Nidsang – Into the Womb of Dissolving Flames (Review)

NidsangNidsang are from Sweden and this is their second album of Black Metal.

This is Swedish Black Metal that’s violent and possessed with the rage of the storm. Nidsang want to kill and want to do so at great speed whilst seemingly paradoxically taking their time to do so as well.

This translates to songs that are filled with fast riffing and blasting drums but rather than wear themselves out early and peter off into the blackness Nidsang’s songs are longer than you might expect for anthems this deadly and hate-fuelled.

They love to play fast, of course, but when they slow down to a mid-paced groove they also show they can throw out some tasty riffs. I also like the inclusion of guitar solos, which although not as rare as they used to be, certainly aren’t Black Metal staples.

The singer barks out his disdain for all things holy with rather a growl-tinged scream that doesn’t sound completely human any more.

Nidsang offer us 8 hymns to the darkness spread out over just under 43 minutes. For a rough idea of the area that Nidsang operate in, think Marduk, Watain, Setherial, etc. – fast and vicious Black Metal that is sharp enough to cut someone into ribbons.

It may be nothing new but that’s not the point. There’s something elemental and primal about this kind of Black Metal, and Nidsang play it well.

Check out Into the Womb of Dissolving Flames and see what dark imagery they can conjure up for you.

Voodoo Gods – Anticipation for Blood Leveled in Darkness (Review)

Voodoo GodsThis is the début album from International supergroup Voodoo Gods. They play Death Metal.

Featuring members of bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Sceptic and Severe Torture you know that a lot of talent and experience has gone into making this release.

This is song-oriented Death Metal with plenty of hooks, solos and a Thrash influence.

The tracks are catchy and memorable. They roll along enjoyably and the Thrash aspect gives the riffs an extra energy. There are frequent solos which are played well and it’s always nice to hear the colour and interest that a good solo brings to a song.

The dual vocal approach works a treat and provides nice variety to the tracks, as well as some good rhythms and vocal interplay. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is, of course, immediately recognisable. The second singer Seth Van de Loo certainly shouldn’t be discounted, however, and holds his own against the seasoned Cannibal Corpse veteran. Together they growl, grunt and shriek their way across these songs with power and conviction.

Coming from the people involved this is not as brutal as you might be expecting. The Thrash influence and the emphasis on songs means that this is more catchy and mid-paced than brutal and blasting. It’s still Death Metal and still heavy, of course, but not as much as you might think.

There are also moments of lighter reprieve and a good Death influence to some of the riffs. It all adds to their palette and the end result is a rich, sumptuous Metal meal.

Enjoyable and accomplished, this is the kind of album you throw on when you’re in the mood to be aurally beaten around the head by a band with a bit of groove who know how to write a good tune.

Highly recommended.

Iron Reagan – The Tyranny of Will (Review)

Iron ReaganIron Reagan are from the US and this is their second album. They play Metallic Crossover and feature members of bands such as Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour and Cannabis Corpse.

I have enjoyed Iron Reagan’s previous work so I was expecting good things from this album. It doesn’t disappoint.

Iron Reagan play Hardcore and Thrash mixed in a blender and shat out at escape velocity. It’s highly aggressive and kicks your door down looking for a scrap. There’s no hiding.

The songs are short, heavy and usually exceedingly violent. Iron Reagan have a nice malevolent streak to some of their riffs that keeps things gritty.

The band play tight and fast, and some short, sharp guitar solos are also included in their spiky package.

Vocally the shouts straddle that rarely seen line where you can imagine them being transposed into either an 80’s Thrash band or an 80’s Hardcore band with equal ease. They inhabit both worlds flawlessly and effectively represent both.

A quality album. 24 blasts of anarchy in just under 32 minutes. Play loud.

Interview with Fornicus

Fornicus Logo

Having recently released their début album Storming Heaven, Fornicus are ready to make a mark on the Metal world with their bitingly aggressive take on Black Metal. Curious about the band, I asked their lead guitarist some questions…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

I am Kelly McCoy lead guitarist. The rest of the band is Scott Briggs-vocals/guitar, Chris Carver-bass & David Snow- drums. We are black/death metal from the bowels of central Kentucky that tends to appeal to old school ears.

Give us a bit of history to Fornicus  – what are your influences?

Scott and Chris formed the band having known each other from a previous band they played in years ago. Scott had recorded David’s previous band and knowing they were no more he was asked to join. I came last to the line-up. Scott and I play in a blasphemous gore grind band together where he is on drums and I found out that Fornicus was looking for lead player so I gave it shot and made the cut. I personally am influenced by Carcass, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Death, Dissection. … I know the other guys like many of the same as well as Emperor and I recall Chris saying Miley Cyrus.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Visceral Disgorge, Ghost B.C., Abominant, Fornicus, Gorgy, Nevermore, Nifelheim, Watain, Broken Hope, Carcass, Vulkodlak. Just a few off the top of my head staying regular in the playlist.

