Horrendous – Idol (Review)

Horrendous - IdolThis is the fourth album from US death metal band Horrendous.

Horrendous are a notable and important band in the death metal underground, I’d posit. As evidence I’d cite albums such as Ecdysis and Anareta, at the very least. Continue reading

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ISA – Chimera (Review)

ISAISA is a one man death metal project from the US and this is his debut album.

Chimera contains 41 minutes of music that draws from a twisted death metal base, but builds progressive, technical, and psychedelic elements into it. This basic description really doesn’t do this album justice, however. Continue reading

Horror God/Techne – Split (Review)

Horror God TechneHorror God and Techne are both Russian death metal bands and this is their split release.

Horror God offer up four songs lasting 19 minutes in total; three originals and a Purulence cover. Continue reading

Exist – So True, So Bound (Review)

ExistExist are a progressive/technical death metal band from the US and this is their second album.

Exist have taken the torch from forerunners such as Atheist, Death, and Cynic, and are truly running with it. This means we get an old-school influenced version of the progressive/technical death metal style, as laid down by the aforementioned masters, despite the modern veneer and sparkling production. Continue reading

Vipassi – Śūnyatā (Review)

VipassiThis is the debut album from Australian instrumental metal band Vipassi.

Śūnyatā is 30 minutes of instrumental music that combines elements of progressive, technical and death metal together to form an engaging and thoughtful listening experience.

Atheist, Cynic and Death are the Continue reading

Brain Tentacles – Brain Tentacles (Review)

Brain TentaclesBrain Tentacles are an experimental/avant-garde/jazz/grind/doom metal band from the US. This is their debut album.

Experimental/avant-garde/jazz/grind/doom metal is a bit of a mouthful, and in all honesty doesn’t even properly do justice to the sounds that this album contains at any rate.

In addition to the usual drums and bass you’ll also find synth, piano and horns on this release. But no guitars. Continue reading

Stench Price – Self Titled (Review)

Stench PriceStench Price are a grindcore supergroup and this is their debut release.

There’s a bewildering array of talent and people involved in this, so I’m simply going to copy and paste the lineup from the press blurb to make things easier for myself –

France – Romain Goulon – Drums (Necrophagist, Disavowed, etc.)
Siberia – Peter Shallmin – Bass (Escapethecult, Kamlath)
Siberia – Max Konstantinov – Guitars (Kamlath, Nebesniesnami)
USA – Danny Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, SOD, etc.)
Sweden – Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Demiurg, etc.)
USA – Max Phelps (Cynic, Death DTA Tours, Exist)
UK – Dave Ingram (Hail of Bullets, Benediction, Bolt Thrower, etc.)
Australia – Karina Utomo (High Tension)
USA – Shawn Knight (Child Bite) Continue reading

Contrarian – Polemic (Review)

ContrarianContrarian are a Progressive Death Metal band from the US. This is their début album.

Just take a look at the album cover – there’s a lot going on and this translates to the music on Polemic too. Contrarian play distinctly atypical Progressive/Technical Death Metal. It’s not your standard fare. which we are eternally grateful for. As a soundtrack to space battles, it works.

Elements of Death, Atheist and Cynic can be heard, as well as more modern influences. All of this is held together by a first-rate vocalist whose growls can only be described as monstrous.

The music twists and turns, taking the listener down all manner of interesting avenues before seemingly changing direction on a whim, returning to where it left off only to find that it’s not the same place after all.

So the band can play, that much is clear; you would expect no less considering the pedigree of some of the members, (Nile being the most notable). Interestingly though, even through all of the technicality and forensic playing they still somehow manage to fashion this chaotic landscape into a collection of songs.

There’s a good helping of otherworldly melodies and distorted atmospherics included in the mix too. These are a welcome addition to the band’s music, helping to create an additional sense of depth and longevity to the tracks. There are frequent calmer sections peppered throughout, as if the band are allowing themselves small moments of respite and self-reflection to replenish themselves for what’s to come.

In the final analysis, it all results in a highly-textured release that is a very enjoyable listen.

Highly recommended.

Ataxia – Calignious (Review)

AtaxiaAtaxia are a Canadian Death Metal band and this is their début album.

This is sharp Death Metal with a technical twist.

The band have a well-produced sound that’s tight and focused. Good musicianship means that the band know how to widdle and lots of technical muscles are flexed.

The singer has a decent growl that seems to come straight from the depths of somewhere dark and evil.

Ataxia are a band who are trying to do something slightly different with the Death Metal template. Yes, to the untrained eye this is essentially Death Metal, but to the connoisseur of such things Ataxia have enough of their own personality and ideas that are manifested in Calignious to cause you to sit up and take notice.

The band seem to prefer to embed their technicality into the very brutal essence of the songs as a general rule, as there are surprisingly few solos or leads on this release. Most of the time the complicated fretwork makes up the bulwark of the rhythms and snakes around the blasting drums.

This is brutal, Technical Death Metal which takes its cues from the experimental sides of Atheist and Death as much as Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation.

I think it’s time to support the Metal underground once more and lay your hands on this.