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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Bible Black - Allah is Satan's Toy EP


Artist: Red Bible Black
Release Title: Allah is Satan's Toy EP
Year: 2017
Label: Merdümgiriz
Genre: Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Allah Is Satan's Toy
2. Pedophilic Baptism
3. Antibirth 11: Rape Your Mom
4. Dark Skinned Children Are for Burning
5. Promote, Support and Glorify Hatred
6. In This Beautiful Existence

Continuing to crush the listeners’ souls, Italian death metallers Red Bible Black have turned to the darkest corners of the world to further explore their extreme sound by drafting in Emir Toğrul to help craft the bands’ sonic assault to it’s fullest. Offering up their first new EP release following a series of demos and splits, the new effort was released June 1, 2017 on Merdümgiriz.

From the outset, there’s very little throughout this one that appeals to the rational side of the crowd with the vast majority of the album featuring the same overall approach. The album is essentially a blur of raw, distorted riffing piling out plenty of deep, churning rhythms that makes for a wholly immersive experience. With the album essentially focusing on these issues almost exclusively and basically only changing up the tempo to go for mid-tempo verses or plodding lethargic sprawls for the different forms of variety here which indeed leaves this one with a furious intensity and anger but also quite an obvious flaw throughout it. The fact that everything really sounds the same, not only due to the use of repeated rhythms and patterns but also because of the overall rawness of the project which ends up leaving this one with a muddied sound that can make it indistinguishable what song you’re on during the release. That is somewhat negated by the intensity and energy of the performances but does end up lowering this one slightly.

While still containing plenty of solid, enjoyable elements, the fact that so much of this one is drowned out in the blur of repeated rhythms and a low-fi sounding production does hamper this one enough that it’s really only appealing for fans of the creative personnel involved or aficionados of raw death metal.

Score: 75/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://merdumgiriz.org/allahpromo.html

Dominate - Cálicem Serpente


Artist: Dominate (Col)
Release Title: Cálicem Serpente
Year: 2016
Label: Black Serpent Records
Genre: Black/Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Brave Warrior
2. Deserter
3. Cálicem Serpente
4. Evil
5. Imperial Army
6. Death Awaits
7. Unmerciful Holocaust
8. Cold Bloody Murder (Rare Version)

Formed back in 2008, the Colombian black/thrashers under the name Dominate took their time honing their cold, icy sound combining the concepts of paganism, occultism, world wars, philosophy, the return of man to his union with the universe and nature. Finally able to offer their first professional recording, the groups’ full-length debut was released in 2016 by Black Serpent Records.

From the onset, the group clearly favors the typically extreme end of the South American scene by offering everything that can be expected in such efforts. There’s plenty of traditional blackened thrash riff-work throughout here, taking up the raw end of the spectrum by going through the simplistic, straightforward paces with a reckless intensity that’s quite ferocious. Due to the rather simplistic manner the vast majority of the songs are an endless variation of fast, frantic and sloppy riff-work that blazes along at pretty consistent tempos as the only real variations found here is when it shifts into a solid mid-tempo chug following the rousing thrash-style efforts. This ends up exposing the rather sloppy and utterly simplistic matter of how the album is pretty much a showcase of one-gear songs that aren’t really technical standouts. The songs hit hard and viciously, but after awhile there’s not a whole lot to offer from this one with the sloppy and reckless play throughout here. As well, this is also hampered by being so obviously low-budget that the album does suffer from a weak production, filled with muddy guitars, weak drums and an utter lack of crisp sound ends up making this one much weaker than it should be by standing out quite obviously here. These here are what hold this one back.

While not a truly awful debut release, there’s quite a lot to like here with the infectious energy and rabid attack that’s much more prominent here that it does overcome enough of the flaws here to appeal to the fans of the South American extreme scene only while those looking for more quality in their efforts should heed caution.

Score: 67/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://www.facebook.com/DOMINATE.THRASH.BLACK.METAL/

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sentient Ignition - Enthroned in Gray


Artist: Sentient Ignition
Release Title: Enthroned in Gray
Year: 2017
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Ascension
2. Enthroned in Gray
3. Black Lattice
4. A Thousand Ages
5. Grasp of the Infinite
6. Wardens of Intellect
7. Binding Time

Formed just in the last few years, Bay Area technical/progressive death metallers Sentient Ignition have brought a vast array of influences into a complex, challenging sound which is quite a devastating blow for a band bringing about their first offering. With the band rushing forth to offer their first professional release, the self-released debut full-length was originally released May 1, 2017.

From the beginning notes of this one, there’s a strong display of material here that gives this offering the kind of full-on charge through a progressive landscape. The fact that the vast majority of this one is based on twisting, swirling patterns utilizing challenging riff-patterns that dominate this one quite readily, making for a rather fun time here. These sweeping rhythms are based on the technicality of the riffing which is fantastic in building up dramatic moments through the utterly complex notes hit as well as the bands’ far-more-detailed ability to switch from the varying tempos here with the tight chugging, ravenous gallops and blistering thrash paces all coming to play here while expertly navigating throughout the frantic riffing alongside these tempo changes. That does manage to become quite the album highlight here, especially since there are a few minor flaws here. The biggest issue is the fact that there’s just not a whole lot of tracks to be had here with the album running through just a few tracks after the intro so it does feel rather short in spots as it really could use a few extra tracks to bump this up even though there’s still plenty to enjoy here with the epicness of the tracks as they are. As well, the fact that the guitar-tone on the album does dominate the overall production does make this a lot thinner and not as heavy as it could’ve been as this one doesn’t really pack the kind of punch others in the style accomplish. Still, for a debut offering, this one isn’t too bad and these are definitely fixable issues.

Though this one does tend to come up with a few minor issues, the fact that these are for the most part fixable as the band continues on their career, especially being a debut offering anyway which makes this a potentially intriguing band to follow for anyone into tech/death or progressive music.

Score: 83/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://sentientignition.bandcamp.com/album/enthroned-in-gray

Ghusa - Öswedeme


Artist: Ghusa
Release Title: Öswedeme
Year: 2017
Label: White Square Music
Genre: Swedish Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. 28 Days Later
2. H
3. Project 9
4. Death or Glory
5. Epitaph
6. Sickening
7. In Gods We Fear
8. Carve Up
9. Immortal
10. Flying in a Dark Dream

Continuing to uphold their country’s output, French death metallers Ghusa have utilized the famous style Swedish attack that was at the forefront of their original evolution years ago and brings them back from the grave once again to deliver the onslaught. After over a decade of silence that only included a compilation release in the interim, the bands’ sophomore album was originally released May 5, 2017 on White Square Records.

