Saturday, March 31, 2012


Along with the gigantic wave of Swedeath worshippers, there has also been a fairly large amount of bands who follow the same path as their death/doom forfathers did. It is obvious that bands like Rottrevore, Incantation, Autopsy and Cianide have had a huge impact on some of the bands today, who play in the exact vein as their masters. Anhedonist, is an abnormal death/doom band compared to the relentless wave of crushing monsters who have spawned almost infiniteley along the road. Odd and unusually grotesque is what first comes to my mind when I am to describe the music they play in terms of death/doom. It almost seems as if Anhedonist have emerged from a dense and callously porous hole that has a crude opening. During this this process, they have gained abnormal features and have been shaped in a way that is utterly grotesque, even when compared to the aformentioned bands.

This is certainly some Nostalgia for me as the album stragely resembles the stylings on Nocturn's ''Estranged Dimensions'' in a way that is more atmospheric and dark. As I have said, the crude opening from which Anhedonist have risen from has shaped the bands features in a remarkable way. I was more than impressed when I heard massive black metal influence, looming over the overwhelming sheet of dense and pessimistic riffage. The atmosphere and the riffs alone are enough to make this album an almost perfect one of its kind. The riffs are all shrouded with high distortion and a muffled cavernousness that emphasises the aura of the album. ''Netherwards'' bestows an impregnable and repetetively inundating atmosphere upon the listener, built upon a solid and rigid structure of pure sorrow and hate, and thus taking the listener upon an infinite journey of uncomprehensible monstrosity and evil that will esteem adorers of blackened death/doom like Hellvetron. Hellvetron's equally drowning album is the closest thing to ''Netherwards'' both sound and aspect wise.

The whole album is quartered into four tracks that are all heavy, brooding and numbing. Ambiance is innevitable and it sometimes that control of grooving and tamed riffs that range from sinister melodies of the most spine-chilling kind to more intense death/doom/thrash monsters, so no matter how good the riffs are, the atmosphere is better. The production and guitar tones are spread out in a volatile way, dispersed and scattered all around sounding both dense and expansive. All the riffs emerge from a dim, blackened edifice, and the vibe of evilness that they project unto you in undeniable as it grasps you within horrendous clutches of pessimistic disbelief and indulging carnage, torturing, agonizing. No matter how much the album, there is not a single sense of optimism or even a neutral feeling because no matter what you do, on ''Netherwards'', positivity is futile. Of course I should also remind you that there are quality riffs hidden under metres of heavy atmosphere and ambience. Once you start to properly comprehend the riffage, the album reaches its climax in entertainment. The riffs have turned into wobbly, quivering pieces of crushing deah/doom magnificence, accompanied with brooding melodies that churn with the atmosphere to create an ultimate feast of blackened death/doom.

''Carne Liberatus'' has to be the best and most ominious track on the album. While still sticking to the blackened death/doom, the song has more speed and energy than any other song on the album, particularly because of its relative shortness and lack of drowsiness. With less complicated verse-chorus structures and even (surprisingly) memorable riffage spawning from the callous creater of darkness, the song can definetely count as a prime example of its kind. During the second half of the song, the riffs become less concise and slowly lean towards the same atmosphere and ambiance that was given perfectly on the previous songs. Believe it or not, the riffs on ''Netherwards'' can sometimes be concise and bludgeoningly stomping. I mean, most of the riffs have the venomous and dark doom metal vibe to them, but when Anhedonist starts to mutate their riffage even more, they can produce some mighty fine riffs, that remind me of Incantation and Asphyx the most. Speaking of Asphyx, the vocals may tend to turn into eerie screams that are very Van Drunnen-esque, though for the most part they are hellish lows and exhuming gutturals, often standing in the back, churning with the aura.

Now, if I am to join all these together, I would only point out that Anhedonist have produced an incredibly atmospheric and gloomy album that is exceptional, unlike countless bands which have repeated the same widespread sound over and over. Anhedonist's ''Netherwards'' is one of the best death/doom efforts of the year for a certainity. I can easily compete with Incantation/Autopsy drones like Undergang, Macabra or Disma (which produce some brilliant death/doom aswel) and manages to leave bleeding and suffered ears after its numbingly infinite impact. Mandatory for fans of anything atmospheric, let it be rock, metal, you name it. Ambiance has no boundries. And that's why I love ''Netherwards''.

Carne Liberatus
Inherent Opprobrium

Rating: 93%

Revel In Flesh-Deathevokation

Revel In Flesh's debut album isn't necessarily a new find for me. In fact, I had known the album for almost two months now, but I had never bothered to check it out. Listening to the album may not have given me anything special, but ''Deathevokation'' simply adds up to the vast number of records that are not groundbraking, but are give great pleasure to the listener. Unlike many metalheads, I am more tolerant towards more extensively widespread sounds being repeated over and over, because I love the sounds that they attain. Over the past few years, bands have came and released that work just like the formula that I have stated above. Bands like Miasmal, Entrails, Horrendous and Intestinal have ripped and torn apart the Swedish death metal sound and projected it almost exactly the same way bands in the early 90's did. Revel In Flash follows similar stylings aswel, but in a less dynamic approach.

I can clearly say that I have quite enjoyed the concise and widepread riffage on this album. The only problem is that the riffs get repeated quite frequently, and boredom and tiredness occurs after the first three-four songs. The riffage is just as you may expect, fast and pervasive throughout but sadly not as effective. The srtuctures are mainly abstarcted tremolo bursts and descending and eerie melodies combined with a bit of thrashiness. The positive spectrum of the album is fortunately much larger than the negative section. The riffs always follow the brutal and crushing path of Swedish death metal and the they are usually pessimistic though not doomy at all. Theere are slightly varied tempo changes that eventuate the songs in a random way, but they all usually channel between rapid drum beats and mid-paced and melodic grooves, so if you were expecting to find some classy Swedish death/doom similar to Gorement, etc, then you are in for a surprise. The concluding tracks are even show even more efficiency in the speed department as they the riffs strike like bullets and the drums vigorously charge towards the half-drowsy, shocked listener compelling him/her to bang fiercely.

Just because the riffs aren't too original or even too memorable doesen't mean that they can't be catchy. Catchiness is something that many bands today lack greatly and even though many bands produce some superb albums, their flaw of catchiness drowns the whole album, leaving behind secluded and detested parts.The broodingly pessimistic melodies that hang close to the rest of riffage are surprisingly catchy effulgent compared to the more pervasive elements on the album. These dismal  melodies may opiate old school Findeath and Swedeath bands, rendering me excited no matter how repetetive and common they may be.  They carry imperative as they are one of the key reasons I liked the album and because they are one of the more stand-out features of the Swedeath-soaked German record. I would usually refer to the musicianship section, but since the riffs are rather frequently used, I must admit that the musicianship is limited and more monolithic comapared to ther bands which display similar sounds.

Overall, the music and riffage on ''Deathevokation'' does not show superiority or eminence compared to many other bands which were aformentioned. Many Swedeath worshippers have surpassed the boundries of repetetiveness and multiple collisions of similarity by adding different twists and such to their music, unlike Revel In Flesh who have only succesfully formulated a more straightforward formula of the same kind. Perhaps it was my love and adoration for the traditional sound that saved me from the terrible clutches of boredom that the album has captured and many people with.

Crowned In Darkness
Slavish Obedience
Opus Putrescence

Rating: 85%

Friday, March 30, 2012

Intestinal-The Rottening

Intestinal are a five-piece straightforward Swedish death metal act, playing a rather plain Swedish death metal with a tinge of brutal death metal and a small measure of twists and turns. Admittedly, I haven't listened to any of their previous efforts though I must say that I'm pretty content with what I've heard from ''The Rottening''. They don't exactly perfect the OSSDM formula, though the stylings are still similar, with melodic passages and crushing riffs put all together. So as you may understand, the music is rather simplistic and straightforward though still quite entertaining.

