OLD PAGAN

“Technotschtiklan” MLP (on CD-R) 2003 + “The Sign of The Battle Dragon” Promo Demo CDR 2006

 

Some very old and aged songs but it was sent in for review with some newer material. In fact looking at the liner notes of the ’03 MLP I see the music on that release was in fact written in 1998! Extremely raw sounding old school black metal, a 1 man band and sounds like it but this is also some good stuff. The background hiss on the recording is extremely loud and hard to ignore, as is the fact that some of the material is very disjointed with some sloppy transitions. Now on with the new material, or maybe just new by comparison as the inlay notes say the music is from 1996 to 2006, you have to give him one thing, he is a prolific fellow. During this span of 10 years we are presented with 7 tracks plus an intro and outro. Ahh this recording is missing the hiss, I am not very picky with recordings but loud hiss and white noise is very headache inducing. I am not sure if it is the clearer production but the drum machine sounds worse, choppy and more robotic than the MLP. The guitar riffing and sounds excellent like the MLP and the transition work is more fluid but the vocals are extremely thin and one dimensional, almost boring with little passion. Well good luck to Machosias in finding a label as at this point, a decade into the bands development, it is just not flat out good enough to be past the demo stages. It is getting close but there is some definite work to be done here. – Dale

c/o M. Lawrence, Brunnen-str. 8, D-66538 Neunkirchen / Saar, GERMANY  www.oldpagan.de 

 

 

ORDO CAPER

“Sonus Satus”

Demo CD 2011

 

Three tracks of exotic old school grinding death metal coming to us from Costa Rica. Their sound reminds me of some of the death metal coming out of Greece in the early to mid 90s (ala early Rotting Christ, Varathron, Sickness etc…). I do not know that I would throw the death/doom tag on Ordo Caper, then again I would not exactly argue against it either. As they do have a number of slow brooding, doomy sections on this release. Those sections have a lot of impact when mixed with the mid pace and speedy death metal brutality. Everything on here is very obscure sounding (each instrument and the vocals), a slightly muffled production that for me adds a cool suffocating ambiance or feel. Some might assume the sound is like this due to a poor recording or mix job. I tend to think it was intentional as you can still discern every moving part, just clear enough to balance the rawness with a touch of clarity. My only minor complaint is at times I dislike the drums, it is listed as a human playing it, but somehow at times comes off sounding a little like a thin drum machine. That however is not enough to distract from an otherwise excellent demo, check it out.  – Dale

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ordo-Caper/274505092586148  http://www.myspace.com/ordocaper    

 

 

OVOIAN

“Self Titled”

Demo CD 2006

 

My apologies to the band for dragging my ass on reviewing this disc. I lost track of the disc for a bit but the rest is all me. Ovoian hail from Massachusetts and rumble through my speakers with a stripped down and fairly enjoyable middle paced brand of thrash metal. I could definitely see fans of Crowbar, Sheer Terror, Prong and similar bands really digging Ovoian. Nood’s vocals are well done and bring to mind a mix of the guy from Pro-Pain, Pantera mixed with a slight hardcore influence ala Madball maybe. The recording is very suitable and highlights the guitars, vocals and the odd guitar lead really smokes it way through the haze. Nothing mindblowing and not something I listen to a lot but I enjoyed it nonetheless. – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/ovoian 

 

 

OUROBOROS

"Serpentine Existence"

Rehearsal / Demo 2000

 

This has the makings of what could be considered a cult demo by some but everything is poorly recorded and a lot of the better riffs are lost. This is however a rehearsal demo so too much can't be expected. On top of the sound quality there is a lot of guitar noodling and even a drum solo which when coupled with the length of this thing (which seems way too long) really starts to bore me. Wait for the official demo.

28 Dufferin St - St Albert, Alberta - T8N 4Z3, CANADA Band Email = bsymic@powersurfr.com  - JeffreyKusbel

 

 

PANDEMIA

“Promo Tape”

1998

 

Our friends from the Czech Republic, Pandemia play intense bastardized death/grind mayhem. Only three songs here (“Created Again”, “Free Strokes”, “Slavemind”). A nice mix of American style brutality and rhythm with Euro precision and execution.

