Archive for the ‘Reccd by Void’ Category

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Thirteen

abrasive audio header gif

I’m at it again! Metal from all across the globe and from wide across the varied spectrum which makes up the extreme audio realm. In this installment you’ll find Doom, Black and Death and a few things in between. Hopefully I’ve found something to tickle those pleasure receptors. Feel free to drop me a note and tell me which one(s) “did it” for you. I’m intrigued.

March Releases

Dawn of Ouroboros album

Dawn of Ouroboros (USA) – The Art of Morphology

https://dawnofouroboros.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-of-morphology

Release – March/30/2020

Rain Without End Records

ARTWORK – 82

Classical with a splash of cosmic nature yet overlaid with ominous tones perhaps an indication of the music within? Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 88

Drenched (literally) in haunting atmosphere this track transforms the listen to a stormy day environment invoking the mood to match. Ambient tones, emotion and ferocious black metal. An excellent mixture guaranteed to leave any listener mouth agape eagerly awaiting what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 90

Epic effective atmosphere encased in a variety of vocal approaches; spoken word (poetry), angelic singing and a ferocious assault makes for an intriguing listen that’s far from traditional. Progressive elements (including a hypnotic instrumental outro of sorts) and a whirlwind, blistering, percussion cavort playfully amidst the arrangements adding depth and the desire to dig deeper within future experiences. DoO (which is an obvious abbreviation) have managed to rein in a fluid approach here which others only attempt with unfruitful results. Transitions are masterful and the flow exquisite a testament to the bands vision, a stellar spin on the Beauty and Beast approach with a myriad of elements one might not expect resulting in an album which one can find themselves lost within. Major props go out to Chelsea Murphy who’s solely responsible for the stunning vocal range exhibited throughout.

Favorite Tracks; Hypnotic from beginning to end.

FFO; Gates of the Morning, Akercocke, Emperor.

April Releases

Caustic Wound

Another Void Recc
Caustic Wound (USA) – Death Posture

https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/death-posture

Release – April/10/2020

Profound Lore Records

ARTWORK – 78

A raw BnW image of a face stripped of flesh shattered like a mirror. Makes an impression and leaves little to Imagination as to what to expect from the audio.

FIRST TRACK – 78

Pulverizing OSDM with a deviant raunchy tone and gutteriffic vox.

INITIAL LISTEN – 83

Blast beats, chaotic dirge riffs, tumbling over each other, fighting for supremacy, enough diabolical groove to start a Goblin mosh pit in the catacombs, a gargling sewerage vocal approach and a nostalgic aura part Crust, part Brutal Death which tosses one gleefully back to the late 80’s/ very early 90’s extreme underground scene. There’s plenty to get excited about here!

Favorite Tracks; Cematary Planet, Black Bag Asphyxiation, Blast Casualty, Uranium Decay, Acid Attack, Guillotine, Catackysmic Gigaton.

FFO; Fetid, Repulsion, Terrorizer.

But wait for it…Void has a few words to share on this one

Spawned mostly from members of Mortiferum and Cerebral Rot / Fetid, Caustic Wound’s debut “Death Posture” is one hell of a throwback, nailing its claim that it sounds like it was recorded no later than 1992.  Worshipping at the altar of Nuclear Death, Defecation (a personal favorite), Terrorizer, Napalm Death, early Carcass and of course the mighty Repulsion, “Death Posture” blows by in a furious cyclone of grinding death metal that doesn’t hold back.  The sound on this thing is perfection, thick and moldering and so, so nasty.  The bass is just thundering, you can feel the twanging of those strings booming through your speakers in those slower, grinding doom parts between the frenetic blasts. Consisting mostly of songs that don’t breach the two-minute mark doesn’t hold “Death Posture” back from having catchy tracks without being ridiculously heavy.  Albums like this are what gets me out of bed in the morning.

90

Abduction

Abduction (France) – Jehanne

https://abductionfr.bandcamp.com/

Release -April/29/2020

Finisterean Dead End

ARTWORK – 78

A classic portrait of Joan of Arc, on whom, incidentally, this album is based.

FIRST TRACK – 83

A Baroque introduction ripped in Twain by the arrival of malicious blast beat laden Black metal. The vocal presence is unique, showcasing three distinct styles, and the track soon calms to offer rhythms of an undeniably addictive nature which are melodic, triumphant and powerful. A great start and introduction to an album which appears thus far in rather unique in its approach.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

There’s over an hour of Atmospheric, (slightly Avant Garde in instances) and Melodic Black metal with a thin veil of melancholic Doom to get lost in here. Sweeping rhythms coupled with both fierce and majestic arrangements accompanied by a diverse, multi-faceted vocal lineup adds depth to the albums eye-opening allure. An epic thoroughly immersive audio journey with plentiful movement, epic sonic-scapes and even in instances passages which are oddly relaxing. This boasts the grandiosity, flow and diversity to appeal to a large audience across a wide radius within both the Black and extreme arenas.

Favorite Tracks; Top notch Black Metal dotted with fluid diversity flowing throughout!

FFO; Angellore, Schammasch, Sigh, Blut Aus Nord, Aodon.

May Releases

Naglfar Sweden - Cerecloth

Naglfar (Sweden) – Cerecloth

https://music.apple.com/us/album/cerecloth/1499904426?ign-gact=3&ls=1

Release- May/8/2020

Century Media Records

ARTWORK – 86

An exquisitely rendered ominous image. Is this a procession of the dead about to wreck vengeance? Or spirits merely out for a leisurely wander? Either way it’s a fantastic piece of art which has revved up the curious part of me to dangerous levels.

FIRST TRACK – 83

Blistering pace, majestic rhythms, venomous vocals and a familiar Blackened Death/Melodic Black vibe. Although this isn’t a new style it’s hard not to appreciate.

INITIAL LISTEN – 81

This is my introduction to the band. Many have commented this is the bands weakest effort to date, but not having heard them (yet) I will comment on this release alone (then most probably dig into the acts past work, depending on my appreciation of this).

Classically melodious and overflowing with swift rhythms and a sense of menace the style here is downright sinister and utterly recognizable. Overall, the album sports a great many arrangements to get excited about and is a pleasure to listen to throughout, though I can’t help but think it’s somewhat ‘safe’ with rhythms occasionally existing in the realm of strikingly predictable. The production is a little muddy and could be better but for as introduction to the band I’m left impressed and will definitely revisit again. I will also take a moment to discover their past work.

Favorite Tracks; Delivers throughout!

FFO; Dissection, Old Man’s Child, Sacramentum, Necrophobic.

barrenwomb

 Barren Womb (Norway/Finland) – Lizard Lounge

https://barrenwomb.bandcamp.com/

Release -May/22/2020

Loyal Blood Records

ARTWORK – 84

It might take a few glances and exploration of this image to work out what’s going on. To me it appears to be an image plucked from the mind of someone who contributes to AdultSwim on a regular basis. Teeth are flying everywhere and the person in the foreground appears to be holding a fork, or is a tiny hammer? (Is that an ear on the fork or a tongue?) This is strange indeed, perhaps an indication of the music on offer? Hitting play.

FIRST TRACK – 89

Not sure if this is Punk, Noise, Rowdy Rock and Roll or all of the above mashed together. It’s certainly interesting and I’m all ears.  What a curiously infectious start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Once in a while I come across a collective of audio which is quite indescribable. Such is the case here. A few genres and styles come to mind while this tears its way through the senses but they soon dissipate as the unpredictability takes hold, moreover in some Tracks than others. This might be easier to describe if it wasn’t so addictive, infectious and humorous. It just grabs ahold and doesn’t let go. Frenetic is a good word to use here, distortion is rampant and the vocals are spat with punk attitude. However, there are calmer, slower moments to make for a breather. All in all, a diverse slab of surprising wrapped in odd, bizarre and enigmatic. As if the track titles don’t suggest such.

Favorite Tracks; Delights throughout!

FFO; Freighter, Wizard Rifle, Faith no More, Dog Fashion Disco, Polkadot Cadaver.

Red Mesa (USA) - The Path to the Deathless
June Releases
Red Mesa (USA) – The Path to the Deathless

https://redmesaband.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-to-the-deathless

Release – June/12/2020

Desert Records

ARTWORK – 92

Vibrant, vivid and striking.

Exquisite colors and details (courtesy of Joshua Mathus) make this image stand out and catch the eye. So much so that I honestly couldn’t resist a listen. Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 83

Palpable desert ambience leads into distortion-laden melodies with a violin accompaniment. Color me intrigued.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

It would really be untoward for someone to call this merely “Stoner Rock”. For it’s so much more than merely that. This album sees a merging of many styles; namely Psychedelia, Blues tinged Rock, Heavy Metal (and even in instances Sludge). The resulting creation has a heavy Western sounding, passion fueled, slant which goes far beyond intriguing. “Chilling” is a word which works well in instances, “Ghostly” fits too. The band make the most of the injected Psych moments for atmosphere (of which there is plenty courtesy of violins and steel guitar guest players) while also adding momentum into their arrangements to keep unpredictability levels high and the listener on their toes. Overall, this is a fantastic album for anyone interested in the scene to take the plunge. This is neither this nor that, but a great many things interacting on many levels for a fully subversive listening experience one needs to explore over several listens.

Favorite Tracks; Delivers a hypnotic aura from start to finish.

FFO; The Sword, Baroness, High on Fire, Conan.

 Stygian Crown

 Stygian Crown (USA) – s/t

https://stygiancrown.bandcamp.com/album/stygian-crown

Release- June/26/2020

Cruz delivers Sur Music

ARTWORK – 79

A skull, snakes and swords embossed upon a leather clad volume or tome (of sorts) this leaves me intrigued as to what type of audio this album might contain. Pressing play.

FIRST TRACK – 82

An introduction dripping in presence offers the listener their first glimpse of the vocalist here although it’s more an angelic chorus. It’s not until the music actually kicks that her pipes are displayed in all their magnificence. The percussion oddly fits although it’s more distorted dirge (Bolt Thrower comes to mind) rather than the clean sweeping melodies one might expect (ala Candlemass; Snowy Shaw and Messiah Marcolin whom her voice is comparable to). Oddly, the combination works. A certain remarkable grandiose nature results from the combined mixture of styles and it’s surprisingly fitting for the term “Doom”.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

This could well be called traditional Doom. All the ingredients are there; the exquisite, passionate vocals and the catchy af rhythms (guitar and drum based) though there’s one small difference. The fact I’ve mentioned before, and although this ‘presence’ does seem to wane somewhat towards albums end the aura is still there. The impression has been made and it’s a formidable mark. “CandleThrower” (as the band term the style) is one hell of a spin on the traditional take and it’s not so wildly inventive as to scare potential listeners away, traditional elements still exist, solid are invocative and plentiful. This feels right, comfortable even. And this is album is downright fire which only spreads out of control as it starts anew, again and again and…

Favorite Tracks; Devour the Dead, Up from the Depths, Flametongue, When Old Gods Die, Trampled into the Earth.

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus.

 Shed the Skin (USA) - The Forbidden Arts

 Shed the Skin (USA) – The Forbidden Arts

https://shed-the-skin.bandcamp.com/

Release – June/26/2020

Hell’s Headbangers Records

ARTWORK – 93

Courtesy of James Bullock this gloriously grotesque BnW image highlights the dire consequences of dabbling in “The Forbidden Arts”.

Brilliant inks but I’m left wondering how difficult it’s now going to be to get his (?) pants on.

FIRST TRACK – 82

Plenty of groove and diabolical nature in this track. Mid-paced madness with maniacal maelstrom tendencies and vicious throaty vocals.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

With constantly shifting arrangements offering a myriad of styles ranging from Thrash laden Death, Melodic Death and Maniacal Death complete with groove passages, sinister solos/leadwork and palpable atmosphere this is an altogether accessible style. And honestly a few steps away from what I was imagining with term “Satanic DM” in my mind (which conjures the words raw, blistering paced, blackened chaos). However, this delivers throughout with its twisting somewhat unpredictable melodic approach to keep me intrigued and my whims pleasingly sated (with my limbs tapping of their own accord).

Favorite Tracks; Delivers throughout!

FFO; Deicide, Asphyx, Incantation, Grotesquery.

Dark Tranquility (Sweden) - Skydancer

Plucked from Metal Past
(In this case revisiting a classic to evaluate if it still leaves an impression)
Dark Tranquility (Sweden) – Skydancer

https://darktranquillity.bandcamp.com/

(Re)release – August/30/2013 (original release – August/30/1993)

Independent

ARTWORK – 78

An image depicting a moody sky. Rays of light break through the clouds to fall upon the forest below. Gives little away in regards to the music.

