Posts Tagged ‘Special Guest’

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Special Edition; Part the First

(A collaborative effort with a few friends)

Abrasive Audio Special ed 2020 prt 1

January is crawling to its finale with the protest of a spoiled infant. The temperatures are frigid and the ground is dusted with what many call “fuck, not again!” February is nearly upon us which means a groundhog will search frantically for his own shadow in hopes for an early Spring and a chubby little winged fellow will soon spread his surely-too-small-for-his- weight feather ensemble to start bringing in the big bucks for the huge card and flower conglomerates. Screw flowers, if she/he loves you they’ll understand. Instead buy them a varied, collection of extreme audio.

This installment took a while (my apologies) but it I believe it’s worth it. This installment sees a collaborative effort with friends (whose opinions I respect) from as far afield as the releases featured within. As per usual, the grammar isn’t up to par and I may use the same few words more often than I perhaps should. But the Bandcamp links are there, so hopefully that takes away albeit slightly from the pain of submitting the retinas to the torture that is my prose. Enjoy.

Onward to this installment’s selections dedicated to a few which apparently…

Slipped Through the Cracks
(Releases of 19′ which I have somehow missed)

Obviously, this isn’t all or even close to those I’ve failed to cover before but rather a handful which have fallen under most radars though still deserve attention.

vofa st

Vofa (Iceland) – s/t

https://funere.bandcamp.com/album/vofa

Release – November/18/2019

Funere/Exhumed Records/Satanath Records

ARTWORK – 85

What I can only assume is a maiden (if sorts) stands defiant against the oncoming storm, her robes billow about her as the winds draw ever nearer. A fantastic image which depicts an amazing interaction between the forces of light and darkness and beauty and fury. I’m of the mind therefore that this encapsulates audio of the doom variety, but I’ve been wrong before now.

FIRST TRACK – 87

Huge riffs, growling vox and a varied pace (often surprisingly spry for a track of this ilk) which tells of both funeral doom and death/doom influences. Commencing with a somber acoustic melody which builds and gains atmosphere as it plays out this gradually attains a plateau fueled by distortion, relaxed/melancholic riffs and passionate growls. Both hypnotic and gloom laden this is powerful audio indeed which holds the attention the entirety of its epic length with varied twists, turns, rhythm and tempo shifts and only beguiles the more it’s allowed to invade the senses.

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

I believe I’ve only ever pondered upon one other release from Iceland, suffice to say my curiosity is burning like a well stoked fire. Made up of three tracks this album depicts an act who are both comfortable and proficient wielding a variety of styles say might deem traditional and others might call ‘mutt mixed’ within the doom genre. A variety of emotions come to the surface as this rolls towards its climax and they differ track by track. The second track bears more a haunting aura, effective and strange but spellbinding in its delivery, utilizing a unique vocal approach alongside a growl delivery which runs the albums length. The third is the most diverse of the bunch infrequently wallowing in psychedelic waters, stoner realms, progressive arenas as too traditional doom territories coupled with also the aforementioned styles and the growl typical of the albums vocal approach cavorting with yet another slight variation on the tone the track sports a vibe which is again unique, intricate, deep but no less addictive and impactful to the senses than the two which have gone before. A fitting end to an album which may not grab you from the first spin but given time will transform into something entirely ungodly addictive. You have been warned!

Favorite Tracks; As the cliché states and the radio stations like to say “no filler, all killer!”

FFO; My Dying Bride, Mourning Beloveth, Paradise Lost, October Tide, Katatonia, Novembers Doom.

Need a Second Opinion?

fistful pof doom logo

Here are a few words from the host of the Fistful of Doom show and a chap always up for discussing doom and extreme audio “Fistful of Doom” can be caught up with on Twitter as @flatulentfuzz

For more information and links to be able to listen to listen to his bi-weekly show click this link; https://www.facebook.com/fistfulofdoom66/

Artwork- 92

The two thoughts that come to mind when I look at the cover art are desolation and isolation.  The figure in this piece appears to have reached the zenith or perhaps what looks like the zenith is actually the edge of the abyss.  Ultimately, I don’t think it matters much.  I believe that an effective argument can be made for the fact that desolation and isolation go hand-in-hand with either destination.  The majesty in this is that the artist has rendered the perfect companion piece for this listening experience.

First Track- 93

The first track opens with some atmospheric sounds that begin to wrap the listener in a dark and haunting cocoon.  Just before you are consumed by the darkness lightly crashing cymbals bleed into the mix.  Followed closely by a shimmering guitar tone that combines with a plodding bass and drum to create a somber, hypnotic melancholy that reverberates throughout.  And that is only the first three or four minutes of the track.  What follows burns low and slow and spews forth with all the venom of a volcanic eruption.

Initial Listen- 94

Vofa’s self-titled debut is three tracks (clocking in at 37 minutes and 24 seconds) of death doom that follows a consistent, but insanely effective formula.  Caustic vocal growls that are punctuated by powerful drumming, sinister bass lines, searing guitar work and dark atmosphere.  The end result of which is a slow descent into an emotionally barren abyss.

Closing Thoughts

Crystal clear production and top-shelf musicianship is what elevates this release to another level.

(And, look-ie here, F.o.D has even chosen to somewhat utilize the same format as my scribbles – Ed*)

Imipolex

Imipolex (USA) – Order of the Epimethean Flame

https://imipolex.bandcamp.com/album/order-of-the-epimethean-flame

Release – October/26/19

Independent

ARTWORK- 65

“Uncle Frank! Did you take out the trash?”

“Yea, but it appears to have blown across the yard. And dammit! I forgot to put on pants!”

“Has “dinner” stopped screaming yet?”

“It would appear so. Put on the spuds, dear. I’m famished.”

FIRST TRACK- 68

This is likely how a mashup of black metal, grindcore, sludge and cavernous death metal would sound. Raw chaotic rhythms, with majestic leanings, drenched in dirge against an atmosphere which screams subterranean rituals lost to the passage of time. Coupled with a vocal delivery of one seeped in angst the overall combination is one which might not at first grab the attention, but soon digs its way into the curious part of the brain which often overpowers common sense. An intriguing opener which dares to steer its listeners away from predictable, familiar, well-worn territories but yet still incorporates all of these very same elements.

INITIAL LISTEN- 72

An epic nature is something which cannot be ignored, as too are frequent nods to masters of several genres which this traipses across as it makes it merry way towards its climax. Leaving an easy to read roadmap of the extreme spectrum Imipolex have covered most of that which makes up the bleakest corners of the extreme metal universe with only a few notable exceptions. A primitive tone aids in the enjoyment as a crystal-clear approach would obviously only sound silly given the music’s feel. Angst ridden vocals accompany rhythms of undeniable blackened origin, blast beats aplenty, which often transform to incorporate slight progressive leanings all of which drenched in a dirge nature. Brutality displaying a myriad of pace, chaotic rhythms, cavernous qualities and a touch a groove, this probably isn’t for one just touching base with extreme metal but for those with a yearning for audio which pays no heed to genre definition this is a great place to rest the ears for a while.

Favorite Tracks; Auspices, Battleslain, Epitapheum.

FFO; (vintage) Morbid Angel, Tomb Mold, Celtic Frost, Nuerosis.

Need a Second Opinion?

foehammer metal podcast

Here’s a few words from Derek C otherwise known as @He11fir3 on Twitter but best known for his knowledge droppin’, wicked tune wielding podcast Foehammer, which can be heard here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuP2tkAg3ABtFQUZFP5j3HQ

Hails all, He11fir3 here thankfully joining in on this collaborative Abrasive Audio installment to tell you my thoughts on Portland’s Blackened Death Sludge group IMIPOLEX!

First off, I am very glad that Cult considered me to write for this album because there is a good chance this never would have made it into my queue. mostly because the cover isn’t some over xeroxed copy of a dude with a sword clutching a fist of hatred to… nothing, there’s nothing else to see in the picture so he’s just angry for no reason, That and a generic shot of some lonely wooded area are how you make it onto my radar. Instead we have a whole mess of things going on that you are just going to have to see for yourself because I don’t think explaining it would do it justice.

“Sirens”, the first track of the album opens up similar to a traditional second wave back metal build but once you move past the intro itself you begin to pick up that this isn’t going to be just a black metal album. it’s something thicker. There is more meat to the tone in general than standard black metal that typically ranges in the sharper piercing tones.

The track takes off into the first break of the song and really picks up from its somber, dismal beginnings to something sporadic, thrashy, aggressive, and it doesn’t stop there. The whole track and safely said each track that follows has similar crafted switch-ups that make no song boring. The bass is also turned up loud enough to co-exist with the guitar instead of being buried behind a wall of distortion, which is good cause the bass plays a very important role in each song.

“Auspices” and “Battleslain” (tracks 2 and 3) waste no time. Both tracks open severely heavy and chaotic. This is where the album begins to move evolve from “Black Metal with Sludge influence” to a little bit of a genre mutt, which is fine by me cause I’m a bit of a genre slut. (AY, OH!) These tracks flex the riff skills by introducing a bit more a death metal feel, and the black metal elements become more obscure and experimental, and it even drops a little war metal d-beat into the mix. It has officially proved itself as a vagabond of extreme metal mastery. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and kegstand atop this bitch and indulge in its glory

Then we move to the final 2 tracks, both ranging over 10 minutes a piece, both starting like slow atmospheric doom tracks.

We know very well by now this is not the final form of these songs as they build and unfold into unrelenting epics. After some harsh crushing openings full of despair, you are rewarded with some melodic beautiful guitar work and engaging riff work. I don’t want to spoil these songs by going into too much detail, but the things these songs accomplish are the reason artist write them long. The end to the album even leaves you feeling a possible notion of what the cover may be suggesting. what does one do after bringing so much chaos into the world around them?

Give it a few jams before you decide how you feel about it. I did, again and again and now I have to get my hands on a copy. 7.5 out of 10 and growing with each listen. Now everybody, go bother CultMetalFlix until he asks me to do this again.

