Posts Tagged ‘doom metal’

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Twelve

abrasive audio header gif

Welcome to yet another AA installment. This one sees me attempting to catch up  (it’ll never happen!) with my feet up following surgery. But I’d rather all attention go towards that which I’m praising rather than myself. What can I say? I’m getting old and falling apart at an alarming rate. But enuf about me. Onward, to audio euphoric…

January Releases
Konvent (Denmark) – Puritan Masochism

konvent

https://konvent666.bandcamp.com/album/puritan-masochism

Release – January/24/2020

Napalm Records

ARTWORK- 74

Dark and ominous. I’m of the mind this is a body of water of sorts falling into an abyss watched over by a collective of forms and a low hanging moon. I’m sure there’s deeper meaning but I’ll spare my waffle and delve into the music instead.

FIRST TRACK- 86

Not at all what I was expecting, this offers both a familiar tone and rhythm from a glaring influence but with a twist which is difficult not to appreciate. An excellent introduction for those who adore mid-tempo death/doom drenched in dirge.

INITIAL LISTEN- 79

Plodding hypnotic riffs channel influence from a myriad of sources draped in a familiar tone. Effective drums, often with a tribal edge, add to the album’s depth and atmosphere. Although all of the ingredients are here, including feral female vocals (my weakness, admittedly) and pleasing rhythmic variation this often wanders into predictable drone territories leaving me wanting. I’m of the mind this will grow on me depending on the mood.

Favorite Tracks; Puritan Masochism, The Eye, Bridge, Ropes (pt. 1).

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Thorrs Hammer, Asphyx, Paradise Lost, Candlemass.

March Releases

Ovid's Withering (USA) – Terraphage

Ovid’s Withering (USA) – Terraphage

https://ovidswithering.bandcamp.com/album/terraphage

Release-March/20/2020

Self-Released

ARTWORK – 76

Fantastical elements abound in this image. An ominous sphere looms over the landscape and it appears to be consuming something leaving a splatter of crimson and a state of alarm in its wake.

FIRST TRACK – 84

Symphonic elements are an exquisite complement to arrangements which overflow with Djent and Deathcore elements adding depth and atmosphere aplenty. Further intrigue is sparked by the lyrics which have a narrative slant. A fantastic introduction to the band and their style.

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

This effortlessly transports the listener to realms forgotten by the dust of time. Sinister elements and atmosphere support a story line narrative within a concept album which mesmerizes with its intensity, emotion and flow. Arrangements embrace Djent, Technical and Blastbeat accoutrements as well a symphonic backdrop and a diverse vocal ensemble to lift this far beyond what many perceive as the traditional Deathcore moniker. The wide radius the styles here encompass (with a myriad of influences to get those wheels spinning) warrant applause, elicit intrigue, admiration and honestly several spins to fully appreciate. Fantasy, mystery, magick and arcane struggles collide in an album which is sure to incite movement and carve a smile on faces who appreciate brutality, intricacy and technicality wrapped in multi-layered epic arrangements.

Favorite Tracks; Hypnotic throughout.

FFO; Black Dahlia Murder, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Kull, Bal -Sagoth.

Nerve Saw (Finland) – Peril
Nerve Saw (Finland) – Peril

https://testimonyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nerve-saw-peril

Release – March/27/2020

Testimony Records

ARTWORK- 76

A green hue, winged aggressive types and what appears to be an Elf in a spot of “Peril” (yep. I went there!) This has my attention, hitting play…

FIRST TRACK- 78

Catchy punk vibe, with a vibe bordering on HM2 sound, riffs which make the limbs twitch and wicked vocals. Short, blunt and to the point, a great start!

INITIAL LISTEN- 84

Mid-tempo Death with Punk attitude, groove to spare and Black influenced vocals. Sporting an overabundance of oomph and drive and feverishly (seemingly simplistic) infectious riffs this will incite the listener into movement.

Favorite Tracks; Limbs will be twitching spastically from start to finish guaranteed!

FFO; Toxic Holocaust, Entombed, Celtic Frost, (later) Satyricon.

April Releases

Benighted (France) - Obscene Repressed

Benighted (France) – Obscene Repressed

https://benighted.bandcamp.com/album/obscene-repressed

Release -April/10/2020

Season of Mist

ARTWORK- 83

All manner of wicked creatures cavort in this image. With a mother (?) protecting her offspring (?) front and center. But it’s the tones and little details which give the devilish little things nightmarish life.

FIRST TRACK – 87

Frenetic, blistering and sick! This is the Benighted I know. And based on the ferocity of this track they’re back in unforgiving ‘beast mode’.

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

Is this Brutal Death, or Grindcore? No matter your side of the argument Benighted truthfully incorporates elements of both. Executing their sound with abandon and zero regard for your safety they’ve carved another audio slab of “clear-the-room-before-you-hit-play”. If it’s not the crushing groove, the shredding flesh rhythms, the inhuman drum precision it’s the ungodly vocal talents of Julien Truchan which bludgeon the listener into submission. Perhaps it’s all of the above? There’s no doubt Benighted have dropped another cosmos disrupting salvo to again cement their position as undisputed standard bearers for the scene. Crank this to MAX and prepare to ignore the neighborhood’s pleas for audio reprieve.

Favorite Tracks; All of the above!

FFO; Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Aborted, Cattle Decapitation.

May Releases

Centinex (Sweden) - Death in Pieces

Centinex (Sweden) – Death in Pieces

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/death-in-pieces

Release – May/29/2020

Agonia Records

ARTWORK – 78

A regal figure reduced to a skeletal form. The brilliant colors in this image lend it a certain sinister/ominous atmosphere hinting at audio of the Blackened Death variety. Hitting play.

FIRST TRACK – 73

Familiar rhythms, and a death/doom feel. Influence immediately screams Obituary especially with the riffs utilized. Infectious, though hardly original.

INITIAL LISTEN – 66

An altogether safe (traditional, predictable), chuggery-laden Death release which though enjoyable never really picks up to offer the oomph one would wish.

Favorite Tracks; God Ends Here, Human Torch.

FFO; Vomitory, Obituary, Grave, Six Feet Under, Bolt Thrower, Unleashed.

Mountain Witch (Germany) - Extinct Cults

Mountain Witch (Germany) – Extinct Cults

https://mountainwitch.bandcamp.com/

Release- May/29/2020

The Charming Man Records

ARTWORK – 75

Bold, striking imagery with a retro vintage edge with more than a splash of psychedelia.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Distortion oozing, riff laden, Heavy Metal dripping in Doom sensibilities; a plodding, rhythmic nostalgic audio with a timeless aura. This has me nodding my head and wondering why the genre is one I don’t explore more often.

INITIAL LISTEN – 87

Part traditional Heavy Metal, part NWOBHM and a whole ton of vintage Doom enshrouded in occult values and atmosphere to spare. The audio here caresses the senses with a sound rarely heard this side of the early eighties. With an aura partly plucked from vintage Hammer House productions and arrangements spread from across the spectrum of Hard Rock and the deepest roots of the Metal scene this collective has a great deal to offer and the musicianship to tie the ingredients together without causing complaint. For all those with noses buried deep in vintage vinyl with hopes for something fresh though familiar, bored with those attempting the same old, same old without success or inventive spark, I believe I’ve found the answer. This fits the bill, satisfies the cravings and should not, under any circumstances, be ignored!!

Favorite Tracks; Enthralling from beginning to end!

FFO; Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Old Man Wizard, Lord Slough Feg.

Witching (USA) – Vernal

June Releases
Witching (USA) – Vernal

https://witching.bandcamp.com/

Release- June/5/2020

Self-Released

ARTWORK- 83

A classical image comprised of both a bust (a head, not tits!) and a cathedral like construct with a ribcage at its center. The meaning is obviously up for interpretation as the building and ribcage are in place of the faces throat as if to say words (verbal abuse) can damage the heart/the psyche.

FIRST TRACK- 84

Sludge with surprising drive and movement complete with searing feral female vox (my all-time weakness). This makes me excited for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Haunting and harrowing emotion laden vocals accompanied by diverse percussion which gleefully transports the listener to the furthest boundaries of Sludge then drops them ceremoniously from the precipice into even murkier, chaotic, raging waters.

This warrants attention. Set the ears on this pronto!

Favorite Tracks; Started to list tracks only to realize I was copying the whole damn tracklisting. Suffice to say this delivers throughout.

FFO; Damad, Black Tomb.

Ormskrik (Norway) album

Ormskrik (Norway) – s/t

https://ormskrik.bandcamp.com/album/ormskrik

Release- June/5/2020

Fysisk Format

ARTWORK- 86

Lightning, a bearded undead fellow wielding a sword wrapped in serpent joined by a horned comrade and goblets most likely filled with the nectar of the gods. Consider me intrigued!

