Abrasive Audio – Attack of the Compilation the first of 20’

Metal Assault welcoming in the new decade with a Bang!

metal assault header

Well, it’s been a ‘hot minute’ (I believe the cool kids are still using this ‘turn of phrase’?) since I’ve done one of these. Let’s hope I still know how to tackle the whole concept of reviewing a compilation release without making myself look like a total fool.

Where to start? Well, I could mention my love of the medium. Seriously there was a time before the internet when discovering ‘new’ music was a little tricky. Oftentimes one had to base their disposable spending on an album based on an anonymous person’s thoughts and feelings alone, unless one was lucky enough to be able to have friends who liked the same type of audio. Obviously, opinions and tastes vary wildly so hard-earned pennies were often spent on outings which really didn’t capture the attention (no matter how many times one listened or how hard one tried to ‘really’ like something. Most like it so it must be “good” … Right?) Compilations eased the trickiness of the situation somewhat. They served as a ‘porthole’ into an acts style, although it requires more than merely one song to get a feel for an act (I’ve come across a couple who present a few tracks from each act listed. I think is an outstanding way to go about this, more in the manner of a “split” but with more acts represented). Better yet they always showcased a variety of acts to widen the horizon. I’ll admit I spent hours with my finger poised on the stop, play, record button. I compiled a few tapes of my own (this was before CDs were in vogue) to trade with others, this was by far the cheapest way to do it but one still had to build their collection in order to get to this level.

speed kills compilation

Today my collection is bursting at the seams with At Deaths Door, Metal for the Masses, Speed Kills, various label and magazine samplers and a few residing under the themed homage umbrella. One day I’ll revisit and annihilate the dust bunny civilization which has no doubt taken up residence since last I visited, Moving on, for this is quite enough history and waffling on about the subject and myself. For the first entry of 2020 I’ve been lucky enough to procure the second volume in the Metal Assault ‘Mixtape Series’ considerately entitled (surprisingly) Metal Assault Mixtape – Volume 2 which finds its release on January/31 available on cassette tape (limited to 150 copies only), as well as digital download via Bandcamp

https://metalassault.bandcamp.com/album/metal-assault-mixtape-vol-2

Without plowing wildly into my thoughts I’ll include a rating system I’ve designed especially for this purpose. However, seems as this is a brand-spanking New Year I’ve mixed it up with a few changes.

the devils rain gif

Ah… this nonsense is doing my head in!

I don’t believe I listened to a single song here, in its entirety – to be quite honest I’d rather hear a recording of my significant other grunting in time with sloppy flesh-laden percussion provided by the neighbor’s thrusts.

I Skipped most of this, but found it comical but not in a humorous way – Seriously, was this compiled in a kindergarten class?

Didn’t skip any tracks, but my digits were poised, ready to strike – I may or may not revisit again. If I give it more time will it grow on me?

I believe I can actually remember a few of the band’s names here – This shows promise!

This leaves me with a smirk on my face and has me bobbing my head on a frequent basis –Be prepared to search for a reliable internet connection, in order to do some invaluable research on where to distribute the pennies.

Dammit, I can’t concentrate! – Break out the lube. Does this come in a format I can insert myself into? I’ll preach about this when I’ve cleaned up the resulting puddle.

(These rating are somewhat crude but self-explanatory.)

metal assault mixtape #2

So how does this fare? Showcasing eleven acts from around the Los Angeles area (…”and beyond”) With only a single act whom I’ve heard anything about, Void Vator (based solely on their stunning recent release), I feel like an eager, extreme audio, thirsting, teenager all over again. What say we all dive in blindly but not before at least giving a cursory glance to that which is about to invade the senses.

 

The cover artwork for this is based on Metal Assault’s “Face Melter” t-shirt from 2017, designed by Dan Lerner.

The (All-Important) Tracklist;

Void Vator – Nitrus

Monolith – Man Without a Soul

Hydera – Witch King

Living Darkness – Destructible

Motor Gun Hotel – Leave It All Behind

Aparant – Home

Drift – From Within

Hell Kross – Howl of the Wolf Brigade

Circle of Sighs – Burden of the Flesh

Grim Earth – Ruins

The Blue Prison – Vengeance

Sporting a wide variety of styles, the release delivers a little for everybody (although if truth be told the more extreme shadow ridden corners of the metal spectrum aren’t represented as much as one might think given the albums cover art). Starting with Void Vator and a splash of Latin flavor this collection of tracks progresses to offer NWOBHM flavor, Southern-fried alternate rock, speed metal, thrash metal, traditional doom, groove to spare and plenty of atmosphere, even a few tracks bearing a style which is moderately unexpected, given the surroundings.

holiday drumming animal

Bring on the tunage!!!

Naturally, I have a few favorites and a few others which instantly perked my interest and held the interest even after repeated listens. In all honesty I didn’t skip a single track, several tracks grew on me to far surpass my initial reaction. Without reservation I’ll gladly award this with a “This leaves me with a smirk on my face and has me bobbing my head on a frequent basis” rating, precariously teetering on the precipice of “Dammit, I can’t concentrate!” for although the styles differ, drastically in some instances, each track held my interest and piqued my curiosity to varying degrees.

In order of appearance these made an instant impression;
Hydera – Witch King

Traditional rock stylings with power metal sensibilities and brilliant head swaying guitar solos. Complete with thankfully close to zero falsetto vocal antics. This reminds me, for some reason, of Rhapsody in part early Riot, perhaps it’s time to revisit “Thundersteel”?

Check out what the band have to offer; https://hyderaofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

living darkness
Living Darkness – Destructible

Fluid speed/thrash with infectious rhythms and (wait for it) falsetto vocals but with great range. Strange I like this but I do.

Check out what else the band has to offer; https://livingdarknessmetal.bandcamp.com/

Motor Gun Hotel – Leave it All Behind

Seething with an alternative aura and an Alice in Chains vibe both in percussion and in the vocal department there’s little wonder this piqued my interest.

Set the ears upon the bands BC page; https://motorgunhotel.bandcamp.com/releases

the blue prison
The Blue Prison – Vengeance

I do believe this would perk the ears of my pal Werewolves in Siberia. Reminiscent of a style similar to that which The Berserker fine-tuned (minus the grindcore accompaniment) this marries synth, an industrial nature and guitar riff-driven metal (a ménage a trois if you will. Why is it that French people have capitalized upon all the coolest phrases?) and drags the listener on a wild narrative until its conclusion. A strange inclusion and finale to this compilation but a track which will have one exploring unchartered audio avenues.

Explore the bands discography here; https://theblueprison.bandcamp.com/

In order of appearance these had me nodding and twitching like one possessed;
void vator
Void Vator – Nitrus

Oozing with both Western and Latin flavors this incites uncontrollable appendage movement. Don’t believe me. Put it on and experience this for yourself. Even more outstanding is that this is sans vocals. This could easily find inclusion in a Tarantino film it has that sort of a vibe!

The BC page; https://voidvator.bandcamp.com/

Monolith – Man Without a Soul

This track picked me up and threw me back several decades. Much like Dio fronted Rainbow meets vintage Iron Maiden, White Spirit with a splash of Blitzkrieg this has undeniable flow bordering on criminal catchiness. Speed metal but not quite the melodies here are exquisite coupled with passionate vocals this is an undeniable standout!

More of Monolith can be explored here; https://www.facebook.com/MonolithSD/

circle of sighs
Circle of Sighs – Burden of the Flesh

Atmosphere aplenty accompanied by a vast cosmic ethereal nature. Huge riffs and an undeniable ‘presence’ you could well lose yourself within if given the appropriate accouterments. In short, doom, but doused in Bowie-esque progressive elements and dark synth. An outstanding combination whih needs to be heard to be appreciated.

And look, I have a link to explore; https://circleofsighs.bandcamp.com/releases

Hell Kross – Howl of the Wolf Brigade

Speed themed doom with heavy metal tendencies drenched in dramatic flair and hilarious lyrics (“it was the peanut butter which stopped the wolves, cus they’re just like dogs!”). Need I say more? Probably not, but I will. This is the type of audio the metal community needs more of. I believe The Joker said it best “Why so serious?” If you enjoy Tenacious D and Zimmers Hole You’ll enjoy this.

Their limited discography can be explored here; https://hellkross.bandcamp.com/releases

grim earth
Grim Earth – Ruins

Because every compilation deserves some angst ridden, sludge laden, heaviness. Prepare to be floored! Fuzz encapsulated mammoth riffs and (wait for it) … groove. What’s not to love? Even more surprising is that these cats are from Washington, not California. But who cares, this track rocks the compilation kicks ass and I’m done! I’m going to spin this again.

Grim Earth’s output badass cover artwork, and all, can be found here; https://grimearth.bandcamp.com/

 

Cult

Again, for those not paying attention, this compilation goes live on January/31. I highly recommend it and it can be found at this location; https://metalassault.bandcamp.com/album/metal-assault-mixtape-vol-2

Scorching the Retinas – Vomit, Puss and Body fluids everywhere!

Condemned (Canada) 2015

condemned film boxart

Writer/Director – Eli Morgan Gesner
Calibre Media
RLJ Distribution
Runtime – 83 minutes

I’ll keep this short and to the point. Not to be confused with the movie which showcases Steve Austin and a collective of hardened types on a remote island this is a 2015 film sans a star-studded cast of wrestling superstars.

Punk rock, drugs, drinking and an abandoned building. What could go wrong? Seriously? A varied cast of intriguing miscreants is introduced within no time within the buildings innards and the scene is set.

Cue a drug dealer pouring his glow in the dark (that can’t be good) waste materials down the bathtub and the fun begins. It’s at this juncture that I’m reminded of the classic Return of Living Dead and the toxic waste drum which caused all the mischief. I’m eager to see how this plays out.

condemned punk as fuck

Punk as Fck!

