First Impressions Vol 13:Maligner, Supreme Carnage, Haunt, Eviscerate, Tunjum, Downpour, Nachash, Malphas, Hatalom, Piah Mateh, Lechery, Nightbreed, October Falls & Disabled

Even though the number is unlucky I find myself trudging on, against all odds, in hopes to find one more person whom I might entice to join the ranks in appreciation of all that encompasses the metal spectrum.
Without further ado…
 
Maligner – Attraction to Annihilation 
Sweden
Release – August/31/2018
Blood Harvest Records/Helter-Skelter Productions
Artwork – 7.5
A tad cartoony but still fun and there’s no doubt that little fellas having a hell of a time destroying everything in sight.
Fire, fire, fire!
First Track – 7.5
Frenetic, swift, boasting a myriad of styles/influences which take the listener first one way and then in another completely. But strangely it flows and succeeds in keeping the listeners attention for what’s to follow.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Complex take-no-prisoners thrash/death in a similar vein to Dark Angel, Vio-lence and in instances Death (pre all the progressive silliness) with riffage that’ll snap vertebrae and leave listeners puzzled…is this really Maligners first album? For it’s damn impressive and wise beyond its years hinting at more than a future of excellence and a large fan base. Check into this!
Supreme Carnage  – Morbid Ways to Die
Germany
Release – May/24/2018
Redefining Darkness Records
Artwork – 8
Classical, dark and some might even suggest sinister.
First Track – 9
Great production gives this a certain and very appreciated oomph, stylistically similar to Bloodbath and Grave sporting great vocals and mid paced rhythms to get any fan of the genre in the mood.
Initial Listen – 9
This will carve a huge smile on the fans of Amon Amarth, Unleashed, Grave and Bloodbath and easily places up their with the aforementioneds’ finest.
I honestly dont know how it is yhat tjis banf has just lsnded ony radar. The riffs are there, the grooves are always present and each track is a winner. Keep your eyes open for this your ears will thank you.
Haunt – Burst Into Flame
USA
Release – August/10/2018
Shadow Kingdom
Artwork – 7.5
Vivid, ominous and sinister. Shadows, darkness and menace at play with a little disbolical magic tossed in for good measure.
First Track – 9
Just try to keep still to the galloping riffage on display here. Melodies and vocals that tosess one back to where it all started, the heyday of an expliding scene and the NWOBHM era ala Blitzkrieg, Satan, Maiden and White Spirit.
I’m impressed!
Initial Listen – 9.5
Emotion, melodies and excellent from the first to the last note this album offers a damn sight more than one might have at first imagined. Sporting a style that channels twin harmonies sla Thin Lizxy, NWOBHM sensabilities and even Rhodes era Ozzy material melodies this is an album that any fan of the roots of the speed/thrash scene cannot afford to miss out on. Someone help me, I can’t stop spinning this!
 
Eviscerate – The Feast Unholy
USA
Release – August/11/2018
Independent
Artwork – 8
It’s like Dune met C.H.U.D in a H R Geiger-esque wasteland.
Suffice to say I’m diggin’ it.
First Track – 8
The Cannibal Corpse like opening riff assault has me by the throat! And I’ll admit the rest of the track with its breakdowns, solos and vocal gymnastics reminds me of the same band (circa The Bleeding) though there’s something else in here too, a splatter of uniqueness.
It has my attention.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Bordering on technical death rather than all out chuggery this has all the ingredients and tight execution  for a great release. While channeling utterly recognizable influences it still offers a style that’s ‘meat and potatoes’ familiar yet dotted through with moments which are more ‘Eviscerate’ than anything that’s come before. A fantastic jumping on point for the band and their style and a great album that’s consumable withput complaint especially if like me you’re always on the hunt for death metal that delivers. 
 
Tunjum – Deidades del Inframundo
Peru
Release – July/23/2018
Dunkelheit Produktionen
Artwork – 8
A sacrificial ritual, severed heads, a mountains of skulls, a victim on the dias and an evil diety looming above the executioner. Does this hint at the themes of the audio within? I guess we’ll see…
First Track – 7.5
An intriguing ethereal introduction leads into suffocating cavernous doom/death with black metal leanings that isn’t without melody. Bestial growls come by way of the drummer. A rarity, though what makes this even more intriguing is that the fact that the drummer is a she, there I said it, bearing the moniker of Kultarr. And, she kicks arse giving the audio a definite ritualistic ambience, drums and all.
Initial Listen – 7.5
A rolling thunder-esque attack with definite Bolt Thrower influence (circa War Master and Those Once Loyal) as well a raw production gives this a certain familiarity. The vocals in the bands native (South American) dialect gives the music an overall archaic edge that adds nicely to the ritualistic/historical lyrical themes.
Part death, part black, oozing with undeniable inflience but still utterly listenable.
 