Infinitas

Infinitas (Switzerland) – Infernum

https://infinitasmetal.bandcamp.com/album/infernum

Release- December/6/19

Independent

ARTWORK- 71

This seethes with a somber fantastical edge, also with a rare perspective. It’s as if the listener is part of the journey also. An interesting image. But why have a castle that close to a volcano? Unless of course the residents are harnessing its fury for diabolical means.

FIRST TRACK- 71

An intriguing mixture; folk melodies intertwine with tradition heavy metal, progressive and thrash rhythms. Haunting melodies alongside galloping and passionate rhythms. The vocal approach is surprising, not at all expected, and isn’t for everyone. But it somehow works; supplying a story type narrative as it flows leaving me curious (and nodding my head, if truth be told) for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN- 69

As this album unfolds the concept element blossoms. Soundbites are plentiful, though in boasting a language (Norwegian, Swiss?) I can’t quite place they lose their meaning somewhat in the context. Varied styles coexist better than what many might think supplying depth, atmosphere and emotion and often an outright irresistible infectious nature. The vocal style is surprisingly diverse throughout. Ranging from tradition, feral, spoken and classical leaving the listener on their toes as the album unfolds. Probably not for those who demand a constant, unbroken, stream of extreme audio this would, I believe, appeal more to those whose audio interests are scattered. Rare is it that this moves above a galloping pace (though it boasts sufficient sinister and ominous passages to perk the doom crowds’ interest). However, it does display epic qualities with enough diversity to sate those who yearn for something to break up the same old, same old. Not for everyone, this might take a little time to ease into, after which it offers something new with every listen. Keep the mind open for this is undeniably mellower than audio I usually lay a few words upon, a ‘heads up’ if you will.

Favorite Tracks; Afranc, Lillith, Tiamat, Vadatajas.

FFO; Eluveitie, Skyclad, Apocalyptica, Epica.

exhausted animal

Rather than bog the listener down in words, for this endeavor went to greater lengths than I imagined, I’ve decided to cut it up into three pieces. This concludes the first. A huge thanks to all involved.

As always, feel free to share, comment and guffaw at my horrid grammar. But most of all support the contributors and artists included herein.

Cult

Scorching the Retinas – The Devils Rain

Well, hello again friends. It’s been a hot minute (at least that’s what all the cool cats are saying) but I’m back. At least for a little while, until the neighborhood fully replenishes its pet supply.

brain dead your mother ate my dog

“Your Mother ate my dog!” Cult will be proud that I’ve mentioned a Peter Jackson film in this

*Buuurrppp-!

Excuse me. Whoa – that’s a long hair! I’m betting that was a Friesian? Now, where was I? Sitting comfortably on the indents left by Cult’s ass on his couch, but apart from the obvious. I’m sat here staring at a towering stack of DVD’s. Two in fact. And it appears they might be what’s holding the TV up. It’s obvious which belongs to whom with titles like the Collected Gilmore Girls, Big Bang Season 8, PJ Masks to the rescue, Train to Busan and A Dogs Purpose. Cult has we quite the varied tastes. Naturally, I jest. He lives with a toddler and his wife it’s not hard to guess that he’s a huge fan of children’s programs. But what’s this I spy? Halfway down the stack. A classic, and on remastered Blu Ray (courtesy of Severin); The Devils Rain. This is a chunk of raunchiness I need to rediscover before I hear alarms and the house starts to awaken to find an odd-looking creature on the couch cradling a remote surrounded by various baked goods.

Sans further silliness…

The Devils Rain art.jpg

The Devils Rain (1975)
Director – Robert Guest
Writers – Gabe Essoe, James Ashton and Herald Hopman
Runtime – 86 minutes
Bryanston Distributers, Inc.

Before I start a few useless tidbits of information. Cult likes to tell people this came out on or around his birthday (when he was actually born) much like another of his favorites; Salo; 120 Days in Sodom. This film marked the first feature film starring appearance of John Travolta (one in which he doesn’t dance, sing or wax poetic on a “Royale with cheese”). The films consultor was none other than Anton Levay; the High Priest of the Church of Satan. Without further ado what say we hit play.

(courtesy of SeverinFilmsOfficial)

Tormented screams of suffering and wicked imagery by Hironimus Bosch open the feature to supply that truly unsettling feeling only a ten-hour marathon of The Golden Girls can effectively provide. The opening scene ends in a neato segway and introduces the Shatner family (yea, that’s not their name but it’s a damn sight easier to remember than Preston!) The lady is in hysterics and her companion, an old codger barely inches from falling into his own six-foot-deep final resting place, has trouble setting down her cuppa’ without spilling the while damn thing everywhere. Enter William (he’s understandably younger here) with the bad news, delivered in his typical theatrical fashion, that a storm has washed away the bridge. (Sure, Dad will be fine, but what about that helicopter the producers have? Couldn’t we borrow it?)

the devils rain full bar

This man can’t hold his liquor.

There’s a knock at the door and some fellow with a melted face mumbles something about a book before he collapses (therein lies the problem with an all-day open bar on set). The family looks on as the poor fellow spouts something about Satan (what-!) and continues his degradation into goo. But they don’t seem perturbed in the slightest at his mention of the Dark Lord only that his clothes might need a stain treatment before they hit the main cycle. Oh, and something about a “book”.

Ole Shat heads decides to head out (with a handy Luger in tow) but only at the insistence from his mother that he wear an amulet, which makes him look like a true Baller. He doesn’t get far. Turning back, he finds his mother’s companion hogtied, upside down, and his mother missing (but he was only gone two minutes, if that!)

At this point the film has a slight western feel to it, lots of lingering shots of desert vistas, rocks and cloud formations. The soundtrack is dramatic enough to send a High School drama teach running to the hills but it’s strangely effective.

the-devils-rain-borgnine-hail-satan.jpg

Hail Satan! He can kick your puny Gods ass!

Ole Shat arrives at a ghost town whereupon he encounters Ernst Borgnine and his crazy eyebrow pets. It is at the steps of an abandoned looking church that Shat and Borgnine strike a deal. “Your faith against mine”. The crazy eyebrow guy wants the book (it must be important) whereas Shat merely wants his parents back (but, why? I don’t for the life of me get this plot device).

A conflict ensues in which both argue over Shays given name. Is it Fife or Preston? It’s a battle of the ages, a battle of the amulets. But Fife/Preston has a gun and he isn’t afraid to put plentiful holes in those without eyes. And wouldn’t you know it one of them is seated in his car. He’s truly F-ed!

Jump to another scene. A Doctor Richards experiments with assorted Preston family members in order to better understand brain waves or some such nonsense.

the devils rain I can see the future

I can see the future! Sure dear whatever you say.

The scene climaxes with a scream, apparently the while brain wave experimental thing has turned Miss Preston into some form of clairvoyant. Skerritt (another Preston) receives a troubling note. “Something has happened to my family”. He leaves upon a mission, cue another Nova’s (a classic car with a V8 which drinks more liquid than an excitable youth upon their virgin discovery of soda) depletion from the car pool.

Back to Shat. He’s laid out on a table sporting sufficient weeping scars to send a pharmacist running for the ‘good stuff’ but it isn’t over. Apparently, he’s tied to a cross and the bastards aren’t satisfied with merely torturing him “Where’s the book?” They want to invert him in true black metal fashion (cue vintage Venom tunes).

the devils rain shatner on a table

Spock. Help me Spock!

Skerritt and companion arrive at the church in the middle of nowhere, but it’s too late all the cookies have been eaten. However, they did leave wax “Lookit, it’s the same as was on the porch.”

A loud bang causes out heroes to look outside. Their car is now naught but a blue metal fireball. Enter stage left a familiar vehicle but it’s headed right for them. Following a spot of cat and mouse action the pair corner the assailant. But what the F-! He has no eyes (the look is one which makes me ponder upon the Shatner mask and the Halloween films, is this from whence the influence came, I wonder if anyone has ever asked?). Is this a common theme in this film, or what? Skerritt’s companion utilizes her clairvoyant skills and witnesses a party of sorts dating back centuries in which a bunch of pilgrims fight the might of the heavens, and the townships priest, whilst arguing over themselves about the whereabouts of “The Book”. It is in this scene that the Fife/Preston curse is explained. The pair get captured, Skerritt becomes part of a black robed parade (isn’t that a Chemical Romance track?) And his companion falls prey to the same trick utilized in the original Children of the Corn, the ol’ bad guy popping up in the back seat of a moving car trick.

the deviuls rain borgnine as satan

Boo-!

Borgnine transforms into a goat character, is he Satan? (we may never know) with a wicked set of gnarly horns but Skerritt manages to escape the ritualistic scenario and returns home but not before running through one poor fellow with a pitchfork and tossing another, also chasing him, from a flight of stairs.

