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.

Friday, November 10, 2017

NEUROSIS - The Word As Law reissue review

NEUROSIS - The Word As Law reissue

Neurot Recordings

Well prepare to pick yourselves off the floor because I'm about to say thank you to Neurot Recordings (or basically NEUROSIS) for giving this one a new reissue in 2017. I rarely talk much about reissues unless they're somewhat special or at least nostalgic for me. And NEUROSIS's second full length from 1990 fits. Now as I've always said, I'm not a fan of the modern era of the band's out put. But years ago things were different. One thing that I have seen over the years is this release getting maligned by modern day scribes. Their problem is that they look at this from the perspective of what the band did afterward. Let me tell you about when it did come out.

By the late 80's what people called the Punk/Hardcore scene here in the states at least was dead as far as being a cohesive banner to wave around. Most of the old bands were gone or lingering on. People started segregating bands by certain sounds as well as fashion and politics. It was not much different from what the metal scene is today with it's various genres and sub-genres. At times there was legitimate explanations for the differences then again other instances were just plain stupid. It was from within this chaos that NEUROSIS emerged with their debut Pain of Mind in 1988. 

Pain of Mind was a good release which had hints of the band being influenced by other things but still it was on line with their Hardcore contemporaries. A year later came the three song Aberration EP on Lookout Records. While the two short cuts on the A-Side were fast heavy and fitting to deem as hardcore, it was the B-Side's "Pollution" which stood out mixing hardcore insanity with some slower sections. Frankly the 80's died on a good note with this EP. 

When 1990 hit full stride the underground music scene suddenly had more variety as far as cool music then previously and then again there was some crap. New York Hardcore turned into Metalcore. Crossover was lingering around. Labels like Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile Records were putting great stuff whether it was experimental noise, post hardcore or just punk rock without the knee jerk childish politics. And lets not forget what was going on in Seattle. That's when Lookout Records released The Word As Law. At the time if you looked at that label's band roster, NEUROSIS stuck out like a sore thumb. They definitely were not your typical "East Bay" sounding band. In fact they were the hardest and heaviest sounding band on this Lookout compilation I had (still have on a cassette somewhere in a box.)

The first time I heard The Word As Law was in 1990 and on a cassette tape via tape trading (you must've heard of that practice). A few years later I would get it on CD with extra tracks. But anyways even back then I knew NEUROSIS had one foot in the hardcore scene and the other stepping away from it. A lot of people complain that the bass and drums are too high in the mix. The vocals are poorly done and the production overall sucks. I say fuck you! It was perfect for it's time and basically the whines come from people who got into the band after their debut on Relapse six years later (or better yet ten years later).

I think all the problems people nowadays have about this release are strengths at the time it came out. The up front sound of Dave Edwardson's bass lines are cool as fuck and remind ya of mid-80's hardcore when you'd hear that a lot. The drum work is phenomenal especially for a hardcore act. I think the vocals have an angst ridden spark of actual hate to em. Plus the overall song writing was a huge step away from typical hardcore. At the time people would say they were a West Coast version of NAUSEA. Ah no, if this band had a contemporary in 1990 it was HELMET who released STRAP IT ON the same year. All in all now that the band is putting all their older material out, on their own label that is, it's not a bad idea to pick this one up again.

GRIEVE / NO GODS - Split review


Horror Pain Gore Death Productions 

Here's a cool little split release featuring two extreme bands who both come from an area of the country I use to call home, aka: Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. First of we have GRIEVE, a three piece act from Allentown, where I once lived decades ago and my son still calls home. GRIEVE are totally old school grind from when the damm genre started, the latter day hardcore scene. They give us three short cuts featuring a high pitched vocal assault with your basic punishing grind riff insanity plus some slower moments.

NO GODS also from Allentown take it a step further adding a more death thrash style. Frankly I like what this band is doing more so because they also have a cool late 80's metallish hardcore thing going on with them. We called that back in the day NYHC. Slam pit worthy kind of stuff and I mean a real circle pit and not that push and shove bullshit.

Both of these bands are cool as fuck. On a whole I like NO GODS the best because they stay true to a sound before a bunch of straight edge losers from Boston or Connecticut ruined it. Obviously they've listened to AGNOSTIC FRONT. To give them their do, GRIEVE also bring back a sound from the past that to many fail at. I've got a friend who sings in a local grind/power violence band and they go no where because their fans are a bunch of hipster losers. I bet GRIEVE has a better audience.

