Monday, October 14, 2013

Pentagram - The Malefice

Being that I’m so into Death Metal, it’s a wonder why I haven’t heard of this Pentagram before.  Perhaps it’s because they’re from a country that isn’t really known for contributing to the genre.  Unfortunate as The Malefice is some excellent early 90’s Death Metal that deserves to be an honored release from that era.  The remaster job is excellent too, as the impact and clarity here surpass even most American and Swedish releases from the time.  Nothing particularly different on offer, just great, mid-paced Death Metal.  It’s the intense attitude and quality songwriting that really shine.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Aeternus - ...And So The Night Became

…And So The Night Became was the second Black Metal album I ever bought when I was just 13.  I remember being initially reeled in by the ultra-grim, black and red cover.  Back then I was rather on the fence about it because of its dreary, repetitive nature.  Now, listening to it with mature ears I realize just how much of an overlooked gem it really is.  Until their most recent album, this was Aeternus’ best work full of memorable riffs, tight musicianship and great atmosphere.  What really sets this album apart, though, is the quality of the clean, slow parts.  You see, in most Metal, folk instruments and clean guitars are really just a novelty.  Aeternus are such well-rounded musicians, though, that their mellow moments are every bit as good as the Blackness that is the bulk of their material.  Like Setherial’s Nord, and Emperor’s Anthems,  …And So The Night Became represents the best of the late 90’s Norwegian scene.

Witherscape - The Inheritance

You know what?  I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything by Dan Swano before.  With this new Witherscape album the time couldn’t be any better.  For me, Swano’s projects have always been hit or miss.  Thankfully, though, The Inheritance is the best thing he’s done since the first Bloodbath album 11 years ago.  You could consider this like a new Edge of Sanity album (as that’s the sound that he’s pulling from the most), but with a healthy dose of newer Rush added in.  The inheritance is definitely a Swano album through and through, but a little less Death Metal and a little more Heavy Prog than he’s known for.  One of the best albums of the year!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ouroboros - Glorification of a Myth

After a very long hiatus, I'm back with an overlooked Tech Death gem (which is what most of you have come to expect by now).  This one came recommended to me from the good folks over at youtube.  I wouldn't give this album a chance for so long because it already had two strikes against it: the word "ouroboros" is in their name (which has become a huge cliche in recent years), and it has a very annoying, Deathcore-ish album cover.  Once I finally looked past the flaws of the facade I was treated to some pretty awesome progressive and melodic Death Metal.  Ouroboros remind me a lot of later-era Death mixed with the modern styles of Decrepit Birth.  Glorification of a Myth isn't very "out there" or new, but it definitely delivers.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Demon Lung - The Hundredth Name

With hipster-friendly Doom now bigger than ever, it's a wonder how I can find anything good in this sea of shit.  Recently though, I'm in luck as Demon Lung have stepped forward with The Hundredth Name.  Sounding like a darker and all-around better version of Witch Mountain, Demon Lung manifest thick riffs and trancelike vocal melodies.  This will put you back in your depressive hole that you've been missing since February.

Deeds of Flesh - Portals to Canaan

Say what?  Why is Deeds of Flesh (often considered the most boring Brutal Death band) on this blog?  Well, it's because DoF have changed a lot in the past ten years.  They've created one of the top Death Metal albums of the year.  Like Unleashed did a year ago and Hate Eternal did the year before, Deeds of Flesh have shed the shackles of mediocrity and have started to write worth while music.  Portals to Canaan very much has the "Unique Leader" sound; cleanly produced Suffocation-style Death, fast and technical.  But they still manage to leave just enough human feel to make it listenable.  Deeds haven't redefined the genre, but they have laid down a beyond-solid effort for Death freaks by Death freaks.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Asgard - Outworld

Apparently, there are 20 bands with the name Asgard, though I'm pretty sure this one is the best.  They deliver some killer 80's Power Metal with sweet riffs and hooks.  Straightforward stuff without any prog tendencies or shredding, in fact, the techinicality level is pretty average.  What really sets this band apart is the absurdly high vocal range of of the singer Federico.  He seems to effortlessly go from the standard alto to well into "chipmunk" territory.  It would be a treat to witness him accurately reproduce these notes live.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Illuminati - The Core

These guys really had me fooled.  I was absolutely convinced that this was an Atheist side project, and to those of us that have been waiting persistently for the follow-up to Jupiter, The Core is the next best thing.  Of course, the Atheist comparisons make more sense when you read that Kelly Shaefer and Tony Choy guest on the album.  In fact, the guest spots on here are a literal "who's who?" of Prog Death with: Patrick Mameli (Pestilence), Luc Lemay (Gorguts), and Tymon Kruidenier (Cynic) all making noticeable appearances.  What prevents me from totally soiling myself with excitement are the "conceptual" spoken word tracks between each song (which leave only 22 mins of actual musical material).  Even if I understood Romanian I would still think they were just worthless fillers.  Even so The Core is still a tremendously promising effort.  Next time though, can you give us a full album please?

Boss Keloid - The Calming Influence of Teeth

This band has probably the worst name I've come across all year.  Suprisingly, though, they produce some of the best "Beard Metal" I've heard in some time as well.  Imagine a hybrid of Crowbar and Kylesa, only mathier.  The production is decent, but I wish it had the seismic low-end of those old Crowbar jams.  Pretty sweet overall.  Definitely recommended!