Check out Akeldama’s music and updates through:
Debut album Everything Beautiful coming soon!!
Name: Wenn Kronen Zerschmettert Sind
1) Wenn Kronen Zerschmettert Sind
John Yelland – Vocals
Tony C – Guitars/Bass
Michael Goodrich – Mixing/Mastering
Chad Anderson – Drum Programming
“Wenn Kronen Zerschmettert Sind” is the German lyric version of “When Crowns are Shattered” from ‘Sleepy Plessow’
Bonus album review: Wirethrone’s upcoming debut release The Sun Betrays Us to the Night
The as-yet-to-be-released debut album by Lakeland, Florida’s melodic death metal outfit Wirethrone, The Sun Betrays Us to the Night, is a surprisingly strong and well-produced beginning for an up-and-coming band. Two main things stick out in my mind that I can attribute this to are: having the best influences a band of their style could possibly have and incorporating them tastefully and in an original way, and half a decade of experience in composing, performing, and recording metal. Recorded with three guitarists (Trey Hawkins, James Harper and also now ex-member Tim Darby) all with their own distinct parts, the music is not only densely layered but misses no opportunity in weaving intricacies in the songs. The nine songs in the album demonstrate Wirethrone’s capacity of speed to maintain momentum, throw down the heaviness without sacrificing harmony, and make the technicality sound as fun as it can be but is uncommonly attained among local bands.
The album artwork to The Sun Betrays Us to the Night is a gorgeous rendition. Hawkins mentions that lyrically, the album is “introverted” and is a self-reflective journey. Observe the humanoid figure placed in the center of a vast world, possibly of the mind constructing the surroundings based on the transpiring emotions, or at least the way I see it. This shouts “introverted” in a way that these kinds of feelings are a solitary experience. For me, it strikes very well – I can definitely tell what this is trying to convey. Now for the logo: if you think that it was possibly tailor-made to match the album cover then that might be a good guess. Here is original logo of the band upon its inception:
Cool enough. Intricate and meritorious. But reportedly, the issue was that it was harder for newcomers to understand what band this represented, so a new logo was in order. And really, the new logo looks great on its own; it’s nice and sharp, bombastic but sleek, and you can make out “Wirethrone”! And again, it fits perfectly in the artwork so everything seems to work out there.
The opening song is “City of Angels” which starts off with an atmospheric piano interlude. Don’t think that once all the musicians start playing the atmosphere cuts out, because it doesn’t. A faster-than-moderate song, the use of three guitars allows them to insert melodies and harmonies on top of driving rhythm. Also, the rhythms have just enough melodic character to them most of the time so that aspect never gets dull. For extra flavor, there is some skilled lead guitar work and the solos stand out against the heavy collection of sounds and shine like the finest moments of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. The song caps off on the piano part heard at the beginning. This song is a great one to start off the album with and give the band a taste of the sound. All the attributes I’ve mentioned are consistently revisited throughout the rest of the album so as a representation of the band’s sound “City of Angels” is indispensable.
The next song is “Where Solace Sleeps”. If you’re listening to the whole album in one sitting and you come from the opening track, you’ll notice that the atmospheric element, from the verses with crushing guitars to the chorus segments with fast drums, are still a consistent attribute of the band’s sound. This achieved not through the use of any extraneous effects, but rather the simple ambience and resonance of what the band normally does: catchy leads on the chorus parts with lead vocalist Josh Delgado’s bloodcurdling growls, fast but often complex drums, harmony higher-end guitars balancing out low, heavy guitars, and guitarist Hawkins’ clean vocals. It’s a particularly somber song in tone, but it only foreshadows how melancholy the album can sometimes get.
“Into the Storm” is a song that has lineage to Sanctum’s later days (I would know because I performed an early version of the song with the guys in one of my last shows with the band) and I’m fond of the direction it’s evolved into. It’s moderate in tempo but with drum patterns of various types so while it is a more ballad-esque composition, there are parts like the verses that feel upbeat and fast, the open interlude with no drums, and the rest where it is just taken easy keeping a good steady beat. Next comes “In Ruined Grace” which makes gorgeous use of the clean guitar sound towards the beginning to work in tandem with the heavy rhythms. In a similar fashion, the chorus synchronizes Delgado’s growls and Hawkins clean voice making the song among the catchiest on the album. I expect this song in particular to be a fan favorite.
