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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lethal Shöck - Evil Aggressor



Artist: Lethal Shöck
Release Title: Evil Aggressor
Year: 2016
Label: Witches Brew
Genre: Heavy/Speed Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Sulfur Heart
2. Atomik Obedience
3. Up the Voltage
4. Endless Midnight
5. I Am Your Hero
6. Fear (the Devil's Child)
7. Iron Fisted Assault
8. I Rock (in Hell!)
9. Evil Aggressor

Formed back in 2008, Chicago metallers Lethal Shöck has endured a host a line-up problems that has prevented the band from securing any kind of real output until their debut EP just last year. With the amalgamation of Steve Beaudeth and Justin Fernal into the lineup alongside leader Patrick Shöck, the band produced their crushing debut album on July 22nd, 2016, released by Witches Brew.

Offering up plenty of attitude and old-school influence, there’s a rather enjoyable amount of work to be had here as this one manages to employ plenty of high-speed punk-influenced speed metal patterns into their attack. This simplicity and generally tightly-wound rhythm section here allows this one to fly through rather nicely here with their up-tempo attacks and rather straightforward approach that evokes the rumbling patterns found in the trad-metal attacks of the past. Though simplistic, there’s a great deal of fun to had with their relentless energy and charging drive that erupts due to the up-tempo work found throughout here, keeping the tracks firmly in the ravenous off-the-rails intensity favored by the speed-metal assault while also making for a great balance once it goes into their solo sections which features some more traditional metal rhythms as they still manage to engage with some strong tempos and rhythms featured here for an overall impressive attack. Though this is the case here, the bands’ simplistic approach does work against them especially in the case where it’s juvenile attitude is concerned here which is a somewhat problematic course when this one really gets going as it’s sometimes tough to really figure out whether or not the band is serious. The hard-hitting approach certainly favors the serious side yet their overall attitude does make it seem questionable at times and this might work against them, especially when taking into consideration the overall shorter length and brief song-lengths that further this conundrum quite heartily. Otherwise, this one has some solid parts to it.

As it’s somewhat hard to get a gauge on whether or not the bands’ seriousness is really apparent in here, it’s a problem that does hinder this one somewhat even though the rest of the album has more than enough going for it to really make an impression for fans of high-energy speed metal or traditional metal as well.

Score: 81/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://lethalshock.bandcamp.com/releases

Gorged Bile - Origins of Contempt



Artist: Gorged Bile
Release Title: Origin of Contempt
Year: 2016
Label: Ungodly Ruins Productions
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Hatred Penetrated Hatred
2. Deposed Sectarian
3. Immaculate Movements of Vice
4. Pestilent Acts by My Hands
5. A New Level of Perception
6. Origin of Contempt
7. Untitled
8. Premature Exodus
9. Necrotizing Fasciitis
10. Devoted in Filth (Final and Irrevocable Victory of Forces of Evil and Darkness)

Part of the country’s burgeoning death metal scene, Russian brutal death metallers Gorged Bile has quickly become one of the top practitioners of the style with their fevered, intense style. With Ivan Shirakov appearing to settle the bands’ vocalist problems by settling into the lead singer position, the band prepares to release their second full-length in as many years on August 31, 2016 via Ungodly Ruins Productions.

As is standard issue fare for more brutal death metal acts, there’s a rather deep and churning series of riff pattern present here that whips up a storm of intense patterns throughout. The album’s penchant for tight, frantic chugging riffing and steady patterns keeps this one blazing along at a steady, pummeling mid-tempo pace without much deviation to be found here that really overall makes this generate the kind of dirty, grungy feel typified by the genre. This one really gets the most out of itself at that point as well, fully taking the brutality to a truly blistering, frantic mindset here with this chugging riff-work working nicely in conjunction with the dynamic, choppy drumming and slinky bass-lines present which is weaved through a nice varied series of tempos and paces throughout this. Although this attack greatly enables it to work well within the confines of the genre, the fact that this here doesn’t really plow any new ground is perhaps the lone downfall here as the group’s attack leaves them with the prototypical tightly-wound, frenzied blur of brutality that runs rampant in the genre. The chugging and blasting drumming here aren’t anything new and does cause this to come off rather familiar and routine. Likewise, the album’s instrumental breather doesn’t really make much sense with it really just seeming to be a rather odd mix of sounds that aren’t really explained and is placed a little late in the album to be considered a mid-round breather so it’s quite an odd placement overall. Still, it’s not all that terrible a listen.

While this doesn’t really tread any new ground in a well-worn genre and has a questionable choice or two amongst it’s material, there’s plenty to enjoy here as the material and enthusiasm is more than enough to make this an appealing choice for this frenzied type of brutal death metal or extreme metal in general though others out there who like more than the norm should heed caution.

Score: 77/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://gorgedbile.bandcamp.com/

Demon Bitch - Hellfriends



Artist: Demon Bitch
Release Title: Hellfriends
Year: 2016
Label: Skol Records
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Warning from the Skies
2. Devil Love
3. A Passage to the Other Side
4. Beneath the Ice Caves
5. Hellfriends
6. Fortunes Told
7. The Microdome

Dating back to 2011, Detroit-based traditional metallers Demon Bitch came together when three lifelong friends Mars Weston, Logon Saton, and Samuel Ceckowsk professed a love of traditional hard and heavy metal from the 80s. With several releases and second-guitarist Solon Saton in tow, the group is finally able to unleash their full-length debut album June 17, 2016 on Skol Records.

Almost from the opening riff-volleys, it becomes clear the band is content to throwing out the kind of throwback rhythms for the genre’s past as there’s a warm, infectious brand of riff-work present here that really moves the album along. Featuring high-speed, swirling riffing intercut with a bouncy, buzzing bass-tone that adds an inherent melodic sensibility into the album while really turning the album into a solid showcase for those rhythms as the continuous assault of trad-melodies and varied rhythm arrangements pounds out hard-hitting sections filled with choppy drum-patterns that are so inherently 80s-inspired they should’ve been recorded then. As well, there’s a nice bit of technicality to the rhythms that aids in this one generating the kind of old-school feel, offering a variance in the rhythms instead of delving into flashy showmanship offer a more progressive edge that accompanies the tracks that manage to feature them twisting and turning over upon themselves, altering the tempos and managing to feature much more elaborate riffing patterns to fully explore their technical edge here. By encompassing this entire attack in a warm, fuzzy production that is such a well-rounded and enthusiastic retread of the 80s production sound it gets plenty of enjoyable moments here, though that is inherently the album’s lone weakness which is the production job as the soft, faded production really lacks a punch that saps some of their intensity, but as that’s the required sound of the time it does gets a pass.

