Witching Metal Webzine

Witching Metal Webzine

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vagabond’s top 10 albums of 2011.

Yeah, I decided to do one of these silly list things that every other blogger and their grandma does. Keep in mind this “top 10” is subject to change because I haven’t properly digested or even heard every good release from this year yet. Enjoy.

10. Horrid – Horrid



One of the first bands to REALLY impress me with their debut album this year, these maniacs play a ripping blend of old-school Sarcofago, Possessed and Sadistic Intent worship. It’s a shame this release was limited to a small number of units.

09. Vanhelgd – Church of Death



Swedish death metal that has more in common with bands like Asphyx and Bolt Thrower rather than Entomed, Grave and Dismember. Easily one of the best albums emerge from Sweden in recent times.

08. Antichrist – Forbidden World



Thrash album of the year, hands down. These Swedes are one of the few newer thrash bands who actually have their own sound and don’t come across as a direct rip off of their 80’s thrash heroes, and I salute them for that. Great album!

07. Erebus Enthroned – Night’s Black Angel



I haven’t been following black metal as closely as I used to, but Sydney’s Erebus Enthroned definitely caught my attention with “Night’s Black Angel”. This is the best BM release I’ve heard in a while.

06. Autopsy – Macabre Eternal



Old-school US death metal legends reunite and put out an EP in 2011 then blow everyone’s heads out of the water with their best release since “Mental Funeral”. Well done, gentlemen, well done.

05. Portrait – Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae



It seems Sweden is dominating this list and with good reason, too. No other traditional metal album released this year touched the brilliance of Portrait’s sophomore effort. In Solitude (also from Sweden, gasp!) came close, but not quite close enough.

04. Assaulter – Boundless!



With “Boundless!” Assaulter improved on every aspect of their sound and have shown us that they can’t be pigeonholed into any specific sound or genre. Definitely the best Australian metal album to come out in 2011.

03. Miasmal – Miasmal



Death metal album of the year for me. Miasmal takes the regular “TURN THE HM-2 UP TO 11 GO FOR THE THROAT D-BEAT D-BEAT D-BEAT UUURRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH” sound that Swedish death metal is known for and injects it with a healthy dose of crust punk, sounding like Wolfbrigade (my favourite punk band) gone metal.

02. Blasphemophagher – The III Command of the Absolute Chaos



About time I featured some war metal in this list. Blasphemophagher definitely didn’t fuck around when writing songs for their third album. This slab of warmongering black/death destroys everything in it’s path.

01. Midnight - Satanic Royalty



What else was it gonna be? I’ve been waiting years for these filthy bastards to deliver a full length, and fukk, do they deliver! By far my favourite album of the year. Motorcharged Venom-worshipping metalpunk at it’s finest. You can’t stop steel!!!

So there you have it, my top 10 of 2011. If I’ve missed anything, I either haven’t given it a proper listen or something on the list was just better. Now let’s see what 2012 has in stall for us…

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vallenfyre - A Fragile King

Vallenfyre are somewhat of a death metal “supergroup” from the UK featuring current and former members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and At the Gates. Their sound can best be described as early Paradise Lost mixed with some early Swedeath influences and a bit of Bolt Thrower and Asphyx-esque mid-paced riffage thrown in for good measure. So far they’ve put out an EP entitled “Desecration” and their debut full length “A Fragile King”.



The guitars have that early death/doom “gloomy” feel to them, as well as a Swedish buzzsaw feel in the faster tracks, the bass plods along and mostly just follows the guitar but still has an immense presence, the drums are quite varied and do their things well and the vocals are deep and menacing, sounding like a more developed Nick Holmes in the early Paradise Lost years. The production is great, it’s pretty clean yet suitably dark and murky at the same time.

As you probably gathered when I mentioned the influences, the album is rather varied and no two tracks sound the same. Lots of contrast between the doom and gloom moments and the more neck-breaking parts, which keeps things interesting. My favourite tracks off this would be the opening track “All Will Suffer”, “Desecration” (which totally reeks of Paradise Lost), “Ravenous Whore” (which wouldn’t sound out of place on a newer Swedeath album) and the mid-paced stomper “Cathedrals of Dread”. I realize I did just name the first 4 songs in a row as my faves, but there’s a reason behind that; it gets a bit stale on the second side and I can’t help but think they should have made the album 10 minutes or so shorter, but in saying that, the second half still has it’s moments and shits all over a lot of the younger bands out there.

All in all this is a pretty solid release and I’m really surprised that I only heard of this band a week or so ago and never really heard/read any buzz about them. It’s a great mix of death/doom and straight up death metal. Sure, the album should have been a smidge shorter but I’m not one to let that sort of thing ruin it for me.

4/5

SHARKBASTARDTERRORCULT Interview #4: Cannabis Corpse



SBTC:
Oh shit! Andy Horn!

Cannabis Corpse:
Hellish trip-outs and tormented brain-leakings, fellow death-rattled weedian bangers!

SBTC:
We all know CANNABIS CORPSE has been following a line when it comes to album titles, most specifically tweaking original CANNIBAL CORPSE album titles into weed themed tales of death. But my question is: Why didn't you start with Eaten Back To Life?

Cannabis Corpse:
When we began recording 'Blunted...' we didn't think we'd be recording a full LP, let alone several. We didn't want to approach this band as a complete chronological mimickery, but rather as a death metal homage to all of Cannibal Corpse's brilliance and to all Tampa Death and beyond. The altar had merely been prepared! The sacrifice was only starting to scream and a pulverizing string of musical murders became imminent.

SBTC:
I saw you guys posted an unreleased Cannabis Corpse song on MySpace for free download some time ago, "Covered With Seeds". Which I personally think is a fantastic song. Why wasn't it included in Tube of the Resinated?

Cannabis Corpse:
It was demoed out when we began writing for TotR, but we withheld it along with other songs and deposited them in our Ganj-vaults. We liked it a lot too, but just decided on the tracks that appear on the album. Maybe one day we'll blow the keefy dust off of some of these lost nugs and reveal them on an LP.

SBTC:
Who created the awesome bud monster? I met that monstrosity at your Halloween show in Oakland and it hugged me, it was pretty mindblowing. How did he come to be?

Cannabis Corpse:
The dude that runs Robotic Empire (who released the TotR LP) is married to an awesome gal who custom builds 'Furry' costumes for Fur fetishists. One day when we were over at their place, she surprised us with what she had made, and we nearly plummeted into madness with psychedelic excitement! Since then the bud-monster has become increasingly thrashed from the relentlessly crushing live death-pits!

SBTC:
What has been your favorite Cannabis Corpse performance and why?

Cannabis Corpse:
That's a tough call to make; every one of them has a charm of some sort attached. Brainsqueeze was a total obliterator, especially since we got to play with and see all our buds!

SBTC:
You have been a vocalist for quite a long time now, and your style ranges from VERY high pitched and original black metal vocals to low as fuck growls. What are some your main influences for these, and how have you perfected them? Are there any vocal exercises you do before singing?

Cannabis Corpse:
Nah, no exercises or anything like that, I just do whatever. Maybe if I did, I'd be a bit better, but I've always thought 'metal vocal training' (or whatever) was weak and wimpy. I'm just a dude who loves punk and metal, not learning lessons and music schooling. It’s probably good to warm up before a show so that you don't destroy your voice, but between drinking and smoking and headbanging for the other bands- there isn't always a lot of time to do that. I'm influenced by both Barnes and Fischer (of course!), David Vincent, Benton, Mike Beams and Chris Reifert to name just a few American Death metal influences for CC. To shout off just a few for Battlemaster: TG Warrior, Tom Araya, Proscriptor McGovern, Apollyon, and Mikko Aspa.

SBTC:
In forming Cannabis Corpse, which came first: the concept or the music?

Cannabis Corpse:
Concept then shortly after, the music.

SBTC:
It’s a proven fact that Cannabis Corpse will be releasing their 3rd full length album this year. What can we expect from it?

