Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WALPYRGUS - Walpyrgus Nights review



WALPYRGUS - Walpyrgus Nights

Cruz del Sur Music




I've been living in Raleigh, NC for quite some years now, actually twenty eight years (yeah I'm a transplant) and I've learned that when it comes to metal certain truths are evident. I don't care what trend or flavor of the month rolls through town. This area has deep roots in traditional or classic sounding metal. So here's a band with enough true metal roots in this area's music scene to ruin a whole bunch of flashers in the pan's days. 


WALPYRGUS might've started out in 2012 but their band membership is one of local respect. You've got guitarist and main songwriter Scott Waldrop of TWISTED TOWER DIRE, vocalist Jonny Aune also of TWISTED TOWER DIRE as well as formerly in HELLRAZOR and VIPER, then there's bassist Jim Hunter of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, TWISTED TOWER DIRE and OCTOBER 31, Charley Shackelford is the band's second guitarist formerly of the legendary doom merchants DAYLIGHT DIES and finally on drums it's Peter Lemieux of VIPER (Lemieux has since been replaced with by Carlos Denogean of SALVACION) In no uncertain terms people this is a supergroup.


Let me follow that up by saying this debut full length is worthy of a supergroup. Walpyrgus Nights is kinda a mix of PRIEST, DIO, MAIDEN and so much more even punk. Seriously "Dead Girls" is probably the best most catchiest MISFIT-esque punk song you've heard a metal band do in years. Opener “The Dead of Night” contains that classic duel lead guitar harmony approach which of course reminds me of THIN LIZZY. It's a precursor to much more as the songs flow on throughout this release. The vocals are clean melodic and almost in what I'd call radio friendly, that's if radio actually played good new music again instead of AOR classics and that urban stuff.


Speaking of vocals, Jonny Aune offers up one of the best vocal performances that will remind you of Dio on the song "Palmystry" than anywhere else. The first time I listened to that song I thought somewhere Ronnie James is smiling and throwing them the horns. And just to throw in more fuel to this band's fiery love of 80's metal they do a WITCH CROSS cover "Light of a Torch" just for kicks. All in all Walpyrgus Nights is just a classic sounding release that reminds you of metal's past (that's if you're old enough to remember it) while at the same time keeping it sounding fresh and new. Then again with all that talent amongst it's membership how could it not be great.



http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/

https://walpyrgus.bandcamp.com/album/walpyrgus-nights

https://www.facebook.com/Walpyrgus

http://walpyrgus.com/

CRYPT ROT - Embryonic Devils review



CRYPT ROT - Embryonic Devils

Southern Lord Recordings




I thought Southern Lord went to shit years ago but they sunk lower when they released Zakk Wylde's SABBATH cover band live album. With this piece of crap one wonders how low can they go. This EP is a joke and no it's not funny. In fact it's worse, to the point of insulting. CRYPT ROT are a four piece "act" (emphasis mine) from some burg in Ohio. Their shtick is to don the black metal circa 1990 costumes and butcher late 80's death metal which is more from the Swedish side of the genre.


Actually I'm thinking these kids are in some hardcore / grind band, who just heard the CRUCIFUCKS or MACABRE, and wanted to add some spastic fuckery to old school Swedish death metal. Of course that's if they're not serious because if they are then they need a serious beating. Then again who wants to go to some unknown burg in Ohio to do it. Bottom line, fuck this shit.


https://www.southernlord.com/

https://cryptrotsl.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/CryptRotOH/

PROMETHEUS - Consumed in Flames review



PROMETHEUS - Consumed in Flames

Katoptron IX Records




This Greek blackened death act actually started out a decade ago releasing two demos but tragedy put a halt to their career path. Two band members were injured in a motorcycle accident. Now after all these years, and members being involved in other music projects, the band reformed to put out this their debut full length.