With a fun and sometimes rousing blend of hard-hitting old-school attack that manages to ape nearly everything from that era down to near-perfection with some minor issues holding it back only slightly, this here is a must-have for any classic metal aficionado or anyone into the revivalist period of the genre.

Score: 96/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://demonbitch.bandcamp.com/album/hellfriends

Korgonthurus - Vuohen siunaus



Artist: Korgonthurus
Release Title: Vuohen siunaus
Year: 2016
Label: Woodcut Records
Genre: Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Kaaos
2. Puhdistuksen tulet
3. I.K.P.N
4. Vuohen siunaus
5. Inho
6. Ihmisyyden raunioilla
7. L.U.X.

Lead by one of the genre’s figurehead, Finnish black metal onslaught Korgonthurus has been a showcase for the mighty Corvus to display his prowess following his leave from Horna. Battling through line-up changes as well as a seven-year gap between previous releases, the long-awaited second album from this mighty beast arrives May 27, 2016 from Woodcut Records.

Continuing on from their previous release, this effort continues to showcase the band at it’s best exploring the Finnish brand of black metal. With their propensity for deep, swirling tremolo riffing and a gravelly, raw production highlighting the chaos, this gets a solid backbone here with the riff-work offering the kind of feral savagery and intense tremolo lead-work that manages to dive around chaos-riddled tremolo patterns and relentless blast-beats all given a superbly raw and tortured tone that best describes the Finnish style. The inclusion of more light, laid-back tempos serves as the appropriate buffers against the insanity to make them appear far more explosive and energetic by barely moving along with the whispering vocals and trinkling riffing barely sustaining any kind of life. That, though, only makes the raging rhythms that much more explosive with the ability to get that kind of explosive energy out of the other rhythms featured here which aren’t in the slightest bit that lively and the chaotic nature comes off as highly enjoyable. That in itself is the album’s single major downfall, in that when it does employ these it’s way too downbeat and barely energetic at all which is thankfully only on a few tracks but still manages to come away as the biggest problem. Outside of that, there’s also no need for a near fifteen-minute epic closing track that really doesn’t need to be that long and could’ve been shortened significantly, and all in all it’s not all that bad of an album.

With most of the problems here relating mostly to the few minor issues in terms of life-less sections while there’s a lot more to like here when it does go for the blasting-heavy sections, it gets plenty of enjoyable elements that will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the Finnish wave of raw black metal or those that like that sort of genre to begin with.

Score: 80/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://woodcutrecords.bandcamp.com/album/vuohen-siunaus

Highlord - Hic Sunt Leones



Artist: Highlord
Release Title: Hic Sunt Leones
Year: 2016
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Power/Heavy Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Time for a Change
2. One World at a Time
3. Be King or Be Killed
4. Let There Be Fire
5. Hic Sunt Leones
6. Wrong Side of Sanity
7. Feathers to a Bird
8. Warmight
9. I've Chosen My Poison
10. Once Were Immortal
11. Full Circle

Founded as Avatar in 1997, Italian heavy/power metallers Highlord quickly adapted their new moniker and have steadily increased their profile as one of the country’s finest purveyors of this style. Having lost founding guitarist Stefano Droetto for his replacement Marco Malacame, the group’s eighth full-length effort was released June 24, 2016 on Massacre Records.

With a catalog as deep as theirs clearly is by now, it’s no surprise what’s to be found here which is what makes this one so enjoyable. Immediately assaulted with a series of melodic rhythms around which the band wraps a strong series of heavy, thumping patterns into a stylish mid-tempo charge, it’s quite obvious that the band is quite adept at firing off this style of tight, thumping heavy metal laced with the fiery melodies derived from the power metal scene. It’s all quite enjoyable with the melodic arrangements generating the kind of steady arrangements and rather fine keyboard accents offering enough of a neoclassical touch that it’s allowed to offset the remaining tracks and their relentless pounding charge in those sections. With a deeper, churning drive in the drumming and generating a tighter, more focused rhythm section that contains the necessary thumping drive that employs a more traditional metal experience with the group generating quite a significantly heavy backbone to display those melodic flurries. With the band’s experience driving these along into quite enjoyable tempos and paces that manage to hit the proper frenzy at the right time to move this one along, it’s all a testament to their proficiency at building these elements together into a rather enjoyable time, though the band does hit a few sour notes especially in the genre-staple ballad. It’s far more plodding and dragging than the majority of their other tracks not on purpose but the main rhythm is just not suitable for a ballad, the clean vocals are weak and buried in the mix and the acoustic rhythms are placed through cliched patterns that seems like the band running through the motions rather than displaying any kind of passion or fire which is displayed prominently throughout here. It’s really the album’s biggest stumbling block that holds it back.

Beyond one minor hiccup to be found here, there’s much more impressive work on display here that makes this one of the more enjoyable and consistent acts in the style for giving yet another solid album which makes this one highly appealing to fans of the band in the past or those who enjoy this melody-tinged heavy/power metal style.

Score: 92/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.metalmerchant.com/detail.asp?request=CD&orderno=200947&bandname=HIGHLORD&genre=Heavy&ID=

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gorgosaur - Lurking Among Corpses



Artist: Gorgosaur
Release Title: Lurking Among Corpses
Year: 2016
Label: Memento Mori
Genre: Swedish Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Basement Funeral Hymn
2. Terror Incarnate
3. In Darkness They Come Crawling
4. Body Snatchers
5. Pyromaniac Narrations
6. Lurking Among Corpses
7. Gashes and Demise
8. The Antropophagus
9. Burial of Rats
10. Death Is Psychosomatic

Emerging from the depths of the underground, Swedish death metallers Gorgosaur showcase their love for the old-school with their selected name from an actual creature of the earth’s history. This is more than appropriate on display in their first full-length album, which was released April 25, 2016 on Memento Mori, as this impressive beast rumbles and strikes like a true dinosaurian attack.

From the outset, this here is given the classic Swedish death metal charge that appears so fervently in the country’s acts, and the inclusion of the classic chainsaw-churning groove litters the album from start to finish. This display of these traditional riffing and frantic full-throttle rhythms that allows them to move forward at the typical tempos and still generate the kind of effective atmosphere typically associated here. This attack lets it to delve deep into the rather frantic display of attacks from the old-school wave where the charging riffing and dynamic drumming were all at the forefront of the style found there, and it brings this out in raw form here. The problem here is that the album is indeed too raw for it’s own good, with the short, blitzkrieg-style found here not really allowing it the chance to really get a much more distinctive rise out of these tracks. They’re just so familiar and tend to run through so many familiar elements that it just reads as yet another old-school Swedish death metal band paying homage to the greats of the past. Granted, a lot of that is perhaps due to the fact that this one just doesn’t really have any kind of time to get this done with the brief track lengths with only a few of these songs breaking the three-minute mark so it’s opportunities to really change that up as the simplicity of the riff-work keeps this so straightforward and to-the-point it doesn’t get to really do much about it. Otherwise, there’s a lot to like overall about this one.

