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“The Age Of Mastery” 1998 CD

(Century Media)


Jag Panzer are back, no one off come- back here! J.P. are championing ‘80’s heavy metal and of course they are well suited to do such as they were around the first time and made their mark. I really love the soaring, smooth vocals as they slide across the ranges of high screams to gritty lows. The vocals remind me heavily of the latest Tad Morose singer whom I am an admirer. J.P. are masters of melody & layering the material to create a very emotional, driving metal anthems Tweaked by some great guitar leads that tattoo themselves to the brain. Mid-paced and melodic heavy metal near it’s pinnacle. Yes, Jag Panzer need no longer to ride on the reputation of their classic ‘80’s album “Ample Destruction”, as they have a bone-a-fide winner in this LP. All power/heavy metal fans will want this in their collection.

Century Media Recs., 1453 - A, 14th Street # 324, Santa Monica, CA. 90404, USA




“Witness” 2010 MCD

(I Hate Records)


This is my introduction to Jex Toth. I do think I shall be searching out some releases by the group. I would posit that they will appeal to fans of traditional doom metal and fans of epic heavy metal. What grabs me immediately are the monolithic, ploddingly heavy riffs that set the atmosphere for the fantastic and hypnotic vocals of Jessica Toth. They draw you in and you quickly lose yourself in their mental tapestry, drawing a superb melancholy range of emotions. You kind of forget about everything else around you and your eyes are closed even when they are open as your mind is off swimming in the ether. For those of you that have experienced this sort of trip, it is magic and there is no slight of hand involved. There are only 3 songs on here so it is only a taste of what is to come. It leaves me wanting more and hoping it comes soon.  – Dale

http://www.jexthoth.com/   http://www.ihate.se/




“Blood Moon Rise” 2013 CD

(I Hate Records)


I have been anticipating this release ever since I Hate sent me the bands three song Witness EP from 2010. I must say it feels like it was worth the wait. The band have changed up their sound a tad, they are not quite as heavily doom metal laden as in the past. Now they have more of an ambient, moody, almost psychedelic 70s rock trip going now, but they have not abandoned the doom, there are some sections of this album that will make the Black Sabbath fanatic in you smile like the Cheshire cat. This album definitely takes my mind on a journey, like an introspective out of body experience with the sound flowing through you and around you. Those gorgeous vocals from Jex Thoth herself, are as haunting and hypnotic as ever, maybe even more so than in the past if that is a possible. I am addicted to listening to her voice, just listen to the song “Keep Your Weeds”, you will see what I mean and you will want to just play that song again and again, a great emotional performance on that song. The bio throws out Blue Oyster Cult an influence, since reading that, on subsequent listens I can hear that with BOC’s more obscure (at least in America) moody, doomy rock soul sounds crept into my mind. If you are in the right headspace this album will take places and give you indescribable musical bliss, you just may not want to come back. This American band could end up being an important one for I Hate Records. I know they put a lot into this release and the sound on here, in my opinion, has the potential break on a little higher level than most of the labels great bands. I am hopeful it does just that because I can not think of many record labels that would deserve it more than they do.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/jexthoth  http://www.ihate.se/      




The Yellowgoat Sessions” 2013 CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Here we have the debut from Joel Grind who some will know from the band Toxic Holocaust, this is Joe's side band. The Yellowgoat Sessions is pure thrashnroll with a dirty and raw production that will only appeal to the old school maniacs of the scene. Some very chaotic, hyper speed guitars that are thrashy but also blend some punkish riffs into the mix. Joe's vocals are a gruff vocal style but also throw in some screams but to be honest the vocals get lost in the music and hard to hear in some of the tracks. Fans of eighties raw punk/metal, Motorhead etc. might enjoy this. This is definitely nothing new but it is a decent release if you enjoy old school thrash/punk that is raw, dirty and chaotic.  - Patrick

http://joelgrind.bandcamp.com/  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/     




“Gathering Of The Insane” 2018 CD

(I Hate Records)


This German band produce a rollicking form of high energy speed metal thrash, which runs and skips along with heavy riffing, forcing my neck muscles a work out as my head bangs hard listening to this blistering attack. As you can probably tell from the cover artwork, the songs are mainly about serial killers, just from a quick look at the cover I see the faces of Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Albert Fish(?), The Nightstalker, H.H. Holmes (some convincing theories and a little evidence H.H. was actually Jack The Ripper too!) etc… The music has a lot of old speed and thrashing oomph as mentioned, but there is also a cool dark sounding vibe. The vocals help with that as they are evil sounding gruff thrash yells mixed with a whispery growling edge I like a lot. The songs keep the tempo at break neck speeds, but slow slightly at times to settle things into a pounding middle paced musical pummel. The riffs and rhythms are always heavy, but also fairly catchy yet they do not really get into soloing or anything and just keep the velocity straight ahead and blazing. This will appeal to the real die hard mid to late ’80s speed metal maniacs that can not get enough of that fantastic sound from the days of yore. JT Ripper keeps the ancient flame burning bright!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/J.T.Ripper.thrash    http://www.ihate.se/   




“Resignaatio” 2010 CD

(Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions)


This Finnish black metal band has been in existence 10 years already and this is their debut album. During that time they only released a couple of demos, eps and a live disc. I am sure they have had their offers, I really have to respect that they waited until they were ready, and it is obvious they create this music for the right reasons. Jumalhamara have their own distinct character and I do not find myself saying every other song this sounds exactly like this band or that album. I think you could call them atmospheric, but not the usual way of that term, in this genre. They use a lot of organic sounds to achieve this goal, something that is harder to do than just smothering everything in sight with synth (hello Xasthur and the like); it takes more creativity and imagination than that, in my opinion. I like their use of percussion, it is very spiritual yet dark sounding, uplifting at times and melancholic the next moment. This album is all about flow, and feeling the songwriting, rather than just putting parts together, it is a highlight of their years together and emotional maturity as a band. Such words in this day and age, I do not throw around lightly. The vocals tend to be used sparingly and the guitars are drawn out to the point that they melt into the background and become part of the scenery, though an important part. I am a proponent of traditional black metal purity in sound, but when something is done this well, it is impossible for me not to respect and enjoy it. I could see other staunch purists having a hard time liking this, I can only stress that you are missing out and making a mistake passing it up.  – Dale





“Skin The Living” 1998 CD

(Pure Death Records)


This is a re-release (this time on disc) of this bands now classic ’95 demo tape of the same name. I remember liking this when I reviewed it the first time for The Sepulchral Voice, a mag I used to write for. I also reviewed their first demo in ’94 “Rip Your Face Off” in which I told them to drop some of the weaker thrashiness and concentrate on their death metal side - their strength. They did exactly that on the this raging demo that got them signed to Pulverizer Records (now they are on Pavement Music). If you liked their album at all, then u, need this!  - Dale

Pure Death Records, P.O. Box 3019, New Haven, CT. 06515, USA  Phone # = 1-800-994-4178




"Protosapien" 2020 CD, LP & MC

(Transcending Obscurity Records)


I think most people in the UG scene, when they think of South America it is either very evil necro black metal and/or vicious, unrelenting deathrash metal barbarity. That reputation is well earned, but the South American scene is actually quite varied, if you look around a little you will find some great heavy metal, grind and more. This is where Jupiterian comes in, as they play high quality death doom music that is extremely moody, gloomy and melancholic, all is steeped in a mysterious and sinister sounding aura. There is also hints of sludge metal in here, even though it is like a wisp of smoke, weaving it’s way stealthily through the plodding metallic oppression like a serpent. The music overall is a massive, monolithic wall of crawling heavy as hell doom death metal that is impenetrable; a seamless musical entity that feels like it has no beginning and no end. The vocals are sparse and subtle, highlighted by obscured whispering undertone of dark boiling, and elongated growling. There are a number of lesser used accent vocal bits, all gloomy sounding, and do their part in creating the dense and opaquely ominous musical tapestry that will trap you in it’s cosmic alluring pull if given half a chance.  - Dale

https://jupiterian.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/jupiteriansect   https://tometal.com/       


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“Wings Of Black Holocaust” 2015 Split Album

(Bud Metal Records)