Cannabis Corpse:
Senses-slapping, uncompromising Richmond death metal with enough filthy licks and brain-bashing beats to send your corpus callosum into reeling narcotic disarray! This new LP WILL fucking penetrate!

SBTC:
Landphil is best known for his work in MUNICIPAL WASTE, how is the time divided between these two bands? Do you ever work on songs without him?

Cannabis Corpse:
Yes, Landphil is a busy banger! We all have a bunch of projects we all work on, but we all make sure to get together in order to wage weed war on the regular! We all dig doing it so much, sometimes we end up practicing even when one of the 4 of us is on tour with another band.

SBTC:
In addition to your cannibalistic weed obsessed death metal outfit, you also play in the Virginian techy black metal powerhouse known as BATTLEMASTER. "Warthirsting & Winterbound" is a real masterpiece, and I also loved the last few demos. Are there any future plans for a second full length?

Cannabis Corpse:
We all love raging Battlemaster whenever we can and write new material constantly, so you can expect a hellhorde of fervorous dementia from us soon! The newest stuff is definitely our most pestilent to date.

SBTC:
Even if you're not a part of it, is there any chance you could tell us what is DEATHCRUSH (VA) and who is involved in it?

Cannabis Corpse:
It’s a Mayhem tribute band that Hallhammer, Landphil and a bunch of other demonically damaging musicians put together for a more recent annual evil metal fest in Richmond called "Heart of Winter". They played songs from 'Deathcrush' and 'De Mysteriis...' and were certainly a crushing homage to two infernally timeless records!

SBTC:
Finally, although we might be missing the obvious, none of our inner circle can figure out which Cannibal Corpse songs the title of 'Shit of Pot Seeds' is based around, would you please enlighten us on the subject?

Cannabis Corpse:
'Pit of Zombies' is the number you're talking about. It's about having weed growing in your guts and its inevitable violent exit, fuck!

Krypts- Self-titled EP




Krypts, next to Swallowed, have probably the most underground buzz of any newer death metal band out of Finland, and for good reason. Perhaps MORE so than any other newer death metal band, Krypts have a very unique sound, and completely avoid the classification "worship band". As much as I love acts like Miasmal, Ritual Necromancy, and Vasaeleth, I have to give Krypts credit for not emulating Entombed or Incantation. One could conjecture that Krypts may be influenced by Incantation, as well as Finnish acts like Convulse and Demigod, but they take influence without using Mortal Throne of Nazarene as a tablature book.

The style on this EP is very similar to that of their previous release, the demo "Open the Crypt". Weighty, eerie, death metal with prominent lead guitar melodies. Creepy, otherworldly riffs abound, floating above the rhythm section and slithering in between vocal patterns. The rhythm section underpins the megalomaniacal riffage with unceasing precision, never getting too "brutal", never blasting, always complimentary to the guitars. The result is as a hypnotic as a will'o'wisp beckoning from the marsh. My only complaint about this EP is that it's too short. At 2 songs and 12 minutes, I can think of shorter EP's, but this is just so good that I crave more. Luckily, Krypts are due to release a full length in 2012...

4.5/5

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Solitude - "The World. The Flesh. The Devil"... The Review!!





In Solitude are a 5 piece heavy metal  band hailing from the Viking lands of Sweden. They released their newest LP “The World. The Flesh. The Devil” last spring and I can’t stop listening to it! If you’re a fan of ass-kicking heavy metal you’re in for a treat!

The sound is a blend of Candlemass and Mercyful Fate; there are a lot of up-tempo riffs and doomy vibes in the songs.  Hornper’s vocals are very much like Messiah Marcolin, deep and emotional with a good range to boot.  The riffs are like a dark and doomy Iron Maiden (early Iron Maiden), they’re melodic and yet pound the ground like a 10-ton hammer. The songs have plenty of noodly solos and widdly-woo to keep you air-guitaring in front of your mirror.

I honestly can’t say there is a bad song on this album, a rare find in these days! My favorites would have to be “Serpents Are Rising,” “To Her Darkness,” and “We Were Never Here.” The tunes are catchier than the clap; you’ll be humming along with the choruses in no time.  The way they keep things melodic but so heavy and evil is amazing! Sorcery! You feel like summoning up dark storms and yet… there’s no urge to paint yourself like an evil KISS knock off and run around in the woods. It’s a perfect capture of 70s heavy metal, pretty much taking the same torch from Black Sabbath’s debut and reigniting it with a new flame.

Probably one of the best new heavy metal bands I’ve heard in a long time, Sweden sure is coming out with a lot of good bands! I may sound like I’m having a textual orgasm, but it’s hard for me to find a band (especially a new band) that really gets me  going. All the tracks are solid, it’s a perfect essence of 70s heavy metal, and it kicks more ass than a room full of stampeding donkeys.

Now go get off your fat arse and nab this album!
5/5

Heresiarch – Hammer of Intransigence

Heresiarch is a 5-piece bestial black/death metal band hailing from New Zealand and featuring a couple of members from Diocletian and Witchrist, among others. Fans of those two bands in particular should have a rough idea what to expect from this war mongering horde’s first EP and second release “Hammer of Intransigence”…



One thing that I should mention firstly about this release is the production: it’s really clear and crisp for this type of music and you can hear every note played on the bass, every bash on the kit, the furiously belched vocals and the crunchy guitars. Nothing overshadows anything else and the EP is mixed really well.

The songwriting is top-notch chaotic and bestial war metal with slowed down doomy passages spread throughout. The band sounds like a mix of Diocletian, Conqueror and Bolt Thrower… a bit of an odd mix, but they pull it off. If there’s one thing this horde knows; it’s the balance between all out fury and slowed down crushing darkness. The best songs on here would have to be “Carnivore”, Iconoclasm”, “Thunorrad” and the title track.

All in all, this is a killer little EP and I can’t wait to catch these guys live at Evil Invaders IV in June 2012.

4/5

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SHARKBASTARDTERRORCULT Interview #3: Massgrave



SBTC:
Hails and thanks for taking the time to do the interview. For those who have not heard of you guys, how and why did you guys get started as a band?

Massgrave:
Goat and Woody started the band around 2001 with Goat on drums and woody on bass.
They later added Lenny on Vocals and me on drums with goat moving over to guitar. We went like that for a few years and then got Dave in to play bass so Woody could focus on vocals.
The line up is Lenny/Vocals, Woody/ Vocals, Goat/Guitar, Dave/Bass, Hesher/Drums. As for why we all love punk music and grind/crust. We are influenced by bands like Napalm Death, Disrupt, Extreme Noise Terror, Doom, Rudimentary Peni.


SBTC:
You last releases where in 2008, the splits with In Disgust and Stormcrow, and the compilation “5 years of Grinding Crust Core”. Why such the long time since any new release and is there any thing planned for 2011?

Massgrave:
It can be a slow process but we aren't in any rush to pump out new tunes. We have a new LP that we recorded in March 2010 that is going to be coming out on Haunted Hotel Records any day now. Since then we have done a 6 week Euro tour, a 2 week east coast tour and tons of local shows. We definitely haven't been slacking.

SBTC:
If you had to pick one release that you have under your belt, which one would you say you are most pleased with and why?

Massgrave:
I think we would all agree that the split with Stormcrow is up there. I think it’s our best batch of tunes and we are dear friends with the Stormcrow guys, it was cool to do a record with them. The art and layout also turned out killer. Goat did the layout and Dan Sawblade from Texas did the cover.

SBTC:
On a similar note do you guys plan to do a tour any time soon? The last time I saw you guys perform was at Murderfest a few years ago.

Massgrave:
We are flying to Texas at the end of April. We are going to play 4 shows down there with PLF. We got asked to play with Doom in Seattle in May and that is going to be sick. In 2011 we are going back to Europe for another tour. Probably 4-6 weeks. We are all really looking forward to that. Murderfest was really fun. I remember playing right next to Phobia and Rotten Sound which was deadly. It was my first time seeing Eyehategod which is one of my favorite bands.
Cheers to Adrian from What Shame for hooking that weekend up for us.


