Constipated? Nope, my Inbox is merely jam packed with Metal.
Welcome Folks to another short but sweet review segment. My hope here is to introduce new music that usually goes under the radar, unless of course one knows where to keep an eye out. My eternal thanks to a slew of promoters and PR companies for allowing me to listen/comment and view these materials not to mention their appreciative patience.
Without further ado, my thoughts on a couple of releases that have taken my fancy.
Laments of Silence – System Failure (Against PR)
Release – November/20/2016
Laments of Silence have transformed their style drastically since their inception in 2002 amidst a huge shuffle in the line-up the musical change has taken them from a Gothic arena to more of an Industrial, groove metal forum.
Intertwined with melodies that speak volumes of European melodic death influence (think Dark Tranquility and In Flames) is a very distinct industrial vibe mellowed by effective synth work that gives the music fantastic atmosphere.
Chunky, groove laden, riffs recall a Fear Factory edge albeit with more breaks for melody, shifting stylistic changes in vocal techniques (ranging from a ‘light’ growl to more of a traditional singing style) less chugging repetition and often more depth.
Overall this is an album that many in the metal hordes will easily be able to devour, especially those that haven’t yet fallen under the brutal death/black/ grindcore spell (as have I). This album sports melody aplenty, limb tapping riffs that are very addictive, a vocal attack more in the melodic death and occasionally hardcore spectrum and an overall aura that is more consumable to those accustomed to a diet of hard rock/metal offered over traditional radio airwaves.
Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Standout tracks; Welcome to Hell, Land of Misery and Dying Inside.
Sacrificial Slaughter – Generation Terror (EP) (Clawhammer PR)
Release – May/12/2017
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Underground Metal Heaven, dive right in. Try to ignore the razor blades.
Sacrificial Slaughter have been active since 2001, albeit on an undergrouns status, carving a swath of carnage whenever they play. However, this is the first for me as I’ve yet to experience any of their output. Ironically, I narrowly missed a local show in support of Master (Tucson, AZ) due to the birth of my daughter.
Comprising of six tracks, including a Carnivore cover this is S.S’ sixth release (including a ‘split’, a single and three full lengths) their first in four years.
Imagine if you will a shredding beast of a hybrid that’s part thrash, part death with rhythms that scream grindcore influence. Got it? This amalgamation is currently bouncing betwixt my ears leaving me unable to concentrate, sore from flailing like a fish out of water and breathless and I’m only one track in.
Steve “Crusty” Worley delivers a vocal assault that fits perfectly. Grunt, growl or howl he knocks it out of the park! Rhythms tell of many an influence throughout the extreme metal arena ranging from the insanity of early Dying Fetus and Misery Index through Gorguts, Obituary, the infectious riffs ala Exodus and Hell Awaits era Slayer. All in all, a damn good combination that has me pausing in-between keyboard caresses for what appears to be a mimicry of a grand-mal seizure.
To save from sounding redundant I’ll state that this is solid from the first to the final note. Even the cover, from Carnivore which I’ve never heard, is damn catchy. If this is an indication of the band’s output and the chaotic genius that’s to follow then I’m hopping on Amazon stat.
Own this and catch the band at a show near you.
Stretch before you crank this up as it’s guaranteed to make you sore in the morning!
Worship at the altar of Ancient Metal
Prometheus – Consumed in Flames (Against PR)
Release – April/28/2017
Katoptron IX Records
Greece is, among other things, a hotbed for amazing metal, be it thrash, death or black metal. Septic Flesh has catapulted the nation into the forefront of the extreme metal scene in recent years for good reason. Prometheus have recently emerged from disaster within its ranks to rise like a veritable phoenix from what many might have assumed was the bands ashen demise.
Consumed in Flames is their first full length following on from a pair of demos released ten years previous. The style scathes with its intensity, raw speed that twists and churns with melody, constantly changing rhythm structures and effective Egyptian atmosphere bring to mind numerous acts ranging in style from Immolation, Hate Eternal, Nile and a slew of very successful acts within the melodic black metal realm. Aggelos growls on a decipherable scale adding menace to the overall sound which is at times diabolic, often majestic but always captivating. In instances his is a style that puts me in mind of Ben Falgoust and the almighty Goatwhore. There’s Death metal, there’s Black metal and then there’s symphonic, epic black metal but rarely an act who can utilize all three elements as successfully as Prometheus have managed to weld them.
