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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Inexorable (Gr: II) - Sea of Dead Consciousness EP

Artist: Inexorable (Gr: II)
Release Title: Sea of Dead Consciousness EP
Year: 2015 (2017 re-issue)
Label: Self-Titled/Independent (Godz of War Productions re-issue)
Genre: Avant-Garde/Technical Death Metal
1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Mayhem cover)
6. I Feel Nothing (Immolation cover)
7. Black Magic Mushrooms (Mysticum cover)

Still fine-tuning their sound, German technical death metallers Inexorable have continued to explore the fine line between the churning complex patterns and eerie, dissonant chords that have been at the forefront of their sound from the beginning. Taking their brand to the darkest extremes possible, the bands’ third EP was released March 15, 2015 on Unholy Prophecies with a reissue January 31, 2017 on Godz ov War Productions.

As was the case with the bands’ other works, the emphasis here is decidedly akin to their previous works with plenty of the same overall feel throughout this one. The main element present here is the preponderance of jangled, discordant riff-work that’s a strange mixture of angled, buzzing and generally avant-garde rhythms in complex technical passages which are so prominent that it’s quite a shock to see a vast majority of the album caked in the swampy, filth-riddled passages that are featured here. The bands’ rather epic nature of blending these elements into tight, swirling and extended passages that work quite well throughout here as the vast majority of the work creates that clattering feel throughout here which tends to bury their technical prowess quite adeptly, and it becomes even more apparent with the multitude of cover tracks at the back end of this one. That really is the biggest problem here, in that the cover tracks are such faithful recreations in such distinctive genres and styles that this one really seems split into two distinct sections and styles here, with the first half being jangled and chaotic death metal while the second half is full of straightforward and pummeling black metal without much variation, and there’s a clear difference between the two such that it leaves this one feeling quite disorganized. Still, it’s not all that detrimental as the enjoyable tracks do have a great feel and vibe from them which evens it out a little more.

Despite not really offering up much of a point with the inclusion of the cover tracks at the back end due to their rather disorganized and jarring feel from the original material, the fact that there’s still so much to like here really makes for quite a strong and worthwhile release for fans of challenging material or their past works.

Score: 80/100

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Balfor - Black Serpent Rising

Artist: Balfor
Release Title: Black Serpent Rising
Year: 2017
Label: Drakkar Productions
Genre: Melodic Black/Death Metal
1. Serpents of the Black Sun
2. Dawn of Savage
3. Unbounded Wrath of Venom
4. Heralds of the Fall
5. Among the Fallen Ones
6. Wolfbreed
7. A Vulture's Spell
8. Crimson Stronghold

Never dwelling on their past achievements, Ukrainian melodic black/death metal horde Balfor have certainly taken their time to craft their barbaric black metal assault with the band fine-tuning their approach and style through years of extensive touring and live performances. Now, after a six-year gap between records, the group finally unleashes their third full-length effort released January 15, 2017 on Drakkar Productions.

Taking the cue from their past, the band explodes out with plenty of traditional elements in place to showcase their charging sound in grand fashion. Firmly lodged in swirling tremolo riff-work and explosive melodic leads throughout, the album contains all the brimstone-soaked intensity favored in their blistering approach as the warm, rich accents throughout here create quite the fevered tempos. When this turns around into the more slowed-down, sprawling sections that integrate folk sections and epic-styled rhythms into the flow of the music, generating compelling melodic rhythms through the blackened riff-work as well as these more relaxed areas featured together with the bombastic keyboards and choir sections. For the most part, this approach is given equal time and devotion on the album which makes for quite a striking and highly effective approach that’s quite an exciting and varied effort here as the continually shifting tones and tempos offers up some striking work at times. Despite all the goodwill established by this setup, there’s one small detrimental factor weighing this done in that there’s very surprises in store for the record the deeper it goes, weighing in on the same set-ups and arrangements without really changing them up all too often which really cuts back on the dramatic qualities simply utilizing the same general riffs and approaches. It lowers this just slightly enough even though there’s still a lot to like here.

With plenty of highly enjoyable and worthwhile elements within this one and only a minor flaw that’s not really detrimental, this is yet another strong effort in their catalog that offers up plenty to like for fans of melodic black/death metal or those who are into this style of extreme metal.

Score: 94/100

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Viranesir - Supports Flag Burning and Female Raping

Artist: Viranesir
Release Title: Supports Flag Burning and Female Raping
Year: 2017
Label: Merdümgiriz
Genre: Avant-Garde Black Metal/Synthpunk
1. I Only Like Meat When I Know the Animal Suffered Thoroughly
2. Metal Is Full of Faggots
3. NSBM = Nigger Sucking Bi Metal
4. Burning the Flag of USA
5. Christians Oppose Abortion Because They Like to Fuck Orphans
6. I Support Isis, Nazism and Child Rape
7. Instagram Orospusu / Fat Bitch
8. 666 - Köylü Orospu
9. 666 - Gülsene Orospu
10. 666 - Gerzek Orospu

Jumping headlong into controversy, Turkish experimental black metallers Viranesir have taken more than a fair share of attempted censorship in their quest to break down the barriers of artistic expression and freedom by willfully inviting any act or topic into their influences. The second full solo album by the band after Emir Toğrul became the sole member, the projects’ tenth full-length effort was originally released January 5, 2017 on the band-owned Merdümgiriz label.

Due to the willingness to involve a slew of influences into the mix, the album is a chaotic and certainly jarring mixture of extreme metal that ranges through a wide mix of elements. Though based mainly in the realm of chaotic black metal, resulting in a solid backbone of frenetic tremolo riffing firing off utterly blistering blasts of chaotic noise against relentless walls of distortion and vehement, violent vocals that forms a solid part of the majority of the album. Suitably plotting alongside the ravenous work is absolutely maddening ambient-tinged keyboards and synths that add a dissonant, haunting atmosphere to the savagery and relentless energy elsewhere throughout the album and making for quite a striking opposition. This approach enables for a truly overwhelming attack that consistently maneuvers from shattering black metal to haunting synths that add a truly nightmarish vibe to the album as a whole. If the album has a failing at all, it’s the utterly low-budget recording as the production never allows the material to generate its full impact as the haze-riddled guitars and triggered drumming is all swept into a nearly-indecipherable blur of noise that really does a disservice to the music as the ripping riff-work and constant tempo-shifts just wash themselves out. This isn’t a detrimental factor, though, and can certainly help this out just as easily as strike it down.

