Gorgos Goetia” CD

(Forbidden Records)


The wait is over for the third A Transylvanian Funeral, it is here through Forbidden Records. Sleepwalker {all instruments, vocals} has created the strongest ATF to date with Funeral Goetia, it is 12 songs of raw, primitive black metal. Raw, razor sharp guitar chords, fast unrelenting drums. For those familiar with past A Transylvanian Funeral's releases, Sleepwalker is doing the drums himself on this release and dropped the drum machine, he does a really good job playing the drums fast, chaotic yet some well done patterns with the guitars and vocals. Sleepwalker vocals are really well sung traditional black metal screams and some vicious shrieks. If you are a fan of the past releases definitely get this you will not be disappointed!! One of the u.s black metal scene's best bands, and if you are new to the band and you enjoy early to mid 90's style raw black metal that is primitive and straight forward b.m then get A Transylvanian Funeral today!!  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/atransylvanianfuneral  http://forbidden-records.com/    





“Self Titled” CD EP

(No Visible Scars Records)


I am and have been a big Abaza fan for many years. So I do not say it lightly that with this release Abazagorath have out done themselves and clearly show why they are leading the charge in the USBM scene! This is an EP but does clock in at 23 minutes, so really they could have billed this as a MCD or Mini album for what you get. I have much doubt that my paltry words will be able to express or get across to the reader how much of a masterwork this release is. Without doubt this is some of the best cold and cryptic black metal I have ever heard. I put it up there in the stratosphere of my all time faves. The five tracks on here, even played on a bright summer day somehow make me feel like I am alone in the dark, attempting to peer through the blackness, the blood is frozen in my veins and my heart no longer pumps bright red, it spews ink coloured hatred. The music on here is simultaneously harsh and catchy, really catchy but vicious and cruel, giving off a superb cryptic atmosphere every step of the way. This is a must own for fans of old black metal in the early 90s tradition. Order it now!  – Dale 

http://www.myspace.com/abazagorathhorde  http://www.reverbnation.com/abazagorath 




“Entity Of Malevolence” CD

(Comatose Music)


Abhorrent Deformity come out of North Carolina’s brutal death metal scene. They play some very well written, and performed, brutish death metal with a combination of heavy and fast guitars. The riffs are played at hyper speed, with some very chaotic and fast patterns, but also the guitarist knows when to slow down to a more mid paced range before returning to lighting speed. They also mix in some cool guitar solos within the metal storm. The drummer is very skilled at playing blast beats, but also knows how to slow down to a middle pace with some very well placed and played patterns. The vocalist, he does a great job, with his powerful growls and deeper vocal arrangements. If you are a fan of well played, musical brutality, then do yourself a favor and pick this album up today.  - Patrick 

https://www.bandpage.com/AbhorrentDeformity   http://www.comatosemusic.com/     




“The Final Damnation” CD

(Nuclear War Now Productions)


The Japanese thrash, heavy metal masters of darkness are back, with their fifth full-length release to date. This disc features eight songs of traditional heavy metal mixed with some aggressive thrash metal. The guitars are played with a lot of skill, are well written, and well performed memorable patterns. The guitarist knows how to write and mix both mid paced sections, with lightning fast guitars, all accented with some nicely played solos. The drummer is extremely tight and can play both chaotic and fast patterns on down to a more middle tempo style. The vocals are done with raw blackened thrashy screams, mixed with more traditional heavy metal screaming vocal style. If you are a fan of Abigail’s musical style, then be sure to buy this new released today, it does not disappoint.  - Patrick 

https://www.facebook.com/ABIGAILBARBATOS-208365735859610/    http://www.nwnprod.com/    




Kult Des Hasses” CD

(Listenable Records)


Vincent Crowley and Acheron return, with a brand new release and a new label. The songs are in Acheron's traditional vein of death/blackened metal, no gimmicks just the real deal, posers be aware this is no weak shit here! The music gallops out with semi fast guitars, that put on display the bands vast experience and ability. The Drums are handled with fast and some slower mid-paced beats. Vincent's vocals are death growls and some higher screams. This is by far, Acheron's best work to date (high praise indeed since their debut album, in my opinion, is one of the true metal classics! - Dale), so if you are a long time fan, be sure to pick this up and help support the scene.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/acheron   http://www.listenable.net/       





Limitless Life Reflections” CD

(Self Released)


After listening to Mexico's The Advent Equation's debut I'm amazed for two reasons number one a band can combine brilliant melodic, progressive music but in the next breath combine it with more heavy straight forward death and make it sound so good and original. And the second is why is this band not signed yet? When so many crappy bands get signed over the quality ones like this, it is a shame. As mentioned The Advent Equation seem to shine when playing both styles of music, the more extreme and melodic sides of metal equally. The vocals are done in mostly clean male vocal patterns which fit very well with the bands music, but there are some deeper death growls also used in the heavier parts which work just as well. This is a band to watch out for in the future, to see where they go from here. I see a bright future for them so I for one look forward to hearing their future releases.  - Patrick 

https://www.facebook.com/theadventequation  http://www.myspace.com/adventmx     





“Nocturnal Glorification” CD

(Elegy Records)


I don’t know what it is about Finland, but the country has one of the best black metal (and death metal) scenes today. Aegeon is no exception; the main man behind the band is Lord Aegeon. He is playing raw, vicious black metal on this album, the way it was done in the early to mid ‘90s. The guitar chords are screechy and raw, ranging from fast to a more mid-paced range and sound. The drumming is top notch, with some extremely fast, chaotic beats. The vocals are raw demonic shrieks. If you are a fan of raw, violent black metal, then definitely do yourself a favor and buy this disc today!  - Patrick 

https://www.facebook.com/aegeon666   http://www.elegyrecords.org/       





Terror, Incest And Death” Cassette Album

(Ljudkassett Records)


Aggressive Mutilator comes out of Sweden's old-school black metal scene with a healthy dose of early punk influence. The guitars are well done with some at a brisk speed that has both the metal and punkish influences, there are even some nice solid solos mixed in with the crazed punkish / metal riffs. The drums are performed at alternating speeds between hyper-speed and mid paced patterns. Aggressive Mutilator has created a good mix of old school blackened metal and early influences of punk rock.  - Patrick 

http://aggressivemutilator.bandcamp.com/   http://ljudkassett.bandcamp.com/       





“Poison Minds” CD EP

(Psycho Records)


They call this an ep, I suppose because there is an ep of new songs with the title above, but you also get their 2013 & 2014 demos (“They Want To Cut Off My Head” & “Curse Of The Outlaw”), which all clocks in around 35 minutes. So if this is an ep, and sold as such, you really get a lot of music. I must admit, it is different having a CD from Aggressive Mutilator, after receiving many demo tapes from them for some years now. Not a lot has changed with Aggressive Mutilator, well with the exception of the production on the new album, with it being maybe the most professional I can recall. A.M. has always embraced the low-fi end of things, through rough and older sounding productions and I appreciate that. They do embrace late 80s black metal like Venom and Bathory, with a healthy dose of sound and attitude from that era. Not to mention a mixing in of punk influence from that time period as well. I can not help it, I simply love this stripped down, ancient sound, where the feeling of the music is king, not how technical you can get or how many riffs you stuff in a song at light speed. I love the great rhythms and riffing they have going on, it is very memorable, you will nod your head along to it, it even has a slight hypnotic effect on me. This is saying something, considering filthy and dirty this Swedish band really is. If you miss the old days, and the old ways, played by dedicated worshippers of it, who live and breathe it, then I implore you to get your hands on this disc any way possible. But do not delay as it is limited to only 500 copies!  - Dale 

http://aggressivemutilator.bandcamp.com/music   http://www.wydawnictwopsycho.com/       





