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MAAX

“Unholy Rock & Roll” 2011 CD

(Abyss Records)

 

This is a band I have been hearing and seeing a lot about the last few months so I was eager to hear this cd when it arrived with the Abyss promo's. With a title like "unholy rock and roll" it shouldn't take a genius to figure out what style of music this band plays. Dirty, filthy old school blackened thrash with a lot of rock and roll influences especially with their catchy guitars. Hyper-speed yet very catchy and memorable guitar riffs and solo's intertwined with equally as catchy and fast paced drumming that keep the pace moving nicely and never lets it get boring or too slow. Vocals are a mix between blackened screams and outbursts of deeper growls. Maax are a band that know how to play and craft old-school sounding black metal and make it sound like sheer perfection. If you enjoy blackened thrash with rock influences look past all the posers and pick up Maax's unholy rock and roll today!!  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/maaxmetal  http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/ 

 

 

MACHINAGE

“It Makes Us Hate” 2011 CD

(EBM Records)

 

Some thraaaaassshhh metal from Brazil bitches! Machinage is an interesting case for me, I do not get a ton of thrash for review, but enough I suppose, yet almost never get that late 80s / very early 90s style thrash when the scene was still heavy and extreme, but also moving towards a slightly cleaner, less blitzkrieg and dare I say it somewhat commercial edge. Okay so to give you a little reference think of the output of that time period above from bands like Exodus, Sacred Reich, Prong, Death Angel, Testament, Overkill that kind of thing. Yes, it is a pure thrash attacking audio barrage upon the senses! It is kind of nice to be honest to hear some bands still playing this style; I would not want the scene flooded with this. But all the same listening to it now makes me realize how much I miss it. Machinage are not a clone band, they sound like those bands I named but also have a dose of their own sound and their vocalist is great, he has a reasonably unique sound and emotes very well with his voice, which only further serves to draw you into the It Makes Us Hate spider web. Now that you are caught in that web thrash or die suit ‘n tie guy!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/machinage  http://www.ebmrecords.com/  

 

 

MADDER MORTEM

“Mercury” 1999 CD

(Misanthropy Records)

 

Madder Mortem (formerly Mystery Tribe - wise choice in name change) didn’t catch many ears until their song “These Mortal Sins” was released on Misanthropy comp “Presumed Guilty”. Upon listening to this 7 track album, I am left feeling kinda bored. The instrumentation is far superior to many bands out there but isn’t very original. The vocals are the weakest point for me though. I have never been a fan of female vocals and the vocals laid over this melancholic, depressed sounding metal just seem utterly plain. Most of the disc is slow and uneventful and personally just doesn’t do anything for me. I definitely find solace in something like Rozz Williams but this is in another area but possible M.M. were aiming for that crowd? They definitely should throw out their heavy riffs and concentrate on their vocals and slower material; that seems to be their niche.  - JEFFREY KUSBEL

 

 

MAGMA RISE

“Lazy Stream of Steel” 2010 CD

(PsycheDOOMelic)

 

Former member of Hungary's Wall of Sleep's new band Magma Rise which means more doom metal. The music is nice and sludgy but once the vocals kick in - eh, things take a turn of the worse. The clean delivery is fine especially for doom metal. But the vocalist has a really odd sounding voice.  Maybe if I were stoned I'd like it but since I don't smoke weed, that's not much help. As the rest of the album plays, I really like the music. The production gets the job done as well. But, yeah, I've made up my mind. They need to sack the singer. Gabor (ex Wall of Sleep) should stick to just playing bass and hire a new vocalist.  If they do that, Magma Rise will indeed - rise.  - Mark

http://magmarise.net/  http://www.psychedoomelic.com/   

 

 

MAIM

“From The Womb To The Tomb” CD

(Soulseller Records)

 

Some fucking death metal of the old school worshipping variety, straight out of mighty Sweden. It just immediately hits me with healthy dose of influence from one of my all time fave bands Autopsy. Not to mention a dash of Repulsion. You also get the old Swedish sound ala Dismember, Repugnant mixed in and anyone who reads Canadian Assault knows I absolutely love that stuff. So it is probably of very little surprise that I greatly enjoy the to some extent doomy and brutal sounds of Maim. The riffs on here sound so classic and they are extremely heavy and memorable. The band also manages to slip in some tasty little guitar solos to assure you are hooked. The vocals are dark sounding and obscure growls that seem to fit the music well. I honestly do not have a lot more to add to this. But if you like the classic stuff from the bands I mentioned above then you will want to check into getting yourself some Maim. Their new album is supposed to be out any time now. Argh!  – Dale

http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/  http://www.myspace.com/maimdeathmetal 

 

 

MALHKEBRE

“Prostration” CD

(Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions)

 

Sick and ugly French black metal - originally released in 2006 but re-released in 2010.  This EP of material is full of hatred and dissonance. The band also has one demo and a split to their credit. The conviction is there with this band - something mandatory for any band, but particularly, for black metal bands. I want to feel like I'm about to be burned to the ground when I hear a black metal release. This one captures that feel nicely. Instrumentation reminds me of countrymen Eternal Majesty in places but much more hateful. While not original by any means, it definitely has the black metal appeal of old.  I'd like to see what this band can do with a full length release.  – Mark

http://www.ahdistuksenaihio.com/  http://www.myspace.com/malhkebre  

 

 

MANIAC BUTCHER

“Masakr” 2010 CD

(Negative Existence Records)

 

