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“Pure Negativism: In Allegiance With Self Wreckage” 2006 CD

(Aura Mystique Records)


More great fucking American Black Metal! Bahimiron features the almighty Blaash from Where’s My Skin zine which is one of the best American zines and has been going for ever or least 12 years or so… Any regular Assault reader knows I am a big follower of this band, demos, 7 inches have all been great and now I get to cleanse my palate with the harsh and bitter sounds on this full length ball of fire, straight from the pits of the Southern USA. Bahimiron loves to cut and slash at you with some truly vile guitar lines that forge ahead with speed and rhythm reminding me of early Emperor, old Immortal, early Beherit and other old school Scandinavian scoundrel. Pure Negativism… definitely has a flow to, much like the river of Acheron and cannot be dissected into parts, picking out only one or two songs to listen to is detriment to the overall journey and cold, oh so cold ambience which rises from the band like a deep fog. The vocals provided by Grimlord are vicious and hurl through the air at like 100 metal pellet balls from a 12 gauge shotgun tearing and rending your eardrums into exhaustion and defeat. Often mid paced setting a hypnotic atmosphere yet interspersed with healthy doses of speed and juxtaposed sparingly with some moody contemplative passages. As mentioned this album must be listened as whole to get the right experience bled into it’s framework. Bahimiron bring affliction to the afflicted, Bahirmiron bring sickness to the sick and Bahimiron spread their plague to the welcome it and force it upon those who do not. Get this now.  – Dale

 www.bahimiron.cjb.net  www.auramystique.com




“Southern Nihilizm” 2008 CD

(Moribund Records)


It is good after all these years, to see that my comrade Blaash (creator of the mighty Where’s My Skin? Fanzine) and his horde, are still pumping out horrific black metal. For me outside of Thornspawn & Absu, Bahimiron has to be the best black metal band that Texas has produced. I think in some ways you can say they play normal, early 90s black metal. Which is true and they do it very well. But there are also some smaller touches of the war metal sound and even a little doom. Just check out the track “5 Chambers Empty” for the fantastic doom touches and it works better than I would have thought. It is also no surprise, knowing Blaash as I do, that there are songs dealing with weapons and specifically guns. The music is always heavy and dark, but as I alluded to there is a fair range of emotional depth within musical maelstrom. The vocals have dynamics as well and you will hear bm rasps, growls and screams that remind me to the wonderful early works of Impaled Nazerene. Maybe the vocals do not match the over the top insanity of Impaled, but it is very similar feel and works nicely. Bahimiron are evil and yet they are also just a bunch of raunchy scoundrels. Which is also reflected in their song lyrics and titles such as “Halo of Fliez”, “Pills and 90 Proof”, “War, Whiskey, Sodomy” would attest. They have been going nearly a decade and this, their second album, sees them at their best. “Southern Nihilizm” is a cold hearted black metal record I can endorse completely.  - Dale

http://www.bahimiron.com   http://www.moribundcult.com/




Rebel Hymns Of The Left Handed Terror” 2011 CD

(Moribund Records)


This is bahimiron's second cd for the Moribund Cult. The last Bahimiron release was decent but nothing great. But with Rebel Hymns of The Left Handed Terror the band strikes back again with full force and violent fury. To put it simply this is a sick, twisted masterpiece of frenzied raw destruction. With so many black metal bands going the route of crystal clear production, clean vocals, whatever they seem to lose sight of what this music is about. But not Bahimiron it's great to hear a band sticking to their roots and keeping their music aggressive, ugly and destructive.  - Patrick

http://www.moribundcult.com/index.html  http://www.myspace.com/bahimiron  




“Era II: Deserts Of Ashes” 2011 CD

(Hammer Of Hate)


Russian industrial black metal. The opening instrumental sets the tone - the industrial piece "Mutation". Then the next song kicks in with a mix of raw black metal, industrial black metal experimentation, and atmospheric unknown. This release would work for the open minded metal head I suspect. Well most of 'em any way. It's well executed and there is a whole lot going on. But, in the end, is this something I would listen to again? Probably not. It's too experimental for it's own good if you ask me. It reminds me of musicians that play just to show you how good they are at their instruments. Who cares? Not me. It's an interesting release though. But I prefer my black metal sans industrial elements. If you like the mix of the two genres, hey, this may work for you.  - Mark Sugiyama 

http://www.myspace.com/balanceinterruption  http://www.hammer-of-hate.com/   




“In Satan We Trust” 2016 CD

(Iron Bonehead Records)


Italy’s Baphomet’s Blood have released their fourth full length record of thrash and speed metal mayhem. Baphomet’s Blood really know how to create, and write, well written and performed speed metal. The guitars are extremely fast, but are done, with a lot interesting patterns and solos mixed into the songs. The drumming as well, is done with a lot of skill and experience, going from fast and crazed drum arrangements, to a more mid paced range. If you are a fan of the early days of speed metal, then you will definitely want to check this release out, as soon as humanly possible.  - Patrick

https://baphometsbloodofficial.bandcamp.com/   http://www.ironbonehead.de/        




“Drowned” 2018 CD

(Momento Mori Records)


The word "progressive" is one that makes me approach any release tagged as such with a little trepidation. Not because I fear that a formula for my favorite music has been changed but because often it is a synonym for "pretentious." Barús appears to me to be one of those bands that I deem pretentious, right down to using single letters for the names of the musicians. Normally, I can rely on Memento Mori to provide releases that really scratch my particular death metal itch, but this one only did it occasionally. This feels too much like art, not proper death metal (which should be an anti-art), like I need to pay attention to it constantly or risk losing myself in the fucking quicksand that is their songwriting. When I use the word quicksand, it shouldn't have too-negative connotations, it just means that the music doesn't seem to move, it just swirls us listener-turds around the musical toilet bowl and doesn't sink into the sewer properly. This shit'll drown you. But not in a good way, like Immolation does. I suffered a little bit on this one. When the band plies my ears with their blackened atmosphere and their sorta-grooved-up and old-sounding death metal parts, I like it, but when they descend into post-rock and dissonant chords, it's like wiping with sandpaper. It'll get the job done, but my ass is raw after. For those dear readers who enjoy death metal presented in a unique way, this will do the trick, but when I just want to have my face blasted off my skull, Barús brings me to the brink and then the music starts to noodle around and get off into territories I'd rather not visit. Is it an impressive effort of cave-like darkness? Yes. Do I fuckin' care? Only sort of.  – Andrew Parrish

https://www.facebook.com/barusband    http://www.memento-mori.es/          




“Codex Epicus” 2018 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


Battleroar come to us out of the Greek scene and play a very epic classic heavy metal style reminding me a lot of influential bands from the early to mid ‘80s. I was struck by the sweeping riffing that is very catchy and filled with melody, which is accented with some great guitar fills and solos. Despite the level of melody, they do not forget about overall song flow or pass up an opportunity to take things in a less melodious, more moody direction for brief periods of time. Battleroar construct and build up their songs in a way which gives maximum emotional impact and they do so in a very skillful manner. The vocalist has a very classic heavy metal voice and puts in a good performance; he even gets some sing-a-long choruses at times to work with, which will be sure to stick in your head. The music as a whole, gives off a triumphant vibe, despite possessing a very moderate slower pacing often keeping just enough of a tempo to not fall into the doom metal category. It is a very upbeat and uplifting sort of metal album, which may lack some of the grit and heaviness some extreme metal and even some heavy metal fans crave. But, if you are okay with that and dig epic heavy metal bands in the vein of Omen, Liege Lord, Warlord, Cirith Ungol and especially Manilla Road then you will love this album!  - Dale

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




“The Old Evil” 2019 MCD & MLP

(Iron Bonehead Productions)


I was surprised to hear about this release. I was a fan of this bands 1992 demo cassette, which I tape traded for back around that time frame. Besides a split album with Ungod (another old German bm band I was a devotee of back in the day and now has members in this band as well) was released some years later, which is the same material as the 1992 demo. Baxaxaxa was convinced to reform for a gig at the infamous Destroying Texas Fest back in 2018, something that has apparently led to this once great, briefly flickering flame to re-ignite once again and “The Old Evil” is the result. It is quite amazing listening to this twenty-five minute recording of new material, as it is like time has never passed and this (originally actually their 2nd demo released in October ’19 on cassette) feels like it was recorded right after their debut demo in the early ‘90s. Nothing has changed, they sound exactly the same, the recording and playing even reflect perfectly those amazing early ‘90s black metal band demos! That old evil, sinister and suffocating atmosphere is back in all of it’s glory, with Baxaxaxa’s brand of first wave black metal sounds as good now as it did back then. The recording is raw as fuck; the playing is untight unlike newer bands, where everything is pro tool’d to hell, sometimes to the point of sounding too perfect, too clean and plastic. The playing on here sounds very organic and natural; bringing back those old feelings and ways I cherish being old metal goat I am! The music as well is rhythmic, almost hypnotic with heavy slow burn riffing and sparse drumming, flanked by funereal synth accents leaving ample room for that old ominous cold aura to permeate throughout the songs like a creeping audio fog. This is so old school, first wave black metal that you can almost feel a contempt or hatred of what black metal transitioned to just seething through your speakers. I fucking loved every minute of this release. Welcome back from the dead Baxaxaxa!  - Dale

https://baxaxaxa.bandcamp.com/    https://ironbonehead.de/        




“Catacomb Cult” 2021 CD & LP

(The Sinister Flame)