As the film progresses several unpaid extras crop up, everywhere. As too an undeniable stench and elevated ominous sinister presence. Inventive camera work lets the viewer in on the fact that the plumbing plays an important role in the transformation of the building’s residents. And it is the same transformations which act like an ignited incendiary component to the films story.

Things start to get really messy, slippery, sticky and foul abruptly as this transforms from a look how fucked up people can become when they lose hope to a dripping all over the place Body Horror scenario.  Sores ooze, vomit drips and puddles of grue appear in the most problematic of locations. In essence this appears much like any celebrated GWAR live spectacle minus the slave pit, social commentary and catchy tunes.

gwar show

RIP Dave Brockie

The humor is here. Albeit pitch in tone it adds a certain something to what soon transpires into a tableau of unrelenting, unflinching, carnage accompanying an already punk rock frenetic pace. The on-screen action here would usually sate my ravenous appetite. However, numerous other eye-opening elements propel this into I-just-can’t-wait-to-tell-someone-about-this realms. A classic Nazi versus Jew standoff (which again brings to mind o.t.t GWAR antics) is just one I’ll mention without spoiling anyone’s enjoyment. The effects for a feature of this caliber (it seethes with a raw aura and certainly isn’t a huge budget opus in the slightest) are top notch (leaning slightly towards the Troma side of things though still bearing a believable tone) and plentiful enough to make even the most discerning of Gorehound sprout a smirk.

condemned bigfoot

Bring it on Mr. I have a Boyslave, Nazi!

Top it off with a palpable atmosphere, a soundtrack that adds to the tension, competent directing and acting which is commendable and you have a feature which I’ll gladly give the Cult stamp of approval to.

Give this a peek. It’s not altogether serious in its approach but manages to check off all the requisite boxes a fan of darkly humorous blood-soaked horror could hope for

Recommended for fans of Cabin in the Woods and The Belko Experiment.

Here’s the trailer to get those senses tingling

I’ll leave this quote here “Fuck Tinder man, we gotta surf the sewer more often” courtesy of a pair of stoner cops who play only a small but pivotal role in the film.

Cult

Abrasive Audio 2020 – The First Entry

black metal gif

It’s been a while folks. And although I promised myself that I won’t get caught up in the typical End of List Bullshit, I invariably did. And it was all-consuming (my thanks again to all involved) taking up a huge chunk of the first month of the year. Now I’m behind. But not to worry, a few sleepiness nights will and have rectified that. May I present the very first entry of the year. You may notice I’m starting off by commenting on a few releases I somehow missed. (Be warned this might last till well into the year.) I’m also trying something a little different, I’m intrigued to see if anyone notices.

Without further dragging one into “donkey nodding” depths…

Slipping Through the Cracks
Releases from 19′ I’m only now laying ears upon (but deem worthy of scribbling upon).

Crafting the Conspiracy

Crafting the Conspiracy (USA) – The Cosmic Key (Part One)

https://chugcore.bandcamp.com/album/the-cosmic-key-pt-1-2

Release- March/9/19

Chugcore Records

ARTWORK- 77

This guy looks pissed as if he’s about to perform some Dragon Ball Z type shit upon me. What did I do seriously? Where can I hide?

FIRST TRACK- 85

No fkn’ around with intros here this drops one straight into intricate hyper speed drumming and riffs. The unmerciful vocal barrage is reminiscent of both Goatwhore, Soilent Green and Black Dahlia Murder. An impressive start to quench the hunger of those demanding top quality deathcore/tech death.

INITIAL LISTEN- 86

Whirling dervish arrangements, intricate rhythms, tight musicianship and an unrelenting vocal narrative approach. Oftentimes this can be messy and uncomfortable to listen to, especially if it’s not created in a cohesive manner. But not in this instance. This yanks the listener around from the very start, uncontrollable, involuntary movements are going to be par for the course when this invades the senses, and doesn’t let up until the final track (let it ‘play out’, trust me here) comes to its eventual climax. Irritating and irrational is that Crafting the Conspiracy haven’t been detected on my radar before now. But thankfully that has changed now and I’m here to suggest you do the same.

Favorite Tracks – The whole EP ripz, no ‘filler’ found here!

FFO; Black Dahlia Murder, Origin, Obscura.

Agnosy

Agnosy (UK) – When Daylight Reveals the Torture

https://agnosy.bandcamp.com/album/when-daylight-reveals-the-torture

Release – May/9/19

Profane Existence

ARTWORK – 78

Gritty, dark, foreboding, grimy. Pick a word. This is fantastic black and white imagery telling of dusk and the atrocities about to be discovered therein. In a pinch I would say this is suggestive of cavernous audio. But that remains to be heard and I’ve been led astray before.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Crust, D-beat with more an emphasis on punk then the run of the mill Crust release. This delivers groove by the truckload and grime, a fantastic combination. Hints of influence make themselves known but remain to be fully realized. An impressive start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 83

A far cry from the usual Crust fodder this incorporates tracks with individual identities, a spot of stepping outside of what’s expected (a traipse into sludge and Nuerosis depths) and more than enough groove and dirty rhythms to send one crawling, battered, in the direction of the muscle relaxers. A fantastic way for fans of Crust and D-beat to start the New Year, this does not disappoint and is hardly predictable!

Toss this in the “pit” for incendiary action!

Favorite Tracks; Spit out the Lies, When Daylight Reveals the Torture, No Friends but the Mountains, War, Death, Famine, Plague.

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Wolf Brigade, Disrupt.

And… The New Year Brings Us

Diabology

Diabology – Nobody Believes Me

https://diabology.bandcamp.com/album/nobody-believes-me

Independent

Release- January/1/20

ARTWORK – 76

I’m of the mind that the book in this image holds more than merely recipes for Brownies which will blow the mind. ‘Cosmic Brownies’ perhaps. Strangely it also puts me in mind of “The Devils Rain” (film) and that accursed tome from “The Evil Dead”. A fantastic vivid color palette here is sure to grab the initial attention.

FIRST TRACK – 71

This seethes with definite punk influence and something altogether darker. Spittle flying vocals accompany background whispering and a percussion that’s both familiar and somewhat sinister. An intriguing opener that’s undeniably thrash, punk with lesser black and melodic death elements.

INITIAL LISTEN- 68

This album offers an intriguing mix of thrash, punk and death influences. A dip into nu-metal/alternate waters, even submergence into crust/grindcore murkiness. A vocal style which sounds part South American aggression accompanied by punk attitude couples with rhythms which are catchy yet all too familiar. A good starting point for a dynamic, talented, young act this shows promise (a few tracks are deliciously ‘different’ against the rest of the albums grain) yet lacks the sense of fluidity and identity which more seasoned acts exhibit. Give this a listen and keep an eye out for the bands progress.

Favorite Tracks; Nobody Believes me (the Voices), Seas of Eternity, Lost Viking, Lazarus Falling.

FFO; Vintage Megadeth, early Voivod.

War Dogs

War Dogs (Spain)- Die by my Sword

https://fighter-records.bandcamp.com/album/die-by-my-sword

Fighter Records

Release- January/9/20

ARTWORK- 76

Some unfortunate fellow is being utilized as a skishkabob against a landscape sporting a myriad of crimson, groans, bludgeoning and an ominous feral four-legged presence who appears slightly amused.

FIRST TRACK- 83

Screaming NWOBHM injected with playful speed sensibilities this jumps from the proverbial starting blocks. Boasting fluid rhythms, hooks and a vocal approach thankfully sans falsetto elements this makes an instant impression leaving me eager for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

With a silly looking smirk plastered across my face I’m willingly allowing War Dogs to transport me back a few decades to a time when melody was king, singing rather than guttural prowess was in vogue, rhythms bordered on head-bobbingly hypnotic and rock was criminally infectious. This checks all the boxes, and then some! I honestly can’t see a reason why this doesn’t propel the act to showcasing venue heights. Impressive doesn’t even come close, and this is a debut (full length too) which makes it that much more stunning. Jump on this at your earliest convenience!

Favorite Tracks; Die by my Sword, Wings of Fire, Kill the Past, Ready to Strike, Gorgon Eyes.

FFO; Vintage Iron Maiden, vintage Rainbow, Riot, Visigoth, Manilla Road.

Blood and Brutality

Blood and Brutality (USA) – Fatal

https://bloodandbrutality.bandcamp.com/album/fatal

Release- January/17/20

Blood and Brutality Records

ARTWORK- 83

Quite the chamber of horrors on display here. And I might be mistaken but it looks as though Seagrave might have had a hand in the image. It bears the same tone, aura and intricacy in detail.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Grinding death which has me nodding my head like a maniac. How is it this is the first I’m hearing of these guys?

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

Wicked limb twitching rhythms, variety in pace which doesn’t appear out of place, excellent atmosphere and a vocal style which is part hardcore, part crust. I’m finding it very difficult to write anything negative about this. Honestly, this isn’t anything ground- breaking (does every album need to be?) but it hits the spot via thrashy and grinding death avenues and demands discovery. Wrap yer ears around this pronto!

Favorite Tracks; Witness to Slaughter, Torturous, Black Horizon, Bloodshed of Man.

FFO; Vomitory, Master, Bolt Thrower, Memoriam, The Haunted, early Gorguts.

Cult of Horror

Cult of Horror (Brazil) – Hermetik Heretik

https://cultofhorror.bandcamp.com/

Release- January/13/20

Bestial Invasion Records

ARTWORK- 81

An interesting image with obvious nods to Egyptian mythology. Fantastic color-play depicts a frustrated individual who only wants to be loved by the suns warm caress.

FIRST TRACK – 76

Short and inciteful this bears undeniably wicked blackened speed tendencies and an unmistakable raw air one might expect from the region. A great start to get one in the mood.