I am a Maniac Butcher from way back and yes I am an old coot. Just like these old warriors and I would like to think I still have just as much fight left in my black heart as the Butcher. Who make a triumphant return after a decade long hiatus. I always respected Maniac Butcher for never giving into the trends of synth, goth, angelic female vocals and such things – they were always true to their roots. The intro is cold and creepy sounding as hell, dank ambient backdrop and what sounds like a great pre-historic beast breathing and snorting in a hypnotic rhythm, each breath sending tendrils of steam in the darkness. You can not see the beast through the night and are paralyzed with fear. We then launch into bombastic black metal dripping with ferocity and driving at an electric pace. This new album may be a little more rocking than in the past, but no less evil sounding and still mean & hateful. It is simple and cruel like any good barbarian horde. Masakr is a great combination of catchy speed riffing, blasting rapid fire drumming and some truly sinister rasping black metal vocals that help create a real eerie atmosphere. All the songs are good, but the highlight for me was “Projizdka hvozdem”. It really marries the epic early classic black metal sound I worship with the memorable tremolo riffing and vocalist Barbarud simply sounds possessed and maniacal. The Butcher is back and they are not fucking around. The black metal scene needed an album like this right now and so do you.  – Dale

http://negative-existence.com/   http://www.maniacbutcher.com/

 

 

MANILLA ROAD

“Invasion” 2012 CD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)

 

I consider myself a Manilla Road fan, but I also admit I only have a few of their albums, which are classics in their own right, in my view at least. So Invasion, a re-release of their 1980 album is a new one for me. As the bio states the band were a rock ‘n roll band at this point and the material on here was written in the late 70s. You can hear hints of what would come for Manilla Road as the 80s wore on and they adopted a more metal sound. Thanks to Shadow Kingdom for pulling this out of obscurity for fans of the band and fans of late 70s/early 80s rock in general to hear. The fans that are hoping to hear vintage in their prime Manilla Road metal may be a bit disappointed. As for myself I am a fan of 1970s hard rock and this is a neat little time capsule for me. There are some cool effects and sounds on here for the time period. You can definitely feel the band attempting to find their way, it is beginning of the power that the band would become. There are strong hints at this on the awesome thirteen minute album closer The Empire. It is an epic and ambitious tune that is finely crafted with a superb main riff and plenty of dynamics, such as dueling guitar effects, some tasty fills and mystic, moody atmosphere that keeps you interested the entire length of this marathon song. That brilliant song alone is worth the price of this album, it is well ahead of any other tune on here, this song The Empire is fucking fantastic I am telling you. I dig the vintage band and rehearsal photos too. I would say this is a must have for Manilla Road fans and 70s rock aficionados alike.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/manillaroadofficial  http://shadowkingdomrecords.com/    

 

 

MANTICORE

Behold The Ascension Of The Execrated” 2012 CD

(Deathgasm Records)

 

After six years of silence Ohio's Manticore are back with a new full length of vile, harsh blackness. You get raw, filthy mid-paced guitars and drumming, the drummer does let loose with some moments of furious faster blast beats before relaxing back to the more controlled mid-pace sound. Inhuman shrieks spew out the blasphemous lyrics. Manticore definitely won't appeal to the newer breed of black metal bands/fans of the scene out there but if you’re an old-school fanatic who worships the raw, harsher side of black metal done in the eighties and early nineties then Manticore are a definite must have for your collection.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/manticore666  http://www.deathgasm.com/    

 

 

MANTH

“A Conjuration Compelling Obedience” MC

(Kampf Records)

 

An Italian “Occult black metal” is what this one man band bills itself as. The 7 tracks, which include 4 songs, 3 intros that were done in ’06 but apparently just now seeing label release, from what I can gather. I am rather hoping this release was nothing more than an early, beginners demo tape. As Manth to be blunt are all kinds of sloppy with a liberal does of down right horrible. Manth try to play equal parts of extreme black metal ala Profanatica / Havohej and heavy synth atmospheric ala a dying cat that swallowed a mini korg keyboard. I mean what an mess we have on our hands here. The metal half, is poor to barely passable but possess no real flow, feeling or direction to the song. The atmospheric half, sounds like a child who got a synthesizer for christmas. The two halves are merely smashed together in exceptionally amateurish fashion. I am left scratching my head as to why a label would want to release this?  – Dale

www.kampf.ws   kampfrec@go2.pl   info@kampf.ws 

 

 

MARDUK

“Nightwing” 1998 CD

(Osmose Productions)

 

Another great, Marduk album in a legacy of hateful black metal. Marduk, have always delivered superior quality with their song crafting skills and this album, while not my favorite is supremely excellent. Split into two chapters as to explain a tale, it has an overall concept feel to it. Chapter one contains some slower fare such as “Dreams Of Blood And Iron”  which sounds very Bathory influenced (title and music alike). Chapter two contains a re-recorded version of “Deme, Quaden Thyrane” which originally appeared on the great “Opus Nocturne” album. All in all this is a great album with plenty of violent, hate inspired lyrics and music to go around. This is black metal!   - Jeffrey  Kusbel

 

 

MARIONETTE

“Enemies” CD

(Listenable Records)

 