While running into yet another common problem found in so many of these Swedish death metal projects of not being inherently original about itself, there’s still a good deal amount of positives found here to make this a select choice for anyone even remotely appreciative of that particular scene or just old-school death metal in general.

Score: 76/100



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

Sue's Idol - Six Sick Sense



Artist: Sue's Idol
Release Title: Six Sick Sense
Year: 2016
Label: Crushing Notes Entertainment
Genre: Heavy Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Six Sick Senses
2. DMO
3. Halls of Mourning
4. Scion Pariah
5. Kill or Be Killed
6. Luna Sees
7. Metal Octane
8. Gears of War
9. Taste This Evil
10. A Minor Requiem
11. Lady Painted Death

Bringing together some heavy hitters, Las Vegas metallers Sue’s Idol has undergone a large line-up shift in the years preceding this release in the form of bassist Steve Habeck, synth by Mitch DeMatoff, and the infernal maestro himself Toby Knapp sharing lead guitar duties. Carrying on together for their second release, this hit the shelves in February 2016 on Crushing Notes Entertainment.

Even with all the personnel changes, there’s still plenty to like here about this one. There’s the fact that the album’s technical matters are far more enhanced here is a big part of that, as the chops from the musicians involved makes for a rather dynamic and whirlwind showcase of challenging riffing and strong, propulsive rhythms that are intermixed nicely with the rather nice steady paces featured, giving this an appropriate crunch while delving into the series of dynamic, dexterous rhythms featured. It’s all added together with the old-school production tone that strikes the right notes almost for the entire duration as this one contains a rather impressive feel that matches the tight, crunchy riff-work that’s featured here. There’s even plenty of fun to be had with the album’s overall simplicity as though the riffing is somewhat complex it does degenerate into a series of rather straightforward efforts a couple times here, and the album does become quite one-note and narrow-minded in the second half. It’s an interesting dichotomy between these sections as they’re fun in terms of performance and execution yet once it comes to the arrangement of them they’re so simplistic and repetitious that there’s not a whole lot that really causes this to stick out in the genre all that much even though they’re still quite lively and up-tempo. It’s easily the one aspect that lowers this one.

While not a completely lost effort, this is still quite an overall enjoyable effort that if nothing else has a few minor elements needed here to really sell this one as being one of the better releases in the genre then has enough positives to really make it worthwhile for fans of this kind of simplistic-if-lively traditional metal or fans of the creative components.

Score: 72/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://suesidol.bandcamp.com/releases

Skoll - Of Misty Fire We Are



Artist: Skoll
Release Title: Of Misty Fire We Are
Year: 2016
Label: Fallen-Angel Productions
Genre: Viking/Pagan Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. La luna del lupo
2. Into the Misty Forest I Go
3. Teutoburgo
4. Exercitus Antiquus
5. Misty Mountains
6. La tempesta degli elementi
7. Eternal Path

Once more part of their long-standing fascination with nature, Italian viking/pagan black metallers Skoll have continued to weave their influences together into a rather impressive and enjoyable whole. Now that long-time session member Mayhem has become the full-time permanent drummer in the group, they prepare to release their fourth full-length effort February 20, 2016 on Fallen-Angel Productions.

Much like their previous works, this one here manages to evoke quite a bit of mysticism and nature involved in their work where it’s all based on that form of atmospherics. The swirling, majestic tremolo patterns and sprawling tempos makes for a rather strong base upon which the band interjects the sort of pagan instrumentation here in the form of wooden clanging and keyboard work that really maintains a solid interjection of the bands’ paganistic themes while still holding true to the black metal labeling. That gets carried out here with the simplistic tempos filled with galloping rhythms that are given plenty of chances to work through select patterns where it really just lets loose with the frenetic drumming and tighter tremolo riffing which gives these sections a more traditional black metal aesthetic mixed alongside the rather enjoyable pagan attributes. This whole affair is given quite a lively sense of grandeur with the symphonic keyboards blaring over the top of everything and really help to sell the atmospherics of the situation and adding a melodic touch to the whole album, though that does tend to bring up the one minor flaw present here. This one is quite a light album overall with the riffing kept to a rather light tone that adds immensely to the melodic vibe but really fails to make much of an impression once it goes back to the tighter black metal sections due to still maintaining that melodic tone. It’s pretty apparent as the album continues how this works with the somewhat weaker second half really utilizing this to it’s fullest, yet there’s still plenty to like about this one overall regardless.

With plenty of enjoyable elements to be found throughout here and not really much of a flaw present, the group continues to spill out enjoyable and somewhat engaging entries in the genre that really should make them more impactful in the genre and leaves this for fans of the bands’ past work or the particular genre.

Score: 86/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://fallangels.cafe24.com/product/detail.html?product_no=2756&cate_no=1&display_group=2

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Blliigghhtted - Kosmokampf



Artist; Blliigghhtted
Release Title: Kosmokampf
Year: 2015
Label: Merdümgiriz
Genre: Experimental Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Laughing Siblings
2. In Absu's Absent Presence
3. And Tiamat's Present Absence
4. Nephesous

Following their successful second release, Turkish avant-garde/experimental black metal horde Blliigghhtted continue their impressive feats with the third release of the calendar year that captures the improvements made on that last release. Considering their successive productive output, this is quite an achievement as their third overall effort is released December 24, 2015 on Merdümgiriz.

Managing to bridge a deep vein from the esoteric to the chaotic, this here is mostly presented as a sort of nightmarish slough through a wide berth of influences that still retains a mainly black metal aesthetic. With a progressive edge to the material that allows them all to last over the ten minute mark, it manages to tack on discordant, jagged rhythms alongside the nominal swirling tremolo patterns for a seemingly jarring experience long before this one tends to play its trump card along the way in the form of the disparate and seemingly haunting vocals. There’s so little about them that sound human and their low, deep and indecipherable howl borders on the edge of madness as if this is a journey through the labyrinth of the mind of a person tormented with Satanic demons for centuries. It’s perfectly coordinated with the howling racket in the background as the chaotic pounding is synced to complete perfection, and when mixed with the album’s churning progressive edge that runs wild throughout the album it really makes for a really chaotic experience. This is mainly hinted at being the album’s weakest part as well with the utterly discordant and jarring material usually found here would be so extreme that it turns off the listener at it’s first listen. This is so far from conventions and traditional black metal aesthetics that it really might not be an immersive experience as it’s maddening feel could be a detriment instead of drawing them in which is about the only thing really wrong here.