INITIAL LISTEN – 73

With a varied style which kicks in after an initial impression (based on the first two tracks) one can tell this is neither 100% this or that this, but an amalgamation of a few styles, offering a variety of pace and rhythms within a collection of tracks which explores and channels several corners of the metal universe. Ranging from psych doom, speed metal, blackened speed, death n roll, through traditional heavy metal in not quite so equal measure with a plethora of nods to South American aggression (ala raw thrash) this has a great deal to offer. Although this is hard to categorize there’s no doubt it delivers a catchy nature by the barrelful showcasing an undeniably beefy drum foundation and a vocal style which will please the majority of traditional black fans.

Favorite Tracks; Heretik, Philosophy of the Knife, Murder by Witchcraft, Hellfire Convent.

FFO; Witchery, Celtic Frost, Pungent Stench.

Blessed Black

Blessed Black (USA) – Beyond the Crimson Throne

https://blessedblack.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-crimson-throne-2

Release- January/17/20

Independent

ARTWORK- 77

Heavy in a fantastical cosmic vibe this makes me ponder upon what the Grim Resper might do for fun. Does he cosplay? Does he reside in a cloud and own a big-fuck-off-I’ll-cleave-you-in-two blade? A bunch of unanswered questions to stew upon here. Best to just relax and give this a listen before I burst something.

FIRST TRACK- 78

Instrumental and hypnotic, undeniably a tad cosmic with a middle Eastern vibe this leaves me curious indeed!

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

Doom, stoner rock and Southern rock collide with a vocal accompaniment which is very difficult not to instantly appreciate (Fun fact; the vocalist is also in the thrash band WarCurse and works with a few better-known acts). Huge riffs cavort with dangerously infectious hooks, a smidgen of fuzz and groove sensibilities which would make the manufacturers of toilet paper envious (huh, what?). In all seriousness though this seethes with an air of brilliance from start to finish. It flows seamlessly and tips the hat to a variety of genre troupes whilst still displaying an identity and a remarkable passion all its own. It isn’t without rollicking (some might call them galloping) rhythms either for those taking notes. Fans of doom mixed with stoner rock and heavy metal values take note this is a fantastic way to start the New Year and is sure to feature in my playlist for months to come.

Favorite Tracks; Heavy is the Crown, Ariochs Bargain, Stormbringer.

FFO; The Sword, High on Fire, Baroness.

Odious Mortem

Odious Mortem (USA) – Synesthesia

https://odiousmortem.bandcamp.com/album/synesthesia

Release – January/17/20

Willowtip Records

ARTWORK- 72

With the description of the music in mind this image fits perfectly. Though I’m not honestly sure what the image depicts. Guess it’s time to break out the microscope and scalpel.

FIRST TRACK- 83

This wastes no time whatsoever in getting to the crux of the issue. This is technical brutal death metal (with splashes of a progressive nature) and shines immediately. Chaotic, intricate but insanely precise, this is just what the doctor ordered (if the doctor were to prescribe this type of thing).

INITIAL LISTEN- 91

I can’t fathom how it is that I haven’t heard of these guys before now with a quality on offer such as exhibited here. And although this is new it bears an eerie familiar tone and style. A brutality based in rapidly transforming controlled chaos, a myriad of amorphic shifting rhythms as opposed to chuggery or anything which brings to mind diabolical underworld shenanigans and a vocal approach which might well include burps, squeals, grunts. An intricacy and exactness paired with mischievous varied pacing and a wicked drum salvo in short which is difficult not to appreciate instantly.  After a spot of research, I can see the reasoning; most of the members constitute Decrepit Birth.

Favorite Tracks; Stunningly jaw-dropping from start to finish, it’s extremely difficult to pick out any clear winners at a quality such as this.

FFO; (later) Death, Atheist, Decrepit Birth, Severed Savior, Spawn of Possession.

Butcher 666 goats

BÜTCHER (Belgium) – 666 Goats Carry my Chariot

https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/666-goats-carry-my-chariot

Release – January/31/20

Osmose Productions

ARTWORK- 83

Goats instead of horses. This is an interesting spin and to say I’m curious is an understatement indeed. Though I would imagine that the amount in question would surely be calamitous overkill. Seriously, have you ever tried to train a goat to do anything but run at a pal like a battering ram? Try it, you won’t be friends when those hospital bill’s start rolling in.

FIRST TRACK- 85

A synth seething with 80’s influence intro with narration opens the album. But, I’m still curious. And then…blown away! An initial impression is that Venom, Judas Priest and Van Halen are jamming following a night of heavy drinking. Sounds unappealing but this is wickedly good and overflows with attitude, riffs…and did I say attitude?

INITIAL LISTEN- 93

Some albums are good, some are better, some even leave a lasting impression and then there’s this. This album virtually writes its own review! It grabs ahold, sinks its talons in then proceeds to unapologetically molest the pleasure sensors from start to finish (huh-?) yanking at reminiscence along the way whilst pulling strings to puppeteer the listener into uncontrollable spasms of movement. Utilizing face-melting speed, a blackened style which has become fashionable as of late (no complaints here), something akin to what many call Pagan metal, as well instances dripping in atmosphere Bütcher have somehow created a style which nods to a plethora of arenas and even early pioneers (King Diamond among them) though remains undeniably unique and wholly consumable by ravenous fans eager for audio veering slightly off the beaten path. In essence this is traditional yet not and familiar yet fresh. Hopefully my scribbles have given this justice for it is deserved of such! Suffice it to say this will have many scrambling for a map to locate a place they’ve probably never heard of; mark my words this will place Belgium on the extreme audio map. Don’t be the last to let this (and “666 goats”) invade your senses!

Favorite Tracks; Rips, tears, shreds from start to finish. I can’t pick any clear sinners!

FFO; Whipstriker, Whiplash, Exciter, vintage Venom, Wraith, Inculter, Hellripper, Mercyful Fate.

pyre

Pyre (USA) – Come Home

https://pyregvl.bandcamp.com/

Release- January/10/20

Independent

ARTWORK- 83

This boasts Tolkien-esque and mythical qualities. A boy, his dog and an ominous looking skull in the background. What say we proceed and dive right into a fantastical landscape?

FIRST TRACK- 78

An energetic sludge drenched; fuzz-laden stoner rock/doom instrumental opens the proceedings. And dissolves into a cosmic type ooze. Thrash, slightly crossover, rhythms take up the slack complemented by a sprinkle of psychedelia. The mood shifts and leaves a lasting impression; this is not going to be the typical run of the mill type release. Color me curious.

INITIAL LISTEN- 93

It doesn’t take long to realize this album is something that’s unmistakably diverse and… special. Although each of the tracks are relatively short, they each leave a little something to ‘chew’ upon, much like a taste in the mouth which lingers but one doesn’t want to leave. Unpredictable, exciting, dynamic and infectiously catchy this release sports an allure that’s hard to argue and an amorphous style that’s hard to accurately describe. Terms like post-black metal, punk and thrash are tossed around but this doesn’t fit any of those or even a number of other parameters comfortably. Fear not however, for it does, and will, slide unassumingly into a playlist that’s sure to be burned into the cortex as the year rolls on. For those with an open mind, a soft spot for catchy rhythms and carefully constructed stylistic chaos this demands attention. And to be honest it came out of nowhere to send me reelin’. I am beyond impressed. I can see myself preaching the brilliance of this well into the year. Do not let this pass you by unnoticed!!

Favorite Tracks; Head noddingly fantastic from start to finish.

FFO; The Sword, (early) Faith no More, Mastodon, Baroness, Old Man Wizard, Devon Townsend, Wizard Rifle.

mix tape action

Spread the Word of metal Old Man. Keep it up!

And that concludes the first entry of the New Year. My apologies for the wait. As always feel free to comment, share, suggest, laugh or cry.  Your slave to Audio extreme in all of its many guises,

Cult

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Fourth (the second, and final, installment; so much metal one part just isn’t enough!)

thank you end of year lkit 19

This is it. The final installment. Before I continue I’d like to say a huge thanks to all concerned, the PR companies, the people I’ve interacted with, those I’ve reconnected with, those I’ve started new friendships with, those who continue to support my scribbles (you the reader) but most of all the bands who continue to strive to entertain even though the road is fraught with difficulty and the fact that it isn’t paved with gold as many might think. Here’s to another year overflowing with audio brilliance.

Without further waffling, I present my final picks;

nocturnalia

Nocturnalia – III Winter

https://nocturnaliamusic.bandcamp.com/album/nocturnalia-iii-winter

This offers a collective of radio friendly tracks with mesmerizing qualities running the gauntlet of traditional rock, folk and a style perilously close to speed metal. Never boring, this delights throughout and serves as a stunning palette cleanser for those evening when one just wishes to unwind. Fluid from the first until the last note with its fluid though varied composition, unique nature and thoroughly stunning delivery and execution.

Novembers Doom – Nephilim Grove

Novembers Doom – Nephilim Grove

 https://novembersdoom1989.bandcamp.com/album/nephilim-grove

Shattering my preconceived notions Novembers Doom have utilized all the death/doom genre is known for then added their trademark thunderous rhythm approach, passionate vocal diversity and stupendous epic arrangements (which tug at even the most hardened of emotions) and have fashioned an album which delivers from start to finish. This is perhaps their finest work to date.

sentient horror

Sentient Horror -Morbid Realms*

https://sentienthorror.bandcamp.com/album/morbid-realms

Somehow Sentient Horror have utilized a familiar style and have added their own flair making it fresh and exciting again. All the ingredients a fan of the HM2 genre have come to expect. However, this band have imbued the formula with a certain something; be it maniacal solos, fluid lead moments or instances of ominous atmosphere which combine to levitate this to another level entirely. Lay your ears upon this and rekindle your love of the ‘Stockholm sound’.