I could literally write an essay probably on this band and various connections to it that mean something to me. I will try to write a somewhat brief version here. But I have been a diehard follower of the band Ungod whose debut 1992 demo tape I tape traded for around that time, and then I ordered a copy of their first album in 1994 and became possessed by this band ever since, so only around 30 years now. Why am I talking about Ungod so much? That would be because Baxaxaxa also released a demo in ’92 and two of the original members were also in Ungod. There was also one member in the band Fulgor, whose demo I ordered in ’93, but that is getting too far sidetracked to talk about Fulgor. So Baxaxaxa went dormant and ceased the same year they released that demo, and stayed that way until they were asked to reform for the well respected Destroying Texas Fest in 2018 and they decided to actually revive the band and released the excellent “The Old Evil” demo cassette, which was re-released the next year by Iron Bonehead Productions, which I reviewed elsewhere. They then released a seven Inch entitled “Devoted To Him” last year which I have a copy but never reviewed in CA. So, more connections to Ungod, I really got into Baxaxaxa a decade ago when they released a split album (which contained both bands ’92 demos) which I got a copy of to no surprise by anyone reading this still. Okay, fine one last thing and that is the Ungod connection is still strong as now instead of two Ungod members like the original line up, this current one features three members of Ungod. So, essentially the whole band plus a different vocalist in Baxaxaxa, who is an old long time contact of mine named Patrick Kremer, who also owns the great record label Iron Bonehead. The music on ‘Catacomb Cult’ is gloriously and unapologetically a spiked fist to the face, and unapologetically old school, first and early second wave black metal to the maximum. It is like their demo tape all those decades ago was just released recently, and this is the follow up to it without missing a beat. Those slow burning riffs, that godless bewitching drum work and sinister, haunting funeral synth accents are in the classic Baxaxaxa style. The music mostly middle paced with slight tempo variation in both directions, but stays in that middle ground a lot and for me is very hypnotic, like I would imagine as a soundtrack to an occult ritual in some deep torch lit cave. The atmosphere and air the music creates permeates everything with a crawling freezing mist that chills the listener to the bone. I love this album it brings back so many great old feelings. At very long last after nearly 30 years the band releases their debut album and it is a triumph of the ancient UG ways and traditions!  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/baxaxaxa    https://sinisterflame.bandcamp.com/       





“deBBYBut” 2009 CD

(Khaaranus Productions)


The booklet for this CD is awesome. It flips outwards in four directions and then in the middle reads like a book. I am sure the pressing plant were like “You want to do what?!” *grumble* *grumble* haha. The artwork is kind of bizarre too, but good like a warped Frank Miller graphic novel or something. So what about the music then? You would think with that kind of build up, it would be rather amazing. But at times it is one huge jumbled mess of industrial, electronica, and just a metal mish-mash. The other times when they really hit on a good industrial part with some solid metal foundation mixed in it really works for them. Now I like some old industrial stuff (Ministry, old Fear Factory, Skinny Puppy, Lard, Godflesh, old Pitchshifter and a couple more) so it is not like I am against this genre entirely by any means. But I have to admit it, there are sections of material on here that are truly boring. They have a good aura about them in this style, but seem to lack that step to turn their musical bits into something interesting or memorable. To take it to that next level if you will. I guess I am being a little bit hard here, but I also suppose I am little bit picky when it comes to this style. I mean the bands I listed above pretty much make up my entire industrial collection. I generally only go for the best, the cream of the crop. BBYB are just not quite there yet, but surely there are signs they could get to that level in the future. This is after all their debut just going by the album title (I have no bio to work off of so…). I think what they are missing besides more interesting song arrangements, is emotion, they convey very little emotion in their music. I think back to the old albums of Godflesh, Ministry, Fear Factory and the like. They are positively dripping with emotion, have infectious song structures and keep one hooked every step of the way. If BBYB can manage to grasp that, then they have all the fundamentals to make a great industrial metal band. I will be looking forward to their next release to see how things come along.  - Dale

http://www.myspace/khaaranus   http://www.myspace.com/bbyb




“Seven Scrolls / No Cover Covers 2017 EP” Cassette Album

(NoVisible Scars Records)


B.C:A.D. come to us out of the Connecticut scene, they are a two member band, which consists of Simon Tuozzoli and Phil Swanson of Vestal Claret along with drummer Brian Harris. This is quite different than Vestal Claret, though there are heavy metal elements present, but the music heavily resides in the old school early to mid ‘80s punk crossover style. The music and lyrics have a fun energetic feel, and attitude, which is infectious and you might just find yourself singing along with the choruses. The music is not overly similar, but the vibe of the songs reminds me a little of classic Dead Kennedy’s stuff. Another band that comes to mind is Gang Green, a band I was a pretty big fan of, who were another band who kept the music and vibe light and fun, but always were serious about the music as I believe B.C:A.D. are as well here. Phil Swanson’s vocals are varied at times and great, again bringing to mind early ‘80s punk bands in general mixed with the vocals of Gang Green or Canadian legends Dayglo Abortions. All of these vocal influences mixed together with some of Phil’s heavy metal stylings you have come to know him for in his other bands. Let me just say Phil did a great job and the vocals are a fantastic highlight on this release. There are more early ‘80s punk bands on the tip of my tongue, I am not a hardcore fan, but it is something I do listen to from time to time, but those influences do not seem to want leave the tip of my tongue at the moment. While punk music is certainly the backbone of this band, but I don’t want to understate the heavy metal influence in the guitars a times, they do chug along and can even induce a light headbang now and then. Just some good shit here I am enjoying. As the title would suggest, a little under half of this 44 minute album is from their cover songs ep. You get some entertaining covers of bands like Black Flag, Satan’s Massacre, Landlords, Warfare and Big Boys. This is a great release for fans of those old genres and bands mentioned, but this tape is quite limited, so don’t waste any time in picking up a copy. However, if you do miss out on the physical release, you can still get the mp3 through bandcamp.  - Dale 

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




“The Enslavement Conquest” 2016 CD

(Dark Descent Records)


This is my first time, hearing this Canadian death metal band, but their third album overall. The music starts off, very chaotic and heavy; the guitars are played at extremely fast speeds. The guitarists know how to create and write, some memorable riffs, which range from both extremely fast sections to slow mid paced guitars sections. The drumming is in the same vein, with heavy and fast drumming patterns, that slow to a middle tempo in a few of the songs. The vocals are a mix of death growls and a mix-in of some vicious black metal style screams. If you are a fan of well written, and played, death metal then be sure to pick this new Begrime record today.  - Patrick 

http://begrimeexemious.com/   http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/   





At The Devils Studio 1990” 2011 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Hells Headbangers has unearthed and released one of the greatest black metal bands earliest recordings. Beherit's At The Devils Studio showcases the bands early primitive violent days. Thin guitars, drums that range from mid-pace to fast blast beats. The vocals are demonic growls/screams with some lower whispered type of vocals that fit Beherit's sound perfectly. This is a must have for fans of Beherit's first two cd's.  - Patrick 

http://www.youtube.com/user/beheritengram  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/    





“The Pusher” 2010 CD

(Agonia Records)


This is a little is a different kind of a band for Agonia Records. It is a rocking, quirky band that is high on the melody. A problem of theirs is they do have some great harmonies, but rarely stick with them or flesh them out and fail to get the most out of them. Beissert instead veer around in a bunch of different directions and when they hit on something good they just seem to drop it and move on. I find that a little frustrating to listen to. Not that their style is something I listen to much to begin with. So I need something to draw me in and keep me there. It is not all bad and there is some really good material here. But the band need some focus and could use some maturity in the art of crafting their songs. Despite all the criticism the band has a certain character and quality to their sound that makes you curious to hear more. I have seen this band compared to everything from Clawfinger to Pantera to Crowbar to Life of Agony to Clutch to Neurosis to Hatebreed. Some of the influences I can definitely see and others I do not hear at all to be honest. I can actually hear some Corrosion of Conformity in there, not as good mind, and also much more quirky and commercial sounding. But I can definitely hear that influence in there. The vocals are actually kind of cool. I can hear a touch of COC there as well from their way underrated “Blind” album. The vocals here are sort of more hip and modern sounding I guess. They are not my usual bag, but I quite enjoyed them and find them to be a highlight of the album. They kind range from normal clear sung vocals, to higher clean vocals mixed with some clear decipherable growling thrash style singing. It is a dynamic mix and an addictive one. This is a band I would be interested to hear in the future to see if their quirky songwriting can be taken to a higher level of development and patience. Certainly not for everyone but if you like things on the peculiar side and not always extreme. You might like this, if you like it always kept heavy and brutal then avoid.  – Dale 

http://www.myspace.com/beissert  http://www.agoniarecords.com/  




“Pasung” 2018 CD

(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)


Beldam come to us with their sophomore album, second for H.P.G.D. Productions, the band were originally from Virginia and now have transplanted to the opposite coast in Seattle. They play a mixture of doom metal and sludge, for me, it is not always a seamless marriage of these two genres, but largely works out okay. There are some death/doom growls here and there, but the mainstay of the vocalizations is solid sludge style raspy grating vocals, which are pretty good, but I would not have minded if they were a little more energetic and unhinged for lack of a better word. I find that style of vocal best when it has those qualities. The band keep things slow, but more in the slow to moderate pacing, rather than a crushing steamroller crawl tempo of a band like Winter for example. The final track “That Which Consumes You” sees the band coming up with their most interesting track, by far for me, especially with regards to the overall song writing, creativity and flow areas. They create some interesting sounds on this song, such as the wobbly sound effect that becomes a running theme throughout the track, it is like the guitar and vocals have some kind of almost wah-wah bar like sound that is actually really cool, moody vibe. The entire sound of this long song is interestingly structured, creating a kind of mind fucking, crushingly heavy atmosphere. If the entire album was in this vein, and had this level of quality in all aspects, this album would be great. I am hoping they continue in that direction in future. But, unfortunately for me, the rest of the album outside of some brief little moments is just decent. I mean the bulk of it to me, largely sounds like just middle of the road, somewhat uninspired sludge metal, mixed with pretty good (better than the sludge side of thing) doom metal. It is still quality enough, that I think die hards of the sludge/doom that buy a lot of releases will be happy with. However, the more discerning fan that only likes the best bands of this subgenre will not be disappointed, but may come away slightly underwhelmed with this album.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/BeldamOfficial    http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/          




“R​.​A​.​I​.​D​.​S.” 2018 Cassette Single

(Boris Records)


Those that follow Boris Records releases, know the label is a champion of the great Atlanta, Georgia scene, which is better and more interesting than I knew before I got into their releases. This time, it is actually a Chicago band they are releasing, but no worries purists, the members mainly originate in Atlanta and moved across country. Berator may be a fairly new band, but the members are not new to the scene, as the band features members of Atlanta band Disfigurement and Chicago band FIN, among other past bands and guitarist Adam Besserer is a full time member of notorious Profanatica! Okay, enough of the background, onward with this tape, there are two songs on here that make up this release, the title track and “Swine Cult”. Something I was drawn to immediately was the vocals, they are fucking killer! They are brutal death growls that are fairly decipherable; they remind me of a mix of Paul Speckmann of Master, along with the vox of Deicide and Grave. The music follows suit, it is straight up brutal fucking metal of death here, and they are tearing shit up. Berator are definitely die hard fiends of 1990s brutal death metal, which is my favourite period in the scene, so I am on board here. They keep things brutish and extreme, but there is a definite talent level going on with the playing and song arrangements, they are also not above throwing in a heavy catchy riff or two to just flat out headbang along with. This release is apparently a prelude to an upcoming full-length album the band is working on. I am definitely looking forward to that, until then check out what these sacrilegious buggars have conjured up on this little release piece of blood red plastic ASAP.  - Dale 

https://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/    http://boris-records.com/    




