Archive for the ‘ALERT: Awesome new music’ Category

Usurper - Lords of the Permafrost

Last seen on 2005’s ‘Cryptobeast’, Chicago legends Usurper have returned from a 14 year hiatus to drop ‘Lords of the Permafrost’, a snarling blackened thrash beast ready to take back their crown as defenders of the faith. It is out on the 22nd of March through Soulseller Records.

Opener ‘Skull Splitter’ is a chugging, ferocious track layered with a classic thrash gallop, coated in a slimy blackened tar that adds a nice dose of savagery. Usurper’s main focus appears to be designed to thrash live pits to death, and their grasp of chunky riffing is unmatched. Imagine Unearth crossed with the rough edge of Skeletonwitch and you’ve about got it. The clattering title track definitely has a touch of Sodom about it, while the weird soloing howls spiralling through ‘Gargoyle’ keeps things interesting.

‘Lords of the Permafrost’ is an album made for those of us who still like to bang our heads with ease and not worry about esoteric concepts or overwrought atmospherics. This is thrashy heavy metal with the appropriate flourishes of darkness and carnage welded in, and it slays hard. Recommended.

https://www.facebook.com/usurper.chicago/

https://soulsellerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lords-of-the-permafrost

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Vorga - Radiant Gloom

The debut EP of multinational melodic black metallers Vorga, ‘Radiant Gloom’ is a four track blast of warming black metal for these frigid winter nights. It has just been released independently, and is available through Bandcamp.

Opening track ‘The Black Age’ is a thick, chunky slab of blood-drenched black metal fury. Enschewing the standard feelings of ice and bleak coldness, Vorga attack with blood running from their mouths, fiery and primal in their assault. The production is rich, the musicianship is great and the riffing, while slightly derivative in places, has enough oomph behind it to put it above your carbon copy, cut and paste black metal band. ‘Argil’ has a thread of melody, running like a vein up a shredded arm, while the howl of ‘Divine’ has an intense gallop to it.

Closing with the vibrant thunder of ‘Hunger’, Vorga’s debut supplies you with plenty to be excited about. A black metal band not trying too hard to be kvlt and instead creating some great songs with a superb tone to them. This is hopefully going to lead to a bright future for them, and I look forward to more.

https://www.facebook.com/VorgaBand/

https://vorga.bandcamp.com/releases

https://vorga.de/

ysbryd jewelcase.jpg

Rising from the potent German black metal underground, Ysbryd keep flames of traditional black metal burning brightly with their debut full length, ‘Kraft’. Originally released last year in a limited cassette run, Purity Through Fire Records were so impressed they’ve given us a wider release, and it is out now.

After the cold opener ‘Diafol’, a gloom-sodden clean guitar melody, ‘Schmach und Schande’ is a miserable, ancient form of primal black metal that would please Bathory and Venom, while still oozing with frigid, black melodies. The haunting calm of ‘Im Kriege’ contrasts wonderfully with the crashing rattle of the blackened riffs cascading from ‘Ritual der Befreiung’, and there is no doubt that the sense of bleakness permeates every element of ‘Kraft’. This is a one man black metal record that isn’t a mere copy and paste black metal effort. The mind bending start to ‘Glanz und Gloria’ shows you how the paradigm can be contorted into new forms.

‘Kraft’ is a record that sticks to the traditional black metal tropes but executes them in a way that incorporates an otherworldly vibe at times and a wistful melancholy at others. A great debut record, and I look forward to see how the Ysbryd sound matures through their next release.

https://www.facebook.com/ysbrydblackmetal/

https://shop.purity-through-fire.com/en/

 

Membrance - Morality's Colapse

I reviewed Membrance’s 2017 record ‘Abyss’ here, and it was a solid if a little by the numbers old school death metal. Their new record, ‘Morality’s Collapse’ comes barely a year later and looks to build on the work they made on their debut. It is out through Envenomed Music.

This album feels like an instant upgrade on Membrance’s last one, as the first song ‘Wander in Ghostown’ hits hard with a solid death metal riff rampaging through it, as well as featuring an awesome Jurassic Park sample too. The songs feel tighter, with a more focused assault now and a little more variety. The jarring ‘Poveglia’ is full of interesting moments, and in fact you’d struggle to find a moment throughout where you aren’t banging your head in appreciation. I really enjoy the atonal melodies seeping through the chunky ‘Exhumed Demon’.