This is quite an appealing and intriguing album that’s got plenty to like about it with its adherence to chaos and inherent madness that really does sink or swim on the tolerance for that kind of aesthetic which instead makes this one seem wholly appropriate for fans of the bands’ previous works and the sublime extremity present only.

Score: 88/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://blliigghhtted.bandcamp.com/album/kosmoskampf

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Krigere Wolf - Infinite Cosmic Evocation



Artist: Krigere Wolf
Release Title: Infinite Cosmic Evocation
Year: 2016
Label: Fallen-Angel Productions
Genre: Black/Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. And the Night Descendes Again-Slaves of the Blazing Cult
2. Infinite Cosmic Evocation
3. Unholy Magical Throne
4. Solar Storms
5. Warriors of the Sun
6. Ancient Inscriptions of Ancestral Misery
7. Through the Void and Asters Light

Quickly becoming one of the genre’s figureheads, Italian black/death metallers Krigere Wolf has improved dramatically since their inception and are fully capable of storming to the top of the genre’s list. Now onto album number three following a rather impressive split album, this new release is ushered out April 16, 2016 on Fallen-Angels Records.

Much like their previous albums, this one manages to contain quite a significant and impressive amount of work that goes into generating the kind of mixture here between the styles of the band. There’s a great deal of work accomplished at.bringing the kind of deep, swirling tremolo patterns of nominal black metal artists and the approach of a tight, frantic series of arrangements that manage to evoke more of a death metal series of rhythms that’s quite a competent and explosive force here. Firing off a selection of blazing tremolo-picked riffing that borders on the frenzied and the schizophrenic such is the ferocity and intensity they’re delivered in here, this one manages to really unleash quite a destructive attack here, balanced quite well with the ability to interject the blasting, hellish drumming alongside a nice tightly-wound series of intense rhythms that are quite in keeping with their type of assault here. There’s even the album’s tendency to really go for a more black metal aesthetic here with it’s long, sprawling sections offering plenty of ambient melodies into the fray that conjure up a more mystical, naturalistic vibe in the atmosphere to complete the whole affair, making for a lot to really like here. The biggest problem here that does strike this one slightly is the overlong number of some of the tracks which just isn’t all that impressive and seems to drone on more than necessary here and the tracklist doesn’t help either. Still, it’s quite an enjoyable offering.

With a fantastic attack bridging quite a few lines between the black and death metal realms where it’s got plenty to like and only manages a few minor areas that hold it down, there’s enough here to give this plenty to line it up along the top of the genre to come while not really finding many who won’t really like this one.

Score: 91/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://fallangels.cafe24.com/product/detail.html?product_no=2906&cate_no=1&display_group=2

Hoaxbane - Messengers of Change



Artist: Hoaxbane
Release Title: Messengers of Change
Year: 2015
Label: Mighty Music
Genre: Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Messengers of Change
2. Bloodshed
3. Diagnose Wahnsinn
4. Element of Truth
5. Erotic Aphyxiation
6. Asylum of Faith
7. Welcoming Pain
8. Secrets of My Cravings
9. Versager der Evolution

Formed in 2013, German two-man black metal sect Hoaxbane take a socially critical position, hostile towards all manipulative ideologies which seek to achieve a superficial, conformist, consumer society. Hammering out their true vision for the project, the duo’s able to release their full-length debut November 27, 2015 on Mighty Music.

This here is quite an enjoyable and rather surprising debut that manages plenty of great work here with the main focus placed upon the old-school style of swirling tremolo rhythms. Taking the classic sounds of the genre yet displaying a much more prominent melodic framework here, there’s a really appealing balance between the more melody-driven fare and the charging, vicious tones present. Generally employing a fine mixture between a charging up-tempo series of rhythms filled with frenzied riff-work and blasting drumming that carry the explosive patterns along the way while really bringing the sprawling, majestic rhythms that are infused into the tracks which makes for a nice bit of variety that comes into here. While there’s plenty of dynamic, rather explosive amount of work here that this gives the overall album, the fact that there’s a few minor flaws here does give this one a slightly-flawed manner. The main issue here is the album’s use of repetitious rhythms and arrangements which does seem to crop up in a few areas here where it’s based on these same areas coming up again in several tracks. This ends up causing the second half to lose a little bit of steam against the first half with plenty of nice, dynamic work appearing again in the same overall areas and managing to really stick out somewhat. As this is a debut offering, though, it’s not nearly that bad and comes off much better than expected.

With only a few minor elements that hold this one back, there’s a lot more to really like overall here that it really does become quite the enjoyable and highly entertaining effort that manages to give this the kind of appeal for those looking for some really enjoyable and somewhat explosive old-school style black metal.

Score: 90/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://targetgroup.lnk.to/Hoaxbane

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tzaak - Gjemt ondskap



Artist: Tzaak
Release Title: Gjemt ondskap
Year: 2016
Label: Sepulchral Silence
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. My Masterpiece
2. Gjemt ondskap
3. Cultural Heritage
4. Future Descendants

A mysterious one-man band, Norwegian atmospheric black metal project Tzaak has quietly arrived and spread it’s brand of pleasing ambient themes and atmospheric black metal together into a solid whole. Coming together for it’s debut effort, the moving and dynamic release was initially independently offered June 28, 2016 before a re-issue July 10, 2016 on Sepulchral Silence.

At the onset of this one, it’s pretty apparent that there’s a lot of epicly-arranged rhythms here with this one tending to utilize the rather straightforward and one-shot riffing style here. Offering a simplistic, buzzing-style of tremolo-picked riffing swirling along at a majestic, mid-tempo pace here there’s plenty of warm, naturalistic melodies at play within these rhythms as the straightforward mid-tempo plod that the majority of the album is played at manages to generate a fine sense of the overt atmosphere present here. With plenty of epic, majesty-laden melodic accents from the riff-work added alongside the album’s tendency to navigate excessively overlong and majestic atmospheric accents that are able to make this feel far more epic with it managing to travel alongside these overlong arrangements with plenty of tight-if-overly-simplistic arrangements generated throughout the tracks and some nicely-placed keyboard melodies that aren’t overworked here. Even when the album does kick it up in terms of the arrangements and tempo here, there’s still that overly warm and majestic feeling here that comes off so well in regards to settling the epic atmosphere, and there’s overall a lot to like here. There’s a minor issue here in that the tracks, due to their epic length, tend to feature monotonous arrangements that aren’t all that pleasing, as many of the outros are stretched out over a minute or more with endless acoustic riffing or just plain dull elements that aren’t in the slightest enjoyable as they make it obvious the album’s being stretched out to that epic length. The brevity of the tracks is a minor issue, but overall not nearly as much as the other issue.

