Posts Tagged ‘No/Mas’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

clothing-optional

C’mon, even seals love the sun.

Part the Third

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

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

July

abominism

Abominism – s/t

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

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

Baleful abyss

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

https://balefulabyss.bandcamp.com/

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

Beastmaker – Eye of the Storm

beastmaker

https://beastmaker.bandcamp.com/

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

desecresyDesecresy – Towards Nebulae

 

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

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

disowning human cattle

Disowning -Human Cattle

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

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

 

ecliptic visionEcliptic Vision – s/t

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

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

freighter the den.jpg

Freighter – The Den

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

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

gates to the morning

Gates to the Morning – Return to Earth

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

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

pathetic

Pathetic – Rat King

https://pathetic666.bandcamp.com/

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

shades of deep water

Shades of Deep Water – Death’s Threshold

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

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

Thy_Art_Is_Murder

Thy Art is Murder – Human Target *

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

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

vagrant

Vagrant – The Rise of Norn

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

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

August

abysmalist.jpg

Abysmalist – Reflections of Horror

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

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

anticosm call of the void

Anticosm – The Call of the Void

https://anticosm.bandcamp.com/

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

Book of wyrms album

Book of Wyrms – Remythologizer *

https://bookofwyrmsrva.bandcamp.com/

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

Cruickshank

Cruickshank – s/t

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

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

darkened

Darkened – Into the Blackness

https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/music

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

detherousDetherous – Hacked to Death

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

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

graveview.jpg

Graveview – Demos 18-19’

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

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

lllvilja livet

lllvilja -Livet *

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

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

nomas last laugh

No/Mas – Last Laugh

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

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

 

overt enemy possessionOvert Enemy – Possession

https://overtenemy.bandcamp.com/

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

wraith

Wraith – Absolute Power *

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

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

wizard rifle self titled

Wizard Rifle – s/t

https://wizardrifle.bandcamp.com/

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

September

arctos.jpg

Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands *

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

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

alcoholocaust.jpg
Alcoholocaust – Necro Apocalipse Bestial

https://brigadantiposers.bandcamp.com/releases

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

algebra

Algebra – Pulse?

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

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

ankhara

Ankhara – Sinergia

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

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

coldclaw.jpg

ColdClaw – Anti Martyr: Decades to Suffer

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

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

come back from the dead album

Come Back from the Dead – Rise of the Blind Ones

https://comebackfromthedead.bandcamp.com/

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

cult of sorrow.jpg

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer

 https://cultofsorrow.bandcamp.com/

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

ethereal riffian.jpg

Ethereal Riffian – Legends

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

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

high command

High Command – Beyond the Walls of Desolation *

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

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

Horror God

Horror God – Cursed Seeds

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

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

 

IATT
IATT – Nomenclature

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

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

netherbird.jpg

Netherbird – Into the Vast Uncharted

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

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

Sempiternal Dusk

Sempiternal Dusk – Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation

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

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

void king

Void King – Barren Dominion

https://voidking.bandcamp.com/

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

wintercrown

Wintercrown – Northern Lights

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

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

mix tape action

Keep it up, you maniac!

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

Cult (a certifiable slave to audio extreme)

 

Abrasive Audio – Part Twenty – One

head explosion abrasive audio header

Well, look at that, my creation is old enough to drink alcoholic beverages now. What better way to celebrate than with a metal soundtrack to forget one’s daily woes to? Grab a cold one and dive in, I’ve made this a longer than normal installment to celebrate the occasion.

Trench Warfare – Hatred Prayer
(USA)
Release – August/9/2019
Transcending Obscurity Records
https://trenchwarfaremetal.bandcamp.com/album/hatred-warfare-black-death-metal
trench warfare
ARTWORK – 80

A diabolical, somewhat cheeky, image with obvious spit in the face of religion undertones.