I was pleased to get a copy of this release, especially with it being limited, to just 100 copies. Which means it may already be sold out for all I know. But I believe you can buy Kabexnuv’s half of this release digitally (which by the way alone clocks in at over half an hour), Dol Guldur tracks, on the other hand, are exclusive to this disc. To make matters worse, I have heard Dol Guldur’s 20 copies of this release, were seized by the Brazilian postal system and not returned to them. First up, on this split, is Canadian black metallers Kabexnuv, they play in the early 90s Scandinavian bm tradition, just pure stripped down hate. Kabexnuv create a real cryptic, grim and bleak atmosphere, with their music that I like very much. I also really like the harsh bm rapsing vocals, they are classic as fuck and great. The recording is dripping with an extreme low-fi tone, which really suits this kind of music, which in my opinion, benefits from a raw production. I read a blurb somewhere, that some of the music and structuring on this release was purposely done organically (improvised), to create a more natural feel. I think at times it achieves this, at other times it really shows through, some structuring really suffers, and certain sections or songs, run on a little too long for their own good. But all in all, it really achieves that cold, hateful atmosphere it set out to create. Dol Guldur has a bit of a fuller sound, the production is not as low-fi and raw as the Kabexnuv tracks, but it is still a pretty raw and harsh recording, in it’s own right. Dol Guldur possess a little more pace and urgency in their music, the drums are more noticeable and integral to the music too, compared to their split comrades. I like the section in their first track, where they slow things down, strip things down, it goes into trance-like territory and the sparsely used vocals are truly frightening, and a very jarringly atmospheric counterpoint, which is all really unsettling in a very cool way. The songs themselves are honestly fairly unremarkable. Having said that, they do succeed extremely well in creating a dark, obscure vibe, and with old school bm that is all that matters sometimes, the atmosphere you convey with the music, it transcends the sum of it’s parts. I know this release is going to be hard to get a hold of, but I would recommend this, to fans of early 90s raw metal who can not enough of this type of audio plague.  - Dale

avitas66@hotmail.com   http://avitas.bandcamp.com/   




“Angel Plague” 2017 CD

(H.P.G.D. Productions)


Coming out of New Jersey’s death metal scene, is Kalopsia, with their third full length “Angel Plague”. Kalopsia play heavy, chaotic death metal which is not all fast, as the band writes and plays some very good mid paced sections. The guitars are played with a lot of skill, their experience level shows through as in their playing, going from an all out assault of fast riffs and patterns to a more controlled, well written mid paced passages. The drums follow along in the same vein, possessing a lot of power and skill, showing variety with more of a mid paced style in a few songs. The vocals are deep death metal growls with some gruff screams used in a few of the songs. If you enjoyed Kalopsia’s previous releases then be sure to check out “Angel Plague” today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/youwillsubmit    http://www.comatosemusic.com/   




“Alliance For Death Domination” 2017 Split CD EP

(Dead Sheep Productions)


I have to admit I was very interested in this release when I pulled it out of my mailbox. Just the immediate first impression I received from the band names, song titles, cover and hell I also like the attitude / mindset to call your record label Dead Sheep haha. It sounds like something I would do, Autopsy Kitchen anyone? Anyway, on to this split, Karonte, a veteran band is up first up with three tracks on this 22 minute EP. They hail from Spain, which immediately conjures up past memories of brutal death metal bands, from that country. Spanish dm bands traditionally tend to have this dark, and very mean brutal sound and dangerous feeling atmosphere to their music, Karonte carries this tradition on in fine form. Well, maybe Karonte has a hint more melodo finesse and catchiness to their riffs, comparing to many of their countrymen, but only a hint I say. I would say this is most evident, on the third track “Dominación”, which incorporates a more distinctive level of heavy metal guitar histrionics, but also slows down the pace a fair bit and in so doing brings a doomy feel to the track. Damn, this is a great first half to the split. Bloody Brotherhood also from Spain, comes at us with two tracks, “In Tyrant’s Land” & “Thousand Years Of Lies”, both of which are a little longer than the Karonte hymns. BB has a cleaner, less dirty (I mean that in a positive way) guitar sound than Karonte, but also play death metal and do so mostly at a middle pace. Bloody at first blush, does not seem quite as brutal, but they have their moments and the brutish bits come at you in sudden fits and starts like a suddenly striking viper after it took a moment to size you up. The vocals are growls, but at times have black, hate dipped emotive vitriol to them, which I like very much and those vocals do a lot to give the band a certain atmosphere and feel, which could at times, be reflected more in the music to make the songs more powerful, in my opinion. I did not enjoy the Bloody Brotherhood side of the split as much as Karonte, but having said that Bloody have some really good things going for them and I look forward to hear more from this young band as they progress into the future. This is a pretty killer release, I have the disc, but there is also a 10” EP vinyl version as well. I bet these songs sound fantastic on the turntable. Whichever version you check out, I have a feeling you will enjoy it, if you are a death metal lover there is a lot take in on this release for an EP. I hope to one day find more rotting pieces of dead sheep’s delicious carcass in the future.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/deadsheepproductions/    http://deadsheepproductions.es/ 




“Katakomba” 2022 CD & LP

(Redefining Darkness Records)


Katakomba is a new band out of Stockholm, Sweden having in the last few years of their existence released an EP and a couple single songs on digital download. They now make the jump from that to a full-length album, which can be a lot for a young inexperienced band formed right out of high school. But let me tell you these Swedes are up to the challenge. The riffs on here are massively heavy, fuzzed out cruelty that batters and crushes you. This is backed superbly with some creative song construction that really kept my interest up; as well underneath the brutality they manage to intertwine sometimes brief yet always infectiously catchy melodies that do not to take away from the heaviness of it all. The growling vocals of Fabian Brodén are killer and inject a certain level of emotion and charisma to the sound that draws me to them and enjoy the hell out of them. Those vocals remind me slightly of Nicke Andersson’s on the classic “Clandestine” album. So speaking of influences I definitely hear some Bloodbath and Dismember with a strong dose of Entombed on here, but the secondary guitar work and some of the songwriting reminds me of old US death metal bands like Possessed, Morbid Angel, and Death. Speaking of that secondary guitar work above, it is in the form of some interesting nice fills and short but smoking solos. There is a cavalcade of guest spots on a few of the songs featuring either vocals or guitar solos from people like Mats Andersson (Skam & Wretched Fate), Adrian Selmani (Non Divine Sun & Wretched Fate), Niklas Sandin (Lik & Katatonia), and Tomas Åkvik (Nale, Lik & Bloodbath). For me this is a strong debut for this young death metal band, a band to keep an eye on in future, until then you should get your mitts on this.  - Dale

https://katakomba-se.bandcamp.com/album/katakomba   http://shop.redefiningdarkness.com     




“Exilasmos” 2017 CD

(Iron Bonehead Records)


My first experience with Kawir was around the ‘93/94 time period. I tape traded for the bands first release which was a promo demo released back in 1993. I really enjoyed that tape, but besides a ’94 ep, their debut album and a later split ep, but I never kept up on the bands releases from the 2000’s onward unfortunately. But here I am nearly 25 years later after I tape traded for that promo and the band is still going strong! It is good to see one of the early bands of the Greek black metal scene, who have stayed true to their roots, amongst some notable examples of bands largely abandoning them (ala Samael, Rotting Christ etc…). I say this, but do not misunderstand me; the band is not just playing the same old thing they did over twenty years ago. No, they have clearly progressed in their playing ability and song crafting, there is more intricate structuring, as well as higher doses of melody injected into the freezing murky atmosphere. Still, there is always that ribbon of their sound, which can clearly be followed back to their beginning possessing the early to mid ‘90s Greek black / death aura and dark tone. I dug the bombastic booming accent elements (I imagine fans will wait for it and thrust a fist in the air live), they are hard to describe, but when you listen to the track “Thyestia Deipna”, you will hear what I mean and while you are there, be sure to check out the superb inspired guitar work in this song. The guitar work definitely should not be understated, not only is it technically sound, but additionally the writing and performance can be very emotive at times working expertly within the sinister and often evil atmosphere, adding another layer of depth and quality. The epic feeling of the final track, entitled “Orestes”, even has old school Iron Maiden influence slithering in and out of the guitars. There is so much going in this song, from triumphant heavy metal parts, to a blistering hateful classic second wave black metal sequence, there is even a ripping guitar solo thrown in. It almost seems like all of that should not work together, but Kawir expertly crafted this excellent song, producing a seamless mighty anthem, clocking in at nearly eight minutes in length (which is not over long for this record as all of the songs are in the 6 plus to 8 minute range but none are more epic than this one). I am pleased Iron Bonehead, who I have followed since inception has managed to bring me back to this great Greek band, who have forged an impressive legacy for themselves in the annuals of the underground metal scene. This legacy has only been furthered by this ambitious concept album of Greek Hellenic mythology.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/kawirblackmetal/    http://www.ironbonehead.de/     