Obviously these Hellenic metallers still believe it's 2007. Consumed in Flames has all the musical trappings of BEHEMOTH or BELPHEGOR. That's not a slag on them at all because their sound is good. In fact if this had come out years ago it would be hailed as a classic today. Be that as it may you should know what you're getting. Guttural vocals sung over fast tremolo picked riffs plus jackhammer drum work is the standard.

https://www.facebook.com/katoptron.ix

https://www.facebook.com/Prometheus-470099489729898/?fref=ts

OBSOLENCE - Inner Voice review



OBSOLENCE - Inner Voice

Godz ov War Productions





OK so when I saw this band's genre tagline was Progressive Death Metal I got that feeling of dread. Trust me I get uneasy whenever I see the word progressive especially within the meme of politics because it's actually regressive. But we won't go there. Musically when I see progressive I think OK you've just moved right off the fuckin genre template. But hey this band is from Poland and right behind me I have a one shelf full of Polish death metal albeit it's mostly stuff by VADER but hey.


OBSOLENCE are a fairly new five piece act from Poland. Sound wise on this their debut full length, but looks more like an EP, expect more death doom than anything progressive. Twin guitarists provide both methodical paced riffs and melodic passages while vocalist Dawid "Wilku" StarÄ™ga switches from gruff grunts and screams to clean vocals. There are times when you feel spaced out, like on the guitar soloing of "Reborn". Then there's "Calcaneus" which reminds me of PARADISE LOST when they went all post punk goth.


I won't go onto every song, by the way there's five in all. I will say this. I tried listening to this in the morning and couldn't get into it. The next day it was mid-afternoon and still no dice. But now it's around 4 am, I got home from work an hour ago. I've got rice on the stove and chicken in the oven plus a few beers in me. So yeah this is definitely easy on the ears type of stuff. Not my type of stuff but still a full length in the future would be interesting. Their vocalist is damm good and the melodies produced by the guitarists are both harsh and airy. Well done.

http://godzovwar.com/

https://obsolence.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ObsolenceOfficial/

NECROBLOOD - Collapse of the Human Race review



NECROBLOOD - Collapse of the Human Race

Iron Bonehead Prod. / Amor Fati Prod.




Well this band's two minute intro leaves nothing to the imagination as to what they're all about. Now while some of their compatriots in the French underground metal scene would musically have your mind, body and soul  crushed and ripped to pieces. NECROBLOOD have a more inviting style of blackened death metal that actually includes some headbanging riffs along with swearing your allegiance to Satan and being baptized by the Devil's cum. Yeah I know it sounds kinda rough but hey my wedding night was worse.


As I just alluded to NECROBLOOD hail from France and are part of their burgeoning extreme metal underground. Albeit they are not new themselves and I know because I reviewed their self titled two song 7"er about five or six years ago. That one was pretty rough and after indulging myself into this their debut full length I'm glad to see they've grown from being just a thrashy blackened death act. Although with a name like NECROBLOOD and you have a song called "Goat Cult Command". What was not to love?

Let's fast forward to the now and here on Collapse of the Human Race this four piece act harnesses past influences from the usual suspects (think BLASPHEMY and INCANTATION) and really doesn't move the needle forward at all. For some people that's a bad thing which is why those types can fuck off. NECROBLOOD are a primal shitstorm of blackened death brutality with hints of melody, an occasional drift into thick atmospheric fog of riffage and of course blast furnace vocals. And hey with a song titled "Baptised by Devil's Cum", what's not to love?

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/necroblood-collapse-of-the-human-race

https://www.facebook.com/Necroblood-190841180982433/

RITUALIZATION - Sacraments To The Sons Of The Abyss review



RITUALIZATION - Sacraments To The Sons Of The Abyss

Iron Bonehead Productions





Whoa where do we start? Well somewhere in France a crevice in the earth ripped open and from within emerged a giant horned fist of blackened death metal. It was a sign, a sign dammit, that the French underground metal scene had arisen. Yeah that's overly dramatic but it sounds better than some not so angry metal schmuck just repeating promo info. The basic facts are that RITUALIZATION do hail from France, play blackened death metal and are damm good at it.