He manages to find his good Doctor friend and convinces him to join him in his endeavors (I’m sure a case of beer helped sway the decision). Following the script, he returns to the ghost town church and makes an interesting discovery. Apparently, you can store souls in a contraption that looks like a portable television set with a handle which has an ominously appearance, much like Devils horns. As luck would have it the eyeless rabble are still in need of supplementary worship. They return, Skerritt does what he does best (other than sport a great looking ‘tach) and for some reason the church suddenly loses part of its roof. A hole in which the storm finds its way and then the movie ends. Nope, I didn’t forget the best part.

the devils rain gif

A whole ten minutes of bubbling, oozing, flesh melting action which makes Rick Baker’s The Incredible Melting Man seem pale in comparison, although the effects aren’t quite on the same level they are effective. Most of the ‘melting’ takes place in the rain (not even the finest brolly will save you from The Devils Rain). Did I mention when the acolytes get shot, they don’t bleed, they ooze with something akin to a thick “Slurpy” orange liquid, which is often green. One could even call it a diabolical rainbow. Add to this a place of worship immolation which will make most Kvlt black metal fans salivate in appreciation and you have a film which lives up to its Drive-In cult status. Did I mention the ending is kinda silly, it’s one final twist (and the only part I won’t ruin and narrate ‘play by play’)?

the devils rain lobby card

A lobby card in typical 70’s raunchy fashion 

So, was this any good? It was entertaining, I’ll give it that. The soundtrack was top notch, if a little over dramatic, but it did its job and added to the scenes which demanded a little extra, it even adding to several which didn’t. The cast list reads surprisingly well which leaves me pondering on whether this was a ‘regretted role’ by any involved. Don’t get me wrong, this is hardly a bad film it’s just not run of the mill, in any regard. Sure, there’s a slew of religious persecution flicks from around the same era, even a few which are more risqué (the XXX/horror scene was taking off in a big way at the time, or so I’ve heard) some (Mark of the Devil, 1970, and its sequel, 1973, come to mind) which linger on images depicting methods of torture to make one admit to being in league with Satan (two nods to Venom in one review. I’m getting good at this!) but none, to my knowledge, which sport the same tone as this. Although, thinking upon it, Race with the Devil released in the same year and more recently Drive Angry (starring Nick Cage) come close. The Devils Rain also has surprising atmosphere and is drenched in palpable menace (these acolytes have a unmerciful zombie vibe though they really don’t seem to do much once they capture you other than bind) not to mention that the films climax is unflinching, undeniably over the top though highly effective in getting the point across that one should be weary on whom they wish to worship, as there might be consequences. I find it odd that I’ve witnessed a truckload of other films bearing an R rating when this has a PG (rating) and includes definitely more sinister values and more than enough melting action on offer.

the devils rain borgnine melting

Screw you Dorothy!

No matter how one slices it, this warrants a view. It’s not half as horrid as many others bearing similar ‘cult’ status (it delivers on its promises) it’s not going to win any awards (actually it did, well one of the actresses in it did) but it is watchable and entertaining. Did I mention people melt? Kinda puts a whole new spin on the term ‘Cuban for a cannibal’, right? Probably not, but it’s a damn sight better than a Dad joke.

devils rain misfit records vinyl

I hear the alarms chirping.

I’m outta here, I gotta scramble. Until next we meet.

-B

Whoops, nearly forgot there was a Misfits album released in 2011 with much the same title and some truly stunning art accompanying its vinyl format. I’ll leave it here.

 

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses
Seventh ‘something’ of a Seventh ‘something’. (Hey… I tried!)

bestof18Audio

Welcome to yet another in the ongoing Abrasive Audio series. A virtual smorgasbord of high-profile releases and a few I believe need not be allowed to let slip under the radar are up for discovery this week. Without further ado let’s give those cavernous, flaps of skin attached to our skulls a memorable but exhaustive workout.

Equipoise – Demiurgus
(USA)
Release – March/8/2019
The Artisan Era
Mind Eraser PR

https://equipoiseofficial.bandcamp.com/album/demiurgus

equipose_Demiurgus_CoverArt-500x500

Artwork – 8

Something otherworldly is on the prowl, it’s hungry…for something.

Intricate Sci-fi themes run through this intriguing image wrought with an ominous nature.

First Track – 9.5

Exquisite piano tinkering, a Gothic vibe and an abrupt transformation into technical melodies showcasing depth and emotion.

A stunning opener!

Initial Listen – 9.5

Precision, speed, intricacy, technicality and diversity. A slew of words which aren’t even close to summing this up, but I tried!

Inhuman pacing coupled with virtuosity, ingenuity and a marriage of rhythms and styles which boggle the mind. It’s as if a collective multitude of the finest musical styles, from a number of different centuries (from across the globe) have somehow found a way to “converse” and complement each other. (Thank the Dark Lord for the Internet and Star Trek. Wait, wha-?) Renaissance melodies (piano, etc al) cavort with bass lines and drum tattoos only the insane could possibly conjure, and the overall composition, I’m at s loss for words. Remarkable doesn’t even get near to the ballpark. Overall an outstanding, mind-blowing and undeniably jaw-dropping experience which warrants discovery.

The Artisan Era certainly have a knack for scouting and spotting talent, I’d deem this the finest prog/tech death release thus far this year (need I add in my opinion?)

Amazing from start to finish!

Cultic – High Command
(USA)
Release – April/5/2019

https://cultic.bandcamp.com/album/high-command

Eleventh Key
Qabar PR
cultic-high-command
Artwork – 8.5

 

Dragons, fire, destruction and death an image that’s obviously shrouded in an epic fantasy theme. A fantastic color palette only adds weight to an already brilliant image.

First Track – 8

It’s as if the introduction was lifted from the movie Excalibur. Clashing swords, cursing and the grunts of frustration coming by way of a plethora of equestrian beasts only leave me intrigued as to what’s will follow. The music is Bolt Thrower ‘Realm of Chaos’ heavy, dense as quicksand, with thunderous bass that sounds like an advancing war machine, all slathered in old school values with a plethora of nods to huge undeniable influences from both doom and death realms. An intriguing sound indeed!

Initial Listen – 8

An unrelenting and bludgeoning attack sporting damaging mammoth esque riffs only the hammer of a Titan could deliver ‘High Command’ offers a sound akin to an avalanche of destruction. Cloying like hot tar raining from the ramparts, atmosphere laden and tracks overflowing with groove make for an odd combination, but it works and fans of bands as a far afield as Celtic Frost, Bolt Thrower and Neurosis are sure to want to dive in sans floaties.

Favorite Tracks; Cruel Orders, False Idols, Enchained.

Misery Index – Rituals of Power
(USA)
Release – March/8/2019

https://miseryindex.bandcamp.com/album/rituals-of-power

Season of Mist
misery index rituals
Artwork – 8.5

Ancient monoliths constructed of skeletons in a perpetual state of agony. There’s even a storm raging tempestuously in the background. Fantastic imagery guaranteed to grab the attention.

First Track – 8

It’s been a while, but Misery Index are back!

Obviously not as whirling frenetic as the days of old this is a more mature band and effort following on from the tech grindcore/death prowess experienced on “The Killing Gods”.

A great start proving that the band can hold back, know when to ‘pour it on’ and most certainly have not lost their edge, tightness, ferocity or hunger to remain at the top of the grindcore/brutal death food chain.

Initial Listen – 9

Brutality in an exquisitely wrapped tight package. Everything one comes to expect from one of the masters of the genre who never disappoint and then some. Precise, taut, bludgeoning, boasting a veritable tsunami of riffs upon riffs yet brimming with passages of melody and atmosphere which only adds depth and presence to an already outstanding album. Trademark inhuman drumming and one of the finest growling assaults in the extreme metal arena only add to the allure. Where do Misery Index go from here? I have no idea, but I’m excited to find out. In the meantime, I’ll be spinning this as obnoxiously loud as the capacity of my stereo will permit.

If you have yet to discover a band with a masterful discography behind them now is a prime great jumping on point.

Favorite Tracks; Decline and Fall, New Salem, I Disavow.

Feed Them Death – No Solution/Dissolution
(United Kingdom)
Release – November/8/2018
Exalted Woe Records
Anubi Press

https://feedthemdeath.bandcamp.com/album/no-solution-dissolution

feedthemdeath Artwork – 7.5

A black and white image splashed with crimson nods to obvious social commentary and political injustice. However much I try to keep this site politics and BS free, I remain intrigued.

First Track – 7.5

Brutal death partnered with grindcore to great effect. An instant attention grabber, harkens back to Napalm Death of old but with a twist.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Straight to the point tracks, no frills, no intros no soaring solos or ballads (thank the Dark Lord).

Plenty of mosh-tastic groove found here amidst tracks which find a stunning marriage between grindcore and brutal death. Top notch drums, bass solos and varied vocals (guests on ‘Penance in the Wrong Direction’) only add to the fun. Prepare to break shit!!!

Recommended for fans of Napalm Death, Human Cull, Misery Index and others who tinker with genre non-conformity.

Favorite Tracks; Exposed Parading Dissent, Terrific Gods Caravan, Doctrine of Approximation, Penance in the Wrong Direction, Inception in Rot.

Oshiego – The Book of Wonders
(Singapore)
Release – March/29/2019

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/the-book-of-wonders

HorrorPainGoreDeath Records
oshiego
Artwork – 7.5

Whoops, here I was thinking this was a cookbook, apparently this book has ingredients of a more sinister, diabolical, nature than I was seeking out. Never mind, I’m famished. Now, where are the eggs hiding?

First Track – 8

An encapsulating atmosphere drenched introduction climaxes in a brutal blast-beat laden assault complemented by melodic interludes and chaotic passages.

An intriguing track and a fantastic introduction to the bands style.

Initial Listen – 8.5

“The Book of Wonders” offers that which many releases in the same category fail to, an audio experience slathered in brutality, groove and melody with compositions boasting epic natures. Commendable production values complement old school European stylings (Asphyx) with occasional nods to American standouts (Obituary) teasing at grindcore leanings. Whilst thrash rhythms cavort with drum salvos of pulverizing intent against an often feverish, whirling dervish audio backdrop.

HPGD do it again, another great addition to a stable that never ceases to entertain.

This only gets better the more it’s allowed to molest the audio senses, recommended for those who prefer a little melody atop their fix of audio brutality.

Favorite Tracks; The Book of Wonders, Seven Kings, The Fifth Voyage, The Fever.

Cast the Stone – Empyrean Atrophy (EP)
(USA)
Release – August/31/2018

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/empyrean-atrophy

Agonia Records
cast the stone
Artwork – 8.5

Electrifying imagery proving why one shouldn’t provoke the wrath of the heavens, especially alone far from cell range.

First Track – 8.5

Technical riffage slathered in melody and draped in a Stockholm buzz saw tone. And a mid-tempo which frolics with doom sensibilities. What’s not to like?

Initial Listen – 8

Vocal heavy, narrative lyrical themed and a penchant for epic qualities. This release delivers more than what one might expect as it traverses classical folk doom audioscapes, occasional melodies more akin to classic rock opuses and rhythms one would expect to reside upon either a Vomitory or Unleashed album. For those yearning diverse audio albeit with a viking, melodic and death/doom edge this might well hit the spot. A fantastic Infestdead cover ends the album on whirlwind terms.