FIRST TRACK – 88

Highly infectious, exuberant and energetic structure. Rhythms incite movement and harsh, venom dripping, vocals add a vicious edge to propel this from a merely melodic (albeit swift and multifaceted) audio landscape into one that straddles both Technical and Aggressive Thrash and Death territories. A fantastic start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 89

Simply put… a stunning feat! One of the forerunners of the Stockholm melodic movement. A perfect balance of harmonies and melodies (draped in an array of invocative folk and classical auras) and swift paced rhythms (utilizing exciting riff combinations which are far from repetitive to the point of boredom) resulting in an unpredictable, often frenetic, though altogether fluid audio collection which is difficult not to appreciate. For Thrash and Melodic Death fans alike. This still makes an impression even close to some thirty years after its initial release. Fingers crossed a rerecording/reworking doesn’t appear to leave a stain upon long-time fans admiration of a classic.

Favorite Tracks; Inventive, energetic and enjoyable throughout.

FFO; At the Gates, (early) In Flames, Insomnium, Sabbat (UK), Eucharist, Omnium Gatherum, (early) Arch Enemy.

WTF Lightning Fire Reviews
A single listen of an album from a diverse selection complemented by a quick scribble.

Cursed be Thy Flesh - The Ritual

Cursed be Thy Flesh (USA/Slovenia) – The Ritual

https://cursedbethyflesh.bandcamp.com/album/the-ritual-album

Release – April/30/2020

Necrotic Records/Wrought Records/Anti // all forever

Artwork – 77

Ferocity – 76

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 75

Originality – 64

Genre – Black Metal/Symphonic Black/Raw Black/Melodic Black/Blackened Death/Blackened Speed/Dungeon Synth

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 81

Covering a pleasingly diverse radius of the BM genre this offers audio newcomers and traditional fans of the genre can (and will) enjoy. Raw yet polished in its production with applaudable, plentiful, nods to familiar influences there’s a great deal here to entice the first footstep within an unfamiliar realm without suffocating the listener in an absolute and unforgiving nature many associate with the BM genre.

Cryptic Brood (Germany) - Outcome of Obnoxious Science

 Cryptic Brood (Germany) – Outcome of Obnoxious Science

https://rottedlife.bandcamp.com/album/outcome-of-obnoxious-science

Release – November/22/2019

War Anthem Records/Rotted Life

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 77

Infectiousness – 68

Groove – 72

Originality – 65

Genre – Grinding Death/Death/Doom/OSDM/Crust

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 74

Varied pace displayed throughout each track (from plodding, sinister, Doom to blast beat-laden ferocity and stomping groove passages making for an unpredictable listen) slathered in putrescence and grime evokes a dismal, bleak surrounding where hope has long since faded replaced by inevitable dread and longing for a final release. Recc for those with preferences far from mere chuggery realms.

 Demonomancy (Italy) - Poisoned Atonement

 Demonomancy (Italy) – Poisoned Atonement

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/poisoned-atonement-2

Release – February/23/2018

Invictus Productions

Artwork – 76

Ferocity – 78

Infectiousness – 71

Groove – 72

Originality – 72

Genre – Blackened Death/Melodic Black Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 71

A grandiose affair utilizing chants, choruses, tribal drums and a slightly different approach in the vocal department; a style which appears more spoken than sang. Percussion is akin to ‘light’ Grinding Death with a darker slant. The result is a sound boasting both depth/presence but an overall aura which might take a few listens to fully appreciate.

Excuse the Interruption… but Void has an album he wishes to share
Death Mask – Split the Atom

Release – July/1986

Killerwatt Records

Sometimes digging into the deep underbelly of metal you retrieve some unknown gems.  And other times… well you’re not as lucky.  Not to say that Death Mask is necessarily bad, but let’s just agree there’s room for improvement here.  Sounding like Motörhead b-sides got a low-dosage injection of thrash metal with a vocalist doing their best to sound like a cross between Tim Baker (Cirith Ungol) and John Stewart (Slauter Xstroyes), there’s nothing tremendously noteworthy here.  Sure, there are some cool tracks like “Lust for Fire” where the energy is palpable and all the ingredients come together properly, but you also have some half-baked duds like the cringey, mid-paced self-declaration of badassery in “Walk Alone.”  But hey you can’t win em’ all.  Death Mask isn’t a total waste, there’s a bit of a good time on here, but they’re definitely not in the upper echelons of any genre of metal they touch here.  An obscure curiosity to check out on a rainy day.

60

Drakonis (UK) - Blessed by Embers

Let us return to our normally scheduled programming
Drakonis (UK) – Blessed by Embers

https://hostilemedia.bandcamp.com/album/blessed-by-embers

Release – April/3/2020

Hostile Media

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 79

Infectiousness – 82

Groove – 76

Originality – 65

Genre – Blackened Death/Symphonic Black/Industrial/Doom/Melodic Black/Viking Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 80

Although the description (above) is varied the music here flows uninterrupted by transformation hiccup with varying degrees of menace, melody and ferocity to keep the listener entertained. And thankfully no over-indulgence in any one factor. Mood and majesty combine superbly with just the right amount of atmosphere alongside a vocal approach which has bite and should be instantly acceptable for most genre fans. For a debut full-length this bodes well for the bands future hinting at avenues which could well separate them from the herd. Keep tabs on these guys!

 Power Theory (USA) - Force of Will

 Power Theory (USA) – Force of Will

https://powertheory.bandcamp.com/album/force-of-will-2

Release – December/6/2019

Pure Steel Records

Artwork – 73

Ferocity – 64

Infectiousness – 83

Groove – 78

Originality – 64

Genre – Heavy Metal/Power Metal

Revisit- Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 86

I’m not usually a fan of the genre. However, for some reason this grabbed my attention and held it! Fluid melodies, epic arrangements, intriguing lyrical content and top- notch musicianship accompanied by an impressive vocalist sporting a range minus falsetto elements which usually keep me away from the genre. If like me you thought you were done with the genre, give this a shot, it might well reverse your opinion.

Apostasy (USA) - Accuser of Brethren (demo)

 Another Void Recc
Apostasy (USA) – Accuser of Brethren (demo)

https://pathologicallyexplicit.bandcamp.com/track/accusser-of-brethren

(Re)release – April/1/2020 (originally released in 93′)

Pathologically Explicit Recordings

Artwork – 71

Ferocity – 76

Infectiousness – 76

Groove – 73

Originality – 65

Genre – Brutal Death/Death/Grinding Death/OSDM/DeathDoom

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 80

Maniacal and diabolical flourishes abound as well arrangements which sport effective sinister atmosphere and rhythms to transport the listener to the edge of the abyss. Raw production fits the style perfectly. Tragically, this is all the band (or any of its members) released, perhaps it was released too soon and/or didn’t reach the circles it needed to. There’s no doubt this boasts an easy to appreciate level of quality. Who knows what the future may have manifested?

obedmarsh

 Obed Marsh (Australia) – Dunwich

https://obedmarsh.bandcamp.com/

Release – January/8/2019

Independent

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 76

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 74

Originality – 76

Genre – Funeral Doom/Atmospheric Black/Sludge/Ambient/Drone

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 83

Ethereal quality hypnotic audio suffocates the senses conjuring an as if being propelled by the body working of its own accord through a thick fog towards “something” sensation. Vocals bear a’far off’ element which somehow adds depth to the already remarkable palpable ominous vibe throughout. This is meticulously crafted Lovecraftian Doom which channels elements from a variety of genres to evoke an atmosphere rarely experienced. Sit back, give this the time it requires and let the mind wander into realms both enigmatic and fascinating though altogether unfathomable.

 Torture Tomb (USA) - Killing to See How it Feels

 Torture Tomb (USA) – Killing to See How it Feels

https://transylvaniantapes.bandcamp.com/album/torture-tomb-killing-to-see-how-it-feels

Release- June/6/2020

Transylvanian Tapes

Artwork – 75

Ferocity – 83

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 81

Originality – 65

Genre – OSDM/Blackened Death/Crust/Brutal Death/Sludge

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 74

Cavernous, sick, OSDM with plenty of groove and a myriad of pleasing influence.

 Wartooth (Australia) - Programmed Dichotomy

A Recc from Demnuts3  (on Twitter)
 Wartooth (Australia) – Programmed Dichotomy

https://wartooth.bandcamp.com/album/programmed-dichotomy

Release – April/9/2020

Independent

Artwork – 81

Ferocity – 78

Infectiousness – 92

Groove – 89

Originality – 75

Genre – Thrash/Technical Thrash/Crossover/Aggressive Thrash

Revisit – It goes w.o saying.

Final Score/Remarks – 94

How is that only after three tracks Wartooth have managed to exhibit screamingly neon signed influence from more than a handful of ultra- recognizable acts and so brilliantly executed with such fluid precision? Also, in the vocal department, I’m not usually one for vocal gymnastics. But the effect works so remarkably here that it manages to widen the eyes in stunning appreciation rather than prompt pen to keyboard in complaint.

In fact, the album seethes with a level of enthusiasm, energy and exuberance that’s off the charts. I can only imagine what a spectacle the live show must present. In short, I can understand why so many are touting this as AoTY material (and so early on). This offering from Wartooth is undeniably a damn good reason to get excited about Thrash again! Be prepared to praise the genre again. This, moreso than anything else recently released, has given it the kick in the ass it so desperately warrants. And the bands “message” is refreshing also (that of waving the flag of individuality), yet another reason to jump on this and support the band (as if one needs another reason?)

Thrashin’ mad Koalas and Kangaroos. Are they a thing? (Did I just go there? You betcha’). Probably not, but with this in mind it’s now most certainly a possibility.

Altar of Rot (USA) - Altar of Rot

 Altar of Rot (USA) – Altar of Rot

https://altarofrot.bandcamp.com/album/altar-of-rot

Release – March/15/2020

Independent

Artwork – 85

Ferocity – 82

Infectiousness – 86

Groove – 84

Originality – 75

Genre – Blackened Death/Blackened Speed/Black Metal/Crust/Doom/Thrash.

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 86

Surprisingly versatile mixture of styles executed with flair. Raw production adds to the albums allure. Addictively infectious throughout!

With this quality on offer I’m sure labels will fight amongst themselves to pluck this act from obscurity.

Wretched Fate (Sweden) - Fleshletting

 Wretched Fate (Sweden) – Fleshletting

https://wretchedfate.bandcamp.com/album/wretched-fate-fleshletting

Release – February/22/2019

Redefining Darkness Records

Artwork – 86

Ferocity – 86

Infectiousness – 88

Groove – 85

Originality – 79

Genre – HM2 Death/Brutal Death/OSDM

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 87

Just when one begins to think the HM2 sound was exhausted along comes Wretched Fate. They give the familiar a twist, add their unique stamp, inject an atmosphere which showcsses their adoration for the horror genre then execute the whole with a reverance, precision and skillfull devastation a samurai swordmaster would be jealous of. In short, this is the arena I wished Dismember, Bloodbath or Entombed might have taken, as their styles  progressed, but never did. And to think I missed this ragin’ beast last year. Is there still time to add to the EoY lists?

Kryptograf (Norway)

Kryptograf (Norway) – s/t

https://kryptograf.bandcamp.com/album/kryptograf

Release – June/12/2020

Apollon Records

Artwork – 68

Ferocity – 53

Infectiousness – 69

Groove – 84

Originality – 72

Genre – Fuzz/Doom/Stoner Rock/Psychedelia/Vintage Rock/Progressive

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 72

Honestly, this is a lot mellower audio than I usually divulge my senses in but it boasts a certain something to keep the finger from the skip, and/or eject button. It bears definite flow, a dreamy fluidity, cosmic elements (which bring to mind Hawkwind), tons of “fuzz”, haunting atmospheres, melodies you can drift upon, but also an aura which recalls early Black Sabbath. This is probably not for everybody (admittedly I’m warming to the inner most circle of what the Doom genre offers) but it’s making an impression on me as somewhat of a pallet cleanser. A relaxing step away from that which usually brutalizes my senses.

Aeons Abyss (Australia) - Impenitent

 Aeons Abyss (Australia) – Impenitent

https://aeonsabyss.bandcamp.com/album/impenitent

Release – November/1/2019

Independent

Artwork – 79

Ferocity – 78

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 82

Originality – 68

Genre – Death/OSDM/Brutal Death/Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Black Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 78

Far from mere chuggery this is pleasingly diverse. Each track boasts a unique identity with a myriad of styles, auras and pace showcased within the album’s length. A superb vocal range, occasionally nodding at the theatric, adds to the intrigue as well unpredictable, often intricate, arrangements hinting at a wide range of influences.

 Sanctifying Death Ritual (Germany)

 Sanctifying Death Ritual (Germany) – s/t

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/sanctifying-ritual-s-t

Release- June/5/2020

Iron Bonehead Productions

Artwork – 81

Ferocity – 83

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 91

Originality – 68

Genre – BlackThrash/Bestial Metal/Death/Speed/Black Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 92

A jaw dropping audio cauldron of cavernous Death, Blackened Speed Metal and arrangements which will turn the ear of even the most casual genre fan. The albums raw production only bolsters its (masterfully controlled) chaotic approach and appeal which seethes with both nostalgic elements and present-day frenetic attitude. Expect to see this mentioned again come years end.

