Sunday, February 26, 2012

Macabra-Blood-Nurtured Nature

Macabra have showed they are among the better Autopsy/Incantation worshipping bands and for a good reason. These guys are an international Belgian/American collaboration that totally perfect the old school sound of the grotesque. Their brand of Auotopsy worshipping doomy and mid-paced death metal is certainly a very nice treat for any OSDM fan. While this may seem different compared to many Swedeath worshippers, it has a fithy album indulged in dirt and all elements needed to make an album sound evil and vile. As irritative as this may sound to many, for those who enjoy it is certainly more than just appealing.

This journey of thrash-tinged OSDM is almost directly connected to the likes of Autopsy, Incantation, Cianide and early Death in many ways. It's meaty guitar tone is one great highlights from the start. The guitars are filthy, but are not as distorted as many other other bands. In fact the guitars have a somewhat appealing sound with their crunchy and chunky tone. The tone is crucial in this here album. It is pretty ''Polish Free''  much like other bands which try this sound. The guitars use the occasional pinch harmonics very frequently to produce a sort of horrific atmosphere, altered by a the dominant and peculiar guitar tone. The songs resemble Autopsy so much that besides a few changes, it would be as if the listener was listening to ''Mental Funeral'' in all ways, not just riffs. Even though the album is sloppy and doomy, there is actually lots of energy hidden inside it. The riffs have high amount of energy especially when guided with the vocals. This most probably because the don't sound muddy at all. The riffs may take alternative directions, sometimes a heavy thrash riffs and sometimes doomy passages leading to goosebumps.

The vocals can be a constant reminder of Autopsy aswel, though not as much as the riffs. They are smothered and raspy and alter between simple, gutturally harsh growls and Autopsy-esque grating shreiks. This can form an interesting experience for the listener. While at times the listener may get a crushing and forlorn vibe from the music, sometimes this may alternate to an onslaught of face-crushing riffs, sustained by the more high-pitched vocal delivery. While the riffs may blazon to  a common listener, the drums are just as conspicious and important. Since the general aura of the music creates an often dark ambient, many may skip the drums, however little do they know that the drums are equally crucial here. The drums play with teqnique and scarcely do blast-beats since the overall tempo of the music is slow or mid-paced. They sound very clear and could be heard well throughout the album. The only place where a listener may actually pay attention to the drums is when the synthesizers arrive, which isn't something that doesen't occur too often. But at the end, the drums boast the overall quality a lot, even though for some this may be nothing more than a subsconscious feeling.
That is a great shame because the drums are fantastically elaborated and worked out to the tiniest detail.

This ridicolously macabre album is definetely a keeper, especially considering the best DM albums of 2012. It's filthy way of fusing Autopsy-esque riff-fests with thrashiness and a weird piano/synthesizer ambient is an interesting sight for many metalheads, though the ambient is not too pervasive, which doesen't bother me at all. This fine slab of doomy, sloppy OSDM is promising and carries all the beauties of the early nineties death/doom sound. This album will surely please the appetite of a voracious OSDM freak and will indulge him/her in a monstrous bath of blood, gore and wonderful grotesqueires.

Hominal Feel Diggers
Life Is The Symptom
Consuming The Fleshy Wax

Rating: 88,5%

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Crucified Mortals-Crucified Mortals

Crucified Mortals was formed around 2001 and have released their first full-lenght in 2011. They produce some straightforward break-neck thrash metal with an aggressive death metal attitude and glimpses of melody and technicalty thrown in different places to boast the overall quality of the riffs. This is some fast, yet nicely done energetic thrash metal played in it's most simple way. Not too repetetive but not too original either, this makes a fine album for any fan of thrash metal who like to bang their heads and destroy everything in their past.

The riffs are crushing and have blended with nice melodies to create slightly different. The hefty riffage is certainly the best part of the album, since the album is pretty much made up of these sort of riffs.The energy is highly prevalent in the riffs but after some time they seem to tire you. Because despite being so poundingly heavy, Crucified Mortals have all their energy hidden inside their riffage. The riffs perform perfect until the very end, however the same dynamic approach that it had at the beginning starts to fade near the end of the album. The good news is that if you want something to just bang your head to, then this is your thing. ''Fatal Scheme'' has a somewhat nicely done melodic and techy approach to the music, that which has accomplished to muster a fair amount of energy into the album to make it sound more lively. In ways this does sound pretty old school, with some of the bands fairly unque sound thrown in for a very small amount. It resembles ''Assorted Heap'' or ''Archic Torse'' in terms of the style of riffage.

As I said the overall sound is pretty much the same throughout the whole album, so there is just simple onslaughts of thrash. Sometimes the songs may take a slightly death-esque direction, with their generic thrash attack sometimes changing abruptly into a proggressing death metal tremolo chug. These tremolos only prolong for a small amount of time, but are able to capture the listeners attantion throughout their short livespawn with their descending sound. The drums are always upbeat, though sometimes it seems as if the guitars outpower them. But no need to panic, since sections like these are scarcely existent. The drums sound abit sloppy at times but overall they fit the music well as long as the riffs don't get too complex. And the vocals, which is the final thing I want to put my finger on, are clear and the lyrics can always be heard. The vocalist blends some simple, pumping thrash energy with a slightly distinct death metal tone, creating something that is quite convenient riffwise. Overall they are just like the drums, well done however nothing phenominal.

Crucified Mortals is a durable effort that is solidly constucted. The biggest gap here is the lack of originality, since there is a little amount prevelant. But once you put all these factors aside, you get an aggressive assault of simply solid thrash metal with some death metal influences here and there to help raise the overall quality. This is a fine album that can be glorified by any die-hard thrash fan, but for a typical extreme metal metalhead it a decent effort yet still able to create a certain amount energy that is large enough to get a 75% at the least.

Fatal Scheme
Ghastly Affliction

Rating: 83%

Follow them on Facebook:!/crucifiedmortals?sk=wall

Venenum-Venenum EP

Sweden is mustering waves of buzzsaw guitar mayhem while the States are coming with an onslaught of filthy Incantation/Autopsy worshippers. So where the hell is Germany? Has their fine brand of black and death metal in the nineties suddenly all faded into dust? Not necassarily. After hearing Venenum, I had new hope for the German metal scene, death and black in particular. Venenum's doomy style of a forlorn death and black metal hybrid is certainly some of the most refreshing of its kind I have heard in a long time. While the whole aura is dominated is with a dark and chaotic black metal atmosphere, distorted guitars rage in the background tormenting listeners as they do.

This may be an EP, but with its twenty-eight minute lenght, it is nothing short of a ''Reign In Blood''. Though unlike the genre-defining masterpiece, the songs on this mini-album can range from eight minutes to a mere thirty seconds. The disappointing thing is that while only a handful of songs have great lenght the other few tend to be acoustic passages, nonetheless very well done. This whole EP is a twisted journey of old school death metal with a black metal touch and a hint of thrash metal, with a beautiful raw recording, but not too raw. The songs are tiring at first but that just shows that this album is not for everyone. It is a very tiresome piece of music though executed in a very professional way, and it clearly shows that Venenum love their music. The album is a thrilling experiance filled harmoniously darkened melodies, doomy passages, a chaotic black metal feel and furious onslughts of raw power and energy. So without further due, let's examine this specimen more closely.

