Posts Tagged ‘Brutal Death Metal’

Afterbirth - Four Dimensional Flesh

Long Island’s Afterbirth have been caving skulls since 1993, and their pioneering brutality shows no sign of softening with age on their newest release, ‘Four Dimensional Flesh’. It is however evolving into new and intriguing ways and taking us in directions hinting at through that gorgeous, ‘Dune’-esque artwork.. It is out now through Unique Leader Records.

‘Four Dimensional Flesh’ is an interesting dichotomy. With the bulldozer crush of ‘Beheading the Buddha’ or the slamming gutturals of ‘Never Ending Path’, Afterbirth hit all the genre standards. There are some very nice flourishes though, like the gross rumblings and almost Atheist-like atmospheres of ‘Spiritually Transmitted Disease’, but the real surprises are the progressive metal interludes, replete with synth and the kind of glacial melody that Devin Townsend has perfected. I did not see this coming when I turned this on. On the previously mentioned ‘Never Ending Teeth, the latter half of the song is a thrilling mix of the guttural and the sublime spaciousness. ‘Dreaming Astral Body’ feels like a perfectly dreamy bridge between the styles, like a rainbow bridge between dark voids.

A truly enigmatic and exhilirating listen for brutal death and prog metal fans alike, ‘Four Dimensional Flesh’ plays on your expectations and delivers with power. The expansive ‘Blackhole Kaleidoscope’ or the destructive ‘Swallowing Spiders’, either will sate the hunger of all but the most jaded of extreme metal fans. ‘Four Dimensional Flesh’ is nuanced, evolutionary and markedly different from most of their peers, and for this Afterbirth should be applauded.

Nosferatruxe - Nosferatruxe

The brutality is almost bursting from the self titled debut by Bangkok, Thailand’s Nosferatruxe, which came out late last year through Brute! Productions and it is twenty four minutes of head caving, throat slitting aural torture. In the best way.

There is absolutely no space to breathe on this year, with opener ‘Coronas Blasting Annihilation’ immediately crushing you with one of the thickest guitar tones out there as unintelligible grunts and gurgles spew from your speakers. There is a barrage of clattering drums, sanity shredding soloing piercing through and the sort of relentless violence that any good brutal death record brings you. But this is truly endless violence, as it all flows together in some virulent pulsing mass of disease and putridity. The choking ‘Terrible Cosmic Froze’, the swampy ‘Infernal Gate in Demonic Mandrake’ and the drowning-in-tar-in-musical-form of ‘Lust of Gods’ really give ‘Nosferatruxe’ a lift above.

It’s a shame I’ve taken this long to get to this record, because it has been a refreshing kick up the arse from some of the stuff I’ve been listening to recently. Savage, direct and utterly devastating, it will pound you into the ground and then smear you across the concrete.

Disentomb - The Decaying Light

It has been 10 years since Disentomb first appeared from the dangerous and violent Australian underground, and ‘The Decaying Light’ is their third record of tight, brutal death metal. It is out now on Unique Leader Records, which will assure its quality at least!

Opener ‘Collapsing Skies’ sets the tone with guttural roars, dense guitar and blastbeats galore. You know what’s coming. Thirteen tracks of masterful, endless brutality, where caving heads in is a guarantee. It isn’t always easy to review brutal death, as it is a genre that tends not to experiment a lot with the sound. But Disentomb do throw in some nice dissonant sections, along with a little more melody than you’d expect. But then you’ve got the chugging earthquake of ‘The Droning Monolith’ that does everything you need death metal to do. Other highlights include the visceral annihilation of ‘Centuries of Deluge’ and the crushing ‘Invocations in the Cathedral of Dust’.

This record is the guttural death rattle of the end of time. Violent, vast and an assault on the senses that even I was not ready for. Disentomb are devastating, and ‘The Decaying Light’ is a display of brutal death metal like no other. Superb.

Degragore - From Sin to Redemption

Hungarian brutal death metal sounds like a fine way to spend a wet Wednesday afternoon, and the devastation wrought by Degragore on their latest release, ‘From Sin to Redemption’ is crushing even by those standards. It is out now through Satanath Records.

You know what you’re getting when you see the cover. Guttural growls, a dense chugging low end not unlike early Devourment, and full of horrifying samples to really get the violence and sickness of the music across. Each big slow riff bleeds with the influence of Bolt Thrower and Immolation, packed with an uncomfortable level of swaying misery, while there is plenty of grinding speed (”) when required. A personal highlight for me, ‘Redemption (Believe in Yourself)’, is chunky fucking death and carnage and is just what the doctor ordered. There are a couple of quieter interludey moments, but generally it is just balls to the wall brutal death riffs and incomprehensible growls.

‘From Sin to Redemption’ is a record to put on when you want your brain pummelled into mush and nothing else. Expertly one dimensional, the brutality on display is fearsome and Degragore should be applauded for their dedication. Not every record needs to be overly complex and inventive. Sometimes you just need this, and Degragore do it superbly.


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.

