Posts Tagged ‘Death metal’

Warcrab - Scars of Aeons

When death metal meets sludge, you’re probably going to be in for the heaviest of musical endeavours, and when you find Warcrab you’re in for a real treat. Their second full length, ‘Scars of Aeons’ is out very soon on Transcending Obscurity, and it could be one of the most devastating releases this year. Prepare to be flattened…

‘Conquest’ is one of the ugliest monoliths of extremity you’ll experience. Chilling murmurs begin to fade behind a dense, Crowbar-esque riff and an insistent drum line. Massive, deathly groove flows like a river, overwhelming you in a torrent of crushing riffs. That almost typical British death metal groove rolls out in full force, but the injection of Deep South sludge sensibilities looms large over the melodies that lurk within. The bulldozing start of ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ is a thing of mighty, brutal beauty.

The mournful ‘In the Shadow of Grief’ is bleak, rolling thunder upon a barren world, while the monolithic crush of the title track provides the final soundtrack to a burning, collaping planet. ‘Scars of Aeons’ finds Warcrab creating a sound that is beyond mere sludgy nihilism and deathly brutality, but a defining place beyond. Nasty, yet undeniably catchy in parts, Warcrab are heaviness incarnate and ‘Scars of Aeons’ is fucking great.

https://warcrabuk.bandcamp.com/album/scars-of-aeons-death-sludge-monstrosity

https://www.facebook.com/WarCrab666/

http://tometal.com/

Porta Daemonium - Serpent of Chaos

Chilean blackened death metallers Porta Daemonium have long been hidden away from us through self released digital recordings but no longer! Blood Harvest are bringing us their debut full length ‘Serpent of Chaos’ on vinyl, and what a fearsome slab of South American extremity it is…

Opener ‘Zazas Zazas Nasatanada Zazas’ (a phrase meant to open the gates of Hell) certainly does, with haunting growls lurking within hellish murk, before the howling frenzy of ‘Via Sinistra’ comes roaring behind. A molten beast of darkness and rage, Porta Daemonium have an impressive density to their music, and a threatening buzz to their guitar tone as well that reminds me of old Swedish death metal. Unstoppable percussive force powers the visceral ‘The Blood of the Dark Madness’, while ancient Immolation-isms weave their way through the brutal ‘To the Left of God’.

‘Serpent of Chaos’ is as cutting edge an old fashioned death metal record as you can get. The musicianship is amazing, the atmosphere is nasty and the authenticity is spot on. Ferocious in execution, yet barely derivative and packed with insane moments of brutality, Porta Daemonium may have become my new favourite death metal band of 2017, and ‘The Apep’s Chaotic Dreams’ takes heaviness to new lows. Worship the ancient ground this beast walks upon, for you are not worthy of their gifts.

https://www.facebook.com/portadaemonium666/

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/serpent-of-chaos-12lp

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

Contaminated - Final Man

The twisted, Lovecraftian nightmare that graces the cover of the debut record by sickening Australian death metallers Contaminated pretty much sums up the music to be found within. Contaminated have been a force on the Australian underground for a few years now, with some brutal demo tapes appearing but Blood Harvest have brought us the culmination of those early efforts, ‘Final Man’, out in June.
Opening with a wall of death metal fury that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Suffocation album, ‘Squalid Survival’ sets the stage nicely for the carnage to come. The guitar tone is dense, the riffs hard, sludgy and non technical and the vocals are the belchings of the void. ‘No Time to Rot’ channels the ancient, dying spirits of 90s Finland, and ‘Boneless Mass’ slays with ragged weaponry. Contaminated play to all the strengths of old school death metal, and avoid the pitfalls of repetitiveness. ‘Co-opted into Worthless Sludge’ is one of the nastiest, heaviest things I’ve heard all year.
It isn’t difficult to find bands that play this kind of death metal these days, but it is difficult to sort through the sludge to find the good ones. Contaminated are dynamic, vibrant in their execution and downright ugly in their tone. ‘Final Man’ is an energetic, riff filled monster that chews most bands up in its wake, standing high atop the mangled corpse to reign supreme.