Despite being a death metal album(in its most basic terms), there are very few sections on this album that make you feel like banging your head. It may be hard to accept at first, but then you realise that that's the beauty of it. The music is almost always played at a steady pace so the riffs never tend to change their tempo too much. The riffs resemble black metal as much as they do death metal with their chaotic and totally disastrous feel. The song structures are unconventional, and the vocals don't really for too long. Despite being so raw, the riffs are actually quite technical at times and show that musicianship should be never avoided no matter what music you play. The production, as I mentined before is raw but all instruments are still always quite audiable and clear. ''Lunar Tombfields'' is much obviously the most savage track on the album. Its assault of tremolo chugs and pounding thrash mayhem along with amazing intesity and energy prevail until the very end of its six minutes. Though sometimes the track may border around doom, the intensity is still highly existent in the melodious harmonies. It actually does tend to slow down near the fourth minute, however the energy is only transferred to the epic feel of the song.

With most of the album being doomy and sludgy, the drums are obviously slow too. However they show incredible talent throughout any part of the album, let it be tremolo assaults or doom-laden passages, the drums spew forth talent and technique along with furious pounds. The drummer likes using cymbals alot, to emphasize the epic and insane feel of the black metal feel. With so long instrumental sections on the album, the vocalist never gets to really stand out. He sings in a blurry way, and shreiks out the vocals in a low tone. He can make the album a whole lot better, for some reason he doesen't want to. He rarely appears on the songs, but when he does, he does a fine job of spreading chaos and menace, and still sounds alot like a straightforward black metal shreiker, while sometimes doing growls to keep the death metal tag on.  The acoustic medleys are used as a sort of passage to separate songs, and still succesfully giving a miserable feel, which is probably the porpuse all along. The medleys are well constructed arpeggios made by using only minor notes and preparing the listener before the main impact.

Venenum's seld titled EP has managed to create a large hole in the much growing black/death metal scene, especially the developing scene in Germany. If you like your black metal mixed with bestial death metal and played the ancient way then this EP is certainly for you. It is a tiring piece of music and even tormneting to those who cannot appreciate it to the fullest. For me it is finely crafted, and once turned into an album it will place Venenum as one of the better death metal bands who fuse together the savagery of death metal and the doomy and chaotic ways of black metal. Like all of the things listed above, and you will no doubt be pleased with this raw death metal record that undeniably inherits their predecessor's power.

Lunar Tombfields
Crown Of Reversion
Sacrosanct Transcendence

Rating: 87,5%

Friday, February 24, 2012


I simply knew that this album wouldn't dissapoint me from the start. I don't know why, but I simply had a feeling. Mybe it was the awesome album art or maybe after seing so many black/thrash bands pop out of the woodwork and this album receiving such good notification, I knew I would like this. And I was certainly not dissapointed. Horrid are a four piece black/thrash band which have a huge amount of death metal influence thrown in the mixture. In fact as many say, I wouldn't be very surprised if this was released in the early nineties. The simplest way to discribe their sound would be basically a thrashy old school death metal band with a raw black metal edge. This little sub-genre alone was enough for the album to draw me in and then eventually, write a review.

Since this album has traits of three genres ıf metal, it wouldn't be a shock if fans of all the genres would equally love this album. There's a raw black metal feel, especially in the vocals and general atmosphere of the album while an old school death metal vibe is also highly prevelant, supported by monstrous thrash savagery. This album is both grotesque and brutal in all ways possible, changing it's musical direction time to time on the album, but still keeping true to a certain method. Horrid like calling themselves blackened death/thrash which is probably the best way to describe their music as long as we don't concentrate on some minor complexities. Just like Graveyard, this album has a totally sinister atmosphere that sorrounds it tightly. But unlike the bluesy solos on Graveyard, Horridnever leave that darkened atmosphere and keep you locked up in that dark cell for the whole album. The riffage is mainly based on tremolos, with some Swedish Dm worship. There are some cool mid-paced or doomy sections in the album aswel, but they don't bore the hell out of you and simply fit the rest of the album well. There are cool glimpses of technicalty also prevelant on the album, that which is something you don't hear to often on OSDM albums.

The bass lines are very audiable too and increase the heaviness of the music while adding a small dose of sloppiness. Even the vocals stand out more than I have have heard in most new bands. Just like their sub-genre title suggests, the vocals are your primitive death metal vocals with a usually low tone and a black metal edge. It is quite obvious that even if you listen to just one song from this album, you'll know what to expect from the rest. Possessed, Sarcofago, early Entombed, Sepultura- this album worships them all. Despite being so evil and sinister, noone can disagree that this album has it's moments of crushing and bulky riffage. While taking different directions throughout the album, the riffs may all of a sudden change into a savage burst half tremolo and half chord laden riffs, which is just brilliant. But even the album takes such a thrashy approach, it always seems to carry a disease of doomy, sinister and sloppy riffage. And this disease will only cease at the end of the album as you will see.

The drums are also very crushing and powerful and can be heard very clearly at all times. They always stay true to the old school formula. Blast beats in fast sections aided by pummeling double bass drums and so precise and pulverising beats can be hardly heard in new albums. The drums in total are are spot-on and are yet another great highlight of the album. The vocals may tend to take aggressive directions at times, to fit the fast paced sections of the music. And he can do doomy growls just as good, thus enchancing the experience for listeners. The songs may usually be pretty long but the change in dynamics and speed always keep you interested and suck you into the music. The solos are also very chaotic, abit like the classic Slayer solos if I must say but played in a more melodic sense and with  more feeling rather than straightforward shredding leads. The solos sound totally depressed and inharmonious but still ejecting a fine doze of some blood-chilling melody and whammy bar atrocities.

All in all Horrid have truely surprised me with their monster of and album and putting the standards high for black death/thrash. It is a menacing combination of punk-ish thrash, technicalty, Swedish monstrosity, doominess and and raw edge of black metal. While pockets of bands have played this sound, only a handful have perfected it, and Horrid is definetely one of them. Not only is this a sub-genre defining album but also one to be put in the lists of 2011. If you like Sarcofago, Possessed, OSSDM and savage thrash metal, then you will love the grooves on this.

Invokers Of Satan
Entombed In Ansence

Rating: 92%

Support Horrid on Facebook:!/horrid666

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Graveyard-Alter Of Sculpted Skulls

Graveyard have proved to be worthy of being in 2012's finest DM albums/Ep's list. Despite this being an EP, is only a few songs short of an album. They have a good label, great songs and good production quality, so what are you waiting for Graveyard? Bring us and album! Graveyard's brand of loomy and doomy old school death metal has pulled me towards it like a magnet. A totally sinister and forlorn feel shrouds the whole album within a pitch-dark cloak and alters the whole atmosphere for listeners. But despite being so doomy, Graveyard can also be equally brutal and pulverising and even surprisingly technical, to sum up to a punishing deliverance of old school death metal played in thrashy and melodic sense.

It strikes me again and again to think these guys are from Spain, a country certainly not filled with some refreshing metal. But like Electrocution, Graveyard have crushed all laws to deliver everyone that good metal can come from pretty much anywhere. While a darkened cloud of mystery and death is always on top of things, noone can disgaree that this is not quite what you would expect when you hear an old school death metal album. First of all the production is quite clean though sometimes fast paced complex riffage may overpower the rest of the album and end up in a chaotic void. But this fortunately rarely happens, and usually doesen't even occur if you are listening to this in a quite place. The riffs are usually top notch tremolo assaults played pretty melodically. Verses are chord-driven in general, with powerful blast progressively leading the vocals. The enrgy is certainly there, though it may sometimes feel as if fading in especially the doomy sections of the album, but is actually just building for something big and explosive.