Another top-notch highlight from one of the scenes’ most impressive figures, this continues Toğrul’s run of consistent, high-quality releases in the field and certainly makes for a highly enjoyable and worthwhile effort to look into for fans of his previous works or any adventurous extreme metal aficionado looking for something else beyond the norm.

Score: 87/100

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Battery (Den) - Martial Law

Artist: Battery (Den)
Release Title: Martial Law
Year: 2016
Label: Punishment 18 Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
1. The Rapture
2. Proxy Warfare
3. Kukulkan
4. Downfall of an Age
5. 2083
6. Forced Retaliation
7. Battery by Authority
8. Evil Offspring
9. Evoke the Morbid
10. Martial Law

Taking their influences even further, the Danish thrashers under the banner Battery have continued to bring out the bands’ absolute dedication to the old-school Bay-Area style of thrash which has been a part of the group’s history from the start. Being the last recorded output of long-time drummer Andreas Joen before leaving the band, the sophomore release was originally released November 25, 2016 on Punishment 18 Records.

As was the case for the bands’ career, the vast majority of this one concerns the absolutely frenetic and enjoyable bursts of old-school flavored thrash metal. Like many of their compatriots, there’s a strong sense of the rhythms taking plenty of influence from the Bay-Area style here with the fiery, crunchy riff-work and that ever-familiar rumbling series of bass-lines that clang and rattle along with the music quite nicely. With these being the more vibrant and intense tracks, they capture that sense of frantic, engaging thrash-scene effectively with the tight, ripping rhythms being given that old-school sheen due to the crunchy riff-work while also allowing for the group to descend into more laid-back and mid-tempo gallops in order to offer some rather nice diversity which rounds this out nicely. That also does highlight the main issue in that the album is incredibly one-note and one-sided in its appreciation and devotion to the scene that it never once comes off all that original in terms of appearance and generally feel. This one manages to play that same general tactical approach in the old-school riffing and blistering leads which really makes for a rather familiar time that really overwhelms and lowers it somewhat. As well, the fact that it’s quite short due to the tight, frantic rhythms does lower this one somewhat as the intensity levels do bring it back down from what it could’ve been as they’re over before it really matters. However, it’s not nearly as big a detriment as the overall familiar attack.

Although it does have a rather familiar approach and attack that does get hindered here somewhat, the overall infectious attitude and enthusiasm that’s featured here is quite able to overcome much of that in order to make for a solid and worthwhile if non-essential choice for revivalist thrash fanatics or less-discerning thrash fans.

Score: 83/100

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Olÿphant - Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

Artist: Olÿphant
Release Title: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
1. Dreams in the Witch House
2. Brown Jenkin
3. Incidents in the Butterfly Garden
4. The Grey Havens (To the Sea)
5. S3
6. The Expedition
7. Before the Fall
8. Slave

Formed in 2009, Massachusetts metallers Olÿphant were originally conceived as a classic metal cover band before quickly moving on to writing original music that brings a classic metal with doom and stoner influences to prog and thrash elements alongside. With the group rounded out by second-guitarist Brett Hess prior to the release, the group prepares to self-release it’s debut full-length October 7, 2016.

This has a quite prominent and wholly enjoyable burst of old-school style heavy metal which features a grand assortment of stylistic elements to like about it. Basically dripping with sprawling, mid-tempo dirges, the album’s main focus becomes quite clear early on with the ability to effortlessly shift from these wide-ranging elements as there’s a strong showing of spindly, galloping heavy metal, swirling stoner riff-work and plodding, oppressive doom rhythms that all come together here. This wide-ranging set of influences creates a wide-ranging sense of free-flowing and unpredictable work, never really journeying through the expected realms of the genres in order to continually warp themselves into a finely-tuned effort that’s quite enjoyable when it drops these vastly-varying elements into the journey without warning. At times, though, that does the album a slight disservice as this rarely manages to feel like it shifts all that cohesively, being essentially a wide-ranging hodgepodge of influential elements coming together to create a seemingly jarring and discordant array of tracks without a singular connecting vibe between any of it. That can make for a draining experience rather than what’s expected here with this one being so disjointed in approach that it can take away the surprises in store when it drops in these elements, and is an issue to contend with as the band carries on. Since this is a debut, it does get a slight pass in that regard, but it’s a noticeable issue.

Despite not really containing too many detrimental issues that sprung up throughout this one, the fact that not only was this a debut offering but had a lot to like anyway was more than enough to overcome that in order to be a solid-if-overall unremarkable addition to any fan of classic old-school metal.

Score: 72/100

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Impure Devotion - Raping the God Privileged Flesh EP

Artist: Impure Devotion
Release Title: Raping the God Privileged Flesh EP
Year: 2014
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Black'n'Roll
1. Lusting for Lilith
2. Locusts of the Omen's Wake
3. Raping the God Privileged Flesh
4. Entombed in Silent Eternity
5. 5.
6. Sluts of Hell (Nattefrost cover)

Storming out of the underground, Texas-based punk/black’n’rollers Impure Devotion have come together to bring out the exceptionally depraved and demented sounds they crave that gets explored quite adamantly throughout this piece. Representing their first professional release, the bands’ debut EP was originally released December 11, 2014.

Featuring a rather raw and garbled approach, the band certainly steps out in the spotlight with a fierce and fiery first assault that’s quite decent at its overall style. The main genesis to be found here is the filthy, thrashing riff-work that carries out the same dirty, high-energy style and content generally featured in a raucous, simplistic manner that really exposes their punk leanings due to the overall simple-minded nature of the material. This rattling, ferocious material gets plenty of work here over the pounding drumming and fierce vocal work that contains a rather high amount of engaging rhythms full of explosive thrash and punk leanings, and when it’s then taken a step further with the low-fi, ultra-raw and near-garage-band quality production here it makes this all the more frantic and intense. Still, that production is going to be a major hurdle to overcome as the vast majority of the album blends into an indecipherable blur of thrashing guitar noise and thudding drumming which is pretty much what the entire album as a whole consists of. There’s not a whole lot of differences in the tracks which gets emphasized by the simple-minded nature of what’s on offer, and basically that all comes down to lower this one somewhat. Even with these flaws, though, it’s still got quite a lot to like at times.