The only thing that really ticks me off on this album is the vocal variations. They sometimes sound intimate to screamo shreiks, which throws me off and ruins the riffs everytime it occurs. Fortunately, the vocalist still sticks to the low, guttural delivery for the most part and that is all I can ask for. The riffs are quite hefty and although they're simplistic they can still be punishingly heavy and intense thoughout. The riffs are hard-pressed and almost never lose the efficiency and speed, which immedeately gives points to the album. The impact that the guitars create along with the drums are shrill in a dense and crushing way and they pierce and shatter bones like cutting butter with a knife-a savage way to devastate. Despite the riffs being so plain and basic, the sructures of the song egt more and more complex as the listener ventures deeper into the album. It feels as if hundreds of straightforward riffs strike and burst out in a single shot, managing to sound full and put the whole ''simplistic'' approach aside and create a thick sheet that insulates the simplicity of the riffs.

The production is pretty clear on the album, so you can say goodbye to traditional Swedeath buzzsaw guitar tone and brooming atmosphere right away. While this may be dissapointing, once you look at it in another way the album will be more entertaining listen for you. The clearness of the production actually emphasises the quality of the riffs as they often tend to be thrashy and stomping. There is absolutely nothing frail about the riffs due to their incredible solidness and I daresay that if the production was to be shattered or dark, the riffs would not have gone well with them. Sure, you may need nostalgia for great acts like Entombed, Dismember and Grave at times during this album and it may not be there, but that shows that ''The Rottening'' can still be reminscent of OSSDM not matter how different it may sound.

That pretty much covers the basic aspects of the album. ''The Rottening'' is not going to be awarded for a deft diplay of originality of old school sounding formula, but it still manages to attain a good amount of energy and make your head band vigorously and the tracks pass. The album is fun, plain, crushing and viscous. I may not peer upon this with queer rapture but it will stay as one of those album that will remain in my library for me to bang and mosh every once in a while, in times of depression or just sheer boredom and exhaustion. Some modern sounds may be involved, but they are outnumbered by the old school stylings so I almost don't hear them while I listen to the album because overall it was solid.

Flesh For Living
Sensation Of Death

Rating: 82,5%

Sunday, March 25, 2012


When will flood of Australian bands stop? The correct answer in never. Australia has always had an amazing scene, giving birth to hordes of bands who respectfully pioneered the sub-genres of extreme metal. From anti-christian black/thrash acts like Mortification, Destroyer 666, Assaulter and Gospel Of The Horns, to devastating black/death outfits like Bestial Warlust, the Australian scene has an abundance of great bands. And the newest addition to there bands is Ignivomous, with their sophomore ''Contragenesis'' which rots of pure old school death metal in the most crushingly grotesque way. While you'd expects Ignivomous to worship Satan and piss on the cross, they actually have much different lyrical content. If you know that Ignivomous means vomiting fire and if you look at the the song titles and album art, then I think you would get the message that these guys are highly eruptive...and dangerous.

The music has lots of Bolt Thrower grooving along with some definite Incantation influence, noteceable from the sonorous and rich sound of the guitar tone. For the most part ''Contragenesis'' focuses on tremolo bursts and outrageous drumming, usually played at full speed. The chords and tremolo chugs may get tangled and collide at times, and that's when the riffs start to sound really cool, with descending dual guitar work and a sufficient amount chunky harmony, all delivered in a frenzied assault. There are certain doomy sections which are also prevalent on the album, combining powerfully struck chords and excellent mid-pace drumming.While the riffs all follow the same style, they never lose energy and effectiveness in dynamics, thus staying surprisingly fresh and spacious. Tracks like the title track and ''Heritage Of The Jackal'' are straightforward, unending powerhouses that simply deliver some might solid riffs in an outrageous temper.

One more reason why the album resembles Incantation so much is because of the vocals, incredibly low, but not raspy at all. The guitars play add pinch harmonics into the tremolo attacks qiute often, as if toying with it. But it's actually quite the opposite, as the music gets pretty damn serious. Every track has the same amount of speed but some may have it less spread out. The extensive use of tremolo riffs never really bores the listener because they are so dominant over energy and keeping the listener entertained, but Ignivomous play some slower riffs that are rather drowsy, nonetheless very good. The tracks may slightly alternate between styles even though there is little space left to vary style as the majority of the riffs are dynamic and rich tremolo picking riffs. During your first few listens, this difference may not be too clear, but as you listen the album will grow on you and your ears will be able to quickly separate the songs, examining them delibarately, secretly in your subconscious.

Not only does ''Contragenesis'' add up to some of the best OSDM albums in Australia's vast reservoir of albums, but it is also runs in front for one the best death metal albums of the year. The immense resemblance of Incantation on this album is innevitable and only gives points to the band for succesfully adopting such a praised sound into their music. The songs are all  drowning and overwhelming with their sheer intesity and robust delivery of old school death metal. So overall ''Contragenesis'' ranks as quite an excellent death metal album, especially with the perfectly balanced amount of doom and death elements used in the mindblowing composition; ''The Final Cadence Of Bloodshed''.

The Final Cadence Of Bloodshed
Monumental Cosmic Transgression
Heritage Of The Jackal

Rating: 91,5%


While hordes of bands worship and get influenced from very obvious acts which took that genre forward during its glory days, it is not very clear to state what Emptiness was influenced by. If we continue to get fooled by the plain genre statements on the Metal Archives, the we are sure to have a lot more surprises than this. Emptiness had the clear black/death tag on, so you would think that this was another war metal band coming with all sorts of satanic nonsense. Well, it seems I've been tricked once again because Emptiness come with a completely different style that I had expected. Glooming riffs and an unlit atmosphere altered by unending waves of deppression, doomy passages, dark aspects have high eminence on this record, showing that it's not for the weaker ones.

I scarcely see a band with such prominence over the dark and deppressive aesthetics of metal, and the closest thing to make a comparison is Hellvetron's recent album which builds on a similar dark, glooming atmosphere. However this comparison is far from the best as Hellvetron focuses on satanic, blasphemous sounds to give the listener a blood-curdling nightmare while Emptiness' main fix is the exploration of the human mind and most importantly, emotions, to twist and harvest their sorrow into an edless seeming nightmare that engulfes the listener throughout a dense, chaotic ambience-a wicked way of torture. I was first very frusturated while listening to this album, it takes my breath away due to its inundating density but at the same time, this is music. It can be exceedingly entertaining if you prefer the darker, more brooding and venemous face of black metal along with a good concentration on death metal. For some the atmosphere may be too much to take in, but for metalheads who are used to listening similar bands and albums which experiment through darker and more deppressive sounds. Brooding melodies descend and hit over and over again, while heavy guitar tones swagger around, showing off their supreme display of this swamping aesthetic.

Ok, I think anyone would have understood the basic facts about the album by now, but there is also a different side of ''Error''. While the first couple of songs spread like a contagion of gloominess through the listeners ears, there is a large number of tracks which actually play in the same, crushing yet chaotic way that I thought they would. The guitars wield an immense heaviness with distorted chords flying around as common as birds and the dynamic incursions of the razor-sharp metal metal riffs are both epic and stressing. As the album escalates, the riffs emerge from the terribly tenebrous feel that they once gave and slowly transform into more crushing pieces, a well-mixed hybrid of death and black metal. The vocals are quite echoing, alternating rapidly between darkened low gutturals and higher register shreiks is a very short amount of time. The music returns to its volatile and ominious state shortly after the seventh song, showing that light of positivity is limited and that depression is still the main aspect of the album. Murderous, epic and venemous, ''Error'' shows the most compulsive elements of black/death and thus, engrosses the listener like multiple doses of lethal injection being injected.

