Posts Tagged ‘Death metal’

Rancorum - The Vermin Shrine

Romanian death metallers Rancorum released their debut full length, ‘The Vermin Shrine’, through Loud Rage Music in November 2018, but like many things this year I am so far behind on my music it is scary. This is 37 minutes of primal, brutal death metal ready to crush skulls and melt skin.

Opener ‘Voidification’ absolutely nails that old school rumble from the get go, and immediately sets a high standard for the rest of the album to keep up. The chugging, miasmic power of ‘Bedlam of Saints’ is a joy, while the battering assault of ‘The Shining’ is relentless. Rancorum have got that ‘new old school death metal’ sound down pat, but they make some interesting riff decisions to keep it fresh. There’s lots of massive bends, Immolation style, that really bring the heaviness to the forefront. Check out the dizzying weight of ‘Towards Below’ to see what I mean.

‘The Vermin Shrine’ feels like an album much further down a band’s career than a mere debut. The songwriting is tight and memorable, the riffing is varied and there is a desire to experiment with how heaviness is used. Rancorum definitely strike me as a band to watch on future releases, as I can’t wait to see where they head after this.




Towering - Obscuring Manifestation

Another day, another black/death metal debut record seeking to make waves in the increasingly oversaturated market. But when the band hail from France, home of some of the more interesting and inventive death metal, then it is worth paying a little more attention. ‘Obscuring Manifestation’ is out now on Dolorem Records, and Towering are here to destroy.

After the powerful, foundation laying introduction, we are thrown to the wolves with the potent rage of ‘The Poison of Man’. Towering clearly take a lot of influences from the eastern European death metal scene, like Decapitated or Azarath. It isn’t overly technical but the riffing pours out like molten fire, a rampant performance that only gets better. Towering pull more ideas out in the 40 minutes of this record than a lot of bands do in a career, and each song tries hard to be different from the previous one. I mean, compare ‘The Calling’, which rampages with savage intent through a speedy deaththrash style, with the imperious rage and icy majesty of the titanic ‘One with the Black Earth’.

‘Obscuring Manifestation’ is a record of massive potential, with a wonderful crunchy production allowing every riff, every roar and all the songwriting magic come to the fore. Towering have hit this out of the park, and this is a tremendous record for 2019’s collection.

Canadians VHS have never been one to take themselves too seriously, and their latest full length ‘We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs’, is a fine example of their infectious, riotous take on death metal. It is out at the end of July through Rotten Roll Records and HPGD Productions.

After a suitably sinister and dramatic intro (‘Full Scream Ahead’), VHS charge into the fray with the thrashy chug of ‘Zombie vs Shark’. Lacking any semblance of subtlety but riddled with virulent riffing, VHS immediately infect you with a desire to bang your fucking head. Imagine if Municipal Waste played death metal and you’ll be on the right track. It isn’t all high speed stuff though, as the grinding ‘Rooting for the Villain’ adds a nice change of pace. At a sprightly 30 minutes, that change of pace isn’t needed but it is still good to have. The worst thing a band can be in today’s scene is one dimensional, but VHS have that covered.

VHS have got a great sound, and are doing something a little unique in the world of death metal. The riffs are heavy, the brutality is real and yet there is a true sense of fun and irreverence. ‘We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs’ is definitely worth checking out, and with songs as strong as ‘Oozing Bubbling Black Mass ‘ and the crushing ‘Marine Monstrosity’, you’d be a fool to ignore them.

Fetid - Steeping Corporeal Mess

Oozing from the sodden, ancient Pacific Northwest comes Fetid, a band who is more suited to the bubbling, boiling pits of hell than that grand, tree swept landscape. Their ‘Steeping Corporeal Mess’ record is out now through 20 Buck Spin, and is a journey through the miasma of pure darkness.