The revival of this sub genre has spawned plenty of favorites as far as I'm concerned. Bands like BEYOND HELL, FATHER BEFOULED, DIOCLETIAN, along with BLASPHEMOPHAGHER and KERASPHORUS, just to name a few that are sitting  on the shelf behind me, have all brought back greatness over the past few years to this most extreme style of metal. Don't argue with me, it is, period end of story. This French five piece is simply channeling old INCANTATION and MORBID ANGEL through their own deranged filter.

Although Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss is RITUALIZATION's debut full length they are not new to the extreme music world. The band got together in 2006 and for the next few years honed their death metal vision until finally releasing a few demos. Then in 2011 they appeared with fellow French blackened death act TEMPLE OF BAAL on the split album via Agonia Records titled The Vision of Fading Mankind. After that came a 7"er in 2013, entitled Beyond the Shrine of Shattered Bones released via Blood Harvest Records. Try finding those gems.

Musically Sacraments To The Sons Of The Abyss is ten songs (that includes a creepy sounding intro and outro) which are a pure monstrous onslaught upon humanity. It's a dark party seething with intense guitars, growled vocals an constant triggered drumming which is tantamount to torturing the weak minded. It's demonically brutal in the way which would make John McEntee smile like a proud father. Also the guitar performance (insane riffs and soloing) would make Trey Azagthoth pissed that he went cheesy with his band's last outing in 2011. This is blackened death perfection. The lame stream might be fixated on French tech death and avant garde black metal which is fine. The true metal hellions have this.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/ritualization-sacraments-to-the-sons-of-the-abyss

https://www.facebook.com/Ritualization-145905645471417/

Friday, July 7, 2017

SCUMFEAST VIDEO Rants and Raves



SCUMFEAST VIDEO Rants and Raves but mostly Rants

It's the return of reviewing band videos. Most blogs/websites like to say "Exclusive Premiere" of some band's video as if they're the only ones who get it sent to them. Bullshit! Usually I just re-post em on my Facebook page to let friends watch em and laugh. But I figured hey why not give em a chance here at SCUMFEAST METAL 666. So shall we begin?


ABORTED FETUS - Blinded by the Flame video

The Skinny: 

What have here is some collusion between Russia's ABORTED FETUS and the American record label Comatose Music. Obviously there needs to be an investigation into this. Well maybe not, this is the official video for "Blinded by the Flame," a track from the band's fifth full length The Art of Violent Torture. ABORTED FETUS call their signature style of death metal Ural Massive Brutality so let's see what's up.




Verdict: Rant

Ya know that feeling you get when you like a band's music but then you see them and you're like "Oh?" That's the way I look at this. Musically they've got a great albeit typical brutal DM sound. The medieval imagery spots are fine but it's their vocalist or better yet his actions which bother me. I hate, no I despise the whole baseball cap worn backwards, groove metal meets thug culture identity crap. This guy jumps around like he's got bees in his shorts. Give me a break.


GHOST BATH - Seraphic video

The Skinny:

Depending on who use listen to GHOST BATH are A) an atmospheric black metal band from North Dakota focused on depression, tragedy, purgatory, and earthly wonders. Or B) an annoying emo band using black metal aesthetics in order to impress losers at hipster sites, faking being from China and should probably die. So let's go to the video, which is a song from their latest release Starmourner.



Verdict: Rant

The term GHOST BATH refers to the act of committing suicide by submerging in a body of water. I think this band should consider it. Die hipster die! Actually here's a better video on this band.



or this one,



NUFF SAID.


BEASTMAKER - Nature of the Damned video

The Skinny:

BEASTMAKER are a three piece stoner rock act from California. They're fairly new, starting out in 2014, but have two full lengths under their belts. Musically they worship at the altar of Ozzy era SABBATH for the most part, go figure. I don't know if they're like ORCHID who once said they never heard of BLACK SABBATH or listened to them. Be that as it may this song is off of their 2017 release Inside the Skull out on Rise Above Records.




Verdict: Rant

OK visually it's typical band playing with lights flashing but musically this song kinda blows. I mean it's really boring as far as this genre goes. Maybe if you're a hipster who thinks everything is new than yeah you'd like it. But for me there's just so much blatant SABBATH or PENTAGRAM worshiping / copycats you can take without wanting to scream "POSUERS"! 

