Friday, July 21, 2017

Sinister - Gods of the Abyss

Dutch death metal band Sinister have been knocking around since the 1990's. The band have split then got back together a number of times. After their 2003 split they recorded the four song demo "Gods of the Abyss"which lead to a record deal with Nuclear Blast. In 2017 Dutch label Vic Records have released the demo for public consumption.

The songs are undeniably crushing death metal but Sinister intertwine elements of more traditional metal. Whilst the vocals are like a caveman chewing sandpaper, there's a strong Iron Maiden influence in the guitar riffs on a couple of these tracks which would pique the interest of more than just the casual death metal fanatic. Listening to these tracks, it's easy to understand why Nuclear Blast signed these. The opening track "The Grey Massacre" effortlessly chops from mid-paced crunch to full speed ahead death dealing.
All the tracks here are very good examples of early death metal however "Altruistic Suicide" and "Afterburner"are Sinister at their peak on this release.


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Screamfeeder - Pop Guilt

Australian band Screamfeeder have been knocking and playing their brand of indie pop for about for quarter of a century. The combination of male and female vocalists has drawn comparisons to The Go-Betweens however for many Screamfeeder songs the female voice is upfront rather than relegated to the background.

The band mix up the style of their song without straying far from indie pop territory. There's a definite Pixies influence seeping through the tunes "Falling" and a touch of the poppier side of Husker Du in "Got a Feeling". "Going to California" is a quick punk style burst with a heavy dosage of pop.

Prepare yourself for cake and booze, because the distorted "Making it Up" is a good cause for fans of Australian indie pop as it looks to Australia's indie pop past as it contains a hint of Grant McClennan without feeling like a carbon copy of what has gone before.

While there is variation between the songs on "Pop Guilt" which takes away any boring sameness, there's a lingering feeling that editing this album and chopping a number of songs would have been much a better move than lengthening the album by providing bonus tracks.

Release Date: 23 June 2017


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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Blood - Mental Conflicts

If you've been involved in the metal underground since the days that metal fanzines were printed on paper then there's a good chance that you've heard of German noisecore band Blood especially since the band released their first record on the US label Wild Rags records back in 1989 and at the time the label seemed to be in every metal fanzine.

Vic Records recently released their fourth album "Mental Conflicts"which the band released back in 1994 finds the band utilizing both grindcore and slowing down and edging towards death metal within their rotting musical stew so it's not all fast and furious. As the best Blood tracks are short and quick bursts that's the review over.

Check out the title track in this video clip.

Release date: 23 June 2017


Friday, July 14, 2017

Purgatory - Purgatory

Bleeeeeurggggggghhhhhm, blurggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, beeeeeeeelchhhhhhhhhhhh. society, bllaaarggghhh, basically sums up both the vocals and the lyrics for brutal death metal band, Pathology. It sounds like the vocalist is trying to escape from inside a washing machine while it's doing a spin cycle but he is a complete failure as a soldier in the war against machines and is also crying his eyes out. The music is relentless fast brutal death metal with very little time to slow down and honestly when Pathology slow down and abandon the vocals, they sound like a good band unfortunately these parts are a very small percentage of this release. The drums are absolutely punished at a speed that sounds like the man handling the sticks has either never heard of or desires repetitive strain injury. The guitar sound is clear but those annoying vocals are way too loud in the mix. It's really difficult for a casual listener to distinguish between the bursts of noise (let's not call these creations songs) as there's no obvious starting and stopping points as Pathology take the same stand to intros. Despite the fact that Pathology are now up to album nine with their self-titled, there's definitely no desire from these parts to explore their back catalogue as this release totally misses the mark.


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poseidon - Prologue

After only existing a year London UK band, Poseidon release their debut album "Prologue". When a band opens with an album with a song that spans past the thirteen minute mark, it better keep the listener's attention. Poseiden manage this feat by changing styles without a blunder in "The Beginning The End The Colony"with the tunes opening Neurosis heavy drone later integrating a layer fuzzed out stoner rock on top without halting the drone, then there's a post-metal/hardcore part with guttural vocals that keep a listener which twist Poseidon will take next.
There's a real surprise in the second track as the band take a much quieter approach with an acoustic guitar and keyboards on "Mother Mary of Scorn" which brings The Church to mind due to the vocals. There's a menacing torment of a metallic hell about to break out in the latter parts of the track.

Anyone who has ever been curious as to what fuzzed out post-metal sounds like should hear the intro to "Chainbreaker"which breaks the shackles and chains with interludes of short metallic riffing. The track builds into an absolutely ripping finale. The album concludes with a lengthy track "Omega", which starts with samples from a mad preacher then a Pink Floyd style intro builds and there are a few thrash metal style riffs and drumbeats spiced up with more than a teaspoon full of sludge.

"Prologue"is an interesting start to an ongoing narrative entitled "The Medusa Chronicles"which Poseidon promises to carry through to future records and detail the collapse of civilization and its reconstruction all wrapped in a post apocalyptic sci-fi opera. I'm anxious to hear much more from this UK band.

Release date: 21 July 2017


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Destroyer of Light - Chamber of Horrors

Texas band Destroyer of Light are unmistakably doom metal merchants. On their second album, they start out with a instrumental entitled "Whispers Into the Threshold". "Chamber of Horrors" largely follows the doom metal blueprint although the songs short length informs the listener know that Destroyer of Light are not your run of the mill dime a dozen Black Sabbath wannabe doom metallers. The follow up track "Into the Smoke" confirms this although the riffing and drumming is slow and certainly does bring Sabbath to mind, the throaty vocals at the start of the song add an element of sludge style heaviness but further through the track they switch to the more traditional style of doom vocals without missing a beat (pun intended since the tempo is slow). A horror movie sample opens "The Virgin" which is followed with vocals sung in a near whisper over a musically quiet part which doesn't last for long as there is some short yelling before the vocals transform into Ozzy style. A shouted part over doom and sludgy is an interesting turn within the song to further convey the feeling of sheer terror, which was set up by the track's opening sample. Destroyer of Light look towards 70's psychedelia in the instrumental track "Twilight Procession". The vocal delivery on "Buried Alive" contains a desperation reminiscent of Life of Agony's on their "River Runs Red" and grunted spoken vocals kick in around the mid-part of the song and there's no escaping from the uneasiness of a nightmare.

The electronic press kit states that Destroyers of Light are influenced by Eyehategod, Electric Wizard, Mercyful Fate and Autopsy. Still, like every other doom band Sabbath worship is of the highest priority. Just check out the tracks "Lux Crusher", " and "Prisoner of Eternity", which are pure Black Sabbath. However, Destroyer of Light make it much more interesting and really hit the mark when they integrate their non-doom influences especially on "The Virgin" and "Buried Alive" however they don't utilize these influences enough on "Chambers of Horrors" to truly separate themselves from the pack of doomsters.


Release date: 14 July 2017

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