A short but devastatingly heavy split between US heavyweights Benchpress and Puerto Rico’s Martyr’s Tongue.
Benchpress offer us some lean, muscular Hardcore with plenty of brawn and attitude.
Penance rips out of the gate with belligerence and is astoundingly heavy. The vocalist tears things up with a confidence and brutality that’s perfectly at home with the aggression that the rest of the band create.
The second song Pissed Away is shorter and faster but no less heavy. The solid sound ploughs through anyone foolish enough to get in the way and the band create yet another Hardcore song to be proud of. Angry stuff.
Martyr’s Tongue are a similar beast but different at the same time; faster and more frenetic with more of a Metal, even Grindcore, edge to their sound.
Their first track Deconstructive Process starts things off with a bit of sampling/noise for half of its playtime before launching into a high octane assault with brutality and blastbeats. The vocals are not quite as angry as those of Benchpress but they are more individualistic and put an interesting spin on things.
Unholy Communion is next and once again they ramp up the speed and aggression. Sounding almost unhinged on occasion the band put their all into the performance and it shows. The second half of the song gets bleaker and almost Doom/Black Metal in aura and intensity, at least for a short while before we’re back with the crushing guitars once more.
The entire split lasts only 12 minutes – surely there’s room in your collection for this?
Contaminated are a Death Metal band from Australia and this is their first release.
This is ugly, noisy Death Metal that lies somewhere between the Swedish Death Metal style and Incantation-worship. Like gathering Blackened clouds on an otherwise fresh and clear horizon, Contaminated come to ruin your day.
The vocals are so deep it’s almost painful. The vocalist has a powerful growl that seems to be all encompassing when he is doing it, like an endless maw opening up to swallow all life.
The music is brutal and heavy, but not without elements of atmosphere or the odd bit of melody. The tracks rumble along seemingly pushed by the depthless growls to their conclusion. The band can blast as good as any but it’s the more mid paced and Doomy Incantation-style parts that really hit the spot.
The sound is primitive and Crusty, as one might expect from the début demo of a band, but it doesn’t hinder them in their relentless march forwards.
Enjoyable Death Metal – let’s see what they do next.
Obsequiae are from the US and play melodic Black Metal.
This is dark and atmospheric Black Metal with a strong medieval feel and influence to the melodies. Said melodies are thick and emotive, swallowing the listener and transporting them to another century.
Frequent interludes intersperse the songs, adding to the medieval theme of the album. These mini sagas add great feeling to an album already awash with melodic entreaties.
The rasped Black Metal vocals seem to glide out of the layered guitars, piercing the tuneful riffs with a harsh reality check before they quickly recover like nothing happened and it’s back in time we go once more. Not that they had Metal back in ye olde times of course, but if they had…
Imagine Dissection had they embraced the aforementioned medieval influence, this should give you a good idea of where Obsequiae are coming from.
The sound seems to flow organically and the riffs are like liquid nature distilled to their Blackest essence and allowed to root deep in the mind of the listener.
Obsequiae grow there, in the dark, quietly taking shape until they cannot be removed. Listen to Obsequiae and one day you’ll know what I mean.
This is Old-School Black Metal with a distinct streak of personality and individuality about it. The core is of the 80’s/early 90’s Black Metal fused with an unusual album art/band logo and with added musical flourishes such as a few more modern moments and unexpected guitar solos/leads.
Subtle keyboard embellishments haunt the tracks like a ghost of forbidden memory just playing around the edges of perception. It’s almost like it’s not there, but you can definitely sense something on the outskirts of hearing.
The riffs are interesting and inventive and the general structure of the songs is an impressive homage to all things dark Metal. The band use melody well and manage to infuse the tracks with a sense of wonder and awe in addition to the usual Black Metal trappings.
Not content with this there are some Celtic Frost influences at play here as well as a bit of a Death/Morbid Angel-inspired Death Metal influence on occasion. They even flirt with some almost sci-fi touches now and then.
The songs are ambitious and as the above description shows they are not afraid to throw different influences into the blender. It all works.
The same is true of the vocals; although primarily an Old-School Black Metal croak there are also deeper grunts and cleaner utterances as well as shouting and chanting.
The sound is authentically Old-School and could in fact be some long-lost gem from decades ago.
