ENCIRCLEMENT

“Vacio Sepulchral” CD EP

(Born For Burning Productions)

 

Encirclement comes out of California's extreme UG scene with ’Vacio Sepulchral’, which is this young bands debut recording. This release features eight tracks totaling twenty minutes of savage and brutal black death metal at it's finest. The guitars are a mix of powerful, heavy mid paced guitars and some faster more chaotic guitar passages. The guitarist does a great job performing both the faster and more controlled patterns with equal intensity and ferocity. The vocals are powerful deep death metal growls and some raw black metal screams that are used in a few of the songs. The drums are performed with extremely fast blasting drum passages that are done with power and skill. This is recommended for fans of barbaric brutal primordial war metal should definitely check out Encirclement today.  - Patrick

https://encirclement666.bandcamp.com/   https://bornforburning.bigcartel.com/     

 

 

ERIC WAGNER

“In The Lonely Light of Mourning” CD & LP

(Cruz Del Sur Music)

 

This is the solo album from the mighty Eric Wagner of the legendary doom band Trouble. It is amazing that this album which was four years in the making had been finished just weeks before Wagner’s untimely death in August 2021 at the age of just 62, due to complications from Covid-19 (apparently as I hear it he was opposed to getting vaccinated and that created tensions with an old Trouble band mate). As it turns out this sort of feels like a tribute to himself and/or a final gift to his many fans out there. It appears Wagner and his former band mate in Trouble Dave Snyder wrote the bulk of this album with various contributions from a cavalcade of guest musicians. Actually it is impressive with so many contributors that this album feels and sounds so cohesive in performance and even sounding stylistically too. This album in sound, atmosphere and execution is classic Trouble all the way, especially when they sort of entered that period where they took their great traditional doom metal style and incorporated a bit a of stoner doom vibe ala “Manic Frustration” and ”Plastic Green Head” albums era. Well okay, not the song “If You Lost It All”. Which is a meandering moody somewhat ballad-y song, but with prominent violin, it is the weakest song on here for me, but still a pretty good song (and the shortest) nonetheless. Eric Wagner is still in fine form with those amazingly elegant, haunting and magnetic pipes combined with his supreme talent of feeling for the best range and manipulation of his vocal timing, resulting in maximum emotive impact is still fully intact. There are some excellent, memorable songs on this record. It does feel like a lost Trouble album, but is it as good as those old classic records? Well, no it is not but it is damn good and would not be out of place quality wise with those great albums. A must for fellow diehard Wagner / Trouble diehards like me.  - Dale

https://cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com/   https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/blog/   

 

 

ETERNAL EVIL

"The Warriors Awakening Brings The Unholy Slaughter” CD, LP & Tape

(Redefining Darkness Records)

 

Holy shit! Eternal Evil bust out of my headphones like a caged beast set free, hopped up on adrenaline rush and driven by extreme hate. You had better hold on to something or strap yourself down when you listen to this album, or it may possess you to tear apart your entire home in a headbaning whirlwind fury. I mean this is some excellent and ferocious black thrash metal, despite the lightning attack everything is steeped in an evil and dark aura that creates an atmosphere that I found spellbinding. I think all fans new and old will like Eternal Evil’s brand of thrash, but there is no denying they worship and produce metal that pays devoted homage to the early releases of bands like Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Slayer, Dark Angel, Razor etc… I hope you are okay with metal that does not give you breathers, does not give you brooding emotion and the like because Eternal Evil never lets up from start to finish, take that to the bank. Despite this there is some excellent musicianship on here on here, even at those blitzing speeds, it is controlled chaos and the riffing and rhythms on here will wreck your neck through violence and finesse. With only one demo and an EP single under there belts, this you band have produced one hell of a debut album that will be sure to please old school fans of the genre that can not get enough quality thrash in their collections.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/eternalevil666/    http://www.redefiningdarkness.com/       

 

 

EVIL DAMN

"Necronomicon” CD, LP & Cassette

(Hells Headbangers Records)

 

Coming out of Peru's old school death metal scene is Evil Damn, who were formed back in 2004 and has released quite a few demo's, ep's and splits over the years. ‘Necronomicon’ is the bands debut full length featuring nine songs of well crafted and performed old school death metal that is both well executed and uncompromising in it's intense delivery. The music is played with skill and intensity; the guitars are done with fast and aggressive patterns. The guitarist does write some memorable guitar sequences with a mix of fast crazed passages and some calmer mid paced patterns. The vocals are a mix of gruff, raw old school death metal growls and some screams are used in a few songs. There are some deeper demonic growls used during a few of the songs. ‘Necronomicon’ is a great debut if you have liked the bands previous releases then be sure to check out this album when it is released you won't be disappointed.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/evildamn    https://hellsheadbangers.bandcamp.com/       

 

 

EXTINGUISHED

“Vomitous Manifestations" Demo Cassette

(Caligari Records)

 

Coming to us out of Finland's old school death metal scene is the new force known as Extinguished that was formed in 2020 by members of Sadokist and Obscure Burial. The debut demo ‘Vomitous Manifestations’ contains four tracks of well delivered and executed heavy traditional death metal. The guitars are played with a great deal skillful writing with a mix of heavy mid paced guitar passages though the guitarist does speed up to a fast pace in a few of the songs. The guitars also feature some really well written and performed guitar solo's all through the songs. The vocals are done with ferocious heavy death metal growls and some gruff old school style growling is mixed into a few songs. This debut demo is a masterpiece of primitive and barbaric death metal that should please all fans of this genre - highly recommended by me.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/CaligariRecords    https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/     

 

 

GALVANIZER

“Prying Sight Of Imperception” CD & LP

(Me Saco Un Ojo Records / Everlasting Spew Records)

 

