Posts Tagged ‘gravefields’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Second
pissed easter day bunny

Boy, he looks pissed! There I was thinking Easter bunnies were jovial fluffy felllows

The first three months have run their course and the last vestiges of winter are hanging around like a horde of pesky flies. The Easter Bunny has been busy and so have those who chose to take part in Beltane festivities (there’s no cumbersome hiding any eggs here. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Summer is about to start. Did you remember where you stored the winter coats and shovels? Metal however, is in full swing, in fact much like the weather it seems as though it’s just “warming” up. I honestly don’t think it ever takes a rest. (My favorites are again marked with a *) Onward…



Allegaeon – Apoptosis

It’s extremely hard to pick a favorite track here as this is akin to sinking the ‘8 Ball’ on the break again and again and again (for those not familiar with ‘pool’ analogies it’s highly satisfying, indeed!) Suffice it to say if tech death with a progressive nature in the vein of Blotted Science, Alkaloid, Hannes Grossmann’s other output, Inanimate Existence and Opeth is your thing then your ears need this within them, the pleasure of which your entire being will thank you for later.

Archaic Decapitator – The Apothecary

Tech death rhythms flaunt with symphonic additions and occasionally the merest hint of a black as well a folk influence resulting in a release which is varied in tone, laden with atmosphere, depth and melancholy. Keep an ear out for these guys as if this is any indication of what’s to follow this an applaudable omen indeed.

Belezebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods*

A damn sight better than one might think with the comic book imagery in mind. A first listen is all it took for me to become a fan! This offers a stunning mix of black metal, symphonic elements and an overall aura which brings to mind the finest the genre has to offer (insert your favorite band here). And their videos are worth looking into also; blending humor and exquisite animation there’s really nothing which doesn’t tickle the pleasure sensors. In short, if you have yet to look into this band you’re missing out!

black sites exile

Black Sites – Exile*

With a style that’s a hearty mixture of doom, ala Paradise Lost, Black Sabbath and even Old Man Wizard, alongside progressive elements which bring to mind Dream Theatre, the occasional nod to greats within the NWOBHM scene (Iron Maiden) and rhythms straddling the hard rock arena and occasionally alternative (think Therapy?)with a splash of blues which make this most certainly far beyond merely an intriguing release. However, it’s the delivery, composition, strong vocal style, invocative melodies and infectious nature which makes this album instantly worthy of attention.

Gruesome Stuff Relish /Choked by own Vomits SPLIT

Gruesome Stuff Relish – plentiful groove breakdowns amidst synth atmosphere, cult movie homage, soundbites, melodic grindcore, groove and a gutteriffic vocal accompaniment, what’s not to like?

Choked by Own Vomits – Brutal death with a slower tempo boasting infectious riffs bordering on grindcore and lots of groove and a vocal style which will carve a smirk on any fan of the scenes face.

A fantastic introduction to both bands involved for those even curious about the genre this is a great place to dive in!

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin

Technical, majestic black, bludgeoning rhythms, classical interludes and Amorphis esque progressive passages. This is overflowing with brilliance, take your pick of where and when to find them, this embodies everything a fan could wish for. Brutality and technicality in equal measures slathered in pitch values against a supremely effective atmosphere. And the occasional suffocating presence to add to the overall stunning epic audio experience.

black arts n alchemy

Hellripper – Black Arts and Alchemy

Imagine if you will Bathory, Motorhead, Venom and vintage Metallica (‘Kill-em’ All’ era) waking from a month-long drinking, drug-fueled debauchery binge (complete with a NWOBHM soundtrack) only to find out they had an offspring. Hellripper is likely the result of such. This woefully short Ep is, in short, utter brilliance which is sure to leave a craterous indentation in the scene. And to think this is merely an appetizer for things to come.

Inculter – Fatal Visions

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

Mist of Misery – Unalterable

Classic melodies wrapped in black metal shrieks and rhythms (which do so much more than merely make one want to tap their foot) encaptivate, putting one in a trance. The atmosphere is quite unlike what one might expect. The effect is majestic, brutal, uncompromising yet beautiful and undeniably powerful. The album continues to only deepen the effect of the trance like state pulling the listener into an enveloping menacing, melancholic, beauty complete with exquisite ominous atmosphere.