One this one gets going, the full-force of their Swedish influenced take on this style comes across in rapid succession as there’s little denying those elements. There’s plenty of focus on the rapid, tight rhythms featuring plenty of swirling buzzsaw grooves throughout here that feature plenty of utterly ferocious rhythms, thrashing patterns and that lively bouncy set of riffing that gives the material a great atmosphere in the faster sections. Even the slower sections contain a steady mid-tempo groove with plenty of tight, thunderous rhythms and a rather stylish series of riff-work which gives this a rather enjoyable air as well as plenty of diversity compared to the faster sections alongside these efforts. While none of this is particularly groundbreaking or original in the slightest as it’s basically just yet another band playing vicious and intense Swedish-styled death metal, it’s pretty much the main strike against the album where it doesn’t really offer up many flaws beyond its rather familiar and overly-accomplished style.

Being yet another in a long line of rather familiar and really proficient stabs at this style of death metal, that’s really all that can really be levied against this one in terms of finding flaws which really makes this a strong if unessential choice for connoisseurs of the genre for the most part.

Score: 83/100

Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://www.facebook.com/ghusaband/

Sinister (Neth) - Syncretism


Artist: Sinister (Neth)
Release Title: Syncretism
Year: 2017
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Old-School Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Neurophobic
2. Convulsions of Christ
3. Blood-Soaked Domain
4. Dominance by Acquisition
5. Syncretism
6. Black Slithering Mass
7. Rite of the Blood Eagle
8. The Canonical Rights
9. Confession Before Slaughter

One of the most respected and uncompromising bands in the scene, Dutch death metal legends Sinister have weathered the storm of continuous line-up changes and the times to usher a monster of untethered ferocity and savageness that follows the path of their previous work. Joined by new guitarist Ricardo Falcon and bassist Ghislain van der Stel prior to the release, the groups’ thirteenth studio album was February 24, 2017 on Massacre Records.

As part of their continued history, the band is firing on all cylinders and making for some of the most sonically devastating work of their career. The main focus here is on ravenous, churning riff-work with plenty of tight, chaotic leads that frantically buzz along to the ferocious tempos featured here, and this makes for a stylistically enjoyable offering. These typically envelop the sort of dark atmospheres associated with the early days of the scene when they first appeared, and with the bands’ choppy rhythm section delivering a loud, churning backbone to this material the band offers quite a thunderous full-throttle charge offset by celestial keyboards for a majestic melodic bent. That style of melodic accent is enhanced slightly on the slower-tempo styles where things slow down into a slight chug that adds a great base for some of the keyboards that are placed throughout here to take on a far grander sense of scale and tone than otherwise would be the case here for most older-sounding death metal bands, and that works to its advantage here. This is overall fast, frantic and utterly ferocious in its delivery focusing on the savage riff-work and leaves the melodic accents to select spaces rather than overwhelming the album which can happen here. Some of the longer tracks could’ve been shortened by a minute or two and still leave this with a brutal beatdown, but it’s the one minor flaw in this effort.

Showing every bit of the measured attack and viciousness that’s defined their career thus far, this is a pretty savage offering that maintains their revered name in the scene overall and sees this as a wholly worthwhile offering for any fan into extreme metal, their past works or old-school death metal in general.

Score: 95/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/products/tontraeger/cd/2cd-digi/sinister-syncretism.html

Hartlott - Extinction


Artist: Harlott
Release Title: Extinction
Year: 2017
Label: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Extinction
2. First World Solutions
3. The Penitent
4. Whore
5. No Past
6. Conflict Revelation
7. Better Off Dead
8. Violent Conspirator
9. And Darkness Brings The Light
10. Final Weapon
11. Parasite
12. Epitaph

Drawing from their storied history, Australian thrashers Harlott have emphasized the 80's Bay Area thrash scene and blending it with the Teutonic melody and grit, they focus on high energy, up-tempo music with lyrical influence from war, religion, chaos and the human condition. Bringing new guitarist Jake Weber onboard, the groups’ third full-length effort was released April 7, 2017 on Metal Blade Records.

Offering their strong, raging sound to it’s fullest, there’s not a whole lot to dislike here as the band brings their full-throttle attack to its fiery best. Based mainly on a churning, driving series of riffing that brings out plenty of utterly ferocious rhythms here, this ends up diving and bombing into galloping territory which bringing out the fullest intensity in these rhythms. Playing most of these tracks are dynamic speed-drenched numbers complete with crunchy patterns, a thunderous rhythm section and a truly intense drive to crush forward with the oppressive riff-work featured here as the need for the fastest, most ferocious riffing possible carries this one for the most part here. When this one drops off that intensity for melody there’s still plenty of ferocious rhythms around this blistering attack that it really manages to hold itself quite nicely here as the deeper churning patterns allows this to feature plenty of blistering sections while managing to sound close enough to their general sound without being recognizably off from the general attack. There is a case to be said here about the album being somewhat overlong with a few too many tracks here which make it feel somewhat like a slough in the second half to plow through even more of the same general attacks over and over again. It works nicely but trim this by a song or two and it would improve significantly.

An utterly impressive and near-flawless release, this is a truly ferocious and fiery retro thrash offering that covers the gamut of the old-school thrash scene in fine form which makes this one of the standout groups in the scene and an easy choice for fans of their past works or the style in general.

Score: 98/100


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

Created to Kill - Death's Construction



Artist: Created to Kill
Release Title: Death's Construction
Year: 2013
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Fascination with Your Death
2. Object of Perfect Torture
3. Into the Frozen Tomb
4. Murdered and Mutilated
5. Corpse Collector
6. Machete
7. Suffocated in a Bodybag
8. Self Inflicted Flame Engulfment
9. The Reaper Always Wins
10. Death on the River

Continuing to deliver the brutality, Kentucky-based brutal death metallers Created to Kill have been built around their dedication to old school brutal Death Metal that is uncompromising and intense. With a five-year gap in between releases that sees long-time bassist Abe Simmerman put down the instrument in favor of bringing Phil Good onboard to join brother Paul, the group releases its second full-length album October 30, 2013 on new label Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.

