Thursday, 12 July 2012

assassins Creed Revelations Review

Assassins Creed is a series which has been going on since 2007, and with the now yearly release of the series, one has to wonder if the people at Ubisoft are looking at making this is alternative for video game fans who don’t want to partake in the yearly Call of Duty fest that happens every November. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Each new instalment since Assassins Creed 2 has focused on Ezio Auditore, a young nobleman from Italy. Whilst this is going on, in the background you have the continued story of Desmond Miles as well. This may become confusing for most video games developers, but Ubisoft have handled the two sections really well, keeping the 2 sections separated, but also interlinked via certain in game objects. Unfortunately this has all gone out of the window in Revelations, where the Desmond sections are entirely optional, where you have to collect a certain number of animus fragments to actually unlock his missions, and when you do get to these missions, there a mix of Portal and Tron, absolutely nothing like the original sections from Assassins Creed up to Brotherhood.  It also throws you into first person camera, which throws the player off-balance as well, and makes jumping and platforming more awkward. If they were going to go first person, one would at least hope for some Mirrors Edge style parkour free-roaming, but no, it’s all linear. This is so disappointing as the story for Desmond was left at such as cliff-hanger at the end of Brotherhood, to be given this feels slightly insulting. It all feels like it’s just an add-on thrown in at the last minute with minimal thought involved.

The Den Defence missions as well, seem to be a clunky add-on rather than a well-thought out mini-game. Now these missions, apart from the first one, are optional, you just have to keep your notoriety metre down, which I managed to do throughout the entire game, so only had to play through the defence once, which was more than enough. You position assassins on the roof of buildings and shoot down attacking Templars, which on paper seems rather fun. But in person, the camera moves badly, and you just feel like you want to whip your sword out and start jumping down to face them one on one, but you can’t actually move.

Now these are just minor complaints against a massive backdrop of awesome, with the main point in question is that you get to play as both Altair and Ezio. Both have fairly different playing styles as Ezio has all the technology available to him during the 15th century, whereas Altair is limited to what he had in the first game. Whilst these are amazingly fun to play, they unfortunately are few and far between. However the pure joy you get at playing as Altair again does make the wait worth it.

Another improvement is that you get bombs in this version, as well as a different type of hidden blade. These add extra dynamics to the game, with the hook-blade allowing you to travel on zip-wires throughout the city, which is an exceedingly fun way to get around the massive city of Constantinople.

It isn’t a vastly different game from its predecessors, but it does conclude the Ezio trilogy quite nicely, especially if you got the collector’s edition which came with Assassins Creed: Embers, which is a 20 minute short film on the conclusion of Ezio’s life.

This is a game that is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of the series, but if you are new I would recommend starting at the first, and then working your way along as the story is so intriguing you will want to know what is happening.

Overall I give this game a 8.5/10

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Transcendency- Weight of the World Review

Transcendency are a local up and coming band from Guildford and have just released their debut EP. Having built a fairly big following around the local area the band are looking to break out with the release of this EP. With the quality of this E, they may very well be able to do it.

Featuring local promoter Graham on lead vocals (Check out his promotions company here), this is a band who knows the local scene like the back of their collective hands and know what their target audience is looking for. They hit that nail smack bang on the head with a collection of heavy riffs and the standard collection of screamed and clean vocals. Whilst this may sound standard in many of today’s metal bands, this is a band who manages to breathe a breath of fresh air into the music to make it move and come alive.

My only complaint really is that some of the vocals need a little bit worked on as some areas where the vocals hit seem a little off to me, which may be done intentionally or unintentionally. This is most apparent on Perseverance. Whilst this is only a small complaint, it does tend to become grating after a while. However on every other track it is done to near perfection.

Overall I am very impressed with this debut EP and as they have released it for FREE, it is definitely worth checking out.


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

As My World Burns - Mistakes art Gallery Review

Metal bands from Spain are a rare breed, there are very few I can think off to name, now whether this is due to an enclosed musical climate, or them never breaking out of the local scene. Hopefully As My World Burns is one of the few to break out of their native country and break into the UK Scene.

Featuring both screamed and melodic vocals, As My World Burns features extracts from the metalcore scene as well as fusing it with the progressive genre to create a sonic implosion of sound that keeps the listener guessing. Throwing some djent style riffs down as well, this is a band that is always keeping the listener on their toes.

Featuring songs with names such as “Dali Carried A Melting Clock in His Pocket” and “Water Bears and Jellyfish” you can tell that this band is suitably insane which definitely fits in with their musical style.  They flow from brutal metal to extremely minimalist passages featuring barely any guitar and vocals only.

My one complaint is that the mix needs to be better to get the vocals higher, and that the clean vocals need to be worked on a little bit more, in some tracks they are great, whereas in some others it starts to become a little bit grating over long listening. 

Overall this this is a damn good attempt for an EP and is definitely the building blocks of something bigger. I definitely hope to see more of this band in the future.


Monday, 14 May 2012

7 Horns 7 Eyes- Throes of Absolution Review

Having featured a review of their EP Convalescence a few months ago (Found here) Metal Junkie were already big fans of 7 Horns 7 Eyes and we were expecting a lot from this debut album. Thankfully they didn’t let us down and released an absolute knockout of an album.

We previously stated on our review of their EP “If you throw Prog, Death Metal and a little bit of Black Metal all into a pot and stir, what you are left with is 7 Horns 7 Eyes” and Throes of Absolution really brings this into a reality. Mixing all the above into one brutal and terrifying monster and really bringing all the influences to the fore whilst simultaneously forging their own unforgettable sound.

