Haliwel – Pandemic

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    Hailing from Wisconsin, the band Haliwel has an enormous amount of potential. A passionate, fiery, self-made band; Haliwel has dropped an eclectic monster of an album. Released in October of 2016 the band’s sophomore album “Pandemic” is aptly named as it stands to become a viral hit  throughout 2017. This work deserves a space in the hard drive (or shelf, if you happen to be old school) of every audiophile as Haliwel has developed a wide ranging, passionate, piece of musical artwork that any fan of the universal art form can find something to connect too.

   From the heated, and politically driven “Firestarter”, to the inspiring melancholy of their single, “The World Over” or the cheeky hairpin turn in mood of “Truth Is”  and in the evocative song “The Theme”, each track on this album has a unique personality that takes you along an eclectic journey. The wide range of feelings presented showcase the various definitions of what makes a song heavy, which can be a difficult task for any band to do well.

   All at once, each track is a separate statement that still manages to fit into a wider theme in this album. Personally, I feel that a few sections seem to drag on just a tad too much. However, this is more a matter of taste. These sections do not take away from the fact that this band has passion, they believe in what they have to say, and they can make the listener believe in that message. At the end of the day those are  what can make or break good musicians. Belief in the art, belief in the meaning, and the drive to bring that belief to the listener. Haliwel has shown they have all of this with “Pandemic”.

   In all, Haliwel has poised themselves as a force to reckoned with in the upcoming tour seasons. If you’re not already aware of this band and their work, they deserve a spot on your musical radar. They have already experienced an explosion of success with their first album “From the Inside” and this follow up shows that they have no intention of slowing down. I am certainly looking forward to seeing what the next year and further have in store for this incredibly talented, and determined band. With any luck, I’ll have the good graces to see what this band brings to a live stage in the near future. Until that time, I’ll be keeping a close watch on Haliwel throughout 2017 and beyond, eager to see what they bring to the table next.

The Butcher

haliwel  

Big Sloppy’s Album Reviews: Kill For Company – “This Sadness Lasts Forever” EP

The first time that I came across this foursome from the UK known as “Kill For Company” was about a year ago through a video for their song “Crawl”. I was so impressed that I reached out to them for an interview on our Honest Brutality Podcast which they graciously accepted. After speaking with their guitar player Quinton Lucion I knew that these guys were for real and had a true passion for what they are doing. This becomes obvious from the opening volley of the first track “Democracy Has Failed”. This song is on point and vicious from beginning to end. Merciless in it’s pace and daring you to keep up with it’s relentlessness. The second track “Isolation” actually accelerates from there. The precision timing between Lucion on guitar, Ben McCann on bass and Daniel Danby on drums is an audio spectacle to behold. I have to add that Danby’s drum work throughout the entire EP is worth the time listening alone. This young man is phenomenal. The third track “One For My Enemies” is probably my favorite song on the EP. I’m not sure why but when they get to the breakdown and Tom “Kingsize” Hennessey starts barking out his vocals I just want to start smashing everything in sight. I think that it’s safe to say that no one will be slow dancing at a wedding to this tune anytime soon. The closer is the title track “This Sadness Lasts Forever”. Needless to say it’s a neck breaker. It has all of the elements of a great metal anthem. Angry vocals, spot on rhythm section and killer riffs. Everything that I ask for in a metal tune. All told, this is a fantastic EP that every metal fan should have in their collection. The only real sadness is that there isn’t more of it. 

9.5/10

Rich “Big Sloppy” Markum

Big Sloppy’s Album Reviews: Eternal Fear “Killing Time”

 Eternal Fear are back with a new offering. This time the boys from Karlskoga Sweden are wielding a powerhouse metal arsenal in the form of their album “Killing Time”. There’s no fluff on this album. You know as soon as you hear the opening sirens of “Thy Will Be Done” that you are getting a face full of metal. From there the album rampages seamlessly   into “Age Of Glory”  “Black Country” and “The Shadow” .  In listening to this album you quickly realize that it keeps getting stronger and stronger with each passing track. Then you get to the title track “Killing Time”. The best way to describe this song is to say that if Ghost and Dio had a baby this would be their unholy spawn. It’s both haunting and powerful at the same time. The album continues to accelerate after that with the guys never taking their foot off the throttle. They continue to plow through your ears with “Halls Of Odin” and “Child Of Darkness” before beating you down with “Evil Ways” another stand out track. By the time you get to the end of the album with the gritty “No Guts” and “Chamber Of Lies” you’re ready for a shot of whiskey and a beer chaser. All in all a very strong if not exceptional effort.

