Archive for the ‘Recc by Drew’ Category

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Nine

black metal gif

It’s been a while, and for that I apologize. Between work, family and days off (where I haven’t much time in which to scribble) I’ve found it difficult to do much of anything. There are moments I wish I were in quarantine apart from the fact that the wife works from home. However, I’ve persisted and have managed to find a few albums which I deem worthy of attention. Obviously, there’s still so much more which demands respect and an immeasurable number of acts who warrant support in these unprecedented times. Admittedly, not only acts but others, individuals, the list is too long to mention here, who aren’t quite so fortunate. However rather than turn this into a diatribe I’d like to give thanks to those who toil, sweat and persist about their duties on the frontlines but also to those who continue to offer entertainment, invaluable distraction from that which burdens most everyone’s conversation. Seriously. Fuck Covid! This too shall pass, but until it does stay strong and metal.

A Few Plucked from 19′
Dissorted (Germany) – The Final Divide

https://www.facebook.com/BlackSunsetMusic/

Release- October/25/2019
Black Sunset

dissorted

ARTWORK- 77

Sonewhere between Lovecraftian lore and Biblical text this depicts definite sides. Whether Right or Left Twix has the advantage I’m not sure.

FIRST TRACK- 78

Thrash bordering on melodic Death with sufficient Hardcore in the vocal department to have one thinking of The Haunted, even in instances The Exploited. A great start to get one in the mood to keep the neighbors awake at an ungodly hour.

INITIAL LISTEN- 76

A wicked Thrash mixture which boasts infectious riffs, plenty of aggression, smattering of hardcore and crossover elements and varied, though quite obvious, influences. A varied vocal approach helps to keep the album exciting ranging from an Antheax Bush-esque approach to that heard upon the undeniable standout belter “Picasso Warhead” which sports closer to an Arraya vibe. Overall an album and an act wjo demand attention, especially for those whose genre interests are rooted in the more melodic Thrash arenas circa the late 80’s/early 90’s.

Favorite Tracks; Aggressor/Protector, The Plague, Leviathan, Bloodshed Divine, The Temple, Picasso Warhead.

FFO; The Haunted, (later) Anthrax, Exodus, (early) Flotsam and Jetsam, Annihilator, Armored Saint.

Dead Prophet

Dead Prophet (Poland) – Sounds of Enlightenment (EP)

https://deadprophet.bandcamp.com/

Release – December/12/2019
Independent
ARTWORK- 73

I’m honestly not sure what this is. Perhaps a machine of some sort which elicts a wide range of emotions. Perhaps the cogs of Government and the populace represented by the faces. None of them are happy, any surprises there?

FIRST TRACK- 86

With an introduction which sounds like a slow descent into the underworld this collection is off to a chilling start. However, what follows may be surprising. This isn’t audio of the Blackened Death variety but rather that of hellish fast paced and precise destruction. It’s rather difficult not to move to this. A great start to put one in the mood to get shit done. If “shit” includes destroying everything in sight.

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

Eerily similar to Origin in boasting the same hyper speed approach there’s no deny that these guys bear some skill. This is tight and precise whilst also punishing. Much like being stuck in a tornado of razor wire this will shred the senses and leave one disoriented although it does slow in moments in order for one to catch their breath before the next bludgeoning. I can’t understand why these guys arent talked about more.

Favorite Tracks; Stunningly devastating throughout.

FFO; Origin, Kataklysm, Obscura, Abysmal Dawn.

January Releases

acid mammoth

Acid Mammoth (Greece) – Under Acid Hoof

https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/acid-mammoth-under-acid-hoof

Release-January/24/2020
Heavy Psych Sounds
ARTWORK- 92

With only three colors on display, each in stark contrast to the other, this could be called simplistic. It may be but with the focus of the image on a large fluffy mammal and several robed figures, milling about, the theme of the album becomes more than obvious. Heaviness and the Occult, or am I wrong in my assumptions here?

FIRST TRACK- 84

The opening riffs of this album pounces upon the senses like the mating cry (?) of Mammoth (or so I would assume); thunderous, forlorn, yet laced with soul. The track continues to offer head noddin’ melodies draped in fuzz and lyrics basted in the occult.

