Quick-Fire Reviews aka
Attempting to Clear out an overburdened Inbox
(part the first)
I…can see… the light.
Damnation. Sometimes the smallest of things build, compile and transform into something rather hard to ignore. Take for example the Inbox of my email. It’s honestly fit to bursting. I never believed the hype before but apparently it’s true…sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. I’m drowning in metal!! Oozing with promotional material from across the globe the confines of my Inbox are overburdened with contents that manage to yank at my curiosity even when I’m snoozing. Be it a lesser known small acts first release, based in Bangladesh or wherever else one might not consider famous for anything other thsn its remote location, or a high budget lyrical video supporting a forerunner of the genres eagerly awaited fresh output. This portuin of my email ac. runs the gamut and with all the above being said I’m still truly thankful to all who donate to it. Occasionally I receive material of the celluloid variety. But that’s not too dreadfully important in this context so I’ll try not to deviate too drastically from my original path of thought. Anyhows, what better way than to sift through what I have than by giving each at least a cursory listen. Some releasrs will warrant further attention, whilst I might not make it more than a song, perhaps a few minutes, into others. Naturally tastes vary and although I will attempt to cover a wide swath of the metal spectrum some material will be forgotten quickly based on its merit (in my opinion) and not covered in the slightest.
Twelve Boar – No Forgiveness (UK)
Release – September/8/2017
Sounding like a wicked amalgamation of ZZ Top, Deep Purple and Clutch this release is hard not to appreciate for fans of the more traditional realm of all that heavy metal encompasses. No Foriveness also boasts more than the occasional bluesy vibe and galloping melodies that pummel on the gates of the speed/thrash metal genre and so many catchy riffs you might lose count. Gruff vocals wrapped around lyrical content dripping with a wicked sense of humor top the concoction off. This has the potential to grow on the listener and will appeal to a huge audience. Just try keeping still to this.
Heretic – A Game you Cannot Win (USA)
Release – October/10/2017
Melodic thrash is the order of the day here, complete with powerful vocals the album sports riffs and melodic passages you will hard pressed to ignore. This is highly infectious audio indeed.
Recommended for fans of Iron Maiden, Satan and Overkill and for those that prefer to dwell in the more melodic, less violent realm of the thrash metal arena.
Blurring – Cloud Burner EP (USA)
Release – April/28/2017
Although barely seconds short of the sixteen minute mark this release still sports enough frenzied and ferocious activity to incite a nationwide riot. A melting pot of grindcore, death and noise this still somehow manages to overflow with more structure, naturally dripping in chaotic brutality, than one might have initially thought. Intriguingly the more you listen the more nuances you can detect in its unpredictable nature. Limber up and clear the room before you spin this folks.
From the Hellmouth/Mutilatred
Split EP (USA)
Release – August/4/2017
Redefining Darkness Records
First up the (three track) From the Hellmouth portion of this eight track split. FtH deliver precise pummelling death with rythm and bite. Infectious and groove laden it contains strong vocal presence, applaudable production values and a stunning degree of melaevolence and atmosphere all encompassed with a well executed diabolical nature in a similar vein to Morbid Angel and Deeds of Flesh. IMO if there’s any justice these guys are destined for greatness in the genre -9.5
Mulitatred reside more in the old school side of the death spectrum. Their riffs are bludgeoning, suffocating thick, and the pacing is typically more on the mid tempo side – perilously close to crust in overall style. The vocal style meanwhile is cavernous, gutter throated and unhurried. While It Floods meanwhile appears more akin to a track pulled from a Godflesh release, odd placement but nevertheless…A fantastic mixture especially for those preferring the slower, more dense attack than the all-out speed, merely for the sake of speed, approach. 8.5
A split that delivers more than most, seek this one out. 9-
Olde -Temple (Canada)
Release – August/11/2017
Medusa Crush Recordings/STB Records
Olde delivers crushing heavy tunage, a very pallettable variety of doom dripping in darkness and sludge accented with a vocal style thats a tad gruffer that what might be expected. The whole package works very well. But what makes this album truly remarkable is that every song has a memerable and unique vibe fueled with bulldozing riffs that tug at your senses.