SBTC:
Are their any notable humorous/interesting experiences you have had playing shows or touring?

Massgrave:
Oh man there are shit loads. One of the funniest was in 2007 we were touring the US with Catheter and we had an overnight drive through New Mexico.


Earlier Lenny had fallen sleep and we were fucking with him. When he woke up we told him that we had rubbed poo on his upper lip. He was choked and we kept bugging him about it and he really thought we did it.
Somewhere along the way someone scratched in the dust on the window “Lenny has poo on his lip.” So anyways we are driving through New Mexico late at night and we get pulled over by Highway Patrol.

They asked us a few questions and everything was fine.

The cop was letting us go and said something like “You guys are free to go, and tell Lenny to wipe the poo off of his lip.” We cracked up hard.
We really fuck with each other on tour. It gets pretty out of hand sometimes.


SBTC:
A lot of great bands come from Canada. How do you feel the scene is over there?

Massgrave:
It's pretty good. We have been getting a lot more US and foreign bands up here lately. We have recently started doing shows at our practice spot that have been awesome.

It’s called Garbage Mountain. It’s a space we share with some of our friends bands. There are 4 rooms in it and we clear out the main room for shows. It is the perfect size for a punk gig.


SBTC:
Obviously you are influenced by grindcore and crust, but are their any bands that people would not expect that you listen to?

Massgrave:
A couple of the dudes are into the Beatles. Lendawg listens to hiphop. I like a lot of assy rock like Airbourne and Nashville pussy. Woody listens to real old blues and country. We are all over the place.

SBTC:
When did you really start getting into the more extreme forms of music?

Massgrave:
We all started off the same listening to pretty mainstream stuff like Nirvana when we were really young then gradually getting into punk and crust later on. I started off as a metalhead listening to Metallica and Sepultura. Through them I heard about underground bands like Doom and shit like that. It just went from there. I think one of the big things for me was hearing the Bleeeeaaarggh!!! 7 inches as a teenager. It just blew my mind that there were bands all over the world playing this stuff. It's how I heard about Assuck, Man Is The Bastard and those types of bands.

SBTC:
D-beat or blast beat?

Massgrave:
That’s a tough one but I would have to say D-beat because nothing gets the fists pumping like it.

SBTC:
How should folks who want get merch and other goodies get in contact with you?

Massgrave:
Get in contact with Goat at theuglyclub@hotmail.com

Thanks for the interview. Write us at massgravebc@yahoo.ca Listen to Inepsy. Up the punks! MG

SHARKBASTARDTERRORCULT Interview #2: Morbus Chron



SBTC:
Okay, let's cut the crap and jump into the interesting cool shit going on with Morbus Chron.
I've read that the debut album recordings have been completed and that there are new shirts released on Dybbuck. So far, so good.
As of now, you've signed with Pulverized for the release of your debut album, right? Give us some details regarding this and what we can expect from it (the album, that is).


Morbus Chron:
Thanks for cutting to the crap! The album contains nine songs of paralyzing sexiness. A sexiness that is only beaten by the cover-art by Raul Gonzales (I'm serious, if you haven’t got a hard-on when you see it you can go and kill yourself). If you've listened to and digged the Splendour-demo or Creepy Creeping Creeps you're not really in for a big surprise (a couple of the demo/EP-songs also made it to the full-length). We play the same way, although I dare to say there's been some progress. A few of the songs are trying to distance themselves from the typical old school death metal masturbation and venture somewhere we haven't been before. But in the end it all sounds like we've always sounded, like a disturbing mixture of shit, piss, puke and a stolen autopsy-riff. More info will come shortly. Finishing the layout as we speak.

SBTC:
The Swedish scene has puked several GREAT new acts and most of these have released at least one album. Now, this is by no means a competition, but would you say Morbus Chron's debut will be right there next to stuff like Cult of Lazarus, The Horror or even Breed Deadness Blood?

Morbus Chron:
I'm a big fan of Breed Deadness Blood and that's the one of the three I hold the highest. We're satisfied with the album and it's the best we've ever sounded, but if people will put us up there with Vanhelgd or Necrovation I really don't know.

SBTC:
I loved the random short intro growls at the start of each song on the EP. This attitude is some of the weird shit I definitely dig. Is there gonna be stuff like it on future releases?

Morbus Chron:
Haha, we haven't got a growl-introduction to every song on the album if that's what you wanted. There's some bizarre humor in the texts though that'll satisfy your sick pleasures. We like to keep it not so serious. But that doesn't mean we're good people.

SBTC:
There's an online video clip for the song "The Hallucinating Dead". I suppose the burlap sack cultists featured in it are the band due to the YouTube account connections. Is this an official video clip? Or was it made just for shits & giggles?

Morbus Chron:
We're really proud of that fine piece of art. It was actually a friend of Dagge (the bassist) that wanted to film us for a school-project. He had an idea for a music-video and we totally went with his vision. It was a great time, Morbus Chron playing in the Swedish snow. We bought lamb hearts, made our own torches and sacrificed a dude to the devil. I mean, if that isn't a candidate for the MTV's video awards I will be very, very angry.

SBTC:
Who's the fucked-up-in-the-head numbskull who draws your art? It looks like it was drawn by a 7 year old under the influence of drugs, Lovecraft and zombie movies. Genius.

Morbus Chron:
We've had our fair share of fancy artist working on our stuff. Everything in Splendour of Disease was drawn by Mille Hökengren of the band Whore (You should check them out, great shit! myspace.com/whoreflesh). I guess that he is the 7-old you're talking about 'cus he has got that childish feel to everything. Totally dig his stuff and he's a close friend. For the EP we wanted something else and we crossed paths with Rafal Kruszyk (Although Edde did the inside-art!). Who hasn't worked with that guy? You can see his work everywhere. Anyway, he's great and easy to get along with. The album-cover is drawn by the dude Raul Gonzales. We found him when we were out hunting for an artist to do the full-length. The first thing I saw was this fucking psycho painting of some weird as netherworld with eyes, fissures and fire in the weirdest colouring you ever saw. That became the cover-art. Another guy who draws amazingly sickening stuff is that fella named Putrid, we chose between him and Raul. Next time maybe!

SBTC:
I am not sure about this, but you've only played inside of Sweden. Are there any plans for a tour elsewhere? Have you got any offers yet?

Morbus Chron:
Yes we've played a bunch of times, but only in Sweden. And yes, people have offered us gigs elsewhere. The other guys (this is Robba writing by the way!) want nothing else than to tour the world. So the problem has always been me. I have a terrible stage-fright and to be honest I don't like playing live. A couple of months ago, just after the album was recorded, I took a well needed band-break. We sat down and I told them I didn't feel alright, cus I didn't... We had two shows in about a week and man I was down and stressed and felt like I had the world on my shoulders. So in the end I (we) canceled the shows. Right now I'm trying to work out myself, I want to be able to do this fully but at the moment I can't. The psychological torture I go through before each show is something I can't take... Ye, it sucks and I've gone to fuckin' therapy for this crap.. But enough about my fuckin' personal problems. I get mad just talking about it. Next question.

SBTC:
Name 5 of your current favorite albums.

Morbus Chron:
Aaah, this was more relaxing. My current top 5. Lets see... I hope this doesn't only count for death metal albums? Anyway, here goes. I'll even do a list. They are so good I don't have to explain why.

1. Darkthrone - Goatlord (Frostland tapes-version)
2. Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
3. Obliteration - Nekropsalms
4. Anal Cunt - Picnic of Love
5. Arzachel - Arzachel


SBTC:
10 ravioli cans or old school death metal? Pick one.