Spanish death metallers Opposer have been dragging deathly riffs from the miasma since 1992, and ‘Darkest Path’ combines a true old school vibe with some vintage sounding death and thrash riffs for a trip back in time to when the genres were more intertwined. Morbid Shrine Productions have blessed us with their fellow countrymen here, and it is time to rewind the clock to 1992…

Opener ‘Straight to Hell’ sounds like early Possessed or Death; thick riffing coupled with some insatiable speedy solos and a rabid, scowling vocal that oozes early 90s menace. There’s a lot of Obituary coming through the sludgey ‘Osiris Land’, and the further you go down the ‘Darkest Path’, the closer you come to a portal back to when the likes Malevolent Creation and Sepultura ruled the roost. Simple, propulsive and powerful makes tracks like the dominating ‘Under My Skin’ sound fearsome in their protection of old school death metal values.

Many hints of prime Bolt Thrower exist in ‘Darkest Path’ too, as well as dark melodies in the likes of ‘Satanas – Abode of Crow’ that remind you of old Finnish death or even Paradise Lost. Morbidly elegiac in parts, Opposer can switch between resolutely old fashioned thrashy death and more measured, darkly melodic rumblings with ease. The mark of a truly great band is to change dynamics without drifting too far from your original sound, and Opposer do this with aplomb. Resolutely old school death metal that crushes that sweet spot with devastating grace.

https://morbidshrineproductions.bandcamp.com/album/opposer-darkest-path-cd-2017

https://www.facebook.com/JoseOpposer/

http://www.morbidshrineproductions.com/

‘Tormented by Faith’ is the debut album from Polish bruisers Uerberos, who follow in a grand tradition of fearsome Polish death metal bands. But can they follow the mighty Decapitated, Vader, Hate and Behemoth into brutal infamy or do they fall short at the first hurdle?

Opener proper ‘…And Finally, I Will Come’ chases the screaming, Satanic coming overtones of the intro away with fiery death metal fury; an immediacy of Deicide influences rise from whirling guitarwork and incessant blasting. There’s a distinctly Floridian vibe here, from the waspish Hate Eternalisms of ‘Destroy the Enemy’ to the complex, Morbid Angel-esque ‘Black Emissary’. Refreshingly different from taking that uber technical eastern European style, Uerberos clearly don’t intend on getting tarred with the ‘Decapitated clones’ brush.

Uerberos batter you with solid brutality, rumbling deathly riffs and subtle melodies that sneak in under the radar. Relentless power flows from dense, Massacre-esque guitars and ‘Tormented by Faith’ becomes almost a bloodstained love note to the old school US death metal scene. Injecting death metal with a fresh impetus, Uerberos are hard hitting, destructive and thoroughly enjoyable.

https://uerberos.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/uerberosband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEtlfS56mf5yUm_QuRbWKlA

The Lords of the Land festival in Glasgow has some serious issues to contend with this year. First of all, how was the lineup ever going to match last year’s Carcass/Obituary/Napalm Death/Voivod magic? And secondly the small matter of the Heavy Scotland event in Edinburgh on the same weekend, featuring Grave, Arch Enemy and Behemoth, as well as others. Well, the lineup proved to be as competitive, if not superior, as you could want. I mean, black metal and death metal legends colliding with thrash and even a bit of grind and doom. FUCK YEAH! The old Barrowland ballroom played host once again.

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Opening at the unbearable 12:30pm slot, Rotten Sound were fucking ace. The half hour slot is designed for grindcore bands, and Rotten Sound played to an impressively full Barrowlands considering the time of day. They were sharp, visceral and, best of all, allowed me the opportunity to get a hold of an HM-2 pedal tribute shirt. Killer start to the day, that only improved with the advent of Memoriam. Coming from a guy who named his blog and inspiration after a Bolt Thrower song,  I can honestly say that Memoriam are more than worthy successors to the crown. Karl Willets was in fine form, and massive riffs cascaded upon us lucky few. Willets remarked that this was a celebration of life through death metal, and nothing is more true.

