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... 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" 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.