Monday, November 26, 2007

Top Five Vocal Performances

Me and Andy were shooting around some ideas for a post to do while we're waiting for Ivan of Cephalic Impurity to contact us, and I came up with the idea to list my top five favorite brutal death vocal performances. Here they are:

1. Wormed - Planisphaerium: Phlegeton's epic performance here has never, ever been matched in my eyes. His vocals are incredibly diverse, hitting every area of brutal vox and doing them all extremely well. He can go from insanely low croaks to fast gutturals, which perfectly compliments the music. Just amazing.

2. Disgorge - Cranial Impalement: Matti Way is highly respected member of the scene for one reason: he lays down some of the most extremely disgusting, wet, foul and vile vocals ever heard. These will turn the stomach of the non-brutal and put a huge grin on your face. The best part is they are catchy and go with the music too.

3. Devourment - Molesting the Decapitated: Although no longer the main vocalist for the band, Ruben Rosas took over duties for this monumental record. He mainly sticks to being deep and guttural, but busts out some rees for the catchy parts. Not quite as amazing in sound as the first two vocalists, he gets this high for the fabulous vocal patterns found throughout the album. Just check out Self Disembowelment.

4. Suffocation - Effigy of the Forgotten: The album that started brutal death also contains some of its best vocals. Frank Mullen's deep and powerful style would obviously be a huge influence on what was to come and was pretty revolutionary for the time. Combined with that amazing music, they really pound hard.

5. Soils of Fate - Sandstorm: Me and Andy wank over these guys a lot (see first post), but they deserve it. The vocals on here are ridiculously heavy and have a nice gutturalness to them. A friend of ours recently listened to Soils of Fate for the first time the other day and described the vocals as "gorrilla-like". Sounds pretty metal to me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Human Excoriation - Virulent Infestation - 2007 Crematorium Records

I was originally only going to check this out because it has a cover of Pyaemia's "Sugar Spiced Anus" which, let's face it, is both an awesome song title AND an awesome song (by an overlooked band). When I finally ended up listening to this, I was hugely impressed. Big, thick production complementing the fast and slow switch-ups and meaty slam riffs pounding your brain into submission. A great up-front but not overpowering drum performance also drives this record forward, with accurate and tasteful use of cymbals and oddly heavy tom fills. Catchy mini-breakdowns occur such as in the second song "Inexorable Defilement" and showcase the band's adaptability to a variety of nice styles. The band claims to work in a hybrid TXDM/Japanese style, and I can totally hear it...combining influences that are obvious like Disconformity and Ingurgitate with some more obscure ones such as the Japanese Glossectomy and even Abuse (blast from the fucking past!), I could tell I was in for an album of guys who KNOW what they want to do, doing it, and doing it better than a ton of posers.

So, basically, what I ended up with was a slam album I could enjoy due to a great cover, and, goddamnit, a slam album I could enjoy ANY TIME! At just under a half-hour, the band churns out a group of ten memorable and sick songs without relenting one bit. The cover nails the first riff really well, also, and that is definitely a GOOD thing, considering it is one of the best riffs Pyaemia ever wrote (if not THE best riff, or even THE riff to end all riffs, rendering the rest obsolete). This band picks up the BPM on the song a tiny, tiny bit, ever so slightly changing it with a better vocal production. Only drawback is that the drumming is a little louder than I'd like it to be in this case. However, on every other song it is great sounding and well-played.

Also, maybe I'm the only one, but I love it when a band teases you with a super fucking good riff or breakdown and then destroys it in a weird rush of time changes or something, only to COME BACK with it...what am I getting at? The very beginning of one of the highlights here, "Murdered By Decree", which begins with a nice little vocal and drum part before going into a really catchy groove, which gets promptly stomped on by a drum fill, and re-enters the arena BETTER than it sounded before. So good. Subtle things like that make albums for me. Or break 'em. But this was meant to be killing people to, NOT broken. A band to watch out for...with a debut like this, who needs sophomore albums?!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nicaragua: Upcoming Slam Scene Report

In my search for new and brutal bands from all over the world to cover in this blog, I came across a little-spoken-of country by the name of Nicaragua. So...why not; here's a random update about how brutal Nicaragua can be!

First off is a band with a silly name (though we're no strangers to that, we worship bands called Sourpuz and Fetal Mutilation among countless others), Gorepoflesh. Fast blasting slam sickness and insane reverbed inhaled vocals that sound somewhere between a toilet (generic I know) and a meat grinder. Fucking brutal! Snappy and nice drum production, especially the great kick sound. Awesome almost melodic riffs and fast paced chugging slam breakdowns coupled with the pinch harmonic laden breakdowns we're all used to, oftentimes a few per song! This is the kind of stuff that makes me wake up in the morning and go "what new ridiculously good bands from some random corner of the world will I find today?" Just totally leftfield stuff, and so good at that! Highly recommended.

