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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

War Legion - Gran Satanás


Artist: War Legion
Release Title: Gran Satanás
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Old-School Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. Gran Satanás
3. Abismo mental
4. En nombre de Satán
5. Destroying the Enemy
6. Guerra y sodomía
7. La era del mal

Formed just in 2015, Colombian black metal power-trio War Legion wasted little time in bringing forth a brand of filth and old-school grime into the crowded scene as the band quickly brought forth a rather impressive style of attack. Quickly unleashing their ravenous assault on audiences, the groups’ self-released full-length debut was originally released November 12, 2016.

Bringing forth the ravenous old-school charm, the group manages to elicit plenty of filth and fury in their overall sound and presentation. Bolstered by that relentless style of tremolo riff-work prevalent in the scene, this bounces along through the somewhat sloppy yet still engaging attempts at frantic rhythms. Given that the sloppiness of the material is still present here, it simply adds to the ferocity and intensity as the riffing adopts a straightforward nature filled with plenty of tight, blistering riffing that adds an incredible fiery energy to the tracks when aided by the relentless pounding of the drumming throughout here. While this tends to be the case for the most part here, the fact that this one does seem incredibly short with the album’s running time and tracklisting making it seem like a demo or an EP effort rather than a full-length. This is certainly a case where it could’ve used more on here to build it up a little better since the attack is quite nice if formulaic of so many of the other genre entities which lowers this a little more as well. Still, this one has a lot to like overall.

While it does have a slight problem with the tracklisting keeping this one down somewhat, there’s still plenty of enjoyable elements to this one with their old-school ferocity that helps to raise this one up enough to be quite worthwhile for fans of extreme South American black metal or old-school black metal in general.

Score: 80/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://warlegion.bandcamp.com/releases

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hellripper - Coagulating Darkness


Artist: Hellripper
Release Title: Coagulating Darkness
Year: 2017
Label: Barbarian Wrath
Genre: Black/Thrash (Speed) Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Bastard of Hades
2. Anneliese
3. Demdike (In League with the Devil)
4. Within the Everlasting Hellfire
5. From Hell
6. Black Invocation
7. Conduit Closing
8. Coagulating Darkness

Storming out of the underground in 2014, Scottish one-man black/speed metal project Hellripper is a part of the vast catelog of quality projects created by James McBain to spread his strong musical voice to the masses through the variety of these projects. After numerous highly-praised splits and EP releases, the full-length debut was initially released April 14, 2017 on Barbarian Wrath.

Much like previous efforts, once again this one offers a full-scale assault of their previous assault of blackened fiery speed metal in a more professional setting. Built around even more of the fiery riff-work, the stylish leads and frantic outbursts that were apparent on their previous outings only taken to a more glossy sheen, it brings out even more dynamic intricacies in the bombastic riffing as the relentless energy continually pouring out. The volley of tight riffing featured here creates such a whirlwind of vicious, high-energy speeds that bounce along at truly engaging speeds that it makes for a far more engaging experience with the remainder of the instrumentation following suit on the thrashing within each of the tracks. That each of the tracks here feature such a ferocious energy and fiery performances is all the more impressive due to the project being a solo endeavor, and that all helps to create an engaging and exciting experience. The fact that the album is just so brief and could use a little more to enhance the experience is about the only downfall here, making this one seem to be over before it’s really getting started and contains so much quality material within that a little more time and exposure to this kind of quality would’ve been appreciated. Otherwise, this is truly an engaging and explosive offering.

Really, the fact that we need more tracks here as the experience is so much fun and really over before it really should’ve been being the only flaw found here is what makes this one a no-doubt purchase for fans of dark, ravenous thrash, black/thrash metal in general or fans of his other projects.

Score: 98/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://hellripper.bandcamp.com/album/coagulating-darkness

Monday, May 15, 2017

Morfin - Consumed by Evil



Artist: Morfin
Release Title: Consumed by Evil
Year: 2017
Label: FDA Records
Genre: Retro Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Reincarnated
2. Embodiment
3. Slowly Dismembered
4. Demonic Infestation
5. Illusions of Horror
6. Posthumous
7. Contorted Truths
8. Carcinogenic Parasite
9. Consumed by Evil

Continuing their march into the past, Southern California death metallers Morfin have taken the time and effort to continue to hone their style and have furthered their old-school sound into a tighter, more devastating force than the debut offering. With new guitarist Mike de la Q and drummer Mike Andrade joining the fold in the intervening years, the group offers their sophomore full-length May 5, 2017 on FDA Records.

