Sunday, January 29, 2017

THE GREAT OLD ONES - EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy review

THE GREAT OLD ONES - EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy

Season of Mist

France's H.P. Lovecraft inspired black metal quintet is back with their third full length. This time around they're taking on the followers of Dagon by adapting Lovecraft's The Shadow over Innsmouth into a concept album. Ya know I've read that story a few times and never thought of black metal as a background soundtrack. I kinda had something more creepy in mind especially when you're dealing with slimy smelly fish people.

While there are times when THE GREAT OLD ONES do lay out a dreary blackened atmospheric landscape there's no feeling of dread or panic. If you are familiar with the written work then you can understand. Unlike their debut, Al Azif from 2012 or the 2014 follow up Tekeli-li, this Bordeaux act builds a huge wall of majestic sound to blast your ear drums out for most of this release. Excuse me but I'm suppose to be feeling the fear and insanity of being chased by unknown as-salients in downtown Innsmouth.

I'll give THE GREAT OLD ONES their due, as far as this release goes yeah it's a decent sounding atmospheric black metal. One could point to similar works of the past by fellow Frenchmen BLUT AUS NORD or  DEATHSPELL OMEGA as bookends for this whole modern (?) French black metal portrait. Frankly this is more romanticism than insane horror that'll keep you up at night. I'll take the likes of PORTAL or HOODED MENACE for my musical forays in Lovecraftian themes over this one.

Rating: 3/5

CADAVERIS - The Ceremony Of Worshiping review

CADAVERIS - The Ceremony Of Worshiping

Heretic Records 

I'll admit that Russia had a hand in my decision to like this release. Then again this is the debut full length by CADAVERIS and oh yeah they are a black metal band from Russia. I'm sorry but I couldn't resist that poke. Now although they're from Russia they are heavily influenced by Scandinavian acts of the past. It's 2017 so to me that's not a crime especially since some of those bands are not around anymore and those who are really suck these days. 

The Ceremony Of Worshiping starts out with a tranquil guitar intro but that's the only time on here were the blackened fury is non-existent. The album is short with only seven songs none of which longer that five and a half minutes. That's what I mean about no time being wasted. Musically I'm hearing WATAIN, MARDUK and fuckin MAYHEM throughout this release. The drumming on here is executed with both skill and ferocity. I think it's a session drummer as well, Hellhammer?There's a lot of guitar harmonies that allow some melody and atmosphere to break from the chaotic blasts. The tremelo-picked riffs and blastbeating are met equally with great varieties of metal riffs and tempos to give the songs more structure. Once in a while you'll even hear a solo. Vocals come off as if sung by a drunken priest vomiting blood between sentences. 

I'm just gonna stop there and say this is one great release. My only hope is that more ears get to enjoy this band's debut masterpiece. 

Rating: 5/5

THORMESIS - Trümmerfarben review

THORMESIS - Trümmerfarben

 MDD Records

Unless you are a connessuir in everything black metal then you didn't know that this band's 2015 release, Freier Wille - Freier Geist, was one of the best black metal releases of that year. I say that in my usual In My Not So Humble Opinion mode because you had a band who incorporated so much hook ladened power metal/70's hard rock into their take on the genre it actually sounded crediable. Remember THORMESIS are from Germany and we all know how much Germans love their power metal. Critics gave it a good nod but there was a huge gasp which came out of Norway, the blackened internet collective trolls screamed "FALSE" and four hipster douchebags from Brooklyn wondered if they could steal it.

Now sure when I (and probably you as well) think of German black metal bands I'm thinking the classic rawness and brutality of MOONBLOOD, KATHARSIS, ENDSTILLE and of course ABSURD. Well it's a new day people and even an old school fuck like me can deal with some slight differences in my extreme metal as long as it stays true. On Trümmerfarben, the band's fifth full length, THORMESIS continue where they left off with Freier Wille - Freier Geist albeit to a certain degree. Were as the last album had the obvious outside influences on here their pagan black metal style melds much better with the power metal/70's & 80's hard rock melodies. The title cut and  "Waheelas Fährte" are the best examples. Of course I still get shocked by their clean guitar solos. Even with all of their intermixing of genres a song like "Die Klagen der Einöde" or "Im Herbst trugen sie mich fort" still carries more blackened weight.

Ya know I really like this one a lot but I'm also hoping that it stays with THORMESIS and doesn't become another sub genre. I remember the non-vicious and ice-cream sounds of black-gaze which the song " Verblasst" seemed to be heading for a minute. No more black metal sub genres please. This band is unique and has a sound that's interesting for now of course. 

