Posts Tagged ‘In Mourning’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Fourth (the first installment; so much metal one part just isn’t enough!)

trick or treat the usual suspects

The sun has mellowed (somewhat, depending on where you live) trees are about to get naked (insert Beavis and Butthead silliness and memes here) and there will soon be more Jason’s, Michael’s, Chuckie’s and Freddie’s roaming the streets than one can shake a stick at. Best hand out the “good stuff” (candy) rather than the healthy edibles, lest one decides to visit after hours. In other news the last quarter of the year sees the unleashing of a veritable avalanche of extreme audio. The downside of which is that this is now being broken up into two parts rather than one monstrous affair. Forget filing Santa’s sack with presents for the family and loved ones, blow the allowance on metal instead!

October

Assassin’s Blade – Gather Darkness

Assassin’s Blade – Gather Darkness*

https://puresteelrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gather-darkness

The rhythms here are infectious to the nth degree and the beat enough to drive one to involuntary spasms of movement (I’d put this up there with a personal favorite of mine by Dio-fronted Rainbow “Kill the King”) And the album progresses from there to leave one with a grin plastered across their chops as if to say I’ve done something insanely wrong, quite naughty in fact, and I’ve gotten away with it. There is undeniable fluidity on display here, there are zero dull instances, the melodies and riffs are just short of mind blowing. The collective of tracks lifts you from the dull drum daily activities to a place where you forget all your ills and woes, let your hair down and bang yer’ head like one possessed this will stick in your head for days to follow. I’m not normally a fan of the genre. This however blew me away!

cleric

Cleric – Serpent Psalms

https://cleric-us.bandcamp.com/

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. Boasting a seething dirge nature complemented by riffs and rhythms which are difficult to ignore this 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.

coffin rot

Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-monument-to-the-dead

A wicked mash up of Death metal styles from a slew of genre standouts concocted with style. For a debut this is eye-opening audio. Shit, even for a second, third or fourth album this leaves an impression. Coffin Rot have successfully injected a shot of wake the F up into the extreme arena. And to think the ingredients were always there ripe for the mix. Sit up and take note, this is prime end of years best audio right here!!

cycles of the damned
Cycles of the Damned – A Time to Survive

https://cyclesofthedamned.bandcamp.com/album/a-time-to-survive

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. This is drenched in doom sensibilities, sludge qualities and a certain amount of unquestionable angst. Cinematic soundscapes are introduced showcasing psychedelic moments amidst unbound atmosphere to adds considerable depth.

esogenesi

Esogenesi – s/t

https://esogenesidoom.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled-death-doom-metal

In part familiar, easily consumable yet different, the whole effect is hypnotic and has the potential to take the listener far from their daily woes. Naturally the lyrics are spoken in a tongue only a few of us can understand which only makes this that much more intriguing and well worth setting the senses upon.

gatecreeper deserted
Gatecreeper – Deserted

https://gatecreeper.bandcamp.com/album/deserted

Gatecreeper wrangle arrangements away from plagiarist realms to homage territories adding their own creative fingerprint to delight the eager senses. The album offers both nostalgic qualities and enough groove to set any dance floor on fire (what?) This hits the spot! Highly recommended! An excellent combination of death/doom/old school and HM2 worship.

gevaudan iter.jpg
Gévaudan – ITER*

https://gevaudan.bandcamp.com/album/iter

Channeling a myriad of styles from as far afield as stoner rock, folk and Gothic rock with a varied landscape of doom in-between Gévaudan have meticulously crafted a collection of songs boasting undeniable fluidity which possess the power to cast a spell, a unfathomably huge web of appeal, upon all who choose to lay ears upon it. This about has it all and I can’t for the life of me wonder why it isn’t spoken about often and loudly, I’m here to change that!

golgotha.jpg
Golgotha – Erasing the Past

https://golgotha.bandcamp.com/album/erasing-the-past

Primarily doom draped with growling vocals, but also traditional heavily accented vocals which often give this more a Gothic Rock edge. Folk elements are subtle, undeniable power, presence and a stunning composition mastery are factors which can’t be ignored. Rhythms are both soulful, passionate and melancholic coupled with keyboard atmosphere the effect is an album which will make one want to sift through past efforts and pronto.

grond graceless split.jpg

Grond/Graceless SPLIT – Endless Spiral of Terror

https://grond.bandcamp.com/album/endless-spiral-of-terror-split-2019

Grond – This keeps the listener on their toes with rhythms which are steamroller in their assault; both infectious and atmosphere laden, with occasional nods to a slew of influence. Hardly technical neither repetitive in its riff approach the audio here nestles someplace in between with definite appeal for a wide audience across the board.

Graceless – Old school groove with oomph and a vocal style which will bring a face-splitting grin to any fans face. Infectious is a term which doesn’t quite suffice in this instance.