Schammasch hearts-of-no-light
Schammasch – Hearts of No Light

https://schammasch.bandcamp.com/album/hearts-of-no-light

Atmospheric black metal with arrangements of astounding caliber the likes of which one will be surprised to discover here, this is so more than merely ‘black’ in any sense of the imagination. This takes the listener to realms which are quite unexpected though strangely don’t seem at all out of place. A release with both depth and cinematic opus qualities one needs to experience to fully appreciate, for my words cannot even come close. A fantastic introduction to the band and a style which is easily consumed for those like myself who are relative newcomers to this genre.

swampbeast void terror split

Swamp Beast/Void Terror SPLIT – Holocaust of Terrestrial Empires

 https://mesacounojo.bandcamp.com/album/holocaust-of-terrestrial-empires

Swamp Beast – Unrelenting death grind complemented by suffocating catacomb-esque atmosphere. A mesmerizing soundscape combining Napalm Death touches, passages of groove and a brutal whirlwind chaotic attack.
Void Terror – What Bolt Thrower “Realm of Chaos” might have sounded like if it had decidedly black metal undertones. Dirge laden and wickedly dark, yet chaotic and shot through with diabolical essence. A swirling maelstrom of audio madness one doesn’t wish to escape.

An excellent split with plenty on offer from two acts ripe for discovery. Keep an ear out for these guys they are both poised for greatness.

the deathtrip

The Deathtrip – Demon Solar Totem

https://the-deathtrip.bandcamp.com/album/demon-solar-totem

The Deathtrip have created an album which has the potential to garner appeal from across the BM landscape. Varied in both scope and approach raw audio (with an intensity to appeal to traditionalists and those acclimatizing themselves to the variety the scene offers; aka me) cavorts alongside melancholic atmosphere hypnotic, trance inducing, rhythms and surprisingly melody drenched under occult skies an effect which holds the attention from first to last. And the more one sinks into the experience the greater detail and intricacies it provides. This boasts an appeal which cannot be argued, begs to be repeated and often.

unfathomable ruinantion

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound

https://unfathomableruination.bandcamp.com/album/enraged-unbound

Track structures, although longer than most in the same genre, are infectiously contagious showcasing abrupt pace transformations, frenzied and maniacal moments and technicality the likes of which precariously straddles the fence between technical death and grindcore arenas. In short, this audio depicts an act who have no desire to fuck around. It’s straight down to business and these guys are bringing all the requisite ingredients to make a lasting impression, albeit one which will leave a mark whose after effects will require meds and most probably a trip to the ER.

Vampyromorpha - Herzog

Vampyromorpha – Herzog

https://vampyromorpha.bandcamp.com/

Although this occasionally dips into ultra-melodic realms it remains intriguing throughout and is most likely to fit nicely in the ‘guilty pleasures’ folder of those whose daily audio is drenched in nature extreme. A Gothic nature, Southern groove and passion alongside hard rock sensibilities (including soaring solos), and rough vocal approach (which oddly fits) and a willingness to experiment makes this stand out but it’s the caliber which makes it stick, and instantly!

warsenal

Warsenal – Feast Your Eyes

 https://open.spotify.com/album/58SvjDQbXqTG2Ng5qHohme?autoplay=true&v=L

In moments one could well imagine this is what Destruction (Germany) might have sounded like if they’d have spent more time listening to NWOBHM. The music is often face-melting fast though imbued with undeniable traditional heavy metal elements and even on occasion a tone likened to crossover thrash. As a whole the album is neither “this” nor “that” but rather a stunning smorgasbord of styles combined with expert cohesion plucked with reverence from a myriad of genres. This only gets infinitely better after the initial listen.

wolfbrigade

WolfBrigade – The Enemy: Reality*

https://wolfbrigadesl.bandcamp.com/

This is unapologetically formulaic at times, even a tad simplistic, but it hits home and has an effect that borders on hypnotic. Ungodly infectious and especially potent following a workout or participation in an activity with similar “results”, short and to the point this is to be played loud, but probably not in rush hour traffic as it tends to incite uncontrollable movements and a shit eating grin hardly anyone is likely to understand. Suffice it to say Wolfbrigade strike again and much like their last this destroys most everything in its path.

December

bethledeign

Bethledeign – Iconography of Suffering

https://edgewoodarsenal.bandcamp.com/album/iconography-of-suffering

Maniacal leads, slower paced passages and breakdowns for sorts with familiarity aplenty, riffs to leave one salivating and a varied style to please a great many bar those who yearn for silly, overburdening, technicality and heaps of progressive nature within their extreme audio. For fans of Cannibal Corpse, this will leave an impression.

death wolf

Death Wolf (formerly Devils’ Whorehouse) – IV: Come the Dark

https://helterskelterproductions.bandcamp.com/album/iv-come-the-dark

This is slightly different, familiar but not for the reasons one might think and a little experimental. At times the times the album has a ‘if Ministry played black metal this is how it might sound’ vibe while in others epic triumphant qualities take center stage and rhythms take on more a simplistic groove approach ala more recent Satyricon. However, you slice it this is unexpected but cannot be written off. Be prepared though for it has the potential to grow to criminally infectious levels.

Hvile I Kaos

Hvile I Kaos – Black Morning, Winter Green

https://rednebula.bandcamp.com/album/black-morning-winter-green

Intricate melodies writhe and duel for dominance, a narrative is carefully constructed utilizing an assortment of details and depth forming a rich tapestry to enrapt the listener. This is an experience sans a vocal accompaniment, for it doesn’t need such. It speaks volumes and stands testament to the talent, passion and composition brilliance of Kakophonix; the single soul behind the manipulation of the strings involved. A rich texture of melodies invoking darkness and beauty and the many grey areas in between. More classical than anything remotely extreme metal in nature.

oath of cruelty

Oath of Cruelty – Summary Execution at Dawn

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/summary-execution-at-dawn

Chaotic, tumbling melodies shot through with veins of maniacal madness and capillaries of diabolical finesse. This could well be Morbid Angel under the Kreator banner of old imbued with South American aggression. Unrelenting blackened thrash draped in a generous helping of sinister recommended for fans of the old school.

Revel in Flesh

Revel in Flesh – The Hour of the Avenger*

https://open.spotify.com/album/1vXNFib8ODt2uuRMIkzYbt?autoplay=true&v=L

Boasting a collection of tracks with a slew of stylistic ambiance this album offers a great deal to enjoy. Comforting in its nostalgic familiarity this seethes with an undeniable air of superiority.

I don’t know where Revel in Flesh have been between albums. I only wonder if there’s a location someplace in a remote mountainous region whereupon enigmatic Monks strip one of everything they know only then reeducate one (in the most mysterious ways imaginable) in the true path of Godly extreme audio. For this really is that good! Fans of Entombed, Nocturnal Hollow, LIK, Dismember and Entrails cannot afford to miss out on this!

exhausted animal

And that’s it. A whooping 153 releases spanning January through December 2019, only the tip of the proverbial iceberg if truth be told (there’s a whole ton of releases I didn’t have time to get to) Showcasing a total of 36 (absolute favorites) which looking back I could probably have shortened this list down to. A tip of the hat to those who have made it this far, hurdling the obvious obstacles which my horrid grammar produces. As always free to share and comment. I’m always up for suggestions, perhaps even a few people who wish to aid me in my quest to entertain (I’m talking unpaid contributors, I’ve yet to make a cent, I require someone else with the equal dedication). The comment link is at the bottom of this article. It’s been a pleasure, and even though I’m exhausted it’s been worth every keyboard stroke if only to preach the word of metal and support acts who bring me a modicum of pleasure in an otherwise dull, tedious existence.

Cult

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Fourth (the first installment; so much metal one part just isn’t enough!)

trick or treat the usual suspects

The sun has mellowed (somewhat, depending on where you live) trees are about to get naked (insert Beavis and Butthead silliness and memes here) and there will soon be more Jason’s, Michael’s, Chuckie’s and Freddie’s roaming the streets than one can shake a stick at. Best hand out the “good stuff” (candy) rather than the healthy edibles, lest one decides to visit after hours. In other news the last quarter of the year sees the unleashing of a veritable avalanche of extreme audio. The downside of which is that this is now being broken up into two parts rather than one monstrous affair. Forget filing Santa’s sack with presents for the family and loved ones, blow the allowance on metal instead!

October

Assassin’s Blade – Gather Darkness

Assassin’s Blade – Gather Darkness*

https://puresteelrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gather-darkness

The rhythms here are infectious to the nth degree and the beat enough to drive one to involuntary spasms of movement (I’d put this up there with a personal favorite of mine by Dio-fronted Rainbow “Kill the King”) And the album progresses from there to leave one with a grin plastered across their chops as if to say I’ve done something insanely wrong, quite naughty in fact, and I’ve gotten away with it. There is undeniable fluidity on display here, there are zero dull instances, the melodies and riffs are just short of mind blowing. The collective of tracks lifts you from the dull drum daily activities to a place where you forget all your ills and woes, let your hair down and bang yer’ head like one possessed this will stick in your head for days to follow. I’m not normally a fan of the genre. This however blew me away!

cleric

Cleric – Serpent Psalms

https://cleric-us.bandcamp.com/

The familiarity here for those of us with tastes for the old school and mid-tempo infectious silliness is undeniable. This is worship at the altar of both HM2 and the early 90’s British death scene. Boasting a seething dirge nature complemented by riffs and rhythms which are difficult to ignore this is a release which demands further attention and might well male one take a trip down nostalgia brutal ville to revisit that which is most probably collecting dust.

coffin rot

Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-monument-to-the-dead

A wicked mash up of Death metal styles from a slew of genre standouts concocted with style. For a debut this is eye-opening audio. Shit, even for a second, third or fourth album this leaves an impression. Coffin Rot have successfully injected a shot of wake the F up into the extreme arena. And to think the ingredients were always there ripe for the mix. Sit up and take note, this is prime end of years best audio right here!!

