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“The Time Lord” 2012 CD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


This is listed as an ep on the vinyl version in some places, but this thing is 31 minutes long roughly, some would argue that places it firmly in the mini-album or even album category. But never mind that, I dear readers am in rapture right now listening to this hidden gem! Anyone who knows me well knows I absolutely worship hard rock and doom from the 70s like Captain Beyond, Lucifer’s Friend, Deep Purple, Pentagram and the like. Well I can now add The Time Lord to that list of albums! This is an amazing collection of demo recordings from 1978, the recording and atmosphere / feeling of on here just screams of that found on those 70s recordings from the bands I mention above. Just amazing, flowing doomy 70s hard rock with that classic sound that makes my head spin. The vocals of Terry Jones are pretty killer and just bring me back to that time, a lot of emotion and sincerity in his delivery and they perfectly compliment these brooding, rocking tunes. Just have one listen to songs like The Black Mass and Reincarnation and if you are not hooked than you have no taste you wretched bastards. Thank you Shadow Kingdom for releasing this dusty piece of audio gold! If you are into 70s rock & doom, just get this right now son.  - Dale

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




"Wind Of Freedom” 2013 CD

(Svarga Music)


It has always been a bit of touchy thing with a lot of the metal community when combining metal music and folk music. I would say more so than not, as opposed to a lot of other genre mix ups, because by essence, maybe it is just because bands can not do it successfully. But more often than not instead of adding folk elements to extreme metal, they water down the power of the metal to meet the flowery carnival feel of folk music. Paganland have definitely fallen into this trap, the heaviness and bite in the metal riffing on Wind Of Freedom has been stripped away and removed. What is left behind are happy sounding riffs with fairytale-like rhythms and harmonies, the riffs join the fairies in dancing through the tulips. You might think with this style they would find a way to retain some heavy in the riffing and at least give it an epic feel, sadly none of that here. The vocals follow suit, a lot of them are just those bold half-spoken, half sung clear voice vocals, almost like a Shakespeare actor was told to sing on a rock song, then you have the ever so slightly growled vocals, but somehow they have stripped all the anger, all the intensity, all the weight from them and what is left is this thin, pathetic and powerless imitation. I have failed to mention the usual florid renaissance fair sounding synth, the bits of flute, the samples of wind, and the whole nine yards. This album is a fine example of why folk music and metal just do not mix, you have to kill the heart of one or the other style or both to combine them, maybe there is a way but many years down the road, we see it littered with countless failed attempts, throw Paganland on the pile.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/Paganland.UA  http://www.svarga.eu/     




“Painted Windows Black” 2012 CD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


I remember I was at a Spirit Caravan / Place of Skulls gig back in I think it was early 2002. I was with a buddy John and he introduced to me to a couple guys, we talked a bit and they seemed cool, he said they have a doom band called Pale Divine, you should check out their demo. I always meant to do just that and check out this band, yet I somehow never got around to or crossed paths with them again. Now finally a decade later, it took a long damn while, but our paths have indeed finally crossed once again. I must say I immediately expected a heavily Black Sabbath influenced crushing doom band, but that is not quite what I got. They are a heavy metal band with galloping fast sections but also that doom element is surely present throughout their sound, just not as much in that really heavy ponderous way. There are some tasty leads and fills dancing their way in between the spaces of the riffing that got my attention and received enjoyment from. I could be off but I get a Corrosion of Conformity vibe both pre and post that band going in a doom metal direction. The vocals as well remind me of a mix of both Karl Agell and Pepper Keenan from C.O.C. on their great Blind album, but with less range and emotion, also I hear an undertone of newer James Hetfield in the singers voice. I have to honest the music on here is great but I am not too big of a fan of the vocals, they are the weak link. I guess that is possibly why the opening track “Nocturne Dementia”, a nearly seven minute long instrumental is my fave track on the album. No vocals to mess it up. There are sections on here musically that lose my interest or are a little boring, but overall the music on here is pretty killer. I think if anyone reading this does not think they will mind my description of what the vocals sound like, then you will probably find an awful lot to enjoy about Painted Windows Black. I would say it is well worth giving it a try for the emotive, classy guitar work alone.  - Dale

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




“Transformation Hymns” 1998 CD

(Voices Of Wonder)


HAHAHA! It is hard to believe anyone at a label would even skim thru my ‘zine and send this to me! Imagine Jewel or something blended with The Gathering - fuck this awful radio shit!!  - Dale




Promo 2010 CD

(Godz Of War Productions)


So apparently this is a promo disc to promote the upcoming album, which is set to be released on Pagan Records (on a side note good to see Pagan still going strong, I remember when the label first started with cassette tapes). Pandemonium of course is a band I know pretty well, the mention of their name harkens me back my tape trading days in the early to mid 90s. I remember trading for dubs of their rehearsal tape and classic “Devilri” 1992 demo tape etc… Hell yeah! I honestly had not realized or known that the band had changed their name to Domain from 1995 to 2004, releasing three albums then changing the name back to Pandemonium. I thought they had just split up. This promo also celebrates the fact that Pandemonium has been around for 20 years now; you have to fucking respect that. We get two new tracks on here plus some vids for the computer to watch old live tracks. I will stick to the two new audio tracks for this review. As mentioned there are only two new tracks on here, “Black Forest” and “God Delusion”, so not a lot to go on. These two fresh hymns I can tell you are excellent. It is total old school death and black metal that permeates the skull with malicious yet catchy dark riffing. You just do not often hear stuff like this these days. I know old school heretics will enjoy this. The vocals are two different sets, one sounds like the muted emanations from the rotted vocal chords of a zombie and the other is a mix of maniacal yells with a hint of black metal rasp. Both sets of vocals are excellent and add a mood and atmosphere to the music all on their own. It has been a long wait for me to hear new Pandemonium material and I must confess it was worth the wait. Prepare to be devastated! New album entitled Misanthropy out soon, I can not fucking wait!!  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/pandemonium_pl  http://www.paganrecords.com.pl/  




“Misanthropy” 2012 CD

(Gods Ov War Productions)


Finally after a huge package of promo discs graciously sent my way by Gods Ov War, much respect for this label. I have at last arrived at the crown jewel, which I purposely saved for last, always save the best for last. I have been anticipating this album for some time. Pandemonium are not one to disappoint, they prove why they are one of the best and are leading the way for the Polish metal scene! As some will remember from my review of their promo, I am long time listener and fan of the band as I tape traded for their Devilri demo back in the early 90s and loved it. These Polish maniacs are old school metal through and through and all I have to say to that is fuck yeah! The atmosphere on this record is fantastic, very dark, doomy and eerie death metal that is often mid paced, always placing an emphasis on emotion and the overall listening experience. They have not set out to be the heaviest, fastest or most brutal but they do set out to immerse you in a metallically heavy experience and create a world that is steeped in evil, in depression, in darkness and despair. This is some masterful stuff, it is hard to just single out the riffing or the drums or the vocals as Pandemonium have created this entire album as a whole, an experience, not just a collection of cool songs or killer riffs. You can not just pick out one song, the listener should either listen to the whole album or not at all. I mean sure the doomy riffs are great, the obscure excellently varied vocal performance is good, the drumming is well done and crafted in a minimalist way to make sure the song and not the performance is what is important, but none stick out above the other and it was designed that way. I wish more bands were able to achieve something like this these days. I would not call this music retro but it always feels like it has an old school vibe to me, maybe that is more due to the musicians coming out of the old school and it is in their blood rather than a conscious projection. I am honestly having a hard time finding words for this album, it is a journey and a journey I plan to take again and again. I recommend some albums, but I place this one in the must own category. Pandemonium truly have out done themselves.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/pandemoniumhorde  http://www.paganrecords.com.pl/ 




"Voices Rooted In Blood” 2020 CD & LP

(Signal Rex)


This release for me personally is my introduction to this Finnish black metal collective. Which has been around for a decade now, and this is a good introduction to the band as it is a compilation album consisting of their demo, two EPs, a split EP and an unreleased track. The demo and EPs, span from the bands beginning in 2010 to an EP from 2018; so a pretty full look at their progression to date (no full length albums as of yet). Honestly, I could feel the development from the first song to the second; from the same debut demo as the band seems to have quickly found the footing of their sound. Which has a strong second wave black metal base, but they do like to slow things down by adding some gloomy epic atmospheres (to the point of sounding creepy King Diamond-ish in some moments) to the arctic aggression. They also keep some of their riffing a little heavier with a wee bit of gritty chug, compared to a lot of bm bands in this style. Pantheon do seem to have some skill and feel in the song building area on when to transition between these sounds and do so smoothly. The fifth track off of their split EP (with Creatura) sees them stretching their reach again by adding new elements to their guitar style and a dark death metal style growl on top of their usual raw, caustic rasping seen from the band so far. The final four songs from their newest EP “Pugatorial Awakening” sees them taking that raw, catchy riffing and streamlining it a little, the second wave bm influence is still vaguely present, though fading a little into the woodwork with the band focusing more on the emotive atmospheric tones and haunting melody. I have to be honest, I find myself starting to miss some of the rough, cruel more evil edge of the earlier material. I feel like the synth and harmonies are taking over a little too much, for my liking personally, so I would pass on this one myself. But, maybe that is more your cup of tea? Either way, this is a release for the completist Pantheon fans and/or certainly a good way to thoroughly introduce yourself to this band if they have piqued your curiosity at some point.  - Dale

https://pantheonofblood.bandcamp.com/    https://signalrex.bandcamp.com/          




“Electrify” 2008 CD

(AFM Records)


Coming to us by way of Germany is Paradox. I have to admit it took me a couple listens to get acclimated to the vocals of Charley Steinhauer. At first I really did not care for them but they continue to really grow on me. They sort of have a raspy and ballsy quality to them. Though you can hear Charley trying to be a power metal style clean singer and most of the time he hits his mark. Just going on face value and not scratching the surface this band appears to have it all. They are talented, skilled on their instruments and write some great riffs, along side some nice solos. So what is the problem? They just seem to lack the natural feeling and instinctual flow of what makes a good song. They need an architect in the band to flesh things out and that appears to be missing. There are times when they go too fast or not fast enough when the song is begging for the opposite. Then there are times when they have a good thing going. Then cut it short and get in a big rush to cram in an unnecessary or out of place section / transition. Some of the really clunky lyrics contained on this album do the songs no favours either. I would say all of this will come with time if it were a young band that got signed too quickly. But Paradox has been in existence for 20 fucking years!! Ouch…   – Dale

www.paradox-bangers.de   www.afm-records.de 




"Gore Aberration” 2015 CD

(GreyHaze Records)


Brazil’s Pathologic Noise have released their second full length, to date, through the great label GreyHaze Records. Pathological play a mix of mid ninties brutal death metal, with touches of today’s brutal death metal sound, and even some slam parts within the guitars and drumming. The guitars are played with a lot of speed, and there are some very well written guitar patterns on display, as well as some nice solos mixed in. The drumming is done, with a lot of crazed and complex drum arrangements, but the drummer is not afraid to let loose and use some blast beats in a few sections. Give it a listen.  - Patrick

https://myspace.com/pathologicnoiseband   http://greyhazerecords.com/       




"Oath Of Unholy Sacrilege” 2021 Tape Album Promo

(Nihilistic Holocaust Records)


Pazuzu rise up out of the mountainous and often picturesque country of Costa Rica and have been plying their trade as a band in the UG metal scene with releases since 2017. This tape is a compilation of sorts, it includes all of the bands tracks from their various split EPs over the last few years (plus a bonus live cover of Nihilist’s “Carnal Leftovers”) for a total of just over 30 minutes. Pazuzu produce a very morbid and macabre death doom metal style of music. Their sound while extremely brutal is also produces a really suffocating and oppressive atmosphere that is both punishing and compelling to listen to I find. The doomy parts are crushing and steam roll the listener slowly into dust, but when they do speed things up you can really headbang to it too and just bleed with it. The recording and the music is extremely raw and primeval, which really suits the music and helps create a gloomy aura. That aura calls back to some of the early classic bands and albums of the genre (Autopsy, Grave, Immolation, Rippikoulu, Disembowelment, Abhorrence etc…). They definitely wear their hearts on their sleeves with some of their influences, but I am okay with it when it is done this damn well. Considering these tracks came from three different releases that came out over a period of a few years, it all comes off feeling very cohesive and I enjoyed it a lot. It makes me want to pull out some of those classic to listen to some more. This is a really good looking release, it comes on silver cassette with a beautiful fold out (like a mini-poster size) 12 page booklet. But I believe it has been limited to only 201 copies, so you better get on your horse and ride quickly to make sure you can secure a copy of this excellent release. You can thank me later.  - Dale

https://pazuzu.bandcamp    https://nihilistic-webzine-distro.fr    https://nholocaustrecs.bandcamp        