Overall, fans of OSDM will likely scramble over themselves for the quality this offers, suffice it to mention that this would make an excellent accompaniment to an already outstanding collection boasting the finest the genre boasts. (Is it me or does that look like Judge Death? Anyone?

hot breath

Hot Breath s/t

https://hotbreathofficial.bandcamp.com/album/hot-breath

This is an obvious palette cleanser for those whose interests primarily reside in the extreme but for those who dip their senses in metals roots this delivers all that one could wish. Hardly a copycat act this collective are slated to bear the standard of the revival into an age where more of the same (seemingly on repeat) needs to be eradicated at all costs. Give this a listen but be warned, it’s dangerously and instantaneously addictive.

hour of penance
Hour of Penance – Misotheism *

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/misotheism

Unmerciful in its approach and unrelenting in its salvo; this is what death metal is all about. Boasting zero progressive passages and sporting unerring brutality; intricate in its composition from start to finish. Drenched in speed, but not merely for speeds sake, and an atmosphere complemented by undeniable majesty which places it perilously close to the darker side of the metal spectrum this has the power to enthrall all who lay ears upon it. Top tier death metal right here!

in mourning
In Mourning – Garden of Storms*

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/garden-of-storms

The audio here is about as varied as one can imagine without it running into ridiculous territories, Avant Garde, or experimental realms. The styles herein tumble over each as though puppies at play without once resorting to brutality, the fluidity here is astounding. Growling vocals complement shifting rhythms, sweeping, soaring melodies and progressive passages which are exquisite. 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.

lindsayschoolcraftmartyr.jpg
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Martyr

https://schoolcraftmusic.bandcamp.com/album/martyr

Arrangements are often melancholic, always classically tinged and the album throughout is surprisingly radio friendly. Lindsay’s voice is impressive, adds significant presence to the audio with its ethereal qualities, mood and range; smoky, sultry and angelic. Admittedly, this is not what I usually set ears upon but this is fantastic for those moments you might want to share audio with the significant other who perhaps (if your situation is anything like mine) doesn’t enjoy the more brutal/extreme side of the metal spectrum.

necronomicon
Necronomicon – Unus

https://necronomiconbm.bandcamp.com/

This album drips with excellence, wisdom, atmosphere and an epic audio landscape drenched in master craft-execution of archaic qualities one cannot possibly ignore. 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!

negator
Negator – Vnitas Pvritas Existentia*

https://negator.bandcamp.com/album/vnitas-pvritas-existentia

An inhumane drum accompaniment lays the groundwork for the percussion to embellish upon. The albums pace is primarily hyper-speed; although there are plenty of instances where a slower, more atmospheric laden, pace comes to the fore. If only as foreplay to the brooding, sinister, brutality which is about to follow. Surprising melodies, an undeniable grandiose aura permeate this release and an undeniable diversity in rhythm amidst all its brooding archaic nature, majestic rhythms and hyper speed tendencies makes for a release which definitely stands out from the typical blackened affair.

orodruin
Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity

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

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.

Ossuaire
Ossuaire – Derniers Chants

https://ossuaire.bandcamp.com/album/derniers-chants

Furious and unmerciful, yet hypnotic. I don’t get how that works, it’s puzzling to be sure. But somehow, this has the power to enthrall. Ancient and mysterious, majestic and grandiose, this seethes with archaic malevolence and undeniable passion. A stunning feat!

rank and vile.jpg
Rank and Vile – Redistribution of Flesh

https://rankandvile.bandcamp.com/album/redistribution-of-flesh

Speed is often replaced by crushing heavy, slower, riff passages. Social commentary and angst however, is still front and center and highly influences the content of an often twin-pronged vocal assault which will carve a grin on any extreme fan’s visage. This offers more variety in tone and pace than one might have initially assumed, each track has its own identity and, to be honest, the style here encompasses a fair few genres rather than being able to fit comfortably into just one. Categorization be damned! Give this a moment in your ears, you won’t be disappointed!

Screamer.jpg
Screamer -Highway of Heroes*

https://wearescreamer.bandcamp.com/

this is NWOBHM traditional heavy metal everyone should aspire to perform to the level of. Addictive and enchanting don’t quite reach the words I need to utilize in this instance, I’m still reeling. I swear if these guys would triple bill with Metalium and Traveler the Earth would spin so quick on its axis as to create a black hole (ha, that’s not how that works, I’m a far-reaching idiot) but I’d be a happy fella.

shadow limb
Shadow Limb – Burn Scar

https://shadowlimb.bandcamp.com/album/burn-scar

These cats deliver and execute a smorgasbord of styles which combine to form a mesmerizing audio tapestry, a tableau which is familiar while at the same time intriguingly unique. An audio landscape which is unpredictable and exhilarating though on the other hand is also soothing and hypnotic. Go into this with an open mind and leave with the knowledge that their name is one you will be hearing a great deal of in the future.

