Wednesday, November 28, 2018

ROTTEN EVISCERATION - Ancient Grave Ascension review

ROTTEN EVISCERATION - Ancient Grave Ascension

Guts and Blood Records

So weeks ago when I first saw this and was like OK death metal from South America I'll probably get into the release. Then I gave it a listen and I was in my fuckin happy place. It's bands like this as to why I love South American extreme metal. No, better yet, it's bands like this as to why I still get excited to write about extreme metal.

ROTTEN EVISCERATION hail from Peru, Lima to be exact. I have more than a few releases from bands of that area. ANAL VOMIT is one name off the top of my head who I've punished people with over the years. This is ROTTEN EVISCERATION's debut full length even though they've been a punishing act for almost a decade now.

So what this band does will not expand the death metal cannon. Nor will it impress hipster douche-bags at websites who'll have some sort of "come to metal" moment and write some sort of crap about South American metal which they just discovered and how it has changed their miserable lives. The bottom line here is that ROTTEN EVISCERATION are a brutal fuckin death metal act who love CANNIBAL CORPSE.

Seriously once I saw the song titles like "The Master of Vaginal Mutilation", "Baptized in Semen", "The Queen of Anal Penetration" and the one I laughed the most at "Raped and Headless", I knew where I was heading. But here's the really cool thing about this release. It's actually exciting with cool as fuck riff package, leads which would make the boys from Buffalo proud and the vocals are growled to a point where they're reaching out to choke you.

This should be on everyone's list as one of the best death metal albums of 2018. It will be on mine. Sure they'll not breaking new ground but who the hell cares? This is just another new take on old school death metal returning to the forefront of brutality. What makes it cool is that it sounds so fresh. And yeah that does put a sadistic smile on my face.

APATHEIA - Konstelacja Dziur review

APATHEIA - Konstelacja Dziur

Godz Ov War Productions

OK no shit there I was home from work tired as fuck and I needed to listen to another Godz ov War release sent in for review. So I popped open a beer, pushed play and was awakened. APATHEIA are to cold, fierce and frosty black metal as to me walking out onto my back deck naked while it's in the thirties and raining. A wake up call is putting it mildly.

This is the debut full length by Poland's APATHEIA. A band so cool they don't even have a Facebook page. How evil is that? I'm joking of course. This is another release of which I'll call interesting. First off the black metal dynamic is a mixture of tech intensity, melody and almost an operatic quality. The opening cut, "Odmetnia" is a face ripper. From that point on is where I don't get it.

APATHEIA look like a cross between HATE and 1349 but remind me of DEATHSPELL OMEGA in that their songs, some of them, push the complexity factor. At times it's like snorting meth while in the throes of an attention deficit disorder attack. Sure why be detached when you can create a black metal riff salad which will make BEHEMOTH cowl in disgrace.

It took quite a few listens for me to accept this campaign with it's barrage of riffs, frenzied blast-beats, melodic flurries into atmospheric portions and neck snapping song structure sequences. And that was just the first couple of cuts. It's not until the over ten minute run of "Boze cialo" where APATHEIA's feet finally return to the earth. Call me old fashioned but I like their longer cuts on here as opposed to the short sharp attackers. To me it's easier to enjoy a complex song arrangement as long as you give it time to develop.

Well as I said earlier, this is their debut so one can understand a band wanting to fit in as much as possible on their debut. APATHEIA are decent when they allow their songs room to mature. If they reigned in some of the wildness in their shorter cuts then they'd be better.

ANGRRSTH - Znikad EP review


Godz Ov War Productions

So here we have the debut EP by Poland's ANGRRSTH. Now before I get into this one I gotta say something. As far as blackening goes in metal, 2018 has been huge for blackened death metal. I think I've written about forty or more releases by bands pushing the blackened death sub-genre. Last year it was blackened thrash and the year before that it was blackened doom. As far as next year, who knows? We're running out of things to blacken.