Graveyard actually play in the vein of many old school Swedeath bandsi especially when you take a look at the progressing tremolo riffing and the ominiously cryptic atmosphere of the album. Though the guitars don't by any means have the traditional Swedish chainsaw guitar tone, the instrumentation in general is quite Swedish-esque in terms of death metal and any OSSDM fan will instantly adore this. Songs like the title track have a really energetic feel to them and can easily get a hold of you as it will suck you towards the music. The title track is filled with crushing mid-paced riffage and somewhat evil sounding melodicism. The solos on this album are an exception when it comes to old school aswel. They are not shredding solos of any sort but actually pretty bluesy and fun. Sometimes they can be forlorn melodies to fit the music at the back aswel. The drumming is precise and well done, though it does not stand out as much as the riffs or vocals. The drummer can play with some nice technique and stays true to the old school style, and doesen't just thunderously beat his snare. The vocal delivery is magnificent as the vocalist does and slightly distinctive style of his own, mixing some Brazilian savagery, some doomy growls and the classic Swedeath vocal work. he can sing over both heavy rythms and nice melodies, both dome quite well. He has a sinister feel just like the album and sometimes his tone can alter into low-pitched shriek-growls king of like Chris Barns with his early work on Corpse.

The final statement is blatantly obvious here; Graveyard is definetely on the way of becoming a great band, playing some thrashy old school Swedeath just as it was two decades ago. I am certainly awaiting a full-lenght, it will  be one of the most anticipated DM releases of 2012, if it does come in time that is. This 6-track Ep has melody, technicaly, pounding and thunderous music and veins overflowing with old school goodness. It is actually just a few songs away from an extremely solid modern DM release.

Alter of Sculpted Skulls

Rating: 88%

Follow Graveyard on Facebook:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stygian-Lines In The Sand Demo

How about some top notch power/thrash? Or some catchy thrash? Well, Stygian have both of these in their music. Stygian play some of the best power/speed/thrash around. And their 1991 demo is the damnable evidence. I loved their 1992 debut album, but demos always have a great feel to them, and this demo is certainly no exeption. This totally intense and melodically groovy thrash will pump your brains out with it's catchiness and  superb riffage. Despite the year being 1991, the music sounds as if it could have easily fitted in the early to mid-nineties. Like Ghost Story, Stygian has a traditional power/heavy feel, only played faster and thrashier.

This headbangably terrific five-song is brilliant all the way. It has some dynamic riffage, solid vocal delivery, clean production and intense drumming. There lots of glimpses of technicalty in the album, though not too prevelent. The riffs are somewhat bluesy and very energetically played, especially along the vocals guiding them. As I said before, this demo can be compared to Ghost Story's ''The Image and The Reality'' demo in many ways such as the energy, the feel and the overall mganificence. The beautifully forged solos are full of melody and feeling, and when supported by the fast paced speed metal riffs, they can truely make a difference. Although at times you may get a somewhat pessimistic and dark feel from this demo, overall the music is actually quite the opposite and very fun to headbang to. The vocals are also very solid and though nothing too special, are very decent in terms of keeping the songs dynamic and fun. This crucial factor is actually something that many bands lack-keeping the listener entertained the whole album through. But Styian display their stamina and strangth in a great way. The real vocal highlight is when he sings his lungs out on the ballad-verse bridge riff on ''The Switch''.

 It can be the ballad-ish approach of the song ''The Switch'' or perhaps blazing solos that  highlight the whole demo, either way you will not regret giving this angry and lively demo a listen. Any fan of thrash metal, speed metal and even power metal will no doubt love this demo. And for people who truely enjoy this, I can also suggest their 1992 full-lenght ''Planetary Destruction'' and Ghost Story's demo aformentioned above.

The Switch
The Preacher and The Politician
Lines In The Sand

Rating: 87%

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interment-Where Death Will Increase Demo

If your into death metal than you already know that the old school scenes were the very best. And you would know that Sweden had some of the finest bands to offer in that time. Monsters like Unleashed, Dismember, Entombed and Carnage dominated these lands and laid waste to every place to they went. But there is also an abundance of really nderrated gems which released no more than maybe a couple of demos and called it quits. Interment is a perfect example of these bands. Their brand of dark and loomy death metal played in the traditional Sewedish ways was really enough for me to give this demo a nice review.

There is nothing really outstanding here. If you're familiar with that dirty, beefy and buzzing Swedish sound, then you won't be by any means baffled when you hear this. These guys play their death metal just like any other Swedish band really. Dark, mysterious and heavy. The production of the demo is certainly not the very best but it sounds pretty heavy and all the instruments are actually pretty audiable. The riffs have a good amount of thrash influences, waging from from tremolo riffage to some breakneck heavy thrash, well-supported with the heavy production. There are three songs in the whole demo, well four if you consider the creepy intro, and all of them are heavy and brutal as hell. Nothing very original or exeptional but something that can really put a smile on your face if you like Swedeath. The vocals are another cool bit, having a beefy and powerful voice, the vocalist can spread menace just as fast as the guitarists. His voice sometimes reminds of Grave's vocalist, with maybe a very small bit of blackness. The drums are also precise and stand out well, since the drummer likes to use some more technique rather than straightforward blast beats.

If you like the sinister and darkened sound of the old school Swedish death metal bands, you might aswel give this album a couple of spins for some nostalgia since it's pretty short. As I have stated above, this is nothing truely outstanding, but it is something worth listening for the sake of some nostalgia. It's a very good all-arounder, filled with stomping riffs and a cryptic atmosphere, and I could expect nothing more from such an underrated band.

Infestering Flesh
Morbid Death

Rating: 86%

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Disma-Towards The Megalith

I always, for some reason, refused to listen to new death metal bands. What a retarded cock head move. The newer death metal bands today are making us re-live the early nineties death metal heydays. For some of the most typical kinds, bands like Vanhelgd, Miasmal and Bastard Priest are totally cryshing the Sweedish scene, just as it once was dominated by an abundance of bands. Ofcourse that doesen't mean the states cannot muster some great bands. Disma is without a doubt one of those bands. This is simply pure Incantation worshipping filthy DM in its most grotesque way. Ofcourse that's not much of a shock since both their drummer and vocalist are ex-members of Incantation.

If you know what Incantation sounds you'll certainly know how this sounds. This album could have been simply an extanded version of the pioneering debut ''Onward To Golgotha'', with perhaps a few Bolt Thrower influences thrown in it. This album is the definition of darkness, filth and macabre. There is so much sludgy and doomy influence here that it is just bewildering. Only albums like the aformentioned can sound as heavy and muddy as this, as it is certainly ''heavy fucking heavy''. I'd say that there is more doom in here than fast and aggressive death metal, mainly because I like the doomy parts better. They are just son chunky, full and evil-sounding, and along with those creepy melodies looming at the back, it sounds as if the whole album engulfs you and gets ready to eat you whole. This experience alone is enough for an OSDM fan to love this instantly especially is they are into Asphyx, Incantation or Autopsy. The guitars make the riffs so filthy with their pummeling riffage and highly distorted and mangled tone. The gain must be at full because you can hear buzzing at doomy parts as clear as you hear any other other instrument present.

