Nojia – Gheist (Review)

NojiaThis is the début album of Nojia who are from France. They play Post-Rock.

Nojia feature the talents of the bassist from Eryn Non Dae, which is notable simply because of just how damn good Eryn Non Dae are.

Nojia however, are calmer and more restrained. This is instrumental Post-Rock with long songs and a deep Progressive Rock edge.

For musical reference points, think Red Sparowes, Pelican and Russian Circles.

Nojia’s songs are impassioned and emotive beasts. Featuring the trademark rise and fall, build and release nature of Post-Rock; their tracks are further imbued with vitality and life by the Progressive nature of the music.

Memorable riffs and melodies gel together to create music that has impact. These are stories written in sound and each track is like an act in a play. When all three are done you’re left spent; emotionally exhausted but very, very happy.

A great deal of musicianship has gone into Gheist and the investment has paid real dividends.

My favourite track is probably Sama, which creates a tense, expectant atmosphere before diffusing itself in glorious crescendos and Progressive Rock beauty.

Nojia are a success in my book and well worth a listen.

Mudbath – Corrado Zeller (Review)

MudbathThis is the début album from France’s Sludge/Doom behemoths Mudbath.

The first song opens slow and heavy, just the way we like it. Then the vocals kick in and I’m floored by their harshness. These are screams that sound so ragged that they can’t be human, surely?

It’s like serrated liquid glass has been made into diamond-sharp nails and scraped down the world’s largest blackboard. Couple this with the lumbering, crawling music and I’m in Doom heaven.

The first track keeps up the slow assault for over 10 minutes before introducing a bit of melody at the end and then finally collapsing under the sheer weight of itself. Class.

The second song starts off more upbeat but no less harrowing. It soon descends into apocalyptic Doom territory though and all memories of warmth, light and happiness simply evaporate. It picks up the pace once more near the end and the throat-shredding nature of the vocals goes into overdrive.

The final song is almost 18 minutes of nihilistic venom and heavy Sludge evil.

This is a crushing début. If you love all things slow, Heavy and Doom then Mudbath are not to be missed.

Infested Entrails – Defiling a Piece of the Deceased (Review)

Infested EntrailsInfested Entrails are from Australia and this is their début album.

Ahh this is just the thing for a lazy, wet, Sunday morning. Brutal, heavy Death Metal with plenty of blasting, rhythm and aggression.

Taking their cues from Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Severe Torture, Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh; the band rip, tear and carve their way through 33 minutes of grade A Death Metal.

Defiling a Piece of the Deceased features a sound that’s strong enough to bruise. The band have a great production that does their crushing music justice.

Chunky rhythms and bouncing riffs explode out of the speakers as Infested Entrails do their best to flatten everything around them.

This is Death Metal with a lot of energy and boundless passion for the cause.

A thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying blend of brutality and murderous intent. Infested Entrails have created an album that is very good indeed.

A recommended listen. Play loud.

Chapel of Disease – The Mysterious Ways Of Repetitive Art (Review)

Chapel of DiseaseChapel of Disease are from Germany and play Death Metal. This is their second album.

The album art alone made me expect something a bit special from this band; I just couldn’t imagine a “normal” Death Metal band having a cover like this.

As soon as I pressed play it seemed I was right. The Mysterious Ways starts out with a Doom-heavy riff that’s slow, tortured and enhanced with subtle keyboards. Top stuff. After this short intro of sorts the band ramps up the tempo but still manages to foster the air of occult mystery and ancient lore that the cover implies.

Overall I’m very impressed with this release. There are some Hellishly good riffs and melodies on here. The songs are exquisitely written and the moods and atmospheres that they cover are impressively realised.

This is clearly a band who are comfortable with their brand of horror and not afraid to be themselves. All credit to them for this, as The Mysterious Ways Of Repetitive Art is a Death Metal treasure of dark riffs and haunting melodics.

