“In The Name Of Torment” Demo # 2 2000

(Self Released)


Dark Creations play some excellent and gloriously sick, obscure sounding death metal that will stay with you unto the grave. Slaughtering solos and vocals that mix dm growls with black metal rasps and are so killer it makes me proud to be a metal head! This is limited to 333 copies so act fast!! Write to Iron Bonehead Productions for more information on this release.  - Dale

Iron Bonehead Records, Brunnenweg 9a, 36160 Dipperz, GERMANY Band Email = pranuss@gmx.de 




“Dawning” 2018 CD

(Self Released)


I am just going to jump right into it, no lead up, no preamble, with this review. I wish this band would take the heavy route and turn it up and get grittier. But instead, at every turn, you hear a heavy part or ripping riff inevitably veer off into lighter, cleaner and more florid softness. This tendency is seemingly irresistible for the band, the urge of letting a heavy riff or headbangable sequence play out and build without trying to tame it. The dampening of these sequences with an omnipresent, melodramatic blanket to wrap it all within, like they are concerned any rough edges will damage or scuff up anyone listening. When it comes to metal, I want the audio listening equivalent experience of taking a brutal beating, not someone looking tough, then wrapping a pair of brass knuckles in bubble wrap and gently tossing it at me. The band does list a number of influences like Megadeth, Testament, Arch Enemy, Iron Maiden etc… I can hear those influences or least most of them, but never in a strong way, never are those influences, in my opinion, allowed to run and play. Those influences are all too often pushed into the background in favour a safer, more saccharine version of what makes those bands great. Now, that is not to say there is no talent here, these guys handle their instruments well and have some skills. They just apply them in a way I am definitely not a fan of, even to the point, they kind of dance the line of not even keeping it within the metal sphere at times. I guess that is just what they are into, not sure, but it is not for me. I like my metal to have more balls, and they choose to cut them off every time the music starts growing a pair and begins getting good. I would like to see the band go more in the direction of the song “Thrashgasm”, this is the only song the band really let’s the horse break into a gallop for a minute or two. If you are into metal that is on the softer, gentler end of the spectrum, then you will like this a lot more than I did.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/darkhoundband    https://www.dark-hound.com/       




“Medium” 2004 CDR Demo

(Self Released)


As soon as the first song starts "Dark Mass Medium", I know what this band is about. You have a guitarist that has probably been wood shedding for years in his bedroom - practicing until his fingers bled. He then gets all his finger tapping and arpeggio sweeps down and decides its time to form a band to showcase his talent. Said backup band is anywhere from average to decent but the "star" is Mr. Wood Shed. Dark Mass is basically an excuse for a competent guitar player to release his music. By the way Mr. Wood Shed - tune your guitar or work on the intonation - it's out of tune on several tunes, particularly when you're using the clean sound. I like the drum set in the music video from one of their live gigs. A lovely glitter 5 piece that is reminiscent of my junior high school jazz band's kit. Hey, if that's all ya got, that's all ya got. It certainly is pretty but probably too pretty for a band called Dark Mass. That would also explain the mashy 80's snare drum sound I suspect, though. I was half expecting Crockett and Tubbs to come driving down the road in the video. If I had to pick between hearing a crushing E chord or a flight of too many bumblebees kind of playing (like this recording) - I'd pick that E chord - every damn time. Sometimes musicians need to know when not to play so much. Guitar masturbation central is this dead mass.  - Mark





“Demo 2011” CDR

(Self Released)


Dark Psychosis hail from Lansing, Michigan and they hit the ground running with this seven song demo release. The guitars are really front and center, they ride the line between having that razor sharp feel and just straight up cutting raw fuzz chainsaw sound. As I mentioned the band are full on, tons of energy and venom, just a headlong dash for the finish line taking down anything in their path. Yes, some pretty adrenaline filled black thrash metal is what you get, nothing overly fancy, nothing too technical, not that that is what they were going for anyway. Maybe think of a dark sounding Celtic Frost that drank way too many energy drinks, to get a general picture on the Dark Psychosis sound. Even their solos are fucking spastic and played at light speed haha. The vocals are gruff, hissed thrash vocals spat out in a rapid fire fashion. Dark Psychosis are not overly dynamic, more of a one trick pony much of the time, though they do slow down very briefly here and there, so yes a bit of one trick pony, but they do that one trick very well and throw everything they’ve got into executing it. I think fans of old school raw thrash and Celtic Frost, that also like their stuff speedy will enjoy this.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/103720953  http://www.darkpsychosis.com/fr_home.cfm    




“Nocturnal Prowler” Demo 1998

(Self Released)


This is a perfect example of why I hate keyboards! The tape is filled with promising dark music but smothered unmercifully with keys. The band is apparently currently recording their debut album. If you like your music mid-tempo with obscure feel and tons of keyboreds then this is the band for you.  - Dale

Send $4 US to: Dark Vision, c/o Giannis Konstantakos, 5/Akti Kountouriotou, 18534 Piraeus, GREECE




“Fear, Hate & Corruption” 2016 Full-length CD

(Punishing Records / Self Released)


I have heard the name of this Swiss band, but I had not realized how long they have been around and releasing albums. As “Fear, Hate & Corruption” is their 5th full length album! These veterans play quality brutal death metal with some underlying groove elements. I hear influences like Napalm Death, Nile and Cannibal Corpse in their music. Darkrise write some good riffs, that at times sound like they have a slight thrashy feel to them, ala Pantera or something, but it is just a hint of it. There are some pretty killer guitar leads / fills on here, such as you will hear towards the end of the “You’ll Burn For This”, which I enjoyed. The vocals are deep growls yet not at all garbled you can easily make out a lot of the lyrics the singer is snarling at you. There is nothing ground breaking or spectacular here, but all the same it is a really solid death metal record, which I am sure the die hard followers of the genre would enjoy.  - Dale

http://www.darkrise.ch/    http://www.punishingrecords.com/          




"Circles Of Failure” 2019 CD

(Punishing Records / Self Released)


This band has been around a long time, having released their debut demo way back in 2001, since then they have been releasing music for nearly twenty years now. The “Circles Of Failure” marks the Swiss bands sixth full length album. You can tell a lot of thought and skillful planning went into constructing the songs on this release. The music is a tasteful mixing of technicality, melody and brutality in one package that balances all three of those elements in quite equal measures. This for me is not that common, as usually bands go all technical, all brutal or they incorporate so much pure melody it drowns out and neuters the other elements, but thankfully not so with Darkrise. They do keep the melody and memorability factor high while never losing sight of the brutality that makes the heart of death metal what it is. Somewhere in the middle of all of that is a fairly high level of technicality with layers woven throughout the tapestry with some really tasty guitar fills, mini-solos and masterfully constructed and performed drum work giving it all a great foundation to work off of. The bass is even noticeable and adds it’s own touches to the musical whole. I really enjoyed the vocals too. The growling has that really brutal edge yet there is just enough diction to make them accessible as they adeptly mimic and compliment the instrumentation they are mixing into. Darkrise’s age is showing in a good way, their experience and skill have continued to grow while not losing sight of their brutal Floridian death metal roots and they have turned it into something of their own that is very notable and worth your attention ASAP.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/darkriseband    http://www.punishingrecords.com/          




“Death Always Wins” 2017 Full-length CD

(Self Released)


So this is becoming a thing I guess haha. Not sure what the odds are, but this is now two back to back bands from western Canada and you guessed it, another melodic death metal band too. Though the difference between the two bands is Dead Asylum incorporate little tendrils of thrash in their sound as well. I have to admit, at the time of my second listen I was not too impressed or into this, but with a number of additional listens it has grown on me a little. It struck me, initially, that it was maybe too melodic for my tastes and I still feel that way at points in this album. But the thrash elements have risen to the surface more for me, with repeated listens and helped bring me around a little bit. Also, the vocals are probably the most aggressive thing about the band, they are varied growls (alongside some very sparsely used nasal snarling and old Cradle of Filth style screeching) with some pretty decent range and emotion, adding that extra level of viciousness this music needs and needs even more of. I also liked the drumming of Samantha Landa, whose performance has a nice flow and precision to it. There are a ton of catchy melodies, at times a little too many to be honest, and too flowery in spots that really could have used a stronger measure of brutality and cruelty to balance things out. Which is something the lyrical content almost begs for, and also would better reflect what their cool thought provoking cover artwork displays. Having said that, some of those melodic guitar sections are very well done, appealing and memorable. It is really nice when a thrashy sequence pops up pushing along the flow forward and ripping things up. I think one last thing I am not sure about with album is the production, it feels a little too passive, probably purposely done to highlight the melodies, but for me it could have used more bite and punch. Overall this is a solid album, which I could see bigger fans of the melodo death thing digging, as well, thrash fans might want to check this one out too.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/deadasylum    https://deadasylum.bandcamp.com/           




