Posts Tagged ‘Cruickshank’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

clothing-optional

C’mon, even seals love the sun.

Part the Third

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

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

July

abominism

Abominism – s/t

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

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

Baleful abyss

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

https://balefulabyss.bandcamp.com/

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

Beastmaker – Eye of the Storm

beastmaker

https://beastmaker.bandcamp.com/

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

desecresyDesecresy – Towards Nebulae

 

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

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

disowning human cattle

Disowning -Human Cattle

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

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

 

ecliptic visionEcliptic Vision – s/t

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

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

freighter the den.jpg

Freighter – The Den

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

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

gates to the morning

Gates to the Morning – Return to Earth

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

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

pathetic

Pathetic – Rat King

https://pathetic666.bandcamp.com/

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

shades of deep water

Shades of Deep Water – Death’s Threshold

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

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

Thy_Art_Is_Murder

Thy Art is Murder – Human Target *

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

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

vagrant

Vagrant – The Rise of Norn

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

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

August

abysmalist.jpg

Abysmalist – Reflections of Horror

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

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

anticosm call of the void

Anticosm – The Call of the Void

https://anticosm.bandcamp.com/

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

Book of wyrms album

Book of Wyrms – Remythologizer *

https://bookofwyrmsrva.bandcamp.com/

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

Cruickshank

Cruickshank – s/t

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

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

darkened

Darkened – Into the Blackness

https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/music

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

detherousDetherous – Hacked to Death

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

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

graveview.jpg

Graveview – Demos 18-19’

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

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

lllvilja livet

lllvilja -Livet *

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

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

nomas last laugh

No/Mas – Last Laugh

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

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

 

overt enemy possessionOvert Enemy – Possession

https://overtenemy.bandcamp.com/

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

wraith

Wraith – Absolute Power *

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

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

wizard rifle self titled

Wizard Rifle – s/t

https://wizardrifle.bandcamp.com/

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

September

arctos.jpg

Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands *

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

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

alcoholocaust.jpg
Alcoholocaust – Necro Apocalipse Bestial

https://brigadantiposers.bandcamp.com/releases

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

algebra

Algebra – Pulse?

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

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

ankhara

Ankhara – Sinergia

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

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

coldclaw.jpg

ColdClaw – Anti Martyr: Decades to Suffer

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

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

come back from the dead album

Come Back from the Dead – Rise of the Blind Ones

https://comebackfromthedead.bandcamp.com/

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

cult of sorrow.jpg

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer

 https://cultofsorrow.bandcamp.com/

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

ethereal riffian.jpg

Ethereal Riffian – Legends

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

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

high command

High Command – Beyond the Walls of Desolation *

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

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

Horror God

Horror God – Cursed Seeds

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

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

 

IATT
IATT – Nomenclature

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

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

netherbird.jpg

Netherbird – Into the Vast Uncharted

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

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

Sempiternal Dusk

Sempiternal Dusk – Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation

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

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

void king

Void King – Barren Dominion

https://voidking.bandcamp.com/

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

wintercrown

Wintercrown – Northern Lights

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

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

mix tape action

Keep it up, you maniac!

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

Cult (a certifiable slave to audio extreme)

 

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses –

Part Eighteen (July 2019)

head explosion cavity colors

Image courtesy of Cavity Colors.com the best place to purchase a genre themed shirt

 

It’s been awhile. For that I apologize. I’d like to blame a myriad of things for the reason, though I shall refrain from doing so. It’s seriously all down to laziness and a lack of motivation due to a work schedule which is substantially far and beyond that of a traditional/typical forty-hour week and the kids are in town for the summer. There, I guess did blame most everything, except myself. Fair enuf.

 

 

Now, on to the metal…

dialith

Dialith -Extinction Six
(USA)
Release – August/16/2019
Independent
Dewar PR
https://dialith.bandcamp.com/album/extinction-six
ARTWORK – 7.5

Aftermath of an apocalypse type imagery with an undeniable spark of hope (perhaps a few years on) an image which has a slight cartoon vibe to it. I’m of the belief that the audio therein isn’t going to be of the rabid, ferocious large animal, vocal style variety, but I’ve been wrong before.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

A symphonic backdrop meets driving, often galloping, rhythms aided by (Dream Theatre-esque) gymnastic guitar passages and an angelic vocal accompaniment. A fantastic start!

INITIAL LISTEN -8

The style brings to mind Evanescence, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Rhapsody and Epica with at times a slightly heavier Iced Earth/Dragonforce epic speed metal edge there’s even, at times, a dash of melodic death. The style works, is diverse and exhilarating enough to remain captivating, (even the albums seventeen-minute opus finale) and is complemented by stunning vocals courtesy of Krista Sion which might put one in mind of the lighter side of Theatre of Tragedy. If you’re looking for something which the significant other might also enjoy (who perhaps usually turns their nose up at extreme tunage) this is a worthy compromise, he’ll it might even open the doors to the arena which you can then bask in together.