Rating: 5/5

Saturday, January 28, 2017

ANDE - Het Gebeente review

ANDE - Het Gebeente

Self Released

One man black metal projects have always been hit and miss for me. In the late 90's every kid in their bedroom or basement wanted to be BURZUM. Soon after they all wanted to be XASTHUR and so on. Years ago I asked myself why are these guys so depressed? If it wasn't for all of this modern technology they'd still be writing in diaries. Now be that as it may I think the past five years have been good for all of the do it yourself black metal projects. They've expanded their themes, the production values have risen and our acceptance has broadened.

Case in point here's ANDE, aka: Jimmy Christiaens (WARNING: if you look up this guy on Metal Archives and see his photo you'll have question marks floating in your head, just saying. Hell it looks like a DMV photo.) But anyways Jimmy or Jim is from Belgian and ANDE is his one man black metal project which he started back in 2015. This is his second full length. I saw something in the promo material peeked my interest. According to Jimmy or Jim, ANDE is his personal way to honor black metal that was, is and will be. Really? Ya mean like in borrowing someone else's creative vision and repeating it?

The only thing Het Gebeente has that stands out is the production quality. I'll also toss in that not all of this is generic atmospheric black metal. On the cut "Oud en Vet" the guy actually breaks out into some black & roll. He must of been having a good day during that recording. The opening keyboard intro track is self indulged garbage, generic and boring. The outro is synthesized earth fart type hypnotic horror psych. Please, Varg did it better with a Casio keyboard. "Leeg" is a decent blackened doom cut that Jimmy or Jim just rips apart with blast beats and a good tremolo picked riff to end it all. 

Even with good production values Jimmy or Jim does keep some rawness. His singing voice sounds like his throat is made of sandpaper, that's a good thing. Although if you take out the intro/outros you'll left with four tracks. All of which are not huge standouts that make your imagination wonder into blackened realms. Hell I wouldn't even fold laundry to it. I guess that's why there's a huge difference between honoring black metal and creating it.

Rating: 1/5

KINGS DESTROY - None More review


War Crime Recordings

You're from Brooklyn. We played with a band from Jersey at St. Vitus bar the other night and they called us hipster douche-bags. Man what douche-bags they were. You're from Brooklyn. Yes our music is co-opted from various sources including 90's indie rock. You're from Brooklyn. Yeah this EP is boring although it's short compared to our past boring efforts. You're from Brooklyn. Staten Island is thankful that they don't have a community of losers like you invading their borough. You're from Brooklyn. The critics who like you are also losers. You're from Brooklyn. You probably hate the YANKEES. You're from Brooklyn. We live in a loft apartment above a Jamaican/Greek fusion restaurant. You're from Brooklyn. A family of Puertos moved out before us, the place still smells like Spanish rice, damm that gentrification. You're from Brooklyn. I left college to follow my dream as a food truck cook. You're from Brooklyn. We put out our release on cassette because we're cool. You're from Brooklyn. According to Pitchfork that whole black metal thing is played out so we decided to be a doom band. You're from Brooklyn. We had an African American Uber driver the other night. I love diversity but he over charged us for having to lug our equipment. Damm that's doom. You're from Brooklyn. Goodbye hipsters.

Rating: 0/5

UFOSONIC GENERATOR - The Evil Smoke Possession review

UFOSONIC GENERATOR - The Evil Smoke Possession

 Minotauro Records

This came in under the tag-line 70's Hard Rock/Doom Metal. Yeah I'll agree to that. Some of this is cool full on 1970's blues influenced hard fuckin rock. I absolutely love the cut "At Witches'Bell" because it's total 70's worship at it's finest. The rest of this release is kinda homage to the whole third tier style acts of that decade with a few stolen riffs here and there. This band is from Italy so there ya go. Was there free wine during the recording?

Actually this could've been some unknown rarity (it's not) from those days dug up by Minotauro Records, a label out of New York state that specializes in albums by Italian artists whether it's metal or something else.  They've got a shit load of Paul Chain releases for you music snobs. They also released some DEATH SS stuff. As far as this band goes they started out in 2011 and on most of this release they wanna sound like Relentless era PENTAGRAM but fail to fully nail it.

Rating: 2/5

ARKANA CODE - Brutal Conflict review

ARKANA CODE - Brutal Conflict

Metal Scrap Records

So if I said Italian Death Metal, who would come to mind other than say FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE? Yeah it is a tough question but don't feel so bad since the nation is not known for being overflowing purveyors of that particular metal genre. Be that as it may one listen to ARKANA CODE's second full-length Brutal Conflict and you'll remember them because they'll remind you of modern Swedish melodic death metal.

Now technically that's not a bad thing in fact you could just say yeah these Italians are just as good as the Swedes and they have better cheese. But like I said this is modern style as in ya got your melodies hammered out by brutal riff masters that are slightly technical and that includes the leads. The vocals are the usual mix of brutal growls and harsh screams although they do give some time to spoken whispers during atmospheric song structure breaks.  

This is also a concept album, yeah really. Supposedly the lyrics have been decrypted from an ancient code that talks about an ancestral civilization that died in a terrible way. Sounds like something Graham Hancock should get into. Anyways this release is decent enough for fans but not over the top for people like me who crave insanity.

