Posts Tagged ‘Death metal’

Wurm Flesh - Excoriation Evisceration

Sacramento, USA is the home of brutal death metallers Wurm Flesh, whose debut record ‘Excoriation Evisceration’ is out now through Comatose Music. A visceral and savage beating through death and devasation awaits those who enter the lair of the Wurms…

After the obligatory intro, the chugging Suffocation-esque low end thunder of ‘Deceased and Festering’ sets the tone immediately. This is dark and horrendous brutality, not overly concerned with slams and pig squealing but more with a guttural, bowel scraping heaviness. ‘Enshrined in Rot’ has a sickening groove to it that struggles to stay afloat under a swampy bass and relentless blasting. Wurm Flesh don’t mess around here; they are in and out in 25 minutes. Each song has its purpose, doesn’t overstay its welcome, and most importantly slays with the most brutal of intentions. In fact, the longest track here is probably the best, ‘House of Flesh’, and it shows that if Wurm Flesh wants to, the song lengths can increase without losing quality. The short sharp assault approach works perfectly in a debut however.

Ferocious riffing, inhuman vocals and a thick, saturated production that really enhances the low end engine powering this vehicle of murderous death and cruel sadism along, ‘Excoriation Evisceration’ pretty much nails everything a fan of brutal death needs, and it does it so quickly you’ll be reaching for the repeat almost immediately. Killer stuff.



Sweden’s Feral play, well you’ve probably assumed already, old school Swedish death metal, complete with huge riffs, a horrendous guitar tone and enough ancient, fetid evil to raise all sorts of madness from the graves of their ancestors. Transcending Obscurity have, once again, unearthed a classic and it’ll be out at the end of the year. Enter the left hand path…

‘Vaults of Undead Horror’ sounds exactly as you’d expect. Massive chainsawing riffs, thrashing their way across devastated landscapes while throaty roars growl and howl above. Swedish death metal never gets old; that guitar tone pulls me in immediately and Feral make no attempt to reinvent the wheel. Instead, that wheel is planted firmly in the massive groove left by Entombed, Grave, Dismember etc, but it is also driven deeper and harder. Feral are just that, rabid death metal flies from the spitting, snarling ‘Black Coven Secrets’, while the crushing ‘Buried’ is a weighty, meaty course of riffs and more riffs. Sometimes it’s ok for all your songs to sound the same, if that sound is AWESOME. Ask Motorhead.

‘Flesh for Funerals Eternal’ is a record of unbridled savagery, and glorious worship of my personal favourite subgenre of death metal. I mean, it would be difficult to do Swedeath badly to be honest, but the directness, the quality and the fearsome talent on display here keeps me up at night. Feral are stunning, and so is this record.


If you don’t know who Master is by now, get the fuck off my blog. Still here? Good, because the new FUCKING Master album is here, and ‘Vindictive Miscreant’ is, well, Master at their finest. I think the signing of a legendary band like this truly marked that step for Transcending Obscurity from just being a label that put out awesome stuff into being a label that no one in the scene can overlook now.

The title track opens with what only be described as REAL old school death metal. It takes you right back to early Sepultura, Death and Obituary, as well of course as Master themselves. They still play like it is 1991, full of energy and gritty old school charm. Nothing overly technical or shiny, just thrashy dirty death metal. The gurgling, swamp chug of ”Actions Speak Louder Than Words’ is excellent, while the rabid ‘The Book’ has a nasty, punkish edge running through its veins.

With the shortest track running at 4:13, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking some of these tracks are a little longer than necessary, but you never feel it. The rampant ‘Engulfed by Paranoia’ is a highlight for me, although I am a little partial to the speed fuelled violence of ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ as well. Consistently heavy, with little needed in the way of variety but nothing in the way of mediocre, you can tell this is the work of a band who found their groove and sound a long time ago, and have been honing that razer edge for a while now.

With a lot of ‘legend’ bands, all you can normally hope for is that any new material does not scar their legacy, but ‘Vindictive Miscreant’ stands tall as probably Master’s finest work since ‘On the Seventh Day…’. A legitimate old school death metal album that lives its gimmick, combining thrashy riffing with bile drenched vocals, Master don’t need to write material this good any more; they could just live off their legacy but thank fuck that doesn’t seem to be part of the plan! This is tremendous.


The legend of the Night Raven is the theme for this new record from original Death and Massacre vocalist Kam Lee and Heads for the Dead’s Jonny Pettersen, and Nattravnen takes that story written by Lee and tells us through the medium of sinister, dark death metal. ‘Kult of the Raven’ is out in December through Transcending Obscurity.