“Christcrushing Hammerchainsaw” 2002 CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


A re-release from the Satanic Swede’s debut album, of insanity and anarchy that first came to us back in 2002. Yes on this first strike they have a clearer, ever so slightly polished sound. This statement is a bit of a misnomer however, if you have heard their past material (demos) and knew just how hellishly raw, chaotic and lo-fi they were! There is a bit less chaos and lust musically speaking. Though this surely does not apply to attitude, lyrical content or overall conception of sickness, which has been this bands calling card all along. They carry on ripping and delivering it all with a delicious sadistic spirit. Bestial Mockery could be called a wall of noise, but I mean that in a good way. Musically and execution-wise, they are very loose, mean and caustic. But it is now more in the frosty fire bloody knuckled & whiskey soaked raunch of bands (in their early days of course!) like Motorhead, Venom and Bathory mixed with punky bits of war metal. All of which had an influence upon this ripping slab of hatred I now gorge upon. Stylistically I would label them classic old school speed/thrash war metal as well as some bits ‘o Swedish brutal death such as old Grave (listen to the beginning of “Morbid Invertation” to see my point). It most definitely is a chugging metallic razor of an album with a headbang inducing sound.  – Dale 

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/   http://www.myspace.com/bestialmockery666




“Termestella Cvltvs” 2016 CD

(Satanath Records)


Coming to us out of the Colombian black death metal scene is Bestialized, with their third full-length “Termestella Cvltvs”. The music is very chaotic and violent in nature. The guitars are played at a blistering, extremely fast speeds. The lightning speed of the guitars does let up now and then, slowing to a mid-tempo pace in a few of the tracks. The drums follow in the same vein with blasting drumming, the drummer puts in an extremely well done playing, he knows how to write some fantastic patterns that compliment the songs well. The vocals are raw, blackened screams mixed in among some dark death growls. If you are a fan of chaotic black death metal, then look no further Bestialized, with their fine new album.  - Patrick

http://satanath.com/    http://satanath.bandcamp.com/        



“Sardonischer Untergang Im Zeichen Irregligiouser Darbeitung (S.U.I.Z.I.D.)” 1998 CD

(Red Stream Records)


Ahh, Bethlehem after purchasing ‘96’s “Dictus Te Necare”, I was completely by their unique blend of morose, melodic black metal and entirely whacked vocals. S.U.IZ.I.D. is no exception to this with even more odd flavoring thrown into the mix such as female vocals and spoken word passages with the addition of new member Cathrin Campen. My only complaint with this new album is new singer Marcus Losen who replaced the old vocalist Landfermann desperately it seems in some parts to emulate Landfermann’s unique vocal style and comes off sounding quite stupid at times. This is otherwise an entirely depressing album sure to put a damper on the most jovial of moods. - Jeffrey Kusbel 

Red Stream, P.O. Box 342, Camp Hill, PA. 17001 - 342, USA



“Reflektionen Auf’s Sterben” 1998 MCD

(Red Stream Records)


I fully admit to only ever hearing this bands demo and 7” ep but none of their full lengths. I’m not so sure this is a great place to start as this is one for the die hard collectors of the band. It features various different mixes of album tracks, re-recordings and such - also 2 songs here appear with their English translation for the first time. Not sure that is exactly a treat, the English translations show their song titles and lyrical content to be rather dumb and silly. Even due to the fact of being at a disadvantage to perusing their catalog, I got into their brand of darkened metal on here. Very somber and ethereal but more in an evil sense than the melancholic one I had expected. 5 songs on here, a must for fans of Bethlehem and an incentive for new comers to search out the old material.  - Dale




“Beyond Man” 2021 CD & LP

(The Sinister Flame)


Beyond Man is an old band that made one official recording nearly fifteen years ago and then went largely dormant it would seem. I wonder looking at some of the members past if one door closing, re-opened another, as two of the four members recently laid to rest a long running band (One Tail, One Head) and decided to stick together to revive another in Beyond Man? Whatever the case this Norwegian band has been awoken from it’s slumber, now reworking the two songs from their 2008 demo and conjuring up four more to comprise at long last their debut album. The music on here is very atmospheric, created largely through traditional instrumentation, which is my personal preferred method and takes more talent and creativity in my view. That aforementioned baleful evil aura is like a demon whispering in your brain and permeates everything from start to finish. Their sound to me is classic second wave black metal that stays extremely true to those roots, while branching out and incorporating more pernicious metal sounds more often associated with the first wave of black metal (ala the early works Venom, Sodom, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, Master’s Hammer, Mortuary Drape etc…). The vocals on here are fucking fantastic and incorporate a myriad of voices and vocal styles, all are kept very ominously chilling, acidic and sinister despite the wide arsenal. The more I listen the more admire what this group of musicians has managed to craft.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/beyondmanband    https://www.thesinisterflame.com/        





“Hallucinating In Resurrecture” 2012 CD

(Dark Descent Records / Me Saco Un Ojo Records)


Binah are from the UK and play a mixture of heavy slow to mid-paced death metal. In the current scene where a lot of bands seem to rely on speed or guttural style vocal effects to be "brutal" it's refreshing to hear a band that remembers what death metal should sound like, and where its roots lie. Raw, heavy guitars and bass, deep death metal growls that are extremely well done and fit perfectly with Binah's dark and heavy sound. I will admit the band does walk a fine line with some of their slower, heavier guitar parts giving the band sort of a death/doomish sound similar to the early 90's bands such as Skepticism, Thergothon and the similar bands, but I really won't label this band a doom band as their sound and heart lies within the old-school death metal - fans of early Grave, Benediction etc. will love Binah's heavy, dark death metal sounds.  - Patrick 

http://www.reverbnation.com/binahband  http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/  





“The Space Between Home and Today” 2005 MCD

(Paragon Records)


Wow, Demilich, now there is an old ass band I like a lot that I have not really thought about lately and certainly have not heard mentioned, literally in years. But Biolich took their original inspiration and modified moniker from that great old Finnish band. This has to be the first time I have heard a term like ‘Avant-garde death/grind’ and not listened to it and proclaim ‘okay that was as gay as the description sounded!’ No Biolich are fucking fast and harsh and brutal but they do get adventurous. Yet they stand on their own two feet, they do not use a bunch of gay looping, keyboards and shit all over the place. No they tend rely on their traditional instruments and musical creativity, something to be respected. Beyond the old ‘lich, I would have to say, especially drum wise they often remind me of Cryptopsy, from their earlier days when they blazed a trail around the competition. For me what makes Biolich most effective is they make avant-garde to augment their brutality and headbang crush and never lose sight of that, which makes the whole more effective and it’s spread out use gives the speed and aggression that counter point which makes it pop all the more. This is only a MCD but it is healthy taste of what is to come and shows us why we should watch out for Biolich in the future. Kudos as well to Paragon, who do great work on their releases and aggressively promote their bands.  – Dale

Paragon Records, Box 354, Commack, NY. 11725, USA  www.paragonrecords.net 




“Invocation Codex” 2021 CD & LP

(Transcending Obscurity Records)


This Spanish death metal band presents their debut album after previously releasing a demo and a pair of EPs prior. They start things off with a brief foreboding intro and then launch into some excellent brutal old school death metal that has an enjoyable murky and macabre aura permeating through it all. The bio mentions Lovecraftian works and that is a good touch point, as I can imagine this being the soundtrack while you read some amazing works of H.P. Lovecraft. Musically speaking though it is some really driving stuff, and the songwriting overall is just really solid and interesting to me. The bio also mentions old Finnish death metal and I can definitely hear some of that in their sound from the early works of Fin bands like Adramelech, Demigod, Sentenced, Convulse, Abhorrence etc… But there are other influences from around the world I hear in there like early Morbid Angel, Asphyx, Imprecation, Incantation and the like. That is just a lot of great influences from the early years of the rise of death metal in the early 90’s. Now I may just be a nostalgic sucker at times, but I don’t care, this is really well done and crafted homage and continuation of an amazingly time in the extreme metal scene. I love it and can seem to never get enough of it. If you are the same way you will want to check this debut full-length out sooner than later.  - Dale 

https://bizarre.bandcamp.com/    https://transcendingobscurity.merch.com/    https://tometal.com/       




“From The Darkness” 2005 CD

(Ketzer Records)


The first word in BLACK METAL! This band is legendary. They formed in 1988 and have a reputable amount of demos out which gave them European worldly underground notoriety and a fusillade of band problems at times giving them a disdainful name. They played SA almost entirely with bands from abroad resulting in the first official CD, FTD, recorded in Columbia. Musically, it takes me back to 1986 and has the Sarcofago sound with the true SA sound and for once more slower than those who’d do 200 BPM for the sake of it. Think of even one more tuned down Hellhammer meets 1990 Samael. The well played killer riffage and the incredible solos remind me of ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews’ (oops – I mean I.N.R.I) Sarcofago meets “Anno Domini” Tormentor, and I am just referring to the solos alone! Sometimes the drums go out of timing, but this is the UG, so fuck off. To focal point for Black Angel is the vocals. Hector Corpus outdoes Australian Hellspawn (2000 era) and hints somewhat to ’85 Becerra of Possessed. Even “Flag of Hate” Kreator, and this is the vox only that has outdone Abbath Doom Occulta from 1992’s “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” Immortal! When most of Hector Corpus’ regurgitations and growls end as Enslaved “Frost” era, he can go from normal to extreme deepness. The vocalizing is so infectious and inhuman, I believe he’s cursed by price Beezelbub or touched by Pazuzu. Check out Black Angel as sit on the same pedestal as Sarcofago had that’s not easy to do. I want to personally thank the label for giving BA a chance so we may all hear these legends and to Hector Corpus for sticking it out this long, sometimes you have to stick your arm out, even if you lose your hand! Till next time and fan and a writer – Comas Lima Peru!!  - Clayton 

blackangelcorpus@hotmail.com   http://es.geocities.com/blackangelperu 




“A Bright Future” 2015 Cassette Album

(Nihilistic Holocaust Productions)