Monday, October 30, 2017

ESKAPISM - Tales of Elder Forest review

ESKAPISM - Tales of Elder Forest 

Folkvangr Records 

Once again the amazing Folkvangr Records puts out another superb release of black metal for your cold and grim listening pleasure. This time around it's the debut full length by ESKAPISM from the Ukraine. The band is a two piece act featuring Zymobor performing vocals, guitars, bass as well as programing (I'm guessing that's the drums). The second member is Dyvozor who performs the keyboard work as well as bass duties.

Originally the nine song Tales of Elder Forest release came out late last year. But by standard operating procedure, Folkvangr Records gave it the cassette treatment and re-issued it in 2017. I've spent the better part of a week listening to this. Obviously trying to find words that fit in order to describe it but mainly from the sheer enjoyment of the music. I have to say this year I've heard plenty of bands from the Ukraine especially black metal bands and ESKAPISM is definitely the finest one.

Musically they're not what you would call a traditional Ukrainian black metal sounding band (aka: lots of atmosphere, rolling tremolo picked riffs that carry you on waves, songs dealing with nature or how bout I just say DRUDKH) On the contrary ESKAPISM are all about symphonic black metal and in a fierce way or better yet think Norway's take on symphonic black metal. We're talking icy tremolo picked melodic riffs, harsh and tormented vocals, keyboards that act as glue to songs and of course savage drumming (albeit programmed drums).

There are times on Tales of Elder Forest when you think ESKAPISM are channeling EMPEROR. Songs like "The Sun Is Falling Into Autumn Embrace" or "The Sad Moon Is Rising In The Sky" convey that well. At other times they're like, dare I say it, a more symphonic version of HATE FOREST. All in all I'd say this duo have recaptured the early 90's symphonic black metal sound without sounding retro or pushing the cheesy grandiosity which plenty of others have done to my disgust.

BRUME - Rooster review

BRUME - Rooster

Doom Stew Records

On paper this band could be a total cliche. They are a three piece (guitar, bass and drums) act that hails from San Francisco. Their bassist/vocalist is a woman and they perform traditional doom in the SABBATH-ian way. The kicker in their favor is that their songs are damm good and their vocalist adds so much feeling to their songs that it's as if she reaches out and touches you while this recording plays.

Rooster is the second release by BRUME. They also have an EP titled Donkey from 2015. I never heard their EP but I'll say this, BRUME's debut full length is a captivating release and one of the best of 2017. Musically the songs (there's six of em) have a slow methodical pace (provided by guitarist/riff-lord  Jamie McCathie and drummer Jordan Perkins-Lewis) which adds perfectly to bassist/vocalist Susie McMullin. She has a vocal style that switches from soulful touches, airy melodic-ness to folk-ness. In a lot of ways this reminds me of JEX THOTH, which is a compliment.

INCANTATION - Profane Nexus review

INCANTATION - Profane Nexus 

Relapse Records

Before I say a fuckin word about INCANTATION's tenth full length I need to make a few things clear. First off in my not so humble opinion INCANTATION are one of the greatest American death metal bands. As far as consistency goes they nail it. Next up INCANTATION literally created death doom as we know it today. It's their fuckin sound, period. Add to that over the past decade more young bands choose them as an influence over the rest of America's death metal past elite. And lets make this evident, all their releases rule.

So yeah I set the bar high for INCANTATION so listening to Profane Nexus was a surprise to say the least. The overall feel of this release is one of brooding and crushing. It's probably the most deathly doomish release that John McEntee has ever vomited out onto the public. His vocals this time around seem more foul then ever before. What's also cool is that he's still got returning band members (aka: drummer Kyle Severn and bassist Chuck Sherwood, only guitarist Sonny Lombardozzi is the new factor.

Profane Nexus starts out slow and then to a crawl before the mid period takes off and it's mid paced death and destruction. That's a total twist from past efforts. Although it has mixed moments for example "Xipe Totec" is one minute of past greatness. "Lus Sepulcri" follows suit with being average. The opening build up with "Muse" and "Rites of the Locust" is death gloom and doom at it's finest. But whatafuck is "Stormgate Convulsions from the Thunderous Shores of Infernal Realms Beyond the Grace of God" other than a waste of time. Filler will be more like it. The final track "Ancients Arise" is a perfect example of funeral doom at it's best.

