Fully Consumed – Incendium (Review)

Fully ConsumedFully Consumed are a Death Metal band from the US and this is their second album.

This is Technical Death Metal that also features a good amount of syncopated groove, resulting in an album that is weighted towards the former but still maintains a good balance between technical mayhem and head-banging bounce.

Blast beats and time changes work alongside mid-paced bruisers to create an album that contains a huge amount of speed and brutality but also knows when to slow it down a notch to really drive things home.

Vocals consist of dark growls and slithering screams that play second fiddle to the music but would still definitely be missed if they weren’t present.

The band have some good ideas in the songs and these tracks deliver a satisfying hit of chaotic violence. It’s an unrelenting assault and the band don’t show any signs of fatigue throughout these 37 minutes. Even the mid-paced sections are quickly swallowed up in a tide of blasting or technicality and the band are nothing if not persistent in their quest for carnage.

This album was originally released in 2014, but as the band felt the original recording did not do it justice they have now remastered and reissued it in 2015. I don’t know what the original sounded like but this has a solid sound that allows the band to show off what they can do.

Recommended for all Technical Death Metal fans.

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Suppression – Chained and Dragged (Review)

SuppressionThis is the début EP from New Zealand Metal band Suppression.

This is Groove Metal in the vein of Lamb of God, Vision of Disorder and Dead Earth Politics.

The vocals vary between clean singing and shouts. The cleans are a little more muted than the norm and work really well as understated enhancements or choruses – somewhat akin to the Vision of Disorder singer’s style. The shouting is similar to the Lamb of God singer, only not quite as deep. Both sound good and do their jobs well.

The music is riff-heavy and groove-laden, although the band still find space to insert melody and leads where necessary to give the songs an added dimension. They also have guitar solos, which is always something that I appreciate.

Supression tread the line between the commercial and something a bit rougher. Their style is of the sort that bands like Lamb of God, Vision of Disorder, Chimaira, etc. played just before they got bigger. This doesn’t mean that Suppression will also hit the big time, of course, but given the right label backing and a tightening/tidying up of their sound it’s at least possible.

I have enjoyed this EP and it shows great promise for the future.

Check them out.

Favourite Track: Fuel the Pit.

Funerary – Starless Aeon (Review)

FuneraryThis is the début album from US Doom band Funerary.

This is dark, misery-drenched Doom that has a harsh Sludge edge, giving the band a nasty bite.

One of the first things that strikes me about Funerary are the jaw-dropping, ultra-intense vocals. They’re mainly high pitched screams or deep growls, although that description doesn’t do them justice. The screams sound rabid and the growls sound inhuman. Either way, they make a big impression.

This is 34 minutes of mind-numbing despair and utter misery. The songs are heavy, slow and full of depressed fury. This last point is an important one; for all of the Doom and gloom on this record, Funerary have a very angry side that lends their songs an aggressive dominance over all they survey.

Funerary also know how to do subtle though. It’s a downtrodden, malicious subtle and their version of light and shade is multiple shades of black, but subtlety is still within their arsenal. As such, there’s also a side of Atmospheric Sludge to their assault, which is always a welcome addition to any band and further enhances Funerary’s sound, giving them an added depth.

Throughout the release the feeling is one of a filthy, worthless existence, one that has no merits or positive sides just different types of pain and anguish. In itself this obviously doesn’t sound very appealing at all, however, when translated into Funerary’s scorn-filled hate-sludge, it suddenly becomes very appealing indeed.

It’s a relatively varied release, taking in aspects of the main sub-genres mentioned previously, as well as elements of Drone, Post-Black Metal and Experimental Doom. Largely though, it’s an impressive mixture of Doom, Atmospheric Sludge and feedback-laden nihilism, like a cross between Primitive Man, Esoteric and Khanate.

I strongly suggest you get a dose of Starless Aeon.

Fell Ruin – Devices (Review)

Fell RuinFell Ruin are from the US and play Black Metal. This is their début EP.

This is Black Metal of the raw and underground variety that’s been dragged wilfully through a dark, dank swamp and picked up all manner of Sludge and Doom accoutrements along the way.