Recommended for fans of Arch Enemy, Vomitory, Unleashed and Amon Amarth.

Favorite Tracks; As the Dead Lie, Empyrean Atrophy, JesuSatan.

Distracted by Demos

ungraven demo

Ungraven – Language of Longing
(USA)
Release – April/9/2018
Black Bow Records
https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/album/the-language-of-longing-demos
Initial Thoughts –

Dirgey, unapologetic, brash, pulverizing bulldozer riffs with infrequent, surprising, synth/experimental additions to keep the listeners on their toes. This is industrial doom bordering on black/drone with vicious intentions.

Recommended for fans of Godflesh, Fudge Tunnel, Bolt Thrower, Conan.

(Note – A more polished version (w vocals) was released on March/1/2019 courtesy of Black Bow Records)

Critical Extravasation – Morbid Existence
(Russia)
Release – April/5/2019

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/morbid-existence

Redefining Darkness Records
critical extravasion
Initial Thoughts –

Youthful energy and familiarity is what jumps out from this short three track sampler. Death that’s dynamic, yet epic, and unarguably steeped in old school European influence, namely Pestilence and Morgoth with a little Death (ala progressive elements) and Alkaloid thrown in to stir the audio concoction around some.

Much like CIST (also from Russia) with their “Frozen Casket” EP this leaves an immediate impression and leaves one hungry (much like the band) for more.

An included Morgoth cover (“Body Count”) adds to the brilliance of this release.

These guys are going places. Seek this out or miss out!!!

Back to our Regular Programming
Plaguebringer – Diablos
(Canada)
Release – February/16/2019
https://plaguebringercanada.bandcamp.com/album/diabolos
plaguebringer
Artwork – 9

That medieval medical text book imagery gets me every time.

First Track – 8.5

From out of nowhere this grabbed me and tossed me around with no thought given to my aging fragility. Ouch. I’m tired, bruised and battered but I want more! Symphonic/melodic/tech/ death which will open your ears…wide!

Initial Listen – 8.5

Think Black Dalia Murder, Necrophagist with a splash of Archspire and you might be somewhat close to the style this album offers. Pace, technically, rhythms which are constantly shifting, Gothic intros and flesh shredding vocals it’s all here. My only qualm, and the reason why I didn’t give this a higher score, is that the drum salvos appear a tad repetitive at times.  Other than that, this is awesome tech/brutal death which boasts a clean mix and thankfully stays this side of the you lost me at cosmic-guitar-shredding- wizardry arena. I’m eagerly awaiting how the band progresses from here. This deserves mountainous praise!!

Black Therapy – Echoes of Dying Memories
(Italy)
Release – March/11/2019
Black Lion Records

https://blacktherapyblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-of-dying-memories

Qabar PR
black therapy
Artwork – 8

Stunning art, a vivid color palette, and an image that brilliantly exemplifies the album title.

First Track – 8

Melody laden death with raspy vocals miles from blast beat and brutality ville. An intriguing mix that’s similar to Dark Tranquility, the lighter arena of Hypocrisy, At the Gates and Soilwork. A fantastic start and introduction to the band and their style.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Channeling Paradise Lost, Swallow the Sun, Arch Enemy and Soilwork, Black Therapy offer the listener a sound that’s both familiar and pleasing. Melodic death with doom elements complemented by top notch production and exquisite melodies. Recommended!

Favorite Tracks; Echoes of Dying Memories, Dreaming, Ruins.

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin
(USA)
Release -April/12/2019

https://hathnj.bandcamp.com/album/of-rot-and-ruin

Willowtip Records
Clawhammer PR
Hath of rot n ruin
Artwork – 8

Desolation, hopelessness. Am I to believe this is a blackened/doom release?

Only one way to find out…

First Track – 9.5

Blackened death with spats of a progressive nature and an overall effect which has to power to floor those unsuspecting anything of this grade. I’m at a loss for words and my mouth is agape in utter appreciation.

Initial Listen – 9.5

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

This act/album came out of nowhere to kick me on my arse. I’m bruised, but my ears couldn’t be happier!

Another early album of the year contender with zero argument and reservation!

Favorite Tracks; The whole album rips, I’m hard pressed to find a few I prefer over others.

Wardehns – Now Cometh the Foul
(USA)
Release – December/21/2018
(CD -March/15/2019)
Self-Released

https://wardehns.bandcamp.com/album/now-cometh-the-foul

Dewar PR
wardhens
Artwork – 9

A pack of Druids encroaching upon an ogre pit. And they are pissed. I’m left wondering what the Druids happened upon or might be left to talk about.

First Track – 7

An acoustic affair which plunges the listener face-first into distortion and sludge complemented by surprising melody. An avalanche of huge riffs hinting at an epic nature heralds the remainder of the album. An intriguing start.

Initial Listen – 7.5

An air of fantasy runs through this release, thankfully not of the sparkly fairy type, as well a striking mixture of a number of styles. Thrash rhythms frolics with low tuned guitars (doom) and hardcore vocals (with a growling edge sometimes leaning towards that sported by Master‘s Paul Speckman) cavorts with an overall sludge tone making for a release that’s pleasingly diverse (there’s even a splash of old school values tossed in to shake things up), melodious and often groove-laden. This concoction, however, is balanced delicately and definitely not so overpowering as to turn listeners away.

Favorite Tracks; Denim Dogs, Fangs.

Basilysk – Emergence
(USA)
Release – February/22/2019)
Self-Released

https://basilysk.bandcamp.com/album/emergence

Dewar PR
BasyliskEmergence
Artwork – 7.5

Admittedly it took me a few glances to work out what I was looking at, I’m not gonna’ spoil it suffice to say… somethings looking back, and there’s a great many ‘somethings’.

First Track – 8.5

An intriguing, immerse, intro puts me in mind of mild desert nights, then the guitar jumps in. Progressive chords and technicalities hint at an album which, if you go into this blind, isn’t at all expected. Think later era Death, Cynic and Atheist. Rapidly evolving rhythms and a multitude of riffs keep the listener on their toes, this is leap-years from traditional death though it bears brutal elements as well a myriad of intricacies. An excellent opener!

Initial Listen – 9

Obvious very early on is that Basilysk have crafted an album that screams volumes of experience years beyond the band’s history. It’s difficult to comprehend this is the band’s debut especially with the stylistically diverse audio on offer. Influence is varied from a plethora of corners of the metal spectrum and no two tracks are alike. Styles range from traditional doom stylings through NWOBHM rhythms with more than merely hints at the diabolical/infernal nature that’s traditionally associated with David Vincent, Trey Azagthoth and crew. Though neither lingers long enough to result in the album being easily pigeonholed to one specific genre. The transitions are seamless warranting further exploration and an appreciation of the albums ingenuity which only grows with each and every listen.

Favorite Tracks; Sinners of Their own Reality, Sad State of the Arts, Prebirth-Karma-Afterlife, Clouds.

Death Agony – Desiderata (a Devastating Revelation)
(France)
Release – March/1/2019

https://xenokorp.bandcamp.com/album/desiderata-a-devastating-revelation

Self-Released
Xenocorp Records  (PR)
death agony
Artwork – 8

You can feel the pain, sorrow and heartbreak in this image, all the more powerful as its emotions suffered by an innocent.

First Track – 8

Punishing riffs and searing vocals cohabitating with mid-tempo rhythms all the right ingredients for an attention-grabbing start!

Initial Listen – 8

Nothing ground-breaking here, this isn’t audio which will in any way reshape or reinvent the wheel. However, this album does offer melodies which will make your limbs move, frenetically, of their own accord. The vocal style is commendable, harsh yet not quite brutal enough to be undecipherable. All in all, an album which will please fans of the more melodic side of the brutal death metal arena showcasing European stylings via Vomitory and Morgoth complemented by a modern approach.

Lay your ears upon this and feel the face split as a grin starts to split your face.

Favorite Tracks; The Silence of the Dead, Burial, Macabre, Hearing the Symphony of Death.

Lucifera – La Caceria de Bruja
(Columbia)
Release – February/25/2019
Dunkelheit Produktionen
https://dunkelheitprod.bandcamp.com/album/la-caceria-de-brujas
Recommended by Jay Keeley (@doomparade on twitter)

lucifera

Artwork – 8

A cowl, mystical diagrams, skulls and candles could only mean one thing…it’s pizza night!

First Track – 9

Be warned, if you aren’t paying attention this will change that in a vicious flash.

Archaic vocals complement atrophied appendage awakening blackened riffs of a thrash nature. Add in the occasional tolling of a solemn bell and you have a track of the unsuspecting highest caliber.

I kid you not, this is criminally infectious audio.

Initial Listen – 9.5

Alejandre Blasfemia resides over the audio proceeding like a feral throated high priestess whilst David HellRazor injects a tomb shaking cavalcade of riffs boasting volcanic fury. Rhythms are of a quality akin to an unscourable soundtrack one will find bouncing across their subconscious for some time to come. A ceremony of sorts breaks up the proceedings and adds oceanic like depths to an aura that’s undeniably bestial, archaic and black though reeks of homage to heralded blackened speed outings from the past and in part traditional heavy metal. This might well be the one album to turn one towards the Dark side of the extreme metal arena as it sports a quality and presence which is rare and an appeal, even on a first experience basis, which is mesmerizing.

Favorite Tracks; This is another example of an album which delivers throughout making it extremely difficult to highlight a few from an outstanding collective.

Plucked from Metal Past

Oi! Allow me to squeeze on in here!

Move aside pointy-assed characters and punctuation everyone’s favorite misshapen denizen of the Underworld is about to scribble. And look-ee here, Cult has again provided me with a platform and subject on which to lay my thoughts. One of these days I’ll have to make myself known and thank him. So what do we have here. Ahh- a trio of albums from yesteryear. Here’s to making a hole in the skull to place the earbuds, it’ll leave and mark (and mess) but it’s worth it.

Misery Index – Pulling out the Nails (compilation)
(USA)
Release – February/10/2010

https://miseryindex.bandcamp.com/album/pulling-out-the-nails-2

Anarchos Records
misery index pulling o0ut the nails
Thoughts –

Misery-fuckn’-Index!

