Archive for the ‘Reccd by UniqueHiFi’ Category

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Ten

fuk covid

…or listening to Metal!

At present these entries have transformed to a few and far between affair. And for that I apologize. It’s frustrating I’ll admit; not being able to scribble upon that which interests me and brings a spot of shining brilliance to an otherwise humdrum existence. But it’s become the norm as of late and I’m having to ‘steal’ time in order to correlate, compose and post anything. However, I’m dedicated and determined to keep this thing going, to get the word out to praise audio which, I believe, demands discovery.

Without further ado…

Plucked from Metal Past
Drontheim (Germany) Down Below

drontheim

https://wraithproductions.bandcamp.com/album/down-below

Release – February/22/2019

Wraith Productions

ARTWORK – 70

Shadows, more shadows and what could possibly be either water or an outcropping of rock. I’m not even sure. However, if the music is as dark as the image, we’re in for some gloomy, doomy audio.

FIRST TRACK – 90

This could well be the resulting mash up of Paradise Lost and Katatonia if only David Bowie were to take the vocal duties. Then add some 90’s Goth Pop, Abstract lyrics and you’re even closer to what this provides. This is miles from my usual wheelhouse of interests but I’m finding myself strangely drawn to its Alternative, Post, Progressive, Doom allure.

INITIAL LISTEN – 90

With no two Tracks here alike this (album) offers a great deal to discover and get excited about. Industrial tones, progressive arrangements and melancholy all filtered through a veil of a palpable ominous, cinematic, atmosphere. Far from harsh this provides quite the distraction from the norm and offers rhythms to sink within accompanied by a certain nostalgia whose origins only seems to escape from the tip of the tongue as the audio evolves from one track to the next. Simply put if you enjoy the unpredictable diversity of Faith No More and are open to the occasional dip into Industrial Goth and murky Doom waters this is a release you need between the ears. Keep the assumptions at bay and the mind open and this will serve excellently to break up the day’s woes adding a spark to the normalcy of the day’s playlist.

Favorite Tracks; Varied, exciting and hypnotic throughout.

FFO; Rammstein, The Prodigy, Seigmen, Zeromancer, Ljungblut, NIN, My Dying Bride, Ulver, Red Harvest, DHG, Faith No More, Peeping Tom, Anathema, Katatonia, Kent, Ved Buens Ende, 3rd & the Mortal, The Soundbyte, Calmcorder, KkoagulaA, Manes, Atrox. (This is cut and pasted from promotional materials as I fear I couldn’t quite nail its wide influence radius and promote it to the audience it deserves).

Degenerate

Degenerate (The Netherlands) Devastation Ahead

https://band-degenerate.bandcamp.com/

Release – November/15/2019

Independent

ARTWORK- 76

Simple, vivid and to the point. I like it!

FIRST TRACK- 91

It takes a few seconds to realize this is neither Grindcore, nor Tech Death, though it displays elements of both it soon finds its rhythm. This is Thrash, aggressive have no doubt of that, bordering on Melodic Death it has bite, a rabid intensity and a flow which will have the listener up and on their feet in no time. An awesome start!

INITIAL LISTEN- 86

I’m not normally a fan of thrash, unless it makes an instant impact. And this does just that! Razor wire vocals, searing riffs, amazing solos, heritage flavor and vertebrae snapping rhythms, this is just the start of the list which makes this album stand out. I cannot for the life of me wonder why this didn’t feature on a plethora of year end lists, it’s that impressive (and my neck hurts so good).

Favorite Tracks; Adrenaline spiking from start to finish!

FFO; Sepultura, (newer) Exodus, Machine Head.

Interrupting the Normally Scheduled Broadcast for Something Completely Different.

folian

Folian (USA) -Blue Mirror

https://folian.bandcamp.com/album/blue-mirror

Release- January/31/2020

Anima Recordings

ARTWORK – 72

A little artsy, but I get the point; someone has perished, possibly at sea. But is the kelp or seaweed (or is that hair?) to blame or something entirely more sinister still?

FIRST TRACK – 86

“Post Metal”, “Shoegaze”, “Doomgaze”, “Noise Rock”, “Drone”. I’m honestly not sure what either of these terms means but this has an undeniable appeal, a curious start if truth be told, and has somehow managed to capture me in its allure even though at first the track appears rather relaxed and unassuming it slowly builds into a magnificent cinematic arrangement seething with a grandiose nature.

INITIAL LISTEN – 89

Far from what I would normally place in my ear this still has an undeniable charm, a familiarity if you will which is distorted, slightly jaded, taken into Ambient and Drone realms then delivered, repackaged, slathered in each of the aforementioned elements to envelope the listener in (“spacey”) tones which effectively cover a wide radius of the emotional spectrum. There’s an aura here, a strangely relaxed one that wavers, which surpasses atmosphere, an all-encompassing vibe which transcends the typical listening experience transporting the albums audience across transcendental landscapes dotted with passion, intrigue, daunting lows and exhilarating heights. Admittedly, this is a release I had second thoughts about discovering (especially after reading the genres listed as descriptions) however after doing so I’m glad I took the plunge. This is quite simply brilliant, but keep those assumptions at bay, go into this blind without prejudices and make time for a complete listen without distraction. Guaranteed to make more of an impression the more it’s experienced.

Favorite Tracks; Enchanting throughout, this collection is downright hypnotic even though it’s far from “the usual”.

FFO; Somali Yacht Club, NIN, Oasis, Stone Roses, Nuerosis.

March Releases
Reccd by @LFCMFighter

raider

Raider (Canada) Guardian of the Fire

https://raiderofficial.bandcamp.com/album/guardian-of-the-fire

Release- March/20/2020

Independent

ARTWORK- 74

Am I about to plunge my ears into Power Metal, or audio with an Epic feel with a possible fantastical edge? Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK- 83

Well, this is hardly Power, or even Epic, metal. It’s definitely Thrash. The bang yer head wicked variety complete with breakdowns, solos and venom dripping vokills. Suffice it to say I’m diggin the shit outta this thus far.

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Who says one can’t have a kick ass Thrash album sporting cover art which might hint at more melodic arenas, perhaps audio of a more Epic nature? But that’s not to say that this isn’t. It is most definitely guilty of having riffs (for days) and rhythms you can most certainly without any doubt lose the last vestiges of your sanity too. Also, surprisingly, leads and solos which inspire air guitar aplenty, the air of old school Heavy Metal influence is distinct yet never an element which is utilized too often. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t let the cover steer you astray. Sure, this bears fantastical elements, lyrics hinting at conflict, menacing forces and the like. If truth be uttered this precariously teases jumping the boundary of the Death fence, though manages somehow to remain firmly rooted upon the Thrash side. This is inarguably audio which incites frenetic movement, sweat and exhaustion, for this makes one move and doesn’t let up till the digit moves against all restraint to hit the play button again.

Favorite Tracks; Blistering throughout!

FFO; Sodom, Annihilator, Crusadist.

Aodon

 Reccd by @uniquehifi
Aodon (France) – 11069

https://aodon.bandcamp.com/album/1-1-0-6-9

Release – March/27/2020

Willowtip Records

ARTWORK- 70

The onset of decay or time, I’m not sure which. This gives little away as to the audio within.

FIRST TRACK- 93

A dissonant nightmarish backbone complemented by evolving rhythms and ferocious vocals. A little different than most in the same arena but it certainly makes an impact.  This is rather hard to describe easier to enjoy. An unfathomable impressive commencement.

INITIAL LISTEN- 92

This is my first experience of these guys and just… wow! Honestly, I’m always a little put off by an album which might not make sense to me on first glance, seriously what’s up the title? But after a little proddin’ (thanks to @uniquehifi on Twitter) I allowed this entry into the ears. Fuck me (I never swear, just ask the Fn’ wife) this produced an instant reaction. It’s hardly traditional, actually rather hard to describe without making people shake their heads in confusion, but it works. The style is as equally as ferocious as one is lily to hear but the accompanying rhythms which set this apart from the pack, the feel, the atmosphere, the aura. This is different, you can be sure of that but it’s not so wildly obscure as to be totally out of left field (what, a baseball reference?) Give it a chance and feel free to thank @uniquehifi too.

Favorite Tracks; Astounding throughout!

FFO; Atmospheric Black Metal with a slight Avant Garde aura and a Post/Progressive edge.

Temple of Void

Temple of Void (USA) -The World that Was

https://templeofvoiddoom.bandcamp.com/album/the-world-that-was

Release- March/27/2020

Shadow Kingdom Records

ARTWORK- 94

Exquisite inks, oozing with detail and life, displaying an arcane location, a landscape painting which seethes with ominous atmosphere. I’m left to wonder is this the bands rehearsal space?

FIRST TRACK- 92

Slow, crushing, ritualistic with an atmosphere which is palpable. Albums don’t start any better than this. Death Doom of the highest order which makes me wonder why I haven’t laid ears on this band before now.

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

At times the audio sounds as if Grotesquery and Paradise Lost got together and decided to combine their most notable talents. The vocal approach is a brilliant narrative (ala Grotequery) whilst the melancholic aura and arrangements of Paradise Lost (“Shades of God”/”Icon” era) is undeniable. This combination works superbly for the first few tracks offering a depth and aura which is quite simply astounding, but the album somewhat peters out, trudging into Groove Death depths, losing some of the magic the first half exhibited (although to be fair the bar was set extremely high from the get go). Climaxing with the near ten-minute title track the album reaches near the brilliance it started with to leave the listener hungry for another listen. Overall, this is a stunning effort sure to widen the eyes of anyone unfamiliar with how the band tackle the genre they choose to manipulate. Fans of Death/Doom take note this traipses into territories, both rhythmic and arrangement, one might not predict whilst still managing to return to familiar realms without alienating the audience, only one of many reasons why this deserves a slot in the collection amidst other greats. Make room!

Favorite Tracks; The Beast Among Us, Self Schizm, The World that Was.

FFO; Paradise Lost, Grotesquery, Novembers Doom.

Razgate

Another Reccd by @LFCMFighter
Razgate (Italy) – After the Storm…the Fire

https://razgatethrash.bandcamp.com/album/after-the-storm-the-fire

Release – March/27/2020

Punishment 18 Records

ARTWORK – 89

I’m all about Fantasy. Fantasy and Horror. Combine the two, in this case a questing Barbarian confronting an enigmatic entity perched upon a mountain of skulks, and I’m a salivating fool. Such is the case here!

FIRST TRACK – 91

A classical, Baroque, introduction sets the scene for pummeling, domicile obliterating, rhythms and a vocal style which is…wait for it…eerily similar to a certain Tom Arayas. This is my introduction to the band admittedly; Consider me sold!