Despite a few minor missteps that hold it back, the main part of this one offers up enough to like here in terms of raucous energy and intensity that manages to generate enough interest for those that can appreciate this kind of style while those that look for more professional output in the music should heed caution.

Score: 60/100

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Откровения Дождя (Revelations of Rain) - Акрасия (Akrasia)

Artist: Откровения Дождя (Revelations of Rain)
Release Title: Акрасия (Akrasia)
Year: 2016
Label: Solitude Productions
Genre: Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal
1. Алтарь блудниц (Altar of Whores)
2. Сквозь ночь Фобетора (Through Phobetor's Night)
3. Эшафот (Scaffold)
4. В грусти и радости (In Joy and Sorrow)
5. Вместо тысячи слов (Instead of a Thousand Words)
6. Демоны милосердия (Demons of Mercy)
7. Корень всех бед (Root of All Evil)
8. На снежных крыльях (On Snow Wings)

Still exploiting their melancholy vibes, Russian melodic doom/death metallers Откровения Дождя, romanized as Revelations of Rain, continue to bring the anguish, atmosphere and power that has remained at the forefront of their sound for over a decade. Coming together after a three-year break, the group finally releases their fifth full-length album October 24, 2016 on powerhouse label Solitude Productions.

There’s very little reinvention going on throughout this album, and that tends to be one of it’s more impressive marks as it’s focused on their previous works. Continuing forth with an epic grandeur, the album is backed with crushing, monolithic riffing that’s slow, deep and immensely heavy which allows the band to effortlessly shift to varying stylistic approaches without losing their own identity. Utilizing the agonized, lethargic sprawling tempos for the vast majority of their tactical style and then balancing that out with sections of light atmospheric trinkling that showcases a fine melodic bent alongside fiery, up-tempo sections containing the band putting a lot more energetic and riffier segments of more melodic death metal elements getting introduced which really completes the whole dynamic on display. The fact that this one manages to stay on course throughout here without really deviating too much from their standard sound as this one manages to go for a wide range of gloom-infused melancholic doom/death featuring the fine melodies, haunting riff-work and simply crushing patterns that make up the majority of this one that are wholly impressive in their delivery and execution which really helps this one generate quite a large amount of positives over the one low-riding flaw to be found here. This one is exceptionally overlong and really does manage to feel it’s length as it’s quite weighty during various segments in here. It’s not necessarily a detrimental effort, but it’s still noticeable.

Although it gets too weighty and lengthy at times for its own good, the fact that this is still a highly impressive and completely crushing effort which really works nicely here in regards to the genre so that all fans of their past works or melancholic doom metal are encouraged to take notice of this one.

Score: 95/100

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Vesen - Rorschach

Artist: Vesen
Release Title: Rorschach
Year: 2016
Label: Soulseller Records
Genre: Black/Thrash Metal
1. Damnation Path
2. Pray for Fire
3. Target: Horizon
4. Blood, Bones and Pride
5. Screaming Sane
6. Crown of Scars
7. Vulgar, Old and Sick Blasphemy
8. All in Vain
9. Away the Tormentor
10. Final Insult

Finally returning to active duty, Norwegian black/thrashers Vesen have brought forth a concept album about the deteriorating mental state of an individual and how they deal with that told with the traditional sense of style found in their previous work. As the four-year break has brought along their same progressive edge to the forefront, the groups’ fourth full-length was released December 16, 2016 on Soulseller Records.

As what was so prominently a part of the bands’ past catalog, there’s a loud, raucous attack featured throughout here that makes for a generally explosive effort. Fueled by furious, swirling thrash rhythms and a generally full-throttle approach, the vast majority of the release carries this high-energy surge through the material aided nicely by the dark, filthy production style that adds more life to the proceedings. Unleashing the thrashing riff-work to delve into a raucous charge with the high-energy, fire-spitting rhythms that are nicely topped off by the darker patterns featuring plenty of the swirling black metal patterns that are introduced here to give this one quite a prominent darker facet to the music. Balancing it out quite nicely are efforts which drop the high-energy thrashing in favor of the slow, sprawling elements that extend this one out far longer into epics that counteract the tight, vicious thrashing elsewhere here, which is a nice feature though it does seem somewhat out-of-place here with the slow, ponderous rhythms being quite jarring against the more vicious, intense stuff throughout here. It does get a little slack here being that this is a concept album requiring those be placed here to carry the storyline out, but it’s still somewhat of an issue.

As there’s a lot to like here with the bands’ vicious and intense side rather than the more epic, sprawling material which holds it back, those few minor problems are just enough to knock this one back and makes this one really for the most devout and undiscerning fan of blackened thrash metal.

Score: 85/100

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Enemy of Reality - Arakhne

Artist: Enemy of Reality
Release Title: Arakhne
Year: 2016
Label: F.Y.B. Records
Genre: Symphonic Metal
1. Martyr
2. Reflected
3. Weakness Lies Within
4. Time Immemorial
5. Nouthetisis
6. Afraid No More
7. Showdown
8. The Taste of Defeat
9. In Hiding
10. I Spare You
11. A Gift of Curse

After the success of their previous works, Greek symphonic metallers Enemy of Reality have taken the style and musings of their Greek heritage to present yet another concept album about the titular spider’s creation and carries on from what occurred in the debut. With keyboardist Marianthie being replaced by Leonidas, the groups’ second full-length effort was originally released October 23, 2016 on F.Y.B. Records.

Once again fueled by the bands’ leanings, the main focus here is once again dwelling mainly in bombastic and grandiose rhythms and melodies as befits their symphonic leanings. Loaded with swirling operatic rhythms at the forefront of the music here with the main use of cinematic keyboards offering the dramatic and wholly soaring material present here which cuts through the album as a whole nicely, and fits alongside the remaining parts of the album. Featuring plenty of progressively-tinged Gothic riff-work, dripping with atmospheric touches and a rather strong beefy tone it creates quite an impactful connection here which makes for a much nicer and cohesive whole here that’s given quite a wide berth over the album with the remaining sections going for a more plodding operatic style that keeps this one much more inline with the simplistic side of the Gothic spectrum. Combined into a cohesive whole there’s quite a lot to really like here as this one gets quite a complete sound together, though it does stand as a bit out-of-place at times when it goes for the raspy male shrieks here as the vast majority of the album is quite competent with the dual vocalists together while those other parts just stick out quite badly. It’s not nearly enough to ruin the experience but it’s distracting at times.