Pandemia, c/o Tom Marek, Lesni 7, 350 02 Cheb, CZECH REPUBLIC

 

 

PERVERTED SON

“To The Abstract”

Demo CD 2006

 

Some Chilean metal is offered up on a silver platter with 5 thrashing songs and features two members of the band Evil Offerings which has been around a number of years. A touch rough around the edges but it is made up for with some catchy mid-paced riffing which sticks in your head and will make it bang in unison. Neatly wound up inside that infectious riffing are some solid hit and run solos and of course the mighty vocals Marcello Mella. The kind of vocals that would make 80s thrash maniacs into stuff Vio-lence, Gang Green, Nuclear Assault want to tear something apart in frenzied excitement. I very much dig the atmosphere on here, kind of alternating between furious and laid back in a hypnotizing fashion. I have not felt like that about a thrash band in 15 years at least.  I wish that I could put my finger on who they remind me of musically? Not sure but I do know it is damn good and any and all old thrashers take note of this band. Gotta love some of these exotic locales which are keeping the old spirit alive and well. – Dale

Contact Marcello at insane592@hotmail.com 

 

 

PLAGUE ANGEL

“Raped By Lies”

Demo CD 2010

 

We are graced with a Swedish upside down cross dripping with red 4 song demo. The sound and recording is just right for the music with the level mixed to my liking. You are hit straight away off the first track by a wailing siren. Then followed by a barrage of battering riffs, great sounding blast beat drumming and the growling vocals from Jorgen Jern are very much to my liking as well. They are gruff and brutal but you can just make out the words if you concentrate on it. It is kind of from the Grave and Morbid Angel tradition here. As for some markers for you in style there is a bit of European style brutal death metal here but also a lot of influence from the American New York and Floridian scenes as well. This is some straight ahead death metal with a hat tip to the old school. It is well done and I do suspect if they want it, that we will see Plague Angel with a record contract in their hand before too long. For the death metal aficionados out there, the members of Plague Angel, were previously in such bands as Strangulation, Butchery and Ahriman. If are a devout follower of this style then I can really recommend that you pick up this demo disc.  – Dale

www.myspace.com/plagueangeldeath   wc_thrasher@hotmail.com 

 

 

POETS OF THE PLAGUE

“Self-Titled” 1999 CD

(Self-Released)

 

This is good and a little different than than usual. P.O.P. play deathrash and I know this sounds weird but they have a doom feel and style without really playing slow. The lyrics are a concept story about a sexually abused child who sees his mother murdered by his father. He later becomes a priest and carries on in his father’s footsteps and starts molesting altar boys. Unable to deal with what he has done satan beacons and the priest kills himself (as the cover illustrates). All set to some pretty cool music. Get this 9 song CD for $7.50 US / $10.50 World to:

P.O.P., 14402 Hawthorne Blvd. # 319, Lawndale, CA. 90260, USA Web = http://home.pacbell.net/poet666

 

 

PRAYER OF THE DYING

Gods Failed Creation” 2013 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Prayer Of The Dying from Malta have returned with a brand new release of all new material. Main man Martin Ciappara {vocals, instruments} has some friends, musicians that help him out on Gods Failed Creation. As always Martin does a great job of writing and creating a unique style of blackened death metal with some doomish element. On the song "The Desert Inside" features female vocals which are only used in a few lines {and if I am not mistaken this is the first time Martin has ever used female vocals with Prayer Of Dying} which sound really good and fit nicely with Martin's musical writing style so hopefully he will consider using more female vocals in the future {as long as he does over do it like so many bands do these days} If you have heard past Prayer Of The Dying releases and liked them definitely get Gods Failed Creation as it is the bands most creative and strongest release to date.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/prayerofthedying   http://prayerofthedying.yolasite.com/      

 

  

 

PRIMEVAL

“Temptation”

1997 (Self-Released CD)

 

Crushing, rhythmic and heavy death metal from Texas. This is really old I know but it was just sent in for review. Primeval have a talent for writing involved songs that walk the line of mainstream death metal and underground guttural brutality. Expect a new MCD out from the band in late 1999 and until then send $13 US/$15 World to:

The Texas Death Syndicate, P.O. Box 30615, Houston, TX. 77249, USA Web = www.primeval.simplenet.com

 

 

RAZOR OF OCCAM

“Diabologue”

Demo 1998

 

This was sent to me by the cult label Damnation records as they will release two songs off here on a seven inch. R.O.O. like many Australian bands are heavy and chaotic warring metal. However R.O.O.  do not sound too much like the known bands D666 or Bestial Warlust. They have their own sound of raucous metal with some cool obscure sounding vocals. Which vocally sound like a cross between Order From Chaos and early Bathory. Keep your eyes on these bastards!

