Unwilling Flesh – Between the Living and the Dead (Review)

Unwilling FleshUnwilling Flesh is a one-man project designed for a single purpose only – massive killing capacity…

Immediately as the first track starts it’s apparent this is Swedish Death Metal and it has That Sound in spades – the trademark Swedish Chainsaw Assault is in full swing. Blood and carnage is everywhere.

This is closely modelled on the early 90’s Old-School Swedish Death Metal style and this album is essential pure devotional worship of this. Even the album cover screams SWEDISH DEATH METAL at the top of its lungs. With all this in mind, your tolerance for this style of Metal will largely dictate how well you get on with this album or not.

As for me, long-standing readers of this site may have noticed that I have a giant, gore-stained soft spot for this style of music. Yes it’s been done to death and yes there’s little innovation to be had here, but all of this misses the point really. Albums like this from Unwilling Flesh just plain ROCK. I mean, here we have lots of chainsaw riffs; deep, evil growling; creepy, darkened melodies; drums that want to destroy; what’s not to like?

The songs on this release are as competent and enjoyable as any in this style. There is the odd effect and added interest to enhance the core sound and the riffs and vocals are perfectly judged. The melodies, leads and solos are all played well and the guitars drive this album forward with nothing but destruction in mind.

This is obviously a labour of love though; this is not the sound of someone slapping an album together quickly just for the sake of it. Time and effort has clearly been spent ensuring that this has an authentic sound and, more importantly, that the songs are as good as they can be. Top marks for this.

If you decry the state of modern Death Metal, (I don’t), and/or just love the older Death Metal sound, (I do), then Unwilling Flesh offer a time capsule of delights on this album.

Listen loud, and get ready to dig out that chainsaw that you have packed away somewhere. You’re going to need it.

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TKNKNTJ – 2008-2009 – Takaisinvaellus/Täällä Helvetissä Olen Aina Valaistunut (Review)

TKNKNTJHere we have two demo recordings from Finnish Black Metal band TKNKNTJ – Takaisinvaellus originally released in 2008 and Täällä Helvetissä Olen Aina Valaistunut originally released in 2009.

Takaisinvaellus is the longer of the two releases at just under 28 minutes, with Täällä Helvetissä Olen Aina Valaistunut clocking in at just under 16 minutes.

This is Underground Black Metal with a surprisingly satisfying sound that hits all of the rights spots for people who have a lust for all that is Blackened.

The vocals are scathing and full of razorblades. The rhythms and patterns of the vocalist are pleasingly interesting and although he pretty much has a standard Black Metal croak, it’s nonetheless a great voice delivered with passion. Not content with this, however, we’re also treated to a cleaner approach on occasion and the singer pulls this off admirably. He’s sometimes backed up by the odd deeper growl as well.

The band primarily play upbeat and fast but they also have enough slower, sinister passages to keep things varied and interesting. Blackened melodies seep out of the speakers like insidious rotting worms ready to corrupt the unwary and eat away at the unworthy.

This is evil music created for the love of darkness and sin. There is a malevolent aura to the grimness of the tracks on this release.

The fact that these were originally demo recordings is hard to believe in some ways as the quality of both the music and the recordings are better than some albums from similar bands.

Check them out.

 

Neverworld – Visions of Another World (Review)

NeverworldNeverworld are from the UK and this is their début album. They play Power Metal.

Visions of Another World starts with a short, atmospheric intro track before launching into their first song proper which is immediately all double bass, speedy riffs and keyboards/horns. It’s a strong opening that clearly states the intent of the band and the genre they play. Once the vocals kick in it’s cemented and you know it’s going to be a good run.

The band specialise in long songs that make the most of their many talents. The songs are colourful, rich and above all Metal. Soaring guitar melodies and omnipresent keyboards ensure that there’s never a dull moment to be had. There are also more solos than you can shake a stick at and it all sounds goooood.

The band boast a strong vocalist with a grand voice. He carries the tunes effortlessly and provides a focal point to the extravagant and showy music. He delivers a sterling performance.

This is a band that could never be mistaken for anything other than pure fucking Metal. This is epic, grandiose and pure class. The UK is not really known for Power Metal as much as the rest of Europe is, but Neverworld have created a shockingly good album that will surely see them rival the best that other countries have to offer.

If you’re a Power Metal fan you should make it your mission to snap this album up as quickly as you can.

Favourite Track: Blood and Romance. An epic song, the longest here and also features a great duet with Christina Gajny, (ex-Interlock). Fantastic stuff.