Just to be clear, when you see two labels it sometimes means they are splitting the release straight up in all ways, other times like this one it is sort of a parent label that does all the distribution and promotion. The third reason is one label is releasing one format and the other another format, which is the case here Everlasting Spew is doing the CD and Me Saco Un Ojo is handling the vinyl version of this Finnish bands sophomore album. Galvanizer generate down ‘n dirty death metal bathed in darkness yet also dripping with filth and grindcore accents. They have a lot of that old Swedish death metal sound in their base, which I know a lot of bands are doing that sunlight sound these, but you know what I don’t fucking care I worship this shit and if it is done well it is right up my alley! As mentioned Galvanizer do mix into that Repulsion (American I know but a huge influence on those early Swede sound), Carnage, Grave, Dismember dm approach with some grimy sounding deathgrind influences as well ala stuff like early Impetigo, Carcass, General Surgery. The resulting wave of suffocating dark gutfuck riffs of sadistic grinding violence is a lethal combination that I found quite satisfying to listen to, and to mentally bathe in it’s audio gore. The vocals via the bassist Vili and guitarist Aleksi are fantastic, despite all being extreme it is a varied arsenal of growls deep and guttural, as well as high and nasal growling with a smattering of various other gurgles, yells and screams mixed in. There are also some succinct classic guitar sequences every now then, which add a touch of class to the overall sickness and depravity of this album. This release has certainly converted this listener into a Galvanizer fan.  - Dale

https://everlastingspew.com/    https://mesacounojo.bandcamp.com/music     

 

 

GATEWAY

“Flesh Reborn" CD EP

(Chaos Records)

 

Coming out of Belgium's death doom scene is Gateway with their newest EP. ‘Flesh Reborn’ contains a intro and three full length songs. ‘Hel’ starts off this release with a two minute intro to ease you into things; it is very well written and performed with some excellent musicianship. The first song is ‘Slumbering Crevasses’ which combines both heavy mid paced passages and some faster more aggressive drum and guitar patterns. This one man band delivers some serious intensity and shows mature writing abiliity. ‘Rack Crawler’ is up next and this song is more on the extremely fast realm side again with showcasing skill and good songwriting. The music does slow to a heavier mid tempo pace throughout the song, but this song is definitely the fastest on the release. ‘Flesh Reborn’ finishes off this release and is the bands slowest and heaviest track. The guitars are done with a mix of slow heavy mid tempoe guitar chords. The drums are in same vein with heavy slow drum patterns, mixed with some mid to faster paced drums used. It is hard to believe this was written by one man (Robin Van Oyen), who did a great job of combing death and doom metal together to create a massive release.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/gatewaydeathdoom    https://chaos-records.bandcamp.com/     

 

 

GOATTHORNSSKULLBONECRUSHER

“Fallen Tyrant” CD

(Plague Demon Records)

 

Goatthornsskullbonecrusher is a two man band rising out of Germany's abundant and strong death metal scene. ‘Fallen Tyrant’ is this duo's newest EP and third release overall as a band. It features four songs of barbaric and chaotic death war metal. Sgt. Jones handles the vocal duties, which are old school death metal growls that are done with a powerful and imposing vocal. There are some black metal screams that are used throughout a few of the songs. Machosias (Birkabein, Bunkerkrieg, Old Pagan, Thodtgehoelz, ex-Beyond Serenity, ex-Pagan Winter…) handles writing the music for the band which is primarily played with intense and extremely fast guitars and drum passages. There is some heavier mid paced guitar and drums used throughout the songs. This is my first encounter with Goatthornsskullbonecrusher, but if you are a fanatic for extremely chaotic death metal with some elements of war metal intertwined into the storm then be sure to pick up a copy of ‘Fallen Tyrant’ today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/Plaguedemonrecords.net    https://plaguedemonrecords.bandcamp.com   

 

 

GORE BRIGADE

“Gore Brigade” CD EP

(Redefining Darkness Records)

 

This is Gore Brigade’s debut release yet it’s members are anything but new to the UG scene. This band from Umeå, Sweden appears to be the brainchild of Ludvig Johansson from the thrash metal band Defiatory, he recruited his Defiatory bandmate Jon Skäre on drums and great dm vocalist Jonny Pettersson (Massacre, Wombbath, Berzerker Legion, Gods Forsaken and many more!) to help bring Gore Brigade to life. The music on here while it pays slight nod toward the old Swedish bands I adore, it also pays more attention to the sound on classic releases like Carcass’ “Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious”, General Surgery, Napalm Death, Benediction, Exhumed, Ghoul and the like. The energy level is ultra high ala the Carcass album I mentioned, just a raging juggernaut of intensity and adrenaline smashing all in it’s path. The vocals are varied with some great deep brutal growling that has a lot of different inflection within those growls with some cool higher pitched nasal screaming accents. As the bio points out the recording on here feels more modern crisp and clean yet still retains that heavy crushing edge. Honestly the on here does feel more like a modern thrash metal album production to me, and I personally love the old dirtier style recordings, but they still pull off this sound and style pretty well despite that. It does sound a bit like you may assume from the background above like a modern thrash band trying their hand at old school death metal – it is so well done and with obvious affinity for it’s inspiration that it does work. Give it a listen you will probably dig it.  - Dale

https://gorebrigade-se.bandcamp.com/    https://shop.redefiningdarkness.com/   

 

 

GRAVE INFESTATION

“Persecution Of The Living” CD & LP

(Invictus Productions)

 

This is my first time listening to this young Canadian band, who presents here their debut album after releasing two demos in recent years. Grave Infestation produce dirty and grimy death metal that harkens back to times of old that I tend to worship and have a lot of nostalgia for. There are sections of songs on this record that I found myself almost involuntarily nodding my head to and even slipping into a headbang, when they give some catchier shit that picks up the pace a little. Some of the influences I hear are Autopsy, Repulsion, early Morbid Angel, Possessed, Pentacle, early Grave, Nihilist and as the bio rightly points out Necrovore and early Carcass also seems pretty spot on. I can not shake early Autopsy as a definite influence for this band, and even some of the vocals remind me to Chris Reifert, in a very good way of course. Yeah, those foul roiling growl vocals fucking rule on here! It is a real varied mix on here pacing wise, there are fast steam rolling flourishes, brutal hypnotic pounding, gloomy doom laden sequences and just eerie haunting slower to moderate segments that feel like an evil occult movie soundtrack or something. It is an extremely interesting mix, the band transitions between seemingly disparate stylistic elements well done and quite seamless way. There are even some cryptic yet brief haunting solos and fills on here that accentuate the music perfectly. This is for fans of the hallowed ancient bands mentioned above, as well as newer fans that just love filthy and oppressive brutal and dark death metal sickness.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/graveinfestation   https://invictusproductions.net/      

 

 

GRIEVE

"Funeral” CD & Tape

(Werewolf Records)

 