It’s essentially an odd, distressing Blackened dirge that combines ferocity of vision with otherworldly vibes to create something that feels both wrong and strange, albeit in a disconcertingly agreeable manner.

If Mayhem and Electric Wizard were to do some form of collaboration, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to imagine something like Devices being the end result.

The standard Blackened guitars are supplemented with riffs that are odd, unusual and atmospheric in a claustrophobic, unsettling kind of way. This is a subtle malevolence though, rather than the crushing horror of someone like Ævangelist. Devices gets under your skin.

These tracks are extremely well-written, with subtlety, shading and emotive darkness all featuring heavily in their sound. I really like discovering a band like this as Fell Ruin aren’t your typical Black Metal proposition. On Devices they’re attempting to imprint a well-worn genre with their own style and personality and it works really well.

Oh, there’s some deep fucking oddness here! Not in an ostentatious, extravagant, “look at me” kind of way where some bands feel they need to go to great lengths to show how “wacky” and “weird” they are. No, this is an under-the-radar, “hmm, there’s something not quite right here” kind of way, just before the daemon erupts from someone’s brain and starts slaughtering everyone…

A dark revelation of uncomfortable truths.

Don’t miss it.

Ogotay – Dead God’s Prophet (Review)

OgotayOgotay are a Death Metal band from Poland and this is their second album.

This is muscular Death Metal that has a touch of the mystical and the mysterious about it. There’s an occult vibe that hangs around the tracks like a dark aura, infusing them with the feeling that there’s more going on here than just mere music.

The songs share some elements of fellow Polish band Behemoth, as well as, (to a lesser extent), Vader and non-Poles Nile. There’s brutality and extremity on display but Ogotay also manage to foster those occult atmospheres, as mentioned previously, and these lend the tracks an extra level than if they were purely standard Death Metal; like something feral restrained by ritual.

Bands like Behemoth, Nile, Immolation, Morbid Angel, etc. are a huge influence in the Death Metal world because they are doing something a bit different with the style and do it very well indeed. Due to this, when bands are influenced by them this can easily be to their detriment as it usually ends up coming too close to the original.

What I like about Ogotay is the fact that while they are reminiscent of bands like these genre-leaders they have enough of their own personality and character to step from out of the shadows and into the light on their own merits. Yes, there may be shades of other bands in their style, (as with all bands), but they are definitely their own beast.

To this end, Dead God’s Prophet is full of interesting ideas and well-developed themes and concepts. The band understand what’s needed to write a good song and use this within the Death Metal framework to unleash eight quality tracks in 37 minutes. Each song is identifiable as its own entity and holistically the album flows and fits together very nicely.

I also like the way that they manage to flip between a riff-based approach and a more emotive, atmospheric one, yet they still retain that core of brutality that we demand from the best death Metal.

I’ve been very impressed with this release. Ogotay have managed to stamp their own personality and identity onto the Polish Death Metal scene seemingly effortlessly.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from this band in the future, as Dead God’s Prophet is strong enough to easily fight its way to the top of the pile.

Essential listening.

 

Seven7 – The Follower (Review)

Seven7This is the third album from UK Progressive Metal band Seven7.

This is Modern Progressive Metal that’s big on riffs and melodies.

These songs are clearly well-thought out and are well-balanced between classic song structures and more adventurous Progressive explorations. Down-tuned riffs and heavy guitars work alongside lighter, introspective moments and a Rock sensibility that gives the songs an energetic vibe.

At 50 minutes in length, there’s a lot of different influences and ideas on The Follower. Under the overarching Progressive Metal aegis the band are able to work in a whole manner of different elements from a whole host of different genres and sub-genres, from Metal, Rock and otherwise. The amount of variety on display is still consistent with their overall Progressive core, and it takes the learner on a very involving journey.

The singer has a powerful voice and presence, coming across as somewhat of a mix of the singers of Metallica and Alice in Chains. His singing is dark, infectious and merges with the music symbiotically throughout this album. His vocals are flawlessly executed, much like the music itself.

