Wonderbox Metal End of Year List – Best Metal of 2017

2017 was an amazing year for music, with so many top-notch albums seeing the light of day. I pretty much say this every year, of course, but that doesn’t seem to stop it being true. With this in mind, the 2017 list was especially hard to put together, and I agonised over this one more than I did for any of the lists in previous years.

As is traditional, I also want to mention some releases by bands that could easily have made it onto the list, and should have by many rights, if only I could have somehow managed to fit them all in –

Abhorrent DecimationAmenra, Apes, Artificial BrainAu-Dessus,

CelesteDesecrate the FaithEarth RotEarth WitchFalls of Rauros,

Full of HellGnawGutslitHelplessHenry Kane,

Hundred SunsIngurgitating OblivionInto OrbitJohn FrumKarne,

KvalLividMorbid AngelPrimitive ManCraven Idol,

SlowSoulskinnerThe Kennedy VeilUlsectWildspeaker.

I urge you to check out all of the above releases, in addition to the ones in the actual list below. I could probably keep adding more bands you should give a listen to, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, I suppose.

So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it… Continue reading

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Analepsy – Atrocities from Beyond (Review)

AnalepsyAnalepsy are a brutal death metal band from Portugal and this is their debut album.

Holy shiiiit, have I been waiting for this one! I have played the band’s debut EP Dehumanization by Supremacy to absolute death, and now I’m soooo hungry for more. Continue reading

Carnivorous Voracity – The Impious Doctrine (Review)

Carnivorous VoracityThis is the début album from Spanish Brutal Death Metal band Carnivorous Voracity.

Making a strong opening statement of intent with their album cover, Carnivorous Voracity proceed to deliver almost exactly what you might expect over these 36 minutes.

It’s very hard for me to dislike Death Metal like this. It’s savage and nasty, but with enough songwriting savvy to make sure that the music doesn’t become too one-dimensional. This is an important point, as a lot of bands of this ilk are essentially one-trick ponies, no matter how enjoyable.

With The impious Doctrine the band have ensured that there are enough elements of a few different types of ugly brutality included to keep things fresh and interesting. Brutal Death Metal forms the core of the release, but there’s sprinklings of Classic, Modern, Slam and Technical Death Metal thrown into the blender. It all makes for a very satisfying album.

The songs hit the mark, they really do. Although not a band who are primarily about hooks and catchiness, there’s a surprising amount of good hooks on here regardless, and overall this is a very strong album.

The recording is solid and everything sounds slick and professional. The blasting drums and face-smashing riffs are in-your-face, tight and focused.

The vocalist veers between lethal growls and ugly pigsqueals; being very proficient in both he never puts a foot wrong in his delivery.

Yes, this is a very, very nice release. TIME FOR FULL VOLUME CARNAGE!

For fans of Cannibal Corpse, Cryptopsy, Origin, Defeated Sanity, Coprocephalic, Analepsy, etc.

Analepsy – Dehumanization by Supremacy (Review)

AnalepsyThis is the début EP by Portuguese Brutal Death Metallers Analepsy.

This is a Slam Death Metal release that may only last 22 minutes but makes its presence known in no uncertain terms.

Deep pignoise vocals are the order of business, with the singer squealing and growling for his life.

The music is largely devoid of blast beats, (although not completely), but what they lack in speed they more than make up for in heaviness and intensity. These are short, violent tracks that feature a crushing collection of riffs rather than sped-up extremity for the sake of it. Heavy and brutal it may be, but it also teeters on the atmospheric on occasion, which is unexpected and great to hear.

There is some good writing on this short release, with some interesting ideas. Due to this, the band largely avoid becoming just Devourment/Dying Fetus clones and instead create songs that actually have a bit of longevity to them, which is saying a lot for many bands, never mind one of this style.

There’s a vibrant immediacy to these tracks that can’t be denied, and fans of Brutal Death Metal full of breakdowns and chugging heaviness should take note. If you can’t get enough of bands such as Coprocephalic and Infecting the Swarm then Analepsy should be another one who are high on your must-have list.

By God, this is enjoyable! It’s hard to form cogent thoughts when all you want to do is bounce around to their high energy carnage. Slick, professional and boasting an album cover that’s very striking, Analepsy have found a definite fan in me.

You should definitely get this one.