Despite a few minor elements where it’s not nearly as impressive as it really could’ve been, for the most part, this here is a highly enjoyable and impressive slice of Gothic-infused symphonic metal that really comes off quite nicely here for hardcore fans of this style or those looking for impressive female-fronted metal acts.

Score: 89/100

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Decayed - The Burning of Heaven

Artist: Decayed
Release Title; The Burning of Heaven
Year: 2016
Label: Hellprod Productions
Genre: Old-School Black Metal
1. The Rise of Darkness - Prologue
2. The Burning of Heaven
3. Son of Satan
4. Dark Soul - The Prophecy
5. War of the Gods
6. Defy thy Master
7. The Mirror of Usire
8. Halls of Torment Part II
9. Night of the Demons - Introduction
10. Deaf Forever
11. Cravado na cruz

One of the country’s first genre practitioners, Portuguese black metallers Decayed have brought a rather charging and damaging attack that has been their main basis throughout their twenty-five-plus years of existence that began nearly at the birth of the genre itself. With the power-trio having honed their material into a coherent whole, the groups’ twelfth full-length album comes nearly a calendar year after their last album on July 31, 2016 on Hellprod Records.

Given their history and durability in the genre, there’s quite a prominent and heavy influence here with the bands’ old-school influence firmly on display. This one goes for a mostly simplistic, buzzing quality to the rhythms that features utterly straightforward and truly one-note tremolo-styled riffing firmly entrenched in the crossover area between the first and second-wave black metal movements, containing that fiery, frost-riddled atmosphere while containing the rocking energies and simplistic rhythms that manage to merge these two styles together quite well, and given the genesis of their creation it’s quite appropriate to mix together these styles. While these make up the majority of the album overall, it’s given a nice boost of variety here with the inclusion of vicious, punk-laced efforts that drop all pretenses of mixing together these styles and just go for raging, dirty-thrash styled rhythms and blistering speed. There’s little pretense about these, they’re just straightforward and utterly devastating as a result by focusing primarily on the energy generated by these patterns, and on the whole, there’s not a whole lot to dislike about this. The main issue this brings up here is the fact that the jarring approach that creates here is a rather obvious and wholesale one going through so many wild and varying tones here with the simplistic approach clashing with the raging rhythms as if this were two separate works mashed together for a split album. Likewise, there’s little need for the album to go from twisting, turning ten-minute epics to minute-long interludes which aren’t part of a concept album and leaves the release even more obvious about its discordant feel. However, these are really all it has going against it.

While there’s not a great deal to dislike here, this one still comes off with a somewhat scattered feel and tone that clashes against each other part here that it really seems to offer itself mainly for the bands’ fans or to fans of the more raw, first-wave style of black metal as aficionados of more modern black metal should heed caution.

Score: 81/100

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Temple of Demigod - The Great Old Ones

Artist: Temple of Demigod
Release Title: The Great Old Ones
Year: 2016
Label: Black Lion Records
Genre: Symphonic Black/Death Metal
1. Labyrinth
2. Ominous King
3. The Awakening of a Mighty One
4. Azathoth Supreme Chaos
5. Mountains of Madness
6. Lurking in the Threshold
7. Embodiment of Chaos
8. The Great Old Ones

Formed in September 2014, Armenian one-man symphonic black/death metal project Temple of Demigod wasted little time getting material out as main-man Mark Erskine sought to evoke the majesty and terror found in the writings of legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft into crushing black/death metal. After several years of preparing, the bands’ debut full-length was originally released December 24, 2016 on Black Lion Records.

Echoing the lyrical themes explicitly, the main crux of the bands’ style is found in the sweeping mixture of ornate blackened death metal spiced up with symphonic elements. The material is mostly kept charging along at a crunchy mid-tempo augmented with thick, beefy riffing and tight drumming that carries a stellar atmospheric tone throughout here, letting the main focus shift nicely between the black and death metal realms. That heavy crunch to the riffing and the more textured focus on varied tempo changes as the album continues through its paces which give this a decidedly more prominent death metal aspect to the rhythms for the most part which is balanced out nicely by the fiery melodic accents and bombastic keyboard-laced symphonics that come into play here. This makes for a wholly more intriguing dynamic when it starts in on the more advanced integrations between the raging over-the-top symphonics and the twisting, turning riff-work which adds a larger degree of theatrics to the package that gives this the kind of tempo shifts that give this an added benefit to be had here with the more heavy, crunchy patterns added to the bombastic nature here. These here really help to make for a rather impressive if seemingly overly-familiar time here. The album plays way too close and familiar to plenty of other bands in this style which really has very little originality in their rhythms and arrangements which come across often in the album moves between so many easily-identifiable sources. Still, the enthusiasm of the project is enough to overcome that and holds this up for the most part.

Despite featuring some rather familiar and overly identifiable sources in terms of noticing influences, the debut nature and high-energy quality of the material rises this one up more than enough to make a worthy choice for those that enjoy the members’ other works or fans of the symphonic genre.

Score: 89/100

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Surgikill - Sanguinary Revelations

Artist: Surgikill
Release Title: Sanguinary Revelations
Year: 2016
Label: F.D.A Rekotz
Genre: Old-School Death Metal
1. Sanguiniac
2. Murderous Thirst
3. Relentless Revenge
4. Psychopathic Awakenings
5. Black Angel Assassin
6. Devil Haunted Dreams
7. Realm of the Resurrected
8. Alchemy Death Queen
9. The Bleeder
10. Planet of the Vampires

Formed just in 2015, US-based death metallers Surgikill have combined as a veritable, bonafide supergroup of scene veterans that continue Billy and Vanessa Nocera’s connection to old-school death metal as they’re joined alongside Stevo de Caixao, William Stevers, Ash Thomas and Zdenka Prado. Quickly taking their sound into a studio release, the sextet issues this debut full-length March 18, 2016 on F.D.A. Rekotz with a vinyl repress August 26, 2016 on Hells Headbangers Records.

