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Mar 15, 2012
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Kowai – “Prelude” DEMO (2009)

Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

Introducing from the Netherlands, Kowai. The beautiful country of Holland has produced many great metal bands over the years, particularly of the femme metal variety. Just a few examples: Within Temptation, The Gathering, Epica and After Forever have all gone on to varying degrees of success. Now, another very talented band is ready to emerge from Holland. Kowai has just issued their debut demo “Prelude”. The CD features only 5-songs and 19-minutes worth of good, atmospheric Gothic Metal. Kowai are fronted by the clean vocals of 21 year old Laura and Guitarist Bertran is also on hand to provide male vocals at certain points throughout the CD. Some nice piano opens the CD on “Eternal Night”, before the guitars come crashing in as “Prelude” begins with a nice mid-tempo guitar based opening number. Lead vocalist Laura sings most of the song, but soon she is joined by some male, brutal vocals and Laura provides some harmony vocals as well. There are also some clean male vocals present on this track. This is a high-quality opening track that also showcases some stellar lead guitar work. The next track “Devotion” has an eerie vibe to it, thanks to the keyboards on the track that give the song a horror movie feel to it. Once again, Laura’s vocals are joined by the extreme male of vocals. I believe these vocals are handled by Guitarist Bertran. Kowai slows the pace down a bit with the third track, “Pride”. As the guitars come in, the general pace of “Pride” remains in the mid-range. This is probably my favorite song here. The final track is the 6 ½ minute, mini-epic “Hideaway” which starts hard and fast before changing tempos throughout the song. The main riff for this song is actually quite infectious and serves as a catalyst to make this an excellent closing number. “Prelude” is a good debut from Kowai. The Netherlands has an ever-growing rich metal heritage, and Kowai are poised to add to that legacy.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Eternal Night
  2. Devotion
  3. Pride
  4. Hideaway

 

Line Up

  • Laura van Ness – Vocals
  • Arjen Bosma – Guitar
  • Bertran Zwijnenburg – Guitar, Vocals
  • Daphne Alberda – Synth
  • Rik Beerthuizen – Bass
  • Joost Loobes – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * Facebook * Twitter * Site

Feb 27, 2012
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Without Mercy – “Without Mercy” (2009)

Independent Release

Review By Tony Cannella

From Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada comes Without Mercy, a female fronted 4-piece band that specializes in death metal. On their self-titled debut, Without Mercy unleashes an unrelenting feast for aggressive metal fanatics everywhere. “Without Mercy” only features 8-tracks, but they are loaded with aggression, energy and raw appeal. Also the songs on the CD have a live feel and energy to them. Impressive too are the brutal vocals of front woman Alxs Ness. There is simply no slowing down or letting up for this band on their debut. “Succumb” is just a pure juggernaut of a track. Other highlights include: “Death Remains”, “Through the Haze” and “All Else Fails”. Amidst the pure mayhem, however there are flashes of some virtuoso playing, the Guitar solo in “CMDUC” comes to mind. Actually, the guitar playing of DJ Temple was really a huge highlight for me. The debut from Without Mercy is just a good thrash/death Metal release that is worthy edition to one of the most underappreciated and resilient genres in all of metal. It is good to hear more and more young bands re-discovering this field of metal and Without Mercy are one of the better ones I’ve heard in quite awhile.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Death Remains
  2. Through The Haze
  3. Slit
  4. Chasm
  5. CMDUC
  6. Succumb
  7. Pattern
  8. All Else Fails

 

Line Up

  • Alxs Ness – Vocals
  • DJ Temple – Guitars
  • Dallas Lacey – Bass
  • Matt Helie – Drums


Links

MySpace * BandCamp * Facebook * Twitter * Site

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