The Finnish Grieve are like a meteor ablaze in the ink black northern night sky, hot and bright spitting hellfire leaving their mark and burning out almost as quickly as they appeared. I use that analogy because put out a 12” vinyl EP and a split w/Morketida in 2020, and now in the first month of 2022 they now present us their third and final recording before splitting up. This horde is made up of the demonic duo of Werwolf on Guitars, Vocals & Bass (Gestapo 666, Knife, Orlok, Satanic Warmaster, The True Werwolf, Vargrav, Vritrahn-Werwolf, ex-Incriminated, ex-Horna, ex-White Death plus more) and V-KhaoZ on Drums & Keyboards (Druadan Forest, Olio Tähtien Takana, V-Khaoz, Vargrav, ex-Oath, ex-Azaghal plus more). They play explosive, driving and harsh early to mid ‘90s second wave black metal that produces a freezing cold evil atmosphere. You can definitely hear influences from the classic early albums of Darkthrone, Immortal, Horna, Judas Iscariot, Satyricon, Graveland and the like. It is very well done here though; the music is filled with so much energy, venom and spite. The vocals of Werwolf are biting and ruthless, throat ripping rasps that I could feel the audio daggers stabbing into my ears repeatedly. They may already be gone as a band, but Grieve left a memorable mark in a short period of time. Worshippers like myself who can not get enough of second wave early nineties black metal need a copy ‘Funeral’ in their collection.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/thetruegrieve/    https://www.facebook.com/werewolf.rex        

 

 

HAALBUAER

"“Mortal Ones Scream In Horror” MCD

(Caligari Records)

 

It is a true pleasure for an old underground metal bastard like me, when I find bands with young members who worship old metal and old school death metal in this case! I mean look at these guys they are so young, and one guy has an Infester shirt on, fuck yeah! This trio play primitive filthy death metal in the traditional vein on the early works of bands like Autopsy, Infester, Demilich, Repulsion, Incantation, Rippikoulu, Funebrarum. Some newer comparisons for them may be countrymen like Obliteration or Undergang. I hold all of those bands in high esteem, so it is probably little surprise I like the pounding, trance inducing audio brutality and suffocating atmosphere produced by Haalbuaer so much. Those chunky grinding guitars are so damn barbaric and those hammering drums are wrecking my neck listening to this, it brings back nostalgia for the early days when I put on a classic “Mental Funeral” album when it came out! The vocals of Stian “Masticator” Hjertvik (also editor of the new print fanzine Black Blood) are such great obscured shadowy growls, they add an aura all by itself and remind slightly me to again early Autopsy or maybe early Grave too – excellent. It all combines into a massive horrifying wall of sound that permeates everything with it’s darkness. I see this EP (or mini-album) at most listed in multiple places as an album. I mean call me an old goat, but 21 minutes is at least ten minutes short of the bare minimum of what I would class an album. I just wanted throw that out there so you know what you are getting. But do not let that deter you from getting this killer release!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/haalbuaer    https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/       

 

 

HAUTAKAMMIO

“Pimeyden Kosketus” Digipak CD & LP

(Purity Through Fire)

 

Hautakammio comes from the supremely fertile Finnish black metal scene. This band is a triumvirate made up of guitarist/songwriter Grim666 (Grimirg, Kalmankantaja, Lathspell, Order of The White Hand, Seal of Beleth), lyrics & vocals by Vritrahn (White Death, Infernal Darkness, Vritrahn-Werwolf) and drummer Lima (Amberian Dawn, Azaghal, Lathspell, Wyrd) and as you can see they are very experienced men in the UG scene. The band has been in slumber after releasing two albums in ’13 & ’14 shortly after forming, but now have returned with their long awaited third full-length. Hautakammio have managed to skillfully marry old second wave black metal’s raw darkness and hate with the newer epic sweeping bm style to excellent effect. There are some really affecting rhythms that are serpentine-like as they slice through the cold audio fog, and run in between many sections of put your head down burst forward blazing speed sections. No worries there is no folk-y or progressive shit here, it is raw, forceful and hate filled black metal all the way. The vocals of Vritrahn are very much like his vocals in the band White Death. They are absolutely freezing cold classic black metal rasps that are so powerful and as smooth as a sharp dagger across flesh. If you are into relentless, icy black metal that also has a real depth and scope to it then you should give ‘Pimeyden Kosketus’ a listen immediately, if not sooner.  - Dale

https://hautakammio.bandcamp.com/    https://shop.purity-through-fire.com/     

 

 

HELLFROST AND FIRE

“Fire, Frost And Hell” CD & LP

(Transcending Obscurity Records)

 

This is the new band of vocalist Dave Ingram of the mighty Benediction. Something you may know already about me is that I am a big Benediction fan and I consider Dave Ingram to be one of the very elite vocalists in the history of death metal! So you might say I am coming into this review on a brand new band more than a little biased. Because of Ingram’s vocals it is hard for me at times not to think of Benediction. But besides the fact Hellfrost And Fire also play old school death metal, the music on here is fairly different than his main band. The music here is a little more groove oriented, a little more lively and energetic in the song construction yet still heavy and hard hitting. There are some great, tasty guitar solos on here courtesy of guest musician Scott Fairfax (Memoriam UK, As The World Dies) that add some depth to the proceedings. Then there is the vocals and they are as you might expect absolutely magnificent, such deep growling with good range and dripping with supreme charisma. It is a joy for me to repeatedly listen to a master applying his craft with such skill and conviction. I like the music, not nearly to the level of Benediction, but it is still really solid enough and enjoyable death metal. The vocals alone are worth the price of admission my friend – come for the music and stay for the vox.  - Dale

hellfrostandfire.bandcamp.com/    transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/    https://tometal.com/   

 

 

HORNA

“Kuoleman Kirjo" Digipak CD & Gatefold DLP

(W.T.C. Productions)

 

It is always a pleasure to get my hands on a new release from one of the true legend bands in the black metal scene! This Finnish horde regale us with their 10th full-length album (plus of course demos and countless splits and EPs in their 25+ year history) of musical majesty, which clocks in at over one hour of music. I got into Horna fairly early on in their existence with their second demo “Hiidentori”, and then I did my first of two interviews with the band shortly after their debut album was released in 1998. I am a bit of a bm purist at times and think bands should stick to their roots (or change their name if they want veer off in a completely different direction), and you can point to a band like Horna as a shining example of this. I mean sure they vary their patented second wave bm sound from time to time, from release to release, but they always keep that evil core as their anchor point. "Kuoleman Kirjo" while still the cold hateful black metal they have always been known for, it has a bit more of an epic feeling to it with free flowing melodious riffs that sweep across your mental landscape like a rapidly creeping fog. The main vocals are classic bm rasps with a slight ominous sounding husky undertone to them, vocalist Spellgoth does pull from his arsenal at times to accent that main vocal with a myriad of yells, hollers and the like. There are often some subtle guitar nuances going on here, if you are paying close enough attention that are quite enjoyable for me. Second quick one is while I enjoy the drumming on Horna releases, I rarely focus upon them or truly notice them specifically, but the drums and performance from LRH on here is a strong element on this album. This release is a bit less aggressive than some of their past material; it instead focuses on taking you on an all-encompassing melancholic and crepuscular cerebral journey. The main man, only founding member and chief songwriter & lyricist Shatraug just keeps endlessly marching along, prolifically creating great freezing black metal for Horna (among other bands he is involved with) for going on three decades! He has my utmost respect and admiration, hail Horna!  - Dale

www.facebook.com/HornaOfficial/    https://wtcproductions.bandcamp.com    http://www.w-t-c.org    