From the outset, this here is pretty much a consistent and constant blast of frenzied, brutal death metal delivered with plenty of old-school verve. This is featured with the utterly ravenous and deep, tight riff-work full of frenzied arrangements and utterly frantic arrangements that give this one plenty of dynamic speed-drenched arrangements that makes for some truly impressive times. The loose, rattling rhythms mixed alongside these elements create a fine old-school approach in the riffing by offering up a fine series of thrashing patterns with plenty of furious and utterly savage arrangements while still giving plenty of fine tightly-wound riffing which is part of the wholesale approach to the genre which makes for quite the appealing time playing into the rules of that genre. That indeed is one of the main flaws here in that it’s quite formulaic and goes for the prototypical frenzied brutal death approach even with the inclusion of the more stable riff-work here and it does become somewhat of a massive blur as the album goes along due to the bands’ stature giving them so little room for refining the riffing and plays itself into that familiar playbook. There’s a dynamic and enjoyable crunch to the riffing that elicits quite the fun enthusiasm and competence at the style to overcome this slight flaw as it’s not the biggest detriment, but it does come up throughout this one and does hold it back somewhat.

Despite coming across as quite a familiar blur of frenzied riffing and pummeling rhythms that dozens of other bands in the genre offer, there’s still plenty to really like with this one’s generally furious approach and competence at their performances that it should be a worthwhile choice for aficionados of brutal death for the most part.

Score: 81/100



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

Demonic Slaughter - Haunted



Artist: Demonic Slaughter
Release Title: Haunted
Year: 2014
Label: Pagan Records
Genre: Old-School Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Pit of Coffins
2. Mystic Rites
3. Psalm of Mist
4. Haunted
5. Madness and Astral Emanations
6. Monks of Cold Mountains
7. Żałobna procesja (Mournful Procession)
8. Wyklęty (The Wretched)
9. Death’s Creek

Furthering their connection to the old-school, Polish black metallers Demonic Slaughter have settled into a solid reputation for not only their boundless proficiency but also their dedication to writing and recording material in the traditional old-school manners. With drummer Nuklear Kriss departing in favor of new drummer Opium, the group’s fifth full-length was originally released December 10, 2014 on Pagan Records.

As has been the bands’ penchant from the beginning, this here offers up a non-stop assault of traditional Norwegian-styled black metal without much deviation. This one tends to revolve around simplistic tremolo riffing and straightforward rhythms that charge forward without altering themselves or changing up the stylistic charge here with these being placed alongside harmonic melodies and choppy drumming. This is a mostly continuous assault here that’s unwavering in it’s charge with these elements being brought to bear on the tracks without exception, and these find melodies featured throughout here are really where the majority of the album is taken up by the solid infusion of those melodies running nicely alongside the plodding tempos. When it gets to the more charging sections, this change in tempo and aggression leads to some more engaging efforts alongside the pronounced melodic efforts featured here, though these are still dominated by the melodic mindset for the most part. That is the album’s one weakness here with the rather sluggish, driving rhythms not really generating much energy or fiery rhythms which tends to make for a somewhat bland overall impression here that tends to feature the band going through the same overdrawn, bland rhythms for the most part. It’s not entirely detrimental as the melodies are engaging enough, but this one really could’ve used some extra fire.

Though it’s somewhat hampered by the fact that there are some rather bland and somewhat lifeless melodies brought to bear on the album as a whole, this one still emerges with enough positives from the melodic atmosphere and old-school rhythms to give this one some appeal to the most devout old-school black metal aficionado only.

Score: 78/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Evil Never Dies - Ekpyrosis


Artist: Evil Never Dies
Release Title: Ekpyrosis
Year: 2017
Label: Via Nocturne
Genre: Old-School Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Holy Mountain
2. No Cure for War
3. Epitaphs
4. It's Alive
5. (This is) Country for Old Men
6. Land With No Future
7. Imagination
8. Ekpyrosis

One of the earliest thrash bands in the country, Italian thrashers Evil Never Dies initially emerged during the height of the genre back in the early 90s, but beyond a few demo tracks never did much until their first professional output coming from EP releases in the late 2000s. Now finally able to get their first true release ready, the groups’ debut effort was released February 28, 2017 on Via Nocturna.

As befitting their old-school style, the basic approach to be found here is straightforward and decidedly old-school flavored thrashing. This goes for fairly lively crunchy patterns in the riff-work and really keeps the pacing incredibly simplistic here, alternating between straight gallops and driving mid-tempo chugs that contain quite a solid diversity to the tracks. Given that these are generally accompanied by a thunderous rhythm section and plenty of intensity, there’s a wholly enjoyable attack to be featured here that gives this one a firm touch to the old-school days. Given that this one features such a strong and generally one-note style performance, it does tend to contain a few minute missteps. The biggest issue here is that the album is basically intense but derivative, containing plenty of tight and vicious riffing but doesn’t really go further with developing them, going instead for rather plain and predictable setups that are more vicious through the genre rather than anything else. It gives the album a rather depleted feel and doesn’t really offer up that much in terms of enhancing the overall feel of the album beyond offering up more of the same rhythms and patterns, which does hold this one down somewhat. As well, that remix at the end of the album is so unnecessary that it really just drags it the album down quite a bit.

With some rather damaging flaws here and some generally enjoyable if not-that-impressive positives, overall this one just seems to be quite a bland and overall unnecessary offering that just doesn’t bring much to the table here and leaves this one only for the most devout old-school thrash fanatic.

Score: 72/100


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

Epping Forest - Lebabvoid


Artist: Epping Forest
Release Title: Lebabvoid
Year: 2017
Label: Unexploded Records
Genre: Death/Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Inception: Everblasting Doom
2. Though-o-Matic: The Pyramid and the Exodus
3. Affair: The Curse and the Heal
4. Kria: Resistance Is Useless
5. Lebab Void: The Universe in a Machine
6. Foretoken: A Mountain-Gorges Lullaby
7. Summoning: Three Hundred Out of the Sky
8. Demise: Twelve Times Twelve Sars
9. Hereafter: We Are Alone in the End
10. Cruel with Us

Certainly taking their time on releases, Portuguese blackened death metallers Epping Forest have always been more interesting in unleashing quality darkened material as evidenced by their two releases in nearly twenty years of existence honing their core sound. Following up after nearly a decade of silence with new bassist Trevash, the groups’ sophomore release was originally released March 10, 2017 on Unexploded Records.