“Eternal Depression” CD

(Witches Brew Records)


Serbia’s Alitor are a heavy metal band, with some thrash, as well as a little progressive metal / rock intertwined throughout the tracks. Alitor has crafted and created, a good debut release. The guitars are a mix of thrashy fast guitar riffs, with some middle pacing, that is played with of talent and power. The vocalist has a nice range, going from a melodic clean singing voice, to a more raspy, thrashy screams. This is a good release of thrash / heavy metal, with some excellent progressive metal influence, especially in the guitar department. So if you are, a thrash metal fan, who likes some progressive metal mixed in, then give band a shot today.  - Patrick 

http://alitor.bandcamp.com/   http://www.witchesbrewthrashes.eu/  





““Demos 1991-1992” CD

(I Hate Records)


I really enjoyed the morbid packaging and layout of this disc. Also, the whole inside of the booklet, contains a fairly detailed account from the band leader, on the entire history of the band start to finish. It really gives that personal touch and connection. I liked the story, where their local youth centre put on a local battle of the bands type festival. Where Tim took it upon himself, to invite extreme metal bands from around the area, to sign up and dominate the line up much to the organizers displeasure. Apparently, even Marduk, in full corpse paint made their debut live performance at the event! Now on to the music… I love the raw feeling and atmosphere on the recording of the first demo tape. It is really dark, and evil sounding, it kind of reminds me on the sound on the great demos of Grave. I think some of the influences going on here (on the first demo) are things like early works of Grave, Bathory, Death, Celtic Frost, Possessed, Autopsy etc… I really like this first demo tape, and I am happy to have it in collection, it is a real gem from the early days of the death metal scene. Now, on to the second demo entitled “The Twelfth Hour”, the production still sounds good and has a little touch of darkness to it, but it is a cleaner and more professional. Here they have decided to reach even further, back into their root influences, and they have added more of a mid to late ‘80s German thrash metal attack to the mix. The result is good, and there are some heavy killer riffs on here, but I have to admit despite liking this newer style, I prefer the primitive style and recording, to this newer, more polished demo tape. But, you really can not go wrong, with album length compilation. Which unearths an important piece of the fabled Swedish death metal underground, which many people did not know of or maybe just need a reminder.  - Dale 

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Amenophis/104155    http://www.ihate.se/       





Æra Dementiæ” CD

(Kaotoxin Records)


Coming out of the French brutal death metal scene, we have Antropofago with their second album to date. The band plays a very fast brutal death style. The guitars are played with a lot of skill and complex guitar patterning. The drumming is done with a lot of rapid blast beat patterns, but the drummer knows how to create and write, some excellent crafty arrangements. The vocals are deep brutal death growls. If you enjoy mid 90s style brutality, with some of today’s brutalizing elements, a mix of yesterday and today, this is a great release you all need to check out soon.  - Patrick

https://www.reverbnation.com/antropofago   http://www.kaotoxin.com/        





“Peste Negra Muerte Negra” CD

(Gates Of Hell Records)


This Peruvian band, go straight for the throat, with that band name and album cover! I like it. It takes balls to truly be extreme in this politically correct world we live in these days. Anal Vomit are veterans of the scene, having released their first demo tape, way back in 1993, they also have released a slew of other demos, eps and three albums prior to this tasty, moist morsel of a record. The band plays extreme, dirty death metal with a seedy grindcore underbelly. The recording here is really good, it is really heavy and brutal, but also very clear. The music for this style is top notch, really driving and grinding death metal with lightning catchy riffing, good variation, and thought, in the song structuring, which keeps my interest strong. Everything on here is always, played at full hateful adrenaline, which gives the record a fantastic bombast filled energy. These boys play everything to perfection and really know how to handle their instruments. I find death metal growls in languages like this or Spanish etc… when done with a lot of vile and mean intent, end up sounding even more vicious and cool then growls done in English, so I really dig the vocals on here, which are in the bands native tongue. Yes, this truly is a killer record that deserves the attention of any brutal death metal and grindcore fan.  - Dale 

https://myspace.com/analvomitperu   http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/    




“Sulphur And Fire” CD

(Cryptia Productions)


Archemoron are a black metal band hailing from Greece, which of course, is a country with a great black metal tradition. This is the bands second album and it is a killer. I like that Archemoron mix in some guitar sounds, that will remind at times, of the original late 80s, very early 90s wave of black metal. Which is something, the early great Greek black metal bands such as Necromantia, Varathron and Rotting Christ also possessed in their early incarnations. But the dominant sound is definitely a more modern black metal one. The band keeps a certain level of melodicism, to their evil sounding riffs, and the drumming backs it up smoothly and skillfully. Their biggest talent is the ability to compose and arrange songs, which create a really dark, gloomy emotive atmosphere. That is not to say they are not an aggressive band, because they are, but the aggression is often a bookend to the brooding atmosphere. The mixing of both adds a depth and dynamic to their sound, which gives both elements more power through contrast. The vocals mimic the music quite successfully, producing range of emotions, from the ominous to poignant belligerence. They really serve to flesh out and finish off this album. My conclusion is “Sulphur And Fire” is an album, that die hard fans of old school, and newer black metal, should find quite enjoyable.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/archemoron   http://cryptiaproductions.blogspot.gr/        




“Dawn Of Ages” CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


This band’s name reflects the two driving artistic forces behind this band. You have vocalist Brian Balich, formerly of Penance, currently of the impressive Argus. Vincent Arduini, is a real veteran of the scene, in recent times he was a member of Freedom’s Reign. But he is best known as a founding member of Fates Warning, he was with the band from the start until just after their second album. I get the impression, reading between the lines of the bio, that Butch Balich may have been originally brought in by Victor just to do the vocals. But as two kept collaborating, Balich became an integral part of the song writing and creative process, morphing it into a full time band named after two. Either way, the result of these two forces combining, is impressive and exciting. The musical style I would call a marriage of classic clean doom in the vein of Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus etc… Combine those sounds heavily, with emotionally deep progressive rock, such as you might hear on Queensryche “Operation: Mindcrime” era, Captain Beyond or for a more modern example Fates Warning from the late ‘90s onward (“A Pleasant Shade Of Grey”). The musical tapestry, these two men have woven together is lush, and darkly striking in it’s depth of feeling and atmosphere. Victor is impressive on guitar, with his intricacy, while never sacrificing flow or impact by just showing off his high skill level. You can feel Balich’s influence, on the material is quite evident, his vocals are an intricate part of the fabric gliding in an and out, and all around the instruments with grace and dexterity, completing the music in every way possible. The music builds up the atmosphere, while the vocals crescendo over it all, delivering a satisfying impact every time. That delivery is there, whether it be triumphant, sorrowful or whatever other emotive term you want to use, his vocals just drip with passion and feeling! I have to listen to my Argus album again, I remember him being good, but not this fucking good, maybe it is case of the fantastic material on here that pushed him to new ranges and heights vocally? Balich’s vocal performance, at times, reminds me of the amazing vocal performance by Urban Breed, on Tad Morose’s “A Mended Rhyme” album, which is high praise from me, I assure you. The album closes out, with no less, than three cover songs (Uriah Heep’s “Sunrise”, Beau Brummels “Wolf Of Velvet Fortune” & Black Sabbath’s “After All (The Dead)”). Now, if I had heard the entire hour long album of original material, I would have advised the band do not screw it up, with cover songs. But, it is impressive how well they incorporated their sound, and chose covers, which fit surprisingly well with the rest of the album and comes off like icing on a delicious cake. No, this is not easy listening, by that I mean not immediately accessible, but if you are a fan of the genre’s I mentioned above and open to giving it the requisite attention span needed. Then you will be greatly rewarded, with a hell of an epic emotional, memorable audio journey.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/arduinibalich    http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/      