“Wings Of Destiny” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast Records)


This album was a nice surprise and threw me off guard a bit. This Aussie outfit play a very clean classic ‘80’s heavy metal in which I hear influences of bands like Warrior, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Savatage (“Hall Of The Mountain King” era), Halloween and maybe a slight mixing in of Demon, Thin Lizzy or something in that range. Pegazus love epic riffing and up tempo, epic sounding songs with flavorful, classy guitar solos. The vocals are great piercing, siren like as they glide across the air with a silkiness. Vocalist Danny Cerati brings vocally bands like Manowar, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Gothic Knights and Lethal, not gruff just clean textured vocals. Pegazus are great musicians who have put together a great album that all heavy metal maniacs of old can shake their studded fist to as they sing along with the catchy choruses. Nice...  - Dale




“…Rides The Moonstorm” 1998 CD

(Damnation Records)


I was a very happy puppy to receive this, I love this band (as evidenced with their positive review in issue # 1 and interview in # 2)! The only way I could be happier would have been if Damnation, would have sent me the double vinyl version. Beggars cannot be choosers as they say! Before even listening to this I rate Pentacle as one of the best ever out of Holland, among such bands as Asphyx, Achrostichon, & Sinister / Monestary. Pentacle have altered their sound slightly and have come out (production wise) with a sound very close to early Celtic Frost without ripping anything off. This band is made up of metallers that were around when metal exploded and started Pentacle itself in the last part of the ‘80’s. They start things off in fine fashion with a killer intro, it is an excerpt from an audio bootleg from the 1985 World War III festival in Montreal, Canada where Tom Warrior yell’s “Let’s go crazy!” Then the music kicks in, pure cult thrash/death metal from the heart, played with utmost conviction. This is what Celtic Frost may have sounded like had they carried on with the style of their first couple releases! The production compliments the music beautifully, clear and raw. Due to the heavy suffocating & distinctive guitar tone from start to finish the songs have to work that much harder to identify themselves from one another, luckily Pentacle is up to the challenge. God, I can’t believe this still, I am getting some of the same feelings I had when I first listened to stuff like “Morbid Tales”, “In The Sign Of Evil”, and “Fear No Evil”. Only one listen is needed to “Yielding The Scepter Of Flesh”, “For I am Chaos!” and “Scythes” to feel the excitement lit by this album! I cannot end this without mentioning the cover of cult Chilean undergrounders Pentagram on their “Spell Of The Pentagram”. If you can listen to this song and not headbang then don’t look at me and call yourself a metalhead!!  - Dale




"The Tempters Victorious” 2015 CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Perdition Temple have released their second album here on the mighty Hells Headbangers. The band play a very solid form of violent blackened death metal. The guitars are handled by Gene Palubicki (ex Angelcorpse) and Bill Taylor, who really know how to play extremely fast black death metal, with some crazy riffs and solos mixed in. The vocals are performed by Impurath (Black Witchery) with some excellent raw black metal screams and deeper growls. If you are a fan of mid-nineties black / death metal scene, then you should give this band a listen today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/perditiontemple   http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/       




"Sacraments Of Descension” 2020 CD, LP & Cassette

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Gene Palubicki (Blasphemic Cruelty, ex-Angelcorpse) is the mastermind behind this band that was started back in 2009. ‘Sacraments Of Desolation’ is the bands third full-length, which contains eight songs of uncompromising and intense blackened death metal at it's best. The guitars are played with both an abundance of skill and the experience behind it showing through. The guitarist does write some well executed guitar passages, even adding some well accomplished guitar solo's. The drums are played at a hyper fast speed with some very well executed drum patterns. The drummer does slow to a more mid paced range in a few of the tracks, before going back to the non stop explosive blast beats. The vocals are grim death metal growls with some gruff growls and screams used in some of the songs. If you are familiar with Perdition Temple’s past work, and liked it, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this new album you will not be disappointed.  - Patrick

https://perditiontemple.bandcamp.com/    http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/          




"Under The Blood Moon" 2013 CD

(Paragon Records)


I like the look of this band in their pics, the song titles and lyrics etc… they just remind me of the mid to late 90s black death metal. Back when when the bands wore their sound and philosophies on their sleeve. They did not give a fuck and did not feel a need to attempt to present themselves as more pseudo-intellectual, cultured elitists. No this is a big fuck you, fist to the face type attitude. Permanent Midnight come more from the dark death metal side of blackened metal like if you mixed old Autopsy with Blasphemy and Acheron or something equally diabolical. I want to say that I might hear a slight epoch of Grand Belial’s Key in their demo days on here too, but I am going back and forth on that comparison. The music is rhythmic, it is haunting and hypnotic, yet disgusting and sick at the same time. There is synth on here, to be honest I am not sure this album really needed the synth, but much of the time is not that in your face and other times it does compliment the necrotic raw music in a simplistic yet very catchy and cryptic way. Yes okay it is kind of rough and raw around the edges, which is something I rather like both in my music and my women. I definitely recommend this for fans of the bands I mentioned above. This recording is actually old and the material was written from the late 90s through the early ‘00s but never released until now, even though unfortunately the band is no more we are left this little legacy to enjoy. I recommend you to checking this one out. I was surprised after writing most of this review to realize these guys are from roughly the same area of Pennsylvania that constitutes my current stomping ground. Which is cool. Also one last note you can watch videos of one of the members of this band on youtube drunkenly reviewing specialty craft beers, while black metal plays in the background, they are pretty awesome, just search pabrewnews and then order this disc.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/truepermanentmidnight   http://www.themetalunderground.com/    




"Demon Metal" 2010 MCD

(Hells Headbangers)


This Chilean horde are probably best known for their 2008 full length Cult of Destruction. Perversor have returned with this five song EP of blackened death metal released on Hells Headbangers (US). The South Americans seem to have a knack for coming up with metal in that old school, down and dirty vein. The recording is dirty enough to retain that underground vibe but clean enough to make out all the instruments. The vocals remind me of that talk/whisper/heavily effected black metal style.  The guitars harken back to more of a thrash style - reminiscent of Slayer mixed with early death metal. This is good shit.  \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ (4 out of 5)  – Mark Sugiyama





"Execration Diatribes” 2017 CD

(Lavadome Productions)


Pestifer have unleashed their debut album of barbaric and brutal South American death metal with some thrash elements intertwined in the guitar sound. The guitars are played at a high rate of speed with some well written and played patterns. The guitars are mainly played with non-stop riffs, but the guitarist does slow up to a mid paced range in a few songs. The drums are played with fierce and violent drum beats that are mainly blast beats with some slower drums mixed into the music. The vocals are raw screams and some deeper growls here and there. If you are a fan of well played, barbaric death metal with some thrash elements mixed in, then be sure to pick up Pestifer’s debut cd today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/pestiferofficial    http://www.lavadome.org/     




"Basom Gryphos” 2022 CD, LP & Cassette

(Nuclear Winter / Sentient Ruin / Goat Throne)


I like when record labels band together to produce, release and promote a single band together, it is great for all involved in my view. Just to clear up who is doing what you have Nuclear Winter releasing the CD, Sentient Ruin is co-releasing the vinyl and Goat Throne will unleash the cassette version of this album. The riffing and rhythms on this release while always staying heavy and brutal have this infectiousness to them, it is done in quite an alluring and interesting way without crossing over to what I would call melodic territory. I can not remember hearing very many bands do this, at least in this way and maintain such an ominous and morbid atmosphere to their sound. The overall music tends to operate at a temperate speed with rhythmic pounding drums that are hypnotic especially in concert with the winding serpentine structure of the riffing. The drumming is a more prominent and driving force on ‘Bason Gryphos’ than you will find with the majority of their contemporaries. It is interesting to me that Pestilength can create music that is somehow so driving and intense yet the pacing is largely slow to middling with just the occasional speedy outbursts, which often come from the percussive portion of this horde. The vocal performance on here is pretty impressive as well, the amount of gloomy and creepy emotion put into those growls is notable keeping them that obscure and severe yet having more range than you would ever expect. This is some superb vocal work in my view on this recording. If I had to describe their music it would be dark and evil death doom metal and it comes highly recommended from me. I do not get to review a lot of bands from Spain these days, but Pestilength is doing that UG scene proud and representing well.  - Dale

https://pestilength.bandcamp.com/    http://sentientruin.com/    https://nuclearwinterrecords.com         




“Slaughtering The Faithful” 2015 CD

(Obscure Music)


Here is the remastered and re-issued (originally released in 2002) of “Slaughtering The Faithful”, from Baltimore’s Pessimist. The band plays a very heavy, and aggressive style of death metal. The guitars are played with a lot of speed, and aggressive riffing that is well constructed, as well as some nice solos mixed in a few tracks. The vocals are heavy death growls. For the readers who may have this on cd or cassette, may still want to buy this disc, as there are some bonus tracks including the “Summon To Suffer” demo, and a few “live” tracks, which are very good quality. If you are a fan of Pessimist, you will definitely want to get a copy of this cd today.  - Patrick

https://www.reverbnation.com/pessimist   http://www.obscuremusick.com/       




"Chapters Of Depravity” 2019 CD, LP & Cassette

(Blood Harvest Records)


Chapters of Depravity is this Los Angeles, California band’s second full-length album featuring eight songs uncompromising crushing death metal. The guitars are done with a lot of skill showing some well written and performed guitar arrangements. The guitars are mainly played with fast pacing, but the guitarist does slow down to a more controlled mid-paced always possessing relentless brutality. The vocals are low death metal growls that further highlight the extremity of the music. I would say if you are a fan of primitive, filthy old school death metal degeneracy with some creative writing skills mixed in then do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Pestilent Death’s newest attack.  - Patrick

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




“Embrace After Death (The Fate of all that Lives II)” 2005 CD

(Asphyxiate Recordings)


Wow, what a bio, evil as fuck, but let’s face it. 4 pages isn’t gonna score you any additional acclaim here, you may actually lose some over it! We’re busting our asses and we sure as shit don’t want them kissed! Let’s stick to the meat and potatoes; meaning the music. PS are Australians gone Scandinavian as EAD contains 3 releases, put into one, all recorded in MMIII with Balam, Wraith, and Merrim. The ungodly ‘The fate of all that Lives’ opening this CD up. This is true ‘necro’ in sound as was Emperor’s ‘Wrath of the Tyrant’ (low production, loud percussion, etc…) creating pure, early ‘90s BM which is talented, melodic, hateful and most of all unique. Ever hear that low-produced BM kick’s ass compared to high end production? It’s true. Not too fast nor slow, this definitely showcases some of the rawest, acidic infected vocals in BM, separating PS from the pack of sound ~ alikes and trendies. This is the shit, unlike “Part II: Embrace After Death”, and I may note that although it’s a full length, we only have 3 songs here. EAD see’s PS straying from their sound with higher, yet still infectious vocals, yet more faster, like many other bands doing the same today. No it’s not a repeat release of another band as they manage to be lost somewhat beyond the perimeter spoke of in Pt I. The longitude of each track is 7 to 9 minutes, so it sits fairly well, I’m not complaining like a bitch still dominates the second entry. Fuckin’ “A” on the intros as well! The drawback is the bonus EP, “Putrify”, done in MMIV. This is when Pestilential threw themselves in the same sound as everyone else. It’s likeable because it’s included with 1 and 2, and yes, this trio’s headed downhill, especially when the vocals lose their meaning. Buy this for the ‘cult’ worthy recordings, because it’ll be gone next time around. Goatwarex shall release tape editions and a full length as this CD is limited to as many copies as they see fit, and such fans need only apply. Dying and PS discography have much in common. Sight is the first, followed by taste, then smell and you can hear everything up too the end; catch my drift?    -  Clayton

www.antilife-plague.cjb.net   www.asphyxiaterecordings.com   info@asphyxiaterecordings.com 




"Chimaera” 2021 CD, LP & Cassette

(Nuclear Winter Records)


