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Review: Nightland – Obsession

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Review by Adriana.

Nightland is a four piece symphonic death metal band from Pesaro, Italy. The album of discussion is Obsession which was released February of 2015 and is Nightland’s second full­ length. It is 44 minutes long and has 10 songs. Their music can be found on Spotify, Bandcamp, and iTunes.

Obsession opens with an orchestral piece that is very atmospheric. It has a crescendo into an intense suspenseful piece that gives off a horror-esque surrounding. The decrescendo slowly recedes until the two cymbal hits, and quick drum fills set the stage for the rest of the song to kick in. A guitar riff acts as a bridge for the speedy playing that entails from the rest of the band along with orchestral strings/horns playing in harmony. This is similar to Fleshgod Apocalypse, except the symphonic part done better. The soft strings and horns in the background do not overpower any instruments or vocals yet don’t hide behind the band. The song is so beautiful and relaxing, but still heavy. As far as the heaviness of the song, it has traditional elements of death metal plus the orchestra playing to accent the music.
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Review: Cranely Gardens – Locust Valley

Cranely Gardens

Hailing from South Jersey, New Jersey, the relatively unknown deathcore band, Cranely Gardens has released their debut EP Locust Valley. In an over-saturated genre, Cranely Gardens stands out from the rest. With technical metalcore/deathcore riffs, heavy hitting drums, a booming bass, and a fantastic vocalist, the Cranely Gardens quintet is likely to appeal to fans of everything from Chelsea Grin to The Black Dahlia Murder to  Miss May I to Erra. Check them out, Locust Valley is sure to keep your attention fixated, your interested piqued, and your heart racing.

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Review: The Artificials – The Artificials

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Review by Adriana.

The Artificials is a progressive metal project by Sarah Rigdon, Aaron Surratt, and Alan Rigdon (formerly in Erra). The Artificials EP was released in January of 2015 and is currently available on Bandcamp. “Preface” opens the EP with a very calm guitar intro that leads into a very mellow sounding song. It is played at a slow pace with soothing high notes played behind the vocals, making it almost atmospheric. The last minute of the song has more harsh/shouted vocals and cymbal strikes, but it still retains the relaxed feel behind the harshness. It was a well­ suited opener for the music to follow it. The second song is called “Lone” and has a more progressive metal sound than the opener. Vocals by Sarah Rigdon offer versatility to the technical and somewhat aggressive guitar and drum playing. Having the warmer vocals makes the song more ethereal and complete; it is a nice touch.

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Review: 2X4 – MCMLII

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Review by Adriana.

The album of interest this week is 2X4’s newest release MCMLII. 2X4 is a four ­piece metalcore act from Oklahoma.

Every instrument and vocals were presented with clarity, leaving nothing out. Production done as well as this makes everything sound more full and complete. The first three songs flowed into each other very well without an awkward pause or transition. The first song, “Volition”, starts with a heavy, headbanging riff. It is a very catchy yet heavy song with groove and melodic influences. Gritty vocals and appropriate relaxed drum fills is the skin on the meat of the song. previous song and follows into the heavy groove vibe from “Volition.” The songs “Rot” and “Destroy (A Mother’s Beauty)” are a bit heavier. “Rot” features more intense drumming, a guitar solo, and more lower­end chugs from guitars and the bass. “Destroy (A Mother’s Beauty)” also has a guitar solo and intense drums, but even more so than “Rot.” This song definitely displays

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