Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zuul - Out of Time

Zuul - Out of Time – 2010


Zuul are a band coming from Carbondale, Illinois and although I haven’t heard their latest output, I really enjoy their sound. They play Traditional Heavy Metal with some NWOBHM thrown in the mix. I mean, look at that cover, did you expect anything diferent? It’s almost as if this guys stop hearing music released after 1985 because this record just exudes Metal traditionalism, good Riffs? Check. Lyrics about war, warriors and battles? Check.  Twin guitar lead attack? Check. Band name taken from a great 80 movie? Check. There is anything ground breaking in this album, everything you´ll hear here you probably have heard it before, but fuck originality, when the music is this good and honest who cares. So grab a cheap beer, blast the record at max power on your stereo and reminiscence about the Heavy Metal parking lot you used to hang and enjoy the trip…

The vocals duty are handled by Brett Batteau, and they fit the music quite well, sometimes a little flat, I mean he sing really well, but it would´ve been nice to hear him reach some higher notes to add to the whole feeling of the album. Some time it appears as if the vocals could have used a little more volume because on some songs it seems as they are being drowned by the rest of the band. Never to the point where you can’t hear them, but it could have used some adjusting.

The instruments production on this one is great, sounding very organic and well-balanced. All instruments are audible, even the bass which is always nice to hear when you have a good bass player, and luckily this is the case, because although he is no Steve Digiorgio, “Lungoat” does a pretty good job with his instrument having some really cool liks and solo here and there throughout the album, like in the song Warhammer around the 3 minute mark or  Darkness on Ice, which is very bass heavy. Both guitarists do a great job, the album is full of fast riffs, containing a lot of melody and great solos, like on the song Warriors. The guitar in the song is perfect, great riff, a really cool lead work done while the pre – chorus is going on, which adds this epic feeling to their songs and a great solo. Plus is one of the best songs on the album, just try not to sing along to the chorus…The drums sound good in the mix, some fills are hard to appreciate because they get muffled, but nothing to worry about. They complement all songs great and give a nice flowing feel to the songs, although never being flashy or to technical.

The compositions are kept simple as your average Heavy Metal band, but are executed with the conviction and the passion you’d expect from true fans of the genre. The title track is the longest of the songs here clocking just above 6 minutes and is one of the best songs here. Right at the start of the song Jared MIleger launches on a solo that will “melt your fucking face off”. Another highlight in the album is Air Raid which has the most NWOBHM influence, from the riffs to the lyrics about WWII air battles.

The down side of the album, apart from some minor production issues, is that the second half just doesn’t quite reach the level of the first half. They are not crap but they tend to run together and just luck the memorability of the first 5 songs. 

For being the sophomore effort of Zuul I really enjoyed the album and was pleased to find yet one more good band keeping the old spirits alive. They still have some flaws and in the composition aspect there’s room for improvement, but this guys get it, they can play their instruments, they can write good songs and if they keep working they might just surprise every one of us. Just remember there is nothing innovative here, no originality, just pure uncompromised Heavy Metal for fans made by fans, and you get that when your listen to this album. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spreading Doom Blogspot

Hi & welcome to my new blog "Spreading Doom".

As we all now Metal is an ever expanding sonic storm with tons of genres, sub genres, mixtures between them and influences ranging from classical music, to folk, space rock and almost anything you could imagine. It has been for long years now that the genre has evolved from those first Heavy and Doom Metal abums from England that gave birth and stregth to the movement, to the present where diferent individual scenes have sprouted all arround the globe, and under the Extreme Metal label, bands have gone beyond belief to create some of the most crazy music existing now a days.

The fact that tecnology today allows bands to start recording and spreading their material with out much of the trouble old bands had to endure while starting. Today you dont need music labels to record or release your stuff, all you need is a good computer and a cool constructed website and you can get started(ex: See all the independet one man band in Black Metal).

So this two facts mixed with the metal revival thing that has been goin on for the last 6 years or bringing back to vogue some of the genres that made an impact like Thrash and OSDM, has produced an oversaturation of bands in every mayor genre and sub genre. With millions a young bands jumping on the band wagon looking to be the next Megadeth or Incantation and the old school bands trying to make a quick grab cash by bringin the original line ups for tours, or tryng to make albums that sound something they´d put out in their best days.

This sucks.

Not only are we being bombarded  with millions of shitty bands using the same riff invented 30 years ago with some overproduction or we see how some of the bands that help pave the way are turning into shit because of the industry new demands or because of the money. This has made it very difficult for Metalheads to discover worthy old and new bands that deserve atention and recognition.

So the purpose for this Blog is that, Help fellow metal head by doing reviews of bands, albums, record houses, and live presentation of bands I have found and liked, not only new upcoming bands but oldschool bands i find are overlooked and underapreciated. Just to get the word out. Just to spread the doom...