“Beyond The Martyrs” CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


I have heard some good things about this band, so I was exciting to check them out for the first time. They hail from the land of the Dawn Of The Dead out in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Just based on things I heard I expected a straight classic doom metal band. But instead what I heard is a very old heavy metal sound ala Iron Maiden, Jag Panzer, Manilla Road type aesthetic with some doom pacing and some doom metal influence in the Candlemass, Black Sabbath accenting the strong heavy metal base. This band does borrow quite liberally from some of the old gods, but they do so with superb skill and emotional feel / timing. The guitar work on here is well thought out and tasteful. The doom side of Argus does seem to rear it head a little more forcefully late in the record illustrating the bands versatility. The vocalist Butch Balich while not possessing the piercing siren range of Dickinson or a Messiah Marcolin, nevertheless his vocals sounds fit the music very well, mirroring the musical influences exactly with a classic ‘80s power metal vocal style mixed with a touch of the clean doom vocal influence. “Beyond The Martyrs” is a very moody, emotive record, which is easy fall prey within it’s clutches and become very engaged with. I would have to recommend this to fans of the old school bands from the genres I mentioned above.  - Dale 

https://myspace.com/theargus   http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/    




“In Satan We Trust” CD

(Iron Bonehead Records)


Italy’s Baphomet’s Blood have released their fourth full length record of thrash and speed metal mayhem. Baphomet’s Blood really know how to create, and write, well written and performed speed metal. The guitars are extremely fast, but are done, with a lot interesting patterns and solos mixed into the songs. The drumming as well, is done with a lot of skill and experience, going from fast and crazed drum arrangements, to a more mid paced range. If you are a fan of the early days of speed metal, then you will definitely want to check this release out, as soon as humanly possible.  - Patrick

https://baphometsbloodofficial.bandcamp.com/   http://www.ironbonehead.de/        





“The Enslavement Conquest” CD

(Dark Descent Records)


This is my first time, hearing this Canadian death metal band, but their third album overall. The music starts off, very chaotic and heavy; the guitars are played at extremely fast speeds. The guitarists know how to create and write, some memorable riffs, which range from both extremely fast sections to slow mid paced guitars sections. The drumming is in the same vein, with heavy and fast drumming patterns, that slow to a middle tempo in a few of the songs. The vocals are a mix of death growls and a mix-in of some vicious black metal style screams. If you are a fan of well written, and played, death metal then be sure to pick this new Begrime record today.  - Patrick 

http://begrimeexemious.com/   http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/   




“Termestella Cvltvs” CD

(Satanath Records)


Coming to us out of the Colombian black death metal scene is Bestialized, with their third full-length “Termestella Cvltvs”. The music is very chaotic and violent in nature. The guitars are played at a blistering, extremely fast speeds. The lightning speed of the guitars does let up now and then, slowing to a mid-tempo pace in a few of the tracks. The drums follow in the same vein with blasting drumming, the drummer puts in an extremely well done playing, he knows how to write some fantastic patterns that compliment the songs well. The vocals are raw, blackened screams mixed in among some dark death growls. If you are a fan of chaotic black death metal, then look no further Bestialized, with their fine new album.  - Patrick

http://satanath.com/    http://satanath.bandcamp.com/        




“A Bright Future” Full-length Cassette Album

(Nihilistic Holocaust Productions)


When you hear this Belgian bands name, and see the accompanying artwork, it feels like the album title does not fit, just too optimistic and happy sounding. Then I hear the music on first few tracks, and it is harsh and violent black death metal, with an old school metal air in the pacing and arrangements. The vocals are great deep rolling growls, which are very commanding in performance, which is accented here and there by some good black metal style rasps. Then we get down to it by track 4 and 5, “Its Good To Be King” & “Older, Fatter, Balder”, this is when the album title started to make much more sense to me. The band starts getting more experimental, and more commercial sounding in a way, with the fancy little start and stops, increasingly happier sounding melodicism. This is also about the time this album started to lose me, after I had quite enjoyed the first three tracks, the cheerful and bouncy riffs, and arrangements, just do not fit the style of music at all. Plus with all honesty, they just do not seem to have the chops to pull this off, the songs start to get clunkier, choppier, lacking the earlier flow and coming off as confused, conflicted and forced. The album gets back on the rails by track 8 (which for me makes four really good songs and four kind of lousy songs), which is the longest one on the album, so at least they finish strong. As you can see, for me, it is a mixed bag with half of the album being excellent and other half of the album being muddled mess and sub-par in quality. It is a shame, because when these guys are playing the right way, for the style they play it in, it is something bordering on superb, then they trip on their own feet the next moment. It is caveat emptor on this release for me.  - Dale 

http://blackbleeding.bandcamp.com/   http://nihilistic.shost.ca/nihilisticdistrohtm.htm   




“Ov Qliphoth And Darkness” CD

(I Hate Records)


The Black Oath has been taken and that oath is one of upholding melancholic, emotional classic doom metal in the Italian tradition. The bio cites Death SS and Paul Chain as influences; I am a fan of both and can definitely hear it, along with their own sound. Though they also name other Italian acts as like Zess and Jacula, neither of which unfortunately am I familiar with. This is just not a copy band however these guys have their own flavour, not to mention clearly a natural ability for writing and arranging the music to deliver to the listener a very forlorn, introspective and emotive atmosphere. The clean sung vocals of A.th compliment the music beautifully, as they mirror the sorrow and grief of the music, gliding effortlessly across the material. The Italians do seem to have a knack for creating a certain atmosphere with their doom that few other bands around the world seem able to understand or produce. I know my description sounds as if this is a dripping mass of sadness and misery, but there are slightly sped up and lighter moments that will help you from falling too far into a mental abyss. This is just a really good, very enjoyable album that any classic doom fan and especially Italian doom fan should enjoy.   - Dale 

http://www.reverbnation.com/blackoath666  http://www.ihate.se/      




“O Agios Pethane” CD

(Dunkelheit Productions)


Blood was a (great - Dale) German band, from the mid-eighties onward making their mark on the scene in the 90s, releasing and playing their brand of brutal death metal with grind influences. The guitars are performed with a lot of crazed and extremely fast guitar chords. The guitarist is not all extreme fast riffs though, he does slow to a more mid pace, in a few of the songs. The drumming is done in the same realm, with both extremely violent drum patterns, but the drummer is not afraid to it down, which keeps the music fresh and interesting. If you are a fan of the early nineties death/grind scene, then definitely favor, and pick up a copy of Blood’s excellent O Agios Pethane now.  - Patrick

http://www.bloood.de/   http://www.dunkelheit-produktionen.de/        




“For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down” CD

(Self Released)