From the outset, this is quite an appealing and damaging effort that really handles an explosively chaotic take on old-school death metal that comes through quite clearly here. Managing to mix together the rather fine, explosive riff-work which is filled with simplistic, sprawling chug patterns that really stay in mind quite easily despite the inherent simplicity with a rather fiery charging pace full of ferocious riffing, more lively patterns and an increase in variations throughout, this becomes quite a fierce display that’s welcoming and wholly immersive. With each variation taking on their own enjoyable elements, with the more simplistic patterns keeping the interest with wholly intriguing patterns and solid arrangements while the faster sections adding a chaotic slant here with the advent of primitive-styled sloppy death/thrash arrangements that counterbalance the refined and controlled chugging, creating a uniformed feel throughout. While that in itself gives this one plenty to like just based on the inherently impressive old-school attack, the bands’ true ferocity is demonstrated on the vocal front with the group employing nearly everyone to supply screams, grunts and growls. That results in four of the personnel supplying the screaming here and the resulting audio assault is nothing short of nightmarish, running the gamut of wet gurgling, howling screams and high-pitched female growls permeating this one. Worse off is the fact that they’re layered over the tracks resulting in several of the vocalists growling in unison and leaving a rather impressive display of truly squeamish qualities throughout here, merging these sounds into a truly effective whole with the ravaging music here.

Though it may come off simplistic for some, it’s about the only thing really wrong with this one as otherwise there’s such a truly explosive, wholly impressive offering of savage, striking old-school death metal on display here that this one truly becomes a recommended listen to fanatics of the genre, revivalist-aficionados or fans of the creative personnel within.

Score: 98/100

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Swine Soul - Black Noise Plague EP

Artist: Swine Soul
Release Title: Black Noise Plague EP
Year: 2016
Label: Merdümgiriz
Genre: Black/Noise
1. Bats Crawl From Thy Lady's Maw
2. Animalistic Deathcry of Despair
3. AbsoluteBlackNoiseWarPlague
4. Dying Disharmonies Of A Soul's Light
5. Emaciated Recollections Echoing From Cold Walls Long Forgotten
6. TotalAndAbsoluteSoulObliteration

Heading off in a blaze of glory, US black/noise project Swine Soul have once again offered up quite a thrilling and explosive offering of their final release which continues to explore the anger and despair that has long been held in high quantities for their career. Now attempting another effort with the same outpouring of anger and disgust, this new EP release for the group was originally self-released November 26, 2016 before a re-release December 3 on Merdümgiriz.

Churning out the sickness, the group continues to utilize the rather tortured and anguished soundscape at their disposal to create their aural cries. The main impetus of that comes from the sweeping, droning riff-work which is a chaotic mixture of blistering tremolo riffing and utterly pummeling rhythms bursting at the seams as the whole affair is topped off with feverish, nightmare-inducing vocals that drive this one forward at a generally intense pace. This intensity is further boosted with sampled feedback and screeches which creates a dense industrial-style collage of noise which appears at selected intervals to or even full-on tracks as a whole, creating a disjointed and maddening effort that’s also increasingly inconsistent and chaotic. As it slogs through this type of frantic and chaotic sections without any rhyme or reason to further the musical narrative, the music ends up simply being raw, incoherent screeching noise augmented slightly by fits and spurts of classic black metal riff-work without really generating the kind of elements typically associated with the genre. In the end, it leaves this one with only a few select moments of enjoyment beyond the need for creating the sonic madness.

The fact that this is a solid representation of the style’s usual output doesn’t really make enough headway here with this one as the fact that the vast majority of the music comes off with the noise-factor leaves this one simply for those fans while others who aren’t should heed extreme caution.

Score: 60/100

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mortal Peril - The Legacy of War

Artist: Mortal Peril
Release Title: The Legacy of War
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
1. Generation Hate
2. Gladiator
3. Psychotic
4. Air Attack
5. War Is Hell
6. Seed of Hell
7. Creeping Apocalypse
8. Machete
9. Legacy of War

Coming right on the heels of their last release, German thrashers Mortal Peril have quickly crafted a new album released slightly over a year from their debut effort and carries the same high-quality retro-fueled thrash vibe as what they delivered previously. Being the last recorded output of guitarist Bjornsson Greene with the band operating as a trio now, the groups’ second full-length was originally self-released May 21, 2016.

It becomes immediately evident from the onset that the band is clearly indebted to the old-school thrash scene as there’s plenty of elements at play from that scene. The album basically works through the same generally one-note approach of tight, crunchy thrash patterns galloping along at a steady mid-tempo charge while filtering in swirling melodic leads to counterbalance those rhythms, and for the most part that constitutes the majority of the album. It does drop the straightforward crunch for a series of slower, sprawling chugging riffs which becomes the main sense of stylistic variation within the tracks which makes this one quite simplistic and straightforward as without any kind of technical showcase here, that’s really all that deviates the tracks from each other. Although this is aided into the old-school vibe quite nicely by the overall thick, fuzzy production tone which is much more in line with the guitar tone and feel that was present in those days, it highlights the first minor set-back in the album coming together to the point of being pretty difficult to determine tracks apart from each other. That production does seem to give this a more uniformed appearance to the tracks and causes this to lose a lot of individuality in here, making this appear as yet another revivalist thrash metal band without doing much else with the music beyond displaying a nice sense of fire for their rhythms and tempos. It is a minor deficit in this one, and does harm it somewhat.

Although it does have some solid work to be found at times here, the fact that this one does suffer from the same problematic issues so commonly found in the ever-expanding and crowded retro-thrash scene that they’re apart of makes this one really only recommended to the most devout enthusiasts of that genre.

Score: 77/100

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Inferno (Sp) - Genética humana

Artist: Inferno (Sp)
Release Title: Genética humana
Year: 2017
Label: Necromance Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
1. Avaricia
2. Cien mil golpes
3. Asesino
4. Muérete
5. Cultura del egoísmo
6. No es tu Dios
7. Tu credo
8. Millones de ratas
9. Genética humana
10. Amnesia

Formed in 2009, the Spanish thrash group under the name Inferno are moving on from the start of a cover band in their home city of Ceuta to become a group holding their own in terms of original material that resulted in their previous EP several years earlier. With original guitarist Joaquin Bravo replaced by Koto, the groups’ debut full-length was released January 12, 2017 on Necromance Records.

