First Impressions Vol Nine: Zeit, Infected Dead, Hanzel Und Gretyl, Hallig, Crucible of Hate, Deathgrave, toyRse, Kadaverficker, Burial Invocation, Traffic Death, Fleshless & Widower

First Impressions
(World Cup18 Edition)
Part nine, nein…NIEN!!!
In essence an article dedicated to Germanys stunning performance in this years (2018) World Cup. (Insert smirking face here!)
 
Zeit – Zeit/Masterchild (EP)
Spain
Release – June/18/2018
Bandcamp
 
Artwork – 7
I’m not honestly sure what this is but it is eye-catching and only makes me all the more curious as to the audio within.
First Track – 8.5
At first this seems like it could well be a track by Soundgarden or Alice in Chains but it soon transforms into something more akin to Black Label Society audio. Rhythms are inciteful, the drums are infectious and the vocals are emotional and venomous. A great start to a two track EP that the listener will only want to spin again and again.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Daaaammn-! This woke me up and spun me around. Only two tracks but they suffice to more than whet the appetite for a future effort. A diverse effort jam-packed with groove, a slew of vocal styles, thundering riffs and time changes to keep the listener on their toes. With future output in a calibre such as this expect these guys to make a ruckus in the metal world.
 
Infected Dead – Archaic Malevolence
UK
Release – December/8/2017
Hostile Media Records
Artwork – 8.5
This art seethes with an ominous nature hinting at a future tainted by the arrival/summoning of an Ancient evil of Lovecraftian origins.
First Track – 9
A perfect mix of Technical and melodic elements with fantastic pace, a vocal style  pleasing to any long time fans ears, infectious passages and complex riffs that’ll ensure the jaw drops on a first listen basis. There’s definite talent on display here which stays this side of chaotic noise and thankfully doesn’t plummet into showboating silliness. Topped off with fantastic production this bodes extremely well for the remainder of what’s to follow. I’m not going anywhere in the next thirty minutes, hold my calls!
Initial Listen – 9
It’s rare that an album of this calibre arises from out of nothingness…But here it is! Archaic Malevolence offers that which many albums cannot. Intricacy, complexity, brutality and melody minus blast beat madness, muddiness and undecipherable rhythms. Everything here is clear as a bell (an excellently, meticously, crafted bell with awesome accoustics that is!). Check it all off folks it’s just a pity I didn’t get the chance to add this to my best of list from last year (it came out awfully late in the year!), this really is that impressive!
Give this a listen but he sure to limber up first and be prepared to make room in your collection for another masterpiece to find a home.
 
Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik
USA
Release – July/6/2018
Metropolis Records
Artwork – 7.5
Neat geometric design – I’m thinking hints at possible Industrial influence. I’m a HnG virgin so this is my introduction to both the nand and their style. But we shall see…
First Track – 9
Stunning combination of monkish chants, angelic choruses, thundering drums and a touch of atmosphere ala Gothic keyboard to set the mood (which is strangely relaxing).
Initial Listen – 8.5
Varied influence ranging from Rammstein, Ministry, NIN and Sin Pecado era Moonspell that’s on occasion blanketed by a Satyricon esque vibe found on their Age of Nero audio output. A fantastic, clean, production makes this an album you can’t ignore although I can’t help but think it boasts a presence to make more than the usual rounds at fetish nightclubs and deviant themed affairs in the near future. A slight air of mystery is added with the utilization of the German dialect in a number tracks. However, this doesn’t at all hamper the listening experience but rather adds to it giving the album an air of familiarity putting the listener in mind of similar acts that you really don’t hear that much about anymore.
Satanik Germanik is not at all typical of the metal genre but certainly displays leanings (and influence plucked) from dark, Gothic and extreme genres, even the nineties non-metal arena. I’m finding myself spinning this alot although it’s not usually the type of audio I would give the time of day to. Do yourself a favor and give this a listen it may well change your mind on an area of music you might want to stop ignoring and start exploring.
Hallig – A Distant Reflection of the Void 
Germany
Release – June/10/2018
Independent
Artwork – 6.5
I’m not even sure what to think, the artwork is a tad artsy though hints at intricacies and a certain unfathomable deepness.
First Track – 8
Cosmic atmosphere, majestic riffs and a spoken word narrative (folk vibe), very early on, but it works and I’m curious as this is oddly captivating audio indeed.
Initial Listen – 8.5
A wicked hybrid of black, doom and Gothic audio. At times tracks channel Paradise Lost, Moonspell, in instances Amorphis then in others still a more traditional black metal soundscape (rasping vox, a lightning quick drum barrage and cresting riffs often seething with an ominous nature) albeit littered with folk influence, diverse vocals, screeches, grunts, growls and howls, and rhythms one can’t help but move their stunned appendages to. An album that isn’t afraid to break from the traditional black mold and branch into other realms. Holding true to the majesty expected of the genre Hallig add an epic nature (even with utilizing the Germanic tongue at times) that succesfully captivates hoisting the album to another level entirely.
 