We have some melodic death metal from Sweden on tap. I like only a very select few bands in this genre. So a band in this style has to be quite remarkable to capture my interest. In fact, after the initial quality releases in this style, the early works by Dark Tranquility, In Flames etc… I have found very few albums of any use really. A second mark against Marionette is they seem to have decided to meld the Goteburg melodious death style with a genre I mostly actively dislike. That would be American metalcore, some call it deathcore and others call it mallcore. I mainly call it garbage. There are some quality harmonious riffs and interesting structural moments to be had. The band has some talent and are young – so it is impressive from that point of view. At other times the music is just too sweet or drowns you too much in metalcore for me to truly attempt to enjoy it. The production on here is slick, almost to a fault, but if you like things over produced as many do these days, then you will enjoy “Enemies” on that level. You have heard it all before, one thousand times, but if you are a big fan of the styles I have described above. Well then I see no reason you will not enjoy Marionette. Excuse me though if I pass on this.  – Dale

http://www.listenable.net   http://www.myspace.com/marionettesweden 

 

 

MARK HUETTMAN

“Product” 1998 CD

(Bishop Records)

 

“Melodic shred instrumental rock”, I would say that bio snippet about fits. Mark (from Asteroids), is one talented guy and certainly does shred up the fret board, something wicked. He plays with a lot of emotion too. Imagine some Malmsteen, Beck wanking mixed with some cool Rush, Led Zepplin and Eric Clapton style stuff. Much better than Asteroid, but still not metal. Same price and addy as the Asteroid CD.

 

 

MALEVOLENT CREATION

“The Fine Art Of Murder” 1998 CD

(Pavement Music)

 

The American death metal vets return! They continue to do it - here is another album of top quality, catchy and heavy brutal death. Bret Hoffman’s growls flow nicely, a perfect balance between indecipherable and not. Also Dave Culross steps in and puts down one deadly maelstrom drumming performance. Great album & they continue to uphold after all these years the mark of real death metal musically and lyrically. I take great pleasure listening to this album and much respect is what I feel for this band.

Pavement Music, P.O. Box 50550, Phoenix, AZ. 85076, USA

 

 

MALIGNANT TUMOR / GRIDE / CEREBRAL TURBULENCY

“3 Way Split” 1998 Cassette Album

(Shindy Productions)

 

All 3 of these Czech bands play fast, heavy and intense grind with belching vocals. M.T. do a cover of Agathocles during their 7 songs. Gride do 2 covers, one of Rupture, and a interesting one of Health Hazard which include female gind vox and all - cool! Nothing to blow you away but still some great mind-grind to be had on this pro packaged cassette. $5 US to Shindy Productions (see addy elsewhere).

 

 

MASACHIST

“Scorned” 2012 CD

(Selfmadegod Records)

 

I must send greetings and thanks to Godz Ov War records for sending this my way. They have done this before, an extremely supportive label, they send promo copies of other labels releases around for review and that is the case with this release and a handful of others reviewed elsewhere. Another piece of metal sickness from a very underrated Polish metal scene. I am not going to laundry list them off here, but suffice it to say Masachist is made of members of a number of old bands from the scene, this might be their second album but they are veteran UG musicians. The riffs on Scorned are some of the heaviest, chunky riffs I have heard in a while, reminds me slightly Banished from the early 90s. The opening song “Drilling The Nerves”, the music and vocals are very rhythmic, kind of metalcore sounding, I honestly did not like this song very much, I like all the elements from the guitar to the drums to the vocals, just not way they employed and the song constructed. I am happy to report that after the opening track, they leave the deathcore, mallcore junk in the rear view mirror. After that you get what you hoped for, straight on guttural death metal with some interesting guitar patterns, pounding drums, harsh deep and throaty growling vocals. This is some old school, American NYDM style death metal, it does steam roll along with some non-typical guitar rhythms and musical ideas within the brutality to keep your interest. This is topped off by some again old school sounding vocals that are combination of Suffocation and Deicide type vocals and I really, really like the vocals (except that awful first track). It almost seems like they arranged the songs on this album worst to best, as the album seems to just keep building and getting better as you go along. If you can just get past that opening track clunker, you will be satisfied you were patient. Check it out.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/masachistband  http://selfmadegod.com/    

 

 

MASS BURIAL

“Of Carrion And Pestilence” 2012 CD

(Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho)

 

I must confess off the top, I am a confirmed worshipper of the old Swedish death metal sound of the early to mid 90s. So if a band plays that style, it is not terribly hard to win me over and win me over Mass Burial from Spain have done. This is intense, heavy death with rolling razor riffs, and obscure pounding drums that patter upside your head harder than a pair of bloody knuckles. Yes this is Swede influenced to be sure; I can definitely hear the band is big fans of the almighty Grave! Also I am sure early Entombed and Dismember. It is well done and unquestionably unoriginal but it is still fucking fantastic, Mass Burial just pummel you into submission. I am sure some will think these guys borrow too much, in fact I could swear a whole section of one song sounded very close to some Entombed material. The vocalist reminds me very much of Ola Lindgren from Grave and I love his semi-decipherable classic growls, yeah these vocals kill. I really enjoyed this album and can recommend it, but there is an argument to be made by more picky fans to just listen to the albums of the original masters instead. As for me I just can not get enough!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mass-Burial/115395335235420  http://www.wydawnictwopsycho.com/   

 

 

MASS MURDER FRENZY

Insurrection Divinity” 2012 CD

(Victim Music)

 