Razor Of Occam, P.O. Box 101, Prospect SA 5082, AUSTRALIA Email = Razor_of_Occam@yahoo.com

 

 

RIOTOR

“Death And Destruction”

Demo CD 2007

 

It is always a pleasure when I receive something from my homeland of Canada. I actually had not really even heard of Riotor before now. Riotor hail from the province of Quebec and I think we all know many of the classic bands that this area has produced (Voivod, Yog Sothots, Soothsayer and tons more!). This is a really interesting release. They play classic thrash metal without doubt and do a fine job. The vocals really grabbed me. Not really your usual ones and they seem to have a tiny bit of death metal influence but still well rooted in the classic thrash vocals. At times the vocals remind me to the vocal performance on “Thirteen Frightened Souls” great ep by Deceased. I love it. Apparently Riotor met and set the original foundation for this band at a Razor concert back in 2005. Hell yeah! Musically this brand of thrashing just feels so old school Canadian to me. At times I am getting a vibe similar to the classic Sacrifice album “Soldiers Of Misfortune”. You can hear bits of other Canadian legends like Slaughter or Aggression in there too. They love to thrash it out and make you head bang but there is more to it than that. They definitely possess a sort of depth or dynamic that tends to make good thrash bands memorable. There is an atmosphere and mood that sets the tone that once they have you hooked in that is when they go for the kill and make your neck sore if you know what I mean?! Because the true order of the day is speed and we all know that it kills. The playing on here is fantastic and I love the sound they got it is so dirty yet you can hear everything in their performance (from all members). Not to leave a single stone unturned you also get hit with the odd short but just smoking guitar solo that really fits in well with the music and is not forced. Well the 6 songs on here really fucking kicked my ass! I am so happy the band sent this to me. I am hooked. They have not rested one second either as I just checked online and they have recently released another new demo by the title “Fucking Metal” so contact them right now and get them both!!  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/riotor   http://www.riotor.ca

 

 

RIOTOR

“Fucking Metal”

Demo CD 2008

 

It was nice to see this arrive in the mailbox. It is the follow-up, yes already, of their previous demo “Death and Destruction”. Which I reviewed and loved some time ago and it is Canadian thrash, so you just know, it will be damn good. I said they reminded me a little of the Canuck legends Sacrifice and I still hear that. But this time, I think, I am hearing a little more Kreator influence this time around and it sounds good. I mean really good. That patented, suck you in and hold on to you, memorable factor is still there and it serves Riotor very well. They most definitely have that great old dirty, yet audible, classic thrash sound down tight again with this recording. There is another six tracks on this demo too, as Riotor are just rapidly spitting out the quality material. I do not know if I can even add much more to this. I would say just re-read my review above, as you get more of the same. Which is classic quality thrash metal done the way it was meant to be done. Just get this and support these maniacs, they deserve it. – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/riotor   http://www.riotor.ca    

 

 

RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE

“Self-Titled”

Demo 1999

 

With Paulus (drummer) having parted ways with Sacramentary Abolishment (see interview in issue # 1) he has landed on his feet and has erected his one man band. Rites Of The Degringolade is a cold act with memorable songs but holding true to his bestial nature musically.  Hellish black metal with pure venom and hatred incarnate. It definitely has a dark aura and cryptic atmosphere permeating through it. I suggest you order this tape immediately for $5 US to:

R.O.T.D., c/o Paulus, P.O. Box 52112, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G-2T5, CANADA

 

 

RUNNING DEATH

The Call Of Exitinction” 2012 Demo MCD

(Self-Released)

Germany's Running Death have just released their second Mcd "The Call Of Extinction”. The music comes across between fast and speedy thrash and some influences of old-school heavy metal. The guitars are done with a lot of talent and creativity, writing some blazing fast riffs and then slowing it down, to a more mid paced range that is very memorable. The drums are chaotic in some parts of the Mcd and other times very controlled. The vocalist has a good range with some good hollering/yelling vocals and even some deeper thrashy screams. I will admit that this could've been better in some areas, but on the other hand I've heard much worse. So if you’re a fan of metal music {thrash / heavy metal} give this band a listen and judge for yourself.  - Patrick 

http://runningdeath.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/runningdeath   

 

 

SANATORIO

“Rotten Penetration”

Demo 1999

 

Hmmm…the band sent me this demo and also their ’97 demo. The ’99 tape shows improvement, especially the drumming. Though I got a bit of a darker, cryptic atmosphere from the old demo. 5 songs of brutal death/grind blasphemy that the die-hard freaks can savor. Price is apparently a hefty 6 I.R.C.’s (International Reply Coupons):

Sanatorio, Caixa Postal 1303, Belo Horzonte, MG, BRAZIL

 

 

SACRIPHYX

“Lone Pine”

Demo CD 2007

 