FIRST TRACK – 78

A cinematic quality, futuristic landscape of conflict opens the scene complete with the approaching footsteps of what I can only assume is a robotic killing machine. Seconds later the dirge kicks in, incorporating a somewhat “pulsing” beat”, and I’m Instantly reminded of Terrorizer a brutal chaos with a splash of maniacal nature complete with a heavy drum sound with early Grindcore esque vocals to match. A great start.

INITIAL LISTEN – 74

Vocals are eerily similar to Martin van Drunnen whereas the music wears its influence on its sleeve and there’s a great deal to ponder upon. The mixture is somewhat a mash up of vintage Bolt Thrower industrial styled dirge, old school brutal death/grind ala Terrorizer, a splash of Repulsion at times a punk element and a maniacal nature which doesn’t quite attain Morbid Angel realms, all draped in a raw nature which fits the concoction perfectly. I honestly hear very little to do with anything black metal here. Tracks are short and sweet (unpredictable in their overall nature) in the most part and take little time to get to their climax although there is of course the plodding exception, scattered throughout to throw the listener off, draped in catacomb-esque qualities. Overall this is barbaric and unrelenting with a brutal old school death vibe throughout to please those who prefer chaotic over melodic audio.

Favorite Tracks; Spare no Wrath, Axioms, Young Lord, Hatred Prayer.

FFO; Terrorizer, vintage Bolt Thrower, vintage Morbid Angel and metal draped in bestial warlike qualities.

darkened

Darkened – Into the Blackness
(International)
Release – August/23/2019
(Physical copy available October 18th through Chaos Records)
Edged Circle Productions
https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/music (as of this juncture it’s not included yet)
 ARTWORK – 87

Highly impressive intricate and detailed black and white imagery depicting an unearthed skull amidst nature running amok (or something)

FIRST TRACK – 89

A fantastic mixture of Bolt Thrower (the drummer is Andy Whale, so this might come as no great surprise), melodic era Hypocrisy (along with the often-associated atmosphere and presence) and Bloodbath. An impressive start with an excellent introduction bursting with an evoking aura.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

This is a stunning example of what might happen when like-minded individuals pool their talents and attempt something a little different than what they’re otherwise known for. Although the familiarity is undeniable there is also something else which makes this stand apart. Presence, subtle atmosphere or the audios leaning toward death/doom territories. Whatever it is it works and I’m eager for more.

Favorite Tracks; The Offering, Darkening of my Soul.

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Hypocrisy, Bloodbath, Morgoth, Abysmal Dawn, Infected Dead.

witch ritual

Witch Ritual – Death: Beyond
(Germany)
Release – May/20/2019
DHU Records (Vinyl)
Against PR
https://witchritual.bandcamp.com/album/death-beyond
ARTWORK – 81

Simplistic yet chilling. Highly reminiscent of the cover art to “Blood Tide”, a respected ‘Creature Feature’ cult affair with a big name cast from the late 70’s.

FIRST TRACK – 84

Exactly as it states the introduction is an Invocation ritual of sorts with a distortion backdrop, this leads into the first track which offers huge riffs, a Gothic soundscape, distortion and an overall style which is doom laden with stoner rock groove. But, let’s not forget the sultry vocals the icing on the cake which elevates this to far beyond intriguing realms.

INITIAL LISTEN – 87

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, especially if one is wont to bathe themselves in brutality a great deal of the time.

This is a release you can lose yourself in, an amazing debut which demands attention.

Favorite Tracks; Behind Me, The Earth Rises Up, Those I Haunt, Ruins.

FFO; Candlemass, early Black Sabbath, Witch Mountain.

antichrist siege machine

Antichrist Siege Machine – Schism Perpetration
(USA)
Release -August/26/2019
Krucyator Productions/Stygian Black Hand
Qabar PR
https://stygianblackhand.bandcamp.com/album/schism-perpetration
ARTWORK – 86

Exquisite smoky Black n White imagery, which demands inclusion on cotton, depicting a conqueror of sorts (exiting an other-worldly dimension) traipsing across a landscape strewn with impaled corpses. Vivid and intricate.

