Sep 202018
 

 

(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the third album by the multinational group Burning Flesh, which was released in March of this year.)

I spent a recent Sunday afternoon, while recovering from an illness, catching up with some music I had missed earlier. I recalled that at the beginning of the year a friend of mine suggested the band Burning Flesh in a FB convo, and I turned to their third album Human Flesh Fertilizer. I went back and found the play-through video for an album track he had sent me and revisited it. Shame on me that I did not pay more attention back then.

This band has members from Switzerland and France and they have been an entity since 2005, releasing a demo in 2007, a debut called Unconscious Deformity in 2010, and a sophomore album in 2013, New Chaos Order. I decided to listen to those previous albums and then re-listened to the new one. Despite the constant change in members, it’s apparent that guitarists Diego and Anthony have been able to maintain a permanent vision of what the band should be, and therefore they obviously form the core of this project. Continue reading »

Sep 202018
 

 

(Our friend Conchobar has prepared the following guest review of the new album by the French project Esoctrilihum, which will be released by I, Voidhanger Records on October 19th with cover art by Jef Whitehead — and we are also presenting the premiere of a track from the album named “Exhortathyon Od Saths Scriptum“.)

There looms, within abjection, one of those violent, dark revolts of being, directed against a threat that seems to emanate from an exorbitant outside or inside, ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable. It lies there, quite close, but it cannot be assimilated. It beseeches, worries, and fascinates desire, which, nevertheless, does not let itself be seduced. Apprehensive, desire turns aside; sickened, it rejects. A certainty protects it from the shameful—a certainty of which it is proud holds on to it. But simultaneously, just the same, that impetus, that spasm, that leap is drawn toward an elsewhere as tempting as it is condemned. Unflaggingly, like an inescapable boomerang, a vortex of summons and repulsion places the one haunted by it literally beside himself.

Kristeva, Powers of Horror

Abjection is an appropriate sign under which this reaction to Esoctrilihum’s album, Inhüma, should be convened. The work represents a threat — a breakdown of the apparently clear strapping and structures of a consensus reality. The violence of the occult-agrarian, the protohistory of sacrifice, of bloodied fields, serve as auspex: this is a harrowing; a threshing through which preconceived meaning is grist for the machinations of the ritualist — it is taken apart, buried in the soil, and grown into things that horrify and make reality itself alien and other. Continue reading »

Sep 192018
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Minnesota’s Blodwar, released on September 7th and now available through Bandcamp.)

I’d like to begin this review by taking a little trip all the way back to the heady days of… the early 1990s.

It might seem odd to think about it now, but “back in the day” a hungry young band called Machine Head were hotly tipped to be the sound of the underground in the lead-up to the release of their debut album, Burn My Eyes.

Not only would this record prove to be one uncompromisingly aggressive (not to mention bastard-heavy) amalgam of Thrash, Hardcore, and Death Metal, quite unlike anything else being put out at the time, but it would also go on to become (arguably) the band’s crowning achievement and remains to this day their defining statement in the eyes of many of their fans (and even some of their detractors).

Of course we all know what happened next, with Flynn and co. jumping on the Nu-Metal bandwagon, only to fall off (and fall hard) come the turn of the new millennium, followed by an unexpected return to form in the shape of their “comeback” album, Through the Ashes of Empires… and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now whether you love or loathe the band’s increasingly barefaced attempts to court the mainstream and become “the next Metallica” in recent years, you can’t deny that it’s been a remarkably successful strategy, and paid off handsomely for them in terms of increased exposure and ever-increasing record and ticket sales.

But there will always be those left wondering what might have happened had they stuck to their guns (and their heavier roots) after the release of The More Things Change…, and it looks like Minnesota metallers Blodwar might just have the answer. Continue reading »

Sep 192018
 

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Pig Destroyer, which was released on September 7th by Relapse Records.)

It’s been five years since it happened, but when it comes to Pig Destroyer, this article here is always going to elicit a small chuckle out of me. Not because of the lineup shift or anything of that magnitude, but the way the news posting plays out. It almost reads as if the addition of a bassist to the lineup was an absolutely massive thing for these noise-grind stalwarts. It may very well have been, but the idea that the addition of a low-end to the band — something we commonly take for granted as part of a traditional metal lineup — was so important that Pig Destroyer issued a press release to announce it (again, entirely inferred and not the purpose of the article) is so off-kilter that I can’t help but smile a bit.

But, if you had to pick anything to describe the chaotic-ping-ponging around the metal genre-sphere that Pig Destroyer‘s overall discography has represented, Off-Kilter may just work for what the band have made their bread and butter — flying right on the edge of grind, and pushing at its boundaries. In fact, it has often felt like every single Pig Destroyer release has been a soft re-launch of the band, as they’ve played with drone, doom, adding various electronic samples to the overall sound, all of it roughly translating to never quite knowing what you’ll get upon first picking up a new release, outside of the band’s trademark speed.

