25 Nov 2020

Review: Maze of Terror - Death Worshipers - Demo (2019)

 


Maze of Terror – Death Worshipers – Demo (2019)

Peru

Independent


Peruvian death-thrashers Maze of Terror released an absolute scorcher of an album back in 2016 titled, “Ready To Kill.” I loved the aggression and ballsy attitude of that album. Fast forward to 2019, after a split and two EPs, the band released this killer demo called “Death Worshipers.” The four songs on this demo are very well composed and contains absolutely no filler at all. The music can be described as thrash metal, although in the most uncompromising sense imaginable. They also incorporate some black and death metal elements into their sound. The vocalist is a maniac and sounds like he is hell-bent on murdering someone. All instruments are well played and blend together nicely, coupled with a solid production that enables you to hear everything. The guitarist's penchant for solos is impressive and it definitely sounds like he knows what he's doing. I must say, for a thrash metal band, Maze of Terror sounds more extreme than a lot of black and death metal bands. The music on this demo is raw, unapologetic, and fierce. I love the sample on the first song, 'Incubus,' which is taken from the cult horror movie The Entity. Anyway, if radio-friendly “pizza thrash” is your thing, then stay far away from Maze of Terror. These Peruvian maniacs will skin you alive. (HT)

https://mazeofterror.bandcamp.com/

Review: Prison Hell - Мяco. Viande. Fleisch. Meat. (2020)

 



Prison Hell - Мяco. Viande. Fleisch. Meat. 2020

Canada

War Vellum


War Vellum has done it again. The quality is consistent with releases from black noise such as Tsalal and Mesmeric Revelation. So when I saw the Prison Hell tape up for pre-order, I immediately bought it. This project is from good ole Edmonton, home of black/death Gods like Blasphemy and Revenge, and you can definitely hear it in the music. It is the brainchild of Kib Sreng from Brulvahnatu, Black Abyss, and ex-member of higher profile acts such as Antediluvian and A.M.S.G. He doesn't stray too far from the path either. The debut full-length, “Мяco. Viande. Fleisch. Meat.” is pure bestial black/death at its best. The art presented is highly inspired and creative. He's not afraid to cross into other genres at the drop of a dime with certain parts of songs having an Incantation feel, whereas other songs have more of a Beherit worship style. The vocals are a mix of guttural and raspy black metal (in the Beherit vein) and suits the music. My favorite part is without a doubt the solos; they are weird, fringe, and sound cool as hell. The production on this release is mixed and mastered perfectly for what you're being subjected to. If you're craving something different, yet still somewhat familiar, then check this out. (LR)

Review: Northern - Cabin Fever - EP (2020)

 


Northern – Cabin Fever (2020)

USA

Sinistrari Records


Spawned from the ashes of Cold Northern Vengeance, Northern is a four-piece featuring mastermind Heathen (CNV, Martyrvore, Ancestral Shadows), including members from bands like Desolate and December Wolves. “Cabin Fever” is the band's second release, an 7” EP featuring two tracks of fierce and deadly black/death that radiates pure fucking evil. The raw production is very fitting to the music and the band does a good job at capturing an atmosphere redolent of their environment. The lyrics on this EP are quite interesting, with 'Hypothermia' being about how hikers from urban areas end up freezing to death in the New Hampshire mountains, whereas 'Cabin Fever' mentions burying Jehovah's Witnesses in the woods. These two songs are very well-arranged and cohesive, featuring some truly excellent riffs and an otherworldly atmosphere that does a good job at drawing the listener in. The vocalist emits a powerful and menacing growl that is perfect for this style. Worth mentioning is the fact that Northern doesn't really sound like Cold Northern Vengeance and embraces a more black/death style, whereas the former had a wider palette of influences. Overall, I don't really have anything to complain about, as this is a solid release through and through. This EP gets my highest recommendation. (HT)

17 Nov 2020

Review: The Incursion - Pandemonium - EP (2020)

The Incursion – Pandemonium - EP (2020)

