First Impressions Vol 16: Psycroptic, W.M.D, Ernia, Thron, Sinnrs, Anaal Nathrakh, Kurokuma, Corpsessed, Vulturic Eye, Night Crowned, Dirge, Ichor, Dissentience, Pisakas & Attomica

Funfact: I’ve prompted two people in the last month to purchase music based on my reccommendations. I guess I’m affecting people’s listening habits and making an impact, albeit miniscule.
Hey, it’s a start. Let’s see if I can keep this trend afloat.

Psycroptic – As the Kingdom Drowns
Release – November/9/2018
Prosthetic Records


Artwork – 8
A god-like being oversees a landscape devoured by flames and all captured in vivid hues, what’s not to like?
First Track – 8.5
Neck snappin’ riffage straight outta the gate accompanied by an unexpected grandiose atmosphere. All supported by amazing production values. How I’ve missed these Tasmanian speedsters!
Initial Listen – 9
As if an overabundance of riffs wasn’t enough Psycroptic added another level entirely by effectively utilizing atmosphere and depth. At first the collection of riffs might appear too much to comprehend, a jaw dropping realization. However, after a few listens it’s possible to sink into the album and appreciate every blazing riff and fluid passage for the stellar creation they collectively make up.
Riffs for miles an album that puts me in mind of vinrage Trivium while still making me appreciate Psycroptic all the more for keeping true to their style and offering the fans another stunning release. Needless to say this is a must own and a great place to jump onto the style that these technical, hyperspeed, Tasmanian technicians offer.

W.M.D – Lethal Revenge
Release – October/12/2018


Artwork – 8.5
Crimson, guts, skulls, carnage and scripture. Wha-!?
Neefless to mention that I’m intrigued!
First Track – 7
Galloping rhythms. Movement inciting drums and guitar melodies. A nice start that only leaves me wondering if the vocals are going to fit, add to the audio concoction, or turn me off.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Now this is the kind of thrash I can get behind!
W.M.D (When Minds Develop) play in a similar vein to early Anthrax, D.R.I, Nuclear Assault, M.O.D, Exodus and other acts who’ve stayed true to the cause and strayed away from ballad themed nonsense. Seething with cross over and old school sensabilities, humor, a little ecperimentation, frantic speed passages, confident vocals (which on rate occasion sound like Tom Arraya – Slayer) and energy to spare. This is an album that bears its influences for all to hear and could well incite abrupt interest in the genre and forgotten gems from thrash years past.
I’m expecting labels to jump on these guys as this is an ultra impressive first outing that bodes well for things to follow and the future of the scene itself.




Ernia – self titled
Release – December/7/2018

Artwork – 6.5
A Venus fly trap and skulls in muted tones. Something ominous is afoot here…or this is a stoner rock opus about to explode upon my senses.
First Track – 7
Frenetic rhythms, hyperblasting drums, screeches, howls, burps, groans and wicked riff transformations. This is primarily grindcore tunage amidst a few other (extreme) flavors tossed in to keep the bubbling concoction frothing.
Initial Listen – 7
Thirteen tracks in less than twenty-three minutes could only mean one thing. Scratch that, it could allude to greater problems. However, in this case grindcore schnanigans are the order of the day.
Diverse vocals, often bringing to mind a Macabre (the band) influence. Unpredictable rhythms keep this interesting, intriguing and utterly listenable. But it’s the sense of humor prevalent throughout that makes it fun, putting Part II before Part I in the tracklist, an injection of hilarity in the scene, well I never!
This is guaranteed to grow on you the more you pick out intricacies and continue to torture the audio equipment with its continued passage.


Thron – Abysmal
Release – October/5/2018
Listenable Records


Artwork – 7
Subtle and about as blunt as a sledgehammer between the eyes. I’ve heard rumor that the limited edition comes in a scratch and sniff format complete with a monogrammed wet wipe.
First Track – 9
Blackened death par excellence. In a similar vein to Dissection this offers a grandiose Gothic nature, an epic aura as well rhythm passages and a classical infernal vibe that demands immediate attention.
An amazing start sure to whip a great horde of heads in its direction.
Initial Listen – 9.5
From out of nowhere this knocked me on my shocked unsuspecting arse. Familiar and seething with nostalgia its style throws one back to Storm of the Lights Bane boasting as it does atmosphere, fluidity and a blackened death aesthetic that invokes furious movement made worse by a glorious uncontrollable face splitting sensation. Thron effectively add their own touches but thankfully don’t overdo the albums atmospheric elements making for a second album that bursts with intelligence and knowledge beyond the bands relative infancy.
Toss this atop the album of the year heap as it makes an impression instantly and shines with more than mere potential for Thrones future.

Sinnrs – Profound
Release – July/20/2018
Self Released/Bandcamp

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Artwork – 6.5
There’s a definite SnM vibe here. Just me?
Perhaps a comment on a fallen angel and the extra-curricular activities in which he/she partakes?
First Track – 8
Swift riffs and a definite blackened death aura shrouded with orchestration and angelic choruses. It’s not altogether new but it’s exciting and works to intrigue me enough to not hit STOP anytime soon.
Initial Listen – 8
A myriad of influence leaps out as one spins this. Behemoth, Septic Flesh, Cradle of Filth and an array of others of much the same ilk.
The music is diverse, sometimes hypnitic and flows seamlessly with classical majesty given an added oomph with the element of orchestration (often with dark metal as a backdrop) venom fueled vocals, interesting lyrical content and inciteful rhythms. Excellent production values allow each instrument to breathe providing a listening experience uncrowded by muddiness.
As well the more obvious other genres make themselves apparent also. Thrash riffs make an appearance as too symphonic black/death and even a splash of avant garde making this a release that bursts with depth and atmosphere resulting in a collection of tunage that’s rather hard to categorize, easier to appreciate.

Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror
United Kingdom
Release – September/28/2018
Metal Blade Records


Artwork – 7.5
Is that a famed French structure with a diabolical quest to fulfill or something less sinister entirely?
First Track – 8.5
Deathened/Black/Symphonic/Industrial? Whatever this is catagorized as I’m diggin the hell outta the combination thus far.
Initial Listen – 9
I find myself pondering – is this what King Diamond gets up to on his ‘off’ days? Does he lend himself to an experimental extreme music outfit with no regard for genre boundaries. It’s entirely possible as there are falsetto vocals on display here as well those more traditionally death themed plastered with venom and fury yet also slathered in industrial sensabilities.
The music puts me in mind of Behemoth and Cradle of Filth as well a slew of others ranging as far afield as the nu-metal genre through epic symphonic creations and then acts prevalient in the blackened death metal field. There is melody, there is speed, there is brutality and there is a highly effective apocalyptic soundscape (often by way of angelic choruses) a concoction which strangely works well and holds the attention throughout with minimal chaos to get in the way.
Truth be told this is unique, diverse, eye opening as it definitely isn’t ‘more of the same’ and effective. Honestly I was assuming black/death audio. It isn’t, strictly speaking however I am impressed with the combination of styles which is tickling my audio senses. If you haven’t, check out Anaal Nathrakh they have a uniqueness which is infectious and a style that though altogether somewhat familiar is altogether ingenious. I’m going to take some time to delve into the back catalog, hold my calls.

Kurokuma – Dope Rider
United Kingdom
Release – October/26/2018
Self Released
(Doom Stew Records previously on different formats)


Artwork – 8.5
A skeleton weilding pistols that fire hallucinagenic projectiles. This isn’t at all normal in the slightest but I’m left wholly intrigued.
First Track – 7
Fuzz, distortion, a smudgen of psychedelia and a mammoth plodding riff charge. Top this with a more aggressive than expected vocal approach and you have a track that’s interesting to say the least. Is stoner sludge a thing? Perhaps it should be.
Initial Listen – 7.5
Only containing a pair of tracks (totalling close to thirteen minutes) this EP does what many, with the same length, cannot. It holds the attention.
The second track adds to the overall allure with its stabbing assault, groove and wave-like mesmerizing percussion. A Neurosis style comes to mind along with certain tracks by Brutal Juice, a confident way to end a short peek into what Kurokuma are all about.
Totally not what I was expecting, I’m pleasantly surprised as I believe others will be. Even those that don’t tread so often into doom/stoner territories.

Corpsessed – Impetus of Death
Release – November/23/2018
Dark Descent Records


Artwork – 9
This reminds me of the priceless Time Bandits scene with the boat and the giant, although the boat was perched on the giants head.
First Track – 8.5
Churning, rumbling and thunderous, not to mention ominous, chaotic death tinged with doom. A familiar style with excellent execution and stunning foreboding presence – A great start!
Initial Listen – 8
The style herein is as if vintage Bolt Thrower collided with early Grave in a landscape littered with infernal nature ala Morbid Angel.
Maniacal riffage reigns supreme against a foundational of seething dirge. Great production sporting commendable cavernous qualities and shades of a delicous old school vibe gives this the edge it needs to stands out from releases of a similar ilk. I’d pleased to say my first experience with Corpsessed has been one that’ll bring me back eager for more.

Vulturic Eye – Crucifixion of Hope
United Kingdom
Release – November/5/2018
Howling Invocations


Artwork – 7
Powerful BnW image seething with pain and hopelessness.
First Track – 8
Strangely reminds me of Sabbat, vintage pre Dickenson Maiden and David Bowie (RIP) as well Rush. An odd concoction to be sure but strangely infectious on account of the strong lyrics, the confident vocal delivery and the complexity of the music itself.
Initial Listen – 8.5
The more I listen the more I fall under this albums spell. To be clear it isn’t what I would normally listen to (this isn’t death, black, grind or even doom) but it has an allure and charm all its own coming by way of traditional heavy metal and a certain NWOBHM-ness that’s extremely hard to resist. Twenty minutes and three tracks that leaves one salivating for more of the same.
Recommended for those with an open mind and a willingness to allow music to utterly devour their senses.

Night Crowned – Humanity will Echo Out Sweden
Release – November/30/2018
Black Lion Records


Artwork – 7.5
Ominous mists shroud the wilderness. What they contain is anyone’s guess but from what I’ve learned in my reading habits (be it King or Herbert) it probably isn’t going to be all happy sprinkles, winning lottery tickets, unicorns and roses.
First Track – 8
Plenty of atmosphere in a blackened death environment. Menacing, ominous and effective audio.
Initial Listen – 8.5
Melody, blistering riffs, majesty and blackened vocals amassed in a stunning audio array seething with influence and style sure to please fans from both death and black realms.
Three tracks make up a short EP but it’s enough to convey the message that Night Crowned have a great deal to offer the fans and the genre. And they have the experience to back up any expectations. I’m excited at the prospect of a full length if it bears even close to the quality this boasts.

Dirge – AH Puch
Release – October/19/2018


Artwork – 9
Uh…I believe we took a wrong turn at the goat path. Can you help us?…
Alright. We shan’t disturb you any longer it appears you have a line forming for decapitations. Wha-!
…Have a wonderful night.
*smoke fills the air as tires squeel.
First Track – 7.5
An epic track that oozes atmosphere and depth and checks off most that the doom genre has to offer in its passage. Sludge, melody and darkness and all within the confines of only the first track of what is slated to be something altogether different indeed.
Initial Listen – 9
Tortured vocals grabs the attention whilst surprisingly varied percussion drags the listener through a veritable maelstrom of sacrifice and blood soaked mythology. The atmosphere is top notch and cloyingly thick especially effective with the grimminess of the sound (think an EyeHateGod quality) and the albums production. Cinematic effect is acheived brilliantly through the stunning instrumental interlude adding another layer to an album that’s unexpectedly entertaining, full of surprises, and bursting with influence and intelligence.
Take time out to support this band for this is a blinding release which deserves praise.