Downpour – s/t
USA
Release – September/7/2018
Pledge Music
Artwork – 7
A tad progressive, bright and sci-fi themed, not the typical artwork to grace a cover of a metal album to be sure but this is slated to be a varied and diverse slab of audio, a fresh approach on the spectrum of metal, so to speak, so perhaps it will fit after all..?
First Track – 8.5
The Shadows Fall influence and origin (for that’s where the vocalist hails) is undeniable from the first but the track develops to sport much more. Unclassifiable with its offering (but closer to thrash, melodic death and groove with splashes of hard rock) it boasts solos, breakdowns and melodies familiar yet excitable in their context. I’m left curious as to where this collection of tunes might take me.
Initial Listen – 8.5
This isn’t the usual jaunt down metal lane and your ears will thank you. Herein you’ll find influence plucked from a wide radius in the spectrum of metal/rock. And the concoction is splendid (I don’t use that word often enough!) The vocals and percussion are aplaudably varied and run the gamut from melodic (easy listening at times) to grindcore extreme, and a handful of locations inbetween, but the music still has a fluidity which is undeniable which makes it a pleasure to listen to and repeatable without complaint.
A fantastic effort which has the potential to appeal to a huge audience. Put this alongside the works of Opeth and Amorphis as it’s also hard to pigeonhole though is utterly genius in its flow, creation and execution.
 
Nachash – Phantasmal Trinunity
Norway
Release – August/10/2018
Shadow Kingdom Records
Artwork – 7
I’m not even sure what this is/supposed to represent. A gunshot in a window holding a enigmaticly dark ‘presence’ at bay which somehow bleeds aqua? Its probably something completely different, which everyone will have their own opinion about. Interesting cosmos-esque crimson hues though.
First Track – 7.5
Great build up amidst a seething powerful, ominous, atmosphere with rhythms somewhere between black metal and traditional heavy metal. I am intrigued!
Initial Listen – 7.5
Grandiose and majestic but not overtly over the top in terms of what one might perceive as traditional black metal. An interesting mix of styles complemented by riffs and melodies to appeal to both purists of the darker side of the scene and those not entirely sure if it’s an arena they wish to venture into.
A fantastic debut boasting maturity, atmosphere and ingenuity that has the potential to grow on the listener with each sensorial exploration.
 
Malphas – The 39th Spirit
USA
Release – October/26/2018
Via Nocturna
Artwork – 8.5
Crows pecking at the skull of a loin clothed icon while a stain glass window allows ‘bursts of hope’ to penetrate it’s surface from above. A fantastic image rendered wonderfully.
First Track – 7.5
For some reason the opening few seconds of the introduction reminded me of Game of Thrones. The remainder of the trackis a symphonic/atmospheric/technical death concoction. Swirling melodies, soaring solos and keyboard atmosphere which at times sounds a little hurried but it more than suffices in whetting the appetite for what’s to come. A Fantastic climax with the rain and crows kawing.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Melding thrash/death melodies with symphonic elements and, even, at times folk sensabilities this (concept) album can in no way be termed strictly death metal as it offers the listener so much more to ‘chew’ upon. Classical guitar alongside grunts, growls (usually par for the genre if truth be told) and angelic choruses mix in keyboard atmosphere and a unique identity for each track and you have a release that isn’t at all traditional or even run-of-the-mill but is exciting and works as both a concept album and a collection of tracks that holds the attention especially if like me you like to mix things up and dip your ears in the many arenas that the vast waters of extreme audio offers.
Recommended FFO Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and melodic death metal acts with a penchant for utilizing atmosphere snd symphonic elements in their audio.
 
 
Hatalom – Of Sorrow and Human Dust
Canada
Release – July/10/2018
Independent
Artwork -8
Something lurks with ominous intent. To perhaps finish what it started. An amazing use of colors brings a haze shrouded image to life
First Track – 8.5
A classical and emotional introduction leads into a tech death style and it doesn’t dissapoint. Swirling melodies and chuggery drenched in intricacies amidst angelic choruses.
I’m listening…
Initial Listen – 9
Precise, tight and intricate. Tech death that doesn’t go overboard though oozes melody and tightly coiled speedbursts without losing itself in prodigy smarter than the room and “slam” territory (although there are indicators in instances that it could well transform in any moment). Recommended for fans of Necrophagist, Inanimate Existence and those who appreciate the best the scene has to offer, for this is an excellently crafted collection of tracks that certainly hit the spot for me.
 