From the outset, the group is quite strongly adept at displaying their fascination and intention of exploring the best of the revival scene in earnest. The band clearly takes plenty of influence from the crunch-laden riff-work and pounding rhythms that offers a stylish series of rhythm and tempo changes throughout here that remains the album’s most effective balance of attack. This ends up bouncing freely between straightforward mid-tempo groove-styled rhythms before exploding into a strong stylish gallop that offers far more energy and intensity in the efforts to replicate the old-school tone and feel. The bands’ more fiery and intense riff-work here is a highly intriguing blend of tight, choppy blasts of frenzied riffing swirling into a blistering up-tempo charge that counteracts the slightly sloppier straightforward mid-tempo patterns which move forward at a slight chugging-style groove and gives the music a slight hint of variety that helps to distinguish this one quite ably from the horde of revivalist bands in the genre. This helps nicely with the band’s somewhat by-the-numbers approach elsewhere throughout here as the majority of the music is pretty easily distinguished in that scene and doesn’t offer much else here beyond that factor, keeping this one going along nicely with its intensity and enthusiasm rather than originality. There’s also some moments in the slower sections where it comes off as slightly sloppy in the rhythms and riff-work which can be quite distracting at times here, especially once the production is taken into account which gives this the tone and dynamics of the South American style in terms of savagery that makes the product seem even less than it is. Considering this is a debut, though, it’s not detrimental or crippling.

Despite not being too damaging in terms of real flaws here with it’s lack of originality and somewhat sloppy feel, the fact that there’s a lot of decent work throughout the majority of the album is more than enough to make this a curiosity piece for hardcore revivalist thrash fanatics or those who go for just about any kind of old-school inspired thrash.

Score: 77/100

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Skullwinx - The Relic

Artist: Skullwinx
Release Title: The Relic
Year: 2016
Label: Metalizer Records
Genre: Epic Heavy/Speed Metal
1. Siegfried
2. Attila the Hun
3. A Tale of Unity (Arminius)
4. Carolus Magnus (Pater Europae)
5. For Heorot (Beowulf)
6. Carved in Stone (Princes in the Tower)
7. Tryst of Destiny
8. The Relic of an Angel

Continuing to mature with each release, German epic speed metallers Skullwinx continue to further their traditionally-minded sound that makes the band faster, stronger and more epic than ever before. Once again doing a concept album about historic tales and legends from mid-Europe as well as describing the bands’ name, the second full-length album was originally released September 24, 2016 on Metalizer Records.

Finally bringing their full sound-scape to bear here, this one offers a great chance to fully deliver the kind of raging old-school style approach and attack they’ve been capable of from the start. Ranging from furious, intertwined melodic harmonies that run from simplistic gallops charging along at impressive mid-tempo paces gathering the slow, sprawling lurches that generate the feeling of epic melodies rather nicely here. That also gives this the chance to offer explosive outbursts of furious speed-drenched rhythms that drop most of the pretenses of the sprawling epic-flavored rhythms in favor of raucous, blistering speed which goes nicely with the enhanced sprawling atmospheres by creating the kind of vicious, full-throttle atmosphere that gives this one a highly impressive and enjoyable counterpoint that comes off rather nicely throughout here as these two sections are given quite a nice even mixture throughout here which is where this one really manages to get some interesting elements present and scores the most enjoyable facet of the album. The biggest factor against this one, though, is the album’s rather troubling frontman who is clearly ill-at-ease with the grandiose, bombastic nature required for this type of material and to clearly hear him straining to hit the higher notes takes away considerably from the rest of the material. The gruff mid-tone register is fine for the speed-drenched efforts, but going for the lighter notes takes away from this one somewhat. It’s really the biggest issue against this one, though and holds it back when this really could’ve been much better.

Though it doesn’t really completely capture the epic atmosphere and feeling consistently throughout here by the rather troubling and detrimental vocals throughout here, the rest of the music is engaging and powerful enough to raise it up to higher levels here for those that love charging, epic heavy/speed metal.

Score: 80/100

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Yugal - Chaos and Harmony

Artist: Yugal
Release Title: Chaos and Harmony
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Groove/Thrash Metal
1. Khamsin
2. Once upon a Lie
3. Heavy Mental
4. From This Day I Will Rise
5. Dogma
6. Illusion of Time
7. Interlude
8. Silence Is Golden
9. Lost Mind
10. Chaos and Harmony

Coming together in 2009, French thrash/groove metallers Yugal spent several years honing their skilled mix between death metal, thrash and hardcore twisted with electric and traditional Middle-Eastern acoustic sounds over several years before finding their current voice. Furthering the lyrical connection between the duality of the universe, the bands’ debut album was originally self-released October 28, 2016.

Once this one gets going, it becomes quite a lively and violent mixture that brings about the bands’ rather strong stylistic choices at the forefront. There’s a strong element of swirling, mid-tempo thrash executed nicely here into a straightforward, simplistic manner that employs the chugging groove rhythms in conjunction with the thrash-based patterns to fully explore the bands’ chosen set-up quite well. Given that these are the more lengthy, involved tracks they give this one the kind of set-up which makes for quite a violent, hard-hitting attack here that goes quite nicely with the albums’ shorter, more traditional groove-minded efforts which instead drop a lot of the thrash elements for the inclusion of violent hardcore-styled beatings which are wrapped together with the groove-based chugging riffing for a nice dynamic affair. While these elements here are just so overly familiar and blandly recreated that not a whole lot of interest is really derived from this attack, the fact that the band manages to enhance these with the infusion of Middle Eastern-styled swirling acoustic rhythms makes a big difference in the overall attack here which gives this one some rather intriguing elements at times by offering a distinct and rather intriguing melodic flair alongside the repetitive-yet-still-competent riffing elsewhere throughout here, and it helps to hold this one up somewhat.

Given that the bands’ attack is derived from quite a few bands which makes for a violent if routine offering overall, the fact that enough interesting and intriguing elements are present here makes for enough to make this one intriguing enough for fans of the more violent, intense thrash-based groups to give this one a chance.

Score: 78/100

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Metal Witch - Tales from the Underground

Artist: Metal Witch
Release Title: Tales from the Underground
Year: 2016
Label: Iron Shield Records
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
1. Cheers to the Underground
2. Flute of Shame
3. God Save the Heroes
4. Heavy and Roll
5. Standing in My Way
6. Stay True
7. Still Going Strong
8. The Heart of England
9. The Man Who Shouldn't Live
10. Weapons of the Night

One of the country’s original pioneers, German metallers Metal Witch continue to enjoy their newfound exposure after reuniting as the long-time proponents of pure Teutonic heavy metal continue to lead the way with their enjoyable style. As the eight-year gap has seen original member Dietmar Hanke quit the band and new guitarist Lorenz Hoppe join up, the group releases its sophomore album October 7, 2016 on Iron Shield Records.

