EMPIRE OF THE SCOURGED

“Transcend Into Oblivion” 2013 Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

I have to give, this young Dutch band credit, they do a fine job with all of their promo materials and this release is a professional looking / sounding release, across the board. The band, in their promo material fancies themselves, as quite original and avant-garde sounding and uncommon within, what they call a close-minded death metal genre. What Empire play, is death metal with mostly mild and not so mild industrial sounding elements, plus some underlying synth. The vocals, unlike the music are less adventurous, mainly a mix of indecipherable (which is not a bad thing, I often prefer that) mix of belching growls and more nasal higher pitched growling, there is some brief cleaner obscure sounding whispered bits, now and then. They are, a pretty quality band and the material overall, is decent. But no matter how many times, I think for the most part, they fall a little short, with regards to being innovative and original, like they are selling their music to be, in all of their promotional material. Despite their attempts to throw all of these elements together, the individual songs kind of tend to blend together a little bit and become a bit repetitive. I know, that sounds like I don’t like it, or it is not good. But that is not true either, this is some good stuff, not great, but good and a nice ambitious start for this young band. I look forward to seeing, how this young talented band progresses, it is solid outing that should get some recognition as they continue to hone their craft.  - Dale

https://soundcloud.com/empireofthescourged   http://www.empireofthescourged.com/   

 

 

ENCABULOS

“Dark Divinity” Demo 1998

(Self Released)

 

Five hymns on here (“Shrine Of Souls”, “Dormant Impurities”, “Eden Burns”, “Reign Of Ill-Supremacy” and the title track). Brutal death metal steeped with early ‘90s Floridian influence. I like this tape quite a lot and the drumming in particular is of note. With a little more work this band will be an unstoppable force for years to come. Send $4 US to:

Encabulos, P.O. Box 1648, Geelong City 3220, AUSTRALIA

 

 

ENTER MY SILENCE

“Sophia’s Eye” Demo 1999

(Magenta Nails Distribution)

 

Very much in the Swedish melodic, death style with maybe a bit more, vicious edge. Mostly mid-paced with some fast breaks and short brooding moments. E.M.S. are talented and professional so if the scene is not tired of another melodic death band then you should send $7 US to:

Magenta Nails Distro., c/o Teemu Lampinen, Lehdokkipolku 6, 42100 Jamsa, FINLAND

 

   

ENORMICON

Storm Of Swords” 2011 Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This is the debut e.p from the Texas based Enormicon I guess the best way to describe this band would be is a mix of stoner rock, traditional doom, and older prog music. It's not really my styles of music so this review is going to suck as I don't too much about these particular genres. So I will say if you are a Sabbath or High On Fire fan or just old-school doom in general then you might enjoy Enormicon.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/enormiconmetal  

 

  

 

ENTRENCHED

“Preemptive Strike” 2011 Full Length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

New Jersey's Entrenched have launched their debut cd “Preemptive Strike” up on the underground. But listening to the cd it is hard to believe this is a debut. The band play a mix of brutal old school death metal with a huge influence of violent war/thrash metal intertwined within the violent speeding guitars and machine gun like drum patterns. The vocals are shared by the duo and fit perfectly with a more deeper, angry growl, grunt and intense shrieks of hate. While the band takes no prisoners and refuses to compromise its sound. Entrenched have a lot of good musical ideas and even some catchy memorable guitar patterns throughout. If you enjoy straight forward death/thrash with a touch of war metal insanity then entrenched is a band you must hear!  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/entrenchedusa     

 

 

FEAST ETERNAL

“Prisons Eternal” 1999 CD

(Self-Released)

 

Eight tracks and 40 + minutes of christian death metal. I get a bit ill trying to stomach their lyrics but they are not as preachy as most xtian bands. In fact 99% of all christian bands hold their propaganda in much higher priority then the music! Feast Eternal is an exception to that. They play heavy and at times crushing traditional American death metal. No grinding, just straight ahead death with caustic growls. Send $12 US / $14 World (payable to Matt Skrzypczak) at:

F.E., P.O. Box 88, Grawn, MI. 49637, USA  

 

 

FORNICUS

“Storming Heaven” 2014 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Coming out of the U.S. black metal scene is Kentucky’s Fornicus. The music is a blend of vicious, evil black metal, with some death metal influence, thrown in for good measure. The guitars are played with a lot of speed and the riffs are aggressive, but also have some really well played patterns within the music. The vocals, are a mix of black metal shrieks, mixed with some death metal growls. I would say Fornicus, has done, a very good job of creating an excellent blackened death metal hybrid album. Check this one out.  - Partick

http://www.fornicus.com/   http://fornicus.bandcamp.com/      

 

 

FROSTHELM

"The Northwinds Rend Flesh” 2012 Demo MCD

(Self Released)

Frosthelm are one of the newer bands that I've heard in recent years that can mix the intensity of early eighties thrash/speed metal and early nineties black metal to create a truly violent, intense sound. The musicians in Frosthelm know how to play their instruments and mix it nicely into their metal roots, guitars playing hyperspeed riffs that are semi-raw for a black metal feel but have a very thrashy/speed metal sound and feel. There are some real whirlwind riffs and solo's. There are even a few melodic guitar patterns but they are few and far between and only for short times in the songs to give the songs a little more originality without loosing their blackened thrashing sound. Not a whole lot can be said except that if you enjoy blackened thrash metal then be sure to pick up Frosthelm's debut mcd as this is definitely some quality metal music played with both passion and precision.  - Patrick
http://www.reverbnation.com/frosthelm  https://www.facebook.com/frosthelm

 

 

GLAUKOM SYNOD

“Covered In Semen And Slime” 2014 Demo CDR EP

(Visceral Circuitry Records)

 

This was sent to me, in a package of promos from Nihilistic Holocaust Records, yet as near as I can tell they have nothing to do with this release, maybe a favour for a friend’s label? As you can see from above, this is mostly covers, but they honestly do not sound anything like the original songs. This is labeled as electronic extreme metal industrial darkwave or some such title. It is all done completely with a computer program, so right off the bat, the talent involved in doing so is pretty minimal, plus when you base nearly the whole release on covers, obviously there is also minimal imagination and song writing prowess involved. Maybe this release is just not for me, but I find this very simplistic, not catchy or interesting, not very imaginative, just a bunch of sound samples thrown in a pot, shake it up and see what the result is. Obviously that is an exaggeration, as there was some thought put into this, but how much really, and even what is here has very little flow or feeling to it. A lot of it, just sounds like someone played around with some computer software, for a couple days, recorded it and released it. Maybe if you are a big fan of this style, then you will like this, but I find entirely throw away, not even a novelty for extreme death metal fans, as the cover versions are nearly unrecognizable to the originals at times, and as I said, it is not very well done, in my opinion.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/glaukomsynod   http://visceralcircuitry.bigcartel.com/  