Denmark has been such a sparsely populated country in the UG metal scene over the past couple decades or so. I mean there are notable exceptions (ala the mighty veterans Denial Of God), a fact which always surprised me with their neighbor Scandinavian countries of Norway, Finland and Sweden being unstoppable hotbeds for UG metal. But I have noticed recently, like just in last couple or few years Denmark is making up for lost time and seem to be exploding on to the scene with many good bands like Deus Otiosis, Sulphurous, Undergang, Ascendency, Deiquisitor, Konvent, Tongues, Septage, Shamash, Solbrud, Taphos and more. Now I would like to add Phrenelith to that list, even though they have been around for about five years as a band, it is more recently they have begun to really make their mark and their second album ‘Chimaera’ is here to really plant their flag. This band conjures up some monolithic old school death metal with that great ‘ole suffocating necro atmosphere permeating everything, like so many of the classic bands in this genre reveled in. Some influences that immediately jump to mind for me are the early works especially of Immolation, Incantation, Disciples Of Mockery, Autopsy, Funebrarum, Banished, Morpheus Descends and the one lone Euro band Grave. It is a great list of influences from bands I loved back in the day and still love now. Phrenelith put all those influences in a melting pot, sprinkle in some eyes of bat and tongue of demon to brew their own doomy brutal death metal concoction that will burn your ears, fry your brain and wreck your neck. Followers and worshippers of the ancient death metal ways you need to check into this band.  - Dale

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




"Portraits Of Mind” 2020 CD

(Redefining Darkness Recs (N.America) | Nuclear Winter Recs (Europe))


Make no mistake, this band of ghouls from Greece have a deep affinity for very late ‘80s and early ‘90s Floridian death metal, and on “Portraits Of Mind” it shows big time. I always find it interesting when overseas bands adopt an American style of music. There is, much like the earlier Death albums a classy, very musical guitar solo in every song, generally worked in skillfully and seamlessly. As tasteful as those solos are, and yes, as catchy and melodious as some of the riffing is on here, they do try hard to strike a balance of making sure heaviness and brutality remain a prime foundation of this record. I say that, while admittedly still finding myself every now and again saying no turn up the brutality and not the other way around hehe. That is how I am wired. Plague also, especially in the second half of the record slow things down a bit and focus a little more dark, moody tones creating a bit of a somber atmosphere at times. The vocals I enjoyed, as they are kind of obscure sounding whispery dm growls with fluctuating aggression and dark brooding pitch and tenor when the music calls for it. There is a strong melodious aspect to possibly attract some melodo death fans, but by and large, this album should really satisfy die hards of the old Floridian death metal scene and we know there are many of those out there.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/plaguegreece    http://www.redefiningdarkness.com/          




"Schöpfungswut” 2020 CD & LP

(Soulseller Records)


Porta Nigra are a German black metal band who will return in 2020 with their third full length release. “Schöpfungswut” is six songs of well crafted and composed music, which is rooted in Avant-Garde black metal, but does add some of the bands own musical style to the sound. The guitars are played with a high caliber of skill and experience through past bands and Porta Nigra’s near decade of existence serves them well here. The music goes from a fast pace to a more controlled mid paced guitar style that fits the musical style perfectly. The guitarist does perform some memorable guitar passages into each of the songs on here. The vocals are a mix of death metal growls and some black metal screams that are used throughout the release. I am not the biggest fan of Avant-Garde black metal music fan, but Porta Nigra has crafted a memorable and quality album here.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/PortaNigraBand    http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/      




"Passio Christi Part I / (Beyond The) Witch's Spell” 2019 Split MCD & 12” EP

(Invictus Productions)


My interest in reviewing this release was based on how much I admired Spite’s recent debut album. So, you could say Spite introduced me to Possession and I now know that is a good thing. After a sullen intro, we get two lengthy songs from Possession, which radiates an extremely sinister and eerie atmosphere that is dripping with audio sacrilege. The music is a black death mixture with median pacing, and despite how extreme and dirty the music is, it also has a beguiling quality to the memorable riffing that is an obscured dark growling personification of evil! Good shit. Now on to the Spite portion of this split, they take up roughly ten minutes of the 27 minutes on release with two songs, one of which is a 1995 demo track cover of “Cruel Creator” from the band Manitú. Spite on their original track (and title for their side of the split) for this release continue along their strong path of mixing first wave black metal ala Venom, Bathory with heavy doses of the early second wave along the lines of the early works of Immortal, Root, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Mayhem, Ancient Rites etc… I just worship this sound and mix of influences, and as professed I am a big supporter of this bands works, which continue in fine form here. I have been in the UG scene for what seems like forever (early ‘90s onward), so I do not miss a lot of bands, but I have missed the mark on Manitú, so I have never heard this song they cover, but either Spite have put their deliciously wicked spin on this song or Manitú’s material is similar as this is a fucking killer track and fits in perfectly with Spite malevolent sound.

A side note here for completists out there and/or Possession die hards, this split is being released simultaneously with a split with Venefixion on Iron Bonehead Records, which continues this release from Possession with “Passio Christi Part II”. I need to go listen to that one now myself, in the meantime, this split is well recommended!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/hisbestdeceit    https://invictusproductions.net/       




“Civlization Under Threat” 2013 CD

(Old School Metal Records)


This is interesting in that this band has been around since 1986! I have never heard of them before though. Maybe part of that is due to the fact they must have stopped doing the band or went dormant for long periods of time. As in the last 27 (!!!!) odd years they have only released 4 demos, one ep and one album, not including this one. Well my hat is off to them for sticking to it all these years and continuing to live metal obviously purely for the love of it. There are some really solid driving riffs on here, they will get the head nodding and the foot tapping. The vocalist is the classic thrash gruff yeller type and he gets the job done pretty well. The pacing, is a little slower than some of the thrash people might immediately conjure up when reading this, it is not at break neck speed most of the time. Some might even label it speed metal. There are some tasty guitar fills on here and you get some cool old school gang sung choruses here and there. I can hear similarities or possibly influence in here of bands like old Testament, Sacred Reich, Prong, later era Nuclear Assault and that sort of thing to give you an idea of their sound. You know what I am saying that late 80s / early 90s thrash sound when things slowed down a tad and maybe got a slightly more accessible sound. It is not amazing, but all the same some really good speed thrash metal from some metal motherfuckers that have paid their dues and then some while never giving up on what they love.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/potentialthreatsf   http://www.osmrecords.net/  




"Devil’s Whorehouse" 2015 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Brazil has always been hotbed, for extreme metal, and Power From Hell carries on that tradition with their new release. They play a mix of raw thrash metal, with early black metal influences, mixed into some of the tracks. The guitars are done with a lot of raw energy, and power, from mid-paced speeds to all out lightning assault. The vocals are done, with a mix of early gruff death metal growls, and some well placed screams. If you are familiar with Power From Hell’s previous releases, then you know what to expect here. But if you are new to the band, and are a fanatic for early 80s speed metal, with early black metal influences, then this band you will want to hear today.  - Patrick

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




Fire And Brimstone” 2014 CD

(W.T.C Productions)


Greece has always had a strong black metal scene going back all the way to the early nineties. Principality Of Hell have delivered a mix of late eighties thrashy black metal and some early nineties blackness to their style. The guitaris are very catchy with a lot of great riffs and solo's mixed together, for the most part “Principality Of Hell” stay in the mid paced range, but do speed up in a few of the songs. The drums are well executed with some fast drumming, but are mostly in the mid paced range, definitely some great drumming on here. If you are a fan of the early days of black metal, with some influences intertwined, then you definitely want to check out “Principality Of Hell” today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/PrincipalityOfHell   http://www.w-t-c.org/   




"Ceremorphosis” 2022 CD

(Blood Blast Distribution)


This is my second review of an album released through Blood Blast, which is connected to Nuclear Blast Records, where they help bands I guess that they like (or is it just a straight hire out thing?) with advice, PR and digital distribution. I would think there is going to be some physical format releases as well, but I have not been able to find any definite confirmation of that so far. This band features members of Through The Eyes Of The Dead, Cognitive, We Are The Romans, and Aronious (spread out across various points in the United States). It is striking immediately how much skill we have going on with the members of this band, and their years of playing and extensive recording experience is immediately apparent. The band plays extremely technical death metal that features some exceptionally slick and skillful songwriting and song construction. The fear I always have with bands like this, are they so fucking techno oriented that the plot is lost with song flow, thus devolving into a dick measuring wank competition. I am happy to say POYWTO adeptly avoid falling into this trap, despite the massive technicality on here, the songs have a strong musical current, they are heavy and brutal and you can headbang to this shit for sure! That last statement is one of the best compliments I can give a techno death metal band in my view. There is a lot of cool variation in the songwriting as well, they keep things really entertaining, whilst being a total crush fest in the barbarity department. The vocals of Shane Jost follow suit with the music, he brings a superb and highly entertaining arsenal of deep brutish imaginative growling, husky shouts, high pitched voices, squeals and lengthy screeches that will pierce your ear drums and drop you on the spot. He even sings all about Dungeons & Dragons, so that is a definite plus too. This album is an extremely impressive debut that diehard fans of bands Gorguts, Suffocation, Origin, Cryptopsy, Theory In Practice, Nile, Necrophagist, Obscura and the like need to get posthaste.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/POYWTO   https://poywto.com/product/ceremorphosis/        




“Disgusting Blasphemies Against God” 2010 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


This review in some ways, for me at least is a foregone conclusion. As I am a pretty die hard devotee going way back. In fact, it brings back some feelings of nostalgia when thinking about ordering a cassette copy of Weeping in Heaven with the live bonus tracks, back in 1992. What an amazing release that was, it was just so sick, so evil and drenched in black semen. Weeping… is still one of my all time favourite releases to this day. So here we are almost 20 years later! Holy shit I am old and so are these disgusting bastards. Surely anyone reading this who has been in the UG scene for any length of time already knows Profanatica and has a release by them. Well let me tell you twenty years later nothing has changed, they still sound more or less the same, and I am still loving it. It is amazing after all these years that Paul and his minions keep going and have not lost that sickness and still possess the same musical putrid stench. I mean I have not seen any videos of Ledney jacking off on the bible in a long time (my friend John actually filmed that!). But I did see Profanatica live, I guess it was 5 or 6 years ago now, and that was more than suitably vile to keep me under their decrepit thumb for another couple decades at least. Keep on Scourging and Crowning Profanatica!  – Dale

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




"Sickened By The Holy Host & The Grand Master Sessions" 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


I meant to review this in a previous update, but it got lost in the shuffle somehow. I am honestly not certain after looking at the Hells Headbangers site if this disc has both of these releases only on the promo version or if this a promo for these two separate vinyl exclusive releases and not for sale on cd? If it is only on the promo CD, then I feel fortunate to have received this gem of a disc! Sickened By The Holy Host is a new 2012 double 12” vinyl release, which clocks in at 39 minutes. We are treated to more twisted, violent black metal ejaculate similar to what we heard on their great Blasphemies…album. It is just a true whirlwind of hate and raw music that all fans of the band come to expect and simply worship. The Grand Master Sessions were released a couple years ago and only available as a 3 vinyl (custom 8” eps – how sweet is that?) wooden box set released back in 2010. This was actually recorded in 2008 as they say live in the studio, it is archetypical Profanatica, coarse vomit drenched and semen dripping classics, alongside some newer songs and a really killer medley / conglomerate of 5 old hallowed hymns that you have to hear to believe how sick and violent this antichristian melding is. This release is billed as a perfect supplement to the old Profanatica rehearsal demos from the early 90s. That sums it up well. If you are a big fan of Profanatica as I am, you will love this, it celebrates the rawness and total black metal blasphemy that made this band a legend in the scene. You need these fucking things, must have for all scourging and crowning die hards of the band!  – Dale

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




“The Hill Of Hope” 1997 Cassette LP

(R.I.P. Promotions)


Very boring, slow moving and symphonic light metal. The band are relatively talented but could not write a good song to save their lives. 7 songs included and as always with R.I.P. everything is nicely package and presented. - Dale

Promontory, c/o Eugen Biryukov, Malo-Zavalskaya 2-2, 241008 Bryansk, RUSSIA




 “Foretold…Forseen” 1998 CD

(Corpse Gristle Records)


Great, great death/grind band with brutality brimming out of every pore! Mostly fast balls out death with blasting that kills but they also like to mix shit up. Like on a extreme & brooding track like “Assembled By Death” or the epic baseball bat to the head that is known as “Prophecy”. Excellent start for this young label as the packaging and production is on par with the music. Plus there is no denying the name Corpse Gristle Records rules and just rolls off the tongue with style. - Dale   

Corpse Gristle Records, 3521 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 666, Dallas, TX. 75219, USA  website = www.corpsegristle.com Email = hound@corpsegristle.com