These guys have a great way to fill their doom-laden passages, and that's by putting some downtuned and doomy melodies or mini-solos as some may call it. These not only fill the empty atmosphere waiting to be darkened, but also create a disturbingly evil old school sound, which is basically your ticket to a nostalgic time machine. I sense absolutely no modern sound in this, so maybe that's why I like it so much. Many bands get all gay with their music while trying to be original and end up failing. I just think they should stick to the old sound. I'm not saying that this isn't original, because it certainly can keep you entertained throughout all forty-six minutes, but it basically sticks to the rule if you know what I mean. The melodious approach consists of technical riffage and low-tuned thrills which I adore. They can even sometimes sound harmonious in a dark way, echancing the experiance even more. The tremolo assaults prevelent on many more energetic albums, is not too frequent-at least not as much as the macabre-cloaked doom laden passages and bloodchilling harmonies and melodies which are the main highlights fro me.

Now allow me to describe the vocalist with two words: Craig Pillard. That's right, to our incredible luck, the demo who played on the legendary ''Onward To Golgotha'' and many other Incantation releases, is on this album. His vocal perfprmance and delivery is outstandingly genius. He's basically the missing link in that monstrously evil effect that the album creates. The sounds so deep, so low and abnormal and sometimes you feel like Pillard will swallow you hole and consume you. Behind doomy chords and thrills he sounds like the devil speaking, epic but in a totally blasphemous way. Infact anyone who liked his delivery on Onwards, will love him here just as they loved him on the Incantation record, because his voice sounds almost the same. He sometimes growls rather long howls they slowly descend from a low growl to a furious shreik.

Disma certainly created one of the best album of 2011, and were able to sound like 1992 with only better production maybe. With crushing and doomy riffs yet a bloodcurdlingly horrendous atmosphere totally altered by Craig Pillard, commanding his dark army from the sky, like a god. No modern sound whatsoever or any sort of new sound. Just pure face melting doomy goodness and face pummeling riffs with blasting drums. If you like death/doom, doom or death metal, you'll love this hell of a masterpiece.

Lost In The Burial Fog
Chaos Apparition
Spectral Domination

Rating 92%

Ghost Story-The Image And The Reality Demo

My, my, my, what a nice piece of speed/thrash do we have here. The Image And The Reality is a marvelous five song demo filled with speed and energy. Despite coming from the USA these guys never got the respect they deserved. After going through a bunch of fairly decent demos, I finally come across this mini-masterpiece to top them all. This demo is certainly not the thrashiest or heaviest demo out there but it certainly has a high amount of energy to keep you entertained throughout 5 songs. Having a rather melodic to their music, Ghost Story certainly put out a demo that will ring in your ears for many years.

You even have a hint of traditional metal thrown into this mixture of speed/thrash and power metal. Although the power influence is not as prevelant as the thrash influence, it's quite possible to hear it in the epic-esque choruses guided by some powerful chords from behind. Now, the tracks may not so heavy or brutal but they certainly possess a shitloads of ferocity and agrression and along with rampaging riffs the energy that these guys create is undeniable. These riffs are enough to drive anyone totally mad and headband their necks out, but at the same time showing some supreme musicianship.
On the other side of the spectrum you can hear, melodisized riffs and a less harsh vocal performance to soften things down. The riffs on the demo are nothing totally exeptional but will get you headbanging fast and will show their effect in mere seconds. Also showing technical brillinaces at times, the demo will never cease to grow on you. As you listen more and more to the record, you will like it more and more and will slowly become addicted to it, like alcohol or cigarattes. The uncontrallable riffs will slowly build on you and you will erupt in a frenzy, thus breaking your neck.

Another thing that I wan't to touch on is the great deal of musicianship going on here. The riffs are not really too technical and easy to comprehend and sometimes you will feel that they remind you of some old heavy and power metal bands. the leads erally rip and carry alot of melody, but also know when they need to go a harsher road. There is alot of power metal-ish group singing on the album which magnifies the epic touch of the demo. The riffs are also really crunchy and catchy and with a healthy dose of epic power metal riffage, will sound unrelentingly beautiful. The music even has a happy and jumpy feel to it at times, which will get you hopping and singing along in no time. This is highly displayed in the song ''I Won't Change''. There are also very soft and ballad-ish parts in the songs, but they don't ruin the whole song by making it sound repetetively dumb, instead, the music quickly fastens up its pace and suddenly turn into the jumpy riffs that you were listening twenty seconds ago.

The vocalist does and fine fine job in this album, it sounds nothing absolutely outstanding but he finds a way to make the music even more convincing, albeit the music alone is huge highlight. He can sing mellow murmours and than suddenly turn into a guy shouting about how he won't change. Because most of the bands vital energy is hidden in him, he is a crucial element to the band, unlike many bands who sound better without their vocalists.

Overall, Ghost Story's sophomore release has definetely convinced and many other people probably, although this is a criminally underrated piece of pure old school speed/thrash with atiny doze of power metal. It is certainly a vivacious demo, dynamic, fast and aggressive. No old school thrash fan should do without this demo, especially if they are searching for one of the purest thrash demos out there that even reflect the 70's punk energy with a fresh and melodic sound.

I Won't Change
What Few Even Dare
Silent Masses

Rating: 90%

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Purtenance-Member Of Immortal Damnation

While the States and Sweeden offered some of the finest OSDM scenes ever, scenes like The Netherlands or Finland were actually pretty close behind. Especially after mustering bands like Convulse, Demilich or Sentenced, my love for the scene icreased rapidly and I began searching for more bands of the scene. My search only ceased for a small amount of time after I found this band. Purtenance were known as Purtenance Avulsion in their early demo days and decided to leave out the ''Avulsion'' when they released their only full-lenght. This is some great piece of death/doom taking influences from Asphyx and Autopsy. Despite the heaviness of the music there is still some room for melodicism and feeling.

The album starts really slow and you can sense that huge doom influence from the start. Although they sound influenced by the bands aformentioned, they actually took the trademark Finnish, which he dark, rotting and crypticly enchanting feel, and combined it with some of their ownstyles to create this album. The large number of down-tuned doom passages are highly present and the everything done in the intrumental department all sums up to one thing, the evil sound. Purtenance can be as crushing as doomy and evil and totally fill the atmosphere with hulking riffs and and actually a rather smaller amount of tremolo pickings. The guitar tone is extremely filthy and muddy just as the vocals, which are continuesly guttoral and doomy like the riffs. Just like the riffs, the vocals can instantly change speed and all of a sudden become this outrageous beast trying to eat you up. The vocals really have rather black-ish edge to them as they tend to echo during the slower parts of the album.

The album also incorporates a large amount of melody into their riffs, delivered in a melancholic sense. This, I believe is also an important sound of the Finnish death metal sound. While heavily distoted guitars play their doom-laden filth in the background, the melodious and darkened notes fly around and spread chaos and terror. These mini-leads really help keep the vile nature and feel of the album vile, despite being so harmoniously crafted. Something that I love about the album is how it suddenly changes its speed and phase with just a click of the hi-hat. Ofcourse the same thing can be done vice-versa, which is just as good. You suddenly get shock from relaxing to a slow riff then suddenly being blasted off by a powerful slap from a bone-splitting riff. Anything is present on the album, from melodic mid-paced riffage to doomy passages to pounding and punishing double-bass drum assaults.

