Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 10 of 2009

Here's my list for the best brutal/slam death albums of 2009. Happy new year and stay brutal and sick~!

Nick:

1. Devourment - Unleash the Carnivore
2. Pathology - Age of Onset
3. Gorepoflesh - Gore Fucking Corpses
4. Awaiting the Autopsy - Couldn't Tell the Bodies Apart
5. Human Rejection - Decrepit to Insanity
6. Septycal Gorge - Erase the Insignificant
7. Amputated Gentials - Family Bloodbath
8. Vomit the Soul - Apostles of Inexpression
9. Decrepidemic - The Void of Un-Existence
10. Pus Vomit - Degrade the Worthless

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Year of Slam...Top Ten Lists Abound!

Andy:

1. Devourment - Unleash the Carnivore
2. Pus Vomit - Degrade the Worthless
3. Gorepoflesh - Gore Fucking Corpses
4. Amputated Genitals - Family Bloodbath
5. Pathology - Age of Onset
6. Embryonic Depravity - Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest
7. Awaiting the Autopsy - Couldn't Tell the Bodies Apart
8. Septycal Gorge - Erase the Insignificant
9. Suppuration - A River of Corpses
10. Insidious Decrepancy - Extirpating Omniscient Certitude

Expect an update by Nick soon. Until then, stay slamming!

-A

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Embryonic Depravity - Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest (Permeated Records; 2009)

One of the better bands from the small but growing UK scene, Embryonic Depravity have really made a name for themselves this year. Earlier in the year they shared a split with Gorevent and they have now released their debut full length. While the split was good and showed a lot of potential, Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest is an excellent, well written, and well played debut.

This album is brutal death metal for brutal death metal fans. By that I mean, while it does not have the instant appeal of bands like Abominable Putridity or the memorability of label-mates Septycal Gorge, if you are a fan and you know how to listen to this type of music there is a lot to like. Similar to Decrepidemic's debut (review) Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest  feels like it's a third or fourth album by a veteran band. Embryonic Depravity know what they want to do and do it well. It seems like 90% of the albums that are released these days are debut albums, so it's nice to hear one that fits together so nicely.

The music on here reminds me a lot Defeated Sanity (especially their first album) because of how well Embryonic Depravity marry brutality and technicality. It's technical enough to be interesting but brutal enough that the technicality does not overwhelm the senses and become dull. Other than Defeated Sanity I can hear some CADM influences. There is also a dark, foreboding atmosphere that pervades the album which I liked a lot. Having listened to it a couple times no particular song or moment sticks out to me, but I think this is because of how well the album as a whole works as a unit. It really feels like these guys have listened to a lot of brutal death metal understand what makes it good and they have the skills to put that understanding into their music.

Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest is a very well done and rewarding album. It does not have the immediate visceral appeal of ultra slamming stuff but if you're a veteran of this genre there is a lot here to like. Fans of CADM or European brutal/tech stuff should especially appreciate what Embryonic Depravity have done with this album.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Murder Intentions - A Prelude to Total Decay (Soulflesh Collector; 2009)

Let me just get this out of the way at the beginning of the review: this is a deathcore album.

However before you dismiss them as another melodeath band playing boring breakdowns, it should be noted that Murder Intentions fuse slam death with beatdown hardcore. These two genres fit together much better than what the sideways haircut, "irony" filled bands that are so popular today play. For those who don't know what beatdown hardcore is, it's a subgenre of hardcore that emphasizes heavy grooves and breakdowns (or "beatdowns"). Roughly it is to hardcore as slam is to death metal, so you can see how these two genres go well together. Personally I'm a fan of this style of hardcore so it was a pleasant surprise to hear this album from the relatively unknown Belgian band Murder Intentions.

So what does this sound like exactly? There's your death metal blasts and typical slams backed up by some gutturals. Nothing really out of the ordinary but nothing bad either. Added to this are some shouty yet distorted hardcore vocals and hardcore beatdowns. The beatdowns are more abrupt and staccato than slams but generally have the same goal. Both are headbanging and moshable. I have hard to time seeing someone who likes slam a lot really disliking these breakdowns.

Other than a somewhat unique fusion, one which I anticipate we will see more in the future, Murder Intentions are a solid but unremarkable band. A Prelude to Total Decay is good and has a couple great moments (I really liked the song "Failed Humanity"), but unless you really like beatdown hardcore I doubt you'll get too excited. It's a good album to play when you just want something simple and moshable. Kudos to the band for fusing two genres well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gorepoflesh - Gore Fucking Corpses (Self-Released; 2009)

WARNING: This review may offend people who dislike this album. However, it may also allow you to see it in a new light! Read on if you dare.

First of all (and this is again referenced later in the review to get the point across), if you hate this, I hate you.

Barbarity. Inhumanity. Perversion. Terror. An atmosphere of all of these is rife on the new disc by Nicaraguan slammers Gorepoflesh, who, despite their awkward name, churn out an amazing, terrifying debut of slam replete with slow, thick breakdowns, amazing guttural vocals and some of the best blasting on a recent slam album.

We originally covered the Nicaraguan scene about a year and a half ago and, despite its smallness, it packs a surprising punch when it comes to slamming sickness. Gorepoflesh are certainly among the high ranks, and here's why: this album sounds truly brutal, inhuman and disturbing. A lot of people are finding fault with this album for its awkward production (imagine a production value about as awkward as the band's name and you're probably close to approximating it without hearing it). The general guitar tone reminds greatly of Dripping in terms of gain levels and feedback (remember Dripping's feedback-laden riffs that sound truly weird? Yeah, you get some of that here sometimes) and sometimes even drumming (slightly jazz-influenced fills here and there, plus the snare sound is really similar). It's impressive that anyone can actually get such a dissociated tone from guitar as this, and I laud this as one of the first innovations Gorepoflesh are really working with; when I say this sounds perverted, I mean that it honestly sounds disgusting and disturbing, like something not even made by human beings some of the time. It has a rawness to it that makes it hard to get into but intensely rewarding.

Yes, some riffs are hard to pick out because the mids are scooped and the bass drops are just immense by contrast, but really...the songwriting is fantastic and bizarre. They cleanly transition between slam breakdowns of various tempos, the second track, "Carnivoure Vaginal Torn" has a really intense middle breakdown section that has a weird, old-school death-y structured section in the middle, just adding to the respect I have for these guys. They play with conviction, passion and determination and though I realize this album seems to be intensely dividing even fans of this kind of music into little factions, I believe the best art does challenge people's notions of quality. This is one of those albums: revolutionary, terrifying...every single minute, it's hitting you in the face with more slams you can't even digest, more snaking, unheard of songwriting transitions and more of this insane production that threatens to both bludgeon and stab you at the same time. This is perversion. Slam needed this album. I like the really clinical sounding stuff coming out on high-brow labels as much as the next reader, but I feel like this needs to be championed. It's incredible. Yes, I really believe that.

"Devouring Through Fornication" begins with a beatdown reminding mildly of older Goretrade circa the debut, then transitions into a mindblowing guttural breakdown, flailing wildly into blasting madness with undeniably heavy, unknowable riffs with no tone and no obvious groove. Lovecraft would be proud of this, it's surreal, it's frightening, none of it makes any sense, you can't relate to anything on it in a human way, it's beyond the human level of listening and going "yeah, that was cool they did a little slam breakdown and then there was a faster part". It's all awkward, bizarre and wrong. Like Nick has also said, it's the perfect combination of raw and audible. Wrong and right. And it's consistently bashed into your brain so you get it.