Bringing their full intensity to bear, the band offers up plenty of furious and utterly dynamic work throughout here which allows for a lot of positives. This one tends to go for rapid-fire tremolo-picked riffing that is added nicely to the churning rhythms beneath so that the swirling riff-work takes on a frantic tone, offering up plenty of up-tempo sections that brings out the crimson-soaked accents in those tremolo patterns. By offering the majority of the tracks in this up-tempo manner, the riffing becomes even more dynamic with the blackened crunch taking centerstage for the majority of the album and giving this a blistering overall sound. Elsewhere throughout here, there’s a fine display of melodic brought to bear with the usage of exotic middle eastern melodies and rhythms to add a different dynamic to the album. These are mainly in the more down-tempo, slower sections which are balanced out incredibly well with the crushing rhythms alongside as the frantic blackened intensity dropping into sprawling melodic accents creates a perfect balance here. For the most part, it’s really only the sections here where they adopt a more ethereal, somewhat clean crooning that the album dips somewhat into softer realms that are quite an odd contrast against the raging blackened cacophony on display during these sections. Beyond this issue, it’s a wholly explosive offering.

Without too many issues to detract this one from it’s more enjoyable elements, this explosive comeback offering brings about just about all the classic elements expected from the band which makes this a wholly worthwhile offering for fans of their previous work or fiery death/black metal in general.

Score: 97/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://eppingforest.bandcamp.com/album/lebabvoid-deluxe-golden-digipack

Marche Funèbre - Into the Arms of Darkness


Artist: Marche Funèbre
Release Title: Into the Arms of Darkness
Year: 2017
Label: BadMoonMan Music
Genre: Doom/Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Deprived (Into Darkness)
2. Capital of Rain
3. Uneven
4. Lullaby of Insanity
5. The Garden of All Things Wild

Working to further their sound, Belgium doom/death metallers Marche Funèbre have sought to expand and warp traditional views of the genre with longer song structures and plenty of dissonant work alongside the more familiar work available here. Putting their work to the fullest point after a four-year break, the bands’ third full-length effort was originally released February 20, 2017 on BadMoonMan Music.

Going for the grandiose segment of their sound, the band brings out plenty of familiar elements featured throughout here that make for a rather impressive outing. This one mainly goes for the extended, slow-churning sprawl that’s typically famous in the genre with plenty of exaggerated rhythms and running times here allowing for the band to access the full range of their influences. Those sprawling rhythms are accompanied nicely by loose swirling riff-work that gives this a melodic touch alongside the stylish plodding patterns driving this one along, giving it a warmth and atmospheric touch that’s quite pleasing throughout here. As this generally works out rather nicely for the album, giving it plenty of solid overall work here, there’s still the small annoying factor here of this one feeling just way too bloated in terms of its structures. This is felt in the second half where the tracks go for even more extended segments that do include slightly more vicious attacks but are still focusing on incorporating plenty of excessive elements to make them last far longer than really necessary here. The band was quite capable in the first tracks that containing plenty of enjoyable elements yet still had a solid sense of keeping it contained and organized, which is lost in the later half which is why those are nearly double the length and just makes the album drag on a little too much. Beyond this, though, there’s not a whole lot really wrong here.

It may suffer a touch by being just slightly too overlong for its own good by going for some extra arrangements and patterns that don’t really need it to be that way, but the enjoyable work elsewhere throughout here makes this one quite the appealing and enjoyable effort for any fan of doom/death in general.

Score: 85/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://marchefunebre.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-arms-of-darkness

Friday, June 9, 2017

Comaniac - Instruction for Destruction


Artist: Comaniac
Release Title: Instruction for Destruction
Year: 2017
Label: SAOL
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Coal
2. Suborned
3. Bow Low
4. Guarding Ruins
5. How to End It All
6. Self Control
7. Shattered
8. Heart of Stone
9. Forever More
10. Instruction for Destruction

Continuing to spread their thrash roots, Swiss thrashers Comaniac has spread their old-school intensity and formula throughout their career as the band has grown in stature and technique in the intervening years following a lot of special touring and shows. Following up their debut offering, the quartet’s sophomore effort was released through SAOL on April 7, 2017.

Much like their previous work, the band offers a stellar mixture of dynamic old-school influences into their attack for a generally solid approach. Driven by the chunky mid-tempo riffing, the general emphasis here is on tight rhythms offering that explosive charge into the faster, more frenzied sections of the tracks. Balancing these styles together doesn’t always work, but it hits more than enough here to feature a fine mid-tempo chugging as a main source of attack for the majority of the album which keeps the energy level going strongly for the most part. It’s when the album deviates from these efforts which manages to cause this one to stumble where it goes into a series of abstract ideas, featuring jangled riffing or semi-ballad that really just sticks out so much against the rather fun thrashing on offer here that highlights the fact that some of this feature bland, uninteresting riffs. Basing a large majority of the patterns and arrangements off of the simplistic chug-rhythms featured here tends to make several of the tracks come off as bland and lifeless which is quite problematic when this one clearly shows an ability to cope with energetic chugging patterns, so the sporadic, hit-or-miss nature of these is a bit troubling. It's less of an issue as it was on the debut, which shows some solid growth to fix this but it still pops up here which causes this to come off a bit better overall even with this issue coming into play once again.

Still prominently featuring an issue that popped up from before but also managing to fix it in some regards, there’s an obvious growth featured here that makes this come off rather nicely for fans of their previous work or fans of less dynamic old-school thrash who can stomach the flaws here.

Score: 81/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://comaniac.bandcamp.com/album/instruction-for-destruction

Pokerface - Game On


Artist: Pokerface
Release Title: Game On
Year: 2017
Label: M & O Music
Genre: Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. The Bone Reaper
2. The Fatal Scythe
3. Play or Die
4. Blackjack
5. Straight Flush
6. Cry. Pray. Die.
7. Creepy Guests
8. Bow! Run! Scream!
9. Jackpot
10. Game On

Continuing to spread their message, Russian thrashers Pokerface have taken their experience and relentless touring schedule into fine-tuning a more vicious and modern take on classic thrash than many of their contemporaries and results in a genuinely intriguing offering. Featuring a revamped lineup with new vocalist LadyOwl as well as guitar-team Xen Ritter and Vadim Whitevad, the groups’ sophomore full-length was released March 31, 2017 on M & O Music.