"Pandemonic Ululations Of Vesperic Palpatation" 2010 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Well that album title is a mouthful. I bet they were patting themselves on the back when they came up with it. From what I am just now reading apparently this is a one man band from a guy that plays in Black Funeral (I remember ordering their demo back in ’94, I did not realize they were still active though). My initial reaction on the first few tracks was some of this reminds me of Profanatica. Sure enough the bio says the band are moving away from their past Profanatica worship. I wondered if I just thought I was hearing that since I had just finished reviewing the new Profanatica record. Prosanctus Inferi definitely have that sound, but more of a traditional death metal tone underneath the black blood affinity. I think I hear a little early Morbid Angel influence going on in the metal storm as well. It is a fairly monotone, one speed full ahead type of affair, not that that is a bad thing. There is a certain necro atmosphere on here that I like, reminds me a little of the aura given off from the early works of Blasphemy or Incantation. You know that sort of dark obscure hiss and suffocating feeling that envelops you. The vocals are a rolling vomit unintelligible murmuring and growl combination that melts into the background. Not a lot of dynamics compositionally speaking on here, none too original either yet somehow I quite like it.  – Dale

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




"Shards Of The Hourglass” 2019 CD

(Orchestrated Misery Records)


Psychomancer stands for an individual who can communicate with the spirit world and control the dead. This band of Psychomancer’s have controlled the forces of the dead and channeled these forces into audio form as “Shards Of The Hourglass”, their third full-length release. It contains ten songs of well composed and written nimble yet brutal death metal. The guitars are comprised of some interesting and memorable patterns and the music itself has a mid tempo, but also mixed some faster, more heavy fast guitars. The drum work on here is really precise, controlled and extremely tight. The growling vocals are very intelligible to pick out lyrics and have a really commanding presence within the extreme music. If you are looking for some really quality death metal with conviction then check out this album as soon as possible and keep an eye on this record label that seems to be starting to build up a solid résumé.  - Patrick

https://psychomancer.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/orchestrated.recordings  




“Freedom” 1998 Cassette LP

(Underworld Productions)


Damn, Psychopathia are a hell of a wicked slap to the face! Yes, my attention is at full swing now! It is vicious, lightning speed, techno death/grind from the Czech Republic. Hyper is a good word to use for this band and especially the drummer who is a human whirlwind! They rip, tear and bulldoze thru 9 songs of nutsy material. I’m kind of speechless, I can’t seem to string together any coherent sentences so here are a few more words that aptly apply: heavy, brutal, catchy, technical, fast, guttural and top quality. I DEMAND you order this by sending $5 US (for this pro-packaged album) to:

Psychopathia, c/o Ivo “Sam” Kapoun, Sladorni 1185, Kojetin 75201, CZECH REPUBLIC




"Kings Under The Sand” 2019 CD

(Gates Of Hell Records)


Pulver rise out of the German metal scene producing a really old, classic style of hard rock and heavy metal hybrid, which will likely bring to mind some of the earlier New Wave of British Heavy metal and hard rock bands like Demon, Uriah Heep, Tank, Holocaust, Diamond Head, Scorpions, Saxon, Witchfynde, Angelwitch etc… There is a dash of Iron Maiden now and then, but generally the music here is not quite as ripping and energetic as those bands I’ve mentioned above. The singer, who is very prominent has this really laidback, lazy vocal style that spreads across the guitars that are already chill and routine sounding in their own right, creating sort of a sleepy sound to my ears. The vocalist especially it feels like if you took a regular heavy metal frontman, gave him a handful of Xanax half an hour before the show and then shoved him out on stage. Dave Fröhlich is a good vocalist, but I guess those vocals are just an acquired taste, which I am having a hard time acquiring. Pulver are a talented band, they write some very solid yet kind of generic songs that I enjoyed, just not enough to really recommend this young bands debut album. But I will keep an eye on them and die hards of NWOBHM style that just want to get everything decent might still want to check into this one.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/PulverHeavyMetal    https://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/       




“Disillusioned” 1998 CD

(Confusion Records)


Fuck yes! An album full of crushing, chunky thrash metal from the Bay area. No Bay area, rehash tho’. Punisher take things in their own direction and spit out some lethal catchy, ripping thrash w/ knockout punch drumming. Pat Toms’ vocals are deep and powerful and a little scratchy as they switch into different tones and ranges. Now I will finish this with a apt quote from their bio “Not interested in trends, Punisher offers up a potent brew of musicality and brutality”.  – Dale

Check or money order for $10.93 US made out to Confusion Records at the following address:

4 Meyer Place, Kentfield, CA. 94904, USA Label website = www.confusion-records.com  Band Email = punisher@flash.net




"Mature Necropsy” Double 2015 CD

(Kaotoxin Records)


I am not sure that I was even aware, that Putrid Offal was active once again, but it does appear they are back together and on the scene. This release however, is not new material, but rather a compilation of old songs off of ‘90s releases. They are all tracks from old split releases, which are probably not that easy to find these days. These songs come from three separate split releases, one from a six way split disc, the other two sets of songs are from 1991 split vinyls, one an ep with Agathocles, the other a split 12” vinyl with Exulceration. Which amounts to more songs than you might think, as there are 33 songs on here, including a couple cd bonus track covers of Nerve and SOD songs. Most of you reading this, should know Putrid Offal, assuming you have been around the scene for very long. But for those that do not know, the band plays grimy, grinding, gurgling brutal death metal. Which I personally find pretty fucking awesome and brings back some good memories of listening to Putrid over 20 years ago! It is a shame this band did not make more of a name for themselves back in the day. Because they were around early on, and were killing it, at a time when bands like Suffocation, Dismember, Sinister, Entombed, Malevolent Creation, Immolation, Unleashed, Grave… were just cutting their teeth and starting out to make a mark on the scene. Honestly, Putrid Offal should belong, among those names and it is surprising, in some ways they did not break out bigger. I suspect, a few reasons for that, unlike most of their brethren the band may not have been seeking record deals with the many death metal labels out there at the time. Also, they were not really that prolific, choosing it seemed to stick mainly with releasing vinyl, and split releases, not to mention some of the few releases coming out at the same time, had a couple of the same tracks repeated on them. So maybe, the material was not there fast enough, to consider making multiple albums and touring like their contemporaries. Because these songs are really good on par with many of the signed bands at the time. So as you can see, when thinking of influences some that come to mind, were either just starting at the time or came later on, so it is pretty hard to call them influences. However, there were a few bands already making some noise in that time period, which clearly had some influence here, with Putrid Offal like Morbid Angel, Terrorizer and especially early (first two late 80s albums) Carcass all come to mind. Either way, if you like to get all the early classic death metal bands in your collection, and have not yet discovered Putrid Offal, then do yourself a favour and get this fucking thing posthaste!  - Dale

http://www.putrid-offal.com/   http://www.kaotoxin.com/          




"Cascading Inferno” 2018 CD & LP

(Blood Harvest Records)


Baltimore seems to have a thriving death metal scene these days and Putrisect are no exception, adding that quality scene with their debut release. ‘Cascading Inferno’ is six tracks of heavy and dark death metal largely played in the mid paced realm, but the musicians do speed it up at times throughout the songs. The guitars follow along in the middle pace territory while even adding some well written and performed solo’s in some of the tracks. When the guitarist does cut loose and rip along with some faster, chaotic patterns sprinkled throughout the release. The drumming tight and strong with a mix of crushing heavy beats that do speed up to a more intense hyper-speed drumming patterns. The vocals are a mix of low death growls and some screams used throughout a few of the songs. It is a good brutal death metal album that fiends of the genre will enjoy.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/putrisect    https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/         




"What Passes For Survival” 2017 CD

(Willowtip Records)


Disjointed pieces of a formless whole punch you from all sides during the initial moments of this album, immediately introducing the feral nature of Pyrrhon’s approach to technical death metal. Now, when I think of popular technical death metal, immediately what jumps to my mind are cleanly executed complex guitar passages, quicker-than-a-sudden-avalanche drumming, absurdly convoluted yet controlled bass playing, and vocals that span variable ranges. I find that many contemporary bands will be tech for tech’s sake, though, kind of like as if these bands use this subgenre to produce metal’s take on aestheticism. Pyrrhon does not construct their music in so superficial a manner—quite the opposite. For example, one of the most noticeable facets of What Passes For Survival is the depth of the production quality—sonic hierarchies permeate the waters of this album, at times punching you from all sides like I mentioned occurs at the outset of the introductory track, and at times sustaining a caliginous atmosphere into which you can dive and get cathartically lost like in “Tennessee” and “Empty Tenement Spirit.” My favorite track at the moment is “Trash Talk Landfill,” however, because of how audible yet densely produced the composition is. Give it a listen, and you’ll hear all of the complexities that you wish to hear in a technical death metal album played with a formidable, tangled, and determined momentum. This momentum does not rest for several tracks either. You’ll think you get a moment to breathe, but then Pyrrhon undermine that instance of peace by tossing you straight back into the fray. What Passes For Survival quarrels with itself and its listener if he/she does not succumb to its oftentimes erratic, but always-vigorous and spirited energy. It’s a challenging, yet very much so rewarding listen. I highly recommend this album for anyone that enjoys technical and progressive constructions of extreme metal, but also relishes a heavy fucking dose of ruthless brutality. – Aaron

https://pyrrhonband.bandcamp.com/    http://www.willowtip.com          


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"Beheading Tyrants” 2016 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


Hailing from Sweden this band has been dormant for 16 years since the release of their debut album “Aelin”. What have the band members of this trio been up to all these years you ask? Well, two of the members carried on with another more prolific band, by the name Mortalicum who have released four albums in the meantime. I seen an interview which said some of the material on here is from many years ago just after the debut album. Anyway, enough background, on to the music which I would probably call epic heavy metal or maybe even dipping into the epic hard rock territory (ala Queensryche “Operation Mindcrime” vibe) with slight doom touches. I would say their sound is a very niche one, even among heavy metal fans, it is focused into the smaller dedicated cult following that worship bands like Cirith Ungol and especially Manilla Road. Which, for some heavy metal fans might be a little too laid-back, chill and introspective for what they normally go for. But for those of you that can get into that this,  it takes you down a reflective emotional path, where you can enjoy just getting lost in the flow and letting the currents gently guide you down this musical journey. I mean there are brief moments of get up and go, such as the opener “Daughters Of Eve”, where the tempo is turned up a little and there is a cool brief energetic solo. But make no mistake, the mainstay pacing and atmosphere is definitely even keel and unhurried, just easy going. I mentioned Queensryche on “Operation Mindcrime” earlier; I would also throw in the moodier sections of Fates Warning “A Pleasant Shade Of Grey”, now I am referring to those records vocally here. The performance of vocalist Goran Jacobson reminds me at times of those records, not that I would put his range as a singer on the level of Geoff Tate or Ray Alder, but those mid-range, spoken/sung parts and feel from those guys. Anyway, probably not getting my point across here very well and rambling, the vocals are good, how about that? Haha. The record itself is good too, nothing mind-blowing by any means, maybe even a bit of an acquired taste too but I enjoyed it.  - Dale

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


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“Requiem For The Innocent” 1998 CD

(Century Media)


After I read the label bio, though I read those with a grain of salt, I really thought I would dig this record. Radakka play hard rock w/ slight metal touches with a very commercial flavor. I don’t like the pretty melodies and harmonies, despite their claims in the bio, they are going for accessibility. Most of the songs are close to radio friendly. They have the odd cool riff and are good musicians but it is wasted on here and I don’t think too many, Canadian Assault readers would appreciate this, so I won’t waste any more space on it.  – Dale




"Reflections Of A Psychotic Past" 2012 CD

(Abyss Records)


Radiation originally split up in 92, but performed a reunion show in October 2010, after a great response and the band had a blast they decided to reform. After twenty plus years Radiation Sickness release Reflections Of A Psychotic Past, which is comprised of 19 songs of metal/punk crossover style music. Personally I'm not a huge fan of this style {it's not bad just never really got into it} but I do respect bands that they do their genre justice and Radiation Sickness definitely know how to write and perform catchy, memorable, aggressive songs. They keep their songs short and to the point ranging from a minute and a half to three minutes in length. So if you’re a fan of cross-over style music definitely check out Radiation Sickness.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/radiationdoug  http://www.officialabyssrecords.com     




“Holy Target” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast America)


