Posts Tagged ‘USA’

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A one man swampy black metal project from the dark recesses of Floridian marshland, Worm’s debut record ‘Evocation of the Black Marsh’ is due out at the end of the month on Iron Bonehead, and is a particularly nasty slab of raw, sludgey black metal with more subtlety and nuance than you might expect…

‘Altar of Black Sludge’ couldn’t really be better named, as a morbid crawling riff oozes from underneath occult atmospheres of dread before the ‘Winged Beast of the Phantom Crypt’ envelopes a harsh riff in a suffocating miasma and unholy screams vomit forth from dark places. All the best parts of early Bathory combining with the latter swaying doom of Celtic Frost make ‘Gravemouth’ a modern, mutating classic. Sure, black metal plays the major influencing role here but there’s an undeniably sludge and doom undercurrent here too. The title track sounds like Xasthur covering EyeHateGod, which is inevitably awe inspiring.

Monstrous, fetid crushers like ‘Evil in the Mire’ and ‘Swamp Ghoul’ raise foul spectres of southern sludge and when layered with a malevolent black metal spirit allows ‘Evocation of the Black Marsh’ to become as good an embodiment of a title as any album you’ve heard in ages. Poisonous, asphyxiating bands like Worm aren’t ten a penny, and therefore you need to find this.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

https://www.facebook.com/IronBoneheadProductions/

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Prostitution - Egyptian Blue

By looking at the cover, you’d expect Prostitution’s ‘Egyptian Blue’ to be a prog rock opus of epic proportions. But no, these New Yorkers are some vicious black metallers and this is their latest EP, coming on the heels of 2013’s ‘Listless’. Their sound spreads from Darkthrone to Pink Floyd, and their psychedelic aesthetic jars with standard black metal themes, but damn it if it doesn’t work out pretty well.

Opening track ‘Hypergiant’ is a sprawling, raging monster of a track; all shrieking tremolo and bloodcurdling screams at the start before it begins to evolve, slowly and deliberately into something grander. While always retaining their metal heart (blastbeats reign supreme over much of this EP), the expansive nature of their riffing brings to mind latter period Enslaved, particularly ‘Ruun’, and the soaring ‘The Boat’ melds spiralling fretwork into spacious waves of black metal fury.

Closing with the tour de force of ‘Elevated Droves’, where blastbeats disappear into dense voids of chugging riffing, and atonal melodies haunt plains of progressive metal, ‘Egyptian Blue’ is a thrilling and adventurous piece of extreme metal. Black metal is the core, but like bands like Ihsahn or Ved Buens Ende it isn’t the cage. Prostitution are a stunning proposition.

https://www.facebook.com/Prostitution666/

https://prostitution.bandcamp.com/

With a name like High Reeper (God that spelling is going to annoy me through this review) and an album cover like their self titled debut, it’s pretty obvious that within this disc is going to be some stoner related music. But their press blurb says they’re going the Saint Vitus, Orchid and Sabbath way, rather than the Kyuss clones I’m getting tired of. That already is a good thing. ‘High Reeper’ is out on the 3rd of November.

‘Die Slow’ opens this record with a simply jamming groove that, when coupled with the lonesome, Ozzy like vocals, makes this an instant hit. High Reeper tread that line between blatant Sabbath worship and healthy doses of modern rock and roll, and the results are infectious and soulful. The energetic Clutchisms of ‘Chrome Hammer’, the soulful blues of ‘Soul Taker’ and the grinding title track provide a three track salvo of pure doom blues for anyone to get into. At this point, I’m sold. it’d have to go well downhill from here to suck overall.

But it doesn’t! The heavy rumbling open of ‘Reeper Deadly Reeper’ is a lost howl from doom’s murky past, and the second half of the record builds more into classic doom territory, with the sprawling ‘Weed and Speed’ and the insistent ‘Double Down and Let It Ride’ drawing from Wino’s playbook. Nothing however is finer than the monstrous doom rock of closer ‘Friend of Death’, which somehow combines everything good they’ve done all record and cranks it to 11.

If you’re looking for an album that’ll give you that warm feeling the old Sabbath records did, but still cuts a massive modern groove, then ‘High Reeper’ is for you. The hooks are massive, the groove is brilliant and the atmosphere is pure chill. Light up, spread out and get ready to meet the Reeper…

https://www.facebook.com/HIGHREEPER/

A malignant and serpentine debut, ‘Staring Through the Veil’ is the first record from Cryptic Fog, a two man project that twists and melds the grand tradition of death metal from both sides of the Atlantic into new and abhorrent forms. Blood Harvest is releasing this at the end of October, and it looks to stake a place amongst the most uncomfortable records of 2017.

