Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Ah, Incantation. For over 30 years these gentlemen have been crafting some of the most malicious, twisted, and downright crushing death metal there is. It's unfortunate that, while they do have the legendary status, they do not get enough credit for what they have done for the scene. Death metal doesn't have to be one-note, and they prove that. So even after twelve albums, one would think a band would simmer down and start to lose their energy and bite. Incantation, however, does the complete opposite, and continues to push their abyss-consuming death metal bludgeoning on their latest studio album. Enter the Sect of Vile Divinities.
"Ritual Impurity (Seven of the Sky is One)" wastes no time with interludes and immediately bludgeons you. The trademark twisted Incantation melodies are there, and it's just a brutal onslaught. The perfect way to open the album. Followup "Propitiation" showcases the band's doomier side. The riffs are a blackened vortex of malice. The melodies are fucking frightening, and the riffs are devastating. I wouldn't expect anything less from them.
Written by: Beaston Lane
Frigid rain falls through the canopy of a Scandinavian forest as the clearing fog reveals two opposing armies, each with unbreakable faith after paying tribute to their gods. A natural ambiance thicker than fortress walls separates the warriors as they each anticipate their leader’s call to charge. What I’m describing isn’t necessarily the beginning of a medieval battle, rather the vivid atmosphere that introduces Vampire’s mighty third record, Rex. This feeling of anticipation builds during the interlude entitled “Prelusion,” and at its sudden conclusion, the armies charge as the carnage of Rex is unleashed upon us all.
Rooted in mythology, Rex is a hellish journey through chaos and serenity. Juxtaposing high-octane thrashers and sneering mid-tempo odysseys, the album showcases the band’s versatility and highlights the demonic vocals of Hand of Doom, the lead vocalist. Existing at the intersection of classic thrash metal, melodic death metal, and modern black metal, Vampire is a three-headed monster which utilizes these influences to create an engrossing and unique listening experience. While not every song can boast of being truly memorable, Rex is a bold statement from a young band destined to continue their ascension through the metal ranks.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Bootlickers beware: this album is not for you. But for anyone else who wants to see the institutions of systemic racism burnt to the ground, this is the revolutionary anthem for you. Rising from the red of Little Rock, Arkansas, Terminal Nation delivers a brutal sonic indictment of humanity with Holocene Extinction.
Right from the get-go, Terminal Nation establish a catchy death doom sound in "Cognitive Dissonance." Raspy howls devolve into a sickening “bleugh”, which sets things off in a beautiful direction. A crushing mosh call to close out the album opener is a damn fine start. "Arsenic 'Fucking' Death" kicks things up a notch with a tasty grind passage, also bringing in the first pit chant in “extinction of mankind!” If you can listen to this album without getting a single riff/line stuck in your head, I'll paypal you $100 (CDN, so not much). But seriously, this album is just littered with memorable hooks and quotable lines.
Written by: Lord Hsrah
Imagine a heavy/power metal band formed by Piet Sielck (Iron Savior) and Michael Ehre (Gamma Ray, Primal Fear)--two of the German power metal scene's most seasoned, experienced and well known musicians, coming together to create their own brand of some of the most scintillating fusion of Teutonic heavy metal and Euro power metal. Something, in other words, over which millions of power metal fans all over the globe would jizz themselves. If you're a power metal fan, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Now imagine the same, but for two colossal doom forces merging together as one to create some of the most iciest low frequencies, out of an already frigid country like Finland, and you get the funeral doom behemoth that is Convocation. It's a grim ride of ruin, and of sorrow, into their sophomore album, Ashes Coalesce, and I'm going to show you around. Come, take my hand, and let us walk.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
I can almost always count on Blood Harvest to deliver some of the nastiest, filthiest, and most unlovable music that’s ever been unearthed. Nekus are a German act that cooks up horrific soundscapes that fit this description perfectly. Their debut album Death Nova Upon The Barren Harvest casts some striking imagery based from the black and death metal voids. The dirtiness of the former crossed with the filthiness of the latter is why this takes such monstrous form.
There are only four tracks, none being overly long besides the ten-minute closer “Dagger Of The Corrupter,” so it’s actually a fairly swift listen. But truthfully, it all feels like one massive song. The common core of droning riffs that feel like a constant swarm of hornets clouding up small hints of comprehensive rhythm saturates every track with ungodly amounts of weight. If it weren’t for the rather steady drum patterns, you’d have a hard time finding the direction of where things are headed.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
When something goes by the name Bear Mace and has “bears” as one of their lyrical themes, you have to assume it’s gonna be pretty silly. But that wasn’t quite the case, and the band in question's upcoming second album Charred Field Of Slaughter actually stays rather focused and hones in on general bloodshed. They’re a death metal act that hails from Chicago, Illinois, but sound like they could spawn from the charred field of Tampa, Florida.
Though things are a bit cleaner than what most of the OSDM pioneers laid down, the meaner buzz adds a chaotic shake. Horrid vocal work taking the gutturals to filthy limits with a slight echo is properly placed atop, caking on small hints of comprehensibility. The only complaint there is the fact that they can feel too “belch”-like at times. That aside though, this reeks of obvious influence from early Death, particularly the Spiritual Healing album. The progression in “Xenomorphic Conquest,” as well as the chorus, sound exactly like the title track from the famous Death record. The high-frequency wails only add more to it.
Written by: Loveloth
George Carlin was a genius. A philosopher in comedian's cloth, an astute social commentator and a dude who was way ahead of his time. His ability to confront people with difficult-to-stomach facts in a hilarious way remains to be topped. Among all his numerous (and brilliant) bits, a few stuck with me, so today I will showcase a quote from his “Saving the planet” bit--which, like most Carlin routines, is even more relevant today:
“We’re so self-important, so self-important. Everybody’s gonna save something now: “Save the trees! Save the bees! Save the whales! Save those snails!” and the greatest arrogance of all: “Save the planet!” What?! Are these fucking people kidding me?! Save the planet?! We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet! We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the fucking planet?!”
Keep in mind he said this in 1992, in a time where grunge was becoming a serious deal, and way before Al Gore, Kyoto's convention and the whole “Save the Earth” hype that is cool today. Now, as a the filthy palaeontology nerd that I am, and to have as smooth of a transition as possible, it is my duty to showcase you any band that decides to tackle such matters. The Ocean do it, Endolith does it, and now Thecodontion do it on their debut Supercontinent.
We covered this album during last week's edition of Fresh Meat Friday...but Pyrrhon is far too significant of a band to gloss over with such egregious brevity. As such, our very own gibbously non-euclidean amalgamation--aka Loveloth the Omniscient--took the reins. Hence: enjoy this expanded review! - Ed.
Written by: Loveloth
Three years ago, a more impressionable, less jaded Loveloth scoured the plains of the Interwebz in search of new, exciting music. One faithful day, I was doing the usual, which translated to me religiously reading Angry Metal Guy. Anyhow, here I am scrolling through and chillin' until I see this insane album cover. It features a mangled dog snarling, whose paw got stuck in a rusty iron trap. The beast has multiple wounds and is clearly malnourished. The surrounding area looks nice though as it's filled with leaves, but the dog and washed out color palette evokes a feeling of discomfort. Needless to say, my interest was piqued and one quick glance later I see the title. Pyrrhon, What Passes For Survival. The two r's in the band name were weird, sure, but I was not prepared what was to come.
You see, there is this guy named Kronos who writes for AMG, and he is known for his hot takes and penchant for the most extreme forms of metal. What I absolutely love about his style, apart from his vast vocabulary and superb phrasing, is how convincing his points always were. Sure, I would disagree with him, but his hot takes never felt cheap and that is pretty rare these days. But now: back to the epic, overlong intro.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
It took me only a couple seconds to realize that the band was not named after the programming tool of the same name, but in relation to Valhalla. Considering the ancient themes and warlike attitude of the music, this would become quite obvious. Condemnation is the forth record by the Italian death metal quartet, dropping loads of life and layers on what is a generally darker sound.
For a good majority of Condemnation, the songs avoid the typical layout, and instead build themselves on unconventional riff patterns and sprinkle in melodeath tactics. Those allow for extra bridges thrown into areas that don’t necessarily lead into a solo, but perhaps an entirely different sequence of sounds. Depending on the transitions, this can help or hurt. Some points feel natural, as if they go above and beyond the norm. “Divination - Marked By The Unknown” is one of the best tracks here, as it blends this with heavy synth presence, ultimately kicking out a longer track. The doomy outro of the title track was also a neat touch.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
If the cover art of this death metal split doesn’t pique your interest in the tiniest bit, then are you really a fan of the genre? Death Fire Darkness is a three-song split effort between Sweden’s Inisans, and Sepulchral Frost. The former has been together for a little while now, dropping their debut in 2018, while the latter is a more recent group hailing from the turn of the decade. Together they offer up about fifteen minutes worth of new chops, while each side takes an aesthetic of its own.
The A-side holds two of the three tracks, both by Inisans, as their music in general is a bit more straightforward death metal cut from quicker-processed material. Not a second of “Holocaust Winds” is anything short of compelling, dropping rhythms that capture horrid energy. Gradients of noisy leads blend with the pummeling wall of drums in intricate patterns, retaining an identity of its own. The second track, “Circle Of The Serpent,” follows it up from the same bottom idea, but focuses more on intense speed, delivering the classic Morbid Angel-like artillery.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!