Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blasphemer - On the Inexistence of God (Comatose Music; 2008)

At long last the first full length from Italian brutal death metallers Blasphemer is here. I have been anticipating this one for a while. At MDF this year I asked Steve why it was taking so long (I believe the original release date was summer 07) and he told me something about drummer problems. I'm just glad they finally got things squared away because On the Inexistence of God is a pretty damn good album.

The two bands that immediately come to mind when I listen to Blasphemer are Deeds of Flesh and Defeated Sanity. They take the interesting tremelo and melodic riffing and fast "junjuns" from Deeds and furious and pounding riffs from Defeated Sanity. This album is full of whirlwind riffs and fast groovy parts. Adding to the mix is the occasional slow breakdown which is sure to please the slammers among us. It's a very enjoyable mixture that in pieces should be familiar to the brutal death fan, but together should sound fresh.

On the Inexistence of God is also enlivened by a very spirited performance from all involved. Every band member sounds really into it which makes it a fun listen. This is brought out by a clear production that emphasizes the guitars, but gives nice space for the drums, vocals, and bass to play their supporting roles. There's even a couple acoustic interludes (including the Godfather theme!) that give a nice breather between songs.

Bottom line this a very solid and enjoyable listen and was worth the wait. Certainly one of the more professional sounding releases of late. I'm guessing this'll sneak onto my top ten of 2008 (stay tuned) towards the end of the list.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"One-Man Bands To Watch" Double Review: Infinite Defilement + Human Effluence

Quick, name two acts that are on other sides of the globe (but closer than you'd think), both use a drum machine, both play brutal slam, and are both run by one man. And both sent us promo CDs to review. Stumped? Check the subject line; Infinite Defilement is a single-person venture from Australia, and Human Effluence is a new TXDM project from, well, America's Heartland. In this issue of S-M, I'll be letting our readers, and the guys in these projects, know what I think of these discs. Onwards!
Jacob of Melbourne, Australia's Infinite Defilement is a new project playing Insidious Decrepancy-sounding brutal death metal with steadily written, partially-melodic tremolo riffs in an NYDM/TXDM hybrid style. The vocals are a semi-standard guttural expulsion, and a tad loud. In fact, I'd say they drown out the excellently written music a bit of the time. Regardless, the first track begins with a developing intro riff leading into a very Morpheus Descends style tremolo pattern, with straightforward drumming. As the aforementioned Insidious Decrepancy sounds like a major influence on Jacob, the music develops in a linear yet parallel fashion; there are obvious continuations of riffs, and then beside them, new sections will develop with blasting, shifting rhythms. I have to compliment the drum programming here, as it is pretty solid. The cymbals aren't as good as Shawn/Insidious Decrepancy's samples, but still, this is a commendable job. The dark, brooding breakdown riff in the first track highlights a major positive about Infinite Defilement; his riffcraft is pretty spectacular, as the slam breakdown also attests to. Sadly, I'm not hearing much of an interesting bass presence, and I think this could be fixed by adding cooler basslines on new releases by Infinite Defilement (he'll have a new full-length out at the beginning of the coming year, apparently!). The second song is more of the same, as is the rest of this 4-track, 17 minute slaughterfest, but it's GOOD. The songs are all around 4 minutes; they all develop in a similar way, with themes being created, disintegrated, and returned to eventually, culminating in big meaty slam breakdowns with the rhythm and groove you love, and the sophistication you may or may not desire. This is very high quality stuff, and it's just going further to show that one-man brutal death bands aren't jokes...they're a powerful force to be reckoned with. Keep your eyes on Jacob; he's creating a monster.

This brings us to Human Effluence, a project by one Chris Dearing of Texas. His project may be similar in composure (one guy, drum programming, brutal death) to ID, but it's a whole other beast. Noisy and chaotic as all get-out, blasting straight through the gates after a hideously generic zombie sample (I can forgive this here and there, whatever). Sometimes, this can get a bit goregrind-y with really guttural vocals (NO EFFECTS, as his Myspace states!) and blasting, nonsensical riff structures, but when he decides to elucidate and develop riffs, the quality is obvious. There's a bit of wanky tech flourishing, which is fine in the context here, as it is rather buried and not as showy, making it not annoying but rather fluid; A+ on incorporation of that style here for sure. The third song is pretty ridiculous, it starts with good slams, and becomes a noisy mess with some over-the-top drum programming, but slows down to a good groove eventually, getting fans of Devourment and Cannibal Corpse alike moshing and headbanging. A bludgeoning slam riff breakdown lodges itself firmly in the brain of the listener, perhaps a bit too much as it's repeated a little long, but the songs keep charging forwards after this, with Atrocious Abnormality and Aversion to Life-style aplomb, all riffing and blasting and gurgling, with varied changeups and headache-inducing rampage sections. I gotta hand it to Chris, he is talented at creating oppressive brutal death metal in a more-calculated Disgorge (Mex) style, but there's very little memorability to be found. Despite this, if you like your brutal death metal LOUD, boisterous and chaotic, I'm going to wholeheartedly recommend this one.

Check the links here for these guys' Myspaces...buy their stuff and support the scene. And of course, watch out for their new releases; one-man bands aren't just for crazy guys with accordions and knee-cymbals and shit anymore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Orchidectomy - A Prelate's Attrition (Unmatched Brutality Records; 2008)

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing a band from my current city of residence, Toronto. I'm originally from Boston but since coming to Toronto for college I've become very fond of the city so I always like to hear that there are good bands coming from the area. I've actually known about Orchidectomy for a while and their demo stirred up a lot of positive buzz in the scene. Since then though they have had all sorts of problems with their label and it seemed like this album would never come out. Well it's out now and it was worth the wait.

On Orchidectomy's last.fm page, they are described as "similar to Wormed and Brodequin with more variation than the latter." This is a pretty good description to start with. A Prelate's Attrition is filled with Wormed like slow, pounding slams and Brodequin's noisy blasts. There's more to it though. I can hear influence from Stabwound with pinch harmonics and groovy sections. I can hear similarities to fast-slam bands like Abysmal Torment. This album is like a sampler of the best bands of the genre. Sometimes if a band tries to do too much, they end up sucking at everything and being really flat. This is definitely not the case with Orchidectomy. Rather they create great riffs with influences from all around the slam world. I really can't see someone disliking this album, as there is so much to love.

The production on A Prelate's Attrition is on the rawer end which I like, but I know some people prefer cleaner production. Either way the production doesn't really obscure any riffs so I doubt anyone will have a huge problem with it.

The biggest problem I can see is that this album doesn't have any completely amazing moments. However few bands do, and even fewer bands are as consistently great as Orchidectomy. A Prelate's Attrition is just a shade below being a fabulous album and as is it one of the better albums to come out this year. I definitely recommend getting this.

Note: I think there is still some drama between the band and the label. I think the band may or may not have gotten their CDs to sell yet. I don't really know what's going on but whatever it is I'd avoid UBR if you are ordering this. There are faster and cheaper labels to order from.

Also if you are downloading this beware of downloading the unmixed version. Apparently it sounds much worse than the finished album.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Provocation - Towards Total Annhilation (Mutilated Records; 2008)

When you think of themes of brutal death metal, the things that usually come to mind are the various parts of human anatomy and how they can removed preferably in the most painful/criminally sexual way possible. You don't think of things like history, left wing politics, or social commentary. Leave that stuff to Punk right?

Wrong. At least according to Provocation who come from southern Germany but are (understandably) quite angry with George W. Bush and the right wing of politics in general and use their music as a vehicle to express this anger. Not that you can hear single lyric throughout the album, but the booklet is a nice read. Songs like Poor in Resources, High in Conflict or Perverse World Domination read almost like a history lecture, which, as a history student and a left-leaning person myself, I tend to like. It's not the most eloquent stuff around but it isn't shit either.

