ODRAZA

"Esperalem Tkane” CD

(Arachnophobia Records)

 

Godz Ov War Productions strikes again! That wonderful label, who support their scene like no other, have once again sent me a large package of discs, not discs they released, but rather from labels and bands from their country they wish to support and promote. That is what I call the true underground spirit. Alright, on to Odraza, like all the bands in this package, they hail from Poland and play black death metal. This may be the bands debut album, but it is clear upon listening, there is a lot of skill and maturity present, it makes one think they are not newbies at all. This suspicion is quickly confirmed correct upon looking up the two members. They are both from the band Messemord, which has been around a decade or so, plus they have both had stints in or are currently are in a number of other bands. “Esperalem Tkane” is an interesting album, it is not all speed and brute force, no this is a well thought out and crafted album, by two men that possess skill in both their chosen instruments, as well as possessing a talent for arranging music. There is a lot going on here, it is not you’re every day black metal, there is a lot of variation and dynamic, worked expertly within their chosen genre. The envelope is constantly pushed, but their black metal roots are never pulled from the soil, if you get my meaning. The music is very dark and evil sounding, it is brutal as well, yet it is filled with very emotional brooding elements, which add such depth to their musical landscape. Yes, it can send you on an introspective journey, but you will not get too lost in it, because there lays violence and barbarity lurking around each and every corner. This is an impressive album, if you like your black death metal on the slightly adventurous side, but also music that takes care not to forget the dark aggression and barbarism spawned it, then I can strongly recommend that you pick up this great album. Now if you will excuse me, I suddenly have a strange craving, to smoke some cigarette butts off the floor and suck on some lovley old Gilf titties.  - Dale

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2-o2Zfv4b8i_xxHPzktRyw   www.arachnophobia.pl      

 

 

OLD CHAPEL

“Visions From Beyond” CD

(Chaos Records)

 

Russia’s old school death metal band Old Chapel returns to us with their third full length release. The album features nine songs of early to mid nineties death metal with some doom elements mixed in to some of the songs. The guitarist knows how to write and perform heavier mid paced style and sound, but also is adept at a faster paced style in a few of the songs. The drumming is done in the same vein going from thunderously heavy to smoothly mixing together middle paced and faster paced beats. The vocals are totally old school death metal growls that fit well. If you are a fan of the mid ‘90s US death metal scene then you will definitely add this album to your collection.  - Patrick

https://oldchapel.bandcamp.com    http://www.chaos-records.com    

 

 

PESTIFER

"Execration Diatribes” CD

(Lavadome Productions)

 

Pestifer have unleashed their debut album of barbaric and brutal South American death metal with some thrash elements intertwined in the guitar sound. The guitars are played at a high rate of speed with some well written and played patterns. The guitars are mainly played with non-stop riffs, but the guitarist does slow up to a mid paced range in a few songs. The drums are played with fierce and violent drum beats that are mainly blast beats with some slower drums mixed into the music. The vocals are raw screams and some deeper growls here and there. If you are a fan of well played, barbaric death metal with some thrash elements mixed in, then be sure to pick up Pestifer’s debut cd today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/pestiferofficial    http://www.lavadome.org/     

 

 

QUICKSAND DREAM

"Beheading Tyrants” CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)

 