Fleshtorture is a pretty badass name, so we're off to an impressive start right there. The one song available on their Myspace begins with a stupid sample before launching into some raw and almost Mexican sounding blast-slam-death. Right after the first blast part you're hit with a slam breakdown, but it's really only the usual. The drummer hits a few good fills, but the vocals are mixed way too high and the guitars too low to be very effective. Still, it is nice to see a band at least attempting brutality in such a small/weird place, so we'll give 'em a nice round of applause.

Humangrinder is quite good Mortician worship. Mid-paced "half-blast" style goregrind/brutal death with all of the Mortician trademarks...low and monotone vocals with catchy if repetitive riffs and the standard decently programmed drums. Still, there is some merit to this style, considering bands like Carnivorous Vagina have done it well in the past and are even well-liked by Rahmer himself. They even cover "Hacked Up For Barbecue" with much worse drum programming than in any other song, but perhaps better than the original overall (I have an overall distaste for Mortician in any case, but this band was fun to listen to possibly due to just being kind of charming and not hyped like the NYers).

Last but not least is Corpus Mors, a few guys doing old-school goregrind-sounding stuff combined with straight death metal and dual vocals. Nice fretwork reminding of Insidious Decrepancy without the insane scalework and more focus on straight riffs, with the pacing of a good Squash Bowels impersonator and with the edge of bands like Repulsion (you can also hear shades of their influences such as Mucupurulent and Oxidised Razor, too!). Nice stuff, pity there's only one non-live song on their to hear more. The live stuff does sound like a blast of pure noise mayhem, though...and I know for a fact that that shit is fun live.

And there you have it...Nicaragua has a few bands to call its own, and they're pretty brutal to boot! Perhaps this odd little scene will burgeon within the next few years...or decades. But we'll be here when it does...check it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Down From the Wound - Agony Through Rituals of Self Purification - 2007 - Sevared Records

Here is a record I have been waiting for for a long, long time. If you recall, we did an interview with this promising new band a while back and that only whet my appetite. After the minor inconvenience of having to type all the song titles into iTunes (the joys of underground music :\) I began my listening in earnest.

Just like my virgin listen to Cranial Impalement, a giant grin crept on my face as soon as the first note hit and didn't fade until the last song was over. Holy shit this album is good. Better than even I expected. God damn it this is good. 'Ok we get it, it's good' you say, 'but what does it sound like?'

First thing I'll mention is the drumming. It truly is superb. The blast beats are heavy as hell and the drum sound is pretty natural. The cymbal work is tasteful and skillfully done . Randyl also does fills very well which is essential for this band.

The riffing here is great. You get your standard slams, but also some nice almost unique sounding ones. This is NOT just a Devourment clone. The blazing and incomprehensible blasts that usually fill the space in between the slams is set aside instead for fast, almost technical riffs. Another thing I really liked about the guitar work is the integration of pauses into the music to intensify the breakdowns, as well as give Randyl an opportunity to show off his talent. The production of the guitars is alright, nothing really noticeable either good or bad.

Tristan's vocals instantly reminded me of Ruban Rosas. They aren't quite as sick sounding, but he uses Ruben's style of 75% low gutturals and 25% high rees. Definitely above average. He also does a very nice vocal solo, which I always appreciate.

The songwriting here is very good as well, although some of the songs, especially the shorter ones can sound a little samey. This is slam death after all though, and it comes with the territory. The fact that Down From the Wound can write a really good 6 and a half minute song and a really good 2 minute song shows their strength as musicians.

Agony Through Rituals of Self Purification again is a superb album and should be a must buy for all slam fans. This really solidifies 2007's place as the best year for brutal death in recent memory. Show these Filipino boys some love and pick up this album!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Interview With Rick of Defleshuary

Hello from S-M blog!...Thanks for doing this with us!
Thanks for giving us the interview! It's much appreciated and we really like what you're doing with your blog! Onto the questions...

How do you write the music and the slam breakdowns in your songs?
I don't force anything out. Writing tends to take me a bit because of that. I also tend to go in spurts. There will be a time where songs will just fly out of my head and then it's like I hit a wall where nothing comes for some time. I wrote almost everything on our album, but now the other members are contributing to the writing process and I'm loving it because seeing their ideas gives me new ideas.

