First Impressions Vol 8: Feat Euphorean, Parius, Inside It Grows, Drawn & Quartered, Kielkropt, Ackeron, Kataklysm, Mortuous, Beyond Deth, Metalian, Spirit Adrift & W.E.B

Yet another installment telling of fresh discovery within the tapestry laden halls of the metal kingdom to vast to fathom the infinite dimensons of.
Euphorean – Ends of the Earth
New Zealand 
Release – April/20/2018
Self Released
Artwork – 8
Serene yet maleovent. A beatiful image which represents the undeniable glory and power of nature. I only wonder upon the audio within.
First Track – 8
Catchy, dark yet beauty laden on account of its heavy symphonic elements. Traditional rasped black metal vocals on a bed of clean riffs (with epic/speed metal leanings) and majestic sweeping solos. A great combination that’s admittedly slightly different but works rather well.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Rather than pit two vocalists against each other, one taking the role of the ‘Beast’ (gruff vocals) and the other ‘Beauty’ (angelic traditional singing) Euphorean have chosen to use the vocalist style in juxtaposition to the music itself. A clever ploy that’s unique and works well, more effectively in some tracks than others, overall effective it gives the album a certain vibe. A vibe which might well be a love it or hate it thing, I liked it and am appreciative of the bands ‘angle’ and creative approach. Recommended for those who prefer not to see definite genres but blurred lines which are often so utterly vague as to be virtually non-existent anyway.  
Parius – (Tales from) The Eldritch Realm
Release – July/20/2018
Artwork – 8.5
Ominous, sinister yet oh so reminiscent of the vintage horror era from yesteryear, decades, decades ago. An amazing image that could well have been distributed at the turn of the century without a blink of the eye.
First Track – 8
Melodic death in (a similar vein to The Black Dahlia Murder) with a diverse aura hinting at a universe of influence in and outside of the metal spectrum. An exemplary Gothic/classic horror/Twilight Zone feel only adds to the curiosity of the remainder of the album.
Initial Listen – 9
Fluid yet oozing with a myriad of styles this is an album the listener needs to spin a few times in order to fully digest. Intricate and varied the rhythms on offer are applaudable, inciteful of movement snd typical of the finest found in the melodic death realm (yet thankfully stray away from blast-beat-ville and brutalchaos city) yet the album as a whole isn’t as it sports passages, interludes and vocal styles which are unpredictable yet only add to the overall eye-widening experience. Think The Faceless, Between the Buried and Me, Opeth and a handful of other acts who heed not others advice and choose instead to musically experiment to great effect. Add this to the list of other metal releases you need to purchase and worry not about those pesky bills, after all your parents house still has a basement with stunning accoustic potential.
Inside it Grows – Endless Grey (EP)
Release – June/18/2018
Artwork – 8
Simple yet vivid and powerful with a seething ominous feral nature.
First Track – 7
Infectious thrash in a similar vein to newer In Flames, Dark Tranquility and Soilwork.
Initial Listen – 6.5
Really nothing new to add to the genre but with that being said this remains a solid release especially for those who like thrash with a radio airplay type feel to it.
Worth checking out for fans who rarely stray into darker terrotories but prefer to remain upon the more easily consumed thrash/heavy metal path.
Drawn and Quartered – The One Who Lurks
Release – July/27/2018
Krucyator Productions 
Artwork – 8
This is some bizarre, dark art right here. Some otherworldly arcane imagery. But I’m diggin it.
First Track – 7.5
Bludgeoning, unrelenting rhythms pairs with sinister slower paced interludes accompanied with an all – consuming drum salvo that only assists in the overall sonic bombardment and the audios infernal blanketing nature. Fierce stuff indeed!
Initial Listen – 7
Suffocating audio with definite diabolical presence. I believe this is an album I’m going to need to take time to fully digest as the first listen is a tad overwhelming. It’s many layers are at first overpowering but I think, given time, this will grow on (me and) the audience, depending on preferrences, unlike earlier (more easily consumable?) albums by D n’ Q which I personally greedily devoured on initial contact.
An initial experience may not be enough, given time my rating is likely to change the more I discover and allow The One Who Lurks to sink in as it invades my senses. 
Kielkropt – Ignorance is Bliss
Release – July/6/2018
Sludgelord Records
Artwork – 8
Tigers, a red skull, warm hues and the look of an aged/well loved/worn vinyl cover. What’s not to like?