While Finland offered bands like Demigod, Demilich and Convulse and Autopsy and Asphyx delivered doomy death metal, Purtenance were able to blend them both into something different and much more evil. And not only that, but this hunk of OSDM also offered a fine amount beautifully classy and dark melody as seen in their riffs and their acoustic medleys. If you like any of the bands aformentioned, get this because you will not regret getting!

Deep Blue Darkness
Black Vision
Crown Waits the Immortal

Rating: 90%

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mutant-Laserdome EP

Mutant are a four-piece thrash band from England, playing some of the most diverse and original thrash around. Taking spacey or futuristic themes into their lyrical content, they managed to make a pretty cool album. Sometimes they want you to have abit of that futuristic taste, so they add special effects to the music for the sake of it. Even the riffs sounds rather ''Cyborgian'' at times andsometimes I can really forget that this is so called straightforward thrash metal. How very very, very untrue.

The great thing about this band is that they're super melodic and catchy and are also very tight. They don't play like any other stereotypical retro-thrash bands, and that's whats great about them. They can be just as fierce as some, just as technical as some and just as tight as surely any big thrash band out there, but for some reason they sound different. The melodicism and technicalty are so consistent on this EP, that it's just phenominal. And adding a few chords and palm mutes just makes the songs even tighter and crunchier. Another great mention is that these guys play their instruments in a very controlled way. It almost feels like you are in some sort of laserdome that keeps steady during the whole listen. The music is good enough to keep you entertained troughout the whole record, unlike some bands who fail to keep you awake. The production is also great and tight, but that's not much of a shock since pretty much no thrash band releases an album with shitty production, well unless its a demo that is.

When I say the music is melodic, I don't mean the whole EP is just a piece of classical music played on guitar. I mena, the music has a ton of thrash traits and will definetely get you headbanging fast. The opening riff on ''Turbo Hyper Ultra Mega Power'' is still one the best inro riffs in metal for me. And I'm not exaggerating one bit, that riff is an instant win. Melodic crunchiness and pounding drums will be enough to create a headbanging infection. The vocals are full of energya nd along with group shouts, the EP can keep you really entertained. The songs are also progressive, especially with the riffs at the background creating a menacing atmosphere. The leads are also very melodic and marmonious and played just beautifully. The modern sound of the album is not fr everyone, but albeit I am not the biggest modern metal fan, I quite enjoyed this twenty-minute ride.

Mutant come from the UK, which had a thrash that many other scenes would have been envious of. Unfortunately this scene was never really exploited to the many people, besides Sabbat and Onslaght. A new scene is rising, bands like Gamma Bomb, Warpath and Sharpnel coming out of the woodwork to deliver thrashers a good meal. And no doubt one day, Mutant will be one of the leaders of those bands.

Scrap Brain Zone
Turbo Hyper Ultra Mega Power

Rating: 88,5%

Friday, February 10, 2012

Electrocution-Inside The Unreal

Among all the great DM bands who came from Florida, Germany, The Netherlands or Sweeden this one had to come from Italy. Italy? Did Italy even have any sort of proper metal scene? Not as far as I know. But for some odd reason Italy gave birth to this OSDM band Electrocution, and they gave birth to a highly overlooked landmark album-''Inside The Unreal''. Now the riffs are rather in the vein of their US counterparts however later Electrocution turned even more technical. Supposing they very technical in this album also. The album has 10 atrocious songs, all equally technical and brutal and equally effective.

Due to the huge thrash and USDM influences, It's hard to say that the band had a very distinctive style of their own. However they possessed the technical talent that many bands failed to have and that was a really how they got they fairly unique sound. Now this is certainly not straightforward death metal, even though the vocals sound as if they are. However it not shocking that someone would find this piece of music in the more extreme genres of metal. I say there are thrash influences, but I never said that there weren't any death influences. The tremolo pickings and doomy stomps are all taken from DM but the technical musicianship and thrash riffs wipe most of that away, so you get a magnificently dark, rotting, heavy and harmony laden album. There is also a display of Cannibal Corpse influence and the music may even turn into a Brutal DM direction. But most of the riffs are basically based on the things listed above.

For such and obscure group, crappy record label and early year the production is just very decent. The guitars have a sort of buzzsaw sound, although it is not present and the drums are also a great stand out for me. The drummer can shred it up on the drums, finding the right beat anytime and using his bass-drums on standard beats aswel as brutal tremolos. The album has a great feel that I can't quite explain on plain paper. It's like the catchiness and brain-pumping heaviness combine along with the bashing drums to form this really head-bangable riff medley. The level of intensity is absolutely monstrous, as it never strays from its path.

All of the songs are brain-meltingly brutal and will pumel your face on the ground and rip your guts to shreds. All 10 songs have some bone-cracking solos in them, and the musicianship tirelessly increases which the icing on the cake. The vocals are how DM vocals should be. Not very aggressive, slightly doomy even or melancholic but it fits the music and that is all that matters. There lots of fast tempo changes, to spice things up and the riffs are the perfect instruments in doing that. Some may be simplistic like the intro/verse riffs on ''Behind The Truth'' but are always furious and crushing espeacially when the production adds a small dose of additinal thickness. One of the best tracks on the album is without doubt ''Bells of the End''. It is abit longer than only three minutes but is a proggressively fierce track. It kicks off with a catchy riff then onto a brutal tremolo assault. The vocals are perhaps the most ferocious that they've been and sing with absolute anger and abhorrence.

From the creepy intro of ''Premature Burial'' to the blazing solo of ''Bells of the End'' which marks the end of the album, Inside The Unreal is a feast for anyone who loves their OSDM creepy, heavy and technical. It gives me pain to think how this four-piece never made it to the big legues along with Death or Cannibal Corpse. Such talent and musical genius was wasted on nothing just because the band came from a Latin country and got signed to a shitty label. It is truely a sad to endure how this masterpiece can only fall into the hands of a rare collector.

Bells of the End
Back To The Leprosy Death
Growing Into The Flesh
Rising Of Infection

Rating: 97%

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Skeletal Remains-Desolate Isolation Demo

Do you know, when sometimes you come across a band who basically worship one legendary old-school band and play in their exact vein? Well, I found one of those bands: Skeletal Remains. These guys come from Californie but their sound is hugely influenced by Dutch DM legends Pestilence. In fact you can not only hear the influence but also see it as it is blatantly obvious from their cover of  ''Chronic Infection'' by Pestilence. This menacing four-piece, created an independent demo with only four sogs-in which one is a cover. But whether they worship Pestilence or not they still kick planty of ass.

Even though the archives state these guys as straightforward death metal, I think they're much more than that. This is a heavily thrash-tinged, death metal demo with alot of technical elements thrown in it. The technical bit makes the songs really catchy and as a result you get something between Pestilence's debut and their sophomore effort. This when brutality meats catchy and memorable yet surprisingly melodic riffs. The top notch riff pattern and technical riffs which are somehow linked together really make time fly. The demo may have been recorded in a garage or maybe a porr studio, but the production certainly is great. I's bulky and pretty loud, especially when the vocalist screams out the lyrics. The music is really intense and never ceases to downgrade in quality or intensity. Speed may change-but energy never goes down.

The vocalist sounds like a madman during last confession of serial-killing. Anyonw who hears thevocalist for the first time will instantly think-Martin Van Drunnen! But it really isn't. After giving this demo multiple listens during a bus tour I even thought that this might have been sort of a side project the the legendary growler-after all wouldn't be that surprising since he joined so many bands, but that's not the point. The point is that the vocalist sounds alot like Van Drunnen even though he isn't, but I don't care if someone calls him a wannabee, I think he ads a great flavor to the bands not-so-present distinctive sound. The solos are also great. Long, melodic and lasting, unlike many other bands who just want to shred a few notes then get back to smacking some chords.