There are two main reasons of why someone should get this album: If one enjoys the hearing doomy dirges and tenebrously epic moments fluctuatingly and if one wanst to try a less pervasive sound, one that is more experimental than a strightforward influence. Emptiness have truely showed their talent in frustrating the listener and filling them with stress and desparation, in a most tormenting way. There is black metal, of the most oppressive king and there is death metal, to add a crushing feel to stop it from compketely boring the listener out. I'd say, everything is perfectly balanced, the guitars, the riffs, the timing and most importantly the overall ambience, perfected. Once again, I shall repeat that this album is not for everyone, but it is a rich feast for the ones who enjoy this side of metal.

It and I

Rating: 85%

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cannibal Corpse-Torture

Fortunately, Cannibal Corpse's latest offering ''Torture'' is not the equivalent of yet another death metal release which was released last year. In fact, to the opposite of the faailing Floridian death metal legends, Cannibal Corpse comes back strong with  ''Torture'', and stronger than any record that was released in about eight years. It's quite normal how people come with ridicolous comments, praising this album as the best album of the Corpsegrinder era or how it will be one of the best death metal albums of all time. Bullshit. Cannibal released a number of very robust and quality releases with Corpsegrinder, some which are superior to Cannibal's early reservoir of thrash-tinged, Barnes dominated records which are marked as classics. ''Torture'' is nothing that a fan would have never heard of, it simply follows the basic principles of the past album ''Kill'' and ''Eviscretion Plague'' only with a few different twists.

First get you facts straight about Cannibal Corpse. In their elongated career they have experimented over slightly different sounds but they've always stayed true to to their core sound ever since the release of their self-pioneering sophomore. The technical features on this album are highly prevalent just as it was on ''Vile'', and there is a lot of grooving going on aswel, just as you'd expect. Cannibal Corpse are relatively old warhorses, but that doesen't stop them from mustering all their technical talents together and creating a flexible, less controlled and frenzied assault spread out in dispersed formations without tiring the listener of tedious repetetiveness. There is an enermous repertoir of riffs that the guitarists have created, stirring them all together to bling the listener in an orgy of brutalized chaos. Whether it be tremolo assaults, palm muted slams, thrashy verses brandished with hints of technicalty or tapping magnificence, the arsenal of riffs is a never ending nightmare, inundating in such a frantic incursion. The lead section on the album also quite extensive, as O'Brian has almost one solos for every song as if it obligatory. The thundering drums are another wonderful highlight of the album, showing percussion and colliding with the intense riffs.  Paul Mazurkiewicz seems as if he has turned 22 all of a sudden, sullenly bashing his instrument of choice. The bass lines are incredibly audiable, and sometimes it seems as if the bass is the main focus point of the album, especially with the ridicolous, laugh-your-ass of styled bass solos that all of a sudden, out of nowhere.

As far as the structure of the riffs go, there is nothing too complex about them because having songs shorter than four minutes each seems more like a disply of aggression rather than a display of technical endurance and diversified compositions. Songs like ''Encased In Concrete'', ''Sarcophagic Frenzy'', ''Demented Aggression'' are damn solid and frantic, showing much ferocity and brutality. ''Scourge Of Iron'' is a bit of a four leafed clover. Neither frenzied assaults of crushing menace nor technical chaos can be found here, but instead a more monolithic structure, groovy and non-various tempo and music wise. The track shows some excellent mid-paced slamming, dominated with engulfing muted chords and a surprisingly fresh sound. For the most part, ''Torture'' shows large amounts of boundless energy and dynamics, razor-sharp and afllicting the listener and forcing to listen. The necrotic and crazed gallops on ''Rabid'', the consuming and diversively technical elements spread out on ''The Strangulation Chair'' and ''Intestinal Crank'' already show that the whole album has joined many different styles together to form one very poweful, solid structure that has been hardened millions of times.

In conclusion, ''Torture'' shows the strict, principal elements of Cannibal Corpse, performed before many times. So as you may understandi ''Torture'' manages to attain the favor of the listener with its perfect display of the classic core Cannibal Corpse sound in the best way possible. The originality level may not be too high, but the almost infinite energy and undeniably desire to headbang through the album is most certain along with the improved technical proviciency that brought the album an even better feeling than the previous releases. All the are meaty as hell, and sullenly harrass the listener with torturing spikes which shows that the level of dynamics in always ranging over high places. There is really nothing to hate about this album is you like Corpse in general, so get this now and don't whine around and complain about Corpsegrinder's fantastic vocal delivery.

The Strangulation Chair
Followed Home Then Killed

Rating: 90%

Terminate-Thirst For Obscene EP

I've been following Terminate for sometime, and you can say that this EP was nothing unexpected. These guys released a demo in 2011 which was frankly quite pleasing, but the EP shows that Terminate is stepping up their game in a fast pace. Among all the bands who worship the old school Swedeath sound, Terminate has to be the cathiest yet and not to mention that they have a ton of Bolt Thrower groove going on aswel. While the cover art may not have much to offer, the music on ''Thirst For The Obscene'' offers every single thing a Swedeath fan would want from his/her death metal.

Firstly let's talk about the production. The production enables the instruments audiable however it still shrouds the whole music in a curtain that is an instant reminscent of the old school sound. Along with gut ripping chainsaw guitar tone buzzing around all the time, there is no doubt that one will get the OSDM vibe that he/she wants from the production of this record. And the guitar tone and production is only  to begin with. When the vocals ensue over the vocals the album becomes hands-down crushingly catchy. And that was the real thing that surprised me. The level of intensity is so much that the chainsaw ripping guitar burst out vigorously in an attemt to lash out and plunge into the listeners heart like spears, thus pounding them into dust. The drums display alot of the pound n' slam style, acting like a whetstone to sharpen the already razor-sharp riffage. The gorrove, catciness and un-head-bangable spice of the EP is a great attractor on its own. ''Numb'' has some excellent moments of invidious ferocity with  high concentration on the dynamics and vocals shreiking at the background as if they were sang by a twisted maniac. The vocals are sort of more lower register Martin Van Drunnen, though at times they may tend to be raspier and more devastating. Terminate also likes to constantly alternate between fluctuated paces that determine their speed, which is usually pretty fast. There are only four originals on this EP, yet it can be hard for one to choose highlights. ''Numb'' is definetely the best song on the EP, while the short title track is just as effective with its catchy riffs, solid structure and memorable patterns that end things compendiously and sweet.

There are two cover songs on the six song EP, which I dare say are perfectly executed. If there wasn't for a tiny change in style on these two songs, one may easily mistake them for another Terminate original. The songs are Slaughter's ''Incinerator'' and Celtic Frost's ''The Usurper''. They are both heavily manipulated by Terminate's own distinct style and even sharpened with the buzzsaw guitar tone added to their properties. Terminate won more points from me for more than what I had expected before I listened to the album, and they are already on my list of ''Must get album when comes out''. This EP is hopefully just the beginning of a great Swedeath worshipping band, whose distict style may become ven more prevalent with upcoming releases.