A few weeks ago I was reviewing a band who had a huge INCANTATION influence and wondered if they would be better than this, the original. My answer is yeah they would. Profane Nexus just lacks excitement. I was expecting a growing momentum that never appeared within the massive sound being conveyed. Sadly this is going to be the one INCANTATION album I'll never come back to.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Floating in the Mainstream

Floating in the Mainstream
Short takes on what the mainstream thinks is cool, LAUGHS!!!!!


Relapse Records

This is the most boring piece of over-hyped horseshit I've heard this year. It's basically a more sludgey version of SUNN O))) (who are just as boring by the way) with blackened death vocals. Or better yet, put on a PORTAL album and play it with a quarter on top of the needle. PRIMITIVE MAN are a three piece act from denver and have been around for a few years now. In 2013 they released their debut full length, Scorn, which got em notoriety, why I'll never know. This is their second full length but hey first on Relapse. A waste of seventy five minutes.

DYING FETUS - Wrong One to Fuck With

Relapse Records

Full disclosure, I never was a huge fan of tech death but honestly over the years I've heard some incredible bands that fully deserve honor. DYING FETUS ain't one of em. Except for the various staccato turrets freak-outs they're basically MORTICIAN on coke. And ya know that's not brutal, that's stupid.

WARBRINGER - Woe to the Vanquished

Napalm Records

I've said it so many times but I'll repeat it. When the thrash revival came about in the late 80s I was on board at the beggining. Like any other musical revival it was simply a younger generation recreating something from the past because they loved it as well as rejecting the modern norms. Unfortunately the modern norms (aka: the mainstream metal media) were against it at first until major labels started signing these bands and then (because of advertising dollars) they suddenly liked it. 
Be that truth as it may, I liked WARBRINGER on the Speed Kills Again comp. I saw em twice and liked their debut full length, War Without End. But then the decline happened. Seriously you can only do so much with recycled Bay Area thrash riffs and song structures. Since this is on Napalm Records then obviously their three album deal with Century Media came to an end. As far as this goes hey when they recycle SLAYER stuff I'm kinda offended because it's worse than new SLAYER.

EXHUMED - Death Revenge

Relapse Records

At this point in the game do you really think there's gonna be something different or better yet explosive in this band's sound? Duh? Seriously I thought 2011's All Guts, No Glory and 2013's Necrocracy were decent but they don't hold a candle to Slaughtercult or Gore Metal for obvious reasons. We're use to that death grind sound by now and EXHUMED's status as being America's CARCASS is set in stone.
This album is boring tripe. EXHUMED does better at selling t-shirts at shows because they're a nostalgic act for kids who were not around years ago but certainly have cash today, to buy t-shirts. Yeah the band is great live but......and there you go.

ENTRAILS - World Inferno 

Metal Blade Records

Ya know that feeling when a band you like gets too repetitive? I was an early fan of ENTRAILS. They were part of cadre of acts who revived the old school Swedish death metal sound. Albeit the band originally started out in 1990 with no avail. In fact I called their The Tomb Awaits release one of the best albums of 2011. Since signing up with Metal Blade their sound has matured to a more modern DM sound which is fine. They put out two decent albums in the past couple of years. But with a new line-up, leaving just Jimmy Lundqvist as the sole remaining original, this new one seems average. There's a few good cuts but the rest sounds like 2013's Raging Death Part Three.

Monday, October 23, 2017

GOD ROOT - Salt and Rot review

GOD ROOT - Salt and Rot

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

So I'm home from work, it's 1 am and I put on something new from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions which came in for review. Now knowing what this great label puts out I'm thinking OK this will rip the work scum right off of me. But ah no since this release right here is like Pink Sludge Floyd. It gets better since they hail from Hostile City, USA. Now for you others not in the know that's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Now since I use to live up that way a while back I can tell you this. I've heard a lot of extreme music acts outta Philly but never something like GOD ROOT. Oh yeah that's a good thing.

So I'm thinking these five Philadelphians, who play sludge metal by trade, went down to South Street one night to get inspired and scored some liquid acid. Back at the recording studio they put out their hands and each got puddled (aka: a big drop of liquid acid in the palm). Just for truth's sake I was a double dipper. But anyways ya lick up the liquid and then rub your hands over your face. So twenty or so minutes later these guys are like "Dude I'm inspired! Let's fuckin record!" And here's what we got.