Skeletal Waste really surprised me with this catchy and brutal demo, and I was even more surprised by the age of the band. But that's how big bands get big now isn't it? Three songs, one cover song is surely not enough to be a legend, but it's a start.

Sub-Zero Termination
Traumatic Existence
Desolate Isolation

Rating: 87%

Demolition Hammer-Tortured Existence

Ah, good old Demolition Hammer. One of the prime bands who, atleast for me, dominated the early 90's thrash scene. This four-piece from New York played much different thrash than their other local bands like Anthrax, who had alot of hardcore influences going on. After releasing their rapidly vicious demo ''Necrology'', they signed to Century Media and gave out two landmark records: This and their latercoming album ''Epidemic Of Violence''. Their debut shows blatantly obvious thrash influences basically played in a very aggressive style. Although their latercoming records may show influences of DM at times, this album is clearly a thrash-natured.

As I stated before, the music is very fast and aggressive which is one of the factors which allowed D-Hammer to easily gain recognition in their local scene.The furiously crafted riffs and ultra-heavy production that the album possesses is yet another beautiful highlight. There is no influence other than the huge pure, brutal and raw thrash influence. The riffs are very crushing and heavy and these guys are truely angry when playing their instruments. Frontman Steve Reynolds is a monster of a singer, singing with a menacing attitude and nothing but raw and uncut gnarling and shouting. Another traditional thrash trait, the group shouts, are also very present and it just shows that the whole band is full of energy and anger. Even though the riffs are rather ferocious, I must say they are rather fast than vicious or sinister. What's the difference? The fast riffs will basically get you headbanging very fast whilst the vicious riffs are rather ''evil sounding''. But I'm pretty sure no thrasher would pay attantion to such unimportant details like that.

Not only are the riffs face-pummeling, but they are also technical which is an interesting thing because many bands who play this particular sub-genre of thrash only strum some chords fastly, bur D-Hammer have a much different tactic. Instead of just bashing out their instruments, thay tend to play some old-school thrash sounding riffs at times or better yet-blend it with the ferocity. These kind of riffs obvious in tracks like ''Neanderthal'' or ''Infectious Hospital Waste'', and really increase the song quality.

Drummer Vinny Daze is really no name drmmer, but he can rip it up when he sşts on that stool. Since the production is so thick and heavy, his bouble-bass drums sound pretty crappy, even though he plays them well. The super-thick production may seem great at the start, but slowly you will see that it actually is one of the biggest flaws on the album. Sure it supports the riffs and tends to make them chunkier but it also enables a drop in the sound quality on the drums which really sucks. But despite this flaw the drums can be mainly heard-atleast enough for some one to make something out of them and enough for it to fit the music.

Now, the vocals are outstandingly well-done and we can all thanks bassist/vocalist Steve Reynolds for that. His shouts and angry attitude make the album even more aggressive and vicious. He sings the songs in a slightly punk attitude actually(which might be the only punk influence in the album) and that is not a bad thing at all. But truely this guy has some notable vocals, and his growl/shout at ''44 Caliber Brain Surgery'' is legendary. The whammy-tinged pentatonic scales are absolutely all over the album, and sound rather energetic than, evil or brutal. And this is yet another difference which separated D-Hammer from the others.

Demolition Hammer's debut was a very-well done late thrash record, but not as good as their second ''Epidemic of Violence''. All in all, I wouldn't be able to understand why someone who is into heavy, fast and loud music wouldn't like Demolition Hammer.
For people who like this I also suggest their second album EoV and their 1989 demo ''Necrology'' which is basically Tortured Existence played faster and more savagely.

44 Caliber Brain Surgery
Mercenary Aggression
Gelid Remains
Infectious Hospital Waste

Rating: 91%

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dismemberment-Perpetual Malice Single

How lucky was I to find this 4-piece band while searching on the web. After I heard this song, I knew I had to get more, so I ended up getting thier EP aswel! Dismemberment play in the vein of Desater, Sarcofago and Destroyer 666 and are one of those new black/thrash bands which will become very important in the future. Along with bands like Horrid, Hellcannon and Ketzer, Dismemberment are a promising black/thrash band.

Although they might sound pretty similar to the bands, listed above, they actually have a fairly distintive sound of their own. Adding elements of death metal to their music, makes the music only more aggressive and more heavy. This sub-genre is no genre but the infamous blackened death/thrash or black/death/thrash as some may call it. It is a voracious genre that emphasizes the epic and dark feel of black, the aggresiveness of death and the speed and brutality of thrash. Dismemberment perfectly combined these elements and created a monstrous song-no diffrent than the ones on the EP. The riffs are technical and heavy and carry the traits of black metal. Filled with open tremolos, chughs or technical riffage and when combined with the twisted black/death vocals, the song can be indeed menacing.

This song and their EP ''The Condamned'' allowed Dsimemberment install themselves as the new kings of black/trash. I am definetely waiting for their first full-lenght, which will shake the world of black/thrash.

Perpetual Malice

Rating: 88%

Follow Dismemberment on Facebook!!/media/set/?set=a.429257249569.234385.357316624569&type=1

Brutality-Screams Of Anguish

As far as underrated old school death metal goes, Brutality's debut ''Screams of Anguish'' must be nice find. Released in 1993, this album has a vast display of great musicianship and tasty riffage. Despite coming from the USA these guys were fairly obscure and underrated even though the music they created was different than other OSDM bands of the time. The album introduces brutal riffs, chaotic solos and malevolant tremolo picking to create a face-melting and pummeling album with some doom metal influences even.

This is absolutely crushing. A brain stomping monster of an album. The riffs are fantastically crafted and are technical aswel as heavy and brutal. The clean production absolutely baffles me. Compared to any other random DM band of the time, the production is an absolute winner. In ways I like comparing this to ''Dreams Of The Carrion Kind'' and album equally brutal and technical. The huge harmonies on this album are great, creating a weird atmosphere for listeners. And when combined with those sludgy, doomy and rotten riffs, the album gets a whole lot better than just ''brutal''. Another thing that caught my attention is their lyrical content. İnstead of ripping cadavers and doing brain surgeries, Brutality likes to talk abut more apocalyptical things. Musically there are some interesting techniques and sounds that Brutality uses. The album actually sounds alot like ''Tomb Of The Mutilated'' era Corpse with just more clear vocals. They carry some traits of that traditional OSDM sound but unlike many other bands, they were able create their own unique sound.

Now as I said before, the riffs are just beautifully heavy and crushing especially on the first two tracks. The music carries some traits of brutal death metal too, with rapidly changing tempos and confusing drumming. The drums are well-played and can blend into the music easily with say, double bass drums, blast beats or standard beats. Let's get to the doom influence here. Most drum work shows good performance in those sections of riffing, just as the vocals which tend to go slightly lower and more ''growling''. The doom-laden riffs don't last for long, because they quickly transfor into either a technical riffs or a tremolo chugh. The beautifully epic and twisted atmosphere that the marmony riffs provide are undeniable, and truely are amazing.