In the end though, it's the music that really matters, so let's talk about that. The riffing style on this album reminds me of the obtuse, heavy slams of Vulvectomy, mixed with spiraling, slightly melodic Californian sounding riffs. This mix works pretty well and leads to interesting songs that you can't pin down to a really particular regional style and they certainly don't sound like a clone. Can't really say I was blown away, but there were some good moments on here for fans of the genre.

The vocals and rhythm section on this album however left something to be desired. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't really that good. It's hard to say anything in particular was bad, it just felt off. The production was fine but didn't help either. This is the band's first album though so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but clearly there is room for improvement here.

So kudos to Provocation for trying some new things, both riff wise and lyric wise, but there is work to be done before they release a truly great album. If you're looking for some slam with a little uniqueness you could do worse, but you could also do better. (hint: keep an eye out for our upcoming review of the new Human Mincer album!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Corporectomy - Within The Weak And The Wounded (Sevared Records; 2008)

Corporectomy are a new technical brutal death band signed to Sevared Records who have just released this little EP of blasting and slamming madness recently. I dig it, it's a little like Decaying Form with a ton more structure and tighter playing, maybe with the drumming of Defeated Sanity on the first album or something.  The vocals aren't guttural enough and are more of a deep bark, but it's not really a problem, ESPECIALLY when the dual low/screamed vocals erupt viciously and rabidly through the mix.  Every now and then there are some interesting sustained amelodic chords that sort of just hang around and get warped into creepy twisting riffs, sort of constructed in a Californian way (I've seen people say this band is very US sounding, so I'll just agree here).  There are no DISTINCT moments of pure Devourment worship so it's not quite Texas-y, and it's not quite New York enough, nor is it totally Californian sounding, it's not raw enough to be Midwest style USDM so...I'm at a loss to say exactly what this IS, regionally speaking, even though I make the concession that is "United States sounding."  Whatever, I'm just yearning for categorization here.  If you like your slam built on weird frilly riffs with precise yet unfocused song structures and not-quite-burping vocals, be my guest and check this out.  It's not breaking any new ground, but solid it is, and solid is something we like here.

P.S. automatic point deduction for retarded opening sample!  STOP DOING THIS!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jenovavirus - Demo #1 (2008; Self-Released)

Do you like BIZARRE slam? Dripping fan perhaps? Are you interested in finding something atmospheric, creepy, perhaps even a bit psychologically disturbing? You're going to wanna check out this newcomer band from Japan, with probably the coolest name ever. Given that Final Fantasy 7 is probably my favorite game ever (fuck haters), I checked this band out because I heard them being touted as cool slam from Japan and...that's it. So I downloaded it to give them a try.

Well...I am surprised at the quality of this. It's more than a little odd, there are some deathcore-ish breakdowns, odd synth effects that really kind of give it a surreal edge, there are cool tech-death arpeggiated riffs and plenty of sick slams to go around. The entire feel of the non-off-kilter parts is pretty much Disconformity-ish, right down to the incredibly guttural, multi-layered vocal grumblings. The production is pretty damn slick, pinch harmonics cut through like butter, everything is mixed well...I have no complaints...and this is a DEMO! Definitely above and beyond what I expect in a demo these days, especially in slam.

The vocals may be mainly inhaled, but the frog-croaking madness doesn't stop this from being awesome, especially because it adds to the macabre themes and extremely left-field sections. I'm probably going to find myself heavily enjoying this in times to come...download it and give it a listen if you want something bizarre yet still enjoyable and quality. Definitely looking forward to their debut album, which is supposed to have 13 tracks and which they seem to be working on at the moment. It can't come soon enough...recommended.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Upcoming Release: Embyronic Depravity/Gorevent Split

Just came across news that a great new split from two very good bands is going to be released soon on Sevared Records. Embryonic Depravity are in my opinion the best UKDM band currently going and this is only a taste of what's to come because they also have a full length in the works as well. The band that I think of most when I think of ED is Defeated Sanity, but they definitely have their own approach to brutal death metal. They're also cool guys as evidenced by our intervew with bandmember Rob.

Gorevent is a slammier band from Japan that just recently released a full length. I've only heard myspace samples but Andy assures me they rule.

Be on the lookout for this release! Thanks to lou on the Devourment forum for originally posting the news.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Criminal Element - Guilty As Charged (Sevared Records; 2008)

Supergroups in metal are tough to judge. On one hand, you have a bunch of musicians coming together to make music that they like a lot, presumably, and said musicians are usually among the best in the business...in their respective bands. And then they are horrible when put together, presumably because of the Law of Geniuses In One Place At One Time (which I just made up, probably) stating that lots of brilliant musicians together does not necessarily correlate to great music. Criminal Element would like to have a word with you, if you subscribe to this belief. They'd like to arrange this meeting in an alleyway. Bring friends and you're even more dead.

Such is the pounding, ferocious and EXTREMELY American sounding Criminal Element on this album. Boasting a really, really ridiculously cool lineup and past-lineup including Suffocation and Dying Fetus members, I always kind of looked over this band due to subscribing to the above viewpoint. Then Vince Matthews took me behind an abandoned building and shot me in the head. I have since learned not to judge books by their covers...this is great! It almost sounds like death-thrash for the discerning East Coast-US-slam-wigger (non-pejorative in this case, don't think I'm hating because wigger slam can often kick ass) who won't listen to thrash unless it sounds like this; big, meaty, full of breakdowns, low vocals and gang-like vocal-tradeoff choruses. This really is the epitome of East Coast modern brutal death metal. Vince's voice cuts through the riffs with a mid-range precision, sometimes opting for absurd lows with the help of Gallagher of current-Dying Fetus fame. Speaking of riffs, this is good stuff...it combines thrash riffing/pacing with old-school stuff and melodic/slam tradeoffs almost too well. But it never sounds like they're going through the motions; it's subtly challenging music with excellent flair. And check out that booklet; mugshots of every band member with an "offense" they've "committed" right undernearth (ranging from tax avasion [sic] to sexual assault!) with case file graphics and just an overall VERY well-developed aesthetic.

Let's talk about drums. The drums fucking rule. Adam Jarvis (also in Misery Index) weaponizes his drum set. Right from the first 20 seconds of "Blood Money" we have some great cymbal use, effectively capturing the intesnity of the lyrics on display, which range, in that song, from misanthropy to murder to capture and imprisonment. Derek Boyer of Suffocation plays a competent role as bassist, though I would like to see the production lean more towards the heavy as it is a bit biased towards the trebly thrash style. If you're a slam fan, though, and you're looking to explore thrash, traditional death metal or just other good music in general that isn't pure slam but contains enough of the moshing elements you need to get through the day, you'll probably like this. It isn't for everyone, but Vince and co. wouldn't let you know that; they just kill the detractors with extreme prejudice. Stay sharp.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Carnivore Diprosopus - Filled My Stomach With a Pregnant's Corpse (Rerecorded Version)

Devourment clones have a long and illustrious history within our scene. After all, Devourment are the creators of Slam and have released what is almost universally regarded as the best Slam Death album ever recorded. Just like Darkthrone and Burzum and their legion of imitators are to Black Metal, so are Devourment and their clones to Slam Death.

Of course this phenomenon is often (rightfully) criticized for just regurgitating a worse version of what they are copying instead of applying some creativity to their music. However, these criticism are not always valid, as in the case of Carnivore Diprosopus' first album Filled My Stomach With a Pregnant's Corpse. For reference I am reviewing the rerecorded version which I would recommend getting because the original has very bad production.

This album reminds me a lot of Molesting the Decapitated if it had been recorded in Bogota rather than Dallas. Not to say that it's as good (nothing is) but it has the same feel. That raw, seething guitar tone chugging along and crushing all in it's path. Everything you have come to expect is here and it's done at a high enough quality to make up for the lack of originality. The Colombianness of this record comes through in the loud, blasting snare (LOVE that) and the sub-par vocals (it's a tradition in that country it seems).

I don't have much else to say, if you love Goretrade's drums and Devourment's riffs, then you've heard this album. If you're looking for a high quality synthesis of those two things, look no further. If you've got enough of those things, pass over this and get Carnivore Diprosopus' other full length.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Human Mastication...MORE NEW SONGS + ALBUM ART!

