Posts Tagged ‘War Curse’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Second
pissed easter day bunny

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

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



Allegaeon – Apoptosis

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

Archaic Decapitator – The Apothecary

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

Belezebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods*

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

black sites exile

Black Sites – Exile*

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

Gruesome Stuff Relish /Choked by own Vomits SPLIT

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

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

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

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin

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

black arts n alchemy

Hellripper – Black Arts and Alchemy

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

Inculter – Fatal Visions

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

Mist of Misery – Unalterable

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


Teleport – The Expansion

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

West of Hell – Blood of the Infidel*

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


Wormwitch – Heaven that Dwells Within

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


Body Harvest – Parasitic Slavery

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

evil angel

Evil Angel – Unholy Evil Metal*

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

Funeral Storm – Arcane Mysteries

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

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly

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

Idle hands mana

Idle Hands – Mana

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

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork

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


Krypts – Cadaver Circulation

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

Kull (formerly Bal Sagoth) – Exile

Grandiose in tone and scope Exile offers that which many have tried, in vain, to capture. Exquisite rhythms, thundering riffs as well passages of beauty complement a symphonic backdrop, epic in scale. Hardly traditional of any one genre this overflows with menace, majesty and at times a certain viciousness, even a narration of sorts, a fantastical concept unfolds if you will. This might at first make heads spin. As it progresses, however, confusion is sure to translate into admiration and appreciation.

Misþyrming – Algleymi

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


Monasterium – Church of Bones

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

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist

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

Paladin – Ascender

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


Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion*

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

Sathamel – Horror Vacui*

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

Vale of Pnath – Accursed

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


Varaha – A Passage for Lost Years

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

War Curse – Eradication

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

Widower – Cataclysmic Sorcery

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

witch ritual.jpg

Witch Ritual – Death: Beyond

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


Atlas Entity – Beneath the Cosmic Silence*

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

Beheaded – Only Death can Save You

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


Concilivm– The Veiled Enigma (EP)

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

Consecration – Fragilium

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

Gravefields – Embrace the Void

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

memoriam a requiem

Memoriam – A Requiem for Mankind *

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

Ov Lustra – Tempestas

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

pestis inferos

Pestis Inferos – Beyond the Veil of Light

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

Superstition – The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation *

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

the odious

The Odious – Vesica Piscis

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

mix tape action

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

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


Abrasive Audio (Part the Ninth)

the rough seas of metal


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

Keeping it basic this week. Onward to audio extreme…


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


Artwork – 8.5

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

First Track – 8.5

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

Initial Listen – 8

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

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

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

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


Artwork – 8

Classical imagery with an occult and slightly macabre twist.

First Track – 8.5

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

Initial Listen – 8

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

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

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

nocturnal Witch

Artwork – 7.5

Anyone up for the immolation of a collective of undesirables?

…There’ll be pizza!

*Sudden rush of hurried footsteps.

(I knew that would work!)

First Track – 7.5

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

Initial Listen – 8

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

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

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

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


Artwork – 8.5

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

First Track – 8

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

Initial Listen – 8.5

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

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

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

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

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

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


Artwork – 7.5

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

First Track – 7.5

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

Initial Listen – 7

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

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

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

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

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


Artwork – 8

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

First Track – 8.5

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

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

Initial Listen – 8.5

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

Favorite Tracks; Asylum, Eradication, Polluted Minds.

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


Artwork – 7.5

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

First Track – 8.5

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

Initial Listen – 8.5

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

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

Highly recommended!!

Favorite Tracks; Wild Fever, ICE, Axestacy.

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


Artwork – 8

Based on the brilliant artwork here

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

First Track – 7.5

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

Initial Listen – 8.5

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

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

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

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

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


Artwork – 6

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

First Track – 7

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

Initial Listen – 7

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

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

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


Artwork – 8

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

A wicked image indeed!

First Track – 8

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

Initial Listen – 8

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

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

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

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


Artwork – 7.5

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

First Track – 8.5

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

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

Initial Listen – 8.5

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

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

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


Artwork – 8

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

First Track – 8.5

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

Initial Listen – 9.5

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

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

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

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

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

sins of the damned

Artwork – 8.5

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

First Track – 7.5

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

Initial Listen – 8

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

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

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