 

 

HOWLING

“Altar of Depravity” CD

(Blasphemous Creations Of Hell / Plague Demon Records)

 

Ohio's one man black metal band Howling returns with their debut full-length release. ‘Altar Of Depravity’ contains eight tracks of brutal and hateful black metal at it's  finest. Musically the band mixes both extremely fast black metal and some slower more controlled musicial passages into it’s songwriting. The guitars are played with some memorable patterns and feature skillful writing. The drumming is played with hyperspeed blast beats that are forceful, intense and violent in it’s delivery. The vocals are harsh, demonic black metal screams and stabbing screeches. Their are some gruff growls and screams also mixed in throughout some of the songs. If you are a fan of Howling's previous releases (demos or EP) then do not miss out on this massive debut album.  - Patrick

https://plaguedemonrecords.storenvy.com/    https://bchrecords.storenvy.com/   

 

 

HULDER

"Godslastering Hymns Of A Forlorn Peasantry" CD, LP & Tape

(Iron Bonehead Records)

 

Hudler is a one woman band from Oregon, but that woman who also goes by the same name as the band Hudler (aka Marz Riesterer) is originally from Belgium. She conjures up evil tremolo picked black metal that has that raw metal edge to it, which for me, puts it’s influences in the early ‘90s second wave of black metal. But it is more akin to the other side of the coin from that era, which means it is not the Scandinavian second wave, but rather the bm movement and sounds brought forth in the early works by bands like her countrymen Ancient Rites, as well as Varathron, Master’s Hammer, Kawir, Root, Mortuary Drape, Grand Belial’s Key, Kampfar etc… There are brief passages and an entire song like “Purgations of Bodily Corruptions” where there is more prominent melody mixed in than you would normally except from a band playing this sort of harsh style. I must admit that is my least favourite aspect of the Hudler sound, but it is not overused, so it is not a real problem either. The music as mentioned while raw and caustic, also mixes in a healthy amount of eerie synth as an adjunct whispering in the darkness throughout the album. Hudler’s vocals are most often a coarse yelled growling hiss mix, but is almost always accompanied with a freezing undercurrent of classic black metal rasp. I quite enjoy those vocals. This is a really impressive piece of work to come from one person, and I can see / hear clearly what enticed a great label like Iron Bonehead into wanting to release this enjoyable piece of dark musical art.  - Dale

https://www.hulder-official.com/    https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/        

 

 

IFRINN

"Caledonian Black Magick" MCD & 12" EP

(The Sinister Flame)

 

Ifrinn are apparently from Scotland and for all I know a one man band even, it is one of those deals where we are not allowed to know anything about the band member(s). I am not a fan of this practice, but it is their choice. So this is the bands second EP and second release overall, the first self-titled EP came out five years ago. This extended player at hand consists of three songs and runs about twenty-five minutes. The music on here is hateful and aggressive yet woven throughout that odious emotion is a concurrence of majestic and memorable rhythms and sweeping riffs. It would seem those two things would be like oil and water, but here they melt together very well into one freezing conglomerate of black metal musical ceremony. The vocals themselves are one of the biggest elements of the enmity; as they are coarse rasping yells with a growling undertone that also occasionally reflect the more emotive side of the musical sorcery. I am not sure if we will wait another five years, but you can contemplate that while you enjoy listening hypnotically to ‘Caledonian Black Magick’ repeatedly.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/IfrinnOfficial/    https://sinisterflame.bandcamp.com/       

 

 

IMPALED NAZARENE

“Eight Headed Serpent" CD, LP & MC

(Osmose Productions)

 

The return of Impaled Nazerene! My experience with this legendary UG band goes back to almost to their very beginning. Impaled started out by releasing demo tapes way back in 1991. I had my first encounter with them when in late 1992 I purchased their “Goat Perversion” 7” EP, which believe it or not still resides in my collection all these decades later! That EP is one of my fave EP’s all time, it is so amazing and showed the band turning up their audio sickness, extremity and darkness to whole new levels that would be continued with their debut album the next year on Osmose Productions. Around this time frame I also tape traded for both of their ’91 demo tapes as well and bought their first album straight away. So you can see how much I am invested in this band since the early days. Yes okay, stop reminiscing and move on to more recent times now. ‘Eight Headed Serpent’ is the bands thirteenth full-length album, a new record from Impaled has become more of an event in the more modern history of the band, as this is just their second album in the last ten years. While other veteran bands of the scene have matured or expanded horizons or spread their wings and shit, or even got more progressive and/or sold out for a period of time or for all time. That is not Impaled Nazerene, not even for a minute, they only go one direction and that is fucking intense, dark and diabolical! They still play their patented brand of lightning speed black metal with some of the most severe accents of raunchy punk and dark death metal. It is an audio cacophony / tsunami if you will of violence, and caustic sadism that dismantles, destroys and brutalizes everything in it’s path! You know despite how barbarous their musical blitzkrieg is, it has this memorable and infectious quality to it still. This aspect is furthered through the main man and main force behind I.N., which is Mika Luttinen (aka Slutti666) through his amazing throat ripping and shredding vocals. Those vox manage to convey unforgettable yet lecherous debauched cruel lyrics that tattoo themselves to your brain like a creeping virus. He even still employs (much to my delight) some of those same screeches and bellowing beast growls I fell in love with in 1992 when I bought that seven inch. As an extreme metal devotee going way back, how can you ask for anything more than a band 30 years later that has stayed so true to their roots and still deliver that fatal musical stab to your heart?!! I say you can not ask or expect nothing more from this legend band. I stand in reverence of Impaled Nazerene and worship at their altar of darkness and evil.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/ImpaledNazareneOfficial    https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/      