The vocals are pretty cool, nothing much to be said about them though, since they were many bands, doing the same kind of vocal work as the guy on Brutality. He has a deep yet surprisingly clear voice. The growls are really a cool addition to the whole twisted atmosphere so they can make it even more twisted. Creepy harmonies, doom-laden riffs, growls-that's Brutality's trick, to give you the goosebumps. And that, perfectly reflects the cover art into music for me.

Brutality's amazing debut really flew the flag for Brutality. Even their next album is a great one and I highly recommend it to people who like this album. Musicianship and technicalty is displayed on this album-and that is an absolutely crucial factor.

These Walls Shall Be Your Grave
Ceremonial Unearthing

Rating: 92%

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black/Thrash Duo-Assaulter and Hellcannon

Hellcannon are a four piece from New York, playing some pretty aggressive thrash. If you dive in to the depths into the depths of their music, you'll see that they aren't particularly like other new thrash bands. They actually have some traits of black and death metal, creating an interesting combination. So in that case we could call these guys blackened death/thrash, which is not a bad thing at all. I'm still surprised how I didn't know of these guys until a couple of months. Playing in the vein of Sarcofago, Destroyer 666 and alike Hellcannon will deliver you solid and vicious thrash thus rapidly spreading the headbanging infection.

The album kicks off with a nice, acoustic medley, relaxing your soul a little before a devastating impact of pure brutality. Leviathan has one of the sickest intros ever, followed by a brain pummeling force of crunchy and heavy riffs. As I mentioned before, the guys are sort of influenced by black metal as you can understand from the vocals. Leviathan is the fastest, most insanely crushing song on HTH whole album. Unlike the other songs it doesn't have technically inspired riffs but a rather ferocious approach to the music with neck-braking riffs delivered with some great drumming.

And so the album goes on like it's predecessor until the brilliant Harbringer of War. What a tune. Mind-blowing shredding solos with great riffs combining technicality with the typical aggression of the album. Rapid tremolo picking to melt your face. But the real highlights here are the solos, which are just orgasmic. They come out of nowhere and suddenly change the battlefield into a completely new place. After this track I was literally hooked on Hellcannon.

The final track that I really want to put my finger on is the bone-lacerating Act of Violence. My first Hellcannon song so it has great importance to me. The riffs have an even more progressive edge than Harbringer of War. Not only that but it will also batter your skull into submission. Act of Violence is and outstanding performance of stamina and endurance and also a terrific effort combining the crucial elements that form the whole album. A furious blend of progressive thrash riffs with the destructive power of Leviathan and a finger snapping solo thrown into it.

Overall, this album has some of the finest material from the new wave of thrash metal. While it may not hold too much originality in the music, it shows great viciousness with a neverending barrage of energetic, heavy and cryptic riffs and having a great style of their own. I guarantee any thrasher will be infected by this album within the first forty seconds.

Act Of Violence
Harbringer Of War

Rating: 88%

Check Hellcannon out on facebook!!/hellcannonmetal

Assaulter's sophomore effort ''Boundless!'' may be one of the best black/thrash albums of the decade. Hailing from Australia, Assaulter had a fairly unique and distinctive style of their own. Combining elements of black metal along with straightforward, speedy and aggressive thrash metal they created a very thrashy piece of music but at the same time showing glimpses of melodicism and the epic feel of black metal. You may find this alot thrashier than any other black/thrash band like say Skeletonwitch or even Destroyer 666 but at the same time you'll notice those tiny but crucial differences that separate this album from any other of its kind.

''Boundless!'' is absolutely vicious but at the same time epic and melancholic. The production is simply crisp clear-nothing much to be said about it really. The guitars have a buzzsaw sound, kind of like Entombed and Dismember-the pioneers of the SweDeath sound. Most riffs and leads are based on the harmonic minor scale, which is basically that egyptian melody. While the riffs are aggressive and chunky(especially with the buzzsaw guitar tone) they are also technical and the guitarists like to use the distorted tone to increase the distortion on some of the rather ''blurry'' riffs. There is little tremolo picking which is atraditional black metal trait. Despite this Assaulter uses fast tremolos on muted chords and notes rather than open ones. There is also a huge punk attitude, abit like Toxic Holacaust especially on their last album. The punk attitude is even present on the vocals, giving the album a raw edge.

The riffs become really melodic and harmonic at times and sound pretty good even without any fill riffs in the background. The fist thirty seconds of the song '' Exalt The Master'', show alot of this kind of the riffing. The drums cannot be heard best especially under all those intense melodies but they still tend to do their job well. The vocals actually have a unique edge to them, especially when they get all gnarly and vicious. The growls are done extremely well, especially over more slower or epic riffing. One final thing that I wan't put the spotlight on isthe solos. The whole album is filled with orgasmic, whammy laden harmonic minor solos. Played in a rather melodic and melancholic sense the solos appear in almost every part of the album; intros, outros, verses, choruses, after choruses-you name it.

Overall Assaulter did a tremendous job, with this piece of epic yet aggressive music. If you like Toxic Holacaust, Necrodeath, Destroyer 666, Hellcannon, Ketzer, Desaster and alike than get this, you'll love it!

Dying Day
Exalt The Master

Rating: 91%

Conflagrator-2011 Demo

Conflagrator are a four piece from Sweeden, playing some energetic trash. This is their only demo yet, and I am certainly looking forward to a full-lenght or an EP. Why? Because this is some certainly refreshing thrash. The riffs are there, and they played really tightly. They are heavy and frashy and yet melodic at times. Despite the demo offering only three songs, Conglagrator can give you more than just three thrashy songs.

The album kicks off with a short drum solo and then bursts open with the ferocious intro riff. The riff isn't the most original one that I've heard, but it certainly gets you headbanging fast. The production is also quite mediocre but still clear, so that you can easily hear what's going in there. The riffs even take on a technical edge sometimes and can be really fun to listen to. The vocals are also cool. Played in a serious sense and not quite your traditional thrash vocals. The vocals are nothing phenominal, but are good enough to keep the songs going, which is all that I could ask for.

I enjoyed Conflagrator so much that I couldn't get enough out of just three songs so I ended up downloading their riff medley and uncomplete song ''Apocryphal Deluge'' from their youtube channel. I hope these guys are recording an album right now, because I have some high hopes for their upcoming record.

Follow Conflagrator on Facebook!!/pages/Conflagrator/179766125394387

All the songs.

Rating: 84%

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Devastation never played some of the greatest thrash around. In fact their older records were pretty much average but this album totally changed the way looked on them. It's 1991, when thrash bands were not as good as they were in the 80's-however along with a few other bands Devastation absolutely took their thrash to a new level. It's like they took advantage of the weakening scene, added some death metal elements to get the riffs going and created this monstrous album. With better musicianship, songwriting and notably more technicalty, Idolatry will leave you dazzled while punching a hole in your stomach. Texas had some great bands like Rigor Mortis, Gammacide and Torture even but whenever you visit the states again, remember this album-one of the finest Texas had to offer.

The songs are usually six or five minutes long and that increases the number of riffs which makes the album a total rifffest. An arsenal of pounding riffs and infinite blows of might and brutality. The recording supports the whole album so well. Produced by Scott Burns so that it has this thick and bulky production. But unlike other albums of the time which were recorded by SB(Tortured Existence) the production isn't ridiculously heavy and it has a clear sound so you can hear all the instruments play at the same time without having problems hearing one over the other. The aggression and heaviness of the album is absoltely mindblowing, the thundering riffs along with the vocals wihich I will later get on, with constant blast beats and double bass drumming makes the album remarkable. The riffs are also very catchy and technical and sometimes take a melodic approach which just makes the album better. Over the low, slightly guttural vocals, the riffs fit very well and that was one of the huge factors that helped me love this album.

