Sunday, November 19, 2017

MOULDERED - Chronology Of A Rotten Mind review

MOULDERED - Chronology Of A Rotten Mind 

Satanath Records

For decades now death metal acts from South America, specifically Brazil and Columbia, have had their own brand of brutality that would make a melo-deth fan shit their pants. MOULDERED on the other hand opted to forget their roots and go straight to being another bunch of children of CANNIBAL CORPSE. Of course as I'm writing this, Corpsegrinder and company are set to release another unexciting release.

I really have no need to listen to the new one by CANNIBAL CORPSE this month since MOULDERED do a real by the numbers job of channeling them. Think of thick chunky riffs, triggered drums with pounding snare runs and of course the brutal cookie monster vocals. There's even the occasional searing guitar lead that breaks the monotony. Also you gotta love the exorcism soundbite as an opening bite.

MOULDERED's full length debut might not be the most original beast on the extreme metal block, then again what is? But with that note aside it's still a good release.

SOLFERNUS - Neoantichrist review

SOLFERNUS - Neoantichrist

Satanath Records 

The guitarist and drummer of this Czech band are also in ROOT but don't expect there to be a closeness in sound. SOLFERNUS do entertain the black metal vibe but with a surprisingly SLAYER influence. This is the second full length by this four piece from the Czech Republic and their last one came out in 2005. I guess they've been busy with other things.

As far as the SLAYER influence goes I'm thinking Seasons of the Abyss era. They definitely love their thrash. Most of the cuts on here have that head banging chunky riff salad working for em. Guitar soloing and drum work is also similar to the fearsome foursome of old. But it's not a carbon copy in the least. SOLFERNUS do add their own personality via venomous sounding vocals, song structure twists and actual melodies.

One wonders with so much talent why it took so long to produce something worthy of praise? Neoantichrist is a decent listen which really wouldn't fit into that standard blackened thrash sub-genre. Maybe next time they won't wait twelve years to put out a follow-up.

HARVEST GULGALTHA - Altars Of Devotion review

HARVEST GULGALTHA - Altars Of Devotion 

Nuclear War Now! Productions

There are times when things you're supposed to like are not up to snuff. Take this Phoenix, Arizona outfit for example. HARVEST GULGALTHA play blackened death doom, a style of extreme that I've written thousands of words of praise for bands who also create it. This band does a decent job of it on this their debut full length. But in a time when so many other acts have perfected a richer and horrific sound, HARVEST GULGALTHA are simply small fish in a huge sea.

Originally this came out as a limited to 100 copies cassette under the band’s Aphotic Sonance label. As with their original 2012 demo, Nuclear War Now! Productions also re-released it under their label. Sound wise what we got here is primal blackened death doom that stays away from any modern twists. A decade or so ago this would've been great and to a degree it still is. The cavernous vocals standing upfront and there's that thunderous wall of guitar/bass noise that keeps a steady level of power. 

Although Altars Of Devotion is eight cuts in just slightly thirty eight minutes you would think it was just one continuous song with some atmospheric breaks. Listening to this is like watching a bog that emits gas and shows a few ripples. This trio keeps things minimal with absolutely no guitar leads, simple lumbering song structures with a non deviating tempo. Likeable but not noteworthy.

TYAKRAH - Wintergedanken review

TYAKRAH - Wintergedanken

Satanath Records

The winters where I live are fairly unpredictable. For a few days in could be freezing cold then later on in the week it can warm up enough to see people wearing shorts. Yeah it's different from what most others are use to but we like it. Kinda like this debut album from TYAKRAH. This is a German duo who do push pass the edges of the black metal template. On here these Germans produce seven icy cuts which basically consists of four proper songs with three instrumental pieces that are blended in the opening, closing and in the very middle.

As far as the instrumentals go the opener has a classical elegance about it. The middle one has a more traditional pagan/folk feel from it. While the closing instro is a chilling nightmare. Song wise TYAKRAH throw more twists at ya then twisting mountain road. Early in "Gefrorne Tranen" the sound is atmospheric black metal which turns into straight up rock with raspy vocals and plenty of lead guitar theatrics. There's also some folksy spoken word parts. 