Almost immediately, it’s clear that the band is adept at displaying fiery, raucous old-school metal style with a traditional flair for the rhythms and melodies. This one is mostly about energetic riffing full of crunchy, NWOBHM-influenced melodies which run the gamut of tempos from wild, raucous up-tempo patterns to a more controlled mid-tempo style that opts for a sing-a-long style series of works which are still incredibly fun throughout here. Featuring this stylistic type of attack here works nicely in generating a varied type of approach which is quite an impressive throwback to the traditional sounds of the genre yet still opts for a modern vitality that gives this the kind of overall appeal needed for such an otherwise one-note performance here. While on the surface it’s a nicely balanced and enjoyable enough with this type of ferocious blast of an attack, there’s little else about this one that really makes it stick out here being based on overly familiar tropes of the type of ferocious one-note performances here or the simplistic anthemic track that slows down the tempos into a mid-range charge. Though that might be enjoyable for some out there there’s little else on offer here for those that don’t like that particular style, even with the rather impressive professionalism displayed on the tracks.

Though there’s a slight issue of identity crisis here which comes from this one note really doing much else beyond its core approach of admittedly enjoyable and competently played tracks, that’s not nearly enough to hold back those enjoyable elements for fans of traditional German-flavored heavy metal or classic metal in general.

Score: 86/100

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Incarceration - Catharsis

Artist: Incarceration
Release Title: Catharsis
Year: 2016
Label: F.D.A. Rekotz
Genre: Retro Death Metal
1. The Beckoning
2. Evoking the Possession
3. Devouring Darkness
4. Infernal Suffering
5. Chaos and Blasphemy
6. Purification
7. Obsessed by Death
8. Neverending Agony
9. Resignation
10. Into the Blackest Void

Formed in early 2012, Brazilian death metallers Incarceration have quickly built a reputation as one of the fastest, most extreme acts in the country which has continued as the group is now relocated to Germany. Following up the promise showed by their early works, the group finally prepares its full-length debut released October 28th. 2016 on F.D.A. Rekotz.

From the start here, it’s quite obvious about not only the bands’ influences and intentions but also the type of material to be expected throughout here. There’s a prominent attitude throughout here of tight, evocative churning riffing and controlled rhythms that demonstrate plenty of furious blasts spiced into the proceedings to make for a more dynamic affair as this one manages to whip up the energy into frantic driving tracks. These are nicely augmented by the tight riff-work and carries the blistering, intense rhythms as well as the more traditional sprawling, mid-tempo efforts along into a cohesive whole. This varied approach of controlled, restrained rhythms alongside the reckless, chaotic energy derived here gives this one so much to really like as a whole that it really holds up quite well alongside some rather detrimental flaws. The biggest issue here is the rather challenging vocals which are more in the hoarse screaming variety than any kind of true death growl which makes for quite a hard listen here and takes some getting used to. Likewise, the fact that the album is filled with such brief and mostly useless minute-long interludes which don’t make any sense to find their use here as they just eat up the time and really require the near eight-minute finale to bump this one up to a respectable length. While these efforts can be somewhat problematic for this one, some of it can be excused for being a debut but it’s still not enough to lift it up much more than that.

With some minor problems that are somewhat forgivable due to its debut status but more being pretty detrimental overall, there’s a mixed bag throughout here that it does have some appeal for some who enjoy that kind of ravenous, ferocious old-school death metal while those that can’t forgive the flaws should heed caution.

Score: 77/100

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Eternal Champion - The Armor of Ire

Artist: Eternal Champion
Release Title: The Armor of Ire
Year: 2016
Label: No Remorse Records
Genre: Epic Heavy Metal
1. I Am the Hammer
2. The Armor of Ire
3. The Last King of Pictdom
4. Blood Ice
5. The Cold Sword
6. Invoker
7. Sing a Last Song of Valdese
8. Shade Gate

Formed just in 2012, Texas-based epic heavy metallers Eternal Champion quickly took on the tone and feel of the classic heavy metal sound from the 80s which helps to tie in their connection to Michael Moorcock's high fantasy series of the same name. With the album being the first recorded output of third guitarist Nujon Powers, the group finally prepares its debut full-length September 27, 2016 on No Remorse Records.

There’s not a whole lot about this one as immediately from the start, the band is clearly well-suited for their brand of old-school worshipping of traditionally-minded epic heavy metal. There’s plenty of beefy, sturdy trad-influenced riff-work at play here with the swirling melodic rhythms that gallop along at quite a steady pace here with the album’s preference for the bouncy mid-tempo race. This has the effective quality of leaving it feeling warm and quite luscious which is quite a usual ploy in this genre that manages to effectively evoke the melodic aesthetics from that style as it’s so familiar for the most part that there’s little doubt about its influences being derived wholeheartedly along the way. That leads into the main feature problem about this one as the wholly simplistic manner of the rhythms that it makes for way too close a tie-in to the old-school scene without really giving it an identity of its own. This comes off with way too much of a close-minded feel of the 80s which is so based on this style that there’s not a whole lot of room for this to go, and while it may have quite an effective touch here this does become an issue, though this one has a bit of a free pass being a debut.

Being quite a simplistic and rather one-note style of old-school attack does get this one into trouble at times, but there’s little denying the energy and enthusiasm that’s present in here which does quite a lot to overcome these flaws and makes for quite a worthwhile effort for those that aren’t hung up on these issues who are aficionados of this epic-tinged traditional metal.

Score: 84/100

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Denouncement Pyre - Black Sun Unbound

Artist: Denouncement Pyre
Release Title: Black Sun Unbound
Year: 2016
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
Genre: Black/Death Metal
1. Abnegate
2. Deathless Dreaming
3. Wounds of Golgotha
4. World Encircler
5. Scars Adorn the Whore in Red
6. Black Sun Unbound
7. Revere the Pyre
8. Witness
9. Transform the Aether
10. Sophrosune

Following their previous releases, Australian black/death metallers Denouncement Pyre has steadily risen throughout the scene as the group’s propensity for added intensity and aggression makes for quite a dynamic presence throughout the album. Taking a three-year break from their last album, the power-trio releases their third full-length effort July 22, 2016 on Hell’s Headbangers Records.