‘Morality’s Collapse’ is a solid upgrade from their last record, and Membrance are definitely moving in the right direction with their brand of chugging death metal. The album art is still totally messed up, and the riffs are still brutal, so all is good here!

https://membrance.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/membranceband/

https://envenomedmusic.bandcamp.com/

Bandcamp-eremit.jpg

If there’s one thing that challenges you as a music reviewer, it is seriously long tracks. How do you explain why a thirty minute track is great, or it isn’t, without waffling on for literally half an hour. Well, German sludge doom lords Eremit have challenged me here, with ‘Carrier of Weight’, three tracks of massive atmospheric doom clocking in at over an hour. It is out through Transcending Obscurity in February.

The best way to approach this for me is to imagine it as a soundtrack to a film I can’t see. Opener ‘Dry Land’ is 22 minutes, building from quiet contemplative notes and whispered vocals into vast, groaning riffs of doom. Funereal in its atmosphere, an oppressive heft pushes down upon you, while abyssal growls summon you to the depths. When the riffs vanish, the quiet is almost as weighty. Whatever film I’m imagining is suffocatingly dark, miserable and nihilistic. The shortest track is the second, ‘Froth is Beckoning’, and it has a much more traditional chug to it; almost fast paced compared with the glacial crush of closer ‘Cocoon of Soul’.

That is the pièce de résistance; a vast world of rain, earth quaking riffs and foreboding dark atmospheres. The fact that this is a debut record is absolutely brain melting, and as for my complaint at the top of this review, well frankly I could write a thesis on the majesty of this track. From the creaking wood at the start and the gentle ominousness of the acoustics it takes a full eight minutes before the heaviness appears and then wow. The roiling riffs are mesmerising, crashing off you the way waves crash against cliffs. This is enhanced even further by a droning, humming background swell that increases the scope even further. By the time it fades away to nothing, there’s not much of you left to enjoy it.

Wrapped in a stunning piece of artwork from artist Mariusz Lewandowski, Eremit’s work is a staggering paean to gloom. Misery engulfs you like pitiless rain, leaving you sodden with sadness and doom. Bands that have been doing this years can’t come up with stuff this good, and Eremit are just debuting their primordial crush here. ‘Carrier of Weight’ is glorious.

https://eremitdoom.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/EremitDoom

https://tometal.com/

Thulsa Doom - Realms of Hatred

As almost cliche as it has become by 2018, I love the idea that bands are still getting their sound out through cassette. Italy death metallers Thulsa Doom have released their debut EP, ‘Realms of Hatred’ on cassette through Invictus Productions, and it is out now.

Opener ‘The Final Scourge’ has a nice, grimy atmosphere to it; a rough production adds a bit of filth to the nasty riffs and snarling vocal bile. The guitar work is similar to early Celtic Frost, Hellhammer and the rough demos of the Florida scene. It lacks the labyrinthine fretwork of early Morbid Angel, but the tone and style are spot on. ‘The Gates of Niniveh’ has a killer gloomy intro that bursts into frantic thrashy death, drawing deep from the well of 80s death metal. The two interludes set the tone perfectly, providing a eerie base from which the old school metal of death can project. The riffs that course through the diseased veins of the title track is testament to the talent on show here.

Wrapped in awesome cover art, Thulsa Doom’s debut is a piece of old school joy. Nostalgic yet not derivative, ‘Realms of Hatred’ sucks from the mangled teat of the past, but conjures their own particular black magick upon it. This is the real deal.

https://www.facebook.com/ThulsaDoomDeath/

https://invictusproductions.net/

Wombripper - From the Depths of Flesh

Were you aware that Sweden had an iconic death metal scene? Well, turns out Wombripper were, and they have taken to it like a duck to water. If that water was a chainsaw riff or 80. ‘From the Depths of Flesh’ sees these Russian death metallers channeling their inner Dismember to, well admittedly great effect. It’s out now through Redefining Darkness Records.

That opener though. Jesus, ‘Still Unborn’ basically takes every HM-2 pedal on the continent and puts a killer riff through it. Man this is a intense experience. The riffs careen towards their ultimate end, thrashing brutally fast while howling roars accompany them. The fury of this subterranean force threatens to rip through the speakers and clawhammer you to death. The band don’t just stick to that one style, even though it fills the majority of this record. There are some huge death/doom plunges into darkness, like in the superlative ‘Godless Slaughter (In the Name of Doom)’ and there is more often than not a little nod to Incantation and some old school Floridian death as well (the waspish ‘Frantic Exhumation’ aches of early Deicide).

You’re not going to find much here that is overtly original, but what you will find is an excellent example of how Swedeath can still grab you in the most visceral way. Wombripper capture a lot of that energy and atmosphere, while putting their own little touches in there to keep it interested. Basically, this is 45 minutes of rip your face off, chainsaw your balls death metal and I’m totally good with it.

https://www.facebook.com/wombripperband52/

https://wombripper.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-depths-of-flesh

http://www.redefiningdarkness.com/

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/