Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Metal Blade Records Artists RAM, Cannibal Corpse And Batushka

Metal Blade Records rolled out some new releases from established heavy metal bands RAM, Cannibal Corpse and Batushka. Then, on Black Friday, we get the sequel to 2006's "Dimevision, Vol. 1" with a more in-depth look at the life of guitarist Dimebag Darrell with "Dimevision, Vol. 2: Roll With It or Get Rolled Over." First up, is the new album from RAM titled "Rod." It is the band's 5th full-length studio album since their conception in 1999 and features the six-part story of "Ramrod the Destroyer." They begin with the seven-plus minute prog-metal piece "Declaration Of Independence" as RAM deliver a nostalgic heavy metal sound to open their new album. They pick the tempo up for the quick pace of "On The Wings Of No Return" and "A Throne At Midnight," before reaching the "side 2" concept story. The epic piece "Ignitor" gets the energy flowing, while "The Cease To Be" and "Ashes" are more concerned with the idea of the concept story than keeping up the heavy metal attack. To find out more about RAM and their latest release "Rod," please visit ram-metal.com.

Death metal icons Cannibal Corpse returned on November 3rd with a brand new studio album titled "Red Before Black." It features a dozen hardcore death metal anthems. Even 30 years into their career, this band shows no signs of slowing down. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewcz mentioned in an interview that the band spent more time "crafting these songs and getting them where we wanted to be more so than on any of our previous albums." Cannibal Corpse come blasting out of the gate with the intense destruction of "Only One Will Die" as you will instantly be drawn in to this new album. It seems like they try to speed things up even more on "Red Before Black," before they get more melodic in the delivery of "Shedding My Human Skin" as the chugging guitar riffs motor through the song. As they continue to bash away on "Remaimed," Cannibal Corpse increase the tempo of "Corpus Delicti" and "Destroyed Without A Trace," before closing their new album with the outstanding musicianship of "Hideous Ichor." To find out more about Cannibal Corpse and their latest release "Red Before Black," please visit cannibalcorpse.net.

Next we get the eight-piece concept album "Litourgiya" from the Polish metal band Batushka. While the identities of the band members remains unknown, their music features a combination of hardcore death metal music and Gregorian chants as displayed in the opening track "Yekteniya I - Ochishcheniye." The album continues with the intense, chaotic blast of "Yekteniva II - Blagosloveniye" and the screaming vocals of the epic, 6-minute heavy metal attack of "Yekteniva V - Svyatyy Vkhod." Batushka wrap up their new album with the grand heavy metal appeal of "Yekteniva VI - Upovanie" and slow, doom metal feel of "Yekteniva VIII - Spasenie." To find out more about Batushka and their latest release "Litourgiya," please visit batushkaofficial.com.

Finally we arrive at the November 24th release of "Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over." It continues to tell the story of the life and times of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was taken from us way too soon. Everywhere Dimebag went, his video camera followed and captured the footage that would give us insight into his everyday life. There is rumored to be over 40 hours of footage still available to make more volumes of "Dimevision." To find out more, please visit metalblade.com/dimevision.

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