Thirst For The Obscene
Drowned In Flames

Rating: 86,5%

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dismemberment-Denied Salvation

After being quite fond of their previously released single and EP ''The Condamned'', I had found no possible reason not to get this EP. The EP simply stands out as Dismemberments best effort so far is their short discography. Dismemberments style is very comphrehensible and pervasive as so many other bands have repeated it over and over. Their brand of blackened thrash is still slightly peculiar and doesen't succumb to an easily bored metalhead. The music has its moments of darker and surprisingly more technical riffs widespread all over the EP. The cool thing is that Dismemeberment play in the vein of blackened thrash favourites like Skeletonwitch, Hellcannon, Nocturnal Graves, Shackles and Ketzer with a tinge of a more melodious and darker, more corruptive style of riffing that separates them from all the other retro-thrash bands who like to linger with the common retro-thrash sound all day, forcing a yawn and resulting in a state of drowsiness for the most part.

The riffs, as I said are nothing too techy but have a that nice, melodious edge to them. These kinds of riffs are of course heralded by more crushing darkened thrash attacks that have plenty of atmosphere to them. With the rich bass tone and stampeding drum onslaughts along with the harmonic guitar leads, the riffs can be decorated in and extravagent way. Though don't get confused because extravagant or exquisite is something that the EP doesen't support at all, with the crushing and forlorn thrash riffs continously bashing against the wall. The whole EP really oves the guitarists alot, other wise the whole album would have been completely robbed from all the orginality and the most tasteful feeling of headbanging pleasure. The vocals and the riffs all deal around the same tone and pace as they album seldom tends to escalate or ascend or explore different varieties of styles between the dim, narrow walls of orginality. Fortunately, the album hardly needs such originality since the vigorous, dark and razor sharp riffahe totally makes up for it. The riffs are quite catchy even if the follow similar patterns during most sections of the EP. The sinister melodies and hard-hitting riffage work well the production, clear but still slighty murky, allowing the riffs to pass viscously with ease.

The vocals never alternate, just smoothely pass alongside the riffs with the dark, low black metal tones with a hint of death metal. The instrumentalisation is not something that can be gathered to create a reservoir, but not much is needed as the result of extreme experimentalisation and exploration can be vehement or even catastrophic for such a promising and young band.The riffs are all well-delivered and need no addition to the already prevalent technicalty and cathiness. The main thing that drove me towards this EP and Dismemberment in genereal, is their robust resemblance to popular underground black/thrash acts like Ketzer, Nocturnal Graves and Hellcannon. I do love my black/thrash, especially now that it is such a common sub-genre in the metal world. Even if you don't like black/thrash, it would be important to state that Dismemberment play some of the better black/thrash around.

Last Rites
Perpetual Malice
System To Rise

Rating: 84,5%

Follow the dismembering black/thrashers from Facebook:!/DISMEMBERMENTohio

Desaster-The Art Of Destruction

German black/thrash masters have released their latest full-lenght, ''The Art Of Destruction'', and I have to admit that I was really pumped before I got to listen to the album. I wasn't dissapointed at all, as Desaster delivered a solid album with a slightly different sound. There is something different about Desasters fast-paced and dynamic brand of black/thrash though I can't quite put my finger on it. The riffs are like tornadoes raging uncontrolled through a battlefield wielding a nice, clean production that helps it attain the dynamics that it requires. The music is now much more intense than any other Desaster record and there is so much thrash that at times it seems like the black metal influence is leaning towards the edge.

The strikingly swift riffage controls the whole album from above like a genious commanding his army. The vocals have a more death-ish edge to them with barfing, pukey screams scattered in dispersed formations all around the album. While all of this is cased in crystal clear production, the riffs may all  of a sudden transcend into black metal tremolo assaults and murky chord-driven barrages aided with the intense vocals. So all in all Desaster concentrates more on the solid, straightforward face of black/thrash rather than most stereotypical chaotic black metal stylings which have been quite widespread in their previous albums. Black metal fans are without doubt going to take this an excuse to dislike the album, while the gets even more recognition and grows more golden in the eyes of a thrasher. The neutral side, which is the group of metalheads are going to like this anyway. The pukey, stubborn and pissed of attitude of the vocals already gives the album a nice amount of points from the start. And the level of dynamics keep the album steadfast in general but still allows to crush the speed limit every once in a while.

Of course Desaster have quite obviously not broken the boundaries of originality on this record especially considering that tens and hundreds of retro black/thrash acts have committed themselves to the same style repeatedly. Among Desasters lenghtly discography, this album ranks as some of the more generic releases, which is of an unfortunate problem. Though pushing that aside, someone who has just recently started his/her journey into German thrash metal or black/thrash can quite enjoy this with its catchy choruses, simple song structures and that fun black metal influence spread as mere fragments across the sea of devastating thrash assaults. Tracks like ''Queens of Sodomy'' or ''The Splendour of The Idols'' can really conjure that old school black metal sound with a ton is energy and fresh barrage of absolutely fierce riffs. Also, I wouldn't want people to think that the album almost no black metal in it. That is definetely incorrect. The albm may deal around thrash often, but the song ''Possessed and Defiled'' is proof that Desaster is still true to its old, black laden thrash metal sound.

Overall the album would still be a good example of black/thrash of the typical type even if certain songs were to be excluded. There are some good tecnical moments in the album too, mostly supporting the heroic sound of black metal. The atmosphere on this album is nearly dead so if you were expecting an epic black/thrash masterpice from this album, then you've come to the wrong place. But if everthing I mentined was to be pointed out frankly; Desaster unleashed an album worth buying if you like fast, intense thrash metal with  nasty gutturals though the real thing that suprised me was the cathiness and amount of energy that Desaster has mustered, since black metal usually doesen't get too catchy or even too memorable. This album is fresh and ranks and Desasters better releases.

The Art Of Destruction
Queens Of Sodomy
The Splendour Of The Idols
Troops Of Heathens, Graves Of Saints

Rating: 88%

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nekromantheon-Rise, Vulcan Spectre

When Norway is brought to mind in terms of metal, most people instantly think of one thing: Black metal. But it's a good thing that I had encountered a few more Norwegian thrash acts before this one. Bands like Deathhammer, Harm and old schoolers Equinox were some unique thrash acts which I found bloody decent. But when Nekromantheon released their crushing sophomore effort upon earth, I was completely blown away with the evil, sordid style with the Slayer-esque guitar riffing and all that. Forget black metal, forget the aformentioned thrash acts and listen to this. I would have never thought that some of the best thras of the year would come from Norway, especially since Norway is known only for its relentless worshippers of Satan.

Nekromantheon venture into some black metal territory, but only slightly since the influence isn't too clear. The evil, venomous sound comes from the black metal influence, borrowed by Nekromantheons forefathers. But besides that, the album is pure raw, old school and aggressive thrash mayhem. There is a brand of Slayer-esque riffage which perfectly corresponds to the evil sound of the album. And in addition to that there is a number of wonderful solos, produced with a dirty sound, both melodic and forlorn. The riffage on the album almost feels as if it has its own distinct sound with the multiple usage of thrills, tremolo assaults along with crushing chords and an overall complexity achieved with the dark atmosphere and barking vocals. The violent attitude of the album is a direct reminiscent of brutal old school thrash acts such as Sepultura, Morbid Saint, Demolition Hammer, Kreator, gnawing the listeners ears with relentless ferocity. When the base sructure of the riffs is examined, it is obvious that the riffs aren't anyhting extravagent or complex by any means, but simply sound incedibly hardened and crushing even on more melodious sections.