FIRST TRACK- 87

Straight for the jugular riffs. Speed accompanied by a majestic rhythm and vocals to melt flesh from bone. A fantastic combination which leaves me moving around furiously. Fingers crossed the remainder of the album does the same.

INITIAL LISTEN – 82

Fast and furious sporting enough high-octane riffs to tear the head from the shoulders this is sure to please those whose penchants straddle the Aggressive Thrash/Death fence. Rabid vocals heighten the enjoyment. Blackened influence and a smidgen of Hardcore is found throughout separating this from the usual clone hordes and propelling it into interesting, must discover, arenas.

Favorite Tracks; Adrenaline spiking from start to finish!

FFO; Kvaen, (early) The Haunted, Amon Amarth, (newer) Kreator, (newer) Sodom, Slayer.

Death Courier (Greece) - Necrotic Verses

Death Courier (Greece) – Necrotic Verses

https://deathcouriergreece.bandcamp.com/album/necrotic-verses-death-metal

Release- June/5/2020

Transcending Obscurity Records

ARTWORK- 82

A tomb shrouded in shadow forgotten by time wonderfully captured in muted tones and intricate detail.

FIRST TRACK- 84

A swift pace, atmosphere and rhythms to keep the listeners on their toes. A touch of melodic Black, a sprinkle of OSDM and plenty of sinister. What’s not to like?

INITIAL LISTEN- 91

A surprisingly high energy foundation sports frenzied, but, controlled rhythms, a somewhat low key grizzled vocal approach and enough atmosphere to please even the most jaded DM fan. But the real power lay in the fact that this album has zero boring passages; it flows exceedingly well showing highly regarded journeymen of the scene in top form displaying that the passion is still there and that the arsenal has been greased, primed and recalibrated ready to take on all newcomers. To devastate a pun this fires on all cylinders and extinguishes all doubts which may have surfaced, reigniting the flames of interest for both the act and the scene, which many might argue has become stagnant, itself. I kid you not this slays and is sure to be mentioned plenty come year end.

Favorite Tracks; Top tier DM from first note to last.

FFO; Vomitory, Benediction, Vader.

WTF Lightning Round Reviews
A varied selection with a single listen which spurns a quick scribble!

Malignant Altar (USA) - Retribution of Jealous Gods (Demo)

Malignant Altar (USA) – Retribution of Jealous Gods (Demo)

https://malignantaltar-maggotstomp.bandcamp.com/album/retribution-of-jealous-gods

Release – March/11/2019

Maggot Stomp

Artwork- 83

Ferocity- 85

Groove – 86

Infectiousness – 85

Originality – 61

Genre – Old School Death/Dirge

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 83

Excellent production for a demo, drums are dominant in the mix adding weight. Seethes with nostalgia. Recc for fans of Morbid Angel, Funebrarum, Bolt Thrower and Incantation.

Sedimentum (Canada) - Demo 2019

Sedimentum (Canada) – Demo 2019

https://sedimentum.bandcamp.com/album/demo

Release – June/21/2019

Independent

Artwork – 62

Ferocity – 83

Groove – 78

Infectiousness- 85

Originality- 70

Genre – Old School Death/Atmospheric/Cavernous Death

Revisit- Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 87

Raunchy tone, guttural/underworld vox and arrangements which will leave you nodding your head as you ponder upon the box of vintage cassettes (collecting dust someplace) you really should rediscover. An excellent demo!

Undeath (USA) - Sentient Autolysis (demo)

Undeath (USA) – Sentient Autolysis (demo)

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/sentient-autolysis

Release – July/29/2019

Caligari Records

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 74

Groove – 72

Infectiousness – 78

Originality – 71

Genre – Old School Death/Diabolical/Cavernous/Technical

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 82

Busy arrangements, both chaotic and maniacal, which hold the attention for those who prefer intricate unpredictability over speed and repetition.

Phobophilic (USA) - Undimensioned Identities

Phobophilic (USA) – Undimensioned Identities

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/undimensioned-identities

Release – September/13/2019

Blood Harvest Records

Artwork – 72

Ferocity – 86

Groove – 82

Infectiousness – 86

Originality – 79

Genre – Death Metal/Thrash/Technical/OSDM

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 86

Intricate, diabolical, even maniacal with arrangements designed to drag the listener into the abyss. And although it sounds familiar, even nostalgic, it’s unique and thoroughly entertaining in its complexities.

Black Passage (USA) - The Veil

Black Passage (USA) – The Veil

https://blackpassage.bandcamp.com/album/the-veil

Release – July/26/2019

Independent

Artwork – 64

Ferocity – 71

Groove –  74

Infectiousness – 76

Originality – 79

Genre – Hard Rock/Alternate/Groove/Progressive/Post Metal/Deathcore

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 73

Complex arrangements bearing stylistic diversity form varied soundscapes effectively conjuring a wide range of emotions. Its unpredictable sometimes ‘dreamy’ is one which is sure to grow upon repeated listens.

Mortiferum (USA) - Altar of Decay

Mortiferum (USA) – Altar of Decay

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/altar-of-decay

Blood Harvest Records

Release – June/30/2017

Artwork – 72

Ferocity – 81

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 89

Originality – 65

Genre – OSDM/DeathDoom

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 90

Enshrouded in excellent atmosphere and palpable presence this effectively transports the listener to the dankest/grimiest roots of the OSDM scene whilst also injecting sufficient creative juices to keep it exciting, intriguing, “fresh” (probably not a word which best fits in this stylistic context) and far from plagiarist arenas. Suffice it to mention; I give this a high Recc.

Wasteland Coven (USA) – Ruined

Wasteland Coven (USA) – Ruined

https://wastelandcoven.bandcamp.com/album/ruined

Release – June/26/2020

Transylvanian Tapes

Artwork – 81

Ferocity – 52

Groove – 84

Infectiousness – 88

Originality – 74

Genre – Doom/Traditional Doom/Occult/Stoner/Sludge

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 90

Honestly some of the best Doom I’ve heard in recent months. This is rhythmically pleasing, miles from stagnant, haunting and hypnotic complete with smoky vocals which take you to another plain entirely. Highly Recc.

Nostrum (Canada) - Infernal Tomb

Nostrum (Canada) – Infernal Tomb

https://transylvaniantapes.bandcamp.com/album/nostrum-infernal-tomb

Release – June/6/2017

Transylvanian Tapes

Artwork – 71

Ferocity – 77

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 78

Originality – 75

Genre – Death/Doom/Drone/Sludge

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 78

Diverse and unpredictable rhythms often with a grandiose nature crawl across a sludge landscape incorporating a plodding pace which occasionally transforms into a groove monolith. The myriad of styles ensure the resulting audio is far from monotonous. Complemented with both primal and passionate vocals bellowing angst, despair and desperation the total package is one which is sure to encompass the listener attentions with repeated experiences.

Iron Flames (Italy) - Eyes of the Megalith (EP)

Iron Flames (Italy) – Eyes of the Megalith (EP)

https://ironflames.bandcamp.com/

Independent

Release-May/13/2020

Artwork – 77

Ferocity – 85

Groove – 60

Infectiousness – 62

Originality – 54

Genre – Black Metal/Speed Metal/Bestial Metal

Revisit – No

Final Score/Remarks – 61

Raw, slightly chaotic black metal with little deviation and even less originality. Has its moments but not enough to keep a novice to the scene, like myself, wholly interested.

Make Them Die Slowly - Ferox

Make Them Die Slowly (UK/USA) – Ferox

https://makethemdieslowly.bandcamp.com/album/ferox

Release- May/1/2020

Independent

Artwork – 82

Ferocity – 83

Groove – 80

Infectiousness – 90

Originality – 77

Genre – Grinding Death/Symphonic/Blackened Death/Cult Homage/Deathcore/Djent

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 91

Insanely catchy cult celluloid homage audio complete with soundbites, symphonic elements, vicious/feral vocals and surprising rhythmic diversity. (Shit, it even includes a track based on my favorite film) It doesn’t get much better than this!

Double Cross - Obey Thy Master

Double Cross (Brazil) – Obey Thy Master (EP)

https://doublecrossbr.bandcamp.com/album/ep-obey-thy-master

Release- May/1/2020

Independent

Artwork – 80

Ferocity – 65

Groove – 68

Infectiousness – 68

Originality – 66

Genre – Heavy Metal/Hard Rock/Speed Metal/Stoner/NWOBHM

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 68

Gruff, rough n rowdy, vox with raw percussion for those who prefer their HM with a dark aura and bite.