INITIAL LISTEN- 92

I’m not usually into (what some might call) “traditional” Doom however this has somehow managed to ensnare me in its spell. The term “traditional” is somewhat loose here as this showcase’s stoner, psych, and bluesy elements all of which are delivered in such a way as to give this an undeniably fluid nature. Huge riffs cavort with an undercurrent of flowing melodies invoking ominous landscapes and scenarios drenched in dread, all of epic cinematic quality. The vocal accompaniment adds brilliant narrative flair slathered in emotion. Overall, this album boasts a vintage aura and tone more than likely to please those already into the scene and entice those who aren’t, who might have been curious before, towards the fold. Admittedly it’s been a long while since an album of this ilk has had such an impact on me as this has (even on a first listen basis). Outstanding doesn’t even come close! Suffice it to mention this is the bar for me which all others in the genre will be judged.

Favorite Tracks; Captivating throughout.

FFO; Electric Wizard, Monolord, Sleep, Black Sabbath, Trouble.

March Releases

graveripper

Graveripper (USA) – Complete Blinding Darkness (3 track EP)

https://graveripper.bandcamp.com/

Independent
Release- March/6/2020
ARTWORK- 76

A primitive black and white skull complete with tombstones, a crow, coins and a flower (wait, what?) This has a slight crossover/hardcore vibe going for it ala The Exploited. I’m intrigued.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Rip-roaring, head bobbing arrangements, a slight Punk vibe as well nods to vintage Thrash and traditional Heavy Metal by way of the rhythms and the production’s tone. The inclusion of melodic Death/Black with the inclusion of maniacal elements make this a curious listen, leaving me eager for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN- 80

A varied mixture of styles keeps this interesting. The second track is an about face from what the first hints at and adds a blackened tone (with slight Industrial leanings) with groove to the mix. The third is the most aggressive of the three and ramps up the blackened speed element. The style heard here opens up a whole new influence smorgasbord making for a listen which is deliciously diverse yet not so much as to fracture the potential fan base. If anything with deftly mixed myriad of styles on offer this collection will turn eager ears towards genres which would normally remain unexplored (which is quite the feat in and of itself). Dynamic and exciting this triad of tunes keeps the listener moving and looking to the future for more of the same. Keep up the great work guys!

Favorite Tracks; The One Reborn, A Swift Kick to the Teeth.

FFO; Forbidden, The Exploited, SkeletonWitch, Celtic Frost.

angerrot

Angerot (USA) – The Divine Apostate

https://angerot.bandcamp.com/album/the-divine-apostate

Release – March/27/2020
Redefining Darkness Records
ARTWORK- 76

I’m honestly not sure what this is. It appears to be a subterranean landscape depicting a form conversing with a crab. Perhaps sizing up the appropriately sized tank for such a creature, perhaps contemplating which butter would work best?

FIRST TRACK- 88

Biblical in its grandiose nature and fashioned with considerable presence this is one hell of an opener. An expert crafting of Doom and mid-tempo death which harkens to both the Old School and HM2 worship with delicate touches

Overall a track which reminds me of “Damnation and a Day” era Cradle of Filth cavorting with a Septic Flesh nature.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

Somewhere between Hypocrisy, Septic Flesh, Abysmal Dawn and Cradle of Filth (circa “Damnation and a Day”) lies the style wherein. Hardly Technical yet delicate and full of depth, precariously close to brutal realms, though miles from that which might traditionally come to mind. This boasts a style which is doused in a sinister shroud, excellent arrangements and exquisitely crafted atmosphere Death/Doom throughout rather than brutality or chuggery often associated with run of the mill Death, an epic narrative which conjures both biblical landscapes and Lovecraftian arenas. Better yet it carves a grin on the chops each time it invades the senses.

Don’t sleep on this one!

Favorite Tracks; Below the Deep and Dreamless Sleep, Vestiments of Cancer, Coalesced with Wickedness, Counsel of the Unholy, Thy Kingdom Burned.

FFO; Hypocrisy, Entombed, Dismember, Abysmal Dawn, Septic Flesh.