What did you want to achieve with your new album?

Not to come across as arrogant but just to make and be a part of music I like to hear. I am sure all our goals may differ in way but short of world domination just enjoying our own music is most important to me.

Fornicus BandAre you happy with how it turned out?

Absolutely, Scott owns the studio we recorded at and mixed, mastered and made it perfect for us.

Where do you see yourself in relation to the larger Black Metal scene?

Not sure… black metal purist may like us just as much as new comers to the scene however we are more refined sound wise. I don’t think any of us concern ourselves with whether or not we fit in anywhere.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

Blasphemy, disappointment, anger, sorrow, rage and war all reflect our lyrical content. We are disgusted with herd conformity and the dogmatic monotheistic bullshit fed to the masses.

Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

It’s rather simple really. We write riffs or become inspired by lyrics and put it all together in the jam room. No preconceived notions of what we should do.

Tell us about the Sepultura cover – why include a cover on your album, why Sepultura, and why that song in particular?

Antichrist was a great choice because we could make it more powerful than it was remembered. We are all Sepultura fans and it is paying homage to the metal we grew up enjoying.

How do you see your sound developing in the future?

Darker and more chaotic. As musicians we will always push ourselves but there is no formula for Fornicus just what naturally comes out. Evil spews forth from a deep well in our band.

What’s next for Fornicus?

Continuing to promote the first release with shows and writing new material. We are discussing a 4 way split to be released by our label Negative Earth Records. Other than that banging our heads and blaspheming.

Interview with Secret Cutter

Secret Cutter Logo

This year Secret Cutter unleashed their début album Self Titled on an unsuspecting world. This was an avalanche of heaviness and naked hostility tempered down into a short shock of an album that was immediate enough to get the adrenaline flowing and featured enough depth to carry it for the long haul. If you haven’t already heard it I recommend tracking it down. Now.

I wanted to find out more so dived head first onto the cutting floor…

sc5For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Jared: We’re Secret Cutter, a 3-piece Sludge/Grind/Doom band from Bethlehem PA and we play heavy music!

Evan: We don’t have a bass player.

Give us a bit of history to Secret Cutter

Jared: Ekim and I’s old band (Oktober Skyline) broke up and we were in between bands and heard Evan, who put out the OS record, wanted to play something heavy, so we decided to try it out and a few months jamming we recorded our 7 inch in Ekim’s basement.

Tell us about the band name

Evan: It’s about the trap of self hatred. None of us cut ourselves on purpose.

What are your influences?

Jared: Impermanence, edibles, the human experience, love, hate, anything can be an influence if you let it.

sc4What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Jared: Nothing heavy really, Emil Amos from the Holy Suns is destroying me lately.

Evan: The “Off Your Parents ” Ep by The Yah Mos. It came out in 1994 one of the best 7 inch’s of the 90’s in my opinion.

Ekim: On the heavy side of things, Lord Mantis.

How did you decide upon the sound that your band has? Was this a conscious decision to aim for this or was it a more organic, natural process of just finding out what fit and felt right?

Jared : Definitely wanted to do something heavy. I think in time as we grow we’re constantly trying to bend our definition of ‘heavy’. But not on purpose…it just happens with time, and that moment when we’re chuckling with the hairs standing on our necks, we know it’s right.

sc3Where/how do you think you fit in with the wider Metal scene as a whole?

Jared: I’m not sure where we fit in really. I’d hope it would be enjoyed by any fans of heavy music but I feel like we don’t appeal to just one genre.

Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve with this album?

Jared : Just to get it out to as many ears as possible.

Are you happy with how it turned out?

Jared : Very happy at this point. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Evan: The response has really been great. One review basically said we make music for the end of the world. I really enjoyed that..

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

Ekim: The struggles of everyday life for everyone. Each song is it’s own meaning for me, but could be relate-able through other people’s interpretations. No love making lyrics here.

sc2How do you write your songs?

Jared : Evan brings the riffs to the table like a manic scientist and I basically learn the song and try to syncopate the rhythm. Then over time the songs just grow. It takes a really long time for some songs to be fully incubated.

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

Jared : If any more bleak than what we’ve been writing…I’ll want to swallow a bottle of Zoloft. And I’m OK with that.

What’s next for Secret Cutter?

Jared : All unknown! Except our next LP which is basically written. I’m very excited about playing out with this new material.

Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain (Review)

Cannibal CorpseCannibal Corpse are a Death Metal institution. If they need any form of introduction then you’re probably reading the wrong site.

This is their 13th album. Unlucky for some, maybe, but not this long lasting band of bloodthirsty veterans. A new Cannibal Corpse album is always something to get excited about and this one is no different.

There’s a reason that Cannibal Corpse are the biggest Death Metal band in the world. They know their stuff and they always deliver. Even the weaker of their albums is better than what most other Death metal bands can even dream of releasing.

So how does A Skeletal Season hold up against their sterling back catalogue? Pretty damn well is the answer. They’ve managed to release yet another class album of quality material.

By now any long-term fan of the band will know what to expect. Cannibal Corpse are remarkably consistent. Some see this as a failing, but the simple fact is that the Cannibal Corpse song formula is a winner and they always deliver the goods.

Cannibal Corpse are the very definition of timeless Death Metal. If you take any of their albums you can pretty much listen to any song and imagine it coming from almost any era of Metal. If you take any of their old songs they don’t sound particularly Old-School even today, (If you ignore the obvious differences in production), and if you take any of their new songs you can imagine them coming out decades ago, (again, production values notwithstanding). This, I think, is part of the Cannibal Corpse appeal – they always sound simultaneously established and fresh. That and the great songs of course.

This doesn’t mean that nothing ever changes though as each album brings something slightly different to the table. With A Skeletal Season the band have incorporated a hint of the more modern style of Death Metal into some of the riffs as well as some more atypical drum beats.

These are not things that stick out like sore thumbs or anything. You’ll never, ever mistake this for Deathcore, for example; but it’s apparent on a couple of tracks, most noticeably on the opener High Velocity Impact Spatter.

George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher is on great form as always. He sounds especially harsh on this album but also very catchy. Songs like Kill or Become show him at his visceral best; interesting vocal patterns, memorable hooks and stand out moments you just don’t forget – “Fire up the chainsaw! Hack their fucking heads off“. It’s a hairs on the back of your neck moment.

The instruments are all played to perfection, as always. Infectious riffs, solid bass, pounding drums. The album has it all. To pick just one example; Vector of Cruelty showcases all of these, with audible underpinning bass, catchy rhythm guitars, screaming solos and quality growling sailing over the top of it all.

Well, at the end of the day this is Cannibal Corpse, what can you say? This is yet another fantastic album from the masters of Death Metal. I fail to see how anyone who likes Death Metal can dislike this band.

Essential listening.

Ides of Gemini – Old World New Wave (Review)

Ides of GeminiIdes of Gemini are from the US and play Doom Metal. This is their second album.

This is haunting, Old-School, 70’s retro-influenced Doom with a ghostly feel and abundant depths.

It’s low key and lo-fi, with the strength of the tracks not coming form the recording but from the raw emotion and power given off by the essence of the songs themselves.

Ethereal female vocals soar over the top of the surprisingly subtle music. The singer has a heartbreakingly beautiful voice that captivates and enthrals. Combined with the downbeat, percussive music it’s a hypnotic dirge-fest that you can easily lose yourself in, suddenly realising that the album is over and you’ve just been zoning out, letting it seep into your every pore.

This is good.

There is somewhat of a ritualistic, atavistic feeling to this; a feeling that at the end of the record something will be different, something will have changed. It’s almost alchemical in nature. The band’s ability to create such a rich, textured environment is such that the otherworldly seems distinctly possible and ripe for exploration.

Old World New Wave is an album capable of wrenching real change in the listener, forcing them to have a good long look at the darkness and returning as a different entity, as an other.

Do you want this to happen to you? Of course you do. Press play. There’s no looking back.


Osmium Guillotine – Osmium Guillotine (Review)

Osmium GuillotineOsmium Guillotine are from the UK and this is their début album. They play Heavy Metal.

This is 80’s style Heavy Metal with a sexy guitar sound and plenty of attitude. The production is largely apt for this kind of band, although in a feat of differentiation Osmium Guillotine have a guitar tone that’s both thicker and heavier than most bands playing this genre and it works very well for them.

The music is played with passion and obvious zeal and everyone seems to know their job well. Nice solos too.

This is Old-School Heavy Metal that manages to encapsulate quite a few different feelings from early Metal and distil them into this release. Classic Metal is a given, but Doom Metal, Proto-Thrash and NWOBHM all get a look in. There’s even a touch of Punk to things now and again.

The vocals are great, and there’s not a hint of Power Metal to be seen. I love Power Metal as much as anyone, but it’s nice to hear a band like Osmium Guillotine who are just pure Heavy Metal without the more extravagant ostentation inherent in Power Metal. The singer here has a great set of lungs and possesses the charisma to do the tunes justice.