"Demolition Deployment” 2016 CD EP

(Self Released)


I knew this Salt Lake City, Utah band was going to be a fun listen, just from their band name, song titles and band pic (they all look metal as fuck plus the guitarist is named Smeltron!). Deathblow play old school thrash metal, they do so in style, on this three song disc. The playing on here is great, some catchy as hell and heavy riffs with a dark moody edge to them, backed up by some really great solos and tasty guitar fills. Danzer really is a commanding presence on the drum kit, some really strong work here, I like it when he really lets loose and punishes his kit on the fast aggressive sections. The vocalist Holger, has those mid to late ‘80s style gruff screamed vocals down pat, he accents and rounds out the mainstay vocal well with changes in register from mean and gritty spoken word style bits, to high pitched screams, which take me right back to those old days of my youth. Some influences I hear on here are bands like Death Angel, Destruction, Atrophy, Vio-lence etc… But the two biggest, clearest influences I hear are Kreator and Slayer, not just Slayer in general, but “Seasons In The Abyss” comes through strong by my ear which I liked as I fucking love that album. This review mainly covers the two original songs on here, there is also a cover of Motorhead’s “Mean Machine”, which is hard to mess up and they do a good job musically, vocally they went for a different vocal style and it is decent, but honestly could be better. Sticking to the original music, it is great old style mid to late ‘80s thrash classic thrash metal, which is a pretty great infectious listen. I only wish there was more, I can not wait to hear their next release, hopefully something longer next time as this left me wanting more from killer band!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/deathblowofficial/    https://deathblow1.bandcamp.com/music       




“All That Is Beautiful” 2016 CD

(Self Released)


I have heard the name of this band for a while, all good things, so I am happy to get a chance to judge for myself. There are only four tracks on here, from this Los Angeles band, but do not let that fool you as the run time on thing is over 60 minutes! So prepare yourself for a couple nearly twenty minute epic songs. The Deathkings play moody, strikingly melancholic doom, with a real sense of elegance and flow in the song writing. Some of the music style on here, reminds me a little of the best Paradise Lost albums (ala “Shades Of God” and “Gothic” era), even a little in some of the vocals too, which is all a very good thing in my books. Speaking of the vocals, much like the guitar playing, and the song structuring, there is a diverse array of vocal approaches. There are the mainstays, which are the somewhat obscured sounding hoarse shouts, as well as decipherable but deep and great dm growls, all backed by accents of clean sung parts and chants, shadowy whispered spoken word etc… “All That Is Beautiful” is a really good doom metal record, I think it is diverse enough that fans of other sub-genres of metal, who are not die hard doom fans like me, will also be able to get into this and enjoy it. Highly recommended.  - Dale

http://deathkings.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/DeathkingsMusic      



“Godwork” 2013 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)


This preamble could take a while, so stick with me here, if you want some background information on the band. First off, the band is formerly known as Sargatanas Reign, who was around for quite some time releasing albums on I Hate Records and Regain Records. Also, on this album you interestingly, or strangely, upon your view get two songs, from full time vocalist Petter Hauckland, then they have a roster of guest vocalists, who also get two songs each on the album. Both strange and interesting to me, and I can only guess, the full time vocalist was okay with this arrangement? The roster, of guest vocalists, include Tompa Lindberg (At The Gates, Disfear, Lock Up), Roberth Karlsson (Edge Of Sanity, Scar Symmetry), Mathias Vreth Lillmans (Fintroll, Magneta Harvest), Joakim gothberg (Marduk, Dimension Zero). This variety will surely interest some, while frustrating others who wish their favourite, had done the whole album. Once again, I found myself feeling both emotions, the variety was welcome at times, other times I wish for less of it and a concentration on the best suited vocalist. So anyway, we have that out of the way, on to the music. Deathquintet play mainly mid-paced death metal, which is solid and at times really good. It is pretty simple and straight ahead material, fairly heavy, with maybe a touch of thrash aesthetic mixed in for good measure. Even though, they do not overall sound exactly like that, I can not shake the often reoccurring undercurrent, of a more brutal “Heartwork” Carcass influence. Not quite as intricate as that influence, or as catchy, yet all instruments are expertly handled and performed. The straight forward nature of the material could be seen as a plus, no million miles a second pro-tool to death, with the needed accompanied math sheet, to try to follow along with it. No this has more of an old school vibe. There is something about Deathquintet’s overall sound, that just does not do it for me, I am sorry to say, often times when I think they have a good idea or section going, it seems to promptly die, they repeat themselves, things just never seem to progress to anything that held my interest for long and I am a pretty patient listener. There is so much here, that is honestly top notch quality, from the playing to large portions of the material, that I can see this band working out the bugs and creating something really special in the future. But this not it.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/deathquintet   http://www.deathquintet.com/   




“Year One” 2013 Demo MCD

(Self Released)


I was not sure what to expect from this Brit band after just looking at the cover. You have the old school sci-fi font with an accompanying picture that reminds of something from old British science fiction TV mini-series The Prisoner or some such. Now that I think about it another UK band used that same / similar font on their album, a certain Live At Last from Black Sabbath in fact. So now you are expecting some spacey, floating mellow space rock right? No wrong, really the only place where the elements of sci-fi are prominent on this three track, twenty-three minute outing are in between the songs. Where you get some spoken word passages about black holes and the like, with a few 70s sci-fi movie bleeps in the background. No I would probably describe their music as progressive, sometimes technical death metal with epic, flowing sensibilities and more aggression than that description makes it sound. As you can imagine from that description the skill level of the musicians is high as this sort of style simply demands for it to be, lest it fall to pieces. Their performance on this adventurous piece of atmospheric brutality is damn impressive. It is a clinic of emotive playing that is technical, expertly timed, progressive and somehow in the middle of all of that harsh sounding. The production on here is superb as well and those deep growling adaptable vocals just add the cherry on top. I can not help thinking while listening to this that record labels must be falling all over themselves like their shoe laces are tied together to sign this talented band.  - Dale





"Access Code” 2014 Demo CD EP

(Self Released)


I am glad I was able stream the two lengthy tracks on this disc. Because I put the disc I received, in my computer drive, it asked if I wanted to burn something to the disc, as it is empty haha. Oh well, shit happens and I was glad in a rare case (I generally prefer to review physical copies of releases) like this, to be able to still make the review happen without another disc being posted across the globe. As you already know, if you read my prior review, I am fan of this young and exciting band. Deconstructing Sequence once again weave a cosmic, sci-fi theme through their release, but this time the accompanying sound samples, spoken words and sounds have not just been relegated to in between the songs. They are wonderfully, expertly made part of the music itself and add an extra dimension to the sound, which I found quite exhilarating and interesting. The concept feels more like a human exploratory mission, rather than just a space-y, flowery journey along the Milky Way, it feels a little more gritty and grounded than that. As I mentioned the last time out, these two musicians are highly skilled, but what is more exciting for me, is they are not just highly skilled on their instruments, they are also extremely talented song writers, and construct songs that are emotional works of death metal art. This is an audio version of Hierronymus Bosh or Pieter Bruegel The Elder. What I love about this, again it speaks to their song composing talents, even though there are many progressive elements, very technical elements, somehow they make the songs flow like a river. It is all very accessible, for someone, who is not necessarily into those beautiful intricacies, to just pick up and enjoy straight away. That is talent and vision at work. The dimension about DS, which may not be coming across yet in my review, is just how fucking brutal and aggressive this band is. The harsh moments, are violent and destructive, the brief quieter moments are very contemplative and emotionally atmospheric, and the cosmic elements only help to propel you on a superb mental journey. I am not sure, if the band prefers putting out just eps, but that seems to be their modus operandi, maybe it suits their concepts better? Maybe they are waiting for the right record deal? Record labels should be climbing over each other in order to sign this young British band. Not sure what the story is there, but I am very hungry now for a full length album! Someone make this happen please. Beyond recommended, for anyone who complains the scene is stagnant or everything sounds the same, Deconstructing Sequence has heard your pleas and responded with “Access Code”.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/deconstructingsequence   https://myspace.com/dsprogart     