Singularity.jpg

Singularity -Place of Chains

https://singularityaz.bandcamp.com/album/place-of-chains

Inferi technicality with a splash of Gothic aura (ala Cradle of Filth) wrapped in a maniacal grin carving delectable shell. Delicious rhythms, chasing melodies, galloping riffs, technically cavorting with progressive brilliance. Sci fi element? Check! Feast your ears on this and you will not be disappointed!! Stunning melodic technical death from the desert. The Artisan Era bring it again!!

slutvomit

Slutvomit – Copulation of Cloven Hooves

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/copulation-of-cloven-hooves

More than simply an album caked in filth, infernal nature and frenetic diabolical mischievous riffs aplenty this is an album that drips black sensibilities though is weighted in speed tropes, maniacal values, instantly appreciate able raunchiness and, naturally, wickedness. Lethal intent laden riff and dizzying rhythm transformations bring to mind vintage Morbid Angel as well Vader, even at times Slayer to offer a listen which is quite simply one of the year’s most surprising.

the bleeding morbid porophecy

The Bleeding – Morbid Prophecy

https://thebleeding.bandcamp.com/

Atmosphere coupled with flesh melting riffs, a thrashy death approach and vocals seemingly plucked from early Destruction. If your mood demands furious fluid riffing, evil (as in the inclusion of guacamole on a burger) and vocals which only make one want to serve at the altar of a Dark God then this will hit the spot, then serve to obliterate it!

The Scourge
The Scourge – Warrant for Execution*

https://thescourge-us.bandcamp.com/album/warrant-for-execution

Between the albums delicate balance and masterful combination of a slew of styles (namely hard rock, NWOBHM, Southern groove and thrash among others) there lies utter undeniable brilliance. Swift pace cavorts hand in hand with melodies which would otherwise seem foreign, though somehow The Scourge have managed to syndicate the two much like PB n Jelly and then topped the concoction off with stunning musicianship, creative genius and a vocalist whose skills I can’t believe haven’t been discovered and utilized up until this point. Overall the meshing and molding of the styles is exquisite bearing a fluidity which is erratic and rarely witnessed across the metal cosmos. Don’t let your friends tell you about this, be the first on the block to preach!!

Totengeflüster.jpg

Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine

https://totengeflsterblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/the-faceless-divine

An “Industrial” tightness, rhythm and blistering pace ala Ministry (circa “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”/”Psalm 69”), classical/Gothic symphonic backdrops, an occasional splash of war metal, vicious vocals a presence which is superb throughout all the ingredients for another unconventional black metal release which has me doing a double take, and I’m not even known to like ‘black metal’.

xoth

Xoth – Interdimensional Invocations*

https://xoth.bandcamp.com/

The shredding quotient in this is damn impressive the style dynamic yet diverse, infectious melodies, technical intricacies and progressive passages combine with a soundscape that’s part brutal death, part technical and slightly traditional metal in tone add to this lyrical content slathered in cosmic elements and a little levity and the result is a release which you cannot ignore!

November

abigail williams

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark *

https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/walk-beyond-the-dark

Hypnotizing from beginning to end this utilizes both traditional and non-traditional means to attain the heights which it transports its gob-stricken listeners. Beauty cavorts with viciousness and black metal sensibilities frolic with folk, doom, progressive and even the occasional traditional heavy metal element to form an ocean of atmosphere which like the nature of water itself is harrowing, melancholic and ferocious. The whole is utterly palpable in its effectiveness.

blood incantation

Blood Incantation – The Hidden History of the Human Race

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hidden-history-of-the-human-race

Intoxicating passages are plentiful alongside melodies, which invoke wonderment and awe transporting the listener to unfathomably vast cosmic landscapes. Menacing, enveloping yet drenched in melancholia coupled with transcendental qualities (strangely wallowing in David Bowie and Devon Townsend pools in instances) which demand exploration this is an album which only blossoms the more it’s allowed the dominate the senses.

minaton
Byzantian Neckbeard – Minaton*

https://byzanthianneckbeard.bandcamp.com/album/minaton

This collective pound out a style which is heavily doom/sludge infused though tainted with an undeniable thrash/death aura courtesy of the blackened vocal approach an occult Gothic vibe binds the whole together. Blanket the package in irresistible groove, a bluesy black and roll passion and you have a winner. Forget the recent connotations which come with the term ‘neckbeard’ and jump in. But be warned, you might not want to leave the catacombs anytime soon

cattle decapitation
Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas

https://cattledecapitation.bandcamp.com/

Prog/tech/grind/brutal death you can call this what you will but there’s no argument that this is inhumanely crafted with both precision and intelligence. Progressive passages meld with technical prowess and a pace which varies dramatically throughout both the album and every track making for a listening experience to please those with discernible tastes and those with open minds. No matter one’s opinion of what the band preaches, though it getting easier and easier to see their point of view, there’s no argument that this is a release which will carve a great many grins across the vast extreme audio landscape.