The opening track “Gulveig”, has this really different, almost off-kilter pulsating riffing pattern, at first I was not sure I liked it, but as it went on I found to be very unique sounding and gives this strange feel that I liked. To those unfamiliar with this Canadian one man band (well there is a drummer, a session guy I believe), they play darkened black / death metal with Nordic themes and lyrics, as main man, Nordavinden is of Nordic descent. I think the riff I described above is a fairly apt description of the bands sound in general, it is not your usual cookie cutter sounding band, they are doing different things. I would go so far as to say Bloodaxe has a sound of it’s own and is just very different, kind of strange and singular, it will probably be a shock to some fans to listen to that are conditioned to everyone sounding the same. I mean this is dark, evil, heavy, epic and depressive music, so it covers the elements fans of the genre long for, but they take a separate path to get there. I am actually quite stricken by this album, this is not the first time I have encountered Bloodaxe, I know them well, they have not released anything since 2004, it feels like I am hearing them for the first time, I am impressed. The vocals are not your typical vocals either, neither growled in the death metal fashion or hissed like the classic black metal way. They are a combo of spoken word passages and the main vocals are a deep spoken whispered voice with a tinge of bm vox, it seems like some Viking spirit is whispering lore on the winds as they pass through a dense stretch of wood. I first made contact with this band they were based out of the opposite of Canada from where I grew up and lived, but now they are based out of my old stomping grounds (okay so yes that probably only means something to me haha). It is a pleasure to receive such a unique and grim band from my homeland, if you want something that sounds different yet great, a breath of fresh air in the underground scene. Then look no further than Bloodaxe!  - Dale 

http://www.bloodaxe.net/  https://www.facebook.com/TheTrueBloodaxe      




“To Corrupt Your Sons And Lust After Your Daughters” MCD

(Eternal Death Records)


I hit play, a barrage of creeping melodious black death metal burst out of my speakers, courtesy of this Providence, Rhode Island band. I really like the chilling atmosphere the production on this record helps foster and bring out in the music. I can not help it when listening to this to think of classic Dissection, not an easy style to play and pull off but Bog do an admiral job of doing just that on this short player. There is a very cold aura created by some killer obscure shadowy smooth growling / yelled combination that is kind of hard to describe. Those vocals flow across the great brutish yet finessed rhythmic, harmonious riffing with deft stealth. I am intrigued into hearing a full length form this band, because this mini album has gotten my attention. If you are a fan of brutal yet melodious Swedish black death and can not get enough of that classic Dissection style sound then give this one a try.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/bogoftheinfidel   http://www.eternal-death.com/     





“Sons Of Sleaze” CD

(Planet Metal Records)


Damn, this is this some crusty, filthy and mean music made by men who wonderfully have their minds in the sexual gutter and party with that attitude on every note. I think one of the best ways to convey the musical cacophony, I would say Bones sound like you might expect from musicians coming from a Thrash & Death Metal background, that are mixing that in with punk, crust and filthy rock ‘n roll. It is a vicious wall of noise, that pleases me and my old school sensibilities, with a cavalcade of influences springing to mind such as GBH, Venom, Terrorizer, Motorhead, Amebix, Celtic Frost, Plutocracy, Hellbastard, Extreme Noise Terror, early Napalm Death, Melvins etc… etc… All played, like I said, with a death metal aesthetic. It is pretty fantastic I can tell you that. This album is recommended and be sure to pay attention to that drummer, he is a fucking beast!  - Dale

https://myspace.com/bonesofchicago   https://www.facebook.com/planetmetal      





“Boken Om Forbannelsen” CD

(I Hate Records)


The Swedish doomsters, Burning Saviours have not released an album, since back way back in 2007. That is a long time ago, as you might guess; they did break up for a time, but have been back together since late 2010. The band have not released an album since then, yet they have been keeping busy, releasing no less than four 7” eps since then. All of those beautiful little pieces of vinyl are collected here, on this compilation album, which equals that of a full albums run time. I always like to know, the translation of foreign language release titles, I am assuming some of you reading do as well? This compilation album title translates “The Book About The Curse” apparently. The Burning Saviours, play rocking heavy metal doom, in the 70s tradition, a style and time period, which I absolutely adore and worship. Just think to bands like Lucifer’s Friend, Captain Beyond, Pentagram, Black Sabbath, Sir Lord Baltimore, Buffalo etc… The band keeps things very simple, but they have a real feel for writing material that sets a mood, a mental atmospheric landscape, that puts you under hypnosis as you float off, a slave to the music as it commands you to go where it pleases. They are not afraid now and then, though, to pick up the pace and rock a little bit, which only serves to give the melancholy and heavy doom more weight. The vocals have a unique quality to them, they are not your deep classic vocals like Candlemass or something, but more in the 70s hard rock or early ‘80s heavy metal vein mixed together. I like them. In fact, I like this whole album, it is not mind-blowing, but it is just damn good hard rock and heavy metal doom from an extremely classic and revered time period for the music scene. Check this out you seventies heads.  - Dale 

https://soundcloud.com/burningsaviours   http://www.ihate.se/       




“Hellfire & Whiskey” CD

(Salt Of The Earth Records)


Buzzard Canyon come out of the gates in style, with the song “Highway Run”, which embodies what they are all about. Which is a brand of hard rocking stoner music they call Camaro Rock. I have to admit this first song is easily the best song on the album. It is a real anthem type tune, which for me is a classic in the making and gets you hooked early. I suspect that they probably open with this song live too, as I would bet it really gets some heads nodding and some arms unfolded. “Hellfire & Whiskey” is more on the stoner rock side, but there is clearly a classic doom metal influence (Sabbath, Trouble etc…) strongly running through this band, alongside the fuzzy southern blues tinged driving guitars. The main vocals are handled by Amber Leigh, her voice really fits the music well, there is no commercial or angelic vocals here, she has that traditional stoner / doom style with a little attitude and touches of raunch mixed in with some cleaner singing. There are also some male lead vocals on a couple tracks, those are decent as well, but I prefer Amber taking the reigns vocally. I am not going to lie, the rest of the material after the opening track, while good, never comes that close to matching that fucking awesome song. But having said that, there are some good moments to be had and it is a pretty enjoyable listen as a whole.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/BuzzardCanyon/    http://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/        




“Beneath Abyss” CD

(Inverse Records)