Featuring two songs from the previously mentioned EP, “The Winnowing and Vindicator” throes of absolution features 7 new tracks for listeners to get their head around. Final track regeneration is an opus to the progressiveness of Opeth, whereas “Delusions” goes into the death metal and black metal territories. This is an album that is full off little surprises”

There is not a single bad thing I can say about this album, it is definitely one of the best new albums I have heard, and is a finely formed debut album that goes beyond their years.

I heartily recommend this album to anyone who loves metal as a whole.


KARYBDIS announce details for debut album - From The Depths

"The sound of metal’s past, present and future colliding in a shower of sparks, this band are constructing their own immortal mythology before our eyes and ears. Prepare yourselves: a new legend is rising from the depths!” - Dom Lawson, Metal Hammer

"An international maelstrom of metal coming at you from all four corners of the globe like a tag team fisting!" - Russ Russell, Producer

Rising from the UK metal underground scene, London based KARYBDIS are set to release their debut album 'From The Depths' on July 2nd 2012. Showcasing breathtaking flair and finesse, this is forward-thinking heavy music that marries the savage riffing and percussive precision of death metal, groove metal and brutal hardcore to the epic sweep of ancient Greek myths and legends. A potent new hybrid driven by passion, power and the tireless pursuit of progress, 'From The Depths' is as fresh and invigorating as any metal album in recent memory.

"We all have such different influences that we can’t be pinned down to a specific genre,” explains drummer Mitch McGugan. “The combination of all our ideas makes us unique. When we write we do it together and write what we want to hear. We never try to cater to a specific audience.”

Exemplified by a genre-blending versatility and a devastating degree of sonic depth and muscle, songs like imperious album opener 'Minotaur' and the monumental 'Demonstration' exhibit an otherworldly quality that belies KARYBDIS’ burgeoning reputation as new metalcore figureheads. Completed by guitarists Pierre Dujardin and Harsha Dusari, bassist Jay Gladwin and recently-recruited frontman Rich O’Donnell, this international wrecking crew have evolved at a breathless pace since forming in 2008 and have struck upon a fizzing, ferocious inter-band chemistry that has led to a debut album that bulges with jaw-dropping dynamics and moments of exhilarating intensity. Named after a mythical sea creature that appears in Homer’s Odyssey, KARYBDIS are as ageless and epic as the ancient tales they tell on 'From The Depths'.

“Karybdis created huge whirlpools from the depths of the ocean in order to engulf any passing sailors,” explains McGugan. “We want to exert that kind of power too. We wanted a link between the name of the band and album title, something that also represented the beginning of something new for us. The lyrics range from being about dreams and mythological creatures to notions of love, lust and grief. Rich is quite a recent addition to the band, but he really pulled out all the stops on this album, and surprised us all a few times during the recording process!”

The final piece of this compelling jigsaw slotted into place when KARYBDIS joined forces with legendary producer and sound wizard RUSS RUSSELL, recording 'From the Depths' with the great man at Parlour Studios in Northamptonshire. Famed for his work with Napalm Death, Evile, Dimmu Borgir and many more, Russell has brought the band’s music to life like never before.

“Russ was fantastic to work with,” states McGugan. “He was patient and helpful with things we found difficult and a real taskmaster when he felt we weren't doing the best we could! We had a huge amount to cram into the time we had and he worked incredibly hard to bring our dream to fruition: an album that sounds exactly as we wanted it to.”

Leading UK metal into inspiring and uncharted territory, pushing boundaries and pursuing a brave and noble path into the unknown, KARYBDIS will unleash 'From the Depths' on JULY 2nd, before embarking on their own epic quest to spread the dark magic of their music to the four corners of the globe. The sound of metal’s past, present and future colliding in a shower of sparks, this band are constructing their own immortal mythology before our eyes and ears.

‘From the Depths’ track-listing:

1) Minotaur
2) From the Depths
3) Without Wings
4) Arson Aesthetics
5) Worth It
6) I Say
7) Medusa
8) Maelstrom
9) The Hourglass
10) Deathtoll

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Deprevate- Deprevate Review

South London based Deprevate go against the status quo of the fact that Metal does not necessarily have to go hand in hand with screamed undecipherable vocals. Featuring heavy riffs and breakdowns galore, it is also accompanied with soaring vocals that fly over the tracks and really hit home.

Melodic Metal is a genre that really divides public opinion and it is a genre that normally needs quite a lot of power to break through the hordes of wannabe acts that are out there at the moment. Deprevate is one of these acts that are gaining the momentum to break through, helped by none other than Matt Hyde who has worked with metal titans such as Trivium and Machine Head. This in itself is a glowing praise of recommendation, and the production really stands for it, everything on the mix is really clear cut and mixed perfectly.

The songwriting is what stands the band apart from all the other clones out there. Big catchy songs with lots of riffs. Just what the doctor ordered for the metal scene

This is a genre that does grow stale very quickly however and Deprevate will need to evolve in order to stay fresh but at the moment they are creating a lot of ground movement and are definitely a band to keep an eye out for in the future.


GORTAL reveals details of new album !!!

Polish death metallers GORTAL will enter the studio on 16th June 2012 to begin recording their second album entitled Deamonolith for a autumn of 2012 release by Pagan Records. The new CD has to consist of completely 9 new death metal anthems. All tracks will be laid down at Studio Progresja with Paweł Janos Grabowski at the helm.

GORTAL invited Michael, the bassist of polish legend PANDEMONIUM to record all bass guitar tracks. The cover artwork will be created again by Michał  Xaay Loranc, who has previously worked with bands such as Nile, Behemoth, Armagedon, Trauma and many more.

Line up:
Chryste - guitars, vox (Pyorrhoea)
Major - guitars (Conquest Icon)
Desecrate - drums (ex-Lost Soul, ex-Pyorrhoea)
Michael - session bass (Pandemonium)

More info: