The cover says it all. The skull of a beast falling (or floating) in darkness welcomes us into a world of the foul and macabre. Morbid Messiah provides the soundtrack. The Mexican act drives death metal straight into your ears and delivers it unfiltered. On their new EP, In the Name of True Death Metal, they show respect for the classic death metal elements that have kept this style alive throughout the decades. That means you can expect guitar riffs that roar with might, equally rowdy guttural vocals and fast, pulverizing drumming.
Sounds guide you into a cramped cellar and trap you in to experience this woe again and again. Things get good and settled in once “Putrid Voices” appears. Morbid Messiah pushes their signature formula of raw instrumentation, but prepare to worship the delicious guitar solo that soars atop of the rubble—revealing to listeners an aerial view of some disastrous scene. “Condemned to Hell Sores” trudges along in the beginning, but amps up its forces gradually. This zone is dominated by thick guitar riffs and varied shades of vocal delivery. Then we have “Legions of Death,” ending our metallic joyride under three minutes, but it’s packed with plenty of grimy goodness for us.
Oslo’s Blodspor designs the kind of metal that’s guaranteed to get listeners energized and in a frenzy. Over the years, the outfit has been gaining popularity through their stellar gigs. That’s where the band’s summoning of death metal, black metal, hardcore, punk and grindcore commences.
Blodspor captured these different levels of intensity on the full-length, Laughing Through the Violence (2011) and have kept the aggression going on their current four-track EP, Only Sheep Cry Wolf.
Starting off the EP is “Overthrow,” where we come face to face with unforgiving harsh vocals, black metal-esque percussion and one fierce death metal attitude. These forces guide listeners through the remainder of the EP, but the standout guitar-work on “Tap-dancing to the Beat of the War Drum” makes it especially enjoyable and hard to forget. The same can be said for “By Our Own Fire We Shall Burn,” where clean vocals join the harsh ones to give the song some dimension. The EP comes to a close with the punishing sounds of “Black Mass.”
It’s dark, stoner doom from Helsinki! Dö released Tuho this spring, but with its icy melodies and merciless riffs, this full-length is has the perfect vibe for these waning days of autumn and the dim winter days ahead.
Meet the musicians: Deaf Hank handles bass and is the lead vocalist. Big Dog is on guitar and vocals. Joe E. Deliverance on drums as well as vocals. How the three piece musters this massive sound is beyond me. Follow the tracks on Tuho, and you’ll quickly understand what I mean:
“Born Under Black Wings” is pretty catchy, simple and refuses to be watered down from the perspective of its thick instrumentation. A cozy atmosphere is present to help you savor the moment. It’s here where we’re introduced to some unruly harsh vocals.
A terrific introduction to the varied heavy psyche scene of Italy. After Zippo ease us in gently with “After Us,” we get some square-bashing from Prometheus with nine minute “Ornaments” – very rhythmic with angular midway changes akin to a proggy post rock Pet Slimmers or something like that.
Architeuthis bowl me outta my chair with their rolling drums and wah wah geetar kick off. A slacker stoner vibe seeps out of my speakers and drips on the floor pooling into a sticky resin puddle. A drum heavy piece, with guitars slung low amongst bleached flares as it ebbs and flows through its ten minute inner space contemplation. When the tune returns it sounds like the lead guitarist went next door to pluck his strings, adding to that whole disheveled disorientation before space noises add in layered effects.
Karl Marx Was a Broker not only wins the prize for the best band name, but opens up a new chapter with electronic math styled rock, imagine you were too stoned to notice you were playing your old Tangerine Dream LPs at the wrong speed – you get the picture… whilst Otus use that lose Entombed style tuning bringing a deathy feel to their offering “Theta Synchrony,” but only in tuning and vocal growl, musically it is far lighter as it tinkers about.
Or so goes the old joke, but here we have two differing artists conjoined by underlying similarities.
Panphage is the work of one Swede, and on this release, he is telling the folk tale of Grette Asmundsson and alongside the atmospheric mood setting sounds of the sea we have relentless harsh black metal.
At times, it is operatic with its rise and fall on tracks like “Landrensningen” and the vocal delivery is in the punctual statement style of many a black metal release, harking back to the early days.
It is a very competent album, and doesn’t have that ‘solo project‘ feel that some one man bands do. And it delivers well in a familiar way, I can anticipate the breaks, the falls and the rampant burn outs.
When two tribes go to war, one is all that you can score.
Two bands, two sounds, one war in common. Warcrab are seeing their debut album Scars of Aeons coming out on Black Bow Records, which is a fantastic starting block for them. I was lucky to enjoy them play live at one of the (now legendary) Summer Sizzlers in Brixton, and I remember the length of their beards! And there were comparisons to Bolt Thrower and Slayer, chatting to the singer on their merch stand he did a good job of selling their sound to me.
So this new album sees their sound slower than I remember with a powerhouse of six members creating a sludge fest, seeping forth through my speakers. It starts slow and deep and hard, then the head nodding starts and I can still understand the comparisons with Bolt Thrower, especially with their titles such as “Conquest” and “Destroyer of Worlds.” With a large contingent of players they do ooze an immense rumbling racket. Kind of at the junction where hardcore sludge meets heavy doom whilst playing a classic Metallica at the slowest speed on the turn table.
One of my favourite cultural centre cafes has changed its name from Departure to Husk, and now the band Husk have changed their name to Sail. Its only early January and I am confused already!
So, Sail are described as doom/sludge, but I disagree as they are far too musical in the higher end of the scales. It focuses far more on a singing vocal and musical melody than the cathartic expressions of sludge.
And they have now finished Slumbersong ready for release on Hibernacula Records on March 10th 2017, and this clean sound seems a departure for Hibernacula as I always associate them with the dirtier sounds of Terra, Pensevor and Negative Thought Process. But it’s always good to balance I guess.
This appeared in the dying embers of 2016, and oh wow did it light up the festivities! 55, yes FIFTY FIVE tracks to stream and download for FREE covering doomy death, grindcore, touches of crust and stoner vibes. And what really excited me about this was the breadth of countries that are represented here.
If you haven’t done so, go and download it, and play it backwards, not for any nefarious Satanic reason, (…sunioj…) but to hear the lesser represented countries in the world of metal, or even western popular culture; India, Singapore, Bangladesh, Pakistan. The label itself is based in India so I this is a terrific gateway in to the south-east Asian metal scene. And what wealth they have there, whether it is the gurgling disgusting grindcore of Gutslit from India or full on Old School Death Metal of Warhound from Bangladesh, or the quite eclectic Grossty from India with their tribal drumming that breaks in to frenetic hardcore.
Well, another year is gone.
Beside its fine, pleasing moments, which were few, it was awful and most parts of it sucked. There were countless sad moments, unfortunate events, and more important than the others many great artists, many legends left us, gone forever but their memories remain, with us, eternally.
However, at the same time, many tremendous albums came alive, pleased us, left huge traces of joy and eternal pleasures carved in our souls, kept us all alive, gave us power to face difficulties, through all the ass-kicking rough times.
I’m cutting it short. I just want to mention the words of Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”