Jun 272017


(TheMadIsraeli review the new album by Dying Fetus, which is out now on Relapse Records.)

I’m just going to say it. If you don’t like Dying Fetus, nay, LOVE Dying Fetus, you don’t like death metal. I can think of no other band that has better personified the sonic violence, technical excess, genuine anger, uncompromising legacy, and lack of pretension that death metal is all about than Dying Fetus.

John Gallagher has been at this shit now for TWENTY-FOUR YEARS. He’s the godfather of the messy, grimy, seizure-inducing style of tech death, and his sound and approach to songwriting have never been successfully emulated, although no one really even dares to try. Who else is mixing technical death metal, grindcore, NYHC, and slam so well right now? Nobody that I’m aware of, and especially nobody who does it so organically, honestly, and with such passion and dedication.

Jun 222017


(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by the French band Igorrr, which was released within the past week by Metal Blade Records.)


Sometimes, when it comes to metal or heavy music in general, a concentrated dose of proper fucking insanity is the right call. Sometimes, you don’t need lyrics and sometimes all is said by a good vocalist shrieking his mind out into a mic with no intention of conveying anything other than exactly what you hear. Sometimes, you need accordion. Lots of fucking accordion.

Jun 202017


(TheMadIsraeli wrote this review of the self-titled debut album by the Canadian death metal band Deity, which was released earlier this month.)


I have a very hard time getting into a lot of the technical and progressive death metal that’s being released these days because so much of it misses the fucking point. It’s all plastic mixes, weak noodly riffs, with death metal as the least prevalent of ingredients. It just… isn’t death metal, man. Whether bands are fellating their fretboard with an overly digitized guitar tone and simply running through rote, stock melodic progressions or playing what amounts to really bad progressive rock with weak black metal vocals and no power, it’s no wonder I’ve tended to gravitate toward either old school death metal, or death metal that’s just straightforward and no bullshit.

Sometimes, though, I run across bands like Deity and my hope is restored. I remember the beauty, the majesty, and the putrid overwhelming crushing power that can be channeled once the musicianship and spirit are on par with each other.

Jun 072017


(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Suffocation.)

If you ask me, at the end of the day there’s only five bands in the technical and brutal death metal circles that truly matter: Dying Fetus, Anata, Spawn of Possession, Martyr, and Suffocation. Suffocation is such an anomaly that it’s like the cosmos decided to manifest through humans the perfect mix of atonal grime, neoclassical melody, pulverizing groove, and eviscerating speed, all under the command most prominently of Frank Mullen, who in my book is THE death metal vocalist, and Terrance Hobbs. who writes some of the most intricately crafted incantations of despair and death on this planet when it comes to riffs.

Suffocation had a really fucking strong outing their last go around with Pinnacle Of Bedlam. It was their most energetic record to date, with a much more melodic focus than anything before it, while maintaining the proper amount of disregard for human value or opinion with some atonal off-road expeditions. It also contained a monolith of a closing track with a stellar re-recording of “Beginning Of Sorrow”, which worked better as a closing song than on the album it opened.

Jun 052017


(We present TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the Ukrainian one-man project Arphael.)

I’ve always agreed with Andy’s assertion that at the end of the day, Meshuggah is a death metal band. They created their own nebula of brutality, especially when Nothing came out, pushing the sonic limits and revolutionizing the very concept of groove in extreme metal as we knew it. Meshuggah, a top-10 band for me, have always been about a defiant, transcendent minimalism that hits you like an asteroid to the soul.

While we saw the djent movement come and go, mostly a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon that produced very little quality music with staying power, more extreme-minded death metal bands have tried to take what Meshuggah did to the next level. In-Quest and their phenomenal last record Chapter IIX – The Odyssey of Eternity was a great attempt at a Catch-33-style, super-long song that saw the band adding new elements of intensity and stylistic diversity around the Meshuggah framework. At that point, It was the best I think Meshuggah had ever been riffed on by someone else.

But then this guy came around, this fucking lunatic Ukranian who goes by the name Arphael.

Jun 022017


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by Body Count.)