This is a little different from most of the Swedish stuff these days. However, they do owe a slight bit to the Gothenburg scene but are far too vicious and heavy to placed there. They are not death/grind either, Raise Hell are too up-tuned and thrashy for that. This release sticks out like a welcome sore Scandinavian thumb. No virtuoso playing or noodling, just break ups of catchy rhythmic guitar riffs in between blitzkrieg speed blasts, it is this contrast and the great execution which prevail and impress for me. The only thing is the band photos are nearly exact copies of Dismember’s “Pieces” ep photo session (i.e. - black pants, bullet belts, spiked wrist bands, no shirts & dripping blood down their torso’s). A highly recommended, thrashing metal platter.  – Dale




"Morbid Blood" 2011 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Ravencult wastes no time going straight for the attack with their brand of barbaric blackened thrash whirlwind guitars intertwined with a barrage of non-stop drumming. The band does slow down throughout a few of the songs to give both the band and listener a chance to catch their breath before attacking again with a barrage of brutal riffs and beats. If you miss the sound of the early days of black metal when the bands kept their sound simplistic yet effective and evil then Ravencult is a band that should impress all old-school maniacs.  - Patrick

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




"A Stone Engraved In Red” 2019 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


This is my first encounter with Portugal’s Ravensire who play an epic, traditional style of heavy metal. ‘A Stone Engraved In Red’ consists of seven songs of very well crafted and performed heavy metal greatness including a very well written and performed instrumental song. The vocals are sung with a lot of powerful screams that fit to the bands style to perfection. The vocalist does also blend in some stylish more melodic, clean vocals at times throughout the songs. The guitars really displays a level of experience and skill in this mid paced range mainstay, but also showing their range while skillfully transitioning to some faster tempo guitar patterning at times throughout the album. If you are a fan of classy epic, traditional heavy metal then get yourself a copy of this excellent release ASAP.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/Ravensire    https://cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com/       




"Summon The Stone Throwers" 2009 CD

(I Hate Records)


You got to love how the UG scene works its magic. It takes a Swedish label to turn me on to a band from New York City, only a couple hours drive down the road. I am just now finding out as well that the main man behind this band by the name of Czar, is actually S. Craig Zahler. I remember this guy handing me a copy of his fanzine, at a metalfest in New Jersey, many years ago. Then of course he went on to be one the better writers for Metal Maniacs magazine. Anyway, Craig plays drums and sings on Summon… His vocal delivery is sort of half spoken / half sung, not many bands do vocals like but I enjoy them. I have a feeling they might be considered an acquired taste for some. Some might find them a tad cheesy, but who cares about those people. He has a sound of his own to his vocals, which in this day and age is a big compliment. The band delves into the fantasy world with their imagery and lyrics. I think lovers of things like J.R.R. Tolkein, Dungeons & Dragons, Robert Jordan novels / imagery and similar things will dig that. Realmbuilder have that sort of dry, epic and laid back style maybe a little like early Candlemass or Manilla Road. The bio lists Morningstar as an influence. I could definitely see that, I am a huge fan of their old demo tape Inside the Circle of Pentagram. They are in a hurry to do nothing with their stripped down and hypnotic sort of style. I have to be honest I am kind of excited to see more and more of this style of classic NWOBHM and classic epic doom, coming from America. It may be a nod to the past in many ways, but I would argue that it also adds a fresh air our scene needs and could use more of these days. With each and every listen I find Realmbuilder draw me in just a little further than before. I am quite addicted to their sound at this point. You should be too.  – Dale

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




"Fortifications Of The Pale Architect" 2011 CD

(I Hate Records)


I am pleased to see New York’s Realmbuilder return to the pages of Canadian Assault. I reviewed their debut album a couple of years ago, it was excellent and they made me a fan of the band. Realmbuilder definitely still have that classic doom feel and pacing. Yet at times the music comes off more as slow and epic heavy metal, damn good epic heavy metal mind you. They have a very hypnotic atmosphere to their music, it relaxes me and sends my mind wandering. The music is relatively simple, but effective with some great meandering riffs and vocals care of Czar that are half spoken/half sung. Those vocals for some are probably an acquired taste but I find them mesmerizing, during sections they are absent I find myself waiting for them to start up again. There are some good, subtle guitar fills / leads on here that really add a some flavour to the song, but the band are careful not to over use this tool. I could see fans of bands like Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Saint Vitus, Morningstar, Brocas Helm, Ironsword, Paul Chain (more in vibe than sound) etc… I think you will absolutely like and probably even love Realmbuilder.  – Dale

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





"Blue Flame Cavalry” 2013 CD

(I Hate Records)


Realmbuilder are back to gallop, across the pages of Canadian Assault. I always want to, just straight out call them classic doom metal, whenever I review one of their albums. They definitely have that pacing, at times and the sound in there, but a more apt description, would probably be epic heavy metal with doomy elements. I really enjoyed their first two albums, “Blue Flame Cavalry”, has done nothing to change my mind on the band. The lyrical themes, will remind you of something out of Conan or Dungeons & Dragons, medieval type of lore, continue to be on full display here. Something else that has not changed are the marathon trotting riffs, that will sweep you away in a hypnotic journey, across flowing mental landscapes, which are created hand in hand by the music and the lyrics. Speaking of which, the vocals while admittedly, not the strongest out there and possibly a slightly acquired taste, still manage to have a unique character and tone to them. Those vocals really help you march you across this ride and enhance that magnetic, emotive atmosphere, the music slowly builds up in you. I love the juxtaposition, of some of the sparingly used, smartly placed, and highly effective guitar solos, which are a little more exuberant than the majority of the music, they are set upon which adds such a wonderful dynamic to the songs. I think this album is just fantastic. I have to recommend this, as I have in the past, to fans of bands like Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm and to a lesser extent bands like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Paul Chain… I think this is an excellent album, simple yet tasteful and expertly crafted.  - Dale

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




“Caverns of Perdition” 2019 CD

(FDA Records)


I was excited when I learned about this release from what appeared to be a long-running German death metal band. The cover looked like something from the early 1990s, the logo is great, and the song titles were awesome. The music, however, did not hold up to my expectations. The sound is top notch, the vocals are powerful but monotone (along the lines of Chris Barnes), the guitars are heavy and decently played, so on the surface this seems like something that I would enjoy. However, there is a certain monotony in the songwriting that just leads me down the path to boredom. It’s like paint-by-numbers death metal – it’s creative, but it’s not outside the box at all. It sounds like an average mid-90s Floridian death metal band created this while they had nothing better to do. I could not get over the sheer averageness of this record and this is a band with several albums in their back catalog. It’s just uninspired overall. For a band that’s been around since 2010, I expected something much more mature. I’m not eagerly anticipating their next release, but if they release another, I’ll give it a spin in hopes that the bare bones of what they laid out on this record get some brand new rotted flesh on them.  - Andrew

https://recklessmanslaughter.bandcamp.com/    https://fda-records.com/en/    




“Newrage World Music” 1998 MCD

(Voices Of Wonder)


Angst-ridden industrial metal in the vein of (new) Fear Factory, Machine Head, Meshuggah etc... Yes, you got it, this is awful - come on and jump! JUMP!  – Dale




"Missa Pro Disfunctis 2019 CD & LP

(Iron Bonehead Records)


Reign In Blood announced itself to the underground scene back in 2006 with their debut demo tape entitled “Black Metal Madness Till Death”, followed by a split 7” ep (w/Infernal Regency) & a second full 7”ep, then in 2009 their debut album and then abruptly the band settled down in complete slumbering silence. This year marks a decade since that first album, so this sinister German black metal entity has finally woken up and returned back to life with their sophomore album “Missa Pro Disfunctis”. Reign In Blood are not your usual black metal band playing the 2nd wave Scandinavian style bm, no the band is more akin to the first wave of influences that includes Czech bands like Root (a lot in their second & third albums), Master’s Hammer and other bands such as the Italian legends Mortuary Drape, alongside some Greek bands ala Thou Art Lord and early works by the bands Zemial, Necromantia and Varathron. Yes, it is that old sound of the late ‘80s / early ‘90s black metal bands that were starting to tread their own paths, yet still rooted in the first wave of black metal. I worship both the first and second wave, but the second wave is so common that it is a good change of pace to my ears to hear this early evil and eerie dangerous sound being employed in a way that keeps that ancient flame burning bright, all the while with Reign putting their own malevolent stamp upon it. The music has a very sinister freezing atmosphere, while still maintaining a level of melody within the bombastic audio sadism, which makes for an appealing dark listen that you can thoughtfully get lost in while still nursing a slow headbang. There is also some subtle, but very nicely done guitar work that does not stand out, but adds great depth and supports to the principle riff and musical flow. I am not the biggest fan of drum machines, but they hide it well, so fuck it I guess haha. The vocals definitely set Reign Of Blood apart as they are a maniacal sounding blend of hysterical out of control yells & shrieks, intertwined with a cleaner yet still gruff voice that is seemingly on purpose a fluctuating warbling in and out of deeper / higher tones and going out of key. It is hard to explain, but those vocals are so distinctive, tortured and different sounding that I love the fuck out of them! This release is highly recommended for those really old school black metal disciples who remember and admire the deeper roots of old bm, not just the hallowed Scandinavian later wave we all worship.  - Dale

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com    https://shop.ironbonehead.de/en/       




“Veneracion Del Fuego” 2012 CD

(I Hate Records)


There is a first for everything and listening to a doom metal band from Peru is a first for me. A welcome and exotic first at that and the band surfaces on what is probably the best doom metal record label on the planet. The thing that struck me off the start was just how unprocessed, raw and organic the production on Veneracion… feels. Upon reading the bio after a couple of listens, I see they recorded this album the old fashion way through analogue recording equipment. It sounds fantastic, you get this guttural sort of vibe you can feel in your chest from the music, I miss that sort of sound so much on newer albums these days. Some sections of songs they have a very weird timing and feel to their riffs, it is almost like a thrash metal band decided they wanted to write a doom metal album, very interesting. The rest of the time the music is very free flowing, melancholic and introspective with a distinctive 70s vibe to their sound. The vocalist Tania Duarte has a great hypnotic and spellbinding voice that just melts into the music and fits in just perfectly complimenting the music. You most definitely get your monies worth with this album too, there are ten songs and nearly half of them clock in at almost 10 minutes in length each. I like it.  – Dale

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




"Souls Of Charon” 2013 CD

(Do Or Die Records)


I received a promo sampler disc, from this brand new label, via my friend Paul of Soulgrinder fanzine. I enjoyed all three bands on that release and none more than Relentless, my thanks Paul for turning me on to this. I was surprised when I hit play though, as I believe the main man who writes all the music & lyrics Tim Pearson did the vocals on the sampler tracks. But I quickly realized seconds into the opening song that the vocals are no longer male, as the band has secured a new full time singer Carlee Jackson. I liked the old vocals, truth be told I liked them slightly better, it took me a little while to get used to the new vocals but I have now warmed up to Carlee’s haunting silky vocal sound. I would assume most doom fans will recognize right away the band took their name from the legendary doom band Pentagram. Despite that actually much of the material on here does not sound as heavily Pentagram influenced as the earlier material suggested. This is some good stuff though; a lot of the music is free flowing melodious heavy metal with doom undertones presented in a bit of a slow burn fashion, not so much in pace most of the time but rather in overall feel. This is a solid heavy metal record that has some of that doomy ‘70s hard rock feel going on. The general direction seems to have shifted slightly from the heavily Pentagram influence, which I worship and was done very well on the promo. It now sounds like more of an early ‘80s heavy metal vibe has creeping in to the newer material. My favourite songs on here are “United By Darkness” and the title track “Souls Of Charon”. A good album for heavy metal and classic doom metal fans to check out.  Support this cool new label as well!  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/relentlesschicago   http://www.doordierecords.org/         




"Dawn Of Reintoxication" 2020 CD & LP

(Soulseller Records)


After some seven years since their last album, this filthy drunken horde have once again crawled up out of the grimy sewers surrounding Stockholm Sweden, much like the old classic horror film C.H.U.D. to terrorize the city and worldwide UG scene beyond! Their audio pestilence is in fine form on “Dawn Of Reintoxication”, producing some truly dark and depraved music. Their brand of crushing death metal lovingly pays tribute to great bands from their homeland and from the United States. The bands I speak of are the early works of their Swedish brothers like Carnage, Dismember, Grave, Nihilist / Entombed mixed US bands like Repulsion, Impetigo, Eat My Fuk and especially the almighty Autopsy / Abscess. The lyrics and general concept of this band are wonderfully depraved and severely perverted, one only needs to look at the bands cover art and visuals for evidence. That is not to even mention the wonderful song titles such as “Vodka Til the Grave” & “Repulsive Erected and Anally Infected” Hahaha! The vocals on here remind me again of a mix of Matti Kärki of Dismember and Chris Reifert of Autopsy and the combination is pretty glorious, I must say. I enjoyed the hell out of this album, I am a little biased towards their sound as any long time reader will know, the early ‘90s Swedish death metal bands and style is my fave brand of death metal and Autopsy are one of my all-time fave bands from this period in the history of all metal music. If you agree and share that opinion then you need to get this thing right now dirtbag!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/Repuked    https://soulsellerrecords.bandcamp.com/         