These are a strong set of songs with plenty of hooks and choruses to keep you coming back for more. Memorable melodies and good riffs flow freely and everything feels just as it should.

Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Anthrax…if these bands float your boat then Osmium Guillotine are a logical band to check out. Along with the recent stellar release from Johnny Touch this proves once again what any real music fan already knew – True Metal isn’t dead.

Great stuff.

Solace of Requiem – Casting Ruin (Review)

Solace of RequiemThis is the fourth album of Technical Blackened Death Metal from Solace of Requiem. They come from the US.

It’s fairly unusual for Technical Death Metal bands to have anything to do with the Black Metal style. It’s not unheard of of course, just relatively rare, so I was looking forward to hearing this band to see what they did with the style.

Straight away it’s apparent that they are very technical and they do wear their Black Metal influences on their sleeves.

The music is a dense, twisting affair. Technical Death Metal riffs fly everywhere at the speed of thought whilst Blackened keyboards and sounds add to the cacophony. High pitched Blackened screams add a further layer of evil and the entire thing reeks of a complicated rot.

It’s impressively harsh and the addition of the Black Metal influences to the Technical Death Metal core is atypical and done rather well.

The higher screamed vocals are joined by more traditional growls, once again sealing the deal between genres.

There are some great riffs here and the technicality doesn’t become overbearing or done just for the sake of it. Sometimes the band hits upon a great sounding mid-paced riff and they just let it settle in for a while and lot it flow naturally, which is a great thing to hear. This is frequently added to by keyboards and solos and the end result is very satisfying. As songs they work, and the entire album is top work by this band.

Everything is recorded well and the music is crisp and clear. These songs whirl by at lightspeed and you can’t fault the performances. As this is their fourth album they clearly know what they are doing by now and have the talent to achieve their goals.

This band remind me of someone like The Black Dahlia Murder if they had a lot more blazing technicality and Black Metal in their sound. It doesn’t completely describe Solace of Requiem of course, but it’s a good starting point; throw in some Spawn of Possession, Immolation and Arkhon Infaustus and you’re on the right lines.

Casting Ruin is a monster of an album and quite an achievement. By incorporating Black Metal into their sound they successfully differentiate themselves from hundreds of standard Technical Death Metal bands and immediately set themselves apart.

This is an album that is better than most and won’t settle for being ordinary. Solace of Requiem have their own identity that serves them well and they’re just waiting for you to discover them.

Do it now.

Majestic Downfall/The Slow Death – Split (Review)

MDTSDMajestic Downfall are from Mexico and The Slow Death are from Australia. Both play Doom Metal.

This is a much longer split than the norm – 67 minutes in total with each band giving roughly half of that. It also boasts quite a striking album cover. Nice.

Majestic Downfall are first off with a crushingly heavy start to things. They play Doom Metal with a slow Death Metal influence – Death/Doom or Doom/Death, whichever you prefer.

Ready comparisons to newer bands would be the likes of Eye of Solitude and that ilk. For older bands think Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride gone full-on Doom/Death. Majestic Downfall are not a band who are totally mournful and miserable though as a lot of the riffs are more brutal or energetic and they have faster moments too.

The vocals are super-deep and the music is clear and strong. Melodies are a large part of the band’s sound and they make full use of them to produce enjoyable tracks that are largely colossally heavy but also show shading with their use of lighter sections.

With a generally more upbeat take on the genre this is a good listen and makes a decent impression.

After Majestic Downfall’s crisp energetic Doom Metal The Slow Death are like a funeral procession of depressive soundscapes. The Slow Death are a much more mournful proposition and big on proto-Gothic atmosphere.

They can be said to share similar influences and a base sound to Majestic Death but they process it in a different way and the results are therefore different as well. The Slow Death are a lot more downbeat in sound, (although they do still have upbeat moments), and the overall vibe is darker and more negative. Think a band like The Sins of Thy Beloved only with a more subtle Gothic influence.

Melodic guitars draped in misery and rotting dreams are the leading lights in this showcase of loss. The band create dirges that hold interest and have some good riffs in them.

The vocals alternate between clean, ethereal, haunting female singing and deep, dark male growls. It’s a contrast that was done to death years and years ago in the Gothic Metal style but one that’s not so popular these days. I find it makes me a tad nostalgic, even. Regardless, The Slow Death pull it off with style and it sounds almost refreshing to hear the clean female/rough male vocals trading off once again.

A top quality split from two bands who have presented two different takes on a core style. It’s especially worth getting due to the length as each band essentially contribute a mini album’s worth of material to this split.

Be sure to check this out and then track it down.