Hailing from Sweden this band has been dormant for 16 years since the release of their debut album “Aelin”. What have the band members of this trio been up to all these years you ask? Well, two of the members carried on with another more prolific band, by the name Mortalicum who have released four albums in the meantime. I seen an interview which said some of the material on here is from many years ago just after the debut album. Anyway, enough background, on to the music which I would probably call epic heavy metal or maybe even dipping into the epic hard rock territory (ala Queensryche “Operation Mindcrime” vibe) with slight doom touches. I would say their sound is a very niche one, even among heavy metal fans, it is focused into the smaller dedicated cult following that worship bands like Cirith Ungol and especially Manilla Road. Which, for some heavy metal fans might be a little too laid-back, chill and introspective for what they normally go for. But for those of you that can get into that this,  it takes you down a reflective emotional path, where you can enjoy just getting lost in the flow and letting the currents gently guide you down this musical journey. I mean there are brief moments of get up and go, such as the opener “Daughters Of Eve”, where the tempo is turned up a little and there is a cool brief energetic solo. But make no mistake, the mainstay pacing and atmosphere is definitely even keel and unhurried, just easy going. I mentioned Queensryche on “Operation Mindcrime” earlier; I would also throw in the moodier sections of Fates Warning “A Pleasant Shade Of Grey”, now I am referring to those records vocally here. The performance of vocalist Goran Jacobson reminds me at times of those records, not that I would put his range as a singer on the level of Geoff Tate or Ray Alder, but those mid-range, spoken/sung parts and feel from those guys. Anyway, probably not getting my point across here very well and rambling, the vocals are good, how about that? Haha. The record itself is good too, nothing mind-blowing by any means, maybe even a bit of an acquired taste too but I enjoyed it.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/quicksanddream    www.cruzdelsurmusic.com  

 

 

ROOT

“Kargeras” CD

(Paragon Records)

 

The Root re-releases continue, it was not long ago I was reviewing a series of re-releases done by I Hate Records. I could be wrong but I think this may be the third time this album has been released since it first saw the dark of night back in 1996. I have immense respect for this band, obviously many labels have the same reverence and worship I do for Root. I became obsessed with this band I think it was some time around 1991/1992 when I managed get my hands on the original vinyl release of their debut Zejeveni album out on Zeras records from a distro. It is close to my most prized vinyl to this day and a masterpiece album of raw, hateful, distinctive black metal. Which brings us forward as the band slowly moved away from that black metal sound and the extremity, bit by bit over the next few albums bringing us up to Kargeras. The bands 4th album sees them further along this path as the band create their first concept album of a land, a time, a people entirely from the mind of mainman and UG scene legend Big Boss. The immense amount of work and pouring over every detail to make this record as perfect as possible is evident, I believe the band worked the longest on this record than on any other. As mentioned this album is no longer black metal, it is like some dark emotional epic heavy metal music. It is truly a poignant and moving album that creates an atmosphere, a mental musical landscape for you mind to wander through. As always is the case with each Root album, the vocals of Big Boss are as important and probably more important than any other instrument or musical element on a Root record. His vocals are so unique and wonderfully charismatic, they always reach into my brain and massage it into ecstasy with a powerful and deft touch. Just simply amazing. I do not know that I could put many more words to this review that would do this record justice. I just do not think Root are even capable of making anything short of a superb album time after time. This is simply a must own as are all Root full lengths. I almost forgot to mention there is an 11 minute bonus track simply entitled ‘Demos’ so there is that treat for the Root die hards!  - Dale

https://myspace.com/rootcze   http://www.themetalunderground.com/  

 

 

SCORCHED

"Echoes Of Dismemberment" CD

(Unspeakable Axe Records)

 

Delaware’s old school death metal band Scorched have released their debut full length cd, featuring ten songs of brutal, heavy old school death metal. The guitars are played with a lot of skill and good patterns, going from a mid paced heavy old guitar style, to a crazed fast speed. The guitarist knows to really write and play, extremely tight material, whether playing exceedingly fast or at a controlled pace, he even is great while playing some well crafted and played solos in a few of the songs. The drums are played with a lot of power and skill, going from a slow to mid paced range to a faster more brutal drum style throughout the songs, to give a nice mix of mid paced and faster music. If you are a fan of mid ‘90s brutal death metal scene, then be sure to check out and buy a copy Scorched’s debut today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/scorchedde/    http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/        

 

 

SENTIENT HORROR

"Ungodly Forms” CD

(Testimony Records)

 