Piah Mateh – The Wandering Daughter
Brazil
Release – October/5/2018
Code666
Artwork – 8
A little strange, one could write a book on what they ‘perceive’ the image to actually mean, and in this instance it’s done it’s job. It’s thought provoking at the very least.
First Track – 9
Epic and fericious yet intricate in its beauty. With obvious cues and influence coming by way of Amorphis and Opeth. An amazing opening track to perk the interest of any fan open minded to audio which isn’t afraid to span several genres and not be stapled to just one.
Initial Listen – 9.5
I’ll admit I’ve been spinning this for weeks, it offers everything a fan of the genre could ask for. There’s vicious vocals, clean voices and a plethora of melody and pace and emotion to keep any listener enrapt and on their toes. The word boring or uninteresting is tossed from the lexicon when this fills the space between the ears. Piah Mater have successfully managed to meld epic progressive themes with melodic death and doom sensabilities to fantastic effect. In short this is varied, diverse, exciting and boasts unfathomable replayability on account of it offering something new every time it’s heard. Suffice it to say I’m hooked and this will feature in a best of year end list (if I decide to formulate one).
Lechery – We are All Born Evil
Sweden
Release – February/2/2018
Bleeding Music Records
Artwork – 8.5
A nun in flames getting licked (possibly more) by a Demonic entity. Hints of Flava the Heretic and Cradle of Filth imagery here. Who doesn’t love the odd bit of anti-religious erotica themed wickedness?
First Track – 8
Dokken and WASP meets The Scorpions comes to mind. This is heavy metal (circa the late 80’s) that’s infectious, tticky not to bpu ce your appendages to and is admittedly hard not to appreciate especially if like me your ‘guilty pleasures folder’ (whatever that is!?) includes entries from the Dokken discography. Break out the leather jackets, grow the hair and prepare to stitch patches onto denim.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Obvious Dokken influence (shit, they even have a track called Breaker of Chains) amidst other nods to the genres greats, even keyboard use that makes me think of Rainbow and Deep purple in their prime.
Overall though, this is heavy metal tinged by speed and NWOBHM complete with rhythms that will get any fan moving executed with style and little cliche this is an album that be enjoyed from the first spin and lives up to repeats.
 
Nightbreed – Beyond Inferno
Greece
Release – January/31/2018
Witches Brew Records
Artwork – 7.5
Like a scene from Dantes Inferno. But, as anyone from the South West is likely to say stuck living in the 100° temps, it’s a dry heat! (I can attest however, it’s still fn’ hot regardless!)
First Track – 9.5
If any track could pull you back into the thrash fold it’s this one. Speed, riffs and vocals ala Schmier (Destruction). This is infectious audio and then some. Admittedly the intro gave hints as to black metal leanings but no, this is aggressive thrash and jaw dropping audio at that!
Initial Listen – 9.5
Agent Orange era Sodom, Overkill, vintage Kreator music and Destruction vocals collide with sprinklings of So Far, So Good, So What era Megadeth. Consider this a standard bearer for the thrash resurgence scene for it delivers in aces whilst also tossing the listener back to the heyday of the European scene sans frilly bits and ballads. A Damn impressive combination of influences and this will make you move. Prepare to dig out some old tapes and start to appreciate thrash again, albeit of the hyperspeed kind!!! As if you haven’t guessed this has my vote for album of the year in the thrash catagory.
 
And Something Plucked Screamin’ From Metal Past
 
October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age 
Finland
Release – 2013
Dedemur Morti Productions
Artwork – 8
Beauty and longing shrouded with an ominous nature. A striking image.
First Track – 8.5
An emotional and powerful track with a stunning build up. Melodies and melancholy lead me to believe this isn’t going to transpire into a typical black metal album. An ultra impressive start.
Initial Listen – 9
With hints of Belakor, Opeth, Katatonia, Moonspell, Tribulation and October Tide and sporting rhythms you can virtually melt into this isn’t at all what one might expect but is an album you can easily lose yourself within. Majesty cavorts with beauty and sounds of nature against the harshness of extreme vocals and galloping riffs to bring a balance of sorts to keep the audio grandiose, the style intriguing and the overall effect dangerously infectious. Highly reccommended for fans of the aforementioned and for those who occasionally wish to step away from ther normal routine of brutality in favor of something to cleanse the pallette, audio of a more ‘relaxing’ nature, yet still drenched in ominous tones.
 
Disabled – When all is Slayed 
(92′ -97′ Ep and Demo compilation)
France
Release – 2012
Armee de la Morte Records
Artwork – 7
Corpses, surgery snd guts. Sick, but typical of the genre from around the time.  There no doubts as to what the listener is letting themselves in for going from this image.
First Track – 8
Fantastic pace, rhythm and vocals sure to please those familiar with the genre, obvious influence/similarities come to mind but one could argue that’s purely because this is over twenty years old. Regardless it’s a great start that mire than whets the appetite for that which follows.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Close to two and a half hours of extreme tunes. This collection offers quite the variety including demos, EPS and live recordings. Naturally the live audio isn’t nearly as impressive as the remainder of the audio though it still show promise. The studio recoded audio shows quite the diverse range of quality, and it’s exciting to be able to differentiate material that works from others that really doesn’t. This comes from maturity and it’s a pity Disabled didn’t stick around as many of the tracks on offer are bloody good. Influences are obvious, mostly American (Suffocation, Deicide and Canibal Corpse) rather than the ultra popular Gothenburg or European sound of that time, but the style works boasting rhythms and inciteful groove alongside top of the heap guttural emissions which would set any pit ablaze. In conclusion this is a fantastic collection from a band who could’ve made more of an impact if given the chance and determination.
That’s it for another mammoth installment, until next we meet,
Your slave to audio extreme
Cult

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