INITIAL LISTEN – 94

This might ruffle a few feathers (keep in mind it’s my opinion) but experiencing this for the first time is akin to my virgin experience with Slayer audio. Daaammmmnnnn-! About covers it! This checks all the boxes I require checked to be able to enjoy a Thrash album (not all Thrash is the same, no matter what your parents tell ya). And then it rips the list from my hands and sets it on fire! This seethes with Ill-intent, with no consideration for the listeners well-being, seriously else why would those responsible make this so GD infectious. There’s even slivers of traditional metal and Speed influence in here and sufficient tempo changes to make one think for a brief moment that the punishment is through (but no-!) To make matters worse (just take my wallet!). Bastids the lot of em’, here I am spinnin’ this like one possessed and the day is just slipping away. You know, I’m sure I had things to do today. Ah, well. I can see my digits reaching for the Play button, again, I have zero control. Don’t get caught in the same trap. Save yourself!

Favorite Tracks; I’m going to burn this album before I lose my sanity, my job, my marriage and did I mention control of my appendages? I probably should have started with that, have a spotter when you listen to this and ear plugs for them so they might be about to hit Stop, every once in a while, but not too often.

FFO; Slayer, Nuclear Assault, Havok, Annihilator, Sodom, Three Inches of Blood.

April Releases

Carnal Savagery

Carnal Savagery (Sweden) – Grotesque Macabre

https://carnalsavagery-chaos-records.bandcamp.com/album/grotesque-macabre

Release- April/1/2020

Chaos Records

ARTWORK – 72

It’s as though someone ripped a page out of Seagraves book, blew up the image and added a Zombie, with a few scavenging companions, with his insides falling out. There’s little doubt as to what’s on offer here.

FIRST TRACK – 82

Filthy, mid paced madness with flourishes of abruptly inciteful rhythm (to send one into a moshtastic orgasmic salivating state) oozing with the trademarked genre’s HM2 menace, enough atmosphere to sate and unhurried commanding growls. All in all, a great combination with excellent delivery. A fantastic start to get one in the old school mood.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

As the title of the album suggests the feel of the album is one of blood, bone, carnage and obliteration. Obviously, this concept isn’t fresh, new, or even ground-breaking but is delivered here in such a way as to make the listener sit up and take note (shit, it even comes complete with atmosphere). Carnal Savagery aren’t another dime a dozen copycat act, these guys have been around (since the scenes inception). Add to that the fact that a certain Dan Swano decided to ‘help out’ and it means be prepared, as he most definitely knows his stuff and the myriad depths of the genre itself. The album itself benefits from a fantastic tone, a dirge, an electric charged distortion which recalls the heyday of the scene and the audio itself? Well, it could well have been recorded in the same era as it reeks of professionalism, wisdom and a quality which will be instantly accepted. Hardly a parody of, and miles from plagiarist material but rather an addition to that which has already left its mark. Jump on this as I can only imagine if these guys stick around, they will stand alongside Entrails, LIK and Nocturnal Hollow to hold the standard for the scene into the new decade.

Favorite Tracks; Not a single one but the whole damn thing.

FFO; Bloodbath, Vomitory, Ribspreader, Dismember, LIK, Entrails.

 Grieve

 Grieve (Finland) – s/t (12″ MLP)

https://werewolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/grieve

Release – April/3/2020

Werewolf

ARTWORK- 86

Black and white ink mastery. A form, a ghost, a wraith looks toward the storm laden distance for meaning, as He/She does so it parts welcoming his arrival. This is my take. I could be miles away but it’s impressive nevertheless.

FIRST TRACK- 92

Malicious blizzard riffs complementing a somewhat Folksy/Viking aura with slightly Cosmic undertones. Howls and snarls makeup up the vocal accompaniment. Blanketed in atmosphere the track makes for an amazing introduction to the band and their style.

INITIAL LISTEN- 91

Only two tracks on offer here, barely ten minutes but it’s more than enough to whet the appetite for more of the same. Blistering frigid riffs, snarled venom, epic narrative lyrics and melodic majesty. This is Black metal with bite, emotion, rhythm and a smidgen of D-beat combined to leave an undeniable mark.

Favorite Tracks; Both tracks are unfathomable impressive.

FFO; The Abyss, Dissection, Emperor.

Graveir

Graveir (Australia) – King of the Silent World

https://graveircult.bandcamp.com/album/king-of-the-silent-world

Release – April/17/2020

Impure Sounds/Brilliaint Emperor Records

ARTWORK – 78

I’m honestly not sure what to think of this. An excellent shadow heavy image with hidden meaning. Guessing I need to break out my thinking cap. A skull is front and center draped in a shroud of sorts with a plethora of crosses hanging from his/her(?) neck. Perhaps she skull is surveying its domain; “The silent kingdom”. And everyone is also of the not breathing variety, thus incapable of making a sound.

FIRST TRACK – 72

Grandiose Post meets Atmospheric Black metal with wailing vocals and a rumbling dirge nature. Not entirely what I was expecting but I remain intrigued.

INITIAL LISTEN – 76

Hardly tradition Black or even Death or the “assumed” combination of the two this relies more on ritualistic dirge and borders on an industrial tone. Rhythms are often an undercurrent rather than a driving factor and cavort playfully within the arrangements. Post and Progressive properties are dominant as too an undeniable ominous nature though overall this isn’t too far from the ‘norm’ as to alienate fans of either Black or Death, although as it stands  it should appeal to those more with Cavernous penchants perhaps even Grindcore and Crust tastes as this shows slight elements from each realm also, rather than that of the straightforward chuggery variety. This has grown on me over several listens, and has blossomed to show a wide swath of influences, so I don’t expect an instant downright appreciation.

Favorite Tracks; The Fetch of Crooked, Immacolata,

FFO; Akercocke, Aodon.

Kurnugia

Kurnugia (US) – Forlorn and Forsaken

www.reverbnation.com/kurnugia

Release -April/27/2020

Momento Mori

ARTWORK- 78

I can’t get over the fact that the face reminds me of the ‘witch’ creature from the “The Dark Crystal”. Otherwise a nice image with excellent colors and details.

FIRST TRACK- 82

With an intro with sounds like a soundtrack which accompanies the money shot scene to a later day Gothic shocker questions arise as to what might be on offer. But fear not, the first real track on offer displays melodies of a remarkable nature any fan will be able to instantly appreciate. Classic Death metal ripped from the 90’s playbook strangely somewhat both American and European in tone. Chuggery and atmosphere and a vocal approach akin to that of “Corpsegrinder”. I’m all ears; this is quite the opener!

INITIAL LISTEN- 86

Grinding, rumbling Death with enough movement in its arrangements to stray from the realm of boredom. A classic of all that works merging the old school ala Bolt Thrower with a dynamic approach, barely this side of technical bordering on at times Grindcore sensibilities, and plenty of groove to carve a grin on any fans chops and keep it there. This is quite the find for any bored with the plethora of acts sounding the same ole and bringing little to the scene. These fellas know how to play, compose and deliver an album which delights.

Favorite Tracks; Top notch Death metal throughout.

FFO; Angerot, Grave, Unleashed, Benediction, Vomitory, Bloodbath, Gorguts, Morgoth.

And a new segment, because I’m literally drowning in Metal (not time) I wish to promote. Introducing; The “WTF Lightning Review”.

TUUNBAQ

TUUNBAQ (Russia) – Graves of Ice

https://tuunbaq.bandcamp.com/album/graves-of-ice

Release – September/13/2019

Artwork – 74

Ferocity – 88

Groove – 87

Infectiousness – 88

Originality – 76

Genre – Grindcore/Crust

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 87

Atmosphere, Grind, Sludge and Groove…Hell to the yes!!

Legendry

Legendry (USA) – The Wizard and the Tower Keep

https://legendry.bandcamp.com/album/the-wizard-and-the-tower-keep

Release – November/1/2019

Artwork – 74

Ferocity – 24

Groove – 72

Infectiousness – 83

Originality – 76

Genre – Heavy Metal/NWOBHM/Folk/Prog/Doom/Epic Metal/

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 84

Exquisite fantastical themed Traditional Metal bursting with nostalgia, diverse styles and an undeniably fluid nature.

Embodiment

Embodiment (UK) – Palingenesis

https://embodimentofficial.bandcamp.com/album/palingenesis

Release – April/24/2020

Artwork – 86

Ferocity – 89

Groove – 83

Infectiousness – 92

Originality – 65

Genre – Tech/Prog Death

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 91

Ungodly impressive tech/prog death w. classical elements and a hypnotic allure which is unfathomable.

Divine Chaos

Divine Chaos (UK) – The Way to Oblivion

https://divinechaos.bandcamp.com/album/the-way-to-oblivion

Release – April/24/2020

Artwork – 84

Ferocity – 75

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 84

Originality – 60

Genre – Aggressive Thrash/Melodeath

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 83

Insanely catchy, dynamic arrangements with wicked vocals topped off by impressive production.

Destroyed in Seconds

Destroyed in Seconds (USA) – Divide and Devour

https://destroyedinseconds.bandcamp.com/album/divide-and-devour

Release – April/24/2020

Artwork – 89

Ferocity – 86

Groove – 89

Infectiousness – 92

Originality – 70

Genre – D-beat/Crust/Hardcore/Thrash/Dirge-laden Death metal.

Will I Revisit? YES

Final Score/Remarks – 91

Top of the heap D-beat with varied influence which demands ears upon it!

It is impossible to sit still while listening to this!

exhausted animal Well shit, this turned into a Thrash lovefest, I didn’t intend for it to be the case but I just so happened upon a few Releases in the genre worthy of praise. I’m still hurting from Razgate (damn you @LFCMFighter!) And I suspect it might be the case for a great many others whom stumble upon its charm unsuspectingly. Again, this has taken a while, I only wish I could do more but alas thing while Covid thing has me working and babysitting (Can I call it that if it’s my child…?) rather than working and scribbling. Although I have inserted another segment in order that I might be able to promote more albums in a timely manner.

Until next time, don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the senses.

Cult

Abrasive Audio (part the fifteen)

Bad-taste-Header Introduction

Fifteen? Why, how time flies. But where have all the others gone?

Enough with the question (but what is it with this week’s batch of mainly Finland and USA originating albums?) let’s get into all this edition has to offer, a new (to me anyway) batch of raw and extreme audio. With a few surprises tossed in for extra points, recognition, or…something. (Did I mention that Void recently tossed me his thoughts on the latest Possessed album?)

hive night cats

HIVE – Nights Cats
(Canada)
Release – June/21/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/night-cats

ARTWORK – 6

What should one think when this image sits in front of the retinas? I’m not entirely sure, I’m merely hoping this doesn’t put off the crowd who base book purely on its cover, as this albums description intrigues me to no end.