Horrendous – Ecdysis (Review)

HorrendousThis is the second album from US Death Metal band Horrendous.

Firstly; what an album cover! Top marks for that for a start.

But what of the music? Horrendous play Traditional/Old-School Death Metal with a good bit of the Swedish style chucked in, although they are certainly not limited to this one particular subgenre. Their style is a wider one that encompasses pretty much all of the Classic/Traditional/Old-School Death Metal sounds and delivers them wrapped in entrails as a horrendous, (heh), package of delights for the listener to chew on.

Good riffs and good melodies are apparent from the off; this is band that knows how to rip your face off but also knows how to show restraint and take the slower, more considered route to its slaughter. Some of the guitar leads and solos on this release are sublime, enough to take your breath away. There really are some impressive moments here.

A warm, organic sound means you can almost feel the breathing of the Metal as it clobbers you to death. Even the bass is audible. The guitars have a bit of That Swedish Sound, but not oppressively so. Instead the whole thing has a Classic Death Metal stomp.

The vocalist falls somewhere between an Obituary and a Covenant-era Morbid Angel style. He has a relatively varied voice as he ranges deeper or higher than his core voice as necessary.

The songs chug and churn, flatten and demolish their way through the 44 minutes playing time with the confidence of a killer and the talent of a professional. These are diverse and dynamic songs with strong songwriting clearly stamped all over them in a big, bloody mess.

This is an album that every fan of Death Metal should get their greasy mitts on. Play loud and play repeatedly.

Death Vomit – Gutted by Horrors (Review)

Death VomitDeath Vomit are from Chile and this is their début album. They play Death Metal.

Now that’s what you call a band logo!

This is brutal underground Death Metal played in the Old-School style.

As would be expected from a band named Death Vomit, the music is ugly and unrepentant. It’s filled with malevolent riffing and hateful drums. Savage vocals echo with the afterthought of torture and bloody carnage.

These tracks have a primitive presence; they have an almost atavistic existence as paragons of raw, underground Death Metal as was. Death Vomit play the kind of timeless, Classic Death Metal that no matter what mood you’re in it can’t help but raise a rictus grin to your face.

The songs are strongly written and it’s hard not to enjoy them as they’re so earnestly and honestly played.

If you’re looking for the latest, newest thing then this is not for you; here we have Traditional Death Metal that could honestly have come from almost any era. Suffice to say that it’s good and that’s all that matters.

Play them loud.

Interview with The Von Deer Skulls

TVDS Logo

With their latest EP It’s Time to Paralyze The Von Deer Skulls have shown a willingness to experiment and test the waters of their burgeoning sound. Find out more below…

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

Peter: Hi, we’re The Von Deer Skulls a France based band. We’re a trio, but some other musicians play with us sometimes. We play something the press defined as Rock Doom Ambient, sometimes Indus or Post-Rock.

Give us a bit of history to The Von Deer Skulls.

Freke: The band started in the end of 2012, we have recruited Peter at the beginning to make the visual stuffs of our last band (The Dead Sound), but after talking a long with him we decided to make a new project.

Peter: Yeah at that time I worked on some songs that have become the basis of the project, then we wrote the song “B*tches Of The Wood” which is the one was entirely composed for the band like the interludes, intro and outro.

Hektor: Then we decided to make our biography like a history to serve the visual aspect of the band.

TVDS3Where did your band name come from?

Hektor: The band name come from the artist pseudonym of Peter (Peter Skull), because like a leader to the band, and the “Von Deer” come from the semi-fictional biography of the band and because we have often antlers on our video-stage costumes.

Freke: It’s also to making us a family.

What are your influences?

Peter: Influences are from everywhere, each one listens to different things, I’m a big fan of Jazz, Tool, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, indus things. Hektor listens to a lot of Post-Rock, Electro, but also Radiohead, Kadavar and Freke listens to old Rock ’n’ Roll like Black Sabbath, and some loud things like Sunn O))) or Indus.

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

Freke: Right now I listen to a lot of Kadavar, go to listen this German band if you don’t know, otherwise some old Marilyn Manson & NIN period.

Peter: On my side, I listen some more soft things right now as The Decemberists, Miles, Coltrane and Goon Moon and Pelican a lot.

Hektor: I listen some Queens Of The Stone Age’s songs, Pelican too and the Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s discography.

What did you want to achieve with your new album?

Peter: We would like to record songs which are the beginning of the project, to know each other a little better as a band and to show the public who we are. But it is just the beginning, a presentation.

TVDS2Are you happy with how it turned out?

Hektor: Yes, we think that’s a good beginning. We worked hard to develop the visual aspect as much the music, both are equally important in our universe.