When you hear this Belgian bands name, and see the accompanying artwork, it feels like the album title does not fit, just too optimistic and happy sounding. Then I hear the music on first few tracks, and it is harsh and violent black death metal, with an old school metal air in the pacing and arrangements. The vocals are great deep rolling growls, which are very commanding in performance, which is accented here and there by some good black metal style rasps. Then we get down to it by track 4 and 5, “Its Good To Be King” & “Older, Fatter, Balder”, this is when the album title started to make much more sense to me. The band starts getting more experimental, and more commercial sounding in a way, with the fancy little start and stops, increasingly happier sounding melodicism. This is also about the time this album started to lose me, after I had quite enjoyed the first three tracks, the cheerful and bouncy riffs, and arrangements, just do not fit the style of music at all. Plus with all honesty, they just do not seem to have the chops to pull this off, the songs start to get clunkier, choppier, lacking the earlier flow and coming off as confused, conflicted and forced. The album gets back on the rails by track 8 (which for me makes four really good songs and four kind of lousy songs), which is the longest one on the album, so at least they finish strong. As you can see, for me, it is a mixed bag with half of the album being excellent and other half of the album being muddled mess and sub-par in quality. It is a shame, because when these guys are playing the right way, for the style they play it in, it is something bordering on superb, then they trip on their own feet the next moment. It is caveat emptor on this release for me.  - Dale 

http://blackbleeding.bandcamp.com/   http://nihilistic.shost.ca/nihilisticdistrohtm.htm   




“The Fallen One Of Flames/Satanic Zeitgeist” 2011 CD

(Soulseller Records)


A day to celebrate here in the Void HQ, as this review marks post number 200 for the zine. I'm not gonna start pouring champagne in a crystal glass and singing karaoke to Abba, no way - this is gonna be the genuine article: metal and ice cold beer. Metalheads are universally known for being extra passionate to the music created in their 'formative' years, so this CD is a release that compiles two separate 1991-ish recordings by the Finnish cult band Black Crucifixion can only be praised by yours truly. Not for purely nostalgic reasons either - one has to acknowledge the band for being on the leading curve of the soon to be exploding (then!) second wave black metal and their connection to Holocausto's Beherit has been well documented. Sandwiched between an intro and outro, the three songs of 'The Fallen..' are a good example of the coming madness - lo-filthy produced, charmingly underdeveloped, filled with crudely cold atmosphere and the famous 'whispering' vocal effect best known from 'Drawing Down The Moon'. ''I'm a god now, and the slaves shall serve/Fuck your herd conformity, the noble shall rule", this short excerpt from the lyrics to the mostly excellent cut 'Flowing Downwards' describes the whole mindset of those involved in that particular, and highly influential, scene better than a million words. Respect. 'Satanic Zeitgeist', the live portion of the disc, is, quite unsurprisingly, even more viciously raw and morbid sounding, bordering on Impaled Nazarene trademarked chaos in the faster parts of the presented songs. Black Crucifixion have seemingly been wise enough not to fall completely for that trick though, injecting catchy mid-tempo hooks throughout the tracks, as well as an enthusiastic cover version of 'In League With Satan'. Not a must-buy for everyone but a fitting document of an era. Lay down your souls.  - Vladimir Petrov 

http://www.paasto.com/bc/  http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/     




“Scourge Of Lamashtu" 2020 CD & LP

(Iron Bonehead Records)


Black Funeral is back, they are one of the oldest American black metal bands amongst the second wave of bm in the early 1990s. As it happened I was in on the ground floor, so to speak, as far as Black Funeral is concerned. Well that and his other bands, as I was in close contact in the early ‘90s with main man Mike Ford’s band mate in the band Darkness Enshroud. So I ordered no less than three of Ford’s bands demos in this embryonic time period including the aforementioned Darkness Enshroud’s 1993 demo tape “Winter Of Sorrow”, Sorath’s 1993 demo “Sodomizing Jesus Christ” and most pertinent to this review Black Funeral’s 1994 demo “Journeys Into Horizons Lost”. I must confess however, after their debut album “Vampyr – Throne Of The Beast” came out in 1997, my attention towards this B.F. has been spotty at best. If memory serves my interest waning was largely due to hearing the bands third album “Moon of Characith”, which was a completely ambient / samples album and that turned me off, it was certainly not what I was hoping to hear from them or the UG scene in general at the time. There had always been ambient touches prior to that, but they were kept as accent or a supporting factor, where in my opinion it generally belongs. That brings us to the burning question, what is Black Funeral up to these days and these many years later? Well, I am pleased to report the bands sound of their early days has returned, strengthened and sharpened along the way. Yes the atmospherics are still there, but returning to their old form of supporting and creating a sinister & evil aura for the traditional black metal base. It brings back some old nostalgic memories hearing the vocal conjuring of Mike Ford (aka Akhtya Nachttoter), who is in classic form with rasping bm howling creeping across the music like a freezing mist. This one comes recommended by me for devotee’s of this bands early days and fanatical demons in general who worship early ‘90s black metal with a raw, murky production akin to all those classic early demos we hold in high regard. I may have strayed from Black Funeral, but this dark audio cult has pulled me back in to it’s malevolent embrace.  - Dale

https://blackfuneral.bandcamp.com/    https://ironbonehead.de/          




“Onward Into The Abyss" 2021 Cassette EP & Digital EP

(Helldprod Records)


Coming out of Poland's thrash metal scene is Black Hosts. So far the band has released two demo's in 2018 and 2019, and the bands debut full length "Times Of Eternal Torture", which was self-released by the band in 2019. ‘Onward Into The Abyss’ is the newest EP that features four songs of aggressive and memorable thrash metal insanity. The guitars are delivered in a fast whirlwind and are played with skill and a high intensity. The guitarist does write some memorable passages, even adding some well written and played guitar solo's into the mix. The drums are played with a mix of fast drum patterns that are performed with furious power, the drummer does slow to a more calm, mid paced range in a few of the songs smoothly transitioning between both styles with intensity and forcefulness. The vocals are high pitched screams and some clean hollering vocals. If you are a fan of aggressive thrash metal with hints of heavy metal influence, especially in the guitar work then be sure to pick up a copy of this EP.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/BlackHosts666/    https://hellprod.bandcamp.com/music          




“The Third Aeon” 2011 CD

(I Hate Records)


Italian doom metal and as any dedicated doom fan knows Italy is a place where doom has set down its roots deeply for many years. Immediately coming to mind are legends like Paul Chain and Death SS. I have spent many an hour listening to those two bands and Paul Chain in particular. The band is described as epic occult doom metal, and the bio cites early Candlemass as an influence for Black Oath and that is bang on. They borrow from that sound, but they do it well and put their own vibe or twist upon it. The Oath employ keyboards, something I am not always a fan of, but they are in general applied sparsely and kept lower in the mix so they really do sound like more of an accompaniment, and do not drown out the traditional instruments. The vocals are classic clean sung traditional doom style vocals, quite melodious and flowing, they fit the music well. Another influence that is springing to mind for me as I listen is the American group Solitude Aeturnus, and maybe a small touch of the almighty Trouble. The Third Aeon is a promising debut album with moments of true brilliance, and a worthy addition to the traditional doom scene. It is hardly surprising I Hate Records found them; they have a special talent for searching out great doom.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/blackoath666  http://www.ihate.se/ 




“Ov Qliphoth And Darkness” 2013 CD

(I Hate Records)


The Black Oath has been taken and that oath is one of upholding melancholic, emotional classic doom metal in the Italian tradition. The bio cites Death SS and Paul Chain as influences; I am a fan of both and can definitely hear it, along with their own sound. Though they also name other Italian acts as like Zess and Jacula, neither of which unfortunately am I familiar with. This is just not a copy band however these guys have their own flavour, not to mention clearly a natural ability for writing and arranging the music to deliver to the listener a very forlorn, introspective and emotive atmosphere. The clean sung vocals of A.th compliment the music beautifully, as they mirror the sorrow and grief of the music, gliding effortlessly across the material. The Italians do seem to have a knack for creating a certain atmosphere with their doom that few other bands around the world seem able to understand or produce. I know my description sounds as if this is a dripping mass of sadness and misery, but there are slightly sped up and lighter moments that will help you from falling too far into a mental abyss. This is just a really good, very enjoyable album that any classic doom fan and especially Italian doom fan should enjoy.   - Dale 

http://www.reverbnation.com/blackoath666  http://www.ihate.se/    



“The Shadowelf’s Poem” 1998 MCD

(Nocturnal Music Records)


Well, my friend in this band Valerio sent me this and their ’96 demo tape and the progression from that recording is quite evident. Their talent showed thru on the ’96 demo but they needed to progress as song, writers from that effort, which they have. Very well played darkened black metal with slight folkish and symphonic elements. 4 blazing trackson this disc that all fans of the above described music genre should check out. I only have the band addy and was not sent the price of the CD so you’ll have to write.

