Archive for January, 2016

Indian thrashers Abaddon have put together this raging debut EP, and you can find it on the Transcending Obscurity distro page. It meshes excellent trad metal riffs with a Bay Area thrash sensibility, and has some fucking kick ass songs on it.

Opening track ‘Terror in the Eyes of God’ opens with a blasphemous sample, and then some nice building riffs. Using some classic 80s thrash licks, you’re hooked into a world where thrash didn’t die and need revived. This is vintage heavy metal, when thrash began to evolve from classics like Maiden and Priest. There’s an eerie Mercyful Fate-esque occult edge to it too, but this is a bit more ‘Killers’-era Maiden than Metallica or Slayer.

There’s some great guitar work at the start of ‘Rise of the Undead’, and ‘Son of Hell’ begins to feel like that missing 80s trad metal/thrash EP that linked everything together. Like Runemaster’s superb ‘Futhark Dawning’ last year, Abaddon are embracing that place where early metal begins to evolve. Where Runemaster went a bit more doom, Abbadon go a bit thrash, like the headbanging ‘Violent Sage’, or the propulsive riffing that opens the catchy ‘Destruction Completes Creation’.

By the time the early Bay Area thrash of ‘Bullet Eye’ rockets past you in a whirl of chugging Exodus worship, mixed with a little dash of doomy atmospheres, ‘Son of Hell’ is over. Thankfully, you can turn it straight back to the start and get right back to it. ‘Son of Hell’ may become my sleeper hit of the year. It combines early thrash with a little bit of Mercyful Fate and first two albums Maiden and creates something that is simply essential.


I was prompted to write this by a great article on the Somber Lane Blog, written by my good friend Teo from Chiral. Along with his partner in riffs, Rizzo, they put out some great reviews and articles, and are clearly two guys who know their shit and are passionate about what they write about. They’ve put up a piece today about the receiving of physical promos, which I’ll put a link to at the end. I agree with a lot of what they have to say, and I feel like the Killchain should clarify its position on them too.

First off, if you want to send physical promos, they are more than welcome. We also understand that you can’t afford to send out physical promos to every person you want a review or article from. That’s why we have a policy never to request them unless offered. A physical one may jump up the review list due to the fact that a band or label has committed resources to getting our opinions, and we appreciate that in the humblest manner. But we would never expect you to put yourselves out of pocket just for a review. I have read a lot of negativity on social media about how people who want physical promos only are freeloading etc etc, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think that of us here. Trust me, the money I’ve sunk into my record collection, gig tickets and merch, I’m anything but!

The Killchain receives about 5-10 promos a day from various labels, bands and PR companies, and as much as we’d love to cover everything promptly, it is simply not possible. The fact is, I like to write about music that inspires me, and therefore if a record doesn’t, I don’t write about it. That’s also why most reviews at the Killchain are positive, because I don’t have time to write about music that sucks. Heavy metal has been my life for a long time, and writing about it is one of my life’s joys, so it is important to me to spread the word about music that kicks ass.

So, in closing, if you want to send me a physical promo, a stream or a download link, everything is listened to and appreciated, even if I don’t put fingers to keyboard about it. It is humbling to think that people who write the music I love are interested in what I think about it. That’s why the Killchain exists, and that’s why I love supporting the bands who contact me. It is why metal will never die

Read Teo’s article here:

My good friends over at The Sleeping Shaman, where I contribute reviews of the finest doom, is streaming a new High Priest of Saturn song. It is, as you’d expect if you know the band, high quality shit, so get your arse over there and wallow in the dark waters of doom!

HIGH PRIEST OF SATURN Stream New Track ‘Aeolian Dunes’; Svart Records To Release Sophomore Album Next Month


Visceral Throne - Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God

Indiana’s Visceral Throne bring the brutality on their new EP, ‘Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God’, following up from 2012’s debut record ‘Omnipotent Asperity’. First off, I love this artwork, with incredibly intricate depictions of a hellish landscape. It pretty much sums up the kind of aural violence you are about to receive…

After the ominous Morbid Angel rumble of the title track introduction, the ravaging chaos of ‘Father’ hits with the force of a nuclear bomb. Blasting double kicks and brutal death riffs collide with guttural vocals, with devastating effect. There’s traces of jagged, Gorguts-esque riffing, but a crushing Suffocation influence looms largest. The battering laid down by ‘The True Sin’ turns into an epic groove, replete with brutal death breakdowns and a clatteringly hollow snare sound that is slightly offputting to be honest. Fortunately, it’s a minor complaint on an EP where the quality of death metal is high.