Only 2 songs on this demo, of note, this Australian act features Anthony Till, the main man behind the awesome Misery’s Omen. The overall sound is a tad muffled everything is mixed well enough you can definitely hear what is going on. “Lone Pine” really takes me back as this release just reeks and bleeds old Greek black death metal. I unquestionably find my mind returning to early Rotting Christ, Varathron and Necromantia. All of which I loved back in the day and still do now, classic stuff. It is marvelous to hear a few bands starting to revive this seemingly lost style again and do it so well. A deep dark and depressively melancholic atmosphere permeates throughout these two tracks. Update – I have just received word that Sacriphyx have been signed to Nuclear War Now! For a few releases. Always nice when a good band finds a good label. – Dale

Sacriphyx, Box 30, Civic Square, ACT 2608 AUSTRALIA   neil_o_death@yahoo.com.au    

 

 

SANCTORUM

“2 Song Promo Tape”

1999

 

Shit I have been getting in some great demos this issue. Better crop then the last issue. Sanctorum blend Euro styles such as melodic death metal, thrash and a little black metal expertly. They are really talented players. They keep things melodic but never sacrificing extremity and keep that brutal and aggressive edge.  I like this band a lot and apparently they are recording their debut CD as I speak. Another great thing about this tape is that is it is totally free so send your name and address and get this killer tape FREE!

Sanctorum, c/o Joe Waltz, 6376 Anita Dr., Parma Hts., Cleveland, OH. 44130, USA  Email =  mdaimon@hotmail.com

 

 

SATANOCHIO

“First Strike of The Possessed” Promo MCD 2005

(Axa Valaha Productions)

 

You know sometimes you come across a release and yes I do mean release, not demo, not rehearsal tape but a professional release by a record label. You come across it or it comes across you (and does not even offer a cum rag to wipe it off), you listen to it perplexed at how a label could actually release it. “First Strike of the Possessed”, is garage band rehearsal material in every way, from the paper thin, boring and unimaginative material, pedestrian sub-par playing, thin tinny drums and instruments in general that sound as if they were all recorded simultaneously, in different rooms of the same building creating something very disjointed sounding. Yes, my friends 11 minutes of something that was not good enough to be recorded on a boombox, more less given a proper release. They claim in their bio to be influenced by Beherit, Blasphemy, Profanatica, old Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Anal Cunt and Venom! HAHA Satanochio cannot even hope to hold a candle to Venom or even own one their albums, they sound nothing like Venom or Beherit or Profanatica but do come off as a lame 3rd rate mix of early Napalm Death mixed with Anal Cunt and mumblings / sound clips of the movie “Evil Dead” and evil lyrics to add the ‘Satanic’ part to their tag line of being “Fist-fucking Satanic grindcore / noise”. I do have some very unfortunate news, well make that two sad bits of news. First off, this release was only pressed in 33 copies and is now sold out, so I am afraid you will be shit out of luck ;). Only 33 people bought this? Sounds about right. The other regrettable tidbit of news is the band are currently recording a full length album, hopefully they are smart and limit it to 66 copies because there are only so many suckers to go around, you know. VENOM! I nearly busted a gut on that one! Thanks for the laughs guys. – Dale

www.satanochio.go.ro   axa666@yahoo.com   www.axavalaha.go.ro

 

 

SCRAPE

“Self-Titled”

Demo 1999

 

More death-core stuff. The first 2 tracks have too much hardcore in the voice and the groove sections. The drummer is a really talented and pretty tasteful musician. It’s weird the production is good except the 2nd song where it is really weak!? Different studio? The last 3 songs display a little blasting and mostly death metal music and this is where Scrape’s strengths lay. Obviously the more death style tunes inspire the singer as he drops much of his hardcore style and shines. Mixed bag but the talent is there.

Scrape, 164 Powers St., Apt. 3, Brooklyn, NY. 11211, USA Web = www.scrapeonline.com

 

 

SCYTHIAN

"Suffering to the conquered"

Demo 2007

Talk about bombastic extreme metal! Scythian's debut demo is a pulverizing tour de force that combines the brutality of European & old American styled death metal, with morose doom passages and a heavy 80's thrash aesthetic- imagine a combo of Sodom, Morbid Angel, Nocturnus and Bathory and you get the idea of exactly what to expect out of this relentless iron-balls recording. "Suffering to the conquered" opens with the eerie and somewhat ethereal "Astral Assassins" before picking up rapidly with "Shattered Idols" and then the very Bathory esque "Pray to war". Next up comes "Spires to ashes" which echoes German modern Black-thrash stalwarts Desaster. The title track follows, showing off Scythian's more than competent handle on ancient Teutonic thrash metal coupled with just the right hint of Bathory's "Blood, fire, death" era. Appropriately enough, Scythian closes this devastating release with a quality rendition of Bathory's "Holocaust"- one of the few Bathory covers actually done right. Scythian have emerged strangely enough from England- a location with little to nothing to show for the heavier side of this genre. But who cares about where this band comes from, right? "Suffering to the conquered" blows away just about anything coming out these days so smugly labeled "brutal death metal", and it is -more- than an adequate representation of the very best of what keystone death & thrash bands have to offer us. A rock solid production, strong vocals and unique combination of brutal & epic influences makes this a highly memorable and worthwhile investment. Now signed to Galactic Records, Scythian should have new material coming along in the near future. Until then, absolutely do NOT hesitate to contact the band for a copy of this release. - Wilhelm
band contact: scythian.death@gmail.com