The duo of Tim Labossiere {vocals, bass, guitars, drum programming} and Vic Silvia {guitars, backing vocals, co-drum programming} unleash their monster known as Mass Murder Frenzy one more time upon the unexpecting underground. Insurrection Divinity is Mass Murder Frenzy's fourth masterpiece of sickness and their most complex, powerful and intense work to date. Nine songs that start out heavy and never let up until the final note is played. But both Vic and Tim have been playing music for a long time so yes the music is heavy and fast it is also complex with a lot of memorable and catchy riffs that are memorable even after the cd has long ended. The drums are programmed but have a human feel to them in areas you hear the programmed drums, but the guys have done a great job in making the drums as real as possible and fit perfectly with their guitar and bass structures. Tim's vocals have never sounded better or more vicious then on Insurrection Divinity and Vic's higher screams and growls. If you heard the bands previous release "Unleashed" then definitely buy this!! As the music on Insurrection Divinity is even better then Unleashed {which I didn't think they would be able to match} or if you are a new listener to Mass Murder Frenzy and you enjoy vicious, violent brutal death metal you won't hear a better a band!!  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/officialmassmurderfrenzy  

 

 

MASSIVE SLAVERY

“Global Enslavement” CD

(Maple Metal Records)

 

Another band from the fertile ground of Quebec, Canada. Massive Slavery are proficient at playing what they play, which is modern melodic death mixed with metalcore. I am not the biggest fan of either style, so the mixing of the two only tends to amplify things for me. As mentioned though they handle their instruments well and I found myself if nothing else enjoying the individual performances from each musician. The musical whole however is not overly distinctive or memorable and lacks a little focus. I mean they have a lot of quality parts and sections but they are put together in a somewhat clunky, patchwork manner and seemingly lose the plot a couple times over within a song. The vocals from Jonathan are the style we usually hear with melodic death bands. You know they are growls but laced with a little thrash gruffness and kept clean and decipherable enough so that all the lyrics can be understood to those that listen closely. I can appreciate the talent and the performance, but as mentioned the execution in the song writing department needs to mature and refinement that should hopefully come with time. I am always excited to get new releases from my mighty homeland, despite that Global Enslavement missed the mark for me. Admittedly I am not a fan of this style in general though.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/massiveslavery  http://maplemetalrecords.bigcartel.com/   

 

 

MASTERSTROKE

“As Days Grow Darker” CD

(Dynamic Arts Records)

 

Symphonic power metal from Finland and Masterstroke hit us with their third full length album. The first moments of the opening track really grabbed me and got me excited. It reminded me a little of the great & underrated Tad Morose A Mended Rhyme album. From there though things sort of settled down and the energy drained and mellowed a little. As the album continued to wind along my interest seems to be dropping bit by bit. I think another band that comes to mind as an influence for Masterstroke would be Nevermore, though not as powerful or quite as memorable in my view. I am probably being a little hard on them though. There is some quality material on here, some solid melodic riffs and they do have the ability to draw emotion out of the listener. Something for me that is integral to a good band playing this style as things can get very stale, very quickly if they do not have that emotional hook to draw you in and keep you there. As obviously with this mid-paced flowing style with the keyboard atmospherics do not lend themselves to heaviness or speed. The best part of this band may just be vocalist Jari Tiura whose has a great soaring set of smooth pipes and he carries off the sound beautifully. I would say the biggest drawback for Masterstroke might be is that from song to song they start to get kind of same sounding and lack identity from one another. I am being a little picky here as stated, but this is a talented band who are on the cusp of turning into a something special if they play their cards right.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/masterstrokefinland  http://www.dynamicartsrecords.com/  

 

 

MELENCOLIA ESTATICA

“Hel” 2012 CD

(Temple Of The Torturous)

 

Ambient black metal hailing out of Italy and is the vision of Climaxia (now there is a name heh), whose vision is Melencolia Estatica, she handles the overall concept, guitar, bass, and “vocal orchestrations”. I guess that last bit means she plans out and coaches the vocalists every move and emanation? Speaking of which the vocals, they are really often more of the dark death metal variety, set to sometimes ambient and other times noisy harsh aggression. Something about the music does not flow for me, maybe that is the way it was intended to be, but often the guitar patterns and tones are just grating rather than atmospheric, the different instrument sounds seem to clash again at times and step upon one another’s toes. For me, rather than finding that harsh and extreme, it just came off grating and annoying, sort of headache inducing. I do not so much mind headache inducing music, as long as the music pays off and is awesome in it’s extremity, that is not the case here. This more often then not comes off like a cluttered mess and displays a muddled musical direction or possibly lack of direction I suppose. The more atmospheric moments (and some of the vocal work), where they slow down the din of silver wear cascading down a set of stairs, is actually decently done and enjoyable, yet it is a little hard to enjoy at the same time, because you know the mess is going to start up again soon. Yes, maybe I just do not see or understand what they are going for, but to me this is trying to do a bunch of things at once, not doing them that well, suffocating the musical whole and not letting the individual parts much room to breathe, rendering them nearly useless. I would pass on this, but give their myspace a listen and see if you agree with me before writing them off.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/melencoliaestaticaletum  http://www.templeoftorturous.com    

 

 

MEMORY DRIVEN

“Animus” 2011 CD

(I Hate Records)

 