First Track – 7.5
Doom overflowing with groove and something else, or is it the combination of everything, including gravelly all-out vocals  that puts me in mind of Dirty Rhymes era Pungent Stench. Regardless, this isn’t merely sludge or doom but a great mix with smatterings from other genres thrown in for effect.
Initial Listen – 7
Slow ponderous riffage bursting at the seams with groove and the occasional faster paced rhtymic passage coupled with gravelly vocals (think if Speckmann from Master tackled the genre) make this apear more like normal doom/sludge fair but it comes off a little different but no less intriguing. The more I listen the more this pulls me under with its allure. Emotion, power and huge riffage all the ingredients for the doom genre but Ignorance is Bliss somehow manages to dip into other metal realms too without losing any of its credibility.
Ackeron – Polarity
Release – May/10/2018
Melancholia Records
Artwork – 7.5
Vivid, vibrant and enigmatic. Seriously what the hell is it anyway, The musculature of the back, a rock formation in the desert? Who cares, I’m diggin’ it and the vinyl is beyond impressive.
First Track – 8
Not at all what I expected, it’s not thrash, death, black, industrial or even djent but an intriguing mixture with considerable oomph and rhythm. A little like The Used, a tad like Beartooth but with a more diverse feel, loadsore aggression and tons more angst. Color me intrigued.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Frenetic with constantly shifting melodies and pacing. This is unpredictable audio with undeniable influence coming by way of Between the Buried and Me and a slew of other “slightly experimental’ acts who aren’t afraid to poke, prod and traipse over all notion of genre boundary.
Emotional, bursting with powerful rhythms. Rather hard to catagorize this is an album that might well surprise you with its effect.
Kataklysm – Meditations 
Release – June/1/2018
Nuclear Blast Records
Artwork – 7.5
Sinister imagery indeed.
In this hollow something lurks with dark plans to hatch upon the unsuspecting horizon. Or something.
First Track – 7
Huge riffs and fantastic rhythms that get the attention and keep it but I can’t help but feel that Kataklysm have transformed, a new incarnation that borders on the more pallettable for sure mote melodic (ala Soilwork) a tad thrashy in style at times with detectable hints of djent tossed in to mix things up.
Initial Listen – 6.5
It has its moments amidst ‘alot of the same’ but for the most part it really didn’t do that much for me to be honest. Perhaps my assumptions were too high? In no is this way horrid, to be blunt it’s just not my ‘cup of tea’. Meditations is more thrash than death with the occasional Paradise Lost, lamb of God and brutal passage thrown in and will therefore likely appeal more to the aforementioned crowd.
Mortuous – Through Wilderness
Release – Jube/22/2018
Tankcrimes/Carnonized Records
Artwork – 7.5
The artist captured the hue of decay exquisitely. A fantastic image encapsulating the menace of nature.
First Track – 7.5
Blasting death metal oozing with old school influence (both grindcore and mid tempo) with guttural vocals. A tight package bursting with diabolical intent demanding further exploration.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Death metal of the lumbering kind, drenched in filth, bound in reeking putrescense in a similar vein to earlier Morgoth, Realm of Chaos era Bolt Thrower and Carcass’ Necrotisism. Tip toeing brazenly into grindcore territory and occasionally the funeral doom arena albeit with a loosely bound collective of dismembered toes still trailing severed crimson ligaments.
Beyond Deth – The Age of Darkness 
Release – February /3/2018
Artwork – 7
Sinister black and white imagery hinting at death metal tunage, tell me more.
First Track – 7.5
Fret board melting fast pace in a style similar to Amon Amorth and Unleashed. I’m diggin it.
Initial Listen – 7.5
With a pace that rarely let’s up this album invokes the darker side of thrash past. A definite Kreator influence alongside newer influences drives this often into Vader fast territories. Hardly technical but galloping faster than a horse trying to evade capture for an ill-fated trip to the glue factory this delivers barely residing on the thrash side of the death spectrum.
And a few ‘blasts’ from the past
Metalian – Midnight Rider
Release – May/22/2017
Artwork – 7
Simplistic cartoon imagery of a lone figure speeding through the wastelands. But for what purpose and in what relation does the image have to the music therein?
