Apr 272022
 

(On April 15th Lacerated Enemy Records released a new album by the French band Hurakan, and DGR has given it the following review.)

Confession: I find the times when a band becomes a completely different group within the span of a few years fascinating. As if a giant, historical brainwipe happened and the group essentially had to rebuild themselves from the ground up and the only thing that remained was the name. Now, the band must define themselves again and make the name fit the band, not the band fit the name, as if to justify moving into the name of the group like a crab upgrading its shell – or in this case, insectoid font logo for an image more sharp and pointy – for something else.

French bruisers Hurakan are still a young-ish group, as we’re still at the point where a debut release only having come out five years ago doesn’t seem like that long. Yet Hurakan find themselves in an interesting position with their latest release Via Aeterna, which landed on April 13th, 2022. Subject to a pretty sizeable lineup shift in the three years between the release of 2019’s Abomination of Aurokos and their newest album, Hurakan are a different beast.

You get the sense that with the mostly single-word song titles and the single-minded focus on a more deathcore-oriented form of brutality, the Hurakan that wrote a song called “Slamming Brutal Shit” and dropped it right before the end of a sci-fi maelstrom of brutal death style album may have their eyes focused elsewhere. The question that rises with Via Aeterna, then, is just where are the band looking? Continue reading »

Apr 252022
 

(We present DGR‘s review of the comeback album released last Friday by the Swedish death metal band Miseration.)

It has been almost ten years since the previous Miseration album Tragedy Has Spoken. If the band had held on to their newest entry back into the death metal fray, Black Miracles And Dark Wonders, for another two months, it would’ve been a full decade. Talk about coming in just under the line of having that broadcast everywhere.

Miseration is one of a few long-running collaborations between constantly writing multi-instrumentalist Jani Stefanovic and legendary metal vocalist Christian Älvestam. Black Miracles and Dark Wonders is their fourth album; the group’s previous three were launched on a nearly every-three-year cadence before the Miseration project would find itself sidelined for nine years. In that span of time they found themselves increasingly busy, with both of them collaborating in the Solution .45 project as well – which would see two more albums added to that discography in that time. Continue reading »

Apr 192022
 

 

(This is DGR‘s review of a new EP released on April 15th of this year by the New York-based death metal band Solus Ex Inferis.)

Sometimes you land on a new release simply because you were curious as to what a certain musician might’ve been up to at a given moment. There are absolutely other avenues to discover music, but sometimes it’s just fun to go down the internet rabbit hole and see what other projects someone might be involved in. That is what led me to the death metal group Solus Ex Inferis and their newest release Exogenesis.

Every once in a while the thought that superhuman drummer Marco Pitruzzella has contributed work to something like twenty-plus projects will cross my mind. For the past few years he’s had credits on at least two-to-four releases, with Solus Ex Inferis becoming the latest project to which he’s contributed, adding to the vast body of work for this prolific musician.

Solus Ex Inferis are also one of a recent slate of death metal projects that have truly embraced being from all over the world, with Demonic Resurrection‘s Sahil Makhija (the Demonstealer) joining the fray alongside guitarist Dave Sevenstrings for their latest EP, while also calling in help from bassist Sean Martinez of Decrepit Birth/Muldrotha as well as some guest soloists.

What this translates to is the latest EP Exogenesis hailing from all over the world in the name of bulldozer brutality. You’ll know whether the twenty-five odd minutes of Exogenesis are for you if this statement gets you excited. Continue reading »

Apr 182022
 

(The California fastcore band Choke Me have quickly become a favorite of DGR, and thus he has enthusiastically dived into their music again with this review of their latest release.)

Choke Me‘s releases seem to appear with the suddenness of a high-speed car collision. It wasn’t that long ago we were talking about the three-piece group’s Hauntology EP,  and prior to that it didn’t seem that long ago that we were discussing the group’s full-length debut The Cousin of Death.

Then again, given the shared ideologies between the group’s punk, grind, and ‘fastcore’ collision of sound, it doesn’t shock that the crew manning the good ship Choke Me have also embraced the rapid-fire release schedule and record length of the grind contingent as well.

We’re probably a few months out from suffocating under an avalanche of splits and single releases if the patterns hold true. April 1st saw the release of the latest music from Choke Me, seemingly forming out of a static-charged aether into one quick explosion under the name of Death Like A Sunset, and like its immediate predecessor in late 2021’s Hauntology it discharges another six songs and sub-twenty minutes worth of music. Continue reading »

Apr 122022
 

(Here’s DGR‘s review of the latest album by the German band Deserted Fear, which is out now via Century Media.)

I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the list of stuff I’ve recently been cycling through for listening, trying to find some sort of overarching theme. Usually you can pin it down to the predictable seasonal shifts at work or the somewhat more nebulous ebbs and flows of heavy metal releases – both of which have been solidly upended over the past few years.

What I did notice, though, was the presence of a few releases early on in the year of the kind that I usually only expect to find one or two of throughout the year. Those are the melodeath releases that seem to revolve around a big, anthemic songwriting core. Those have been a recent development as of the mid-2000s as the genre began to fling itself around more and more in search of ways to stick out amidst an increasingly crowded style – many would argue it has been a stagnated style since the metalcore scene exploded.

