Biopsy – Fractals of Derangement (Review)

BiopsyBiopsy are from India and this is their début EP. They play Brutal Death Metal.

Biopsy take their influences from the USDM scene and even though they’re from India would fit in rather well over there.

The vocals are as deep as any I’ve heard, full of pignoise and bile. The singer is clearly interested in chewing your face off.

The music is nicely brutal with some good grooves and tight riffs amongst the butchery. An impressive amount of chuggery, (it’s a word), takes place here, enough to knock you over.

Moments of melody are few and far between, but there are some brief moments here and there incorporated into the brutality.

There’s enough skill and talent here to avoid dismissal as mere Suffocation-clones and based on this release Biopsy could have a bright future ahead of them in the underground Death Metal arena.

Each song hovers around the 3 minute mark, so the band make an impact without overstaying their welcome. The tracks are solid examples of the style and if you like USDM then Biopsy are waiting for you, surgical table at the ready.

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Muck – Your Joyous Future (Review)

MuckMuck are from Iceland and play Hardcore. This is their second album.

The first song on this album is called Provoke Me, and this serves as an ample motto of reference for Muck’s acerbic and violent Hardcore. This is music to fight to.

The band play with a kind of focused looseness, which means that although the band are tight enough to deliver a professional album they also have enough vitality in them so that everything sounds naturally dangerous and beautifully aggressive.

The riffs are a combination of the more modern, aggressive Hardcore breed and a more traditional, Old-School feel. The merger of the two together makes for an intriguing and enticing listen as the band rage through ten tracks of carnage.

Inhabiting the middle ground between Converge’s sharpened aggression and Martyrdöd’s D-beat extravaganzas, Muck form a bridge between the two that allows the listener to enjoy both styles in one package.

Well I’ve really enjoyed this. Listen loud and get ready for violence.

Whispering Woods – Perditus et Dea (Review)

Whispering WoodsWhispering Woods are from Romania and this is their second album. They play Symphonic Gothic Metal.

This style of music was all the rage in the late 90’s/early 00’s and I haven’t heard a band play it so full-on in quite a while.

Recalling bands like The Sins of Thy Beloved and Tristania, this is richly textured operatic Metal with keyboards and flute accompaniment.

And boy, does it take me back! I was listening to a lot of bands like this at one point and Whispering Woods would have easily fit in.

Perditus et Dea has a huge production and sometimes it feels like the guitars are hitting home like a hammer. Everything is ultra-clear and no expense seems to have been spared in helping the band realise their vision.

The powerful female vocals are expertly performed, clearly by singers of great skill and accomplishment. There’s a definite theatricality to these vocals that spills over to the music too, almost as if each song is an act in a play.

The songs themselves are well-composed and have a good balance between the theatrical and operatic elements and the hard Metal core of the band. One of the things I really like about Whispering Woods is that the Metal component of the band has a big presence and is not subordinate to anything else. For all of the ostentation and flair of a band like this, Whispering Woods are a Metal band first and foremost.

I find this is a style that it’s quite easy to sound generic in; Whispering Woods avoid this by good songwriting, some interesting ideas and a strong sound. That they don’t fall into the trap of simply aping what is, by now, a well-worn style is another mark in their favour; instead they take the genre template and infuse it with their own personality to create an veritable exemplar of the style.

If you’re not a fan of female fronted Gothic Metal then this is unlikely to sway you. If, however, you’re partial to the genre and like a bit of Doom and melodrama alongside it, then Perditus et Dea is one to check out.

Me? I’ve really enjoyed this, and I hope you will too.

 

Primitive Man – Home is Where the Hatred is (Review)

Primitive ManPrimitive Man are from the US and play Doom/Sludge. This is their latest EP.

Ahhh the latest Primitive Man release. I always enjoy their work. A band that personify heavy, nasty music perfectly.

And what do they bring us this time? Here we have music that was left out of all of the happy playlists when you were young. This is a style of music that people only get into when they’re older, jaded and consumed by hatred. Primitive Man feed on this.