Rating: 2/5

BALFOR - Black Serpent Rising review

BALFOR -  Black Serpent Rising

Drakkar Productions

You know that saying, "if you listen to something long enough it'll grow on ya". Well this one did and now I have my misgivings about it. I guess it was about 5 or 6 years ago when people really started looking into the whole Ukrainian black metal scene to see if there was more than just DRUDKH or NOKTURNAL MORTUM. That's when BALFOR rose out of obscurity with their full length Barbaric Blood which actually was on a decent label too, Pulverised Records. Musically it was early DIMMU BORGIR sounding melodic symphonic black metal with equal parts melo-death thrown in. Nothing original but at the time the DIMMU jokes were getting old and it was ok to like that type of black metal again. Although the line "Do they have Hot Topic stores in the Ukraine" seemed worthy.

Fast forward to 2017 and after a long silence BALFOR are back somewhat. There's only one original member left from their last album. Also they've really taken on the whole DIMMU style to the hilt. The sound/production on Black Serpent Rising is obviously impressive. The new line-up seizes the day with powerful riffs accompanied by Thorgeir Berserk's savage vocals. There seems to be a more battle metal plus folk metal theme going on. Ya got some female vocals added to a couple of songs. Hey is that Myrkur? Yeah I know but I couldn't resist.

Getting back to the music, BALFOR uses a wide range of weapons to get their extreme epicness across. Along with the previous mention implementations the band uses keys to add texture to the whole grand and thunderous atmosphere. There's plenty of guitar solos throughout and various signature changes to give the songs a wider range than two dimensional symphonic black metal of the past. But after many plays I was left bored. Sure at the center the band is essential black metal but has crossed over to a more epic standing kinda like when DIMMU BORGIR brought in the orchestra. Sure it was interesting for a few minutes but in the end looked for something more.

Rating: 3/5

AETHYR - Uncanny Valley review

AETHYR - Uncanny Valley

Last Candle Productions

Whoa, busy night at work made even tougher because one of the young guys was playing his music. Now if you know what twenty-somethings today like musically, especially when they think they're hip, then you know what I went through. I just kept telling myself that I'm coming home to listen to some cool ambient black metal tonight, which I am.

Whenever I tell people that black metal can be very beautiful it's because of music like this. AETHYR are from Greece and on this release they cover the bases whether a slight harsh tone on opener "A New Journey" and "The Threshold" or a more somber meme like "Into the Grey Woods" which takes you on a journey. It's on this latter tune where I think AETHYR is at their best. This ain't original but it's certainally not typical of what Greek black metal bands of the past have given us. 

Unfourtunately the band has a story which must be told. AETHYR actually started out in 2007 and released a demo. The tracks on here were recorded a few years later, aka: another demo. Now the band, which I think is a two piece act, promises new stuff this year. Hopefully they can expand on what we have here. There's five cuts on here and the ones I mentioned are the best.

Rating: 2/5

Friday, January 20, 2017

DAWN OF TYRANTS - Breeding Ruin review

DAWN OF TYRANTS - Breeding Ruin

Self Released

Ya know there are a shit load of people who write about music who are only into showcasing their creative writing skills on the big name bands from big name labels. It does take talent to serve shit on a silver platter and convincing readers to eat it. As for me well I get a kick out of hearing from cool sounding bands in obscurity and telling people about them minus the lies or shiny serving tray. Plus my writing skills are not as good.

Case in point, here's DAWN OF TYRANTS, a blackened death trio from Toronto, Canada. This is their debut five song EP. Now on the surface any bozo who writes for (place name here) will say "sounds like BEHERIT/BLASPHEMY, been done move on." Now to me I say hold on there clown. Ya like Horror movies? Well let me ask ya, after Hollywood released all those classic Universal monster movies did studios just stop making similar Horror movies? Of course not because if it was good before then it can be made again for a newer audience. The same idea works in music.

I like the blackened sounds of BEHERIT, BLASPHEMY and now I'll add DAWN OF TYRANTS to that cannon. Dare I use the most overused descriptive term used by metal media scribes? I will dare it. This release is Lovecraftian in it's sound. The cavernous vocals, the evil sizzling tone of the guitars, the way the songs creep and crawl but also chase you. This is the sound that haunts your dreams and tortures your soul. True horror is something so uncomprehending that it drives you insane. I could blast this over the PA system at a hipster convention and it would drive those clowns nuts. Not even their DEAFHEAVEN Spotify playlists on their Iphones will save them.

Also I give this band extra points because anyone who dares do a CELTIC FROST cover, in their case "Dethroned Emperor", and does a good job of it deserves praise. Yeah this is great stuff and I look forward to hearing from this band in the future.