Whenever I need a soundtrack to accommodate a trail of destruction to this is the band to whom I turn. Or course there’s others but Misery Index tops the list, without resorting to mere noise, and more often than not comes to claw first. Strange then that is a release I’ve not heard of until now. It’s a compilation you say? Well, that only means one thing more tracks, more time and varied output collected from a extended period of time rather than a collection created for one album in mind (that’s more than one thing, but who’s counting?) What we have here folks is a collective of tracks (I’d count them but I can’t count that high. I only have seven fingers most of which are merely gnarly knubs) ranging from under a minute to close to five minutes in length. A fact that projectiles grindcore to the genre assumption arena, and one wouldn’t be far wrong. Misery Index somehow inject the whole shebang with an unfathomable amount of rip-roaring riffs, the technical precision of a surgeon and cataclysmic passages which could well bring a small nation to its knees (I’ve a few in mind based on prior experiences). Obvious nods to the most established in the scene stand out but it’s the overall quality, ingenuity, variety and inhuman talent on display which make this band and this collection so earth-shatteringly remarkable. Demo tracks and live versions are in addition to those already familiar to most. Now to putting Cult’s room back into some semblance of order, I got carried away, my appendages tossed me around like last week’s garbage and I daresay I broke more than a few bones.

On a side note I find it hilarious that ’49 Seconds of Hate’ is a fifty second track. Did someone have second thoughts and add a moment of silence to break up the brutality? We may never know, but won’t someone interview them to ask?

The Abyss – The Other Side
(Sweden)
Release – March/10/1995
Nuclear Blast
the abyss the other side
Thoughts –

I know these chaps well, their music anyway. Formed by members of Hypocrisy this is, I can only imagine, the result of passion beating out experimentation. Somewhere in between the bands tomfoolery, mixing extraterrestrial elements and horror with undeniable musical genius (‘The Fourth Dimension’ and ‘Abducted’) Hypocrisy decided to bring it home with an offering harkening back to when raw production, bestial shenanigans and pitch-black metal devastated the underground. But that’s not all, this has a twist, melodies and heart which would make Granma cry and vocals that send and shiver down my splintered, dislocated, spine (did I not mention I look a mess, certainly not swimsuit edition material that’s for damn sure) no matter how often this is between the ears. One would think Tatgren would be the one to handle these duties, but no, strangely the drummer, Lars Szoke, has astonishingly wicked vocal chops too and I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t been utilized more before now.

Naturally this sounds more like the Hypocrisy of old (‘Osculum Obscenum’, ‘Pentralia’) than anything they’ve recently released but it’s different still than even that. I’ll be blunt folks, this is mind blowing audio, it’s black but blistering with abrupt melody, spats of groove and vicious intent. An album I would suggest one adds to their collection as soon as bloody possible. I’ve spied it in Cults collection amidst releases I’d rather not mention. Who is Warren Zevon anyway and what is an ‘Excitable Boy’?

Whoops, forgot to mention. The whole proceedings are in a language wholly untranslatable, unless one is of Swedish descent, but this doesn’t hamper the albums aura in the slightest it only adds to its archaic appeal. I’m of the mind this is the best thing Tatgren and crew have ever laid to vinyl (I know it’s out there someplace) and the fact that it isn’t praised as a genre masterpiece is beyond me. A travesty!

Mourning Beloveth – Dust
(Ireland)
Release – January/23/2001
Bron’
mourning beloveth
Thoughts –

Doom from a land known more for social unrest, alcohol that looks and tastes like roofing tar and potatoes. Who are you kidding? But in all seriousness, this is akin to an audio eargasm one does not wish to end, albeit one that’s devoid of blast-beats, hyper-speed and all the trappings one would normally associate with extreme audio. I’d mention that listening to this makes me cry, but I’d be lying (the fact one thinks I’m still able to make water with my eyeball sockets makes me larf).

So, what makes this so criminally pleasing? Perhaps the leads oozing melancholy, the diverse vocal elements, the unhurried approach or its similarities and subsequent appeal to fans of legendary British doomsters My Dying Bride?

I’ll be fukd if I know. One thing however is not up for debate and that fact is that this is an underrated epic which remains highly unappreciated and devoid of the limelight which it so warrants. There are albums which are good, there are albums which are great, then, there are albums such as this which transport one to another realm entirely. Shit, that was nearly poetry that’s how much listening to this has an effect on me.

That’s it, my knubs are tired and to be quite honest the cover of this pieces remaining album makes me homesick. Until next time, I’m off to whisper naughty words in a sleeping infants’ impressionable ear.

-B

Reccd’ by Void
mr bean wtf #2
Mystifier – Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia
(Brazil)
Release – March/8/2019

https://mystifier.bandcamp.com/album/protogoni-mavri-magiki-dynasteia

Season of Mist Underground Activists
Mystifier
Thoughts –

And here I was thinking this was just another black metal opus. Boy, was I ever wrong? Naturally, this has all the elements to appeal to one whose penchants are firmly rooted in the scene. It (I’d mention the albums name though fear I’d spend an annoying amount of my time correcting my writing instruments, in this case my aging phone, ‘auto-correct’ function) sports majestic passages, vicious blast beat assemblies and (wait for it) a certain undeniable allure. Although it infrequently meanders into audio territories, I’m not altogether familiar with. (Admittedly I’m more an instant gratification type fan, I like speed, evil and a beat I can lose my shit to). Naturally the several tracks I would mention as my favorites are based on galloping rhythm prowess and intriguing vocal delivery. However, this also bears “bluesy” moments. You read that correctly. Towards the albums climax, this element resides unassuming, ready to pounce and shock. This very same track also offers melodies one might not otherwise expect, riffs more often associated with doom and traditional metal affairs. In fact, the albums final tracks serve as testament to the fact that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Which isn’t to say that Mystifier veer deviantly from the extreme path, their wheels thankfully stay in the same worn ruts it’s the path that widens, tremendously. Whereas before one might say they detected vintage Septic Flesh now they could claim a sound more akin to speed infused blackened death with nods to the gods of yore with an attitude to match. The climax is exquisite, draped in grindhouse synth values and not expected in the slightest. In effect an excellent finale to an album which only increased my attention and intrigue as it matured. It’s been a long time since Mystifiers last effort, ‘Profana’ in 2001 I only wonder if this was what was expected. Based on the response it’s garnering it’s certainly turning heads with the word ‘disappointment’ nowhere in sight.

Thanks again Void, with each and every recommendation you toss, my path the Dark side beckons, becoming infinitely easier to traverse.

 

Cult

Attack of the Compilation – Extreme Metal Attack (anno XVI)

bestof18Audio

Extreme Metal Attack (anno XVI)
HelldProd Records
Release – March/22/2019

(Celebrating the 16th event of its kind in Portugal scheduled for March 22/23, 2019)

https://helldprod.bandcamp.com/album/extreme-metal-attack-anno-xvi-2019-tickets

Release date March/22/2019

extreme metal attack 2019

Well hello again.

Cult’s house is empty.

It’s quiet. Which is strange as the spawn of Cult usually leaves a tornado of destruction in her wake, she isn’t shy about letting loose amplified power from her infantile pipes either, the words “I’m a princess!!” Never fails to leave a smirk on my gnarly visage.

I’m discovering new stuff every day. Like where Cult secretes his sugary goods in order that his lips are the only ones to taste them (clever bastid!). I believe I’ve found his weakness however, if it even comes down to it all I’ll ever need do is hold one of his beloved Funkos hostage and he’ll be like putty in my grasp.

Now, where was I? I got distracted.

Ah, there’s his computer. One nudge of the table on which it’s perched and the screen flashes into life. It appears Cult has left me a template (what a nice fellow), either that or he didn’t get around to finishing this. Ha! I’ll make his day and do it for him.

Now what do we have here? An underground metal compilation supporting a festival in Portugal. I’ve visited numerous times. The people are tasty (though there’s no ketchup in sight) and the language is like the exquisite howling of a tortured soul to my ears.

Hmm-! My interest is perked, my nipples are hard, I’ll spare you the description of my aroused genitals. Let’s take a listen, shall we?

Well, would ya look at that. It seems as though, on visual contact anyway, this compilation seems right up my alley (there’s a ‘double-entendre’ if ever I visualized one, yuck!)

The track title is enough to raise the hackles of a hell hound with a hankering for audio extreme.

hellhound

Wait. I smell audio extreme. I’ll save you for later!

‘Fire’, ‘Daemons’, ‘Abominations’, ‘Deathchant’ and ‘Unholy Semen’ (full of salty protein nutrition, no doubt, at least that’s how I’d spin it on a first date) all words which I’m intimately familiar with though which still never fail to grab my attention. Now, where was I? A tray full of snacks, Chef mix, donuts? I jest, I have the attention of a flea. But, strangely, where metal is concerned, I’m hyper-vigilant, if only I had the memory to match.

Perusing articles of a similar nature I can see that Cult has devised a rating system especially for the purpose of releases such as this. I like it, but it won’t work in this instance, I need my own flavor.

Let’s try this instead.

Abysmal.

Not in the good way. Toss this in the ocean and punch the nearest passerby to let out the frustration of spending money on schiite such as this. Jesus might like this. But I still believe it has the potential to do naught but line the birds cage. Jesus loves everything, which in my opinion is rather silly. Jesus you’re a prat!

 

Hrrrrrhhhhh-!

Better, this shows potential. Much like, I’d imagine, your mother on a first date. But it still leaves me wanting.

The Goblin are going crazy!

Admittedly the annoying green bastid like most things and get excited at the drop of a turd but occasionally they have a suggestion which turns heads. And if the whole collective, much like an obnoxious stench-ridden green tide, agrees there must be something worth giving, at least, a cursory glance towards.

Time for a Crimson Splattered Moshpit!

Now this is worth sharing, break out the goblets, the fiery liquid, the unwilling, let’s break some limbs and party till the Dark Lord yells at us to get back to work!

All Mine!