New Jersey’s Sentient Horror have unleashed their debut album, featuring twelve songs of aggressive, well played Swedish inspired death metal. Though Sentient Horror are heavily influenced by the Swedish dm scene, the band can write some original and well played death metal that is not just a clone. The vocals are deep death growls that really fit the bands sound very well. The guitars are played with a level of skill and are impressively performed. The guitars range from an extreme and crazed speed, to a more controlled mid paced level. If you are a fan of the early Swedish death metal sound, played by a band with the ability to write and perform a brand of death metal with their stamp on it. Then be sure to check out this album ASAP.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/sentienthorrorofficial/    http://testimonyrecords.bigcartel.com/        

 

 

SGT. ROCK

"Demo Collection 1987” Compilation Cassette Album

(NoVisible Scars Records)

 

I was pretty excited, to find out this was the first band of the almighty Stevo, from the legendary death metal pioneer band Impetigo. I love everything, with the packaging it looks great, a very nice job done by the label with the cassette and inlay. I can definitely hear some influences here like SOD, Misfits and DRI. First up, is their 1987 demo, which is then followed by two rehearsal sessions from the same year. Honestly, the demo is not that good, the playing is kind of terrible, the songs sound like they just tried to play fast, without actually playing much of anything, just let’s make noise. One thing I liked right from the beginning and throughout is the add ins of army related songs, drum patterns and sing songs etc… That stuff is great, done with a party attitude, adding some great atmosphere in the musical tornado. The rehearsals, for the most part for me sound much better than the demos, they still lack direction at times, but they slow down a little bit actually trying to play songs at times, and rock out on some infectious pit and headbang inducing sections, filled cool merrymaking teenage angst and energy. Those elements are fun and saved this release for me, as something I can sit back listen to and enjoy, as opposed to having it, just for the historic novelty of this being Stevo’s first band. During the rehearsal stuff, there are friends there and they are all just having a party and playing, so yeah just fun. The military theme is well represented, for people who love that stuff, from the bits of army culture and lore I mentioned above, to songs with titles like “Combat Boots”, “Foxhole Blues”, “Rambo”, “Military Time” etc… Also one of my favourites “My Friend Lost His Face” hehe. I could see some getting this for the novelty, as I mentioned, but there is definitely some good times to be had if you look beyond the car crash moments. This is limited to only 150 copies, I believe currently there are a few left, but if those run out, you can get the digital download version for only three bones. So check it out.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/NoVisibleSacrs   http://novisiblescars.bandcamp.com/     

 

 

TYFON’S DOOM

"Yeth Hound" CD

(Gates Of Hell)

 

Gates Of Hell, is a sub-label of Cruz Del Sur Music, and this is a review of the new cd / lp of Tyfon’s Doom. This is a one man band, that one man being Tommi Varsala, who handles everything for this project. The music is in the late 70s rock style, with some mid 80s hard rock influences. It goes from a raw, dirty loose guitar sound, to a more streamlined and structured well played style. The vocals are a blend, which consists of hollering and screams, to a more controlled singing voice in a few of the songs. I would say, if you are a fan of semi-raw and dirty hard rockin’ metal, then you be sure to this album up as soon as possible.  - Patrick

http://tyfonsdoom.bandcamp.com/   http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/       

 

 

ULCER

"Heading Below” CD

(Arachnophobia Records)

 

Ulcer comes out of Poland’s old school death metal scene and hit our ears with their third release to date entitled “Heading Below”. There are nine songs of dark and heavy death metal with hints of Swedish dm influence on the nine songs featured here. The guitars are played with extremely fast and chaotic patterns. The guitarist is not all speed and aggression though, as he does slow down to a slow to a more mid paced, heavier style, in a few of the songs. The drumming is played with some superb patterns, going from a heavy middle paced range, to an all out high-speed assault on the drum kit. The vocals are low death growls intertwined with some gruff spoken type of vocal patterns. If you enjoy old school Swedish death metal like early Entombed, Grave or the first Dismember album then you will definitely want to add Ulcer’s “Heading Below” to your collection now.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/Ulcerdeathmetal    http://arachnophobia.pl/         