8.5 out of 10

Rich “Big Sloppy” Markum

“Obliteration Process” by Obzidian Review

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Obliteration Process by the UK based metal powerhouse Obzidian is a like velvet covered hammer to the face, and I mean that in a good way. This album hits you hard, but is smooth in it’s delivery.

The latest offering, and third full length album to come from this four piece outfit is proof that the band has been working relentlessly since their last release in 2014. Right from the opening of the first track “Sins Here Are Purified”, you feel as though you are being led to paradise through the gates of hell. With growling vocals, heavy grooves, melodic choruses and a thunderous bridge you realize early on this is going to be a good ride. The title track “Obliteration Process” sets a blistering pace, is relentless in its ferocity, and features an outstanding guitar solo. My personal favorite on the album “Desolate Creed” is visceral, brutal, and guttural, all while maintaining a polished, defined edge. Obzidian is no one trick pony, showcasing their musicianship and eclectic style with the instrumental track “Like Maggots They Infest”. This album is a must have for any self respecting metalheads collection, and is definitely one of the best albums to grace 2016.

Eric “Evil” Ernst

Honest Brutality

http://www.obzidian.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/ObzidianBand/?fref=ts

Fresh Cuts: Feathers & Flesh

Hello, Brutal Disciples!

It’s no secret that the entire Honest Brutality camp has been excited for Avatar’s new album to drop. Well, on Friday, May 13th (perfect date, I might add) we finally got to satisfy our hunger. I have to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the few singles Avatar had released had me ecstatic for the full release.  As I’m typing this, I’ve gone through the entire album about 10-12 times. Which means that over the last 96 hours that the album as been released, I’ve spent roughly 10% of that listening to this album, and this album only. (As a side note, I am also loving the new Pierce the Veil album, but Feathers & Flesh has so much more to digest). Before I delve into the rest of my review of this awesome work, I’m going to tell you. LISTEN TO IT!! LISTEN TO ALL OF IT!! Once you’ve listened all the way through, DO IT AGAIN. You owe it to yourself to experience this beautiful work of art.

So, why is this album something that has me so lit up? First off, this album offers up a little bit of almost everything that exists in metal. Power metal, groove metal, thrash metal, death metal, old school metal, progressive metal and much more in the world of metal. But wait, there’s more! This album also delves into several styles that all eventually evolved into the rock and metal music we hear today. Sprinkled through this album, you will hear elements of classical, jazz, blues, rockabilly, and straight ahead rock and roll of course. All of these musical elements blended together already make this a wonderful album. The best part is, there is so much more to this album.

Those of you who are avid listeners may know, I am a huge fan of concept albums. Every album paints their own story in a way, but purposeful concept albums go that extra mile to add musical variations and themes to tie everything together. This particular concept is something unique and amazing. Inspired by the fables of John de la Fontaine, Avatar has set a high standard for what a concept album should be. The album is a fable about an owl who goes to war against the world in order to stop the sun from rising. An eagle intervenes to prevent this, and the ensuing chaos affects not only the eagle and owl, but various other forest creatures. Eventually, the owl is defeated, and realizing the impact his battles have had on his home, flies off into the sky never to return. That’s my understanding of the story at this point, taken from snippets of interviews with Johannes Eckerström and my own inferences. I’m certain I’m not 100% right about all of it, but it’s fun to try to figure it out. 

To sum things up, this is by far the best album I have heard this year. Feathers & Flesh takes you on a brilliant musical journey of epic battles, quirky characters, solemn lamentations, and all around badassery. I encourage all of you reading this to find this album. Buy it, devour it, throw it up, and slurp it down again. While you’re doing that, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to describe the concept of this particular work of art at thebutcher@honestbrutality.com. In the meantime, I’m going to sign off and listen to this album again while scouring the internet for any Avatar tour dates that come near my town. (I have a hunch they will be playing Aftershock this year, but that could also just be my own wishful thinking) Farewell, disciples!!! As always……..STAY METAL!! \m/