Friday, July 28, 2017

TOTALITARIAN - De Arte Tragoeadiae Divinae review

TOTALITARIAN - De Arte Tragoeadiae Divinae

Barren Void Records

I'd have to call this Italian act's debut full length industrial strength black metal. Yes their blacks are very black, insanely black but it's their industrial pace which bothers me. Musically this style has been done before to listenable levels and the ability to hold one's attention. But there are times when this act (I think it's a one man band) falls victim to repetitiveness that not even evil can fix.

De Arte Tragoeadiae Divinae contains five cuts, all long with three pushing over thirteen minutes in length. Let me tell ya something, hearing the same trudging rhythm for thirteen minutes is not exciting. Not even the cavernous vocals (with occasional shrieks) or tremolo picked accents can make this more than late night sleepy time music. Yeah hypnotic also means sleep and that's the first cut. Of course it's not all boring. The first five minutes of "The Wisdom of Chains" is a dark chaotic nightmare. I can't say much more enjoyment was felt by the rest. But hey that might be the whole idea.

SOVEREIGN - Spirit Warfare: Demo MMXVII review

SOVEREIGN - Spirit Warfare: Demo MMXVII 

Folkvangr Records 

What fuckin furious hell has Folkvangr Records (which is turning out to be a very cool label) laid upon me now? Hmmm, it's USBM from Arizona and it's in the vein of many past American black metal greats. No not the hipster shit I'm talking about real USBM which was thrashy, brutal and did not give a fuck about ambiance or atmosphere. By the way this is actually a demo but this band had a previously self released full length titled Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice in 2014.

This demo contains just three cuts, the first "Hammer of Fevered Light" is just explosive blackened speed metal with blackened breakdowns, go figure? There might be vocals if you consider just harsh screams as vocals. Actually it should be their opening number on their West Coast tour. Whoops that's over now, "Hello Sacramento, we're happy to be here at the Starlite Lounge." That's OK since I saw INQUISITION play in a sports bar, part of the crowd were hipsters, another part of the crowd were house show cheapos, the other part were regulars wondering whatafuck was going on. Second cut "Diadem of Wound" is actually the best real song on here, the third is an instrumental. Hey give us all a full length, dammit!

CHIRAL - Gazing Light Eternity review

CHIRAL - Gazing Light Eternity 

Folkvangr Records 

Here we have another decent find reissued on cassette by Folkvangr Records. CHIRAL is a one man black metal act from Italy. The one man is Matteo Gruppi who lives in the countryside near Piacenza to be exact. Just for the record Matteo has been busy over the years since starting CHIRAL in 2013. Over the following years he's put out a bunch of demos, singles, splits and two full lengths this one here being his second. 

At first I was not into this at all. I had come home from work pissed off. This was next in the review stack so I played it and decided that I had stuff to do while it played in the background. Thankfully it did and what a calming effect it had on me. Once I played it a second and third time then things got to the point of understanding. Frankly this is what I use to call late night blackened something or other. 

This release contains the original four tracks plus there's an added fifth track by the label. As far as the original part goes the four tracks are in a pattern. For example Tracks (or on here they're Parts) 1 and 3 carry more of blackened feel and are longer. They are followed up with shorter ambient cuts. Musically CHIRAL comes across as dark, depressing and is best looked upon as one continuous piece of music than individual parts. 

The blackened riffs and melodies are easy listening. Once in a while there's a furious breakout of tremolo picked madness (near the end of Part III The Crown for example). There's also great use of acoustic guitar, plenty of keyboards to wash you in soft atmospheric sounds. The added fifth track is an acoustic misery that if it was electric would be funeral doom. I fell asleep each time this release played then had to re-listen in the morning to remember what I thought about it.  There you go, it soothes the savage beast.

FATHER BEFOULED - Desolate Gods review


Dark Descent Records

Well it's time again to pose the question What is Better, the new INCANTATION album or the latest release by a band who worships INCANTATION? I think I've been here before since I got into FATHER BEFOULED back in 2010 with their Morbid Destitution of Covenant LP. I still hold that release high as a perfect example of a new band who crave old school death metal (OSDM) and do it right. I've been a fan ever since. Now I've got their last one, Revulsion Of Seraphic Grace, from 2012 which is also damm good. I never got their debut, fuck me. 

But anyways it's been five fuckin years since these guys have put anything out anything substantial other than a compilation of rarities and a split with MACABRA. Now I don't have the new INCANTATION album yet but hey this fills that void and once again proves that it's not about imitation it's influences. On this, the band's fourth full length, once again it's the death doom sound of what you could call John McEntee’s prodigy. I don't see that as a bad thing as long as it's good. 

FATHER BEFOULED have not lost a step over the past five years in fact this new one is a notch up. The opening instrumental sounds like the entrance theme you'd hear while entering into a realm of chaos. Then the suffocating pummel of cavernous death doom plows forth which is pretty much what the band does throughout this release. I'm not going into each song so let me just say even with all the crush, kill, destroy type riffs there's plenty of razor like soloing and the vocals of a beast.