Much like their previous efforts, the album features a rather strong and engaging type of traditional thrash attack that gives this one plenty of enjoyable elements. The main focus away from the traditional crunch of the revivalist acts as instead they end up going for the heavier swirling approach common in death metal is a major reason for the appeal here, utilizing a much more vicious and ferocious attack. The deep, churning riffing and blast-heavy drum-work throws up a rather furious and intense style attack that’s incredibly appealing here given that this is kept at a higher tempo than normal and gives this the kind of generally favorable rhythms when dealing with the thrash attacks here, forcing this one along at these ravenous paces as the tight riff-work carried along throughout here is fast, dynamic and highly appealing which is a big factor of their debut that was expanded upon here and really wins this one over quite readily. There’s a small issue here in that the album tends to feel like it’s on repeat far too often and doesn’t really spread itself out as much as it could’ve based on the type of attack here since this one is pretty straightforward from the get-go and doesn’t really vary itself from relentless intensity as it’s main selling point. However, this isn’t really all that much of a detriment and barely dents the album as a whole.

There’s a lot to like here as the band has certainly grown since their debut days into a far more vicious and intense act that doesn’t really do much wrong beyond repeating themselves too often, but that’s not nearly enough to hold this one back from those that prefer this more intense thrash or are tired of the revivalist bands and want something else in the genre.

Score: 94/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://pokerfacerus.bandcamp.com/album/game-on

Deathinition - Online


Artist: Deathinition
Release Title: Online
Year: 2017
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Trvecizna
2. Złota kariera
3. Zmierzch wartości
4. Ludzkie z o.o.
5. Online
6. KłamsTVa dla mas
7. Dezinformacje24
8. Rytm konsumpcji
9. Pozer Song

Formed back in 2008, Polish thrashers Deathinition have taken on a dedicated stance to feature plenty of enjoyable old-school thrash elements with a decidedly more modern take on the genre to create one of the finest thrash attacks in the entire revivalist scene. After a successful EP release and a couple of split releases to their credit, the groups’ full-length debut offering was self-released January 28, 2017.

Much like their past works, the group is clearly indebted to the typical Bay-Area style of work in the genre just with a slightly European influence seeping through. Being filled with tough, steady galloping riff-work that packs that same crunch as an endless variety of revivalist thrash groups, this provides the album with a continuous stream of simple, enjoyable riffing patterns that makes for a nice variety of attack here. That comes from how this one goes through a nice variety of attacks here as this one slips between the tried-and-true mid-paced chugs or thrashing gallops which is quite an overall impressive experience as each one provides plenty to like about this. The chugging slows this down to the point of acting as a solid counterbalance to the far more intense galloping that gives this one a solid amount of intensity and energy which makes for a solid experience here. That, in essence, is somewhat the only flaw to this release in that there’s not a whole lot else to this one, it’s pretty much just one set factor to their approach that it really does seem somewhat of a one-note attack. There’s not a whole lot else to this one beyond either mid-tempo or faster-paced efforts, and while that does seem like a good variety for the most part there’s not much else to this one so it does wear out its welcome somewhat. Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot to lower this one.

Despite somewhat falling due to its rather one-note approach that both changes up the approach as well as offer up an overly-familiar attack for the most part, there’s still quite a lot to really enjoy here with this one that it does have some merit for fans of the revivalist thrash scene in general.

Score: 85/100


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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stormhammer - Welcome to the End


Artist: Stormhammerbuy now needed]
Release Title: Welcome to the End
Year: 2017
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Power Metal
Tracklisting:
1. The Beginning of the End
2. Northman
3. Welcome to the End
4. The Heritage
5. Secret
6. The Law
7. Watchmen
8. Road to Heaven
9. My Dark Side
10. Into the Night
11. Spirit of the Night
12. Soul Temptation
13. The Awakening
14. Black Dragon

Continuing to carry on nicely, German power metallers Stormhammer have steadily built up their brand of power metal with the expanded use of live dates and constant work to get to the point where the band has improved with every release thus far. Keeping the same lineup from their last effort, the groups’ sixth full-length was released March 24, 2017 on Massacre Records.

Offering up plenty of rather impressive work here, this is driven quite nicely by the bands’ rather fun and impressive driving, melodic attack. Featuring a rather thick rhythm section, there’s a much heavier, more traditional-sounding structure built up here with a nice driving attack utilizing the more harder-hitting rhythms during the main sections here. That translates into a steady stream of heavy mid-tempo gallops for the most part here, letting the bands’ faster moments carry this one along to the point of enjoyment throughout here by going for the striking riff-work, the old-school sounding patterns and generous melodic rhythms that give this such a strong and enjoyable method of attack here that manages to hold this up one over the album’s one overbearing, glaring flaw that’s nearly impossible to overcome. Simply, there’s just way too many tracks here and it really wears on the longer this goes as it just features such an enlarged running time with over a dozen tracks here that there’s just no reason for the release to be this long, especially with so many of the songs here being pretty much of the same type and quality. The way this goes for the same fiery, energetic crunch as the earlier tracks the need for going on this long makes less sense with no deviation or variation, so regardless of the quality of the tracks the fact that this one has this bloated, overlong feeling is hard to pass-up and ignore.

While this one is just a touch too long and overblown with a few too many tracks here, there’s still something to be said for how energetic and engaging this one is in spite of that somewhat crippling factor here makes this one recommended mainly for hardcore power metal fans or those who can look past the flaws in this one.

Score: 84/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.stormhammershop.de/epages/78889353.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/78889353/Products/wtte_cd

Angel Martyr - Black Book: Chapter One


Artist: Angel Martyr
Release Title: Black Book: Chapter One
Year: 2017
Label: Iron Shield Records
Genre: Epic Heavy/Speed Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Obsequies
2. They... Among Us
3. Victims
4. Eric the Conqueror
5. Midnight Traveller
6. Turn On the Fire
7. Pirate Song
8. On the Divine Battlefield
9. Angel Martyr

Formed initially back in 2006, Italian heavy/speed metallers Angel Martyr changed to their current moniker from Wraith’sing and set about to forge ahead with their love of old-school heavy metal as the band toured relentlessly honing their attack into a lethal assault. Now finally able to unleash their first official offering, the bands’ full-length debut was released March 17, 2017 on Iron Shield Records.

Taking their cues from the past, the group offers a rather impressive and convincing manner of attack that gives off the tone and feel of the old-school classics. There’s a strong semblance of classic speed metal riff-work throughout here, bouncing along at breakneck tempos that keep this one at a rather engaging pace throughout here which makes for quite a fantastic feeling here. This makes the music light and melodic while allowing for plenty of epic arrangements alongside the tight speed metal sections, working nicely here to make this rather enjoyable and fun as the heavier sections are still displayed prominently alongside the lighter sections that provide the fine melodic accents and furthering the steps into the old-school style. Given that the album does tend to go for the longer, more involved tracks here, that becomes all the more important to give these sections room to breathe and grow as the extended time allows for more arrangements to be included here, although that introduces the one main lowering factor with this one in that there’s just not a whole lot that can be done with how these drag on and feels overlong. The riffing looses a lot of its power noodling along at these extended lengths, the sections get drawn out more than needed and the album tends to slough along until the end which can make for a draining experience. However, being a debut this does get a bit of leeway and doesn’t hold this back all that much.