“Cloven Hoofs At The Holocaust Dawn” 2010 MCD

(Nuclear War Now! Productions)


This is one mean fucking hateful slice of North American black metal. Yes, I have heard it called USBM, but when one of the main members is Canadian, that title becomes a little less than accurate, no? The two foremost players in Kerasphorus are Pete Helmkamp (the mighty Order From Chaos, Angelcorpse, Feldgrau etc…) and James Read (Revenge, Conqueror, Cremation etc…). So there is plenty of experience and seasoning going into Cloven Hoofs. I would say you can definitely hear influences or probably better stylistic signatures of these individuals past endeavors. There are most definitely bits and pieces of Order From Chaos, Angelcorpse and Revenge in here and on here. Maybe if you have those releases you do not need this one? I would look at like the perfect compliment to that collection, I suspect devotees of those former bands, will absolutely love this. It is a monstrously acidic release and will not let you down. I would in fact even go so far as saying this is as good and possibly better than those past bands, with the exception of Order From Chaos, who virtually untouchable, in my view. Just splendid blitzkrieg warring metal with classic Helmkamp vocals striaght from the masters. You will only wish it was longer.  – Dale

http://www.nwnprod.com/   http://www.myspace.com/helmkampkommand




“The Flames Of Eternity’s Decline/Cold” 2010 Double CD Compilation

(Paragon Records)


This 2 disc release from Ukraine's Khors is basically a re-release of their first two full lengths from 2005 and 2006 respectively, along with a few demos and live tracks to add the "newness" to the package (for the diehards). As I sit here listening to the music, it reminds me of bands such as Behemoth - black n death. Not as high tech as said band but I would not categorize Khors as a black metal band, regardless of what others think.  The atmosphere for me is almost non existent which instantly disqualifies them from the BM scene alone. Having said that, the music is decent. The level of skill in the band is above average on some tracks. There are keyboards on some tracks for those that avoid such bands. Vocals are harsh mid level growls and scathing screams. Blast beats and a few time signature changes permeate both discs. The demos on The Flames....disc are pretty close to the final versions - not much worth with their inclusion. Overall, not a bad release for the uninitiated but I think there are more inspired bands out there in the scene.  - Mark Sugiyama

http://www.myspace.com/khorspagan  http://www.themetalunderground.com/  




“Deviate” 1998 CD

(Visible Noise Records)


Grooovy metal that is very straight-forward and mixes in industrial/techno touches. The vocals are raspy shout and at times have a sickening rap style to them. People into stuff like Fear Factory, Meshuggah, Skinlab ought to like this just fine. Me, I fucking hate it!!  - Dale

V.N. Records, 231 Portebello Rd., London, W11 1LT, U.K.




“Peace Through Tyranny” 2022 MCD & MLP

(Redefining Darkness Records)


The bio states Kill Division’s mission statement is to tear down and cut through the elements that divide us as people. It would appear with their album cover this task is focused mainly on America, but I am sure it can apply to other places as well. They make sure to say they oppose both the left and right politically, religion and other areas of society that seek to divide and pit us against one another. The band is made up of some really heavy hitters in the metal scene with members that include the drummer of Megadeth, the guitarist of Gruesome, as well as the former guitarist and vocalist of Malevolent Creation. The final member is interestingly Jeramie Kling on bass, which for those unaware he is the drummer for a number of bands like Goregäng, The Absence, Ex-Dio, Inhuman Condition, Ribspreader and Venom Inc. Okay, my fascination with metal band & scene lineage satisfied, finally on to the music itself which is raging fucking grindcore! The band is clearly big fans and want to keep the traditions going from old grindcore and deathrgrind bands of yore like Terrorizer, ‘90s Napalm Death, Repulsion, Brutal Truth and the like. You can imagine with this line-up of musicians that everything is top shelf from the performance to the execution and songwriting. The vocals courtesy of Kyle Symons (ex-Malevolent Creation, ex-HatePlow) are absolutely commanding, in-your-face and brutish growls that give Vincent with Terrorizer and Barney Greenway a real run for their money. Obviously you will have to love the bands mentioned above, and turn classic deathgrind and grindcore in general to want to get this release. But, if you do fit that bill as a grind devotee then I can not imagine you not having a mental world bending downfall, as you thrash about sending yourself straight into utopia banishment.  - Dale

https://killdivision.bandcamp.com/   http://shop.redefiningdarkness.com/      




“Bloodbath Of Satanic Vengeance” 2011 CD

(UW Records)


Another release from UW, and another band from them producing their debut album. This California trio vomit out some brutal grinding death metal that is noisy and heavy as hell. Some of the vocals are of the garbled, undecipherable constant stream variety, which I know turns some off, but I like some of that flavour now and then. The drummer is the back bone of the insanity level of the music, he punishes his kit with such speed and fury, you would think it stole money from him or fucked his girlfriend or something. The guitars could have a little more punch and be a tad higher in the mix for my liking, as they get drowned out by the drums and vocals at times. But that is only a minor complaint; this is some really decent anti-christian death metal that die hards of the genre will enjoy.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/killgasm  http://www.facebook.com/pages/UW-Records/162216050503802  




“Shores Of Oblivion” 2016 CD EP

(Xtreem Music)


Killing Addiction first formed at the end of the ‘80s, they released a demo tape in 1990 and a 7” EP in 1991, before putting out their debut album “Omega Factor” in early 1993. Did I mention they are from Florida? I am not sure why they did not get more attention, or more well known, along with so many of their peers early in the early to mid ’90s, as people were eating up anything Floridian death metal back then. The band called it quits some time in 1994/95, but decided to get back together some years back now. “Omega Factor” (I had my JL America cassette baby hehe) is, and was, my only experience back in the day (or since then) with Killing Addiction. I liked that debut album, it was good early death metal. Listening back to that album, and then “Shores Of Oblivion”, it would seem the band has stayed true to their old school dm style, back then though I think they may have had a bit more dynamic song structuring. Yet, this more straight forward, stripped down structuring on this EP, seems to fit them well. If anything, since the early days, Killing Addiction has slowed things down a tad, going for a more brooding gloomy vibe with the atmosphere. I kind of dug how the third track “Extinction Agenda” starts, it fades in slowly with a sort of muffled effect until everything slowly becomes clear, not only that but it starts off sounding like you are already a minute into the song, not something I want on every song but a really cool effect for one track on here. Besides the heavy dirge riffs, I think my favourite part of this release is the great vocal performance, from bassist/vocalist Patrick Bailey. He slides seamlessly between deep dark growling, slightly nasally growls and obscured rasping type vocals. He makes those changes in a very subtle way, so it is not jarring or too different from one style to the next, just really well done vocals. To end this review I want to say R.I.P. to guitarist (and brother to Patrick) Chad Bailey, who passed away a couple months after this recording, and prior to it’s release. This four song EP is for old school Floridian death metal fans, who are not obsessed with newer sounding death metal that has a million riffs and time changes in every song. This band is more about the song and the music rather than being fast and technical all the time. Check it out.  - Dale

https://killingaddiction.bandcamp.com/music    http://www.xtreemmusic.com/        




“Omega Factor” 2018 CD

(Xtreem Music)