Coming out of Greece is Caelestia with their debut album. They are not an easy band to categorize, as they are a melting pot of styles, and genres. Honestly, with this ten song album, it feels like they sat down and said let’s write four death metal songs, three symphonic black metal songs, two goth songs and a thrash metal song. Then once we are done that, let’s put all the songs into a blender, hit the random mix setting and see what the final outcome sounds like. There is no denying it; there are some quality riffs on here, some quality sections, and talented musicians playing it all. But as far as the songs go, as far as the arrangements go, this album seems like a real clusterfuck. I am sure some will call this progressive wonderment, but it really feels like a mishmash, and a band that could not decide what they wanted to be, so they decided to go with it all, either that or possibly it is just beyond their ability to craft something this ambitious. It is sort of like a sports team, which is filled with talented players, but it is not the right mix of players, not enough grit or heart or whatever it is that is missing, and no matter how talented they are they still lose. I should probably mention the vocal set up here, as it is a very prominent element. Much like the music, it is a contrast of styles, as you probably get a 60/40 balance of female operatic (annoying to my ears) sickingly sweet vocals, mixed with good male deep growling and grunted gruff half spoken bits. Again, no doubt these are talented musicians, who can write quality elements to music, but as a whole it is a hodge podge mess of styles that are not mixed very well, and do not fit together very well.  - Dale

https://www.reverbnation.com/caelestiaband   http://www.inverse.fi/         




“Evolution Of Evil” CD

(Mortal Music)


This listen was very interesting, and not what I was expecting, it is more than I was expecting and a pleasant surprise. The entire album, save a song or two is about different serial killers. But the songs are presented in a less conventional style, almost a horror theater feel, to the proceedings. Yet, it is undeniably still a death metal album, but much more than your run of the mill death metal album. It is hard not to think of my all-time fave bands, with this concept, and that would be the legend band Macabre! Who carved out a place in UG metal infamy with their brand of equally creative and theatrical “Murder Metal”. Obviously the connection is strong, with the serial killer theme, running through an album is / was something pioneered by Macabre, as is tailoring each song into a roller coaster ride of mental audio theater with each song reflecting that killers horrors. The biggest difference with Casket Robbery they do not bring a humourous side their creation like Macabre. Having said all of that, this is where the comparisons begin and end, as Casket has a different method and approach to their metal sound and ambient theatrical approach. “Evolution Of Evil” musically evokes a very dark, morbid and foreboding aura, and the songs while keeping a central thread are quite diverse from each other. As I mentioned, I would call the style death metal, but they break the conventions here and seamlessly add dramatic elements with accent voices, instrumental touches, audio serial killer interview samples, and creative song structuring flair. They do this while keeping that brutal death metal edge which holds the entire carnage together down to it’s foundations. They also keep things very catchy and memorable, they invoke the darkness and debauchery of the acts the lyrics speak to, but always keep in mind for the lack of a better term the headbang factor that must make them a very entertaining live band. The main vocals are deep growls, which are very decipherable to the point you will be singing along to certain wonderfully crafted choruses and random lines in your head upon repeated listens. The production reflects the music very well; it is dark and heavy with a gritty edge. I have to be honest; I did not anticipate this album being anywhere near this fucking good going into this review. I do not think I could possibly recommend this enough for fans first and foremost of brutal death metal, who also like bands like Macabre, The Accüsed and even King Diamond this is a must have!  - Dale 

http://casketrobbery.bandcamp.com/    http://www.mortalmusicinc.com      





Contra Rationem” CD

(Listenable Records)


After nearly nine years of dormant silence Holland's Centurian have awoken once again to spread their violent vision and sound. They play unapologetic, uncompromising blackened death metal with heavy, fast chaotic riffs. The drumming is fierce non-stop blast assaults, the vocalist reminds of {early} Glen Benton growls/screams but fit Centurian's brutal style perfectly. Contra Rationem is one of the best blackened death releases I've heard in awhile, it is great to see Centurian back in action. Do yourself a favor and buy this today!  - Patrick 

http://www.centurian333.com/  http://www.listenable.net/      





“Black Mirror Hours” CD

(World Terror Committee Productions)


Black Mirror Hours is an extremely powerful, bombastic and hateful black metal album. Chaos Invocation like to keep things predominantly at a brisk speed and there are some interesting things going on with the guitar patterns and the overall song arrangements. I mean no, this is nothing especially original I realize that, but it is a good mix of old style and modern black metal played about as well as can be done. I have to mention the drummer as well, this guy is fucking relentless, he almost never stops, just plowing through with precision and authority. Their style is a very raw one, but the production on this album is exceedingly clean and clear. Almost too clean and clear, I know here I am complaining about a production being too good haha. That is just my taste though, old school black metal and crystal clear productions do not mix that well for me. It is not too bad when my only real complaint is the production is too well done right? Yeah I would say so… One thing I am realizing pretty quickly is WTC Productions, is they are a label to keep an eye upon, if the three albums they sent me are any indication, they put out nothing but quality bands.  - Dale 

https://myspace.com/chaosinvocation  http://www.w-t-c.org/      






(Grundar Productions)


I am a fan and supporter of the Malaysian UG metal scene. Which is where, Chelation Intoxication comes bursting out of; hitting us with this ep, that clocks in at just under twenty minutes. They play grind, but it is that sort of mid paced to slightly faster sort of brooding, grinding, hypnotically churning style of old school grind I like so much. You know that sort of early Autopsy / Repulsion doomy death mixed with pure old school grindcore (ala Terrorizer, early Napalm Death, Agathocles), only using the extreme speed as an accent. I do not run across that many bands that play this these days, it is usually just blinding speed and adrenaline, I like that style a lot too, but this shit just rules. I listened to this bad boy on loop over and over again. I am sure I will keep listening to it, on repeat for hours, after I finish typing this review. Recommended.  - Dale 

http://www.reverbnation.com/chelationband   http://www.grundar.com/       





Future Decay” CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Italy's Children Of Technology return after four years with their second full-length. They are back, with their brand of cross-over thrashy punk. I would suggest Children of Technology are one of the best in the scene in this style. The guitars are fast punkish type guitar riffs with some heavier and faster thrash parts intertwined in the music. The drummer is really good, with keeping the pace, between the faster drumming beats and more of a mid-pace range. The vocalist does a good job with the screams and even some deeper vocals. This is a band who knows how to play thrash and punk and do both scenes real justice.  - Patrick 

http://childrenoftechnology.bandcamp.com/   http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/       





“Fleshcraft” CD

(Deepsend Records)


Corpus Mortale come at us out of Denmark, the Danish underground metal scene seems can produce some interesting bands and seems to be a little underrated. They have produced in recent times, a lot of good bands like Victimizer, Deus Otiosus, Altar Of Oblivion, Denial Of God (okay so they have been around forever, but still going strong) etc… CM play some chunky, thick death metal with guitars that cut into you repeatedly like a gatling gun on the field of battle. The vocals are deep, vile growls that flow across the music like a spreading sickness. There is some solid guitar work on here and smattering of cool short guitar leads, which adds a little extra dynamic to the proceedings, the drums are relentless. Yes, Fleshcraft is a solid chunk of death metal that might please fans of old bands like Grave, Hypocrisy Swedish style sounds mixed with a healthy dose of somewhat non-descript older Floridian death metal influences. It is not mind blowing really, but it is some really solid death metal that should please the genre die hards that have to have it all.  - Dale 

http://www.reverbnation.com/corpusmortale  http://www.deepsend.com/    





“Dux Mealux” CD EP

(Pavement Music)


Cretus are a new band coming out of the US metal scene and playing a very interesting style of music. They have influences from older rock ‘n roll bands, with some thrash and speed metal influences as well all mixed into the music. The music itself, it is hard to categorize, with both rock and faster metallic guitars, in a few sections. The music is not all fast and speedy rock / metal hybrid, there are portions where music slows way down to a mid paced range, before building back up to a more speedy musical style. The vocals are sung with clean vocal patterns and some screams. If you are into old-school rock, with some metal influences you might enjoy Cretus’ music.  - Patrick 

https://www.facebook.com/deathtoCretus   http://www.pavementmusic.com   





Hells Teeth” CD

(Eldrich Lunar Miasma)