I’m a selfish bastid. And this is too fkn’ good to share, it’s all mine!!

confued Orc

I’m confused, still!

 

That’s better, get the point? I don’t care, let’s continue.

Nine tracks in all, and I’ll be if each one of them doesn’t excite in their own way.

Nocturnal are to first to rip into the senses, the track appears oddly ironic. I’m bouncing around like a primate with its a lit firecracker in its anus. Let’s just say Cult is going to return home to find shit all outta’ whack. The place is destroyed, his coffee is on the carpet (not to fret it’s in a spill proof type container thing) one of the legs of his side table is reduced to splinters, several (of the various) notebooks from his desks is confetti and the picture of the smiling green guy above his desk is slightly askew. I need to calm down. But what a start. Damn!

The audio continues. There’s no frilly crap to be found here folks I can make that out within no time at all. Blackened speed/thrash, black metal and black every-goddamn-thing else is on the menu, venomous vocals which would strip primer from a myriad of vehicles in a gangsters paradise (whatever that means) complement rhythms inciteful enough to raise the Dead (keep the ‘toilet water’ handy, corpses have a stench to cut through even the most wicked of sinus blockage).

After a solitary listen, I’ll grant this a rating of Time for a Crimson Splattered Moshpit within spitting distance of the All Mine! rating.

Overall this collection is one I’d gladly take a few lashings for, my boss is a split-tongued, pitch fork wielding, demanding cock-nugget, what can I say?

Within the collection there are a handful of tracks I lost total control of my body over whilst listening, tracks I’d gladly place on an infernal playlist and irreparably damage my misshapen torso to.

In order…

nocturnal

Nocturnal – Rising Daemons

Fast as unholy fuck with rhythms to match and wicked vocals and a nod to vintage speed metal. An amazing introduction to this, or any compilation. My neck is broken, again, from the vigorous head bangin’, I’ll have to reset it (but it was worth it!)

Dethronation – Deathchant Assyria

Try as hard as I might I can’t help but bounce from one wall to the next with this between my ears. Old-school blackened speed and attitude with a South American feel. What’s not to like?

Did I mention this has an epic length and passages of doom tinged atmosphere, nope? Well I apologize. Great track!

blackevil

Blackevil – Between Fire and Fire

What is it about “speed” that gets to me so?

This question might never be answered, in much the same way human males have a fascination of over-sized mounds of chest fat fit to bursting.

Blackevil have somehow fused NWOBHM with blackened speed with a familiar vocal style I can’t for the infernal life of me place (there’s that shit memory again). Regardless this fkn’ rips!!

Nefastu – Belica Neblina

Blistering black metal similar to Tatgren’s scorching Abyss output. Need I say more, probably not, but I will.

Alcoholocaust – Supreme Heavy Metal Negro

Chainsaws and machine guns and there’s the N word in the title. One of these three things is enough to incite a riot in the liberal mind, the other two are used to exhaustion every night in the suburbs of Chicago. Take your pick, I’ll be busy acting like a frenzied force of nature as I prance around without a care in the world.

martyrium

Martyrium – Abominations

Easily the most polished sounding track here. This boasts epic values and sports black, death and doom, albeit pitch in tone, elements.

It’s the sacrificial aura that does it for me, however. Gteat stuff!

Necromutilator – Unholy Semen of Doom

I swear if this track sucked especially with the words ‘unholy semen’ in its title I’d hurt a Mfer’. Thankfully it doesn’t! Groove aplenty.

toxik attack

Toxik Attack – Loucos Pelo Old School

I can’t for the life of me make out what they are saying but I’m loving this. It has a folk/heavy metal/speed metal vibe which I’m finding irresistible.

That’s about it, this compilation made me jizz all over the damn place, several times in fact, caused me a concussion from slipping in the mess and resulted in an unfathomable amount of broken bones. Not to worry they’ll knit together again, and I’ll become infinitely uglier.  This is par for the course and I’ve become accustomed to it.

Fuk, I hear footsteps, I’ve no time to clean up. Perhaps a note will suffice…?

There, I’ve placed it where it will be easily spotted.

Oh, what does it say?

Sorry Daddy, it was me.

Love M.

No one will ever know.

Now to secreting myself where no one will find me. Wait a minute. She’s barely two, do you think she even knows how to brandish a crayon, or use punctuation?

extreme metal attack banner

B

Abrasive Audio… to Soothe the Senses #666

(…because the Devil, Damien and a bowl of Frosted Flakes told me to)

bestof18Audio

Inculter – Fatal Visions
(Norway)
Release – April/12/2019
Edged Circle Productions

inculter

https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/album/fatal-visions

Artwork – 7

The image seems familiar, a mash-up of sorts from a variety of other albums drawn by the same artist? Perhaps I need my eyes checked?

First Track – 9

Blistering pace, tight composition and thrashy vocals with an old school vibe. This is positively distracting audio which only means one thing…it’s frkn’ great!

Initial Listen – 9.5

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

This refuses to leave my stereo, but that’s perfectly ok, the only thing I’m worried about is the state of my spine, I’m headbanging like a maniac! Reccd’ for fan of Hellish, Sepulchre and blackened speed in all its unholy, wicked, glorious forms.

Favorite Tracks; All of them! This delivers from start to finish!

Necropanther -Eyes of Blue Light
(USA)
Release – February/23/2018
Independent

Necropanther-Eyes-of-Blue-Light-01-500x500

https://necropanther.bandcamp.com/album/eyes-of-blue-light

Artwork – 7.5

A mysterious, desolate, sand strewn landscape watched over by two moons. …”We’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy”.

First Track – 8.5

This isn’t honestly what I expected from a band with a Necropanther moniker though it is a pleasant surprise indeed. Excellent melodies, a sublime mixture of styles and an utterly recognizable vocal style make this instantly captivating. A great start!

Initial Listen – 9

It doesn’t take long to appreciate the delicate tapestry, rich mix and delicate balance of thrash, speed, heavy, epic and power metal. Sweeping guitar melodies alongside, and arm in arm with, breakneck rhythms and a pace that’s deliciously varied. But enough with the teasing, the vocalist sounds eerily similar to SkeletonWitch’s Chance Garnette and in instances the music sparks the same familiarities. All in all, an excellent way to get oneself acquainted with an act who is sure to become a name in everyone’s ears soon enough. Did I mention this is a Dune concept (?) album? Well, you wouldn’t know as it’s stunning and has little to do with the clichés that most of the same nature exhibit.

Excellent audio that would’ve been sure to feature on last year’s best of list if I’d have experienced it sooner.

For fans of speed metal, thrash metal, early SkeletonWitch and 3 Inches of Blood.

Favorite Tracks; Imperium Overture, Kiss of Darkness, Shai-Hulud, Water of Life, Feyd Rautha, Strange Gods.

Witchkiss – The Austere Curtains of our Eyes
(USA)
Release – July/13/2018
Independent
Dewar PR

witchkiss

https://witchkiss.bandcamp.com/album/the-austere-curtains-of-our-eyes

Artwork – 7

An unmistakable ethereal quality bursts from this albums art. A cloudiness, an aura, that breathes unfathomable archaic elements and mystery.

First Track – 7

Booming vocals and grandiose riffs a soundscape that seethes with atmosphere and a tribal-esque aura. An intriguing start that’s miles from traditional doom.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Haunting, eerie, chilling and all-encompassing.

Overflowing with atmosphere and raw emotion this album delivers that which many can only hope to. A slow start, however, as the album progresses it transfixes with its epic, acoustic, and often minimalistic approach. Dual vocals sporting tremendous range (traditional to feral) add depth to an album which drenches its audience in melancholic tones, themes of loss and grief.

Plenty of influence on display here to sate the yearnings of heavy, rather than brutal, ranging from Neurosis and YOB through a slew of more traditional Doom merchants.

Favorite Tracks; Death Knell, Spirits of the Dirt, A Harrowing Solace.

West of Hell – Blood of the Infidel
(Canada)
Release – April/1/2019
Self-Released
Clawhammer PR

west of hell

Artwork – 8

Awash in a flame motif there’s obviously something afoot here. Seething with undeniable ominous nature this is a vivid image indeed.

First Track – 9

Those melodies, those vocals (honestly, the guy is from Zimmers Hole who are one of my favorites based both on the music and his excellent voice). The whole package is a wonder to behold and I’m only one-track in. Instant attention grabber!

Hold my calls, metal has me in a choke hold!!

Initial Listen – 9

Power, epic, heavy, speed, melodic death metal? Take your pick. This has it all, mixed to perfection and vocals of a caliber akin to a force of nature. Awesome range doesn’t even begin to cover it! Reminiscent of acts in a similar vein to Nevermore this release checks off all the elements which a long time, open-minded, fan of the metal spectrum could hope for, it’s

Melodic, aggressive, emotional, energetic and dripping with depth. I’m finding it hard to find the words – this is outstanding audio!!

Toss this atop the pile for early additions to the next best of year list.

Favorite Tracks; Hammer and Hand, Infidels, The Machine, The Dark Turn, Mankind Commands.

Public Grave – Cadaverous Resurrection
(Germany)
Release – January/7/2019
RTM Productions
Against PR

public grave

https://rebirththemetalproductions.bandcamp.com/album/public-grave-cadaverous-resurrection

Artwork – 7.5

Readying for global domination, I present Steve and his army of shambling, undead fiends. Go Steve, go!

First Track – 7

As predicted, this is slam, deathcore-ridden death metal with an emphasis on groove.

And… against my thoughts on the slam genre this is actually not that bad.

Initial Listen – 7.5

Weaving brutal death rhythms, Slam riffs and breakneck passages Public Graves have somehow managed to construct an album which should please fans from across the board. The balance is delicate though more pronounced in a number of tracks. However the infectious nature remains, and there’s even the occasional “bree-bree-bree” to perk the interest of the grindcore crowd. This is a collective of tunage I’ll gladly spin again although it in no way reinvents the wheel.

Favorite Tracks; Realm of the Rotten, Undead Army Rising, Disciples of Defilement.