FIRST TRACK – 6.5

Sludge rhythms set against soundbites depicting atrocious acts set against a chorus of “Halleluiah praise the Lord!” This even showcases lines by Danny Devito, one has to appreciate that, although I can’t imagine his squat form parading in the slightest to what this audio offers.

INITIAL LISTEN – 6.5

Raw (this honestly sounds like it was recorded into a boom box in someone’s basement) primitive and bursting with attitude this is certainly not a typical genre release but more the maniacal wranglings of an act who care not for production values but rather the point they wish to convey. A hybrid of sludge, raunchy rock, humor and roll and grindcore an overall concoction which harkens back to the days of GG Allen and the real punk scene rather than the commercialized one many fell ‘ass over tit’ for.

Recommended for those who care not for production values and music which appeals to a larger audience but rather the undeniable passion behind the audio.

Favorite Tracks; Capitalistas, Smashing the Bylaw, K4S.

all hell

All Hell – The Witches Grail
(USA)
Release – June /7/2019
Prosthetic Records
https://allhell.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 9.5

Innocence with a seething, brooding, Gothic nature. Sacrificial vibes (a chalice offering) complete with the moon, nature and a scowl as if to say “It’s your turn, do your part”. Am I to expect audio of a doom tinged nature? Only one way to find out.

FIRST TRACK – 8

Light rainfall complements an aura of “something wicked this way comes” (to quote Bradbury). With the introductions conclusion the music offers a mid-paced thrash, punk, Exploited vibe complete with Celtic Frost undertones and a vocal accompaniment which brings to mind Chance Garnette of SkeletonWitch fame. A delightful concoction with a splash of darkness leaving me eager for whatever else this album might offer.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Amidst all a myriad of influence on offer I was somewhat surprised to hear a track which brought to mind the Asgardian shenanigans of Unleashed, albeit with a blackened thrash edge. Other styles (which can’t be ignored) border on D-beat territory, vintage black metal ala Bathory, speed metal of the blackened variety which is enjoying a recent revival of sorts (with the likes of Hellripper and Bastardizer) and a Gothic nature which shrouds the whole affair. Though one can’t ignore the undeniable groove on offer throughout, there’s also a celebration of the roots of many a blackened influence, as well homage to recognizable greats within its ranks. A celebration that’s added to with a slew of identity and breakneck rhythms keeping this current, intriguing, exciting and far from copycat realms.

Favorite Tracks; Into the Trees, Where Devils Once Danced, The Witches Grail.

black frat

Black Rat – Dread Reverence
(Canada)
Release – November/23/2018
Shadow Kingdom Records
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dread-reverence
ARTWORK – 7.5

Midnight in the vaults; Alfred is hungry. He wants some food. He has an establishment in mind, but he had nobody to go with.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

What an introduction to Black Rat!

A Gothic hammer horror esque soundtrack opens the proceedings and within no time the listener in stumbling in the darkness, tripping, falling, surrounded all the while in a pitch aura that’s claustrophobic in its vicious intent. Barks and snarls come from every direction with menace poised to pounce, its fangs dripping in venom and crimson.

Excuse the prose ladies and Gents this has me excited, stimulating my creative glands (nope, not those!) I can’t help myself. Imagine if you will black metal colliding with crust, speed and heavy metal. It sounds rather messy, but this works!

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Call this what you will; filthy, raunchy, rock and roll with a blackened attitude, encrusted speed metal with a dash of blackened influence? It doesn’t matter. One thing’s for certain; these guys know how to raise the pulse. Riffs are ferocious, delivered with intent and underscored by a Gothic majesty a celebration of all manner of things sinister. But let us not forget the tone, a dense punk vibe, a carpet of filth awaiting its cargo. A load which appears by way of chains, studs, spikes and denim, an undeniable celebration of speed and traditional metal adorned by an atmospheric cloak the likes of which has yet to see the light or feel the warmth of the sun.

In short, this album is raw, boasts intriguing melodies, surprisingly atmospheric slower paced interludes and yet overflows with attitude and malice the likes of which will sate those with yearnings for both vintage pace and blasphemous venom.

(And no mention of moose, maple or Molson anywhere. Whoops!)

Favorite Tracks; Into the Ebony, Coffin Rock, Headless Countess, Haunter of the Threshold.

shades of deep water

Shades of Deep Water – Death’s Threshold
(Finland)
Release – July/8/2019
Dunkelheit Produktionen
https://dunkelheitprod.bandcamp.com/album/deaths-threshold
ARTWORK – 7.5

This is another cover up for discussion in regards to its meaning. I see a cavalcade of monks parading alongside a ruin of some sort cradling a myriad of skulls. But why? Are there auditions, en masse for Shakespearian plays in which the Paul Yorick part needs nailing? I have no idea and will attempt to hide my ignorance and apparent shortcomings in the psychology field with humor as I normally do.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

Hunting and eerie, this grabs ahold instantly and puts one in a hypnotic daze, a trance where the listener falls ever deeper into melancholy. An excellent start that’s enthralling to say the least!

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

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. An unfathomless depth of a sort which summons the listener much like a Siren begging them to ignore, forgo all of their responsibilities in order that they might fall under this album’s spell.  Excellent use of string instruments only adds to the overall experience making this a release which is hard to step away from. An 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.

Highly recommended and a fantastic mood accompaniment.

evil angel

Evil Angel – Unholy Evil Metal
(Finland)
Release – May/31/2019
Hells Headbangers
https://evilangel.bandcamp.com/album/unholy-evil-metal
ARTWORK – 8.5

Upside down crosses, horns, cryptic scribbles and that tone of green. I believe I would have to be someone of the highest order of ignorant to not be of the understanding that this is going to be an audio outing of the most deliciously dark and tasty. I’m excited already.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

Seconds in and I’m already of the thought that is going to be filthy, grimy, blasphemous but most of all bloody enjoyable. Hail Satan, Stan, Irene, Terry or any other demonic deity who might, or might not, be doubling as a Wal-Mart greeter. This obviously isn’t audio that’s groundbreaking but this is damn good!!

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Blackened speed and a sense of humor. With a track titled like an audio issuance from the main face, the “warrior”, behind Celtic Frost how could they not be charged with such? Sounding like true homage to the South American scene of yore but with an added energy surge only bathing in the waters, which make up the source, of Red Bull could possibly induce Evil Angel offer a sound that’s akin to bestial metal on steroids. Huh? But, wait, there’s more, this has discernible rhythm. Riffs which’ll make you want to slap your Granma and drag a newborn into the pit (sorry, that was uncalled for!) The production is pumped, the raw nature (strangely) exemplified and the attitude, well it’s hard to argue against the fact that these guys are back with vengeance after an extended hiatus (following 2007’s ‘Unholy Fight for Metal’ release). Silly me I would’ve never though Finland a breeding ground for types who might bring bestial metal back into the fore. But it appears it is! This will be on repeat loud, in traffic, even in line at the nearest Government office, the location of which I’m not sure why I’d bother to visit to be honest! This deserves to be shared. And Evil Angel warrant praise!

Favorite Tracks; Necro Black Mass, Nuclear Hammer, Sacrificial Slaughter, Ritual Sacrifice.

skelator

Skelator – Cyber Metal
(USA)
Release – June/21/2019
Gates of Hell Records
Clawhammer PR
https://trueskelator.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 8.5

Graphic comic book carnage complete with a samurai, flashing blades and plenty of spraying crimson. This looks fun!

FIRST TRACK – 8

Channeling Helloween, Skelator deliver infectious riffs, solos aplenty and tolerable falsetto vocal range. Speed/heavy metal draped in undeniable fantasy/sci-fi influence. I’m surprisingly intrigued based on the fact this isn’t normally my go-to genre.

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

Homage of ‘nerd culture’ (sorry, couldn’t think of another way to put it) from the 80’s is rife here. Including nods to Akira and Fists of the North Star (both Anime/Manga), Highlander (“There can be only one!”) and a slew of other shows and movies which I know I greedily consumed whenever possible in my freckle faced, innocent years. The style herein is eerily familiar especially to fans of vintage Judas Priest, Riot and older Helloween. Think melodies and gymnastic vocals with a style that’s decidedly German power metal and you’ll be in the ballpark in regards to what this offers. I listened all the way through without skipping, that’s admittedly quite the feat for me. And I’ll probably do so again.

Favorite Tracks; Cast Iron, The Hammer, Seven Scars.

howling sycamore

Howling Sycamore – Seven Paths to Annihilation
(USA)
Release – June/21/2019
Prosthetic Records
https://howlingsycamore.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 9

A storm brews, lightning strikes but the meditating fellow is undisturbed. I wonder what he’s listening to.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

Dramatic, passionate and not at all what I’d expected but wholly intriguing. Bordering on epic traditional heavy metal values with undeniable progressive elements this offers a rhythm and vocal style which at first doesn’t appear to be cohesive at all, strangely it works with a captivating allure.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8

Complex and progressive the style often brings to mind Nevermore albeit with more gymnastic traditional vocals and a style which rarely dips into thrash or death realms. Rhythms are technical, unpredictable, bringing to mind Dream Theatre even Rush. In moments chaotic and often far from any one traditional genre (though closer to epic, power and traditional heavy metal), in instances this dips into avant garde’ arenas, and often gives the audio a ‘weird that it meshes as well as it does’ vibe. The combination remains intriguing throughout offering instruments whose placement seems odd (jazz accoutrements) and an audioscape that’s vastly different than the norm but thoroughly entertaining. Think progressive, technical, doom with an emphasis on a lyrical narrative and emotion. The inclusion of, ‘sticksman’ extraordinaire, Hannes Grossmann takes this to another level adding intricacies only repeated listens will uncover.

This is most certainly an album which will grow on the listener even if it doesn’t immediately ‘stick’.

Favorite Tracks; Departure, Second Sight, Raw Bones.

atlas entity

Atlas Entity – Beneath the Cosmic Silence
(USA)
Release – June/14/2019
Independent
Mind Eraser PR
https://atlasentity.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 8.5

The tones within this image hint at many things but chief among them moodiness and plenty of atmosphere. Color me intrigued!

FIRST TRACK – 9.5

Intricate, classical, beautiful acoustic mastery. I am at a loss for words. Exquisite is another good one to use (and I utilize it entirely too much!) A great start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 9.5

A fluid, precise and intricate marriage of progressive elements, technical rhythms and a style which is closer to death metal than most anything else within the extreme audio universe. The resulting effect is akin to an audio eargasm which lasts close to forty-two minutes. Think the beauty and classic nature of Opeth entangled with the often, flowing like a river, mesmerizing rhythmic brutality of Inanimate Existence (audio that moves so effortlessly that it often, oddly, doesn’t seem brutal at all!) add to that solos which are blistering, a nature which has more facets than my infants personality and elements which are often associated with atmospheric blackened affairs and you have a release which is unpredictable, surprisingly agile and altogether fathomless in its depth. A mix of clean and traditional genre type vocals add to the overall experience.