Rating: 5/5

LEMMY - Born to Lose Live To Win review

LEMMY - Born to Lose Live To Win

Cleopatra Records

Whenever some famous star in the music industry dies people will try to make a buck off of their memory by pilfering the archives of said musician to come up with something fans and collectors will gobble up. This is just one of many more Limited Edition releases dedicated to Lemmy Kilmister. This one's six songs on colored vinyl culled from various places. I know the live MOTORHEAD cover of "Train Kept A Rollin" is from their England 1978 album. The cover of "Something Else" is from The Head Cat - Rock N Roll Riot on The Sunset Strip release with Lemmy hooking up with Slim Jim Phantom of the STRAY CATS doing rockibilly covers. 

Other cuts on here include Lemmy hooking up with Jake E. Lee of OZZY fame covering ACDC's "It’s A Long Way To The Top". Lemmy also works with Nugent on QUEEN's "Tie Your Mother Down". There's a couple others but you get the idea. Except for the cut with NUGENT this isn't a big grabber.

Rating: 2/5

BLACK ANVIL - As Was review



A week ago I viewed an advance video promo of a song from BLACK ANVIL's latest album. About a minute in I started to laugh but that's not unusual since I've been laughing at BLACK ANVIL since their inception. Hell I was laughing at em when they were still KILL YOUR IDOLS. Nowadays I laugh at music scribes who use the term "legendary New York Hardcore band" when describing that Long Island band. Listen up kiddies, first era New York Hardcore bands like The UNDEAD, NIHILISTICS and HEART ATTACK are legendary. Second era NYHC bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRO-MAGS and MURPHY'S LAW are legendary. Once the eighties ended so did the whole hardcore scene. What followed in the nineties was a pale comparison. 

KILL YOUR IDOLS were from Long Island and came out in 1995, I repeat 1995. At first they were part of what was dubbed "street punk" because if you said Oi then the commies at Maximum Rock & Roll and their leftist ilk called ya racist. They went from 1995 to 2007 and were a third tier band at best throughout their career. After so many band member changes they sped up their sound from street punk to posi-core (aka: positive, lyrically non-violent hardcore). In other words it was fast music for pussies so if you grew up to that thinking it was cool NYHC then you're a pussy. If you got into em by listening to college radio in-between songs by GREEN DAY and RANCID then you're a bigger pussy. 

So how do members of a NY posi-core band turn into a black metal band a year after breaking up? Well in 2008 black metal was cool it was hip and suddenly non-metalheads were jumping on board for a thrill ride. So hey if you're a bunch of musicians looking to get paying gigs than hey just blacken up your sound and hey you're instant black metal for a new crowd of pussies who despise the real stuff. Seriously check out their first album and you'll think alright any talented musician can mimic black metal albeit with too many hints of hardcore and thrash. Of course the black metal fans laughed at em but hey the hipster pussies at Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan ate it up. BLACK ANVIL was black metal for indie rock losers who hate black metal as well as almost all really extreme metal.

And so a few albums later and here we are with their latest As Was. The band is now dubbed by the hipster media as "modern black metal" which means not really black metal. The opening cut, "On Forgotten Ways" sounds like something ENSLAVED threw away and those clean harmony vocals remind me of QUEEN. The song goes from trying to be black metal and switches to indie rock flourishes. And this band is opening for MAYHEM? Fuck You! Get Off The Stage! Second cut, "May Her Wrath Be Just", wow someone in the band bought a newer MARDUK CD and is copying the vocal style of Mortuus. It doesn't last long because the indie rock girly man background vocals chime in and just ruins everything. I've had to endure listening to this a half dozen times so the initial pain is over with. Yeah I'm numb but I'll continue.

The title track is where it really gets interesting as in, wow someone in the band bought a European Gothic Doom metal CD and they're influenced by it. I know that's bullshit. They probably heard something on Spotify and stole it. Hiptardo scribes call this progressive and atmospheric. The songs moves into straight forward rock riffs as well with the lead singer's (the bass player) raspy vocals chiming in all over. And I have to endure this crap live at a club that's probably gonna charge $10 a beer? Hell I'll be broke before their set ends. Wow what a show that's gonna be. You'll have True Norwegian Black Metal, some former S. American racists who now call Washington State home and these four hipsters from Brooklyn, all for $25 a ticket. And trust me that's not a bad thing I said about the second band.

So on the fourth cut titled "Nothing" they start out as a blackened NEUR-ISIS act then kick into some more MARDUK territory. It all had me thinking so-called progressive black metal is just aimless musicians tossing together a bunch of stolen pieces and calling it their own. I mean at the end of "Nothing" they kick into hair metal rocking. And it just keeps getting worse for the next four cuts. I know it's just January and I'll probably hear some more phony bands but for right now this really sucks. I guess the last laugh is how this release is being peddled by their label. "NYBM quartet BLACK ANVIL return with As Was, a staggering complex and thought provoking work of modern black metal art". Well it did provide me with a lot of provoked thoughts which you just read. 