The other cuts follow suit with the guitar lead work taking the forefront. This is definitely something different, at least for me, in black metal circles. Overall the songs stay in that atmospheric BM vein. Personally it's not my cup of grim but worthy for anyone else who wants to venture beyond the horizon for their black metal.

WHORE OF BETHLEHEM - Extinguish the Light review

WHORE OF BETHLEHEM - Extinguish the Light

Black Market Metal Label

Waitaminute, I thought the whore came from Babylon? Well be that as it may what we have here is some blackened death from Texas. A little warning towards ya. If you're not feeling well, as in you've got a cold like I do now, then listening to this will be more miserable than you already feel. This is the second full length by the five piece WHORE OF BETHLEHEM. I never heard their debut, Upon Judas' Throne, which came out in 2014. But after a few painful listens to this all I can say is that it's pretty damm good.

I just gotta say having a head full of snot and coughing your brains out makes a song like "Overtaken By Evil" feel ten times worse. With it's staccato riffs and jack hammer blast beats it feels like you're being attacked by a horde of harpies being commanded by a thousand eyed beast. That's just one of the many joyful tunes on here that would make any cruelty obsessed person grim with delight.

If anything, WHORE OF BETHLEHEM remind me of early BELPHEGOR. I mean the riff style and drum patterns as well as the song structures are similar. It's partially there on the opener "Ritual Purification" and full on with "Invocation". Nothing wrong with that since I like BELPHEGOR. All in all a good nine tracks (one's an instrumental) of blackened brutality.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

ACID WITCH - Evil Sound Screamers review

ACID WITCH -  Evil Sound Screamers

Hells Headbangers Records

And I missed out on this one for Halloween this year? Damm You All To Fuckin HELL! Well that would be Hells Headbangers Records and yeah I was late to the costume doom and gloom party but hey I can still blast this during the christian holidays. Here we have the third full length by Detroit, Michigan's full on purveyors of filthy creepy doom. 

ACID WITCH are the metal version of Halloween themes all the time acts like the surf and garage punk band genres except they hate people. I hate people to so that's why I like em and got on their hate train back in 2009 with their Witchtanic Hellucinations debut full length. After so many fuckin releases and wondering if SHITFUCKER members are cool enough to undergo a NUNSLAUGHTER type of Hallow-eve's frenzy, this one says hell yeah.

"Hardrock Halloween" is probaly the best cut on here since it leaves ACID WITCH and goes straight up sleazy SHITFUCKER. Be that as it may there are some doomy cuts available that tug on the line of doom filth. Lets have more Hammond organ to drive us in the hearse of hilarity. In between the the samples, which after ten listens actually sound funny, the crushing truth is that I'll see ya next year.

ARGUS - From Fields of Fire review

ARGUS - From Fields of Fire

Cruz del Sur Music

Here's the fourth full length and you could say long awaited release by Pennsylvania's ARGUS, a band that captured my interest years ago. I got on the bandwagon at the beginning with their 2009 self titled debut full length. That one ended up on my year end favorites list. No surprise, I have liked everything else they've released since. That would basically consist of two more full lengths and two EPs. 

ARGUS blends classic doom aesthetics and traditional metal bombast into something that comes close to CANDLEMASS meeting IRON MAIDEN. We're talking epic melodies matched with powerful rhythms that at times have that galloping approach. Toss in the powerful vocals of Butch Balich and you've got one top shelf metal release for 2017. I figured getting that point out of the way quickly.

After a short "Into the Fields of Fire" acoustic guitar intro, this release jumps in with power via the cuts “Devils of Your Time” and “As a Thousand Thieves". Along with Balich leading the vocal attack there's longtime riff creator Jason Mucio on guitar and drummer Kevin Latchaw keeping on with the classic pounding. ARGUS are now accompanied by new guitarist Dave Watson who produces some cool chunky leads (and also produced this release) and bassist Justin Campbell who's work is stand out.

Other standouts are  “216” where newcomers Watson and Campbell strut and shine via powerful bass lines and guitar leads that cut through steel. "You Are The Curse" is a metal anthem to throw the horned fist to. "Infinite Lives Infinite Doors" brings forth the epic in eleven minute length. "Hour Of Longing" continues the doomish theme. Enough of the song by song stuff. This is just classic metal done by devotees. Nuff Said.