Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

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You can kinda guess where a band called Steelballs is going. Especially with that cartoonish rendering of a Manowar cover idea. Argentina is home to these true metal warriors, who play metal the old fashioned way; speedy and catchy as all hell. Their debut EP is only four tracks but you’ll instantly fall in love with these guys, just like I did. It is being released on Witches Brew, and is another triumph for those guys there.

The opener takes the classic ‘song name is same as album and band’ approach, and this feels like a statement of intent. Musically, it’s pulling all those early metal bands together. I’m feeling Helloween, Blind Guardian, Agent Steel and the likes oozing from my speakers. Spiralling melodic solos, galloping riffs and awesome vocal harmonies bring us to a land where metal rules and Manowar are gods. Classic, speedy heavy metal is always good if executed well, and Steelballs nail every element of it.

‘Farewell’ and ‘Inquisitor of Faith’ are two more excellent slabs of speed metal greatness, and a bonus highlight for me is the stunning Helloween cover ‘Starlight’, which ties this together really well. Steelballs are fucking excellent, and alongside Night Demon, are my favourite HEAVY METAL discoveries of the past year. Metal never dies!

https://witchesbrewthrashes.bandcamp.com/album/steelballs

https://www.facebook.com/Steelballs-127991247347816

 

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Argentinean legends Vibrion have returned with ‘Bacterya’, their new record and first for Xtreem Records. Xtreem has a reputation for putting out some high quality death metal and ‘Bacterya’ looks to be another great addition to their roster. Vibrion’s last full length was almost 20 years ago, so this has been a long time in coming.

Opener ‘Day of Replication’ reeks of vintage death metal fury, borrowing liberally from the fetid swamp of early 90s Florida. There’s also touches of Immolation in the swaying crush, and the bottom end is thunderously heavy. Vibrion are a relentless killing machine, whether in the bulldozing ‘The Worm Immune’ or the unholy rumblings of ‘Ill Essentia’. Almost two decades has not dulled their axes, which are hewn from the sharpest riffs. The title track could have lurked as a B-side on Morbid Angel’s ‘Covenant’, with its menacing swaying chug.

‘Bacterya’ is a melting pot of classic death metal influences, wrought into interesting new forms by these legendary stalwarts. Injecting that traditional South American fury into the assault works well, with the chugging ‘Hidden Plague Disseminator’ being a particular stand out with its off kilter time signatures. Vibrion are a band whose legacy may just be reexamined after this record, as ‘Bacterya’ is a great no nonsense death metal record full of riffs. Let’s hope they can be recognised for what they are, which is a kickass band!

http://shop.xtreemmusic.com/english.item.index.php?&id=17274

https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/bacterya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Argentina’s Vomit of Doom release this vicious slab of blackened thrash on Satanath Records this year, and as is the way with South American metal, ‘Obey the Darkness’ is vicious, straight to the point and savage beyond help!

Following a ghostly intro, first track proper ‘Perversecution’ is that kind of rabid thrash that bands like Sarcofago made iconic. Vomit of Doom thrash like early Kreator or Sodom, but with an added visceral rawness that comes through on every scratchy scream, every clattering drum beat and every razor riff. ‘Conspiracy vs the World’ is like speed metal dipped in the blood of zombie hookers. Each song is tight, filthy and thrashes like there is no tomorrow, and even though you know what to expect with bands like this, Vomit of Doom really do pull it off with aplomb.

‘Maze of Doom’, which is a personal highlight on this for me, is followed by a foreboding interlude; a calm but not peace between the storms. The title track is rampant, while the intro riff to ‘Metal Pussy Attack’ is so early Slayer it hurts. Vomit of Doom take all the good bits of raw 80s thrash acts, coat it in a thick layer of blackened grime and then inject a high dose of energy into the whole package. ‘Satan’s Vengeance’ is just unendingly savage, and leads us to the gloomy outro. Vomit of Doom have crafted a fine twenty seven minutes of pure rage and riff on ‘Obey the Darkness’, and you’ll no choice other than to raise horns and bang thy head.