I love the relentless groove of ‘Indulgences’, and it’s probably my favourite track on here. Closing with the blistering Internal Suffering cover ‘Colossal Vortex’, Visceral Throne do enough here to merit repeated listens. ‘Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God’ is a fine EP, and while the drums may feela little underproduced, the riff based carange underneath more than makes up for it. Crush. Kill.Destroy!

Akatechism - Dripping Flames

Germany’s Akatechism have laid their devastatingly bleak, black/doom/death hybrid demo ‘Dripping Flames’ upon the medium of cassette via Invictus Productions. It is time to begin that inexorable slide into the void.

‘Asymmetry of Man’ begins with a crawling, fuzzing riff, accompanied by an eerie church organ. From this gloomy, eldritch dirge comes a dense growling and eventually a rattling, deathly slab of Hellhammer worship. I like the contrast between the slower, morbid crawl and the battering of the black metal influence. ‘Hymn in Hunger’ has a ghastly, fetid vibe to it, with ancient riffs lurching out of the abyss. Akatechism have really embraced the darkness on ‘Dripping Flames’, conjuring up a Blut Aus Nord-esque canvas from which to paint their tapestry of evil.

Closing with the macabre epic ‘Omega’, where any glimpses of light are crushed beneath an iron riff and a morbid atmosphere. Akatechism’s slow burn blackened sound really saps your energy, leaving you a broken husk. Atonal melody clashes with howling vocals to create something truly of the dakr void. Love it.

Mortuary - Nothingless than Nothingness

French deaththrashers Mortuary have been around for approaching thirty years now, and ‘Nothingless Than Nothingness’ is their fifth full length. I have reservations about their cover art, because I can’t tell if its kind of cool or crap. Thankfully the music inside is much preferable.

Opening thrasher ‘Only Dead Witness’ leads us nicely into the rabid battering of ‘Empty’. There’s a little bit of classic Bay Area thrash rearing its head, but also a very heavy low end that betrays their death metal roots as well. The thunderous ‘Tube’ is next, channeling some Dew-Scented style riffing along with a hefty dose of The Haunted. Mortuary are a band that overflow with quality riffing, and you can almost feel how they could have influenced the above bands and more.

‘Above’ has some almost black metal moments, with the relentless barrage almost feeling a bit like Marduk, while the strangely titled ‘Pleasuffering’ (seriously, how do you pronounce that correctly?) is a straightforward thrasher. Mortuary have, after all these years together, got their shit nailed down pretty tight. It isn’t world changing, but then again it’s good to have a band that can just churn out high quality neck wrecking material.

From the rabid ‘Yesterdead’ into the strangely progressive thrash of ‘K’ and onward to the satisfying conclusion of a great modern thrash record, Mortuary have hit the nail on the head on ‘Nothingless Than Nothingness’. It has riffs, catchy tunes and more riffs. What more do you need!?


I’ve come upon the raging black metal holocaust that is New Dehli’s Toxoid about a year or so late, and with their debut record ‘Aurora Satanae’, I have found one of black metal’s coldest and most bleak records in recent history.

Opener ‘Baphomet Enraged’ is no frills, no fucking about, pure blizzard battery, complete with throat shredding screams and a Mardukian unstoppability. ‘Feed My Wrath’ continues with a more mid paced but none the less violent approach, storming the frozen forests with a double kick frenzy and a blasting ferocity. For a band that hails from a country more well known for stifling heat, Toxoid have really captured the icy severity of prime black metal. You can feel the primal scream of early Satyricon and Gorgoroth echoing through these songs.

‘Demon Lust’ is a favourite for me, with the eerie crawl of the beginning melding into a solid base from which warped rasps follow tremolo riffs and atonal melody. ‘Mystical Misanthropic Doctrine’ is another well crafted piece of black metal, while the scathing title track channels the best of second wave aggression and glacial fury. Closing with the imperious frost of ‘Thy Infernal Defloration’, Toxoid’s debut is one of the fiercest yet well written black metal albums I’ve heard in ages. Retaining the genre’s core values while writing interesting songs gets Toxoid the seal of approval!