Which is why the group’s newest release Head Cage proves to be interesting, if not polarizing, in part because it represents the hardest right turn the band have made yet — like a car screeching against the outside railings of a highway off-ramp — taking on a groove-heavy sound in the midst of all that grind, resulting in an album that is overall far less chaotic than what they’ve put forth before, and also a hell of a lot of shameless “fun”. Continue reading »

Sep 182018
 

 

I was afraid something unfortunate had happened to Verminlord — death, dismemberment, or even worse, a decision to stop writing and recording music. An entire year had passed since this usually prolific musician’s last release (a track recorded for a Crushing Intolerance compilation), a year of silence after a string of impressive recordings (all of which I’ve enjoyed and almost all of which I’ve reviewed) that left me sadly resigned to the likelihood that the project had ended.

Fortunately, none of my fears was true. Neither death nor dismemberment befell Verminlord, and the man behind the project (Teo Acosta) hasn’t put aside music in favor of more mundane pursuits. He just needed some time to try to clear his head, and now, following a move from the Pacific Northwest to southern California, he has given us a new three-song EP, which we’re now sharing with you on the day of its release. Continue reading »

Sep 172018
 

 

One strong clue to Nuisible’s world-view could be found in the title of their last release, 2016’s Inter feces et urinam nascimur (“We are born between feces and urine”). Their new album is named Slaves & Snakes, and based on the music, it’s an easy guess that this title sums up the character of the human condition after birth. It’s a bleak perspective, and one that this French band channel into sound with traumatizing fury.

In describing their brand of brutalizing heaviness the band make references to Tragedy, Darkthrone, and Entombed. Crust and hardcore form the backbone of their assaults, which are undergirded by massive low-end weight and driven to heights of murderous blackened frenzy. The music is as merciless as the open mouth of Hell and meaner than a pack of rabid dogs, and yet the band have a knack for embedding both rhythmic and melodic hooks in these ten mauling tracks, and of switching gears often enough to keep you in harness for the whole bruising ride. Continue reading »

Sep 172018
 

 

(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the debut album by the Spanish brutal death metal band Fixation On Suffering, which is set for release by Pathologically Explicit Recordings on October 28, 2018, but is streaming at Bandcamp now.)

This Sunday sitting in my favorite chair I am listening to some new albums, including the one I am going to talk about today by a new band (formed in 2016) called Fixation On Suffering. They hail from Spain and are signed to Pathologically Explicit Recordings.

This band made their debut back in 2017 with their EP Relevation of Tortured Imprisioment. It showcased a level of musicianship that was well-respected in the scene, and vocals that got the job done. This 15-minute EP was a good one, and made me look forward to new music, though I felt it did not get the promotion it needed and faded away behind so many other releases. So if you can, dear reader, give it a listen. Continue reading »

Sep 142018
 

 

(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the latest album by the Italian band Void of Silence, which was released earlier this year by Avantgarde Music.)

I’ve had Italian Post/Doom Metallers Void of Silence lined up for an edition of The Synn Report for quite a while now, as it’s long felt to me like their signature combination of titanic riffs, symphonic keys, riveting vocal melodies, and ambient industrial embellishments, has the potential to really speak to a significant segment of our readership.

However a few different factors have all combined to the point where it simply made more sense to (finally) review their new album (their first after a lengthy, eight-year-long, hiatus) in isolation, particularly since, in my humble opinion at least, it’s one of the very best records of 2018. Continue reading »

Sep 142018
 

 

The Vancouver, BC, band Truent made their impressive recording debut last year with an EP entitled Faith in the Forgotten, and they’re following that one with an even more impressive EP, To End An Ancient Way of Life, which we’re highlighting today — the day of its release — through the premiere of a full stream.

The four tracks on this new EP provide a turbocharged thrill-ride, each song displaying flamboyant technical fireworks, but within a framework of tremendously punishing and head-hooking grooves, and threaded with through-lines of melody (both bleak and boisterous) that further stick the songs in your head. The impact is ferocious, frequently explosive, and persistently electrifying. Continue reading »

Sep 142018
 

 

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the multinational collective Sinsaenum, which was released last month.)

Sinsaenum is a weird band, in the sense that I think supergroups usually end up being failures, but Sinsaenum are not.  The music they write is good, but they also serve as a case study for one of the bigger problems that comes from forming a supergroup in the extreme metal world:  When the membership of a supergroup is diverse, and when efforts are made for each member’s background to be represented sonically, that can lead to albums that are… fragmented, to say the least.

Sinsaenum, the brainchild of Joey Jordison and Frédéric Leclercq, boasts alumni and current members of Dragonforce, Mayhem, Dååth, and Slipknot, just to rattle off the big names, and their new album sounds like they don’t know what they want to be, even if the resulting product is still in my mind fairly excellent.

The thing is, even the fragmented, stylistically inconsistent nature of Repulsion For Humanity isn’t even consistent. Among the various pure death metal metal, pure black metal, and straight-up groove and nu-metal-bordering tracks on the album, there is a blackened death metal mix on songs in the latter part of the album that very distinctly stands out, and sounds like something the band could make an identity out of. I enjoy all of this album, but I have no doubt that many people will have a hard time finding a baseline to dial into. If there is one, it’s on those latter tracks. Continue reading »