I can’t tell but I do like the image, probably because I’d like it to be the cheeky bastid Lobo taking leave from one of his many schnanigen crimson soaked scenarios.
First Track – 8.5
Instrumental complete with rhythms, melody and vibe that’ll toss you back grinning to the denim and black shirt wearing days of your rockin youth when Priest and Maiden were the Gods of metal. Unless this is the first time you’re discovering this, then you’re in for a treat indeed!
Initial Listen – 9
This album explodes with all the ingredients one would expect to find in a staple NWOBHM album from the late 70’s/early 80’s. There’s twin harmonies, sweeping solos, traditional songoing bordering on falsetto/”screaming” and the vibe and feel/Tobe is spot on this just tosses the listener back to good Ole days when the roots of speed metal sprouted ala Iron Maiden (naturally), Blitzkrieg, Satan and the lesser known (but equally as important) White Spirit. If I would have heard this at any time last year this would’ve featured predominantly on my best of year end list. Highly recommended for those who, like myself, enjoy more than the occasional foray into classic metal.
Spirit Adrift – Curse of Conception
Release – October/6/2017
20 Buck Spin
Artwork – 7.5
Deep. Thought provoking. I think it’s best I just dive into the audio before I offend someone’s sensabilities, in using the word religion, especially in this day and age.
First Track – 8.5
Accoustic majesty draws the listener in ala early Metalica however, it’s the melody and melancholy that roots them to the spot. An amazing opener!
Initial Listen – 9
Jaw dropping metal pure and simple! Melodic and classical yet bursting with atmosphere and emotion and (it goes without mentioning) huge riffage found in a multitude of arenas. Heavy metal, hard rock, doom and even in instances speed/thrash this release about covers all the bases though shies away from the darker realms associated with blast beats, growling, crimson and carnage (what a name for a website!) The vocal style is clean bordering on traditional, fits the percussion nicely and might make one think of stand out doom acts such as Candlemass and Solitude Aerurnus as well newer acts like Khemmis and Pallbearer.
Overall an act to watch and an album deserved of adding to the collection regardless of where it nestles. Recommended for those ‘lighter’ evenings when brutility just doesn’t fit the mood and choice if beverage.
In Vain – IV
Release – September/29/2017
Artwork – 6
A tad generic but it really gives away the theme of the music, power/epic metal based around swords n sorcery, valor and bravery or so one might think.
First Track – 7.5
Thunderous lightning- quick speed/epic metal with prominent drum salvos, driving riffs and pallettable vocals heavier than one might think based on the genre. I’m not normally a fan of this genre but this is utterly listenable.
Initial Listen – 7
Great production bolsters whirlwind paced audio with energetic vocals that could set any arena ablaze and have many a fan pumping their fist in appreciation. 
A tad too “singy” for my tastes but for those who frequent epic/speed metal waters I could image this being something that could well incite palpatations and grins aplenty. I could listen to this again and I’m not one who usually enjoys much the genre has to offer.
W.E.B. – Tartarus
Release – November/1/2017
Apathia Records
Artwork – 8
Stunning, intricate artwork with leanings toward secret society and the occult imagery. Hints at music of a Gothic nature but only a spin will truly tell the tale.
First Track – 8
An exquisite atmospheric introduction leads into a track reeking of influence coming from the black and classical symphonic arenas namely those carved by Cradle of Filth, Behemoth, Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh. A fantastic leap out of the starting blocks.
Initial Listen – 8.5
A stunning mixture of darkness coupled with passages of brutality and beauty weaved around poetry and moments of classical audio one might not expect.
A fantastic introduction to an act who have successfully managed to weld the best of styles from several acts at the top of their form and combined the mixture into a stunning audio concoction which should, if there’s any justice, appeal to a huge audience – Bravo.
There you have it, another epic haul and a diatribe of internal monologue kindergarten grammar level bollocks to go along with it.
You might have detected a slight Greek and Canadian theme in this mixed bag of an installment (hell I even found one from the land of ‘Meet the Feebles’, ‘Bad Taste’ and ‘Brain Dead’ fame). Admittedly it wasn’t my intention, the ‘myriad of genre releases’ bit was, but it worked and I went along for the ride.
Until we meet again.
Your slave to audio deserved of discovery no matter it’s origins, genre, level of brutality or intent

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