We have some UK black, thrashing punks return with their new release 'Hells Teeth'. This is a band from the old school of metal, picking up right where they left off, but there is more of a punk sound and feel to these songs. The guitars are played in the raw black metal style and fast punkish style. The vocals are done in the old school style of black metal vocals, with some thrashy vocals on a few tracks. I really liked the bands first release, so I was excited to get the chance hear/review this one. If you love the old school metal style, then definitely should pick this one up today.  - Patrick

http://unholycultfinder.bandcamp.com/   http://www.eldritchlunarmiasma.com/      





Henbane” CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Occult death metallers Cultes Des Ghoules are back! Henbane is five tracks of dark mid-paced death metal with some blackened influences. The band is not afraid to unleash their violent side with brutal outbursts of blast beats, raw, primitive guitar riffs. The vocals are harsh death growls & screams. Each song is a lengthy ranging between eight and twelve minutes, not a horrible release but honestly the music does get a little boring, drawn out for this style. If your a fan of Cultes Des Ghoules past releases you will enjoy Henbane or if you enjoy dark, primitive/raw death/black metal you might wanna check this Polish blacked death metal band out.  - Patrick 

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/cultesdesghoules/  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/       





Triumf” CD

(Carnal Records)


Cursed 13 are a Swedish black metal band that features Hel Jarmadr {Domgard} on vocals. This new release Triumf is a collection of the bands material from 1998 through 2013; musically it is very well played dark, uncompromising Swedish black metal. Cursed mixes in some dark, eerie mid-paced guitars and drum patterns with an evil atmosphere within the music. The vocals are a mix of gruff death growls and black metal shrieks and screams within the more rawer blackened metal sections. Not as good as Wan's {label mate} release but still a worth checking out if you enjoy cold, dark nineties Swedish styled black metal.  - Patrick 

https://soundcloud.com/cursed-13-official   https://www.facebook.com/Carnalrecords.sweden   




“Odes To No Hereafter” CD

(Dusktone Records)


I am guessing I am not the only one, who is thrown off by this Swedish one man bands name, but apparently it is an Old English word meaning “death”. That one man goes by the name Astraeus, he handles all instruments and vocals. I can appreciate him not using a fucking drum machine, as he went all out and hired a session musician in the form of Jocke Wallgren, the drummer in Amon Amarth. I guess I would have to label the music on here, as mid 90s melodic and symphonic black death metal. There is a lot going on here, there are slight hints of influence from other exotic genres like middle eastern tidbits, at times it even seems to venture into progressive territory. Despite the keyboards being a little higher in the mix, than I would like, the main thing you will probably notice is how everything is written and performed at high speed, with only occasional brief somewhat slowed down sections. That speed goes through everything from the blitzkrieg drumming, to the hyper speed tremolo picked guitars and even a smattering of guitar solos / fills, also performed at a frenzied pace. As good as this is, and it is good, and well done. I can’t help but think by slowing down a bit more at times, and letting things breathe, leaving room for all the instruments would take the songs to another level. But this is the bands debut and it is a strong debut at that, it is impressive how Astraeus manages to keep things as heavy and dark as he does, when considering the extremely high level of melodicism on display, which fights with and threatens to lighten up those elements. An impressive release, considering it is the bands first and only release, not even a prior demos or an ep, they come out of the gate very strong and I look forward to hearing how Astraeus progresses from here on out.  - Dale 

http://www.cwealm.com/    http://www.dusktone.eu/        




“Grinding Mother Whore” CD

(Grundar Productions)


Yet another grindcore band from Malaysia, I like that scene, but I had no idea that grind was this prolific over there. Damokis are more about speed, than the other Grundar releases I have reviewed, certainly more on the speed tip than the great Chelation Intoxication. But all the same, they do mix in some more mid paced parts, which add more dynamic and definition to their brutalizing speed. I can not help being reminded of an old grind band I love named Groinchurn, when I am listening to the sweetly entitled “Grinding Mother Whore” material. I like how Damokis mix things up, they are not just mindless one note racing, no they have some hooks in there, some thrashy sort of riffing pops up now and then, some breaks and slow downs really helped keep my interest and enjoy level on this album. I have to give the band credit, they are staying true to their grind roots, but changing things up and trying new things here and there, just enough to accent the music and never lose what they love, and we love, about grind in the first place. This is some good shit, pick this one up and Chelation Intoxication too, you will have great double bill that satisfy your grindcore lust for a long time to come!  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/damokis   http://www.grundar.com/       




“Severance” CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)


There is really nothing critical or negative, which I can muster to tell you about this album. Darkest Era play free flowing heavy metal with an epic feel atmospherically speaking. The riffing is catchy, the drums top notch, the song writing and arranging are exceptional. The vocalist fits the music perfectly with his smooth, soaring clean vocals and harmonies. This style of music needs a top shelf vocalist and Darkest Era has that, matched with the amazing music and song writing, they create some magic together. You can look as hard as you like, for a weak link with this band, but you will come away empty handed. I can not recommend this album high enough, to fans of epic heavy metal, with slight prog overtones. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  - Dale

http://darkestera.bandcamp.com/   http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/     





“The Gates Of Hell” CD

(Lavadome Productions)


Now this is kind of interesting, some death metal bands take old school elements into their sound, but Day Of Doom re-create the classic American death metal sound from the late ‘80s / early 90s. I mean this album, sounds like it is was released, in 1990 to 1993 era, minus the more modern production. This is just very straight forward, middle paced brutal death metal. I could see this not being enough for fans of more modern dm, where they are used to a million riffs and time changes and technicality, packed into the album wall to wall. The riffs just chug along, sometimes accompanied with underlying guitar accents, along with plenty of blast beats and bestial growls, to the point of peeling the wallpaper off your walls. Now and again, there are some cool manic guitar fills / leads, which add a little bit of adrenaline and intrigue to the proceedings. You know, the more I listen to this, the more I realize I miss this straight forward, old school death metal sound. I would suggest this to fans of early 90s death metal releases, from bands like Baphomet, Goreaphobia, Incantation, Deceased, Master, Death etc… It is interesting listing some of those bands, because it makes me think of the classic early ‘90s dm festival in Buffalo, NY named the Day Of Death festival, possibly inspiration for the bands name?  - Dale 

https://www.reverbnation.com/dayofdoom   http://www.lavadome.org/       





“Manthe” CD

(ATMF Records)


That band name is a little misleading on what you will find beneath the surface. You know upon first listen of this album, I have to be honest; I was not sure how keen I was on it. But with each successive listen, it is growing on me, steadily moving the needle upwards on my estimation of its positive qualities. I would describe Deadly Carnage, as blackened doom death metal band, with less prominent goth interludes and influences. These guys certainly have talent and craft some introspective, emotive melancholy material, which is nice to get lost within, but this good counterpoint of the heavy doomy element. This more crushing material, I would like to see the band focus on increasing this element, in their sound or at the very least, when have that steam roll started simply not abandoning it so quickly. The vocals are deep, but not too deep, smooth death growls, I liked some of the timing on the vocals and deft interplay between the song structures with that silky smooth growling. During some of the choice heavier, doomier parts, I can not help but reminded to classic early Paradise Lost. I would submit that fans of early works of death doom from pioneers, like the aforementioned Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Katatonia etc… will find this album of interest. So, don’t let that band name fool you, it is not break neck thrash or gory brutal death metal, as you might expect when you read it.  - Dale 

http://www.reverbnation.com/deadlycarnage   http://www.atmf.net/     





Compilation Tape

(Faithcraft Productions)