Rating: 0/5

METALLICA - Hardwired To Self Destruct review

METALLICA - Hardwired To Self Destruct

Blackened Recordings

Review by Andy

In the world of metal. The word the band. Every bodies got a opinion. Like it or not. They are a legend. Also a disgrace to some.  Also the face of heavy metal. To the squares that really don't like or understand metal.  A sellout to some.  Most true old school metal heads gave up on em years ago. Lost respect years ago.  To Me it was never really a matter of losing respect. I kinda do actually respect a band with the courage and talent to evolve and change and push limits over the years. Its just that I rarely liked anything they did after say. $5.98 Garage Days ep.  

And Justice For All & the Black album. Were still metal. Just really boring and over played to Me. After that they did a lot of dumb shit. Part of Me respects a weird collaberation with Lou Reed. But then again I never actually heard it. And You just know it was dumb as shit.  And seeing that movie Some Kind Of Monster ? WTF?  That was sad. How could this be the same band that melted My face on the Ride The Lightning & Master Of Puppets tours?  Yes I feel that those early albums rule. Ride The Lightning is as essential as any metal album ever recorded. 

So here We are in 2016. Got Myself a free copy of the new Metallica.  This albums already gonna get a million reviews & opinions. More attention in 10mins on any given day. Then My band and most of My friends bands will get all year.  So why am I reviewing it?  Well most people reviewing it don't know shit about metal. They are phoneys . I'm real. They are false. I feel as a guy who was there in the begining. Seeing them in their early tours. Being there when thrash was first rising.  my opinion on Metallica anything is more important. Then 99% of the other fools commenting. First Is Metallica true or false metal? Hard to say. This album is certainly a actual return to heavy metal for them. Did they do it for respect & money? Or did they do it because they actually felt like playing real heavy metal again?  Who knows.

The first controversy surrounding this album. Is the album cover. Its said that Metallica blatently ripped off. Crowbar's Odd Fellows Rest album cover. Check out the picture.  Pretty funny.  Too Me both album covers are pretty dumb. The whole package of this 3 CD album is pretty dumb. About 20 different pictures. All variations of the same album cover.  Unimpressed.  So the imortant part? The music. How is it? Well good value for money I guess. Its three full CDs of Metallica. The first disc has 2-3 decent songs. I dig the title track Hardwired To Self Destruct.  Also Atlas Rise & Moth To Flame. The rest is boring filler. 

The second CD even worse. Only one song impresses Me.  Spit Out The Bone, Its probably the best thing they have done since Master Of Puppets. Well maybe not that good. But still shows they can pull at least one Metallica classic out of a 3 disc album LOL. Disc 2 also has their Lemmy tribute song Murder One. Which to Me is a total fail. Lyricaly kind of dumb. Even worse its a mid paced snoozefest musically. Its not tributing Lemmy musically in anyway I can understand. They knew Him not Me. So maybe I'm the dumbass here? But whatever. I just don't expect a song tributing Lemmy to suck. But it does LOL. 

Onto disc 3.  Now this made the album worth it for Me. First You get new Metallica original Lords Of Summer.  Another decent one. Better then most of the songs on the first two discs. Then You get the Ronnie Rising medley. 3 Great covers of Dio era Rainbow. They do a great job. Best thing on the whole album. Then they cover Deep Purple & Iron Maiden.  Again doing a great job. The rest of the disc. Is a recent live recording of Metallic performing in a record store. For Record Store Day.  The great thing about it. Is that its all old classics from Kill Them All and Ride The Lightning.  So over all . to Me this album is only really worth it for the third disc. 

Andy's Rating: 3/5

SLAYER - Repentless review

SLAYER - Repentless 

Nuclear Blast

Review by Andy
OK Like the recent Metallica. Everybody's got a opinion on this one. In our little heavy metal world. Slayer is one of those bands. Just always gonna be to some extent. Probably the best of the thrash pioneers. One of the few of the big groups that came out of that era. That never really got wimpy & commercial sounding. Never went grunge or all out retarded like Anthrax.  Still their game got a little old and boring after awhile.

Like a lot of other classic bands. Repentless is a Slayer album. The death of Jeff Hannimen was a crushing blow to the band for sure. But It has not stopped them. Great packaging. Cool fold out poster.  A hour worth of typical Slayer music. But the problem is. Not a damn thing stands out. Its all good. But nothing great. Its just a CD you put in. Hey cool its Slayer!  A hour later You don't remember one song from another.

There were some cool videos made for these songs. Incredible blood gore & violence. Its a shame the songs are so same old going through the motions stuff. I guess they still blow away 75% of the competition in this game. But I've come to expect more from the mighty Slayer!  A cool live dvd comes with this. Which is a nice bonus. But again. No where near the energy of the old stuff.  I'm a broken record when it comes to these old bands LOL. 