Which brings me to a second point. Unless you're into the evilness of the underground then you wouldn't know there's a huge backlash against bands from California calling themselves doom, stoner rock and especially black metal. The case against em is that they're all fake phony hipsters. I don't fully agree with the term "All" but I do believe there are a significant number of people out there who are jumping onto trends knowing that if they're more indie rock than true metal then they will court critical claim to fame by the hipsters in the music media. 



INSANITY - Down video

The Skinny:

INSANITY are supposedly a hardcore band from Switzerland. For this video they enlisted some female roller derby teams to be filmed screwing around on the rink. 
Hardcore and Roller Derby Collide in INSANITY's Action Packed Video for "Down". This track is from the band's Toss a Coin album which is out on Bastardized Recordings. I'm not very excited but I'll watch.





Verdict: Rant

Well the music doesn't sound like hardcore at all. In fact it sounds like a bunch of metalcore pussies. Visually I'm guessing the derby girls are beating up the band members which should be done because they suck. Honestly if you wanna hear a good song about Women's Roller Derby then check out KIFF's "Roller Girl".



That's all I can take for now.



Thursday, July 6, 2017

LOATHFINDER - The Great Tired Ones review



LOATHFINDER - The Great Tired Ones

Godz ov War Productions




In my not so humble opinion if you're gonna attack people's senses with blackened death doom than ya better have some melody to capture a listener's attention. Just pushing a wall of horrific noise with added cavernous vocals might've sounded interesting a decade ago but today it's boring. If you've read a previous review by me this month of such a band from Australia then you know where I'm coming from. But on this band's debut EP it's a whole different matter.


Poland's LOATHFINDER know how to do blackened death doom right. This may just be a four song EP but it could also be a musical instruction guide. You start with that sick low grinding guitar tone that you think emanates from the bowels of a blackened pit. The riffs must me monstrous and repetitive like the cadence of marching beasts. Add in the vocals which vary from cavernous beast emanations to shrieks of agony. Next you toss in some hideous solos which are kinda like shining a light in the darkness upon something so repulsive you regret seeing it. Also having a song titled “Feast On My Entrails” is a nice touch.

http://godzovwar.com/

https://loathfinder.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Loathfinder/

CONTRA - Deny Everything review



CONTRA - Deny Everything

Robustfellow Productions




I wonder if this Cleveland, Ohio band ever listened to MOUNTAIN or KILLDOZER for that matter. Whatever the case CONTRA, have some influence with those two acts on this their debut full length. Hell I'll say they've listened to quite a few Touch & Go acts to come up with their hard rock/sludge sound. I just can't figure what is up with the apes on the cover.


As far as band history goes according to the promo info, CONTRA was originally formed as an instrumental 3-piece by former SOFA KING KILLER guitarist, Chris Chiera, and ex-RUE drummer, Aaron Brittain. After briefly playing together in another local outfit, they sought to start their own band and enlisted the aid of SO LONG ALBATROSS bassist, Adam Horwatt, to play 4-string baritone guitar. I admit I don't have a clue who those bands are. 


Continuing on the history part, the band got themselves a vocalist named Larry Brent who has some standing in the local HC scene in Cleveland. He sings on eight out of the ten cuts on here. As far as Larry's singing goes he has a cool gruff voice that fits perfectly within the musician's repertoire. As far as the music well back in the heyday of Touch & Go Records this would've been called grunge with someone asking "Why isn't this on Sub Pop?"


http://robustfellow.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ContraCle/

https://contracleveland.bandcamp.com/releases

CLANDESTINE BLAZE - City Of Slaughter review



CLANDESTINE BLAZE  - City Of Slaughter

Northern Heritage Records




It's kinda taken me a while to write something about this latest release by CLANDESTINE BLAZE  (aka: Mikko Aspa). First I'm a fan which might just be putting it lightly. When I look over the course of history and the created output by Mikko Aspa I think of things like consistency, dedication to his craft, definitely a survivor. I won't toss in the word "genius" but the guy does deserve a brilliancy prize for putting out two of the greatest albums in black metal history. Yeah I'm talking about Night of the Unholy Flames and Fist of the Northern Destroyer. 