Some doom coming out of Oklahoma via Sweden with I Hate Records. This is my first experience with Memory Driven. Animus is a pretty diverse record and I would say not as accessible or as immediate as many of the bands on this label. It will probably take a few listens to really grasp what all is going on here. The more I listen to it though the less inclined I am to the doom tag that comes with the label reputation and is around the band. A reputation that I think in large part owes to the main creative force being Dennis Cornelius, who has been in bands like Place Of Skulls, Revelation, Doom Stone etc… But to be honest a lot of this record both musically and vocally probably has more to do with the early 90s grunge sound than it does with doom rock. Both musically and vocally I can hear some Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and that type of music. I mean do not get me wrong these guys are great musicians and have some really interesting things going on in the music and I really can dig some of it. Maybe it just was so much of the opposite of what I was expecting that I just had a hard time really getting into Animus. I really do not care much for the vocals either. I would say if you like some of the better stuff from the grunge days mixed with some doom rock type tendencies then you would most likely like Memory Driven. However for me it was just not my cup of tea, I gave it a good shot and listened to the record 4 or 5 times looking for stuff I liked. But ultimately the things I did not care for about Memory Driven outweighed that which I liked.  – Dale

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

 

 

MEPHISTO

“Metal of Death” CD

(Bestial Burst Records)

 

The opening movie sample on “Zombie Terror”, track number two for those keeping score at home, of gut munching and that beyond awesome, high pitched scream right out of the 80’s had me hooked like a fish. Do they have quality music to back the window dressing? Oh Lucifer I invoke thee, the dark prince raises a spiked hoof and proclaims “God be cursed, Mephisto knows how make me headbang!” Speaking of Satan, there is very little doubt Mephisto musically worship at the black magic altar of Venom!! Hell, they even wear the influence on their sleeves by closing with the richly titled inside nudge “Again At War With Satan [Introduction]”, it is a short brutal little ditty incorporating the song title in the lyrics and a nice little “Teachers Pet” guitar run, among others, for nostalgic value. I only hope I am not making Mephisto out to be some kind of un-serious band because they make stone cold sober black metal of the thrash ‘n death variety. These Italians do have a knack for writing that old loose style, most of these plastic (i.e. – Pro Tool cheatin’) bands would shake their head and call it sloppy, but no this is the way real bands play, this is the way metal is supposed to be fucking played, ‘Metal of Death’ indeed. The drums are so “Welcome To Hell / Black Metal” sounding it almost hurts and other influences, speaking in a much more general arena would be Sodom, Bulldozer and Slaughter swim through my brain. The vocals sound so familiar as well but I will damned if I can remember who, the closest I can seem to come is Hellhammer with early Bathory with a dash of Cronos and something else I just cannot put my finger upon. How does Bestial Burst keep finding these maniac bands?! I must confess this album has an atmosphere and feeling to it that I have not felt in a new band in many years. Buy this now or I might interview and then you will be sorry you waited later. – Dale

www.metalofdeath.com   http://bestialburst.blackmetal.fi 

 

 

MESHUGGAH

“Chaosphere” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast America)

 

Here it is, the long anticipated (not by me, but by a large portion of the scene) new Meshuggah album. I loved their first LP “Contradictions Collapse” but became repulsed after they released their next material “None”. It saw them dropping their old school jazz tinged speed metal roots and crafty structuring. Replaced by straight-forward, boring stop ‘n start Pantera / MachineHead /  Skinlab tough guy ‘jump’ metal (a phrase coined by C.A. writer Arto Lehtinen). I fail to see where all the hype on this band is justified! Just to be fair, I have this album a multitude of listens to see if I was missing something. I will give them one thing on here, they try some spaced out stuff to distinguish them from the pack but ends with being a futile effort. This genre is limp, I just don’t get it it is so fucking boring. Vocalist Jens spoken word/shouted screams really grate on my nerves after a couple songs. I have to comment on album closer “Elastic” halfway thru the song, there is this 5 to 6 minute electronic drone that takes over. It sounds like a video game soundtrack (I guess in the 3 years, since the last full length, they couldn’t come up with enough material for a full album so they threw on 6 of filler to bring it up to normal album length). All else I can say is if you liked the last one, you’ll probably like this too. So go get a boner & jump around, jump around, get up, get up & get down!

 

 

MIDNIGHT

“Satanic Royalty” 2011 CD

(Hells Headbangers)

 

This is a one man band and that one man should be known to anyone into the UG heavy / speed / thrash metal scene of the last decade or so. I am talking about Athenar (aka Jamie Walters) besides Midnight, he was also in Destructor and in the past was part of Boulder, Abdullah and more. Just listening to this album, it is painfully clear Jamie is one dedicated motherfucker and is a devout worshipper at the altar of metal. Despite Satanic Royalty being the bands debut album, Midnight has been releasing demos, split eps, eps, and even a live album since 2003! This is some mean, dirty shit bro, I am telling you I have never tangibly smelt Canadian Whiskey, cigarettes, pot, leather and the crotch of bar sluts emanating from my speakers before, but there is a first time for everything. You get fast and angry speed metal with lots of energy and some large nods to the early works of bands like Piledriver, Kreator, Destruction, Celtic Frost and big dose of the almighty Venom with a dash of punk. Hah even the vocals sound an awful lot like Cronos. So yes it is retro and nothing new, but it is done with such dedication and ferocity you can not help but respect it. Not to mention it is catchy and memorable as hell, with great singable choruses and all out head bang inducing riffage. It is really a must for old school goats like me that can never get enough of this classic sound. Satan himself could not have conjured such a cacophony of audio debauchery!  – Dale

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

 

 

MIDNIGHT

“Complete And Total Hell” 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)

 