Morbus Chron:
That's not fair... That's like giving free pork to a Jew. Overload of the mind. If I really had to choose I'd pick the death metal. I can still buy spaghettiOs.

Necrovorous – Funeral for the Sane

Necrovorous is an old-school death metal sounding band hailing from Greece who have been around since 2005 and been steadily releasing material since their formation. “Funeral for the Sane” is their first full length.



There is a variety of influences evident on “Funeral for the Sane”, the obvious ones being Autopsy, Incantation and Entombed, so it’s a bit of an OSDM melting pot. Slow dirges mixed in with all out filthy blastfests and ugly d-beat driven groovin’ sections. The production is pretty clean but still raw enough that even the most lo-fi obsessed death head will find their head banging along to the tunes.

The guitar has a classic death metal tone to it, the bass is audible, the vocals reek of John McEntree and the drumming is varied as all fuck. This album ticks all the boxes for a completely solid death metal album and I find it rather strange that I haven’t heard much about it when discussing 2011 releases with other metal fans. I guess these guys have flown under the radar a bit, due to all the other killer DM that’s been put out this year.

If you consider yourself a fan of old-school sounding death metal at all, do yourself a favour and look up the tracks “The Vilest of All Dreams”, “Deathknells”, “The Spawn of Self Abhorrence”, “Dwellers of my Flesh” and the title track. You’ll regret missing out on one of the best death metal releases of 2011 if you don’t!

4.5/5

Monday, December 19, 2011

SHARKBASTARDTERRORCULT Interview #1: Fornication

As some of you may know (although most of you probably don't), earlier this year I was going to collaborate on a printed 'zine with the guys from Gorphyryac. Unfortunately due to money issues, this 'zine has not been printed, and it has been decided that the interviews done (not by me, by the way) for the first issue aren't as relevant now as they were at the time, so it would be unfair to charge money for them, so instead, I will be posting them on here for your reading pleasure. Up first is Canadian black/speed metal maniacs Fornication...




SBTC:
Thanks for taking the times to do this sickos, for those who have never heard you how would you describe your sound?

Fornication:
First wave black metal... black thrash. Rotten, unholy, fast, evil relentless metal.

SBTC:
I see you enjoy candle-lit alcoholic sewer rituals. How did these ventures into subterranean filth begin?

Fornication:
When I was about 13 me and my friends stumbled upon the entrance to the sewers in this forest around here. We never really went far in them before, never brought the lights or anything, since its pitch black, but we always went back and fucked around the entrance. Eventually we traveled through them, after about 20 minutes of walking you find a giant room, which is where the sewer rituals began. Many fucked up times in there! The depths of the underground, blacker then night! Acoustics sound wicked down there, I have recorded a few things down there.

SBTC:
What do you think of the Calgary metal scene?

Fornication:
75% pure garabage, 25% real music. Good bands from here like The Cadavor Dog, Gatekrashor, Ominosity, Epi-Demic, Martial Law... thats about it. My other band is deathrash - Savage Streets. The Edmonton scene is pretty good as well.

SBTC:
Has Fornication performed outside Calgary? Any plans on touring?

Fornication:
Just around the Province. No plans to tour now, around September we are playing live for Barbatos on a west coast USA tour, so that’s enough for this year, unless something comes up.

SBTC:
How did your split with the legendary Japanese sleaze/thrash group ABIGAIL come to be?

Fornication:
I did a trade with Yasuyuki of our demo "Hell Metal" for some of his stuff. Then we just talked about doing a split.

SBTC:
Are there any plans for a Fornication full length record in the works?

Fornication:
Only demos/eps/splits for a while is my plan. But you never know. As of now, there are no plans at all.

SBTC:
There are a handful of other Fornications (obviously false) out there, what sets you apart from these hacks?

Fornication:
The act of Fornication can be Blasphemous, Unholy, Primitive, filthy, rabid, dirty... which is our sound.

SBTC:
Have you ever encountered trouble for your perverse lyrics, imagery etc in your native land?

Fornication:
No. Well I went to this radio station a few years ago when we just started, and our drunk/high antics made them cut us off, said some fucked up shit, fought in the radio room and ruined all their equipment. It was indeed fucked.

SBTC:
What are your top 5 favorite records of all time?

Fornication:
Venom - Black Metal
Bathory s/t
GISM - MAN
Sarcofago - INRI
Inquisition - can’t even pick one...
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance....
Can't just pick 5... these are just my classic favorites, I always have a different album I’m going most nuts for... lately lots of Force of Darkness and Bestial Mockery.


SBTC:
What are your thoughts on Sharks?

Fornication:
Fuckers are scary, just like the ocean. Deep ocean shit is so fucked.

SBTC:
If you were to get drunk and lay waste to a crowd with any active band, who would it be?

Fornication:
Lots. My rage is at its max for shitty bands when I'm drunk.

SBTC:
Thanks again! Any parting words?

Fornication:
Worship the darkness, drink, fight, fuck and do drugs till you cant do more! Thanks for the support!

Prosanctus Inferi – Red Streams of Flesh



Prosanctus Inferi have been around since 2005, but I didn’t expect to hear anything new from these ripping black metal bastards following the suicide of their drummer Antichristus in 2009 and the post-humorous release of their debut album “Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations” in 2010, but main man Jake Kohn has soldiered on with new drummer Jeremy Spears and put together a killer follow-up EP entitled “Red Streams of Flesh” on Nuclear War Now! Productions.

This EP is so straightforward it’s almost ridiculous, but that’s the beauty of it. Fast paced tremolo riffs, evil as fuck vocals that bring to mind Paul Ledney’s work on Profanatica’s full lengths and songs that are always running along at full speed. Fans of intense bestial bands such as Archgoat, Revenge, Blasphemy, Angelcorpse and (very) early Morbid Angel will love this; anyone else will probably hate it, but fuck those guys.

The production is filthy as ever yet weirdly accessible and fits the music immensely. Running at 19 minutes, the listener doesn’t have time to get bored and will just find them self lost among the primitive brutality. “Red Streams of Flesh” doesn’t differ much at all from their previous efforts, but I do personally consider it an overall improvement to their most recent release.

4/5.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Insinnerator- Stalagmite of Ice




Insinnerator are a lil’ ol’ three-piece thrash band from Texas.  They’ve finally released their debut album, having released only EPs and demos previously, and DAMN, it’s an ass-kicker!

The first track just cuts right in. There’s no fancy-shmancy introduction music, it just goes off with a riff that socks you right in the jaw and spits on you as you go down. There are riffs abound, very tasty riffs I might add. I think the riffs really make this album; they leave you shitting your insides out like your mother’s chili. Gary Holt and Kerry King would wet themselves in jealousy. Lots of good circle-pitting riffs and plenty of ones to go nutty and mosh your brains out with.

 There are quite a few  Araya-screams, although at times they’re grating to the ears, like in “Rites of Execution”, and others they fit in perfectly such as “Face the Insinnerator”. The vocals at times are usually speed talking garbles of words with a slight sneer; it’s a lot cleaner than what you could expect as they aren’t very gruff. Think Hetfield meets Baloff.

The tracks flow very smoothly one after another, probably to keep your attention as they pummel you through your speakers. It’s pretty much an album of thrash metal blitzkrieg. There is a 7 minute track, but the music has the dynamics to keep your attention. Musicianship seems to be emphasized on this record. However, it’s not to the point of being a proggy-egghead band, but they really know how to construct a well-written tune. I haven’t heard such well composed tunes from a thrash band in a long time. Besides the great riffs, the solos are tasteful and aren’t rope-pissing guitar wank fests. The drummer keeps in the pocket while adding fills to spice up the song, with very little jackhammer blast-beats, too.

