Posts Tagged ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’

Death metal has been particularly healthy this year in the world of the Killchain. I’ve heard some storming releases, and to whittle it down to only ten seems unfair to the many great records I heard this year. I’m genuinely sorry to anyone I’ve reviewed that hasn’t made it in, because I’ve been totally into almost everything I’ve been sent! But it has to be done, and this is it!

10. Tormention – Chaotic Delusions: A solid, chunky death metal riff war machine of a record. Who needs to reinvent the wheel when the wheel has rarely sounded this good. Tormention crush and batter you into submission.

9. Kataklysm – Of Ghosts and Gods: Superb guitar harmonies mesh with a bombardment of double kicks, guttural but understandable roars and flesh searing riffs. Kataklysm may be getting a bit more melodic, but ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’ will still destroy a pit at ten feet.

8. Desecresy – Stoic Death: A slow, grinding album of Finnish death supreme, where speed has been traded in for a malevolent drudge through some of the darkest waters. Unholy, crawling chaos.

7. Putrevore – Tentacles of Horror: Probably my favourite of all Rogga Johansson’s releases this year, Putrevore smash you into the ground with pure, gurgling death metal. Viciously sludgy and with a simply awesome guitar tone, Putrevore slay.

6. Austerymn – Sepulcrum Viventium: A killer debut of pure Swedeath worship, the UK’s answer to Dismember pulled out all the stops to create a memorably brutal record with razor sharp song writing and crushing heaviness.

5. Obituary – Inked in Blood: Legends fade over time, but Obituary don’t. Still as strong today as they were when they dropped ‘Slowly We Rot’. Iconic vocal belches pepper an album built on heavy as fuck riffing and an atmosphere of reeking death.

4. Abyssus – Into the Abyss: Out Obituary-ing Obituary is no mean feat, but Greek death metal squad Abyssus manage to create one of the finest Floridian death metal albums never to come out of Morrisound. I love the raw, uncompromisingly 90s feel about it, taking me back to the heady days when death metal was a little bit more simple!

3. Shrapnel Storm – Mother War: Filling the Bolt Thrower shaped void in my life, Shrapnel Storm has spun more often than I ever thought it could this year. The band just execute a brand of deathly groove that is totally addictive. The rumble of tanks is alive and well

2. Necrocosm – Damnation Doctrine: Spiralling tech death metal with oodles of melody and stunning fretwork. ‘Damnation Doctrine’ is one of metal’s finest debuts, and is held off the top spot by one of death metal’s most influential and untouchable bands.

1.Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed: Flailing, raging technicality meets the ancient power of the pyramids once again as Nile emerge from their tombs, laying upon us another blueprint of apocalyptic, ancient death. Once again proving that they are the greatest death metal outfit going, ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ is endlessly stunning.

Kataklysm - Of Ghosts and Gods

What more needs to be said about these Canadian masters of the death metal riff? After 24 years and 12 albums of rampaging death metal, if you don’t know the kings of ‘Northern Hyperblast’, then you’ve not been paying enough attention. ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’ is their new effort, out now on Nuclear Blast.

Opening galloper ‘Breaching the Asylum’ is a white-hot riff monster with some huge melodies in the chorus. A chugging beast of a track, it showcases the slightly more melodic path the band had trod over the recent few albums. Not that they are going soft in their old age, not if the devastating ‘The Black Sheep’ has anything to say about it, but they have definitely understood the benefits of including more melody into their songwriting. ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’ is one of the more mature death metal records I’ve heard this year.

‘Marching Through Graveyards’ is heavy as fuck and pure mosh pit material. Kataklysm may have injected more melody but they’ll still destroy a pit at ten feet. The uber catchy cruise missile of ‘Soul Destroyer’ is a propulsive, rampant slab of almost melodic death metal, but stays just on the brutal side with a monstrous chug. Kataklysm are everything that is needed in modern death metal; accessible brutality with plenty of headbanging moments. The almost anthemic ‘Carrying Crosses’ is a perfect example of why Kataklysm are essential. Superb guitar harmonies mesh with a bombardment of double kicks, guttural but understandable roars and flesh searing riffs.

‘Of Ghosts and Gods’ is another notch in Kataklysm’s tree of perfect death. They’ve perfected their craft over two decades of destruction, and while it doesn’t match the sheer violence of their early work, ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’ is easily their maturest and most well rounded record yet. Turn on, turn up and prepare to get hyperblasted!