 

 

 

SKITZO

“Heavy Shit” Advance Promo CD 2005

(Shopping for Label)

 

Excellent, a new Skitzo record. I had high expectations for this and I am well pleased to say I was not disappointed. I would say with this album more than the last couple, they have gone back to their roots of ‘80s speed / thrash metal and crafted it beautifully. There are a bunch of guest appearances here, Jeff Becerra sings the whole song on “Metallic Tyrants” and this song is going to go down as a classic, so catchy, so face ripping fast and very memorable. Phil Demmel also sings lead on “We are Dead”, John Marshall from Metal Church and Sickie Wifebeater from The Mentors both contribute some lead guitar work. Just so much going on here. I guess my only minor complaint is the drumming, now and then sounds a bit forced and not overly smooth on the speedier sections, but not to the point distracting. “Head of Laci” slows things down a little and we see a little more introspective side,  yet no less heavy or perverted, that main riff is just so chunky and driving. Main man Lance Ozanix sounds better than ever, really I have never heard him belt out vocals this good, with this much range, it appears his ability has finally caught with the undeniable character and texture his voice naturally possesses. The recording is just excellent, clear, loud and superb separation between instruments and hey the drums do not sound like a typewriter, wonders will never cease. If you want to headbang and just enjoy yourself in the old tradition get this is album and hell you even get a robust cover version of “Iron Fist” to cap off this 12 song platter, I am sure a label will be secured shortly. – Dale

www.skitzo.biz

 

 

SLUDGE

“NJ Hate Core” + “Alone & Twisted”

Demos ’97 + ’98

 

Heavy and mushy hardcore with metal influences. “NJ Hate Core” is heavy and the songs are OK but could stand some improvement structurally with more emphasis put on memorability. “Alone & Twisted” is a slight betterment, mostly in the riffing which stuck with me a lot more. Still nothing amazing but Sludge are coming into their own slowly but steadily.

Sludge, c/o Dave Orkin (the bug exterminator!?), 1932 Cologne Ave., Apt. # C-9, Mays Landing, NJ. 08330, USA

 

 

SLUDGE

“Promo Tape for Self Titled 7” EP”

 

One thing I like about Sludge you get no preaching straight edge crap. What we get here is more metal tinged mid-tempo hardcore. Their performance on here seems a bit more focused then their demos. They improve with each release and seem to have a good following. It’s just not for me.

Web = http://members.bellatlantic.net/~sludge98

 

 

SOCIETY’S BURDEN

“Live, Drunk And Loud”

1999 Live Promo

 

What I am listening to here is a four song live recording from NC’s Society’s Burden. Maybe it is just because I am intoxicated at the moment but I find this release to be very plain and boring. I keep expecting the band to break into a Down or Crowbar riff or something. No doubt it is the whole “southern dixie” style these guys are influenced by but they are just aimlessly puking out riffs without any originality. Hey! I just noticed, on the bio one of the members is wearing a Down shirt. Cool T-shirt, just work on the riffs. – Jeffrey Kusbel

Society’s Burden, 5312 Manson Road, Julian, NC. 27283

 

 

SOLUS

“Universal Bloodshed”

1999 (Self-Released CD)

 

My Canadian brothers return with a new album. The production seems a bit drier and more focused this time which lends itself well to Solus’ bludgeoning sound. Will Korbut’s growls are deep but dense and tend to have a slight low hiss to them from time to time. I guess I would be remiss not to mention some bands whose influence I detect in this killer bands sound. Those are: Athiest (2nd album), At The Gates, C. Corpse, and Death alongside small touches of of ‘80s bay area and German thrash scenes. Recommended.

Skinmask Productions, P.O. Box 271, Stn. B, Toronto, Ontario, M5T-2W1, CANADA Web = www.skinmask.com/solus

 

 

SPASME

“Promo CDR”

1999

 

What an unrepresentative and useless band moniker! It certainly doesn’t elude to the fact that this band blasts out some great heavy, thick and semi-technical death metal. Watch out for this band but hopefully if they come to their senses it will be under a different name.