"Traitor’s Grave” 2017 CD

(Self Released)


Decrepit Throne are a two man band featuring Gregory, who takes care of writing and playing the instruments, plus Ron K. who handles the vocal duties for the band. Traitor’s Grave is the bands debut full-length, which is a digital release (the cd version is now out as well I believe - Dale) featuring seven tracks of blackened death metal. The music is very well written and performed mainly staying in the mid paced black death metal style. The guitars are played in the mid tempo range with some heavier and faster patterns used in a few of the songs. Ron does a great job with the vocals switching from death growls and to some harsher black screams. If you are a fan of well crafted blackened death metal be sure to check out the debut release from Decrepit Throne today.  - Patrick

https://decrepitthrone.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/DecrepitThrone/      




“Antichristian Disease” 2008 Demo

(Self Released)


This band is coming from Kyiv, Ukraina, and fortunately this band is on the right way of Metal creation. Yeah, I was really impressed by their music. For the last times I didn’t get any worthy stuff from my country (except for SLAUGHTER BRUTE), and I’m hellish glad by fact of existing such band. DEFERUM SACRUM plays obscure black metal, made in great hellish way. The whole sound can’t be called raw, nevertheless the music sounds really obscure as I said before. This demo is made in fast rhythms, with some tempo-changes and destructive atmosphere. As for me this stuff should be respected by fans of bands such as SATYRICON or from time to time CARPATHIAN FOREST for example. I mean there are lots of things made in aforementioned bands way, such catching rhythm-section and straight-forward guitar riffs, sometimes changed on such marching destructive ones (attention, these aren’t comparisons, I just wrote way the band is on). Also music is not dominated by straight-forward riffs just, there also lots of sick slowdowns involved over here. As for Ukrainian scene this band is pretty awesome I must to admit, and the only thing I’d like to add is – DEFERUM SACRUM should be supported by black metal fans! At the moment band is searching for a label who will release their stuff, I hope they will find it soon and we’ll be able to hear full-length. This time keep up your eyes upon this horde!  - Aleksandr Maksymov





“Welcome In The World” Promo Tape 1999


Slovak progressive heavy metal that I found enjoyable. They could be a bit tighter though and some of the vocals were pretty poor. I was sent this on a dub and I don’t know if I got a bad dub or this release just sucks but my copy cuts out from time to time. The talent and potential is there but I need a better sounding product to truly judge. Management contact:

Marek Faltan, Cinobana 295, 985 22 Cinobana, SLOVAKIA




“Juggernaut” 2011 Full Length Demo CD

(Self Released)


This is some throw back thrash that will surely bring to mind the 80s bay area scene. The vocalist has more of a traditional old school style to his voice and delivery but I also detect a hint of James Hetfield influence there as well. I could see thrash fans that like the newer style not being that into this, it has that old 80s speed / thrash metal vibe to the pacing with speedy parts, yet the music is often more on a mid-pace with a nice emphasis on the atmosphere. Which is something a lot of thrash does not have and especially newer contemporary bands. I am sure Degradation is fine with that they know who their music appeals to and fly that flag proudly. There are some tasty guitar fills / solos on here that add extra dynamic and pushes the song forward. I really enjoyed those. I think for the most part Degradation do their own thing, but you can hear them wearing their influences on their sleeves at times too. Such as the title track, sections of that scream out Master Of Puppets to me. Still they make even that stuff sound pretty cool. This is for fans of the bay area thrash scene circa the mid to late 80s when bands like Testament, Forbidden, Vio-lence, Death Angel, Exodus, Heathen, Defiance etc… were ruling the scene and making heads bang. So if that is your cup of tea, then by all means you should check out Degradation.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/degradation666   http://www.degradationband.com/   




“Vikingpath” 2010 CDR

(Salute Records)


I guess this must be some sort of a popular cult release or it is treated as such with it’s limited releases. This album was released on CDR in 2010 through the Kvlt666 label in a limit of only 66 copies. Now Salute Records re-releases this album again on CDR, with new cover artwork, this time limited to 100 hand numbered copies. Apparently my copy is #3 in the run. They label themselves experimental Pagan Black Metal. That seems like a fairly apt description. They also add in some extreme death touches here and there, not too often, more like an accent to their main sound. This is pretty interesting stuff, definitely different, the experimental parts come in with a odd sound on their production and incorporating strange, at times psychedelic sound effects, that adds a trippy, off-kilter vibe to their staple dark atmospheric sound. It is hard to explain, but the sound effects are things like eccentric, weird popping sounds, almost like something sampled from an old sci-fi movie or tv show and re-purposed and presented in a musical way, other times it sounds like sampled middle eastern Sitar type music and just various random sound effects. They go to this middle eastern well a bit too often for my liking though. Sometimes these experiments are really effective, they create not only something different but something resembling an original sound. Then other times the experimental elements come off as clunky, out of place and that particular song or section kind of falls on its face. But hey I guess you have to give the band credit for attempting something different, while not just being ridiculous simply to stand out. The traditional elements are pretty simple, stripped down music, minimal beats, lightly strummed guitar played at a pedestrian speed to create a dark, moody atmosphere. This main theme you get is the pagan or viking metal influence, slow and meandering as it is much of the time, lightly sprinkled with some full on metal touches here and there. The vocals are the obscure whispered style, which adds a little of that bold I am a mighty pagan warrior vibe. The vocals like the music tends to vary and be layered. I am not sure whether to recommend this or not. If you are adventurous and appreciate bands trying new, different things you might dig this. If not you will probably not get into this, as mentioned at times it really clicks, other times it comes off like a clunky, amateurish mess. Caveat Emptor my friends.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/demorian  https://www.facebook.com/SaluteRecords    




“Self-Titled” 1999 Promo Tape


Only 3 tracks on here (“War Whores”, “It Feeds On Children”, and “Warhammer”) and apparently all 3 are going to be on comps coming out. I remember tape trading for two demos of this band in like ’96 or so. Then they were industrial death metal which is something I dislike but they were quite brutal so I didn’t mind it so much. It is still slow industrial sounding but the death and brutality has been replaced by hardcore/crust elements both musically and lyrically. The tape only runs about 3-4 minutes but it only costs $2 US so it is your call.  - Dale

Depressor, P.O. Box 472007, S.F., CA. 94147, USA




“Hate For Your Blood” Promo Tape 1999


Technical, tight, teeth-rattlin’ and adrenaline pumping death metal! There is only two songs on here but that is enough for one intense juggernaut of a disharmonic extremity that should not be missed!  - Dale

Send only $2 US to: Descend, P.O. Box 770376, Cleveland, OH. 44107, USA




“Death Lives Again” 2007 Demo CD

(Self Released)


This is the new band of Henrik Engkjaer, a member from the great Danish bands Exekrator and Victimizer. I am a big fan of both of those bands (I interviewed both for Canadian Assault to prove it haha). So naturally I am extremely excited to receive this demo release. Henrik is helped out here with some vocal abuse courtesy of Anders Bo Rasumussen and Les Groth of Crucifix on the skins. This is right in my wheel house, it is dark, it is brutal, but it is also quite rhythmic and catchy and memorable with a very Euro flair to it. The vocals are heavy death metal growls but well-done and the inflection in the voice often mimics the melodies in the music and the result is very satisfying. They are also not above throwing in a ripping smoker of a fast guitar solo or two which sits well with me too. Mr. Groth does not disappoint with blasting, but tasteful drumming and lightning double bass. There are 4 tracks on here for interested parties and the production is very solid in my opinion for a demo. I think maniacs who appreciate bands Necrophobic, Edge Of Sanity, Autopsy, Dissection, Death mixed with the attitude and imagery of bands like Nunslaughter and Goatlord. Well worth checking out by both fans and prospective record labels. I hear they might have a new demo in the works. I am already looking forward to that shit cumming down the pike.   – Dale

http://www.deus-otiosus.com   www.myspace.com/deusotiosus   





“Too Maimed To Use – Live in Svendborg, Denmark” 2010 Promo CDR

 (Self Released)


You will remember my favourable review of their “Death Lives Again” 2007 demo. Well these Danish purveyors of dark and dirty death metal have hit me up again with this release. Which I think could be considered a taster, for the upcoming “Murderer” album that was scheduled for release sometime in late 2010. There are only 2 live songs on here, those being “Wall of Violence” and “I Seen Him Slay”. The band is loose and raw on this recording, but powerful and it adds an atmosphere to their sound in a live setting that really works. I enjoyed this, but it is short and only leaves me wanting for a copy of their album now. Hail Denmark!  – Dale