cycles of the damned
Cycles of the Damned – A Time to Survive

https://cyclesofthedamned.bandcamp.com/album/a-time-to-survive

As this plays out as the listener is dragged from one destination to another in a journey comprised upon a spectrum of landscapes formed from the unlikely coalescing of a myriad of styles. Fluidity is uncommonly commendable and I would suggest an afternoon free from distraction to be able to let the power of this release (as a whole, not track by track if avoidable) sink in. This is drenched in doom sensibilities, sludge qualities and a certain amount of unquestionable angst. Cinematic soundscapes are introduced showcasing psychedelic moments amidst unbound atmosphere to adds considerable depth.

esogenesi

Esogenesi – s/t

https://esogenesidoom.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled-death-doom-metal

In part familiar, easily consumable yet different, the whole effect is hypnotic and has the potential to take the listener far from their daily woes. Naturally the lyrics are spoken in a tongue only a few of us can understand which only makes this that much more intriguing and well worth setting the senses upon.

gatecreeper deserted
Gatecreeper – Deserted

https://gatecreeper.bandcamp.com/album/deserted

Gatecreeper wrangle arrangements away from plagiarist realms to homage territories adding their own creative fingerprint to delight the eager senses. The album offers both nostalgic qualities and enough groove to set any dance floor on fire (what?) This hits the spot! Highly recommended! An excellent combination of death/doom/old school and HM2 worship.

gevaudan iter.jpg
Gévaudan – ITER*

https://gevaudan.bandcamp.com/album/iter

Channeling a myriad of styles from as far afield as stoner rock, folk and Gothic rock with a varied landscape of doom in-between Gévaudan have meticulously crafted a collection of songs boasting undeniable fluidity which possess the power to cast a spell, a unfathomably huge web of appeal, upon all who choose to lay ears upon it. This about has it all and I can’t for the life of me wonder why it isn’t spoken about often and loudly, I’m here to change that!

golgotha.jpg
Golgotha – Erasing the Past

https://golgotha.bandcamp.com/album/erasing-the-past

Primarily doom draped with growling vocals, but also traditional heavily accented vocals which often give this more a Gothic Rock edge. Folk elements are subtle, undeniable power, presence and a stunning composition mastery are factors which can’t be ignored. Rhythms are both soulful, passionate and melancholic coupled with keyboard atmosphere the effect is an album which will make one want to sift through past efforts and pronto.

grond graceless split.jpg

Grond/Graceless SPLIT – Endless Spiral of Terror

https://grond.bandcamp.com/album/endless-spiral-of-terror-split-2019

Grond – This keeps the listener on their toes with rhythms which are steamroller in their assault; both infectious and atmosphere laden, with occasional nods to a slew of influence. Hardly technical neither repetitive in its riff approach the audio here nestles someplace in between with definite appeal for a wide audience across the board.

Graceless – Old school groove with oomph and a vocal style which will bring a face-splitting grin to any fans face. Infectious is a term which doesn’t quite suffice in this instance.

Overall, fans of OSDM will likely scramble over themselves for the quality this offers, suffice it to mention that this would make an excellent accompaniment to an already outstanding collection boasting the finest the genre boasts. (Is it me or does that look like Judge Death? Anyone?

hot breath

Hot Breath s/t

https://hotbreathofficial.bandcamp.com/album/hot-breath

This is an obvious palette cleanser for those whose interests primarily reside in the extreme but for those who dip their senses in metals roots this delivers all that one could wish. Hardly a copycat act this collective are slated to bear the standard of the revival into an age where more of the same (seemingly on repeat) needs to be eradicated at all costs. Give this a listen but be warned, it’s dangerously and instantaneously addictive.

hour of penance
Hour of Penance – Misotheism *

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/misotheism

Unmerciful in its approach and unrelenting in its salvo; this is what death metal is all about. Boasting zero progressive passages and sporting unerring brutality; intricate in its composition from start to finish. Drenched in speed, but not merely for speeds sake, and an atmosphere complemented by undeniable majesty which places it perilously close to the darker side of the metal spectrum this has the power to enthrall all who lay ears upon it. Top tier death metal right here!

in mourning
In Mourning – Garden of Storms*

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/garden-of-storms

The audio here is about as varied as one can imagine without it running into ridiculous territories, Avant Garde, or experimental realms. The styles herein tumble over each as though puppies at play without once resorting to brutality, the fluidity here is astounding. Growling vocals complement shifting rhythms, sweeping, soaring melodies and progressive passages which are exquisite. In fact, overall this is an album I’m itching to recommend to the wife if only it wasn’t for the fact that she has an aversion to growling vocals.

lindsayschoolcraftmartyr.jpg
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Martyr

https://schoolcraftmusic.bandcamp.com/album/martyr

Arrangements are often melancholic, always classically tinged and the album throughout is surprisingly radio friendly. Lindsay’s voice is impressive, adds significant presence to the audio with its ethereal qualities, mood and range; smoky, sultry and angelic. Admittedly, this is not what I usually set ears upon but this is fantastic for those moments you might want to share audio with the significant other who perhaps (if your situation is anything like mine) doesn’t enjoy the more brutal/extreme side of the metal spectrum.

necronomicon
Necronomicon – Unus

https://necronomiconbm.bandcamp.com/

This album drips with excellence, wisdom, atmosphere and an epic audio landscape drenched in master craft-execution of archaic qualities one cannot possibly ignore. If blackened death is the area of the metal arena upon which you spend most of your time you would be negligent not to place this within the ears. If this is a scene which is new to you and you’re curious this is a great place to start your exploration. Highly recommended!

negator
Negator – Vnitas Pvritas Existentia*

https://negator.bandcamp.com/album/vnitas-pvritas-existentia

An inhumane drum accompaniment lays the groundwork for the percussion to embellish upon. The albums pace is primarily hyper-speed; although there are plenty of instances where a slower, more atmospheric laden, pace comes to the fore. If only as foreplay to the brooding, sinister, brutality which is about to follow. Surprising melodies, an undeniable grandiose aura permeate this release and an undeniable diversity in rhythm amidst all its brooding archaic nature, majestic rhythms and hyper speed tendencies makes for a release which definitely stands out from the typical blackened affair.

orodruin
Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity

https://orodruin.bandcamp.com/album/ruins-of-eternity

Huge riffs, passionate rhythms, a NWOBHM nature and tone weaved among traditional heavy metal and doom stylings accompanied and supported by a powerful lead voice. This will leave fans of late 70’s early 80’s mid paced rock/doom wanting more.

Ossuaire
Ossuaire – Derniers Chants

https://ossuaire.bandcamp.com/album/derniers-chants

Furious and unmerciful, yet hypnotic. I don’t get how that works, it’s puzzling to be sure. But somehow, this has the power to enthrall. Ancient and mysterious, majestic and grandiose, this seethes with archaic malevolence and undeniable passion. A stunning feat!

rank and vile.jpg
Rank and Vile – Redistribution of Flesh

https://rankandvile.bandcamp.com/album/redistribution-of-flesh

Speed is often replaced by crushing heavy, slower, riff passages. Social commentary and angst however, is still front and center and highly influences the content of an often twin-pronged vocal assault which will carve a grin on any extreme fan’s visage. This offers more variety in tone and pace than one might have initially assumed, each track has its own identity and, to be honest, the style here encompasses a fair few genres rather than being able to fit comfortably into just one. Categorization be damned! Give this a moment in your ears, you won’t be disappointed!

Screamer.jpg
Screamer -Highway of Heroes*

https://wearescreamer.bandcamp.com/

this is NWOBHM traditional heavy metal everyone should aspire to perform to the level of. Addictive and enchanting don’t quite reach the words I need to utilize in this instance, I’m still reeling. I swear if these guys would triple bill with Metalium and Traveler the Earth would spin so quick on its axis as to create a black hole (ha, that’s not how that works, I’m a far-reaching idiot) but I’d be a happy fella.

shadow limb
Shadow Limb – Burn Scar

https://shadowlimb.bandcamp.com/album/burn-scar

These cats deliver and execute a smorgasbord of styles which combine to form a mesmerizing audio tapestry, a tableau which is familiar while at the same time intriguingly unique. An audio landscape which is unpredictable and exhilarating though on the other hand is also soothing and hypnotic. Go into this with an open mind and leave with the knowledge that their name is one you will be hearing a great deal of in the future.

Singularity.jpg

Singularity -Place of Chains

https://singularityaz.bandcamp.com/album/place-of-chains

Inferi technicality with a splash of Gothic aura (ala Cradle of Filth) wrapped in a maniacal grin carving delectable shell. Delicious rhythms, chasing melodies, galloping riffs, technically cavorting with progressive brilliance. Sci fi element? Check! Feast your ears on this and you will not be disappointed!! Stunning melodic technical death from the desert. The Artisan Era bring it again!!

slutvomit

Slutvomit – Copulation of Cloven Hooves

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/copulation-of-cloven-hooves

More than simply an album caked in filth, infernal nature and frenetic diabolical mischievous riffs aplenty this is an album that drips black sensibilities though is weighted in speed tropes, maniacal values, instantly appreciate able raunchiness and, naturally, wickedness. Lethal intent laden riff and dizzying rhythm transformations bring to mind vintage Morbid Angel as well Vader, even at times Slayer to offer a listen which is quite simply one of the year’s most surprising.

the bleeding morbid porophecy

The Bleeding – Morbid Prophecy

https://thebleeding.bandcamp.com/

Atmosphere coupled with flesh melting riffs, a thrashy death approach and vocals seemingly plucked from early Destruction. If your mood demands furious fluid riffing, evil (as in the inclusion of guacamole on a burger) and vocals which only make one want to serve at the altar of a Dark God then this will hit the spot, then serve to obliterate it!