FIRST TRACK – 78

Thunderous, furious, unmerciful and exactly what the bands moniker suggests. A landslide of brutality has been tripped, prepare the ears!

INITIAL LISTEN – 76

Enveloping, immerse and suffocating with a similarity to “Realm of Chaos” which is at time uncanny Antichrist Siege Machine have carved an album which is unrelenting, force of nature in its intensity and pulverizing in its approach. Groove passages are few and far between allowed to breathe infrequently between the punishing, rampaging, onslaught of chaos. Recommended for the brave!

Favorite Tracks; Incinerated Enemy, Schism Perpetration, Apocalyptic Despair.

FFO; Realm of Chaos era Bolt Thrower, Mortician, Conquerer, Revenge.

beastmaker

Beastmaker – Eye of the Storm (EP)
(USA)
Release – July/26/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records
https://beastmaker.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 81

Alright, alright. I get it. She-Ra kicked your ass and Evil Lynn prefers flesh over bone. But that’s no reason to…

No, Skelator. No-!

FIRST TRACK – 87

Wicked solos, infectious melodies and a style that’s part “Bark at the Moon” era Ozzy and early Iron Maiden makes this extremely difficult not to instantly like.

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

Rumor has it that this is the last Beastmaker album (on;y time will tell), the mind behind it, a talented fellow indeed; Trevow Willia,m Church, is also the genius behind Haunt (and they’re getting crazy popular), and although it’s short, barely four tracks I can honestly say this is dangerously infectious audio. Which only makes me wonder how it is I haven’t dived headfirst into their catalog before now. Think traditional heavy metal with speed metal tendencies draped in fine shroud of occult doom. This flows so damn well it should be criminal, and that voice. Highly recommended!

Favorite Tracks; The whole EP!

FFO; Early Ozzy albums, Iron Maiden, Dio, Haunt, Iced Earth, Candlemass.

abominism

Abominism – s/t
(USA)
Release – July/26/2019
Black Market Metal
FullBlast! PR
https://abominism.bandcamp.com/album/abominism
ARTWORK – 67

I’m not even sure what this is. Is this an x-ray image or a blur or a creature the conscious mind cannot fully grasp the dimensions of? I’m sure that’s it, it makes more sense.

FIRST TRACK – 86

Slightly technical, though thankfully not over the top, with just the right amount of progressive nature and brutality basted in groove and varied tempo rhythms accompanied by hyper speed drums. Venom fueled vocals fit the style perfectly. Doom Death stylings with a liberal dosage of black to perk the interest and that it does. A fantastic start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 89

Occasionally, albums and artists come from out of nowhere to kick one on their ass. And this did just that! With no prior knowledge of the band or their style I was suitably impressed with that which caressed my ears. Only six tracks on offer here but they are more than enough with their epic qualities to whet the appetite and leave the listener wanting more. Atmosphere is rampant as too dissonant rhythms, technical passages and progressive elements concocted and woven with such creativity and professionalism as too only draw the listener into the album’s entrancing spell the deeper in the listener gets. Brutality is commonplace though not overpowering, rhythms are varied and transform from wicked infectious to blast beat frenzy to a crawl and often in the same track. There’s a great deal for everyone to enjoy here as the style blankets a wide radius of the extreme metal spectrum, never once dwelling for too long in pone arena as to become predictable, ranging from Slam, deathcore, brutal death, death doom and a great deal in between all balanced delicately with absolute precision.

Highly recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Burn Them Slowly, To Life, Dream and Yet Die as Nothing, Abominism, Famine of Hope.

FFO; Aborted, Nile, Suffocation, Deeds of Flesh, Abysmal Dawn.

nomas last laugh

No/Mas – Last Laugh
(USA)
Release – August/30/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/last-laugh
ARTWORK – 91

This certainly makes an impression, and as a gore fiend places a huge smirk on my face.

FIRST TRACK – 78

Fast as unholy F and catchy as hell. If you have yet to discover No/Mas this is a great place to start and this is a fantastic opener!