Be that as it may ANGRRSTH are interesting to say the least. First off they're Polish and somewhat death metal, so yeah it's brutal in the way only Poles know how to perform it. I'll just invoke the name VADER and you should understand what I mean about Polish DM being brutal. Any long time readers should remember that I consider VADER one of the greatest death metal bands of all time. But these guys aren't VADER.

As far as the blackened part, I don't hear it. OK sure there's some tremolo picked melodies, feedback induced atmosphere and some blast-beats. Yeah but what I do hear more of is somewhat cool constructed songs with a barking off tempo "core" or bad thrash vocalist to high in the mix which insults the musicianship.  

The songs are sung in their native tongue which does give it a heartfelt approach whether through anger or pain or in many cases both. Personally I'd like to hear the vocalist's thrash band, WYROK, just for the hell of it because I just don't think this works for these musicians in this side band. Nuff Said.

DRUJ - Chants To Irkalla review

DRUJ - Chants To Irkalla

Godz Ov War Productions

Over the years I've listened to a few bands from Alaska but they're not what I heard when I lived there for two years in the 1980's. Back then it was all wannabe classic rock. Since then I've heard a black metal act (obviously) but here we have one into death doom. DRUJ hail from Anchorage, Alaska, a place that I have a few memories of although I lived north of it in Fairbanks back then. I also took some trips up above the Arctic Circle as well. So I do know cold. 

But anyways DRUJ do have a penchant for the coldness and bleak surroundings in their overall sound. There's plenty of sludge in their statement accompanied by bestial vocals. Add to that some melodic atmosphere and blackened touches all of which drives this release closer to the front of a crowded field. 

Chants To Irkalla is a dense affair as well as being a very mixed bag of slow motion sounds which might have you imagining dying in a harsh cold environment. I've got the heat on here and these six cuts have a way of sending a chill in me. It's not bad for a debut full length but musically they're still part of the crowd. And that's regardless of whether you live some place where it's colder than a well digger's ass.



Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Ah yes reviewing 7"ers again but hey this one is really fuckin cool. You got two bands who are just out to fuckin rage in an old school way. First off you've got two cuts by New Jersey's SACRIFICIAL BLOOD. They've been around since 2003 and have a decent release catalog to back it up. Musically they're in a POSSESSED type of vein. That's what I get with their original cut "Beware I Live". They follow that up with a GIRLSCHOOL cover "Hellrazor" which is MOTORHEAD all the way.

The second band on here is TRAITOR from Philadelphia, PA. Although they've only been around since 2012 they're also influenced by the old ways. In their case it's thrash circa 1985 and still in it's raw form. There contribution to this split is only one cut. Still it's a good cut. I wanna hear a full length by them. It'll probably be retro as hell but killer as fuck.

Monday, November 26, 2018

DEICIDE - Overtures of Blasphemy review

DEICIDE - Overtures of Blasphemy

Century Media Records

DEICIDE - Overtures of Blasphemy

In my not so humble opinion any metal band that has been around for over two decades is enough to at least give a horned fist salute to. Now there are various ways for that to work in their favor. They have to find ways to stay relevant and fresh to gain new fans while at the same time appealing to older fan's nostalgia. 

Now with death metal the previously mentioned rules apply but you walk a fine line between consistence versus complacency. When DEICIDE entered into our extreme metal conscientiousness in 1990 the death metal scene was at it's apex in popularity. Still the band was able to release two albums which today many consider to be classics. I tend to agree they both are. But after that point the band's music followed into consistency and then fell to complacency. 

That went on for a long time until DEICIDE came out in 2006 with The Stench of Redemption. To me that's one of their greatest releases. The riffs were crunchy as well as fierce, Benton's vocals were at his best as far as being a barking blasphemic  beast. The drum work was incredible. And of course you had guitarist Ralph Santolla (R.I.P.) adding mind blowing solos. Not only was this album a redemption for the band  but I believe Santolla truly revitalized em. On a side note a year later Santolla would go on to do the same for OBITUARY with their 2007 release Xecutioner's Return.