In some ways this makes me nostalgic for the inventiveness of commercial Metal in the 90s. Seven7 sound like a 90s band updated for the current age. It’s as if a fledgling Nu-Metal band was consumed by the spirit of Progressive Metal, transported forwards in time a few decades and then unshackled and let loose. Don’t let the Nu-Metal tag fool you though; it’s part of their sound but doesn’t define them. The Follower is intelligent and passionate music that shares part of Nu-Metal’s once-essential vitality and incorporates this into Progressive Metal just enough to energise it.

There’s a lot to enjoy on this release and the band have worked hard to craft a collection of songs that have emotional depth and maturity while at the same time featuring enough instant energy and impact to snare the listener.

Highly recommended.

Designs of Chaos – The Darkest Storm (Review)

Designs of ChaosDesigns of Chaos are a UK Metal band and this is their second EP.

This short 3-track release is a 14 minute statement of intent from Designs of Chaos, and it’s clear that they mean business.

This is Modern Thrash Metal in the style of Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, et al. It has a rightfully powerful sound, as befits bands of this nature, and sounds punchy and direct.

One of the good things about The Darkest Storm is that while bands of this ilk can easily fall foul of having too commercial a sound, Designs of Chaos largely avoid this by having a more thoroughly Metal and aggressive approach than many. Yes, the band operate in this more-commercial side of Metal more than they don’t, (such is the nature of the style), but they do it with a more aggressive and downright Metal approach than a lot of their more commercially-minded peers. This is clearly music played for the love of it and not to be the next one-hit wonder.

The songwriting is good and the riffs and structure of the songs hit the spot. I like that this has the immediacy necessary for this style but also leaves room for a bit of depth in the guitar department to allow for a more satiating musical meal, rather than one which was satisfying on first listen but quickly left you wanting something more. The band clearly want to incorporate a bit of substance to their songs and this is only to be encouraged.

Each of the songs are upbeat and feature enough speed to get the head banging and enough groove and heaviness to keep it moving.

The singer has a nicely brutal voice with the shouting and yelling coming thick and fast. It’s a raw and aggressive approach which adds a sharper edge to the band than if they would have opted for a nicer or prettier style. Some of the vocals, backing and otherwise, approach Death Metal levels and it all works really well. There is no clean singing.

Although not perfect, this is still better than most bands of this Modern Metal style and Designs of Chaos have shown massive potential and promise on this EP.

I really enjoyed this. The UK has birthed yet another band to keep a firm eye on. Let’s see what they do next.

One Master – Reclusive Blasphemy (Review)

One MasterThis is the third album from US Black Metallers One Master.

This is underground, occult, raw Black Metal that lays its cards on the table in the very first few seconds and blatantly announces, “this is who we are, this is what we do”.

And it’s bloody good, in an evil, malevolent way.

Although the band stick to the USBM template as laid down by the likes of Leviathan, there’s an impressive amount of depth to the songs on Reclusive Blasphemy. Each track takes you back to a pre-digital age where hearing bands even remotely like this took effort, commitment and contacts.

Back to the present though; One Master are definitely showcasing their dark talents on Reclusive Blasphemy. Will it be enough to propel them to the elite upper echelons of US Black Metal? If there is any justice, they’ll at least get a good shot at it as this album really is a bit of a corker.

Whether they blast it up or Doom it out, their proficiency never drops and the songs hit their marks. The aura of Blackened wrath is omnipresent and the band work their grim wonders across all 36 minutes with the ease of the naturally gifted.

Blackened melodies and forlorn emotions combine with furious rage to create hymns to lost gods and jealous daemons. These songs have a ritualistic edge that’s hypnotic in its delivery and frightening in its danger.

Reclusive Blasphemy hopefully will not stay reclusive. This needs to be heard.

Extremely highly recommended.

Deathrite – Revelation of Chaos (Review)

DeathriteThis is the third album from German Death Metallers Deathrite.

This is Old-School/Classic Death Metal that’s filthy and dirty as Hell. It also has a poisonous mixture of both Doom and Hardcore influences pulsating through its infected blood.