Heads for the Dead (International) – Serpent’s Curse

 Heads for the Dead (International) – Serpent’s Curse

https://headsforthedead.bandcamp.com/album/serpents-curse-death-metal

Release – September/24/2018

Transcending Obscurity Records

Artwork – 83

Ferocity – 77

Groove – 76

Infectiousness – 78

Originality – 72

Genre – Death Metal/DeathDoom

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 82

An unsettling audio landscapes smoky with the haze of dread and unquestionable sinister intent accompanied by an enveloping swath of amorphous percussion boasting varied degrees of ferocity invites the listener into its fold. Draped in a heavy pitch, all consuming, blanket of ill intent this is not the typical DM release but rather one relying on dense atmosphere than bludgeoning riff brutality. Aided by the echoed vocal attributes of (Revel in Flesh’s) Ralf Hauber and the mesmerizing drumming of Erik Bevenrud (Hail of Bullets) the spell is cast. And the audience is consumed by a delirious fog resulting from the masterful manipulation of the finest elements of Doom, Death and Crust.

Sangre de la Luna (USA) - Stirrings (demo)

Sangre de la Luna (USA) – Stirrings (demo)

https://bloodmoonproductions.bandcamp.com/album/stirrings

Release – November/5/2019

Blood moon Productions

Artwork – 72

Ferocity – 88

Groove – 71

Infectiousness – 65

Originality – 66

Genre – OSDM/Grind/Black Metal

Revisit – No

Final Score/Remarks – 64

Classical interludes break up a hyper-speed collision involving raw Black Metal and Grinding Death vehicles. Incomprehensible vocals and atmosphere adds to the mix making for a dismally, pitch, uncompromising brutal affair which, I’m assuming, only the extremists among us are likely to fully appreciate.

But wait for it, Void has a few words on this release also…

Black metal hailing from Portland, Oregon, I’ll admit this is not what I was expecting.  The acoustic intro led me astray in expecting an album with a heavier emphasis on an atmospheric approach.  Not quite, as the black metal contained herein is heavily distorted and blown out; the tone and drumming are very overbearing and give “Stirrings” a very mechanical feel, one that I don’t think does Sangre de la Luna justice.  The drums pummel out the guitars, who in turn drown out the vocals, and there’s simply too much going on at once, but not in the over-the-top chaos way that bands like perhaps Teitanblood have mastered.  There are good ideas lurking around in here and I can appreciate what they were aiming for, but the execution isn’t quite fully realized yet.

65

Woe Betide (UK) - Throne of Spines

 Woe Betide (UK) – Throne of Spines

https://woebetide.bandcamp.com/album/throne-of-spines

Release – May/24/2020

Independent

Artwork – 74

Ferocity – 82

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 82

Originality – 72

Genre – Symphonic Death/Deathcore/Tech Death

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 81

Oozing with atmosphere and wicked, often intricate, riffs and rhythm transformations this one manages to capture the attention throughout warranting addition to a heavy rotation playlist.

 Henry Kane (Sweden) - Age of the Idiot

 Henry Kane (Sweden) – Age of the Idiot

https://henrykanecrust.bandcamp.com/album/age-of-the-idiot-death-metal-grind-crust

Release- May/22/2020

Transcending Obscurity Records

Artwork – 83

Ferocity – 78

Groove – 71

Infectiousness – 75

Originality – 74

Genre – HM2 Swedish Death/Brutal Death/Grinding Death/Industrial/Grindcore/Doom/Crust

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 79

Surprisingly diverse for a “Grindcore” release, this sports individual sounding tracks with varying lengths as well the traditional under-a-minute type. Levels of ferociousness are varied as well pace and rhythm arrangements. All in all, somewhat a mature, ‘out of bounds’ effort that’s well worth discovery and a few listens to fully appreciate.

tired zombie

Done. Now I’ll sleep like the dead!

And that’s about it for another monstrous entry in the Abrasive Audio series. Thanks for reading this far, hopefully I’ve introduced a few albums/acts which delight the senses.

I’ve tried to keep this installment diverse and have even added a few Recc’s I was most curious about. As always, I’m finish this by imparting the customary spot of sagely advice – don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the ears.

Cult

Whoops, nearly forgot. A huge thanks to Void for the Reccs and stepping in with his wisdom and insight at the last minute.

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses – Another Year End List #3. The Year’s Best according to Void

heavy metal santa

Other than compilations year end lists are the undoubtedly the best way to find new music without having to fall down the Bandcamp or the YouTube rabbit hole (seriously who Knows what you might run into?) Without further ado, or mention of the wintery landscape or how damn cold it has suddenly become, I present

Voids 2019 Year in Review

2019 has come and gone, and in the best traditions of music sites everywhere, we take a good long look at the past loop around the sun and rank our favorite albums, EPs, demos, splits or whatever.  I’ve found keeping up with new releases harder than usual, and not so much due to lack of time (although perpetual adulting is unfortunately partly responsible) but rather due to my tendency to prioritize obsessively rooting through metal’s meaty underbelly to seek out old, obscure anomalies that few care about.  Consequently, my uptake of new material is lower than I’d like it to be, but I nevertheless immersed myself in a considerable amount of new releases.

Void Reccs.jpg

While in many past years I found that I at least had a clear idea of at least what my top 3-5 releases were, I found that 2019 did not prevail upon me to form a concrete musical hierarchy.  Thus, this year, numerical rankings can suck it and you can enjoy my top ten 2019 releases in good ol’ fashioned alphabetical order.

crypt sermon

Crypt Sermon – The Ruins of Fading Light
https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-ruins-of-fading-light

I’m sure this will appear on multiple year-end lists, but as one who rarely dabbles in doom, I feel its presence here carries attests to its quality more than most.  Maintaining the heavy and epic atmosphere of “Out of the Garden” while seeing improvement in the songwriting and the vocals, “The Ruins of Fading Light” simply takes Crypt Sermon to the next level.  Tracks like ‘Key of Solomon’ and ‘Christ is Dead’ will have you think you can sing along competently because they make it sound so easy, even though in reality you’re just blissfully oblivious to the fact that you’re actually completely tone-deaf.

Encoffinized – Chambers of Deprivation
https://encoffinized-maggotstomp.bandcamp.com/album/chambers-of-deprivation

Chunky death metal sounding like a mix of Baphomet and maybe something like Vomiturition, “Chambers of Deprivation” is some intense, knuckle-dragging death metal with vocals that sound like an abyss is opening up to swallow entire fucking planets.  Maggot Stomp (label?) has released some killer junk this year, and Encoffinized’s debut tops the pack.

Fetid

Fetid – Steeping Corporeal Mess
https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/steeping-corporeal-mess

On their debut outing, Fetid take us on a subterranean journey through the moist, festering tunnels of the netherworld, its walls inexplicably lined with twitching, membranous tissue.  Impossible to avoid stepping in the regurgitated rot that flows down in steady, chunky streams from dilating orifices, the horrendous squishing sound is not only heard, but felt.  That exact sensation has been vividly put to music.  Sweet.

Pa Vesh En – Pyrefication
https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/pa-vesh-en-pyrefication

Caustic and densely atmospheric, Pa Vesh En’s “Pyrefication” is a raw, noisy black metal affair that fills the space with oppressive, overtly claustrophobic and genuinely terrifying chaos. “Pyrefication” is an exercise in paranoia and lurking fear.

Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion

 

By all things logical and normal, Possessed’s third album, which landed 30 years after their sophomore and featured only a single member of the original lineup, had no business being good.  But holy shit did it deliver.  Bar the slightly too-clean production, “Revelations of Oblivion” stays perfectly in line with what we all loved about classic Possessed.  Probably one of the best comeback albums I’ve ever heard.

profanica.jpg

Profanatica – Rotting Incarnation of God
https://profanaticasom.bandcamp.com/album/rotting-incarnation-of-god

Reveling in their lack of progress and instead honing in on what they’ve always done best, Profanatica’s fifth album is a paragon of the sound they’ve developed.  “Rotting Incarnation of God” places Ledney’s drumming first and foremost to drive the album along, while a vile guitar and bass provides a relentless undercurrent.  If you didn’t like Profanatica before, this will do nothing to change your mind, but if you dig them, this is probably their best album yet.

Rotted – Dying to Rot
https://rotted-maggotstomp.bandcamp.com/album/dying-to-rot

Rotted step up the game from their debut “Pestilent Tomb” by making this demo more disgusting in every way imaginable.  The down-tuned, lumbering guitar sounds like boiling sewage and churns along to gurgling vocals akin to soggy ground meat in releasing its air pockets in sputtering belches.  It might not sound like much at first, but this is ace-level.

Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance

Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance
https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/planetary-clairvoyance

I feel like this album didn’t get a fair shake from me at first.  “Primordial Malignity” and “Manor of Infinite Forms” both grabbed me instantly, whereas this one didn’t.  That’s hardly a crime, but because of it I initially hadn’t devoted the time it deserved.  That’s been rectified and this is high quality stuff, a worthy successor to the first two albums.  I’ve seen them live four times (yay local), and every time they’ve levelled the place, so don’t miss a chance to go see them.

Undeath.jpg

Undeath – Sentient Autolysis
https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/sentient-autolysis

Thrusting two demos into the scene this year, this second release is vastly superior to the first.  While the first (creatively titled “Demo ‘19”) showed considerable promise, “Sentient Autolysis” delivers on that promise with four tracks of Neanderthal Demilich-inspired metal of death.  I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with for their upcoming album.

Warmoon Lord – Burning Banners of the Funereal War
https://warmoonlord.bandcamp.com/album/burning-banners-of-the-funereal-war

An entry from a band that proudly pilfered its moniker from one of Vlad Tepes’ more nonsensical song titles, this Finnish project plopped onto the scene with little to no fanfare and delivered an outstanding album that snatched the place on this list that I thought would’ve belonged to Vargrav.  Heavily inspired by albums like Emperor’s “In the Nightside Eclipse” and Darkthrone’s “Under a Funeral Moon” (the opening to ‘Obsessing Darkness’ sounds like it could’ve been lifted right out of the latter), any fan of early 90’s black metal should be all over this.

So, there we have it, 2019 comes to a close, leaving us reeling and wondering “what the fuck was that?”  We may never know, but one thing I know is that 2020 is coming.  And once it arrives, it’s here.  You’re welcome.

A huge thanks to Void for dropping another smorgasbord of releases I’ve heard very little about. We’ve both dropped words on the newest Possessed (which can be found on this site by typing the name in the search bar. I’d add a link but I’m too lazy) and I believe I’ve even waffled on about a few of his other choices. Naturally Void takes us far from the mainstream to drop most of us into where the fuck am I ville. I’ve been there. Roll with it, its part of his charm.

Cult

Abrasive Audio – Part Thirty -One

headbangin gif

Like an ever-flowing stream the onslaught of metal flows ever onward, caressing the ears, delighting the senses and making even the shittiest of day that much better. Did I mention I’m drowning in promos?

Forget it. I don’t need your pity, though a helping hand would certainly be appreciated at this point (reach out if you’ve a dark sense of humor, a disdain for politics and have ever felt the urge to compose).

Onward,

ectoplasma white eyed.jpg

Ectoplasma- White-Eyed Trance
(Greece)
Release – October/31/2019
Memento Mori/Repulsive Echo/Caligari Records
https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/white-eyed-trance
ARTWORK – 79

If you go out into the woods tonight (…”you’re in for a big surprise”. Wait wha-!) take a flashlight, a knife and a hooded cloak then, and only then (perhaps), can you join the party. I hear there’s plenty of fun to he had; ritual sacrifice, an orgy with a plethora of enthusiastic octogenarian kultists, a petting zoo (of sorts), Kool-Aid and cookies…with chocolate chips (yum).

FIRST TRACK – 76

A topically themed introduction that comes complete with cawing crows and howling winds quickly transforms into a riotous avalanche of sound; chaotic drums and riffing. An old school aura with groove and a vocal style which will please most with brutal death penchants.

INITIAL LISTEN – 79

Groove, atmosphere and brutality combine to forge an album draped in familiarity. A death/doom affair, emphasis on death, which overflows with chuggery, melody, riffs which will incite instantaneous grins and an impressive ominous nature rather than all-out brutality. A fantastic introduction to another band who deserve attention within a genre overcrowded with a lack of originality.

Favorite Tracks; Pyschomanteum Immolation, White-Eyed Trance: Choronzonic Covenant, The Oak Spewed Foul Whispers, White-Eyed Trance: Ensnared in Devilry, Souls of Sacrifice (Devastation cover)

FFO; Deicide, Morgoth, Pestilence, Vomitory, Benediction, Asphyx.

hot breath

Hot Breath s/t
(Sweden)
The Sign Records
Release – October/18/2019
Dewar PR
https://hotbreathofficial.bandcamp.com/album/hot-breath
ARTWORK – 72

This screams retro, a photo of what I can only assume is the band, and could well have embellished the cover of an album from thirty years previous.

FIRST TRACK – 92

A whirlwind of synth clears the air for a guitar salvo with an unmistakable air of retro about it. And I’m sold! This is definite rock n roll 70’s worship and as a fan of a plethora of NWOBHM acts the grin plastered across my chops couldn’t possibly be any wider.