Opener ‘The Night of the Raven’ is brutal, fast and chunky as hell. There is a morose atmosphere permeating each track, but this is much more doomy than black metal. Ghostly synths seep into the crush of ‘Return to Nevermore’, while the endless battering from ‘Suicidum, the Seductress of Death’ leaves you feeling bruised and exhilirated. The vocal performance from Kam is, as always, astonishing; showcasing an impressive ability to retain clarity without losing any of his trademark gurgling roar. Petterson’s riffing and songwriting is nothing short of sublime, creating both the devastation and the misery soaked, like in ‘Corvus Corax Crown’ and ‘The Anger of Despair When Coping With Your Death’ respectively.

‘Kult of the Raven’ is a superb, thick and dense death metal album that ladles plenty of sinister mannerisms on top of a huge pile of awesome riffs. Gloomy and violent, Nattravnen have tapped into the part of you that really wishes Paradise Lost and Amorphis would forget the last 18 or so years had happened. This is dark, destructive and utterly absorbing.

Gutted Souls - The Illusion of Freedom

Brazilian technical/brutal death metallers Gutted Souls have released their debut full length, ‘The Illusion of Freedom’, the follow up to 2012’s devastating ‘Unconscious Automaton’ EP. It came out last year, but I’ve just got my hands on a copy and man, is it a whirlwind of tech death brutality like you’ve never seen!

Opener ‘Being Human’ is dense as fuck, rampaging through some sickeningly heavy riffing but not shirking from some nice melodic work too. Gutted Souls have got a cool, Vader vibe in places, like the chugging ‘Snakes in Suits’ or the snarling, slavering ‘The Undying Stars’. Powering through a tight, technically impressive and guttural yet crisp collection of songs, Gutted Souls are full of good songwriting and rumbling intensity. There’s no sections that feel set up to impress guitar nerds, but the riffs are serpentine and everchanging in order to capture that perfect moment of destruction. ‘Psychopathic Ruler’ has one of the coolest solos in death metal today, and winding it round an absolute beast of a track helps it to stand out.

‘The Illusion of Freedom’ is a tight, solid and perfectly executed slab of brutal death that avoids the slam-and-squeal approach of many of their contemporaries in order to concentrate on a sense of weight and heft, despite being capable of fretboard fireworks at times. Gutted Souls are a band that deserve your time if you’re a fan of Vader, Cannibal Corpse or basically good death metal!

Membrance - Abyss

Membrance are an old school death metal outfit from Italy, and their debut full length ‘Abyss’ came out late last year through Envenomed Music. Their new record, ‘Morality’s Collapse’, is due to drop early 2019, so I thought I would visit this one in anticipation.

Opening intro ‘Chasm of Blood’ is a weird, almost 80s horror movie sample that first real track ‘Shreds of Flesh’ bludgeons into submission. You know the score here; old school Swedish death metal riffs in the style of Dismember or Grave, coupled with guttural growls and solid drumming. Old school death metal albums feel very predictable these days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a bad one. ‘Abyss’ ticks all the right boxes, and fulfills the promise with enthusiasm and a wellspring of gory samples. The undeniably memorable ‘Rotten Broken Bones’ is a highlight, the chainsawing glory of ‘Groovy’ and the chugging menace of ‘Goat’s Guts’ balance perfectly, leaving Membrance a comfortable legacy to build upon next year.

Old school death metal doesn’t always need to be pedestrian, and ‘Abyss’ shows how even the most over wrought of genres can still be injected with fresh life and a little bit of macabre humour. Membrance’s debut is solid and entertaining, and hopefully their follow up can build on all the things they did right here.

Take three guesses at what kind of record ‘Splatterphobia’ is? Did the murderer wearing the Mortician shirt on the cover give it away? Well, the newest release from Italian macabre mischief makers Corpsefucking Art is their latest collection of brutality and gore. ‘Splatterphobia’ is due out in November through Comatose Music.

As you’d expect, this is classic death metal, drawing heavily from the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation. If it was a movie, it’d be an Evil Dead film, with riffs that would easily maim and dissect unsuspecting victims. The chug of ‘Black Sheep Terror’ is infectious, in a horrible zombie-virus type way, while the savagery of ‘Nightmare City’ is something to behold. What I really appreciate about Corpsefucking Art is that their death metal is brutal but not in the simple breakdown/pig squeal/breakdown formula. They’ve crafted a record that resembles the classic brutal death albums we remember, with a very old school vibe that is welcome. There’s nothing forgiving or derivative about the swollen rage of ‘Beyond the Holy Grounds’, and their cover of Cannibal classic ‘Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead’ more than does the original proud.

‘Splatterphobia’ is a chugging, menacing beast of a record, where old school slam meets a rabid, thrashy death metal that really hits the spot. Short, sharp and to the point, bloodstained riffs paint gory masterpieces within cool samples and guttural roars. Corpsefucking Art pay a fine tribute to the masters, and are beginning to rise towards becoming one themselves. Awesome.