Say what you want, but in concept the mixing of rap/hip-hop and metal is something that makes complete fucking sense. A lot of music from both genres encapsulates a lot of the same angst, rage, and darkness, depending on where you look. I don’t know if I can explain why nü-metal to many people was an abomination of a music genre, although I think it’s the cornball excessive whiteness of it, how much it diluted down the metal aspect to relatively inoffensive minimalism, and how faux edgy it was. Thing is, early nü-metal was experimental and ambitious and found a good middle ground between the two styles. Rage Against The Machine is a favorite band of mine actually, and I think they’re the primo example of this being done to its maximum potential.

Body Count is the other most notable example. I like Body Count’s entire discography and I’ve always felt they were shamefully unsung heroes of thrash/metallic hardcore. I think it’s interesting that in the fifth track on this album, a pretty fantastic cover of “Reign In Blood”, there’s a monologue by Ice-T preceeding it where he talks about Suicidal Tendencies having a gang-banger from the streets vibe about their music and how it influenced Body Count. I’ve always liked hardcore that had this same vibe, which is why bands like Biohazard come to mind, who unashamedly had this vibe going in a way that was authentic.

May 162017


(TheMadIsraeli wrote this review of the new album by the Spanish band Moonloop, released in March.)

Moonloop are one of those bands whose existence feels like a justification for the underground metal scene. I’m not talking about underground in the mainstream sense, of course — not the Suffocation’s or the Immolation’s of the world — but the really obscure “you have to be a sad sap who does nothing but scour the Internet for cool album art and weird-sounding band names to judge your listening off of” sort of underground.

We’ve sorta mentioned Moonloop on this site once or twice back in 2012 courtesy of posts Islander made, but we haven’t ever given these guys their due and just coverage, and their newest record Devocean, which came out back in March, is as good a place as any to start.

Apr 172017


(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Sweden’s Cut Up.)

As someone who is a complete fucking nerd who enjoys analyzing nuances, subtleties, patterns, and periods within art, or the examples of all those contained within a particular artist’s body of work, I find few things more fascinating within the realms of music than the phenomenon of the extreme metal sophomore album. Mostly I’m impressed by its power to either make or break bands. If you release a killer debut and then a shitty sophomore album, or just one that doesn’t capitalize on the steam of the debut, you can absolutely tank your traction and name right then and there and never recover. Some bands can release a terrible debut and get away with it, but a band who start well take a big risk if they release a sophomore album that is anything less than excellent.

This subject may be worth a digression into a deeper conversation about what a sophomore album should accomplish, and maybe I’ll do an article on that alone someday, but for now the context is Cut Up.

Mar 172017


(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new fourth album by Colorado’s Havok, which was released by Century Media earlier this month.)

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE Havok. These guys are the quintessential example of what an excellent re-thrash band sounds like. Old school energy and attitude, but new school song-writing, technicality, and slight tinges of hybridization with other borrowed styles.

Thus far, Havok’s got what I call a pretty flawless discography. The EPs, while underdeveloped, were great; Time Is Up was the best thrash album of its year; and the band’s last release Unnatural Selection was definitely up there in its year, too.

It’s been four years since Havok released anything, marking the first time the band have gone more than two years between major releases since their inception. While they’ve certainly been gaining recognition (rightfully so) and touring like fucking madmen, the band have clearly been working on their sound, and where to go from here.

Mar 162017


(The MadIsraeli reviews the new album by Warbringer, which will be released on March 31 by Napalm Records.)

Warbringer are a band who up to now never quite hooked me. They’re no doubt talented, and they are definitely in the upper echelon of the old school thrash revival. I should’ve liked these guys more. They were essentially more aggressive Twisted Into Form Forbidden, but I always felt they played it too safe, enough so that it kept me from being enthralled by their music. Having said that, I’ve always been willing to give the newest Warbringer album a listen when one comes out, because I WANT to like these guys more than I have.

The main thing that really makes these re-thrash bands any good is when they know how to blend the old school with modernity, and in the past Warbringer were too busy living in the past and imitating it rather than emboldening it with a new-school spirit. That is, until Woe To The Vanquished.

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