One of the biggest things this year will probably be the new Human Mastication album...we've interviewed 'em, you've seen it, we've reviewed their other stuff before...now the time is coming for a new album!

New songs are as expected...huge slams, dry inhale vocals and tight rhythms. It may not have the production of Abominable Putridity, but it has the passion and dedication...expect a review soon (as well as a review for the new Gorevent, just ordered it last night!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

News on the Slam Front

Sorry about lack of updates around here. Lots of classes and projects have been keeping us busy, and it's been a little slower than usual in the slam realm. BUT ALL THAT IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!

First off, some new signings you may or may not know about.

Sevared signed Vulvectomy earlier this year, which is great...their debut is some of the funnest slam these ears have heard. The new Corpsefucking Art is now out on Barrett's label also...not a fan, but maybe someone who reads this is or would like to be? Barrett also just signed Animals Killing People, the extremely-awesomely-monikered supergroup starring Wilson of the legendary Purulent. Interested in compilations? Check this demo comp out when it drops: Flesh Impaled, Egemony and Infinite Defilement (new Aussie slam!) CD will drop on Sevared in October. In addition, if you've seen our Open Wounds 2 Comp review, you've heard of Cesspool Of Vermin who are putting out their debut on Sevared in October! So much slam, so little time...and there's more...

Comatose has been quiet for a while, but we noticed Steve put out the new Being Killed with very little publicity recently...you might wanna check this one out as it's likely to be akin to previous BK assaults (which are solid).

Brutal Bands is really, really picking up speed this year with some awesome signings. The first one and closest to a new CD which will rule, is the new Human Mincer, "Degradation Paradox" which, while only being 8 tracks/27 minutes long according to the label, will absolutely proceed to furiously kick everyone's ass according to the samples I've heard. Check out Flask Copper Deglutition and be amazed. The band now features Phlegeton on vocals, and Guillemoth on bass, both of famed Spanish brutal band Wormed. I'm not joking, this is seriously destructive, technical and ridiculously great stuff. Don't fuck with Spain! In addition to HM, BB recently signed Abominable (motherfucking) Putridity for a MULTI-ALBUM deal...dear fucking god, we're all doomed. "In The End Of Human Existence" is a massive, undeniably over-the-top onslaught of pure slamming guttural death metal...and I suspect these new albums will be also.

As if these pieces of news weren't enough, the new Gorevent on Macabre Mementos is currently available at the first two fine outlets above...buy or fucking die! Raw and pummeling Japanese brutal slam for only die-hards of the genre...like everyone reading this, I hope. If not, don't bother reading this because it's not going to help you! Until next installment...stay guttural, stay slamming, etc.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Parasitic Extirpation demo review

Parasitic Extirpation isn't exactly a new name to me...I've heard the name thrown around a few times, but eventually in the mail I got a demo from the band, fronted by the infamous Blue who is also in New England slam band Dysentery. I put off reviewing it for about a month due to being too busy with class, but here it is.

This album begins in a very Gortuary-ish way with slams intertwined with more serpentine and weaving technical riffs. Nothing new, but solid, and with GREAT production. After a few measures, the band launches into an almost-epic (a-la Inveracity) riff and then...drops it. Back to the slamming, straight up guttural chugging brutality, and another shift to the sort-of-epic here and there, but it's very inconsistent. The solo eventually shows up and is gone just as quickly as it came, a frenzied shredfest but lacking anything very interesting. The song really becomes something else around 2 minutes, which is odd considering it doesn't end for another half minute. It feels like they should have expanded on the ideas in the last 30 seconds of the song in ANOTHER song, but they don't and it feels disjointed. Regardless, the song is fun and catchy (and slammy, of course), and just short enough to be effective if it's not criticized or approached too scientifically.

The 2nd song is a bit frustrating with pinch harmonics done in a sort of unsatisfying way, and the vocals are a little weak. The breakdown around 1:25 is incongruous but works out well by the time it gets going due to the cool time signature they use. Once again, weak vocals kinda mar this one, but the solo makes up for it with a muuuuch better lead pattern, of course frenzied and with much aplomb, all jerking yet confident and for this it is good. The outro-slam is pretty damn good, and could be improved with an extended outro sort of deal.

Track 3, "Stabwound Symmetry" is very good right off the bat with catchy riffs and great connections between Malignancy-esque riff wizardry and the slammier, simpler side of things. The slam section around 45 seconds is good but dissolves too quickly and gets kind of lost in poor songwriting choices such as "let's randomly do some technical leadwork because everyone is doing that" and the "breakdown punctuated by bad pinch harmonic use". Good thing after that they decide to slam decently well for a couple seconds before going off the handle with more uninteresting stuff.

The last track is kind of surprising, definitely get a Dripping vibe (if you remember "Prelude To The Fallen" on their debut album, which is a classical guitar piece), though this is an adaptation of Fernando Sor's "Etude In B Minor" which...is really out of place and doesn't have quite the contrast Dripping pull off which makes their acoustic piece such a creepy and disquieting piece.

This band has a long, long way to go to the "top" of the slam echelon, and keeping with the idea that a lot of the MA-area brutal death bands are a little under-par (though with of course a fair deal of satisfying potential) that isn't to be taken as a slag to them personally. I can see this demo going either way; the band will either populate their music with sterile wankery like in the 3rd song and sign to Unique Leader or some other label that likes that stuff nowadays (no offense really, as I'm sure that'd be a good choice for them, and the new Decrepit Birth is cool) or they could go Gortuary and be mature, compositionally-adept songwriters (hopefully with better lyrics than that band though...please) with a lot to show for it.

But for now, it's a demo, enjoy it, and watch the band go where they go!

EDIT: I forgot to mention this because the CD was in my computer at the time, but, hot damn this is excellent packaging for a demo. Really good glossy J-card style insert with easy to read typefacing and great heat transferred pro-looking CD face. Gotta love when bands are dedicated enough to do GOOD demo design jobs. As a graphic designer myself, this is what I like. Extra points for that, bros.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Italian Scene

It's time for another one of our more popular (I think) segments, regional scene information! This time we turn to the country of Italy. Native land of Julius Caesar, Mussolini and Mario, Italy is also home some really good slam and brutal death metal bands. Here are a few of my favorites.

Septycal Gorge: I've talked a lot about this band before, but I'll just quickly explain why I like them so much. They excel at making slam that is both interesting and memorable. It's not exactly, technical, but it's not simple either. Really great band that everyone should listen to.

Blasphemer: These guys have had an album coming out on Comatose for what seems like forever. The samples though make it seem like it will be well worth. Sounded like very heavy and technical brutal death. I talked to Steve at MDF and he seemed to think that they were on their way to finally recording the album so let's hope it's out soon. In the meantime we are just left with some very tantalizing samples.

Vulvectomy: This band is very new and released an album right at the end of 2007. Very simple and hard slam that is sure to please if only due to their single-minded devotion to pounding the fuck out of you. Bonus points for teaching me what the word "depilated" means and for inventing the phrase "Slam Till U Cum" which I love.

Putridity: I reviewed their album earlier. Just like Vulvectomy it's very satisfying but Putridity are blastier and rawer. Very satisfying.

Clitoridus Invaginatus: I also reviewed their album. A weird band that combines ridiculous, bouncy slam with occasional rock influences. I personally like the combination. Worth checking out if you want something a little different.

Vomit the Soul: This band is just brutal. Not sure what else to say. Not quite as good as Septycal Gorge or as satisfyingly groovy as Vulvectomy and Putridity, Vomit the Soul really excel at pure brutality. I definitely enjoy listening but it's not especially interesting. I think others might get more out of it than I do though.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Begging for Incest new CD

Begging for Incest (great name) are a relatively new slam band from Cologne, Germany. They now have a new EP out on Pathologically Explicit Records called Awaiting the Fist. I've heard this band's name thrown around before but I'd never checked them out until now. The first thing that struck me was that the songs off Awaiting the Fist have fabulous production. They sound huge and heavy and I'm listening on myspace, a notorious destroyer of sound quality. This complements Begging for Incest's penchant for static, hardcore-esque breakdowns.