Black Sunrise, c/o Valerio Vitolla, Via Lazio 15, 85100 Potenza (PZ), ITALY




Darkness Fills The Earth” 2012 CD

(Self Released)


Black vulture is a band featuring Martin Ciappara who most will know from his black/doom/death band Prayer Of The Dying. Black Vulture is a three piece band with Martin handling the drums, the band plays mid-paced death metal with some black metal influences in some parts of the songs. The guitars range from fast riffs to a more mid-pace and have some really well-played and even catchy riffs and patterns. Martin has proven he can sing and play guitar etc. in Prayer Of The Dying but his drumming is pretty damn good as he keeps up with guitars quite well going from fast to mid-paced range with some catchy faster/aggressive death metal drum patterns of his own. Black Vulture is definitely a band worth looking into for fans who enjoy good solid death/black metal.  - Patrick 





“Hellstorm Of Evil Vengeance” 2000 Split CD

(Dark Horizon Records)


Black Witchery plays some excellent grim and vicious black metal in the vein of Darkthrone plus early Immortal. Great Blasphemy cover that is spot on. Conqueror the cult Canadian chaos war metal masochists Conqueror are presented here with their demo. Barbarity & rumbling extremity will rip thru you with the fury of old Sarcofago and the aforementioned Blasphemy, and even possibly the demo of Soothsayer thrown in. Killer release!  - Dale

Dark Horizon Recs., 6435 West Jefferson Blvd. # 666, Fort Wayne, IN. 46804, USA Web = www.geocities.com/darkhorizon666 

* Dale here from the future. A fun note a year or so after I wrote this review I went on a mini-tour basically as a roadie with my friends band Blood Storm (along with Nunslaughter, Sadistic Intent and Destroyer 666 making their debut US appearance). They were without a drummer so the drummer of Black Witchery filled in. It was a bit strange when he read this review out loud to a group of musicians. Good thing it was a good review I guess?! :)    




“Inferno Of Sacred Destruction” 2010 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


The Florida metal war mongers return with their third full length. What can I say? It sounds like ball busting Black Witchery. If you know this band (and you should), then they deliver the goods. No frills, no bullshit, just straight forward barbaric black metal.  What you see is what you get and I like that. When you pick up a new Black Witchery release, you know what you're getting. And in this case, that's a good thing!  - Mark Sugiyama  

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




“The Lower Catacombs” 2022 CD & LP

(Nuclear Winter Records)


New Jersey’s Blasphematory may only have been releasing music for a relatively short amount of time (that would be since 2019). But this aggregate of musicians is long in the tooth in the UG scene with the members of this three piece band currently or previously having done time in many bands like (the mighty) Abazagorath, Mausoleum, Altar Of Gore, Death Fortress, Disma, Jaws Of Hades and more. “The Lower Catacombs” is a crushing yet shambling, oppressively suffocating doomy death metal style done just the way I like it. It is thick heavy death metal with a gloomy, almost frightening atmosphere, that slowly and steadily stalks it’s prey like a tireless all-encompassing creeping black audio fog. The obscure sounding growling vocals of Joe Aversario twist and melt through the music seamlessly, reflecting the music with it’s own contribution to this ominous yet brutalizing musical collective. This album is highly recommended for fans of raw and filthy old school death metal along the lines of Autopsy, early Grave, old Incantation, Convulse, Abhorrence, Demigod, Disma, Funebrarum, Rippikoulu and the like.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/blasphematory   https://nuclearwinterrecords.bandcamp.com/       




“Infernal Warriors Of Death” 2011 CD

(Deathgasm Records)


Blaspherian are from Texas, they have been around half a decade or so, yet this is their debut album. You know I kind of like that. So many bands rush right into making an album or signing the first offer that comes along from the thousands of small labels. Blaspherian have been releasing a couple demos and eps and honing their craft. I think this album will appeal to fans of old school death metal that got off on bands like early Incantation, Imprecation, Immolation (though not as complex or layered but in general sound) and maybe even some death / doom bands like Disembowelment and the like. Yes fans of newer death will probably not like this, and complain about how low-fi / obscure sounding it is, like hey dude where are the start and stop jumping time changes?! I would guess Blaspherian would be pleased about that reaction, because they did not make this album for them, it is proudly the antithesis of that metal/mallcore crap. These guys love to hang out there with that rumbling doomy wall of monotonous wall of noise; it just runs over you like a steamroller. They do change it up at times and inject short bouts of adrenaline with frenzied drums that batter the kit from one end to the other. The vocals are extremely obscure deep growls that mostly melt into the background of the mix and music. The whole thing is pretty brutal and hypnotic at the same time. I like it, but I bet it will be an acquired taste for some of you reading this.  – Dale 

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




“Endless Halls Of Golden Totem” 2021 CD & LP

(Gates Of Hell Records)


These fellows are a new band from Philadelphia, PA with only a previous EP on record; we now have their debut album courtesy of Gates Of Hell (an imprint of parent label Cruz Del Sur Music). Blazon Rite play epic heavy metal that reaches back to the earlier days of the genre incorporating a lot of the NWOBHM traditions, alongside the emergent bands on these shores from the same time period of the late seventies through the middle eighties. I feel like there is also always this emotive and sullen thread whispering through the music, which nods towards a classic doom sensibility yet I would still firmly call them heavy metal. Some bands that come to mind when listening to this album are early Iron Maiden, Brocas Helm, Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Omen, Cloven Hoof, Liege Lord – it is a great list to be sure. I have to admit the first listen through, I thought this is solid but just is not grabbing me, now it feels like almost every repeat listen it sinks it hooks in me a little deeper. It is like each layer I peel back is more affecting than the last. The passion and emotion is reflected and matched by the great triumphant and dulcet tones of vocalist Johnny Halladay. If you like the classic early days of heavy metal then Blazon Rite will remind you once again why those great bands and albums became classics in the first place.  - Dale

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




“Bestial Kruzifix666ion” 2009 CD

(Moribund Records)


You do not hear bands from Slovenia every day. As one can gather from the title this is a war metal style band. As is the custom it seems with this style the album is fairly short at 30 minutes. Though I will say this for them, they do have some semi-slowed down moments which definitely adds a little more dynamic than your usual war chaos metal band. Maybe even a small nod to Hellhammer perhaps? Yes not a lot of originality or own sound, but I still found this slashing hate a good listen. If nothing else, there seems to be, a lot of passion behind the compositions. The vocalist sounds like some kind of mean and evil black metal biker that spent too many hours downing brews and smoking everything he can get his hands on. Yeah I like those vocals a lot. Bleeding First also have an interesting look, judging from the pic on their website, they look like a cross between Leatherface mixed with the road warriors and some traditional metal draping. They may not bring a lot of originality musically, but visually they combine some classic stuff into an image of their own. I guess it depends on how much you like that style. If enjoy a lot of bands like this, you will probably like this one too. There are certainly a lot worse out there. But, if you only like the more elite, cream of the crop, in this genre then you can probably do without Bleeding Fist and not lose any sleep over it.  – Dale  

www.moribundcult.com   www.bleeding-fist.com 




“Macabrum Bestia Ex Abyssus” 2010 MCD

(Moribund Records)


The Slovenian Fist are back to give me a second dose of the black. Nothing much has changed in the meantime, they continue to grind out raging doses of chaos war metal. As I pointed out with their last release, I like that they are not afraid to have some slowed down moody passages. It adds a lot of depth to their music with profound, but short moments to catch ones breath. Before you are thrown back head long into the assault of blitzing speed and battering ram metal mayhem. It is one dimensional, but that is sort of the calling card of this style, so you either worship that or not. Sort of funny I compared them in a vague way last time to having a small Hellhammer influence in my last review. As they cover the song “Messiah” from that same said band. The vocalist still sounds like a little like an evil black metal biker with a bad smoking habit and I still dig those vocals. Worth checking it out if you like this kind of thing.  – Dale  

http://www.bleeding-fist.com/   http://www.moribundcult.com/  





Blessed Offal” Cassette 2011 EP

(No Visible Scars Records)


You have to admire labels that still release cassette tapes. I mean you see this here and there in Europe still, where some release on multiple formats including cassette, but cassette only releases in the US is unheard of. That is some pretty impressive dedication in my view. This label is run by Bill Connolly, who also ran a tape label back in the early to mid-90s. In fact, I ordered a couple comps he released and a cool demo tape he released by the band Moonburn back in like ‘93/94. I suppose for the most part this is an old mans game. I am not sure how many young metal fans even own a cd player, let alone something that will play cassettes haha! Being an old bastard, I not only have a large tape collection, but multiple sources to play them on. It brings me back to my tape trading days. Blessed Offal is a name I have heard around a bunch in recent years, but until now have not had the pleasure to experience. This band immediately makes me think of an old death/doom band I used to worship many moons ago that went by the name Disembowelment. Yet another influence for this band that I kneeled to the altar of is early Grave. It is a fine combination of immense death doom metal suffocation and hateful old school death metal in its finest form. The vocals are also in the Grave vein with some accompanying acidic higher accented vox. You also get some occasional great frenzied guitar soloing which works a lot better than you would think. What a great release and this is something I would suggest you under no circumstances pass up getting. This is for fans of Disembowelment, Grave, early Incantation and the like.  – Dale 

http://nvslabel.blogspot.com/  http://www.myspace.com/  



“Nightfall In Middle Earth” 1999 CD

(Century Media)


When did vocalist Hansi decide he wanted to be Dee Snider (Twisted Sister)!? This is an undertaking (B.G. have been working on this since 1996!) of epic proportions. This is a concept album based around J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Silmarillion” . There are some great moments here such as “War Of Wrath”, “Into The Storm”, and “Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)”. Longtime fans will notice a reduction in speed and intricacy but present are the silky performances all around and choice guitar leads. I think Blind Guardian have produced a masterwork that results in a decent album but I think it falls short of the pompous visions they conjured forth. Still a must for B.G. fans and it is good to see this band no longer on import in North America.





“Chernobyl Survivor” 2012 CD

(Galy Records)


I was taken aback a little bit by this record. I have not heard anything like this for a while and nothing quite exactly like this, with these elements involved that I recall. Which is no small feat for this band hailing from my homeland of Canada. I am not even sure what to describe this as, maybe proto/neo Thrash metal. The musicianship level on this album is very high and the execution is flawless. I was not sure what to label them as, to me their predominant sound is thrash metal, but there is some death metal influence, heavy metal influence and just some innovative and/or obscure origins to other incorporated sounds. The music is extremely fast much of the time, technical yet retaining that headbanging straight forward ability, it is high octane music that has a ton of forward momentum at all times. I threw in the proto in there because while their thrash roots are deep in the genre past yet they blending in newer, futuristic sounding accents, like fuck it is hard to explain without hearing it. The song will be going on full blast or maybe in a slight break and you will hear something like lasers or sci-fi movie battle sounds in the background. When I read that I think that back it sounds horrible, but they keep it buried just enough that it is an accent and does not dominate anything, and it works somehow, not sure how but it does. Those things are not prominent anyway, for the most part, just thought I should mention that as it might be a deal breaker for some. You won’t be too worried about that anyway, you will be trying to hold on tight and keep up with this blitzkrieg thrash juggernaut. The vocals are possibly an acquired taste, I like them they are those mid-80s nasally yelled vocals, but these are more insane the usual ones in this style, that singer must rip up his throat and expend so much energy singing at that coarse, maniacal level at all times. Honestly the only bad thing I think I can say about this record is it could use a little more bass or bottom end in the production. But that is it, this is a superb record, it is metal as hell and these boys put on a fucking metal clinic.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/blindedbyfaith  http://www.galyrecords.com/      