Progressive, twisting black metal with hints of death metal’s low end come through strong on crushing opener ‘The Grand Berator Walks Amongst the Hall of Misery”; you can feel moments of technical wizardry like Atheist meeting the labyrinthine riffing of Morbid Angel, wrapped within dark realms of suffering. Vocals belch from dank pits, while the deadly riffing spirals in multiple directions, never leaving too many breadcrumbs to follow. There are some proper Dismember worship moments in the stunning ‘Cursed Oil Upon the Abhorrent Idols of Men’, the horrendous violence of ‘Eternal Internment of the Prolific Paradigm; Staring Through the Veil of Aberration’ and the crushing, eldritch finale of ‘Cleansed by the Black Flame of Absolution’ are all great.

The ironically simple pleasure in such a complex and technical record is how you never lose interest, that Cryptic Fog are consistently shifting form and keeping your attention. There’s blasting, chugging Swedeath riffs, wailing solos and grinding brutality, all sewn together into a cohesive, virulent mass of death metal. ‘Staring Through the Veil’ is the archetypal look beyond, into worlds where death metal will grow in new ways.

https://www.facebook.com/CrypticFog/

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/staring-through-the-veil-12lp-cd-tape

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

Kentucky trio Tombstalker are releasing a two track 7” in follow up to their devastating 2015 debut ‘Black Crusades’. The band has had a slew of splits and EPs since their inception in 2008, and ‘Chaotic Devotion’ drops two new tracks of molten, rabid blackened death metal into our laps. Due to be released on the 19th of September by Boris Records.

The first track, ‘Scared to Death’ has a killer opening riff with a nasty as fuck guitar tone. The fretwork is awesome, and there’s a definite Swedeath influence here. Urgent, vibrant and lacking any fucking about, Tombstalker are here to slay you with riffs. Grinding bass kicks off ‘Treads of War’, and the low end on this track is very prevalent. ‘Chaotic Devotion’ is two excellent tracks of chunky death metal with a savage, black edge to them. Short but ultimately very sweet.

https://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chaotic-devotion-7

https://www.facebook.com/tombstalkerband

http://boris-records.com/

A new band from an old hand, Affliktor is the work of Toby Knapp whose guitar work you’ll have heard spread across classic records like Onward’s ‘Evermoving’ or ‘Reawaken’. Affliktor is all about the old school blackened thrash riffs, and the simple fact that ‘Affliktor’ is the work of only one man is even more mindblowing. Transcending Obscurity are due to release this on the 20th of October.

The matching of a neoclassical guitar player and the traditionally one dimensional blackened thrash genre feels, at first, like it’ll never work. But Knapp’s fretwork is nothing short of mindblowing, and in fact imbues this record and style with a new impetus to be fresh and exciting. The blasting ‘Storm of Demogorgon’ is a defining moment for the record, and the following songs strive for the same excellence every time. Parts of the croaking ‘Born to the Breeder’ remind me very much of early Immortal, while the chunky ‘Burn the Earth’ is prime Sodom riffs coupled with an early Bathory attitude. The most exciting part of the whole record is how the essence of blackened thrash is captured within songs that are easily identifiable from each other.

This record is a blasting half hour of joyous, nasty as fuck thrash metal. Galloping like classic Exodus or Kreator, but delivered with a Venom sneer and scowl, ‘Affliktor’ is a record that is not to be trifled with. The snarling rage of ‘Planet Rogue’ is the highlight of a record full of high points; riffs galore and glorious thrashing sections are what Affliktor is all about!

https://affliktor.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Affliktor/

https://tometal.com/

Bloodstrike’s last record, ‘In Death We Rot’ has already had a bit of praise from myself in the past for being a chunky, old school death metal record of killer riffs and brutality galore. So to say that I’m expecting good things from their follow up ‘Execution of Violence’ is not an understatement. It is due out on the 13th of November through Redefining Darkness Records.

‘Procreating Death’ leads with a piano melody before an Asphyx-sized riff crashes upon us. It sounds MASSIVE, like a monstrous beast dragging itself from the swamps of the old school before harsh chainsawing riffs embrace the cold reality of their Scandinavian heritage and start to run wild. You can see Entombed, Dismember and even some Bolt Thrower lurking amongst the ruins left behind. ‘Creeper’ is a chugging beast, while the galloping ‘Emptiness of Life’ sounds like a missing Grave classic. If there’s at least one thing (and there’s so many more) that Bloodstrike do right, it is capturing the sound and spirit of early 90s death, particularly the Swedeath guitar tone.

Crunchy, brutal, old school as hell; it’s difficult to use any original adjectives for ‘Execution of Violence’ but all apply. This is an excellent record, thoroughly absorbing and pretty much every song induces headbanging and horn throwing. That is all you can really ask from an old school death metal album these days, and Bloodstrike hit it out of the park on ‘Execution of Violence’.

https://www.facebook.com/bloodstrikemetal/

http://www.bloodstrikemetal.com/

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bloodstrike-execution-of-violence

https://bloodstrike.bandcamp.com/album/execution-of-violence