Andy's Rating: 3/5 stars

Thursday, January 19, 2017

THE DRIP - The Haunting Fear Of Inevitability review

THE DRIP - The Haunting Fear Of Inevitability


Some time around a dozen years ago some music revisionist(s) came up with the term D-Beat. Now without going into how those music revisionists are so full of shit about it's true history as well as their obvious youth which disqualifies them from knowing the facts (they read it on the internet) I'll explain. D-Beat is a simplistic term used by ignorant still wet behind the ears music scribes to describe music which combines 90's style metalcore, grind and death metal.

Enter THE DRIP, a five piece band from Washington State, who on this their debut full length combine metalcore, grind and death metal into their sound. After listening to this I can clearly state that no band who's name starts with a "D" comes to mind. Although I did see one internet scribe use the "D" word in describing THE DRIP's sound. That person is an idiot. In fact this reminds me of NASUM meeting up with THE ABORTED. Anyone who tosses out the "D" word when writing about THE DRIP needs to have their lips sown shut, their hands cut off and their genitals sliced off. That way they can never again speak, write or reproduce again.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, THE DRIP have already released a few eps of pure grindcore. Their last one, 2014's A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics, was released by Relapse so here ya go with a full length from the signing deal. Obviously the band is trying to expand their song writing skills in order to fill a full length with material. So they pull the death grind card out for a slow burn on cuts like "Dead Inside" and "Wretches". Unfortunately it sounds forced as if they have no business trying it. THE DRIP were satisfactory as a twelve to thirteen minute length release band. Not everyone can be NAPALM DEATH.

Rating: 2/5

SPECTRAL - Arctic Sunrise review

SPECTRAL - Arctic Sunrise

 Boersma  Records

These days there's at least a ton of bands doing the whole Viking, Black, Power, Thrash and Heavy Metal thing. I mean it's gotten insane with all the bandwagon jumping especially from where these bands are from. Believe it or not there's even one from here in North Carolina. Years ago I remember reviewing a release from a Pagan Viking Black Metal band from Argentina. You can take it as a good thing as in good metal is universal or like I mentioned earlier, bandwagon jumping. One thing is for sure, Germany's SPECTRAL preceded the genre copycats by a good decade.

Unfortunately for SPECTRAL, their name is not as familiar to genre fans as say fellow compatriots FALKENBACH but it damm well should be. I first learned about em in 2008. The band originally started out back in 1995 but didn't get any material out until 1999 when they put out the demo Teutonic Symphony, which is a cool fuckin title. In 2001 they got the ball rolling by putting out their debut full length, Barbaric Assault. Since then they have released a good five releases over the course of time which included line-up changes and now Arctic Sunrise is their sixth.

I'm just gonna come out and say that Arctic Sunrise, when held up to genre standards, is a great album. Although personally I'll always be fond of their Stormriders full length from 2007. Now when I say genre standards I mean that SPECTRAL are covering the bases of what you would expect from a band in this genre. You've got your melodic yet galloping rhythms and the duel vocals (one harsh blackened screams and the other death metal growls). Then of course you've got the keyboards in the background laying a foundation most of the time with an intro here and there. 

As far as lyrical themes go well hey how bout "In Battle with Fire & Steel", "Invaders", "Vengeance in Blood" and of course the title cut are all cliche at this point in time. I think the only surprise was "Fuck Off and Die", a killer heavy metal anthem which had me thinking if this was the band's swan song. Be that as it may this is everything you'd want from a Viking, Black, Power, Thrash and Heavy Metal band. It's 2017, can you stand some more?

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

VARIOUS ARTISTS - HORROR PAIN GORE DEATH 2016 Full Year in Review: 23 Track FREE Sampler review

VARIOUS ARTISTS -  HORROR PAIN GORE DEATH 2016 Full Year in Review: 23 Track FREE Sampler

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Everyone likes a good extreme metal compilation put out by a record label right? Hmmm, that might be Deju Vu on my part. Well I opened the can of worms so I'll follow through. I can reach in a draw and pull out one of those containers which you buy blank CDRs/DVDs in. I've got a dozen of em and one in particular has a bunch of compilations that I have acquired over the years. Some I've gotten for free in magazines, others I picked up at record stores in the dollar CD bins, etc. Years ago labels like Century Media, Metal Blade and Earache were tossing those comps out like candy. Of course it's always buyer beware when it comes to those things. 

That is not the case here with this one from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. In fact this is pretty cool and reminds me of some of the playlists I made on my computer, albeit mine are 10 to 15 hours longer. But if you're interested in what this extreme music label has put out in 2016 then here is the place to start. What you've got here is slightly over an hour's worth of intense head banging, moshpit inducing, slam your body into a wall, crank it up to piss off your neighbors, party comp rioting metal. Most of this is everything Death Metal and it's outstretched clawed sub-genres. There's also a few surprises.