Their are a few things I think could be improved, although I'd like to again mention that this is from a myspace listen, not from the actual CD. The vocalist is decent for the most part, but a couple of times does some pretty bad squeals. Also the songs don't have very good flow and left me feeling that I just heard three good breakdowns instead of one good song. Check them out and if you like them buy their EP. At the very least Begging for Incest is a band to keep an eye for a future full length.

Begging for Incest @ Myspace

Monday, August 18, 2008

Devourment, Malignancy + others @ Police Athletic League in Fall River, MA

Parking was tough to find at first. Every street was a one way. It seemed like the show would be poorly attended. However, when my buddy Dan and I got there we hung out with Malignancy's drummer Mike for a while, got some food to eat and eventually went in to check out Devourment merch and hang out until the show started.

People eventually began coming in droves and it ended up being pretty decently attended for a small show at a police gymnasium style place. Goreality opened the show. Their debut was completely unimpressive brutal death to me; it had slams, but not good enough ones, and never in good places. The vocals were also really boring and one-dimensional. Live, they were better (and their guitarist looks exactly like fucking Dimebag!) to my ears so that was good. The vocalist was still weak and didn't have too much of a presence. Regardless, they put in a solid set so it worked overall.

Dysentery was up next and this is where the show got a little ridiculous. Dysentery have always been second-rate Devourment worship, not quite reaching the mastered precision of Abominable Putridity or even Cephalotripsy and with more than a bit of the dreaded "wigger"-ness that pervades slam death (Soils Of Fate pull it off correctly, though). Their slams were good live and got the crowd responding--but in one of the worst ways...karate-kicking and really brainless slam-dancing. I have come to expect this obviously, at these kind of shows, but it's still possibly the stupidest fucking thing ever. Anyway, Dysentery were also better live than on album, but their songs really are stupidly predictable and over-the-top. The vocalist was also sort of a dick, pushing my friend against the wall for no reason later in the show. That's just not fucking cool.

On to Austrian wackos Distorted Impalement who randomly played this show. DI are a weird and really inconsistent band jumping from traditional styled death metal to wanktastic tech death and inordinate slamming at seemingly random times. Their sound was unfortunately lacking live, though what I've heard of their studio work on their Myspace has been pretty good. Their vocalist was fun as hell and had a great fucking accent. It was also funny to hear people make Terminator/Arnold references before their set. I was impressed that they came all the way to the US for one or two shows (dunno how long they'd been on tour with these guys or what they were doing here).

Malignancy set up in the gap between bands and Danny made us all move forwards to "make them feel weird" as they played. In true New York style, he made fun of the audience throughout the set (posing with his back towards the rest of the band and standing stoically like so many confused/half-intrigued watchers, checking his phone as one other guy was doing) and was actually very comedian-like in disposition, which definitely belied his INSANELY ferocious vocals live. Mike, the drummer, was absolutely on top of his game live, and I'm not just saying that because he was the coolest guy we met at the entire show, but he really fucking was spot-on for every hit. Ron was an absolutely mind-blowing fret-mangler to witness live, also; his fingers whirling up and down his guitar like a madman with unbroken focus on his task at hand. Lance was missing for a great part of the set, having been caught in traffic...but when he got there the sound got thicker and more intense. He harmonized perfectly with Ron, and it was really a sight to see these guys kick total ass live. So much fucking energy and so much technical confusion. Also, they took my request for "Vaginal Incisors", which was awesome as fuck.

And then...the moment we had all been waiting for. DEVOURMENT! I cannot explain in fucking words how amazingly good these guys are live. Cpt. Piss (who was interviewed for this very blog and whom I met earlier before the show and introduced myself to) donned his horse-head and they proceeded to slam through absolute classics including "Postmortal Coprophagia" (pound for pound my absolute favorite song by them), "Choking On Bile" and "Shroud Of Encryption" and a few off Butcher The Weak including the title track and "Serial Cocksucker" (dedicated by Mike to all the women in the crowd!...what a sweetheart). The best parts, however, were the NEW FUCKING SONG (!!!!!!!...the title of which I missed because Mike's speaking voice was kind of hard to understand due to a couple factors; note to readers: the new album will fucking rule, the new song began with an almost-normal/non-slam riff and had greater vocal/drum interplay than usual for them) and the closing (obligatory) "Babykiller" (which they played in the sort-of-original style w/ no blasting intro, which is actually the better one in my opinion...though Mike of course killed it live with his excellent, sick vocals which were a great testament to the original version's vocals by our lost brother in brutality, Wayne). Anyway...for Devourment's first show in New England, it was epic and al-fucking-mighty. If you missed this (like Nick did...sorry man), I feel bad for you. My neck hurts like hell.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blaze Inside - Pure Potenciality - 2008 - Dan's Crypt

Straight out of Dan's Crypt, Blaze Inside is the newest band to blaze (sorry) onto the scene from Colombia. I first heard of this band from Sevared Record's Open Wound Comp and Pure Potenciality is distributed in North America by Sevared so it should be easily available for most readers.

But should you get it? Yes, absolutely. Go now, this is a surefire member of the top albums of the year and there's still four months left.

Now that you've ordered it, here's what you're going hear from Blaze Inside (great name). Super fast riffing that stays constantly brutal, but with little bits of epicness. It's unique but you can tell they're Colombian. It's reminiscent of Amputated Genitals and Ancient Necropsy but at the speed or faster than Internal Suffering. This mixture is very satisfying to both the gut, with intense speed and pounding slams, and the brain, with labyrinthine melodic passages that keep the songs interesting without sacrificing anything. This album does not have a dull moment on it. The constant dynamism mixed with the unrelenting brutality and speed left me both thrilled and exhausted.

Another amazing part about this album is that Blaze Inside, despite being from Colombia, use guttural vocals. They about as good as your average TXDM band. Think Aversion to Life or Insidious Decrepancy. Don't worry, they don't buck too many stereotypes. The drum sound is quite loud and pingy.

Another album from Colombia, another absolute crusher. The South American nation's reputation as a brutal paradise continues to grow. If you buy one release from the summer, make it this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Poppy Seed Grinder - Humanophobia - 2008 - Sevared/Nice To Eat You Records

Yikes! We've all been waiting for this one; ever since their AWESOME split with Defeated Sanity way back in the day, these guys have been under-heralded masters of Czech slam/brutal death. Their last album of Dying Fetus-meets-Inveracity brutality was released on little known Kharaanus Productions, but those truly dedicated to this scene worshiped it as it was meant to be worshiped...

Now, years later (4 or so to be exact!), PSG has risen again with another grooving, moshing and heavy album of excellence. The production immediately sounds a LITTLE rawer, and the vocals are mixed a bit lower, but the trademark PSG groove riffs and pinches/melodies are still present. The vocalist, Cifron, still employs VERY varied techniques ranging from typical deathgrowls to rabid screams, inhales, gurgles and pig squeals, plus some of his own special deviations; solid stuff as always. The first song features an unprecedentedly complex song structure; no longer does PSG stay on a blasty path as they did a lot of the time on Oppressed Reality, there is more technicality (subtly done rather than ostentatiously like some bands nowadays) and maturity in some songs here. The second track, which was available for a while as a song on their Myspace ("Fetus Of Hatred") is furious and raging with a really catchy verse/chorus section featuring a second or two of turntable scratching(?!), and the early breakdown has some great bass interplay.

This album even features a re-tooling of the title track from their half of the split I mentioned earlier, "Talk Evolution", which is well done and does justice to the original; would've liked to see a re-release of ALL the songs (due to "The Unmenigable Of Consequences" being one fucking sick and awesome song, despite having a nonsensical title) but I can deal with one for now.