Spasme, c/o J. Beaupre, 1715 Poupart # 305, Montreal, Quebec, H2K 3G9, CANADA

 

 

 

STARSHINE

“Falling Star”

Demo CD 2007

 

Starshine are a one man band, offering us mere mortals a 4 song demonstration disc. It is rather difficult to get into any sort of depth about Starshine "Falling Star". Despite the fact this recording has to be about half an hour long. The reason for this discrepancy is every one song is roughly 10 minutes long. All tracks throughout the demo, contain the same basic riff and over laid guitar line, repeated over and over for the duration of these epic length 4 tracks with some very sparse minimalist drums. There is next to no depth and virtually no variation in the music. This does not necessarily mean it is all bad. In fact, I enjoyed it. But they are stretching one riff for 30 minutes, did I mention that? haha I enjoyed  it but you really have to be in the right head space to get lost in this monotonous menagerie. I guess I was there mentally and as we know sometimes less is more. – Dale

artdamage@777starshine.com 

 

 

STEELTOE

“Click”

1999  Demo / MCD

 

Steeltoe kick out some fairly catchy and intense material. They mix hardcore with death/grind and thrash. Their attitude and feel comes off a bit punkish though. I know that doesn’t sound good but it is. I mean things could be tighter and I could do completely without a song like “Snitch” or parts of it. With it’s awkward spoken word parts and kinda cheesy lyrics. That is a small complaint and don’t let that deter you from an otherwise cool listen.

Steeltoe, P.O. Box 407, Salina, KS. 67402, USA Web = http://steeltoe.iuma.com

 

 

STILLLIFE

“Requiem” Full Length Demo CD 2010

(Self-Released)

 

It is a shame that this disc arrived in the mail with a crack in it. I took a chance anyway and tried playing the disc. It did play the opening intro, plus the first two songs. Unfortunately for me two songs are hard to truly judge upon (but I will try my best), especially when taking into consideration the rest of the disc is comprised of about 40 minutes of music. Stilllife play progressive hard rock / heavy metal with long epic songs ranging from six minutes in length to over ten minutes. You can tell this is a demo level band, albeit quite a good demo level band, based on upon the level of execution and focus in the song writing. That is not meant as a negative, they actually have much more ambitious song writing aspirations on display when compared to most bands at this young stage of development. You can project at the same time with some maturity and time added to their song writing skills, this could be a very special band. I think listening to these guys you might be reminded of bands like Fates Warning, Queensryche, Iron Maiden and maybe I am crazy but it reminds me a touch of one of my fave albums “A Mended Rhyme” by Tad Morose. The vocalist did a good job, and reminds me a lot to Ray Alder from Fates Warning and I am a huge fan of Alders vocals (see the album “A Pleasant Shade of Gray” for a sterling example of his talent). It really is a pity my disc got a crack in it, maybe a tip for the band would be to include a piece of cardboard in the envelope next time or tell the mail people not to step on it haha. At least I got to hear some of it, and I liked what I heard a hell of a lot. So that is a caveat to those reading this review, I have no idea if the rest of the album is up to the quality of those first two tracks. I can only assume the answer is affirmative. I hope the band will keep me in mind for their next release, I hear they are working hard on it as I write this.  – Dale 

http://www.myspace.com/stilllifehome 

 

 

STORMBANE

Abyssum Invocat Demo CD EP 2010

(Self Released)

 

This a new EP released in 2010 from the Australian Stormbane (not to be confused with the Brazilian one).  Four tracks of death and thrash inspired metal.  Four members in the band as well.  After their first demo comes this release. Is there anything wrong with this?  No, not really.  Singular death metal guitar lines with a death/thrash vocal style.  Rhythm section is pounding the riffs into the listeners head.  For an unsigned band, it's good.  Is it something I'd buy?  Probably not.  There are just too many other bands that sound like this.  I don't hear anything that separates these guys from the hundreds of other heavier metal bands. Production is good - nice separation in the instruments without it being overly produced.  Raw enough to keep the edge, ya know? I did like the third tune, the title track, an instrumental.  Nice musicality with in the structure of that tune.  But, again, it's nothing to write home about. I believe the bass player spent some time in Spear of Longinus.  So, that may give them either some cred or some press.  But, if you take the music on it's own merits, it's just decent.  - Mark

http://www.myspace.com/stormbanemetal    

 

 

SUBHUMANOID SEWER SIX

“Hypnotic Acid Flesh”

Demo CDR 2011

 