Though it can get a little bloated and features some rather troubling segments, there’s plenty of highly enjoyable efforts to like with this one’s old-school influenced attack that it should readily appeal to all fans of classic heavy/speed metal or those looking for solid classic metal in general.

score: 84/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.ironshieldrecords.de/angel-martyr-2017.html

Ruins of Elysium - Seeds of Chaos and Serenity


Artist: Ruins of Elysium
Release Title: Seeds of Chaos and Serenity
Year: 2017
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Kama Sutra
2. Shadow of the Colossus
3. Serpentarius
4. Beyond the Witching Hour
5. Iris
6. The Birth of a Goddess
7. Seeds of Chaos and Serenity

Continuing to uphold their past success, international symphonic metallers Ruins of Elysium have brought their epic sound and capabilities to offer even more bombast and grandeur into their material than their previous efforts. Taking a concept approach around the anime Sailor Moon for their epic title track, the groups’ sophomore full-length was self-released April 4, 2017.

Similar to their previous effort, the band is once again in full-on bombastic and glory mode throughout this one offering a stellar look into their formula. This here is built primarily around the grandiose tempos, featuring lightning-fast riffing and barreling drumming that is completely overshadowed by the bombastic keyboards that offer the over-the-top theatrics customary within the genre. It runs through these efforts with reckless abandon as the histrionics from the music match the spoken tales of glory and heroism that is captured expertly by these over-the-top rhythms giving this one the kind of driving attitude that works for the most part. That gets held up by the one detrimental, overriding flaw here in the overriding and truly bombastic epic at the end, going on far longer than necessary to really prove it’s point and making for a truly exhaustive ending more than anything. The dedication to go for something like this, a massive mini-album in its own right as the five-track suite makes for a fun enough representation of their work anyway beyond going through the motions of what’s on offer elsewhere on the album, yet the fact that it just goes on endlessly as the five movements clock in around regular-length tracks anyway and it just makes the album a drag to have to get through in order to experience it all. Though it’s fun enough, the daunting feel and approach are what somewhat lower this one.

As there’s one huge, nearly overwhelming effort holding this one back somewhat, it’s a little lower than what it should be as the rest of this one is some rather impressive symphonic-styled power metal that’s featured here make this a must for any fan of the style or can celebrate the excess within.

Score: 85/100


Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://ruinsofelysium.bandcamp.com/album/seeds-of-chaos-and-serenity

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Interment (Swe) - Scent of the Buried



Artist: Interment (Swe)
Release Title: Scent of the Buried
Year: 2016
Label: Dark Descent Records
Genre: Swedish Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Death and Decay
2. Sinister Incantation
3. Chalice of Death
4. Repugnant Funeral
5. Scent of the Buried
6. Rise of the Dead
7. Unholy Upheaval
8. Dawn of Blasphemy
9. Skull Crushing Carnage
10. Nailed to the Grave

One of the original bands in the genre, Swedish death metallers Internment have gone through numerous hardships in their near three-decade existence which has seen the group continue to churn out their old-school Swedish sound in the interim. Now, after six years between releases and a few lineup changes that sees Toob Bryndal on guitars and Allan Lundholm on bass, the group finally releases their sophomore release April 1 on Pulverized Records.

From the onset here there’s little change-ups on display other than prime early-90s Swedish death metal with all the usual trappings, and it doesn’t really offer any difference from these rhythms throughout here. This one runs through all the prototypical elements that should get featured in the genre which means it utilizes the same general churning buzzsaw riffing patterns that alternate nicely between ravenous blistering thrashing with pounding drumming and agonized melodies swarming along throughout the tracks. As well, there are all the usual tempo changes from that go from these thrashing rhythms to a more majestic mid-tempo sprawl that utilizes more of a fine mid-tempo chug more than anything here as the speed is dropped in favor of the heavy-set riffing present which changes the style and sound significantly. As those are dropped off in favor of the thrashing-entered material in the second half of the album that significantly adds to the album with the enhanced aggression offering up plenty of ravenous tracks here which make for a rousing, high-energy affair. Now, none of this is anything revolutionary within the genre or even the individual scene where this is yet another in a long line of bands to emerge from the scene playing this exact kind of material, even though the fact that they originally were part of that movement at the very beginning makes that somewhat easy to overlook. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it works more often than not, but it is a determining factor for this one.

Though it’s nowhere near the most original band on this very scene that they were originally involved with at the very beginning, this here is quite the enjoyable and thoroughly enjoyable old-school blast of Swedish-influenced death metal for fans of that scene in particular or those that appreciate the old-school scene as well.

Score: 83/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://interment666.bandcamp.com/album/scent-of-the-buried-cd-lp-2

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Revel in Flesh - Death Kult Legions



Artist: Revel in Flesh
Release Title: Death Kult Legions
Year: 2014
Label: Cyclone Empire
Genre: Swedish Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. In the Name of the Flesh
2. When Glory Turns to Ruin
3. Black Oath Impurity
4. Graveyard Procession
5. Death Kult Legions
6. Frozen Majesty
7. Hurt Locker
8. Cryptcrawler
9. As Souls Descend
10. Levitation
11. Necropolis (Manilla Road cover)

Continuing to honor their heroes, German death metallers Revel in Flesh have stayed remarkably consistent as they dwell in the realms of the Swedish scene for which they pay homage not only in their sound but from their namesake being a classic Grave track. Now almost two years of in-depth songwriting and production process has brought forth their third full-length effort released December 5, 2014 on new label Cyclone Empire.

