Vastum – Patricidal Lust (Review)

VastumVastum are from the US and play Death Metal; Patricidal Lust is their second album.

How’s that for some album artwork, eh? What’s all that about then? Top work.

Vastum specialise in Old-School Death Metal with a dollop of Doom and Crust thrown in for good measure. Incantation and Autopsy should be your first reference points. Vastum are their own entity of course and they play this style of Classic Death Metal remarkably well.

The songs are harrowing tales of the dark side of humanity and the music is the perfect representation of this.

Each track is well-written and everything on this release sounds powerful and ancient. The singer bellows with fervour and the music rages and dirges in equal amounts.

The solos are well executed and add spice to the Doomy riffing. Leads add colour and overall these songs have a lot of substance to them, with the longer length of the songs allowing the band to cram a lot in.

As the Classic Death Metal style goes this is a strong album full of good songs. Put this on your list of albums to get this month, you won’t regret it.

Void Ritual – Holodomor (Review)

Void RitualVoid Ritual is a one-man project out of New Mexico.

This is brutal Black Metal with a harsh vibe running throughout. The songs are ugly, dense and crawling with filth and hatred.

Blastbeats charge and guitars hack and bleed Black blood. Based on the concept of starvation and horror the music is suitably uncaring and swift to move on.

I love the guitars; not only is the sound really good, (in general as well as specifically the six-strings), but the Blackened moods created are expansive and corrupting whilst the melodies employed are subtly invasive and work their way slowly into your brain.

Passionate screams overlay the grim guitars and the singer has a great rasp. He’s capable of unleashing both high-pitched venom and deeper, powerful growls. Both work with the riffs for maximum effect to create a cohesive attack.

This is straight-for-the-throat second-wave Black Metal that’s fiercely impressive and talented.

Highly recommended.

SuddenFlames – Under The Sign Of The Alliance (Review)

SuddenflamesSuddenFlames are from Canada and play Power Metal. This is their second album.

Opening with an instantly catchy riff, I have high hopes for this release from the outset. My fear, as is always the case with this kind of band, is that they’ll ruin things by having a sub-standard singer. I’m pleased to report that this is not the case and SuddenFlames have a very, very good singer who has charisma and capability. Top stuff.

Bands like this live or die by the quality of the songs – judging by this standard SuddenFlames should have a very long life indeed.

The tracks are catchy, Metal and written to a high standard. Predominately of the Euro-Metal Power Metal style, they also have elements of Thrash, Heavy and even a bit of Progressive Metal incorporated into their sound. They don’t do things by halves; this album is the full Metal package.

Emotive and stirring, heroic and edgy; the band dip into all manner of feelings in their songs and the overall experience is of a fine collection of tracks that put to shame many of the more established names in the genre at the moment.

Double-bass leads the charge and melodic guitars duel and Thrash their way around the playing time. There are so many vocal hooks that you can do yourself an injury and the solos are free-flowing and played with fervour.

This reminds me of the kind of quality Power Metal that Angel Dust did so well, and I also hear a bit of Gamma Ray in there as well.

A sharp production and punchy sound seals the deal; this is one band who I’ll be enjoying for some time.

Canada seems to be unleashing a whole clump of talented Power/Progressive Metal bands on the world at the moment, and I love that they are as each one I hear is a pure joy. SuddenFlames are no exception.

Wolvhammer/Krieg – Split (Review)

Wolvhammer KriegBoth Wolvhammer and Krieg are from the US. Wolvhammer specialise in Blackened Sludge and Krieg play Black Metal.

Wolvhammer offer us a track first called Slaves to the Grime.

This is 6 minutes of Blackened Sludge hate. The band instantly sound confident and quickly lock into a heavy groove.

Vocals are spat out with venom and belligerent riffs lead the way before being replaced with apocalyptic melodies and downbeat pounding. Mid-song the tempo picks up but keeps the same feelings generated so far.

A most enjoyable song and a worthy contribution to the split.

Krieg are up next with Eternal Victim.

This is shorter than the previous track at half the length; only 3 minutes. Krieg are a veritable institution in their own right, and their track is no disappointment. It’s dark and powered by Blackness. The riffs are very good and the entire song seems over far too quickly.

A short release but definitely worth a listen; another definite split to add to your collection.

Lockersludge – Drawing Lessons (Review)

LockersludgeLockersludge are from the UK and play Metal with Hardcore/Sludge influences.

This is an interesting merger of some different styles, all wrapped up in a Metal package.

Combining the rawkus nature of Old-School Hardcore with a Sludge influence the band do well in not instantly sounding like anyone else.

The tracks bound along with this unusual melding of styles and remind of 90’s Century Media acts like My Own Victim and Gurd with a bit of a non-Southern Eyehategod feel to some of the riffs. It’s quite a nostalgic feeling that Lockersludge give me and I find myself liking this band a great deal.

The vocals are belligerent and melodic at the same time. Again there is a curious mixing of styles; essentially based in Hardcore-land, they nonetheless display melodic sensibilities as well as hints at a more Sludge background.