The Glorious Rebellion – The Scholars of War
(USA)
Release – March/29/2019
Sludgelord Records
Dewar PR

the glorious rebellion

https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/scholars-of-war

Artwork – 7.5

A heart, a brain and a skull. All interchangeable apparently, which is kinda’ odd. But I’m intrigued.

First Track – 7.5

This is riot music! Which, admittedly, only on paper is a good thing. The riffs are monstrous and assault unmercifully with the worst of intentions.

The vocalist, front and foremost, has a lead lined throat and spews vocals with volcanic intensity. Other than this is undefinable, infectious and criminally energy charged, but I’m diggin’ the shit out of it!

Initial Listen – 8.5

How to describe something which is a number of different things and hardly ever one in particular? Perhaps list the ingredients? The intensity in which this leaves the listener with wide eyes, the impression the vocalist leaves with his blitzkrieg approach or the overall effect? I’m at a loss. But what I do know is that this is too damn short. Three tracks at seventeen minutes leaves me eager for more.

Punk, Noise, Aggro. Think Acid Bath, Brutal Juice and perhaps Helmet. This is a lot of things but mostly… bloody brilliant!

Favorite Tracks; This is Fine, Burn it Down Lemon.

Witchgoat – Egregors of the Black Faith
(El Salvador)
Release – February/13/2019
Morbid Skull Records/Hell Productions
Qabar PR

witchgoat Egreg

https://morbidskull.bandcamp.com/album/egregors-of-the-black-faith

Artwork – 8

Raw, black and white imagery drenched in chaos and menace.

First Track – 8

Diabolical, chaotic yet oozing with melodic values dripping in underground tones. Primal blackened speed that offers so much more.

Initial Listen – 9

A fantastic bestial, blackened speed concoction with enough atmosphere to sate both the black and speed hordes. Dripping in evil, bursting with ill- intent and saturated in a downright surprising infectious groove albeit one that seethes on a raw, unfiltered nature. Influence is plentiful but this album will appease all those with a yearning for audio that’s swift, infernal and archaic. Believe the hype cus’ this album rips!

Favorite Tracks; Proliferation of the Dark Souls, Emanations from the Underworld, Eyes of the Profane, Umbra Regit,

Tides of Sulfur – Paralysis of Reason
(Wales)
Release – March/29/2019
Sludgelord Records/APF Records/Astral Noise
Dewar PR

tides of sulfur

https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/paralysis-of-reason

Artwork – 7.5

Definite nods to the punk/grindcore releases from yesteryear (most especially ‘World Downfall’ by Terrorizer). A newspaper clipping montage splattered in blood which displays definite themes of angst and unrest.

First Track – 8.5

Short, to the point and wickedly infectious. A grove-laden accompanied by venomous vox. A great start which is spurring involuntary limb movements.

Initial Listen – 8

Any band with audio lifted from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (or Snatch, I’m not entirely sure which) gets extra points from me.

To be honest however, this release doesn’t need them. It hits the spot with its excellent mash-up of styles; grindcore, sludge, doom and black metal and insistent use of the word ‘Cunt’ (which is criminally under-utilized IMO).

Favorite Tracks; Worms, Humorless Cunt, Paralysis of Reason.

AD Patres – A Brief Introduction to Human Experiments
(France)
Release – February/8/2019
Xenocorp Records

adpatres

https://xenokorp.bandcamp.com/album/a-brief-introduction-to-human-experiments

Artwork – 8

Stunning hues and tones form a classic image basted in enigmatic qualities. Is that fella dragging around a human spine?

First Track – 9

Technical, brutal, tight and bears the similar instant attention-grabbing effect of an abrupt boot to the throat. An outstanding start!

Initial Listen – 9

I can’t for the life of me believe this is my first experience of Ad Patres audio. Seriously, right from the get-go this had all the hallmarks of an album you want to tell your closest friends about, and as soon as possible. The hyper-swift intertwined riffs, the inhumanely tight, frenetic, and intricate drum salvos, the varied rhythms and the vocals. Everything fits to form an exquisite package which leaves me with an embarrassingly huge smirk on my face. Help, the wife thinks I’m up to no good!

There’s not a boring moment to be found here!

Recommended for fans of Death, Misery Index and Gorguts. This is an album you won’t soon forget, and an early contender for inclusion in a best of the year list.

Favorite Tracks; Mechanical Enlightenment, Led by Flesh, Symbiosick, Enclosing Terror, The Floating Point.

The Black Sorcery – Wolves Degrade
(Canada)
Release – March/28/2019
Krucyator Productions

blacksorcery

https://krucyator.bandcamp.com/album/wolven-degrade

Artwork – 8

A raw image which leaves little to the imagination. Sick, vile, depraved and immoral but I’m loving it!

First Track – 7

Sounds like what one might expect from the albums art. This is dark, twisted, chaotic, pulverizing and unforgiving bestial blackened death (or something insanely close).

Initial Listen – 7

Raw, primal and definitely not for those new to the scene, this is the type of audio you need to become accustomed to rather than be tossed headfirst into. However, this does boast a certain something which gives an indescribable allure. Is it the gutter-esque growling, the rhythms, the archaic production values or the overall package? It’s hard to say but I’m finding I’m liking it more as it reaches its shuddering, gore soaked, climax.

Recommended for those who desire their tunage on the darker, dingier, most primitive, bestial side of the metal spectrum.

Who, after all, can’t appreciate a track entitled ‘Angry Spit of the Witches Piss’ (what-!?)

Favorite Tracks; Wolves Degrade, Putrescent Infected, Worse Still the Fog of Man Settles.

Ceremony of Silence – Outis
(Slovakia)
Release – April/5/2019
Willowtip Records
Clawhammer PR

ceremony of silnece

https://ceremonyofsilence.bandcamp.com/album/o-tis

Artwork – 7.5

A tidal frenzy against a sky shot through with thick clouds and lightning.

Not a traditional metal cover by any means this is a little enigmatic, am I about to encounter audio of an avant garde nature? Hitting Play.

First Track – 8.5

Chaotic, assaulting, unrelenting and cavernous though in no means traditional. Extreme tunage which effectively touches upon black, death and doom bases with fantastic results leaving the listener eager for more.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Unrelenting, frenetic and majestic are only a few words to describe the melodies and drum salvoes showcased here. The combined effect invokes an underworld arcane intensity that envelopes the listener. A chaotic fury, far from the more traditional structure, which transports it’s audience to alien realms drenched in mysticism and the occult.

Hardly avant garde though miles from what one might expect Outis offers a presence rarely experienced, an audio landscape dotted with a variety of influence and style which is sure to please those willing to submerge an open mind.

Favorite Tracks; Invocation of the Silent Eye, Ceremony of a Thousand Stars, Upon the Shores of Death, Arising of no Man.

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon
(United Kingdom)
Release – January/25/2019
M Theory Audio
Grand Sounds PR

hecate-enthroned-box-contents

https://hecateenthroned.bandcamp.com/album/embrace-of-the-godless-aeon

Artwork – 8

An archaic ceremonial rite has been entered into, but at what cost, and for whom?

I’m intrigued, time to hit play.

First Track – 8

Enveloping symphonic atmosphere, grandiose arrangements and ominous rhythms. Obvious similarities to Cradle of Filth are undeniable which only makes me wonder how it is this is the first I’ve heard of this band. I’m both curious and excited as to how the remainder of this release plays out.

Initial Listen – 8.5

Intriguing from start to finish and effectively utilizing an exquisite balance of both symphonic and riff driven melodies delivering majestic and triumphant heights Hecate Enthroned have managed to capture the attention and hold it throughout this album’s length. Progressive elements flirt with track structures and the addition of traditional female vocals adds depth and emotion making for an album that’s diverse while still boasting sufficient Gothic, black and extreme values to sate most yearnings which any curious fan may have.

Favorite Tracks; Revelations in Autumns Flame, The Shuddering Giant, Whispers of the Mountain Ossuary, Erebus and Terror.

The Elysian Fields – New World Misanthropia
(Greece)
Release – February/11/2019
Hammer of Damnation Records

theelysianfields

https://hammerofdamnation.bandcamp.com/album/new-world-misanthropia

Artwork – 8.5

From the catacombs something appears, it’s been waiting a milenia to make its presence known. A brilliant image bathed in an ominous, enigmatic, old world, atmosphere.

First Track – 9

There must be something in the water in the Greek isles. Is the Ouzo (sp.) laced? The similarity to another, more recently active and celebrated, Greek metal beast is unmistakable but these gents have been dormat for forteen years. Time enough to hone their skills and this track proves it. An outstanding marriage of symphonic elements and death/black rhythms with the emphasis on presence rather than brutality.

Initial Listen – 9

Words escape me! The audio package on offer here is grandiose, part Septic Flesh, part Rotting Christ, part Behemoth, part Dimmu Borgir (older) but altogether top-notch showcasing a symphonic audio scape, envoking a medieval/arcane kingdom Gothic backdrop, accompanied by rhythms which bring to mind both the undeniable power of black metal’s presence and occasional tech death melodies, more specifically drum mastery salvos and intricacy ala Dying Fetus, Misery Index.

Admittedly this bands history and output speaks for itself, in no way copycatting those acts mentioned previously, and this is a commendable addition to the discography boasting more than enough ear-shattering excellence to make anyone want to delve into the bands back catalog.

If the more recent releases of Septic Flesh sound a little too “polished”, give this a shot. ‘New World Misanthropia’ is a supreme symphonic death/black audio concoction which is sure to carve a plethora of split visages across the extreme metal spectrum.

Highly recommended!!

Favorite Tracks; All of them, this delivers from start to finish. Remarkable in every way!

Interrupting A Regular Scheduled Broadcast for a Guest Spot

 

Miscarriage – Imminent Horror
(USA)
Release – February/22/2019
Sentient Ruin

miscarraige

https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/imminent-horror

My Ponderings

Artwork – A montage of sickness and gruesome images (eyeballs, dead babies and scattered limbs) akin to early Carcass album art. One wouldn’t be too surprised at the audio within I could only assume.