This is a top-of-the-line Metal album with lots to draw the listener in and keep them enraptured. This is one Despot to be listened to attentively.
Beneath are from Iceland and this is their second album of Brutal/Technical Death Metal.
Uncompromising and vicious; Beneath play their Death Metal like it’s the end of the world. The devastation shown on their album cover is perfectly replicated by their music which takes no prisoners at all.
It’s unsubtle and crushing but the band do make room for a few nuanced riffs in amongst the chaos. They use darkened melodies to enhance the tracks and play some good solos/leads when they’re not hammering the Hell out of their instruments. Brutal it may be, but the odd flashes of melody and intrigue show that the band are willing to raise their game and be more than just brutal for brutal’s sake.
Inventive riffs create an atmosphere of technical turmoil and the band are in full control of the disarray they are sowing and the carnage they have unleashed. Beneath have an intuitive grasp of dynamics and the songs on this album have a good deal of variety, pace and ideas for an album of this genre. Just look at a song like Sky Burial – almost 8 minutes of pure class.
The sound is sharp and tight, as are the band themselves who all put in a stellar performance.
This is the type of deeply satisfying Death Metal that you can feel all the way down to your marrow. It connects in ways that other styles of music just don’t.
This is the second EP from Australian Death Metal band Inhuman Remnants.
The band play their Death Metal incredibly tight with the drumming sounding particularly inhuman. But just when you think it will be a one dimensional blastfest they slow down into modern USDM-style mid paced riffs or change to a more atmospheric section. They certainly have their songwriting heads on right.
As well as the thick rhythm guitars there are a lot of leads winding their way through the songs adding extra levels to the very brutal music. This enhances the sense of dynamics that the band already have from the rest of the instruments and the song structures.
The recording is muscular and lean, with all instruments very clear.
The vocals are done exceedingly well, ranging from the ultra low to the ultra high with no drop in quality at all.
Inattentional Blindness is that rarest of beasts; a release that combines brutality with songwriting skills and parts that gel together to create a greater musical whole rather than simply being a collection of riffs stuck together.
I can hear elements of a fair few bands in their sound, including Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Dying Fetus, Kataklysm and Aborted. Such a wide variety of Death Metal should demonstrate that Inhuman Remnants are their own masters and are faithfully treading their own path.
I think we’re more than ready for a full album now, as this is just great.
Memories Of A Dead Man are from France and play Modern Progressive Metal.
Here we have a band that merges Metal, Post-Metal, Hardcore and Sludge into one big compelling whole.
This is ambitious music that has the talent to back it up. This is Modern Progressive Metal in the style of Gojira or the excellent Eryn Non Dae – both also French; I wonder if there’s some strange conspiracy to inflict interesting, thoughtful music on the world…? Where do I sign up?
The songs meander and bruise, wander and startle. A pounding rhythm section backs up emotive guitar riffs and a voice like leather. At least that’s when the singer’s not softly crooning at you that is, which he doesn’t do very regularly but when he does it sounds very intimate.
The band will take you on a journey through melancholic atmospheres surrounded by walls of guitars and heavy riffs. The length of the songs work in favour of the band as they make the most of the freedom allowed them, irrespective of genre constraints or rules.
Music like this is full of ideas and quirks, whether it’s as simple as a certain riff in one song or the addition of female operatic vocals in another; the band create an impressive soundscape in which to dwell, and invite you to come join them and sample their world.
Memories Of A Dead Man have crafted a modern Metal treasure with Ashes of Joy. Let’s hope many people get to find it.
Sadhak are from Norway and play Doom Metal. This is their début EP.
This 2 track EP comes to just under 19 minutes in length and is a suitable taster for what Sadhak are capable of as well as holding much promise for what they might offer in the future.
It’s mournful and sorrowful; the emotional content drips from every chord. An emptiness felt deep in the marrow; a feeling of misfortune so profound that nothing can ever set things right.
The vocals are ethereal and timeless, seemingly drifting from some distant world behind a clouded veil. They lovingly caress the music and promise an ocean of despair should they ever fully enter our world. But alas this is never to be. Something, somewhere, is destined to be trapped forever; lost and alone, singing a plaintive song of loss. It is this that Sadhak channel.
Two songs; a lifetime of melancholy. Imagine what they could do with an album.