I implore everyone to get this at the nearest opportunity, and if you hate it, fucking good. I hope you hate it. I'll know who not to trust, who doesn't understand this kind of music and doesn't appreciate it on any deeper level than "that was a sick slam, bro." Yes, I am being inflammatory. This deserves strong opinions, in my case, strong positive opinions and defense against harsh criticisms coming from people who hear this and think lack of talent, lack of coordination, lack of focus. You're wrong; this band knows exactly what they're doing, and they're doing it in a way that is intent on dividing criticism and drawing out the people who dislike what they do. There's no reason to pick out songs here, every single song is filled with shit you'll either love or hate; songwriting choices straight from Slam Hell, waved in your face to embarrass you with their pummeling brutality and intensity. If you hate revolutions and progression and challenging art and are satisfied when shitty, overhyped bands like Ingested put out new albums, this isn't for you. Move along.

Fuck everyone who dislikes this, you're all dead to me. Get off my lawn. Gorepoflesh are my new gods. Nicaraguan slam supremacy. This, the Philippines and Colombia. Fuck the rest of the world.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Septycal Gorge - Erase the Insignificant (Permeated Records; 2009)

Ever since Septycal Gorge's first album Growing Seeds of Decay I have been a big proponent of this interesting and talented band. They gained some praise but I never felt they got the recognition they deserved  within the scene. I really hope that changes now because Erase the Insignificant keeps everything I loved about Septycal Gorge while seeing the band improve markedly overall.

Septycal Gorge work by writing big, memorable tremolo riffs contrasted to weird and at times dissonant heavy slams. The best comparison I can come up with is a bizarre, widely spaced Disgorge (US) but that doesn't quite capture everything. Septycal Gorge just have their own sound. It is simultaneously brutal and memorable, something which so few bands can do well. In the relatively small genre confines of brutal death metal, good originality is hard to come by but Septycal Gorge have plenty. The vocals are decent wet sounding inhales again reminiscent of Disgorge.

Where Erase the Insignificant particular succeeds is in the slam parts. The big, memorable tremolo riffs are excellent, but the slams make or break this kind of music and Septycal Gorge obviously put a lot of effort into making them sound amazing. One listen to the song "Lobotomia" should convince everyone of this. If you've heard Growing Seeds of Decay and are wondering how Erase the Insignificant compares, I think this area is the biggest improvement.

This album is definitely one of the year's best and I think all brutal death fans should be able to appreciate Septycal Gorge's original yet still brutal sound.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Suppuration - A River of Corpses (Brutalized Records; 2009)

One of the best parts about Colombian death metal is that it feels very natural. It is always thick and fuzzy production and all the bands have their own unique sound within the general framework of the scene. On Suppuration's first album Pain and Suffering this idea was taken almost too far. The production was raw to the point of being annoying and while there was a wealth of good musical ideas, they were not integrated into the deathgrind structure that Suppuration was going for.

All of these problems were addressed it seems in the four years since Pain and Suffering's release with Suppuration's new album A River of Corpses. Whereas Pain and Suffering was a problematic album with potential A River of Corpses is a fully realized and fully enjoyable Colombian deathgrind album. The songs are fast and groovy and very catchy. There are the requisite gory samples and the requisite blasts and slams. The musicianship is pretty good as is the production which is a big step up from their previous album.

The faster parts of the album sounded very Colombian with pseudo-epic riffing in the style of Ancient Necropsy and Blaze Inside. The melodies seemed to slither throughout the songs giving making them very foreboding and evil sounding. A good example is on the song "Slut Decapitator" which starts with a couple cool and memorable melodies before descending into deathgrind grooves. The grooves and slams reminded more of TXDM than the band's fellow Colombians which worked well because the chugging style of the Texans contrasted nicely with the melodic parts. It's nice when deathgrind has cool melodic parts but it is absolutely essential that it has catchy grooves and Suppuration delivers.

It's also worth remarking on the vocals which are often a weak point on otherwise excellent Colombian death metal records (see Goretrade). The vocals on this album are actually quite good and Suppuration uses the contrast between low gutturals and high screams well.

I'm not sure if this album is quite good enough to make it onto our best of the year lists (coming soon!) but Suppuration have to be commended for making a very good record and improving so markedly from their last effort.

Also "Drugs, Sex, and Grindcore" is a great song title.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Septycal Gorge and Embryonic Depravity Albums Out Now

As the title suggests the full lengths of Septycal Gorge and Embryonic Depravity have been officially released. I have not checked extensively but I assume it'll be a little while until they make it to North American distros but our European readers should be able to get these albums now. Everything I've heard about these albums has been positive and both of these bands are high quality. I'm sure reviews will be up here as soon as Andy and I can get copies.

If you are in the UK you get the added privilege of seeing both these bands live in December. Embryonic Depravity and Septycal Gorge, along with Vomit the Soul and Amputated, are playing four dates in mid December. So you can get these new albums and then see the bands live.

Embryonic Depravity @ myspace
Septycal Gorge @ myspace



Monday, November 23, 2009

Repulsive Dissection - Cut Open The Aberration (Sevared Records; 2009)

First off, this is our first review in a month! I feel kind of shitty that I've been sort of aloof from Slam-Minded for a while, but I have a couple things to review soonish so apologies for getting lost in the shuffle of life...onto the brutality!

Repulsive Dissection is somewhat of an "all-star" project in brutal death metal, so I had pretty high expectations. I remember hearing a track from this disc on Myspace and my first thought being "fuck these vocals", but I am actually getting used to them. They remind heavily of old Carcass or Exhumed and are almost always the very "blurg"-y deep vocals, though there are excellent screams sometimes combined with or contrasting the slurry of gutturals, which I appreciate. One thing that consistently surprises here is the riff-writing, which almost seems like weird progressive death metal riff-writing at some points. No wonder Yura Kowalchuk's known for his insane guitar tabbing ability; this dude can fucking play. Fredrik Widigs of Soils of Fate/MP5K fame is the drummer here and his skills and overall playing style remind a lot, on this album, of the drummer of Human Mincer on Degradation Paradox; tight, fast, blasting and technical, Fredrik bashes his skins into oblivion throughout the entirety of this celebration of the extremities of brutal technical death metal.

Barrett was right to release this, it's gonna end up being a huge seller in this style, and for good reason; it's fucking sick. Songs like "Decimate" have the interesting, off-kilter riffing and sick technical blasting down fucking pat and a few songs have some demonstrative jazz sections that sound a little like something Atheretic would do. The one main problem I have here is that, though every song is incredibly dense and packed with cool ideas, they all sound a little too similar, and there aren't enough fucking slams, but that can be slightly forgiven due to the intense nature of this kind of music. There are SOME slamming sections so not all is totally lost, and Human Mincer only had a few on the last album too. Anyway, I keep invariably going back to HM to describe what this sounds like, so I'd say that that's a good approximation of the style on display. If you like your death metal brutal, extreme, oppressively technical and even a bit progressive, you'll like this. Check it out and give it more of a chance than I originally gave it; you'll probably grow to like it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

SEVARED signs Cenotaph for 5th full-length!