“Self Titled” 2013 DEMO CD EP

(Self Released)


Here is some filthy blackened death metal from my old stomping grounds of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are five songs on this EP, the band name seems an apt one for their sound, it is heavy and dirty metal. The vocals are dark yelled screams with a death metal growling edge to them, quite decipherable, so you can follow the lyrical content, yeah I like the vocals. The music is sinister and grave, but also seems to also have some emotional, introspective elements also, which I quite enjoyed. Those elements give the music some extra depth making it more memorable. Their sound is a nice mix of speed, barbarism, slower maudlin moody passes and the odd quirky bits to keep you guessing. I also like some of the subtle, classy guitar work going on here. There are five songs on here, the band lists this release as an EP, Deicide would probably call this length an album, I would say it is plenty long enough to at least consider it a mini-albums worth of material. So you get plenty of material here, go check out their band camp site, download it and apparently you name your price on the download, so it is hard to beat that with a stick. Check these guys out, good to see the Philly scene showing some strong signs of life.  - Dale

http://dirtworshipper1.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/DirtWorshippermetal  




“To Praise With Persecution”

Full Length Demo CD 2007


The Texan’s album starts off with a classy instrumental tribute to Chuck Shuldiner from Death. The guitar work on this song is fantastic and it is pretty clear throughout that Mr. Shuldiner is a key influence. I have a long standing interest in Discern going all the way back to 1998. When I reviewed and praised their only other release until now. That is a long time with nothing new released but they (as in the one man of the band Billy Fraser) are alive and definitely kicking. If you like and are looking for meat and potatoes metal then that is what you will get. Just some really hearty brutal American death metal with good heavy riffing backed with a solid wall of straight forward & driving drum pounding. You get a little of everything as this is fairly equal parts of blazing speed and brooding ominous transitions. It is all topped off with classic death metal growling and barrage of guitar solos/fills that surely has Chuck smiling from the beyond. I think this was recorded at a studio that King Diamond has done some of his albums at and it sounds very good. I can recommend you pick this up and you will headbang to it. Good work Bill.  – Dale

http://www.discerndeathmetal.com/   http://www.myspace.com/discerndeathmetal






Promo CD 1999


A 3 song disc that features Craig Pillard (vocals/guitar) and Jim Roe (drums) who were of course in Incantation for the first couple albums. The sounds a bit rough as it was done live in the studio but still very decent. The music sounds like a slowed down doomier early Incantation with an own twist. I think most loved Craig’s vocals in the past and none should be disappointed with his deep bestial roar on here. This is cult death/doom in it’s truest form. Expect a crushing debut album from D.O.M. soon!  - Dale

Disciples Of Mockery, 153 Oaktree Ave., So. Plainfield, NJ. 07080, USA




”Chronic Copra Infest” Demo 1998


You would think from reading the song titles to this album that you were about to here another early Carcass clone (General Surgery, Putrefaction, etc.). This is not the case however. The lyrics definitely consist of medical terms rarely used outside the field of medicine but the music is excellent brutal death metal that will crush you just as much as the first Suffocation LP's did. If that doesn't sound appealing enough to you then you probably don't like death metal and should go and buy the new Twin Obscenity album instead. Here is a small taste of lyrical content: "Stygmatodermuropyanephrosism on Imppetiginose Urogenism". You figure it out.  – Jeffrey Kusbel 

Disgorge c/o Edgar Garcia Alvarez - P.O. Box 1-310 - Queretaro, QRO 76001




”Hybrid” 1998 CD



They call themselves “prog-core” which seems like a ridiculous term. But after listening to this CD of rhythmic progressive metal-core it fits. I appreciate that this is well done but it is surely not my thing. Send $6 US/$7 World (M.O.’s and checks payable to Patrick Mullen).

Dissent, P.O. Box 567, Rockland, MA. 02370, USA Web = http://spyjurenet.com/dissent




“Promo” 1999 CD-R

(Self Released)


This band Emailed me and said they are a traditional heavy metal band. So I of course said yes send your stuff and was looking forward to it. They lied!! They wouldn’t know heavy metal from a loaf of bread! What they do play is trend ‘jump’ music mixed with even trendier alternative/grunge music. Not very well played or written either, this band is a waste of space in a mag that supports real metal!!  - Dale

Sandra Bee Mgmnt., 16310 St. Louis Ave., Markum, IL. 60426, USA




”Obsessed” 1998 Demo / CD

(Self Released)


Some solid heavy and pounding death metal from Pennsylvania. There is room for improvement, but not much is needed to put this excellent band over the top. Keep an eye on Divination.  - Dale

Well worth the asking price, 5 songs for $6 US/$7 World to:

Divination, c/o John Scherrer, 413 South 14th St., Reading, PA. 19602, USA




“Self-Titled” 1999 Demo / CD

(Self Released)


Well this is poorly constructed juxtaposed death metal. The material, which is mish mashed together is pretty sub-par to start with. There are 6 songs in their original version and then 5 out of 6 of those same songs are repeated in their “primal versions”. Primal huh…it is just the same songs played in reverse and the sad thing is they sound better backwards. Maybe whenever these guys write a song when they are finished they should play it backwards because it makes more sense. They say on their flyers, the songs are thoughtful symphonies and not any of that “mindless gore-laden grind”. Those gore bands are not mindless and know how to make better music than this. On top of this the band sent in a copy for review and then wanted it mailed back to them – cheapos J. You think I don’t drop $1,000 + postage on this mag each issue!? Well I do and I don’t have 4 other band members to split costs with either! Any other band writing in that wants to do this I am not santa claus so don’t bother sending it if you want it back! There is a promo-video on here that isn’t bad for those of you w/ a computer. Otherwise average in my personal opinion but the cost is $10 US if want to get a copy. These guys live on the outskirts of Philly apparently so I guess they will hate me if I see them at shows - such is life.  - Dale

Divine Rapture, P.O. Box 159, Chester Heights, PA. 19017, USA Web = http://welcome.to/divinerapture





“Winter 2012 Promo” CD

Compilation CDR


This seems to be a brand new record label, so new it was very hard to find any kind of an online presence for the label. The same, to a lesser extent with the three bands they are kicking off the label with, all of whom are apparently brand new bands as well. Those three bands are Relentless, Nocturne, and Deathcult, with the exception of Deathcult who previously had a demo out, none of the other bands have released anything. Now I do not know if this is the label of one of the bands. But two of the bands Relentless & Deathcult are one man bands and both are the same man (Tim Pearons) doing everything for both bands. Nocturne is also a one man band, but a different guy than the other two one man bands, you got all of that straight haha? I think I do now. This release is basically a three song sampler, with one song form each band and one song is obviously not a lot to go on, but I will try my best. Relentless, as soon as I read the name I wondered if it was a Pentagram influenced band and named themselves after that bands classic album. That is the case they are very Pentagram influenced, a really cool song, entitled “United By Darkness”, replete with Bobby Liebling copy vocals. I like Relentless and want more, I am sucker for this stuff! Noturne hit us up with the song “Pain of Purity”, hard to take away a lot from one song, but I would say it is some interesting melodic flowing catchy death metal, not bad stuff. Finishing things off, we have Deathcult, who brandish a flaming sword of bitter, early 90s black metal destruction with a fuzzy, otherworldly fuzzy guitar sound, some cool riffing, a bit too stop and start in the middle for my liking, but it does add some dynamic to the song. The production is clear enough but pretty low-fi stuff which can be a positive with this style of bm. With this band I feel I need more material to make any kind of judgment, some stuff I really liked and some stuff I was so-so on with this track. One thing is for sure apparently Do Or Die Records plans to burst into 2013 like a blaze across the northern sky, as all three bands will be releasing full length records in first few months of the year. On a final note, love the artwork on the front and the killer fanzine style page borders on the inside of the booklet.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/DoOrDieRecords  DoOrDieProductions@gmail.com  




"Children Fear The Name Of God” Demo Tape / “Code Line Termination Live 2015” Cassette

(Doomsday’s Today Records)


Children Fear The Name Of God” is a demo tape originally recorded and released in 2005. It chronicles the embryonic stages of label owner Paul Sanchez, it is his first band prior to Crucified Society and NOCO (Nihilistic Outlaw : Criminal Order whose releases I reviewed last month). It is a nice looking pro pressed tape with black printing on a white cassette shell. I am sure the extremely low-fi recording sound, basically the equivalent to a rehearsal demo, something bands used to release in the early to mid ‘90s, may turn some people off. It does make it a little harder to review, but enough of their primitive death metal shines through that I found fairly enjoyable. There are some cool riffs and catchy song structuring in a few parts, but you can hear they needed some work and were just starting out. But as mentioned I still enjoyed it and the brutish shouted growls with a slight hardcore edge display the bands passion and that counts for me. I could see real die hards of old school lately ‘80s / early ‘90s dm getting into this.