Well now, this takes me back in time, when this album was initially released by the notorious JL America label. Which burst upon the UG metal scene, and about three years later rapidly burned out. But it was an interesting, if not short ride for the label in the early ‘90s; they did the US releases for labels like Osmose & the German Turbo Music, before striking out on their own signing and releasing their own bands. One those bands they signed was Killing Addiction. I had a handful of JL cassettes back in the day, like Goatlord, Impaled Nazerene, Mortuary, Beherit, Acheron, Blasphemy and last but not least Killing Addiction. This is a cool gesture towards the bands legacy (did I mention they reformed some years back?) by Xtreem Music, to re-release this album on it’s 25 year anniversary! Oh shit, I guess that also mean I am a really old metal goat in this scene. Oh well, at least I still have all my own teeth, not to mention company like the members of this band still kicking and screaming, after all these years. For newer fans of death metal, who imprudently never took the time study the history of this sub-genre and it’s bands, they might be in for a bit of a surprise here. This is a window into the beginnings of death metal, it was a different time, things were not all digital and pro tool’d to hell, for starters. Also, not all of the bands were going for intricate mathematical time signatures, and/or playing a million miles a minute with twenty riffs in every song. No, this was a time for a lot of bands when death metal was morphing out of the extreme end of the thrash metal scene, just finding it’s feet and establishing a new style. A lot of the bands like Killing Addiction played a more stripped down, possibly to some newer ears a primitive style. But to me, it was more about focusing on the song and the atmosphere it created without using a lot of cheater effects, like synth or studio tricks to create it. The riffs on here are crushing and rhythmically catchy, which had me headbanging pretty good, honestly I experienced a touch of nostalgia for the early ‘90s as I listened. I should also mention, there are a few killer guitar solos expertly woven into the brutality, which adds some nice depth to the songs. The vocals are pretty guttural, early ‘90s style, near undecipherable growling, which is something I like, but I know is an acquired taste these days for some. Speaking of the vocals, in one song they alternate with higher nasally growling, which something that became very popular years later, but this in my mind seems like one of the earliest examples of it. I am not sure I can place this record at the upper echelon of ‘90s brutal death metal classics, but it is a damn good album nonetheless, an album that did not get the recognition it deserved, so here is to hoping this release sheds more light on this record. It would not be a special anniversary edition without some extras, you do get those as Xtreem has included the bands “Legacies of Terror” 1990 demo tape (I dig the grimy, cruel sound on it), and their killer 1991 “Nekrosphere” 7” ep as a bonus. You know what you need to do posthaste, links below.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/killingaddiction/    https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/  




“Forged By Satan’s Doctrine” 2012 CD



The opening couple tracks of this Columbian bands album had me worried. Those first tracks came off very generic, unimaginative and even seemed to lack energy or emotion. I am pleased to report though that things really pick up from there and the rest of Forged By Satan’s Doctrine is a pretty intense listen. When the band turns up the heat the drummer goes pretty insane beating his drums into submission with rapid fire blitzkrieg legs. To me I hear influences like the early albums of Deicide, Morbid Angel maybe mixed with a little Blasphemy, Angelcorpse type music. Good thing you need to judge upon the whole album as after a slow start, this album goes off the deep end and kicks your ass all over the place. Just intense!  – Dale

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




"Guardian Demons” 2018 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


King Heavy is a mixture of musicians mostly out of the great Chilean scene spanning an array of bands from that country, but the vocalist Luther Veldmark (Hooded Priest) is from the Netherlands. So, that is interesting, I assume it would present some challenges for writing and recording, not to even mention rehearsing for live shows. The style King Heavy play is a classic form of heavy metal doom in the vein of bands like Saint Vitus, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Trouble and the like. The guitar tenor and drumming are the epitome of that old style; the songs have some great flow, stirring up some affecting emotive qualities in me as a listener. The vocalist has a good classic sounding voice for this style and decent range as well. Yet, having said that, some of it is probably due to the often clunky lyrics, but the vocalist despite having those great raw tools, seems to have very little feel and skill in how and when to deploy them in a proper way. To my ears, this often results in unwittingly sabotaging the flow and emotive impact of the very quality music accompanying the vocals. It is hard to explain unless you hear it; the vocalist slows up and presents awkward phrasing, clunky timing, he switches registers at times that do not compliment the flow of the music or the words being sung. Like I say, it is unfortunate because the guy has a very good classic voice and tone to his voice for this style. But again, in my opinion, he seemingly has little to no feel on how to use it within the context of these songs; it is a bit frustrating to listen to actually. I know that sounds harsh, I do not mean it to be and it is not like vocalist Luther Veldmark never gets it right, but he never really seems for very long. I should try my best here not to paint the whole album with this brush, though it is hard not to do as the vocals are very prominent in the mix front and center. All the same, there is some excellent classic doom underneath the vocals that is mostly really quality emotive music, which can really not be faulted for anything and still makes this a good listen for die hard fans of the genre.  - Dale

https://kingheavy.bandcamp.com    https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com          




“Deeper The Fall” 2010 CD

(Paragon Records)


New York's paragon records have struck gold again! It seems very few labels are able to sign and release quality one after the other, but paragon has done it with the last 4-6 releases. This time they released Serbia's Kozeljnik. The duo have crafted a very dark journey of mid-paced black metal with some outbursts of insane, blasting drums and razor-sharp guitar chords. The band never really lets completely loose with the violent black metal side instead opting to use it more as a mood-breaker from the dark mid-paced songs. The vocals remind me a lot of mid-era Immortal, with the raspy, gruff vocal patterns. There is also some deeper, clearly chanted vocal pattern used throughout the songs and is placed very well. The drums seem to stick out most of all for me. Going from the hyper-speed intensity of early european black metal to a more controlled and mid-paced beat with some well executed solo's. Kozeljnik is band that fans of old Immortal, or quality black, dark metal can appreciate and listen to countless times.  – Patrick Schroeder

http://www.paragonrecords.org  http://www.kozeljnik.com/  




“Null: The Acheron Of Multiform Negation” 2013 CD

(Paragon Records)


Well this is cool to receive. I have not gotten anything from the awesome Paragon Records in a long time. They are old friends of mine, but we just kind of lost touch lately. Anyway, the band actually sent this to me (by one of their members now residing in Canada!), but it was a welcome sight, so thank you to this Serbian band. Kozeljnik play a very atmospheric brand of metal, that is probably rooted the deepest in black metal. The music gives off an oppressive, epic sort of aura and is quite often mid paced, the riffing and sound of the guitars is very dense and magnetic, picking up speed here and there which amps up the tension. I do not see these guys as overly technical but they do have a progressive aesthetic to their music, these moments keep the music and listener fresh. The vocals are both murky and clear at the same time, which does not make sense on paper, but makes sense perfectly in my head, maybe it is just one of those instances where a musical element is hard to describe. I like the vocals though. It probably sounds from my description like there is no aggression to their black metal sounds, but that is not true, it is there, but only comes out in short explosive bursts and when it does, it punishes you. I quite like this band, they sound a little different than most of what is out there these days and for that reason alone are very worth checking out.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/kozeljnik  http://www.themetalunderground.com/   




“Over The Fourth Part Of The Earth” 2007 CD

(Grave Smasher Records)


I used to be in the touch with the guy behind this 1 man band from the Philippines back in the mid to late 90s. It is good to see thee crusty old bastard is still going. A lot of time has passed since the early days of Kratornas but not that much has changed to be honest. His early recordings were extremely raw and not always the easiest to make out or distinguish one instrument from the next. The recording on “Over The Fourth…” is definitely better than those days though not a lot better. It is still very raw and low-fi but it is clearer and you can hear everything with more separation. Another difference between then and now is these days Kratornas is probably a little less grind and not quite as black metal influenced though that is still there. The music is still pretty dark but a slight bit more energetic and frenetic with a healthy dose of thrash metal mixed into the riffs and overall guitar playing. There is even a hopped up adrenaline blitzkrieg solo or two to be had. The vocals are still obscure sort of dark whispers with the classic black metal sort of undertone. This is a pretty good record showing some maturity and focus that has come with age and experience. The one thing I could do without is the drums. Unlike the Rigor Sardonicous album I just reviewed here is an example of how a drum machine can hurt an album. Otherwise this is some good work if you like things dark and you love catchy thrashing riffs.   – Dale





“Rise Of The Impaled Hordes” 1998 CD

(Blood, Fire, Death Records)


Extremely raw, caustic and lawlessly, hateful American black metal sums up the music of Krieg. They blend acidic riffs that cut into you like a rusty knife leaving jagged, gaping wounds. The drumming is pretty repetitive but manage, to do the job and the vocals of Lord Imperial are maniacal, insane, and emotional as he goes from spoken passages to agitated shrieks. Said vocals really are the only thing that separates this band from the average black metal hordes.  - Dale 




“Kriegszittern” 2021 CD

(Chaos Records)