There's 23 bands on here now I'm not gonna list em all but I will give ya some highlights of the bands I do know and new ones that caught me by surprise. First off I know AGATHOCLES but their contribution on here surprised me. I won't ruin it for ya but it was a "holy fuck" moment. VIOLATION WOUND, whoever they are do something off the beaten path similar. Japan's truly sick bastards, ZOMBIE RITUAL, add their twisted brand of death thrash to this comp. PERCUSSOR was a good choice to open this comp with. They're straight up death metal from Hostile City, USA (that's Philadelphia, PA by the way). They've got two recent full lengths out which interested party's (aka: OSDM fans) should seek out. Another Hostile City band, EAT THE TURNBUCKLE, deliver their brand of Wrestling shtick influenced hardcore/thrash with "Suplex City". DEVOURED FATE's contribution, "Purely Fuckin Demented", is for fans of vomited vocal deliveries over late 80's styled Swedish DM. They're a bunch of Mass-holes as well.

A few other highlights are the blackened death of Indiana's MOUNTAIN GRAVE. Midwest DM has a rich history in being repugnant. Houston's TERMINATION FORCE was a cool surprise. They had an album out years ago titled Grind Thrashing Death, which is pretty much how they describe themselves. But their cut on here, "Trail Of Entrails" reminds me of old 80's hardcore, the good stuff and not that pathetic metalcore that came afterwards which a lot of modern day revisionists seem to think is hardcore. Word to the wise (fat chance on that) I was there in the 80s while you revisionists were still in your dad's balls. As for some other highlights, MENTAL COMA, thrash from Denmark with plenty of Tom G. Warrior grunts. There's even some black metal via Maryland one man band UNENDLICH, which actually sounds like DARK FUNERAL. 

All in all if ya wanna pick up/hear a great comp to expand your extreme music taste needs then here ya go. You won't be disappointed. 

Rating 5/5

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Forbidden Fruits Of Rock N Roll vol 2 cd Compilation review

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Forbidden Fruits Of Rock N Roll vol 2 CD Compilation

Mystery School Records

Review by Andy

Alright !!  The Forbidden Fruits Of Rock N Roll vol. 2 CD comp is available !!  Anybody that heard that first Forbidden Fruits Of Rock N Roll comp. From the great Mystery School Records.  Was probably looking forward to this.  Great series of punk, noise, hardcore, metal & garage rock.  That pretty much all go together & flow together on a comp somehow. I'm not gonna review My own band. But Yeah We got a song on here. So lets talk about some of the highlights from My perspective.  Right off the bat. Stovebolts kick it off. Great garagy southern punk stuff.  The mighty Rancid Vat's Die Hipster Die !  Kicks massive ass !  A band I never heard of Haylee & the Komets impressed Me greatly. Catchy punky stuff.  A never before heard Hellstomper song Ain't Dead Yet song. Makes this comp worth seeking out alone!  The same could be said of the Self Made Monsters cover of the Sonics -He's Waiting.  Russian punk maniacs Svetlanas kick ass on DIY Rehab.  Other great tracks from Street Clones, Warboys, Zodiac Panthers, Brody's Millitia and a weird one from Malcolm Tent. All make this a great comp worth seeking out. And a cool introduction. To some of the very cool stuff you get get from Mystery School Records. Look up their online store for this and other goodies.

Andy's Rating: 4 stars



Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Everyone likes a good split release right? Ah yeah every time I see a split release, whether it's a full length or a 7"er, that ANAL CUNT song comes to mind. You know what I'm talking about. We've all got a bunch of em in our vinyl collections. One side is good or at least decent and the other sucks balls. As far as my own stash is concerned I've probably got around a hundred or more split releases. Most of those are 7"ers and I'd say half of em are good, as in both sides I like. Now as far as this particular one goes well it's a winner.

This split cd has two extreme metal bands giving the listener five songs a piece.  One of these bands I know about and that's SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER from California. They toured with North Carolina's own BLOODSOAKED. (Hey I like the guy) These guys are death thrash with touches, or I should say bleeding sores, of gore grind in em. They are full on hate with duel vocals, the singer growls and one of the guitarists adds pain filled screams. They've been around for a while with a couple of full lengths under their belt. I've got one from a long time ago. As far as their songs on here, the opener "Reign Of The Hammer" is a cool face ripper. It's like some anthem for a hammer wielding mass murderer. Also "Ruthless & Truthless" and "Compound Fracture" are cool ass hate fuck metal destruction.

The other band on here, ENFUNERATION, are new to me which is also the x-factor with splits. Luckily this Oklahoma City act staved off the inevitable dilemma with splits. ENFUNERATION are like Oklahoma's version of VADER. Their second cut, "Bearing Their Scars", was a blast of old school "I want to see you dead" type hate which I was in the mood for tonight, especially tonight. In fact all of their five tracks on here are superb.

