January 2017 “Albums Reviews” – MHF
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January 2017 “Albums Reviews”

by Nabil Hossam

Elemento

Elemento is a progressive metal/djent metal band from Italy. It’s a trio project formed in 2009. Many people don’t consider “djent” as a genre as it’s a sub-genre of progressive metal (which is a sub-genre itself), but it’s a way to identify that kind of music. So let’s talk about the band:

After “It’s Elemental”, their debut, that was released on 2015 they come up with another release on 2016. The album is called “IO” and it contains 15 tracks.
The whole album is instrumental and it’s full of high-gain, distorted yet catchy riffs and guitar sounds that sometimes blends into ambient and soothing sounds (for short durations). The whole album is consistent and rich instrumentally. Although it contains 15 instrumental song it doesn’t bore you at all especially for the fans of this genre of music, if you listen to it from the beginning you will find yourself at the middle of it without noticing. All the tracks have the same style except track no. 15 “Time – Spirit of Fire” that had a slower tempo than the rest as it’s the outro of the album.

Something to be noticed about this album is that the whole tracks’ titles are consisted of 2 parts, most probably they reflect the atmosphere or the conditions they felt while making each song. The album cover is also simple yet creative and gets your attention.
Highlights: “Fear – Consuming the Light”, “Wrong – Paranoia” & “Truth – Upside Now” my personal three favorite tracks from the album. The album is really strong and I recommend it to any progressive metal/djet fans. Definitely one of the top 20 progressive metal albums of the year 2016.

I give it an overall rating of 8/10.

Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue

Hail Spirit Noir is a progressive black metal band from Greece, known for their psychedelic influences which I consider one of their strengths. So far they have released 3 albums, their debut on 2012 which was called “Pneuma”, their 2nd release “Oi Magoi” on 2014 and their last release on 2016 which is “Mayhem in Blue”.
The first two releases were so strong that helped the band to get many fans although they showed up in the battlefield not so long time ago. I knew them on 2014 and their “Oi Magoi” album is what got me into them. If you enjoy this album I recommend that you check out their previous releases too.

So, let’s talk about “Mayhem in Blue”:

The album consists of 6 tracks; except tracks number 1 and 3 the tracks are 6+ minutes long, which is what you should always expect from Hail Spirit Noir, long and well-sorted tracks. The album has got a powerful start, which is “I Mean You Harm” track. A fast tempo track with beautiful riffs, not to forget the beautiful psychedelic influences that you should expect from Hail Spirit Noir. Ended by some good fast drums.

Track number two is “Mayhem in Blue” which is the same as the album’s title. It started slowly with a soothing intro. The bass plays are noticed in this track and are really good. The track in general has a different style than what we used to hear from Hail Spirit Noir, but it’s pretty good. Personally I didn’t expect myself to enjoy it as it took me two listens to get into it.
The third track is “Riders to Utopia”. It had a different yet catchy intro. That part kept repeating itself all over the song. They added their vocals and some melodic parts made it a great track. The fourth track has a similar intro for like 2 minutes, then they start with drums and the clean vocals that blend into faster drums and black metal vocals. It’s the longest track of the album and it is 10:52 minutes long.

Track number 5 is called “The Cannibal Tribe Came from the Sea”. The song had a slow start and it continued for like half of it. Then the drums get faster and the psychedelic influences show up that are followed up with some great melodies. One of the strengths of this album there is no doubt.
The 6th and the last track of the album is called “How to Fly in Blackness”, and it’s a great end to this masterpiece. It’s more melodic than any other track, more melancholic and very soothing, especially the last minute of it that was mixture of ambient sounds and acoustic guitar plays with clean vocals at the end. Such a great end to this album.
Actually it’s one of the top 20 albums of the year 2016 for me, and if you are a progressive black metal fan or if you heard of Hail Spirit Noir before then you must give this album a listen.

I give it an overall rating of 9/10.

Highlights: “I Mean You Harm” and “The Cannibal Tribe Came From The Sea”. The strongest tracks among the 6 tracks. You can find anything you enjoy as a progressive black metal fan in these 2 tracks. After this successful release I can actually say: Hail Spirit Noir never disappoints.

Nabil Hossam / MHF

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