Freke: We were actually surprised to have such good returns.

Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

Freke: Peter works on the structure, and we’re making all the atmosphere.

Peter: As for the songwriting process it changes according to the songs. Sometimes we want that song sound like that and sometimes they grow up alone.

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

Freke: I think the next songs will be more loud, maybe more direct.

Peter: We’re working on it right now, some different songs, some heavy, some more ambient, but yeah maybe more direct for the moment.

Tell us a bit more about the visual aspect of your band.

Peter: As we say before the visual aspect is as much important than music. Because it opens so many possibilities. At first I’m a visual artist, I love painting, shooting videos… for this band, because we create our own mythology and histories with that, it’s like a tale what we are proposing to the people, with the costumes, the videos…

Freke: And it’s also a way to distance ourselves from what we’re doing. The important isn’t what we look like, important is the music, the tale.

TVDS1What’s next for The Von Deer Skulls?

Peter: Next, we’re working on new songs right now like I said, we hope to record them at the end of this year or in the beginning of 2015. And we’re going to do new videos to go with it.

Hektor: Yeah, don’t forget to follow us, new costumes and visual stuffs are on the go!

Website: http://www.thevondeerskulls.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheVonDeerSkulls

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWzz-fueVbw

Peter Skull Website: http://www.peterskull.com

Peter Skull FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/Skull.Peter

Band email: thevondeerskulls@gmail.com

Sangus – Saevitia (Review)

SangusSangus are a Black Metal band from the US.

The band play raw, ugly Black Metal that is capable of boiling blood at a hundred paces. This is infernal stuff that channels the underworld into 5 tracks of scorching, noisy Black Metal that recalls bands like Black Witchery and Watchmaker.

The songs are full of Crust and bile as they tear through the short playing time on this release, (a scant 15 minutes that goes by in a blur of whiplash and black tar), and afterwards you’re left wondering what the Hell just happened.

Although primarily concerned with making a horrendous mess of your insides with their focused, direct assault; the band do know how to insert a few Blackened melodies into the short songs and even have time for the odd guitar solo/lead now and again.

There is an impressive amount of rumbling threat to these songs. The violence is out in the open for everyone to see yet there’s always the hint of worse things to come just beneath the surface.

The final track Ossos: SSS is the longest one at almost 6 minutes in length and is a bit different from the ones that precede it. This track is all about the experimental noise and dark sounds. It’s an interesting choice for a closer, although personally I would have preferred another Black Metal track similar to the ones before as these were all so good.

This is a great little release filled with bark, bile, anger and nails. Highly recommended.

Coffinborn – Beneath the Cemetery (Review)

CoffinbornCoffinborn are from Hungary and play Death Metal. This is their début EP.

This is Old-School Death Metal through and through. The band rip, tear and shred through these 4 tracks with morbid fervour.

This is rotten, stinking Death Metal that’s clawed its way out of the depths of the foetid crypt in search of brains and fresh body parts.

Cavernous vocals fill the air and one can almost imagine some ravenous, giant maw being opened ready to suck in all light and matter.

The dirty, filthy sound they have fits the music perfectly and the tracks pummel and bash with pleasing brutality.

Some good riffs and melodies stick out and there’s a good chug and groove in parts.

Mixing elements of the Old-School from bands such as Autopsy, Dismember, Incantation and Death; Coffinborn’s Classic Death Metal is played well and with good songs.

There are only 4 tracks on this EP but at just under 21 minutes in length it’s a good hit of Death Metal for Old-School fans. This is a very enjoyable release that promises good things for the future of this band.

Their début album could be one to watch. Check them out.

Great Reversals – Natural Burial (Review)

Great ReversalsGreat Reversals are from the US and play Hardcore/Post-Hardcore. This is their latest EP.

The band boast quite the immense sound with guitar riffs sounding like great slabs of granite falling from the sky.

A charismatic vocalist instantly draws the attention and hooks you in. His voice pierces the combination of heavy Metallic Hardcore and the more restrained Post-Hardcore influences to create an aural experience that’s quite invigorating.

This strikes me as the kind of band that would have done very well in the late 90’s/early 00’s; think of a charismatic band from this era, (maybe bits of bands like Skycamefalling and Shai Hulud), and then update the sound with a relatively subtle Post-Hardcore influence and Great Reversals are the result.

This is an impressive EP and I was expecting something less individual and less…striking than this. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but this is a great little EP and I’m pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

It’s time to show your support – check out Great Reversals and get their EP. Definitely worth a listen.