 

 

GUILTY AS SIN

“Led To The Slaughter” Demo CD 2009

(Self Released)

 

I have not heard anything by these guys before. This is their second release, it is basically a full length, eight song album from these speed metal / thrashers. I am never sure whether to list these self released things as a demo or album. I lean towards demo though, if the band is putting it out. This is not something you see bands doing every day as this record has no vocals on it whatsoever. Which I suppose puts even more onus on the musicians to come up with something extra special, when you have a missing important element such as vocals. So do they manage to achieve this feat? Well the answer is both yes and no. I would say probably more than half the material is good, but leans on the simplistic side of things. Which is to say despite missing that element, often times there is not a lot going on, just straightforward riffing runs that lack many changes or dynamics that grab you and do not let your interest wander. A band can go too far the other way and get too complicated with too many riffs and that is not what I mean here. It is just that things are little too sparse, if you know what I mean? I did however; say both yes and no, as there is a couple of the eight songs presented such as “Reptile Agenda” and especially “Eagle Over Mountain” where they get it right. They turn up the tempo a little and keep the flow strong with a little more going on structure wise, which really kept my interest and I rocked out pretty hard to those two tracks. Another track with some added depth is “Dead Men Tell No Tale” where GAS mix in some melancholic, slowed down atmospheric breaks, which fleshes their sound out a little. I would like to see Guilty As Sin head more in this direction in the future. We also have to keep in mind, that they are a young band, having only formed in 2008 and already presenting us an Ep and this release in under 2 years time. They have time and room to grow and I think they will. I will be keeping a close eye on them. I cannot end this review though without mentioning the epic 9 minute closing track. As this song really, does not fit with the rest of the material on here. It is entitled “International Selection” and is basically middle eastern music and the instruments used in this song are not listed in the layout (and no bio included), but I think I may hear bongo type drums, flute, maybe a sitar or something like that. All of which should tell you what kind of music you can expect on this track. I kept expecting a belly dancer, clapping together her finger cymbals and shaking her tambourine, to sashay through the room as I listened. The song is well done and good for what it is, but to me, clearly does not belong on this release. Maybe it is just personal taste on that one? Led To The Slaughter is worth checking out and definitely worth at least keeping an eye on these guys future releases. – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/guiltymusic2008    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/guiltyassin 

 

 

GUILTY AS SIN

“III” 2010 Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

I promised to keep an eye on Guilty As Sin, and here once again they return to Canadian Assault with a new release. I see on their myspace page that they label themselves as Biker / Viking Metal. All I can say to that is thankfully they are much better musicians than catch phrase / tag line creators. Nothing on here screams viking or biker in the least. Musically GAS really are starting to hit their stride. There is a great mix of heavy, memorable riffs you can headbang with and build up a touch of adrenaline. Then there are long stretches where they are more introspective and use their riffing and song structure to create some wonderful atmospheric brooding. I am really impressed with the fluidity on III and these guys know when they have something good and milk it for all it is worth. This band is coming a long way and fast, the guitar work on here is nothing short of amazing in its ability to evoke emotion in the listener. I know that is selling the drumming short a little bit here and I do not mean to do that. The drummer Zak Ovaian turns in a subtle yet crafty performance. But the guitars steal the show here. It is really hard to pin this band down however. There are elements of everything from classic hard rock to heavy metal to thrash and onward through death metal. I know that sounds like it would be a train wreck, yet nothing could be further from the truth, and it is all combined with a dexterous touch and rich imagination. They manage to be very consistent throughout. You even get a spacey feel that is loosely akin to an Orchid / Solitude Sabbath vibe and it really works for this album. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Guilty As Sin is they have no singer and they make you both forget and not give a shit about the lack of vocals. I am not sure I can give them a bigger compliment than that. Consider me impressed. With the one exception of the track Blood Groove which should have stayed on the cutting room floor – at least it is at the end of the album.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/guiltymusic2008  ovoianrocks@yahoo.com     

 

 

 

GUILTY AS SIN

““Future History” 2013 Full-length CD

(Self Released)

 

The fascinatingly cool and enigmatic, Guilty As Sin, once again grace the pages of Canadian Assault. Guilty As Sin, has always been a bitch to nail down with a style to classify them. They are simply all over the place and it is quite amazing their albums manage retain a coherent lucid flow to them. I mean you can hear damn near everything out of these guys, from Scifi / space rock to thrash and hardcore metal, to death metal to punk, jazz bits, to pure atmospheric wandering ambient music! Hell every now and then they throw in belly dancing music, I shit you not. Also I should convey, a lot of the time they do not do all of these styles in the confines of one song, rather there can be a hardcore song, an ambient song follows that, a thrash song and then a middle eastern belly dance song. They keep you guessing and you just do not know what is around the next corner as one song ends and the other begins. Future History is no exception you get some ripping, heavy headbang tunes, you get some really epic; at times almost awe inspiring guitar ambient songs that will set your mind off wandering into the cosmos. Then abruptly you jolted with some blast beating grind death metal madness to slap you back awake. The vocals, which is another thing whole sections of GAS albums have none, but when they are there with this album on the more aggressive metal tracks. I hear a real Master influence in those vox, they sound like they could have almost come right off of the “On The Seventh Day God Created…Master” album, love those vocals. No matter what you get with this band, it usually has a sense of purpose, and vision, generally all pulled off with an uncanny sense of emotive feel and care. I am not sure these guys are for everyone, but they are for me, I think they are pretty fantastic and you should at least give them a try. You might just be surprised.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/guiltymusic2008  ovoianrocks@yahoo.com 

 

 

GOLDEN PYRE

“Apocryphal” Demo 1998

(Self-Released)

 

I love it when a demo just jumps up and kicks you in the teeth! First off this is the best demo soundwise I have heard in a long time courtesy of these Portuguese metallers. Quality black/death metal with distinctively fresh and memorable emotive riffs. The structuring and musical ‘feel’ is quite impressive. Shouldn’t take these guya too long to secure a record contract. If you want to make your ears bleed get this totally pro packaged demo for $6 US to:

Golden Pyre, c/o Ricardo Veiga, Rua Frei Custodio 259, 4905 Barroselas, PORTUGAL Email = goldenpyre@hotmail.com

 

 

GUTCHUGGER

“One Day War” Demo 1999

(Sun Serpent Records)