Imagine the best parts of bands like Hypocrisy, Usurper, Celtic Frost, Immolation, Incantation – essentially any band who have a penchant for atmospheric Metal that has a broad palette and creative soundscapes.

Chapel of Disease know how to be grimly brutal when they need to, but the main thing about a band like this is their recognition of the importance of dynamics and grand riffing. Their skilled songcrafting has resulted in Death Metal songs that perfectly capture the appeal of the underworld and the dark gifts and treasures that can be bestowed on those true believers that persevere in their art.

There’s a lot to absorb here. This is a compelling album of high Metal art. Get this.

Corecom – Crawling Under The Heavy Foot Of Addiction (Review)

CoecomCorecom are a Sludge Metal band from Bulgaria and this is their début album.

Lazy, lost, despondent…the woe and rejection…the struggles of life and everything within…Corecom are here to remind you that negativity can be a physical force.

But there’s more to just Corecom than mere misery and Sludgy Eyehategod worship; they’re also in touch with their inner Hardcore band and their brand of Sludge is infested with semi-upbeat Hardcore-esque sections that seem to be fashioned from the murk of the deepest Sludge. This is more No Anchor than Eyehategod.

Corecom also have groove. I mean big groove. The kind of groove that got people bouncing all over the shop before Nu-Metal made it distinctly uncool. Corecom are reclaiming it and drenching it in Sludge so that no-one else wants to touch it.

Southern riffs, Hardcore-vibes, Doom-workouts and Stoner sections abound, as well as some pseudo-Grunge and Pantera/Crowbar influences. Corecom sound stuck in a timewarp in some ways, as Crawling Under The Heavy Foot Of Addiction sounds like it should have been released around 1999. This is not a bad thing at all, as this was a time when there were lots of innovative and interesting bands rearing their bruised, ugly heads.

Varied and catchy songs are Corecom’s speciality and this release is a very complete one; songs are just that, and each track has a part to play holistically in the overall makeup of the album.

Pain-inflicted vocals with no small amount of variety and character run through the songs like rodents infesting the ruins. The singer has a distinctly non-standard voice and this goes for the music too; it might take a song or two to acclimbatize but once you do Corecom have a lot of character and personality to offer.

This album makes me feel both impressed and nostalgic. It’s definitely one you should have a listen to.

Carnality – Dystopia (Review)

CarnalityCarnality are a Technical Death Metal band from Italy. This is their second album.

The singer has the kind of infectious growl I love. It’s deep and rough but focused and compact as well. It’s more like precision strikes with a blunt weight than wildly flailing something around and hoping for the best. There’s enough variation in tone and delivery to show real character too.

This is ferocious, Modern Death Metal with barbed riffs and a murderous attitude. The songs are manufactured with nothing but destruction in mind.

Dystopia boasts a strong and clear production which allows the musicianship of the band to shine. They shred, peel, batter and tear their way through the songs with Hellish abandon.

The band are adept at fusing technicality with songwriting ability so that the tracks are both complex and involving. It’s great to hear when a band embraces the importance of a coherent and flowing song structure in addition to ensuring the requisite levels of brutality and technicality.

Carnality have put out a hugely impressive second album. If you like your Death Metal crisp, heavy and brutal then you must check out Dystopia.

Vihaan – Invicta (Review)

VihaanVihaan are from the US and this is their début album. They play Progressive Metal.

Vihaan combine Progressive Rock, Metal and Jazzy technicality into 48 minutes of listening pleasure.

This is a band who aren’t afraid to embrace the Metal side of their sound, so as well as their expressive Progressive music and the exploratory Rock we also get heaviness and deep vocals.

As you would expect of a band like this, the music is first rate. Everything is clear and played well; even the bass is audible and makes a valuable contribution to the songs.

Vihaan have struck the perfect balance between complex technicality and accessibility. Think Opeth meets Between the Buried and Me.

These tracks are artfully composed and have enough variety and interest to engage for the full listening time. The fact that they have a firm Metal base means they never go wandering too far into experimental territories and the integrity of the song is always kept intact.