INITIAL LISTEN – 90

Hailing from Sweden one might initially think of the HM -2 sound rather than traditional rock n’ roll (thanks to Entombed, Carnage and the like) but all that might be about to change. This is an obvious palette cleanser for those whose interests primarily reside in the extreme but for those who dip their senses in metals roots this delivers all that one could wish. Powerful attitude-laden vocals complement galloping melodies and riffs which harken to an age where denim was king and tassels were an addition one could not be without (Insert memories of finding my parents jackets in the closet when I was but a young lad).

Hardly a copycat act this collective are slated to bear the standard of the revival into an age where more of the same (seemingly on repeat) needs to be eradicated at all costs. For most this might qualify as a guilty pleasure, in my case however, I’m proud to support and praise an act who’s worthy of such. Give this a listen but be warned, it’s dangerously and instantaneously addictive.

Favorite Tracks; Still not Dead, Maniac, What you Reap.

FFO; AC/DC, White Spirit, Girlschool, Heart, Screamer, Di’anno fronted Iron Maiden, Jet.

An impromptu Interruption to take a peek at an official single premiere

being of entropy

Being of Entropy -Thumos
(Cyprus)
Release -October/24/2019
https://beingofentropy.bandcamp.com/
Thoughts –

The art depicting a heart fashioned from a myriad of twisting serpents leaves me inquisitive. Heavily drenched in Djent, Slam and Deathcore vibes (from the get go), “Thumos” is also undeniably shrouded in atmosphere. Progressive elements appear as if out if nowhere (showcasing a softer vocal approach) and weave in and around the dripping barrage of bludgeoning riffs. As the track progresses mid-tempo riffs become faster, shifting into hyper speed then back again. A background howling vocal effect becomes part of the background and adds an undeniable aura to (what many might consider) typical deathcore elements towards the track’s finale making for a climax which leaves me curious, especially since I normally don’t traverse genre waters of this type too often, and eager for any surprises an upcoming full-length might provide.

79

Back to the Regularly Scheduled Programming

gevaudan iter

Gévaudan – ITER
(United Kingdom)
Release – October/4/2019
Independent
https://gevaudan.bandcamp.com/album/iter
ARTWORK – 74

Black and white imagery depicts a two-headed bird against a stark full moon. A closer look, however, and one can see the bird has a certain duality about it; half flesh and half bone. A clever touch which only makes me ponder upon the nature of the music itself.

FIRST TRACK – 92

Hypnotic, traditional, acoustic melodies ease the listener into the album. Combined with a soothing vocal approach the effect is mesmerizing. Even when the style suddenly shifts (drenched in distortion and ominous qualities) the tracks allure strangely remains captivating. The lyrics (as well their delivery) combined with the coalescing mood, spanning various doom landscapes, make for an experience one will want to explore again and again.

INITIAL LISTEN – 95

Much like the fabled French beast the band has named themselves after this also has the inane ability the consume. In this case however, it’s the listener, and not the unfortunate who has stumbled upon the beasts hunting grounds, and they aren’t cowering in fear but rather in absolute awe as the audio here washes over their unprepared senses. Channeling a myriad of styles from as far afield as stoner rock, folk and Gothic rock with a varied landscape of doom in-between Gévaudan have meticulously crafted a collection of songs boasting undeniable fluidity which possess the power to cast a spell, a unfathomably huge web of appeal, upon all who choose to lay ears upon it. Whether your listening habits lay in retro 70’s doom or the more update showcasing a mixture of death and doom or the melancholic and/or atmospheric this holds a vast trove of treasures to be excited about. Soaring, sweeping, riffs, a plethora of textures to whisk the listener away, distorted soundscapes, a narrative which warrants opening the lyric booklet alongside a spot of research and a diverse vocal delivery which hits then obliterates ‘the spot’. This about has it all and I can’t for the life of me wonder why it isn’t spoken about often and loudly, perhaps the end of year lists will change that. Mine will!

Favorite Tracks; This is another example of an album with zero filler. This dominates the attention from start to finish with its utter unmitigated brilliance.

FFO; My Dying Bride, Spirit Adrift, Candlemass, Black Sabbath, Lord Weird Slough Feg.

vultur

Vultur – Drowned in Gangrenous Blood
(Greece)
Release – October/31/2019
Memento Mori
https://vultur.bandcamp.com/ (note; this isn’t the release under scrutiny, as of this publication I could not locate it on Bandcamp)
ARTWORK – 74

It’s not the sharks you have to keep an eye for in this body of water…It’s the bodies!

FIRST TRACK – 75

A surging bulldozer approach sporting dirge quality, old school leanings, groove passages and atmosphere. A good start to get the attention.

INITIAL LISTEN – 73

One would only have to look at the track titles to get an idea of what they’re about to jump into. And this presumption isn’t that far off; this channels Cannibal Corpse qualities throughout. Rhythms are pummeling, bludgeoning, even at times mischievous and the overall quality doesn’t disappoint for those demanding ‘more of the same’. For those yearning audio that’s draped in technical and progressive elements this is a location offering sparse elements of each but for those needing something between melody and brutality this will hit the spot.

Favorite Tracks; Drowned in Gangrenous Blood, Crushing the Ribcage, Postmortem Lividity.

FFO; Deeds of Flesh, Malevolent Creation, Cannibal Corpse.

Interrupting the Flow of the regular Broadcast to take a Peek at a “Split”

treasonist y-incision split

Treasonist/ Y-Incision (Split) – Mechanical Perdition
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Release – November/22/2019
Clawhammer PR
https://y-incision1.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 81

An intricate black and white image (old school European thrash in aura) vividly depicts the suffering that most post-a-selfie-a-minute millennials are worthy.

Treasonist (USA) – (tracks 7 – 13)
https://treasonistgrind.bandcamp.com/releases

Punishing grindcore sensibilities are accentuated by ever-evolving and amorphic, technical, brutal death, rhythm passages. The vocal approach is varied and successfully tops off an assault which fans of Napalm Death, Misery Index and Terrorizer are sure to salivate over.

82

Favorite Tracks; Chemically Silenced, Spiteful Tongues Condemn, A Moment is the Most you can Expect from Perfection.

Y-Incision (USA) – (tracks 1 – 6)
https://y-incision1.bandcamp.com/album/disasturbator

The sense of humor is undeniable here as too a style which incorporates all manner of extreme “cores” (thankfully not death, emo or math) in their titles starting with Grind with the addition of other elements to keep the listener at odds with what to mention as influence. Frenetic and frenzied leaving barely a second to catch a breather this is stylistically chaotic though tighter than a Nuns nether region. Sure, to place a smile on the face of fans whose penchants are firmly rooted in audio which is akin to watching television at a considerably faster pace than is normal and/or recommended.

76

Favorite Tracks; Lunaticus; A Vitruvian’s Tale Signifying Nothing, Snowflake Tears as Lube, Leech of Pity.

Overall – 79

Note: a spin on the traditional split. Each band here does a cover of one of the others tracks not heard here.

Back to the Regular Broadcast…

tempole ov perversion.jpg

Temple ov Perversion s/t (EP)
(Switzerland)
Release – October/18/2019
Clavis Secretorvm
https://clavisecretorvm.bandcamp.com/album/temple-ov-perversion-temple-ov-perversion
ARTWORK – 73

Thanks fellas, now I have what many might consider the first pornographic image on the site. Although jaded this boasts certain vintage qualities, as well underworld qualities (as seen by the imps in attendance and creatures which warrant closer inspection to define). And the fact that I’ve just noticed that the one ‘impaled’ is sans arms and that the perpetrators face is malformed means that my attention is juvenile and drawn to the obvious before all else.

FIRST TRACK – 71

The introduction is an instrumental which more than hints at an album draped in a myriad of styles. A traditional heavy metal vibe here is strong as well elements of thrash/speed and an underlying dark atmosphere with a medieval vibe.

INITIAL LISTEN – 76

This is not what I’d expected based on the introduction, admittedly it’s closer to the albums accompanying art. Herein is a style which is draped in rhythm (damn catchy rhythms at that, sporting surprising groove passages) albeit slathered in black values. Accompanied by a vocal style which is decidedly black in tone (traditional) the whole affair is draped in a menacing aura and atmosphere occasionally shot through with shrieks and howls (which hint at Avant Garde influence). Riff breaks, far from the normal unrelenting assault, are a welcome addition and show an act who aren’t afraid to stray from the traditional genre template. Black metal with elements of speed metal, although to be sure it’s fast enough as it is, the occasional nod to tradition metal with moments of dramatic vocal gymnastics this is far from the norm but is wholly consumable without complaint. Surprise your senses and toss this between the ears it’s a damn sight more impressive than you might think.

Favorite Tracks; Arrival ov the Horns, Temple ov Perversion.

FFO; My apologies, I’m at a loss for whom to mention here. Step outside of the comfort zone and give this a listen, dammit!

hour of penance

Hour of Penance – Misotheism
(Italy)
Release – October/25/2019
Agonia Records
https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/misotheism
ARTWORK – 90

This is dark, Gothic and ominous indeed. Great colors and details. Are there tendrils/tentacles surging from the cathedral? Are the amassed crowds drenched in offal and crimson? Something is certainly stirring in the distance above the monstrous construct. Best grab a brolly, and best not to forget the tank. Prepare to put that bitch into four-wheel drive we be about to trample some unfortunates!

FIRST TRACK – 90

Technical, yet not overly so, unrelenting yet not so much as to be suffocating and accompanied by an inhuman drum salvo. This is a fantastic combination; did I mention the vocals are top notch? Nope, they are and this is an ultra-impressive commencement.

INITIAL LISTEN – 92

Unmerciful in its approach and unrelenting in its salvo; this is what death metal is all about (there are all manner of sub genres, the list expands by the day, but I believe this to be the purist strain). Boasting zero progressive passages and sporting unerring brutality; intricate in its composition from start to finish. Drenched in speed, but not merely for speeds sake, and an atmosphere complemented by undeniable majesty which places it perilously close to the darker side of the metal spectrum. I can honestly say this grabbed me from the get-go and caressed the space between my ears with loving punishment whilst creating a visage splitting smirk from ear to ear (I could probably star as the next Joker if I didn’t suffer from the curse of being absolute crap at most everything I try my hands at) until its finale.

I hate to admit that this is the first Hour of Penance album to really grab me. With that in mind I’m sure there are others and with the quality of this in mind I’ll make it a point of exploring their discography until I can decide I should probably go back to work, or family duties. I’ve heard word that most are excellent, perhaps I just wasn’t in the right mood at the time? Don’t be like me, give this a listen and dwell in absolute audio brilliance. Add this to your collection and support an act who are worthy of such. Suffice it to say this delivers and demands praise, here’s hoping I’m helping it along that path.

Favorite Tracks; Blight and Conquer, Lamb of the Seven Sins, Flames of Merciless Gods, Iudex,

FFO; Origin, Suffocation, Nile, Deeds of Flesh, Abysmal Dawn, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hideous Divinity.

Time for an Old Favorite; “RECC’d by”

gregon-twitter.jpg

Recc’d by RYCHUSSYN @gregorywjkelly on Twitter
Paladin – Purification du Mal
(Canada)
Release – September/20/2019 (note: the Bandcamp page mentions both July/20 and September/20)
PRC Music
https://prcmusic.bandcamp.com/album/paladin-purification-du-mal-cd
Thoughts –

With art which depicts Seraphim obliterating serpents I’m left wondering what manner of audio I’m about to lay my ears upon. Is this power metal, epic or otherwise? Does it have religious connotations? Only one way to find out…

paladin OSDM

For starters, this certainly isn’t power, epic or even close to traditional heavy metal and I don’t believe it has anything to do with religion (one-way or another) though I could be mistaken, this is in a language I’m unfamiliar with much to the chagrin of my high school French teacher. It is however, mired in a gutter nature, catacomb values and an old school influence so cloying you can virtually smell it. Not to be confused with the Prosthetic act with the same name this Quebecian (am I saying that correctly?) collective stray far from thrash waters, also progressive and technical landscapes, much preferring to camp out in a terrain which is unmistakably treacherous and drenched in an ominous aura. Theirs is a style whose influence is familiar yet varied, from past (the old school here is strong young Padawan) and from more recent acts who have chosen to resurrect that which is tried and true and have added their own flair for an unarguable degree of success and acclaim. The pace showcased here is sluggish, and only occasionally treads into faster currents. The groove permeates throughout, is wickedly strong and one wouldn’t be remiss in wanting to prance around like one possessed whilst this slithers its way through the brain. Surprising are moments when the vocalist adds grunts and enunciation perhaps in homage to Celtic Frost. But, hey, it works and although one might be left scrambling for acts who sound like this (I know I am, my memory is schiite at the best of times) there’s no doubt that Paladin know how to compose to grab the attention of those yearning for a spot of putrid old school with a fresh twist. Check this out and support an act who more than worthy of your attention.