Code Line Termination Live 2015” is Paul’s, I guess third band after Doomsday above and NOCO, but I believe this band was formed quite early in NOCO’s history during a hiatus for NOCO. Apparently, this was the bands only release, despite twice recording an albums worth of material they never released. It is also interesting that apparently all 40 minutes of music on here was mostly improvised on the spot. It sounds it too, to be honest, but that does not necessarily make it bad. Because, if you get into the vibe of it it does rock in it’s own metallic riffed meandering way, but if you are looking for thought out songs and structuring then forget it. The vocalist Paul, maybe due to the fact this recording done while opening up for the post El Duce era of The Mentors, but it sort of sounds like half shouted, partially obscure gruff spoken word El Duce style vox to me. He even has stand off-ish, we don’t give a shit banter, he is just missing all of the wonderfully depraved sexual references of the headliners haha. This is probably not for everyone, not the band cares either way, but if you like fucked up audio recordings of live gigs you might want to add this crazy beast to your collection. Okay, so if you want order this or any releases from Doomsday Today Records either get it online from the physical shop of Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, Texas (dougstapp@gmail.com + site link below) or Eternal Darkness Creations at c/o Keith Dempe, P.O. Box 268, Coraopolis, PA. 15108, USA.  - Dale

http://ralphsrecordstx.com/    Label / Band Contact: pauldoomsday@hotmail.com         




Where Dark And Light Divide….” Demo Tape 1999


This tape is filled with fast and heavy Brazilian death metal filled with  cool solos. What a debut demo!! They will finesse you, then terrorize you with unrelenting brutality and set your mind spinning. My only small bit of constructive criticism on an otherwise superb demo is they could learn to ride a riff or hook a little longer for the good of the song as it is a bit busy sometimes. I must highly recommend this demo to all technical death fiends!  - Dale

Dorwned, Cx. Postal 1829, AC BH Shop, CEP: 30 331-970 Belo Horizonte/MG, BRAZIL Web = www.meubrfree.com/br~drowned   


*Dale here from the future of 2020. This now veteran South American band is still going strong! Look elsewhere in the album reviews for a review of their recent album some 20 years later after this review!!




“Transcend Into Oblivion” 2013 Demo CD

(Self Released)


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

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




“Reminiscence” 2017 CD EP

(Self Released)


Canada’s Empress have released their debut EP (listed it as an EP despite a near 30 minute run time), featuring five songs of sludgy and progressive extreme music. The music on this disc is a very interesting, and somewhat original blend of progressive rock with a healthy dose of sludge with some traditional doom elements sucked into their musical melting pot. I am not a huge fan of these genres, but Empress does do a good job of combining these sub-genres, within the bands solid writing abilities. The vocals are a mix of screams and hollering along with a smattering of clean vocal styling. As I mentioned, I am honestly not a huge fan of these genres, but the band does a good job of writing and playing a fairly creative musical style.  - Patrick

https://thisisempress.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/EmpressBC/  




“Dark Divinity” Demo 1998

(Self Released)


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

Send $4 US to: Encabulos, P.O. Box 1648, Geelong City 3220, AUSTRALIA




Storm Of Swords” 2011 Demo CD

(Self Released)


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





“Sophia’s Eye” Demo 1999

(Magenta Nails Distribution)


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

Send $7 US to: Magenta Nails Distro., c/o Teemu Lampinen, Lehdokkipolku 6, 42100 Jamsa, FINLAND




“Priests Of Annihilation” 2016 Full-length CD

(Self Released)


South Carolina’s Enthean bring us 8 songs of technical black/death metal. I find the same thoughts creeping, as I had recently reviewing Illusions Dead’s disc, which is this bands sounds awfully mature and proficient for a band with only one demo under their belts. I am not sure I could say I loved this release as much as the one mentioned above. But that has nothing to do with the playing as it is top notch and impressive. It is more the music itself, which at times, for me lacks enough flow in some sections. So, in other words, many of these impressive sections of music do not feel like they fit together and the transition from one section to the next, often feels forced and not smooth enough from a construction point of view. I hate to sound like I am just bagging on this, because these guys are talented and write some good raw material, but the actual song writing needs some time to mature by my ear. Also I am not sure if it is the production or mix, which seems okay, but I find the emotion the band tries to imbibe into the songs, are not allowed for lack of a better term to explode like it should, it feels like there is an invisible wet blanket dampening things. I think it needs be more raw and forceful to highlight the material. It is weird to say, and hard to put into words, but I get this weird feeling that this album is a technical symphonic black metal record being played by a band that is more of a melodic death metal band by nature, almost subconsciously suppressing that tendency. At the end of the day, the final result, in my opinion, is just not as good as it should have been. I guess the old saying fits of having all the tools, but have yet to find the toolbox to put them all together in.  - Dale

https://enthean.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Enthean       





“Preemptive Strike” 2011 Full Length Demo CD

(Self Released)


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






“Black Thrash Bastards” 2015 Demo CD

(Self Released)


This is Eternal Armageddon's second demo, to see the light of day. The band originally started out playing a melodic black metal style, but with this new demo “Black Thrash Bastards”, they have gone for a more thrashy blackened sound. They pull it off extremely well with some good drum patterns and guitars on display. The drums start out at a mid paced range before speeding up to faster beats. The guitars follow in the vein, beginning with lightning speed intense riffs, but are not over the top, and they do when to slow down to a heavy metal guitar speed. This is a great demo, from this band coming to us out of Bangladesh, hopefully they will stick with this style and put out some more good music in the coming years.  - Patrick 

http://www.eternalarmageddon.bandcamp.com   http://www.facebook.com/Eternalarmageddon   




"…Of The Ghastly Stench” 2017 Demo Tape

(Nihilistic Holocaust Records)


It is always great to get a release from Gab of the great UG record label Nihilistic Holocaust (zine too by the way!). We have been in touch since, well fuck let me think, it was probably around the same time we both started our fanzines in 1998! Anyway, Nihilistic is a big supporter of dirty cult old school death metal from the early days, so it should come as no surprise Excoriate follow in those hallowed footsteps. This tape is filled with obscured sounding doom tinged death metal, which brings to mind the great old days from the very end of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Back when you had great bands like Grave, Asphyx, Morgoth, Incantation, Dismember, Sinister, Deteriorot, Goatlord, Nunslaughter, Immolation, Nihilist, Cianide, Immortal Fate, Winter plus many, many more releasing amazing demos and eps that would fit nicely next to this demo a few decades later. Sorry I worship this stuff so I could list bands for days haha. This does fit with those cult releases musically like a glove, even the recording / production on here while good, it does sound like it could have been recorded back then. There is some great riffing which creates a nice suffocating atmosphere with the odd short frantic guitar solo. The vocals are these killer cackling growls that sound like a rough beast or demon pursuing you through the fog filled forest, while yelling out the blood curdling horrors it will do to you once it captures you. This demo is a stark reminder, for me of the way death fucking metal should be, it should be dangerous and filthy and menacing!  - Dale

https://nihilisticholocaustrecs.bandcamp.com/music    http://nihilistic.shost.ca/       




"Endogenous Organism” 2017 CD EP

(Self Released)