USA

Our Ancient Future


California's The Incursion release their debut EP, “Pandemonium,” featuring 7 tracks of tumultuous black/death metal that goes straight for the skull. The music is fairly fast, featuring speedy drums, bestial vocals, and an apocalyptic wall of dissonance that penetrate the senses with lethal force. This is pretty filthy stuff. The music is about as straight-forward as it gets, with chaos and hate as its focal doctrine. There are no guitar solos, which is something I like to hear in war metal. The music is played with passion and decidedly ferocious, with snippets of brilliance throughout; however, the band still needs to evolve their sound a bit, seeing as that they have the potential. For its 20 minute duration, this EP sure leaves a devastating blow. If you enjoy bands like Nexul, Antichrist Siege Machine, Human Agony, etc., then absolutely check these guys out.(HT) 

Review: Garden of Eyes - Altar of Despair - Demo (2020)

 


Garden of Eyes – Altar of Despair – Demo (2020)

England

Cryptic Blood Records


Garden of Eyes is a one-man manifestation spawned from the depths of Nordwich, England, with sole member Nattskog handling all instruments on its latest demo, “Altar of Despair.” Personally, I always like to check out new death metal bands from the UK, even though the amount of quality death metal from over there may not always be in abundance, but the few that manage to pop up on my radar never fail to impress me. Garden of Eyes utilizes the Swedish axe tone, but what makes them a bit different is their varied use of tempos, and the fact that the music is mostly slow, evil and excruciatingly heavy, paired with a cavernous vocal assault that sounds like it was spewed from the mouth of some hideous ghoul. The band refers to their music as “Rotten Eldritch Death Metal” and the description couldn't be more spot on. Programmed drums can be a hit or miss, but are well done in this case, adding a heavy dynamic to the music. The atmosphere on this release is absolutely morose and makes me think of being lost in some underground catacomb filled with all things decayed. The three songs on “Altar of Despair” offers a tasty 12 minutes of pure charnel, unholy death metal that is bound to raise a few dead souls every time you press play. (HT)

14 Nov 2020

Review: Roudansirppi – III – Demo (2019)

 


Roudansirppi – III – Demo (2019) 

Finland

Hessian Firm


Raw black metal would be a good place to start when describing Roudansirppi's music. Their latest demo features four lengthy tracks of mournful, atmospheric black metal that takes us back to the old days. Each song is comprised of despondent screams, buzzing guitars, and an atmosphere that conjures images of vast and barren landscapes. The music is decidedly primitive, but also cohesive, supplemented with a low-fi production that is sure to please diehard fans. You basically have all the hallmarks of classic black metal written all over this, but minus the Satanism. The band also incorporates some keyboards and clean vocals here and there, which is a nice touch and adds depth to the music. Overall, the material on this demo is quite strong, as “III” is a release that will find its appeal among fans of the most cult and austere type of black metal. The CD can be obtained through Hessian Firm. (HT)

https://roudansirppi.bandcamp.com/album/iii

11 Nov 2020

Review: Black Crown - Caverns of Thantifaxath (2020)

 



Black Crown - Caverns of Thantifaxath (2020)

USA

Sathanath Records


Black Crown is the sinister manifestation conjured by The Mountain VVitch (ex-Necrophagia, Haxxan) and "Caverns of Thantifaxath" is their debut album, joint-released between Satanath Records, More Hate Productions, and The End Of Time Records. The duo offers a lethal slab of cold, belligerent black metal that aims to corrupt the mind with a corrosive atmosphere and vocals replete with spite. The themes all pertain to the occult, as Thantifaxath literally means “Great Ghoul” and is known to be one of the pathways and tunnels of Set. The band does a good job at transmitting those abysmal energies; however, I feel that a rawer sound would have benefited the music more, as I find the album's production a little too clean and polished for my liking. Nevertheless, there's still some enjoyable moments to be found here, with an atmosphere and sound that brings to mind bands like Thorns, Temple of The Maggot, Carpathian Forest, etc. The pace of the album varies from mid to fast, with some exceedingly heavy riffs scattered throughout. I'm not a big fan of the high-pitched vocals, although I can tolerate them. Overall, "Caverns of Thantifaxath" is a passable entry featuring 9 paeans of blasphemous metal to satiate the morbid mind. (HT)


