Review: MenSheng - Twisted Sight

MenSheng - Twisted SightAfter playing around the Hong Kong independent live circuit for over three years, hardworking metalcore band MenSheng decided to take on their first recorded effort last year.  The release titled Twisted Sight effectively conveys and captures the intensity and passion of this celebrated live act.  Exceeding the common expectations of locally released metal albums, MenSheng’s music is not the least lacking or underwhelming even compared to offerings by similar Western contemporaries such as Underoath or The Devil Wears Prada.  In a way, Twisted Sight can be seen as a milestone on the evolution of HK heavy metal music since local hard rock legends such as Beyond and Anodize first hit the scene.

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Review: Fuck the Facts - Unnamed EP

fuckthefactsEPPerpetually active Canadian grinders Fuck the Facts Unnamed EP sees the band at its noise drenched, uncompromising, and catchy best, with six furious tracks that exemplify its broad range of influences and seemingly inexhaustible creativity.

The opening song, which has no title, brings art grind feedback behind the guttural screams of vocalist Mel Mongeon, who is as fierce as any front man or woman in the game. Its math metal mixed with grind and pure conviction, and is about as catchy as grindcore can get.

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Review: Mockingbird - S/T EP

mockingbirdWith a name as innocuous as Mockingbird, you just know this band is setting you up to catch you off guard with some teeth shattering, creeping, crawling heaviness, and that is precisely what they do. Their self-titled EP kicks off with “Puma Punca”, with doom riffs so heavy they sound like they were constructed from god particles and shouted vocals that would make Scott Kelly curl up into the fetal position. Stoner doom worship oozes through the speakers with a mantra-like vocal delivery. This is proof positive that heavy doesn’t have to be technical, and takes the Sabbath school of riff riding to scary new locales of unseen subterranean terror. Or you could just say it’s High on Fire slowed down a few RPMs.

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Review: Eskhata - One with the Earth

One with the EarthYoung Serbian folk metal band Eskhata’s debut EP, One with the Earth, brings the spirit of the Balkans to the great frozen north as this promising quartet showcases a fine knack for combining battle ready riffs with melodic death and power metal leanings. The EP kicks off with the upbeat track “The Falcon Spirit”—pure Ensiferum worship with growled black metal vocals, back end keyboard support sweeps, and some Amon Amarth thrown in for good measure. It’s a spirited track to get the crowd jumping.

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