The is a great classic thrash vibe that may take the listener to the early 80's. Some sections sound like more straightforward speed/thrash, a bit like fellow countrymen Deathhammer who have obtained the same headbangable sound with their praised debut. However thealbum rarely tends to take such forms, as the main formula of the album is the crushing thrash attack along the immoral tinge of black metal. Of course most of the bands overall effectiveness comes from the vocals. The vocals are barking furious all the time and also have some evilness in them thanks to the echoing sound that adds a nice spice to the music. Unlike many bands the vocals never succumb to the mighty power of the riffs simply flows alongside them as if it was cast down into a void. The tremendously crushing effort that is put into the music never ceases, containing packs of energy that last until the very end, allowing the riffs to formidably pursue the listener and get the him/her into an instant orgy of headbanging menace.

So once again, Norway fails to fail. Nekromantheons ''Rise, Vulcan Spectre'', will be a much praised album in near time, once it hopefully gains the recognition that it requires. Nothing more can be said about this album, but the facts that it's one truely crushing and vile album that may hopefully bring more waves of thrash bands upon Norway, so that thrashers can celebrate the rise of a new scene and a new band. The album may not be too close to perfect, but the sordid sound, dark atmosphere and vicious attitude allows it to raise the flag for Norwegian thrash acts, and thus having the authority to lead Norways new wave of thrash metal onto battle, to batter our ear drums.

Rise, Vulcan Spectre
The Usurper Command
Cast Down Into The Void

Rating: 90%

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Avenger-Bohemian Dark Metal

The fact that the number of Chech metal bands that I had encountered before this were limited, made me instantly stereotype this band as ''bad''. It was a very wrong thing to do, as Avengers ''Bohemian Dark Metal'' offered some mighty fine metal that had nothing to do with the bands that I had previously encountered. This peculiar sound sounded quite appealing to me, especially since it showed a differnt style which hasn't been repeated over and over by waves of bands. Avengers so called style of ''Dark Metal'' draws roots from energetic, melodious black metal together with small elements of death metal. Though intimidation struck me the first time I heard the album, Avenger showed for the second time that they definetely had something to prove.

As the first song kicked off, I got a rather clear and dynamic black metal aspect, pretty straightforward, with no other influences scattered around. But shortly after the impact, the album revealed its true face, displaying a fast array of fast-paced, venemous riffage with fiendish vocals snarling the lyrics out in the bands own language. Not only that, but I was also baffled as the album was spacious and gave me plenty of room to breathe and not gape in bewilderment when the riffs reached their climax. This music is intense, no doubt but it also has a very energetic feel to it thanks to crisp clean production and comprehensible riffing, spread out chaotically and uncannily but still attaining a sordid and concise sound. At first, the album doesen't show its true colour as the death metal influence almost feels as it isn't even there. However as the you explore more and more into the dephts of the riffs and when the epic, chaotic charm is put aside, the noteceable death metal riffage is there with all its ferocity and anger.

The riffs are varied though still too extensive due to the lack of numerous types of music thrown into the fusion. But the album has such a great feel to it that it feels as if that flaw is totally unimportant and unnecessary with the music remaining already offering so much to the listener. That being said, it would be important to point out that the vocals are a true stand-out spot for the album with their peculiar, fiendish snarls intoxicating the album within a wonderful cloak of melody and heroism. The vocals sound like typical high-pitched shreiks, tha waste the gut brutally as usual but the contempt feel that they have have undeniably lasts throughout all of the album like an unfading light lingering for eternity. The vocals are very appealing, and negate all langour so long as they are existent. The moods of the album also differ at random whether it be the ferocious, concise assaults of blackened/death accompanied with the raspy vocals on ''Dusevni Chirurgie'', the epic, chaotic yet forlorn passages of dismal hate hopelesness on ''Umirani Zivotem'' or the courageously epic and heroic climaxes of the album, present in ''Fales A Apatie'', the album has many colours that tend to change as common as a Chameleon transforming into many colours of its own.

With a nocturnal atmosphere already setting the stage for the album, everything is there to make an epic, chaotic and outrageous ''Dark Metal'' album. While still not being the most groundbraking music of the past few years, Avengers recent effort stands out to be an exeptional release, mustering slighty varied soumnds together to form a distinct sound of their own. While this may not be something worth creating a whole new sub-genre for it still stands out much more than other typical black-death hybrids with its energetic way of combining the two in a way that doesen't happen quite often. Avenger show even more promise because they hail from the Chech Republic, a country that isn't necessarily the home of metal. Either way, ''Bohemian Dark Metal'' is an epic death metal album suitable for any fan of extreme metal.

Duševní Chirurgie
Dark Metal
Umírání Životem

Rating: 86%

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lord Mantis-Pervertor

What can one say about a band named Lord Mantis? One strange concotion that combines doom, and  swedish grind. The heavy drones of their new album are incredibly morbid mixed with eerie growls and screams to create their epic new album “Pervertor.”
            The album draws heavy influence from Sleep, Electric Wizard, At the Gates and Carcass, which could do more than throw the listener off. Tracks like “Pervertor of the Will,” “Ritual Killer,” and “The Whip and the Body” demonstrate the talent band has in the way that they combine these influences to make the most twisted little baby you've ever laid ears on.
            One of the highlights of the album is the horror aspect it gives off from the production. Some things sound a little more raw than others at times and give off that claustrophobic vibe to really put one in a state of terror. The combination of the reverb from the vocals and the fuzz from the bass can really make you feel like you're being watched. Certain moments in being trapped in the album the walls in your house will appear to begin closing in, such as the first few minutes and last minute of the albums opener, “Pervertor of the Will.” The song is a fantastic way to draw the unsuspecting listener in by twisting and turning whilst holding them in its grip to pull them further into the darkness.
            As you go deeper into the rabbit hole that is “Pervertor,” “Septichrist” and  “Vile Divinity” continue to throw you around the room and add more of that uneasiness. You will feel things watching you with the way the riffs and drum patterns get to you. When the vocals come in, you'll swear you just saw something move in the shadows.
            “Levia” has more of a traveling caravan vibe to it as it continues the dark journey of “Pervertor.” It makes the listener feel as if they are on a path in the fog being driven by instinct to follow, even though they know they will never escape this dark world. “Ritual Killer” builds on this while transforming into the hideous thing they find at the end of the road.
            The last two songs “At the Mouth” and “The Whip and the Body,” the album closes with the feeling of running from the beast at the end of the journey and failing to escape, thus succumbing to the same fate as all who have journeyed on this path. A great way to end an album of this nature. Sheer terror.
            At just a mere seven tracks, “Pervertor” shows the right way to pay tribute to your idols while making chaos beautiful.  “Pervertor” gives off the same vibe that H.P. Lovecraft's tales of horror do with the same excellent precision.  The album doesn't feel like music, it feels like a reoccuring nightmare. It's almost as if the listener is living in the album. It's the scare a lot of people will be looking for.
            Rating: 95 %

            Pervertor of the Will
            Ritual Killer 


            Written by Chris Butera.

Hellvetron-Death Scroll Of Seven Hells And It's Infernal Majesties

With the name of the band, album title and plainly stated ''Black Metal'' tag, you would think that you knew what this would sound like from the start. But to my and many other peoples opposition, Hellvetron was much more than straightforward black metal which has already been repeatedly performed in the last five-six years. Instead, I found myself admidst a dark, dense and wholly swallowing blackened death/doom album, with an incrdibly dark and cryptic atmosphere. This sight is not seen very frequently, so I tried to enjoy this album that simply fused Cianide and Incantation with Blasphemy and other black/death monsters and thus relentlessly distorted the production to deliver an eerie, blasphemous and callous ambience drenched in unholiness.