The first song Loathe starts off with a churning maelstrom of tense riffs and chaotic drumming, only to slow down to a crawl once the pitch-black growling vocals come in. Crikey the singer has a good voice.

The rest of the songs keep up the high quality-control levels. Dirty Sludge Metal cascades out of the speakers in an onslaught of hatred, bile and disgust.

This EP is a 31 minute Sludge workout that takes in pummelling Doom, filthy Crust/Grind, Blackened guitars and riffs the size of tsunamis to create the aural equivalent of a torturously slow heart attack. Home is Where the Hatred is is Sludge heaven, if there is such a thing.

It’s hard not to love this band. I mean, assuming you like evil Sludge Metal of course. And if you do, Primitive Man are an absolute must.

The Black Lantern – We Know The Future (Review)

The Black LanternThe Black Lantern are from the US and this is their début album. The band play modern Rock/Punk.

This is music that’s passionate and energetic. It’s a highly emotive affair with the focal point being the excited and impassioned vocals. The singer has a charismatic voice that’s full of personality which she uses to great effect through these 11 tracks.

Halfway between Punk and Rock, The Black Lantern are a band who can easily appeal to fans of both. These songs are very catchy and full of hooks, but merely saying that doesn’t really do their music justice.

I’m sitting here listening to We Know The Future again and the songs just exude energy, passion and excitement like an electrified badger. Or something. I dunno, but you get the idea. It’s infectious and it makes me want to move around at speed and in funny ways.

This is music to feel invigorated to. Did your cat steal your sandwich? Maybe your boss poured paint on your head? Perhaps you’re being stalked by moths? In any case, stick on We Know The Future and none of it will feel so bad.

A thoroughly impressive release that’s perfect music to feel alive to.

Dehuman – Graveyard of Eden (Review)

DehumanDehuman are from Belgium and play Death Metal. This is their second album.

I enjoyed Dehuman’s 2012 début album Black Throne of All Creation and as such had high hopes for this new one as I first pressed play.

It did not disappoint.

This is solid Death Metal that flexes its musical muscles early and frequently. The band create an impressive racket.

Dehuman play classic Death Metal that has a timeless quality even though it’s delivered in a modern package.

Thick, heavy guitars blare out with spiky, take-no-prisoners riffs. The band are technically proficient in what they do and their songs reflect this. Riffs chop and change all over the shop and the occasional lightning speed solo, obscure lead or rare bout of melody strikes out from the coldly calculated mayhem to dazzle the listener.

Deep growls are shouted violently on top of this aggressive barrage and do their job well.

Dehuman have succeeded in creating an album of depth that has more than enough content to hold interest for repeated spins.

Top quality Death Metal.

Vile Disgust – Love all the Pigs (Review)

Vile DisgustVile Disgust are from Hungary and play Deathgrind. This is their début album.

With song titles guaranteed to impress the immature, this is over-the-top disgust-o Grind.

The band have a good sound and immediately go for the jugular with their own take on grotesque Deathgrind.

The vocalist belches out obscenities with utter relish and in a deep pignoise style. There’s a surprising amount of variety in the noises that he makes though from track to track, as if different songs had the vocals recorded in different toilets, in some form of filthy urinal tour.

Death Metal riffs and chugging brutality meet with the aggression and rampant disregard for life that Grindcore has. It’s mainly a-bit-faster-than-mid-paced affair, although the band do dabble in different tempos, speeds and methods of execution. The end result is songs that are about under 2 minutes long on average and do the best they can to flatten and disturb the listener.

This is primitive, groovy Grindcore that reeks of the sewer and has no more lofty ambitions than to see what floats to the surface after each flush.

Have a listen and see what you think.

Barishi – Endless Howl (Review)

BarishiBarishi are from the US and play Progressive Metal.

This is the latest EP, following on from their very enjoyable début album Barishi.

Here we have four new songs, clocking in at just less than 19 minutes in length. In an interview I did with their guitarist, Graham Brooks, he said that they wanted to explore a heavier direction in the future.