 

 

INANNA

“Void Of Unending Depths” CD

(Memento Mori Records)

 

Innana is yet another band from the plentiful South American UG metal scene and as with the band Suppression I just reviewed originates specifically Chile. They present to us their third full-length album, and I believe their first release with Memento Mori. The band produces some top shelf death metal that displays superb musicianship and well seasoned songwriting. The lyrical content seems often center around the great writer H.P. Lovecraft and his intricate fascinating lore, which seems to rightly provide a fertile breeding ground for metal lyrical inspiration. It feels like this album has some of just about everything and it all is done with a high skill level and a true penchant for strong, memorable musical composition / construction. I mean do you want breakneck speed brutality, do you want headbang riffs, do you slower moody sections, do you technicality and creative songs, do you want smoking guitar solos?!! If any or all of that is what you crave then in the immortal words of a infamous rock band ‘if you want blood, you got it’ with this album. It will make your ears and your mind bleed! It is no mean feat to include all those stylistic elements and not come across as convoluted, too cluttered or just be a musicians wankfest. Yet Innana has an ability to bring you all of these things without it sounding too busy and impressively everything has good flow to it, which is kind of everything to me, when attempting to combine a seeming dichotomy of elements. I am honestly kind of blown away at how good this album is, this band deserves more attention, so buy a copy and I am confident you will be singing the bands praises just as I am.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/inannametal   http://www.memento-mori.es/      

 

 

ISATAII

“Invoking In Darkness" CD

(Plague Demon Records / Blasphemous Creations Of Hell Records)

 

California's Isataii return with their second full length release, one of two this year alone for this prolific band. The album features nine songs of savage and brutal black metal at it's finest. Wvlfgar handles all the composing and writing the music for the band. For the most part the music is played with extremely fast and raw guitars that are done with a skillful writing ability. There are some slower, mid paced guitar passages intertwined within the songs. The drumming is done with hyperspeed blast beats that are performed with real intensity and some violent patterns. Lord T handles the vocals which are a mix of harsh and evil black metal screams and screeches. There are some gruff screams and growls used in a few of the songs as well. Isataii with “Invoking In Darkness” have unleashed a great full length release that should please all fans of chaotic and brutal black metal.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/Isataii/    plaguedemonrecords.storenvy.com    bchrecords.storenvy.com      

 

 

INTONATE

"Severed Within” CD & LP

(Willowtip Records)

 

Intonate rise up from the province of Quebec, which has a long and storied death metal scene history going back to the early days of the genre. Thusly producing some of it’s classic bands like Gorguts, Cryptopsy and Kataklysm (the tape trading nerd and patriotic side of me wants to throw in bands on that list like Dislocation, Gorelust, Lord Mortis, Necrotic Mutation, Neuraxis, Purulence and more! Haha). Intonate pick up this mantle and in some ways I can hear influences from all three of those heavy hitting bands I mentioned above, yet they put it all together and come away a slightly different sounding death metal style of their own. Intonate also form time to time, like to mix in slower and more atmospheric brooding sections into their usually epic length songs (ranging from 6 to 10 minutes each). It is actually a really nice juxtaposition to their mainstay of speedy brutality and intricate song structuring. There are so many little inventive nuances going on especially with the guitars that it will probably take you a bunch of listens for your ears and your cerebral cortex to drink in and absorb it all. I enjoy how guttural and abrasive the growling vocals are, as for me they add that bit of needed grit to all the polish and refined skill of the rest of the instruments on display. I have not mentioned the drumming yet, but if you are going to pull off a diverse technical death metal record, you need powerful and commanding drum work which Dominic Nucciarone brings all of to his kit. If quality techno death metal that is also deep and varied is your cup of tea, then you should look into getting a copy ‘Severed Within’ in your collection as soon as possible. Also keep a sharp eye on this promising young Canadian band, they are bound to really make a name for themselves going forward.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/intonateofficial    https://intonate.bandcamp.com/       

 

 

KRIEGSZITTERN

“Kriegszittern” CD

(Chaos Records)

 

This bands name is the German word for Shell Shock, for those curious. I should get this out of the way, despite Kriegszittern only having released one full-length, this is a compilation release that contains said debut album “Yellow Cross”, as well as their recent “Stratofortress” EP plus a few unreleased songs recorded live. The sounds this German horde produce are very much old school death metal, somewhat primitive and convey a feeling of subterranean claustrophobic gloom. The music is generally middle paced, but does fluctuate often into slightly speedier realms, as well as down tempos into doom death territory. The whole thing has this aura to it I love; it reminds me to the atmosphere of the demos and early albums of the almighty Grave. I can definitely hear other influences besides Grave in here though, like strong smatterings of Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Morbid Angel and early Autopsy. The vocals here are great roiling growls and sound like what I imagine a disturbed demon would emanate upwards from deep down in the pits leading to hell itself. The production on the EP is so fucking thick and heavy! The guitars will reverberate in your chest! I love that sound, not that the sound on the album is not great in it’s own way, but damn it does hit you when that “Stratofortress” EP kicks in. The live song recordings sound good and fit in more seamlessly with the studio material than I anticipated it would. Yeah man this is my kind of fucking brutal death metal, the sort that has that old school flavour with an atmosphere of suffocating darkness along with a necrotic audio cocktail of purely sinister pernicious intent.  - Dale

https://kriegszittern.bandcamp.com/    https://chaos-records.bandcamp.com/     

 

 

LORD MORTVM

“Diabolical Omen Of Hell” CD, LP & MC

(Helter Skelter Prod / Regain Records)

 

Lord Mortvm is a new one man band from Norway and it is an interesting one. When I say new, I mean really new as this full-length is their debut recording and already a record deal. The music on here is heavy dark doom metal with stoner doom touches that is mixed with black metal and occult influenced metal in general. Yes, I know on paper and in theory mixing those genres together should result in an absolute musical train wreck. It is mildly shocking to me that this not only works, but it works really well. I guess in the right hands, with the right vision, and keeping the core roots of each of those genres seems to be the right modus operandi to create something quality. Some of the guitar on here features some fantastic classic doom licks and appetizing guitar fills that won me over. I would say traditional doom metal is the prominent base layer, but the stoner sound and the black metal atmosphere alongside sinister vocals is all well represented in the songwriting. Lord Mortvm is talented at creating an aura of audio darkness while at same time also expressing strong emotive feelings of oppressive sorrow and bleak gloom that is a hallmark of doom metal. I can definitely picture the listener in a dark room with reddish glow from a far off lamp, smoking a joint, chanting an incantation and welcoming Satan’s embrace. ‘Diabolical Omen Of Hell’ for me was a pretty satisfying mental journey that combines some of my favourite sounds, styles and eccentric dark feelings. I would have to recommend this to those who are possessed by the music of bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, early Mayhem, old Darkthrone, Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, St. Vitus and the like.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/lordmortvm    https://regainrecords.bandcamp.com/album/diabolical  