While it does wear it’s length quite heavily and features some rather bland moments that come from that, it’s still got enough enjoyable elements that show it’s got something enjoyable going on with it that this ends up being quite an appealing effort for fans of atmospheric black metal of all kinds or those that appreciate epic metal of this variety.

Score: 80/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://sepulchralsilencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/gjemt-ondskap

Votan - At One with the Serpent



Artist: Votan
Release Title: At One with the Serpent
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent (Sepulchral Silence re-issue)
Genre: Epic Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Lords ov War
2. Scorn Through Malice
3. The Serpent of Na'Chan
4. Destruction of the Purest Form
5. Fallen Empire
6. Plague Storm
7. Death March in the Nile
8. Withered

Initially formed in 2011, Texan epic black metal horde Votan has struggled to keep its lineup consistent over the years, offering a rotating list of musicians before finally settling on their current quartet configuration. Going straight into the fray, the group now offers it’s debut full-length independently July 1, 2016 with a re-issue July 15, 2016 on Sepulchral Silence.

There’s a lot to like here as the album manages to work out a rather nice, raw sound here to go along with the frenzied epic work present for the most part, which is a nice part of the appeal overall here. With the rather tight riff-work elsewhere on display, it’s quite an impressive racket to leave the rattling, raw production for the main riffing and the drum-work on display here which is what really drives this one. Featuring the rather typical swirling tremolo patterns in conjunction with that raw style makes the music a lot grander and more majestic than would typically be the case. This riffing style ends up making it into a slightly more progressive area than expected here due to the album’s mostly overlong arrangements that further the epic mindscape where it’s built upon the varied tempo changes and dynamic patterns in the arrangements to make an epic-sounding track.  Offering plenty of backing keyboards that really further this large, grand style of work by going into the overloaded-into-the-background format here where it’s all based on the constant blaring in the background which is then furthered with the raging, blaring tempos to make this seem a lot bigger and grander than it really should be. While this is certainly a nice overall main attack that’s utilized here, the fact that the album is so raw does strike this one down somewhat with the rattling, weak-sounding drum-work not unleashing it’s full-power or the way in which the buzzing keyboard work dominates and overshadows the light guitar-work in the background of it all. It's also not really helped with the fact that there's several songs that are a bit too long that aren't really needed to be that way, tending to make this seem like an epic somewhat more on virtue of the length of it's compositions rather than the overall effect of it's music. This isn’t a truly detrimental or damaging flaw, but it is noticeable to a large degree here.

Though it’s got some minor flaws on display here that aren’t really all that detrimental to it’s overall enjoyment and which is mostly a case of debut jitters that should get ironed out as they continue on their career, in the end those are only enough to make this really appealing to fans of raw symphonic black metal or epic metal of this sort.

Score: 80/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://sepulchralsilencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/at-one-with-the-serpent

Master - An Epiphany of Hate



Artist: Master
Release Title: An Epiphany of Hate
Year: 2016
Label: F.D.A. Rekotz
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Subdue the Politician
2. Fiction Soon Becomes Reality
3. Face Your Fear
4. Just Be Yourself
5. Just Take My Right Arm
6. An Epiphany of Hate
7. It's Clearly Eden
8. The People of the Damned
9. Senses All Will Be Controlled
10. Red Alert

One of the genre’s founding figures, Czech Republic-based death/thrashers Master has literally been at the forefront of the style from the very beginning being one of the first bands to ever adopt to the style back in the genre’s infancy. Now, nearly thirty years on from their start and reaching album number twelve, the titans offer forth this crushing release January 29, 2016 on F.D.A. Rekotz.

Much like the majority of their work in the past, this here is a rather blistering and mostly primitive brand of death-infused thrash metal that charges along at a pretty generous pace here. The main basis for the swarming, mid-tempo attack here is given the main charge throughout here which keeps the tracks steady, simplistic and really straightforward as the rhythms buzz along through the tight patterns featured here as the bands’ thrashing energies are what really tend to drive this one forward rather than the riff-work. Since the tracks are generally given a much more explosive pacing that brings out the album’s rather simplistic nature quite well here as the album seems to pick one simplistic pace and then just holds it for the majority of the time here which makes the tracks bounce along when they’re given an up-tempo rhythm to play with yet when it comes to the more sluggish and plodding tempos it doesn’t really generate the same sense of energy with it never really deviating much in it’s patterns and arrangements. There’s some great work to be had when it really lets itself go since those tend to dominate the album, yet the rare occasions where it does drop these slightly is what causes this one to lose it’s steam as the disjointed pacing and tempos is slightly jarring overall here. Thankfully, it’s rare enough to not be that detrimental against the enjoyable remainder of the album as their craftsmanship and consistency allows them to do this better than most other acts in the genre by featuring enough to make it noticeably yet going for the jugular enough times to really make that impact.

As this is clearly a competent and highly professional act that knows what they’re doing, this is nicely displayed here with an album that has a lot to like about it and only a few real downer spots that leaves this a wholehearted recommendation not only for fans of the band as well as those who enjoy this ravenous style of old-school death/thrash metal.

Score: 90/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dissector (Rus) - Planetary Cancer



Artist: Dissector (Rus)
Release Title: Planetary Cancer
Year: 2016
Label: Mazzar Records
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Mercy
2. Fallen One
3. Planetary Cancer
4. Rebuild on Better Days
5. Perfect Smile
6. The Hate Inside
7. First to Burn
8. The Shape of Things to Come
9. The Deep
10. Currency of Life
11. Exit Humanity
12. Invisible Lives

Still continuing their assault, Russian melodic death metal band Dissector further manages to build their legacy as one of the country’s finest genre acts as they further their recent success. Joined by a litany of popular guest musicians as they display their signature sound, the group prepares to release only their second full-length release June 6, 2016 on Mazzar Records.

Once this gets going, there’s a rather obvious display to be found here where the band is clearly more comfortable on the mid-tempo setting in their sound where it really manages to thump along at a simplistic tempo overall. Baring a light, sprawling tone with a focus on offering a crunchy chug-filled pattern that takes simplistic rhythms and plodding drumming along throughout here for the most part, this basic attack keeps things rolling along at a pretty steady clip without generating a lot in the way of offering a lot to showcase any special variety or special impact here as it’s rather formulaic how their approach is worked over on this. It’s all tight, simplistic sprawling chugging that generates the melodic framework with the light leads swirling around the main rhythms here and that makes this quite predictable as it goes along with the inability to really change up the rhythms or arrangements to a large degree. There’s a few occasions where it generates a much more lively rhythm pattern with some frantic, somewhat frenzied riff-work that makes this one a little more engaging, but it’s only in select places within the album and not every track utilizes this anyway which just makes it stick out even more. Likewise, there’s way too many songs here for that kind of material and really makes the second half quite a chore to sit through with so many repetitious patterns holding this one back.