Recc’d by Void @voidhanger2 on Twitter

radioactiveVoidsquirrel

Verdugo – Altar Del Rencor
(Chile)
Release – July/16/2017
No Mercy Reks
https://verdugometal.bandcamp.com/releases
Thoughts –

Recently my knowledgeable pal Void tossed me a Recc which I couldn’t find in its entirety, so I chose to tackle an earlier release by the same band instead. Much to my surprise and excitement the original Recc is now up and in full. With the quality of the last in mind I couldn’t wait to take the plunge so without further preamble…

verdugo altar of

First off, I must mention that this sports some of the finest black and white art I’ve seen in recent months. The stone altar, the skulls, the details on all of which are superb. And the depth of texture to the surrounding walls. Just brilliance.

The music itself is raw. But don’t let this fool you. It lends an edge to the style, as in this case I believe polished would feel out if place. The order of the day here is thrash, not just that but undeniable blackened values too. And it works! The concoction is criminally infectious in fact. Combined with vocals which sound as if they were recorded in a cavernous surrounding the effect is one which drips venom (not the band, nor ‘Spidey’s’ most infamous of foe), an air of underworld which the word macabre doesn’t quite touch. Naturally, lyrics sang in the bands native tongue help the music’s archaic qualities and the composition certainly aids in the same regard. Mischievous and galloping melodies are often part of the assault and serve to break up the unrelenting speed laden salvos. Bearing a decidedly South American aggressive thrash aura set against darkened values this is an album fans of the scene need to make time for. Toss them a few bucks in support to ensure they can continue to delight the senses; I’ve heard rumor something new is in the works. Fingers crossed.

exhausted animal

This is more tiring than you might imagine

Well, that’s about it for this shorter than normal installment, I’ve attempted to make this more diverse than most on account of its length hoping there was something for most everyone. Until our audio paths of interest cross again, don’t fear discovery of that which would normally be foreign to the senses.

Cult

 

Abrasive Audio – Part Thirty (October 2019)

headbangin gif

To quote Beavis and Butthead, or someone equally as silly, “Metal, metal, metal”. It’s what I’ve got in store and what I’ll preach upon, as per usual. So, grab your favorite beverage, sit back, strap in and open those ear holes for another extreme audio invasion. Be warned – this is another especially mammoth affair (11 bands/albums at last count) with a veritable avalanche of diverse new tunage to discover, jump in!

Please note that ratings here are usually on the high side this is due the fact that I leave audio which I can’t get into (for one reason or another) for someone else to lay words upon. Naturally tastes vary, yours may not be the same as mine for this reason I try to impart a wide spectrum of styles within the titles I place my ponderances upon. Without further ado what say we get this started with…

necronomicon

Necronomicon – Unus
(Canada)
Release – October/18/2019
Season of Mist
Asher Media Relations
https://necronomiconbm.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 78

Serpents, lions, reptiles, flames and an overall motif many may well confuse for a stamp of royalty. Black Metal by order of Her Royal Highness, or something… close.

FIRST TRACK – 89

In short, this is symphonic, atmospheric blackened metal with an epic nature. And it’s a damn impressive commencement.

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

There’s no doubt whatsoever that these guys know exactly what they’re doing. This album drips with excellence, wisdom, atmosphere and an epic audio landscape drenched in master craft-execution of archaic qualities one cannot possibly ignore. Chants, synth interludes and angelic voices add to the albums blackened death par excellence (combining infectious rhythms, ranging from sweeping melodies to hyper speed pacing, and inhuman drum precision) and an undeniable captivating allure. There’s even an addition of old school stylings (by way of the last two tracks “Cursed MMXIX” and “Vox Draconis”) tossed in to perk the interest of those whose interests lay more in the death, rather than blackened death, side of the metal spectrum. If blackened death is the area of the metal arena upon which you spend most of your time you would be negligent not to place this within the ears. If this is a scene which is new to you and you’re curious this is a great place to start your exploration. Highly recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Infinitum Continuum, Paradise Lost, Singularis Dominus, Ascending the Throne of Baator, Vox Draconis.

FFO; Septic Flesh, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Rotting Christ, Behemoth.

algebra

Algebra – Pulse?
(Switzerland)
Release – September30/2019
Unspeakable Axe Records
Clawhammer PR
https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/pulse
ARTWORK – 82

Not usually what one would expect to find on a ‘thrash’ album (again I’ve spoilt the fun and perused the promo materials) this hints at an album with progressive death leanings, the logo hints at the same. Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK- 92

An acoustic intro that’s part Sepultura (BtR), part Annihilator (AiH) certainly perks up the ears but it’s the cavalcade of riffs both intricate, precise and technical which warrants praise. I can’t honestly say I’m a huge fan of thrash, a few albums here and there. This however has my complete and utter undivided attention leaving me more than intrigued as to how the remainder will play out. (On a personal level the vocal approach took a few listens to fully appreciate although it doesn’t take away from the genius of the music itself).

INITIAL LISTEN – 93

‘Precise’ is a fantastic descriptive word. And I’ll attempt not to overuse it as I continue. Admittedly it might be easier said than done. The audio found here isn’t face melting pace for the sake of it, neither is it merely too technical, a style which might only appeal to those who aspire to be the next Vai, Rhodes or any number of guitar virtuosos who leave audiences around the world in awe. There’s an undeniable fluid nature here. Timing changes are exquisite, rhythms infectious and dynamic. Melodies are plentiful and change enough to keep a listener on their toes (ranging from galloping, ‘old school’ aggressive, stoopid fast to melodies which evoke all manner of emotions) but not too much as to be over the top. A sense of familiarity abounds, leaves one scratching their heads as to which band or album this or that part sounds like, but it doesn’t take away from the listening experience in the slightest. Oftentimes an epic narrative unfolds by way of the music alone complementing the (far removed from the run of the mill) thought-provoking lyrical content. The vocal approach appears at first like it doesn’t fit. But then, after a few listens, slips comfortably into the ‘perfect complement to the percussion’ folder. In short, a winning combination which if someone could bottle it would most probably be titled something along the lines of ‘Excuse me for a second while I blow your mind’, or ”Forget the Remainder of your day you’re about to be Unfathomably Distracted”. Naturally words, as they often do, fail me as I attempt to imprint my appreciation upon the flashing screen beneath my hands. To top it off this has one of the finest “Dead Embryonic Cells” covers I’ve ever had the pleasure to put between the ears. Don’t, DON’T, don’t, allow this to go unnoticed. It really is that damn impressive and seriously appeared from out of the ether itself to entangle my whole afternoon in audio I wish to play again, again and again.

Favorite Tracks; Inner Constraints, Addicted to Authority, Stimulated Mind, Manipulated Soul, Pulse?

FFO; Deathrow, Vektor, Coroner, Slayer, Sepultura.

coldclaw

ColdClaw – Anti Martyr: Decades to Suffer
(USA)
Release – September/27/2019
Ritual Sounds Records
BDWE Media
https://ritualsoundrecords.bandcamp.com/album/anti-martyr-decadess-to-suffer
ARTWORK – 86

Black and white imagery complete with a sun-bleached effect (this might have been shot in Arizona, anyone?) depicting an unfortunate soul stuck within the confines of a suspended cage with his only companions the birds which have, most probably, been pecking away at his torso for millennia.

FIRST TRACK – 89

A ritualistic introduction, of sorts, dissolves into a drum heavy salvo with a dissonant guitar complement. This soon transforms again into dangerously addictive rhythms channeling both crust, death and black metal leanings. A fantastic combination which grabs the attention and opens the eyes to Coldclaw’s style whilst yanking control of the torso into uncontrollable spasms of frenetic movement. An excellent opening leaving one eagerly salivating for the remainder of what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 90

With the quality of this release in mind I expect Coldclaw to be a name on most lips throughout the arena of extreme metal within the coming months (of course ‘justice’ doesn’t always prevail). Theirs is a style which captures the essence of black metal (via rasped vocal stylings), crust as experienced throughout the album in various passages featuring dominant drum salvos; which are difficult not to move to and death metal as heard within various chugging riff approaches and the brutality which is displayed dominantly throughout. Undeniable atmosphere is a fantastic accompaniment to the angst on offer and will please those with blackened metal penchants regardless of what the atmospheric element accompanies. A mid-tempo is customary, though occasionally Coldclaw take the leap into hyper drive realms (bringing to mind 1349 and Necronomicon) as heard within the excellent “Zephyrs” and “Stillness” track (why isn’t there more tracks with this in the title? My spell check device is about to remove me from its Xmas list mailing).

In conclusion, as if one hasn’t already come to the same conclusion as I, this album is one which deserves ears upon it and praise slathered all over it. Its composition is one that’s not altogether new though sounds unique on account of the quality it’s been created by. The result is a collection of tracks which has the potential to appeal to a wide audience, some who are curious about arenas they perhaps haven’t discovered before and others whose interests lay within the styles mixed with such passionate precision here. No matter where your compass lie do yourself a favor and set the senses upon this then add it to the collection and support the blossoming talent within the scene.

Favorite Tracks; The Deafening, Into the Mirror (Visceral Self-Loathing), Bring Down the Hammer, Searing Wings Through Zephyrs, Stillness and Devine Rivalry, Crippling Dementia.

FFO: Dark Throne, Mayhem, 1349.

come back from the dead album

Come Back from the Dead – Rise of the Blind Ones
(Spain)
Release – September/13/2019
Transcending Obscurity Records
https://comebackfromthedead.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 82

Teal on an album cover. It’s quite the risk, but it works. And this collective of corpses shot through with wicked looking tendrils certainly catches the eye.

FIRST TRACK – 89

Huge riffs lead into a groove -laden landscape complemented by a Barney-esque vocal approach. Early The Haunted in feel accentuated by thrash sensibilities. This isn’t your Father’s death metal! A great start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 87

With melody and groove throughout this rarely let’s up in the infectious department. Maniacal passages, ala early Slayer, lend an edge and elevate this far above what one would find upon the same old traditional, tried and true, death release. Occasional familiarity (especially in the case of “Restless in Putrescence”) puts one in mind of an old school style, an influence no doubt though this is far from merely just that. Think a hybrid of 90’s European death, old school British grind/death with a complementary sprinkle of doom and a maniacal essence. A mixture no doubt which has been perpetrated before but, in this case, somehow it feels fresh and leaves quite an impression.

Favorite Tracks; Outcast of the Light, Martyrs of a Gruesome Demise, Restless in Putrescence, Darkness Abominations, Possessed by the Death.

FFO; Morgoth, Dismember, The Haunted, Vomitory, Bloodbath.

And, wait for it…it’s Split Time

swampbeast void terror split

Swamp Beast/Void Terror split
Holocaust of Terrestrial Empires
(USA)
Release – November/14/2019
Me Saco Un Ojo
(note; the Split is represented as of this publication date)
https://mesacounojo.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 78

This looks as though it could be from the same pencil as the person responsible for the last Drawn and Quartered album (I could be wrong, and most probably are). A diabolical, subterranean image which blossoms with more details as the viewer digs deeper.

INITIAL LISTEN –
Swampbeast – 86
https://swampbeastca.bandcamp.com/releases

Unrelenting death grind complemented by suffocating catacomb-esque atmosphere. A mesmerizing soundscape combining Napalm Death touches, passages of groove and a brutal whirlwind chaotic attack. The climax of their ‘set’ utilizes an excellent militaristic/ritualistic drum salvo which morphs into an all-consuming, blazing, fire motif. An excellent climax to a fantastic introduction to the band and their audio.

FFO; Morbid Angel, Tomb Mold, Blood Incantation, Ch’thelist.

Void Terror – 92
https://voidterror.bandcamp.com/releases

Utilizing more a majestic and atmospheric black metal approach as an introduction Void Terror’s initial portion (of this split) initially brings to mind what Bolt Thrower “Realm of Chaos” might have sounded like if it had decidedly black metal undertones. Dirge laden and wickedly dark, yet chaotic and shot through with diabolical essence. Gothic elements are a great addition and add to an already undeniable hypnotic effect. A swirling maelstrom of audio madness one doesn’t wish to escape.

This is easy to lose oneself within, extreme fans will be left pleased indeed!

FFO; Drawn and Quartered.

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

Favorite Tracks; Chant of Bolotnik, Multiversal Extract, Second Death.

Overall – 90
Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

meth fetish.jpg

Meth Fetish – Meth Fetish EP
(Sweden/USA)
Release – November/1/2019
Dry Cough Records/ Pissed Gargler Records
(Note; the Split isn’t represented as of this publication date)
https://drycough.bandcamp.com/
https://pissgarglerrecords.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 65

What is it with album art which is perplexing? I somewhat get it, the artist and band want you to look closer, paying more attention to hidden intricacies as you try to work out what it might be. Perhaps I’m old school and require (scratch that; ‘demand’) instant gratification rather than an image I need a degree and an impressive IQ to utilize in order to get somewhat of a clue. The jury’s out. If I were to guess I’d say this is a representation of a torso shot through with a substance making its way through the vital organs. Meth perhaps? Pressing play.

FIRST TRACK – 72

Hypnotic and dense this is sludge oozing with an unmistakable dirge nature and subterranean qualities.