 

 

LVCIFYRE

“The Broken Seal” CD, Gatefold LP & Tape

(Dark Descent Records / Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

 

The shadowy and dangerous sounding Lvcifyre rise once again like dark fog out of the United Kingdom with their third album. This searing dyad is made up of active UG musicians guitarist/bassist/vocalist T. Kaos (Death like Mass, Sodality, ex-Hödur, ex-Sons of Serpent) and drummer Menthor (Bestia Arcana, Death like Mass, Enthroned, Epping Forest, Nightbringer, Voz de Nenhum). According the bio songwriter and main man Tom Kaos, despite some other releases along the way by the band, this album was seven hard fought years in the creation process and ‘the biggest mountain to climb so far’ in his many years as a musician. It is easy in some aspects to describe the bands sounds and in other aspects not so easy. The nucleus can be described as blackened death metal, but there is such a free flowing, spacious yet incredibly suffocating atmosphere and aura to the music. It is sort of like being covered in a huge wet audio blanket, shutting out all light and invoking a feeling of no escape. There is so much space for that gloomy ambiance to float, and wind its emotive self in between the simmering brutality that will suddenly pound you down. The growling vocals are great, they are so murky sounding as they transform and mutate between traditional deep growl, throaty dark whispering, some short expressive yelling outbursts, along with brooding and roiling growls. There are even obscured into the background sung/spoken word bits that remind me a little of something from the bands Root or Acheron “Rites Of The Black Mass” era. The music would not achieve it’s full effect, if those vocals did not possess the scope and range that they do as opposed to just straight up death growls. I am not saying Lvcifyre sound just like these bands, but all the same if you think you would like the idea of a very atmospheric, morose version of the earlier works of bands like Incantation, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Deicide, and some newer ones like Dead Congregation, Funebrarum then I think you will dig the hell out of this album.  - Dale

https://lvcifyre.bandcamp.com/    https://www.noevdia.com/    http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/     

 

 

MALFORMITY

"Monumental Ruin" CD, LP & MC

(Unspeakable Axe Records)

 

There is some interesting history to this Georgia band, and I am a sucker for band history trivia Haha. So Malformity was first birthed unto the UG scene way back in 1991 and released a couple demos over the next four years, before calling it quits. The two main members of the band from the start are Eric Snodgrass (bass & vocals) and Dan Ratanasit (guitar & vocals). Dan kicked around the scene in a couple bands like Amoebic Dysentery and Neuroblast, while Eric was even more active doing time in the bands Disillusioned, Vomit Froth, Eridian and more. Those two pillars of the band decided to revive Malformity in 2014, some twenty years later, bringing in Craig Vogel on drums and Glenn Sykes on guitars. Glenn’s name will likely ring a bell for some, he is a dual citizen of the USA and Sweden, Glenn has a long active history in the UG (going back to the start of the 1990s) in both countries having been in bands like General Surgery, Regurgitate, Coprophilia, Cardiovascular Sub-Hypothermia and more. Sykes himself in some ways reflects the music of this band, as it is a near faultless marriage of old school Floridian death metal and old school Swedish Sunlight death metal. I am big fan of both of those scenes and time periods, but Sweden during those earlier days of the genre for me is the pinnacle for my death metal worship. So it may be of little surprise that I enjoyed this long, long overdue debut album from Malformity. I am sure some newer dm fans will be expecting uber technicality, adventurous progressive song construction and/or all manner of outside of metal influences, and they will disappointed. Because what you do get much to my pleasure is skillfully written, proficiently executed high quality classic early/mid ‘90s death metal that is brutal and memorable. The dual growling from Eric and Dan are both deep, well done and differ just enough in tone to set each apart and play off each other nicely. As mentioned above the music is a wonderful mixing of old Swedish death metal and Floridian style that will have fans of the roots of genre howling and headbanging for more. That is what it did for me. Well done Gents.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/Malformity    https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/        

 

 

MAULE

“Maule” CD

(Gates of Hell Records)

 

Maule is a new band hailing from the west coast of Canada and after one demo, they now present us their debut full-length album. I have to say one of the first things that struck me was for a new band whose members largely have little to no previous band experience, their level of skill is high and their performance on their instruments shows off a smooth polish usually reserved for veteran musicians. This band writes some extremely lively, catchy heavy metal songs that stick in your head and leave an impression. The singer while he does not hit those crazy siren levels you sometimes see with this old heavy metal style, he has a strong enough range from clean to shouted, to screams with a charismatic sounding voice to really pull off this bands ambitious sound. It is, in my opinion, imperative to properly pull off traditional NWOBHM inspired sound / style that you have to have a really strong vocalist and Maule have found that in guitarist Jakob "Riddle of Steel" Weel. Some of the guitar work on here from the gorgeous fills to the galloping head bobbing riffing to the engrossing way it is all incorporated into the song arrangements. There are many great influences I hear on here, but none more prominent than Iron Maiden. Maybe you would just rather listen to the classic albums of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal than something new. But if you can not get enough of those amazing traditional sounds from the early ‘80s, then I have something here you really need to check out.  - Dale

https://maule.bandcamp.com/    https://www.gatesofhellrecords.com     

 

 

MIRROR

“The Day Bastard Leaders Die” CD & LP

(Cruz Del Sur Music)

 