Neocaeser - 11 11

Neocaeser (The Netherlands) – 11:11

https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/11-11

Release – December/5/2017

Xtreem Music

Artwork – 83

Ferocity – 78

Groove – 77

Infectiousness – 78

Originality – 64

Genre – Brutal Death/Thrash/Death

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 78

Four ex-members of Sinister (90’s lineup) here forge a style which isn’t altogether ground-breaking but it delivers (all one could wish for in a “meat and potatoes” manner) and is an absolute no-brainer to appreciate.

Wills Dissolve The Heavens are not on Fire

Wills Dissolve (USA) The Heavens are not on Fire

https://hypnoticdirgerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-heavens-are-not-on-fire

(Re)release – July/29/2019

Hypnotic Dirge Records

Artwork – 76

Ferocity – 72

Groove – 75

Infectiousness – 90

Originality – 76

Genre – Progressive/Doom/Blackened Death/Ambient/Folk

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 91

Equally haunting, beautiful and ferocious. Five epic tracks here boast exquisite hypnotic arrangements with unbridled diversity and yet also a remarkable fluidity. Be warned for you will lose yourself in this! Recc for fans of earlier Opeth.

exhausted gif

And…that’s about it for the night!

And that brings us to the conclusion of an installment I congratulate you in reaching the end of. Hopefully you’ve discovered something new to tickle your fancy and have chosen to support the artists in these unprecedented times. With any luck everything will be going back to a state of somewhat normalcy within no time whatsoever and live shows will be a thing once more. Until then keep those ears to the ground and don’t fear that which is normally foreign to the senses.

Cult

 

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses – Part 36

headbangin metalhead

As the year draws to its close, I’m left pondering upon all the releases I know I’ve missed. With that in mind I’ve included a Recc. from an individual who demands a ‘follow’ on social media based on the priceless “services” he offers the metal community at large. Obviously, it’s hard to know where to look, or turn to, for releases which warrant investigation when there is such an immeasurable amount released on a week by week basis. I try to do my part but I pale in comparison to that which this individual, a generous Australian fellow indeed, covers on a daily basis in his prolific posts. Without further ado…

Carnifliate - Disgusting Festivities.jpg

Carnifliate – Disgusting Festivities
(Slovenia)
Release – October/23/2019
Self-Released
Qabar PR
https://carnifliate.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 76

Odd, creepy and deranged are words which come to mind upon setting the eyeballs upon this art. This is a rather unsettling party atmosphere to say the least. I’m glad I tossed my invite.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Grinding death, blast beats, Slam elements, somewhat technical riffage and rhythms which immediately impale the listener with unquestionable curiosity. And all executed with surprising tightness. Add a diverse vocal attack and this is a fantastic start to an album from an act I’ve only just now been introduced to.

INITIAL LISTEN – 79

Channeling the unpredictable dizzying nature of grindcore, adding to it ferocious brutal death elements and a smidgen of technicality Carnifliate have somehow managed to create an album which is intriguing and dynamic in comparison to those in the same genre which is fast becoming far beyond overcrowded. As a debut this is far and beyond that which is expected boasting a production that certainly aids in its overall appreciation. Showcasing a precision which appears beyond the bands relatively short existence rhythms are fast furious and evolve at a pleasing pace certain to place an ever-widening smirk on the listeners face and set festival crowds alight in a frenzy. The vocal style is varied; ranging from guttural values, a hardcore esque approach and assorted occasional pig squeals sporting a quality that which fans of Benighted are sure to salivate over. Fun from beginning to end this is sure to perk the interest of fans of melodic brutal death/grindcore who are in the market for new audio to scar the place between the ears.

Favorite Tracks; Fist Class Cunt, Fried in Fat, Paraphilitic Infantilism, Compel Insemination.

FFO; Benighted, Fleshless, Aborted, Dying Fetus.

MXD Endurance

MXD – Endurance
(Switzerland)
Release – November/1/2019
Tenacity Music
Against PR
https://mxdmusic.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 77

A purple Worm Ouroboros encircles a demonic visage against a shape (which may or nay not be mystical in context) with many angles and sharp pointy edges. This grabs the attention though really gives little away in regards to what manner of audio one is about to place between the ears.

FIRST TRACK – 74

Whoa, this is a little different than what I normally set upon the senses. Synth elements collide with an introduction which includes an everyday busy street aura (the backing up of trucks, a honking of a moped) and a filthy industrial tone takes over. Infectious guitar riffs complement an audio landscape and vocal accompaniment (reminiscent of British Goth Rock) which one might expect to hear in a Gothic nightclub or on a soundtrack to an edgy 90’s movie. This is a damn sight more listenable than I was imagining, with zero introduction. I am intrigued, onward…

INITIAL LISTEN – 79

Varied in its approach this album drags the listener through a varied audio landscape with a backdrop of vastly differing influence and a terrain which varies from hypnotic smooth, futuristic drone, cinematic soundtrack, deviant soundbites to jagged razor wire. The mind reels with similarities to other artists as it leaves an impact often settling upon Ministry, Prodigy, Rammstein and various others whose names flutter upon the synapses only to be recollected in the most obscure of moments. Certainly not for those who prefer audio which fits easily in predetermined parameters this is recommended for those who can accept experimentationalism with little complaint. Although with that in mind this isn’t wildly Avant Garde or of the quality which a small fraction of society will want to pin to a wall in order that they may lay their college degrees to work and argue over what it actually symbolizes. This is drenched in an undeniable dark tone that’s often grandiose in nature, it isn’t what one might expect though does exhibit elements which will do naught but grab the attention as the album seeps into the part of the brain labeled slow- burn appreciation. Far from what usually bounces between the ears I must admit I’m liking this; the dark humor is a nice touch although I could do without the injected, occasional, urban element (much like anything noted here that’s a personal preference). Step away from the norm, broaden your musical horizons and give this a listen.

Favorite Tracks; Eraser, Ain’t Dead Yet, Sisyphus, Black Metal Shopping List.

FFO; Ministry, Rob Zombie, Prodigy, Rammstein.

Unbounded Terror - Faith in Chaos

Unbounded Terror – Faith in Chaos
(Spain)
Release -January/2/2020
Xtreem Music
https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/faith-in-chaos
ARTWORK – 72

Seraphim and Demonic beings fighting across a fiery landscape. Is this what happens when Granma invokes house rules in Monopoly and then loses? All hell breaks loose.

FIRST TRACK – 75

From a placid to an energized heartbeat introduction (a nod to the bands recent resurgence from a 26 year slumber) a dirge slathered mid-tempo groove rhythm awakens, an Old School approach which doesn’t in the slightest break any new ground for the genre, but it does make an impression and gets the limbs a twitchin’.

INITIAL LISTEN – 81

(Put this in initial listen) This album took twenty-six years to come to fruition following prompting from rabid fans and a reignited passion. The band hold the honor of releasing g the first death metal release in Spain (on various formats) in 92′. And now this. Huge riff, mid-tempo melodic brutality with more groove than a treasured vinyl. This might be meat and potatoes, somewhat simplistic but it hits the spot! Showcasing rhythms which range from plodding Candlemass doom to dirge laden Bolt Thrower with an OSDM vocal style (Willetts/Ingram) to match.

Favorite Tracks; Hiding from the Light, Hated in Hell, They Will Come from the Pain, Engulfed by the Gods.

FFO; Gorefest, Benediction, Jungle Rot.

CRS - The Collector of Truths

CRS – The Collector of Truths
(Mexico)
Release – December/6/2019
Concreto Records
Dewar PR
https://play.google.com/music/preview/B4dzyhyaiyuessiqvz2w7w6vznu?play=1
https://www.iheart.com/artist/crs-cirrosis-32507413/albums/the-collector-of-truths-81576855/?autoplay=true
ARTWORK – 76

Tentacles, babes in the woods and an ominous looking milky liquid which I will refrain from commenting on in a juvenile manner.

FIRST TRACK – 74

Crunchy riffs slightly djent in nature display a tribal, heritage heavy edge forming an aura that’s a shifting mix of Soulfly, Fear Factory and Meshuggah. Diabolical leads are a nice touch to lift this from waters which have been muddied to the point of boredom as of late.

INITIAL LISTEN – 77

What I was assuming to be a rather run of the mill djent influenced chuggery laden release turned out to be far from it. Although it has passages which are saturated in the theme progressive elements run riot, and at times bring to mind Opeth even, in instances, a later Death vibe. Groove and melody rather than brutality is the general theme which runs throughout the album placing this release somewhat on the borders of aggressive thrash/melodic death accompanied by vocals which will appeal to fans of Soulfly/Sepultura. Diverse and surprising this has the potential to grow on the listener and offers something new with each listen. My by qualm is that the vocal style is a tad stagnant, it rarely changes tone I believe this factor may have upped the interest level somewhat.

