Archive for January, 2018

FS Projekt is a one man fantasy metal project from Moscow, Russia and he has kindly sent me a number of his EPs and singles to review. A revolving door of musicians assist Efes in realising his ideas and vision, and by following the discography through, it is interesting to see how the project evolves over time and over each release.

His first release, ‘The Birth of a Magus’ is a simplistic yet enthralling slab of power metal with some memorable choruses and nice riffing. You can feel a definitive influence from the likes of Gamma Ray or Helloween, which gradually evolves throughout his current discography. Early on there is a tendency to rely upon a more simple framework of early German power metal, and it later builds towards a more grandiose vision. The single ‘Za Khladny Gory…’ sees that build, adding more keyboard layers into the sound.

‘The Elven March’ is where the fantasy elements start to really build, and FS Projekt begins to progress towards a more Rhapsody style execution. Uber melodic, with a massive sense of scale and huge hooks are the order of the day, while the over-the-top feeling that some symphonic power metal can be is beginning to show. ‘The Harpy’ EP is where the true potential of FS Projekt becomes apparent. Balancing the desires to fully release the symphonics with a galloping sense of melody and traditional heavy metal aesthetics, you begin to realise the potential.

The discography can be found on Bandcamp, and I recommend ‘Crimson Sails’ from ‘The Harpy, ‘Fingolfin’ from their debut and the newest single, ‘Thy Creed’ as the best songs to check out. But if you’re into this kind of thing, you won’t be disappointed with any of it!

https://fsprojekt.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/fsprojekt.music/

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Spanish death metallers Come Back from the Dead’s new EP ‘Caro Data Vermibus’ is probably the quintessential example of what bands aim for when we come to old school death metal. Featuring members of Nashgul and Bokluk, Transcending Obscurity have brought us yet another gem and Kunal rarely misses on these things. It’s out now!

‘Vomits of a Demonic Infestation’ is very aptly titled, sounding like a bloodied, crusted mix of Autopsy and some nasty Swedish stuff like Dismember. Wild soloing punctures the riffs like a violent stab wound, while manic growls roar over the din. It’s all very simple, brutal and thoroughly effective. The production is swampy but there’s no issue with the clarity. Madness stirs in the churning title track, possessed by a malevolent main riff. The horrifying artwork speaks volumes for the music within, as each track is delivered with a keening insanity, whether it is the relentless Endless Bloodshed’ or the miasma of ‘Carnivorous Craving From Beyond’.

Coated in that strangely alluring Iberian darkness, Come Back from the Dead have dredged up some ancient Scandinavian/Floridian death and brought it forth with a gleeful, bloodied smile. Cacophonous, vibrant and desperately filthy, ‘Caro Data Vermibus’ has no filler and will leave you with a taste for more.

https://www.facebook.com/COMEBACKFROMTHEDEAD/

https://tometal.com/

https://cbftd.bandcamp.com/

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Greek death metallers Ectoplasma have found a home at Memento Mori to release their second full length record and, fittingly for Memento Mori, this is a properly old school death metal record, reeking of the most ancient birthplaces of the genre. ‘Cavern of Foul Unbeings’ is out on the 22nd January.

What fetid corruption writhes across the frets of the guitars conjuring the death metal within this record. It is harsh, ugly; thick with menace and accompanied by monstrous roars. Dragging early Death, Autopsy and the likes from their graves, sending invigorating shocks into the genre with a really heavy low end barrelling through. Guttural roars pair with a matted wall of death metal riffing, like a morbid vine patch entwining your fate. You cannot escape, and with the likes of the groaning ‘Seized in Cimmerian Darkness’ or the unearthly crush of ‘Mortified and Despised’, you probably wouldn’t want to.

The only minor complaint you might have is, at 52 minutes, it is a little long for an album of this style. I can manage it fine, some may not. Ectoplasma are excellent, and ‘Cavern of Foul Unbeings’ is a record that dredges those dank swamps for the primest of old school death metal. Brutal.

http://www.memento-mori.es/

https://ectoplasma187.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ectoplasma-1579524392276613

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The fourth record from Sweden proto heavy metallers Oblivious embraces the awesome power of the riff to create an album that will resonate with you long after it finishes. ‘När Isarna Sjunger’ is out on the 9th of February through Swedish label Gaphals, and is already primed for many repeat spins this year. This is modern classic rock at its finest.