Anyway, this is very good stuff, not TOO much of a departure (slightly punkier, a little more underproduced, etc.), and thus not too much of a significant progression, from Oppressed Reality, but it holds up quite well on its own. It's fun, it's brutal and it's not just typical gore slam with no concept; I'll take two!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Band Appreciation: New Yorkment

This is an unusual choice for a band appreciation but New Yorkment are an unusual band. The uniqueness comes not from their music (the opposite in fact), it instead comes form their intent - namely to parody the genre and scene of brutal death metal. Why appreciate a band that essentially mocks my favorite music? Because it's damn funny that's why. For me, most parody fails because it goes too far over the top. Getting bludgeoned over the head with the joke tends to make it less funny. However due the natural extremity involved in brutal death New Yorkment's humor thrives on being over the top. This can be seen in the complete lack of lowercase letters on their myspace page including such utterances as "GORESLAM IN THE HOUSE!!!!!". Their songs also have such amusing names as "INGORGING INGORGITY" and "PIT RIFFMENT". They also lampoon the practice of inventing a meaningless brutal sounding genre name by calling themselves "THUGSLAM GOREPUNCH" among other names (see left).

One of my favorite things they've done is create a myspace page for what seems like hundreds of "Slam Chapters" including ones for Africa and "Killafornia". This of course is making fun of all the NYDM/UKDM/RUDM/TRDM etc. pages which have proliferated recently on myspace.

The music too is worth mentioning. It's pretty much just retarded slams and rather gross guttural vocals. It's like playing baseball (or any sport) with your friends. You suck compared to real players, but you're probably having a lot of fun.

A key part that makes this work for me though is that I sense no malice in it. I could be wrong and admittedly I do not know who made all this and what their intentions are (if you know please enlighten me), but I do not get the sense that the person (people?) behind New Yorkment really hate this music. Instead it's good natured ribbing of the odd idiosyncrasies that have developed in the scene. And besides, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

New Yorkment Myspace

Check Out This Interview

Hey guys, just wanted to point you towards a very interesting interview with Brian Baxter of Necrotic Disgorgement. It's done by the folks over at Divine Torture. Not only does it point some new releases from ND (yay!), but Brian tells some really compelling stories about his diehard support for the scene and overcoming some severe obstacles in life. It's long, but it's full of interesting and inspiring sections. Don't take it from me though read the interview! LINK

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kraanium - Ten Acts Of Sickening Perversity - 2008 - Pathologically Explicit Recordings

Finally, the moment all slammers have been waiting for...one of the first modern slam albums to come out of Norway. Since very recently (like, now), Norway has been known for its extreme black metal scene, but all that is about to change as these sick fucks barrel through ten simplistic and straightforward (in the best possible way) tracks of slamming, guttural, brutal, sewage-spewing insanity.

Enough with the adjectives and hype, what does this sound like? Well, to be fair, it's very much like Abominable Putridity at first glance. There are heavy slams, even heavier slams, and really well done vocals and catchy between-slam riffs. However, on track 3 something interesting occurs; there's a really fucking cool THRASH(!) riff segueing into some brutal punk sounding stuff, and some sections that literally could have the power to crack your skull in half if heard live. I can also draw a few parallels to this year's (excellent) Gortuary album, such as in the track Midget Fucker which begins with a lame sample erupting into fretboard dynamics and a good-old-fashioned death metal sounding section. Despite the really lame song titles and samples Kraanium uses, I think this is a really well put together first effort from a band that's likely to garner fans from all around the world with its very American style of slam death. Now I'm looking forward to the new Hideous Deformity full-length which should be out this year on Sevared, and that'll round out the Norwegian slam scene for a bit...looking forward to more, cheers and hail Norge!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Band Appreciation: Dripping

Activity has been a little down here at Slam-Minded recently due to both Andy and I entering the drudgery of summer jobs. To remedy this though I figured I'd do some old fashioned appreciatin'

On the docket for today's round of appreciating is Dripping, a sadly departed group of potheads (I mean this in a loving way) from New Jersey. In their relatively unheralded career, they managed to put out one fantastic EP and one extremely good full length album, along with a couple of demos.

Dripping play slam (duh) but instead of just the usual breakdowns, blast beats and gurgles, they add samples of a wide variety of music and other sound bytes. This creates a very strange and somewhat fucked up listening experience, which only makes the very well done metal bits better. This bizarre approach to songwriting really hits its peak on the song "Skydiving Out of the Hemisphere", on their EP. The song combines an upbeat trance number with some absolutely mammoth slams. The juxtaposition of these two diametrically opposed musical styles works to make them both sound really good as the happy melodies play off the destructive rhythms of the breakdowns. It's one of those things that sounds crazy, but trust me it works great and is actually my favorite song. I don't want to say that everyone will like it, that is after all the pitfall of originality, but at the very least one should appreciate its uniqueness. Another one of my favorites is the song "The Interlude of Astrophysics" which begins with the quote "Life is just an interlude to death, you ever think about that?" Another voice replies: "Word son" and off to slam heaven we go.

Some of you may be saying "what the fuck?" after reading all this and I can't blame you. That's just the reaction this band will engender and it's all part of the fun. I implore anyone who hasn't done so already to give Dripping a try and just enjoy the great slams and utter weirdness. It's a rewarding to experience music that is so unique, yet still manages to keep all the aspects of this genre we all love.

Also of note, the liner notes for their full length Disintegration of Thought Patterns... are seriously fucked up. I've read a lot of death metal lyrics and am pretty jaded at this point, but these ones are still disturbing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MDF Review: Infected Malignity

Infected Malignity were actually one of my first brutal death bands as I blundered my way into the genre via myspace. Two years later I got to see them in concert at the Maryland Deathfest. The only thing that dampened my excitement was the fact that Infected Malignity had changed musical directions from straight out slam to melodic deathcore. Now this might have some of S-M's readers concerned (it certainly made me unhappy), but your worries are unfounded. Infected Malignity still kick ass.

Their set was midday so the venue wasn't too crowded, allowing us to get to the front. After the usual set up and introduction they went right into a song from their newest EP Re:Bel. To my surprise it was actually good! As were their other new songs. Yes it was deathcore, but the melodies were actually catchy instead of Slaughter of the Soul ripoffs and the vocals were a mix of the hardcore shouts (that's the best you're going to get from hardcore) and deep gurgles. They did play Revenge to Capitalism off their debut The Malignity Born From Despair, which admittedly was the best song of the set, but I think that is more a reflection of how good a song is and not on the quality of the other material. I could tell the crowd were hesitant like me at first but they were also won over by the strong show and we were all getting really into it. They were so good in fact that me and about 20-30 (probably half the people in the main area at the time) went over and bought some merch.

They've left the brutal/slam death metal scene we all love but Infected Marignity still get a big two thumbs up for me for their performance at MDF.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gorevent - Abnormal Exaggeration Released on Macabre Mementos

As the title states Gorevent's first full length Abnormal Exaggeration has been released on Macabre Mementos. Gorevent are from Japan and play decent slam with great vocals (is there a Japanese band with a bad vocalist? They are like the anti-Colombians). I also like the production. It's rawer and thinner sounding than usual, but it works. I'm hesitant to really give this a big thumbs up or down base purely on Myspace listening, but I'm definitely going to pick it up once Comatose gets a hold of it.

Also, does Gorevent mean a vent of/for gore? Or does it mean a Gor[e] Event? Food for thought.

Here's the album cover:

(ed: Both of us are REALLY psyched for this to hit American shores...we'll definitely be featuring a review of it right here!!)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Decaying Purity - Phases Of Dimensional Torture - 2008 - Grotesque Productions

After having heard these guys on their Myspace, I knew this would be one of the best albums of 2008 in brutal death metal. Drawing heavy stylistic influences from newer Inveracity, some mid-period Disgorge (California one) in the slammier sections and a heavy helping of Deeds Of Flesh in other parts (epic tremolo riffing and chaotic sections), these guys really know how to write good brutal songs with a side of technicality. However, the techy parts never obscure the totally fucking brutal slamming and downtuned chugging riffs/breakdowns these guys throw out. In "Atrocious Execution" the band is found slamming in a very American style right after an unfocused intro which shows their willingness to experiment with different styles.