I usually look at these splits as wrestling matches. Some band is gonna kick the other's ass and take the belt. In this split's case it's a draw since both are evil rule breakers rule types. Be that as it may I'm kinda looking forward to hearing more from ENFUNERATION.


No Anger Control - Drunk In A Dumpster split LP review

No Anger Control - Drunk In A Dumpster split 

No Profit Records

Review by Andy

Here We have a nice LP of hardcore punk / thrash type punk rock. Two sides split between to great North Carolina bands.  Side one. Ashville / Raleigh area's Drunk In A Dumpster. Yes they sound like what You might expect from a band with a name like that Ha Ha Ha . And Ya know. To Me that's a good thing. Loud fast rude , Verging on being out of control at times ! Hardcore metal punk thrash ! They don't give a fuck. And the song We Don't Give A Fuck is a classic anthem. Perfect for getting smashed and raging in a club. 

Side 2.  Charlotte's No Anger Control. Fans of 90s punk legends Naked Aggression might want to check this band out. Fast , tight hardcore punk. Female fronted band. Great live band. What else can be said? Its a style of hardcore punk. Thats always there. And hopefully always will be.  This is a great record. Both bands recordings sound decent. without being to clean. Comes with a download card with extra songs.  Good stuff. I have seen both bands a few times. I always walk away impressed and entertained. If they come Your way check em out!

Here's NO ANGER CONTROL performing live:


VOID KING - There Is Nothing review

VOID KING - There Is Nothing

Off The Record

Well if you are anticipating the newest CORROSION OF CONFORMITY release here it is, although it's not really COC but it might as well be. Then again you could call up Phil Anselmo to tell him someone new is stealing his or one of his friend's act again. What we have here is the debut full length by VOID KING a four piece sludge rock act out of Indianapolis, Indiana. In a nutshell this sounds like Danzig fronting a NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) sludge band.

Personally I've never been a fan of the whole Southern Sludge meets Grunge/Alt-metal stuff. In the past I'd slag this off as hipsters in farmer's market bought straw farmer hats who replaced their poseur PEARL JAM t-shirts with one's by (Choose One: CROWBAR, DOWN or COC). I'd also add a lot of "fuck you's, you suck's and you blow's" to it. But I've gotten open minded lately. I'm still not a huge fan but I can give credit where it's due.

This eight song release is mimicry at it's finest. The band's high volume riff heavy attack coupled with singer Jason Kindred's hefty Danzig/Eddie Vedder style vocals makes this appealing to fans of the whole mainstream metal scene, which includes Southern Sludge acts playing stadiums/fests. I'm surprised the douche-bags at Metal Injection haven't gone apeshit over this. Maybe they're waiting for it to be re-released on a "proper more well known record label".

Rating: 4/5

STREET CLONES - Cloned For Your Pleasure review

STREET CLONES - Cloned For Your Pleasure
Mystery School Records

Review by Andy

Those not familiar with the Street Clones. They are a punk band out of Wilmington, NC. Fronted by John Baptist formerly of the band Rapegoat.  Great stuff worth checking out. This is a short but sweet debut album from them. 8 damn good punk/hardcore type songs.  Dwarves, Dead Kennedys, even White Flag come to mind. Johns got a warped mind and it shows in songs like Extinction A Go Go and Revenge Of The Fuckwits.  I'm a little warped Myself so of course I enjoyed it. Recommended listening for punk rockers period. Nothing trendy hip or pop. Just good old Punk Rock. 

Andy's Rating: 4 stars

LUCIFER'S FALL - Cursed & Damned review

LUCIFER'S FALL - Cursed & Damned
Nine Records

When I see a band compared to the likes of SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM or REVEREND BIZARRE, I have to take pause and go "hold on there." To me that's a little hyperbole, ok. I mean we're talking three aces there and that's hard to compare with. But I will say after giving this a bunch of listens, three day's worth, I must admit the promo info on this band was correct.

LUCIFER'S FALL hail from Australia, the southern part that is. This is their second full-length. Now although opener, "Mother Superior", had me thinking more boogie rock than actual doom ya know like ORANGE GOBLIN. It's on the second cut " Damnation" and what follows where those previously mentioned influences peek out from behind the curtain. Songs like "The Mountain of Madness", "Cursed Priestess" and "The Necromancer" definitely have that Dave Chandler riffage flair. This is more Scott Reagers' era SAINT VITUS influenced especially on the vocals if anything.

There's nine tracks on here, most good lengthy ones with a few fast blasters like what I'd call the band's anthem, "Fuck You We’re Lucifer’s Fall". Yeah they probably play that one at the end of their sets. But anyways with all the stoner/sludge worship going on in the metal music scene of late this is truly an eagle flying high above all of the chickens. This release is crushingly perfect old school doom.

Rating: 5/5