April Releases

traveler termination shock

Traveler (Canada) – Termination Shock

https://travelermetal.bandcamp.com/album/termination-shock

Release- April/10/2020
Independent
ARTWORK- 88

The reoccurring space entity theme/World Eater is wicked. This bears larger than life cosmic cartoon qualities, also a slight tongue in cheek element which cannot be ignored. An 80’s vibe which screams to be put on a wall, shirt or a denim jacket.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Unapologetic NWOBHM vibes here in an indisputably similar vein to Di’Anno era Maiden. Guitar harmonies, sweeping melodies and vocals of the somewhat falsetto variety, I’m not entirely sold yet but I am intrigued.

INITIAL LISTEN- 77

Comprised largely of traditional Heavy Metal, part Power, part Epic with traditional Doom elements tossed in to add depth and flavor this encapsulates that which made the Rock and Heavy Metal arena so damn enjoyable and fresh in the late 70’s early 80’s. Foot tapping dynamics, rhythms which invoke epic narratives with an abundance of eye opening leads and solos which add to the allure. Bass lines to make Steve Harris foam at the mouth, unexpected atmosphere, even at times a sound which brings to mind a concept aura. This offers a great deal for fans of the early years of Heavy Metal to get excited about, though personally (in moments) it wades too far into Power and Epic realms for my tastes. I’m of the mind this will grow to consume me with repeated listens, but for now I’m merely sinking lazily into its enchantment.

Favorite Tracks; Shaded Mirror, Termination Shock, Foreverman, Diary of a Maiden, Deepspace.

FFO; early Iron Maiden, Omen, early Queensreich, Dio, Angel Witch.

noroth

Noroth (USA) – It Dwells Amongst Us

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/it-dwells-amongst-us

Release- April/10/2020
Caligari Records
ARTWORK- 81

Primitive Black and White art with an over-abundance of skeletons, skulls and an undeniable archaic/mystical nature. What’s not to like?

FIRST TRACK- 82

Old school bludgeoning rhythms, lazy growls of the death/doom variety (which aren’t at all a bad thing) and an overall style harkening back to the 90’s. Add noodles of groove, a few riffs reminiscent of early Gorguts and you have an intriguing start to any album.

INITIAL LISTEN- 86

Mid-tempo old school, dirgey, diabolical madness. This has shades of Bolt Thrower, as well Celtic Frost, a smidgen of HM2 worship but a whole ton of selling the soul to the old school. If the quality of this doesn’t have you sifting through your early 90’s music collection, albums which deserve revisiting often, I don’t know what to say. This has nostalgia written all over it, packaged in groove. It’s an audio parcel you’ll want smashing into your senses again and again. Don’t ignore this stunning debut!

Favorite Tracks; Shadow, My Patriarch, Cerberus, Extinction, Prisoner ov Splendor, It Dwells Amongst Us.

FFO; early Gorguts, Cianide, early Unleashed, Morgoth.

myth of I

Myth of I (USA) – s/t

https://mythofi.bandcamp.com/album/myth-of-i

Release-April/10/2020
The Artisan Era
ARTWORK- 87

A clearing in the forest bathed in the sun’s brilliance. Be it dawn, or dusk I’m not sure. Regardless the image is stunning perhaps hinting at I can only image audio of atmospheric black tendencies?

FIRST TRACK- 90

A tranquil introduction complete with pristine production and a nature soundscape is reminiscent of Tiamat’s “Wildhoney” album but more immersive. Its soon replaced by progressive chords, a tech death aura, albeit relaxed, and virtuosic fretboard manipulations slathered in a cosmic vibe. Technical but hardly brutal this is strangely relaxing and highly mesmeric.

INITIAL LISTEN- 89

Traversing a smorgasbord of arenas this take the listener across a vast audio landscape. Dipping into a myriad of stylistic territories the sound here ranges from as far afield as Djent and “angry jazz” (love that term) there’s even synth elements to break up the album some. But don’t let the word ‘Jazz’ fool you, as this is far from what you might assume it to be. Naturally, it’s intricate, technical, often dreamy but altogether enthralling in its brilliance. Far from brutal but encroaching upon the same grounds which many Tech Death bands reside this shows a musical collective in top form. Call this slightly different, call it a palette cleanser, label it with whatever moniker you wish there’s several thing’s which can’t be denied; it’s hardly Atmospheric Black, it shines with a absurd excellence and cannot (and should not) be ignored. Itd rare an slbumnif this ilk grabs me as ferociously as this, I’m hardly an instrumental fan, but this is something altogether different. The Artisan Era have done it again! Get this in the ears pronto but be prepared for it will whisk you away to realms both disorienting and sublime, and often in the track.