Name 5 of your favorite albums and tell us why you think they're relevant to your influence:
I'll list the 4 albums that made me want to play metal. I got them when I was around 8 years old and they're still some of my all time favorites. When I got these tapes I listened to them nonstop and knew that metal would be one of my favorite forms of music forever and that one day I would be in a metal band.
1. Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden. This album is AMAZING and one of the best from the best band of all time.
2. Anthrax - Among the Living. I don't think I own an album I've listened to more than this. Charlie Benante's drumming is out of control good and the riffs hit so hard.
3. Metallica - Master of Puppets. What else needs to be said about this masterpiece?
4. Megadeth - Peace Sells... One of the many reasons the world should be thankful that Metallica kicked Mustaine out of the band.
5. Earth Crisis - Destroy the Machines. I actually started learning how to play guitar years ago by playing tabs of songs from this album.

If you had to pick one: groove or blast, which would you choose and why?
Hands down groove. Blasts are awesome, but if overdone they can lose their effectiveness. When a groove is played right it hits the listener to well. Nothing like a good groove to get the head banging.

So you guys recently released an EP on Homicide Watch Records. What was the recording/release process for that like?
The recording process was actually a 2 stage process. We recorded a 6 song demo (Mutilated and Skinned Alive.) It never saw an official release other than me putting it up for download online. Chris (singer of Methadone Abortion Clinic and runs Homicide Watch Records) had just started up his label. The only release he had out was a split with his band MAC and Screaming Afterbirth (I highly recommend buying this!). We were friends with him and were talking about how we wanted to get a release for our songs. He said he would do it as a split cd. Well, he couldn't find a band he wanted to do for the split so he said he'd put out the album if we recorded some more songs. So, we headed back into the studio to record 2 new songs we had written with our new drummer David. They became bonus tracks. The end result is Zombie Plague, Rampant Horror.
The actual recording process was alright. It tends to be tedious and can give you a headache haha. Recording the original 6 songs wasn't too bad, but our drummer basically quit right after laying down his tracks. That probably made me sound more pissed off on the vocal tracks because I found out right before going into lay them down. The last 2 songs on the album took a bit more time for some reason.
As for the art it was done by my longtime friend Andy Zubko. He contacted me saying he was doing a zombie painting and wanted to know if we'd like to use it for album art if we liked it. I saw it and about shit myself. His work is so good and I suggest other bands reading this that need art to contact His shit is way too good!

At S-M Blog, we are looking to let anyone and everyone know about the multitudes of global slam scenes all over Europe, the Americas, and Asia. What do you guys think of foreign slam bands, and is there a unifying style to each different location?
I love the foreign bands. Tons of great bands all over the world. I guess you could say there's a sort of unifying style to different locations. A lot of Japanese bands have a style that you know they're from there, but at the same time there are bands from other parts of the world that would have similar styles.

So you are releasing a split with the Finnish sickos from Torsofuck and Cumbeast. How did you get into contact with them and what other details can you give us about this release?
They actually contacted us, Cumbeast that is. This is one of the instances that Myspace is a good thing! They heard our songs online and messaged us saying they really like what we're doing and would like for us to join them in a split with Torsofuck. You don't turn those bands down! We're beyond excited and thankful for this opportunity.
As far as details they're still being finalized. I know it will be out in the early new year. A label is all but agreed on I think, but I can't say for sure right now so I won't say their name. All I know is the world is in for some sick death metal. I know every band says this, but our newest songs are the best thing we've done yet.

What are some labels you'd like to work with?
There are a lot of great DM labels out there. It would be hard to say. We've had some approach us about a full length, so when that time comes to record that I guess we'll have to think more about this question haha.

The only other PA brutal band I can think of off the top of my head is Inhuman Dissiliency. Have you ever had any contact with them?
ID are our boys! We've played some shows with them and I've actually filled in on vocals for them one time. Great dudes and sick music. They really are one of the few DM bands in our area. We have some other bands in our area, but not many. Check out Age of Plague and Hamilton Fish.

Any plans on playing some fests, like MDF or CIM, in the future?
We'd love to play CIM. They really have it going on for brutal DM fests. I hope we get to do that sometime.

What’s the craziest thing that has happened in relation to the band?
Opening for Behemoth was pretty crazy. The club was complete shit and treated us like shit, but we got the best reaction even though we thought we played our worst set ever. The crazy thing that still gets me excited is hearing more people say how they like our band. I never expected our band to even reach this small point. It's fucking amazing to hear people say they love your work.

This is the time to think outside the questions and to ask us a question or two! Go for it!
Ok, question time!
Who is your favorite Simpsons character and why?

If you we told the only way Bolt Thrower would tour North America is if you killed 5 babies you'd do it right? Seriously, this is Bolt Thrower we're talking about here and those babies won't even know what life is yet.

Anyway, on behalf of the band, we thank you for this interview and appreciate what you're doing to help spread the name of death metal.
Keep a look out for out split with Torsofuck and Cumbeast in the new year! It's gonna be sick! Check back on for more updates from us.