You know when it comes to death metal, well all extreme metal, I am kind of a purest at heart. So, it is with a little trepidation that I enter into listening to a band that describes themselves as experimental death metal. As said, I am a purist at heart, but I have been known once in a blue moon to be won over by this sort of thing, so let’s see how Exocytosis fair shall we? Honestly, I went into this review as a skeptic, and upon first listen I was not feeling it, it was not clicking for me at all. However, I am about a dozen listens into this 22 minute EP and it is growing one me, it is fusing more and more with my tastes with each successive listen. For me, it took those extra listens feel and figure out what the band was going for, my initial impressions of clunky transitions between seemingly clashing styles, started to feel more smooth and natural. Which made all the difference, because the talent is obviously there, it just felt to me early on like the songwriting craftsmanship was a little off the mark, but as I said that revealed itself as definitively untrue the more I studied the music. The music features traditional rock / metal instrumentation, for the most part, save for the heavy Saxophone usage, which is woven in and out of the kinda trippy atmospheric metal sections, and counterpoint death metal brutality segments. Speaking of the brutality, I do have to admit I do still find myself, at times, wanting a little more forcefulness to the dm parts and production bite as well in that area. The metal portion of the secretions into the extracellular environment, consist of slow, measured emotive metal guitar trappings mixed with often fairly average mid-western US style death metal, which is spiced up with the odd tasty doomy bit influenced from the mighty Autopsy (the fourth track “Spoiled Meat” comes to mind here) I’ve no doubt. Some other influences that clearly come to mind, for me are first and foremost Naked City, but also stuff like Atheist (jazz structuring), Pan-Thy-Monium, Vuvr and Guilty As Sin. Just in case you were wondering, the vocals are standard, quite decipherable growling which gets the job done just fine. “Endogenuous Organism” can be a challenging listen for the average extreme metal fan, it may take a dash of open mindedness and healthy dose of patience, but if you come armed with both I have confidence you will feel like you were well rewarded for the extra effort.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/EXOCYTOSIS/    https://exocytosis1.bandcamp.com/       




Ultimate Gore Assault” Demo Tape 1999

(Self Released)


Exposed Guts consists of two men including a drum machine and they hail from Germany. What we have here on this 5 song demo is a pretty average mix of death/grind/gore. I have to say nothing really jumped out and grabbed me with this. Some of the vocals are cool and the riffs at times display some hope, but once the tape stops I feel like I should be making myself a cup of coffee to wake up. I suppose some people will dig this, but just not me.  - Dale

Send $5 US World to: Exposed Guts, c/o Markus Lempsch, Op’n Spitol 22, 59065 Hamm, GERMANY  




"Obsidian” 2016 CD EP

(Self Released)


Eye of Horus hail from Edmonton, Alberta which is the area I was born and raised (central Alberta), so it is always cool to hear bands from my old stomping grounds, where I attended many live gigs in the early to late ‘90s. Anyways, we are presented with four songs on this ep, stretching nearly 20 minutes in length and sporting some pretty killer cover art. The band play melodic death metal, now this sub-genre is not one of my favoured ones, and I tend to only enjoy a small-ish cream of the crop group of bands in this style. I will say this in the positive column for Eye Of Horus, they mix just enough traditional brutal and dark death metal in amongst the florid melodies, to give the sound some balls and some bite, not letting the harmonious quality succeed too often in bringing down too much of the brutality. This balance and edge is what kept me interested. You can hear some influences on here from things like the Carcass “Heartwork” album, In Flames, early Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, At The Gates, Black Dahlia Murder etc… The music on here is not as intricate as some of those bands, but still there is some tasty guitar work and writing going on with some classy, often brief and effective guitar fills and leads. The vocals I liked quite a bit, they are deep, yet largely decipherable death growls and in some sections adding a black metal sounding undertone to the vocal arsenal. I have to say, as melodic death metal bands out there go these days, as mentioned I am not the biggest fan melodo dm, but Eye of Horus are one of the more enjoyable ones I have heard in a while.  - Dale

https://eyeofhorusofficial.bandcamp.com/     https://www.facebook.com/EyeofHorusOfficial       




Senseless Sadistic Souls” Demo 2000



Heavy and memorable pure thrash metal from the land of the rising sun. Yeah bitch! Nice riffing. The vocals are completely amazing! I have never heard vocals done like this before! They are some of the most extreme, original, and vicious vocals ever!! This is a demo tape that any thrash maniac that is also into the more extreme side of metal must own!  - Dale

Send $5 US to: Fastkill, c/o Jiro, Village 2-1A, 1-21-15 Matsugaoka Nakano, 165-0024 Tokyo, JAPAN




"Re-Animated” 2019 Demo CDR

(Self Released)


“Re-Animated” is this Pennsylvania band Fatal Agent’s newest demo (this is their 4th demo since 2017!) featuring four songs of re-recorded and re-written from previous releases. I have never heard the original versions, so I can not comment on the new versions and how they match up or differ from the originals. But the music is very rooted in the ‘80s thrash metal vein presented in a package of very aggressive and raw sounding music. The guitars are mainly played with extremely fast and frenzied riffing and picking. As mentioned, the guitars are mostly heavy fast riffs, but the guitarist can write some slightly slower, memorable passages even adding some well played solos into the musical mix. The vocals are classic sounding gruff thrashy hostile screams. If you are a fan of aggressive thrash metal then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this release today.  - Patrick

https://fatalagent.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/FatalAgent       




“Prisons Eternal” 1999 CD



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

Send $12 US / $14 World (payable to Matt Skrzypczak) at: F.E., P.O. Box 88, Grawn, MI. 49637, USA  




“Behind The Black Eyes” 2016 Full-length CD

(Self Released)


I do not often get to review bands from Israel, so in that sense, this was a bit of a novelty for me. I wish I could say I loved it, I wish I could say I even kind of liked it. But, that would not be the truth; this is to my ears a very generic blending of death metal and metal core, or I suppose the deathcore tag may apply. A style I am not very fond of, so to impress me you had better do it really well, something that Ferium does not do, in my view. This is just awfully pedestrian stuff, the playing is okay, the songs rather uninteresting and pretty interchangeable with very little standing out. I mean it probably does not help Ferium out that I have been lucky lately by reviewing a lot of high quality releases, from the material to the performances. It only serves to make things like “Behind The Black Eyes”, when they come along, to stick out like a sore thumb by contrast. A strong influence within the deathcore sound is Pantera, I can hear that in the music, but really strong in the vocalist as well, as he does a more growled, more shouted lesser quality imitation of Phil Anselmo. Yeah, sorry guys but this was just not for me, and in my opinion, just not that good either.  - Dale 

http://ferium.bandcamp.com/    http://www.feriumband.com/          




“Storming Heaven” 2014 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)


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

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




"The Northwinds Rend Flesh” 2012 Demo MCD

(Self Released)

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




“Covered In Semen And Slime” 2014 Demo CDR EP

(Visceral Circuitry Records)


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

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




“Promo 1” 2015 Demo CDR

(Self Released)


There is only one track, on here, entitled “Hail To The Legions That Rise From Flesh and Darkness”. So not all that much to go on for a review, the song is just under seven minutes, and that includes an intro and outro, so about 4 minutes or so of actual song. But what I can get out of it is some ferocious, and brutal, darkened death metal sickness. The riff in this song is heavy as fuck, the growling vocals sound like they are emitted from some blood thirty beast, come to life straight out of an HP Lovecraft story. I would tell you more, but there is not a lot to go on here, I see they have just released a full twenty minute demo now. Here is to hoping I get a chance to hear it, because this one track promo did it’s job in wetting my appetite for Gravered, and has me looking forward to hearing more.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/gravered.deathmetal  http://gravered-deathmetal.bandcamp.com/releases    




“Led To The Slaughter” Demo CD 2009

(Self Released)


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

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




“III” 2010 Demo CD

(Self Released)


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

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





““Future History” 2013 Full-length CD

(Self Released)


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

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




“Robot Masquerade Party” 2016 MCD

(Self Released)


Well then, it has been a while since I have heard from Guilty As Sin, but the enigmatic and talented metal merchants return once again to the pages of Canadian Assault (dig around for my past reviews of GAS). The band has sent in releases for nearly a decade probably, during which time I have become a fan, as you never know quite what to expect from this diverse band. Having said that this may well be one of their more straight forward albums. It is a display of driving extreme metal, which is well crafted, part cerebral grace, part unbridled aggression and destruction, but all enjoyable. At times in the past, the band has been fairly instrumental oriented, but this time around I think this may well be the most vocals I can remember on a GAS release. The vocals are gruff hardcore style shouting mixed with slight dm growl. There are moments of more ambient, mind journey atmosphere which give you a moment to breathe, a moment to reflect, a moment to enjoy the well rounded musicianship and vision behind the band, before launching back into the fire once again. Guilty As Sin is never run of the mill, it is always an experience, always an expansive mental ride, a ride that is always worth taking so hop aboard.  - Dale 

ovoianrocks@yahoo.com    http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/GuiltyAsSin         




“Apocryphal” Demo 1998



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

$6 US to: Golden Pyre, c/o Ricardo Veiga, Rua Frei Custodio 259, 4905 Barroselas, PORTUGAL Email = goldenpyre@hotmail.com