Overall, this is one solid debut. If the riffs don’t start making your neck moving and groovin’ then you might as well be dead. It’s not for those that are brand-new to thrash as the vocals wouldn’t be appealing to fresh ears. Whilst they didn’t set any new standards in thrash, nor do I think they were aiming to, it certainly is just good, “classic” thrash metal. They don’t rehash anything or sing about pizza, beer, and bongs. I would definitely say these guys stand apart from the rest of the New Wave of Thrash; if they can keep it together they can easily become the cream of the crop in a few years. If a zombie apocalypse were to commence soon, I would definitely recommend you to pop this in your music player and get crackin’!
4/5

Introducing a New Member of the Cast

Hello fellow metalheads!

It's Sean here, Ambrosius to those from Thrash Unlimited. I've finally started to do some reviews. I'm collaborating with Wayde's webzine here, I'll be throwing in a few reviews from time to time. I'm new, but  I hope you take the time to open your eyes and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Short and Sweet 7” and Splits from 2011 that flew under my radar...

There have been some really cool split and 7” releases put out this year that I’ve only recently become aware of and since your average split or 7” is generally short and to the point, I’ve decided to compile a few short and to the point reviews in one post for convenience and a bit of fun. Please, feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything else that should be checked out in the comments section of this post…

Deiphago – XCIII



First up is anti-Christ Filipino war metal maniacs Deiphago and their 7” EP “XCIII” which dropped back in February but I was unaware of until just last week. On display here are a brief 41 second intro track and two tracks of blistering chaotic war metal that sounds like Bestial Warlust taking a vacation in the Philippines. Lots of blastbeats, crazy riffs, undecipherable vocals and lo-fi production are what you can expect from these guys, and honestly; I would never expect anything else from them. Both songs are killer and this is a very worthy purchase for your bestial vinyl collection.

3.5/5 Good stuff, but I’m not quite convinced it lives up to their latest full length.

Morbosidad/Witchrist



A split between my favourite Mexican band and my favourite New Zealand band? How did I miss this one when it dropped back in September?!

The two Morbosidad tracks are exactly what I’ve generally come to expect from this Mexican horde: straightforward bestial black/grind that’s fun as hell and doesn’t muck around with silly gimmicks or blatantly ripping off Blasphemy or Conqueror.

The Witchrist songs are just as good as everything we heard on their excellent full length “Beheaded Ouroboros” but a bit more on the straightforward death metal side. It’s a lot more stripped down than the full length was, but it fits in well on a split with a band like Morbosidad who stick to the whole “no bullshit, just metal” attitude and it’s nice to hear them doing something like this after releasing such a dense and crushing full length. The second song, simply entitled “II” is the longest on the split and takes the cake as the best track.

5/5 both bands are at the top of their game and this split is proof of how relevant each of these underground hordes are.

Cruciamentum/Vasaeleth – Eroding Chaos unto Ascendant Flesh



Time for a change of pace and some crawling mid-paced Incantation worship of the highest order. Here we have two of the most solid up-and-coming young death metal acts doing the whole “ancient dark death metal” thing. Cruciamentum from the UK and Vasaeleth from the states.
A
nyone who has heard either band will have a bit of an idea what to expect here; from Vasaeleth, it’s all about distortion soaked thick doom laden occult death metal. This track is a bit weak compared to some of their material but still a very solid track either way and I’ve got no complaints about it. The Cruciamentum song is a bit cleaner than what they have put out so far but still dark and heavy as ever. The biggest change on Cruciamentum’s part is the vocals, which now resemble more of a Bolt Thrower influenced mid-low range growl that sits comfortably higher in the mix than on previous efforts.

This split isn’t exactly gonna make waves among the underground crowd but it’s a solid release with two good tracks and my only real complaint is that it left me drooling for more from each band.
4/5

Grave Upheaval/Encoffination



Keeping with the trench of ancient and dark sounding death metal, we come to a split between two incredible bands; Australia’s Grave Upheaval and Encoffination from America. I’m telling you right now kids, this split is not for the faint of heart…

Both bands deliver a unique brand of ritualistic occult death metal that crawls along at a snails pace and suffocates the listener under their intense musical weight. Each of the two songs on this split reek of filthy blasphemous crushing terror. This is one for the true death metal diehards only.

4/5 A bit pricey and painfully short, but absolutely crushing. One of the heaviest releases I’ve ever heard.

Cerekloth – Halo of Syringes



This dropped back in July and I had no idea until I unexpectedly came across it while browsing Hells Headbangers not long ago. Denmark’s Cerekloth really impressed me a couple of years back with their debut EP “Pandemonium Prayers” so it goes without saying that I purchased “Halo of Syringes” instantly when I found it.

“Halo of Syringes” is a MASSIVE departure from the early Deicide worship the band conjured on their earlier release, which is a good thing indeed. The band have undergone a complete change in direction, one filled with dissonant and eerie riffs played at lumbering paces, sinister cackling vocals that reek of the manic Attila Csihar in the midst of a heroin bender, well thought out drum patterns and an overall aching sordid vibe. And that’s just the first track! The second song “Shattered Hourglass” is a rerecording of a track from the earlier EP and it still reeks of Deicide worship but now the song actually fits the band and doesn’t sound like a generic death metal filler (so in other words, it doesn’t sound completely like a Deicide song anymore). The outro track is a very clean and soothing instrumental track when compared to the other two tunes, think of an early Katatonia interlude and you get the idea.

5/5 These guys have progressed a ton and truly caught my attention with this release. I’m eagerly awaiting more.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Masada - Suffer Mental Decay



Masada are a pretty new (formed in 2008) death metal band from the US featuring members of Immolation, Gorephobia and Grand Belial’s Key among others. Judging by the bands that Masada’s members have previously played in, obviously you should not let yourself be fooled by the logo and album art into thinking this is just another generic throwback thrash metal album… Masada play pure and unique old-school death metal without compromise.

Most of the demo crawls along at a creeping mid-pace, but at times they pick up into furious speeds. The production here is excellent for a demo, every instrument can be heard but there is still an eerie sense of murkiness lurking in the mix. Catchy bass lines and varied unique drum patterns are used to create a sense of technicality not unlike Finnish legends Demilich.

Not much more can be said about this 2 song, 6 minute demo except that it’s a killer slab of OSDM drenched in a dark and moody atmosphere that leaves you wanting more. I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting more from these guys.

4/5

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Resurgency/Desolator Split

What we have here is an untitled split featuring two demos from two killer up and coming death metal bands. Side one is a Greek band called Resurgency who feature members of Necrovorus and Stagnate and this is their first demo entitled “Dark Revival”. Side two is the second demo of Swedish band Desolator entitled “Mass Human Pyre”. I’m not going to compare the two bands and say one is better than the other, because that would be fucking stupid when both sides are of such high quality. What I am going to do, however, is discuss why this split is an excellent homage to all the things that make old-school death metal great and hopefully convince you, the reader, to check out these two bands.



Side 1. Resurgency – Dark Revival

It seems these Greek fellows are influenced from just about every OSDM scene there is, and to my ear they most resemble the sound of early Vader, Sinister and Morbid Angel. So you can pretty much guess the kind of riffage and tone Resurgency delivers. This side of the split has a better production job than the Desolator side although the bass is pretty vague and often drowned out by the guitars and vocals. The best of these 4 songs would have to be the opener “Where Despair Dominates” in my opinion. All 4 tracks are stellar and leave you hungry for more Resurgency.

Side 2. Desolator – Mass Human Pyre

Now for Desolator, who bring forth a filthy Swedish death metal assault. Chainsaw guitars, d-beats and an all-around grittiness is the order of the day here. The intro track “Conjuration of the Watcher” gives off a distinctively medieval feel with it’s chanting and cries of “Arise! Arise! Arise!” leading into the opening riff of “Mass Human Pyre” which really gives the feel of some foul beast arising from the depths of the earth. This side is raw old-school Swedeath, nothing more, nothing less. And it’s fucking brilliant.

In a nutshell; neither of these bands are trying to do anything new or grab your attention using wanky show off tactics. They simply conjure up the old death metal spirits and do a damn good job of it. This is everything I could ever want from a death metal split.