Favorite Tracks; The Sound of Your Voice, Where Fire Dwells, Catalyst.

cult of sorrow

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer
(USA)
Release – September/20/2019
Black Doomba Records
Dewar PR
https://cultofsorrow.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 9

Vivid imagery with a folksy vibe and an amazing color palette. Even the goat looks amused. This needs representation on a shirt!

FIRST TRACK – 8

Undeniable influence oozes from every huge riff the vocalist could be confused for Ozzy upon first experience. A great start and introduction to the band and their style.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

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

FFO; The Obsessed, Black Sabbath, Candlemass.

Favorite Tracks; Come Infernal, Souls of the Damned, The Mirror.

the odious

The Odious – Vesica Piscis
(USA)
Release – June/21/2019
Independent
Mind Eraser PR
https://theodious.bandcamp.com/album/vesica-piscis
ARTWORK – 8

This is odd, leaning towards hypnotic and rather ‘out there’, but it has got my attention leaving me more than merely a little curious.

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

The introductory track, “Scrape”, starts out one way then abruptly veers towards another tangent entirely as if the ‘player’ needs motivation, or a break. An interesting start hinting at, perhaps, a release which doesn’t contain the word “predictable” in its lexicon. “Repugnant” lays the groundwork for the audio to follow. Technical, progressive, frenetic in nature and slightly experimental, incorporating a slew of different styles which often tumble over each other, but it works and I’m left eagerly awaiting what direction, in how many, and how the remainder of the album will play out.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Borrowing heavily from the most impressive elements from a slew of genres The Odious have somehow managed to expertly fuse audio in a way which brings forth a myriad of emotion as it passes through the senses, incorporating rock and extreme metal elements, brutal face-crushing riffs, melodic passages and a slew of rhythms which have the listener pondering in which direction they should turn next. Should they sit back, relax, let the music take them to a tranquil locale or get up and move around, letting their frustrations pour from their body in a torrent? In one moment, rhythms accompany vocals of the harrowing, angst, screaming, pulse-elevating, variety, in the next the pace drops considerably leaving the listener in a state of what the fuck is going on right now. Strangely the music has a fluidity and although the audio tapestry is considerably detailed and intricate in its composition the flow remains mesmerizing. Tempestuous and fickle much like the oceans tide this will transport the listener, in no hurry, to a wide variety of realm both calm and chaotic.

Impulsive and unpredictable is the name of the arena in which this release resides and it has a great deal to offer those who are willing to step outside of traditional audio realms. And to think I was going to give this a pass. Go into this with an open mind and you’ll have fun and will only want to spin it again in order to pick out what you might have missed the first time around. Highly recommended!

FFO; Between the Buried and Me, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Faith no More.

Favorite Tracks; Arbiter of Taste, Glowjaw, Vesica Pescis, Heavy Rhetoric, Fix

sorcery

Sorcery – Necessary Excess of Violence
(Sweden)
Release – August/20/2019
Xtreem Music
https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/necessary-excess-of-violence
ARTWORK – 8

Flames, an apocalyptic sky, zombies (?!) brandishing more than a lust for warm flesh and a cathedral sporting an inverted cross. Something is definitely afoot here and it isn’t pretty. Hide your goats!

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

HM2 sound speaker caressing Dismember/Entombed worship with a rawness to its production. Vocals are low in the mix but it only makes one want to listen ‘harder’ (whatever that means). A great start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

Crunchy, melodic yet brimming with malevolence. Though this is nothing nee fans of the same style (listed above) will gladly eat this up! My only gripes are that the production is a little muddy at times and this doesn’t offer more than is already ‘in the market’.

FFO; Grave, Entombed, Dismember, Vomitory, Amon Amarth and Unleashed.

Favorite Tracks; The Stellar Circle, Illuminate.

Cruickshank

Cruickshank – s/t
(USA)
Release – August/16/2019
Independent
Dewar PR
ARTWORK – 8

I’m not even sure what this is, although it looks deep, dark and depressing. Is this gent about to plummet? Further investigation is necessary. Where’s my microscope?

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

Starts off with a Therapy (“Troublegum”) type rhythm which soon transforms into a sludge type driving force accompanied by frenetic drums and angst fueled vocals. I have an idea this is going to be somewhat of an unpredictable release.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Driving rhythms, which often fight for supremacy in chaotic standoffs, traipse through a slew of styles offering the listener a great deal to discover. Grindcore cavorts with hardcore amidst a backdrop of sludge draped in a tapestry weaved with frenetic and often groove laden passages. Overall a release which will please fans of Kyuss, Olde, Tool, EyeHateGod, Acid Bath and a slew of others acts who refuse to conform to a style that defined by any one genre. Someone is going to have to pull me away from this with considerable force, it’s growing on me like a ravenous parasite. Don’t let this pass you by.

Favorite Tracks; Clouded, Hard Damage, To Swine, Nothing Survives.

Added Bonus; A Few words From Drew (as it’s refreshing to have another opinion from time to time).