Nick: Favorite Simpson's character? That's a tough one because there are so many good ones, but I am a fan of Flanders and Milhouse. They produce the most consistent laughs imo
Andy: I regret to inform that I don't really watch the Simpsons. I'd have to agree though that Flanders is damn funny even just as a concept. I've always been partial to Blinky (the three-eyed fish), though.

Nick: As for Bolt Thrower, those babies wouldn't stand a chance. I don't listen to them as much as I used to, but I have yet to hear a bad Bolt Thrower album.
Andy: Oh hell yes. I would so go Babykiller on them to see those guys here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cenotaph - Reincarnation In Gorextasy - 2007 Unmatched Brutality Records

What do we have here? You can bet I fucking ran to the store (webstore, you know) and bought this right when it was announced for order. Why? Because Cenotaph do brutal death right. Their last album, Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium, is in my top ten technical death metal releases ever, and is probably the best example of modern tech-brutal deathgrind at its absolute pinnacle. But this review is not about the last one, it's about this monstrous work.

Upon receiving this, I listened immediately. I remember practically blinking and missing the entire album, which was kind of deterring to me. Apologies for bringing up the last album again, but I have a few reference points to establish. First of all, the time. PVC was 39 minutes long; a veritable LONG-PLAYING ALBUM of ridiculous, spazzy, shifting, yet precise and surgical death metal. This is...25 minutes. C'MON! We want MORE gore-splattered brutality...bah.

Anyway, the other reference I have to make is the songwriting. I dunno what happened, but I remember the band announcing that they were changing their style a little, and the sample on their Myspace pre-buying the album ("Human Flesh Wax") was a bit of a clue-in, but it still sounded rather great. This is nowhere close to as sophisticated in technical yet tasteful songwriting as PVC; that is not to say, however, that the band has forgotten how to write excellently crafted, definitely not, considering there are a shitload of epic riffs thrown around all over the place here. The snare sound has been altered and is much deeper, and the speed has changed accordingly; the entire BPM of the band has slowed down to mid-fast paced. There are not even close to as many hyper/gravity blast sections as on the previous album, but I can deal with the change considering the awesome total sound we have here. Pounding rhythms, pinch-harmonic laden, well-constructed riffs and breakdowns, and the trademark feral vocals of Batu Cetin.

At first, this might seem like a disappointment. I remember feeling kinda empty, to be honest, after the initial listen. But in true metal fashion, this fucker grew on me like fungus after a couple more spins. And because it's so short, it's a handy palette cleanser or throw-it-on-anytime record! Recommended!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Putridity - Mental Prolapse Induces Necrophilism - 2007 Permeated Records

This is an album that I first mentioned back in the post about underrated 07 releases. Well I took my own advice and bought the thing. This is the Italian Putridity by the way, I have no idea what the Polish one is like.

Right off the bat it is obvious that Putridity really like Enmity. Just look at the logo. There is one crucial difference though and that is that Putridity are actually good. This is some seriously heavy, meaty slam. The whole album just feels raw and primitive. It appeals to my gut, and as Stephen Colbert says, that's where the truth(iness) lies. The riffs are thick and pounding and the vocals sound very throaty and guttural. Sort of like if Matti Way had a cold. The riffs are fairly typical, but it's slam death and it's good. Any fan of the genre should be delightfully head banging to this. Some very nice pinch harmonics as well.

The drum are fast, thudding and adequate. I don't remember anything outstanding but I liked the sound of them. The bass was also pretty good and popped in for a few solos which I always love. Also the bassist "Alessandro" looks exactly like Lemmy which is pretty damn funny.

The negative here is that this will really in no way engage your brain. However, a little brainless fun is always appreciated, especially when delivered in such a satisfying way.

Friday, November 2, 2007

MP5K - Swedish True Crime Slam

The deal with these guys is that they feature the talents of Soils Of Fate's drummer, and hooked up with him and the rest of SOF soon after forming. That's something to fucking boast how do they sound? Slam-Minded gives you all the details.

Through acquisition of their demo, Deranged Stockholm Syndrome, I learned that these guys REALLY ARE the second coming of Soils Of Fate (who our blog's first post was about, no less!); totally tight rhythms influenced by early NYDM, some hip-hop influenced sections (just like SOF), the trademark catchy songwriting...they've got it all. Vocals are less guttural, but still powerful vociferations of power which carry the music quite well. Some off-time chugging in the last track (during the "breakdown") really works well with the band's style. I don't hear any solos, but I'm sure they'll add those in eventually. This is also REALLY insanely well produced for a debut EP/demo, so kudos to them for that. SO fucking good...


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