INITIAL LISTEN – 73

With strings so loose it’s an OSHA hazard, Meth Fetish choke the listener in a dirge nature so vile, thick and heavy you’d think it might have recently exited the bowels of a pachyderm freed from worrisome constipation. Complemented by distortion so blatant it could clear the cobwebs from an abandoned Gothic mansion, a bludgeoning nature, vocals spewed lazily from a pestilent throat and an overall nature which drips with underworld atmosphere. This about ticks all the boxes for the requirements a seasoned vet of the filthiest arena of extreme tunage demands. Give it a listen and prepare to put a down payment on a brand spanking new subwoofer. You’ve been warned!

Favorite Tracks; Wasted, Incurable.

FFO; Fetish 69, EyeHateGod, Cathedral, Acid Bath.

cleric.jpg

Cleric – Serpent Psalms
(USA)
Release – October/25/2019
Raw Skull Recordz/Redefining Darkness Records
https://cleric-us.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 92

There’s a great deal going on here. An alien landscape, a sacrificial Aztec-esque altar, effigies watching over all and coitus in what appears to be mud of one type or another. Intriguing indeed. It’s as if doom has collided with sci-fi laden grindcore.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Traditional HM2 action meets old school British death/grind complemented by a Barney-esque vocal approach, catchy as fuk mid-tempo groove and an atmosphere one might not expect bearing in mind the above-mentioned combination.

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

The familiarity here for those of us with tastes for the old school and mid-tempo infectious silliness is undeniable. This is worship at the altar of both HM2 and the early 90’s British death scene. Above and beyond that this offers little touches (synth interludes hinting at cosmic/foreign landscapes,  as well a fluidity which hard to deny) which add to the homage keeping the attention and plenty of groove passages to make one want to take this from wired headphones to blue tooth or even a speaker system setup which the neighbors will more than likely hate you for, but it’s worth it. Boasting a seething dirge nature complemented by riffs and rhythms which are difficult to ignore this, though not altogether ground-breaking, is a release which demands further attention and might well male one take a trip down nostalgia brutal ville to revisit that which is most probably collecting dust. Highly Recommended, but be prepared for the limbs to move of their own volition.

Favorite Tracks; Maw of Absolution, Possessed in Congress, All Death Unseeing, Destroying Eye of the Self.

FFO; Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Carnage, Entombed, Dismember.

andralls.jpg

Andralls – Bleeding for Thrash
(Brazil)
Release – October/11/2019
MDD Records
Against PR
(Note; this is an earlier release as of this publication date the album isn’t represented yet)
https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/andralls
ARTWORK – 83

With the recent background of the band, more specifically the lead singer, in mind odds are this could well be imagery, and the albums aptly named title, depicting his overcoming thyroid cancer.

The image certainly grabs the interest and piques the curiosity and is miles from what one would expect to find adorning the cover of a thrash album, a melodic or doom/death affair but hardly thrash.

FIRST TRACK – 76

Heavily accented vocals (with a hardcore slant) atop aggressive driving rhythms which bear undeniable early Exodus ‘bounce’, maniacal riffage ala Slayer and also old school go all out tendencies.

INITIAL LISTEN – 80

This collection of tracks is testament to a band’s dedication, perseverance and passion for the craft. Rarely letting up this album showcases driving rhythms, a style which incorporates a slew of influences across the extreme spectrum and dynamic pace channeling Sepultura, Overkill complemented by the maniacal riff fashioning of Slayer. Feast your ears on this and support an act who prove that hard work, perseverance and patience pay off.

Favorite Tracks; Bleeding for Thrash, Imminent Cancer, Acid Rain.

FFO; Sodom, Exodus, Slayer, Sepultura.

in mourning.jpg

In Mourning – Garden of Storms
(Sweden)
Release – October/4/2019
Agonia Records
https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/garden-of-storms
ARTWORK – 88

An amorphous plant, a force of nature running amok or merely an artist’s interpretation of a transformative hybrid force within the wild? Regardless, this is certainly eye-opening and not what one would expect to find on an album cover in a genre in which I can only presume this resides. I’m ready to be set to rights, hitting play.

FIRST TRACK – 97

A stunning mix of melodic death, doom and progressive elements supported by an excellent fluidity and rhythms which are criminally infectious. A clean, hoarse vocal trade off works superbly and only serves to make this a track which is most certainly up there with the finest of the year (need I say IMO?)

INITIAL LISTEN – 96

What we have here folks is another example of an act which I’m amazed I haven’t discovered much sooner. The audio here is about as varied as one can imagine without it running into ridiculous territories, Avant Garde, or experimental realms. Growling vocals (of the highest order if there is such a thing) complement shifting rhythms, sweeping, soaring melodies and progressive passages which otherwise wouldn’t fit but, in this instance, based on their setting and the music’s composition and the tracks nature, are exquisite. The styles herein tumble over each as though puppies at play without once resorting to brutality, the fluidity here is astounding. In fact, overall this is an album I’m itching to recommend to the wife if only it wasn’t for the fact that she has an aversion to growling vocals I believe she’d be as excited about it as I. Without running into diatribe lengths I’ll leave this here and hope my fanciful words have made an impression. Hopefully I’m not the last to jump on this it deserves praise from the highest of peaks. Suffice it to say the name of both the band and the album are sure to be heard until well into next year even after year end lists have been exhausted. (If I get around to compiling one, there’s no doubt it’ll be high on the podium.)

Favorite Tracks; This album flows so damn well and offers so much stylistic diversity at such an elevated level that its hard to pick only a few tracks. Suffice it say it delivers throughout.

FFO; October Tide, Opeth, Katatonia, Between the Buried and Me, Be’lakor, Insomnium, Swallow the Sun.

the deathtrip.jpg

The Deathtrip – Demon Solar Totem
(United Kingdom/Norway)
Release – November/15/2019
Svart Records/Profound Lore Records
https://the-deathtrip.bandcamp.com/album/demon-solar-totem
ARTWORK – 72

I’m not quite sure what to make of this to be honest. It looks as if it could have Oriental occult origins; the shape of the face, the flowing mass of hair. Though I’m still perturbed as to what it could be. One thing’s for certain though, there’s plenty of crimson and the person has wicked sharp looking talons. Pressing play.

FIRST TRACK – 83

Ominous indeed. Atmosphere drenched in dread and menace collides with tradition hyper speed chaotic, blasting, black metal which oozes undeniable majesty. Occult qualities, as well mystical elements are front and center and cavort in an epic nature. Within its length hypnotic rhythms are commonplace aided by chants making for a varied vocal approach and hinting at a release which could well be quite the auditory experience.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

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

Favorite Tracks; Demon Solar Totem, Angel Fossils, Surrender to a Higher Power, Enter Spectral Realms, Abraxas Mirrors.

FFO; Mayhem, Darkthrone, Thorns, Beherit, Dissection, Emperor, Burzum.

psychomancer.jpg

Psychomancer – Shards of the Hourglass
(USA)
Release – October/31/2019
Orchestrated Misery Recordings
Clawhammer PR
https://psychomancer.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 56

The imagery (as well the bands logo) bears somewhat a dark hip-hop vibe, the effluent green glow and font are to blame, thankfully the audio isn’t (I’ve perused the accompanying promo materials) and honestly, I’m not a fan, fingers crossed it doesn’t turn a potential listener away.

FIRST TRACK – 70

Thrashy death with a familiar HM2 Buzzsaw dirge vibe showcasing plenty of rhythm changes with a sound bolstered by commendable production values. The drum sound and bass twang is distinct, the vocals are of the death doom variety.

INITIAL LISTEN – 74

Melodic death, bordering on the more aggressive spectrum of thrash, boasting mid-tempo rhythms and a cavalcade of riffs which are difficult not to appreciate. Quality production values, clear sound and plenty of groove passages help keep this from forgettable realms. Though the style is truthfully far from ground breaking this offers a style and execution fans of the Entombed, Grave and Dismember movement will likely appreciate more than most.

Favorite Tracks; Red Poetry, As Your Vital Signs Decline, Deto-Nation, Myrmidons.

FFO; Benediction, Gorefest, Malevolent Creation, Vader, Grave.

It’s “Recc’d by” Time

fistful of doom

Recc’d’ by Fistful of Doom; @FlatulentFuzz (on Twitter):
Cycles of the Damned – A Time to Survive
(USA)
Release – October/12/2019
Incendiary Ceremony Recordings, D.H.U Records
Mettle Media
https://cyclesofthedamned.bandcamp.com/album/a-time-to-survive
Thoughts –

It’s hard what to expect from audio with the album’s art in mind; A skull within chainmail and helmet set against a background ablaze in flames. Better just to clear the mind and let the audio itself do the “talking”.

cycles of the damned.jpg

Immediately noticeable is that the albums six tracks run sixty minutes (one runs over fifteen minutes in length, the first three run close to forty-two minutes). I’m of the mind that this can only go one of only two ways; sheer boredom (resulting in my attention diverting elsewhere and damn quick) or audio which captivates with its brilliance, leaving me in awe with my attention rapt. I’m glad to report that the latter is the case. This is drenched in doom sensibilities as well sludge qualities and a certain amount of unquestionable angst. Cinematic soundscapes are introduced often, showcasing psychedelic moments amidst unbound atmosphere, and make up a great deal of the albums playing time adding considerable depth, an element one might normally expect to find upon an album within the same genre, and a narrative one can easily lose themselves in depending on of course their ‘state of relaxation’ (if you catch my drift). A plethora of emotions are guaranteed to be evoked as this plays out as the listener is dragged from one destination to another in a journey comprised upon a spectrum of landscapes formed from the unlikely coalescing of a myriad of styles. Fluidity is uncommonly commendable and I would suggest an afternoon free from distraction to be able to let the power of this release (as a whole, not track by track if avoidable) sink in. Thanks for the Recc Sir. I’m adding this to my playlist for those long road trips where conversation is dull and the surroundings muted by sparseness.  Recommended for those who have an open mind and are willing to allow a release to breathe rather than assault the senses immediately.

Recc’d by Void; @Voidhanger2 on Twitter

Void Reccs

Scaphism – Perpetual Torment
(USA)
Release – August/27/2019
https://scaphism.bandcamp.com/
Thoughts –

Within the last year I’ve laid thoughts down upon Scaphism’s last album (“Unutterable Horrors” released in January of last year through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions), I liked it but was left wanting more, I wondered when their next might drop. Void surprised me one day by asking if I’d ever heard of them (doesn’t he read my inane ramblings upon all things metal I thought briefly) and continued by stating that he was going to a show (I’m still jealous, dammit!) A few hours after the show in question he dropped me a brief video which left me perplexed; had the vocalist changed? (regardless he stated that he loved them) Which prompted me to seek out and lay a few thoughts upon this, a two-track demo leading up the bands third full length (which I’m also willing to promote if the band is reading this – hint, hint).

scaphism - perpetual torment

As is typical I’ll ponder upon this releases art before I dissect the audio. I’m all up for gruesome art especially if it reminds me of a standout, and quite unexpected especially grisly FX laden, scene from the original Poltergeist movie (which is usually omitted when it airs on TV).

Old school and groove come to mind when I hit play. The vocalist may have changed but the style hasn’t, for which I’m thankful, Lovecraftian lore and a story type narrative oozes from the lyrical content and for the most part it’s actually decipherable (which is rare in the genre) which in no way takes away from the quality. This is a lady who can growl (anyone else into that sort of thing?) And hers is a style which fits the audio leaving no doubt or concerns whatsoever. Riffs are far from technical, but I’ve no complaints, this is undeniably more ‘meat and potatoes’ style death with breakdowns and the occasional abrupt galloping pace transformation tossed in for effect.

If this is any indication of the quality on offer from album to follow, I’m all ears. And Void likes it so who’s to argue ‘his’ logic.

exhausted animal

That’s about it for this, yet another monstrous installment, in the series, I only hope you made it to the end (I’m tired). Until our paths of audio interest cross paths again, don’t fear discovery of that which would normally not grab your attention.

Cult

Abrasive Audio (Part twenty – eight)

headbangin gif

The juggernaut of metal rolls on, unstoppable, crushing everything and everyone in its path. In other news my Inbox is overflowing and I’ve just returned from a vacation. I guess it’s about time to don the suggested attire in order that I dive right back in. Damn, this suit is tight! I’m guessing gaining weight and vacations go hand in hand. Sans further, obvious, observations which have very little to do with the audio under scrutiny…

torpor

Torpor – Rhetoric of the Image
(UK)
Release – September/20/2019
Truthseeker Music/Sludgelord Records/ Moment of Collapse Records/Smith’s Food Group/Medusa Crush Recordings
Dewar PR
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/rhetoric-of-the-image
ARTWORK – 72

Unless one had knowledge of what this image is or what it may mean they might be confused, I am. But after learning of a Japanese art which restores beauty to the broken through a process which includes materials one might not expect one might have an idea of where the music might lead. Or one can only assume. Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 82

Here’s one hell of an opener! Both brutally crushing yet shot through with passages of undeniable beauty. An audio journey which drags the listener from mammoth distortion saturated riff sludge laden depths through cinematic plains drenched in minimalistic tones and then back under again. An epic trip to say the least. Wholly unpredictable and quite unlike what one might initially expect. I’m impressed and eager for more!