Which brings us to this one here, DEICIDE's third full length this decade and their third on Century Media Records (and could be their last on the contract if this ain't a winner). I was not too impressed with their two previous ones. On Overtures Of Blasphemy, Glen Benton and co. have made another restatement except it's not a jump to a modern DM approach. Instead it's a step back to their roots and falls into the OSDM approach. You've got a dozen compact  blasts of patented DEICIDE death. 

The hatred and vile contempt jump right out of the gate with opener "One with Satan" then followed by "Crawled From the Shadows” and “Seal the Tomb Below”. This early assault  captures a spirit which will carry you over some melodic death moments that do come into play later on. There's still that SLAYER worship investment on here in the lead work especially and some borrowing of riffs. That's something which is expected since it took hold of the band some albums back. 

Overall I think Overtures Of Blasphemy shows that Benton and co, even after five years since their last release, are not ready to throw in the towel. They still have some reinvention even if it's still dragging the past to the forefront and giving it a swift kick. SLAYER is gone but we still have DEICIDE to spread the hate.

THIRD STORM - The Grand Manifestation review

THIRD STORM - The Grand Manifestation

Dark Descent Records

There's something to be said with the phrase "never say die". Take Heval Bozarslan, vocalist and founding member of the Swedish blackened death act THIRD STORM. Back in 1986 Bozarslan and a couple of his teenage friends started THIRD STORM. They ended up putting out two demos but by 1988 the band called it quits. Bozarslan would later on start the death metal band SARCASM which were another act that took over a decade to get a proper release.

Now in 2014 Bozarslan and one past member of THIRD STORM got back together, got some other Swedish musicians involved and put out a two song EP, Taritiya Me, released in 2015, by Dark Descent Records. Now this is not the first time I've seen or heard about a musician who re-started a band from their past as a second chance. Sure it's a nice story but I've heard too many of em. But what made me really curious about this is that musician and author Daniel Ekeroth, the man who wrote the book (literally) on Swedish Death Metal, is involved and performs bass on here.

If one thing is obvious it's that Heval Bozarslan has had a few decades of extreme metal influences to dump into his musical stew and listening to this it shows. The Grand Manifestation is a blend of death, doom and thrash all thoroughly blackened with the char-coaled embers of the past. If this album is supposed to be a statement by Bozarslan then obviously it's that he wants it all musically that is. So fuck me running since I didn't hear their Taritiya Me EP. I was expecting (by way of the bio information) something along the lines of the inner space in-between NECROPHOBIC and DISSECTION. Instead I get BLOODBATH's long lost cousin.

Now don't get me wrong sure this is good stuff but then look at the talent here. The lineup has slightly changed since their EP. So long with the elders Bozarslan and Ekeroth you've got some young guns in guitarists David Eriksson of ANGUISH and Hasse Hansson, a journeyman of various swedish thrash acts. Add to that the versitile drum work of Alvaro Svanero who has been also drumming in SARCASM since 2017.

The bottom line here is that Bozarslan had a vision years ago and finally it's come to be. It's damm good and he's not finished since this release is supposedly part one of a trilogy. What sort of blackened brutality and chaotic doom will come about in the future?

Monday, November 19, 2018

PILLARS - Onward to Nothingness review

PILLARS - Onward to Nothingness

Seeing Red Records

OK it's quiz time, name five well known French Doom bands? Oh yeah you in the back with the beard, glasses and I-Phone looking up answers. You'll be executed later. Fact is no you can't answer that question honestly. I know a lot of cool French metal acts, mostly black metal, so I was at a loss on that quiz. If you are in the same boat as me then here's a band that may give you a advantage in the future if questioned about French Doom.

This is the debut full length by PILLARS, a four piece act from Nice, France. Prior to this they put out an EP, Pyres and Gallows, a few years ago. I almost passed on this in the emails. But when I saw this was French Doom I just got curious as hell because of my total ignorance on their scene. Thankfully I checked it out and although I'm not totally overwhelmed by it. Still after plenty of listens I believe it's worth writing about.