Yes, this is an interesting mixture of different types of extremity all wrapped up in a Death Metal giftbox. There’s an air of the Swedish style to their attack, as well as a whiff of a chainsaw in their sound; there’s a Doomy Asphyx/Incantation vibe going on; there’s a Hardcore/Grindcore energy à la Nasum; and there’s plenty of balls-ahead Death Metal fun for all of the family!

The songs are heavy and nasty, with plenty of bite and a substantial presence. This is a compact little album lasting 35 minutes that doesn’t outstay its welcome and is in fact the kind of thing you’ll find yourself playing again almost straight away.

The singer has a throaty growl that’s malignant and rabid. It complements the aggressiveness of the music perfectly.

This is a top quality album full of decent Metal tunes and plenty of big riffs, with everything you see and hear being covered in filth, of course.

Highly recommended.

Interview with Deathwhite

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Deathwhite’s latest EP Solitary Martyr is a professional 25 minutes of polished Melodic Metal. Find out more about them below…

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

We are a trio of musicians spread across the United States, coming together with the sole purpose of creating new music together. We do not play live, so our efforts are limited strictly to the studio.

Give us a bit of history to Deathwhite

We formed in 2012 under the idea to play darker, melodic metal. Given our current locale, it was decided early on that we would not play live, but rather be a studio entity. The approach has worked well thus far. In 2014, we released our first EP, Ethereal, and are following it up with Solitary Martyr.

Where did the band name come from?

Our name is derived from an Omnium Gatherum song, which dates back to their 2003 album, Spirit and August Light. As you are aware, coming up with a proper band name is a difficult task. However, we feel “Deathwhite” is a suitable one, for it doesn’t pigeonhole us, although there is a severe proliferation of bands with the word “death” in their name. We are simply adding to the list.

What are your influences?

Our main influences would be Katatonia, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Alcest, Isis, Junius, and Green Carnation. Surely there are countless more lying beneath the surface, although we try to be a band that doesn’t prominently display its influences on its sleeve.

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

A band of tremendous influence would be the Netherlands An Autumn for Crippled Children. Vocally, we are worlds apart, yet their melodic phrasing, penchant for atmosphere, and memorable nature of their songs is utterly captivating. They cannot be recommended enough.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

“Suffer Abandonment” is certainly a favourite, although all five songs have their merit. It was released as the EP’s first “single” because it was probably the most immediate. On the vocal-front, it’s probably the best representation of what the band is capable of as well. It was an easy choice to release first.

What are the subjects/themes of the songs on this album?

The themes range from self-doubt (“Pressure”), frustration with organized religion (“Suffer Abandonment”), the treatment of marginalized people based on their demographics (“Vain”), withstanding the urge to fall in line with the faceless sheep of the world (“Solitary Martyr”) and how people need to do a better job of owning up to the decisions they make in life (“Only Imagined”).

Give us a bit of information on your songwriting process

Because none of us reside in the same city, all songwriting work is done via computer. Files are traded, ideas are exchanged, then we firm the songs up prior to hitting the studio. The band’s previous version often rehearsed in-person, but that’s simply not possible with this lineup. It actually makes the whole process much easier, believe it or not.

How did the recording go?

The recording of Solitary Martyr was about as effortless and enjoyable as one could hope for. Brette Ciammara is a total pro, and is a master at getting strong, professional sounds. Plus, he did plenty of post-production work that enhanced the album. There’s not much more you could ask for in a partner like him.

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

Deathwhite will never undergo a radical change in direction, but we are planning on adding keyboards to our sound. It’s unlikely we will take the bait of having growled/death metal vocals, either. Clean, well-sung vocals are very much the strength of the band, and, it’s a challenge to write for them. The end result, though, is worth it once everything is put together.

What’s next for Deathwhite?

Right now, we are composing songs for a full-length, which should see the light of day in 2016. In addition to that, we will be promoting Solitary Martyr throughout the remainder of the year.

A sincere thanks for your support,

DW