My Thoughts – Obvious similarities to early Carcass material need to be mentioned as this belongs in much the same folder in regard to its extreme nature and overall, undeniable, suffocating effect. I’m only one track in but already I’m starting to believe this could well be the soundtrack to a roller-coaster excursion into the bowels of one’s worst nightmares.

Final Verdict – Ever wondered what it would sound like if grindcore collaborated with doom, atmospheric black metal and noise? This could well be the resulting effect. But one would also have to exchange epic track lengths with the traditional firework short lengths attributed to grindcore and tone down these same contribution/elements considerably. Howling, screeches and rumbles combine to form the accompanying vocals whereas the rhythms drench the listener in unmerciful tones giving the desired effect of being dragged through thick, cloying, mud (perhaps the liquefied remains of a mass murderers killing spree) only to be let go to be allowed to momentarily breathe then plummet down a craggy incline, rock encrusted steep gradient. Battered, bruised and a broken one might arise only to have it happen again as the antagonist prepares for yet another assault.

This is an audio experience only the brave need consider! Most others will tap out early, for good reason, this is a harrowing, all-consuming audio journey far from typical genre expectations.

 Introducing this Weeks guest – Void (and his thoughts on the same release)
radioactiveVoidsquirrelHere’s Void!

 

Donning the aesthetic of early Carcass but with the musical stylings of Coffins mixed with Obskure Torture and maybe even a little demo-era Abruptum, Miscarriage is bound to be an acquired taste for even the most ardent death/doom fan. Crashing cymbals lead the crawling slow-motion avalanche, splitting open a path for garbled roars and screams that project absolute terror. Riffs are written in water and swirl around murkily without ever taking any real form and mostly serve as a caustic backdrop to the drumming and vocals. Without having the shape and organization of funeral doom but having more structure (barely) than pure noise, Miscarriage are far more likely to be memorable from the level of discomfort they cause rather than any actual musical passages. It’s ignorant to think that wasn’t their goal to begin with, and in that sense, mission fucking accomplished. Probably not an every-day listen, but impressive.

                                                Releases From Metal’s Past
Vredehammer – Violator
(Norway)
Release – March/18/2016
Indie Recordings

Vredehammer-Violator-2016-300x300

https://vredehammer.bandcamp.com/album/violator

Brimming with intensity, rhythm and plenty of groove Vredehammer somehow channel both Vader, Unleashed and Amon Amarth to forge an audio concoction that’s familiar yet distinct, rousing and rather hard to place comfortably in any one genre, thrash, death, Viking metal, which isn’t at all a bad thing.

Galloping riffs frolic with doom tinged melodies and driving drum tattoos, backed by a vocal prowess any Viking would be proud to have issue from their throat.

Admittedly this is my first experience of the band, but I’ll be returning often, and I won’t spoil the chance to praise then whenever an opportune moment arises.

Set your ears on this you won’t be disappointed!

Brutal Juice – Welcome to the Panopticon
(USA)
Release – October/29/2016
Homus Boyus

brutal juice

I honestly had no idea that Brutal Juice had released anything recently, so this was a nice surprise. The artwork is somewhat strange, par for the course seriously, an odd mix of both a Rasputin and Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead) mask photoshopped onto someone else.

I’ve seen Brutal Juice twice (without prior experience of either their name or style) and they blew me away with their stage appearance, energy and enthusiasm. Admittedly, their style can’t be classed as either metal or rock (though it does display elements of acts like Soundgarden, The Melvins, Polkadot Cadaver, Jesus Lizard and Acid Bath to name but a few) but more punk fused with alternate rock, though even this is up for debate as apparently even the front man has problems describing the style which he loosely terms as LSD fueled rock/punk. Regardless of where the description leads, one thing is concrete. Brutal Juice deliver audio that’s deliciously different, odd, often surreal, unpredictable though always a pleasure to lay the ears upon.

May I suggest first experiencing ‘Mutilation Makes Identification Difficult’, especially two tracks within its undeniable uniqueness; ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ and ‘The Whorehouse of Screams’.

Favorite Tracks; Reptoid Vs Stonehenge!, Black Sunrise, Welcome to the Panopticon, Numbskull.

 

Hexecutor – Poison, Lust and Damnation
(France)
Release – November/2/2016
Armee de la Mort Records

hexecutor

http://hexecutor.bandcamp.com

This came to me via Recc from Emil (@uniquehifi on twitter)

With a cover like the one this album boasts (a swamp, a myriad of hanging corpses and a mysterious figure in the foreground who has apparently already locked eyes with mine) it’s safe to say my interests are peaked even before I’ve heard a single note. Hitting play it took all of three seconds for me to forget my purpose as I started to bounce excitably from one wall to the next. Why? You might ask. To which I’d answer this is criminally inciteful audio and my limbs have apparently lost all reason.

I’ll ruin this upfront by stating that if hyper-speed mixed with traditional heavy metal is your thing then this album is a must listen. It’s that simple really!!

Hexecutor tear it up vintage Kreator style, think ‘Under the Guillotine’, imagine a whole album that fast, then add rhythmic intricacies, and a vocal style with often overboard energy (sometimes attaining vintage Raven heights). But that’s not all. There isn’t a dull moment found here. As the audio plays out the mind reels with similar acts (for it’s easier to recommend something if you have something familiar you can relate it to) and I believe I’ve came up with a few. Let’s just say if Whiplash, Witchery, Hellish and blackened speed is the type of audio you can’t live without, Hexecutor is the next logical progression. Prepare to hand over that CC #’s!

And there I was thinking France had little to offer the spectrum of metal. As it turns out this release has the impact to flip that statement, and me, on its ass.

You can thank me (cof* Emil) later.

Keep those cold compresses and heating packs at the ready this audio will make a plethora of muscles, you never knew you had, sore.

Hellripper – Complete and Total Fucking Mayhem (EP’s and Splits 15′-18′)
(Scotland)
Reaper Metal Productions
Release- February/13/2019

hellripper complete and

https://reapermetalproductions.bandcamp.com/album/complete-and-total-fucking-mayhem

This is blackened thrash the way Granma used to make. Wha-! Let me rephrase that – This is blackened thrash the way it should be! Zero filler, evil as a goat with global conquest dreams, faster than something that’s blisteringly quick and with just the right amount of traditional old school values (NWOBHM anyone) tossed in to make the listeners reminisce upon the golden era of speed metal, now decades past, as they try their hardest not to dislocate their head from its spinal anchor. Think Venom, Exciter and even in instances audio decidedly Bathory in tone.

What makes this even more outstanding is the unfathomable fact that it’s all conceived, created and laid down by, only, one hugely talented fellow. Seriously take a bow James. This is ungodly addictive and infectious to the point where this could dominate the stereo.

Just try to remain static as this obliterates the space between the ears.

This collection demands respect (it’s one of the finer split/EP collections I’ve had the pleasure to lay my ears upon) ‘Coagulation Darkness’ (2017) was a best of year pick and the Dark Lord only knows what impact Hellrippers newest will mark. I’m eager. April can’t come fast enough!

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.

.

Ummm…

Someone turned out the lights.

Is there anyone here?

No matter. It’s not like I’m an invited guest anyhows. I’m merely returning to the location whence I was summoned. I can still make out the crayon and the multitude of colorful scribbles (my eyesight is a damn sight better than it looks, there’s a pun if ever I heard one) on the baths surface, even though Cult tried his damndest to scrub them away. Ah, his daughter and her imagination, what a naughty lil’ bundle of unpredictable cuteness.

Oh, what’s this? The newest single from Bewitcher. My fingers have happened upon an image which brings the memories flooding back. Of course, it’s wicked of me to go looking through Cult’s phone (but it’s just laid up here on the side, unguarded, asking for attention. Shit, it’s even blinking as if to say look at me, hold me, play with me). Although none of my memories are quite as vivid or delicious as the image which has now so captured my attention.

If only those consumed by fire, so many centuries ago, were that delectable (excuse me, I’m drooling). Peasants the lot of em’, admittedly some had fantastic ways of removing unwanted skin growths and imagined they could foretell the future. There was this one…I’ll leave that tale for another day. But, oh that smell and the look on the magistrate’s face. Ha!

Ahh- the audio.

Tearing me away from my sordid recollections towards those of a more audio nature. This is frustratingly short, only two songs but I could play them both till my ears bleed (which happens more than one might think). The second is a track that’s familiar, A W.A.S.P song, if I’m not mistaken (slightly off topic, but worthy of note, Blackie’s exploits are legendary even where I spend most of my time and their moniker is more infinitely vicious than even the rumors hint at).

Intriguing is the fact that it goes by the title of a Slayer album moniker, who hasn’t heard of those thrashin’ maniacs? Old school, raunchy, rock n roll I can see myself losing control of my extremities to.

Now, the opener, ‘Faster Than the Flames’ has Venom worship written all over it (whatever happened to those guys anyway? Rumor has it, Mantas toured with Dokken and that Bass licking fellow, Cronos I believe his name is, joined a Jehovah cult. In regards, to Abaddon. Last I heard he was coaching a junior collegiate hockey league. Odd how things unfold). Even down to the vocal inflections, ‘Bloodlust’ anyone? I’m not complaining in the slightest, however. I’m familiar with their last, although it’s now a few years old, and it’s known to be the soundtrack to many an unholy shindig.

This is too damn short, this is my major concern here. I have no problems with the music whatsoever, it’s just that I now have to wait until Spring, fkn’ flowers, prettiness and all that jazz, until the album comes out via Shadow Kingdom Records (great name that!) I’m impatient, dammit!

Shit, I hear something. The passage of time has apparently taken me by surprise yet again, it happens when I place tunage of this caliber between my ears. Just wait till Cult sees what kind of a mess I left his headphones in. I’m not even sure what half that drainage comes from. Yuck!

I’ll leave this here.

Bewitcher – Too Fast for the Flames 7” EP
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/too-fast-for-the-flames
March/8/2019
Shadow Kingdom Records
bewitcher Too fast

Vinyl options

Perhaps we’ll meet again?

Until then…