Archive for October, 2015

Carnivorous Voracity - The Impious Doctrine

Japanese label Amputated Vein have done it again, scouring the globe for the kind of skin-flaying brutality that will violently rip at your particular scratch. Spanish death dealers Carnivorous Voracity are unleashing their debut full length after 2011’s ‘Debasement Incarnated’ EP, and ‘The Impious Doctrine’ is pure brutal death at its finest.

First track proper, after a cool intro track, is ‘Epiphanies of Perverse Egocentrism’, and is punishingly heavy in the vein of Devourment or Defeated Sanity. Double kick pound mercilessly against your skull, while chugging riffs lay waste to your mental faculties. Vocally this switches between an unintelligible grunt to a heavy growl. ‘Steeped in Magnanimity’ has a insanely heavy breakdown that would end most deathcore bands instantly. ‘The Impious Doctrine’ barely pauses for breath, battering you into submission with a succession of brutally heavy death metal songs.

It isn’t for everyone, but brutal death metal can be dynamic and interesting when done right. Carnivorous Voracity do it right; with just enough spiralling guitar lines over the crush, breakdowns that don’t overstay their welcome and even shows of restraint with the vocal interplay is key to keeping something fresh. ‘The Impious Doctrine’ isn’t revolutionary in any way, but what it is a perfect example of how powerful brutal death metal can truly be. Feel the intensity of the rampant ‘Secularise’, or the inhuman savagery of ‘Serpent’s Nest’ to truly appreciate how good this band are.


Cemetery Lust - Screams of the Violated

Portland, Oregon is home to some of the world’s finest breweries, and also this collection of blackened thrash belching heathens, Cemetary Lust. ‘Screams of the Violated’ is a reissue of their cult debut from 2012, and is half an hour of unbridled violence coming from Hell’s Headbangers!

‘Throw the Switch’ kicks off the record in a high gear. This is rampant, thrashing blackened metal that takes no prisoners and barely lets you catch your breath. It is invigorating, and is very much like early Slayer in its ferocity. ‘Perverted Aggressor’ has a chunkier edge, and has a bit of Sodom about it too. Too often bands like this reference Sodom, Hellhammer, Sarcofago etc without adding their own personality to it. Cemetary Lust have got personality in spades, almost like if Municipal Waste had listened to Marduk records.

‘Sexual Maniac’ has some killer riffs and a satisfying heavy low end to keep their sound thick and warm. ‘Resurrected Whore’ rages like the spirit of 80s Bay Area thrash reborn, with a maddeningly fast solo to boot. I love that Cemetary Lust aren’t just another throwaway blackened thrash band. Their black metal parts are more about creating that ‘more evil than thou’ atmosphere while letting their obvious thrash chops run riot. ‘Black Angels of Hell’ is brutality through and through, and the uber headbanger ‘Night of the Creep’ is a great way to round us off. ‘Screams of the Violated’ is a killer thrash record with just enough evil to appeal all but the blackest of hearts. Fuck yeah!

Tales of the Tomb: Volume One: Morpras

Edmonton, Canada’s Tales of the Tomb have only been around for about a year, but their debut EP, due to be released in November, is a pretty impressive slab of death metal, shot through with some epic Scandanavian melodies. Three tracks and ten minutes of material flies by so quickly! With that cover, you’re almost expecting some kind of pig squealing, breakdown laden deathcore mediocrity, but thankfully that’s not the case

‘Snowtown’ is a graceful, melodic cut that rages like prime Swedish melodeath, but at a slower pace than the usual. The insertion of a clean vocal part keeps things interesting, and the song itself is pretty solid, and admittedly very catchy. ‘The Pig Farmer’ is a lot faster, blasting some deathgrind, bug eyed ferocity, with nods to Carcass circa ‘Necroticism …’. Final track ‘Dr Death’ couples nice lead guitar work with a propulsive drumming performance, and a frankly gorgeous melodic solo that takes this EP a cut above your standard.

Tales of the Tomb have got a lot of potential, and this EP is a great start for a band I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on in the near future!

Torture Chamber - Qayin

‘Qayin’ is the Hebrew version of Cain, and it means ‘spear’. This record is like a spear, a blackened, rusted spike driven straight into your ears by pure evil. Torture Chamber are broken up now, and this EP came out last summer, and I’ve only just gotten around hearing this, which is sad news but it means that another band has left us with a stellar closing fuck you statement.

‘Qayin’ opens with the flailing, rampant hatred of ‘Defining the Throne’, all razor raw riffing and demon-in-a-wind-tunnel roars. It’s followed by the almost Mardukian intensity of ‘The Blood of Angels’, but coated in a horrible atmosphere of filth and decay. The drumming is pretty muffled, but it actually adds a bit of depth to the music, like the thud of the damned on the walls of hell. Howling rasps match up perfectly with the tremolo melodies. ‘One Thousand Plagues’ comes at you with gloomy acoustics to begin, destroyed almost immediately by raging black metal.