There’s little overall surprise here, this one is straightforward and unyielding Swedish-styled death metal which goes for the traditional elements featured here quite frequently. This one goes for that typical swirling-style buzzsaw riffing patterns that were born in the early-90s Stockholm scene and manage to feature the same energy and infectious bursts of aggression that are featured prominently throughout here that give this one a touch of the strong melodies woven nicely into the main rhythms. While these are quite impressive, there’s a more prominent mid-tempo aspect here that simply features those elements played more with a chugging mid-tempo rhythm pattern that makes this one far more prevalent in keeping the effort plodding along rather than dropping it in favor of the blistering speed. Though it still conjures up the effortlessly melodic rhythms and epic arrangements that have always been featured here with this one sounding quite massive, the fact that there are just too many of the same plodding tempos does way this one down somewhat as there’s just not as much of a change within the album to really generate much more beyond the obvious enthusiasm playing this kind of material. Also, due to the overt and obvious influence taken here from the very beginning, this one isn’t all that original and doesn’t really go for the most creative riffing patterns or stylish arrangements here as it tends to be way too similar-sounding to numerous other old-school death metal bands that actually come from Sweden which has that same general approach and attack as shown here, and it can lose it’s identity quite easily. Otherwise, this one is still a somewhat solid and enjoyable effort.

Though it really does seem like numerous other efforts in this very scene which can cause this to become quite voiceless at times, there’s a palpable sense of enthusiasm playing these same rhythms throughout here that makes this one a solid choice for any Swedeath or old-school death metal aficionados, though those looking for more original bands should heed caution.

Score: 81/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://cycloneempire.bandcamp.com/album/death-kult-legions

Angelus Apatrida - Hidden Evolution



Artist: Angelus Apatrida
Release Title: Hidden Evolution
Year: 2015
Label: Century Media Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Immortal
2. First World of Terror
3. Architects
4. Tug of War
5. Serpents on Parade
6. Wanderers Forever
7. End Man
8. Speed of Light
9. I Owe You Nothing
10. Hidden Evolution

Having broken through the international market, Spanish thrashers Angelus Apatrida have gathered a formidable live reputation on the back of countless touring in their home state and abroad which has honed their razor-sharp thrash to a fine whole. After a three-year gap between releases, the consistent and long-running group prepares its fifth full-length release January 15, 2015 on Century Media Records.

As has been the case for their previous albums, this here is a ripping and furious blast of revival thrash that brings about a rather enjoyable attack throughout here. The fact that this is based on frantic swirling thrash patterns filled with plenty of furious rhythms and a strong adherence to the arrangements of the old-school scene that readily makes for a rather explosive effort here ranging from the blistering full-throttle tempos to the more relaxed and laid-back tempos. This approach is greatly enhanced by the band’s penchant for strong melodic leads woven throughout the main riff-work as well as the dexterous soloing and gives this a rather dynamic balance to counter the strong crunch of their traditional thrashing at the forefront of the bands’ attack. Given that the ravenous thrashing here makes up the majority of the album, those varied approaches are at the forefront of the album’s relentless and intense charge that gets featured strongly here at times, and that makes the melodic interjections all the more impressive and dynamic. Still, it’s the bands’ fiery charge here that makes the most impact even with these melodies sprinkled throughout here, and work incredibly well in giving this a wholly vicious and ravenous attack that gives this one so much to really like. That said, there is a lot to really like here with the album being a bit bloated with tracks a bit too long for their own good, especially in the second half with several epics that could’ve been trimmed down some and not really lost a lot of their impact at all. This, though, is really all that bothers it.

Despite having some minor issues here at keeping the rhythms as confined as they could be, this is still a ripping and thoroughly enjoyable surge of modern revival thrash that manages to work more often than not and makes for a rather appealing effort for those who satiate over the revival scene or simply thrash in general.

Score: 91/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.cmdistro.com/item/35598

Death Angel - The Evil Divide



Artist: Death Angel
Release Title: The Evil Divide
Year: 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Old-School Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. The Moth
2. Cause for Alarm
3. Lost
4. Father of Lies
5. Hell to Pay
6. It Can't Be This
7. Hatred United/United Hate
8. Breakaway
9. The Electric Cell
10. Let the Pieces Fall

Three decades into their celebrated career, Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel remain as hungry as ever with an uncompromising urgency and unpredictability which has defined the group almost from the start of their illustrious career. With the reunion-era line-up continuing to sound as tight as possible and a maturity found in their years together, the quintet’s eighth full-length album was released May 27, 2016 on Nuclear Blast Records.

With the band firing on all cylinders in regards to their revival phase, there’s a deep, flowing hard-edged old-school attack prevalent on this one that takes their signature sound to great heights. Featuring their signature swirling speed metal patterns in ferocious tempos laying down plenty of hard-charging and dexterous rhythms that showcase plenty of fiery lead riff-work, tight patterns and furious rhythms that carry their frantic energy and relentless surging riff-work that make for a wholly impressive series of up-tempo work. Alongside these thrashers are efforts which drop that intensity for a more majestic, mid-tempo sprawling series of rhythms that go for a more atmospheric, melodic mood with a plodding energy and more pronounced melodic vocals than their more furious work, offering a strong and wholly dynamic variety that’s immensely appealing here. That charging, dynamic atmosphere here creates a truly ripping old-school feel as well with its multi-faceted tracks that range from the melodic epic intro that turns into the ripping thrasher to the melodic and straightforward mid-tempo breather which carries a strong old-school feel throughout here. This is certainly a case where the band is comfortable with this approach as there’s plenty of familiar moments within this one that brings to mind their past works with this approach, but for the most part it’s more of the same enjoyable elements that have always been part of their attack which makes this such a fun album.

Despite a big reliance on continuing to offer up more of the same here that doesn’t really bring along much variety or innovation, it’s a rather moot point on the album as there’s just such a vibrant, energetic old-school feel to this one throughout here that it’s one of the top albums of the year in the genre and is of extreme interest to old-school thrashers or thrash fanatics in general.

Score: 96/100



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Malevolent Creation - Dead Man's Path



Artist: Malevolent Creation
Release Title: Dead Man's Path
Year: 2015
Label: Century Media Records
Genre: Old-School Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Dead Man's Path
2. Soul Razer
3. Imperium (Kill Force Rising)
4. Corporate Weaponry
5. Blood of the Fallen
6. Resistance Is Victory
7. 12th Prophecy
8. Extinction Personified
9. Fragmental Sanity
10. Face Your Fear

With a legacy back to the genre’s inception, Floridian death metal legends Malevolent Creation have endured harder and longer than most with one of the strongest collection of albums in the scene that truly continues on here. Graced with returning drummer Justin DiPinto and a charged focus in the five-year gap between releases, the groups’ celebrated twelfth full-length album is released October 2, 2015 on new label Century Media.