Teleport – The Expansion

Technicality careens headlong into a death/doom shroud making for a release that’s highly pleasing with an appeal which spans a wide radius ranging from atmospheric chaotic black metal through death/doom and also brutal technical progressive death, often elements which are expertly weaved together in the space of a matter of moments. Highly recommended for those who have a penchant for audio spanning a wide radius in the extreme metal arena.

West of Hell – Blood of the Infidel*

Melodic, aggressive, emotional, energetic and dripping with depth. I’m finding it hard to find the words – this is outstanding audio!! Power, epic, heavy, speed, melodic death metal? Take your pick. This has it all, mixed to perfection and vocals of a caliber akin to a force of nature.


Wormwitch – Heaven that Dwells Within

A crushing, inciteful, drum tempo is the back bone of this release balanced by delicate folk elements, symphonic accompaniments, exquisite atmosphere and cresting majestic black metal rhythms the overall effect is a wonder to have betwix the ears. Admittedly my first experience of the band, and I’m left wanting more!


Body Harvest – Parasitic Slavery

Devoid of frilly bits, progressive interludes and moments of reflection this is primal death metal shrouded in technical prowess sporting an intensity which is palpable. Maniacal values, diabolical surges, pummeling salvos and moments of ear screeching (controlled) chaos as well apocalyptic heights. Body Harvest have somehow managed to create an album which is mesmerizing in its undeniable brutality bathed in delicious dirge qualities fellow countrymen Bolt Thrower would be jealous of.

evil angel

Evil Angel – Unholy Evil Metal*

Blackened speed and a sense of humor. Sounding like true homage to the South American scene of yore but with an added energy surge only bathing in Red Bull could possibly induce, bestial metal on steroids, and riffs which’ll make you want to slap your Granma and drag a newborn into the pit. This deserves to be shared. And Evil Angel, in all their exemplified raw nature, warrant praise!

Funeral Storm – Arcane Mysteries

Somewhere between early Moonspell and Rotting Christ with applaudable ‘dungeon’ synth tossed in. Elements of folk, doom and synth interludes aided by a commendable production result in this overflowing with atmosphere far from the normal rawness that the typical black metal affair offers. This showcases a great deal for even a casual fan to the scene.

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly

Blending 80’s and 70’s hard rock with speed and epic metal elements this showcases the power of Trevor William Churches’ (Beastmaker) voice combined with the melodious enchanting rhythms and eye-opening solo mastery which are hard to ignore the criminally infectious nature of. With this one must ponder; with the bar set so high, where does/or can Haunt go from here?

Idle hands mana

Idle Hands – Mana

Every once in a while, there drops an album which only lands upon the radar because of a myriad of recommendations. A release which is far from the normal listening material. This is one such example. a perfect combination of rock and Gothic metal with the chops to toss me back to the golden age of the scene whilst still offering an identity which is fresh and oh so easy to hit repeat upon again and again. This is dangerously addictive from start to finish! You have been warned!!

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork

Brutality which straddles a myriad of genre fences without entering into too ‘Brutalsville’ territory. Unbelievable production values boast instruments which are crisp and clear in the mix complementing rhythms which are inhumanely complex, tight and intricate alongside progressive interludes which don’t ‘break the spell’ in the slightest. Encaptivating on account of its awe-inspiring balance and brilliance. An ‘eargasm’ from first to last note. Nuff said!


Krypts – Cadaver Circulation

Malevolence, menace, grandiose atmosphere, an ominous nature and nuance. All that and a myriad of woven passages of rhythmic intricacy. Overall an album which is guaranteed to offer something new with each listen. Highly recommended for those who prefer atmosphere over outright brutality.

Kull (formerly Bal Sagoth) – Exile

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. 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 and appreciation.

Misþyrming – Algleymi

This sports exquisite atmosphere, rhythms which incite movement and an edge which is decidedly arcane in nature though far from the raw production which, again, many might expect. Melodious yet majestic, triumphant yet atmospheric, and epic in tone, think doom laden black metal, think black metal with production values which doesn’t sacrifice what the genre stands for, think a release you shouldn’t ignore… seriously.