OK I'm probably wrong but just being nostalgic made me feel good. Any way GOD ROOT have been around since 2015 and this is their second EP. Their first, a self titled four song outing, came out in 2016. This latest is also four cuts that indulge in a lot of psych, tribal drumming, plus some ghostly sludge sounds that are more hypnotic then over the top. I like this a lot especially after playing it for three hours straight.  The sun is gonna be up soon but GOD ROOT keep this trip going.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

FREEZING BLOOD - Baal review


Old Temple

Here's a Polish band into Satanism, Goat Worshipping and has no Facebook page. I'd say that's a plus. Looking back this band's first demo from 2013 was titled Altar of Goat so there you go. This is FREEZING BLOOD's first official release. Prior to this they have the demo and a three band split from 2014. 

Musically this four song EP is blackened death on the scale of old school sounds from somewhere other than Poland. Thoughtfully I'd be going to South America but hey nowadays it doesn't matter. Brutality is universal, death metal and blackened ferocity is tethered to a few. Readers of SFM666 know I love my share of Polish death metal. I always look at it as a brutal finger to the rest of Europe. 

FREEZING BLOOD are the band underneath VADER's practice space pummeling away. Of the four cuts on this EP three are full on brutal punch you in the face cuts. One, "Seven Gates Of Chaos & Destruction" actually brings in some change via choir singing. It's so fucking nice until "Sheep Slaughterer-Worshiper Of Goat" kicks in and all hope is lossed. This release is beautifully executed, beautifully concise and totally brutal. Yeah that's a good thing.

WITCHFUCK - Disgusting Rock’n’Roll review

WITCHFUCK - Disgusting Rock’n’Roll
Old Temple

OK I'm giving these fuckers a chance because they do a cover of "Violence Now" by GG ALLIN & ANTISEEN which is props in my scum book. Then again with a name like WITCHFUCK it's gotta be scummy and similar to NUNSLAUGHTER. This is scumpunk metal at it lowest. That's not a slag on these Poles at all in fact they're my heroes.

Actually, and I've said it many times, it's bands like WITCHFUCK that got my good friend Andy Miller and I to start the original Scumfeast zine back in the late 90s. This is the band's debut four song EP and it's a masterpiece of filth ridden metal with a huge up-chuck of punk attitude. Hell when you can hear the singer spit then you know it's good. When's the full length coming out?

PATHOGEN - Ashes of Eternity review

PATHOGEN - Ashes of Eternity

Old Temple

Here's another one of those releases where you think it could be some long lost recording. In this case we're talking death metal circa 1988 from Sweden. But know this is brand new from PATHOGEN who hail from the Philippines. Actually this band has been around for a long fuckin time. 2001 to be excact and over the years they've put together an impressive larder of releases, both full lengths and short form stuff. 

I'll make this easy for you fuckers. When it comes to death metal, if you're the type that worships at the altar of GRAVE, NIHILIST and DISMEMBER then this one is right up your alley. Mine too since I love bands like this that keep things under a strict old school line. First off the vocals are maniacal whether it's the standard grunt growls or screams. Either way it's cool as fuck. Next up is that traditional thick guitar tone via a Boss HM-2 pedal. 

Officially there's nine tracks on here but the opener is a short intro. I don't have a favorite or a bunch of tracks I like. This whole album is fantastic. "Apocryphal Visions" is a good ripper to get things rolling. "Deathvomit" is definitely a crap beaten out of ya number. Both "A Graven Frost" and "Into The Endless Grey" are punishing. Hey what more can I say than this is a fuckin favorite.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

GOD DETHRONED - The World Ablaze review

GOD DETHRONED - The World Ablaze

Metal Blade Records

Full disclosure here people, I've been a fan of this band for a while. So when main-man Henri Sattler decided to call it quits a few years ago I thought it sucked. Of course it wasn't a bad way to walk out considering a damm good twenty year career left behind. I still consider early works like Bloody Blasphemy, The Lair of the White Worm and The Toxic Touch to be good melodic death metal. But when he decided to do a concept album in 2009 based on World War One that's when I thought he reached greatness. 2009's Passiondale is a release that stands tall along side any other death metal album. A year later he followed it up equally with Under the Sign of the Iron Cross.

So now after a few years hiatus Henri Sattler (guitar/vocals) returns with former drummer Michiel van der Plicht and newcomers Mike Ferguson on guitar and Jeroen Pomper on bass. The World Ablaze is the final release in the WW1 trilogy by GOD DETHRONED. Thankfully this final chapter is equal to it's predecessors. There's the militaristic riffs mixed well with melodic counterparts. Sattler's vocals sound far more vicious this time out. The song structures are never out right attacks but like before are a mixed bag of recognized war violence and solemn sadness. The World Ablaze is a fitting final chapter of a death metal rendering of the supposed war to end all wars.

