Welcome to another entry in the Cult catalog of musings upon metal.
This week I’ve quite the International array to offer up for your perusal. Releases from all corners of the globe (does a globe even have corners..?) including Brazil, Argentina, Italy and even Wales (where?) enjoy, but buckle up this one is definitely not for posers.
HammR – Unholy Destruction (USA)
Release – February/23/2018
Hell’s Headbangers Records, Inc
From the moment the listeners digit leaves the play button they find themselves assaulted by unrelenting, uncompromising, galloping speed, blackened punk riffs and rasped evil vocals that have the potentisl to virtually melt the flesh from the face.
As the jaw drops in appreciation and the neck starts to ache the mind will spin. You’ve heard this style before, though not all in one place. You can thank vintage Bathory, Celtic Frost, Sodom and Venom for that. Lone creator andusical architect J Hammer has been honing the sound (he dubs “Satanic speed”) for over five years and delivers the barrage with hopes that the listener will differentiate it from the multitude of others jumping on the Lemmy/hardcore punk sound bandwagon (cus the wheels are about ready to fall off!).
Raging solos and a raw production quality add a diabolical edge, while at the same time nods to heavy metal from decades past weave through the album like fine threads of barb wire. The accumulative other styles will leave you jerking around like a puppet on a string. Keep an ear out for this folks and for the name HammR to make quite the impression on more than just the metal underworld.
Wasted Theory – Defenders of the Riff (USA)
Release – November/1/2017 (reissue)
Argonaut Records (CD)
Mettle Media PR
Theres nothing quite like a sludge/stoner rock album to break up the brutality of audio evil, and here’s my choice. From out of Delaware Wasted Theory offer the listener a style that’s dirty, rough yet strangely familiar. Draped in distortion the album showcases a full arsenal of riffs designed to get the blood pumping and the torso moving. Hard to fully catagorize though more easily enjoyed Defenders of the Riff offers melodies aplenty entwined with a gravelly vocal style spitting lyrics aplomb with the appreciation and dangers of consorting with ‘devil’ women, drinking and the unadulterated adoration of rock n roll.
Fave track – Throttlecock
Recommended for fans of Ozzy era Black Sabbath, Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch and Kyuss this is the perfect pallette cleanser for those evenings when your senses demand something fresh to break up the monotony of the usual ‘same old’.
Sodomized Cadaver – Verses of Vorarephilia (Wales)
Release – December/29/2017
Immortal Souls Productions
Grand Sounds PR
With Sodomized Cadaver hailing from the land of Tom Jones and Rugby, Wales, I can now boast that I know of two bands (the other being Overoth) from the same country. With that out if the way…this release is a combination of the bands previous work, two EP’s Vorarephilia (2014) and Verses of Putidily (2016), this release is primed to make fans drool for their first full length offering (entitled Morbid Tales of Mutilation) slated for release later this year (18′).
The albums art promises brutality (and a new meaning to the term hatchet wound) and the music thankfully doesn’t dissapoint.
Barring the obvious musical influences (earlier Cannibal Corpse, Maleovent (sp) Creation and the merest hint of Morbid Angel amongst others) the band deliver smatterings of technicalty, a mixed bag of whirlwind and choppy riffs and mosh-tastic rhythms that are very hard not to move to and appreciate. Pleasing guttural vocals will put a smile on the face of any fan of the early years of the scene, and all the aforementioned within a collection of tracks that show an advanced level of maturity based on the bands limited experience.
A fantastic offering from a fledgling act who warrant attention and display true potential.
Under Siege – s/t (Italy)
Release – January/18/2018
Self released/ undersiegemetal.bandcamp.com
Grand Sounds PR
Amidst a slew of acts with the same theme heavily prevalent in their style, Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets and Sabatton immediately come to mind, how might Under Siege stand out from the vast collective? The use of bagpipes perhaps? Surely you jest…nope I’m deadly serious and Korn are nowhere in sight (Huh-?). But, that’s merely the start. Under Siege employ a vast arsenal to keep the listener entertained. They manage somehow to effectively blend folk, atmosphere by way of medieval clashing swords soundscapes, melodic rhythms and head nodding riffage complete with throaty vocals balanced precariously on the boundaries of death and black metal (I’m detecting early Bathory influences) to amazing effect. All that and the occasional nod (especially in Warrior I Am) to the type of heavy metal that catapulted Iron Maiden to the forefront of the world’s exploding metal scene in the mid eighties (Powerslave/Piece of Mind/No Prayer for the Dying anyone?). The beauty of this album is the way in which it switches effortlessly from one style to another. Take for example, Invaders, the style playfully prances back and forth from NWOBHM to more a blackened speed attack – stunning. But let’s not forget the folk element that also makes an appearance. It’s there, but distributed par excellence, unlike in other albums where the flavor is unmistakably pungent, often overpowering. Other tracks lean more heavily on speed metal roots, Sotto Assedio is one such but it also sports atmosphere and a drum battery and feel to rouse even those returning bone weary from the battlefield. Other elements give the album a remarkable feel. An epic feel weaves itself with many threads throughout the albums length. In some tracks the weave is thicker, a ropes density rather than silk, making for a different vibe altogether, this is quite the diverse collection of tracks to be sure. The album closes with a track one could well expect to hear on the set of The Lord of the Rings. A triumphant traditional hymn of sorts that is rather unexpected though nothing but captivating.