This is astoundingly good; one simply cannot afford to let this pass them by. Suffice it to say this will feature in my end of year list (If I ever get my lazy arse around to composing one!)

phobia

Phobia – Generation Coward (EP)
(USA)
Release – August/9/2019
Willowtip Records
Clawhammer PR
https://phobia.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 7.5

Skeletons, chaos, goat horns and hiding behind the anonymity of a computer screen. Those with knowledge of the band will know what to expect, for those that don’t, two words; blasting grindcore.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

These guys don’t fuck around! This track goes straight for the jugular and brings with it nostalgic tones, dueling vocal attacks and bludgeoning riffs which’ll leave any fan of the scene grinning from ear to ear. A great start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 8

Since 1990 these Californians have been blasting away and speaking their mind against all manner of social ill and injustice. With a discography which sports splits and EPS aplenty. surprisingly there are only five full lengths under their collective belts.

This release sees them blast their way through thirteen tracks in just under sixteen minutes (par for the grindcore course) with the same amount of energy which earlier output sports these guys have not slowed down in the slightest! The angst levels are at an all time high and this is sure to incite moments of spastic movements with break shit ramifications throughout its length. In conclusion, if you’re a fan of the scene and have fear that Phobia have lost some of their old magic, fear not for this is an outstanding example of what one of the pioneers of the scene still has to offer!

Favorite Tracks; Cynic Bastard, Imbecile, Internet Tough Guy, Excretion, Cut Throat, To be Convinced.

ashbringer

Ashbringer – Absolution
(USA)
Release – June/28/2019
Prosthetic Records
https://ashbringermusic.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 7

Vibrant, vivid and not what one would assume an album cover in the extreme metal arena to look like. I believe this album might surprise me with its content, though with this in mind the art gives little, if anything, away.

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

Acoustic melodies, often beautiful in tone, cavort in a crescendo with tempestuous rhythms and a vocal accompaniment writhing in angst. Not what I was expecting though intriguing audio nevertheless.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8

This is melodious, beatific, invocative, a tad experimental in tone, full of emotion, even at times hinting of moments of brutality, drenched in palpable atmosphere and undeniably epic, though strangely quite different than the type of audio I would normally subject myself to (all in the name of extreme music). Hard to categorize as this isn’t really DSBM based on its melodies and vocal style, it lies, nestled, somewhere between genres (black, doom, heavy metal, progressive) and thus should appeal to a great many who prefer audio which doesn’t subscribe to predictability, boundaries and/or limitation.

I’m of the mind that it will grow on me over time as its many intricacies unfold and its style develops from utterly foreign into that which I’ve become more accustomed to.

For fans of Opeth, Nuerosis and Amorphis.

Favorite Tracks; Wilderness Walk, Dreamscape, Eternal Separation pt. 2, Spiritual Architecture.

heaviest of art

Introducing a new Section; Reccd’ by…

Recc’d by @HeaviestofArt (Twitter)
“How does each record hold up a year after its release?”
Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun
(USA)
Release – May/25/2018
Eisnewald
https://uada.bandcamp.com/

uada

Thoughts –

From its opener, ‘The Purging Fire’, there’s no doubt that the listener is in for one wholly unpredictable audio experience. Ranging from melodic death (bordering in something one could actually dance to, a beat Moonspell often utilized with their follow up to ‘Wolfheart’) through a style bordering on grindcore with splashes of black in between, upon and over Uada certainly don’t play things by the genre conformity book, and that’s what makes this intriguing and as the album plays out an altogether outstanding audio experience.

A blackened death vibe takes ahold as the album plays out. Discernable melody woven around blast beat chaos gives the album more a melodic feel albeit with a blackened aura; interactions with outstanding consequences. Dissection, Swallow the Sun come to mind in moments as too a slew of other acts (whose names escape me at the moment) who also incorporate melody into their pitch audio. Tracks bearing epic lengths and rhythms which are constantly evolving hold the listener enrapt though it’s also Uada‘s ability to think outside of the box. ‘The Wanderer’ is a fantastic example, an instrumental with mystical qualities, ceremonial beats, enchanting presence and atmosphere to spare. A spot of Pink Floyd nature (if you will) if only they were ever to grab the extreme audio reins and gallop forth.

‘Sphere (Imprisonment)’ is where the album finds its most devastating assault on the senses. The vocal department is abruptly charged with venom and spite, the riffs more furious than before accompanied by an abundance of blast beats but the melody is still there, bordering on progressive in instances, making for another track that’s wholly satisfying (throughout its epic length) no matter the listeners extreme audio preference.

Nearly an hour in length, sporting seven tracks and boasting the art which this does might make anyone wonder at what lies within, but have no fear for Cult of a Dying Sun delivers. Audio encompassing a wide radius of genres with the talent to pull this feat off exquisitely. Forget any preconceived notions and dive in!

Again, this is the first I’m hearing this (a year on) but I can honestly say based on a first, second and third listen this has the chops to entertain even a year on.

wayfarer-worlds-blood

Wayfarer – World Blood
(USA)
Release – May/25/2018
Profound Lore Records
https://wayfarercolorado.bandcamp.com/
Thoughts –

From the albums cover image an enigmatic pitch-black rider set against a vivid dusty background and the albums introduction a galloping (myriad of hooves?) crescendo opening one instinctively knows that this will lead down a path which is rarely travelled. As opposed to the traditional thoroughfare which has become more of a highway that threatens domination of the entire genre.

Further audio invokes images of dust devils and tumbleweeds traversing deathly silent streets (albeit of the kind seen in film outings of the decidedly Western kind), a landscape shrouded with desolation, surrounding vistas echoing with ancient victory, a celebration of the land before its inevitable destruction and the white man’s arrival.

This, ladies and gents is audio of the type which consumes an evening. The accompanying description states atmospheric black, though I’m of the leaning that there is so much more to enjoy here. Doom plays a huge part in setting the scene. There’s atmosphere aplenty, fantastic build up (veering towards drone realms) of the type which brings to mind epic cinematic affairs before blackened sensibilities heave melancholy onto the mix. For those with traditional black metal yearning have no fear as majestic, cresting riffs, are also front and center, but what come as a little of a surprise is that the drums boast center stage as opposed to their traditional position in the background. The effect is astounding, complete with a raw, primitive, aura it lends the music an overall vintage quality which only adds to the appeal of the sound and I can only imagine further solidifies Wayfarers’ initial vision; a style that’s familiar, celebrated, yet intriguingly different in its approach.

For fear of giving this a track by track narrative (I’m guilty of this in many an instance) I’ll merely state that this delivers throughout only then to climax in an acoustic track of undeniable brilliance and palpable emotion which only makes the listener want to repeat the process over again. An album which, although I was never privy to upon its initial arrival, is a pleasure to place between the ears and an experience which is a refreshing multi- layered detour from the norm.

Wholeheartedly recommended!

UHF on Twitter

Recc’d by @Uniquehifi (Twitter)
BattleRoar – Age of Chaos
(Greece)
Release – October/2005
Black Lotus Records
https://battleroar-epic.bandcamp.com/album/age-of-chaos
Thoughts –

Having enjoyed Battleroar’s 2018 release ‘Codex Epicus’ I was more than intrigued when Emil (UniqueHiFi) suggested I check into their earlier material.

battleroar age of chaos

‘Age of Chaos’ starts out on an acoustic footing with ‘The Wanderer’. Thus far I’m intrigued. This is a great, albeit mellow, start bringing to mind vintage Iron Maiden. But then epic power metal values step in and my interest wanes somewhat. Obviously, my audio penchants spends considerably more time in the more extreme end of the metal spectrum though it has been known to wander. Perhaps it’s the vocal style, I’m not altogether down with it, (the traditional falsetto range gymnastic assault) I recall their newest having a slightly ‘different’ feel. The music isn’t altogether far from what would expect from the genre, in fact it’s fluid and melodic to the point where it makes me reminisce upon when I first found interest in the scene and the energy I spent collecting various releases in the same arena. I can see why many might like it; harmonizing guitars, rhythms which are somewhat classic heavy metal in nature, riffs that make one want to pump their fist to the heavens in appreciation, epic values with narrative styled lyrics and atmosphere. It’s all here! And I’m sure these guys put on one hell of an arena show to audiences who travel from far and wide to marvel at epic metal of this caliber.

The fantasy element appeals to me and the albums cover holds definite interest, though at this point honestly, the audio is far from what I need in my earholes. With that in mind, my tastes have changed so perhaps therein lies the reason why this really isn’t doing much for me, strange then that their newest is an album which I vividly remember enjoying.

Album highlights include The Wanderer, Sword of Crom and Calm Before the Storm.

I have no doubts that I’ll revisit when I’m in a frame of mind where this might be more pleasing to my senses.

Void Reccs

Recc’d by Void
Nerlich – Defabricated Process
(Finland)
Release – January/2007
Old School Metal Records
https://nerlich.bandcamp.com/album/defabricated-process
Thoughts –

Immediately upon laying eyes upon the vivid vicious nature versus man artwork (accompanying this release) I was put in mind of older material from Gorguts (the ‘Erosion of Sanity’ in particular). Odd then that the audio within also reminds me of such. Rather than mere ‘chuggery’ riffs stumble upon each other often vying for supremacy. A diabolical nature shrouds the whole affair and the occasional solo tells of obvious influence ala genre giants Morbid Angel. Other influence comes to mind; Morgoth might arise for those with knowledge of such within ‘Entity of Sickness’, whereas Montrosity and other acts of American origin pop up from time to time, be it from familiarity by way of a riff, passage or the way in which the pace shifts suddenly.

nerlich

No matter how one slices it this is an album which obviously slipped under the radar, is criminally underrated, is far from what many might consider the typical run of the mill death metal, isn’t of the ‘meat and potatoes’ play it safe genre variety but most of all deserves attention. And for that I thank Void, yet again.

Highlights include Defabricated Process, Entity of Sickness, Mask for the Faceless, On Sarcastic Impact.

Well there you have it, another stumbling foray into all things of a decidedly extreme audio in nature.

Until our paths of interest cross again,

Cult

head explosion cavity colors
Abrasive Audio to soothe the Senses (part the Fourteenth)

Yet another in the ongoing series showcasing fresh, extreme, tunage to “Soothe the Senses”.

Without further ado here is the varied assortment which has pleased my senses in the not so distant past.