This bands name is the German word for Shell Shock, for those curious. I should get this out of the way, despite Kriegszittern only having released one full-length, this is a compilation release that contains said debut album “Yellow Cross”, as well as their recent “Stratofortress” EP plus a few unreleased songs recorded live. The sounds this German horde produce are very much old school death metal, somewhat primitive and convey a feeling of subterranean claustrophobic gloom. The music is generally middle paced, but does fluctuate often into slightly speedier realms, as well as down tempos into doom death territory. The whole thing has this aura to it I love; it reminds me to the atmosphere of the demos and early albums of the almighty Grave. I can definitely hear other influences besides Grave in here though, like strong smatterings of Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Morbid Angel and early Autopsy. The vocals here are great roiling growls and sound like what I imagine a disturbed demon would emanate upwards from deep down in the pits leading to hell itself. The production on the EP is so fucking thick and heavy! The guitars will reverberate in your chest! I love that sound, not that the sound on the album is not great in it’s own way, but damn it does hit you when that “Stratofortress” EP kicks in. The live song recordings sound good and fit in more seamlessly with the studio material than I anticipated it would. Yeah man this is my kind of fucking brutal death metal, the sort that has that old school flavour with an atmosphere of suffocating darkness along with a necrotic audio cocktail of purely sinister pernicious intent.  - Dale

https://kriegszittern.bandcamp.com/    https://chaos-records.bandcamp.com/     




“For Death, Glory And The End Of The World” 2010 CD

(Listenable Records)


A little something different than what I usually get, I had not heard of them previous, but this is already their 4th album. For Death… has a certain ambient quality to it, whilst still being a fairly riff driven rock record. When listening I think of influences from bands like possibly Fugazi, Mastodon (though not as crushing), Neurosis (not as trippy or as heavily atmospheric / psychedelic). Another band that comes to mind to a small extent musically and a large extent vocally is Godflesh, especially with vocals from their Pure album. Kruger bounce around from being heavy and rocking on some riffs to much more introspective, drawn out soundscapes that let the mind float around and get lost in a spaced out fog. You would think this would be somewhat jarring when transitioning back and forth between aggression and the ambiance, but Kruger seem to pull it off with skill and subtlety that probably comes from being a veteran band at song crafting. Generally speaking this is not the sort of thing I would listen to much. I did not expect to like Death, Glory and the End of the World when the first song ended. Yet somewhere along the way they managed to win me over. Check it out.  – Dale

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




“Profaani” 2018 CD & 12” LP

(Blood Harvest / Helter Skelter Productions)


Coming out of the legendary Finnish black metal scene is Krytamok, ‘Profaani’ was originally released on cassette tape earlier this year. But now thanks to Blood Harvest and Helter Skelter Productions, this release is now getting a duel release on both CD and a twelve inch vinyl pressing. Kryptamok’s musical style is the classic Finnish black metal style (ala Horna for example) with some atmospheric passages intertwined within the music. The vocals are grim black metal screeches and screams that are used throughout the recording. The drums are played with chaotic blasting beats that do slow down to a more calm pacing, before returning to the hyper-speed blast beats again. If you are looking for a band that can write and perform cold black metal with some atmospheric elements incorporated into the evil, then do yourself a favor and check out Kryptamok’s solid debut today.  - Patrick

https://www.bloodharvest.se/    http://www.helterskelterproductions.se/      




Unending Degradation” 2013 CD

(Dark Descent Records)


Krypts are from the bowels of the Finnish death metal underground scene. On their debut full length "Unending Degradation" Krypts has recorded some of the most stripped down, guitar heavy death metal recorded in quite some time. The trio mixes heavy slow to mid-paced death metal, there are a few moments of aggressive speed, but they are few and far between instead keeping the music more to their liking of mid-paced and heavy. The vocals are deep, low death growls and go perfectly with Krypts slow, heavy sound. This has to be one of Dark Descent's best releases to date and highly recommended to fans who enjoy their death metal stripped down, heavy and mid-paced with touches of death/doom.  - Patrick

http://krypts.wordpress.com/  http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/    




“Cadaver Circulation” 2019 CD & LP

(Dark Descent Records)


This Finnish group plays dirgy death doom metal. Imagine if you will a healthy dose of early Grave’s brand of brutal Swedish death metal, which is kind of doomy in it’s own right, mixed with the extremity of the slow measured doom death from pioneer band Disembowelment. It formulates together producing a crushing and imposing aura that will envelope you and suffocate all of your senses in a most splendid fashion. Once it grabs you, it does not let go easily as there are long songs on here, with no less than three of the six clocking in right around eight minutes. The vocals are deep, rolling and roiling growls that flow and lengthen themselves to match the music, and they possess a cool obscure sounding whispery undertone to them. The vocals alone are very creepy and foreboding, both alternatingly complimenting the music and melting in & out like a shadowy specter. I like those vocals a lot! Krypts keep things very heavy yet almost agonizingly slow, almost at all times, but there are fleeting passages where they show their death metal roots and speed things up like a normal death metal band. I swear I even heard something that resembled a solo a couple times. Prepare yourselves for a massive slab of slow motion brutality and an emotionally heavy dose of foreboding and melancholia, which will leave you both drained and very much satisfied.  - Dale

https://www.kryptsdeath.com    https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com  




“Portentaque” 2017 CD EP

(Pagan Records)


It is great to see Pagan Records still going strong! I used to be in contact with the label owner Tomasz Krajewski even before the label started when I ordered issues of his great Holocaust fanzine. Then he started the record label and I purchased some of his first releases (Crucifier “By Disgrace Of God” EP & Behemoth “Return Of The Northern Moon” Demo cassettes) and even eventually interviewed him for CA close to 20 years ago now! Okay, that is enough of a trip down memory lane now. So onwards with examining the 19 minutes of music at hand on “Portentaque”. This is my first chance to hear the band. I was immediately taken by the dark and murky death metal within. If you can imagine a more atmospheric, slow motion doomy churning version of the mixing of things like early Grave, Asphyx, Incantation, Necros Christos and threw in a dash of “Mental Funeral” Autopsy. Then you would start to get a decent idea of the fresh hell of an audio landscape that Kult Mogił produces. Now, when you see atmospheric you are probably thinking there are wall to wall synth and other effects; well you would be dead wrong, as this is a thick atmosphere is produced only with traditional instruments. This is something for me, which makes what they have managed to produce here, just that much more impressive and pure. The vocals consist of tortured haunting screams, growls and just guttural pain that also remind me of a mix of the Canadian band Lust, early Grave and early Autopsy vocals with an own twist that is extremely effective in sustaining and furthering that gloomy foreboding eerie graveyard feel on this recording. This band and this release resurrect and continue the tradition of truly cult of dangerous and dirty metal of death. This comes recommended and I understand there is a pretty limited amount of this 12” vinyl, so I would suggest those looking for this to hurry and snatch up this format as this music is perfect for vinyl. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to introduce myself to this bands debut album without delay.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/kultmogil    http://www.pagan-records.com/   




"Black Forest Path" 2022 CD EP

(Blasphemous Creations Of Hell / Plague Demon Records)


Kuupyr is a solo project coming out of the Michigan black metal scene. ‘Black Forest Path’ is the debut demo that was originally self released, but has now gotten a cd release through Plague Demon Recs. and Blasphemous Creations Of Hell. The first track "Black Forest Path" is fast, raging song with extremely fast guitars. The guitars, despite being played at such a lightning fast pace features some well executed patterns. The vocals are raw and grim black metal screams. "Blood Moon Arcana" is up next and continues the aggressive style with hyper speed blast beats. The guitars in this song are played with some blazing and crazed guitars, but there is some calmer mid paced guitar passages later in the song to give it a nice mix. "Taikuus" is the final track and is a little more calm and not as aggressive as the first two songs. But the music is raw and brutal in it's delivery. Musically Kuupyr plays raw and primitive black metal, but main man Oleh knows how to write and create some really devastatingly evil bm music that l for one look forward to hearing more of very soon.  - Patrick

https://bchrecords.storenvy.com/    https://plaguedemonrecords.storenvy.com/        


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“Remnants” 2019 CD

(Unspeakable Axe Records)