“One Day War” Demo 1999

(Sun Serpent Records)


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




"Slave Of Society” 2010 CD



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




“Spellbook” 2012 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)


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

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





“Self Titled” 2012 Demo CD EP

(Self Released)


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





“A Demon Rising" 2012 Demo CD

(Self Released)

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

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




“You Cry and Piss Yourself” Demo CD 2007

(Self Released)


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

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




“Succumbing To Decay” 2016 CD-R

(Self Released)


This may come on a limited edition CD-R, but the packaging is a nice professional looking slipcase, rather than the usual CD-R and cut out piece of paper with the album cover/info. We are treated to 9 songs of black metal; the material is written and performed in the ancient way, a surprising approach coming from this intriguing young band from the United Kingdom. Hokedun play really old school black metal, many think of early to mid 90s Scandinavian scene with that term, but I am reaching back even a little further than that. Yes, the roots I hear in the bands music are from things of the very late 80s and early 90s variety, such as the early works by Greek bands like Rotting Christ, Necromantia, Varathron, Zemial etc… Plus also they bring to mind a similar style to the first days of Ancient Rites and Mortuary Drape. I am a huge fan of that era, and that time period for those bands, so this is welcome choice for me made by the band. The music and riffing is very stripped down, simplistic, moody and vaguely hypnotic like an audio soundtrack to an occult ritual performed in some dark cave. The vocals are evil raspy, partially sung screams that really fit the music very well and are in a classic style. But do not get too attached to them because I think only about half of the songs have vocals and the rest are instrumental. I could have used a little more of the vocals personally, yet I do concede, in some parts of the songs lacking them they may not have fit as well with those songs. I think for a lot of more modern black metal fans, they may not like this; it would be too simple for them, not over produced enough and not filled with a hundred riffs and time changes. But guess what? Hokedun did not make this for those people. No, the band choose to keep things straightforward, they let the songs breath, placing importance on feeling and atmosphere, sometimes the old saying is true that less is more. I quite enjoyed this release, it is for diehards like me, who long for the great early days of black metal that had a very distinct and interesting sound. “Succumbing To Decay” has also been released in a cassette version, through Hexenreich Records, so keep an eye out for that as well if interested. But do not hesitate or procrastinate as I believe both formats, CD-R and cassette are limited to just 100 copies.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/hokedun    http://hexe.pimeduse.org/       




"Bleak And Harrowing Journey" 2017 CD EP

(Self Released)


I am pleased to have Hokedun return to the to the pages of Canadian Assault. They have wasted no time in doing so; I’ve only just reviewed their previous disc less than six months ago. The main man in this two person band Eren continues his work in earnest. They are based out of the United Kingdom, but Eren is not from there, the man gets around as his last band was based in Turkey, but Eren himself originates from the Bosnia and Herzegovina region. I am assuming due to this he in turn infuses a morsel inner eastern European metal flavour into the music. As I talked about last time around, the roots of the Hokedun sprout out of the very late ‘80s / early ‘90s non-Scandinavian black metal scene. I still hear hints of the early works of bands such as Varathron, Necromantia, Rotting Christ, Ancient Rites, Zemail, Mortuary Drape and maybe even a touch of Morningstar from their “Inside The Circle…” demo tape. Hokedun are sticking to their pure undergroud ethics, again making this a very limited release, last time was only 100 copies and this time around it is limited to only 50! Needless to say, I am honoured to have received a copy. There are basically three full songs here, but they are interwoven between short (ranging from 35 seconds to minute and 45 seconds) instrumental interludes, which do a wonderful job of setting a satisfying ambient moody tone to the release as a whole. The song structure and riffing, much like the last release are stripped down with a slower to middling pace which helps create a very dark, introspective and slightly hypnotic aura to the music. This aspect is something I enjoy very much, it is much more about tapping into more than just driving hatred and high speed technicality. I mean the hate is there, but there is deeper range of emotional tenor flowing throughout this “Bleak And Harrowing Journey”, which is actually a pretty spot description of the musical experience on here. The vocals seem like they are slightly more prominent and widely used this time around which is good by me. I enjoy the vocals very much as they are drawn out traditional black metal rasps, but with a little more inflection and feeling than most and are quite decipherable to average ear than bm band vocals tend to be. Yeah I like those vocals a lot. I can sincerely recommend this to old school black metal loving goats like me, if you enjoy the early works by the bands I listed and time period I mentioned above then you love this bleak and evil work of art.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/hokedun    hokedun@yahoo.co.uk        




“Temoignanges De La Gnose Terrestre” 2012 Demo CD EP

(Self Released)


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





“Promo CD” 1999

(Self Released)


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

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




"Horrible Earth” Full-length 2013 Demo CD

(Self Released)


Horrible Earth waste no time jumping right into it, it is almost like the opening track starts mid-song, no easing into this shit but nothing wrong with that. These boys are from Boston, Mass and regular Canadian Assault readers will recognize the name Zak Ovoian, the mastermind from the band Guilty As Sin, as I have reviewed I think at least four or five of his releases on here. They call themselves Grindpunk, now I definitely hear the grind end of things, the punk well maybe a hint of that, more of hardcore sound mixed in with the grind and death metal influence than punk. But that is just my take on it, mainly Euro influences but I would think it might be fair to throw a bit of Brutal Truth in the mix too. I hear more of a Swedish death metal and grind sound than the usual American grind you would naturally hear over here. Think of bands like Entombed, Dismember mixed with Nasum, Rotten Sound and then throw a healthy dose of American hardcore in that mix. I like it though it is fast, brutal and hard hitting, there are enough death metal slow down breaks to really keep things interesting adding a nice level of dynamic to their sound. The pacing of the songs in the faster parts remind me a lot of hardcore riffing pace and structure, of course backed up with grinding drums. The vocals also have a growling undertone with the primary hardcore coarse throat rip yelling. The songs are short and steeped in adrenaline, that must be great live. The mix of all of these things rather than being a jumbled mess actually for me the death metal sections only serve punctuate the high hardcore speed then it is sped up even more with some pit inducing grind and back down again producing a very intriguing, attention holding listen. Which can be a weakness of grind that it gets all same-y sounding, thankfully Horrible Earth do not suffer from this problem. Honestly I think this album is fantastic! I really hope this gets some attention as Horrible Earth should get a similar level of recognition to say a Nasum or a similar level band. If you love the genres I mentioned above this is a must buy. My only complaint is it is too short, I want more now, until then I just have this set to repeat and am listening to it over and over.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/HorribleEarth   http://www.reverbnation.com/horribleearth     




“Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1” 2016 CD EP

(Self Released)


Just in case you are curious about the “Part 1” in the title, the band apparently has planned a three or four part series of EP’s, to follow this original world concept. I find everything about this young Nashville band interesting, from their conception of this series, vibe of the band pics, to the artwork and finally the music. Speaking of which, Howling Giant draw from a fairly diverse sub-genre pallet, but I would have to say the more prominent one is a stoner doom sound yet you will also find hints of traditional doom, progressive rock, 70s psychedelic hard rock (ie – the organ accents), space rock etc… Despite that description they do not sound overly retro and have a more updated and fresh feel to sound. I do like to liberally apply the doom tag to the band, but the third tune on this four tracker is pretty fast, displaying an upbeat energy you can headbang along with. Somehow, that change up does not interrupt the flow of the other three songs, and serves as a vibrant bridge to the overall doom foundation “Black Hole Space Wizard”. The main vocals are interesting they are sung quite clean and clear, yet sound they are bouncing off the walls of a wide open empty building, with a slight echo effect. That is until the final track “Clouds Of Smoke”, which features a more straight forward almost slightly commercial clean sung vocal, which may not be for some extreme metallers, but it fits the music here very perfectly. All in all, I have to say this is a pretty polished and mature effort from a young band, with only one previous ep to their history. If they continue to progress it could result in something special. I can definitely recommend this (in particular to stoner doom and seventies psy rock fans) and will be pulling it out from time to time for sure. Hopefully I get a chance to hear the other forthcoming parts in this series.  - Dale

https://howlinggiant.bandcamp.com/music    https://www.facebook.com/howlinggiant       




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

(Self Released)


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

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




“Plastination” 2011 Demo CD

(Self Released)


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

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



“…In Rememberance To BRAIN DEAD” Tape 2000

(Music Trax Records)