The Scourge
The Scourge – Warrant for Execution*

https://thescourge-us.bandcamp.com/album/warrant-for-execution

Between the albums delicate balance and masterful combination of a slew of styles (namely hard rock, NWOBHM, Southern groove and thrash among others) there lies utter undeniable brilliance. Swift pace cavorts hand in hand with melodies which would otherwise seem foreign, though somehow The Scourge have managed to syndicate the two much like PB n Jelly and then topped the concoction off with stunning musicianship, creative genius and a vocalist whose skills I can’t believe haven’t been discovered and utilized up until this point. Overall the meshing and molding of the styles is exquisite bearing a fluidity which is erratic and rarely witnessed across the metal cosmos. Don’t let your friends tell you about this, be the first on the block to preach!!

Totengeflüster.jpg

Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine

https://totengeflsterblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/the-faceless-divine

An “Industrial” tightness, rhythm and blistering pace ala Ministry (circa “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”/”Psalm 69”), classical/Gothic symphonic backdrops, an occasional splash of war metal, vicious vocals a presence which is superb throughout all the ingredients for another unconventional black metal release which has me doing a double take, and I’m not even known to like ‘black metal’.

xoth

Xoth – Interdimensional Invocations*

https://xoth.bandcamp.com/

The shredding quotient in this is damn impressive the style dynamic yet diverse, infectious melodies, technical intricacies and progressive passages combine with a soundscape that’s part brutal death, part technical and slightly traditional metal in tone add to this lyrical content slathered in cosmic elements and a little levity and the result is a release which you cannot ignore!

November

abigail williams

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark *

https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/walk-beyond-the-dark

Hypnotizing from beginning to end this utilizes both traditional and non-traditional means to attain the heights which it transports its gob-stricken listeners. Beauty cavorts with viciousness and black metal sensibilities frolic with folk, doom, progressive and even the occasional traditional heavy metal element to form an ocean of atmosphere which like the nature of water itself is harrowing, melancholic and ferocious. The whole is utterly palpable in its effectiveness.

blood incantation

Blood Incantation – The Hidden History of the Human Race

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hidden-history-of-the-human-race

Intoxicating passages are plentiful alongside melodies, which invoke wonderment and awe transporting the listener to unfathomably vast cosmic landscapes. Menacing, enveloping yet drenched in melancholia coupled with transcendental qualities (strangely wallowing in David Bowie and Devon Townsend pools in instances) which demand exploration this is an album which only blossoms the more it’s allowed the dominate the senses.

minaton
Byzantian Neckbeard – Minaton*

https://byzanthianneckbeard.bandcamp.com/album/minaton

This collective pound out a style which is heavily doom/sludge infused though tainted with an undeniable thrash/death aura courtesy of the blackened vocal approach an occult Gothic vibe binds the whole together. Blanket the package in irresistible groove, a bluesy black and roll passion and you have a winner. Forget the recent connotations which come with the term ‘neckbeard’ and jump in. But be warned, you might not want to leave the catacombs anytime soon

cattle decapitation
Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas

https://cattledecapitation.bandcamp.com/

Prog/tech/grind/brutal death you can call this what you will but there’s no argument that this is inhumanely crafted with both precision and intelligence. Progressive passages meld with technical prowess and a pace which varies dramatically throughout both the album and every track making for a listening experience to please those with discernible tastes and those with open minds. No matter one’s opinion of what the band preaches, though it getting easier and easier to see their point of view, there’s no argument that this is a release which will carve a great many grins across the vast extreme audio landscape.

chained to the dead.jpg
Chained to the Dead – A Gruesome Encounter*

https://chainedtothedead.bandcamp.com/album/a-gruesome-encounter

Overall, crimson, guts, stabbings, slicing’s, creepy soundbites and an infectiously groove laden percussion with an emphasis on melody and rhythm rather than blistering O.T.T brutality this is an album which decimates unsuspecting earholes without falling into repetitive realms, alights furious fanboy cinematic horror/cult research and demands attention. There is a fair few in the same vein as this with soundbites aplenty abetted by a similar audio style but Chained to the Dead have managed, somehow, to combine the usual elements (grindcore, death, crust) and then included a certain something to elevate the final result from the pack. This is criminally infectious!

crusadist
Crusadist – The Unholy Grail

https://crusadist.bandcamp.com/album/the-unholy-grail

It’s hard to fathom that this is a debut. This reeks of experience and screams of a quality which comes from trial and error. Rare is it that an album digs its claws in, deep, from an initial listen. This is one of those rare examples and I pleased to impart that the same sensation lingers even following a third, fourth and fifth visit. The partnership of the guitars, bass and drums combine for an undeniably amazing effect (a dynamic structure which will prompt movement, riffs for days, menacing and ominous auras par excellence) Varied solo work which will leave one wondering what the hell is in the water in Chicago.

depressed.jpg
Depressed – Beyond the Putrid Fiction

https://depressedblacklion.bandcamp.com/

Hardly audio to take the scene into fresh undiscovered territories this is however incredibly solid from start to finish. Injected with a groove infused dirge tone and varied rhythms to give even the most hardened of death fan a sore neck following a listen.

fleshcrawl.jpg
Fleshcrawl – Into the Catacombs of Flesh

https://fleshcrawl.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-catacombs-of-flesh

Channeling “Massive Killing Capacity” era Dismember and a dirge which brings to mind the best of Bolt Thrower while boasting more pronounced D-beat, Crust elements and less ‘clean’ melodies the band have carved an album sporting stellar production (heavy on the drums giving it that desired oomph) which is instantly welcomed with eager ears. A Fleshcrawl for the coming decade offering up the classic Swedish MK2 sound with a freshness for the next generation to cherish as their parents did before them

galaxy.jpg
Galaxy – Lost from the Start*

https://galaxyaus.bandcamp.com/album/lost-from-the-start

Channeling NWOBHM, Power, speed and thrash metal elements Galaxy have created a release that’s dynamic, infectious and draped in a cosmic narrative. And all in a way which reeks of homage yet breathes with exuberance and youthful energy, a package which is sure to stand out.

Iapetus - The Body Cosmic
Iapetus – The Body Cosmic

https://iapetus1.bandcamp.com/album/the-body-cosmic

For those who have the patience, time and willingness to allow this to seep into the system the rewards are immeasurable. I’ll mention that this flows with an uncommon and undeniable brilliance throughout. Showcasing a love of the genre which is unquestionable and a talent for composition which is awe- inspiring Iapetus have formulated an audio collective which is both epic, intricate, diverse, unfathomably distracting and mesmerizing to the Nth degree. In effect, an album one might want to tether themselves to reality to before embarking upon.

immanifest

Immanifest – Macrobial*

https://immanifest.bandcamp.com/album/macrobial

Draped in cinematic values and drenched in an epic celestial narrative “Microbial” does much more than merely entertain like the run of the mill/normal tech-death affair. Chaotic, enthralling, epic and enigmatic there’s plenty to lose yourself within on display here and Immanifest have captured the full attention. It’s been an amazing year for metal and thus is sure to be an album discussed come years end. Don’t miss it!

mortuary new release 19
Mortuary – The Autophagous Reign*

https://mortuarynancy.bandcamp.com/album/the-autophagous-reign

After thirty years most have slowed, perhaps even changed styles completely to appeal to larger audience (I think we all know who I’m talking about). Mortuary however have shattered the ‘over the hill’ adage; if there ever was a hill, they’ve blasted their way through it! Pulverizing, unrelenting, riff assault part grinding death/thrash (with just enough technicality thrown in) part South American aggressive thrash. Complemented by a precise Misery Index-esque drum barrage but all ungodly infectious. Likely to be treated like a box of Pringles (you can’t play this just once!) this is an album which’ll make you wish you were fit; a single track is likely to leave you sweaty and tired. Awesome audio with incredible allure.

mix tape action

Keep it up you maniac, you’re nearly done!

Don’t fret, I’m still here. As I mentioned earlier this theses three months are divided into two installments based on the sheer amount of releases (and the level of quality) unleashed. The final installment is on its way. Until then don’t fear the discovery of audio which might normally seem foreign to the senses.

Cult

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

clothing-optional

C’mon, even seals love the sun.

Part the Third

Half the year has disappeared already and one might be wondering where, as it certainly doesn’t move that fast when one wishes it to. The lawn is demanding attention as it’s sprouting faster than a leopard after a potential mate and clothing is apparently optional (which isn’t always a bad thing). The world of extreme audio is still chugging along and the intensity only seems to be building. Now if only the kids could find something to do (for more than five minutes at a time) I might be able to fully immerse myself within all that the metal universe has to offer. (“…but, Dad!”) Onward.

(As is traditional my absolute favorites are marked with an *)

July

abominism

Abominism – s/t

https://abominism.bandcamp.com/album/abominism

Occasionally, albums and artists come from out of nowhere to kick one on their ass. And this did just that! Only six tracks on offer here but they are more than enough with their epic qualities to whet the appetite and leave the listener wanting more. Atmosphere is rampant as too dissonant rhythms, technical passages and progressive elements concocted and woven with such creativity and professionalism as too only draw the listener into the album’s entrancing spell the deeper in the listener gets. There’s a great deal for everyone to enjoy here as the style blankets a wide radius of the extreme metal spectrum all balanced delicately with absolute precision.

Baleful abyss

Baleful Abyss (F.K.A Zombieslut) – Death Propaganda

https://balefulabyss.bandcamp.com/

Dirge driven groove that’s highly nostalgic of the 90’s which demands respect and makes a fantastic addition to any collection bursting at the seams with death/doom laden dirge and death bordering on grindcore.