To say the stylings of Cruickshank are unique would be an understatement. There are some definite sludge elements to their work that blend in and out of hardcore and straight-up death . The energy can be frenetic at times but that’s not to imply a bad thing. It all seems to coalesce into one coherent piece.
The opening track “Clouded” almost seems “peppy” before exploding into a chaotic blast then bringing it all back down to speed. This music is certainly not boring and something I can easily get behind.
“Soviet Reunion” is a nice, melodic track that brings the mood down before blending right back into the dirty (and ironically named) “Clean”.
It’s hard to place Cruickshank in any particular category and they don’t really need to be. All over the map is the best way to describe this offering, but again, it works. Definitely something I would spin more than once.

desecresy

Desecresy – Towards Nebulae
(Finland)
Release – July/23/2019
Xtreem Music
https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/towards-nebulae
ARTWORK – 7.5

Mystical and cosmos elements combine in a Geiger-esque image depicting, what might have once been, a person gazing deep into an orb swirling in mist. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the logo it reminds me of colorful block lettered graffiti often found emblazoned across subways, circa the 1980’s.

FIRST TRACK – 8

Dirge laden riffs, growly vocals and a plodding ominous grumbling pace that’s highly reminiscent of Bolt Thrower and Nile’s discography aided by another presence which I can’t quite describe just yet. This leaves me intrigued.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

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

Favorite Tracks; Only Mist Drifts, Fringes of Existence, Sediments of Blood, Unbeknownst to Mortals.

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Cthelist, Nile and other death acts whose audio is slathered in dirge sensibilities.

Baleful abyss

Baleful Abyss (F.K.A Zombieslut) – Death Propaganda
(Germany)
Release – July/26/2019
Black Sunset/MDD
Against PR
https://balefulabyss.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 8

Obviously, a political statement, albeit tongue in rotten cheek, but fun imagery nevertheless.

FIRST TRACK – 8

Slow moving brutality with groove. This will put many in mind of death metal circa the early 90’s.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Dirge driven groove that’s highly nostalgic of the 90’s. An album which delivers high caliber audio throughout, that which a fan of the band (fka Zombieslut) would expect based on their history. Regardless of the fact that this really doesn’t offer anything substantially new to the genre it still demands respect and makes a fantastic addition to any collection bursting at the seams with death/doom laden dirge and death bordering on grindcore.

FFO; early Gorefest, Napalm Death, Commit Suicide, Benediction, Jungle Rot and the 90’s bass driven plodding ‘chuggery’ style which often flaunts with, teasing, grindcore sensibilities.

Favorite Tracks; Gates of the Cheribum, Spitting out the Dead, Satanophobia, Web of Soulless Horror.

Plucked From Metal Past

nuclear assault handle with care

Nuclear Assault – Handle With Care
(USA)
Release – November 1989 (Reissued 2011 by Century Media Records)
In-Effect
 Thoughts –

“Handle With Care” was the first thrash album which really grabbed me by the ‘short and curlies’ (what better way to celebrate this fact than by laying down a few words in appreciation) and this was even after I’d had the first experience with vintage Metallica, even now as I’m revisiting (for the first time in years) It remarkably has the same effect. “New Song” heralded by Connelly’s distinct vocals is the first up. Driving rhythms, straight for the throat riffs and diabolical themed leads leave the listener stunned. This ain’t no San Francisco ‘Bay area’ thrash, nope this is from new York and these folks mean business. “Critical Mass” is up next, the rhythms are infectious, not altogether technical and the production isn’t altogether polished, but it doesn’t matter, the strength of this track propels the listener straight to the snap yer damn neck in head bangin’ fury mode.

(courtesy of Thrash Central)

And it continues; “Inherited Hell” elevates the album to another level entirely, in essence it’s as fast as unholy fuck! This track is one of my all time faves, always demands my full attention, gets it and never fails to get a reaction albeit sometimes as small as a fist pump and a loud “Fuck yea” to my wife’s astonishment (Honestly dear, where did that come from?) Further brilliance comes in the form of “Emergency” a vocal frenzied attack and breakdown worthy of note. “F# Wake Up” with its meth amphetamine riff introduction. “Search and Seizure” sporting most probably metals most famous burp. I’ve always wondered if its a take on the more infamous “Search and Destroy” though I know which leaves me more bruised once its through. The chaotic, grindcore leaning, “Mothers Day” certainly leaves an impression and will most definitely leave a first time listener dazed. “Trail of Tears” boasts Testament leanings with its interspersed melodic qualities and is a fantastic way to bring a frenzied album to a close especially when based on whats gone before the audience was most probably expecting audio of the variety to tear the final ligament connecting their vertebrae to their skull resulting in its toppling to the dirt. A limited edition release includes bonus tracks plucked from a 1988 legendary show recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon.

However one slices it this this is an album which demands respect and placement in any discerning metalheads collection, I know i have it someplace. I’ve dropped a link above, enjoy, and as always feel free to tell me your thoughts, recommendations and or suggestions.

That’s about it for this installment. And it’s been quite the mixed bag, genre definition be damned!!

Until our paths of audio interest cross again,

Cult