 

This 3 track cassette is just a taste of what is to be offered by Gutchugger on their upcoming full-length LP “Amputee”. Two of three songs are originals and one is a cover of Slayer classic “Anitchrist”. The cover is true to the original so of course it rules! The 2 originals didn’t blow me, away or anything as they were just run-of-the-mill death metal with a touch of the ever-so-popular groove thrown in. Not total shite in my book and I am sure that fans of groove oriented metal will pick up on this.  – Jeffrey Kusbel

 

 

H-GEORGE

"Slave Of Society” 2010 CD

(Self-Released)

 

We see the return of H-George to the pages of Canadian Assault. The mainman H-George himself is not messing around. He has recruited infamous Canadian thrasher Jeff Waters of Annihilator to mix and master this record and it sounds great. It must have been a great honour to have him mix the album, as listening to the music it is quite clear that Annihilator are a huge influence on the band. There are “Alcoholic Thrash Metal” 13 songs of on offer here, and they weigh in just under 48 minutes of chugging metal. The band still propel a hundred catchy, heavy riffs that tumble at you one after the other and are well supported with some smoking guitar fills / leads. The musicianship on here is top notch, quite tight and precise; these boys clearly know what they are doing. The band knows how to craft some interesting and catchy songs. Even though at times I find things to be almost too tightly controlled and the emotional side of the music can be a little stifled now and then. I just want them to loosen up a little and let it all hang out. That is the only thing that is missing for me as Slave Of Society is a superbly crafted, well played and entertaining record. The vocals sound even better than their first release, more range and feeling and a smoother delivery. In fact, the vocals are a highlight of the album and fit the music wonderfully. I get the feeling that these guys would really kill in a more raw and stripped down live show environment. I can recommend this record quite highly for disciples of late 80s thrash metal. The band spared no expense with the booklet and disc presentation here.  – Dale
http://www.myspace.com/hgeorgemetalbeer  http://www.h-george.com/ 

 

 

HAIDUK

“Spellbook” 2012 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Well normally I am pretty stoked to get any releases from bands that hail from my homeland of Canada. But a much rarer occurrence, would be to get something from a band that hailed directly (and roughly at same time) from the stomping grounds where I grew up and spent the first 24 years of my life. Which is the case with Haiduk, also a one man dark death metal band, delivering to us his debut full-length after demo released previous. Being that this is a one man band from Alberta, immediately the almighty Darkness Eternal, a one man band from the same area, whose album I helped release through Autopsy Kitchen Records, comes to mind. Spellbook is a very riff driven album and in this category it is excellent, some really good memorable  headbang riffs that propel this album ahead with force. Some of the other areas do not hold up the quite same level of quality, the drums are programmed, at times they are really well done and you can not tell and other times well they sound a tad weak and suffer from the dreaded programmed drum syndrome. You know kinda thin, a bit clunky and repetitive in execution, but I have heard much worse with programmed drums too. The vocals are good, a tad sparse at times but well done nonetheless. You get some really evil sounding death metal on here that is really good, driving material, could have a touch more flow at times but still this young one man band is something you should keep an eye on, the one man in question Luka Milojica is advancing quickly with a solid skill level and a fine musical mind. This release is well worth checking out.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/haidukmetal  http://www.haiduk.ca/

 

   

 

HAMMER FIGHT

“Self Titled” 2012 Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

This is interesting and different. I remember another band some years back with the same name and I wondered if this was them, but apparently not, it is a new entity. Hammer Fight play raunchy, really heavy hard rock / metal with balls and I can hear some punk / hardcore influence and maybe a little Motorhead in there somewhere, but they are heavier than that. Another band that just popped into my mind as possibly being a real influence and a starting point for the reader to gauge their sound and that band is Antiseen (whom I like). I could see these guys appealing to both death metal fans with the brutality edge and to the hardcore fans that like some metal in their music. This disc definitely caught my attention and I will be interested to see where this band goes from here. These bar brawling, vodka drenched, tattoo’d motherfuckers even finish off this ep with an AC/DC cover of “If You Want Blood (You Got It)” for fucksakes. I need not saying anything more.  – Dale

https://www.facebook.com/HammerFight  

 

 

HAMMERDRONE

“A Demon Rising" 2012 Demo CD

(Self Released)

Nice to have a band, from the area where I was born and grew up in, in Canada send in a promo. This release is the bands first outing, though I can see a couple of the members are fairly experienced in other bands, one member, apparently is a transplant from overseas was in bands for years over in the UK. Hammerdrone play hypnotic, melodic death metal that really does a solid job of still maintaining that brutal metal edge throughout as the underlying backbone. That is what helps put it over the top for me. There is something there for the brutal death fan, something for the melododeath file and it has, to use the term again, a hypnotic flow to the music that some doom fans might grab on to. In some ways it reminds me to Edge of Sanity from their classic period, ala Purgatory Afterglow / Crimson. I am not trying to say Hammerdrone are at that level yet, but those EOS albums are some of my all time faves of any genre, so… It goes without saying if I make that comparison these guys know a thing or two about harmonies, song writing and there is some really nice emotive guitar work on here. The vocals from Graham Harris are a nice compliment to the music, they are very thick, brutish growls but much like the music, there is some so emotional range present and they play off the music, rather than just vomited over top, whether they fit or step on the toes of the music itself as a lot of bands are prone to do. I am impressed here, there are a couple of experienced members in this group, but all the same A Demon Rising showcases a band that has room to grow yes, but also a band that shows a lot of maturity, vision and talent. I eagerly await more from Hammerdrone and boys you are doing Albertan scene proud. This four song disc is well worth your time / money.  - Dale 

http://www.hammerdrone.com/  http://www.reverbnation.com/hammerdrone   

 

 

HOD

“You Cry and Piss Yourself” Demo CD 2007

(Self Released)

 

HOD unfolds before us an aural landscape of dark and raw death metal with mordant vocals which fluctuate from a raspy black metal style to an obscure traditional death metal growl (the lyrics can be understood). The music itself has a foot in death metal but also a foot firmly planted in old school metal in general (speed metal & thrash feel). It is no surprise as these sickos are from the old school days and features members formerly of bands such as Necrovore, Thornspawn, Exulcerate, Shit, Pillcrusher etc... There are 3 night terrors on here by the names of “Nine Days”, “Demoralizer” and “God of Darkness and Winter”. A lot of the material is mid paced and slower stuff on here with some solid musicality and the odd short but great guitar fill / solo. It reminds me of a lot of old school stuff because it is coherent with room to breathe in the pacing and song construction. Not to mention it is dark yet decipherable, evil yet you can head bang to it. This is a solid demo and with a little more seasoning to the material I look forward to see where this band is going to take their brand of horror to next. Addition – Just an added note since writing this review a little birdie told me they have signed to Ibex Moon Records and are recording their debut album in Isotopia studios starting in the late Summer 2008. I will be looking forward to that one. – Dale

www.myspace.com/Hodtheband   Thornspawn@satx.rr.com 

 