Favorite Tracks; Tan Lejo de Dios – Nowhere but Here, Resistencia, The Daydreamer Nightmare, I Am the Universe.

FFO; Soulfly, Sepultura, Meshuggah, Fear Factory.

My Funeral - Graveblaster.jpg

My Funeral – Graveblaster (EP)
(Finland)
Release – December/13/2019
Self-Released
Against PR
https://myfuneral.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 70

Instead of a ‘Ghetto-Blaster’ this is a ‘Grave-Blaster’ utilizing a coffin as a huge speaker and tape deck. I get it though I’m not entirely sure what to expect as the logo has an urban slant to it while the album title and the image itself boast somewhat a grindcore/crust vibe. Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 71

Melting paint from the walls fast thrash in a similar vein to Germany’s Violent Force, early Kreator and vintage (“Howling Furies”) Anthrax. The vocals, aren’t what’s expected, especially based on the opening “scream”, they’re gruff and lend the music a hardcore edge, whereas ‘gang vocals’ lend it a crossover feel. An interesting start with a mix of styles smashed together giving little away as what to expect from this audio collective.

INITIAL LISTEN – 69

Thrash, speed, crossover, groove, hardcore it’s all here. And sometimes all in the same track. Both ends of the EP are quite different. One is primarily aggressive fast as balls speed metal with a crossover leaning whilst the other is more akin to (newer) Sepultura meets Machine Head meets Hatebreed.

While “Retro Satan” is closer to Exodus thrash in tone and sandwiched between. The audio here is diverse even slightly misleading at times, showcasing a myriad of influence ranging from raunchy metal, speed, thrash, punk and more modern sounds.

Favorite Tracks; Thrash n’ Destroy, Retro Satan.

FFO; Hatebreed, (newer) Sepultura.

Coffin Curse - Ceased to Be

Coffin Curse – Ceased to Be
(Chile)
Release – January/27/2020
Memento Mori
https://coffincurse.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 80

The likelihood of this being from the same hands responsible for the last couple of Drawn and Quartered albums seems highly likely. The image flows with undeniable malevolence and an unfathomable diabolical nature. But it only leaves me wondering; is this how one creates Goulash? And then…who’s left to package it?

FIRST TRACK – 85

Tumbling drums accompany slightly chaotic riffs which brings to mind “Blessed are the Sick” era Morbid Angel. The vocals stand out and top the style off like a rotting cherry. Grindcore esque sensibilities, albeit draped in a sinister tone, bring the track to a close making me even more intrigued as to the audio to follow. A wicked start indeed!

INITIAL LISTEN – 92

Ferocious and filthy draped in undeniable infernal sensibilities. This is as if Drawn and Quartered decided to collaborate with Morbid Angel, Vader and Immortal with the resulting audio showcasing each act distinct influence throughout. Toss in a smidgen of black metal, a sprinkling of black and roll, a little groove and a boisterous mischievous quality which binds the whole and the diabolical concoction is near complete. Toss in a cavernous tone and this could now be Folk music for the Underworld. Highly recommended and this came out of nowhere to pummel me like a red headed stepchild caught elbow in the butter dish (huh?!)

Favorite Tracks; Where Sickness Thrives. Chopped Clean off, Extinct, Deep in Streams of Putrifying Dirt.

FFO; Drawn and Quartered, (“Cursed” era) Morgoth, Morbid Angel, Vader, Immolation.

Time for an Old Favorite; Reccd’ By

heavymetalyeti

Reccd’ by Heavy Metal Yeti @heavymetalyeti on Twitter
Iapetus – The Body Cosmic
(USA)
Release – November/9/2019
Independent
https://iapetus1.bandcamp.com/album/the-body-cosmic

Iapetus - The Body Cosmic.jpg

Thoughts –
This release’s stunning art depicts a celestial being. Entwined with the universe she’s exploding with essence; one could even say “heart” as that’s where the ‘power’ originates. The colors and details are exquisite and the look on her features are sublime.

With little indication of what to expect the music captivates from the first. Intricate swift riffing brings to mind black metal influences but this is far beyond what one might assume with this in mind. This is unquestionably hypnotic rather than raw. Occasional vocal accompaniment (soft female and something skin to reflective/narrative soundbites) adds to the same effect and elevates a cosmic presence woven expertly into the mix. I’m floored! The combination of black, progressive and doom elements alongside an atmosphere which transports the listener so effortlessly to another plane are seamless and I’m less than third way through the first track.

The album continues and offers its first sojourn into harsh vocal realms, accompanying angelic choruses and chants, acoustic interludes and rhythms which are assured to change the listeners outlook on their immediate surroundings.

In lieu of mentioning every track here I’ll mention that this flows with an uncommon and undeniable brilliance throughout. Showcasing a love of the genre which is unquestionable and a talent for composition which is awe- inspiring Iapetus have formulated an audio collective which is both epic, intricate, diverse, unfathomably distracting and mesmerizing to the Nth degree. In effect, an album one might want to tether themselves to reality to before embarking upon.

For those who have the patience, time and willingness to allow this to seep into the system the rewards are immeasurable. Probably best to keep track of the cord for the Bluetooth enabled wireless headphones for this is an epic diversion from the everyday that one will want to discover it again and again. Expect to see this mentioned atop many an end of year list which features an author’s appreciation of a wide variety of genres.

For fans of Ne Oblivicaris, Insomnium, Be’lakor, Opeth and Aggaloch.

kman riffs

Reccd’ by KmanRiffs @KManriffs on Twitter
Novembers Doom – Nephilim Grove
(USA)
Release – November/1/2019
Prophecy Productions
https://novembersdoom1989.bandcamp.com/album/nephilim-grove
Novembers Doom - Nephilim Grove
Thoughts

Huge thanks go out to Kman for this Recc. I honestly had no idea that Novembers Doom were still active, so it was a huge surprise and delight to hear they were and are. Admittedly it’s been a while since I last laid ears upon them. Their earlier output, especially “To Welcome the Fade” (I believe is the title), remains one of my go-to death/doom albums.

Before I dive into the audio, a few words upon the art. A creature resembling an aging Pan type-Diety traverses a rough track as a motley crew of misshapen creatures look on in wonderment. I’m left wondering if they’re hungry and perhaps have just happened upon their next meal or is this something entirely more sinister still? One thing stands out, above all others; this is stunning art. perhaps one of my favorite pieces of the year (again thanks to Kman without whom I would not have known or probably even discovered this until perhaps years from now). The color contrast here is superb, the style intricate, shrouded in shading, texture and detail aplenty, and the wicked scythe looking moon adds ominous qualities galore. The design and characters included aren’t that which normally grace an album, unless this fellow is a goat then he’s desperately in need of a vacation/break from all of the recent exposure. I need this on a shirt, it’s perilously close to the gift giving season (*takes time out to drop hints to the wife and Santa).

In regards to the music on offer it takes mere seconds to realize this is indeed the Novembers Doom of old, and not a reimagined line-up hoping to cash in on the name and bands notoriety.

The arrangements are drum heavy and boasts supreme build up. Part acoustic mastery complementing huge riffs and driving rhythms. And the voice, oh that voice, the timbre is the one instantly recognizable as that associated with the band. The twin pronged, clean and harsh, vocal approach has returned, back to form if not better than before. The writing is intelligent and reflects upon a reinvigorated vitality, but it’s the composition and arrangements and passion which grab and hold the attention. Miles from mere chuggery and Gothic keyboard antics and overused accompanying atmosphere this is an album which showcases beauty and darkness, melancholy and an element which is rather hard to pinpoint but has Novembers Doom written all over it.

Sans scribbling upon each track (lest this turn in an unreadable narrative diatribe event) in turn I feel it best to mention that the album as a whole bears the power to sate any fan in need of a passionate death/doom injection. It goes without mentioning that this will have me, as well I’m sure a great many others, (re)discovering the bands discography.

Expect to see a great many more mentions of this album as the year draws to its conclusion.

Animal - music is meant for sharing

Because…great audio demands to be shared!

And that brings another installment to a close. Until our paths of interest cross again don’t fear discovery of that which is normally 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…to Soothe the Senses (part twenty-seven)

headbangin gif

Yet another “Vacation Edition”

It’s been six months since my last vacation and any length of time I would consider time enough to relax within (so stop the whining). I probably wouldn’t publish anything at this time but the temptation is too overpowering not to what with the release of… (I’m not going to ruin it you’ll have to read on)

orodruin
Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity
(USA)
Release -October/25/2019
Cruz Del Sur Music
Clawhammer PR

 

https://orodruin.bandcamp.com/album/ruins-of-eternity
ARTWORK – 82

This seethes with a Viking/folk aura, enigmatic mists surround a picturesque craggy mountain landscape but where are the wizards and dragons?