Dale's review (see review above or in the album archives for reference) of their proper debut full-length album 'Satanic Royalty' will answer your question "who is that" if Midnight are still an unknown entity to you. Hell, this is Canadian Assault you're reading so chances of that are null. A big "thank you" and a resounding drunken "cheers" salute goes into Hells Headbangers' direction for releasing this compilation of red hot carnality and infernal decadence. Not the first time for the band to offer a compilation type album but with the limited nature of those 7 inchers and splits of theirs the idea holds well. Raw, catchy and instantly headbangable, Athenar's Midnight are all you need for a mighty good time, reducing the ongoing Venom soap opera reunion carcass to dust and then some. Right, not the most "in depth" or "intellectual" review the world has ever seen but the music doesn't warrant one - get this 21 song album (preferably the 2-LP version), indulge in unhealthy amounts of your favourite alcoholic poison and blast the fucker LOUD! They say the simple things are the best. How fuckin true.  - Vladimir Petrov

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

 

 

MINCING FURY AND GUTTURAL CLAMOUR OF QUEER DECAY

“Devolution” CD

(United Guttural Records)

 

Mincing Fury come at you like a screaming fireball of metal coming from the Czech Republic. The Czech is a country that longtime underground minions will recognize as a hotbed of grindcore / brutal death mix the last couple decades. It will also come as no surprise that Devolution fits nicely into that description as well. You could even say they helped solidify that reputation as they have been mincing it up in the Czech scene for a decade now. I always find it a little hard to describe these releases. It is basically gurgling, toilet growling vocals, on top of spastic fast guitars intermingled with slower sections, always return to lightning fast blast beat insano drumming. Mixed in between all of this sickness are many crazy, off-beat samples. It is probably an acquired taste for some people. Especially those that like all their metal to refined, thought provoking, presented on over produced albums. You will not find that here at all. Personally though, I have always loved the lunacy and the break neck speed and resulting destruction left in its wake from this style. If you like that shit too, then check this out, by all means.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/mincingfury  http://www.unitedguttural.com/    

 

 

MINOTAUR

“Power Of Darkness” CD

(I Hate Records)

 

This is a re-issue of this classic German thrash bands debut album. The album itself was recorded as a demo in 1987 and then one year later was a repackaged as their first album with three new tracks added. This new version seems to have the demo tracks plus four new songs recorded in 2009. Anyway Power of Darkness is done in the traditional old school German thrash way, it is extremely fast and ripping. The music is sure to remind you of old Kreator and the vocals do the same as the singer sounds very close to Mille. Yes it is may not sound too original even for the time it came out. But I can tell you it is great and Minotaur created their own feeling and atmosphere, picking up the gauntlet of their heroes and immediately charging into battle. The freshly recorded tracks sound a touch different, but still great and show the band know how to play raging thrash. As you have come to expect with I Hate Records everything is done the right way fully draped in dedication and worship to the foundations of metal we all love.  – Dale

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

 

 

MISERY

“On Demon Wings” CD

(Obsidian Records)

 

It amazing that this quality Australian band has been around so long (that is since 1991 for those keeping score at home). Yet, outside their homeland and the staunchest die hardcore followers of death metal. They seem to still be a fairly unknown name. It is a shame and I suppose they will be one of those bands that everyone claims they always revered once they are gone. First off as opposed to my review of Limb From Limb, this album, has a great recording that really helps the music stand out and be heard. This record is just fantastic. Some avalanche heavy death metal that is mid to slightly fast paced, but is intermingled with heavy doses oppressive doom elements that smother you like a blanket of darkness. Some really massive and memorable material and more than enough dynamics to keep me interested every minute of the way. I really dug the guitar solos, tastefully done and bring to mind some of the classic metal bands from the late 80s. Damon Robinsons vocals are superb as well and bring to mind some legendary American death bands like Incantation, Immolation, Grave, Asphyx, old Morbid Angel etc… They are growling and brutal but just clear enough make decipher and convey a range of depth and emotion the garbled style growls can only dream of. I am not sure what else to say except every self-respecting death metal fan must have this album in their collection!  – Dale

www.obsidianrecords.com   www.myspace.com/ondemonwings 

 

 

 

MONGREL'S CROSS

“The Sins Of Aquarius” 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)

 

Lets not start beating around the bush, time is precious: Mongrel's Cross are Australian (Queensland, more precisely) and they're on HHR. Yes, this is devastating, take no prisoners, Oz-style black/death/thrash amalgam that's full on on aggression, pummeling drumming, flesh-tearing vocals and a constant barrage of riffs, riffs and even more motherfuckin' riffs that will smash your head in with ease. As viciously sounding as these songs are this is made even more impressive by the band's ability of managing firm control over the playing and song structures, less Bestial Warlust trademarked chaos and more of an Assaulter / Razor Of Occam malevolently thrashing vibe off this monster, especially with those guitar rhythms and solos. 'The Sins Of Aquarius' is a seven-headed beast of an album, straight from the sulphurous pits , clawing at you with steel talons designed and sharpened by the likes of Sodom, Bathory and Frost - this one charges forth with megatons of lethal vigour and skill. You'd have to be nuts to miss out on this band.  - Vladimir Petrov

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/mongrelscross/  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/ 

 

 

MONSTERWORKS

“The God Album” CD

(Casket Music)

 