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

Six tracks and perilously close to eight minutes in length. Yep, this is grindcore! And these fellows have an axe to sharpen and senses to obliterate. Plenty of groove and brutality here to put a ‘spark in the step’ (whatever that means, I obviously fucked up the adage somewhat!) and I can honestly say I believe this to be their best work to date, as it makes an instant impression and is criminally infectious/inciteful from its nuclear powered launch. (Note; “Rabia” opens much like “Suffer the Children” by Napalm Death for the win!)

Favorite Tracks; Verbal Abuse, Police Brutality, Rabia, Burden.

FFO; Insect Warfare, Brutal Truth, Napalm Death, Human Cull, Disrupt.

unburnt

Unburnt – Arcane Evolution (EP)
(Canada – not to be confused with the similarly named sludge/post-metal outfit from France)
Release – August/16/2019
Independent
Mind Eraser PR
https://unburntmetal.bandcamp.com/album/arcane-evolution
ARTWORK – 65

A shrouded figure with obvious third-degree burns trauma stands before a window which demands blinds to be placed in front of it. Take note kids; sunscreen is a must if you’re to be under the suns gaze, or staring directly at it, for a prolonged period of time.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Infectious rhythms drive this track displaying a galloping pace alongside riffs which are dangerously addictive. A dual-pronged vocal attack lends a deathcore edge coupled with atmosphere, boasting a mystical nature of sorts, this is a great introduction to the band and their style.

INITIAL LISTEN – 78

Melodic death with deathcore and slam tendencies with surprising technical flourishes amidst rhythms which are often far beyond infectious make for a release which can be easily instantly appreciated. Add to that lyrics which are intriguing and decipherable (which is somewhat of a rarity in this genre) and you have an EP which deserves attention and bodes well for the band’s future. I only hope they can find their niche within an overcrowded genre, that which might help them stand out.

Favorite Tracks; Superiority Through Wisdom, Arcane Evolution.

FFO; Whitechapel, Black Dahlia Murder.

cropsy maniac

Cropsy Maniac – Carnage
(USA)
Release – September/6/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/carnage
ARTWORK – 91

Who doesn’t love some well executed Savini Fx film inspired fan art? Bonus points for anyone who can name the film.

FIRST TRACK – 80

Grinding death with phlegmy vocals, wicked rhythms and obvious cult/horror film influence, and it’s a damn sight better than I was imagining it might be. I’m intrigued as to the remainder of this release, with high hopes based on the quality of this track.

INITIAL LISTEN – 78

With each track centered around a specific movie, some more obvious than others, this is obviously part homage and not altogether a fresh idea. With that being said however, this is impressive audio. Part grinding, part crust, part brutal death with undeniable respect given to old school death values. Groove aplenty and gutter values will carve a grin on the face of those who have their penchants in the sick and grotesque side of the metal arena and on a first experience basis I can honestly say this is an act to watch in this genre as this genuinely delivers from start to finish.

Favorite Tracks; Brainscan, Slaughterhouse, The Beast Within, Rabid.

FFO; Impetigo, VHS, Necrophagia, Blood Freak.

excuse

Excuse – Prophets from the Occultic Cosmos
(Finland)
Release- August/2/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records
https://excuse-finland.bandcamp.com/ (link for “Goddess of Injustice” EP, the newest offering isn’t up yet! Use this as a teaser)
ARTWORK – 75

This has a phosphorus Four Horsemen vibe, as well enigmatic mystical/supreme being leanings. Is one to therefore assume this might be audio with doom qualities?

FIRST TRACK – 74

One might be left wondering during the introduction where this might lead. Once it gets warmed up however there’s no doubt, this is frantic thrash with traditional Heavy Metal sensibilities, melody breaks, accompanied by a lyrical style which is might take a little getting used to.

