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  • Writer's pictureThe Metal Mayan

The Metal Mayan Mixtape 07 June, 2024

Four Stroke Baron - Data Diamond (Prosthetic Records)

"An ice cold, claustrophobic digital bath - enter the chaosphere if you dare."

The leftfield realms of heavy metal dating back to early Deftones and continuing through current superstars like Sleep Token is one where rules beyond a low tuned guitar need not apply. But sometimes, even in these nearly formless landscapes, an album comes forth that defies even the logic of illogic.

Such is the case with the electronica-meets-metal avant-garde duo, Four Stroke Baron and their latest album, Data Diamond. From the pitch shifted vocals of "Monday", to the manic groove of "The Witch", the album reaches beyond metal and deep into EDM territory, and even borders New Wave vibe in some instances.

Yet, for all the disharmony, like a work of Dadaism, the parts all click together. Take for example "Cyborg Pt. 3 (Because I'm God)", where vocalist/guitarist Kirk Witt teeters impressively on Tears For Fears stylings, while the mesmerizing instrumentation calls to mind the works of Glass Cloud and Ad Infinitum.

Another example of brilliant madness is "People In My Image", which takes the intensity of Gojira, Entheos and Jinjer, and injects a nearly anthemic sound as awe-inspiring like an exploding star. Again defying most any logic, it is the song's inability to be rationalized that makes it fantastic and memorable.

Originally crafted as two separate EPs, the uniting of the pair into Data Diamond has resulted in perhaps the most ambitious project of the year.

Nightmare - Encrypted (AFM Records)

"From the hands of metal legends comes a heavy contender for every Best of 2024 list."

With a forty five year long career, Nightmare boast the ability to endure and grow through nearly every era of heavy metal. Formed in France in 1979, the band was a trailblazer in the genre's early years, and continued to release incredible albums while other subgenres reigned supreme in the world of heavy music.

Recruiting vocalist extraordinaire, Barbara Morgore, in 2022, Nightmare's twelfth album, Encrypted, weaves new school textures with the power and passion that only a band with such a rich history could pull off.

Opening track "Nexus Inferis" is an essential track for any fan of the Stockholm sound, sure to strain the neck of every Arch Enemy, At The Gates and In Flames fan, complete with Morgore's soaring vocals and immense guitar, drum and bass work. Pivoting to material that symphonic metal fans will fall for, "The Blossom of My Hate" demands accolades from Seven Spires and Ad Infinitum followers.

The title track, along with "Borderlines", keep the circle pit instigating riffs going while "Wake the Night" and its anthemic choruses will have fists pumping at every show.

Considering Nightmare was flying the flag for heavy metal long before the aforementioned bands existed, it's no surprise that their latest album would be a master class of melody and brutality. Performing in Europe for most of 2024, the demand for a U.S. visit is sure to skyrocket with the release of Encrypted.

Advance copies courtesy of Breaking the Law PR and Hardman PR


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