chained to the dead.jpg
Chained to the Dead – A Gruesome Encounter*

https://chainedtothedead.bandcamp.com/album/a-gruesome-encounter

Overall, crimson, guts, stabbings, slicing’s, creepy soundbites and an infectiously groove laden percussion with an emphasis on melody and rhythm rather than blistering O.T.T brutality this is an album which decimates unsuspecting earholes without falling into repetitive realms, alights furious fanboy cinematic horror/cult research and demands attention. There is a fair few in the same vein as this with soundbites aplenty abetted by a similar audio style but Chained to the Dead have managed, somehow, to combine the usual elements (grindcore, death, crust) and then included a certain something to elevate the final result from the pack. This is criminally infectious!

crusadist
Crusadist – The Unholy Grail

https://crusadist.bandcamp.com/album/the-unholy-grail

It’s hard to fathom that this is a debut. This reeks of experience and screams of a quality which comes from trial and error. Rare is it that an album digs its claws in, deep, from an initial listen. This is one of those rare examples and I pleased to impart that the same sensation lingers even following a third, fourth and fifth visit. The partnership of the guitars, bass and drums combine for an undeniably amazing effect (a dynamic structure which will prompt movement, riffs for days, menacing and ominous auras par excellence) Varied solo work which will leave one wondering what the hell is in the water in Chicago.

depressed.jpg
Depressed – Beyond the Putrid Fiction

https://depressedblacklion.bandcamp.com/

Hardly audio to take the scene into fresh undiscovered territories this is however incredibly solid from start to finish. Injected with a groove infused dirge tone and varied rhythms to give even the most hardened of death fan a sore neck following a listen.

fleshcrawl.jpg
Fleshcrawl – Into the Catacombs of Flesh

https://fleshcrawl.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-catacombs-of-flesh

Channeling “Massive Killing Capacity” era Dismember and a dirge which brings to mind the best of Bolt Thrower while boasting more pronounced D-beat, Crust elements and less ‘clean’ melodies the band have carved an album sporting stellar production (heavy on the drums giving it that desired oomph) which is instantly welcomed with eager ears. A Fleshcrawl for the coming decade offering up the classic Swedish MK2 sound with a freshness for the next generation to cherish as their parents did before them

galaxy.jpg
Galaxy – Lost from the Start*

https://galaxyaus.bandcamp.com/album/lost-from-the-start

Channeling NWOBHM, Power, speed and thrash metal elements Galaxy have created a release that’s dynamic, infectious and draped in a cosmic narrative. And all in a way which reeks of homage yet breathes with exuberance and youthful energy, a package which is sure to stand out.

Iapetus - The Body Cosmic
Iapetus – The Body Cosmic

https://iapetus1.bandcamp.com/album/the-body-cosmic

For those who have the patience, time and willingness to allow this to seep into the system the rewards are immeasurable. 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.

immanifest

Immanifest – Macrobial*

https://immanifest.bandcamp.com/album/macrobial

Draped in cinematic values and drenched in an epic celestial narrative “Microbial” does much more than merely entertain like the run of the mill/normal tech-death affair. Chaotic, enthralling, epic and enigmatic there’s plenty to lose yourself within on display here and Immanifest have captured the full attention. It’s been an amazing year for metal and thus is sure to be an album discussed come years end. Don’t miss it!

mortuary new release 19
Mortuary – The Autophagous Reign*

https://mortuarynancy.bandcamp.com/album/the-autophagous-reign

After thirty years most have slowed, perhaps even changed styles completely to appeal to larger audience (I think we all know who I’m talking about). Mortuary however have shattered the ‘over the hill’ adage; if there ever was a hill, they’ve blasted their way through it! Pulverizing, unrelenting, riff assault part grinding death/thrash (with just enough technicality thrown in) part South American aggressive thrash. Complemented by a precise Misery Index-esque drum barrage but all ungodly infectious. Likely to be treated like a box of Pringles (you can’t play this just once!) this is an album which’ll make you wish you were fit; a single track is likely to leave you sweaty and tired. Awesome audio with incredible allure.

mix tape action

Keep it up you maniac, you’re nearly done!

Don’t fret, I’m still here. As I mentioned earlier this theses three months are divided into two installments based on the sheer amount of releases (and the level of quality) unleashed. The final installment is on its way. Until then don’t fear the discovery of audio which might normally seem 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