FIRST TRACK – 82

Huge riff, melody laden, doom laced with undeniable NWOBHM sensibilities, passion and an excellent vocal accompaniment.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

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

Favorite Tracks; Forsaken, Man of Peace, Grave Illusion, Hell Frozen Over, Ruins of Eternity.

FFO; Haunt, Beastmaker, Dio fronted Black Sabbath, vintage Judas Priest, vintage Rainbow.

arctos

Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands
(Canada)
Release -September/20/2019
Northern Silence Productions
https://arctos-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-grasp-of-mortal-hands
ARTWORK – 76

Frigid, cold and typical of traditional black metal releases, mountains, snow and wilderness, but accompanied by a logo which is a little different. This makes me wonder about that which is about to grace my ears. I am intrigued.

FIRST TRACK – 95

An epic outing to start the release. Atmosphere, a folk nature and a significant presence bolstered by majestic rhythms and outstanding melodies. Overall an enchanting effect to certainly spark ones interest in a genre they might not look twice upon before now. Hold my calls I’m diving in!

INITIAL LISTEN – 97

Spanning a wide radius within the black metal arena the audio here encompasses atmospheric realms, though also sports traditional, majestic, cresting rhythms whilst even touching upon folk realms. Occasionally it even visits blackened death arenas and also includes passionate leads making for a release which is a tad untraditional, varied and executed with surprising excellence throughout. 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!!

Favorite Tracks; This delivers throughout at an extremely high standard, it’s hard to pick a clear ‘winner’.

FFO; Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Immortal, Dissection, vintage Katatonia.

the world without us incarnate album

The World Without Us – Incarnate
(USA)
Release – October/25/2019
Self-Released
https://www.facebook.com/theworldwithoutus/
Dewar PR
ARTWORK – 86

Vivid, colorful and eye catching though miles from traditional. I believe what we have here is going to be quite the audio journey.

FIRST TRACK – 86

Whoa-! The track commences with some of the finest harmonized vocals I’ve heard in a while. Gentle rhythms complemented by undeniable ominous qualities. But it all changes. I won’t ruin it, suffice it to mention it gets “growly”, the pace picks up considerably and the track attains a ferocious nature. A great start.

INITIAL LISTEN – 78

The briefest look at the track list gives one an idea that this is going to be a little different, and it is. Incorporating elements spanning far and wide including death, hardcore, djent, technical death, progressive and black this release offers a great deal to digest. As much as I personally enjoy the more extreme end of the spectrum, I believe their mellower audio leaves more of a lasting impression. Their harsher material however, works though with a little tightening up could well leave a huge

impact. As it is this seems at times a little disjointed though still enjoyable.

Favorite Tracks; Listen in Obsidian, I am the Mist.

FFO; Between the Buried and Me, Opeth, Rings of Saturn, Casket Robbery.

Totengeflüster

Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine
(Germany)
Release -October/11/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR
https://totengeflsterblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/the-faceless-divine
ARTWORK – 93

Ominous, menacing and stunningly medieval in its overall vibe. I want this image across my meager chest!

FIRST TRACK – 86

An excellent foreboding Introduction, majesty qualities, untraditional phrasing, evocative melodies and symphonic brilliance make this stand out from the pack. It’s traditional, yet not quite but utterly captivating!

INITIAL LISTEN – 89

Imagine black metal but often played with an “Industrial” tightness, rhythm and blistering pace ala Ministry (circa “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”/”Psalm 69”) add to it a classical/Gothic symphonic backdrop and an excellent blackened death aura and you have an album which balances on the black/death fence sporting vintage Kataklysm/Origin pace, an occasional splash of war metal, vicious vocals and a presence which is superb throughout. Keep the ears peeled for this one it has me by the short and curlies and I don’t mind one bit, with both this and Arctos in mind I believe I’m falling down the ‘untraditional black metal’ rabbit hole.

Favorite Tracks; The Hunt, Affliction, Vermin, The Hollow Wanderer (Satin version. Bonus Track)

FFO; Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Kull, Marduk.

Plucked from Metal Past

God of Lies -Merciless Destiny

God of Lies -Merciless Destiny
(Columbia)
Release – July/17/2017
https://godofliesmetal.bandcamp.com/releases
ARTWORK – 72

The four Horsemen enjoying a spot of carnage beneath a claret soaked sky. I think we can all guess what audio we have here. Anyone up for switching the playlist in a stuck elevator?

FIRST TRACK – 74

A lengthy introduction (which could be shortened considerably or taken out completely with the same effect) brings about the first riff and one’s initial greeting to that which God of Lies stylistically offer.

INITIAL LISTEN – 77

Occasionally I’ll get something tossed in my path (accompanied by words of praise) which will make me curious enough to stop what I’m doing to take a listen. This was one such time. This is thrash bordering on death showcasing wicked heavily accented vocals. The audio here really isn’t anything new, it isn’t technical, it’s been done before, but with that being said it hits the spot and will please the vast majority of aggressive thrash fans looking for fresh headbanging fodder.

Favorite Tracks; He Controls the World, Final Attack,

FFO; Sodom, Toxic Holocaust, Nuclear Assault, Slayer, Whiplash.

So. Did you guess what got me so excited? Naturally all of these releases are worthy of spinning until the audio equipment goes on strike but there was one (two) in particular which really got my torso a spinnin’. Admittedly your choice might be worlds removed from my own and this is obviously what makes the world of extreme audio so exciting and diverse.

krusty the clown wtf was that diversity in metal gif

Until next our paths of audio interest cross, don’t be afraid to discover that which is foreign to the ears.

Cult

Abrasive Audio – Part Twenty – two

head explosion abrasive audio header

Not much clever to say or add this week, other than I wish I had more time to offer up in support of those worthy of recognition. (Ever feel like you wanted to add a few words on metal releases and or genre themed cinema? Drop me a line). Onwards, to that which has graced my ears in the past few days.

Void King – Barren Dominion
(USA)
Release – September/13/2019
Off the Record
Clawhammer PR

void king

https://voidking.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 79

Vivid and a little chilling. The Grim Reaper against a crescent moon, and those piercing eyes.

FIRST TRACK – 88

Huge riffs, drums and a voice that pierces the soul with its range and power. A splash of Danzig and something else against a distortion amplified doom/stoner rock backdrop. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, but I’m diggin’ this more than I thought I would.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

Took me a while but now I’m thinking the raw, unbridled, emotion-laden vocal style is a hybrid of Staind (Aaron something or other) Channel Zero (although my only experience is the album “Unsafe”) and Danzig it’s highly effective against the slow to mid-tempo rhythms (which change direction more than one might assume) 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!

Favorite Tracks; A Lucid Omega, Burnt at Both Ends, The Longest Winter.

FFO; Danzig, Staind, Soundgarden, Corrosion of Conformity.

dead sould alliance

Dead Soul Alliance – Slaves to the Apocalypse (cassette)
(Canada)
Release – August/16/2019
Dawning Septic Productions
Dewar PR
https://deadsoulalliance.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 72

Raw black and white DIY imagery (with a dystopian, Sci-fi, oppressive societal, edge) reminiscent of art from the earliest days of the scene. I’m detecting a grind/crust vibe here, anyone else?

FIRST TRACK – 82

Intriguing pace (which adds presence) combining death and doom and stylistic elements (old school European in nature) with an initial soundbite that grabs the attention makes for a track which bodes well for the album ahead. This is far from mere chuggery and blast beat mania.

INITIAL LISTEN – 79

Only six tracks here but that’s more than enough to comprehend that these guys know what they’re doing. Combining ‘Meat & Potatoes’ (I can’t claim that, the phrase is courtesy of Void but probably isn’t trademarked) styled death, mid pace, maniacal passages and a death doom aura rather than all out brutality. DSA (an obvious abr.) have created audio which manages to toss the listener gleefully back to when death was simpler, sans progressive and technical elements complete with nods to vintage Skinless in regards to the effective utilization of soundbites. Obvious is the bands disdain for religion but rather than simply state such they have inserted thought-provoking snippets in effect adding another level to an audio collective which is a fantastic introduction to the band.

Favorite Tracks; Act of the Sycophant, Forged in Forfeit, Slaves to the Apocalypse, Formula Misanthropia.

FFO; Benediction, Gorguts, Deeds of Flesh, Morgoth.

Casket Robbery-The-Ascension-rerelease

Casket Robbery – The Ascension (EP) (expanded edition; signed, hand numbered. Tour/online only) (USA)
Release – September/6/2019
Independent
Dewar PR
https://casketrobbery.bandcamp.com/album/the-ascension
ARTWORK – 64

This looks like a freshly plowed field. However, with that in mind it also has an undeniable menacing aura about it too.