https://www.facebook.com/vomitofdoomarg

https://www.facebook.com/satanath666

http://satanath.com/

https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat124-vomit-of-doom-obey-the-darkness-2015

Devast - Into Decimated Reality

Brutal death metal has rules. Certain rules that it must abide by to ensure that I’ve got any interest in it at all. It’s difficult for brutal death metal bands to stick out to start with, as few have ever managed to top Suffocation’s ‘Effigy of the Forgotten’, which is essentially brutal death 101. Devast, Algerian although now residing in Argentina, are the latest br00tal band to attempt to find an identity in this oversaturated genre. Does it follow the rules though??

The rules are as follows: It can’t be too long (check that, Devast’s ‘Into Decimated Reality’ is a pacey 25 minutes), it needs to avoid pig squealing as much as possible (check, vocal brutality is definitely from the lower end of tonal ranges), and it needs to have a reasonable amount of variation, not just blasting (check, righteous groove thundering through ‘Torture and Suffering With Archaic Process’). The final rule is to be as close to the perfection of brutal death that is ‘Molesting the Decapitated’. Here, we fall sadly just short!

‘Into Decimated Reality’, in short, is heavy as fuck. Twenty five minutes of blood and thunder, with jaged riffs spewing from every wound. Chaotic spiralling solos collide with massive, grooving blasts. It sounds like the bastard offspring of Devourment and Cannibal Corpse, with some serious technical chops on display, but still retaining that simple, sledgehammering assault. Highlights include the manic ‘Eradication’, and the hideously heavy ‘Cruel Methods of Punishment’. I really like this record; it provides a short, sharp shock of brutality to your cerebral cortex without overstaying its welcome or disappearing up its own arse with technicalities. Death….the brutal way.

Digital Pre Orders can be found here:
https://gorehouseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/into-decimated-reality

Official Video can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnWsTZdzJyE

Into Decimated Reality is set for release 03/09/2015 in UK and 03/10/2015 in the U.S. via Gore House Productions as CD and Digital

Like: https://www.facebook.com/devastbdm
Watch: https://www.youtube.com/idirdevastt
Listen: http://www.reverbnation.com/devast

I’m assisting my friend Steve Thomas Green at Sixsixsix Music with a few compilation ideas for the next few months, so I was greatly looking forward to the release of his ‘Helvete – Confederacy of Hatred’ compilation he has been putting together recently. This is a black metal compilation of unsigned or small label bands from around the world as a promotional vehicle. It is available here at Buy It Now (Name Your Price) on the label Bandcamp page, and for what you get not donating is a sin! A track by track rundown is my contribution to the promotion of these bands. We must ALL support the underground metal scene as much as we can, otherwise we will lose our most vital and bullshit free source of quality music.

We open with ‘Manifestum Mortis’ by Serbia’s Ophidian Coil. This is how you want a compilation to start, a scything statement of intent that leaves you breathless, savaged and beaten. Punctured in the middle by a majestic, icy solo, this is a band to look out for.

Argentina’s Capgrass are next with ‘Disruption of the Deepest Dreams’. A slice of the frozen north from South America, Capgrass are channeling Immortal’s majesty with this track, six minutes of relentless, hypnotising black metal, broken only by some bleak acoustics and a wonderful solo.

Krajiny Hmly from Slovakia have a tough act to follow with ‘Hlbiny Spanku Zabudnutia’, but the only bad thing about it was my attempts to spell their name. This doesn’t seem like your conventional black metal on first listen, with oddly melodic opening riffs permeating the whole song. There’s a feeling of uneasiness about it, enhanced by the echoing rasps of the vocals and the flourishes of pagan metal.

India’s Solar Deity are a particularly highlight of this comp for me. Their ‘Circling the Moon’ track is totally killer, and is a perfect example of the great things appearing from Indian metal in the past few years. It feels like prime ‘Transylvanian Hunger’ material, energising and thoroughly hateful and raw. The moments of calm only enhance the storm.