After a brief stint with Unmatched Brutality, Turkish techdeathgrinders are back with a vengeance, planning to unleash their 5th platter on the mighty Sevared Records! Barrett recently announced on his site that "Sevared Records is very proud to announce the signing of Turkey's most Brutal Death Metal band, Cenotaph!! In early 2010 they will record their highy anticipated 5th Full Length album. Incredible Ultra Guttural Brutality at it's finest!! You are warned!!" The title of the album is set to be Putrescent Infectious Rabidity. Cenotaph's last album was a step up in production for them, but, in the shared opinion of this blog's writers, lacked a little in terms of songwriting from Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium before it. Regardless, we greatly await the new album to see what Batu and co. have been up to other than tireless gigging!

Cenotaph @ Myspace

Friday, November 13, 2009

Suppuration and Goretrade News

It's been a pretty slow month for slam as you could probably tell by the relative lack of posts here. Seemingly every release that was supposed to come out last month has been delayed or hasn't reached North American labels yet, making it difficult for us to review them.

A release that is available is the second album by the Colombian band Suppuration. The album is called A River of Corpses and has been released by Mutilated Records. Suppuration's first album bordered on being too raw and amateurish, but had a lot of the weird melodies and evil brutality that Colombian death metal is known for. I'm looking forward to hearing this release. I've already ordered the CD so expect a review soon.



Staying within Colombia Goretrade, one of the oldest and best bands in the scene have announced that their new album Mistaken Conception will come out in the "early months of 2010" this has already been delayed once so let's hope it doesn't get pushed back any further. Goretrade's other two albums are great so I'm sure that Mistaken Conception will be as well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Epic Split

We here at Slam-Minded have just learned about what looks to be an amazing split album to be released by Pathologically Explicit. It will feature Cumbeast, Defleshuary, Decrepit Womb, Down From the Wound, and Heinous Killings. Other than Decrepit Womb who I haven't heard all these bands are excellent so it should be one hell of a release. Here's some more info and a track listing.

CUMBEAST
1.Cadaver Fucker
2. Grandma Cremation
3. Schlong Kong
4. Chewed to Stubs (Broken Hope Cover)

DEFLESHUARY
5. World Devourer
6. Wormlike Voracity
7. Abraxas Annihilation (Integrity Cover)

DECREPIT WOMB
8.Evolutionary Retrograde.
9.Pathways to Man’s Demise.
10.Bound to Extinction.
11. Impelled to Kill (Severe Torture Cover)

DOWN FROM THE WOUND
12.Beyond the Depths of Epidemic Abortion
13.Drown into Unjustified Extinction
14.Atonement (Disgorge Cover)
15.Liege of Inveracity (Suffocation Cover)

HEINOUS KILLINGS
16.Beating Her to Deformity
17. Vaginal Impalement
18. Only the Torso Remains

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perverse Dependence - Gruesome Forms of Distorted Libido (Soulflesh Collector Records; 2009)

Russian Brutal death metal has been very fruitful over the past couple years, most notably the legitimate classic In The End of Human Existence by Abominable Putridity. Perverse Dependence, from the far northern city of Archangelsk, are a relative newcomer to the Russian scene but are definitely welcome addition.

Perverse Dependence claim to be "US way brutal death" but I think the bands they sound closer to are the Czech heavy deathgrinders Poppy Seed Grinder and Alienation Mental. Of course every brutal death band can claim influence from the US considering the fact that is where the genre originated. Wherever Perverse Dependence take their influences from, they have created a very good style of their own. Their songs are very short but are packed with furious grinding, catchy midpaced grooves, and every once in a while a super slow part or, as Andy likes to call them, "funeral slams". Every song on Gruesome Forms of Distorted Libido is pretty much the same, but the short lengths and general dynamics keeps things quite interesting. I especially liked the vocals which were both guttural and varied.

Enlivening the cold mechanics of the song structures (which you could probably find more interestingly utilized by the previously mentioned Czech bands) is a powerful, intangible energy. It makes the overall experience better. It's hard for me to describe but it sounds like Perverse Dependence really like this kind of music and play it with a lot of passion. Maybe I'm the only who hears it, but as a person who shares this passion it is gratifying to know the bands I like share it too.

Gruesome Forms of Distorted Libido didn't have any particular parts on it that stood out as amazing but as a whole it's passionate and dynamic enough that I still really liked it. I think most brutal death fans would like this album especially if they enjoy some grind with your death metal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Disastrous - Slavery of Disgusting Torture (Brute!; 2009)

Another month, another Filipino slam band gets coverage in S-M! Disastrous are no exception of course; hailing from Panabo City, these guys are here to devastate with 9 tracks of raw slamming madness and 1 very surprising choice of a cover song.

Starting off with a weird, kind of off-kilter acoustic intro, "Rise of Freddie the Blamer" morphs into a slam assault with alternating slow rhythmic sections and weird, haunting leads and channels some of the better moments of countrymen Down from the Wound, combining these aspects with a strange and appealing sound of their own. "Flesh Feast Orifice" was the first song of theirs I heard, and I like the first very Inveracity-ish riff, combining blastbeats and a slightly melodic phrasing, but the band quickly sounds a little tired, including the drummer who actually unfortunately misses a few hits here and there. Regardless, you can tell these guys are out to make some heinous brutal blasting noise and probably don't care about being inventive or technically proficient, so it's excusable for sure. The vocals are also a kind of featureless growl that doesn't have any particular phrasing to it, but instead just sounds like one-syllable vocalizations emitted over and over again. Pus Vomit showed how to add excellent vocal phrasing to slam earlier this year, and they are also Filipino, so it can be done!

"Embalmed and Bleed" has a chaotic riff structure that almost sounds ad-libbed, but it quickly morphs into an excellent slam and lurches back and forth again to encapsulate a lot of what this band's modus operandi is, in a nutshell. Slam and blast, slam and blast. Some of the riffs are more thought out and, indeed, more fleshed out, but a lot of them are amateur-ish and don't quite sound as developed as I wish they'd be. The title track begins with the requisite torture/screaming sample (I knew it had to be on this album somewhere, I mean check out the title). This song is a little longer and more interesting, and the pinch harmonic-laden slam breakdown is akin to something likely to come out of some Midwestern US state in the US slam climate at the moment, which is always pretty cool.

"Hacked Up For Mutilation" has a fucking epic riff in it, and this band's penchant for writing these is an unfortunate sticking point because they're so few and far between, buried in marring and strange, raw production and stuck between actually featureless slams. More great, melodic, driving riffs would help to offset this disparity, but writing heavy, accentuated slams instead of lax and listless slams would also assist this band in reaching a status closer to the top in this genre we worship.

"Desolate Way" is, yes, a Morbid Angel cover...of the acoustic song "Desolate Ways" on Blessed Are The Sick. A very weird choice for this band to cover...it's a song by an American non-brutal death band and it's acoustic...but it's quite well done here. Very interesting choice. I like when bands do this kind of thing, as it also shows influences, and I can tell in some parts other than this song that Disastrous are being influenced by something older than slam (the breakdown in "Vaginal Impalement Sodomy" hints at a veeeeery evil and sinister influence which could likely permeate future works by this band), which is cool.

Overall, this is a pretty good album that takes a bit of warming up to, and one that I have plenty of constructive criticism for. Look out for future releases by these guys and, closer to home, an interview we'll be doing with vocalist Delon in (approx.) the coming week! In addition, keep your eyes peeled for new released on Brute! Productions, operating out of Bangkok. Always good to have a dependable new slam label in tune, especially one with a slightly silly name. That's all for now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Insidious Decrepancy - Extirpating Omniscient Certitude (Brutal Bands; 2009)

Shawn Whitaker is about as close to being a brutal death metal legend as you can get. The prolific Texan has been in numerous bands (Viral Load and Grotesque Formation probably being the most well known) and of course is the sole member of Insidious Decrepancy. Extirpating Omniscient Certitude is Insidious Decrepency's third album and you can tell Whitaker really knows what he's doing  as this is a high quality well recorded album.