Much like the debut, the band is clearly still indebted to the old-school sound of the genre and takes every opportunity to remind that’s where the dominant influences come from. That comes from the tight, sharp riff-work full of deep, churning rhythms and simple, mid-tempo patterns that form the dominant variety of attack here in the form of blistering thrash-style attacks that signal the early movements in the genre. Bringing that alongside the album’s penchant for melding the raging material with simpler, less violent mid-range efforts helps to force the connection to the old-school sound by bringing the slow, sprawling swamp-riddled patterns and fiery rhythms into the forefront. This is then carried along with their rather simple structures and one-note attack to create a rather effective old-school attack at times even though it does highlight the one singular flaw with the album’s overall approach. Keeping things so simple and one-note in terms of tactical riffing style and general sonic fervor means that the album tends to devolve into a generally suspenseless and rather predictable manner where if the opening few seconds promise a raging, fiery riff then the track follows suit, and if a rather mid-tempo rhythm is present then that’s the way the track as a whole is carried out. The short burst of the tracks really lets these get featured in this manner and it’s a rather distracting effort. It’s not as detrimental as expected, but still somewhat challenging.

While there’s plenty of enjoyable elements featured here and on the whole, it’s not completely terrible, the fact that it’s few flaws are there are enough to hold it back are just enough to lower this one strictly for the most devout old-school death metal fanatics or fans of the bands’ past works.

Score: 79/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://fda-records.bandcamp.com/album/consumed-by-evil

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Uerberos - Tormented by Faith


Artist: Uerberos
Release Title: Tormented by Faith
Year: 2017
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Old-School Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. lntro
2. ...and Finally, I Will Come
3. Destroy the Enemy
4. Tormented by Faith
5. To Be Seen and Heard
6. Black Emissary
7. My Lord, My Father
8. No Redemption
9. Live and Die Like a Human
10. Respect for Death

Formed in late 2015, Polish death metallers Uerberos came together from the disbanding of a previous offering to go in a far different direction with the group offering forth a far more brutal and intense variation on the traditional Polish sound. Now finally able to hit the studio for the first time, the group prepares it’s self-released debut full-length February 10, 2017.

As is to be expected here, this one is pretty much right on with the expected norms found within the Polish death metal scene as a whole. The music here is fast, furious and driven by tight riff-work, chugging along at a frantic pace throughout here, giving this a truly enjoyable and engaging backbone upon which to add on plenty of other elements. The tight rhythms throughout here give this the kind of thrashing energy that’s reflected nicely amongst the choppy, chugging patterns elsewhere here and that leaves this with some solid full-throttle moments here. The biggest factor for this, though, is the bands’ ability to take their tight, frantic riff-work into a stellar grandiose atmosphere, droning along into a rather bombastic sense of epic qualities that are quite effective against the rest of the thrashing music throughout here which carries that thrashing atmosphere incredibly well alongside this bombastic. It’s when the band slips from the ferocity and aggression that it comes undone ever so slightly as the melodic accents are at the detriment of the main rhythms that are so fast and ferocious that there are some troubling times to be had here with the changeover. Still, this is the only flaw to be found here as this is quite the impressive debut.

Generally without a whole lot of flaws to be had here, this is a wholly rewarding experience mixing in the raging Polish death metal scene with hints of technicality and brutality and a few minor flaws does make this one a quality pick for any fan of Polish death metal or quality old-school death metal.

Score: 90/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://uerberos.bandcamp.com/

Friday, May 5, 2017

Burning Shadows - Truth in Legend


Artist: Burning Shadows
Release Title: Truth in Legend
Year: 2017
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Power/Heavy Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Day of Darkness
2. Southwind
3. Sworn to Victory
4. From the Stars
5. The Last One to Fall
6. Truth in Legend
7. The Blessed
8. Deathstone Rider

Continuing to branch out in their career, Maryland heavy/power metallers Burning Shadows have continued to utilize their tried and tested brand of explosive old-school rhythms with plenty of impressive lyrical efforts recounting their previously-established love of history. Taking a more singular approach away from the concept album of their last effort, their independently-released third album was released May 5, 2017.