Added effects and sounds complement the base collection of instruments well. This gives each song an added flavour. Inflection has a part near the end, for example, that sounds really 70’s Prog sci-fi. It’s enough to make my hairs stand on end!

This is a very accomplished and enjoyable album. It’s full of rich textures and has a refined palette. A highly recommended listen.

Warcode – Vortex of Chaos (Review)

WarcodeThis is the début album from Greece’s Warcode, who are a Death Metal band with a Thrash influence.

This is well-recorded Death Metal with a good ear for catchy riffs and songs that probably go down a storm live.

Warcode have a nice Thrash Metal influence to their riffs which means that the songs have high energy levels and plenty of hooks.

Rather than generic riffs simply strung together, thought has gone into progression, pacing and the general dynamics of the tracks; this shines through repeatedly.

These songs feature some good playing and some really nice solos. It always comes back to the rhythm guitars though for me as there are some really choice riffs going on here. Pick pretty much any song and almost straight away you’ll encounter some quality riffing and catchy tunes.

The drums are solid and it’s always good to be able to hear some bass as well. The vocals are deep, dark and sound like the singer is gargling gravel. Nice.

Warcode have put together a good collection of tracks that should hopefully see them increasing their profile.

Check them out and show your support.

In the Company of Serpents – Merging in Light (Review)

In the Company of SerpentsIn the Company of Serpents are from the US and this is their latest EP. They play Doom/Sludge.

Just three tracks and over 21 minutes of heavy, heavy music; In the Company of Serpents play tar-black Doom with an emphasis on riffs and a crushing delivery.

The vocals sound anguished and tormented, like some damned soul released from Hell just long enough to tell everyone how bad it is. Rough and mournful.

The fuzzy guitars propel the tracks forward and the band know a good riff when they hear one. The colossal weight of the guitars drowns everything else out; the rest sound like a mere afterthought.

The songs sound like demented Black Sabbath tracks that have been left to fester and then, when they’re at their most ripe, covered in a layer of Sludge so thick that only the guitars are recognisable.

In the Company of Serpents are always an enjoyable band whenever I encounter them and this EP is no different. Like a car crash of Black Sabbath, High on Fire, Generation of Vipers and filthy Sludge Metal in general; they deliver the goods, although they may be a bit reeking and despoiled by the time they get to you.


Born Undead – Violator of Humanity (Review)

Born UndeadBorn Undead feature members from both the UK and France. They play Death Metal and this is their début EP.

Taking influences from bands like Autopsy, Born Undead play their particular brand of Death Metal with bloody abandon and gore-stained clothes.

The music is primitive and reeks of corpses, but the simplicity of their attack is no less lethal for it. This is ugly music for ugly people.

They have a non-standard sound which differentiates them a bit from so many other Death Metal bands. They’re riff-oriented but not in a flashy way and the deep growling vocals appear to have been dredged up from the remains of a huge daemon, at least that’s what it sounds like to me…

The first song Violator of Humanity has a good energy to it, with a mechanistic-marching quality to the main riff that unexpectedly erupts near the end into grand melodics. Nice.

Second track Revenge of the Necrovore starts faster and features riffs plucked from the bowels of Hell. Once again the band show that they have the ability to write guitar parts that are full of energy and feel like they’re going places rather than just filling time until the next riff comes along.

After this we have Splatter Fuck, which is the longest track at just over 4 minutes. This slows the pace again, mostly, and Born Undead get to show off their grasp of dynamics and pacing. A tasty main riff once again powers everything whilst the vocals chew and belch their way through the carnage. Some dark melodic guitar work also rears its ugly head here.

The EP closes with Undead Torment which rounds up everything in a suitably brutal fashion. It has a merry old time of it, chugging and thrashing around all over the shop, beheading with glee. Most enjoyable.

A very promising release from a very promising band.

More please.