Favorite Tracks; The whole album delivers, strangely entertaining even without a vocal accompaniment.

FFO; Blotted Science, Athiest, Hannes Grossmann, Howling Sycamore, The Devon Townsend Project.

RECC by Demnuts (via Twitter)

nightshock

Nightshock (Italy) – Battlefield Necromancer (EP)

https://nightshock.bandcamp.com/album/battlefield-necromancer

Release -April/10/202
Unsigned/Independent
ARTWORK- 60

Raw and primitive. This gives little away in relation to what’s in store for the listener with a simplicity which harkens to the tape trading days of the 80’s. The bands logo and font is a tad ‘odd’ putting me in mind of audio releases with Synth values. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m stramgely intrigued.

FIRST TRACK- 88

An introduction of a Dungeon Synth ilk opens this audio collection and much like the cover gives little away in relation to what’s to follow. It soon comes to an end, replaced by jugular tearing riffage of a type which nods towards both blackened speed realms and Crust territories. Wicked accented vocals add to the tracks blunt appeal. This is a tad primitive, in a Venom type way, and seethes with a DIY primal nature an overall approach which is difficult not to appreciate, especially for those who prefer their tunes with little preamble, at maximum volume.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

Overall a listen which is sure to get the pump pumping and the limbs twitchin. A release which explores both Blackened Speed sensibilities though also tinkers with melodic majesty ala Storm era Dissection. Crust and D-beat elements add to the fun making this a collection of tracks which although quite simple, occasionally veers towards repetitive, in their arrangement are hard to ignore. Just try not to move with this in the ears.

I’m eager for more, this is just too damn short.

Favorite Tracks; The whole damn thing!

FFO; Witchery, WolfBrigade, Hell Ripper, Whiplash, Whipstriker.

archaic vanity

Archaic Vanity (Turkey) – Deformed and Disfigured (EP)

https://archaicvanity.bandcamp.com/album/deformed-and-disfigured

Release- April/13/2020
Independent
ARTWORK- 92

I’m a sucker for black and white art. But this is ridiculous! Fractured mind, internal turmoil, cosmic entity in disguise caught off guard, or is this a bonus scene from “The Void”, alternatively John Carpenter’s “The Thing”? If the audio is anywhere near as impressive one is in for a sinew shredding workout. If the band is reading this, I want this image on a shirt (where might one be able to sate the desire for such?)

FIRST TRACK- 91

Merciless multi-faceted rhythms, technical leads, harsh vocals and melodies. I’m quite taken aback. This is my first experience of the band and I’m in shock. This is damn good audio.

INITIAL LISTEN- 93

Vicious, fast paced, intricate and dynamic showcasing technical florishes and rhythms likely to send a corpse into convulsions. Brutal and tight but miles from merely sensorial devastating noise pollution this overflows with an exemplary sinister nature and palpable menace and yet tetters on the delicate balance of both atmosphere and maelstrom force of pissed off nature assault. I’m astounded that this is the first I’m hearing of these guys. Set the ears upon this and prepare to have the jaw hit the floor. Seriously this Fn’ rules!!

Expect to hear me rave about this again as year-end approaches.

Favorite Tracks; Blistering audio throughout and I have zero qualms.

FFO; Pestilence, Atheist, Hath, (mid era) Death.

cemetery filth

Cemetery Filth (USA) Dominion

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

Release-April/13/2020
Boris Records/Unspeakable Axe Records
ARTWORK- 88

Masterful Dan Seagrave art, scratch that, it has that vibe but is actually penned by the multi-talented Jaunjo Castellano. Vivid, mesmerizing, sinister. Lovecraftian otherworldly with archaic secret society undertones. I could use a bunch of words here but I wouldn’t even come close to describing the undeniably brilliant aura. Just awesome!