This is the third album from Mirror, a band with an international line-up. This is of particular note for me at least, as the ranks feature a talented musician on bass guitar named Tasos Danazoglou (vocalist of Satan’s Wrath on Metal Blade Recs., drummer of Friends Of Hell on Rise Above Recs. (Lee Dorian from Napalm Death / Cathedral’s label), as well as an ex-member of Electric Wizard)). Yeah I know I do that a lot, but I love band history shit and background as you know. Okay yes onward to the music of Mirror, who play traditional heavy metal of yesteryear in every way. I could see the vocals of Jimmy Mavrommatis being an acquired taste for some as they are painfully early ‘80s, being very high pitched soaring, even siren-like at times. There are enough bands these days playing that early heavy style, but not a lot of them port over that style of vocal along with it. I like those vocals even though there is some infrequent times where they fall short, but I still end up loving them as they have a certain timelessness for me and Jimmy possesses enough natural charisma for me to dig them. The music is very clean and smooth with strong songwriting that is a bit on the simple side yet still nuanced and catchy. They do speed things up from time to time to a galloping pace, a little more of that would be welcome in all honesty, not mention maybe a little more grit and darkness to their sound. Some of that might be due to the production needing a little in that lower end and bite within the mix. Yet the final two tracks “Sleepy Eyes Of Death”, and “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” might argue against my production theory as both songs happily have more of what I am hoping for, so maybe we see more of that going forward with Mirror? But those are minor complaints; the music is very solid, very enjoyable and even a touch infectious at times to boot. This is definitely worth checking out if you love early ‘80s melodious heavy metal.  - Dale

https://stareatthemirrorandweep.bandcamp.com/   https://cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com/      

 

 

NATTVERD

“Vandring" CD & LP

(Osmose Productions)

 

Norway's Nattverd return with a brand new release continuing the rich traditional Norse black metal style that was they have become known for over the last decade. But on “Vandring” the band seems to incorporate some cryptically epic and atmospheric elements into the music this time around. The musicians still keep the music in the traditional cold and hateful realm, but do add more melody and again epic flowing elements into their songwriting. The vocals are grim black metal screams and screeches that are spat out with a powerful delivery; the vocalist uses some deeper gruff growls and screeches in a few of the songs. The musicians never really slow down too much even when the music goes more to the atmospheric areas of their sound which I like. It seemed a lot of bands in the early 00's dropped the cold black metal style, and went all atmospheric and lame. But that is not the case here. Nattverd have incorporated both styles into their grim music to forge a great release that is recommended to fans of quality black metal.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/nattverdofficial/    https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/     

 

 

NECROM

"Paths Are Left Here...” CD & LP

(Osmose Productions)

 

I normally never touch on anything political with Canadian Assault. But while listening to this bands debut album, who hails from Kharkiv, Ukraine it is hard not to think of their country being invaded by the filthy dictator Putin and his war criminal regime. This should be a happy and proud time for this band and instead for all I know they have weapons in their hands as I write this fighting to defend their homeland and fighting for all democracy around the world. The province of Alberta in Canada I grew up in for the first 23 years of my life has a very large Ukranian population, some of which have traveled to Ukraine to fight alongside. I have included a picture above of the Canadian Brigade badge that are now fighting over there. Okay I got that out of my system I think let’s move on to the bands music. Necrom is a relatively young band having formed in 2018 and only previously released an EP in 2019, they now are able to present their debut album. When I say young band it is a bit misleading, as the members have currently or in the past done time in many bands over the years. That list includes guitarist Knjaz Varggoth who was in the death metal band Suppuration who released a demo tape way back in 1992 (!!), which eventually changed the bands name to the well known Nokturnal Mortem. The music on this record is high energy brutal death metal which forcefully shreds everything in it’s path. It is old school death metal and while I hear various influences from the US and across Europe, possibly the strongest influence sounds to me is drawn from Sweden with the earlier works of bands like Entombed, Dismember and Grave. There is a level of melodicism mixed into the crushing brutality, just enough to make things interesting and keep anything from getting stale. Something else that is quite evident is the presence of well thought out songwriting on here, showcasing a talent for emotive builds and crescendos that pay off in a very satisfying way. I did not yet even really touch much on the killer guitar fills and rapid guitar solos, not to mention the commanding and powerful growling from vocalist Andrii Verovkin but suffice to say they damn good too. Hail Ukraine!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/necromofficial/   https://www.osmoseproductions.com/       

 

 

NECROMANTICAL INVOCATION

"Dogme el Rituel de la Haute Magie” CD & LP

(Helter Skelter / Regain Records)

 

This is a one man band from Greece, and that one man is Echetleos (Caedes Cruenta, Ithaqua, Kawir, Opus Magorum, Walpurgia plus more) who is obviously a well known figure in the UG scene. This is the bands debut release and I believe this was first released as a demo on cassette, and now Helter Skelter & Regain Records have combined to release this on disc and vinyl. The music on here is total old school first wave style black metal, slower to middle paced, very atmospheric music that just bleeds audio darkness in a chilling yet hypnotic and ritualistic fashion. Some influences I hear are Necromantia, Varathron, Mortuary Drape, early Grand Belial’s Key, early Ancient Rites, and even King Diamond (especially on the epic fifteen minute title track) believe it or not. There is absolutely no getting around the Necromantia influence comparison on the ten plus minute song “Necromantical Ritual”, none, I mean this track sounds like a long lost and unreleased Necromantia recording from the early to mid ‘90s. So is that a problem for me? Absolutely not I fucking worship old Necromantia and that style, it is amazing, well done and captures that sound and spirit so completely, it is both frightening and invigorating for me to listen to. Necromantical Invocation most definitely keep the classic Greek bm traditions alive here. Both epic length songs are wrapped around with an intro / outro combination, and both sound quite different from one another, which I suppose could be a positive or negative depending upon your tastes. I really hope we hear more from this one man band in the not too distant future.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/necromanticalinvocation    https://regainrecords.bandcamp.com/       

 

 

NECROPHAGOUS

“In Chaos Ascend” CD & LP

(Transcending Obscurity Records)

 

This new Swedish band is a trio that includes Tommy Carlsson on Vocals & Guitar, Jocke Svensson (Birdflesh & Skogen) on bass and Martin Michaelsson on drums. As well these men have history together from the long running band Entrails; all three were in that band and seem to have all left at the same time, possibly to form Necrophagous for all I know. Something else they all have in common I would say is they are fans of old school American death metal, primarily from the early to mid nineteen nineties period of this magnificent genre. Some band influences surely are Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Immolation, Cannibal Corpse, Broken Hope, Malevolent Creation, Deicide and the like. They keep this traditional sound alive and well here with this record. The music is fucking brutal with those chunky guitars and riffs, which vary from pure pulsating pummel to adroit speed with some tasty little rhythms to add some spice. The drumming is commanding and powerful, keeping that backbone strong with some help from bassist Jocke. Tommy Carlsson nails those old traditional US death metal growling vocals with a demonic cadence nicely, it sounds like he is ripping his throat to shreds in the process. Yes, it is some retro worship, but everyone has their influences they are passionate about and some wear it on their sleeves more often than not. But when this traditional style is done this well and gets me headbanging like ‘In Chaos Ascend’ has managed to do, I am all about it.  - Dale

https://necrophagous.bandcamp.com/    https://transcendingUSmerch.com/    https://tometal.com/   