Stylistically, the album as a whole carries pretty much a lot of the same elements that made their previous works so much fun with a rousing and vigorous attack. Based primarily around the stellar riff-work, the general approach here contains plenty of tight, crunchy patterns that march along at a steady mid-tempo charge that follows a more traditional metal march. Alongside this typically fine crunch, the main element at play here is the fine melodic rhythms that are at the forefront of so many tracks here, giving this one the kind of light, airy atmosphere which carries the tracks at a fine melodic buzz with the tight, crunchy riffing plodding along here. This is greatly enhanced even more with the album’s faster, more fiery efforts which lets the crunchy trad metal stylings take a more active stance in the rhythms and forces along plenty of great work throughout here with these fine elements bringing about a solid variety that gives this balance and dynamics that keep things interesting. About the only thing that can really hurt an approach like this happens to pop up which is an overly-long and needlessly complex epic that derails the momentum, contains way too many segments to be needed and overall comes off as a draining experience to end the album on, and that’s what happens here as the last epic really feels it’s length and seems endless throughout here, making this end on a somewhat sour note. Otherwise, there’s plenty to like here.

While it does get held up somewhat slightly by the excessive and overly ambitious epic at the end which is a pain to get through, overall there’s plenty of enjoyable enough work here that this one becomes quite a promising effort for those that like their power metal with a heavy crunch or trad-metal fans who can appreciate power metal melodies.

Score: 92/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://burningshadows.bandcamp.com/album/truth-in-legend

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lux Perpetua - The Curse of the Iron King


Artist: Lux Perpetua
Release Title: The Curse of the Iron King
Year: 2017
Label: Underground Symphony
Genre: Power Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Celebration
2. Curse of the Iron King
3. The Legend
4. Army of Salvation
5. An Old Bard
6. Eversong
7. Riders of the Dead
8. Rebellion
9. The Werewolf
10. Desert of Destiny
11. Consolation
12. Straight Back to Hell

Originally formed in 2003, Polish power metallers Lux Perpetua began as Sentinel which lasted until 2009 before they dropped the name and were resurrected in their current moniker which took their sound to their current formation and standing. With longtime member Martinez leaving and being replaced by vocalist Artur Rosiński and new keyboardist Meg, the groups’ full-length debut was originally released February 28, 2017 on Underground Symphony.

Firing off straight from the old-school, the group is quite intent on letting their influences get pushed to the forefront that it’s quite apparent from the start. There’s a prominent showing of fiery neoclassical-inspired rhythms and bombastic paces that keep the majority of the tracks at full-throttle for the massive sound generated here. The inclusion of twinkling keyboards and blistering drum-work makes for an even greater sprinkling of power, and this creates the kind of bombastic take on the genre which gives this one the required speed and tone that falls right in line with the bombastic efforts in this style. When this drops off into the softer realms, this drops those elements in favor of a lethargic chug and a more overblown keyboard-drenched style that keeps the fiery speed-metal riffing in the background as the melodic tones become far more prominent which does take some of the sting out of the attack even with these still providing plenty of engaging work in these sections. There’s a slight tendency here to feel somewhat overlong as the second half does get a more enhanced epic vibe in the material here which does strike as a somewhat minor problematic issue, but for the most part, this one really doesn’t detract much from what’s expected here. Far more problematic, though, is the fact that the vocals here are somewhat off-putting in the genre being much too gravelly and gruff for this type of light and fluffy genre so those going in expecting an operatic performance might be somewhat surprised here. However, even combined these aren’t enough to knock this down that much.

Despite the slightly off vocals and a minor bloated second half, there’s far too much good produced here for a first-time effort that this one manages to come out of the gates swinging and lands often enough to be of great significance for those yearning for the early days of the power metal explosion and bright, bombastic power metal.