“Church Of The Five Precious Wounds” 2015 CD

(Sevared Records)


Repulsive Dissection return, with their second album to date, “Church Of The Five Precious Wounds”. The music is decent, but nothing that has not been done already. The guitars are about the only thing that really sticks out on this cd, with some complicated patterns mixed with a few sections of catchy riffs. The vocals are your average death metal growls. So, unless you are a real collector, or fan of everything death metal, then definitely pass on this one and spend your money on something better.  - Patrick

https://www.reverbnation.com/repulsivedissection   http://www.sevared.com/   




"Skulls Of My Enemy” 2022 CD

(Pure Steel Records)


I have to admit I was surprised this band has such a long history behind it, since this is my first time listening to their music. I mean despite this being their fourth album since then started using the name Resistance in 2002. Their history reaches much further back (all the way to the late ‘80s!!) than that, when they used band names like Heathen (no not that one, but they probably caused the first name change), Caustic Visage, and Anarchy Divine. So are they yet another retro heavy band? Well yes, they are but that matters not to me when music is this good, the songwriting this quality, and the songs this strong and memorable. The band tears through 40 minutes of ripping classic heavy metal, which features hook-y yet heavy riffs and some great smoking guitar work nuance in between those catchy riffs and infectious song construction. I really dig vocalist Robert Hett, he has that archetypal ancient heavy metal style ala like a molten mix of Udo Dirkschneider of Accept on the gritty end mixed Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger and Eric Adams of Manowar. There is another, what should be an obvious vocal influence there that I am having trouble putting my finger on. I guess my only small pet peeve is the recording is almost too clean, and these songs would go up yet another half notch if the production was a little heavier and dirtier. Yet, having said that I have heard other albums that have even cleaner, more pristine computer plastic coating on the production, so do take that as a very minor complaint. Otherwise, this is a really solid traditional heavy metal record that old diehard fans will enjoy.  - Dale

http://www.resistanceusa.com/    https://www.puresteel-shop.com/          




"Manifested Darkness” 2013 CD

(FDA Rekotz Records)


Damn the owner of FDA Rekotz must be as big or bigger devoted maniac to the old Swedish sound as I am. Shit I had no idea so many German bands were picking up this mantle. This promo pack alone from the label has no less than three bands out of four that play this ancient cult style. Manifested Darkness got the classic Swede sound down pat via Swedish musician god and superb engineer Dan Swano. I am sure you guys are tired of reading how much I like this style. Though I must admit after three straight reviews of it with Tormented, Lifeless and now Revel In Flesh, even I am ready for something a little different, then again I am just on a listening / reviewing binge and am getting a little burnt out from constant reviewing. Revel do this style some justice and definitely ape a lot of old Grave style stuff and do it well. So if you dig that style and do not mind a little cloning action going then you should check this out, if you do mind then move along. By the by, the band finish off the record with a spirited cool cover of the almighty Autopsy’s “Twisted Mass Of Burnt Decay”. Hail Autopsy!!  - Dale

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




"Hymns Of Ghastly Horror” 2012 CD

(F.D.A. Rekotz Records)


Well upon picking up this album, the cover artwork immediately assaults the senses with an upright headless nude corpse holding large knives in each hand and a half naked horrified woman being strangled as she holds the child’s decapitated head in her hands. Some really extreme and disturbing stuff, hopefully the music evokes similar emotions in me, in a good way. Well the music is solid, not sure it quite matches the sickness of the cover though, but I suppose few bands do. Having said that this is some pretty clean, yet heavy and driving old school Swedish death metal with a bit of the new school melodo Swede dm mixed in. Maybe you could say this bands sort of sounds like the transition Sverge death metal took from the early days to the late 90s / early 2000s, which for me was not a turn for the better. That melodic mix definitely takes the rough edges off a little bit, but it still retains some of that old school harsh aggression to at least keep things worth listening. Not one of my fave Swedish dm releases, but there is enough good stuff and that old feeling in there to at least be worth a listen on their Reverb Nation page at least, to see if you want investigate any further.  - Dale

https://www.reverbnation.com/revolting  http://www.fda-rekotz.com/gx/     




"War” 2017 CD

(Innerstrength Records)


Rig Time is a hardcore metal band coming out of the Wisconsin UG scene. The music on here is a mixture of middle tempo heavy material, but does speed up to a faster pace in a few of the songs on “War”. The guitar work is a combination well written and performed mid tempo riffing. The vocals are a mix of the tried and true hardcore hollering along with some rawer screams to spice things up. I should admit that I am not the biggest fan of the metallic hardcore style, but if you enjoy this type of music, then you should definitely give Rig Time a listen as they are pretty solid at doing what they do.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/RIGTIME/    https://innerstrengthrecords.bandcamp.com/         




"Mai-Zang” 2018 CD & Cassette

(Craneo Negro Records / Necrolatry Records)


Andrew Lee (ex-Disincarnation & Draghkar) is the mastermind behind this Californian one man band, who is set to release his new bands debut album. “Mai-Zang” features eight well written songs of old school death metal and some thrash elements are blended throughout this recording. Ripped To Shreds play a nice mix of mid paced death metal, but Andrew does let loose and kick the speed up in some of the tracks. Andrew’s guitar work is amazing; fluctuating between some well written middle paced guitar patterns and some extremely fast patterning. The vocals are gruff growls and some screams combined throughout the music. This album is a very good release of solid old school death metal, if you are a fan of early Bolt Thrower, Entombed and the like then do yourself a favor and pick this up today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/rippedtoshredsband    https://www.facebook.com/ixcraneonegroxi       




“Empty Hand” 2011 CD

(I Hate Records)


We are presented with some classic doom metal / rock coming out of the fertile lands of Sweden. I have to admit straight off the start, that upon first listening, vocalist Josabeth Leidi got on my nerves and I did not like her vocals. But I am finding upon each and every successive listen, her vocals are growing on me more and more. They are very unique sounding and really remind me of no other singer. It sort of reminds me many years ago when I first heard Candlemass, I did not like the vocals, but they also grew on me and eventually I grew to love Messiah Marcolin’s vocals. I am getting the feeling that Josabeth is beginning to have the same effect on me. As I mentioned her vocals are so different sounding they add a lot of depth and emotion to the music, it is like the lamp in a lighthouse cutting through the veil of darkness leading in all the lost souls at sea. The music itself is great as well, very classic sounding doom and metal with each instrument played from the heart. There are some fantastic guitar fills that help drive the song and just stick in my head. I am truly enjoying this album more than I ever thought I would upon first listen. Maybe that is something I should pass on to potential listeners give it a chance, a few good listens before you make up your mind on this band. I am surprised I have not heard of Rise and Shine before, they have been pumping out demos, eps and albums since 1993! On the other hand, this is their first new recording in some five years, here is to hoping I can gather up some of their back material one day. Until then I highly recommend this to all classic hippie doom rock followers, such as fans of Trouble, Spirit Caravan, Sabbath, Witchcraft...  – Dale

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




"The Brocken Fires” 2019 MCD & 12” MLP

(Iron Bonehead Records)


This release was originally put out last year on cassette only (limited to 100 copies) and now, cult label Iron Bonehead has picked it up for release on disc and vinyl. It may be a new band, but the members are old goat veterans of the UG metal scene in the form of Ustumallagum (from the old legend band Denial Of God from Denmark) and A.th (of Italian Occultic doom master Black Oath), who seem to be the driving forces behind the band that also includes drummer P. Guts (from the bands Krossburst & Necro). The music has a very ancient old school black metal feel, like it was before the second wave with Scandinavian bm style. This is first wave black metal with strong and mighty undercurrents of doom swirling through the music in between the more speedy and evil yet catchy back bone of their sound. The bio names some of the bands influences as Mercyful Fate, Death SS, Samael, Celtic Frost, Goatlord and Ripper. I can hear bits of all of those, but especially the Goatlord, Celtic Frost, Death SS and old Samael influences – so I will add a few of my own that I heard similarities to, such as the demos of Dream Death, plus a little sprinkle of Bulldozer and Mortuary Drape. Ustumallagam vocals are a sinister rasp that is very clearly annunciated and so it is easy to understand the lyrics, but that voice and rasp are coated in a dark and acidic undertone of a vocal equivalent of a continuously rotating saw that is cutting through bloody soft tissue and bone. For me, this is one of Ustumallagum’s finest vocal performances, which is saying a lot considering his extensive, quality work over these many (only about 30!!) years of spewing his deadly audio venom. I have even been around this scene long enough to remember his work in Gigum Xul, when that was first released. Speaking of the man…Did I ever tell you about that time, a couple decades ago, when Ustumallagum sent me a print fanzine trade package that included bloody animal teeth with bits of flesh and hairs attached? He really did, but never mind, that is probably a story for another time, so until then get this great fucking release right now! Expect their debut album around the end of the year – hell yes!!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/The-Rite-band-page-219647875291113    https://ironbonehead.de       




"The Blade Philosophical” 2018 CD & LP

(Nuclear War Now! Productions)


I was pleased to see that Rites Of Thy Degringolade were returning with a new recording. I have been following the main man drummer / vocalist Paulus and his musical exploits for a very long time. In fact, I interviewed him twice for Canadian Assault, once back in 1997 in person (with his old band Sacramentary Abolishment) and then later again in 1999 during the early days of Rites. It is great to know Paulus is still going strong 20 years later! This release is this western Canadian bands fourth full length album and second for the ultra dedicated NWN! Productions. I would say there is less blitzkrieg speed and war metal style, nowadays, in the bands sound and structure. They instead focus more on an ominously heavy and moody atmosphere, with a more introspective vibe than the old stuff. Having said that, the band is keeping to their roots and musical integrity intact, there is still a cruel, violent edge to the proceedings. They have taken things in more of a superbly crafted dark death metal direction, with less of the black war metal approach, though as I said, some hints still remain. I feel like they are getting even more out of less now, and the continued maturity of Paulus, as a songwriter, and a musician in general is on full display with this album. There is some really nuanced guitar work going on on this record; they keep the main thread of each song, but add layers of depth through a healthy dose of refined guitar fills, as well as interestingly succinct and smooth diverse structural detours. Oh yes, I should not forget to also mention the often brief, but alternating classy and frenzied guitar solos, something I quite enjoyed. I really like Paulus’ darkened raspy & harsh vocals, which also somehow possess a hypnotic quality to them, achieved through tone and phrasing that I find quite addictive to listen to. Just focus on the infectious commanding choruses of tracks like “Above The Highest”, and the title track, or the vocal patterns utilized throughout the song “The Final Laceration”, if you do, I think you will understand where I am coming from with that description of the vocals. For me, as a listener, “The Blade Philosophical” is the successful realization of a powerful album, which is a satisfying, multi-faceted piece of musical art that will take you on an affecting mental journey.  - Dale

https://ritesofthydegringolade.bandcamp.com/    http://www.nwnprod.com/      




"Power” 2018 CD & LP

(Gates Of Hell Records)


