Posts Tagged ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’

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.

Advertisements

I did a full genre by genre breakdown last year, and while I’ll try to put that together in the next few days, I thought I ‘d start with my overall favourites. I spent 2015 listening to a shitload of independent, underground stuff, and a lot of older stuff. My favourite non-2015 record of the year was ‘British Steel’, closely followed by Accept’s superlative ‘Balls to the Wall’. It was clearly a classic metal year.I’ve also not heard anywhere near as many of the records I wanted to. So there’s probably been a few good ones you’re wondering why are missing. Tell me, so I can find them!

I’m adding a late disclaimer to this; at point of writing I haven’t heard the new Baroness record. It’d probably be in here, but its not fair to these other great records to stick it in just because I’m guessing how good it is.

10. Zgard – Totem: A Ukrainian windswept masterpiece of folky black metal. ‘Totem’ proved that while fellow countryman Drudkh has perfected the style, there are still bands that can challenge the supremacy. Majestic.

9. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within: What can be said? Yorkshire doom lords return with one of this year’s finest pieces of gothic misery. Proof that you can always rely on the old guard to bring it.

8. Plague Rider – Paroxysm: Only EP to make this list, English tech death stars Plague Rider makes this kind of mind bending death metal look easy. I cannot wait to hear what is coming next.

7. Islay – The Angels Share: German melodeath underground heroes Islay have written one of 2015’s most impressive records. ‘The Angels Share’ is an odyssey, owing debts to At the Gates and Amon Amarth, but always remaining their own.

6. Heathen Beast – Trident: One of India’s brightest hopes, and one of their most talented acts, Heathen Beast bring to you scathing, black metal with enough unique ethnic touches to make them stand out and be instantly recognisable.

5. Chiral – Night Sky: In a year where Sivjr Yar pushed him close, Chiral brought out my favourite black metal of the year. Epic in scope, majestic in execution, and truly heart-wrenching at points, ‘Night Sky’ is how atmospheric black metal should be done.

4. Undersmile – Anhedonia: A scorching, dynamic slab of proper British doom. Melancholy and bleak, but always vital and alive. ‘Atacama Sunrise’ is one of my favourite songs of this year, and it is my top doom record of 2015.

3. Shrapnel Storm – Mother War: In a year of epic death metal, Shrapnel Storm’s album kept getting played. Maybe it’s satisfying my craving for more Bolt Thrower, I don’t know, but maybe its just because it is a crushing machine of riffs and death. Love it.

2. Necrocosm – Damnation Doctrine: In any year where there WASN’T a new Nile record, this would have been my top record. I love the complexity, the unhinged savagery but also the supreme melodic flair with which these guys kill. ‘Damnation Doctrine’ needs to be the death metal record you hear this year

NUMBER ONE: Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed: I love Nile. I love everything they do. I loved this album before I heard it. But then I did. I heard how Karl Sanders and co had brought their signature sound to yet more intricate, punishing and most importantly GREAT death metal. Writing songs for themselves should be what they do more often, we are all just lucky to hear it.

Did I miss anything essential? Please let me know and I hope you seek out and support all the artists here.

 

Nile - What Should Not Be Unearthed

Now, to be honest, I’m a massive mark for everything Nile have ever put out, so there may be a little bit of bias in this review, but hell, when have Nile ever not backed up all the superlatives thrown in their direction? They became a flagbearer for death metal when it was a dying genre, birthing several instant classics along the way and bringing the ancient power of Egypt to the masses. Their eighth full length, ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’, has some mighty big shoes to fill…

‘Call to Destruction’ is that first hurricane of technical death metal chaos, with that familiar machine gun double kick and dazzling fretwork. Dallas Toller Wade’s guttural death growls are still brutal in every way, and they’ve always enhanced the primal darkness of Nile’s work. ‘Negating the Abominable Coils of Apep’ thrashes and writhes with bruising death metal riffing, while that iconic Nile bend riff gets me every time. Their songs ooze with an ancient heaviness, like the looming weight of the pyramids. ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ feels a lot faster and a lot more frantic than previous efforts to begin with, and you have to wait until the grinding title track for that crushing slow riff that Sanders wields so well.

The Middle Eastern instrumentation also appears to be scaled back a bit for this release, but their scarcity only makes them more effective when they do rear their heads. Eastern flourishes grace the latter periods of the title track, when the voices of the underworld growl from the depths of the Duat. ‘Ushabti Reanimator’ is the only instrumental that encapsulates the more ethnic parts of Nile’s music, and it feels uncomfortable, urgent almost to get back to the metal. ‘Evil to Cast Out Evil’ has a crisp, Hate Eternal feel to it, while the swaying brutality of ‘Age of Famine’ groans under its own mass.

‘Annihilation of the Wicked’ is ten years old this year, and was the first death metal album I really got into. It still stands up as Nile’s finest hour for me, and ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ comes closest of all their albums since to equalling that majesty. Be it the coupling of eastern melody and brutality that enhances ‘In the Name of Amun’, the spiralling riff-ageddon of ‘Rape of the Black Earth’, or the crushing close of ‘To Walk Forth from the Flames Unscathed’, Karl Sanders and crew have done it again. ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ is another scorcher from these death metal legends, and is easily the death metal record of my year so far.

https://www.facebook.com/nilecatacombs?fref=ts

http://www.nile-catacombs.net/

http://www.nuclearblaststore.co.uk/shop/nuclearblast/products.php?cat=4343