Posts Tagged ‘Croatia’

speedclaw - beast in the mist cover.png

Croatian heavy metallers Speedclaw are striking quickly after last year’s superlative debut, ‘Iron Speed’. ‘Beast from the East’ features more of the same, classic heavy metal licks with a sense of fun and conviction I haven’t come across since I discovered Night Demon two years ago! It’ll be out on Shadow Kingdom Reocrds in April!

An acoustic ‘Prelude’ almost lulls you into a false sense of security with its beautifully realised scales before the title track roars into gear, overflowing with classic NWOBHM moments. Siphoning the finest riffs from the likes of Angel Witch and Jaguar, with a dash or two of early Maiden, Speedclaw hit all the right marks immediately. ‘Faster than Hell’ is a galloping ode to the most melodic of early thrash, while the killer leads of ‘Rising of the Claw’ is a personal highlight. ‘Aggression Strikes’ hits you like a missing B-side from ‘Bonded by Blood’.

Basically, with Speedclaw you would struggle to find anything not to like about this release. Drinking deep from the well of classic heavy metal, Speedclaw realise this vision in glorious modern form. Solos spray wildly, choruses are really catchy and melodies will dig into your frontal lobe and refuse to leave. Speedclaw are fucking awesome, buy this goddamn record!

Hereza are a Croatian punkish death metal group that have their new full length ‘I Become Death’ coming out in February, on the excellent Godz of War Productions which is always a sign of good quality. A totally new band to me, Hereza are riffing up a storm on this record!

There’s a rabid, feral quality to the tracks here. That’ll be that punk vibe I guess, but opener ‘I Become Death’ rattles and creaks with a nasty, savage quality. This isn’t your uber tech death, nor your sludgy, slimy old school stuff. This is death metal with a Swedish riff tone and an crusty, energetic howl to it. Hurtling forward with breakneck speed and horrendous, rusted riffs that could slash you into a tetanus induced death, Hereza are a breath of foul air into the world of death metal.

‘Homo Homini Lupus Est’ has some fucking great groove heavy moments, while the shorter and more waspish tracks have a cool grinding feel to them. Basically, you’re looking at half an hour of death metal that’ll either bludgeon you or rip you to shreds. Best of all, you won’t know which it’ll be until it’s too late. ‘I Become Death’ is a fun rampage through death metal sans frills and bullshit.

War Atrocities - Necromantical Legions

Croatian black thrashers War Atrocities, a one man war machine from Split, released their MCD ‘Necromantical Legions’ back in December, but this is my first opportunity to hear it, and man is it a twenty five minutes chainsaw through the jugular. You can find it on Witches Brew Productions.

‘Screams from the Pits’ begins with an eerie start, lulling you into that false sense of security. The tolling bell that starts ‘Destruktor of Eternal’ is equally creepy, but then the classic early Sodom riffing begins, and you find out what War Atrocities are all about. Rabid riffing, a cavernous rasp espousing darkness and evil, and a nasty but almost straightforward set of riffs keeps the music memorable. The production isn’t too raw either, which helps the songs breathe a little.

‘Mayhem Mongers’ is a rocking piece of black thrash, while ‘Cryptic Calls’ has more than a dash of classic Celtic Frost about it.. It’s actually nice to hear a band injecting a bit of genuinely musicality into this genre, as most are just relentless, battering Bathory worship. Speaking of Quorthon, the disc closes with the Bathory song ‘Armageddon’, which seems quite fitting. ‘Necromantical Legions’ is nowhere near as raw as some blackened thrash out there, but that gives it a new lease on life, as songs like the rampant ‘Storm of the Tyrant’ and the awesome ‘Ripper’s Call’ are testament to.

Decomposing Entity - So It Begins

Croatian death metallers Decomposing Entity have been going for seven years now, but ‘So It Begins’ is their debut full length, following a self titled EP and a couple of demos.

Leading in with a soft intro title track that has some eerie Eastern melodies lurking within an air of menace, first track proper ‘Undo the Error’ is a chunky slab of death metal ala Suffocation. Thick dense riffs couple with a blasting drumming performance and a savage roar to indicate that Decomposing Entity mean business. The production is suitably thick as well, making each riff seems heavier and chunkier. ‘Succubus’ is insanely catchy, crushing you with layers of titanic riffage.

The main influences here seem to focus on NYDM like Cannibal Corpse or Suffocation. It’s not as suffocatingly (see what I did there?) technical as Suffocation can be, nor as waspish or violent as Cannibal Corpse, but with some devastating breakdowns, like the grinding power of ‘Disgust Theory’ before its venture into acoustics for a moment. Tht acoustic flourish returns at the start of ‘Ripped to Regenerate’, which has a perfect grasp of what makes good death metal these days. I especially like the apocalyptic chug that closes it, and the blood and thunder of ‘Social Disease’.

Decomposing Entity do what every good death metal band do these days; write solid songs that fit a formula but still sound great. That’s what good music is these days, welcomingly familiar. Sometimes you just need a record like ‘So It Begins’. 31 minutes of heavy riffs, guttural vocals and blasting drums is always good for what ails you. Like a lot of death metal records these days, Decomposing Entity don’t reinvent the wheel. They do however bludgeon it to pieces with enough passion and style to make ‘So It Begins’ an enjoyable experience.