One thing I really like about this is that the vocals are extremely solid and the mixing of all the different vocals is very similar to some Italian bands like Vomit The Soul; there are even some dual vocal sections like VTS as well! Though Cenotaph is also from Turkey, these guys sound totally different from that band with some more melody and a less pronounced snare drum. These guys highlight no drums in fact, instead placing large emphasis on clear guitar breaks and catchy riffing, along with the aforementioned vocals (which three of the four members handle!).

Overall, this is excellent and seems like it will even grow on me more in time. With bands like Cenotaph and these guys on their front, Turkey will most likely be gaining more and more force in the international brutal/slam death scene.

And the best part of the album is the T2 sample:
"You just can't go around killing people!!"


Friday, June 27, 2008

Banishment Available for Preorder

As the title states Banishment is now available for preorder from Lacerated Enemy. Banishment are from LA and really exemplify the Californian feel of technicality and atmosphere that makes bands like Deeds of Flesh and Disgorge good. Definitely worth picking up. I will get it once Comatose or Sevared get copies because I've had horrible luck preordering from Europe (still haven't gotten my Decaying Purity CD/shirt package I ordered in February). Here's the official ad from Lacered Enemy:

Monday, June 16, 2008

MDF Review: Defeated Sanity

Sorry about the delay in posting. I've just started work and Andy recently visited his girlfriend (eww gay!) in Maine so we haven't had much of a chance to post. To help correct the problem though I'll post a quick review of one of the better bands to play at MDF, Defeated Sanity. Defeated Sanity are a pretty big name in the brutal death scene, especially after their 07 release of Psalms of the the Moribund. They play one of the better mixes of technicality and what we've termed "fast slam". Their first album sides more with the technicality while Psalms is slammier.

Defeated Sanity played in the early afternoon on Saturday and unfortunately we got there a little late because they were ahead of schedule. We caught most of the show though and it was one hell of an experience. They were immensely heavy and their music was really impressive in the live setting. The slams were very thick and the technical parts were more fun and interesting when you see them played by Wolfgang, who had to be one of the oldest guy at the fest (he still rocked the fuck out!). The bassist also looked badass and played music to match. Most surprisingly was the vocalist who I thought was rather pedestrian on Psalms. In the live setting he spit out some very sick gutturals.

Basically, if I had to sum up my opinion on Defeated Sanity I would say they are great on CD and absolute fantastic live.

Please feel free to comment and if you want request set reviews from any of the MDF bands.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Meathook - Infernal Torture - 2008 - Sevared Records

This is a release I was really looking forward to picking up from Barrett because the song on their Myspace sounded a lot like Goretrade, which is one of my all time favorite bands. Upon listening to Infernal Torture all the way through, I can still hear that Goretrade influence, but the album does not quite reach the level of quality that Goretrade does.

Meathook's main method of attack utilizes soaring, almost epic riffs somewhat like Inveracity and the aforementioned Goretrade. Shades of CADM bands like Inherit Disease and Deeds of Flesh can also be heard. These are interspersed with some breakdowns and typical chunky death metal riffing. The drums and vocals are middling; they support the music fine but don't really add much.

Where Meathook really succeed is the blending of those epic riffs and breakdowns together. This happens about half the time. The other half of the time it ceases to feel like a song and just some riffs next to each other. I don't want to sound too negative here as there was a lot of stuff on this album I liked (the first song especially) but I also feel like there was a lot of potential that was not reached. It's almost like the guys in Meathook just stumbled upon this style and decided to whip up an album instead of really concentrating and making it the best they could (see either Goretrade album or Inveracity - Extermination of Millions to see how this style can be amazing).

You could certainly do worse, but I feel that with a few more years of playing and experience with this style under their belt, Meathook could be great.

Sufferatory - Pseudophilosophic MCD - 2008 - Sevared/Butchered Records

Starting off with a great sample setting the mood of obscure philosophy and esotericism, this monstrous EP blasts off with chunky riffs and pounding drums, eventually leading into a thrashy riff with a very Suffocation style. Patrick at Butchered Records told me that this was "like a Russian Suffocation", and I am bound to believe him after taking a few focused listens to this.

The lyrics are noteworthy which is odd for slam/brutal death metal, dealing with various themes of nihilism and philosophy. The sound sometimes reminds me of countrymen Emberland, though with a less snappy drum tone in general, and with more blurry and bassy riffs. Speaking of bass, this guy rules! Max rocks out on every track with extremely heavy, loud and catchy basslines which make this release a little more distinct. However, sometimes they can get a LITTLE out of hand, but it's usually not a problem.

The four tracks make up a total running time of 16 minutes, so there's just enough here to whet the listener's appetite, but also just enough to make you beg for more. Apparently these guys also had a full-length before this, but according to Barrett and Patrick it's not as well-produced, which is a shame. Very much looking forward to new material by these guys. The world needs more Suffocation-style slam with great musicianship and songwriting, so this is right on par! At S-M, we love Russian slam (Katalepsy review forthcoming), so from Nick and I...stay sick, motherland!

Interview with Gee of Human Mastication

Human Mastication is one of the big upcoming bands from the Philippines, and we're glad to have them on board for a lighthearted yet genuine interview!

How has the Filipino fanbase responded to the sudden growth of the scene there?

First of all i would like to thank you guys for this interview and for your support in Human Mastication. Well, brutal death metal scene here is really growing and we are damn happy to see people who support us in many ways

What's your favorite band from around your area?

Erectile Dysfunction, Internal Torture, Pus Vomit, Gential Warts, Aktarma Suicide, Fetal Mutilation, Down From The Wound and Lamaw...

Can you explain how you put together the split with Flesh Disgorged? Where from/how did you guys know each other?

Arif and I made contact in myspace first, then after a few months we planned to make a split release. and we are thankful that both bands agreed to make it possible.

We understand you guys are busy this year, releasing your first full-length CD and even a 7" on Self-Digested. Very exciting; any plans for the next few years yet?

Yes, we have an upcoming full length CD on Sevared Records. Hopefully, this will be released by the month of September '08. We are also waiting for a 7" ep on Self-Digested Records. Anyway, we didnt' make any plans yet for the following years..

Any possibility of shows in America?

We would really love to play in US. It's one of our dreams hehe.. if we'll catch up with some invitations for a US tour, why not right? hehe

Do you think there are any difficulties you face being from a country which is far away from most labels?

i dont think so.. Internet helped us a lot. hehe

If you could play a show with any band(s) who would it be?

Backstreet Boys and Nsync. hahaha

How do you go about writing your songs? Is there a special process you use?

I make up the lyrics, Jay and Siloy do the riffs and Kano does some drum patterns. ALL of us have contributed ideas whilst arranging stuff for our compositions.

Do you center a lot of your songs around the slam breakdown, or are those put in later?

Nope it depends on what's the best part for us. We use the slam/breakdowns in each of our song.

Any more splits coming out with other sick and brutal bands?

We have no upcoming splits at the moment.

How does it feel to know that your country, not usually known for slam, is getting pretty big in the international underground brutal scene right now?

We're so glad that the scene here is getting stronger! with a lot of new bands and supporters.

What bands influence you guys and how? Any bands you look for who do something specific you use in your writing?

We have tons of influences and most of them are US Death Metal bands.

Do you think that where a band is from geographically influences how they sound?

I dont think so. for me, it depends on the band on what style they want. Mostly here in asia are influenced by US death metal bands while the rest have their own unique styles.

Where do you see this scene in 5 years? 10? 15? Do you guys plan to stay around for a long time to unleash your fucking brutal sickness upon the world?

I really wanna hold on with the band longer but if i need to quit, well no choice i will. As time passes by, life keeps on changing and sometimes we really have to put first things first.