Through it does have some problems here that tends to crop up from time-to-time as the songs are merely decent-enough at best and don’t really offer much to stand out beyond the professionalism of their performances, it’s really only down to the bands’ hardcore fans or the most devout melodeath fan who’ll enjoy this one.

Score: 76/100



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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Survival Instinct - Hell's Angels



Artist: Survival Instinct
Release Title: Hell's Angels
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Antichrist Vatican
2. Ascension of the Beast
3. I Will Never Die
4. Eternal Brutality
5. Emptiness
6. Hell's Angels
7. Hellocaust
8. Faking Life
9. Rotten
10. Tell 'em

Coming together in 2013, Canadian thrashers Survival Instinct quickly managed to produce an EP release about a year later and have spent the remaining time forging their live reputation with scores of gigs and tours of their homeland. Now, two years have past and the band is ready to unleash their full-length debut, independently self-released August 20, 2016.

Taking plenty of cues from the Bay-Area style of attack,the main riffing attack here is taken along through the usually tight, crunchy patterns offered in that mode of attack which greatly benefits this one with the ability to offer up a nice amount of differing rhythms as the loud, biting guitar riffing is a dominant aspect to this one. Offering that explosively crunchy, fast-paced rhythm attack in conjunction with some rather nice mid-tempo work it creates a thumping, fiery atmosphere that really echoes the sound and vibe from that particular breed of the genre where it mainly offers up that mid-tempo crunch patterns with the occasional burst into a light chug style of riffing which comes from keeping this one steady, straightforward and unwavering in their attack. That does bring up the main strike against this one in the fact that there’s just nothing all that original on display here, running through the exact same general rhythms and patterns that were part of the Bay Area scene so much so that it doesn’t really offer up any kind of deviation from these arrangements which just seem to carry on throughout here. That really keeps this one down, as well as the fact that the rather simplistic riff-work is kept pretty cluttered where it doesn’t really generate the kind of infectious energy or enthusiasm that it really needs with the continuous mid-tempo paces and leaving the bands’ spurts into up-tempo fare to come in brief spurts overall. There’s not as much energy it develops here that overall it could’ve, and it basically sounds way too complacent on running through the past while not often enough generating the kind of energy it should’ve.

While there’s some flaws to be found here, some of that is inherently made out to be nothing more than just debut jitters and is somewhat forgivable while others aren’t as much and really do leave this one solely for the most undemanding of revivalist thrash aficionados or those that prefer a more mid-tempo pace to their typical thrash crunch.

Score: 74/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://survivalinstinct.bandcamp.com/album/hells-angels

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hellbringer - Awakened from the Abyss



Artist: Hellbringer
Release Title: Awakened from the Abyss
Year: 2016
Label: High Roller Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Fall of the Cross
2. Coven of Darkness
3. Realm of the Heretic
4. Iron Gates
5. Spectre of Rebirth
6. Awakened from the Abyss
7. Dark Overseer

Formed in 2007 as Forgery, Australian thrashers Hellbringer quickly eschewed that for their more familiar moniker and have quickly risen in the ranks since as one of the better Aussie thrash acts. After a four-year wait between releases, the power trio is finally ready to unleash their thrashing best on this second full-length released August 19, 2016 on Iron Pegasus Records.

As was the case from their previous work, this here is a truly rousing and thrilling thrash effort that contains a ravenous and truly enjoyable old-school vibe throughout here. The tight, ravenous riff-work and straightforward tempos are at the forefront of the bands’ attack, ripping along through a series of interweaving rhythms with the occasional burst of tight speed-metal blasts that add a nice intensity to the more traditional thrash rhythms. With these offering the type of varied, traditional material as there’s numerous occasions of the massive mid-tempo marches with sprawling tempos and a more relaxed pace with the majestic marching alongside the more dominant and explosive full-throttle tempos that take on a more striking tone being placed within these slower tracks. They generate a much more dynamic old-school attack with the frenzied riff-work and varied patterns that are on display throughout here, which is where this one does stumble about slightly. The fact that this one does seem somewhat schizophrenic and quite scattershot in regards to it’s more frantic rhythms as they tend to get thrown around into the arrangements quite haphazardly and the segways into these arrangements are very awkward as it just transcends into these intense thrashing sections without any build-up or set-up which makes them seem a little sloppier than expected. The old-school shouting vocal approach might be somewhat hard to take for some, but it works well enough to be a fine enough addition to the overall sound as the album’s awkward transitions are the real weak point.

Though it does come off well enough with a string of high-energy, up-tempo thrashers that are effectively old-school enough the way it goes about them is a little off which doesn’t make this a terrible effort at all but instead makes this one mostly for those old-school fanatics or revivalist fans who really appreciate that kind of approach the most.

Score: 86/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://hellbringer.bandcamp.com/

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bewitcher - Bewitcher



Artist: Bewitcher
Release Title: Bewitcher
Year: 2016
Label: Diabolic Might Records
Genre: Black/Thrash (Speed) Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Bewitcher
2. Speed 'til You Bleed
3. Sin Is in Her Blood
4. Wild Blasphemy
5. Midnight Hunters
6. Harlots of Hell
7. Hot Nights, Red Lights
8. Black Speed Delirium
9. In the Night (The Cult Will Rise)

Initially forming in 2013, Oregon black/speed metallers Bewitcher have quickly set about to hone their darkened, old-school approach to black and speed metal over the years. Now that they’ve become a lethal, vicious force, the trio prepares it’s debut effort originally issued as a vinyl release August 18, 2016 on Diabolic Might Records with a CD version on Divebomb Records to come September 9, 2016.