Osmed - Territory of Warfare

The full length debut of Indonesian death metallers Osmed is called ‘Territory of Warfare’, and it is an exercise in pure, unadulterated brutality through music. It is out now through Brute! Productions

The gallop of horses, the sound of blade into flesh, the screams of the dying; this is how Osmed start this record, crescendoing into a maelstorm of devastation and death metal fury. It is as one dimensional brutal death metal as you can imagine, with chunky slam and incomprehensible bile spewed as vocals. The record moves at a brisk pace, occasionally stopping for a mighty breakdown. The problem for me is that it’s difficult to tell the songs apart, as they all generally follow a similar generic brutal death blueprint. Don’t get me wrong, when great tracks like ‘Human Case Hatred’ or the raging ‘Bloodshed’ hit, they are excellent. It’s just a shame that the rest feels a little samey.

Well executed if prone to repetition. Osmed have carved a solid base for themselves in the genre, now they need to take the next step towards death metal glory. They’ve got the brutality level right, they just need to experiment a little with the songwriting.

Spawn of Annihilation - Insurrection

Mexican brutal death metallers Spawn of Annihilation have been around for almost a decade but their debut full length only just came out this January. ‘Insurrection’ is out now through Brute! Productions, and will appeal to fans of Hour of Penance, Suffocation and Dying Fetus.

Bursting forth with a mesmerising display of technical brutality, Spawn of Annihilation hit all those sweet spots you’ve been waiting to itch since the last Suffocation record. The low end is massive; rumbling and dense. The guitarwork is frenzied and intricate, without losing any of the powerful chug. The songwriting is tight and the vocals are guttural, doom-laden roars. Basically it ticks every box you need it to. You have both speedy (‘Absolution Through Death’) and destructive, chugging, neckwrecker tracks (‘The Era of the Vengeance Will Begin’), both careening through a gritty production that enhances each and every flesh stained note.

You’d be hard pushed to find any wasted motion on ‘Insurrection’. A cannon of devastation aimed squarely at the planet, Spawn of Annihilation have dropped one of the most engrossing and well written brutal death metal records this year, and it will crush you.

Fetal Bleeding - The Quest of Immortality

Indonesian death metallers Fetal Bleeding have released their debut full length record ‘The Quest of Immortality’ through Brute! Records, and they’ve been going for about 8 years now. I’m looking forward to sampling this musical massacre.

Opener ‘As Torture Becomes Lust’ hits you immediately with a very dense bass, chunky riffing and devastating vocals. Brutality reigns supreme through this record, with barely a space to breathe within the suffocating miasma. The production helps this feeling too, layering a thick tar over everything, increasing that black heaviness. Your obvious musical touchstones are Aborted, Suffocation, early Dying Fetus. Breakdowns crash upon you, rumbling drums constantly pound into your skull and a cavernous terror stalks the fields, destroying anything in its wake. I love the relentless violence of ‘Legion of Delusion’, the cacophonic mania of ‘Grief Cavity and the savage beating of ‘Salvation by Death’.

The record is just the right length for this style as well. You’re faced with all the awesome brutality you can cope with, but it doesn’t outstay its welcome. Riffs pile devastation on all those who listen, while bile soaked vocals churn and roil under a massive low end. Fetal Bleeding are destruction through music, and this record is great.

A two man brutal death and slam machine, Foaming at the Mouth bring their merciless debut album, ‘Writhing’, straight from upstate New York, and this is 30 minutes of crushing death metal. It is out now through their Bandcamp.

‘Reanimation of a Corpse’ is a relatively straight forward opener to bring you straight into the world of ‘Writhing’; coupling big chunky riffs with guttural roars is par for the course, but at least there’s a little holding off on the uber slam to start with. Slam death is great and everything, but sometimes it can be overdone and Foaming at the Mouth don’t make that mistake. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of it peppered across the album as a whole, but it isn’t all that the band brings to the table. The title track has some awesome technical riffing coursing through its veins, while ‘The Siren’ bounces around chugging and technical riffing like it’s going out of fashion. The variety shown here is a welcome change from the usual ‘slam, weedle, scree, repeat’ monotony that you sometimes have to deal with.

‘Writhing’ doesn’t overstay its welcome, blasting through a half hour of violence briskly and keeps everything well paced and interesting. The music is well written, musically tight and totally brutal. Foaming at the Mouth are worth keeping an eye on.

Hot on the heels of their 2017 release, ‘You Owe, You Pay’, the latest EP from Swiss slam crew Carnal Decay is another three tracks of brutal death metal designed to crush bones and smash brains. ‘When Push Comes to Shove’ is going to be released by Rising Nemesis Records on 7″ vinyl and digitally on the 20th July, as well as through a number of other records throughout the world, including the great UKEM Records.

The riff that opens the title track is absolutely fearsome, mammoth brutal death breakdowns bringing the world down one roar at a time. The earth shaking low end keeps the slam going, and the welcome lack of fucking pig squeals is an even bigger positive. Each track has its own identity, with ‘Food for Thought’ having a waspish, Hate Eternal quality to it, and ‘We All Bleed Red’ crushing with a more European death flavour, like Hour of Penance. Variation is the key for this kind of metal, and here we’ve got fast, slow, mega slam and shredding speed. It adds up to an EP of startling difference.

For me, brutal death is always best consumed in shorter formats and ‘When Push Comes to Shove’ never outstays its welcome. If anything, it only wets the whistle for more. I’ve spun this a number of times now, and each listen only reinforces the quality on show. Definitely worth seeking out.