Opener ‘Det brinner i fjärran’ is a killer, with a chorus that’ll ring within your brain for days. Imbibing from the cauldrons of early Sabbath, but with a much more soulful and upbeat vibe, Oblivious are anthemic and, despite singing in their native tongue, instantly singalongable. I feel like I wanna learn Swedish just so I can belt these songs out properly. There are traces of Zeppelin and Deep Purple in here, as well as more modern influences like Graveyard but Oblivious are more than just a sum of parts. The soulful croon of the title track is a thing of subtle beauty, while the stomping ‘Fler än vad ni tror’ is due to be a classic.

Oblivious are injecting a new vitality into hard rock, and these Swedes are striding tall with ‘När Isarna Sjunger’. An album full of hooks, riffs and melodies a mile wide, by the time the glorious pastoral shades of ‘Hitta hem’ comes to a close, the realisation hits you that ‘När Isarna Sjunger’ is simply awesome.

https://www.facebook.com/obliviousofficial/

https://gaphals.bandcamp.com/album/oblivious-n-r-isarna-sjunger

Russian djent/math metal band SamadhiSitaram’s new record ‘Kaliyuga Babalon’ is crashing down upon us, courtesy of Sliptrick Records. This massive sounding album came out last summer, but I’ve only just got around to finding it hidden in amongst my emails. This proves there’s always a reason to go searching back in old mail sometimes!

After a dramatic, string loaded intro piece, the band kick it into thunderous djent territory with the spiralling death torrent of ‘Kali-Yuga’. Huge riffs, packed with unimaginable groove and off kilter timing, cascade upon you while a Nergal-like vocal performance adds similar heft. The monstrous chug of ‘The Death of a Stone’ is devastating, stabbing outward with solo leads. Electronic, almost 8bit sounds bleep across juddering machine-like riffing, and you can feel an underlying Fear Factory influence creeping into the Meshuggahisms. ‘Kaliyuga Babalon’ is designed as if a soulless machine that has perfected the churning maelstrom of death.

Chunky, dense and ruthless, SamadhiSitaram apply a cold and ruthless streak to the often ethereal and open genre of djent. This is death metal laced with unfeeling technical knowhow. It feels claustrophobic, crushing and during the mammoth ‘Orgy (Ritual Babalon), ritualistic in its single mindedness. Rare moments of space and melody appear, but this is a constricting, serpentine display of sheer brute force.

https://www.facebook.com/samadhisitaram/

https://deadpulse.com/product/samadhi-sitaram-kaliyuga-babalon/

https://sliptrickrecords.com/

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Released in the last few days, the second record from Boston’s Scaphism is titled ‘Unutterable Horrors’, and it looks to improve on their debut ‘Festering Human Remains’, out in 2012. Horror Pain Gore Death Productions is handling this one, and it looks like they have found another low key gem in the American underground.

Opening with the excellently titled ‘Gruesome Unmentionables and Unutterable Horrors’, Scaphism immediately strike you as a band influenced by the early, rough and raw death metal bands. They lack the razor sharp finesse of modern death metal, coming across much more as disciples of early Death, Massacre or Malevolent Creation, and this suits thems well. Clattering drums assault the landscape while twisting guitar riffs layer labyrinthine walkways for us to travel upon. ‘Vaults of Pestilence’ has a cool, crawling chaos vibe that reminds me of Immolation’s earlier works, while the rumbling, rusted melodies of ‘Trepanate the Undesired’ is an unconscious earworm.

Simple but deathly effective, ‘Unutterable Horrors’ is a record designed purely to bring the thrashy roots of death metal back to the fore, and meld that into a modern sense of ugly and miasmic death metal. Scaphism’s work here is solid and utterly charming in its execution, reminding us all about how death metal used to sound before Pro-Tools and shiny artwork took over.

http://horrorpaingoredeath.com/

http://scaphism.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Scaphism

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The debut recording from Indianapolis death metal squad Obscene is dropping on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions in early January, and it is a repressing of their cassette release ‘Sermon to the Snake’.

The gloom pervading the opener ‘Body of Tears’ is somewhat not what I was expected, but it is welcome. I mean, most death metal bands go straight for the one dimensional jugular attack on their debut, and while Obscene could definitely be accused of that, there is a murk here that is very endearing. Musically you get vibes of Immolation or the maddening howl of Obituary. ‘Shadow Burial’ is very doomy, with heavy low end rumbling from deep in the abysses of hell. This doesn’t fall into any safe category; not ‘old school death metal’, nor the hyper active modern tech death. This is, well, just DEATH metal and that is perfectly fine with me.

‘Sermon to the Snake’ isn’t your standard death metal EP. Taking from cues from the greats but forging their own path, Obscene look to stand out by being as true to the basics of the genre as they can. This is simply frantic, heavy as fuck metal, played with heart and feeling. Just what we all need sometimes.

https://www.facebook.com/obsceneDM

https://obscenedeathmetal.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/