 

HOLODOMOR

“Temoignanges De La Gnose Terrestre” 2012 Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

My thought part way through the first listen was man this is some directionless, go nowhere shit. But it started to grow on me a little upon repeated listens and a vague method to their madness started to present itself to me. Their style I guess you could call it a mix of old style German thrash from the 80s mixed with 90s Canadian war metal ala Blasphemy, Revenge, Axis of Advance and bands from other countries like Angelcorpse or Bestial Warlust. They tend to break things up by slowing things down from time to time a little more than your average war metal band. This is still a wee bit of a mess as the Scottish would say, but it is a good mess in a lot of ways. A real wall of noise and adrenaline mixed off-kilter thrash influence with crazy little guitar fills. The vocalist sounds like a mental patient that is going hoarse from a two day binge of yelling, trying to poke his eye out and repeatedly banging his head against the little wire crossed plexi-glass window of the door to his padded room. The vocals remind me a touch to the Canadian band Lust, but they are not quite that insane or haunting, but what the hell is?! This is one for the fanatics of old thrash and war metal fans, if you love both, then I have this little British bands demo I can turn you on to.  - Dale

http://holodomor.co.uk/

 

 

HORFIXION

“Promo CD” 1999

(Self Released)

 

Horfixion are young but good. They remind me a tad of a more simplistic straight ahead Death or something Similar. I dug some of the riffs but overall the song structures need a bit of work. As far as putting their best foot forward on packaging. They surely have done that on this disc. It is a multimedia disc with pics, bio, video of a live show (!) & more. Nice! A band to keep an eye on in future. 

c/o Samuel Landry, 871 Trudel Ouest, ST.-Boniface, Quebec, G0X 2LO CANADA  Web = http://metalmusic.net/horfixion/

 

 

HUMUT TABAL

"The Dark Emperor Ov The Shadow Realm” 2014 Full-length Digipak Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

The first song, or rather the first few minutes of the opening song, burst out of my headphones like a blitzkrieg attack wall of noise trampling everything in its path. I have to admit, as impressive and ferocious as that first volley was, I thought to myself I am not sure I am up for an entire album of nothing but that right now. Thankfully, for my sake, that first track is akin to being slapped aside the head to make sure you have someone’s full attention. Like start paying closer attention, because here comes something special. Humut Tabal have my attention now, and it is focused on the rest of the album, which proves the band is a whole lot more than just a single-minded bull, raging ahead headlong into a red cape. The bombast is always lurking below the surface waiting to re-emerge for brief, but deadly attacks, which you never really know when they are coming. The spaces, in between those attacks, shows a lot of variation, creativity and even catchy elements, which will have your head grimly nodding, as you mentally wander through the black ink audio that is “The Dark Emperor Ov The Shad”. Just reading their bio, they name Emperor and Dissection as influences, I can definitely hear both of those in there, but there is much more to it than that. It seems to me, listening to some of the playing and elements they mix into their song structures, these guys transcend just black metal and metal in general with their influences. But, I am happy to report, that despite letting those unconventional inspirations seep in, the band never lets it interfere or poison the roots of its base black metal hatred and sonic bloodshed, which inspired them to play within the genre to begin with. That is something I can respect, expand your boundaries, but always keep a firm grasp on your identity, which in this case is cold, sadistic black metal. This is the bands second full length and they are clearly hitting their stride. If you like dynamic black metal, played with hostility and imagination, then let me introduce you to this great band from Texas I heard just recently.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/humuttabal   http://www.reverbnation.com/humuttabal       

 

 

I WILL KILL YOU

“Plastination” 2011 Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Italian death metal brutality, the production is pretty rough and muddy, but fuck this is a demo people. The production still gets across what the band were going for. Which is some brutal, unrelenting death metal backed up with some pounding drum work. The vocals of Klaudia are probably a bit of an acquired taste, I mostly quite liked them, though at times were a touch grating. Nothing groundbreaking here or that you have not heard before, but there is some talent there and you can see with a little more time to simmer they might come up with something special. This was another disc sent to me by Paul Caravasi of Aquelarre zine, and like the other band Killing The Reason, I will be interested to hear what this band does next, could be something devastating. This release in the meantime is worth a listen, as long as you are not one of those super picky assholes with production, you might dig this one.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/iwillkillyou666  https://www.facebook.com/1IWKY   

 

 

ICEFALL

“Ghostlands” Demo 1999

(Self Released)

 

This is an impressive one man band. Very European sound musically and in general song structure. Icefall’s brand of metal is a flowing mid-tempo concoction with an extremely epic feel. Normally I would not care for that but this just works for me. This pro-packaged demo costs $3 US & Canada / $4 Western Europe / Eastern Europeans get it for free!!

ICEFALL, Box 441, Rochdale, MA. 01542, USA

 

 

IMPENITENT THIEF

“Self-Titled” 2014 Demo Cassette EP

(NoVisible Scars Records)

 

This may be this bands first release, but the members are anything but new to the band experience and the UG scene. As members of this band are or were in Witch Tomb (IT seems like it is a continuation from the ashes of Witch Tomb), Embryonic Cryptopathia, December Wolves, Blessed Offal, Hirudinea etc… Good thing Christ is nailed in place, because he would be swept away by the utter bestial filthy bombast, which is belching wonderfully out of my speakers. It is a total cacophony of grating, grinding, scourging metal sickness, in the vein of Profanatica, early Beherit, early Bathory, old Impaled Nazerene, Archgoat and the like. The vocals are like an exhilarating cheese grater to the brain, they will remind you much of Profanatica, as does the music of course. Both are intense and great, keeping up the tradition and great legacy of that legendary band. Definitely a must have for fans of the above mentioned bands and time periods. This is unrelenting!  - Dale

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

 

 