All four tracks are so suffocatingly dark and dense that when rare glimpses of melody appear, they are sucked away from you in a furious maelstorm. There’s dashes of Wolves in the Throne Room in Torture Chamber’s longer sections, but more dissonant and murkier. ‘Drowning in the Blood of Vermin’ closes the EP off with a relentless assault of black metal, coupled with some delicate acoustic moments to provide a stark contrast. I can’t begin to explain to you how gutted I am to find out that Torture Chamber are no more now I’ve discovered them! If you can get your hands on ‘Qayin’, you’ll find a band that blow a lot of underground black metal out of the water.

Time Erodes cover art

Multinational progressive death metal band Obsidian, currently based in Vancouver, have unleashed their debut record, ‘Time Erodes’, earlier this year, and it’s a release I must say slipped me by entirely. It’s a shame because now I’ve got it on, it’s a quality piece of modern extremity.

When you hear the term ‘progressive death metal’, your mind is immediately drawn to old Opeth. Obsidian is a totally different kettle of fish to that, having neither the stunning songwriting nor grace of Opeth. What Obsidian do, and do very well however, is solid death metal with interesting time changes and riff variety. The juddering ‘Revolution Dead’ is a good example. Refreshing as well is the shorter song lengths. Some bands try to put in too much, where Obsidian wisely trim the fat and leave only the essential. The Pantera-esque groove that opens ‘Free Me’ is fucking righteous too.

The chugging ‘My War’ is killer, and so is the rampant ‘Downfall’. ‘Time Erodes’ is a record that keeps your attention all the way through, and while never disappearing off into too progressive territory, still retains enough of an adventurous spirit to make it a worthwhile listen. The ponderous ‘YVR (Rain City)’ provides a welcome interlude before the vicious ‘Broken and Defeated’ sends my head banging. Obsidian show promise, but where they go from here is what will make their journey interesting. They need to accentuate the different songs a bit more, as they all follow a similar vein. But they;ve got the riffs, and they’ve got ample brutality. Let’s keep an eye on these guys.

Khors - The Flame of Eternity's DeclineKhors - The Flame of Eternity's Decline

Ukrainian black metallers Khors have had their debut album ‘The Flame of Eternity’s Decline’ re-issued by Svarga Music as part of a four album reissue series. I came upon Khors on their 2008 opus ‘Mysticism’, and have grown to appreciate their approach to black metal. There’s something particularly good about the reissue cover compared with the mysterious, blurred original, giving the music more of a suitable background. The reissue is out on November 6th.

Opener ‘Wounds of the Past’ is a direct, mid paced kick to the throat of rasping black metal. Some nice, understated keyboard parts add depth to the icy riffing. A pervading atmosphere of coldness drifts into each measured riff, each croaky vocal. ‘The Flame of Eternity’s Decline’ is a cold, bleak record. ‘Eyes of Eternal Loneliness’ is more frantic, more direct, and still manages to soar. Rumbling double kicks power the harsh ‘Throne of Antiquity and an atmospheric touch similar to their countrymen Drudkh is unleashed in ‘Trees Are Remembers….’.

Khors are more than capable of subtlety too, like the crisp acoustics and melodrama of ‘Breath’, interluding before the creeping assault of ‘Moan of the Grief’. Showing how black metal can be so much more effective when it’s not all just fire and brimstone, Khors power through the chugging ‘Spirit of Fury’ into the rage of ‘Flame of Eternity’.

‘The Flame of Eternity’s Decline’ is a satisfyingly rich black metal album, full of nuances and variety that so many aren’t. Khors play with each string on their bow perfectly, and this reissue will definitely build up expectations, along with the next three, of what a band they can be, and what more blackness is in store.

Review: Adjust – War?

Posted: October 24, 2015 in Reviews
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Greek heavy rockers Adjust have been around in various guises since 2002, but debut ‘War?’ sees them refine their stoner rock tendencies into something a bit more complete. Their website and Facebook is entirely in Greek so it takes a bit of translating, but the band’s music speaks very clearly!

‘War?’ is an uber melodic and direct slab of stoner rock. Opener ’04’ and second track ‘Something Inside’ both rock this righteous groove that doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, but it’s undeniably catchy. The title track has some nice little guitar parts, along with the desert slow burn of ‘Disease’. Adjust haven’t quite got that hazy atmosphere that all great stoner bands do, but they have some memorable songs with some good riffs. There’s little in the way of dynamics; each song follows a similar style, but that’s not always a bad thing. We all started with rock, and this record rocks hard.

On ‘War?’, Adjust set out their stall and now they need to build on the good work they’ve put in. Songs like the jagged sleazy groove that stutters underneath the female vocal in ‘Burn Myself’ is something unique, and its these kind of things that Adjust should work on if they want to succeed in this genre. With riffs like those opening the propulsive ‘Deeper’, there’s definitely hope