I gave this Aussie band a listen, and I was immediately taken by the bands stylish classic heavy metal sounds blasting out of my speakers! It immediately took me back to the mid ‘80s (yes I am old metal goat!), when this style ruled the roost and was laying waste to all in it’s path. I had already listened to this a couple times, and I was already headbanging and singing along to some of the lyrics. Then, after I hit play for a third round, I look at the line up and fuck me the leader of this band is an old contact of mine! None other than Denny of the eccentric and legendary black death metal band Stargazer (not to even mention his other bands like Cauldron Black Ram, Misery’s Omen, Martire etc…)! I had not kept up with Denny recently, but what a fucking pleasant surprise! Denny is one talented motherfucker, he plays drums, bass and does the vocals on here. Speaking of the vocals, they are clean, smooth and powerfully resolute, occasionally accompanied by some high screams or deeper gritty brusque emotional accents. This trio produce such quality vintage heavy metal that it blew me away, I mean this rivals some of those classic albums from back then, while at the same time having an own flavour to their sound. They keep things at a middling pace much of the time which suits the songs and their style perfectly. These tunes are slightly stripped down, but all are quite memorable, catchy and metal as hell filled with archetypal superb riffs. There are of course some nice guitar fills and solos sprinkled into metallic musical tapestry, which I enjoyed. There are no filler songs on this killer record; it is consistent in sound and quality, from start to finish. You also have got to love finally seeing an Australian band giving ultimate praise to the great Mad Max / Road Warrior movies, mixed with manly lyrical bravado to match! So, grab a brew, don your denim vest covered in band patches and thrust your spiked fist in the air as you headbang to some real heavy metal!! This is a must for fans of the NWOBHM and the middle ‘80s gruff & gritty American heavy metal that like it a little sleazy too.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/RoadWarrior1986    https://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/       




"Rock ‘N Rott” 2012 CD

(Abyss Records)


There was a time from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s that I pretty would have shit on an album like this on principle. *Shakes fist* Do not pollute my beloved death metal with rock ‘n roll you stunned cunts! I guess I have softened somewhat in my old age as it were. That is not to say rocking dm is something I go searching for and about half of the time the result is a mess of train wreck proportions. I must admit that is the feeling I was having a couple songs in on my first listen. But honestly upon repeated listens Rock ‘N Rott is beginning to win me over. Yeah like usual those pesky Finns have a way of working they way underneath your skin like bamboo shoots in a sweaty jungle torture movie scene. Rocking Corpses are a little different than some death rock bands, they really mix the two genres up, with rock coming out on top, but it is heavy. Also the vocals on some songs are growled vocals, some have entirely clean sung vocals and yet other songs have almost a duet mixing of the two. As you may guess much of the lyrics are horror and zombie related, which suits me just fine as saturated as they are I never tire of zombies! Yeah Rock ‘N Rott is some whack shit, but it is some good whacked shit that will have you rocking in the aisles and knocking down bowling pins with severed heads. This is some unique shit, check it out ghouls.  - Dale

http://rockingcorpses.com/  http://www.officialabyssrecords.com     




2006 Split CD

(Bestial Burst Records)


Ride For Revenge – Kind of remind of the slow / middle paced crawl through the darkness that some of the early Greek black metal bands, such as Necromantia churned out. Maybe you could even call them Beherit played in slow motion. There are not many bands that cross my path these days play this sort of vein, it makes me really appreciate those precious few which do. Slow, atmospheric (nope no synth laden rubbish) and yet simplistic dark blackened metal, with great obscure, murky vocals. I need to keep my eye on this band.

Torturium – Imagine, if you will a rawer and loose version of Immortal on their 1st LP. Toss in some old school thrash influences and mix in insane screaming vocals ala early Burzum. I must say they have great energy, dark energy. I believe they have a full length album out on Aura Mystique now that might be worth checking out!  – Dale

www.bestialburst.blackmetal.fi/    bestialburst@blackmetal.fi    




“Apocalypsis Damnare” 2005 CD

(Paragon Records)


Thergothon, Winter, Disembowelment nor anything considered as death / doom, my Satanic ass! Damn bios. Just because this NY outfit is colder than a witches tit, let alone a whore’s heart, it seems all hate this 1999 re-issue. I shan't ever follow my fellow opinionated writers for the sake of it, I have my own ears. Remember 78 records? (I do – Dale) Take a 78, play it on 33 1/3 and that’s how the vocals sound like, which I enjoy as it fits with thee most doomiest, damnable and darkest music ever made. There is no wrong with change in metal less it be rap, jazz, hip hop etc… This is testimony of how you will be deprived of a ‘better’ life in death, because it ain’t true as our ‘After lives’ will have this horrid life lack beautiful and Rigor joins me in telling you all that we are fucked for infinity. So enjoy what pathetic life you have left you miserable fucks, because when it’s gone, so are we! What the fuck, my critics? I wasn’t aware of impute rules that every had to be exactly alike. Rigor do not go against general rules, nor the band wagon, nor does it go against the grain. Negative in all nocturnal intense hatred for all things laced with pleasurable pain is what this is all about, fuckin’ “A”! The new wave of positive thinking has taken over, indeed. Don’t disappoint me all of you underground clowns ~ this is what it’s all about, now buy or die!  – Clayton

www.paragonrecords.net   info@paragonrecords.net     




“Vallis Ex Umbra De Mortuus”  2008 CD

(Paragon Records)


Rigor do play or in their case a better word might be encompass your traditional doom metal. You will not hear the classic Sabbath sounds or the slick synth infusion of later day My Dying Bride for one example. No Sardonicous have a style that does not really sound a lot like anyone else but it is slow and suffocating and it is immense doom in every sense of the word. It is plodding and apocalyptic and the dark snails pace actually manages to accentuate and make you forget that they use a drum machine (as drum machines generally sound awful in fast bands IMO). The vocals are extremely obscure and so much so they almost melt into the background like they are part of the scenery rather than meant to be a focal point of the musical whole. I guess my only complaint and it is a minor one would be the recording could be a little fuller and richer to take full effect of their permeating style. The recording is just a tad thin but having said that it is not always easy to achieve on a budget. A lot of bands claim the title graveyard metal but Rigor Sardonicous actually achieve it in their unique doom-y way.  – Dale

http://www.smilingdeath.com   rigor@smilingdeath.com   http://paragonrecords.org/




“Split” 2004 CD

(Extreme Millenium Entertainment)


This would in point of fact be my first encounter with Riphead but surely not my first crossing of paths with it’s members. Two of Rip’s founders are from the respected old death metal band Ton and their singer is an old acquaintance of mine in the form of Andrew Parrish, formerly of the band Halomachine, not to mention editor of such print fanzines as Metal Union & Cult ‘zine and if that is not enough to occupy this die hard’s time, he runs the UG record label Morbid Souls. Riphead keep things on the simple side but that does not stop them from taking you places, they paint portraits of societal decline with a deft brush dipped in hatred. A little rough around the edges but these monsters from the land of the Blue Jackets show plenty of promise, I will keep my eye upon them. Drogheda on the other hand is something I know like the back of my hand or at least I used to. I was way into these grind animals for years, hence my interview with them in issue 3 of Canadian Assault, however I had heard nothing new from them in years and was uncertain whether they were still in existence really. The more things change, the more they stay the same and Drogheda have done just that, it is like traveling away from home for a long period and knowing that recliner in front of the stereo that has your body impressed into it from  years of use providing intangible comfort, the pocket on the side has your fanzines, porno mags, tissues and vibration remote and it is like you never left. The same can be said about Drogheda, they sound exactly the same after all these years and I am okay with that, who fuck wants a blasting semi-catchy monster grind band to progress?! Not me and when it is continually delivered with this sort of ferocity, memorability and cantankerous crusty dirt that is all that matters! Hails to Drogheda the pigheaded bastards from Ohio’s armpit, they play grind the way it was meant to be – pissed off with every song taking about long as you do with your girlfriend, 2 ½ minutes or less!  – Dale

Riphead = cultfanzine@yahoo.com   www.riphead.cjb.net  www.extrememilleniumentertainment.com 




“Demonic Winter Metal” 1997 CD

(Wild Rags!)


Sloppy, talent less, black metal with repetitive drumming and fairly passable vocals. The keyboard playing is worst of all, very amateurish performed by Grimace the grand blackened wizard of the golden arches. “Demonic Winter Metal” from sunny and happy, winterless California. This Canadian is unimpressed.  – Dale




“Totality” 2001 CD

(Realms of Darkness Productions)


It seems as if it has been an eternity since I have heard a new Rites of Thy Degringolade release. I have been guilty of not keeping as close an eye as I could have upon them. Long time readers of the Assault will recall I interviewed this band, on the strength of their great demo tape, back in issue 4. A quick history lesson for those not in the know, Rites rose from the ashes of a great old Canadian band named Sacramentary Abolishment (interview in issue 1!) and the other half of that band went on to form Axis of Advance. I would posit Rites have gotten more technical over the years, I am not sure you could call them a black metal sounding band any longer. Oh yes, it is dark music and yes it has an occult feel but to me it is much more rooted in death metal and old extreme thrash on “Totality”. I would say think if newer Gorguts had reproduced with Order From Chaos and the child was hopped up on speed and was exposed to occult themed violent horror films at much too young an age. It is surprising to me with the amount of things that are going on, the sheer cacophony of sounds and ideas, swirling in the music that mainman Paulus somehow manages to leave enough room for heavy slowed riffs and other quirky guitar derangement to breathe, to flow but the counter point of it all casts off a brilliant effect. Order injected into chaos indeed and one is feeling cold and exhilarated all at once. Though Paulus spews the vocals and plays all instruments, I have always thought of him as a drummer first and his frantic yet tasteful performance throughout the album are impressive and have done nothing to change my pre-conceived notion. Another highlight on the album, that should incite Canadian die hards, is a guest vocal appearance by one of the great, under appreciated and visionary Canadian musicians of our time, Hart Bachmier of the legendary Disciples of Power. A fine, fine way to off a master work of an album that should please aggression junkies who like a bit of atmosphere in their surroundings, as well techno-philes, who will revel in the many off-kilter and memorable twists, turns and time changes that riddle “Totality”. A must have and Western Canada proves once again it is the king of North American metal!  – Dale

Realms… Prod., Box 69, Washington, NJ. 07882 USA www.realmsofdarkness.com 

Rites…, 11311 96 St., Edmonton, Alberta, T5G 1T2 CANADA www.angelfire.com/music3/degringolade




"You Worship Shit" CD

(Obsidian Records)


If I am following correctly this project was started in 1997 as a three song demo, but it was never released. Yet the tracks were eventually posted on a myspace site and Obsidian caught wind of them. Then, the label convinced the one man behind this band to write more songs for an album release. So five more tracks were penned over the last 2 years, added to the demo material and the result is “You Worship Shit”. This is some pretty good stuff. It is hard to say what they sound like, but maybe something like Judas Iscariot mixed with the more fast upbeat Carpathian Forest type style. The vocals are definitely classic black metal rasping, but clear enough and with a deep enough tone to make out most of the lyrics. I just looked at the bio and it describes it as “black thrash ‘n roll” and I guess that fits though they definitely are rooted solidly enough in old black metal not to sound as corny as that title sounds. I think it is worth checking out.  – Dale

www.obsidianrecords.com   info@obsidianrecords.com   




“Hell Symphony” CD

(I Hate Records)


One has to mention off of the top that is a re-release and in this case the original album first surfaced in 1992. Anyone who has read Canadian Assault for a long time, knows that I love Root and I am devout follower especially of their debut album “Zjeveni” which was a true masterpiece of black metal. I was lucky enough to get a copy of “Zjeveni” on the original limited vinyl pressing. It still to this day is one of my most prized vinyls. “Hell Symphony” is the 2nd record from Root and is kind of a transition record while it still retains the harsh speedy black metal sounds of the debut. It begins the slow march towards more of a heavy metal tinged blackened style. Root had such a gift for writing atmospheric sounding sinister dark riffs and they never worry about being technical or brutal just for the sake of it. They are all about the feeling and atmosphere much like the old works of Mortuary Drape for example. “Hell Symphony” is almost ritualistic in some ways. One of the true gems and charisma of Root’s sound has to be the awesome and distinctive vocals of Big Boss. If you have heard Root before you know what I mean and you will never forget and always immediately know it is Big Boss when someone randomly plays a Root record. No need to ask who it is on the stereo. The bio states that Big Boss is also the founder of the Church of Satan in the Czech Republic. I did not know that previously. This album definitely harkens back to the beginning of the second wave of black metal and is an example of how bands had their own sound and style much more in those days as opposed to more recent times. As a bonus this version of “Hell Symphony” comes with 3 bonus live tracks recorded in Germany and the Czech Republic. If you have never heard them before then you need to get this right now. I hear they are re-releasing “Zjeveni” as well and I absolutely command all reading this to make sure you obtain that one upon re-release at all costs!  – Dale

http://www.ihate.se/   http://rootan.net/    




“The Temple In The Underworld” CD

(I Hate Records)