So, a listen which started off as a simply boring trip into the dephts of yet another black metal act turned out to be much more, because the feel of the album is almost the complete opposite of an aformentined sound. The riffs are always doomy and maintain their stance with the utterly blasphemous vocals barfing the lyrics out in a totally throat-splitting way. The density and intensity of the music is one to be compared with ''Charon'', with such consuming instrumentation and muffled production, it won't be a shock if one needs to take in a deep breath when the album is over. That fortunately, and unfortunately for others, is something that doesen't linger around so long with such short tracks. There are seven tracks on the album, all containing a ton of atmosphere and dark ambience but all seven are also short meaning that the album may come to an end without even wholly satisfying some. On the other hand this may seem actually healthier people who do not favour death/black are thought of.

The vocals are, atleast for me, an almost perfect reflection of a demonic and diablically twisted and evil voice turned even more evil with the riffs and production. Naturally on an album like this, one wouldn't try to explore varied styles, since the sound that is present is one that cannot be manipulated easily. The album is simply an arsenal of blasphemous doom riffs with a tinge of black metal and a large dose of death metal heaviness. The death metal influence shows its presence on the vocals aswel, allowing them to stop shreiking and start wasting the gut. In such moments, when the satanic feeling is in its climax and the brutalized vocals are overheard, the album reaches perfection in its own style. The album is haunted by doomy passages  with frequnet synthsizers accompanying the listener as the music progresses, slowly and painfully. There is no repetition on the album simply becuase the listener has very few breathing space on the album and has already been immersed in the dense, diabolic liquid altered by the vocals and painfully mangled riffs.

Though once we think of the riffs, it is clear that they do not earn much praise, especially considering the dark atmosphere of the album is the only reason why it gained such quality. As I mentined before, ''Death Scrolls'' will be an utter shock for the ones who are new to war or doom metal and might severely suffocate the listener during impact. Not only that, but the album does take time to grow on one or atleast become mellow enough for someone to take breaths perpetually throughout. I was not struck with a sword of dissapointment, instead I was quite content with what ''Death Scrolls'' delivered. Death/doon reeking of deep, dark black metal is what this is, although for many it is a gaöe of hit or miss, for me it attained a part in the better sections of the middle-ground, wavering in the slightly over the line of decency.

Abaddon - Wings Of Perdition
Gehinnom - Hellwomb Of The Impure Hag Queens
Bar Shasketh - Fathomless Pit of Destruction

Rating: 82%

Sphere-Homo Hereticus

It is a certainity that Sphere do not produce the most old school sounding death metal around. And in addition to that, ''Homo Hereticus'' is not the most orginal death metal release either. Despite all these, I must admit that Sphere require more attention due to their supremacy in songwriting compared to several other bands. Hailing from Poland, a monster of a death metal scene, especially when we look at some of the old school acts, Sphere are an obscure act, that require more attention. While their brand of Cannibal Corpse-esque modernized death metal is utterly not very original, the refreshing sound is undeniable and tastefull. The music never ceases to stop in speed and the complexity of the riffs are well-done with blasting drum beats bashing ears from behind.

''Homo Hereticus'', has a variety of fast-paced riffs that come and go very stridently, and thus flow easily since the song lenghts never go above four minutes. As far as brutality goes, the album is an instant win, so long as the flaws in the other depratments don't take it down in quality. At this point the real question is raised: Is brutality everything? Clearly, the answer is no. However the album some other good qualities that negate the whole album from complete destruction. There is a good amount of thrash influence in the music as most of the riffs are thrashy and are mainly based on the simple, one dimentional thrash indicators such as palm mutes and also some violent chord-driven riffage which may draw roots on punk and hardcore though the main aspect of the album is the blatant brutal death metal sound, recognisable with the pertetual assault of invidious and chaotic tremolo chugs aswel as typical tempo-varied drum beats accompanied with harshly muted chords. That leaves the small amount of old school tremolo descendage, one element to spice things up. The album may border to some more melodic and modern sounds at times, but do not fear as these moments happen at seldom.

The ridicolously titled ''Sadistfuktion'' along with ''War'' are tracks which attain a high amount of energy and ferocity though only because of their sheer lack in lenght. These tracks mostly play a hardcore influenced game, with the hardcore punk influence showing more prevalence than the death or thrash influence. The tracks are played in a straightforward way, with little complexity but a superb boast of crushing punk attitude. The lack of complexity in these songs shouldn't make people sad, since almost every other tracks has a good deal of musicianship, noteceable from all the technical elements that are thrown in the mixture. The technical sense of the riffs sometimes grow to a certain point where it almost sounds chaotic, like black metal, but any fan of brutal death acts like ''Decapitated'', ''Cannibal Corpse'' and alike would simply take it as a grain of salt. The good thing is that ''Homo Hereticus'' still musters a fairly good amount of energy especially with the ridicolously hilarious bassy vocal tones appearing at random places throughout the album.

In the end, I have come to conclusion that Sphere require more attention and exposure only if they progress in quality with each album. ''Homo Hereticus'' is miles away from the worst though a little more originality and less frequent playbacks would never kill. The modernised sound is something is that I have enjoyed since its dose is not overused. To siply end things, ''Homo Hereticus'' is a good album that fails to go too much above average. There is a decent variety of riffs, but it is simply nothing any fan of old school death metal would enjoy to the fullest, while a brutal death metal fan may find it slightly less intimidating.

Vengeance's Core
Holistic Paralysis
Forever Sworn To Blasphemy
Homo Hereticus

Rating: 80,5%

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Anguish-Through The Archdemon's Head

After waves of death and thrash bands bashing against my ears, I finally come across a band with a different aspect. What do Anguish play? Do they play prog, or perhaps black metal? No. Anguish play some brilliant doom metal, in the same vein as their forefathers Sain Vitus, Cathedroll and Candlemass. This is a great piece of doom metal metal that can only be found at seldom since other exremists usually prefer taking faster roads. But Anguish have even topped that, and twisted their wonderful album and combined it wit tiny aspects of their own. While this is no crushing effort it has a great twist of originality and complimental influences spread out as fragments all around the album.

This magnificent piece of album attains a great death/doom feel only prevaelnt in the riffs and in a small amount. It grabs hold of the listener and suffocates in bitter sorrow and kin, thus pulling the listener into the debths of a rotting graveyard, effective enough to smother the listeners ears in sorrow filled blood. The album almost feels as if it has a gothic feel to it and at times one cannot avoid the hate and misery that applies on itself. The songs are outrageously long, but simply keep you perplexed and fascinated the whole way through. I for one am a sucker for old school death/doom and for some reason this album is a clear reminiscent of Cianide, Autopsy and such. There is obviously no death metal influence but one clear aspect of the album is that it's heavier and darker than the aformentioned forefathers of doom. And at times you may even have a sense of epicness mixed with callousness. Especially during the passages in the song ''Dawn of Doom'', which is the second longest track on the album, the album rises into a curageous atmosphere and then suddenly descends into a furious riff that when accompanied by the vocals, sounds almost like death metal. Such transitions are rare and are often found in seperate fragments in different sections of the album. However, when the two come across, the album reaches its absolute climax.

One great aspect about the record is that it's able calm you soul in way of ululation, much like typical doom bands. The album achieves epicness and bitterness with its avengeful anger and misey-laden atmosphere, and after that point the whole album is practically ear candy. The album scarcely alternates tempowise, since most of the riffs are quite obviously slow. When the album tends to change into a faster tempo, things can be pretty entertaining with more stomping riffs while still sticking to the dismal metal furmula that carries vital importance. The biggest gap in the album is that they don't tend to change their tempos and beats to often and a little more variation would have been better, especially since the album is nearly an hour long and needs some good music to kkep the listener entertained all the way throught. Fortunetely, the positive side of the album already wipes away most of these negative aspects to you still get a very solid effort. The drums beats vary slightly withing their own terms but still manage to create wonderful beats to sufficiently aid the doomy riffs. The guitar riffs alternate between more rotting, chord-driven riffs which is the main structure of the album and more melodious and simultenous guitar harmonies executed assidiously and tinge with a glimpse of goth and a hint of black.