POISON BLOOD - Self Titled EP review


Relapse Records

Honestly if this was recorded by two guys from Bumfuck, Montana then Relapse wouldn't give a flying fuck about it. But since there are two people involved with some sort of "name recognition" then hey the label puts it out in order to gets some side cash to buy the kids some new shoes. The people involved are Neil Jameson, the moral compass writer of metal (?) at Decibal, constant collaborator in various other bands and oh yes he's in KRIEG. The second person is Jenks Miller of HORSEBACK, also in an alt country act and is only known here in NC by a few hipsters in the media. Seriously most people in the North Carolina metal scene either laugh at his band or go "Who?" Supposedly these two guys hooked up on social media because they both liked BEHERIT's Drawing Down the Moon LP. 

Musically this is minimalist black metal on a few cuts, the rest is a bag of influences whether it's psych or 70's rock. Jameson's vocals are always good but this is less than twenty minutes worth. I mean according to the promo this is Jenk's "desire to write music that was an outlet for a more straightforward kind of aggression". Yeah sure you wanna play metalhead for a month. Meanwhile there's plenty of other artists out in the metal community who are actually dedicated to their craft and release their music on their own or through small independent labels. I write about em all the time. And their music is far better than this. 

Lets be honest here. I'm sure other people in the metal media will give this a decent pass not because it deserves one. Advertising dollars fuels opinions and you know exactly what I'm referring to.  But since that doesn't matter to me that fuck this shit. The cover artwork is decent. Too bad it was wasted on this.

SOLBRUD - Vemod review



So I was expecting some new Scandinavian black metal from a Danish foursome who are tagged as "epic and atmospheric". What I hear on this one is post DRUDKH. SOLBRUD are new to me but have been around for seven years now. They have two previous full lengths prior to this new one. I'm sure someone thinks they're lovely but this four song release is boring.

I have finally reached that point where black metal can be boring even when the artists are at the top of their game. Make no mistake SOLBRUD are very good. They put forth a wall of duel tremolo picked riffs either violent or melodic. Although its a wall of sound that is generic. The vocals are typical raspy. And the soundscapes generally follow that harsh and slow pattern. There's some keyboards added to enhance the atmosphere during the dead parts. But overall this is fucking generic and boring.

UFOMAMMUT – 8 review


Neurot Recordings

Full disclosure, I was not a fan of UFOMAMMUT early on. It was around a decade ago when I first listened to them and my thoughts were oh alright it's post sludge, experimental whatever the fuck you wanna call it. Imagine NEUROSIS getting more over indulgent then they already were and dedicating an album to HAWKWIND. I'm pretty sure the album I'm referring to was 2008's Idolum. Of course this was long before these Italians were on the collected conscious of the mainstream music media. 

Now as time moved on I kept hearing stuff by these guys (UFOMAMMUT are a three piece by the way). They put out a one song album, Eve, which I gave the finger to. Then in 2012 they released Oro: Opus Primum which came out on Neurot Records, a label I pretty much hated because of their pathetic cadre of what many people called NEU-ISIS acts. But the release was interesting. It really opened my eyes and ears not only to their great music but how for years so many US acts (hipsters) had stolen from them. Seriously UFOMAMMUT, who have been around for seventeen years, have been ripped off by bunches of hiptard losers. 

Now be that as it may here we have their eighth full length technically because Oro from 2012 was a two part-er ( Oro: Opus Primum and Opus Alter). This album here is definitely my favorite UFOMAMMUT release. And I will say this, thanks to Neurot Records for doing this band justice because by putting out their releases over the past few years you've screwed over the posers and poachers. But getting back to this release, yeah this is NEUROSIS and SLEEP (or OM) doing a HAWKWIND tribute. Toss in plenty of psych damaged sludge and stoner rock, spaced out reality plus some death doom and you've got their most accessible album ever.

8 is a smorgasbord of everything UFOMAMMUT has done all of these years in eight songs which last slightly less then forty five minutes. A feat for them compared to past releases. Calling this more accessible than past releases is not a slag against the band at all. 8 has a layered texture of stoner/sludge/psych sounds with low key vocals which is more inviting than say overwhelming or punishing. Supposedly this was recorded live in studio, hmmmm?