Witch Vomit – Poisoned Blood (Review)

Witch VomitWitch Vomit are a US death metal band and this is their latest EP.

After the underground gem that was 2016’s A Scream from the Tomb Below, the fantastically named Witch Vomit are back with a new 19 minute EP of foul, ugly death metal. Continue reading

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Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him (Review)

VallenfyreThis is the third album from Vallenfyre, a death metal band from the UK.

Featuring current and ex-members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Abhorrence, in Fear Those Who Fear Him Vallenfyre deliver 39 minutes of ugly, nasty death metal. Continue reading

Warcrab – Scars of Aeons (Review)

WarcrabWarcrab are a death/sludge band from the UK and this is their second album.

There aren’t too many bands that mix death and sludge metal together, but those that do tend to be pretty notable. The Dead and Tides of Sulfur are two that spring instantly to mind. I can now add Warcrab to this short list too. Continue reading

Killing for Company – House of Hades (Review)

Killing for CompanyThis is the début album from Norwegian Death Metal band Killing for Company.

Killing for Company’s music seems like it has congealed from a pool of blood that’s seeped out of the corpse of old-school Death Metal. To get an idea of the band’s sound, think Bolt Thrower and Autopsy; mix this with a bit of, (old), Hypocrisy and then add in some atmosphere and coloured melody. Continue reading

Purtenance – …To Spread the Flame of Ancients (Review)

PurtenanceThis is the third album from Purtenance, who are a Finnish Death Metal band.

Purtenance play old-school Death Metal that’s so ancient that as you sit listening to it in whatever dank crypt you chanced upon it in, it starts noticeably getting darker and as the crypt doors start creaking, you’re convinced all manner of shambling horrors are descending on your position. You’re probably right.

From the very first riff, this album has instant charisma and it’s extremely hard not to like its rotten charms. The band wear their influences on their sleeves and if you’re a fan of bands like Bolt Thrower, Incantation and Autopsy, you won’t go far wrong here. However, given that their first album was released in 1992, Purtenance know a little bit about the old-school and …To Spread the Flame of Ancients is as honest and authentic as it gets.

The singer has one of the best Death Metal voices I’ve heard in a while for this style. It’s an absolutely huge and pitch black growl that seems to come from the depths of The Pit. Sooooo good.

The songs are well-written, quality beasts, evoking just the right amounts of rot and power at the same time. Unlike a lot of old-school-themed bands, they also throw in a few unusual riffs and ideas here and there, as well as some dark melodies, faster sections and blast beats; all too often neglected in a sub-genre where mid-paced seems to rule the roost. Due to this, there’s a lot of differentiation between tracks on this album and it’s easy to not only tell them apart but to also have them slot nicely next to each other, making for an album you can enjoy either in bite-size, (bloody), chunks or holistically in one sitting. A worthy achievement.

An extremely enjoyable and satisfying 46 minutes. Purtenance have released an album of character and quality, one that I can heartily recommend.

Dementia 13 – Ways of Enclosure (Review)

Dementia 13Dementia 13 are a Death Metal band from Portugal. This is their début album.

Sometimes only Old-School Death Metal will do. Yes, it’s always nice to hear the latest in TechDeath fusion, or the latests sophisticated Avant-Garde Black Metal opus, or some new-fangled take on Doom…but sometimes you just want something primitive, ugly and swamped in Death Metal’s rich heritage. For times like that, there’s bands like this.

This is horror-inspired music, with each track finding inspiration in a different film.

With a decent sound that means the guitars sound good and heavy while the bass is actually audible, Dementia 13 take a festering, decaying sub-genre by storm and kick up some dust and muck while they’re at it.

This is a very satisfying release. The tasty riffs and deep, growling vocals hit the right spots and Ways of Enclosure is full of grim, filthy Death Metal that manages to capture the spirit of the Old-School style perfectly without sounding stale or tired, as so many do.

The singer’s voice is perfectly gruff but still surprisingly legible. His throaty growl tears along over the steady pace of the music, while the guitars throw out riff after riff and dark tidings aplenty.

Fans of Bolt Thrower, Massacre, Entombed, Autopsy and Six Feet Under will find a lot to enjoy with Dementia 13.

Ululate – Back to Cannibal World (Review)

UlulateUlulate is a one-man Chinese Death Metal band and this is his second album.

His take on Death Metal is one drenched in horror and cannibalism. It’s an Old-School brand that has lost none of its teeth despite its age.

Ululate play Death Metal as it was originally intended and infuses dark melodies with enough morbidity and graveyard rot that in some ways it’s hard to believe it’s 2015 when you listen to it.

Classic riffs and winding melodies work their way into your mind and soon the Metal is all that matters once more. There is some quality riffage on display here and the songwriting skills of the brain behind the band is highly polished, even if the music is not.

Back to Cannibal World combines a few different Old-School sub-genres into one thoroughly foetid release. It’s a difficult sound to pin down in some ways, as it incorporates elements of bands such as Immolation, Autopsy, Incantation and Cannibal Corpse.

Ultimately this is just a really good Death Metal album, regardless of how one chooses to classify or talk about it. It has a whole bunch of interesting riffs, flawlessly delivered deep growls and songs that hit the spot. When you want an Old-School Death Metal fix that sounds fresher than most, Back to Cannibal World is where it’s at.

Highly recommended.