With instrumental department complete, the only thing left is the vocals which are by the way superb. They have a slightly blackish feel to them abit like the riffs and sound as if Quorthon joined early Tiamat in terms of vocal delivery. Duing the the more angry moments of the album, the vocals do the same thing as the guitars to sychronize with them. Again, during the ferocious burst in ''Dawn of Doom'', the vocals, for only a few seconds become outrageous death metal vocals barking with ferocity. And once the vocals are embarked on the rest of the album, you have an amazing doom metal album, with slightly different twists than their forefathers, yet being able to capture just as much attention. For the residue of ''Through The Archdemon's Head'' are two ears bleeding in misery, rotting of old school doom metal.

Dawn Of Doom
Book Of Fox
The Veil

Rating: 88%

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Putrified-Nuerotic Necrotic

A.Death gives birth to a second underground death metal album, Neurotic Necrotic. And the
wholesome Swedeath worship has covered the album in filthy, dirty mud. Though ''Neurotic Necrotic'' only stands out with its sheer fithiness and grotesque brand of old school Swedeath, it's still a very fine effort that leaves satisfaction in the listener. There is only a slight change in the sound, that which isn't very prevalent. But the album comes with a cool bonus, as it leaves the listeners ears bleeding for more Swedeath ocassionally of the more doomy kind.

The album oveflows with tinges of Entombed, Dismember and such aswel as obtaining a rather mid-paced sound of its own. The guitar tone is undeniably heavy and distorted and it accentuates in the mid-paced riffage. The only unique sound of the album is achieved with the execution of the slower riffs, but it still doesen't manage to brake the limits of originality. Most songs follow the same formula of more mid-paced riffs with the vocals bursting with grotesque ferocity in the background. With that said, it would be safe to say that the mid-paced riffs suffocate within a narrow wall that prevents them from varying too much. Some tracks however, like ''Behold The Butcher'', have a more dynamic feel to them as they break the speed boundaries and manage to create something more entertaining and attain a good level in dynamics as the songs are short and efficent. So as a whole this stuff isn't most groundbraking music I've heard, but it certainly is entertaining.

Some of the good energy comes from the heaviness of the guitar tone. It's wonderfully fat, chubby and has gained the traditional sound of the ancient Swedeath masters. The limb flailing, skull crushing riffage also gives the listener a run for his neck. Especially the last three tracks follow this rule with their rather faster and even more crushing approach. The tracks are groovy, heavy and beastial tracks with a hint of black metal epicness thrown in. Unfortunately every good thing comes with a disadvantage and the disadvantage of the chunky tone is blatantly obvious. It is so distorted that it takes away the clearness of the drums thus cancelling the crushing the effect that the drums usually create on death metal records. Furtunately though, the drums sound blurry and smothered but are far from entirely erased as it is still pretty clear to hear whether the snate of toms are in action. But actually once you think about it, the lesser production quality is a cool factor that one can use for a short teleport in time for some nice nostalgia.

Ultimately I was content with what I heard, a crushing and bestial album that may not be the most grooundbraking death metal album of the year but still an album to give a spin once in a while to get your headbanging energy on. If you like the filthy, degraded, rotting sound of old school Swedish death metal played in a slightly slower tempo than usual suspects, then this album is for you.

The Return Of The Ashes
They Speak
The Land Of Pharaohs

Rating: 85%

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Massive Assault-Death Strike

Amongst, tens and thousands of new death metal releases, Massive Assaults ''Death Strike'' stands out by the edge of a sword. Despite the more thrash oriented name and album title, this a death metal album and you can picture a vivid sight of what it sounds like by the album cover. There is a hint of Entombed and other usual Swedish suspects and a nice punk atittude that adds lots much heaviness and aggressiveness to the music. Another note would be that if you are searching the same dark, cryptic atmosphere that bands like Macabre and Disma delivered than look somewhere else, but if you want some skull fracturing death metal which is concise and effective, look no further.

As I mentioned before the album immedeatly kicks off and pummels the listeners pace to the ground with pure punkish savagery. Unfortunately that's pretty much the best thing that the album can offer. The spectrum of variations isn't very extensive and there is little technical skill or musicianship. Though if you push that aside the album is a very solid release. The bass is exceedingly audiable and the riffs and crusty and crunchy with a sort chunky sound applied to the guitar tone. The tone enables the riffs to obtain a cool Swedeath aspect and groove especially heavy sounding with the dense feeling. The songs are short and efficacious, kind of like many hardcore punk and crossover bands that have short but all in all, powerful tracks. The album gains some of it's heaviness from the distorted, thrash tinged mid-paced riffage, especially seen on the song ''Turning Tides''. The song has a much more doomy, nonetheless crushing(yet still failing that tinge of blashemous evil) structure that evocates a graphic image of ancient death/doom monsters Asphyx, Cianide and such. The song ''Pride'', like the aformentioned is a slower track compared to the widespread sound of the album, though in a much different way that draws more influence of a more evil sound(yet still not very graphic), essentially worshipping some Swedeath masters like Gorement, Sorcery etc.

After first couple of tracks the album starts to lose its efficiency though after a certain point the music manages to keep capturing an amount of fascination and interest for the listener until the end of the album. It clearly shows that Massive Assault did not delve into the depths of their imagination of the album but have managed to split a large quantity of necks. With lots of crushing Swedeath groove, this crossover-tinged album leaves a slightly memorable mark on the listeners ear. The album eventually manages to top numerous bands with its most delicately crafted heaviness and aggressiveness but fails to achieve what bands like Nocturnal Torment and Charon have achieved. The lack of evil is a big gap on the album but the bulldozer assault saves it from entirely destroying the energy on the album. The dynamics are great but no better than moshable track played in an underground show place that grabs hold of the crowd only until the end of the show.

Operation Atrophy
Driven Towards Death

Rating: 81%

Nocturnal Torment-They Come At Night

Just like Magnetron who started off as a grindcore outfit and then turned into a straightforward thrash band, Nocturnal Torment was, in their early days thrash band in the name of Termination. But after splitting up shortly after releasing a demo they got back together to form an ultimately disastrous death metal band, which brought their love for Floridian death metal. The music is comparable to death metal legends such as Deicide or eraly Morbid Angel in many ways. While being able to sound as good as their legendary forfathers already gives them points, Nocturnal Torment have surpassed their boundaries with this ultra-crushing beast of a death metal album, ''They Come At Night'' and have managed to sound very old school, adopting the American death metal sound in particular.

Some tracks stand out to be pretty barefaced old school American death metal tracks, worshipping aformentioned giants while others combine pervasive and rich melodies with powerful, face-crushing riffs to obtain a devastating and enjoyable sound. The melodious approach resembles many Dutch masters such as Pestilence, Sinister, Creepmime and simialr suspects and many riffs also draw upon their ancient thrash roots to furmulate an even more limb flailing tendency that sounds especially with harmonious dual guitar sequances. Although the album never gradually progresses, it never ceases to brak necks as there also a ton of groove in the fusion, aided with some chaotic tremolo and whammy lead sections. There is also beautifully embonpoint guitar tone that for some reason enchances the heaviness of the melody and tremolo passages, thus adding hint of corpulency to the music to make it sound even more full. The tremolo chugs are not essentially ''Razor-sharp'', but the dual guitar overtones have managed to create a sinister feel both heavy and flow extremely easily, and at the same time give a Cannibal Corpse feeling.