This is Death Metal with mood and presence, as is instantly apparent from the first couple of minutes of the opening track Circle Of Suffering. Also apparent is the band’s Old-School song philosophy and an ear for a good riff.
Taking elements of Morbid Angel, Immolation and Obituary, the band steer a course through paths well trodden but still manage to offer something worthwhile to the discerning listener. They have a good line in some quite Doomy riffs as well; a real sense of melancholy flows when they want it too.
The songs impress with their melody as well as their dynamics and atmosphere. A collection of riffs is not enough for Angist, they demand flow and song structure to be present too, and rightly so.
The vocals are resolutely Old-School in the sense that they are extreme but not overly so and they have that vibe about them; that indefinable something that says “yes, this is the real deal”. They are legible in places and always work well with the music.
This EP is a few years old now, so I look forward to what Angist offer us in the future. Hopefully they will release a blinder of an album.
The first album from A Breach of Silence, (Dead or Alive), is barely cold and the band have already polished off their second. With this in mind it’s the perfect time to catch up with the band and get to know them a bit more…
For those who are unfamiliar with you – introduce yourself!
Hey, we are A Breach of Silence, we are from Brisbane Australia. There are 5 members. Cossie, Blairsy, Kerrod, Rhys and Stix. If you want to hear something fresh and you love metal/metalcore/power metal. Check us out :).
How did A Breach of Silence form?
We formed in 2009 when a bunch of us decided to get together and see if we could come up with something different and fun. That happened by meeting Blair at a party and seeing him sing and not just sing but hit falsetto’s that were so high that even Rob Halford would be proud of. We wanted to combine different elements of our favorite genres and make something different. So we set out to do that. Add our elements of traditional metal and metal core but add spice by putting in power style signing. I know that sounds weird and somehow might not work? But it does. Our debut Album dead or Alive is testament to that :). So after meeting Blair, we met our drummer Stix through mutual friends and then after going through quite a different number of member changes we have our current solid line up. With Kerrod and Rhys rounding it all out!!
What are your influences?
We have heaps of influences. Myself and Sticks love old school traditional metal and metalcore, Blair is into power metal and Rhys and Kerrod love all spectrums of metal, but mainly the newer style of metalcore and hardcore. Particular bands would be: Iced Earth, Killswitch Engage, Devil Driver, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying, and everything between Johnny cash, Toto and Fleetwood Mac.
What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?
Things we have been listening to and would recommended would be the new Steel Panther (all you can eat), new Architects (lost forever/lost together) and we are still on BMTH (Sempiternal).
How did you decide on the sound for Dead or Alive?
The sound was really through trial and error and a lot of credit goes to Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd of studiofredman. Those guys really helped us pull together the concept of our writing style and help us produce a sound that we are incredibly happy with. Those guys are some of the best producers the world has to offer and you only have to hear the album to experience what they help us create. After getting the mix of riffs, blast beats, singing and screaming to a good balance we were able to work out our sound with the right smarts from the swedes :).
Are you happy with how the album came out?
We’re super happy how the album came out. Our Début release was done to set our foundations in the world of metal and we believe it really has done that. The songs, the sound and the response have been fantastic. We have appreciated every small and big step that this album has been able to offer us. It has been a fun journey so far.
What can you tell us about the lyrics?
Our lyrics are based around life experiences more then anything but we use subtle ways of expressing those views through other stories. Like Night Rider for instance, this song on the outside is about an outlaw gun slinger from hell that is there to take the bad guys to hell. The song is really portraying the message that, yes nobody is perfect, and you can have done bad things in the past, but its up to you and you alone to turn that around and that you can do it. In a sense a part of you can die but that leaves room for another part of you to breathe life. We like to look at things in a fun way and base our messages through stories.
What does the future hold for A Breach of Silence?
We have heaps of things going on :). We just finished recording our follow up album to Dead or Alive and can’t wait to release it. We are touring New Zealand and Australia in 2014 a few times, and we are trying to organize as we speak a tour to the USA later this year in support of the new album. We have just released a new film clip for our song Night Rider (watch at http://youtu.be/fVjFfxHj59c ), and we are about to release a few more live clips :). We have a bunch of surprises with the new album with us releasing a few things different to go along with the album! We are excited about the future and can’t wait.