Score: 92/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://luxperpetuaband.bandcamp.com/album/the-curse-of-the-iron-king

Hellias - Eight Cardinal Sins


Artist: Hellias
Release Title: Eight Cardinal Sins
Year: 2017
Label: Thrashing Madness Productions
Genre: Old-School Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. Devilish Circle
3. Eight Cardinals Sins
4. Ant Democracy
5. Mental Violence
6. Angels Make War
7. Deliverance
8. Pair of Sparks
9. Twelve Angry Man
10. Baader Meinhof
11. Sin City (AC/DC cover)
12. Judas the King

Ever since their reformation, Polish thrash legends Hellias have continued to bring their rousing brand of Eastern European-styled take on the Bay Area formula of thrash that originally brought them out of the underground back in the late 80s. Still fighting hard after the eight-year gap between releases, the groups’ fifth full-length overall was originally released February 10, 2017 on Thrashing Madness Productions.

Forged through their decades of work, the album here clearly and dominantly showcases their love and enjoyment of the Old-School style of thrash. This means the album is full of tight, slightly technical riffing featuring a generally steady mid-tempo crunch that makes for a much more pronounced charge than expected here, with the fine ability to shift into a heavy-handed groove-style series of rhythms to add that extra boost to the proceedings also thrown in as well. That keeps the album with a nice violent streak in terms of intensity as well, as the swirling patterns add a thoroughly rewarding punch to the classic riff-work featured in here. While on the whole this approach gives it a fine and enjoyable approach, this does create the issue of the album going through the lower-intensity efforts when it’s not firing away on the thrash as the more groove-inspired rhythms here do give this one a slightly more restrained feel which gives this a much greater discrepancy in tone than expected. The fiery and energetic riffing styles are drained somewhat slightly by the lowered intensity found there, and it really lowers this somewhat. Still, that’s not a big issue for it’s not as constant or consistent as the more enjoyable elements are.

With some rather stylish thrashing alongside some minor problematic issues, there’s still more than enough fun at play here for fans of the bands’ previous work or the less-discerning old-school thrash aficionados who will quite like the attack here while those looking for more fervent thrash will likely find it decent at best.

Score: 75/10



Does it sound good? Order it from here:

NervoChaos - Nyctophilia


Artist: NervoChaos
Release Title: Nyctophilia
Year: 2017
Label: Greyhaze Records/Cogumelo Records (co-production)
Genre: Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Moloch Rise
2. Ritualistic
3. Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam
4. Season of the Witch
5. Waters of Chaos
6. The Midnight Hunter
7. Rites of 13 Cemeteries
8. Vampiric Cannibal Goddess
9. Stained With Blood
10. Lord Death
11. Dead End
12. World Aborted
13. Live Like Suicide

Still carrying strong to this day, Brazilian death metal maniacs NervoChaos have been around for just over two decades and have remained one of the most consistent if not prolific acts in the genre which is the result of several line-up changes over the years. With longtime member Eduardo Lane joined by new guitarist Cherry, Lauro on guitars and vocals as well as a returning Thiago Anduscias, the groups’ seventh full-length effort arrives April 7, 2017 on a coproduction with Greyhaze Records and the legendary Cogumelo Records.

Holding true to their legacy, the group pretty much offers the same explosive attack that served them well throughout their storied career. That means a sharp series of simple, churning riff-work and rapid-fire tempos, offering plenty of blistering rhythms that bring along the raw, primitive blackened style. Offering a small stepping between the charging riff-work and dripping simplistic work overall a part of their style, this offers up a truly dark and furious attack that really gives this a frantic effort. When this drops off into softer realms, there’s a difference in the intensity and driving riff-work featured throughout here as the straightforward churning style on display here works incredibly well with the faster sections yet not on these slower parts which just sounds sluggish and barely devoid of any energy or enthusiasm. It’s the single detrimental issue to be found here as the rest of the album, no matter how tight and confined the majority of the rhythms may seem, soak in that tight and brutal atmosphere which helps to overcome these issues.

Carrying on with a strong, familiar sense to their traditional sound, the group is certainly giving off another solid release that has plenty to like and only a few minor issues to be found here that makes this a fine choice for fans of their previous work or those into the Brazilian extreme metal scene in general.