Let’s talk about two songs: “A Fallen December” and “Shadow of My Shame”. One doesn’t follow right after the other but I’d like to address a small detail that the two songs have in common. “A Fallen December” is one of the most emotionally charged of the album and truly breathes with melody. By this point the listener may notice that there isn’t a bad song yet on the album and the experience has been enjoyable on many levels. “Shadow of My Shame” stylistically pays tribute the influences of Amon Amarth with the characteristic marching “viking metal” rhythm. But let’s get to the detail that I’ve noticed in my many times listening to this. The band’s use of soft clean interludes may be the one detail that I find myself nitpicking. Going back to “Where Solace Sleeps”, there was a clean interlude in that song that worked very well and made a smooth transition to the end of the song. The clean segments on each of these two songs, occurring in just about the same place, are not terribly different. I’m not sure whether this was intentional (considering that the album follows a concept) but the approach was similar enough for me to raise an eyebrow. However, the good news about this detail is that this does not negatively affect the song by any means, nor are the clean segments in these song bad at all. Trey Hawkins, whose vocal style will be appreciated by fans of either of the vocalists Scar Symmetry have had or the clean moments of Dark Tranquillity’s Mikael Stanne, really makes “A Fallen December” stand out. Also, for a song with primarily Amon Amarth-esque drive, the clean section somehow works back into that main rhythm.
In between these songs is one of two on the album with a progressive and a primarily technical influence: “Plague of Tongues”. The opening riff is juicy and demonstrates that Wirethrone’s brand of melodic death can venture into interesting time signature arrangements and keep the attention of those that come for the melody. One might say that this is the song designed for some quality moshing during live shows. As the video footage from the interview shows, vocalist Josh Delgado may join you in the fun!
After “Shadow of My Shame” is another progressive song, which is so much a progressive metal song that I myself am very delighted. Not kidding, this is the song that I was downright astounded by because of the main riff on the lead guitars, the grand scale of the song itself, the intro to the song and how the song comes to a close. To top it off, the solos on this song are so high-spirited like this song was a playground for the guitarists to just go all out with their instruments. All these aspects make this possibly my favorite track on the album, and this could have easily been a fine way to close the album, but now I will talk about the closing song “The Architect.”
“The Architect” was the single released by the band on YouTube to give the fans a taste of what’s to come. As I type this, the video has 5797 views. Aside from “City of Angels”, this is another song by the band that serves as an amalgam of what the band represents and is just as catchy. This is the song where both vocalists shine, and YouTube commenters keep making spot-on comments that the song reminds them of Solution .45 especially concerning Hawkins’ vocals. Although I’m not sure whether it was a conscious decision, having the song placed here and making it the lead single actually makes sense. It’s like when a band saves their current single until the very last in one of their shows as a crowd pleaser. This makes it a great way to end the album.
This is one hell of a debut album. Most up-and-coming melodic death metal bands today can only hope to compose songs like this and keep an entire album interesting. To Wirethrone’s credit, their experience, perseverance and doing justice to good influences really helped. I think audiences will be very pleased with this release and will not forget it. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t make some top list of melodic death metal or something in the near future. There isn’t a single song I choose to skip on this one and all the songs are worth listening again, but my pick for best song on the album may be “Sun Betrays.” For a prog-head like me, that is the song that gets the adrenaline rushing. There’s something about that one that can only be pinpointed if actually listening to the song.
I risk being thought of as having positive bias towards my former bandmates when I give my rating of the album, but be assured that not only I cannot find much wrong with this album, but everything sound REALLY good. Even the part I nitpicked isn’t enough to make a major dent in it.
My rating of this album is 9.3 out of 10. The album is set to be released after it has been remastered by Lee McKinney of Born of Osiris, so you know it’s going to sound top-notch then. Definitely watch out for this debut by Wirethrone and catch them live in your area!
Check out Wirethrone’s music through:
Two more reviews from DeLand Festival coming soon!
Power Metal outfit Judicator has released the following details about their upcoming sophomore album “Sleepy Plessow”. The album will be released 6/4/2013 for free digital download via Masters of Metal Productions with a $10 physical release soon to follow. The album is the follow up to their debut 2012 album “King of Rome” and the band notes that this release is much more a power metal record with a great focus on melodic passages, acoustic guitars and piano sections, and folk driven melodies akin to their 2012 single “Heroes and Villains”. The album will feature numerous guest vocal appearances, including the return of Ex-Seven Kingdoms/Vermiform vocalist Bryan Edwards. Lead vocalist and lyricist John Yelland had the following to say about the album’s lyrical content, “The album covers Friedrich I and Prussia’s humble beginnings, and soon kicks into the story of Friedrich der Grosse (Frederick the Great). His abusive yet heroic father, Friedrich’s rise to power and coming to terms with his past, climaxing in the Battle of Leuthen & the Seven Years War, and the tragedy at Kunersdorf. Coming to to a close with the summary of his legacy, a true leader and role model to the people, one of the most cherished of Prussian leaders…mm…so tasty.”
1) Sleepy Plessow
2) The Elector
3) Thirty Years of Terror
4) Memory of Shame
5) Release Me
8) The Philosopher King
9) Blut vom Himmel
10) Sea of Fire
11) When Crowns are Shattered
12) Sans Souci