Ichor – Hadal Ascending
Release – December/7/2018
Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork /WOOAARGGHH


Artwork – 8
An alien underwater empire drenched in peril and upheaval or something along those lines. Either way, this image is impressive.
First Track – 8
Dramatic, melodic, atmospheric and emotional and that riff. A fantastic combination to start the album.
Initial Listen – 8
This often put me in mind of mid era audio by Hypocrisy in as it’s very melodic, technical in part, slightly experimental in instances though still has a degree of brutality about it that fans of the genre demand and will appreciate.
If you prefer your death more of the melodic variety and less of the ear shattering brutal type give this a peek it has alot to offer.

Dissentience – Mask of Pretense
Release – October/26/2018
Self – Release


Artwork – 6
I don’t know why but the mask itself reminds me of the band Coroner and images from similarly genre themed album covers from the early nineties.
First Track – 8
Complex rhythms, driving riffs accompanied by harsh vocals combine to blur the divide between death and thrash. A fantastic start especially for those who believe thrash is a genre with little life left.
Initial Listen – 9.5
Blistering riffs, exciting compositions and a collective of tracks that are so impressive, yet fresh and familiar, the listener will want to spread the word.
Highly recommended for fans of Sylosis, early Trivium, vintage Lamb of God and Slayer. Although if truth be told this could well be the injection of adrenaline the scene requires as it will undeniably drive new fans towards the genre in waves rivalling that of a titan-like tsunami. Lay your ears on this at your earliest convenience. Then prepare to shell out some coin in appreciation.

Reccd’ by Void


Pisakas – Fabricated Animosity
Release – June/9/2018


This image puts me in mind of vintage Napalm Death (although theirs were mostly montages) and other albums from the early grindcore scene. Raw in appearance and bare bones primitive it depicts barbaric acts of brutality in the streets and social unrest. One group portrayed as emancipated skeletons overseen by a collective of Reapers.
My Thoughts
Primitive and raw yet benefiting from surprisingly good production this collection of tunes harkens back to the early days of brutal death/extreme metal and oozes with influence. A vintage Gorguts aura collides with a ‘Tomb’ era Cannibal Corpse style whilst also channeling Misery Index and other acts with a prominent drum sound. Rhythms shift constantly leaving any assumptions of predictability and the notion of somewhat traditional melodic chuggery in the dust.
Final Verdict
Surprisingly listenable and highly addictive, especially for fans whose music collection contains a plethora of extreme metal from the late eighties and early nineties.
Although this boasts somewhat of an obnoxious drum sound it adds to the albums overall nostalgic feel, pleasing enough in its own right Pisaka add to this enjoyment by adding their own brutal flair (moments which might throw the listener for a loop) which edge towards technical realms.
I should give thanks to Void for introducing me to these guys but presently it borders more toward resentment as I’m addicted, an enjoyment that borders on obsession if truth be told.

Attomica – Disturbing the Noise
Release – 1991
Cogumelo Records


This is possibly what would result if Eddie (yes, the Iron Maiden mascot) ever ventured in the Hellraiser (franchise) universe.”Jesus wept”.
Did I mention the image also screams 90’s scene? Rather a wicked mixture of both horror and metal. Now…what’s the tunage like?
My Thoughts
This is grab you by the throat and ram you up against a wall at breakneck speeds type thrash. Riffs with wicked intent and harsh accented vocals top off a style bordering perilously close to death territories. I’m not complaining in the slightest.
Final Verdict
Influences are easy to decipher (Sepultura, Nuclear Assault and Slayer amongst others) though in no way can Attomica be branded a copycat act. Underrated and under-appreciated perhaps but definitely not an act that should be let slip under the radar. I honestly wished I’d have discovered these guys alongside those who initially pulled me into the fold maybe then my tastes would have stretched into more varied regions expanding my appreciation of the global scene that much earlier.
Attomica’s music speaks for itself and its instant appeal warrants discovery. Needless to say, with this being my first experience of their style, and with no reservation, I’d state that this album deserves a place in any treasured thrash collection especially if that very same collection veers more toward the aggressive realm, an arena in which ballads are punishable by torturous means.
Do yourself a favor and seek out this underrated and sadly forgotten gem!!


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