Crucible of Hate – Dark Metamorphosis 
USA
Release – July/6/2018
Self Released
The band not the cover image which has managed to escape my searches.
Artwork – n/a
First Track – 7.5
Melodic and thrashy. Solid structure and plenty of galloping riffs to put a grin on the face of any fan of the genre with hints of groove and a style channeling a slew of influence.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Catchy, and exciting from the first note to the last Dark Metamorphosis boasts distinctive tracks, a varied vocal approach and dynamic percussion making for a solid release which lives up to repeated listens that might well put one in mind of Into Eternity, Scar Symmetry and others who tiptoe the line between thrash and melodic death on a consistent basis.
Seek this out and support an act who have alot to offer and a bright future on the horizon.
 
Deathgrave – So Real, it’s Now
USA
Release – June/22/2018
Tankcrimes
 
Artwork – 8
Stunning imagery depicting ‘the time is now’. You can literally taste the fear dripping from the bedridden patient.
First Track – 7.5
This is grab you by the throat grindcore/crust/ultra violence audio folks. Plenty of groove, curious slower passages and intermixed wicked deep and screeching vocals. I’m all in!
Initial Listen – 7.5
Short, straight to the point tracks maintain the listeners interest. While surprising melody, venomous vocals and percussion intensity issuing from a myriad of genre influence (including death, punk, sludge, crust, industrial and grindcore) holds it in place until the final note falls from the exhausted speakers. Not in any way a typical grindcore effort this track collective drags it’s listenership through a wide audio landscape littered with desolation, brutality and melancholy oftentimes draped in dark humor. Shit, there’s even a respectable synth nod to zombie celluloid as an outro. A fine effort to entice any Deathgrave newbie to plummet deep into their discography.
toRyse – Erased (EP)
Germany
Release – May/18/2018
Borsma Records
Artwork – 6
To be honest I’m not really sure what to expect with this release based on the covers artwork alone.
First Track – 8
Starts off recognizable, classical piano,  then throws the listener for a loop transforming into Arch Enemy-esque melodic tunage and then again into something altogether unexpected but wholly pallettable. A fantastic melding of styles complete with infectious riffage and a fluidity that captivates.
Initial Listen – 8
I’ll admit I wasn’t initially sure what to think and clicked on this promo without bias only to find myself pleasantly surprised as it played out, bouncing along its course across a veritable roulette wheel of styles. At times Erased sounds ultra radio friendly and recognizable (leaving the listener scratching their head as to whom they might sound like in instances) but in others more akin to the more easily consumed melodic death which In Flames, Arch Enemy and Butcher Babies currently peddle. Overall a release which has the potential to appeal to a huge crowd, for me it’s more a guilty pleasure which I’ll not be afraid to reccommend to those with a penchant for tunage which doesn’t subscribe to be pigeonholed.
 
Kadaverficker – KFFM 931.8
Germany
Release – January/8/2018
Rotten Roll Rex
Artwork – 8.5
Gruesome, repulsive but exquisite in its vileness. A stunning black n’ white image.
First Track – 7.5
Groove laden and draped in sickness. It’s early on but you can already tell this is gonna be a wild ride tainted by dark humor, wicked rhythms and gutter vocal emissions.
Initial Listen – 7
It’s hard to describe this album without using the terms party, rock n roll, punk, dumptruck sized riffage, crossover, tongue in cheek/gallows humor and necrophilia. This collectives tone varies often, though never too wildly from the grindcore/extreme path that it might alienate its audience. The vocal styles switch up on a frequent basis also to keep the listeners attention perked as if the occasional oddball track (such as Sleeping Bootey) doesn’t suffice. Overall an interesting audio experience that won’t soon be forgotten, will place a smirk on the face and is damn hard to resist the temptation to nod your head along with. Unfortunately many of the soundbites are lost in ‘translation’ that is if one doesn’t have mastery of the many intricacies of the German language.
Burial Invocation – Abiogenesis 
Turkey
Release -July/6/2018 – Vinyl
August/17/2018 – CD and digital formats
Dark Descent/Me Saco Un Ojo Records
 