Monasterium – Church of Bones

Channeling traditional doom in a similar style to Dio fronted Black Sabbath, Candlemass and (strangely, ha!) Dio’s solo output and complemented by grandiose vocals, laden with melodies, exquisite lead work and epic rhythms there’s a lot here to be excited about.

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist

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

Paladin – Ascender

This picked me up, jaw agape, and threw me back a few years to the sensation I had when first experiencing Wolfsbane (their first) and Black Guard. Similarly styled this assaults the senses like a ravenous beast and even sports occasional growling vox to please those who demand throat emission diversity. The production gives it the required punch and the rhythms are encaptivating, energetic and then some. Suffice it to say this delivers from start to finish is and is an absolute stunning debut full length.


Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion*

How is it that I haven’t jumped on the Possessed ‘train’ before now? This shreds! Blazing riffs, impressive drums, vocals which are hardly traditional but fit just the same and high-energy rhythms which bear malicious intent. With the brilliance of this in mind it’s well worth diggin into the bands discography in order to discover the earlier works of one of the pioneers of the thrash/death style itself. An amazing ‘comeback’ album which is worthy of the praise its garnering.

Sathamel – Horror Vacui*

An infernal majesty permeates the albums rhythms, a cresting riff assault combined with a blackened death formula and a homage that’s sure to carve a crescent upon the face of blackened death and old school fans alike. But it hardly stops there, spoken word passages add a certain indescribable something to the album

Vale of Pnath – Accursed

Marrying the finer aspects of the tech and blackened death realms Vale of Pnath have somehow managed to create a slab of audio balanced with perfection. A composition that’s delicate yet seething with fury, might and a presence that’s undeniable.


Varaha – A Passage for Lost Years

A crushing evocative mix of haunting doom and DSBM with drone elements (a smidgen of Avant Garde) and the expert utilization of orchestral instruments makes this an album one consumes in a single sitting, not in parts. Be prepared to run the gamut of emotions with this multi-headed beast.

War Curse – Eradication

This burns with a tone which screams instant acceptance for fans of aggressive, high energy thrash. A fantastic introduction to the band and their brand of top notch, dynamic, riff heavy, thrash.

Widower – Cataclysmic Sorcery

Widower have injected this with enough of their own uniqueness and rhythmic technicality to separate it from the amassed hordes. a fantastic example of aggressive thrash that borders on blackened death realms. Riffs are fast and furious and delivered with exquisite precision. The production is spot on, every instrument can be appreciated for its addition to the sound and the vocal style fits like a tailor-made glove which both complements and adds to the overall appeal.

witch ritual.jpg

Witch Ritual – Death: Beyond

Mid-tempo and often lazy paced, mesmerizing, invocative, traditional, occult doom (far from death and funeral realms) with just the right amount of “fuzz”. Excellent vocals with a range that includes smoldering, sultry and a little something close to frustrated howling make this a fantastic palette cleanser.


Atlas Entity – Beneath the Cosmic Silence*

A fluid, precise and intricate marriage of progressive elements, technical rhythms and death metal. Think the beauty and classic nature of Opeth entangled with the often, flowing like a river, mesmerizing rhythmic brutality of Inanimate Existence, Add solos which are blistering, a nature which has more facets than my infants personality and elements which are often associated with atmospheric blackened affairs and you have a release which is unpredictable, surprisingly agile and altogether fathomless in its depth.

Beheaded – Only Death can Save You

This is guarantees to send fans of Misery Index into a frenzy. Grinding, unrelenting, rhythms with inhuman drums topped off with top notch production values and a style that’s perilously close to grindcore yet has whispers of death/doom. Did I mention the drums?


Concilivm– The Veiled Enigma (EP)

Showcasing a mid-pace with death doom sensibilities, groove and enough menace to incite nightmares for an entire kindergarten class (including the unsuspecting teacher) coupled with dirge and a diabolical nature with often intriguing rhythms. Give this a moment of your time and I believe you’ll be impressed also.