One thing fans of the band may notice right away is that the extremely long song titles that characterized the first two albums are gone. Although I enjoyed such titles as "Surreptitious Misanthropy Voraciously Consuming Rationality Thus Invoking Dormant Sociopathic Desires" I am glad they didn't make a return as it was getting a little stale. Otherwise the anti-Christian aesthetic has remained pretty much the same.

The music on Extirpating Omniscient Certitude could be described in two words as technical TXDM. You've got all your chugging and rumbling slams of TXDM plus a lot of crazy, fast technical riffs. This works pretty well and Whitaker never lets the technical parts overpower the underlying slams. There's something satisfying about hearing a skilled guitarist play an intricate riff and then dive into some heavy slams. The drum programming and vocals are very good and clearly show the strength of Whitaker's experience. The production is also very well done and manages to be both clear and heavy which definitely suits the style found on this album.

If anything bad can be said about this album is that it never really reaches past being solid into being awesome. It could just be that this year has had some really good albums (Pathology, Human Rejection, Devourment among others) but Extirpating Omniscient Certitude doesn't quite reach the top tier. Still, it is consistently good album from a scene veteran who knows what he's doing and does it well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Album Release Updates

We're entering into the last quarter of 2009 so I thought I'd post a quick overview on what albums have recently come out and what you can expect in the coming weeks and months.

Gorepoflesh - Gore Fucking Corpses [OUT NOW]: Gorepoflesh come from the small Central American nation of Nicaragua and were first brought to my attention a while back when Andy profiled the small but active scene in that country (link). Gore Fucking Corpses is rather boringly titled but the tracks on myspace sound pretty good. This is the debut album for Gorepoflesh.

Official Andy Edit: This is fucking amazing, if you don't like this, kill yourself right now.

Perverse Dependence - Gruesome Forms of Distorted Libido [OUT NOW]: Perverse Dependence are another band that I heard about a while back and are now releasing their debut. They're from Russia and have released their CD on Soulflesh Collector Records. They play heavy, death-grindy slam and I hope to buy this album as soon as it gets to North America.



Vomitous - Surgical Abominations of Disfigurement [OCTOBER 09]: Vomitous are a straightforward slam band from Sweden. They released a decent split with Inhuman Dissiliency so I'm hopeful for good things from this mCD. It will be released in October by Sevared Records according to Sevared's website.

Septycal Gorge - Erase the Insignificant [OCTOBER 09]: One of the best Italian BDM bands is releasing their second album this month according to their myspace. Their debut Growing Seeds of Decay is awesome and I expect this album to be great as well. Definitely keep an eye out for this release when it comes out.


Vulvectomy - TBA [Late 09]: The self-professed "Italian Slam Gang" are back and on Sevared Records and will presumably slam us into oblivion with some new ultra-heavy, drum machine backed brutal death metal. They're a little vague on the release date, but it's an album I'm looking forward to.

Vomit the Soul - Apostles of Inexpression [OUT NOW]: Staying in Italy we find that Vomit the Soul, one of the older bands in the scene have released an album on Unique Leader. Vomit the Soul's other album Portraits of Inhuman Abomination was pretty good and other than a weird production (could just be myspace quality issues) I am enjoying their new songs.

Embryonic Depravity - Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest [OCTOBER 09]: The best UKDM band around in my opinion, Embryonic Depravity are finally releasing their debut full length on Permeated Records. They have previously shared a split with Gorevent and their new songs sound very good. They have a very good blasting, semi-melodic sound that is always really brutal. Pre-orders are available from Permeated.

I'll end my post here but I'm sure there are other bands releasing stuff around now that I missed. Regardless I hope this helped some people find some good new releases. Stay tuned for reviews of some of these albums and more in the coming weeks.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Decrepidemic - The Void of Un-Existence (Sevared Records; 2009)

The Void of Un-Existence is the first album from Portuguese brutal/tech death metal band Decrepidemic but from listening to it you would think it was their third or fourth. Although Decrepidemic has existed since 2002, The Void of Un-Existence is their only release other than a couple of demos. Judging from from the high level of musicianship and expert song writing found on this album the years before this album's release were not wasted.

Decrepidemic's style is very Californian in nature, prompting one commenter here to compare them to Decrepit Birth. This is pretty much accurate as Decrepidemic use the swift, cutting, technical riffing and fast blasting so often found in CADM. I'd also compare them to fellow Europeans Inveracity and Blasphemer, but those bands themselves also share similarities with the CADM scene. Other than Pathology however, I can't think of much coming from California right now that is better than Decrepidemic. They really know how to make the fast riffing interesting and not just an opaque, guitar-noodling mass. They also know exactly when to take you from those fast, interesting riffs to crushing slam abysses. Assisted by a thick, yet audible production (which is what bands of this style should try to get in my opinion) the slower slams on this album are extremely good. Also thrown are quick chugging interludes and competent guttural vocals that round out the heaviness of the album.

As I mentioned earlier The Void of Un-Existence sounds like it was created by band which knows exactly what it wants to do and has the skills to do it, a relative rarity for debut albums. I bought this album with modest expectations but came away from it very impressed. The Void of Un-Existence is high quality and a must for CADM/tech-brutal fans.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Extirpating the Infected - Vaginal Saw Entorturement (Sevared Records; 2009)

Vaginal Saw Entorturement is an EP and the first official release from the Spanish band Extirpating the Infected. Considering that every Spanish brutal death album I have heard prior to this has had Phlegeton on vocals, this EP had a lot to live up to. Unrealistic expectations aside, Vaginal Saw Entorturement is pretty good.

Extirpating the Infected's style is very primitive, yet very catchy. The two bands it reminded me of were Human Rejection and Vulvectomy. The riffs are plodding and crushing like Vulvectomy, but have a lot of jump to them like Human Rejection. This should get your head banging. There's also a cool guitar solo over slam riffs in one of the songs which I always like. A criticism here is that although there are a lot of good riffs throughout the EP, a lot of them feel very unoriginal. I know it's slam and some of that is to be expected, but considering the fact that Extirpating the Infected show that they can write a lot of good original riffs, it would've been better if they had not filled in the gaps with B-Grade slams we've all heard a million times. Also, since this is an EP it is very short and consequently it would be better if each song was full of good ideas since the number of songs is small compared to a full length.

That said, the good ideas definitely outweigh the bland ones, and even after years of listening to slam I still can't help but still kind of like those overplayed riffs. Vaginal Saw Entorturement is a worthwhile EP that should appeal to most slam fans, especially those into the more primitive and groovy bands.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Meshiha unleash rehearsal recording video on Youtube!

Ever wonder where the founding members of Devourment went after MTD/1.3.8? They stopped doing anything for a while, became born again Christians, and formed Meshiha. Nick and I both think this sounds terminally decent (and it isn't very slammy, really) but we'll wait for a proper recording to surface to make a real judgment...wanna see if you agree/disagree with our current call? Watch below!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Short Bus Pile Up - Promo 2009

SBPU are, as of this review, signed to the mighty Sevared Records which means that they don't even need our fucking help at all! But, we'll do them a favor (a late one, however) and review this actually quite strong promo.