IMPERIAL SAVAGERY

"Self-Titled” 2014 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

After doing a little digging, to find out more about this Chicago band, I almost want to call say, the band formerly known as the great Corpsevomit. I say that, because this as Imperial Savagery contains three of the four members that were previously mainstay members of Corpsevomit. But having said that, the members were or are also in bands like Lividity, Evil Incarnate and a little known band, whose demo I liked back in the day (ala mid to late 90s) called Pederasty. But enough of that, let’s talk some Imperial Savagery, who as you can see are no rookies to the underground scene. The band play vicious, exceptionally brutish and barbarous death metal, that immediately transports me back to the great death metal scene of the mid to late 90s. They do the sound proud of keeping this sound and tradition alive. The band play nearly everything at break neck speed, I mean they do slow it down briefly now and then, then again their ‘slowed down’ is a lot of other bands top speed gear. Damn I miss dm played this way, I mean if you are searching for that plastic Pro Tool’d to death production, or some more slam death metal or Mallcore, then move along bitch! No, this is pure old school death metal that gives me tingles, at how ferocious and sadistic it is played. The growled vocals on here are great to, deep, semi-decipherable and they match the savagery and unrelenting emotion created by the music. This is a death metal purist’s wet dream!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/imperialsavagery   http://www.reverbnation.com/imperialsavagery       

 

 

IRONSWORD

“Promo Tapes” 1995 + 1998

(Self Released)

 

Oh man! Fucking amazing pure ‘80s power/heavy metal.  That will have you punching the air with your fingers out in goat horns and headbanging in unison. The guitar riffs sound so classic as they backdrop some unforgettable choruses. Ironsword bring to mind bands like Manowar, Warlock, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Grim Reaper and more. It is hard not to list a lot of influences as almost every song on these promo tapes sounds different but always representing pure heavy metal. Did I mention this is a one man band and that one man is Tann (Who was in Moonspell for their MCD and debut album). He is one talented individual and his vocals pull off high piercing screams (something almost no retro bands are even attempting!) and smoking smooth solos. I bow to the might and magic of Ironsword. Metal brothers unite!!   * Check the interviews section for an interview I did with Ironsword...

Ironsword, P.O. Box 4, 2780-Oreiras, PORTUGAL

 

 

JEREMY BEQUETTE

“Self-Titled” 1998 Demo

(Self Released)

 

If you are looking for a serious project then totally ignore this piece of shit. Sure this guy is full of hatred but who the fuck isn't these days? One of the only actual riffs to show up on here sounds like it was recorded on a shitty little 12" amplifier through a boom box or something. This sucks! Who gives a fuck if you hate women and want to kill yourself Jeremy? Do it already and quit wasting my time!  – Jeffrey Kusbel

 

 

KAAMOS

“Promo Tape” 1999

(Self Released)

 

Aaarrrggghhhh!!!! Total old style brutal death metal in the vein of early Grave! Only with Kaamos’ own  sick dark twists. Fucking sickened vocals and diabolical choruses you will chant in your head for days with your fist pumping the air! I also hear a touch of “Altars Of Madness” – This CRUSHES!!!!

Kaamos, P.O. Box 605, 13626 Haninge, SWEDEN Web = kaamos@kurir.net

 

 

KILLING THE REASON

“Beyond Eternity” 2012 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Thanks to Paul Caravasi from Aquelarre ‘zine for passing along this piece of black metal hate emanating from Spain. Killing The Reason, play an acidic brand of blackened metal with some death metal touches. The vocals are purely spat venomous rasps in the early 90s great tradition and I really enjoy those, very cryptic and hateful. The music itself is good, pretty straight forward, but it is well executed with an intense energy about it. I feel like the songs and riffing, at times, could have a little more flow at times, but that is a minor complaint really. Followers of old school black metal should keep an eye on this band, they have something special starting to brew. I will really be looking forward to hearing what they can do on their next release. Beyond Eternity is an extremely impressive for a debut release!   - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/killingthereason  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZMYc4KGOpY    

 

 

KRATORNAS

“The Onslaught Of Battledemons” Demo 1999

(Ligum Dulum Productions)

 

Kratornas return once again to the pages of Canadian Assault. Served up we have black/grind sickness with gurgling hellspawn vocals. There is actually a nice mix here and everytime you think there is too much chaos. You are hit with a clean chugging head bang metal riff section. Super raw so if you are looking for candy-coated production then look elsewhere. Song titles include: “Diabolical Mutilation 1999”, “Armaments Of Sadism”, “Satanic Macabre”, “Luciferian Gladiators”, “Bloodbath For Satan” and “Demonic War Slaughter”. Send $5 US to:

Kratornas, 21 Emerald St., San Eusebio Subdivision, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, 6121 PHILIPPINES

 

 

KRUEGER

Return To Death” 2014 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

Brazil’s Krueger have released their new cd “Return To Death”. An album which has unleashed a blast of old school death metal and a healthy dose of thrash guitars. The guitars are fast with some speedy thrashy riffs and some heavier death metal riffs, with some solos mixed in a few of the tracks. The drumming is top notch with some crazed and chaotic patterns. The vocals are death growls, as well as some raspy screams mixed in a few of the songs. Krueger have released a very solid album, which I can recommend to anyone who is into early nineties death and thrash metal.  - Patrick 

http://www.reverbnation.com/officialkrueger   https://www.facebook.com/officialkrueger    

 

 

LABATUT

“True 80’s” 2007 Promo CDR

(Self Released)

 

These Brazilian’s love, 1980s thrash riffing, but also like newer bestial warring metal sounds. An odd coupling to be sure but Labatut make it work. Some bands to mention that can be clearly heard and influenced are Slayer, Sarcofago, Moonblood, Mutiilation and loads of 80s thrash, in general. The performance on this recording is pretty rough, a little sloppy and loose. Yet in Labtut’s case it actually adds a certain charm and identity to the music. It is strange they manage to wear their influences upon their sleeve, yet despite that, they manage to blend it all in a way I have not really heard before. The whole thing is pretty sick really. Nothing ground breaking but somehow by the time I hit stop on the stereo, I clearly feel like I am a confirmed Labatut-iac! – Dale

 www.apocalypticempire.com   www.bloodynecromancer.de 

 

   

 

LAVAGOAT

“Self Titled” 2010 Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

It is nice now and then after being inundated with slick, glossy produced and tightly computer controlled recordings. To have something like Lavagoat come to me with its heavy raunch production that really punctuates the crushing meandering riffs perfectly. Lavagoat are from my homeland and play death like doom with some of that stoner doom sound / feeling mixed in. I suppose parallels and/or influences like Disembowelment, Mastodon, early Cathedral (a lot), Black Sabbath come to mind, along with some of the heavier stuff from Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Melvins, Electric Wizard can be heard. This demo is definitely a mixed bag and they are pretty adventurous in the directions they take these sounds. There is some subtle yet fantastic guitar work going on here if you have the patience to pay attention. The vocals are decipherable semi-clear growls that have a lot of power and emotion in them. No possibly not the most original release, but it is fucking good and Lavagoat stomp everything in their path, leaving behind only sloshed beer drips and ashes from their funny cigarettes.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/goatlust