That band name immediately makes me think of the horror flick from the 80s called C.H.U.D (which stood for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers). Well I said in the last review of the Vladimirs, that their album was something different from what I normally get. Well it is funny I would have to use that line in back to back reviews. This is even more out there from my usual norm. However like Vladimirs, SSS seems to revolve their songs around horror movies and as I said I have a soft spot for that and am a huge horror fan. Subhumanoid do not do it through lyrics though, it is all through movie samples. As you may guess this is an industrial project I suppose you might call it. Some might think samples from horror movies is over done, a lot of demo bands do it and personally I never seem to tire of it. Just to be clear here, this is like pure industrial music, not industrial metal as some might be assuming. The music is repetitive beats, a drum machine, no vocals but there are little hisses, growls and the like of which you might often hear emanating from a zombie in a movie and that actually works with the music on here. Which is pretty simple and as I said repetitive in a sort of stark, cold mechanical way. I kind of got into this, but I am not sure whether or not the average metal maniac reading this would dig this or not. But if you feel like checking out something different than the norm and not run of the mill, then you might want to check out SSS. There are 4 tracks on here and off the top of my head I would say it runs maybe 8 to 10 minutes in length. I could not locate a website when searching online and none was included with the disc, so just an Email for those interested. By the way was that one sample taken from the classic film They Live?! Nice.  – Dale

raysada@yahoo.com 

 

 

TERMINAL DESCENT

“Abysmal Regime”

1999 (Self-Released CD-R)

 

Yet another album from one man band Terminal Descent. More technical and emotional deathrash outpouring. Tony is a talented metal warrior who writes some excellent material. As I said in the past the songs could use a little more identity from one another. Though this release takes a step in that direction. Unlike most of his releases only one track has vocals here but I was never bored. This 7 song disc will only cost you $5 US to:

Terminal Descent, c/o Tony Mikkelson, 236 N. 11th St., Forest City, IA. 50436, USA

 

 

TERMINAL DESCENT

“Convictions Of Malcontent”

1999 Self-Released MCD-R

 

Tony do you ever sleep bro!? Now this MCD makes it 4 albums and 2 MCD’s in the last 2 years!! He expects to record another full-length by the end of ’99 too! Just in case you were thinking “oh he records them on his stereo”, if so you are wrong as his releases have quite respectable sound. We are treated to 6 new songs of Tony’s unique sounding speed/thrash and death metal mayhem. A little more straight forward this time and more aggressive. I am proud to report, with each release his songs are taking on more of an individual identity. Which was something I criticized in the past. At times it is easy to tell only one man recorded this but what a talented one man! How could you not order this release when it only costs $3 US/$5 World.

 

 

THUNDERCRAFT

Demo CD-R 2005

 

No date, no bio, no information except contacts which suits me just fine. I acknowledge that is four piece are either Russian, Ukranian or are from Belarus, My incisors have bit into a shit-sandwich with some infected hospital waste for dressing on this one. I’m sick of it! Call me a bastard, but this sub-par DM laced with Godflesh, futuristic sci-fi sounds, folk, flute and stealing keyboards right from the final Emperor and Dimmu Borgir. All this is good for is posers who think Fear Factory is the real shit! No Remorse! – Clayton

amorth@mail.ru    

 

 

TOIL

Demo Tape 1 2002

(Forever Plagued Records)

 

Firstly I would like to apologize to Forever Plagued for long this review took to see the dark of night. I had thought I lost the package of review material Tom sent me when I moved sometime ago. I opened some boxes left untouched and surprise motherfucker! Oh well better late than never and I think this was an old release as well. Doing a quick bit of research on Lurker the one man behind Toil and was shocked at the extensive list of bands this guy is in or was in: Taog Susej, ex-Vrolok (US), ex-Interfektor, Mord (US), Sangraal, Dawn of Sorrow, Nazroth, Satanic Funeral, Old Oak, Funeral Mourning, Gravestench, Raw Hatred. How in the hell is he in that many bands?! Maybe they mail tapes back forth? Anyway, I am hesitant but would have to describe Toil as an atmospheric black metal band. Even though in some sense that particular tag does not do them (figure of speak, this is a 1 man band) justice as Toil are definitely not elevator / nature music ala Vinterriket and the synth is also not crass and overpowering keyboard junk ala Xasthur. No the guitars the guitars, drums and traditional instrumental rhythms are driving the vehicle and the keys are sitting comfortably in the back seat where they belong. I am not certain how to explain this demo cassette. They do not exactly sound old school yet the bands pacing, tempos and structuring remind me strongly to the old / early days of black metal (before the Norwegian explosion). Toil are extremely rhythmic, simple, effective and dark. Hails to Toil! – Dale

http://foreverplaguedrecords.com  Tomas@Foreverplaguedrecords.com 

 

 

TOXIC DEATH

“…From…”

Demo 1999 (Underworld Productions)

 

Toxic Death burst out with some blast filled techno death metal. The production is disjointed and hurts the music I feel. T.D. do know how to hit you lightning quick like a predator after it’s prey. At 10 songs this is one lengthy demo and it only costs you $5 US. Intelligently arranged and performed above the average death metal.