Utilizing a rather familiar formula, the bands’ past works are brought to full-bear here with plenty of overly prominent aspects of their sound coming to the forefront here. Taking a very impactful and pummeling black metal style with the swirling tremolo riffing, darkened crimson-blasted tones and that dynamic frosty aesthetic to the rhythms and melodies while merging it all with the tight, churning riff-patterns and creating a wholly appealing overview of that appropriate genre mixture. As well, there’s the efforts where it takes on those churning patterns and meshes them with the sprawling tremolo riffing to create a rather controlled burst of melodic intermittent rhythms that balance out the furious, raging work elsewhere throughout the album, ebbing and flowing together in fine fashion in a wholly appealing running order which is quite appealing and well-done throughout this by never keeping a lagging pace for too long or offering too many similarly-themed efforts around each other. It’s impressive that they’ve managed to accomplish this facet this early in their career, and really makes this one all that much more fun here with the varied approach on display. There are occasions where it dips down slightly too much for comfort and drags itself along somewhat, but it’s really the main issue to be had here as this is another fun and enjoyable blast of molten black/death metal.

Managing to bring out yet another stellar and impressive outing of black/death metal that features plenty of enjoyable elements while not really featuring too many problematic or even detrimental areas, this is a great inclusion in a rapidly growing part of a catalog that should readily appeal to all black/death aficionados or to quality extreme metal in general.

Score: 94/100

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Vader - The Empire

Artist: Vader
Release Title: The Empire
Year: 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
1. Angels of Steel
2. Tempest
3. Prayer to the God of War
4. Iron Reign
5. No Gravity
6. Genocidius
7. The Army-Geddon
8. Feel My Pain
9. Parabellum
10. Send Me Back to Hell

Still leading the genre to the fullest, Polish death/thrash legends Vader has been leading their genre’s charge for the better part of their near forty-year existence by churning out some of the most consistent and explosively enjoyable work around. Never one to take a rest following a slew of releases, compilations and even an EP earlier in the year, the groups’ tenth true full-length of original music was released November 4, 2016 on Nuclear Blast.

From the onset of their career the band has delved between two distinct styles in their music, and for the most part what’s featured here is the less-prominent aspect of their sound. The vast majority of the tracks here are all about the tight, churning thrash style rhythms of their sound, flying through furious non-stop riff-work and utterly pummeling energy that goes for the intensity and anger side of their sound rather than opt for the sprawling mid-tempo gallops. Rather, the music here is tight, short and to-the-point in it’s charging intensity, relying on the groups’ penchant for twisting through varying rhythms for its variety here that gives this a mostly thrash-based assault than most other offerings in their history. As this ends up being the dominant factor for the music here, it leaves a profound display of aggression and energy here by going through these dynamic paces and really drowns out the epic aspects of their sound here. These efforts are placed more on the sidelines of the album in favor of the tight, vicious thrashing on display which is where this one really suffers slightly with the slower, sprawling efforts taken out for these shorter bursts of thrash that it makes the album feel much too brief as the running time is noticeable with the short, blistering intensity featured here being just too obvious with the vast majority of the album being under three minutes so when it goes beyond it’s all the more obvious. Still, that alone is all that’s wrong here which isn’t really all that detrimental at all.

With the only real problem here being quite a laughable flaw that’s really the epitome of grasping at straws, that factor should be expected from a band this consistent and enjoyable as this vicious, furious slab of thrashing-tinged death metal will go down a storm with fans of their past work, death/thrash in general or those curious about the bands’ longevity and need a fine entry point into their catalog.

Score: 95/100

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Best-Ofs

So, it being the time of the year where this is appropriate, it's time now for my picks of the years' best-of albums. It being the first year of the site, I expect you're not going to understand how I make my choices so it'd be a surprise to realize I have 5 different genres actually chosen here, but I feel it's due to a rather overlooked factor: not all genres are equal, and an equal rating doesn't mean the albums are the same. What makes a Black Metal album come out at a 90% isn't the same as what makes a Power Metal album 90%, so overall I really don't like putting everything together like that. So, instead I'm putting the different genres together against each other (which also has the added benefit of allowing me to spotlight 50 albums instead of 10) so here we go:

My Black Metal Top 10
1. Inquisition-Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith
2. Elderblood-Messiah
3. Dark Funeral-Where Shadows Forever Reign
4. Ragehammer-The Hammer Doctrine
5. Nordjevel-Nordjevel
6. Total Hate-Lifecrusher-Contributions to a World in Ruins
7. Destroyer 666-Wildfire
8. Infant Death-Violent Rites
9. Ars Veneficium-The Reign of the Infernal King
10. Denouncement Pyre-Black Sun Unbound

My Death Metal Top 10:
1. Wormed-Krighsu
2. Decimated Humans-Dismantling the Decomposed Entity
3. Surgikill-Sanguinary Revelations
4. Ripper-Experiment of Existence
5. Blood Red Throne-Union of Flesh and Machine
6. Rebaelliun-The Hell's Decrees
7. Chthe’ilist-Le Dernier Crépuscule
8. Vader-The Empire
9. Sin of God-Aenigmata
10. Stillborn-Testimonio de Bautismo

My Traditional Metal Top 10:
1. Demon Bitch-Hellfriends
2. Elm Street-Knock 'Em Out...With a Metal Fist
3. Widow-Carved in Stone
4. Sacred Steel-Heavy Metal Sacrifice
5. Hitten-State of Shock
6. Blizzen-Genesis Reversed
7. Cauchemar-Chapelle dente
8. Savage Master-With Whips and Chains
9. Striker-Stand in the Fire
10. Lonewolf-The Heathen Dawn

My Power Metal Top 10:
1. Iron Savior-Titancraft
2. Sinbreed-Master Creator
3. Hellion Prime-Hellion Prime
4. Hypersonic-Existentia
5. Primal Fear-Rulebreaker
6. Mystic Prophecy-War Brigade
7. Wisdom-Rise of the Wise
8. Highlord-Hic Sunt Leones
9. Twilight Force-Heroes of Mighty Magic
10. Dakesis-The New Dawn

My Thrash Metal Top 10:
1. Maze of Terror-Ready to Kill
2. Untimely Demise-Black Widow
3. Paradox-Pangea
4. Unhoped-Sonic Violence
5. Anthrax-For All Kings
6. Death Angel-The Evil Divide
7. Euphoria-Operation: Genesis
8. McDeath-Lord of the Thrash
9. Condition Critical-Extermination Plan
10. Assassin-Combat Cathedral