Vulture All Black is a fantastic example of the bands talent. Hatesworn a stellar example of what’s possible when a band chooses to diversify speed passages with riffs so damn catchy you’d hope there was a baseball mitt handy. In all honesty, I uttered the phrase “Goddamn” (wide-eyed, slack jawed) at least once in each track…this album shines with excellence throughout, guaranteed live up to repeated listenings.
Outstanding isn’t a word that does this album any justice whatsoever.
This belongs in every open-minded metal heads collection, especially those who lean more towards the blackened side of the spectrum.
10 – it’s just that freakin’ impressive!
PAROXSIHZEM – Abyss of Excruciating Vexes (EP)
(Qabar – Extreme Music PR)
(Re)Release – May/26/2017 (cassette 100 copies)
Original Release – March/11/2016 (vinyl) April/26/2016 CD
The world of metal is a wide, varied and often confusing landscape. Take for example PAROXSIHZEM theirs isn’t a style that’s widely accepted as good plain old black metal or even straight edged death but it is undeniably both, its raw bleak, fast and not at all “pretty” (to use that word in a review covering this type of music, how whimsical!) even in the remotest explanation of the term. It has however, every basic ingredient, each pure element (if you will) that makes metal what it has developed into today. In Abyss of Excruciating Vexes any seasoned vet of the scene should be able to detect primitive Morbid Angel passages, and nods aplenty to the origins of the extreme metal genre complete with unpolished production, howls, shrieks and growls, before it all splintered off into more directions than (insert terrorists name here) stepping on a landmine powered by teenage angst and all the fun that PMS brings to the table.
‘Suffocating’ is a term that’s been thrown around, I believe it works well to describe this release. Not for those faint of heart, or for those who on occasion don a Nickleback shirt, this is the real deal folks.
Listen at your own risk with an appreciation of what the scene has developed from.
A Flourishing Scourge – s/t (Clawhammer PR)
Release – June/9/2017
A Flourishing Scourge bandcamp
Go ahead, check out some of their older stuff as you wait for this to be released.
Promising progressive, death and black elements the promo materials for the newest Flourishing Scourge album had me intrigued, to say the very least. Usually not a huge fan of the progressive genre I decided to dive in, trusting on the notion that the other elements may in fact balance the album out some.
The first thing I notice, before I’d even hit play, were several important details. The album was recorded and engineered at Silver Cord studios (owned and operated by Gojira’s Joe DuPlantier) by Jamie Uertz (Gojira, Anthrax) then mastered in Stockholm Sweden by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Amon Amarth). Suffice it to say someone has faith enough in these fellows, and their combined talent, to sink some ‘green’ into developing their musical creation. Finally hitting PLAY I can see why that’s the case and why this is such a sound investment.
Flourishing Scourge play beyond their years and with assistance from session drummer Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, ex-Abigail Williams) have somehow managed to forge an album that is epic, seamless in its transition from one style to the next, tremendously impressive and fascinating in its overall captivation from one track to another. Tye Jones captures the ferocious and beautiful nature of the music with both his voice and guitar, alongside Kevin Carbrey and Andrew Dennis they collectively weave harmonic melodies draped in (Pagan and oftentimes Gothic) atmosphere around bursts of speed and passages of brutality. In culmination, the music sweeps the listener out from their stance transporting them to locations that boast idyllic and desolate landscapes. Standout tracks; The Hedonist, To the Stench of a Rotting Corpse, Solace. But who am I kidding, the whole album crushes all pre-conceived notions of what the listener might have.
Fans of Blotted Science, Beneath the Buried and Me, Opeth, later Death releases and select material by Death Angel rejoice for this album delivers in every conceivable way. Offering brutality for those demand it, intricacies for those who dig melodies and passages of progressive tranquil tones for those who prefer to sink into their tunage.
A Flourishing Scourge I am pleased to report literally blew me away and I will not hesitate to recommend it to whomever will lend an ear to my meandering sermon.
10 – Make some time for this album, remove distractions and prepare to let your senses take a vacation.
That’s about it for now folks. Feel free to comment or suggest an album I can promote and/or report on. As like a fine dining establishment great Metal deserves to be shared!
Servant to the audio extreme,
Cult (@Cultmetalflix on twitter)