This is a grand compilation cassette, it looks great and the man who assembled the band obviously has some good taste. For the general genre of this comp. album, it is the old school metal ways & sounds ancient death metal, thrash and heavy metal music worshipped and played by mostly newer / young bands. I would say the bands that stand out the most for me were Atomicdeath, Blood Legion, Sectioned, Hereafter, Varathron and Sickness. But honestly I did not feel like there was a bad or boring song on the entire album. For a complete list of the bands just check out the cover I scanned above. I think with most people you are either a fan of compilation albums or you are not. If you are and you love old style death / thrash / heavy metal and want to hear some excellent new bands who just get it, then this is one you need to own. By the way inside the fold-out cover you get write up on each and every band giving you background which is really cool and handy. If you are in North America and want to check out this tape Paragon Records is promoting it or contact the releasing label directly of course.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/Faithcraftproductions   http://faithcraftmobile.blogspot.com/     





“The Test Of Time” CD

(Do Or Die Records)


Deathcult seeps forth from the mind of Tim Pearson (also the main man behind label mates Relentless), who controls every aspect of the band, from music creation to performing all instruments. Yes, a one man Chicago band and a competent one at that. “The Test Of Time”, is a marriage of ‘80s thrash metal and late ‘80s / early ‘90s black death metal, with the thrashing side of things sitting firmly in the driver’s seat. I hear a lot of little bits of influence in their sound, but not too many really stand as ‘oh that band or this band are big influences’, I guess that is a good thing. The songs, from one track to the next, have a very consistent quality to them. So I do not really have a preferred song and that is likely the way it was meant to be, the quality comes from the sum of it’s parts, likely not as effective split into isolated chunks. The music on here gets my head banging, more like a strong nod as it is not bombastic or super energetic, but it is heavy and slightly hypnotic, chugging along in a driving consistent middle pace. The music itself, is fairly simplistic really, there is nothing wrong with that sometimes music is just flat out better that way. Though I must confess the drumming at times seems a little too one note and predictable, also I am not crazy about the drum sound, but honestly that is my only one minor complaint with this quality album. I definitely have to recommend this album to fans of very old school thrash alongside early 90s black death devotees.  - Dale 

https://www.reverbnation.com/deathcultchicago   http://www.doordierecords.org/      




“Evil Power” CD

(Hells Headbangers)


This is the third release from Norway’s Deathhammer. This album is a great mix of old-school thrash, with hints of death and black metal whispering in and out of the musical whole. Fast and furious, are words that come to mind, when describing the guitars of rage, charging through each song like a bulldozer. The guitarist manages to weave, even within that furious riff attack, some well played solos. The drumming is done in the same vein, with crazed drum patterns, that are both chaotic and extremely high-speed. “Evil Power” is a great release of unrelenting thrash metal I am proud to recommend.  - Patrick

https://www.reverbnation.com/deathhammer   http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/       





“As Death Awakes” CD

(I Hate Records)


These Austrian thrashers used to go under the name Damage, releasing a couple demos in 2008 & 2009, before changing their name and releasing an ep and a mini-LP through I Hate. This brings us up to date with As Death Awakes, the bands debut album. The listener is immediately hit right from the opening seconds with a non-stop, raging thrash assault, true high speed octane destruction! I mean these guys are fucking heavy, they make you headbang, but they hardly let up for a second, you will wreck your neck trying to keep up. A million miles a second riffing, then they slow down briefly from time to time, by slow down I mean like shifting from all-out Blitzkrieg and slowing it down to frenzied carpet bombing speed. These guys must be in great shape to play this shit live. Just think of bands like early Kreator, Sodom, Sadus, Forced Entry and bands like this. The vocalist is almost as manic as the music as he screams / yells his thrashed out voice like some serial killer in the middle of an attack. I am not sure how else to describe this band, but if you love old school thrash metal in the way it is rarely played these days, if you love it faster than fast, look no further than Deathstorm, they are easily near the top of the heap in the thrash metal scene in this modern age.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/damagewebsite  http://www.ihate.se/     





“Supernatural Addiction” CD

(Hells Headbangers)


I reviewed this album for Canadian Assault, the first time was back when it was released in 2000, now some twelve years later it gets it’s re-release through the cult label Hells Headbangers. Actually that brings back a memory, as I got the promo for the original release one day, listen to it, then go to the NJ Metalfest the next day and I end up hanging out with King Fowley himself briefly and letting him know I loved it. This album really featured the death metal kings Deceased feeling and sewing their heavy metal oats, which is where they came from. If you know much about these guys they were just as into heavy metal back in the 80s when this band formed as they were into thrash and death metal. They could have went either way, but chose to form a death metal band, what I am saying is this was no retro jump because it was cool at the time, these guys had lived it for decades. As for the music as I said this is a heavy metal record, not a dm record, though you can kind of tell it is a death band at times playing it. But they do it so well, so fucking smoothly and write such catchy riffs and harmonies, that it blow your hair back. King Fowley’s vocals are great as ever, he is a talented drummer, but he really showcases his vocal talents on this album, sure you have a slight base of his gruff growl, but he conveys such emotive range on here, that I am just hypnotized and haunted by his vocals. The lyrical content on here sort of reflects the bands music choice, they reach back into classic metal for this album and the lyrics similarly reach back into classic horror of it’s early days, you know Poe, Lovecraft and that sort of old school horror story telling. If you made the mistake of missing this the first time around, you have received a second chance in this life to correct your mistake.  - Dale 

http://www.myspace.com/undeadmachines  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/     




“Wither” CD

(Chaos Records)


Sweden’s Decomposed are back with their third cd “Wither”. This is my first encounter with Decomposed, so I can not say, if this is different from their previous releases. This is a very good sounding band; there is not a whole lot of the early Swedish death metal sound in the music, but it is well written and performed. The guitars are played with a little variety, going from a heavy slow pace to a mid paced style in some of the songs, but the guitarist is not afraid to go for faster chaotic sections at times. Whether the guitarist is playing extremely fast, or at a more controlled middle pace, it displays a level of experience and talent. The vocals are heavy death metal growls that really fit this bands music perfectly. This is a great release, filled with heavy mid tempo death metal, with some faster guitars and drum sections mixed into the songs.  - Patrick 

https://soundcloud.com/Decomposed-swe   https://www.facebook.com/chaosrecords       




“Time Isn’t Healing” CD

(Ferrrum Records)