FIRST TRACK – 73

I’m getting a Slipknot mixed with Gossow era Arch Enemy vibe with more than a liberal splash of Djent, with a sprinkle of atmosphere. The whole shebang is a little less heavy on the skin pounding (this term sounds darkly erotic, right?) action than the aforementioned style but not by much. An intriguing start.

INITIAL LISTEN – 72

Bouncy, energetic and exciting the rhythms here are crushing, bordering at times on Slam sensibilities. Accompanied by surprising atmosphere and slightly abrasive vocals this is one which’ll get the listener moving though isn’t quite brutal enough to be far from the interest of thrash/death enthusiasts.

Favorite Tracks; The Ascension, Lillith.

FFO; Suicide Silence, Arch Enemy, Meshuggah, Slipknot.

Horror God

Horror God – Cursed Seeds
(Russia)
Release – September/27/2019
Lavadome Productions
Mind Eraser PR
https://lavadome.bandcamp.com/album/cursed-seeds
ARTWORK – 92

Influence and pressure come in many forms and this image depicts many of those. From a loving matriarch (who seems to be hiding something behind her thinly veiled guise) through horrific demons spiked with weaponry and spite. An exquisite image which hints at audio with intricacy and many facets. I’m intrigued!

FIRST TRACK – 92

Dissonant, spiraling, riffs lead the listener gently into an engulfing storm, a full-on assault of the senses. Brutal though controlled the nature swirls with technical elements yet never delves too far into wizardry depths for the sake of it or gets away from the main theme. Infernal audio with plenty of directional changes which instantly grabs ahold and keeps it. An amazing introduction.

INITIAL LISTEN – 90

Brutal with just the right amount of black elements, atmosphere to spare and chaotic technical passages to keep the listener enthralled. Melody and groove take a backseat to the menace and furiosity 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.

Highly Recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Cursed Seeds, Age of Madness, Sunset, Face of War.

FFO; Gorguts, Nile, Origin, Vital Remains, Deathspell Omega.

apokalyptic raids

Apokalyptic Raids – The Pentagram
(Brazil)
Release – October/11/2019 (re-release)
Hell’s Headbangers
https://apokalypticraids.bandcamp.com/album/the-pentagram
ARTWORK – 77

A goat’s skull entwined around a pentagram with a pair of swords spiking the whole shebang in (not quite so) perfect symmetry. Simplistic yet vivid.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Celtic Frost worship is obvious, front and center. This seethes with a wickedness, a raunchy nature, part NWOBHM (obviously Venom in tone) and part old school roots of the black scene (though this should come as no surprise to those who have knowledge of this band), overall this is criminally infectious. And it’s hitting the spot!

INITIAL LISTEN – 82

Undeniable groove runs rampant throughout alongside a mid-tempo which hints at doom sensibilities, a playful mischievous nature and undeniable homage. The inclusion of atmosphere and breaks from an all-out assault (which one might expect) are surprising though work well to add to that which the album offers. CF and HH worship yes but there’s something else to be found here amidst the album’s raw nature A maturity? Probably not, perhaps more an exploration. Incorporating the same rock-solid foundation (a raw dirge vibe) only adding to it with a smorgasbord of other influence, a radius that blankets Bestial, War, traditional heavy metal, thrash and speed metal realms, molded to the bands specification. It works!! But I can’t shake the feeling that Paul Speckmann (Master, Death Strike) is pulling vocal duties.

If you’ve yet to submit your senses to Apokalyptic Raids this is an ideal place to start.

Favorite Tracks; Necromaniac (is back), Victory Beyond Imagination, My Triumph, Keep my Grave Open, The Story of Pope Joan.

FFO; Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Whipstriker.

ingested filth album cover

Mutilatred – Ingested Filth (EP)
(USA)
Release – August/30/2019
Redefining Darkness Records
https://mutilatred.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 86

A medieval grotesquery image depicting an unlucky gent literally losing more than merely his shirt. Poor fellow. I’m left wondering if those angel types are Govt. tax agents or something entirely more sinister altogether.

FIRST TRACK – 77

Dense and filthy. This isn’t crisp and clear but rather dirty and “gutteriffic” (I do believe I just invented a word). A tone which is suffocating with drums that add a grindcore bounce of sorts and well-suited vocals which add to the fun. A great package!

INITIAL LISTEN – 79

Pummeling, punishing, obliterating death is what’s on offer here. Whirling dervish in intensity and uncompromising in assault these six tracks deliver with an axe to grind to leave the listener dazed and the genre reignited. Barely short of fourteen minutes of ferocity to carve a smile on any (old school) fans face who’s left furious by the invasion of “melodic” into a realm which by moniker alone should be, by nature, far from it.

Favorite Tracks; Fuck Everything, Ingested Filth, Tortured, Scooping out the Brains.

FFO; Suffocation, Skinless, Defeated Sanity, Immolation.

superterrestrial

Superterrestrial – The Void That Exists
(United Kingdom)
Release – August/16/2019
Green Flaw Productions
Dewar PR
https://greenflaw.bandcamp.com/album/the-void-that-exists
ARTWORK – 81

A cold stark landscape with two moons… wait what-? It looks familiar, yet not so much. There’s definitely something going on here, and I’m about to investigate.

FIRST TRACK – 87

Majestic yet tinged with a foreign nature of a definite bleak, yet epic, cosmos leaning. The riffs here are striking with instant effect, infectious, unforgiving, intense, yet frigid. The vocals are low in the mix, a howling effect which strangely suits the audio. A fantastic start and introduction.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

Familiar, yet not so much. “The Void That Exists” exhibits a certain fluidity about it which is captivating. Varied dark synth interludes add stunning atmosphere to the mix (an industrial audio landscape breathing with alien menace) and serve to break up that which might turn monotonous; rhythms which are unforgiving, often suffocating, yet seethe with undeniable primal nature. Not being a huge fan of the genre, an opinion that’s changing the more I’m allowing my senses entry, I can honestly say this held my attention rapt throughout, although I will mention it felt like some of the same riffs and rhythms were a tad over-utilized.

Favorite Tracks; Collapsar, Tidal Disruption Event, The Morton Wave.

FFO; Emperor, Dissection, Satyricon.

IATT

IATT – Nomenclature
(USA)
Release – September/27/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR
https://iattblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/nomenclature
ARTWORK – 87

This overflows with an ancient ritualistic vibe. The awesome use of colors give this a bronzed effect as well lend it leathery textures to give off an aged persona.

FIRST TRACK – 76

IATT lay it all out in the line within no time whatsoever, within the first minute in fact. Theirs is a blackened style shrouded by progressive elements, which the cover art might not suggest, spoken word elements and frequent rhythm transformations oozing in melody are plentiful here. An epic track to start things off one that’s draped in raw emotion and ferociousness.

INITIAL LISTEN – 87

Truthfully, it’s taken me several listens to get into this one. It wasn’t what I expected. But once over the initial foreign aura its nature has grown on me, starting its enthralling conquest of my senses. ‘Progressive Black’ isn’t honestly a genre I hear that much of, usually more black or blackened death/speed though this is a fantastic amalgamation of both combining the unbridled ferocity of black and the sweeping emotional qualities of progressive. Epic tracks are to be expected with the genre moniker in mind and this album doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Nor does the style; taking the listener through landscapes both sweeping majestic and horrifying. An unpredictable journey with a great deal to delight the senses, a tableau showcasing a myriad of vistas one might not expect, passages flirting with folk and heritage rhythms as well traditional heavy metal stylings and naturally the obvious; a darkness which glues it all together. Classical elements are a fantastic part of this release too, Gothic and synth natures can’t be ignored and fit the albums narrative perfectly. 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. Though fear not as this stays this side of ‘too much’ and offers that which will delight though warrant several spins in order to fully digest. With over an hour of audio on offer this is far from what one might have initially assumed, but be prepared for you’ll want to lose yourself in its grandeur again and again. Highly recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Realm of Dysthymia, Molynexus Problem, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Yersenia Pestis, Blade of Trepanation.

FFO; The Faceless, later era Death, Between the Buried and Me, Atheist, The Odious.

That’s it for yet another extreme drenched audio installment. Until our paths of audio interest cross again, keep those ears open

Cult

Abrasive Audio (Part the Ninth)

the rough seas of metal

 

I’ve been riding the rough seas of metal and I’ve survived to tell of my exploits.