(I’d like to thank Cavity Colors for the use of this image. The wife bought me the shirt for Fathers day. I am chuffed! Shop their amazing array of genre shirts and marvel at the quality and customer service standards. https://cavitycolors.com/ )

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – New Organon
(USA)
Release – June/21/2019
Cruz Del Sur Music
Clawhammer PR

the lord weird slough feg

 

https://thelordweirdsloughfeg.bandcamp.com/

ARTWORK – 7

Honest and simple; The title in cursive font against a green background.

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

Not normally one to delve into depths far from my normal stomping grounds; extreme audio. I was surprised to find myself quite enjoying that which graced my ears upon hitting play. A grandiose drum tattoo heavy style in a vein similar to that heard within the late 70’s early 80’s. Rock tinged with doom sensibilities, a splash of folk, driven by both melody and lyrical content. With a progressive nature and direction which can and does change on a whim. Grandiose, traditional, Heavy Metal would be a simpler way to put it if I were so inclined.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

NWOBHM styled hard rock bursting with progressive elements, doom passages, folk melodies and a few instances of audio which is beyond destination ‘mellowsville’. Narrative based, boasting intriguing fantastical lyrics a stunning vocal accompaniment (up there with Bruce Dickenson and Ronnie James Dio), melody driven with galloping riffs and twin harmonies. This will certainly grow in you as it plays out, again and again and again (if you’re anything like me). This is my first experience of the band which is growing on me, I’m leaving impressed and curious enough to dive into their past works.

Recommended for fans of Blind Guardian, Dio fronted Rainbow, Magnum, Rhapsody, early Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy.

Favorite Tracks; The Apology, Being and Nothingness, The Cynic.

Mispyrming Algleymi

Misþyrming – Algleymi (translated as “Oblivion”)
(Iceland)
Release – May/24/2019
Norma Evangelium Diaboli

https://misthyrming.bandcamp.com/album/algleymi

ARTWORK – 7.5

Triumphant, a celebration of the earth and mother nature. A sacrifice to the storm which approaches. This could be discussed ad nauseum but there’s no doubt it screams a release that promises audio of the black metal variety.

FIRST TRACK – 9

 A fantastic, blistering, pace to start off my first encounter with the band. Bursting with atmosphere, by way of a synth accompaniment, the resulting effect is mesmerizing and has me glued to my headphones eagerly awaiting what else the band has to offer next, color me intrigued with corpse paint.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Obviously, I couldn’t understand a bloody word spoken throughout this release. But that matters not as the experience is one I relish (and Encyclopedia Metallum offers a track list translation if one so desires.) Melodious yet majestic, triumphant yet atmospheric, and epic in tone this is far from what many might expect if given the moniker of black metal to ponder upon. This sports exquisite atmosphere, rhythms which incite movement and an edge which is decidedly arcane in nature though far from the raw production which, again, many might expect. Think doom laden black metal, think black metal with production values which doesn’t sacrifice what the genre stands for, think a release you shouldn’t ignore… seriously. For this is damn good and it came out of nowhere, Iceland if truth be told and that’s a little surprising in itself.

(Did I say the word “Triumphant” enough in this review? Please excuse my limited lexicon.)

Favorite Tracks; Orgia (With Whips Aloft), Með svipur á lofti (Iceland, Castrated Dump), Og er haustið líður undir lok (And When Autumn Ceases), (Fuck this…I believe I might write every track down complete with translation, the whole album captivates from start to finish! Enough said!)

haunt if icarus

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly
(USA)
Release – May/17/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records

https://hauntthenation.bandcamp.com/album/if-icarus-could-fly

ARTWORK – 7.5

A statue esque representation of a fellow pondering “what if”. Perhaps his wings aren’t strong enough for his weight or the sun, seen smirking from behind, is just too damn persistent in melting the glue that holds his feathered creation together. Icarus is in quite the predicament indeed.

FIRST TRACK – 9

An immediate response from me. At first, I’ll admit, I started to think of vintage Dokken then rhythms and solo work representative of Randy Rhoads from earlier Ozzy releases. But it’s the glue that holds it all together which is so spellbinding; the aura, the voice, the melodies. I can tell this is going to be another release (from Haunt) which people will not want to miss out on.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

I was correct, barely a year after their last full length, and following on from ‘Mosiac’ (an Ep from March of this year), this makes much the same impact and leaves the same impression. Blending 80’s and 70’s hard rock with speed and epic metal elements this showcases the power of Trevor William Churches’ (Beastmaker) voice combined with the melodious enchanting rhythms and eye-opening solo mastery which are hard to ignore the criminally infectious nature of. Fluid and limb-tappingly inciteful this is a release that’s hard to ignore. With this one must ponder; with the bar set so high where does/or can Haunt go from here?

For fans of vintage Iron Maiden, Dokken, earlier Ozzy output and anyone who still yearns for bands who precisely execute the distinct NWOBHM vibe.

Favorite Tracks; Run and Hide, It’s in my Hands, Clarion, If Icarus Could Fly.

stygian crown

Stygian Crown – Through Divine Rite
(USA)
Release – August/2/2018
Independent

https://stygiancrown.bandcamp.com/releases

ARTWORK – 7

A crown fashioned from serpents against a serpentine backdrop, this really doesn’t say much about the enclosed audio but I’m intrigued just the same.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

Female fronted doom – I’m sold! The crooning styled voice fits perfectly and only adds to the exquisite nature of the music. This is doom folks, raw in nature and somewhat traditional in style but better yet this is executed with passion.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Overflowing with excellent atmosphere and riffs (both plodding and galloping), which aren’t foreign to the genre but rather bring about a certain reminiscence/nostalgia element, and rhythms which exemplify the finest the (more traditional arena of the) genre has to offer, this release stands proud as an introduction to an act who know exactly how to press the right buttons and incite interest in a genre which is passed over and still isn’t fully appreciated.

I for one can’t wait for what comes next as this is an outstanding introduction. Bravo!

With only three tracks on offer, it doesn’t seem a great deal but when you consider that many albums run barely the same length in time and the quality within this release it transpires into quite the teaser and value for money. Especially when you can “name your own price” (remember to support talent folks, so that they might continue to create and produce) on the above Bandcamp link.

bleeding utopia

Bleeding Utopia – Where the Light Comes to Die
(Sweden)
Release – March/22/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR

https://bleedingutopia.bandcamp.com/album/where-the-light-comes-to-die

ARTWORK – 8.5

It looks as though one could break a whole lot more than merely their phone on those rocks too. Foreboding, moody, dark and treacherous and that’s just what I look like with a mustache. All jokes aside this is much the same but minus the look of a 70’s porn star ‘gone to seed’.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

An At the Gates vibe with significant oomph and an emphasis on drum rhythms which do naught but incite movement. I’m eager for what’s to follow, although I will state that the Hellraiser soundbite is a tad over-utilized in the genre; otherwise brilliant audio

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Think Eucharist, as this is similar in tone and riff structure, and a Stockholm melodic style but with considerably more punch and energy. The injection of mid-era Grave is hard to ignore based on the combination of the vocal style and music.

In short this rips, melodies are pounding, energetic, the production is spot on (with an emphasis often on the drums) and the style is fluid, oftentimes bringing to mind Amon Amarth (“Already Dead” could have been plucked from one of their albums and no one would be any the wiser as similar as it sounds) and newer Unleashed audio. The listener will want to move as this fills the space between the ears. A damn fine slab of melodic metal indeed!

FFO: Unleashed, Amon Amarth, Eucharist, Graveworm and (Souless, Hating life era) Grave.

Favorite Tracks; Ascendant of Hate, Enhance my Wrath, Crown of Thorns, Heralds of Hate and Defiance.

kavara

Kavara – Weathered and Lost
(Canada)
Release – May/31/2019
Self-Released
Clawhammer PR

 https://kavaraofficial.bandcamp.com/album/weathered-lost

ARTWORK – 7.5

Crow, headstone, graveyard, gloomy atmosphere and a full moon highlighting the whole tableau; check! And, a ‘Scrarecrow’…wait wha-! Isn’t this where the artist would normally place a nod to a religious element. Such as an unfortunate strung up by his hands and feet. Perhaps the listener is in for something a little off center with disregard for the norm.

FIRST TRACK – 8

The introduction boasts a dark fantastical element and more than enough creepiness to go around. The music bursts with riff after riff and an air of unpredictability, ala Arsis. Slightly technical Rather than traditional. I’m beginning to see how it is that these guys won an award for their talents. A fantastic start which isn’t what was at all expected though isn’t too far from the genre to be able to instantly relate to and appreciate.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8

Shred-tastic death in a similar vein to Arsis as opposed to acts who offer mere chuggery and depend on formulaic structures.

Gotta give em’ props they have a track entitled “Lawn Care” how against the grain is that, seriously?

Favorite Tracks; Tormentor, The Reaper, Lawn Care, Walk of Shame.

plague of carcosa

Plague of Carcosa – Ocean is More Ancient than the Mountains (EP)
(USA)
Release – July/19/2019
Sludgelord Records
Dewar PR

https://plagueofcarcosa.bandcamp.com/

ARTWORK – 8

An image which showcases the oceans, its depth and tempestuous nature. I’m intrigued as to how the audio rolls out (pardon the pun!).

FIRST TRACK – 7

Plodding riffs, a thick sludge-laden distorted aura, varied tempo and a definite ominous nature. An unrelenting nature which appears to be sublime in its approach though bears a definite menace boiling beneath the surface.

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

Only two tracks in this instrumental doom opus, though this bears enough riffs and atmosphere to please most fans of the genre.

Invoking a myriad of emotion, the instrumentation herein is varied ranging from calm to raging, from a mellow texture to more one embroiled with a surface which is precarious to traverse. The second track depicts a descent into madness exquisitely utilizing white noise elements as frothing waters against palm muted effects to illustrate an abrupt break from reality. Of course, that is merely my take on this. Decide for yourself and support the scene by clicking on the above link.

Favorite Track; Madness at Sea.

nihility

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist
(Portugal)
Release -May/24/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR

https://nihilityblacklion.bandcamp.com/

ARTWORK – 8.5

Renaissance, Dante-esque in aura. An intricate grey tone print which may or may not speak volumes about the music itself.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

An Entombed buzzsaw texture, with an At the Gates feel. Melodic death with punch, complete with a blackened ominous nature and plenty of atmosphere.

A fantastic introduction to the band and a fantastic way to set about showcasing a debut release.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Oftentimes thus makes me wonder if this might have been Bolt Thrower if they’d developed a darkened edge, the style is dirge laden and often laced with black majesty.