Most fans here in North America might not know the Malaysian band Brain Dead, but I certainly do! They were a fucking excellent dark deathrash band! I tape traded for their stuff some years back and was taken by their music. This is a compilation of bands paying tribute to them on here. Some of the bands are: Logam, Tandus (This rusty deathrash cult band also fucking rule!!), As Sahar, Kharabanazak (say that 3 times really fast haha), Necrotic Chaos, Vociferation Eternity + more. Get this beautifully packaged tape immediately!  - Dale

Music Trax Records, Jalan 1/119, Taman Bukit Hijau, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lampur, MALAYSIA




“Ghostlands” Demo 1999

(Self Released)


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

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




“Celestial Decadence” 2016 Full Length CD

(Self Released)


Illusions Dead are Finnish band who play extreme melodic (I know those terms rarely belong together) death metal. The first thoughts that came to me, upon my initial listen, these guys sound really polished and mature; when taking into account they had only released one demo previously. Now, before you get the wrong idea, yes they do play melodic death metal, but not the lighter, sweeter sounding stuff ala In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Shadows Fall etc… No, they have more in common with the catchy, while still being very brutal and mean bands such as Dissection, Kataklysm, At The Gates, early Arch Enemy and the like. There is one exception to those bands, and that is, in some sections of the material I.D. display a doom metal side which is skillfully done, adding a nice moody contrast. When they pick up the pace, which is most of the time, you are treated wonderfully constructed and performed barbarity, overlaid on top of some great melodies. They really scratch an itch, if you like violent music, which is mixed with finesse and musical subtlety. The recording, on this self financed effort, sounds great. I have to think, record labels will be knocking on this bands door, as should you be.  - Dale

http://illusionsdead.bandcamp.com    https://www.facebook.com/illusionsdeadofficial       




“Self-Titled” 2014 Demo Cassette EP

(NoVisible Scars Records)


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

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




"Self-Titled” 2014 Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)


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

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




"Di Sangue E Di Luce” 2016 CD EP

(Self Released)


Insania.11 is a two man Italian band who play technical thrash metal, plus throw in healthy doses of death metal, weaving it in and out of the techno thrash mainstay. What are the chances, I get two technical thrash releases back to back in my mailbox, to review, especially in this day and age of the scene? Maybe it is making a comeback or maybe just a big coincidence? Anyway, onward with this five song release, entitled ”Di Sangue Di Luce”, which I believe translates to something like “Of Blood And Light”. The band plays very tight and precise, intricate thrash bringing to mind a bit bands like Coroner, Mekong Delta, later day Anacrusis or even a bit of Atheist maybe. The vocals (more on that later) and the guitars are the driver for the band, front and center, some of the guitar work and riffing on here fantastic and succeeded in creating both a dark atmosphere and making my head nod and break out into a full headbang at times. The other instruments, born out of necessity I am sure, speaking of the bass and drums, they are both programmed and are my least favourite part of the release. Okay, so back to the vocals, they may be an acquired taste for some, but for me I fucking love them! The deep introspective lyrics are sung in the bands mother tongue, the style of the vocals are commanding and terrifyingly mean sounding, being sung in Italian only makes them seem more menacing to me. The vocals themselves are reminiscent of the deeper, lower end vocals of Big Boss from Root (who is a vocal god for me) on their earlier releases, mixed with a slight hint of the unique vocals of the old band Righteous Pigs (sung of course by a pre-Napalm Death Mitch Harris). The band close the release with their most varied epic song (just under 9 minutes long), which is a kind of slow and moody, somewhat subdued song lacking in the intricacy and speed of the rest of material, but turns up the atmosphere and is not a bad way to come back down from the bludgeoning intensity of the first four tracks. This is some good stuff from this Italian band and I hope to get a chance to hear what they do next. But, in the meantime if the above interests you, I can also tell you the presentation of the booklet and packaging on this release is superb.  - Dale

https://insania11.bandcamp.com/releases    http://www.insania11.com/       




“The Biddings Of Tyrants” 2016 CD & Cassette

(Self Released / Doomsday's Today Records)


I see in recent years, some extreme metal bands claiming the industrial tag yet when you listen to the album, there is nothing more than a hint of said sound on a song or two. Now, I would say Invertia show nothing but truth, with their claim in using that industrial tag on the “Biddings of Tyrants”. They do incorporate heavy industrial trademarks and trappings within their hyper speeding death metal foundation (seen them listed as Industrial black metal but they sound more like a dm band to me). The lyrical concept of the album, as you probably guessed is about those that abuse their powers in one form or another, each song of the album is about a different tyrant. Some of their targets are the NSA invading American citizens privacy, Scientology through their twisted dogma suppress and abuse their power over their followers and so on. As I mentioned earlier, the bands main gear is full speed ahead, only slowing slightly in order to deftly avoid being tossed on the rocks in their path or the odd rogue wave. Their brand of death metal, reminds me very much of the mid to late 90s death metal scene that mixed of course industrial influences like early ‘90s Pitchshifter, early Scorn, early Godflesh, Ministry and the like. I know this will be a pretty obscure reference for many, but the music on this album reminds me slightly musically, but a lot vocally to the criminally unheralded and largely forgotten mighty Disciples of Power (mainly active in the late ‘80s to mid ‘90s), from Canada mostly on their later album “Mechanikill”, where the band incorporated industrial into their amazing trademark technical death metal sound. The vocals on “The Biddings…” sounds so close to that album, which is a big plus for me and adds a hint of nostalgia, even though I am sure this Massachussets band has never heard even heard of Disciples Of Power. This is a really solid enjoyable album, nothing utterly mindblowing, but still some really good shit going on and they play a style that is not overdone, in this day and age, which only makes them stand out further. Check this out.  - Dale

Update - I was sent a nice looking professionally released cassette version of this album released on this on the new & very dedicated record label Doomsday's Today Records. There are two main distributors to order this labels releases from and those are online from the physical shop of Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, Texas (dougstapp@gmail.com + site link below) or Eternal Darkness Creations at c/o Keith Dempe, P.O. Box 268, Coraopolis, PA. 15108, USA.

http://invertia.bandcamp.com/    https://inv3rtia.com    http://ralphsrecordstx.com/    




“Promo Tapes” 1995 + 1998

(Self Released)


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

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




"Revelation Of Unknown” 2018 CD

(Self Released)


Istina is an interesting band from Russia, consisting of two members, with this being their sophomore full-length release. I would say their music is somewhat minimalist, for large portions of this album there is sparse guitars and a myriad of accents (clips, effects, keyboards etc…) combining together to create a very moody and melancholy sort of atmosphere. I guess you would call them avant-garde black metal? Yet, you or at least I do, think of intricate high level playing and the playing is good solid enough, but it is not that. They even employ a drum machine, and while it is fairly competently executed, it is surely not one of those cases where you say I could not even tell it was a drum machine, no it clearly sounded like a drum machine to me before I even checked to confirm. I am not a fan of drum machines / programming, but if it is done decently enough on here that it is not a distraction, well most of the time at least. The songs range in duration from short 3-5 minute numbers, which feel like interlude pieces connecting and transitioning to the longer songs, which range from 8-10 minutes in length. The overall run time clocks in at a robust one hour and ten minutes! As mentioned, the album overall is minimalist and stripped down (ie – just guitars lightly played with elongated flowing notes / tones) which lends itself well to the morose atmospheric vibe the band is going for. Then there are other times, like seven minute track “Losing Control”, where the band creates some great, freezing early ‘90s Scandinavian black metal. Yet even this song has creepy, brief chanting vocal sounds / obscure far screams, winds, accents of synth and even some piano at the end of a song that at it’s core is harsh, violent black metal – this is very well done! Revelation Of Unknown is an interesting album for me, at times I enjoyed it very much, the members of this band have a talent for creating epic moody songs, the sort which can really take you on a sinuous flowing journey. Having said that, there are times when it feels maybe a tad aimless, where certain sections of the album feel slightly excessive, and could benefit from some editing down, maybe say ten to fifteen minutes worth probably should have hit the cutting room floor. At the same time, the rest of the album is an interesting emotive journey to zone out with, but the band do not leave you hanging there entirely, as they there are those passages of cold and harsh black metal to bring back down into your physical body to viscerally enjoy as well (a little more of this next time would be cool). I found this a bit of hard album to review, it is not an essential purchase necessarily. But, it is definitely worth a listen, actually a few long listens, it will take that many to really sink in and enjoy / realize the musical vision these Russian wizards have conjured up for you.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/IstinaBM    https://istina-bm.bandcamp.com/      




“Self-Titled” 1998 Demo

(Self Released)


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