Beastmaker – Eye of the Storm

beastmaker

https://beastmaker.bandcamp.com/

Think traditional heavy metal with speed metal tendencies draped in a fine shroud of occult doom. This flows so damn well it should be criminal, and that voice. And although it’s short, barely four tracks I can honestly say this is dangerously infectious audio.

desecresyDesecresy – Towards Nebulae

 

https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/towards-nebulae

Crushing, heavy machinery, sonic barbarity with unmistakable influences aided by a suffocating atmosphere and an occasional cavernous doom presence which teases dragging the listener through grindcore waters. Highly effective and evocative audio with a vast cosmos conflict type narrative.

disowning human cattle

Disowning -Human Cattle

https://xenokorp.bandcamp.com/album/human-cattle

A myriad concoction of styles assaults the listener herein add a splash of technical expertise, undeniably excellent production and the album offers ten tracks any fan of the genre can readily consume without complaint and each with their own identity. Add vocals which fit perfectly and the album rockets into unforgettable realms. This album begs to be played again and again. Jump on this at your next earliest convenience!

 

ecliptic visionEcliptic Vision – s/t

https://eclipticvision.bandcamp.com/album/ecliptic-vision

Far from the typical brutal/progressive death affair this is an effort which delivers throughout and demands multiple listens to fully appreciate. Progressive themes knit tightly, and flirt constantly, with technical passages injected with nuance, varying pace and abrupt transforming rhythms. Ambient interludes add to the albums overall effect; the combination is bathed in other-worldly themes resulting in an album which thankfully stays this side of the gone too far to be saved cosmic tech-wizardry fence.

freighter the den.jpg

Freighter – The Den

https://freighter.bandcamp.com/album/the-den

Hard to describe, even harder not to instantly like. There’s truly something unique and utterly mesmerizing about the style, or rather the mixture of styles here. The lyrics are comic book-esque and fantastical in their scope with a style that’s somewhat comical and the audio is a hodge-podge of styles which are familiar yet hard to instantly place. Riffs here and there leer at the listener with an air of arrogance as if to say I dare you to pair me with an act, track and album. I dare you to tackle the quest.

gates to the morning

Gates to the Morning – Return to Earth

https://gatestothemorning.bandcamp.com/album/return-to-earth-ep

Odd how Jazz and Metal are two genres so vastly separate from each other yet they come together so amazingly well. Close to an hour in length this is so much more than merely an album, it’s far from traditional in any senses, more a journey through an audioscape which offers an experience demanding the undivided attention. A sojourn through a wilderness fraught with melancholy, bliss and exhilaration. Melody intertwines with majesty; brutality cavorts with the innocence of beauty accompanied by rhythms which are soothing yet shot through with an undeniable sinister air.

pathetic

Pathetic – Rat King

https://pathetic666.bandcamp.com/

A glorious mixture of influences keeps this album rolling. D-beat rhythms cavort with old school values and plodding riffs akin to that of the earliest Grave material. Lyrics often reek of a deliciously jaded Pungent Stench vibe, add this to an occasionally wicked soundbite, a dirge-laden tone ripped straight from the basement of the underground 90’s (think Bolt Thrower, Terrorizer) and a pace which often picks up frequently offering groove one cannot sit still to and you have all the right ingredients for an album which feels like it might have been released twenty-something years too late.

shades of deep water

Shades of Deep Water – Death’s Threshold

https://dunkelheitprod.bandcamp.com/album/deaths-threshold

Although this doesn’t seem that complex in rhythm or composition (at times it appears to dive deep into drone waters) it has a certain undeniable quality, a power, a captivating quality which is difficult to ignore. The album is only made even more impressive based on the fact that it was composed, mixed, recorded and mixed by a single soul, a talented individual indeed, J.H. A Fantastic mood accompaniment!

Thy_Art_Is_Murder

Thy Art is Murder – Human Target *

https://open.spotify.com/album/6P55RLLgax6WruBMdKWlvf

The partnership of Djent, Slam, melodic, brutal death and one of the finest voices in the industry is stunning; mixed to genius levels and appreciatively differing ratios within each track. Atmosphere, brutality, melody and a caliber of production only elevates the albums grandiose nature. It’s all here, in spades, making for a release which demands respect and the senses upon it.

vagrant

Vagrant – The Rise of Norn

https://vagrantblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/the-rise-of-norn

Weaving a masterful combination of melodies and atmosphere with lyrics based around warriors, folklore, fate and superstition Vagrant have managed to create an album which flows exquisitely. Rhythms intertwine with galloping and heavy riffs forging a release which is far from the run of the mill melodic death or even blackened death album. Offering symphonic death, melodic death exquisite acoustic elements, doom, folk and Viking metal this has the potential to appeal to a wide audience.

August

abysmalist.jpg

Abysmalist – Reflections of Horror

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/reflections-of-horror

Only four tracks on offer here but as an introduction to what the band offer this is stunning, an outstanding example of how death and doom realms can be manipulated to great effect. A delicate balance of atmosphere and brutality presented by considerable oomph to grab and hold the attention rapt. With this as a debut the future is blinding!

anticosm call of the void

Anticosm – The Call of the Void

https://anticosm.bandcamp.com/

Dynamic, ever evolving, melodic, passionate and draped in atmosphere yet miles from what could be termed traditional, both in rhythm and vocal departments. For those who aren’t quite willing to fully immerse themselves fully in any one genre this is great location to start a life-long exploration drenched with realms of amazement and wonder which is guaranteed to set the senses on fire.

Book of wyrms album

Book of Wyrms – Remythologizer *

https://bookofwyrmsrva.bandcamp.com/

A true celebration of epic heavy metal and traditional doom with NWOBHM stylings, cantering and galloping rhythms, swaying melodies and wicked leads topped off with ethereal vocals. Overall a fantastic achievement which thankfully never wanders too far into psychedelic waters, though on occasion dips more than a toe into its murky depths. Now this is Doom I can subscribe too!! Tear me away from this now, it’s fast becoming an addiction.

Cruickshank

Cruickshank – s/t

https://crckshnk.bandcamp.com/album/cruickshank-s-t

Driving rhythms, which often fight for supremacy in chaotic standoffs, traipse through a slew of styles offering the listener a great deal to discover. Overall a release which will please fans of Kyuss, Olde, Tool, EyeHateGod, Acid Bath and a slew of others acts who refuse to conform to a style that defined by any one genre. Someone is going to have to pull me away from this with considerable force, it’s growing on me like a ravenous parasite.

darkened

Darkened – Into the Blackness

https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/music

Although the familiarity is undeniable there is also something else which makes this stand apart. Presence, subtle atmosphere or the audios leaning toward death/doom territories. Whatever it is it works and I’m eager for more.

detherousDetherous – Hacked to Death

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/detherous-hacked-to-death

Channeling Malevolent Creation, Death and Asphyx, Detherous have managed to create a style that’s exuberant, furious (boasting exquisite time changes and abrupt mosh frenzy changes in pace) and technical. This is audio which unceremoniously pulls one back to the old school (both European and American) and does a great job of doing so. Call it homage, call it what you will but there’s no doubt this is executed with passion, flair and precision.

graveview.jpg

Graveview – Demos 18-19’

https://graveview-us.bandcamp.com/album/graveview-demos-18-19

Influences are undeniable but it’s what the band does with the tone and the myriad of other factors and how they incorporate it into their style which makes this special. Abrupt pace shifts and breakdowns executed with precision, know-how, flair, the fact that this is stunningly fluid, will incite grins aplenty and will delight long-time fans of the scene.

lllvilja livet

lllvilja -Livet *

https://phobiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/illvilja-livet-lp

A primitive, mysterious, spice heats up that which is already incendiary, both in its nature and infectiousness. Touches of stylistic diversity, and appreciative breaks from the same old, same old (which could well be expected based on this albums categorization, hailed as “Dbeat/Blackened-Crust”) propel this to refreshing heights making this a release set to be the bar which others in the genre will struggle to reach. This came out of nowhere to catapult me to the nearest medical facility on account of my abrupt skyrocketing excitement levels, it’s that damn impressive!

nomas last laugh

No/Mas – Last Laugh

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/last-laugh

I can honestly say I believe this to be their best work to date, as it makes an instant impression and is criminally infectious/inciteful from its nuclear-powered launch. Six tracks and perilously close to eight minutes in length. Yep, this is grindcore! And these fellows have an axe to sharpen and senses to obliterate.

 

overt enemy possessionOvert Enemy – Possession

https://overtenemy.bandcamp.com/

Slayer worship through and through (there’s even a ripping cover of “At Dawn They Sleep” and the bassists name even has a decidedly “Slayer” slant to it) of that there’s no doubt but Overt Enemy execute the style so damn well that odds are they’ll take the vacated throne without a qualm and little complaint.

wraith

Wraith – Absolute Power *

https://wraith-us.bandcamp.com/album/absolute-power

Like an adrenaline shot to a form weary of hype this awakens immediately the same feeling one had when first introduced to the scene. With splashes of punk, a style which rarely lets up pounding maniacally at blackened thrash/speed gates and a myriad of influence which vomits from near every track this is an album not to be missed. Add a double billed Hellripper, Wraith show to my bucket-list and I’ll leave this plane a happy fellow.

wizard rifle self titled

Wizard Rifle – s/t

https://wizardrifle.bandcamp.com/

The sound is altogether mesmerizing, even from the albums first notes, while wholly unclassifiable. The exuberance and energy are undeniable and infectious whilst the rhythms and tempo are ever evolving, shifting like an amorphous beast the likes of which you’d kindly invite in from the cold for a spot by the fire. Dense riffs collide with sacrificial drum salvos and plodding rhythms transform into galloping frenzied moments all accented by a diverse vocal tirade which incorporates melody, shouting and angst in equal measures. An epic feel underscores the whole shebang though its hardly given much heed as the music whisks the listener away to undiscovered realms, vistas and valleys frequented by constructs which are nonsensical yet accepted as easily as a birthday check, in the mailbox, from a long lost relative.