“O Agios Pethane” 2018 CD

(Dunkelheit Productions)


Blood was a (great - Dale) German band, from the mid-eighties onward making their mark on the scene in the 90s, releasing and playing their brand of brutal death metal with grind influences. The guitars are performed with a lot of crazed and extremely fast guitar chords. The guitarist is not all extreme fast riffs though, he does slow to a more mid pace, in a few of the songs. The drumming is done in the same realm, with both extremely violent drum patterns, but the drummer is not afraid to it down, which keeps the music fresh and interesting. If you are a fan of the early nineties death/grind scene, then definitely favor, and pick up a copy of Blood’s excellent O Agios Pethane now.  - Patrick

http://www.bloood.de/   http://www.dunkelheit-produktionen.de/        




“For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down” 2013 CD

(Self Released)


The opening track “Gulveig”, has this really different, almost off-kilter pulsating riffing pattern, at first I was not sure I liked it, but as it went on I found to be very unique sounding and gives this strange feel that I liked. To those unfamiliar with this Canadian one man band (well there is a drummer, a session guy I believe), they play darkened black / death metal with Nordic themes and lyrics, as main man, Nordavinden is of Nordic descent. I think the riff I described above is a fairly apt description of the bands sound in general, it is not your usual cookie cutter sounding band, they are doing different things. I would go so far as to say Bloodaxe has a sound of it’s own and is just very different, kind of strange and singular, it will probably be a shock to some fans to listen to that are conditioned to everyone sounding the same. I mean this is dark, evil, heavy, epic and depressive music, so it covers the elements fans of the genre long for, but they take a separate path to get there. I am actually quite stricken by this album, this is not the first time I have encountered Bloodaxe, I know them well, they have not released anything since 2004, it feels like I am hearing them for the first time, I am impressed. The vocals are not your typical vocals either, neither growled in the death metal fashion or hissed like the classic black metal way. They are a combo of spoken word passages and the main vocals are a deep spoken whispered voice with a tinge of bm vox, it seems like some Viking spirit is whispering lore on the winds as they pass through a dense stretch of wood. I first made contact with this band they were based out of the opposite of Canada from where I grew up and lived, but now they are based out of my old stomping grounds (okay so yes that probably only means something to me haha). It is a pleasure to receive such a unique and grim band from my homeland, if you want something that sounds different yet great, a breath of fresh air in the underground scene. Then look no further than Bloodaxe!  - Dale 

http://www.bloodaxe.net/  https://www.facebook.com/TheTrueBloodaxe      




“We Are The Cult of The Plains” 2010 CD

(Moribund Records)


Could this possibly be the Blood Cult I remember from way back in the 90s?! If it is, then I do not recall them sounding like this - at all. They proclaim themselves as southern rock & country influenced black metal rednecks!? What an incredibly dumb sounding term that is and they willingly label themselves as such? Ouch. I feel embarrassed for them. The vocals are actually pretty damn funny. They come off sounding like the result of Axl Rose pretending to make demon voices from cheesy 80s horror movies. With repeated listens the vocals grow on me a little, but still it is a little hard to take seriously. I mean hearing Axl…er…Preston yelling “Satanic Rites!” in that voice, it has to be a joke right? There are some sparsely used more traditional black metal rasps and the band should think about sticking to those a little more. The music is all over the place. It is kind of southern rocking, kind of black metal riffing, some frantic solos, and country tawngy elements to some of the rhythms. To be honest at times, it is just one big mess and a little hard to listen to. Sort of like if you made a huge pot of soup and started randomly throwing in food stuffs that do not go well together. It does not end up tasting like complete garbage, but it is a confusing mish-mash and not at all satisfying. Which I think describes Blood Cult’s music fairly accurately. I mean a song like “Illinoisan Altar” probably could go on some lousy country album and if there were no vocals, no one would bat an eye. Sorry I tried to like this, but there is just no way, it is quite simply crap.  - Dale

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





“Burning On The Wings Of Desire” 2012 CD

(Listenable Records)


I will say this right up front, the average reader on Canadian Assault is probably a metalhead through and through. Blood Of The Sun play 70s hard rock to the core, this is not metal at all, so if that is not your bag then move to the next review. I am a metal guy to the bone too, but I have a huge soft spot 70s music of the hard rocking variety. I guess die hards of CA should know this for my worship of stuff like Deep Purple, Lucifer’s Friend, Captain Beyond and stuff like 70s Pentagram. It should be no great surprise. I tend to worship that decade in many forms, from the music to the movies, tv, culture and even just movies set in that decade. Blood Of The Sun are so 70s it hurts brother, they bleed for it and have that old sound down to a proverbial ‘T’. If I have any complaint whatsoever, it is a small one, which is the vocalist is a little more high pitch and squeal-y than I am used to or like with this style, not sure this fellow has the power or range to be hitting those areas, he is no Ian Gillian lets just say. But the rest of the time when the vocals are not in the squeal register, they are just fine and sound great. The real capper to this sweet little record, is they managed to get the legendary Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich to play guitar and sing on one of the tracks! It is awesome. If they could have managed to get Wino to do the whole album, this would have went from being a good album to being a future classic, all the same nice touch. Just to top everything off on the packaging end of things, you gets a set of bare tits on the front and back covers. I am sold and all 70s hard rock fans should be too!  - Dale 

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



“At The Mountains Of Madness” 1997 CD (Moribund Records)


I remember hearing and subsequently liking this bands ’94 demo tape “Cruciform Antithesis” back in the day. The lyrics deal with the occult and satanism and are nicely thought out as well as intelligently written. Blood Ritual are unoriginal but play a very enjoyable form of raw, cult brutal black/death. They bring to mind Acheron (1st album) along with Malevolent Creation, Monstrosity with maybe a hint of slowed down Cryptopsy. Add to this cacophony of extremity, are speedy grinds and surprisingly guitar solos. Fans of all that is truly dark and brutal will enjoy this killer (8 song, 43 min) album.  - Dale

Moribund Recs., P.O. Box 77314, Seattle, WA. 98177 - 0314, USA




“Fungal Warfare Upon All Life” 2019 MCD, MLP & Cassette

(Blood Harvest Records)


Philadelphia's Blood Spore will release their debut release in late February through Blood Harvest Records. This debut mini-album features three tracks of battering death doom madness, which even adds some black metal elements throughout the tracks on here. The first song is ‘Hostile Fruiting Bodies’ which is the shortest song, coming in at over just over five minutes. The music is a mix of slower and heavier doomy death metal style, but the band does speed up to a faster pace in the middle of the track. Next up is ‘Cede To The Saprophyte’ which is probably the heaviest track on the release with thunderous pounding drums and some heavy chunky guitar chords. This is probably the bleakest and dreariest song on the release and that is saying something with this bands oppressive sound. Lastly, we have ‘Apex Colony’ as the final track that showcases the bands faster, more aggressive writing skills. The vocals are a mix of gruff death metal growls and some black metal screams are also used in a few parts of the song.  - Patrick 

https://www.bloodspore.bandcamp.com/    http://www.bloodharvest.se/       




“Idolator” 2005 CD

(Dockyard Records)


Looking at the picture of these Japanese blokes I am not sure if they are trying to look metal or attempting to imitate their favourite new RPG video game. They look like they just walked off the Mortal Kombat movie set. I just checked out their website and one of them is dressed like a woman on it. Reading their bio it would seem if they are rather obsessed with sounding Scandinavian, even going so far as hiring a Finnish producer to record their album. In my opinion they have not really succeeded in their goal of trying to fool anyone listening to think “hey they must be Swedish or something”. “Idolator” is chock full of melodies, not a lot of change up or variation but melody after melody. Sort of like that episode of The 70s show, where every door or drawer, his girlfriend opens endless amounts of women's panties come falling out. I guess you could call their style melodic aggression (though those 2 words should not go together but I digress…) on top of some pretty florid synth that makes you want to dance like a giddy girl, not me but you will want to dance like that ha ha! Seriously though, no joke, some of these melody lines are so fruity they would probably be quite popular with the MTV robot masses. Far too one dimensional and commercial leaning for my tastes. How about yours cup cake? – Dale  

Dockyard Records, Box 20 31 46 - D - 20221 Hamburg – Germany   www.dockyard1.com 





Opus Dei” 2011 CD

(Panzerfaust Productions)


U.K's Blooddawn return with their most violent and vicious recording yet! The duo are influenced by mid-era Marduk, mixed with brutal blackened war metal. The production on Opus Dei is probably the best of any Blooddawn release that I have heard without compromising the bands original visions. Razor-sharp guitar riffs, hyper-speed blasts of blaspehmy. The vocals are growls and screams of pissed off anger, the vocals seem to have some kind of effects being used on them to give them a industrial touch and sound but fit very well with the music. If you have never heard Blooddawn in the past and you enjoy violent, uncompromising war/black metal I would highly suggest picking up Opus Dei asap. And if you have heard Blooddawn what are you waiting for? This is Blooddawn at their sickest and best!!  - Patrick 

http://www.myspace.com/blooddawnmusic  http://www.myspace.com/panzerfaustproductions   




“Reanimation” 2018 CD

(Hostile Media)


Bloodshot Dawn are a newer force to be reckoned with in the field of melodic death metal. Their previous album Demons came out about four years ago, and was given fairly high marks across the board by fans of this style of death metal that maintains fidelity to melody at its core while occasionally accenting compositions with technical flourishes. So, does their recent anticipated release, Reanimation, fall short of, meet, or surpass the established standard? Honestly, while that question is apt for any band that moves forward with their project toward new outputs, I believe listeners of this album should take into consideration the almost completely new lineup for this album. Josh McMorran, guitarist and vocalist, is the only remaining original member of the band. Some slightly different artistic choices are going to be made for this album that will sound different when compared to Demons, like the drifting guitar melodies that we hear in such tracks on Reanimation as “Survival Evolved”. Even McMorran’s vocal technique is marginally different for the first few tracks, abandoning for the most part the throaty death growls of Demons for vocals that are more clearly discerned. Upon the fourth track, “Upon the Throne of Fear”, though, we see a return to form as it begins with much more menacing riffing and deeper vocals. As this song progresses, higher-pitched shrieks accompany the growls, adding some more texture to this layer of the composition than in the former tracks. This more multifaceted approach remains consistent for the remainder of the album, making it a more familiar and enjoyable listen for fans of the band. The first few tracks are not necessarily poorly done, they just seem to miss the mark for the standard that Bloodshot Dawn had established with previous releases. Having a new lineup may have contributed to these initial departures, but the album as whole more than makes up for them if you are not too keen on the first few tracks.  – Aaron 

https://hostilemedia.bandcamp.com/album/reanimation     https://www.hostilemedia.net       