Favorite Tracks; Shallow Ataraxia, Thus Spoke the Antichrist. Prophecy of Denial.

the eldritch truth

The Eldritch Truth – Sanguinary Origins
(USA)
Release – May/17/2019
Independent

https://theeldritchtruth.bandcamp.com/releases

ARTWORK – 8

Quite the mystical palette of colors here, an enigmatic/otherworldly aura completed with the inclusion of one of the Great Old ones complemented by a font which might make one take a closer look in order to decipher. I am intrigued.

FIRST TRACK – 7

A kaleidoscope of styles assaults the listener almost instantly within a mix that incites disorientation, discombobulation, a state of nauseum of sorts leading to madness I would only predict following a slew of repeated listens. Synth dances erratically with gore grind sensibilities against a growling backdrop bringing to mind the more experimental works of The Berserker.

INITIAL LISTEN – 7

Only two tracks in this one, a teaser if you will, a mere sampling of the audio lunacy on offer. This is certainly different than the normal, uhh… anything. It can’t be classed in any one genre though it does have elements from a wide radius within its ranks.

Recommended for those who like to traipse into realms of the audio obscure, the brave and those who demand audio to tug at their curiosity.  I’m interested as to where these guys will venture next and how their style/audio vision will be received.

Favorite Track; Frenzy.

descendency

Descendency – Generate the Genocide
(USA)
Release – June/28/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/generate-the-genocide

ARTWORK – 7.5

A skull motif superimposed on an industrial site. I have good reason to believe these chaps have a great deal to say about something, and a cause to rally upon. Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

Gritty and energetic sporting go for the throat riff attacks broken up by breakdowns leading into swirling rhythms. This is thrash boasting riffs aplenty bordering on death metal boundaries and I’m liking what I’m hearing!

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

An undeniable Slayer influence (newer styled) comes through strong in both the vocal (Tom Araya’s aggression mostly devoid of melody) and rhythm departments in instances sporting a diabolical, maniacal, solo rendering, which isn’t at all a horrid thing. Thankfully, other influences weave around the obvious, there’s a little hardcore and punk splashed around liberally, to make this a release which rarely stands still, will often grab one by the titties and proceed to toss them around like ragdoll, never wanders into boring territories and will surely appeal to a wide variety of fans across the thrash genre.

Favorite Tracks; Arduous March, Hate Prop 1.98-4, Extinguish, Island off the coast of Earth.

UHF on Twitter

Another Recc from @uniquehifi (Twitter)

Praise the Plague – Antagonist
(Germany)
Release – September/13/2018
Black Omega Recordings

https://praisetheplague.bandcamp.com/album/antagonist

praise the plague

Initial Thoughts

Based on the albums artwork one knows, deep down, that this is going to be an audio affair drenched in either black metal values or a vibe that’s unmistakably doom in nature. Well, as it happens, this album sports both. Fantastic build up adds to the albums atmosphere to draw the listener deeper. Whilst plodding and majestic riffage exchange leading roles resulting in an album that’s a delicate balance of black and doom but an exquisite example of how the two can play so well together if handled with care.

Conclusion

An atmosphere that’s cloaking, majestic riffage, cavernous (death metal styled) vocals and an epic aura combine to produce an album that’s grandiose in nature and quite simply captivating. Six tracks run close to twenty-nine minutes but the album boasts a damn sight more depth than one might, at first, imagine based on those figures. An intoxicating blend of harrowing black and doom metal cavorts displaying at times a suffocating atmosphere and often oozing with a melody which makes one want to sway rather than destroy their immediate surroundings. Add this to the list of albums you probably missed out on though need to definitely check out! Thanks again tom Emil for this Recc.

Void Reccs

 

 

Another Recc From Void

Marduk – Viktoria
(Sweden)
Release – June/22/2018
Century Media Records

 

https://www.centurymedia.com/artist.aspx?IdArtist=275

http://marduk.nu

marduk viktoria

Initial Thoughts

Many in the metal community will want to stone me for the following revelation…This is the first I’ve heard a complete Marduk album. (I believed them to hail from Norway too!) There, I’ve said it. Although I’ve always admired their album covers, I’ve never taken the plunge. Take my credentials away, banish me to the wastes, do what you may. Truth be told I’ve never really been into ‘black metal’. Until recently that is, when I discovered for myself that the genre is a lot more diverse than I had originally imagined (in effect blasting its stereotype to smithereens!) Hitting play, I realize immediately that I should have jumped on the ‘M-Panzer’ (I would normally say ‘train’ but ‘Panzer’ seems more fitting in this context!) years before now. This is exactly what I demand/wish my extreme audio to be. Blistering, vicious, wicked with an emphasis on sharp riffs, speed, insane drumming and snarling venom-fueled vocals to match.

Conclusion

Well, would you look at that! I apparently now have a thing for Marduk.

From its opening passage I was intrigued but it didn’t take long until I was bouncing around in my chair like one possessed. Naturally the child chorus and industrial tone in ‘Werwolf’ are a tad odd but they strangely fit. From that point on I was transfixed, the opening bars of ‘June 44’ made me wish I had hair in order that I might flail it around like a madman (with hair). The album continued and my love affair blossomed in full radiant bloom. ‘Equestrian Bloodlust’ bears a rhythm which keeps me from sitting still, a majestic aura accompanied by the occasional effect which is a tad science fiction in tone. Weird though unconventional is a better term but again, it works and I don’t care one iota. ‘The Last Fallen’ and ‘The Devils Song’ are examples of other tracks which only make me wish I would have gotten into the genre that much sooner. I’m going to spin this again and again this goes without saying. Damn, I’m outta’ shape! Perhaps I need a nap in between future, repeated, listens?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V1I9XyB4-E

Marduk ‘Viktoria’ video for your retinal pleasure.

Though I’m of the understanding that this album is a tad more polished in terms of production than their past efforts I’m still of the inkling to want to delve deep into their discography to discover what exactly it is that I’ve been missing out on; the delicious audio that lay beneath the wicked nature of the artwork I have taken such a shine to in the past though have never taken the next step to get past.

Suffice it to say I recommend this album wholeheartedly and I am only that much closer to full immersion into the waters of the dark side.

 

Cult

Abrasive Audio… to Soothe the Senses #666

(…because the Devil, Damien and a bowl of Frosted Flakes told me to)

bestof18Audio

Inculter – Fatal Visions
(Norway)
Release – April/12/2019
Edged Circle Productions

inculter

https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/album/fatal-visions

Artwork – 7

The image seems familiar, a mash-up of sorts from a variety of other albums drawn by the same artist? Perhaps I need my eyes checked?

First Track – 9

Blistering pace, tight composition and thrashy vocals with an old school vibe. This is positively distracting audio which only means one thing…it’s frkn’ great!

Initial Listen – 9.5

So goddamn fast this’ll make your head spin, but in a good way. Exquisite pace variations (yes, this isn’t flesh-meltingly fast all the time!) and atmosphere combine to form an album that leaves a huge impact. An album that reeks of raw South American influence yet undeniably shines with a style all its own, bathed occasionally in intriguing ‘crossover’ values.

This refuses to leave my stereo, but that’s perfectly ok, the only thing I’m worried about is the state of my spine, I’m headbanging like a maniac! Reccd’ for fan of Hellish, Sepulchre and blackened speed in all its unholy, wicked, glorious forms.

Favorite Tracks; All of them! This delivers from start to finish!

Necropanther -Eyes of Blue Light
(USA)
Release – February/23/2018
Independent

Necropanther-Eyes-of-Blue-Light-01-500x500

https://necropanther.bandcamp.com/album/eyes-of-blue-light

Artwork – 7.5

A mysterious, desolate, sand strewn landscape watched over by two moons. …”We’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy”.

First Track – 8.5

This isn’t honestly what I expected from a band with a Necropanther moniker though it is a pleasant surprise indeed. Excellent melodies, a sublime mixture of styles and an utterly recognizable vocal style make this instantly captivating. A great start!

Initial Listen – 9

It doesn’t take long to appreciate the delicate tapestry, rich mix and delicate balance of thrash, speed, heavy, epic and power metal. Sweeping guitar melodies alongside, and arm in arm with, breakneck rhythms and a pace that’s deliciously varied. But enough with the teasing, the vocalist sounds eerily similar to SkeletonWitch’s Chance Garnette and in instances the music sparks the same familiarities. All in all, an excellent way to get oneself acquainted with an act who is sure to become a name in everyone’s ears soon enough. Did I mention this is a Dune concept (?) album? Well, you wouldn’t know as it’s stunning and has little to do with the clichés that most of the same nature exhibit.

Excellent audio that would’ve been sure to feature on last year’s best of list if I’d have experienced it sooner.

For fans of speed metal, thrash metal, early SkeletonWitch and 3 Inches of Blood.

Favorite Tracks; Imperium Overture, Kiss of Darkness, Shai-Hulud, Water of Life, Feyd Rautha, Strange Gods.

Witchkiss – The Austere Curtains of our Eyes
(USA)
Release – July/13/2018
Independent
Dewar PR

witchkiss

https://witchkiss.bandcamp.com/album/the-austere-curtains-of-our-eyes

Artwork – 7

An unmistakable ethereal quality bursts from this albums art. A cloudiness, an aura, that breathes unfathomable archaic elements and mystery.

First Track – 7

Booming vocals and grandiose riffs a soundscape that seethes with atmosphere and a tribal-esque aura. An intriguing start that’s miles from traditional doom.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Haunting, eerie, chilling and all-encompassing.

Overflowing with atmosphere and raw emotion this album delivers that which many can only hope to. A slow start, however, as the album progresses it transfixes with its epic, acoustic, and often minimalistic approach. Dual vocals sporting tremendous range (traditional to feral) add depth to an album which drenches its audience in melancholic tones, themes of loss and grief.

Plenty of influence on display here to sate the yearnings of heavy, rather than brutal, ranging from Neurosis and YOB through a slew of more traditional Doom merchants.

Favorite Tracks; Death Knell, Spirits of the Dirt, A Harrowing Solace.

West of Hell – Blood of the Infidel
(Canada)
Release – April/1/2019
Self-Released
Clawhammer PR

west of hell

Artwork – 8

Awash in a flame motif there’s obviously something afoot here. Seething with undeniable ominous nature this is a vivid image indeed.

First Track – 9

Those melodies, those vocals (honestly, the guy is from Zimmers Hole who are one of my favorites based both on the music and his excellent voice). The whole package is a wonder to behold and I’m only one-track in. Instant attention grabber!

Hold my calls, metal has me in a choke hold!!

Initial Listen – 9

Power, epic, heavy, speed, melodic death metal? Take your pick. This has it all, mixed to perfection and vocals of a caliber akin to a force of nature. Awesome range doesn’t even begin to cover it! Reminiscent of acts in a similar vein to Nevermore this release checks off all the elements which a long time, open-minded, fan of the metal spectrum could hope for, it’s

Melodic, aggressive, emotional, energetic and dripping with depth. I’m finding it hard to find the words – this is outstanding audio!!

