Posts Tagged ‘Inverse Records’

Godhead Machinery - Aligned to the Grid

The unorthodox second album from Swedish blackened death metallers Godhead Machinery came out earlier in the year through Inverse Records, and ‘Aligned to the Grid’ is a record that takes a little while to unpack, but the music within is something really special.

The labyrinthine ‘Tithe II’ starts us off, with chunky death metal underpinning a nasty black metal vocal rasp. The songwriting is maddeningly complex, with elements of Behemoth sneaking in, as well as tech death and even some of the more esoteric black metal out there. The drumming is an intense backbone to everything here, clattering blastbeats keeps everything powering along, while the guitar work show off ethereal melodies and some absolutely brutal riffs. The haunting rage of ‘Alpha’ is a highlight, but there are so many little details that create the overall art. The piano in ‘The Existential Strive’, the spoken word story running through ‘Call of the Banner’, the relentless battery of ‘Impassive Atrocity’ or the imperial gloom of ‘Illusion’; Godhead Machinery weave complex tapestries for all of us to worship.

Godhead Machinery do not ply the furrow of blackened death metal as others do. The music is heavy, thick, brutal while the atmospheres and vocals are pure black metal. An unholy marriage of genres in the right way, where each play to their strengths without being swamped by the other. ‘Aligned to the Grid’ is certainly unorthodox in places but it doesn’t confound you completely.

Inverse Records saw the release of this little hidden gem at the end of last year, and Bloodlash’s EP ‘Rain’ is progressive metal meets the glacial world of post metal. It’s available digitally from Inverse Records.

Opener ‘Godsbreath’ rumbles from the gate with a chugging riff, with some cool spiralling melodies. You can feel the influence of some of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, especially the likes of Lamb of God. ‘Spring Devoured’ has some quirky melody lines and virtuoso drumming that is reminscient of early Mastodon, but not as complex. Bloodlash could do with dropping the clean vocals, as I feel they don’t quite work as well as the growls do. It’s a minor quibble though.

‘Rain’ mixes death metal severity with chugging prog metal riffs. Like a heavier and less technical Children of Bodom, Bloodlash could be a band that would excel in the future, and instrumentally they have the chops. They need to work on their songwriting though, as there isn’t anything that leaps to attention as being awesome. Definitely potential to be fulfilled here though.


Finnish stoner rockers Centipede are unleashing their debut record, ‘Sarnath’ this year after a couple of well received demos and EPs. It’s due out in March on Inverse Records, and is looking like its going to be a killer. Channelling the groove of Grand Magus, with the atmosphere of Sabbath and the esoteric weirdness of Mastodon.

Opener ‘Drown’ has an immense riff that seems to be carved from stone. The tone and riffing seems to be taken straight from the High on Fire playbook, which infuses it with righteous heaviosity. Mix in some ‘Leviathan’-era Mastodon and you’ll be about right on the sound. Centipede kick off strongly, and the rest of the record keeps that momentum moving. The Killchain is a blog that thrives on riffs, big fat thunderous riffs and Centipede are a band that provide that at every turn.

There is, like any good doom record should have, some stunningly heavy and slow moments, like the earth shaking ‘The Unspoken’ or the swaggering ‘Frostbite’. Centipede feed from that Iommi riff pool, injecting it with an otherworldly, Mastodon-like vocal from Markus Nurminen. I think the ‘stoner’ tag comes from the epic riffs, that I’m sure would be even more awesome through a drugged haze. The melancholy gloom of ‘Abyssal’, the Neanderthal chug of ‘Black Mead’, the lumbering sludge of ‘Midwinter Wolves’; it’s all part of the package that creates Centipede, and it’s a record that improves with each listen.

Imagine Troy Sanders singing for High on Fire, and add Grand Magus’ sense of melody, and you’ll be somewhere close to describing the awesomeness of Centipede. ‘Sarnath’ is a great opening statement for a band who can only be set for bigger things. Turn up, drop out and feel the power of primal riff!

Finnish for Funeral Night, Hautajaisyo have an interesting take on death metal. Purportedly focusing on the more melancholic stylings of bands like early Paradise Lost coupled with the crush of Bolt Thrower, Hautajaisyo’s full length self titled has just come out on Inverse Records, and is nine tracks of promising brutality.

Opener ‘Jokainen Kuolee Vuorollaan’ is classic old school style death metal, that rages forward crushing everything in its wake. It slows down to a threatening chug, before the more melodic ‘Päänsärkijä’ erupts with a high tempo melodeath attack. It has some cool melodic sections, as does the thrashier ‘Minä Olen Vain Puu’. The brooding ‘Aamulla Vainaa’ is where the gloom starts to infect the band’s solid death metal foundation. The pagan metal stylings of parts of ‘Köysi’ again conjures up a more melancholic feel, as does the wistful intro to ‘Tämän Vainajan Tähden’. The final track is a strong contender for song of the record too, with its skillful blending of epic pagan sweep and brutal death metal crush.

For all the ‘melancholic death metal’ themes put forward by the label promo kit, Hautajaisyö’s debut is rather more like a solid melodic death metal record than anything that matches up with Paradise Lost or the like. ‘Hautajaisyö’ is a varied death metal record with touches of melodeath, epic doomy parts and good old fashioned death metal at its core. While not really matching up musically to the description, Hautajaisyo is actually a pleasant surprise. Their metal is interesting, memorable and heavy. What else do you need?!