While many bands would stick to the tried and true, and wound up with pretty much tried and true results, others would write these big, almost arena-rock-esque ‘us vs the world’ types of songs; many mid-tempo and often about as filled with a million guitar lines and melodies, as one might expect from the big auditorium-filling style. For some reason, it seems like many bands have had this sort of release in them, and at some point they’ll default to it for an album or two, with results that can be as vast as the number of bands doing it.

Which brings us to the deceptively death metal looking March release Doomsday by Germany’s Deserted Fear, which has somehow turned out to be their take on the big pyro-launching, guitar stomp spectacle. Continue reading »

Apr 052022
 

(On March 18th Century Media released a new album by Dark Funeral, and today DGR gives it a review.)

Again, I preface this every time by saying I am not the black metal expert on this site. This is just one of those releases where it’s fun to check in on a more established band and find out that yes, in fact, they do still have “it”.

Let us tell you a tale of an album in Swedish black metal group Dark Funeral‘s discography. It is nine songs long, about forty-five minutes in length, and has cover art that’s almost entirely blue-dominated. It’s hard to overstate just how much it seems like 2016’s Where Shadows Forever Reign has become the nucleus for Dark Funeral as they exist currently. Credit to them of course; they’ve had a constantly shifting lineup throughout the years, so much so that Dark Funeral releases rarely share the same lineup between them.

WIth Lord Ahriman being the sole constant, people rotate in and people rotate out, yet Dark Funeral somehow keep chugging along with a new album every six-or-so years. You don’t get to do something like that musically unless you’ve remained remarkably steadfast in your sound, which brings us to Dark Funeral‘s newest release, 2022’s We Are The Apocalypse. Continue reading »

Mar 302022
 

(We present DGR‘s review of a new MLP by the Swedish death metal band Centinex. It will be released by Agonia Records on April 1st.)

We have our pillars of consistency on this website, the ones we go to because we know exactly what we’ll be in for from moment one. Surprises are welcome but for the most part these are the bands who’ve long found what works for them and are sticking to it.

Centinex are one such band, part of the wave of death metal that so rigidly adheres to old school philosophies that you could pull any release from their discography and it would feel more like a snapshot out of an older time than a modern release. They found their power in the classic thudding bass and snare drum rotation and the joyfully-stupid guitar riff that buzzes so hard your headphones sound like you might’ve kicked a bees’ nest without noticing.

Since their reformation in 2014, Centinex have released a handful of solid-as-hell death metal records and shifted lineups sizeably once, with bassist Martin Schulman remaining the main pillar of the group. Centinex are his classic death metal band and when he wants to aim for something more in line with the current gallop-and-blastfest style, then he shifts into Demonical mode.

Both groups, however, find themselves with releases prepared for 2022, and for Centinex that means a brand new four-song EP entitled The Pestilence, with the same lineup that made 2020’s Death In Pieces. Would you believe us if we said that, once again, Centinex have written music that is about as red meat for the crowd as red meat comes? Continue reading »

Mar 102022
 

 

(The Greek black/death metal band Mind Erasure released their debut album last month, and it struck a chord with our writer DGR, as will become apparent if you read the following review.)

Mind Erasure landed in the net over the Valentine’s Day weekend back in February. The result of having a surplus of free time, I was able to explore a wide swath of upcoming releases and take a gample on quite a few of them. Spain’s AfterLife and Nightrage‘s latest release were some of the results of that musical binge and Mind Erasure‘s new album Connive was another.

Mind Erasure caught interest on the strength of their album art, which doesn’t really hint at much other than the logo suggesting a prog-death influence, but apart from that yours truly went in blind, and the experience was more enjoyable for it.

They are a hard band to describe; they jump through a huge collection of genre-hoops over the course of Connive‘s fifty-six minutes and just trying to nail it down to the core of their black and death metal influences doesn’t capture the full picture of what is happening here. Continue reading »

Mar 082022
 

(We present DGR‘s review of the new album by the California death metal band Arkaik. The album will be released on March 11th by The Artisan Era.)

For a very long time I considered Arkaik something of a bellweather when it came to the modern tech-death scene. Up until the time following 2017’s Nemethia the group were a pretty reliable snapshot of that scene, every two to three years adding to their conceptual album universe with a battering of groove-oriented and rhythmically-complex songs that straddled the line between being overly technical and brutally-core without leaning too far in either direction. Despite an ever-shifting lineup, Arkaik have maintained a fairly strong and consistent output. Because of that, as noted, they’ve been perfect if you’re the type to dance into and out of many different subgenres of heavy metal.

Now though, the situation shifts as labels have gotten far more specialized than before. It’s not so much that Arkaik find themselves at the forefront of a particular genre any more, but that they have found another label that specializes in where Arkaik are at this moment in their musical journey. Continue reading »

Mar 032022
 

 

(Unique Leader Records released the second album by Massachusetts-based Worm Shepherd in January. DGR finally caught up with it and now delivers this extensive review.)

I don’t know how and I don’t know where, but for a while I was pretty fucking convinced that we had sat down and reviewed the first album from the Massachusetts-based symphonic deathcore crew Worm Shepherd last year.

In The Wake Of Sol had actually been released in December of 2020 but the fact that they had then signed to Unique Leader – who have become a bastion for artists like this – and re-released the album with one new song attached to it in late March always felt like a good enough excuse.

We covered a few of the music videos but turns out we never got around to writing about the album as a whole, which means that this discussion of the group’s followup album Ritual Hymns – which saw release in the middle of January – is likely going to sound like we’re dancing between discussing both albums. Continue reading »