 

 

NEFARIOUS DUSK

“Nefarious Dusk” CD, LP & MC

(Purity Through Fire)

 

Hrafn is the mastermind behind the great Nefarious Dusk who release their self-titled second album through the well respected label Purity Through Fire. Hrafn is one very busy and productive man in the British UG scene as he is also in the bands Helvellyn, Morte Lune, Skiddaw, Thy Dying Light, Torver, Úlfarr and more past and present! I wasn't fortunate to hear the debut release, but this self-titled release consists of ten tracks of cold hateful black metal intensity. The music is delivered with a mix of extremely fast passages and some slower mid paced patterns that are done with skill and a great writing ability. There is also an epic flowing quality to the music despite being so frosty and bitter at the same time. The vocals are delivered with raw raspy black metal screams and screeches. If you are looking for a release that is uncompromising black metal then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the self-titled release today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/nduk666    https://www.facebook.com/Purity-Through-Fire      

 

 

NEKCRIUM

“Black Metal Hordes” CD

(Plague Demon Records / Blasphemous Creations Of Hell Records)

 

‘Black Metal Hordes’ is the debut release from California's Nekcrium, which is a re-release of their debut (and only) album that was released over a decade ago with an extremely limited release. As you can see above this is a joint release through Plague Demon and Blasphemous Creations Of Hell, both American labels from the high north and the deep south. The band plays a brand of grim and unrelenting black metal similar to the mid 1990's elder gods of the bm scene. Each musician on this album knows how to create and write some good music with their own individual instrument; for the most part the music is played with raw and fast passages. The vocals are raw black metal screams and some deeper gruff screams are also used throughout a few of the songs. If you are a fan of well delivered and performed traditional black metal then be sure to pick up a copy of this forgotten and under appreciated release.  - Patrick

https://plaguedemonrecords.bandcamp.com/    https://bchrecords.storenvy.com/     

 

 

NEKROMANTHEON

“Visions Of Trismegistos" CD, LP & Cassette

(Hells Headbangers / Indie Records)

 

After a nine year slumber Norway's old school thrash maniacs Nekromantheon return with a brand new release. Some of the members have been active in the meantime as members of great bands like Obliteration, Black Viper, Flight and Audiopain. ‘Visions Of Trismegistos’ is the bands third full-length release in the last eleven years and features eight songs of intense and ferocious thrash metal mayhem. The guitars are played with skill and extremely aggressive guitar patterns and riffs. For the most part the guitars are played with insane and chaotic speed passages, but the guitarist does write some slower memorable passages even adding in some well written solo's. The vocals are traditional thrash metal screams that are delivered with tremendous power and intensity. If you are looking for a band that brings it with relentless old school  thrash metal then look no further then Nekromantheon.  - Patrick

https://nekromantheon.bandcamp    https://indierecordings.no/    http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/      

 

 

NOCTAMBULIST

"The Barren Form" CD, LP & MC

(Willowtip Records)

 

Creeping on up from the densely forested pits of Denver, Colorado is Noctambulist with their sophomore album and first on the excellent Willowtip Records. The individual members have been kicking around the Colorado scene for quite some time, doing time currently or previously in bands like Nicaraguan Death Squad, Cordyceps, Despise The Sun, Burn The Fleet, Twatrot, Expurgate and more. They play blackened and brutal semi-technical death metal with a high degree of polished musicianship. Their style is interesting despite them always keep things dark and very brutal, there are also numerous sequences smoothly mixed in that are very depressive, moody and brooding. Which when combined tends to create an intriguing, discordant emotive misery blend that is quite striking and appealing to me. The vocals of Sean McConnell are excellent deep growls that expand and contract expressing a lot of anger and rage, but also manage to mimic the depths of despair you can feel from the music. It is this strange alluring yet also disturbing mix of fury and despondency. It took me a few listens before this album went from a dark death metal album to something deeper than that as the top layers peeled back for me. I have not heard their debut album, but this second offering is something to behold if you are brave enough to really embrace it’s joy draining grasp.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/noctambulist303    https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/       

 

 

NUNSLAUGHTER

“Red Is The Color Of Ripping Death” CD, LP & Tape

(Hells Headbangers Records)

 

Unholy shit Nunslaughter return with their first full-length album in ages! I am so, so damn stoked for this thing. I am tempted to write an entire essay on how great the sadly departed drummer Jim Sadist is, who I was lucky enough to get to know a bit personally and even hang out with, but I will try to refrain. I will instead quote the bio who sum things up well in a briefer manner than I could “…at long last, the band's first album in seven years. Many are still mourning the loss of legendary drummer Jim Sadist (RIP), and while Red is the Color of Ripping Death is their first full-length without him playing on it, some of the 14 songs contained herein are unfinished / unrealized music that Jim and founding frontman Don of the Dead wrote years ago”. So, the patented black blood sadistic death metal the band is revered for is alive and well, surging and roiling along in classic fashion and this particular devotee of the band is exceptionally jubilant about it all. It also conjures up so many good memories connected to this band and it’s music. Don’s pipes are in fine form as his wonderfully gurgling and acidic growls, screams and howls creep into my ears and into my body into through violent headbanging gyrations. New or at least recently (you know you are an old goat when call 5 years new Haha) drafted drummer Wrath has a tighter, more technically precise style that is forceful and powerful. It definitely contrasts to an extent with Jim Sadists drumming that had more of, for lack of a better term organic and natural feeling, where the spirit of the music seemed flow through his sticks. While I do prefer Jim’s style a little more, the drumming here still kicks some ass and conveys the diabolic character of the music more than well enough. While there is little doubt in my mind during his 20 years in the band that Jim Sadist put his stamp heavily on Nunslaughter and indelibly changed and improved the music of the band, it is equally true that the true essence and heart of the band is Don of The Dead, who was there from the formation of this band nearly 35 (!!!) years ago. No matter whom Don recruits to join his blasphemic musical horde, it will always be Nunslaughter and it will always be truly great, uncompromising and evil metal of death, devil metal to the fucking core!  - Dale

nunslaughter.bandcamp.com/    facebook.com/NUNSLAUGHTER/    shop-hellsheadbangers.com/