5/5

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Demonic Slaughter – Revelations of Death

Recently I received an email from a record label called Hellthrasher Productions containing a couple of review requests that I happily agreed to look into since they asked nicely. Polish black metal horde Demonic Slaughter’s latest full length is one of those releases. I don’t know much about Demonic Slaughter but they’ve been around since about 2006 and put out 2 EPs and 3 full lengths so far and “Revelations of Death” is their third full length.



I haven’t heard any of their earlier material so I can’t make a comparison between the new and old stuff, but what I can tell you is “Revelations of Death” isn’t your typical black metal and the band incorporates a large Swedish death metal influence in their riffs, plenty of variety in the vocals ranging from death metal growls to blackened howls to Inquisition-esque “chanting” and the drumming is rather varied and the bass surprisingly audible for this type of metal.

It’s always refreshing to hear a black metal release full of actual songs that are catchy, chock full of riffs and go somewhere… I find myself hearing so much stale black metal albums which just go nowhere and repeat the same crap over and over that it’s gotten to the point where I’m very weary when looking into new black metal bands. Some of the more ear catching tracks here are; “Chant of the Graves” (probably my all around fave off the album), “Prayer of the Accursed” and “Communion of Dissolution”.

Demonic Slaughter aren’t exactly making waves of innovation or reinventing the wheel in any way at all and this won’t be remembered as the best release of 2011 by any means, but they play a decent brand of black/death metal and they do it well and I don’t think you can really ask much more of a band in this day and age.

4/5

Blasphemophagher - The III Command of the Absolute Chaos



Italian warmongering nuclear bastards Blasphemophagher have returned with another killer full length only a year and a half after their last LP! “The III Command of the Absolute Chaos” is their latest offering… and it certainly lives up to their bestial legacy so far…

If you’ve heard any of their previous releases, you should have pretty clear idea what to expect from a Blasphemphagher album; unrelenting, blasting bestial chaotic black/death metal with a thrashy, almost punkish vibe to it. The production, as usual, is much cleaner than your typical “war metal” release, allowing each instrument to shine, yet still a bit rough around the edges, which sets these guys apart from the crowd in a big way and works really well with their style. The vocals range from guttural growls to black metal shrieks to a Pete Helmkamp like “rasp” which keeps things interesting, as the instrumental parts are generally blistering riffs, blast beats and pounding bass riffs that follow the guitar.

Clocking in at 33 minutes, “The III Command…” is a short yet absolutely crushing album. It’s hard to say which songs stand out the most, as they’re all excellent in their own way and they all tend to follow a similar format (except for “Genesis of the Antiworld”, which wouldn’t sound out of place on an Angelcorpse album!) which just works for the band and doesn’t get boring. I’d say my faves are “Abominable Nuclear Penetration”, “Entering the Expanding Plasma” and “Genesis of the Antiworld” all three of which are terrific examples of what makes Blasphemophagher so devastatingly awesome.

Them crazy Italians have done it again with their intense brand of nuclear war worship…

5/5

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Em Ruínas - ... From the Speed Metal Graves

Em Ruínas are a speed metal band from Brazil who have been around since 2002 but only put out two demos and a full length so far. “… From the Speed Metal Graves” is their debut album, released this year on Mutilation Records.



These guys don’t fuck around and the album instantly kicks it up to high gear with the second track “Burn in Hell (The Self Damnation” after a brief intro. Expect ridiculously fast and heavy riffs, mid-high pitched vocals with a Lemmy-ish rough grittiness to them, punky drumming and reasonably audible bass. The production is a bit weird and jumps around in quality from song to song, but I didn’t find it effecting my listening experience in a negative way and grew accustomed to it pretty quickly.

My two favourite songs off this release are “Morbid Pits” which kicks off with a battle cry of “SPEEEEEEEEED MEEEEEEETAL” and proceeds to melt the listener’s face off and “Headbanger Race (Warriors of Tomorrow)” which is just a ridiculously fun song that kicks all kinds of arse. To be fair, though, stand-out tracks are going to differ from listener to listener as each song is a great example of old-school dirty and raw as fuck speed metal played the way it should be.
A
s I’ve often said in past reviews and will say again in future reviews; if you’re looking for something fresh, innovative and original… piss off!

4/5

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Midnight - Satanic Royalty



I’ve been a massive fan of Ohio’s Midnight for a couple of years now, ever since I got my hands on the “Complete and Total Fucking Midnight” CD compilation. These rotten bastards have been putting out filthy Venom-worshipping black-speed metal demos, EPs and splits since 2003 like it ain’t nobody’s business. “Satanic Royalty” is their long awaited debut full length album… something that I have been eagerly awaiting for a while now.

So, one may ask, what can you expect of this album? How about appropriately produced simple and catchy tunes with a Venom, Motörhead or Tank metal/punk feel? There is a lot of variety to be found in the songs here, ranging from the ripping speed metal of “You Can’t Stop Steel” to the traditional “power-blues” metal of “Rip This Hell” to the almost doom metal feel of “Black Damnation” and the straight up punk burst of “Holocaustic Deafening”. There’s enough variety here that any “true hessian of the faith” or whatever you wish to call yourselves should be able to find something to enjoy about this album, and if not, well then it really is your loss.

This could very well be one of the best albums of 2011 depending on who you ask. Those who “get it” will worship “Satanic Royalty” in all its simplistic black rock’n’roll glory and those who don’t “get it” can seriously suck a fuck for all I care.

5/5 For true necromaniacs!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eliminator - We Rule the Night



Eliminator is a metal band from Lancaster in the UK specializing in old-school NWOBHM worship. “We Rule the Night” is their debut, and while this release doesn’t try to do anything even remotely original, it kicks all kinds of arse!

This CD ticks all the boxes needed for some good old fashion ‘eavy fuckin’ metal: good but not-so-clean production, soaring air-raid siren vocals and straight forward songs full of ripper solos and great catchy riffage. If the opening track “The Warrior… of the Sky” doesn’t instantly grab your attention then you clearly just don’t like heavy metal… and if that’s the case, why are you even reading this?

Each one of the five songs on “We Rule the Night” is equally great and my favourite songs would have to be “Outlaws of the Highway”, the killer title track and the epic closer “Danger in the Skies”. I’m not going to break down any of the tracks as any fan of the NWOBHM should already have a rough idea what to expect. Put it this way: none of these songs disappoint.

All in all, this is a great classic metal EP that’s definitely worth checking out for a bit of fist pumping fun.

4.5/5

Friday, November 11, 2011

Arisen From the Crypt: Purtenance- Member of Immortal Damnation

In the heyday of the original wave of death metal, bands hailing from Stockholm, Sweden and Tampa, Florida were (and still are) the heavyweights of the genre. Absorbing the very modest commercial potential potential of death metal as well as dominating the very small amount of media attention available, these bands condemned scores of equally talented bands to toil in obscurity. Finland in particular had a tendency to produce quality death metal. From a scene nearly as prolific as that of neighboring Sweden, not one band ever received acclaim on the level of Morbid Angel and Entombed; the hidden gems of Finnish death metal have largely been the domain of obsessive die-hards.



One such gem is Purtenance; formed in 1990 as Purtenance Avulsion, they Shortened their name in '92 for the release of their first and only full length release, Member of Immortal Damnation. Featuring artwork by Chris Moyen of Blasphemy/Beherit/Archgoat Fame, an unusual full color death metal piece in the portfolio of an artist whose work is 99% black and white black metal art, Member of Immortal Damnation embodies the crawling, doom inflected approach that was the Finnish regional sound in the early 90's. I once heard Purtenance described as the Finnish Incantation, and while I don't think that's strictly true I can see where the comparison comes from. They're not really as suffocatingly cavernous production wise or structurally abstract but the eerie doominess and tremolo riffing are there. The overall sound is closest to Demigod and Convulse.