FIRST TRACK- 82

Much like a persistent alarm (and sleep function) the beginning of this track warns the listener to get ready for that which is about to unfold. In this case the audio on offer, not the day ahead. And bot does it unfold! Tumbling chaotic rhythms, an enveloping sinister audio blanket, maniacal flourishes and cavernous vox. Overall a vibe ripped from the old school ala Suffocation wrestling Terrorizer for arrangement superiority. Suffice it to mention…I’m awake and paying attention.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

Old school in temperament boasting superb production and clarity with every instrument clear in the mix. This is an undeniable nod to the forebears of the scene but with an added certain something which brings the past barreling to meet fans of the current. A touch of Grindcore and a dash of Crust aid the albums allure but it’s the drums and groove backbone which have me bouncing around like a maniac. The arrangements harken to influence from across the extreme board and Cemetery Filth aren’t afraid to prod the maliciousness of Death towards the harrowing nature of Doom add to that diabolical sprinkles and maniacal passages and you have a release which only gets better with each spin. This is likely to appear on a plethora of lists come years end, for good reason.

Favorite Tracks; Exhumed Visions, Aeons in Dis, Devoured by Dread, Dominion.

FFO; Terrorizer, Suffocation, Misery Index, Disincarnate.

Werewolves

Werewolves (Australia, UK) – The Dead are Screaming

https://werewolvesdeathmetal.bandcamp.com/

Release- April/24/2020
Prosthetic Records
ARTWORK- 82

This has a vibrant medieval vibe. However, I’m not sure if this giant fellow is the leader of a merry troupe or if he is being attacked by them. Alternatively, whether he/she is forming from the amassed crowd. Regardless, an intriguing image which demands closer inspection.

FIRST TRACK- 79

An intriguing Hammer-esque introduction leads into Hyper-speed drumming accompanied by straight for the throat no nonsense brutal riffs and zero BS. Groove as well a driving dirge approach aided by blunt, hammering, rhythms. If this isn’t the soundtrack to incite carnage in a mosh pit I’m not sure what is.

INITIAL LISTEN- 90

It’s as if this release is a melting pot, a boiling receptacle, a container of sorts which combines Grindcore, Brutal, traditional and Blackened Death into a concoction somehow without any of the elements losing their stylistic identities. The varied maelstrom of probable influences assaults the listener in an intensity which is nearly as forceful as the audio itself. Churning, evolving, transforming and hardly static this gains momentum as the album progresses, and only widens the eyes as it inexorably reaches its conclusion. Blistering, yet technical and pleasingly diverse this is one hell of a way to introduce the labors of many a mind from across the extreme audio spectrum, with the same varied arenas of interest showcased exquisitely throughout. Be prepared for the audio here will spark frenetic, spastic, movements without apology or permission. This will drop on the senses like a ton of bricks followed by the wayward impact point of an aircraft carrier. Grab that wallet!

May Favorite Tracks; I honestly started to list tracks only to realize I was listing the whole damn album. Fk this is godly!

FFO; Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, The Berserker, Cannibal Corpse, Terrorizer.

May Releases

resent crosshairs image

Resent (Canada) – Crosshairs

https://resent1.bandcamp.com/

https://nervealtar.bandcamp.com/album/crosshairs

Release – May/1/2020
Dry Cough Records/Nerve Altar/Rope or Guillotine
ARTWORK- 73

This image is fuzzy, raw and I can hardly make it out. But there’s obviously something going on. As if this is something which shouldn’t be seen, a forbidden ritual perhaps or an atrocity which should probably never been photographed in the first place. Suffice it to say, I’m just a little curious.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Tell me how much it hurts…

It hurts alot!

I can’t feel it!

It hurts…A LOT!

And then it begins. Distortion, huge riffs and industrial grade groove. However, this is raw, universes from clean and it has undeniable bite. A ferocious abrupt snapping of, the foaming at the mouth, jaws from a rabid animal which one might approach as it appears at first dead. A laziness which is all enveloping. Quicksand qualities to the Nth degree.