Hey look, it's INCANTATION worship OK. It should actually be considered a genre itself especially after the past decade.You're either into it or not. This band has been into it for a decade now. By the way I am an INCANTATION fan. I saw them in their heyday during the late nineties with a new band, at that time, called NILE. A year later NILE and their more technical style of brutality were all the rage with the fans and the metal media. INCANTATION and their style of death doom were kicked to the curb. But here we are almost twenty years later and it's INCANTATION who are worshiped and FATHER BEFOULED have most likely put out one of the best albums of the year. There you go.

WEREGOAT - Pestilential Rites of Infernal Fornication review

WEREGOAT - Pestilential Rites of Infernal Fornication

Iron Bonehead Prod

I first got bitten by the WEREGOAT back in 2011 with their Unholy Exaltation of Fullmoon Perversity EP. Back then in my review of it I said: "I'd like to take this release and shove it down the throat of anyone in the metal media who pushes the notion that in order for black metal to survive it must progress. Then watch their chest explode as the Weregoat comes out of the bloody hole like the creature from Alien. From that point on maybe the Weregoat goes North to some mushroom farm and massacre a bunch of cascadian hippies. Although I heard on the news that they all got buried in an avalanche which makes me feel sorry for the snow." You can read the full review here:

So yeah it's safe to say WEREGOAT's debut had an effect on me but hey what was not to like. You've got a three piece act from Portland, Oregon who, along with this endeavor, are members from other area bands churning out doom, death and various blasphemous filth. Obviously they're not out to make nice with their PC peers from their area of operations. Especially when you release an EP, their second from 2013, Slave Bitch of the Black Ram Master. They also have a couple of split releases to their credit: Disciples of War from 2012 with DIOCLETIAN and Jesus Fucking Wept vol​.​1 from 2015 which is basically a comp that they contributed two songs to. I highly recommend you get all of their releases.

As far as this full length goes, again what's not to love? It's bestial blackened death with BLASPHEMY and BEHERIT as major influences on the dark side and just choose any deviant death metal reprobates on the other. I said in the past that WEREGOAT give off an "atmosphere like that of a charnel house." It still lives up today especially with songs like "Molested by Evil", "Under the Whip", "Forked Tongue Lashes Between the Virgin's Thighs" and of course "Screaming Forth Endless Blasphemies and Emitting Foul Seed upon the Pitiful Face of Benevolence". Plus we're looking at the album cover of the year here folks. Nuff Said.

REBEL SOULS - The Forces of Darkness review

REBEL SOULS - The Forces of Darkness

Art Gates Records

You've gotta listen to things a few times before making a judgement call. Case in point, so the first time I listened to this German band's debut full length I wasn't automatically enthused enough so I started doing household chores while it played in the background. After a while I was in the other room when I thought hey this is pretty cool. 

REBEL SOULS hail from Germany but I think they live in Spain now. The band is a two piece act with bassist/vocalist Stefan Hielscher and guitarist Thomas Plewnia. They enlist a session drummer, James Stewart, as well. The band started out back in 2000, yeah I know, holy shit. But they did put out some demos and a single along the way. Both members were/are also in DEAD ENTITIES' REALM so that explains the gap.

Musically what we have here is plenty of straight up death metal via the 90's era Euro style. At times you've got punishing riffs with searing leads and brute force vocals. Other times things get slightly melodic but not to the point of Swedish wimp. These two guys know how to keep things brutal and relentless albeit in a past era which nowadays there's so many others in the driver's seat. Think Poland for example since the French are going totally blackened death.  Good? Yeah but there's so much else to choose from in this death metal pond.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

YGGDRASSIL - All Shall Burn review

YGGDRASSIL - All Shall Burn

Art Gates Records

Viking Metal from Spain??? Yeah well maybe twenty years ago there would be an issue but I heard Viking Metal from South America years ago so hey who cares right. Also these Spaniards lean more to the death metal side of the whole Viking / Battle Metal genre. This is not UNLEASHED style DM by the way. It's more in the melodic vein. Think more on the lines of ENSIFERUM or AMON AMARTH with tapas.

On the high side YGGDRASSIL are pretty good at doing the whole wannabe AMON AMARTH thing down to a mead's drop. First off the vocal growl by David López is fantastic. Musically the deathly melodies are pitch perfect which is evident on the title track as well as "End Of Cycle" and the fist rising "Battle In The Storm", which is my favorite track on here. On the low side the comparisons to AMON AMARTH, in the song structures, is so evident that even a few brutal death metal touches don't change much. 

In the long run no they are not a step away from Valhalla. Allow their vocalist to scream more and sing in a gruff voice. Give the guitarists some room to solo to the point of killing. The rhythm section is fine. Your future is secure.

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.

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.

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.

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" Staręga 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.

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?

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.

Friday, July 7, 2017


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,


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.

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?"

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.

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.

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.