This is a compilation re-release of old material from the band (who recently either reformed or returned from a lengthy hiatus), hailing from the Bay Area and who play a blistering Deathrash style. I am not sure why it is arranged this way on this release, but they arranged the split EP tracks, demo tape and EP in reverse chronological order so the tracks from start to finish are from 2013 and work their way backwards to 2009. Not that I am entirely adverse to doing it that way necessarily, still I do not get why they chose to do that as you usually want to end on the best note and generally that is your newer material, maybe they just wanted to be different? Haha. The band write high energy riffs and rhythms that evoke a headbanging spirit within your body and force it to spring into action (i.e. – it is super heavy and catchy as fuck!). I can tell these guys spent a lot of time worshipping at the altar of the almighty Slayer, with particular devotion towards the “Reign In Blood” era. There is a definite comparison also, in my opinion, to be made to Demolition Hammer mixed with a smattering of early to mid Death. The vocals, just like the music are a marriage of thrash gruff yelled style vocals and the death metal growl, but very decipherable where you can make out every lyric clearly. Yeah I am digging this release quite a bit. The only knock for me, again it is me not liking the sequencing of the releases, as the first like 70% this record is awesome, but then towards the end the oldest material is rudimentary, repetitive and undeveloped in comparison to the rest of the release. I would have rather started there and built to the killer stuff, rather than reducing the speed heading towards the finish line having ran a very good race and now we are coasting into the finish on fumes. But, even the later material is decent enough, just not as good as the first half and a bit of this fifty minute plus retrospective collection. This was put out as a retrospective collection, yes, but also to garner interest for their upcoming album and it certainly has done that for me so mission accomplished. I wait with baited breath for their next release! Check this out ASAP.  - Dale

https://lacerationbayarea.bandcamp.com/music    http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/     




“L'ange De Glace” 2010 CD

(Self Released)


Canada's Lacrimae Mortalium have released one of 2010's best death/doom/black metal releases hands down. The album starts off with some heavy and bone crushing riffs. The band seems heavily rooted in the early 90's death/doom with their approach. The band picks up the tempo to mid-paced range with some impressive guitar riffs and solo's not normally heard in death/doom bands. The drumming is just as impressive and devastating with some heavy crushing beats but picks up the pace right along with the guitarist and makes for an interesting and enjoyable listen. The vocals are really where the bands black and death metal influence can be heard with some vicious and brutal {yes I know brutal is not a word normally used to describe a doom band} growls and some insane black metal screams the two very different vocal patterns fit very well with Lacrimae Mortalium's music and add an extra layer to the bands already heavy sound. I am not really sure if traditional-doom fans will enjoy this. But if you are a fan of death or black/doom then Lacrimae Mortalium is a must hear! Buy this now!  – Patrick





“Vicious Breed” 2017 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


Coming out of Pittsburgh’s traditional heavy metal scene is Lady Beast with their second full-length release. “Vicious Breed” consists of eight songs of classic heavy metal, with some extremely well composed music back by well played instruments. The guitar work is played with both fast traditional metal riffs and solidly written and executed mid paced sections. The guitarist even writes and performs some excellent solos intertwined within the memorable music. The vocals are handled by Deborah Levi, who does a great job of belting out both conventional heavy metal vocals, as well as somewhat wild aggressive vocals, but she can is also sing with a more controlled melodic style. I would say, if you are a fan of NWOBHM, and other early ‘80s heavy metal bands then be sure to check out Lady Beast’s newest release today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/ladybeastofficial/    http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/     




“Monoliths Of Mars” 2012 CD EP

(Somnambulist Sound System)


Why does the band list this as an EP? I have no idea as it is album length, clocking in at I believe just a cunt hair under 45 minutes. This is some Canadian doom metal, so prepare to get pounded like a cheap whore who did not bring back enough money for her pimp. I hear influences in their sound like early Cathedral, Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard. I get a bit of Stoner feel from Lavagoat but they definitely have this cool sci-fi vibe running through their music and imagery, which sets them apart from most doom bands. I like that, not sure if you would call Hawkwind an influence, but they probably have a connection with regards to tone and atmosphere of their music and overall presentation. The vocals are sparsely used, but also are something different for traditional doom, they are growled and yelled vocals that are dark and guttural, I dig them but they are a different than the norm choice for a band of this style. Honestly the vocals remind of me Chuck Billy’s death metal-ish vocals from the hugely underrated classic in my eyes, Testament album “Demonic”. There are some more clean, just generally shouted coarse vocals as well, almost hardcore like. The final song on here, the title track is over 21 minutes long and is a mindfuck soundscape of a song that helps set the mood of the whole release after you were aurally abused by the twenty-three minutes suffocating colossal fuzz and fucking heavy doom that before! It is a great for me a source of pride having this band come from my homeland. You should check them out toot sweet. This is the kind of band I could see popping up one day on the mighty I Hate Records doom label from Sweden.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/goatlust  https://twitter.com/Lavagoat  




“Kult Occult” 2011 CD

(PsycheDOOMelic Records)


I am not deep into the Doom UG but I do wander that path often enough. With that in mind I must admit I had not heard of this band or put my claws on any of their releases. This is a traditional American doom band from sunny and sweltering California. I can picture the palm trees, shading a crispy patch of lawn, a small table with a whiskey bottle and a couple of glasses with the rapidly melting rocks and a nice breeze blowing through as strains LNA waft out of the garage. Leather Nun America are a doom band and like most doom bands they borrow some from Black Sabbath. Sab did it all man and it that is no knock, it almost impossible not to let a little of the godfathers of this classic sound seep into your subconscious. I think you can hear it most in some of the song structuring and even their mix of songs styles. They have the straight up doom but much like the Sabs mix it up with some introspective, melancholy songs and passages ala a Laguna Sunrise or Planet Caravan vibe. But in overall sound when they start to rock out in slow motion I just can not help but think of The Obsessed and I think they were a big influence as well. I love and virtually worship at the altar of The Obsessed so you could say I enjoyed Kult Occult quite a fucking bit. The vocals are a little different though than those bands and definitely sparingly used but  there are a few different styles employed like clean spoken vocals, then cleanly sung but slightly more gravelly ones and some bits of others that bring Corrosion of Conformity to mind. Either way there are so few vocals that they do not make or break the album one way or the other. I really enjoyed this record and recommend it to classic doom hounds that like it a little more on the mellow side at times.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/leathernunamerica  http://www.psychedoomelic.com/  




“Riding With The Blitz” 2011 CD Single

(L.O.W. Productions)


Well now, you may remember my review of this bands demo way back in 2006, and to be honest I kind of ripped it a new asshole. I was a dick in the review to be honest (I am known to be like that now and then), saying it sounded like a one man bands home riffs cassette. With this two song CD single, this Swedish horde has come a long fucking way since that demo. I mean huge improvement and Legions now will proudly give me the middle finger and make me eat my words. This is simply some fantastic blackened thrash metal that has a little bit of everything for fans of the genre. Yes this is only two songs, but two killer songs, the music is a mix of newer razor sharp thrash mixed with lots of the old school brutality and raw sound. It even has some gang sung choruses which make think heavily to the old days and love it, more of this boys. The main vocals though are a melding of gruff thrash yells with a smattering of black metal rasp. The drummer is a monster and provides a strong backbone and the guitars flesh things out with some nice underlying fills. It is only two songs, I wish I had more, this leaves me lusting for more. You will find the energy infectious as you put the release on a continuous repeat loop as you become hooked more and more by the Blitz! I am really looking forward to hearing an album now.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/theworldoflegionsofwar  http://www.inferno-records.net/  




“Ozzy Tribute” 1998 CD

(Olympic Records)


Olympic did a great job on this, all bands have a good sound and here is a run down for ya. There are only 2 bad bands who shamelessly butchered Ozzy classics: Soulstorm “Mr.Crowley”, and Filthboy who do an awful, awful “Ultimate Sin”. The good bands include: Obliveon “Suicide Solution”, Los Gusanos “No Bone Movies”, Opressor “Over The Mountian”(I heard this song on the metal channel on digital cable here in Philly!), Morta Skuld “Believer”, Syris “Crazy Train” and Distorted Rage “I don’t Know”. Stand out blow your doors off covers come from: Solitude Aeturnus “No More Tears”, November’s Doom “Revelation (Mother Earth)”, and Lethal with “S.A.T.O.”  - Dale




“Riding With The Blitz” 2011 CD Single

(L.O.W. Productions)