Toss this atop the pile for early additions to the next best of year list.

Favorite Tracks; Hammer and Hand, Infidels, The Machine, The Dark Turn, Mankind Commands.

Public Grave – Cadaverous Resurrection
(Germany)
Release – January/7/2019
RTM Productions
Against PR

public grave

https://rebirththemetalproductions.bandcamp.com/album/public-grave-cadaverous-resurrection

Artwork – 7.5

Readying for global domination, I present Steve and his army of shambling, undead fiends. Go Steve, go!

First Track – 7

As predicted, this is slam, deathcore-ridden death metal with an emphasis on groove.

And… against my thoughts on the slam genre this is actually not that bad.

Initial Listen – 7.5

Weaving brutal death rhythms, Slam riffs and breakneck passages Public Graves have somehow managed to construct an album which should please fans from across the board. The balance is delicate though more pronounced in a number of tracks. However the infectious nature remains, and there’s even the occasional “bree-bree-bree” to perk the interest of the grindcore crowd. This is a collective of tunage I’ll gladly spin again although it in no way reinvents the wheel.

Favorite Tracks; Realm of the Rotten, Undead Army Rising, Disciples of Defilement.

The Glorious Rebellion – The Scholars of War
(USA)
Release – March/29/2019
Sludgelord Records
Dewar PR

the glorious rebellion

https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/scholars-of-war

Artwork – 7.5

A heart, a brain and a skull. All interchangeable apparently, which is kinda’ odd. But I’m intrigued.

First Track – 7.5

This is riot music! Which, admittedly, only on paper is a good thing. The riffs are monstrous and assault unmercifully with the worst of intentions.

The vocalist, front and foremost, has a lead lined throat and spews vocals with volcanic intensity. Other than this is undefinable, infectious and criminally energy charged, but I’m diggin’ the shit out of it!

Initial Listen – 8.5

How to describe something which is a number of different things and hardly ever one in particular? Perhaps list the ingredients? The intensity in which this leaves the listener with wide eyes, the impression the vocalist leaves with his blitzkrieg approach or the overall effect? I’m at a loss. But what I do know is that this is too damn short. Three tracks at seventeen minutes leaves me eager for more.

Punk, Noise, Aggro. Think Acid Bath, Brutal Juice and perhaps Helmet. This is a lot of things but mostly… bloody brilliant!

Favorite Tracks; This is Fine, Burn it Down Lemon.

Witchgoat – Egregors of the Black Faith
(El Salvador)
Release – February/13/2019
Morbid Skull Records/Hell Productions
Qabar PR

witchgoat Egreg

https://morbidskull.bandcamp.com/album/egregors-of-the-black-faith

Artwork – 8

Raw, black and white imagery drenched in chaos and menace.

First Track – 8

Diabolical, chaotic yet oozing with melodic values dripping in underground tones. Primal blackened speed that offers so much more.

Initial Listen – 9

A fantastic bestial, blackened speed concoction with enough atmosphere to sate both the black and speed hordes. Dripping in evil, bursting with ill- intent and saturated in a downright surprising infectious groove albeit one that seethes on a raw, unfiltered nature. Influence is plentiful but this album will appease all those with a yearning for audio that’s swift, infernal and archaic. Believe the hype cus’ this album rips!

Favorite Tracks; Proliferation of the Dark Souls, Emanations from the Underworld, Eyes of the Profane, Umbra Regit,

Tides of Sulfur – Paralysis of Reason
(Wales)
Release – March/29/2019
Sludgelord Records/APF Records/Astral Noise
Dewar PR

tides of sulfur

https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/paralysis-of-reason

Artwork – 7.5

Definite nods to the punk/grindcore releases from yesteryear (most especially ‘World Downfall’ by Terrorizer). A newspaper clipping montage splattered in blood which displays definite themes of angst and unrest.

First Track – 8.5

Short, to the point and wickedly infectious. A grove-laden accompanied by venomous vox. A great start which is spurring involuntary limb movements.

Initial Listen – 8

Any band with audio lifted from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (or Snatch, I’m not entirely sure which) gets extra points from me.

To be honest however, this release doesn’t need them. It hits the spot with its excellent mash-up of styles; grindcore, sludge, doom and black metal and insistent use of the word ‘Cunt’ (which is criminally under-utilized IMO).

Favorite Tracks; Worms, Humorless Cunt, Paralysis of Reason.

AD Patres – A Brief Introduction to Human Experiments
(France)
Release – February/8/2019
Xenocorp Records

adpatres

https://xenokorp.bandcamp.com/album/a-brief-introduction-to-human-experiments

Artwork – 8

Stunning hues and tones form a classic image basted in enigmatic qualities. Is that fella dragging around a human spine?

First Track – 9

Technical, brutal, tight and bears the similar instant attention-grabbing effect of an abrupt boot to the throat. An outstanding start!

Initial Listen – 9

I can’t for the life of me believe this is my first experience of Ad Patres audio. Seriously, right from the get-go this had all the hallmarks of an album you want to tell your closest friends about, and as soon as possible. The hyper-swift intertwined riffs, the inhumanely tight, frenetic, and intricate drum salvos, the varied rhythms and the vocals. Everything fits to form an exquisite package which leaves me with an embarrassingly huge smirk on my face. Help, the wife thinks I’m up to no good!

There’s not a boring moment to be found here!

Recommended for fans of Death, Misery Index and Gorguts. This is an album you won’t soon forget, and an early contender for inclusion in a best of the year list.

Favorite Tracks; Mechanical Enlightenment, Led by Flesh, Symbiosick, Enclosing Terror, The Floating Point.

The Black Sorcery – Wolves Degrade
(Canada)
Release – March/28/2019
Krucyator Productions

blacksorcery

https://krucyator.bandcamp.com/album/wolven-degrade

Artwork – 8

A raw image which leaves little to the imagination. Sick, vile, depraved and immoral but I’m loving it!

First Track – 7

Sounds like what one might expect from the albums art. This is dark, twisted, chaotic, pulverizing and unforgiving bestial blackened death (or something insanely close).

Initial Listen – 7

Raw, primal and definitely not for those new to the scene, this is the type of audio you need to become accustomed to rather than be tossed headfirst into. However, this does boast a certain something which gives an indescribable allure. Is it the gutter-esque growling, the rhythms, the archaic production values or the overall package? It’s hard to say but I’m finding I’m liking it more as it reaches its shuddering, gore soaked, climax.

Recommended for those who desire their tunage on the darker, dingier, most primitive, bestial side of the metal spectrum.

Who, after all, can’t appreciate a track entitled ‘Angry Spit of the Witches Piss’ (what-!?)

Favorite Tracks; Wolves Degrade, Putrescent Infected, Worse Still the Fog of Man Settles.

Ceremony of Silence – Outis
(Slovakia)
Release – April/5/2019
Willowtip Records
Clawhammer PR

ceremony of silnece

https://ceremonyofsilence.bandcamp.com/album/o-tis

Artwork – 7.5

A tidal frenzy against a sky shot through with thick clouds and lightning.

Not a traditional metal cover by any means this is a little enigmatic, am I about to encounter audio of an avant garde nature? Hitting Play.

First Track – 8.5

Chaotic, assaulting, unrelenting and cavernous though in no means traditional. Extreme tunage which effectively touches upon black, death and doom bases with fantastic results leaving the listener eager for more.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Unrelenting, frenetic and majestic are only a few words to describe the melodies and drum salvoes showcased here. The combined effect invokes an underworld arcane intensity that envelopes the listener. A chaotic fury, far from the more traditional structure, which transports it’s audience to alien realms drenched in mysticism and the occult.

Hardly avant garde though miles from what one might expect Outis offers a presence rarely experienced, an audio landscape dotted with a variety of influence and style which is sure to please those willing to submerge an open mind.

Favorite Tracks; Invocation of the Silent Eye, Ceremony of a Thousand Stars, Upon the Shores of Death, Arising of no Man.

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon
(United Kingdom)
Release – January/25/2019
M Theory Audio
Grand Sounds PR

hecate-enthroned-box-contents

https://hecateenthroned.bandcamp.com/album/embrace-of-the-godless-aeon

Artwork – 8

An archaic ceremonial rite has been entered into, but at what cost, and for whom?

I’m intrigued, time to hit play.

First Track – 8

Enveloping symphonic atmosphere, grandiose arrangements and ominous rhythms. Obvious similarities to Cradle of Filth are undeniable which only makes me wonder how it is this is the first I’ve heard of this band. I’m both curious and excited as to how the remainder of this release plays out.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Intriguing from start to finish and effectively utilizing an exquisite balance of both symphonic and riff driven melodies delivering majestic and triumphant heights Hecate Enthroned have managed to capture the attention and hold it throughout this album’s length. Progressive elements flirt with track structures and the addition of traditional female vocals adds depth and emotion making for an album that’s diverse while still boasting sufficient Gothic, black and extreme values to sate most yearnings which any curious fan may have.

Favorite Tracks; Revelations in Autumns Flame, The Shuddering Giant, Whispers of the Mountain Ossuary, Erebus and Terror.

The Elysian Fields – New World Misanthropia
(Greece)
Release – February/11/2019
Hammer of Damnation Records

theelysianfields

https://hammerofdamnation.bandcamp.com/album/new-world-misanthropia

Artwork – 8.5

From the catacombs something appears, it’s been waiting a milenia to make its presence known. A brilliant image bathed in an ominous, enigmatic, old world, atmosphere.

First Track – 9

There must be something in the water in the Greek isles. Is the Ouzo (sp.) laced? The similarity to another, more recently active and celebrated, Greek metal beast is unmistakable but these gents have been dormat for forteen years. Time enough to hone their skills and this track proves it. An outstanding marriage of symphonic elements and death/black rhythms with the emphasis on presence rather than brutality.

Initial Listen – 9

Words escape me! The audio package on offer here is grandiose, part Septic Flesh, part Rotting Christ, part Behemoth, part Dimmu Borgir (older) but altogether top-notch showcasing a symphonic audio scape, envoking a medieval/arcane kingdom Gothic backdrop, accompanied by rhythms which bring to mind both the undeniable power of black metal’s presence and occasional tech death melodies, more specifically drum mastery salvos and intricacy ala Dying Fetus, Misery Index.

Admittedly this bands history and output speaks for itself, in no way copycatting those acts mentioned previously, and this is a commendable addition to the discography boasting more than enough ear-shattering excellence to make anyone want to delve into the bands back catalog.