PILLARS have a sound that's a huge part SAINT VITUS, part Southern US sludge and part modern day generic sludge. The vocals are real guy gruff style with a kick into the clean yelling range. It's the static tension sound of the riffs as well as the thundering heartbeat of the bass which will keep you fixated. This release was OK but I'll wait to hear a second release for more appreciation. Still I thought their cut, "Pale Horse Rider" was fuckin cool as fuck.

WHIPSTRIKER - Merciless Artillery review

WHIPSTRIKER - Merciless Artillery

Hells Headbangers Records

Well unless you've been a huge consumer of Brazilian extreme metal for the past eight years (and no, just buying reissues put out by Greyhaze Records doesn't count) then you're in the same boat as me. This is WHIPSTRIKER's fourth full length in the eight years this band has existed. They also have a huge (and I'm not kidding when I say huge) amount of small format releases aka: singles, EPs and Split releases. If you're curious then check out their Seven Inches of Hell CD out on Dying Victims Productions and the Seven Inches of Hell Part 2 CD on Vulkan Records.

Getting back to this release, the band is actually Victor Whipstriker and some close friends who have been with him for a while and play in various other Brazilian acts. APOKALYPTIC RAIDS is one of those bands who I know of and have a new album out, The Pentagram, on Hell Music. So how did this cult Brazilian band get noticed by Hell's Headbangers after all these years in order for them to finally get some recognition in the US?

Who knows? Although I do know that Joel Grind took his guitar and amp down to Brazil in 2006 for a TOXIC HOLOCAUST tour. While there he used Whipstriker and friends as touring musicians. By the way Joel Grind does the mixing on this release as well so there you go. As far as to what this release sounds like, well it's VENOM, it's somewhat HELLHAMMER, it's SODOM,  it's nwobhm and it's also damm good. Whipstriker sounds like Cronos. The songs are basically a tribute to VENOM. Dare I say this sounds better than or equal two the last thing Cronos and company put out.

DRUGLORD - New Day Dying review

DRUGLORD - New Day Dying 

Sludgelord Records

Hey it's stoner doom from Richmond, Virginia go figure right? Yeah sure we're talking about a city where on any given day in a practice space the words "Dude hold the joint I feel like Iomni" are uttered. What, do you note a hint of sarcasm here? Well I don't even smoke the stuff but I get confused at times. At first I thought wait a minute, didn't this band just put out a release? Ah no, that would be DOPELORD or was it DOPETHRONE? Oh well who cares. Just smoke pot eat twat and smile a lot right?

Be that as it may here is an actual full length release by this Virginia three piece. I use the word "actual" because their previous releases were two EPs and a full length which was more like an EP. I have their first EP and heard the other two. A few years back they played a show here. That was back when Greta Brinkman was still on bass. Greta and drummer Bobby Hufnell were both in a cool 80's hardcore band I saw back in the day called UNSEEN FORCE. Of course after their set that night a friend and I talked with em about UNSEEN FORCE instead of DRUGLORD. Ironically enough they admitted to getting asked about their former band a lot.

But I digress, New Day Dying is definitely a step up from their previous material. Not much of a step but in general terms it's still a step. The seven songs on here are a sludge du jour. You get a fuzzed out wall of noise that's concise as far as song structures go. There's no dragging forever riffage which other similar acts torture you with. There's some actual leads which cut through the haze and give the songs more bite. It also gives things a 70's hard rock edge as well as a touch of nostalgia. Along with his guitar playing Tommy Hamilton also has a decent harsh devious snarl to his vocals. With all of that I think DRUGLORD has finally stepped out of the crowded stoner sludge genre field with this one.

LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR - Dragon Eagle Of Chaos review

LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR - Dragon Eagle Of Chaos

Self Released

Well the last time I heard from this band was in 2010 with their Evil Power full length. A great release by the way but personally I liked their third album, War Metal Battle Master, from 2008 the best. Every once in a while I'll pull out that CD and blast the hell out of it. True American Fuckin Metal it was. You've got your mix of thrash, death/doom metal and flat out traditional fist in your face metal. Hey look they're from Chicago, Illinois so what do you expect.