Immediately from the start, this one impresses upon us the old-school feel to be discharged throughout here which fully encompases the rowdy, up-tempo riffing. Utilizing the fiery, frantic riff-work of speed metal in conjunction with the tremolo-based patterns of black metal it creates a truly ripping and explosive mixture here where it manages to incorporate the raucous and energetic style of speed metal thrashing along throughout the tracks with plenty of high-speed precision and tight patterns that generate the reckless out-of-control nature of the style. The wild, raw energy that brings here is married nicely with the ferocious black metal aesthetic where the tremolo patterns and steady, swirling tempos creates a highly enjoyable and rousing style of evil old-school sounding speed metal. Though it’s quite competent and proficiently played, the tight riff-work here doesn’t really generate much variety in the rhythm section here as the deep, raging rhythms displayed aren’t all that different from the type of material featured elsewhere on here where it just tends to run through the same thing over and over again which doesn’t really give this much of an identity here within the music with it really just tending to come off as the type of rousing-but-formulaic approach that really lets the second half sink into a mire of familiar-sounding rhythms and tempos that don’t really differentiate themselves all that much. Likewise, the gravelly hard-rock inspired vocals aren’t exactly that appealing and tend to come off in a whiny pitch compared to the rest of the music and takes some getting used to even if it does eventually come off fine. Beyond these issues, there’s not a whole lot really to dislike about this one.

Though there’s plenty of enjoyable elements to be found here, the fact that this one really does manage to feature some minor, and in some cases barely detrimental issues does make this a solid and really recommended variation for those that enjoy this rocking brand of black/speed metal or those that enjoy the faster, thrashier end of black metal.

Score: 88/100



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

Blood Incantation - Starspawn



Artist: Blood Incantation
Release Title: Starspawn
Year: 2016
Label: Dark Descent Records
Genre: Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Vitrification of Blood (Part 1)
2. Chaoplasm
3. Hidden Species (Vitrification of Blood Part 2)
4. Meticulous Soul Devourment
5. Starspawn

One of the genre’s up-and-coming heroes, Colorado death metallers Blood Incantation has built a steady stream of impressive releases that showcases their astounding blend of atmospheric and technically-challenging material. Rounding themselves into a four-piece now with the addition of Jeff Barrett as their full-time bassist, the group’s full-length debut is released August 18, 2016 on Dark Descent Records.

This here comes off as a ferocious, highly engaging effort mostly due to the propensity for dynamic, outrageous rhythms on display that give this such a varied, complex structure. Essentially at it’s core a death metal act, that allows for a series of dragging, churning riff-work with all the hallmarks of the old-school scene as it utilizes the sprawling, cavernous-style structure with it’s deep rhythms at slow, plodding tempos while battering away with plenty of tight, vicious drumming that gives this such a stylistic old-school approach and then throwing out a series of tightly-wound, technically-extravagant patterns on top to round out the experience.. That basic framework is then balanced out with the addition of ultra-slow, plodding sections filled with sprawling, atmospheric notes that wrangle out hints of psychedelic soloing alongside the churning, rumbling rhythms and the contrast between these elements is not only wholly apparent but also delivers a varied approach that’s hardly ever seen in the genre. The quiet, reflective atmospheric sections bumping up against the vile, blasting death metal is a rather ingenious and impressive mixture that gives this a variance not typically seen yet still manages to come off with enough of a semblance to either genre that there’s plenty to enjoy for fans of either style. In the end, that really leaves only the listener’s tolerance for such material as the main defining factor against this one, with it being based mostly on whether or not there’s any interest in one aspect of the band as the biggest selling point for it. The length might be an issue as well, with the band not really giving this one much of a chance to really showcase it’s chops with a thirteen minute epic to open this and an instrumental cluttering up the running time here, but these are all trife problems that aren’t all that worrisome.

Despite a few minor, barely worthwhile issues that crop up throughout this one it still has enough quality efforts on display to remain one of the more impressive and dynamic acts in the style and makes for a wholly appealing act for anyone looking to expand beyond what is normally considered death metal or other adventurous extreme metal fans.

Score: 93/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/starspawn

Enthean - Priests of Annihilation



Artist: Enthean
Release Title: Priests of Annihilation
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Technical Death/Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. 1054
2. Tones of Desecration
3. Before You, I Am
4. Dysthanasia
5. Ekpyrosis
6. Behold the Primordial
7. Bring Forth the Raven
8. Invalesc de Profundis

Formed in 2012, South Carolina technical death/black metallers Enthean have quickly spread throughout the underground gaining in experience as they’ve already released a demo tape shortly after forming. As a minor line-up shuffle sees new bassist Adam Rush joining the band after the recording as he didn’t partake in the sessions, the groups’ self-released full-length debut effort arrives May 20, 2016 and sees them leave a rather strong first impression.

This here is an incredibly strong debut, which scores a lot of points here with the professionalism of their work given a rather wide berth here by the way the album goes for such a vast array of influences and soundscapes. There’s not a single dominant factor present in these tracks, which are given a wide berth with the inclusion of swirling tremolo riffing and scathing keyboard work that mixes together with light sprawling melodic sections to recall a vibrant and furious black metal release, yet the main driving rhythm sections playing underneath these elements is a charging, complex series of arrangements that are more in-line with technical death metal acts. This in the process leaves the group as a rather strange dichotomy, with a melodic section up-front yet a driving and aggressive one utilizing the rhythms underneath it all, and they truly do manage to mix these works together in such a way as to never let one element become the main focus for too long with plenty of dynamic tempo and mood change-overs into either section that is also quite nice with it being another chance at a display of their songwriting prowess and technicality that marks the group off on a high-note overall. To this impressive and adept at that level of maturity and showmanship at this stage of their career is an impressive feat as these influences are made to work together surprisingly well with plenty to like about it, and in the end really leaves the bands’ attempts at epic showpieces to be the lone Achilles heel to this one. There’s plenty of times where the band does get a little too fancy for its’ own good and tries to shoehorn elaborate, extended arrangements here simply to elongate the running time and comes off as far too showy when the band is much more adept simply letting their attack work for themselves.

Though stuck with a minor bit of youthful exuberance and inexperience that pops up from time-to-time, overall this one is still quite an immensely enjoyable experience at them being able to drag these influences together so well that it really does appeal to numerous different fans of extreme metal and those looking for a little more adventurous work than what’s normally found in the genre.

Score: 91/100



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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Amon Amarth - Jomsviking



Artist: Amon Amarth
Release Title: Jomsviking
Year: 2016
Label: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. First Kill
2. Wanderer
3. On a Sea of Blood
4. One Against All
5. Raise Your Horns
6. The Way of Vikings
7. At Dawn's First Light
8. One Thousand Burning Arrows
9. Vengeance Is My Name
10. A Dream That Cannot Be
11. Back on Northern Shores

One of the first bands in the style, Swedish melodic death metal mainstays Amon Amarth have been steadily employing their blend of black and melodic death metal into being one of the best bands in this style. With long-time drummer Fredrik Andersson stepping down and the studio parts recorded by Tobias Gustafsson, the bands’ tenth full-length effort was released March 25, 2016 on Metal Blade Records.