Keeping it basic this week. Onward to audio extreme…

 

Chevalier – Destiny Calls
(Finland)
Release – April/26/2019
Gates of Hell Records
Clawhammer PR

https://chevalier.bandcamp.com/album/destiny-calls-2

chevalier

Artwork – 8.5

A detailed, intricate medieval-esque image boasts a somewhat mystical religious aura. Imagery which drips in mystery, treachery and an enigmatic agenda.

First Track – 8.5

A guitar crescendo immediately brings to bear thoughts of audio of a NWOBHM leaning as too do the tracks rhythms, vibe production and tone. Speed metal with an epic unpredictable nature, and an intriguing vocal style, meets power and epic metal. Quite against my opinions on the genre, I’ll admit I’m rather liking this.

Initial Listen – 8

Sporting a nature that’s part traditional heavy metal, part speed metal with splashes of avant-garde amidst a lyrically heavy fantastical setting “Chevalier” have managed to carve their own niche, albeit one that’s somewhat familiar to fans with a hankering for audio which whips up nostalgia from the very roots of the scene. Classical and baroque folk touches alongside narrative-esque introductions add depth, separating this from the majority of other releases all vying for attention in the exploding revival movement. Strangely several passages had me thinking upon the ‘Princess Bride’ movie (due partly because of the similarity to Andre the Giants voice, though also due to the tone of the audio itself). As with any releases within this genre the vocals of of a love it or hate it, break it or make it style. Oddly they’re growing on me with each and every revisit. Undeniable too, is this releases ‘vinyl vibe’ if that’s not a nod to the early scene and a treat for fans from around the same era, I honestly don’t know what is.

Recommended for fans of vintage Helloween, Iron Maiden, Candlemass, Voivod and Sabbat (UK) and those with a penchant for epic metal drenched in infectious rhythms and fantastical themes.

Favorite Tracks; The Curse of the Dead Star, Stormbringer.

Crestfallen Queen – Queen of Swords
(Germany)
Release – May/25/2019
Church Within Records
Against PR

https://crestfallenqueen.bandcamp.com/

cover_1553611973987586

Artwork – 8

Classical imagery with an occult and slightly macabre twist.

First Track – 8.5

Listening to the introduction is like being plunged into a pitch-black abyss where ominous sounds converge, striking, from every angle. This effect disappears, to be abruptly replaced by an acoustic doom soundscape that transforms into a galloping traditional heavy metal pace complete with smoldering vocals which occasionally reach a surprising feral intensity. A varied track which climaxes in surprisingly melody an effect which only heightens the intrigue for the remainder of the album to come.

Initial Listen – 8

Moody with definite rhythm, groove, and atmosphere this release bursts with varied influence, undeniable nostalgia, and covers a wide stylistic radius. Epic tracks showcase interwoven melodies and galloping riffs to form a constantly shifting doom/heavy metal landscape dotted with a myriad of emotion. The exemplary vocal range adds another layer to an album that slightly different, reeks of 70’s progressive somewhat “fuzzy” hard rock, yet utterly captivating.

Favorite Tracks; Queen of Swords, Eurydice’s Lullaby.

Nocturnal Witch – A Thousand Pyres
(Germany)
Release – March/25/2019
Evil Spell Records/Undercover
Against PR

https://nocturnalwitch.bandcamp.com/album/a-thousand-pyres

nocturnal Witch

Artwork – 7.5

Anyone up for the immolation of a collective of undesirables?

…There’ll be pizza!

*Sudden rush of hurried footsteps.

(I knew that would work!)

First Track – 7.5

An unrelenting mixture of black n’ thrash metal that’s reminiscent of the S. American scene with an intensity which screams familiarity. Intriguing indeed.

Initial Listen – 8

Chock full of unmerciful rhythms (albeit sometimes simplistic – verging on D-beat) and crescendo type riffs result in limbs moving of their own accord. Although, overall, it boasts nothing new to add to the scene it’s easily appreciated.

Perhaps not for true traditionalists/ Kvltists, but rather for those who, like myself, are slowly submerging themselves into a genre which offers considerably more than one might originally assume.

Favorite Tracks; A Thousand Pyres, Scorn and Wrath, Raise the Swords.

Bastardizer – Dawn of Domination
(Australia)
Release – April/30/2019
Evil Spell Records/Undercover
Against PR

https://bastardizer.bandcamp.com/

bastardizer

Artwork – 8.5

There’s definitely something arcane and evil afoot here. Perhaps a sacrifice  to the gods of rock n roll? This bears somewhat of a mid-era Morbid Angel vibe, perhaps that’s an indication of the audio on offer?

First Track – 8

A militaristic introduction, of sorts, doesn’t give much away (as to the genre, this could be speed, thrash or epic metal at this point) unlike the opening guitar rhythms and the venomous vocals slide into the mix. This is blackened speed metal folks, and I’m bobbing around like a buoy in a raging tsunami.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Falling neatly into the Motorhead, Venom and the blackened speed dynamic this album offers nothing stunningly new to the genre (however, it does waver from the traditional formula on occasion to great effect). But, with that in mind, this is a top-notch example of that realm. The rhythms are tight, addictive and inciteful, the vibe one of wickedness, and the vocals drip with an attitude that’s reeks of a South American bestial, blackened speed influence.

The audio concoction here is fantastic and when through will leave the listener sweating, panting, but eager for more.

Fans of Hellripper, Whipstriker and Venom will not be left disappointed!!

Take note – the Land Down Under is famous for more than merely the obvious, in fact it offers a delicious array of metal which fans of audio such as this are sure to devour greedily.

Favorite Tracks; Demons Unleashed, Whiskey till Death, A Dose of Vengeance, Midnight in Hell, Mongrels Wrath/The Depraved Nazarene.

Frust – Recurring Dreams
(Austria)
Release -April/4/2019
901514 Records DK
Against PR

https://frust-at.bandcamp.com/album/recurring-dreams

frust

Artwork – 7.5

Complete with the title, and the style of the band’s logo, the artwork could mean several things. I’m leaning towards a guppy flushed down the toilet, out for vengeance (is this a Troma title? If not, Why?). Though the album’s title text suggests something, perhaps, a bit more classical in tone.

First Track – 7.5

Bleak, cavernous and suffocating. Black in tone and drenched in an industrial tone with a synth dressing and dreamy atmosphere certainly makes for an interesting start.

Initial Listen – 7

The varied tone, pace and atmosphere of this album makes for a real mixed audio bag and quite a listening experience.

An industrial audio landscape drenched in cinematic synth elements often makes itself known, occasional black metal rhythm duck in for quick how-de-dos whilst more folksy classical elements frolic alongside guitar rhythms and an angelic voice to make up the softer side of the album keeping the listener unable to predict which direction this might take next, and whether they should let loose with a neck snappin’ impromptu dance routine or merely let allow the music to wash over them as they relax in a semi- inebriated state.

This is rather hard to categorize but delivers a smorgasbord of familiarity amidst a sonic bombardment which hints at mid-era Bathory worship as well a love for the symphonic and atmosphere by way of a synth accompaniment.

Favorite Tracks; Sfrawd Dica, Frei im Traum, Verfall.

War Curse – Eradication
(USA)
Release – May/10/2019
Svart Records
Dewar PR

https://warcursemetal.bandcamp.com/

war-curse-eradication-cover-400x400

Artwork – 8

A lone crow/raven perched in the remains of a tree kaws over a desolate landscape. The palette of this image is exquisite, moody and bears undeniable ominous qualities.

First Track – 8.5

Polished, in your face, aggressive thrash with infectious rhythms, fantastic pace and a vocal approach which’ll excite those you just can’t get enough of the style proudly displayed by (in particular) Chuck Billy and also that heard within mid-era Annihilator.

For some reason the thrash arena suddenly appeals to me again.

Initial Listen – 8.5

This burns with a tone which screams instant acceptance for fans of aggressive, high energy thrash. Those within the frenzied following of Forbidden, Overkill, Testament and Annihilator will have no problem whatsoever in allowing this entry into both their ears and prized audio collections. A fantastic introduction to the band and their brand of top notch, dynamic, riff heavy, thrash.

Favorite Tracks; Asylum, Eradication, Polluted Minds.

BAT – Axestacy
(USA)
Release – April/26/2019
Hell’s Headbangers

https://bat-richmond.bandcamp.com/

BAT

Artwork – 7.5

Raw and crude yet this seethes with a wicked vibe which makes one think of “demos” from decades past and audio of an underground origin.

First Track – 8.5

It isn’t long until one realizes this is unadulterated raunchy rock n’ roll dipped in speed metal values. And there’s no complaints here. This, ladies and Gentlemen is going to be a fun ride. Break out the beers and prepare to loosen up.

Initial Listen – 8.5

So, what does a release with a length of under fourteen minutes and six tracks offer someone who’s unfamiliar with the moniker ‘BAT’?