Underworld Prod., P.O. Box 40, Kojetin 752 01, CZECH REPUBLIC

 

 

TREPHINATION

“Self-Titled”

Demo 1998

 

A beautifully pro-packaged tape. The music however is not pretty at all, in fact it is ugly, heavy, fast and driving. Just how I like it. Trephination pretty much run the gamut of slow, fast, brooding tempo death metal. The only lyrics not printed on this 6 song tape are the ones to “Ghetto”. I guess maybe they ran out of room or so no one will be offended but either way I could make out most of it from the singer anyway. One cool excerpt is “I give her crack to suck my dick, I’m so high I can’t get hard, What the fuck!…Oh it’s getting hard now!”. Great debut demo, I am sure with a bit more maturity the next outing is going to fucking slaughter!!

Trephination, 1130 Bleigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA. 19111, USA

 

 

UNHALLOWED

“Punchfucking Blasphemy”

Demo / CD 1999

 

Like a quick punch to the face, this eight song CD will drop you! From start to finish the band go all out grind and when they slow it down you get a crazy slam riff to pulverize your speakers. The insanely sick vocals go from low and brutal to high pitched screams. This New Jersey based band were a great surprise to me thanx to Jenn (bass)!  - Scott

Get it for $8 US/$10 US World to: Unhallowed, c/o Jenn Carrao, 5170 Berkshire Valley Rd., Oak Ridge, NJ. 07438, USA 

 

 

VOW DREAMS

“Story Of A Ghost”

Promo Tape 1999

 

What is it with Italy? Nearly every demo band I have heard from there in the last couple years. Goes from average to awful! Vow Dreams are somewhere between the horrible and average categories. Plodding death/doom is an apt description I think. Nothing eventful or even remotely memorable. Did the well dry up after Bulldozer, Paul Chain, Domine, Natron and Death SS or am I just hearing the wrong bands!?

Vow Dreams, c/o Antonello Mura, Via Napoli n. 7 08015, Macomer (NU), ITALY

 

 

WARSEID

“Where Fate Lies Unbound” 2012 Demo / CD EP

(Self-Released)

I have to commend this Wisconsin band, on going all out on the promotion front; they sent a very complete and impressive promotional package. I have not seen this much effort, money and patience put in to a promo package for probably a decade now (Yeah I have been at this a long time I know) at least. It was a little more common place back then, but these days in the age of digital downloads and everything, well it is nice to see. Warseid play I suppose more of a European style black folk metal. Now this is listed as an ep, but you get 30 minutes of music, to Decide and a lot of bands would consider that album length. The vocals are harsh black metal rasps with a growling undertone type of vox, they are fine for what they are, but I have to be honest, for me, to my ear they do not really suit the music very well. They just do not seem to convey or match the energy or emotion of the music or seem to fit very well to the music, if you know what I mean? It is not one of those cases where you go I can not imagine a different vocalist in there, I can and the one I imagine is a better fit. The music itself is some good black metal, not really harsh or low-fi, yet they do not abandon their aggressive or hateful roots altogether either. No it is a little crisper, with a slight punchy metal edge, but that edge is rounded off by some of the symphonic elements and nice rhythms and well thought out, catchy harmonies. The music is really pretty solid, it could honestly use a bit more flow though, it is a tad rigid and not always seamless when transitioning from straight up parts to the more symphonic or melodic sections. But that will come with time; I am sure because there obviously is some imagination and talent on display here with Where Fate Lies Unbound. I think fans of the more symphonic or melodic black metal and folk sounding bands will be interested in this one. Yes it is not without its faults, but at the same time it nicely displays a talented band still finding their way they just need to work on those vocals first, of course.  – Dale 

http://www.reverbnation.com/warseid  http://www.warseid.com/  

 

 

WITHERED EARTH

“Forgotten Sunrise”

1999 (Self-Released CD)

 

I reviewed this bands demo “Abolish In Thorns” in ’95 for the Canadian ‘zine The Sepulchral Voice(RIP). I recall saying they were a good, solid and dark death metal band with potential. So 4 years later have they grown into my lofty predictions? The answer is no. They are pretty much the same talented band trying to stretch their necks above the crowd with very moderate success. This is the US release version of their album and has 2 bonus tracks to round the number to ten. The CD cover is the size and layout of a 7” ep which is a cool idea.

Withered Earth, 5 Beechwood Drive, Rochester, NY. 14606, USA Web = www.witheredearth.com