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Next up was the hilarious vitality of Acid Reign, old school British thrash that felt so alive and vital it made me smile. So did the stage banter, with ‘Hello Edinburgh’ getting a particular chuckle. They were high energy, frontman H racing around the stage, encouraging all kinds of crowd participation and almost shitting himself when caught stagediving and taken to the back of the room before being ran forward and chucked back onto the stage. Mental. Mental is also how you would describe the aural waves of terrifying brutality emanating from Dragged into Sunlight, who took the stage behind clouds of smoke and a ghostly, huge candelabra. Their blackened sludgey noise was fearsome, and the fact that the band spent the whole show with their backs to us added to the esoteric mystery surroundng them.

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I took a break from the action during Venom Inc, so I couldn’t pass comment on them but I got back just in time for Marduk’s ‘Heaven Shall Burn’ set which, like every Marduk show, was full throttle black metal of war and darkness. Yet again I had the pleasure of getting ‘Accuser/Opposer’ with Nemtheanga live, and they closed with ‘Panzer Division Marduk’! Speaking of Primordial, they have become a band that have transcended beyond what we would consider simply ‘pagan black metal’, becoming the embodiment of what Bathory strode towards. Nemtheanga’s vocals command immediate attention, like a monstrous and apocalyptic preacher. The stunning ‘Babel’s Tower’ and the enthralling ‘The Coffin Ships’ were particular highlights in a flawless set of blackened doom grandeur.

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The stage darkens, smoke billows from under the drumkit and deep, blue lights shroud the oncoming storm of black metal perfection that is Mayhem, and ‘De Mysteriis de Satanas’ complete. Worth the price of admission alone, the howling ‘Freezing Moon’ and savage ‘Pagan Fears’ remind you about how all black metal owes so much debt to this record. Atilla Csihar’s vocals sound like the voice of Satan himself, and draped in a black cloak and then as a demonic priest, he embodies the dark magic infusing each frozen riff. Hw can anyone follow this?

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Well, Autopsy with every vintage death metal riff ever just about managed. You don’t realise just how much they’ve influenced the genre, until you think about how every ‘old school’ death metal band basically stole everything fom them. Rabid fury crashes into sludgey, evil riffs while vomitous vocals spill from behind Chris Reifert’s drumkit. Despite the fact that we are approaching 11 hours into the day, I think that this was the best moment of the night. Tiredness overwheming us, the first time these legends have graced Scottish shores in 27 years mean that we were reinvigorated enough to show them our appreciation.What a fucking triumph.

Ascended Dead - Abhorrent Manifestation

Ascended Dead prove that not all of the best metal comes from grim or frozen climates, hailing from the sunny city of San Diego in California. But the ugliness of their music belies that location with a vile and sickening death metal sound that goes somewhat back in time but remains relevant in today’s scene. Invictus are handling the European release of ‘Abhorrent Manifestation’, while Dark Descent are doing North America.

Opener ‘The Promised Land’ builds with an ominous guitar line; a dense rumbling is battered by a thundering percussive force while an unholy roar fills your ears. A maddening thrust slices through your consciousness, leaving Autopsy-esque carnage in ‘Perdition’s wake. The thick guitar tone is awesome, and the rabid ferocity that infuses Ascended Dead comes from the same dark places as Deicide and Morbid Angel. An avalanche of death metal cascades upon you, but it isn’t all heavy craziness.

The acoustic interlude in ‘Dormant Souls’ is a welcome respite, and the contrast with the more savage elements comes as a stark reminder that metal doesn’t need to strike hard at all times. Sometimes, where light and dark meet is where music can be truly effective. The ferocious ‘Subconscious Barbarity’ seems even more vicious after the acoustic parts, and it is probably my favourite track here.

‘Abhorrent Manifestation’ is a hellacious album of infected, rampant death metal that is simply stunning. Sickening riffs, mighty roars and drumming that’ll flatten you into mush. Ascended Dead have crawled from beyond the grave to punish us all for listening to death metal that isn’t as good as theirs. Which is most!

https://www.facebook.com/Ascended-Dead-365392833471969

https://invictusproductions.net/

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/track/subconscious-barbarity