So of course when I first saw this I was excited but then learning that these two cuts are actually two older tracks. Well OK that's cool and at least they're properly recorded and released. Hopefully this is a teaser that they're coming back. That's all I've gotta say.

WRATHRONE - Reflections of Torment review

WRATHRONE - Reflections of Torment

Satanath Records

Can I just say holy shit this is some cool old school sounding Finnish death metal greatness and leave it at that? No I guess not. Well we'll have to reflect on history. So a few decades ago while Sweden, England and the US were getting all the attention as far as death metal goes. Finland also had a handful cool bands early on. It didn't last that long. You had some bands just calling it quits while others moved on to other sounds. Still that nation's DM footprint was made and I have a handful of releases to prove it.

Fast forward to the here and now which brings us to WRATHRONE a five piece act from Laitila who started out in 2008. This release here is their second full length. What this band has done is take that old school death metal sound and added some bludgeoning touches. It's almost a brutal DM formula with plenty of melodic riffage. There's dual vocals, one thick and gruff. The backing vocals are basically harsh painful screeches.

Musically on a whole it's a beaten down version of what the Swedes perfected long ago. Add in some melodic death doom style to give it an atmospheric touch. They have a thrashy side in the mix with plenty of lead work melodies to jar the senses. All in all it's a fantastic release.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

HORRORGRAPHY - Season Of Grief review

HORRORGRAPHY - Season Of Grief 

Satanath Records

After I gave this a listen my thoughts were to pass on it. But since this comes from Satanath Records I figured OK lets give it a chance. This label in the past has always produced some straight up genre releases whether they were black or death metal. So they've invested in something off the mark. Alright I'll give it the o'l Mr. Wolf third degree. They'll hate it of course.

Imagine if you will a doom metal version of NIGHTWISH. Oh yeah and they're from Athens, Greece. Alright so to you dedicated readers as well as haters of this blog I'll fuckin admit that I like some NIGHTWISH. Thankfully I don't allow comments by haters but I digress. This band does allow three vocal styles to purge through their variety of tempos. 

The first is the operatic vocals sung by a woman who could've been a stand in for Tarja Turunen. Then again that would be Floor Jansen. Be that as it may you've also got two guy singers with one doing harsh death metal type growls while the other one adds these clean Gothic priestly vocals. Musically this is a combination of NIGHTWISH's Century Child and CANDLEMASS's Ancient Dreams.

Stalwarts of both camps will be pissed off but hey while listening to this late at night I think it's cool. I mean like this is new compared to being depressed and stoned as far as doom metal is going. This release will be on my year end best of doom metal releases simply because it's unique. Hell next year they'll be the next big thing. Hopefully it won't be just because they took a THERION cover, "The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah", to new heights.

SKELETAL REMAINS - Devouring Mortality review

SKELETAL REMAINS - Devouring Mortality

Dark Descent Records

So this originally came out in April but I have it now. Oh well right? Unfortunately I looked at some opinions of this, the California band's third full length, prior to getting it. Obviously some people forget that a decade ago old school death metal made a comeback and was widely accepted by fans. The key word is "fans" because it was small labels who were promoting that old school death metal revival.

Fast forward a decade and now it's just an accepted genre style. If you don't like it then oh well go listen to prog rock. As for me when I listen to Devouring Mortality I'm imagining being at a show with ASPHYX, OBITUARY and DEATH on the bill. Now obviously that ain't gonna happen today but if one band can combine all of that greatness in one package I'll take it.

As I had written earlier this is SKELETAL REMAINS third full length. They started out in California in 2011. Their first full length, Beyond the Flesh, came out in 2012. I didn't get into em until their second album, Condemned to Misery, was released in 2015. So while this release blasts through my speakers I won't deny that these guys from Whittier wear their influences loud and proud on their sleeves or vests. In fact after a few listens I could add to the three I've already listed.