Short Bus Pile Up may have a dumb name (which they should change, but whatever), but they began as goofy cybergrind that didn't take itself seriously and, indeed, they even claimed it as a joke project. It seems that some time in 2008 they started to become more serious and changed style to slam, which they continue with on this release.

"Gagging on Dick", the very lovely first track, begins with a lame sample and launches into surprisingly chunky, meaty slamming riffs with one of the fucking best snare sounds in slam that I've heard recently. It's up-front, pingy, reverbed and just generally awesome. It makes the slams (which are written quite well and structured equally tactfully) that much more satisfying. Track 2, "Fecal Matters" features more discernible vocals (though they're still basically incomprehensible) and a really great bass-bomb-to-slam section in the middle after a lame sample (stop doing this!!). I had my own doubts about this promo, to be honest, but they have been allayed quite well by the material here. The best titled track here has one of the best sections, this being the third one, "FUBAR (Felt Up By A Retard)" which has a stop-start-ish riff which reminds of general modern death metal and a rapid-fire vocal delivery slam which rolls the song forward into a recapitulation of the previous section with a minor change-up. The songwriting is kind of unfocused here but the sections written in are often of very high quality and thus I can't really fault them too much.

This promo is 5 songs in under ten minutes, which I find to be a length I like to consider "problematic". Since I mentioned previously that I think their songwriting is shoddy, I have to quickly make an aside to what I feel my greatest point of contention is here; undeveloped slams and underdeveloped songs in general. The band writes better slam than, say, Dysentery or Sexcrement, but, while their slam sections are powerful and kickass and their general creativity is very much alive and well, they don't seem to know how to keep a song going at the same powerful level. I wish these guys would strive to write longer, more developed songs in their same style. That's about my only problem here. Otherwise, great little promo and I look forward to the new one Barrett puts out.

Oh, and if you guys change the snare tone I'll be really angry with you.

That is all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We're Still Around / New Russian Slam

Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple of weeks people. It's the start of a new school year for both Andy and I and that has taken up a lot of our time. I just received a bunch of CDs in the mail however and I know Andy has some new things planned so keep an eye for new content in the coming weeks.

And just so this post isn't a complete waste, I'll talk about Weakness, a pretty good new slam band from Russia. They're very new and all they've released is a two song demo which came out this year. However they have already been signed to Pathologically Explicit Records and judging by the songs on their myspace this was a very good decision by PER. Weakness sound really heavy and have a lot of great slams reminiscent of both other Russian slam bands (Abominable Putridity, Katalepsy) as well as a couple good stop-start and evil sounding riffs that reminded me of the new Human Rejection album. Considering they are a demo level band I was very impressed by their songwriting and overall sound. Check out their myspace and see what you think.

Weakness @ Myspace

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Infernal Revulsion - Dead But Breathing (Revenge Productions; 2009)

With Dead But Breathing Infernal Revulsion have finally released a follow up to their excellent debut album Devastate Under Hallucination which came out in 2007. Devastate Under Hallucination is a personal favorite of mine and I think because of that Dead But Breathing feels a little disappointing.

To be fair Dead But Breathing has a lot of really good moments. Infernal Revulsion's strength is writing really heavy slams. Their slams aren't catchy as much as memorably heavy. The musicianship on this album is very strong and every instrument is played very well. They even throw in a couple cool solos. The album as a whole feels very menacing and mean (in a good way). The production is very full and thick sounding which helps add weight to the build up and execution of the mammoth slams that Infernal Revulsion employ.

What disappointed me though is that Infernal Revulsion pretty much wrote the same album as their debut, they just didn't do it as well. Both are eight songs long, both have an instrumental intro and basically the songwriting is the same. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what is wrong, but it's just not as good. If Dead But Breathing had been their first album and Devastate Under Hallucination had been their second, I would've praised them for having a decent debut and an awesome second album that improved nicely on the formula from the first album. Unfortunately it is the other way around.

Although this isn't a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, you can get the same but better from their debut.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Amputated Genitals - Family Bloodbath (Gore and Blood; 2009)

Bringing us back to another familiar and equally awesome scene, Amputated Genitals, veterans of slamming sickness, return with a new album full of forward-charging blastfests, interesting angular riffage and some of the best vocals in the entire country courtesy of one Sebastian Guarin. Nick and I spoke to guitarist/bassist Dan Paz (who also runs Gore and Blood and is an ex-member of infamous Colombian gore squad Purulent) at MDF and when he informed us that this would see the light of day merely weeks from when we spoke, we were (needless to say) fucking psyched! All of our expectations seem to have been very highly fulfilled here, as this is a sick follow-up to the band's lone previous album, the awesome Human Meat Gluttony.

Right off the bat, we're hit with a section that reminds immediately of early Disgorge (US), with Guarin pulling off his best Matti Way impression (and a damn good one at that) while the band chugs with a rhythm sounding like it was lifted straight off She Lay Gutted with better production; a promising start, for sure. The band doesn't lose steam as they barrel through the next track, the awesomely/awkwardly titled "The Butcher's Kindergarten" and land square in the middle of a chugging slam section with perfect fluidity; these guys know how to write brutal music, that's for sure.

Let's talk about the production for a second. This is both a sticking point and a huge plus for the band. Human Meat Gluttony featured a very claustrophobic sound with an at times hard to discern guitar tone which didn't allow for the clarity of certain excellent riffs (the typical Colombian semi-epic/melodic riffing lots of bands are known for, and which AmpGen are pretty much gods of). Finding them was very rewarding, but I think this release is a bit more satisfying because, well, the tone is a lot sharper and clearer. Maybe people will find this to be a point of contention, which is why I mentioned that it may not be a unanimously agreed-upon improvement, but after a couple listens, the razor-sharpness of the new production starts to sink in and things make more sense. There's an extended "clear riff" section right in the first song that I believe proves my point fairly well; it's a well-written riff, well-played, and we can actually hear it easily this time! Points for that from me. The advance single from the album, "Murder Kit" is a raging track full of interesting (if a bit low-key) chainsaw-riffs, all blurring together under the spastic drumming to form a quite narrative song about serial murder (with a great breakdown riff section to boot; catchy, even).

Continuing on, the band barely ever does anything uninteresting on this entire album, though the full-frontal extremity could be seen as slightly overbearing at times. Alas, as slam/brutal death metal listeners, we love the extremity and thus it's not a big deal that Beto never stops pounding on the double bass, etc.! Speaking of the drumming, even though it's kind of loud on here (as Beto usually is; see Ancient Necropsy for more of his work), it's improved on the style displayed on the debut, with more fills and with some amazing gravity blasting (which I usually don't like, mind you)...there's a really fucking brutal drum/riff combo part in "Bloody Justice" that makes me want to murder a bunch of innocent people, so if that's your thing, get this now. Right now.

If you're not initiated into the cult that is Colombian slam and instead lean towards the more "clean"/clinical side of the spectrum (i.e. Abominable Putridity, Inveracity, Awaiting the Autopsy, Pathology even!), this probably won't change your mind and might even seem boring. However, to those who love their slamming brutality raw, unadulterated and putrefied, seek out this one; you will not regret it. Bonus points if you own an Amputated Genitals keychain given to you by Dan at a certain deathfest...OK, we'll stop rubbing it in. Buy or die, of course; this is legitimate Colombian sickness and you know it, so stop kidding yourself. Even the booklet is awesome (glossy, 8 page, full color just like HMG sans incredibly icky red/green Christmas color palette) and the artwork hilariously gruesome. Also, the opening track is the first slam song to ever have the words "My best friend" in it, and boy does it get unfriendly right after that. Unfriendly...that's what this is; anti-social, sick and insane music...just what we like!