The Ukranian Defiant play what is commonly known these days as power metal. Back in my earlier days, power metal was a bit of different animal, the base of old power metal and heavy metal is still there, but these days power metal is commonly applied to very melodic heavy metal bands which use liberal amounts of keyboards. Within those parameters, Defiant plays this style and they play it well, the talent is there and the song writing is pretty impressive. I enjoy Defiant the most, when they put the synth slightly more in background (I wish they did more of this), letting the guitars gallop and showcase themselves with some good chugging heaviness. They keep the energy high and the flow silky, everything blends together skillfully with some interesting structuring on display, while never forgetting to keep things very melodic. “Time Isn’t Healing” is the bands first attempt, to translate their lyrics, and conversely their vocals into English. They seem to have changed singers in the process, replacing the previous lady who handled the duties, with a new male counterpart. Considering they apparently do not really speak much English, it must have been quite a challenge to make this move to reach more people. Due to that transition, I try to give them a break in this area, the vocalist you can tell has tried very hard to translate this performance in this more universal language. It can be a tad clunky at times, his accent bleeds through pretty strong (this could make it an acquired taste for some), but generally it is very well done and impressive under the circumstances. The only thing is, with this kind of music you kind of need a singer with a lot of range, and variation in his voice, vocalist Stanislav does not posses that sort of range but he does what he can and he has the lower end of register well covered and varies things decently within his limited range. But as I said on the musical side, and the song writing side of things, Defiant is nearing world class within this newer power metal movement. I think fans of newer melodic synth heavy / power metal will really dig this album.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/DefiantBand/    http://www.ferrrum.com/       




“Graveyard Of Eden” CD

(Kaotoxin Records)


This Belgian band, is dripping wet with early to mid ‘90s, American death metal worship. They do what they do well, there are plenty of crushing riffs, and blasting frenetic drums all played at rapid speeds and kept as brutal as possible. I like some of the tasty, panic-stricken guitar fills and accents; they add a nice dynamic and depth to the raging barbarity. The vocals are well done, and are slightly deeper, but very decipherable growls, in the Chuck Schuldiner style. Getting back to my opening point, these boys loved their old North American death metal, and you can pretty clearly hear a melting pot of influences, from bands like Death, Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, old Gorguts, Master, Morbid Angel, Obituary etc… They do it and do it extremely well. This is an album for 90s US death metal fans, who just can not get enough of that sound, when it is done well.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/dehuman   http://www.kaotoxin.com/      




“Hollow Dominion” CD

(Lavadome Productions)


The band has taken their name from a Monstrosity song title, so you might guess they play early to mid ‘90s death metal. The riffing, and song pace, alternates from a plodding, crushing slower mainstay to sped up bursts, but always in a very controlled technical fashion. I can not help, but think of, especially the first handful of Immolation albums strongly, when listening to this, plus mix it with some old Monstrosity and Sinister style stuff. I can also hear small touches, and influence from Morbid Angel, which pop up briefly, attacking then retreating for the next strike. I like the deep growling vocals, though they are not varied at all, and rather monotone, lacking emotion in the delivery. The drummer is a whirling dervish on the kit, turning in a powerful and very precise performance. This is a good death metal album, which I can recommend, but all the same it is nothing overly special, the recommendation is for the diehards that can not get enough old school death metal.  - Dale 

http://www.last.fm/music/Destroying+Divinity   http://www.lavadome.org/       





“Beautiful And Treacherous” CD

(Radioactive Camel Records)


I can just about guarantee you these guys, are a little more adventurous shall we say, than most of the bands readers of this site listen to. Dinner Music For The Gods, are a supremely talented group of musicians, that thankfully, do not just wank their way across an albums worth of material. No there is quite a bit of thought and skill put into the arrangements, which for me, only serves to enhance and showcase their individual and collective talents much better, rather than ripping off into a hundred solos or going in too many directions, just to show off they are talented enough to do that. Did I mention this is an instrumental record? No? Well don’t worry, these guys are skilled and smart, keeping the arrangements interesting enough and the flow moving constantly forward enough. That amazingly, and I do not say this often with instrumental bands, it is more than enough, to make me forget or not care that there are no vocals. The band, stay in the metal spectrum consistently enough, that I think that is the main crowd that will be pleased by this material. But make no mistake, they have a wide range of influences and you will hear little tidbits of everything, from a jazzy bit, to some cool Frank Zappa influenced nuances, to full metal headbang induced by a dexterous riffing attack. Bringing up those influences, probably under sells how much of a metal based record this is, but rest assured it is metal. If I had to throw a label on them, it would probably be prog heavy metal. You should really check out this talented band if that sort of thing floats your boat.  - Dale 

http://www.dinnermusicforthegods.com/   http://www.reverbnation.com/dinnermusicforthegods        





“Soul Rot” CD

(Boris Records)


Atlanta’s Disfigurement, a young band that is hitting the underground scene running. I was pretty quickly taken, by this impressive five song ep, which features a maturity and control in the songwriting that seems beyond this bands two year existence. Despite what the band name may conjure up in some peoples minds, this is not mindless bludgeoning, there is bludgeoning to be had, but there is a lot more nuance and intricacy here than just that. The brutality and growl are sewn together, with some subtle refinement, which serves as superb atmosphere, as well as punctuating the brutality and in turn, giving it more meaning and effect. The drumming is controlled chaos excellence, alternatively providing the backbone and jumping in to stir up the insanity when called for. There are brief flittering moments, but there are times when I hear doom influence in some of the guitar parts, which mix surprisingly well with their highly contrasting main sound. That may be something the band may want to explore further in the future. The vocals are a two pronged affair, with the higher, slightly nasal rough yelled growling and the deep, frightening, menacing growl, which sounds pretty killer in tandem. I don’t know, if I can say much else except this is a great ep / mini-album, that needs your attention. I am looking forward to hearing more Disfigurement!  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/disfigurement   http://www.boris-records.com/   




“When Karma Comes Calling” CD

(Heaven And Hell Records)


When I read the band name, it made me immediately think, oh this is going to be some generic thrash or metalcore. I can happily report, it is absolutely nothing remotely like that whatsoever. Dogbane play, spirited heavy metal, in the late 70s/early 80s NWOBHM tradition, but mix it with a pinch of old school doom metal. The vocals tend to lend themselves, more to the old heavy metal ways, than doom. Which, I am sure will grate on some people’s nerves, but I dig that style of vocals, now granted, there are moments on here where the doom element is stronger, and they do not fit as well, as they do on the old heavy metal mainstay. They know how to rock and write some good riffs, and arrange the songs to create some good emotional atmosphere, at times, before eventually kicking things back up for a good headbang. I could see fans of bands like Manilla Road, Witchfinder General, Cirith Ungol, Angel Witch, Savage, Liege Lord etc… really getting into this band. So, if you are a fan of those bands, just ignore that awful band name and listen to the great music!  - Dale

https://www.reverbnation.com/Dogbane   http://www.heavenandhellrecords.com/blog/      





“Black Heart” CD

(Greyhaze Records)


Doomsday Ceremony is a band from Brazil that play a nice mix of early black metal and traditional heavy metal. The songs are written very well, with a mix of both fast played guitars, and some very well done mid paced sections. The guitarist also plays writes and performs excellent solos in a few of the songs. The drumming has a diverse range in the beats, ranging middle paced to a faster, which cycles back and forth throughout each song. The vocals are a mix of clean vocal patterns, and some well done old school black metal screams, along with some talking sections. If you are a fan of old school black metal, and traditional heavy metal, then be sure to add Doomsday Ceremony to your collection.  - Patrick 

https://www.facebook.com/DoomsdayCeremony/    http://www.cogumelo.com/pt/