“You can’t stop what we came here to do, and you know our intentions are crude!” About nails it! Channeling Motorhead, Anthrax and Venom rhythms with a certain Raven cheekiness with no two tracks alike makes for a head bangin’ good time and BAT does not disappoint as they expertly careen across a myriad of styles, leave necks sore and leave no pulse unraised.

Highly recommended!!

Favorite Tracks; Wild Fever, ICE, Axestacy.

Appalling – Inverted Realm
(USA)
Release – May/3/2019
Redefining Darkness Records

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/appalling-inverted-realm

AApalling

Artwork – 8

Based on the brilliant artwork here

there’s really no doubt what the listener might be letting themselves in. The question remains, however, where does the audio lay in the extreme metal spectrum?

First Track – 7.5

Hardly typically death metal chuggery, this track offers the same chaotic-type approach favored by Morbid Angel and then builds on it with melodic Gothic passages. Vocals are of the rare variety, where every word is clear and concise, a style which Goatwhore fans will find familiar and might instantly appreciate.

Initial Listen – 8.5

For a debut this tells of infinitely more experience. Tracks are of an applaudably condensed length, as if all the fat has been shed leaving only the ‘prime cuts’ remaining for listening to eagerly devour.

An exquisite audio mixture sporting grandiose death stylings, smattering of black metal atmosphere, evocative passages and sprinkles of doom all overlaid with arcane/medieval sensibilities.

This is an act which needs tabs kept upon. If this is any indication of what’s to come their future is indisputably akin to staring at the sun through a microscope. My only qualm is that this is woefully short, 27 minutes and only seven tracks. I want…need, more!

Favorite Tracks; Hot Coals for Branding, A Mutilation at Large, Critical Thinking, Templar.

Necrosexual – The Gory Hole Overture in F#
(USA)
Release – May/17/2019
Dewar PR

https://necrosexual.bandcamp.com/album/the-gory-hole-overture-in-f

necrosexual

Artwork – 6

I’m honestly not even sure what I’m looking at here. A tombstone with an eye dripping pus from its center. And a coffin wrapped in chains in the middle of that. One thing’s for certain this is crude, hinting at, perhaps, audio of the same nature…?

First Track – 7

Traditional heavy metal rhythms, complete with crescendo wailing guitars and the occasional, abrupt, high pitched scream, doused in an 80’s style speed metal vibe. I can’t help but think of GWAR, though the similarity is slight, not in the least overpowering.

Initial Listen – 7

Akin to Gothic, sexually-charged hard rock/heavy metal seething with 80’s speed metal attitude this is certainly not a run-of-the-mill release, I honestly believe it wouldn’t have been thought of such decades ago either when a style such as this was more ‘in vogue’. An intriguing mixture of styles (recalling acts, in instances as far afield as The Misfits, Venom on account of the vocals in particular the Cronos era and the exuberance of early Raven) which might take someone like myself, unaccustomed to the style, some getting familiar with.

Favorite Tracks; The Gory Hole Overture in F#, In Ancient Daze (Black Widow).

Cabrio – Devotion and Hate
(Chili)
Release – April/5/2019
Against PR

https://toxicrecords.bandcamp.com/album/devotion-and-hate

cabrio

Artwork – 8

Like a twisted version of the Holy Mother Mary in which instead of kindness, compassion and love, destruction and wrath exude from her embrace.

A wicked image indeed!

First Track – 8

With a title which could be a nod to the infamous metal cruise of the same name Cabrio deliver pulverizing riffs and an assault akin to that of Overkill colliding with Soulfly. A heavy accented vocal approach complements the aggressive riff aplenty, in-your-face, thrash style that drips with a certain South American flavor.

Initial Listen – 8

High-energy aggressive thrash, bordering on melodic death (in moments aggressive hardcore), channeling a myriad of influences (Machine Head, Soulfly, Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, Fear Factory among others) seething with unmistakable exotic flavor, atmosphere and attitude.

This audio that’s sure to incite a frenzy in a live setting.

Favorite Tracks; I Have Become, The Rapture, Dios Sin Fe.

Sxuperion – Endless Spiritual Embodiment
(USA)
Release – May/3/2019
Bloody Mountain Records
Clawhammer PR

https://bloodymountainrecords.bandcamp.com/album/endless-spiritual-embodiment

SX

Artwork – 7.5

A ghostly apparition, a wraith of sorts, in angelic form in limbo with its arms spread in an all-inviting gesture. But, there’s something amiss. An air of menace lies over this image like a shroud.

First Track – 8.5

Whirling hyper-speed rhythms and blast-beats conspire to form a Cosmic-esque fury. This transforms into an audio soundscape akin to slipping into the unknown and then again into chaos.

An intriguing start prompting me to search for a thesaurus so that I might get close to describing the audio experience which beckons.

Initial Listen – 8.5

An unrelenting tapestry of brutality interspersed with passages of doom- laden cinematic atmosphere and intriguing soundbite snippets which suggest a science fiction setting akin to discovering the unknown and plunging into mysterious, often tempestuous, occasionally suffocating, realms. A varied vocal assault consisting of wails, screams, growls and grunts add depth and invoke a smorgasbord of mood making for an unpredictable audio journey. Overall an intricate composition, an audio experience which demands several listens to fully appreciate but captivates from the first.

Favorite Tracks; Sacred Chamber of the Enlightenment, Phallic Point of Periapsis, Infinite Ethereal Vault.

Kull (formerly Bal Sagoth) – Exile
(UK)
Release – April/30/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR

https://kullblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/exile

KULL

Artwork – 8

Classical yet too dark and moody for a Running Wild release (it has a Pirate ship). Boasting an ominous title like ‘Exile’ one knows there’s something ominous afoot and I’m criminally intrigued.

First Track – 8.5

I’ll admit the introduction threw me for a loop. It plays like a fantasy platform game and bears a glorious, grandiose, militaristic nature, as if a battle and enemy has just been vanquished and all is on glorious display. The music itself at first sounds like it doesn’t mesh. However, as the track progresses the elements come together. A symphonic backdrop against epic melodies with a certain underlying menace yet undeniably fluid in nature. An overall infectious combination complete with snarling vocals. A concoction which puts me in mind of ‘Damnation and a Day’ CoF material and the first (and my favorite) Black Guard release.

Initial Listen – 9.5

I don’t honestly know why I haven’t taken the time to listen to Bal Sagoth, I’ve seen the logo a few times. As if this is any indication of what’s on offer, I’m missing out.

Grandiose in tone and scope Exile offers that which many have tried, in vain, to capture. Exquisite rhythms, thundering riffs as well passages of beauty complement a symphonic backdrop, epic in scale. The vocal department is varied and ranges from narration like accents to wails, screams, whispers and growls. Suffice it to say I’m a long- time fan of Cradle of Filth and I’m blown away with what this release offers!

I’m tempted to say that this careens into power metal realms, it certainly carries the ‘weight’ though has a black feel to it which I would only imagine will make many fans of the aforementioned scene run for the hills (how’s that for a tip of the hat?) Hardly traditional of any one genre this overflows with menace, majesty and at times a certain viciousness, even a narration of sorts, a fantastical concept unfolds if you will. This might at first make heads spin. As it progresses, however, confusion is sure to translate into admiration, appreciation and frantic research into a back catalog which demands attention based on the brilliance of this alone. I’m floored!!

Prepare to scoop your jaw from the floor, this will make waves!

Sins of the Damned – Striking the Bell of Death
(Chile)
Release – March/3/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records

https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/striking-the-bell-of-death

sins of the damned

Artwork – 8.5

This art reeks of a 90’s thrash/death crossover vibe. Zombies, skeletons a Grim Reaper, a militaristic vibe and crimson soaked carnage. I’m loving it!

First Track – 7.5

Rapid paced thrash/speed which’ll raise the blood pressure and make those limbs a twitch. Injected with a splash of heavy metal ala Iron Maiden and a vocal style which is easy to get behind.

Initial Listen – 8

Fans of European thrash from the late eighties will lap this up. Similarities to Sodom, Vendetta and a slew of other acts which strive to be the fret board-melting fastest come to mind. And although this really adds nothing new to expand upon the genre it showcases an act who know how to create pleasing audio and also have an understanding of which buttons to pummel to keep the listeners attention. Enjoyable throughout, this sports a cavalcade of riffs and rhythms sure to spark abrupt movement into the most exhausted of torso, deserving placement among others in any self-respecting speed metal fans audio arsenal.

Favorite Tracks; They Fall and Never Rise Again, The Outcast (Rise of Cain), Death’s all Around You.

That’s it for this mammoth installment, until next time our paths of audio interest meet.

Cult