INITIAL LISTEN – 83

Ambient, nuanced and soundtrack-esque in scope though utterly absorbing and captivating this is hardly what one could/would or should consider ‘run-of-the-mill’ but rather an immersive experience. A bass driven doom/sludge hybrid, a temperamental beast against a dystopian, apocalyptic soundscape which demands respect and attention. Suffocating in times, harsh in others, yet wholly enveloping throughout this runs varied depths of sparked emotion leaving the listener dazed, enlightened, bludgeoned and overwhelmed but yet strangely, in moments, oddly relaxed. Dive in and discover for yourself why this album is not to be missed!

Favorite Tracks; Benign Circle, Enigmatic Demand, Mourning the Real.

FFO; Nuerosis, Isis, Boris, The Ocean.

profanation

Profanation – Into Cascades of Blood and Burning Soil
(Germany)
Release -April/26/2019
Hostile Media
https://profanation.bandcamp.com/album/into-cascades-of-blood-and-burning-soil
Against PR
ARTWORK – 84

The Pope, “Jesus” with a demonical look upon his visage (who yields a hatchet rather than a fish), a sacrificial offering, demons in the smoke and a city burning to the ground, is that Hitler in the background? Awesome art which leaves little to the imagination regarding what to expect. There’s no sparkles and unicorns to be found here folks!

FIRST TRACK – 80

A spoken word introduction alongside ominous, powerful, riffs open the scene. A prophecy talking of an Apocalypse and rebirth. Fading to black this is replaced by a Cannibal Corpse-esque approach (hints of technicality) and tone aided by a wicked thrash aura the stage is set for an album which should invoke a few grins, incite impressive ‘pit’ activity and snap a fair few necks as it plays out (if this is any indication of what’s to follow).

INITIAL LISTEN – 75

Showcasing breakdowns, groove, galloping thrash pacing and an approach hinting at technical leaning and influence the nine tracks here show definite promise and a delicate balance which works well. Undeniable is that Profanation are an act who know how to compose and create tracks with a proven formula and an air of familiarity to garner interest. My only qualms are that a few tracks could be shorter, for much the same effect, and that although commendable and pleasing to most, this unfortunately isn’t a style which breaks any new ground.

Favorite Tracks; Into Cascades of Blood and Burning Soil, Bloodbath in Heaven, Unholy Brutality Unleashed, A Place to Pray.

FFO; Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation.

Byzanthian Neckbeard

Byzanthian Neckbeard – Extinction (EP)
(Guernsey)
Release – September/27/2019
Independent
Dewar PR
https://byzanthianneckbeard.bandcamp.com/album/extinction
ARTWORK – 60

Primitive yet blunt and to the point. An image which showcases what I can only assume to be a large mass/rock (?) colliding with ‘something’ resulting in obvious devastating effect.

FIRST TRACK – 73

Doom with considerable pace and weight complemented by growling vox and significant groove. I could move to this!

INITIAL LISTEN – 73

Nothing here in the way of technical rhythms or anything complex in the slightest but these tunes are so seductively addictive that one cares not one iota. Death/doom, groove/doom call this what you will, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that this is infectious audio. Three tracks are way too short; this only leave me wanting more (which thankfully comes by way of “Minator” on November/1st and it can’t come fast enough!)

Favorite Tracks; Coffin Bomb, Extinction.

FFO; Mid-era Pungent Stench, Doom with undeniable groove qualities with a darker than normal vocal accompaniment.

xoth

Xoth – Interdimensional Invocations
(USA)
Release – October/18/2019
Self-Released
Clawhammer PR
https://xoth.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 91

“I asked for extra meat on my pizza, but a small city will suffice”. Seriously, who do I tip for this amount of generosity. Humans are delicious!”

Humor and Sci-fi elements collide in this comic book-esque imagery. If the audio is as impressive the listener is in for a treat!

FIRST TRACK – 89

Thrashy death with technical and progressive elements draped in maniacal values. An injection of well-executed Lovecraftian horror and sci-fi result in this holding the attention throughout.

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

Infectious melodies, technical intricacies and progressive passages combine with a soundscape that’s part brutal death, part technical and slightly traditional metal in tone add to this lyrical content slathered in cosmic elements and a little levity and the result is a release which (if there’s any justice) should garner a great deal of attention. The shredding quotient in this is damn impressive the style dynamic yet diverse, suffice to say this releases appeal has the potential to turn a great many heads. With this quality in offer I’m surprised this is the first I’ve heard of Xoth (I expect that to change very soon). Highly recommended and did I mention criminally addictive?

Favorite Tracks; Exceptional quality throughout, I refuse to pick a few to mention.

FFO; Death, Pestilence, Abysmal Dawn, Aborted.

A Break in the Regular Schedule for “Something Completely Different”

witchwood

Witchwood – Litanies from the Woods
(Italy)
Release – May/4/2015
Jolly Roger Records
https://jolly-roger-records.bandcamp.com/album/litanies-from-the-woods
ARTWORK – 79

One might have immediate assumptions based on the music with this image in mind, it’s dangerously close to what one might expect to find on an atmospheric doom-laden black release. I’ll ruin it, because I’ve perused the promotional materials, this isn’t in any way extreme audio. I’m intrigued, let’s move on.

FIRST TRACK – 80

Southern ‘easy’ groove with a decidedly Cosmic tinged edged introduction leads into ‘Zeppelin’ esque melodies with ‘Skynard’ and vintage ‘Priest’ undertones. Toss in alternate instruments, keyboards and a definite seventies feel and you have a track which exhibits a myriad of influence. This isn’t what I normally place betwix the ears but I’m finding it difficult not to appreciate the audio on offer.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

Soulful, passionate, laden with folk elements, remarkable presence (by way of acoustic brilliance and melodies which bring to mind times of yore and banquets in a forest setting featuring an eye-popping cleavage motif) and huge seventies rock influence this offers epic soundscapes to lose yourself within and a vocalist whose range and skill are a fantastic accompaniment. Certainly, far from what I usually lay my thoughts upon this offers audio which an open mind can easily embrace especially when there’s a little smoke in the air and in the system (if you catch my drift. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Fans of early prog rock, hard rock and alternate (vintage) heavy metal will most probably grin as the acts undeniable talent works its way through the senses. As a huge fan of vintage Rainbow this hits the spot whilst also offering enough rhythmic and stylistic variety to entice discovery of similar releases from around the same time (with the same label attached) which I’ve yet to give the time of day to. Naturally this isn’t for everyone but for those whose tastes run to the acts mentioned below this will serve to lighten the mood and spark interest in an act who are more than worthy of the attention.

Favorite Tracks; Shade of Grey, Farewell to the Ocean Boulevard, A Place for the Sun, Golden King

FFO; Jethro Tull, Lord Weird Slough Feg, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Bros Band, Dio fronted Rainbow.

ghost;hello

Ghost:Hello – Sound of Color in Space
(USA)
Release – September/20/2019
Self-Released
Dewar PR
https://ghosthello.bandcamp.com/album/the-sound-of-color-in-space
ARTWORK – 80

Either that Octopus is emitting fumes or those astronauts have been dining at a dubious intergalactic establishment and are experiencing the unprecedented after-effects. Is that a ‘space taco’ in the foreground? Who else is thinking Douglas Adams and/or “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”?

FIRST TRACK – 70

Cosmic bells introduce the album and the stoner rock infused with definite psychedelia undertones which follow. Synth blanketing melodic stoner rock/doom sans vocals at this time.

INITIAL LISTEN – n/a

If the track listing alone isn’t enough to inform you that you’re about to enter into surreals-ville then perhaps the album’s title or art will. This album is (to put it bluntly) an exercise in how much diversity one can handle in an album. Tracks dipped in angst are side by side with others undeniably the opposite. Spoken word soundbite affairs drenched in synth accompanied by a drum beat percussion and others displaying more a Marilyn Manson aura with crawling pace. A Cosmic vibe permeates the whole affair, varied vocal aesthetics and experimental effects are commonplace resulting in a listening experience for the brave, those with a taste for the off the beaten path, an album, to be blunt, many might not be able to fully consume. An eclectic taste for sure much like cinematic output which begs to be dissected and discussed. To be honest this isn’t suited to my tastes though I can understand how it might appeal to those who yearn for more in their sensorial consumption.

Favorite Tracks; The Mouth of the Gift Horse, Poison Swan.

FFO; The more theatrical rather than audio which delivers instant gratification.

And, Returning to the Regular Broadcast

netherbird

Netherbird – Into the Vast Uncharted
(Sweden)
Release – September/27/2019
Eisenwold
Carcosa PR
https://netherbird.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-vast-uncharted
ARTWORK – 80

Classic imagery (known as “Älvalek” to those in ‘art circles’) depicting a tranquil landscape at dusk. A ‘familiar’ setting yet not so much in this light, this is otherworldly showcasing a parade of spirits frolicking, cavorting, in a realm many might consider they have an intimate knowledge of. Perhaps this isn’t the case at all. This leaves me curious as to the audio itself.

FIRST TRACK – 87

A thunderous mix of melody and blacked death with unexpected passages bringing to mind stylistic elements one might not expect additions which elevate this far above the jostling genre hordes. A fantastic introduction to the band and a unique spin on a genre which is fast becoming overcrowded

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

Rather than rely upon symphonic accompaniment Netherbird accentuate their audio with, among other things, sweeping, passionate, melodies. An element far removed from what one might expect in a traditional melodic death outing; a pigeonhole in which this act doesn’t comfortably reside. It is this touch which shrouds the release at just the right moment in exquisite emotion. A stunning companion to the other stylistic elements found throughout resulting in an album which instantly makes an impression and only grows the more it’s allowed to caress the senses. A remarkable invocation of the blackened death style crafted with precision showcasing passionate guitar leads, acoustic brilliance and sweeping evocative melodies. A veil of doom, a definite well-executed presence, accentuates the palpable emotion throughout making for a release one will only want to experience again and again.

Favorite Tracks; Harvest the Stars, Eventide Evangel, Obsidian White, Nexus of Unlight.

FFO; Dissection, Stortregn, Vagrant, October’s Tide, Be’lakor, Swallow the Sun.

unfathomable ruinantion

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound
(United Kingdom)
Release – November/22/2019
Willowtip Records
Clawhammer PR
https://unfathomableruination.bandcamp.com/album/enraged-unbound
ARTWORK – 90

A tad reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse’s “The Bleeding” this image showcases manifested demons resulting from all manner of emotion. A rendition which is certainly striking.

FIRST TRACK – 88

Wicked adrenaline spiking rhythms, plentiful timing changes, groove and a vocal style which will place a grin on any genre fans face and all within a package which incorporates Slam, technical brutal death and grindcore elements. I wasn’t expecting audio of this caliber to be honest, it’s difficult not to be suitably impressed.

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Regardless of whether one believes these guys to be Britain’s answer to (Americas) Misery Index or (Frances) Benighted there’s little doubt that they play with blazing intent, exhibit stunning talent and know how to strike a chord (pun) with fans and new listeners alike (it’s my first time. Be gentle and please don’t put it ‘there’). Track structures, although longer than most in the same genre, are infectiously contagious showcasing abrupt pace transformations, frenzied and maniacal moments and technicality the likes of which precariously straddles the fence between technical death and grindcore arenas, occasional Slam and infrequently progressive realms, though rarely dwells for too long in one forum. In short, this audio depicts an act who have no desire to fuck around. It’s straight down to business and these guys are bringing all the requisite ingredients to make a lasting impression, albeit one which will leave a mark whose after effects will require meds and most probably a trip to the ER. Limber up before this one folks!

Favorite Tracks; An Obsidian Perception, Enraged and Unbound, Maniacal Disillusion, Protoplasmic Imprisonment.

FFO; Misery Index, Dying Fetus, Ingested, Benighted.

aggressive perfector

Aggressive Perfector – Havoc at the Midnight Hour
(UK)
Release – November/22/2019
Dying Victims Productions
https://dyingvictimsproductions.bandcamp.com/album/aggressive-perfector-havoc-at-the-midnight-hour
ARTWORK – 82

This screams adoration of cult European genre celluloid. Guts worn as neck adornment, a wild-eyed man of the cloth wielding an ax, a barely dressed maiden witnessing a mansion go up in flames (as if it’s an everyday event) and front and center a visage engulfed in an undeniable possessed motif. Be it Fulci, D’Amato or Bava there’s undeniable similarities afoot which have grabbed my attention.

FIRST TRACK – 77

Draped in a style plucked screaming from the early eighties (metal scene) this is neither speed, thrash nor anything instantly appearing to fit comfortably in any extreme genre by today’s standards, but it is an intriguing concoction complete with a vocal style that makes an impression which is neither traditional nor harsh (think death, black metal and grindcore) for those who need an act for comparison think a more melodic Venom for it nears a similar raw tone and style.