Now while many artists/bands who are still around in the black metal scene might find it easy to just coast along on their past laurels, Mikko just kept CLANDESTINE BLAZE going strong or at least consistent. If you look at just this decade he's put out three great albums and now this his fourth, ninth overall since 1998. City Of Slaughter starts off mildly with "Remembrance Of A Ruin", a track that would've fit better in the middle of the release. It's an easy going run which is followed by the better and blistering fast tremolo buzzsaw melodies laced cuts like "The Voice Of Our Mythical Past" and "Circle Of Vultures". 


As for the rest, the title cut "Return Into The City Of Slaughter" is another mild melodic run which at first sounds like early DARKTHRONE until Mikko breaks the rhythm to rant. The song goes on for eight minutes plus it sounds like he was drunk when he recorded the vocals. Probably not but hey I can dream. Anyways the album ends in traditional fashion aka: the bad blackened exit music. But all in all this is another good release by CLANDESTINE BLAZE.

http://www.cfprod.com/nh/

https://clandestineblaze.bandcamp.com/album/city-of-slaughter

ENDLESS VOYAGE X - Those Who Time Forgot review



ENDLESS VOYAGE X - Those Who Time Forgot 

Fragile Branch Recordings





Supposedly this was doom infused black metal, it's not. The real skinny is that this is what I guess you would call "atmospheric black metal" and it's from a one man act outta Ohio. The one man, Jake, is into the ocean and darkness. In fact this four track opus is about a ship, whose crew find themselves lost in the Bermuda Triangle. For some reason I'm getting shades of that old TV show In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy narrating. 


I got news for ya Jake, except for your toilet the closest large body of water nearest to you is Lake Erie. Now that might not be such a great topic to be musically inspired by especially in black metal. But you do know there have been plenty of bodies found in it's waters over the decades. But anyways I digress, Jake started ENDLESS VOYAGE X in 2016. Since then he has, along with this four song EP, another EP from last year plus two splits this year. 


As far as this one goes I'm gonna be honest (like I'm not all the time?) this is not my thing. But I'm not gonna drown Jake in negativity since there's some cool creativity going on. To sum this up it leans into what I know as "progressive" or "post" BM territory. If you're looking for harshness then you're at the wrong place. The songs on here are melancholy, maybe that's the doom part. Oddly enough there's a song on here, an instrumental, titled "Melancholy". I also think it's cool how there's plenty of clean guitar usage much like what plenty of Ukrainian bands are doing. Although I believe latter day ENSLAVED really pushed that practice when they left black metal and went proggy.


In the end (wow that's a painful segue) this all goes to that "What if Varg was a sensitive man" type of hipster stuff that I hate. We had an act here in NC years ago that were similar to this and it didn't turn out well for him so the guy stopped trying to play black metal and went back to Alt. Country. 

http://www.fragilebranch.com/

https://endlessvoyagex.bandcamp.com/album/those-whom-time-forgot

https://www.facebook.com/EndlessVoyageXOfficial


ICONOCLASM - Iconoclasm EP review



ICONOCLASM - Iconoclasm EP

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions




So when a band gives a big Fuck You to "pretty much the entire modern hardcore scene", which I found written on their Bandcamp site, I take notice. I don't know if this Texas hardcore trio still feels the same way but there's always hope. Here we have a four song EP which is this band's debut for Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Although ICONOCLASM have been around since 2011, have a bunch of releases including a full length from 2015 as well as a bunch of small format releases. 