Let's talk technicalty and musicianship, which by the way is highly present on this album. The guitarists always put melodic notes in their riffs to make it interesting and not just simple, but crushing riffs. The drums while may seem somewhat simple, are actually very well-played. The drummer has incedibly high endurance and stamina and can a stampeding beat going on from start to finish, over six minutes. Constant blast beats add aggressiveness while the bashing bass drums add some sort of continues feel to the riffs, making them last pretty damn long. The endurance that the guitarists and drummer have of this album is absoltely perplexing and is yet another factor that helps separate this album from many other albums, because the speed never slows down, or atleast it doesen't slow down that much, keeping the songs full of energy at all times.

The vocals are actually pretty different from any stereotypical death/thrash bands of the time. In fact in the vocals department, Devastation kept themselves more true to their old school ways, since the vocals sound much more thrash than death. They are slightly guttural, although still pretty clear and the vocalist doesen't scream or shout the lyrics out. Instead, he keeps calm and goes low. Another thing that I noticed about the vocals is that they are quite melancholic during most of the album, aswel as showing feelings of great anger and hate towards things in a calm way. This ''melancholic'' feel actually gives the album a dark and miserable edge, so that that all positive thoughts are erased. Vocals fit the riffs and solos well, as they are also usually played in minor notes.

All in all, Devastation released a truely angry and heavy album, and still keeping their relations good with their old thrash buddies, and added just the perfect amount of death influence. With better musicianship, songwriting, tasty riffs, furious drumming and farily original vocal work Devastation made a name for themselves in the metal underground. Anyone who has STILL not tasted the fury of Idolatry must taste it, and taste it soon.

A great gem, hidden in Texas...

Deliver The Suffering
Never Believe

Rating: 93%

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hellwitch-Syzigial Miscreancy

I'm a sucker for old-school death/thrash like Ripping Corpse, Massacra, Demolition Hammer or Cancer. One great band in particular is Hellwitch. Hellwitch released their debut in 1991 and then disbanded then reformed in near time and released yet another album. The first I looked at the song tittles I was really shocked by seing names like Viral Exogence, Mordirival Dissemination or the album tittle. But when I push the lyrics aside and concentrate on the music, I really started liking this album. The music is very diverse, complex and actually sometimes melancholic-sounding. Produced by legendary Scott Burns, this album is full of crushing yet very technical riffs, just like Sadus.

As you listen you can clearly understand that this is some heavily thrash influenced death metal, and the vocals are actually much more clear than acts like Suffocation or Cannibal Corpse who reigned supreme at the time. We can classify this as technical death/thrash in the vein of Sadus and early Death. You can hear tons of blistering solos spreading chaos across the whole album, also supported with creepy rythms played in a very technical sense. The heavy thrash influence shows alot, even more than the death metal influence even. The music is totally intense and evil and never tires you out at all, as the guitarists create a cool feast of bulky riffs, traditional death-esque tremolo picking and chaotic solos. The production is very decent-as I couldn't have asked for something better at the time.

The vocals are totally intense. They rise and become these high-pitched guttural shreiks to the classic deep death growls you would see in any DM band. The album can take very interesting forms. I was really shocked when the joyful clean guitar tone suddenly turned into a blistering barrage of atrocious riffs, crushingly executed. And you can get the same shock when Hellwitch decides to go brutal after a melodic guitar affair. Sometimes the band uses effects to create some sort of alien-ish atmosphere of perhaps to help you get into the main theme of the album---space.

Now onto the riffs. Even though I mentioned a bit of the riffage before, I wanted to dedicate a whole paragraph for them, for they are the brightest highlights of the album. Never have I seen a band which so perfectly combine death-esque riffage with brutal thrash and throw in some very good musicianship. The riffs are just wonderfully heavy and chunky and they fuse with the tremolo picking to create an absolutely devastating monster. The production is the prime factor in perfecting this, as it is very heavy and rich just like the riffs. The technical side of the riffs are always present whether they are heavy or melodic-or both. The base lines are also pretty cool, though nothing too notable. The guitrists like using high notes in the riffs just as much as the lower notes to create a signature sound of their own. Combining these three elements that I have listed, Hellwitch create a small trademark sound of their own while creating a furious blend of death and thrash metal.

The riffs are never to repetetive and the vocals are intense and the musicianship is great. Perhaps the only tiny flaw that the album has is it's lenght, which a mere 25 minutes. So the ride won't go on for long...
They say Atheist created technical death/thrash with their albums ''Piece of Time'' and ''Unquestionable Presence'', but those people should really listen to this before being a quick judge of things.

Viral Exogence
Mordirival Dissemination
Pyroprophic Seizure

Rating: 90%

Egzekuthor-Hateful Subconscious Demo

Poland never really had a huge thrash scene. Besides bands like Wolf Spider and Dragon, which were were decent, It didn't really have some phenominal bands. While surfing the web, I came across this little demo from a Polish band. The sheer power and energy that Egzekuthor had really shocked me especially after having some dull name. But Egzekuthor delivered some raw thrash in the vein of Kreator, Sadus, Dark Angel and even Morbid Saint.

Firsly, lets examine the general look of the album. This is most definetely death/thrash and not because of the really aggressive riffage. The minor amount of tremolo picking was really a cool element to throw into the mixture. That was an important factor in pulling me towards the album. The first time I heard the song ''Merciful Death (After Merciless Life)'', I knew immedeatly that I had to get this demo. Finding it wasn't too easy, but it really paid off. Anyway onto the vocals. The vocals are really sick, like a rabid crossover between Kreator and Morbid Saint. They are actually slightly high-pitched and very evil sounding. The vocals helped the dark aura around the whole album become even more evil-and that's a good thing.

When we look at the riffs, we see crushing assault of absolutely vicious thrash with the additional tremolo picking throw in it. The riffs are almost none stop speeding and raging throughout the whole album while sometimes changing the tempo to a more mid-paced one. While the brutal and ferocious parts of the riffs are mostly very present, sometimes the riffs may become a little more technical and volatile, so that they don't tire you out. The riffs may seem a bit simple but still very powerful and angry. When combined with the furious barks of the vocalist, the riffage can be devastating. The drumming is also a notable highlight of the album. Albeit they are nothing magnificent, they can surely fit the music well and asurprisingly sound pleasing, unlike other demos of the time.

One snall upside of the album is the fact that the energy fades a bit too quickly, even though the total amount of energy present in the album is fairly decent. After the first two songs the music gets a bit repetetive and less diverse and basicly sound like different variations of the same riffs. Ofcourse this doesn't destroy the entire album, but reduces some of its positive points. The one last thing that is worth mentioning is the itsy-bitsy amount of black metal seen in the music. Along with the traditional black-esque vocals and the tremolo riffage combined with the slightly raw production quality of the album, at times you may feel a black metal vibe from the band-but nothing too present.

In the end Egzekuthor actually produced a very good demo(which was also released as an album in 2010 in the same name), with vicious vocals and riffs a good effort trying to relive the heydays of brutal thrash gods like Morbid Saint and Kreator. And this demo is especially good for being brough by such an obscure band from Poland.

Merciful Death(After Merciless Life)
Degenarated Madness