The bottom line here is whether or not it fuckin rules. As far as I'm concerned hell yes it does. You've got these caustic vocals which are a mixture of John Tardy and Martin Van Drunen. By the way they're two of the greatest DM vocalists of all time. Next you can toss in heavy, angry as well as filthy riffs. That's their bread and butter. Finally there's the Chuck Schuldiner style face peeling lead work. That sets the candles afire on this DM cake.

Now if you have a problem with all of that then you either hate death metal. Or you're a pissed off hipster who just blew a few hundred bucks on your credit card for classic death metal reissued vinyl on Ebay when you could've picked this one up for $12 plus postage. Then again you could be some loser who was at a show and saw SKELETAL REMAINS kick fuckin ass while your friend's tech/jazz/death metal act bored the crowd enough that they all went outside for a smoke while you stood there like the loser you are. Alright you're a dedicated loser. But hey this album rules so go fuck yourselves you fuckin jaded haters.



Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Well it's 4 AM here where I'm at. I was just outside on the back deck having a smoke and yeah it's cold outside. Sure it's in the 30's which most people from up North would laugh at but hey down here in NC that's cold. Now remember I'm originally from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It gets cold up there. But I also spent two years in Alaska and dealt with 70 degrees below zero. Now that's fuckin cold as in ice sickles coming out of your nose cold. 

I mention cold because I'm listening to black metal here. American black metal that is. Here's a split release by TERRANAUT / CHAOSOPHY. Now a word or two about split releases before I move on. I've got a shitload of split releases. Actually more than most of your shaved headed psychopaths into extreme music. I'm talking all three types of vinyl, CDs and cassettes. Usually you get one side very good while the other is OK or shit. It's always unusual to get two equally good bands on a split.

Now as far as black metal band split releases go, the artists involved only do them as long as the music compliments one another with some sort of contrast. On this one those contrasts are huge. The first band, TERRANAUT, hails from Chi-Town aka: Chicago, Illinois. They're definitely typically fierce USBM but after a few listens I kept thinking Finland. Maybe it's their thrash and burn riffage or the savage animal like vocals. Then it could be that they just set their singer on fire.

TERRANAUT are in that wanna-be second wave black metal well. They sound a step above low-fi demo quality. The harsh screamed vocals are complimented by good tremolo riffs which are cold, methodical as well as melodic. TERRANAUT are reminiscent of certain depressive black metal acts I've heard over the years, of course the more quality misanthropic ones. 

The second band, CHAOSOPHY, hails from Madison, Wisconsin. Their contribution here is three cuts all over seven minutes in length. Sound-wise they're more third wave black metal in their approach. An obvious point is in the better production but their use of synths plays a big role in their sound. They're definitely influenced by Nordic BM from that era. Flip a coin and pick a country, either Norway or Sweden or both. The vocals are of the harsh variety but still human, good icy tremolo picked riffs and also a definite melodic blackened death style flowing in.

So here you have two decent bands who differ but compliment one another. Personally I like CHAOSOPHY more which is odd but TERRANAUT also with their six cuts turn in something cool. Both of these bands have previously released material which you and I should check out. But the bottom line here is that you've got a great split release of black metal which all true fans will find worthy.

ARCHAEOBEAST - Manifesting The Antichrist review

ARCHAEOBEAST - Manifesting The Antichrist

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

When I saw this band was from Newport News, Virginia I immediately checked the names of the band members. It was probably a dumb if not losing effort. Years ago I had a bunch of friends from that town in Virginia. In fact some of em were in a cool band called JERMFLUX. They were a mix of punk, metal and noise. But during the recession of 2008 a some of those people I knew moved because the work dried up. Hopefully things have gotten better economically.

Which brings us to ARCHAEOBEAST a four piece brutal death metal act. Hey don't laugh because I know most people think Virginia is all about the Richmond scene. And of course that scene is all about doom metal, hipsters and tourists going to the GWAR-bar. But ARCHAEOBEAST are not the first serious DM act I've heard from Virginia. In fact we had a couple of bands from VA here at the Raleigh Death Fest last June. I reviewed a band's release from VA months ago as well. So the bottom line is that yes Virginia you've got death metal.