A band that has been around since the 90's - from far away New Zealand to boot. This is a difficult album to describe. In parts, such as on the opener "Everything You Believe Is A Lie", the band seems dead serious and inspired. Yet, there is a trace of this almost humorous tone to the songs at times. It's hard to put a finger on whether that's intentional or not. In any event - Monsterworks play a varied mix of metal. At times chugging along like old Pantera mixed with black metal type vocals with a dash of progressive metal thrown in as well. On track three "Reprieve" the band starts things off acoustically with some choral type voices. It's just an interlude piece (with a nod to the religious references of the album title I can only assume). The album also reminds me of the Swedish death/technical metal scene in places and wanders into pagan metal territory at times, too. It's interesting this release. I'm not sure I like it, though. The band has some decent chops but none of the tunes stood out to me. Oh - I'd also consider changing the name. I can't take a band too seriously that calls themselves Monsterworks.  - Mark

http://www.myspace.com/monsterworks  http://www.coprorecords.co.uk/casket/ 

 

 

MOON

Caduceus Chalice” CD

(Moribund Records)

 

Caduceus Chalice is Moon's debut cd and a very impressive one to say the least. Six tracks of cold, dismal atmospheric black metal. The guitars and drums are played at a mid-pace and done perfectly. The vocals are a raspy, whispery whispery voice. Mixed within the music is some well-played keyboards that add another dimension to Moon's already dark sound. This is a band and release that should appeal to all fans of "atmospheric" black metal.  – Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/moonmyth  http://www.moribundcult.com/   

 

 

MORBID INSULTER

Funeral Mysticism” Double Compilation 2012 CD

(I Hate Records)

 

Holy fuck I am so amped up listening to this album! I just want to break shit and hit people in a furious rampage! Morbid Insulter have a rare talent for creating really fucking dark, atmospheric music that is also a hateful adrenaline rush of the highest order. That was only disc one, which blew my head off. The first disc contains their ’05 demo, ’06 promo and some unreleased tracks also from 2006. The sound on here is excellent, it is totally old school, sounds like it came straight off a late 80s/early 90s clear but low-fi recording, with that suffocating black atmosphere to it, which is the perfect compliment to the music. The second cd picks right up where the first left off more or less, maybe with a slightly cleaner sound, still harsh and extreme, but undoubtedly a better production with a little more clarity and less harsh. Maybe the atmosphere has a little less of that old cult quality I love too, but it is still awesome. The tracks on the second disc are from MLP’s from 2008 and 2010, plus a compilation tape track they released. Which added together this release covers the bands entire catalog, covering a five year span. I think it is safe to say these guys worship the South American scene with bands like Sarcofago, Vulcano, Pentagram but also mixed with things like Nifelheim, Mortuary Drape, Blasphemy, Grand Belial’s Key but also with an undertone and foundation of old school thrash like Sodom, Slayer etc… They combine it all wonderfully and destructively, creating a true controlled chaos of storming metal sickness, surrounded by an avalanche of darkness & evil! I really have recommend this highly to fans of the bands listed above. You will not be disappointed and it is hard to pass up getting a killer bands full catalog in one single release. Well done I Hate Records, a fitting tribute to the bands legacy.  - Dale

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

 

 

MORDAEHOTH

Eens Weer Prevaleert Het Heidens Hart” CD

(Heidens Hart / New Era Prod.)

 

Another Dutch band - this time playing Pagan inspired black metal. Supposedly this was the bands last release in 2010 as they have since split up. The usual order of the day - black metal screeches, rough guitar, and a rhythm section that is definitely the weak link in this band, particularly the drummer. His lack of skill is holding back the music from rising to another level. I like the overall vibe - it has that pagan metal feel which some bands have difficulty capturing. But having said that, this is an average release. The band doesn't have the talent even if they have the vision.  - Mark

http://www.heidenshart.nl.nu/  

 

 

MORDBRAND

“Necropsychotic” 2011 CD

(Deathgasm Records)

 

This is by far one of 2011's best death metal releases!! The Swedish masters combine crushing, heaving guitar riffs, pounding fast drums with sick and deep growls. Mordbrand isn’t worried about playing two thousand miles an hour or trying to be as technical as ever, instead they rely on their ability to perform flawless, old-school death metal. With bands in the scene like Mordbrand, Cianide, Deus Otiosus maybe death metal will return the greatness it once had.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/mordbranddeath  http://www.deathgasm.com  

 

 

MORGENGRAU

Extrinsic Pathway” 2013 CD

(Blind God Records)

 

I knew Texas has always had a good metal scene but they seem to be on a roll as of late. This time Texas has given us the old school metal machine Morgengrau, the band plays early nineties style death metal mixing both the Florida and some European influence into their brutal sound. Lots of aggressive guitars that are both thinly raw but also powerful and straight to the point with the furious riffs and solo's. The vocals are handled by  Erika Morgengrau but her vocals are extremely well done and powerful and fit the bands music perfectly. If you enjoy early nineties death metal then you will definitely love Morgengrau's morbid and heavy sound!!  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/morgengrau  http://morgengrau.bandcamp.com/     

 

 

MORTA SKULD

“Through The Eyes Of Death” 2011 CD

(Relapse Records)

 