INITIAL LISTEN – 76

A vinyl production feel lends this an 80’s edge, a factor which is also added to by the albums style and undeniable epic heavy metal qualities. The vocals at times however feel disjointed as if they don’t fit the music. Strangely overall the style works and this might just be something which needs getting used to. Frequent echo effects elevate the epic aura (bringing with it an air of mystery) a vibe which is hoisted aloft by galloping rhythms and melodies which boast at times a fantasy and folk feel.

Favorite Tracks; Blade of Antichrist, Prophets from the Occultic Cosmos, Sworn to the Crimson Oath.

FFO; early Iron Maiden, Helloween, Iced Earth.

prostitute disfigurement

Prostitute Disfigurement – s/t
(The Netherlands)
Release – March/22/2019
Rising Nemesis Records
https://risingnemesisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/prostitute-disfigurement
ARTWORK – 92

Ol’ Jack in all his gut ripping glory. You can virtually hear the screams and smell the stench, the vomit of the back alleyways, the fould odor associated with one’s insides and vinegar the type for dousing newspaper cradled portions of chips (they call French fries “chips” over there, right?) Gloriously grotesque and wickedly vivid in its depiction, what’s not to salivate over?

FIRST TRACK – 92

P.D are back! I couldn’t be happier and this is a stunning example of what they are known for. Foul despicable, lyrics, rhythms I would eagerly snap my neck to and an overall theme which would make Mary Whitehouse roll over in her grave and send Tipper Gore into convulsions. This only makes me wonder why one of their CD’s isn’t the one stuck in my car’s audio equipment. Outstanding opener!

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

This flows like a river and is equally as vicious in its temperament. Riffs, rhythms, track titles and even the covers artwork tosses me back to when I first encountered the death metal arena and I couldn’t be happier. No progressive nature, little atmosphere just solid death pure and simple with zero gimmicks, perhaps a soundbite here and there but that never hurt anyone.

Few can keep up with the quality of this act when it comes to brutality basted in rhythms which could incite even the most lethargic into movement. And I’m ecstatic they are back in the limelight. If they aren’t, why the hell is this not the case? Seriously, who forgot to tell me these gents released a new one? I had high hopes and these guys delivered! This is certainly up there with their earlier efforts; most especially “Descendants of Depravity” and “Deeds of Derangement”.

Favorite Tracks; Fight a Transvestite, Happily to the Gallows, Force-Fed Death, The Way of all Excrement, Penile Tumescence.

FFO; Cannibal Corpse, Infected Dead, Malevolent Creation, Vomitory, Jungle Rot, Gorgasm, Bloodbath.

And that brings a mammoth installment to a close. Don’t be afraid to open the mind to new arenas of the metal spectrum, discovery often leads to *insert insightful, life altering, prose here. Until our paths of audio interest cross again,

Cult

bestof18Audio

Horror, Pain, Gore Death Productions
Year in Review – 34 track Bandcamp Sampler
hpgdfreecomp

Under today’s scrutiny

Millennial’s have it easy.
What a stunning and abrupt way to start an article and divide a potential audience.
Still here? Good.
I guess my point is that it was different in the past (now I sound like Grandad, great!)
These days music is easy to discover. You hear of a new band, a few clicks later their specific brand of tunage is bouncing wily-nily betwixt the ears and it doesn’t, in most cases, cost a penny. When I started to listen to this wonderful brand of music, metal, years ago, the only real way to discover new music was to splash out a few dollars, pounds (whatever the currency) on a mysterious collection and who knew what manner of styles it might have contained. There were obviously pros and cons but it was the best way by far. Radio stations weren’t playing what was still largely deemed “devils music”. There was of course the rare exception. John Peel, for example, (on BBC Radio) held sessions for up and coming acts in the extreme genre. Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Napalm Death and a plethora of others increased their audience by assessing the risks involved and took the plunge.
john-peel-header

Captured in his natural habitat, I give you John Peel

But, back to my point before I meander wildly from my narrative and this articles objective and lose any and all readers.
Most labels (and some still do in a physical format) in the past took time out to release a collective of sorts in order that their ‘stable’ find some advertising rather than merely written press. Seriously you can say all you wish about music, blah blah blah this sounds like this, blah blah blah, but it eventually all boils down to taste which is why audio collections (or compilations if you prefer) are king.
metalmassacrecomp