Lockersludge are bravely and wisely forging their own path through today’s over-saturated musical waters and I’ve found this release highly competent and highly enjoyable.

Oh, and they also have a song called The Beard of Doom. Win.

Check them out.

Monumentomb – Ritual Exhumation (Review)

MonumentombThis is the début EP from UK Death Metallers Monumentomb.

After the usual perfunctory intro we’re into the title track and straight into some glorious Old-School Death Metal with a sound to kill for.

What’s so special about it? It just sounds fat, tight and recalls Dismember without overtly ripping off that chainsaw sound.

As you’ve probably gathered there is a Swedish Death Metal influence at play here, but that’s not all Monumentomb get up to. The Swedish greats might be well represented, but UK bands like Bolt Thrower and Carcass get a look in also.

The riffs are strong and the solos shred. The drum sound is especially satisfying and the growls of the singer make me warm in my secret happy place.

The vocals are deep growls that work perfectly. Also, the few seconds of clean vocals in Perpetual Execution Torment are unexpected and brilliant.

You can really feel the weight of Death Metal history while listening to Ritual Exhumation, but Monumentomb bear this responsibility with ease and perform admirably.

Amazingly this band have only been around since 2013; how they’ve managed to cobble together such a strong package so quickly is beyond me, but I’m glad they have.

Looking for some Old-School Death Metal that doesn’t sound stale? Look no further.

Warlord UK – We Die As One (Review)

Warlord UKAs you can probably guess, Warlord UK are from the UK…this is their third album of Death Metal.

After a perfunctory intro we get a surprisingly Doomy start to Human Inner Core that slowly builds itself up into a nice groove.

The sound is crisp and the drums have weight to them. The bass is audible and is actually used for things worthwhile.

The vocals are savage in a mechanistic way, as if they’re being uttered by some kind of undead cyborg, or maybe even by the chap on the cover? Who knows. I’m not sure I’d like to meet him in a dark alley though, (or a frost-swept plain of skulls for that matter).

A hint of Thrash sensibilities adds an edge to the spiky songs and riffs are thrown around with complete abandon, as if the band have an inexhaustible supply of them.

There’s a lot of mid-paced chuggery going on here; it sounds good and is the perfect backdrop to the gritty future cyber-war that I imagine is going on behind the scenes.

The band are capable of more than just heaviness and brutality though, as they show a pleasantly surprising penchant for added melody and grandeur during some of the tracks; this gives the album more depth and longevity than it might otherwise have.

Imagine, if you will, if Bolt Thrower and Amon Amarth combined forces to crush their assorted enemies…Warlord UK sound like that amalgamated War Metal strike force.

The songs are good, the Metal is good and the severed heads are banging. Warlord UK have more to offer than you might think at first glance.

Wo Fat – The Conjuring (Review)

Wo FatWo Fat are from the US and this is their fifth album of Doom Metal.

They have a warm sound that’s very welcoming and makes the listener immediately feel at ease; familiar but not overly so. This is Stoner/Psychedelic Doom in the traditional and spaced out way.

The singer has a good voice that seeps like honey over the rolling drums and infectious riffs. Speaking of, there are some glorious riffs to be had on The Conjuring.

And this is heavy. Joyously heavy. The guitars revel in themselves. Occasional solos snake their way in a lazily serpentine fashion across mountainous riffs that should get even the most jaded Metal fan moving.

The band seem to play these songs without any apparent effort, as if it is the easiest thing in the world to peel off colossal riffs with a beat that won’t quit. They give the feeling of being involved in one big jam, but one that’s coherent and focused enough to not sound a mess at all.

A real exploratory album full of trips to the heavy, fuzzy, scuzzy world of Wo Fat; the songs entice and captivate, culminating in the 17:00 monster that is Dreamwalker.

On the whole, very impressive and very enjoyable; a great listen.

Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless (Review)

GoatwhoreThis is the latest album from US Black Metallers Goatwhore.

A new Goatwhore album is always something to be excited about. They may be loosely Black Metal, but they actually combine that with elements of Death and Thrash Metal to create something distinctly Goatwhore.

10 songs in 37 minutes; short, catchy and so very Metal. All the familiar ingredients are here – great sound, poisonous riffs, relentless drums, characterful vocals, dynamic and exciting writing…I could go on but won’t.

Each song takes elements of the aforementioned genres and mashes them together to create a collection of dark wonders. This also means that the album is surprisingly varied within the genre it inhabits; riffs and ideas from all manner of guitar-based styles are crushed up, swallowed and regurgitated as prime Goatwhore-stamped meat.

The grim riffing and fast drumming never cease to be inspired and despite the overall extremity of the release it has lots of hooks to grab your attention and help make the songs memorable.

Goatwhore have shown once again why they are in a league of their own and why very few bands even come close to touching them in terms of sheer quality of songs and passion of purpose.

My advice? Get this. Get this now.