September

arctos.jpg

Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands *

https://arctos-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-grasp-of-mortal-hands

I’m not normally a fan of the Black Metal genre but this blows me away with its diversity and delivery in every way. Enthralling, hypnotic and stunning from start to finish, a must visit genre experience!!

alcoholocaust.jpg
Alcoholocaust – Necro Apocalipse Bestial

https://brigadantiposers.bandcamp.com/releases

Aggressive speed metal with the occasional splash of punk accompanied by maniacal and archaic heavily accented vocals. This could well be the foreign long-lost twin to Whiplash’s “Power and Pain” release. Criminally addictive and requires limbering up before hitting the play button. Prepare to have this reside in your audio equipment for an extended duration of time.

algebra

Algebra – Pulse?

https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/pulse

There’s an undeniable fluid nature here. Timing changes are exquisite, rhythms infectious and dynamic. Melodies are plentiful and change enough to keep a listener on their toes. A sense of familiarity abounds, leaves one scratching their heads as to which band or album this or that part sounds like, but it doesn’t take away from the listening experience in the slightest. Oftentimes an epic narrative unfolds by way of the music alone complementing the thought-provoking lyrical content. In short, a winning combination which if someone could bottle it would most probably be titled something along the lines of ‘Excuse me for a second while I blow your mind’, or” Forget the Remainder of your day you’re about to be Unfathomably Distracted”. Naturally words, as they often do, fail me as I attempt to imprint my appreciation upon the flashing screen beneath my hands. Don’t, DON’T, don’t, allow this to go unnoticed.

ankhara

Ankhara – Sinergia

https://fighter-records.bandcamp.com/album/sinergia

Showcasing passionate rhythms, galloping riffs and dynamic, high energy, percussion there are zero dull moments here to be discovered. The style varies and brings to mind a plethora of acts some more distinct than others as the album unfolds. If your interests lay more in hard rock more so than the darker end of the metal/rock universe this is where you’ll want to rest your ears for a while.

coldclaw.jpg

ColdClaw – Anti Martyr: Decades to Suffer

https://ritualsoundrecords.bandcamp.com/album/anti-martyr-decadess-to-suffer

Coldclaw’s is a style which captures the essence of black metal. Crust as experienced throughout the album in various passages featuring dominant drum salvos; which are difficult not to move to and death metal as heard within various chugging riff approaches and the brutality which is displayed dominantly throughout. The result is a collection of tracks which has the potential to appeal to a wide audience, some who are curious about arenas they perhaps haven’t discovered before and others whose interests lay within the styles mixed with such passionate precision here

come back from the dead album

Come Back from the Dead – Rise of the Blind Ones

https://comebackfromthedead.bandcamp.com/

With melody and groove throughout this rarely let’s up in the infectious department. Think a hybrid of 90’s European death, old school British grind/death with a complementary sprinkle of doom and a maniacal essence. A mixture no doubt which has been perpetrated before but, in this case, somehow it feels fresh and leaves quite an impression.

cult of sorrow.jpg

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer

 https://cultofsorrow.bandcamp.com/

Traditional, melodic, riff heavy with just the right amount of fuzz, keyboard laden, passionate doom with heavy metal leanings. Think The Obsessed with vocals of an Ozzy era Black Sabbath slant. This has undeniable staying power, shows experience beyond only being a second full-length and is extremely difficult not to instantly appreciate. And this only gets better with repeated listens.

ethereal riffian.jpg

Ethereal Riffian – Legends

https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/album/legends

A varied smorgasbord of doom, wall to wall melody and influence ranging from across the metal spectrum. Vocal inflections channeling Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies) a musical style often akin to that of early Faith no More, and unpredictable, driving rhythms with occasional strangely soothing qualities. Highly entertaining audio that’s dangerously infectious and pleasingly varied throughout.

high command

High Command – Beyond the Walls of Desolation *

https://highcommandsl.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-wall-of-desolation

Every once in a while, there comes an album which has a buzz surrounding it. This is one such example. Often this buzz has much to do with unique qualities; a quality which has the potential to take genres in new and exciting directions. This is hardly another run of the mill, dime-a-dozen thrash album although it bears the ingredients which most exhibit if only in part, and all wish to master. Is this the thrash album of the year for me? It’s certainly up there in the mix and unashamedly guilty of rekindling my interest in the genre.

Horror God

Horror God – Cursed Seeds

https://lavadome.bandcamp.com/album/cursed-seeds

Melody and groove take a backseat to the menace and ferocity on display though it’s still apparent albeit in frenetic doses. The constant timing and rhythm shift as well the musicianship on offer and the booming vocal cadence elevate this above the herd. A dark nightmarish, punishing, narrative is what’s on offer here and I’m taking the trip again.

 

IATT
IATT – Nomenclature

https://iattblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/nomenclature

Once over the initial foreign aura the album’s foreign nature grows on the listener, starting its enthralling conquest of the senses. In short, this will appeal to those with an open mind whose penchants run to blackened realms as well arenas which are often referred to as a tad experimental. Be prepared for you’ll want to lose yourself in its grandeur again and again.

netherbird.jpg

Netherbird – Into the Vast Uncharted

https://netherbird.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-vast-uncharted

A remarkable invocation of the blackened death style crafted with precision showcasing passionate guitar leads, acoustic brilliance and sweeping evocative melodies. A veil of doom, a definite well-executed presence, accentuates the palpable emotion throughout making for a release one will only want to experience repeatedly.

Sempiternal Dusk

Sempiternal Dusk – Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cenotaph-of-defectuous-creation-2

Catacomb-esque mid-tempo rhythms with subtle nuance and oodles of archaic, cinematic quality, atmosphere in the form of an unmerciful steamroller assault. Suffocating audio with a slight funeral doom aura, dense yet also flirting with a blackened vibe, a myriad of tempo and time changes under epic skies offers the listener plenty to chew upon. This might take a second listen to fully embrace but it’s worth the effort!

void king

Void King – Barren Dominion

https://voidking.bandcamp.com/

Took me a while but now I’m thinking the raw, unbridled, emotion-laden vocal style is a hybrid of Staind Channel Zero (although my only experience is the album “Unsafe”) and Danzig it’s highly effective against the slow to mid-tempo rhythms and presence, the combination is nothing short of powerful and utterly mesmerizing. The fact that this is radio friendly should not deter one from giving it a fair few spins. An altogether brilliant slab of doom/stoner rock with Southern rock touches. Highly recommended!

wintercrown

Wintercrown – Northern Lights

https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/northern-lights

I can’t pinpoint it, perhaps it’s the fact that Wintercrown aren’t afraid to branch out (ever so slightly) to encompass elements from other genres both musically and vocally. Or the fact that the combination works so ungodly well. Whatever it is, it’s executed excellently, I’m sold! And this has been one of the most impactful Black Metal experiences I’ve heard in recent memory. Bravo!

mix tape action

Keep it up, you maniac!

Well, there’s another couple of months’ worth of releases to dive into. Naturally, I haven’t heard everything within these three months, not even close in fact. I was slightly distracted with the summer holidays and the kiddos not being in school. However, I did make an attempt which often resulted in virtually sleepless nights and varied exciting moments of zoning out at work the following day. And all in the name of metal! (What a trooper). Due to the sheer volume of releases unleashed during the final three months of the year I’ve come to the conclusion that what I believed to be an initial four-part endeavor will now transpire into what I’d like to think of as a five-part opus. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Cult (a certifiable slave to audio extreme)

 

Writing for a new Zine from the Ground up

For those who may not know me, I’m imagining this is probably pretty much everyone reading this, I’m proud to state I have scribbles in various places across the vast landscape of the internet. Obviously, they range from Kindergarten level to the quality of that which you’re laying eyes upon at this very moment (to be honest the caliber hasn’t changed that drastically in years).

sixintheheadzine

In recent years I’ve veered from horrific attempts at vile fiction (a few of which can be seen here in this site) towards a more review -based realm.  I’ve tackled movies of all kinds and a wide variety of music, though I’ve never attempted to ponder upon a tabletop game. That however recently changed when I was asked by Paul (creator of sixintheheadzine) to scribble a few words upon the newest creation from out of Games Workshop stable (is it best I add a copyright sign here, lest I get sued?)

Warhammer Warcry

Warcry is a game whose fundamentals (gameplay, etc) is familiar but whose characters are somewhat fresh originating from a realm that many know but under a different guise. In short, I had fun pondering upon that which I attempted when I was much younger but could never actually get into for one reason or another (I preferred the painting over the gaming). I wrote an initial introduction which was humorous to the point of making me giggle but I honestly don’t know if it fit. It was decided that it, in fact, didn’t. However, seems as I always giggle when I lay eyes upon it, I only thought it prudent to share. Here in its entirety The Warcry introduction (smirking is optional)

pots n pans armour

for the record; this is neither Paul nor this articles author.

“Alright guys. Thanks for coming. I didn’t honestly think anyone would show.”

“Didn’t Gerald say he was coming?”

“He might not, he’s “unconventional” at the best of times. What say we get started?”

*Clang

*Clang

“All fukin’ righty-then. Let’s get this shindig starte-!”

“WHAT. THE. HOLY. FUCK. GERALD!!”

“Are they pots and pans?”

“Fashioned into the finest coat of arms, as you can see. Now where are these beasties which beg for slaughter?”

“Dice. Gerald. Dice. We use goddamn dice! And what the fuck is that? You’re burning a hole in the carpet.”

“It’s my special weapon blessed with an eternal flame of vanquish.”

“NO. It goddamn isn’t! It’s a chair leg with nails through it, with a cloth wrapped around it which is on fire. Your mum is gonna kill you. And you need to get the F- out. Now. Before this whole place burns to the ground.”

“Umm. Ok. I guess I’ll see you all at work then?”

“Get out!”

The entire article along with a slew of other interesting stuff (and a picture of a chicken) can viewed at https://sixintheheadzine.com/

Thanks again to Paul who decided to capitalize upon miserable talent when he saw it.

Cult