The virulent, pulsing chaos of opener ‘Reeking Within’ is reminiscient of the more straightforward bits of Portal; a suffocating tidal wave of crushing death metal that bends and sweeps like prime Immolation. The whole record feels like a rumbling, lava induced death of this world. Everything is consumed in this dark, dense atmosphere that makes songs like ‘Cranial Liquescent’ feel murky and apocalyptic. The low end creaking through this record is ludicrous, with each chugging breakdown sounding like the cracking of the earth’s plates, best felt in the titanic ‘Dripping Sub-Tepidity’

By the time the end comes, through the magnificent pestilence of ‘Draped in What Was’, the poisonous suffocating magma is setting, and you are trapped in the hellacious realm that Fetid have created. A stunning record of the heaviest matter in the universe, highly recommended.


The omnipresent shadow of Rogga Johansson looms large over the world of modern old school death metal. Having played on 13 different releases in the last 12 months is insane as it sounds, but the quality of work that Rogga always puts out makes that achievement more astounding. His latest release under his own name is ‘Entrance to the Otherwhere’, out through Transcending Obscurity in July.

The strangest thing about this record is that, surely we all must be totally sick of this sound by now?! But with the darkly melodic chug of ‘The Re-emergers’. Rogga immediately hits a sweet spot that barely drops throughout the whole record. ‘Entrance to the Otherwhere’ is a lot more groove laden than a lot of Rogga’s other records, and there’s a really satisfying crunch to the guitars. Daring melodic breaks, like the soaring ‘When the Otherwhere Opens’, take this beyond just another death metal record into a space of contemplation and multifaceted songwriting. The graceful quiet of ‘Berget vaknar’ is a surprising interlude in a record that delights in its shattering of expectations.

Accompanied by a moody, almost reflective atmosphere in places, ‘Entrance to the Otherwhere’ is another master stroke from one of the true lynchpins of modern death metal. It’s hard to find anyone this consistent and this varied. Treasure Rogga folks!


This Dutch/German death metal squad contains members of the likes of Dimaeon and Fleshcrawl, and therefore their debut on Transcending Obscurity ‘Trinity of Deception’ is likely to savagely rip some heads off. It is due out in July, and is a ferocious addition to 2019’s death metal lists.

Churning carnage kicks this record off immediately with ‘Crucifixion of the Vanquished’, powered with the sounds of bloodthirsty crowds thunders from the speakers in a torrent of chainsawing death riffs. An example of a record that gets all its shit in then gets out before you could be tired of it, ‘Trinity of Deception’ is only twenty five minutes long but what a blast it is. The title track slips in some eerie samples, and the more said about the neck snapping ‘Days of Dread’ the better. But the whole album is best experienced in one go, rendering you numb with its fury. By the time ‘Tormentor’ drags you back to your grave, you’ll be sated.

There is always a fear that these records will become a bit samey. Burial Remains avoid that simply due to their riff variety. Be it crushing Autopsian death/doom or ravaging Dismember gallops, you’ll be hard pressed to not bang your head frequently. ‘Trinity of Deception’ is a clawing, visceral journey through the primal and focused world of modern old school death metal. Burial Remains leave no survivors, and while their work has plenty of subtle moments, it is mostly death of the most ancient kind. Excellent.

Pig's Blood - A Flock Slaughtered

From Milwaukee, Wisconsin comes the second record from death metal destroyers Pig’s Blood. ‘A Flock Slaughtered’ is out now through Godz ov War Productions, and is a half hour assault to the head and neck area.

The rumbling savagery of opener ‘Gates Ripped Open’ lays the groundwork for the aural smackdown about to occur. This is brutally heavy, with a dense chainsawing guitar tone raping and pillaging your senses while a thunderous low end and battery of drums shakes the ground. What I really appreciate about this record is the thickness of the sound. It’s suffocatingly heavy, with barely any chinks of light poking through. Throat shredding growls howl over the churning Obituary worship of ‘Violent Spirit of Decadence’, while there’s a sludgey Autopsy-esque nightmare waiting those who listen to ‘Maniacal Triumph’s Embrace’.

‘A Flock Slaughtered’ is over before you’re really ready for it to be, and I itched to turn it straight back on. Primal evil soaks through each riff, blood gargles in every growl, and the maddening stabbing solos that punctuate the tracks combine to create a great record. Get this asap if you like your death to be a little dark and dense.