INITIAL LISTEN – 75

The similarities to a (bonus) Slayer track end at the title alone, this is decidedly more heavy metal in tone with complementing sides of diabolical speed and blackened values. Channeling melodies of a ‘Maiden’ and Blitzkrieg ilk and unarguable NWOBHM stylings this is certainly not for everyone. But for those with a penchant for the acts mentioned this is a great album harkening to the ground-breakers within the scene (whose influence is still heavily commented upon even in today’s heavy hitters) yet charged with attitude and a vocal style closer to that sported by Cronos (Venom).

Favorite Tracks; Chains of Black Wrath, Into the Nightmare, Vengeful One,

FFO; Raven, Venom, Judas Priest, Exciter, Dokken, early Bathory.

zarraza.jpg

Zarraza (meaning “infection” or “unbearable person” in Russian) – Rotten Remains
(Kazakhstan)
Release – November/29/2019
Self-Released
Dewar PR
https://zarraza.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 72

An undead type (which appears to be a Mummy of one type or another in this instance) doused in glow in the dark green nuclear liquid (complete with fallout mask) although this has been done many a time before I’m left, nevertheless, curious as to what audio lies within.

FIRST TRACK – 73

Driving rhythms, shifting tempos and gruff vocals, a style which is perilously close to brutal death territories though remains firmly attached to the extreme thrash arena. An intriguing style which incorporates familiar influences, the origins of which I haven’t quite figured out just yet.

INITIAL LISTEN – 73

Huge props first off to the band who’ve persevered through various difficulties and the hardships their geographical location affords them in order that this might grace our ears. Obviously, when one discusses metal (in any way, shape or form) the location of Kazakhstan rarely, if ever, appears in the same sentence, unless of course Sasha Cohen has donned another disguise if only to cover an unlikely track under the moniker of “Borat” (this might not be so strange seems as goats, I’ve heard they are commonplace in the area are associated largely with a specific genre of extreme audio) This however, might soon change. This is dynamic audio, multi genre styled and angst ridden, familiar yet refreshing but better yet delightfully more polished than what one might expect. If you enjoy audio from any of the bands listed (below) in the FFO section by all means give this a listen your interest will be perked just in time for fresh material which (fingers crossed) should be released in the near future.

Favorite Tracks; Grudge, Chaos, wRRong Song.

FFO; Hatebreed, modern Sepultura, Pantera, Machine Head.

body harvest.jpg

Body Harvest – Parasitic Slavery
(United Kingdom)
Release – May/3/2019
Comatose Music
Imperative PR
https://comatosemusic.bandcamp.com/album/parasitic-slavery
ARTWORK – 81

Rabid, werewolf/alien hybrid in appearance, alien’s intent on cosmic domination by way of putting people in pods and draining their life force (or something along those lines). I have the feeling this has been done before, under many guises. But I’m diggin’ it. Hitting play.

FIRST TRACK – 82

Unrelenting and straight for the throat audio. Diabolical and unmerciful this is a tsunami of sound which is menacing, Sci- fi laden and all-consuming in its intensity. Do I have your interest yet? I should, this is quality stuff.

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Devoid of frilly bits, progressive interludes and moments of reflection this is primal death metal shrouded in technical prowess sporting an intensity which is palpable. Utilizing an all-out approach (for the most part) Body Harvest have somehow managed to create an album which is mesmerizing in its undeniable brutality. A rare feat far removed from ‘harsh noise’ realms the audio herein boasts maniacal values, diabolical surges, pummeling salvos and moments of ear screeching (controlled) chaos (excellently placed to provide added atmosphere and depth) as well apocalyptic heights. A fantastic combination which somehow flows exquisitely and is all bathed in delicious dirge qualities fellow countrymen Bolt Thrower would be jealous of (if they were still “grinding”) Funfact; this is from Bristol, not Birmingham. Void states (for the record; his metal knowledge is far superior than anyone else’s I know of) that this is Morbid Angel worship taken to the extreme and mentions the band Eskhaton also.

Intrigued? I’d be surprised if you weren’t. This audio floored me with its stellar caliber and though it’s a little off-center from what I normally place between the ears I’ll admit it floored me. Highly Recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Hierarchy of Grief, Consumed by Tyrants, Darkness Descends, Apocalyptic Abomination.

FFO; Nile, Hate Eternal, Krisiun, Immolation, Vader, Eskhaton.

the flaying

The Flaying – Angry, Undead
(Canada)
Release – March/2019
PRC Music
Asher PR
https://theflaying.bandcamp.com/album/angry-undead
ARTWORK – 78

Chaos, carnage, crimson and the marauding undead what more could you ask for upon a metal release, seriously?

FIRST TRACK – 83

Audio from what could well be a torture porn opus kicks this album off and it quickly transforms into go-for-the-throat riffage a mix of black and technical death complemented by a vocal style which most every fan of the scene will instantly be able to appreciate. Just me, or does anyone else hear slight Nuclear Assault (“Handle with Care” era) and or Xentrix (“For Whose Advantage”) riffage here. This isn’t in anyway a complaint, not in the slightest, merely an observation. A great start. Hold my calls!

INITIAL LISTEN – 82

This release about has it all! There are progressive passages (bringing to mind, in instances, Atheist and Cynic) technical prowess (with enough bass presence to leave fans of the instrument salivating), enough breakdowns to please the Slam crowd, groove to keep those limbs a flailing. Also, brutality and melody in equal measure, a delicate balance. More exciting yet is that the production is top-notch and the compositions are intricately curated with zero moments which appear ‘out of place’ or awkward in their place and setting. The bass is accentuated more than is usually heard within the genre adding considerable weight to the rhythms and drive to the tracks structure. Overall, for a debut this is stunning offering considerably more than any debut is expected to.

The horizon looks bright indeed if this is any indication of what’s to follow.

Highly recommended and deserved of a nomination for Quebec GAMIQ (“Gala alternatif de la musique indépendante du Québec”) Awards “Metal Album of The Year” and “Artist of The Year”.

Favorite Tracks – Disloque, Genuflect, Elegy of Emptiness, Angry, Undead.

FFO; Benighted, The Black Dahlia Murder, Suffocation, Archspire, Pestilence, Alterbeast, Ingested.

atomic cretis.jpg

Atomic Cretins – Spiritual Cancer
(USA)
Release – October/26/2019
Suicide Bong Tapes
Qabar PR
https://atomiccretins.bandcamp.com/album/spiritual-cancer
ARTWORK – 76

There’s a fire in the Basilica and corpse painted musicians from Norway are nowhere in sight. Is this an alternate reality, or is there mutiny amongst the upper echelon of the holy?

FIRST TRACK – 77

Raunchy audio, groove (think early Exodus in a blender with crust anarchists Disrupt) and blackened rasped vocals are introduced by introductory instrumental passages (by way of old school crossover thrash) and soundbites which state that which everyone should already know.

INITIAL LISTEN – 79

Mid-tempo old-school thrash values and plentiful groove collide with crust and extreme punk attitude resulting in a filthy listening experience which is surprisingly infectious. This isn’t what I was expecting but it woke me up and put considerable oomph/get-up-and-get-em’ in my morning.

Favorite Tracks; Out of the Coffin, Spiritual Cancer.

FFO; Hellripper, Wraith, Bastardizer, Disrupt.

A brief look at singles and/or ‘Official track premieres’

infected dead - the rache

Infected Dead -The Rache
(United Kingdom)
Release – September/27/2019
Hostile Media
Future PR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw4-5mkqVdA
Thoughts –

Within the last couple of years, I’ve been fortunate to be able to review this act’s last release. It actually featured on my ‘best of’ year-end list in account of its fluidity and all-round eye-opening brilliance. But then, nothing. I honestly it could be the end, but I was hoping it wasn’t. I needed more. Then from out of the blue, an email, a summons, a spark of hope. Infected Dead are back! They had a single and wanted me to share my thoughts upon it. I pondered for a moment, then went on vacation, then went back to my day job then remembered that I couldn’t forget. And now here I am sharing the video (above) in support of the new audio.

For those who need an introduction here’s a link to their eye-opening full length

Infected dead Archaic maloevolence.jpg

https://hostilemedia.bandcamp.com/album/archaic-malevolence

The first thing to strike the senses is that this has rhythm, riffs with instant effect (this far in I’m glad to report that the act haven’t lost any of their previous brilliance) and atmosphere. The vocals do naught but complement the percussion. And then, part way through, technicality and progressive elements yank control away from the infectious, inciteful, rhythms. This isn’t at all a complaint as it works alongside the atmosphere (which isn’t at all overpowering but rather only makes itself known in the most opportune of instances to add weight) and serves to add depth and presence to a track which already has the full attention. As “Rache” comes to a climax the symphonic shroud is ramped up to take on more of a darker tone and dominance. A fantastic conclusion to a track which again introduces Lovecraftian elements to the listener and only leaves me salivating, rather than hoping, for a future full length. And if it’s to be anything near the quality of the last, “Archaic Malevolence”, then I can foresee myself travelling to the nearest peak to shout its praise.

Suffice it to say I am suitably impressed and ecstatic that this band are back.

#BestofBritishMetal

And… the Reccd’ segment is back (it’s about time!)

he11fir3-on-twitter.jpg

Reccd by He11fir3
1349 – Hellfire
(Norway)
Release – October/2005
Candlelight Records
https://candlelightrecordsuk.bandcamp.com/album/hellfire

1349 - hellfire

Thoughts –

In recent weeks I’ve started to tackle laying thoughts upon singles and/or ‘official track premiers’ naturally the inclusion all depends on whether I can find the time to do so. Of the very first ones I laid to the site 1349 was one of the acts featured. Following a brief discussion, I was directed to their past output (I was pleased to discover they have quite the impressive history, discography and undeniable imprint on the scene itself no matter how diluted and fractured it might seem in recent years) and I decided, why the hell not? I’m game!

From its opening, abruptly barked, “I am fire” this captivates. With a blazing melting the face off approach which incorporates black metal in many of its forms this doesn’t sport a dull moment but rather instances of jaw dropping intensity, musicians in full on beast mode and a myriad enstumblement (huh, I just invented a word!) of thoughts such as “how is it that it’s not until now that I’ve discover 1349?” Truth be told I’m not normally a black metal fan, though recently I’ve warmed to the black flame this could well be what my curiosity has been hankering for. A full submergence of that which the genre offers from an act who are undeniably masters of the craft and aren’t afraid of tinkering with their representation of it. If you have yet to discover 1349 this is most probably a great place to start, I only say ‘most probably’ as this is my introduction to them and I am contemplating taking another vacation in order that I can dive into their discography and give it the attention it deserves. #ScrewThosePeskyBills

Void Reccs

Reccd by Void
Verdugo – Perversión y Destrucción
(Chile – not the similar titled act from Spain)
Release – January/2010
https://verdugometal.bandcamp.com/album/perversi-n-y-destrucci-n
Thoughts –

(Before I start, I’d like to point out that this isn’t what Void Reccd. *Insert howls of disappointment here. But it is from the same band. My reasoning is that I couldn’t find but two tracks from the album he pointed me towards. So rather than do a half assed job I’d rather tackle a full release, in this instance a four-track introduction of sorts.)

verdugo - perversion

 

Well, if you aren’t intrigued by the primitive artwork alone, I’m not sure what to say. A dungeon, an executor and an “attached” lithe female who appears to wearing part of a Nuns habit. But one can’t forget the goat looking gent in the corner who’s probably more than aroused at the sight, or alternatively the sharpened ax in the hooded fellows grasp. I must mention he looks like he appears to have a genius level sense of balance too what with the activities taking place and his considerable ‘girth’.

In regards to the music on offer there’s no denying that this is old school thrash with a decidedly wicked jaded edge (and to answer a query from Void; Yes. This is, “right up my alley”) Apart from the fact that it’s old school it’s also catchy as a vintage baseball mitt and offers twice the enjoyment (no matter how soft that gloves ’embrace’ might be). The drum salvo has the effect of making the limbs twitch with uncontrollable spastic movements, the rhythms and pace are enough to sate even the most discerning of fan and the vocals enough to raise goose flesh. Odd that the language is one I’m not native to but it matters not the while effect is one to send a fan into a frenzy. This might be raw; it might not sport the production qualities one desires but there’s no doubt it fits perfectly. In short, this contains four tracks any speed freak with old school leanings which warrant attention.

verdugo - altar del rencor

In regards to that which Void Reccd “Altar Del Rencor” if I can find a full-length copy, I’d be happier to review it also (if Verdugo is reading this. I’m up for it. Hint, hint.)

 

For those of you who are still intrigued this is the link that Void originally sent https://verdugometal.bandcamp.com/album/altar-del-rencor

It contains a teasing two tracks, which only leaves one wanting more.

 

Well that’s about it for this installment, my apologies for the wait, I only hope this was worth it and will suffice until the next entry (whenever that might be). Until our paths of audio interest meet again, don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the senses.

Cult