Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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/

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Reabilitator - Global Degeneration

Ukrainian thrashers Reabilitator’s debut record ‘Global Degeneration’ is one of those records that just throbs with untamed teenage energy. It came out in 2012, but has seen a few rereleases through Metal Race Records in 2016. If you like old school thrash, this is for you.

Besides the Beavis and Butthead-esque album art, Reabilitator really hit the ground running here, with a rapid punky style of thrash that really kicks ass. Opener ‘Mechanical Devastation’ hits all the same points that Municipal Waste were going for, and even though we’re well past the neo-thrash revival, it shows that the style really isn’t over. The chugging start to ‘The End’ is seriously good, while the neck snapping speed of ‘New World Order’ is designed to get pits rocking. There’s rapid fire solos, headbanging gallops and vocalist Lololo has a great thrash yelp.

‘Global Degeneration’ is a strong if slightly raw debut record. Reabilitator have got the riffs and the songwriting skills, but they will definitely benefit from a thicker production. I look forward to checking out their newest record, ‘Social Programming’ too. If you like early Overkill, Sacred Reich and any of the newer old school thrashers like Municipal Waste or Gama Bomb, you’ll really like this.

https://www.facebook.com/reabilitator/

https://reabilitator.bandcamp.com/

 

Propaganda - The Mask of Sanity

Brutal death metallers Propaganda have been around since 2009, but only have one full length to their name, 2015’s ‘The Mask of Sanity’. Originally released by Brute! Productions, this record is a lost gem in the world of brutal slam and crushing death metal.

Even the intro is brutal, enschewing the traditional screaming, murderous samples for some big slamming riffs. What follows is thirty minutes of heavy, head caving brutality with little variation or originality. But to be fair to Propaganda, this is a genre that thrives on sticking to the basics and delivering the most devastating music possible. It was pretty much perfected by Devourment¬† years ago, and we’ve been doing that ever since. The chugging magnificence of ‘Blasphemous Insanity Syndrome’ is something to behold, as is the hellish death growls of ‘Rejection Living Tortured’. ‘The Mask of Sanity’ is a record that doesn’t mess around, it goes for the jugular immediately and never lets go.

The Mask of Sanity’ is a fine example of how brutal death doesn’t have to do anything new. Massive slam, crushing vocals and an aura of carnage and savagery all play their part in creating a fun record to smash things to.

https://propagandabogor.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/propaganda.iddm/

https://bruteprods.bandcamp.com/music

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/

Heidra - The Blackening Tide

Heidra hail from Denmark, and ‘The Blackening Tide’ is their second album, coming four years after their debut ‘Awaiting Dawn’. Musically, the band bring us a majestic, sweeping form of pagan melodeath, and the album is out now through Time to Kill Records.

From the moment ‘Dawn’ rises from the pagan shore you’re immediately engulfed in a grandiose, multilayered epic story. The opener in particular is blessed with a seriously fist pumping chorus, and you can believe that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. The galloping twin guitars of ‘The Price in Blood’ are excellent, and the clean vocals are powerful without ever being grating. ‘The Blackening Tide’ is full of great solos, enhancing these striding battle anthems that capture a world of silver swords, ancient kings and corrupted realms. There’s also a liberal sprinkling of piano and other orchestral elements that speak to the influences of more power metal fayre like Hammerfall or Sonata Arctica as well. None is more epic than ‘Rain of Embers’, although the duelling guitars of ‘Corrupted Shores’ push it close.

If there was ever to be any doubt that Europe produces the best bands with the flair for classically influenced heavy metal, then Heidra’s latest should put that to bed. A great example of thunderous melodic power/death, where symphonics meet galloping In Flames-isms to create a record that the ancient guitar gods would smile about. Cool shit

http://www.timetokill-records.com/

https://heidra.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HeidraOfficial/

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/

Forged in unholy fires ablaze in the Singaporean underground, and featuring members of Impiety, Infernal Execrator, Demisor and Deus Ex Machina, you know that Devouror’s pedigree in the arts of vicious blackened death is truly earned. Their EP, ‘Slay for Satan’ is out in January on Metal Zone Records.

Opener ‘The Decapitator’ is designed for maximum carnage, chunky riffage wrapped in barbed wire and infested with a heretical evil. The production on this is superb, giving everything a nice thick feeling, leaving aside the rattly tinpot ‘trveness’ to create something tangibly heavy and fearsome. ‘Ritualized Debauchery’ continues this superb sound, and while Devouror pull no surprises in their bestial assault, they also pull no punches either. The choice of Sarcofago cover (‘INRI’) is unsurprising, but Devouror make this kind of music sound better than even their peers.

Steeped in the sounds of Blasphemy, Sodom and Possessed, Devouror’s level of sonic purity is superior to most other black/death you’ve heard recently. This is birthed writhing in blackened energy, clawed and waiting for blood. Awesome stuff.

https://devouror.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Devouror666/