 

 

LAVAGOAT

“Weird Menace” 2014 Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

It is good, to see my Canadian brethren gracing the pages, of Canadian Assault once again. This is an interesting release, to say the least, what the band has done here, is in two recording sessions live in their rehearsal space; they have recorded an 18 minute ep, which has no over dubs or special editing. I mean there are six songs on here, but they are all one continuous track on the disc. I kind of like this idea man, in some ways, this serves to add more grit and more of an organic feel to their sound. The sound is not bad at all, it gets the job done in its rumble-y rattle fashion, yet is more than clear enough for my tastes. They picked six of their songs, from their catalog, all of which are horror themed for this release, to give it some sort of a thematic feel. However, for you doom fanatics, their doomy side from their last release feels a little less prominent here, in this live setting, their old school death thrash roots come across a touch more in this setting. Not to worry though, their doom roots still are present. I hear things like old Cathedral, Venom, Celtic Frost, Cianide and the like as influences on this release. When the sludge-y doom does come in, rearing its beautifully beastly head, this is when Lavagoat feel like they are truly in their element. I do kinda dig the all the horror theme grouping, it gives a little darker feel overall, than their last release “Monoliths Of Mars” did. That cosmic psychedelic feeling still pops up here and there, however briefly and is a welcome counterpoint to the impending horror. I like the experiment this little basement recording endeavour has wrought here on this release. I can recommend it, to fans of doom death metal and sludge type music. I know I enjoyed it. I hear there is an album either just out or about to be released. I hope I can get my grubby little mitts on that thing!  - Dale

http://lavagoat.bandcamp.com/   https://www.youtube.com/user/LavagoatTV

 

    

 

LAVAGOAT

“Ageless Nonesense” 2014 Full-length CD

(Self Released)

 

It is a good day when a new Lavagoat release ends up in my mailbox. The boys pick up right where they left off last time around. We are treated to another sludgy, doomy slab of atmospheric metal, which will hunt you down tirelessly in slow motion. I always like the dark and heavy vibe Lavagoat projects mentally with their rumbling audio tapestries. I still hear bits of influence in their sound from the likes of old Cathedral, Celtic Frost, Sabbath etc… Despite their doom mainstay, the band are not adverse to speeding things up, such as they do in the song “Cimmerion Fury”, they pick up the pace, and ruin everything in their path, with some great affecting guitar work. The guitars on the whole album are fantastic, they do some really cool things with the sound of them, they creatively to manipulate those sounds in a variety of ways, which create some diverse emotions in the listener. Lavagoat only gets stronger with time, and I must strongly recommend yet another of their releases, for you dear readers to check out post haste.  - Dale 

https://www.reverbnation.com/lavagoat   https://www.youtube.com/user/LavagoatTV         

 

 

LEGIONS OF WAR

“Proclamation of War” Demo CDR 2006

(Self Released)

 

I listened to this before reading the booklet or any other accompanying materials. I was about to run headlong into my spiel about the secret of good one man band is that anyone listening to it without that knowledge, should never know it is a one man band. Then I scanned the booklet, only to see there are in point of fact, three members in Legions of War, they are a full band but you would never know this. This demo feels almost like someone’s home riff tape, so they do not forget the riffs they came up with. Only on this particular riff tape, there has been added some unimaginative drumming that kind of drones on, in addition some really, really awful early Burzum-ish vocals, which are so absurdly executed & thin, they become a parody unto itself. You know those paintings where the artists get a bunch of paint and randomly throw it at the canvas and whatever drippy, sloppy mess results they proclaim it to be art? Well Legions of War ascribe to this school of thought. Now actually there are some decent riffs and rhythms yet most of them make no sense together, they have been haphazardly sewn together and more often then not have no bridge connecting them giving them any sort of sense or purpose. The recordings is really raw but that is fine it kind of suits the music. Anyway I would advise you to pass on this Swedish horde, there are much better bands out there. – Dale

lovechild@tjohoo.com 

 

 

LETHAL HALO

“Process Of Progress” 2011 Full Length Demo

(Self Released)

 

This Canadian band could be described as a metalcore band that has a penchant for progressive touches as well as possessing melodic Swedish death influence in the guitars. Sometimes the mixings of these different styles works and other times, not so much. At times the songs lack flow and fluidity, coming off a little clunky and aimless. When it works they can write some ripping, emotional metal though. The vocals for me are another slightly sore spot; they are okay kind of hoarse yells with a slight growling undertone. They come off sounding a little forced and maybe are featured a little too heavily in important parts of the song, distracting away from golden heart of Lethal Halo. That gold is the guitars, there is some talent there and if you pay attention the guitars they have some really interesting things going on and the performance there is fantastic. This is only their second release, so they have room and time to grow. If they continue to mature in the song writing department and the other aspects of Lehtal Halo can catch up to the guitar work, this could be a band to really watch out for.  - Dale

http://LethalHalo.com  http://www.youtube.com/HaloBand  

 

 

LORD OF PAGATHORN

“Msilihporcen” 2010 Demo CDR

(Self Released)

 

The guitarist/vocalist/bassist from the great old Finnish thrash band Maple Cross (formed in 1985!), heads up this band. Lord Of Pagathorn released a demo tape way back in 1994, and then nothing, until now some 15 plus years later! That is strange but good for us they decided to pick up the band once again. Msilihporcen is an interesting piece of older school black metal. There is speed and hate, but it is all accented with some nice interludes and even some eerie sounding acoustic guitar passages. The mixing of raw cold anger and tranquil atmospherics is a mixing well met. The music is nothing ground breaking, but very well done and performed expertly. The vocals are suitably freezing shrieks with obscured whispered undertone. The recording as well is fantastic for a demo, it is heavy, clear and concise without being too slick. I came away from this release being quite impressed and looking forward to hearing from this sick horde. They tell me they are working on an album and seek a suitable record label. I think they not remain unsigned for long. Hail Finnish black metal!  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/lordofpagathorn  

 

 

LORD BLASPHEMER

“Self-Titled” Demo 1998

(Self Released)

 

Unless I’m mistaken this band features on guitar Eric Herseman who is also publicist at Olympic records. Described as misanthropic deathrash, this is a term I am in alignment with. 3 songs on here (“Contact Dermatatis”, “Jungle Hell”, “Spiral Caverns Of The Occult”). They bring to mind the rising deathrash scene of the late ’80s/early ‘90s. In fact some bands I could name are Ex-Mortis, Demise, Immortal Fate, Phantasm and so on. It may be due in part to nostalgia but I fucking love Lord Blasphemer! Send $4 US to:

Lord Blasphemer, 2658 W. Superior, Apt. 2, Chicago, IL. 60612, USA

 

 

LUST

“Holocaust Whore Hellslut” Demo 1999

(Self-Released)

 

Fuck yes! The purveyors of disgustingly morbid spirit-raping deathrash hell return! Anyone who read issue # 2 knows how highly I think of this band with their review and interview in that issue. I said in the past I heard influences from (old) Sarcofago, (old)Beherit, Aggression (i.e.-“Blaspheming At The Altar” ’86 demo). Also if you like the sickening Canadian metal in the warring mode of Blasphemy and Soothsayer then this tape will satiate your carnality! The songs this time are a bit more technical then the last demo. But Diabolus has not sacrificed the bludgeoning and bestial barbarity and Lust will tear at you like a pack of starving berzerker wolves! Tired of all the commercial bullshit? Then order this piece of underground cult history while you can as I believe this is limited to 500 copies.

 

 

MATERIA GRAVE

“Dammi Una Vita” Demo 1999

(Self-Released)

 

Simplistic deathrash with Italian lyrics. Some good riffs here and there but mostly the material needs to be tighter and more quality. Apparently Eik and Dario have been playing together since the end of the ‘80s – it sure doesn’t show! Guys go practice a lot, work on better material for a year or two. Then send in another a tape. Cost is $5 US to:

Materia Grave, c/o Erick Ballota, 35020 Canadiana (PD), ITALY

 

 

MENTAL KILLING SPREE

Centrifuge Of Man” 2013 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Ahhh the gods of brutal underground death metal return! After hearing the 2008 demo Vae Victis {which can be downloaded for free on the bands F.B page!}. I was hooked on this German bands catchy, brutal and just plain vicious death metal style. It is full of fast, thick guitars that build  from mid-paced to all out whirlwind riffs and masterful played solo's. The drumming is precise with the speedy, blast beats chaotic in some songs while other structures are more heavy, mid-paced drum beats. Timm's vocals are vicious deep death growls with some higher screams and fit perfectly with Mental Killing Spree's original brutal death metal style. Fans of brutal straight-forward death metal are urged to check this band out today!  - Patrick

https://myspace.com/mentalkillingspree   https://www.facebook.com/mentalkillingspree     

 

  

 

MEPHISTO

“VOL. 5 ...NEVERENDING SAGA”

Compilation Tape

 

This is a decent comp. with a little diversity between bands. Here's a quick rundown. Silentium - "Lament" - A laid back, somewhat heavy take on a goth-rock sound w/ female vocals. Uninteresting. Droys - "On the trial of Koan" - A great technical death metal song sounding much like Death with Steve Digiorgio. It rocks! Midnight Sun - "Nightembrace" - I remember writing these guys about a year back after ordering their 2nd demo and I mentioned that I thought they were playing in more of a power metal influenced style. No reply though. Hmm? Not bad. Fahrenheit - "Blood and Tears" - Another boring goth sounding band with female vocals. Next. Eternal Sadness - "Autumn" - Starts off kind of slow with piano etc. but ends up being a halfway decent melodic death song. Thalia - "Omniscient" - What the fuck is this shit? 80's rock with a new wave sounding vocalist. Fuck off!! Glacial Fear - "Numb" - Amore or less trendy sounding death metal song with Max Cavalera sounding vocals and a lot of harmonics. Bland and not as heavy as they think they are. Mechanix - "Pain in the neck" - Pretty good thrash being executed here. Kind of riffing along like old Overkill. Shadeworks - Exclusive track - An interesting guitar track without vocals. What you'd expect to hear on a James Murphy solo record or something but with better twists.  – Jeffrey Kusbel

 

 

MERDE

“Self-Titled” Demo 1998

(Self-Released)

 

I was definitely impressed upon hearing this six song demo. A good production helps bring out the strength of these songs as I’m sure they would not sound as cool with a shit production. Some tracks just grind and thrash along paying no attention what is going on around them. I actually hear a Human Remains and Ripping Corpse influenced weird riff attack on a song or two and this is not a bad thing. This is actually pretty diverse as most metal goes so give it a listen.  – Jeffrey Kusbel 

Merde/Avitchi Records, P.O. Box 8734, Portland, OR. 97207-8734, USA

 

 

METHEDRAS

System Subversion” 2014 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This is Italy’s Methedras second cd “System Subversion”. The band plays a mix of early to mid nineties death, thrashing metal. The guitars are fast with a lot of great thrashy riffs and some solos, mixed in a few of the songs, but also have some heavier more chunky riffs intertwined in the maelstrom. The drumming is done, with a lot of good heavy beats, but also can speed up with the guitars at times too. The vocalist has a mix of death metal growls and some gruff screaming in a few of the tracks. All in all, not a great release, but it does have some good songs sprinkled among the average ones.  - Patrick 

http://www.methedras.com   www.reverbnation.com/methedras    

 

 

MIDNITE HELLION

“Enter The Unknown” 2012 Demo MCD

(Self Released)

 

This has been out for a while, but it was nice to get a chance to finally hear this disc. This New Jersey band, takes heavy metal back to its roots of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, in pretty much every way possible. The riffing on here is solid, very memorable with melodic song structures and harmonies, which will stick in your head. You can tell they worked very hard, to make their songs catchy, and have some nice old school flow to them. The vocals follow suit, they feel like they pulled them straight out of 1983 or something. I dig it. I think fans bands like Virgin Steele, Riot, Lethal, Meliah Rage, Armored Saint, Running Wild, plus the very early works of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, should enjoy the hell out of Midnite Hellion. The band has a seven inch out, on Witches Brew, since this disc came out and I believe a live album is in the works as well. Check this out, NWOBHM and just power metal fans from the early days of the genre, this is for you.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/midnitehellion   http://www.midnitehellion.com/index.html      

 

 

MORKHGRAT

“Deathmarch” 2008 Demo MCD

(Self Released)

 