An excellent choice for those days when you might be seeking out something heavy and melodic but not devestatingly brutal. 9.5
Cloak – To Venomous Depths (USA)
Release – November/10/2017
Season of Mist
With a moniker like ‘Cloak’ and an album named as this one is one might ponder upon a mixture of styles, and one would be correct in assuming so. This album boasts a Gothic nature as well black metal sensabilities albeit in part mostly vocal in ‘appearance’. Think if early Moonspell met Tribulation stylistically. The tempo here is mostly mid paced, the riffs and melody structures are clean often haunting. The resulting audio is highly addictive and something I will revisit often. 9-
Elder Devil – Graves Among the Roots (USA)
Release – May/11/2017
Medusa Crush Recordings
Harsh, venomous and overflowing with spite. This is impressive grindcore with hardcore and sludge elements. Six tracks (count them!) assault the senses and all in under fourteen minutes. Intense therapy for those who desire their tunage nasty, raw and vicious. 8-
Divinity Compromised -Terminal (USA)
Release – July/29/2017
Admittedly I’m don’t usually allow myself to get lost in the genre in which this release resides. However, this proved to be so damn catchy I couldn’t resist. Applaudable traditional styled vocals with outstanding range, catchy melodies that flow and emotional sweeping solos make for a collection of tracks that cover the power, speed, thrash and progressive arenas with no difficulties whatsoever. Give this a chance. This is surprisingly addictive – an opinion from someone who tends to avoid the ‘mellower’ side of the metal spectrum. 8.5
Mordenial – The Plague (Sweden)
Release – July/2017
Black Lion Records
Formulaic death/thrash in a similar vein to Amon Amarth. Plenty of ‘chuggery’ and gruff vocals while the predictability in song structure and lack of inventiveness didnt di anything for me. Honestly rather forgettable, however for those heavily into the scene this might be an album that’ll warrant discovery. 6-
Hell – s/t (USA)
Release – August/11/2017
Comprised of re recorded/mastered previous material from Hell’s past material this is a fantastic introducton to the band (now comprised of only a solitary member and session musicians) and their style. Hell deliver dense/distortion heavy funeral doom that isn’t at all pretty though is highly effective in invoking an atmosphere. In moments a soundscape/soundtrack in which one might feel as if they’re being chased by an assortment of denizens of the underworld. Howls, screeches and wails are prevalent in the vocal department and oddly fit the musical accompaniment perfectly. Definitely not for a newcomer to the extreme metal realm but rather for those more seasoned this is an album that is sure to please. 9-
Just when you thought it was safe to remove those headphones I’m going to delve into a pair of releases very recently sent over courtesy of the fine folks at Dewar PR.
Archons – Lords of Light and Thunder (USA)
Release – October/20/2017
Sometimes I stumble upon an album that’s becomes infinitely more difficult to describe the more I choose to listen and succumb to its allure. This release resides in that catagory. LoLaT (saves on the need to replace the keyboard as often) boasts a wide spectrum of styles, while some tracks display more stoner rock tendencies others delve into psychedelic waters. Others still rely more on traditional elements, raw, primitive heavy metal melodies sporting riffs heavily infectious with groove. If one were ever to ponder upon a project delivering stylistic homage to Hawkwind (in music, conceptual lyrical content and fantastic elements) and Powerman 5000 whilst also more than mere tips of the hat to Clutch this might be the resulting audio.
Undeniably heavy, dangerously addictive and altogether unpredictable. This is an album that has the power to hold monopoly over the audio elements. Play this loud!
Annihilation – The Undivided Wholeness of All Things (Portugal)
Release – November/28/2017
Rather than adopt the style that many others choose, Annihilation choose instead to stand apart from the crowd. Theirs is a style that’s altogether brutal, miles away from mere chuggery, and complex (but not to the level deemed silly by most) managing to span the entirety of all the darkest corners of the death genre. The Undivided Wholeness of All Things sports technical, progressive and (most often archaic) chaotic elements throughout, surprisingly they all play exceedingly well together bolstered by excellent production values and culminate in an album that offers a unique collection of tracks and something fresh with every listen.
Highly recommended for those that seek out complexity as opposed to neck snappin’ pace, in their extreme audio.
We’ll that’s about it for now, lest this article drag itself into unchartered waters of epic forgetfulness. Here’s hoping you’ve made it this far down the page for that rrason alone you have my eternal gratitude.
Your slave to audio obscure, extreme, obscene and that which is deemed unfathomably ignored and detested by the mindless sheep of the mainstream.
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