Your guttural vocal style is definitely influenced by Matti Way of the mighty Disgorge and Ruben Rosas of Devourment, but you do have your own style. Do you do anything different live?

Hahaha. Thanks for the cumpliment. Many people who see us playing live say that my vocals are pretty heavier in live than with our recordings and i think its true. Hahahaha!

Name some bands you're currently obsessed with:

im currently listening to these bands/albums:
*Abominable Putridity - In The End Of Human Existence
*Waking The Cadaver - Perverse Recollections Of A Necromangler.
*Flesh Consumed - Mutilate, Eviscerate, Decapitate.
*Putrefied - Gore-ific
*Pathology - Incisions Of Perverse Debauchery.

Any new merch/shirts/etc. out soon you want people to know about? Shout-outs?

Gee- We have some tshirt designs available. Just visit our myspace page for orders... http://myspace.com/humanmastication. We also have an upcoming full length CD on Sevared Records. will be out this september'08 hopefully! Thanks again for this intie. A cool interview bros! All the best with Slam-Minded! cheers... =)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Various News Items

MDF was great for us investigative journalists. We got to talk to the actual people behind the bands and labels. Here's what we found out.

New Amputated Genitals album coming out in September (YES!). We got this directly from Dan who is in the band and runs Gore and Blood Records.

The Blasphemer full length should be out this Fall on Comatose. Steve of Comatose told us that they were having drummer problems, but they seem to have been solved at this point. Blasphemer are a somewhat techy brutal death band from Italy. Very good stuff which I have been looking forward to for a while now. However, if you do want something by Blasphemer, you can check out the "Da Vinci Death Code" 4-way split which also features Septycal Gorge, Modus Delicti and Onirik.

Barrett told us that the Blaze Inside's full length has been delayed but should be out soon. Blaze Inside are grindy/crazy Colombian brutal death. See out recent review of Sevared's 08 Comp.

Also, here are a few things not learned at MDF, but newsworthy regardless.

Abominable Putridity have signed a multi-album deal with Brutal Bands. BB is rereleasing In the End of Human Existence and putting out one more album, which is expected to come out in 2009.

Human Mincer have also signed to Brutal Bands and are releasing an album this year. Human Mincer are brutal death from Spain and feature Phlegeton of Wormed on vocals.

Kraanium pre-orders are now up from Pathologically Explicit. Kraanium are a pretty good slam band from Norway(!).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Maryland Deathfest 08

We just got back from MDF and it was amazing. I'm sure Andy, like me, is completely exhausted right now, but over the next few days we will post news, reviews, pictures and commentary on the whole thing. Until then I'll leave you with this picture of Dying Fetus.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Consumed (one-man TXDM) Demo Review

This dude contacted us out of the blue for a review, so I checked his Myspace and was pretty impressed at the quality for a one-man project! He sent me his newest demo, including three tracks in 10 and a half minutes of quality slamming deathgrind, so here's my verdict.

First track starts with a nice slam with pretty tight drum programming, then we get the huge "YUUUURRGH" vocal invocation and we're off to a fast and riffing start with some very Californian sounding technical riffery and blasting. Vocals are pushed back to showcase the riffs and drums, but eventually it slows down for another slam section with a weird and interesting rhythm; fuckin' catchy! Another breakdown occurs and tosses the listener into another swamp of gore with pure bludgeoning slams and quick, frenetic leadwork. The high vocals are a little off the mark and odd sounding, and the lower vocals clip too much to be totally successful, but overall I'm feeling this.

Next track begins with a sample, which I don't like unless they're evocative, which this doesn't really give to me (Texas Chainsaw Massacre thing, kind of predictable), but when it starts, the slams are abound though oddly rigid and not groovy or punishing enough. The time changes and shifts in the song's direction are pretty interesting and seem almost illogical, but the drum programming here is good enough to glue everything together, and there are some really nice sections of blasting Deeds of Flesh-isms complete with chaotic, fast tremolo. I would really like to hear a better kick drum sample, and, come to think of it, the snare is almost missing and/or drowned out by the crash cymbal, which sounds a little awkward.

"I...AM...PAIN"...now that sample was good, but didn't mesh well enough with the song. Still, once it starts, this is easily one of the best parts on the demo, with catchy and very well structured blasting slam grooves! Titled "Torture, Rape, Dismember", I can get a definite feeling for this, as a goregrind-like drum fill connects the first and second "parts" (like the title implies) of the track together. This is easily the best stuff on the demo, though the vocals are very ineffectual, which really brings this down. However, during the short slam section, they slightly redeem themselves with some good gurgling stuff in the vein of Ruben of our favorite Devourment, so that's alright. The song grinds until the very end with a fast and very nice sounding chromatic riff, and the previous breakdown reiterates again, leaving me with a good feeling for the future of this artist.

Check out his demo, contact him on Myspace, and listen to his songs. There aren't enough quality one-man slam/brutal death bands, so this is a welcome addition to my collection.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sevared Open Wounds Comp 2008 Pt. 2

Sanatorium - In Capture Of Necrophile Visions: Sanatorium is a new signing for Barrett, and a pretty good choice at that. They feature very nice guttural vocals and a tight slam in this song, similar to popular Swedish and American bands including Soils of Fate and Aversion to Life. The production is weirdly flat and the bass is definitely lacking, but the songwriting is top-notch.

Flesh Consumed - Cast Into The Pit: See my review

Being Killed - Collapsing Society: I've actually never heard Being Killed, but I get the feeling this stuff works for goregrind freaks and digigrind-heads of all shapes and sizes as well as slam freaks. This is fine since I'm a grind fan myself, and the drum machine is very well done. Vocals are sub-par "bleeeehhhhh" style stuff but the production and style is done well enough to warrant repeat listens.

Sufferatory - Defective Mentality: I was looking forward to the Sufferatory song on this sampler more than most of the songs. Their new MCD seemed really good just from surface judgments on its themes, etc. but this is really punishing, heavy and interestingly well-done brutal death. If you like your slam with a side of intelligence a-la Ingurgitating Oblivion, then check this sick fucking band out!

Blaze Inside - Enormous Prodigious Sphere: Blaze Inside sounds like Internal Suffering gone absolutely batshit insane, at least on this song. Absolutely tiring, haranguing, unrelenting slamblast brutality, no holds barred and no strings attached. Couple that with the themes of cosmic chaos and physics and you've got a weird yet undeniably badass combination that works excellently.

Gortuary - Mutilation By Double Penetration: See my review

Yogth Sothoth - Endless Infernal Darkness: Yogth Sothoth is another upcoming band from Colombia that needs to be watched with a careful eye. This is borderline brutal death with a clear production and very good songwriting. Include with that a very Lovecraft-influenced concept and ex-members of Colombian stalwarts Planta Cadaver and...if you're not convinced, nothing will be able to convince you.

Human Mastication - Grotesque Mastication of Putrid Innards: HM is part of the NWOFDM scene currently on the rise in the brutal underground; Filipino style brutality is really making waves in America and Sevared is taking notes and releasing some of the best bands from the area. Asian brutality at its finest; sick vocals, straight-slamming guttural death metal. They just don't make 'em like this...interview with Gee (vocals) forthcoming!

Hideous Deformity - Winds Of Eradication: HD is one of the only Norwegian slam death bands currently doing anything on a label with a good international heading as far as Nick or I know, so this is an accomplishment in itself [Nick has informed me about Kraanium, who I forgot...also good stuff!]. These two guys, however, make quite the awesome racket with chugging and sick shifting riffs and rhythms abound. Kevin Talley is slated to drum on the new album, while this track/demo used a drum machine; BE AFRAID!

Soaking In Entrails - Drenched In Gasoline: Soaking In Entrails is a Dutch slam band who appear on here covering Putrid Pile's "Drenched In Gasoline." While the production is lacking, I can tell that these guys have a good idea of what they're doing from how they interpret this song. It'll be good to see them grow and develop, and this is a good first step. I never got into Putrid Pile but this cover is actually pretty damn good.