It is time for some USBM to appear, and representing is Pittsburgh’s Nox Aeternum with ‘In the Midst of Scarlet Passageways’. It struggles to maintain the heights of Solar Deity, but only just. This is another brilliant track showcasing the quality of US black metal. It reminds me of Marduk’s blitzkrieg attack, coupled with some of Satyricon’s more epic moments. It’s not all hipster or eco-black metal over the pond.

I’ve written about Skiddaw before, and they contribute ‘Even Titans Fall’ from their self titled debut. Go read my review to understand why this Gorgoroth-esque razorblade will flay skin from bone.

A new track from the UK’s Nefarious Dusk is always something to bring a black tear to your eye, and ‘Cast Me to the Lions’ is a raw, bleak and thoroughly dark piece of black metal. This is debut record Bathory shit here my friends, and when the early 90s Darkthrone riffs kick in, you’ll think you’re listening to the corpse painted hordes for the very first time.

The more subdued acoustic intro to Paimonia of Serbia’s offering, ‘Ruined Form Catharsis’, is skewered violently by a urgent, artillery assault of fiery black metal. A track that couples the more traditional aural violence with moments of introspective calm. Another highlight of the comp. We’re ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH PEOPLE!!

Track 9 consists of Columbia’s offering, Penumbra. As traditional with South American black metal, ‘Ritual Genocide’ is rawer than a freshly savaged carcass. There is only one mission here, to batter your brain into submission with blasphemy and battery.

Belgians Sercati open totally differently to everyone else here, with an almost gothic style keyboard intro to ‘Hound from Hell’. It creates a bit of a shock, and allows a bit of breathing space between the constant barrage. Mixing the black metal with something approaching more rock sensibilities is brave, and works here rather well, creating a very memorable song.

I’ve mentioned Baalberith here on the site just recently so I’ll jump ‘Battle for the Blazing Dawn’ and straight into Norway’s Uburen and their track ‘Deprived of Empathy’. Now, these guys have a disadvantage of being from the home of proper old school black metal and so the expectations should be high. Uburen do not disappoint however, with a slower and more malevolent song than a lot of the tracks here. It is atmospheric, crawling and oppressive.

Short but sweet is the next offering from Italy’s NyX. ‘Tulpa Strigoi’ is replete with inhuman growls and is powered by an almost unstoppable juggernaut of blastbeats. Consider the no frills black metal 101 box checked by these guys.

Approaching the end of this black metal marathon, we come across the longest track on the compilation, Chiral (Italy)’s ‘Atto II: Abisso’. Opening with a spine tinglingly peaceful picked intro, you are given the feeling of Opeth’s ‘Damnation’ record. You can believe something special will occur here if a black metal band is willing to risk their ‘troo kvltness’ on such a melodic start. When the blackness arrives, it is just as bleak and mournful. The song swells with evil, a grandiose and hypnotic epic. This rivals Solar Deity as the stand out track on the compilation. Chiral are not afraid to let good song writing get in the way of their underground credentials.

The comp closes with the one two strike of Cvinger and Corruptor Ignis. The former is Slovenian, and is clearly inspired by some malignant dark beast that rages inside them. Its frantic, its raw and its fucking intense. As their homeland is a place close to my heart, I hope they do well out of this, as you’ll struggle to find much as one dimensionally vicious as this in modern black metal. When the pace slows, the feeling of unease grows. It’s fucking brutal. Corruptor Ignis finish us up with a slab of Gibraltan black metal. Yes, even the sunnier edges of what is left of the Empire is capable of summoning black magic from the depths of hell. It is difficult to appreciate the challenge of ending a compilation of some of the best bands in underground black metal, but Corruptor Ignis do it with style. They bring us to a close with some rasping black metal fury that drags you down into a suffocating atmosphere of hatred and bile.

Well, that was fucking epic. I haven’t written a review this long before, and normally I wouldn’t give each song so much depth but since each band deserves their own individual moment, I felt it was only fair. Most of these bands I shall endeavour to support financially with some physical purchases. Some I shall wait to hear more from. All I will recommend to people who like good music. Support these bands and buy this comp! Hail the Legions of Satan!