INITIAL LISTEN- 81

Prepare to enter a world of anguish. This is heavy duty sludge, grindhouse sludge in fact. Naturally, it helps this description that introductory soundbites are also yanked from the same unapologetic arena. Add elements of Crust, an unmerciful raw bludgeoning harsh nature, riffs akin to scratching nails down a chalkboard, snarled vokills and sufficient groove and you have a collection of tracks which is sure to get the speakers shaking and the neighbors pulling their hair out in appreciation. Recommended more for those who prefer unbridled chaos and unhinged angst and brutality rather than traditional rock arrangements and melodic compositions this leaves a mark and in fact fits the moniker of this article as if it were designed specifically for such.

Favorite Tracks; Miserable, Crosshairs, Victimized.

FFO; EyeHateGod, Acid Bath, Meth Drinker, Fetish 69.

ara

Ara (USA) – Jurisprudence

https://arawi.bandcamp.com/album/jurisprudence

Release- May/15/2020
Independent
ARTWORK- 76

A collection of skulls affixed to a table (?) by their tongues there’s definitely something archaic and barbaric going on here.

FIRST TRACK- 74

Brutality and bludgeoning chaos beats out melody and groove here. This is an all- encompassing introduction sure to leave the listener in disarray.

INITIAL LISTEN- 76

Hardly traditional but undoubtedly brutal this album strays from what one might expect and keeps groove and melodies at a minimum. Choosing instead to concentrate on overlapping riffs and constantly evolving rhythms it showcases a chaotic, unpredictable and unmerciful approach aided by vocals with considerable angst in a similar vein to EyeHateGod. Not recommended for the casual listener, the weak or those with a penchant for epic introductions often bathed in symphonic qualities this is blunt, harsh and uncompromising with an atmosphere which screams sensorial punishment.

Favorite Tracks; Mythos, Excursus Praestinguo, Pounded into the Multiverse.

FFO; Anata, Gorguts, Atheist, Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal.

godless truth

Recommended by Drew

This release comes courtesy of my globe-trotting friend. He found this in a street market in Hungary and, apparently, immediately thought of me. What say we give it a spin?

Godless Truth (Czechia) – Arrogance of Supreme Power

https://laceratedenemyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/godless-truth-arrogance-of-supreme-power

Release – October/15/2004 (remastered in 05′ w. an added bonus track)
Lacerated Enemy Records
ARTWORK (based on the remastered 05′ edition) – 71

Moody crimson splattered across a landscape littered with the impaled dead with a horned fellow front and center (most probably itching to ask “What you looking at?”) It’s rather obvious what’s on offer here, this certainly isn’t a Top 40 release.

FIRST TRACK- 73

The introduction sounds like a hybrid consisting of a narrated introduction to a low budget horror/fantasy dystopian epic (chunk of celluloid) and a horror themed shoot-em-up platform game. It gets one in the mood leaving little question as to what’s about to assault the senses. And there’s little surprise when Brutal Death starts to blare from the speakers. However, it isn’t only that, there’s several other elements tossed in to mix up the listening experience. A smidgen of Slam, flourishes of Technical with plenty of passages showcasing the drumming skill and bass manipulation. All in all, an intriguing start.

INITIAL LISTEN- 74

I’ve yet to hear an album in which Vin Diesel stars as the introduction. This is a first. More surprisingly yet is that the track in question is rather impressive, in fact the album as a whole isn’t at all shabby. Close to what Dying Fetus albums offer the listener this adds Slam, Grindcore elements and a little experimentation. Guttural as well tradition Brutal Death utterances are prevalent accompanied by the percussions unmerciful brutality resulting in an experience which delivers, in fact, gets better as the album progresses. Minor qualms include naff translation and the fact this isn’t as melodic as I would like. But it’s minor and I understand that tastes vary. With that in mind is guaranteed to please a great many into the more chaotic, Brutal arenas.

Favorite Tracks; Mission: Fuck You, Reprobate Intention, Instructed to Degrate, Embraced to Void.

FFO; Dying Fetus, Benighted, Suffocation, Job for a Cowboy, Malignancy, Crytopsy.

And that brings this gargantuan installment to a close. Hopefully I’ve introduced an album or two you might not otherwise have heard of and are currently enjoying. As always feel free to suggest that which I might have missed or something you have an especial fondness for. Feel free to comment and please share in order that others might discover that which might normally be foreign to the senses.

Your slave to audio extreme,

Cult