Consecration – Fragilium

Funeral doom cavorts with rhythms that nod to 90’s Gothic rock and the earliest incarnation of doom with heavy metal undertones, even at times showcasing an aura which hints at experimental black metal realms. This seethes with a myriad of styles one might not initially expect whilst still holding firm to doom foundations one would. Go into this with an open mind and no assumptions and you’ll find yourself sinking into the unhurried epic nature on offer.

Gravefields – Embrace the Void

For a debut this shows stellar promise, offering a vibe which brings to mind Abysmal Dawn mixed with Nile and Black Dahlia Murder toss in a sprinkle of hardcore and the mix is complete. A phenomenal talent appearing as if from nowhere, play this loud and level the neighborhood!

memoriam a requiem

Memoriam – A Requiem for Mankind *

A genius creation of dirge/crust/grindcore now, this is a beast of many facets, a creation to influence a whole new breed of musicians. The logical progression from “Those Once Loyal” for fans of the legendary Bolt Thrower. This shows Memoriam taking the style to another level, leaps and bounds from their last effort. An upgrade (as if the style and band members have been whisked away to a secret facility for a full body advancement ‘comic book style’) which leaves a definite impression. With an album of a quality such as this the metal community is left stunned and probably pondering where do Karl and crew take us next?

Ov Lustra – Tempestas

Showcasing exquisite musicianship, a powerful symphonic backdrop, rhythms which constantly shift and a vocal accompaniment which fits the style Ov Lustra have managed to capture the delicate balance needed to keep the listener intrigued and the audio far from being overwhelming in its intensity. The overall audio is fluid, seamless in its approach and bears unmistakable cinematic scope which only aids in its appeal and invokes vivid imagery along with the sinuous fantastical narrative.

pestis inferos

Pestis Inferos – Beyond the Veil of Light

Chock full of majesty, fury and an overall style which borders on black metal meets punk meets death meets speed metal (what a mouthful) with oodles of atmosphere tossed in for effect this is sure to drum up some attention. On a personal note it’s the drum sound and style in the mix which makes me a salivating fool who hits the repeat button like a hopeless addict. Don’t miss out on this!

Superstition – The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation *

It’s the arrangements, the aura, the supreme coalescing of maniacal, diabolical, old school and cavernous elements which makes the (“no time to slow down, this is gonna hurt”) impact. Riffs are furious, fierce and tumble over each other. Relentless, often harrowing and part nostalgic with undeniable and unmistakable homage to celluloid boasting invocative synth accompaniment from decades previous. This crosses all the right boxes without veering too far into over the top realms, in short, a delicious combination of filthy tone, unholy rhythms, sinister riffs which combined superimpose Underworld menace over that which is everyday familiar.

the odious

The Odious – Vesica Piscis

Impulsive and unpredictable is the name of the arena in which this release resides and it has a great deal to offer those who are willing to step outside of traditional audio realms. Borrowing heavily from the most impressive elements from a slew of genres The Odious have somehow managed to expertly fuse audio in a way which brings forth a myriad of emotion as it passes through the senses, incorporating rock and extreme metal elements, brutal face-crushing riffs, melodic passages and a slew of rhythms which have the listener pondering in which direction they should turn next.

mix tape action

Time for me to start compiling Part the Third, until then feel free to comment, share and laugh at the horrid grammar

There’s a little something more to dig your teeth and ravenous senses into until I drop get around to compiling, sorting and posting Part the Third, which promises to be even more epic yet. My apologies again for dropping this well into the New Year, life got in the way as it often does. I’m determined, however, to journey to quests end. In short there’s a great deal more on the way.


Abrasive Audio – Part the Eleventh

(fuck me! It’s May, already!)
too much metal

Mind literally blown from an overload of metal!

Join me as I traipse into waters unknown in my quest to flood my senses with audio exquisite, brutal, all-consuming but most of all praise-worthy.

gates to the morning

Gates to the Morning – Return to Earth
Release – July/19/2019
Dewar PR


Two opposites are displayed in this vibrant image, side by side. Heat and cold, beauty and darkness, Ying and Yang. One can only imagine what audio waits within, color me intrigued.