P.S. one thing I have against this is it doesn't have a part like "I'LL DEVOUR YOUR FUCKING GUTS UNTIL VOMIT" like HMG did...you know what I'm talking about...you know you shit yourself when you first heard it. Makes me sad, but that gives me enough reason to play both of these albums a ton, anyway!

Pus Vomit - Degrade the Worthless (Berdugo; 2009)

Filipino slamming sickness is upon us yet again this year with a certifiably fucking awesome debut by none other than debut full-lengthers Pus Vomit. PV's last release was a 3-way split with some rather unheard of bands (Jesus Corpus of Missouri and Innards Decay of Malaysia; talk about international!) in 2007, and they clearly spent last year practicing their chops for this one because this is some damn good slam. First thing you'll notice after the obligatory Albert Fish confession tape sample is the thick, heavy production which immensely highlights the slams and, oddly enough, the ride cymbal. Speaking of cymbals, you can tell this is Filipino almost immediately from the excellent use of drum fills and odd-timed slams with punishing rhythms.

At times, this is almost too good to be true; check out about halfway into the second track, "Soaked In Her Own Blood" with that ludicrous breakdown; a real gut-puncher, that one. Next up is the incredibly awesomely titled "God Help Me Rape The Dead" with nice, rolling double-bass verse sections leading up to some great slams reminiscent of newer Devourment and Abominable Putridity, replete with "second instance of same breakdown slowed to half speed and given the awesome drum treatment" action. Seriously, it's just way too fucking good sometimes.

Track 5, "Self Inflicted Wound" has some spazz thrown into the writing with rapidly shifting song sections and riff ideas coming out of every direction, all converging to the central slam nerve in your cerebral cortex...yes, you have one of those, and this is sure to get it pumping. I can't even get over how ridiculously brutal and amazing the drum fill into breakdown on "Dead For Rent" is, so just trust me on this. "Your Dead Body I Molest" begins with a sinister riff and proceeds to throw more evil riffs at you until the minute mark where a fucking stupidly heavy slam beatdown occurs. I'm telling you, this is just incredibly good.

It's even perfectly long! I've put this one three times today, and I'm on my fourth as I write this, jotting down thoughts as I listen. Their use of pinch harmonics is perfect, their songwriting is impeccable, the vocals are like a deranged Ruben Rosas combined with the dry style of fellow countrymen Human Mastication and everything is just GREAT. Not a note out of place on this one. Buy or fucking die. Oh, and art by Majewski. You CANNOT lose. It's awesome, it's new, it's Pus Vomit. You will slam, and you will like it; I guarantee it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Egemony - Baptism of the Unborn (Nice to Eat You Records; 2009)

Egemony is a relatively new one-man band and because of this fact comparisons to bands like Insidious Decrepancy, Putrid Pile, or perhaps Infinite Defilement come to mind. However a much better comparison would be to countrymen Septycal Gorge.

That's not to say Egemony is as good as Septycal Gorge (few bands are), but the riffing style and song structures definitely recall Septycal Gorge. Both bands rely on a lot of very interesting and memorable tremolo riffs complemented with weird sounding but still heavy slams. The best moments on this album are when a cool sounding tremolo riffs going into a quick, pounding slam section and then right back into the tremolo riffs. If the riffs and song writing didn't give away Egemony's Septycal Gorge influence, the fact that a cover version of the song "Abominated Hierarchy" is included as a bonus track should.

Egemony is not purely a clone band though. Whereas Septycal Gorge often feels very big and open, Egemony felt very dense to me. This made each individual song less memorable. I can also hear influence from other Italian bands like Putridity and Clitoridus Invaginatus in the pinch harmonics and slams, and Deeds of Flesh in the tremolo riffs.

Although these influences are strongly felt, there's just enough of a mixture to keep Egemony from sounding totally derivative. Baptism of the Unborn is a decent album that fans of Italian brutal death metal should especially like.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Asphyxiate - Anatomy Of Perfect Bestiality (Sevared; 2009)

From Indonesia comes Asphyxiate, new slammers out to tell you that Jasad, Imprecatory and Antraks aren't the only big timers in the country! Their sophomore LP, released a whopping six years(!) after their debut (which I have yet to hear), has just been released on Sevared recently and it sounds really sick! Let's have a quick rundown...

Shifting, stacatto riffing recalls the earliest works of Defeated Sanity, even pre-Prelude..., going back to the sound on the split with Poppy Seed Grinder. Very jumpy with raw-leaning production and a decidedly bass-to-mid range tone on the guitars, the band wastes no time and switches quickly between slamming and slower, tremolo-driven breakdowns in the first track, and most of the other stuff on here follows suit. The vocals aren't too guttural, and are instead probably the most akin to "normal" death metal as most of this gets, as it is mainly straight up brutal; blasting, slamming and dirty. Efficient songwriting shows that Asphyxiate manage their time well and actually (barely!) break the 30 minute mark with some more thoughtful constructions and odd shifts such as the tempo switches in "Gallery From The Killing Field" which somehow bring to mind the more interesting moments of progressive brutal death metallers Ingurgitating Oblivion. Total slammers might be a bit disappointed by this as it is a bit jumpy and confusing, but those seeking brutality in any of its many forms could be pleasantly surprised by this diamond in the rough...it's definitely better than Jasad's Annihilate the Enemy (the obvious reference point, I think) which suffered from poor production and overall very stale songwriting in my opinion, but it's possibly not quite as good or about on par with the Jasad debut, Witness of Perfect Torture, featuring lots of excellent flourishes and with a short running time any slammer can appreciate. Regardless, Asphyxiate blast out an impressive sophomore album with Anatomy of Perfect Bestiality...I'm interested in hearing their debut now to see how they've changed and matured in the 6 year interim between albums. Intriguing and somehow a bit more cerebral than I really expected. B+ for effort in any case, here. Not quite top tier but worthy of a buy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

WORMED to finish recording, begin mixing and mastering new material!

In a new Myspace blog update, Phlegeton of mighty Spanish slammers Wormed has confirmed that the quartet (now featuring Migueloud of the also-mighty Human Mincer as a second guitarist to compliment J. Oliver!) has just about finished up recording and will next proceed to the mix/master stage of the new songs for the upcoming demo. How the update is written, it seems like these new tracks may be exclusive (as in, not to be found on the upcoming album). You can judge for yourself by reading the press release below:

"The recording process is almost finished,
only a few details to complete it.

In the next days we will start with the mix and mastering,
we will upload the new songs soon.

Also we are working in new songs more brutal
than our past works for our next full lenght.


Thanks for the support, stay tuned!

WORMED"

Cenotaph and Embryonic Depravity Updates

Turkish brutal death metal veterans Cenotaph have released a new song called "Schizoid Acts of Mental Defloration". This song will be on an upcoming full length which according to the band will be released in early 2010. The song sounds pretty good and reminds me of the slammier moments of Reincarnation in Gorextasy (review). The drums are especially good and are played by Defeated Sanity's Lille Gruber.

Listen here: http://www.myspace.com/cenotaph

On the other side of Europe, Embryonic Depravity are busy working on their upcoming full length Constrained by the Miscarriage of Conquest which they say will be released this September. They have just released the album cover and track list. I am very impressed with this cover and judging by Embryonic Depravity's side of the split with Gorevent the album will be very good.