This is another addition to the wonderful re-releasing series, of the early Root back catalog. Which is an undertaking that is being lovingly and professionally handled by the I Hate Records. “The Temple In The Underworld” has always been an immersive journey for me, much more than just another good album, it is like a favourite book or movie, it takes you to places few other albums could even hope to do. Root continues their progression from adrenaline infused cryptic black metal speed to epic and supremely emotional heavy metal that always keeps that dark edge. They start things on a light note with the opening amazing intro and track “Casilda’s Song”. It is a rocking song that loosens you up to prepare you for you’re ambitious voyage ahead. The speed has been further slowed, but it really gives the music room to breathe, it also provides the room for Big Boss to truly stretch out and test the limits of his distinctive and fantastic vocals. It never ceases to amaze me, the range of emotion he is able to express with his voice, it truly is a superb instrument all on its own and the Boss is learning to harness the power in it. Once this album gets in your head, you get infected, you can never forget it and will always long to return to its embrace. I simply dare you to deny this. As with all Root re-releases you get some bonus tracks tacked on as well. This time you get the following tracks: “Poselstvo & Temnot (Messengers from darkness version 1993)”, “My Name… (2001 version)” & “The Old Ones (live at Praha)”. It would be impossible for me not to recommend this master work to you. Now I just wait with baited breath for the “Zejveni” re-release!!   - Dale

www.ihate.se    http://rootan.net/  




“The Book” CD

(I Hate Records)


We have another re-release from the Root catalog and this time it is “The Book” which originally was released in 1999. I am a little confused why the re-releases are not coming out in chronological order but I am sure the band and/or label has their reasons for this? With this being the bands 5th full length record. You can hear a progression in their sound. Starting with the vocals of Big Boss, as distinctive as ever, here he stretches his lungs and his range turning in a deep well rounded and charismatic performance. I guess one could state they are less black metal sounding than in the past. I mean I still find “The Book” to be a dark and hypnotic record but I think it is fair to say Root are more of a shadowy atmospheric heavy metal band in these days. It is impressive to see a band changing directions and doing it so seamlessly while keeping their dignity and quality largely intact. Now if you really nail me down and ask which is better. I have to be honest for me the early albums are better but the quality still displayed here is undeniable and Big Boss pulls the album through. They have taken things in a much more epic direction and feel. It is even a little quirky (folk type influence – check out the track “Corabeu” for confirmation) at times and can take a little getting used to. You will need to invest some time into this album to fully take in the art of sound woven into this release. Once again I Hate records leaves no stone unturned and we get as a bonus the pre-production demo versions of songs like “The Curse”, “Lykorian”, and “Corabeu”. I have just read on the Root website that they plan to record and release a new album entitled “Heritage of Satan” this year, so keep an eye out for that. They released their first demo in 1988 and here they are still going strong in 2009!  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/ihate666    http://www.myspace.com/rootcze




“Kargeras” 2013 CD

(Paragon Records)


The Root re-releases continue, it was not long ago I was reviewing a series of re-releases done by I Hate Records. I could be wrong but I think this may be the third time this album has been released since it first saw the dark of night back in 1996. I have immense respect for this band, obviously many labels have the same reverence and worship I do for Root. I became obsessed with this band I think it was some time around 1991/1992 when I managed get my hands on the original vinyl release of their debut Zejeveni album out on Zeras records from a distro. It is close to my most prized vinyl to this day and a masterpiece album of raw, hateful, distinctive black metal. Which brings us forward as the band slowly moved away from that black metal sound and the extremity, bit by bit over the next few albums bringing us up to Kargeras. The bands 4th album sees them further along this path as the band create their first concept album of a land, a time, a people entirely from the mind of mainman and UG scene legend Big Boss. The immense amount of work and pouring over every detail to make this record as perfect as possible is evident, I believe the band worked the longest on this record than on any other. As mentioned this album is no longer black metal, it is like some dark emotional epic heavy metal music. It is truly a poignant and moving album that creates an atmosphere, a mental musical landscape for you mind to wander through. As always is the case with each Root album, the vocals of Big Boss are as important and probably more important than any other instrument or musical element on a Root record. His vocals are so unique and wonderfully charismatic, they always reach into my brain and massage it into ecstasy with a powerful and deft touch. Just simply amazing. I do not know that I could put many more words to this review that would do this record justice. I just do not think Root are even capable of making anything short of a superb album time after time. This is simply a must own as are all Root full lengths. I almost forgot to mention there is an 11 minute bonus track simply entitled ‘Demos’ so there is that treat for the Root die hards!  - Dale

https://myspace.com/rootcze   http://www.themetalunderground.com/  




“Crushed” 1998 CD

(United Guttural Records)


I fucking love that that, record label name! If you read my 1st issue you will remember the interview I did with this band. Rotting flat out hit you with some of the most rambling, punishing and juggernaut like brutal death metal your likely to hear. They do like make things varied and catchy with a slight groove (no not that gay groove hippity-hoppity ‘jump metal’) but always heavy. They don’t grind things up instead opting for a straight on in-your-face attack with deep and understandable growls. This is an album all self-respecting death metal fans should own.  – Dale

United Guttural, P.O. Box 752, Grayslake, IL. 60030, USA or band contact:

Rotting, c/o Korey Arnold, 58 Roxborough Road, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 3K9, CANADA




"The Royal Arch Blaspheme" 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


N. Imperial (Krieg, et al) returns with this musical collaboration with John Gelso (Profanatica).  Released on Hell's Headbangers, this is a mix of old necro black metal with a bit of early death metal mixed in. The songs have the song structures that could only come from veteran's of the scene. Too much musicality to be rookies. Songs played with conviction. I'd like to see this become an ongoing band. The only knock? Spelling Blasphemy with an E at the end. Leave that to the metalcore bands.  \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ (4 out of 5)  - Mark Sugiyama

http://theroyalarchblaspheme.hellsheadbangers.com/  http://armour.hellsheadbangers.com/   




“II” 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


With Gelso of Profanatica and Krieg's Imperial in the line up this couldn't be anything but a barbaric mash of stubbornly primitive, ill-natured and mean sounding black fuckin metal. Two new wandering souls have joined the band since the release of the debut album, other than that welcome addition there's no further surprises or disappointments - make no bones about it: if you love the agonizing scornful sounds and atmosphere of Profanatica, you'd be for a treat here. Fans of technical playing, soaring keyboards and avantgarde ideas need no entry, The Royal Arch Blaspheme is the complete opposite of your musical preferences - this is the kind of stripped down rawness the genuine underground scene needs in these days of confusion and misinformed marketing. 'II' is kick ass, to put it bluntly.  - Vladimir Petrov

http://theroyalarchblaspheme.hellsheadbangers.com/  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/ 




“Underclass” 2007 Split CD

(khaaranus Productions)


Rubufaso – I had not heard of this band before. But it is made up of current and past members of a band I have known for a long, long time. Which is Cerebral Turbulency, who is still going strong. I reviewed a Cerebral Turbulency split tape 10 fucking years ago in the pages of Canadian Assault! But I digress and onward to Rubufaso Mukufo. Quite unsurprisingly they spew some grind with bouts of death metal. What else do you expect from the great grind scene in the Czech Republic? This is a pretty energetic affair going at light speed and sporting a really great full sound in the recording. Rubufaso just destroy everything and anything in their path with audio brutality. Some really fine grind. Maybe I should not have said that, I want, some coffee now.

Opitz – This is another Czech band made up of members from an old band called Contrastic. But honestly I have not heard this band before so no special meaning for me. As far as Opitz is concerned, this is my first taste. They definitely have a grind foundation, but wrapped around, a hardcore influenced style, with even some jazzy type bits now and again. It is really heavy and the drums grind wickedly. I like some good hardcore when it is good. But honestly here it is not that good and Opitz for me is not on the same level of Rubfaso. That is not to say that Opitz is no good. They are a solid band and their drumming alone will ground you to dust. The vocals and samples are in Czech, which is actually kind of adds an extra level interest for me. It kind of reminds me of greats like Master’s Hammer and Root in their early days. The language has a sick and evil nature to it when sung with anger, hate, darkness, depression behind the tone. But leaving the vocals aside, I find Opitz to have an American, sort of style to their sound. It just does not have the right mix of hardcore, death and grind to satisfy me. – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/rubufasomukufo   www.myspace.com/opitz1   www.khaaranus.wz.cz   




Split 2009 3" MCD

(Khaaranus Productions)


I totally love the design of the physical disc itself. It is actually a 3” disc, but it is full size. The outer ring is transparent with see thru artwork on top. That is a damn cool idea. The artwork is simple, but still somehow reflects the audio horror within nicely. I will be honest that it is easy to get confused where one band ends and the other begins. There is nothing wrong with that though when both are excellent and intense. Both bands play explosive diarrhea grindcore that will make you want to dance around your house in a spazztic blur punching the air and headbanging. I do not think I have had a more intense 16 minutes in my life! The music is a blizzard of amazing pounding drum work, steamrolling fast guitars and a rolling amalgamation of growling, frog ribbiting vomit gurgles. It is impressive how they can keep all of this lunacy controlled and all headed in the same direction. But they do and it sounds fantastic. It did not matter to me that it was only sixteen minutes and change because I hit the repeat feature and just continued to rage over and over for close to an hour and never once got tired of it. Though when I was done, my body was destroyed from the beating. This is really must own grind.  – Dale

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





(Khaaranus Productions)


This band from the Czech Republic has released two splits before this full length.  Elements of grind are the order of the day here with some hardcore mixed underneath as well. Short and to the point tunes, this is hard to take seriously.  The guitars are thick and heavy but the overall presentation of the songs is just mediocre.  Why bother putting time and effort into a band only to come up with this?  Next.  – Mark

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




"Front The Final Foes" 2009 CD

(Debemur Morti Productions)


Ruins come running at us hard from the land of Tasmania in OZ. I must say the vocals threw me for a loop at first and not what I had expected. I would call them a cross between Tom Warrior of Celtic Frost and Roger Miret of Agnostic Front. The first impression was the vocals do not fit the music, but after some repeated listens, it is all starting to mesh together for me and sounding more like a fit. Speaking of the music think of a straight thrashy, less rocking Carpathian Forest & newer Satyricon mixed with Celtic Frost and a stop at the Goatwhore station. I see everyone calling them black metal and there are bm elements to be sure. Yet, to me it is also filled with a lot of thrash and death metal elements and far from being a straight black metal band. The riffing is pretty simple, but catchy enough and driving with a nice flow. The drums are pretty sick, precise and slick. The production on this recording is pretty much top drawer. “Front The Final Foes” is nothing mind-blowing and nothing approach original or innovative. But it is still a good album, if you like this sort of style, I am sure you will like it, even if it likely replicates other albums already in your collection.  – Dale

www.debemur-morti.com   www.ruinsband.com  




"Place Of No Pity” 2012 CD

(Listenable Records)


I have always liked Ruins style of metal and Place Of No Pity is the fourth metal masterpiece by the Australian veterans and is no different. You get powerful yet catchy death metal. There are some thrash and even black metal influences mixed in to the bands guitar riffs and overall structures. The drumming is precise, well executed and flawless which is pretty impressive in it's self considering how fast and heavy some of the songs get. The vocals are a mix of brutal death growls and screams. I think Ruins have found a good home on Listenable Rec.'s roster. This is definitely the bands strongest material to date and shouldn't be missed by anyone old fans or new.  - Patrick

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




“Chambers Of Perversion” 2010 CD

(Negative Existence)


Not to be confused with Australia's Ruins. This is a one-man band from Germany. Ruins play a great mix of old-school speed metal and early venom style black metal. Thrashy fast guitars, mid-paced drums that switch over to hyper speed before calming back to a more mid-pace sound. The vocals are gruff screams. Ruins are not creating anything new on Chambers of Perversion but the songs on this release are played with a lot of metal-aggression and passion for this style. If you enjoy old-school blackened speed-metal then definitely check out Chambers of Perversion.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/ruins666  http://negative-existence.com/   




“Voice Of Opprobrium” 2019 CD & LP

(Iron Bonehead Records)


Nightwolf is the mastermind behind Runsespell, who play mystical black metal and are set to release this, their third full-length in September. The album features six songs of ’90 black metal with mid paced and some faster parts intertwined together skillfully to make a very interesting sound throughout. Nightwolf at some points composes and interjects some slower parts, which gives the music more depth and feel. The guitars feature both acoustic and electric guitars blended together seamlessly for a nice smooth mixture of tones. The drums follow along in the same vein, with some aggressive fast drum patterns and some slower to middle velocity drum arrangements. The vocals, when used are traditional black metal raspy screams. I must say Runespell play a very mesmerizing black metal style that reminds me of the early Greek and Polish black metal legends.  - Patrick

https://runespell.bandcamp.com/    https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com