“Execution of Violence” 2017 CD

(Redefining Darkness Records)


I'm on the second song, as I begin this review. The first thing I noticed was the production. It has that "Swedish Melodic Death Metal" sound, is what I call it. I'm not sure that's the "proper term"...but that is what I have in mind. I use to not like that sound, but I'm open to more things these days, it seems. It's - actually - quite powerful. HEAVY! The songs, here, however - are becoming quite redundant, already. I'm on track three. It just sounds like the same song, basically. The vocals are really mundane. Lacking quite a lot of intensity. The songs' rhythms are pretty boring. I guess this is kind of a Hypocrisy sound overall. Yeah. Fourth song and the basic premise of song one is still being rehashed over and over. Song five - same. Where's the variety? Where's the experimentation? The vocals, I'm not fond of whatsoever. No dynamics at all. Yeah, this is boring, to me. If you like been there, done that "Old School Death Metal" without any creativity - then, this is for you. The only thing that stands out on this material is the production. Superb. Heavy as a four hour heart attack! Or - maybe - a stroke? Shivering and shuttering. Body heaving...gasping...clutching...yawn. Die, already. Be gone from my tortured mind!  - Anders

https://bloodstrike.bandcamp.com/    http://www.redefiningdarkness.com/        




“Live Satanic Devastation” 2005 Split Promo CDR

(Kampf Records)


Bloodthirst - Apparently this is a CD promo of a split cassette full length. Anyway, the sound for the ‘thirst portion is a bit hard to listen to. The drums and guitars are really low yet the vocals are really freakin’ loud and pretty much completely drown out the music. Also the sound over all tends to fade in & out from time to time. Getting back to the vocals, it is a shame they are so loud because to be blunt, in addition to the being deafening they also suck. Just terrible garbled screaming. The music on the other hand is very good even though it photo-copies Slayer a bit too often. The music was still enjoyable nonetheless.

Bestial Raids – Not that much to report except Bestial Raids do a competent job of copying Blasphemy. They even dress like ‘em. A decent Beherit cover of “Grave Desecration” wraps up proceedings on their end of the split. I kept that short as there are actually some bonus Bestial Raids tracks tacked on but apparently not a part of this release. It is in fact their demo 2003, apparently also releases on Kampf Records as well as their 2004 demo on Time Before Time Records. All I have to say about all of this demo material is it puts to shame the live show on this release. Sorry but it just does, destroying war metal!  – Dale 

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




“Ormekongens Argelist” 2019 CD & LP

(Iron Bonhead Records)


Blot & Bod are a blackened metal punk band that is coming to us out of Denmark’s often small but quality UG scene. “Ormekongens Argelist” is this young bands second full length album and first recorded directly for Iron Bonehead Records (though they did re-release their previously self released debut on vinyl). This album is filled with ten songs of traditional black metal that has been mixed and intertwined with doses of punk influences. The music is played with fast, raw guitars and drum patterns that are performed with a lot of intense ferocity. The music does slow down to a more controlled mid paced range at times before going straight back to the faster pacing. The vocals are harsh and raw black metal screams along with some deeper, gruff growls. Blot & Bod play a musical style is an entertaining and interesting blend of black metal and punk to create a good release worth checking out.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/blotogbod    https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com          




“To Corrupt Your Sons And Lust After Your Daughters” 2013 CD EP

(Eternal Death Records)


I hit play, a barrage of creeping melodious black death metal burst out of my speakers, courtesy of this Providence, Rhode Island band. I really like the chilling atmosphere the production on this record helps foster and bring out in the music. I can not help it when listening to this to think of classic Dissection, not an easy style to play and pull off but Bog do an admiral job of doing just that on this short player. There is a very cold aura created by some killer obscure shadowy smooth growling / yelled combination that is kind of hard to describe. Those vocals flow across the great brutish yet finessed rhythmic, harmonious riffing with deft stealth. I am intrigued into hearing a full length form this band, because this mini album has gotten my attention. If you are a fan of brutal yet melodious Swedish black death and can not get enough of that classic Dissection style sound then give this one a try.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/bogoftheinfidel   http://www.eternal-death.com/     





“Mourning” 2012 CD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


This is a re-issue of this bands 1971 hard rock record, for me, it is a lost gem that I had never heard about. This album is older than I am, yet to me it is still very relevant and sounds great. I may be one of those rare extreme metal fans though that worships 70s hard rock. Just to give fans of this stuff a general reference, think of 70s rock acts like Deep Purple, early Pentagram (the vocals on here even remind me a bit of a young Bobby Liebling), Sir Lord Baltimore, Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond, Nazareth, Iron Butterfly, Kiss. Though I will admit Bolder Damn maybe lack some of the heaviness (except the epic length closing track Dead Meat is pretty fucking heavy – wow!) of and mean street attitude of the above bands and maybe that will turn a few 70s hard rock fans off. Then again keep in mind this was 1971, not 1976. There was a huge evolution in this genre during that short period of time. I find this music pretty trippy, sorta psychedelic at times, a bit commercial at other times, they definitely have a cool atmosphere and vibe to their sound. I really like it, but probably only real die in the wool 70s rock fans will properly appreciate this. Thank you, once again to Shadow Kingdom Records for digging up another obscure gem. I just live to get this kind of stuff.  - Dale 

http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mourning  http://shadowkingdomrecords.com  




“The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion” 2010 Double CD

(Debemur Morti Productions)


I am no authority on the Blut Aus Nord catalog. I think I only have one of their releases I reviewed and off the top of my head it was the one that followed this record in 2003. An album that was on the experimental black metal side of things during that time to an extent I suppose. I have not given the band a lot of thought since then. As I am sure most of you know this is a re-release of the bands 2001 album. From what I can gather about the band and their history, this release was kind of a transitional one for them. It bridges the gap between their harsher black metal roots and their newer material, which is more experimental and maybe a little bizarre even. With Mystical Beast you can hear the old Darkthrone and Burzum influence. But Blut Aus Nord do this style very well and add their own stamp to it. It is a moody, depressive and introspective black metal record yet it never lets the harsh cold anger that made the old second wave of black metal so great in my mind. I am finding it difficult not be possessed by the freezing sounds on here and at the same time impressed with the dedication and craftsmanship that went into constructing this musical  experience. Debemur Morti do not disappoint with the quality in which the double disc album is presented either. This comes highly recommended by me.  – Dale 

http://www.blutausnord.com/  http://www.debemur-morti.com/  




“777 Sect(s)” 2011 CD

(Debemur Morti)


I have to be honest that I really prefer the earlier, more straight forward and harsher black metal output from Blut Aus Nord. The aggression and hate and worship of early 90s black metal is something I held in common with them. I admit I missed a couple of their recent albums. But I came away feeling unimpressed and a little bored with the music on 777 Sect(s). It is mostly just really monotonous, unchanging, low-key, unemotional industrial metal droning with a subdued black metal undercurrent. Epitome IV for example is far too long (at 12 minutes) and had me bored to tears. There are moments when there is a little more going on and some interesting song structures are present. Yet it was still not enough to hold my interest. Looking at some reviews online, apparently I am in the minority with this opinion. So be it.  – Dale 

http://www.debemur-morti.com/  http://www.blutausnord.com/   




“Bones” 2011 CD

(Planet Metal)


Some times I'm in a mood where I just want to hear some no frills metal. No drum triggers, over processed guitar tones, or vocals phased to the end of days. The straight forward down n dirty metal where you can actually picture the musicians bashing it out in the studio - live - in one or two takes is what I crave. The US based trio Bones play exactly this type of metal. A fuzzy ass bass tone that will of course remind many of Lemmy, guitar riffs from the old thrash days, and a real drum kit that is taking a beating, that's what Bones deliver on their debut. From the opener "March of the Dead" to "Delirium Tremens" (a nod to the Belgian beer perhaps?), Bones strap on the denim and leather and let it rip from beginning to end. Good stuff!  - Mark Sugiyama 

http://www.myspace.com/bonesofchicago  http://www.facebook.com/planetmetal    





“Sons Of Sleaze” 2013 CD

(Planet Metal Records)


Damn, this is this some crusty, filthy and mean music made by men who wonderfully have their minds in the sexual gutter and party with that attitude on every note. I think one of the best ways to convey the musical cacophony, I would say Bones sound like you might expect from musicians coming from a Thrash & Death Metal background, that are mixing that in with punk, crust and filthy rock ‘n roll. It is a vicious wall of noise, that pleases me and my old school sensibilities, with a cavalcade of influences springing to mind such as GBH, Venom, Terrorizer, Motorhead, Amebix, Celtic Frost, Plutocracy, Hellbastard, Extreme Noise Terror, early Napalm Death, Melvins etc… etc… All played, like I said, with a death metal aesthetic. It is pretty fantastic I can tell you that. This album is recommended and be sure to pay attention to that drummer, he is a fucking beast!  - Dale

https://myspace.com/bonesofchicago   https://www.facebook.com/planetmetal      




“The Archaic Course” 1998 CD

(Century Media Records)


Though well liked and hyped the last couple years, I have yet to hear Borknagar until now. It is funny how in the bio they don’t even bother to mention the departure of Garm from the band. I didn’t hear the early stuff therefore I do not miss him in the slightest. I came into this expecting good things, as I liked mainman Oystein G. Brun’s former band Molested, though they played brutal death metal. Borknagar are more accessible than I had imagined and for once it is in a good & stylish way. Vox from newcomer I.C.S. Vortex are nothing short of awesome! Thick viking-era Quorthon but kicked up a notch with more emotive texture and epic fluidity, offset by sprinkles of black metal cackles and deep half spoken, half sung clean sections. Moving onto the music, which is very uplifting, heavy when called for intermingled with some melodic and memorable riffs and arrangements. I am impressed I expected another In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Thy Serpent ect... and am quite satisfied with this album. Let the black witching winds engulf you.




