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!!