Score: 82/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.target.com/p/nervochaos-nyctophilia-cd/-/A-52444885

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Assaulter (It) - Meat Grinder


Artist: Assaulter (It)
Release Title: Meat Grinder
Year: 2017
Label: EBM Records
Genre: Speed Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Assaulter
2. Meat Grinder
3. Dead End Siding
4. Terror World
5. L.M.T.
6. Liesocracy
7. Mind Control
8. Pay to Play
9. After the Countdown
10. Bestial Vomit

Formed in late 2007, the Italian speed/thrashers named Assaulter have quietly set out to bring forth their odes to old-school speed and thrash metal as a slew of lineup issues initially kept their first release until 2012 when the band had become faster and much more technical. Now finally at the time to unleash their first professional release, the bands’ full-length debut was released April 12, 2017 on EBM Records.

Bringing the fire and fury from their early work, there’s plenty of rather strong and impressive work throughout here which makes for a fine start. The basic style here of utilizing the speed metal riff-work, firing off the tight and thunderous riffing which really amps up the intensity of these speed metal riffs. There’s a strong and dynamic attack here that makes for a rather enjoyable approach here with the fiery riff-work zipping along at those far more vicious and frantic patterns that makes for a far more engaging time here with the thrilling old-school thrash rhythms still on-track here keeping this one with a rumbling, heavy backbone to the speed-metal lashings and furthers this one quite nicely. While the basic experience here is quite enjoyable and makes for a really solid starting point, the fact that there’s a minor flaw here makes for a somewhat lesser experience where the album goes into way too many half-a-minute instrumental interludes that interrupts the flow of the release a little too much to really take the main intensity out of the album. Rather, this one feels like they could’ve been more as proper song intros rather than separate tracks, and it stifles the album somewhat, but even with this there’s not a whole lot really wrong elsewhere here.

Coming along rather nicely here with plenty of really enjoyable and frantic speed metal assaults laced with solid thrash metal leanings, a few minor shake-ups in the running order does hold it down slightly enough here for this one to really be of interest for those looking for speed metal or solid old-school thrash.

Score: 85/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://ebmrecords.bandcamp.com/album/meat-grinder-2

Revenge (Col) - Metal Is: Addiction and Obsession


Artist: Revenge (Col)
Release Title: Metal Is: Addiction and Obsession
Year: 2011 (2017 reissue)
Label: Rata Mutante Records (EBM Records reissue)
Genre: Heavy/Speed Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Intro - Hell Avenger (Let's Go to Hell and There Hail to Satan)
2. Speed Metal to the Bone
3. Plague of Death
4. Metal Rules My Life
5. No Speed Limit for Destruction
6. Addiction and Obsession
7. Satan's Warriors
8. Fire Attack

Holding out strongly in their style, the Colombian speed/heavy metal group under the name Revenge have continually utilized their raging musicianship and boundless energy to become one of the more prominent names in the South American revivalist scene. Fully coming into their own with their full-on attack, the groups’ fourth full-length effort was originally released November 15, 2011 on Rata Mutante Records as well as a series of reissues later on including one February 28, 2017 on EBM Records.

Burning straight out of the gate, the group wastes little time offering more of what made them impressive as there’s a continuing of those elements once again. The basic approach is general traditional metal straight from the old-school glory days, brimming with a tight crunch, thunderous patterns and a solid blending of traditional steel and more melodic fire that bridges this one nicely. The fact that the album then decides to include far more frantic, vicious and downright blazing speed metal passages that are incorporated so well into the attack that there’s a varying dynamic taken here that makes for a rousing and wholly appreciated outcome. There’s a reckless and bombastic energetic presence on the album due to the blazing speed metal rhythms featured here, and its liveliness makes the album rush through in a heap of tight, thrashing sections that are given a great balance here by the more classy-sounding work on the traditional rhythms bouncing along to the tight, frantic speed metal blaring around in the background. Although it does come a little undone with the fact that so much of the album is played in such similar fashion it doesn’t really strike much of a variety between the tracks doesn’t really dilute this one in the slightest as this is so fast and frantic this is easily overlooked.

One of the more enjoyable and truly ferocious old-school homages in the scene in quite a while, this is a truly ripping album given a special boost with some solid bonus tracks in this particular edition to help highlight the fury within and make this a no-doubt inquiry for fans of raging old-school heavy metal or speed metal in general.

Score: 97/100


Does it sound good? Order the reissue from here:
https://ebmrecords.bandcamp.com/album/metal-is-addiction-and-obsession