Well now, you may remember my review of this bands demo way back in 2006, and to be honest I kind of ripped it a new asshole. I was a dick in the review to be honest (I am known to be like that now and then), saying it sounded like a one man bands home riffs cassette. With this two song CD single, this Swedish horde has come a long fucking way since that demo. I mean huge improvement and Legions now will proudly give me the middle finger and make me eat my words. This is simply some fantastic blackened thrash metal that has a little bit of everything for fans of the genre. Yes this is only two songs, but two killer songs, the music is a mix of newer razor sharp thrash mixed with lots of the old school brutality and raw sound. It even has some gang sung choruses which make think heavily to the old days and love it, more of this boys. The main vocals though are a melding of gruff thrash yells with a smattering of black metal rasp. The drummer is a monster and provides a strong backbone and the guitars flesh things out with some nice underlying fills. It is only two songs, I wish I had more, this leaves me lusting for more. You will find the energy infectious as you put the release on a continuous repeat loop as you become hooked more and more by the Blitz! I am really looking forward to hearing an album now.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/theworldoflegionsofwar  http://www.inferno-records.net/  




"The Waters Of Death” 2018 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


UK’s Lethean seems to have started out in recent years as a solo project from James Ashbey (ex-Sostice, Deceptor and Cimmerion Shadows fanzine). But, starting with this debut album, James has added Thumri Paavana on vocals full time (though James still handles all instruments). Lethean play epic heavy metal with pacing and feel, which is close to a classic doom style, but never really departing too far from the heavy metal confines. They keep things on traveling on a flowing, emotive, and wandering journey yet never entirely abandoning the killer heavy metal riffing for too long. I like that. The vocals will probably throw some off, I’m not going to lie to you, they throw me off a little at times too. The vocals are not what you expect; no classic doomy medieval Messiah Marcolin or similar vocals, which I think would fit this music wonderfully. No, they are clean, elegant female and very feminine sounding vocals that are probably closer to what you might hear on melodo heavy metal or even gothic tinged metal bands. That is not to say they are not good, because honestly they are pretty wonderful, it is a very beautiful and graceful performance by Thumri. This style actually works better than I would have thought because I would have thought they would not work at all, but it does, at least at times it does. I enjoy the music very much and the vocals quite a lot as well, but separately, as they do not feel like they belong together to me. If you like that description however, this is worth checking out as everything has been created and performed with the paramount talent and dedication.  - Dale

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




"Floating In Timeless Streams” 2020 CD

(Dark Descent Records)


After six years of silence Finland's Lie In Ruins return with a new full-length album. “Floating In Timeless Streams” contains ten tracks of solid and well executed death metal, that is not breaking any new barriers or genres, but is still played with skill through experienced musicians. The music is mainly played with aggressive guitar patterns and some fast drums. The music does slow to a more controlled pace in a few of the tracks, but for the most part the music is played with an extremely fast velocity. The vocals are some of the best death metal growls that I have heard in quite some time. The guitars are done with rapid, frenzied guitar chords and patterns even adding some solo's throughout in some of the songs. This is my first encounter with Lie In Ruins, so I can't compare their previous releases to the new one, but if you are a fan of intense and heavy death metal then do not pass up on this very solid release.  - Patrick

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




“Godconstruct” 2013 CD

(FDA Rekotz Records)


Yet another band, much like the Tormented review I did recently, that is in all honesty basically a clone of the old glorious Swedish death metal sound. As I have said in other reviews, I simply worship at the altar of this style of death metal and can not really seem to get enough of it. But I do realize that is not the case for some of you reading this, some might not like the style at all, while others might be a little picky and mostly stick to the originators of the style and their albums. Those people will want to move on to the next review. However, if you are a devotee of that sound like me, then there is something to hear here for you, especially if you are a big Dismember die hard like me. Lifeless are clearly huge Dismember fans, “Like An Ever Flowing Stream”, I would wager a guess it has had many, many turns on these sickos turntables. I mean they do mix in other bits of general influence, but that is clearly to my ear the main one for this band. I think this is a good record, quite an unoriginal one, but also well done with some cool riffs and that classic sounding production. Not much else to say really, not special but very well done.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/lifelessdeathmetal  http://www.fda-rekotz.com/gx/ 




“Rip Him From His Fucking Throne” 2007 CD

(Obsidian Records)


Coming at us from the armpits of Australia is Limb From Limb. One look at the album title and the track listing shows these guys are pissed off and it shows in the music. This is some heavy and guttural death metal that definitely has an American sound to it. Maybe mixed with a touch of Australian blasting war metal style. For me there is something wrong the mix on this album. It is kind of all separated and the lower levels seem to just get lost while other aspects are loud and clear. It is kind of hard to describe. Some the riffing though just comes at you like an avalanche while your body is pounded to a pulp by the drums. There is a clearer less used growI but the main garbled vocal sickness would make Mortician proud. I think death/grind fanatics will love this album but if you are a little more selective when it comes to this genre. Then you could probably due without this one. This was pretty impressive for a debut and I will be interested to see what they can do on their follow up with a more balanced recording. I must mention that Obsidian Records have done a fantastic job on their promotional package and seem like a label that is really serious about promoting their bands.  – Dale

www.obsidianrecords.com   www.myspace.com/brutalozzydeath




"Caveman Logic" 2020 CD & LP

(Svart Records)


I admit for many of the readers of Canadian Assault, largely made up of extreme metal followers, this may not be your cup of tea. But as soon as I seen hard rock and heard Bobby Liebling was in this, I guess super group my interest suddenly went from zero to sixty in under ten seconds. I am a longtime fan of course of Bobby’s main band Pentagram, which has been around off and on in various forms since the early 1970’s. The rest of this international super group only adds more intrigue with Sonny Vincent on of the storied decades old long punk rock band the Testors, Hugo Conim & Joao Pedro from Portugeuse doom metallers Dawnrider on guitar and drums respectively, and believe it or not bassist of The Stooges Jimmy Recca. I have to admit despite this being the proverbial super group tagline; the music does not feel as thrown together and loosely sewn together as these types of bands often are. The music here feels natural and organically created and performed with some excellent flow to the music. Bobby’s vocals, while his charismatic voice is certainly recognizable from his Pentagram material, the vocals here have a little different style and cadence. I am sure some of this is conscious effort to give Limit a little different vocal flavour from Pentagram, some of it is from the speed difference with Bobby being forced to speed up his delivery. Bobby cuts back on the drawn out words that suit doom over the middle to faster pace of the driving hard rock on this album. There is a contemporary edge to a lot of the music, but the lions share of the music, wonderfully in my view feels very classic seventies hard rock with some eighties influence here and there as well. The music is exceedingly energetic rock music where flow, catchy rhythms, memorable lyrics and choruses are the order of the day. It is all in service of good rocking songs with no thought or space given to the guitars to show-off histrionics or extended solos and the like. There are stretches when classic punk rock seeps in, but it is usually relatively subtle as the band effortlessly glides back and forth. I can not imagine fans of classic ‘70s hard rock and the music of the older members of the bands who would not really this enjoy record.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/TheLimitRock/    https://svartrecords.com/         




“Fetish For The Sick” 1997 CD

(Ablated Records)


I know this is a little old, but I finally got a copy on CD (to replace my dub) and felt it really deserved the space. Lividity play some of the sickest brutal prono death/grind on the planet. They slam you with gut wrenching riffs and an explosion of vomitous growls from 2 separate members and slash you from every direction. Highly recommended to all extreme death / grinders with strong stomachs!    - Dale

Send $12 US/$14 WORLD to:

Abound Distro., P.O. Box 176, Winchendon, MA. 01475, USA




"Perverseverance” 2018 CD

(Metal Age Productions)


I was pleased to see a Lividity album show up in my mailbox. To be honest, I had not realized they were still alive and kicking! Apparently, they have been going all of these years and never broke up either. I was really into their first couple albums (released in 2000 and 2002) and then kind of lost track of them, though in my defense this is only the bands third album in the 16 years since then! I seen LIvidity live in 1999 at the Milwaukee Metalfest and I remember they offered free t-shirts to girls in the crowd that were willing to flash their tits and a couple took them up on their offer. So yeah, that little story should give you an idea what you are in for, and it does not seem like the band have changed all that much since then, despite the time passed. As this album is filled with gore and misogyny, so anyone sensitive (and/or overly PC in general) to that this is not for you! There is even an anal sex clip of Dr. Ruth Westheimer the sex doctor, who us old timers know was household name back in the ‘80s and ‘90s haha. There is plenty of good entertaining other good clips along the way as well. Okay, so lyrically and attitude wise, nothing has changed in all of these years, but what about the music? I am pleased to say the band has stuck to their roots of just totally brutal guttural death metal, the type that made this metallic sub-genre what it was and gave it life. If you are into ultra technical, adventurous, cultured or diverse more modern death metal, then once again this not fucking for you! Yes, the band play old school barbarity with crushing riffs and pounding drums, along with deep somewhat belching style growling that will have you headbanging like a demon! I adore those bestial heavy riffs! If you love old school brutal death metal that will relentlessly bash your head in with a spiked fist, and leave you in a satisfied in a bloody pulp every time you listen to it, then you should check this out.  - Dale

https://lividity-map.bandcamp.com/album/perverseverance    http://www.metalage.sk/      




