home. This is more organised chaos than the majority of the new EP. The vocal is more gutteral and it's good, soooo good. Whilst it still has the fiddly, Tech traits of the new EP, you can get deeply into it and immerse yourself in the track. This is a thoroughly enjoyable offering.

The quality continues in the form of Wraiths, which has some downright kickass grooves and an uplifting feel, it's seriously a fucking brilliant piece of work.

Host is in parts epic, the melodies and feels created at certain points are almost unparalleled In any of their work, however the track is a bit too disjointed for me to turn these parts into a bone crushingly brilliant track. Luckily the interlude Wen saves the day with a riff that makes you hold onto your balls before introducing you to album closer Parasite.

And it's a great way to close out the EP, summising all that is done well throughout both releases. Great riffs, huge drive from the rhythm work, good synth sounds and a vocal consistent in its deep growl and on point throughout both records.


These are incredibly clear well produced EP's full of second to none musicianship and an ear for eerie melody. The use of samples, synths etc is well thought out and creative. When they nail it, in tracks like Heroin Holiday, Wraiths, Parasite and Odium, it is seriously nailed tight and going nowhere.

I am not saying the other tracks are bad, they aren't, quite the opposite in fact. They are, in parts, a little chaotic for my personal taste however I think fans of this specific genre would be calling me out on that conclusion, as it's kinda the point, but there are moments of pure brilliance in literally every song.

Just to add an extra dimension as well, when being able to appreciate them as instrumental tracks that are at the end of the EP (I'm not sure if these will be part of every release), you get a different kind of enjoyment out of them and can further appreciate the top rate musicianship on display.

Two very strong offerings. How these guys are not on the Techfest 2017 bill already is beyond me, but I'm assuming they will be after this album gets some circulation.  I strongly urge Tech Death fans to be getting a copy of this pre-ordered and buy the first EP here.

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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Boris The Blade - Warpath

Boris the Blade release Warpath on 27th January. Named after Snatch's arms dealing gangster, you probably get that your not going to be hearing romantic odes to Florence Fanny or whoever. No these guys are a Deathcore band full of anger as violent intent.


The albums title track Warpath, is also it's opener. Psychotic glitches and relentless heaviness drive  the track. An eerie melody underpins the all out battering of a great title track packed with machine gun double bass, groove elements and anger.

Second track,Backstabber, starts with a more atmospheric slow feel, but when the vocal smacks you in the face you know you're listening to Boris the Blade, soon your head is spinning with tech metal runs and black metal melodies. It is a bit stop start in places, which put me off my stride a little, but then contains a glorious breakdown and second passage with a vocal performance Corey Taylor would be proud of and lyrics that Jonathan Davies would give you a blowy and a cheeseburger for.

Misery is in a similar vein to Warpath, another relentless barrage of aggression, with interesting changes in dynamics that flow into each other well. But directly after is Nihilist, which has a high impact opening full of atmosphere and punch. I like the way this track, in it's own way, gives you a break from the battering ram of heaviness. It's a creepy, dark number which stand alone is my favourite so far.

Omens is dark, extreme and abrasive and has the addition of a rapped/spoken word bit that reminded me of I Am Hated by Slipknot. It was a highlight of a track that unfortunately I didn't quite get up to that point.

As soon as Paralysed opened up I started to think, 'this is more like it'. A track full of drive and direction, brutally bludgeoning in a satisfying sadomasochistic way. Great drum work, guitar parts that are varied, skills up and melodic and heavy like a sledgehammer. A song that had my attention from beginning to end.

Thorns, in a similar vein to Nihilist, breaks things up a bit. Whilst it can't be accused of not being heavy, it includes more mellow, ambient parts which sound like they could become an epic 20 minute tour de force. But that's not what these fella's do. No wanky flouncing, just moments of serene melody cut short by grievous intent! And you wouldn't want it to be any different.

Devastated opens up with electro noises and machine gun bass drum. Again bringing an eerie ambience in droves, underpinned by the increasingly impressive drum work. Whereas Elixir follows the same paths as previously trodden on the album in terms of the heavy underlined by melody formula before the battering ram intro to Solace begins the end of the album.


By this point I am feeling battered and bruised! Mostly in a way like you might after lasting 12 rounds with Tyson! It left me with a great feeling, like I've had an outlet for my aggression and anger, but also wishing there was a knockout earlier in the fight. Whilst it lacks a track which stopped me dead and made me replay again and again the album as a whole is a great listen. It is full of good songs, excellent musicianship, and a vocal performance that is sublime in its anger and directness.

It should be a popular pick for Deathcore and Extreme Metal fans, fans of Technical Metal (some of the musicianship is simply incredible). I could also see it as a great feeder album into the more extreme side of the metal genre for those dabbling on the fringes. I could easily see a Slipknot maggot picking this up and having a eureka moment. It carries the right balance between melody, brutal belligerence and sinister intent to speak to a wide audience. And an album that can help broaden the horizons of music fans is worth its weight in munitions!

You can pre-order it here or via trusty old Bandcamp, and while your waiting for it, if these guys are new to you, go and check them out on Facebook.