The four songs on here were culled from two past releases, their Out for Blood EP from last year and the a fore mentioned full length. Musically this band does lean more towards thrash or speed metal than classic 80's era hardcore. Still there's a hint of DRI in their sound especially on "Executive Compensation". I had to laugh when I first got this because of the nostalgia aspect. Years ago when Scumfeast was still a print zine I'd get 7"ers in the mail by bands. The thing would be in a cheap paper sleeve with a slip of notebook paper from the band telling me who they were and if I didn't like their 7"er then I suck. OK I like this.


http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

https://iconoclasmband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Iconoclasmband

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IMPETUOUS RITUAL - Blight upon Martyred Sentience review



IMPETUOUS RITUAL - Blight upon Martyred Sentience

Profound Lore Records




This is PORTAL without the masks and let me be clear, after they (PORTAL) released Outre in 2007 the whole blackened noise mystique subsided. Sure people wanna say that IMPETUOUS RITUAL are/were not a extension of PORTAL. Just listen to the music ya fucking mary. Speaking of which, ten years later it's pushing the whole blackened death/noise/drone shtick to the hilt. But as a shit-worker for Profound Lore once told me years ago, "Hey I hate hipsters too but they buy our fucking records and we're making a killing off them."

Yeah well I can't argue with sound business logic and back then I was really hating on hipsters. Nowadays hey, they buy up all the vinyl and keep the good people at labels in business. Now in no way would I call IMPETUOUS RITUAL or PORTAL a bunch of hipsters even though their music is simplistic and worse than drone. I mean they are from Australia. Plus to be a hipster in Australia you would have to be a unemployed office nerd girly man wearing a MEN AT WORK t-shirt, ya know to be ironic. Then you take the fucker out to the Great Barrier Reef and feed em to the sharks.

But anyways IMPETUOUS RITUAL, brother of PORTAL, have not changed much since I first heard their 2009 debut, Relentless Execution of Ceremonial Excrescence. Now don't get me wrong, if you're stuck in a musical rut then hey just go for it. Once again this is blackened death, drone, noise, with a heavy emphasis on the latter. Basically they've taken what some USBM acts and Finnish BM bands have done previously, added the chaotic noise factor in and hey you've got (according to their promo) " [the] abhorrent album of the year (in all of metal). Look if you think this is dangerous then try growing a pair of balls, ya marys.

https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ImpetuousRitual/

https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/blight-upon-martyred-sentience

SKELETHAL - Of the Depths review



SKELETHAL - Of the Depths

Hells Headbangers Records




Here we have two French headbangers who worship at the altars of ENTOMBED and CARNAGE. Not a bad way to go in life but not too exciting especially since there's plenty of this to go around. SKELETHAL started out in 2012, they put out a couple of short form releases (all of which can be found on the compilation Morbid Revelations via Pulverised Records). Finally they've got this full length here which is basically a homage to old school Swedish Death Metal. 

These guys (Gui Haunting on guitars / vocals and Jon Whiplash on bass / drums) were/are also in the thrash band INFINITE TRANSLATION. Then someone handed em a Boss HM2 pedal and their world changed. Yeah well in all honesty this old school DM revival was cool seven years ago. Since then whenever I hear these types of bands I just try to guess which original Swedish DM band's songs they're ripping off. 

Be that as it may, to me the only style of death metal worth a damm is that old school original sound whether from somewhere in Europe or here in the states. As long as the music rocks and the band ain't a bunch of poser hipsters than I'll give it props. So yeah this is cool.


http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/

https://skelethal.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/skelethal/

Saturday, July 1, 2017

PAGAN HELLFIRE - Distant Winds Return review



PAGAN HELLFIRE - Distant Winds Return

Nykta Records




Multi-instrumentalist Incarnatus of Nova Scotia has been creating black metal since the late nineties under the name PAGAN HELLFIRE. In all of that time the artist has made a fairly large cache of full lengths, short form releases as well as compilations. The last full length, On the Path to Triumph, came out in 2013. Since then Incarnatus has been in a creative pause as it were, only releasing an EP Unmarked Fields Near Unknown Forests last year. Then again if you factor in that the guy has consistently put something out on a regular basis for seventeen years you could accept the fact that he needed a break.