"Aftermath” 2017 CD

(Comatose Music)


Italy’s brutal band Logic Of Denial, are back with their third attack entitled “Aftermath”, featuring twelve songs. The band plays a brutal and vicious death metal style and do it with a lot of skill and talented musicianship. The guitars are played mainly with crazed and fast riffs and patterns, as well as some well done solos, mixed into a few of the songs. The vocals are low brutal death metal growls. The drums are played with some insane blast beats and the drummer does know how to create and perform well done heavier mid paced skin beating. If you are a fan of modern brutal death metal then be sure to pick up a copy of “Aftermath” when it is released.  - Patrick

http://www.logicofdenial.com/    http://www.comatosemusic.com/      




“Diabolical Omen Of Hell” 2021 CD, LP & MC

(Helter Skelter Prod / Regain Records)


Lord Mortvm is a new one man band from Norway and it is an interesting one. When I say new, I mean really new as this full-length is their debut recording and already a record deal. The music on here is heavy dark doom metal with stoner doom touches that is mixed with black metal and occult influenced metal in general. Yes, I know on paper and in theory mixing those genres together should result in an absolute musical train wreck. It is mildly shocking to me that this not only works, but it works really well. I guess in the right hands, with the right vision, and keeping the core roots of each of those genres seems to be the right modus operandi to create something quality. Some of the guitar on here features some fantastic classic doom licks and appetizing guitar fills that won me over. I would say traditional doom metal is the prominent base layer, but the stoner sound and the black metal atmosphere alongside sinister vocals is all well represented in the songwriting. Lord Mortvm is talented at creating an aura of audio darkness while at same time also expressing strong emotive feelings of oppressive sorrow and bleak gloom that is a hallmark of doom metal. I can definitely picture the listener in a dark room with reddish glow from a far off lamp, smoking a joint, chanting an incantation and welcoming Satan’s embrace. ‘Diabolical Omen Of Hell’ for me was a pretty satisfying mental journey that combines some of my favourite sounds, styles and eccentric dark feelings. I would have to recommend this to those who are possessed by the music of bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, early Mayhem, old Darkthrone, Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, St. Vitus and the like.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/lordmortvm    https://regainrecords.bandcamp.com/album/diabolical  




“Fracture” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast America)


Pppfffftt…Put Machine Head, Meshuggah, Fear Factory in a blender and get wannabe’s Lost Souls. Generic crap and I am getting so thoroughly disgusted this boring style of Canadian Assault termed ‘jump metal’.  - Dale




“The Broken Seal” 2021 CD, Gatefold LP & Tape

(Dark Descent Records / Norma Evangelium Diaboli)


The shadowy and dangerous sounding Lvcifyre rise once again like dark fog out of the United Kingdom with their third album. This searing dyad is made up of active UG musicians guitarist/bassist/vocalist T. Kaos (Death like Mass, Sodality, ex-Hödur, ex-Sons of Serpent) and drummer Menthor (Bestia Arcana, Death like Mass, Enthroned, Epping Forest, Nightbringer, Voz de Nenhum). According the bio songwriter and main man Tom Kaos, despite some other releases along the way by the band, this album was seven hard fought years in the creation process and ‘the biggest mountain to climb so far’ in his many years as a musician. It is easy in some aspects to describe the bands sounds and in other aspects not so easy. The nucleus can be described as blackened death metal, but there is such a free flowing, spacious yet incredibly suffocating atmosphere and aura to the music. It is sort of like being covered in a huge wet audio blanket, shutting out all light and invoking a feeling of no escape. There is so much space for that gloomy ambiance to float, and wind its emotive self in between the simmering brutality that will suddenly pound you down. The growling vocals are great, they are so murky sounding as they transform and mutate between traditional deep growl, throaty dark whispering, some short expressive yelling outbursts, along with brooding and roiling growls. There are even obscured into the background sung/spoken word bits that remind me a little of something from the bands Root or Acheron “Rites Of The Black Mass” era. The music would not achieve it’s full effect, if those vocals did not possess the scope and range that they do as opposed to just straight up death growls. I am not saying Lvcifyre sound just like these bands, but all the same if you think you would like the idea of a very atmospheric, morose version of the earlier works of bands like Incantation, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Deicide, and some newer ones like Dead Congregation, Funebrarum then I think you will dig the hell out of this album.  - Dale

https://lvcifyre.bandcamp.com/    https://www.noevdia.com/    http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/     




“Far From Light” 2017 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)


Cruz Del Sur are quickly becoming the champions of heavy metal, the label tends to have quite discerning tastes and their stable, to me, is beginning to set the standard for excellence in the genre these days. This German band is clearly full of energy and very talented. They play an entertaining brand of heavy metal, which is deeply rooted in the NWOBHM and I can hear a lot of Iron Maiden at their deepest core. Much like those heroes and Judas Priest, there abounds some wonderful soaring twin guitar harmonies. That is the main template for their sound, but they do have some other influences, as I hear a bit of 70s and believe it or not, some slight influences from ‘90s extreme metal. Which is quite the juxtaposition, with some of the very light airy moments, sitting next to the heavy, gloomy introspective passages elements. There are some frolicking lively guitar solos scattered through the album which were engaging and pleasurable, those solos give off a improvisational vibe to me. One thing that is a must, if you are even going to attempt this genre is a good vocalist, enter Alex Vornam. With his soaring clean vocals, which are possibly a tad too light and not gritty enough for some, but he fits the music well and has a smooth voice with pretty solid range. Yeah, this is a pretty kick ass album, displaying real talent across the board. I guess the only criticism, I might have is some of the songs are a little too long, about half of the songs are 8 to 10 minutes long. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think maybe this very young bands experience is a little short, and their maturity as song writers, needs some more time to develop before they have the vision and discipline to make such epic length songs. I have little doubt as I said, with some experience, that they will be full value for such a gargantuan undertaking. Having said that those are still good songs, but could benefit from a little tightening up. But, if you are a fan of the styles I mentioned above, then I am certain you dig this album.  - Dale

https://lunarshadow.bandcamp.com/    http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/       




"The Smokeless Fires” 2019 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


I don’t know I see a lot of chatter online about this German band being a heavy metal band that heavily weaves in melodic death and black metal. I just do not hear it, especially with the black metal thing. Some melodo death elements sure, a tiny bit, but honestly is that not a little ass backwards to make that claim as melodo death is mostly incorporating large doses of heavy metal melody. So, it is a melodic heavy metal band taking back it’s melody!? Haha. I guess I should not get too wrapped up in this talk that this band is so innovative with these sorts of proclamations, as the band itself from what I can see on their Encyclopeida Metallium, facebook and bandcamp pages just call themselves straight up heavy metal. Which is what they are, if anything they do not sound like old school heavy metal bands and very much sound like current bands in this style and super clean modern production (not a plus for me). As you know, I am a huge fan of old school heavy metal and records based mainly on melody to get by, have to be pretty damn amazing to grab me as I am not the biggest fan of ultra melodic (comes off a little too light and commercial sounding for my tastes in many cases) music. The vocalist is good, but the hurried way he delivers the vocals, seemingly in an attempt to keep up or even stay ahead of the speed of the song is not the best use of an excellent singing voice like that. His voice needs more room to breathe in the compositions and the room is simply not there most of the time. If a band is going to be so heavy on melody, for me it better not be at the sacrifice of song flow and just overall good song structuring and memorable songs. That is a pitfall a lot of these bands make and in my view Lunar Shadow have also fallen into, to their detriment. I feel they do sacrifice overall song quality to force greedy gobs of melody all over the place, plus there is plenty of individual guitar histrionics that seem to add no real value to the song as a fill or a solo and they often over extend their stay. Clearly the band has really strong individual talents; there is some decent raw material here and there, but just not enough for me in just straight up good overall song writing, memorability and not there is not enough self-editing in the greater good of the songs and the album itself.  - Dale

https://lunarshadow.bandcamp.com/    https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/