Jul 242023

(In the following review DGR takes a very deep dive into the new album by the German band Mental Cruelty, which was released near the end of June by Century Media Records.)

The deathcore genre is one that has absorbed so much over the years in the nuclear arms race for ‘heavy’ that we’ve gone beyond being able to track down any particular list of influences or context being provided. We’re layers upon layers deep at this point, and much as it was opined in our writeup for Worm Shepherd‘s latest, it seems like the genre has folded in on itself enough times that at this point it’s just short of a few tempering baths and a sharpening stone that it could be morphed into a sharp blade.

Lately, groups have made use of these insanely multi-talented vocalists, adding their own multitude of vocals on top of it, so that the attack comes from multiple directions, embraced backing symphonics, and cranked the tempo up to near-lightspeed at all times. It has become a genre of ‘a lot’, and a lot is thrown at you any time you’re listening to such a group. Many, it seems, have warmed to the idea of getting by on sheer bombast alone. However, some impressive groups within that sphere have managed to make use of the ever-increasing multitude of weapons offered to them, and Germany’s Mental Cruelty are one such group.

Germany is already pretty skilled at making brutal death and slam music, so it wasn’t too shocking that Mental Cruelty‘s earlier works were born out of and were fully within that vein, but the group made a massive leap in that symphonics-backed brutal-death direction on their 2021 album A Hill To Die Upon. Of course, not long after the group would lose a vocalist as sexual assault allegations came to light post-signing to Century Media, because that seemingly inevitable sword that hovers above all -core group’s heads came collecting. Continue reading »

Jul 012021


(We present DGR’s extensive review of the new album by Germany’s Mental Cruelty, which Unique Leader released at the end of May.)

For the sake of complete transparency this one is going to begin with a minor confession; One of the driving reasons for the choice to deep-dive German group Mental Cruelty‘s newest album A Hill To Die Upon is because the idea made me laugh.

It’s no fault of the band themselves, who are in the midst of something of a soft re-branding on their latest album, having shifted further and deeper into a symphonics-assisted world after two albums of whirlwind brutalizing deathcore. It’s because around here we’re fans of the black metal group A Hill To Die Upon, and something about seeing those words – admittedly a common phrase – on an album cover with a logo gave me the fun sort of “world-inverted” dynamic that you’ll see put to use in comedy from time to time.

So, in the sort of drunken crashing around that normally determines whether I’ll glance at a band, sometimes it’s some strange coincidence, no matter how stupid or small, that manages to catch my attention. Continue reading »

May 292021


To improve your Saturday, and quite possibly your whole weekend, I’ve collected a baker’s dozen of new songs and videos (including a couple of previously hard-to-find tracks from forthcoming reissues).

I grouped these 13 offerings in ways that I thought made sense. As usual for these kinds of posts, I didn’t take time to track down and upload artwork or purchase links, and I decided to organize my meager introductory comments by the categories I’ve arranged. (Don’t punch me too hard because of the category labels I chose, because I do realize they’re not 100% accurate.)


The first two choices here were recommended by DGR, and the above label clearly applies to both. Andy Synn recommended the third one, and although most people wouldn’t categories Agrypnie as melodic death metal, I do think their new song fits well alongside the first two. Continue reading »