Cesspool Of Vermin - Parasitism: Cesspool Of Vermin also suffers from poor production and a less-than-good drum machine, but these guys know and admit the amateur sound, which makes them that much closer to being a great band in the long run. The groove section 45 seconds in kills everything in its path; fucking great stuff! I like this the more I listen to it even despite the poor production; there's something very good here.

Sevared Open Wounds Comp 2008 Pt. 1

The Open Wounds Comp 2008 is a limited edition compilation released by Sevared Records showcasing a bunch of past, present and future members of Sevared's roster. Andy and I will be reviewing this together with me handling the first 11 songs and Andy 12-22. Let's get started.

Exaltation - Human Body Bag: This band hails from Germany and have released one EP entitled Tales of Mental Sickness which has since been rereleased on Sevared. Exaltation play a chunky, deep vocaled style of brutal death that is decent but largely unimpressive. I liked the use of melody, but the song didn't flow and was not memorable.

Viral Load - Cockroach Cumrag: Viral Load is a pretty big name and is composed of scene giant Shawn Whitaker (Insidious Decrepancy, Grotesque Formation, Inexplicable Entrails, Braced for Nails, Uncleansed). This song actually impressed me a lot more than VR's previous material which I had never really cared for. Cockroach Cumrag features punishing TXDM slams alongside catchy tremolo riffs. Pretty good.

Septycal Gorge - Unidentified Corpses: This song from Italian brutal death masters Septycal Gorge is fantastic. This song is a few years old already and the band already has a new album in the works which I am definitely looking forward to. If you haven't heard the band before they utilize crushing and interestingly patterned slams and creative riffs to create a unique and brutal listening experience. Growing Seeds of Decay is mandatory for any brutal death fan, and since it's been rereleased by Sevared you have no excuse for not having it.

Putrefied - Visions of Treachery: Putrefied are a Dutch band who have just recently released their third full length Gore-ific on Sevared. They utilize very evil sounding tremolo riffs and good grooves to form their sound. There is definitely a touch of old-school death in here. The vocals however were not good and took away from the track. I thought it was decent and I can see others really liking it.

Artery Eruption - New Track: I'm going to be blunt-I don't like Artery Eruption at all. It surprises me that they are so well known in the scene, especially because this is not a hard genre to at least be decent at. They always seem to half ass everything. They couldn't even be bothered to come up with a name for their song. This song did nothing to change my mind. It's stupid, poorly played, poorly written, forgettable trash.

Inhuman Dissiliency - Dripping Vaginal Excrements: See my review

Vomitous - Asphyxiation by Ejaculation: See my review

Antracks - No Endless: This band apparently is from Indonesia although they are not on Metal Archives yet. If I didn't know any better I'd say they're from Colombia. "No Endless" features that same snare sound that you can find in Goretrade, Amputated Genitals and Ancient Necropsy. The rest of the song is a little scattershot, but I can hear a lot of good ideas and they even through in a cool guitar solo. I'm definitely intrigued.

Septicemia - D.O.M.: Another band from Indonesia (they are on an upcoming split with Antracks) Septicemia are a little more traditional than their countrymen although still interesting. Again they sound a little Colombian, but the riffs switch between fast slams and really slow slams, all with some tasteful guitar noodling over the top to make things interesting. The songwriting could be better, but once again I'm intrigued.

Eviscerated - Severed Foot Fuck Fetish: This Eviscerated come from San Antonio, Texas and unsurprisingly play TXDM. What is surprising is how well they play it. I've always thought the best TXDM sounded like a chugging train bearing down on you and this definitely feels like that. A little faster than fellow Texans Aversion to Life, based on this one song Eviscerated could be as good.

Down From the Wound - Infant Soaked in Baptismal Mutilation: See my review

Monday, May 5, 2008

Arsebreed - Munching The Rotten - 2005 - Neurotic Records

Well, it's taken me like...almost 4 years to hear this ONLY because the band's name is pretty horrible, and let's face it "munching" is basically the worst synonym for eating, devouring, etc. yet. I mean, even "masticating" is better. Excusing the terminology (fucking finally!), I entered this with an open mind and...well, I am pretty impressed, to an extent.

Essentially, this is the band that formed after Pyaemia's very sad breakup. Cerebral Cereal is an overall awesome slab of chunky yet catchy downtuned Suffo-worship on speed (with some great bass). This album honestly doesn't change too much. The vocals are a little different and, being on Neurotic, it is perhaps a bit techier in the rhythm department and has more wanky (if I can even call it that) guitar riffing. However, the overall feeling is relatively similar and I could say that if you're a fan of (old or new) Disavowed or Pyaemia, you'd be right at home with this one!

Now for a modern day connection: immediately upon beginning this to sit down for the review, I basically noticed that Human Filleted, new brutal deathers with a new album this year (actually a pretty good one marred by really stiff, lo-fi production but with very tight writing skills for such a young new band; review probably forthcoming[?]) are...trying to sound exactly like this. And I mean exactly...right down to the bass, which is loud but not all that "heavy" or low-end filled. It's chunky and slammy brutality that does not forget for a second that it is still death fucking metal and that it is supposed to be evil, groovy, and fast at times also. The quick changing rhythms are really good on both the HF album and this, and I can find myself appreciating the catchy vocalizations of both Joel and Robbe (ex-Pyaemia and Disavowed vocalists, respectively). This album does little wrong, and almost everything right. The production might be a LITTLE thin, but the songwriting and overall slammy brutality combined with fierce and technical catchiness are really satisfying together.

Also, I have to fucking mention that the lyrical approach is LITERALLY exactly what you would expect from a band with the aforementioned vocalists also writing lyrics in the contexts of the same songs! Philosophy meets gore, but never really fully combines...a stanza of gore, a stanza of random philosophy as only Disavowed could be known for. Hilarious, and strangely amazing.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gortuary - Manic Thoughts of Perverse Mutilation - 2008 - Sevared Records

Barrett's at it again. Here's another slab of brutal as fuck death metal, this time from a Cali-slam band by the name of Gortuary. Formed a paltry year (+ a few months) ago, these guys have clearly demonstrated their worth, enough to make a label like Sevared snap them up for a great new release!

Right off the bat, the obligatory sample, this time a serial killer talking about the look in his victims' eyes as the knife penetrates their flesh...really evocative stuff, but then you're blasted with intensely fast slamming, twisting and turning with everchanging precision and technicality. Stylistically, this sounds Italian almost, with some sections being made up of pinch harmonics a-la Putridity, but the band is clearly American with their California-style technical melodic flourishes and random lead solo bits. A few of these could be seen as nods to Ancient Necropsy, particularly on his first album where he would stop in the middle of songs to randomly do a tapped lead or something else. It just sets the stuff apart.

The second song has a full solo over a chunky, odd-rhythm chord and just goes into wacky epileptic wankery (in a good sense) after the first well-composed seconds. It's funny, because that kind of stuff even reminds me of what the sample spoke of initially; a killer plans out his whole night, gets to that moment of murder, and just goes nuts with an intense mania and adrenaline rush. Very tight stuff there, A+ for originality, and even a well-deserved reference to the crazy solo styles of Necrotic Disgorgement's own Tony Tipton (and sometimes Ben Deskins!)

But enough about solos and the like, you want to hear about the meat-and-potatoes, the slamming breakdowns and utterly devastating groovy downtuned sludge that makes up this genre we worship at the altar of. The more I listen to it, the more I get the feeling that these guys really really like Necrotic Disgorgement, but the funny thing about ND is that there are no big slam breakdowns on Suffocated in Shrinkwrap that stand out to me, but I fucking love that album. As such, this might not be the Down From The Wound or Abominable Putridity kind of slam with ultra-chunky slam rhythms at sluggish paces, etc., but it's a solid slab of modern California-meets-TXDM-meets-originality brutal death metal, and it should be very easy to get since Barrett's got more than a few on hand. Snatch this one, ladies and gents!