Another great part about the album is that it never ceases to stop it's speed. There might be slower mid-paced sections but the whole album is usually pulverisingly fast and lethal. Tracks may range from six to five minutes in general but with the great formula they've written, Nocturnal Torment dosen't bore the listener at all. All tracks are highly enjoyable and sound concise even though their lenght tells the opposite. Another sign of the Deicide worship is the slightly more low sounding Glen Benton vocal delivery, which sounds like an exact reminiscent when a lower register vocal kicks in to create that same demonic vibe that Benton is well known for. The vocals are brutal though not too throaty with a hint of consistency. As the album flows, the vocals will appear at some places since the songs are so long. However depite showing some frequency, you won't even know that they are there since they blend so well with the destructive riffs.

Despite drawing influences from numerous bands, the band still has their own distintive sound which was the most durable attraction on the album. Though this so-called unique sound shows little concistency and prevalence it still manages to improve the overall accession the album by a ton. Not only that but Nocturnal Torment have simply combined all their favourite aspects about the aformentined bands with their own sound and add a hint of groove, mighty mighy ferocity and an outstanding performance involving melody, marmony, heaviness and pure old-school death metal of the more savage kind.

Vile Affliction
Cycle Of Life
Sweet Decay

Rating: 90%

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wolf Spider Interview

Polish proggy thrash legends Wolf Spider are back after twenty years of slumber. They are back with brand a new member, brand new vision and an upcoming wave of progressive thrash . Guitarist Piotr "Mankover" Mańkowski answers the questions.

LR-At the start of the band, what what you want to play metal?

Metal gives me power, energy. Metal gives me the opportunity to show  instrumental skills.

Metal has been my life since early eighties.What else can I say?

LR-What were the key influences in the band, and what made you develop
your sound?

We grew up listening to Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween, but in the next years our favourite bands were Anthrax, Metallica or Mekong Delta. We wanted our music to be dynamic, powerful and filled with numerous difficult guitar and drums patterns.

LR-You guys come from Poland, but Poland never really had a huge
thrash scene. What are your thoughts on the Polish scene backthen and
the scene today?

These days when we were on top in Poland there were some really good thrash bands.

Unfortunately they were not known outside our country because of political reasons.

The today thrash scene is more underground. There is no label which would be useful and helpful

for all thrash bands. There are lots of bands and there lots of thrash fans too.

LR-You have released a total of 4 albums in your career. What do you
think separated these albums soundwise?
When you know our albums you can hear clearly how we developed our thinking of music, about what we want to say. The first album is under influence of speed and thrash metal. The second album „Hue of Evil” is 100% thrash, but third and fourth albums are totaly progressive thrash music.

LR-How did you come up with the name ''Wolf Spider''?                                 
Once I found accidentaly a picture of a nice looking spider in the desert animals album. The interesting thing was that it didn't make webs, but hunted the victim like a wolf instead. As a kin of spider those days, I came up with an idea that Wolf Spider was a great name for our band.

LR-After releasing your fourth album, you disbanded. Why did that happen?

There begun very hard times for playing metal in Poland. We had a few gigs a year, despite having a quite powerful management. The stagnation was so big that we decided to suspend playing for some time, but we never came back together....until last year.

LR-And what are your perspectives on the thrash scene today?

We have just set up with a new management, and we are looking forward to really productive partnersip including worldwide shows.

LR-Do you have any favourites from the retro thrash scene?

There are a few really good bands, with powerful music and good musicians, but I don't have any favourites.

LR-Now that the band has reformed, you have a new drummer. Do you think
this will affect the band's sound?

Well, our new drummer – as a matter of fact she–drummer, brought us a very good energy. She plays all our difficult patterns easily, has a very good sound from the instrument and if you look at it from this side – yes it affects the bands sound. But from the other hand we want to play our songs as close as possible to their original versions and therefore we stick hardly to all we played.

LR-And which musical direction are you taking now? What bands are
influencing you the most?

We want to keep on making progressive thrash. After 20 years we have a good view on what we did in the past...what was good and what was wrong. We find some songs and albums better that the other ones, so the direction is aimed by what we liked the most in our music. And for now we don't feel influenced too much by any of group on the thrash scene. We want to play Wolf Spider but with a new, modern face.

LR-Are you planning on releasing a new record or demo? If so what
label are you going to stick with?

Yes, we are preparing some new material and thinking about releasing it soon, but we're not stuck to any label yet.

LR-And are you palnning on touring or doing some shows?

Yes. We have some shows scheduled and we are working on a tour.

LR-Besides thrash bands, were you influenced by any other bands?

We are quite open-minded people and we listen to different styles of music. This gives us a possibility to be much more creative in according to our progressive thrash.

LR-What is your favourite Wolf Spider song?(Each band member will
answer his own.)

Jeff (guitar) – Black'n'Whites and Zemsta Mściciela

Marian (bas) – Desert and Memento Mori

Beata (drums) – Desert and Manifestants

Jacky (voc) – Freedom and Survive

me Mankover (guitar) – Desert and  Sickened Nation

LR-Any last words for your fans?

Greetings from Poznań, Poland. Keep on thrashing and hope to see you some day on our shows.

Dead To This World-Sacrifice EP

The relentless maelstrom of black/thrash bands continue, this time leaving me with this gem from Norway. It seems Norway has started getting their thrash up, with bands like Deathhammer and Nekromatheon releasing ultimately powerful records and leaving a strong mark. Dead To This World combine the ancient sound of their fellow countrymen with plain. nonetheless vicious thrash. With thye songs haing such a strong base, it is impossible fro me to dislike the upcoming blackened thrash assault, spewing forth a healthy amount of black metal alongside old school thrash metal whicch is not the most distintive, but certainly devastating.

While stand out tracks such as ''Satan's Storm'' give the Ep a brilliant headstart, other tracks still remain powerful and have a sustainable amount of energy to both give the genereal feel of the album and to entertain the listener. The great thing about the riffs is that they are soaked in black metal so they are all equally epic or thrashy. The Ep also has a ton of atmosphere which is highly prevalent also. So all in all the riffs are generic with the similar tremolo picking patterns repeated perpetually but thanks to the crushing thrash influence, they are saved and evolve into something which will most definetely want you to band your head to. The album scarcely borders on death metal, and that sound is accustomed the most in the vocal delivery. The vocalist plays a harsh game, and sounds totally throaty. He lacks the typical extremely high-pitched and muffled sound of classic black metal vocalists but that was probably one thing that he wasn't planning to do. The vocal style has formulated a great brand, combining standard, pissed off thrash vocals with exceedingly guttural and throaty screams that rage monstrously over the concise riffage. So by sounding pretty incomplex, Dead To This World have managed to formulate their own type of blackened thrash that's most compherensible, straightforward and furious thus relentlessly bashes the listeners ears.

To label this as the most original Ep/Album would be totally wrong, but as far as the dynamics that are created go, ''Sacrifice'' blows away. All songs are straightforward and pervasive within their own walls. This isn't the most groundbraking black/thrash of the year, but with improvements, it could progress into a much more stand out album. But the main idea here is the sordid assault of blackened thrash that bursts in an absolute frenzy thus aided with a ton of ambience and aspect. So ultimately, ''Sacrifice'' is humble to both of its ancient predecessors and is a well-rounded experience for newcomers of this sub-genre, which enables the nerve cells to keep heads banging, even though the music isn't too flexible or acrobatic.

Satan's Storm
Altar Of Mahakali

Rating: 85,5%