Be that as it may here we have a seventy minute compilation of old and rare PAGAN HELLFIRE tracks that were previously EP only cuts, stuff off of other compilations, along with bonus album tracks plus one previously unreleased track. Musically this is razor sharp and raw sounding second wave style BM with a definite Norwegian flair. Think what if Varg kept paving the path of his early material style before moving onto Filosofem. 


http://nykta.gr/

https://paganhellfire.bandcamp.com/album/distant-winds-return

http://www.paganhellfire.org/

FROSTVANG - Avog review



FROSTVANG - Avog 

Self Released




There's this hot dog place in the town where I live called Hot Weiners. They cook southern red casing hot dogs which get charred black on the grill. The place is run by a Greek family. If you order ketchup on your hot dog then you'll get excommunicated from the restaurant. Which you should because ketchup on a hot dog is disgusting. The old grandmother, who used to take orders, would ask ya "do ya want your hot dogs black or BLACK?" The last time I saw her there I told her "I want my hot dogs BLACK like my METAL." 


So what does all of that have to do with a Swedish black metal duo who's album cover has a skull face in the clouds looking down upon a forest? Well nothing really but it's a good segue into the way some bands use straight up metal styles and incorporate them into the black genre. FROSTVANG opens this, their second full length, with a grandiose number featuring a traditional metal beat accented with a folk song structure. Think Scandinavian Viking Metal style for a reference but not so much of an influence.


Musically Avog has a perfect balance of savagery and poetic beauty. The songs are not overly long, there's eleven in all and none over five minutes in length. There's plenty of second wave blackened vibe melodies hastened with agony lased somber attitude. For most of the time the songs have this "I'm Swedish and I'm pissed off" feel. Then again the vocals are being sung in their native language. Honestly when I hear "Stilla Morker" I wanna scream. Pain, anguish and harsh reality is here in a blackened landscape that pours in plenty of expanse atmospheric sustain. 

Of course this release ain't perfect. "Sista Vilan" sounds like whispered post BM bullshit. Afterwards it all falls into traditional BM with a hint that Quorthon (aka:Tomas Forsberg) in spirit is watching over things. In the end I'm kinda mixed because the beginning is great but the second half gets weak. 

https://frostvang.bandcamp.com/album/avog

https://www.facebook.com/Frostvang


SATAN WORSHIP - I'm the Devil review



SATAN WORSHIP - I'm the Devil

Iron Shield Records




OK your band name is SATAN WORSHIP and your album is titled I'm the Devil. Do I really need to say more? Alright I guess I'll have to. Here we have a band which is a joint German/Brazilian project by Marc Reign (the latest drummer of MORGOTH from Germany) and two guys from the Brazilian band SODOMIZER (bassist/vocalist Leatherface and guitarist Max The Nekromancer.)


Musically this is basically blackened punk/thrash with ten cuts spanning thirty five minutes of satanic fueled hate, speed and metal. On the surface I just wanna say OK we get it, you like VENOM and HELLHAMMER and move on. But after a bunch of listens I can say that there's a lot of coolness about I'm the Devil.


For starters the sound on here is lo fi as if it could've come out some thirty years ago. I love the feel of the soloing, a total throwback to the past. Leatherface's vocals are also gruff, low in the mix and demonic sounding. The riffs are cool as fuck, simple yet have that punk feeling to em. Hey if ya wanna sound like a sick old wannabe VENOM band then I'll give ya a fuckin HAIL!

http://www.ironshieldrecords.de/

https://www.facebook.com/satanworshipofficial

INDEMNITY - Bloody Minded Bullet Headed review



INDEMNITY - Bloody Minded Bullet Headed 

Art Gates Records




Do people slam dance anymore? I mean really slam dance. I'm not talking about that pussy ass push and shove bullshit or that punching the ground shit. I'm talking about a real circle pit. I don't go to hardcore shows anymore for obvious reasons. People would look at me and think I was someone's grandfather. But I will be at DRI in August. Anyways I ask the question because if this band was around in say 87 or 88 then there would be a huge pit.

INDEMNITY hail from Belgium, have been around for a dozen years and this is their debut full length although they do have a few demos to their credit. Musically this is hardcore at it's base, late 80's era since their secondary stake is metal specifically thrash. Then again they do float in some metal core influence, ala old New York Hardcore, on a few cuts. 