Philippino black metal and there is some decent stuff coming out of that country over the years. This is another one man band, that one man being Zargoth. It says all instruments by him but those drums sound kinda drum machine-like to me. This is some cool stuff but the drums are probably my least favourite part about it. “Deathmarch” is some extremely harsh sounding, low-fi stuff and that is going to turn off all the people that love their slick, plastic pro tools crisp production jobs. But I like it, it suits the music, which is raw flowing black metal with some great riffing that resonates with an atmospheric, rhythmic sound structuring that made me headbang and howl. The vocals are obscure raw acidic rasping yells from beyond the abyss and go with the music very well. The drumming aside I enjoyed this release quite a bit. They end it with a Bathory cover, which is very fitting as clearly their sound is old Bathory maybe mixed with a little early Mayhem gutfuck and other influences along those lines. This CDR is limited to 100 hand numbers copies, mine is #31 in case you wondered.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/morkhgrat

 

 

MUSIC FOR THE DEAD MASSES

Brutal Death / Grind 1999 Compilation Tape

 

This comp. features 27 brutal death/grind songs from 22 different bands. All are at least decent. The bands included are: Necrophagist, Skinned, Mortal Flesh, Exhumator, Excavatim, Godzilla, Traumatism, Scarve, Damn Nation, Admortem, Conqueror, Morphisem, Gods of Emptiness, Dead End, Benighted, Blood Suckers, Uncreation, Lividity, Loggerhead, Sacred Sin, Absonent Cadence, and The Darkening. The best bands on this comp to these ears were: Excavation-Traumatism-Scarve-Admortem-Lividity. Check these motherfuckers out! These bands are definitely worthy of an album purchase. You will not be disappointed!  – Jeffrey Kusbel

Noise Solution Recs.- c/o Velvet Music - BP 3072/69397- Lyon Cedex 03, FRANCE

 

 

MUSTAN KUUN LAPSET

“Prologi” 1998 CD EP

(Self-Released)

 

Not too bad are this melodic black metal band from Finland. They come up with some nice riffs and handle their instruments well enough. I like them but they don’t stand out enough for me to give them too many repeated listens if you know what I mean. 

M.K.L., c/o Lehtinen, Koroistentie 7a3, 00280 Hiki, FINLAND Email = kari.kinnunen@phkk.fi

 

 

NEUTRAD ARCHON

“Overture” 2012 Demo Full Length CD

(Self Released)

 

Interesting.  That's the first word that comes to mind when I listened to Overture - Neutrad Archon's newest full length.  Hailing from California, this sextet is truly a mix of many different style of metal and music in general.  Progressive base is mixed with black, death, folk, and experimental metal elements. Quality musicianship is on display with these guys for sure.  The vocals are probably the weakest part, though.  I think there are parts on some of the songs that are screaming for a clean vocal line ala Halford or Dickinson, instead of the thrash/blackened hybrid voice that permeates the album.  The keyboard parts are a little out of place at times as well. There are parts of the album that remind me of Emperor in places - a wall of sound if you will.  Again this is an interesting release.  I'd like to see what they do in the future.  If you like your metal with a cerebral component, Neutral Archon may be for you.  - Mark

http://www.myspace.com/neutradarchon  http://www.neutradarchon.com/ 

 

 

NORTHERN CROWN

"In The Hands Of The Betrayer” 2014 Demo Digipak MCD

(Self Released)

 

When I first perused the cover and band name, I thought to myself a black metal band, and well, I thought very wrong. No these south Floridians, play epic ‘80s style heavy metal, with heavy doses of classic doom metal influence. They show their doom influences on their sleeve, with a cover of “Crystal Ball”, from the mighty Candlemass. This cover interestingly, is placed right in the middle of the song order, rather than the usual, traditional tacking on of the cover song at the end of the album. Speaking of the length, this is quite prolonged for the ep or mini-album designation, I seem to see it listed everywhere as, you get five tracks in total and it just breaks the thirty minute mark. The first song, also the title track, is darn good song in its own right, but for me has more of the eighties metal feel, less of the doom feel. As the record continues along, it continues to build steam, the cover song aside, each track gets better and better as you go along, and also their doom influences seem to grow stronger as you go. They do employ some synth / organ backing and accents, which give off a ‘70s vibe ala Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Lucifer’s Friend and the like. They doom it up, but then they mix in poignant, introspective passages, and they know how to rock a bit form time to time too. I really like the vocals, again eighties heavy metal rears its gorgeously beast-y head again; the vocals are clear and smooth, with depth to them at both ends of the high / low spectrum. I also enjoyed some of the hot solo work, like that displayed in the middle of the opening track for instance; I think I got a little hard listening to that one. The closing track, entitled “To Thee I Give An Orchid”, is a ten minute magnum opus for the band. This song is the band at its best, there is a cool muted gallop riff, a punching synth atmosphere, which surges to the forefront and then recedes again to resume the gallop. The song slows down, to a brooding standstill towards the middle, the emotion very slowly starts to build back up the anticipation, as the flowing doom riff sweeps you along, taking you on an emotional grand journey. The vocals on this track really showcase well, even though, they are used in a judicious manner. That closing act is really the clincher, on me recommending this release, to fans of classic doom metal and heavy metal of old. I am really looking forward to this bands next record, it feels like they still have another gear to get to, and the next one could be something special.  - Dale

http://northerncrownband.com/   https://soundcloud.com/northern-crown-doom       

 

 

OSSUAIRE

“Le Troubadour Necrophageophile” 2015 Demo Cassette

(Nihilistic Holocaust Records)

 

This is a re-release of the French band, Ossuaire’s 2005 debut demo, which originally was released on a limited run, of only 100 pieces on cd. This is my first encounter with the band, who are apparently still active. But one thing is for sure, they are not a very prolific band, having formed in 2000, and since then they have released a total of 11 songs over three releases in sixteen years! So how is the music on here? It is some solid death metal, in vein of stuff like old Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Cannibal Corpse, Immolation and that style of death dm. I must say, for a first time demo, the song writing on here is quite good, and the guys play their instruments well. They are not just brutal, but at times create a pretty cool atmosphere or vibe, with their music, that creates a dark and dangerous feeling emotionally. I like that. No, there is nothing groundbreaking here, just a really solid release, which should appease fans of old classic American style of death metal.  - Dale

http://ossuaire-deathmetal.blogspot.fr/   http://nihilisticholocaustrecs.bandcamp.com/music     

 

 

NYFB

“No Excuses For The Weak” 1999 CD

(Self-Released)

 

The bio states the sound as a blend of “hardcore, punk, southern metal, and heavy metal”. I don’t hear any punk influence but otherwise there are bits of each in there. In fact I also hear a little Bay area thrash and NYFB remind to The Accused a little. A real mish mash and not something I enjoyed too much. But they do what they do pretty well. Send $12 US/$13 World for this full-length to:

NYFB, c/o Chris Espitia, 56 Jefferson St., Jackson, TN. 38301, USA