What many might perceive as a nod to an instrumental Metallica track soon transforms. Classical acoustics accompanied by unmistakable bass and ‘something’ else lurking beneath. An enigmatic presence. My curiosity only develops further.


Odd how Jazz and Metal are two genres so vastly separate from each other yet they come together so amazingly well.

The reason for my mentioning this is that this composition is a creation of a jazz trained mind and at times a collective of similarly themed minds. Obviously, the comparison to works by Akercocke needs mentioning yet this is also somewhat akin to the works of Opeth and Amorphis also, as varied as this is in its approach and exquisite delivery. Beauty amidst an abrupt forest of menace; the theme of many a Grimm tale? Which certainly fits here. Melody intertwines with majesty; brutality cavorts with the innocence of beauty accompanied by rhythms which are soothing yet shot through with an undeniable sinister air. Close to an hour in length this is so much more than merely an album, it’s far from traditional in any senses, more a journey through an audioscape which offers an experience demanding the undivided attention. A sojourn through a wilderness fraught with melancholy, bliss and exhilaration.

Recommended for those who prefer audio which is far from being able to be placed in merely one category.

Though be warned as repeated listens are in order to be able to fully grasp the myriad of intricacies on offer!

nuclear revenge

Nuclear Revenge – Let the Tyrants Rise
Release – April/30/2019
Evil Spell Records/Undercover
Against PR


Feral hounds on a chain, winged demons and various characters on executioner garb, this could mean only one thing, it’s a book club ‘special event’ at Franks.


This wastes no time in getting to the point and that point is vicious, faster than something really fast (Thanks SYL) and tainted with an adoration of the raw, diabolical and the old school arena.

A great start which makes me think I should have thoroughly stretched before I hit play.


Shredding flesh from the bone fast riffage accompanied by wicked lyrics and an undeniable blackened edge makes this an album I could spin all day. Add to that Vocals which sound eerily similar to Mille’ (Kreator) nods to the same band, Sodom, vintage Sepultura, even Tankard and Celtic Frost. With tips of the hat towards the Bestial arena and you have a debut which can’t be ignored showcasing a style which, though mainly feverishly fast, also sports surprises in store for those who believe they can predict where this might go next.

This derives from Spain but one could so easily be mistaken thinking it’s of South American origins.

Favorite Tracks; Ancient Rites, Nuclear Revenge, Cursed are our Marks, Lucifer’s Slave Burn the Holy Cross.


Gravefields – Embrace the Void
Release – June/7/2019
Redefining Darkness/Seeing Red Records


Ominous yet classical brooding with an air of fantasy and desolation. What awaits in the void? I’m eager to find out…hitting PLAY to discover my fate.


Immediate presence, power and riffs to tear the face off with vocals to match. Orchestrated brutality, not noise, shot through with blunt riffs and menacing atmosphere lurking in the background.

A fantastic start that bodes extremely well for what’s to follow.


Riffs with pulverizing intent, atmosphere and plenty of brutality with a “presence” rarely heard, though often attempted by bands with a longer history (discography) behind them. Epic tracks with plenty of movement and rhythmic transformations and a varied vocal approach to keep the listener on their toes and eager.

For a debut this shows stellar promise, offering a vibe which brings to mind Abysmal Dawn mixed with Nile and Black Dahlia Murder toss in a sprinkle of hardcore and the mix is complete. This is an album deserved of a prominent position in both a fans collection and inclusion in a multitude of end of year lists.

A phenomenal talent appearing as if from nowhere, play this loud and level the neighborhood.

Highly Recommended!!


Pulver – Kings Under the Sand
Release – May/10/2019
Gates of Hell Records
Clawhammer PR

 ARTWORK – 7.5

Embellishing upon the character first seen in the band’s debut EP this shows him/her/it within a desert landscape showcasing a mysterious tableau in the background. This bursts with a 70’s/80’s power metal, epic heavy metal vibe.


Thin Lizzy twin guitar harmonies, a unique Danzig meets Lemme (Motorhead, doh!) voice complete with gang vocals and an aura that screams NWOBHM and the era. This is certainly different from the norm, but oh so addictive. Excuse me while I shut out the outside world and prepare to sink into the music of the past.