They’ve certainly done this on Endless Howl.

Again we have the mixture of angular riffs and melodic flourish; it worked well on their début album so it’s good to see it carried forward to this EP.

The songs are heavier, faster and are all-round more Metal this time though, which is something the band have successfully developed in their sound. The first song In the Hour of the Wolf doesn’t sound too far from At the Gates if they had a Progressive influence.

The heavily melodic nature of some of the music combined with the screaming vocals lends their sound a Black Metal/Shoegaze aspect which was entirely absent from their début. Smoke from the Earth is a great example of this and could almost be a Deafheaven tune.

The vocals still contribute harsh shouting screams, but this time they’re joined by the odd growl here and there. The growls are performed extremely well and the progression in screams is noticeable; they sounded perfectly good on the début but on this EP they’re even better. Completely gone are the clean vocals.

I’m glad that Barishi have incorporated more Metal without losing too much of what made them so interesting and individual in the first place. However, the Progressive and Jazz elements are less pronounced this time as something had to give due to the increased Metal influence. They are still there though in places and played immaculately, as always.

This is a very enjoyable collection of songs, showcasing a band that are truly finding their direction. Tight playing and focused songwriting means that the band sound even better than they did on their début.

The more Metal-oriented direction seems to have turned out to be a winner. Where do they go from here? Personally I would like to see their next release merge the Metal of their current incarnation with the more Jazz/Progressive tendencies of their début. If they manage to do this successfully then they’ll be untouchable.

Barishi have really impressed with this EP. An essential purchase.

Favourite Track: Snakeboat. Good songwriting and some strange, atypical atmospheric riffing that gets under your skin to create a tense and nervous listening experience.

Barshasketh/Void Ritual – Split (Review)

Barshasketh Void RitualBarshasketh are based in Scotland and Void Ritual hail from the US. Both bands play Black Metal.

Barshasketh play occult Black Metal with an aura of dark majesty. They contribute two tracks to this split, 17 minutes in length.

The first song is named Palingenesis and immediately demonstrates the band’s quality songwriting and ritualistic riffing.

The music is played at all speeds, from a roaming crawl to blasting spite, and Barshasketh sound on top form either way.

Dominion of Ashes is the next track, and it allays any fears you might have of Palingenesis being a fluke; this song is just as good, if not better than the first.

Featuring Blackened riffs that immediately capture your attention and ice-cold vocals forged from malice, Barshasketh once more proceed to blow me away.

The sound is first rate throughout and this is a very impressive introduction to the band.

For fans of Marduk, Deathspell Omega, Watain and the like.

Void Ritual’s 2014 EP Holodomor was very enjoyable indeed, and they return here with a further three songs, 15 minutes in length.

Void Ritual have shorter songs and are an altogether faster proposition in general than Barshasketh.

Heaven’s Gate rips out of the speakers with venom and razorblades, demonstrating everything that I enjoyed about their earlier EP. If anything though, Void Ritual sound more professional now than they did previously.

Not that this is some sterile, ultra-polished commercial hit machine of course; this is still underground Black Metal through and through. It is, however, tight, focused and boasts a sound that’s as evil as it is satisfying.

Benevolent Mother is up next and continues Void Ritual’s penchant for writing enticing riffs that manage to scream Black Metal whilst at the same time sounding a bit different from the norm.

One of the things that attracted me to this band in the first place is that they may be playing a well-worn style but they do it with enough differences and personality quirks to make them stand out from the pack.

The final song is Temple of the Sun and this continues on where the last two left off; engaging riffs, Devilish atmosphere, roaring screams and top songsmithing. There’s nothing to not like here.

After how good the Barshasketh songs proved to be I was concerned that Void Ritual’s side of the split might be somewhat of a let-down. How stupid of me. Void Ritual can hold their own easily enough and remind me of how much I like their output. There’s just something about them.

These two bands play different facets of Black Metal that complement each other perfectly. Topped off with some excellent artwork this is one split you don’t want to miss.