Artwork – 7.5
Something is brewing and it’s ominous indeed. Another stunning Dan Seagrave image (if I’m not mistaken).
First Track – 8.5
Plenty of influence to be heard here most prominently early Gorguts, Morbid Angel and a style steeped in doom with surprising melodic solo passages to hoist this above typical death fare. A track boasting epic length but highly captivating throughout.
Initial Listen – 9.5
A mind blowing example of the genre that showcases excellent flow while still maintaining surprising unpredictability throughout. The album boasts fantastic utilization of brutality through intricate rhythms and melody without once dipping into ‘noise’ territories. A true, albeit early entry, album of the year contender and a must experience for fans of the death/doom genre. An album that will be discussed/celebrated for some time to come.
 
Traffic Death – Dead End
USA
Release- January/7/2018 Bandcamp
Dec/10/2017 – Sump Pump Records
The backside of the limited edition vinyl
Artwork – 7
Zombies impaled by traffic signage leaves me only more curious as to the audio encapsulated within.
First Track – 7.5
Frenetic, swift and inciteful a fantastic way to start an album oozing with influence reeking of old school punk/grindcore values and unexpectedly injected with rhythm.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Shows definite maturity (but not too much obviously else this might not be as fun as it is) from their previous full length (my thoughts are below). Abrupt, blunt, unapologetic, frantic and aggressive but most of all fun for those of us who miss the antics of SOD/MOD and vintage Macabre and prefer their audio diet blazing with punk aggression that resides on the more extreme, raw, side of the melodic spectrum.
 
And a few ‘Blasts from the Past’
 
Fleshless – Dethroned in Shadows
Czech Republic
Release – February/25/2017
Metal Age Productions
 
Artwork – 7
Classic, sinister and ominous with an undeniable religious slant. I’m guessing this hints at tunage of a decidedly non religious leaning..?
First Track – 7.5
Catchy as all hell (I dropped a pun! Insert smiley face here) with only a smidgen of an injection of technicality to please those of us who’ve followed Fleshless and waited patiently for their newest slab of audio brutality.
Initial Listen – 7
Admittedly short with only really two tracks (an intro and an outro) to momentarily sate the desires of those demanding another full length. Trademark Fleshless sound, nothing really new to be found here, including chuggery and groove but for those of who are fans it should be enough for others probably just enough to whet the curiousity. May I suggest you start your discovery with either Hate is Born (2008) or Sensual Death Immitation (2003) – then you’ll be hooked!
 
Widower – The Unholy Oath
USA
Release – January/22/2016
Independent
Artwork – 7
A castle structure shrouded in evil and a Rotting knight in the foreground. I am intrigued.
First Track – 7.5
Blistering pace with infernal infernal influence. This could well be a bonus track/outtake from Storm of the Lights Bane so undeniable the Dissection vibe, however with that being stated it’s highly enjoyable an a great introduction to the album.
Initial Listen – 7
Think Dissection mixed with early Sodom, a sprinkle of Destroyer 666 and a dash of Exciter and you’ll be close to what this album offers. Raw melody and rasped vocals reek of old school ‘black’ values, albeit the speed and melodic type, sure to please those amongst us who crave catchy evil riffage basted in low production valus. Give this a peek.
Traffic Death – Don’t be a Projectile
USA
Release – November/26/2014
Independent
Artwork – 8
Gritty, grimey and balls-out old school with nods to skating, the crossover scene and VHS. I have my money on audio thats one of the following punk, grindcore or crust.
First Track – 7.5
Yea, I nailed it. Total crust leanings, throaty vocals (svreams, wails, grunts and growls) and punk attitude with a raw production that fits perfectly. Eleven tracks in just over eighteen minutes the listener is in for one hell of a bumpy ride, here’s hoping they stretched before hitting PLAY.
Initial Listen – 7.5
This isn’t pretty, but it hits the spot especially for those moments when you demand raw audio with attitude that oozes with a sense of humor. In a similar style to VHS in as far as the tracks are short and sweet, there’s plenty of humorous soundbites (even a comical tip of the hat to releasing an LP) and there’s also an undeniable love for cult cinematic genre outings. Fast, raw and def not recommended for those new to the extreme scene but a shitton of fun to be had for everyone else!
 
Well, that’s it for now folks.
Until next time keep those ears to the ground and in the words of the almighty Lemmy ..”don’t let the bastards grind you down..”
Your slave to audio extreme plucked from the deepest, darkest most rockin-est (is that even a word?) areas of this spinning orb on which we all reside.
Cult

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