More info: here

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amputated Genitals - Human Meat Gluttony (Gore and Blood; 2005)

As I mentioned in my previous post, Amputated Genitals have a new album out which is getting a lot of positive attention. But what about their first album Human Meat Gluttony? Is it worth getting? Short answer: yes absolutely.

Human Meat Gluttony really earns the brutal in brutal death metal. From start to finish it is an extreme assault on the ears. Amputated Genitals have a very thick, blasty sound full of pounding and interesting riffs. It reminds me of countrymen Blaze Inside and Wormeaten. All the attributes that make Colombian death metal great are here in force. Loud drums, a raw sound, and interesting riffs are present throughout Human Meat Gluttony. The first song on the album "Chessman Red Monday" is representative of the rest of the album in that it has both super brutal percussive sections and an evil sounding riff all in one song. Also of note is that vocals are very sick sounding and much better than your average Colombian band.

Even the song titles are incredibly brutal. The song "Vaginal Skin Grind Vomit" on the album Human Meat Gluttony by the band Amputated Genitals has to be the most brutal combination ever. The musicianship is also very high quality especially considering that Human Meat Gluttony is a debut album. This probably has something to with the fact that some of the band members were in the legendary Colombian BDM band Purulent before forming Amputated Genitals.

I talk about Colombian death metal a lot and I tend to like almost all of it, but Human Meat Gluttony is a standout among that group. It's one of the more though out and just high quality albums to come out of Colombia ever. It's not as catchy as the more slam oriented bands like Carnivore Diprosopus or Sadistic Mutilation, but it's got more substance and I find myself coming back to Amputated Genitals again and again.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Release Updates - Midsummer 09

It's a good time to be a slam fan right now as there are a bunch of new releases out now from very good bands. This post is about three of the major ones.

Amputated Genitals - Family Bloodbath: Amputated Genitals are one of the premier Colombian brutal death bands and all around cool guys. This is the follow up to their first full length Human Meat Gluttony which was very good.













Infernal Revulsion - Dead But Breathing: Another sophomore album this time from the Japanese band Infernal Revulsion. I loved their first album Devastate Under Hallucination so I am really excited for this. Infernal Revulsion are one of the heaviest bands around.

Insidious Decrepancy - Extirpating Omniscient Certitude: Shawn Whitaker is one the most well known guys in the scene today and this album is the third from his one man project Insidious Decrepancy. Whitaker is a very talented man so I'm expecting this album to be very high quality.



Hopefully this gives people some inspiration on new albums to try out. Both Andy and I have ordered these albums so keep an eye on the blog for review in the near future.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dormant Carnivore - Promo 2008 (From Russia With Gore)

Dormant Carnivore are a Russian slam band with clear similarities to the extremely heavy side of brutality, similar to a combination of motherland brothers such as Abominable Putridity and Katalepsy. The first song, "Defile the Temple of Thy Womb (Born by Blood)" is almost entirely carried by brutal breakdowns with very little to distinguish them, and is probably my least favorite track. It's too short to really give the listener a feeling for the band. The next track, "Stillborn Ptomaine Extraction", is definitely my favorite though, with a ridiculous punch-in-the-face slamming breakdown right after some frantic drumming and classic style riffs. The next section has a dance-like shuffling drum beat (really unique in slam, actually, and it somehow works well here) which changes quickly to a section including a new breakdown with heavy riffs and time changes galore. The slam section in the middle with the layered vocals on top is one of my favorite sections on the demo; it sounds so perverted and dense that I can't help but smile when they drive right into it.

I'm glad Guttural Man (best name ever; no fucking around!) got a full-lineup for this demo, as they all sound really tight and can write brilliant slam-oriented death metal just like their other Russian brothers. The third track has a Devourment-esque bulldozing slam section; the Texans would be proud of their influence. The slowest slam breakdown on the album can be found in this track which is titled "Female Torso Snuff Relations" (kudos on the titles guys; awesome stuff...I also love the Myspace track, "Viagra Doping Control"...brilliant!), but yet another Devourment-worthy part can be found closing the track, and thus the demo in all its three-track glory, with frantic snare-pounding and pinch harmonic laden, equally-frantic riffs.

I'd say this is probably second-tier to the above named bands, but it is perhaps one step above a band like Cephalic Impurity, whose demo was impressive to me but whose album failed to really be too interesting (though CI should improve on subsequent releases, I think); this has all the heavy-handed slams you could want, combined with shades of influence from TXDM and the current Russian elite, with just enough of its own style to give it the rights to such a cool name and aesthetic. From Russia with love (gore, I mean) comes Dormant Carnivore...support!

Dormant Carnivore @ Myspace

Regurgitate Life - Demo 2008

Starting with a very Defeated Sanity-esque riff/drum section, this band barrels quickly into a slam breakdown which managed to impress me right off the bat with its well placed pinch harmonics and generally satisfying groove. The vocals are slightly similar to a more understandable Wayne Knupp (RIP), maybe similar to his more cohesive moments in the past. The riffing when the band is playing normally is, again, very Defeated Sanity; chaotic, confusing and overall quite well done. The next slam breakdown is similar in structure but features pinching at the end of every bar, which works incredibly well and draws the avid slam listener in to want more. And more is definitely what I want when I hear stuff like this. The big breakdown in "Unprovoked Violence/Decaying Humanity" is absolutely enormous with a huge vocal buildup enshrouded by looming silence otherwise; very tense and powerful.

Just like that it stops, leading into the next track, "Biodegradation of Living Anatomies." This track begins with kind of a groovy yet non-slammy breakdown that pushes onwards before very catchy riffs take the reigns for the next blasting sections. The whole song is enjoyable and works quite well with pretty much nothing bad going on. If you like to be satisfied by perfectly written slam with some elements of "normal" death metal and some tech-death flair, you have to check this band out. Hell, the third track, the ubiquitously titled "Regurgitate Life" begins with a Goretrade sounding section of blasting and quick-paced, epic riffing. The strangely placed slam breakdown is indeed surprising, but given how it doesn't work in the context, it's still quite good sounding and translates back into the song flawlessly. The song abruptly ends and continues into an ambient and fairly creepy acoustic section replete with guttural vocals and a perverted sense of "beauty", before crushing the listener with possibly the best breakdown on the demo; absolutely pummeling.

I have to congratulate this band on their production (and writing, of course) for this demo; it still sounds a bit rough, mixing-wise, but the guitar and bass are prominent and have very nice tones overall. With slightly better production values, this band could easily be a force to be reckoned with in slam and have a shot to be signed by the best labels in the business. We don't see this very much from UKDM these days; usually, in both Nick's opinion and in mine, UKDM falls short of most contemporary slam scenes with consistently average or below-average projects that just don't quite deserve their popularity (controversial, I know, but compared to ITDM, the Filipino scene, Colombia, Japan, etc. it tends to be resoundingly accurate usually). The major exceptions to this rule right now are but two bands; the ever-powerful Embryonic Depravity, and Regurgitate Life, the creators of this demo. Bravo, brothers...if we were in the UK, we'd buy some brews for you.

Regurgitate Life @ Myspace

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Septicemia/Antraks - Split (Sevared Records; 2009)

Septicemia and Antraks are two bands that I first heard about through a Sevared Records sampler CD (review). Both coming out of Indonesia they are now together on a split CD. I always like supporting upcoming slam and I remember their tracks on the sampler were good, so I couldn't help but pick this up.