If the more recent releases of Septic Flesh sound a little too “polished”, give this a shot. ‘New World Misanthropia’ is a supreme symphonic death/black audio concoction which is sure to carve a plethora of split visages across the extreme metal spectrum.

Highly recommended!!

Favorite Tracks; All of them, this delivers from start to finish. Remarkable in every way!

Interrupting A Regular Scheduled Broadcast for a Guest Spot

 

Miscarriage – Imminent Horror
(USA)
Release – February/22/2019
Sentient Ruin

miscarraige

https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/imminent-horror

My Ponderings

Artwork – A montage of sickness and gruesome images (eyeballs, dead babies and scattered limbs) akin to early Carcass album art. One wouldn’t be too surprised at the audio within I could only assume.

My Thoughts – Obvious similarities to early Carcass material need to be mentioned as this belongs in much the same folder in regard to its extreme nature and overall, undeniable, suffocating effect. I’m only one track in but already I’m starting to believe this could well be the soundtrack to a roller-coaster excursion into the bowels of one’s worst nightmares.

Final Verdict – Ever wondered what it would sound like if grindcore collaborated with doom, atmospheric black metal and noise? This could well be the resulting effect. But one would also have to exchange epic track lengths with the traditional firework short lengths attributed to grindcore and tone down these same contribution/elements considerably. Howling, screeches and rumbles combine to form the accompanying vocals whereas the rhythms drench the listener in unmerciful tones giving the desired effect of being dragged through thick, cloying, mud (perhaps the liquefied remains of a mass murderers killing spree) only to be let go to be allowed to momentarily breathe then plummet down a craggy incline, rock encrusted steep gradient. Battered, bruised and a broken one might arise only to have it happen again as the antagonist prepares for yet another assault.

This is an audio experience only the brave need consider! Most others will tap out early, for good reason, this is a harrowing, all-consuming audio journey far from typical genre expectations.

 Introducing this Weeks guest – Void (and his thoughts on the same release)
radioactiveVoidsquirrelHere’s Void!

 

Donning the aesthetic of early Carcass but with the musical stylings of Coffins mixed with Obskure Torture and maybe even a little demo-era Abruptum, Miscarriage is bound to be an acquired taste for even the most ardent death/doom fan. Crashing cymbals lead the crawling slow-motion avalanche, splitting open a path for garbled roars and screams that project absolute terror. Riffs are written in water and swirl around murkily without ever taking any real form and mostly serve as a caustic backdrop to the drumming and vocals. Without having the shape and organization of funeral doom but having more structure (barely) than pure noise, Miscarriage are far more likely to be memorable from the level of discomfort they cause rather than any actual musical passages. It’s ignorant to think that wasn’t their goal to begin with, and in that sense, mission fucking accomplished. Probably not an every-day listen, but impressive.

                                                Releases From Metal’s Past
Vredehammer – Violator
(Norway)
Release – March/18/2016
Indie Recordings

Vredehammer-Violator-2016-300x300

https://vredehammer.bandcamp.com/album/violator

Brimming with intensity, rhythm and plenty of groove Vredehammer somehow channel both Vader, Unleashed and Amon Amarth to forge an audio concoction that’s familiar yet distinct, rousing and rather hard to place comfortably in any one genre, thrash, death, Viking metal, which isn’t at all a bad thing.

Galloping riffs frolic with doom tinged melodies and driving drum tattoos, backed by a vocal prowess any Viking would be proud to have issue from their throat.

Admittedly this is my first experience of the band, but I’ll be returning often, and I won’t spoil the chance to praise then whenever an opportune moment arises.

Set your ears on this you won’t be disappointed!

Brutal Juice – Welcome to the Panopticon
(USA)
Release – October/29/2016
Homus Boyus

brutal juice

I honestly had no idea that Brutal Juice had released anything recently, so this was a nice surprise. The artwork is somewhat strange, par for the course seriously, an odd mix of both a Rasputin and Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead) mask photoshopped onto someone else.

I’ve seen Brutal Juice twice (without prior experience of either their name or style) and they blew me away with their stage appearance, energy and enthusiasm. Admittedly, their style can’t be classed as either metal or rock (though it does display elements of acts like Soundgarden, The Melvins, Polkadot Cadaver, Jesus Lizard and Acid Bath to name but a few) but more punk fused with alternate rock, though even this is up for debate as apparently even the front man has problems describing the style which he loosely terms as LSD fueled rock/punk. Regardless of where the description leads, one thing is concrete. Brutal Juice deliver audio that’s deliciously different, odd, often surreal, unpredictable though always a pleasure to lay the ears upon.

May I suggest first experiencing ‘Mutilation Makes Identification Difficult’, especially two tracks within its undeniable uniqueness; ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ and ‘The Whorehouse of Screams’.

Favorite Tracks; Reptoid Vs Stonehenge!, Black Sunrise, Welcome to the Panopticon, Numbskull.

 

Hexecutor – Poison, Lust and Damnation
(France)
Release – November/2/2016
Armee de la Mort Records

hexecutor

http://hexecutor.bandcamp.com

This came to me via Recc from Emil (@uniquehifi on twitter)

With a cover like the one this album boasts (a swamp, a myriad of hanging corpses and a mysterious figure in the foreground who has apparently already locked eyes with mine) it’s safe to say my interests are peaked even before I’ve heard a single note. Hitting play it took all of three seconds for me to forget my purpose as I started to bounce excitably from one wall to the next. Why? You might ask. To which I’d answer this is criminally inciteful audio and my limbs have apparently lost all reason.

I’ll ruin this upfront by stating that if hyper-speed mixed with traditional heavy metal is your thing then this album is a must listen. It’s that simple really!!

Hexecutor tear it up vintage Kreator style, think ‘Under the Guillotine’, imagine a whole album that fast, then add rhythmic intricacies, and a vocal style with often overboard energy (sometimes attaining vintage Raven heights). But that’s not all. There isn’t a dull moment found here. As the audio plays out the mind reels with similar acts (for it’s easier to recommend something if you have something familiar you can relate it to) and I believe I’ve came up with a few. Let’s just say if Whiplash, Witchery, Hellish and blackened speed is the type of audio you can’t live without, Hexecutor is the next logical progression. Prepare to hand over that CC #’s!

And there I was thinking France had little to offer the spectrum of metal. As it turns out this release has the impact to flip that statement, and me, on its ass.

You can thank me (cof* Emil) later.

Keep those cold compresses and heating packs at the ready this audio will make a plethora of muscles, you never knew you had, sore.

Hellripper – Complete and Total Fucking Mayhem (EP’s and Splits 15′-18′)
(Scotland)
Reaper Metal Productions
Release- February/13/2019

hellripper complete and

https://reapermetalproductions.bandcamp.com/album/complete-and-total-fucking-mayhem

This is blackened thrash the way Granma used to make. Wha-! Let me rephrase that – This is blackened thrash the way it should be! Zero filler, evil as a goat with global conquest dreams, faster than something that’s blisteringly quick and with just the right amount of traditional old school values (NWOBHM anyone) tossed in to make the listeners reminisce upon the golden era of speed metal, now decades past, as they try their hardest not to dislocate their head from its spinal anchor. Think Venom, Exciter and even in instances audio decidedly Bathory in tone.

What makes this even more outstanding is the unfathomable fact that it’s all conceived, created and laid down by, only, one hugely talented fellow. Seriously take a bow James. This is ungodly addictive and infectious to the point where this could dominate the stereo.

Just try to remain static as this obliterates the space between the ears.

This collection demands respect (it’s one of the finer split/EP collections I’ve had the pleasure to lay my ears upon) ‘Coagulation Darkness’ (2017) was a best of year pick and the Dark Lord only knows what impact Hellrippers newest will mark. I’m eager. April can’t come fast enough!

.

.

.

Ummm…

Someone turned out the lights.

Is there anyone here?

No matter. It’s not like I’m an invited guest anyhows. I’m merely returning to the location whence I was summoned. I can still make out the crayon and the multitude of colorful scribbles (my eyesight is a damn sight better than it looks, there’s a pun if ever I heard one) on the baths surface, even though Cult tried his damndest to scrub them away. Ah, his daughter and her imagination, what a naughty lil’ bundle of unpredictable cuteness.

Oh, what’s this? The newest single from Bewitcher. My fingers have happened upon an image which brings the memories flooding back. Of course, it’s wicked of me to go looking through Cult’s phone (but it’s just laid up here on the side, unguarded, asking for attention. Shit, it’s even blinking as if to say look at me, hold me, play with me). Although none of my memories are quite as vivid or delicious as the image which has now so captured my attention.

If only those consumed by fire, so many centuries ago, were that delectable (excuse me, I’m drooling). Peasants the lot of em’, admittedly some had fantastic ways of removing unwanted skin growths and imagined they could foretell the future. There was this one…I’ll leave that tale for another day. But, oh that smell and the look on the magistrate’s face. Ha!

Ahh- the audio.

Tearing me away from my sordid recollections towards those of a more audio nature. This is frustratingly short, only two songs but I could play them both till my ears bleed (which happens more than one might think). The second is a track that’s familiar, A W.A.S.P song, if I’m not mistaken (slightly off topic, but worthy of note, Blackie’s exploits are legendary even where I spend most of my time and their moniker is more infinitely vicious than even the rumors hint at).

Intriguing is the fact that it goes by the title of a Slayer album moniker, who hasn’t heard of those thrashin’ maniacs? Old school, raunchy, rock n roll I can see myself losing control of my extremities to.

Now, the opener, ‘Faster Than the Flames’ has Venom worship written all over it (whatever happened to those guys anyway? Rumor has it, Mantas toured with Dokken and that Bass licking fellow, Cronos I believe his name is, joined a Jehovah cult. In regards, to Abaddon. Last I heard he was coaching a junior collegiate hockey league. Odd how things unfold). Even down to the vocal inflections, ‘Bloodlust’ anyone? I’m not complaining in the slightest, however. I’m familiar with their last, although it’s now a few years old, and it’s known to be the soundtrack to many an unholy shindig.

This is too damn short, this is my major concern here. I have no problems with the music whatsoever, it’s just that I now have to wait until Spring, fkn’ flowers, prettiness and all that jazz, until the album comes out via Shadow Kingdom Records (great name that!) I’m impatient, dammit!

Shit, I hear something. The passage of time has apparently taken me by surprise yet again, it happens when I place tunage of this caliber between my ears. Just wait till Cult sees what kind of a mess I left his headphones in. I’m not even sure what half that drainage comes from. Yuck!

I’ll leave this here.

Bewitcher – Too Fast for the Flames 7” EP
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/too-fast-for-the-flames
March/8/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records
bewitcher Too fast

Vinyl options

Perhaps we’ll meet again?

Until then…