The album opens with an unsettling instrumental intro, and then a tolling bell segways into the first vicious track, Black Vision. This is one of the highlights of the album, evenly mincing slow doom riffs under deathly leads with tremolo picked blasbeat sections. The rest of the album has the same kind of flavor, but stays thoroughly entertaining throughout. The atmosphere is great, partially due to the fantastic production; old school Finnish production I have noticed, doesn't have the crushing American Morrisound feel to it or what we at Witching Metal like to call the Swedish "TURN THE HM-2 TO 10 GO FOR THE FUCKING THROAT D BEAT D BEAT D BEAT UUUUUUUUUGH". It's somewhere in between, not as clean as American production but not as bent on overkill as the Sunlight Studios sound. The drums and vocals are what you would expect, not really anything exemplary but they do EXACTLY what they're supposed to do and allow the riffs to do the heavy lifting. The bass, sadly but unsurprisingly, is mostly inaudible.

The bottom line is, if you already like old school Finnish death or are newer to the genre and want to hear something that doesn't sound like Entombed, Obituary, Grave, or Deicide, get ahold of this fucker by any means possible.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blasphemous Noise Torment – Ancient Insignias

Blasphemous Noise Torment is a black/death metal band from Italy who formed in 2002. “Ancient Insignias is their debut full length, released way back in January this year.



The album starts off with a militant intro that features boots marching under a militant guitar riff in the form of the title track. This sets a mid-paced yet warlike vibe that remains consistent throughout the album. The overall sound is not something you would usually expect of a band called “Blasphemous Noise Torment”… I personally was expecting something in the realm of Blasphemophagher and Revenge’s all out grinding war assaults, but BNT tend to borrow a lot more from Bolt Thrower’s mid-paced war march sound and chuck in a bit of a gritty, punkier edge (Amebix and Axegrinder HAVE to have influenced this!), that’s not to say the album is devoid of blasting chaotic madness, though.

The production suits the sound in that it’s polished enough to hear everything that’s going on, but still has a raw and dirty edge to it. The vocals reminds me most of Nocturno Culto on Darkthrones newer albums, which was unexpected but certainly not unwelcome, they sound nasty as fuck! The guitars are distorted and evil sounding, complimented well by the equally distorted bass sound. The drumming is varied and keeps things interesting.

There’s not a bad track or boring moment to be found over the 40+ minutes “Ancient Insignias” runs for. If you’re after something different to your usual “war metal” sound, I’d highly recommend checking out Blasphemous Noise Torment, as they’re one of the most original bands I’ve heard in the genre and these Italian bastards really bring their own style to an overcrowded scene.

4/5

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bones - Bones

Bones are a crusty death metal group from Chicago consisting of a few “veterans” of the Chicago metal scene, all three of which are former members of the relatively well-known black/thrash outfit Usurper.



“Bones” is a consistently unrelenting album that bludgeons from start to finish. You can expect heavy, hard hitting riffs with a cool tone that lies somewhere between early Master and many straight up d-beat/crust bands. The vocals are more on the thrash/crust side of things, delivered in a shouty and aggressive manner. I find the drumming to be quite varied and not just relying on using the d-beat as a lot of bands who play in this style tend to do.

Don’t put this album and expect complex mind-bending metal, because that’s not what you’re gonna get. Bones are clearly influenced by bands such as Motörhead, Discharge and their legendary hometown heroes Master. These guys rely more on sheer volume and brutal force rather than catchy riffs and beats (although the songs are still catchy, in my opinion) to grab your attention. This album really is a case of “everything louder than everything else”, and it shows in the killer production job as well.

Every track on here is a pure bludgeoning representation of the term “death metal”, fast, loud and relentless. It’s difficult to choose a favourite track here, as I don’t feel the urge to skip through any of them and enjoy listening to the whole album in a single setting pretty regularly but the songs that I think stand out the most are the opener “March of the Dead”, “Bitch”, the Devastation (Chicago Devastation, not Texas) cover “Apocalyptic Warrior”, “Good Die Young” and “666”.

Get this album to fill that crusty, ugly and evil death metal void in your life.

5/5

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vomitory – Opus Mortis VIII

Can you expect an old-school Swedish death metal band that’s been pumping out consistently solid releases for around 20 years to disappoint? If you’re answer is “yes”, then stop reading, because you won’t find what you’re after here. If it’s “no”, read on my friend…



Vomitory haven’t really changed much at all since they began back in death metal’s early days, but they have been reasonably consistent over the years, and from what I’ve heard of their discography, you can put on just about any album and have a good ol’ time. “Opus Mortis VIII” is their eight studio album, and it’s one hell of a riff-fest!

Each song on “Opus” flows on from the last into the next rather seamlessly and is generally chock full of quality riffs, interesting Swedeath style breakdowns, ripping solos, pounding beats, heavy basslines and evil as fuck vocals. My favourite tracks would have to be the opener “Regorge in the Morgue”, which grabbed me by the short hairs instantly and got me into the groove, “The Dead Awaken”, which is a perfect example of a good Swedish-style death metal song done right, and “Hate in a Time of War” which is a more mid-paced and “epic” sounding number that stands out from the rest. I personally don’t think there are any filler tracks on here, either.

The production job is damn good, with a nice bass-heavy/muddy-guitar type mix that suits their sound perfectly. All in all, you can expect a well-mixed old-school death metal album that ticks all the boxes for your macabre needs.

4/5

Monday, September 26, 2011

Morbus Chron - Sleepers In The Rift




Man, what is it about Swedish death metal bands that don't sound Swedish? From Gorement to Wombbath, they pretty much universally kick ass. Carrying that torch into the 21st century are Morbus Chron, a Stockholm quartet who have been turning some heads with their own brand of mordantly humorous Autopsy inspired death metal.

Their debut Pulverized Records full length, Sleepers In The Rift, sounds like Severed Survival with a sense of fun. Look at that fuckin' cover art! What the fuck even is it? It doesn't even have a fucking title on it!

Featuring song titles like "Creepy Creeping Creeps" and filthy, squealing guitar leads that sound like the solo from Charred Remains played by BB King, this is some very catchy and yes, FUN death metal. The vocals are are somewhere in between Chris Reifert and Chuck Schuldiner; any death metal fan should know the kind of gravel throated howl I'm referring to. The songs range from thrashing Scream Bloody Gore death to blatant Autopsy worship, but maintain their own uniform sneering, wild eyed identity.

Though they are sonically closest to Autopsy, the fun lovin' corpse rapin' attitude of Morbus Chron owes a lot to Impetigo. Did I mention there are Lovecraftian themes as well? I haven't read the lyrics, but I know my H.P. and I imagine "Red Hook Horror" is a pleasantly grisly little number.

All in all, I'm very excited about Morbus Chron because I can't think of any other recent death metal band that combines this style of death metal, a wicked sense of humor, and such utter QUALITY in one package.

4.5/5

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arisen From the Crypt Monthly Special #4: Excruciate – Passage of Life

Well, it’s that time of the month once again. Since there seems to have been a bit of a death metal thing going on here at camp Witching Metal recently, I figure it’s about time I bring one of Sweden’s greatest, yet lesser-known death metal albums to your attention. Excruciate were one of those bands that put out a few demos and a full length then disappeared off the map almost entirely. It’s unfortunate that they never released much material, but the material they left us with is, to sum it up in a word, excruciating.



“Passage of Life” is a rather interesting album when you put it up against the usual Swedish death metal suspects; there’s not much in the way of driving d-beat rhythms shrouded in chainsaw guitar madness, as the band opts for a melting pot mixture of death metal sounds. Often within the same song you will find mid-paced Bolt Thrower/Asphyx moments alongside sloooow and suffocating Incantation-esque sections, all out thrashing riffs, NWOBHM style gallops and a few straightforward Nihilist/Dismember parts scattered here and there.

