The latest issue of Metal Hammer (February here) on the shelves comes with two free CDs. The CDs are twofold in that they are vehicles for the magazine to sell more issues and to get bands known. Like most compilations they're a mixed bag. The Brutalism 101 CD is largely death metal as the title states.
First band up The Breathing Process are generic noisy death metal with grunts. Next up are the clumsily name Annotations of an Autopsy who sound like they're huge Morbid Angel fans but they also come across as bland. The Red Shore were fairly recent visitors to New Zealand. Pig grunts are laid on over the top of well played metal with varying tempo changes. As a counter too this, The Irish Front's track starts with melodic vocals but then grunts enter the fray. A Girl A Gun A Ghost have an emo-band type name but it's metalcore that uses "Far Beyond Driven" as a blueprint but lurking in the background there's a symphonic metal band with melodic girly vocals that really wants to get out.
Forever Never have an incredibly boring name. The vocals are the good cop/bad cop variety with melodic clean vocals and then gravelly shouting. The yelled vocals are an asset because the band's going through the motions without any real enthusiam. Glamour of The Kill starts off much better and sounds like an intensely brutal death metal band during the intro but then end up sounding like a lot of the melodic pop punk that Epitaph Records was pushing during the nineties.
(The) Plasmarifle start out as a brutal yet mid-paced killing metal machine but the song tapers off towards the end. The band are fond of overlong titles. The song is called "Haunted by the Ghost of a Dead Actress" and their album is mindbogglingly titled "The World Forever Changed in an Instant". Why not just go with "The World Instantly Changed" or better still, "The World Changed".
The vocalist on the Last House on The Left track sounds like a hissing snake and apart from the drum clicks the song is more in line with mainstream metal. Post-Mortem Promises have a more deathly metal feel and there's a hardcore lean with grinding guitars. I wouldn't mind hearing a full album from this band. The Red Death aren't bad either with thrashy with accessible throaty vocals. The last track "Set A Fire In Our Flesh" by Martriden is the highlight with its quiet intro building up to a well controlled blackened death metal finale.