Arguably one of the all-time front runners in the compilation category

I can vividly remember Earaches Grindcrusher comp, the Speed Kills, various Noise (Europe) compilations and the Death is just the Beginning collections though also the collections Century Media presented sporadically through Hot Topic (when it was worth visiting and they weren’t shot through with such popular tripe, again this is only my opinion) though I’m betting, depending on tastes naturally, everyone will mention something different, if asked to conjure up their memories on the same. Shit, I have mountainous piles collecting dust secreted in a forgotten corner of the basement).
grindcrusher

Nothing says extreme 90’s British metal like…

2018 was a strong year for metal, as the never-ending plethora of year end lists will attest, so I jumped at the chance to download a compilation, especially because it was free, gratis with no catch.
So how does this compilation fare?
34 tracks is more than the typical grindcore album and this lasts a damn sight longer. Is it worth the money, well seems as it’s free this is a moot point but I’ll continue nevertheless…
This ‘sampler’ certainly spans a great many genres, spanning filthy heavy metal, humorous grindcore through black and several sub-genres of death metal, which is admirable and appreciated. Obviously the quality varies greatly depending on tastes. Though it does have me careening wildly for an Internet connection in order that I might know more about acts whose tracks herein have perked my interest.
Seems as I’m not one to defecate on others hard work I’ll merely mention the tracks which made an impression on me, then rate the compilation as a whole using a system sans numeric values (cus’ I’m sometimes inventive like that!) explored further below.
I skipped all the way to the end – I’d rather hear my significant other grunt behind a closed doors which isn’t the bathroom
Skipped a few tracks – spend your money on scratchers tickets instead
Didn’t skip any tracks – I may or may not revisit again, anytime soon.
Skip, what skip? – this shows promise.
Perk my interest much? – (a little sarcasm here) this had me searching for a reliable internet connection so I could do some invaluable research on where to spend my pennies next.
Dammit, I can’t concentrate – break out the lube. Does this come in a format I can insert myself into?
(These rating are self-explanatory, I hope you’ll agree.)
confusion

Nope. I’m still confused

With many of the tracks on offer grabbing my interest, bearing exceptional quality, a few stood out as undeniably outstanding warranting inclusion in my collection and possible review consideration.
These are listed below
Blood of the WolfOurs is the Blood
Blackened death with wicked infectious rhythm and atmosphere.
ChaosophyWhores of the Christ God
A stunning introduction aids epic, melodic blackened metal with lasting appeal.
ScaphismVaults of Pestilence
Death metal with an intriguing narrative vocal style and killer old school rhythm.
FleshReaperOf Rotten Mind
its not just that the intro reminds me of a Motorhead intro (The Wolf) the track itself has punk tude’ and makes me wanna move like a puppet on a jerked set of strings.
No/MasVictim of Circumstance
I’m a sucker for great grindcore and this is exactly that! Short and sweet.
TerranautBeneath the Water Lillies
Melodic blackened tunage that has me twitching like an ‘jonesing’ addict.
ObsceneShadow Burial
This reminds me of The Awakening compilation, and that isn’t a bad thing in the slightest. Female vocals add to the death/doom styled mid-tempo ‘fun’.
BlasphemousMouth of Lies
This raw sounding track grows on you the more it progresses and oozes with familiarity the likes of which I can’t pin down.
My Final verdict – Grab this while it’s free. Although, it’s well worth spending a few (insert currency denomination here) on.
In all of the 34 tracks on offer I skipped but once, although the other tracks were of such a quality I’d eagerly rate this
Perk My interest Much? 
Which, although it sounds not great, is a great rating especially for a collection that boasts 34 (count them) tracks in all.
HPGD Logo - Black BG
Until next time,
Cult
Feel free to comment or direct me towards a collection you deem worthy of consideration and/or praise.