I know it's not cool to say but it is the truth. Hardcore has become so one dimensional so generic it's boring. It wasn't always that way. Yeah I know "oh it was so cool back in the old days." Well yeah it was because you could listen to ten hardcore acts and all would/could be different. But hardcore died in 86, yes it did at least the original momentum. What followed afterward is up to interpretation as well as opinion. As long as you remember unless you were there then your opinion is limited. INDEMNITY, on here, offer twelve tracks in around twenty minutes of loud aggro extremism. They have all the bells and whistles of typical hardcore fan subjects. If you're into it then there you go. Nuff Said.

http://www.artgatesrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Indemnityband

VIGILANCE - Hammer of Satan's Vengeance review



VIGILANCE - Hammer of Satan's Vengeance

Dying Victims Productions




Meanwhile in Slovenia we have this four piece act who are dubbed the new wave of blackened heavy metal. I know a guy in Canada who's head will spin when he reads that. So anyways VIGILANCE do mix traditional NWOBHM sounds with a mild touch of black metal aesthetics. The band has been kickin it for a decade now. Hammer of Satan's Vengeance is their third full length over that time. 

There's some good and bad going on here. When their singer attempts a heavy metal scream, while having a gruff singing voice normally, it's criminal. "As the Fires Burn" is a perfect example of this failure. Dude you're not Halford or King Diamond. On the plus side, musically this is pretty cool. They do have a certain early MAIDEN flair on a few cuts. Maybe if they dropped the blackened seasoning and stuck with tradition it would all be better. 

https://www.dying-victims.de/

https://vigilanceofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/VigilanceAdelsberg/

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DATURA - The Harrowing review



DATURA - The Harrowing

Rusty Knuckles 




When you first meet Kellie Gates, vocalist for North Carolina's DATURA, your first impression will be like oh here's a sweet young woman, pretty, nice smile and who knows she probably works at a daycare center with young children. Then you hand her a cordless microphone and she turns into Cthulhu. Kellie Gates is just one of many factors that makes DATURA a band that defies conventional perception to the point where you enjoy every second of it.


DATURA are a self described death/doom/thrash act. Now that's nothing really new in extreme circles until you scratch the surface. The band structures all three genre elements into many of the eight cuts on this their debut full length. Songs like "Shipbreaker", "Dying Design" and "Keeper Of The Light" make you feel like you've been pummeled, pounded and savagely dragged around. This is not kitchen sink metal, where a band throws everything at you. This is good song writing craft. Major props to the riff creators and rhythm section in order to savagely change directions on a dime.


DATURA also plays it traditional as well. "Charm Of The Rat King" has a head banging SABBATH-esque groove to it for fist pumping, headbanging, slam pitting fun. "Haxan" is full on death thrash that weighs in heavy on the scale. The final cut, "WVLFKVNT" combines everything this band contains then chews you up, spits you out and repeats multiple times. Hell even the title cut, a short instrumental, is a twist.


Add to all of that is the unconventionality of the solos placed into the songs. They're few and far between but they slice their way in at points you're not expecting. Then there's Kellie Gates' vocals which also defy the norm. Yes she screams, shrieks and howls like a banshee but also sings gutterally. She's can sound like a witch, a monster or the Dunwitch Horror (if it sang). These days hearing women sing in death metal acts is nothing new but Gates' vocal style is not only extraordinary versatile it's unique. For a while I was trying to figure out if there was another woman in extreme metal with this type of extreme range and for the life of me I can't. 

The bottom line here is that just calling The Harrowing a damm good debut once again doesn't even tell the whole story. This album fails into the realm of a great album, a one of a kind album and a best of the year list member. Yeah I know when it comes to speaking hyperbole I'm somewhat guilty but this is the type of extreme release which will carry through to the end of the year. They really don't remind me of anyone else which for once is cool.

https://www.rustyknucklesmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/daturanc

https://datura666.bandcamp.com/album/the-harrowing