It was kind of cool to see this show up in my mailbox. As soon as I read the band name it brought up memories of the early 90s death metal scene and me tape trading for Morta Skuld demos and shit. And no, just in case you were wondering as I did, Morta Skuld have not gotten back together (though I hear whispers of some reunion gigs). This is a compilation type release of both of their 1990 demo tapes combined on one disc. An interesting tidbit from the bio for you is the demos were produced by Death’s manager Eric Grief back in the day, he had recently finished working on the Spiritual Healing album. The vocals especially on the second demo even remind me of Death a little bit. I am not sure how much work Relapse did with this as far as possibly remixing and I am sure remastering it. But the sound on here is absolutely fantastic, you can every bit of everything, loud and clear and crushingly heavy. I think people have to remember that these were demo tapes and were recorded in 1990. It was a time when death metal was such a new entity on the scene and kind of still figuring out what it was as a genre to some extent. So the music on here at times is not as intricate and a little less technical than what we are used to with modern extreme death metal bands. I mean in contrast Morta Skuld may even sound a little more doomy and slower paced. But that is what a lot of death metal sounded like back then and I was a huge fan of it. You know what I am still am too, because I enjoyed the hell out of this brutal death metal compilation. You even get a bonus Metal Church cover song that was never released. Morta Skuld had their shit going on as far as I am concerned. I think this is pretty cool Relapse put this out, it shows how big of fans they still are of death metal, as Morta Skuld was not even one of their bands back in the day, as the band released most of their albums on Peaceville Records. Check this out all old school dm fans, if you missed it the first time around you will not be disappointed!  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/mortaskuld  http://www.relapse.com/   

 

 

MORTAL COIL

“Eat The Evidence” 1998 Compilation CD

(Mortal Coil)

 

As you will read elsewhere, this label split apart right after this release! Jay went onto form No Middle Ground and Jill joined up with a partner to form Razorback Records. Stand out’s for me are: Insatanity, Skinned, Ton, Sanguinary, Devileech, Viral Load, Fleshtized, and lastly not to be passed over is The Forgotten. There is only one band on here I flat out didn’t like and that is the mundane Rotting Flesh. Here are the rest that didn’t blow me away but are still solid death/grind: Sabbatic Feast, Malignant Inception, Unhallowed, Incarrion, Unblessed, Psychophancy. A fine example of what the death/grind underground has to offer. Get it for a skimpy $5 US:

c/o Jill Girardi, P.O. Box 308, Deer Park, NY. 11729, USA

 

 

MORTAL INFINITY

District Destruction” 2012 CD

(Digital Media Records)

 

To be honest in this day and time with so many clones within the thrash metal {or to be honest any genre really} scene, it's hard to tell who's gonna be good or who's gonna be a total-rip-off clone. So I wasn't really too excited with high hopes for Mortal Infinity but this all changed once I started listening to District Destruction. These German metal warriors play violent, thrashing metal that is both full of furious riffs and beats but also metal passion that is definitely lacking from a lot of metal bands these days. Fast razor sharp guitars and solo's, the vocals are more vicious/aggressive screechy screams and even some deeper death metal growls {but I definitely wouldn't call or put this band in the d.m genre total thrash maniacs here}. If you’re a fan of straight forward uncompromising thrash metal then Germany's Mortal Infinity is definitely a band you should listen to soon!!  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/mortalinfinity  http://www.digitalmediarecords.com/ 

 

 

MORTILLERY

Origin Of Extinction” 2013 CD

(Napalm Records)

 

Mortillery returns with their second thrash attack from Napalm Records. Ten tracks of aggressive and rage fueled thrash madness. The riffing is fast and intense with some solo's intertwined in the music. Once again the music is handled by the extremely talented Cara McCutchen who has some of the best screams/vocals in metal today. Pure screams of fury and anger that fit perfectly with Mortillery straight forward thrashing insanity. If you have heard Mortillery in the past you pretty much know what is in store for you, but if you’re new to the band and your a thrasher ‘til death get a hold of this band today!! They won't disappoint you. - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/mortillery  http://www.napalmrecords.com/    

 

 

MR DEATH

“Death Suits You” 2010 MCD

(Agonia Records)

 

There is quite an array of notable items with regards to Mr. Death, at least to old time die hards like myself. Firstly this release was engineered by the legendary Tomas Skogsberg (who twisted the knobs of many early 90s death metal classics) and produced by Fred Estby of the mighty Dismember. It does not stop there however, as the bands members themselves were in notable Swedish bands such as Treblinka, Tiamat, Septic Grave among others. A slightly different take in the bands photo imagery, corporate suit ‘n tie guy, with the more literal mindless bloody zombie visual makes a statement. The music, as you can guess is very much in the classic early 90s Swede death metal style. Though it is probably a little looser, with a touch of old American thrash, and maybe not as hectically paced as much of this genre in the past. It is easy to throw out Dismember, early Entombed, first Hypocrisy as influence and a general audio starting point for those reading this. The vocals could probably be thrown in the early Entombed or Grave type realm, though not as good or as distinctive as either comparison. I am a big fan of this sound and style, so I enjoyed this for sure. But honestly Mr. Death does not stack up that well against those classic bands. Especially so for a fan of the style, that is a bit more discerning and, not just the type to get everything in this style.  – Dale

http://www.mrdeath.se/home/  http://www.agoniarecords.com/  

 

 

MUERTE VILLA

“La Conquista”  CD

(Negativity Records)

 

Muerte Villa are, a Texas based, death metal band. The entire concept and lyrical content deal with and promote the ideals of the Mexican Nationalist agenda. As you may have already guessed all lyrics are sang or rather growled in Spanish. Before you begin to scratch your head, there is no need to get worked up you death purists, as there is no Mariachi music or any traditional Mexican instruments like trumpets or maracas incorporated into “La Conquista”. No, it is traditional, straight forward, non-technical American style death metal. So for better or worse, the music does not support or directly compliment the message and/or concept. The production is pretty bass heavy and kind of low (you will have to crank it up). “La Conquista” presents some solid and enjoyable death metal but at the end of the day, nothing really stands out for me. – Dale

www.negativityrecords.com