Channeling Judas Priest, Saxon, Di’Anno era Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy and a myriad of other styles (which are oh so 80’s) makes this more than merely intriguing. Doom, power, epic, heavy with hints of speed metal and plenty of heart. A bare bones production approach only makes this that much more appealing.

Recommended for fans of metal minus the brutality with the melody knob twisted to ’11’ then promptly broken off.

Favorite Tracks; Kings Under the Sand, Alpha Omega, Curse of the Pharaoh.


Lvcifyre – Sacrament (EP)
Release – May/24/2029
Dark Descent Records
Clawhammer PR

 ARTWORK – 7.5

Doused in playful shadow and light and drenched in flames this is a hellish vision indeed.


An intriguing introduction makes the imagination run riot. Is this what working in a Chinese kitchen during rush hour sounds like (aka Hell)? A blanket of audio breaks the spell to smother the listener in a suffocating embrace. A vicious, unrelenting, pulverizing assault with a formidable density to knock the unsuspecting on their derriere.


Archaic, diabolical and unrelenting Sacrament sports introductions and occasional interludes which boast epic cinematic proportions.

The style herein is varied hinting at influence ranging from Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal and a wide array of acts dwelling under the ‘theatrical’ (bordering on slightly experimental) black metal banner. An intriguing audio concoction which thankfully stays on track (often offering industrial-esque tattoo rhythms) and doesn’t stray too far into chaotic realms.

Favorite Tracks; The Greater Curse, Sacrament, Morderca (Kat cover).

hell bent

Hell Bent – Apocalyptic Lamentations
Release – June/14/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death/Armageddon Label/Atomic Action/Metal Swarm
Dewar PR


Father Frank, Father Frank. What happened? Oh, A rabid critter tore your face off in a moshpit which abruptly appeared after you stepped through a portal to the very depths of Satan’s lair…

Fair enuf!


This isn’t pretty, it’s thrash with a touch of D-beat, with definite grindcore influence (especially in the vocal department, think Terrorizer and the like) and sports in-your-face aggressive. Rough and abrasive it has surprising rhythm and I can already tell this is going to be an infectious release.


Non-stop pin you against the wall audio within a feverish dynamic environment. Frenetic paced and raw, again this isn’t at all pretty. It pummels at the grindcore fences with a myriad of crossover implements and because of this many won’t like it as it’s what many might consider ‘typical’ thrash. Regardless, it will flip the abrupt limb twitch/spasm switch and get the listener moving. Blunt, straight to the point tracks are exactly what the style demands, and the approach works excellently. Recommend more for fans of aggressive metal and not those pining for ballads and/or slower melodic audio ala In Flames/Dark Tranquility.

Favorite Tracks; Oppression, Enslavement, Coercion, Prey for War, Scythian Hordes.


Sacrilegia – The Triclavian Advent
Release – April/12/2019
Invictus Productions


An armor-plated gent looks down in disdain as he overlooks a pair of hammer wielding fellows going about their daily task of nailing an unfortunate to a cross in preparation of the first advent of Easter (or something).

Skeletons on either side of the main image make certain that the listener would never confuse this with a release which would ever see the light of day on terrestrial radio or popular television.


Thrashin’ madness coupled with raw energy draped in black metal sensibilities plucked from the late 80’s. Strap in folks, this is gonna’ be a rough ride!


Think the rawness of ‘Pleasure to Kill’ Kreator, the speed of ‘Invisible Force’ Destruction, splash a little maniacal ‘Altars of Madness’ Morbid Angel then liberal dose the whole shebang with an archaic raw nature, a disdain for current trends and a tip of the hat to the almighty Celtic Frost then you’ll be close to what we have here. Probably not for those with a penchant for symphonic, epic, melodic thrash or nu-metal but for those who yearn for the days of yore when metal had bite, viciousness and raised a defiant middle finger to conformity and organized religion. I’m diggin’ this more than I thought I ever would to be honest.