This album came out of nowhere to knock me on my ass. Under Siege displays a fantastic melding of styles, plentiful driving rhythms and all one could wish in a release that encompasses elements captured from a recent wildly succesfull crusade across the vast genre landscape that makes up the world of metal.
Systemik Violence – Anarquia Violencia (Portugal)
Release – March/31/2018
RAW N ROLL REX, Ring Leader, Regulator Records and Ragingplanet.
Limited to 250 copies in a 7’EP format this is a collection of tracks bursting with unbridled venom and agression in a raw punk/noise style that’s perilously close to being deemed grindcore. Each track is unapologetically brutal though teases with melody. Soundbites in a style that Skinless could well have trademarked give the package a dark humorous Tobe while also making one reflect upon their meager existence.
The opening track commences with a warning…I’m positively, absolutely, sure that alot of you are going to HATE this. A notice that many should heed though others, like myself, will only take it like a welcome mat awaiting visitors with a taste for the vilest punk has to offer. Preorder this while supplies last. You can thank me later!
Cadaver Putrefacto – La Maldicion Del Zombi Errante (Argentina)
Release – April/6/2018
Death metal is an odd genre in as far as the vast majority of vocalists grunt, growl, bark, wail, screech and burp. It’s rare that lyrics in the most part are decipherable. Honestly though that’s part of the appeal for many fans, myself included. With that in mind when I happen upon a release with lyrics entirely in another language it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, it only serves to intrigue me more. Cadaver Putrefacto are a prime example of an act, many may never have heard of based on their geographic location (Buenes Aires – Argentina) who grind, shred and display their own brand of brutality with the same quality as more established bands in the same genre. Despite numerous line up changes and years of inactivity this release, their first full length, surprisingly delivers. The hooks are catchy, the production is clean enough that every instrument makes an impression, the vocals drip with malice and the rhythms are familiar enough to be instantly accepted rather than frowned upon. Cadaver Putrefacto’s myriad of influences are easily detectable (ranging from Tomb era Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation and Deicide) though this doesn’t at all deter from the overall enjoyment as this isn’t overpowering to the point where they could be deemed merely a parody act bearing minimal creativity.
Fave tracks Cadaver Putrefacto, Macabre Coleccion and Escatologia Obsession.
A fantastic full length to whet the appetite and spark the interest in an act who I expect great things from in the near future based on the calibre of this release.
Blood of the Wolf – II: Campaign of Extermination (USA)
Release – April/7/2018
Self released/ bloodofthewolf.bandcamp.com
From the instant the opening track commences following a thunderous intro the listener is bombarded with an unapologetic blackened metal attack. Keeping pace with the unrelenting assault of the skin pounding battery the guitars are close to hyper speed with minimal breathing room throughout the entirety of the album. Rhythms vary from marching military-esque gallops to all out crescendos cresting upon undulating waves of punishment, a fantastic soundscape to the albums overall theme of war, conquest and diabolical medieval conflict. It isn’t until around the midway point however, that this release really hits its stride. Erupting Volcanic Wrath is an early standout showcasing rhythms that are dangerously addictive. The following tracks are thunderous juggernauts boasting riffs that have the potential to incite cardiac arrest and ready even the most stubbon of pacifist to battle readiness. Campaign of Extermination draws to its earth shattering climax on a apocalyptic note. With Fire and a Thousand Flashing Blades scorches a trail of devestation courtesy of it’s incendiary rhythms whereas A Sermon of Slaughtered Foes is slightly slower, slightly militaristic in feel, though is as equally damaging. Another amazing slab of audio to top off an album that’s sure to place Blood of the Wolf on many a fans radar.
Familiar yet altogether addictive this is an album which grabs the listener by the throat, it warrants, nay demands, attention from both label and fans who have virgin ears to the bands material.
Whipstriker – Merciless Artillery (Brazil)
Release – March/9/2018
Hell’s Headbangers Records, Inc
With a decade of underground admiration, a cult following and a revamped logo behind them Whipstriker have returned, reinvigorated, cradling a new release for the masses to consume. For those still paying attention it’s their fourth!
Merciless Artillery is unapologetic in its approach and punishing in its delivery. For those with a toe (or better yet, an entire limb) still in the roots of the extreme scene Whipstriker’s influences will become very apparent within no time whatsoever. Nods to Motorhead, Sodom, vintage Kreator, Exciter, punk aggression but most of all a small legendary collective of studded wrist wearing British lads (‘Northerners’ for those living in the UK) with monikers matching ancient Greek dieties are unmistakable. In moments this same Venom theme is so pungent you could well expect to hear the screech of a chainsaw across unsuspecting door hinges (Black Metal anyone?). Thankfully these influences don’t stretch to the unimaginative copycat realm but rather aid in making Whipstriker an act you cannot possibly ignore.
The concoction is utterly wicked to say the least, infectiously addictive to be blunt and downright retro to coin a cliché. However, whatever one wishes to use as a moniker for the style it works and damn well. Toss in raw production to the mix, rhythms potentially vicious enough to snap ones spine and a label who wholeheartedly support the underground and you’ve got an album destined to leave a sizable dent in the scene. And dammit, I’ve got another month to wait until this comes out in a physical format.
Outstanding. But be warned… ‘posers’ need not apply Whipstriker are not a mere flash in the pan they are the real deal!
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