Aug 312018


The nature of the chemical interactions triggered by the following three bomb-makers differ from each other, but the results are uniformly explosive — and that’s the word of the day for this post.


I confess that I got an advance listen to Godeater’s new single well before its release today (and before its premiere a couple of days ago), and was able to go back to it whenever I wanted, which I did on those many occasions when it seemed like a more efficient and slightly less life-threatening way of juicing my brain, during its sluggish phases, than jamming a wet finger into an electrical socket.



Exsanguinated” truly is an explosive track. It has all the expected ornamentation of a performance by a technical death metal band gifted with unusual dexterity and lung capacity. But the explosiveness of the song goes beyond the superheated exuberance of nimble fingers, fleet feet, and vocals that evoke the fury of an out-of-control blast furnace.

The song shines with inventive arpeggios and blaring chords suggestive of delirium, segues on a dime into bursts of welcome groove, inserts darting notes and gliding, ethereal melody, and punches the listener extra-hard near the end, as if you really needed one more detonation inside a skull already rocked by them.

My colleague Mr. Synn praised Godeater‘s debut EP, Outerstellar, in his review as “a striking opening statement – in both ambition and execution”, while observing that the band hadn’t “fully found their own sound/voice/identity quite yet.” On the evidence of this new single, I’d say they’ve made a big stride toward doing that.

Exsanguinated” is being released today through Bandcamp, paired with an instrumental-only remix by Levi Miah/Cœur, which turns out to be a very interesting twist on the original and well worth having in its own right.












Often branded as a crust punk band, Atrament are more explosively destructive than the label might suggest to most listeners. The pedigrees of Atrament’s members — who come from such groups as Vastum, Necrot, Mortuous, Abstracter, Moral Void, and Black September — should provide a clue that there’s death metal in the mix, and indeed there is, along with black metal and Swedish D-Beat. But when you listen to their music, their labels’ recommendation of it for fans of Wolfpack and Wolfbrigade makes sense, as does their name-dropping of Vallenfyre and Acephalix.

Scum Sect is the name of Atrament’s new album, and September 28th is the day that Sentient Ruin, Caligari Records, and Blood Harvest have jointly pegged for its release. The first single, “Odium“, achieves an impressive level of annihilation for a track that doesn’t even reach the two-minute mark. Driven mainly by the d-beat, it’s a high-energy romp, but also a massively heavy one, and one that’s also pitch-black in its outlook and as vicious as a rabid wolf.

It’s not for naught that the band told DECIBEL, who premiered the track, that “Atrament’s music is about rejecting humanity in its every aspect and embracing instead all the vermin, diseases, plagues and calamities which opposite it.”

Scum Sect is the work of more talents than those who wrote and performed the music. Greg Wilkinson recorded it at Earhammer in Oakland; Brad Boatright mastered it at Audiosiege in Portland; and Stephen Wilson created the artwork and layout. All those people know what the hell they’re doing.

Pre-orders at Bandcamp:











I should be thankful that you couldn’t see my face the first time I listened to “Blades of Jihad“. I’m thankful that I couldn’t see it either. Undoubtedly it was a cretinous expression, mouth open, eyes glazed, perhaps a few rivulets of drool seeping out of my maw. The song begins strong, and the WOW factor only multiplies as the minutes pass.

The song comes from Spiritual Sickness, the debut album by the Irish death metal band Zealot Cult. It’s a turbocharged rush that features impressive technicality along with punishing brute-force grooves and the kind of feral, scalding, panther-like vocals that remind me of Martin van Drunen. When the music really cuts loose in the mid-section, backed by a hellishly good solo, the band punch the energy of the music into overdrive, and then send it soaring. It also turns out to be remarkably infectious.

A really well-written, well-structured, beautifully executed attack that truly is… explosive.

Spiritual Sickness will be released by Blood Harvest and Helter Skelter Productions (CD, cassette, vinyl, digital) on November 9th. In describing the album, they scatter such references as Pestilence, Death, Morbid Angel, and especially Obituary, while also underscoring Zealot Cult’s ability “to make epic, multi-dimensional majesty from that firm foundation” of influences.

Did you think I would forget to mention the cover art of the great Paolo Girardi? I didn’t.




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