As is to be expected here, this one is a crushingly heavy and dynamic old-school style death metal album straight from the swamps of Florida, giving this a mostly stereotypical sound and approach. The album has the rabid, fervent near-thrash riffing that manages to evoke plenty of technically-proficient rhythms and ferocious charging patterns that are given plenty of room to breathe within the tight patterns. This old-school approach is quite prominent as the band dives through rabid thrash rhythms at frantic tempos, and is merged with a tight backbone of sprawling tempos to offset the aggression with deep, churning riff-work and relentless drumming. This is the essential part of the band’s core sound where it's a strong overall mixture between the rabid thrashing with some crushingly heavy yet slowed down rhythms that give their riffing plenty of room to breathe and yet still remain a vital part of their charge as it all wraps itself within that identifiable tone in the music featuring the agonized swampy patterns of the genre’s creators. With such a strong, even mixture between these styles and generating quite an enjoyable attack by alternating these tempos so well in the running order that the album tends to swarm through its paces with seeming ease, it’s quite an effective blast that offers up very little to dislike overall here except in one minor area that continually showcases itself in the music. This one is so strongly and effectively evocative of their sound that it’s really hard to tell the tracks apart at times as they loose themselves within that familiar blur of swampy riffing and technical thrashing that’s been a part of their work from the beginning, and it can cause this to drop off at times. Still, it barely registers at all and doesn’t impact it much.

By getting this overall stylistic and fervent approach to the forefront in yet another utterly strong and dominating release, there’s so little to dislike here which mainly comes from being too similar to their past works that it still remains a top choice for any fervent fan of their past catalog, old-school death aficionados or those looking for more of the same from these legends.

Score: 96/100



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Abysmal Dawn - Obsolescence



Artist: Abysmal Dawn
Release Title: Obsolescence
Year: 2014
Label: Relapse Records
Genre: Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Human Obsolescence
2. Perfecting Slavery
3. Inanimate
4. Devouring the Essence of God
5. One Percent Incomplete
6. Loathed in Life/Praised in Death
7. By My Demons
8. Laborem Morte Liberat Te
9. The Inevitable Return to Darkness
10. Night's Blood (Dissection cover)

Growing stronger with every release, California death metal machine Abysmal Dawn has quickly become one of the more prominent names in the modern death metal scene with their stunning mixture of old-school rhythms with more modern technicality. Being the only release by the band as a four-piece with second guitarist Andy Nelson leaving the group afterwards as well as drummer Scott Fuller decamping as well, the group’s fourth full-length effort was released October 24, 2014 on Relapse Records.

As with the majority of the modern death metal groups, the focus here is mainly on the album’s unrelenting riff-work being present first and foremost. This one really tends to go for the deep churning riff-work and charging groove rhythms commonplace in the modern scene, all given a fine technical bent that makes the tracks seem far more devastating with dexterous drumming and swirling grinding patterns cropping into the riff-work as well. This makes for a solid intensity to the album that meshes quite nicely with the other sections here where the focus is on the more old-school rhythms as the charge shifts through simplistic mid-tempo tones with sweeping riffs, dynamic drumming and blazing melodic breaks that leave this one with plenty of variety and dynamic shifts between the tracks where it goes nicely between the frantic technicality elsewhere. This does start to wear thin here as the album does come off with more of a sense of familiarity as it goes along here with this one tending to feel rather much like most other bands of the style tend to do as it goes for the kind of familiar burst of grinding brutality and technicality before switching over into a more melodic passage and really makes this struggle to retain the attention as it goes along into the second half as you’ve already heard the bands’ tricks by that point. There’s very little variety with this one that really sticks out here as it’s without fail an either/or style release, and that makes for a finely performed if overall-bland offering. Still, it’s good at what it does which makes it somewhat listenable if not a stand-out effort.

Though there’s plenty of moments where this one comes off as more one-note than it really should as the lack of real variety does wear thin here, this is still a decent enough effort when it really gets going that there’s a lot to like here for most fans of modern death metal to really enjoy and get the most out of this one.

Score: 78/100



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

Bodyfarm - Battle Breed



Artist: Bodyfarm
Release Title: Battle Breed
Year: 2015
Label: Cyclone Empire
Genre: Retro Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Hell March (Intro)
2. The Dark Age
3. Saxon Victory
4. Dawn of Defeat
5. The Last Crusade
6. Prince of Wallachia
7. Storming Revolution
8. Firing Squad
9. Wolfpack
10. Death by Fire
11. Slaves of War

Gaining in experience and confidence with each release, Netherlands-based death metallers Bodyfarm are quickly rising up the ranks in terms of the old-school revivalist scene as they continue to grow and dominate with each new release. With a minor lineup shuffle that sees Alex Seegers settle into the bassist role after several other musicians rotated in-and-out of the role, the group’s third release was released November 6, 2015 on Cyclone Empire.

Like most of their brethren from the Dutch scene, this here is mostly classic-sounding US death metal with a touch of European style rhythms, as there’s the bands’ penchant for staying firmly in the mid-tempo realm while offering plenty of tortured, agonized riffing. Despite the tortured riff-work, this still manages to offer up the classic frantic thrash-style rhythms in their riff-patterns that offer up a dynamic gallop that’s quite impactful, generating the kind of generous tempo changes and variations here with the album split nicely between these mid-tempo patterns and the faster more frantic variations. Though it tends to really stay within these two styles as the dominant forces on the album, it’s quite enjoyable enough here while gloriously aping the old-school scene with the tight, swirling tremolo and chugging riffing patterns on display that take the classic American sound to it’s fullest while the melodic sensibilities added here to slow the music to a nice pummeling sprawl and let the rhythms breathe is a dynamic, imposing feat here. It’s overall style and approach here for this is given quite a healthy march through the old-school patterns, and is made all the better by the fact that it’s not a one-trick album where it’s top tracks are up-front and the filler presented in the back-half as there’s a strong amount of quality throughout here with raging tracks spread throughout here and furthers the appeal of this one immensely. Naturally, with that amount of old-school influence here comes the album’s one main downfall in it’s rather obvious and overt aping of the classic death metal sound that really isn’t all that new or offers up much else different from dozens of different bands out there beyond the bands’ obvious talent at portraying this style which goes a very long way towards giving this one it’s high marks. While that doesn’t hurt it all that much, it’s lack of real difference in exploring much else here is all that really harms it as the rest of the material is that enjoyable.

Though the lack of really doing much new innovation with their chosen genre being the one lone downfall on the album with plenty of other more impactful and enjoyable positives, there’s plenty to like here and this ends up a worthwhile pick for revivalist death metal fanatics and a solid choice for old-school aficionados that can appreciate what the new-school bring to the table.

Score: 93/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://www.bodyfarm.bigcartel.com/