Septicemia go first on the disc and I have to admit it took me some time to get a handle on this band. They certainly don't sound like your average slam band. The closest approximation I can come up with is Dying Fetus grooves, TXDM chugs and Colombian blasts. On top of this is a lot of weird guitar noodling. Septicemia feel full of energy and have a lot going on. This is both a strength and a weakness. It's a strength because their songs never get boring and they jam in a lot of good riffs, solos and slams. It's a weakness because sometimes Septicemia end up sounding disjointed and inconsistent. They have a lot of good riffs but they're arranged haphazardly which lessened their impact.

There's a lot to like from this band but they've made it more difficult than they had to to see that. I am hopeful that this band could get better because I think songwriting is a little easier to improve on when you already have great riffwriting capabilities and a unique sound as
Septicemia do.

Filling out the second half of this split
Antraks have achieved a more cohesive sound than their splitmates and because of that I think they're the more enjoyable band. Listening to this reminded me a lot of the raw and catchy sound of Filipino slam bands Human Mastication and Down From the Wound. There's also some Dying Fetus influence. As with Septicemia it feels like Antraks have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for their music which helps liven it up. There's a lot of really good moshable slam on here that I can imagine would sound great live.

Antraks
aren't quite as inventive as Septicemia but theirs songs are a little more satisfying. That's not to say that Antraks sound unoriginal it's just that their approach to writing brutal death metal is a little more standard. There's better raw sounding slam stewing in the underground, but you could also do a lot worse than Antraks.

Taken together I enjoyed this split. It had a lot of music on it (over 50 minutes) and featured both some innovation and some tradition. It's also great to see how far brutal death and slam have spread throughout the world. If you're interested in the deep underground of slam or like a raw sound then this split is recommended.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Alienation Mental - Four Years... ...Time Full of Brutality (Burning Dogma Records; 2004)

Although the Czech Republic has given the metal world outstanding bands in all of metal's various subgenres, it is probably best known for its grindcore. I'm only a casual fan of grindcore and this blog doesn't cover it, but from what I can tell Czech grind is a powerful force within the scene. Besides all the internationally famous bands there is the amazing Obscene Extreme Fest which features primarily grind.

The Czech band Alienation Mental are firmly entrenched in their homeland's tradition of excellent grindcore but cross over enough into brutal death that it should pique the interest of many of the readers here. As the title suggests, Four Years... ...Time Full of Brutality is a compilation of Alienation Mental's material from the four year period of 1999 to 2003. This consists of their sides of three split CDs and some live tracks.

This first and most important thing to know about Alienation Mental is that they are incredibly heavy. Their sound is viscerally satisfying. Deep bass, loud drums, and extreme guttural vocals all combine to give their studio material a huge, thick sound. Unfortunately their live material doesn't reflect this much, but a good live recording is a lot to expect from an underground deathgrind band.

Riffwise Alienation Mental reminds me a lot of a faster Poppy Seed Grinder. This makes sense considering that both bands come from the same scene and share members. Alienation Mental basically play fast, grinding blasts most of the time with catchy grooves added in every once in a while to keep things interesting. These grooves aren't your typical slam grooves and I wouldn't call Alienation Mental a slam band, but it's the same idea and I think that if you are a fan of breakdowns and groove in your death metal you will like this. Highlights include "Abnormal Idea Get Off Myself" and a cover of Carcass' song "Corporeal Jigsore Quandary".

Four Years... ...Time Full of Brutality is occasionally inconsistent and disjointed, which is often a problem of compilations, but overall this is a really heavy and enjoyable album. If you are a fan of deathgrind or grindcore or don't mind a lot of grind influence in your brutal death metal I think Alienation Mental is a worth checking out.

Note: Although I have not listened to it, my sources tell me that Alienation Mental's most recent full length Psychopathicolorspectrum is a style shift towards nu-metal. Probably not the best place to start with them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Slam of the Rising Sun

Inspired by a good friend of mine taking a trip to Tokyo this summer, I've decided to do an in depth look at the Japanese brutal death metal scene. In my opinion Japan has tons of good brutal bands and it's hard to argue that there is a better country for this kind of metal in Asia. If you're at all interested in brutal death metal Japan should not be overlooked. Here are some good ones to start with.

Vomit Remnants: One of the oldest bands on the scene, Vomit Remnants is also one of the best. They describe themselves as "Hyper-Groove" which is actually fairly accurate. Vomit Remnants is all about the groove and remind me a lot of Dying Fetus and Soils of Fate with touches of Suffocation. All of their stuff is great and insanely catchy and most of it is available on their discography CD called Supreme Vehemence. The only thing that bothers me about this band is that they have not released anything in four years.

Infernal Revulsion: This band is relatively new but their debut full length Devastate Under Hallucination shows they know what they are doing. It's incredibly heavy and the slam breakdowns are immense. If you want to be absolutely crushed by a slam death record, check out Infernal Revulsion. It also features a common trait of Japanese bands - great vocals. Not sure what makes the Japanese such good gurglers and growlers, but it's almost a guarantee that a Japanese brutal death band will have awesome vocals. Infernal Revulsion has a second full length on the way called Dead But Breathing.












Infernal Revulsion standing near a scary fence

Gorevent: I can't figure out how to pronounce this band's name (Gore - Vent? Gor - Event?). Either way they rule. They fall on the simpler side of things and don't complicate things with technicality or melodic riffs. They just straight slam. This plus a thick and heavy production on their album Abnormal Exaggeration reminds me of Abominable Putridity. Again great vocals.













Members of Gorevent plus the coolest old dude ever


Disconformity: Another band that needs to release more material, Disconformity have only given us one EP and two demos. Disconformity manage to combine slam's catchiness with a slightly higher than average amount of technicality. Their style is very heavy not unlike countrymen Infernal Revulsion. It's hard to judge this band based on so little material, but what they have put out shows great potential.

Blunt Force Trauma: Despite having some humorous Engrish song titles in their discography (Inconsistency Politics and Vomit Christmas being my favorites), Blunt Force Trauma are emerging as a good band and managed to hold their own on a split with the excellent and relatively more experienced Katalepsy. Blunt Force Trauma favor abrupt, stomping slam as opposed to smooth grooves. They remind me of Vulvectomy in this way. I'm hoping for a full length from these guys sometimes soon.














Blunt Force Trauma slamming in the woods



Jenovavirus
: Probably the most obscure band I've talked about and sadly the only one that is no longer active, Jenovavirus are also the most unique. They're just weird. They throw in synthesizers, multi-layered vocals and weird atmosphere. If you are a Dripping fan (and you should be) Jenovavirus is definitely worth checking out. Unfortunately for us they only recorded one demo.



Friday, June 19, 2009

The Best Live Slam Courtesy of Youtube

Unfortunately it is pretty rare for most people to see slam and brutal death metal live. Most of the bands aren't able to tour extensively and unless you live in a big city you're pretty much out of luck. The brutal death scene is very active and alive right now, and thanks to the internet we can hear and buy studio releases from all around the world. However nothing beats the energy and intensity of live music. Thanks to the magic of youtube though, we can get pretty close. I've picked out a couple videos that I think slams fans will enjoy.

Soils of Fate - Versus ft. Ruben Rosas of Devourment. Recorded at the first Maryland Deathfest in 2003.


Devourment - Choking on Bile ft. Wayne Knupp (RIP)


Human Mastication - Groteque Mastication of Putrid Innards


Katelepsy - Number of Death (13)