As has been the case from the start, the group here certainly knows their way around melodic death metal riffing, and that continues here with this one generating the kind of fiery melodic rhythms that has long been apart of the group’ core sound. Blazing with hummable, dynamic riffing that’s filled with swirling melodic leads alongside the deep, driving charge that propels the songs forward, the melodic tendencies of the band are at the forefront of the album overall. With the main rhythms adopting their signature swirling tremolo-picked patterns while alternating between the glorious, triumphant marches, full-speed thrash-paced frenzies or a more relaxed mid-tempo pace with a deeper, churning crunch pattern to the main rhythm-work, there’s quite an impressive mix of their usual work featured here that creates a driving blend of black, death and minor elements of thrash into the overall package that’s found here. This usual amount of variance creates a wholly appealing ebb and flow within the album as the different pieces take prominence on select tracks which is always wrapped up with melodic lead-work that’s all tight, frantic and off-sets the vicious work on display here as the album does continually shift gears to a fault. There’s way too many sections within this one that could’ve been handled with a slightly more upbeat vibe as the attempts to showcase the metalcore-leaning riffs don’t gel well with their sound at all. It’s just obviously attempted to interject a variety into the tracks but the mechanical, chugging rhythms are out-of-place and stick out quite obviously against the more natural-sounding riffing elsewhere here. As well, it’s all too familiar and does the same thing too many times over, but as it’s been there since the beginning it’s not that bad of a detriment and doesn’t hurt it that much.

Still sticking with their formula through thick-and-thin, the group’s obviously patented sound that hasn’t bit them before continues to serve them well as it generates a strong overall effort that while not as important or dynamic as what came before it still has plenty of appeal for fans of the band so far as well as those looking for genuine melodic death metal acts.

Score: 90/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/item/38633

Deacidified - Deceitful Wisdom



Artist: Deacidified
Release Title: Deceitful Wisdom
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. For the Time Has Come
2. Premonition
3. Servants of Lies
4. Dethroned
5. Inverted Logic
6. Disambiguation of Insanity
7. Impending Doom
8. Headless Belief

Formed in 2014, Greek death metal newcomers Deacidified come together by the three Sven brothers Vaios, George and Sven who form the vocal, bass and guitar positions in the band with Sakis Spiropoulos on drums. Finally preparing to release their debut full-length, the effort is independently released March 18, 2016.

For the most part the band here manages to display a rather dynamic impression of simple, straightforward death metal as the group here is plainly adept at doling out generous rhythms within their tracks. With simple-minded, tight riff-work at the forefront of the album, this here is wrapped around a determined charge that manage to feature some tight, fervent riffing that does generate plenty of intensity within the tracks as it maneuvers around the album’s mostly mid-tempo paces. It manages to whip up plenty of tight, churning rhythms as well when it breaks free and decides to up the ante on the faster rhythms when it does decide on generating even more speed and intensity here for the rhythms that manages to bring out some more intense arrangements. However, this also manages to bring out the album’s main flaw in that there’s just a never-ending series of wholly simplistic, one-note tracks here that it seems like a major accomplishment to have the tempo get changed up some. It seems to simply pick one pattern or rhythm and keep them there until it’s concluded and there’s little about the tracks overall that really change much as when there is some deviation it’s usually to interject a sprawling, atmospheric section into the tracks which just aren’t that interesting as the remaining music isn’t dynamic enough to warrant that kind of variation when it’s all pretty similar-sounding to begin with. Of course, the fact that the album doesn’t have the chance to do this with barely three-minute tracks is another big problem, with the songs here not really giving it much of an opportunity to really do that since it seques over into another effort right when it’s finally getting interesting and draining some of the momentum that’s being gained here. This, though, is simply growing pains with their first professional release and should be fixed in the future.

Though it’s obvious from the start that there’s some passion and enthusiasm on display here, the fact that the band doesn’t really have the chance to showcase their true potential either with bland segments or no time to really let their work breathe makes this only for the most devout and forgiving death metal aficionados who collect everything regardless of intent or professionalism.

Score: 73/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://deacidified.bandcamp.com/releases

Insision - Terminal Reckoning



Artist: Insision
Release Title: Terminal Reckoning
Year: 2016
Label: Sevared Records
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Among Us
2. Ominous Spiral
3. Infected
4. Shapeshifting
5. Old Ways
6. Cold Air
7. XXVI.II.MMXIV
8. Resist (God Does Not Exist)

One of the genre’s foremost acts, Swedish brutal death metal legends Insision have been at the scene since the late 90s, but a series of lineup issues has plagued the band’s output in recent years. Finally getting stabilized as Gustav Trodin on bass, Ljusebring Terrorblaster on drums and Adam Ramis on second guitar join holdovers Roger Johansson and Carl Birath to finally issue their fourth full-length after a near-decade gap in releases on January 1, 2016 on Sevared Records.

As would be expected in a band around this long, there’s a wide range of tight, deep churning riff-work to be found here as the band manages to get through the paces quite nicely. The swirling lead rhythms and frantic, blasting drumming on display keep this charging forward at quite steady paces which  is given even more to work with as that allows the riffing to dredge up the tight arrangements that make for a sterling display of brutality while also managing to develop a more traditional old-school atmosphere in these arrangements that brings out the rather immersive swampy atmosphere to the proceedings. It’s all the better here with the way it manages to add the swampy, old-school atmosphere here to the tight, frantic riff-work buzzing along to the varied tempos as that helps out in the brutality stakes as well with the songs shifting nicely between the frenzied, faster tempos as well as the slower, more mid-tempo charges that are alternated throughout here with plenty of rather impressive rhythms that give this one a great balance. Even the old-school-style soloing is nicely on point here and generates a fiery, dynamic atmosphere that as well comes off with a type of melodic air against the tightly-wound, deep churning riff-work elsewhere on display that they really stand out in contrast, which is another nice touch on display here. Being that the band has obviously been around for awhile they’re able to generate plenty of proficiently-crafted rhythms and patterns here, but it does manage to come off as somewhat perfunctory, as though the band is simply going through the motions in their playbook and hitting them expertly but don’t really generate any original moves with them. It’s all quite apparent where they’re going and it does strike up a small note against this one, but it’s all that really hurts it overall.

Despite not really coming through with any kind of truly original work here, the fact that the bands’ experience and professionalism manages to overcome that with a slew of utterly enjoyable, varied tracks that do have many common elements in play here manages to make this a wholly worthwhile addition for fans of the bands’ past efforts or just fans of brutal old-school death metal.

Score: 88/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://insision.bigcartel.com/product/terminal-reckoning-full-length-cd-2016