The production is absolutely perfect for Excruciates’ brand of old-school death metal, you can hear absolutely everything that is going on, but it’s still shrouded under a layer of darkness. The guitar sound is fantastic, and rather unusual for OSDM, as there are a lot more clean guitar parts then one would expect. The bass and vocals (special mention should be made for the vocalist, who has a great mid-low pitched growl that sounds very natural and menacing) are very high in the mix which adds a lot to the overall heaviness of the album and makes things that much more interesting. The drummer is quite talented and does a brilliant job holding things together throughout.

The songwriting is top-notch and you can tell the band spent a lot of time working on each song, there are plenty of tempo changes, interesting guitar solos and not a boring moment to be found during the whole 42 minutes that “Passage of Life” runs for. This is one of those albums that I just can’t fault or choose a favourite track from as every second is sheer old-school death metal darkness at its’ finest.

5/5

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Erebus Enthroned Interview

Erebus Enthroned are a Sydney black metal outfit who have recently released their excellent debut album "Night's Black Angel". I got in contact with Nihilifer for an interview...



Wayde:
Greetings Nihilifer! To start this interview off, I was hoping you could give the readers a bit of background info on Erebus Enthroned; who’s in the band? When was Erebus formed? What have you put out so far? And so on…

Nihilifer:
Salve! Erebus Enthroned was formed in the year 2006 and since has been growing as an entity through several released recordings and intensive live performance both aggressive & magickally charged. The band has undergone a rather transformative process over the last few years in terms of the lineup. A handful of individuals have entered and been expelled in order for the alignment of the right creative minds (being the current and wyrdly achieved lineup) to reside with the proverbial temple walls of the entity. The outward importance of who is in the band is close to very minimal except for their involvement on a creative and spiritual level.

Wayde:
How have fans responded to your recently released full length “Night’s Black Angel”? I personally thought it to be the best new black metal release I’ve heard all year!

Nihilifer:
The response to “Night’s Black Angel” has been quite positive and together with live performances held throughout Australia has greatly expanded the awareness of what we are doing both within the metal underground and in the general music scene.

Wayde:
What ideologies are behind Erebus Enthroned? How do these manifest themselves within the music? What does “Satan” represent to you?

Nihilifer:
The inherent concept behind Erebus Enthroned is indeed a Satanic one. The notion of Him as the living opponent and vessel of transgression through Death; the vessel of transformation is the Alchemy reflected and expressed through our music. Satan to us is the engendered divine participle of destruction, undoing, evolution and becoming. Satanism is the path; it is the journey and not the highest object of aspiration. For where the aspiration is attained one/all has entered the state beyond any description or reasoning. “Harken the fiery union of God – Devil – Man. The Void Wyrm winding widdershins toward the Night of Pan”.

Wayde:
What short and long term goals and plans lie in Erebus Enthroned’s future? Are there any plans for tours or releases following the album yet?



Nihilifer:
The goals that lie ahead now that the debut album is released and creating its own momentum via a recent Australian tour and other shows, are to complete the year with one last show in November which will see the beginnings of a paradigm shift for us. We are currently working on the composition of our second full length album of which the writing/recording time we seek this time to not deliberate nor delay. If all goes to plan a split 7” will be released this year involving Erebus Enthroned and a Russian band of an ardent Satanic nature. Plans are in play to extend the live ceremonial aspect of the band internationally.

Wayde:
What do you feel you have achieved with the band so far, and what do you hope to achieve in the long term?

Nihilifer:
The first chapter of an endless book has been opened with the release of “Night’s Black Angel”. I feel we have revealed enough of this band’s loathsome countenance to make its initial impact. In the long term we are aspiring to bring the live ceremony to as many witnesses as possible.

Wayde:
Have you, or any of the other members of the band been involved in other musical outlets? If so, what are/were they and what have you (or they) achieved with these projects?

Nihilifer:
Many of us have been involved in other musical outlets. Involvement has ranged from session musicianship in Pestilential Shadows and Drowning the Light and personal projects like Ignis Gehenna. All relevant information on these can be found on the internet, but bear in mind that Erebus Enthroned is the pinnacle of each member’s creative endeavors, the knowledge and understanding of this is mutual and if one wishes to work on music on their own or with another band, they can in time that does not inhibit Erebus Enthroned’s work.

Wayde:
Where did the name “Erebus Enthroned” come from and what does it mean? Why did you choose this name for the band?

Nihilifer:
The name was thought of by an original member. I would personally like to think the name wyrdly presented itself to the band in its original form and not the other way around. Erebus in Greek mythology was the personification of Darkness and Shadow, and the son of Chaos. It is also said to be a region of Hell or Hell itself. When we think about this in terms of the band’s name Hell is a manifestation of Chaos still within the confines of a causal world. The enshrinement of Hell in a visual and symbolic sense is to upturn the world and sever the emanation of God allowing for a new Chaos to reign.

Wayde:
What are Erebus Enthroned’s influences, musical and non-musical? What music do you and the other band members listen to on a day-to-day basis?

Nihilifer:
When we compose music we always try to look deeper into a more profound source of inspiration for both music and of course lyrics. As musicians and also fans of music it is hard to escape the subconscious influence of that which you hear and are moved by. Our musical tastes and day to day listening ranges from Black, Doom and Death metal to Goth rock to 60’s/70’s Psychedelic and Hard Rock to Classical music (both of the old timeless composers and contemporary composers) to Dark Ambience and Harsh Noise.

Wayde:
I would like to thank you for taking the time for this interview. Any last words?

Nihilifer:
AVE CHAOS – PANGENETOR ET PANPHAGE!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Decrepitaph- Profane Doctrines Unburied




Decrepitaph are a NWOSDM band from Dallas, Texas, comprised of multi-instrumentalists Elektrokutioner and Sinworm. They've been around for six years, but have two previous full lengths as well as a TON of splits and EP's; I would assume that a two man band would be less prolific, but these guys must have some great chemistry.

Profane Doctrines Unburied is their third full lengeth effort, and right off the bat it gets credit for staying away from both of the strong trends that have developed in the new wave of old school death metal movement; HM-2 drenched Sunlight Studios clone band and Incantation worship. They also score a few points for not being a gimmicky campy stereotypically Razorback Records band like so many of their labelmates in Frightmare, Ghoul, etc.

I would venture to say that Decrepitaph sound more like UK underground heroes Cancer, through their very chunky, aggressive, punky riffing and guitar sound. That said, Decrepitaph's approach to death metal is probably a bit more varied than Cancer's, perhaps taking some influence from Bolt Thrower as well. They don't just go for the throat the entire album, sticking to a measured mid pace on average but not shying away from slower sections, especially during their slow, creepy leads. Speaking of those, they're great. The leads and solos on this album sound like horror movie themes played on the electric guitar.

Every second of this album is strictly old school, from the strictly non-blasting drumming to the ambiguously horrifying subject matter. If you're tired of endless Swedeath neophytes and Incantion plagiarists, but want to hear great new death metal, Profane Doctrines Unburied is for you.

4/5

Maim - Deceased to Exist

Maim is a death metal band from Sweden who formed in 2006. “Deceased to Exist” is their second full length release and to put it simply; it’s a good one!



“Gravedigger Sacrifice” opens up the album with all the flavours of Swedish death metal; the usual chainsaw tone and grinding d-beat rhythms are both there in spades, but, this is not the case for every song on this album and “Deceased to Exist” is actually a rather varied offering. The album is a mixed bag of straightforward Swedeath driving goodness, mid-paced Hellhammer-esque grooves, melancholically beautiful atmospheric doom sections and chaotic death metal madness.

The mix is a near-perfect blend of old-school and new-school production values that works exceedingly well with the music on display here. The songwriting is rather simple but Maim clearly know how to use this simplicity to full effect as each track keeps your attention without boring the listener and you can hear a great deal of thought has gone into each song; the catchy riffs blend in with the more chaotic sections while the melodic solos and slower sections compliment the extremity very well.

All in all, this ripper slab of Swedeath madness slays.

4/5