 

 

VENEREAL BAPTISM

"Deviant Castigation Liturgy" CD

(Osmose Productions)

 

Originally Venereal Baptism started out as a one man band, but over time there were more members added, to create a great blackened death metal band. They are coming out of the Texas UG metal scene, bringing us their debut album, featuring eight songs of devastating and violent music. The vocals are a mix of gruff screams and heavier death metal growls that really fit this bands style well. The drums are chaotic blasting drum patterns. With “Deviant Castigation”, Venereal Baptism, have unleashed a truly barbaric and vicious black death metal masterpiece.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/venerealbaptism/    http://www.osmoseproductions.com/      

 

 

VIRCOLAC

"The Cursed Travails Of The Demeter” MCD

(Dark Descent Records)

 

Coming out of Ireland’s blackened death metal scene is Vircolac with their newest four song MCD. The music is played mainly in a mid paced style, with some well written and played and played faster arrangements used throughout the songs. The guitars are performed with middle tempo patterns and chords, with a few faster parts. The guitarist does seem more comfortable playing the heavier mid tempo guitars, but does speed to a faster pace in a few of the songs, with some well written and performed guitar solos and patterns. The drums are played with a nice variety and skill, going from mid pace beats to faster drum patterns. The vocals are raw, grim screams with some deeper death growls mixed in. If you are a fan of this band or you enjoy well written and executed blackened death metal then be sure to pick this disc out as soon as possible.  - Patrick

https://vircolac.bandcamp.com/   http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/       

 

 

VULTURES VENGEANCE

"Where The Time Dwelt In” CD EP

(Gates Of Hell Records)

 

This Italian power metal band seems to have been born, out of the ashes of death thrash band Necromancer, with three of the four members having been in that band. Yes, my friends this is 1980s heavy metal incarnate, you will want to take note in particular if you are a die hard of the genre, as this band digs deep into some of the more obscure cult roots from past. I listen to this 27 minute ep, and hear influences from bands like Maltese Falcon, Rage, Oz, and the early works of bands like Liege Lord, Omen, TT Quick, Agent Steel. I would say, maybe even some influence, from the first couple albums of the legends Iron Maiden. The recording honestly sounds like it was recorded 30 years ago and it sounds great to my ears. The music on here overall is on the simple side, but it is very effective, catchy and pretty memorable which is a rarity all by itself these days. They write some good infectious ripping riffs and the there is some really great smoking emotive guitar fills and leads. You can definitely headbang hard to this; these boys really captured that triumphant spiked fist in the air ‘80s power metal feel. The vocalist spews hellfire passion out of vocal chords, superbly matching the bombastic music. He even hits those old school heavy metal ranges, with the high siren vocals every now and then, at one point at the end of a couple crazy screams it sounds like an eagle’s screech! The vocals are killer. I liked that the band made sure to make it clear there is no damn synth on the record haha. This is just a great throwback record that fans of early to late 1980s power metal need to own!  - Dale

https://vulturesvengeance.bandcamp.com/    http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/     

 

 

WARFATHER

"The Grey Eminence” CD

(Greyhaze Records)

 

This is the American Warfather, who are getting ready to release, their second album “The Grey Eminence”. This record features some masterful guitar playing, courtesy of Steve Tucker (ex-Morbid Angel vocalist/bassist), this is my first time hearing Warfather, but the band knows how to write, and perform, some really solid death metal. There are nine songs power, and heavy death metal, similar to the mid to late nineties death scene. The guitars are played with both mid tempo sections, and some faster, chaotic guitar speed patterns. The drums are performed with flawless playing, staying in tone with the guitars, ranging from a middle paced tempo to a heavier semi-fast drum pacing. If you are a fan of Warfathers first album, or if you are just a fan of well performed solid death metal, then be sure to pick this up when it is released.  - Patrick

https://www.reverbnation.com/warfather    http://greyhazerecords.com/