Now what ARCHAEOBEAST has laid upon us here is a four song EP. After a few listens I'd say it's a good start. I mean we're talking brutal death metal here, be that it is in an old school style. Or in other words it's not stupid like a lot of California bands in this genre. But seriously there's going to be no points awarded for originality. What this band does do well is set forth a crushing atmosphere. That's something which your average brutal death metal band does not. 

All in all the vocals have that perfect bestial style. As far as the song structures go they're mid-paced to death doom slow as in watching grass grow slow. When they are into flourishes of speed it's almost half paced grindcore style. If there's one piece missing it's some decent leads being thrust into their songs. But hey it's a good start.

If this band came down to Raleigh and played a show on a night when I'm off of work. I'd check em out and be up front through their whole set. Afterwards I'd buy em beers and maybe get a shirt from em. I expect to see a full length release from this band in a year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

LIFELOST - Dialogues From Beyond review

LIFELOST - Dialogues From Beyond  

Transcending Obscurity Records

What type of hell is this? Alright here we have a one man black metal project from Spain. The one man is Phlegeton, aka: J.L. Rey, who is also the lead singer for the Spanish death metal band WORMED. If you're into releases by Season of Mist records then you know about WORMED. Unfortunately I do and calling WORMED a death metal act was me being nice.

As far as this endeavor of Phlegeton goes. This is very melodic atmospheric black metal. The vocals, if you will call them that, are background voices or moans or even ghostly utterances. As far as this whole release (which to me time-wise is an EP) flows I'd be hard pressed to say anything other than it's a pattern well worn.

It starts out angry and evil then ends in a serene fashion. By the third play I was thinking about dinner. At least Phlegeton still has WORMED as a day job. If this was some guy from the states I'd say keep your job at the coffeehouse chump. 

IMPERIALIST - Cipher review


Transcending Obscurity Records

After listening to the first couple of cuts I wanted to take this California band and give em the third degree. OK boys which city in Sweden are you really from? Oddly enough this is the second time in the past few weeks I've heard a band that invokes influences from DISSECTION. Trust me that's rare. Some come close but few nail it. I don't know where Monrovia, California is but it's probably not sunny.

Now I'm not going to drag this deep into the blackened death genre. Sure the riff style is there but something darker lies within this band's overall sound. Amidst the thrash and ripping rhythms is full blown heavy handed atmosphere which carries you along. Dare I say it's got a grim and frosty feel to it? Yeah I will.

On this debut full length by IMPERIALIST the band comes up with ways to keep your interest by handing the listener variety. At times it's straight up melodic blackened death. Other times it's a violent black metal invocation. Is it perfect? No but we'll see what they come with next time. Hopefully they're inject more of themselves into their sound. But hey look at the bright side. At least now you can say black metal from California without bursting into laughter.

INFERNAL COIL - Within a World Forgotten review

INFERNAL COIL - Within a World Forgotten

Profound Lore Records

This Boise, Idaho act combines death metal, grindcore and black metal in one nice yet chaotic package. 7 or 8 years ago that would've been cool but these days it's as exciting as a bag of potatoes. Back in September this band played in a nearby city which is known for two things. If you're an illegal then you are safe and it's a great place to buy heroin. So it's safe to say I didn't bother going. 

But I'll give these guys their due respect. Along with their PORTAL meets HOODED MENACE meets avant grind sound they also add some doom atmosphere at the mid-point of this their debut full length. You need a breather after all of that face peeling chaos of the first few songs. They also leave room for continued doom aesthetics to seep in throughout the rest of the release.

I guess the bottom line here is that you can't go wrong with bestial cavernous vocals, deliberately left in bursts of feedback, torturing riffs and mechanical drum work. One time while this was playing I stepped out onto my back deck for a smoke. When the sound of the final cut reverberated through my listening room's window. As if on cue a cold breeze came and a bunch of leaves fell from the trees surrounding my home. Interesting?