“It’s Me God” 1998 CD

(Prosthetic Records)


Oh hey, loook kids! It’s the angst ridden hardcore band from Sweden trying to be the next Machine Head/Coal Chamber/Korn/Skinlab. I am real sick of this kind of junk. Trendy ass motherfuckers!

Prosthetic Records, 6230 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 128, Los Angeles, CA. 90048, USA Website = www.hallucinet.com/prosthetic 





“Death Obsession” 2009 CD

(Moribund Records)


I have to admit, I am just now discovering Brown Jenkins. So it came as a bit of a surprise and shock to find out they have already broken up some time ago. This is apparently the result of their final recording. The band name is apparently that of a familiar of the Witch in the HP Lovecraft story “The Dreams In The Witch House”. In fact, originally the band was a sort of a concept band based on only Lovecraft stories. It did not start out that way, but eventually Brown Jenkins morphed into a one man band as it stands on this recording. The music gets me into an amazing trance-like state and just sends my mind swimming in its gorgeous hypnotic flow. This is almost entirely due to the freezing, droning guitars which are justifiably out front of the mix and hog all the attention. In fact, the vocals and drums are extremely minimal and actually add only a small amount of usefulness to “Death Obsession”. I see some people say it is insulting to even compare this band to anyone, but fuck let’s be honest guys there is a lot of classic Emperor, Darkthrone and especially Burzum going on here. It is only fitting the one man of the band Umesh Amtey admits to it by wearing a Burzum shirt on the back cover. I see some listing Hellhammer as an influence but outside of the fuzzy guitar tone that seems way off base to me. They are correct in the fact that the band manages to take those borrowed sounds into something at least approaching their own direction. The music or guitars may be repetitive in overall sound, but in their own flowing way they often change up their rhythm and melody. While never missing a beat, nor approximating anything resembling a conventional structural change. At times the pace is a bit slower and contemplative, but for such an atmospheric sounding record with that kind of aura, the pace surprisingly is mostly moderate to speedy. It is a very abstract sort of black metal record, but one I enjoyed very much. I could listen to those guitars for hours and I did just that.  – Dale 

http://www.myspace.com/brownjenkins13   http://www.moribundcult.com/ 




“The Chemical Wedding” 1998 CD

(CMC International)


By now, any self-respecting metal head should know the name Bruce Dickinson (and for the further educated “Bruce, Bruce” even) and own at least a few albums adorned with his magnificent voice. Personally I have always been a fan of Bruce’s solo output, but not until now have I finally been blown away by a B.D. album that is just killer all the way around. 1997’s “Accident Of Birth” had some great songs on it but lacked just enough intensity to make it worth repeated listens all the way through. “The Chemical Wedding” picks up in the intensity dept. and guitarists Adrian Smith and Roy Z on board again with great riffs and leads of course. Bruce’s vocals really steal the show here as they are just entirely catchy and memorable, just try and get some of these choruses out of your head once you’ve hear them. If your a Bruce fan you’ve probably already got this, if not get it now! You won’t be disappointed. Personal favorites on here, is the title track: great riff, great leads, excellent chorus. Damn!!  - Jeffrey Kusbel 




“Abiogenesis” 2018 CD & LP

(Dark Descent Records)


Well now, we have some crushing death metal from Turkey on tap this time around. The band has been around for some time (2008-2012 and then revived again in 2014) and the members either are now or were in various Turkish bands over the years. So, as you can tell, they are no Johnny-come-lately’s here despite this being the bands debut record. Prior to this release they had an ep released on various formats and a split 7 inch ep. When describing their sound old school early to mid ‘90s Swedish death metal influences loom large. I hear some Autopsy and Benediction in there too and there is also a decent dose of Floridian bands (ala stuff like Morbid Angel “Covenant” era) from the same ‘90s time period. There is some really well developed, skillfully refined guitar work on here, which adds some emotive depth and a brooding vibe mixed quite deftly into the prevailing brutality. When things do get brutal the drum work on here shines for me, it is a strong and violent backbone of controlled chaos, which really helps push the riffing and song flow over the top in a good way. The song crafting in general is strong and shows attention to detail and musical fluidity, which helps makes the long song lengths not even seem long. Sort of like when you are watching a good three hour movie and it is so engaging you go fuck that movie did not feel that long. Did I mention the songs are epic length? It is pretty unusual in brutal death metal to range from over eight minutes to nearly thirteen minutes in length per song! But, Burial Invocation make that daunting task of writing songs that long, into an advantage for them. It is a real talent to pull that off in my opinion. The vocals are good, possessing a very deep growling nucleus, with a slight undercurrent of broiling gurgle around the edges. I like how much the vocalist seems to enunciate and elongate some of the words he growls out; it adds a menacing and dark aura over the music. As you can tell, this one comes pretty highly recommended for fans of brutal death metal that have an appreciation for the roots of this great sub-genre.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/burialinvocation    http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/       




“Oculus Rot" 2021 CD

(Brutal Mind Records)


Buried is a new band featuring Joel Sta on vocals, Mark Wormmeester on bass and Robbe Vrijenhoek on the drums, all three men started out in the long running, but now defunct death metal band Pyaemia who made their mark on the UG scene. Further that history, the duo of Sta and Vrijenhoek have been together in bands dating all the way back to the middle 1990s in the band Nocturnal Silence, which later changed it’s name to Disavowed (who are still going strong today and are label mates of Buried as a matter of fact). The music on “Oculus Rot” is definitely rooted in the old school death metal style, but does add some newer elements of more modern day death metal ways, which results in a very interesting style and mix. The guitars are well played and showcase some great writing abilities, going from a mid paced style, to a much faster pacing highlighted with a heavy guitar tone. The songs are very well put together and executed with those featured guitar passages that are both complex and memorable. The vocals are a mix of old school death metal growls and some deeper more modern day growls, both styles are done with power and great range. If you are a fan of solid death metal produced veteran members of the UG that are not afraid to add different elements into a sound that helps Buried stand out then you should check this out.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/buriedmetal    https://brutalmind.bandcamp.com/          




“Boken Om Forbannelsen” 2014 CD

(I Hate Records)


The Swedish doomsters, Burning Saviours have not released an album, since back way back in 2007. That is a long time ago, as you might guess; they did break up for a time, but have been back together since late 2010. The band have not released an album since then, yet they have been keeping busy, releasing no less than four 7” eps since then. All of those beautiful little pieces of vinyl are collected here, on this compilation album, which equals that of a full albums run time. I always like to know, the translation of foreign language release titles, I am assuming some of you reading do as well? This compilation album title translates “The Book About The Curse” apparently. The Burning Saviours, play rocking heavy metal doom, in the 70s tradition, a style and time period, which I absolutely adore and worship. Just think to bands like Lucifer’s Friend, Captain Beyond, Pentagram, Black Sabbath, Sir Lord Baltimore, Buffalo etc… The band keeps things very simple, but they have a real feel for writing material that sets a mood, a mental atmospheric landscape, that puts you under hypnosis as you float off, a slave to the music as it commands you to go where it pleases. They are not afraid now and then, though, to pick up the pace and rock a little bit, which only serves to give the melancholy and heavy doom more weight. The vocals have a unique quality to them, they are not your deep classic vocals like Candlemass or something, but more in the 70s hard rock or early ‘80s heavy metal vein mixed together. I like them. In fact, I like this whole album, it is not mind-blowing, but it is just damn good hard rock and heavy metal doom from an extremely classic and revered time period for the music scene. Check this out you seventies heads.  - Dale 

https://soundcloud.com/burningsaviours   http://www.ihate.se/       




“666 Goats Carry My Chariot” 2020 CD

(Osmose Productions)


If you look at some of the pics of this band they look like they are probably (second wave) black metal, but hell no, these Belgian bastards play classic ‘80s speed metal to the fucking hilt! Bütcher mix into their melting pot chunks of old school heavy metal, thrash and first wave black metal (ala early Venom, Sodom, Destruction etc…) to melt and forge their unbreakable brand of musical steel. But, all the same, as I listen to the term speed metal always charges hard through my mind and I like it. I do mean charge too, as these crazy bastards play at outrageous speeds while all the time keeping it heavy as hell, leaving just enough room between the strides for some cool skillful guitar nuances and tasty twin guitar morsels. The vocals are probably the only area where they have a minor amount of newer school influence, as it is a mix of ‘80s screamed, gruff speed thrash metal style vocals, mixed with a post ‘90s death growl and black rasp. Another I like about Bütcher is they keep in the old tradition of catchy, but heavy song structuring that often culminated in some nice straight forward, memorable classic metal hell style lyrics with some cool choruses and the like. These guys have that metal to the bone attitude (all members go by classic band sounding monikers such as LV Speedhämmer & KK Ripper) to them that I like, and proud of them keeping it alive. I would not be surprised if they recorded this on analog equipment, the production is great, but does not thankfully have the over produced quality of a lot of modern metal albums. I know I am an old goat and this is what I cut my teeth on, so I have a bias coming into this thing, but all the same in my opinion this is a killer, top quality album that all fans of ‘80s metal will drool over!  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/Butcherspeedmetal    https://www.osmoseproductions.com/       




“Hellfire & Whiskey” 2016 CD

(Salt Of The Earth Records)


Buzzard Canyon come out of the gates in style, with the song “Highway Run”, which embodies what they are all about. Which is a brand of hard rocking stoner music they call Camaro Rock. I have to admit this first song is easily the best song on the album. It is a real anthem type tune, which for me is a classic in the making and gets you hooked early. I suspect that they probably open with this song live too, as I would bet it really gets some heads nodding and some arms unfolded. “Hellfire & Whiskey” is more on the stoner rock side, but there is clearly a classic doom metal influence (Sabbath, Trouble etc…) strongly running through this band, alongside the fuzzy southern blues tinged driving guitars. The main vocals are handled by Amber Leigh, her voice really fits the music well, there is no commercial or angelic vocals here, she has that traditional stoner / doom style with a little attitude and touches of raunch mixed in with some cleaner singing. There are also some male lead vocals on a couple tracks, those are decent as well, but I prefer Amber taking the reigns vocally. I am not going to lie, the rest of the material after the opening track, while good, never comes that close to matching that fucking awesome song. But having said that, there are some good moments to be had and it is a pretty enjoyable listen as a whole.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/BuzzardCanyon/    http://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/