Favorite Tracks; Beyond the Foulers Snare, On Herding of Swine, Armoured Angel, As with Spears we Come.


Murdryck – Fodelsen
Release – May/1/2019
Leviaphonic Records/Growls from the Underground
Qabar PR


Haunting and wraithlike. An excellent image perhaps portraying the Shepard of lost souls going about his important duties? However, it’s all up for discussion. Regardless, a damn impressive visual.


A powerful classical, menacing, intro opens the proceedings. Busy black metal takes the baton and offers a beat which is majestic, atmospheric and sinister yet not truly ‘traditional’. Featuring a drum heavy mix this track is a delightful change from the norm. I’m awash in intrigue!


(Note; The album’s title, translated, means ‘birth’).

Unpredictable and varied in tone. Throughout its length, a myriad of differing styles and influence change prominent position. Ranging from atmospheric through menacing and melodic black (think Dissection) and slower, moodier moments the album is a veritable buffet of extreme audio. In the title track there’s definite Slayer-esque qualities. Whereas, ‘Blood Sacrifice’ has a black n’ roll vibe, it’s as if Ian Astberry of The Cult might step in at any time to lend a vocal accompaniment alongside rhythms reminiscent of Moonspell’s ‘Sin Pecado’. The dualistic language approach aids in the albums intriguing appeal, and the applaudable snarling vocal approach is enough to bring in those with a penchant for the style. Overall, an album which has the presence to pull in those which normally might not dip their toes in the murkier waters the arena usually offers.

Favorite Tracks; Valnad, Sea Spirit, Blood Sacrifice, Shadow Beings.

critical defiance

Critical Defiance – Misconception
Release – February/7/2019
Unspeakable Axe Records


Anyone else believe this could be a missing Sodom album cover. The homage is undeniable. A definite crimson aura, gas masks and troops, all that’s needed is the logo.


Fast, furious and tight thrash sporting a cavalcade of overflowing riffs and plentiful nods to the ‘old school’. A fantastic start which has me sweating from frenetic exertions already.


Adrenaline spiked from the first to the last with surprising interludes of melody and rhythms which occasionally veer towards the punk arena. In short, this is a release fans of aggressive thrash will not want to miss. Sporting a myriad of furious rhythms and obvious influence, albums prominent from genre past and a slew of varied acts will jump to the forefront of the mind. Released twenty years ago this may well have been heralded as a classic. As it is today it stands proud as a shining achievement in the thrash resurgence. And… this might be the one to pull me back into the fold!

Highly recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Spiral of Hatred, What About you, Misconception.

bewitcher album

Bewitcher – Under the Witching Cross
Release – May/10/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records


This art screams homage to the old school, a spot of Moon and (vintage) Bathory worship anyone? (clothing is, as always, optional.)


Blackened rock n’ roll, or blackened speed metal? It’s a close call. But I won’t spend much time deliberating over the points of each, instead I’ll merely let this audio wash over me and let nostalgia take ahold. Bewitcher are back!


I can only wonder if this might have been what Venom (‘Heathen Woman’ and ‘Hexenkrieg’ being the earliest of examples showcasing a Cronos-esque vocal approach and similar riffage) sounded like if they were more melodic and/or talented (a point that’s obviously up for debate) there’s more than obvious nods to vintage Blitzkrieg in here too (think the earliest of demos) and an air that’s decidedly NWOBHM draped in the worship of the crimson horned, hoofed, one. Overall this is a release which shows Bewitcher tightening up their sound (a little, though not too much, else this wouldn’t be as much fun as it is!) though thankfully ‘sticking to their guns’ (and the production tone with an aura of vinyl fuzz) in regard to a style that works oh so damned well. This is in effect blackened heavy metal with speed sensibilities with an air of doom tossed in to shake things up a little. Make room for this in your collection, continue to search Bandcamp for the full release and part with the greenery as this will make you move and reminisce. Be prepared to search through the belongings for that one denim jacket with the patch emblazoned across the back that you just can’t part with.

Favorite tracks; Hexenkrieg, Too Fast for the Flames, The Sign of the Goat, Frost Moon Ritual.

Until next our audio paths of interest meet again,