Sunday, December 17, 2017

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Horror Pain Gore Death Year in Review

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Horror Pain Gore Death Year in Review

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Need some music for that holiday party at work? Going home for the holidays and want something to listen to while your family whines about meaningless crap? Maybe you need a good soundtrack to play while you're driving in congested holiday traffic? Well friends, fiends and you others here you go. The fine people at Horror Pain Gore Death Productions in Hostile City (aka: Philadelphia, PA) have come up with their 2017 Year in Review compilation. Oh yeah and it's FREE.

What we have here is 39 tracks, an hour and fifty six minutes of pure fuckin extreme music. This thing has it all, death metal, grind, hardcore, punk and some insanity set to music. This is not like those freebie CDs that Century Media use to include in their releases (which always SUCKED!). Nor is this some punk fanzine comp where you have one or two big name bands and the rest are no name LOSERS! In fact I can vouch for plenty of these bands because their releases were reviewed in SFM666 this year. So here you go.

MIDNIGHT - Sweet Death and Ecstasy review

MIDNIGHT - Sweet Death and Ecstasy

Hells Headbangers

This might be MIDNIGHT's best album to date. Now before all of you crybabies and noobs start to whine let me explain. The first album was a compilation OK so lets get that out of the way. Satanic Royalty and No Mercy for Mayhem were great albums but they both had something in common. Both releases had a few great songs and a bunch of average cuts. It was those great songs which carried those releases.

Sweet Death and Ecstasy doesn't have a handful of cool songs. Fuckin every song on here is exciting and I'm talking about the first eight cuts on the first CD. Songs like "Crushed By Demons", "Here Comes Sweet Death" and "Before My Time in Hell" are full on true metal. Sure there's plenty of typical MIDNIGHT speedy stuff but seriously it's gotta be taken as a whole. This is pure fuckin greatness from MIDNIGHT.

LADY BEAST - Vicious Breed review

LADY BEAST - Vicious Breed

Cruz del Sur Music

Here's a band that from what I've read has been likened to IRON MAIDEN with a female vocalist. Well I'm glad to see I'm not the only person out in the metal media guilty of hyperbole. While having some galloping rhythms doesn't make a band MAIDEN devotes. Neither does borrowing a riff from SABBATH's "Heaven & Hell" on their cut "Always With Me" make you thieves. LADY BEAST does rock in the true metal sense.

If this Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania five piece act's goal was to recreate a 1980's sounding metal album well they nailed it. Deborah Levine's gutsy vocals and the lead guitar soloing are out front of the basic rhythms. All of that means the production is perfect 1980s. As far as the touches of MAIDEN there's "Every Giant Shall Fall" as the most obvious. Well there is "Sky Graves" but that's an instrumental. Most of the other cuts are more subtle but in the long run it shouldn't matter.

LADY BEAST started out back in 2009, have two previous full lengths, an EP from last year and a line-up change or two. I haven't heard any of their previous output but I will say the Vicious Breed is definitely a perfect release. Every song is cool as fuck, grabs you by the throat and of course exciting. If there's one problem I can see it's that it's thirty years too late.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

WORMWITCH - Strike Mortal Coil review

WORMWITCH - Strike Mortal Coil


The info on this one was black metal meets a rock n roll approach aka: black n roll. Although the more times I listen the more I'm thinking Gothenburg-style melodic black and death metal. Yeah and that's strange since this debut full length comes from some Canadians. Specifically WORMWITCH hail from Vancouver, British Columbia. They've been around since 2015 and their only previous official out put is a single from last year.

Now black n roll is nothing new as far as a sub-genre of black metal. Secondly it's a fun sounding, get the fuck off yer ass type of sound. I'd say there's quite a few blackened thrash acts the lean more towards it then their own. As far as WORMWITCH goes they kinda remind me of a cross between DARK FUNERAL and DISFEAR. Not a bad pairing in the least. The vocals come over as harsh for the most part. Musically their songs are mostly rocking with some exceptions.

"Even the Sun Will Die" shows the band having some doom aspirations. Actually it's a pretty damm good cut with monstrous riffs coupled with solid drumming. The song then bleeds into some straight up black metal which ends in pure rocking glory. Another twist is the song "...and Smote His Ruin upon the Mountainside", a cut which opens as a sludge covered beast which reverts back into the band's standard black n roll march. All in all a decent release.

Friday, December 15, 2017

ESCHATOS - Maere review


Self Released

File this one under late night horror music. Here we have a two song EP by Latvia's ESCHATOS, a band (a six piece act) liken themselves to experimental black metal. Actually I don't hear an experiment going on. The band, which is made up of various musicians from the Latvian underground music scene, uses a variety of metal genre styles as well as psych and prog rock in their delivery. 

ESCHATOS have been around since 2012 and have two previous full lengths to boot. The main word for this is haunting thanks to vocalist Kristiana who invokes a wide range of emotions in her delivery. She varies from harsh vocals to grunts to clean sounding. There's plenty of ambient keyboard usage, melodies typical of Euro prog metal and slight death and black metal tendencies about. 

Although I like just this EP's worth of ESCHATOS I'll probably need to check out a full length of theirs to get a better picture. These two long compositions push you in a bad dream of disparity. A band that delivers a foreboding atmosphere, a tremendous vocal performance and at the end to wanting more.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

NECROWRETCH - Satanic Slavery review

NECROWRETCH - Satanic Slavery

Season of Mist

Let me tell you something. This has been a banner year for "witches", "wretches" and "necro" or if you prefer "nekro". I'm referring to bands with those words in their names of course and not my relationship status. But in particular NECROWRETCH are a cool, as in old school sounding, blackened something or other from France. Now I say that because yeah NECROWRETCH are black metal. That was evident years ago when they were on Century Media. But the basic fact is that they always add subtle touches from outside their chosen genre that makes em great.

Satanic Slavery is their third full length over a long career. They've been around for almost a decade at least. Now what's cool about NECROWRETCH is that they've never followed the black metal trends inhabiting the French black metal scene. They've kept thing old school early 90's black metal with hints of thrash and death metal. This is their best album by far in my not so humble opinion. Also I'd call it one of this year's best as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ALTARAGE - Endinghent review

ALTARAGE  - Endinghent 

Season of Mist

They wear facial obscuring hoods, play a hideous and brutal formula of suffocating blackened death doom with extreme riff repetitiveness and use layered back cavernous vocals. If you thought I just gave you an exact description of Australia's PORTAL or the half dozen other bands who sound like em this year then you would be half correct.

Here's the second full length by Spain's ALTARAGE a band who last year came out with NIHL. That album was supposed to take the whole previously mentioned template, add some grind, forge it in a blast furnace and shove it into your hype excepting face. Yeah well either I'm jaded or I'm made of pure fuckin steel (I choose the latter since it kinda has a MANOWAR feel to it) because I thought it was average.

Which brings us to Endinghent and for the first part of it ALTARAGE continue where they left off last year. Sure it's a oppressive sounding dissonant wall of PORTAL-esque noise. Then "Cataclysmic Triada" hits and it's like a deluge of destruction has rained upon you. They do it again on the second half of the album with "Orb Terrax". You're already in a comfort zone with the music, if that's possible, and then they grind you down.

It all reminds me of the time I use to work for a company that use to clean up and fix rental properties after the old tenants left, usually not of their own choice. You would walk through the house and see a lot of shit a lot of things fucked up. Then you open up a closet and go "holy fuck, look at this motherfucker." Yeah that's what this release reminds me of.