5 Nov 2020

Review: Goatpenis - Biochemterrorism (2010)


Goatpenis - Biochemterrorism (2010)

Brazil

Satanic Skinhead Propaganda


When most people think of war metal, bands like Blasphemy and Revenge comes to mind, but for myself, nothing beats Goatpenis. Sabbaoth has always led the band, but I started taking them more seriously when Virrugus joined the line-up. Since they became a duo, the band has only gotten better over time. Now in true Goatpenis fashion, the first track starts with a sample that has something to do with war. This track is an ominous orchestral piece that plays into the track. It starts with a catchy melodic lead over tremelo picked chords, then leads into a thrashy slower part only for it to pick up again in time for the next song. 'Fatal Equinox' shows the band play swirling leads down the fretboard over blasts. I love the guttural vocals, as they are fitting to the style and intensity of the music. I won't do a track by track analysis, since most of the songs carry the same formula, but are executed in an unique way. One of my favorite tracks on this album is without a doubt, 'Death Emperor Rules Supreme,' with the chords going higher and higher down the fretboard. 
Goatpenis has always had a distinct and trademark sound that made them stand out from their peers, particularly on this album, which perfectly blends melody with violence. In fact,  "melodic war metal" is probably the most fitting descriptor for this album. Recommended. (LR)

Review: Chronicles - Astōdān - Demo (2020)

 


Chronicles - Astōdān (2020)

Bangladesh

Independent


Chronicles (or “ChronicleS” as the band prefers to spell it) is a young death metal band from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and “Astōdān” is their latest demo. When I think of the Bangladeshi scene, bands like Orator, Morbidity, and Nafarmaan comes to mind. That being said, it's always interesting to hear new and upcoming bands from the South Asian scene. The demo has a fairly underproduced sound, which gives the music a sinister, subterranean-like feel, paired with their predilection for occult themes pertaining to Angra-Mainyu. These five songs are fairly well played, and while I wouldn't really say it's anything special, the music on this demo is quite good and straight-forward, with a sound that gives nods to bands like Mortem, Autopsy, Necrovore, etc. The demo offers five tracks of raw, abyssic death metal, including a dandy cover of Hellhammer's Messiah, showing their appreciation for the classics. Overall, it's a decent entry from a young Bangladeshi horde showing a knack for blasphemous black/death metal. The underground is alive in Bangladesh and bands like Chronicles is proof of that. (HT)

3 Nov 2020

Review: Carnosus - Dogma of The Deceased (2020)

 


Carnosus - Dogma of The Deceased (2020)

Sweden

Satanath Records


Hailing from Örebro, Sweden, Carnosus presents their debut album, “Dogma of the Deceased,” released by Russia's Satanath records. Melodic death metal does not draw me in easily, but Carnosus is an exception: their high-quality music is a seamless balance of melody, technique, and heaviness. Each song is packed to the brim with excellent riffs, incorporating some neoclassical influence. This genre benefits from proper production to stand out, and that's exactly what the band has opted for by teaming up with Fredrik Nordström (At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, Lord Belial, etc.) and Robert Kukla to record “Dogma of the Deceased.” Musically, they share some idiomatic traits with bands like Sacramentum, At The Gates, The Crown, etc., mixed with their own unique sound that also borrows from progressive metal and thrash. The overall result is something to behold, with songs that bleed passion and superb songwriting and musicianship, favouring substance and atmosphere over superfluous technicality. “Dogma of the Deceased” boasts an excellent production, a full sound that really brings out the best in the band and its individual members. The music also doesn't border on sounding plastic, retaining a certain rawness and pugnacious edge that gives the music just the right amount of punch to make them stand out. Check them out if you enjoy good melodic death metal. For fans of Anata, Sarcasm, and Arsis. (HT)